Lands of Red and Gold

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

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  1. CaliBoy1990 A bright future is still possible! =) Donor

    Jul 14, 2010
    El Pueblo, East Texas
    I do believe it was a Dr. Seuss reference, my dear madam.....:p;)
  2. Beedok I exist.

    Dec 14, 2008
    Centauri Commonwealth
  3. Sam R. Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2011
    You misspelt "wonderful" there quite badly. Or maybe I'm just habituated.

    Sam R.
  4. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    Those are the most important questions, after all. I know if my society were suffering through a major plague, I'd like to know that there's still football so there's something to watch on TV while everyone's quarantined at home.

    It also helps to have a history of (temporarily) putting aside differences when fighting major external rivals, notably the Yadji.

    I will return to the Atjuntja and western Australia at some point, but yes, it's safe to say that they will be gradually falling under Dutch control. They aren't quite there yet, but another major plague will probably do it; their society can't withstand that many more shocks.

    Once that happens, the Dutch will focus on the major trade goods of WA: gold, sandalwood, and a couple of minor spices. The sandalwood and spices will largely fall away with the declining population; there just aren't enough people to cultivate them, and they need enough long-term management that just bringing in slaves won't cut it for replacing them. (The spices, maybe, could be managed.)

    The gold, though, will be the big drawcard. The Javanese are the most obvious possibility to recruit. From what I understand from previous discussions on this thread, breaking into the East African slave trade would be harder.

    Everyone's a ham...

    If I can get both of those reactions from the same post, then my work here is done. :D
  5. Beedok I exist.

    Dec 14, 2008
    Centauri Commonwealth
    I was still complimenting you. It's difficult to write in a style akin to difficulty translated texts.
  6. Sam R. Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2011
    Politics is football by another means. Once there was a massive budget cut or terrorist incident. And the lead story with 4 follow-ups was the doping scandal in Australian Sport. And the particular story was that a "local code" football club had been heavily mentioned. With a stake-out of journalists outside of the <s>party</s>team headquarters incase an elder<s>statesman</s>club figure might make a statement.

    yours for the Bunnies in 2013,
    Sam R.
  7. mojojojo Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    Especially on
  8. Threadmarks: Lands of Red and Gold #68: Music of the Dance

    Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    Lands of Red and Gold #68: Music of the Dance

    “They [the Dutch] are not only to lend us their experience but give every assistance to our merchants trading in the East and West Indies, leaving them free to trade on whatever coasts they choose in full security and liberty and to associate with them [French merchants] in their navigation to the said countries.”
    - Cardinal Richelieu, 1627 (shortly before his death) setting out the conditions that the Dutch would have to accept in exchange for French finance in the Dutch war for independence from Spain

    * * *

    Venus's Day, Cycle of the Moon, 8th Year of His Majesty Guneewin the Third (28 February 1641)
    Hall of Rainbows [1], Tjibarr of the Lakes
    Kingdom of Tjibarr

    Heat lies heavy in the Hall. Summer is all but gone in the turning of the seasons, but its presence lingers yet. A man who has lived as long as Kaalong develops a feel for the weather. No matter what season the calendar proclaims, the north wind, the time of danger and fire, will dwell in Tjibarr of the Lakes for many days to come.

    Inside the Hall, no man forgets what lies outside. The Hall of Rainbows has many qualities, but not those that give coolness during the day. Splendour, yes, that is here in abundance. The Hall is full of marvels that proclaim the triumphs of the factions, most notably the bronzed statues of champion footballers, and other treasures of history passed. Precision, yes, that is here too, from the carefully polished eight-sided table in the centre of the Hall, to the eight equally-sized grand entrances in the centre of each of the eight walls. Ventilation, though, is not a quality that was foremost in the minds of the builders. Heat which enters the Hall lingers long after the daily dying of the sun which gave it birth.

    Kaalong maintains his composure as best he can. Thirty-two men have gathered here in the Hall. Four chosen to represent each faction. The best four. Here is the grand chamber which forms the heart of the Endless Dance. Here, those who are permitted to enter are those who are best suited to the Dance.

    Of the thirty-two men here, Kaalong likes to think that he is the best Dancer. His talents have won him the post of Sentinel of the Blacks, one of only two factions where the Sentinel is in truth the leading man. More than that, his talents have kept him there. In the Endless Dance, a man soon finds that gaining something is only the prelude; holding what he has won is the true achievement.

    For all of his talents, the gap between him and the other Dancers gathered here is not large. A blundering man will soon misstep in the Dance. Even if such a misstep is not fatal, it will be enough to remove a man from consideration for true power.

    A man in plain brown clothes enters through the Grays’ entrance. “Stand! He comes before you! The Nine-fold King! The Essence of Harmony! He who brings balance to the kingdom! He comes before you! Stand!”

    Kaalong smoothly rises to his feet. So does every other man. A king in Tjibarr is no absolute ruler, like the emperor of the Yadji. The emperor of the Yadji has unbounded power over his people. The Yadji ruler can order a man to go bring back a sword to be used for his own execution. No king of Tjibarr has such power. Yet despite that truth, it would be a poor Dancer who failed to show proper respect for the person of the king.

    His Majesty Guneewin, third of that name, is a young man, barely thirty, and his youth shows on his smooth-cheeked face. Mostly smooth-cheeked, that is. The king has not grown a beard in the fashion of the barbaric Atjuntja, but hair grows in front of his ears. It runs down both his cheeks, ending just before his lips.

    Such is the fashion in Tjibarr this season. A fashion Kaalong has not bothered to follow. He has seen too many summers to be comfortable yielding to the ever-changing demands of fashion. More, he deems it unwise to earn a reputation for being needlessly changeable; being seen as such can only hinder the steps of his Dance.

    The king enters through the grand entrance of the Grays. That choice of entrance has been scrupulously chosen by drawing lots beforehand; Kaalong had one of his retired footballers as witness to the choosing. The king walks slowly around the Hall in a full circle, pausing for the same length of time at each of the grand entrances. All accords with custom. No monarch of Tjibarr who openly shows too much preference for one faction will hold the throne for much longer.

    His Majesty takes an ordinary seat – no thrones here, in the Hall of Rainbows – aligned between the table’s centre and the Grays’ grand entrance.

    After the king sits, the faction leaders do the same. Four at each side of the table, with no servants or hangers-on in hearing distance.

    “Let us consider what must be done,” the king says, speaking first as protocol requires. Ritual words, but with import far above their usual meaning. Any full gathering of the factions is time for politics, but every year that passes now makes for a more delicate balance.

    The last full gathering of the factions saw the production of a letter to the Nedlandj Association’s rulers. Now the factions now must decide what other steps Tjibarr will take. The Endless Dance moves ever on, but now it does so across a much larger scale.

    To any normal man of Tjibarr, the discussion which follows is unusually quiet and reserved. Most meetings of Gunnagal are times for loud interjection, for argumentation, quibbling, and laborious exploration of individual points. Sometimes, Kaalong thinks that most Gunnagal seek to convince as much by volume as by reason.

    This is no meeting of ordinary Gunnagal. The best Dancers are well-seasoned, and astute. They know when to be silent. They know when to listen, and when to think. They know not to speak unless they have something worth saying, or until they want people to think that they have nothing worth saying. They can read volumes in any speech, in what is said, in how it is said, and in what is not said. Language of the body can speak more than words which pass the lips. The Dance has many facets, many levels of manoeuvre, and many men who need to think.

    Only the best Dancers are in the room, now.

    Silence descends around the table for a long moment. Further sign that this is no casual meeting of Gunnagal. Most times, five or six men would already being speaking over the top of each other.

    Waminung, Sentinel of the Golds, is first to offer an opinion. “War comes soon. We have held Jugara [2] for over twenty years. The Yadji will not tolerate our control for much longer. Only their mad emperor and succession war has held them from acting for so long.”

    “The succession has cost them much,” says Gumaring, First Speaker of the Azures. A man who obsesses much with status, yet is astute regardless.

    “And won them much,” says Murranbulla, one of the more senior land controllers [aristocrats] among the Reds. “Veteran soldiers who know how to fight. Generals who know how to command. That Bidwadjari understands battle like any seasoned Dancer understands politics.”

    “I hear that the Yadji have fewer soldiers now than when we drove them out of Jugara,” says Tjee Burra of the Grays. A man who rejoices in the title of senior physician, which is true, but only the smallest part of what he does. Tjee Burra has very good hearing, especially for events within Durigal [the Yadji lands].

    “So do we,” says Magool Wallira. Who represents the Blues, in some manner, but in a way which is as ambiguous as any of the manoeuvres of that most troublesome of factions. Magool has neither seniority nor the greatest prestige nor the greatest holdings amongst Blue land controllers. One can never tell whether Magool makes the decisions or if he is a convenient front for the true architects amongst the Blues. “The plagues have cost us much.”

    A most cutting reference, that. His Majesty only holds the throne because of the latest of those plagues. A reminder of that could be an accident. Could. Kaalong tries to watch everyone’s reaction, and has to settle for noticing that Pila Dadi has shown no reaction at all. A sign of great composure, or a sign that the Whites’ greatest land controller awaited that remark?

    “This is not the time to list how many soldiers and factionaries can be found within the lands of the Nine-fold Crown,” His Majesty says calmly. If he is offended, it does not carry into his voice.

    Kaalong says, “Let us ask instead if war comes with the Yadji, what can we gain from it?” An obvious question, but a useful one. Staying silent too long in the Hall carries its own risks, from those who would see plots even where is none, and from those who would interpret quiet as weakness.

    Murranbulla shrugs. “We hold as much land as we can, almost. If we push further, we may take land for a time, but could we hold it?”

    “If we weaken the Yadji hold in the Red Country [3], it will be harder for them to push back to the Nyalananga [River Murray],” says Bili Narra, a senior Gold land controller.

    “Better to consolidate what we hold in the Copper Coast,” Murranbulla says.

    “What do you think we’ve been doing for the last twenty years?” says Waminung. Support for his fellow Gold member, or a sign of dissension within the faction? Or a bid to make the other factions think there is a rift within the Golds, and so see what advances are offered to each?

    “Taking advantage of the Yadji’s internal distractions to manoeuvre amongst factions to gain the best lands. So it always is,” says Magool Wallira. Is that a hint of humour in his voice?

    “What has happened, has happened,” says Pila Dadi of the Whites. “Better to ask if the Yadji are in a condition to advance into the Copper Coast.”

    “They have more soldiers than us,” Kaalong says. He wishes he knew exactly how many more. He is no Gray, to have ears everywhere. Yet what his sources in Durigal can find out suggests that the Yadji have suffered even more from the blister-rash [chickenpox] than the Five Rivers. “It is always so, unless we can persuade both Gutjanal and Yigutji [the inland Five Rivers kingdoms] to stand with us.”

    “Numbers are not everything. Or the Yadji would never lose the Copper Coast,” says Gumaring. The Azures’ First Speaker’s gaze shifts to the king, just for a moment.

    “Truth. Soldiers in the Copper Coast are ever hard for the Yadji to support,” Waminung says.

    “Can the Yadji support their troops better with their new horses?” says Gatjibee of the Greens. The only man here who is a former footballer, he had a reputation for devious tactics on the field, which has carried over into his new role as representative for his faction in the greater Dance.

    “They have few horses. Or so I hear,” says Tjee Burra.

    “Quite. They ate most of those they captured,” Magool Wallira says, amusement plain in his voice this time. “Short-sighted of them.”

    “Ask what we can do with our horses,” Murranbulla says. The Reds land controller looks across the table to the four Whites representatives.

    None of the Whites respond immediately.

    Bili Narra says, “These new beasts can carry much. If we have them, we can push into the Red Country and bring more food with us.”

    “Or the Yadji will get their own from their Inglidj allies, and move more men and supplies along their roads. Whatever else may be said of the Yadji, they are master road builders,” says Gumaring.

    “So in war, we must rip up their roads?” Magool Wallir asks.

    “Most importantly, we must stop their building teams making new roads. Such as one straight to Tjibarr,” Kaalong says. He watches the Whites representatives again when he speaks, but sees nothing. Most quiet on their part, since so far the Whites are the only faction to have horses.

    “Never mind what the Yadji can do with horses,” Gatjibee says. “Ask what we can do.”

    That remark produces much turning of heads to Gatjibee. The Greens footballer meets the gaze with a broad smile.

    Kaalong watches the Whites instead. It is hard to be sure, amongst such skilled Dancers, but Wemba looks less enthusiastic about the whole discussion of horses. Wemba is the man who secured both Peetanootj [Pieter Nuyts] and the first horses to come to Tjibarr. He has been allowed to keep them because he held them first, and because the factions could not – and cannot – agree who will be rewarded with the horses if they were taken off Wemba. The Whites will have plans of their own for horses, surely. No matter that Pila Dadi leads the Whites, Wemba will be the one making plans. He is the one who must be watched carefully.

    Gatjibee says, “Horses can move goods quickly by road. So we know from what the Nedlandj tell us, and what Peetanootj did in Durigal. So let us build a great road from the Great Bend [4] west across the dry lands, to a port on the farther reaches of the Copper Coast. Taparee [Port Pirie], Nookoonoo [Port Broughton], or perhaps even Dogport [Port Augusta].” He grins widely. Insufferably.

    Representatives of four factions try to speak at once. His Majesty holds up a hand. “Murranbulla spoke first... though it was a close-run thing.”

    Muranbulla says, “If horses can run across the dry lands, across a road to a new port, that will reshape the balance.”

    “Jugara and the Bitter Lake [Lake Alexandrina] will no longer be the sole route for trade with the Island and the Raw Men,” Gumaring says. “If the Yadji take Jugara, we will no longer be cut off.”

    “Better, if the Yadji try to advance as far as Dogport, then we can advance along the Nyalananga to threaten their supplies,” says Waminung.

    “Best of all, we can still obtain the Nedlandj weapons even if the Yadji still hold Jugara,” Kaalong says.

    From there, the discussion flows into a more general one of the consequences of the new horses, the muskets – if those could ever be obtained – and of how to face the Yadji threat. Or so it appears on the surface. As Kaalong is all too well aware, much more is being discussed beneath these topics. He strains his awareness to identify what he can. He looks for the hints, the meaning in silences, and in half-spoken sounds. He strives to understand what each means, whether they be truth or deliberately spoken impression.

    Each of the factions does the same, he knows. They watch where each other stands, and what ideas each faction advances. Each faction, each representative, seeks what can be found for their own advantage, as part of the broader struggle. Many offer ideas as if for the first time, presenting them as new inspiration. Most of those ideas will have been heard earlier, by some or perhaps all of the factions. The ground has to be prepared. No Dancer takes his first step onto the dance floor without studying that floor first.

    Kaalong tries to watch each faction. Apart from Wemba and the rest of the Whites, those he observes most are the Azures. That faction has manoeuvred much of late, under Gumaring their First Speaker and Nyulinga who provides the ideas. They had plans of their own for a kunduri embargo that would force the Nedlandj to trade their weapons.

    The outcome has worked, at least in part, but not as Nyulinga had planned. The outlaws’ raid into Durigal and the weapons the Yadji captured there have forced the Nedlandj to trade weapons. Which is far from what Nyulinga had sought: a compact with the Azures at the head, bargaining favourable terms with the Raw Men. They are resentful still, surely, and will be making fresh plans. Another faction to be watch.

    In time, the discussion shifts to the inland kingdoms of Gutjanal and Yigutji. The age-old kingdoms who are allies as often as enemies in the ever-changing steps of the Dance.

    Gumaring says, “Of one thing we can be sure: Yigutji and Gutjanal can never reach the sea to trade for Raw Man weapons.”

    Magool Wallira says, “Quite. They are isolated. Most of what they want to sell must pass through our lands. Now, too, so must what they most dearly need to buy.”

    Bili Narra smiles. “They will rely us. We can threaten them. Advance on them.”

    Murranbulla nods. “Gutjanal, or perhaps both, could buy weapons off the Yadji. If the Yadji agree. But why would they not, if it will give them allies against us?”

    While obvious signs are few, resentment forms in many others around the table. Not just for Murranbulla speaking a voice of caution. As always in the Dance, there is more to the tale.

    The Reds won the football in the season just passed. As always, that has brought them more glory, and some of the people, and perhaps a few land controllers, changing to their faction. Along with more generous support from the land controllers aligned to them. Equally, the victory has brought jealousy, more distrust, and more opposition both covert and overt from land controllers of other factions, in all matters pursued by the Reds. Such is the Dance.

    Waminung says, “Moving the guns by road from the Yadji lands will be much harder than moving them by water is for us.”

    Pila Dadi says, “We could make the inland kingdoms dependent on us. Sell weapons to them, for a good price. They will need fresh powder to come from us. They will not be able to turn on us so easily, for they will find themselves unable to use the weapons they would now rely on.”

    That comment provokes a round of silence; a rare achievement even amongst so accomplished Dancers as here. Perhaps even rarer here; the lingering silence shows that every man here recognises a good idea when he hears one.

    Kaalong does not want that acknowledgement to go so far, so he adds, “Sell some to the hill-men, too. They can always find uses for weapons.”

    Magool Wallira laughs. “The Nguril and Kaoma [5]? Oh, their only problem will be deciding whether to use them on the Yadji or the inland kingdoms.”

    “If we can sell weapons through the eastern kingdoms,” Murranbulla says.

    “With the prices the guns will command, surely that can be managed,” Tjee Burra says.

    Several men shake their heads. With that, and the effects of Pila Dadi’s comments fading, most of the Dancers return to their usual air of silent thoughtfulness. That is the most common appearance of an experienced Dancer. Unless, that is, they decide that acting like an ill-spoken, status-obsessed, typical loudmouth Gunnagal suits their current purpose in a discussion. Or, for the truly subtle, cultivate such an image to ensure that opponents underestimate them.

    The talk continues about the needful actions to meet the changes in the world. Until the king holds up a hand and says, “All that this Council has said must be considered. Now I bid you pay me heed to what the kingdom needs.”

    An ancient phrasing, that, and one best used only by those rulers with the prestige to steer the factions along the royal course. The current monarch lacks that prestige so far, or so Kaalong judges.

    King Guneewin continues, “In all of our actions, dissension must be kept between Nedlandj and Inglidj. While we must trade with the Nedlandj alone for now, as circumstances require, we must keep open some communication with the Inglidj. For the alliance of Yadji and Inglidj may shift. The Inglidj must not be driven from the Land forever.

    “Better still, we must encourage other Raw Men nations to sail to the Land. Since we must Dance with the Raw Men, we must ensure that they provide more Dancers.”

    That produces much shaking of heads amongst the Council. In genuine agreement, if Kaalong is any judge, not just superficial acknowledgement for the Nine-fold Crown. This new king may be young, but he is far from a fool.

    And that truth, too, will become part of the Dance.

    * * *

    [1] The Hall of Rainbows is the tallest building in Tjibarr of the Lakes (the capital city for which the kingdom is named), and its central complex is where the senior representatives of each faction come to meet to resolve issues which concern all factions. Whether the monarch is admitted depends on their personal reputation; a king who has established some credibility as an arbiter may be invited.

    [2] Jugara [Victor Harbor, South Australia] is the closest port to the unnavigable mouth of the Nyalananga [River Murray], and is linked to that river by a much-travelled road. Save for a small handful of high-value goods traded east and north for spices, most of the produce of the Five Rivers is exported via the Jugara Road. As such, Jugara is the most-contested city on the continent, with Tjibarr and Yadji fighting numerous wars for control of the port and the trade control that comes with it.

    [3] The Red Country is the Yadji name for the lands between the Nyalananga and Gurndjit [Portland, Victoria]. This is a fertile, low-lying land [called the Limestone Coast historically] that is ruled by the Yadji but populated by subject ethnicities.

    [4] The Great Bend is the Gunnagal name for the point (around modern Morgan, South Australia) where the Nyalananga makes an abrupt change in course, turning from its generally westerly route to a southern course that brings it into the sea about 300 kilometres further south.

    [5] The Nguril and Kaoma (hill-men) live in the highlands of the historical Monaro plateau, among the headwaters of the Matjidi [River Murrumbidgee]. They raid both into the Five Rivers, and into the Yadji’s eastern provinces.

    * * *

    Pantegral likes this.
  9. Mackon Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Wasn't there a plot thread heading towards the Islanders hiring Japanese mercenaries? Long way back concerning one of their more daring ship Captains opening up new trade routes . . . maybe I imagined it or it was just in one of the discussions :(
  10. mojojojo Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    Just how many horses do Wemba and the Whites have?
  11. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    That was one of the topics being discussed in the thread, although it wasn't directly alluded to in the timeline posts proper. There was some discussion about Pieter Nuyts hiring ronin if he was initially successful (here) and various discussions about what might happen after the Islanders (Nuttana) first made contact with Japan in 1643 (here).

    For hiring mercentaries, it might be possible that Japanese mercenaries get involved in the Proxy Wars in a minor way, if they were still around to be hired by 1643 onwards. (I need to do a bit of research on that point).

    That would mostly be the Nuttana, though, and perhaps not even them. There are plenty of European mercenaries available for hire in this period. The *Thirty Years' War ended ten years early, and there are plenty of leftover combat veterans in Europe who could be lured by promises of gold in the Aurient. The Dutch, English and any other interest East India Companies can find as many mercenaries as they need from that source.

    For the Nuttana more broadly, they will certainly be trading for Japanese goods, with muskets and powder being high priorities. They will also be trying to persuade whatever Japanese experts they can find to come work for them, too.

    Whether that includes mercenaries directly... perhaps. The Nuttana are wealthy and populous by Aururian standards (they have almost a third of the Islanders' surviving population). But hiring mercenaries would be either to defend themselves against European irruption (or their proxies) or because the Nuttana thought themselves up for some conquest or raiding. I'm not sure whether the Nuttana are populous enough for that.

    Not a lot. They captured twenty, and managed to have a dozen or so more imported. While those have bred a bit, that's still not many horses.

    For the Gunnagal discussing the possibilities of horses, though, there are two things to bear in mind:

    (i) the Gunnagal think in the longer term, and so would think about what horses could be used for in the future, not just now; and
    (ii) horses are alien enough that the Gunnagal under-estimate just how much they can do.

    On a broader note, with this post just gone, the set-up for the Proxy Wars is just about complete. There's one more post to go to tie together various loose ends, and then after that, the action moves on to the Proxy Wars proper.
  12. Admiral Matt Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Enjoyable indeed. You've got stones aplenty to attempt to depict a 33-sided conversation in text.
  13. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    The Dancers appear to be a mixture of traders and diplomates and the Plagues are starting to take its toll.
  14. Huehuecoyotl Reinar es Agridulce

    Oct 6, 2010
    Why did it take me so long to start reading this amazing TL? :D
  15. Falecius Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Jared, as an aside, I can now confirm you that there were some detailed medicine books in Dutch in this timeframe.
  16. twovultures Best leagues are NFL, FIFA, and Shmalkaldic

    Apr 24, 2010
    Yeah, I definitely agree.

    Also, will France get involved in trade with Aururia? I think it would be interesting to have courrers du desert, an equivalent of the North American French trappers.

    EDIT: Well, they probably wouldn't be in the desert, but I think it's a cool name anyway.
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  17. Roberto FREE SUSAN O.

    Aug 22, 2007
    The Impenetrable Fortress of Kr'Rundor
    This was a fantastic update, and very well done as a story. The idea of the Gunnagal introducing another European power to the Aururian powerplay is fascinating. Maybe a little beyond their capabilities at this point, but how cool would it be if they sent an embassy to Europe and attracted the attention of a nation that IOTL was uninvolved in the colonial game?

    As an afterthought, are any Aururians ever going to A) reach Europe independently and B) circumnavigate the globe? Because both of those would have been amazing accomplishments for Kumgatu to have achieved, but I fault him not, for he's already had one hell of a life. From what we know, the Nuttana are most likely to achieve either or both of these, although maybe by the point they do it won't matter the same way it would in the 17th century (nobody makes a big deal anymore about Indians building trade ships to Europe or the New World anymore, etc).
  18. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Mar 9, 2004
    Kingdom of Australia
    Thanks. It was a challenge, but I figured the gist would be clear even if people found it hard to keep track of who was who.

    The factions (Dancers) are the aristocrats / oligarchs of the kingdom. Politics, commerce, diplomacy, much of the military, justice, etc are all combined within them. There are two kinds of aristocrats: those for whom the sport (football) is where they spend money earned elsewhere, and those for whom the factions are part of the political game and which they join because it's how politics is done.

    And yes, the plagues are starting to take a severe toll. The next diseases to hit (typhus and influenza) will be even worse.

    At least it lets you read it in one go. :D

    Ah, thanks. Good to know. So the Gunnagal will be able to order some of those books - though whether those books will do them much good is still open to question.

    France will try to get involved in trade with Aururia at some point. They've been slow off the mark because in this period, the French involvement in India and the East Indies in general was not that high. While there were some earlier efforts, the French involvement in the Far East didn't get really organised until the 1660s; before that, they thought that the Dutch and Spanish were too well-established.

    Unless the French get some additional motivation to come (see below), it may take them a while to become significant players.

    French fur trappers may become involved in Aururia, but the animals they target would be very offensive to modern sensibilities: koalas and platypuses would be primary targets.

    While the Gunnagal may try to contact a European nation which was not involved in colonisation at all, their first efforts would be to contact nations which are part of the colonial game, but who are not actively involved in Aururia.

    The prime targets would be France (which has only made minor efforts up until that time) and Spain (which is separating its remaining colonial empire from Portugal). Other minor powers which may become involved are Denmark and Sweden, both of which are wealthier than in OTL and may be persuaded to spend some of that money on greater colonial ventures.

    For nations which weren't colonial powers at all in OTL, well, Bavaria now has access to the sea...

    (A) Yes. It's already established in the timeline that by 1697, the Nuttana were making trading contact with the east coast of North America. They will probably reach Europe earlier than that.

    (B) Yes, although the date they achieve it depends on how you define circumnavigation. From the Aururian point of view, they can circle the globe by staying in high southern latitudes (40s and 50s, mostly) and only making landfall somewhere near Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope. Actually crossing the equator as part of the voyage (probably into the Atlantic) may take a while longer than that - while the Nuttana have already crossed the equator to trade with Japan, that's not the sort of voyage which they would take around the globe.

    Nuttana contact will happen early enough that it will be seen as a significant achievement. However, the volume of their direct trade with Europe may not be all that high; the Europeans have rather more muscle and population to dominate that trade.
  19. Ed Costello Like tickling a trout in the wild

    Dec 13, 2007
    Costa del Mersey
    That update was excellent; I think the Hall of Rainbows might be my favourite AH creation. Cheers Jared.
  20. Mark-ITSOT Mercian Imperialist Dog :D

    Oct 19, 2008
    This "hall of rainbows"...

    Is it up above the streets and houses? :D
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