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The Despot (Governor): The Despotic Dictatorship of Despoticania

WA Delegate: The Empire of Westbeech (elected )

Founder: The Despotic Dictatorship of Despoticania

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Maps Board Activity History Admin Rank

Largest Black Market: 114th Most Valuable International Artwork: 123rd Most Corrupt Governments: 219th+43
Most World Assembly Endorsements: 274th Most Advanced Defense Forces: 289th Highest Wealthy Incomes: 298th Highest Economic Output: 368th Highest Average Incomes: 394th Largest Manufacturing Sector: 398th Lowest Crime Rates: 424th Most Nations: 434th Largest Arms Manufacturing Sector: 435th Largest Mining Sector: 448th Most Advanced Law Enforcement: 475th Most Devout: 544th Most Influential: 565th Most Patriotic: 574th Largest Information Technology Sector: 576th Largest Furniture Restoration Industry: 578th Largest Governments: 673rd Highest Poor Incomes: 737th Largest Agricultural Sector: 775th Largest Insurance Industry: 794th Fattest Citizens: 873rd Largest Retail Industry: 885th Largest Timber Woodchipping Industry: 891st Most Scientifically Advanced: 891st Most Advanced Public Transport: 959th Most Subsidized Industry: 964th Smartest Citizens: 997th Most Advanced Public Education: 1,019th Most Avoided: 1,112th Most Extensive Public Healthcare: 1,165th Highest Disposable Incomes: 1,441st Healthiest Citizens: 1,714th Greatest Rich-Poor Divides: 1,722nd Most Armed: 1,933rd Most Authoritarian: 1,973rd Most Beautiful Environments: 1,988th Largest Basket Weaving Sector: 2,001st Most Eco-Friendly Governments: 2,054th Most Developed: 2,270th Largest Automobile Manufacturing Sector: 2,283rd Largest Cheese Export Sector: 2,403rd Largest Soda Pop Sector: 2,520th Rudest Citizens: 2,549th
World Factbook Entry

Welcome to The Alliance of Dictators, the NationStates nexus of totalitarian, autocratic and authoritarian nations. We are an active player community dedicated to regional-style roleplay and welcoming toward newcomers. Feel free to join our Discord server and contact our regional Cartographer for a place on the map. Unironic Fascists are NOT welcome.

ALL WA NATIONS MUST ENDORSE Westbeech

The endorsement cap for non-Delegate WA nations is 5.

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  1. 1

    Embassy Policy for the Alliance of Dictators

    MetaReference by Khovezzem . 29 reads.

  2. 3

    Rules & Guidelines for the Alliance of Dictators

    MetaReference by Khovezzem . 138 reads.

Embassies: Union of Nationalists, United Empire of Islam, The Illuminati, ITALIA, Hollow Point, Australialia, The Bar on the corner of every region, Yuno, Regionless, Barbaria, Lezra, Turkic Union, The Monarchy alliance, First World Order, Pax Britannia, Official European Union, and 30 others.The Glorious Evolution, The Finntopian Region of DOOM, The Conservative Democracies, GOOD BOIs, Gypsy Lands, Orifnan International, MineKhan Origin Nations, The Empires And Republics Of Power, One Collective Brain Cell, The Embassy 1, Soviet Union Empire, The Prosperous Lands of Ingsoc, Hearth of Hestia, The Embassy 3, Fredonia, Guinea Kiribati, Imperial Sanctuary, Hurricane 12, Kommuland, The Federation of Fanciful Philosophies, Yajib, Hyperborea, Mitteleuropa, Terra Aequoria, Noreg, Hellhole Reborn, Nationalist Union of Germanic Nations, Small Tropical Island, Tomb World, and Lardyland.

Tags: Anti-Fascist, Fantasy Tech, Featured, Future Tech, Independent, LGBT, Large, Map, Modern Tech, Multi-Species, National Sovereigntist, Past Tech, and 4 others.Post-Modern Tech, Role Player, Social, and Surreal.

Regional Power: High

The Alliance of Dictators contains 57 nations, the 434th most in the world.

Today's World Census Report

The Best Weather in The Alliance of Dictators

The following nations were determined to have the best all-round weather.

As a region, The Alliance of Dictators is ranked 28,254th in the world for Best Weather.

NationWA CategoryMotto
1.The Dictatorship of Independent Federation of CroatiaPsychotic Dictatorship“For Homeland, Ready !!!”
2.The Grand Hive of The New Changeling EmpireMother Knows Best State“The Hive Is Everything”
3.The Holy Empire of Sultan MorganCorrupt Dictatorship“The capitalists will sell us the rope used to hang them”
4.The Funhouse of Terror of TomieFather Knows Best State“Servility always curdles into rage in the end”
5.The Diarchal Expedition Enclave of Sanctuary PointCorrupt Dictatorship“We Will Endure”
6.The Kingdom of KarterstanFather Knows Best State“Freedom by His pleasure, equality by His grace”
7.The People's Republic of AkolosCorrupt Dictatorship“Peace. Justice. Akolos.”
8.The United Kingdom of The Greater Lands of AlbionFather Knows Best State“True liberty, direct democracy, unbreakable solidarity!”
9.The Kingdom of FreeZVeganPsychotic Dictatorship“At least we got Freezies”
10.The Holy Empire of VasilinopleIron Fist Consumerists“Gia ton Christó kai ton Aftokrátora”
123456»

Regional Happenings

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The Alliance of Dictators Regional Message Board

Sanctuary Point wrote:Spitfire charged at the Devastotron, dodging left of the beam as it howled past her. The horrid light sheared off the barrels of her autocannons and melted the plates of her right side, fusing them into one slab which hampered movement that way. Even with her diminished mobility and partial disarmament, she still managed to get within melee range of the Flim Flam Brothers and swung her two-tonne hooves at the spider mech. Green sparks flew off everywhere as another damned soul shrieked their last, repairing whatever damage Spitfire had done though the Devastotron still rocked from the impact. The Trojan reared back and slammed her hoof into the shield again and again and again, a soul-quivering scream accompanying each hit.

On the fifth hit, Spitfire heard no such wail even as the shield restored itself once more nor did she see the tortured faces of the sacrificed in the flash of sickly green rising up before becoming invisible, rather it was an electric yellow honeycomb that covered the Devastotron this time. The three spectres that had been flung at her were compelled by whatever dark magics that had tore them from their bodies to distance themselves from the Trojan before turning around and diving down at Spitfire, their kamikaze manoeuvre being interrupted by a hail of laser as the first Windigo gunship roared overhead.
“Support the Trojan, show the heathens The Sisters’ fury!” The squad leader commanded as the twelve Elysians leapt from the open hold and immediately began to pepper the Devastotron. A quick gesture sent four of the newcomers to enter the burning temple and secure it.

-

Inside the temple, Sonorous attempted to dodge the thrown knifes though whether they were flung harder than the priest expected or he was hindered by one of the numerous wounds he’d gained up to this point, he failed at that. A wetness traveled down his neck as one of the blades sliced open his carotid artery, giving him only minutes left, less so as the fighting had his heart rate up high. Despite the fatal cut, the priest still made a move on the hound, dashing at it as his blood coloured his cassock. “Die in the name of the Sisters!” He bellowed at his killer as he activated the field one last time, swinging the maul at the Diamond Dog as it tried to flee, the previous smug look on its muzzle replaced by one of alarm. Sonorous stumbled as he ran, his blood loss having passed the point of no return. Still he finished the swing, not knowing if he had hit or not as he tumbled to the ground. The last thing his brain registered was the sound of wings beating and lasguns firing.

Even through the Devastotron's shields, Spitfire's strikes made the massive spider walker quake. The Flim Flam Brothers' bubble canopy itself was rocked from side to side so hard that its occupants would have been thrown from their seats had Flam not activated an internal telekinesis field to hold him and his brother in place.

"Status?" Flim panted as the newly arrived enemy reinforcements began to pepper the Devastotron's shield with their lasguns. He wasn't sure if he actually wanted to hear the answer to his query.

The Devastotron was primarily intended as a long distance fighter. Getting into a melee scuffle with a giant enemy mech was not something it was designed for. Flim tried to maneuver the Devastotron into a position where it could use its heavy machine guns to return fire against the enemy troops without exposing any of its more vulnerable parts to the Trojan.

"The shield is down to 22%" Flam replied. His voice was tense. "The soul battery is empty. 12 incendiary missiles remain in the rack. The main cannon is still operational and currently recharging, ready to fire again in 8 seconds. One of the three secondary beam cannons is not responding, the other two remain fully operational. Both flame throwers remain operational and their fuel reserves are full."

At least they still had a plenty of firepower available, although the depletion of the soul battery seriously limited the Devastotron's range. Had it been just them and Spitfire, Flim and Flam might have had the confidence to try and fight her. But the arrival of enemy reinforcements meant that the scales were now hopelessly tipped against them. And more enemies were likely on their way to join the battle.

"Well, the temple is not quite reduced to rubble," Flam commented, voicing what both of them were thinking right now. "But it's on fire. And most if not all of its priests are probably dead..."

There was a moment of silence between the two brothers.

"...That's good enough for me," Flim decided. "I'm sure the Arch-Hierophant will agree."

The Devastotron let out a short, repeating wail: the retreat signal. It took a swipe at Spitfire with one of its front legs, forcing her to dodge to the side. Before she could resume her attack against the magitechnological spider walker, it leapt back several dozen feet, turned around and began to hastily retreat from the hill. At the base of the hill, the remaining cultist mages and their Diamond Dog bodyguards began to retreat as well, the mages launching one final barrage of fireballs to cover their retreat. As it ran away, the Devastotron tried to keep its main cannon fixed on Spitfire while using its secondary cannons and its remaining missiles to keep both the enemy soldiers and the Windigo gunships at bay.

*

Inside the temple, the sole surviving Diamond Dog managed to avoid Sonorous' final maul strike by the skin of its teeth, although the shockwave alone was strong enough to send it flying several feet in the air. It landed on its side just as Sonorous himself collapsed, his blood pooling underneath his prone form. The Dog slowly got back on its feet, a triumphant smile spreading on its muzzle.

"I wins! Yessss! I wins!" it rejoiced, striking the floor with its large front paws in triumph. "Sssstupid stupid plant eater Pony no match for a Diamond Dog! Yeeeessssss!"

So great was its happiness that it never even noticed the Elysian Pegasi who entered the temple and promptly cut down the Diamond Dog with a couple of well aimed lasgun shots.

Sanctuary Point wrote:Soothing Brook seemed both pleased and perplexed with her findings. While it was good to confirm that the Witch Queen had not defiled the sacred genome of the God Empress and made the equines here all mutants with only the outward appearance of unicorns, pegasi and earth, it also gave no explanation for Firecracker’s immunity. Though she had previously commended the Equestrian’s will, that was entirely false platitudes to get him moving. Were it true that a great will protect one from whatever had come over the 88th then none of the commissars or bailiffs would have succumbed, not just Steel Heart who had begun to question why exactly was he spared alongside Firecracker. “Well while I have no new answers from all this, I believe we should move on. Commissar, if you could.”

The commissar’s examination took far less time than Firecracker’s, much of his information being already on file and there had been no new injuries yet. Soothing Brook lead the two unicorns out of the examination room over to a larger communal space which was dominated by a great silver statue of Luna in her aspect of the Healing Light, incense surrounding the base as supplicants knelt down in prayer to the shrine. Firecracker could see a variety of injuries on the equines before the statue, cuts and frostbite, bandages wrapped around more serious wounds and one who clearly had his hoof severed from his leg yet they were gathered here instead of in bed being attended to by doctors and the like. He watched as two sisters collected a pail of water from the pan in front of the statue, a floating pile of snow indicating where the water had come from. The sisters paced through the rows of praying bodies, stopping at each one to pour a cup’s worth of water over their wounds which began to heal before Firecracker’s very eyes. Even the severed hoof was healed though the stallion had to drop it into the pail before plunging his leg in after it.

Firecracker's jaw dropped. For a moment he completely forgot his status as a battle slave.

"W-what kind of magic is this?" he asked with a mixture of awe and surprise. "Those Ponies... You're healing their injuries with... melted snow? I... I thought only the greatest Unicorn healers could accomplish something like that."

His gaze darted from the injured soldiers to the Sisters to the statue. Something resembling dawning realization appeared in his eyes.

"It's that statue, isn't it? I must bear some kind of powerful enchantment, am I correct?"

Twilight Sparkle wrote:Even through the Devastotron's shields, Spitfire's strikes made the massive spider walker quake. The Flim Flam Brothers' bubble canopy itself was rocked from side to side so hard that its occupants would have been thrown from their seats had Flam not activated an internal telekinesis field to hold him and his brother in place.

"Status?" Flim panted as the newly arrived enemy reinforcements began to pepper the Devastotron's shield with their lasguns. He wasn't sure if he actually wanted to hear the answer to his query.

The Devastotron was primarily intended as a long distance fighter. Getting into a melee scuffle with a giant enemy mech was not something it was designed for. Flim tried to maneuver the Devastotron into a position where it could use its heavy machine guns to return fire against the enemy troops without exposing any of its more vulnerable parts to the Trojan.

"The shield is down to 22%" Flam replied. His voice was tense. "The soul battery is empty. 12 incendiary missiles remain in the rack. The main cannon is still operational and currently recharging, ready to fire again in 8 seconds. One of the three secondary beam cannons is not responding, the other two remain fully operational. Both flame throwers remain operational and their fuel reserves are full."

At least they still had a plenty of firepower available, although the depletion of the soul battery seriously limited the Devastotron's range. Had it been just them and Spitfire, Flim and Flam might have had the confidence to try and fight her. But the arrival of enemy reinforcements meant that the scales were now hopelessly tipped against them. And more enemies were likely on their way to join the battle.

"Well, the temple is not quite reduced to rubble," Flam commented, voicing what both of them were thinking right now. "But it's on fire. And most if not all of its priests are probably dead..."

There was a moment of silence between the two brothers.

"...That's good enough for me," Flim decided. "I'm sure the Arch-Hierophant will agree."

The Devastotron let out a short, repeating wail: the retreat signal. It took a swipe at Spitfire with one of its front legs, forcing her to dodge to the side. Before she could resume her attack against the magitechnological spider walker, it leapt back several dozen feet, turned around and began to hastily retreat from the hill. At the base of the hill, the remaining cultist mages and their Diamond Dog bodyguards began to retreat as well, the mages launching one final barrage of fireballs to cover their retreat. As it ran away, the Devastotron tried to keep its main cannon fixed on Spitfire while using its secondary cannons and its remaining missiles to keep both the enemy soldiers and the Windigo gunships at bay.

*

Inside the temple, the sole surviving Diamond Dog managed to avoid Sonorous' final maul strike by the skin of its teeth, although the shockwave alone was strong enough to send it flying several feet in the air. It landed on its side just as Sonorous himself collapsed, his blood pooling underneath his prone form. The Dog slowly got back on its feet, a triumphant smile spreading on its muzzle.

"I wins! Yessss! I wins!" it rejoiced, striking the floor with its large front paws in triumph. "Sssstupid stupid plant eater Pony no match for a Diamond Dog! Yeeeessssss!"

So great was its happiness that it never even noticed the Elysian Pegasi who entered the temple and promptly cut down the Diamond Dog with a couple of well aimed lasgun shots.

Spitfire watched as the enemy fled, escaping down the mountain with some of the reinforcing Windigos harassing them. The gunships would dart in and out of range of the Devastotron to spray laserfire at the infantry running alongside the spider mech. Elysians landed all around her, treating her with all the reverence due to a Trojan even as she ignored them in lieu of looking to the skies. The stars matched none that she could recall and the databanks of her armour had no answers to give either. “This is not Cloudsdale Secundus. Where am I?” She rumbled as the few surviving priests were carried out of the burnt church to the medicae and the wounded dogs were executed before being dumped to the side.

“In an entirely different universe, Wonderbolt. Much has happened while you slumbered.” Spitfire turned to look at the speaker, a high ranking officer of the Elysians given the Hetairoi escort. “It pains me that we had to wake you to defend our temple, Elysians should have been able to protect it ourselves.” Alula Kicker landed before the interned Diarchal Marine, the Trojan amour being as much a cage as they are life support systems. “I serve the Sisters, I safeguard Their citizens. Where matters not, how matters not. So long as Equines are in need, the Wonderbolts shall aid them.
“We shall gladly welcome the aid of someone as storied as you, Spitfire the Last.” Alula looked past the Trojan at the semi-wrecked temple of her ancestor. “Recent events have emboldened our foe if they dare to strike the priesthood like this.”

The damage to the temple was great but nothing that could not be fixed eventually though New Elysium was greatly incensed by the attack. Were it not for the fact that nearly all of the adult population were already enlisted, surely the indignation of such a thing would have sent all in the city to the training fields. Instead a great many of the previously patrolling Windigos were recalled to secure the area around the city in order to deter further attacks on New Elysium and the mountain graveyard that surrounded Honoured Shadow’s temple.

Twilight Sparkle wrote:Firecracker's jaw dropped. For a moment he completely forgot his status as a battle slave.

"W-what kind of magic is this?" he asked with a mixture of awe and surprise. "Those Ponies... You're healing their injuries with... melted snow? I... I thought only the greatest Unicorn healers could accomplish something like that."

His gaze darted from the injured soldiers to the Sisters to the statue. Something resembling dawning realization appeared in his eyes.

"It's that statue, isn't it? It must bear some kind of powerful enchantment, am I correct?"

Soothing Brook cuffed the back of Firecracker’s head. “Open your ears, Heathen. There’s no magic here. Only the power of faith.” She pointed to the soldiers as they recited their prayers, blaming themselves for allowing the injuries to happen before beseeching Luna or rather the Healing Light for aid so that they may continue to fight in Her name. “That water will do nothing for the faithless like yourself. The Sisters are merciful but only to those who are open to Their Glory. Don’t even think of attempting to deceive the Sisters by parroting the words, They know Their own.” The mare spoke with all the zealotry in her voice as expected of one of their nun-nurses which contrasted so greatly with the kind bedside manner that she’d shown Firecracker up til now.

OOC: It's alive! IT'S ALIVE!

ooc: Oh dear, this is the first time in years I've missed my 2 week deadline...

Sanctuary Point wrote:Spitfire watched as the enemy fled, escaping down the mountain with some of the reinforcing Windigos harassing them. The gunships would dart in and out of range of the Devastotron to spray laserfire at the infantry running alongside the spider mech. Elysians landed all around her, treating her with all the reverence due to a Trojan even as she ignored them in lieu of looking to the skies. The stars matched none that she could recall and the databanks of her armour had no answers to give either. “This is not Cloudsdale Secundus. Where am I?” She rumbled as the few surviving priests were carried out of the burnt church to the medicae and the wounded dogs were executed before being dumped to the side.

“In an entirely different universe, Wonderbolt. Much has happened while you slumbered.” Spitfire turned to look at the speaker, a high ranking officer of the Elysians given the Hetairoi escort. “It pains me that we had to wake you to defend our temple, Elysians should have been able to protect it ourselves.” Alula Kicker landed before the interned Diarchal Marine, the Trojan amour being as much a cage as they are life support systems. “I serve the Sisters, I safeguard Their citizens. Where matters not, how matters not. So long as Equines are in need, the Wonderbolts shall aid them.
“We shall gladly welcome the aid of someone as storied as you, Spitfire the Last.” Alula looked past the Trojan at the semi-wrecked temple of her ancestor. “Recent events have emboldened our foe if they dare to strike the priesthood like this.”

The damage to the temple was great but nothing that could not be fixed eventually though New Elysium was greatly incensed by the attack. Were it not for the fact that nearly all of the adult population were already enlisted, surely the indignation of such a thing would have sent all in the city to the training fields. Instead a great many of the previously patrolling Windigos were recalled to secure the area around the city in order to deter further attacks on New Elysium and the mountain graveyard that surrounded Honoured Shadow’s temple.

"Pathetic."

That was all Lady Alabastrine Rune had to say to Flim and Flam after they had returned from their disastrous mission to destroy the Elysian temple. The brothers and their badly damaged war machine had made it back to the safety of the Diamond Dogs' underground tunnels, along with the remnants of their strike force. Almost all of the Pegasus warriors and the Diamond Dog mercenaries had been lost, and during their hasty retreat, enemy air strikes had dwindled the Unicorn mages to a half of their original number.

"B-but Arch-Hierophant!" Flam protested. "We did manage to burn down the temple. That was the main objective, wasn't it?"

"You managed to light its roof on fire and kill a few priests. But the pictures taken by our scouts clearly show that the temple still stands. And you completely failed your secondary objective of taking samples of the mystical pool supposedly housed in the temple. Your mission is a failure."

"We... are sorry, Arch-Hierophant," Flim said sheepishly. "But in our defense, we didn't expect a giant, heavily armed Pony-shaped mech to emerge from underground. The Devastotron was not exactly designed to fight such an enemy, and nopony even knew they had access to such weapons. We should consider this a victory for our intel department!"

"And that is the only thing saving you from execution," Alabastrine said coldly. "But the fact that our interdimensional friends have not used more of such mechs suggests that this is probably the only one they have, most likely deployed to guard an important location but too valuable to risk on the battlefield."

"But wouldn't you say that the Devastotron performed admirably, Arch-Hierophant? It alone inflicted nearly half of enemy casualties during our mission. Do you think it's ready for mass production?" Flam asked, his voice assuming its trademark Excited Salespony tone.

"Mass production? I'm afraid our resources are stretched too thin for that. But it may still have its uses. I will approve of the construction of a few one-off copies for use in future missions with similar requirements... Meanwhile, I expect to have a full report and a copy of all of your battlefield telementry in my office by the morning. Dismissed."

*

Despite the sudden, continent wide boost to magic and the Brotherhood of the Black Horn's bold offensive against the temple hill, overall the war was not going well for the Equestrianic Imperium. On almost all fronts, they were either on the defensive or slowly retreating as both the original Novumequine forces and their locally recruited soldiers kept pushing forward. Following Lady Pearlescent's revelations about the High Nobility, dozens of villages and towns had joined the Novumequine side and were now providing them with troops and resources. The Equestrian government vehemently denied the claims as nothing but vile slander and propaganda, but the seeds of doubt kept bearing fruit. Overall the Equestrian war machine still held, but it was starting to show signs of exhaustion and partial collapse.

On the East Coast, Equestrian forces had fallen back to Baltimare, which was about to come under attack from the West and Southwest. The city had been heavily fortified, and an enemy attack was expected in a matter of days...

Sanctuary Point wrote:Soothing Brook cuffed the back of Firecracker’s head. “Open your ears, Heathen. There’s no magic here. Only the power of faith.” She pointed to the soldiers as they recited their prayers, blaming themselves for allowing the injuries to happen before beseeching Luna or rather the Healing Light for aid so that they may continue to fight in Her name. “That water will do nothing for the faithless like yourself. The Sisters are merciful but only to those who are open to Their Glory. Don’t even think of attempting to deceive the Sisters by parroting the words, They know Their own.” The mare spoke with all the zealotry in her voice as expected of one of their nun-nurses which contrasted so greatly with the kind bedside manner that she’d shown Firecracker up til now.

Firecracker opened his mouth to protest.

"I..." he began before falling silent again. He knew it was useless to argue about matters like this with religious fanatics. He still firmly believed that the healing was accomplished with magic... Perhaps with some odd, interdimensional type of magic ill understood by Equestrians, but still, ultimately, it had to be nothing but ordinary, mundane magic. Without his damnable magic suppressing collar, he would surely have sensed the arcane energy surrounding the statue.

For now, he resigned himself to observing the healing process.

OOC: The AoD, and its 8000+ pages of RMB roleplay, lives to explodonate another day.

Twilight Sparkle wrote:"Pathetic."

That was all Lady Alabastrine Rune had to say to Flim and Flam after they had returned from their disastrous mission to destroy the Elysian temple. The brothers and their badly damaged war machine had made it back to the safety of the Diamond Dogs' underground tunnels, along with the remnants of their strike force. Almost all of the Pegasus warriors and the Diamond Dog mercenaries had been lost, and during their hasty retreat, enemy air strikes had dwindled the Unicorn mages to a half of their original number.

"B-but Arch-Hierophant!" Flam protested. "We did manage to burn down the temple. That was the main objective, wasn't it?"

"You managed to light its roof on fire and kill a few priests. But the pictures taken by our scouts clearly show that the temple still stands. And you completely failed your secondary objective of taking samples of the mystical pool supposedly housed in the temple. Your mission is a failure."

"We... are sorry, Arch-Hierophant," Flim said sheepishly. "But in our defense, we didn't expect a giant, heavily armed Pony-shaped mech to emerge from underground. The Devastotron was not exactly designed to fight such an enemy, and nopony even knew they had access to such weapons. We should consider this a victory for our intel department!"

"And that is the only thing saving you from execution," Alabastrine said coldly. "But the fact that our interdimensional friends have not used more of such mechs suggests that this is probably the only one they have, most likely deployed to guard an important location but too valuable to risk on the battlefield."

"But wouldn't you say that the Devastotron performed admirably, Arch-Hierophant? It alone inflicted nearly half of enemy casualties during our mission. Do you think it's ready for mass production?" Flam asked, his voice assuming its trademark Excited Salespony tone.

"Mass production? I'm afraid our resources are stretched too thin for that. But it may still have its uses. I will approve of the construction of a few one-off copies for use in future missions with similar requirements... Meanwhile, I expect to have a full report and a copy of all of your battlefield telementry in my office by the morning. Dismissed."

*

Despite the sudden, continent wide boost to magic and the Brotherhood of the Black Horn's bold offensive against the temple hill, overall the war was not going well for the Equestrianic Imperium. On almost all fronts, they were either on the defensive or slowly retreating as both the original Novumequine forces and their locally recruited soldiers kept pushing forward. Following Lady Pearlescent's revelations about the High Nobility, dozens of villages and towns had joined the Novumequine side and were now providing them with troops and resources. The Equestrian government vehemently denied the claims as nothing but vile slander and propaganda, but the seeds of doubt kept bearing fruit. Overall the Equestrian war machine still held, but it was starting to show signs of exhaustion and partial collapse.

On the East Coast, Equestrian forces had fallen back to Baltimare, which was about to come under attack from the West and Southwest. The city had been heavily fortified, and an enemy attack was expected in a matter of days...

The army marching on Baltimare had transformed markedly from the one that had crossed the Unicorn Mountain range. The veterans of the 5th Trottingham Line and the 13th Waterloosian Fusiliers still formed the centre of the force with the native regiments they raised up supporting them though a certain miasma lingered over the 13th after the reconstitution of the 2nd Percheron into the Percheron Penal Assault Legion after the rampant violence inflicted on the town of Contentious came to light. Following that reorganisation, the Percheron Penal Assault Legion was moved to the vanguard and used as a battering ram without any tactical consideration, rebuilding their lost honour corpse by corpse as commissars(actually bailiffs nearly finished with their training) transferred from the undeployed companies of the 88th Hades Penal Legion ensured that no new incidents started. Militia units from towns who had tossed off the shackles of Manehatten had also joined, swelling the army’s ranks by half. Though reluctant to give up any command, the officers overseeing the Southern East Front decided it would be wisest to allow the native born officers to take control of the militias who were given a quick rundown of the new equipment they could use and placed on secondary detailings.

The rapid advancement of the Appleloosian Army, thanks largely to the railways not being sabotaged by the retreating Equestrians, also meant that a detachment of Shurouqi infantry and Atlasian armour could be expected to join by the time they arrived at the edges of Baltimare. Furthermore, a battery of of Everfree artillery would be accompanying the Shurouqi. Surely the great shells the Basilisks would hasten the eventual siege of Baltimare.

Twilight Sparkle wrote: Firecracker opened his mouth to protest.

"I..." he began before falling silent again. He knew it was useless to argue about matters like this with religious fanatics. He still firmly believed that the healing was accomplished with magic... Perhaps with some odd, interdimensional type of magic ill understood by Equestrians, but still, ultimately, it had to be nothing but ordinary, mundane magic. Without his damnable magic suppressing collar, he would surely have sensed the arcane energy surrounding the statue.

For now, he resigned himself to observing the healing process.

“I had intended to heal your injuries with a baptismal dressing but it is clear that your lack of faith would impede such a thing. As such, we’ll have to treat them manually.” Soothing Brook glowered at Firecracker while Steel Heart prayed quietly.

Afterwards Firecracker was led back to the examination room where he was given a few treatments before being escorted out, the whole visit ultimately revealing nothing to the nurses and subsequently to the higher ups about the strange immunity of Firecracker or Steel Heart. The commissar directed him to return to the park alone, wanting to check up on Bailiff Gavel. One last warning about being found anywhere else would result in his immediate execution and the commissar went back inside the medicae building.

Sanctuary Point wrote:The army marching on Baltimare had transformed markedly from the one that had crossed the Unicorn Mountain range. The veterans of the 5th Trottingham Line and the 13th Waterloosian Fusiliers still formed the centre of the force with the native regiments they raised up supporting them though a certain miasma lingered over the 13th after the reconstitution of the 2nd Percheron into the Percheron Penal Assault Legion after the rampant violence inflicted on the town of Contentious came to light. Following that reorganisation, the Percheron Penal Assault Legion was moved to the vanguard and used as a battering ram without any tactical consideration, rebuilding their lost honour corpse by corpse as commissars(actually bailiffs nearly finished with their training) transferred from the undeployed companies of the 88th Hades Penal Legion ensured that no new incidents started. Militia units from towns who had tossed off the shackles of Manehatten had also joined, swelling the army’s ranks by half. Though reluctant to give up any command, the officers overseeing the Southern East Front decided it would be wisest to allow the native born officers to take control of the militias who were given a quick rundown of the new equipment they could use and placed on secondary detailings.

The rapid advancement of the Appleloosian Army, thanks largely to the railways not being sabotaged by the retreating Equestrians, also meant that a detachment of Shurouqi infantry and Atlasian armour could be expected to join by the time they arrived at the edges of Baltimare. Furthermore, a battery of of Everfree artillery would be accompanying the Shurouqi. Surely the great shells the Basilisks would hasten the eventual siege of Baltimare.

Baltimare Command Bunker, the War Room...

"You may begin, Colonel."

"Yes, sir!" Colonel Iron Gauntlet stepped forward and moved next to General Panoply by the large War Room table showing an interactive map of Baltimare and the surrounding regions. "As you can see, we have managed to build adequate fortifications around Baltimare, including several mine fields, AA missile systems and artillery positions. We have almost two full combined arms divisions defending the city, with additional support from two missile cruisers and six destroyers of the Equestrian Navy. Finally, we have 25 magitechnological airships from the Second Imperial Airfleet at our disposal, under the command of Sky Admiral Spindrifter."

He pointed at the red markers depicting Equestrian units. The other officers present in the War Room leaned in closer to observe the positions of their own units before shifting their attention to the ominous yellow markers approaching from the West and Southwest.

There were a lot of yellow markers.

"Unfortunately, we are still badly outnumbered by the Novumequine forces and our treacherous countryponies who have joined their ranks. Our scouting reports indicate that the core of their assault is formed by extradimensional forces armed with advanced weaponry and vehicles. The traitor forces supporting them carry a mixed armament of extradimensional weaponry and looted Equestrian weapons. The enemy has heavy armor and artillery support, but their air support appears to be more limited. We may be able to use this to our advantage."

General Panoply gave the Colonel a small nod.

"Thank you, Colonel," the scarred, bearded Unicorn officer said. In the pale blue lighting of the War Room, his graying coat almost looked like a layer of steel covering his heavyset body. "The attack is imminent. I'm not going to lie to you: it's going to be a tough battle. They may have the numbers and the advanced weapons on their side, but we have the defender's advantage and the strength of our boosted spells. Of course, the Novumequines have Unicorns as well, but it appears that they have failed to take full advantage of magic and magitech in their military doctrine. I believe we have a good chance to prevail... And remember, we are the last line of defense before Manehattan. We will beat them back. We have to."

A relatively young Captain made an audible gulp.

"So what shall we do now, General?" she asked.

Panoply shifted his steely gaze to the other officer.

"Now we wait," he said. "We will launch our first artillery and air strikes the moment their first units cross the Bridle River."

His hoof stamped a spot on the map about 25 miles West from the city.

Sanctuary Point wrote:“I had intended to heal your injuries with a baptismal dressing but it is clear that your lack of faith would impede such a thing. As such, we’ll have to treat them manually.” Soothing Brook glowered at Firecracker while Steel Heart prayed quietly.

Afterwards Firecracker was led back to the examination room where he was given a few treatments before being escorted out, the whole visit ultimately revealing nothing to the nurses and subsequently to the higher ups about the strange immunity of Firecracker or Steel Heart. The commissar directed him to return to the park alone, wanting to check up on Bailiff Gavel. One last warning about being found anywhere else would result in his immediate execution and the commissar went back inside the medicae building.

Firecracker didn't doubt for a moment that the threat about being executed was genuine.

Sullenly, he made his way back to the tents reserved for the Penal Legionnaires. As soon as he found the tent reserved for his unit, he claimed the first empty cot he saw and slumped on it. He felt utterly miserable: his head and muzzle were aching, his legs hurt and his whole body felt sore. He had been beaten and electrocuted as well as forced to march through a blizzard and fight his countryponies. He had failed to find a single reliable ally among these idiots who apparently genuinely believed that dying for their enslavers would redeem their souls. Only Honeypot had seemed like somepony with greater hopes and dreams, but there had also been something slightly unnerving about her...

As Firecracker slowly drifted off to sleep, he was starting to feel that only a miracle could save him now.

Twilight Sparkle wrote:Baltimare Command Bunker, the War Room...

"You may begin, Colonel."

"Yes, sir!" Colonel Iron Gauntlet stepped forward and moved next to General Panoply by the large War Room table showing an interactive map of Baltimare and the surrounding regions. "As you can see, we have managed to build adequate fortifications around Baltimare, including several mine fields, AA missile systems and artillery positions. We have almost two full combined arms divisions defending the city, with additional support from two missile cruisers and six destroyers of the Equestrian Navy. Finally, we have 25 magitechnological airships from the Second Imperial Airfleet at our disposal, under the command of Sky Admiral Spindrifter."

He pointed at the red markers depicting Equestrian units. The other officers present in the War Room leaned in closer to observe the positions of their own units before shifting their attention to the ominous yellow markers approaching from the West and Southwest.

There were a lot of yellow markers.

"Unfortunately, we are still badly outnumbered by the Novumequine forces and our treacherous countryponies who have joined their ranks. Our scouting reports indicate that the core of their assault is formed by extradimensional forces armed with advanced weaponry and vehicles. The traitor forces supporting them carry a mixed armament of extradimensional weaponry and looted Equestrian weapons. The enemy has heavy armor and artillery support, but their air support appears to be more limited. We may be able to use this to our advantage."

General Panoply gave the Colonel a small nod.

"Thank you, Colonel," the scarred, bearded Unicorn officer said. In the pale blue lighting of the War Room, his graying coat almost looked like a layer of steel covering his heavyset body. "The attack is imminent. I'm not going to lie to you: it's going to be a tough battle. They may have the numbers and the advanced weapons on their side, but we have the defender's advantage and the strength of our boosted spells. Of course, the Novumequines have Unicorns as well, but it appears that they have failed to take full advantage of magic and magitech in their military doctrine. I believe we have a good chance to prevail... And remember, we are the last line of defense before Manehattan. We will beat them back. We have to."

A relatively young Captain made an audible gulp.

"So what shall we do now, General?" she asked.

Panoply shifted his steely gaze to the other officer.

"Now we wait," he said. "We will launch our first artillery and air strikes the moment their first units cross the Bridle River."

His hoof stamped a spot on the map about 25 miles West from the city.

30 miles west of Baltimare

It had only been a week since the Shurouqi regiment had linked up with the Southeastern Army but they were already contributing greatly to the advance. Rising with the dawn to offer their prayers to Her on Equis like their Arabian instructors, the Shurouqi would scout out the day’s advance. Their Salamanders, modified to better handle the loose footing of sand or the baked dirt of the badlands, fared well enough on the plains. Positions along their route were carefully observed to see if they were rebels casting off the shackles of the Witch Queen or fanatical cultists with coordinates relayed back to Southeast Command or to the Warden of the Penal Assault Legion respectively.

With the former, the Atlasians would approach first with their Ironhearts, the tanks distinct from anything Manehatten might send after rebels which would calm them somewhat before representatives would meet and align the smaller force with the Diarchal strategy. Once informed, the new recruits would cycle to the supply train of the Southeast Army for training and replace those the native officers would deemed to have passed said training.
A far different response to finding more of Manehatten’s scattered units who would be assaulted by waves of legionnaires until their destruction was assured.

With the sun rising ahead them, the Shurouqi scouts advanced in a diamond formation, a quarter mile separating the four armoured vehicles as they approached what the locals called the Bridle River. A bridge existed here at a bend in the river which might have sufficed for traffic in peace time but it was doubtful that it could survive the far heavier Ironhearts, Basilisks or any other vehicles in their army. Even the lightly armoured, half empty Salamander testing it caused a concerning groan as they drove halfway across. The location was transmitted back to the bulk of the army anyway as the scouts started moving down the length of the river for larger bridges or somewhere to ford across, their infantry could still cross here at least.

Sanctuary Point wrote:30 miles west of Baltimare

It had only been a week since the Shurouqi regiment had linked up with the Southeastern Army but they were already contributing greatly to the advance. Rising with the dawn to offer their prayers to Her on Equis like their Arabian instructors, the Shurouqi would scout out the day’s advance. Their Salamanders, modified to better handle the loose footing of sand or the baked dirt of the badlands, fared well enough on the plains. Positions along their route were carefully observed to see if they were rebels casting off the shackles of the Witch Queen or fanatical cultists with coordinates relayed back to Southeast Command or to the Warden of the Penal Assault Legion respectively.

With the former, the Atlasians would approach first with their Ironhearts, the tanks distinct from anything Manehatten might send after rebels which would calm them somewhat before representatives would meet and align the smaller force with the Diarchal strategy. Once informed, the new recruits would cycle to the supply train of the Southeast Army for training and replace those the native officers would deemed to have passed said training.
A far different response to finding more of Manehatten’s scattered units who would be assaulted by waves of legionnaires until their destruction was assured.

With the sun rising ahead them, the Shurouqi scouts advanced in a diamond formation, a quarter mile separating the four armoured vehicles as they approached what the locals called the Bridle River. A bridge existed here at a bend in the river which might have sufficed for traffic in peace time but it was doubtful that it could survive the far heavier Ironhearts, Basilisks or any other vehicles in their army. Even the lightly armoured, half empty Salamander testing it caused a concerning groan as they drove halfway across. The location was transmitted back to the bulk of the army anyway as the scouts started moving down the length of the river for larger bridges or somewhere to ford across, their infantry could still cross here at least.

In a small forest on the Eastern side of the river, Equestrian scouts watched from their camouflaged positions as the first Novumequine infantry units began to move across the bridge. The monstrous Novumequine tanks were obviously too heavy to use the bridge designed with civilian traffic in mind, but other Equestrian scout units on the Western side of the Bridle River reported that the enemy continued to look for more suitable places to cross.

The Novumequines wouldn't have to look too far: there was a military-grade bridge (with a maximum load-bearing capacity of 90 tons) about 12 miles South, and a wide ford some six miles after that. However, the military bridge was trapped with well hidden remotely detonated explosives. The detonator was carried by the Scout Commander of the area, and she had orders to wait until enemy vehicles were moving across the bridge before triggering the explosives. Likewise, a mine field had been deployed just after the ford, and several Pegasus fire teams armed with rocket launchers lay hidden in the fields near the riverbanks. No matter where the enemy attempted to cross Bridle River, they wouldn't be doing so without heavy casualties...

The scouts reported the movements of enemy infantry to Baltimare. In the war room, General Panoply and his officers watched as the interactive map was update according to the latest intel: the first yellow markers (indicating Novumequine infantry) had begun to move across the bridge.

The General shared a glance with Colonel Iron Gauntlet.

This was a golden opportunity to eliminate a large force of enemy infantry before they could link back with their vehicles. With less infantry to support and protect them, the vehicles would be easier targets for Equestrian anti-armor teams.

"Artillery units in position and ready to fire," Colonel Iron Gauntlet reported. "Planes ready to take off from the Baltimare airfield. We're waiting for your signal, sir."

Another yellow marker moved across the bridge. Then another.

Panoply gave the Colonel a small nod.

"Begin the attack," he said.

*

The Novumequine infantry crossing the river saw flashes in the horizon, followed by a sound resembling distant thunder. Moments later heavy canister shots fired from artillery guns scattered in the fields and forests around Baltimare began to rain down from the sky. At the same time, several light Equestrian jet planes armed with incendiary missiles and machine guns appeared on the horizon, flying low and bearing down on the enemy.

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