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trekaddict

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that's right , it's definitely dangerous and terrible for spain either way !


Nobody expects the Persian Nav.... oh wait, that's wrong.... :D
 

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Nobody expects the Persian Nav.... oh wait, that's wrong.... :D

Haha , It was a bit unexpected though to have the Persians have such a well equipped armada .
 

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About time for an update? No?

Snap to it man! :mad:



:p
 

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Also just a quick status report: update should be up and running by tonight and no later :D . Already almost done with it ! Huzzah for regularity !
 

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temporarypuzzleplate7.jpg


Chapter CXLIII: Sickness Unto Death​

15 April 1643

The following section is provided by guest writer Calipah​

The Shahinshah was increasingly anxious. Something worried him immensely: the state of ‘incognita’ and unknowing - it was a dice still in mid air. He wasn’t a gambler to begin with, but then again, wasn’t this war a gamble in its own right? Its wager mounting with each passing day? Admiral Farazdaqi's fate lingered on his mind as the reports came flooding it. He tuned out, the lost sleep now haunting his eyelids with delicate skirmishes. Something about the capture of Zanzibar, the details pertaining to the fall of Al-Hind on the hands of the crafty crown prince Jahan, the rallying of the Malay princes and the sack of some major Isphani port city far far away. What were they on about?

Yes, the list went on, his head drowsy and spinning like a dervish -- complaints about the Auhausen signatories, the suppression of the Ingleezi rebellion – Allah! – something about the expedition in Russiyya facing some difficulties in the joint operation with the Tsar’s army in the north, and some barking about the need to get the Chinese or was it the Lithuanians in on the action?…There was more to it... something hazy at the corner of his thoughts like the ticking of a clock as the tongue inside his Vizier's mouth clicked “—that, Mein Shahinshah, must be our highest priority now,” the Vizier exclaimed, bringing to conclusion his long and winding monologue, a hardy look about his face.

“You speak of its importance, but what IS this Qit’hat Alzavan exactly?” a wizened noble from the indistinguishable throng posed cautiously at the Vizier.

“Frankly, I –“ his eyes now at the Shahinshah stirring on the throne from his fevered fight with the dozing djinn, “—do not know honestly. What I can tell you is that it is an object of great importance for the Isphani, and from what little information we can squeeze from the spies festering in our dungeons, it appears to have something to do with the Isphani Secret Room’s long-term plans.”

“It may very well be a trap,” interjected another younger voice.

The Vizier, with an air of a lecturer now in his demeanor, turned to the young Minister and said “perhaps, but I highly doubt it. I interrogated some of those interlopers myself, and I have a feeling that the Qit’hat Alzavan may be the key to ultimate victory over Isphania.” Some of the heads bobbed up and down in agreement, others merely stared on, ambivalent to the argument.

“What of Keyser So’zae?” asked another.

The Iraqi Vizier shrugged apathetically, “The man has simply disappeared at the onset of the hostilities. He has not yet dispatched a single communiqué from Madrid, so we can assume the worst. Forget about him – he is a nonperson, a troublemaker if anything. I do hope he has met a grizzly end.” Gasps and groans crowded the bodies of the gathered notables; it was surprising that the most famed So’zae had failed, that bane of the Akbaris and Mirzas.

The Shahinshah heaved a withdrawn cough, grunting out at its wake old spit hugging the upper grotto of his mouth. All eyes turned to him, awaiting the Imperial Self’s wisdom and commentary. “…Yes, I have trusted you many times before Ninvehi, and I shall do so again. What do you suggest?”

The Vizier grinned, the support displayed weighing heavily now in his cache of influence. “Mein Imperator, if I may dare, I ask you to consider the option of orchestrating an invasion of Isp—“ his words trailed off for a second, unsure as to what to make of the Shahinshah’s slumping body. “Mein Imperator?!” two of the posted Sardauker rushed to the Emperor’s side as the notables of the council broke down into jabbing turmoil, the Vizier still fixed on the floor like a marble column.

The Emperor slowly raised himself up with the help of the guards, a visible tremble now riveting his whole body. He coughed remorsefully as he adjusted himself on the throne once more “The Imperial Self is tired and weary, mein Vizier. Be brief by Allah.”

The Iraqi examined his master cagily for a bit, “Good health mein Khalifah. As I was saying, an invasion of the Isphani mainland is in order. A distraction if you will that would permit our operatives to get control of the Qit’hat Alzavan which I believe is located somewhere in Valladolid.”

The Shahinshah huddled his head on the scarf of his diademed turban, his voice now as low as a whisper “So be it. Let the Qayd al-Askar Jafar be infor—“ he stopped mid sentence, a loud croak now escaping his throat. He dropped again, his frail carcass sprawling the marble floor, the purple turban unfurled. The Emperor lay there in his dying throes, the twitches of his limbs offering false hope to the shocked onlookers. The beginning of the Shiite occultation and prayers seeped through the tiny portholes of the chambers, the thud-thud sounds of the chest-beatings a mockery to the ears of a dying man. Yet one thing escaped from the Emperor’s mouth as his Vizier and other chosen approached him, ears huddled to hear the Imperial Self’s last dwindling orders “….get hold of the Qit’hat Alzavan…”

The Vizier looked up at the vacant throne, a boisterous determination still loitering in his eyes. “Send for the Emir Al-Akbar at once.” The King may have died, but not his unhappy kingdom. Besides, there was a Qit'hat Alzavan... a 'Timepiece' as they called it... to get hold of.

---​

The calm sea lapped against the side of the Persian flagship as the slack wind inched the vessel closer and closer to the enemy fleet. The smaller vessels ahead, carrying the gunpowder and hope of the Persian navy, was burgeoning several leagues ahead as the Spanish vessels raced towards them at speed. Farazdaqi watched with anxiety in the dim fire-light of the Cadiz midnight with anticipation. All about him were preparations for battle, and the same anxiety ran through the Admiral's men that spurred their actions faster as if lightning itself was being pumped through their arteries.

“At the rate of this wind, it'll take another twenty minutes before the first ship makes contact,” one of the Qubtans reported out loud.

The Admiral adjusted his scope and strained desperately to see the shoddy lanterns hanging from the top of the ships. The Qubtan next to him stood awkwardly as he awaited acknowledgment of his report. Farazdaqi was swift to snap his spyglass shut. “Adjust the cannon then,” he said sternly before the Qubtan moved to his own subordinates and began to deliver the intricate orders along those manning a singular cannon near the front of the ship. Farazdaqi watched his soldiers make the preparations as he looked to his flanks at the other Persian capital ships signaling their preparations and adjustments. Ossel caught the corner of his vision.

“The charge is ready and set, and we've re-adjusted the angle and load,” one of the Qubtans returned to explain. Farazdaqi nodded him away before turning back to Ossel.

“One of the advantages of German refugees,” Farazdaqi explained to his curious guest. He motioned for the Sardaukar to allow Ossel to come closer to his person, though not unwatched. “The cannon you see before you,” he continued as he pointed his baton at the single battery at the front of the ship awkwardly sticking out from the starboard side of the bow, “was designed by several Germans who had sought refuge with the Shahinshah... though more like they were bought with gold while the Spaniards made their rebellious religion illegal in Germany. Years of being independent little principalities, these little engineers were used to creating fortress artillery that would be used to make up for their lack of fighting men.” He paused to look at Ossel whose eyes glimmered dully in the moonlight of the Spring night.

“What is it for?” Ossel asked quietly.

“It was designed to carry a light load. A ball not so much designed for penetration, but meant to land on the surface of vessels from a long range away. Mostly hollow, it contains incendiaries that are slow burning instead of explosive. This is meant to light our fireships ahead of us.” To this, Ossel clenched his jaw. Farazdaqi experienced his guest's surprise with a kind of regrettable amusement. He looked at Ossel with both pity and triumph: or perhaps his triumphant smile was merely to cover the sympathy he had for the old man. “Who is commanding your ships now?” Farazdaqi asked Ossel while his smile relented.

Ossel needed a moment to collect his thoughts before his eyes blinked half hazily towards his host. Somehow the words came awkwardly from his lips, but they were also precise as if he had been counting the signal flags of the Spanish ships all afternoon and had known the answer from the beginning. “Captain Marco,” Ossel nearly stuttered. “Only captain Marco is left...” he repeated although almost only to himself.

“What kind of man is this Marco of yours?” Farazdaqi asked respectfully while easing himself to his guest's side.

Ossel was pensive for a minute. He looked off at the distance ruefully. He knew not to speak: there was something about knowing your enemy that was common sense in tactics between commanders and he sensed that Farazdaqi was looking for an edge against the new Spanish fleet commander. Ossel, however, felt something growing in his throat that he needed to release like a lump of air had built up there. “He used to be a galley slave. A Portuguese revolutionary. He was also an apostate declaring that God had abandoned Portugal to be oppressed and enslaved.”

“And now he captains one of your vessels?” Farazdaqi smirked while taking in the subtle calculations of the kind of man his enemy was.

“He told me a story once,” Ossel began to say as he watched the horizon rise and fall with the slow march of the vessel. “When they had captured him, he had been raiding the sea lanes along the Canarias for years. They placed him on a prison ship to be sent back to Cadiz for trial. At the time the man that captained the cog was a veteran by the name of Zanipolo, a Ligurian who was under the pay of the Spaniards. Marco was held in a cell by himself: most of the other men having died on the raid that took his ship he was using for piracy. Zanipolo was due to return to Cadiz anyway since his commission was about to end and he wanted to collect his pay.

“They had not talked much: the Captain and the prisoner although Zanipolo kept Marco well fed and attended to. He had the luxury to do so considering Marco was his only cargo—that and a shipment of ammunition that was to be ferryied back to Cadiz from the Canarias. It was that same load of ammunition that had exploded one night halfway across the journey. Lightning had struck the cog during a swift storm and St. Elmo's fire caught some of the more loosely stored barrels that were burdening the boat.

“An explosion tore the ship in half and most of the crew perished in the disaster, but those that did survive—including Marco—hung on to some of the pitch sealed provision barrels that floated in the water. With the help of the northern gale from the storm and their own resourcefulness, what was left of the crew made landfall along the Moroccan coast. At the time, the Berber insurgency was still fresh on the population's mind. Negotiating with the locals would have been dangerous, and Tangiers was too far away. There were about a dozen men left including Zanipolo and Marco. When they landed, they secured the prisoner with some rope left over from the wreckage. They also built themselves a shelter on a hill facing the ocean while Zanipolo sent out five of the men to search for food and the other five to make for the nearest town to send for help.

“That help would never come. The local chieftain that the men had managed to reach was willing to help the men... he was a kind and wise Berber who held no grudges and was passing through the area. There was a legend afterwards that said that the Berber proclaimed upon hearing the story of the sailors, 'God offers bounty to whom he wishes, and guides whom he wishes,' and that 'a thirsty man is a thirsty man, whether Muslim or Pagan,' and offered the men provisions and some horses. They would have returned if it weren't for the zealous jealousy of the chieftain's son in law who accused the men of eying his wife and killed them with the help of the other nomads.

“The five who were sent out to find food died of thirst along the desert after five days except for one who made it to a friendly town with a Spanish garrison in the north. Marco and the Captain who were left behind had built a shelter. They shared the provisions that the others did not take with them and rationed what was left. When they were down to their last barrel of water, however, it was found to have moulded on the inside and all they had left was a canteen. The captain decided to untie his prisoner and tell him of the situation. They set out together hoping to find water, but they never found it. What they did find was a milestone marking the way to a village further north. On their last portion of water, however, both of them weren't going to make it.” Ossel paused and furrowed his brow as if the next portion of his memory pained him to say. “For some reason Zanipolo let Marco have his water and told him to not to stop until he reached the town.” There was a heavy silence before Ossel continued. “He carried with him the Captain's effects including a family heirloom—some jewel I can't remember exactly what—that hopefully he could barter for food and water.”

“But he let a revolutionary go... this captain was a noble man,” Farazdaqi interjected as if he could not hold his breath much longer.

“Marco had told me that he did not care at the time. One more dead Spaniard and one more living Portuguese meant that he had won. He took the water and heirloom and left. The captain had told him something that he, at the time, dismissed although it continued to haunt him for those next few years. Zanipolo had told him that he had already made his peace with God and he was ready. Marco was the one who needed the time now.”

“And this man's witness converted him?” Farazdaqi asked solemnly.

Ossel gave an empty chuckle, “No, not at all. That did not happen until much later. The soldiers that the one other survivor contacted captured Marco and brought him to trial. His conversion did not happen until he had his experience in the galleys...”

“Well... then I hope he is prepared to meet his maker this day,” Farazdaqi muttered as if ashamed to have said it. Farazdaqi continued to observe Ossel's stance on the bow of the ship and his eyes narrowed slightly to match the painful expression on Ossel's face. He remembered what Ossel had said about those men out there on the waters. How Ossel had felt fatherhood with them. This was the sign of a sea-captain who was true in his heart even if his actions had been screened by mists of shame or jaded by years of building up scar tissue. Farazdaqi almost wished to say I'm sorry that I must kill your boys to save mine.

Farazdaqi similarly looked out to the waves ahead of them where the fireships were burgeoning leagues ahead almost in range of the Spanish vessels. Most fireships, indeed, would be lit before they arrived against an enemy line. Thanks to his German engineers, the long range cannons would serve that purpose well before the Spanish could detect the trap. He respected Marco for the audacity to attack the ships head on and hope to capture the smaller vessels before the main ships arrived: that was indeed the proper tactic if they had been regular boats. However, his enemy could not know that it was meant to sink them all to the bottom of Cadiz's floor.

Farazdaqi almost wished he could warn them... to shoo them away from the field. Marco had been saved by mercy, so he was told, and by the grace of Allah he was saved from the desert. But now he must be killed... was this mercy so well founded? As he thought to himself, with his son perhaps to be executed despite his victory, and with Ossel's fleet about to be annihilated to a man: he asked himself if there really was justice in the world. Should he have mercy on these poor fools? How could he when mercy itself had proven so unfaithful...

“Sir!” a Qubtan announced quickly.

“What is it now?” Farazdaqi growled as he extended his spyglass.

“Mein Admiral! One of their ships is pulling forward! One of our galleases that we thought captured! It is raising our banner to the top of its mast!”

---​

The lieutenant describing the situation was stuttering so much in excitement and dread at what was going on through his spyglass that he was barely understandable to Marco. “Lieutenant Torres has been taken prisoner it seems... the mob in the center have torches and are tying them up as well as that Armenian you left to help him. There are some injured... but most have been captured.”

The lieutenant quickly turned to Marco whose jaw muscles pulsated angrily. “Can the flank pursue?” he asked quickly, but he already knew the answer. Those on the far flank could not outrun the galley when the wind was this unreliable. His lieutenant gave him the answer he expected. His crew looked at him bewildered by the double cross, but had expected it nonetheless. Marco, however, kept his eyes straight forward and did not resist any urge to turn to his right to face the ship slipping ahead. Marco could already hear the other captains muttering on their respective vessels: we had told him this would happen. How could he have trusted those slaves and heathens others would say.

“Shall we fire on them, Captain?” the Lieutenant asked after the pause. Marco did not move.

“No,” the Captain said plainly. “It would mean turning the ships and right now we cannot lose any time between us and reaching those forward vessels. If we realign to allow us to shoot, we'll lose precious minutes...”

“But we can't just...”

“Let them go.” Marco completed the sentence but with the stern solidity that silenced his lieutenant. “It will take time for them to reach the main ships and turn around. If they engage us now, we'll take them for sure. They want to limp back to their main line—we will rescue Lieutenant Torres during the battle... For now. Forward into those ships! The decisive confrontation is about to begin: keep all of your eyes open!”

interlude2.gif


Interlude​

When Trey came to, all he could hear was the dripping of water somewhere off in the distance. The pain throbbing at the back of his head assaulted him as soon as his consciousness returned. He nearly fell forward but he held himself up as best as he could. He was leaning against a wall... and his fingers could only feel the chalky characteristics of the concrete underneath him. The ground was cold and lacking any insulation... and it was a mixture of grey and darkness that only reminded him of the confrontation earlier... that eye... that open eye... A shudder ran down his spine and all the way through his legs which suddenly gained some sense of energy. His whole body wished to get up.

He could feel water soaking his socks and the cold sensation stung against his warm ankles. He groaned and looked upward and around. There was a bitter breeze coming from a bare window directly in front of him although it was more like a square outline on the bare unpainted concrete wall. He realized then that he was in the abandoned building across the police station. A trail of water was streaked from the edge of the window all the way to where his legs were resting against the floor. Only the pale moonlight provided any light and that globe hovered outside like the iris of a terrible eye looked down at him with silent fury.

To his left was the length of a hallway that terminated only in the darkness of an unknown midnight emptiness: the length of the building must be impressive. To his right he saw a faint light and a corner. The hallway turned to the right, but what caught his attention was a shoulder and an arm and a leg and shoes that stretched out past the corner. He could see a glimmer of the golden hair of Randall fluttering alongside the edge between his field of vision and the blind spot around the corner.

“Randall?” Trey tried to say out loud but only his echo returned to him. He could sense a dim light coming from around the corner as well and it cast Randall's shadow against the wall to the left. Trey attempted to move, but the pounding on the back of his head suddenly jolted him to sit once more against the wall. He reached out as if to call out Randall's name again but Randall's arm and leg were too far off... maybe twenty feet away at least. “Ra--” he tried to say but his voice choked.

With a sudden crack, Randall's body snapped away from the corner. The light hue of his hair disappeared and the arm and leg slid sickly past the corner and away down the corridor. Trey could barely breathe as he could only watched the shadow grow on the light larger and larger until there was a slice as if the sound of a butcher's knife descending on meat occurred three times in succession before the light switched off. Trey was terrified, he was frozen, and all he could feel was copper on his tongue and his stomach contracting.

Then there was a slithering noise followed by a sharp squeak, like a snake constricting a violin. It was coming from the window. A hand, as pale and horrible as a corpse's appeared rising towards the moon from the window and opening its fingers like a spider uncurling its legs. Trey ran, Trey shot up and ran towards where he last saw Randall. Trey would not stop: he could not stop. He stepped into the darkness as if he was falling off a cliff. He was breathing so hard and running so fast that he could barely hear those words that were flowing down around him like a web: “You've finally come... now it's time... now it's time to make that decisive choice...”

Chapter CXLIV: Decisive Confrontation (coming soon)
 

Davout

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Thanks to you and Calipah. Excellent work yet again, although I would have been happier if you had finished the sea battle.
 

Avernite

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There are seriously weird things afoot. What's that galleass doing? Somehow, I know it's gonna be critical to the battle, but in what way?


Also, a raid on the timepiece. That sure would be interesting, sneaking men carrying off the timepiece, or trying to, while the Persian army chases them. The ultimate battle of stealth versus strength.
 

canonized

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Thanks to you and Calipah. Excellent work yet again, although I would have been happier if you had finished the sea battle.

Haha sorry for drawing it out XD Just wanted to provide some background to Marco XD

Oooops, one less Shah. And the sea battle just gets messier! Hopefully Marco has something to pull out of his sleeve...

Yes XD the Shah .. I wonder what will happen for it now . :D

Avernite said:
There are seriously weird things afoot. What's that galleass doing? Somehow, I know it's gonna be critical to the battle, but in what way?


Also, a raid on the timepiece. That sure would be interesting, sneaking men carrying off the timepiece, or trying to, while the Persian army chases them. The ultimate battle of stealth versus strength.

Glad you liked it XD yes , it's all coming to a head . And to think it's not even the end of the season yet !
 

robw963

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wow! a guest writer! GENIUS! why didn't I think of that? Although it's not like you need any help here.

Great update!...as always entertaining and left me wanting more. :)
 

unmerged(59077)

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Noooooo! Not the timepiece!

I mean if they steal it, they will try to replay this battle over and over and then I will simply die of naval-induced awesome!
 

unmerged(81979)

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Noooooo! Not the timepiece!

I mean if they steal it, they will try to replay this battle over and over and then I will simply die of naval-induced awesome!

Make that two! :rofl: A greatly 'naval-induced' stellar chpater in a fine work, sir! :D
 

Davout

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Such cliffhangers are clearly health hazards. Will no-one think of the Shahs?
 

canonized

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wow! a guest writer! GENIUS! why didn't I think of that? Although it's not like you need any help here.

Great update!...as always entertaining and left me wanting more. :)

XD You should do a guest spot for me too , you know XD ! We could always use more genius here XD

Noooooo! Not the timepiece!

I mean if they steal it, they will try to replay this battle over and over and then I will simply die of naval-induced awesome!

Kind of makes you wonder if the Timepiece is a save game device , huh ? ... XD I'm saying too much

Make that two! :rofl: A greatly 'naval-induced' stellar chpater in a fine work, sir! :D

Thank you very much :D

Such cliffhangers are clearly health hazards. Will no-one think of the Shahs?

ROFL . Somehow I think we should start making parody comic liners at the end of each episode . You know , how those anime sometimes have little snippets at the end of each episode making fun of something in that episode ? XD Though so ..
 

unmerged(31994)

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The Shahinshah is dead, Long live the Great Padishah Jahan Al-Safawi, son of the Glorious Age!

Now lets get Cadiz to a quick conclusion ;)
 
Last edited:

canonized

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The Shahinshah is dead, Love live the Great Padishah Jahan Al-Safawi, son of the Glorious Age!

Now lets get Cadiz to a quick conclusion ;)

Indeed :D
 

canonized

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canonizedmonnikje.png


You've Been Canonized!: Monnikje​

Good evening and welcome once again to You've Been Canonized! Our ongoing interview segment where we take an AARlander and get to know more about them as well as their projects or AARs! If you're new to the programme, I'm your host canonized author of Timelines: What if Spain Failed to Control the World? and today's guest is Monnikje author of Islamic Spain - IN Granada AAR . Let's get to the questions !

Part I: The Mini-Monk
Monnikje on his peculiar name and more!

canonized: First , I'd like to thank you for being on the programme with us Would you please introduce yourself for our guests who might not know you already ?

Monnikje: Thanks for inviting me . I'm Monnikje, from the Netherlands. I've been around on the forum for something like two years now, but only actively since I started my own AAR last year


canonized: Is Monnikje your real name or does it have a meaning in Dutch or both ?

Monnikje: It's a Dutch nickname, meaning 'little monk'. I got it since I started with my study back in 2000, and have been using it ever since


canonized: So what got you interested in AARs specifically for Paradox games ?

Monnikje: well, I like to write and read, and I like history. Ever since I got EU3, and I thus discovered the forums and their AARs, I got hooked up with them. Not that I started to write here right away: I read some AARs, got to know the styles and it never let me go. Now that I do write them myself, I think they greatly enhance the gaming experience. I can't play a game of EU3 anymore without preparing myself to write about it, to get to know the dynamics of the countries, the events, the wars... Haha, I sometimes feel like Big Brother in my own games.


canonized: Did any AARs inspire you as you read them to write your own AAR ?

Monnikje: Well, I was greatly inspired by Fyrom's A Greater Netherlands - An In Nomine Brabant/Dutch AAR, in the way to organise an AAR and to make use of maps. But actually it was my brother who pushed me to write an AAR. He told me several times, when I told him about another game I played, that I should write an AAR of it. When I got a really lucky start with my Granada game, I convinced myself to do it.


canonized: You also participated and won in an AAR contest previously hosted by Duke of Wellington and you participated in this most recent one for HOI3 , if my memory serves . What have you thought about these contests lately ?

Monnikje: I really like them . They are a great boost to write short stories, which is the root of my own writing. When I started to write, back in 1999/2000, most of my stories were written especially for contests. Not that I won many, but that didn't matter. I think contests are a great way to stimulate, and it's a great opportunity to write something new within boundaries you wouldn't have thought of yourself. That's also with these two contests. I haven't got Hoi2, have never played it (I know, I missed quite something!), but still the contest was a great opportunity to think of something within that timeframe. To think of something new .


canonized: Did you have any outside experience or real life inspirations such as favourite history books or college courses that help you in your writing ?

Monnikje: I actually paid attention to history classes in highschool, haha. But well, most of my experience comes from writing itself. I've written quite a few short stories the past years, even got a few of them published. Also I attended some writing courses from some Dutch writers. I even started two years ago a special master here at the university to become an editor in the publishing industry. As for history books, I really enjoyed Geert Mak's 'In Europe'. This book has actually inspired me to start my latest project.


canonized: Wow , that's quite excellent ! Being published also is impressive ! What kind of future would you like to have as an editor ? Magazine , books , what's in your dream ?

Monnikje: I'm still figuring that out, even though I'm almost done with it. Just have to finish my thesis and then I'll be thrown into the real big bad world out there. I think I'll just go with the flow and see where I'll wind up. As long as I can do some editing. Dutch editing, that is: my English isn't of the same level, so that would be much harder for me.


Part II: Another Hollander Notch on The Belt
Monnikje shares his thoughts on Timelines

canonized: So how did you first come upon Timelines ?

Monnikje: It's hard to miss. Always on the front page, with a number of posts and views that makes your eyes fall out. It was something I just had to try, had to experience. Even though it took quite a while for me to get started.


canonized: Now that you've gotten through chunks of chapters , what are your impressions ?

Monnikje: The first thing I noticed, was the great idea of reversing the AAR. Hispania Universalis: what would have happened if Spain didn't conquer it all? It's a different way to look at the world, and that intrigued me immediately. Secondly the split in events, between the present and the past. I have read a few chapters now where they are mixing: the story is becoming more and more complex. The greatest achievement though is that you keep the attention of your readers through the different layers you lay upon your story. The past and present mixing, timetravel, secret organizations: you've done a great job writing a complex story.


canonized: Thank you very much ! Have any favourite characters so far ?

Monnikje: Well, I like both Tom and Uncle. The naive present-day schoolboy who gets himself involved into something he never imagined possible - even though he has a large imagination! - and the evil villain with a nuke. I really like nukes. And of course the mystery around him, and his organization.


canonized: Haha , nukes are always fun XD . You know , we have lots of Dutchmen who read and comment on Timelines: something which surprised me since it's an AAR about Spain haha . Do you think there's something there that draws Hollanders out ?

Monnikje: Well... We have had of course the Eighty Years' War against Spain, and every year at the 5th of December we Dutchies celebrate 'Sinterklaas' (a kind of Santa Claus who isn't corrupted by Coca Cola, who comes with his steam boat and black helpers from Spain and gives presents to children), and of course Spain is a very popular holiday destination. Maybe that's why? Or is it just that they like good stories?


canonized: Haha , fair enough . You mentioned that you enjoyed Tom , a contemporary character and the mix between the past and the present . This commingling of the Timelines is a major theme : how do you feel about this correspondence between past events and what's happening now ?

Monnikje: I'm now reading that the maps he made from an alternate world (our normal world) are more important than I first had thought. I'm beginning to feel more and more that he is somehow a major piece in the timepiece, or somehow connected to it. But I'm still pretty in the beginning of the story ('only' around chapter 45), so there is still a lot that can happen and can change my mind about him.


canonized: It's true that Timelines is a bit of a lengthy piece . What's kept your stamina going through all of the chapters and more so to come ?

Monnikje: well, there is a lot to do in between, and the chapters are quite large. I read one, maybe two, and then get to work on my own AAR, reading some other AARs, working... But even with a slow pace, it's still a pretty good read. It might take me a few lines to get sucked back into the story, but it happens every time. If I just had more time... A timepiece could have been quite handy right now!


canonized: well I have one last question for part two the symbolic: Have any ideas on what the Timepiece and the Keys might be ?

Monnikje: The first thing timelines reminded me of, was the story 'Times without number' by John Brunner. Since then the idea of a very simple timemachine, constructable by pre-industrial equipment, hasn't left my mind. I don't know if it's true, but I guess the timepiece is actually something so simple nobody would think of it. Especially not me.


Part III: From Islamic Spain to The Future
Our guest talks about his previous works as well as his future endeavors.


canonized: Let's look back at some of your work from earlier . Islamic Spain , for example , helped you to get off the ground . Although it's been finished a long while ago , tell us a little about it , please .

Monnikje: The basic idea behind it, is Granada going wild. With that small Islamic sultanate I conquered the entire Iberian peninsula and formed Spain. I continued, and within 150 years I had conquered almost all of western Europe, had eliminated all competitors for colonization and had become the most powerfull nation in the world. It all started with extreme luck. The first thing that happens if you play as tiny Granada, is that giant Castille comes to get you. In some stroke of extreme luck I not only survived that, but turned it into a victory. It was at that point I decided it was a great idea to turn this unlikely event into an AAR. Unfortunately being succesful has its downside... In the end there was no-one left to challenge me. Even a monsterous Lithuania, owning half of modern day Russia, would only be a worthy foe if I shrunk my army and would ruin my own economy. That was the main reason for me to quit it in the end: it was no fun to play anymore.


canonized: Well despite ending it quickly , your AAR did have a good run . What would you say was your greatest challenge writing an AAR and perhaps your greatest joy ?

Monnikje: The greatest joy were the real challenges in the game. I already mentioned the Castillan attack at the first of the start, but the best part of the entire AAR was an enormous war in the fifteenth century, where almost every country in Europe decided to declare war on me, along with a crusade. That was I think the best and most astonishing part of the game. During the AAR I tried to describe the rulers of the Nasr dynasty, who ruled Granada. In the beginning I tried to find my way in the AAR, and it became quite a picture-heavy one. The challenge was to describe some of the strange things that happened in the game, and weave a nice story around it. The love story between a Byzantine princess and an Italian student, adopted by the padishah himself, is I think the best I wrote. There is a third thing that gave me much joy too: the maps. I really liked creating them, and finding out how to do some fancy stuff with it. I even shared the blank maps I made with the rest of the forum, and they have been downloaded quite some times now.


canonized: And then let's take a look at the entry that won you the first short AAR contest : Westphalia Alert . Tell us a little bit about how that come came to fruition for you .

Monnikje: The contest stated that you had to write a short AAR in three posts. That meant that you couldn't cover a very timespan and at the same time get into more details. That's why I choose Westphalia: it is formed in 1807, just 14 years before the end of the game. There is no way that would become a long AAR! I also wanted to try something completely different. Islamic Spain was quite serious: with Westphalia Alert I choose the humorous direction. And apparently that worked pretty well. The AAR is based on the three games of 'Command & Conquer: Red Alert'. The third part of that series happened to be released around that time, that gave me the idea to use it as a basis for the three-post AAR I had to write. It was quite fun to write idiotic dialogues, and to edit the pictures. I'm especially proud of the movieposter I made for the third part, where Einstein and Gauss are standing with their Gauss-rifles and sunglasses looking like the men in black.


canonized: Haha , that was certainly a stroke of genius . So let's talk about , now , this future AAR you have been planning and advertising in your inkwell . Could you give the audience any sneak peeks towards it ?

Monnikje: Hehe, sure, why not? I already mentioned the Dutch historian Geert Mak, who has written a few years ago a quite thick book about Europe in the twentieth century. It has also been turned into a 35-part documentary, by the way. In both the book and the documentary Mak tells the history by travelling to the places where important things had happened. He meets people, like the grandson of the Austrian emperor who declared war on Serbia in 1914 after a Serb had shot his son, and the actual descendant of that shooter. This is what I'll do in my upcoming AAR. The first season will be about the fifteenth century. At the end of that century a young historian will travel through Europe for five years. He will not only talk about the history, but also about the present. He will meet people, see medieval cities and - maybe even more fun - will get involved in quite some adventures. There are quite some strange things going on, which will unravel before his eyes. Why are there weapons being smuggled into Germany? Why are the Dark Knights of Avignon after him? And most important, why is there a lot of unrest in the Holy Roman Empire? For every year there will be a chapter, and after five years I
'll give you a bonus chapter where I'll go into more detail about some events. That means there will be 120 chapters for the first season. The AAR will be a combination between narrative and a history book - just like that book by Geert Mak, only with more adventures in it.

With that many chapters it is unavoidable that quite a few chapters will cover the same wars. Like the One hunderd and forty Year's War between England and France, or the Italian Chaos Wars. But since my young historian will be travelling throughout entire Europe - from Castille to England, from Holland to Muscowy, from Greece to Ferrara - you will see a lot of different wars. And more, because there is that big Atlantic to cross... So you will not only see what happens with the country I played, but what happens in entire Europe. You will also see wars that the AI fought with itself. You will see an entire continent evolve through the fifteenth century. If only that narrator that speaks in almost every Hollywood trailer would read this aloud...


canonized: Excellent , sounds like a rousing good time ! Aside from perhaps reading what kinds of preparations have you made for this upcoming AAR?

Monnikje: Well, I first played those actual 100 years. During the game I had turned every option to pop up on, so I wouldn't miss any event. I made almost 6500 screenshots, and wrote down every important event and war that happened. In the end I made something like 80 pages of just notes. With that I have collected quite some material. And with all preparations not all is used... But well, it definitely gives a lot of background. Ow, and I also created brand new maps. More detailed than the ones I used in Islamic Spain or Westphalia Alert. Those are for the bonus chapters.


canonized: Wow . well it sounds like something you've worked hard on ! Well that concludes my battery of questions: anything you'd like to add ?

Monnikje: It surely is! And I'm still working pretty hard on it, since I'm not finished yet, and I'll start the AAR as soon as the first season is finished. Just keep an eye on my blog, which I use to make annoucnements for this project.

canonized: well thank you again , Monnikje and thanks to our audience for tuning in again this week . We hope to see you all again ! Good fight , good night !
 
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