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The Chronicles Of Imhotep

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  • The Chronicles Of Imhotep

    My name is Imhotep, and I am the Chief Advisor and confidant of the Eternal Queen, Cleopatra, Blessed of Osiris and Ruler of the Nile. Though time does not touch either myself or the Queen, it weighs heavily upon our people, the Children of the Nile. Our historians have recently pressed me for a recounting of the stories of our past and despite the numerous tasks and duties that fill my days, I have agreed.

    I shall not talk of the early years of our nation. Suffice to say that our people flourished from our early beginnings farming the Nile's rich lands, spreading out across our continent, bringing civilization to a rough land.

    Let us talk instead of the first great challenge to our nation. I speak of- the First Latin War.

    But first, a little history I need to pass on for the story to make sense.

    The Romans occupied the far half of our continent. I had always been certain to be friendly with the only neighbors to share our landmass. There was brief tension after initial contact as we rushed to secure the rich gem mines of the Asyut Jungle from the encroaching Roman settlers. A string of frontier towns, Asyut, Pithom, and Busiris secured the border for the Everlasting Queen, and we settled down to the business of building up our infrastructure.

    It was with great dismay that we discovered no sources of iron or horses within our borders, though our nation stretched from the Roman lands in the East, to the subcontinent of Kyushu we shared with the Japanese and Rus across the Western sea. Not even the Queen's resort island of Mendes contained so much as a scrap of iron. As we were a peaceful people, I determined at the time that we would make do without these resources and trade for them. Horses were secured from the Chinese in return for the secrets of Monarchy, and we built as many War Chariots as we could while the horses arrived. Oddly enough, our horse trainers never could figure out how to breed the horses...

    But I digress. With our Chariots as a strategic reserve, I garrisoned our cities with Spearman and Archers and hoped for the best.

    Time went on. Our people continued to advance in science and culture. Temples were erected in all cities, dedicated to Osiris, or Horus, or Bast- whichever god the city was patron to. Marketplaces, Harbors, Cathedrals- Egyptian cities boasted them all. Several Rus cities, lured by the peace and prosperity of Egypt, overthrew their oppressors and joined us. We welcomed them with open arms, as truly all the peoples of earth are Children of the Nile.

    The Romans, meanwhile, were making nuisances of themselves. They constantly probed our border, testing our resolve to defend ourselves. Caesar would call upon the Undying Queen, and make the most ridiculous demands (though truth be told I believe he was quite smitten with our beautiful Queen and sought these audiences merely to gaze upon her). I did my best to blunt the Roman advances, but it was clear that eventually we'd face the Romans in open conflict for the supremacy of our continent.

    What wasn't clear was how quickly things would come to a head.

    Already lacking Iron and Horses, our economy took another hit when our Sages discovered both Gunpowder and the utter lack of any Saltpeter within Egypt. Frantically scanning mineral reports from across the globe, my eyes fell upon the Libyan desert, just across the border in the Roman Empire. There were two deposits near the Roman desert town of Ravenna. My eyes drifted a little further south, deeper into Roman territory. There was an Iron deposit in the hills above the Roman port city of Antium. The beginnings of a plan was formulating in my mind...

    Dealing with the Queen is mildly frustrating most of the time, and incredibly frustrating the rest of the time. She leaves the day-to-day minutiae of running the state to me, and is content to soak up the adoration of the people for a job (MY job) well done. One never knows what mood she’ll be in at any given time. I love her dearly though, she has been the one constant in my life for over 5000 years. We are both Blessed of Osiris, granted immortal life on this world. I could never leave her side, even though she drives me crazy most days.

    I set it up perfectly, if I must say so myself. In honor of the Queen’s 5650th birthday, I arranged for a spectacular display of Russian fireworks in the skies over Thebes. The Queen was enthralled by the show, demanding that I supply fireworks for all future celebrations. Our exchange:

    Queen Cleopatra: (awestruck) Those, what do you call them, fire-works? Are absolutely beautiful. We simply must make use of them more often.

    Me: (much hand wringing) But, my Grace, the cost of these Russian fireworks is astronomical! I of course spared no expense for your birthday, but a steady supply of fireworks would bankrupt us!

    Queen Cleopatra: (petulantly) Why can’t we make our own? Our scientists are the most advanced in the world…

    Me: (ruefully shaking my head) My Queen, we lack a basic ingredient necessary for the manufacture of fireworks- Saltpeter, and the cost to acquire it would surely bankrupt the treasury.

    Queen Cleopatra: (stomping her foot) I command you to secure Saltpeter resources so I can have fireworks whenever I want!

    Me: (thoughtfully rubbing my chin) Well, there ARE sources of Saltpeter right across the border with the Romans. Our generals feel a quick strike would secure the desert for Egypt. The Romans would never expect us to attack, as we’ve attempted to appease them for centuries.

    Queen Cleopatra: (alarmed) War? Imhotep, we are a peace-loving people! Are you sure this is the best way?

    Me: (straightening up) My Queen, the war will be short and decisive. We don’t seek the subjugation of all of Rome, merely the capture of a couple of frontier towns. We’ll also show the Romans that the Egyptians will not be bullied, perhaps they’ll cease their incessant demands upon our nation.

    Queen Cleopatra: (sighs) Try not to kill Caesar, OK? He’s kind of cute…

    Thus started the First Latin War, the one our Queen likes to call the Great Fireworks War when she’s in a good mood, and Imhotep’s Great Blunder when she wants to tweak my nose.

  • #2
    The First Latin War

    The plan was a simple one.

    The capture of Ravenna was essential to secure Saltpeter for Egypt and the Queen’s fireworks.

    The capture of Antium was necessary to both deny the Romans Iron for their Legions, and to finally provide Egypt with a supply of Iron.

    Brundisium lay along the coast athwart the road to Antium, and parallel to Ravenna. Our generals felt it’s capture would be vital to end Roman influence in the area.

    Palmyra was another possible target, though since it lacked any strategic value, it wasn’t deemed a priority. It might be useful as a bargaining chip with the Romans, however.

    Our navy was to sail along the coast of the Roman Empire, and drop off 4 battalions of Spearmen. This expeditionary force was to fortify themselves in the Iron bearing hills above Antium, preventing the Romans from building more Legions during the war.

    Our main force was to strike across the Libyan desert, catch Ravenna unawares, turn south to capture Brundisium, and then sweep into Antium before the Romans knew what had hit them.

    Yes, it seemed simple enough.

    Several years were spent in preparation. All of our Archer battalions were upgraded with the new Longbows and deployed to the front. 15 Catapult companies were commissioned and rolled into position. All the War Chariots moved to the provincial capital of Asyut, and all spareable Spearman battalions left home for the front lines as well.

    Knowing we’d be fighting at a technological disadvantage- our Bronze to their Iron, we sought numeric superiority, while frantically checking on Roman scientific progress. If they were to acquire Gunpowder and fortify their positions with Musketmen before we started our campaign, all would be lost.

    +++ FIRST BLOOD +++
    The initial campaign started exactly as we had predicted. The Romans were caught off guard by the sudden appearance of Egyptian army units within their borders. Rather than attack us immediately, we were able to advance two seasons deep into their territory before open hostilities commenced. The Spearman Expeditionary Force (SEF) destroyed all roads to the Iron mines and dug in for the inevitable Roman assaults upon their position. We were at the gates of Ravenna before any significant Roman opposition arrived, and after a season of catapult bombardment we destroyed the town walls. Though fighting was fierce, our Longbowmen were able to clear the town of the vaunted Roman Legions and Ravenna was ours. Leaving a garrison force behind, we turned towards Brundisium.

    The Romans fought back savagely, luring our forces into ill-advised attacks that left wounded battalions uncovered and easily destroyed by Roman counterattacks. In addition, our bronze wielding Spearmen might as well have been fighting with dinner knives, as the Roman Legions continually proved that Bronze is no match for Iron. Our casualties were heavy, but we had expected that and a seemingly never ending line of new Spearman recruits were streaming in from our heartland. Then, as our weary forces reached the outskirts of Brundisium, disaster struck. Our forces were overextended and the Roman Legions fell upon our main attack force, wiping out our three defending Spearmen battalions and then proceeded to carve up 4 of the 5 Longbowmen companies that comprised our main strike force. Demoralized, we fell back to Ravenna, using our War Chariots to screen our gutted assault force. The Romans had suffered grievous losses as well, and they did not immediately press the attack to regain their city.

    It was at this point I was shocked to receive reports from scouts in the field that the Romans were somehow fielding Musketmen! The treacherous Russians had not only gifted the Romans the secrets of Gunpowder, they were turning a tidy profit selling Saltpeter to them as well. Catherine of Rus refused my offer of a Military Alliance as well, and began naval maneuvers off our Western coast. I could feel my tidy little war beginning to spin out of my control. At home several Egyptian cities were rioting, most notably the converted Roman colonies along our eastern seaboard. I ordered more tax income diverted to luxuries, in an attempt to take the populace's minds off an increasingly expensive war.

    +++TOTAL WAR+++
    I put out the command to all cities to stop building anything other than a military unit of some kind. All Western port cities began turning out galleys- if the Russians wanted to attack we’d have a warm welcome waiting for them. I ordered two companies of workers to get roads into the Saltpeter rich areas we’d captured so far from the Romans. Once the road was complete I emptied the coffers and upgraded all Spearmen at the front to Musketmen. Osiris answered my prayers and a heretofore unknown deposit of Iron was discovered in our territory on Kyushu! Our remaining stone age Warrior units were swiftly upgraded to Swordsmen as well. We began our press to Brundisium again. This time the superior defensive firepower of the Musket served our forces well, and we drew up next to the city and proceeded to shell it with every large rock our soldiers could haul to our catapults. In the interim, our SEF had been completely wiped out, and our navy shuttled a group of two Musketmen down to the Antium Iron mines. These two Musketmen, Elite by the time relief forces reached their positions, repeatedly turned back Roman assaults upon their trenches. I credit the Roman units these brave soldiers tied up with buying us enough time to finish our work at Brundisium. Our progress through Roman lands was slow, however, as it seemingly took forever to roll the cumbersome catapults into position. Attacking entrenched Musketmen without prior artillery bombardment was deemed insane, however, so our advance was impeded by our need to match speed with the catapults. Meanwhile, our populace back home grew increasingly discontent with my promised "lightning quick" war.

    With both Brundisium and Ravenna controlled by our forces, I took stock of the situation. Though we no longer needed the Antium Iron mines, our surprise attack had assuredly earned us Rome’s enmity for all time. I decided it was better to face a weak enemy than a strong one. With that in mind, I ordered the screening forces near Asyut to move against Palmyra, and our main attacking force, reinforced from the sea, moved down the coast to Antium. I will give the Romans credit, they did not quit. Repeatedly they threw themselves against our armies, causing great casualties to our forces. But our weight of numbers was bearing them down, and the industrial might of Egypt was making itself felt. Then, on the verge of taking Antium, disaster almost befell our forces again, as Roman Knights appeared for the first time, cutting down many of our screening War Chariots, and capturing one Catapult bombardment group.

    The War was in the balance. How did the Romans get the Horses to get Knights? The answer lay with the Russians, again. I was beginning to really hate Catherine. And I had no idea who was supplying them with Iron. Mao of the Chinese, perhaps.

    As I sat in my office scowling, pondering this latest development, Queen Cleopatra the Eternal swept into the room, all smiles.

    Queen Cleopatra: (smiling) Why the glum face, my dear Imhotep?

    Me: (deep frown) The Romans fight like the legions of Anubis himself. Now they are deploying Knights in large numbers against our forces.

    Queen Cleopatra: (blithely) Knights? Did we not learn the secrets of Chivalry years ago? Send our own Knights to sweep them from the field.

    Me: (gritting my teeth) My Queen, please remember that we still haven’t figured out how to get the damn Horses to breed. We have no Horses with which to outfit our Knights with.

    Queen Cleopatra: (bored) Then trade for some Horses.

    Me: (exasperated) Were that it would be so easy. The only nation offering Horses is England, and they are asking for the secrets of Gunpowder and Chemistry in return!

    Queen Cleopatra: (coolly) Make the deal, Imhotep. I tire of this war, and I tire of your sour attitude while you conduct it. Finish it, and go back to being nice to me. I am your Queen, don’t forget that.

    +++END GAME+++
    With the addition of Knights to our army, our forces crushed Roman resistance near the town of Antium. In addition, General Ramses personally led an ill-advised assault on the town of Palmyra, capturing it against all odds. Indeed, I could have ended the war at this point on Egypt’s terms, but needing to salvage something from the wreckage of this war, I ordered the formation of an Army under Ramses’ banner. A couple of inconsequential battles with the Army later (that were played up as grand victories for the press back home- indeed a Heroic Epic was commissioned in the city of Pi-Ramesses dedicated to Ramses), I brought Caesar in for peace discussions. Reparations were secured and the borders finalized. Peace returned to Egypt.


    • #3

      The ensuing years saw the Egyptians grow into world power. With sizeable amounts of military hardware remaining from our war with the Romans, other world leaders became much more respectful of Egypt’s borders. With the addition of 4 cities, a second capital was built at Asyut, to administer our Roman holdings.

      On Kyushu, the last Russian city joined the glorious Egyptian civilization. Now only we and the Japanese shared this windswept and tundra ridden continent.

      The Middle Ages were a time of great innovation for the Egyptian people, as a great trading house was established at Memphis (Adam Smith’s), a great playwright made his presence known at Edfu (Shakespeare’s Theatre), and a daring explorer became renowned for the first circumnavigation of the world, starting from Thebes (Magellan’s Expedition). We narrowly missed securing the services of the brilliant Leonardo DaVinci, who wound up setting up shop in Nagasaki, but consoled ourselves with the construction of the Theban Military Academy instead.

      We grew rich too, trading with all nations our gems, wines, iron, and saltpeter. And the Queen had fireworks, too, every weekend.

      With the discovery of Magnetism, we set about creating a blue water navy, to ensure Egyptian safety from enemies abroad. For the Romans never forgot the humiliation at our hands. They grew ever closer with the Russians. Catherine perhaps begrudged our cultural assimilation of 4 of her cities. In addition, France got into bed with the Romans and Russians, signing a Mutual Protection Pact with both.

      Alarmed that we might be soon surrounded by hostile nations, I took swift action. The Japanese were pleased to sign a Mutual Protection Pact with Egypt. As they shared the same continent as Russia, they would be my counterbalance against the hated Catherine. England, sharing land with the French, I wooed next. Elizabeth was happy to ally herself with me, as I started shipments of Coal to England in return for Horses to outfit my Cavalry. Thus the Triple Entente was formed.

      As the Industrial Age dawned, our cities set about creating Hospitals and Factories. Our workers worked feverishly upon a pan-continental rail line. All was quiet, and then I got a summons from the Queen.


      • #4
        The Summons

        I had been reviewing our scientists’ progress on the Theory of Evolution, when news of the summons reached me.

        I was surprised, as the Queen had gone through a little bit of a religious revival lately, spending much of her time with the Priests of Osiris at the Cathedral of Thebes. Of course, when you are over 5700 years old and living proof of the Gods’ existence, you are always welcome with the priesthood. I was fine with it as it meant less of her capricious demands upon me.

        I headed immediately to the Cathedral, to see what my Queen needed of me. When I entered the darkened sanctum, lit only by guttering light of a brazier in the far corner, I was taken aback.

        Here was my Queen, eyes blazing, a glow of almost maniacal fervor about her. Still beautiful, though, even if she did insist upon wearing that ridiculous yellow bonnet.

        Uh-oh, I thought to myself, this can’t be good.

        Queen Cleopatra: (impatient) Imhotep! I’m glad you are here.

        Me: (meekly) I came as quickly as I could, your Grace.

        Queen Cleopatra: (rushed) Of that I don’t doubt. I must tell you of my dream…

        Me: (puzzled) Your dream?

        Queen Cleopatra: (far away) ...I had a dream. In my dream, a red rat danced upon the fruited banks of the Nile, eating the cream of the land. In my dream, a golden cobra came out of the river, set upon the rat and ate it. The cobra grew fat upon the rat, and the Children of the Nile rejoiced.

        Me: (still puzzled) Uh… OK. What do you think it means?

        Queen Cleopatra: (angry) What does it mean? Imhotep, open your eyes!

        And with that she stepped away from a map of the world that covered the far wall. After peering at it for a couple of seconds, it began to dawn on me. If you squinted, and smoked a lot of whatever the Queen had been smoking- yes! Our part of the continent DID sort of look like a snake, with the Romans dangling from the mouth of the snake.

        Me: (looking quizzically at the Queen) You mean to wage war upon the Romans again?

        Queen Cleopatra: (annoyed) No, of course not. I mean for YOU to wage war upon the Romans again. Do not finish until the Red Rat is no more! Do you hear me, Imhotep? Finish the Red Rat!

        I had my orders (and my misgivings). The Romans were technologically inferior. We had the advantage in men and firepower. Our allies should keep the Russians and French busy. Armed with our experience from the First Latin War, our armed forces should be able to smash what little resistance the Romans could offer.

        Why then was I so troubled by this turn of events?

        Regardless, I bowed low to my Queen, and strode out of the room, my cape billowing behind me, my shadow like Death upon the map.


        • #5
          [Out Of Character]
          OK, that should catch you up on my game so far. It's the start of the Second Latin War, I'll keep notes and post the results.

          Any questions, comments?
          [/Out Of Character]


          • #6
            That was.... amazing. Very well written!


            • #7
              Yeah that was great. Could you post some screenshots though, as I have a hard time visualizing how the continents and countries are setup ?

              Other than that, it's great ! Please continue soon ! :-)



              • #8
                i like it! if anatolia has heeded advice, i might vote this as the Story of the week


                • #9
                  Omg! Gw ffs!

                  That's about all I have to say

                  Please post the rest of the story real soon!
                  This thread may contain traces of nuts.


                  • #10

                    I've never posted a screenshot before, but here goes.

                    Here are our new Roman holdings. Note the Saltpeter north of Ravenna. Also, if you squint at the world map and smoke a lot of whatever the Queen was smoking, you too will see the Golden Cobra of Egypt poised to swallow the Red Rat of Rome.


                    • #11
                      Oops. That didn't work. Anyone know how to attach a screenshot?


                      • #12
                        Well, one way is to do this:

                        If you do not have an image available from the Web, then there is a field and a button near the bottom of the new message page:
                        It says

                        Attach file:
                        Maximum size: 500000 bytes
                        field "browse" button
                        Valid file extensions: gif jpg png txt zip bmp jpeg slc net sav scn hot rar wav

                        Well, you could click "browse" and choose the file you want to attach. Note the size limitation, though.
                        XBox Live: VovanSim
               (login required)
                        Halo 3 Service Record (I fail at FPS...)
                        Spore page


                        • #13
                          This was awesome, like reading a good book.
                          It's candy. Surely there are more important things the NAACP could be boycotting. If the candy were shaped like a burning cross or a black man made of regular chocolate being dragged behind a truck made of white chocolate I could understand the outrage and would share it. - Drosedars


                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone for the kind words.

                            As far as the screenies go, I chopped them down to ~200Kb, and they still won't post. I wonder if the site has disabled it temporarily due to bandwidth considerations. None of our avatars are displaying either.

                            Regardless, I'm continuing with the game and will post the results of the Second Latin War soon.

                            Sorry about the lack of screenies.


                            • #15
                              The Second Latin War

                              It was not War, it was Slaughter.
                              - General Cheops, Commander 1st Army, 2nd Roman Campaign

                              My first acts of the Second Latin War was to open the pursestrings of the treasury and pay for all of our Catapult companies to be outfitted with the new Cannons, as well as replacing all of the Muskets in our Army with Rifles.

                              Our new transcontinental rail line was not yet complete, so I ordered all of our forces in the eastern arm of the empire down to the Roman border. Our forces to the west, in the great cities of Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis would remain as reserves, in case of French or Russian attacks upon our shores.

                              I did not wait for any new military units to be constructed. My Queen was in no mood to pause, and if news of her dream were to reach Caesar, any hope at surprise would be lost.

                              +++THE CAMPAIGN+++
                              Forces under General Ramses fought their way down the eastern edge of the Roman coastline, while forces under General Nasser struck along the western edge, pointed at Rome. Simultaneously, amphibious landings were conducted on the islands of Caesaraugusta, Caesarea, and Jerusalem. Roman cities fell in rapid succession, as our Cavalry sliced through Roman opposition like a hot knife through warm butter. Our rate of advance soon left our artillery behind, but the success rate of Cavalry assaults made this moot.

                              It is a grim thing to be caught behind a technological shift, as the Romans found out. Their Knights fought with honor, but honor is no shield against Rifles. The Flower of Rome shed its blood defending their homeland, but it was for not. In 13 quick seasons, the Roman Empire was no more.

                              Indeed, the only tension in the war was the race to conquer the last Roman city of Syracuse, which we won, beating out the Japanese barely.

                              Tragically, Rome's allies abandoned them in its hour of need. Neither the Russians nor the French lifted a finger as we absorbed the former free Roman state.

                              With our butcher's work done, we set about rebuilding the shattered Roman cities.

                              The Queen Cobra had her Rat for Dinner. I wondered what was next.