This article (People's Commune of Muscovy), is fan fiction and isn't automatically canon. On the other hand, no one said it isn't.
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People's Commune of Muscovy
Agriculture and Industry
Original Paradox:Renaissance Faction
"Arise ye pris’ners of starvation Arise ye wretched of the earth For justice thunders condemnation A better world’s in birth! No more oppression's chains shall bind us Arise, ye slaves, no more in thrall; The earth shall rise on new foundations We have been naught we shall be all."
- "Ballad of the Free Men" by Natelya Drochokenov
The People's Commune of Muscovy, otherwise known as the People's Commune or Muscovy is a new faction being expanded upon for Paradox: Renaissance. Formed by a revolution of serfs and 'communalists' against Ivan IV, Grand Prince of Russia, in 1547, the People's Commune is an anomaly amongst the empires and kingdoms around it in that it primarily run by the common people who reside in it. Having eradicated the tsars and other nobility and ruled under the reformed Council of Citizenry, Muscovy now seeks to recover from war with the recently made League of Nations and build itself up as a major power in the Known World.
The People's Commune of Muscovy are symbolized by a crossed hammer and sickle, with a star on the upper left. This is meant to represent the two major fields of agriculture and industry that thrive within the People's Commune, as well as power of the Citizen.
The rise of the People's Commune of Muscovy started truly in 1523, a full twenty-five years before the fall of Ivan the Terrible and the tsardom of Muscovy, when one Viktor Heinrich Zelinsky revealed a discovery that would one day shake the then Grand Duchy of Muscovy to its core. A minor inventor studying the still-young technology of capturing and manipulating ambient electricity, Zelinsky was investigating the possibility of passing such energy from one apparatus to another through use of special wires when he inadvertently linked up another set of apparatus without realizing it - until he noticed that not only were the two sets of electricity-transferring apparati passing the energy between each other, they were also passing it along to every other apparatus connected. It was small. It was crude. It was little more than a scientific oddity. But this discovery was merely the first step.
As Zelinsky investigated further, he began to make the apparati smaller, link up more of them together, test the boundaries of what could be done with such networks. Soon, it was discovered that by using more commplicated machinery, the network could actually send information back and forth between other machines. Then, Zelinsky and another researcher learned that by using an offshot of ambient electricity tentatively named 'aetheric energy', the machines could connect with each other over long distances without even needing to be physically linked via wires. And in 1535...something happened. While conducting routine communication experiments over long distance with Alexandre Blagovest, a fellow electrician and colleage of Zelinsky, the researchers noticed something odd - minor errors in the code being used for communication, that seemed to happen on their own...and as the two men conversed more, they both noticed that the machine was learning from their code...and attempting to imitate it. Within the electrical network that came to be known as kyberspace, the first intelligence borne out of artificial means came into existence.
And it was such that the first Artificial Subjects were created, though they were crude and like babes in their intellect at first. The first, nicknamed Rod from the old Slavic mythological being, was only truly able to achieve self-consciousness after four years of constant tutelage by its 'fathers'. But the Orthodox Church and Ivan III took notice of Zelinksy and Blagovest's creation, and while the Church wanted them put to death for sinning while 'trying to usurp the Lord's position as Creator of All Life', the tsar recognized the potential of such a being and further beings as loyal subjects...both in peace, and in war. Soon, Zelinsky became invited into the court of the Duchy, and was set into position as the tsar's official Artificial Subject Crafter. More and more networks were created, linked to Rod in order to more quickly spread information into newly created ASs, and the network began to spread all across Moscow. Soon, the average boyar could use a caculating machine, or a caculma, to link into Kyberspace and transfer or even directly upload information. An informational revolution began to start...and soon, a physical revolution.
Initially, the only people who had access to the Kyberspace network were the boyars, knyazes, tsars, and the court researchers - and, as the Artifical Subjects grew and gained more knowledge, they learned all they could from them. The first ASs learned of history, philosophy, politics, and warfare - and they remained solely in Kyberspace frames and caculmas, the People's Commune might have never come about.
But eventually, Ivan III wanted more from the Artificial Subjects. He wanted not just subjects, but soldiers to help him conquer his enemies. And so Zelinsky was called upon to oversee the construction of bodies for the Artificial Subjects, calling upon craftsmen and anatomists and other inventors to help him put life into bulky, vaguely humanoid constructs - Kyberspace frames, wired up to allow sight, sound, and touch reach the AS 'mind' within, given shape and anatomy by diligent workers and created in the form of their maker, using ambient-energy collecting spinners to help provide energy. Once the Artificial Subjects were given bodies, however, they became more exposed to the world - and, with their limited understanding of the feudal order, were confused by what they could now see and hear for themselves.
They viewed the royal lords and ladies of Muscovy ruling over the common people, and the peasants and serfs of said royals toiling in the fields and farms in stark poverty. They witnessed the burgeoning trader classes 'preying' upon others, taking advantage of the luxury of the royals and the ignorance of the peasants to stuff their own pockets. They watched the corruption of the Orthodox Church, nobles, and military officials sap at both the coffers and the defense of the nation. To beings whose existence had been sheltered immensely, who knew of people only as equals in coding, this was a worldview unlike any they had known before...and with the tutoring recieved by the various bored nobles and other users of Kyberspace, something clicked within them - this was not right.
The Artifical Subjects would never publicly reveal to their creators or to the tsars their thoughts on such matters, but from the day they were first exposed to the feudal system of the Grand Duchy they made plans to change it, their thoughts modified by the militaristic advice and teachings exposed to them by the nobles of Moscow. From them sprang forth the idea of Communalism - of an equality of being, where every being had certain rights and equality that could only be modified by the personal talents of the being or the decisions of their peers as a whole. Using the Kyberspace and a few susceptible confederates amongst the royalty of the Grand Duchy, the ASs began to gather allies and spread their ideas to the countryside as a whole.
In 1547, the ideas and words of the Artificial Subjects had spread amongst the greater population like a plague for over eight years, and already general discontent and rebellious murmerings were coming to a head. The corruption of the ruling class was becoming more and more evident, and behind the scenes the Artificial Subjects watched, and listened, and put more information into feeding the fire.
And as Prince Ivan IV, otherwise known as Ivan the Terrible, accepted the title of Tsar of all Muscovy, the lower classes revolted.
For the next twelve years, the Grand Duchy was at war.
The boyars, knayzes, and tsars had let their reign run lax in earlier times, but the discontent of the serfs and peasants tightened their grip on the lower classes, and the rise of Ivan the Terrible to Tsar of all Muscovy encouraged them to be more harsh in their punishments and demanding in their fines and taxes. As Ivan vowed to crack down on the mutterings of anger and rebellion, the lower class began to consolidate and band together in local militias to fight off the taxmen and guards of their masters. Farm implements were taken up as weapons, hunting bows were turned upon humans instead of game, and some sympathetic traders and merchants even risked their lives to bring caches of weapons into Muscovy. But Tsar Ivan IV and the knayzes had the power of wealth, bodies, and modern equipment of their own, and despite the popular uprising the communalist rebellion was sorely outmatched.
But what they lacked in numbers or tools, the revolutionaries made up for with information. The Artifical Subjects used their positions in court and among the nobility to spy on the war plans of the tsars and boyars, using confederates and those few nobles swayed by their arguments to help organize and assemble the rebellious populace. Coordinates for treasure houses were relayed to bandits and thieves, who broke in and stole the wealth of the upper class to use for buying weaponry from the peaceful League of Nations. With one side boosted by equipment and power, and the other lifted by numbers, information, and spirit, the Muscovite Civil War raged on, the tide of battle and shift of power flowing from one year to the next. The Communalists would be strong and nearly in victory one month, and then crushed by defeat at a key city the next month.
Finally, in 1559, the revolution ended. After a decade of fighting, the Communalists had managed to secure victory for themselves and take the city of Moscow, and with the execution of Tsar Ivan the Terrible the remaining nobility surrendered. They were confined to their palaces, now turned into prisons, and the people of the newly-named People's Commune of Muscovy began to rebuild. The Artificial Subjects who had helped win the war now stood in a unique position, having the knowledge of the previous ruling class and political system but lacking the practical knoweldge held by the previous peasant population of Muscovy, they became advisors to a new system of government: communalism. Where once were peasants and serfs were now citizens, allowed and encouraged to vote for representatives of their choice to represent their townships in the Council of Citizenry. Even the Artificial Subjects were renamed Artifical Citizens, and they too were allowed to take part in the national and democratic proceedings.
There would be problems ahead. Western Europe had not been blind to the fall of the tsars and the rise of the lower classes, and in time the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and People's Commune would find themselves fighting in another war, this time against one another. Corruption and partisanship would make its presence felt as the new nation struggled to find its feet in world politics. But no matter what happened next, the citizen of the People's Commune would be confident in their actions. They had fought to secure equality for themselves once, and they would fight to the death to keep it for their children.
Home and work of the local Citizen's Council, Council Quarters make sure nearby Citizen's Army buildings and defenses can be constructed, as well as see that Orders can be given out. They provide a small amount of Labor to help initial building.
Worker Bunks help house civilians and refugees from the surrounding area, while also giving them a place to work and stay. Though they don't have any special abilities, they provide a larger amount of Labor than other factions.
Through the Auxiliary Post, normal civilians can be quickly trained and outfitted as Auxiliaries when needed to defend their lives and homes.
Within these outposts of equality, soldiers of all types and former classes work and train together for the greater good of Muscovy.
Logistors keep track of and transport Supplies to these buildings so the soldiers of the People's Commune always have sufficient supplies, protection, and food to keep them comfortable and battle-ready.
Swift destriers and heavy warhorses alike are stationed at the Communal Stables, alongside more unusual mounts. Two Stable Workers also exist in the Stables, soothing the wounds of injured mounts and removing harmful remnants from them.
Master ship builders and ordinary dockworkers together keep watch over the miscellaneous and prompt construction and docking of the varied ships of the new Muscovite Navy. Two Dock Workers are stationed nearby, fixing any damaged ships that happen to be nearby.
The Manufactory building is a sturdy armored facility where craftsman and Lifegivers work to create the Automated Citizens, artificial but still rightful citizens of the Commune. They have two Lifegivers at all times to help maintain the Kyberspace network inside the ACs as well as repair more bodily damage.
Similar but quite different to the water-borne docks of the Commune, Aerial Docks are where the impressive aerial ship fleet of the Muscovites is stationed. Two Repair Balloons hover around the area, helping to repair ships when they back to roost.
The People's Voice
Superior Weapon: An enormous, 800mm brass cannon, the People's Voice is the single largest siege device in the People's Commune, and was directly responsible for bringing down the walls of the Kremlin in the People's Revolution. Though loading and aiming it is ponderous, the two-step cannonball it fires not only does heavy damage to a single location, it also throws out dragging chains around it to drag units, defenses, and even parts of building into it before detonating its black powder stores. As a Siege Engine, it can pack up into a mobile form for movement around the battlefield
Thick stone walls with thin bands of steel for added protection, Perimeters are thick and extremely hardy, allowing you to provide effective blockage of an area at the expense of Supply and Labor. Siege Engines can bring them down easily, however.
Watchful guards man the Perimeter Gate, and allow for troops to enter or exit through areas otherwise made impassable by Perimeters.
Composed of felled trees laid in rows with their sharpened ends towards the enemy, Abatis's are far cheaper to construct than Perimeters while still having defensive abilities. Cavalry and Infantry can move slowly through the Abatis, but take damage in the process – Siege Weapons cannot get through at all.
An all-purpose defensive post, Globule Launchers are dug-in pits with a storage locker of brass 'globules' filled with black powder, which can be flung via special launcher at either ground or air targets. However, they do require an infantry to man them.
Part of the vast network of electrical and aetheric signals known as Kyberspace, the Kyberspace Frame stores the minds of Automated Citizens downed in battle. By issuing battle tactics and knowledge of weaknesses in enemy armor to friendly forces, the Frame can boost the damage and the health of nearby units.
The Brass Cannon is a straightforward field gun that deals excellent damage with a wide area of effect with every shot, and operates best against walls, buildings, and cavalry. A Siege Engine, it can pack up into a mobile form for movement to the field.
Fearsome and hardy dogs of war, Battle Hounds make up for their lack of attack power with their sheer bulk and surprising speed. They can charge into nearby infantry to sweep them off their feet and send them flying, or even send cavalry stumbling back.
Armored in study mail armor and armed with both longsword and hand-cannon, Yeomen are capable infantry that can withstand and deal punishment in close quarters. Their shields can be brought up to greatly increase their defense, though this slows speed slightly and blocks use of their hand-cannons.
Heavily armored anti-cavalry troops, Streltsy's have large bardiches that can easily though slowly cleave through horses and their riders alike. They do not just have their blades, though – they can also whip an enemy horseman or infantry's weapon away for a few seconds while their fellows close in for the kill.
Manufactors are workers of the Commune with an aptitude for everything from machines to architecture. They are unique amongst similar engineering infantry for their ability to capture both machines of war and buildings alike on the field.
Though their weaponry may seem obsolete, Crossbowmen are expert marksmen whose skill with their recurved crossbows are unmatched. They can fire either a single high-powered bolt, or attach a special mechanism to their bows to fire several bolts in a row, doing less damage with each bolt.
Knowledgable in breaking into machinery and 'hacking' Kyberspace frames, Gearsmen are official 'Kyberbreakers' also specialized in repairing defenses, buildings, and mechanical creations of all kinds. Their telescopic view-pieces also serve another use besides detail work – the Gearsman can spot for nearby units, increasing their range at the cost of mobility.
One of the best hunters Muscovy or indeed the Known World has ever seen, Ekaterina is armed with her special hunting crossbow, firing bullets with deadly precision against infantry and cavalry. She also has a small quantity of special bullets filled with explosive materials, allowing her to conduct a devastating explosive attack against groups of enemies.
Though they don't have the same amount of armor or firepower as regular troops, Citizens can be called up in an emergency quite cheaply from an Auxiliary Post to lend help. Their hatchets work best at felling other infantry, while their hammers can relatively easily smash apart Siege Engines and defenses.
Reservists are former veterans and non-active soldiers brought back to the front lines in emergency situations as auxiliaries, and are armed with flails for defending against enemy cavalry. When fellow soldiers are in danger, they can whip out saps to bludgeon and stun enemy infantry at close range.
Light auxiliary troops never meant to be in the front lines, Globuliers are speedy and armed with light throwing globules which they hurl at enemies, though their armor and health are low. Explosive globules are standard for disrupting areas of ground, while sticky pitch globules can be thrown to slow down incoming or fleeing units.
Civilian hunters and woodsmen gathered as auxiliary troops, Hunters are armed with shortbows that deal acceptable damage at a distance, but have a relatively slow reload and firing time. In addition to normal arrows, they can fire fire arrows to set units or areas of ground on fire, though they do no damage themselves after being burned up in the process.
Logistors are large trade wagons that deliver the industrial and agricultural output of Muscovy to and from Trade Routes, creating Supplies to house in your Storagehouses. When loaded up, they can perform a rushing charge that tramples infantry and smashes aside other cavalry, though this will cause them to load their entire cargo and runs the risk of placing them within a more vulnerable position.
Council Carts haul the packed up frame of the Council Quarters, allowing it to travel to and from various locations as needed.
Though they may be officially light cavalry, Demilancers are still armored in half-armour and armed with lances for running infantry through. Their ability to drop a flight of small explosive globules behind themselves as they charge should not be underestimated.
Pulled by heavy dray horses, War Wagons are plate armored shielded cavalry wagons capable of safely holding three infantry inside, who can fire on or otherwise attack outside forces.
Cossacks are elite medium infantry, and though they only have cavalry sabers they also have help from their mounts – ferocious armored polar bears. They can also help defend other units by making the bear rear up and tear the head off a nearby enemy soldier – causing all other nearby enemies to immediately pour fire into the Cossack without caring about other soldiers nearby.
Once the princes of Muscovy and now representatives of the people, Boyars choose to show their loyalty at times by mounting personal warhorses and taking to the field of battle. Their horseshot-guns excels against other cavalry units, while their burnable firebrands can entangle infantry and cavalry in burning fire.
Cataphracts are heavily armored even by normal Muscovite terms, being almost completely covered in plate and scale armor and armed with both a gun-lance and tower shield. With their horns they can issue a call to arms, increasing the speed of nearby cavalry and the fire rates of nearby infantry.
Also known as a Wandering Town, Gulyay-Gorads are wagons containing both prefabricated shields set up into defensive positions, and three cannons. It can be configured into either Offensive Mode, bringing out the three cannons to decimate areas of ground, or Defensive Mode, using thick shields to block fire while crushing anything that gets in its way.
While slow, the Hulk is very well-armored for a transport ship, and can transport six infantry or three cavalry across the waters as needed. They also have a single small deck cannon for defensive purposes.
Boats created from a single tree trunk, Chaikas are relatively quick, very small ships armed with six falconets. Normally only able to fire three, to the front and both sides, the Chaika can stop and lay anchor to fire all six, though this immobilizes it.
Armed with four deck cannons, the Galleass is the main-purpose ship of any Muscovite fleet. Adept at both offense and defense, the Galleass can also offer support by roping itself to a nearby vessel or sea-based building and start repairing it over time.
Centered around a single huge ship mortar, the Gunship is, unusually for the Commune, very long ranged, capable of firing over walls or other ships to get at targets. While it normally fires indirectly, it can transition the mortar to fire direct, giving it much better damage but at a greatly decreased range.
Enormous in size and firepower, the War Barge not only has a brass cannon to lend it firepower, but four falconets and two deck cannons to offer covering fire as well. Perhaps most amazing is the internal Kyberspace frame it houses, which it can focus on another ship to temporarily increase range and damage of the targets guns.
The most basic of the Automated Citizens, Svarog-class ACs are still capable warriors, their artifical construct frames capable of taking multiple hits while their heavy warhammer pounds infantry into paste. Powered by a spinner on its back that collects ambient electricity like all ACs, Svarogs can use excess energy to power a flame thrower in its owner arm, temporarily blasting the immediate area in front of it with fire.
Veles class Automated Citizens are bull-like Automated citizens, armed with a large war scythe in one hand for tearing apart cavalry at close ranges. Using excess ambient electricity stored up inside of them, they can activate a disorienting burst of noise that stuns all units in front of them for a short period of time.
Jarilos are, unlike most Automated Citizens on the battlefield, concerned more with helping their fellow soldiers than directly fighting themselves. Internal herbal and medical supplies as well as repair tools allow them to quickly patch up fellow soldiers and Automated Citizens, though they can also use their tools to take apart walls and vehicles with surprising ease.
One of the most analytical Automated Citizens on the battlefield, Peruns serve as long-ranged support, using their stores of energy to power their lightning dischargers before zapping units from great distances. They can prematurely discharge the weapon, allowing for a low-range attack that can hit multiple units.
Named after the Slavic deity of death, Marzanna ACs live up to their name, combining war-like dispositions with cold, mechanically efficiency. Relinquishing normal weaponry for chain-connected saw blades, they carve through infantry and cavalry alike with ease, and can use their excess energy to temporarily send themselves into a frenzy.
The smallest of the aerial ships, Spotter Balloons are slow and vulnerable but have a great sight range and can spot hidden foes. They have globule stores they can drop if need be, though this relinquishes movement.
First of the greater aerial ships, Skybreaker crews use three harpoons to fire down at units on the ground, doing best against infantry. They can either use unguided harpoons to deal normal damage, or dragging harpoons that raise the caught unit up into the air before being dropped – such an attack takes longer, but ensures a one-hit kill.
Similar to Skybreakers, Cloudlancers serve as anti-cavalry and anti-air aerial ships. Their four falconets can only be targeted at ground units, but they can generate a temporary boost in speed and use their forward ram to break apart enemy units in the air.
Pride of the Aerial Fleet, the Tsarhammer is an enormous aerial ship armed with three downwards facing cannons that blast apart enemy fortifications, as well as balloon-attached blasting mines that can kill enemies long after the Tsarhammer has retreated. Perhaps greatest of all, however, is its ability to carry up to eight infantry or four cavalry over land and see alike.