Lords of the Earth

Campaign One

An Age of Air and Steam

Turn 220

Anno Domini 1769 1770

Turn 221 Orders Due By     Friday, July 14th, 2006

North Asia


Minimum bid listed in [x].


11hc, 11xc, 5i, 2a [1gp each]


Kadan of the Bulingir (MA27) [10gp] <will not serve Judea>

To hire, please contact…

(No one)

Quality Ratings

i15 w15 s18 c12 a12 z3

Tokugawa Japan

Kii Yoshimune, Shogun of All Nippon, Daimyo of Manila, King of the Philippines, The Sea-Spear, Monster-Slayer.

Diplomacy    None

        The skies over Japan continued to clog with the dark grey smog of industry. Modern shipyards were

put under construction at Nakamura and Tokushima. A planned railway between Edo and Kyoto started as well, with track laid down into southern Aichi province. At the same time, a vigilant air-watch was instituted the length of the islands, waiting for the seemingly-inevitable arrival of the hellbats. The citizens of Tokushima, in particular, were issued gas-masks and every block was equipped with a raid-siren.

        Down in Johor, where the Brilliant Palm sect had been gaining strength among the rural population, the nascent Orangist teachings of Hozen Fusode were brought to an abrupt end by his murder, and the arrest of his followers by the Tokugawa police. The brisk efficiency of the arrests bespoke a traitor amongst Hozen’s confidants…

Pacific Manufacturing & Transport

[ Shinto, Kriztyn on Luzon, History ]

Juchen Agoi, President and Executive officer

Diplomacy    None

        Despite the growing threat in the south, company shipping continued to traverse the Pacific with alacrity, carrying vast amounts of trade between the Americas and Asia. Old Juchen was quite smug at the profitability of his enterprises. War, it seemed, was good for business. Captains Genki and Ashi returned from India with many tales of adventure, dissipation and having acquired a habit for opium they found hard to break…

The Pure Realm

Great Master Sosandaesa, Abbot of the Wing Kung Temple of the Greater Vehicle of the Message of the Bodhisattva

Diplomacy    Khemer (ˇab), Kaiching in Koguryo (^ch)

        Not one to let the hard work of his predecessors wane, Sosandaesa invested considerable effort and political capital in increasing the sway his priests held over the courts of Qing and Manchu. And persistence paid off at last... all of the damage wrought by the Realm’s enemies (and their own missteps) seemed repaired at last. Construction continued in the north, where thousands of the faithful labored to finish the ‘stone pallisade’ to protect the holy realm from the depredations of the Manchus in Koguryo. Work also commenced in Silla to reinforce the defenses and sea-works of ports, towns and lighthouses facing the Korea Hai and the Dozen Wan.

        Late in '70, a battered fleet arrived from the south, filled with seasick Thai and Khemer soldiers to reinforce the physical defences of Holy Fusan. Soon after they crawled ashore, however, there was great dispute in the city as Sosandaesa had decided to hand over all civil matters to these barbarous and ill-aspected foreigners.

The Manchu Mongol Empire

[ Buddhist, Harbin in Shangtu, History ]

The Dread Lord Manchu Tun Wei, King of Kings, the God-Personified, The Eternally Victorious and Divine Emperor of the Middle Kingdom, the Celestial Emperor, Smiter of the Barbarians, The Bulwark of Civilization, The Son of Heaven, Most Favored of Bodhisattva, The Supreme Master of the Universe Before Whose Feet the Craven Qing Grovel, The Son of Heaven

Diplomacy    None to speak of, no.

        Having lately acquired the secrets of steam, rolled iron and pistons the sprawl of ugly, soot-stained factories at Harbin began to belch a fresh cloud of smoke as construction began on railroad lines running north-east to Fengtien in Manchu and south to Shenyang on the coast. The Emperor also took the moment of respite to settle thousands of retired soldiers and southern Manchu farmers in Anxhan, Manchou and Wudan – raising each region by 1 GPv. Though this was fruitful, the Dread Lord’s efforts to get his wife Wan Ti Mei with child met with miserable failure… and when she did quicken, she yielded a stillborn dwarf of a creature and then her own life in the bloody aftermath.

        As a result, the quiet and well-spoken Zhao Yi was elevated to the principate and made heir behind Phu Yi (who was not particularly pleased by this, particularly since the ladies of the court seemed to prefer Zhao’s witticisms to his stoic looks). Worse, Lord Boke was going off to war in the uttermost south with 16,000 picked men, and neither prince was allowed to join him…

        In the west, General Ulagan led 18,000 cavalry (nearly every man a veteran and well-versed in the horse, saber and pistol) against the Uigur Confederation, which was exacting far too high a toll from Manchu merchants caravanning to the rich markets of Prester John. The Imperial army marched steadfastly into Uigur, intending to force the local clans to pay tribute to the Dread Lord… but Ulagan had not counted on the Uigurs summoning their clansmen and allies from Tamarin, Telmen, Ayaguz and Shan to resist this aggression by the easterners. The nomads fielded an equal number of men, a match or more for the Manchus on horseback, and Ulagan found himself wishing desperately for even one battery of artillery as the Uigur host stormed towards his lines, shrieking their battle cries, a black cloud of arrows lofting towards him…[1] A day later, the Manchus were riding hastily back into Kerait, their army intact but lacking 5,000 men.

        Ulagan, after taking a bath to get the sand out of his… um, well, he commandeered the artillery battery stationed in Quaran itself, intending to resume the campaign – but then fell ill and spent the rest of 1780 recovering. The Uigurs made great sport of the Manchus while sitting around their campfires.

The Kingdom of Prester John

[ Sunni, Maclan in Tuhnwhang, History ]

John Corrigan, Khagan of Karakocho, The White God, Wolf-Brother of the Altai

Diplomacy    Suachu(ˇnt), Gaxun Nur (hostile!), Bulingir (^c)

        Life among the high desert plains and mountains continued apace, with the travails and troubles of other realms far distant from the concerns of the Wolf-King. Work began on a royal road running east from Kashi in Kashgar through Sinkiang. Public latrines were built in Kashgar itself and various artillery batteries commissioned by the Khagan. Gifts were also sent to the Grivpani and the Kushans, to show the great friendship of the White God for those lesser domains.

        More contentious efforts to press Islam upon the Buddhists of Datong Shan and Suachu met with disaster… events in Judah had inspired the followers of the Eight-Fold Path in all lands to stand up for themselves. The chiefs of Datong repudiated their treaties with Corrigan and drove out his emissaries and mullahs. In Suachu, the local Moslems were driven from the province and only the barest loyalty held the entire region still within the kingdom. Diplomatic efforts among the remaining Moslems of Gaxun Nur also failed, for those tribesmen now viewed the Wolf-Brothers as the basest of traitors for failing to aid them against the Judeans.

        These ill omens were replicated in the royal household, where Queen Shara produced another daughter, much to the distress of her husband. There was a funeral too, for vizier Ochigin, who fell prey to overwork and expired of a failed heart.

The Great Revolt

Catholic Judah vs. the Bagua Zhang Rising

The Divine Kingdom of Judah

[ Roman Catholic, Kaifeng in Hopei, History ]

Lee Wan Xoconotol, Emperor of the North

Diplomacy    None

        Ill did the black wind blow, bringing ruin to the great realm of the exiles. Even as they had come across the sea, carrying fire and sword to conquer the lands of the Middle Kingdom, so did the Judeans fall into darkness… four Yaqui generals now stood amid the ruins of Pienching and the great empire, while another languished in distant Tharbad, trying to make his way homeward.

        Hei Po (though not the most martial of men) commanded the still-powerful remains of the Imperial host, while General Seei had only a great horde of refugees and some doughty railroad engineers at his command in Hopei. At Xinpu, on the coast, Admiral Lee held sway over the fleet, and Lord Talus was in the west, in Kansu, caught at the center of a new storm brewing to drive the Judeans from China at last…

        The battered remnants of the Royal bureaucracy, meantime, were grappling with a flood of refugees into all provinces surrounding Honan, the incipient collapse of the national banking system and widespread restiveness amongst the lower classes. Luckily, the foresight of the previous Emperor had ensured an ample supply of preserved food in every city and town – so the mobs of homeless could, at least, be provided with something to eat. A widespread and constant fear of attack from the sky, however, endured. The pressures upon the regime were immediately felt at the distant fringes of the Divine Kingdom – direct control was lost over the remote outposts of Anhui, Phuket on Belitung, Tikax on Cheju’do, Kunashir in the Kuriles and Tharbad in Nasik.

        All of this, however, was ignored as the generals remaining in the heartland struggled to seize the vacant throne. The capital itself had already devolved upon Kaifeng in Hopei, but the actual position of the Divine One remained vacant… Hei Po, commanding the remains of the army, declared himself Emperor. He was ignored by the others, particularly Seei (whose men had been striving mightily to aid the dispossessed and repair the damage to the roads and rail lines caused by the Qing airship attack). The “Captain of Engineers”, as he was known, moved quickly to enter Hei Po’s camp with a cadre of loyal men. Hei Po was already a dead man, though he did not know it… the bureaucracy had made sure the mandarins and clerks were paid, but the army itself had received no donatives. The hapless Hei Po was soon dead, strangled (as was becoming common among the Judean nobility as a means of disposing of one’s enemies) and Seei in command of his men.

        Circumstance having disposed of General Talus, Seei marched the core of the Imperial host (the remains of the Divine Guard) down the highway to Xinpu, where Admiral Lee had begun mustering a scratch army from the sailors of his fleet. An effort to arrest Lee by subterfuge failed (the betrayal and swift execution of Hei Po was more by luck than any invidious skill on the part of the mechanically-minded Seei), and the admiral withdrew with his fleet to sea, leaving the engineer grasping at nothing in the empty port.

        Admiral Lee now sailed to Beijing in Lu’an, where there was a substantial Judean garrison, and declared that city the “true capital” of the Kingdom in August of 1769. Emperor Seei, meantime, had received frightening news from the west… the province of Shensi had exploded into open revolt – a Buddhist, religious, revolt against the Catholic overlords – and a heretofore unknown enemy had emerged.

Bagua Zhang

[ Buddhist, Xian in Shensi, History ]

Li, Master of the East, Lord of the Eight Trigrams

Diplomacy None

        With the foundation of the Judean state so abruptly annihilated by the Qing attack, every Buddhist heart in the realm rejoiced. In the far west of the kingdom, a long-extant but unremarked society called the Bagua Zhang (the Eight Trigrams) took the opportunity to lead the lower-class citizens of Shensi in revolt! Much to their surprise, there was essentially no resistance to their winter rising and by March of ‘69, all of Shensi and the city of Xian were in their hands. The Catholic population cowered in their houses, waiting for the progrom to being…

        The Judean lord Talus, who had held command of the garrison at Tanshui, was seized on the road to Xian by frenzied peasants and torn to bits, his body scattered along the highway for more than a mile. His fate was not far off from that which befell the Catholic Cardinal Castiglione, who was attacked while leaving his residence in Guyin (down in Funiu) and murdered by Eight Trigrams sympathizers active along the Qing border. This single event, coupled with the widespread attacks of the Bagua Zhang against Catholic institutions, led to the near-collapse of Papal authority in China.

        When the winter snow cleared from the roads in April, three Zhang armies burst forth from Shensi. One of them, that led by Master Kun, was reinforced by the footless khan of the Bulingir, Kadan, who now rode against this great enemy once more with a zealous fire in his heart. Kun attacked east into Houma while Master Li paralleled his course south of the Huang Ho with a drive into Shentung. Master Dui struck north into Huang. During this time, the Judean generals were still squabbling over the throne in the east.

        Li’s advance into Shentung met no resistance and Tsing’dao city, which was strongly fortified, was convulsed with rebellion when he reached the walls. Fighting in the city quickly swung to the Zhang cause when Li’s artillery began hammering at the gates. By the end of May, the entire province was in Buddhist hands. Leaving a garrison to keep the Catholics cowed, Li plunged on into Honan itself, intending to smash the remains of the Judean state with one blow.

        There were over 50,000 Judean troops in Honan – but General Seei had already sped east with the Imperial Guard in an attempt to seize the fleet at Xinpu – so Master Li’s attack caught them unawares. Worse for the Judeans, the destruction of Pienching had outright slain thousands of Catholic lords and the rest of the landed nobility were overwhelmed with refugees from the city. The sudden onset of the Zhang, therefore, caught everyone unawares and in disarray.

        Despite this, however, Li’s numbers were quite small – only 6,000 men – though a peasant rising in the province added another 12,000 rabid (but ill-armed) Buddhist zealots. Master Li was counting on confusion as his greatest ally, but the acting Major of Engineers, Wan Suu, rallied the core of the Royal army to react to the incursion. As Li’s advance was threatening to seize the bridges at Pienching (which remained intact, despite the destruction of the city by fire and plague), Wan Suu marched north with all speed, gathering up scattered Judean regiments as he went.

        Unfortunately for the Engineer, Li reached Pienching first and had time to dig in his guns (the Zhang having scrimped and saved over many years to amass a modern armory) and the Judean cavalry and infantry was forced to attack their positions at the Railroad Yards frontally – the Grand Canal on one side, and the ruins of the city on the other. Wan Suu advanced with a heavy heart – his experienced eye saw the raised railway beds made a fine redoubt – and the first crack of cannonfire thrust a dagger through his heart. The mass attack of the Judean lancers stormed across broken ground, surging up against the Zhang lines – and shattered, shredded by canister at short range and the volley fire of the Buddhist riflemen. Wan Suu fell back, his army staggered by its losses, and fled south into Tangchou. Behind them, the countryside of Honan was aflame with burning estates and the roar of the peasants releasing two centuries of bitter hatred in an orgiastic spree of genocidal violence.

        Master Li had little time for that however, as his own engineers were rushing for fortify the two great bridges and canal against the return of ‘Emperor’ Seei. That worthy returned in haste from Xinpu with the core of the Imperial Guard and saw the shattered core of his putative empire in enemy hands. Now, however, he had only 12,000 men to hand and the enemy lay waiting in a fortified position with almost as many… heart-sick, Seei elected to not attack the Zhang positions and instead attempted to cross into Hopei (where the remains of the bureaucracy had fled).

        To his complete horror, he found the Zhang had assembled a river fleet which now held the Huang Ho against his cavalry and infantry. Without artillery to drive the war-junks away, he had no choice but to withdraw south through Tsainan, cross the Grand Canal into Anhui, and then, after two months of toiling across the blasted wasteland of that unhappy province, meet up with Wan Suu at Xiapin in Tangchou in April of 1770.

        Meanwhile, in the north, Master Li had taken the opportunity to thoroughly loot every Catholic church, monastery and property he could lay hands on in Honan. On the other side of the river, the Zhang army commanded by Master Kun (ably assisted by Kadan of the Bulingir) had marched through Houma and attacked Loyang city. Here, unlike at Tsing’dao, there was an actual Judean garrison (a field artillery regiment) which (though leaderless[2]) stoutly resisted both the Buddhist rebellion inside the city, and the attacks by Kun’s small force outside (and blockade by the Zhang river fleet).

        After three months of brutal struggle, Loyang’s defenses were reduced and the city fell to the insurgents. A Buddhist garrison was installed and Kun turned to looting every Catholic religious property he could find. Once this was done – and no Judean response was forthcoming – Kun and his men pressed on into Hopei. Here too the peasantry rose up violently, mobbing Kun’s advance patrols, flooding thousands of raw recruits into his ranks. Kaifeng city, however, was now the putative Judean capital… and it’s massive, heavily fortified gates now stood closed against the rabble rampaging through the fields without.

        Vast clerical estates in the hinterlands of Hopei went to the torch (or were dissected and granted to their feudal inhabitants) and the churches looted once more to fuel the Zhang war machine. Kun set his river fleet to blockade the great city, and his guns began hammering away at the gates in August of 1770. Sufficient corvee labor was now available for the Zhang commanders to begin building a great entrenchment around the entire landward side of the capital.

        Back in the west, the third Zhang army under Master Dui had raided north into Huang, where the fires of revolt burned bright, capturing the great fortress city of Yen’an when its citizenry rioted, hurling their bodies into the closing gates and fouling the mechanism, allowing Zhang commandos to storm inside. Dui then turned his attention to Kansu province – where he found no good welcome at all. The Catholic land-owners were well warned by the rebellion in Shensi and had already brutally suppressed any restive elements in their own populations. An orderly withdrawal was made into the fortress-city complex of Tanshui and the Tarahumara lords prepared for a long siege.

        Dui, his forces bolstered by tens of thousands of Huangi levies, essayed to besiege Tanshui. His effort was a pitiful failure – even against the farmers, high-country ranchers and their teenaged sons holding the walls of the western citadel. The Zhang army reeled back twenty or thirty miles and made camp. The countryside now descended into anarchy as raiding parties from both sides ravaged the local villages, burning barns, wrecking paddies and generally repressing the population.

        Returning to the east, Emperor Seei had rallied the Judean army at Xiapin and moved north again in the late spring of 1770, intending to drive the rebels out of Honan and raise the siege of Kaifeng. Master Li stood in his way… and now the Zhang controlled the Huang Ho, allowing Kadan of the Bulingir and the core of the army besieging Kaifeng to cross the river into Honan as the Judean army advanced cautiously up from the south.

        This time Seei swung west around the ruins of Pienching with his cavalry, while the Imperial Guard pinned the Zhang against the city and the river/canal junction. Second Pienching promised the Judeans victory as they now outnumbered the Zhang ‘rabble’ by more than two to one… but once more they were entirely lacking in field artillery, and though well-blessed with sappers, the Buddhists were dug in and quite well led. Three fruitless Judean assaults on the Zhang lines failed – Major Wan Suu was killed near the Factory – and the Judean army retired again, this time in considerable disarray, back to Tangchou.

        At Beijing at the end of 1770, Admiral Lee reviewed the couriered notes from the south, including a plea from Emperor Seei to lift the siege of Kaifeng lest the government be utterly destroyed by the rebels. Having no love for Seei, and seeing his own chance to reign as King of the north at least, if not Emperor of all China! Lee declared himself Emperor of Judah as winter came on, dusting the fallen with snow. The entire north followed him, including the defenders of Kaifeng and Tanshui, for he seemed to offer the best chance for victory…

Humara China

[ Roman Catholic Xiapin in Tangchou, History ]

Emperor Seei the Unlucky

Diplomacy None

        In the south, the ridiculed and despondent Seei found himself Emperor of a rump state comprised of Chinling, Funiu, Tangchou, Tsainan and Kiangsu. That and a restive, demoralized army which was demanding extra pay and rations and...

Great Qing Chinese Empire

Qianglong Yu-shen, Emperor of China, Hammer of the Barbarians, the Redeemer, Divine Son of Heaven

Diplomacy    Kayah (^nt)/Mughan (^fa)

        Before even having his slippers placed on his delicate feet in the morning, the Emperor issued a pronouncement:

‘Until further notice, airship traffic over the Qing Empire is strictly forbidden.  All airships seen over Qing lands are presumed to be hostile and are to be destroyed immediately, and without warning.  Persons alerting Imperial troops to the presence of an airship over Qing lands, or who manage of their own initiative to bring any airship down will be given rich lands from my own personal estates in Chiennan and Hupei and made nobility.’

        By this, and a massive ring of fortifications around Wuhan, Qianglong hoped to avoid the dreadful fate which had overtaken the seemingly-invincible Judeans.

        The railroad project in Hunan continued to putter along, the Three Diamond managers spurred to a frenzy of productivity by the visit of Agoi Jugo, the current heir to the venerable founder of their enterprise. His arrival was timely, as a public reaction to the Imperial “arrangements” concerning Ghang’de province and the Japanese merchants was in the offing…

Collected from regional newspapers…

        It wasn’t until the city ward ground to a halt that the watch finally managed to find the problem. Looking for a multiple cart accident they found approximately 200 hundred protestors quietly and firmly occupying the centre of an important intersection. The first thing the watch sergeant noticed was few of the by-standers were shouting at those blocking the road, instead they seemed to stand respectfully. The arrival of the watch patrol bought silence from the people in the square whilst the ducks, chickens, various songbirds and dogs continued to create a cacophonous contrast to the strained silence of the hundreds of silent watchers. Unnerved, the watch sergeant glanced at a couple of his patrol men and then shouted at the crazy people occupying the intersection. To his continued surprise the protestors respectfully faced him and chanted “Long live the Emperor”, “The Emperor is Wisdom”, “The Emperor is the Qing”, “Tell the Emperor of the Ghang’de Treachery”, “Resign traitor Finance Minister”.

        The practiced unison of the protestors made the sergeant pause. Seeing him pause; a couple of young rascals took up the chant and then slowly the shopkeepers, carters, sampan men, housewives joined in. How was the sergeant to react, the protestors were polite, respectful and chanting their loyalty to the Emperor so that all could hear. Realizing this crowd was unpredictable the sergeant stepped forward and bowing slightly, politely requested the protestors to stop blocking traffic. Smiling the protestors broke up moving up each of the entering roads as best they could, blocked by the hundreds discussing the treacherous sale of Ghang’de to the unclean Japanese.

        Peaceful protests by loyalists continued for several weeks until one afternoon Secret Police arrested everyone near a noisy protest near the docks area. Posters appeared overnight throughout the capital, “Tell the Emperor”, “Return Ghang’de”. On each of the posters the Emperor depicted as serenely facing the wrong direction, whilst behind him an emaciated finance minister received a bag of gold from a stylized evil Japanese merchant. Bureaucrats ripped down these posters and the secret police began the round up of any caught plastering posters on the walls.

        The Finance Minister screamed imprecations at the Watch commander and hundreds of poster plasterers were detained for questioning. Within a day advertising revenues plummeted, delegations of Qing business men demanded the release of their employees and permission to advertise their goods, lest a drop in profits affect the amount of gold they could pay to the Emperor when the tax men arrived.

        The tension in Wuhan grew as hundreds of unfed and poorly treated young men were released from the watch houses and prisons. No more groups of demonstrators appeared, fear of unprovoked arrest began to grip the capital as the Secret Police let their presence be known. As though carried by ghosts and dog spirits still more pamphlets seemed to flood onto the streets calling for all loyal Qing to boycott Japanese businesses and goods. Wealthy Japanese living in the city became the target of insults, as the envious poor population began to perceive them as exploiters. “THEY are only here for your gold and your life” showed Japanese about to rape a female over the outline of the province of Ghang’de. “What would YOUR ancestors say?” shouted the fat Japanese businessman, with a pistol in one hand and whip in the other kicking over a cowering poor mans ancestral shrine.

        As summer began to heat the capital, the question caught like a wildfire and spread whispering along the lanes and alleys; “Who will tell the Emperor?”

        Pamphlets and posters were beginning to appear throughout the provinces. The Japanese businessmen and diplomats continued to act as though nothing was occurring. Until the pamphleteers in Yichang City (Hubei) reported the rape of Qing women by Japanese mercenaries operating in Ghang’de province, citing “reliable sources.” A graphic picture showed several Japanese men molesting a beautiful, partially clad woman. Pamphlets throughout Qing ran the story without changing a single word, and within days pamphlets detailing the brutal rape and execution of a beautiful Qing peasant woman were printed from Sarnath in Korat to Tse Ting in the fartherest reaches of the northeast.

        Upon the insistent and strident urging of powerful Japanese business interests several pamphlet printing presses were seized by the Secret Police and the editors executed. Various rumors run rampant throughout Qing as the arrests become public knowledge. The Finance Minister suffered personal insult and attack by many pamphlets and posters calling for his resignation. Not even the Opera was safe for the minister as the poor yelled catcalls as he arrived or departed. With new found readership strength and additional wealth, the pamphleteers began to call for the freedom of the presses to support the Emperor.

        Then as late summer heat dried the countryside to tinder, a fatal fight between a Qing labourer and Japanese airship crewman is called a murder and the attempt by the a Japanese officer to pay blood money backfires as he insults the grieving family. The spark ignites the heat sinks of Wuhan, and shouting the  rules of Qing; “Let no Qing buy Japanese; Let no Qing sell to a Japanese” protestors crowd the hot and humid laneways. “Boycott!” the pamphlets headlines screamed, word spread throughout the Qing Empire carried by the new railways and pamphlets. Within a few months word had spread throughout the Empire of the brutal Japanese occupation of Ghangde and the call to boycott Japanese goods by the citizens of the Empire.

        The Emperor, however, had far more pressing business to occupy his mind. Even the convulsion of Judah into civil war and popular revolt was of little concern – all of his attention was upon the south, upon distant Austral, where all Asia was preparing to do battle with the MeteorMen. Of course, the Emperor was not completely addled… the fortifications of Wuhan itself were strongly bolstered by hundreds of high-angle firing guns.

        In the west, the lord Chin-kiong set out from Mianyang in Chiennan to carry a message for the Emperor down into the south (part way by rail, or so he was told) and immediately slipped on rain-wet stairs and spattered gory oatmeal all over the chamberlain's foo-dog. Despite his death, other Qing armies marshaled on the southern coast, expecting an attack. None came, however, and general Han Tzang and his compatriots found themselves suppressing riotous mobs seeking to burn Japanese-owned shops and behead any merchant unlucky enough to fall into their angry path.

        The rural unrest found full expression in always-difficult Gouangxi, where riots against the Japanese (even though the islanders had rarely ventured so far west) erupted in Tianling, leading to the expulsion of Qing authority from the city and the open revolt of the landed nobility in the countryside around. This turn of events surprised no one, given the restiveness of the near-barbarian Gouangs. Similarly, fighting continued in the barren lands on the verge of the Burning Sea, between the Imperial Rangers and the twisted, loathsome denizens of the blight.

South Asia


Minimum bid listed in [x].


30c 30i 10a 5s [1gp each]


Gemish Huorn (M956) [5gp]

To hire, please contact…


Quality Ratings

i15 w17 s20 c11 a12 z5

The Thai Empire

[ Buddist, Angkor Wat in Khemer, History ]

Ayutthaya Blajakay “Red Hand”, Emperor of the Thai, Lord of Khemer

Diplomacy None

        Temporarily abandoning his ambitions in India, the Red Hand marches his army back across the empire from Palas to fetch up in Saigon, where he kept a worried eye on the sky and the southern coasts. He was joined by his nervous and complaining son, Bharwonkay, who seemed consumed by the fear his father would just have him dragged out into the street and shot like a dog.

        The high-handed ways of the Pure Realm abbot Cho Fat, who was attempting to convince the local priests in Khemer province to follow the strict doctrine issuing from Fusan angered the local prelates and turned many of their temples away from the Realm’s path of righteousness.

        The Thai had not, however, entirely abandoned their Indian conquests. General Chai-son remained on watch in ever-restive Palas with a strong army, and Admiral Tak-sim was dispatched to take command of the Colombo garrison on Sri Lanka. Curiously, the easterners resolved to treat the Palasians with great respect, lavishing the remaining chiefs and rajahs with feasts, games and all manner of presents. Tensions in the province cooled somewhat.

        This could not be said of Singapore, where the usually peaceable fortress-island was now riven with conflict between Orangist zealots, Oroist preachers, Thai secret police agents and all manner of scum, rascals and malcontents.

Hosogawa Borneo

[ Oroist, Kozoronden in Sabah, History ]

Hosogawa Suenaga, Daimyo of Kozoronden

Diplomacy None

        Despite the war burning red hot in the south, the Hosogawans continued to chip away at the road running over the mountains between Sabah and Sarawak. The captivity of lord Matsuoka having roused the grandees of Kozoronden to demand the Daimyo secure his ransom or rescue led to the dispatch of Prince Kawase of Timor and a force of 1,600 samurai to rescue the diplomat. Unfortunately the soldiers landed near Sulu city without even a fragment of air or artillery support (even their ships were only merchantmen drafted to the expedition). The Moros swarmed out from their citadel in hundreds of swift canoes, capturing the transports while the samurai wading ashore were plunged into a gory disaster which left the surf heaving with severed limbs, rolling heads and the glistening gray shapes of Oro's children. A great sacrifice indeed… Kawase himself was hewn down by the Moromen and their great machetes, and not one of his men lived to return to Kozo.

        Matsuoka, however, was released by the kahnua of the Moros, after being forced to watch the dreadful events. It was he who carried the news back to Sabah.


[ Oroist, Sunda in Pajajaran, History ]

St’ert, Great Kahuna of Java, Emperor of the Maori, the Sea Spear

Diplomacy None

        Even amid such ruin and despair as afflicted the Javans, the citizens of Sunda (those who had survived, at least) returned home and began the long, painful process of rebuilding. The crack of a zenball bat echoed among the gutted houses, the sounds of children playing muted by the great emptiness. St'ert - even though he now ruled - remained in the south, amid the great encampments at Broome, where all the powers of Asia were marshalling to confront the invaders from the sky. Old Z'nardi, who had served so long and so well, fell ill during this period and died. Young Achipel, lately promoted from the ranks, took his place at the Sea Spear's side. Everyone waiting, expecting the enemy to strike…

        They would not be disappointed.

The Supreme Primacy of Oro

[ Oroist, Fukuzawa in Irith, History ]

Haj Alt, High Priest of the Shark

Diplomacy None

        Faced with a threat far beyond their ken, the shark-priests reacted the only way they could. They gathered in their thousands at Fukuzawa, heavy with icons and incense, heads shaven, their bodies anointed with sacred oils. In one great mass they ascended the sacred pyramid and gathered around the lip of the god's pool. Within, the vast white shapes of the avatars moved ceaselessly, surging back and forth in the black waters, waiting for their due…

        Alt and his closest advisors - now lacking one of their number - stepped out onto the narrow walkway (the path of truth) and moved to the center of the vast amphitheatre. "Demons have come upon us," the high priest declared, his voice booming from the shell-shaped surrounds. "And we must set our will against theirs. This evil will not prevail, for Oro stands with us this day. But the god needs strength - our strength -- to send these amai-te-rangi back beyond heaven, where Oro and Atea might tear them to shreds!"

        A great, deep shout answered this and the Oro priests knelt, bare fore arms extended over the churning waters.

        "Give him strength," Alt shrieked, his own knife slashing against the tattooed length of his arm. "Give him our blood!"

        The waters boiled red and men screamed, pushed by their fellows who were eager to reach the water. Some - the chosen - fell into the water and were swiftly taken, carried down into the black gloom where Oro dwells… Beyond the sacred precincts, the common people of Fukuzawa cowered in their homes, frightened by the steadily rising howl of religious frenzy emanating from the pyramid.

The Borang Bakufu

[ Oroist, Sakuma in Borang, History ]

Izuryama Masataka, Daimyo of Borang, Lord of the North, Emperor of Austral, "The Cripple"

Diplomacy Aanx (^f)

        It surprised no one, given the events at Fukuzawa and points west, that in early '70 a vast chittering black cloud boiled out of the Red Center and descended upon the fertile fields of the Borang heartland. Millions of locusts swept across the land, devouring crops, driving the weak-minded insane and generally fouling everything they landed upon. Nearly a quarter of the crops in field were destroyed, leaving millions starving and many entirely destitute. Amid everything else, the nominal fealty of the Broomeites for the Daimyo was repudiated, as it was in Eyallah and Penong. Yet this was of such little import that no one really noticed.

Te niho o Oro

[ Oroist, Kenehold in Dajarra, History ]

Hatipi, Spear of the Order of the Black Shark

Takotokino, Lord of the Fleet, Emperor of the Maori, Blessed of Oro, The Big Kahuna, Grand Captain of the Teeth of Oro

Diplomacy None

        …remained in their citadel at Kenehold, pondering the signs in the sky, and the rumors flying here and there of the Great Shark taking a new and profound shape in the material world.

Taika’no Te’ikoku Hiro’i

Sugawara Te Anu, Daimyo of the Southern Seas, Lord of the Hundred Islands

Diplomacy None

        Filled with a steadily rising Oroist fervor

 (only given more fuel by news of the great sacrifice at Fukuzawa), the Taika dispatched missionaries to Singapore, Selatan and Tengah in an attempt to unify the piety of the world around the Shark Given Flesh.

The War against the Meteor Men

January 1769

Sickened by the superstitious, ignorant depths his fellow priests planned to descend to, the Oroist priest Hajus took his own life, appalled by the vengeance which Oro would take upon such prideful sacrifices. "None dare sway the intent of the god," he wrote in his farewell missive. "He chooses who he takes, and who he spares."

This ill-omen was then echoed by the sudden and unexpected death (due to some ruptured organ) of the Borang Emperor Jemmu in his camp at Na-iki in Nullarbor. This left the Imperial army suddenly up for grabs between the two princes in residence there - Chuhen and Masataka. Two young men with no love for one another, and a great and abiding desire for the throne… thoughts of their fat, placid elder brother Kunisada (who was back in the capital pushing papers and pinching the serving girls) didn't even enter their willful and devious minds.

Even before their father was cold in his grave, Masataka had slipped a kanto between Chuhen's ribs, spilling familial blood. The army (who thought far, far better of the two younger princes than Kunisada) accepted a lavish donative (from the supplies Jemmu had intended for the war against the Meteormen) and acclaimed Chuhen Emperor.

Out in the red center, the stars continued to fall…


Prince Kii Sano falls sick in the Japanese encampments at Na-iki in Nullarbor and dies within days, apparently of natural causes. Leadership of his force falls into dispute between the three remaining Tokugawa generals – but the wily Isoki wins out.


Emperor-Pretender Masataka breaks with the other Asian Alliance captains at Na-iki - desiring to secure his empire - and marches away east along the great southern road, aiming to roust his elder brother from the palace at Sakuma, with the vast majority of the Borangi troops. Only the princes of Aanx and Arukun and their personal samurai are left to fight alongside the Qing.

In the north, the Taika'no army in Oanx marches south through the jungle, bare feet squelching in the mud, to reinforce the defenses of Fukuzawa. They were barely in time, for news fled up from the south on wings of panic, saying that the black, diabolical shapes of the Meteormen machines had been sighted in the southern reaches of Irith province…


By sheer luck, a hardy band of Hosogawans troop across the border between Orantjugurr and into Great Sandy Desert, their way in the wasteland scouted by a lone airship of battered and dusty appearance. Avoiding the waving fields of crimson wheat dotting the plains, they angled southeast and vanished into the quiet vastness of the desert.

In Irith, the enemy moved up from the south, methodically destroying everything in its path and, doubtless, sowing its own infernal seed…


In Manchuria, a Chan Mongol army musters at Shenyang, ready to board a Japanese fleet and sail south to join the rest of the Asian Alliance forces mustering in Broome.

A courier arrives in the Borang capital of Sakuma to deliver the news to Prince Kunisada that his father is dead and his brother Masataka has declared himself Emperor. Kunisada takes the opportunity to send his loyalists to murder his younger brother Taiho, who barely manages to escape amid the confusion.

Meanwhile, in the south, the Emperor-Pretender's advance along the coast has scooped up huge new levies of infantry and artillery intended for the war against the meteormen. General Yozumi, who attempted to hold Iten against Masataka, was murdered by his own soldiers.

At Irith the advance of the enemy can be clearly marked from the Pyramid of Oro, for the whole southern horizon is a wall of licking flame, crowned with a great pall of dark gray smoke.


A Qing/Japanese force, under General Heshan, marches north through Nakakao (having disembarked from a fleet in Nullarbor the previous year), heading for death and glory in Yandal. They sorely miss the Borangi, who have treacherously abandoned the desert campaign.

Having put in a grueling march from distant Na-iki, the Emperor-Pretender arrives at the gates of Sakuma in Borang, demanding the scribes and ministers accept him as Emperor and send out his brother's head on a pike. The bureaucrats have already seen which way the wind might blow… Kunisada's fat melon is presented, pickled in brine, and all bow before Masataka, now Emperor of all Borang.

"Now," the young lord declares, "I will deal with these meteormen who plague us!"


The Japanese lord Nagumo arrives in Shenyang to join the Manchus and Admiral Mirragi. That worthy arrives within the week with a large transport fleet. The Manchus begin loading aboard while the Japanese take on fresh water, supplies and repair storm damage.

From the height of the great pyramid of Oro, the priests stared south in steadily mounting horror. A great gray pall of dust hung in the air - the fruit of the enemy advancing from the south, burning every town, village, barn and hayrick in its path. In Fukuzawa city, there was unbridled panic as the citizens fled north and west, clogging the great northern road, mindless with panic.

Only the soldiers of Oro stood firm, the great sacrifice of the priests shining bright in their minds. The blessed arrival of the Taika'no marines had brought the defenders of the holy precincts and the city to a bare 19,000 men. Each man fired with such zeal that even the horror stories babbled by the last few refugees fleeing up from the south did not budge them.

Then the enemy strode through the walls of smoke, long metallic limbs shining with the light of endless fires. Towering over the walls, their numbers countless… hundreds of the enemy machines, each clanking over wall and roof, their burning red eyes stabbing through the murk, incinerating men, guns, armor…

"Oro!" Shrieked the Taika'no and Borangi defenders, swarming up out of their spider-holes, the cannon spitting flame at last as the machines came into range. "Oro!"

The sound of the guns were drowned, for a moment, by the insane cacophony of men transported by religious fervor beyond all thought of death.

And then, out of the boiling plumes of smoke and ash, two vast shapes appeared - intermittently at first, then coming fully into view - two enormous white sharks, aloft on the upper air, fins and tails languid, as through they moved through the crystalline waters, black black eyes staring down, judging men, finding them wanting…

The Oroist troops halted, stunned.

And so the blaze of the heat ray took them.

Meanwhile, across the sea to the north, the interim capital of the Javan realm - Singhasari -- woke to the wail of conch horns and the furious rattle of warning drums. Six gray-white shapes approached from the south, weaving sinuously in and out of the clouds. The Javan priests blanched with fear and most fell down gibbering at the sight of Oro Made Flesh. The helpless denizens of the city - and its huge refugee camps, filled with the survivors of the Qing attack on Sunda - stared up in horror. The Javan soldiers, however, had firm orders from the kahuna and raced to their guns as a man. Even before the first searing red flare licked across the wooden city, the Javan cannon were banging away, scattering black puffs of smoke across the sky… The sharks dove in, brushing aside the rattle of shot and shrapnel, their burning eyes igniting fires the length and breadth of the city. The Javan artillery was smothered in the black breath of the God, the soldiers driven in flight. The helpless citizens trampled each other, whipped by fear, and then choked - suffocated by the white fume of their own buildings burning so fiercely, and consumed by the heavy black smoke raining from the sky.

Alone among the defenders, a squadron of heavy Kolosian battle trimarans in harbor scored a victory. While the city gunners hammered away fruitlessly at the oncoming enemy, the elite sailor's crews held their fire until the last possible moment. A veritable cloud of fire - shell and rocket and shot - burst from their ranks and overwhelmed the armor of one of the sharks, sending it crashing in ruin into the midst of the burning city.

There, the flames stripped away its disguise, revealing the black, serpentine shape of a meteorman hellbat. Then even that infernal machine was consumed by the firestorm raging in the heart of Singhasari.

Having wrecked the docks, the shipyards and anything which looked like a factory, the hellbats retired to the north, leaving chaos and confusion in their wake.

Emperor Masataka marches out from Sakuma city to fight the enemy at Fukuzawa. He reaches Kenehold in Dajarra and is grimly pleased to see the great north road open before him.


Marching quickly along the highway - and well supplied with fresh mounts, fodder and food for his men - Emperor Masataka's army arrives in Irith to find the land already transforming. Not only littered with the blackened remains of human towns, but the earth itself yielding up strange and unnatural looking flowers and plants - foliage repellent to the eye and poisonous to his horses.

"They are here," growls one of the older samurai.

Masataka nods, and the army advances, every rifle loaded and locked, every gun and cannon with powder and a round in the muzzle… Some sixty miles from the ruins of Fukuzawa they collide with a number of the enemy machines - apparently out foraging -- and for the first time the meteormen retire in haste. Masataka pursues, driving his men forward and a running exchange of cannon and searing flame swiftly erupts into a full-fledged battle on a front three or four miles wide. It is only a matter of hours, however, before the machines of the enemy gather, their grim sharks circling in the upper air. But they find a doughty opponent in Masataka. He is without fear, and his men's hearts are lifted by the news (which has only recently come to them, by roundabout means) of the Oro priest's sacrifice.

They hurl themselves headlong against the black machines, and they die in countless numbers. They bring down some of the machines, true, but Masataka's army is steadily, relentlessly incinerated. The broken remnants flee back to Camoweal, leaving Prince Izo dead behind them and the Emperor badly injured.


The Qing/Japanese force toils out of the deserts of Nakako and into Yandal, where a stunning vista greets them: A lush landscape painted in russet and purple and amber, tinged with scarlet. Shining metallic towers of brass and adamant, a great city fuming with industry, ringing with the sound of hammers, the squeal of saws and lathes… a whole new world being born out of the desolation.

Surprisingly to the human commanders, they had neither encountered the machines of the enemy, nor sighted their flying machines. Emboldened and realizing their chances of returning home were slim indeed, the combined force attacked at all speed, racing for the city of the enemy.

Even as the first human cavalry galloped past the towering walls, the enemy reacted at last, the infernal shapes of their machines rising among the towers… the roar of their dreadful servants ringing back from the clear blue sky. The Japanese and Qing sub-commanders urged their men on, and the hammering thunder of human guns answered the feral shrieks of the meteormen…


Under the cover of tropical darkness, the hellbats descend upon the Hosogawan capital of Kozoronden. Despite their speed, they have not quite outfoxed old Suenaga - the rows of factories and airship sheds outside the city are far too tempting a target - and his men have been spending sleepless nights, in shifts, waiting for an attack. Now they rush to their guns, throwing back tarpaulins to reveal shining barrels, and conch horns and sirens wail, alerting the city.

Despite the scurrying ants below, the hellbats sweep in, the dreadful heat ray already lashing across the workshops and helium-separating plants… even as the sky lights with blossoms of flame and the triphammer of guns flailing at the half-invisible enemy.


In Camoweal, Emperor Masataka of Borang suffers through a long healing period. He will never speak or walk properly again.

The Japanese general Isoki crawls out of the desert, accompanied by a handful of men. The Qing lord Lo Pan is being carried on a stretcher. They are all who have survived the forlorn attack on the 'red city'. With the defection of the Borang, and the untimely death of General Sano, a slim hope of victory was extinguished.

For the first time, the hellbats withdraw from the hornet's nest of Kozoronden before the city has been entirely leveled. Massively wrecked, yes, the factories in ruins, the shipyard a burning wreck of twisted cranes and submerged ships. But Suenaga and his men are still game for the fight in their bunkers and gun-pits. The vast majority is dead, true, but some still live.

And the citizens, long ago evacuated to the hills, are still alive to rebuild.


The human armies in Broome wait patiently, expecting the hammer to fall at any moment. Yet nothing happens. Rumors drift in with the courier boats, relating a steady stream of disasters. Despite the destruction of Kediri, the Javan army and fleet remain in place, though their anger is nearly white-hot.

At Camoweal, Masataka tries to gather what few survivors remain of his army to him, but most of the samurai have fled homeward, feverishly hoping never to encounter the meteormen again.

January 1770

An uneasy quiet settles upon Austral.


Still quiet. Ho hum.


The humans relax just a little bit.


The hellbats pounce on Sakuma city in Borang, which is small, moderately defended and bristling with fine, Japanese-made artillery. This time they come in slow, drifting across the fields and laying down a heavy barrage of the black smoke. The defending guns banged back at them, but the few men on the city walls were already fleeing… Emperor Masataka had marched away, leaving nothing to defend his capital.

The hellbats swept overhead, flames boiling up from the city below, drifting clouds of black fog stabbed with red… and then one lone gun, crew still gamely firing at the invincible enemy, scored a solid hit on the fourth of the infernal machines. It staggered, spewing debris, and wobbled away to the north. The other three turned and followed, shepherding their wounded fellow away.

Though most of the city was burning fiercely, and nearly all the inhabitants were dead, Sakuma (like Kozoronden) was spared utter annihilation.


Learning of the destruction of his capital, Masataka rides to Kenehold in Dajarra (the old Imperial capital) and establishes a new, rump, government there with the support of the Te Niho o Oro religious order.


The outlying Borangi provinces realize that the capital has been destroyed, the Emperor has no army and its every man for himself! The provinces of Arukun, Teatoora, Yila, Windoorah, Penong, Eyallah and Moora all abandoned the troubled empire.


The Japanese Adamiral Mirragi’s fleet and the Manchu troops arrive, earlier than expected, at Sasaki in Camoweal. They offload to a continent awash in terrible rumors. Mastaka's agents are on hand, however, to bring them greetings from the new Emperor and to assure them the war is still underway -- or, it will be, once a few internal matters are settled.


Not to be outdone by the restive Austral daimyo, a number of Javan chieftains (kahunae?) decided to shrug off the mantle of St'ert's authority… perhaps the meteormen would ignore them if arms were not taken up so directly against the invaders?

Well, the Arabic-speaking Sakalavans on Madagascar, the ugly Utarans and the ever-irascible Sulawesans revolted. Everyone else was just too damn mellow.

September - December

Everyone takes a breath to recover.

Central Asia and India


Minimum bid listed in [x].


5c, 5i [1gp each]


Rajah of Vijashuram (M836) [5gp]

Eon of Axum (MB45) [10gp]

To hire, please contact…

House of Tewfik

Quality Ratings

i16 w20 s17 c11 a13

Hussite Mercenaries

Minimum bid listed in [x].

The Hussite Legion

5hea, 6i [2.0 gp each], based at Bhuj on Kutch Island.


Robert Clive (M757) [5gp]

To hire, please contact…

Albanian East India Company

Quality Ratings

c12 i15 a14 w17 s20

Emirate of the Chandellas

[ Shi’a, Bundelkhand in Chandela, History ]

Kuhman Singh, prince of Bundelkhand, Lion of the North

Diplomacy Avanti (hostile!), Chela(^ea)

        Ah, peaceful India - the cradle of civilization and light of the world in these dark times… The Chandellas, having squeezed an uneasy peace out of the Danaroohoos by raw force, set about repairing the ancient Indian highway network - starting from Bundelkhand (which was expanding nicely itself) towards Aliyesha in Nadavaria and then in the south between Amon Sûl and Mozul. The wily Moslems also had some good fun bilking the naïve Albanians out of a huge quantity of gold and two fine new airships for not-quite-as-much grain as was promised to the Europeans…

        The raj of Avanti, however, would have none of the smooth-talking easterner prince who came to dicker for the release of the Arnori captives languishing in his cellar. Instead of a fine banquet, prince Kumar was run out of the province amid much whooping and hollering. The prince survived - minus his best pants - but poor Ahnam, his companion, tripped and was soon food for the hunting tigers favored by the raj. A gruesome, lengthy end to be sure…

        The prince of Dahala avoided just such unpleasantness himself by spending a good two years preaching the word of Allah in the bordellos and fleshpots of Mozul, where he 'converted' an inordinate number of dancing girls and prostitutes to the faith.

Shi’a Imamat

[ Shi’a, Yathrib in Kosala, History ]

Wazur, Ayatollah of the Shi’a, Voice of Allah

Diplomacy    Church in Mozul shut down by local Orangists

        Ayatolla Rhemini and Mullah Vikrandita met with a turbaned person in dark alley. The Ayatollah spoke quietly to the stranger and gave him a large sum of cash. “We have heard of your skills of deal with dealing with the unbelievers. We give you all the money of our temples to rid our country of the evil Theocracy of the Organist. We wish peace in out lands, but we are not able. This sign, for the service of Allah, is for the killing of all of their leaders in Chandellas, the lands of the great lion! We know you will not fail us, for you have not done so in the past!  Your faith in Islam is that of a great mountain. Go forth and purge our lands -- for Chandellas and Islam!!”

        The stranger bowed. “Yes, my lords. Allah's wish shall be done!” He then turned swiftly and vanished into the streets of the city. Rhemini shook his head, wondering how things had come to such a sordid pass… Vikrandita held the old man's arm as they walked quickly back to the residence. Sadly, Rhemini's health failed soon afterwards and before the spring of '69 had come, he was dead. After a spate of internecine squabbling, the mullah Wazur became the new leader of the Shi'a sects in India.

        The Shi'a mullahs were quite busy in the south, trying to repel the inroads the Orangists had made into their flock. A particular effort was focused on returning the army of the Chandellan general Ghotangar Sayman Singh to the 'right path'. This met with excellent success, once the general had been summoned to Yathrib to explain himself. Singh went willingly, trusting in the Revealed One to ensure his fate. His audience with Wazur and the Chandellan imam Abdoon did not go quite as planned, however. Despite their vigorous arguments, the Shi'a priests were entirely unable to shake Singh's fate and they were loath to have him murdered, for the general was much beloved of the Lion.

        Amid all of the hubbub about the evil, demon-worshipping Orangists, the Buddhists of Vengi (ha! You didn't know there were Buddhists in Vengi, did you?) also felt the whip and ire of the Moslems, having their houses burned down, shops looted and their quiet, contemplative temples ransacked and confiscated by the local Chandellan authorities. Further south, in Pandya, the efforts of the Shi'a was met with fierce resistance - mullah Jehen, in fact, was waylaid beside a road and beaten to death by outraged farmers of Danish descent.

The Southern League

[ Hussite, Amon Hen in Karnata, History ]

Michael Savaadra, King of the South, Prince of Fornost

Diplomacy None, due to change in management

        The "infection" in the furthest south began to creep up into League lands - the Danish and Macedonian farmers down in Pandya talked to their cousins and nephews in Chera, and the Orangist creed began to make headway there, much as it was finding new adherents among the disenfranchised landowners of Chola to the east. Stunningly, this did not bother King Joseph at all - in fact, his response to the rabid demands for action from the Hussite priests in the south was to promulgate an edict calling for religious tolerance throughout the League along the lines of recent laws passed in Denmark. This startled everyone, and infuriated the clergy.

        Joseph was murdered by one of his own knights within the month. The murderer's uncle, Michael Savaadra (a former Albanian mercenary from the old country and lately made a general of the League army, such as it was), seized power in Amon Hen, where he had been busily training up a new royal army. The other great lords - Maximillian of the Carnatic and Thoros of Gangas - accepted his kingship when Savaadra struck down "Mad" Joseph's edicts and reaffirmed the League as a Hussite state. The late king's family, meanwhile, were locked up in a tower and left to rot.

        Despite the furor in the capital, work proceeded apace in Fornost on expanding the docks of the port and building new warehouses. A League army also set up shop outside of the newly independent Catholic port of Tharbad, just to make sure the demon-worshipping inhabitants didn't get any ideas.

        While the Indanes were murdering each other up in the hills, down at Calicut, the Emir of Carthage fell off his horse, breaking his damn fool neck. This left Adnan Khalaf, Duke of Qasfah,  in co-command of the Afriqan army and fleet at the city, alongside Colonel Hanno. Given a history of personal animosity between the two men, this soon led to plotting (on the part of Khalaf) and then his arrest and murder by Hanno's secret service agents. It seemd the Colonel held more than one rank... in any case, a badly timed misadventure on the Duke's part was squashed, though the late Emir's plan for a "northern expedition" was derailed.

        Hanno remained in Calicut, waiting to see how things fared in the home country.

A Hill Station, Near Semla

        The youth ascends the stairs that, like a snake, weave their way through the garden that clings to the hill's side. In his hands he grips the silvered tray, richly engraved with designs and ornamentation from lands the boy has only imagined. Upon the platter lies a single vellum envelope, his task it is to deliver into his Master's hands. Gardenias, white as the snow that crowned the encircling mountains, line the stairwell path like an honour guard, as if their scent alone would be enough to make the defences of the Royal Hill Station inpenetrable. With one last bound, he leaps upon the veranda of Luncheon House No. 3, with a start stopping and sliding over the veneered planking as the suppressed memory that the next few minutes will be…distinctly uncomfortable flood back. The door of the hill house is open, the interior of the single room shrouded in darkness, a bluish wisp of sweet smoke winding skyward from within. With faltering steps, the youth proceeds to the doorstep and freezes again….there upon a simple army cot lies his Master, naked, ancient flesh failing to cling completely to a frail frame, a pile of richly carved pipes discarded in an anarchically on the floor. The Master's head is bald, save the few strands stronger than their fellows at resisting the constant rubbing of the powdered whig, which too has been discarded onto the floor, where it lies like some sleeping terrier. The Master stirs, blinking owlishly….

        "Are….you an assassin?"

        The nervous youth, enshrouded in the light that spills through the doorframe, is startled and takes a step back.

        "No my Lord, it is only a simple Houseboy of your staff. I…I am here to deliver your daily correspondence."

        With considerable effort the Master props himself up. Eyes squint at the boy balking at the doorway. "Yes…yes…I have seen you before. Come in, come in….do not be afraid. How many letters do I have today, boy? Was it difficult to carry the weight of them up the mountainside?"

        On the cue the youth raises the silvered tray and, with bowed head, moves ceremoniously towards his Master. At the foot of the cot he stops, and with a flourish lowers the tray to the level of the Masters eyes. Voice cracking, he delivers the unfortunate news: "There is only one, my Lord."

        "One?" the Master booms then, with a whisper and frail fingers stroking a hint of chin, "Only one…."

        The boy remains still, head bowed, tray proffered. One misstep now will trigger a whipping, or worse.

        "They are afraid, boy. Yes, afraid. Afraid of what I may say, the truth I might reveal in a manner that spares no diplomacy. Do you know what they call me, boy? The Great Orator. Renowned I am, renowned…all over the world. A Fool it is that tries to match wits with me…."

        The Master says no more for many minutes, his fingers wandering from his chin to nervously pick at some imaginary scrap caught between tooth and gum. The boy remains still, but terror seizes him and his body trembles of its own accord. As if the fear is contagious, the Master too begins to quietly shake and sob.

        "Where is my son?" he says through a coarse whisper.


        "Where is my son? I must speak with him."

        As a toddler might, the Master looks up expectantly at the boy, who is finally afforded the chance to straighten. With splayed fingers, each tipped with claw-like nails that have not been clipped in many months, the Master reaches out and grips the youth's arm.

        "My son…where is he?"

        "He…he…is at rehearsals, my Lord, for his latest play…"

        Out of the darkness a hand shoots forth, signalling the boy to silence. It is the Bodyguard, who has stood silently in the shadows. Mouthing wordlessly he cues the boy on the proper response. The boy, concentrating profusely, repeats it out loud.

        "My Lord...your son...is...at..rehearsals...with..with..the Army. Yes, he is out with the Army, and they are rehearsing their battle formations."

        "CHRISTIAN…..MY BOY! Yes! A hero I've raised. He'll do it, he'll restore our fortunes. I should not have doubted some of it would rub off on him. The Lion! The Lion of India! ME! Not that imposter from Bundelkhand! I AM A ALEXANDER'S HEIR AND SO IS MY SON!"

        The Master returns to silence and to digging at the imaginary annoyance in his gums. Minutes pass and the quiet sobbing visits again.

        "I did it for Christian...yes, for him. They won't call HIM a Butcher's son. I was going to be a man of peace….yes…peace. My last, great act. A concordat of two worlds. Well….their world and the proper Volk of this. Strange lot though, those Barsoomies. Ruined now. The jealousy of a small and petty man. Yu-shen...my FRIEND. Who is it from?"

        "My Lord?"

        "The letter? Who is it from?"

        The youth looks down at the vellum enveloped letter. The script that marks it is flowing and cursive, and in a language not his native tongue, but he has been taught, and he manages to make out the European script.

        "My Lord, the letter is from a Captain...Ultio...Persequor."

        "Persequor!?" The Master's eyes wander off into the distance. Voice rasping: "He overplays his hand. Yes…he overplays his hand by far. I… I…have nothing for him today…no…nothing." 

        Climbing off of the cot, the Master attempts to stand on his feet, but his body betrays him. The Bodyguard rushes to his side, catching the frame ravished by age.

        "Read it, boy."

        The youth stands still at first and then, slowly, places the silvered platter by his pinson-covereed feet and picks up the envelope. Despite his trembling, he breaks the seal easily, and after a moments gathering of courage, plucks the letter within out. Holding it up to the light of the doorway, he silently reads the letter's contents so that he may elucidate it his Master perfectly. But something strikes the boy as wrong. He lowers the letter to his side and begins to back up once more.

        "What is it, boy? Is it long?"

        "No my Lord. It is but a single line."

        "Well? Out with it! What does it say?"

        "It…it…says simply….


        "...Von Hessen, your services are no longer required."

        "Damn me", growled the Duke, stalking across the green, shaking the papers in his left hand at his son, who followed, club in the right, a Hindu caddy at their back with the bag: "have you seen this latest calumny?"

        "No, father, I haven't," said Christian circumspectly.

        The Duke pivoted about toward the dark boy, who lagged behind, and bellowed, "Hurry up, boy, we've twelve more holes to go before dark, or you'll sleep with my hounds!" Then he turned back to his son, face fierce, wrinkled, wreathed with gray hair:

        "They've got me cast as a Howard Hughes Fu Manchu Chinee clone in a gothic tower! As if I'd ever! Mad dogs and Englishmen! Mad dogs and damned Englishmen."

        Having reached the green, the Duke waited as Christian ran forward and put down the tee and the white ball. He moved it here, then there, looking for the perfect spot as the Duke flexed the club about over his shoulders and back, continuing: "It's enough to put a fellow back on the pipe! Like a damned penny dreadful written by a grub street hack! What was that shit about white as snow?"

        "I don't know," said Christian as he rose and stepped away from the green.

        "Of course you don't," said the Duke. "Here," he said as he thrust the papers at his son. "Read it!" The caddy, heaving the bag and puffing his cheeks, had caught up at last. "Good to see you've caught up, boy," said the Duke, who, still vigorous, raised the club up and with a firm stroke down and forward as he strode toward the tee, howled, "Fore!" and struck the poor ball a resounding thwack into the horizon.

ACT 2: Scene 5: Interior of PVH's office




Ali: 32 thousand kronars, chief.



CVH: Yeah, pops?


CVH:  Okay, pops. [exits, stage right]


Ali [pointing out window]: Hey chief, there's Persequor now!


Persequor [off-stage]: Hey Perry, I can barely walk with all this money I'm carrying!


Ali [passing piss-pot to PVH]: Here you go, chief.

PVH [throwing contents of piss-pot out window]: HEY ULTIO…..IT'S RAINING!

Persequor [off-stage]: Billions of blistering blue barnacles……


Brunhilde [off-stage]: Oh Mookie!

PVH [air-kicking the floor]: WHAT IN THE HELL DOES SHE WANT?

Brunhilde [entering, stage right]: Oh Mookie….I gots the reviews!


Brunhilde: It's the…the illust..it's the…it's that last one, Mookie!


Ali: Okay, chief [takes paper]


Ali [reading]: "Ultio Persequor's Von Hessen biography, "Heart of a Genocide" opened last night a week earlier than expected, in a bold move sure to rankle Duke Peregrin's own duelling production, the autobiographical "Peregrin!"


Ali [reading]: ""Heart" tells the tale of one Captain Willard, dispatched by Danish Intelligence to retrieve an erstwhile operative, Duke Von Hessen, who has apparently gone "native" in country. Exploring themes of the blurred and likely false distinction between civilized and primitive man, "Heart" is every inch the magnus opus spectacular, from the opening scene where a drunken and self-destructive Willard destroys a hotel room, to a simulated zeppelin attack on a Hindoo village…."


Ali: No, chief.


Ali: Okay, chief


Brunhilde: Oh Mookie! [moves centre stage. Cue band]

                   "Genocide, it ain't suicide,

                    And we sure ain't talking regicide,

                    It's far and wide,

                    It's genocide,

                    And you just can't hide……."


PVH: Phil Hartman

CVH: James Caan

Ali: Jon Lovitz

Persequor: Captain Haddock

Brunhilde: Mira Sorvino

Boy: Rahul Gupta

Master: Klaus Kinski

Bodyguard: Amrish Puri


[ Hussite, Kanauj in Rajput, History ]

Christian von Hessen, Maharajah of India, Duke of Delhi, Grand-Duke of Aballach, Prince of the Black Tower

Diplomacy None to speak of, due to the perfidy of the dastard Baluchs

        "Cough, cough. Christian, bring me… urk!"

        So did the much reviled Peregrin at last expire. His death was not unexpected - particularly by his long-suffering son Christian (so well known from the penny dreads and slumtown theatres) - who immediately gathered the rebuilt royal army to him at Kanauj and had a few old enemies executed to show he meant business. And, being faced with the necessity of perpetuating the Von Hessen dynasty he made a manful effort… and failed. Indeed, his latest wife Toral Shri Janeesh died in childbirth, yielding up a horribly disfigured creature abhorrent to the eyes of god and man alike.

        Blanching at what was shown him by the midwife, Christian swore off the "black tar" for all time. Then… "Hmm! Time to marry again!"

        This pronouncement was met by surly looks from his mother, Sarah von Buwald, the Duchess of Gwalior, who was angling to have her son (the fourteen-year-old Peregrin II) proclaimed Prince and Heir; and by Christian's younger brother Saul, who held him in low esteem; and even his sister Raquel, who was personally inspired by tales of Princess Arwen (who had come so close to the throne herself).

        Efforts by a trio of Arnori "special operatives" failed to win the release of the diplomats held in gaol in Avanti (now known as the Black Pit of Injah). Mssrs. Moe, Charles and Whazisname also fell prey to the rajah's ever-hungry tigers.

Kingdom of Baluchistan

[ Hussite, Multan in Sukkur, History ]

John Solomon, Lord of the Indus, Protector of the Faith

Diplomacy None

        Though some surreptitious conversations with the damnable Arnori had begun, the death of John Saul (at Schwarzkastel) in late winter of '69 put forfeit all such plans. Prince Solomon, still a captive of the Kushans in Peshawar learned of his father's fate by letter - dispatched by his wife Irina, who was then regent-pro-tem of the still-unsteady Baluchi state. Solomon then begged an audience with his captor, King Bujayapendra and pleaded leave to exercise his dharma and assume the mantle of kingship in Schwarzcastel. Given the opportunity to drive a hard bargain, the Hindu king arranged the release of the prince in exchange for the provinces of Punjab, Sahis and the cities therein.

        Solomon was grateful for the opportunity to gain his freedom and a small respite for his people, who had suffered greatly of late. He rode south, and was soon joined by long trains of Hussite refugees fleeing the Kushan advance. Riot and rebellion dogged Solomon's heels, and the skies over Lahore were soon lit with flames roaring among the houses and villas of the departing Europeans.

Kingdom of the Kushans

[ Hindu, Astakana in Kush, History ]

Bujayapendra, Blessed of Vishnu, prince of Astakana

Diplomacy    Ghazni (^a)

        The prince was quite pleased to deny the Hussite dogs in Kanauj the realm of the Baluchis, and to seize two more rich provinces without battle. There were shots fired, of course, for the remaining Europeans in both Punjab and Sahis had to be helped on their way south. The economies of both provinces suffered mightily in the helping, but there was little to be done about that at this juncture. The Kushan army advanced to Lahore and made camp while the Blessed One secured the administration of his new domains. Now Dehli was within striking distance…

From the Personal Log of Captain Bastable

        I opened my eyes upon a strange and weird landscape.  I knew that I was on Mars; not once did I question either my sanity or my wakefulness.  I was not asleep, no need for pinching here; my inner consciousness told me as plainly that I was upon Mars as your conscious mind tells you that you are upon Earth.  You do not question the fact; neither did I.

E.R.B, "A Princess of Mars"

        Mars has a diversity of terrain fully equivalent to that of Earth. In broad terms, the world is divided into ancient seabeds, the vast deserts, the craggy mountain ranges, and the polar icecaps. The most salient fact of the red planet however, is the lack of rainfall.

        This red planet is populated by many races and what I would call alien forms. There are giant many armed green men, down to the human scale redman of Mars and on to some beings to horrible and maddening to name or mention. War has shaped Mars, wars over scare resources have plunged the planet's civilizations into a mere shadows of their former selves.

        The Martian atmosphere is a breathable one and is very similar to Earth's. It is very dry, there is complete lack of humidity, which reflects the overall dryness of the entire red planet.

        Mars has a diameter of 4200 miles and a surface area of 55.4 million square miles. Thus only 25 percent of the surface area of Earth. Mars is much smaller than Earth, it's surface gravity is also less. A 200 pound man on Earth would weigh about 125 pounds on Mars. Physically challenging acts on Earth, can become acts of grace and ease under Martian skies.

        I close my logbook aboard the "Oba Ruhl" and gaze outward. It has been two weeks since we landed on Mars. Days filled with wonder and terror, agony and joy.

        Little did I know that when I told our helmsman Chullander to set a course, "second star to the right, and straight on till morning", just what we had got ourselves into. Lior was no help, he was only interested in returning to his ancestral home. A home we would come to find was much changed from the one he had left.

        "Captain Bastable", begin Lior, "Martian Civilization is over 30,000 years old. You men of Earth have only just arrived. You must conclude that you have only scratched the surface of this ancient planet's history".

        Truer words could not have been spoken. As our ponder our situation I glance out upon the remains of a capital city of one those civilizations, "Syrtis Major" Lior's ancestral home.

        There is some chance of finding water in this god forsaken place. We have been exploring buildings near our current landing site for days now. One comes upon potable water in the most uncanny of places. Water is life on Mars. For Mars today is an alien landscape which confronts us, one which is quiet, save only the sound of the wind moaning through the ruins of this once great city.

        We have made several discoveries during our initial forays. Lior tells us that where our ship now sits is just below the imperial palace of Seldon III, Warlord of all Mars. The palace consists of one large edifice and several support buildings, the site appeared at first to be quite ordinary and stunning in its own way.

        I am on Mars after all.

        Our discovery of the secret passageways under the complex was quite by accident. While seeking water, Chullander discovered a cistern and this led to the further discovery of passages filled with mind-blasting murals. These murals seem to depict the arrival of indescribable creatures to Mars about 10,000 years ago and the subsequent battles of the Martian peoples against these horrors. The end seems to be still contestable. I pull out my starstone out of my vest pocket and rub its smoothness, it is a comfort.

Shahdom of Afghanistan

[ Sunni, Kabul in Afghanistan, History ]

Zaman Durani, Shah of the Afghans, Lord of Kabul

Diplomacy Dasht'e'lute (^f)

        Old Ahmad retired to Kabul with his armies, ignoring - for once - the entreaties of the lowland kings to interfere in their petty squabblings. It was meet the old lion should slink back to his lair, for the Shah took sick on the road home and lay dead before the snows had lifted from the passes in '69. One gift he left his son Zaman; a peaceable kingdom where the middle-aged prince could ascend the throne without dispute. Old Arvayan, bey of the Dasht'e, soon followed his master in the afterworld, leaving his province a liege-hold of Zaman.

Grivpani i’ Timurlenk

Bukharm Al’Qadir, Grand Master of the Grivpani

Diplomacy    Kara-Khitai (^op)

        Despite their overwhelming pride (where they not the Light of the Aryans, blessed of the world?) the Grivpani had their hands out to all suitors.

Bukharm needed gold to feed his horses, clothe his men, pay for rifles and artillery for his regiments.

The Noble House of Tewfik

[ Al’Harkam in Carmania, History ]

Tewfik Saul, Reseller of Excellent Teas

Diplomacy None

        Despite much bluster in the marketplace, Saul took a nap with one of the maids.

The Safavid Persian Empire

Safi Bahram “the bold”, Khan of Khans, Shahanshah of Persia, Prince of Bukhara, Caliph of the East

Diplomacy    Persia (^a), Cem in Mand (^f)

        Without any stones falling from the sky to knock off Bahram's enormous hat, and his proxy war in India keeping everyone there very busy, and the fighting in the fertile crescent still buffered by the Islamic Union, the shah was

able to spend some largesse upon the provinces, repairing damage suffered in the recent disturbances. A huge wave of settlers were dispatched into Media, restoring that region to 3 Gpv. This effort also drove out the Karidjites who had taken up residence there. The city of Abas in Fars expanded, while work continued on all of the railroads. Fresh battalions of riflemen, artillerists and lancers were mustered as well. A far, far larger war was in the offing…

        The regional peshwans received their due as well, for Bahram was open-handed with the tax levies. The mullahs also benefited, for the orthodox clergy was being called upon to repel the Karidjite heretics. Very successful efforts were underway in Hahmar, much to the delight of the Shah, who was starting to have visions of an Empire to match that of Cyrus the Great.

        Al-Siribi, who was dispatched to negotiate with the heretical barbarians of Daylami (Baku, more or less) found that entire region in upheaval and wound up hiding in a cellar for most of '70, trying to avoid arrest and robbery.

Cossack Khanate of Georgia

Ilya Emil Dakessian, King of the Georgians

Diplomacy   Azerbaijan/Tabriz (^t), Kurdistan/Nineveh (^t), Urmia (^nt)

        Stranded in Armenia after the withdrawal of the various Swedish and Russian forces which had been campaigning against the Daemon Sultan, a variety of Cossack clansmen had migrated into the Baku area by '66, where - under the inspired leadership of the Dakessian hetman - they seized control of Baku itself and the surrounding countryside in '67 and '68. By 1769 they had consolidated their little bandit kingdom (in main by adopting the Karidjite faith of their subjects, strongly influenced by a local strain of sufism) enough to launch a campaign against the Catholics who had recently invaded Urmia. After marching boldly across Azerbaijan, where prince Ari and General Serj had a bit of 'splainin' to do with the locals.

        As the Exarchate didn't actually have any troops in Urmia (even around Mount Ararat, where of late many odd things had transpired) the Cossacks were greeted with cheers, flowers and a warm welcome by the local maidens. Dakessian's troops then marched on towards Armenia itself, hoping to reach the city of Van sometime soon.

The Karidjite Imamat

[ Karidjite Islam, Baghdad in Mesopotamia, History ]

Ali bin Abi Talib, kalifa of the Pure and the Faithful

Diplomacy None

        Pressed by the Persians in the east and the Fedyakin in the west, the Imam sat in his house and cried. He had not even a comely maid to keep him company.

The Islamic Union

[ Karidjite Islam, Ar-Raqqah in Mosul, History ]

Izzat al-Ayyubi, Sultan of Ar-Raqqah, Prince of Mosul, Emir of Aleppo

Diplomacy None

        Though faced with continuing, unremitting war on the part of the Al'Haggar, Izzat remained steadfast in Palmyra, awaiting the next attack… his troops (short of pay now, for the economic affairs of the Union were falling swiftly into disarray) looted most of Palmyra province for food, clothing and entertainment. Back in Ar Raqqah, dame Fatima (the wife of the legendary Muyaiya Sayyaf Adin, who had led the fight against the Daemon Sultan) passed away at the attenuated age of fifty-three.

Near The Dead Sea, 1770

        Despite the murderous nature of the plot he hoped to devise, the thoughts of Scythe returned again and again to rueful compassion. I shall regret causing death and misery to Maud’Dib, he told himself.

        He kept this benignity carefully hidden from his fellow conspirators. Such feelings told him, though, that he found it easier to identify with the victim than with the attackers – a thing very characteristic of the hashashin.

        Scythe stood in bemused silence somewhat apart from the others. The argument about psychic poison had been going on for some time now. It was energetic and vehement, but polite in that blindly compulsive way adepts of the Great Schools always adopted for matters close to their dogma.

        “When you think you have him skewered, right then you’ll find him unwounded!  He’s demonstrated that again and again!”

        Was that hooded figure really the old Reverend Mother of Mauritania? Could the same woman who nutured and protected Ameur have actually turned against him? She was an orange-robed stick figure, a witch crone seated in an alabaster chair at Scythe’s left. Her aba hood had been thrown back to expose a leathery face beneath silver hair. Deeply pocketed eyes stared out of skull-mask features. Her raspy voice rang with the curious lilt of the Hassayan Arabs – honed consonants and jointed vowels.

        Edric, the Chief Engineer of the Suez Canal, replied to the Reverend Mother now with a vocal curtsy contained in a sneer – a lovely touch of disdainful politeness.

        “Just so, Madam, just so.”

        Was he on the AEIC payroll Scythe wondered? Now there’s one that ought to be out there digging, rather than dealing in backroom intrigues. How many more centuries will that damnable canal require?

        “If we go on this way, we’ll die of stupidity!”

        That was the fourth person present, the potential member of the conspiracy – Queen Daia, wife (but not mate, Scythe reminded himself) of their mutual foe.  She stood at a corner of the tent, splendid in a robe and hat of Phoenician purple. Gold buttons glittered at her ears.  She was a tall, blond beauty -- renewed and slim despite the birth of her young daughter Jessica. She carried herself with an aristocrat’s hauteur, but something in the absorbed smoothness of her features revealed the controls of her training.

        Scythe’s mind turned from nuances of languages and faces to the nuances of location. All around the tent lay hills dusty from a long Mediterranean summer. What secrets lie in these  pockets, crooks and caves, he wondered. An alkaline taint filled the air from the nearby waters. Why this particular place?

        “Have you nothing to say for yourself, Scythe?” the woman who might have been Magda demanded.

        “You wish to draw me into this fool’s fight?” Scythe asked. “Very well. We’re dealing with a potential messiah. You don’t launch a frontal attack upon such a one, despite what the Islamic Union might think. Martyrdom would defeat us all.”

        They all stared at him.

        “You think that’s the only danger?”  the Reverend Mother demanded, voice wheezing.

        And, this from Edric -- “Are you one of us or not, Scythe?” He stared out of tiny rodent eyes.

        “I think it was a mistake for me to come here,” Daia said.

        The Revered Mother turned, opened her eyes, closed them, a curiously reptilian gesture.

        “Majesty,” Scythe said, “all evidence shows that your husband has no mystical gifts.  He can not therefore know that you have come here.”

        “You say that my husband cannot see, know or predict what happens through use of mystical gifts. But what about his network of spies? Now how far does that influence spread?”

        “Many people share Ameur’s aims and loyalties” she continued. “Certain of his Fedaykin legionaries, then, wear his cloak. I have seen him prophesy for them, heard their cries of adulation for their Mahdi, their Muad’dib.”

        Has it occurred to this Queen, Scythe thought, that she is also on trial here, that a judgment remains to be made about the massacre of Amman -- which could preserve her or destroy her. She must see the trap we set for her!

        Momentarily Scythe’s gaze locked with that of the Reverend Mother and he experienced the odd realization that they had shared this thought about Daia.

        “And yet there is the affair of Amman – and even before that the debauchery in the highlands of Cheliff. Is this a leader that can steer your nation to modernity?” asked Edric.

        The Barbary Pirates made a nice profit in slaves at that, thought Scythe crassly. And we were the ones run out of the Nile Valley!

        “There now, whose webs of influence spread back in turn through Ameur?” With this a small raspy tongue swiftly moistened the dried lips of the old Reverend Mother. “In the seven years you have been with him,” interjected the Reverend Mother, “has he shown you the slightest warmth?”

        To both queries, Daia shook her head. “But what of the Qizarate?”

        “It takes only the slightest shift in emphasis, a change of interpenetration, to transform envy into enmity,” Scythe said. The Reverend Mother startled at this choice of words, realizing only now how she had misjudged this hashshash.

        “The Fedaykin are civil and educated, although backwards,” Scythe said. “They’re not mad. They’re trained to believe, not to know. Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.”

        In culmination, and in conspiracy, the Reverend Mother muttered “Mekteb al mellah.”

        “This we have agreed, written in salt,” translated Daia.

        As she spoke Scythe realized what had been arrayed here before him – a beautiful and intelligent female who could never be his.

Kel Al’Haggar Fedyakin

[ Orangist, Jerusalem in Levant, History ]

Leto, Paraclete of the Faithful, Duke of Syria

Diplomacy None

        The Mouse remained at Damascus, brooding.

        Very desultory work (only a few hundred laborers and their attendant overseers, picking away at the sand with wooden shovels and picks) continued on the canal at Suez. The Danish operation there served more as an easy way to intrigue in the Levant, where Lord Yates had been making friends with the emir. Ameur's attention was elsewhere… further east, sheikh Stilgar and his Tuaregs drifted out of the Sahara on the wind, silent as the dust blowing against the revetments and bastions of Alexandria. With the war against the Invaders burning hot in the far west, the desert riders were able to leave without hindrance.

        Having spent nearly two months in an ever-darker mood, the Paraclete summoned the sheikh Leto to him. The Anathasian had been preparing to take nearly a third of the Fedyakin south with him, down to Aqaba, to explore extending the influence of the Al'Haggar towards Mecca itself.

        "We will attack the Union positions at Palmyra," the Mouse declared, eyes hooded, his entire body stiff with tension. "Your men will advance directly up the Great Road towards the fortress at Tadmor, while the main body of the army - under my command - will cross the desert of Bostra and seize the enemy capital at Ar Raqqah." Ameur's face twitched into a feral grin. "Then we will annihilate their ability to resist us and the Revealed Word."

        Leto - about to protest a frontal assault on the guns at Tadmor - fell silent. His mind was filled with a burning, hell-hot image of the great mosque of Amman collapsing in ruin, consumed by the flames, while countless innocents cried out in utter despair. My men will die in their thousands before the Unionist guns, and he will drench the fetlocks of his stallions in the blood of Raqqah.

        "You do not approve?" Ameur's voice was quite low.

        Leto felt a chill, realizing he stood alone with the Paracelete in a half-darkened chamber. There are no witnesses here.

        Ameur's blow was blindingly fast, a hidden knife leaping into his hand, the tapering blade slashing with a flicker of torchlight on steel at Leto's left eye. But the sheikh was already in motion, hurling himself to one side, the heavy steel of a Norskverk .32 caliber pistol filling his huge palm. The Mouse hissed, thwarted, and Leto shot him twice.

        Ameur staggered, knocked back by the impact, and groped for his own pistols, slung across his chest, but his fingers were already growing nerveless and weak. Leto kicked the knife from his hand, then pinned the younger man to the ground, his face expressionless. The .32 barked again, sending bits of tile and bone ringing away across the floor.

        That's done, then. The sheikh thought, when he could stand up again. He was trembling violently. A nasty bit of business. Well over, I say, well over.

        The dirty process of rounding up Ameur's more fanatical supporters and seeing them done in occupied Leto for a time, and then he made his way south (with the entire vast Fedyakin army in tow) to Petra, where Stilgar had a nasty surprise awaiting his return from the west. Abu Abassin and Fenriq, on the other hand, pledged their service to Leto as they had done to Ameur himself.

        The conspiracy of Daia and the others fell stillborn.

The Exarchate of Trebizond

Lars Vilhuna, Prince of Cerkes, Exarch of the South

Diplomacy    None

         Even though true Swedes and Russians were still pretty thin on the ground in the Anatolian highlands, Vilhuna found it necessary to dispatch several thousand more colonists to St. Olaf in Asir, on the coast of Araby. Of course, most of those sent were

paupers, criminals or other malcontents whose presence in the Exarchate would not be missed. Efforts to clear the forests of Vaspurakan bore fruit, as the province became cultivated. News from the south of the 'rebellion' of Georgia and Urmia against the putative rule of the Exarchate was met with ill-tempered silence in Cerkes.


And why then are we to despise Commerce as a Mechanism, and the Trading World as mean, when the Wealth of the World is deem'd to arise from Trade?

~ Daniel Defoe, A Plan of the English Commerce

Catholic Mercenaries

Minimum bid listed in [x].





To hire, please contact


Quality Ratings

c12 i16 a13 w18 s18 z6

Hussite Mercenaries

Minimum bid listed in [x].

The Hussite Legion

5c, 4z [1.5 gp each], based at Constantinople.


Sit Thomas Musgrave (M977)

To hire, please contact…

Albanian East India Company

Quality Ratings

c12 i15 a14 w17 s20 z8

Aeronautical Research & Fabrication

Ivan Pasternak, Captain of the East

Diplomacy    Debrecen in Moldavia (^ct), Cerkes in Abasigia (^ct), Astakana in Kush (^aa)

        The business of the Company faltered in these troubled, unsettled times. The promise of better, faster, deadlier ships of the air drew the promise of investment monies from many nations - Sweden, Masai, Persia… were only the most powerful of those who now considered placing their trust in the machine shops and design studios of the Arfen. Unfortunately, a variety of fiscal miscalculations left many workshops idle, their workers discharged until such time as they could be paid.

        The Papal army encamped in Kama Bulgar, which had intended to start operations against the devil-worshippers in Chorasmia, remained at loose-ends in the field following the death (heart attack was suspected) of the Cardinal Angelo Cardenas, its commander.

        Efforts were made far afield as well, such as in Dakar, Senegal, where the city expanded with an influx of Arfen technicians, their families and aeroinfantry to protect them. The aeropost system did expand, as the Company was financing that effort directly. Sadly, old Solyom did not see the fruits of his long-sighted vision come to pass, for he died in early '69 of the terrible Black Cough which afflicted so many inhabitants of Rostov. And, continuing the bane which lay upon the Pasternak family, young Mathilde (the Captain's third wife) followed him swiftly to the grave.[3]

        This left the daredevil, charismatic, intellectually brilliant and morally ambiguous Ivan Pasternak the heir apparent to the clan fortune. He did not tarry in seizing his father's authority for himself. His wife, Yoshino, was quite pleased by this, particularly since Mathilde had so conveniently removed herself from the picture. Ivan's nine-year-old brother Orel (the son of Valentina and Solyom) moved into Yoshino's house, where he was kept under close supervision.

Principate of Kiev

Ivan Kournos, Prince of Kiev, Master of the Holy Rivers

Diplomacy    None

        After one of his ministers mentioned that the hardy peasants of the land had been neglected for years, the prince decided to make monies, agricultural advice and supplies, better schooling and hospitals available to the country people as they attempted to reclaim the country from the nightmare of the Ice. Sadly, Ivan realized the cities, in particular old Kiev, are not what they might be, but in an age of famine the country must be verdant before anyone dared move back into the cities.

        Part of his effort at rural revitalization was the promotion of a tobacco crop in Kiev. By the end of '70 the state-sponsored Tobacco Trust had distributed a series of snappy posters to promote itself throughout Russia, Sweden, and beyond! "Breathe deep, citizens! What you taste is the future!"

        Soon after trying some Kalach Sweet the Prince suffered a near-stroke and heart-palpitations and was bedridden for much of a year before recover. "Hooo… that is strong!"

        The general resurgence (one cannot truly say 'renaissance' yet, as the goats wandering the streets of still-ruined Kiev know no Latin, though are familiar with many Greeks) led by Prince Ivan extended to the Orthodox church as well, where many priests were dispatched to Wallachia to win back the hearts of the mostly Hussite peasantry.

        Much more rarified circles - that is, the court - where entertained and enlightened by the arrival of the Elder Zosima, a man of renowned piety and theological knowledge. The grave, white-bearded monk had been summoned to attend the education of the Swedish Tsarevitch Alexi, who had recently been dispatched (no, not banished you trolltongued wretch!) to learn the quaint ways of the Kievians and keep him far from Queen Maria's machinations in Riga. A great deal of wheat and rye was sent north in exchange.

        One of Zosima's first lectures to the wide-eyed Alexi was a discussion of the noble lineage of the his hosts, the Kournos: "My son, it is a point of fact not often realized by foreigners that the House of Sviatoslav enjoys rule over Wallachia de jure as well as de facto. They are the true heirs to the Ferenczy dynasty, as Grand Duchess Raina of Pechneg, the Pale Filicide of Craiova, murdered the reigning branch of the Ferenczy family (her husband Lodmund Ferenczy and their young son) in (turn 175).

        Jamis Thurn, maternal ancestor of the Kievan royal family and cousin of the old Wallachian House of Ferenczy, had previously made himself master of Kiev with the 'Zap Gun' in (turn 172), liberating that city from the tyranny of Sigismund (murdered by his own serfs) and Lodmund Ferenczy.

        Through Jamis's only child -- a daughter -- your host, Prince Ivan, traces his claim to the Wallachian throne, as opposed to the usurping, bloodthirsty (literally, some say - for all that Pripen of Hundora may have had some good in him) Dobriyo clan."

        "Goo!" Replied the three-year-old, yarping on the carpet.

Peoples Republic of Baklovakia

Milan Sluj, First Citizen, Protector of the Workers and Peasants

Diplomacy    None

        Banging and rattling and off-key singing continued behind Mrs. Toporosky's shed.

        Without the permission of their parents, a number of Girl's Hussite Youth Scouting troops from Komarno and the villages thereabouts spent the summers of '69 and '70 camping in the wilderness of Bakony. As a result, the religion of that entire province reverted once more to Hussitism. Someone - doubtless that slug Sluj - gave the peasants of Slovakia a steam tractor and some goats, which led to a noticeable increase in both wheat and hops production. The 'fleet' also returned from the south, well tanned, draped with knockoff Egyptian-made maracas and stinking of gin.

The Juncto

        The Commerce of the World, especially as it is now carried on, is an unbounded Ocean of Business; Trackless and unknown, like the Seas it is managed upon; the Merchant is no more to be follow'd in his Adventures, than a Maze or Labyrinth is to be trac'd out without a Clue.

~ Daniel Defoe, A Plan of the English Commerce

Albanian East India Company

[ Thessaloniki in Macedon, History ]

Valentin Argir, Senior Partner in the AEIC

Diplomacy Schwarzcastel in Edrosia (^mf), Somnath in Surashtra (^bo), Vienna in Austria (^ma)

        Recent allegations against the Company and it's captains drew a frigid response from the Senior Partners -- "we do not traffick in such substances as alter the perceptions of the minde. Most certainly, we do not purvey opium or as the heathens might call it, the 'black tar'." At the same time, the citizens of Thessalonika were impressed by the largesse and generosity of Valentin when he ordered the Company workshops in the city devoted to the production of a spore-repellent mask and, indeed, an entire suit of waxed canvas, equipped with filters and air hoses, for every man, woman and child in the urban environs. The efficacy of these monstrous-appearing devices had yet to be tested…

        And as war continued to rage to the south, in the heated sands of Afriqa, another Company project culminated in the first luxury train to see service on the slowly expanding Danish rail network. A sixteen-car astonishment of luxury and wealth called the "Orient Express". Plans were announced that the rail-train would soon make regular passage from Brest, in the Commonwealth, to Thess and back again. The press considered this an attempt to steal back a bit of the "wonder" from the Norsktrad and the "damnable Catholics", and later announcements of a planned series of truly massive steamships and airships seemed to fall into the same vein.

        This cattiness ignored, of course, the presence of a team of Norsktek engineers engaged in supervising the construction of a series of new foundries and assembly yards in the Company precincts north of the city. The threat of the Invader made nervous bedfellows… these same technicians also put a fresh coat of varnish on the notorious "Empress Oniko", which the Albanians claimed was an underseaboat, but everyone else called a watery coffin. Despite the misgivings of the layabouts in the dockyards, Valentin himself took the contraption to sea, escorted by a passel of other support ships, to "investigate the Malestrom of Venice."

        While the Senior Partner was off gallivanting around, more dedicated members of the staff were hard at work - particularly in India, where Bastable was having a good time reading about his adventures in the penny dreadfuls and laying the groundwork for a thriving business on the heathen shore. Captain Hale also did good work in Bithnia, where the fractious Moslem inhabitants were beginning to mellow a bit. But Yelmul's efforts to woo the French with his flying casino, shadow-shows about steamboat-driving mice and plenty of free booze showed no results for the bottom line at all.

The Republic of Denmark

[ Hussite, Thessalonika in Macedon, History ]

Eleutherios Venizelos, First Minister of the Senate

Judit Dushan, Princess of Serbia, Queen of the Greeks, Empress of the Danes, Protector of Italy, Mjolnir-na-Midgaard, Regina Germanica, Pendragoness of the Isles

Diplomacy    Vienna in Austria (^f), Bern in Switzerland (ˇea), Levant (^nt)

        Eager to see their possessions in Egypt protected from the threat of the Invaders, a Republican minister arranged the purchase of a number of the Mjolnir-class super-cannon from the Norkstrad. Indeed, the Queen quite liked the sound of their name…

        In the wasteland of northern Italy, the Dust Rangers continued their bitter fight against the twisted creatures (and evil men, too, who now had come into the desolation in search of a hiding place to prey upon the helpless of surrounding provinces) dwelling therein. The Engineering Corps laid the path for a highway into Lombardy from Verona and thence to Switzerland. The old roadways had been rendered impassable by the Impact.

        Being quite modern, the government was also financing a railroad to parallel the highway, running up into the Alps, over the St. Bernard pass. But given all the troubles afflicting the nations of men, who knew when it would be finished?

        Religious troubles continued to bedevil the fringes of the Republic. Open fighting continued to rage in Mansura, between the Hussites and Orangists there. Particular sectarian violence also flared in Gibraltar, leading to many deaths and the expulsion of the remaining Hussites there. Amid all of this, the First Minister outraged his clerks, ministers and the Senate by taking a jaunt into the Mare Maleficium (the Venice maelstrom) with a squadron of steam cruisers, zeppelins and the insanely-dangerous Albanian submersible. Rumor held the Minister was searching for a "mystery ship" of awesome ability. At the end of 1770, however, the entire fleet returned, empty handed.

        A great of effort continued to be expended in the north, in Germany, where the government was doing it's best to stitch together a rabble of Electors, Dukes and Princes into something approximating a federalized state.

The Swedish Empire of Russia

Kjell Torsson, King of Sweden, Tsar of the All the Russias

Diplomacy    Tver (^c), Rzhev (^t)

         Well-tanned and a little bouncy, the Tsar re-

turned to civilized lands - arriving in Chernigov quite unexpectedly and scooping up his entire family for a jaunt down to Kiev. There the he deposited his three-year-old son Ivan upon the Kievian court, to raise and teach, as the Tsar had no time for such frippery himself! Kjell immediately left, in a bustle of dust and carriages and swooning ladies. Little Alexi began crying like a steam-whistle.

        A variety of rumors circulated in the northern provinces, claiming that a "rainbow colored meteor" had crashed in Kirov, followed by sightings of "short, rotund, musical creatures". These were widely discounted by the authorities.

        Despite the high hopes of the Arfen merchants, trouble with the Swedish Central Bank over a substantial and defaulted loan denied them a new line of credit. Though the Torrson government attempted to intervene, the bankers staunchly stood by their published policies. Unless the merchants made good the defaulted loan, they would not get one more kronor!

        In June, the astronomers banished to Madiera and the ancient observatory there, made careful calculations of the planet Venus, which was in the midst of a transit of the sun. Planneman and the Frenchman Le Gentile were tremendously excited by the opportunity, for the transit in '61 had been obscured by the dust suspended in the atmosphere. Though the purpose of their calculations was secret, no one could dispute their joy at obtaining quite a clear sky on the night of the 3rd and the morning of the 4th. A Swedish postal courier ship left immediately that afternoon for Riga with a variety of journals safely aboard.


[ Roman Catholic, Bergen in Hordaland, History ]

Preben Overgaard, Mayor of Bergen

Diplomacy    Norway (^c), Kopparborg (^nt), Uppsala (^c)

        The chill realities of living at the edge of the ice beset the Overstjordans and they were quick to take axe and saw to the forests of Hordaland, trying to clear enough land to support themselves. A stout new fleet of herring-boats was put to sea as well, for the cold seas off Norway were thick with fish. Inland, doughty and warmly-dressed surveyors picked their way through the mountains, seeking the best path to lay a metalled road into Norway itself. The Mayor's son Lars had business beyond the mountains…

        A scouting expedition into Fjordane did not return, leading to talk of ill omens, giants and other foul creatures of the Ice. Lar's expedition into Norway was better equipped, however, as the young oligarch was accompanied by over a thousand ski-riflers and the cities' two zeppelins. His journey to the eastern sea - indeed, he made it all the way to the Ice-choked Gulf of Finland - was harrowing and epic and filled with disappointment. A few scattered Saami tribes acknowledged his presence and the Mayor's writ in the north, but no one had anything of value. Oslo, Alfskrona and Stockholm were empty, overgrown ruins - fit only for wild beasts.

        Reclaiming the north would be a mighty task!

The Grand Duchy of Poland

[ Hussite, Warsaw in Poland, History ]

Ivan Dovietski, Duke of Poland

Diplomacy    None

        The Albanians continued to invest substantial sums in the Duchy, particularly in pushing forward efforts to see the weight, measures and nomenclature of business set to the international scale. And indeed, after nearly thirty years of effort, Poland at last joined the modern age! "Beer by the knacklworst for everyone!" Shouted the duke, raising a liter mug high. "For - hic! - everyone!" Rumored work at raising the walls of Stralsund for new public housing failed to materialize.

        The Duke's daughters cornered him by crawling fiercely (well, the older one could walk, more or less) and stared at him with enormous, wounded eyes: "Da-da, why have we no names?" The older one asked. The younger one eyed his shoe suspiciously, then threw up on his golden hose.

The Knights of Tabor

Jucarl Kassowitz, Voice of Huss, Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of Mount Tabor

Diplomacy    Stralsund in Pomern (^ch), Pomern (^ab), Ilé de France (^ca), Thrace/Heraclea (^ch), Naxos on Kyklades (^ch)

        Particularly tight air-travel restrictions around Mount Tabor took effect, with the Knights deploying a rocket battery to protect the holy places. Zeppelins (as was the case in nearly every European domain and city) were not allowed within ten kilometers of the city walls. This applied particularly to the loathsome Arfen, banning them from a lucrative pilgrim market which now defaulted to the Albanians…

        This martial display was matched with an equal even-handedness as orphanages were founded in Lybia, Macedonia and Dijon. A particularly grand estate was purchased in Burgundy to house the abandoned waifs of Dijon. Later audits by the church accountants discovered large sums of money intended for Silesia had been diverted to the much more cosmopolitan Commonwealth.

        Baron Von Hellmand's estate had a not quite right look about it. It felt off somehow as if every angle was not quite straight. Doctor Feltsin hated coming here, especially now when the sun had already set and the dark dropped around the house so much tighter then the rest of the country side.

        He had agreed to come only because his uncle the Barons Father in-law was insistent. There had been ugly rumors about the Baron and not a few were being spoken in connection with vile unclean evil that mothers used to scare their children.

        The baron was waiting for him outside in the courtyard.  His lifeless corpse was locked in an arch attesting to the violent nature of his last few moments. Someone had cut open his chest while he was still alive and then the Barons heart was apparently squeezed till it was crushed.  What ever he was being asked about it was a sure bet he told everything. Whether the baron spoke the truth about bragging in live the doctor was sure he was most willing totell the truth when such a barbaric practice was being used…

To: Interior Ministries of the Republic of Denmark, Frankish Commonwealth, Duchy of the Three Isles, Cataluna (or appropriate successor representative thereof), and Emirate of Carthage

To whom it may concern,

        Be advised that scientists and supporting technicians in the employ of Captain "Ultio Persequor" (ret.) have been dispatched to the Puy de Dome, in the region of Auvergne, for the purpose of conducting an experiment by and in one of the side fissures of aforementioned volcano. The actions to be undertaken by this team, of interest to third parties, consists of placing an experimental explosive device (of Captain Persequor's design) deep within the Puy de Dome and, though not exclusively, measuring and recording data of resulting seismologic forces released by a planned detonation.

        Mathematical equations indicate coupling the theoretical power of the Persequorium Bomb with natural volcanic forces will result in a very nice fulmination.

        A very nice fulmination indeed.

        We regret any collateral ecological inconvenience that may result from this experiment.


Orlando Furioso

Media Officer for Ultio Persequor

Europe (West)

United Kingdoms of Great Britain

[ Roman Catholic, Kingston in Northumbria, History ]

Sinclair Russell, King of England, Scotland and Wales, Admiral of the Fleet

Diplomacy    None

        So stunned was the realm that King Sinclair (who barely had his own footing) could do little for nearly the whole of '69 and '70 but go about in Kingston and the surrounds of Northumbria and impress upon the near-to-panicked populace that there was a king and he was among them and something was being done.

        In the south, in the wreckage of London, the King's men worked at a frantic pace, building new houses, establishing order, sanitation, and food distribution. Vast sums immediately vanished into the city, attempting to set things right.

        A spate of student unrest erupted in Oxford, where apparently the Green Book had been lately making the rounds, and Dr. Alaric Dee and a force of some 8,000 King's Riflers marched down from Kingston to suppress the unrest - which had grown into rioting amongst the Colleges, and burning of houses, and the blockading of the Bodleian by the anarchists. Though King Sinclair had sent Dee in hopes the scholar-soldier would defuse the situation, the Bookists were in the midst of such unmitigated disobeyance the King's men set right to work with rifle, truncheon and cannon. The "revolt" was speedily crushed.

        In March of 1770, a Swedish steam-fleet (of appreciable size, and under the command of the now legendary Suvorov) arrived at Great Yarmouth to both support Russell and to protect the fair shores of England against the Invaders, who were rumored to be eyeing that green and pleasant land for themselves… The Russian immediately proved his quick-wittedness by avoiding an assassination attempt by Hussite youths who ambushed his carriage as it was on its way to see the King.

        Within weeks, the Vinland squadron arrived as well, adding greatly to the strength of the Royal Fleet. Sinclair noticed little of his, as his beloved daughter Lucy had taken sick and died in the late fall of '70, leaving him and his wife nearly overwhelmed with grief.

        "Dross is a crown, when I cannot sustain even a single flower by its power…" the King said, at her graveside.

The Society of Jesus

Michael Kobiak, Superior-General of the Society of Jesus

Diplomacy    No Effect

        The efforts of the English crown to restore viability to London and its suburbs (and to disinfect the corpse-strewn debris) were immediately assisted by the Jesuits.

        A number of surviving orphans were taken in hand by the Order, and dispatched via the new courier-boat service to safe havens like Cimmura in Gascony and even further afield to Afriqa and Vastmark. The newly-confirmed Vicar Lieutenant Kobiak guided these efforts - which also included a secretive, but vigorous, campaign to rid London of the Hussite taint. This was met with fierce resistance in some quarters.

        Those Jesuit scholars which had survived the destruction of central London were relocated to Kilborn, north of the city, where a recently purchased estate became the College of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Some of the more progressive members of the faculty then began to plan for construction of a "small" railroad between the town and London itself. At the same time, Father Westhaven (more about him later) attempted to conduct a census of all Order properties, staff and assets - but things were still in such an uproar (now exacerbated by a political struggle growing between the Old and New Guards among the Jesuits) - that he abandoned the effort in favor of raising two regiments of actual troops in down in Devonshire.

        You can’t fault them for their devotion, the Father thought to himself. But at least they bring more to the table than that. Much more than those sorry excuses for soldiers that got themselves slaughtered in Spain…

        The Provincial Superior of the Jesuits – a mercenary commander himself, before his calling to the cloth – looked over the troops in review at the parade field outside Penzance. There was no shortage of volunteers for military duty in the U.K., now, that was certain, not since the attack on London. Even with the strict requirements the Jesuit recruiters had announced, still they were turning men away and were able to pick the best.  They stood mustered before him now: not a one under 5’8”; not a one without prior military service, recommendations from officers, and at least one bloody campaign under his belt. Each skilled with rifle and bayonet-spiked infighting; each a fusilier marksman and a grenadier, or capable of serving as one.

        They went to one knee en mass as Father William raised his hands in benediction. Each was, of course, a devout Catholic, and sworn to obey the orders of the Society of Jesus as well as those of their superiors.  They were an impressive troop: they would be the Sword of the Lord, truly, and thus their name: the Sword Guards, the first of many more to come.

        Rank upon rank kept head bowed as Westhaven intoned blessings upon their company and their new commander. Rank upon rank of gray and black uniforms looking impressively austere and nearly Jesuit in appearance – intentional, that, but also practical, for on the battlefield there was no doubt that men in this neutral iron gray hue were far more difficult to pick out as targets upon a battlefield than those more brightly clad.  Experienced, devout, and now well led – you couldn’t ask for much more than that.

        Westhaven ended his invocation. As troops rose to their feet, he turned to their commander, the blond, hard-eyed colonel of foot to his left.  Emile Tukachevsky was a great-nephew of the Founder of the Society – no accident that he was offered this post, and that he had the military experience to bring not just competency but brilliance to his position.

        “Colonel Tukachevsky,” Westhaven pronounced in formal tones, loud enough to carry to onlookers. “By the powers invested in me by the holy order of the Society of Jesus, I confirm you in your command and present to you, Sir, your troops. May you be the Sword of the Lord, in truth.”

        Tukachevsky clicked heels and offered a short, sharp bow – a near-military courtesy for the black-clad priest. He turned, then, an abrupt left-face, and regarded his new command.


        “Yes, Sir.”

        “Order the troops. I’ll review them now.”

        “Yes, Sir!”

        To the surprise of onlookers – but not Westhaven  – Colonel Tukachevsky stepped off the review platform then and there, and proceeded to walk inspection of the troops in their disciplined files and rows.  Westhaven’s lip quirked in a half smile.

        The right man for the job, indeed.

        Though this was promising, back in the suburbs of London, things had grown heated by the end of 1770 and the return of Redfox from Afriqa led almost immediately to an open dispute about Order policies and fiscal priorities between the elder priest and the much younger, and more vigorous, Vicar-Lieutenant Kobiak. It did not help Redfox's cause that he had just made a very long and tiring journey from Sud Afriqa only to find himself challenged in his own chambers at Loughborough House.

“Redfox - and Grayhame before him - have slept while the Society has rotted from within. Redfox hasn’t the vision to lead an order like this, one that could be truly great, and a force to reckon with.  It’s time for the Society to reconsider its choice of Superior-General. We’re responding to a crisis, and so our ordinary policy of the Superior-General being appointed for life should, in this case, be reconsidered. The Society is fighting for its very survival, and Redfox is not the man to lead that battle…”

An exchange from Michael Kobiak to William Westhaven overheard by a servant, while they prepared notes to convene the Assistancy, the leadership council of the Jesuits, in late 1770.

        Dismayed by this revolt, and truly exhausted, Redfox stepped down from his post and allowed the Assistancy to anoint Kobiak as the new Vicar-General. "So God wills," he muttered, shuffling off to Matins. "May he see clearly in these dark times..."

To Fr. Michalel Kobiak


Societas Jesu

Loughborough House, London, U.K.

Re your latest inquiry:

No, my friend, the reports of my incapacity are greatly exaggerated. I was in a tapas bar in a disreputable district of Corunna when it happened. I know how these lower classes think, their manner of dress, their insouciant attitudes and lacksidaisical regard for authority. I was of course in 'civilian' clothing, at a glance - a travel-worn greatcloack over my cassock, hence not immediately recognizable, and a slouch hat of the manner we know has been worn by those purporting to be "black robes" here in the past. I am certain my incognito was impenetrable - that assurance comes from my earlier mercenary days, when I spent much time in such environs.  My questions, I'm sure, were circumspect enough, but the folk here are extraordinarily ill at ease and suspicious of strangers, enough so to eclipse the famous Spanish hospitality, even when in their cups. When I left the bar I was followed - which I admit, I did not at first detect. My investigations have dangled tempting intimations of connections and leads before me, but none have turned into solid information or persons we could question more closely. I was thinking upon this troublesome dilemma, and was (I confess) rather lost in thought on the topic, when they jumped me near an alley mouth not far from the tapas place.

My ribs are bandaged still. It hurts to breath or twist in the torso, but no I did not suffer a punctured lung and I certainly did not scream to the night watch for aide, rumors to the contrary. I am fairly certain the attack was not personally motivated, but rather was aimed at what the brigands thought was simply a target of opportunity.  It is unlikely that they could have had a notion that I was slumming in such a manner and as per our earlier conversations I did not wish to draw such unwanted attention to me.   The loss of my coinage I can withstand. I wonder, though, if I did not unwittingly prod some wasp's nest that has yet to rise in swarm. I am certain ill doings are afoot here in Spain. If you will grant me the time to investigate further, I am certain I or our brethren can ferret out something of interest.


Fr. William Westhaven

Provincial Superior

Society of Jesus

Wickham House, London

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

The Frankish Commonwealth

Louis Alphonse du Maine, Archon of the Commonwealth


        Things started off well for the French...

Work on a pair of railroads started up - bringing vast pride to the people of the Commonwealth - one each from Brest and Calais to Paris. La Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer was organized to build, maintain and promote the use of steam-powered rail-trains throughout the land. With the latest shocking news from England and Asia the Commonwealth strictly curtailed access to Frankish airspace. Air and ship traffic were to be closely monitored and tracked in each port, region and city. A constant combat air patrol was put into effect over Paris, Brest and Marsailles. Aerodromes were constructed outside the defensive perimeter of each city and staffed with newly trained personnel to check cargos, crews and passengers against manifests to look for contraband (alien or otherwise).  A similar program was put into effect by the harbor master HQ at each of the Commonwealth's ports.

        The expedition to quell the problems in Spain had proven a huge dissappointment to Louis. No real progress had been made and the Catholic emissaries were as vague about the future as usual. Though Louis fully supported the proposal put forth by King Ferdinand, none of the other powers had taken any action. Lengthy correspondences to the Pope and Duchy had yielded little in terms of real action. Missives to the Cruzaderos went unanwered. With the turmoil in Spain and the too-close disaster in London, the Archon felt exposed. Louis sat at his desk and reluctantly wrote the orders to mobilize the Commonwealth's resources.

        New defenses were built in the cities. New artillery batteries were deployed. "Constant vigilance!" barked the milita captains.

        This did not prevent Prince Jadot (commanding the fleet at Brest) from slipping on a wet deck on the after-midnight watch and falling to his death, from drowning in the cold waters of the Atlantic. The heavy gold braid and epaulets on his uniform were said to have dragged him down... when this news reached Paris, the Archon let fly with a long string of blasphemies, leading into a vigorous coughing fit. "Damned Spanish," he gasped, much to the amusement of his aides. The Spanish were at fault for all ill, were they not?

        Prince Marcel, encamped near Marseilles in the south, took this news with ill-disguised interest. Now he was the Archon's heir - despite orders for him to protect the southern outpost of the Commonwealth, the prince immediately dispatched Pierre Dulat with the Mediterranean squadron to Brest to "ensure the loyalty of the fleet", while he himself marched his small army north to Paris with all speed.

        The troubles in the south suddenly accelerated into a national-level disaster as the Puy de Dome (where, of late, a great number of foreign sailors had been poking about with covered wagons and what-not) decided to shrug off the irritations of puny man. The ancient volcano erupted quite violently with a fireball of spectacular size, spewing a great bell-shaped plume of ash and dust into the sky, while sending streams of lava into the surrounding countryside, devastating villages and wrecking the city of Limoge with no less than four successive earthquakes of great magnitude. The devastation extended as far as Lyonnais, Orleans and Limousin.

        None of this distracted Prince Marcel, however, who arrived in Paris quite unannounced to find the Archon abed with a severe, racking cough. "Ah, brother, you do not sound well..." Louis Alphone glared at the younger, tanned, so-healthy prince. "I will return later, when you've your strength back."

        Louis Alphonse did not last out the year, dying in early '70. Marcel had already arranged for his own coronation - and any thoughts of the general nobility resisting the "sun prince" were dispelled by Dulat's assumption of fleet command in Brest. Marcel's wedding to Anne of Provence - closely following his assumption of the Archonate - was disrupted by a string of high-profile arrests. The generals or ministers Jean-Marc Marceau, Caulaincourt, Bourgogne and Curwen were all seized - some at the reception tables! - and charged with conspiracy. All were soon executed or simply vanished. Questions in the press regarding the whereabouts of the Archoness Claire du Brabant went unanswered.

The Kingdom of Catalũna

[ Roman Catholic, Cimmura in Gascony, History ]

Naomi Cabellero, Queen of Spain, Navarre and Catalonia

Diplomacy    Catalonia (^ea), Talavera (^a)

        Could the fortunes of Spain - whatever the dominion be called - grow any crueler? King Ferdinand prayed he would not discover such a thing… unfortunately for him, the eyes of God were still turned from him and his tiny kingdom. Some coin had come into his coffers however, from the Sud Afriqans and the Norsktrad, so Ferdinand used this money to raise a strong troop of pistollers and a battery of artillery. Bishop Bodewell was then dispatched with these men to march south in an effort to re-open the road to Madrid and thence to Lisbon.

        At the same time, Garcia y Garcia de Leon was dispatched with a fleet of cogs to Lisbon by sea, carrying some engineers stranded at Cimurra and the wine harvest. Ferdinand himself remained in Cimmura, attempting to restore something like order to the chaos of his "government".

        And this was his death. Within several weeks of De Leon and Bodewell leaving, a ship arrived from London, crammed with orphans from the great city. And within days of their landing at Cimmura to take on water, a strange, devilish hemorrhagic fever had broken out. Shockingly, nearly the entire population of the town then perished, including the King. A second, smaller, outbreak follows in Nantes some weeks later.

        If this were not sign enough of God's enmity, a plague of locusts boiled up out of the south, winging over the Gibraltar strait and descending upon Talavera, New Castille and other provinces of central Spain. These hellish apparitions caused widespread panic throughout the land - particularly coupled with wild rumors of the Invaders and their terrible machines -- and everywhere the common folk fell down, weeping and wailing, begging for a sign of divine favor.

        Instead, they received news that the Hussites who had lately invaded Andalusia and Granada were on the march, intending to overrun all of Spain and crush the Catholic Church wherever it could be found. Now all did despair.

        Only in Madrid was there a stirring of hope. A woman of middle age and striking features had recently arrived there - from the Americas, it was said - and when news of Ferdinand's death reached the city, she revealed herself and her companions.

        "I am Naomi Cabellero and I am Queen of Spain. Rise up, Spaniards! Raise sword, lance, pistol, plowshare - we shall repel the foreigners, the heretics, the abominations - Spain shall be one nation again!"

The Knights of the Temple (Cruzaderos)

[ Roman Catholic, Kherson in Polovotsy, History ]

Longlance, Proconsul of the Legions of the East, Grand Master of the Temple of Jerusalem

Diplomacy None

        And what of the Cruzaderos?

        The Proconsul had entertained many messengers and emissaries during the winter, as he sat - master of Spain - in Galacia. And some of those ambassadors spoke a familiar tongue and carried news which - after all this struggle in the peninsula - turned the Grand Master's heart.

        "There are worse enemies of the Church than the Hussites," Longlance confided to his aides and counselors. "We have crushed the cultists here and I fear we have done the Bourbons a disservice…"

        "But my lord!" Tribune Satewaya nearly leapt from his chair, "the Carthaginians have already invaded the southern provinces, burning churches and enslaving good Catholics, we must--"

        "They are no concern of ours," Longlance growled. "Prepare the fleet, for we will soon be on the move again."

        Despite the continuing anarchy in the peninsula, the Jesuits attempted to make amends to the people of Corunna for plaguing them with the invasion of the Cruzaderos - a number of new orphanages were established, and alms given to the poor. Father Westhaven (who had come down from England to supervise this) also spent a bit of time loitering in various pubs and dives, attempting to determine if "heretics" were at work in the city. All he got for his efforts was a knife in the side and a missing purse.

        The Cruzaderos were in a frenzy of activity through the late summer of '69, the port at Corunna ringing with the sound of hammers, the rasp of lathes and saws… then, all of a night, the sounds ceased, and when morning came the harbor was empty. The Templar fleet had put to sea, leaving only a minimal garrison in the town. The Proconsul had already departed with the Templar horse, journeying south and west across an embattled land…

The Order of the Black HandN

        Destroyed by an outbreak of mad rioting, which leaves all of the Hussites in Gibraltar city dead and the Danish garrison fled…

The Duchy of the Isles

[ Roman Catholic, Valetia on Malta, History ]

Namia al’Raschid, Empress of the Isles, Emir of Archimedea, Duchess of Sicily and Sardinia

Diplomacy None

        Cautious and determined to secure their gains in the south of France, the Islanders did not launch a new foray into Spain proper, but instead sortied their fleet from Valetia to support their garrison in Norbonne, should it come under attack.

        And at home, the regions of Sardinia and Calabria increased to 2 GPv each. Great efforts were also made on Malta proper to increase the number of wells and cisterns on that parched island. Decade's long efforts to drive the Orthodox priests out of Groza on Cyprus also, at last, came to fruition.

        Many of the crotchety islanders were secretly amused when Prince Bernardo's wife (Magda) banished him from her bedchamber - she was already weighed down by two bickering brats (twins, no less) and had no desire to add another one (or two!). Duke Anton of Languedoc had better luck, marrying the middle-aged Princess Elaine - a match which seemed to please both of them, though it seemed doubtful that offspring would come of their match.

The Church of Rome

Benedict XIV, Pater Patrias, Pope of the Roman Church, Vicar of Christ, Successor To Peter, Keeper of the Keys, Servant of the Servants of God, Patriarch of Azteca, Soldier of Light

Diplomacy    None

         While Il Papa was dickering behind the scenes to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne of Spain, and to rid himself of the lamentable embarrassment of the Cruzaderos giving the back of their hand to other members of the Church, his Franciscans and Dominicans were making steady progress in winning back the laity in Gambia, Wessex and Khazar. This did little to offset the usual round of horrible news from China.

        Desperate for good news, Benedict met with Bishop Nunez and congratulated him for his victory over the Hussites.  "It was faith that supported you.  It was faith that won the battle against o'erwhelming odds.  You and your men have set an example for the entire Church."

        Nunez demurred: "Holiness, your praise tempts me towards the sin of Pride.  Keep in mind that it was merely the French we met in combat.  And to what end?  We lost Spain."

        Benedict replied "No, Spain is not lost. The Kingdom has signed a treaty with the Commonwealth. Spain is become the new crucible of Faith; the fire purifies the true Children of God, seperating them from the dross."  He continues with a slight chuckle, "And who are we to interfere in the temporal matters of two sovereign nations?  We are pledged to remain 'neutral'."

The War of the Spanish Succession

No One vs. No One?
What the…! Something has gone horribly, horribly wrong in Spain!

January 1769

Sectarian religious conflict breaks out in Gibraltar and the Danish garrison under Zimmerman is unable to suppress the rioting. He and his men flee the city.


The Cruzadero Grand Master Longlance declares that he and his people will leave Spain, seeking "the great enemy of God and Christ" in the East. All of their lands in Spain, save the town of Corunna, are remanded to the rule of the Catalunan king Bourbon.


The Cruzadero knights and horse depart Corunna, riding south under the command of Longlance and many of his lieutenants.

Bishop Bodewell's Catalunans march south from Gascony into the Pyrennes.

Don Diego of Castille (an ally of the Norsktrad) leaves Old Castille for the mountains of Leon.

The Norsktrad agent Teixeria leads 1,800 armsmen out of Madrid and south towards Gibraltar.

In Cortez, the Carthan army under Harko and Philosir mutinies upon hearing of the death of the beloved Emir Hamilcar and the expected principate of the grosse prince Baalshamin. The mutineers immediately march for Gibraltar, intending to cross back into Afrika and expel the "fat one" from the Emirate.

Startled, Philosir and Harko can only chase after the army on foot, being deprived even of horses.


Bodewell's Catalunan army enters Navarre.

Teixeria's Norskmen cross Murcia.

The Carthan Mutineers reach the Gibraltar ferry by way of Andalusia. Though well supported by a Carthan squadron, they must still ferry their cannon across to Morocco. Harko and Philosir, therefore, catch up with them - footsore and outraged. They appeal to the troops to stand down and accept their commanders. There are shots - Philosir is wounded, but Harko manages to convince enough of the men to accept his generalship once more. Those who fired on Philosir are dragged from the ranks and put in chains.

"The Senate has given us clear orders," Harko tells the troops, "to return the rule of law and of God to Spain. This we shall do, even though that flying fat man rules in Augostina."

About this time, a messenger arrives by courier boat to inform everyone that Major Le Blanc has overthrown Baalshamin and is now Emir. This pleases the troops, but it does not ring well in the ears of Harko or Philosir.

Harko now changes his mind and goes before the Carthan army once more. "We will return to Afrika, for the ascension of the foreigner Le Blanc portends nothing but chaos in our homeland."


Bodewell's Catalunans troop south across Navarre.

Teixeria's Norskmen tramp through Andalusia.

The Carthan army under Harko crosses the Gibraltar Strait in full force and with good speed, for their troop transports are properly fitted to haul artillery aboard.


Cimmura is destroyed by the London plague and Ferdinand Bourbon dies.

Bodewell and his men enter Aragon, which is now technically a Catalunan province. Startlingly, Duke Leopoldo has already sent a courier, instructing his countrymen to raise the Bourbon flag and to follow the king's edict. Thus, Bodewell's army is sped along its way without incident.

Teixeria's Norskmen reach the Gibraltar ferry and begin crossing into Morocco on the heels of the Carthan army.


The newly minted Commodore Suvorov and a fleet of Swedish steam cruisers belch their way through the Gibraltar strait, attended by a gaggle of coalers and a single zeppelin providing early warning from on high.

Naomi Cabellero reveals herself as Queen of Spain in Madrid, rallying the common people of New Castille and raising a force of some 7,000 loyalists to support her cause.

Bishop Bodewell and his Catalunans arrive in Madrid soon after, having also received the news that Ferdinand Bourbon is dead and Cimmura destroyed. Entreated by the common people of the city, and impressed by Naomi's sure sense of command, the bishop agrees to crown her Queen of Spain.


Don Diego arrives in Lisbon with a truly enormous something shrouded in canvas, dragged by dozens of oxen and horses, all of his men on a hair-trigger. The something is immediately rushed into a Norsk warehouse.

Queen Naomi and Bishop Bodewell now advance into Talavera, seeking to unify the divided kingdom by diplomacy.


Don Diego and his men, supplied with fresh horses, ride south from Portugal into Estremadura.


Zimmerman and the Danish Gibraltar garrison march, footsore and sun-browned, into Genoa, glad beyond measure to have reached friendly territory and to have escaped the usual catastrophe which is Spain.

Don Diego and his knights reach the Gibraltar ferry. The ferrymen stare in amazement at them…

Word out of Afrika, however, has turned quite grim. The Invaders, it seem, have put forth their strength and are attacking Merrakesh.


Don Diego and his riders begin crossing the ferry to Morocco. Grimly, they rush to reinforce the defenses of St. Georges, which will soon be under attack…


An ARF aerosquadron under the command of Gurragchaa arrives at Cortez in Granada, expecting to take control of the city from a Carthaginian army. They find only a small Carthan garrison, which is more than willing to yield control of the restive city to them.

January 1770



More snow.


Queen Naomi and Bishop Bodewell's negotiations with the Talaverans yield some fruit… Queen Naomi secures the alliance of Duke Alvarado de Badajoz by marrying him.


Naomi, Bodewell and the Duke now march west through Estremadura.


Queen Naomi arrives in Portugal, and is met by throngs of curious onlookers. With the retreat of the Carthans to Afriqa and the Templars to who knows where… the Queen of Peace has come upon the earth. Thousands of roses line the roadways as Naomi advances upon Lisbon.


And indeed, the Queen's arrival in Lisbon is met by subdued, but cautiously glad crowds. Everyone in the city comes out to meet her, curious to look upon this "modern Cleopatra" who has restored peace to the land. A few wags, it is true, say the curse upon Spain has been lifted only by circumstance, that all of the foreign powers are gone because greater, more terrible events drew their attention away from poor, broken Espana…


One hell of a big celebration in every city and town of Spain.


Hangovers, end to end.


Whew, time to get back to work


Refreshed, the Islander fleet leaves Norbonne and enters Gulf of Lyons.


Islander fleet in Bay of Tunis.


Islander fleet returns to Valetia. Party time!


Non-Catholic Mercenaries

Minimum bid listed in [x].


40i [1gp each], 3z [5gp each]


Chimalpahin (M969) [10gp]

Air-General Harko (M759) [10gp]

To hire, please contact…


Quality Ratings

i16 w16 s18 c11 a12 z5

Catholic Mercenaries

Minimum bid listed in [x].


29xea, 6hea, 3sha, 20t [3gp each]


General Xho (M936)

To hire, please contact…


Quality Ratings

i16 w18 s16 c12 a13


[ Malmo in Skane, History ]

Natasha Tukachevsky, Mäklarevälde of the Nordic Trading Company

Diplomacy    Valetia on Malta (^bo)

        Sir Charles Bond laid down his pen. “According to the Company Charter, and the Articles defined by Johannes Teugen, ratified under the laws of the Swedish-Russian Empire and successive Spanish governments, I hereby authorize the formation of the Nörsk Marinen. The Company now calls for volunteers to transfer from mercantile to military service. Their Colors shall be the flag of Saint George.”

        James Wolfe, a retired English officer, was placed in command of the combined Swedish/Norsk defenses of the great mercantile city.

        With this, the efforts of the Company and their countless factories, yards and warehouses in cities and towns across the length and breadth of the world turned their full attention to war and devising and manufacturing weapons of many and diverse kinds. St. Georges was in a particular ferment - not only were crews working around the periphery of the city, digging trenches, building redoubts, hauling steam engines here and there, but every factory was running night and day, milling and rolling vast quantities of steel and shot and powder. New water-towers loomed over the whitewashed houses, while every basement was stocked with preserved meats, grain and olives. Daily, the air over the city rang with the din and clamor not only of this great industry, but the tramp and shout of men, women and even children in constant drill - against attack by plague, by canister, by air, by sea, even from within the city itself. Every face was grim and set with determination, for the war across the sands could only draw closer as the days of the year lengthened…

        Orangist preachers continued to infiltrate from the south, and converted nearly all of Morocco, while making minor gains in Graasland, before the Invaders came storming in to ruin everything. Meanwhile in Merrakesh, a team of Jesuits revealed evidence indicting a local priest in the recent troubles. Tourne Bomoko, a much honored and beloved local priest, fled into exile in Senegal. Searches of his ecclesiastical chambers have revealed evidence of the long suspected Commission of Ecumenical Translators (CET) – a group of rogue priests of diverse faith thought responsible for the compilation of the Orange Catholic Bible.

        Bomoko’s closest followers reported that he refused to recant for his beliefs -- although at the end he did seem to admit the futility of the CET efforts.

        “We shouldn’t have tried to create new symbols. We should have realized we weren’t supposed to introduce uncertainties into accepted belief, that we weren’t supposed to stir up curiosity about God.  We are daily confronted by the terrifying instability of all things human, yet we permit our religions to grow more rigid and controlled, more conforming and oppressive.  Can a new religion really be created to unify the old?  Can a cabal be created that can truly defeat the Dark through secrecy and intrigue?  Religion must remain an outlet for people who say to themselves ‘I am not the kind of person I want to be.’”

        Work began on a railroad from St Georges down through the farmlands of Merrakesh to Graasland. One of the Old Men of the Company, William Rohan, fell ill in the late winter of '69 and died before he could take ship with a squadron of merchantmen for Spanish shores.

The International Red Kross

[ Hussite, Alexandria in Egypt, History ]

Taharqa the Elder, Dean the School of Alexandria

Diplomacy None

        Mindful of their duties, the Red Kross spent their time and effort of prayer and seeing to the sick and hungry in and around Egypt, which was sufficient effort without meddling in the affairs of others.

The Emirate of Carthage

Matieu Le Blanc, Emir of Augostina, Sultan of Tunisia, Great Pharaoh

Diplomacy Al-Rhemish (^f)

         Desirous of flexing the Emirate's considerable military and economic muscle, Isketerol II's administration arranged to purchase a large number of Mjolnir-class siege cannon from the Norsktrad, and to offer certain other considerations to the company in regards to Spain, in light of the parlous situation there. The "free trade" elements in the parliament also furthered their cause by employing Albanian contractors to refurbish several districts of Alexandria with new barracks, housing, shops and so on. The large numbers of foreign soldiers in the city were generating their own industry - which was now filling up the districts previously emptied by plague.

        Gangs of railroad workers brought in from Mauritania also needed housing, cafeterias and workshops. A new rail-line was busy creeping south into the Faiyum. Likewise, in the west, a matching iron-road marched out of Tunisia and into Gefara.

        At much the same time, the vigor of Hussite clerics preaching in the city was sufficient to drive out the remaining Orangists.

        Despite the imminent threat of war erupting out of the southern deserts and overwhelming not only Egypt but the heartland of the Emirate, Isekterol's government dispatched orders giving Colonel Harko a free hand in Spain, and sent more men and ships to Hamilcar in India. A sly sense of Empire was gaining hold of the Senate, and they were eager to seize hold of the opportunities before them!

        Unfortunately, the early winter of '69 brought a double-blow. Overworked prince Isketerol sickened and died after eating some ill-caught whelks -- and a thousand miles away, or more -- his father suffered a stroke while pacing a new horse in the Carthan encampments before Calicut and both men were dead within a fortnight of one another. The parliamentary leaders, once they'd recovered from the sad news, realized to their horror that the logical, traditional choice for the new Emir was none other than the fat, loathsome, entirely dissolute Baalshamin, governor of Egypt!

        Swallowing their horror, however, the Senate dispatched a messenger, summoning the prince home to Augostina and his new, royal role. For his part, Baalshamin - upon receiving the letter -- instantly sprang up from his divan, threw aside a silken drape, stumbled over the remains of a vast banquet, and scurried as fast as he could to the offices of the military viceroy of Egypt; Lieutenant-General Aderbal.

        This was, quite simply, the smartest thing the prince had ever done in his entire life. Aderbal was a staunch Royalist and a true believer in the rule of law. Disguising his own feelings in the matter, the General immediately issued a proclamation to his men and the citizens, affirming his undivided support for the Prince's assumption of the Emirate.

        The loyal General's feelings, however, were not shared by a cabal of other officers in Egypt. Gisco, Le Blanc and Ahqat - commanding various forces operating in the Faiyum - were aghast at the general turn of the state and knew, deep in their bones, that Baalshamin's rule would bring nothing but disaster for their beloved Emirate. Immediately striking upon a daring plan, Major Le Blanc betook his airship squadron and sped west, seeking to reach Augostina before Baalshamin. At the same time, Ahqat and Gisco abandoned the defense of Faiyum and marched their men north and west along the edge of the great desert.

        Though Le Blanc had hoped to intercept Baalshamin before the grosse prince could reach Augostina, he failed. Both parties arrived almost simultaneously at the airfield outside the city. Baalshamin had no idea Le Blanc was seeking him, but at the same time had no desire to tarry in the open. The prince, therefore, rushed to the royal palace, seeking safety in the arms of his aunts.

        Le Blanc, cursing at the turn of fate which had given Baalshamin such good winds, while his airships toiled across the desert, betook himself to the Guard barracks. He was welcomed by the regimental captains, and lost no time in putting his case to them - the grosse prince must be deposed, and a more virile war-captain put in his place. Someone like… Le Blanc!

         To everyone's surprise (perhaps save the Major, who had a high opinion of himself), the Guards regiments acclaimed him Emir and marched upon the palace. Baalshamin was dragged out, fat sausages kicking, and arrested on charges of conspiring with the "dark forces which threaten us all". He disappeared, and did not re-appear ever again. His aunts were banished to the mountains and the Parliament was presented with a bit of a fait accompli. A hasty vote did affirm Le Blanc as Emir and Sultan; while he guaranteed the rights and privileges of the Senators.

        Edicts in plenty were signed in the following days, and stamped by the Senate. Particularly to affirm the army commands of Aderbal (in Egypt), Khalaf (in India) and Harko (in Spain), while there were promotions all 'round. In the end, of course, this did little to resolve matters in Spain… (see below).

Catholic Sharifate of Mauritania

[ Orangist, Sayyida Ifni in Idjil, History ]

Sardar ibn Sakir, Governor of the Azores, Sharif of Mauretania

Diplomacy None

        In a strange mirror of fate, within weeks of the Orangist prophet falling in the Middle East, the middle-aged Magda also succumbed to a wasting sickness which soon claimed her life. Leaving to clear successor, a violent dispute between Governor Sardar and the aged Jafir the Goat was only quelled by Sardar securing the support of the jihadi soldiers stationed in Sayyida Ifni. Jafir, grudgingly, accepted Sardar's leadership, though the governor was quick to anoint one of his sons as heir to the Sharifate.

The Principate of Vastmark

[ Roman Catholic, Chihuahua City in Takrur, History ]

Kusar hluVren, Stadholder of Takrur, Prince of Vastmark

Diplomacy Senegal (excellent work)

        Despite the urging of his councilors, the Stadholder kept close control of his army. The councilors soon disappeared among the constant "shadow" war occupying the powerful of the Principate. Arrests, disappearances, unidentifiable bodies floating in the river come morning… all very common now. Admiral Makeni kept the naval flotillas busy patrolling the coast, keeping fruit smugglers and grain merchants from evading inspection at the ports.

        The local Jesuits -- inspired by the arrival of the Vicar-General himself from the south -- struggling to roll back the gains of the Orangists in Senegal at last managed to get some traction – a number of critical villages were reclaimed for the Catholic faith, assisted by rumors out of the mideast that the “Prophet” had gone mad and been murdered by his own followers. This progress then led into a substantial improvement of relations between the local chiefs and the Principate - mostly due to the dogged efforts of Baaba Dakari, the Vastmarki "proconsul" of the region.

        Catholic efforts in the Principate were also bolstered by the arrival of a large number of dedicated, disciplined and quite effective priests-militant from Sud Afriqa, who had great success against the Orangists in Gambia and Ghana.

        Norsktrad foremen and engineers were quite busy in Chihuahua City, where a large number of new factories were under construction. Part and parcel of their efforts was to launch another steam-powered cruiser, the Valken, to join the steadily growing fleet of the Principate.

The Mali Ax Empire

Ten-Wind (Eyahue), ne-Axamaloa na-Tochul, King of the Mixtecs, Lord of the Niger, Captain of the Firestorm Banner, True Emperor of the Aztecs, Emperor of Mali, DarkLord of Africa

Diplomacy    None

        Despite the great troubles elsewhere, in

Mixtec lands, peace and prosperity held sway. This was disappointing to General Xho and his mercenary troop, who had lately been retained by the Emperor, but they did not lament forgoing battle against the Invaders.

The Republic of Ethiopia

[ Coptic, Soba in Funj, History ]

Josiah Draume, President-For-Life of Ethiopia

Diplomacy None

        Large numbers of refugees displaced from the burning cities of the Republic now found new homes; the government was eager to return the broken ports and docks to use. Semerang in Yemen, St. Gabrielle in Hadramuht and Mt'suia in Adulis all expanded a level as the homeless found new places to live. New regiments of cavalry and horse-drawn artillery were mustered as well, though no one had any illusions of their effectiveness against the Invaders.

        Those new troops would be needed against human foes, however, as missionary efforts in Sheba and Sa'na had precipitated rioting in the city and - despite the efforts of Lord Zacariah to suppress the unrest - the Ethiopian garrison had been driven from the town. Similar clerical efforts in Hadrahmuht met with far better success.

The War Against the Invaders…

January 1769

The defenders of St. Georges are busy toiling.


Nothing of note happens.


The Swedish Mediterranean fleet, under Admiral Bornovsky, arrives at Alexandria and unloads two supremely-well guarded wagons (each groaning under some massive weight) which are immediately whisked away to the encampments of the SRN aerosquadron outside the city. This, coupled with another force lately arrived from Arabia, now gave Air Marshall Teukolsky a substantial force of 20-plus zeppelins to patrol the lower delta of the Nile, in addition to the massive Mjolnir guns emplaced around the city itself.


The Carthan leaders Le Blanc and Baalshamin arrive in Augostina, Tunisia, and settle their differences (see above). Le Blanc is acclaimed as Emir.


Everyone is marching somewhere.


The Carthan colonels Harko and Philosir cross into Morocco with their mutinous army, on their way to Tunisia.


The Norsk kaptan Teixeria and his 1,800 Spanish armsmen arrive in Morocco to reinforce the defense of St. Georges.


The Carthan Captain Gisco arrives in Tunisia, having marched his army from the Faiyum. The defenses of Egypt are greatly reduced by this - but the game of empire at home is too important to ignore.

The Carthan colonels Harko and Philosir march their formerly mutinous (and now rebellious?) army into Zirid.


Harko and Philosir advance into Cheliff, seizing the railroad station and the rolling stock in the rail yards at Nador. Le Blanc and Gisco rally their own forces, including the Guard regiments, at Augostina, and dispatch emissaries, demanding the Colonels leave their army in place and return to the capital alone.

The rebel Colonels refuse, continuing to press east with their army and fleet.


The Colonels advance into Algeria. Le Blanc and Gisco march out from Tunisia into Kabilya to meet them.


Le Blanc's army - superior in numbers - forces battle with the Colonels and their mutineers just outside Oran in Algeria. Harko commands just over 13,000 men - and he would not have given battle, save he could not escape the test of fate… while Le Blanc commands in excess of 19,000. A cruel business when brother fights brother… a rare and spectacular aerial battle leads off as the opposing airfleets charge one another, guns flashing, rockets licking black trails across the sky.

Though Le Blanc's airships were substantially outnumbered by the mutineers; their air crews showed tremendous poise - drawing off Philosir's zeppelins while the battle was decided on the ground. Le Blanc - never notable as a great general - pulled a veritable Zama out of his hat, flanking, dividing and crushing Harko's lines. The mutineers collapsed, run down by Gisco's lancers, and then surrendered. Philosir was killed when a rocket punched through the gondola of his command ship, while most of the mutineer's airfleet was knocked down by canny AA fire.

The naval squadron offshore tendered their "surrender" to Le Blanc, who immediately pardoned them all.


Le Blanc, determined to run Harko to earth, presses west into Cheliff. The muitinous commander (now commandingly only six zeppelins) flees before him, though any possible escape route is about to be cut off…

January 1770

The Carthan emir Le Blanc and his army reach Zirid. Le Blanc immediately orders his men into defensive positions along the Atlas mountains. Harko has already fled to parts unknown.


Norsk fleet commanded by Sebastian Tukachevsky arrives at Alexandria and unloads four massive Mjolnir guns for the Carthaginian defense.


Tukachevsky's fleet moves down the Egyptian coast to Mansura, where five more Mjolnir are delivered to the Danish garrison.


It is getting too hot to do anything of note.








Swedo-Afriqan ranchers and farmers tilling the fertile valleys of the Lesser Atlas mountains, in Merrakesh, suddenly flee down out of their highland residences, filled with terror. A great smoke and fume rise in the narrow valleys, shrouding - but not deadening -- the ominous metallic clonk-clonk of the Invaders' army. Indeed, the mayor of Graasland soon learns that a great force of the inhuman enemy have slipped across the vast grasslands of the Sahara and are now descending from the snow-capped mountains towards his mightily-fortified city.

"Will our defenses be proof against these monsters," he querulously whines to the Swedish and Norsktrad milita commanders who are busily packing their bags and preparing to board the next postal cutter for Sud Afriqa.

"Oh yes," they cry, very confident, "you just go stand on the battlement and keep an eye on them for us, will you?"


Don Diego and his knights finally arrive in St. Georges after a long and difficult effort to acquire ferry tickets at Gibraltar.

Southaway, the Invaders have torn a wide gouge from the farmlands and pastoral towns of Merrakesh, leaving everything they touch blackened and burned in the wake. But they show no interest in Graasland - heading north instead, aiming for larger prey.


The Invaders clomp north, very slowly.


The Invaders enter Morroco, ignoring the province.


The Invaders are intent upon the prize of St. Georges and its vast wealth, burgeoning industrial power and lynchpin - as it were - of the western Mediterranean. Their forces grind up from the south, hidden behind a veil of burning villages, mills and orchards. The minor Swedish garrison abandons its frontier watch-towers and police stations - falling back into the ring of defenses which have been thrown up around the city.

Within the bustling commercial city, all business comes to a halt. Every man, woman and child has been assigned duties to fulfill in its defense. Despite - or perhaps due to -- the precarious position of the city, there are no massed armies present, no fleets of airships filling the skies, no massed squadrons of steamships off-shore. Instead, there are only a doughty garrison of some 20,000 engineers, sailors, marines…

The mind-numbing whine of the enemy machines fills the air and the Norsk artillery spotters crouching behind every revetment and barricade in the city raise their heads, watching for the sleek black shapes of the enemy hellbats.

"There!" One of the city milita cries out. The haze has parted and the sky is suddenly pierced by the racing shapes of the hellbats. Over the rumpled hills the jagged, striding shapes of the tripods appear, metallic hulls adorned with the skulls of monkeys taken already in battle… as feed.

"Marker six hundred-thirty," howls the spotter, ducking out of sight. Down into the trench, his face enshrouded by the hot,stifling mask of a diving suit, the telegraph operator's fingers race, keying a Norse code transmission back to the city.

Within moments, a Mjolnir-class super-heavy cannon has swung on a gimbaled plate, elevated and roared, spitting a tongue of flame sixty feet long. All across the city, the guns of St. Georges are waking, flinging two-hundred-pound explosive shells across the miles. A black flash of smoke, shot with jagged red flame erupts only yards from the lumbering tripod. Then another… and another… but the enemy machines stride on, buffeted by the concussions, but undaunted.

Overhead, the hellbats whine past, their burning eyes stabbing down, washing over rooftops, markets, churches… buildings burst into flame, but every block and quarter has fire-crews ready to hand, and the citizens rush to quench the fires even as they spring up.

Heedless of the danger, secondary batteries of guns rage at the speeding machines in the air, filling the sky over the city with a constant, stuttering barrage of explosions. Caught in a cross-fire of rockets and explosive shells, one of the evil machines shatters - plunging into the Akar district in a whirlwind of flame.

In the fields, masses of Tuareg cavalry swarm forward, lances and sabers flashing. The Swedish regulars in the trenches meet them with a steady, disciplined fire - and then bayonet and club when the maddened Afriqans spill over the sandbags, clawing and stabbing at the Marines.

The duel between the Mjolnir guns and the advancing tripods ends in a broil of shattered casements and bursting ammunition bunkers. But four of the Invader machines have been hammered to ruin.

Off-shore, the guns of the steam battleship Njördur and the cruiser Valkyre have claimed another of the flying machines, but once the massive heat-rays of the greater tripods are turned upon them -- they do not last long. Both brave ships are claimed by the sea, boilers burst, armored hulls peeled back as the carcasses of some terrible lobsters.

Then the fighting is upon the walls of the city, and now the hulking gray-green shapes of the enemy janissaries are revealed, wielding huge axes and swords - keen enough to cleave through terrene steel - and pistols and rifles of uncanny accuracy. A terrible struggle ensues, but street by street, house by house, the Invaders crush all resistance.

Strangely, they do not annihilate the city wholesale - as they have done so many other places -- but all those who stand against them with arms are hunted down and slain.

Some few survivors escaping in small boats also report the dreadful black smoke was not seen in use. It seemed the Invaders intended to occupy and perhaps use the great city for their own purposes.

What those designs may be, only evil can tell.

The Maasai Kingdom

[ Coptic, Mbeya in Kimbu, History ]

Sogobu the Cripple, King of the Maasai, Emperor of Ethiopia

Diplomacy None

        Prince Mongo fell off of a cliff into a river filled with crocodiles, which then feasted awesomely. No one missed the abrasive young lad, not even his pa, who was more interested in blistering the ears of his finance minister, who had recently brought him news that the Arfen merchants (who had, in recent years, received an enormous amount of capital from the Maasai government) had defaulted on quite an enormous loan. And, apparently, refused to honor the obligation, or even admit they had extended themselves so egregiously!

Republic of South Afriqa

[ Roman Catholic, Great Zimbabwe in Rozwi, History ]

Izinduna, Protector of the Senate and the Republic

Diplomacy Chokwe (^fa), Cuango (^t)

        The hand of the enemy having yet to inflict punishments upon the Sud Afriqans, they enjoyed an increasing era of prosperity. The soldiers of other lands - Chinese, French, Swedish - they would perish in futile battle against the Invaders, but the merchants of the south would reap the benefits. The ports of Arungtane and Ngunyo expanded, while land-clearing continued apace in Bassa, Kariba, Khosia and Mbundu.

        The Great Iron Road received its first notable visitor - Vicar-General Redfox of the Jesuits suffered through a month-long rattling, banging and sootification to travel from Banhine to Kongo before (thankfully) taking ship to the north.

        An accident at the roadworks down south, in Transkei, cost of the life of Vice President Akona - much to his surprise, and that of his aides. Still, two tons of crushed gravel make a fine headstone.

The Honorable Afriqa Company

Numeke Tikumbay, President, Master of the Great Southern House

Diplomacy    Akone on Okinawa (^bo), Tazeh-ko in Arukun (^bo), Kam (^fa)

         The industrious southerners continued to expand their cattle ranching and cotton

plantation business in Orange, as well as begining to expand ranch-stations and mining outposts into Nama, Namibia and Damara. This went well – which could not be said of Captain Stein’s efforts to ingratiate himself with the neo-French aristrocrats of De La Roche on the Niete coast. The foul-mouthed sailor was challenged to, and killed in, a duel. The Company also suffered the loss of Thomas Chard, who fell off a train while traveling through Matopos – he’d stepped onto the rear platform for a smoke and fell through a rusty railing.

North Amerika

Non-Denominational Mercenaries

Minimum bid listed in [x].





To hire, please contact…

( No one )

Quality Ratings

i15 w17 s18 c12 a12

Catholic Mercenaries

Minimum bid listed in [x].


5hea [5gp each]


Baron Von Hausen (M783) [5gp]

To hire, please contact


Quality Ratings

c12 i16 a13 w18 s18 z6

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by  the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a  promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, no. 17, 1624

Kingdom of Tzompanctli

[ Lencolar, Tzompantlan in Tutchone, History ]

Tizoc, Baron of Hûkar-on-the-Plain-of-Bones

Diplomacy None

        The northlands remained bitterly cold, though the Tzompans were now on good terms with the remnant Tatar and Inuit populations, and now masters of the snowshoe, ski and toboggan. Prince Ichtotle, who had apparently made his aged father (the Baron) quite furious, was dispatched to the uttermost north with a ragtag lot of castoffs from the army on a survey expedition, following the routes previously taken by various Aztec and Lencolar “Scientists”. He did not return.

        The foundations of a great fortress were laid just outside of the key port of Azoton, where the Lencolar priests were waging a slow, but ultimately successful struggle, to convert the town population to their faith. Sister McKenzie, who had been leading the Rose effort there, fell ill and died of pneumonia, but was swiftly replaced by another of the Southerners.

The Nisei Republic

[ Shinto, Usonomiya in Yokuts, History ]

Tomeyo Sagaya, Sōridaijin, Commander of the Armies of the Republic, Protector of the Emperor of All Japan

Diplomacy    None

        A struggle in the Diet between the Aikoku Kato (the Patriots) and the Sakigaki (Harbringers) parties paralyzed Sagaya’s government. As a result, the Nisei samurai in the far south remained in their camps, letting the Aztecs do all the heavy lifting, and efforts at home were limited to porkbarreling in Yokuts, Patwin and Serrano. Missionary efforts went ahead in Missouri (where there were hardly any people left to convince of the existence of the Kami) and failed miserably in Cheyenne.

        The inattention of the government also led to default on a bond issue, which caused the collapse of a number of local banks, merchant families and general economic malaise across the north-west. In some inland areas, dissatisfaction with the corruption of the Diet went so far as to cause the Owyhee to refute both Nisei authority and religious guidance.

The High Kingdom of Colorado

[ Lencolar, Three Crosses in Navajo, History ]

Gunthar Grosse, King of the Ute, High King of Colorado

Diplomacy    Ghostdancers (a)

        Though there were many distractions in the wide world, the Coloradans focused on one primary effort - to adopt the displaced Ghostdancers as their own. To this end, the High King signed a variety of treaties and swore many mighty oaths with the 'Dancer captains and leadership. In addition, arrangements were made with the Arapaho to 'stabilize' the eastern frontier of the kingdom.

        Particularly the provinces of Tonkawa and Atakapa were returned to the Catholics, while Colorado gained the swampy, uninhabitable lowlands of Mescalero. Many migrations were thus put in motion… the first being Gunthar himself, who marched back to Three Crosses with most of his victorious army, the ringing tramp of his soldier's boots drowned out by cheering crowds filling the streets of every city, village and crossroads.

        Princess Yesobelle (the well-monikered "Iron Skirt", see picture above) remained in the east, overseeing the evacuation of the Arapaho from Mescalero, escorting Averana's Ghostdancers to safety in the west and sealing the alliance - in her own inimitable way - by wedding the young prince Cold-Iron Averana.

        This blessed event was marred, unfortunately, by the open revolt of Gukkukun Averana and the chieftains of his 'faction' (that is, those 'dancer warleaders who had no stomach for a humiliating peace and exile in the west) including Blackhawk and Bishop Panukan (the Sisterhood legate) against Waylo Averana and Cold-Iron's leadership. As Gukkukun and his allies controlled the vast majority of the 'dancer army, Waylo did not attempt to oppose them. When Iron-Skirt offered to lead her Coloradans against the rebels, Waylo politely declined. "Gukkukun has his own destiny, and those who follow him have yet to learn wisdom. The Stormdragon will teach them, I think."

        Admiral Cannell, who had reached a surpassingly vast age for the Coloradan (noted for their poor eating and bathing habits), tottered into Corpus Christi with his fleet in 1770 before falling over, dead as a doornail. His liver was later used as a doorstop in the city morgue and was a wonder to see.

The Ghostdancers

[ Lencolar, No capital, History ]

Gukkukun Azurama, Prince of Fushige, War-Captain of the Ghost People

Diplomacy None

        Disgusted with the womanish cowardice of Waylo and Cold-Iron ("whose loins are drained, it seems, by that woman.") Gukkukun, Blackhawk and Bishop Panukan turned their army east and launched an assault across the Arkansas against the Arapaho garrison in Caddo. Given that peace had been declared on all sides, messages, hostages and gifts exchanged, the Catholics were taken almost entirely by surprise…

        (See Arapaho results and return.)

        Having driven the Texans east across the Snake, Gukkukun resettled the displaced Lencolars in Quapaw and garrisoned Kansa. That taxed the limits of his men and ability. This left the Arapaho in control of Tonkawa and Atakapa, which had been duly returned to them by the honorable Coloradans.

Arapaho Texas [Shawnee Protectorate]

[ Roman Catholic, Ayoel in Atakapa, History ]

Kegemai Arroweye, Chieftain of the Arapaho, Liegeman of the Stormdragon

Diplomacy No effect

        Kegemai - mewed up in Natchez, trying to figure out how to pay his men and deal with an outbreak of Buddhist bandits in Osage - signed off on a peace deal with the Colorado and the 'dancers with a sigh of relief. Ravenheart was ordered to round up the Lencolar inhabitants of Quapaw and herd them south into Coloradan lands, while the dismal swamps of Mescalero were traded for the fertile farmlands of Tonkawa and Atakapa.

        Then, of course, the fanatical 'dancers threw everything into the fire and made another assault across the 'red' Arkansas river. And they almost caught Speardancer and War Eagle Heart by surprise - but not quite. Another vicious little spat erupted at Geyn's Ford in June of 1770 between 15,000 Ghostdancers and 3,000 Texan infantry. This time the unheeding rage of the 'dancers won them the day - the Arapaho positions on the heights behind the river were flanked, their guns captured, and Panukan's infantry stormed across the Arkansas with a great shout of rage. War Eagle Hart was killed, cut down by an Otoan lancer, and Speardancer was lucky to flee across the river to safety in Shawnee-controlled Taposa.

        Gukkukun and his army now swept north to the Great Snake, capturing the pro-tem Arapaho capital of Natchez with barely a shot fired. The Buddhist city opened its gates to the Lencolar troops, as Kegemai and the Arapaho court had already fled into exile across the river. Thousands and thousands of Catholics had also fled with the clan chiefs, for the Lencolar and Buddhist citizenry of Caddo had no love for the Texans.

        With no resistance in sight, Gukkukun and his army now tramped northward into Osage, where the Buddhist hill-clans had already risen up in open revolt against the Arapaho-friendly chiefs. They watched sullenly as the Lencolar columns passed, for the Buddhists view even the plainsmen as interlopers…

        The sole remaining Arapaho army had been busy in Quapaw, rounding up the Lencolar citizens for an impromptou 'trail of tears' vacation in the south. Hophea Ravenheart, the Texan commander, received the news of the defeat at Geyn's Ford only days before his scouts observed the 'dancer army exiting the hills of Osage. Outnumber and outgunned - and saddled with a huge, disorderly crowd of refugees - Hophea did the sensible thing, he turned tail and ran. The Arapaho army retreated across the Snake, using the Shawnee-controlled ferry at Infni to cross the river, and Hophea then turned south and eventually joined Kegemai and the royal family at Chiaca in Chickasaw.

        In New Orleans, "Empress" Tukachevsky unfolded a letter recently arrived by clipper-ship from Morocco. The packet read simply:

To Natasha Tukachevsky:

You are herewith appointed Flëtmarshal -- Master and Commander of the Company fleet in the New World. Intercept and sink, burn, cripple and delay the enemy force known as the White Fleet. God’s speed.

Sir Charles Bond

Mäklarevälde of the Nörsktrad

The Shawnee Empire

[ Roman Catholic, Cahokia in Michigamea, History ]

Valeria Stormdragon, Queen of the Shawnee, Empress of the Iroquois

Diplomacy None

        The Dragon Queen continued to rebuild her army, which had suffered much of late by mutiny and disorder, and dispatched many priests into the howling wilderness of Appalachia. The holy men were well received everywhere - though the Cherokee found them much tastier than the Potomac did. The eastern tribes had already been won back to Christ by the Iroquois, so that was an easy mission. Efforts to convince the Taino to take the Catholic sacrament failed miserably, as the more easy-going Lencolars appealed to the island folk.

        Despite efforts to hush up the movement of the Red Dragon Guard to the south, Hyrcanius' large, well-equipped army simply could not be disguised as it clogged roads and collapsed bridges on its march down to Kn'yan. There were rumors of trouble in the south, and Valeria had no intention of letting anything challenge her rule. To this end, the Shawnee fleet also patrolled the Delta Sea and Florida Strait aggressively, seeking the legendary White Fleet.

        All military power in the kingdom was concentrated in Kn'yan, then, when Queen Valeria died in the winter of 1770, at the advanced age of 58. Her death was sudden and unexpected, for she seemed to be in perfect health. Her black old heart, however, at last failed under the strain of so many strategems and intrigues.

        This left her missing son Drakon the heir presumptive, but everyone assumed the poor lad had long since gone into the cooking pots of the Tzitzimime, and would not be returning. This left the astute and well-liked Varkan as the Queen's successor.

        Any thoughts of disorder were immediately quelled by Varkan's acclamation by the Red Dragon Guard and obvious approval of Hyrcanius', its commander. Grumblings by other generals were drowned out, and Varkan prepared to return immediately to Cahokia to take his mother's throne.

        Then Prince Drakon appeared, all unexpectedly, on a mailboat from the south in June of 1770, and immediately proclaimed himself Emperor of the Shawnee, protector of the Protectorates, etc. Sadly for his dreams of world-girdling empire, the customs authorities had been on the lookout for a "false prince" and immediately seized the addled youth, stuffing him in a bag and carrying him away. No one ever saw poor Drakon again…

        In Cahokia, Varkan looked quite splendid on his golden throne, a crown of quetzal and obsidian on his noble brow.

Kingdom of the Iroquois [Shawnee Protectorate]

[ Roman Catholic, New Canarsie in Mohawk, History ]

Lucas II Stormdragon, Lord of the East

Diplomacy                               Traiya in Delaware (^f), Pennacook (^a)

        The forests of Mohawk rang with the sound of axes biting into the newly grown forests, and the shout of men rising over the lowing of oxen hauling slabs of granite to form the foundations of a string of frontier fortresses along the border with Sesquehanna - even the conversion of the inland clans to Catholicism had not ended the threat of their raids. The approaches to New Carnarsie were also fortified, for who knew where the White Fleet might strike next?

        Down in Jarlstad - a port now wholly owned and operated by the Norsk Atlancalli sub-corporation - work began on vastly expanding the harbor and all attendant warehouses, docks and the installation of steam-powered lading cranes.

        The King made his way down-coast to Traiya in Delaware, deploring the state of the coastal highway, and found himself a young, pretty wife - Tess - from the port of Traiya. He returned home to Canarsie in time celebrate the birth of a son.

The Order of The Flowering Sun

[ Lencolar, Tenochtitlán, History ]

Chukietl, Master of the Order, Shield of the Sun against the Ten Thousand Enemies

Diplomacy    None

        The Shield’s strange lassitude endured, causing a great unrest amongst his younger Eagle Knights – who begged their elders to allow them to take ship to the south, to join the great struggle against the Tzitzimime. Yet Chukietl refused, remaining the mountains of Nahuatl. Some said he searched for a sign, or some secret way to victory over the great enemy…

The Aztec Empire of México

[ Lencolar, Mitla in Zapotec, History ]

Zincica the Lost Prince, Emperor of Mexico, Warrior of Christ, Protector of the Faith, Smiter of the Infidel, Conqueror of the Incans, Rex Britannicus

Diplomacy    None to speak of…

        Disgusted beyond measure, the hueyi tlatoani Mamexi ascended the heights of Popocatépetl with a heavy canvas bag in one hand. Despite his advanced age, and general ill-health, the emperor hurled the bag as far out into the caldera as he could - and laughed to watch the object bounce once, twice, thrice and then plunge into a glowing-hot pool of magma. There was a spark of flame.

        "Ha ha ha!" The Emperor chortled, turning to the priests who had accompanied him up the mountain, "and good riddance!"

        Then he suffered a massive coronary and fell over, dead as any stone. It was not wise to outrage the gods with such impiety! No, nor to anger the crystalline power which now sank, cracking and hissing, into the depths of the mountain. Never, one hopes, to be seen again.

        Bad news travels fast, it is said, and the Emperor's death was known within days the length and breadth of the Empire. All held their breath, for the late and lamented prince Tochtli had left only two boys - nine and seven - to follow their grandfather to the throne… what worse could happen in these troubled, dire times? Only chaos and disaster loomed, the earth opening up to the nine hells to pull the entire Empire down into the inferno…

        Save the remains of the Imperial Senate raised their heads from hiding (old Mamexi had a great fondness for shooting at senators who displeased him) in time to receive emissaries from the secretive Tlachialoni who had finally succeded in a long-standing intrigue… two of the senior nauallis made a series of midnight visits, presenting a certain young man to the surviving senators. This apparition was met with stunned surprise, and then desperate delight. Within the month of Mamexi's ill-omened death, the Senate convened and appealed to this same young man - none other than the long-missing Prince Zinicha, son of the murdered Emperor Trakonel - to accept the Foul One's will (also produced by the Imperial Household via the Tlachialoni, which made Zinicha Mamexi's heir.

        The modest looking youth (though undoubtedly Trakonel's offspring) made a short speech accepting the awesome power and responsibility of the hueyi tlatoani and the blessing of the Lencolar Sisters in attendance.

        "I understand there is a war afoot?" He then asked pensively. "How goes this struggle? Why are we not yet victorious?!"

        The war indeed, continued in the south, and in the Aztec heartland, vast efforts were underway to fortify the cities of the realm and the mountain passes leading into the Valley. All of this did not prevent disasters from overcoming the navy (which was annihiliated or captured by the implacable enemy) or the regional governors, struggling to contain ever-mounting unrest, from losing direct control of provinces like Cora, Huave, Iceland, Lenca, Nicarao, and the cities of Nan Chao in Guyami, Chichen Itza in Maya, and Yagul in Pisones.

The Sisters of the Rose

[ Lencolar, New Jerusalem in Quiche, History ]

Amiya Goldenhair, Holy Mother of the Lencolar Christian Order

Diplomacy Guyami (^ch), Chibcha (^ch)

        The Holy Mother dispatched a veritable army of clerks and administrators to assist the Aztecs in maintaining (an ever crumbling) hold on their empire. Hospitals were founded in Chimu and Gurma, while a school was built in Chontal. Charitable relief funds were also sent to the pious governments of Al-Haggar, Tzompanctli, Mauritania and Colorado - for their "good works."

        These tasks complete, Davias then hied herself down to Guyami in time to learn of the destruction of the Aztec fleet at Lake Gatun, and to observe the arrival of the White Fleet. Despite these terrible events (and the madness which subsequently engulfed the city of Nan Chao) she kept her head and made a quiet withdrawl from the threatened area - until such time as the Tzitzimime and their human allies had passed onward. Then she, and the six-hundred-odd monks who traveled with her, returned to the province to succor the wounded and insane.

        At the end of 1770, the Order was afflicted with a plague of martyrdoms. The Holy Mother herself, as well as Sisters Elizabeth and Reina, passed into the hands of God, all unexpectedly.

South Amerika


Minimum bid listed in [x].





To hire, please contact…


Quality Ratings

i15 w17 s18 c12 a12

The Kingdom of Caquetio

Malinal, Queen of Caquetio, Captain of the Order of the Flowering Sun

Diplomacy None

        Bandits plagued the miners in Pijao, destroying the post offices and inns of ill repute.

Desultory missionary efforts by Caquetian brothers and sisters of the Roseate Order began in Arua, where they managed to entertain some of the locals when they were drinking after a hard day of laboring in the cane plantations and rubber orchards.

Viceroyalty of Zacateca

[ Lencolar Christian, Lucifuge in Moche, History ]

Texcoyo, War-Commander of the Host of Christ

Diplomacy None

        All efforts of the Host were focused on the south, upon their great enemy, the Tzitzimime and the human traitors who served them. Amid all the clamor, the news of a gunfight in Quito between bandits who broke a reputed Tzitzimime sympathizer out of gaol there barely made page four -- behind the pictures of a native snake-priestess in her usual regalia -- or lack thereof.

The Principate of Bolivia

[ Roman Catholic, Trischka in Karanga, History ]

Shakira Mascate, Princess of Bolivia, Duchess of Trishka

Diplomacy    Moche (Martinez shot at by the locals and wounded)

        Grieving for so many dead hardened Princess Shakira's heart and she issued orders commanding every last man, boy and grandfather with two good arms and legs be mustered from throughout the highlands. A new army, as well supplied as the craftsmen of Bolivia could provison, was raised at Trishcka, Troi and Gaxan. General Torrellas hurried up from the south to muster them, and found the Princess herself had marched these men to meet him. "Go with god," she declared, saluting the scarred, exhausted-looking general. "And our prayers. Send them back to hell!"

The Knights of Saint John

[ Roman Catholic, New Granada in Acroa, History ]

Eluterio Gafard de Masa, Grand-Master of the Knights of Saint John

Diplomacy None

        Despite the brutal struggle raging to the south-west, young Gafard kept his knights at home, and cozened himself with concubines, and sycophants. His Steward, the elderly Humphrey of Toron, remonstrated with the Grand-Master via letter – but then fell prey to a heart seizure while in Cari and ended his long and violent life in a hospice bed.

        “Ah,” Gafard is reported to have replied, upon hearing the news, “I wondered why that annoying buzzing had ceased after so long.”

        Efforts by the Lencolar sisters to expand their pernicious influence in Tres Lagoas were stymied by the vigiliance and piety of the local priests, who might have thumped a few heads in their defense of the true faith.

Great France

[ Roman Catholic, Sevilla in Patasho, History ]

Tcholon de'Saone, Emperor of France, Prince of Varres, Lord of the South, Smiter of the Heretic

Diplomacy Are you an Englishman, and mad?

        The massive destruction already inflicted upon the French did not break their morale. The cities of Sevilla, Leutetia, Artica, Cyranoville, New Calais and Novo Gien bustled with furious activity - new factories, workshops, warehouses, barracks and foundries rose at a frantic pace. The Emperor was stringent with his ministers - "the sinews of war must be renewed, revitalized, made stronger!" Aid was expected from all quarters… for the horrific enemy was close at hand and hungry for victory.

The War Against the Tzitzimime

January 1769

As a Norsktrad convoy leaves New Orleans, passes through Delta Sea and Florida Strait on its way to Great France, Fletmarshal Tukachevsky sorties from New Orleans with her squadron, searching for the White Fleet.

The Afriqan Admiral Mbeki leaves New Marseilles in haste with his fleet, sailing north under all possible sail.

The Aztec main fleet at Nan Chao in the Guyami isthmus enters the Canal and sorties into the Gulf of Venezuela, searching for the White Fleet of the invaders. Who are, in fact, preparing to attack the Canal itself at exactly the same time. There is an immediate an unexpected naval battle in Lake Gatun (the northern half of the passage) between the 200+ Aztec ships and the 100-odd Tzitzimime-allied Albanians.

The first blow, however, went to the White Fleet's escorting zeppelins and hellbat - who struck hard against the Aztec frigates and sloops - winging down from the bloody sun, spitting fire and deadly streams of choking fog. Within moments the Aztec fleet was engulfed in carnage, the wooden ships burning fiercely, their crews choked … two passes by the zeppelins and the hellbat laid ruin to Admiral Pimotl's entire force.

Down in French Sevilla, lord Desaix falls ill of the Black Pox and dies. He, his house and all of his servants are immediately burned to ash by panic-stricken neighbors.


The Norsk supply convoy passes through the Bahama and Leeward Seas.

Unhindered by the drifting wreckage of Pimotl's shattered Aztec navy, the White Fleet sails through the Queta Canal. As it passes, an army of the invaders settles in to systematically destroy the locks, harbors, quays and other components of the canal, closing the entire mammoth seaway to further traffic.

Down south, the Bolivian general Torrellas leaves the stinking, plague-infested encampments of the human armies in Omaguaca and returns home to raise a new army to fight the Sky Demons.

The Great French navy - with the steam cruisers Enfant de Tonnerre, Altecler and Durandana in the lead - sorties from Sevilla into Corumbau Point and heads south to blockade the Tzitzimime-occupied coastline of Charrua.


The Norsk supply convoy passes through the Orinoco and Suriname Seas.

Mbeki and his Afriqan fleet arrives at Chila, refits, rewaters and waits for other Afriqan generals to arrive.

The White Fleet pounces upon an un-led Aztec transport fleet at Nan Chao, capturing the entire force of more than four hundred ships.

Off Sud Amerika, the Great French fleet steams south into Cabo Frio.

Unknown assailants dressed as Nisei samurai attack Queen Malinal of Caquetio in the Alliance encampments at Omaguaca, badly wounding her and killing many of her bodyguards. The Queen survives, though her airship squadron is sidelined for the battles to come.


The Norsk supply convoy passes the Mouth of the Amazon and into the Equitorial Sea.

Mpahlwa's Sud Afriqans arrive in Chila, Tupinamba. The general hands off his men to Lord Mfume, then takes command of Mbeki's fleet.

Maxtlantizo's Host of Christ (that is, the Zacatecans) arrives in Omaguaca to reinforce the Aztec / Nisei / Bolivian armies encamped there. He brings with him a fresh 70,000 men.

Unexpectedly, the tzitzimime invaders in Charrua abandon the province, retreating to the north without first eating all of the inhabitants! Indeed, Charrua is the most blessed of provinces upon the Earth.


The Norsk supply convoy passes through Pernambuco Sea and turns Corumbau Point.

Mpahlwa and the Afriqan fleet leave for Afriqa from Chila.

The Duc du Coligny and the Great French fleet reach Rio de la Plata and take up blockade stations off the blood-red shores of newly liberated Charrua.


"Guineapig" Johanssen, a Norsk marinen kaptan, arrives at Sevilla in Great France with a heavily-laden fleet and unloads a cargo of Mjolnir cannon and - far more impressively - hands over the newly-built Vanir-class steam battleship La Vengeance to the Imperial authorities. The ship is immediately renamed the Souverain by the French authorities, just to confuse the historians.

The Aztec lord Huicton arrives in Guyami, seeking to take command of the other half of the Imperial navy - little realizing it has already fallen into the hands of the enemy. He is never heard from again.


Having marched up from Chila on the coast, the Afriqan lords Mfume and Mbeki arrive at Omaguaca with a force of 26,000 men to join the Aztec, Bolivian, Zacatec and Nisei forces supposedly waiting there.

The Bolivian general Torrellas arrives at the same time, returning with 16,000 dewy-fresh levies from the south Incan heartland. The Great French army promised by Emperor Tcholon, meanwhile, is still sitting on their behinds in Sevilla - as General Desaix had previously died and there was no one on hand to assume his command.


Having finished the destruction of the Aztec Canal, the Tzitzimime vanish out to sea… like ghosts. Ghots with a 500+ ship fleet in tow. In their wake, madness consumes the city of Nan Chao, leading to mass rioting, murder, and destruction.

The Aztec Sword of Empire legion, meantime, has been waiting at Omaguaca for everyone to muster for the latest sally against the Tzitzimime in Calchaqui. Now all who will come have arrived… nearly 125,000 men advance south into the wasteland of Calchaqui, determined to beard the monster in it's den and destroy the Ten Thousand Hostile Stars.

The Nisei army in Omaguaca, however, refuses to advance, saying "we've received no orders to move south, we will wait for the appropriate authority!"


The Alliance forces approach Versailles and find the city girdled by new defences, and filled with strange new towers and obscured by a great fume and smoke. Even miles distant, the Afriqan scouts report the clash and grind of enormous wheels and gears, the thunder of unearthly machines… resolute, the Zacatac high general Maxtlantizo orders his forces to advance cautiously. "It will be siege," he opines, feeling his heart chill at the thought. "With every inch paid in blood…"


The siege of Versailles begins in earnest, for the tzitzimime are more than willing to let the apes storm against their walls, filling the trenches with blood and the air with the orifice-watering smell of charred apre-flesh. The Alliance has planned long for this battle, devising a thousand and one tricks to use against the tzitzimime - who deny nearly all of them by the simple expedient of hunkering down behind their fortifications and incinerating wave after wave of ape-warriors coming howling over the battlements!

But there are no hellbats to be seen, and the skies fill with dozens and dozens of airships, all of which rain a constant barrage of bombs and napathene flame into the enemy city. Surely, the heat ray stabs up, shattering one zeppelin after another, but still the apes keep coming… until, at last, the losses they suffer have mounted so high the Alliance army splinters, and breaks, having expended 98,000 men in their failed attempt.

The human regiments stream, broken and demoralized, back into Omaguaca, where they spit upon the reviled and despicable Nisei, who have been lolling about, drinking tea and reading the newspapers while their fellow humans struggled and died in the south.


The Zacateca Grand Master Maxtlantizo rallies his shattered army in Omaguaca, counting the dead and finding the African general Mfume foremost among them. The other commanders are broken men, barely able to crawl out of their tents. Only the Zacatecas remain a viable fighting force, and their hearts are filled with a great and terrible fury. But as winter covers the land, and the humans are forced into quarters, it is not the invaders who they despise most - but the traitorous Nisei!


While vauge and worrisome rumbling sounds echo out of the south, the Alliance camps in Omaguaca are suddenly woken by the rattle of musketry, the snap-snap of carbines and the screams of men attacked in their sleep. The Zacatecas have attacked the Nisei encampments, slaughtering the guardsmen and seizing the airfleet which has laid idle for so long.

The Nisei generals, drunken upon dishonor and well pickled in sake, are murdered in their beds and their men rounded up and hanged for the dogs they are… a cruel - and swift - response to Maxtlantizo's need for a fresh airfleet to throw into the hell-pit of Versailles.

Watching the dead Japanese being dragged away to the lime-pits, the Zacateca king snarled in satisfaction, gesturing with a blood-soaked obsidian axe at the long line of gray zeppelins floating at anchor. "Place the sign of war upon them, my brothers, for we will test ourselves a second time in the sacred ball-court, against the Ten Thousand Hostile Stars!"

January 1770

The Zacateca army (or what remains of it) and the stolen airfleet move south once more, against Versailles… once more they are allowed within sight of the obsidian walls, still caked with blood, and now surmounted by an endless battlement of human skulls.

"Here is our destiny," the Zacateca king screamed, his blood afire with the sight of so many legends come to life. "Here we will uphold the Son and cast down darkness! Here we will contest the Eastern Star, we will lift up the many-rayed shield, we will yield our own smoke, our own jade, and we will give birth to a new age!"

Scuttling from crater to crater, dodging through the wreckage of war machines and human guns melted by the terrible heat, the Zacateca army surged forward, each man filled with a keen, clear zeal which allowed no fear, no trembling, nothing less than a primal scream of fury as the first war machine rose over the towering wall, it's single red eye flaring crimson…

Despite great heroism, and a cunning aerial attack with the commandeered Nisei airships, the Zacatac siege failed. This time the generals did not fare so well - the Aztec lord Tangaxoan was slain, as were Maxtlantizo and his commanders, while the Bolivian Josep Torellas and Mbeki of Afriqa were dragged from the field as captives - to what unknown and horrible fate, none could tell.


The dreadful machines of the Tzitzimime lumber out of the sea off Joaiport in Moquequa, the hideous call of their war-sirens wailing in the twilight air… behind them, the sea is suddenly filled with sails - the White Fleet has arrived at last, after a circuitous voyage to avoid prying monkey eyes…

Taken completely unawares, the city (despite a powerful ring of fortifications and a looming citadel) surrenders and is immediately occupied by Albanian marines. The machines of the enemy lumber inland, unopposed. The White Fleet remains on station, taking on water and undertaking repairs.


The tzitzimime machines which had landed at Joaiport march across southern Moquequa and into the lower Andes, heading for Caranga.


Winter settles upon the southlands.




More snow.


The tzitzimime machines attack Caranga, having made a laborious crossing through the mountains. The entire Bolivian army having already been fed into the maelstrom of Calchaqui, there is no one to defend the heartland of the principate, or its capital Trischka.

The citizens, however, do not simply surrender in abject despair (as did the reviled Joaiportans) but muster a defense with everything they have to hand. Sadly, it is not enough to stop the killing heatray, or the deadly plumes of black smoke. The city defenders are crushed and then the pleasant, whitewashed houses and the prince's palace are ground down to ash, along with many thousands of civil servants, nobles and their families. A cruel blow to Shakira, even though she had moved her administrative seat to Gaxan in the south.


The Aztec general Coanoach (who had thought he would get a ride in the fleet down to Inca-land) marches a very footsore army into Guyami and suppresses the last of the unrest in Nan Chao and the farmlands there around.

September - December

The enemy is silent, and the exhausted human nations have no strength left to send against them.

Bank List

Aztec Empire of Mexico         Tenochtitlan Teocali               1,938    40%

The Borang Bakufu                 Na-Iki Trust Bank                    1,003    40%

The Kingdom of Cataluna       Banque du Galway                    424    40%

Chan Mongol Empire              Uncle Wu's                               699    40%

Free Republic of Ethiopia       Funj Gold Reserves                  679    40%

The Kingdom of Java             Sunny Sunda Savings               756    40%

Coptic Kingdom of Maasai     M'Beya House of Credit         1,047    20%

Qing Empire of China             Luang Golden Venture            1,361    40%

Mali Ax Empire                       Mixtec International Fund        1,578    34%

Taika'no Te'ikoku Hiro'i            First Pacific Bank                     649    35%

Great France                          Banque du Varres                     820    40%

The Nisei Republic                  New Yedo Matsuma Bank       1,032    40%

Duchy of the Three Isles         First Merchant of Valetia           727    40%

 (end of c:\lords\lords01\l1_t220.doc)

[1] Oh boy oh boy oh boy! The first test of the new automated battle module!

[2] Cities with garrisons/wall points now automatically generate a 0-5 Combat value leader to defend them. In this case the Judeans got a L1 to command the defense.

[3] Rumors Mathilde had chosen suicide rather than submit to the attentions of her brother-in-law Ivan were swiftly suppressed by Company security.