Lands of Red and Gold, Act II

I actually completely agree that, for Tjibarr, antagonizing the Dutch is not a good idea. I imagine that the VOC has quite the army of "Sepoys" at this point just from western Aururia, let alone Indonesia. Admittedly the Dutch would have a hard time conquering Tjibarr, but the Tjibarri don't want to risk it.
Sepoys, huh? The very name conjures thoughts of mutiny. I for one hope their eventual rebellion will be tied to one of the weird new religious that popped up after the fall of the Atjuntja state faith. The descriptions of Aururian religions have all been great, and so I want to see that aspect of Dutch-ruled Tiayal society as well.
 
Sepoys, huh? The very name conjures thoughts of mutiny. I for one hope their eventual rebellion will be tied to one of the weird new religious that popped up after the fall of the Atjuntja state faith. The descriptions of Aururian religions have all been great, and so I want to see that aspect of Dutch-ruled Tiayal society as well.
I really just meant colonial troops. However you are right the eventual rebellion of the Tiayal will be very interesting and I imagine religion would have a significant role.
 
I am not convinced that there would be some revolution in Tiayal. Not to say there couldn't be, but this isn't some Asian state with demographic immunity to Dutch rule. Tiayal had what, 1.5 million people prior to contact? Certainly that ballpark, and certainly much less than that now. The Dutch are unlikely to directly rule Tiayal forever, and may well be forced out one way or another, but the final look of Tiayal will be very, very different from any historic Dutch colonies - with the possible exception of South Africa.
 
I am not convinced that there would be some revolution in Tiayal. Not to say there couldn't be, but this isn't some Asian state with demographic immunity to Dutch rule. Tiayal had what, 1.5 million people prior to contact? Certainly that ballpark, and certainly much less than that now. The Dutch are unlikely to directly rule Tiayal forever, and may well be forced out one way or another, but the final look of Tiayal will be very, very different from any historic Dutch colonies - with the possible exception of South Africa.
Well, revolutions have to be successful. I only suggested a rebellion...

It's true about the low population, but that population is densely concentrated along the same stretch of coast that Dutch settlers could want. For every acre confiscated, a lot of people are going to get displaced. So if they go for the land, they're gonna kick up some dirt.
 
Another thing I am wondering is just how much territory do the Nuttana currently control in Northern Aururia? Do they control parts of the otl Cape York peninsula? A map of the third world (or at least all of Aururia) would be great. Unfortunately I don't have a computer or any experience with such things or I would do it.
 
Well, revolutions have to be successful. I only suggested a rebellion...

It's true about the low population, but that population is densely concentrated along the same stretch of coast that Dutch settlers could want. For every acre confiscated, a lot of people are going to get displaced. So if they go for the land, they're gonna kick up some dirt.
Don’t underestimate how ridiculously massive Tiayal actually is by most countries standards. The population density is very, very low and with Aururian agricultural techniques the arable area is even larger than OTL. Plenty of space, and long inland travel time.
 
Don’t underestimate how ridiculously massive Tiayal actually is by most countries standards. The population density is very, very low and with Aururian agricultural techniques the arable area is even larger than OTL. Plenty of space, and long inland travel time.
Honestly I imagine it would be a lot like South Africa in that it would have a large population of settlers from Europe. Heck, they might even have their own language similar to Afrikaans. Let's just hope that politacally they aren't exactly like South Africa.
 
Fabulous that there's been published accounts of the Aboriginal burning techniques' success. Do you think that between this and the preceding decade of studies into precolonial land management/cultivation, we could be seeing the start of big changes in how Aboriginal culture/knowledge is viewed by Aboriginals/wider society? You know, taking on tangible, quantifiable importance and all that. It's a question with some implications for India, whose scientific/business community is split between dismissing traditional knowledge and trying to simplify/commodify it as kitschy Ayurveda/Y O G I C products.
Hard to say. Outside of a few very specialised areas, traditional Aboriginal knowledge has been largely ignored by white Australia since, well, more or less since 1788. With this particular example, I've shared it with a few people I know (including some in the rural fire services). We'll see if anything changes.

Also, with arson being treated as such a high crime, has the idea of the arsonist become a kind of cultural touchstone/archetype for absolute, uncaring evil? Someone that simply doesn't care about his community, and can't be integrated into it like other people? Someone outside the patterns of nature, beyond the bounds of humanity?
Yes, I imagine it will be one of the archetypes of evil. Someone who cares only for him or herself. (Oh, and post threadmarked for later reference.)

I actually completely agree that, for Tjibarr, antagonizing the Dutch is not a good idea. I imagine that the VOC has quite the army of "Sepoys" at this point just from western Aururia, let alone Indonesia. Admittedly the Dutch would have a hard time conquering Tjibarr, but the Tjibarri don't want to risk it.
Even at this point in OTL, the VOC had a large number of mercenaries/auxillaries (10,000+, if I remember right) and the cash to hire more. They are considerably wealthier ITTL, and have more potential sources of mercenaries close to hire (Tiayal, Seven Sisters, Aotearoa, etc). The VOC are not ones whom Tjibarr will antagonise for the sake of it.

Sepoys, huh? The very name conjures thoughts of mutiny. I for one hope their eventual rebellion will be tied to one of the weird new religious that popped up after the fall of the Atjuntja state faith. The descriptions of Aururian religions have all been great, and so I want to see that aspect of Dutch-ruled Tiayal society as well.
I'll have to plead the Fifth on the potential revolution question. But I can say that there will be more information about the religious development in Tiayal. There's already been a significant hint about part of that in the last post set in Tiayal.

I am not convinced that there would be some revolution in Tiayal. Not to say there couldn't be, but this isn't some Asian state with demographic immunity to Dutch rule. Tiayal had what, 1.5 million people prior to contact? Certainly that ballpark, and certainly much less than that now. The Dutch are unlikely to directly rule Tiayal forever, and may well be forced out one way or another, but the final look of Tiayal will be very, very different from any historic Dutch colonies - with the possible exception of South Africa.
The main point I'd note about the potential future of Tiayal is that the Dutch in OTL really did not attract many settlers to their colonies. That's largely the same in TTL, with the one partial exception being New Amsterdam due to some changed religious emigration, but that's irrelevant for Aururia. The mostly likely settlers to Tiayal are involuntary ones (ie slaves) and/or possible Chinese migration to ports, as happened in much of SE Asia in OTL.

So the demographics will still be a relatively few Dutch elites in a very large sea of other peoples they'd like to keep subservient. In the short term there will be the various surviving aristocracy, which may or may not semi-assimilate into Dutch rule. Whether that aristocracy lasts in the longer term will be an interesting question.

It's true about the low population, but that population is densely concentrated along the same stretch of coast that Dutch settlers could want. For every acre confiscated, a lot of people are going to get displaced. So if they go for the land, they're gonna kick up some dirt.
The bigger question about the land for now is that the aristocrats control most of the best land. At the moment they're perfectly content growing things that the Dutch want, but of course they take their own cut of the profits. Whether the VOC will want to change that arrangement is another aspect to that same question of how long the aristocracy may last.

Don’t underestimate how ridiculously massive Tiayal actually is by most countries standards. The population density is very, very low and with Aururian agricultural techniques the arable area is even larger than OTL. Plenty of space, and long inland travel time.
Very large indeed, but the question is what people are looking to do with the land. If this is in terms of potential Dutch (or other settlers) coming, what they want is not just land, but the best land. In these terms, best land usually means close to the ports so that they can export whatever they're growing. Bulk crops don't move that well inland, and even if it can be done profitably inland, it can be done even more profitably by the coast.

On the other hand, if people are coming wanting to be ye self-sufficient farmers, then they may find some land. Though see again presence of aristocrats above.

If the size of the land is in the terms of potential rebellion, Tiayal has the kind of countryside where a low-level rebellion/insurgency could simmer for many years, simply because it's very hard to put down the rebels completely.

Honestly I imagine it would be a lot like South Africa in that it would have a large population of settlers from Europe. Heck, they might even have their own language similar to Afrikaans. Let's just hope that politacally they aren't exactly like South Africa.
South Africa never really got a lot of settlers from Europe while under Dutch rule. Even after that, it really took the gold and diamond rush to kick off large-scale immigration. In Tiayal, the gold rush is already happening with imported slaves, so it won't see a gold rush in the same way.

What happened in South Africa was very large levels of natural increase from a relatively small founding population. I've noted before that the demographic recovery in Aururia is going to start early enough that the native Aururian population will still probably outnumber any Dutch immigrants by a large margin. (Less certain about the possible presence of slaves or ex-slaves).

Another thing I am wondering is just how much territory do the Nuttana currently control in Northern Aururia? Do they control parts of the otl Cape York peninsula? A map of the third world (or at least all of Aururia) would be great. Unfortunately I don't have a computer or any experience with such things or I would do it.
Roughly speaking, the Nuttana control a strip along the eastern coast of far north Queensland from the tip of Cape York down to a bit south of *Townsville. They also have a couple of other outposts/regions, such as the Atherton Tableland and a combination cattle ranching/salt extraction/ fishing port in part of the western side of Cape York.

A map would be a good idea, but as with all such cases I need to defer to the assistance of those with actual graphical talent (something I'm distinctly lacking).

This looks hilarious. Though I do have to point out that the Anedeli is a river, not a people.
 
The main point I'd note about the potential future of Tiayal is that the Dutch in OTL really did not attract many settlers to their colonies. That's largely the same in TTL, with the one partial exception being New Amsterdam due to some changed religious emigration, but that's irrelevant for Aururia. The mostly likely settlers to Tiayal are involuntary ones (ie slaves) and/or possible Chinese migration to ports, as happened in much of SE Asia in OTL.

So the demographics will still be a relatively few Dutch elites in a very large sea of other peoples they'd like to keep subservient. In the short term there will be the various surviving aristocracy, which may or may not semi-assimilate into Dutch rule. Whether that aristocracy lasts in the longer term will be an interesting question.
The Dutch didn't attract many settlers to be sure, but did generate a sizeable and loyal mixed-race population in Indonesia. IIRC there were about 250-300 000 Indo people in 1945, a drop in the bucket for Indonesia but considerably more compared to any Aururian state. Of course, the smaller population of Tiayal will itself reduce the number of mixed race people, but then the disease environment and climate of Tiayal is likely to mean that a much greater percentage of VOC employees survive and would be willing to stay. I would go so far as to suggest that Tiayal could possibly have one of the highest 'retention' rates of any 18th/19th non-settler European colonies.

I suppose the main question is how many European employees of the VOC actually go to Tiayal? Compared to Indonesia there is less of a need for a steady supply of soldiers, given that the whole area is under the control of the VOC centuries earlier than Indonesia was. Still, there would be some. Non-Dutch Europeans made up a substantial part of the mixed-race background in Indonesia, but again, it depends on the demand for their labour. Given the tech disparity, were many craftsmen and other experts brought in?

To be sure, even a substantial loyal mixed race minority is not enough to assure colonial rule, or indeed a favourable 'Commonwealth' style decolonisation, but is likely to have a very strong cultural impact. These groups almost universally were better educated and wealthier than their 'pure' native counterparts, and short of a mass migration back to Europe (as of course the Indos did) they could still have an important role to play.
 
The Dutch didn't attract many settlers to be sure, but did generate a sizeable and loyal mixed-race population in Indonesia. IIRC there were about 250-300 000 Indo people in 1945, a drop in the bucket for Indonesia but considerably more compared to any Aururian state. Of course, the smaller population of Tiayal will itself reduce the number of mixed race people, but then the disease environment and climate of Tiayal is likely to mean that a much greater percentage of VOC employees survive and would be willing to stay. I would go so far as to suggest that Tiayal could possibly have one of the highest 'retention' rates of any 18th/19th non-settler European colonies.
There will certainly be a few Europeans or mixed-heritage who look to settle/remain in Tiayal. For a variety of reasons, I expect that this will be much less in comparison to, say, Java:

- Tiayal is a way-station and trading post for most purposes. Indonesia, and more precisely Java, was the heart of the VOC's operations and so many more of the administrative and support functions were conducted there, meaning that more Europeans will be inclined to settle there
- Many of the early Indo population actually descended from Portuguese, which doesn't apply in Tiayal
- The really large expansion in the Indo population came in the second half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. In 1854, there were around 18,000 "Europeans" in Java (the majority of which would have been Indo). In 1890, this had expanded to around 62,000 (again, majority Indo), and there was substantial Dutch migration to the DEI in the twentieth century, which naturally led to an increase in the Indo population.
- For a long time, Tiayal is at least nominally a protectorate, which means that most of the civil administration remains in Atjuntja hands. Most of the soldiers also tend to be non-European (Maori, Javanese, local recruits) with the officers only being European. So there's a few Europeans clustered in the White City and a couple of trading posts, while the large majority of the country remains ruled by the nobles and with Europeans still being a rare sight.

I suppose the main question is how many European employees of the VOC actually go to Tiayal? Compared to Indonesia there is less of a need for a steady supply of soldiers, given that the whole area is under the control of the VOC centuries earlier than Indonesia was. Still, there would be some. Non-Dutch Europeans made up a substantial part of the mixed-race background in Indonesia, but again, it depends on the demand for their labour. Given the tech disparity, were many craftsmen and other experts brought in?
Soliers are largely non-European, save for officers and specialised units (mostly bombardiers). There are some craftsmen brought in, most notably ironworkers, but this would be at most a few hundred at a time (at the peak), and many of them would have returned home (or to Java) once they had finished teaching.

To be sure, even a substantial loyal mixed race minority is not enough to assure colonial rule, or indeed a favourable 'Commonwealth' style decolonisation, but is likely to have a very strong cultural impact. These groups almost universally were better educated and wealthier than their 'pure' native counterparts, and short of a mass migration back to Europe (as of course the Indos did) they could still have an important role to play.
There will be such a group, but I expect that it will be smaller than in Indonesia, even in relative terms, and also distinctly clustered in a few urban areas. Whether they remain in Tiayal post (eventual) independence would of course depend mostly on the circumstances for how Tiayal gains that independence.
 
That makes sense. So the VOC ITTL still conducts most of its admin in Java? Being richer and stronger than OTL, it will be interesting to see how the wider Dutch colonial empire develops, in particular demographically...
 
Does the Dutch Colonial Empire become in this timeline what the British Empire was in ours, or is there a twist?

Surprise Mararathan Hegemony!
 
Does the Dutch Colonial Empire become in this timeline what the British Empire was in ours, or is there a twist?
Probably neither. I have a feeling that the British, Dutch and French empires will have about equal power. I have a feeling that Japan will become the #1 naval power in the late 1800s, but not nearly to the extent that OTL Britain was.

TL;DR : I think there is not going to be any equivalent to the OTL British Empire.
 
So, I've been getting a bit more into miniature wargaming lately, particularly a system called De Bellis Antiquitatus (or DBA for short), written by Phil and Sue Barker. One of the neat things about this system, is that it divides troops into broad categories, so it's easy to compare and contrast across history. Or... allohistory. Because I had a bit too much time on my hands, I got to wondering what some of the armies described in Lands of Red and Gold would look like in DBA terms. After a re-read of the timeline, this is the result.

A quick introduction to DBA
Troops are primarily defined by battlefield behavior, and in some cases distinguished by distinctions of formations, weapons and morale class. In general, DBA is a “lumper” rather than a “splitter” system. There are only sixteen categories of troops (with a few subcategories) for a set of rules that covers about four and a half millennia of ancient and medieval history. Some nuance is added by classifying infantry types as “fast” or “solid” depending on whether they put greater emphasis on maneuverability or durability. For Lands of Red and Gold, the available categories of troops will be further reduced by the absence of any mounted types. The remaining troop types are as follows:

SPEARS (Sp) - close formation infantry fighting with spears in a rigid shield wall. Greek hoplites or Saxon fyrd are classic examples. All spears are “Solid” foot. Spears are rated at a 4 vs other foot.

PIKES (Pk) - close formation infantry fighting collectively with pikes or long spears, generally wielded in both hands. Macedonian or Swiss pikemen are classic examples. “Fast” pikes are 3Pk; “Solid” pikes are 4Pk. Pikes are rated at a 3 vs other foot, but as a 6 if two units fight together in a deeper formation.

BLADES (Bd) - close fighting infantry who primarily use swords or other cutting or thrusting weapons, and often have better-than-average armor or shields. Roman legionaries, samurai, and European knights (when not mounted) are all classified as blades. “Fast” blades are 3Bd, “Solid” blades are 4Bd. Blades are rated at a 5 vs other foot.

AUXILIA (Ax) - a catch-all category, representing foot who fight hand-to-hand but valuing agility and flexibility over cohesion. Roman auxilia give this category its name. They face no penalties fighting in most types of rough terrain. May be armed with missile weapons, but cannot shoot effectively at a distance. “Fast” auxilia are 3Ax, “Solid” auxilia are 4Ax. Auxilia are rated at a 3 vs other foot.

PSILOI (Ps) - another catch-all category for any sort of skirmishers on foot with any sort of missile weapons. They face no penalties fighting in most types of rough terrain, but cannot shoot effectively at a distance. All psiloi are “Fast” foot. Psiloi are rated at a 2 vs other foot.

BOWS (Bw, Lb, or Cb) - these represent formed foot armed with missile weapons who shot at long range, often in volleys. Egyptians, Persians and the English longbowmen all provide examples of this type. Bows do provide effective fire at a distance. “Fast” bows are 3Bw or 3Lb, “Solid” bows are 4Bw or 4Lb; integrated units with hand-to-hand fighters in the forward ranks would be 8Bw or 8Lb. Bows are rated at a 2 vs other foot.

WARBAND (Wb) - wild irregular foot that relied more on on impetuous charge than skill, cohesion, or missile weapons. Gauls are the most classic example. “Fast” warbands are 3Wb, “Solid” warbands are 4Wb. Warbands are rated at a 3 vs other foot, but as a 4 if two units fight together in a deeper formation. Spears, Pikes, and Blades will break immediately if beaten by Warband in combat.

HORDES (Hd) - unskilled and generally unenthusiastic foot, usually deployed in dense masses. “Solid” Hordes are 7Hd; “Fast” Hordes are 5Hd. Hordes are rated at a 3 vs other foot. They are harder to control effectively, but also don’t towards victory conditions when destroyed.

DBA armies consist of twelve units, drawn from the listed types, one of which is designated as including the general. These are deployed on a board that mostly represents open ground, but broken up with patches of different terrain such as woods or hills. Players take turns moving some number of their units. When two units meet, combat is resolved by each player rolling a six-sided die and adding their unit’s rating. There are various bonuses or penalties that are applied depending on terrain factors or the presence of other supporting troops. The lower scorer is usually pushed back or sometimes destroyed, depending on the exact results. Battles generally continue until one side has lost four of their twelve starting units.

In fleshing out army lists from the descriptions given throughout Lands of Red and Gold, I have employed two principles, with the goal of making possible battles more interesting. One is to avoid making armies too uniform - for instance, even when not specifically described, I have often assumed the presence of light-armed support troops (usually auxilia or psiloi). The other is to ensure there are differences between the army lists, so that an army will not be required to deploy exactly the same types of units as its likely opponents. I find games of DBA are most interesting when there is some degree of asymmetry involved.

DBA army lists are divided into four eras. Section I (The Chariot Period) covers up to 500 BC. Section II (The Classical Period) runs from 500 BC to 476 AD. Section III (The Early Medieval Period) runs from 476 AD to 1071 AD. Finally, Section IV (The High Medieval Period) runs from 1071 AD to 1500 AD. These dates denote the earliest years an army appears, so some dates extend beyond 1500. For later Aururian armies, I have ended them arbitrarily at 1618 based on the date of European contact, and thus dodged any questions of horses or gunpowder weapons.

Army lists

I/65 FORMATIVE GUNNAGAL 2000 BC-900 BC

This list runs from the emergence of the six Wisdom Cities, until the Interregnum. During this era, Gunnagal society was governed by a complex system of kinship classes known as kitjigals. Warfare was ritualized, and tended to be fought on agreed-upon ground. Tactics consisted of spirited impromptu charges that developed into individual duels. Due to taboos against harming members of the same kitjigal, ranged weapons were frowned upon, though depictions suggest they were still used in some cases, possibly by mercenaries from desert or highland tribes not part of the kitjigal system. Men wore a knee-length linen kilt and sometimes a linen cloak. Both were highly decorated, often with kitjigal colors and totems, and body paint was also common. Weapons consisted of copper and arsenical bronze spears, axes, and knives.

I/65 Formative Gunnagal Army: 1 x General (3Wb), 10 x kitjigal warriors (3Wb), 1 x kitjigal warriors (3Wb) or non-kitjigal mercenaries (3Ax) or skirmishers with sling or javelin (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 1. Enemies: I/65

II/85 CLASSICAL GUNNAGAL 500 BC-556 AD
This list covers the classical era of Gunnagal civilization, from the end of the Interregnum to the conquest of the last independent cities by the Watjubagan Empire. A constantly shifting system of alliances kept the four great kingdoms largely independent, though martial traditions and better access to metal meant that the kingdom of Gulibaga, centred at the city of Garrkimang, gradually expanded at the expense of the other three. Troops were equipped with wooden shield and bronze-tipped spear, and sometimes a short sword. Armor was rare except for captains.

II/85a Tjibarr, Gundabingee, Weenaratta, or Other Classical Gunnagal Army 500 BC-556 AD: 1 x General (3Bd or Sp or 3Pk), 6 x regular spearmen (Sp or 3Pk), 1 x regular spearmen (Sp or 3Pk) or javelinmen (3Ax), 3 x native or mercenary javelinmen (3Ax or Ps), 1 x city militia (7Hd) or kitjigal faction mobs (5Hd) or skirmishers (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 2. Enemies: II/85a, II/85b, II/86, II/87, II/88

II/85b Gulibaga Army 500BC-350AD: 1x General (3Bd or Sp or 3Pk), 6 x regular spearmen (Sp or 3Pk), 1 x regular spearmen (Sp or 3Pk) or javelinmen (3Ax), 3 x native or mercenary javelinmen (3Ax or Ps) or warrior societies (3Wb), 1 x city militia (7Hd) or skirmishers (Ps)
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 3. Enemies: II/85a, II/86

II/86 AURURIAN HIGHLANDERS 500 BC-850 AD
This list represents various upland peoples of Southeastern Aururia, who raided and traded with the more settled cultures of the river valleys up through the Watjubagan era and were the ancestors of the Nguril and Kaoma among others. They left few records of their own, but early Gunnagal sources describe them as fierce raiders fighting with spears, knives and axes, while a Watjubagan depiction of a punitive expedition appears to include bowmen.

II/86 Aururian Highlander Army: 1 x General (3Bd or 3Wb or 3Ax), 6 x warriors (3Wb or 3Ax), 2 x javelineers (3Ax or Ps), 3 x skirmishers with bow, sling, or javelin (Ps)
Terrain Type: Hilly. Aggression: 2. Enemies: II/85a, II/85b, II/86, II/87, II/88, III/81a

II/87 EARLY JUNDITMARA 200 AD-764 AD
This list extends from the development of proto-kingdoms among the Junditmara until the Watjubagan conquest in 764 AD. Sources mention household guards led by chiefs, possibly precursors of the later briyuna, who would be supplemented by lightly-armed levies.

II/87 Early Junditmara Army: 1 x General (3Bd), 1 x household guards (3Bd), 8 x levied troops with spear and javelin (3Ax), 2 x skirmishers with bow, javelin, or sling (Ps)
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 1. Enemies: II/85a, II/86, II/87, II/88, III/81a

II/88 IMPERIAL GULIBAGA 350 AD-556 AD
This list covers the armies of Gulibaga under the First Speakers following the military reforms of the mid-fourth century and the establishment of a standing professional army, until the conquest of Gundabingee in 556 AD. These troops were equipped with long pikes, round shields, bronze helmets and greaves, and leather breastplates. Support was provided by bowmen using stone or bone-tipped arrows.

II/88 Imperial Gulibaga Army 350-556 AD: 1 x General (4Pk), 6 x Biral spearmen (4Pk), 2 x Biral spearmen (4Pk) or vassal Gunnagal spearmen (Sp) or javelinmen (3Ax), 3 x bowmen (3Bw or Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 3. Enemies: II/85a, II/86, II/87

III/81 WATJUBAGA 556 AD-1124 AD
This list extends from the proclamation of Watjubaga, the Dominion of the Five Rivers, until the deposition of the final First Speaker in 1124. Armies remained based around a core of Biral spearmen, but civil wars (particularly after the death of Weemiraga in 853 AD) led to increasing reliance on subject troops in the later period.

III/81a Early Watjubaga Army 556-945 AD: 1 x General (4Pk), 6 x Biral spearmen (4Pk), 2 x Biral spearmen (4Pk) or subject Gunnagal spearmen (Sp) or javelinmen (3Ax), 3 x bowmen (3Bw or Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 4. Enemies: II/86, II/87, III/81a, III/82a, III/83, III/84, III/86, III/87, III/88, III/89

III/81b Later Watjubaga Army 945-1124 AD: 1 x General (4Pk), 4 x Biral spearmen (4Pk), 2 x Biral spearmen (4Pk) or subject Gunnagal spearmen (4Pk or 4Ax) or Junditmara briyuna (3/4Bd) or Kurnawal mercenaries (3Ax), 2 x bowmen (3Bw or Ps), 1 x mercenary javelinmen (Ps), 2 x city militia (7Hd) or skirmishers (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 2. Enemies: III/81b, III/82a, III/83, III/84, III/86, III/87, III/88, III/89

III/82 MUTJING CITY-STATES 600 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the Mutjing city-states of the Seven Sisters from their first mention in Watjubagan records. This includes the conquest by the Watjubagan Empire under Tjangal from 917-926, as well as the rebellion in the late 960s and the attempted re-conquest from 972-974, as well as intermittent ongoing warfare between the city-states. Beginning in the mid-eleventh century, city states began to develop closer ties with the Nangu, leading to the spread of Plirism and both smaller and fewer wars between cities, but increased professionalism as Mutjing mercenaries saw service abroad, particularly in the Cider Isle.

III/82a Early Mutjing Army 600-1050AD: 1 x General (4Bd), 2 x veteran warriors (4Bd), 7 x warriors with spear and javelin (4Ax), 2 x bowmen (3Bw) or levies with javelins (3Ax or Ps).
Terrain Type: Littoral. Aggression: 1. Enemies: III/81a, III/81b, III/82a

III/82b Later Mutjing Army 1050-1618AD: 1 x General (4Bd), 4 x veteran warriors (4Bd), 5 x warriors with spear and javelin (4Ax), 2 x warriors with spear and javelin (4Ax) or Nangu marines (3Bd), 2 x bowmen (3Bw) or levies with javelins (3Ax or Ps).
Terrain Type: Littoral. Aggression: 0. Enemies: III/82b

III/83 KURNAWAL 800 AD-1618 AD
This list covers Kurnawal peoples on both the mainland and on the Cider Isle, beginning with the earliest conflicts with the Watjubagan Empire, and continuing up to European contact. These people are well-documented in both Watjubagan and later Yadji chronicles, but are best known as the wily opponents of the Tjunini in the twelve year “War of the Princess,” fought sometime between 1060 and 1080 AD and culminating in the sack of the city of Bountiful. The Kurnawal retain a reputation for deviousness compared to the more bluff Tjunini, but share many similarities in tactics and equipment - warriors heavily armed and armored in bronze, and skilled with a variety of hand weapons. References: Song of the Princess Tjiganeng

III/83 Kurnawal Army: 1 x General (3Bd), 9 x warriors (3Bd), 2 x warriors (3Bd) or javelin-armed infiltrators (3Ax) or Mutjing mercenaries (4Bd) or Palawa mercenary longbowmen (3Lb or Ps).
Terrain Type: Littoral. Aggression: 2. Enemies: III/81a, III/81b, III/83, III/84, III/85, III/88, III/89, IV/86a, IV/86b

III/84 TJUNINI 800 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the Tjunini people, both those who migrated to the Cider Isle beginning in the ninth century, and those who remained on the mainland. They are best known from the Song of the Princess written by the eleventh-century Tjunini bard Tjiganeng to commemorate a war fought and won by the Nine-Fold King Tiyuratina against the Kurnawal of the east. Based mostly on this epic, the Tjunini have a reputation of boldness and prowess in battle compared to the conniving Kurnawal, but archaeological evidence suggests few differences in equipment or tactics. Tjunini warriors were equipped with bronze helmets and armor, and seem to have fought using a variety of weapons. Lighter-armed troops are rarely mentioned in the song, but were probably present nonetheless. References: Song of the Princess Tjiganeng

III/84 Tjunini Army: 1 x General (3Bd), 9 x warriors (3Bd), 2 x warriors (3Bd) or particularly bold and reckless heroes (3Wb) or Mutjing mercenaries (4Bd) or Palawa mercenary longbowmen (3Lb or Ps).
Terrain Type: Littoral. Aggression: 2. Enemies: III/81a, III/81b, III/83, III/84, III/85, III/89, IV/86a, IV/86b

III/85 PALAWA 800 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the native peoples of the Cider Isle from the arrival of the Tjunini and Kurnawal up until European contact. Never very numerous, pressure from the outsiders forced the Palawa to band together in larger groups and adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. Palawa were famously skilled with the longbow, and frequently hired on as mercenaries among both the Kurnawal and the Tjunini, though rarely beyond the Cider Isle. Bronze weapons were initially acquired from the invaders in trade or warfare, but the Palawa eventually began manufacturing their own. Armor remained rare, and was reserved for chieftains and their retainers.

III/85 Palawa Army: 1 x General (3Bd), 1 x wealthy warriors (3Bd), 2 x warriors with spears (3Ax) or longbows (3Lb), 8 x longbowmen (3Lb or Ps)
Terrain Type: Forest. Aggression: 0. Enemies: III/83, III/84, III/85.

III/86 PATJIMUNRA STATES 800 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the Patjimunra states of the eastern coast from their initial encounters with Gunnagal civilization and their conquest during Weemiraga's March to the Sea in 822 AD, through their revolt against Watjubaga in 899 AD and up to the period of European contact. Even after the establishment of a centralized kingdom at Kinhung, civil wars and revolts remained frequent, and at least three other Patjimunra city states retained independence as of the early seventeenth century. All Patjimunra states were bound up in a strict caste system; lower castes were theoretically forbidden to carry metal or edged weapons, though this prohibition did not always extend to bows. The Patjimunras' famous conservatism extended to weapons and military tactics, and stuck to bronze even after iron became available.

III/86 Patjimunra Army 800-1618 AD: 1 x General (3Bd), 7 x Dhanbang or Warraghang caste warriors with swords and spears (3Bd), 4 x Paabay or Gidhay caste levies armed with wooden staves or clubs (7Hd) or Baluga caste hunters with bows (3Bw or Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 0. Enemies: III/81a, III/81b, III/86, III/90b, IV/12

III/87 MUNGUDJIMAY TRIBAL 800 AD-1020 AD
This list covers the early Mungudjimay peoples prior to the foundations of the kingdoms of Yuragir and Daluming around 1020. This includes their defeat of the second March to the Sea in 886, which the Mungudjimay used as the foundation of their calendar.

III/87 Mungudjimay Tribal Army 800-1020 AD: 1 x General (4Wb), 7 x tribal warriors with spear and hand weapon (4Wb), 3 x tribal warriors with javelins or spears (3Wb or 3Ax), 1 x youths or tribal warriors with slings and javelins (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 1. Enemies: III/81a, III/81b, III/87

III/88 EARLY NGURIL AND KAOMA 887 AD-1350 AD
This list covers the highland peoples of southeastern Aururia from their rebellion against the Watjubaga roughly through to the late fourteenth century, when refugee briyuna from the Yadji Empire conquered the region and established themselves as a ruling class. Written records from the Nguril and Kaoma themselves remain rare, but descriptions of their raids by their victims indicate that the raiders fought much as they always had, with small bands led by warleaders of notable repute.

III/88 Early Nguril and Kaoma Army 887-1350 AD: 1 x General (3Bd or 3Wb), 5 x elite warriors (3Bd or 3Wb), 4 x lesser warriors with javelins (3Ax or Ps), 2 x lesser warriors with bows (3Bw or Ps).
Terrain Type: Hilly. Aggression: 3. Enemies: III/81a, III/81b, III/83, III/89, IV/87, IV/88a, IV/88b

III/89 OTJIMA-ERA JUNDITMARA 907AD - 1255 AD
This list covers the Junditmara peoples from the Great Revolt against Watjubaga in 907 AD and the development of feudal otjima rule until the collapse of the Empire of the Lake in 1255 AD. Armies were based around a hereditary military class known as briyuna, who were well armed and armored, and trained with a variety of weapons. These would be supplemented with peasant levies or lightly-armed troops at need.

III/89 Otjima-Era Junditmara Army: 1 x General (3/4Bd), 3 x briyuna with spear or hand weapons (3/4Bd), 4 x briyuna with spear or hand weapons (3/4Bd) or with bows (3Bw), 2 x briyuna squires or peasant levies (3Ax), 2 x city militia (7Hd) or peasant levies (3Ax) or peasant skirmishers with javelin or sling (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 2. Enemies: III/81a, III/81b, III/83, III/84, III/88, III/89, III/84, IV/87, IV/88a

III/90 YURAGIR AND DALUMING 1020 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the later Mungudjimay, following the foundation of the kingdoms of Yuragir and Daluming, continuing through the union of the two lands and up until the time of European contact. Contact with the western states led to the development of more advanced tactics, but the core of the army remained the tribal warriors. Designation of blooded warriors as “meriki” became more significant with the construction of Glazkul following the unification. Raids and wars against neighbors became more frequent as apocalyptic fervor grew, and more and more heads were collected for the pyramid of Glazkul.

III/90a Yuragir or Daluming Army 1020-1245: 1 x General (4Wb or 4Ax), 7 x tribal warriors with spear and hand weapon (4Wb or 4Ax), 3 x tribal warriors with javelins or spears (3Wb or 3Ax) or with bows (3Bw), 1 x youths or tribal warriors with slings and javelins (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 2. Enemies: III/90a, IV/87

III/90b Daluming Army 1245-1618 AD: 1 x General (4Wb or 4Bd), 5 x meriki warriors (4Wb or 4Bd), 5 x non-meriki warriors (3Wb or 3Ax), 1 x skirmishers with bows, slings, or javelins (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 3. Enemies: III/86, III/90b, IV/12, IV/87, IV/91

IV/86 YAORA CITY STATES 1100 AD-1512 AD
This list covers the Yaora and other peoples of southwestern Aururia. Due to their isolation and lack of written records, little is known about them except from fragmentary Nangu sources until the early twelfth century, when they became among the first people in Aururia to develop ironworking. This spurred the development of larger kingdoms and polities, all of which were eventually conquered by the rising power of the Atjuntja.

IV/86 Yaora Army 1100-1512AD: 1 x General (3Bd or 4Ax), 1 x armored troops with spear or axe (3Bd or 4Ax), 8 x unarmored troops with spear or axe (4Ax), 2 x desert tribal mercenaries (3Ax) or javelin-armed skirmishers (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 1. Enemies: IV/86, IV/89

IV/87 POST-IMPERIAL GUNNAGAL 1100 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the independent Gunnagalic states, most notably the kingdoms of Tjibarr, Gutjanal, and Yigutji, that began to re-emerge as the Watjubagan Empire lost control of its outlying provinces, and which later formed various temporary leagues to resist Junditmara and later Yadji expansion. Armies were initially based on the old Watjubagan pike formations, particularly in cities that were former Biral military colonies, but gradually shifted to heavy infantry on the Yadji model. Urban factions became increasingly influential, especially in Tjibarr, and occasionally contributed to local defense efforts. Iron armor grew more common, and mail was particularly common among the Gunnagal.

IV/87 Post-Imperial Gunnagal Army 1100-1618 AD: 1 x General (4Pk or 4Bd), 5 x regular infantry with pikes (4Pk) or hand weapons (4Bd), 2 x bowmen supported by armed shieldbearers (8Bw), 3 x levies (4Ax) or highlander mercenaries (3Ax or 3Bd), 1 x urban militia (7Hd) or faction mob (5Hd) or bow-armed skirmishers (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 1. Enemies: III/81b, III/88, III/89, III/90a, III/90b, IV/87, IV/88a, IV/88b, IV/90

IV/88 YADJI EMPIRE 1209 AD-1618 AD
This list begins with the first campaigns of Ouyamunna Yadji against the Euyanee and Lyawai families, and extends up until the time of European contact. The death warriors famously began as a cult recruited by Ouyamunna Yadji from among those who had survived the first stage of Marnitja, and were retained as elite shock troops into the imperial era. They generally fought unarmored, with simple weapons such as clubs and maces. Briyuna, though used in early stages of the Yadji conquest, were disbanded over time and replaced by a regular standing army loyal only to the Regent of the Neverborn. Yadji regulars were highly disciplined, and maneuvers were coordinated using banners, drums, and horns. Armor was common, and was typically scale or more rarely mail. Ironworking was spreading during this era, and had almost completely supplanted bronze by the later Yadji period. Wheeled carts, drawn by people or dog teams, were known among the later Yadji, and were increasingly used for transport and logistics, but played no direct role on the battlefield.

IV/88a Early Yadji Army 1209-1300 AD: 1 x General (3/4Bd), 3 x briyuna with spears or hand weapons (3/4Bd), 4 x briyuna with spears or hand weapons (3/4Bd) or with bows (3Bw), 2 x briyuna squires or peasant levies (3Ax) or death warriors (3Wb), 2 x city militia (7Hd) or peasant levies (3Ax) or peasant skirmishers with javelin or sling (Ps).
Terrain: Arable. Aggression: 4. Enemies: III/83, III/84, III/88, III/89, IV/87

IV/88b Later Yadji Army 1300-1618 AD: 1 x General (4Bd), 5 x regular infantry (4Bd), 2 x death warriors (3Wb), 3 x subject troops (4Ax) or archers (4Bw), 1 x city militia (7Hd) or religious enthusiasts (5Hd) or skirmishers with bow or sling (Ps).
Terrain: Arable. Aggression: 3. Enemies: III/83, III/84, III/88, IV/87, IV/88b, IV/90

IV/89 ATJUNTJA EMPIRE 1250 AD-1618AD
This list covers the Atjuntja from the mid-thirteenth century onwards, when they unified under the semi-legendary Banyar, first King of Kings. Initially just one among many Yaora people, the Atjuntja proceeded to unify the southwest under their rule, developing a heavy infantry force that was used to great advantage. Revolts and dynastic struggles took place with increasing frequency towards the end of this era, and political instability would later be exploited by the Dutch. One Dutch account describes Atjuntja soldiers as equipped with iron scale armor, conical helmets, and large shields, and armed with fearsome axes.

IV/89 Atjuntja Army 1250-1618AD: 1 x General (4Bd), 7 x Atjuntja regulars (4Bd), 2 x Yaora subjects (4Ax) or desert tribal mercenaries (3Ax), 2 x conscript infantry (7Hd) or javelin-armed skirmishers (Ps).
Terrain Type: Arable. Aggression: 4. Enemies: IV/86, IV/89

IV/90 LATER NGURIL AND KAOMA 1350 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the highland peoples from the late fourteenth century onwards, when an influx of refugee briyuna from the expanding Yadji Empire first conquered the highlands and then integrated into the kinship societies of the people they ruled. Highland armies of this era are marked by a distinct Junditmara influence, and increased adoption of iron weapons and armor. Raiding parties were still led by warleaders and organized by lineage, but the warriors were increasingly well-trained.

IV/90 Later Nguril and Kaoma Army 1350-1618 AD: 1 x General (3/4Bd), 5 x elite warriors (3/4Bd), 3 x lesser warriors with hand weapons and javelins (3Bd or 3Ax), 3 x lesser warriors with bows (3Bw or Ps).
Terrain Type: Hilly. Aggression: 3. Enemies: IV/87, IV/88b, IV/90

IV/91 KIYUNGU CITIES 1350 AD-1618 AD
This list covers the city states along the Coral Coast, which fought occasionally amongst themselves, but began to form a loose defensive league under pressure from Daluming raiders from the mid-fourteenth century onwards. Bronze was still widely used, and iron mostly unknown. Kiyungu armies consisted mostly of massed spearmen of various levels of effectiveness, occasionally supplemented by bands of foreign mercenaries.

IV/91 Kiyungu Army 1350-1618 AD: 1 x General (Sp or 4Ax), 5 x citizen spearmen (Sp or 4Ax), 2 x citizen bowmen (3Bw), 2 x Maori (3Bd) or Mutjing (4Bd) or other tribal mercenaries (3Ax), 2 x untrained levies (7Hd).
Terrain Type: Littoral. Aggression: 0. Enemies: III/90b, IV/91.
 
As a follow-up to the article I previously posted on how Aboriginal peoples' cultural burning style saved some properties from the recent bushfires, it looks like at least some people within officialdom are starting to get the message that those techniques work.

Below is an article about an indigenous fire crew established at the outback town of Brewarrina around a year go. This is apparently one of two crews, the other being at the even more iconic outback town of Bourke. (When Aussies speak about what the outback is, it is often described as 'the back of Bourke', ie further into the desert than Bourke). The crews were originally created to draw on their local knowledge as well as community outreach. The article notes that with the recent bushfire crisis, there's starting to be talk of using their traditional knowledge of cultural burning and land management as part of a different approach to fire management. Hopefully that gets implemented.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-s-first-indigenous-fire-crews-break-barriers-in-outback-towns-20200128-p53vis.html
 
LoRaG Sale!

Okay, a small sale. For the next two weeks only, Walking Through Dreams (book 1 of the published version of Lands of Red and Gold) is now at 50% off. So if you've been thinking about taking a look at it but haven't gotten to it yet, now is the time to do so.

For some reason known only to Amazon, even though it's on sale they're not displaying that it's on sale. But it's genuinely at 50% off. It usually sells at £5.99 in the UK (or equivalent price in other countries), and for now it's on sale at £2.99 .

As always, it can be found on Amazon:

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082598J11/
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B082598J11/
AUS https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B082598J11/
 
So happy to see the books being published! Any chance of formatting the footnotes as actual linked footnotes? It would make page navigation much easier. I know Calibre allows a Microsoft Word document with word footnotes to be automatically converted to an ebook with footnote links.
 
Lands of Red and Gold Interlude #15: Into Darkness
Lands of Red and Gold Interlude #15: Into Darkness

Taken from Intellipedia. Accessed on 17 February 2008.

Into Darkness
is a 1966 comedy-epic film loosely adapted from the romance novel by Quentin Bryant Howard. Widely-lauded and commercially successful at its time of release, it has since been considered controversial for some of its content, especially the film’s depiction of its Native Aururian characters. Despite the controversy, it is most remembered today for being the only role where Brian Blessed won a Golden Serpent (for Best Male Lead Actor).

Historical Background

Into Darkness is set in late nineteenth-century Aururia. To Europeans of this era, Aururia represented the land at the far end of the world; the most distant inhabitable continent.

Many of the coastal regions of Aururia were fertile. The native coastal peoples in those regions had been influenced [weasel words] and sometimes colonised by Europeans over the previous centuries. However, Europeans had no real knowledge of the Aururian interior. The Aururian desert defied detailed exploration. Even the coastal Aururian peoples rarely ventured into the desert regions, except for a few well-established opal and silver mines that were not too far into the interior [citation needed].

So to Europeans the desert was the “dark heart” of Aururia, a black area on maps which remained both terra incognita and terror incognita. The film’s title references travel into this dark heart.

Plot

The recently widowed Rose Gold is travelling to Aururia on the grand clipper ship Aururian Queen together with her lovable rogue of a brother, Jonathan Hardwick. She intends to establish a Christian mission on the continent, and has forced Jonathan to come along.

As the ship nears its destination of Dogport, Rose observes one of the passengers strike another. She intervenes, chastising the offending man, and he withdraws. The man who was struck is called Harry King, a larger-than-life man with a great booming voice. Harry explains that the other man attacked him after he refused to reveal what he knew about the opal trade within Aururia.

Aururian Queen docks at Dogport, the great entrepôt and brass manufactory. Rose, Jonathan and Harry have just disembarked when the same offending man (Neville Drinkwater) reappears with several other anonymous passengers and fires a pistol at Harry. The shot misses, and the three are chased through Dogport by Drinkwater and his minions. This chase includes several of the film’s more celebrated scenes, including when they flee through the great brass works with its large thumping machinery and steamless engines (which operate without either steam or smoke). The three eventually escape when one of Drinkwater’s wild shots hits a native inhabitant, and an angry mob targets Drinkwater and his associates, who have to flee in turn.

The three make their way to the only Christian church in Dogport (the film is careful not to depict the church as belonging to any specific denomination) to find that it is in flames. The natives of the city have turned against the church due to the actions of Drinkwater and his henchmen.

Rose is devastated because she now has no leads on establishing a mission elsewhere. Harry reveals that he has a contact within the city, a celebrated native opal trader. This is the information which Drinkwater wanted to force out of him. Harry leads them through the backstreets of Dogport, avoiding the mob, until they arrive at the workshop of the opal trader, Lopidya.

Lopidya has made an experimental blimp powered by a new steamless engine. He offers to let the three of them fly with him to Ngarringa, a large opal-mining town in the dark desert heart of Aururia. Harry wants to go there for profit, Rose because she hopes to establish a Christian mission there to bring the true faith to the natives. Jonathan’s motives are harder to fathom. The blimp lifts off as the enraged mob breaks into Lopidya’s workshop; Jonathan has to climb up the rope fast enough to escape the arms of the mob.

At first the blimp flight is steady, offering spectacular views of the alien red landscape of the desert. Rose presses Harry, and he explains that he wants to go into partnership with Lopidya to trade opals much more cheaply since they can now be moved by air rather than by foot. Then the steamless engine develops a leak, meaning that quickly loses power. The blimp gradually drifts lower in the wind, which fortunately is blowing in the right direction, and the blimp comes to a soft landing south of Ngarringa.

The four salvage what supplies they can from the wreck, then travel on foot into Ngarringa. Just as they arrive in the town, they find Drinkwater and several of his associates arriving in town on camels which they had stolen to flee the mob at Dogport. Drinkwater wants to attack them on the spot. A Native Aururian chieftain (Dignity Harrabba) intervenes, saying that the peace of the bunya nut is on the town, and that anyone who brings violence to their fellow man will be killed.

Exhausted, the four make camp on the edge of town. In one of the most iconic scenes in the movie and all of cinematic history, Harry King wakes to find a camel’s head in his bed. Drinkwater has left it there to send a message that he could have killed them where they slept.

Horrified by the message, Harry says that they need to flee the town before Drinkwater finds some way to kill them, bunya peace or not. Lopidya insists that Harry is doing exactly what Drinkwater wants, since if the man was capable of killing them in town he would have already done so. Rose and Jonathan support Harry. Lopidya concedes, and the four plan to steal some of Drinkwater’s still-living camels and escape further into the desert, where Drinkwater should be unable to follow them.

The plan to steal the camels goes awry, as they are discovered mid-theft and Drinkwater and his men attack them. Rose, Harry and Lopidya manage to steal camels and escape unharmed, but Jonathan is shot as they flee. They ride away, but Jonathan bleeds as they ride and eventually falls from his camel and dies.

What follows is another of the movie’s iconic scenes, the long camel chase across the desert, as Drinkwater follows them and sometimes comes close enough to shoot at them. The chase again shows a variety of desert landscapes, including some which in reality were in different areas of the desert and could not possibly have been part of the same chase [irrelevant addition – flagged for deletion].

The pursuit culminates with the three of them arriving at the foot of the great Red Monolith in the centre of the Aururian desert. Drinkwater catches up with them then, and Lopidya and Harry stop to fight him. Drinkwater is killed, with Lopidya dying with him, leaving a bruised but otherwise unharmed Harry. Rose and Harry embrace, then the movie ends with the iconic sight of them climbing up the Red Monolith so that they can see what is on the other side.

Cast

Harry King - Brian BLESSED
Rose Gold - Norma Jean Mortenson
Jonathan Hardwick – Richard Burton
Neville Drinkwater – Marlon Brando
Lopidya – Charlton Heston
Dignity Harrabba – Keenan Wynn
Ship Captain – Peter Bull
Unnamed Minion #1 – Martin Benson
Unnamed Minion #2 – Michael Hordern
Unnamed Minion #3 – Timothy Dalton
Unnamed Minion #4 – Peter Diamond

Production

The Howard novel Into Darkness had been the subject of two previous attempts to convert to film, with both of those failing to proceed due to withdrawal of funding.

Unusually for films of that era, most of Into Darkness was shot on location in Aururia, including a genuine shot of the lead actors climbing the Monolith. While much of the camel-chase scenes were filmed against studio backdrops, most of the other landscape scenes in the film are genuine. A real blimp was built for some of the flight scenes, although close-up scenes were filmed in studio.

The costume designs and background sets were pioneering for their widespread use of brass and leather and heavy steamless machinery, to represent the common aesthetics of how things worked in Aururia at the time [citation needed]. While innovative at the time, these aesthetics became so widely copied for many other films over the next two decades that this era in moviemaking was jokingly referred to as the Years of Brass and Leather. This means that modern audiences unfamiliar with Into Darkness often criticise the film for being derivative, even though it was the trendsetter.

Reception

Into Darkness received largely positive reviews at the time of its release. Josiah Nelson of The Tribune offered a representative review when he commented that “King and Mortenson both turn in performances which are convincing and entertaining, with Burton providing valuable comic relief at what would otherwise be too heavy moments” and that “Brando makes for a chilling villain.”

The film grossed £102 million at the global box office, making it the fifth-highest grossing movie in history at the time of release.

Controversy

Into Darkness used real Aururian actors to play minor parts and as extras. However, both of the major roles for Aururian characters (Lopidya and Dignity) were played by prominent white actors using makeup to darken their skin, rather than by Aururian actors. At the time of the film’s production this was unexceptionable [citation needed], however, in the modern era it has been widely-condemned. This has led to the film being rarely displayed in many countries, and re-broadcasts of the film still attract occasional criticism or protests. However, Into Darkness has been deemed to be a film of “cultural and historical significance” by the Historical Preservation Institute in London, England.

A lesser but still often-repeated criticism is that of cinematic misgeography, as the film depicts disparate parts of the Aururian desert as if they are very close together. Most notably [citation needed], the film gives the impression that the Red Monolith is a relatively brief camel ride (no more than 2 days) from Ngarringa, when in truth the journey would have been much longer. Around 450 miles.

Legacy

The modern legacy of Into Darkness can be divided between those who see the film as the precursor to an iconic genre of brass and leather films, and those who see it as reducing the complex social and philosophical themes of the original novel to a comedy and chase movie.

Howard’s original novel remains much-analysed in modern university and literary studies for its commentary on colonial attitudes and contrasts between so-called civilized and savage peoples. This commentary is largely glossed over in the film. However, the film portrays the native Aururian characters positively, and only has European villains, in contrast to other films made in the previous decades which depicted savage and brutal “natives.” Except that the mobs in Dogport could hardly be called non-villainous.

The mixed reception was summed up by Concord Weebarilla, who commented that “the novel Into Darkness is still widely-read today, albeit often as a compulsory text in literature courses, while the film version is most remembered for parodies of its camel’s head scene.”

Trivia

In the scene in Dogport where the mob is turning on Drinkwater, the script contained a moment where an Aururian character was meant to say (in their own language) “get the murderers.” Originally this was meant to be depicted by an actor who spoke Gunnagal, however he left the film mid-production for reasons which have been variously claimed to be creative differences or bigotry.

Another Atjuntja-speaking actor was engaged to provide the brief dialogue in his own language. However, none of the film producers understood Atjuntja. So in the chase scene where the character is meant to be saying “get the murders!” what the actor actually said was “Look at me, I’m in a big movie.” This moment continues to produce uproarious laughter whenever the film is rebroadcast in Teegal.
 
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