The Book is an in-universe propaganda piece.
This explains how Victoria easily dominates its enemies in the field, how everyone else is a caricature and/or an idiot, how Victoria can go from starving to the world's foremost economic powerhouse inside a decade, etc.
- To expand on the above, its a propaganda piece from Victoria's distant future. The real version was much more liberal initially, (as an inclusive ideology tends to win civil wars) and the new government is getting into some good old revisionist history to make it seem like Victoria has always been this way.
Victoria is a literal fever dream.
It makes as much sense as anything else that happens in the book.
William Kraft is the slightly saner reincarnation of that universe's version of General Ludendorff
, brought back by Ares to inaugurate a new century of war. This would perfectly explain both his eccentricites and his über-competence, and also fit with the Weird Science
that begins to crop up toward the end of the story.
Nuclear Mind-Control Beams.
Rumford is a mind-controlling mutant, similar to the Mule from the Foundation
series. This handily explains how he turns so many police and military to his cause, to the point where the governor's office in Vermont and the Maine State Police constantly leak information, as well as the President's office. It also explains how mobs of people willing to dispense street justice against activist judges or liberal governors just appear and quietly disperse when no long needed, how every vote goes exactly the way he wants, everyone is fine with burning women and massacring college professors... it all makes sense!
Or perhaps an Alternate Universe
Metal Gear, since that setting's backstory is probably too crowded already to cram it in. But the weird plotlines (two great international conspiracies, Christian Monarchists versus Cultural Marxists in an intricate behind-the-scenes power struggle since World War I, revolution in Russia bringing a minor God-Emperor of Mankind to the throne, etc.), ditto tech (cloning, robotics, memetic warfare, Rule of Cool
retro-technology) and eccentric military and pseudo-military cast of characters kind of fit the themes of that series. Building on the above entry, Rumford would then be this story's version of Gene
, which explains how he can be so charismatic and build a revolution practically from nothing.
This explains everything
about him, from his mysterious background to his inexplicable awesomeness to his mania for everything Victorian. It also explains the plot. His coincidental magic is how the "good guys" get so many lucky breaks just when they need them, and why the high-tech opponents' tech performs so poorly against them. Meanwhile, the enemies represent the anti-Tradition mages: the Cultural Marxist conspiracy of Obviously Evil Omnicidal Maniacs
is clearly a cult of Nephandi, and the crazy post-apocalyptic people Halsing's Nazis are fighting against are Marauders, while technocratic Azania is really capital-T Technocratic (hence why they are Son of Ether Kraft's most bitter enemy).
Then, once the Technocracy has gone down in flames, Kraft succeeds in doing what even Czar Vargo could not, and permanently changes the paradigm of consensual reality. By the end of the story, airships are in common use again, technobabble defenses have rendered guided missiles completely useless, and Tesla-tech and other Super Science really works, creating a retro-Victorian utopia. Ether has triumphed over Einstein, and Ascension is surely drawing nigh.
Building on the idea that the story takes place in the World of Darkness, per above, this would seem about the right stat line for him. He has no obvious superhuman powers, but a little bit of extra ability and charisma can be explained through a Gnosis gift. Also, he is an Old Stock Anglo-Saxon, mildly introverted, honor-bound in his own eccentric way, an antiquarian, and he instinctively hates modern big business and the Nephandic Cultural Marxists even before he gets involved in reactionary politics, because he feels the hidden hand of Pentex and the Wyrm behind them.
... And if so, Halsing is a Get of Fenris Kinfolk.
Since he is Rumford's dark mirror image, and the Get are the Tribe most closely associated with the Nazis. He and Leader von Braun would then be aligned with the Swords of Heimdall
Victoria takes place in the same world as Bright.
The many references to orcs are literal, while Rumford's being a Bright and having a reality-bending wand would account for how mad the world becomes and how easily Victoria triumphs.
The reality is that Victoria was a Russian puppet-state from the beginning.
We hear about their victories but rarely the details. We focus on Kraft's brilliance but learn nothing of his past. The Russians under a "restored czar" open up their boneyards to a militia movement that only controls a fraction of the United States. Meanwhile the Russians rapidly become a western hegemonic empire with power over Europe and is launching a "crusade" to control the Mediterranean. America is handily fractured into successor states that have no unified power, leaving most of the Mideast and Africa ripe for Russian expansion.
The plot takes places in the Crusader Kings 2 mod After the End.
Victoria is a regressive citystate that was made by survivors of The Calamity. Their leader makes up a worse history and fakes that it happened earlier, by using a few Old World Conspiracy Theorist books to base his ideology around - naturally, a 6000 years old world would require him to make a compressed, very odd
history, with even more enemies to live by. The weapons he calls import are cobbled together, re-purposed US Army surplus they barely can keep functioning, but parade around like it is a superweapon. Their entire territory is a smaller countryside, but the leadership pumps it up as a large swath of the world, to make their egoistic, oppressive regime function.As history progresses, Victoria forget more and more of their breaking down technology, and what part isn't turning into a feudalist kingdom under a new Christianity becomes part of the Rust Cultist clans of Ohio.
The world of Victoria will end soon.
Roughly 50 years after the events of the novel, an exploratory force from a highly egalitarian, mostly secular, and ultra-advanced alien race will finally arrive at Earth, hoping to establish contact with another species. However shortly upon attempting to land and meet with the earthlings their ambassadors and explorers will be shot at and bombed by the xenophobic and insanely zealous Victorians. They then shift into more surreptitious methods of study and quickly discover the rampant homophobia, racism, sexism, religious zealotry, and other uncountable examples of bigotry that pervade the entire Earth. Disgusted and appalled by such a vicious and irredeemably vile species, the explorers declare humans a threat to all other life in the galaxy and pull back to Saturns orbit, waiting roughly 10 more years for the arrival of a military fleet. Once the fleet arrives, using a combination of kinetic bombardments and deorbiting several nearby asteroids, they quickly reduce Earth to a lifeless wasteland, going so far as to burn its atmosphere away. Content with a job well-done and satisfied that theyve helped ensure peace and happiness throughout the galaxy, the aliens return home.