The Bacchus Conclave is unable to convince the Montanian rulers to join their church, as they already belong to the Vultarin Supremoclast Church. House Deredda tries to investigate something while doing trade, but finds they have no finances for either dedicated, and succeeds at doing nothing. In Regalia, a series of Sulfur ships left behind by the previous Chancellor’s plan to use fire ships against the Anahera ships that were never there were left in the harbor largely unattended. A number of Fristadvlom ships approached the Sulfur ships, board them, and seize them. The ships are sailed away back to Drixagh before anyone even notices they have gone missing, disappearing after mooring somewhere in Irvainvik. House Delmotte declares the Imperial Church of the Holy Divine State Religion for Basta-Irvelle. Furthermore, House Delmotte and Klaus Typhonus travel to Chetznitz, Bluchner and Regens to negotiate their return to taxable income. These nations provisionally agree to rejoin the State Taxation scheme, under the condition that the government shows more competence than the last. Another 20,000 Regals are spent on an emissary mission to the Verreland nobility, to convince them to repay their taxes, by acknowledging that the mercenaries hired were acting in the confines of the law, and thus cancelling the prosecution of the Veer murders. The Verreland nobles reluctantly start paying a bit more taxes, saying they will continue to ramp up taxes to the required amount if the government continues to improve itself. Finally, house Delmotte pays another 30,000 Regals out of the Crown bank to stop the state’s deficit, while Marceau Delmotte also pays out his 6,000 Stipend back to the Crown Bank. As a result of the decrease of the deficit, House Kade Immediately releases their pressure taxation, albeit returning the state to a higher deficit, citing that the situation has relaxed enough for them to do so, to prevent all around famine and higher bread prices. As a result of the government taking immediate action and restoring Imperial control over the flung and refusing provinces, the South Dukelands and the Hellatian States effectively end their rebellion in Status Quo - ceasing hostility to the state. That being said, they still do not pay taxes, on account of the situation in the south completely dismantled into disorganized chaos. Any attempt to even collect taxes while borders are constantly shifting with battles every third milepost, would be futile. House Reinard retreats its troops to Barlowe, setting up their army on the border with Harhold. The Heartland District Bank flushes its remaining regals into the regional stability, raising it. The Hereband Order’s castles are fully besieged by the much larger Zastorzy, Zavoria and Ostyr armies, equipped with the Ostyrian shieldmaiden who was given priority travel and delivery by House Viduggla. The Herebrand’s entire knight order is holed up in their major castle at Mariënforz, which is liable to fall in a few weeks unless reinforcements should arrive. House Viduggla then leads an army with Novolgar and Vladacha, two (surprisingly Etosian Unionist) Petty Principalities that joined the Drixagh Rebellion, and flush out Chetznitz soldiers from the Drixagh side of the border, thus ensuring House Viduggla controls all the land up to Hadrian’s wall. Meanwhile, the Zastorzy, Kaatokaino and Kerwolf levies remain on the west side, meaning the entire Hadrian’s front has been solidified on the Viduggla side. House Viduggla furthermore clears out the North Financial Director’s Bank, “stealing” 30,000 Regals and giving it to House Viduggla, before resigining. As a result, the North Financial Directory essentially ceases to exist, as it no longer has any financial resources or income, given that everyone is rebelling. House Black joins their Duchy to the Church of the Holy Divine, which is quickly followed by its satallite states, the Barony of Worthing and the Rourke Baronlands. From Worthing, Dianne Black furthermore pays 10,000 Regals to improve the local economy. House Fristadvlom maintains its defensive position. House von Drachenburg sends 10,000 Regals to Treppewitz for technological research. Treppewitz takes the money, but replies that given the monumentous task of what they are trying to do, that paying another 140,000 Regals is likely necessary for their work to yield results in both metallurgy improvements and arms production improvements. Armed with 20,000 Regals, House von Drachenburg creates a military diplomatic venture to Contyr, trying to convince Contyr that the government has the backing of the military and the Marshal Cabinet. This seems to just hit the right spot, and Contyr joins the taxation system again. House Avalorn uses their diplomatic channels with the Inheritor states for a list of demands from the Altalar, to consider joining the Empire. The Altalar respond swiftly. For Altalar to be judged on their own penal code, and judged by Altalar judges separate from the Regalian Judiciary. This point is non-negotiable, but the actual Altalar Laws are. For an Altalar-only held position of the Starlight Ministry, who manages the Altalar Laws, and Altalar interests within the Empire, whom the government should pay for to have an Altalar-only Contingency Regiment of 10,000 troops. This point is non-negotiable. For the Regalian State to pay 2,000,000 Regals. The exact number of repair payments is negotiable, but getting any money is non-negotiable. For Altalar language, religion, customs and traditions to be respected in their homelands, and for Estel Faith to be fully legalized by guarantee in the Regalian Empire, which can no longer be altered by the Secretary of Faith. Instead, the Starlight Ministry would be in charge to declaring Altalar Sects outlaw and allowed. For the Altalar Principalities to have tax-exemption from the State coffers, though they will pay homage to the Emperor in the Imperial Seat. They also will commit their armies to federal wars with foreign nations, but should be exempt from getting involved in the Archipelago. House Avalorn furthermore makes another grand gesture of diplomatic ties with the Rivellian Duchy. The Duke seems somewhat out of league for Avalorn’s diplomatic corps in terms of trying to sway him into influence (as House Avalorn is seen as one of the weakest and most irrelevant noble houses in the Archipelago), but he is receptive to Demir Parviz Kamran’s diplomatic skill, and at face agreed to both a defensive and offensive alliance with House Avalorn, which is then agreed upon. The Ramoran Aristocrats pay 4,400 Regals along with Fathiyaa Nasir al-Ramoran to prospect future economic investments through parties with locals in Rivellia. This points out that any future investment of at least 10,000 Regals will yield a 10% return value on a weekly basis as the economy grows. Essentially, invest 10,000, get roughly 1,000 a week back. As a parting gift, House Yaotl spends their last diplomats to support House Delmotte’s diplomatic ventures this week, before retiring to Hadar to rule from there. House Harhold auctions off their Standing Army to the highest bidder during a banquet. Naturally, nobody shows up, except for a massive party of Anahera Cartel members. They eat and drink, before the bidding starts, where everyone simply watches in silence. Just as the bidding is about to close, however, the Anahera accept the Mercenary contract at the lowest price: 3 weeks of levy maintenance plus 50%, which they manage to haggle and cheat down to 65,000 Regals, however with that massive injection of cash, the Harhold bureaucrats don’t seem to bat an eye for 2,000 or 3,000 less than what the actual math came down to - Duke Hengest wouldn’t check the math anyway. Furthermore, a diplomat is sent to House Jonckheere, attempting to improve Harhold’s position for 7,000 Regals. Jonckheere broaches the subject of joining the Church of the Holy Blood of Theomar to the Harhold diplomats. Very casually, and not like there is an intention behind it, but it does seem that Jonckheer seems imminent to join them purely because of their extreme Kadophile tendencies. House Peirgarten donates 10,000 Regals to the now very wealthy Church of the Holy Divine. House Slumberwood goes to the New Lands lords who aren’t paying taxes, but he’s completely unable to even enter any of the countries. Immediately on his way by the border of Bossnen and Bosssarve, he is witness to the battle of Kradzý, and the subsequent massacre of the villagers of the town of Hródbrica-Berg, before returning home with some tales to tell, deciding that continuing on into a chaotic warzone would be a bad idea. House Typhonus spends another 10,000 in economic investment, while mobilizing levies for the defense of Calemberg, 15,000 in total. Another 40,000 Regals are spent on investing in the fied income of Bluchner and Chetznitz, who steadily agree to mobilize their armies (largely because Chetznitz was already under attack) to defend their sections of Hadrian’s wall, with future promises of added benefits after the war. And just like that, dozens of thousands of soldiers are mounted onto the walls, the defenses are repaired, and the siege engines equipped and made ready. The whole wall flying Typhonus banners, and the soldiers all standing proud to defend Greater Calemberg. And yet, just as Reimar Typhonus inspects the 7th gatehouse, a series of dull noises could be heard from far away, like cannon fire. Reimar mounted the wall in an attempt to see if a Drixagh army was approaching, but just as he mounted the stairs, a series of explosions hit nearby, blasting whole sections of Hadrian’s wall out of position, and flinging bodies and stonework in a hail of rubble over the area. Reimar largely avoids damage due to the quick acting of his bodyguards, however mere feet from where he stood, the whole staircase collapsed, the holes in the wall visible from miles away as the dust settles. It is there that Reimar considered what had likely occured: The Fristadvlom ships stealing the sulfur ships in the Regalian harbor sailed back to Drixagh, sent the sulfur to House Viduggla, who then used it to mix gunpowder. Normally, Drixagh does not have access to gunpowder because House Howlester always denied them artillery sales, and Gunpowder is a contraband good. But with Amelina Peirgarten’s order to put those Sulfur ships in harbor and their subsequent unattended ness, the only missing ingredient to give Drixagh access to explosives was provided for. In the middle of the night, House Viduggla armed a series of key points of Hadrian’s wall with large amounts of explosives. As Reimar watched a single singed Typhonus banner slowly levitating down into the hole where once stone masonry stood, he knew: Calemberg was open to invasion.