The Consolidation War
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
The 'E' alliance consisting of Aureus, Morvia, the Wardens of the Wraithwood and their vassal the City of Portsmouth, alongside The Darkwater Company, has declared war on the 'Kongeda' alliance consisting of Rivia, the United Empire and Meridion, with a reformist and hegemonic manifesto.
Editor's Note: This article was formerly live, and is in update form. The earliest release is at the bottom.
The Calm After the Storm
3:00PM CDT, September 28th
Five days after the last major event of the wars between Kongeda and E and the Darkwater Company, the conflicts have tacitly come to a close. At 1:01pm CDT, Atlas's #world-events Discord channel stated that "E has defeated Kongeda in a war!", scoring the winner's war points at 12629, nearly six times that of Kongeda's 2146. This titanic victory, which caused confusion at first among all sides of the war, was attributed by Elder Ajaxan to "Successfully [sic] sieges" and "holding relics" alongside the other, more common forms of warfare (eg quests) in which E's edge over Kongeda was slimmer.
However, this victory was close in comparison to that of the Darkwater Company. For unclear reasons, which left many Atlians suspicious of the integrity of Atlas's war system, the Darkwater Company won its war against Kongeda by 86286 points, 88062-1776. Shinki_ proffered a potential explanation, that Kongeda "put 0 points into it", but as the means by which war points are calculated remain unclear, it is unknown why this towering total was reported or if it was legitimate. Aid711 joked in response that "[Darkwater is] just so good that [they] win without playing half the war", noting in doing so the strange duality of the Consolidation War: hectic action followed by desolate inactivity.
With this, the Consolidation War has ended. Coverage of it, too, will thus end, and this article will cease to be live. If you have any feedback on the Atheran Times's execution of a live article, please submit feedback on the Contact page.
The Two Sieges; Distract and Overwhelm
5:00PM CDT, September 23rd
After days of foreshadowing and preparation, the E alliance (specifically Morvia) declared a siege on the Meridion town of Rucar's Tomb today at 3:29pm CDT. The town, which housed the Elefarr's Forge, was one of only two Kongedan towns which held a relic, and its siege would be the first since the release of Diplomacy. Despite what appeared at first to be a strange time for declaration, E had been, for an unknown amount of time, planning the siege of Rucar's Tomb out extensively. The declaration was made at a time when Meridion members would largely be unavailable to defend the relic - 6:00am in the Australian capital, and even earlier west of that - and active war participant Lord Warden easy_beans had prepared a double deception.
At 3:55pm CDT, the Wardens of Wraithwood declared a concurrent siege on the other Kongedan town with a relic, Mershima, which held the Heart of the Ocean. easy_beans saw to it that it was leaked to E's opponents that the majority of E forces would go to Mershima, with Rucar's Tomb's siege a distraction. However, in reality, Rucar's Tomb was the center of action, and Mershima was a distraction. Though this plot resulted in some immediate confusion among the Kongedan ranks, the illusion was broken when a large group of Morvian soldiers gathered outside of Rucar's Tomb as the siege prelude wound down.
Atheran Times reporter Vedd went to Mershima, while reporter yodabird19 attended Rucar's Tomb. Despite crossing a perilous meter-wide bridge crawling with guards to reach Mershima, nothing much was found - easy_beans alone stood at the siege. However, Rucar's Tomb was abuzz with activity even before the prelude to the siege ended, as a gaggle of Morvian and Wardens soldiers threatened and chased both the sole defender of Rucar's Tomb - at the start - swift1203 and reporter yodabird19. Right before the block protections for Rucar's Tomb fell, a small band of Darkwater Company forces - who held a common enemy with E's - arrived to fight, but were chased off by the neutral E party.
When the siege of Rucar's Tomb began, the battle was 10 attackers vs 1 defender. swift1203, armored and armed with excellent gear, made a startling effort to hold off the incursion of E forces, but could not prevent the rapid progression of the battle line into the underground town. A few more Kongeda members, such as Akenal_ and brandx907, logged on to defend Rucar's Tomb, but E was by far the dominant power at the fight, and in relatively short order NukeSC of Morvia escaped with the Elefarr's Forge.
Despite the removal of the relic, the fighting continued - Aid711 joined on behalf of the Darkwater Company as well - until Ajaxan asked that the attackers retreat so as not to excessively brutalize the town. "You've made your point", the Elder said, as he mused about possible changes to the siege system, such as making the capture of a relic automatically end a siege, or preventing placement of hardblocks. At 4:36pm CDT, the siege of Rucar's Tomb ended. The stolen relic was taken to the Wardens town of Gahkka, and E forces celebrated in chat, stating that they were going to Voldihr for drinks.
Only a few minutes later, reporter Vedd noted the arrival of a number of Wardens troops at Mershima joined by two Morvians. The siege there had at last exited prelude, and no defenders were present at the floating Meridion town. The seven E attackers who continued to Mershima made quick work of the town's defenses, and easy_beans made off with the Heart of the Ocean, which now resides in Terpgard. The information in this paragraph was endangered at several times, however, when certain unnamed E soldiers attempted to launch the Atheran Times's reporter to death.
After Mershima's siege ended, Atlas became stunningly quiet. Over half of the players who had been online left, bringing the player count from 19 to 9. Diggerdoge99 lamented the unfairness of the situation in #public, and Ajaxan asked for suggestions to the siege system. Hardblock spamming, concurrent sieges, "yeet" magic, TNT minecarts, vulnerability window issues, and more were all placed on the list of potential targets of alteration. With these two sieges, E once again displays its dominance in the war.
Now over two full days into the seven-day conflict, E and the Darkwater Company combined hold all seven relics on Atlas. The Balance of Power of the conflict is firmly on E's side by a full two ⬛s. What this means for Atlas is unclear, but what it means for E is rather certain: they are, by most metrics available, currently the strongest political entity on Atlas.
Wild Relic Victory for E
6:00PM CDT, September 22nd
Following Ajaxan's request that Rivia and other nations at war not change their siege vulnerability windows, the Kongeda alliance moved at 4:00pm CDT to relocate two of their relics: the Torvald's Hammer, and the Crown of Karag. This was likely out of a desire to avoid being sieged in the towns that had previously housed these relics, as their previous tactic (described in the previous update, "Rivian Siege Controversy") had been declared illegal. However, this relocation attempt was interrupted by a small party of E fighters, who set out to kill the relic carriers - swift1203 and hexda - and capture the relics for themselves. easy_beans fired on hexda until she logged out, likely in order to save her life and inventory at the cost of the relic, and easy_beans took the Crown of Karag to Wraithhall. Meanwhile, the rest of the party, including _ItzStefan_, who had briefly switched nations to The Darkwater Company (it is unclear whether or not this was acceptable), chased down and - after a difficult and drawn-out fight - killed swift1203 and took the Torvald's Hammer to Crimean Khanate Horde Camp. This leaves only two relics to the entire Kongeda alliance, both owned by Meridion: the Heart of the Ocean, and the Elfarr's Forge. Four are owned by E members, and the Might of Shiraxis sits in Darkwater Keep. With this, E secures its second major victory in a single day, and firmly cements itself as the leader in the Consolidation War. This also means that the previous update's speculation on a potential siege of Polis is no longer applicable.
Rivian Siege Controversy
3:30PM CDT, September 22nd
A deluge of dissatisfaction flooded Atlas starting at approximately 1:00pm CDT concerning a recent change to Rivia's siege vulnerability times. At an unknown time, Rivia, which holds the relic "Crown of Karag" at its capital of Polis, altered the hours during which it is vulnerable to sieges to all be late on Mondays. Though this would normally be perfectly acceptable - the point of vulnerability hours is to ensure that defenders are available for a siege - the issue brought up by siege-desiring Morvian King _ItzChris_ was that this made Polis unable to be sieged before the end of the war that they had with E in the early afternoon of Monday, September 28th.
At 1:58pm CDT, NukeSC, a Morvian presumably in communication with his King, posted a lengthy screenshot displaying _ItzChris_'s private messages with Elder Tyrriel, to Atlas's Discord's #public, in which _ItzChris_ took issue with Tyrriel's stance that the ability to dodge sieges by changing vulnerability times was a problem but that Rivia should not be made not to do so until the issue would be fixed mechanically. This sparked over 45 minutes of debate in the channel, which spread to cover a variety of topics, such as the meaning and purpose of Atlas's siege and diplomacy systems, a variety of allegations against many players (Rivians, Morvians, and Elders, mostly), and the reformist movement. The first demand of the 'revolution' in particular, "solidification and clarification of rules, and more predictable enforcement to reflect such", was of particular concern for the issue, as the staff action advocated by certain Morvians fell into a gray area with respect to 'shadow rules' and the extent of staff discretion. However, in the end, Ajaxan decided to ask Rivia not to abuse the vulnerability mechanic, on grounds of rules 8.1 and 8.6. That this argument occurred at all is a clear indication of Morvia's intent to siege Polis, but what time within the war Rivia will set their vulnerability times to is as yet unknown.
Kongeda Locked Out
12:30PM CDT, September 22nd
Despite the dramatic emergence of a large player uprising, the Consolidation War has continued, though increasingly separately from easy_beans's reformism. The largest development as of late in the war was when, at approximately 12:00am CDT, the E alliance achieved 75 "favor" with Purelaker quartermasters and activated a 'lockdown'. 'Lockdowns' are a central feature of the Atlas diplomacy war system, and are the end goal of the political route in warfare; their effect is to prevent the enemy in a conflict from accessing any NPCs in any of the towns of one of the three NPC empires. These 'lockdowns' can be devastating to an enemy, and that one was achieved within 24 hours of the beginning of the war means that Kongeda will suffer a full six days (assuming no ceasefire) of lack of access to any Purelaker towns. This tilts the playing field of the conflict to E's advantage, but Kongeda still has six days to mount a comeback. How this will affect the war at large, or the reformist movement, remains to be seen.
Rule Reform Demands
9:30PM CDT, September 21st
The events of the previous update ("The Consolidation War") have spawned a large reformist movement, led by the same easy_beans who posted the aforementioned incendiary casus belli. Though this topic is inextricably linked to the the Consolidation War, the Atheran Times considers it to be too large a potential sub-topic to be allowed to be a sub-topic. The Times has created a new, parallel live-updates article concerning these reforms. This article will continue to provide updates on the Consolidation War, which easy_beans has asked E to allow a ceasefire on.
The Consolidation War
7:30PM CDT, September 21st
E's casus belli has emerged, and it is far different - and more extensive - than any predictions known to the Atheran Times. At 6:31pm CDT, on September 21st, Lord Warden easy_beans posted a lengthy document on behalf of his behemoth alliance laying out a short list of dramatic demands with lengthy justification. Readers are strongly encouraged to read the post itself, but, in short, E - at least, its leadership - views the current state of Atlas as a sorry one full of squabbling factions detrimental to the server's overall health, and ruled by ambiguous and frequently-overstepped rules, or "shadow rules". In response, E states an intent to forcibly unify Atlas into one friendly front, and to seek reform of and clarity in Atlas's rules by popular force. The immediate reaction of Atlas in general to the sudden appearance of a casus belli was one of shock and confusion. It seems that many members of E, even, were entirely unaware of this motive, as TheCubling stated that he was "not sure how to react to it". At questioning from Aid711 (who is not part of E's war effort), hexda, yodabird19, Aestrus_, and more, easy_beans repeatedly de-emphasized the severity of the post, stating that "this war is not NEARLY as serious as it seems to be". Kongeda has yet to officially respond, but the reactions of several individual Kongeda members seem to suggest that they agree with the emerging consensus on the supposed revolt: that the motives are good, but the execution is questionable. The full ramifications of E's violent petition have yet to be felt, but a massive argument was sparked in Atlas's #public, which prompted Raiyoku, a staff Warden, to promote a separate Discord server solely for discussion of the issues brought up by E. E's demands are somewhat reminiscent of many players from Atlas's history, most notably old Aureus, which itself lambasted "shadow rules", launched a petition, and built hegemony. Whether E actually took inspiration from this, or this is simply a coincidence, is unclear. Indeed, most of what is happening is unclear. However, amidst this dramatic and violent polarity, the Atheran Times will be redoubling its efforts to bring Atlians of all views and nations unbiased (save the Opinion column) news on these and other developments.
On account of the content of E's post, the Atheran Times has assigned the E-Kongeda conflict a (potentially temporary) neutral name, "The Consolidation War".
The drama laid bare
5:00PM CDT, September 21st
The period of the war which has received by far the most attention in the four hours that it has existed thus far - the first hour - has, as the previous update (and, to a lesser extent, those before it) describes, been rife with controversy and uncertainty. As of 5:00pm CDT, the Atheran Times has obtained a complete log of Atlas's public chat across this opening hour, from Atheran Times reporter IceCarim. The log shows the exact text behind all of the Times's descriptions of chat-related events, such as the debate over "powerbeam" and CyanSeed's multitude of contested comments. Out of a desire to release this information to the public with utmost haste, the logs have not thoroughly been read through, but a quick search of them appears to support the Atheran Times's reporting on every single contested chat-related part of this article.
Readers are encouraged to read the logs for themselves.
Uncertainty and abuse and toxicity, oh my!
3:00PM CDT, September 21st
A number of developments to the war situation have occurred in the last hour and a half.
First, CyanSeed, whose supposed quotations were featured prominently in the previous two updates ("Glimpses of a cause begin to appear" and "the war heats up with a debate"), has publicly denied having said what Atheran Times reporter IceCarim recorded him as saying. As IceCarim is currently unavailable, the legitimacy of CyanSeed's quotes remains in question. SilentStormSeven, during CyanSeed's denial, stated that "they had no other context", indicating a possible misunderstanding. Updates on this will come, and if they necessitate the correction of the previous update, that will happen.
Second, several players on all sides of the conflict have complained of use of "yeet" (launch) spells to bypass certain limitations of Atlas's combat system. Namely, the issues revolve around the ability to use (and kill) players of any sort within NPC and player town borders, and that players killed by this magic will drop their entire inventories. Nobody has yet been punished for this, but the Atheran Times will keep an eye out for any results of this abuse.
Third, at 2:46pm CDT, Riviaplana ArtemisQQ, on behalf of her nation of Rivia (and not her alliance of Kongeda), posted to the forums an official "Denouncement of All War Toxicity". The short message stated that "Rivia denounces all of the toxic behavior...presented by the Kongeda Alliance", and that "[Rivia] ha[s] repeatedly asked the alliance to be respectful". Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Atheran Times reporting on the war thus far has not been complete, so whether any issues in particular prompted this declaration, and, if so, what they were, is as yet unknown.
The Atheran Times has received a lot of feedback on this live article, most of it in the form of pointing out inaccuracies or missing information. The best way to get your changes implemented into an article is to go to the Times's contact page and fill out the relevant form(s).
Glimpses of a cause begin to appear
1:40PM CDT, September 21st
Minutes ago, CyanSeed publicly hinted that a fissure between Kongeda and E was behind the war's declaration. "You didn't even come to us incase [sic] you wanted to resolve something", CyanSeed alleged. In response, SilentStormSeven contested, "you guys wouldn't have budged anyway", perhaps implying a lack of some sort of compromise on the end of Kongeda.
A killing spree by SilentStormSeven ensued as death met themightyboop a second time by his "Corrupted Axe" and AstuRTT was bludgeoned by this too.
A Vantian guard was then slain by _ItzChris_.
For now, the conflict remains in this tense and angry state, but there is no more information yet on this emerging past behind the war. What becomes of everything that the last fourty minutes has seen the emergence of is left to the future.
The war heats up with a debate
1:30PM CDT, September 21st
Tensions are rising further between Kongeda and E due to United Empire leader CyanSeed alleging that NukeSC used "powerbeam" - a powerful, strange, and soon-to-be-removed sort of magic. Shortly thereafter, he addressed Chickenoob76, asking that "Chicken...stop being obnoxious", to which Chickenoob76 retorted, "I wasn't the one who threatened the E officials."
A debate ensued in the chat over whether or not powerful magic spells like powerbeam ruined the "fun of war". Speaking to E alliance members, CyanSeed further added that, "Your [sic] the ones trying to hunt us down every two seconds", and that "you literally tried to powerbeam me straight away". E alliance members quickly came to each other's defense though, with SilentStormSeven asserting that such is the nature of war; "it's called war", he stated before slaying four Shen Guards in quick succession.
The war begins on high octane
1:00PM CDT, September 21st
As of 1:00pm CDT, the war between the E alliance and the Kongeda alliance exited prelude. Seventeen minutes later, the same happened to the Darkwater Company's war against Kongeda. The actual fighting phase of the war has now begun. The first casualty in the entire conflict was Morvian King _ItzChris_, who died not to an enemy combatant but to a Shen Soldier (though under disadvantageous circumstances) only nine minutes after E's war began.
The earliest and most active fighting of the conflict, as in many previous ones, has been concentrated near Telaria. Gxlddreams was slain by Lostnation not long after Atheran Times reporter IceCarim arrived on the scene, and themightyboop was killed by a Shen Soldier. This is all that is known for now, but the conflict shows no signs of cooling yet.
The Darkwater Company joins in
2:30PM CDT, September 20th
At 2:17pm CDT, just over an hour after E's declaration of war on Kongeda, the Darkwater Company came to their side. Their declaration of war, too, was, to the average Atlian observer, entirely out of the blue. It even came as a surprise to the only Darkwater member online other than the declarer (Aid711), Sciath. When asked about the reasoning for Darkwater's declaration, Aid711 responded that "[he] like[s] wardens", and that they "didn't hire [him]".
This changes the layout of the war, as Kongeda is now forced to fend off two geopolitical entities at once, putting it at a relative disadvantage. easy_beans, when asked for comment on the dual declarations, said of Darkwater that "[wardens] didn't ask [them] to, [they] just did when [they] heard [E declared] lmao". He also stated, speaking of E's incendiary declaration, that "there's been a lot of stuff happening that led to this point" that he's "not at liberty to discuss".
Observers of this conflict should keep their eyes peeled for any indication, from any of the multitude of parties now involved in the war, of the as-yet shrouded-in-mystery casus belli of the conflicts.
A gargantuan war appears out of the blue
1:30PM CDT, September 20th
At 1:00pm CDT exactly, on Sunday, September 20th, the E alliance declared war on the Kongeda alliance. E, which consists of Aureus, Morvia, the Wardens of Wraithwood, and the City of Portsmouth, had made no clear public indication of any intent to war Kongeda prior to the sudden declaration. Kongeda, which consists of Rivia, the United Empire, and Meridion, has yet to officially respond.
Warden warrpoe, at a request for comment, stated that "shit...will go down", which seems reasonable for the largest war by population that Atlas has seen since the release of Diplomacy.
Information is limited at this time, as the war has yet to even truly begin (due to the 24 hour prelude), but The Atheran Times will be providing the people of Atlas with live updates on the matter for its duration.