[RP Episode][CANON] Land of the King


Marcellus found neat stacks of gold bars and specie, wrapped in careful packaging and piles of duffel bags, stacked in cubes along a low room running several dozen feet. Lights shining a hazy blue glimmered hazily along the rows and rows of wealth. A faint dim glow emanated from stacks where unwrapped gold bullion was placed as well.

Marcellus had only seen such wealth during the sack of a city, when all the valuables had been emptied from the inferno that had once been home to thousands, and distributed among the troops. The terrible amount of power that the banks held had never occurred to him, but now he finally began to understand the means by which the great Valkorian merchant families had held such sway.

Holstering his sidearm, the astonished centurion gradually regained his composure, and began heaving the bags into the hallways, creating a large pile by the time the Kavehans and new arrivals exited the elevator.

Marcellus placed his hand on his holster.

“I see you found some more friends Jahangir. No matter. There is a LOT of gold in there. We can’t take all of it, just as much gold as we can. I have a few more bricks of explosive, we can destroy the rest.”


Jahangir shrugged. “Maybe our friends can help. They came here to take the gold, after all. While the KRA will reserve a portion for its own expenses, and to pay you the due we’ve promised, Marcellus, I have no reservations against releasing the lion’s share to their care.” He turned to the Keelish robber. “I propose splitting it 50/50. The wealth here should go a long way in repaying the damage Gilgamesh did with his attack. Would that be acceptable?”



'‘It would. And as it is you’ve already gotten in here by yourselves, we will be getting the gold out of here.’'
And at that, the man shifted his pose abruptly, and yanked upwards facing the many pallets of stacked gold, levitating a few of them but a few inches above the ground. Meanwhile, the two dwarves began filling each their bags with as much as they could carry.


“…I can see your magic is powerful.” Jahangir replied. “Though the gold isn’t the only thing at stake. Kleriel has a stake’s in the Shah’s fall. So do we. I am thinking it might be possible for the KRA and the Kleriel Imperium to come to a… cooperative agreement, by which you supply us with arms and equipment, which we quite frankly lack at this time, and in return we will found a government more friendly, say, to Keelish interests.”


The man simply nodded while he struggled to concentrate and slowly hovered the gold towards the exit.


Some minutes later, the revolutionaries had packed their share of the money in the back of their truck. With little time to lose, and the first police sirens wailing in the distance, Jahangir shoved a card towards the Keelish robber. “If your government desires to be in touch, contact us in this way. Go with the Light.”

And with a screech of tires the truck was gone.


As the truck banged down the streets, moving away from the scene of the crime, dust and sand spitting behind the wheels, Marcellus looked at Jahangir. The centurion was pleased. Robbing the bank had been far easier than he had expected.

“So now what?” he asked. “You can now fund your militia. Whose is next on the destabilization ladder?”


Jahangir laughed heartily at the question. “Due to us ‘buying’ those new friends, the haul is less than we’d hoped. Before we’ve enough money for a decent force, we’ll need to repeat this a few times. I also need to get in touch with them again - their aid would be invaluable.”

He leaned forward, eyes shrewd. “For now, we’ll look at raiding at least two more banks before we can move on. By then, the Anâhita movement should also be picking up steam, and we can work in tandem. Destabilize the government, and at the same time provide a credible alternative. But to answer your question, the next step is infrastructure. We’re going to sabotage the city, its power, its water, its trade. The more we hit, the weaker the whole rotten edifice becomes.”


”In order to hit two more banks, I need more explosives. And they will be more ready for us, a bank robbery always sends the other bankers into cahoots. More fighting next time.” Marcellus warned. ”I have some ideas for that. For now, let’s get this bullion out of sight and somewhere safe.” He leaned back against the side of the truck, as they slowly merged into some traffic and vanished into the depths of the city.


October 29, 119 After Exodus

Almost one month and a half later, things were looking up. Several successful heists and an ambush of a money resupply vehicle later, Jahangir was confident the cell now held ample funds for future operations. Life in the city was still relaxed, despite the rumours from abroad about revolution and discord in the Ebon jungles.

The tentative contact they’d made with the Keelish operatives had blossomed into full-blown cooperation, with the Imperials providing several freights of iron ore - ostensibly for the family’s mining operation, but secretly containing weapons and explosives for the resistance fighters. In exchange, the Keelish were promised extensive reparations and exclusive trade privileges once the new government took power. It was a fruitful deal. Common enemies did, indeed, make friends.

The equipment had been stored in hidden places all over the city. Besides a large volume of high yield explosives, the Keelish had delivered numerous weapon systems, including rifles, both with and without scopes, but also reflex bows, equipped with a torsion system that gave them a punch far above their draw weight. Upon seeing those, Jahangir couldn’t help but remark how they would’ve been familiar to his grandfather, an Aswaran soldier of Sargon’s time, while Marcellus expressed his admiration at the weapons, also used by Caesar’s elite guards. Also included were strange contraptions the Keelish contacts called ‘crossbows’, in effect a bow-rifle hybrid capable of firing armour-piercing shotsi in rapid succession, entirely quiet. They were, in short, perfect ambush weapons.

With the resistance thus equipped, Jahangir gathered his crew again around the operations table. The screen flashed to life, showing a different segment of the city. “Alright. It’s time to move onto the second phase of the plan. In the next two weeks, we will hit and disrupt the Shah’s infrastructure. Hopefully, the resulting chaos will further weaken his hold on power.”

He keyed a button, and the screen zoomed in further on a large complex near the outer walls. Grinning savagely, he spoke. “This is the city’s main power plant.”


”You take that out, every soldier in the city is going to come swarming there. That’s your city’s lifeblood, with so many electronical devices and wires running through the streets, loss of power will cripple everyone, including us.” Marcellus pointed out.


Jahangir shrugged. “Backup power generators will kick in to keep the vital services, hospitals and the like, online. The point is to send a message. We will show that the Shah is not infallible and his power not absolute, in a way that is very hard to ignore or deny. His soldiers can’t harm us if they don’t know where to look, and the deployment of Mainyu-tainted warriors in an area full of civilians is tricky anyways. If he deploys his army now, he’ll have a massacre on his hands. I’m counting on his youth and hesitance to keep from such measures.”

He keyed a button on his map, which zoomed in. “Alright, so this is the main power plant. It has three main buildings. These two are facilities for water electrolysis.” He looked at Marcellus. “Basically, they use crystal-powered magic to electrically charge the water, which separates the hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is fed back into the air, but the hydrogen is led through a number of filters meant for capturing as large a proportion as possible into fuel cells, here.” He pointed to the largest building. “This is the main generator building. Here, the hydrogen cells are burned to drive turbine generators that produce the electricity, all for very little pollution and zero emissions.”

“Now, in military grade power plants, like what’s on the ships and such, the pure hydrogen would be mixed in with argon to keep their volatility down. Makes sure the whole thing doesn’t simply explode when there’s fire where it shouldn’t. This, however, is not a military plant. In the interest of cost-effectiveness, the operators have enschewed the argon enrichment, to keep them from having to bother with expensive filtering. This means we can simply bomb the main fuel lines running the hydrogen to the generator plant, here.” He pointed to a series of large pipes crossing the premises. “Just make sure you’re clear of the blast radius. Hydrogen goes up hard”, as they found out when they tried to float airships with it in Ardashir’s time."


I’ve heard stories about the battle when Valkorian and Kavehan ships fought side by side, I can imagine. Never fear, we’ll be clear.” Marcellus reassured him. ”It just remains to get the job done. Then the hard part begins. There will be a battle for the palace, and your men are on the whole not trained to work as a unit. The Royal troops have the discipline, while if we start handing rifles to angry civilians, we’re going to get massacred. Civilian soldiers break, and route at the drop of a hat. There is something we can try though…have you ever heard of a double envelopment?”


Jahangir laughed. “Look who’s getting enthusiastic! Let’s not jump the gun, Marcellus. It’ll be a good while yet before we’re ready to face the Tyrant’s forces in open battle. By hitting this plant, however, we’re sending a message: that the Shah is not invincible, that his forces are not infallible, and that there is resistance, no matter how small, to his tyranny.”

“So, to send this message, we’re going to do the following. Our Keelish friends have supplied us with large amounts of high-grade explosives, so our main focus will be on bombing the fuel lines. We expect resistance will be light - no more than a couple of watchment with batons. Rahim, neutralizing them will be up to you. Any who lifts arms against us is an enemy and will die for it, but try to not harm any of the workers. They’re just doing their jobs.”

Then Jahangir looked to Marcellus. 'You will be overseeing the explosive part. Bahram and Bahraz will work with you on this, also because carrying all the stuff from the truck is a chore. I’ve secured a couple of light exoskeletons to help with the lifting, so it should be fairly quick. Rox will be on oversight, as usual."

He looked around the troop. “Any questions?”


With his instructions already given, Marcellus had no questions. He pulled out a whetstone, and his dagger, and began sharpening the blade, a gentle scrape emanating from the friction. As Jahangir talked, he finished, and lovingly began spinning the blade around, unconsciously while the Kavehan talked. As the rebel leader finished, he replaced the dagger in his belt, the weapon sliding into its sheath with a short hiss.

A thought occurred to him.

”How big are these ‘exoskeletons’?”


At this, Jahangir blinked. Then he proceeded to repeatedly apply his forehead to the nearest wall with some force. The rest of the crew were shaking their heads long-sufferingly at their leader’s antics, until the dull thumps ended.

Embarrassed, Jahangir grimaced. His forehead had turned a dull red. 'Yeah, I’d not thought of that. I guess Bahram and Bahraz will do the lifting. It’ll take a bit longer, but shouldn’t be a problem."


He grinned.

”No matter. I’ll give out useful advice for our muscle.” Marcellus looked pointedly at the two soldiers. ”I’d like to see that though. A Valkorian sized exoskeleton…” His tone had something like awe in it.