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cpteveros

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They were farmhands who were often brigands, murderers, and thieves, so yes they were glamorized, but more than just simple farmhands :p And I suppose that makes sense, in the Prussian timeline. Did the Azowians ever get sent as colonists?
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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They were farmhands who were often brigands, murderers, and thieves, so yes they were glamorized, but more than just simple farmhands :p And I suppose that makes sense, in the Prussian timeline. Did the Azowians ever get sent as colonists?
Anyone can be brigands, murderers or thieves. ;) But I don't think the average cowboy was much more than a farmhand.
No they did not, Azowians stuck to the old world. Most countries were only interested in improving their own economy connections, not anyone else's.



In other news, if you check out the OP, you'll see that I have named all the chapters until the end of Bastions! So there are "only" 28 more chapters to go in Bastions. :D
I hope the names don't spoil too much. ;)
 

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Ok, I think it's about time.
Holy load of batman, you're still keeping this going. And it's still enjoyable too! By Morcars' balls that is a feat. I really don't know how you do it, was reading Homelands I think three? years ago and I enjoyed it a lot. Now I just noticed that this thread was here, colour me fairly surprised. Just read the last entry and it seems I have a lot of catching up to do, if only I had the time to do so.
I do hope this will get finished someday, so I can just print it all and read it everywhere, probably with a good glass of beer more often than not. Though I do not foresee it happening in the next decade ;) The only thing I can do now is get on my knees and praise a word of halleluja that you have kept this alive in all this time, it really is a mark of incredible stamina and endurance, not mentioning the pure wit to keep it interesting all this time.

My thanks for a continueing and interesting read, I hope I'll get to read a Vick2 and HoI# AAR about it someday. :)
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Excellent update sir. I too am digging the medieval cowboys.
Thank you very much.

Ok, I think it's about time.
Holy load of batman, you're still keeping this going. And it's still enjoyable too! By Morcars' balls that is a feat. I really don't know how you do it, was reading Homelands I think three? years ago and I enjoyed it a lot. Now I just noticed that this thread was here, colour me fairly surprised. Just read the last entry and it seems I have a lot of catching up to do, if only I had the time to do so.
I do hope this will get finished someday, so I can just print it all and read it everywhere, probably with a good glass of beer more often than not. Though I do not foresee it happening in the next decade ;) The only thing I can do now is get on my knees and praise a word of halleluja that you have kept this alive in all this time, it really is a mark of incredible stamina and endurance, not mentioning the pure wit to keep it interesting all this time.

My thanks for a continueing and interesting read, I hope I'll get to read a Vick2 and HoI# AAR about it someday. :)
Good to have you back, then! Thanks for the continued support, it means a lot.
 

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Bastions
Chapter Fifty: A King of Peasants
Part 4


Prelude:
Prussia was one of the most centralized states of the High Middle Ages. Even so, it was a patchwork of Dukes and Counts held together by the feudal contract. In the past, Prussia had a literal feudal contract: the Æðelræchtæs or "Noble Rights". The document was the center of at least one civil war, though an argument can be made that it was really two. Many had expected King Gunvald II to reinstate the document, but he did not. It is not that he refused, but he never brought the argument up. His son followed the same line, slowly centralizing Prussia where he could and letting the argument go where he had to. A growing blot on the political landscape of Prussia: The Crown Demesne, lands that were more and more under the authority of the King. Most of these lands were directly under the control of the King, though some remained in the hands of Counts and Barons who nominally served the Crown rather than the King. While a large collection of titles still remained in the West, in the eastern reaches of the Crown Demesne were generally blank: made up of titles destroyed when King Vishly took down the House of Rurik. But true feudal lords still remained: the Marches and the lords of Poland. Three special states also remained: The Sich of Asowia, the County of Tessin, and the Lordship of Finland. All parts of the Kingdom, but each operated mostly independently. The Sich was famous for its quasi-independence. It relied on Prussia mostly for international relations and trade. The County of Tessin was a tiny piece of land that was technically part of the Crown of Poland, but had been inherited by the independent Duchy of Brandenmark. Lastly, the Lordship of Finland was a collection of semi-civilized, semi-Christian Finnish tribes under the rule of a so-called "High King".


Prussia at the end of the XIV Century.

July 9th, 1389

It felt like ages ago that Sophie had watched her husband march off against Duke Meinekinus in Moldavia, now she sat around idly in New Caen listening to the chatter of the horse-women. It seemed the head of the household was a loud red-haired woman by the name of Sibyl. She was Rollo's eldest child and Gaspar's only full sibling. Despite her gossipy mouth, Sophie saw that she had quiet the flourish for commanding the loyalty of the other women and the few men that remained when the armies marched off. Unlike the women of much of Europe, Sibyl and the other ladies of the Azowian court did not wear dresses; they wore shorter skirts over pants that allowed them freedom of movement should a raid happen. It was only now that Sophie realized how close they were to the edge of civilization. All the people here were armed not because it was the fashion of the day, but because Persian or Turkish raiders could show up at any point.

Sarah was not too far away, twiddling her thumbs nervously without Edward.

"He'll be fine," Sophie said. Sarah didn't answer, only nodded half-heartedly.

"Ah! Chipper up!" Sibyl said, slapping Sarah across the back. Sarah ducked forward and her mask came tumbling off, clattering loudly on the ground. The Horselady looked at the mask, its placid features looking up at her. "Let me get that for you, dear," she said sweetly.

"No, it is fine," Sarah said, but both women knelt to pick it up. Sophie couldn't help but look either. She saw only the edges coming over the mangled remains of a nose. Sibyl, however, could see everything and she stopped Sarah.

"What is this, Sarah? Who did this to you?" She gentle cupped Sarah's face and looked into her remaining eye.

"I don't know," Sarah answered honestly.

"You needn't fear him; in this house a woman is safe."

"You don't unde..."

"Tell me!" Sibyl was more forceful, "It was Doyvát wasn't it?" The accusation made both Sarah and Sophie gasp.

"N-no!" Sarah stammered, "He'd never, he l..." she stopped and looked over at Sophie who looked slightly shocked.

"He what, Sarah?" Sibyl asked.

"Nothing, it wasn't him..." she slouched down and tried not to cry. He had to have moved on. She knew what few others did; Sophie's belly had begun to expand. Inside was none other than Doyvát's child. Sibyl picked the mask up off the floor and inspected it. It was finely crafted, though slightly tarnished on the edges. The face was permanently frozen somewhere between a frown and indifference. "It was a gift," Sarah explained.

"From who?"

"King Doyvát the Elder... he felt bad for me, thought I wanted to cover my face with more than just a veil, he didn't want to look at it either. Nor did his court. I... I..." She stopped and swallowed as best as she could. "It is a reminder of home... I know what it is like to live within the shadow of barbarians."

Sibyl tightened her face and nodded. "So that explains the handsome red-head you have following you around." She smiled and handed the mask back. "You should never be ashamed; the women of Azowia bear their scars in pride." It was true; Sarah had seen many women with the signs of battle. Sibyl herself was never seen without her axe hanging off her back. It was no surprise that when Rollo died there were many Horselords who supported her ascent to the throne. The women in Azowia were equals to the men in many ways, but they could still not rule. And their culture was one in transition. Slowly the patriarchy of the west was winning out; the national was settling and turning into a reflection of its master.

The fields that used to be home to the thundering of hooves now grew wheat and rye. Men who once led from the back of a horse now led from warm and cushy throne room. Women who once served on the walls of the forts now served only from the kitchen. It was a fading experiment and in a lot of ways it made Sophie sort of sad to see it go. Maybe it was the thoughts of someone who feared her place in life.
 

Aetherius

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Aah, the red-head child mystery ! :D
Also, can you post a genealogical tree or something like that, please, I'm a bit lost ? :)
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Aah, the red-head child mystery ! :D
Also, can you post a genealogical tree or something like that, please, I'm a bit lost ? :)
A genealogical tree of who?
 

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Just want this to at least stay on the front page.
 

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Just want this to at least stay on the front page.
Yeah... sorry, it has been a very stressful month for me and it doesn't ever seem to want to end. Going to have to put my foot down eventually.
 

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Yeah... sorry, it has been a very stressful month for me and it doesn't ever seem to want to end. Going to have to put my foot down eventually.
We all have times like those. Life is a roller-coaster, so don't worry about it but try to enjoy it.
 

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Hopefully, everything will work out for you. I am eagerly awaiting what new challenges and opportunities the 15th century will bring Prussia.

In general, the amount of detail and worldbuilding going into Baltikja makes me envious and spurs me to increase the amount I put in my own writing.
 

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Bastions
Chapter Fifty: A King of Peasants

Part 5


Prelude:
Rarely, during the folly of the nobles, did anyone take a step back and consider for a moment the hardships faced by the serf and peasant classes. At the very bottom rungs of society life was a miserable and short nightmare. Many sought escape from their binds as serfs, to join the next tier of citizens: the peasants. Many took to the endless wanderings of the Liths, forever pursued for their religion or their language. Former Catholics, especially in Poland and Hungary, often had a hard time conforming with the state church, which for so long openly worked to oppress them. Unionism was the only other way to turn, but outside of Germany and the very western reaches of Prussia Unionist churches were uncommon at best and openly banned at worst. For most escaped serfs language was the last of their worries. Literacy outside of the nobles hovered around none and the strong differentiation of dialects made communication (written or oral) hard to begin with. At the bottom of the bottom were the so-called Herwær or "Harrowers". Named for the torments they would yell at passers-by, Harrowers were Frandist missionaries and their native converts. Since they existed out of the system, it is incredibly hard to pin-point the exact number of Harrowers. It is suspected that before the practice was put out with deadly force Harrowers made up 10% to 15% of the population in the regions of Prussia bordering Germany. Non-Christian missionary work was always completely illegal, but until the "Great Harrowing" in 1422, Harrowers were usually just exiled and their converts "re-introduced" to the light of the Church. In 1422, though, the Crown started an armed campaign against the missions that ended with thousands burned at the stake and soured relations between Prussia and the Caliphate for decades to come.

July 13th, 1389

"The lakes of the damned await all those who deny the prophets who walked among our fathers!" Kenric shouted at a startled woman who nearly dropped her plate of loaves. "How can you really claim to hear God's will when you deny those who speak for him?!" For added effect the young man shook an angry finger at the few people who gathered around him. "His Holiness Ferran spoke how all the peoples of Europe could finally unite and be at peace, but instead we choose war and death!"

"Oi!" a shout came. Kenric looked to the left and saw a pair of guards pointing his way. Unceremoniously ending his preaching, the young man took off running. Without armor or boots he was able to quickly slip away into the dark corners of the city. Krakow seemed to swallow him whole and soon there was no one on his tail. Feeling comfortable, Kenric decided he had spent enough time today spreading the word of his Holiness Ferran and headed to a well-known bazaar.

"How are you doing today, Kenric?" asked the baker.

"Doing well; had a bit of a crowd before the guards showed up." The baker's face drooped a bit and he shook his head.

"You dolt, they'll cut your tongue out and throw you into the Baltic. I don't get why you or your whore of a mother stick with that non-sense."

"Hey," Kenric protested but he could tell the baker was having none of it today. He stopped and took a seat on a large barrel outside the baker, letting his legs hang from the side as he watched the baker go about his business. When the baker did not come back out after a while Kenric eventually grew bored and headed back to the small hovel he and his mother called home.

It was a winding path through the slums of the city but eventually he found a small door surrounded by dirty-faced children. His brothers looked up him longingly while his sisters continued to ignore him and played with each others' hair. He approached the door and from within could hear the shouts of passion from his mother. Kenric sighed and looked to Serge, his second-in-command. "How long has it been?"

"He's been in there for a bit now, can't really tell. Didn't look like one who could last all that long." And as if on cue shouts from the partner came meekly from the far room of the hovel. "Told you." The older boys passed a few coins around and Kenric shook his head.

"Gambling is a sin," he muttered.

"So is whoring," said Serge.

"Even Mary could find redemption."

"Fine, then so can I," Serge replied flatly. Kenric's younger brother was only a year or so younger than him, pale skinned and light haired. Kenric however was olive skinned and dark haired, just like the Harrower who his mother said saved her life from the false God of the King. He looked around at the rag-tagged group of kids, eight in all not including himself. Allah preserved those that survived this long, but they weren't convinced that they too could know the love of the Prophets. After a few minutes a weary-looking soldier stepped out and looking around, tried to ignore all the children as he headed out on his way. Serge spat on the ground after the man, Kenric saw the arrogance of any fifteen-year-old in his brother.

"Hey, what did he ever do to you?" Kenric asked. Serge just sort of looked at his brother idly; he had no real answer to give. But Kenric swallowed and didn't push the issue. Their mother followed, stepping into the fresh air, her hair tossed around and her neck covered in bruises. She had not been much older than Serge when Kenric had been born, but in a lot of ways she had never aged mentally beyond there.

"Where you able to find us some food, Kenric?" she asked.

"No, he was preaching again," Serge answered.

"What?" their mother exclaimed, "You'll get us all exiled!"

"So you'd deny your faith just to keep whoring?" Kenric asked under his breath.

"What was that?!" his mother roared.

"You heard me! You're a whore and a poor Frandist. One man tried to save your soul and he almost succeeded, but I don't need to follow in your shadow!" Kenric was a good foot taller than his mother and he used it to his advantage lording over her. "What would you say to Peter if you were to die tomorrow? 'Sorry, I meant to stop whoring myself out in front of my children tomorrow'?"

"It puts food in your mouth!"

"No it doesn't, you spend it on alcohol and vanities... I have to earn our bread."

"Then leave," his mother spat angrily.

"No, because someone has to feed you and your children and provide something of a good influence."

"Well, you've done a great job thus far, Kenny," Serge mocked.

"You think so fatty? Maybe I should stop bringing you back seconds," Kenric retorted quickly. Anger dripped from his words. Serge took a swing at Kenric, who ducked down and tackled Serge at the waist. The two boys fell to the ground, scattering their younger siblings. Serge quickly got the upper hand; he wasn't as tall as Kenric but was far more muscular from getting into fights for a few coins.

"Serge, get off him, you'll kill him!" their mother shouted, but her younger son didn't seem to care. An evil grin spread across his face as he watched the life visibly slip from his brother's face. Kenric struggled as his vision began to blur and the sound of his own beating heart turned into a powerful thunder. His hands searched around for anything hard. When he felt something he picked it up and smashed it against Serge's temple, knocking the boy off him. As life returned to his body he slowly stood up over the crumpled form of his brother. Blood poured freely onto the ground and Kenric looked at his hand where a blood soaked rock remained in his panic-induced grip.

In his horror Kenric eventually dropped the rock and began backing away from his family while shaking his head. "I-I..." he started, but he couldn't talk as the pain and terror burst in his chest. Without saying much else he slowly began to turn while he continued to back away. A few minutes later he was in a part of Krakow that even he did not recognize. He stepped out into an open square, the center of which contained a large fountain. Kenric scanned the area before checking his own condition. In his pockets he had only a few coins, his only wealth for the time being. His first task would be finding work, that way he could afford food and shelter. There was only a slim chance of survival if he couldn't get off the streets within a few days. Not far from him he saw several people loading a cart up. Watching them work was a bookish looking man, not much older than his mother. He shouted a few things to the cart's driver before headed in Kenric's direction. The boy ran up to the man, "Do you need help with loading your cart?"

"No," the man replied. He seemed confused, "Do I know you?"

"Never met," Kenric said charismatically, "Just a strong lad looking for work."

"What did you do?" the man asked seriously, seeing through the rouse as easily as one looks through glass.

"N-nothin..." Kenric's face drooped, he couldn't lie to a stranger, "I have done something terrible."

"What is it?"

"I got into a fight with my brother... he pinned me and was choking me... he meant to kill me, this I know. I grabbed a rock... I-I didn't mean to..."

The man nodded and put a soft hand on Kenric's back. From his neck hung a small silver symbol. It wasn't a cross or a crescent; it was a small many-pronged trident or maybe a tree with up-turned branches. "Well, we all do terrible things when we are afraid of death."

"But... but why was I afraid? I know Allah would welcome me in..."

"Allah? Ah... you are a Harrower, then? We aren't so unlike, you and I."

"Yes, I thought my whole family was, but they only seemed to follow when things were good and never when things were bad. They lived lives of sin..."

The man scoffed, "Aren't you a bit young to think about whether or not to live a life of sin? But I do recognize you; I've seen you preaching around time. I might have a job for you, but it isn't lifting boxes."

"Then what is it?"

"I need you to stand on a box..."