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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Lordban

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title.jpg



**​


Letter written by Admiral George Cockburn, Governor of Cape Town, to the Prince of Paris


My Prince,


I have little choice but to ask for your forgiveness: your express orders were to keep you regularly posted about the progress achieved during my conversations with the prisoner in Governor Wilks' custody. I can only admit that I failed dismally; your agent at the place, O'Meara, turned out to have other loyalties, and he was able to suborn those of Wilks' agents closest to the subject of your interest. O'Meara is working for another one of the major European courts, but I was not capable of determining which court it is. I take full responsibility for the decision not to risk contacting you while I was still serving at Longwood: O'Meara might have managed to extend his web of agents into my own services, a risk I deemed preferable not to take, as it might have revealed your reach to have been longer than your enemies think. I will, of course, accept whichever penalties you wish to inflict on me for this failure to contact you during my sojourn at Longwood.

I have taken the liberty to set a small haven up for your Highness, should you decide to send an agent or even come in person to Cape Town to discuss the finer points of my report on the prisoner and/or levy direct punishment. The remarkable absence of any of your kin in the region makes it quite safe for you or your agent to come; given the high sensitivity of some of the information I am keeping for you, it would probably be preferable; on the other hand, my new duties as Governor of Cape Town make it nearly impossible for me to manage a visit to your Highness without questions being asked by the Crown about where my true loyalties lay.


The changes wrought by the past years on the subject of your interest have been remarkable in more than one manner; I will briefly sum them up for your Highness and correlate the changes with any circumstances which triggered them.

His Majesty's government has clearly intended to break the subject's mind for good and set up a most elaborate ploy to ensure they could reach their goal, but they have achieved partial success at best. The subject has no expectations of returning to his former position at any point in the future, and it is quite certain he would not wish to resume his old duties even if he were to be offered them today. The subject's ambitions for himself have been completely shattered; he sometimes complains about the "blatant unfairness" of his treatment, and is prone to retreat into "superb isolation" when he feels he has not been shown respect proper to his status.

However his complaints are always backed by argument; the subject has kept a keen mind and is quick to point out the inconsistencies in some of the restrictive measures taken against him, and even quicker to explain why some of those measures are little more than a display of incompetence.

I will add at this point that many of said measures are indeed superfluous, but the Crown has decided not to take a single chance; Longwood's "wardens" actually have the means and numbers to handle a full-scale invasion. While this ensures with absolute certainty that the subject will not leave his prison alive, the military might deployed around Longwood is also proof of the Crown's disregard for the current political situation in Europe, and could be interpreted as a challenge to any other would-be challengers of his Majesty's Empire.


The subject is, globally, demonstrating complete understanding of his and the world's situation; his mind is, overall, as bright as it was during the greatest moments of his rule, and his belief in the superiority of his people as strong as ever. And he is fully aware that only a precious few people can compare their achievements' to his, and that it will remain so for a long time in history.

What he lacks, now, is the opportunity and the drive to accomplish something new; he has not, and will not adjust to life at Longwood, and is convinced that he will finish his life there - in miserable conditions which are bound to deteriorate an already fragile health. He gives himself three years at most, a pessimistic but rather accurate estimate. I personally do not expect the subject will live more than five to ten years in his current circumstances.


I feel compelled to advise your Highness of my belief agents have to be dispatched to Longwood to counter O'Meara's influence there; it should be possible to have the subject ask for the appointment of a physician who already knows him. This would result in removing O'Meara from the subject's immediate entourage while placing one of your pawns in a much better position to keep your Highness posted on the subject's evolution.

It is my firm belief that the subject can be made to work for your Highness' interests if handled properly, and that your Highness stands to gain much by securing his future cooperation.


Your devoted servant,
George Cockburn



**​


Here begins (and hopefully won't end :p ) a tale which is, if I may say so, mostly Rensslaer's fault: the Prussian Prince has convinced me to try Vicky at last, and the purchase won't be regretted :)

Unfortunately ( :p ) this has also brought back an idea for a story which has been trotting in my head for several years - a tale of intrigue and of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in XIXth century Europe, sparked by extended RPG sessions during which I played the role of a rather ambitious character. Some people will have recognized the RPG from the title of the AAR or from the rose in the background; I'll keep it secret for a few posts, until the main characters have been introduced.

This story is going to take us through a game played with VIP:R:0.1 and modified to some extent to take into account all the politicking going on behind the scenes. The style is bound to change from post to post: there will be other "history book" chapters, but there will also be different styles depending on the mood and on what feels like it suits best the story. I'm afraid there will also be gameplay mistakes :p I won't claim perfect historical accuracy either - the characters and places in this story could all be subjected to, shall we say, unusual influences at some point. In other words, story will take precedence over history ;)


I hope you'll find as much pleasure reading through this tale as I did imagining it. I also beg you to forgive the sometimes awkward English: it is not my first language :)


There is now a PDF version of the AAR, including a useful lexicon ;)
 
Last edited:

Herbert West

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Yes, yes, yes.

Uphold!
 

coz1

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Oh, excellent, Lordban! The letter was pitch perfect. I don't presume to know just yet what is exactly occurring and look forward to finding out.

Wonderful opening! I'll definitely be reading this. :)
 

Sir Humphrey

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Very interesting start. :)
 

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A very interesting letter indeed.
 

Lordban

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Some feedback, and a first update follows :)

coz1 said:
Oh, excellent, Lordban! The letter was pitch perfect. I don't presume to know just yet what is exactly occurring and look forward to finding out.

Wonderful opening! I'll definitely be reading this. :)
Quite a compliment coming from the author of a story which kept me awake at unreasonable hours. Thank you :)
There's going to be quite a bit of explaining to do about the setting; I'm going to try and make it an integral part of the tale :)

oddman said:
Curious.

It has so far not occurred to me to mix [WW] RPGs and Victoria.
It kind of begins with an accident: my rifling through old character sheets and biographies while the rest of the gaming table was busy. One of the bios caught my eye... :)

ComradeOm said:
I have only passing knowledge of the WoD but this letter is certainly a fitting introduction for what looks to be a very interesting tale of intrigue. I look forward to this.
Thanks! It was pretty tempting to imagine a story weaving elements from both Victorian-age Europe and the behind-the-scenes setting of the WoD.
I succumbed :p



Thanks as well to Herbert West, Sir Humphrey and stnylan for your replies; I'm glad to see you're interested in this :)
 

Lordban

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**​


From the personal diary of Elsie Von Carstein:


October 5th, 1817

There are precious few scenes in a person's life which she can never forget. Some of them are memories of one's greatest hours, of course. There are evenings at the courts of both kine and kin which are engraved in my mind for eternity, there to be savoured time and again when the present turns out to be a lot more unsatisfactory. They are the memories one enjoys to share; the conversations one takes pleasure recounting again and again. Many of the older kindred keep retelling their tales, if only in order to warn the youthful members of the court not to mess with them.

Unsurprisingly, the younger among us tend to scoff at their elders' tendency to bring back old achievements to the fore, though they fail to realize their mockeries are the first in the long list of habits we develop - habit, the very object of their scorn, and what they believe makes their elders ultimately weaker than they are.

One of the greatest tragedies born of the Revolution is already in the making there: many of those who joined the courts of France since the rise of Napoléon Bonaparte are persuaded they are more enlightened than us, and feel invested with the same kind of energy which allowed them to challenge the old order in the same place. It would be cruel to tell them that they have already been robbed of the youthful vigour they claim to have preserved.

It would be even more cruel to tell them, after long years of trying to change our world without ever achieving significant progress, that all their efforts resulted in nothing ever-lasting, and that we knew those efforts were doomed from the start. To be honest, most elders are careful to let the coteries of our younger kin achieve a few limited successes in their endeavours, so that they do not lose hope until such time as we choose them to, thereby proving them we had been superior to them from the start.

I am not really interested in such benefits; I am looking forward to savouring the anguish of these benighted fools when they finally realize they will never uphold the dreams they had when they first understood the power at their beck and call. Some of them will even go to their final deaths willingly, incapable as they shall be to live in a world they could not change without becoming everything they hate.


Hatred and cruelty... Those loathsome passions are, will I, nil I, two of the three ones still capable of stirring an emotion in me. The fires of ambition are gone, the embers of love have turned into tomb-cold ash and the satisfaction of nurturing Childer of my own forever denied to me. The only true solace I can find in my old age is art; that pleasure, at least, is one I can count on never being denied to me.

Well, in all honesty I cannot be sure, but the prince will not risk placing me in a position where I have absolutely nothing to lose by revolting against his rule. I would not be welcome in most other European rulers' courts, but the New World remains a possible destination, even if it decidedly looks unattractive. And if the rulers there would be extremely wary around an experienced player in the deadly arena of European politics.

Vengeance does not even attract me any longer. Certainly, being humbled in front of the entire court has devastated my standing and made me a target for the predations of younger kin. I actually look forward to their challenges; they will be the first real, material threat I will have had to handle in many long years, and the pleasure to collapse their woefully simple schemes on their heads and comfront them with the realization they are finished.

Had my liege's refusal to grant me my legitimate rights as an elder at the court not risked to stir actually dangerous opposition, that I would be grateful for the opportunity given to actually do something of my time. Yet other elders at court are bound to try and see to it that I am removed from the Parisian picture permanently. Not because of some silly form of nationalism, of course; rather, because being the one to finally rid the prince of the only person at court with enough power to challenge him is bound to create the kind of memories I have been disserting about.


I find it ironic that the prince might end up creating the very kind of rival he has been trying to destroy by targeting me. I had no intentions to challenge his power in the foreseeable future, if only because being the figurehead means being lied to (and often worse) by almost every single person at court. On the other hand, whomever might manage to secure my permanent demise would also rise to a position where he could actually set his sights on the prince's own; his Highness' actions would thereby result in the creation of the very situation he has been trying to avert by humiliating me in front of the court.

There remains, of course, the possibility that the prince was merely intent on giving his vassals a common enemy against which to unite, so that he could count on them should a threat arise from one of the other European courts; compared to that of the princes of London or Berlin, my liege's position remains fragile. Where the rise of Napoléon Bonaparte had given him opportunity to secure his hold on the Parisian courts, his fall has given members of the foreign courts all sorts of leverage against him.

And here again, my peculiar status as an official member of Paris' court and as an honorary member of Berlin's, and my claims on demesnes in both France and Prussia, serve the prince to frame me as an example of the dangers looming on the court. It is also extremely likely that he counts on my proven resourcefulness and guile to resist over an extended period of time; the longer I stand, the more time he gets to strengthen his hold on France. My prince knows I will not go down without a fight, and has every reason to believe he stands to gain from my standing resolute against whomever challenges me.


There remains, of course, the fact age has started to make itself felt in my wearying body. Waking up is growing a little harder every time; already I feel the urge to lie down and close my eyes, closing forever the book telling the story of my long years at court. I would, however, much rather be remembered as one who stood up to her prince when he was unjust, and who managed not only to keep his dogs at bay when they came for her blood, but still prove herself as one of the cleverest politicians ever to play power games at the European courts.

As it happens, I have already imagined a plot which could result in a serious threat to his standing at the European courts. There is one man alive whom I would adopt and make my successor, whether my liege would accept it or not: his appearing at court one evening would be enough to send tremors shaking even the remotest of the Russian fiefdoms. There are certainly quite a few princes and other important kin who have already started to place pawns in this man's vicinity, and that all of them are busily intriguing against one another.

Unfortunately for all of these would-be rivals, it is impossible for them to actually go and oversee the situation in person. On the other hand, the Parisian prince's decision to make a pariah out of me means I stand to gain quite a lot by exiling myself to an inhospitable and hardly accessible island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, so far removed from the centres of European power that no one with a demesne to defend could afford to remain completely out-of-touch for several years. The risks I would have to take mean very little either, as this will probably be my last major undertaking before I finally go and sleep.

I have yet to find a way to get past all the security surrounding this man who could stir fear in the hearts of all of Europe's mighty, but I am confident I shall. And I am certain nobody would expect any of our kin to dare and risk the dangers of years of clandestine existence on an inhospitable prison-island in the middle of nowhere, caught in the crossfire between the agents of the kin and exposed to the threats arising from so many precautions being taken by the kine.


No, none of us would dare and go to St Helena.


**​
 
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coz1

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Hmmm...thought's of another 100 days or more, perhaps? Or setting up something like Ian Holm's The Emperor's New Clothes (or at least what was attempted - check it out if you've not seen it.) Either way this is an interest, to be sure.

More excellence, my friend. I fear you'll be keeping me up at odd hours if this continues. ;)
 

unmerged(61559)

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Excellent writing! You really have me enthralled with the narrative.
 

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"No, none of us would dare and go to St Helena."

That line rings with ominous portent. Though it does sound like someone is daring, pushing, prying, trying to breach the Atlantic's hold on that storm-tossed islet in the southern sea.
 

Lordban

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Some more feedback while I'm working on the next update, and on a few events :)

ComradeOm said:
The quality of the writing continues to impress and you paint a vivid picture of the venomous Parisian court. I wonder what will be found in the middle of the Atlantic... could we see the return of Zombie Napoleon? ;)
Who knows ;) At this point Napoléon is still alive and (relatively) healthy, and since he's still of interest to quite a few players in our story, we'll go and pay him a visit :)

stnylan said:
"No, none of us would dare and go to St Helena."

That line rings with ominous portent. Though it does sound like someone is daring, pushing, prying, trying to breach the Atlantic's hold on that storm-tossed islet in the southern sea.
Indeed. There's quite a bit to be gained from contact with Napoléon, if only to pick his brains. One of his last strategic statements was recognized to be true in... 1871, when the invasion by Prussia prove Napoléon had been quite right in telling Las Cases it was urgent the armaments' industry was moved away from the borders; if it's done right, giving the fallen Emperor information on the current situation in Europe could result in gaining some pretty insightful advice.

Quintilian said:
Excellent writing! You really have me enthralled with the narrative.
Thanks a lot! :)

coz1 said:
Hmmm...thought's of another 100 days or more, perhaps? Or setting up something like Ian Holm's The Emperor's New Clothes (or at least what was attempted - check it out if you've not seen it.) Either way this is an interest, to be sure.

More excellence, my friend. I fear you'll be keeping me up at odd hours if this continues. ;)
Thanks for suggesting The Emperor's New Clothes; I'll check it out at some point. Judging from the title, what lays in the future is more like Ian Holm's vision than another Hundred Days ;)
... if it were the Hundred Days, it'd be time to question the sanity of Europe's rulers :p
 

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St Helena


approche sainte helene 2.jpg



St Helena island; November 9th, 1817


According to Napoléon's standards, promenades at St Helena were by no means an entertaining affair. For a man who had travelled to all parts of Europe, not being allowed to travel farther than four miles away from the walls of his residence at Longwood was yet another torture. Where almost every day had meant a change of scenery and the discovery of new landscapes, there were now only the exotic yet sadly familiar trees of a small valley, and the equally sad Longwood plateau where only a few rubber trees and one single resilient oak tree had managed to survive the never-abetting winds. It had taken the former Emperor only a few weeks to be familiar with every nook and cranny of the small expanse of land he was allowed to travel; now the hours spent on horseback were hardly less boring than staying within the walls of Longwood manor; the latter actually had the advantage of not exposing one to the unpredictable showers of rain which regularly spoiled a day's ride.

And even during these promenades it was hard to escape the small indignities constantly inflicted on him by his British jailors. Another example presented itself today: a couple of soldiers watching the Emperor from their vantage point on the ridge of one of the hills surrounding the valley were training their muskets in the Emperor's directions, and were evidently deriving great pleasure from their prank.
They're behaving like children the Emperor thought as he heaved a sigh. But it isn't their fault they're made to perform a pointless and boring duty by their leaders. Only a bird could escape this place. What point is there putting so many sentries on the hills? With the coast securely guarded, there's no need for them...

Napoléon focused his thoughts away from them, and on their commander. Hudson Lowe, governor of the island of St Helena, whose coming he had actually been looking forward to when admiral Cockburn had announced he was leaving for Cape Town. Lowe had started his military career in charge of artillery batteries, a beginning similar to Napoléon's own career. The Frenchman had been looking forward to challenging conversations on the finer points of warfare with the new Governor; he had been quite disappointed to meet a petty, vain man with little understanding of military matters, and absolutely no desire to debate with a man acknowledged as Europe's greatest military genius, and whom he still regarded as inferior. Lowe had made Napoléon's sojourn at St Helena even more miserable than it had been when Cockburn was in charge of the Emperor's custody.

I would rather have been sequestered in the Tower of London than on this wretched island Napoléon mused sombrely. It's sadly fortunate I will not survive it much longer.
And then he shook his head.
I must not entertain such thoughts he chided himself. St Helena is already hard enough on my companions; if I allow myself to start looking miserable, it's only going to make it harder on them.


Boring though they may have been, it was in the Emperor's best interests to keep going out on these promenades. Longwood manor's air was invariably damp, ruining the painting and tapestries and making it imperative to iron clothes every day to delay the inevitable point where they'd start getting mouldy. And that air was heated every evening by chimney fires and many candles which tried to dispel the coldness and gloom of the place, and never completely succeeded.

The Irish doctor O'Meara was convinced that Napoléon stood to gain more by risking being rained on than he did by staying indoors, and his patient was inclined to trust the good doctor's judgement. Napoléon was firmly convinced that staying secluded at Longwood was the surest ways to let his health degrade, and the former Emperor wasn't quite keen on allowing that to happen. Even if he could not avoid the occasional shower, at least he exercised his body and pushed a little farther the beginning of its final decay.


Today the Emperor was riding with a companion, one Gaspard Gourgaud. A young and intelligent officer, Gourgaud had been one of Napoléon's younger generals and his aide-de-camp since Waterloo; he had had the dubious honour of giving the order to fire the French batteries' last salvo on the morne plaine(1), in an attempt to buy time for the retreating Frenchmen and spare them from facing the wrathful steel of Blücher's Prussians. This final order had convinced Gourgaud he had always been serving the right man, and that the Bourbons were wrong: for the young general, the Emperor had always cared for his men, and had never quite been the tyrant Louis XVIII's court was trying to make him pass for.

Unfortunately, Gaspard Gourgaud's life had almost entirely been spent on various battlefields; he had been serving in the army since leaving military school in 1804 as a lieutenant, and had never settled down long enough to find a wife. Unlike the other two noblemen who had accompanied Napoléon in his exile, Gourgaud had every reason to find his existence to be despairingly lonely.

In fact, Gourgaud had been making sure the wives of the two other married gentlemen at Longwood knew he was feeling lonely. This wasn't really a problem where Henri Bertrand was concerned - the marshal's wife Fanny was quite faithful, and had just given him a fourth child. On the other hand, Albine Hélène, the wife of general-count Monthaulon, was a pretty and flirtatious woman, and Monthaulon himself was the jealous type. Gourgaud had not hidden his longing for Albine de Monthaulon, and this had lead to a dispute between the two men, into which Henri Bertrand was drawn by Gourgaud. So far the results were the dissolution of what little social life remained at Napoléon's home, and the Bertrands intent on having a separate house built for themselves on the Longwood plateau.

The reason why the Emperor had asked his aide-de-camp to ride with him was to prevent further damage. He was not, however, going to be obvious about it. Not now that he felt there was a much better way to broach the subject.
'Have you seen the two redcoats on the ridge, Gourgaud?' Napoléon asked nonchalantly, not even bothering to look in their direction.
'I have, sire' Gourgaud replied with a similar tone. 'It takes very little to amuse them, doesn't it?'
'There was a time when I'd have been quite disappointed at this lack of reaction from one of my men when I was in the enemy's line of fire' Napoléon made with a small chuckle.
'I'm keeping an eye on them, but I think we should deny them the pleasure of diving into the underbrush like panicked rabbits' Gourgaud made, still sounding unworried. 'They're simple men. It takes little to entertain them.'
'Simple men...' Napoléon muttered.

The Emperor pulled softly on his horse's reins, stopping it; his companion was startled, and a few seconds passed before he too stopped.
'Sire?'

Napoléon did not reply. His eyes were fixed on the two sentries on the ridge, who were now engaged in animated discussion.
'Is anything wrong, Sire?' Gourgaud asked, moving a little closer to the Emperor.

Napoléon stayed silent for another few seconds, still observing the men above him intently. And then he spoke in a strangely detached voice:
'Tell me, Gourgaud, what is a simple man?'

The young general was completely caught off balance by the question.
'Well... They are... I mean-" he sputtered.
"They are men who live for the present moment and indulge in their immediate desires.' The Emperor made a gesture in the direction of the two sentries, whose discussion seemed to degenerate into a dispute. 'Look at them. They were having fun of us moments ago, but now one of them has decided he wants to do something, and the other one disagrees. They aren't going to think about the possible consequences of achieving what they hearts tell them they crave.'
'I - I see.' Gourgaud's voice was shaking. 'Sire, we should-'
'That bullet is going to hit the rubber tree next to us' - and before his companion had the time to say or do something there was the unmistakable crack of a musket being fired, and the bark of the tree exploded in a shower of splinters hardly two metres from Napoléon.

The Emperor's horse reared, but its rider stayed in his saddle and managed to regain control of it; then it broke into a gallop, urged by its rider, and the panicked Gourgaud's mount followed suit.


**​


They stopped a couple of hundred metres farther, under the cover of a small bush of more exotic trees. The Emperor looked as calm and composed as if nothing had happened; Gourgaud, for his part, was struggling hard to regain his composure.
'What the hell was that about?' he swore. 'Has Lowe been giving orders to get rid of you?'
'He certainly did not' Napoléon calmly replied. 'It was quite like him to order in advance a coffin so that he's prepared when I finally die, but he certainly wouldn't want to have to explain to his government just why he gave the French population an excellent reason to overthrow Louis XVIII, after they've been at war with us for over twenty years to put him on his brother's throne. Lowe may be incompetent and foolish, but he isn't going to give his superiors a reason to separate his head from his shoulders.'
'You should still have a word with him about his sentries shooting you! If they're doing this, he's not made it clear enough that nobody's supposed to harm you!'
'Of course he did' Napoléon replied with a little smile. 'But simple men don't think about the consequences your brash actions may have on the people around you.'
'They sure-'

But Gourgaud stopped right in the middle of his sentence. His face blanched as he turned to face his Emperor; when next he spoke, his voice was shaking.
'What do you mean by "us, simple people?" '
'Sire' Napoléon prompted. Even though he wasn't reigning over much of a domain these days, the Emperor made a point to remind those who had accompanied him in exile that he was still their liege, and that they would never have lacked him respect when he was still ruling his Empire.

It is a testament to Gourgaud's loyalty that he didn't feel slighted by Napoléon's words. And it is a testament to his wit that he understood the reasons behind the Emperor's unexpected reprimand.

'I know I shouldn't have aggravated Monthaulon' the young man said with a heavy voice, 'but whenever I look at his wife I get the impression she would rather be sleeping in my arms than in his.'
'You don't know that she would' replied Napoléon soothingly - though a little dishonestly. They were, after all, talking about a woman who had insisted for four months to be allowed in Napoléon's own bathroom, and who had been thoroughly disappointed to discover he wouldn't give in to her desires even when they were alone in such a private place. Still, it was no reason to give Gourgaud more reason to hope; count Monthaulon was the jealous type, and had already forgotten that Napoléon was his Emperor when discussing the liberties granted to his wife.

'My friend' Napoléon said, 'you really don't know. You might merely be getting ideas, and I can't really afford seeing what little court the English agreed to leave me tear themselves apart because their earthly desires aren't mutually compatible.'
'I know' Gourgaud said bitterly. 'But every time she leans close to me, I can't help but imagine how pleasurable it'd be to spend a few hours alone with her.'
'Then you should rein in your imagination, Gourgaud' the Emperor replied. 'You'll go mad if you don't.'
'I'm not sure I can rein it in.'
'Then perhaps you should leave.'
'Sire!'

Gourgaud looked horrified, and Napoléon had to quickly reassure him:
'I am not telling you I don't want you by my side any longer; what I'm trying to tell you is that you're a clever and handsome man, and that it would be much better for you to go back to France and find a good wife there, and start your life anew.'
'You never suggested that the others should leave you, Sire' Gourgaud said bitterly.
'Their families are here. Their life is here. On the other hand, I'm the only reason why you are here. I am grateful for it, but I can't let you destroy yourself just for the pleasure of your company.'

Napoléon didn't wait for a reply; he knew Gourgaud would need some time to get used to the idea of leaving St Helena without him, but the fact Napoléon's suggestion didn't scandalize him enough for them to have a full-blown argument made him sure his younger friend would eventually realize going his own way was the right thing to do.

Of course, they was no way for Napoléon to know this decision would come back to haunt him...


**​


Gourgaud kept stubbornly silent during the rest of the journey back to Longwood manor, but Napoléon didn't really mind. Talking about other people's families had brought back the painful memory that he himself would never be seeing his wife and six-year-old son again - not in this life, anyway.

One person living a lonely life is enough for such a small island.

And there was no doubt as to whom it should be.


**​


(1) - "Morne plaine" - dreary plain, in English - is the name often affixed by the French to the site of the battle of Waterloo.
 
Last edited:

Maximilliano

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beautiful story so far, i'll be reading
/subscribed!
 

coz1

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I don't suppose this Gaspard Gourgaud looks anything like Le Petit Corporal...

Regardless, surely Nappy has some idea further than just the altruistic notion of sending his young charge home for a better life. Perhaps a note is to be sent with him? Thoigh how to get that past his guards is another question. Certainly he'd be searched before leaving.

A masterful scene there, Lordban. I especially liked Napoleon's prescience about the ball hitting the tree just feet away. And both his lonliness and sense of desire ring out from his words. Very nice. :cool:
 

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Interesting to see what RPG you are thinking of to be mixed with Victoria. I'll see how it goes. Good luck managing your country in the out-of-character sense, though. I found it a little overwhelming when I first started. :)
 

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Not sure I'll have the courage to finish the next update tonight, so I might as well reply and thank all those who posted ;)

Maximilliano said:
beautiful story so far, i'll be reading
/subscribed!
Thank you sir! I hope you'll find it worth your while!

coz1 said:
I don't suppose this Gaspard Gourgaud looks anything like Le Petit Corporal...

Regardless, surely Nappy has some idea further than just the altruistic notion of sending his young charge home for a better life. Perhaps a note is to be sent with him? Thoigh how to get that past his guards is another question. Certainly he'd be searched before leaving.

A masterful scene there, Lordban. I especially liked Napoleon's prescience about the ball hitting the tree just feet away. And both his lonliness and sense of desire ring out from his words. Very nice. :cool:
Gourgaud certainly doesn't look like his beloved Emperor. You'll get to see a little more of him in the next update.

Thanks for your comments on this update; I was a little scared of botching Nappy's first scene :p And talking about the devil, he certainly does have a few reasons to send Gourgaud home which have nothing to do with altruism. One of his more immediate goals is to restore a little peace at Longwood - it's hard enough to live the life of an exile; it's a lot worse when what few friends are still with you start to hate each other :D

LeonTrotsky said:
Intriguing start all round, I'll be following.
Many thanks to you!

Corbett said:
Interesting to see what RPG you are thinking of to be mixed with Victoria. I'll see how it goes. Good luck managing your country in the out-of-character sense, though. I found it a little overwhelming when I first started. :)
The nice part with the RPG I chose is that it won't be hard to blame the mistakes of the beginner I am on some of the characters :p

I've had time for a couple of quick games with Belgium and Switzerland (the former got on the wrong side of a BB war after one too many quick colonial annexations, the latter became the #1 destination for immigrants after the USA decided slavery was a good idea - my population tripled in size between 1865 and 1870 and reached 20 million by 1880... :wacko: ), and a more reasonable one with Prussia (not too hard to manage, especially with Renss' AAR fresh in my mind :) ).

The go I've had with France to see how hard this would be... well... Let's just say that running a Laissez-Faire economy with 80,000 low-taxed Capitalists who decide not to spend a single coin on French infrastructure or factories was frustrating.

Bloody French :p


To all the others who've been reading this so far: thanks to you as well :)