• 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

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canonized

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Grubnessul said:
It has been some time since I last commented on your story, but I've kept up reading and I must say I'm impressed that you can keep up such high quality writing for all this time.

Thank you Grubnessul ! I'm very glad you're still with us ! Feel free to make any suggestions too if you'd like :D
 

Myth

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canonized said:
Myth: It's not like you to be stumped , Mr. Myth !! But thanks again for your patronage , always a pleasure to have you around ! We'll have to see what will happen for now !
oh, I'm not necessarily stumped, I have my ideas, but I'm keeping them to myself at the moment ;)
 

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Myth said:
oh, I'm not necessarily stumped, I have my ideas, but I'm keeping them to myself at the moment ;)

But I love your ideas ! They always seem to inspire me one way or another anyway ! =P Update coming up in an hour or so
 

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chapter36tile.gif


Chapter XXXVI: The Missing​

December 15, 1582

Most of Sweet’s injuries had already healed over since his arrival back at the Northern headquarters one month ago. Once in a while he’d be tempted to scratch away at a scab. To his own strange embarrassment, he was so unused to injury that he was barely used to the aftereffects of cuts and bruises. Indeed, the young spy in his yet short but busy career had not been scathed very often.

Even then, however, his amusing little itches would not bring a single jovial smirk or jabbing joke from his mistress. Indeed, Isabella was too worried about too many other things at the moment and her calculating mind made its preoccupation known through the morose way she carried herself throughout the battlements of Shanghai and Nanjing.

Nanjing had fallen only a week ago and secured the entirety of that middle province from the regional capital to the docks of Shanghai as under Spanish subjugation. The generals had similarly repulsed attack after attack as they continued on with their sieges. Although Isabella lost count of the casualties—more discrete numbers were busying her mind—Sweet had the eccentricity to be in the know of such things in case his mistress ever called upon the numerations.

One hundred twenty five thousand Ming troops in total of both North and South campaigns had been reported dead or captured—mostly dead. Although the Spaniards did their best to accommodate prisoners of war in the captured cities, it was many times when the Ming troops simply refused to give ground until they were cut down to the last man. The generals on the other side rallied with troops and struck both love and fear of the Emperor into their hearts whereas the cavalries of Spain took up the more pragmatic approach of waging a lightning war. The thunder of approaching cavalrymen may not have deterred the Ming’s fighting spirit, but the lances and swords mixed with the experience of the generals in charging and shocking attacks certainly proved extremely effective at producing mounting casualties for the enemy.

Of the Spaniards who were unfortunate enough to be committed to the statistical memory of that young Korean, twenty thousand in total had perished from battle. It was quite fortunate that with half the Armada having been sent back to the home country, the numbers were quickly reinforced by ten thousand fresh troops divided between the northern and southern armies when it returned. Thirty regiments each now occupied these two beachheads and despite being in the deficit of several thousand troops, those men would eventually be replaced now that the cities of each province were raising high the flag of the Habsburgs and the Cross of St. Andrew.

General Grubby especially had proven his worth on the battlefield. It was perhaps no surprise that his soldiers earned the lion’s share of the spoils. Although the chain of command prohibited looting of citizens—as the fruits of a well oiled economic machine was one of the motivations for taking these lands—having defeated more enemy armies on the field meant that more of the personal treasures of these captured or defeated regiments went to the men of General Schenkhuizen. General Grubby truly did earn his name once again.

Although the rest of the individuals in the council were of the most serious tone, it was General Grubby who dazzled the room with a not-so-discreet grin. The council room itself was a grand imitation of a room one might find in the Imperial Capital at Beijing. Ornamental woods and paints touched each chair and table as if these objects were cut from the depths of a giant burgundy plum. Scarlet tassels and bells accentuated the arches and portals of this mansion-turned-headquarters while the cosmic twining of Eastern dragons portrayed on captioned tapestries completed the erudition of the Ming aristocracy’s way of life.

“So with most of my corps on the Pearl River we expect no further penetrations by the enemy even if they come at us with four times our strength,” General Grubby proudly reported to those present at the table.

Aside from Sweet who watched his friendly rival with hidden jealousy, there was also Jakob who sailed upward to Shanghai with Grubby, and of course Isabella.

“Furthermore,” Grubby continued, “with the reinforcements arriving here and fresh troops arriving every month now that we’ve seized control of the cities, this position will be held in the same fashion. At this point, the most critical battles are over.”

Jakob nodded in acknowledgement to his colleague before saying, “Now that the military position is secure, we will discuss more pressing concerns.” At that, he looked towards Isabella.

Isabella had been staring blankly with those clouded sky blues at her hands upon the fleshy sheen of the table before Jakob’s words stirred her to attention. She had been thinking about what she was going to say during the few minutes the meeting had proceeded with the military phase, but she was still slightly at a loss for the proper words or tone. There had been many times before when that unlucky and childish Antonio got himself into a flurry of trouble, but this was the first time that the variables of the situation were unknown to her. In Japan, their capture was all part of the plan. At San Francisco, the unfortunate circumstance was a rouse to get at the merchant vessel that had struck them. But now…

“Our teams have located the house on the outskirts of the capital,” Sweet suddenly enjoined as if sensing the inhibitions of his mistress. “When it was searched we found that it was abandoned. That’s not surprising considering that the House of the Rose usually changes locations every few days to avoid detection.”

“But our nets have managed to catch enough information to provide us with the current position of the House,” Isabella finally said authoritatively attempting to rebalance herself. “According to our sources they will be moving again within the next week and so the time to attempt the rescue will be now.”

“Have you already made contact?” Jakob asked.

“I sent a pair of my men to feign interest in aiding the group with money in exchange for information from any Spanish spies they’ve caught,” Isabella replied. Her hands gripped each other anxiously. If anything failed, it could mean Antonio’s death.

“Move immediately,” Jakob ordered and Isabella and Sweet quickly stood from their seats.

Jakob had come far during the course of his first training in espionage and politics in Japan and then through his military experience in China. Then again, he was always the quick study. This opportunity was a chance to save the world from destruction, he thought. Although his best friend of many years was now somehow lost, he had great faith in the abilities of the spies now under his command. Indeed, with Antonio gone and his uncle in Spain, he was the next in command to control operations in the East.

With Antonio to be rescued by the capable Isabella and Sweet and the defenses seemingly invincible under General Grubby, there was little that seemed to bother the efficient German mind of young Jakob. With most business concluded, Jakob sat quietly as the others made their way to the door. He would need to decide one more matter: with Sebastian having committed suicide, the Royce line of Catholics have failed. Probably for the best, Jakob thought, it was Catholics like that hedonistic and lecherous Sebastian that gave the faith a bad name. At least now he would have an opportunity to pass the keys to a better caretaker.

Oh yes… he had yet to tell Isabella of what had occurred to Sebastian, he remembered. Another time, perhaps; she has enough to worry about. Indeed, that lady traveled through the chamber with an alacrity that seemed to be her only barrier against heartbreaking anxiety. Her swift movement was quickly followed by her trusty Sweet and an accident almost occurred at the doorway if Isabella had not quickly checked herself and realized that another individual was entering the chamber.

“Grave news, Lord Jakob!” a courier panted as he ignored the others and approached the now rising young man.

“What’s going on, Raul?” Jakob questioned after recognizing his uncle’s aide. The others who were about to depart stopped to listen.

“I’m afraid the Silent Room is recalling you to Spain immediately to assume command of the situation at home,” Raul began to explain with such a pant that one might have thought the young page ran all the way from Madrid to Nanjing.

“Calling me back? What’s happened?” Jakob asked forcefully as he attempted to steady that assistant with hands placed on both shoulders.

“An incident has occurred at the University of Toledo two months ago,” the page attempted to explain as quickly as he can, “and your uncle as well as this Zio person we were investigating both disappeared.”

Jakob narrowed his eyes both in piqued anxiety as well as confusion. Who was this Zio fellow, he asked himself.

“We suspect,” Raul continued in between breaths, “that he was taken by Zio’s cult after having fought their master at the university. We found several dead cult members in the chamber where your uncle was attacked but neither their leader Zio nor Cardinal DeWitt could be found.”

Without further discussion Jakob shot a glance to Isabella.

“I’ll take command here,” Isabella nodded in desperate agreement, “and I’ll have Sweet go with you to give you a spy master.”

Jakob nodded in thanks and sped out towards the door dragging the courier with him. Sweet gave a careful bow to his mistress before following Jakob out towards the horses waiting outside. As Isabella’s light blues fastened their gaze onto the speeding individuals, Grubby stepped past her and had modified his grin into a stern frown. Even he could feel the gravity of what was occurring; on the eve of military victory Spain might receive a double blow that would be more crushing than any military debacle.

---​

Antonio was starting to get used to the cushions that he was confined to every evening. Throughout the past month it had been his nightly home and he was always ceremoniously strapped into place by that same young woman who he had met the first time he awoke in the House of the Rose.

“Now hold still,” the girl commanded. “I know when you’re trying to get more slack.”

“Fine, fine, Ms. Jiang,” Antonio complied before allowing himself to lie about straight on the bed. Over the weeks he had been a guest of the House he was privileged enough to know that his caretaker was Miss Jiang Jinshou although it was probably another false name. False name or not, it helped him to pretend that his captors were more human than they otherwise seemed to be.

Aside from this rather ordinary young lady, he was always attended by two burly individuals who were obviously security in case in his unbound state he would overpower his provider. In that way, Antonio came to appreciate the more down to earth and friendly demeanor of this the smaller of his guardians.

With the straps in place, Antonio was once again ready for a secured night of sleep. Although he spent most of his nights in that position, the cushions themselves, which were changed every other day, seemed to provide such softness that he felt as if he was floating in a small pool. The very thought of such an image, however, made Antonio sick—his vertigo and nausea had not subsided since the first day. Ms. Jiang informed him that it was a safety poison causing it so that he wouldn’t get too excited and attempt to escape. The young lady almost seemed to laugh as she had explained it to him a day or so after they first met.

Indeed, poison had apparently become part of Antonio’s every day existence in that abode. One peculiar insistence by his hostess was that he should be inoculated with a sedative every time he heard thunder in the distance; for what reason he yet could not divine. Despite these measures, however, the resourceful young man was not without his wits. On the trips to the latrine or to an empty room where he was allowed to exercise stretch and be bathed, he noticed the various halls of that dark inner network where he was apparently a tenant within.

Sometimes hearing the chatter of various individuals down one hallway or catching a glimpse of light in another he began to formulate a plan to escape.

“Oh that reminds me!” Miss Jiang announced before leaving the bed chamber and putting a finger to the very edge of her pouted lips as if she was pondering something mysterious. “Lady Nia informed me to be prepared for tomorrow since you’ll be having an interview.”

“An interview?” Antonio asked unable to hide his small surprise.

“Oh yes,” that young lady added with a total grin. “We’re being paid handsomely to have you spill some of your secrets to some guests!”

Antonio narrowed his eyes at her with some distress. “And you all expect me to talk?” he asked letting a little bit of mocking humor escape the side of his mouth.

What he received in response was that same grin, but it was the flickering of the local lamp that made it more intrusive than a tilted knife. He understood what her expression meant as she stood up and exited the room to leave him in suspense. If he was to escape, he would have to do it tomorrow.

---​

December 16, 1582

Hidden behind a low cowl, Isabella had risked going along with the team which had now approached and hailed the house. Although the chain of command was already tenuous, she had left General Grubby back in Nanjing to direct operations and decided to take on this task of recovering Antonio personally. With her expression hidden and her hair tied, she would blend in with her agents and would seek out her lost companion.

“Good afternoon,” one of her agents on the front said to a young woman who answered the gate door.

“Good afternoon!” the young girl responded in that land’s tongue before opening the gateway for them. She kept her eyes on the large casket being hauled in by Isabella and another agent obviously containing some form of cash payment—or so the young girl thought.

As the four agents including Isabella entered the courtyard they detected no small force loitering in the garden path. Obviously it was to ensure the safety of the house, but she was not particularly worried. Despite what skill these individuals were famed to possess, she had picked her three best people to accompany her on this small expedition. If necessary, the rest of her troupe with a small military detachment was hidden across the road.

“This way please,” the young hostess guided the hooded figures as she opened the main door to the building. “Here is the waiting room.”

As the four congregated with their casket into the blank chamber, their hostess continued to flash her grin for them.

“I’ll go get the prisoner for you,” she announced happily before nearly skipping away.

Despite these obvious antics to throw off any interpretation of the character of the girl, Isabella was more focused on retrieving her master… and friend.

---​

“Are you ready for your interview, Mr. Antonio?” Miss Jiang suddenly asked appearing at the doorway.

Antonio was still groggy despite it being past midday and his head was once again in a strange sense of being off balance. He nodded to his hostess before following her outside of his room with the two guards in tow.

It would be now or never. He would take the left corridor at the bend. He had seen light there. If he could take one of the guard’s weapons he could fight his way until he reached a forest or other obstruction to aid his escape. It would be now or never, he repeated.

The corridor of that dark and damp hallway thickened into an almost pitch black. It was time, he concluded. Feigning a sudden nauseating tilt, he bore heavily to his right and hit the wood of the wall with his shoulder. The guards, used to Antonio’s disorientation, casually reached out to correct his stance. It was then that Antonio grabbed the incoming arms and conjuring every muscle in his body and used the forward momentum of the two men to catapult them over his shoulder and into the unsuspecting Miss Jiang. The collision was greeted not only by the slamming of flesh and the tumbling of body against wood but the maneuver was so forceful in its anticipation that Antonio could hear a bone or two crack.

Suddenly reminded of his now healed left arm he quickly winced in pain before squatting down to his guardians and sliced away his bindings with one of the men’s swords. Dashing now towards the darkened crossroads he peered past the edge of the hallway and noticed the stairwell at the other end. With sword in hand, he dashed forward. Climbing the stairs quickly he saw some light emanating behind a paper screen at the top. Crashing through it without regard, he found himself in the presence of a well lit chamber.

His disorientation forced him to take an extra second to focus his sight in front of him. Seeing a familiar and shocked face in front of him, the sight he beheld elicited a tear from his eye.

---​

Isabella had faced the doorway in front of her with obvious anticipation to the figure that would eventually walk through. Instead, she was shocked to find that the paper screen to her right flew apart as a man leapt out.

“Greetings,” the figure that had come out suddenly said as the four stepped back in terror at the decrepit sight. “Allow me to introduce myself: I am Sio-Pan, Lord of Acid!”

In the middle of a terrible high pitched and wheezing laugh from that old looking apparition, the rest of the chamber suddenly began to fill up with the dark encroaching figures of crouched minions of the Rose.

---​

Antonio’s eyes, slightly filmed by liquid, glanced at the surprised expression of Nia speaking to a black uniformed European next to her. But it was not this company that forced his tearful response. Instead, it was the open air behind them and the miles and miles of ocean water spreading out from beyond. It all made sense now. The motion sickness, being sedated before each storm, the House of the Rose was a house on a boat; and there was no land to be seen for miles.

“Ah, just the man I wanted to see,” the European said in German. “I paid a lot of money to be able to ask you some questions!” the man cackled, “And you better make it worth it!”

interlude2.gif


Interlude​

With pistols trained at their backs, Father Francis and Duke Jimenes followed the underground path of the dig site with obvious anxiety. They had been walking for nearly a mile now and it even felt as if the whole journey was traveled uphill.

“Just a little further gentlemen,” Ms. Obidos instructed them from behind as if to encourage their trek.

She spoke the truth. Both men could plainly see a light emanating from the far end of the tunnel. Added to that visual stimulus, however, was a low almost whistling sound. At first, it seemed quite out of place but the more the three approached the end of the tunnel, the louder it became.

Father Francis and Duke Jimenes looked at each other with obvious suspicion. By now, even if they spoke, their words would not have been heard over the din at the end of the walk. Placing their hands over their ears, they stepped past the threshold of the dug out entrance and found themselves upon an open, abandoned tarmac. The whistling was immediately recognized as a large jet consuming their immediate vision.

Like a preying, ebony eagle spanning dozens of meters from tip to tail, she was an impressive sight for the two who now stood in the piercing sunlight of southern China. With swept back wings and a piercing nose, this bird was obviously meant to travel quickly.

Ms. Obidos coaxed them forward with a push against their shoulder blades with her dual pistols. Nearly stumbling down into this seemingly obscure and lifeless runway, the Duke could see a small disruption of beige sliding itself open near the front of the aircraft; a doorway opened for them.

“Inside, now!” yelled Ms. Obidos before both individuals found their way up the stairs and into the plane.

The Duke, having entered first, entered the cabin to find leather trimmed interior advancing all the way to the tail of the craft. With sofas and personal televisions available in alternating nooks, the interior seemed like the most luxurious of aircraft liners. With a staircase near the middle leading to an upper deck, he could also see various servants and black clad individuals walking through the aisle as well as approaching him.

“Welcome to the House of the Rose, gentlemen,” Ms. Obidos announced as the doorway closed behind her and the two were apprehended by some of these dark clothed individuals.

As the two were being lead down the center aisle, the Duke looked back to Father Francis with some concern. When he faced back forward, he was surprised to meet a most crazed and enthusiastic smile. The pale face it belonged to immediately registered in the Duke’s mind.

“This is another guest with us in our home,” Ms. Obidos introduced, “Marcus Councilman.”

Before either the Duke or Marcus could speak, a large figure similarly descended the staircase carrying a most heavy case. His expression did not meet the Duke’s but he could already discern the Chinese heritage of this tall one and guessed who it was.

“Take me to the hold,” Tseng ordered one of the servants while tightly gripping the case.

“As you can see, Mr. Duke, the bomb will be coming with us. Call it insurance,” Marcus announced impishly pointing to his now disappearing guard.

Although Father Francis could barely move in the presence of such a killing device, the Duke returned the childish and juvenile pretensions of the young Marcus with a sharp condescending gaze.

Without a further exchange of words, Father Francis and the Duke were seated by the men holding them onto a couch opposite that of where Marcus now sat. With careful attention to their seatbelts, they were strapped in at the same time as that craft to begin moving forward.

“I had heard that the House of the Rose would shift from one place to another but I had no idea it was as mobile as this,” the Duke quipped honestly to their hostess while maintaining a locking gaze at the young woman grinning crazily back at him.

“Oh it is,” Marcus answered for Ms. Obidos, “and it’s quite undetectable too. I’m sure you’ll see what I mean once we arrive in central Asia and pick up the Timepiece.”

Duke Jimenes’s eyes broke their concentrated glare. He realized why the bomb was so important now. Marcus is going to force open the Timepiece without the keys!

Chapter XXXVII: Journey to the Timepiece (coming soon)
 
Last edited:

Grubnessul

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wow, very nice update. It's good to see Antinio taking matters in his own hands again. Is the picture you used for this chapter a hint to the reunion of Antinio & Isabella?
 

stnylan

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Can the Timepiece actually be forced I wonder? Seems a rather dangerous form of experimentation.
 

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Grubnessul: Thanks ! As for the picture , it was sorta just a random silhouette i was able to find that seemed to fit . A small allusion to Isabella and Antonio perhaps but both are far too sexy than the silhouettes show ! XD

stnylan: Yes , especially when they'll be attempting it with a nuclear bomb !
 

unmerged(71785)

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The last two updates have been especially powerful. The flashback in to the Cardinal's past really struck me, and even brought a few tears to my eyes.

Forcing open the timepiece without the keys... One can only speculate how this turns out !

Excellent work, as usual !
 

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oh dear! forcing the timepiece open is just one of the more obvious mini cliff-hangers in this chapter! it really seems to me, for instance, that Jakob suddenly became a lot more cold-blooded and calculating.

Indeed, with Antonio gone and his uncle in Spain, he was the next in command to control operations in the East.
it sounds almost as if Jakob set it up himself simply to get him out of the hierarchy!
 

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Panzerkardinal: thank you very much , I really put a lot into these past updates and I have to admit that while I was writing the Cardinal's flashback I couldn't help but cry when I thought of the scene in my head . Glad you're enjoying it , ole buddy !

Myth: You propose quite an interesting proposition ! It's true that Jakob's become hardened since we first met him and more command and responsibilities are being handed off to him . As for the Timepiece , this is going to be a tricky new few chapters to write because of the volatility of the subject matter . Glad to have you on board as usual , Mr. Myth !
 

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And ... done!

In a way, it's almost good to come in late, since it's like getting the DVDs for a good series - you don't have to wait between cliffhangers. On the other hand you lose out on commenting or playing guessing games with Myth. :D

I'll look into how to create those .pdfs for ya, for other newcomers & people like gghost who've fallen behind. Did you realize you've written over a hundred doublecolumned pages, though?

As for the story, [I'll try to stick with the major impressions, but this will still be long :)]

  • , every update since Chapter XII has happened in 1582, which seems a bit much, considering how far everyone travels. I mean, Phineas Fogg & co. were a little later, right? :) or has this really been a series of parallel universes where everything keeps happening progressively earlier than OTL? :D
  • , you're in Cali - in the middle of all your other pop references (Ceylon mothership and What about a game of Thermonuclear War? among others being cases where lol just doesn't cover it :D), it was weird that there wasn't anything about Chinatown (the Jack Nicholson movie) when you were talking about San Diego and the coming LA megalopolis. Have you not seen it yet? or was it insufficiently geeky enough for allusive purposes? :D

    Ditto, I'm not sure if the whole SF scene wasn't an homage to Big Trouble in Little China, but that's also really fun, as was turning a stereotypical San Fran Discordian into such a force for Pure Evil™.
  • , it's very amusing that you paint your old gaming clique as so debauched, but why do they use the Albanian coat of arms?
  • , it's great that a, um, German cardinal went "missing" ;), but if that happened in 1582, wouldn't Jakob've entered the church earlier than 1600? or was hereditary more important than clerical position for the Spanish chancellery?
  • , don't worry about 24. Ain't got nothin' on you, the possibly-forced-open-timepiece, Beijing-bomb-fakeout, floating/flying-headquarters-Chinese-spy-org hosting the thanks-to-the-brunette-love-interest-soon-to-be-interrogated-by-the-not-quite-exactly-real-time-travelling-Nazi-Spanish-heir, the trapped-by-the-Lord-of-Acid-blonde-love-interest, or the sexually-confused-Proddy-in-a-safehouse. :D

This stuff here is good eatin'. BAM!​

j.
 
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LlywelynII

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And don't listen to Myth!

Myth said:
it sounds almost as if Jakob set it up himself simply to get him out of the hierarchy!

It's good to have an Alan Alda/Doc House character in the middle of all the Rambos (Fickt nicht mit dem Raketenkardinal!!1!) and screwups ("Maybe the Timepiece is behind this door marked Certain Death?" "Antonio/Tom, NOOOOO!!!"), if only for contrast. :p

j.
 
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Llewyln : LOL what can I say I'm very flattered and amused at the same time by your lengthy and well thought out review . Very glad to have you on board and I'm very glad you're enjoying it so far ! And yes , the word document i save the hard copy onto is almost 300 pages now . What a doozy !

Let me see if I can't offer some insight into your excellent observations:

, every update since Chapter XII has happened in 1582, which seems a bit much, considering how far everyone travels. I mean, Phineas Fogg & co. were a little later, right? or has this really been a series of parallel universes where everything keeps happening progressively earlier than OTL?
A. Yep , that was part of my plan . The original setup was to accelerate the first few chapters until we were able to come to a comfortable setup . In a big sense , the first few decades are more like an extended background for the current characters and their trials . What you might not know is that I plan on doing this for every generation of characters . So expect dozens of chapters on each generation all the way to the Nappy era . This'll be one very long AAR ... :wacko:

, you're in Cali - in the middle of all your other pop references (Ceylon mothership and What about a game of Thermonuclear War? among others being cases where lol just doesn't cover it ), it was weird that there wasn't anything about Chinatown (the Jack Nicholson movie) when you were talking about San Diego and the coming LA megalopolis. Have you not seen it yet? or was it insufficiently geeky enough for allusive purposes? Ditto, I'm not sure if the whole SF scene wasn't an homage to Big Trouble in Little China, but that's also really fun, as was turning a stereotypical San Fran Discordian into such a force for Pure Evil™.
B. I'm afraid I haven't seen Chinatown =( . As for Big Trouble in Little China . It's one of my favourite movies of all time . I'm surprised that no one pointed out how Sio-Pan is just a change on Lo-Pan . But as Jack Burton always says .... "what the hell ..."

, it's very amusing that you paint your old gaming clique as so debauched, but why do they use the Albanian coat of arms?
C. Haha , well the old gaming clique and the Academy are not exactly congruent . Our old gaming clique was the Aristocracy and although they share the same initials , the Academy does refer to something more specific . It's sort of an amalgamation of past memories and past mistakes combined with the previous gaming clique . Plus , the idea of an Academy denotes a sense of learning . In many ways Antonio has learned from the events of his past (a past which we have yet to see) . Oh , and it's the only tabard design in WoW that has the Double Headed Eagle on it . Much more Imperial than the other crap the game serves out .

, it's great that a, um, German cardinal went "missing" , but if that happened in 1582, wouldn't Jakob've entered the church earlier than 1600? or was hereditary more important than clerical position for the Spanish chancellery?
D. Well remember that Jakob is only a doctor . He can't be elevated to Cardinal until he's been in the preisthood , elevated to bishop , and then elevated to Cardinal (with most likely having been elevated to archbishop in between) so that's not exactly a short process !

, don't worry about 24. Ain't got nothin' on you, the possibly-forced-open-timepiece, Beijing-bomb-fakeout, floating/flying-headquarters-Chinese-spy-org hosting the thanks-to-the-brunette-love-interest-soon-to-be-interrogated-by-the-not-quite-exactly-real-time-travelling-Nazi-Spanish-heir, the trapped-by-the-Lord-of-Acid-blonde-love-interest, or the sexually-confused-Proddy-in-a-safehouse.
E. Well thank you for that excellent summary of our suspenseful happenings XD ! Hope to entertain you more ! And yes , we kick it up a notch here !

It's good to have an Alan Alda/Doc House character in the middle of all the Rambos (Fickt nicht mit dem Raketenkardinal!!1!) and screwups ("Maybe the Timepiece is behind this door marked Certain Death?" "Antonio/Tom, NOOOOO!!!"), if only for contrast.
Haha yes , Adding some balance to the character traits was integral in making this whole lot of people swallowable . I expect to tinker with the dynamics of these parties as we traverse the generations and see the transformation all the way to the present time !

Thanks again llywelyn for your excellent thoughts . I look forward to seeing more of you as the story continues and in the next few days be a part of your excellent AAR now that I've got that pesky save working !
 

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Update: Added a little Author's letter to all the new people who might be reading to the first post . Hope that should help anyone who might be thinking about reading the AAR and hope to encourage all those catching up to nonetheless comment despite not being to the latest post . I always love new insight to past chapters ! Not to mention I love getting to know all those new people who are reading along !
 

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Status Report: Alrighty , had a long night with an old friend that's on summer break ! Gosh , summer break's really put a dent on my writing hasn't it ! Update tonight and then our interview with Turin the Mad on Saturday !
 

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Llywelyn said:
I'll look into how to create those .pdfs for ya, for other newcomers & people like gghost who've fallen behind. Did you realize you've written over a hundred doublecolumned pages, though?

Yes Llywelyn, I've fallen behind, but I still try to poke my head in from time to time. But...if you get those .pdfs done, there is a certain spectre who might appreciate it. :D
 

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grayghost said:
Yes Llywelyn, I've fallen behind, but I still try to poke my head in from time to time. But...if you get those .pdfs done, there is a certain spectre who might appreciate it. :D

My dearest spectre ! Hope you're going to be alright . I've been in a little slow down recently because of summer coming upon me and lots of old friends coming back , but hopefully you can use that to your advantage to catch up .

NOTE for everyone:

I had to edit the previous chapter with regards to the date . I pushed the entire set of events 1 month ahead since it's impossible for Raul to have reached Shanghai from Madrid with the galleon speeds of the time . It's not a big change to the story but thought you all should know !

P.S. I have to apologize for the tardiness of this upcoming update . Was my dad's birthday today so I'm late . I've only got 2 pages of the update finished so not yet ready to upload . Sorry about the past 2 weeks , like I said the transition to summer and all the birthdays and what nots going on have been a bit hard ! Don't worry though , this next week should present a better block schedule . I'm just glad I was able to update at all this week !
 
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canonizedturinthemad.png


You’ve Been Canonized!: Turin the Mad​

Welcome and good evening everyone ! It’s once again time for this week’s You’ve Been Canonized! here on Timelines where we spotlight authors who are patrons here with us ! If you’re new to the programme , I’m canonized , author of Timelines: What if Spain Failed to Control the World? Our guest today is a newcomer to the AAR scene Turin the Mad author of The Lazy, The Furry, The British ! Let’s begin and hopefully learn something new about this member of our community !

Part I: A glimpse into the Madness
We will take a look at the reader and author that is Turin the Mad !

canonized: First thing I’d like to know about is that though you are relatively new to the writing scene , you have actually been reading AARs for a little while now . Could you tell us how long you've been viewing the forums and also when you started writing ?

Turin the Mad: Two answers. First, that is correct - I've been reading the forums and AARs here since the latter days of Hearts of Iron 1. The first AAR I read was Mettrmrck's 'Advantages without Obligations'. That got me hooked on AARs. Rennslaer's 'Fires Warm the Northern Lands' Victoria AAR is what pushed me into signing up and starting an AAR of own. Second, writing is oddly not something I've been doing forever as a hobby or anything - it's something that I do as opportunity permits or work demands. Mostly, I get the job done.

canonized: Your current writing style is an interesting mix of crackerjack text mixed with a relentless side of illustration and tempered with a humour that is both dry and cartoonish , could you tell us how you came about to this writing style ?

Turin the Mad: For this AAR, a good part of it is from the persona of the Brom character, the rest comes from my own sense of humor and take on Paradox game play, especially since the AAR is unfolding as I learn and play the game.

canonized: And what are your thoughts on EU3 ?

Turin the Mad: So far, I have come to greatly prefer the dynamic aspect of the game's event engine. The diplomacy engine - especially between AIs - seems to need some work. The peace resolution seems out of kilter when one compares what the player can do/get/give up compared to the AIs resolutions. Lastly, I do miss the more historically-laden nature of EU 2 - it is my hope that the 'historical' option mentioned for the August expansion is dynamic-driven like the current events engine.

canonized: I'm also curious , could you tell us the meaning of your name ?

Turin the Mad: Turin the Mad ? It's the name of a carnivorous psychotic hobbit I RP'd in a D&D campaign a few years back - or rather, that character's grandfather. Turin is a name readers of the Mallorean series should recognize, as well as being a place of some historical importance I believe ...

canonized: Would you say that your RP background contributed to your abilities or styles as an author ?

Turin the Mad: Yes, most specifically from game mastering, due to the necessity - often on an ad-lib basis - to at least briefly portray different personae.

canonized: Speaking of your portrayals of different personae , could you enlighten us a little about your penchant for having cuddly creatures in your stylistic reportoire ?

Turin the Mad: Simple : it is generally not expected for things cuddly and "cute" (which are all too often quite small in physical size) to ever amount to much. When the "cute widdle kitty" suddenly transmogrifies an advisor into an entree platter, well, the " WTF ?! " factor amps up a bit. Imagine Frodo Baggins, foaming berserker mad, wading into a squad of orcs with a chainsaw ...

canonized: Haha well you certainly make your point . Last question of this section ; as you know I enjoy getting to know both the new and the old authors . Could you tell us about what the atmosphere is like now that you've stepped out of the reading zone and into being a writer ? Any challenges or incentives have you noticed simply because you're new to the scene ?

Turin the Mad: Hmmm ... well, the taunting call of " doing a real, serious, researched, character-driven " AAR is of course quite strong. Not well suited to my disposition at the present, since writing such an AAR is an enormous task. However, the real challenge to me remains to simply have fun, enjoy each and every AAR on its own merits - in essence, the Golden Rule : treat others as you would have them treat yourself. The community here is far above the average compared to most other forums out there. Supportive, rarely insulting, frequent nods of recognition and actually constructive criticism are all BIG factors that make these fora a superior place to associate with.

Part II: ReadAAR
Turin will give us some of his thoughts on Timelines.

canonized: As an accomplished readAAR , what were your first impressions when you began to check out Timelines ?

Turin the Mad: My first impression was something along the lines of " interesting premise, nice character development and ... ooo, looky, a few gems for actual game play even ^_^ ".

canonized: Haha , and what would you say kept you reading as we've progressed ? It's no secret that Timelines is one of the longer AARs on the EU3 section . What has kept your attention ?

Turin the Mad: Actually, it is the " future " sections that I find more interesting than the historical. Now, that having been said, you really got my undivided attention with Sio-Pan (sp ?), the corrupted alchemical immortal - nasty bit of villainy you have there.

canonized: Ahh yes , it's true that Timelines is unique in that it runs two different timeframes at the same time each chapter with a section on the gameplay years and a section in our present day . What is it about the future that has intrigued you ?

Turin the Mad: Hrmmm ... *ponders for a bit* ... the parallel between the future fictional and our own. Alternative history has become a big recreational read for me these past few years, and the differences, overt as well as subtle, are fun to observe.

canonized: Speaking of alternative history , although this particular work focuses on a Spanish dominated world , would you say that it has appealing qualities even to those who are not Spain players ?

Turin the Mad: Certainly, since it seems clear that not all is truly " conquered " even in the modern age. Also, you do not actually spend large amounts of text on describing that world. Rather, a sentence or perhaps a paragraph in a given 'modern' update is all you have needed.

canonized: Currently in the story , both the past and present characters are dealing with threats in China . Some might say that a story gets boring as a nation continues to conquer the map , would you say this is true of the Timelines approach to world conquest ?

Turin the Mad: No specifically. However, I would recognize that the Chinese theatre would by all rights by a royal cluster f**k to subjugate, most likely taking several centuries to successfully integrate.

canonized: Aside from the seriousness of the past and future narratives , there are also small stabs at humour with the Easter Eggs and other references sprinkled throughout the work , what are your thoughts on their role in the story ?

Turin the Mad: They are critical in my opinion. Even on an Easter Egg basis in an otherwise serious work, people have a sense of humor. Sometimes it will come out in the oddest way and the damndest time.

canonized: haha , any particular favourite easter egg you've caught in the story ?
Turin the Mad: " Hispania Universalis "

canonized: And lastly . What do you think the Timepiece is ?
Turin the Mad: A tantalizing Macguffin. ^_^

Part III: Conquering for the Sake of More Fish
Turin and I discuss his current AAR.

canonized: One of your most central and amusing characters is Brom . Could you tell us how you came up with your "Hidden Advisor" ?

Turin the Mad: Certainly. The " Hidden Advisor " is an explanation, among several that have been used over the years in these AARs, as to how the history of centuries passes while the nation remains along a similar series of goals. Brom himself is an NPC that I've used in gaming for a year or two, and he fits the bill of 'Hidden Advisor' nicely.

canonized: Speaking of consistent policies , I know that in the beginning you set out with several goals in mind and several ideas for how to change your nation . Could you tell us how the dynamicism of EU3 has changed some of those preconceptions ?

Turin the Mad: Hrmmm ... quite a bit actually. I was rather expecting the formation of the Anglican Church (being England/Great Britain) within the first 50 years. The religious dynamism is rather weak it seems. Last, I would say that I meant what I posted - I would love to continue the game forward into a Vicky/Ricky/HoI sequence of game play. That means some objectives had to change.

canonized: And what are your objectives for the AAR now ? A little sneak peek for your readers and prospective new fans ?

Turin the Mad: Well, survive a change of government (maybe), bump that narrowminded left to innovative (10 bumps ... ), gobble up India and the non-mainland Pacific states ... survive those 18th century n00b country formations if possible ... and more fish!

canonized: Haha , would you say that the future incarnations of this AAR will be just as humorous or will you have a switch in tone ?

Turin the Mad: If Brom's in charge, the humor must remain - it's part of his unique charm. Hopefully, I can figure out a way to interject a bit more over time of what he is and why he's a .. furball.

canonized: As we've seen in your exploits , the Americas and the Middle East have been your most extensive stomping grounds . What were your biggest challenges in the life of Great Britain so far ?

Turin the Mad: Actually, that was the contest of the Zombie Hordes of Great Britain against the Mammies, in terms of the military struggle. The most difficult part over the course of the game has been not falling asleep maintaining solid trade income & colonist-grinding.

canonized: You’ve already built yourself quite a large empire , do you have any plans on how to deal with Europe ?

Turin the Mad: Largely, that depends on what they do. As of Tuesday's updates, the Austrians force-vassalized France after a brief war. Britain's goal at this point is to leave the continent alone unless they force a conflict. To that end, the diplomats are primarily tasked with maintaining good relations with the continental powers. Although that seems to be starting to fray ...

canonized: And lastly what other AAR projects will you take up aside from this one and its future incarnations ?

Turin the Mad: Asides from this one - first up, a crack at the Magni Mundi mod when they finish up its 3.0 incarnation. I find that the amount of detail they promise an immense appeal, at least as much from the " lazy way to learn a bit about history " as anything else.

canonized: Thanks again Turin and we’re very glad to have had you on the programme ! It’s always illuminating to see the newest writers of our community step forward and introduce themselves especially one who was an extensive ReadAAR beforehand . I would also like to thank our audience for once again reading along with us this weekend , without you and your subsequent comments and patronage to the fine Authors we have interviewed here this segment of Timelines would not have been successful ! Next week we will have accomplished writAAR RGB on the show so please tune in for that ! Don't forget that there's only 2 days left to vote in the AARLand Choice Awards 2007 Q1 ! Please keep Turin the Mad and myself in mind as you make your votes for your favourites !
 

Turin the Mad

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Apr 13, 2007
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Da Inquisition Session / Interview ^_^

Thankyas much, canonized, the interviews (as well as the unique 'magazine' cover pics for each one) add that extra something special and unique to your AARs. You must continue the same thing with any future AARs you do!

Now, would you mind pulling those pesky metal clamp thingies off my face that force my eyelids open please ? Another hour of watching Chuck Heston portraying biblical figures, and I think I'll spontaneously combust ...

;)