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

  1. #481
    Captain bananafishtoday's Avatar
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  2. #482
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananafishtoday View Post
    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!"
    Maybe she is from an ATL and trying to make ours to fit...boogedy boo
    Plus period appropriate tech would help in a couple of ways. Firstly, while my hat is off to Turtledove et al, giving a Roman legion Ak-47 probably is not going to be the combat multiplier that we would think it would be. Similarly, Genghis in an T-72 just not happening without alot of technical support.
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  3. #483
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananafishtoday View Post
    She's gonna be screwed once some British startup invents Facebook.

    Edit: [...] Man, she's got to have nerves of steel to only develop period-appropriate technologies. [...]
    Well, you've just provided one reason for her to not speed up the technological advancement too much

    Edit: On the other hand, once facebook is an option, plastic surgeries and photoshoping her kids "studying in America" would also be possible

  4. #484
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Of course, the biggest problem is that she can't actually change her appearence much at all. The influence of the time power has made her immortal as well as ageless, the same as Talena. So she can't cut her hair or even dye it. Different hair styles and such are really the only choice she has.

    Now, I might take this time to ask my readers where next. I have finished writing this AAR and will continue to post daily, but I am undecided on the next project. My possible choices are:
    - Continue the Eternal Exile with yet another style of narrative and continue the story from 1540 on.
    - Do an indepth AAR designed around one specific campaign or event from the POV of a participant.
    - Do what this AAR was originally supposed to be; a proper history book looking back on the past.
    - Do yet another time travelling AAR bent on vast conquests and throwing historical plausibility out the window. (Austria, Byzantium or a Horde)
    - Try something radically different like a comedy.

    I'm open to ideas here, looking for the next adventure! It might well be a while before the one I choose happens, so yeah.
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  5. #485
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Even if she's like David Eddings' Polgara, where hair dye washes out straight away, presumably she can have her painting done and then wash her hair?
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  6. #486
    Prior to this AAR, I'd have said continue the Eternal Exile, since it was amazing and I wouldn't have thought you could top it. Now I say I will read whatever you write and look forward to it
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  7. #487
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    A while back I had this idea about a game of Holy Roman Empire squared

    1 - Start as Byzantium, true heir to the Roman Empire [Roman: 1/2]
    2 - Go Catholic
    3 - Become the Emperor, acquiring the Legacy of Charlemagne, and the Western Empire [Empire: 1/2]
    4 - Renovatio Imperii, breaking with the concept of federalism and introducing the dominate once again [Empire: 2/2]
    5 - Change government type from empire to theocracy
    6 - Cause the downfall of the Papacy, and become the Pope [Holy : 1/2]
    7 - Move your capital to Rome, the eternal city, conquering it if necessary. While you are at it, conquer every single province the original Empire (as well as Bizantine succesor state) ever had [Roman: 2/2]
    8 - Form the Kingdom of God! [Holy: 2/2]

    Now you are twice-fold holy, as the papacy and Kingdom of God, totally Roman, as Byzantine emulating the original empire's greatness and having the capital in Rome and a double Emperor - uniting the generally hereditary Eastern Empire and the generally elective Western one.

    As a further bonus you have grayed out, and thus harnessed the power, of the two main political entities in Europe.

    And to make it even more epic - write it in a way so it is at least remotely plausible

    What's more, when I firstly gave this Idea I promised that if anybody does an aar about this I am going to change my epic dragon banner to the flag of Suahili. The bet still stands
    Last edited by Memento Mori; 10-01-2012 at 20:29.

  8. #488
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    A horde WC AAR with time travel sounds fun.

  9. #489
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sather: Interesting idea! I've never played a horde before of any sort.
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    Chapter 34a – British Power and Recovery (1672-80)

    Summarised from Chapter 9 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.


    The Republic had been an era of British power, but also stagnation. Without either an absolute monarch or a diverse Parliament the positions of authority quickly came into the hands of those who had been loyal to the regime first and competent second.
    Naturally this had to be changed, and the army especially needed purging and reorganisation. In order to accomplish this the death of the Duke of Lorraine was taken as an opportunity to invade. Unfortunately, though Uxbridge won the battle near Verdun it had showed some glaring problems, as the much smaller Lorrainian army was allowed to escape. The war was won, and vast indemnities extracted, but it had pointed to improvements that needed to be made.









    On other matters, the King dispatched an army to Norway to help the Swedish King put down some rebellions by the heir to the Norwegian throne. These ten thousand troops had something of a unique experience marching through the snowy wastes, hunting down partisans.
    More importantly, the crown of Hungary was in an uncertain state. The last King, Laszlo, had been a sick man and had outlived his heirs. Rather than let the crown pass to an Austrian (which would have been the case) he adopted young Prince Thomas as his heir and putting it under the authority of the British crown. As had been done centuries before with Castille the Hungarians were allowed to form a government to run the country in the King’s name, but were not required to provide military forces.





    The return of stability had led to an increase in organisation, art and experimentation. Growth and economic prosperity also grew, leading to significant development, especially in trade. The British colonial presence reached the East Indies, and in the King Edward Islands a new trading centre grew up to cover all this trade.







    The removal of religious and government interference allowed for a great increase in the inventiveness and productivity of the realm. Selling off titles in the colonies for the new royal administration raised even more funds.
    Naturally there were those opposed to this turn of events, and one of the last major noble rebellions, this one in Brittany tried and failed to gain autonomy.









    By 1680 Great Britain was well on the road to recovery, but war would intrude on the peace very soon. An era of conflict was about to begin as Great Britain reasserted itself in the world.
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  10. #490
    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    I would def. like to see you finish Talena's adventures. However you have more than proven that anything you write is excellent so I will follow it no matter what!

    Ps: Good update as always, what else is there to say?
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  11. #491
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    nice set of interactions between nobles (selling titles and some getting upset enough to rebel) and merchants there. Has the feel that Britain is becoming more stable and slowly sorting out domestic rather than international matters?
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  12. #492
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Loki: Thanks! Sometimes the events coincide quite nicely. Sale of Titles is a fantastic event to get. By the end it was netting me 15,000 ducats!
    Sethanon: Thanks! I would like to finish Talena's adventures.

    Chapter 35 – Investigation

    2/2/1820


    To say John was nervous as he walked down the street was an understatement. Despite no danger appearing he looked around, trying to keep an eye on his surroundings.
    Finally he reached his destination and knocked on the polished door. The plaque by the door said the house belonged to Joseph Hill, MP, the father of John’s friend.
    A maid opened the door, curtseyed. “Good morning, sir. May I help you?”
    “Yes, I’m looking for Mr Elijah.”
    “And you have found him also!” Elijah said, dropping down the last few steps and running over. “Thank you, Mary, nothing more for now,” he told the maid with a grin. “Johnny boy, come in! I got your message last night and did as you asked. This is all very mysterious. So how did things go with the Grand Lady Duchess Countess Empress Goddess Mendenhall?” he asked, keeping a straight face.
    “Different from what I could have expected, El,” John replied. He followed his friend into Joseph’s study. “She’s a remarkable woman, but on a different level from anything I’ve met before.”
    “So no wedding bells?” Elijah asked mockingly.
    “None.” John coughed and changed the subject. “So, did you get to contact your father?”
    “I tell you, Johnny, you do cause me a lot of work, you know that? I was down in the electrograph office for hours. I got permission to use that new undersea cable across to America, and fortunately my father answered. Then I had to wait and finally got what you wanted.”
    “Great, show me!” John enthused. He saw his friend’s hurt look. “Thank you, Elijah. I wouldn’t ask you if this wasn’t important. I would have done it myself but I couldn’t be seen going there.”
    “There’s something weird going on here, John. American rebels and I’m just guessing here, but you were on that train too?”
    “Yes. Her Ladyship has…enemies it seems. I can’t tell you too much, but let me just say that this is very important.”
    Elijah looked at his friend and eventually nodded. “I can see that. Very well, come and see what I got sent back from father.”

    At the mahogany desk Elijah had laid out papers and notes. “A year ago what you wanted would have been impossible, but with the new submarine cable we can get answers in minutes rather than a month or more.”
    John took the electrograph message, skimming over it.

    Son X Cyrus Streams not in records before 1816 X No mention of name X Atlantic & Gulf colonies checked others to come X Give my love to your mother X J Hill

    “This Lord Streams, odd name by the way, who is he?” Elijah asked.
    “A good question. He’s causing trouble, but he seems to have shown up with a fortune a few years back, married an heiress. He claims to be from Newcastle on the Mississippi, but this showed us there is no proof before a certain time.”
    “So it’s the answer you wanted?” Elijah asked.
    “I think so. I have to take this to her Ladyship.”
    “You know, you could have gotten the Foreign Office to do this. They’re the professional spies!”
    “She didn’t want anyone finding out.”
    “But what does it mean?”
    John decided to explain more. He owed that much to his best friend. “I was attacked by people on that train. We’re guessing but we don’t know for certain that they’re from the ALA. You remember, the ones from the Rebellion?”
    “How could I forget, John, I was there, remember?”
    “Of course, sorry. But the Queen is ill, and her Ladyship thinks its connected with this Lord Streams. We need to find out what’s going on.”
    “Well, if you say so. This all sounds rather strange to me,” Elijah said. “Are you-“ he begun.

    He was interrupted by the sound of loud voices below and a crash. John ran to the banister and looked down at the hall.
    A male servant this time had opened the door, but then tried to deny entry to two armed men. He was hit hard across the head and pushed aside.
    John reached for his revolver, and then realised he hadn’t taken it. His father had forbidden him to take it through the city streets.
    For the first time John felt…a calmness overtake him. He gestured Elijah back into the study and called down to the men.
    “Hey you!” It wasn’t very original, but it worked. He knew then that he was the target, and that despite his efforts, he had been followed.
    Fortunately the two men seemed only to be armed with knives, and charged towards him. So, having shown himself, he didn’t quite know what to do, so he retreated into the study and looked around for a weapon. He saw that Elijah had put himself on the other side of the doorway and was waiting. In his hand was a Delaware Indian club, a souvenir from America.
    John managed to pick up a chair as the first man entered. It seemed flimsy indeed.
    “Now, you’re coming with us, boy, alive or dead don’t matter.” The accent was definitely American.
    As the second man entered Elijah came at him, but not going for the head, instead striking the man’s back, following up with a blow to his head.
    Surprised, the first man turned, and John swung at him. Unfortunately his aim wasn’t as good, and this thug was faster. The chair grazed the man’s shoulder and he was able to shove John over and turn on Elijah.
    To the surprise of everyone though Elijah stood his ground and avoided the first knife stab and replied with a precision punch to the jaw. Elijah assumed a classical pugilist pose and delivered a pair of swift jabs. Meanwhile John had picked himself up and grabbed the chair again.
    Perhaps sensing the odds were against him, the man charged Elijah, knocked him back and slashed his arm, then ran for the stairs and then the door.
    Shaking a little, John looked out to see the man fleeing. The male servants, armed with a variety of makeshift weapons, milled around.
    “Call the police!” Elijah called. “And being me some rope.”

    With the unconscious attacker secured for later questioning John and Elijah had opened a bottle of Joseph Hill’s antique port to calm their nerves.
    “I’m sorry I brought this on you,” John said. “I should have seen them following me.”
    Elijah shook his head. “No, you’re right, this is dangerous. If you need my help with anything else, let me know.”
    “Thank you. But…where did you learn to fight?” John asked, remembering his friend’s skills.
    “While you were spending ten hours a day in the library I was doing other things. I did some boxing, some hunting…a few other things with the ladies….”
    “Well I’ll be sure to call on such a mighty and renowned warrior in the future,” John said dryly.
    “Shut up and drink,” Elijah ordered, pouring another glass.
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  13. #493
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    so John is very much a target in his own right now, not just due to being close to her ladyship. Do rather like Elijah, though as a psychologist, I'm not sure that port really is the best cure for stress?
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  14. #494
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    Its good to have friends around sometimes! I wonder who the american Lord Streams is.

    Ps: Im assuming elijah wants some rope, not to be some: Elijah called. “And being me some rope.”
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  15. #495
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sethanon: He COULD have been making a metaphysical point! More likely...yeah, it's a typo.
    Loki: What are you talking about...hard liquor is the cure for everything isn't it?!

    Chapter 35a – The War for Empire (1680-90)

    Summarised from Chapter 9 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.

    Great Britain had recovered much of its lost power and prestige from the later Republican era. Internally Edward VII showed a genius for gaining allies and making necessary concessions. The King still officially had all of the more absolutist powers and prerogatives, but he wisely avoided using them though. The fact they continued to exist though was always in the background of members of Parliament.

    Regardless, the 1680s were dominated by war. Advancements in artillery and naval forces allowed for greater expansion in colonies into the Pacific and America.









    India looked ripe for the picking. The crown of Vijayanagar had been contested by several claimants, and the King allowed himself to be convinced into a war to seize territory on the Coromandel Coast in exchange for supporting one claimant to the throne.
    The result was an utter catastrophe. A British army of 25,000 troops under Lord Archibald Davis was attacked by over 60,000 Indians near Madras. The result was disaster. Surrounded by the cavalry and hemmed by infantry the army lost half its strength in three hours. As they limped away deeper into India whole regiments gave themselves up.
    It was a humiliating defeat, and only quick work by Lord Davis saved the rest of the army from destruction. He organised a truce which allowed the British to leave India and return to Ceylon. It was a disaster, and in the aftermath Davis testified about the inefficient support from the government and the utter lack of supplies.



    Davis, a soldier of considerable talents, kept his job and brought back to London. There the Minister of War and head of the Ordinance Board lost their positions. John Burgoyne and François Ruffin took those positions and prepared Britain for its hardest fight yet; a war for Empire with Portugal.
    Thomas Cromwell had fought and defeated the Portuguese and seized their North American holdings from them, but the Portuguese Empire was still formidable. The War that followed was even greater than the previous one, extending to all the oceans of the world. It was primarily a naval war, as control on land was meaningless without naval support.



    In July 1690 Davis landed and occupied Lisbon for the second time. The Portuguese were quite unable to stop him, and despite a fierce partisan resistance the country was gradually brought under control.



    At sea a Portuguese effort to land on Jamaica was utterly destroyed by Admiral Bedford’s ships. So many enemy troops and sailors drowned that the area became known as the Bay of Dead Men, and the home of supernatural myths thereafter.



    Elsewhere the British suffered their own defeat when a fleet of old ships was wiped out by the Portuguese Admiral Dias. Just 20 days later though Admiral Bedford forced a battle on Dias and destroyed his fleet. And that, aside from occupations decided the war.



    Without naval support the Portuguese colonies surrendered one by one. With their leader held hostage in Lisbon the Portuguese were forced to surrender. In a stroke every Portuguese island except Trinidad was seized, and a massive reparation imposed. It had been a triumph of naval power, and now the British Empire had ousted one of its two great rivals. Later wars against Portugal were much less dramatic, and the nation entered a period of decline, leading eventually to a restoration of the monarchy.





    (This particular war featured two surprising defeats. Vijay utterly beat me, I'm not sure how. I suspect that they were using that particular form of overpowered cavalry that Edgewise alluded to. Either way, next time I got my revenge! This naval battle marks the ONLY time in the 420 years of the game that I either lost a naval battle or lost even one ship in battle! It was my own fault...I grabbed the nearest fleet and set them to blockade without noticing that they were 1399 vintage.)
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  16. #496
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Wow. That's a devastating defeat you inflict upon the Portuguese. I feel for them, really I do!
    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

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  17. #497
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    does seem as if Portugal was made to pay for your embarrasment in India. I've had similar there, if its unified then you can face huge armies and get overrun if you're not too careful.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  18. #498
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Loki: Heh, Portugal got what they deserved. Since I had spread of provinces on 200 years only 3 countries got into the Americas, and since Spain was my vassal for a long time it was only me and Portugal. So this was all about stealing the islands from them. I admit I did have a horrified moment when I saw my fleet destroyed so I brought my battlefleet from Europe and hunted the Portuguese ships down in revenge.
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    Chapter 36 – Puzzle Pieces

    2/2/1820


    The first thing that John noticed was that there were more guards around Three Oaks as the carriage pulled in. Christian opened the door for him and he was able to head inside. It seemed incredible that a month ago today he had only just received his first letter from her Ladyship. Now, so much had happened. He had asked Elijah to come along, but his friend was busy tidying up the mess made by the fight.
    When John entered the house he was met by Victoria who ran over to him, looking very happy. “I was so glad to hear you were safe, sir!” she said, smiling at him.
    “Thank you, Victoria. I’m fine.” He patted the maid on the shoulder in a reassuring way.
    After a moment she remembered herself. “This way, sir. Her Ladyship is waiting.”

    Lady Mendenhall was indeed waiting in that sitting room from so long before.
    “John, I am very pleased to see you unharmed. I should have sent an escort for you. I’m sorry.”
    He shook his head. “I can’t live my life under guard. We need to find out exactly who is causing this trouble and stop them.”
    “I couldn’t agree more. I have taken the precaution of putting some guards near both yours and your friend’s houses. Come, take a seat. We have important things to discuss. Victoria, please leave us,” she ordered, but with a smile. The girl left them alone, closing the door.
    John took a seat. “Where’s Tempest?”
    “Meeting with a friend of mine. I am getting ready for tomorrow.”
    “What’s happening tomorrow?”
    “Ah, that is the question, isn’t it?” her Ladyship asked with a teasing little smile. “It all depends on if I am right. Tell me, what did you discover?”
    John pulled out the message from Joseph Hill and handed it over. “I’m pretty sure they wanted me, and this message.”
    “Yes, that seems most likely.” Lady Mendenhall took it and read the message. “Yes, this is exactly what I want, John. So, I think I know exactly what is happening, or at least most of it.”
    “Please tell me!” John said, worried that she’d go back to being infuriatingly close with her thoughts.

    Lady Mendenhall nodded. “Very well. Let me tell you what I think, and I will leave the rest up to you. John, do you remember the background and leaders of the American Rebellion?”
    “I was only fourteen, and not in America when it started. I was a little occupied…,” he added pointedly.
    “Yes, your mother, I’m sorry to bring it up, but it is important. There were three leaders, William Jefferson and two brothers, Isaac and Kyran Masters. There were few people in America supportive of the rebellion in 1814. In 1770 it had received popular support, but this time it was looked on as unnecessary. Only a thuggish element and a few genuine patriots joined it. William Jefferson was a man of considerable talents, and was rather idealistic. He wanted America to determine its own fate. Of course, I’d always made sure that certain mistakes from my future were not made, so they already had strong representation. The Masters brothers though were mercenaries, fighting for the cause in the hopes of reward. They were also very talented, though in a darker side than Jefferson.”
    “In February 1814 they planned a rebellion against Carolina, especially South Carolina. There was very little support in the north, but the south was angered by the adoption of cotton from India and cheaper labour there. However, they also wanted to raid Hartford, the biggest city in North America. Their plan was that while Jefferson led the southern rebels the Masters brothers would do their raid on Hartford. Now, I was there and intercepted a message about this, so I advised them to ambush the Rebels as they approached. The Second Battle of New Market was over pretty quickly, but we soon learned that a force had gone quickly and quietly launched their attack.”

    Lady Mendenhall paused in her lecture and looked at John. “One of my greatest regrets is that I didn’t anticipate that. I thought they would send all their men in one group, not have the leaders charge off ahead. I misjudged.”
    John shook his head. “You’re not to blame. The fact you stopped the majority was a great achievement.”
    “If you say so… Regardless, this small group broke into the tariff office and made off with loot, then stormed the Governor’s residence. And by bad luck that was where your mother was. Harry and I got back into Hartford and I killed Isaac myself, I was perhaps a little angry with myself as much as anything. Kyran though got away. He had at least a thousand pounds in paper and coined money from the Tariff Office and escaped. As you also know William Jefferson was hanged after he was captured and the Rebellion was crushed. Kyran escaped though.”

    “So what has this to do with now? Do you think this Streams is Kyran Masters?”
    “The name suggests it. Streams is an anagram of Masters. There’s also the fact that he is clearly American and there is no record of him before 1816. One of my friends at court described him and he is almost certainly him. The eyes are the right colour, the height is right. I needed your information though to make sure I wasn’t making a mistake. Now I am convinced I am on the right track. But we must be careful, John. We might think we know the truth, but we must be careful as we have no definitive proof.”
    “What’s the next step?”
    “We need to go to the palace, and I must see the Queen, and Harry’s son more importantly. I have an idea about how to help the Queen, but I’ll need to see her first.”
    “Very well. Will you keep the people watching my family? I think I best stay the night here, if you are willing.”
    “Most certainly. I will have a room made up. Victoria will help you out.”
    “Thank you Lady. Until tomorrow then.”
    “Goodbye for the present, John Adams.”
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  19. #499
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Given the existence of a "William Jefferson" around the end of the 18th Century, can we make a reasonable guess that our protagonist is related to the Mendenhall timeline's John Adams, another of OTL's US founding fathers?
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  20. #500
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    all wonderfully convoluted ... & Victoria will help him out ... of what?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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