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Fall of Folkvar

Fall of Folkvar
I shall tell you of the death of Folkvar for I was there at the end. His beginnings are widely known and so that story I will leave for others. And who am I? I have been Folkvar’s packmate for eight years and watched his saga grow such that many nights telling are needed to hear only the least that is known to most. My greatest honour and regret is that I lived where Folkvar died. His story is mine to tell but rather would I have died alongside the greatest hero of the Nation.

It was here in Griffon that heralds brought us news of the assault of Manticore on the far side of the Peripheries. We were told that warriors in vast numbers appeared from nowhere, forming up and attacking mere hours after a declaration of war by the treacherous Stellar Empire of humanity. I would rip the spine from their cowardly emperor hiding with his mewling pups in the dark reaches of their Empire if ever the opportunity arose.

Folkvar called the assembly to silence, the empathic wave of chastisement reaching to all levels of the chamber. Hundreds bowed their heads while those closest dropped to their haunches such was the power in that command.



He alone stood looking at the screens ignoring all and for some moments making his decision before asking the trusted packleaders their opinion. Such was his way. To decide on a course of action but before giving orders determine who was of a similar mind. Only then would he announce roles. For those that desired the same ends he allocated the tasks with the greatest glory but for others, minor roles best served by those that were cursed to survive battle to their old years or cubs untested in combat. He was wise in this for in this way only those that shared his vision carried with them his honour. Previous lords trusted to their fiercest or wiliest generals but in so doing always personal glory for the general crept in at the cost of honour. How can a lord trust a general that would put his own glory and life before that of his packlord?

To those that yelped at the might of the humans and called to abandon the world so far away and pull back to the far side of the stargate were given the tasks of trading and ferrying ammo to rendezvous points. Unknown to them remained the plans of Folkvar. To others, including his chosen Skold and Brenna were given the glory as to them fell the honour of holding back the tide until Folkvar arrived.

Many did not understand Folkvar’s true intent as at the time he merely called, ‘’Bring my armour and prepare my Direwolf. We leave by nightfall.”
Most thought that he would command the fleet in harrying the enemy forces while the defenders of Manticore were pulled out. None foresaw his true ambition except maybe Brenna.

The Direwolf on which we crossed the black gulf was an ancient craft, built in the twilight time of the Nation in its zenith. By what techniques our ancestors crafted its hulls and armour none now truly understand. We liken it to the feral pack beasts of our beloved forests. Smaller than their prey but tougher and more cunning, driving the prey, cornering it and bringing it down.

Rumours abound that one day we may be able to recreate the technology of our forebears and that we should hoard our fleet, hiding them miserly but that is not the way of the Dewiek Nation. Even if we never do, we would rather each ship ended gloriously returning to the black and dust of stars from which they were made.

Folkvar addressed us all once we reached Solo, ‘’Brothers,” for that is how he addressed us before battle. It is something he never lost from the time we wrestled with other packs in the drinking halls of our youth. He may have been so far above us in glory but in battle he seemed to elevate us to his level, “What are we?”
“We are dewiek,” we chorused.
“Who are we?”
“We are the Nation.”
“Who leads you?”
“Folkvar, Folkvar, Folkvar”
“Will we let the Stellar Empire take Solo from us?”
“No, No, No...”
We dewiek have never been ones for long speeches. We don’t waste time on unnecessary words when all can feel what the packlord feels.
“Then sharpen your claws and prepare for battle, we go to join our Brothers in Manticore. We take fight to them.”

Only then did we realise that Folkvar would be leading the reinforcements. Even now I doubt anybody questioned the action. No, there was a stampede to the bays and armaments lockers as we tried to gear up and be first to fall in behind Folkvar.



The ship descended at full velocity, punching through the clouds and dropping straight into the middle of the starport. Full retro-burn sent shivers through the ship and squealing metal drowned out the noise of a full assault. At this point, most of us were on our hind quarters, taking the shock of full deceleration through our suit servos. Not Folkvar though. He had already demagnetised his boots so that when the bay doors opened still at some distance from the ground he was able to leap, snarling, directly into the fray. By the time we caught up, his power claws and heavy blaster had already cleared a beachhead.

With cries of ‘for Folkvar, for the Nation’ battle with the Stellar Empire of humanity was joined and there surrounded by hundreds that had fallen to his talons the Legend that is Folkvar died.



 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Fox Effects Fantastic Turnaround

With his feet barely under the table, Xavier Fox has managed to dramatically turn things around at the GTT. With year-on-year sales figures up by 23%, manufacturing up 42% and ship production increased by 36%, the megacorporation is running at full steam with noticeable impact on local economies across the Stellar Empire. Political analysts also note that after a period of retrenchment following the disastrous leadership of Ike Krieger, investment in defence is at a five-year high. After such bullish growth, the trick will be for Mr. Fox to recruit C-level executives fast enough to match his ambitions. It is notable in temperament, the current crop of GTT politicals do not exhibit the monomaniacal xenophobia of their predecessors and have resisted repeated provocations by the DEN to enter a pointless spar before they have re-established superiority against the foolhardy aliens.


 
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Felini flounder in Winter against superior Dewiek forces

The FEL have managed to get their asses kicked by the DEN yet again after provoking the definitely “not cute or cuddly” Dewiek in the Crossley system. The furry punching bags had bought a civilian flagged outpost in the system, without permission or under certain conditions depending on who you ask, and then had the gall to reinforce this error by positioning warships in orbit. The famously patient warlord Halvor did not buy the story these heavy hull armed ships were merely transports and sent a pack to clear the orbit. The mouthy yet green Felini fleet commander Pr'prz fancied his chances against what looked like a light complement of DEN warships and ordered his own warships to engage in the neighbouring Winter system. The result was predictably a wipe out of the FEL forces consisting of forty-seven capital warships at no loss to the DEN. Once again, a series of calamitous decision making resulted in Felini lives being wasted by a leadership barely fit to clean a litter tray. The otherwise untested Halvor can now claim some victory ale although with his penchant for picking on creatures as weak as Gracians, it’s not exactly clear how much glory this new breed of Dewiek warrior can claim against the legends of old.


 
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Dastardly Dewiek Disregard Yank Neutrality

The governor of a MRC outpost in the Yank system reports that a 400-hull DEN warship called Grey Hunter Axiom entered orbit of Spritzer and opened fire with weapons of mass destruction (WoMD) against a platform, outpost, ground party and ship. Reports indicate significant casualties to Kastorian personnel both in space and on the ground. The KAS Junta is gruffly warning, with a slightly indifferent air, that everybody better stay out of the sector of the outpost for their own health. It is unclear what measures the KAS have or will take against the DEN on this matter. Such a breach of Yank neutrality has in the past caused the Dewiek to froth at the bit against the Empire for their disregard of ‘civilised’ norms. Their current silence on this matter speaks volumes.


 
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Yenni-bodies Pirates?

A PIR outpost was miraculously discovered by an IMP freighter, of all things, in the Yanni system with several Javelin class warships in orbit. After noticing the IMP freighter and seeing the public post by Jack Jones on subspace, the PIR decided to flee and leave a combined force of IMP and FET forces to capture the outpost. A brain damaged three-year old commentator who still believed in the goodness of people and Santa Claus was quick to commend the IMP on their good work, dismissing those who thought it no more than a convenient clearing up operation signifying* completion of operations in the nearby FET claimed systems of Graydown, Canth and Onissian by IMP puppet Edward Lowe. Meanwhile, the Wolf Lord Lyceum summed up the view of many when he screamed, “What is this amateur b*llshit?” into an uncaring universe.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Crowe Coups Self

The IMP Viceroy Tiberius Crowe has finally achieved something in his unremarkable tenure by relinquishing even the semblance of wearing big boy pants and instead, appointed Jack Jones as Patrol Commissioner, salty spokesperson and policy maker for the Empire. Crowe will now join CIA Director Laton in riding the special bus to work where the two of them will enjoy long pleasant afternoons sipping cups of tea. Actually, just tepid fruit-scented water as neither of them can be fully trusted with a hot kettle. Occasionally, they might be visited by equally dynamic war “veteran” Admiral Bridge to enjoy mimes presenting the latest comics from the Howl. Meanwhile, Jones is putting pressure on the FET and will soon no doubt find a pretext to deploy his vast mercenary forces against anyone else who is seen working too closely with his most hated of enemies, the HEX.


 
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Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

Around one hundred DEN warships have launched an attack on a small GTT destroyer squadron of forty ships in the Daggern system. Two GTT ships were destroyed and another fifteen suffered noticeable damage. CEO Xavier Fox issued a restrained but angry statement demanding the DEN explain themselves. Highlord Aadolf’s buffoon-like response amounted to “Dewiek be Dewiek, let’s drink and forget about it.” Cold comfort for the dead crew onboard the GTT ships and their families. Especially, as seems likely at this time, the Empire will settle for some bloody money instead of retribution.


 
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The Worm Turns

The FET have reduced relations with the IMP to neutral. Sneezy boss Cu Chulainn took the bold step of putting 1 and 1 together by linking recent mercenary attacks in their systems with the IMP scouts seen loitering for some time and refusing to move. Even bolder, hints that they believe “a certain Imperial citizen” is responsible for Edward Lowe’s entire underhand operation were voiced loudly enough that the handsome but hard of hearing Tiberius Crowe had to take note. He was seen grappling in trademark fashion with his skin tight jacket, pulling it down over his partially concealed middle-aged girth, as he sat to issue a terse public statement. Exactly who this citizen may be was left unnamed and no news channel subject to Imperial laws would dare unmask the villain. Luckily dear readers, we are not subject to phony Imperial laws. It’s Jack Jones everybody. Jack Jones, butcher of Naplians and fancier of silver long johns.


 
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”Necessity hath no law”

Lord Cromwell of the DOM slapped a fleet of privateers, on charges of "knavery", "bad manners" and "poor sportsmanship." Such offences carry the death sentence in the Dominion, a nebulous territory neither part of the Empire nor apart from it. At least thirteen Armadillo class ships, typically sold by the DOM, were destroyed at a location Cromwell was unwilling to disclose publicly. Bloodthirsty Dewiek as well as "prince of peace" Yahn Wodenzoon were quick to congratulate the DOM for their merciless carnage. It seems the consensus in the galaxy’s ruling class is that not presenting valid identification is a crime worthy of the murder of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unfortunate crewmen. This is all just another indicator that the political elite are far removed from the lives of ordinary people who are seen as little more than meat inventory. It is telling so-called “man of the people and the downtrodden” Wodenzoon so readily aligns himself with this grisly concord. Meanwhile, the archaic elocutionist Cromwell further establishes the recent trend of mild exertions of power by the cold-blooded DOM.


 
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Return of the Fox

The galaxy is still digesting news of the return of Xavier Fox to the boardroom of the GTT. The ailing corporation's share price began a sharp rally after a six month downward spiral under Ike Krieger, credited with being the worst CEO in the megacorporation's history. The only surviving board member from Fox's initial tenure as CEO, and perhaps across the entire GTT board, is Antt Tilton the Research Director. The reclusive Tilton is the brains behind the ascension of GTT technology, particularly in the field of antimatter weapons and super-heavy dreadnought size ships, Tilton offers a small measure of continuity during this tumultuous time. Mr. Fox has therefore resorted to a broad appeal for new blood to join the ailing firm. So far, the result has been a number of two-dimensional "Yes" persons being promoted to the C-suite. Still, key stakeholders were upbeat with one commenting, "Fox is the man to turn this bloody disaster around. He knows how to put a great team together and where to bury the bodies of the non-performers."


 

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I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic