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Thread: Passing Days: The Empire of Brazil

  1. #61
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    And so, for the second time, the outside world intrudes upon Brazil. The first time was more pleasant - Adalbert's arrival. Not entirely as its side effect was the split with the Prime Minister. This time though it is purely ugly.
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  2. #62
    Roi-Chevalier Drake Rlugia's Avatar
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    We shall take a respite from the tumult of the modern era, and take a visit back into the olden days. Take a guess, if you can, and figure out how this next chapter relates to the story as a whole.

    VIII. The Fields of Flanders



    Ghent, The United Kingdom of the Netherlands
    1815


    It was finally over. After twenty-three years of endless war, Europe could rest. Jacobinism was dead, and Bonapartists were fleeing, eager to pick up whatever they could before it was all said and done. The empire, built under the Revolutionary ideals was dying.

    It was under this of series events that had brought Carlos Alves to Ghent. The son of a French soldier and a Portuguese maiden, he had been forced into the Imperial Army during Les Cent Jours[1]. He had fled shortly after Waterloo, and now found himself in the city of Ghent, just outside the Hane Steenhuyse Hotel. It was here that Louis XVIII, King of France was staying. Few would have the courage of Carlos, but he forced himself to enter the hotel, and to request a meeting with the exiled French King. Only the news he brought allowed him entry. He was shown into the room of the French King.

    It was, to be expected, quite lavish. Carlos saw in the room the myriad of plumed men and women, the remains of the old order, those eager for revenge, who had learned nothing from '89, and had certainly forgot nothing. It was from these people that Carlos wished to profit, from these people that he demanded compensation. Eyes furious, he bowed before the gouty being who claimed to be, By the Grace of God, King of France.

    "What do you want?" Louis XVIII, demanded. He held about him a cold demeanor, and saw no reason to accept the appointment with some country bumpkin wishing for a quick look at him.

    "Your majesty," Carlos replied with a bright smile. "I bring you great news. The Imperial Army has been defeated at Waterloo! Napoleon is in retreat!"

    The King changed instantly. From a cool man, he was happy, and gleeful. He laughed happily with all his courtiers, and ordered the wine be brought out. Glasses were exposed, wine dallied out, and toasts made. The toasts were various, and Carlos joined in. They blessed the God, the English, the Prussians, the Bourbons, and Louis XVIII himself. The King was happy and pleased by this outcome.

    "Thank you for bringing this news to me." Louis XVIII said happily. "It gives my old heart hope. I will be returning to Paris soon, then?"

    "Yes, I suppose you will."

    "How did you get up here? Where are you from, boy?" As always, Louis did not ask. He demanded.

    "Well, I was born in 1798, at Bourges. My father was a soldier for the Emp-"

    "For the usurper," Louis XVIII snapped, correcting the boy.

    "Yes. For the usurper. My mother was a Portuguese maiden. Her father was a diplomat and had moved to France. They fell in love, and she became his mistress. I was born in Bourges. Shortly after, he left. She never saw him again, and she raised me in absolute poverty. I was conscripted into the usurpers army a few weeks ago. I fled after Waterloo, and came here."

    "Why?" The King questioned him.

    "I have nothing, sir. Not even a sou. I haven't had much schooling, but I'm certainly aware that a father must support his children, even illegitimate ones. I was hoping you would give me a pension. I want to start a new life, a proper life. I need money to do that."

    "What sort of life do you envision for yourself?" Louis demanded from him, his mind mulling over options.

    "I want to go to the Americas. I hear Brazil is a nice place, and even someone with as little as fifty Francs can make a fortune off gold and diamonds. All I want is enough money to pay for board to Rio de Janeiro, and perhaps a few extra coins to pay for expenses there."

    The King waved his hand. "I usually do not listen to those who barge into rooms, demanding things. It's not very proper. If I were in my right-mind, I would send you away. But I am a benevolent man, and you have pleased with me with the news of the usurpers defeat. You shall have 25 Louis[2] to pay for board and for any expenses in Brazil."

    "His majesty is truly kind!"

    The King pulled from his pocket a velvet money bag and thrust it into the hands of Carlos. "Yes. But go now. I am a busy man and I have more important things to handle than listening to the pleas of those left behind by idiotic Jacobin soldiers. Honestly, abandoning children, I have only heard of these ridiculous things since that damnable prison fell[3]...."

    [1]The Hundred Days: Napoleon returned from Elba and ruled France briefly for 100 days. After defeat at Waterloo, he abdicated at Rochefort, ending his empire.

    [2]1 Louis is worth 25 Francs. Carlos received roughly 600 Francs to get to the Americas, a rather lofty sum, circa 1815, especially for a poor person.

    [3]The Bastille.
    Last edited by Drake Rlugia; 29-04-2007 at 09:02.
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  3. #63
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    Oho! Bourbon France!

    And now we know where the Alves fortune came from
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  4. #64
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    I wonder where this is going…
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  5. #65
    Captain LeonTrotsky's Avatar
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    Perhaps Alves is more inclined to be pro-French then?

  6. #66
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Quite the opportunist isn't he?
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  7. #67
    Roi-Chevalier Drake Rlugia's Avatar
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    RGB: A portion of it, anyways. To be honest, 600 isn't a whole lot, but considering millionaires in that period only had about 700,000 or 800,000 in currency, it's still not bad.

    Fulcrumvale: I'll guess you'll have to see!

    LeonTrotsky: Only to extent. He doesn't an envision an alliance with them. His grandfather (Carlos Aves) didn't like Louis very much, considering how he was treated. But he knew how to suck it up to get some money.

    stnylan: Yes, but if you had a chance to meet with the King of France and to make a couple hundred, would you pass it up? I certainly wouldn't!
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    Just to let you all know, I haven't abandoned this. Life has just become very busy. I'll try to update soon, but it may be a week or so, until life calms down some.
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    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Take the time you need. We've all had off-forum life break the pace of things (heavens, its been at least three weeks since I last updated my own AAR).
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  10. #70
    Nice. Enjoying the read.

  11. #71
    Great AAR so far. Being half-Brazillian myself, it's being quite a read.

    Also, the fact I am enjoying the most is the way you wrote the beginning (A stable Empire that did not face the Republican overthrow), quite ahistorical I must say. Anyway, subscribed!

    P.S. - Take your time lad.

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    Update!

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    Please don't abandon this....
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    IX. As time turns


    Let us return to the present. We need not mention Carlos Alves further, but let us remark that in Brazil he did indeed find his fortune. He fought for Brazilian independence, and in his last breaths, he owned vast estates and hundreds of slaves, all furnished by gold he had found on barren land he had purchased early in life. He died old and fat, a governor, industrialists, and general.

    ---

    After the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, the Imperial Court had broken into a frenzy. Instead of an elaborate ceremony, Cecília had to settle for a more modest one with close friends. As June died into July, the crisis in Europe was at an all time high. Mobilization was abound after Serbia's refusal to cow to Austrian demands. It was under these circumstances that Cecília learned the true nature of her husband, for even if he was quiet and went about his own ways, he was certainly virile. The uneasiness in Europe was not found in Brazil, for the Empress was pregnant.

    Despite this happiness however, Cecília and Adalbert could not rest. They had obligations, and as Europe exploded into a frenzy, it was destined to drag Brazil down with it. Society was ever dividing into the Confederate and German camps. For even if the CSA was part of the Entente, it had it's close ties with Brazil. Were they not, afterall, Black Nations? The ones who knew where the Escuros belonged? Nevertheless, it did not matter, for the Empress would make the absolute choice on whom to support. The Empress held such power, because of the decaying system of Brazilian democracy. With the sacking of Alves, any symbolence of democracy nearly faded. A new Prime Minister, a stout man known as Pedro Goganza replaced Alves, but unlike his predecessor, he held no influence over the Empress. He was merely a rubber-stamp to her designs.

    Yet the absolutism of the Empress was unfounded. While people reveled in her great abilities, she too was under influence. The influence of her husband. Her pregnancy had brought Adalbert leaps and bounds. He had received his coronation; the fueros had accepted him, and he with the blessing of his wife, appointed the newest Prime Minister. Adalbert knew his faults, and intended to use them to his advantage. Adalbert cared for his wife, but he knew his duties to his father. He needed to exert as much influence as he could.

    And he would do so.
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    WWI in the Americas? Or will the CSA and Brazil merely glare at each other across the Caribbean?
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  17. #77
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    I wonder about Adalbert. I wonder if, not now, but in the future, in a couple of years when he sees the result of some of his handiwork, whether or not he might start to develop conflicting loyalties. At the moment he only has on loyalty - but one moment is very differnet from the next.
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  18. #78
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    I wonder: can the CSA and Britain project power into the South Atlantic? Can Brazil realistically project power anywhere?
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  19. #79
    Roi-Chevalier Drake Rlugia's Avatar
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    RGB: Brazil might attempt some movements up north, in the European controlled Guyanas, but they probably can't do much else. The CSA will be far too concerned with fighting the United States. However, should the pro-British Argentina enter the war, things might heat up...

    stnylan: It's certainly possible. Living in a place for a long time does tend to make you affectionate towards it. For now, however, Adalbert does his duties for Germany. Brazil is merely a pawn on the giant chess board of the Great War.

    Fulcrumvale: In this timeline, the Carribean is pretty much a Confederate lake. They own Cuba and have several naval bases in the Carribean colonies of their British and French allies. The Carribean flotilla of the navy would be quite threatening to Brazil, but I would think the CSA would be more concerned with the USA. War with Brazil would be symbolic at best.

    Britain can probably project some power into Brazil, but not much. British troops certainly won't be landing in Rio de Janeiro. However, a substancial part of Brazilian trade is carried by the British merchant marine. If anything, Britain will seek to bleed Brazil economically, but stopping imports (which it depeserately needs--they have bare industries, after all.)

    Brazil, however, does not exist as an ally to project her power. She is an ally for her resources. She can provide Germany with rubber and an array of food stuffs and resources to produce industrial goods, which may come under strain should Britain establish a blockade over Germany. Germany will milk Brazil for what she's worth.
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    X. The Flames of the Hopeless


    The velvet purse which, in 1815 been given to Carlos Alves by Louis XVIII had travelled through various hands in the 19th century. Now, it sat upon a mantle in a hovel in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, it's color faded and innards filled with only a few paltry coins, incapable of allowing one to live. This place--this damnable prison which no soul deserved to live within, was the heart and soul for a young man of eighteen. It was his to hold and cherish, even if he was forced to rent it from a dispicable man who charged an ungodly rent. Much how the Palace Complex of Rio de Janeiro was the home of the Empress, this flat in the ghetto was the home to this man.

    His name was Dion Alves, the illegitimate son of the Prime Minister who had only been sacked some weeks ago. The man kept the blemish that was Dion locked away--Dion was only kept quiet by the money which his father paid him, nearly 300 Reals a month. Yet reality was coming to terms with Dion. July was dying into August, and the young man had last received an allowance in June, shortly before his father was sacked. He was in dire straits, with little money for bread. His rent was overdue.

    While his father was a noble, politician, and as wealthy as the sea, Dion was a starving artists. He had no job, nor could he find one. No one in the whole city would hire a beggar. It didn't help that the city had him blacklisted for his radical political ideals. While his father was a conservative--Republican at worse, monarchist at best, Dion was a communist, inspired by freedom and liberty. No one would hire a radical, especially one who had seen prison for rallying against the Empress.

    "Damn it all," Dion muttered, striking his fist against the wall. "I have only a Real left in the damnable purse. Two months late, 600 Reals which I so desperately need. I'm hungry, I'm starving! Not even a penny for bread, and I certainly do not have the 150 Reals for back rent. I'll soon be on the streets..."

    His moans and complains did not go unnoticed, for the hovel which he occupied had paper thin walls. All around him, he lived near people in a similar predicament as he did. There was the glorious Myra, a lovely girl whom Dion had once loved and had once shared a bed with. She was destined for greatness she swore, to became a dancer. Yet poverty starved her. She was a prostitute, selling her body in the evening. She would not admit it, but her neighbors knew: she was dying. Secondly there was Nico, a poet who swore he'd some day compose poetry for the Empress. For now, he was selling his poems on the streets, digging in the trash for scraps. Lastly, there was Adrian, an Italian from Venice. He wanted to be free, to roam the world as a gentleman! Yet instead he was bound to the textile mill, spinning yarn for a petty sum. These four souls: Dion, Myra, Nico, and Adrian, all had a shared fate. They were poor, broken, and starving.

    "O, may I be forgiven!" Dion screamed out, grabbing for the faded velvet purse. He opened it in a frenzy, removing the few coins which remained.

    Yet he could only scream in anguish.

    "Not even enough for a loaf of bread! What can I possibly buy with this?"

    Standing in the door way of his hovel was a young woman, scantily dressed. She dressed as such not because she wanted too, but because she could not afford decent clothes. It was Myra, the poor soul which had been forced into the streets. Not because she had sought a life of lust, but again, because the poor cannot help such things.

    "How much do you have...?" Myra replied quietly, with a frightening cough. The disease which was mawling her body was in it's last stages.

    "Just this." Dion opened his palms to reveal the few paltry coins.

    "Well, I have five Reals." Myra replied. "Bread costs two. I will give you two Reals and you will live for another day. You can pay me back when you get your fortune from your father."

    "300 Reals? A fortune?" Dion stiffled his laughter. "I haven't seen such a sum since June, and it's certainly not very much. My father is very wealthy, richer than nearly everyone in this country."

    "It's far more than I've ever saw. I will give you these two reals. You will pay me back later. Now, go buy some bread."

    Myra handed over the two notes, and Dion lapped at them greedily. Running from the doorway, he fled out towards the Bazaar of the slums, in search of bread. Myra sighed, and took flight back towards her flat. It had been the second time she had saved Dion from death, but it was well attained. When she entered her hovel, much like Dions, she saw both Nico and Adrian at her table.

    "Did he leave?" Nico asked.

    "Yes, like last time. Did his allowance arrive?" Myra replied with a slight smile.

    "Yes, it did!" Adrian smirked. "It always arrives on the Sixteenth. 300 Reals, direct from father Alves, with great hopes that his son is doing well. He loves him. As always, we split it three ways. 100 Reals each."

    The three paupers smiled, hoarding over the sum upon the table, dividing it evenly. Were these people righteous and great, they might have used their minor sums to build up a small fortune, like so many had done. But because they were debauched and poor, they wasted the money immediately on wine food, rent, medicine, coal, and other minor things. They had grown dependent on thieving Dion of his rightful allowance, the money of his bastardy.

    In this portion of the slums, the greedy trio did not set themselves so that they could live while Dion died. Instead, they had set the stage for all four to die, slowly and painfully, through the woes of poverty.
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