• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

gigau

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Excellent update, as usual... It is indeed impressive how you keep the same standards overtime.

I'll probably miss the modern updates a bit, but i'm happy to get back to the "normal" history updates. Looking forward reading what comes next :cool:
 

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I've probably been waiting for too long to do this but here it goes...

First of I just want to say I love this AAR. It's depth, diversity and creativity is extremely refreshing and almost unmatched on the forums(and I've read quite alot). I've read the whole thing and it's impressive that you can keep this going and still keep the same standard.
btw I read that you wanted to stop the modern updates, but I just want to say I really enjoyed them.
I am very happy you think so, thank you for the complements.

I might throw in the occasional modern-day update, but rarely. There is a lot to cover, so it goes without saying that not everything can be covered as exhaustively as I would like.

Excellent update, as usual... It is indeed impressive how you keep the same standards overtime.

I'll probably miss the modern updates a bit, but i'm happy to get back to the "normal" history updates. Looking forward reading what comes next :cool:
Not updating quickly, only writing when I am in the mood to keeps things "high" quality (the quality vs quantity method). I usually only write one update at a time, and that will take anywhere from a few hours to a month (at the worst). Usually I'll log on, add a couple sentences and then save and quit for the day. Other times (usually dialogue), things flow a bit more naturally.

If people were interested, I might look into doing a ustream... answer questions live while I write but we'd have to find a time that works for all our times schedules... @___@
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Also, it is time for the The 2010 CrusadAAR's Chalice, which Homelands is up for. If you enjoyed Homelands, please consider voting for it. Also check out the other nominees, they are all worthy reads.

The Chalice, for those of you out of the know, is awarded to outstanding completed AARs. Homelands finished about a week before the deadline. Glad I pre-wrote the final update. ;)
 

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Voted for you , obviously ;)
 

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Bastions
Chapter Forty Three: Woes of an Empire
Part 2


Prelude:
In central Europe war was erupting again. The tiny state of Austria, sandwiched in between Hungary and the Caliphate, was invaded by the Duke Mohammad von Zähringer-Holstein as part of his attempts to bolster his own lands before eventually taking on the Caliphate itself. His plans were far-flung, including the use of Christian and convert soldiers from his Norse territories. Right now, though, he acted as if he expanded in the name of the Caliphate. Many hailed him as a hero: the great German unifier. Within Germany there were many who wanted one of their own as Caliph. They saw the elective monarchy as a descendant of the Holy Roman Empire, or the Papal State. For them it was easy to see that the Iberians could not control them forever. But with the continent at war again it was only a matter of time before some people began to look to the horizon for a place of safety and wealth. Modern historians agree that the 'New World' was not originally found by Vasque sailors in the XVI Century, rather by Icelandic explorers sent beyond Greenland toward a world they hoped was without war. Icelandic settlements from the XIII and XIV Centuries have been excavated and explored, rebuilt into modern tourist destinations. But the life of the Norse in the new world is something that might never be understood. It was a harsh environment far from any other source of food or law. These settlements would have been self governing or at the very least autonomous.


Icelandic exploration of the New World.

January 17th, 1368

The snow was falling so heavily that the sea was completely blocked from view. The winds threw up twisters and left tall drifts around the small settlement. Already the top of one of these drifts was reaching the bottom of the windows. Hunting and fishing had all been called off and now everyone just remained inside their protective huts cowering in fear and huddling around their fire. "Jóna, why haven't you eaten anything? You know you need it for warmth," said Lilja. She watched he small daughter, thin from hunger, as she slowly brought up a piece of fish up to her lips and took a small bite. It was a foolish choice to move so far from everything. Now they were all going to die out on the edge of the world, lost forever.

The leeward door opened and Lúðvik entered the small home. His whole body was wrapped up in furs and cloths. His eyes peered out through two small strips of leather designed to block the glare off the snow. In his hands he had several more fish and a couple logs, which he threw into the fireplace. "I almost couldn't find the settlement. I was out there for about an hour before I could even see one of the flames keeping the guards warm." He walked over to Jóna and pressed his face against hers in a sign of affection.

"Were the natives any problem?" Lilja, his wife, asked.

"Surprisingly: no. Olaf says he saw them watching the camp recently. But who knows. He could be seeing shadows in the storm." Lúðvik sat down and pulled off his face wraps. Like many Icelandic settlers, he had a large beard and kept it under control with braids and other ornaments made for him by his wife and daughter.

"Others have seen them too: always watching from the trees or just beyond the wall. They are very strange."

"They must be planning something. Who knows what it is, but they've always been watching us. Weird looking people they are, too. I bet they want something. Maybe to get rid of us? I don't know." About at that time there was a slamming on the leeward door and Lúðvik looked at his wife, who froze perfectly still in fear. The man stood up and walked over to the door. It was heavy and well filled so he had no cracks to look through. "Who's there?" he called.

"Eirik, there are several Skrælingjar outside the main gate. We want all the menfolk outside. Olaf thinks they want in."

"Of course they want in, that's where our women and children are!"

"That's what I said, Lúð. Olaf ain't buying it. Grab a sword and join the party." Lúðvik ran back into the midst of his tiny one-room home and picked up a few odd items.

"Please, keep us safe," Lilja begged. She knew she couldn't stop him, and even if she could it would shame him forever. Lúdðvik nodded and pressed his face against hers before quickly leaving with Eirik.

"When did they show up?" Lúðvik asked.

"They were first spotted moving around beyond the wall about an hour ago. Actually, around the same time you guys first got back. They approached the wall maybe fifteen minutes ago, after you had finished skinning that buck."

"Damned, so they must have been watching us that whole time while we were hunting!" Lúðvik said in a startled voice. In front of them some fifteen men had gathered around the main gate. There were only seventeen families in the small community; some with sons, but none old enough to fight. Two of the families were headed by elderly men, priests by profession, and they couldn't fight either.

"Good to see you two, now we can get on with this thing," Olaf said, nodding as a he saw the two of them brought swords. Lúðvik, as one of the older men, was allowed to head to the top of the wall to speak with the Skrælingjar, the natives of this land.

Down below one of the natives, bundled up much like the settlers, approached the wall and held up his hands showing he had no weapons, "We bring deer-large, bring for knife-big." His Norse was broken at best, but the men were surprised he spoke any at all. There were about thirty or so to their group, huddled together. Most seemed uneasy so close to the settlers.

"What does he want?" Olaf asked the group.

"He wants to trade a caribou for swords, I think," Lúðvik asked.

"Tuttuk?" asked one of the other men, trying to represent the foreigner's language. "Nami tuttuk?" Several of the natives chatted quickly and then the stepped apart, revealing a large caribou carcass.

"Tuttuk," their leader replied. "Big-knife? From shiny stone?" The settlers looked amongst themselves; did they have any spare swords lying around?

"What should we give them?" Olaf asked.

"Just give them the old ones, they cannot tell the difference," Lúðvik thought quickly.

"Give them nothing. We can steal that caribou from them!" Eirik shouted up from the ground.

"And start a war? No..." Olaf said, looking Eirik straight in the face.

Eirik was more forceful this time. "Then say no!"

"We cannot feed all our children off that one buck we killed. We need this!" Lúðvik said.

"I didn't expect you to side with Olaf!" Eirik shouted.

"And I don't expect someone without a wife or childe to understand! But Joná is starving! We need to eat, Eirik," Lúðvik shouted down. Eirik spit on the ground and walked off.

Olaf sighed and rolled his eyes. "Fine, Lúðvik, fetch some of the old swords from the smithy. We can send for more metal come spring. If we don't survive, scrap metal will be no good anyway. Unless you want to try eating it." Olaf chuckled and then turned to his translator, "Tell them we are fetching some swords." The translator nodded and did as he was told.

Lúðvik climbed down from the wall and headed over to the smithy, but was blocked by Eirik, "They are going to kill us all, Lúð! Why are you listening to Olaf?"

"Eirik, I need to feed Joná and Lilja. We need that caribou. If you aren't happy, then don't eat any!" Lúðvik watched Eirik's face, "But you are planning on eating some, aren't you? Then just go with it. We have the wall, we have the dogs. We have the better swords and the better training. Everything will be all right."

Eirik was silent but stepped out of Lúðvik's way, even followed him to the smithy and helped him gather some old swords. "Was this what you expected when you brought your wife and child to this barren land? Freezing to death and begging from Skrælingjar?"

"No, I thought we'd find the garden of Eden... that's what the priests back home said we'd find... an endless virgin forest filled with all the animals of God's Kingdom... and it was just for us... just for the Norse and their faithful. Why did you come?"

Eirik scoffed, "I was exiled from my home."

"Exiled?" Lúðvik asked while walking back to the gate.

"I killed my brother fighting over the love of a woman... so neither of us got it, I guess," Eirik said.

"Your temper has only been partially cooled in this weather, I see."

"Yeah..."

Once they reached the gate, the doors were slowly opened up and the Skrælingjar waved them over, picking up the caribou and starting to walk it into the compound. They put it down and Lúðvik showed them the swords they had gathered. They tried them out, foolishly swinging them around. Their leader nodded and then men took the stack of swords and were on their way. After the gates were closed their chieftain stopped and looked up, "Next sun, come us tuttuk with. Many swords, two tuttuk."

"Sounds good," Olaf answered. He waved as they walked off and then eventually everyone got down from the wall.

"So what was that about? 'Sounds good'?" Lúðvik asked.

"It seems that they are bringing us a second caribou... we gave them too many swords," Olaf answered.

"Won't turn that down," Lúðvik replied.
 

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Too bad these guys don't survive. I like the frontier stories, at least when it's not war. Though this sounds... impending doom, doooooom!

Also, an Icelandic Newfoundland(or Maritimes)/Quebec/Nunavut would have been awesome :D
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Voted for you , obviously ;)
Why thank you.
^__^

Too bad these guys don't survive. I like the frontier stories, at least when it's not war. Though this sounds... impending doom, doooooom!

Also, an Icelandic Newfoundland(or Maritimes)/Quebec/Nunavut would have been awesome :D
I was half expecting it. But alas, it was not to be. Iceland did survive, however; and on its own no less. Actually I would say almost 75% of the in-story stuff is based on what happened in-game. Not exact, but there were definitely some really interesting things going on.

Edit: Also, Chapter 42 updates now actually say "Forty Two" instead of "Forty One" at the top... @__@... that was a major mistake. I can't believe I didn't notice until now...
 

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Cool update. Indeed sad they didn't make it.
 

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How did the colonies die? Native attack?
 

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Why do they always have to vanish... :(

An Icelandic Quebec growing bigger and turning into an Uber Canada eventually would be awesome.
 

Aliasing

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Why do they always have to vanish... :(

An Icelandic Quebec growing bigger and turning into an Uber Canada eventually would be awesome.
Unfortunately....The French make Quebec, not awesome Iceland
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Unfortunately....The French make Quebec, not awesome Iceland
If it is any better, France is not united by the Northern French, rather by the Occitanians, Bretons and Vasques... so the capital is in Lyon not Paris.
 

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Mr. Capiatlist

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This is... wierd :rolleyes:

On a different note, is the technological progress any different or is that too much work?
If you mean the tech groups, they are normal. I made a bunch of changes on who is "latin" and who is "eastern", but that was about it. In the story, their modern day is where our modern day is, no major change there. Maybe slightly ahead, but not exactly something worthy of sci-fi.