Berna, Tivesran Republic
Early Winter, First year of the Third Era
Maximilien rode through the city, surrounded by the body of elite soldiers known simply as "the Guard". Berna would normally have been a pleasant city, but it currently carried the smell of death, and several buildings had been struck by his artillery fire during the preceding battle.
The damage was, all things considered, rather minor. His soldiers had done well in preserving the city, and the remnants of the Berna militia had been disbanded under their terms of surrender. A new one would be established quickly out of the pro-Tivesran portion of the population.
From behind him, his aide-de-camp rode up on his own gray horse.
"A glorious victory, general!" he exclaimed.
"The central plains have been embraced by the revolucion," said Maximilien. "The Republique grows ever stronger, but with a poisoned brain..."
"General?" he asked.
"I must return to Tives. The reports I am receiving from the capital are sickening."
The aide-de-camp hesitated in his speech for a moment, confused, before finally saying, "But general, you would need your army to restore order there, wouldn't you?"
"I have an army there," Maximilien smiled.
Tives, Tivesran Republic
"Sir!" shouted Armand Tougas as he rushed into Aristide's office. Armand was a prominent Aristidist in the Assembly, and had recently risen to become one of Aristide's lieutenants.
"Yes, Armand?" asked Aristide, looking up from his reports.
"There is a mob outside! It's Horace, sir, he's demanding your resignation on the grounds of tyranny and abuse of power!" exclaimed Armand. "Vile lies and slander, sir!"
"Indeed," said Aristide, rising as he grabbed and buckled his rapier. He pulled a pistol from his desk drawer and made his way through the Citadel, militiamen joining him as he walked out to meet Horace.
"KILL THE TYRANT!" roared the crowd as Aristide emerged.
"OFF WITH HIS HEAD!" roared a random citizen.
Aristide motioned for the militia to come forward and form a line. They did so, standing three ranks deep with their bayonets forward.
"Disperse!" yelled Aristide.
The crowd continued rioting, and Horace could be seen trying to get them to leave the square.
"Very well. FIRE!"
The militia hesitated, and Aristide repeated his order. The militia reluctantly did so, firing into the crowd with all three ranks. There were many casualties, but the mob was enormous, and responded by charging the Citadel. Aristide backed away as his militiamen stood firm, stabbing with their bayonets and holding the line against them.
Within minutes, the numerically superior crowd was dispersed, with many of their corpses and injured lining the floor of the square.
"Some coup, Horace. Some coup..." Aristide said before turning and walking towards the Citadel. "Find him and bring him to me! I'll have his head for this. And recall General Avolaire. I'll have his head too..."
The trip had been long in distance, and hard on his horse, but Maximilien had certainly made good time in his journey from Berna to the capital. On the horizon, he saw the imposing Citadel standing high above the city. Aristide had kept that symbol of oppression and tyranny? How fitting.
He rode over a small hill and was immediately astounded to see a large line of militiamen ready for him.
"My greeting party," he mumbled to himself as he rode closer.
"Maximilien Avolaire!" roared the voice of militia Colonel Jean-Alexis Machard, an old and respected man. Maximilien recognized him by his astounding mutton chops. "You are under arrest for high treason!"
Maximilien dismounted and began walking towards the soldiers, his arms spread wide.
"Soldiers of the Tivesran militia, I, General Avolaire, do come before you not out of any treasonous intent. I come before you intending to free you and your families all from tyranny, madness, and constant terror. I come before you to make certain that men like Émile Maheu will never again be killed for upholding what is right. So I say now, any man amongst you who would shoot their general and their liberator, fire now!"
The soldiers hesitated, and Colonel Machard remained speechless.
"Vive Avolaire!" one soldier shouted, raising his musket high above his head as the soldiers around him repeated his words. Cheering erupted from them, and Maximilien smiled.
"Soldiers!" he shouted as he mounted his horse. "To Tives!"
Maximilien marched through the city as a mob grew behind him. Any militiamen sent to stop him instead joined him. By the time he reached the Citadel, almost all of the city's militia was behind him, chanting his name and demanding the death of Aristide.
As he entered the square, he looked up at the walls of the Citadel and saw the few remaining Aristidists aiming their weapons down at him. He was out of range, and thankfully so, as he was fairly certain that these men WOULD shoot upon him.
"Followers of Aristide, open the gates and lay down your arms. You currently harbor a more vile madman than the old king ever was!" yelled Maximilien.
"Avolaire!? Is that you down there?" asked Aristide from the walls, laughing. "Do you know the purpose of this Citadel? It was initially built to WITHSTAND riots such as yours."
"Only if the riot is outside, Aristide," Maximilien said as the gates were lowered. His militiamen charged, and the Aristidists inside entered into a panic. Many dropped their weapons, and those who didn't were quickly overwhelmed. Aristide himself attempted to defend himself with his rapier, but was quickly subdued and brought to Maximilien.
"General!" shouted a militiaman as two of them dragged Aristide to him. "What shall we do?"
"Let us hold a trial," said Maximilien. "With the whole of Tives as the jury."
He turned to the mob of people. "ALL IN FAVOR OF SURVIVAL?"
The crowd was silent.
"ALL IN FAVOR OF EXECUTION!?"
The crowd roared with approval.
"And all in favor of imprisonment?"
The crowd was again silent.
"I think the people have spoken," said Maximilien, turning to Aristide. "Execute him on the guillotine."
Aristide began protesting loudly, screaming for the crowd to seize Maximilien and carry on the revolution. He was locked in the guillotine, and one of the militiamen pulled the lever. The blade dropped, and the brutal tyrant that was Aristide Gervaise was dead.
"Burn the guillotine!" roared Maximilien as he stepped onto the square's tribunal. "I declare an end to public executions! I declare an end to this Reign of Terror! The Citadel shall be TORN DOWN, as it should have been the night the King lost his head!"
The crowd roared in approval, chanting his name. The short, bald, plump figure of Horace Paladeau stepped from the crowd, clapping and cheering loudly. The crowd roamed into the Citadel with sledgehammers in hand, and began the long process of taking the Citadel down brick by brick...