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

  1. #501
    Victoria is infatuated. Waiting for more!

  2. #502
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arakhor View Post
    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?
    On the other hand, the butterfly effect would make any relation between the people of different timelines highly unrealistic by the XIX century. It would be enough that one ancestor of either of them died before giving birth to/siring the next ancestor in line. Also, I think that a relatively small amount of nobles can trace their ancestors to 1399 (not sure if the Adams themeselves could do it), and which lucky mercenary or wealthly burgher gets a patent of nobility is also a subject to change if the history gets a bit different (an army gets anninhilated that otherwise wasn't, and someone who would display courage on the battlefield gets slashed in half by a sword, rather then struck on the shoulder with it).

  3. #503
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Given that we've had an immortal playing with history for the last 400 years and using EU III rules to do it, chances are that we're running on the Rule of Cool, rather than any perceived realism.
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  4. #504
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Arakhor/Momento Mori: You are absolutely right. 400 years is far too long and too much has happened for the same people to be in the same places. In many ways John Adams is the spiritual successor to the real timeline people. Though in actual fact the original character of John Adams in my other stories was named after the Presidents and lived in 'modern' times.
    Morrell8/Loki: Hehe. Indeed, she might prove very 'helpful' indeed.

    Chapter 36a - Fundamental Changes, Growth and Reforms (1691-1697)

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


    The 1690s saw the decline of Edward VII’s health, but also personal tragedy. In yet another of the hunting accidents that seem to have plagued British history, Thomas Beaufort died, leaving his ten year old half brother Edward as heir to the throne.
    In 1674 Princess Caroline had died and Edward VII had remarried Mary Wolfe, daughter of one of the richest merchants in England. The two genuinely loved each other and produced two sons; Edward and Henry.



    The remainder of Edward’s reign was quiet aside from a final war with Savoy. After the Bent Scale Affair, where Savoyard agents had attempted to cause trouble in Tolouse, a British invasion forced harsh reparations on them. During this war the British fleet under Lord Amherst utterly destroyed a Venetian fleet in the Adriatic. After that the war was a foregone conclusion.





    Edward VII’s reign had been vital in several ways. By restoring the prestige of the British Empire he had once again demonstrated the power of the nation. By being stable and working with Parliament he had smoothed over old problems.







    Perhaps his most important contribution though has been that he left a ten year old son as heir. When he died in 1697 his son was still some years from ruling alone, leaving Parliament to take over running the nation. With the absence of an adult king Parliament could finally assume control and change the nature of Kingship forever.



    Under a series of excellent ministers the future setup of the British political scene was determined in this time. First a series of regulation acts were passed to ensure a stable currency and a regulation of companies to stop disastrous fraud or mismanagement were implemented.









    Next a new constitution was actually written and wrangled over in record time. It spelt out the current rights, duties and prerogatives of the monarch, and since the monarch was a ten year old child he could not intervene.
    Under these laws it was firmly fixed that the monarch was not allowed to arbitrarily veto laws passed. Any act which passed both the House of Commons and the House of Lords could not be vetoed. The royal salary was firmly established, though in a key concession the monarch could use this sum as they saw fit. Furthermore it was enshrined that the monarch could not dissolve Parliament without its consent, and that the position of Chief Minister would be chosen by Parliament, and it would be they and not the monarch who would act as the governing head of government.
    And so the first official chief minister, Robert Warwick, later Sir Robert, was instated. He would continue in the role for many years, offering good advice to the young King.



    A discussion of the parties is appropriate here. The modern two parties and their somewhat obscure names are derived from this period.
    The Barleys: Named for the type of field where King Edward VI met his end. They are the conservative, pro-monarchist faction. They are also traditionally more interested in European affairs, and were more likely nobles of mixed French/English origin.
    The Wheats: Named for the type of field where Thomas Cromwell commanded the army at Cambridge. By contrast they were more colonial, more liberal and more interested in foreign trade and expansion. Many of their members were Scottish, Irish, American or native English nobles.

    Sir Robert was a Barley, and thus his policy was continental. It would soon be put to the test.

    So when King Edward VIII ascended he had a working party system and a new government to support the Empire. He did not waste this opportunity….

    Last edited by Ashantai; 15-01-2012 at 02:32.
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  5. #505
    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    That's one hell of an heir u got there. I hope he wont die, u'd think that after a couple hundred years of hunting accidents they would have learned to be more careful, ahh well.
    With those advisers, the future of Britain looks bright indeed!
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  6. #506
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    You didn't comment properly at the bottom. It just says XXX.
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  7. #507
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    That was my bad. I use XXX as breaks in the word document and this time I accidentally copied it across.

    As for hunting accidents...I think I made a comment about them at some stage.
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  8. #508
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    I wouldn't let that heir go out hunting too much, otherwise good solid progress in both international and domestic affairs
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    Random party names for the win.

  10. #510
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sather: Glad you liked it! I wanted something random...and let's face it, Whig and Tory are pretty damn random. I mean, one's a sort of horse thief, and the other's a sort of bandit! It's just because we're used to them that we're blase about it. I was originally going to have 'Wheats' and 'Ryes' and had Edward die in a rye field. Problem is, they didn't grow Rye in Britain and you can't really. Ah well.
    Loki: Unfortunately this heir falls for the other terrible fate of heirs...as you'll see.

    Chapter 37 – A Royal Reception

    3/2/1820


    “You’re sweating. Take a deep breath,” Lady Mendenhall advised calmly.
    “It’s easy for you. You’ve done this hundreds of times,” John muttered.
    “True, but there’s no need to worry,” she said reassuringly.
    John tried to settle down as they passed through the gates of the palace. Westgate Palace, built in 1697 for Edward VIII was a very interesting work of art. Unlike other palaces in Europe Westgate was not especially grand or ornate. Rather it was utilitarian, well maintained and modest. In many ways it was the best representation of the British monarchy’s place in the system; important without being excessive or dramatic. The mere fact that the palace was not fronted in rare marble or covered in gold leaf indicated that this was a monarch restrained by the system of Parliament.

    Inside a grand courtyard their carriage stopped and they alighted from it. Servants came forward to take the vehicle while a butler appeared to lead them inside.
    After assuring the man they were unarmed they were escorted into an ornate waiting room.
    “I’m surprised they let me come with you,” John commented.
    “They’ve stopped trying to argue with me,” her Ladyship said, taking a seat.
    They did not have to wait long. A well-dressed man accompanied by an aide appeared at the door. Lady Mendenhall rose and went over to him.
    “William! So nice to see you again,” she said affably. “Your father sends his regards.”
    William York smiled, a touch embarrassed. He shook her hand a bit awkwardly. “Father sent me a message that you would be coming. I heard of your recent troubles.”
    “Indeed, and I have key information in that regard. William, this is John Adams, a friend of mine.”
    “The latest in the series?” William asked tartly.
    “Correct…Director,” she said pointedly. After all, if Sir Henry had not been her ally William would never have gotten this position.
    William ignored the comment and turned to other matters. “Her Majesty’s condition has worsened. The details are being kept a secret, but it appears that she cut herself and the wound has turned bad despite the efforts of the Royal Surgeon.”
    “Or perhaps because of the Royal Surgeon,” her Ladyship replied grimly. “The practice of medicine, despite my best efforts, is an area of considerable concern. I must see the Queen at once and redress this.”
    William looked uncertain. “Her Majesty is resting.”
    Lady Mendenhall gave him a look which brooked no argument. “She will rest better when she is cured,” she stated.
    “Lady, I do not understand you, but because of my father’s trust and your…past history…I will see that it is granted. Your companion must remain outside.”
    “I understand.” Her Ladyship turned to John. “Please stay here with William and explain the situation. I won’t me long.” She smiled, and turned.
    “I will have you escorted…” William begun.
    “I know the way. I’ve been here before, remember?” she said, heading off down a passage.

    John was left with William York. It was a slightly awkward meeting. Both men had been told to stay while her Ladyship went to try and perform miracles.
    “Father told me that the Lady suspected the ALA behind this,” William said at last.
    “She does, and more, we believe that Kyran Masters is behind this, operating under the name of Lord Cyrus Streams.”
    “You know this for sure?” William asked.
    “Well, her Ladyship is convinced. After all, Streams rearranged is Masters, he’s American, and there are no records of him in America before 1816. If he isn’t then there are a good many coincidences.”
    “I see. I hope that you and her are correct. However, we have had our own suspicions about him. He’s cunning, and has slipped through our traps so far. We believe though that he is in contact with American traitors and French separatists.”
    “What of that prisoner from that attack on me and my friend?”
    “He’s saying nothing, and the name he has given is false, but we have determined he is American, and recently come to the country. However, he came from France, not from America directly.”
    “That would seem to fit together.”
    “Especially since Lord Streams has been using the influence of his family to ask questions about her Ladyship. I myself have a lot of questions.” He looked at John.
    “Don’t ask me. She’s just…herself,” John replied.
    “Indeed. Well, if you will excuse me, I must see to some matters. Remain here until her Ladyship returns.”

    And so John was left alone in the waiting room. Alone, that is, except for a guard at the doorway, not really to watch him, but to make sure he didn’t do anything…disagreeable.
    John sat there, waiting as the minutes ticked by. His day was enlivened by the hurried emergence and an angered surgeon who stormed past John.
    “Impudent woman thinks she knows what she is doing!” he could hear him grumble, and then he was gone.
    Time passed, and John must have dozed off because the door opened and he jerked up. There, her Ladyship was standing.
    “Keeping you up, am I John? Apologies. Please, come with me, the Queen will see you now.”
    John paused, and then followed her into the Queen’s chamber….
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  11. #511
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    I will be away for 5 days after today. I'll be interstate for my birthday, so no posting will be done then. Not that it seems to matter, there's nought but tumbleweeds here.

    Chapter 37a – The Imperial War

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


    The first decade or so of the 18th century saw an aggressive Barley Faction government under Robert Warwick involved in several continental wars which resulted in considerable gains of territory. Above all, these wars saw the power of the British navy demonstrated as they scored great victories even over enemies with larger fleets.
    However, the 60 and 74 gun British men-of-war were by now so far superior to the galleys and light ships of their opponents that the results were almost a foregone conclusion. Typically the British ships cut the weaker enemy ships to pieces.

    In these campaigns first Utrecht was punished for sponsoring rebellion among the Dutch, then Provence was annexed for trying the same thing in the south.





    In 1705 the Austrian Emperor Maximillian II, having gained the crown from Bohemia in 1695, saw the continual growth of British power as well as its Parliamentarian system, and decided to do something about it.
    Although they possessed one of the largest armies in Europe and had considerable assistance from allies in the Empire the Austrians were hamstrung from the start by several factors. Firstly, the distance across Europe ensured that an overland campaign was impossible. Secondly, the Austrian fleet was caught in the Adriatic early in the war by Lord Stanley and roundly defeated.
    Even in South America where the Austrian colonies – taken from Aragon in a previous war – their armies were stalled and then heavily defeated by British forces, leading to the seizure of these American possessions.
    Finally, Emperor Maximillian was his own worst enemy, a man of limited talents and very young age he found himself outmatched by the power and unity of the British forces.

    Finally, in 1707, a treaty was signedgiving these South American possessions to Britain and forced them to pay a large war reparation. It had been a great victory for the British Empire, and Austria was badly shaken by the conflict. In 1715 Maximillian died, and the King of Bohemia was elected Holy Roman Emperor again. It had been a sad end to a needless conflict for the Austrians.









    Britain meanwhile came strongly out of the war. The war reparations and the financial management handled by Parliament ensured a net profit was gained from the conflict. It strengthened Warwick, even if made the Wheats distrust this heavy handed attitude.
    Regardless, in 1708 the last ‘Statelet’ within British continental possessions came into their hands. For centuries Hainaut had been a vassal of the British crown, an island within the greater possessions of the crown. In 1708 though the Count died, and his heir handed over control to the British Crown in exchange for a generous pension for himself and his family, and a limit on taxes for his direct heir in perpetuity, a clause that remains current until today.



    A Discussion of the States in British America

    Now is a good time to discuss the administration and government of British America. British territory and claims cover the entire North American continent save Alaska, and all of central and much of South America as well.
    To administer such a vast region twelve ‘Colonies’ or ‘States’ have been established over time. Each of these states are vast in area, and many of them are sparsely populated. Without a doubt the two most important cities in America are Hartford in North Carolina and New London in New Britain. Both of these regions serve as important centres of trade and administration. Other important cities include New York, Mexico City and New Oxford at the mouth of the Mississippi.
    Each of these states has their own elected legislatures which are allowed to pass internal bills, though these must be vetted by the Colonial Viceroy appointed by the British Crown. Each state sends on average ten members to Parliament in London as well; Indiana sends only 4 while North Carolina sends 15, for instance. This allows for reasonable representation, even if it is not as far as some may wish.

    Since 1702 new laws allowed for the states to vote for their governors and for local government officials with little or no interference. The flipside to this is that a 5% land and income tax was applies by the Imperial Government in exchange for this partial autonomy.





    As of 1818 the population of British America was around 10 million, not including a large but unknown number of natives.
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  12. #512
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    that was a brutally easy dispatch of Austria - a real measure of just how powerful Britain has become when it listens to her ladyship

    going back to the earlier post - it seems a lot of people know her secret and if not opposed to her are rather annoyed/frustrated by her? Could be fertile ground for anyone who fancies bumping her off.

    & happy birthday ... when it arrives
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  13. #513
    Master Sergeant Shooter Person Rockingluke's Avatar
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    A lot seem to be annoyed by her constant meddling in politics, an area clearly above her station as a woman (according to opinion at the time). That she is an immortal time traveller is unknown to most of them, from what I have established.
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  14. #514
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    Interesting update. 1702 already, time surely goes fast!
    I already wish you a happy birthday!

    Ps: Previous update must have been the first one without any reactions! Dont worry though, I did read it immediately!
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  15. #515
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    Indeed, an easy looking Austrian bash as the plot thickens. Nice to see the North American relationship to the Empire spelled out. Happy birthday!
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  16. #516
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    I wonder if she at least introduced proper antiseptics. Also, the "laughing gas" was already invented by this time, so all Mendenhall would have to do to start a new era in medicine half a century before is to find a doctor and persuade him to apply it to a patient before an operation. Persuading him to refrain from mentioning her as the inventor would be ridiculously easy afterward (For these unfamiliar with the subject, "laughing gas" was used as the first anesthetic, which allowed pain-free chirurgical operations, making them much easier to preform and causing the sugeons to develop new methods and branches in medicine).

  17. #517
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Momento Mori: Just you watch and see!
    blsteen: Thanks! I know some of my state names are unoriginal, but it was all I could think of.
    Sethanon: Cheers! 1702 already, which means that there are only 21 updates to go! I'm actually going to finish an AAR.
    Rockingduke: You've nailed it. Only Sir Henry, John and Tempest know the full truth. Others suspect something odd but have no definite clue as to what, so mainly it's because she's a woman. As she said before, had she been a man it would have been so, so much easier!
    Loki: Austria made it easy by ramming their fleet into my blockading squadron. Truth be told though that South American campaign was not one I was ready for, and I had to scramble a pair of armies from Mexico and Florida to stop them. The second army landed behind their retreating forces and wiped them out. As for bumping her off...who's to say they haven't tried?

    Something extra to read while I'm away!

    Chapter 38 –The Royal Command

    3/2/1820


    John Adams had no idea what to expect as he was led through passages and rooms to a large door guarded by two guards.
    He passed through, coming to a well-furnished bedroom including a bed surrounded by maids and servants. William York was there, as were other ministers of state. John felt a little out of place, and not just because of the fact he was in a woman’s bedroom!

    Lady Mendenhall showed no hesitation though, walking forward and bowing before the bed. The servants cleared, and John saw the Queen. Queen Anne Seymour was middle aged, fetching rather than attractive, and possessed of a slightly bent nose where a childhood break had not been properly set.
    John bowed as low as he could, and stayed there until her Ladyship gently nudged him.
    “Your Majesty, I present to you John Adams, a relation of yours, and a gentleman in good standing. He has assisted me through the current issue with the traitor attacks.”
    The Queen waved somewhat imperiously. Her right hand was tightly bandaged. “We are pleased to receive you, Mr Adams. Your father is of course well known to us.”
    “Thank you, your Majesty,” John replied politely.
    “Lady Mendenhall’s remedy is working most swiftly. Already the fatigue and pain is passing. We are most grateful.”
    Her Ladyship bowed graciously. “It was nothing, Majesty. All I would ask is that all favour be passed onto your Royal Physician, for though I am a mere amateur he was able to give instructive advice,” she said.
    The Surgeon, scowling in the corner, looked bewildered. He also seemed suspicious. “Lady?”
    “I will of course make my ideas available to you for your greater refinement,” she added with a smile.
    “I…as you wish, Lady.”
    John could see now how Lady Mendenhall so effortlessly seemed to dominate people with such ease…even himself he supposed. She used her knowledge and power to make people admire or beholden to her, never grabbed power or authority, but still extended her influence.
    “Your Majesty, I have related to Mr York here about a problem with these American traitors. Their leader claims to be a peer, though I can find no evidence this is true. I seek your royal permission to detain him for questioning.”
    Queen Anne looked to her spymaster. “Is this true?”
    “It is, Majesty.” William looked a little perturbed but did not dispute the words.
    The Queen consulted her other ministers, and all agreed with Lady Mendenhall. John realised that this was more for show than anything else. This must have been worked out before, and this was just a demonstration for the Court’s benefit.
    “Then so shall it be. We command that Lord Streams be brought in for questioning and his assets frozen. Mr York, you will apprise Colonel Wyndham of this information and detail him to send forces to carry this out.”
    “Of course, your Majesty.
    “And now, you will retire,” the Queen ordered.
    Lady Mendenhall bowed and withdrew from the room with John.

    Outside John turned to Lady Mendenhall. “So they’re going to arrest him, are they?”
    “Yes, and I am going with them.” She held up her hand. “I am the only one in Britain who knows what Masters looks like. Or at least, the only one available. You don’t have to come with me though.”
    “I’m coming along,” John stated emphatically. “You owe me an explanation, remember?”
    Her Ladyship sighed. “I do indeed. And you shall get it…in time.”
    “Well make sure you don’t wait twenty years for it,” John joked.
    “I’ll put it on the calendar for 1841 then!” she retorted smugly.
    John laughed, but fell silent as they walked back into the cold wind. “Do you mind me being around? I mean, you didn’t have to bring me in to see the Queen, though I’m grateful. How did you heal her anyway?” he asked.
    “So many questions! Of course I don’t mind you being around. You’re very important to me; you are my conscience, my morality. You’re here to stop me becoming…what I could be.”
    “What’s that?”
    She shook her head. “Something very bad, John. How did I heal her? Well, I have information from the future. The fool of a surgeon was wetting the bandages and not being clean in his treatment, and what was worse, he was using ordinary cotton thread to stitch the cut. The stupid man turned a cut to the hand into an emergency.”
    “So what did you do?” John asked.
    “I boiled and cleaned all the instruments first in water, then in vinegar. Next I used honey to disinfect the wound followed by a silk bandage and some medicine to relieve her drowsiness. It’s all quite simple if you understand how things work. People here clearly don’t.”
    John felt a little aggrieved at this attitude. “But it takes time to learn things. We didn’t go straight from bows and arrows to cannons after all!”
    Lady Mendenhall nodded. “Very true, John. Apologies. Of course, there have been times when for all my skills I couldn’t save people….”
    With that final thought they headed off for the raid.
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  18. #518
    Lord Streams is doomed.

  19. #519
    Really liked that colonial map you made in last update
    Beer is the proof that God wants us to be happy.
    - Benjamin Franklin

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  20. #520
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    Lord Streams is doomed.
    Hopefully he's the only one!
    I was Sir blsteen, Knight of the Eastern West... in :One Last HurRAAh: A Milanese Empire Interactive AAR:

    I was FOTW 11/25/09 and 9/12/10

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