• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

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


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Clydwich

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Jaaaa! Update! Ek ben so bly! Me so happy! Ik ben zo blij!
 

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Hi folks. Remember me?

Apologies about the er...six month delay between updates. Without boring you all with the details, things have been rather busy in real life.

However, here's an update for you - and hopefully more will follow!

Thank you all for your continuing support - I really appreciate it!
 

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Part 19


Seepo couldn't recall a time when he had felt as light headed as he did at the moment. Lying on his back, looking up at a cerulean blue sky, he felt completely and utterly at peace. The sun was bright but it gave off none of its customary oppressive heat, and instead seemed content to simply bathe the area in warm, golden light. Birds nesting in trees called to each other, and the undergrowth rustled as small creatures scampered too and fro.

"This is nice", thought Seepo (1).

No sooner had this thought entered his head than it was replaced with the realisation that he was hovering in midair (2). Unsurprisingly enough, this feeling was swiftly overwhelmed with another sensation (3) and Seepo spent the next couple of seconds flapping his arms frantically until he had happily ascertained that he wasn't going to plummet to a messy death on the ground below.

"Phew", thought Seepo (4).

Slowly, lazily, and with no small amount of vertigo tearing at his nerves, Seepo managed to spin around to get a better view of his surroundings. It took a couple of seconds for him to fully appreciate it, but this place was like nowhere he'd ever been before. Tall, thick-trunked trees that were covered in short, needle-like leaves jabbed proudly towards the sky, while the ground was covered in a dense mix of lush green vegetation, tangled roots and rocks.

"This is weird", thought Seepo (5).

A sudden shout from behind and below startled him. He wiggled and wriggled until he was in a position to see what was going on. Below him a small group of men in strange clothing were lying sprawled on the ground in the middle of a small, brown hedgerow. Although there was barely a breeze in the air the hedge seemed to be bristling violently. With a thought, Seepo descended down through the trees towards the ground. As he got closer he noticed that what he first assumed to be a hedge was in fact a collection of small bears, all of which looked rather agitated (6) and most of which appeared to be clutching crude melee weapons which they were waving in a vaguely threateningly manner at the men that they were surrounding.

"I must be dreaming", thought Seepo.

As if to confirm this, a strange sound - half roar, half speech - came from amidst the beleaguered men. What Seepo had first assumed to be a large rug (7) got to its feet and started gesticulating angrily with a weapon and shouting in its half-roar-half-speech voice at the small army of bears. Seemingly unperturbed, the bears hooted back angrily and jabbed their weapons in the walking carpet's direction while one of the men tried to get it to calm down. It duly did, but not before several of the bears hauled the weapon from its grasp.

"...", thought Seepo.

It was then that his eye was caught by the sun glinting off something metallic that lay on the ground. Just behind the quivering wall of irate fur another man was sprawled. Except, unlike the other men who were dressed in camouflaged battle fatigues, this man appeared to be dressed in a suit made of solid gold. What is more, something about this figure called to Seepo. Something about it seemed very familiar.

Comforting.

Inviting.

"Oh MY!", thought Seepo as his floating formed rushed towards the gold figure and, with an almost soundless rush of air Seepo merged with it (8) and sat bolt upright. Before he had time to adjust to his surroundings he became acutely aware of two dozen beady little bear eyes staring at him in awe. One by one they dropped their weapons and prostrated themselves before him, chanting something that Seepo didn't understand.

"I'm being worshipped by animate teddy bears", thought Seepo, a thought it’s safe to say that he had never had before.

"...po? Hey! Do you understand anything they’re saying?"

Seepo turned his head in the direction of the soldiers who were trying to get his attention. One of them, a weedy, serious-looking kid with blonde hair (9) was gesticulating in his direction.

"Do you understand anything they're saying?"

"They're talking, stone age teddy bears - what the hell do you think genius?", thought Seepo. However, being one of life's passive aggressive he simply smiled and said "Oh yes!"

"Well?" said another of the men - this one taller and older than the last (10). "What are you telling them?"

Seepo glanced down at the genuflecting bears and back at the men.

"Well...I could be mistaken. But... I do believe they think I am some sort of god."

The walking carpet let out a braying sound that could have been laughter while the two soldiers looked at each other with "What the hell?" looks. The taller one quickly recovered though and waved his hand in Seepo's direction.

"Well, why don't you use your divine influence and get us out of this?"

"You're damn right!", thought Seepo. "Just wait until you see me wielding my divine influence! A god! For once I'm being taken seriously. I've got power! No more 'Seepo do this, Seepo do that!' No more Mr Passive Aggressive! Oh no. This is the turning point! A new me! This is brilliant! This is fantastic! This is without a doubt the best dream I've ever had."

He paused.

"Ah", thought Seepo. "Reality calling."

He felt himself slowly floating upwards and away from the metal figure who was shaking his head in confusion and busy explaining to the confused soldiers that it wouldn't be proper for him to impersonate a deity. The trees started to slowly fade away and the sun began to grow brighter and hotter. From far away he could hear a voice - a whiny, frightened, concerned voice that could only belong to one person.

~~~​

Lucas shook Seepo again. “Hey! Wake up!”

As Seepo groaned Lucas turned to his companions, the worry etched across his face slowly melting away.

"I think he's coming round!"

With another groan Seepo raised himself into a sitting position and rubbed his temples. It felt like a crash of rhinos was marauding through his skull.

"A deity", he groaned. "I could have been a deity."

A large figure loomed over him and scowled.

"Well, haul your holy punk-ass off the ground and let’s get moving. Those Mensevanzand will be back soon, and in greater numbers. Unless of course you're willing to put some faith in your divine powers to protect yourself from their clubs and rifles? No - well let's get moving, man."

Seepo rubbed his head again.

"Reality calling indeed."

He sighed.

"Let's go."

~~~​

1. Given that guns, fires, explosions, running away REALLY fast, abduction and slavery had recently loomed so prominently in Seepo's everyday life, the scene that he was currently enjoying could have featured screaming gales, lashing rain and a blasted wasteland devoid of life and STILL be considered "nice".

2. Those of you who "enjoy a drink or two" have probably experienced something similar upon returning home from the pub and lying down on your bed. Depending on how much you've imbibed this sensation can either be strangely pleasant or result in a really quick dash to the bathroom for some painful regurgitation fun.

3. Blistering, heart-stopping terror. Welcome back old friend.

4. Seepo was, if nothing, a master of understatement.

5. See what I mean?

6. ...as much as it’s possible to read the expression on the face a three foot, ursine primitive.

7. Thinking about it later on Seepo was unable to work out why – even in a dream - he would have believed a military unit would have carried a rug as part of standard issue equipment. Saying that, he had never considered it possible for bears to carry spears but clearly his subconscious had no problem with ignoring the importance of opposable thumbs, so in comparison haberdashery as military gear seemed quite sane.

8. This is scarier than it sounds. Imagine, right now, that there could be demons zipping around through the air, flying into people's bodies, and possessing them without making so much as a peep. It could be happening right now. It might have even happened to you. Are you still reading this or has your head rotated 360 degrees and started spewing pea soup everywhere? If it has, you're possessed and should probably call a priest. Aren't I helpful. You're welcome.

9. A really BAD blonde haircut. While he'd probably be considered a poster boy for the Third Reich, in civilised society this kid would be roundly mocked for having such shocking hair.

10. ..and ruggedly handsome in a scruffy sort of way.
 

Alfredian

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And with a cameo from Paddington Bear and friends as well! It shows how rough things have got in London when Paddigton has to carry a spear.

Seepo was justifiably upset at waking up before he had even been offered any marmalade.
 

Enewald

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Next time hobbits?
Teddy bears remind me too much of one certain thing called PB...
 

Vesimir

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Ewoks!

And Iain! Great to see you again, and great to see that you didn't forget about us, your readers. So when's the next update coming? 2012?
 

Johan11

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What?

I don't get the reference, but it's so nice to have you back. It hasn't been the same without you or Eron.
 

iain_a_wilson

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It's back! And with more Star Wars rip-offs than ever!
Really? Where?

:rolleyes:

And with a cameo from Paddington Bear and friends as well! It shows how rough things have got in London when Paddigton has to carry a spear.

Seepo was justifiably upset at waking up before he had even been offered any marmalade.
Oddly enough, I never thought of it that way. I used to love Paddington as a kid and the image of him wielding a spear is quite distressing!

Next time hobbits?
Teddy bears remind me too much of one certain thing called PB...
No hobbits - I'm purely in sci-fi rip-of...er...I mean plageris...no...er...TRIBUTES!

Ewoks!

And Iain! Great to see you again, and great to see that you didn't forget about us, your readers. So when's the next update coming? 2012?
Always a pleasure Ves! And I'm hopefully going to be more frequent with my updates. I've set myself a goal of finishing this AAR sometime this year!

What?

I don't get the reference, but it's so nice to have you back. It hasn't been the same without you or Eron.
Thank you very much - it's good to be back. And of course you wouldn't get the reference, what with you being 12 and all that. Go and watch Return of the Jedi and then read it again. Of you go. I'll wait.

Thanks for taking the time to comment and read guys. Hopefully I'll have another update winging its way towards you soon.
 

morningSIDEr

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Fantastic to see this updated once again. Interesting that Seepo has enjoyed/suffered/experienced (I'm not quite sure which of these options to choose) such a strange dream. I have a feeling, weird as the dream was, that reality will prove now less strange and fascinating!
 

Johan11

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Thank you very much - it's good to be back. And of course you wouldn't get the reference, what with you being 12 and all that. Go and watch Return of the Jedi and then read it again. Of you go. I'll wait.
Oi!

Brits. Can't be trusted...

I'm not 12. You can have a life without watching Star Wars.

...Though, when thinking, my other interests probably means that i don't have a life...
 

Enewald

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Oi!

Brits. Can't be trusted...

I'm not 12. You can have a life without watching Star Wars.

...Though, when thinking, my other interests probably means that i don't have a life...
Life is indeed without a cause or without a purpose unless one has watched Star Wars. Come on, you are not hopeless. Watch them, join the right side of the force!
 

iain_a_wilson

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Part 20


Marius Van Moordenaar's men were infamous the length and breadth of the Boer Republics. Their murderous rampages (for at times Van Moordenaar's tactics seemed to be without any clear cut military aim other than terrorising the local populace) provoked cries of outrage, fear and hatred in equal measure, but the people of the veldt reserved a special hatred the good Colonel. After all, it was on his orders that his redcoats committed atrocity after atrocity, and therefore it was only fitting that he be held accountable for their actions. Many a distraught Afrikaaner, as he was led away from the smouldering ruin that he had once called home; bloodied, battered, mourning the loss of loved ones and facing an uncertain future in one of the Empire's many refugee camps, would find himself voicing the thoughts of Boers everywhere, namely "How does Van Moordenaar sleep at night?"

Were Marius to hear of such a remark, and if he were a properly evil villain with Freon running through his veins (1), he would doubtlessly simply throw his head back, laugh maniacally, retort "How do I sleep? Very well thank you - and better than you will...IN THE CROCODILE PIT!" before strolling off to indulge in an afternoon's kitten bashing (2).

Van Moordenaar, however, was not as stone cold evil as some people imagined. Nor did he regularly sleep easily.

Take now for example.

He lies on his bed, tossing and turning. Occasionally he kicks at his sheets, and mutters something under his breath. While it is humid, it is not the heat that disturbs his slumber. Nor is it the myriad insects that emerge at sundown to irritate those foolish enough to leave their shutters open.

No, Marius is being tormented by something far more painful than a mere mosquito bite or the relentless, unforgiving African climate. It's only a small thing - almost forgotten and almost silenced by years of service to the Empire - but it's still there, and in these quiet moments - undisturbed by war and Marius' unflinching need to drive the British military machine onwards to greater and greater excesses - it emerges; unbidden, unwanted but with a voice as loud as a lion's roar.

As he lies there, attempting to find peace in his slumber, Van Moordenaar is assailed by the only foe capable of provoking any kind of real emotional response from him.

His conscience.

~~~​

"Wow - Uncle Owen was so wrong about you!" Lucas said as he and the two slaves made themselves at home in Obayomi's hut.

"What you jibber-jabbering about?" came the reply. Obayomi found the boy intensely irritating and while he would ordinarily have left him to make his own way home, something about the odd set of circumstances that had brought them and the two slaves together had piqued his curiosity (3). He reached into a nearby bowl and produced four oranges, one which he kept for himself and the other three which he threw to his new found companions. The two slaves seized upon the fruit with gusto whilst Lucas, after fumbling it for so long that an observer could be forgiven for assuming that the orange had a life of its own, gave Obayomi an exaggerated smile and a cheesy thumbs up.

"Cheers!"

Obayomi swiftly peeled his orange and bit into it - the sharp tang of the juice helping to focus his thoughts. He flicked the skin out of his hut’s window (4) and pointed at Lucas.

"Ok dutchie; spill."

Lucas sagged.

"Why does everyone call me that? You don't even know me. It's so unfair. I just wan..."

Obayomi clicked his fingers, sending sticky globules of orange juice flying everywhere (5). Lucas squealed and rubbed at his face.

"Urgh. That's disgusting. I can't believe I've got your orange juice AND your saliva all over my face. Urgh. It makes me feel a bit que..."

Obayomi slammed his hand against the wall.

"Shut up fool! Now, tell me again about your boy here", he jabbed his finger at Teetoo. "What's all this about him belonging to me? Because I can tell you now, Obi Van Obayomi ain’t no slave owning punk!"

The tiny, overworked-to-the-point-of-collapse part of Lucas' brain that was charged with the almost monumental task of self-preservation was currently trying to seize the reigns of control from the far larger portion of grey matter than seemed largely concerned with putting Lucas into situations where he could talk and blunder his way into certain death. For once, it managed to win through, for when Lucas next opened his mouth to speak rather than coming out with something jaw-droppingly stupid or offensive that would result in Obayomi screaming "Gaaaaaah!" at the top of his lungs before beginning to dismember him with his bare hands, he simply said "Seepo? Let Teeto speak and translate, will you?" (6)

With a quick glance in Seepo’s direction, Teeto reached into his satchel, produced the torn letter, and started to read.

~~~​

1. Metaphorically speaking of course. Were he to have been given a transfusion of chlorofluorocarbons directly into his blood stream Marius would very quickly have collapsed in a messy, leaky, very deady heap. His body would also then have to be buried rather than cremated because of the environmental impact the release of so much green house gases would have.

2. Kind of like "Whack-a-Mole/Gopher" but with a more crushing cost to the player's humanity. And to the kittens (obviously).

3. Not to mention setting alarm bells ringing. When you deliberately choose the life of a hermit it is only natural to be wary of people who turn up looking for you. Even if they are bumbling, disaster-prone and clearly clueless teenagers who possess the self-preservation instinct of a zebra that has wandered up to a pride of lions to ask them if they see anything they fancy for lunch. If he had the vocabulary he would doubtlessly have referred to the event as "serendipitous". Instead he settled for "frickin' wierd".

4. As is probably self evident, Obayomi did not live in a cave. Uncle Owen's preconceptions of Obaymoi's living conditions were founded purely on the notion that anyone who spurned the paradise that was Groot Slaperig was good enough only to live in a cave like the uncivilised nut-job that they were. The word "parochial" didn't even begin to describe your average long-time Groot Slaperigian.

5. ...and producing a rather pathetic, wet snapping sound (kind of like the noise you get when you wring a chicken's neck), rather than the powerful Click of Authority (TM) that he was hoping for.

6. "Not fair!" I hear you cry. "Lucas is an idiot! He'd have said something downright stupid and got a beating as a result of it! You’re fudging the plot!" Calm down, dear reader. If the universe works on the principles of checks and balances (and given that I've created this little world I can choose to have the laws of causality work any way I please) this means that one of two things has happened here. On one hand, the cosmos could have decreed that Lucas has put up with soooo much hardship that it is only fair to give him a break once in a while. On the other hand, some cosmic joker may have decided to give him the upper hand now in return for REALLY pulling the rug out from under him later on... Which one of these prospects you prefer is a good indication of what sort of person you are…
 

Vesimir

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Conscience? What is that?
I heard about it once. It's supposed to make you feel bad... So, I guess it's a virus or something?

Marius needs to get cured of it.
 

Johan11

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I think it's some kind of influenza.

H2N819992, I think.
 

canonized

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For one thing , the intro resounded in my head like some Monty Python narration in its hilariousness . Very well done XD Secondly , somehow the commentary on your narrative is also a veiled commentary on what you're parodying which is HILARIOUS . I love the manifold nuance which makes your comedic style an intelligent one and all the more enjoyable . Thank you for doing this :D
 

Alfredian

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As he lies there, attempting to find peace in his slumber, Van Moordenaar is assailed by the only foe capable of provoking any kind of real emotional response from him.

His conscience.
Hmm. Our villain is assailed by his conscience, almost as is he hasn't always been evil.....

After you've finished this AAR, lived off the huge royalties from These Oranges are not for eating action figures (etc, etc), and failed to write anything else for several years, you could do a sequel about how he became evil.....
 

AllmyJames

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I get the feeling that if this strange tale were ever to be adapted to the new-fangled 'moving picture' format, Obayomi van Kenobi would not be played by kindly and aged Sir Alec Guinness, CH, CBE I think I fumbled with my own orange while reading the last update. :(