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Thread: The Eternal Exile: A Nation Hopping AAR

  1. #401

  2. #402
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    Darn it, I knew that Valois girl was up to no good.
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  3. #403
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Now, that came out of the dark. Not totally out of nowhere, but didn't really expect something like that. Very good plot chapter.
    What do they feed those Shang guys by the way? I'd love to have at least nearly that stats on a king once in a while.

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    You'd think people like the Order would exercise better oversight over their operatives, plus, y'know, use some kind of password protection on sensitive comms equipment.

    Anyhow, they're passing up a great opportunity to take Talena onboard as one of their own - she's tough and resourceful and doesn't have much else better to do. And she's basically been Lucille's unpaid assistant for the last decade or so.
    Yeah, what he said!
    I really liked the unpaid assistant bit
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  5. #405
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Beowulf: Yes, that's a good expectation. They'll eventually realise that Lucille isn't going along with their plans!
    blsteen: But it's so awesome looking! They probably go for style over practicalities.
    Dewirix: That's a good point about recruiting her. But not until the timeline's sorted out. And to be fair, no one else in this time could a) Read her language and b) know how to use a computer. It's easy enough to make mistakes.
    Boris: Yep, it took a little while, but it all went right eventually.
    Chris Taylor: Yeah, but she didn't actually do it, did she? I guess we have to chalk that up to something.
    Sather: Heh, thanks! It must be all the Fujian Chicken the Shang family gets!
    blsteen (again!): Yeah, I liked that too.

    ------------

    HOULONG I PART 3

    XXX

    “You know, there’s like...twenty regulations against this,” Selena commented idly.
    “Hasn’t stopped you so far. And besides, I won’t tell if you don’t,” Talena replied.
    They lay together in each other’s arms, in Talena’s slightly more roomy quarters. As an officer she had a better quality of living quarters then her Sergeant.
    “You know Lena it’s kind of funny,” Selena said after a moment. “I never expected to be in this position. When I started in the army I spent my time dreaming about finding a husband, just like my parents wanted. They wanted me to find a nice boy at college, settle down and have lots of kids. But I joined the army instead, and I realised that I didn’t want that. And now I’ve got you....”
    “I was the last ditch option?” Talena said, pouting slightly.
    “No, no! I just mean, well, it’s come a long way,” Selena replied.
    “I think as soon as I met you behind that barricade with bullets flying everywhere, that you were going to be a big part of my life. I just didn’t realise how big.”
    “I love you, Lena.”
    “I love you too, Sel,” she replied softly.
    Another moment passed. “I better get going. People might start noticing if I take too long to come back from my ‘meetings’ with you.”
    “Alright, take care.”
    They shared a last kiss and then Selena headed for the door. A last look, and then she was gone.
    When she was gone Talena reached over and checked her communicator. A message from command, a new mission, and a profile on a man named Channing....


    8/8/1518

    Talena Mazari awoke from her rather pleasant dream of a long ago past to find herself in her lavish room in the palace in China. With a sigh she got to her feet, put on a robe and headed out into the warm August morning.
    She was still staring out into space when Lucille appeared. “Are you alright, Talena?” she asked.
    “I’m fine. I was just remembering something...someone. I told you before about the member of my team I found the remains of in Persia. She...we were very close. We never had a chance to really say goodbye. I sometimes wish she was here.”
    “I’m sorry, dear. I’m sorry that there’s no way that I can help you. I’m sorry that you’re stuck here in the past.”
    Talena turned to her. “It’s not your fault. You’re doing everything you can, aren’t you?”
    Lucille nodded. “But I’m afraid that they’ll send people after us soon. I don’t want that to happen, Talena. I...I have to confess something.”
    “Something bad?” Talena asked laconically.
    “I hope not. I’ve...well in the time we’ve been together as friends...I’ve been more and more interested in you. I’ve come to look at you as...well...someone I want to be with. I think the real reason I didn’t try and fulfil my mission is because I’m willing to accept whatever might happen to me...if I get you.”
    Talena was profoundly embarrassed and also rather aware that Lucille was looking at her with just as much embarrassment. It evidently had taken her a long time to work up the courage to stay this, years even.
    She stepped forward and placed a hand on Lucille’s arm. Then, leaning forward, she kissed the blonde on the cheek. “I’d been thinking sort of the same thing, Lucille. You’ve always been so nice to me, especially considering what you were ordered to do, and what you could have done. I feel that in the years since we met that night that we’ve come together. More then friends. I...would like that.”
    They held hands in the morning sunlight, both still a little flushed, but happier at heart now that what they had wanted to say had been said.

    XXX

    The later 1510s and early 1520s saw a revival of Chinese fortunes. With a shift in emphasis from war to peace, the new dynasty experienced a time of stability and renewal in the aftermath of the bloody, terrible wars of Tanshun II.





    This forward looking nature was best encapsulated by the colonisation of the nearby island of Taiwan, and further afield, the island of Sulu. These colonies produced rare items, and became a source of migration and further trade.





    To cap off it all, a royal marriage with the King of Vijayanagar’s daughter cemented Houlong’s new dynasty as one of great prosperity.


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  6. #406
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Okay....., well for the only two persons who will live that long maybe it's an obvious development. Still, I am not sure if I like this one. Seems a bit out of character, but with all that jumps in time you have to make it's difficult to tell. :/

  7. #407
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    This does of course make it difficult. Like so many things it'd be much easier if I had more time and space to write.

    This was something I had planned from the start, and I checked with a mod to make sure it was allowed. I do hope people like it, though I acknowledge that some people might not.
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  8. #408
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Whooooooooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooo
    That'd buy you a big chicken dinner in any military outfit I'd like to be associated with IRL.
    But in the future maybe things are a little more flexible...hmmm twenty regulations maybe not.
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  10. #410
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm surprised too, but it does explain why Lucille was reluctant to carry out her neutralising mission. You're a lot less likely to jab a needle full of sedating (or worse) liquid into somebody you're secretly crushing on (unless your name is Glenn Quagmire. Giggity).
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  11. #411
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Excellent updates filled with numerous twists and turns. The descriptions of battle in this AAR are simply fantastic, the two battles regarding the end of the downfall of the Emperor were particularly good. Then I was caught completely unawares upon learning that Lucille had actually been ordered to nullify Talena, a really excellent twist, which left me a bit confused as to why Lucille had decided against nullifying Talena. This update has certainly now shown why Lucille was so reluctant!

    The relationship between both was rather unexpected, but it does make things rather more interesting. Now that Talena has an attachment to her current time, I wonder how things would play out should she ever have the opportunity to return to her actual time. Would Lucille be able to join her in that return? Would Lucille wish to? In otherwords, I like this development, it poses a number of intriguing possibilities. Great stuff, I look forward to the next update!
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  12. #412
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    I haven't posted before in this thread, but I've been following it for awhile, and I've gotta say that I really love the concept, the execution, and the main character especially. Outside of the pure-story aspect of the AAR - and I don't often follow storybook AARs because I lose interest - one thing I've really liked is how, with all of the country-switching, the AAR gets a lot more believable. It stops being a record of the invincible march of doom of one country across the world, whose rulers can do no wrong and whose Empire only suffers when it is hit with bad random events, and becomes something much more akin to, well, real history. It's a lot more immersive that way.

    As for the lollesbians, I gotta say that, remembering Talena's origins as a Mass Effect 2 Femshep, it was always kind of hard to believe she'd ever have had any other kind of relationship. Femshep's best option is Liaramancing.
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  13. #413
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    And to be fair, no one else in this time could a) Read her language and b) know how to use a computer. It's easy enough to make mistakes.
    Good point about the language/tech barriers there, but sloppy fieldcraft nonetheless - it's almost as if Lucille's preoccupied about something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    This does of course make it difficult. Like so many things it'd be much easier if I had more time and space to write.

    This was something I had planned from the start, and I checked with a mod to make sure it was allowed. I do hope people like it, though I acknowledge that some people might not.
    As a long-term reader of Iain M Banks I've grown rather used to this sort of thing. Certainly a better match for Talena than a mere mortal.
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  14. #414
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    Alright, i can deal with this....just don't drop bombs like that again without SOME kind of warning!
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  15. #415
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sather: Yeah, as I said, the jumping and changing necessary for this story does make it seem a tad abrupt. Still, I hope you'll come to enjoy it in time.
    blsteen: Well, we both know that it happens today IRL despite regulations. It's something that's going to happen. I'd imagine that it'd be slightly easier to get away with in a female/female situation because it'd be less expected!
    Boris: Thanks! You like shocks, do you? Stay tuned!
    Chris Taylor: Yes. Quagmire is a good exception! Glad you liked it.
    morningSIDEr: It does indeed create some interesting issues I feel, as you say! Thanks for your kind words. The battles I thought were a useful way of conveying meaning to the narrative, so I'm glad they worked out.
    Dachspmg: Welcome aboard and thanks! And yes, Liara is the only way for fem!Shep to go in ME1. Sadly there's no fem/fem relationship in ME2, and we have to settle for Garrus. Though I can be content that I've not gone so far as to download the mod for the game which allows such a relationship...I'm not that obsessed!
    I'm glad and thankful you like the methodology. Shifting countries neatly avoids the player controlling the world or close to it within one hundred years.
    Dewirix: It's almost as though Lucille expected...even wanted...to get caught. And yes, another immortal is certainly the best choice for an immortal.
    Beowulf: Hint: the update after this is climactic. *Halo*


    HOULONG I PART 4

    The decade of the 1520s saw further pursuit of Chinese expansion. Only twice in that time did the Emperor go to war, and both times were with good reasons. The first was to punish the Mongol Khanate for their flagrant refusal to bow to the Emperor. A rapid campaign followed in which the Mongols were re-annexed into China.
    The second war was more complicated, being brought about by repeated Manchu spy missions into China. The first time they incited natives to destroy a Siberian settlement, and the second time they attempted to assassinate one of the Emperor’s advisors. The result was a year long campaign ending with monetary concessions and the revocation of Manchu claims to Imperial territory.

    In this decade the Emperor built a second great monument, this time in Peking, though he did not make it his capital. In this time Taiwan officially became part of the Ming Chinese patrimony as a fully established island. The prosperity of the Middle Kingdom had never been higher.












    The only regional power capable of challenging Ming China’s prosperity and power was the mostly united Japanese Shogunate. There, the Yamoto Emperors possessed one of the world’s largest fleets and a contained powerbase which made them potential allies and enemies.
    With this in consideration the Emperor was minded to send a delegation to that ruler seeking an alliance. To handle this negotiation the Emperor sent several powerful nobles and Talena herself to oversee operations, and also to ensure that Hauritz and Cade were not lurking in Japan, seeking revenge.


    XXX

    25/5/1530

    “I didn’t think you were coming to see me off?” Talena asked, walking out onto the pavilion. She was dressed in a somewhat formal outfit, but carried a sword at her side. It was not a traditional accoutrement for a woman, but Talena had insisted in such a way that the Emperor had given up trying to persuade her.
    Lucille looked her up and down and smiled. “Of course I am, dear. I’ve got all the information you need.” She handed Talena a small packet wrapped in waterproofed leather. “It’s got a letter of introduction and some more instructions for you from the Emperor about what to do there.”
    Talena took and stowed the package, then moved closer to Lucille and kissed her. “I’ll see you soon, okay? Be safe.”
    “You too. I know you don’t like the sea much....” Lucille returned the kiss and stepped back.
    “Look, take this for me. I don’t have anywhere to keep it, and you’ll keep it safe.” Talena handed over the pistol.
    “I’ll look after it, I promise.”

    Reluctantly Talena left, heading down the stairs to the dockside where their ship was being prepared. There was a large collection of barrels and crates present, many of them there as provisions for the crew, but others as trade items being carried to the Japanese isles for sale.
    As she boarded the ship she never saw a dark shape climb over the side and slip down into the hold....
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  16. #416

  17. #417
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    So is this a regular switch of nations or will she return to Ming-lands. Can't wait to see. China was a nice stay, but it's time for something new. ;-)
    And don't worry about me Ashantai, as long as I keep nitpicking I actually like something. I would simply stay away if it were different.

    It definitly has a dangerous feeling to leave the weapon with Lucille, not necessarily fearing betrayal, but as long as those two "badguys" are around there is danger. And your chapters are too short to mention something like that if it weren't important. :-P

    So of now to the shores of the land of the rising sun, Nippon Banzai! XD

  18. #418
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    The Yamatos? I hear that they're dynamic China-conquering world-bestriders!

    Of course, I could be wrong on that one.

    Sending a woman along to Japan as part of the official mission is going to raise some eyebrows.
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  19. #419
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Boris: Assassin indeed! I wouldn't say the relationship was dangerous...not as such.
    Sather:Well, pleased you're still here.
    Dewirix: Yes, it probably would raise some eyebrows, for sure. Unfortunately...she'll never get there.

    This is it, my friends, the end of part one. 3 months to the day since I started, 60 story updates and 61,800 words, it is finally finished. Though I have played ahead further I have not done any more writing. I need a break from the AAR, but I do intend to come back and continue it. I'll have to set up a HTTT installation just for this, as I'll be buying DW soon.
    I'll post a list of thanks soon, but for now...the finale!


    FINALE

    XXX

    Houlong Shang, the gifted and brilliant restorer of Imperial fortunes, died in mid 1533. He left the crown to his son, and Imperial power at its zenith. He had conquered all his rivals, overthrown his internal and external enemies and brought peace to East Asia. When he died he was mourned by his subjects.
    However his heirs almost immediately begun the task of dismantling his legacy....

    While far away in Europe the Reformation had become a massive success, and nearly a third of the continent was now either Protestant or Reformed.







    XXX

    2/6/1530

    The open sea was rough, and the wind howled through the sails as they smashed through the waves. The Chinese ship was buffeted by the waves and most of the crew stayed below decks if they could.
    For Talena, who heartily disliked sea travel, it was something of a nightmare. Whenever she went on deck the rocking and sea spray made her feel uncomfortable. She wasn’t sick of course, since such a thing was beyond her body at the current point, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

    It was after an excursion onto deck around dusk that it happened. Talena had not been especially wary, and didn’t even have her sword with her, so she was a somewhat easier target then she otherwise would have been.
    A figure came from behind her and a massive weight struck her, perhaps an oar or a beam. As she reeled she was shoved down the stairs and into the cargo hold. The hatch slammed shut behind her attacker, and as she got up unsteadily she saw who it was.
    Hauritz.
    He swung the club again, and she dodged, but as she came forward he reversed it and drove it into her stomach. As she stumbled he landed a titanic blow right onto her jaw with the weapon which knocked her flat, her head reeling as the wounds healed.
    He was on her though, far too quickly. While Cyrus Cade had been fast, this man had been doing more then being a Chinese potentate. With a knife in his hand he attacked with brutal, relentless power, forcing her down and stabbing her right in the heart.
    Talena, who had gotten several good blows in, struggled, and the world started to go dark. It couldn’t end like this! She couldn’t die now, after having seen so much!

    Time passed, but Talena came too. Immediately she knew she was in trouble. The huge mainmast came through into the cargo hold, and she was securely handcuffed to it, by wrists and ankles. A gag had been forced into her mouth and tightened painfully.
    Hauritz stepped back, wiping the bloody knife on her robe. “We don’t have much time, Talena, but I want to get a few things settled here. When I captured you I could have tortured you endlessly, I could have made your existence the most agonising and hellish experience ever. But I didn’t. You hadn’t done anything to me. But now...you killed my brother. You might despise me for being a traitor, or him for being a criminal, but he’s family. Now I don’t have the time or opportunity to wreck a proper revenge on you...you destroyed all I spent a century building up. So instead....”
    Hauritz lit a candle and held it near one of the barrels in the hold. With the knife he worked a small hole in it until a steady stream of black powder poured out.
    Talena, who had been trying to free herself from the chains, shouted when she saw the contents. Gunpowder. But with the gag it was not audible to anyone else, especially with the storm raging outside.
    “How fortunate the Emperor is selling black powder to Japan. Goodbye, Talena. I trust even you won’t survive this.” With that, Hauritz tossed the lit candle onto the floor so it started to burn up the trail of powder towards the barrel and detonation.
    Hauritz meanwhile headed for the stairs, opened the hatch and was out, leaving her to her fate.
    With horrified terror Talena realised that there were at least a dozen barrels of the same size and markings...meaning an unholy explosion was imminent. With all her strength, fuelled by fear and desperation, Talena wrenched at her bonds, starting blood from her wrists and ankles. But there was nothing she could do as the burning powder reached the barrel.

    She thought of Selena and Lucille, of the places she had been, the things she had done. The people she had killed, and now it seemed that she would soon join them.

    There was a flash. A deafening noise. Unbearable pain. Then darkness.

    The ship, the Water Dragon, was torn apart as the gunpowder in the hold, the pitch and old timber combined to form a deadly explosion. In seconds the ship was wrecked...sinking into the turbulent sea.





    END OF PART 1
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
    Downfall: A Byzantine Narrative AAR. See the fall of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. On Hold 3rd Place OVERALL EU3 (Highest Narrative) AARland Choice Awards Q3 2012!
    The Grey Eminence: A British Narrative/History AAR. Witness the rise of Great Britain to world power! COMPLETE! WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 Q1!
    The Eternal Exile: Nation Hopping AAR with a mix of narrative and game-play. On Hold. | WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2011 Q1!

    Winner: AAR Showcase 29/11/2011 | Winner: Character Writer of the Week 19/1/2012 | Winner: Fan of the Week 20/9/2010 and 20/8/2012 | I was Character Writer of the Week 13/12/2010

  20. #420
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    Now THAT is how you write a cliffhanger!

    Well, all i can say really is that I'm looking forward to part 2!
    "There are no limits to what science can explore."

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