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

  1. #461
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    again, great weaving of the game events to suit your narrative, silly Matthew and all for Lorraine of all places

  2. #462
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sather: You're right. Britain either has to be an extreme Republic or a monarchy. I can't invisiage it as a presidential democracy.
    Loki: Thanks!

    This is a special update, two in a day. I think this one goes very well with the last one, mainly because you can see just how distraught she was from her history. And, I acknowledge that my last update wasn't my best, so I hope this redeems it!

    Chapter 33 – Echoes of the Past: The Curse of Mortality

    25/12/1665


    The roaring fire and numerous lamps lit the room and kept it warm despite the snow falling outside. A figure laid in bed, numerous blankets and quilts draped over them, but despite this they shivered and trembled from the cold.
    There was a knock on the door.
    “Come in.” It was barely a whisper from the woman in the bed. Her dark rimmed eyes opened sleepily.
    Lady Mendenhall entered and quietly closed the door. She hastened over to the woman in the bed and knelt down at the bedside. “How are you this morning, Alexandra?” she asked. The Lady forced a smile. “You’re looking better!” she said with forced joviality.
    Alexandra Cromwell smiled tiredly and reached out one hand to the Lady. It was burning with a fever but she still shivered uncontrollably.
    “I think…that is not the case,” she replied. “You look as well as ever.”
    Her Ladyship nodded bitterly. “Yes, I am. I wish I could help you though. I have tried everything, but this illness will not abate. I must find the answer, I must save you, Alexandra!” she said, her voice rising slightly. She took the offered hand and let out a deep sigh.
    “You already have, my Angel. You have given me twenty years I would not have had without you. I’m sorry I could not be all you wanted me to.”
    “No, no, it is I who have failed. I promised to protect you. You’re going to get better!” Lady Mendenhall insisted. She kissed the hand.
    “You are a special woman, Angel. I feel honoured that you chose me…that we could spent time together…that you showed me such love and kindness. But, I can feel it. I am dying.” She weakly raised her hand. “I am, Angel…don’t blame yourself.” Alexandra let out a long breath. “Thank you…for everything. My father, myself, we are both in your debt.”
    “No, no, I don’t believe it, there must be something I can do.”
    “Angel…everyone dies eventually. Perhaps you are to be spared that, but…please remember me. Remember our time together.”
    Alexandra had never seen her mysterious friend and guardian cry, but now she did, her head bent over, weeping silently. Gently, Alexandra reached up and brushed over her forehead.
    The Lady rose and kissed Alexandra on the cheek before resuming her previous pose. “I do all this because I have a duty I am sworn to do. Alexandra, I swear to you that Britain shall never fall, that no tyrant shall sully its name, and that you are never forgotten. My Lady Protector…I love you.”
    “Thank you, Angel. I…so tired.” Alexandra closed her eyes.
    “No, please! Don’t leave me…I still need you!”
    For the last time Alexandra Cromwell smiled. “You will go on, Angel. Use your powers for good. I love you.”
    The Lady turned away so she wouldn’t have to see her companion die.

    Lady Mendenhall had been sitting in a gallery staring at the floor for a long time when she was interrupted. When the servants and the priest had come to take away the body she had wandered in a daze to this place.
    A loud cough interrupted her thoughts. She looked up to see a man standing there, two soldiers behind him. It was Edward Drake, Earl of Surrey and the man looking to be made the next Lord Protector.
    “My Lady, I wish to speak to you.”
    Normally, driven by her hidden mission, her Ladyship could gladly have spun a web of intrigue about this discussion. She knew Drake, his weakness, how to play him. At this point though she simply didn’t care.
    “I have nothing to say to you,” she said, standing.
    Taken aback, Drake frowned. “I’m sorry, my Lady?”
    “You heard me. I have other matters to attend to. If you need me I will be in the Orkneys, but it is my sincere hope that you do not.”
    Drake was the sort of man used to being obeyed, used to getting his way, used to intimidating. “You will stay and listen to me,” he managed to bite out.
    Lady Mendenhall gave him a look of such fury that he stepped back. “Are you going to stop me? I go where I please, when I please, and neither you nor your little soldiers are going to stop me. I do not even know why I bother with this country sometimes. Now get out of my way or I will crush you like the insignificant insect you are!”
    For a moment Drake and the two soldiers just stared, and then he stepped aside. There was something almost unearthly in the combination of rage and grief on her face. “I’m sorry about the Lady Protector,” he said softly.
    “You know nothing of it! She was worth a thousand of you and now she is gone! Dead! You cannot imagine that loss to me.” With a sigh she shook her head. “I’m sorry. Sorry for everything. I must go.” With that she slipped past them and out, away. It was a long time before she returned to the halls of Parliament.
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  3. #463
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    nice second view ... was wondering what she was up to. So she's opting out of her role as protecting & guiding the realm for a while - could be bad news all around

  4. #464
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Well, this is why it should never be only one person in control. With her grieving on the Orkneys her mission is on pause, cause she has no backup.
    Old greek saying it is: May the wisest rule with ultimate power, but what are we doing if he gets sick?

    @Ashantai
    We would miss all those scandals for sure.

  5. #465
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    I still cannot understand why does Mendenhall value Alexandra so much? She clearly was competent, did not allow too much trouble to happen to England, even won a war (albeit one with no land gans)... but she did not seem to do anything special or extraordinary during her reign - she even had to quarrel with her brother for the best part of it.

    Also Lady Mendenhall had a lot of queens as good friends (and some kings as something more ) so why did she fall into such a severe depression over this one? Perhaps she just finally needed a rest?

    Response to poster down: Love? Heard about it somewhere, but can't recall what was it... does it have anything to do with drawing heart caricatures which are bereft of atriums, vantricles, arteries and veins, by any chance?
    Last edited by Memento Mori; 07-01-2012 at 15:59.

  6. #466
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Um, you know of this love thing, do you?

  7. #467
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    Marvelous tale...I especially like how you started your AAR, allowing us to know how the game would end. Then, you proceed to tell the tale of how Lady Mendenhall helped to make it all possible.
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  8. #468
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    Quote Originally Posted by Range View Post
    Marvelous tale...I especially like how you started your AAR, allowing us to know how the game would end. Then, you proceed to tell the tale of how Lady Mendenhall helped to make it all possible.
    I second this. Ashantai, when you mentioned (several months ago) you were going to work backward from an 1820 end result, my gut reaction was that it would be difficult for readers to know the game's outcome yet sustain suspense and interest about the voyage there. Well, clearly my gut doesn't know Jack—it's a well-crafted story and I (along with with everyone else) look forward to the daily update!

    Mendenhall bowing out of public life after Alexandra's death is both plausible and touching. Drake's stats don't herald a great future for the Commonwealth, but presumably he won't be around for a whole lot longer.
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  9. #469
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Chris Taylor: Thanks! Coming from you that is a compliment indeed.
    Range: Thank you. Having written the Eternal Exile I knew this was the only way it could work. To do it from start to finish would simply take too long, hence my decision to do it this way. It's worked well so far, I agree!
    Sather/Momento Mori: Sather is right, the Lady loved Alexandra, romantically. Not only that, but Alexandra only ruled for a few short years. She could have achieved true greatness and ensured the Republic survived. As it was she died, and the Lady felt guilty for not being able to save her...and let's face it, the curse of her immortality was catching up with her.
    Loki: Indeed it could!

    Chapter 33a – The Fall of the Republic and the Restoration (1665-1671)

    Summarised from Chapter 8 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.


    After the death of Alexandra Cromwell Great Britain was left in a troubled state. People were rapidly becoming dissatisfied with the Republic which seemed to give them no more freedoms; indeed it gave less as the Lord and Lady Protectors often ignored Parliament entirely!
    Edward Drake, a soldier who had fought for several decades, was the choice for replacement. He was chosen mostly because he was rather unimaginative, and the ‘Grand Council’ believed he would be an excellent puppet. The problem is that Edward Drake did not accept this passive role, but nor was he especially talented either. Even though he was brave and well-liked by the soldiers he was not a wise man, and had to rely on his ministers. He also developed a taste for luxury, and corruption was rife.



    The one great achievement of his rule was the annexation of Dauphine, one of the few surviving small states in France. However, even this must be noted as having downsides. The war was expensive, and Drake’s introduction of relatives into key positions in the new territories earned him few friends. By 1668 people in all social classes were looking for a change.







    There was an alternative. Edward V had borne many children both in and out of wedlock. One of those legitimate children was Victoria Grey, Duchess of Flanders. She had married Thomas Beaufort before the Civil War and they had gone to Sweden during the war to escape the troubles. The pair had several children, one of which was Edward Beaufort, born in 1648.
    Edward grew quickly, and was taken in by a Swedish noble family when his mother Victoria died in 1654. Edward watched from afar the glory and decline of the Republic, and drew some important conclusions about it. As the closest living heir to the slain Edward VI (being his half-brother), he was heir to the throne. In 1666 he married Princess Caroline of Sweden and made his way to the continent of Europe.
    In 1668 he produced a remarkable document; the Declaration of Limburg. In this widely circulated message Edward, (with help from several advisors) he promised that he had learned the lessons of the Civil War and that he would work with Parliament, work with the nobles. There would be a full amnesty, even for those who fought his half-brother (whom his mother had disliked anyway).
    The message was a masterstroke, humble, yet commanding in its own way. When Frederick Uxbridge, general of the British armies in France put forward his support, the matter was settled.
    Parliament deposed Edward Drake to make way for Edward VII Beaufort, still aged only twenty. The restoration had begun.





    Almost immediately the new King had to deal with Parliament and with the problems of found corruption and entrenched Republican sentiment in the government. Once this was dealt with, the King could celebrate the birth of his son Thomas, named for his father.




    Having married a Swedish Princess it was inevitable that closer links with Sweden were likely. In 1671 an alliance was formed that would endure until the present as the great Nordic Protestant power united with the British to dominate the continent.



    Colonisation of the great southern continent of Australia continued, and vast gold reserves were discovered soon after, allowing for the expansion of the coinage system.





    The first years of King Edward VII’s reign had gone well. He had shown himself to be reliable, sober and competent. Edward was intelligent and though the government was not a full constitutional monarchy just yet, but it was well on the way. Edward Beaufort, who had spent the first twenty years of his life exiled, drew the message that only a unification of Parliament and King could bring order and stability to the British Empire.
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  10. #470
    The Wonderful Continent of Australia! Hurrah.

  11. #471
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    God save the king!
    Vive le roi!
    Niech żyje król! (soz, forgot you didn't conquer Poland)
    [Insert random east and west indian monarchist calls]!
    [If I forgot any of your subject language, it's because they are rebel scum]

  12. #472
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    A French noble sitting on the throne of England, and everyone seems pleased. (It does sound nice to say that, with that last name of his)
    May the glory of Britain rise higher than it ever did!
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  13. #473
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    that, as ever, was elegantly handled. So the Anglo-Swedish alliance is to be the natural replacement for the now sundered anglo-portuguese one.

  14. #474
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    Ah the restoration of the monarch.
    All must be right in the land now...except when his heir turns to a different religion and gets deposed by his daughter and son in law. While unleashing some ass kicking on anyone who gets in the way. Delivered by the Lady.
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  15. #475
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    blsteen: Haha, I think this one will stick though...no Dutch invasion needed!
    loki: It sure is. Britain and Sweden (eventually Scandinavia) are the two strongest nations in Europe west of the Elbe, so it makes sense. Sweden dragged me into wars in Asia every so often, but I didn't mind.
    Sethanon: Well, he's not really French. English exiled to France with Swedish relatives. So...acceptable enough I guess.
    Momento Mori: Only Basque, and I don't know that language at all, so I'll just leave it as you have it!
    Morrell8: Yeah, I had to include that!

    Chapter 34 –Homecoming

    1/2/1820


    After staying overnight in the regimental barracks they were allowed to continue on to London with an escort on the train. There was no further attacks or danger.
    Nonetheless John was constantly looking around for signs of danger, and when the train slowed as it passed through Birmingham he had reached for his weapon until Lady Mendenhall stopped him.
    “They won’t attack again, John. Not yet anyway. News has to pass up to the leaders, and they need to evaluate what went wrong. I didn’t discuss matters with Major Richmond, but I believe we can safely assume that these people were part of the ALA.”
    “They did have American accents, it’s true. But what is their goal? Why attack us?”
    “That is indeed the question, John. I can’t decide first of all how they knew we were coming, but also what the reason was. I can only conclude that I was the target. It’s true that I helped in America, but few people know how and the exact nature. All I can conclude is that they are going to target people they feel are most dangerous to their cause.”
    “I’m glad no one was hurt.”
    “Apart from the enemy,” her Ladyship commented dryly. “I think my maid has taken a shine to you, John,” she added.
    “Victoria? Well, she is very nice,” John replied, turning away to hide a small blush.
    “She is indeed.” Her Ladyship changed the topic. “I know you want to go home to your family, but did you want to continue helping me?” she asked politely.
    “What did you have in mind?” John asked.
    “Well, I admit it will be dangerous, but necessary. I am going to see the Queen and see if I can cure whatever has happened to her. What I need you to do is to look into this Lord Streams. I do not believe in coincidences, and nor should you.”
    John considered the matter. He was sitting beside a woman unique in history, he thought. She asked him for his help and could reward him. The danger of course was a problem. Still, he wanted something out of this.
    “I could. But I still don’t have the full story from you. I was interrupted last time, and I still want to know about who you are, and where you originally come from. I want to know just what it is you are doing this all for.”
    Her Ladyship nodded thoughtfully. “Very well, John. When we have some time I promise I will tell all; but you must swear not to tell anyone else. I don’t think anyone else would understand.”
    “Very well, Lady. I will find out what I can.”
    “Excellent. Keep in touch via electrograph. It’s important that we stay united on this.”

    When the train pulled into Euston Station under the grand replica Greek arch captured during the Ottoman War, John could see his father and sister waiting with a pair of police escorts.
    John stepped onto the platform in the wind and headed over. He held out his hand to shake his fathers; they had never been overly affectionate, but Benjamin surprised him and hugged his son.
    “John, my boy, I’m so glad you’re safe!” he said.
    “Welcome back, John,” Alexandra said, giving her brother a quick hug too.
    “Thank you. You didn’t need to come, you know.”
    “I wanted to. I have business with her Ladyship,” he said grimly.
    “What business?” John asked. He was too slow. As soon as Lady Mendenhall appeared from the train Benjamin Adams headed towards her.
    “You!” he said angrily, shaking a finger at her.
    Tempest moved forward to intervene, but her Ladyship stilled her with a gesture. “Sir Benjamin, I presume?”
    “You presume correctly, Lady. I have come to make the strongest complaint to you about endangering my son! He went to see you for academic advice, not to be attacked by thugs!”
    Lady Mendenhall did not flinch. “And that I deeply regret. However, it speaks of a far greater danger. These enemies of the Empire are seeking to bring it down, and they must be stopped.”
    “They will be stopped without my son,” Benjamin said sternly.
    “No, father. I can help!” John said, stepping forward.
    “No, John. I am not having you mixed up in this.”
    “It is my choice,” John insisted. “Her Ladyship is very important, and if I can help her, I will.”
    Benjamin, seeing his son’s resolve, backed off a bit. “Very well, it is your choice.” He turned to Lady Mendenhall. “But I want you to take care of my son.”
    Her Ladyship unexpectedly laid a hand on his shoulder. “I swear to you that I will protect him…and make up for my failure with his mother.”
    Benjamin frowned. “You knew my wife?”
    “Yes…we met in America before the rebellion. I’m sorry for your loss.”
    “Thank you. Now come, my son. I have a carriage waiting.”
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  16. #476
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    From the time the death of John's mother was mentioned I knew that it will be expanded on! Previously I thought that it will happen during the chapter of the book dealing with American Rebelion, but seeing frequent referenes, and the ALA becoming the main villian organisation, I think that we will know sooner then later

    A bit strange that Benjamin immediately thought that there was a link between Lady and the bandits (after all, they could have struck anywhere and John was seemingly as safe with Mendenhall then alone). Perhaps he knows more then we think he does...

    By the way, not related to this update at particular, how does Lady go about changing her 'generations' (I.e. adopting a new name and claiming she is a younger relative of the previous Lady Mendenhall? Is there a rotation in servants every 30 or so years, with her saying "my dear daughter will be just returning from her education in America" and "Oh no! Why did my mother die just a week after I have returned? The furnerall was a closest-family-only occasion, though." to any friends she has?

  17. #477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memento Mori View Post
    [...] By the way, not related to this update at particular, how does Lady go about changing her 'generations' (I.e. adopting a new name and claiming she is a younger relative of the previous Lady Mendenhall? Is there a rotation in servants every 30 or so years, with her saying "my dear daughter will be just returning from her education in America" and "Oh no! Why did my mother die just a week after I have returned? The furnerall was a closest-family-only occasion, though." to any friends she has?
    I think the name of the game is not having friends, except for the companion/aide-de-camp of the day. Her death is reported, house closed up, paintings removed, furniture covered. Release the household help, as their services are no longer required. Rotate the troops out for a fresh regiment. A couple months later the "heir" arrives from India, America, or what-have you, hires new staff, new paintings commissioned, etc.
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  18. #478
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Yeah, it was sort of explained earlier with the butler. She hires the staff on 20 year contracts, or later ones so they reach a specified date. Then she goes over to America for 3 or 4 months, changes her look and comes back as a new woman. Perfectly acceptable for most people because it's so hard to check things in these days.

    And really, it works well because people don't really think about the alternative...I mean, people might think it's odd, but they're hardly going to suspect that LM is really an immortal.

    As for the bandits, a telegram would have been sent ahead to inform Mr Adams so he could be at the station.
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  19. #479
    Captain bananafishtoday's Avatar
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    She's gonna be screwed once some British startup invents Facebook.

    Edit: Also, I'm assuming she's from OTL? Man, she's got to have nerves of steel to only develop period-appropriate technologies. Me, I've actually fantasized about going to ancient Rome and being all, "Don't worry y'all, trust me, learn this numeral system I just invented. I'm gonna blow your minds when I show you this little thing I figured out in my spare time called the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Just wait till we get to air foils and quantum mechanics!"
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  20. #480
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Yes, it is VERY interesting how careful she is. I wonder why? Hmm...could it have some bearing on the later story?
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