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A Pretender Rises (Eskaeban Civil War Thread)

#1
Michael Theikos looked out of the tall window of his palace, looking down onto the parade of citizens swarming into Andronikos Square in downtown Vetranopolis. The city had just received the word of the Basileus' assassination, and also of Luscaris' ascension to power. The city (and the south of Eskaeba, for that matter) had always despised Luscaris, his politics, and everything he stood for. 

Michael turned and faced the exquisite marble craftsmanship of Neptune in his foyer, as Theodosius' cousin, he now had a decision to make, but he couldn't bring himself to a unanimous decision.

He summoned his butler, a long and trustworthy friend of Michael's, and asked him.

"Well, I do believe you have a valid claim to the throne, my good S-"

"HEAR! HEAR! LUSCARIS SUSPENDS SENATE AND ASSUMES BASILEUS TITLE! HEAR! HEAR!"

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Proclus I Luscaris

The screams of the news boy sprinting down the street rung in the ears of Michael, he had to contest the throne to prevent the country from devolving into a brutal authoritarian regime. The now-titled Basileus Proclus I announced his coronation date to be two weeks away, in the centre of Palimpela.

Michael ordered his butler to fetch his guard, and all available volunteers to his cause. Around 30,000 active military personnel had sworn fealty to Proclus after his succession, while Michael only had his guard of 200, well trained albeit, but not enough.

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Michael VIII Theikos

He broadcast his message far and wide, targeting districts who voted for Labour or the Crown Party during the election. He styled himself as Michael VIII Theikos and officially laid claim to the Eskaeban throne, challenging Proclus' claim. Thus began the second Eskaeban Civil War.
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#2
Dawn broke upon the hill of Nissos, a small town some 20 miles north of Theodopolis, Michael VIII had rallied an army of around 2,000 (200 of his personal guard, the rest active military and volunteers). He rose his glass to the return of solidarity and stability in the Eskaeban realm, and enjoyed a fine toast with his most skilled generals. One of whom, Sir Aris Alanis, being the most successful Eskaeban general ever, winning over 30 battles.

Michael had paid a PMC for 15 MBTs and a few other fighting vehicles, but the tanks were no use for this operation. He gathered around his men and explained the operation:

"Today will require only the manned vehicles, it is to be a hit and run on one of the Proclusite strongholds in the south of Eskaeba. The mobile unit will enter Proclusite territory, fire a few shots at the castle guards and veer off to the left, knowing Luscaris' generals they will be itching to deal the first blow, so their guards are likely to pursue. Once this has been achieved, Alanis and I will lead the main army towards the stronghold, defeat the remaining defenders and lay siege to the castle."

"Carpe diem, my brethren."

The mobile units set off to the castle around a mile away, while Michael and Alanis began preparations for the assault. Upon reaching the castle, they fired upon a guard in the outpost with the mounted machineguns. They missed. But it was enough of a distraction to lure the guards of the castle (numbering some 700-800) to pursue the vehicles.

"Copy Michael, guards have pursued, I repeat, guards have pursued."

Michael holstered his radio in delight, and he began the charge towards the castle. Michael's air reinforcements had just arrived, and patrolled the skies for any enemy aircraft, the two bombers locked onto the castle.

Thus began the siege, the bombers unloaded their payloads onto the castle walls, while Michael and Alanis' army of around 2,000 flanked the castle guards of 800 as the vehicles veered back towards the army. It was a bloodbath, but the Michelite army one easily, without taking many casualties. They set up camp near dusk and awaited the finishing of the siege.

As the sun rose the next day, the castle walls had been reduced to pebbles by the constant bombardment by the aircraft, Luscaris' air units had been in confusion and had thus never taken off in fear of enemy interception. The army attacked and breached the castle walls, slaughtering everyone inside. They had claimed the last southern Eskaeban stronghold from the Proclusites, and now the south was firmly under Michelite control. Rebuilding efforts began immediately to make use of the fortress for themselves.



Battle of Nissos

Michelites

200 Royal Guard of Michael VIII
1,500 Military Servicemen
300 Armed volunteers or conscripts
8 Reconnaissance Vehicles
10 Mirage 2000 fighters
2 Avro Vulcan bombers

Casualties: 187 wounded, 33 killed
POWs: 0

Proclusites

760 Castle Guards

Casualties: 7 wounded, 605 dead
POWs: 0

Result: Michelite victory
  • Southern Eskaeba placed under Michelite control
  • Castle of Nissos captured     
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#3
Current map of held territories:

[Image: greek_map_civil_war.png]

Territory south of the line indicates territory held by Michael VIII and the Michelites. Territory north of the line indicates territory held by Proclus I and the Proclusites.
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#4
The Michelites made their land advance through central Eskaeba, they would meet their first real Proclusite army today near the town of Bylleia. 6,500 Michelite troops came up against 8,000 Proclusite troops, neither armies carried any sort of heavy reinforcement, like tanks or AFVs. The battle would be a test of fighting prowess alone.

Battle of Bylleia

Michelites

6,500 Military servicemen

Casualties: 1,879 dead, 612 wounded

Proclusites

8,000 Military servicemen

2,716 dead, 1,070 wounded

Result
  • Narrow Michelite victory
  • Bylleia put under Michelite control
  • Michelite advance through central Eskaeba continues

The two enemies also met on sea, when the First Fleet of the Proclusites ambushed a smaller Michelite fleet.

Battle of Cape Cornelia

Michelites

2 Destroyers
4 Frigates
1 Submarine

Casualties: HRHS Achaius (Frigate) and HRHS Olympia (Frigate) sunk, one Destroyer damaged

Proclusites

9 Destroyers
12 Frigates
10 Submarines
2 Littoral Combat Ships

Casualties: None.

Result
  • Overwhelming Proclusite victory
  • Blockade of Idessos, Theodopolis and Vetranopolis begins
(A better map showing territories and battles is attached.)


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#5
The First Minister of Ceredonia (Ceredonian: Чередонија, Kodë: Čeredonija, an autonomous Slavic-majority state under the rule of Eskaeba, has openly supported the aims of the CNS (Čeredonski Nacionalistička Stranka, Ceredonian Nationalist Party) in securing Ceredonian independence. The move was extremely controversial but supported throughout Ceredonia. The CNS was said to be responsible for a car bomb in Aseucia in 2004 that left 8 dead.

At 3:47PM, local time, First Minister Kosta Gavrilović declared the Republic of Ceredonia, to cheers in the temporary capital city of Golzemia. A prominant socialist, Gavrilović pledged to bring Ceredonia to greatness, the state assumed the borders shown below and adopted an emergency Grand Assembly of Ceredonians consisting of 40 ministers of the CNS to guide the nation through its independence. The Republic has only declared open war against Proclusite Eskaeba, as he is currently the legitimate Basileus of Eskaeba, but relations with Michelite Eskaeba are not being pursued and they are being viewed with open hostility, with the outbreak of war seeming imminent.


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#6
Castelencia, Matorre
IA Headquarters


The meeting and questions were just about endless. Every member had their Head of Government, Permanent Representative and their Foreign Minister present except for Ara’den who send deputies due to ongoing circumstances. Then again Ara’den was an entire different issue the IA was having to deal with, rumors of suspension were in the air though it was unconfirmed at this stage.

With Eskaeba devolving into a civil war the IA was presented with an opportunity. They could intervene in various ways to help tip the scales in the favor of the former Government Leader turned Basileus or they could let him flounder and likely see the nation fall into the sphere of the AU. The latter was not something they wanted, with some like Istria calling for full scale military intervention to ensure the outcome in the IA’s favor. Others like Mesren were backing a more subtle approach of special forces, economic assistance and arms deals. Prime Minister de Anterro of Matorre was hoping to walk a line that would avoid aggressive AU counter-interference but still provide enough support to see Proclus succeed against the pretender Michael.

After the questions were asked the Eskaeban delegation was shown out so that the IA Member States could debate the matter in private. They were behind closed doors for three and a half hours before a majority vote was achieved. For the purpose of public disclosure all votes would be assumed as unanimous with national positions being withheld so as to present a united front. The vote determined that it was in the IA’s interest to support Proclus though the means by which were a serious debate. In the end it was to be financial and arms that would be supplied rather than direct military assistance though the question of that would remain in place if the AU were to intervene.

The economic and military armaments were what was told to the Chancellor and the delegation. The IA itself left out the question of direct military involvement for the time being instead choosing a wait and see mentality with that.
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#7
Palace of Our Holy Saint
Palimpela, Eskaeba


"Your Majesty, a message from the Iron Axis. They have agreed to send us economic and military aid."

Proclus had been waiting for some sort of external economic boost. The country was struggling with most of the heavily developed and industrialised southern portion of the country falling into the hands of Michael VIII and his armies. With Ceredonia declaring independence a few days ago, the economic situation in the North was not looking optimistic. The economic aid from the IA was sure to help. 

His leadership had been strong, however, despite being at the old age of 81, what Proclus lacked in physicality, he made up mentally. 

While the North was receiving aid from the IA, the South and the Republic of Ceredonia both signed the Treaty of Gazia, which ensured that both countries would not enter armed conflict with each other, citing that the threat of Proclus was far greater than any petty tussles the two nations would have.
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#8
Grand Hall of Ceredonia
Golzemia, Ceredonia


"It's absolutely barbaric, how we'd just sign away on treaties proposed by those who have oppressed us for decades! And you claim to be a nationalist to Ceredonia! Pathetic!" shouted Grand Assembly Minister Obren Andrić. "I, on behalf of all Ceredonians, call upon you to revoke this unjust and treasonous treaty!"

President Gavrilović stood up from his seat in the centre of the hall, and gestured for the Minister to take his seat.

"This treaty is the only way to guarantee us Ceredonian independence that is unimpeded by the southern Eskaebans. Had it not been for the treaty, our noble soldiers would be spread thin, fighting a two-front war that we could not win. I dread to think of such an end to our grand Republic, and I pledge with all my heart and soul that I will never let that happen. Clause 3 of the treaty also ensures that, should the southern Eskaebans proclaim victory in the civil war, that they will recognise and assure Ceredonian independence." Applause followed his short speech.

The Minister rose again, in rebuttal.

"You cannot be serious in believing that these traitorous folk that surround us will uphold their end of the treaty. You and I know full well that as soon as their influence is secured across the whole of Eskaeba, we will be trampled by their newfound authority! We must strike when the time is right, and that strike starts with the revocation of the Treaty of Gazia."

His address ended with a similar level of applause. Andrić had fought in one of the various militias who fought for Ceredonian independence in the 1970s, and was adamant that Ceredonia should undertake a national policy of nationalism, protectionism and isolationism. As one of the 40 ministers that occupied the Grand Hall, his opinion definitely resonated with some of the more nationalist ministers.



Bombing raids by Michelite forces today commenced on military outposts and installations near the city of Aseucia, a squadron of 8 bombers flew over the city, causing a few civilian casualties. Many begin to speculate that the city will become the site of a major battle in the future. The front between the two combatants had been silent for almost a week, the longest such period of inactivity in the entire war.
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#9
Ceredonian-North Eskaeban Border

In the greatest offensive of the war so far, 17,000 Proclusite troops advanced into the dense Ceredonian forests. They had minimal air or armour support, due to the nature of the battlefield. These troops came up against some 4,000 unorganised Ceredonian militia, who did know the ins and outs of the forest - but were not as experienced in combat, the Proclusites scored a large victory as the Ceredonian forces retreated to their nearest fortress, trapping the forest with landmines other explosives as they retreated. This would not go without a cost though, as they would suffer almost 4,000 casualties.

Battle of Durmarë

Proclusites

17,000 military servicemen (led by Morsimus Lycus)

Casualties: 1,897 killed, 2,018 wounded

Ceredonia

4,000 militia (no leader)

Casualties: 1,928 killed, 612 wounded

Result
  • Proclusite victory
  • Reconquest of Ceredonia begins


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#10
Ceredonia's declaration of from Eskaeba occurred, for Sizhou, at a rather opportune time. With the entire National People's Assembly already gathered in Haijing for the April Congress, a decision was quickly able to be made.

Sizhou had long sought ideological friends in Artemia, and with Ceredonia separating with such a righteous cause in the eyes of many, NPA sentiment was unanimous. Sizhou would declare support for the the new State of Ceredonia. Ceredonia is in a difficult position, however; out-numbered, armed, and with their enemies receiving foreign aid, the NPA believes that they require material support. Sizhou, on the other hand, has a long legacy in both modern guerilla warfare, and combating it against native rebel forces who they are currently seeking peace with. Premier Lafang has formally and personally reached out to Minister Gavrilović, offering aid in various forms such as military arms which Sizhou mass produces, emergency humanitarian aid, and tactical advice from Sizhouan Revolution veterans should Ceredonia wish it.
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