The Red Mexican
A Spanish Narrative AAR.
Updated daily Monday-Thursday. Any comments whatsoever are always appreciated, and actively encouraged!
Prologue (below): A Newborn Child.
Book One: The Concert of Vienna.
Chapter One: The Shining Sphere
Chapter Two: Supper in the North
Chapter Three: The March to War
Chapter Four: Firebrand
Chapter Five: The Howl of the Wind
Chapter Six: Bread and Peace
Chapter Seven: Burning the Candle
Chapter Eight: A Visit to a Concert
Chapter Nine: The Folly of Youth
Chapter Ten: Images from the Spanish Empire
Chapter Eleven: Enter Marina
Chapter Twelve: Madrid under the Moon
Chapter Thirteen: Fire and Friend
Chapter Fourteen: The Cruel Sands
Chapter Fifteen: Revelations
Chapter Sixteen: Damned Liberalism
Chapter Seventeen: Like a Pious Catholic
Chapter Eighteen: New Decade, Old War
Chapter Nineteen: The Fallen Ruler
Chapter Twenty: Peace of God
Chapter Twenty One: Reform and Revolution
Chapter Twenty Two: Taza
Chapter Twenty Three: The Storm Begins to Gather
Chapter Twenty Four: Images from the City of Man
Chapter Twenty Five: Thief of Life
Chapter Twenty Six: Mercy
Chapter Twenty Seven: Last Call
Chapter Twenty Eight: The Ignoble Savage
Book Two: The Empire of Mexico.
Book Three: The Beat of Drums.
Book Four: The Curse of Xavier.
Book Five: The Sins of Man.
Book Six: The Hand that Feeds.
1st January 1836. Asturias.
Captain Goya smashed his arm against the door, flinging it open. The little hut was some distance away from anywhere meaningful, and he had no wish to stay in the hamlet for any more time than he needed to.
He was a tall, dark haired man, eyes cold and gaze ruthless. He came from Navarra, but cared little for its dusty peasant soil. He cared little, in fact, for the cause which he served. Don Carlos and his reactionary supporters suited him far better than the pseudo-liberal cabinet of the Queen. But a job was a job, as far as he was concerned; the pay was decent and he was able to command a little authority. Anyhow, the Carlists weren't going to win the war.
The army was, to him, simply a way of getting a reputation. A war hero was always looked upon kindly by the powers that be, and his hopes of getting into high office would be far easier for the patriotic rebel-hunter than the craven liberal.
He strode into the hut, eyes darting around. There was the father, dressed in his peasant attire, a look of panic on his face. He was shielding a woman; the mother. Her expression was not one of fear but resignation; she had clearly lived a hard life, one where she accepted the inevitable. A cynic; that would be the best word to describe her, he thought. Someone who knew the worst of humanity.
Private Lopez stumbled in behind the captain. The boy was shaping up nicely; not afraid of bullets, not afraid of sabres, but fiercely loyal to the captain and not too bright. He was learning his place fast.
But the boy was worried and fed up; the whole company was. Food was low, and it had been days since their last proper meal. The men were hungry and angry with the officers, and Goya knew it. But there was little he could do.
"Why did you not open the door when we knocked?" snapped the captain.
The man in front of him opened and shut his mouth. "My wife..."
Goya looked over at the mother. Ah, yes. A tiny bundle lay in her arms, all hope and brightness. How little the child knew.
"The birth of another little peasant does not mean you should not open your door to us. We have no wish to take your food. Have you seen a small Carlist patrol, maybe forty or fifty men passing by here?"
The man nodded. "They travelled down the eastern path, after raiding the inn for beer."
Goya stroked his chin. "Thank you", he said curtly, and left the building, a sigh of relief clearly audible.
His beloved coat swishing around his legs as he closed the door behind the hapless Private, who seemed confused. "Why didn't we ask him for food, sir? The Carlists took, why don't we?"
"Because it's wrong, Lopez. Now get back in line."
A man of contradictions; that was how people talked of Goya. Ruthless, cynical, bitter and harsh, he was considered by many a despicable man. Despite only being in his mid twenties, many said that the youth had already been sucked out of him by the things he'd seen in his childhood. Others thought that a woman had broken his heart. He had no time for the idealist, no hope for his fellow man.
But he wasn't the demon many painted him to be. For despite his many faults, Goya was governed by a strict moral code which he would never break. Do not steal. Do not commit adultery. Do not murder, do not rape. Worship in church every Sabbath-day.
There were other rules, but those were the most prominent. They were how he lived. And it was partly because of those that he would be known to many, one day. A name spoken of throughout the world.
But the infant which he had glanced at would also grow up. The little boy would go to Mexico, and stir up havoc against the political groups which ruled the nation. And then he would return to Europe, and spread discordant notes throughout the Concert of Vienna until the performance was wrecked, and a new order arose from the ashes.
But for now, the child slept on, and a thousand events began to be set in motion. The imperial century had begun.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my second AAR! For those who read my other one, I can assure you that I am not abandoning it, though expect updates to be sparser than this one for the time being. I shall be playing a Vanilla game as Spain (EDIT: Now in AHD due to lost save when I was still writing the 1830s). Please feel free to comment, as any and all are welcome, regardless of how critical they are. Expect updates semi-regularly; probably twice or thrice a week. And beyond that, I hope you enjoy the AAR.