Lands of Red and Gold

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Jared, Dec 16, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Apr 13, 2007
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    Re: easter eggs
    Went back and reread the 'disobedient farmer' post. Didnt see any even looking.
  2. Admiral Matt Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Just noticed tonight the grocery store here sells what I believe are emu eggs. Maybe ostrich, too.

    Tempting to try out, in spite of the cost.
  3. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    There's a couple of others elsewhere in the post, but I thought that so many together should get noticed. :D
  4. Admiral Matt Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Wow. Well played.
  5. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    It's certainly a possibility. Quolls would have a willingness to make a meal of a rat plague. It depends how many can be shipped across and survive, though.

    Are they proper very dark green emu eggs?
  6. Threadmarks: Lands of Red and Gold #67: New Partners in the Dance

    Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    Lands of Red and Gold #67: New Partners in the Dance

    Keep your eyes on the sun and you will not see the shadows.
    - Tjibarr proverb

    * * *

    From: “The Proxy Wars: Colonialism and Conflict in Aururia”
    “Volume 1: Preparing the Ground”
    Chief Editor: Proximity Smathost.
    Editors & Translators: Demitri Leinfellner, Florian Vandermeer, Sebastian Doyle, & Jeera Kunanyi.


    The conflicts that engulfed much of Aururia during the mid-seventeenth century was known to the European colonialists as the Proxy Wars. They viewed these conflicts as wars between native pawns of the main European protagonists, principally the VOC [Dutch East India Company] and EIC [English East India Company]. To them, and to much of subsequent historiography, these conflicts were created and driven by agendas of company directors in London and Amsterdam, with the Powers successfully agitating the natives to follow their lead.

    A more considered view, however, can be found through the primary sources of the time...


    The Surprise Annal


    (by Demitri Leinfellner)

    The Surprise Annal (Jeera Julam) chronicles the history of the main Plirite temple at Warrala [Wemen, Victoria], and some events of the surrounding town. Many Plirite temples in the Five Rivers wrote annals which were reminiscent of those of ancient Rome. Each temple’s annal recorded significant events that happened in the temple or the surrounding region, and sometimes recorded news or rumours that were reported from further away.

    The Surprise Annal is unusual in that the Warrala temple had a tradition of recording events that were julam, a word with nuances of meaning that include “surprising”, “unexpected”, or “out of the ordinary”. Noteworthy events within the temple were recorded in the same fashion as that of other temple annals, but events from the town or broader kingdom were only included if they were somehow surprising.

    For example, the only years when the Surprise Annal records the winner of the annual football competition at the capital city, Tjibarr, were those years when the winner was not one of the favourite teams. If the winner was one of the expected teams, which generally speaking meant the top two or three ranked teams from the previous year, then this would not be recorded in the annal.

    The original version of the Surprise Annal at the Warrala temple is now lost, although it is believed to have been maintained until at least 1660. Two partial copies survive, due to the tradition that when a new temple was founded, it would copy its parent temple’s annal up until the date of the new temple’s founding, then create a new annal with its own entries from that date. The Peetja Annal is based on the original Surprise Annal until 1646, while the Tjomee Annal follows the Surprise Annal until 1589...

    (Translator’s Note: Then as now, Plirite religious calendars start on the southern hemisphere autumn equinox [1], so this entry covers the time from 21 March 1633 to 20 March 1634)

    In this year, came learned Venerable Brother Wiratjuri hither over sea from the Temple of the Five Winds on the Island, and sojourned at our temple for the Cycle of Falling Stars [2-13 April] to give counsel to the brothers and sisters.

    In the same year, came hither one Bunjil from Yarralinga [Hamley Bridge, South Australia], who was brother to the wife of one who ruled there, to Tjibarr of the Lakes [i.e. the capital city itself], and spoke to the king, and attended a match of football to watch the Reds whom he favoured; whence he proceeded downriver.

    (Translator’s Note: The Whites won the annual football tournament in this year, but they were among the favourites, ranked second the previous year, so in keeping with their usual practice, the priests of Warrala did not mention the winners.)

    When he was about a mile or more above Warrala, he put on his mail, and so did all his companions: and they proceeded to town. When they came hither, they resolved to break their fast wherever they wished. Then came one of Bunjil’s companions, who would claim food at the house of a master of a family against his will; but having wounded the master of the house, was slain by sword. Then was Bunjil quickly into battle, his companions with him, and they slew the master of the family under his own roof, and wounded several other men besides.

    The townsmen slew six of Bunjil’s companions, and Bunjil and his other companions ran to Tapiwal [Robinvale], where the king was then residing, and he was wroth with the townsmen. He called council with the sentinel [2] of the Greens and two land controllers of the Grays, which two factions most of the townsmen supported, and determined that six noroons [emus] and a half-pouch of kunduri should be given to Bunjil by the townsmen; while a footballer of the Reds was found to counsel Bunjil and his companions against excess...

    This same year were the quandongs most bountiful in the harvest, more so than any time in the memory of man, so that the farmers had more than they could barter away for any good purpose, and during the Cycle of Life (16-27 November) called a celebration in the town, and brought in all the quandongs that could not be traded, and the children and townswomen were given to eat as much as they could. Whereas the nuts [edible seed kernels] of the quandong were returned, and in respect traded downriver to a broker in Jugara [Victor Harbor] who found the Islanders most grateful, and returned to the town much gum cider.

    This same year came blister-rash (chickenpox) to the kingdom and the town. The physicians called for quarantine, but the blister-rash spread beyond all excluded towns. More Warrala townsfolk died of the blister-rash than anyone knows of any sickness before; more than swelling-fever (mumps) or the red cough (tuberculosis) or the worst year of the Waiting Death (Marnitja). The king died in Tjibarr of the Lakes, and Guneewin became third of that name to be cast in silver [3].

    (Translator’s Note: The relatively brief reference to what was a massive epidemic is typical of the style of Plirite annals. Events are merely described and not given any particular weight over each other; in the original language, the account of Bunjil’s passage and its aftermath is three times as long as the explanation of chickenpox. The first four infectious diseases known to have reached Aururia by 1635 (syphilis, tuberculosis, mumps and then chickenpox) are estimated to have killed more than ten percent of the population; a million people or more, depending on which estimate of the pre-contact population was correct).

    In this year died Eldest Brother Kalaree of the temple, and Tjuri became Eldest. Nine brothers and three sisters joined their kin (died) during the year.


    Letter 29

    Azure Day, Cycle of Bunya Nuts, 5th Year of His Majesty Guneewin the Third [4] (2 August 1637)

    To Murranbulla of the Reds from your friend Nyulinga of the Azures [Light Blues]: May your days know honour and good fortune. May your nights know good sleep. May your footballers be favoured whenever they do not play the Azures.

    Refusal of the Raw Men to trade us their weapons is an insult to all who have goods to sell. They have not listened to reason, not in all the ten years since their ships first called at our ports. Where remonstration has failed, manoeuvre must be used to convince them.

    Single action will never make the Nedlandj Association renounce its ban. Joint action is required; for a time, all the partners in the Dance must step in the same direction. We must tell the Raw Men that until they agree to sell their weapons, and at a price which is fair, then we will withhold all kunduri from them. It is the trade good they value above all, and it is needed to bring them to accord.

    The embargo must be collective to succeed. In the short-term, it will bring more costs, but not unacceptable, since we can sell to the Islanders, who will sell to the Association for a greater profit, and more cost to the Raw Men. This cost we must tolerate. The Blues [Dark Blues] and Blacks have voiced their support to me, if we can find agreement elsewhere. The Blues agreeing means that the Greens are reticent, but this can be addressed if every other faction moves in step.

    Joint action is required, anathema though this may be to the Dance. Once the Raw Men have conceded that trade must flow, the factions can return to their ancient habits, but we must do what is necessary first.

    (Translator’s notes: Such open language is unusual in a letter between members of different Gunnagal factions, who usually adopted a much more circumspect style to discuss political manoeuvres. The plain wording adopted means either that this letter was public confirmation of an already agreed plan between the parties, which the author intended the recipient to circulate unofficially as part of further covert negotiations to gain support, or that the author expected the letter to be intercepted and spread widely to build a broader public pressure campaign to bring about the desired collective action.)


    Letter 34

    Wombat Day, Cycle of Life, 5th Year of His Majesty Guneewin the Third (22 November 1637)

    (Translator’s note: According to Tjibarr protocol, a letter addressed to the sentinel of a faction was the way to write to the all of the notable members of a faction, even though in most cases, the sentinel had no real political power within the faction.)

    To Waminung, Sentinel of the Golds, from your comrade (i.e. fellow Gold supporter) Nabool: May your days in this life be long. May you know good health and vigour. May our footballers triumph always over all rivals.

    I hear your requests that more must be done to support our beloved Golds of Renown. Too many players of talent have been lost to blister-rash or swelling-fever or sorrow, and those who would replace them must be searched out and trained.

    People who might attend to cheer our players are fewer in number. It saddens me to hear that there were unfilled seats in the last game between Golds and Reds. The tribulations are growing throughout the kingdom.

    While I am filled with pain to write it, I cannot provide the further silver or musk you have asked for to support the Golds. My estates are afflicted with flood, and lack enough workers to make repairs or harvest what remains in the fields before rot begins. Those of my neighbours suffer even more, for the new land controllers are young after their fathers and uncles joined their kin, and know not yet how to manage the land with one eye to what may come. (Translator’s note: A Gunnagal idiom which means roughly “look both to what must be done now, and to what is needed for the longer term).


    Letter 35

    Eagle Day, Cycle of Fire, 6th Year of His Majesty Guneewin the Third (18 May 1638)

    To Magool Wallira of the Blues from Nyulinga of the Azures: May your dreams be free of nightmares. May you find the harmony you seek.

    (Translator’s Note: Diplomatic letters in Aururian civilizations had a number of large stock phrases which could be used as openings, and Tjibarr was no exception. The reference to harmony indicates that Magool Wallira was among the minority of Gunnagal who followed the Plirite faith. The lack of well-wishers to his footballers also indicates that the Blues land controller (aristocrat) was among those for whom faction membership was for political and economic reasons, not sport.)

    Further truth has been revealed; the nature of things is now clearer. The new Raw Men who visited Jugara, these Inglidj, are no minor splinter of the Nedlandj. They are a nation of their own. So the Raw Men have factions too, their associations, and nations also. If not rivals now, they may become so.

    The rules have changed. Peetanootj [5] brought war to the Yadji, and his failure is our threat and opportunity. The Nedlandj are driven from the Land of the Five Directions; the Inglidj now have the monopoly there. Raw Men weapons and their makers have been captured by the Yadji, and Peetanootj is now in the kingdom [i.e. within Tjibarr’s borders].

    What had been prepared has been overtaken. While successful so far, it has been overtaken. Plans in travois must be unmade; new plans can be formed.

    (Translator’s Note: This is a circumspect reference to earlier attempts by the Azures aristocrat to establish a coalition (see letters 27 and 29) who would proclaim a kunduri embargo unless the Dutch East India Company agreed to trade in weapons. With Pieter Nuyts and fellow captives in Tjibarr, some Dutch captives in Durigal [the Yadji lands] and English traders now likely to arm the Yadji, the Dutch restrictions on trading weapons were now largely superfluous.)

    I invite you to consider these matters with me and several friends.


    Letter 48

    (Translator’s Note: This letter was written in Dutch, and is the first official communication between a Tjibarr monarch and a European body. It is believed to have been composed by Wemba of the Whites, probably with assistance from one or more of the Dutch captives he retained from Nuyts’ failed conquest.

    Three copies are known to have been sent, one to Jugara to await the arrival of the next Dutch ship, one to the Island to be sent to the Dutch trading outpost at the Mutjing city-state of Luyandi [Port Kenny, South Australia], and one via the Nuttana for them to deliver it directly to Batavia on their next trading run to the East Indies.)

    Weemiraga's Day, Cycle of the Sun, 7th Year of His Majesty Guneewin the Third (19 December 1639)

    To Anthony van Diemen, Governor of the Indies in Batavia, and through you to the Lords Seventeen of your East India Company. May your Three-fold God favour you in all of your endeavours throughout your life.

    ... Your Company has chosen to refuse us trade in your guns. While your reasons may have been valid in former times, the world is no longer as it was. The English Company has permission to trade with the Yadji, and has begun to sell them weapons.

    The Yadji hate us with a vigour that stretches back centuries. With their new weapons, they will soon start war with us. If the port of Jugara falls, then you will lose all trade with the Five Rivers, particularly in the kunduri which grows nowhere else. The Yadji will trade only with the English, and your Company will be the weaker for it.

    It is time to lift this restriction, and trade freely with us your guns, your powder, your cannon, for fair prices...

    (Signed with nine signatories, the monarch and a representative of each faction)

    King Guneewin of the Nine-Fold Crown
    Pila Dadi, Premier Land Controller, for the Whites
    Waminung, Sentinel of the Golds
    Gatjibee, Lifetime Champion (Footballer) of the Greens
    Kaalong, Sentinel of the Blacks
    Gumaring, First Speaker of the Azures
    Tjee Burra, Senior Physician, for the Grays
    Magool Wallira, in harmony, for the Blues
    Murranbulla, Land Controller, for the Reds

    * * *

    [1] Most agricultural cultures throughout history have considered the year to start during winter or spring. In Aururia, the nature of perennial farming and the particular crops grown mean that there is not the same connection to new growth in spring. In the Aururian farming cycle, winter is not a dead time of the year, since many of the crops (wattles) flower during winter, and the first harvests (red yams and murnong) can begin in autumn, not in summer. So the Aururian calendars are based on the autumn equinox as the start of the year.

    [2] Sentinel is the usual translation of the Gunnagal word for the person in a faction who is notionally responsible for choosing which players are selected into the football squad for the season. In some factions, the sentinel is a politically important figure who conducts negotiations with other factions over many matters (commerce, military, land control), not just football; in other factions, the sentinel is merely a agent who selects football players, and whose only negotiations with other factions is over exchanges of players and the like.

    [3] Part of the investiture of a new monarch in Tjibarr is to have a statuette of them cast in silver and placed in the Thousand-Fold Palace. The statuette is a symbol of the living monarch, not a permanent reminder; after the monarch’s death, the silver will be melted down and recast into a new statuette for the new monarch.

    [4] In the Gunnagal calendar, the start of each year is fixed at the autumn equinox. The period from the crowning of a new monarch to the next autumn equinox is considered the monarch’s first year, even if it only lasts a single day (or even one hour).

    [5] i.e. Pieter Nuyts, the would-be Dutch conquistador who had just failed in his bid to do a Cortes and become ruler of the Yadji realm. See post #44 (and its predecessors).

    * * *

    Sol Zagato and Pantegral like this.
  7. FDW Banned

    Jun 27, 2009
    San Francisco
    Nice update Jared.
  8. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

    Feb 26, 2007
    Duchy of Milan
    So the "football" teams are kind of like Byzantine chariot racing factions on crack...
  9. Mark-ITSOT Mercian Imperialist Dog :D

    Oct 19, 2008
    What exactly do the Aururians write on and with?

    And what physical form do their books have?
  10. Roberto FREE SUSAN O.

    Aug 22, 2007
    The Impenetrable Fortress of Kr'Rundor
    That was fascinating. I love the fact that each faction's representative holds a different title; it adds credence to the organic development of the political structure in Tjibarr.

    Also, I'm chuckling about the Surprise Annals.
  11. Admiral Matt Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Looked black. I'll have to translate the characters next time I shop.
  12. mojojojo Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    How is Pieter Nuyts adapting to captivity?Has Stockholm Syndrome set in?Has he or any other Dutch captives gone native?
  13. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    A small village in Arkhamshire.
    Sebastian Doyle? This is just about the last place I expected to see Red Dwarf shoutout.
  14. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    They're the closest analogy in the rest of the world's history, yes. Although comparisons shouldn't be overdrawn.

    In some senses, the factions of Tjibarr are the government. They manage the land, they are intertwined with religion, they dispense justice, and so on.

    In Tjibarr, they write on a combination of clay tablets and emu-hide parchment.

    Clay tablets are the ancient and still most common form of writing. It is done by using a stylus in wet clay. Depending on the purpose, the clay tablets will either be left unfired and recycled when the information on themis no longer needed, or fired and kept for long-term purposes.

    Parchment is a more recent innovation which actually diffused north from the Junditmara (and also dispersed westward to the Island and the Atjuntja). It is more expensive, but more lightweight and portable, and easier to create into a single book or other such form. In Tjibarr, parchment tends to be used for higher-prestige purposes, or for areas away from rivers where clay is harder to find.

    Writing on parchment is done using various forms of ink made from the soot of wood (burnt wattles, mostly) combined with wattle gum. Tjibarr also uses more durable forms of ink where the binding agent is resin from pines, but that hasn't spread elsewhere.

    In other parts of Aururia (except the Yadji) parchment is basically the main writing form, except for inscriptions carved into stone or metal and the like. For the Yadji, they also have a form of paper made from the inner bark of wattles, which is becoming more prevalent for general purposes, although parchment is still more durable and used for works expected to last (e.g. copies of classical literary texts).

    The factions certainly aren't eight homogenous identical entities. They are an outgrowth of the ancient social structures in the Gunnagal, but have adapted into new forms over the last few centuries, and indeed are continuing to develop.

    A proper emu egg looks like this.

    The Dutch captives are, in general, getting more accustomed to local life, if only because they don't see much alternative. Some of them have picked up native ways, particularly the cuisine. I don't know whether any will have adopted the local religion too, though I doubt it.

    Pieter Nuyts in particular still dreams of freedom, though it looks less and less likely as time goes by.

    At least the publisher wasn't called CGI. :D

    There's actually quite a few shout outs and tips of the hat scattered throughout LoRaG, including elsewhere in this post. Some of them, people pick up on. Some get missed, or at least not commented on.
  15. Sam R. Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2011
    Jared's most recent post answers important, important questions, questions like:

    • What effect did the European plagues have on Aururian football? Did it increase the running game?
    • How difficult was it to recruit quality footballers during major plagues?
    • Did Champion footballers always exercise their power in international diplomacy, or were they more circumspect in controlling Aururian societies?

    Sam R.
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  16. twovultures Best leagues are NFL, FIFA, and Shmalkaldic

    Apr 24, 2010
    That's pretty quick and admirable cooperation on the factions of Tjibarr's part. Of course, having a king to unite behind and a small elite capable of commanding the common folk does make this easier than it was for the Iroquois alliance.
  17. B_Munro Member

    May 28, 2004
    How do they go with ham?

  18. Gwenc'hlan Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Very good update, you have made a great job of world-building. The cultures that will evolve out of this will certainly be very interesting : you said many times that tjibarr is the culture that is the most likely to survive but what about the ones that won't make it? I really think that the ones in western Australia are doomed because they are firmly under Netherlander control and they got mines : it will be interesting to see what people are going to work in them once the aboriginal begin to die off : Javanese, Indians or Africans?
    All in all I look forward to new updates.
  19. mojojojo Member

    Sep 9, 2006
  20. Beedok I exist.

    Dec 14, 2008
    Centauri Commonwealth
    That's irrelevant. It's how it goes with cheese that's vital.:p

    Also, awesome update, you managed to make it just as painful to read as real primary documents.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.