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Try adding them to the pop files of the scenario beforehand, and back up the file before doing so to rollback the changes when you're done playing the California game.

I made a flanking maneuver and hit it from the side. Instead of adding pops, I edited the ones already in existence, split em, and edited them again. Now I have a starting population much larger than what Der Kaiser gave himself, but screw it, I'm really enjoying this game.

Too bad VIP didnt use Der Kaisers changes, otherwise I wouldnt be missing all these cool events.
 

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First, an apology. I have about five or six updates lined up, but my internet in Oxford has been offline for about a month (don't get me started!). As soon as it works again, another update will come- I'm sending this from my phone because it has now been far too long...

Second, on the topic of the various comments on my California of 1836: as far as memory serves, I started as Mexico on VIP, released California, reloaded that save as California having edited more POPs and troops in, declared war on Mexico and went from there. It was a very long time ago, so that vague memory may not help much...

I don't think I have a third point, so all I can say is- hang on, and I'll be with you asap!

DerKaiser
 

Andreios II

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Oooo great that you're back! I love your mix of Poltical intruige, personal drama, and swashbuckling!

Looking forward to seeing the Royalist Ships being turned into water-borne bonfires! That'll bring those haughty aristocrats down a peg or two :D

Long live the Republic! Long live the Republic's fleet! :cool:
 

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Looking forward to seeing the Royalist Ships being turned into water-borne bonfires! That'll bring those haughty aristocrats down a peg or two :D

Long live the Republic! Long live the Republic's fleet! :cool:

Still, I can't shake off this nagging feeling that... you know. :D
 

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Internet at university was utterly beyond a joke- I was reduced to borrowing friends' memory-sticks in order to transport essays to printers and suchlike. Disaster. Well, I am home now. Can quite understand if any vestigial interest in this tale has utterly died, but in the hope that it has not- I have updates on their way (one is coming now), and I am going to continue at least until the current war is over for my own benefit if no-one else's!

Hope to still have you all with me,

DerKaiser
 

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El Nombre Del Zorro

San Francisco Docks, California, September 2nd 1861

Two men emerged out of the darkness that, for several hours, had engulfed the docks. The first, carrying a lantern, spat ruefully into the water and then addressed his companion.

“Do you know how many times I have done this night shift, Pedro? Do you know?”

The other, with a grin, shifted his rifle further up his shoulder and replied. “I truly do not, amigo.”

“Once every three days! I don’t call that fair!”

“Well, perhaps it’s because they know you have nothing to go home to. No wife, and with your face, no chance of finding one any time soon…”

Pedro’s friend laughed grudgingly. “I tell you, I’m close to having a word with the captain about this.”

The other shrugged. “He won’t care…”

As the two disappeared around a corner, silence fell again for a while. But, with the light of the guards slowly fading, a dark figure, disguised by a black mask, slipped over the side of the gently rocking BNS Alfonso Barja, landing as softly as possible, and ushered through the gloom back towards the ship. A small group of other men, similarly masked, joined their leader on the wooden dock.

“This is the last, is it?” Demanded the first man in an urged whisper.

Si, Don Alejandro.”

“And all the charges have been thoroughly checked? There will be no failures?”

Si, Don Alejandro, there is no chance of a mistake.” Replied the soldier again.

“Even,” added another quietly, “if one fails, the fires will take care of the ships. They are too closely packed for any to escape unharmed.” The man gestured to the dark, hulking figures of the royalist vessels to illustrate his point- huddled together in the harbour as if for mutual protection.

Bueno.” Said Alejandro. “Then let’s go. The boat is ready?”

Si, Excellencia.”

“And our ship will meet us outside the Bay?”

Again, a whispered voice assented.

Without a word, the small group turned and dashed off, as fast as possible, away from the direction that the two guards had departed. In the deathly calm of the San Francisco night, each man needed no words to articulate his and his comrades triumph and relief that the operation had been a success. And that, of course, only made more gut-wrenching the voice that tore through the silence.

“What is that?”

“Do you see that?”

Suddenly, from above, a bright light shone down from the wall that overlooked the docks, momentarily blinding Alejandro and his men who had stopped, dead in their tracks, below.

Dios mio, someone on the docks!” The call shattered an otherwise predictably tranquil evening for the guards, as the one who had made the sighting turned to his fellows. “Break-in on the docks!” He barked. “Call Don Diego!”

Another of his companions, who had been half-asleep, looked at him wearily. “Is that really necessary?”

“You know the order! Any disturbance! Call him now!”

They obeyed.

Below, Alejandro and the others had abandoned any secrecy, and were running as fast as they could towards the boat that was waiting for them. The whole dock, however, was now alive to their presence, as shouts went up along the high walls and lights flared up in front and behind them. Two shocked guards stood suddenly in their way, and were dispatched with swift sabre-thrusts. The Republicans were forced to duck and hug the wall as rifle-shots were suddenly fired, sporadically and in obvious panic down upon them, as they continued their desperate dash for the boat that would carry them to safety. The boat was in view, and, faster than any could have imagined themselves moving, they arrived, leaping one after another onto the wildly rocking wood. Alejandro, leaving himself for last, ushered his men forwards, and prepared to jump himself.

Suddenly, from nowhere, he heard a wild shout, and turned just in time to glance aside a vicious swipe from an unseen blade. Turning on his heel, he faced this unforeseen adversary, driving him back with a bold lunge.

“Scum!” Hissed his unknown opponent. “You will die tonight! At the gates of Hell, tell them El Sabueso sent you!”

At that moment, blocking another ill-timed thrust, Alejandro recognised his opponent.

“Don Diego!” He shot back. “You were never renowned as much of a fighter, let us see if your reputation was ill-deserved!”

The two clashed blades and, Alejandro proving the stronger, his brother was forced staggering backwards. As Diego regained his footing, Alejandro swung downwards, drawing a parry from Diego that threw the royalist over onto his back. The latter rolled away, swiping his blade forwards recklessly as he rose, a true amateur’s gambit that Alejandro parried easily before offering his own attack. The sabre slashed quickly across Diego’s face, and cut a neat, bleeding line across his cheek, causing him to fall backwards, in surprise and pain, resting his back against the concrete wall.

“As I suspected,” jeered Alejandro with an anger that surprised even himself, “no great swordsman!”

Diego smiled viciously. “I don’t need to be”. He indicated upwards with his sabre, and, in the light provided by a dozen guards’ lanterns, saw a row of men, rifles trained downwards, standing above him. “Adios, traitor!” Snarled his brother.

There was a loud bang. But this was a sound louder than that of rifles. It was a vast, deep roar, and was followed immediately by an incredible explosion of light and colour. In the confusion, Alejandro turned towards the boat, and saw his men beckoning desperately to him to join them, before suddenly they turned their gazes upwards and away in amazement. Alejandro turned, and as he did, something vast and dark fell out of the sky towards him. With a crash, it landed, and having taken a moment to compose itself from its jump, straightened up. A man, dressed all in black with a great dark cape, wide black hat and black mask similar to Alejandro’s own, stood before him. He stood, dumbfounded, for a moment, before the apparition before him spoke.

“Nice boat.” He jerked his head towards Alejandro’s men. “Shall we use it?”

The two leapt, simultaneously, onto the small launch, and the waiting men gratefully began to pull on their oars, lit up by the terrific brightness that the explosion had thrown over the entire bay. Alejandro looked back, and saw the men whose rifles had only moments before threatened to fire on him running desperately and confusedly for cover. Diego had seemingly disappeared. He turned to the man standing next to him.

“Who are you?” He demanded.

The other gave a roguish smile. “I am El Zorro.” He replied. “Don’t you recognise me, Don Alejandro?”

“Should I?”

A brief pause, before the man in black laughed. “Oh, my apologies!” He removed his hat and pulled off his black mask. “I am Don Antonio de la Vega. It has been a while, I understand…”

Alejandro gazed in amazement as he looked, for the first time in years, upon Don Javier de la Vega’s only son. Eventually, he found words. “Antonio?” Another long pause. “What have you been doing?”

Antonio smiled. “Mostly that.” He replied, and pointed. Over the city of San Francisco, precisely where the explosion that had saved Alejandro had began, a vast, burning letter Z lit up the sky. “What have you been doing?”

Words failed Alejandro for a moment, as he stared at the city which was rapidly diminishing as the boat pulled out towards the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Suddenly, however, his response was provided for him, when a terrific explosion ripped through a vast ring along the water’s edge as the entire Bourbon Navy was simultaneously blasted into the night sky. Alejandro looked back, still in silent shock, to Don Antonio, who smiled and nodded, impressed.

“Good answer.” He said, and settled back against the boat’s wooden side, as it raced out towards the open sea.

***************​

“I know it!” Shrieked Tibalto, pacing across the room in a state of utter distraction. “It is him! He is here! Somehow!”

Majestad,” tried Vallejo soothingly, “a dead man cannot have perpetrated this. Por favor, Majestad.”

“Silence, Vallejo!” Howled the King. “You never met de la Vega! You do not know him! I am certain that his hand is in this!”

“Be reasonable.” Put in Don Carlos. “Don Javier is dead, you know he is and so do we all.”

How do you know? I did not see him die, no-one here saw him die! Perhaps he lived! Perhaps he waited for the best moment to take his revenge against me, it is just what he might do!”

“But Majestad-” began de Chamot weakly, before the loud opening of the door interrupted him.

“An absolute disgrace.” Snarled Don Diego as he entered. “Have every one of the guards on the dock tonight put on penal duties.”

“Diego! De la Vega has done this! De la Vega is here!” Tibalto was by now quite hysterical, but Don Diego seemed utterly unmoved.

“Tibalto, do not be ridiculous. Don Javier de la Vega is dead. I killed him with my own hands.”

“You do not know that! Nobody knows that!”

“I was there tonight, Tibalto, I can recognise my own brother when I see him. This is nothing more than a pathetic retaliation by Alejandro and his feeble friends- a temporary setback. De la Vega had nothing to do with it. Just shoot the watch, hire some more vigilant soldiers and rebuild the fleet…”

No! To Hell with your blasted fleet! If he did it once he can do it again! I will not let that bastard Javier repeat this evening- we will have no more of this fleet!” There was a silence of disbelief around the room, as each man looked at each other to ascertain whether their lord was really uttering these words, but before they had taken them in, Tibalto was speaking again. “Now you, Don Diego, will take steps to ensure that de la Vega cannot strike against us so easily again. And Don Rafael, Don Mariano, you will ascertain how best we can renew our attempt to gain an alliance with the Emperor of Mexico. I will hear no more of this fleet, and I will hear no more of this evening ever again! Is that understood?”

A murmur of assent crossed the room, and each man turned to leave silently. At the door, Don Carlos stopped Diego with a touch of the hand.

“Is this the man we shall have as our King?” He demanded in a low murmur.

Diego smiled enigmatically. “Never underestimate the value of a madman, Don Carlos.”

He turned and left, with the rest of Don Tibalto’s inner circle following, with grateful and relieved rapidity, after him. Within a moment, the room was empty, leaving the King of California, head in hands and shaking violently, by himself.
 

TheExecuter

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YES!

It's back!

Nice twist with Antonio being Zorro. I must say I particularly liked your description of Don Diego in this update...he is now a mature man, capable of leveraging both his strengths AND weaknesses to great advantage. What of the fleet? Now he 'knows' the Alejandro is back, and Zorro is right behind. I do want to know what he has planned for his madman, though...

TheExecuter
 

canonized

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As usual , DerKaiser delivers a top notch performance . You set traps for us ! You make us guess that Alejandro is our man but then unmask someone else . Masterstroke ! I love your writing , DK ! We do truly miss you !
 

discovery1

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Long live the republic!

So what does Nappy III think of all this? Surely he must have some say in whether or not Emperor Max lets the luney king through his country?

Can you imagine trying to march an army through southern mexico? Half of them would die of malaria before they even got close to Columbia. ESPECIALLY if you can't easily resupply them, which I doubt since they don't have much in the way of access to resupply by sea. Maybe if there are rail lines down there, but I doubt that.
 
Last edited:

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bezrodniy kosmopolit
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Hooray, an update! :) And what an update it is. It's got everything. Swordfights, 'splosions, El Zorro, a shrieking degenerate tyrant howling at his subordinates, dramatic revelations, intrigues... Wonderful as ever. I'm sure your loyal readership shall return to this AAR en masse. You've got us hooked. :D

Also, good to hear you're back home, Your Kaiserness. Hopefully the updates will be a tad more regular.
 

Rensslaer

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Good to see you back, DerKaiser!

I will endeavour to keep up!

Renss
 

rjf101

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GREAT Story!

I have been reading your AAR for a while now, but only joined the forums recently, so I haven't been able to comment on your work yet.

Well, I'm only on page 38, but I have to say I think its amazing! Its better than most novels I have read, so captivating I read for about five hours straight one day.

My favorite character is Tibalto, not he's a good guy, he's just an interesting character. Also, at the point I have gotten to he seems to have become a bit nicer (having a friendly conversation with his coach-driver, Alfredo). But I'm sure he's dead by the current stage of the story :(

Anyway, keep up the good work!
 

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TheExecuter- I thought Antonio was a fairly obvious, while easily-overlooked choice as Zorro! I really did enjoy the guesses though, and on some levels the jury is still out- so don't quite forget the "Who is Zorro?" issue yet! Meanwhile, what Don Diego is capable of will become very important in the near future...

canonized- Thanks for the words of encouragement as always, Armi! It's been too long since we've had a chat, which I shall try to rectify asap! Glad you're still enjoying this, and will do my best not to disappoint in future...

discovery1- Well, Napoleon and Tibalto are old friends of course, so perhaps an understanding between those two over Mexico isn't too far-fetched. However, France certainly has more immediate interests than Latin America, so perhaps we should be looking to the Mexican Emperor himself for answers on the Mexican question...

Certainly, marching through the entire of Mexico would, as you say, be a somewhat risky proposition.

Morsky- Glad you enjoyed it! Updates, I hope, will come quicker from now on. They may be a little erratic as I will try to catch up as well as possible when time allows, but they will certainly be in the works!

Rensslaer- Fantastic to have the man who first inspired me to write AARs on board! I will endeavour not to disappoint, Renss!

gis- In some ways you're not wrong on the Zorro question, though these are less mysterious and will be discussed in due course... This is naturally only the start of Antonio's involvement in affairs!

Unrepentant One- Thanks for sticking with me is all I can say! Will do my best to keep the story flowing!

rjf101- Great to have you on board and welcome! I'm pleased you're enjoying it! Take your time, but obviously as soon as we have you at the present the better! Oh, and at time of writing, Don Tibalto is still not dead- though his life has certainly changed... Enjoy!


To all- We've just experienced a bit of a wait (I've had a lot of guests staying at the start of this holiday) but normal service is on its way! Definitely one update tonight, if not two as a consolation for the pause... Thanks to everyone for sticking with this- I will do my best to reward your patience!

DerKaiser
 

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The Empire of New Spain

Extract from “Independence to Empire, A New History of the Californian Republic” (By Chris Carmack and Michael Connor, Berkeley University Press, published 2007)

The events of September 2nd 1861 marked the end of the Kingdom’s maritime invasion plans for Colombia. King Tibalto, driven to a state of total, manic paranoia by fear of the spectre of Don Javier de la Vega, utterly refused to countenance the idea that a project so easily obliterated by his phantom nemesis might be started once again. From now on, the military efforts of the Bourbon Army were to be exclusively on dry land.

To that end, Royalist eyes now turned south, to the embattled Emperor of Mexico. Don Mariano Vallejo and Don Rafael Montero were sent to Mexico City at the head of a diplomatic mission to acquire an alliance with Maximilian I, in exchange for proffered assistance in defeating Republican rebels led by Benito Juarez. The Emperor, however, whose sense of honour had always been greater than his aptitude for Realpolitik, rejected an offer that he had already refused earlier in the year, re-stating his position with a declaration on 17th November that “The Duty of a Sovereign is to His People, and not to the Wars and Quarrels of Foreign Lands”. A furious Don Tibalto threatened immediate invasion of Mexico, but was, for the time being at least, quelled by the more considered approach to diplomacy advocated by his chief minister Diego del Serrano.

Maximilian_I_of_Mexico_portrait_sta.jpg

Emperor Maximilian of Mexico- his sense of honour prevented a Mexican-Bourbon alliance.

The idea of overland expansion, however, was one that was to gain considerable momentum among the King’s court- not least from the figure of Vallejo. Usually a moderate among the royal advisors, and frequently an opponent of Don Diego’s more extreme policies, Don Mariano was, however, as eager as he had been during the life of the Republic to see a powerful Hispanic state established as a bulwark against the Anglo-Saxon Americans to the east. Particularly given the current turmoil that engulfed the United and Confederate States, Vallejo advocated the incorporation of Mexico into a new empire- one that could ally itself with its European forefather: an Empire of New Spain. In a plan presented to the King on December 1st 1861, the “Father of Californian Nationalism” illustrated a realm for Tibalto that stretched from Sacramento to Tierra del Fuego- a united kingdom of Latin America under the hegemony of the Californian monarch. Naturally, this did not have the truly Mazzinian connotations that it was later to acquire, and was envisaged as a project of Californian conquest and coercion, rather than a spontaneous action of ethnically united peoples. But, its dream of a mighty South American empire excited the megalomaniac, vainglorious imagination of the King. The Empire of New Spain was to be the Kingdom’s project.

Indeed, pandering to Vallejo’s wishes was directly to the advantage of the Kingdom’s original interests- probably a reason Don Diego gave it his support (passively at least). A drive through Mexico would bring the King’s armies to their habitual goal- a confrontation with the Hispanic Republicans in Colombia, while Vallejo’s exclusive interest in Spanish-speaking lands fitted well with the earlier discarding of the northern Republicans from Royalist interests. A new strategic direction was thus adopted by the Kingdom, abandoning Mexico as Vallejo and Montero were sent to seek instead the friendship of the Spanish. Juan Velazquez, Governor of Cuba, was far more susceptible to the idea of a Californian alliance than had been the Emperor Maximilian, and on Christmas Day 1861, a permanent treaty of friendship and alliance was declared between the Kingdoms of Spain and California. The Spaniards agreed to use their navy and strategic position in the Caribbean against the Colombian Republicans, while King Tibalto promised exclusive trading and investment rights in the new Californian empire to Spain.

The opportunity was thus created for another attempt, this time considerably less compromising, at intervention in Mexico. In January 1862 30,000 soldiers of the Bourbon Army under Don Carlos del Serrano, Captain of the Bourbon Lancers, swept into the Sonora. The younger del Serrano was to be even more successful campaigning in Mexico than his father had been fifteen years before, smashing the demoralised government forces (already harried by rebel guerrilla tactics) just north of Hermosillo and occupying the city on January 16th. Within a month, Californian troops were as far south as modern-day Puerto Vallarta, which was to be used as a relaxation centre for deserving Royalist soldiers- a legacy that is still plainly visible today! Meanwhile, however, Don Carlos had declared an official Royal protectorate over the Sonora and the western Mexican coast down to Mazatlan. While the conquest was never officially recognised by any power except Spain, and while it was deemed reckless to advance further into the interior of a country in such debilitating domestic turmoil, it was nevertheless an impressive achievement. The Bourbon Kingdom had set out firmly on the road to pan-Hispanic empire, erased the bad memories of Alvarado’s limp foreign policy, and established the Bourbon Army as the pre-eminent military power in Mexico for five years- both sides in the Mexican civil war would cut deals (covertly) with the Californians in their efforts to gain the upper hand. Don Carlos del Serrano returned to Monterey a victorious hero.

newspain.jpg

The projected borders of the New Spanish Empire. Don Carlos's Mexican conquests are marked in yellow.

The Kingdom’s phase of conquest, however, was by no means over. The increased popularity of Don Carlos following his victories in Mexico had only served to heighten the repressive measures of Don Diego del Serrano, in an effort to demonstrate his indispensability to the paranoid King. Concern at such developments was not only felt among the unfortunate (and rather broad) sphere of domestic “political dissidents”, but abroad as well. The Papacy, embattled and desperately short of reliable Catholic allies after the unification of Italy in early 1861, looked to its newest donation for loyalty. On Valentine’s Day 1862, Pope Pius IX’s public call to the King to “conduct himself as befits a Catholic Monarch” reached California; Don Tibalto’s court, eager to placate the Catholic majority that formed the nucleus of their support, were quick to respond. In the absence of convenient domestic alternatives, it was decided that the Kingdom could respond with a diplomatic action that would suit strategic, as well as religious, objectives.

It was thus, with a widely-publicised royal declamation of “that most recent and most perverse of blasphemies against Our Sacred Catholic Faith”, that the Kingdom of California declared war upon the semi-autonomous Mormon state of Deseret. With Don Carlos del Serrano once again leading from the head of his Bourbon Lancers, the Californians smashed the tiny Mormon militia near the village of Tooele after an impressive march through the Nevada deserts (the logistics of which were largely the work of Santa Anna), and marched on to the fledgling capital of Salt Lake City. Almost before the Mormons’ desperate calls for aid (utterly ignored by an American government horrified by the seemingly-effortless victories of Robert E. Lee) arrived in Washington, the modest Salt Lake Temple was in flames and the “heretic traitor” Brigham Young was on his way to a Royalist internment camp, as the Kingdom sought to inforce its religious credentials. Public opinion at home was impressed, while the threat of America, so large in the imagination of Vallejo and others, was driven still further back east.

All in all, and despite their origins in the distracted brain of a frankly deranged monarch, the territorial campaigns of the Bourbon Army in the years 1861-2 had been a total success, and a success, moreover, for which just 202 Royalist soldiers had died. The size of the Kingdom had been enhanced by almost 200,000km2, a formal alliance with a European power had been formed, a Royalist hero in the form of Don Carlos del Serrano had been created, and King Tibalto had credited himself in the eyes of both his numerous Catholic subjects and those for whom the craven foreign policy of Juan Bautista de Alvarado remained a recent and humiliating memory. It may, perhaps, be argued that the very success of del Serrano, and the factionalism it created within Tibalto’s inner circle, was to create serious problems at a later date, but such problems owed much to other causes, and were by no means the sole creation of what was, undeniably, a period of substantial military and diplomatic success. Moreover, these years, and those that followed them, were accompanied by impressive (albeit somewhat ruthlessly achieved) domestic success. It is to these victories within the Kingdom’s borders that we must now turn.
 

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I have to say , my dearest DK , that your historical pen is as devastatingly effective as your narrative one . This latest chapter not only opened our eyes to a grander vision not before imagined or even hinted to (once again one of your many powers of storytelling) but you also gave us something riveting to look forward to .

the interplay of historical grand strokes and the finer detail of your narratives makes this AAR one of the brightest gems in AARland I have ever read . I love it . And yes , we must rectify it soon ! I would love to catch up with you !