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Thread: The Grey Eminence - A Narrative/History AAR 1399-1821

  1. #381
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Morrell8: Thanks!
    Arakhor: I don't think pipers just wander around the streets in Scotland. In the same way jazz musicians do not randomly appear in American cities! Either way, I never like Scotland the Brave....
    Loki: Yes, Tempest is not to be trifled with. Glad you liked the parts with King James!
    Sather: Yes, racism is an evil that is ever present, no matter how different our reality is to theirs it will still be there. As for the Scots, well, they lost their independence in 1530, so my thoughts are that they've become more like Wales, especially since in my game all the provinces but the Western Isles became English culture by the end.
    morningSIDEr: Haha! Well, I did my best.

    Chapter 26a – The Boy King


    Summarised from Chapter 6 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.


    Naturally a one year old boy could not be expected to govern, so a council of regency was formed in his stead. Several leading nobles including the Duke of York and Lord Saunders formed key positions, while the Italian diplomat Barberini acted as the group’s foreign representative.



    Almost immediately they had to deal with the remains of the strife from King James’ reign. With no lands in India the East India Company was forced to fold. It would not be resurrected later when the British returned to India; these lands would then be ruled by the crown directly like everywhere else.





    Being as they were members of Parliament, and seeing as how they had long disapproved of the de Vere custom of limiting Parliamentary power, reforms were soon instigated to make it a stronger body. Parliament naturally approved of these changes, and by allowing greater autonomy to the lands especially in France many businessmen and leaders became stronger.







    It should not be said though that these events led to any greater representation or overview of Parliament. Rather, those already elected and in the Lords consolidated their power at the expense of a few French aristocrats and nobles.

    One of those nobles was Edward Grey, a wealthy and powerful man, the Duke of Flanders and Count of Artois. He and others on the continent had watched the erosion of royal power by the regency with great concern. They had no wish for Britain to become republican or led by a monarch there only with the permission of his Parliament. Edward Grey felt he could foresee a time when the grown up King Henry would be so beholden to his regents that he would do nothing without their approval.
    What was more, Edward Grey was the man with the strongest claim on the throne, though that was tenuous. His great-grandmother had been Queen Caroline, the descent passed down through the Queen’s daughter Margaret. It made him 2nd cousin once removed from King Henry, thus making him the focus of discontent.



    Furthermore Edward had received very different ideas of kingship from his family and his wife. His wife, Ulrika of Sweden was a princess to one of the most absolutist and powerful monarchies in Europe. At this time they encompassed almost all of Denmark and Finland in addition to Sweden. Though hardly a model husband, he had seen the court of King Karl and saw that a monarch need not be beholden to Parliament. From his upbringing in France as a transplanted English lord over Flemish and French subjects he had seen a very different view of life to the home counties of England.





    Matters came to a head when Lord Saunders, a commoner, attempted to increase the land tax on estates in excess of 20 pounds value. This was clearly aimed at the French aristocrats, and the stipulation that it didn’t apply to Parliamentarians enraged the French. The news that this money was going to redesign Parliament did nothing to ease their tempers.

    Finally, Edward Grey had taken enough. He gathered together a large force, and while proclaiming that he was ridding the boy king of wicked advisors he invaded Britain. His promises to the nobility, and reassurances to Parliament that he was only after the actual regents ensured that his invasion was not intercepted.
    On the 2nd of May 1616 Grey’s army encountered and smashed a militia army at Turnham Green, and the way to London was open. Edward Grey had been liberal with his promises, and he was much more charismatic than the regents in getting his message across.
    London welcomed him cautiously as sole regent for young King Henry V, now aged 9.

    However, it was reported soon afterwards that the young King had died of a fever. Was he murdered by Edward Grey? Almost certainly. However Edward was very conspicuously in Paris on the day it happened, and seemed genuinely saddened by the death. Perhaps it was remorse, or perhaps it was an act. Edward had a way of playing a duel faced role, even with those closest to him.



    Whatever happened, Edward Grey was crowned Edward V, King of Great Britain, France, Lord of the Americas and Lord Regent of Holland. With Henry V died the de Vere dynasty. Though all future monarchs would be related to Queen Caroline they passed through different branches, and are separate.
    The de Vere Dynasty had ruled for 187 years, from the heady days in 1429 when Charles de Vere had taken the crown, to its final, ignoble end. From producing one of the most influential and beloved Queens in Caroline to the madness of James and pitiful end of young Henry, England had become a great nation. The question was…could it survive the turmoils about to engulf it?
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  2. #382
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Edward seems rather promising ... in all the wrong sorts of ways

  3. #383
    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    Well isnt that name one happy coincidence (is it really?) England has a king again, now its time to get back on track!

  4. #384
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    I have a certain amount of respect for Edward, the house of de Vere did not exactly cover itself in glory with the reign of James so perhaps it is time for a change. Although admittedly Edward is related to said house. Edward certainly seems an ambitious man ready to bring about said change, although if he had a hand in Henry's murder he is perhaps too ambitious. Regardless it looks as if interesting times lie ahead for Britain.
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  5. #385
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Edward seems rather promising ... in all the wrong sorts of ways
    LOL dude I swear what you typed was exactly what I was thinking.

    Oh, almost forgot. RUN JOHN!!! Umm yea.

  6. #386
    hmmm will be interesting to see how mendenhall's involvement plays out now that the De Veres are gone.

    also just caught up and awesome work ashanti!
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  7. #387
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    quicksabre: Thanks! I'm sure she will be ever present....
    Edgewise: Haha, he'd be smart to run...but it wouldn't be as fun!
    morningSIDEr: The murder of a young boy, or ordering it, is not the best start to your rule. On the other hand, he's certainly a strong ruler...if that's what you think is a good thing!
    Sethanon: I'm not making it a plot point, no. I considered it, but no, it's all just random in this case.
    Loki: Very perceptive!

    Now, Christmas is coming up, and I will be away with family. Therefore this is the last update until the 29th of December. Enjoy!

    Chapter 27 – Echoes of the Past: Caroline’s Saviour

    28/4/1521


    The rain was getting stronger outside Princess Caroline’s window. She had woken in the night as the sound of the water poured from the room and down to the ground far below. Now the thin grey light of morning came, and Caroline arose and went to the fire. A few ashes were left in the grate, and they gave her a little warmth as it was unseasonably cold.

    Caroline was fourteen years old, and already she had surpassed those noble children she associated with. Indeed, many of the adults could not understand her more complex notions. Only her grandfather understood her, cared for her, doting on his granddaughter with all his love. Not even a month before the Princess had lost her father, and the King his son. The grief was still near, still fresh.
    The Princess always rose early, so when the door opened she was surprised. Of course, she was also surprised that anyone would have the audacity not to at least knock.
    “Yes?” she asked, trying to sound imperious, and failing.
    “Oh, good morning, your Majesty. So pleased to see you are awake!”
    Into the room came a priest, a middle aged man named Isaiah Blake. He was a new appointee to the court, brought in by the King because he was an expert on theology and had been studying in France for some years.
    Caroline looked at him questioningly. “It is very early for you to be here, father. May I help you?” she asked, doing her best to imply that she did not want to help him at all.
    Isaiah smiled familiarly. “It is early, I know, Highness, but I was worried about you. The death of the Prince, your father, struck us all hard.”
    “I appreciate your sympathy,” Caroline said, turning away. “Perhaps though another time would be better for this discussion.”
    He closed the door though and moved towards her. “I think that now is a good time. Let us pray, your Highness, in hope of your salvation.”
    “My salvation?” Caroline asked, turning back swiftly. Her eyes narrowed. “What is the meaning of this impertinence?”
    “I know you have been meeting that Scotchman, a heretic, and that is not all. When I looked in your possessions I saw you had a copy of the heretic’s bible also! You will turn away from the path of sin, your Highness, or I will ensure that no further sin can besmirch you.”
    Caroline was taken aback. She didn’t know what outraged her more, the fact that the priest had been spying on her, or the fact he had gone through her private possessions.
    “My grandfather is the King, and he has allowed both these things.”
    “There is only one law, girl, and that is God’s law! You will repent. I will make you.”

    Isaiah, the light of madness in his eyes advanced on her, then struck forward and grabbed her, pushing her onto the bed.
    From his cassock the priest produced a long knife which he held at her throat. The other hand covered her mouth.
    “It was God’s will that I come here to purge the sin of England. The anti-Christ walks abroad in these days, and should you die unrepentant then Prince Edward will be King next, a true man of faith, and not a woman. For verily the original sin is passed through woman to woman from Eve to you.”
    Caroline froze as the sharp steel touched her throat. Her frightened eyes looked up at him, and she barely dared to breathe.
    “But before then, I have one more need. May God forgive me, for it is in His service that I do this.” He started to undo his robe, and then to tear at her dress. To do this he covered her mouth with the hand holding the knife.
    Perhaps fearing dishonour more than death, or perhaps seeing her chance, Caroline acted. Her teeth sunk deep into his hand, drawing blood as she bit through flesh and muscle.
    With an agonised cry Isaiah pulled his hand free, and the knife fell to the floor. Enraged he slapped her, then reached down to throttle her where she lay.
    “Help me!” Caroline called, but already the breath was leaving her. As her vision started to go dark she thought that at least she would soon meet her father again.

    And then, everything changed. Suddenly the pressure relaxed, and there was a great sigh from the priest. Then, twitching, he fell onto the bed beside the Princess, his own knife run through the left side of his back.
    For a moment Caroline lay there in a daze, but as she breathed again she saw someone standing over her.
    “Who…who is that?” she asked anxiously
    Her saviour stepped into the light more and knelt before her. It was a woman, her grandfather’s mysterious councillor Lady Sophia Mendenhall.
    “Your Highness, are you alright? She asked softly.
    “Lady Mendenhall?” Caroline asked, sitting up unsteadily. She looked at the body beside her and shuddered.
    Suddenly Sophia was there to comfort her, blocking her view to the corpse. “You are safe, Caroline, I only wish I could have been here sooner.”
    “How did you know?”
    “His eyes told a different tale from his tongue. And then I saw him this morning skulking through the palace. I took a wrong turn – I thought he was heading to the chapel, but then I heard him shout and I knew something was wrong. Are you alright, did he…touch you?” Sophia asked, gesturing at her torn dress.
    “No…but…he….” Suddenly the Princess’ composure broke and she burst into tears. Prodigy or not she was only fourteen, and she hugged Sophia closely as she wept.
    “It’s alright, your Highness. I am here for you, I am always here for you. I will never let anyone hurt you ever again,” she whispered.

    When the guards came the Princess ordered them to summon the King. Though an old man, and worn with care, King Henry came swiftly and dismissed the guards. When Caroline had told all the King embraced his granddaughter, and then turned to Sophia.
    “Lady, you have my thanks. That my darling might have been murdered by this traitor makes me only more thankful you were here. I bid you stay with her. She will be Queen, and she needs you to protect her…as you protected me, my mother, and all those before me.”
    Sophia bowed. “Of course, Majesty. No man or woman will ever harm Caroline as long as she lives, I swear.”
    King Henry nodded. “Then may God be with us all. Keep safe my Caroline. She is the last hope of my line.”
    When he was gone Princess Caroline looked at Sophia. “What did he mean by-?” she begun.
    “Another time, Highness. Come, let us get you cleaned up. Fear not, I will make sure this never happens again.”
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  8. #388
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    do like the way you're revisiting key events, and of course a change of perspective from a rather dry hint in a history book treatment

  9. #389
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Very tense and dramatic stuff. Like loki I'm enjoying that Lady Mendenhall's role throughout history is being more clearly described now. Especially when she is involved in such gripping events!
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  10. #390
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    I really like how Lady Mendenhall is more of a sideline figure in the echoes of the past, yet always somehow decisively there. I wonder where this will take us! Ps: You made me very depressed by taking such a long break! But happy holidays nontheless and thank you for this AAR!

  11. #391
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    Very creative. Lady Mendenhall comes off as a mystery hero...who might become a legend for some to believe actually lived, and by others to take as merely a tale to amuse children.
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  12. #392
    Heretic? Catholic?

  13. #393
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    Another great update! Fear and Loathing chain was great, although I wouldn't have minded seeing James run amok for a while more. Looking forward to seeing how the new king weathers said upcoming turmoils.
    Last edited by bananafishtoday; 22-12-2011 at 11:35.
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    Nasty Catholic fanatics: 0. Lady Mendenhall: God knows.
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  15. #395
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    I am back! Hope everyone had a good Xmas! Let's do this....

    Arakhor: She scores a lot....
    bananafishtoday: It's my favourite chain of events. I think he caused enough trouble.
    Morrell8: Well a Protestant is a heretic to a radical Catholic.
    Range: Exactly. She's in the shadows, never appearing in the open to be targeted.
    Sethanon: You're welcome, and have fun with this!
    Loki: Thanks! Glad you like it!

    Chapter 27a – A New Course

    Summarised from Chapter 7 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.


    King Edward V was no sooner installed on the throne when there was a reaction against him. The King was forced to deal with a key member of King Henry’s court, Lord Byron, along with Lord Cornwallis, forcing them out of government entirely. Cornwallis was implicated in a conspiracy against the new King and went to the block in 1618.





    Meanwhile, the King started to enforce a very different type of government. Unlike the de Veres he did not conceal his dislike of Parliament, and he rarely called them. In fact throughout his entire reign he only called a Parliament twice, blatantly ignoring the conventions and rules set down by his predecessors. This absolutist form of government was both more religiously based, and more focused on the power of the monarch himself. It was a radical departure in British politics.



    However, King Edward himself was a popular enough ruler for several reasons. Firstly, he was extravagantly generous with his money. This, combined with the lack of money from Parliament ensured that he was poorer, but yet he found a way. The primary way he did this was paradoxically selling titles of newly conquered lands to nobles, and taxing his French possessions highly.
    The King also repealed some of the stronger religious laws in effect, now that Protestantism was by far the great majority of subjects in his realm.











    Leading from this, his other cause of popularity was success in war. In his reign Ceylon, Connacht and Burgundy were all annexed. The last of these finally fell under British control nearly 200 years after their first great war. British power in France was almost unimaginable and total.













    King Edward has come down to us as a man of legendary appetites. As a person some of his traits may seem reprehensible to us today, but there is another side to it. King Edward would never have seized and kept the throne as he did, even with his gifts, were it not for his personality. He had a charming, almost magnetic personality, and while some people disliked him intensely, others were drawn to him.
    The King’s family and personal life provided endless entertainment, amusement and shocks depending on one’s outlook. In parody of Queen Caroline’s nickname as the ‘Mother of her Nation’, Edward was named ‘Father of all the Nation’ for the number of mistresses, lovers and hangers on, not to mention his three wives also.
    Before becoming King, Edward had married Princess Ulrika and had with her two sons, George in 1616, and Edward (his eventual successor) in 1618. These two sons, both raised in the sphere of absolutism developed very much like their father. However, more about them would become important later.
    In 1622 the Princess died and King Edward turned his attentions to others. Finally, in 1632 he fell madly in love with the very young Lucille de Bois, a woman old enough to be his daughter. He married her to make the child she carried legitimate, but Lucille died in childbirth, though her son William survived. Finally, near the end of his reign the King married Anne Michaels, a woman of modest means, humble, yet beautiful. With her he bore Victoria Grey, a vitally important figure in later history.



    There was another, darker side to Edward’s reign. Under his rule several key areas of Africa came under British control, and from there the trade in slaves begun. This terrible trade was used to fuel the growth of British colonies in the Americas. Hundreds of thousands were taken over the centuries, many to die cruel deaths.
    As a slight addition to this, it was at this time that the King himself acquired an African slave for personal reasons. As has been mentioned, the King’s appetite for women was almost insatiable, and the unfortunate slave joined his crowd of mistresses and hangers on. It was a practice his sons would also adopt, not considering the terrible harm it did to these people.



    (Used event to turn Calais English. Also removed Witchcraft Act and Colonial Expansion modifiers.)
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  16. #396
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Edward comes over as a well-rounded (if you'll forgive the pun) character. But in general, pretty awesome consolidation of power in western Europe and you must have a stranglehold on colonial development too.

  17. #397
    So you are dominating the game now?

  18. #398
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    You're back, most excellent!
    However, seeing that it's a history book I find the lack of maps to be quite strange! Perhaps you could give us a map of the colonies and french possesions, if thats even still possible since you already played out the game!
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  19. #399
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sethanon: Thanks! It is possible...but it doesn't fit with the story much. In the Americas I had to use a few exploits to make sure I got control of all America; colonising the coastlines and forming 'walls' to stop other countries getting in. At the end of the story I might include some maps for every 50 years or so.
    Morrel8: I think after the first 50 years I could be reasonably said to be dominating it.
    Loki: Yes, he's always struck me as one of my more interesting Kings.

    Well, here's another update for anyone who's still reading.

    Chapter 28 – The New Threat

    29/1/1820


    After being delayed for some time in Glasgow they finally came in to Carlisle in the early morning of the 29th. John had a cabin to himself, while Lady Mendenhall and Tempest took another.
    As he woke he found himself looking out on a light dusting of snow that had fallen on the city. Once the city had been important as it was near the border with Scotland, but now it was a rail hub, a gateway to England. Traffic from Scotland, Newcastle and the manufacturing and shipping ports of the south all came through and mixed in Carlisle so that it had a thriving industry in supporting travellers and moving goods.

    When John was dressed he exited out of the cabin and found her Ladyship waiting for him. She looked as composed as ever.
    “Did you sleep well?” John asked politely.
    She smiled slightly. “As well as ever. I tend not to sleep much. I’ve found I don’t really need it. Tempest keeps me company though.”
    “Lady, who is this person we’re going to meet here?”
    “A friend from earlier times. He used to work in the Foreign Office on slightly unconventional activities.” She saw his puzzled look. “He’s a spymaster…or he was anyway. He retired a few years ago, and his son has taken over from him. His name is Henry York.”
    “And you knew each other?” John asked. They had left the train and were heading out into the main marketplace of the town.
    “Yes, when he was a young officer we worked together in the French Revolution. We helped save Paris from the uprising, you might say. And in America we teamed up again to save Hartford. Though,” she added heavily, “Not all of it.”
    Even now, despite all he knew, John found it hard to look at her as she casually discussed something which had happened thirty years before. Her words also made him nod gloomily.
    “Do you trust him?”
    “Yes, and he knows about me. But, John, mind your words. His sons do not, and the less people that know the better.”
    “You can count on me,” John said, a bit more assured than he thought.
    She smiled at him and patted his shoulder. “I’m sure I can. Come.”



    At the carriage station they found that a vehicle was ready for them. Along with the necessary luggage was Victoria who had spent a rather boring couple of days couped up looking after the bags. Now though the non-vital luggage was being sent on to London, while the remainder stayed with them.
    “How are you, sir?” she asked John, bobbing a curtsey for Lady Mendenhall.
    “Feeling very well. And you?”
    “The same, sir. The driver says it’s not far to the castle.”
    “Then let’s get going at once,” Lady Mendenhall ordered.

    The castle was indeed close, no more than a mile from the town, and it loomed over them, the old stone walls and moat being quite imposing.
    “Why does he live in a castle?” John asked.
    “He’s a great fan of ancient things,” Lady Mendenhall replied with a chuckle. “Many wealthy families take these old, rundown castles and rebuild them to a more modern taste.”
    With Victoria in the carriage John could make no comment, so instead he just nodded sagely, or tried to anyway.



    Inside the gates servants appeared to help them out and take down the luggage. From the castle courtyard an old man with a stick appeared. He looked in his early sixties, but still walked with vigour. He approached Lady Mendenhall and let out a laugh.
    “Her Ladyship returns! Welcome back! You’re looking well, I see,” he added. “Why, you’ve not changed a bit!” he said with mock seriousness.
    John, who was in on the joke, laughed. For some reason he felt immensely relieved that someone had confirmed what he knew about Lady Mendenhall, as if he kept expecting it to have all been a hoax. Now he knew finally it wasn’t so.
    “Sir Henry York, this is my associate, John Adams, son of Sir Benjamin.”
    “Ah, I thought I recognised you. You were only a boy when we last met.”
    John looked quizzically at the old man. His pale face, the wispy white hair, the blue eyes, they seemed vaguely familiar.
    “I can’t say I remember your name, sir, I’m sorry,” John said, shaking his hand.
    “You had a lot to deal with, I know. It was just after the battle in Hartford.”
    “Oh, I see. Thank you,” John said.
    “Sir Henry, I’m so glad you could see us at such short notice,” Lady Mendenhall said, smoothly appearing between them.
    “Well, anything I can do to help is of course at your disposal. Come inside. William is away in London with my older son Frederick, but young Charles is here for a few weeks.”

    They were led inside the old castle and into a well-furnished study where Sir Henry provided drinks and food for them. It had started to snow lightly outside, but not hard.
    “I was pleased when I received your message, Angel,” Henry said. He offered her a fine chair, but she took a simple one instead. “And nice to see you again, Tempest,” he told the dark skinned woman who stood by Lady Mendenhall’s chair.
    Tempest gave a fractional nod of recognition.
    “Now, now, Harry,” her Ladyship said reprovingly. “Clarice will do now.”
    “Indeed. I always wondered how you remembered all the names.”
    “With difficulty!” her Ladyship said happily. She seemed to become more serious. “Harry, there’s something I need your help with. I’m heading back to London because I received word that there is someone causing trouble. Do you know of a man by the name of Lord Cyrus Streams?”
    “It’s funny you should say that,” Henry commented. “Just yesterday I asked my friend in the Foreign Office about him. He’s been agitating, getting under people’s noses for a while.”
    “I’d never heard of him,” Lady Mendenhall said, frowning.
    “Nor I. He’s only just turned up, married a wealthy heiress from the Wentworth family. He’s set up a house just outside London using the money he got from Abigail Wentworth. He’s also quite wealthy by himself, but I can find no record of him in Britain before the marriage. He’s got an American accent, and claims to be from Queensland, specifically Newcastle on the Mississippi River.”
    Her Ladyship mulled over this. “I see. Well whoever he is he is making trouble.”
    Henry say back. “There’s another thing, Lady; the ALA is back.”
    Lady Mendenhall leaned forward, gaze on her old friend. “Are you certain?”
    “Yes, there have been several attacks this month. An attempt to plant a bomb in Wapping was foiled, but the Civics believe they will try again.”
    “The ALA?” John asked.
    “American Liberation Army. Criminals. They were the ones behind the Revolution in 1814. A lot of the leaders escaped after Charleston and New Cardiff fell.”
    John nodded. The Revolution had been widespread in 1814, but mostly concentrated in the south. The exception had been the devastating attack on Hartford where John’s mother had been killed….
    “Well, that is grim news. We shall have to be on our guard. John and I will leave in the morning for London. Might I use your electrograph station?”
    “Not at all. Do you know how to use it?”
    Her Ladyship gave Henry a wry look. “Of course, I helped invent it, remember?”
    “Along with everything else, it seems,” Henry said in mock exasperation. He held out his hand to John. “I’ll have my maid wake you in the morning. Nice to meet you, John.”
    “And you!”
    John went up to the room prepared for him and after a while fell deeply asleep.
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  20. #400
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
    Rome GoldWarlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight

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    some nice hints of delights to come there ... so her Ladyship is in some way involved in the events that cost John's mother her life?

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