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Tax Accountant by day... Jihad by night!
 

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Portugal: The perils of cartography​

economy.jpg


missionmap.jpg


Mr. Carlson? Are you awake?

"Yes, very much so... wait a minute. Order? Is that you?"

Indeed.

"Do I have two PELFs stuck in my head now?"

Order chuckled softly. Oh, dear me no. Chaos is back at Bill-waters-down-the-water's bar. You must have knocked him for quite a loop.

"It must have been that High Chief."

I heard about that.

"Would it really destroy all of time and space if his resistance spread?"

Order's laughter got a little louder, but only slightly louder. Order was much a more considerate house guest in Daniel's brain than Chaos had ever been. Of course not. Chaos is often overly dramatic. However, it would make his job a great deal harder.

"How so?"

Order paused for a moment to gather his thoughts. To a PELF, most mortal brains are, well, clay. Sculpting in clay requires a delicate touch, but once it's baked, it's as durable as most other works of art.

"Okay."

The High Chief's mind was more like marble. Sculpting in marble may be more durable, but requires a very different set of skills. Marble is a harder medium and therefore requires more power from the sculptor.

"I thought blunt force was Chaos' style."

That's the image he likes to project. He likes people to think he's an unpredictable homicidal maniac who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, which are often no more than his personal sense of whimsy.

"What is he actually?"

Well, he IS an unpredictable homicidal maniac who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, which are often no more than his personal sense of whimsy. But he is also incredibly lazy and likes to do as little as possible to get things done.

"That makes sense."

It's not that he couldn't have pounded the High Chief's mind into mulch. However, that is like curing a cancer patient by flinging the hospital into the sun. Yes, the cancer will be dead, but so will everybody else. If Chaos got frustrated -- and he clearly did -- he might have erased the dimension purely out of spite.

"That would have been horrible!"

And more importantly, for him, he would have lost the bet.

"How long will you be guiding me?"

I'm not sure. A lot depends on how the readAARs like the change of pace.

"I'm sorry?"

Never mind. So, your mission is to establish a trading post on the Indian coast.

"That's simple enough. What's the horrible torture you're inflicting on me?"

No torture, Mr. Carlson. You are at war, after all.

taleofthetape.jpg


"This looks like quite a war, actually. What role am I in now?"

I figured we'd make things easy for our first trip together. I've made you the King of Portugal, so you won't have to use any mind control.

"Excellent! I think I'm going to enjoy working with you."

So do I, Mr. Carlson. So do I.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Of course, even with a benevolent PELF in your head, you still have to work with the tools you are given. And the Royal Cartographer was certainly a tool.

"So, King, can I have the rest of the week off?"

King Daniel frowned. "Alberto, it's 7 AM on Monday."

"Is that a no?"

"Yes, it's a 'no.'"

Things had fallen a great deal since the days of Prince Henry the Navigator, it seemed. Alberto was drunk 75% of the time and asleep in his office the other 25%. However, he was also Daniel's younger brother, so he couldn't just fire him, even if he was an incompetent buffoon.

(Author's note: Apologies to any incompetent buffoons in the audience. Alberto is much worse than any of you.)

"Alberto, why haven't we colonized the New World?"

"Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Whoa. Whoa. There's a NEW world now? When did that happen?"

Daniel sighed. "Europeans have had some inkling of the land across the sea since the Vikings settled Iceland and Greenland."

"Oh! I thought you meant we colonized the moon."

Daniel pinched his nose in frustration. "No, Alberto. We did not colonize the moon."

"Because that would be foolish."

"Yes, yes it would. So. America."

"America."

Daniel tapped his foot impatiently. "Why no colonies?"

"Colonies where?"

You know, I think understand Chaos a little better now.

"I do too." Addressing his clearly intoxicated brother, Daniel carefully spelled out exactly what he wanted.

Alberto's expression brightened. "Oh! I sent an expedition to the Pacific. Sent four ships."

"Where did they stop for supplies?"

"Supplies?"

"Which colony did they last stop at?"

"Uh, sire, are you feeling okay? Everybody knows there are no Pacific colonies."

"So you sent four expensive ships around the world... and gave them nowhere to stop for supplies?"

"Well, when you put it that way, you make me sound like an idiot."

suicidalmuch.jpg


Daniel muttered "That isn't very hard" under his breath.

(Author's note: I have no idea why the AI sent the ships to the Pacific Coast of South America. None.)

Daniel took a deep breath. "Okay, how about the Atlantic coast?"

"No colonies there either, except for a couple of British ones.."

"So why don't WE make some?"

"I dunno. Why don't we?"

"Look, Alberto. I want YOU to send an expedition to Manhattan. Can you handle that?"

"Sure, I can do that." When Alberto continued to drink his wine for another three minutes, he sputtered. "Oh, you meant now? I guess.

"When I get back, can we talk about having the rest of the week off?"

Daniel threw his hands up in the air.

newworldwtf.jpg

------------------------------------------------------------------
After his experience with Alberto, Daniel was delighted at how bright his generals were.

"Sire, the war against the Mamlukes is going well. We've seized the Holy Land!"

"Wonderful! Let's sue for peace."

The general furrowed his brow. "But Venice is the war leader."

"So?"

"That's not very nice, making somebody else fight and then you claim the prize."

"They'd do the same to us, I'm sure."

The general was horrified. "My liege! That's a terrible thing to say! The Venetians are our allies!"

"Look, don't pass judgment, just follow orders, general."

"It's too late, anyway. The Venetians already signed a peace."

crusadeover.jpg


"Drat."

You know, this does give you the opportunity to attack India now.

"It does at that. I'll leave very careful instructions for Alberto to expand our colonial base in the New World."

A very wise move. Although perhaps not as wise to use Alberto.

"He may be an idiot, but he's my brother."

Isn't that a song?

"Something like that."
---------------------------------------------------------------------
In early 1633, while Daniel waited for the treasury to build up enough to support a large army that would defend Portugal, Alberto walked in with some exciting news.

"Hey, bro, I got some awesome news! We've signed a treaty with Aragon."

Daniel looked suspicious. "That sounds remarkably wise of you. What's the catch?"

Alberto stood and blinked for about thirty seconds before he realized it was an insult. "Hey! That's not a nice thing to say."

"No, it isn't." Alberto, of course, completely missed that Daniel never apologized.

"They also want us to join some war against some country. It's called 'Castille'. Is that far?"

Daniel's eyes got huge. "You absolute dunce! You don't know where Castille is?"

"Look, I may be the Royal Map Guy, but I can't be expected to know where EVERY country is!"

Daniel slapped his forehead, and with barely controlled rage, he unfurled a map.

warthatdoesnthappen.jpg


Alberto stared at the map for a solid minute. "Okay, smart guy, where's Castille? The green one?"

"No, you imbecile. Portugal is the green one!"

"Wait, are we at war with Portugal now?"

Daniel couldn't take it any more. He grabbed Alberto and shook him violently. "YOU ABSOLUTE MORON! WE ARE PORTUGAL! THE YELLOW COUNTRY IS CASTILLE! NOW DO YOU GET IT?!?!?!"

"Um... Castille looks kind of big. Like, way bigger than us."

"Yes. They are."

"I should probably tell them no, huh?"

"Yes. You should. Before you go, Alberto, how did you get this job?"

"What job?"

Daniel tried to scream again, but his energy was gone. He just waved Alberto away and sat back in his throne.

You really should control your temper, Mr. Carlson. It isn't good for you.

"Is this... is this what Chaos thinks all humans are like?"

Oh no. He thinks most humans are much stupider.

"I was wrong to ever misjudge him."

I'm sure he'll be pleased to hear that.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In 1634, Daniel was finally ready to attack the small Indian nation of Kathiawar. He was initially worried that 8000 troops wouldn't be enough, but he hoped to strike quickly, take the territory, and get out.

warod.jpg


Unfortunately, while Hindustan, the largest power in the subcontinent, did not honor the call to arms, Rajputana did. That made the war a good deal more complicated than he had hoped. When a page brought the first battle report to him, Daniel covered his eyes, peeking with only a tiny sliver of one eye.

"Gah! Look at those casualties! Looks like it's back to the drawing board."

Mr. Carlson, perhaps you should look more closely?

"Why? I just lost again. No big deal."

No, you misunderstand me. Just look at the report.

Daniel mustered the courage to remove his hands from his eyes.

changeofpace.jpg


"It's just as I f-- wait. We won?"

Yes.

"The other guys suffered the horrendous casualties?"

Of course, Mr. Carlson. You have gunpowder weapons. The Indians do not at this stage.

Daniel's spirits began to perk up. "Then press the attack! We shall conquer this day!"

Of course.

The only thing dampening Daniel's spirits was news that Bohemia had inherited France and Holstein, making them even more indestructible. Still, by April of 1637, he'd inflicted plenty of lopsided loses on the armies of Rajputana. Unfortunately, it looked like there were plenty more where that came from. And news got worse.

"My liege! Venice has sent an urgent note. They wish us to join them in war against Great Britain."

Daniel swore. "Everything was going so well! Why now?" Before the runner could answer, Daniel interrupted. "That was a rhetorical question, young man. Yes, we will honor the call. Britain has its own internal troubles; I can only hope they do not invade our colonies."

"Very good, sir."

Daniel waited until the runner left, then asked Order for help. "So, what do we do?"

Well, we've got forts in those colonies which have converted to cities, which should slow any British invasion down. Venice is pretty strong; I don't think we have a whole lot to worry about.

"What if they attack Lisboa?"

A risk, certainly, but life is risk. If you do not get what you came for, you can always try again. Plus, you have enough provinces that you cannot be annexed at this point.

Daniel cheered up. "That's true. We shall continue our efforts here. Press on, brave soldiers!"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In July 1638, the war against Kathiawar finally ended, after another convincing victory at Ahmadabad. Unfortunately, while Daniel did secure the prize of Kutch, a rich COT, Alberto screwed up yet again. Kutch was not technically part of the "Indian Coast", and so his mission was not complete.

victoryt.jpg


Still, Daniel passed the East India Company Act, which would enable Portugal to thrive for years to come. By the time he was ready to leave in 1640, after Britain signed a white peace, Portugal had expanded considerably, especially in North America.

newworldempire.jpg


Daniel scanned the map with satisfaction. "Where are we going next?"

Let's see. Gotland.

"Well, at least it should be over quick."

Maybe.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Talk about a parallel world. Not only is Gotland alive in 1640 (!!) but... it's not an OPM! It has TWO provinces! :eek:
 

LordTempest

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Success! I really liked Order, Alberto and this change of pace. Maybe it's Chaos which has been holding Daniel back all this time?

More importantly though, how could so much of the East Coast be uncolonised by 1640?! I've seen the AI do it by the 1500's!
 

tamius23

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"Bill-who-waters-down-the-water" made me laugh.

Also, that "Kathiawar" is Khandesh.
 

Vrael_1492

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Awesome story!! I especially enjoyed Order and Alberto. I was very fun with a bit of variation! :D

Also, that "Kathiawar" is Khandesh.

I find that it is better when you sometimes look at the province name instead of the country, especially in this context as it creates more varied countries. India was really a mash-up of tons of different states.
 

Avindian

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Success! I really liked Order, Alberto and this change of pace. Maybe it's Chaos which has been holding Daniel back all this time?

More importantly though, how could so much of the East Coast be uncolonised by 1640?! I've seen the AI do it by the 1500's!

I really have no idea. Castille has the Azores, but they haven't colonized either. Very strange.

"Bill-who-waters-down-the-water" made me laugh.

Also, that "Kathiawar" is Khandesh.

Okay. I didn't have any screenshots with the name of the country, just the province.

Awesome story!! I especially enjoyed Order and Alberto. I was very fun with a bit of variation! :D



I find that it is better when you sometimes look at the province name instead of the country, especially in this context as it creates more varied countries. India was really a mash-up of tons of different states.

Thanks for the kind words!
 

Avindian

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Too busy ass kicking to colonize...
Order out for a ride in Mr Carlson.

Very much so!

Ah Order. A new straight man! Now Daniel gets to be Chaos!

You know, I never thought of it that way, but you're dead on. Chaos is hardly gone forever -- this is supposed to be a bet for him, after all -- but I do think we'll keep him on the sidelines for another update or two.
 

generalolaf

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Definitely an interesting change of pace. I like :D
 

Avindian

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Willum

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You know, you have been too long on the Paradox forum when you have to read the sentence "So why don't WE make some?" three times before it dawns on you, that it is not meant to be read "So why don't war exhaustion make some?". Damn capitals, being used both for emphasis and abreviations.
 

CivandEUIII

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Hmm... Yes... I see...
apparently, with Order instead of Chaos, Daniel wins.
Q.E.D. A new load of funniness.
 

Avindian

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You know, you have been too long on the Paradox forum when you have to read the sentence "So why don't WE make some?" three times before it dawns on you, that it is not meant to be read "So why don't war exhaustion make some?". Damn capitals, being used both for emphasis and abreviations.

Hah hah, didn't think of that. Usually I use bold for emphasis, but since I use different fonts for each character, I didn't want it to be too confusing :)
 

Avindian

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That's a nice change of pace!

Alberto, absolute genius, let's give him a nobel prize!

Daniel would probably like to give him something, that's for sure...

Update incoming!
 

Avindian

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Gotland: If Gotland surviving in 1640 isn't crazy enough, wait until you see this!

After his twenty-third Chaos special in 6.4 seconds, Chaos looked up at the bartender.

Hey, you. You're not Bill?

"I'm his cousin, Steve."

No obnoxiously long statement of your general dishonesty?

"That's always been Bill's thing. My gimmick is starting arguments for no reason. I'm an instigator, I suppose."

Good for you. Keep the drinks coming and I won't disembowel you.

"Yes, sir!"

Chaos looked up at the TV, and saw that it Daniel had already been in Gotland for three years but hadn't accomplished anything. The nerve of that twerp. I would have so conquered the world by now!

Death patted Chaos on the back as he sat next to his brother. Problems, Chaos?

You're telling me. Look at this moron, sitting around while his province is held by rebels. See?

gotland.jpg


Look, I'm not one to pick a fight, but you do see that Daniel has his fleet right next to it and is unloading troops, right?

Shut up. Chaos continued to sulk.

You really can't stand that Daniel is successful without you, can you?

He's an idiot! Ask him to point out a banana, hand him a banana and a bowling ball, give him three tries, he still doesn't get it right.

For a human, Daniel isn't entirely stupid.

Your face isn't entirely stupid!

You do realize that was a compliment, right?

Chaos waved angrily at Death and got up to use the bathroom. At that moment, Order and Daniel entered the bar. Daniel ordered first.

"Say, bartender, I have a question."

"Shoot, kid."

"How much blood is actually in a Bloody Mary?"

Steve blinked in confusion. "Beg pardon?"

"Look, I want to live on the wild side tonight. I saw Sweden revolt and get crushed in less than a year, and I did the crushing. So, exactly how much blood is in a Bloody Mary?"

"Uh, none. Bloody Marys (Maries?) are vodka, tomato juice, and horseradish. No blood."

"Drat. I'll take an Arnold Palmer, then."

"You are aware that Arnold Palmers do not actually contain any bits of Arnold Palmer?"

"Well, obviously."

"Here you are." Steve, wanting to irritate Daniel by giving him the wrong drink, and thus start an argument, gave him a Tom Collins. Of course, since a Tom Collins is delicious and refreshing, Daniel didn't complain and Steve was disappointed. To be fair to Steve, he hadn't been very successful with his gimmick yet. The real mystery is why he decided to substitute a Tom Collins for an Arnold Palmer, as Tom Collins is, to the best of my knowledge, an entirely fictional person in no way associated with golf. The answer to that mystery is that one time at an Applebee's, a server made the exact opposite mistake. I wanted a Tom Collins and got an Arnold Palmer. Given that Arnold Palmers contain no alcohol, yet I was charged for a drink with alcohol, you might think that I was upset and caused a fuss. You would, alas, be wrong, since I rarely cause a fuss and it turns out that Arnold Palmers are also quite tasty, if non-alcoholic. Sorry for that extended digression, but I wanted to make my point clear. Also, to preempt any discussion, I am well aware that additional ingredients may be included in a Bloody Mary or even substituted for horseradish. Your mileage, as always, may vary. Unless you share the exact same opinion as I do, in which case, your mileage may not vary. Are we clear? Good.

Order sat beside Death. Is Chaos still moping around?

Unfortunately. How did Daniel do?

Quite well. He's become quite the conqueror. Oh sure, there were some dull moments when we sat around waiting for ships to be finished, but it ended up pretty good. We were briefly at war with Prussia, but they signed a peace for a hundred ducats. Good deal.

Chaos returned from the bathroom, staring daggers at Daniel and Order. Hey, Odor, quit stinking up the place!

Chaos, a pleasure as always.

You know, you're helping him too much. You didn't even inflict random and horrible punishments on him!

So?

How can you see a human and not want to inflict random and horrible punishments on him? They're like baby seals; they're so intolerably cute you just have to club them.

You are a sick and twisted PELF, Chaos.

Chaos fluttered his eyelashes. Aw, thanks, bro! Love you too!

Steve, in the meantime, had successfully gotten Daniel into an argument. However, since the topic chosen was over the tax code of western Nebraska and whether or not cows could be claimed as dependents, Steve quickly bored of the topic. More importantly, it was so boring that he dropped the whole gimmick of starting arguments. When Daniel still wouldn't shut up, Steve removed his bar apron, flung it on the counter, and walked out. When Daniel followed him into the parking lot, Steve decided that self-immolation was his only escape. Daniel reentered the bar, only to find Chaos and Order discussing the bet.

Look, the moment you took over for me, you nullified the bet! That means I win, and I get to do whatever I want with an entire dimension!

You surrendered your authority by throwing your little temper tantrum, Chaos. If anybody forfeits, it's you.

You wanna go outside, tough guy?

You do realize that we're both exactly equal in terms of physical strength? The fight would last for eternity.

Your face lasts for eternity!

Death smacked Chaos in the back of the head. Shut up, both of you! As the referee for this bet, you must accept my ruling. I rule that Order may continue to serve as Daniel's guide, but the random acts of unpleasantness must continue. I have spoken!

Chaos glared at Order. Order nonchalantly looked at Chaos. Some thieves, deciding to rob the bar with no bartender present, instead got plastered on free booze and took Daniel's pants instead. Daniel's socks, jealous that Daniel's pants got a chance to escape, refused to speak to Daniel any longer. Daniel, unaware that his socks could speak in the first place, was unperturbed by his socks' behavior. He remained very perturbed about his lack of pants.

You know, Odor, a thought occurs. What constitutes one of us winning the bet?

A very fine question. Death?

Death checked his copy of the official bet rulebook. Well, the original bet was if Chaos could 'break' this reality. Gotland existing in 1650 and the New World being almost empty would seem to qualify.

That is true, but there is also another 171 years to go. Things could correct themselves.

Hah! I doubt it. With that idiot bungling things, you'll be lucky if he doesn't blow up the planet or something.

Death tapped his foot for a moment, thinking. Then he snapped his fingers. What we need is somebody who's personally been involved in this since day one.

Right, me. I say I win. Gee, what a great bet!

No, Daniel.

Everybody gasped. Daniel, who had been trying to mix a Chaos special according to the bar's recipe card, looked up. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a miniature black hole form, suck half the bar into it, and then collapse on itself. "Must need more vermouth. Wait, did somebody mention me?"

Yes. You will be the judge of who wins the bet.

"Okay. Order is nice to me and Chaos is a jerk, so I say Order wins."

Not like that. In 1821, I'll evaluate how your mind processes everything that has transpired compared to everything you'd experienced in your old life. You are the one person who is common to both timelines in all respects; Chaos, Order, even me, are all slightly different in your timeline. Therefore, the best way to determine if the universe is broken is if you, Daniel Carlson, go insane as a result. Simple.

"Um, that doesn't sound fair to me."

Chaos grinned evilly. I think it's a great decision, Death.

Daniel looked to Order for help, but Order shook his head. Sorry, Mr. Carlson, but Death's ruling is both reasonable and fair.

Wonderful! Daniel, you'll still get Order as your guide for the next few countries, but he is unable to affect your mental state in any way, unless it is deemed necessary to keep you alive. This goes for you too, Chaos, once he is placed back in your care. Brothers, you can neither help nor hinder Daniel's decisions or progress. You can give him advice if he asks for it, but the decisions are his.

With everybody satisfied with Death's decision -- except for Daniel, but who cares about him? -- Order spun the globe to determine where he and Daniel would go next.

His finger stopped on Ahmadnagar. Unfortunately for Daniel, he was returning to an OPM. And Death's new restrictions meant that he would have to face something very unpleasant as soon as he arrived.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My comedic juices need a recharge; probably no updates on this until next week sometime. I've found it's a lot harder to write a comedy AAR than I thought; I hope I haven't been too repetitive!
 

generalolaf

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Definitely getting interesting. I almost feel sorry for Daniel at this point, though :D