Soccer! I wonder where it originated here.
Also, go Bendiks!
I'll be starting a new update soon, probably tonight (provided I don't marathon more Fifa with my roomies). Also, I might be starting another AAR on the side. No guarantee, but it will probably be a Mount and Blade story.
I assume that, according to your post, that Prussia is the sole superpower of the late twentieth-twenty first century?
This needs to be a mod for DH or something
For fans of Mount and Blade, I have a new AAR called "A Chosen Few", which is now updating from time to time. Bastions is still my center of attention, but I wanted to write a more character driven story so there it is. Check it out.
YOU MADE A MOUNT AND BLADE AAR!!!!!
I...I think I love you Capitalist.
Have my man-babies
Fine I'll be in my corner if you need me
Chapter Forty One: Aeterna Rege Europa
The defeat of Brandenburg was final by the year 1362. The small border state lost some of its western territories and was significantly weakened in the eyes of the Christian dynasties. It was a sign of times to come. The Dark Ages are a Christian construct. That is to say, only the Christians went through a Dark Age. Muslim society never suffered from the fall of the Western Roman Empire, instead they expanded upon it. Muslim civilization only existed because of the end of the Western Roman Empire, and their expansion allowed them to gather up knowledge and learning from the empires of old. While Europe lagged under feudalism and a self destruction, the Muslims were expanding upon Greek mathematics, engineering, optics and other scientific and cultural movements. The fall of Christianity in Iberia, France, Italy and Germany brought about an end of the Dark Ages in these regions. The veil of religion that blinded many in the Europe from the progress of the Near East retreated into those pockets of the continent that remained content to hold true to the traditions of their grandfathers. They were content to be masters only of war and nothing else. The so-called "reawakening" of Christian civilization would start in the late XV Century in Constantinople, but would not make it to Prussia until the middle of the XVI Century.
January 18th, 1362
New Edessa was crowded with merchants and pirates alike. Vaaldari Pataar had issued a decree legalizing the raiding of Muslim ships that moved throughout the Persian Gulf. It was a crucial turning point for the Qurati who had been on their "long retreat" for nearly a century. Their once grand empire, centered on Edessa, was something left to fable. It was not uncommon for the elderly to tell tales of having walked through the deserts and along untold miles of coastline to reach the new lands of their Kingdom. Along the way they lost many of their brothers. Some to the sun and the heat, others simply gave up their journey, instead taking up the nomadic lifestyle of the local Arabs. But now their Kingdom retreated further toward the island of Bahrain. There they had built their capital, New Edessa, and tried to secure independence for themselves. But even now, they were slowly losing their grip on the Persian Gulf. Their fortresses, which were once innumerable, were reduced to a petty few. Ten remained that were not on Bahrain itself and many of those were in a sorry, decrepit state.
The lands of the Qurati in 1362. 'Qurati' is a corruption of the word 'Croat', the crusaders who conquered Edessa in the early stages of the Crusades.
Pavl walked amongst the many people who crowded the capital. He was amongst the most recent of refugees to land on the island. But as he looked for food and drink, he saw many of the vendors were empty handed. And those that weren't were selling at a premium. Life in Arabia had become too much, he lost his family, his children, his wife... everything to the expansion of Turkish and Arabic states. But here it seemed things were worse. The enemy was you. Hunger, thirst, the desires of the flesh drove men into a feral state. Beggars here were not simply content to sit on the side of the road with their bowl for coins. Here they beat those who looked wealthy, making no attempt to hide amongst the crowd. Soldiers were everywhere. Pavl recognized their red scarves. He found himself almost sprinting from one group of guards to the next, like a child playing tag. But as he moved, he ran into two men standing still next to one of the many ramps leading up onto the ships of the port. "Wćct hór, Sándkristje!" the one shouted as he pushed Pavl off of his friend.
Pavl was stunned, the two men began badgering him in some weird foreign tongue and the longer they went the more confused he became. He tried shrugging his shoulders or shaking his head back and forth but that only seemed to infuriate the others. Finally someone grabbed Pavl and pulled him away from the two strange men but as they departed, the confused Qurati heard one last line, "Dumb Kurátje."
"Who were those strange men?" Pavl asked as the stranger led him toward a smoke house.
Inside and hidden from view by the clouds of smoke the rescuer spoke, "Prussian traders from the north. They come here to buy goods from the orient before making the trek north again to their homelands on the Baltic." Very little of it made sense to Pavl, who just looked dumbfounded. The stranger removed his sun guard and hung in loosely around his neck like a scarf. Pavl saw that he was an old man, his face scarred by the bright of the sun. "They are white Christians from the north. There they have a Kingdom of great wealth and power. New Edessa connects them to the world beyond, places that they cannot reach. Without the Prussians and the Romans, the Qurati would already be nothing more than history."
"What do you mean, 'History?'"
The stranger sighed, "You are not very bright, are you? Where are you from?"
"My family was from the mainland, my wife and children kill before my eyes in our retreat."
"Ah, so you do understand some of the story. Where do you think weapons and soldiers come from?"
"The capital," Pavl said.
"And what pays for swordsmiths to make swords, and soldiers to carry them?"
"M... money," Pavl answered, worried about some sort of trick answer.
"Yes, and where does that money come from?" But before Pavl answered, the answer was given by the stranger, "White Christian traders. The Romans and the Prussians pay for the goods of India because we are the only state that will trade with them anymore. We in turn pay them to provide swords and shields for our soldiers, and we use the left over to pay for soldiers themselves. Why did you come to the capital, if you don't mind my prying?"
"I thought I'd be safe here. I thought I could start anew."
"You were wrong, young Pavl. Very, very wrong. The Kingdom is dying. Our people scatter into the sands. Soon it shall be only Bahrain and then what? What do we do then, when all we have is this accursed rock? If I were you, young man, I would take a ship away from here... far away. We are strangers in Arabia."
"Why do you not do the same, old man?" Pavl asked, starting to become angry.
"Do you think I can survive a trip anywhere? I am bound here by age and grief and stupidity. But you, you are young. You can leave and wander this Earth. Leave for the both of us."
"But where would I go? What would I do?"
The old man shrugged, his wisdom failing him, "India."
"India? What do you mean?"
"Far to the east lies a land called India, many Qurati have left for India as traders. It is all a part of the scheme to keep goods from the orient flowing into Bahrain. Without traders in India, we would never have such quality goods and would be forced to dig from the bottom of the barrel." Look for ships that carry a banner of red with a cross of white. Join a crew and head east. Never look back." The man put down small bag that clinked with coin.
"What is this?"
"Take it. I too lost much in life. I cannot sit idly by and watch another man do the same." He got up from the table and left Pavl sitting there to contemplate his future. India was so far away, but if his countrymen needed someone to abandon the homeland so that the war can continue, then he'd do it. He pocketed the money and left the smoke bar. Not too far away there was a large ship that carried a banner of red and white. That is what he was looking for. A ship to India, a ship away from the dying state.
That was a great post, Mr. C. You definitely captured the bleak situation New Edessa resides in.
However, I don't remember the Croatian crusaders in Homelands. How on Earth did they get into the Persian Gulf?
Greate update, once again
I hope we'll get more news of Pavl in the future
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And it's just now that I realised Qurati sounds a lot like Qunari. So, perhaps, we'll get a Croatian city state in Goa?
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Here are some posts pertaining to the Qurati (in no particular order):
The second newest post mentions them in the prelude.
Chapter 30, Part 5 introduces the Qurati formally.
A culture update will probably be the best for them.
Early Christian influence on the Indian ocean?
Pirates and Mongols?
Great slice of life update. Nice to see the ripples of history in other places.