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Author Topic: Holy Order of the Knights of St. Tobias  (Read 961 times)

Offline Prydania

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Holy Order of the Knights of St. Tobias
« on: December 19, 2015, 05:31:26 AM »

The Holy Order of the Knights of St. Tobias was established in 1086 by King Vortgyn II following the canonization of his father, King Tobias. They were charged with the protection of the Crown, forming an elite order of bodyguards and soldiers. The Order has endured to the present and has assumed a new role following the coronation of Andrew III and the election of a Social Commonwealth government under the leadership of the new Prime Minister, Stephen Crofts...

Burn, southern Midland, Prydania

Alaterva smouldered. The castle and Royal Mile were a crater. Buildings older than a unified Prydania were gone. At the hands of a former Minister. A madman with a navy and weapon of his own. And overnight Burn, the second most notable Midland city, had become the region's senior centre of politics, business, and culture.
The Royal Prydanian Navy searched the waters around the island, and Winters had yet to be found.
This, however, was not why the military was meeting in Burn. No. The military was meeting because the attack on Alaterva could either be a blessing or curse for the SoCom government. And the military, loyal to the party, was meeting to ensure its part was mapped out.

"The Navy's out in full force General. We'll find Winters, and we'll sink him. Then you'll have your propaganda" Admiral Thomas Hemming remarked.
"The same navy, I want to remind the General Staff, that commissioned the weapon that burnt an entire city to the ground in seconds. Forgive me if my faith in the Navy has been shaken" General Alexander Gunne shot back, leaning into the table, eyes wide and intense.

Field Marshal Thomas Theriot sat back in his chair at the head of the table. He was young for a Field Marshal. Only forty-six, and not an aristocrat. His revolutionary doctrine regarding tank warfare had put him on the fast-track to advancement within the Royal Army. The SoCom electoral victory did the rest. His eyes darted to Admiral Hemming.

"The SSI recovered the plans to the Sunshine cannon. We can build it ourselves and rain devastation down on Winters and anyone else who..."

"You've grown too proud of this technological terror you've allowed to be created" a smooth yet powerful voice tinted with a northern Midland accent declared, interrupting the Admiral. Dorian Harkon, Lord General of the Holy Order of Knights of St. Tobias and Royal Executor, had entered. His uniform was military, yet black. The only splash of colour coming from the order's badge, a holy cross superimposed on a national one, over his right shoulder. His black cape and short ponytail trailed behind him.
"I don't suppose you or your armada is any closer to finding Winters?" the Lord General asked as he positioned himself behind the Admiral's chair.

"The ocean is vast Lord Harkon" the Admiral began, stuttering. "We're casting our net further and further out each day..."
Harkon placed a hand on each of the Admiral's shoulders, pressing him into his chair. "His Majesty and the Prime Minister will expect more than an honest effort Admiral" he said, his voice never rising, his composure never evaporating.

"Harkon, enough" Theriot commanded, waving the Lord General to him. Harkon just smirked, releasing his grip on the Admiral's shoulders and walking to the side of the Field Marshal.
"Lord Harkon will hunt those within the nation who will look to take advantage of this attack. Be they agents of Winters or groups working from their own agendas" Theriot explained.
"As for the military? I've been in contact with the Prime Minister. He expects a doubling of efforts on the navy's part. President Pershing still appreciates our alliance, yes? Make use of the Confederate States Navy."

"With all due respect Field Marshall..." Admiral Hemming answered, the Lord Hemming still getting used to the idea of taking orders from a common-born Field Marshall and Chief of the General Staff, "this is within the scope of the Royal Prydanian Navy and..."
The Admiral froze. Lord Harkon stared at him. Intense without glaring...not even a Lord Admiral was safe from His Majesty's Knights-turned-secret police.
"I'll be contacting my counterpart in Birmingham first thing tomorrow" he added.

"Good" Theriot responded. "Gentleman? Winters will die. His blood, and the blood of every other citizen who dares to challenge our reborn nation, will only serve to feed our new Social Commonwealth. I trust this is understood."
The assorted uniformed men around the table all nodded in agreement. Lord Dorian Harkon did not. Instead he just focused on the immediate future. The Admiral could wait until the morning. The Knights would not.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 05:37:08 PM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Holy Order of the Knights of St. Tobias
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 04:54:16 AM »
Morriganston, norther Lowland

The sun had just set on the bustling northern Lowland mining town. Men returned from the pit, some heading home to their families. Others to the pub. A few of the more politically inclined made their way to the local Syndicalist Party headquarters. Spirits were high, despite the SoCom majority. The Syndicalists had their largest caucus in Parliament in decades, after all. A few low level party functionaries handed out pamphlets outside of the building, the party's red flag hung by an unassuming flagpole over the front door. Red posters proclaiming labour solidarity and working class economics plastered the dark brown brick walls that made up the stree-level portion of the building's exterior.

Aaron Jones, a local National Miners Union secretary and chief Syndicalist Party organizer, bit into a sausage as he enjoyed his family's company.
"The papers have been talking about what happened in Alaterva..." Gill, his fifteen year old son, remarked. "The Prime Minister said..."
"Oh I don't want to hear anything about the Prime Minister" Rose, Aaron's wife, remarked. "That man hasn't even been in office half a year and..."
Aaron chuckled as he washed down the sausage with a swish of mead. "No politics at the dinner table" he replied with a smile.

The kitchen shook just as he finished speaking, the sound of the door being battered in filling the house. Soldiers, dressed in black rather than the standard army khaki, poured in. Gill and Rose both shot to their feet, eyes wide in shock. Aaron sat his mug of mead down the table slowly and, while remaining seated, raised his hands up.
"Just stay calm" he said softly as the black-clad soldiers kept their rifles pointed at them. More could be seen and head searching the house. For what? God only knew...

"Calm won't save you" said an eerily chilling voice. A figure dressed in black entered. Tall, with broad shoulders supporting a ceremonial looking black cloak. His uniform was cut in line with officers rather than the fatigues worn by soldiers. The man, whose presence brought the soldiers holding the family at gun point to attention, entered the kitchen, his eyes glancing around the room before refocusing on Aaron Jones.

"Dorian Harkon" he said softly, nodding as if he understood exactly what was happening. "You don't think this stunt's going to blow up in your face? You can't just come into people's homes and..."
"Dad, what's happening?" Gill asked, panicked. He was answered by a smack across the face by one of the soldiers. Rose broke down in tears as Aaron, for the first time since the home invasion began, lost his temper.

"Your thugs lay a hand on my boy again and I'll see to it that you're pissing blood for a week" he growled, suddenly, face to face with the Lord General of the Holy Order.
"Insulting the Royal Executor...might as well add that to the list" Harkon responded calmly, almost in a whisper.
"I don't see a downside to that at this point" Aaron replied, just as calmly. Harkon smirked, placing a hand on Aaron's shoulder and forcing him down into the previously unused fourth chair.

"Mrs. Jones" he went on, ignoring Aaron for a moment, "please Mrs. Jones, if you could stop crying...."
Rose sniffed, biting her lower lip as she shot the Lord General a piercing glare.
"That's better Mrs. Jones" Harkon continued. "I'd like you to finish your last thought. Before your husband so rudely interrupted you."
"I don't get your meaning" Rose replied, her voice low but teaming with anger.

Harkon just smiled. "I'll help. You were saying, I believe, 'I don't want to hear anything about the Prime Minister, that man hasn't even been in office half a year and...' "
Rose went white in the face realizing that the kitchen was bugged.
"Then something about no politics at the dinner table" Harkon continued. "Perhaps you wouldn't be in this mess if your husband had instituted that rule earlier, eh?" he smirked.
"No matter though. Please. Continue your thought."

Rose choked on her words for a moment before clearing her throat.
"The man hasn't been in office half a year and he's already turning the country over the scum of society" she said coldly.
Harkon just nodded, grabbing Aaron by the shirt collar and yanking him to his feet, keeping his grip firm. Aaron decided he had one more card to play.

"I'm a regional director for the Syndicalist Party, and a registered aid to MP Bard Long..."
Harkon pulled him close. "You're a member of the People's Rally and a traitor" he hissed before tossing the man back into the chair.
"Take them away" he barked, turning to leave the house. "Confiscate the literature."

Soldiers forced black sacks over the heads of all three family members, cuffing each of them. They were lead to black vans waiting outside of their home as soldiers packed volumes of political literature, Syndicalist and otherwise, into black plastic crates.

The boy was young enough to be spared. The parents? Not so much.

Offline Prydania

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Re: Holy Order of the Knights of St. Tobias
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 04:40:55 AM »
Unknown location within Prydania

The room was cold, but perhaps that wasn't so shocking. The whole facility was cold. Concrete. Windowless. Gill hadn't seen the sun in...he couldn't tell for how long. A month maybe? The classes were strict, but dates were notably absent. That had to be by design.
He was shaking. Not because it was cold, really. He was scared. He just wanted to go back to his bunk. With the friends he'd made since arriving here. Wherever here was. He was stuck here though. Handcuffed to a steel table in the middle of a room covered floor to ceiling in white tile. Clean too. New. A light above illuminated the room, the only blemish a red, white, and black SoCom Party poster on the opposite wall. Those things littered the walls here. With an odd poster here or there praising the virtues of the Prydanian Catholic Church. A priest of which stood in a corner, hunched over just a bit, face buried in a Bible. He was the only other person here, and had been since the two guards had brought Gill in.

"Father..." the boy began, almost chocking on the word. He still missed his father.
"Father" he repeated, "what's going on? I didn't do anything..."

The priest rose his head from the book. He looked kindly. Almost grandfatherly. He just smiled. "Boy, make it easier on yourself. Just go along with it after it starts. Save at least one person today."
"You mean...you mean my soul right?" he asked, the chain attaching the cuffs to the table jingling as he shook, the sound of boots marching getting closer.
The priest's kind look turned sad as he shook his head. "Your life" he said just as the door opened. Two black-glad guards entered, followed by a man wearing a black officer's uniform and another, younger man wearing what looked like a brown paramilitary uniform. He recognized the black as signifying membership in Knights of the Holy Order of St. Tobias. The brown paramilitary uniform was something newer, but he still recognized it as belonging to a SoCom Party functionary. The guards took their place by the door, the party man hanging back next to the priest. The man wearing the Knights officer uniform took a seat at the table opposite of Gill.

"My apologies for the cuffs" he said plainly.
"But we need to take precautions. At least for now."

"What do you mean?" Gill asked, eyeing the man suspiciously. The man just smiled back.
"Just that certain cases require a certain level of security before they progress" he responded. He could sense that Gill was going to ask a followup question. The man cut him off with a peppy "let's begin!" as he pulled out a thick binder.

"Ok..." Gill answered nervously. "Begin what?"
"Just a talk" the man said, thumbing through the binder as if he were looking for something specific.
"Ah, there is it! Ok yes. We need to talk Gill...about your parents."

"Do you know where they are?" the boy asked, almost excitedly.
"The truth is, Gill, I don't" the man answered. Gill just looked back at him. He knew he was lying. It just seemed like he should be. And yet...the man was blank. He really could have been telling the truth...

"But I do know they're safe. Secure."
"Secure?"
"Yes, secure. Your parents...well your father at any rate is a man who needs to be secured."

Gill tilted his head. "My dad's a miner..."
The man shook his head, smiling. "If only that were the case...no, he's what we call a radical. Do you know what that is Gill?"
"They've been telling us a lot about them. The teachers here..."
The man smiled and nodded. "I'm sure they are. Good people they are, doing good work. Look Gill, I want to help you."
"How can you help me?" the boy asked.

The man flipped a few more pages. "This is a bit of a waypoint in a new government system. You're going to be heading out of here in a few months. Back into the world and all of that" he said with a grin. "For chaps like you? Your whole life is ahead of you. You can get right back to it."

"And lots of opportunities out there" the Party functionary added from the corner, his Midland accent particularly thick. "Party's growin'. We need more young people. Motivated, bright. Sorta like yourself."
"My colleague's right" the Knights officer added. "It's an exciting time for our country, and young people such as yourself are already seeing so many opportunities open up before you. Help me here and your life after you leave this place will have so much more potential."

"What do you need help with?" Gill replied, his voice shaking with weariness.
"Your parents" the man answered. "Your father's a radical. As I said. Trying to bring down our society we're trying to build. The state is constructing a case, but your testimony could be invaluable."

"You want me to testify against my father..." he asked, almost whispering. "And mother?"
"Your father is the primary focus of his case, given the destructive nature of his activities. You wouldn't be asked to testify against your mother unless you think of something important."
"I can't..." he replied, his head lowering. "I know he's political. Always with the Union. But that's not illegal, right?"

"You can't" the officer repeated, nodding. "It's ok Gill. As I said, there's a progression to these things. I wouldn't worry about class. Your teachers here know not to expect you."
The officer stood, waving as the priest, party functionary, and guards left the room in quick order. The sound of the door closing echoed through the room.

"Hello?" Gill asked, nervously at first. His heart began to race as he realised just what was happening. "HELLO?" he yelled, pulling against his chain before collapsing face first into the table, sobbing softly. He had no idea when they'd be back...

Offline Prydania

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Re: Holy Order of the Knights of St. Tobias
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2016, 06:32:06 AM »
Gill groaned...they didn't seem to mind if he leaned back so that he was looking up at the ceiling. At least he could get away with closing his eyes for short periods of time. They would yell at him through the loudspeaker if he tried to rest his head on the desk in front of him.
The florescent lights continued to beat down on him. For how long now he wasn't sure. A day? Maybe two? He smacked his lips together. They were dry. He gasped. He needed water.

The door opened, the priest from earlier entering and returning to the corner he had previously occupied. The brown unformed SoComm Party official followed, as did the Order officer who sat down across from him. He smiled facing Gill. The black bags under the boy's eyes betrayed the stoic facade he attempted to construct.

"Are you ready to cooperate?" the Knight officer asked.
"I need to drink" Gill answered.
"You can have all the water you need. And sleep."

Gill whimpered softly before nodding ever so slightly. As much as he could manage given his aching muscles. "Anything...I'll tell you...anything."

The officer smiled. "Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic."