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Endsieg is the one-word Praeta (the Shirerithian language of governance) expression for "Final Victory", specifically in the context of a hypothetical struggle between archonic and chthonic world-spirits as postulated by certain strands of dogma found in Cedrism, Nationalist-Humanism, and Ketherism (the last of which views it as a circumstance to be strenuously avoided or averted insofar as is possible). Under certain conditions, and from a certain point of view, it may prove to be indistinguishable from the end of the world.

Fall Endsieg

Fall Endsieg was a hypothetical plan for the destruction of Kalgachia, drawn up by Vexillation XI during the War of Lost Brothers when it appeared that an intervention by the Garden in support of the USSO and or Nova England was increasingly imminent.

The plan called for an initial staged provocation, most likely to have been the targeted assassination of the Sxiro-Kalgachi Military Coordination Council, staged so as to look like a suicide bombing of Kalgachi instigation - the bomb was to have been coated in genetic material intended to implicate a Nezeni on the KDF delegation.

This casus belli would have legitimated a Shirerithian reprisal attack in two stages, a cruise missile barrage launched by Bomber Command against sites of the Kalgachi Fortress Corps combined with a limited operation undertaken by III Corps of the Frontier Army to secure Slavegate. This staged attack would be intended only to test the robustness of Kalgachi air defences and to trigger mobilisation of the KDF and partisans. Ground mapping satellites placed in geosynchronous orbit by the Natopian shuttlecraft would then monitor closely for surface movements and subtle disturbances in the terrain indicative of subterranean activity.

The main attack would have taken place under the cover of a barrage of re-purposed Ikol ABMs launched from the Novaya Sorensk SDI facility combined with a thousand bomber raid staged by the Imperial Shirerithian Air Forces. During this period of further heightened activity and distraction for KDF air defence assets three Kaïsar Auronzev (Kaiser Aurangzeb) thermonuclear devices would be released from high altitude targeting the Kalgachi mountain summits of the Splatterhorn, the Toastytop and Mount Octavian. The intention of this attack would be to inflict seismic and psychological trauma on the Garden, disrupting its organisational posture and preparedness.

Further nuclear strikes, combined with large scale raids by Bomber and Fighter Commands, would continue until reserves were exhausted or enemy air defences suppressed. III Corps would broaden its offensive to secure Bergburg and Kossarstadt in the west and Schelpogora and Oktokamensk in the east. Cohorts would be rotated out and replaced by Auxiliary regiments as attrition thinned out their ranks. Total casualties could not be projected accurately, considering the variables, but an attrition rate of 25-45% across all deployed forces was considered the probable cost for the complete destruction of the KDF and Kalgachi nation - notably higher for those units deployed to clear out the frankly innumerable subterranean structures.

It was expected that Kalgachia would have struck back with every means at its disposal. Heavy losses to chemical and biological warfare was expected and the Imperial Forces themselves expected to expend unprecedented quantities of Mustard Gas, Sarin, and VX, in bunker and urban vaultquarter clearing operations. Meanwhile pestilence and blight could be expected to break out in just about every portion of the Benacian continent if even a tenth of the old Minarborian stockpiles had been recovered and replicated by the Kalgachi. The burden of the war, with the Imperial Army already committed on the Batavian and Dalmacijan fronts, would have fallen upon the Corps of Auxiliaries and the Republican Guard of Elwynn. The Palatini Corps would have been held in reserve to safeguard the Imperial Republic in the Eliria-Shirekeep-Musica metropolitan core against an inevitable breakdown of law and order.

Forgoing the usual blithe optimism about a successful campaign lasting only days and weeks, the planners for Fall Endsieg foresaw a war of attrition lasting for years after the last semblance of Kalgachi sovereignty had been extinguished, envisaging a reversion of the Nezini and mixed-Kalgachi to the Deep Singer type, with isolated groups of survivors burrowing ever deeper into the earth to avoid extermination, requiring ever greater efforts on the part of the pursuers. The planners warned that "even a single surviving brood might form the nucleus around which a viable and vengeful new resistance to the Kalirion supremacy might be forged". This warning had been written at a time before Project Newrad had been even guessed at in Imperial circles.

The authors of Fall Endsieg warned that the medium to long term consequences of undertaking such an attack would unavoidably place Shirerithian society under a severe, even existential, strain, with immense consequences for its agricultural and industrial capacity, as well as for its unity. Although it never spoke directly of a new dark age, the planners did note that "the consequences of continental war may include damage to the technological knowledge base of our civilisation, forcing measurable, and in some cases significant, simplifications in our material culture and the way that the component parts of our society interact with one another - which would necessarily have an impact on the war economy". In spite of this the planners concluded that the operation not only could be launched but must be launched, otherwise there would always be "a fraction of our sacred Benacian homeland that remains forever beyond our grasp".

The plan had been dispatched to Shirekeep for Steward Zinkgraven's approval. Fortunately he had already departed upon the Great Enterprise of Keltia and the document along with its courier was intercepted by the Magister Primum of the Imperial Army. The plan was reviewed by a secret committee comprised of the Magister Primum, the Minister of Military Affairs, and the Natopian Secretary of Defense. Their attention was inevitably drawn to the environmental impact assessment appended to the report, which detailed amongst other things the likely consequences of three mountains worth of black carbon being ejected into the upper atmosphere. A secret damnatio memoriae was issued against the plan and its proponents. Its immediate authors were executed by a roving commission of the Saznan Darneï whilst those officers of the Vexillation who had contributed to its preparation or had any knowledge of its existence were condemned to servitude, castrated, and dispatched to the most dismal monasteries to be found in the frigid hell of Raikoth.

Not long after the suppression of Fall Endsieg, Burgrave Zinkgraven received the unwelcome news that he no longer enjoyed the confidence of the military and industrial sectors. Unable to stand in the Stewards election of 1657, his disappearance into shameful obscurity in the Keltian wilderness followed not long afterwards.

Kalgachi Reaction

The quiet archival of Fall Endsieg into less restricted storage with less reliable custodians inevitably led to its leakage by an unnamed individual, presumably a file clerk with personal grievances against his superiors, who took the singularly unwise step of taking a copy of the plan through the front doors of the Kalgachi diplomatic mission in Shirekeep which were known by all and sundry to be kept under 24-hour surveillance by Shirerithian counterintelligence organs. While the mystery courier was never seen again, the offending document was hurriedly conveyed by diplomatic pouch to the Kalgachi capital, Oktavyan, where it proved an illuminating read to the assembled boffins of the Kalgachi Central War College. Of some interest was the axis of the plan's ground offensive which was directly perpendicular to that anticipated by the KDF command - conventional wisdom had expected any invasion to exploit the interior lines of the national frontier at western Abrek and central Lithead, making for Toastytop Pass with the objective of seperating the country in half for eventual defeat in detail. Offensives into Bergburg and Schlepogora had been given far less attention, despite the Prefects' frequent warnings about Kalgachia's Bergburger and Laqi populations being most susceptible to the leverage of their foreign heritage against their cultivated affinity to the Kalgachi state.

Of considerably more interest, if the emission of cold sweat in unison could be classed as interest, was the plan's profligate use of thermonuclear weapons to an extent greater than had ever been publically suggested against Jingdao or Passio-Corum - effectively confirming Kalgachia's status as a fixation of hypnotic proportions to the Nationalist-Humanist cadres of Shireroth which, post-Zinkgraven, still dominated the Shirerithian military complex for lack of any more competent hands. Through the ardent and overly vocal dissemination of the Ketherist thesis, the Troglodyti now warned, the theologians and media organs of Kalgachia had effectively seeded and nourished their own equally-militant antithesis across the Shirerithian border. For the first time in generations, the search for solutions to this odious ideological feedback loop brought certain precepts of Argophylacterism back into vogue from the occluded Troglodyte covens among whom it had never really gone away, descended as they were from the renegade arcane societies of &zeter.

The chief effect of the plan's leakage was on the Kalgachi public, to whom it was exhibited and dissected with unbridled enthusiasm by all the principal organs of Kalgachi media - offering, to the surprise of many, a complete validation and vindication of the official line on Shireroth which had been partially filtered out for its propagandistic hyperbole in the minds of the more educated citizenry. Public and bureaucratic opposition to the stupendous allotment of national resources for the Fortress Corps and Project Newrad, which had accumulated since Zinkgraven's downfall, effectively disappeared overnight amid pointed reminders that moderate regimes in Shireroth were historically ephemeral phenomena and that the inevitable reversion to the Imperial Republic's savage norm would put plans like Fall Endsieg back on the table within the lifetimes of the present Kalgachi population.

Ultimately however the revelation did little to alter the planning of the KDF itself, who reasoned that its demotion to the position where it could be leaked indicated either a calculated release of disinformation, or else the plan's comprehensive substitution by a newer, somewhat different scenario aspiring toward a more surgical annihilation of the Kalgachi nation without compromising the integrity of Shirerithian society.