Reign of Winter
The nations of Earth reflect many different ruling philosophies, styles and types of government in managing its varied peoples. Like most nations, Russia has undergone several political changes based on societal needs and demands. Earth is coming out of the throes of a massive worldwide conflict, often referred to by Earthlings as The Great War or The War to End all Wars. As a result, several of the previous European nation’s governments being replaced with new forms as new nation-states emerge, old nations are abolished or replaced transformed models. In each case, the nations of the entire world are in a state of political flux
In Russia, The Great War initially brought a wave of nationalism, but increasing numbers of defeats and poor conditions soon made the opposite true, prompting a general outcry directed at the Tsar and his family.. The Tsar attempted to remedy the situation by taking personal control of the army in 1915. This proved disastrous, as the Tsar was now held personally responsible for Russia’s continuing defeats and losses. In addition, his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra, was left to rule the country in his absence. As the Tsarina was born in Germany, Russia’s primary adversary in the conflict, much of her decisions and edicts were met with suspicions of collusion.
To make matters worse, rumors related to her relationship with the controversial mystic Rasputin began to circulate amongst the ruling class and populace. Rasputin’s covert influence led to disastrous ministerial appointments and corruption, resulting in a worsening of conditions within Russia. This led to general dissatisfaction with the Romanov family, and was a major factor contributing to assassination of Rasputin in late 1916 the eventual abdication by the Tsar by Spring 1917. With him stepping down and disavowing any claim of the throne by any living male relative, the Russian Empire was no more.
With the fall of the Empire, the royal family was placed under house arrest and sequestered (for their own safety) as revolutionary forces fought for control over a new government. For a year, the family lived in quiet isolation as competing forces struggled for control of the Russian government, and ultimately the people of Russia. Late in the Summer of 1917, the Romanov family was transferred to a private compound in Ekaterinaburg where they were quietly assassinated and the bodies disposed of. Or that was what the government wanted the world to believe.
With the world believing the Romanov family to be dead, Rasputin, who had faked his own death, uses the chaos of the competing revolutions in Russia to cover his real plans; that of aiding his half-sister Queen Elvanna of Irrisen in overthrowing their mother, the Queen of Witches, Baba Yaga. Soldiers under Rasputin’s control secreted the family away under the cover of darkness. With pro-monarchy White Army forces approaching, an agent of Rasputin conveyed that the family was killed to prevent their capture by the White Army and used to start a campaign to be placed back on the throne. In reality, rather than killing the family outright, Rasputin had them secretly transferred to his private compound at Vahkukva.
At the time of the party’s arrival in Russia, the country is in a state of civil war and no true capital exists. The two factions that are fighting for control are the Communist Bolsheviks led by Lenin who controls his forces from Moscow and the anti-communist White Army which seeks to reestablish a form of monarchy/diplomatic governance. They are decentralized with elements of control in regions of Siberia, Ukraine and Crimea.
In reality, the mystic Rasputin faked his death in 1916 to provide cover for him incarcerating the royal family at a place of his choosing to facilitate the plans of his half-sister Elvanna as they plotted the overthrow of their mother, the Queen of Witches Baba Yaga..
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