These Idyllic States: The Growing Akvossan Threat
Overview: Akvoss, pronounced Awkwasse, is an Empire that grew out of the royals of Germany taking a firmer grip of the nation’s direction and choosing a new name for the newly unified German State. It is a new nation with old hands directing it, consequently slights that seemed to have been forgiven towards the traditional monarchies of the old country are being tabulated, and the whole of Europe is now a spymaster’s paradise, thanks to the stepped up espionage efforts of the Akvossan Secret Police.
The government is divided into two branches, the Civilian Government headed by the Chancellor, and the Military, headed by the Chief of the General Staff. However, that is mostly on paper. Emperor Friedrich III has lavished much praise and hope onto the military leaders of his country’s armed forces and the upper crust and nobility have given tacit approval as well. This shift in influence of the royals courting the support of the generals means that any true control is handled by the military.
When political prisoners are investigated and arrested, it is handled by the Wächter Soldat, which loosely translated means Guardian Soldiers. The WS are in fact a form of secret police, a branch of the military, which performs investigations on Akvossan citizens, and handles investigations of corruption and disloyalty in both the police and military ranks. When any member of the royal family travels extensively, their security is provided by military officials and trusted soldiers. It is still more of a constitutional monarchy, with the Chancellor performing the day to day rule of the Empire, but the current Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, is in no hurry to completely alienate the royals or the populace.
History: Otto von Bismarck unified the German empire by 1867. However, the intense interest and ambition of Friedrich III led to his exit from the focus of the Empire. In only two short years, the New Empire was born under Emperor Friedrich, and those who opposed renaming the Empire of the Fatherland found themselves vanishing from society. The Wächter Soldat were introduced along with several changes in the General Staff, including the movement of Helmuth von Moltke from his previous position as Chief of Staff to Grand Vizier, and personal advisor to the emperor, and the appointment of Eberhardt Kaltmark as his successor.
Kaltmark may have come from commoner stock, but he was a brilliant study of military tactics and knew well the value of subterfuge and espionage. He immediately cultivated a social relationship with Albrecht J. Schwartzhund, the head of the WS. His insistence on maintaining advancement based solely upon merit, even in the face of increasing pressure for appointments for the sons of the well to do, was unpopular until the Akvossan forces trounced the French at the beginning of 1870. The conflict, which was dubbed the Great Blunder by most of Europe’s papers, was short, bloody and brutally efficient on the part of the Akvossans.
Europe held its breath, but Kaltmark has held the reins tightly on the Akvossan war machine and instead has authorized several divisions of the military to step up alternative operations. This lead to the funding of the Thule Society’s military expeditions, and greater Wächter Soldat investigations and espionage. All the while, von Bismarck counts his days in office and von Moltke whispers his grandiose plan into the ear of Friedrich III.
Use & Capabilities
As a sovereign European nation, Akvoss possesses a great deal of economic power, industrial power, and military force. However, what they possess that few other countries seem to have is great military intelligence, and strategic leadership. Akvossan military campaigns are run like chess matches with plans, backup plans and contingency plans throughout. They take great effort to have correct intelligence and their military leaders are highly adept at funneling new information into plans even at the last minute.
As an industrialized military country, they possess a rudimentary air force, a respectable, if conventional, mechanized ground force, foot soldiers of various specialties including shock troops, demolitions and snipers, and some of the best spies in Europe. The foreign stationed members of the Wächter Soldat are often so inconspicuous as to appear to be citizens of other countries without much risk of discovery, and every Akvossan citizen you meet outside its borders is a potential spy. They often have issues with portraying life as citizens of say France or England, but they don’t seem to have much difficulty in fooling the English into believing they are french or vice versa. This approach has garnered them countless reams of solid information, and led to the startling victory over the French early this year.
It is unknown what the Akvossan leadership truly intends to do with this power and knowledge, but it is suspected that Friedrich III has a lust for glory, and a desire to have his empire remembered for a thousand years as the second coming of Rome. In short, if these rumors are true, Akvoss will eventually open hostilities across Europe with the single goal of creating a single civilization to control the known world.