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Avernite

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Just an announcement I have some good/bad news XD : I have the update almost done , but I ended up signing up for a last minute Catholic retreat this weekend so I won't be back till Monday ! Please hold the fort till then ! Sorry for the delay XD

Battle of Mohacs type last minute retreat? :eek:

And yeah, updates definately trump last minute trips, so you better enjoy it and come back full with inspiration! ;)
 

Capibara

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canonized

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Too bad, that will make pointless all my spamming during the weekend :p

Haha now I'm back so you don't have to worry XD

I don't think they are called retreats these day, more like strategic repositioning to the rear.

BTW what is a 'last minute Catholic' and why do they need a retreat?

I did a King's Men Retreat : http://www.thekingsmen.us/

Battle of Mohacs type last minute retreat? :eek:

And yeah, updates definately trump last minute trips, so you better enjoy it and come back full with inspiration! ;)

Haha thank you ! will do !
 

Davout

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Thanks for the link. I have a cousin-in-law who lives near there in Penn. Unfortunately, I'm not really a wilderness person. I prefer the more refined comforts of the urbane. Different strokes for different folks, of course.

Anyway, at least you got a chance to relax, unwind, reflect on the important things in life... like writing the next update, yes?
 

canonized

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Since you are back... Update! We want update!!!!!!

Yep :D tonight you'll have it

Thanks for the link. I have a cousin-in-law who lives near there in Penn. Unfortunately, I'm not really a wilderness person. I prefer the more refined comforts of the urbane. Different strokes for different folks, of course.

Anyway, at least you got a chance to relax, unwind, reflect on the important things in life... like writing the next update, yes?

Indeed XD I do enjoy the comforts of fine dining , theatre , movies , gambling etc as well , but it's good to reconnect with raw masculine energy . Time to get to work !
 

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Update damn you!
 

Murmurandus

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At this rate you never be finished by 2012!:mad:
 

ForzaA

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Now, I've been more than generous with allowing for timezone differences.

..But even the most generous allowance on the matter doesn't explain >36 hours having passed since a "tonight you'll have it", without an update actually appearing.

HURRY! I can feel the radiation degrading my tissue already, and I MUST read the whole Timelines!

:p
 

Capibara

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Update! Update! Update!

On other matters. I've just started reading the Divine Comedy, so I've decided to start reading those wonderful Season 2 chapters again, with Renault's Inferno based maze. I hope to get another insight now that I've read Dante.
 

canonized

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Update damn you!

Yes yes ;.; gosh , I've been so scatterbrained recently it's because we're starting a new arc and I ended up researching a lot more than I expected .

At this rate you never be finished by 2012!:mad:

I might not ;.; that would be so bad !

Now, I've been more than generous with allowing for timezone differences.

..But even the most generous allowance on the matter doesn't explain >36 hours having passed since a "tonight you'll have it", without an update actually appearing.

HURRY! I can feel the radiation degrading my tissue already, and I MUST read the whole Timelines!

:p

Renewing my vows now XD Plus I'll make sure the next one is out before this weekend is over too so that you'll get 2 updates this week :D

Update your AAR... Heartbreaker!
:D

XD It's all good

Update! Update! Update!

On other matters. I've just started reading the Divine Comedy, so I've decided to start reading those wonderful Season 2 chapters again, with Renault's Inferno based maze. I hope to get another insight now that I've read Dante.

Huzzah :D do tell me what you think !

Update in 12 hours max !
 

canonized

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chapter147tile.gif


Chapter CXLVII: The Excommunicated / Kingdom​

1 May 1643

Íñigo looked up at the cathedral being constructed behind the plaza and craned his neck to see the topmost heights. The faint glimmer of stained glass being raised by cranes and pulleys to the facade shot the plaza into a choir of colours. As Íñigo lowered his eyes, he saw the silhouette of Belmont approaching him in the beading light of the sun.

“Impressive isn't it?” Belmont asked brushing aside blonde hair that fanned out like a golden plumage that sprayed the sun across Íñigo's view.

“Not as big as the ones in Spain,” Íñigo replied neutrally.

Belmont quizzed the boy's face with his blue eyes which resisted the white-out of the sun like little oases on the desert of his perfect face before grinning. “The people in Berlin aren't as wealthy as those in Spain,” the Swiss explained as if to a curious student.

“I don't know very much about this city,” Íñigo admitted while turning his head downward to the busy plaza.

“I've traveled here on occasion,” Belmont said as he went to the boy's side and began his own investigation of the cathedral's impressive stature. “Most of the people here are Germans who refused to be part of either Bohemia or Austria but rejected the Protestant rebellion. As a result, they were isolated and the Lithuanians and Poles took this area over.”

Íñigo frowned visibly, “I don't know much about politics either.” It was a true statement, though Íñigo did have the excuse of having been born well after the events Belmont was trying to impress upon the boy.

Belmont laughed a little through his grin. “It's alright, we'll be leaving here soon enough. Once we secure a fast passage north and then a boat, we can reach Oslo rather quickly.”

Íñigo looked up towards the bodyguard with that man's characteristic swagger before reaching into his own pocket for an apple he had been keeping for lunch. “So you say you've been here before?” Íñigo started the conversation up again. “May I ask for what purpose?”

Belmont did not look at the boy, but his grin seemed to hang on his face like stuffed game on a hunter's mantle: majestic but dead. “My last assignment was here in Berlin. I used to work for the Papal Swiss Guard.”

Íñigo glanced up for a moment at Belmont before looking back at the grand gates of the cathedral and sinking his teeth into his food. “Were you with the Guard long?” Íñigo asked quietly.

“Not very,” Belmont responded quickly as if he had been waiting for the question. “I was... excused,” he went on as if anticipating the curiosity of the younger one.

“May I ask why?” Íñigo began pressing his luck and wandered his eyes upward to face Belmont once again.

The Swiss's grin came to life again as he let go of the answer: “I was excommunicated.”

Íñigo's eyebrows contracted suddenly. “Excommunicated?” he asked as if trying to make sure it was not a joke.

Belmont looked down at him with those icy eyes but greeted him with a warm smile. “When I was in the Guard, I was approached by someone who said they knew something about my past. They said that their group had known my ancestors.” There was a moment in Belmont's speech where his voice stumbled and his smile twitched, but he quickly regained composure. “At the time I started to believe him and his friends although they were actually getting me to swallow an ancient kind of heresy by joining them...”

The young boy's eyes wrinkled again. It was clear to Belmont by then that Íñigo was much less versed in matters of 'ancient heresies' and secret societies than he was about politics. “How were you able to work for the Spanish, then?” was Íñigo's astute question.

“I changed my mind, you could say,” Belmont responded while crossing his arms over his chest. “Since I was already so indoctrinated by this group, the Spaniards had an interest in infiltrating them and shutting down their operations here in Germany.”

For a moment they both looked at the church in front of them and watched it in quiet silence. The workers, mostly poor burghers, were busy heaving the remaining portions of the growing edifice upward along the scaffolding. Íñigo took in the surrounding city and then looked towards the cathedral again. It was a wonder, he thought, how the city which looked as if it was much poorer than it ought to be could construct such a magnificent structure. “Will you ever be able to go back in there?” Íñigo questioned him after a moment.

“Apostasy isn't a knot you can untie so easily. I waited this long to return to the faith so I suppose it's only right that I have to wait longer than I made the Church wait, right?” There was the little grin flashing once more from Belmont's lips. “That's what it means to be an excommunicate, I suppose. The Church waits patiently or even sometimes feverishly for you to return and then is careful in cleansing you of that sin when you come back. In one sense, I don't mind the wait: it helps me understand what I've done.”

Íñigo's expression swirled a little in contemplation. “Thank you,” he said quietly while taking a bite from his apple. “So this group that you joined--”

“It's the same one we're following now. They'll be waiting for us in Oslo.”

“Who are they really, though?” Íñigo posed the question with a small pleading voice.

Belmont looked down at him and curled his lips uncomfortable. “Immortals, perhaps,” Belmont replied, “or so they wish to think themselves so...”

---​

5 May 1643

Matthijs stared at the small portal that led into the darkness below. He shivered slightly and rubbed his sleeve against his nose allowing a trail of cold dew to smear against the fabric. His eyes, filmy with some kind of liquid blinked twice as he tried to penetrate his gaze into the seeping darkness underneath which swirled about in cold gusts to his right and left.

He moved down into the void as if he was diving off a precipice. To his surprise, his boots connected with a floor below. The stone slab which had been moved aside behind him slowly began to close and he shot his head upwards and back to look at that dazzling white face gazing down at him from behind the closing door. Katja was waving him goodbye.

“The Russians will take the city soon... you must finish this quickly,” were her only words before the stone fixed itself onto the entrance and darkness enveloped him.

The air was moist, but heavy with debris wafting through the atmosphere. It was a mix of the underground dirt floating about and something like ashes which irritated Matthijs's nose. His eyes adjusted slowly to the surroundings while his hands reached out to where he knew the wall on the side would be. A dim light like faint candlelight was coming from beyond the darkness. Further into the chamber, Matthijs realized that the underground architecture followed a path down a declining hall where the light was emanating from.

His footsteps were cautious, but he nonetheless negotiated the stone ramp following the path downward. Reaching the even bottom, he saw the corridor even out and the light growing brighter. Squinting his eyes, he could make out how the light was entering the chamber through a circular opening at the top of the corridor which was accessed through a marble flight of stairs etched directly from the wall. Knowing his task, he briskly, almost desperately, rushed to the stairs and looked up into the torchlight coming from above.

He ascended the stairs and his field of vision slowly opened to a well lit chamber that circled around him with a domed top. As he ascended onto the floor, he could see the circular room bisected twice to form quadrants to his front back left and right in alternating colours of white and black. When he followed the border of these two colours, he could see pillars at the terminal of each separation holding up the dome while still being imbedded in the walls.

In between each pillar, different colours of light flickered around mural images on the walls. The mural directly in front of him depicted an image of a clear sky with clouds hanging along the top of the wall. Light seemed to hover among the soft blue colours and linger in each tile. There was a soft breeze entering through that direction as if through a crack at the bottom of the wall. As he rotated right he saw the intense orange and red of a fire burning in a trench along the edge of the wall lighting up the mural behind it with an infernal rush. The billowing smoke rose up in curls before exiting through a small portal at the very top of the dome above.

Behind him was the dark shadow of an unlit section covered in moist dirt and finally to his left was the flickering image of water sliding down a mural of mirrors peacefully reflecting the flames of the opposite wall's fire into a galaxy of sparkling points. A voice suddenly rocked his concentration and his eyes shot upward to the small round opening directly at the top of the dome.

“Is this what you've been waiting for?” the question slid down to Matthijs in his own language but it was strange... there was no accent: it seemed like perfect Dutch but at the same time the voice seemed off. “You're all by yourself, but that's alright,” the voice said again and this time Matthijs could definitely sense that it was because the pitch on that voice was shifting upwards and downwards that made it sound so alien to him...

“Who are you?” Matthijs asked tentatively.

“Do you want to stay where you are?” the voice ignored his question and asked. Matthijs was stunned by the inquiry especially since he could not understand what kind of answer would be at all possible as he faced up to the smoking area of light on the other side of the circular portal above. “The world is a painful place, Matthijs.”

“It is...” Matthijs found himself saying as if instinctively; as if he had been waiting to answer that question his entire life.

“Your little nation has been under the yoke of the Spaniards for too long now, yes?” the voice asked with the same oscillation of pitch.

Matthijs stared at the hole where the voice emanated and attempted to penetrate the light on the other side with squinting eyes. “Yes...” he said though with a bit more reluctance.

“That is not the only reason why the world is so painful to you...” the voice stated matter-of-factly. “But the world is greater than just your home, isn't it? There's so much more to care about than just where you were born...”

“What more is there?” Matthijs asked though suddenly he felt something depress on his chest, like a cavity had suddenly tingled his right breast. He went to reach for whatever it was, but it was nothing... a phantom memory perhaps... there was something gone there... something which his question had enticed to be remembered but was quickly submerged once more into the depths of his thoughts.

“Isn't there more than the world?” the voice asked from above and once again something shuddered along Matthijs's front and he felt as if something rustled around his neck which was not there.

“Yes...” Matthijs replied feebly.

“Then come here with me and I will show you the path you must take to godhood,” the voice announced.

“Godhood?” Matthijs made a face as if under torture despite his heavy fatigue. He pulled up one of his hands and shielded the top of his eyes hoping he could see something in the periphery of that portal in the ceiling.

“Yes... to cast away the world we know. It rests with you,” the voice soothed. “That is the power you have. That is your birthright.”

“But why me? How? I don't understand,” Matthijs protested.

“You will find understanding. Once you are ready we shall attain that which was lost from us. You will use it to create your world, Matthijs. What you see around you, this earth around you, can change. You have the power to change it. If a chick does not hatch from its egg, it will die without ever truly being born. You are the chick, the world is the egg. If you do not break the world's shell you will die without ever truly being born.”

“I don't understand!” Matthijs shouted with a trembling, weak voice.

“Do you want to change this world?”

Matthijs pondered the question with cold arms beginning to warm. The film covering his eyes began to sink away in tears on either side of his face. Where was he now? The question was almost a strange echo in the back of his skull. It had been so long since he had arrived in Oslo: it had been so long since the strange encounters in Amsterdam. There was a portion of him screaming out against the violence that had been done to him. There was a portion of him that avoided looking down at his hands: a butcher's hands.

The past few weeks and months had been like some nightmare recurring over and over which he was never allowed to awaken from. The memories he possessed was a gradual descent into a foggy deadliness. The first conditions of El Sid's 'deal' with him was tenuous and disturbing. “Kill this criminal and I shall share with you what you need,” he remembered that mercenary saying to him during their first meeting.

It had been simple. Or so Katja said. This was how one deal's with mercenaries was the mantra Katja would tell him. That girl... with her impressive eyes. Even now, Matthijs could not find the energy to speak anything about her aloud. The thought of Katja choked his throat. “Yes,” was the only thing that could escape the gravity of his heart.

“Then escape that world. Escape the globe of air, fire, earth, and water. Ascend to me, and I will set you on the path.”

“But who are you?” Matthijs asked again desperately.

For a moment, the entirety of the circle around Matthijs was flooded with an intense light. From this whiteness, the circle above disappeared only to reveal an image standing as if horizontally in the air descending upon Matthijs. The Dutchman held his breath as the brilliant specter adjusted to stand before him.

gd1.png

Before him now stood a figure in utter white and a face that, for a moment, he could not tell whether it was a boy or a girl before more of the contours became visible. There was no colour from the other save what appeared to be ebony shackles around the person's wrists and a violently red object hidden in the folds of the figure's fingers.

“Here with you, on this threshold of earth and heaven, I am Σανδαλφών,” the entity said with the uttering of the name seeming to arise from a cacophony of different pitches that it nearly became inaudible. “And I am here to help you make your choice...” he added holding out the red object towards Matthijs.

Matthijs looked at the object and sensed a sudden familiarity with it. Was it not just a few months back that he was surrounded in a white room where nothing but red orbs fed him? His eyes widened at the gift, but even in the light diffused about the room he could see that it had a less uniform shape. There were curves that would not be there on a sphere... no this was an apple. Yes... it was a regular fruit caught in between these strange fingers.

Whatever possessed Matthijs to take it from the stranger did not pass his mind at the time. His fingers traced around the solid skin of the fruit before he put it up against his mouth and sunk his teeth into it. As soon as the taste sapped onto his tongue his eyes trembled in surprise and his voice uttered helplessly: “אֲדֹנָי" His vision whitened until everything around him disappeared.

interlude2.gif


Interlude​

“Good Lord... how am I supposed to take this seriously anymore?” Tom complained bitterly as put his palms over his ears and leaned forward to curl himself up on the small chair. “Am I supposed to believe that all of this—this entire thing is just some kind of cosmic game you're playing with these people? These others that you can never let me go near.”

Rodrigo looked at Tom with a painful look on his face. “Tom, this isn't Hispania Universalis III anymore. This isn't just some game you can read After Action Reports about. Don't you understand that?” Rodrigo tried to explain bitterly.

Tom looked up again at Rodrigo who was sitting in a foldout chair in front of him. “I never asked for this, you know,” he started saying which elicited a prolonged sigh out of Rodrigo.

“I know...” Rodrigo said in exasperation and his eyes trailed off to the side with an annoyed frown. “You've only told me ten times already.”

“And I'll tell you again, Rodrigo! All I wanted was to write alternative history... How was I supposed to say no when the opportunity to make that a reality dropped into my lap!”

“Like I said, Thomas,” Rodrigo's voice rose again, “this isn't a game like that! You can't just reset the world the way you want it. There are risks--”

“To you, maybe,” Tom replied, “you... this heir to a state of world domination... your father an Imperial grey eminence. Of course you have everything to lose! But what do I have? I reject this world, Rodrigo, and it's not up to you. You weren't chosen! I am the chosen!”

“You don't even know what you're saying...” Rodrigo sighed again as he leaned back in his seat.

“Isn't that what you all have been saying? That I was chosen, there was something special about me? About both of me?!”

“You haven't been listening at all,” Rodrigo exhaled slowly again, but was once again interrupted by Tom's shouting.

“Am I wrong, then? Was I chosen just at random?” Tom demanded.

“No... of course not,” Rodrigo admitted with some frustration. “But neither is this whole affair so simple. You cannot reduce this into some kind of formula, Tom. The Timepiece is not a toy...”

“Then what is the point of something like Hispania Universalis?! Just some glorified historical simulation? Does it help little high school boys learn their history? You told me just a few minutes ago that that game was made to find me... you even showed me the board of directors of the company who made it... Fredrik... Johan... Lena... all dummy names for Spanish agents. Your father started this project because you needed to find me. I'm not a toy either, Rodrigo. I'm not here to run scenarios for any of you!”

Chapter CXLVIII: Toy (coming soon)
 

canonized

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Ah, if they were true immortals, they wouldn't need that group :p

Immortals 'or so they say' is what Belmont said XD Immortality , Godhood , perhaps these are just things the group wishes to attain .
 

ForzaA

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Well, at least we have learned a thing or two about Canonizeds clock:

17-09-2009 10:10 "12 hours max"
18-09-2009 01:42 : actual update

Which is 15h32m
So we have a LOWER limit to the slowdown in Canonizeds clock; 29%

--

As for the update:

The picture.. For some reason I'm thinking "Robyn".. But probably not particularly relevant, more likely that Canonized just picked a "random" picture in this case?

Sandalphon.. Probably a VERY meaningful choice. On the one hand, it suggests a countering influence to Lilith.. On the other, what he says seems rather more in line with the "anti"Spanish than "pro".. And Lilith (and Turkish princes) definitely seem to be in the anti camp. The third side then?

Adonai.. Where did a Dutchman learn Hebrew? It makes no sense. Unless said "orb" grants knowledge, similar to the forbidden fruit (except not about good an evil, but some other knowledge)
 

Woody Man

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Man Matthjis is seeing weird weird stuff.

Also, loved the thing about Paradox being Spanish agents :D
 

Capibara

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That was an interesting conversation between Tom and Rodrigo. As for Matthjis, as EP said, it was just plainly werid stuff :p
 

canonized

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Well, at least we have learned a thing or two about Canonizeds clock:

17-09-2009 10:10 "12 hours max"
18-09-2009 01:42 : actual update

Which is 15h32m
So we have a LOWER limit to the slowdown in Canonizeds clock; 29%

--

As for the update:

The picture.. For some reason I'm thinking "Robyn".. But probably not particularly relevant, more likely that Canonized just picked a "random" picture in this case?

Sandalphon.. Probably a VERY meaningful choice. On the one hand, it suggests a countering influence to Lilith.. On the other, what he says seems rather more in line with the "anti"Spanish than "pro".. And Lilith (and Turkish princes) definitely seem to be in the anti camp. The third side then?

Adonai.. Where did a Dutchman learn Hebrew? It makes no sense. Unless said "orb" grants knowledge, similar to the forbidden fruit (except not about good an evil, but some other knowledge)

Remember also that we had mentioned in Season II that the 'others' were those who ate from the tree of life . The tree of life motif will be important in this and yes , the choice of Sandalphon is important as it relates to the tree of life as well XD

Man Matthjis is seeing weird weird stuff.

Also, loved the thing about Paradox being Spanish agents :D

I thought it would add a nice touch XD Also gives a little bit of gravity to the 'reference' to EU in it .

Plus it was kind of funny because I wanted to poke fun at myself how Timelines has involved more than just writing about the events of an alternate history from a game XD AAR deconstruction if you will .

That was an interesting conversation between Tom and Rodrigo. As for Matthjis, as EP said, it was just plainly werid stuff :p

Haha , I'm glad you had fun with it at least XD Next update we get back to action and take a short break from the craziness .