Part 49: Epilogue - A New Novistrana
Epilogue - A New Novistrana
Novistrana as a nation today remains a socialist democracy, the rare example of a modern revolution that did not destroy the country outright. The cynics will point to the West as a corrupting and guiding influence of self-interest, but by and large the worker's paradise that Piotr Prokofiev envisioned at least is in progress. A report by the UN and independent studies show that the average Novistranan enjoys a good standard of living, even if technology is behind the times, with few services being underfunded thanks to high progressive taxation.
Novistranan relations with the United States and Western Europe have soured in recent years following the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and the new millenium, but with Scandinavian and northern nations with a similar socialist bent, Novistrana has sought to remain friendly. Russian and Chinese relations are cautious, as the current ruling party (the Novistranan Coalition Party) is leery of aggressive maneuvering.
In the immediate weeks following the revolution and power grab, a constitution based on Western values of democracy and rule-checking powers was put in place with contributions from Prokofiev's inner circle. If the nation was to remain united and the Coalition a ruling power, they would have to account for all walks of life. Past members of the Coalition, with the exception of Felix Lavanov, participated in suggesting ideas and proposing how-tos to accomplish their goals, but much in-fighting over the details ensued that Prokofiev could not mediate successfully. The result was a slight falling out between the different lieutenants of the faction, but Prokofiev and Josef Nasarov remained the glue that kept the core together in the years to come. Prokofiev formed the Novistranan Coalition Party and served out his year as an "emergency ruler", then put himself and rivals from other parties as presidential candidates for the first Novistranan Presidential election. Prokofiev won in a landslide.
The nation never did become a communist paradise, much to Nasarov's and Prokofiev's chagrin. The capitalistic tendencies of previous Novistranan business leaders and the West's involvement in supporting the post-crash nation meant that money and the bourgeois remained tenaciously clung to all walks of Novistranan life. Removing these parasites alone without a worldwide revolution would be impossible, concluded Prokofiev, and all that could be done would be to follow along, stripping away whatever was necessary.
In Ekaterine, the support cell led by the journalist Artem Churbanov uncovered much of the fates of the exiled and imprisoned political prisoners during Karasov's regime, leading to the discovery of re-education camps and mass graves. Many prisoners had disappeared and their fates remain unknown. Churbanov himself kept the Morozov Casino in the spotlight of Novistrana, eventually bringing foreign interest in the workings of gambling in Eastern Europe as well as giving a recovering economy an outlet for fun and leisure. The result was a casino monolopy led by Oleg Brylin, who now owns casinos in many hot spots of Eastern Europe. Ivan Livingstone continues to be Mayor of Ekaterine thanks to his connections and an exception made by Prokofiev's new rule, and has expressed no interest in ascending to higher political circles.
Pugachev turned around in the following fifteen years after the revolution. The city lost its reputation as a crime-infested, chaotic center of underworld dealings, reforming itself as a strong community that cared for its poor and gave succor to the working class. Much of this was thanks to the charity trust that was formed with Anton Kamensky's philantropy and the combined support of no less than three Novistranan celebrities, headed by the ever-patient Oleg Baturin. Today the Pugachev Charity Trust is a shining beacon of hope for many of Novistrana's have-nots. Evgeney Federov led the Pugachev Institute of Technology to higher enrolment in the twenty-first century and made Pugachev one of Novistrana's most advanced cities.
The eradication of the Red Mafiya and election of Mayor Grigorii Antonov, an ex-policeman, meant an iron-fisted ruling with a strong anti-crime bent, driving away the lingering criminal elements by force. Grigorii Antonov was appointed governor of the Western District of Novistrana by Prokofiev, overseeing the cities of Pugachev, Ekaterine, Zamashkand, Vasilikov, and Burukan. His platform of fighting crime and eradicating corruption was extremely popular with traditional and religious blocs of voters in the coming re-elections.
Next to Pugachev's transformation, Berezina's own changes may seem minor but were no less important. The national strike run on April 16, 1996 underlined the sheer importance of unionizing and workers' rights in Novistrana, and Prokofiev's insistence on unionization were underscored by this vital event during the revolution.
Tresori Vilnov's help to the Coalition meant the "old guard" of revolutionaries were more than ready to assist Prokofiev following the revolution. Maxim Nazerov and his government connections smoothed much of the path to winning Parliament's support, while the small but timely involvement of the deceased Rostislav Petrov helped the Coalition's relations with the Church slightly. Vikenti Anisimov's own involvement meant a strong case for antitrust laws, but they were not targeting many corporations that were deemed to be a part of the elusive Red Matroyshka secret society, which made many leery of Anisimov's true intentions as Minister of Finance.
The true extent of the fraud of 1994 was never discovered: much of the evidence that could have locked away or lawfully punished numerous businessmen and economists had been destroyed during Eduard Ivanov's brief tenure as Finance Minister. Of course, the complete economic collapse caused by Prokofiev rendered the past moot. The nation had been thrown into near-anarchy and a serious depression, and it was thanks to hefty foreign aid from the West that the nation didn't get absorbed back into the Soviet Union, claim some political scientists today. Prokofiev was forced to be friendly to the United States and make many concessionary deals which flew in the face of his previous promises and cost seats in Parliament, but at least the nation had been salvaged.
The isolationism of Novistrana until Prokofiev's secret deal with the CIA was marked: the takeover of the armory instead of relying on UN peacekeepers to open a path to the Secret Police Headquarters brought into involvement the rogue general Ivan Alexashenko into the mix. His black market ties were cut by the crash of the rouble, and to prevent coups Prokofiev temporarily handed control of many army regiments to the general. Smuggling restarted and Alexashenko was becoming a threat, so it was up to Boris Churnyeav, seeing a threat to his own power and to the nation, who stepped in and then undermined Alexashenko's influence, safely defusing the threat of an internal coup (that was out of Churnyeav's control, at least).
Vasily Karasov's fate did not endear Novistrana to either the United States or the United Nations: Prokofiev decided to play both sides of the aisle by letting the CIA question him (the contents of which are only speculative), but then sent him to the Hague for punishment. Then, having Karasov found guilty, Prokofiev immediately declared that Karasov serve his lifetime imprisonment sentence in Novistrana, out of the UN's authority. While this was a move that had no authority now that Karasov was in the hands of the UN, the UN agreed to Prokofiev's demands after Prokofiev cited that he would also have to undergo trial in Novistrana... as per the new constitution.
So what exactly happened to the major players involved in the revolution? Well...
Vasily Karasov was overthrown and found guilty of major human crimes to the people of Novistrana by the United Nations and a Novistranan court. His name and reputation reviled, Karasov was sentenced to life imprisonment, but he was recalled to Novistrana by Prokofiev as requested. Today his statues have been torn down, plaques with his name have been reworded to cheer for democracy, and his name is all but forgotten amongst the young. He still carries out his sentence in the Secret Police Headquarters as their prime prisoner today, with a few mementos of the past tormenting him of his days of rule.
Piotr Prokofiev became a legendary figure in Novistranan modern history, as well as a success story for revolutionaries around the world. Having overthrown Karasov and installed a new democratic system of government with the goal of bringing power to the people, Prokofiev met resistance from the established political hierarchies and Parliament, but it didn't stop him from trying to impose his will when he was the acting President of Novistrana. Having a hand in the new Novistranan Constitution, Prokofiev wisely installed term limits that would be enforced by Parliament and the courts, and served out his years until 2004, reaching the maximum single term limit of eight years of rule. Today, Prokofiev remains a high political figure and adviser in Novistrana, but he began to travel the world and learn more of the fate of the working class in other nations. Having stepped down from power, he has taken a very anti-imperialist and anti-Western view of things after the September 11 attacks and the conflict in Iraq.
As a general assembly delegate, Josef Nasarov held tremendous power over the unions in the years following the revolution, acting as the voice of the working class and always demanding more for the people. His communist tendencies rarely applied to the laws passed in Parliament, but Nasarov was relentless, always pursuing to bring power the workers. His activism and successes have elevated him to higher levels of popularity than Prokofiev himself with the unions and laborers. Today Nasarov has relinquished his post to work with the government more closely, but he remains as close as ever to Prokofiev.
Holding more power than anyone else in Novistrana, Boris Churnyeav became Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces as well as remaining the uncontested head of the Secret Police to this day. His militaristic desires and past as a war veteran have made him quite popular with the armed forces, and people fear that Churnyeav has enough clout to hold a coup if he so wished. However, Churnyeav's loyalty to the Coalition and self-styled patriotism have kept him in check, even though he absolutely detests working by Parliament's rules and any sort of capitalistic endeavors. His contribution to the Novistranan Constitution called for a mandatory drafting of the young men (and women, in a gender-equal move) of Novistrana, so that anyone between the ages of 16-25 must serve at least four years in the armed forces.
Two years after the Third Glorious Revolution's conclusion, Tresori Vilnov died of bone marrow cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease after being able to travel to the West and see a doctor, but by then it was too late: the cancer had metastasized to other organs in his body, leaving him with few years of life left and wracked with pain. However, Vilnov continued to work in the Coalition's name, claiming his goal in life of bringing democracy to his mother country had succeeded and he could die a happy man. Prokofiev stayed by his mentor's side during these days, but Vilnov never lost his good spirits. The day of his death became a new Novistranan holiday, and his political works have been collected and published a number of times. His books are considered essential reading by budding Novistranan political scientists, and his contributions to the Novistranan Constitution are highly appreciated.
Maxim Nazerov's involvement with the Novistranan Coalition and overthrow of Karasov brought back his more extreme political views that were held back by moderate self-preservation. Being the author of numerous left-leaning laws in place today, Nazerov became a very popular statesman and eventually became the leader of the Novistranan Coalition Party when Prokofiev stepped down. Today, Maxim Nazerov is the acting President of Novistrana, and continues to act in the nation's interest for the workers. However, he has become relatively capitalist as of late, becoming a good friend to the West and marring the Coalition's image as pro-worker friendly. Opposing parties, most of them being factions that were made legal, have jumped at the weakness and may take some seats in Parliament.
Vikenti Anisimov remains the head of Stock Exchange to this day, and his own status as a tycoon has been oddly unmarred by the antitrust laws that were passed during the years following the revolution. Prokofiev severed his connections with the businessman after installing a new economic system, and being freed from threat of blackmail, he began to serve Novistrana and the government mostly out of duty. However, he remains as shady as ever, with rumors of his involvement in secret societies becoming louder and more frequent. It's said he has risen to the highest ranks of his secret society.
The patient and saint-like Oleg Baturin remained a powerful force in Pugachev, eventually getting a church built in his honor there, and becoming a high-ranking bishop in Novistrana. His charitable works continued to expand, and thanks to efforts, the charity trust from Pugachev has expanded to encompass all of Novistrana. Where the government's socialistic efforts fail, Baturin's charity is there to help them back on their feet. Despite his responsibilities and power, he visits the people often, a priestly quality that has endeared him to many local men of the cloth. Today, Oleg Baturin is set on becoming the next metropolitan bishop of Novistrana despite having a strained relationship with other Catholic and Christian leaders around the world because of his insistence on self-frugality.
Artem Churbanov did not stop at becoming the head of the Ekaterine Echo: his ambitions eventually led him to take over the Novistranan News Network and begin a news empire and monopoly that nearly ballooned to unstoppable sizes, but antitrust laws in Parliament forced him to break up his empire. Despite losing a chunk of his profits, Churbanov was not upset at the turn of events. Five years ago, he married Gina Barolov, a promising upstart writer in the male-dominated world of newspapers. Today Churbanov remains an influential media tycoon, but he has left the Novistranan Coalition Party long before Prokofiev stepped down as President to pursue his own interests in a new Novistrana.
Despite being offered a place in the new government, Felix Lavanov steadfastly refused the offer to act as a media leader. When asked why, he is said to have responded, "Where's the fun in mocking the powerful when I'm one of them?" Lavanov continued to act as a satirist for the Pugachev Post, reporting on the double-talk and empty promises Prokofiev and his party were putting out in the airwaves but not being able to pass through Parliament, but a year after the revolution passed he moved to the United States. He now works as a freelance writer and contributor to comedy news shows, sometimes making passing comments about Novistrana. On the whole, though, he prefers forget his revolutionary past and to move on to bigger profits without bigger responsibilities.
Evgeney Federov finished his studies in the Pugachev Institute of Technology, working from his own intelligence and resources rather than relying on his connections to the Coalition to get his degrees. A budding political philosopher and analyst, he has dedicated his life to bringing democracy to youth and taking other liberal causes such as environmentalism and sustainability. His constant activism have earned him honorary spots in many organizations, and his popularity made him quite popular enough to consider running as an opposition leader in a new party. However, Federov's personal ambitions saw him leave for the West to pursue higher education and try to raise awareness of Eastern European problems.
The death of Rostislav Petrov was a blow to many religiously-minded Novistranans. Despite being added to the history books for his role in the revolution and being a lead "witness" for the allegations of torture in Karasov's regime, many priests saw in him a saint in the making. Petrov's canonization failed, but his anti-corruption stance and legacy left many seeking to legitimize the Church and clear out its more corrupt elements. Today, he has a church dedicated to him in Pallasovka.
With his empire crumbled and assets seized, the young Alexei Konstantino had nowhere to go and nowhere to turn. Desperate and destitute, he eventually was coddled back to the Lodge and given a small-time job in a factory. Unfortunately, his rumors of having killed unionizers and support of anti-union measures during his industry days saw him suffer an "accident" at the local steel mill not two weeks after getting the job. Police have not pursued the matter further.
Being a war hero, Ivan Alexashenko kept a lot of control over the armed forces. However, Boris Churnyeav saw in the man a threat to his power as Commander-in-Chief. He stepped up the takeover of Alexashenko's smuggling businesses and eventually left Alexashenko's Army starved of supplies. Following this, Churnyeav took a gamble and successfully revealed Alexashenko's ties to the underworld. Without any income and now marked as a criminal, Alexashenko was quickly deserted and he lost all control over the Chersonesus Estate. The embittered rogue general was reduced to his name, but his thirst for power led him to go underground with what he had left to begin a new criminal empire that is unmatched to this day. Alexashenko still has not been captured.
Dmitri Barkan, leader of Organized Anarchy, was bitter about the Coalition's seizing of power. Seeing a threat of dictatorships and upset at Prokofiev's heavy-handed tactics to overthrow Karasov, Barkan attempted to activate his sleeper cells to stall the nation, but failed to organize and motivate his old followers. The failure was seen as dissent and domestic terrorism, forcing Barkan to leave the nation in shame and on the run from the authorities. Today he maintains touch with the anarchists of Novistrana via the Internet and encourages them to revolt against what he considers a false democracy, eluding all capture despite the efforts of the Novistranan police.
Andrei Atlasov eventually turned up in Pugachev by renouncing his Organized Anarchy status a few months following the revolution. Wanted by authorities, he allowed himself to be seized and sentenced. The events of the revolution clearly forced him to rethink his lot in life, but having been pardoned by Prokofiev himself, Atlasov was released and he left for the West. Today he works as a local peace activist in London, England, using his old status as a revolutionary mostly as a way to bed young women activists.
The Red Mafiya and the rest of Arkady Ilyushin's legacy was destroyed during the raids of Pugachev during the revolution. His smuggling ties cut and gang dispersed, nobody but old-timer criminal bosses who survived his purge remember his name.
Abram Baranov replaced Ekaterine's bishop after the latter was found to have a gambling problem. He attempted to have Rostislav Petrov canonized for his martyrdom and anti-corruption stance in the Church, but failed. He now heads a strong Church presence in Ekaterine attempting to decry the monopoly Oleg Brylin began with the casinos thanks to the Coalition's help.
Venedikt Markov and Kondrat Kamensky, both being Konstantino's representantives in Ekaterine and Pugachev respectively, had merged with the Novistranan Coalition's cells in their cities. However, after the revolution, their assets were seized as part of a nation-wide redistribution of wealth due to their parts in the fraud that had occurred in 1994. Both men fled the nation to seek new fortune in the West.
Viktor Kovak was fired as Police Chief of Ekaterine by Mayor Ivan Livingstone after constant complaints of insubordination and bribery. Without any form of authority and with no control over the "socialist" criminals of Ekaterine, he quickly skipped town. He was found murdered in Pugachev. His killer's identity is still unknown.
* * *
Natascha Dvorak and Ivan Egorov would like to thank all parties involved in the research and assistance in uncovering the documents and other supporting information that colored and shaped the Third Glorious Revolution. They would like to thank in particular the Novistranan National Archive and the estate of Tresori Vilnov for their gracious help and generous unveiling of previously-classified documents.
They hope that Novistranans everywhere, young and old, will understand the sacrifices and nuances of one of our nation's greatest moments in modern history, and to remember that those with the will survive.
* * *
Here are the final statistics for our characters, just before launching the ending action.
Piotr Prokofiev was our rally-goer, stat-booster, and sole recruiter, edging into Influence territory due to his constant Rally actions to fight the goddamn constant defaming and adjacent district support dropping. I rarely had him do anything else save recruit people via Blackmail once he got to Berezina. Prokofiev hit the level cap, his rank being "Legendary Figure". Trivia: he wasn't meant to keep National Strike as it was a plot-related action that would have disappeared as soon as I ran it, but because he leveled up while the action was still present, I slotted an upgrade on it and it became a permanent addition to his list of actions. I never used it again, though.
Prokofiev's character was hard to write and keep realistic since he would be the guy we saw the most and liable to the whims of the voting, which would cause conflicts with his established ideology. I'm afraid I may made him a bit of a Mary Sue, but it's hard to make a sympathetic revolutionary who also happens to be a manipulative, flexible, and cunning plotter.
Josef Nasarov was a tricky beast: his only non-Sleaze action was the expensive Union Strike, which supported the adjacent-district support attacking actions of the President's faction, but he also served a purpose by being there to Defame the hell out of the enemies in the start of Berezina. He became a "General Assembly Delegate", hitting the level cap. In the final days of the revolution he kept suffering from attempted recruitments by Karasov's men, but because of his high stats, resolve, and level, they never succeeded.
Nasarov's personality wavered a bit as I wrote, but I like to think that Nasarov was a tough but honest worker with a deep dislike for any capitalism. It certainly shone during Pugachev. He also served as Prokofiev's link to the people, acting as a good lifetime friend and confidant. I hope I captured a bit of their brotherly love during the story well.
Boris Churnyeav was our army drafter for great Force support, but his strength also lay in Terrorize, a very powerful weaken character action that had good synchronicity with Prokofiev's recruiting. Churnyeav almost hit the level cap, but got the rank of "Commander-in-Chief" and was key to keeping our ideology mostly in the Force side of things. As with Nasarov, the President kept trying to recruit him, and failing miserably.
Churnyeav was a good man for our revolution, and I have to admit I had a lot of fun writing his choleric character and willingness to resort to punching dudes in the face, especially that smug bastard Lavanov. The Odd Couple pairing of those two was a blast to write. I think part of me internalized the absolutely insane personality of Detective Blake from Heavy Rain, a trainwreck which LordMune is LP'ing now, and put it on Churnyeav with good results.
Tresori Vilnov was a mixed bag: academics really aren't great classes, and once he got Passive Protest, a massively-powerful attack support action, I basically had Berezina in my pocket already. Vilnov's main role was taking over Wealth districts with upgraded Music Festivals early on, and to investigate here and there when I had to. He still had a few more levels to go, having hit "Political Philosopher" as his rank.
Anyone with an affinity for TV Tropes will recognize him as the Obi-Wan of the group, the wise mentor who wants to see his student succeed where he failed. Of course, making Vilnov passive and accepting of all of Prokofiev's decisions would be boring: he would need to also have that spark that turned him into a competent leader where Prokofiev failed.
Maxim Nazerov helped Piotr as a lower-level rally-goer. His Charity Gala action was situational, but his main goal was using the upgraded Rally action where Piotr wasn't available. Other than that, Nazerov wasn't of much more use. He was really a one-trick pony but hit "Statesman" rank, getting close to the level cap.
I'm afraid that by this point of the story I was getting lost on personalities, so I toyed with making Nazerov seek a sort of kinship with Father Petrov since they were both new in the group. The honest, simple hard-worker of the group, Nazerov was the more peaceful side of Nasarov. You'd be well within your rights to say he was not as fun to read as the others, though.
Vikenti Anisimov, our Wealth man par excellence, hit "Tycoon" but was not yet at the level cap. He served his duties as a powerful poster campaigner, but Business Deal helped to gather some situational Wealth support. He could have gotten Political Donor, the Wealth version of National Strike, but seeing as we were taking a lot of Wealth-related paths, we needed to save our pennies to run those expensive plot actions.
I noticed I was being kind of harsh on Wealth characters: Churbanov was very bourgeois and buddy-buddy, Lavanov was a dick, and the random Wealth characters with the exception of the millionaire philanthropist Anton Kamensky were all a bit snobby. Enter Anisimov, the tinfoil hat-wearing man whose secret society past and shady dealings left him unemotional, stoic, and willing to bear even the worst threats. I like to think of Anisimov's lack of personality and emotion as his defining feature: he only got emotional when money was on the line.
I hope you had as much fun reading the LP as I had writing it. It was definitely a good experience for me to practice my writing, getting you all involved and forcing me to consider the roleplaying of different paths. A big thank you for everyone who participated and gave me feedback, and special thanks go out to Servant and Ilanin, who provided me and the rest of the thread with information I didn't know about (goddamn broken assassination mission!) and save files I could use for photos. Republic: The Revolution may be repetitive and failing in a lot of areas, but I'll be damned if it doesn't offer a decent game and the chance to narrate a revolution in the making. Now go, my comrades, our will has been established! Novistrana is free and on the path to communism thanks to your efforts, but perhaps another Novistrana awaits liberation! It is up to you to bring justice to the people!