A Sky Full of Stars
In Uralica City, a parade of Crimson soldiers, dressed in fine linen, wearing shako caps, holding Karabiner style rifles fitted with Bayonets, marched down the main corridor of the city. A long line of thousands of well trained, well equipped, and fully disciplined soldiers looked on to the balcony of the White Palace where Astrid Bush and Peter Voronkova stood. It was a celebration for Astrid and Peter. On this day, they held a parade in honor of their historic union between one another. Astrid was formally recognized as Astrid Voronkova. Peter currently had no heirs... Peter didn’t know however that Astrid’s unborn child was the bastard offspring of Elijah Miller. Astrid had strongly protected her pregnancy from anyone who served Peter that might try to kill the unborn child. While one might ask, why marry a man who’s sole intent is to precur an heir, and destroy the Miller bloodline?
Astrid’s reasoning was not a personal one.. But a Political one. She knew that she could never redeem herself after what she had done to Ruth’s family including her now dead husband. Also Elijah and Olivia began to draw closer to each other due to their mutually shared struggle against Astrid and Peter. Thus this marriage between Astrid and Peter would be considered a Marriage of Convenience. Before this parade and symbolic union. Peter was Emperor of the Northern Crimson Empire, and Melissa Murkowski was his wife. Astrid was the Empress of the Southern Crimson Empire and Adam Cross was her husband. With Adam dead, and Melissa dead as well. A union of convenience united the two empires to become one giant powerhouse. The Empire had command of nearly twenty thousand highly trained soldiers. There was no force on this planet that could match their might in a pitched battle. Astrid waved at the soldiers as they marched by. They also paraded along dozens of machines of war along with them. Field Cannons, congreve rockets, gatling guns, and mortar bombards. The Obsidian guard was also present which had groups armed with Viper guns.The world is in Chaos.. Revolution is spreading and those with the courage to stand up to the Fury and vengeance of the Crimson Empire are put to the highest test. Like a giant raging leader at the edge of a cliff and the only thing keeping them from falling off the cliff is the weight of the people standing on the opposite end of the plank. In the Independent Republic of Tuscany, an Italian survivor colony, The people there began their quest to remove the Crimson Empire from their home. In the city of Pavio Lucca, The Crimson Guard Garrison stood watch over the city and it’s people in a tower built into the mountain side overlooking the city... The Guard Garrison was led by Captain Nathaniel Liotto, an Italian who believed in the New Order.
However, late into the moons lit night, when they were so bright they casted a shadow even in the dark. But these shadows were something to be feared... They were something to be marveled. A small group of men and women were cloaked in sackcloth, and quietly made their way to the Crimson tower. Rock climbing in complete silence. It was truly a magnificent sight. In unison, they were able to keep as quiet as possible without raising alarm. climbing up the tower like a spider climbing silently towards its prey.. Like a muted dance of shadows in the pale moonlight. Their agility was unmatched by anyone in the whole of Erdos.. Their ancestors from the Alps would have been proud of their measure of agility and cunning.. They climbed up to the garrison and surprised the guards. One by One, The cloaked assassins quietly killed the garrison soldiers with stealthy but lethal precision..
Each assassin carried a small thrusting weapon called a Dirk. Each Dirk was dipped in solution made from water and the Eldalini Flower. The flower, which was native to the Tuscany region. Was so toxic to the human body that it would cause similar poison effects to Puffer Fish. As more guards from the tower began to investigate the muffled noises. One guard tried to pull out his revolver and one member of the cloaked assassins named Cullen Garibaldi managed to wrestle it away and stab the guard in the back with the tainted dirk. The guard fell to the ground staring at the night sky and was powerless to move, as the poison worked its way through his veins, darkening them like oil snaking its way through water. With all of the garrison dead, the cloaked group lit a torch and waved it in the distance, which signaled the other garrisons that the Crimson Guards were dead and the town was free. All except one.... Liotto escaped and it was assumed that he would call for crimson reinforcements to retake the town.
As the cloaked figures finished their signal to the Italian Resistance, One of them pulled their cloak and revealed themselves as Leah Caruso. The others soon followed in revealing themselves. She and her 35 year old brother Fernando Jr. along with 17 year old Cullen Garibaldi, 19 year old Sabrina Bertolli, 20 year old Loren Prado and 30 year old Bruno Vittorio called themselves Del Furia Cavalieri, or Furia Cavalieri, which loosely means Knights of Fury. Leah formed the group to help train them in the art of sabotage, subterfuge and Stealth. Things she learned from Elijah, which he got from living a harsh and hardy life on the Julian Isles. Fernando looked on and saw in the distance that Liotto had escaped and remarked to Leah, “Well, there goes the element of surprise.” Leah assured, “We knew there was a good possibility that we wouldn’t be able to get all of them..” Loren remarked, “He is a slick son of a bitch.” Bruno concurred, “Yes sir.” Cullen asked Leah, “Is that all of the small garrisons in this area?” Leah told him, “It is. I’m sure Astrid would send soldiers in reprisal for these attacks though.”
Cullen boasted, “We will be ready for them!” Leah rebuked the young man, “No... We won’t be.. We can’t defeat a pitched Opponent by our current tactics. We are trained in Guerrilla Tactics, get in, hit hard and get out before anyone really pursues us. Right now we simply do not have enough people willing to volunteer to fight a pitched battle.” Cullen thought, “Perhaps I would love an adventure.” Leah remarked, “An adventure?? What is this a tour?” She looks at her brother and asks, “Where did you dig him up?” Fernando remarked, “He’s my neighbors son... Great at farming, terrible at manners.” Cullen considered on pleading his case but at the last minute held his tongue. Fernando however, asked, “Have you heard anything from Kevin?” Leah sighed, “No... Not Yet... They should be in Axum right now.. I just hope he is ok..”
Meanwhile in Axum, Pratham crushed a rebellion and nearly 2 thousand people were executed for trying to rise up against the Empire. The City itself was quiet.. The War as well as the rebellion had sapped the population.. What was once a proud city of nearly 50 thousand people, was now close to 28 thousand. Now under the watchful eye of Pratham Gurung and Peter Voronkova’s most trusted Marshall Noah Jurask, they oversaw the training of the Obsidian Guard, training them in the Hindu Martial Art of Kalaripayattu, While Noah trained them to be expert marksmen worthy of Peter Voronkova’s blessing. Each Obsidian Guard recruit that aced their marksmen training were issued replica M44 Mosins with a PU scope. Each Recruit that mastered their Kalaripayattu training were given their Sabers. Recruitment was long and grueling, as most recruits whether men or women, were either as young as 15 or as old as 60. The huge age range was the result of nearly 8 years of constant warfare. Marshall Cramer overseen the recruitment for Pratham.. Pratham was not too impressed however at Cramers enthusiasm as he noticed Cramer slowly became disillusioned over the war.. He remembered what his father told him, that while every advancement made in humanity was the result of war... Advancements in Technology and science are for nothing if humanity becomes extinct from people fighting each other until there are none left to resolve the war and enjoy the fruits of those advancements..
Not far from the Axum docks, Derrick Metternich, along with Kevin Piper and the help of Sheila Brinkerton and her friend Gabon Nvinga, brother of the late Minkah Nvinga, infiltrate the Crimson imperial Air Corps hangers which housed a number of Zeppelins. There were a total of 25 zeppelins Only 4 were finished. The rest were in various stages of construction. Derrick asked Kevin, “We should go for this one..” Kevin told him, “Eh... I don’t like that one...” Sheila remarked, “There is only 4 to choose from so... We don’t got all day..” Gabon remarked, “This one over here..” He points to the last one near the end of the hanger bay which was named The Svarog. Derrick remarked, “The Svarog? That is not a good name for a Zeppelin.” Kevin remarked, “We can always... Well... You know... Change it?” Sheila remarked, “I thought about a name..” Kevin asked, “What is that?” Sheila remarked, “The Rostam?” Kevin asked, “Why that name?”
Sheila thought, “The name Rostam is a folk legend among my people. It’s about a father who laid in bed with a woman from Persia and had a son out of wedlock. The Father Rostam sent his son away wearing a piece of jewelry, to avoid punishment to a place called Turan, When Turan and Persia went to war Rostam’s son fought on the side of Turan and Rostam fight on the side of Persia. When the two fought against one another not knowing who they were to each other, they were both evenly matched. When darkness came, Rostam in order to end the match, killed his opponent by stabbing him, and the jewelry worn by his opponent matched the son. That is when he realized he killed his own son.” Kevin reiterated, “That’s a sad story... But... Why Rostam though?” Sheila sighed in frustration thought of an explanation that he would understand. But the longer they debated over a name and which Zeppelin to steal, the greater their chance of getting caught....