Sylvanian National Awakening
|Sylvanian National Awakening|
The symbol of unity
|Commanders and leaders|
| Ümit Çakar|
| King Jovan I
Prime Minister Obrad Bošković
| Sylvanian Liberation Army|
Mutatawieun min al-Kharij (volunteers from abroad)
| Krasnocorian Armed Forces
The Sylvanian National Awakening is the term for the uprising of the "Brothers of the Cresent Moon" against the Kingdom of Krasnocoria, which culminated in the fight for independence. With the approaching fall of the Kingdom of Krasnocoria, the Coriaks, Hasanis and Nogans revolted together.
- Main article Hasani War
The early start of the Sylvanian National Awakening may have been with the earlier Hasani War. Historians disagree on the interpretation, whether these conflicts should be seen as separate events or as a single event. The Hasani War broke out in 1680 AN and ended in 1685 AN with a peace agreement. Hasanistan gained more autonomy, the Hasani fighters were pardoned and granted permanent representation in the Krasnocorian Skupšteni.
The more extreme groups of the uprising were dissatisfied with the peace agreement, including one of its leaders, Aykut Kökgül. They carried out guerrilla actions, such as raids on military convoys, attacks on checkpoints and bombings. When it became apparent that the government in Grandbay was pursuing a policy of uniformism, the more moderate groups were concerned.
The four points of a compass
North: The Fall of Krasnocoria
Ümit Çakar, chairman of the Hasani National Council, was still disappointed at the last meeting of the Krasnocorian Skupšteni. He had already experienced many fierce debates, but this one was the most fierce. It was proposed to redefine the definitions of ethnicities within the kingdom. This would affect cultural diversity. Uniformism prevailed in Grandbay. "We are one nation, we have one king, we are one people," argued the Obrad Bošković, the Prime Minister.
"Šer-Ku-Riž Central", it sounded out of the speaker. The train arrived in his hometown as he awoke from his dream. He didn't know what to do next. He wanted to get rid of the government in Grandbay. An independent nation, that's the ideal. But he knew that his ethnicity, the Hasanis, is only a small minority in Krasnocoria. In the station square demonstrators had gathered, who knew that he would return to Akyar by train. Banners with slogans like "Free Hasanistan" and "We are Hasanis, not Krasnocorians!" Glad with the support, but worried about the possible consequences, Ümit was received as a hero by the demonstrators.
That night Ümit called together his three sons - Amir, Hasan and Abu. After they had enjoyed the meal, the men talked about the uncertain situation. "They want me to proclaim Hasanistan's independence," said Ümit, "but don't they realize that this is tantamount to suicide?!" Amir said, "Can't we seek support from the Coriaks and Nogans, they are brothers in faith?" "Even then, we're just a small group," his father replied. Hasan responded: "We are not only dealing with unrest within the borders of Krasnocoria, now that instability threatens, the tribes in the green can smell their chance". Abu, who until then had said little, said, "If there is a momentum, it is now." The exchange of arguments and counter-arguments lasted well into the night. When Ümit finally lay on his bed and fell asleep, he had a dream. It was like a divine vision. As soon as the dream stopped, he woke up. "By Craitgod, that's it!"
Once again he sent for his sons, each of whom had to be awakened. Though it began to light, a rooster had not yet croaked. Ümit told his sons the dream face and gave them instructions: "Amir, you go to the heads of the Coriaks and Nogans. Try to convince them of our common motivation." "Hasan, you go to the green. Unite the tribes and form an army." "Abu, you go to Arbor. The Emir there has a large arms stockpile. Ask him to provide weapons for our cause."
When morning came, the sons of Ümit set off. Each their direction for their mission. Ümit himself was going to convene the Hasani National Council. "If we don't choose today, we'll fall into chaos, prey to the green. That's why we must declare our independence!" argued Ümit passionately. Many attendees became enthusiastic and began to clap their hands in agreement. Yet there were others who were still very concerned. "If Grandbay intervenes militarily, then we should not only fight against compatriots, but also compatriots and perhaps also against a military power of the USSO", was objected. Ümit argued that the instability is so great that a decisive intervention is not to be expected. "People have their hands full with themselves," Ümit concluded.
The debate lasted well into the afternoon, skipping lunch. Moments of fierce screams and moments of monologues. In the end there was a vote on the proposal to no longer consider the king of Krasnocoria as legitimate ruler and autonomy of Hasanistan. This proposal was accepted with 82%. At that time the Krasnocorian flag was pulled down and only the flag of Hasanistan was flying above the parliament building of Šer-Ku-Riž. On the square in front of the building a crowd had already gathered, which started to cheer as one at the sight of the lowering of the Krasnocorian flag.
South: Rebellion of the Cresent brothers
By train Amir arrived in Akyar, where he reported to the governor of Noganistan: Temir Tezkanov. The men talked for hours. Temir resisted open rebellion, because he knew that in case of reprisals from Grandbay, his region would be the first to speak. "That's why we must stand together, we are brothers in faith!" Amir replied, "Together we can resist!" Temir still hesitated.
Amir gave up, he thanked the governor and left his office. The tension and unrest was noticeable on the street. At the train station it was clear that train service was disrupted. The train of an hour ago from Grandbay had not yet arrived. The train to Shahr had been cancelled. Then Amir went looking for a taxi. When he walked to the taxi rank, a black limousine passed by. The rear window opened and Temir appeared. Amir was surprised and Temir asked Amir to get into the limousine. Amir did.
Temir said to him: "If Kurjek joins, Noganistan will join" "Good", Amir replied. Then we have to go to Shahr. The governor ordered the driver to drive to Shahr. Amir apologized if he seemed unkind because of his departure, after which Temir said he had to apologize for his doubts. After a few hours he arrived in Shahr, at the government building. There, too, there was a chaotic situation, many civil servants ran back and forth, the police guarded the building. The governor of Noganistan and Amir were let through. The governor of Kurjek and the party chairman of all parties, high officials and other dignitaries were gathered in a meeting room. The full room was closed, people were sitting breathlessly listening to the news of the state broadcaster. Everywhere in Krasnocoria there was chaos.
When Temir and Amir came in, there was commotion in the room. That a governor from the neighbouring district is coming in in this tidings. Nevertheless Amir took the floor and argued a cooperation between the brothers under the Cresent moon. The news came in that in Hasanistan the flag of Krasnocoria had been flown. Some of those present were so strongly against a separatist movement that they left the meeting angry.
"What's the final goal?", one of those present asked, "Do we establish a common state? Or do we each establish our own state?" Amir answered, "The best thing to do is to go together, then a joint state would be most appropriate." Another said, "And then your father will take the lead?" Amir reacted: "The goal is to jointly declare independence, no longer under the Grandbay regime and not to fall into the chaos of the greenery". Although those present still had doubts, the alternative outlined was not very appealing.
Amir noticed the doubt and argued: "Let us, as brothers of the Cresent moon, ascend into the speed of the nations. Let us unite under the eye of the Craitgod to protect our identity, our faith and our banner!" This provided a sense of togetherness, the idea of a common goal. The doubt fled the light as darkness. Amir smiled when he saw that the brothers became convinced. In the following hours the union of the brothers was forged, while opponents fled north. The commanders of the army units in Kurjek and Noganistan were asked to join. The lieutenant in Noganistan was convinced, because otherwise he had to turn against his own people.
But in Kurjek there was more division, so the lieutenant did not join the separatists. He shouted: "You are rebelling against the king and his government! That's high treason and it's punishable by death!" A demonstrated crowd occupied Shahr's central square, causing the lieutenant to march with his platoon to that square. He tried to break the rebellion, but when he couldn't, the fire was opened. If it was already chaotic, there was even greater chaos.
Central: Old brothers
Ümit was opposed to it, but in order to be successful in Sylvania's independence, he also had to involve Aykut. On the one hand to ensure success, and on the other hand to prevent the formation of political groups. "If we are divided, the enemy can play us off,' Abu had said to his father. Ümit reluctantly went to Aykut, because their last meeting had ended in an argument. Only recently did Ümit know that his staff included an informant from Aykut, he had approached him and asked him to put him in touch with Aykut. The informant was surprised that Ümit knew that he was spying for Aykut, but even more surprised when Ümit made it clear that he had nothing to fear from him.
A dilapidated farmhouse, in the hills west of Akyar, where the meeting took place. Ümit was searched by one of Aykut's men. He was unarmed. Aykut was sitting on a robe in the only complete room of the farm. Only in this room was the roof whole and the door closed. The rest of the farm was so dilapidated that the rooms were hardly usable. There was no decoration in the room besides the rug. The windows were boarded up. A teapot was fogging up, the hookah in the corner of the room. Ümit was relieved to see the hookah, because he hoped that the hookah was an omen for a peaceful outcome of the meeting.
"So", Aykut began, "sit down, we have a lot to discuss". Although the formal greeting was missing, Ümit accepted the invitation and sat down. "We are condemned to each other. You have the political support to declare an independent Hasanistan. So what are you doing with me?", asked Aykut. Ümit replied: "With a little hope, we unite with the other Cresent brothers, forming a big fist against the Grandbay regime. We cannot use divisions on our own front. "So, I have to submit to you to avoid stabbing you in the back," said Aykut when he poured the hot tea over two glasses. "Together we have the best chance of success. Together with the Cresent brothers, Hasanis united", Ümit responded. "You know how to put it well, a true politician," said Aykut with a grin.
"The kingdom is on the verge of collapse, that is the momentum to continue on its own. If we are going to fight each other, then we are prey to foreign powers', Ümit said. Aykut thought and said: "I understand your point, but you also understand that I am not a pawn on your chessboard". "We must avoid becoming pawns on someone else's chessboard', said Ümit. The men were sitting quietly sipping their tea. "I'm willing to agree that we won't fight you," started Aykut, "but I don't support your idea for Sylvania. So I am defending Hasanistan, not Sylvania". "Agree", Ümit responded. "In addition, I am not going to conform to a military structure under your leadership. My fighters remain isolated," continued Aykut. Ümit had some difficulty with this condition, but could understand it, so he nodded approvingly. "I want to deploy my fighters in a series of forts to defend Hasanistan," concluded Aykut. "I agree," said Ümit. "Nice," said Aykut, "time for the hookah". The hookah was brought in.
East: A generous man in the east
Abu drove his car south. In one of the small harbour villages he got on a boat to Monastic Order of Saint Andre. Once there he saw the first refugees fleeing the inevitable fall of Krasnocoria as a precaution. He set off for the airport, where he booked a scheduled flight to Monastery of the Seas. Waiting for the moment of boarding, he saw the television images of the chaos in Grandbay, The newsreader told that there was general instability in Krasnocoria and it is not unknown where the king is.
When he arrived at Monastery of the Seas after an hour-long flight, he rented a car and drove to the border with Arbor. Applying for a visa was not easy, but when he professed his faith in Craitgod the Arbor customs proved more lenient. Again he rented a car, because his previous rental car had to be left at the other side of the border. He drove to Madinat al-Fath, where he went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Because he was not a diplomat, a representative of a state, he had to convince several officials of his intentions. In the end he was allowed to plead his case with the Minister. After the minister had listened to him, he made Abu wait while he phoned the Grand Vizier.
Not much later the minister came out of his office and asked Abu to walk with him. They walked outside, got into a blinded car and the driver sent the car to the Mustasharia, the office of the Grand Vizier. There they were received by the Grand Vizier, who heard the story of Abu. When Abu had finished telling, the Grand Vizier played with his beard while he was thinking. After which he said: "The Emir has awakened, thanks to Craitgod! Only the Emir can decide in wisdom to do so. You will have to convince him. You have me, but to convince the Emir, you must go to him. You must also go through the Gate of Justice. You know what that means?" Abu answered that he had heard rumors about the gate, but that he doesn't know if it's true. The Grand Vizier told him that the gate is lethal to liars. Abu said: "My heart is pure, my conscience is clean. I would like to meet the Emir." Then the Grand Vizier took off with Abu to the airport to fly with the government aircraft to Al-Hamra.
In Al-Hamra Abu saw the big red palace, the Al-Hamra palace, towering over the city. He was impressed by the beauty of the buildings, the neat streets and how organized the country was. On the square in front of the Gate of Justice the car stopped, the men got out and walked towards the gate. The Grand Vizier asked if Abu knew for sure. Abu walked vigorously under the gate. The palace guard saw the young man walking bravely and succeeded. The Grand Vizier was relieved, partly because the young man was sincere in his cause.
Although they had arrived at the palace, they still had to travel quite a distance to finally reach the Emir. The palace is extensive and consists of several courtyards, corridors and halls. The men climbed the 181 steps of the stairs to reach the Hall of the Franks. In the middle of the hall is a pond right in front of the throne. While the Grand Vizier walked to the left of the pond towards the throne, Abu walked to its right. The Emir sat on the throne and waited for the men to stand in front of him.
"Oh great Emir, defender of the faith that your servants may approach you in a matter before your ears," said the Grand Vizier. The Emir looked at Abu, who bowed his head respectfully. "What is your cause?", asked the Emir. Abu said, "Your Majesty, my homeland has fallen into chaos. My people are in great danger. Believers in the great Craitgod are falling prey to disorder." The Emir nodded and asked: "Your journey to Arbor was long, your courage to pass the Gate of Justice is great, what do you want me to do about you?" Abu replied, "Oh great Emir, a word of prayer to Craitgod is enough for us to have the courage to fight for the faith. A word of unity among believers in one god."
The Emir smiled and thought: 'This young man understands that you shouldn't ask directly for weapons, but should flatter first'. "You are a guest in my house, Abu Çakar. Eat and enjoy the good gifts of Craitgod", invited the Emir. Abu followed the Emir and the Grand Vizier to a beautiful room where the men took their seats at the table. The most delicious food was served. Dates, grapes, figs in abundance. Pitta bread still steaming from the heat of the oven. Marinated chicken, herbs and humus. Abu couldn't come up with anything that wasn't on the table. Wine, for which the Arbor Isles was famous, was poured into silver cups. Only the Emir had a golden cup, richly decorated with precious stones. Really, he thought to create this paradise in his country.
"Your father has great wisdom to send you here," said the Emir after a long and detailed description of the situation in Krasnocoria. "The predecessor of Arbor had good relations with Krasnocoria, they owe us an aircraft carrier." Abu knew exactly where the ship in question was anchored. After all, the ship had been completed but not delivered when the Franco-Batavian Empire fell. Abu generously said: "I can deliver that ship to you, if you wish". The Emir was surprised by this statement and laughed at the youthful overconfidence. Emir said: "Well, if you deliver the ship to me, then that is your only fault for everything you give". The Grand Vizier was a bit uncomfortable with this statement of the Emir, but asked Abu what he needed for the independence of his country. Abu took a piece of paper out of his pocket and gave it to the Grand Vizier. He read it and gave it to the Emir. "Well," said the Emir, "that's settled". The Emir clapped his hands, after which music sounded from the balcony and a belly dancer appeared:
West: New friends from the green
Hasan sighed when he was at the border. In front of him lay the unknown green. Residents of the green were called barbarians, but at the same time the area where he sought support was once civilized. There were rumors that the greenery was not uninhabited, but also that there were savages living there. Now that Krasnocoria seems to be falling into chaos, this is a promising opportunity to invade the country. He didn't know how to deal with this. How promising was he in his mission?
With his all-terrain vehicle he drove west to what was once Ayrasht with its ancient capital Mahapur. Whether he'd get that far was still open to question. The road soon deteriorated, overgrown ruins along the road, wild animals fleeing as he approached. But not a human being to be seen. How far had he come? He had no idea. When he had been driving west all day, he saw the sun set in the west. He stopped his all-terrain vehicle on the side of the road, made a campfire to prepare food. Around him he saw nothing more than darkness and above him a clear starry sky.
The ground trembled, a rumbling sound could be heard. Hasan woke up and looked around. A cloud of dust from the west was approaching, as well as a sound of howling and shouting could be heard. He got up quickly, he saw horses coming out of the cloud of dust. Horses with horsemen, armed horsemen. They were yelling, shouting in an unintelligible language. They formed a circle around his pitch. For a moment that seemed to last for hours, the horsemen kept running their horses around his camp, yelling. Until one of them stopped and stayed in front of Hasan. From his horse, the rider in the Common Tongue said, "Who are you, where are you from and what are you doing here?" The other riders stopped their horses and while the dust was still blowing, Hasan turned to the questioner. "My name is Hasan Çakar, I'm from Hasanistan and I'm on my way to Mahapur. My country is falling prey to chaos. There are rumors of raids from the green. If you're planning to, perhaps I can help you." "Would you betray your country for your own gain?" replied the man.
Hasan was taken to a camp, a town of tents. There he was taken to an old man who was sitting in front of a big tent. In an unintelligible language, the old man was informed about the Hasan, at least it seemed so because Hasan did not understand a word of it. The old man said to Hasan: "My name is Rajesh Avchat, Hasan the wanderer in the green. What is your intention to come here?" Hasan answered, "My country is falling prey to chaos. There are rumors that raids are going to take place from the green. My father offers to come together as brothers, so that together we can establish a new state and enjoy the riches of our land". "What would keep us from locking you up, invading your country and conquering your land for ourselves?" said Rajesh. Hasan said, "Occupying a country may be successful for a limited time, but there will always be rebels. This is strengthened when the occupier is foreign and has no support among the population. My father already has support from my own country, Hasanistan, my brother seeks support among our fellow believers and my other brother seeks military support from a distant fellow believer. If all this succeeds, then a raid from your side may rely on more resistance." Rajesh said, "You're giving us just the information we need to know we have to strike now." Hasan said: "That's right, were it not for the fact that it's better to fight one enemy than to fight both the local population and the unstable government of the current occupier." Rajesh replied, "You know how to play chess."
Then Hasan was taken to another tent. There he was given room to freshen up. Furthermore he was offered food and drinks, which he gladly accepted to satisfy his hunger. A few hours later Hasan was brought back to Rajesh. Around Rajesh there were several older men, who apparently formed a kind of meeting. Rajesh said: "Hasan, wanderer in the green, your mission to find support with us has succeeded. We want to form an alliance with you. The uncertain existence in the green that we no longer want. If we establish a state together, then our people can live in freedom and secure existence." Hasan sighed and was grateful. Rajesh added, "There is one condition: the leader of this state, who will marry my daughter." Hasan hesitated for a moment, but said it anyway: "My lord, your condition is more than reasonable. This makes a family connection to connect our families and our peoples. My father, who is now in charge of Hasanistan, is already married." Rajesh replied, "My daughter will marry the future ruler of the state." Hasan nodded in agreement.
Operation Free Sylvania
Battle of Shahr
Control of Hasanistan and Noganistan was actually organised fairly quickly. There was popular support and a Sylvanian Liberation Army was quickly set up. It consisted of present military units, renegade Krasnocorian soldiers and the police. News came in that part of the 7th Corps of the Krasnocorian Armed Forces had been sent from Merku to Shahr to provide support there. As a result, Kurjek seemed to remain under the control of Krasnocoria, despite the demonstrations against the Grandbay regime. The first victims were already to be deplored. The expectation is that when Kurjek was calm again, the 7th Corps would move to Akyar. A tang movement to enclose Noganistan from two sides. Ümit did not wait, he decided to go on the attack. He ordered his troops to move eastwards south of Shahr in order to take control of the area east of Shahr. He ordered another group to go head-on to Shahr. They arrived at dusk at the top of the hills to the west of the city. The forward positions of the 7th Corps had been taken over in a guerrilla-like manner. To give the impression that a large army was approaching, the Sylvanian Liberation Army used the tactics of many campfires, torches and speakers. The road north out of the city was blocked by blowing up a few boulders and crashing them onto the road.
Towards the morning a patrol of the 7th Corps started with a careful reconnaissance. It found no soldiers, no rebels, no people. Only the captured and killed soldiers were found, buried in a grave and their metal tags attached to an erect branch. Various traces, but no human being to be found. The lieutenant decided to pull out of the city with more men at the first reports and became convinced of the rebels' flight. So he contacted the headquarters in Merku and went with all his part of the 7th Corps to Akyar. He had to go through a mountain pass, where the Sylvanian Liberation Army was waiting in an ambush. This tactic was so classic that Ümit didn't think the 7th Corps would fall for it, but scouts informed him that the 7th Corps in Shahr was on its way to Akyar.
After the 7th Corps headed west, the Sylvanian Liberation Army entered Shahr from the east. The remaining Krasnocorian soldiers fired at the fighters, trying in vain to reach the lieutenant. In the mountain pass, the 7th Corps was attacked, first at the rearguard and then in the vanguard. The 7th Corps was enclosed, because boulders were blown up and blocked the road. The soldiers of the 7th Corps fought bravely, but had hardly any shelter. Antitank weapons made wrecks of their vehicles, after a while the bullets stopped from the mountain walls and a voice of someone speaking through a loudspeaker: "Surrender! There is no point in fighting on, you are trapped! If you fight on, it means you're dead!" The lieutenant, who himself was bleeding from a wound, shouted back: "We are faithful to the king!" His major pointed him to the east, where the lieutenant saw dark clouds of smoke rising. "It seems that Shahr has fallen," said the major.
Then there was the rhythmic roar of helicopters through the valley of the mountain pass. The sound reflected on the mountain walls. The lieutenant shouted bravely: "There are our auxiliaries! But even before he had spoken out, one of the helicopters appeared burning and smoking. Anti-aircraft fire was fired at the helicopters, which let them crash to the ground one by one. The lieutenant saw his men looking despondently at the burning wrecks. "This is pointless," said a soldier near the lieutenant. The lieutenant reacted furiously, shouting: "This is treason!" and shot the soldier. The captain was frightened and did not know how to behave. Then a shot was fired, the soldiers dived away. The lieutenant also seemed to dive away, but fell forward and appeared to have been shot by a sniper. This suddenly meant that the captain was now in command. He realised this after half a minute and shouted: "Stop! Stop!"
The 7th Corps was taken back to Shahr and locked in the football stadium there. The city of Shahr was in the hands of the Sylvanian Liberation Army. The three districts of the brothers of the cresent moon were liberated. News came in that the remaining 7th corps in Merku will get reinforcements. "The Grandbay regime is apparently not yet so weakened that they are still trying to defeat us," Ümit said to his men. Although this statement may have been somewhat overconfident and permeated with euphoria of victory, it was clear that the battle is not yet over.
Battle of Merku
"We have an advantage at this height, this is the best way to defend ourselves against the enemy. With Kurjek under our flag, we have an advantage," Amir said to his father. Ümit split the last piece of meat from the chicken bone and took another sip before answering. "A state in the highlands does not guarantee a long existence. We must have a position by the sea. Hasanistan has its southern coast, but there are islands of the Bassarids close by where we do not yet know if they are friendly to us. In addition, that coastal plain is strategically easy to attack from Slavonje'.
A train from Grandbay was just leaving Džastinovo for Merku. The train was carrying a company of soldiers equipped with tanks, weapons and other vehicles. The colonel knew that this part of the journey would be the most exciting, because the first battles had already been reported near Merku. He hoped to be in time to strengthen the remaining 7th Corps against the rebels.
In Hasanistan, troops from the green were welcomed with open arms. The reinforcements were needed to continue the conquest of the peninsula. Ümit had those troops pushed through in Slavonje, instead of East Antica. "We must use the moment of weakness to consolidate the peninsula. If we move on to Merku, the rest of the district will be enclosed', argued Ümit. Amir asked: "The troops from the green are helping us now, but where is Hasan? Ümit did not know either. He had heard nothing, except that the troops from the green in southern Hasanistan had mentioned his son's name. Hasan had apparently succeeded in his mission, but was still without a trace himself.
Hasan travelled through the green with a group of well-trained soldiers. A few days earlier, he had been discussing the maps of the area with military leaders. He had heard that his father had conquered the city of Shahr, but he knew that the regime in Grandbay would not let this loss pass. As a former soldier in the Krasnocorian Armed Forces, he knew about Grandbay's weapons. The quickest way to strengthen the 7th Corps was to send troops and equipment by train to Merku. To do this they had to travel along the narrow coastal strip of Phedodah. This coastal strip is quite easy to attack from the green, to block the land supply line. So Hasan with a small unit went north to at least attack the railway line.
From a high position, the men had a view of the railway line. They saw the northward bridge over a small river that flows into the Antican Sea. "It's actually a shame that we're blowing up the train. We might be able to use the weaponry," Hasan said to his friend. He replied: “We can arrange that, can't we?" Hasan looked at him questioningly, and his friend continued: "If we blow up the bridge after the train has passed and blow up the track further south so that the train can slow down in time. Then we will attack the train". "Good idea", replied Hasan. Hurriedly the group of men set off in two parts to apply the explosives. Hurry, because the train was arriving. In the distance the sound of the diesel locomotives could be heard, the exhaust fumes were visible in the blue sky.
Just in time the men were back in position. The train drove over the bridge, Hasan felt his heart beating almost in the same rhythm. He pointed to the man at the button, who pressed the button and a few hundred meters before the train the track was blown up. The driver was frightened and immediately pulled the emergency brake. Squeaking and screaming blocked the wheels. Hasan pointed at the man again and he pressed the button, but this time no bang. The bridge remained intact. Hasan scolded, but did not hesitate for a moment to open the attack on the train. They fired at the train, from which they also fired back. The driver was summoned to reverse the train. Hasan's friend ran towards the bridge. A soldier on the train saw him running from a distance and shot him. It was too far away for his rifle, so he called his comrade who was a sniper. Only it was too late, the friend had already disappeared behind the rocks.
The train started moving in the direction it had come from. The colonel called headquarters and reported the status of things. Hasan got the feeling that the mission would fail. At least, the train would not arrive in Merku today, but the inflated part of the track is easy to repair. A bridge is much more difficult to repair, especially in this inhospitable area. So that bridge had to be blown up anyway. Suddenly a big bang sounded, a big fireball took off and several bridge parts flew around. "It worked," Hasan shouted euphorically. But his friend, he did not see them return. The train braked again, the colonel on the train lowered the receiver of the telephone from his ear. "It's over," he muttered. Hasan ordered to stop firing and shouted: "Surrender!"
The coolonel hesitated and wanted to blow up the train with the equipment. That way it would stay out of the hands of these bandits. But the soldiers would not survive. He would give his own life, but sacrifice so deliberately? No, he did not. He lacked time, instead he shot himself to death. The Company surrendered. Hasan put the prisoners of war to work to dismantle a piece of track behind the train and repair the inflated section of track in front of the train. "This train goes to Merku, but to strengthen our fight!" "Hasan," shouted one of his men. Hasan ran towards the man, who was standing next to a dead body. "I'm sorry," said the man to Hasan. Hasan mourned his friend, how briefly they had known each other, but also how their friendship had grown.
In Grandbay the news of the robbery on the train arrived as a severe setback. Immediately a convoy of ships was prepared to sail south. In Merku, chaos arose due to the breaking off of all contacts with Grandbay. The city was surrounded by all kinds of clouds of smoke from buildings and vehicles set on fire. The rebels did their best to sow fear. They were relieved when the train from Grandbay was approaching. "Finally, reinforcements," said the lieutenant general of the 7th Corps. But the train was empty, he saw through his binoculars that there were no tanks on the flat wagons. The train did not slow down when it arrived at the yard towards the station. He quickly looked at the front of the train, but saw no driver. He roared: "Clear the station!". A few minutes later, the train thundered into the station, derailed by the speed and exploded.
The big explosion was the starting signal for the Sylvanian Liberation Army to invade the city of Merku. The lieutenant general of the 7th Corps quickly realised that he was trapped. With the soldiers still on their feet, he left the city southwards. He had left some booby traps behind, but he also left the wounded and dead men behind. A slightly injured soldier raised the white flag above the government building as the Sylvanian Liberation Army approached.
Run to the coast
The rumours that a fleet from Grandbay is on its way were to control the coastal areas of the peninsula. After all, the more difficult the landing is, the greater the chances of resisting the attack. So Amir led the march to Kuregred to capture the best port to receive the Krasnocorian fleet. From his shelter, Amir saw the makeshift positions of the defenders. They were prepared for the arrival of the Sylvanian Liberation Army.
That evening, under the cover of darkness, small groups of men left on rubber dinghies to enter the port of Kuregred. The cloudy evening prevented them from being illuminated by the moon. "By Craitgod, our mission has divine support!" praised Amir. There were some guards in the harbour, but it was clear that most of the soldiers had been sent to the positions on the other side of the town. Amir arrived at one of the piers and went with his men to the quay.
On the way, they attacked the sentries with knives to prevent the sound of shots from breaking the silence. Amir sent a small group to hijack a ship, to sail it to the opening of the harbour and then to sink it. Amir himself went with his men to the local headquarters. They put on the uniforms of the killed soldiers, so as not to attract attention. As Amir pulled up to the centre, a few drunken soldiers stumbled out of a café nearby. For a moment Amir was able to look inside, where it seemed to be a cheerful place. Music and singing sounded, scantily clad ladies hung around the necks of Krasnocorian soldiers. The moment Amir could look inside was short, but he had seen something remarkable. So he decided to walk to the window and look inside again.
He could not believe his eyes. He was a bit used to it and was not averse to a bit feminine, but he saw the local commander of the Krasnocorian armed forces. The captain was clearly drunk, occasionally shouting texts such as: "Drink, because tomorrow we are dead!" and "Fuck, because it is the last time!". Amir saw three ladies laughing and yelling around the captain. The clothes flew around and Amir ducked away when he noticed that someone was looking towards the window. He thought for a moment, then he ordered his men to invade. A few men went to the back door and he and a few men went to the front door, where the drunken soldiers stumbled back inside. The ladies began to scream when they invaded. The soldiers who still had something in the world were looking for their weapons. The captain only realised it was wrong when the barrel of Amir's pistol hit his head. Shame overwhelmed him, because there he was, face to face with the enemy, with his trousers on the ground.
Amir had the captain put on his uniform and took him to the captain's car. They drove to headquarters, while the captain was held at gunpoint. There the captain had to order them to put down the weapons. A soldier quickly sent a distress signal to the positions outside the city. That soldier had to pay with his life, even though Amir was just too late to stop the execution. A bang sounded in the harbour, that was the hijacked ship blocking the harbour. Amir asked the Krasnocorian theses to surrender: "You are cut off from your comrades. Surrender and you will live! Amir did not expect them to respond, so he did not wait to prepare for an attack on the positions. Yet an answer came: "We surrender!
A few hours later, the prisoners of war were marched to headquarters. The lieutenant, who previously commanded the positions, was taken to Amir. Amir asked the lieutenant: "Why have you surrendered? The lieutenant replied: "We can't turn our guns around to shoot into the city". Amir had to laugh.
Battle of Gevet
From the bridge Abu saw the contours of the coastline of his homeland. He stood on one of the ships that he received from the hand of the Emir of Arbor. Edward Krüger had been appointed admiral of the unit called 'Volunteers from Abroad'. This unit consists mainly of Franks and Normandians, who take part in the fight for freedom on a voluntary basis. At the command centre, Edward said to Abu: 'We should not go ashore now. We have to find out what the Bassarids are going to do, because we must not provoke them to prevent a conflict in my homeland'. Abu was disappointed because his homeland was in sight, but still unattainable.
"What are we going to do then?" Abu asked Edward. Edward took a look at the map and replied: "We are going to attack Gevet, that is the best way to help the fighters from the green. Meanwhile, we are establishing a base on Juzur al-Huriya (Islas de la Libertad) so that we can provide large-scale air support to the troops on the ground'. Abu nodded in agreement. Thus Edward gave the orders to implement this strategy. The armada interrupted the formation and part of it returned to Juzur al-Huriya. Another part of the ships departed in a northeastern direction. A few landing ships landed on the coast of Hasanistan, so some officers were brought ashore to coordinate the attack on Gevet.
Amir had set up some tanks on the coast at Zuivere Poort, an old military base at Jingdao. He hoped to fire on the Krasnocorian fleet, but he doubted its range. The fleet was approaching, the earlier course to Kuregred was unrealistic due to the fall of that city into the hands of the Sylvanian Liberation Army. When the fleet was closest to shore, Amir ordered to fire. The tanks fired in turn, but the firing range is only 23.7 km. That was too little. The artillery of the fleet responded to the useless shelling. Amir, the tanks and men had to take cover. Some tanks were shot, some men were killed. The fleet continued in the direction of Tiegang. Amir cursed about this stupidity.
Hasan could see the town of Gevet in the distance from the hills. He could see the troop movements on the coast, several ships sailed back and forth. He looked at his watch. At any moment the Arborish ships would open fire on the city, which would be the signal for him to attack the city from land. Edward Krüger sent a small boat with a messenger to the city. The messenger was received harshly, despite the white flag. He said: "By Craitgod! My lord, the admiral of the Mutatawieun min al-Kharij, servant of the Emir of Arbor, offers you peace. My lord's ships are ready to attack this city, but you can surrender without bloodshed". The lieutenant of the city guard thought and said: 'Your lord offers not to ruin the city? And not to kill the people?" "That's right," replied the messenger. With the prospect of attacking the city from two fronts, while the Krasnocorian fleet is still days away. But could that fleet stand up to the Arborish fleet? The lieutenant replied to the messenger: "Forgive my men for their harshness. Go back to your lord with the message that we want peace”.
Mission: Emir's wish
"Good luck, Abu" said Edward. "Thank you" replied Abu, while shaking hands. Then Abu descended the rope ladder until he stepped on the deck of a submarine, after which he also entered the hatch of the submarine. Three submarines left in a northeastern direction and began to dive. The submarines sailed east around Kendall Island to avoid the Krasnocorian navy. For days afterwards there was no contact with the outside world. On board Abu met a secret agent, James Tazelaar.
James, Abu and other men, who together formed the attack team, discussed the plan. It all sounded so simple, but there were still some risks. But in any case, they came close to the port of Grandbay. The lights of the city could be seen from the periscope, because it was night when the submarines had arrived. After it was clear that the harbour was quiet, the submarines came to the surface, to send the attack team on their way. They saw the guards smoking a cigarette as they arrived at the artificial jetty.
After the guards had been eliminated, the men ran to land. There they met a few more guards, who were silently and skilfully eliminated. In stages, the men ran to the quay where a large ship was anchored, an aircraft carrier. Abu and James looked around before they entered the gangway. "What took you so long?" sounded from the other side of the room they had run into. A light flashed on, the heels of women's shoes echoed through space. "Esmeralda!", James reacted. She had made contact with Hasani fleet personnel, they had prepared the aircraft carrier unseen. "Has the distraction been arranged?" James asked. "Of course, since when do you think I'm doing half work," Esmeralda replied defiantly. "That's what makes you so dangerous now" James grinned. "Oh," James continued, "before I forget, this is Abu. The man who made a bold promise to the Emir." "Ah, Abu. My name is Esmeralda", Esmeralda said before James could introduce her. James picked himself up and said: “Good, now that the formalities have been completed, we can send this thing out to sea”.
The ropes were loosened, the gangway was brought in. Esmeralda stood on the flight deck, saw that the harbour was still quiet. She took a mobile phone out of her pocket, called a number. She pressed a code. Immediately after that, the helicopters exploded at the nearby airport. Then the transport planes. An alarm went off, the fire brigade headed for the fires with whistling sirens and flashing lights. All kinds of soldiers ran around, all kinds of lights were switched on. But a few electrical cabinets had been sabotaged, causing them to be overloaded when the sudden demand for electricity arose and a short circuit occurred. This put the naval base back into darkness, the emergency generators refused to come on. Another small explosion short-circuited the lighthouse's electrical cabinet, causing it to go black as well.
The ship's engines were started, with the aid of the equipment the ship was discharged into port. This meant that the lighting did not have to be switched on. It was possible to sail out of the harbour without being noticed. The fires at the airport demanded all the attention. Until a soldier looked involuntarily in the direction of the quay. "It's gone... the ship is gone" he said astonishingly. His comrades also looked at the empty quay. "How is it possible?" said one of them. They warned their superior, who first wanted to ignore their excited message. "So they stole a ship," said the naval officer, looking defeated from the window in the darkness, towards where the aircraft carrier had anchored. A quarter of an hour later, the admiral arrived at the base and exclaimed in amazement: "Good god". When he was informed about the missing aircraft carrier, he was unable to say a word for minutes.
Slowly it started to light up, not long before the sun would rise. The aircraft carrier was heading east at full speed. The radar screens were closely monitored for any approaching aircraft or ships. The ship seemed to be alone, but under the water the three submarines were sailing. James said: "Now that it's almost light anyway, why don't we hoist the flag? Esmeralda looked a little strange. James pulled out the Arbor flag. That flag was hoisted. A few hours later, a helicopter flew in. Radio contact was made and that's how the admiral's voice sounded on the bridge. "Who are you to steal an aircraft carrier?" James replied: "You sold this ship to the Emir, the time has come for the Emir to receive his order". The admiral hesitated and finally said: 'We are friends of the Emir, go in peace! The helicopter made a turn and flew away again. "Thank you", James concluded.
James looked at Esmeralda. "Shouldn't you ask them if they want a receipt?", she said sarcastically. "We could have asked?", Abu asked. "Make no mistake, of course the Emir has already done that. But then the ship remained chained. They must have thought that their own problems are bigger to start a conflict with Arbor". James was not convinced: 'We have to stay sharp, we still have to pass Nuví Pelezu'.
Foot on the ground
"A tactical war requires months of preparation. The Emir, in his wisdom, has given little or no preparation. Not that I don't understand it, but that makes it more difficult" said Edward to his officers. "So we are going to create a base from which we can organise our contribution to the fight for independence". He walked up to the large map of Micras on the wall and pointed to a small island. "We are going to build a base there", said Edward. For example, part of the Arborish armada headed for the island previously known as Dongcao.
When the ships approached the island, Edward stepped into one of the helicopters that was already ready. Five helicopters with armed soldiers and their commander flew towards the coast. Once they had flown over part of the coast, three helicopters landed just behind the beach. Edward was the first to set foot on the ground, immediately followed by soldiers, who installed themselves in a circle around the landing zone, ready to fire if necessary. The landing went completely by the book, there were no enemy shelling, but the tension was there anyway. The islands were stateless, fallen to the Green, then you could expect everything. Two soldiers, each with a flag, approached the commander, who again went to a small bump in the terrain. A hump, because the name 'hill' was too much. There the soldiers planted the two flags. The flag of Arbor and the flag of Sylvania. The commander said: "In the name of the Emir of Arbor and in the name of the leader of Sylvania, we claim this country here. A military base will be established here which we call 'Hisn Mahmud' (Fort Mahmud)”.
The engineers went to work. In a short period of time, a pontoon harbour was built, a runway was set up and several buildings were erected. A hangar, barracks and headquarters appeared, albeit wooden and simple. Around a fence with watchtowers and a network of roads. Within a few days, the base was so ready that it could be put into use, despite the fact that construction was still in progress. Edward sent the fleet back towards the Apollonian coast. A number of ships brought supplies ashore from the port of Gevet, others went to Slavograd.
Admiral Edward Krüger bent over the map and slid miniature ships over the blue-coloured part of the map. "Let's organise a reception committee for the Krasnocorian fleet," said the admiral. Northeast of the new fort, Hisn Mahmud, a number of ships were positioned, and also to the west, between Gevet and Hisn Mahmud. This created a naval blockade for the Krasnocorian fleet. Ships with another flag were left untouched. The admiral had doubts about sending landing ships to Slavograd, because how would the encounter with the Krasnocorian fleet be? Would he need all the ships available?
The remains of the 7th Corps had gathered in the forests of East Antica. "A fleet is on its way from Grandbay," said an officer. The lieutenant general said: "Little comfort, the south seems to have fallen for the rebels. I never trusted those Çakars." "The town of Slavograd is holding up," said another officer, "perhaps we can go there?" The lieutenant general grinned: "Ümit's troops from the green are further east to Gevet. Ümit is in the highlands hoping that our fleet will not land. We must persuade the 5th Corps in Slavograd to move in our direction. Then we will attack together in the heart of Hasanistan. The officers also began to grin.
In Slavograd people were relieved that the Arborish fleet was leaving. They knew that the fleet could also return, but for now their town was safe. The lieutenant general of the 5th Corps looked over the map and saw that the rebels had conquered more and more territory. His city was increasingly surrounded and secluded. He had ordered the women and children to be evacuated to the Saint Andre Islands. When he received messages from the 7th Corps, it gave good courage to the lieutenant general.
Under the cover of darkness, the 5th Corps moved in a northwesterly direction. The corps was divided over three different roads, to meet the remains of the 7th corps in enemy territory. The 7th Corps consisted mainly of infantry, which avoided the roads in order not to be discovered in their advance eastwards. The corps had their assembly point just south of Akyar. From there they would march together to Akyar, the capital of Noganistan. The 5th Corps raided some checkpoints of the Sylvanian Liberation Army. Connections to headquarters were severed, but a distress signal failed to get through. As a result, no alarm was raised until one liaison officer became suspicious because of the loss of contact with several checkpoints in the same area.
Hasan, who was woken up, heard the disturbing news from headquarters. He immediately ordered the troops to prepare to move on to Akyar. "They must hold out until we have arrived," Hasan hoped. But that hope is perhaps vain, because he still had to leave from Gevet. He tried to reach Amir, but he was doing an operation to march to Tiegang. Then his father, Ümit, in Merku. Ümit ordered that Hasan would not leave Gevet, because the Krasnocorian fleet came his way. But Hasan ignored that order, when he understood that his father had few troops to defend Akyar.
Just south of Akyar there was a strategic checkpoint on the road to Šer-Ku-Riž. Only this was a fortified checkpoint called Kila Qandagozar. From headquarters, Havildar Aykut Kökgül had understood that contact with checkpoints further away had been severed. He got the feeling it was wrong, so he had all his men awakened. All 21 men were on standby. Dust clouds in the distance seemed to announce the arrival of an army. A horse and rider showed up, it was a soldier who had escaped at one of the robbed checkpoints. Exhausted and wounded, a soldier arrived at the post and reported: "They are coming, as many as ten thousand men!"
For at least two hours the roar of engines could be heard, several vehicles were driven around, but from the fortress only dust clouds could be seen. Then one off-road vehicle appeared with a white flag. Aykut ordered not to shoot when the all-terrain vehicle approached. When the all-terrain vehicle stopped a few dozen metres from the fort, the driver shouted: "Surrender, because resistance is suicide". Aykut shouted back: "Over my dead body!" The driver hesitated and answered: "As you wish". Then the driver sent his all-terrain vehicle back over the road he had come. Not much later the screams of mortars could be heard. The men dived into their positions while the mortars came down. In between the bangs, the men looked to see if the enemy was approaching.
The mortars did hit the fortress, but the damage was not such as to cause it to collapse. No man was injured, but only the clouds of dust masked the arrival of the enemy. One of the men saw the silhouette of an enemy soldier and opened fire. More silhouettes appeared in the clouds of dust, on which the men opened fire. An armoured vehicle collided and they fired on it with a rocket launcher. The man who got up to shoot that rocket launcher was hit and fell dead. His companion grabbed the rocket launcher and fired on the armoured vehicle which was hit and came to a halt in flames against a rock. Enemy soldiers jumped out of the burning vehicle, some with a burning uniform. Their flight was welcomed with a shower of bullets from the fortress.
Again mortars screamed through the air and slammed down. One of them near one of the men, who was injured as a result. He could no longer use his right hand to wield his rifle, so he grabbed his pistol to shoot with his left hand. When the mortars were silent, soldiers stormed into the fort again. The machine gun rattled and many of the approaching soldiers fell down. One of them dived into a pit, a pit that had previously been blown open by a mortar. In the fortress, his trembling voice was not heard as he sat there howling with fear. The bullets, the battle cries and the screams flew over his head. At least nine armoured vehicles with machine guns collided. A rocket launcher was fired from the fortress again. This time a sniper was aimed at a sniper with a rocket launcher. This shot down at least three men. With flamethrowers the vegetation was set on fire, obstructing the view from the fortress.
From behind the armoured vehicles infantry soldiers shot at the fortress. Four men were killed and two others were wounded. Aykut counted his men, after which he saw that his left flank was only manned by two men. Quickly he ordered two men from the centre to the left flank. He heard heavier roaring from afar, with binoculars he searched in the direction of the sound. His view was considerably obstructed by the clouds of smoke from the burning vegetation. But before he could see a tank, he heard the sound of a whistling grenade. He shouted: "Cover!" But his shouting was already too late. A big bang and explosion took place. Aykut was blown away from his position, just like other men. Some of them remained motionless. Aykut heard a high beep, he saw blurred around him. The gate of the fort had been shot. Not much later, enemy soldiers ran into the fortress. Some of them fell down because his men shot at them. He saw his men fall one by one.
Feeling too slow, he came to his senses. His hearing more or less returned to normal. The image became sharp again. He grabbed his rifle, shot at the approaching enemy soldiers. Then there was the unmistakable sound that his storeroom was gone. An enemy soldier came closer, shooting and screaming. With the butt of his rifle he hit the soldier against the rubble on the ground. He quickly grabbed his pistol and fired at other approaching soldiers. When that warehouse was empty as well, he pulled his sabre. He took down at least three enemy soldiers with it, until a bullet hit him in the chest. The shooting stopped, twelve enemy soldiers were at the ready to shoot him. Their lieutenant general ordered "Stop!", who stepped over the rubble from behind the ready soldiers. "You dirty terrorist", said the lieutenant general, who emptied his gun at Aykut.
A day later Ümit approached Kila Qandagozar with his compound army, he saw clouds of smoke rising. The fortress was in ruins, corpses everywhere. When Ümit entered the fort, he saw Aykut lying there. All 21 men were killed, as well as the messenger and 108 enemy soldiers. The advance of the enemy had been halted and Akyar was not reached. Ümit was emotional when he was kneeling with Aykut. "This is the ultimate sacrifice, this is decisive in our history," said Ümit to his soldiers.
Meeting of the fleets
It has been known for some time that the Krasnocorian fleet is steaming through the Antican Sea towards Herrin Bay. The purpose of the fleet is not known, no communications have been intercepted from or about it. When Kuregred fell, the fleet sailed eastwards, whereas previously it seemed that it would sail to this port city. The useless shelling by Amir did not change the course. Hasan tried to conquer the south coast of Gevet district and Slavonje as quickly as possible, to make the fleet's landing more difficult. But what would the purpose of the fleet be, that is the question?
Admiral Edward Krüger had spy planes scour the sea. Soon the position of the Krasnocoran fleet became known, which was located just south of Tiegang. Edward looked at the pictures and said to the officers present: "How strange..." The officers looked at each other. Edward noticed the confusion and said: "A fleet on the warpath does not sail in this formation, there are hardly any planes on the aircraft carrier and submarines are sailing on the surface". He put pictures on the table so that the officers could see them too. "That's strange indeed", said one of the officers, who forgot the protocol.
When the Krasnocorian fleet came into sight, Edward ordered not to fire. The fleet came to a standstill. Edward looked through his binoculars at the fleet in the distance. He did not see a Krasnocorian flag, on any of the ships, but he saw white flags. Told his communications officer to make radio contact. Contact was made, after which several messages went back and forth. A few hours later, a smaller boat came to request, which was received at the Arborish aircraft carrier. Abu Çakar had been flown in by helicopter from the convoy that sailed east around Jaris in the direction of Hisn Mahmud. Edward and Abu were on the aircraft carrier, while the admiral of the Krasnocorian fleet came on deck.
The admiral pulled his sabre, offered it. Abu accepted the sabre, after which he nodded and the admiral stood up again. Edward made an inviting gesture to sit down at the table, which was set up in the middle of the deck. Many sailors, officers and other dignitaries stood around the table. On the table were some papers. The disarmed admiral signed the papers, handing over his fleet to admiral Edward Krüger. Without a shot being fired between the fleets, this would have come about. The flags of Arbor and Sylvania were hoisted on the surrendered ships.
|Nikolaj Class||Krasnocoria||Aircraft carrier||1||Ordered and built in Jingdao.|
|836-C Compound Intercept||Passio-Corum||Attack aircraft||11|
|Alpha Class||Passio-Corum||Attack aircraft||5|
|Aead Class||Passio-Corum||Attack helicopter||11|
|Kesh Class||Passio-Corum||Attack submarine||1|
March to Tiegang
While the former Krasnocorian fleet sailed to the port of Slavograd, most of the Arborish fleet sailed in a northerly direction. Amir and his troops headed east. For while the fleets met, Amir and his troops had moved into Tiren. The city was full of white flags and all kinds of white sheets hung out of the windows. In the central square are the police, the city administrators and other dignitaries. Amir had the Sylvanian flag hoisted above the town hall. He let his troops explore the area and waited for Abu.
Abu arrived with some helicopters on a field south of Tiren. Amir and Abu embraced each other and together they went to the town hall, which had been set up as headquarters for the occasion. "There seems to be a separatist movement going on in Tiegang", said Amir. "Separation from whom?", Abu asked. "That's a good one, because Grandbay did not oppose a secession from Tiegang," Amir responded. Abu said: "Grandbay will probably not bother us any more". "Is that city for grabs, then?" Amir asked himself.
The next morning, the troops were assembled. With a wave Abu ordered them to move. Different squadrons took different roads to Tiegang. Despite the dispersal, they would come ever closer together, to narrow the peninsula. There was radio contact with the Arborish fleet that was also heading for Tiegang. The atmosphere was so optimistic that the music sounded cheerful:
In the distance Abu saw the city. He saw with his binoculars enemy running back and forth. In numbers it would be easy. But he also saw a column of vehicles approaching, on which blue flags waved with a golden-yellow snake on them. "Are they now approaching us so openly and boldly," asked Amir, who came to stand beside Abu. "That's strange indeed, let's order our troops not to shoot until they are shot at". The troops took position, while Abu went with his all-terrain vehicle towards the column. Sylvania's flag was flying on the all-terrain vehicle. The column and Abu met, after which they stopped a few tens of metres from each other. André Vales, First Consul of the Mandate, was dressed in civilian clothes and walked forward. He made a line in the sand with his walking stick and said: "Let this be the boundary between you and me. If you cross this border, you will unleash a war. Not only with me, the city that I represent, but with all the international powers that support my city". Abu looked surprised and did not know what he was hearing. He looked past André at the other figures in the column, who looked on tensely. Nobody said a word until Abu said: "Let peace be blessed". André began to smile as he shook Abu's hand.
The Sylvanian troops were withdrawn, the Arborish fleet sailed for Hisn Mahmud, while a provisional agreement was drawn up establishing the 60 kilometre-long border between Sylvania and Tiegang.
After the Battle of Kila Qandagozar it became clear that the assembled corps, consisting of the 5th and 7th corps, could not realise the planned march to Akyar. Now it also appeared that Slavograd had fallen, the bomb of demoralisation struck. Communication with Grandbay had been completely cut off. The Lieutenant General of the 7th Corps, who had more or less taken command of the composite corps, said to his men: "Giving up is not an option, we cannot allow ourselves to be captured by these rebels! The men agreed, but what was the alternative?
The wounded men were housed in a dilapidated mansion. White flags were hung out. Some slow vehicles were blown up further on. Soldiers, originally from the Sylvanish region, took off their uniforms and left in civilian clothes. The remaining soldiers gathered and left in a westerly direction. Not much later a drone was sighted betraying their positions and movements. The column split into three groups to reduce the impact of a possible attack. There were some soldiers who became so frightened that they fled. The lieutenant general ordered to fire on those deserting soldiers. This order was followed, but with varying degrees of success. Even a case of a deserting soldier being hit, but the column drove on while the wounded soldiers was left behind.
The western border was crossed, the unknown terrain of the greenery was entered. The first column went in a southwestern direction. Scouts went forward to reach the south coast, perhaps one can go from there to the Saint-André Islands. The Bassarids kept aloof to become a party in civil war. To the terror of the scouts, Arborish ships appeared on the horizon. They fled northwards. When the scouts approached the column, they saw troop movements from their position to the east. Unmistakable were Hasan and his troops. Before the scouts had time to raise the alarm, the column was attacked. Brave soldiers defended themselves. When it seemed that Hasan was retreating, they thought that their defence would be too strong. But moments later there was a murmur in the air, mortars popped into their positions.
The second column went west. Soon the soldiers got the feeling that they were not alone. The landscape seemed empty and deserted, but somewhere they discovered human presence. The column was in turmoil when it turned out that soldiers fell dead in the rearguard. So the column speeded up their advance, but the column came to a standstill when the corpses of their scouts dangled above the road. The sergeant started shouting: "Show yourself! There's no honour in dying if you can't look the enemy in the eye!" It remained silent. Then the sergeant ordered the scouts to be buried, on which the column continued. The gravediggers slowed down their work when the column had moved away and they remained. Even when they had buried their fellow soldiers, they were in no hurry to follow the column. After a few days of walking westwards, they arrived on a ridge. They had a great view over a lake. The mysterious lake, which had not been drawn on the earliest maps of Micras. The lake where they had heard so many myths: it really existed. Their amazement turned to horror. Between them and the lake they saw the remains of their column. Vehicles broke down, their fellow soldiers died and what was left of a camp still smoldered. But there was no living soul to be seen, no enemy. When they had gathered their courage, they buried their fellow soldiers. Their situation was hopeless, but it became hopeless for them when native fighters turned up and surrounded them. Their leader appealed to them: "You paid tribute to your comrades by burying them. Surrender and we will let you live".
The third column headed north, and the Lieutenant General became increasingly confident of a successful outcome. The country seemed empty, there was no resistance. For days the column was heading north undisturbed. The lieutenant general was informed by a corporal that they had seen something. There seemed to be something flickering west of them. The lieutenant general also saw the flickering, what could that be? The lieutenant general and the corporal soaked off the path, walked through the vegetation, to a sheltered position from where they could watch the flickering. Through the binoculars the lieutenant general could see that the flickering was caused by the reflection of enemy binoculars. He saw troops moving, but he could not bring home which troops they were. There was no flag, no recognisable mark. The lieutenant general and the corporal crept back to the column. They talked to each other: "They seem to be watching us, we have to keep moving". The lieutenant general ordered the corporal with a group of soldiers to go to the enemy's position. That group made a perimeter movement, but it turned out to be a useless action. For when they arrived at the position from which the enemy had previously spied on the column, it was abandoned. A pair of binoculars on a tripod was still there, facing northeast. One of the men looked through the binoculars and saw his column, surrounded and with white flags. His lieutenant general was lying dead in his all-terrain vehicle, his sergeant wounded with his hands up. From behind them suddenly sounded: "Gentlemen!" They turned around and saw at least thirty soldiers standing there with rifles at the ready. An unfinished business, so the corporal ordered surrender.
Invitation from Lezije
Amir stood on the beach. He looked over the water, while the seawater flowed over his bare feet. Satisfied he was about waking up. Now that the battle is almost over, the phase of stabilising and establishing comes. A government must be formed, an authority, or else the battle will end in a new battle. Otherwise, Sylvania will turn into a civil war of its own. Suddenly he saw a boat. A rowing boat struggled with the waves to get in his direction. The strong current made it difficult for the rowers. When the rowing boat had finally come close, Amir and some of his men helped the rowing boat ashore. The two rowers were out of breath and dropped into the soft sand of the beach. One of them took a paper from his inside pocket and gave it to Amir.
Amir read the letter. Whatever he thought was in it, the government in Grandbay has fallen. The king is without a trace, the kingdom has become history. As a result, the territory of the kingdom has become green. In the city of Lezije there was no appetite for this. They did not want to remain in limbo. That is why Sylvania was invited to take the city of Lezije under their care. Amir called Abu, who was on his way to Shahr and consulted with him. Although Amir was older, Abu seemed to have more wisdom in strategy, diplomacy and politics. So to speak, Amir recognised his superior in Abu. If Sylvania were to become a monarch, he would be in favour of Abu as a monarch. In fact, he did not know whether Abu himself would want that.
On Abu's advice, Amir had ships prepared to cross the strait. He would make the crossing with a squadron and land near Vudin. That way, his ships would not be a provocation in the direction of Jingdao. At least the control of the region around Vudin is strategically useful in view of the Aldurian Ijubicastagrad. However, if this control is more than a strategic position, namely the incorporation of an area with its population, it has several advantages.
Amir did not know what he was going through when he first entered the city of Vudin. He was welcomed as a liberator. He hadn't fired a shot, he hadn't had to fight. But the population was so subdued. When he then went with his men to Lezije, he was received there as a hero. The dignitaries received him festively and offered him all kinds of gifts. He did not want to accept anything, because he did not have to do anything. But refusing is a cultural sin, so he said that his brother had convinced him to come over. So the gifts would go to Abu.
The dignitaries wanted Amir to annex the whole area of the former kingdom of Krasnarus. But Amir said that the government of Sylvania is only just in the saddle, so a solid authority over all the territory is already a challenge. Let alone adding more territory. Amir drew on a map the boundary of what can be controlled now. The dignitaries recognised the thoughts behind Amir's words, which in fact came from Abu. "Someday," said Amir, "we will control the whole of Jaris". That prospect pleased the dignitaries.
The Old Red Fortress
Ümit had been having fierce discussions for weeks about the future of the free state. Was it that he did not expect the awakening to succeed? Or was it that he himself did not yet know where it was going? He was told that some representatives of areas within Sylvania's borders did not see him as the ruler. Others, however, said that they did not want full democracy, perhaps because of their position. Ümit did not have the courage to seize power, because he wanted to prevent another fight. He was tired of the struggles of the past eight years.
In the Old Red Fortress, where the rulers of Sylvania once lived, a large meeting was organised to discuss the future of the liberated state. Not in existing buildings, but on the foundations of the country's rich history. No matter how much appreciation was shown for this gesture, the discussions surrounding the question of what form of state the new state should take were no less intense among them. The chances of success lay in the scales; there were still too many uncertainties. While Ümit was in meeting at the fort, his sons waited further on. The meeting was not to be disturbed and the presence of the three sons and their men could be perceived as provocative.
However, a messenger did go back and forth to keep Hasan, Amir and Abu informed. "Would it be true?" Amir asked Hasan. "What?", Hasan replied. "Well, that father deliberately waited a day before he went to Kila Qandagozar to relieve Aykut and his men". Hasan moved nervously at his seat, to which he finally replied: "I wasn't there, I haven't found any evidence, so it's just rumours". Amir looked at Abu, and he said: 'It could well be investigated, starting with questions to father'. Amir wanted to respond, but was interrupted by the arrival of a delegation from the meeting. The apparent leader of the delegation said: "The meeting has come to a decision. Sylvania will be a sultanate and a sultan has been elected". The three sons of Ümit looked at each other in surprise. Hasan asked: "Who has been elected? He expected that his father had been chosen, but the leader answered hesitantly. "May I first ask you to swear that you respect the decision of the meeting, whatever the outcome?" The sons looked at each other, because what was the meaning of this request? Abu replied: 'I hereby swear allegiance to the decision', which is why his brothers also swore.
The leader of the delegation seemed to have more courage, who said relievedly: "The meeting did not agree on a constitution. But it did agree unanimously on the choice of a sultan. The man they have chosen is: Abu Çakar." The leader waited to speak further to await Abu's reaction. Abu was surprised and speechless. The delegation bowed to Abu. While Abu looked at his brothers in amazement, he also saw them kneeling before him. He was accompanied by the delegation and his brothers to the fortress. There he was welcomed with cheers. His father received him, he bowed before him and embraced him. Then Abu was escorted to a throne. Then music began to play and there was singing:
|Adarani||Transliteration||Translated in Common Tongue|
O majestic and noble emperor
Then an elephant enters the courtyard. Behind the curtain of the hood on the elephant sat a handsomely veiled woman. She is the daughter of Rajesh Avchat, the Maharaja from the green, with whom Hasan made a deal. Abu walked up to the steps of the elevation, where Jodhaa arrived and climbed off the elephant. A little later, when Abu was sitting on a pair of scales, the dowry was placed on the other scale. The balance of the scale determines the height of the dowry. The sword, which symbolises the just government, was decisive.
The leader of the previous delegation said: "To you, Abu Çakar, the title is given: Akbar! Your great deeds in the fight for independence are characterised by bravery, justice and mercy. Let that be the hallmark of your government!”