Stalingrad (Tethers to Stone)

By Moe Lane


Between the months of August, 1942 and February, 1943, the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd), and the countryside around it, was the scene to quite possibly the bitterest warfare to take place in World War II. At its height, men died in terrifying numbers (total casualties have been estimated by some to top one million) to gain or defend inches of territory. The fighting was merciless, unending, and utterly intolerant towards human survival on either side ... but if there was one 'battle' that broke the Nazi war machine, this was it. With that in mind, one would think that David would have a Tether in Stalingrad. One would be wrong.

David has lots.

Make no mistake of it: Stone owns Stalingrad. At last count, there were five major Tethers of Stone in the city itself, at least two in the countryside and dozens of lesser Tethers, of various sizes, scattered throughout the area. There are no demonic Tethers at all: David has officially ruled that attempting to foster one within twenty miles of the city is automatically 'striking first', and every single attempt of Hell's to establish a beachhead has ended messily. So has any demon or Hellsworn foolish enough to spend too much time there.

Of course, this does not apply to Heavenly Tethers, but there aren't very many, either. The sheer number of Stone Tethers interferes with the creation of those of non-aligned Words. Michael, Laurence, Dominic and Eli all have a minor Tether in Stalingrad, but the latter two preceded the Second World War. The Archangel of Stone is quite generous, however, in letting any angel freely use the known Stone Tethers here, so there aren't too many complaints.

A list of known Tethers follow: it is not complete. David keeps his cards close to his vest when revealing the resources available in Stalingrad. Well, he would if he played cards. Or wore a vest, come to think of it. For the most part, Tethers in Stalingrad tend to be Celestial Harbors, Friendly and Noisy - but even marginal Tethers here were stabilized by David, so unusual examples ... aren't.


Railroad Station Number One
Site of the Red October Tractor Plant (Seneschal, Dimitry [see below])
"Pavlov's House"
Main Ferry Crossing for the Volga


Site of the Barrikady Gun Factory
Site of the Nail Factory
Site of the Grain Elevator
Site of the Lazur Chemical Plant
Mamaev Hill
And quite a few others...


Not quite too bloody many to count, and not quite one for every battlefield monument, but there are so many Tethers to Stone in the area already that even Trivial ones appeared without much trouble. Many of the smaller ones are associated with the German defense against the Russian counterattacks, later in the campaign.

Dimitry, Malakite Master of the Granite Hand

Dimitry isn't Seneschal to all the Tethers, of course: he's just the one who rules Stalingrad in David's name. The other Seneschals report to him: the situation in this city is such that a chain of command among them is vital, and Servitors of Stone are comfortable with pulling together.

Dimitry's rule is an odd combination of loose and rigid. He's absolutely uninterested in keeping down disturbance, as by now the local environment is so riddled with Tethers that new ones haven't been able to form anyway lately. There isn't really a demon problem to worry about, either - Stone gangs can be very thorough, and walking into Stalingrad when you're an Infernal is automatically 'striking first'. Getting dissonance isn't particularly noteworthy, either ... but keeping it is another thing entirely. There are lots of places to work it off, no?

Generally, Dimitry is fairly calm for a fanatical and unyielding Malakite Servitor of Stone. He's gone a bit native in the last few decades - to the point where he's a bit of a Marxist, and can drink any five entities under the table. Most of his energies are tied up into keeping one finger on the pulse of 'his' city, another on the complex web of relationships between his juniors and a third on outsiders (read: 'other angels') - and he's always watching for Infernal activities. No, this is not paranoia. Paranoia is the irrational fear that they're out to get you. Stalingrad is still under siege, even now: somebody from Hell is always ready to step over the line.

One would have thought that they'd have learned better by now.


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