Join Date: Sep 2005
Current Game: Skyrim
Alright guys, here comes a bit of a long post. Bear in mind that this is an incredibly basic overview of the ninety-odd years leading up to where we are now. It is not going to be very detailed, and you will notice some things that won't make a whole lot of sense. That's because this is a parallel reality that diverges from our own much farther back in time than where this post begins. Also keep in mind that this RP is not about the war. I'm writing this all out purely to give you a feel for the tone and feel of the world we'll be playing in.
The early 1800s saw a great deal of tension between Great Britain and her neighbours. British naval expansion further into the North Sea was met with resistance from the growing Netherlands, while their choke-hold on the ever-contested French/English channel led to animosity from France. And while officially Britain's allies, Spanish patience began to wear thin as their struggling economy suffered further under constant occupation of the Bay of Biscay by the Royal Navy to ensure that Spanish naval power remained confined to the terms of greatly outdated treaties.
Tensions reached a boiling point in May of 1831 when a British naval vessel fired on and sank a convoy of Dutch fishing vessels in the North Sea. The exact circumstances surrounding this incident are unclear - the British vessel involved, the OMS Westminster, was not under orders from the crown to enter the area, nor did she return to British waters following the incident. She was found adrift several weeks later with the crew missing, save for her executive officer Charles Tucker. Tucker who was found hanging by his neck from the mast with his eyes burned from his skull. The rest of the crew was never recovered, and thus details of the incident are unknown.
The survivors of the Dutch vessels, however, reported the attack to authorities upon arriving ashore. In retaliation, the Hague dispatched a portion of its own fleet to occupy the northern waters of the English Channel in Auguest, while France took action in the south shortly thereafter. In a surprise move, isolationist Germany lent military support to this alliance, claiming a desire to see Britain brought to heel after centuries of trampling across the interests of mainland Europe. In the mean time, Slavic military power had quietly but rapidly expanded as well; however, requesting Slavic support was deemed unnecessary.
With the majority of Europe now arrayed against them, Britain attempted a swift and decisive strike at Dutch shores in the Spring of 1832 the hopes of not only gaining a foothold on the mainland but also demonstrating that they were much less concerned than they appeared. The ploy was unsuccessful - German forces retaliated remorselessly, and the first battles of what would become a decades-long war finally broke out. These were joined by French incursions on British soil, backed by a Spanish fleet that fought tooth and nail to keep the Royal Navy engaged in the Bay of Biscay and unable to head north to defend the crown. They were successful - while the King escaped the city unharmed, London itself was occupied by Mainland forces in 1835. Parliament was placed under French control while military rule was administered by the Germans. The Netherlands, meanwhile, took charge of the pursuit of the King himself who was believed to have fled northward. With London lost, the rest of the country fell under martial law.
Meanwhile, the Slavic Union determined that now was the time to express its own interests. In a bold move, Slavic forces betrayed German trust and crossed the border easily in early 1836, occupying Berlin with little resistance. The response across Europe was chaotic. German allies attempted to lend aid where possible without prematurely ending what had so far been a very successful war in Britain, but it was insufficient. Now an annexed Slavic state, the command structure of her military was dismantled and their forces integrated into Slavic structures. Many German troops fled to France or the Netherlands, swelling military numbers there; most, however, were forced by the now very real threat to their families to fight for Slavic commanders arriving on English shores by the end of the year.
Now facing the joint military might of two of Europe's most powerful nations, on two fronts, the French/Dutch alliance was forced to call a truce with Britain in the face of the greater Slavic/German threat. The Royal Navy was freed from Iberian waters and allowed through the French/English channel, where an attempt was made to force the Slavic-ruled German forces from London. While technically successful, the victory was a pyrrhic one - London was all but destroyed in the process, reduced to a pile of smoldering rubble and charred stone. Military losses on both sides were devastating, but the civilian casualties were incalculable. While the land was reclaimed, the city itself was converted to military barracks and training grounds, while the governing military council remained in Liverpool with the King. By 1842 the King had officially named Liverpool the nation's new capital.
In the decades that have followed, the intensity of the war has waxed and waned. While their military might is greatly superior, the Slavic/German "alliance" is fraught with discord between the German people and their Slavic overlords. The German resistance has succeeded in a handful of key operations in both Germany as well as the Slavic Republic itself that have enabled the Allies to win a handful of decisive victories that would have otherwise meant significant steps towards a Slavic victory in Europe. There have been horrible losses as well, however, including the absorption of the Netherlands in to the Union; the betrayal of Italy, who joined the Union war effort in 1866 after decades of refusing to become involved; and the military assassination of Queen Alexandria Victoria in 1887.
The year we'll be playing in is 1924. The current monarch is King George V, son of the assassinated Victoria. Having raged for so long, the war has reached a point where both sides are financially and militarily exhausted, leaving the conflict itself at a standstill of sorts - very little actual combat is currently taking place, though there is still no lasting peace in sight. Britain is all but a martial state now, Parliament having temporarily surrendered much of its authority to the Crown Admiralty Board in the last forty years. However, the military does not have the numbers to properly police much of the nation, which has led to a marked rise in crime. This coupled with a century of war rationing has led to a severely diminished quality of life for the population at large.