A/N: The Duchy is called "Free Duchy of Enalit", which is used synonymously with the official name "Free Duchy of Musschwing & Schivelbein". Most people simply call it Enalit or Free Duchy.
A/N: Sorry for the " bend " on the one map. I only have an A4 scanner and not an A3. :D I also just see that I forgot to add the cardinal directions. North is up and south is down.
The Western military campaign lasted a few weeks.
The Empire of Sagauvela thus received a large part of the neighbouring country. The coastal areas were occupied, and a new border was drawn, the free zone, where the regime exercised power only indirectly.
The occupied territories were divided into seven palatinates. All names that did not sound Sagauvelish enough were sagauvelised. The attack caused the government to flee into exile.
Track widths were adjusted, roads renewed, and power supply built to the farthest corners. Low-cost labour came along with the occupation. Law and order in the face of the Goddess were initiated and enforced. HePo, SG and WA became the ferocious monsters otherwise mentioned in children's tales. Fear and terror spread like a flood, drowning all those who were not prepared.
About a third of the Free Duchy of Enalit was annexed. In the process, the communities of Pfalzburg and Weymouth on the border, as well as Sehlingen, fell into the Baron's clutches.
Baron Siegfried Wilhelm von Federstein, General President of the SPP and imperial chancellor of Sagauvela had already ensured in advance that Mamselldahl was incorporated by means of political pressure. Berschlandt came afterwards. Militarily successful were his attacks against Flechburg (Flèchebourg in Weißbergish) and the planned march to Weißberg.
The Enalitian ducal army was defeated, disempowered, and disbanded. The government in exile did not watch this spectacle any longer. The nobility was punished with house arrest, while the population was told to remain calm. They were to submit to the customs of the victor. Negotiations between the government-in-exile and other states broke down several times in order to obtain assistance.
After a few weeks, the situation calmed down, it seemed like a put-on game. Everyone wore masks, and life under new leadership could slowly go on its usual course.
The newly won territories were baptised New Enalit (Old Enalit is a palatinate in No Man's Land; Regenschloss is located there). The Imperial Territory Leader was Joachim Jens von Mallmünde, a holder of the Order of the Great War. Everything happened within a single year.
The rapid change had hardly made itself felt by the population. They tried to suppress discontent and go about their usual lives. As a neutral country with a small military, the ducal family tried to maintain the status of the country in talks with the Baron and to do everything in their power not to lose any of their people. A treaty was made, the occupiers became sleeping wolves and allowed the state some freedom in this oppression.
In the most populous town lived Claire's father; Benedikt Silberlilie.
The increased numbers of uniformed men on the streets gave the inhabitants a fear-filled security. For Benedikt it was nothing negative, as a Sagauvelish citizen he lost nothing, he merely gained.
Together with his assistant, Benedikt sat at the lunch table. They waited patiently and hungrily.
"Have you already finished the contracts for Mr von Senfl?"
"They are with Miss Hirsch."
"Excellent," Benedikt spoke with satisfaction.
"Don't forget the gift for Mr von Senfl's wife," his assistant added. Motivated, he leafed through a leather volume.
"Of course not. Thank you very much."
"Something seems to be bothering you, Mr Silberlilie."
"You think so?"
Benedikt looked up.
His pale, glacial blue eyes barely betrayed his agonising musings. He had short, sandy brown hair, which, with the lifeless pupils, became a busy, angular-edged, narrow white face towards the chin. Besides the almost blood-red lips that lacked a smile, his assistant concluded that he was overworked. He looked old, invisible wrinkles and the initial receding of hair on his forehead were the least of his problems. He didn't notice the stain on his grey waistcoat. One morning he had not rewound his pocket watch when it fell to the floor in the bathroom. Now it showed six thirty all the time. His assistant wanted to repair it.
Benedikt was tall. His hands were powerful and massive. Because of the moistening of his thumb while leafing through the papers, it already had a different colour than the rest of his fingers.
He had passed on his callous and neutral attitude to his youngest daughter. Because of this apathy, he was the perfect candidate for the job of human resources manager, the deputy director had said several times.
With a big gulp of water, he was able to speak again.
"What makes you think that Mr Rothmann?"
He looked at his assistant. Nearly envious he wished to be him. Ernst Rothmann had light red, almost acorn-brown hair and even being over thirty, he looked like somebody in his twenties.
The face was broad, oval, and smiling. The eyes lay deep in their sockets. They were reminiscent of black shadows, but in reality, resembled a radiant iris. The childlike appearance mixed with the freckles and the white teeth were among his trademarks. Even in ten years he would still look like he was in his early twenties, although he was already in the second half of his thirties. It was almost unnatural.
Benedikt had never seen him in a negative mood. His verve was the fearless motivation that most employees lost after a few months. His hunched posture was unique, in his spare time he was fond of gymnastics and did it at the sports field near his home. His newfound hobby, tennis, he learned to love. He was smaller than Benedikt, with a lanky body and thin limbs. He was called the squirrel by many people in the company. Because of his hair, his fondness for sports and nuts, and his habit of pressing his front teeth into his lips while thinking.
His green suit looked too old-fashioned and arrogant towards his boss, his checked waistcoat was clean and neat, and he scrubbed his shoes regularly.
"I see it. Is there something on your mind? Not the business dinner with Mr. von Senfl, I suppose? After all, you dine with him more often than at your own home.“
Ernst put his notebook back in the inside pocket after he had memorised the daily schedule for tomorrow. He looked around, asking himself, why his boss wanted to come here.
The small pub had charm.
It was narrow and sparsely frequented. The walls were striped and grey and brown. Lamps in emerald shades hung from the ceiling, photos of the mines harked back to a mining history rich in tradition. The tables were too close together.
Perhaps only a few businesspeople strayed here because it was located in Ventriculare, the working-class district par excellence. On the streets, people heard the roar of the nearby factories, felt the rattle of the underground railway and smelled the exhaust fumes of the industrial plants. In the distance, the noise of the steel winding towers could be heard. It was omnipresent.
"You are truly a great employee. A perfect amanuensis. “
Ernst smiled. He did not know the word.
"What is it about, if I may ask?"
"My youngest daughter will come of age in four days. I can't be there for her birthday, although I promised her." he explained, "Mr von Senfl has forgotten it. I have mentioned it to him several times on the phone and in telegrams that I cannot come on this date."
"Mr von Senfl puts his job over his family. He wants everything settled before New Year. “
"Indeed. His workers are stupid and far too well paid just to pay for his products. He is convinced that people are merely commodities."
"People are commodities in the eyes of entrepreneurs. We are no less," Rothmann concluded, "Is there no one else present on this special day?"
"Giselle, my eldest child, my sister, and a few of Claire's friends, I think," Benedikt replied, "I would have preferred to tell her myself what she was getting from me instead of writing a letter now...it would have pleased her. “
Rothmann remained silent as the food was brought.
Benedikt drowned the chicken breast in the sauce. The beans slid across the plate while he mashed the potatoes with his fork. Rothmann watched him devour his meal within a few minutes without feeling the taste.
The conversation at the table took on a more open vein. It was about the next hires. In addition, some typewriters had to be bought for the newcomers. All in all, there was enough to do, although Rothmann usually had these small tasks finished before Benedikt could tell him about them. When he read him his completed duties, the boss was satisfied. He could rest his head a little.
The lunch break was coming to an end as new smoke was coming out of the chimneys and new ore was being transported out of the pits into the daylight. The clouds had turned a beautiful shade of brown. It resembled freshly baked bread. The heat pressed in on them. Sultry heat for the area was not uncommon.