Created with Help from Mr Simon Bowers
Things started going wrong in Russia when Alexander the second took to the throne of the Tsar. A man of knowledge and thinking he was like a doting father to Russia. Like a doting father he made the mistake of spoiling his children. He announced the abolishment of Serfdom, something which the peasants should have been glad for as it finally freed them from the land they had tilled for generations. In one fell swoop Alexander had both granted them their freedom and the right to purchase their land from the landlords who they had previously served. The socialists would not doubt term it putting the means of production into the hands of the Narodniks. They should have been happy. Ungrateful wretches that they were, instead they sparked off dozens of uprisings, including one in Poland termed the January uprising that bubbled along for a number of years due to the twisted military thinking of Dombrowski. A Man twisted by Pride Dombrowski was a Polish Nobleman who sided with the peasants, spewing socialist propaganda and teaching them to fight in manners not befitting the field of battle. Ambush and murder were his tools, however it availed him not at all and the rebellion was defeated. Thousands of Rebels were captured but despite the urging of his generals Alexander could not bring himself to have them executed, instead settling for killing some 100 of the ringleaders and transporting the other 2000 or so rebels to Siberia, there to work for the good of Russia in mines and on railway tracks.
Although the largest rebellion had been crushed, Dombrowski had escaped and the peasants were still in uproar over the payments required to purchase their land. Protected for so long from the harsh realities of the world they had no idea how valuable their land was, and they had in fact been almost subsidised by their land lords. Regularly small pockets of the Peasantry would rise up and slay their landlords for the simple crime of wishing to be properly reimbursed for their land. The more sensible Peasants however seized upon their new freedom and moved to the cities, fuelling an industrial revolution the likes of which had never been seen in the entire world. Overnight practically Russia was converted from a slightly backward state to an industrial powerhouse.
Although many had cautioned against the Tsar trusting his subjects with so much freedom so quickly, it had seemed in the most part to work. That is until 1866. The Tsar and his heir Alexander, who had only become heir very recently after his elder brother had died of meningitis the previous year, were walking in the summer garden of St Petersburg palace. Without warning a shot rang out and the Tsar fell mortally wounded, with a bullet lodged in his chest. The guards managed to return fire striking one of the conspirators Osip Kommisarov, but missing the actual assassin, a social agitator known as Karakasov. As the Tsar was borne away to what turned out to be his deathbed Karakazov made his escape and ignited the uprising he had planned meticulously.
Within a day Rebels had seized much of St Petersburg as the military stood in shock at their loss. However the New Tsar Alexander the Third rose to the challenge. As the Karakazovniks approached the Palace Alexander ordered a series of strongly defended barricades to be set up. These barricades protected by prominently displayed Cannons were to hold the Karakazovniks in place to allow more troops to be brought up, which in turn would allow the rebellion to be dismantled with the minimum loss of life. Despite his grief and anger at his fathers murder Alexander was adamant that Karakazov himself should not be harmed.
It was not to be. When the Karakazovniks approached the barricades they were ordered to stand down and informed that the cannons were indeed loaded. Filled with socialist fervour however Karakazov himself exhorted the crowds to attack, and as the unarmed masses swayed by the master orator swarmed over the barricade killing the troops, one of the cannons fired. This situation occurred all over the city, as the Karakazovnik uprising immolated itself against the barricades set up to protect them from their own ideological madness.
Alexander himself laid the stone for a memorial to the dead, and his act of placing roses at the base brought in upon a steamer at great cost from warmer climes, the rebellion became known as the Battle of Winter Roses.
Having seen first hand the destruction wrought by imposing freedoms upon the peasantry that they were not prepared for the Tsar set about lightening the load upon the by now confused populace. He began abolishing some of his fathers more outlandish freedoms. However the peasantry once again proved their ignorance, by rising up in protest of the removal of freedoms that they did not want. With reluctance the Tsar was forced to hire a number of Cossack’s to act as trouble-shooters. The newly created Tsar’s Secret Police (or TSP) was tasked with stopping Narodnik uprisings before the impressionable were drawn into them.
Having put the country back on a solid footing the Tsar turned his eyes back to the issues that had occupied his Fathers thoughts. Russia had always wanted to secure a warm water port, and via this method be able to exert control in the trade with India, possibly even taking control from the British. The last attempt to move forward in “the great Game” had resulted in the Crimean War and an embarrassing defeat for Russia. However, with the British expedition to Eden he realised that this other world may provide a method to win the Great Game without needing a warm water port.
Despite his own misgivings with regards to the Prussians, Alexander used his father’s good relations with them to attempt to pressure the Formulae for access to Eden from them. However the British had already forced an uneven treaty upon them based around limiting the knowledge of the formulas to those countries they preferred. Alexander was unable to break down the Prussian resistance; however the new Tsar was determined. Soon Russian Spies were entering all three of the Dark wall treaty Countries with the intention to procure the formulas by any cost. Russia would no longer be denied it’s rightful due.
In Russia it finally became obvious to all concerned that the peasantry was not ready for the burden of freedom from the land. Those that could, had already moved to the Cities, but the others were in uproar inflamed by propaganda by revolutionaries using them for their own ends. Finally the Tsar with a heavy heart repealed the abolishment of serfdom and returned the land to those best able to administer it, the Landlords. The Peasants reacted in a predictable if illogical fashion, as the rose against the removal of the freedoms that they had never asked for and could not handle. The TSP was forced to burn out many nests of revolution as the countryside exploded once more into violence. The Tsar had once again tried to protect the people from themselves but they could not understand this. As the TSP picked off the weaker rebellions the others banded together forming larger and more powerful forces.
In the cities the workers started to speak of rebellion as the newspapers, tainted by socialist thought, continued to report only the terrible things the TSP were forced to do to stop the confused rebels of the Narodnik uprisings. In the end the Tsar had to impose censorship on the newspapers. Widespread unrest and civil disturbance began to become a problem in the cities and industrial production began to fail, something which the Tsar with his possible plans for Eden could not afford. At first new rules were brought in to prevent the strikes and secret meetings amongst the workers that were becoming commonplace as the socialists began to pour their poisons into the ears of the Impressionable. As the strikes became worse and sabotage became rife the Tsar had to call in the TSP to defend the production. Many questioned why this was necessary, and the Tsar revealed his master plan.
The Formulas had been recovered by the Tsars spies, and despite Russia's lack of a Thinking factory they had been solved not once or twice, but three times. Mathematicians working tirelessly for the past year had located weak spots in both Moscow and St Petersburg. However they had not stopped there, locating a Weak-spot in India near Delhi. The Tsar intended to gather two huge armies in Moscow and St Petersburg and move in to Eden. With them would go many labourers, for in Eden they would be needed to build a rail road between the Weak-spots in Russia and the one in India. Then in 8 years when the weakening reoccurred the Weak-spots would open and the Russian troops would flood into India, supported by fresh troops using the Rail road for transport. In one act the Tsar would win the Great game, and India would finally be brought into the Russian fold.
The Preparations were made, and they would have succeeded were it not for a fresh uprising in the heartland of the Ukraine. Dombrowski and other January Uprising returned from their agitation in Paris during the reign of the Commune and brought with them the nihilist Nechayev whose stated aim was the merciless destruction of society no matter what the cost to the people who relied upon it. Somehow they engineered the mass breakout of the Poles sent to Siberia and ignited the cities in rebellion.
The timing was catastrophic, so many of the troops of the Russian army had been pulled back to defend the Weak-spots while the Tsar's great plan was put into action. Without this drain on their man power the armies of Russia would easily overpower the rebellion, but with so many troops pulled away only the TSP could be spared to guard the labourers stationed in Moscow. Unfortunately unknown to them socialists had been secretly passing propaganda in to the labourers about the TSP's actions in keeping the countryside from exploding into anarchy. The labourers, simple folk and uncomplicated, swallowed the lies of the Socialists and rose up smashing the TSP troops set to defend them.
The Labourers let the rebels into Moscow, and their reward was to be thrown unarmed against the final few barricades trying to keep the Arsenals of Moscow away from the Rebels. The few troops defending the barricades were forced to fire upon the labourers, but this did not stop the Rebellions Nihilist Leadership from driving yet more of them against the troops with the rifles they had already taken.
In St Petersburg the troops moved into Eden unaware that the weak spot in Moscow had fallen to the fanatics. They entered and found themselves on the slopes of a mountain range overlooking a few broken plateaus and beyond those a grass covered veldt. Count Loris-Melikov, the Tsar's military leader for his great mission, immediately began moving supplies down into the valleys. Little did they know that the Weak-spots on Eden were much closer together that on Earth. The Moscow Weak-spot was very close.
It was lucky that he did as very soon the Tsarist mission came under fire from the plateaus. The rebels under the insane Nihilist Nechayev began to shell the exposed Tsarist forces, and very soon the Count was forced to withdraw his troops to the base of the mountains. There they have remained, they lack the supplies to push the Rebels from the plateau, and although they have now made contact with the Germans, their erstwhile cordial friends seem reluctant to give them any real help. Worse the Rebels have both the supplies from the labour camp in Moscow, and have begun mining in the mountains. Their industry is currently only rudimentary but it is more than the Tsarist forces have.
Tsarist Russian Opinions on:
The British Empire: “The British caused our defeat in the Crimea, but if we can achieve the Tsar's great mission here in Eden their power and influence in Asia will be destroyed, and Russia not they will be in ascendance.”
The British Imperialists: “This is the sort of Briton we know and understand. The sort of Briton that orders cavalry to charge a battle line and cannons unsupported. How they ever won in the Crimea is a mystery. Once the rebels are dealt with then these British will be the next target.”
The British Preservers: “Preservers they call themselves. They mean they are weak. If we demonstrate to them our strength they will no doubt be unwilling to be engaged in a lengthy war. We will win against this force by beating the Imperialists.”
The German Empire: “The father of the Tsar was a great friend to the Prussians, and the Prussians hold the reins of the new empire. If we can secure their help we can cleanse the highlands of the Rebels. Be wary however of giving them too much for their help.”
The New Confederacy: “More Rebels although at least these rebels are not poisoned with Nihilistic propaganda. They are too far away to help us and as such they have no real worth to us.”
The Americans: “Again too far from us to be of use. However their antagonism to the British could prove useful to us. Gain their friendship and perhaps together we can push the British out of Eden as well as the Indies.”
The Red Russians: “Nechayev is a Nihilist and a psychotic madman. He wishes to tear down society but has no plan for after he has done that. He claims that we exploit the peasants, but he drives labourers at gun point into his mines. He, like a rabid beast, needs to be destroyed.”
The Neo-Samurai: “If only they would see sense and aid us to destroy the Rebels. We have even offered to allow them access to Nechayev's mines, to our technology, even some of the weapons we and the rebels brought with us. Still they resist, truly they are inscrutable”
The Xorolunda: “A Problem for later. The Tsar's rail road will pass through their lands and they will have to be brought to heel for that to happen. First however we must retrieve the Labourers and supplies from the hands of Nechayev”
The Yaxarla: “They are not in our way, and they are unlikely to aid our enemies. As such they can be disregarded.”