WUT and The Unjust Path
These would prove to be troubling times for TPF. We had joined WUT and all was not what we hoped. Tensions between NpO / GGA and GOONS were growing. The break up of WUT has already been documented many times by others so I will not go into the details. TPFs role in it was to try and keep it together, keep the peace while we looked for another solution.
In the mean time I kept myself busy by building a network of people who would keep me informed on things. Whatever rumors were floating around would quickly find their way to me. You don't need spies in CN in fact spies pretty much suck. I don't see how they can be of any real use when everything you need to know is already available publicly you just have to know where to look. If you have enough people in vastly different places letting you know what they are hearing you can start to put a picture together on what is truly occurring and where certain rumors or information may coming from.
I also began the grand protectorate push. COLD had started small so I wanted to give other small alliances a chance to live or die at their own hands and not at the hands of others. We had a running joke about the Generals of TPF couping Slayer. Part of that joke included us having our own private armies, add this to idea about protectorates and the Generals Protectorate was born. While some larger protected alliances have a detailed treaty the Generals Protectorates or GP have no such treaty. The deal is very simple. They don't attack other alliances, sign treaties with military clauses or make threats in our name without clearing it with us first and in return we keep them safe and help them if they ask. We don't control them in anyway and we keep them out of our wars. Our early protectorates included: Ninjas Will Pwn You, STUD, ToC and a joint \m/ TPF protectorate over TOOL who had about 400 small nations at the time.
We now held treaties with NPO, GGA, \m/, Genmay, GOONS and NEO. The Unjust Path Bloc was also formed with TPF, \m/, Genmay, GOONS, Golden Sabers and Mushroom Kingdom. NpO and GGA then left WUT. Now this is the time when the UJP should have been doing some heavy diplomatic lifting. It did not. TPF tried to act as a moderator as a war would put us like many others in between allies. Anyone who has been there knows that it is not a good place to be. At the same time NpO was signing treaties with anyone and I mean anyone. Of course all these small / medium sized alliances were thrilled a top alliance was courting them. If the UJP had moved first they would have been just as happy with them. That however was not the way they operated. War soon came.
The war was a diplomatic mess, everyone was tied to each other so many just sat. We went to war following our treaty. We however did not activate any of our other treaties as it would have just put others also in a bad position. This again was a war that was lost before the fist shot was fired. I know some people have a fantasy where the UJP was winning but, that was just hopeful thinking. TPF attacked NpO as per treaty. NpO was wrecked from the start. I took my target beat on it and then at the request of a member jumped another target that was actually putting up a fight. I then took a third target. I figured why not? The counter was coming from Sparta soon (worst kept secret ever) and I might as well be fighting 6 nations instead of 5.
THIS IS SPPPPAAAAARRRRTTTTTAAAAAAA, we had some bad blood with Sparta prior over something on OWF. I don't know what it was. However the Sparta that attacked us was not the same Sparta from that incident. Starting with our DoWs we were already having fun with these guys. While our fighting with NpO had been polite and friendly, our fight with Sparta was positively fun. From its leadership to its grunts on the ground TPF founds itself liking and having far more in common with Sparta then we did those on "our" side of the war. We also were attacked by a couple of other alliances a nearly dead MDC and someone else. Now we were getting our butts kicked. Most of us in six wars and Sparta coming in fresh had done it. Many myself included went out with a full out offensive and then was pretty much broke. But at that point it did not matter as TPF was having fun. Then of course the event occurred that changed everything for us. I awoke to find it had occurred and Slayer had, as he had promised, taken TPF out of the war. I was very pissed, in fact if Slayer had not pulled us from the war I would have couped him and done the same thing only I would have taken it a step further and declared on GOONS. But hey that's just me. Soon the war was over. We were left only with our treaties with NPO, GGA and NEO.
During the war our protectorate the Ninjas were attacked by the protectorate of someone on "our" side of the war. At this point we were fully engaged and could not come to their aid. I was left scrambling to get our other protectorates organized to come to the Ninjas aid. In the end diplomacy won the day and no war occurred. I asked myself what happens if we are in this situation again? It was on that the day that first ideas for the OPP began to form.
TPF was rebuilding in more ways than one. The world had changed and Polar was on top. And it soon became clear that it was not by accident but by design. We were rebuilding our nations and now we were also taking control of our own destiny.