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Chapter 21 - Are We Truly Free?

OOC: This update is long, long overdue. But I want to thank everyone for commenting and keeping this on the first page for such a long time, even without an update!
--

It was once again election season in Athens. Although the inefficiency of the constant elections was beginning to show, the people became happy with their rights and their power over even the highest offices of the land. This was the first time since the establishment of the Republic that the dates for election of the Councilors and the Prince fell on the same day.

The election for prince was uncontested. Alexandros' reforms had gone unnoticed to the public, and their thirst for safety and peace of mind had been quenched. No, instead of might, they clamored for a leader who would make Athens well connected in the world, protected by a web of alliances and agreements to allow it to continue its expansion in the New World. Gregorios Saraceno, the ambassador to Castile who had retired from that position only recently seemed the obvious winner.

EU3_337.jpg


However, despite the fact that they voted for a man who would help them continue their expansion in the Americas, few actually knew how such expansion was going at the moment. More and more people left for America each day, leaving behind families, wealth, homes, anything for what they saw as the land of true opportunity. When they arrived, their hopes were dashed by the complacent regime that had taken hold there.

The Crispo Company had become lazy, but oppressive. Their expansion had become a routine. They would first slaughter the natives in an area, and then establish a trading post where newcomers would be directed until the land was filled with a thousand or so people, then proceed to do the same in another region, allowing the trading post to expand naturally. However, recently, the Crispo Company began imposing its own taxes, in addition to the ones the Crown imposed upon them. It seemed the citizens of the American provinces were starting to become restless, and they threw their support against the only man who seemed to be able to wrest the control of the colonies from Dimosthenes' clutches. That man, of course, was Demetrios Doria.

However, for the time being, those still on the mainland were becoming attracted to the holdings overseas by the man who would soon be their prince. Indeed, they were oblivious to conditions in America, and instead of slowing down, it seemed as if Athens' Colonial Ventures were increasing at a rate never before seen.

EU3_338.jpg
 

gela1212

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Hey everyone! Look at the OP for the amazing new title picture created by Paradox Plaza user Chris Taylor!

A new art challenge has replaced the old one, because of that.
 

dinofs

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A very impressive colonial empire for this early in the game for Athens, even if the conditions there aren't great. Keep it up! (I love the province names, by the way. :D)
 

gela1212

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A very impressive colonial empire for this early in the game for Athens, even if the conditions there aren't great. Keep it up! (I love the province names, by the way. :D)

Yeah, I've been pretty much pushing all my resources into beating most of the powers to colonialism in South America. My goal is to gain a lot of provinces, not to gain wealthy ones, so that I can develop them with buildings if I ever need to move my capital there.

The names I've been pretty much making up as I go. I've already been called out on one by a native Greek-speaker two or three pages ago. :p
 

gela1212

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Chapter 22 - Digging for the Truth

Gregorios Saraceno sat on his chair, impatiently awaiting for something to happen. This was probably the most boring job in the whole country. At least, that's what he had thought for the last few years, but perhaps the Kings of old found it much more entertaining. He almost heaved a sigh of relief when his messenger came in, hurriedly, an urgent look on his face. "Milord, the ambassador from Poland wishes to see you!"

"Send him in," Gregorios said. Another boring diplomatic meeting, apparently. With his characteristic charm and overwhelming diplomatic capacity, at least, that's what he called it, Gregorios quickly secured an alliance with the nation of Poland. It wasn't all that quick, either. But he had to make himself sound grandiose to get over the pure boredom of this entire office. Why did they even have a Prince, anyway? The Council debates were probably much more fun.

EU3_339.jpg


Meanwhile, the new Prince's diplomatic ability continued to send colonists flocking to the new world, dramatically increasing the size of Athens' holdings. Demetrios Doria was quickly gaining a power base in the new colonies, where the arriving populace was appalled at the state of affairs. Holding meetings in secret, undermining Dimosthenes' colonial operations, anything to make him seem inefficient to the council back home. Once that happened, the government would be happy to introduce some competition to keep the colonies "in shape".

Regardless, it didn't change the fact that on paper, Athens was quickly becoming one of the largest nations in the world. Quite shocking to the Europeans, especially the Venetians who had only lost their Greek colony of Athens a hundred and forty or so years ago.

EU3_340.jpg


After all, back in 1405, Athens was simply a backwater farming town with delusions of grandeur and a lot of crumbling, old buildings. Now it was the center of travel to the New World and the highest seat of learning in the Balkans. Not too bad for a nation constantly on the run from warfare and only just starting to test the waters of international politics.

Meanwhile, the African colonies, full of cheap labor and people willing to do anything to get to Athens, were finally all considered a core part of the Athenian Republic. Greeks born in the provinces of Northern and Southern Africa were now given full citizenship. Technically, they could now vote, but that would mean sailing all the way to Greece just to put in your vote for something that would probably change again in eight years.

EU3_341.jpg


Adron had run for council and been elected. He felt odd in his official clothing. Patting his father's letter that he had stored under his clothes, Adron continued into the council. Another recently elected member, Ioannes Melissinos, seemed to be an expert in how to improve the efficiency of the government. Of course, as he walked to the royal palace, he hadn't expected to see anything that he ended up seeing that day.

A man in a white robe, a blood-stained knife, and another person crumpled against the wall. At first, Adron was tempted to run, act like he hadn't seen anything. In the second he thought this, he had yet to see the murderer's face. But as his head rose, the boy's green eyes locked onto the face of Ioannes. The victim? It was too difficult to tell, the blood covered their hair and face to such an extent that none of the skin under it was visible.

Drawing his own knife that he kept with him for safety, like his mother had taught him, Adron pointed it at his fellow councilor. "You! Murderer! Infidel!" he shouted, hoping to attract the attention of some other people. But no one was around. This was the back entrance to the palace, the perfect place for a murder. As Ioannes' head turned to one side and locked gaze with Adron's, the man started to cower, and began to run.

After that, it was all instinct. He drew his arm back, flinging the knife at the councilor. A stupid move. What if the handle of the knife hit? The council would just turn around to attack Adron as well, most likely. But he needn't worry about it for long, as the steel sheathed itself into Ioannes' back. The man collapsed onto his knees, then fell face forward, his face touching the warm cobblestone below.

Shaking, Adron fell to his knees as well. Sure, the man was a murderer, but Adron had just killed another human being. Raising his hands to his face, he saw they were shaking. Had he just changed the course of history, forever? If Ioannes had lived, would Athens future be different? Maybe he would've died anyway a few days letter when they found the body. But how would they know it was him? Everything was all so... surreal.

Then another thought hit him. The victim! Crawling over to the body against the wall, Adron used the sleeve of his clothing to wipe away the blood. As he did so, a familiar image grew more and more firm in his mind. A man who had walked into the Konstantinos residence one day, a man who had some of the greatest potential, but that potential was cut off by Adron's own father...

Adeipho. Ioannes wouldn't have wanted any competition over the field of government, and Adeipho was the only experienced member of the council left besides Dimosthenes, who usually only attended in absentia. The only member with experience to back his speeches and arguments. Ioannes had killed another human being, just to.. just to further his own position in the court!

EU3_342.jpg


Clutching the unopened letter through the fabric of his clothing, Adeipho collapsed next to the body, heaving. A few moments later, he stood, his legs feeling like they might fall out from under him any moment, and walked into the palace. He reported the murder to the nearest guard, then went into the council chamber to change. They had a few spare sets of clothing there, just in case someone had forgotten theirs. Of course, the chamber in the palace was rarely used, in fact, it had never been used. The only time it was supposed to be used was when the council's own building was unreachable or under siege by the people.

Then, he attended his session with the Prince, left, and went home to sleep. He wouldn't leave again for the next few days.
 

belamoor

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Technically, they could now vote, but that would mean sailing all the way to Greece just to put in your vote for something that would probably change again in eight years
Good line ! Sounds like a very natural way to keep colonies from gaining power. I assume you have an old style Athene democracy kind of goverment, where people just shout their opinion on main street ? :D
 

gela1212

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Good line ! Sounds like a very natural way to keep colonies from gaining power. I assume you have an old style Athene democracy kind of goverment, where people just shout their opinion on main street ? :D

Why of course! It wouldn't be Athens without heated political debates breaking out everywhere. Oh, and colored chips. And pots. That's basically Athenian democracy in a nutshell. :p
 

gela1212

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By the way, the picture is great. Feets the atmosphere very nicely. Wish i started reading with it.;)

It would've worked nicely, but I'm OCD about consistency and this AAR has mostly been written from event then screenshot format.

Great AAR. Just wondering, are you considering attacking those Central American states or Incas in the near future?

Nope. I simply don't have the armed forces to deal with revolts in Mexico at the moment (maybe once I get land tech 18) and I don't have the patience to deal with rebels in Incaland because of the insane travel times and -4 penalty for near 100% mountains in all the provinces.