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Wings of Dawn Lore

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Welcome to the WoD Lore thread, where Enioch of Rule the Waves fame is going to tell you official stories set in the WoDverse, that will have some tie-in with the story that's told in the game.
The majority of these stories will be set in a time before the events of Episode 1.

Updates will be done on an irregular basis. Whenever Enioch finds time in his busy life.

Table of Contents:

* - The Terconia Campaign
* Chapter 1
* Chapter 2
* Chapter 3: Part 1
* Chapter 3: Part 2
* Chapter 4: Part 1
* Chapter 4: Part 2
* Chapter 5: Part 1
* Chapter 5: Part 2
* Chapter 5, Part 3
* Chapter 5, Part 4
* Chapter 5, Part 5
* Chapter 5, Part 6
* Chapter 6, Part 1
* Chapter 6, Part 2
* Chapter 6, Part 3
* Epilogue 1
* Epilogue 2 - End

Here is a handy table to see how the ranks mentioned in the stories correspond to their real life counterparts.

Real Life RankDelest RankCRF RankFleet Admiral (OF-10)High ExecutorArc ChampionAdmiral (OF-9)PraetorChampionVice Admiral (OF-8)Ter-JudicatorPaladinRear Admiral (OF-7/6)Re-AruriorHigh KnightCaptain(OF-5)AruriorCommodoreCommander (OF-4)Ter-IioKnightLieutenant Commander (OF-3)IioKnight LieutenantLieutenant (OF-2)LeytenantLieutenant

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The Terconia CampaignA   W i n g s   o f   D a w n   S t o r y

Imagine a diamond-clear starfield, endless and beautiful. Populate it with glorious nebulas, distant suns and the band of the Milky Way. Try (you will fail, but at least try) to imagine its vastness – and your place in it.

Now, in this infinite backdrop, place beautiful Terconia, with her two suns. See the flaming yellow mass of Terconia Secundus above you; feel the absurd heat and power of the cosmic furnace slam into you. Look away, blinded by the foreign sun. Let your hurting eyes fall on the small disk of Terconia Prime, more than a thousand million miles away. Try to imagine how it would feel to be as close to the blue supergiant as you are to the yellow dwarf. Avert your eyes.

Look down, and see Hōseki. A blue world. A beautiful world. See the sunlight on her oceans. See the string-of-pearls of the city lights on her night-side coastlines. See clouds racing each other around her equator.

See the light of Secundus reflecting off the thousands of small, insignificant satellites that Man has given her.

See the sleek, predatory shapes manoeuvre on their thrusters to enter orbit, shuttling like hornets around their nest.
War has come to beautiful Terconia.

There is, arguably, nothing worse for a military commander than to be just good enough to realise that your position is untenable but not capable enough to find a way to somehow turn the situation on its head. Newly-promoted Praetor Ishiro Dyatlov could feel it in his bones and his mood was black as death.

His death, surely. Or the imminent death of the men and women under his command. For, in truth, given the intelligence and information he was privy to, there was little he felt he could do to prevail under the current circumstances.

The Dynasty would lose a Core World for the first time since its founding; and he would be forever remembered as the one who had failed.

Not for the first time, he glanced ‘out’ of the simulated window on the wall of his private quarters and bitterly cursed the probe that had picked up the undiscovered Starlance in Terconia’s turbulent Oort cloud. And then, for good measure and with all the pathos of a frustrated Delest, he laid a tenfold curse on the random stellar and gravitational eddy that had, sometime during the creation of the Universe, linked that Starlance with the system that would become what was known today as the fortified New British outpost of Andor III.

Overnight, Terconia had changed from one of the safest Delest Core Worlds (Hōseki was a crèche world, for the Emperor’s sake!) to a border system. A border system that, if lost, could give the Limeys a four-Starlance path to Ihefulian (Unacceptable). A border system that, if lost, would mean a loss of incubators and embryos like nothing the Delest had ever seen before (Unthinkable!). Dyatlov was natural-born himself and he was not encoded with the behavioural triggers that would send cold-shivers down the spine of any vat-grown Delest at the mere idea of danger towards the precious, precious incubation facilities; but he was Delest nonetheless and the thought of an entire unborn generation lost forever because of his failure…

It loomed in the back of his mind and sanity like an unformed, black monster.

Again, again he called up his forces’ composition on his desk’s holoscreen, in search of something that he could use to flip the tables. Again he fought the near-irresistible urge to scream as he browsed his subordinates’ reports and the patchwork abomination that was his fleet’s ship listing.

On the top of the list (and thank the Emperor for small favours), his core force: twelve Volyas, all less than two years old, big and nasty and in excellent condition. What was less excellent was that only six of those ships (including his flagship, Michiko) had been with him since his not-so-distant service as the CO of the 5th Frontier Fleet. The rest of his battle-line was cobbled together from what capital ships the various Home Fleets could spare, always subject to the ‘gentle’ prompting of their patrons from the different Delest family Branches. That practice, in itself, was a disaster: Dyatlov could not fault those Branches that had deployed Volyas under his command, but, still, these were ships that had never worked with his fleet before; that came with their own commanders (and whatever baggage that implied) and that had to be hammered into a cohesive fighting force on the eleventh hour.

Dyatlov could (and did, in the privacy of his own mind) fault those Branches that had chosen to deploy aging Vernost-class battleships, or (Emperor forbid!) outright obsolete Zhizn-class monitors, while holding their Volyas in reserve (allegedly for their own systems’ defence, or for ‘necessary, scheduled maintenance’). It was painfully obvious, of course, that the most capable ships were being hoarded by the various factions; and that they were intended to be used during the inevitable infighting and power-plays that any competent politician could sense building up behind the scenes of Vladimir Yama Delest’s Imperial Court. That, however, still left Dyatlov with what he had come to generously refer to as the ‘Support Battle-Line’ in his Staff meetings (because ‘The Scrapheap’ would have indubitably caused morale problems): sixteen old capitals, in various stages of disrepair, with crews of indifferent quality at best and, of course, assembled from different units and fields of operations.

Then, less than two dozen cruisers (and most of them, thankfully, from his old 5th Fleet command): Five Grazdhanin heavy cruisers (glorious, glorious ships, what he couldn’t do with five more of those) and seven Zarya-class point-defence vessels, followed by a patchwork gathering of old hulls and Delest Branch contributions that he wished he could say he could have done without (unfortunately, he couldn’t; he needed every hull and body he could throw at the enemy, even if said hull was a leaking twenty-year-old tub). One notable exception was the sensor- and electronic warfare cruiser Orakul, generously attached to his command by the Imube Branch; it was now the apple of Dyatlov’s eye.

He was still undecided on his destroyer and frigate squadrons. Escort ships had yet to prove themselves in a fleet battle; but Dyatlov could see the benefit in having them present to guard his flanks, or detaching them to strike at targets of opportunity. If only there was any cohesiveness in his light forces’ equipment, doctrine or morale. Some of his ships came from fleets where escort vessels were thought to be useless cannon fodder and a low-responsibility dumping ground, with all that this implied for their crew quality and morale. Others came from jeune école-like fleets; and their officers and crew were confident in their belief that they were God’s gift to their Admiral and the key, indispensable element around which all strategy and tactics should be woven. In short, a headache Dyatlov could have done without.

No, no he couldn’t, he growled to himself internally. He needed the ships.

Emperor, but he was tired.

Dyatlov extinguished his display and leaned back on his chair with a drawn-out sigh, his hands rubbing his eyes. No stroke of genius, then. No inspired insight or masterplan out of the blue. Nothing to help him deal with the inbound CRF juggernaut beyond what was already on the table.

Small surprise there. Alright then. What was on the table and how could he best leverage it against that demon, French?

Arc Champion Julius French laid his dataslate on the table with a sharp click and glanced up at his Staff and commanders.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he said, calmly, "I have just received word from the Admiralty to go to high alert. Barring any significant changes in the diplomatic situation, an ultimatum is expected to be delivered to the Delest within the next twenty-four hours. By this time tomorrow, we may be at war."

There was a lot of murmuring; some muted cheers from the far-side of the table; grins and smiles all around.

"Yes, yes, Deus Vult and so forth, we are all very happy at the chance of giving Johnny Delest another damn thrashing," French flatly said, his fingers tapping at the table. Silence immediately fell once more. "I would prefer it, however, if we could refrain from any premature celebrations. We are proposing to invade a Core Delest holding for the first time in recorded history and if you are still, somehow, after all my efforts to disabuse you of this notion, thinking that this is going to be anything like the border skirmishes of our last scrap with our dear neighbours, I fear you will be unpleasantly surprised."

His eyes did not linger on any officer in particular, but there were some who flinched noticeably and even some sheepish smiles. French made a mental note of names and postings and continued, his voice even.

"I am sure you are, by now, intimately familiar with the invasion plan as it currently stands. I will not insult or bore you by going through its intricacies again, but there are some points that I wanted to raise. Again, in some cases.

"First and foremost, BuInt remains consistently disappointing in its performance. I am sorry to say that we still have very little information regarding the enemy force composition. Intercepted communications indicate that they have deployed what they call the ‘10th Home Fleet’ in-theatre. There have been no references to this Fleet in the past, so it’s reasonably safe to assume that this is something that they have cobbled together for this emergency, either through levying forces from the various Delest Branches or through joining several understrength units together. In any case, they are likely to be out-massing us in absolute hull numbers, but their organisation will be sub-optimal, even for Delest, and they might have mobilised older, mothballed ships."

A brief touch of the holographic input panel in front of him; the room’s light dimmed and a blurry projection of Ishiro Dyatlov’s face sprang to life over the table.

"We have had one notable success: we managed to identify the enemy theatre CO. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Ishiro Dyatlov, until recently the Ter-Judicator in command of their 5th Frontier Fleet. BuInt is, once again, drawing much more of a blank than I’d like. Apparently, this here fellow has had an uninspiring career so far; and yet, still, when facing this crisis, their Admiralty chooses to promote and assign him to defend a threatened Core World, over several more experienced and well-connected commanders. This either means that our dear, newly minted, Praetor Dyatlov has more political clout that we had realised with one or more of the Delest Branches; or that he’s a compromise solution, so as not to favour any particular Branch over others."

Knight Helena Featherstonehaugh of the Falchion raised her hand. "Or...that he’s that good, Sir? That they would ignore their internal rivalries to get the best man for the job in a crisis, I mean?"

French’s eyebrows rose an infinitesimal fraction of an Imperial inch and he conceded the point with a sharp nod. "A proverbial Dark Horse, you mean, Madam? That is possible, I must admit. However, it would imply that old Vladimir somehow found his brave pills and chose to stand up to his satraps. I find the possibility...distinctly unlikely. That said, this does bring us nicely into the next point I would like to raise.

Again, his fingers danced on the input panel. Dyatlov’s face flickered out; and a trio of heavy cruisers, easily identifiable as Grazhdanin-class took its place, floating gently over the polished mahogany of the Arc Champion’s table.

"These are the Volga, the Baikal and the Pamyat Slavy," he said, his face impassive but his voice grim – and suddenly he held the undivided attention of all veteran officers present. "And yes, those amongst you who served with me during the St. Helen incident are familiar with them. I have reports here that they were recently pulled out of their usual stations in the frontier regions, and given new postings – exactly where remains unknown. I am afraid that the establishment of this ‘10th Home Fleet’ during the same time period makes it highly likely that these cruisers were assigned to Dyatlov’s command. For those amongst you who were assigned to this fleet following the St. Helen deployment and who might not be aware, these are ships of the Ural Branch, crewed entirely by Yonsakuren."

Silence. Absolute silence. French glanced around, noted which faces were pale and which showed grim determination, gave a small nod and continued.

"I realise that this is grim news for most of you but, in all fairness, it would have been highly improbable for the Delest not to deploy some of their best fighting units in the defence of a Core holding. This also means that, even if Dyatlov is an utter disaster of a commander, he will still have ships and crews on-station that will be highly dangerous. Consider this a priority order for those among you who will be operating independently from the main fleet: if at any point you encounter these ships, you are to engage with extreme caution and signal for help, or outright disengage. I realise that there are many among you who would gladly seek out the honour of a Yonsakuren kill, but I warn all prospective glory-hounds right here, right now: I will have none of that in my fleet."

And, both his officers and French himself knew that he would have none of it. It had been firmly established in the past that it was worth more than one’s career to challenge a direct order from the Arc Champion.

"A final point and, possibly, the most important one," French stated after a few seconds of tense silence, apparently satisfied that he had gotten the message across. "As some of you might already be aware, we are receiving reinforcements. In six hours, a Pegasus Exarchate Task Force will arrive in Andor; and we are ordered to operate jointly with them for the invasion of Terconia."

A moment of stunned disbelief among his audience; and then, murmurs started. French continued without missing a beat.

"I am aware that this might somewhat affect our plans of operations, but for the time being, you should expect the first stages of or attack to go as planned, with the added benefit of available reinforcements and relief forces where and when-"

"With all due respect, Sir Champion," Paladin Orestes Attwood of the Repulse exclaimed, "What is going on?"

French's eyes snapped to his subordinate immediately, in incredulous surprise; his lips narrowed to a thin line. For a few seconds, his eyebrows twitched nervously; and then his right hand tightened into a white-knuckle fist.

"This is our operation," Paladin Attwood continued, his eyes darting around the table, seeking support from the other officers; and finding it, in nods and scattered 'hear hears!' "Your operation, Sir. You've spent weeks, months even, planning the invasion. We can do this without Pegasus - we were prepared to follow you in there without Pegasus five minutes ago and we're still prepared to do so. Sir, I've worked with Pegasus before -most of us here have- and, while I won't deny their skill in combat, it always ends the same way, with snide comments directed toward our tactics and behaviour, with orders being 'misunderstood', with fake apologies, frayed manners and tempers and with...aspersions cast on our honour and valour. Sir, in God's name, why does this need to happen? Is this political?"

The Paladin's pleading eyes finally returned to his commanding officer; only for French’s irate glare to pin Attwood to his seat like a butterfly on a piece of cork. To Attwood's credit, he maintained eye contact for several heartbeats, despite the drops of sweat slowly making their way down his brow and despite the efforts of the officers sitting next to him to gently lean out of the expected blast radius.

"It is a matter of courtesy not to interrupt one’s commanding officer, Sir Attwood," French finally said, his face an impassive mask of frozen lines, ice-blue eyes and white hair, "Rather ironic, given that you seem so eager to criticise the manners of his fellow Britons. I would suggest some time spent in prayer and meditation; meditation on the serious character fault of impatience and on the proper behaviour behooving a Paladin of Arc Victoria. As to your question, of course this is political."

The implied addition "-you fool!" was not spoken aloud, but it seeped out of the Arc Champion’s tone with every word, mixed with thinly-disguised contempt at the stupidity of the question.

"Pegasus wants to prove that they are as good as Arc Victoria and they cannot allow us to lay sole claim to Terconia’s resources. On the other hand, Arc Victoria has no excuse to deny Pegasus volunteers the opportunity to prove their fealty or honour in the field of battle without offering mortal insult to the Exarchate. And, frankly, Ladies and Gentlemen, we can ill afford to refuse their assistance, when they will, apparently, be bringing an additional eight Lord-class dreadnoughts to the fray against an enemy the capabilities of whom we have yet to probe.

"Do not misunderstand me – this is still an Arc Victoria operation and I intend to make this absolutely clear to the Pegasus commander, whomever they decide to send. You have my personal word of honour regarding this and I hope that this allays your fears. However, I wish to make absolutely clear that we will, in turn, be courteous and welcoming of the Pegasus forces and we will be granting to them the respect they deserve as our compatriots and as members of the Nobility and Knighthood of New Britannia. I will not tolerate any outbursts like that of Paladin Attwood that might cast the slightest stain of dishonour on our chivalry and embarrass us. Am I understood?"

He was.

"Are there, perchance, any further objections?"

There weren’t.


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I'm awake, I'mawake.

Yeah. Uuuummm. Thanks to Spoon-sempai for letting me write words for his universe. These are apparently canon now, so....uh. Yeah.  :nervous: He says he likes them, but he might be lying to spare my feelings (because he's a kind and considerate Spoon-sempai) and that's why I have the shrine set up in my basement.

These should be weekly updates, but I can't guarantee that something RL won't take precedence.

The E:

--- Quote from: Enioch on April 04, 2017, 02:23:36 am ---Buh...wuh?

I'm awake, I'mawake.

Yeah. Uuuummm. Thanks to Spoon-sempai for letting me write words for his universe. These are apparently canon now, so....uh. Yeah.  :nervous: He says he likes them, but he might be lying to spare my feelings (because he's a kind and considerate Spoon-sempai) and that's why I have the shrine set up in my basement.

These should be weekly updates, but I can't guarantee that something RL won't take precedence.

--- End quote ---

Dude. Don't worry, these are fine words. Very Weber-esque (in the best way). Me like.

Why do I get the nasty feeling my beloved CRF is going to be on the wrong end of one almighty ass kicking at the hands of the DD... :nervous:

I will be shocked if it doesn't happen. The DD has already been painted as the clear underdog here, even before we take into account who the writer is. I think it will either happen immediately, happen after some initial CRF success, or (and the way I would try to do it if I was wanting to weave a DD victory story from this start point) after the CRF have had a series of great victories and pushed deep into DD space, putting the DD's very existence in dire peril, that's when the almighty ass kicking gets dished out and the CRF invasion is utterly destroyed.

--- Quote from: Enioch on April 04, 2017, 02:23:36 am ---Thanks to Spoon-sempai for letting me write words for his universe. These are apparently canon now, so....uh. Yeah.  :nervous: He says he likes them, but he might be lying to spare my feelings (because he's a kind and considerate Spoon-sempai) and that's why I have the shrine set up in my basement.

--- End quote ---

I've seen Spoon dish out both praise and criticism, and he's probably as straight a shooter in that department as we have around here, so I wouldn't worry about that.

--- Quote from: Enioch on April 04, 2017, 02:09:02 am ---See the flaming yellow mass of Terconia Secundus above you; feel the absurd heat and power of the cosmic furnace slam into you. Look away, blinded by the foreign sun. Let your hurting eyes

--- End quote ---

No! :p


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