Lands of Red and Gold

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

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  1. twovultures Probably daydreaming about antelope

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    To hell with modern sensibilities, the French King needs his koala-skin cape and platypus slippers!
     
  2. Zirantun Banned

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    I am such a close-minded dick sometimes... lol.


    Everyone has been suggesting this timeline to look over for how to write about worlds with different agricultural packages, and I could never get past the first page cuz I thought it was about Maori colonization of Australia.


    What a tard I am. Pardon me. This is a wealth of knowledge. Learning about polyploidy has already given me a few ideas, and I may never have come across it had I not just sat down and read this. I will continue reading.
     
  3. Runic Futurological Congressman

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    I'll say that this is one of the best TLs on the site, bar none. I've read the whole thing, and it's amazing. Astonishing what a fancy type of yam can do, isn't it.
     
  4. mojojojo Member

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    Why would Maori colonization of Australia make you not want to read it:confused:
     
  5. Zirantun Banned

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    I just didn't see what it had to do with anything every time somebody brought it up. We were talking about alternate agricultural packages, and then I came to the thread, and only got into the first few lines and realized that it had something to do with Maori and Australia... I don't know. It was dumb. I have since corrected myself.
     
  6. DValdron Well-Known Member

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    A number of very interesting posters owe a debt to Jared.

    Certainly my own Land of Ice and Mice was heavily influenced, a debt that is acknowledged in the name itself, and literally acknowledged early on. And I think that there was influence on Green Antarctica.
     
  7. CyberPhoenix001 Hail the Solar Empire!

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    Which gives me an idea: what if the Thule, LORAG Australia and the Tsalal all existed in the same universe?
     
  8. Ridwan Asher Jungle Arab

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    Add in the continent of Mu, too. Though perhaps minus the Mu-wankery (colossal slave raidings to Asia).
     
  9. Zirantun Banned

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    You know, this has nothing to do with the subject of this thread, but I would really like to know how the word "wank" is understood on these forums. In my experience when I lived in the UK, wank meant jerk off, idiot, or stupid action.

    "Oh, you havin' a wank? I'll just close the door then..."

    "What a wank. I never would've acted that way when I was that age!"

    "Yeah... sorry about that whole wank yesterday."

    "This a bunch of fucking wankery!"


    Those are the ways I'm used to hearing the word used. So what do we mean when we say: "Spain Wank" or "Germany Wank" on this forum?
     
  10. CyberPhoenix001 Hail the Solar Empire!

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    Quoting from the TVtropes page on Alternate History Wank:

    "In the parlance of Alternate History fandom, a "Wank" is where a single nation, culture, political theory, or philosophy is singled out and advantaged, typically at the expense of its contemporaries. Perhaps the British Empire has not just kept the American colonies, but expanded deep into Latin America as well. Maybe the Greater United States rules our world's Canada and Mexico. Maybe Rome, the Mongols, or Those Wacky Nazis managed to win it all and now dominate the globe."
     
  11. Runic Futurological Congressman

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    Basically jacking off over one person or country, in TL form. :)
     
  12. naraht Well-Known Member

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    As opposed to the Alternate History Screw which is its inverse. Perhaps France has large amount of land taken by its neighbors including Lyon taken by the Swiss and Monaco taking Corsica....
     
  13. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    Polyploidy is HUGE otl. Potatoes are tetraploid, wheat hexaploid (hybrid of three original diploid wheats), etc, etc.
     
  14. DValdron Well-Known Member

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    Well, the Thule or Mu would fit in. The Tsalal might eat the others.
     
  15. Ridwan Asher Jungle Arab

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    Mu meeting with Gunnagal will create lots of interesting ferments and products, but this deserves its own discussion.
     
  16. Jared Voldemort Jnr

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    Merci. I find the Gunnagal interesting to write about because I'm going for a society which on the one hand has developed completely independently of any historical culture, but which on the other hand still has to be plausible enough to be human.

    Built in the highest part of town, although the whole city is itself built above layer upon layer of its predecessor cities. The Hall is also the tallest building in itself, and so it does somewhat overlook the rest of the city.

    While contentedly puffing on a kunduri cigar too, of course.

    I have learned one or two things about agriculture in the course of researching this timeline.

    Oh yes, it's a major part of the domestication and selection of best cultivars of plants.

    The history of wheat is a history of multiple polyploidisation (if that's a word): there were two domesticated species of wheat (einkorn and emmer), of which emmer was itself a natural wild tetraploid, and after domestication some descendants of emmer became hexaploid.

    It's also major in other groups of plants such as the whole Brassica complex (cabbage, caulifower, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, turnips, Chinese cabbage etc), and some strawberries are the product of up to five polyploidy events.

    One small change... That's why my original working title for this PoD was For Want of a Yam...

    The Gunnagal would do their best to have the Tsalal eating each other, or failing that a fight between Thule and Mu against Tsalal.

    They probably wouldn't succeed, but hey, at least they'd make the effort. :D

    So much can be done with native cuisine...

    On another note, is there anyone who's good with editing screenshots? I have some ideas about having an ATL version of the frontpage of the *AH.com Before 1900 forum would look like, but don't really know how to create a useful image of that.
     
  17. Threadmarks: Lands of Red and Gold #69: On The Cusp

    Jared Voldemort Jnr

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    Kingdom of Australia
    Lands of Red and Gold #69: On The Cusp

    “Faith can move mountains, but dynamite is quicker.”
    - Djiramarra “Jeremy” Uptilli, Junditmara engineer

    * * *

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

    Wemba of the Whites listened with contentment as the Council debated how to manage the future of the kingdom, how to cope with the changes sweeping over the land with the appearance of the Raw Men and the plagues they brought with them. He did not need to speak much himself; the points which needed to be said emerged from other people, sometimes as planned with the Whites and their political allies, sometimes as members of other factions had been guided to say.

    In time, a new topic emerged in the discussion. Loongana, one of the senior land controllers for the Grays, spoke for the first time. “We Dance around a broader truth. The question this Council must consider is whether all four nations [1] will survive the changes that come with cannon and horses and everything else the Raw Men bring.”

    Murranbulla of the Reds said, “The four nations will long endure, as they have before.”

    “Where is Lopitja nowadays?” said Waminung, Sentinel of the Golds. “Once it was our first rival among the nations, now goannas and desert rats wander over the sands that cover what once were its cities.”

    “The winds and rains changed, dooming Lopitja,” said Gatjibee of the Greens.

    “And do the Raw Men not represent the greatest change in the wind which the land has ever known?” Waminung asked.

    King Guneewin held up a hand. “All that this Council has said must be considered. Now I bid you pay me heed to what the kingdom needs.”

    Wemba kept his expression smooth, but with more effort than usual. The monarch had the power to end the Council meeting when he wished, but better sense would be to wait until the discussion was clearly drifting, rather than when it was productive.

    The king added, “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.”

    All around the table, the Council members shook their heads. Wemba made sure he was among them; no reason to show disagreement with good sense. The king was not a fool, just young and unseasoned. He was learning, but had not yet learned how to grasp the full subtleties of what was said and not said.

    The Council meeting broke up, and the representatives of each faction walked back to their own grand entrances and their own wings of the Hall of Rainbows. Once inside the Whites’ own rooms, Wemba allowed himself to relax somewhat. Council meetings always required the concentration of a physician performing surgery.

    Even here, he could not end his vigilance completely. The factions competed between each other, but sometimes the struggles within factions were worse. Wemba had acquired considerable standing amongst the Whites, perhaps the second behind Pila Dadi – the great land controller – himself. That brought prestige, but it also made him a target.

    Once back in the Whites’ own council chamber, Pila Dadi said, “That went about as well as we could have expected.”

    Wemba shook his head. “The Blues and Greens have said everything we wished we could say.”

    He did not bother to explain that they had been helped further by the Golds too-transparent disagreement between themselves. That was an obvious ploy of faked dissension, to encourage other factions to contact the apparently competing Waminung and Bili Narra of the Golds to exploit the supposed internal divisions of the Golds. And so reveal their own plans to the actually united Golds. In some lesser factions, Wemba might have wondered whether such disagreement was genuine – it certainly happened, sometimes – but Waminung was too experienced a sentinel to show honest disagreement with his own faction member in the Council Hall.

    Pila Dadi chuckled. “Blues and Greens have been rivals for so long, few suspect that they might ever stand together.” Not that the two ancient rivals were truly standing together – they certainly had their own plans to undermine each other, in time – but they had agreed to a certain measure of cooperation in exchange for access to horses.

    Some of the other factions bore watching, too. Wemba was particularly wary of the Azures. Their old plans had failed. While he had nothing to do with that failure – that was the actions of Pieter Nuyts and the Inglidj – the Azures would still blame him, and the Whites. He had to be careful.

    He had concerns also about the too-quiet Kaalong, Sentinel of the Blacks. The man thought he knew more than he did – another common flaw – but he was no fool. What were the Blacks planning? Why had they said so little during the Council? Perhaps they were just watching and waiting, but what if a trap yawned there, too?

    Pila Dadi said, “Is there anything else you think we should do now?”

    “Not that we can guide the Council toward, yet,” Wemba said. “We almost got there, until His Majesty ended the Council meeting.”

    “True. Unfortunate he came to the throne so soon,” Pila Dadi said. “But the Golds at least, and maybe the Greens, are starting to grasp that we must make a lasting, meaningful alliance with the two inland kingdoms [Gutjanal and Yigutji], or be overwhelmed by the Yadji.”

    “Do you think they grasp that we don’t want that alliance to defeat the Yadji?” Wemba asked.

    “Speak plainly,” Nundjalung said.

    Wemba had almost forgotten Nundjalung, and the other White councillor. Both of them had been invited to the Council only to observe; Pila Dadi did most of the speaking, and Wemba joined in when required. Nundjalung had been a champion footballer in his day, and while he knew much of the Endless Dance, he had not been raised with it like Wemba or Pila Dadi. Sometimes he did not grasp points quickly enough.

    Wemba said, “As long as the Five Rivers and the Yadji are rivals, we can both get aid from our Raw Men “allies”.”

    Pila Dadi added, “And both of them depend on us as their favourable interest here.”

    Comprehension dawned on Nundjalung’s features. “If one of us succeeds in conquering the other, then we become the target of-”

    “Of both Raw Men powers,” Pila Dadi said. “The defeated Raw Men nation will try to control us directly, while our former allies will no longer need us to support their “interests” here.”

    Wemba said, “So they might move to take direct control too.”

    “Or at least dictate terms to us, in trade, and in their weapons, and in all else,” Pila Dadi said.

    Nundjalung shook his head.

    Wemba laughed. “If I thought Gunya Yadji would grasp the concept, I would have the suggestion delivered to him that we make our warfare so indecisive that it drags on forever.”

    Pila Dadi said, “A shame the concept would elude him. Yadji never have much grasp of this world.”

    “They are too busy thinking about their supposed world to come,” Nundjalung said.

    Only partly true, Wemba thought, but did not bother to correct the footballer. In truth, the Yadji were a young empire, who had been shaped from a thousand minor polities into a nation only two or three centuries ago. The factions in Tjibarr had been competing in the subtleties of the Endless Dance since before the fall of the Empire.

    “One truth the factions have grasped, and perhaps even the Yadji,” Pila Dadi said. “We must quickly learn as much as we can of the Raw Men and their ways. Especially their weapons.”

    Wemba said, “Without that, w will be forever dependent on them. And go the same way as the Mexicans and Inca.”

    “Who are they?” Nundjalung asked.

    “Exactly,” Wemba said.

    * * *

    7 September 1639 / 3rd Year of Regent Gunya Yadji
    Near Kirunmara [Terang, Victoria]
    Durigal [Land of the Five Directions]

    “This job is a pile of shit,” Rikert Wulff muttered. Which was true both literally and metaphorically.

    Four sheds were set up in front of him. Each covered what had been laid down as a bed of rammed clay, then manure piled on top of it. Dried pellets of manure from the gloriously oversized chickens these kuros farmed instead of cattle or pigs. These had been mixed with ashes from the wood of the grain-trees [wattles], liberal quantities of branches, leaves and twigs, and plenty of regular soil. The heaps were turned every week or so – fortunately a job for Yadji peasants – and also dosed with urine and dung-water.

    Eventually, this should produce the whitish crust on the heaps which was the first step on the road to making saltpetre.

    This was hardly a job for a master cannoneer. He had to do something, though. These Yadji were barbarous and bloodthirsty, and only the belief that he and his fellow cannoneers could produce something useful kept them alive.

    Making cannon was out of the question. The Yadji didn’t even know what cast iron was, let alone having the artisans or foundry needed to cast it into cannon. One of his junior cannoneers had decided to try casting bronze cannon instead. That was not entirely a fool’s errand – the Yadji did have a few bronzeworkers around – but still Wulff doubted that anything useful could be made for years, if ever. The Yadji’s patience would run out long before then.

    Creating gunpowder had seemed to be a useful alternative. Something that would keep the Yadji happy, and let him keep his own neck intact. Alas, so far, Wulff couldn’t even work out how to produce saltpetre properly. He had seen parts of it being done, over the years, but had never known completely how it worked. Now he had to try to find out, and even producing usable amounts of unleached saltpetre from the manure heaps was difficult. Tackling the leaching and refining process that would be needed afterward would be another challenge altogether.

    The wind shifted, blowing from the sheds, and bringing the pungent smell to his nostrils. “This shit had better work,” he muttered.

    * * *

    Time of the Closure [August 1638]
    Yuragir [Coffs Harbour, New South Wales], Kingdom of Daluming

    Dawn broke over the Mound of Memory. The sun’s first rays should have turned everything golden, but this was a rare day of clouds. Light began to pierce the distant horizon, bringing gray to the blackness, but none of the usual glory of golden sunlight on glass.

    Ilangi the priest stood with several of his fellows at the peak of the Mound. Unusually, the Father himself [the high priest] had come today to lead the dawn invocations.

    Ilangi mouthed the words he had spoken a thousand times before. The same ritual invocations to the worthy heads who had been interred behind blessed glass. All of the words were as they should be, but Ilangi’s thoughts were elsewhere. As he spoke the words, his gaze wandered to the sea, where the cloud-dimmed sun sill allowed enough light to see if any ships were passing by.

    Two years had passed now since the Inglundirr, the Raw Men, had come to Yuragir. Two years since King Otella had formally declared that the Closure, the end of the age, was upon the kingdom. Those Inglundirr had fled in their ships after leaving one of their number behind to be interred in the Mound. The king had let them go, foolishly in Ilangi’s opinion, but no-one had dared gainsay the king.

    With the Inglundirr skull filling its niche, twenty-two empty niches had remained in the Mound. Only the utterly worthy could be considered for inclusion now, the greatest of blooded warriors or those with royal blood. Despite the application of these strict criteria, five niches had been filled since. Seventeen remained, but the Inglundirr had never returned.

    The Raw Men had to be part of the Closure. They had to be. Ilangi was utterly convinced, though not all the priests shared his realisation. So every day he made sure that he was one of the priests who went to the Mound for the dawn invocations, and every day he looked for ships.

    On rare occasions he had seen Islander ships, far out to sea, with their distinctive triangular sails. But as best he could tell, none of the Inglundirr ships with their squarish sails came near to Yuragir.

    When would they return and bring the Closure?

    * * *

    12 May 1642 / 6th Year of Regent Gunya Yadji
    Fort Cumberland [Geelong, Victoria]
    Land of the Five Directions (Yadji Empire)

    Maurice Redman – Governor Maurice Redman – looked out on what the Yadji had made, and saw that it was good.

    The Islanders were right: the Yadji knew much about building in stone. In what seemed like an impossibly short time, they had built a fort here for the Company to occupy. A small fort, but well-made in stone.

    Better, the Yadji had listened to him, when it came to protecting from cannon fire. The fort had been built above earth ramparts, to absorb any bombardment.

    Redman did not know whether such precautions would be necessary. The fort was inside the already-treacherous entrance to the great bay [Port Phillip Bay], and further inside a bay with a sandbar so shallow that seagoing ships could not be sailed directly into the port, but goods had to be loaded onto smaller boats. A raid by the Dutch or even Spanish would be difficult here; the reason he had chosen such a location. But additional safety never hurt.

    Of course, siting Fort Cumberland here had other benefits. One of the great Yadji roads passed here, keeping near to the sea, and ran all the way to their capital of Kirunmara and further to the other main outpost at Gurndjit [Portland, Victoria]. There was plenty of fresh water: two rivers ran nearby, though not right beside the fort.

    Most importantly, the site of Fort Cumberland did not have a Yadji town in the immediate vicinity. The Yadji had built their usual water works along both rivers, but there was still a decent emptiness around the new fort. Redman greatly preferred that: living too close to intemperate Yadji was not a prospect which appealed.

    As he looked over the surrounding countryside, he saw someone coming along the great Yadji road. Riding along the road.

    An Englishman. It had to be. The Yadji had no horses, so far as he knew, and even if they had acquired some, he doubted they had learned how to ride properly.

    The man was riding his horse at a gallop, too. If he had come all the way from Gurndjit – the only place that had horses – at near that pace, he must be close to killing his horse.

    Redman looked away from the fort walls and shouted out an order to have the rider brought to him as soon as he was in a fit state to talk.

    Soon enough, William Greentree was brought into his presence. Greentree looked – and smelled – like a man who had not rested or bathed in a week. His first words confirmed it. “Treachery! The Dutch have struck at Gurndjit! A week gone now, their ships appeared and bombarded the fort we were building.”

    Greentree looked around for a moment, as if finally realising that the fort here was finished, though begun much later than the one at Gurndjit. Of course, the fort planned at Gurndjit was about five times the size of this one.

    “War,” Redman said coldly. If not war that was officially declared, war all the same. “War on us, and on the Yadji.” Those two facts must be combined: this must be used to spur the Yadji ruler into active support for the Company.

    * * *

    Taken from: “People of the Seas: The Nangu Diaspora”
    By Accord Anderson
    New London [Charleston, South Carolina], Alleghania: 1985

    4. Island in the Sea of Struggles

    Guidance from the Nangu providing the way, the Manyilti captain Jerimbee led Baffin to the Yadji. Compact formed for English benefit, for Pieter Nuyts then struck at the Yadji heart, while Jerimbee his own course pursued in quest for glory. Most determined all parties were.

    Nuyts routed, and hostility to Dutchmen born, Yadji and East India Company began their accord. Trade and fortifications were their first concern, while Manyilti bloodline found opportunity for its own contacts with previously recalcitrant Yadji.

    Most forthright construction the Company planned, with forts twice established for trade and security. Until the day when the Dutch Company abandoned pretence, and Gurndjit was raided with cannon and soldiers.

    Begun, the Proxy Wars had.

    * * *

    [1] i.e. Tjibarr, Gutjanal, and Yigutji, the three kingdoms of the Five Rivers, and the Yadji Empire. These are the four peoples which political factions in Tjibarr generally recognise as forming civilized nations. Question marks always hang over the Atjuntja, who are regarded as barbaric, and the Nangu on the Island, who are usually regarded as too chaotically run to count as a nation.

    * * *

    Thoughts?

    P.S. This post concludes Act 1 of Lands of Red and Gold (posts #20-69); the previous posts 0-19 formed an extended prologue. I'll shortly be reformatting the website version of the timeline to show the new structure (although this won't change the content of the timeline in any significant way). LoRaG will resume soon with Act 2.
     
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  18. Kaiphranos Hydraulic Despot Donor

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    He seems like a fun guy...

    And how long have you been waiting to use that line? :D
     
  19. FDW Banned

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    Nice update Jared.
     
  20. mojojojo Member

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    What does kuros mean?
     
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