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In the days following the declaration of the Norkotian Union, the largest civilization on the Plateau of Zühl had undergone a rapid and dramatic transformation. The unrest caused by the assassination attempt on Joseph Tynes was squashed within a few weeks, while the introduction of the new national police force, known as the Internal Security Bureau or “InterSec”, had seen to the prevention of any further disruption. All across the fledgling union, the long standing sheriff offices were slowly absorbed into the new agency. The classic blues and greys of the sheriffs and their deputies now gave way to white and black, while revolvers were slowly replaced with automatic pistols and horses with jeeps and armored cars.

Meanwhile, the Norkotian Military had grown rapidly, swelling into three full divisions, or nearly thirty-thousand full-time soldiers. It was nearly a tenth of Norkotia’s entire population, though it was comprised mainly of the young, the unemployed, the poor, and even prisoners promised amnesty in exchange for service. In addition, another five reservist divisions, comprised of part-time soldiers who trained during periods when not at school or work, were also available. On top of all this, a recent influx of refugees from the now destroyed City of Tia was promising to further boost both the civilian and military population.

Even so, the available army was still no match for the armies of rival nations across the world, even the ones just here in Terrenus. Expansion would be necessary, but before this could be done, more technological and organizational progress needed to be made. Luckily, many fresh innovations were ready for approval, and with Joseph Tynes returning from his eventful stay in Ursa Madeum, they merely needed to be presented to his attention...

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January 4th…

A travel-weary Joseph Tynes stepped out of the executive car, his right arm stiff from the gunshot injury that never healed correctly, and his left numb from the nerve damage suffered by the poison attack at the Hildebrand estate. Two assassination attempts, one at home and one abroad, had been launched against him in a matter of less than four months, significantly impairing the use of both of his arms, and leaving him a far less trusting man than he once was.

“See to it that the Executive Guard is expanded.” he instructed, “I won’t make the mistake of ignoring your advice when it comes to security again, my friend.”

Diric Redbridge, who came up alongside Tynes as they stepped up the stairs of the national security headquarters, flanked by two machinegun-wielding guards on either side, nodded in acknowledgement. He had long been urging the young leader to be more cautious with his own safety, and now it seemed his advice would finally be heeded. It was just a shame it took two near-death experiences before the point was driven home.

As they entered the building, a man in a tan suit and brown fedora stood up from one of the benches in the lobby, where he had been inconspicuously reading a newspaper a moment before. He quickly approached the two.

“Minister Redbridge.” he spoke to Diric first, then nodded toward Joseph, “Grand Executor.”

“Ah, Mr. Hackett, I assume if you are here to speak in-person, it must be a matter of importance.” Diric greeted him.

“Yes, my asset has secured Dr. Engel, as per your request. I can have him transferred to your office is you wish to speak with him personally.” the man called Hackett replied.

“Send him to his excellency’s office. We will speak with him there.” Diric replied.

“It will be done. Sirs.” the agent tipped his hat, then quickly left their presence, thumbing a small radio transmitter as he did.

“So, you managed to rescue Engel after all.” Joseph remarked.

“I cannot take credit for the work of my associates, but it would seem that yes, my goal has been accomplished. We should not keep the good doctor waiting.”

Edited by Tyler

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They arrived in suite that served as the Grand Executor’s office, with its large glass window that overlooked the city and the lake beyond, and its large desk stacked with forms and documents requiring Joseph’s attention.

Seated in one of the chairs was a man in early forties, with a square jaw, a long but not unattractive face, a head of dark, well-combed hair, and a pair of thin-rimmed spectacles perched on his prominent nose. He was dressed in a suit and tie, likely given to him after he returned to Norkotia.

“Ah, Herr Tynes!” the man stood up immediately, a pleased look on his face, “I must zhank you most graciously for ze vell-timed rescue.”

“Doctor Kersh Engel, I presume?” Tynes approached and offered the man a stiff handshake, his right arm not offering him the range of movement it once did, “And I cannot take credit for the rescue. Minister Redbridge is the one to whom you owe your gratitude.”

Engel eagerly shook Tynes hand, noticing immediately the way he moved his arm. Once he had shook the executor’s hand, he likewise did so with Redbridge.

“Zhen you have my zhanks as vell, Herr Redbridge.” Engel said to him, “If it iz not too presumptuous to ask, may I inquire about ze status of my companion?”

“Companion?” Tynes cocked his head slightly and raised an eyebrow.

“Yez, my goot friend, Vashka Esther, an associate I vorked vith in Port Caelum. I can assure you, Herr Tynes, zhat Vashka is quite vell vorth your attention. His brilliance is ze field of chemistry is unmatched, and combined with vith ze native resources here in Norkotia… ze potential applications for hiz vork could be incalculable.”

“I will look into it to his situation, Dr. Engel.” Diric offered, “However, first we must discuss your own status here in Norkotia.”

“You are still considered a criminal, doctor, which means we cannot simply allow you to roam freely. However, I believe you sentence could be eventually commuted, if you were to say, employ all your research and skill in assisting the Norkotian Defense Forces in preparing for the upcoming times of strife.” Tynes said.

“Oh, and vhat vould you have me do?” Engel seemed intrigued.

“War results in many casualties, not all of which are dead. We know about your experiments, particularly what you did to Mara Mercer. Perhaps with better resources at your disposal, you could revolutionize the Norkotian medical industry, so that more wounded young citizens will be given the second chance at life that you gave Mercer. And in a world where our people are disadvantaged by the use of magic by other civilizations, the technology you've developed could be the edge we need to balance the scales.”

Engel just smiled broadly as he listened to the executor speak. An opportunity to continue his work, with official support no less, was well worth the price of his freedom.  

“Vhy, Executor Tynes, I vould be more zhen happy to serve my homeland vonce more.”

Joseph Tynes smiled, pleased with the end result of the entire affair. With Engel’s work being added to the growing Norkotian arsenal, their budding Union may yet stand a chance against the forces arrayed against them.

“Then welcome home, Doctor Engel. Welcome home.”

Edited by Tyler

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The days after his return to the union were busy indeed. Joseph Tynes had to sign off on several requisition orders, approve numerous ordinances, and catch up on any bill passages from the Norkotian Council. But while some of the aspects of his job were tedious and dull, there were other parts he thoroughly enjoyed. One of such part was what was to occur today. After having spent a few hours of the morning in his office, Tynes took a lift to the ground level, where he was joined by Field Marshal Dareth Vander, as well as the Director of InterSec, Edger Von Himmel. Together, the three men were bused to the corporate headquarters of Schmidt Arms Company, the largest weapon manufacturer in Norkotia, and the biggest supplier for the defense forces.

“Welcome gentlemen! Welcome, yes! Welcome!” they were greeted by the nervous, eccentric, but brilliant owner and CEO of the company, Stephan Schmidt.

Schmidt was the latest in a long, proud family lineage of owners, who had passed Norkotia’s oldest arms builder down from generation to generation. Not every Schmidt had been an brilliant inventory or a mechanical genius, but many were, and it could certainly be said that Stephan was among them. Indeed, the man had already contributed an impressive collection of corrections in his relatively short life.

“Mr. Schmidt, a pleasure to see you again.” Tynes greeted the man.

“The honor is all my mine, Grand Executor! Yes, very much mine!” Schmidt chirped giddily, “You don’t know how excited I am to show you what I have for you today, yes indeed!”

“You’ve met Director Von Himmel and Marshal Vander before, so I suppose we can skip the formalities and proceed directly to your little exposition.” Tynes suggested.

“Yes, wonderful!” Schmidt cackled, “Right this way!”

Schmidt led them through the office section of the building and into one of the large, well-supplied workshops. There were several shooting ranges within the workshop, permitting a controlled environment for testing new weapon designs and ammunition loadouts. No weapons were being fired at the moment, but if Schmidt had his way, that wouldn’t be the case for long.

“So, first of all, you are all acquainted with this particular beauty, yes?” Schmidt displayed a front-heavy automatic pistol to the assembly, prompting the men to nod, “The Model 590, it’s a fine weapon, yes it is, one of my father’s last designs, actually. However, I have taken his design and made a few modifications… yes I have…”

He showed them another pistol, of similar design but with very small, particular alterations.

“I have altered the barrel and chamber to fit the popular thirty-five pistol cartridge, which should reduce production costs without sacrificing a hint of firepower! But, that is not all, yes… I have also replaced the original stripper-clip loading mechanism with a spring-loaded clip, permitting quicker and simpler reloads.” he explained, “I call it the 590c, c standing for clip of course. Clever, yes?”

“Sure.” Tynes humored him.

“Wonderful! With your permission, I’ll send the schematics for the 590c directly to the ordinance department for production. I’ll have every man in your army equipped with one of these in two months! Yes sir!” Schmidt rambled.

“Fine by me.” Tynes agreed, though his eye had already moved on to the next item on Schmidt’s display table.

“Oh, you see it, don’t you?” Schmidt grinned, setting aside the pistol and picking up the weapon Tynes was examining, “Yes, this baby was a project of mine even before you took office.”

The weapon was constructed primarily of steel, with only simple plastic plates secured to the pistol grip, and a fold-out stock instead of a bulky wooden one. Judging by the barrel length, the long clip and size of the barrel, one could accurately conclude it was a submachinegun.

“I’m sure you are all familiar with the Jorgerson, yes. A venerable firearm, but wasteful and inaccurate if I do say so myself, not to mention heavy.” Schmidt explained, then offered the weapons for Tynes to handle.

The executor found it decently light and compact, making it easy to handle. He would have liked to fire it himself, but with his arms in their current state he elected instead to allow the Field Marshal and the Director to examine it first-hand instead.

“The rate-of-fire has been reduced, and I have fitted it for thirty-five pistol ammunition as well, which means greater accuracy and penetration power over medium distances. The clip is not as large as the Jorgerson, yes, but it will be considerably easier to carry more total ammunition in the clip form rather than those clunky drums! Ah, yes, and did I mention it will be far easier to produce en mass?”

“Perhaps we should see it in action.” Marshal Vander suggested.

“Yes, yes! Of course, please do!” Schmidt urged, guiding them to the nearest targeting range, “Do you need me to sho--”

“No, I believe I’ve got it.” Vander replied, priming the weapon and flipping the safety.

Taking aim, he opened fire on the target, emptying the complete thirty-round clip.

“It is certainly easier to keep on target than the Jorgerson.” he remarked.

The Jorgerson was an older SMG that for all its faults, was incredibly powerful in short range situations. Unfortunately, the type of ammunition it took, combined with its excessive rate-of-fire, meant it suffered in accuracy and lacked range. This new weapon, which fired the much higher velocity thirty-five pistol, would be just the thing security forces needed for close and medium-ranged encounters. And of course, the promise of cheap production costs was appealing in and of itself.

“I want full specifications on that submitted to the ordinance department as well.” Tynes instructed Schmidt, “Then I want all my guards armed with those by the end of the month.”

“Yes, of course! I will do so as soon as we are done, yes.” Schmidt squealed.

“What else do you have for us?”

“Oh, you’ll like this. Actually, I believe the director will be the most pleased, yes he will.” Schmidt guided them to a different work bench, upon which sat the disassembled components of a what appeared to be a suit of armor.

But this suit of armor was constructed from plastic.

“Garrison Outfitters may have gotten the early lead on us when it came to plastic armor, but I am proud to say we ultimately won the race. Introducing “Petrosteel”, a petroleum alloy capable of sustaining attacks from low-velocity projectiles while being a fraction of the weight as metallic armors! Allow me to demonstrate!” Schmidt proclaimed, scooping up the chestplate and hauling it over to a target dummy in one of the shooting ranges, “As you can see, this dummy is constructed with rubber, simulating the fleshy skin of a human.”

Taking a few steps back, he drew out a revolver he had holstered at his side, and fired several shots into the plastic armor. The assembled officials leaned closer, clearly intrigued. Schmidt then removed the plate, revealing the test dummy had suffered little in the way of damage, then bring it over for Tynes and company to examine.

“As you can see, the armor prevented all the bullets from reaching the target, yes sir!” Schmidt proudly declared.

Indeed, the armor had been cracked in a couple of spots, with bullets embedded within, with a couple other spots where the bullets didn’t even crack the armor but managed to dent it. Not a single bullet had penetrated, however.

“Very nice.” Tynes remarked.

“Impressive, most impressive.” Vander agreed.

Even the normally tight-lipped Von Himmel nodded and uttered a soft agreement.

“Yes yes, we will continue to improve its characteristics, as it is not strong enough to resist high-powered rounds yet, but in the meantime, it should help protect our people from the likes of pistols, crossbows, hurled objects and melee attacks!”

“This armor is promising. I want to see the results of more detailed trials when it is submitted for approval.” Tynes stated, “It could be the difference between life and death for many of our men in the future, but want to make sure our forces are made aware of the limits of its effectiveness.”

“Yes, splendid! I shall submit a full report for your review!” Schmidt whooped, “Now gentlemen, on to the next one…”

The tour continued, with Schmidt displaying several more inventions, as well as new configurations and accessories for existing weapon platforms, but it would be the N90c Pistol, the N97 SMG and the Petrosteel Armor that become three of the most martial inventions in Norkotia for many years to come...

Edited by Tyler

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January 15th…

Progress was a thing that sometimes was rapid, sometimes was sluggish, but so long as progress was being made, each day humanity was better off than the last. Weapons and vehicles were being designed and built by nearly every corporation large enough to know what it was doing, while more and more citizens were being trained as soldiers and police. Controversial laws that the council just barely managed to pass were now restructuring the entire welfare and entitlement system, forcing tougher verification standards for recipients of disability support, while mandating that unemployed citizens obtain a job within a specified time-frame, or be conscripted into the military.

Tynes was awaiting the latest news on a new influx of refugees from Tia, an situation that had been ongoing since October. Politically-speaking, the decision to allow these refugees into Norkotian territory was a risky, if not potentially disastrous one, as it undercut Tynes’s nationalist platform and promises. However, settling the refugees in outer regions had proved an effective strategy to negate this blow-back. Instead of Norkotia City being flooded with foreigners, the desolate rural territories were growing with striking speed. New farmsteads and ranches were being claimed, new strip mines dug, oil wells sunk, and entire towns constructed.

And the best part was that by promising this refugees protection, but placing them at the edge or even outside of Norkotia’s existing borders, it gave Tynes the excuse he needed to continue the union’s expansion. Dozens of existing settlements had joined the Union over the past two months, with new settlements further swelling the numbers. Norkotia’s population had nearly doubled in less than two months, and there was still more to come.

“Sir, the report from Camp 4.”

An aid entered the office and delivered the report, before saluting and promptly departing. Tynes opened the document and examined the contents, finding that the resettlement was slightly behind schedule, but that the delays were minor and mostly related to the winter cold. That had been the biggest problem throughout the refugee crisis, as Norkotia’s winter temperatures often dipped well below zero, with considerable wind to boot. Many of the camps were actually still back in the vicinity of Tia, guarded and supplied by Norkotian soldiers. The migration onto the plateau and into Norkotian territory itself was incremental and slow, but this was necessary to avoid causing a housing crisis.

“Minister Redbridge here to see you, sir.” the secretary buzzed on the intercom.

“Send him in.”

Diric stepped into the office and sat down across from Tynes, waiting before the executor’s attention was no longer on the report before speaking.

“I understand there were more setbacks in Yh’mi.”

“It appears so. I’ve been assured that the commanding officer there is well in control of the situation, however. I am not concerned yet.” the executor replied, “In fact, I’m beginning to believe establishing a permanent base of our own within the territory may be beneficial. The conditions there would make for an excellent training ground for our elite units, not to mention the land is useless, meaning it will be ideal for weapon and ordinance testing.”

“While you are correct, I must remind you that our involvement there is increasingly unpopular with the people. While it is doubtful it will be enough to turn public opinion against you on its own, it could become a contributing factor if further unpopular actions begin to accumulate.” the Vulkish man pointed-out.

“I agree. We need to control the narrative on this, make sure as little negative information reaches the public as possible.” Joseph noted, “But I suspect you knew that already. Is this really the reason you’re here?”

“I do in fact, have another subject I wish to discuss.” Diric nodded.

“Go on?”

“Doctor Engel has been acclimated to his temporary laboratory here, and I believe he will be prepared to conduct operations within less than a week. I would like permission to schedule an operation to reconstruct your arms.”

Joseph smiled and exhaled, leaning back in his seat.

“I suspected you’d approach me on the matter eventually. Is Engel able to restore my arms to normal appearance instead of whatever it is he did to the Mercer woman?”

“I will ask him to do what he can, but it is possible he may have to replace your arms with artificial ones. He has ensured me, however, that the synthetic rubber covering he developed can be equipped with a simple neural network to simulate normal feeling and touch. Even this will be more practical than continuing to leave your arms as they are.” the minister explained.

“Very well then, let’s see what he can do.” Joseph agreed.

He didn’t particularly trust Engel, but he also knew that whatever the doctor could offer was likely better than things as they currently were.

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“Rize and shine, Herr Executor!”

When Joseph Tynes finally emerged from the anesthesia, it was the feeling in his head that he noticed first. Tired and woozy, he didn’t become coherent enough to test Engel’s work until hours after initially awakening. Why he did, however, he found his arms did feel quite a bit different, as did other parts of his body.

“What’s the final verdict, doctor?” he asked.

“Vell, your left arm vas a terrible mess. Ze nerves were fried and ze muscle atrophying at an unacceptable rate. Zhat arm had to be replaced, but don’t vorry, ze average person vill not be able to tell ze difference.” Engel explained.

Tynes moved the arm around a bit, finding it surprisingly limber, though the feeling in it was abnormal and the texture of the skin was clearly artificial when touched. However, it looked real enough to the naked eye.

“Ze lightveight alloy core iz stronger zen your bones, zo not quite as powerful az some of my subjects.” Engel continued, “I had to avoid ze full treatment, az it vould have required reinforcing your entire skeleton othervise.”

“I see.” Joseph nodded, “And my right arm?”

“Zhat vone I vas able to retain ze existing muscle and skin, however, I have also replaced ze bones with ze alloy. Eventually you vill not be able to tell it is any different.” Engel grinned, “However, I vould suggest avoiding strenuous activity for now.”

The executor noted that his right arm was bound and splinted, meaning that Engel didn’t want it to be moved around as frequently as the left arm just yet. He had already been patient with that arm for several months, so he supposed a few more wouldn’t hurt.

“You’ve done well, Doctor Engel, I can see why Diric wanted to bring you back to the homeland so badly.”

“Just doing my duty to my country, Herr Executor.” Engel smiled a broad, creepy smile.

Tynes still was uncertain about the man, but he couldn’t deny the doctor’s usefulness.

“I assure you doctor, you'll have more chances before you know it.”

Edited by Tyler

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The migration of refugees from Tia had continued slowly but surely. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were crammed into temporary camps, heated by fuel-oil fires and electric heaters. Even though Norkotia normally had an abundance of excess food, it was becoming difficult to feed the increasing number of families that were arriving in Norkotian territory. Still, the work requirements for the citizens was ensuring that they were still being productive in short order, and that the camps didn’t persist for months on end.

With so many migrants now flowing into Norkotia, not only from Tia, but also thanks to the additional exposure resulting from the A.N.T. treaty, Joseph Tynes now saw an opportunity to further expand the Union’s borders. Many more settlements were annexed into the union, being granted representation in exchange for their allegiance. However, the increasing number of cities being represented on the council was causing some to suggest reforms in the process, to prevent there from being an excessive number of representatives from all the small towns. Even so, the Union was now beginning to spread like wildfire across the plateau, and there was little that threatened to stop them...

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January 21st…

Joseph Tynes was able to return to his duties soon after his surgery, though he temporarily needed help in signing documents while his right arm healed. Even so, he eagerly kept up with his duties, the successes of his various operations and projects keeping him in good spirits throughout.

“Jodonburg has agreed to terms.” Diric Redbridge was reading through the recent stack of reports, “However, it appears that Volkshaven continues to refuse all overtures.”

“Volkshaven is the largest city in the western region, we can’t afford to leave it independent.” Joseph noted, “You have already sent agents there, I assume?”

“You assume correctly. Based on the information I’ve received thus far, it appears the city has an above average population of non-Norkic Terrans. Mainstream Gaianism is much more pronounced there as well, as is support and loyalty to the Odin Haze regime.”

“How closely tied are they diplomatically?”

“From what I can tell, not closely. However, I suggest we await further information from my agents before we consider further action on the matter.” the prime minister suggested.

“Agreed.” Tynes nodded, looking over a report of his own, “On a more positive note, it appears that our infrastructure project on Rifle Road is making progress. Three outposts are already complete and five more have begun construction. Two hundred miles of gravel has been laid on former dirt roads, and about thirty miles of pavement has been laid.”

“Yes, I have read the report.” Diric nodded.

“I see.” Tynes flipped to a different report, “Did you read the one on the status of our diplomatic mission to Tazarek?”

“Yes, I have read that one as well.”

“You’ve read all the reports already, haven’t you?” Joseph looked up from the paper, already suspecting he knew the answer.

“Excluding the one I am currently reading… yes.”

Edited by Tyler

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As January drew to a close, Norkotia’s Military finally received its first proper tank design. The A-2 Prowler, a fast, lightly armed, moderately armored vehicle powered by gasoline engines, was soon put into mass production. It had done well in urban trials, though it had some off-road concerns. However, the designs next closest to completion were still months away, and with the need for heavily armored vehicles increasing, the Prowler would have to suffice for now.

Meanwhile, the L-2 Falcon, the first Norkotian aircraft specifically designed for combat, had also completed its trials. This lightweight, maneuverable fighter-bomber immediately replaced the earlier L-1 Vulture as the primary fighter aircraft for Norkotian Army airmen, while the L-1 was scaled back to secondary usage. Not long after this, the H-1 Condor, a heavier craft designed to carry a larger payload of bombs, would also be approved for production. These two fighters, combined with the Prowler and the improved weapon designs by Stephan Schmidt, were signs that the Norkotian armed forces were slowly moving toward the modern era.

Still, they still had a long way to go. Then, on the very last day of the month, the rediscovery of a lost piece of Norkotian ingenuity altered the course of the Union’s future forever….

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February 1st...

“You wanted to see me, Diric?” Joseph Tynes inquired as he stepped into the room, his flanking guards taking position on either side of the door behind him.

“Yes, I believe I have come across something that would be most beneficial to our security forces.” the prime minister replied, motioning for the executor to follow him.

On the desk before the both of them was a worn metal shield, like what may have once been used in melee combat back in pre-firearm days. However, the metalwork indicated it was not quite that ancient, even if it was probably a few hundred years old at least.

“It’s a shield. What’s so special about it?” Joseph asked the obvious question.

“Before I explain that, I believe some context is necessary. How much do you know about the Arkholm Witch Panic of 392?” Diric responded with a question of his own.

“If I recall correctly, the Arkholm militia, aided by the local sheriff’s office, began rounding up people suspected of witchcraft or supernatural communion and conducted illegitimate trials and vigilante executions. I believe it was something like fifty people were killed by the end of it?”

“Fifty-two, to be exact.” Diric nodded, “Arkholm has long had the reputation of being a haven for the supernatural, but in 392, that reputation turned into a mass panic. While it is possible some of those who were killed were indeed witches, it is likely that most of the victims were falsely accused.”

“But what does all that have to do with the shield?”

“The panic lasted several months before it finally ended. During this time, one Arkholm blacksmith, whose name has sadly been lost to history, concocted a material that he proposed would be able to block magical spells. According to the story I uncovered, he successfully created the alloy that he dubbed “Hexenschild”, which he sought to sell it to the community for protection against the witches. Ironically, he himself was subsequently accused of being a witch and was burned alive in his own forge.”

“A bloody shame.” Tynes shook his head, “But did his alloy work?”

“It would seem it did, even if the denizens of Arkholm at the time did not appreciate it. This shield is the only surviving example of the blacksmith’s work, and I have already had it tested to see if the claims are true. The foreign wizard I recruited reported that the shield blocked every spell he attempted to launch at it. My agent, who was with him at the time, confirmed these results.”

“Incredible! So you’re saying this shield can block any type of magic?”

“Not necessarily any kind. It is possible, if not likely, that certain types of spells, or ones of sufficient power, can penetrate the alloy. However, against most common spells, it does appear to be immune. I have already sent in samples of the material for analysis. Pending those results, do I have permission to submit this find to the Ordinance Department?”

“Hell yeah.” the executor looked at his right-hand man like he was crazy for having to ask, “If we can start using this to make armor for our troops and vehicles, our army will gain a major advantage against our potential adversaries. You have my permission and then some, Diric. Find a way to get this stuff in production as soon as possible.”

“I will endeavor to do so, excellency.”

It seemed fortune was smiling upon the Norkotian Union, at least for now...

Edited by Tyler

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Minor Summary

Upon returning home after surviving an assassination attempt in Ursa Madeum, Joseph Tynes resumes his work building up the Norkotian defense forces. Working closely with his subordinates, Tynes approves numerous new technologies for use in the growing military, including a rediscovered material called Hexenschild, an alloy which can block magical energy.

Summary

Joseph Tynes returns to Norkotia after nearly being assassinated during a trip to Ursa Madeum. Despite his weakened state, he quickly resumes his work as Grand Executor, eagerly inspecting new weapon designs created by inventor Stephan Schmidt, while closely monitoring reports from various projects across the growing Union. 

However, the injuries to both his arms, the result of two separate and seemingly unrelated attempts on his life, continue to slow him down. In order to have full functionality restored to his arms, Tynes is urged by his advisor, Diric Redbridge, to undergo surgery at the hands of the brilliant, but unscrupulous, Doctor Kersh Engel. Engel, who had recently been rescued from the Port Caelum authorities by bounty hunter Mara Mercer, successfully restores Tynes's right arm, while replacing his nerve-dead left arm with a mechanical one, albeit one designed to replicate a natural arm visually.

Not long after being restored to full strength, the executor is shown a recently unearthed artifact from an event almost two hundred years in Norkotia's past. The item, a shield built from a mysterious alloy called Hexenschild, is proven to be capable of blocking magic spells. Tynes orders the artifact sent in for further research, hoping that unlocking the secret of its forging will be the key to eventually creating magic-resistant armor for Union's defense forces,

Notable Consequences

  • Joseph Tynes returns to Norkotia after the assassination attempt in Ursa Madeum, eventually undergoing surgery to repair his damaged arms.
  • Several of Steven Schmidt's new weapon designs are approved for military service and put into full production. This includes an improved submachinegun and semi-automatic pistol.
  • Norkotia's first tank, the A-2 Prowler, enters production, while the design for its first fully militarized warplane is likewise approved.
  • Hexenschild, a magic-resistant metal alloy first forged by a blacksmith in Arkholm nearly two hundred years before, is rediscovered by the Norkotians. It is quickly sent out for in-depth research.

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