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  • Okay, so when the turn 100 arrives - which is hopefully within a week - I'm making a new report. There will a lot to write about, plus what it appears to be a full world map!


    • Turn 95 brings another Japanese report!
      Reason for such event? Finally all players have met each other (directly or indirectly).

      Click image for larger version

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      The world suddenly became increadibly vast. It has been a short time since we managed to reach the shores of Indo-Persia continent. A moment later we have reached the shores of a peaceful land of Romans. And then the emissary of Egypt has arrived at our own shores. Who, if not Gods themselves could predict such course of events? Our grasp of world increased tremendously. And there are more lands and riches to be discovered! Including the shadowed giant - The Great Russia.

      Our souther region consist of 2 great forces. The Kingdom of Japan, and Mad dogs of India. Seconds wage war with everything they can - They tried to conquer the Persian Empire, but have failed miserably. Now they are on the edge of war with us, even though we never did any aggresive or unpleasant action towards them. Egyptians report their contacts are similar, so we can only consider their leader insane. However their military power force us to go into defensive... for now. North-west from us reside Romans. They have lived peacefully, far from any dangers and problems. However now, discovering that they are not as far from The Mad Dog, they must be more wary. Luckily there are a lot if islands around, so they can inhabit them, and thus greatly increase their power.
      And on the far north lies the old world. There the 3 great nations collide - French, Egypt and Celts. They say it's a peaceful land, but we are not to be fooled that easily. Armed garrisons defend their border, as if they were preparing for a war. This is what may happen in a future. But soon, or far in the future? Who knows. Their situation isn't best, and unless an outer source will intervene, it will be a land of great bloodshed. Maybe Russia, who might be west from them will propose a threat, uniting them?

      Our nation used to be technically underdeveloped. But it is a story of the past. Right now we are skyrocketing toward the most developed nations of the north. Our cities grow at tremendous rate. The markets produce great wealth, and Shogun cares about every possible aspect. We cannot complain about anything. The only problem are countries to the North - Indies and Persia. Mad Dog is for sure our enemy. With Persians situation doesn't look so bad, but... we are far from calling them friends.
      Romans care a lot about technology developement. Their country is small, but their technology developement is pretty decent. However in other categories they have much to improve. Luckily they have a lot of islands to inhabit nearby.
      Egyptians seem to have very developed when it comes to technology, but their small homeland and neighbours may make it not enough if he wants to compete between world best. Mad Dog on the south doesn't make it easier for him. France on the other hand is at better situation. They have more land, only one neighbour and several islands to explore/inhabit nearby. They are well rounded goverment with nicely developed technology. After all it was them who opened the Classical Era.
      Last of them - Celts are ruled by few Cultist - what reminds us of our past. They may grow rapidly, military or economically, but I wouldn't be surprised if their science is the worst in the known world. One is sure - even if that's the case, they can not be understimated. Their land is rich, and they have plenty of places to inhabit. If they will ally with one technologically developed country - be it France or Egypt, the can close this gap pretty quickly. Time will show.

      Our military scouting wasn't as succesful as economical one. We know about heavily guarded borders between Egypt, Celts and French. Situation is similar between Persia and Mad Dogs, here however, there is a great force disadvantage. So we suppose war could reawake anytime soon. It will be a grim day.
      And Japanese military? Top notch, as always. We are ready for any invasion.


      • A Report of World Affairs: The Age of Kings
        Published by the Theban Academia 2000 BC

        After more than a century of terror, the last of Theban tyrants had fallen, an Cleopatra herself decided to take control of the fate of Egypt, establishing an enlightened and just Kingdom.

        (The Queen in her royal armor, an amazing display of metalurgical mastery prepared by the Theban Engineers)

        The Great Library, which stood for a thousand of years for the personal amusement of the Tyrants, had been opened to the public, turning Thebes into the brightest intellectual light of the whole humanity. Having access to innumerable scrolls of knowledge, the Theban scholars took up the task of describing the whole world, tear the veil of myth away and analyse it under rigorous intellectual scrutiny.

        Our tireless scouts have travelled the oceans far and wide in our unending quest of knowledge, and the shape and lay of the Earth is currently well known, even if there are still huge undiscovered areas. Excluding Egypt, seven great Civilizations exist:

        (Map of the World)

        - Kingdom of France (The Old World)

        Our neighbours and closest friends, the French, led by King Bonaparte, used to be, and by many are still considered, the most civilized nation in the world. Their Kingdom, famous for its Dragon Riders, existed even before the dawn of the written history. It is them who originally invented money we use in Egypt today, who attained such wondrous achievements as Laybirynth and Via Appia, and pioneered long-distance trade, of which they still are unquestionable masters.
        The French are also famous for their Iron-clad Legions, thoroughly trained and rigorously disciplined force that until very recently was vastly superior to any other force in the world. Now, Japanese Samurai and our Knights of the Round table could best them one-on-one, but they're not rank-and file soldiers; only our newest units, created after Cleopatra's military reforms and clad in plate armor, could hope to stand up to French Legions.

        - The Celts (The Old World)

        It is a common notion to consider the Celts uncivilized tribesmen, but such a notion doesn't stand up to intellectual scrutiny. Surely, they're lacking many tenants of modern science, but their society is very complex, rich materially and spiritually, as well as much more advanced as it appears. They know writing and written law, they make fine Iron weapons (first learning in by exploiting rocks that fell from the sky, pioneering the iron working) and know how to sail the seas.
        The Celts are very religious people, their lives being dedicated to the worship of gods, with the Mother Goddess being the prime deity. Hence their strange notions of gender equality, of which a reasonable mind can't help but be amused. It has been even reported that Celts allow their women into their military!
        With all that strangeness, the Celt Tribes, under their High Priests, have become a wealthy and populous country. Instead of our cities, they live in clusters of villages, centered around holy places; but the total population of these villages, while nowhere near Thebes, the largest city in the world, is nonetheless superior to most of our towns.
        Cleopatra's diplomacy had eased the tensions between our countries, and even made them quite warm, but the tales of hordes of steel-clad Celtic warriors invading from the East still persist amongst the Egyptian common man.

        - Kingdom of India (Equatoria)

        Like half of the civilized nations in the world, India is a monarchy, but it is so different than the others. Despite being gifted by the nature with every boon imaginable, from rich resources to fertile land to pleasant weather, Indians have become extremely warlike and xenophobic people. Their local feudal lords govern their population with an iron fist, and their leader, Gandhi, is said to be presiding over a throne made of human skulls. While reasonable mind readily dismisses it as a fairy tale, Egyptian explorers were given a single warnining, that any foreigner sighted upon Indian soil shall be beheaded; The Japanese report similar happenings, so maybe there is some truth to the legend.
        Thankfully, due to millenia of Cultist past, Indians aren't quite as advanced as Old World nations or Japan.

        - Persia (Equatoria)
        Not much is known of the Persians, living along a great river on the plains of South-Western Equatoria, other than they've been a victim to Indian agression since beyond our knowing. Their civilization had no option to flourish, and is limited in territory, concentrating on survival.

        - Japanese Shogunate

        Despite the strange sounding name, Japan is a monarchy, and actually having more in common with the new Egypt than we have with the French model. One cannot help but admire the Japanese people, who were cursed with their frozen homeland, but through millenia of sacrifice and selfless work under their Ikko Ikki clergy, a religion which teached them to discard any earthly hope and live only for the well-being of their distant grand-grand-grand sons, have grown into one of the most populous and wealthy nations of the earth. Their cultural advancement is booming as well, boosted by their contacts with our nation. They appear to be almost as fiercely proud as Celts, but - the Japanese have every right to do so, having earned their strength the hard way.

        - Rome
        The only civilization we haven't met in person. Romans are inhabiting a large island, dotted by a few fairly small and undeveloped, but luxurious towns. They seem to be led by some sort of a Tyrant, but from what little knowledge we've gained from Japanese, it's impossible to say who he is or even what kind of rulership he exercises.

        - Russian Oligarchy
        Russians were only a myth just until very recently, when our and Japanese explorers have finally found them. Still, this great land is shrouded in mystery and the facts are few:
        *Their cities are ruled by ancient and powerful families, wary of any strangers and hiding behind tall walls and private armies;
        *They are able to field whole regiments of cavalry in steel plate armor, absolutely deadly on the vast plains that prevail in the south of their land;
        *They have built several Wonders of the World, as many as all the other civilizations combined;
        *They have weapons beyond anything seen anywhere else;
        *Their leader is unapproachable behind the imposing walls of the Forbidden City.
        Thankfully, their policy is that of strict neutrality. We can only divine that they're using their resources in endless internal conflict. The Russian Bear might well sleep for centuries, if not millenia, but if it awakes, the whole world might tremble.


        • Documents of the Past: Captain's Log Entry
          Written in 1500 BC by the captain of a French freighter

          Ship’s log, 5th of June, year 5471. This entry is made by me, Jean-Louis Guillemot, Captain of this fine trading vessel named “La Dijonnette”.

          We have left our port in Versailles three days ago, its rough, chilly hills quickly disappearing. Now we are heading straight north, bound to a port of Vallauris near Cannes, loaded to the brim with pearls. Versailles may be a grim place, but it is a rich one indeed! These pearls won’t stay in Cannes either, but they will be transported further north by land, to be enjoyed by the entire Kingdom.

          Currently we are travelling along the eastern shores of the Sud. Most of the land seems to be a tundra as pleasant and accommodating as a pirate in the morning, so we all hope we wouldn’t be disturbed by any storm that would cast us ashore. Soon we will lose all sights of the land, cutting across the mouth of the Toulousian Bay to save time. After that, we will enter much more peaceful waters along the Forêt-du-Hexagon, close to the capital and patrolled by the Royal Navy itself due to the sheer number of ships carrying invaluable goods in all directions: seafood from Lille, honey from mountainous Tours, iron from barely accessible Rouen… These waters will take us straight to Vallauris in less than two weeks, if the weather is good, and the weather must always by good so close to the Throne.

          Sadly, I must note that far away from Paris things are not as bright. Pirates, corsairs, thieves and other misfortunes have been plaguing our vessels recently, and to a greater extent than any time we can remember before. Some say that we have angered Poseidon with our immeasurable wealth, with too many ships entering his kingdom for profit, but I suspect it has more to do with the war in the south. The most dire news come from Indian merchants, who used to buy our goods in bulk, but who can no longer operate near Egyptian shores since the Queen declared their nation enemies of Thebes. There are rumours that she is building the largest warship in the world in Pergamon, a vessel so powerful as to crush all Indian opposition single-handedly! Things haven’t escalated to the north yet, but all this talking about war only adds fuel to the fire. It sure wouldn’t benefit anyone except these pirates, that’s certain.

          However I look at it, troubling times are coming. Long live King Napoleon, may his legions protect us from whatever the sea may throw at us.

          P.S. All credits for the map go to Max Smirnov. I only named the regions!
          Last edited by Solarius Scorch; April 10, 2013, 09:29. Reason: Map added


          • Excerpt from Theban Chronicles
            Written down by Scribe Chyzopisis, around 1400 BC (Kingdom Year 765)

            Cleopatra herself arrived at Pergamon, dazzling the crowds by her beauty and majesty of her royal armor, to christen the "Morningstar", the most powerful vessel ever constructed anywhere in the world. Not only it is superior to any trireme in terms of size, crew and speed, but it is also equipped with a secret weapon, developed at the Theban University by High Scholar Podpalapsis, called "The Light of Ra", making it virtually invincible. It shall patrol the troubled waters of the Celtic sea, that separate us from the lands of India. Skirmishes with those bloodthirsty cannibals are more and more numerous; lately they struck again at the Straits of Wotan, sinking our unarmed boat. Thankfully, survivors made it back to Egypt and were able to report about a new design of vessel that attacked them; apparently some sort of swift, landing boat, perfectly suited for Gandhi's brigandry. The reports have been presented to the University for further study.
            Between the Morningstar in the East and the immense fortress, Eye of Horus, in the West, Egyptian people need no longer fear any invasion.


            Meanwhile, it had been finally confirmed, that the bloody reign of the High Priestess Boadicea (who returned from her exile less than a 100 years ago, to start a heresy within the Celtic priesthood) had finally come to an end. The one who defeated the crazy Immortal and her fanatical armies is called Arturia. The eternal guide of all Celt People, Merlin, following the advice of our glorious Queen, offered Arturia full support and condemned the priesthood who was bringing greater and greater suffering upon the Celtic people. From now on, their role will be severely curtailed, and all the reins of power will be held by one hand - Empress Arturia's.

            Boadicea, Merlin and Arturia
            Last edited by Max_Smirnov; April 11, 2013, 09:20.


            • Excerpt from The Immortal Glory of Amon-Rah
              Written by High Theban Scholar Bonhotheb the French, Kingdom Year 889

              (...) Yet the notion still persists, about all those gods and godlings, frolicking in some heavenly gardens. Where those gardens even are supposed to be? Somewhere "up" - but what is "up", since it had been long proven that the Earth is a sphere? The nature tends towards perfection, with many things imperfect, like all everyday shapes everywhere around us; so many less numerous are more perfect shapes, the geometrical polyhedrons, observed only in some rare crystals, and only one, the most perfect shape, the shape of the whole world.

              Likewise, the imperfect beasts and bugs are outnumbering us, humans, in great quantity, as we outnumber the few dozens Immortals, more perfect than us. So as it is only one perfect, spherical world, so there must be only one perfect being, the true God, Creator of all, the light of all things - Amon-Ra! (...)

              This work, clearly basing on similar teaching of Francois the Holy, had become the cornerstone of the universal Church, which slowly began to spread throughout the Kingdom of Egypt in the following centuries


              • Here comes the turn 115 report.
                An unusual one, never tried anything like this - hope you'll enjoy it ^^

                The Coast of Russia
                12th day of the Sun. Year 54 (Since our great Shogun - Nekomimi XVI was born)
                Report of the captain of Mori Kaizoku.

                Our course has been denied. Looks like our actions brought the wrath of Russia upon our heads. We are forced to sail toward Irkutsk again, and should reach it within few days. On our backs there are 3 enemy longships. They are more advanced than our slow trireme and could catch up to us in no time, yet they keep the distance for now. However, our route is blocked, and we can't get through, which is an issue in itself. On top of that, they follow us wherever we go. I am afraid, we may not reach our next target. But it does not matter. We are doing whatever is in our might to accomplish the task. We plunder, burn and destroy. We are the pirates, and while being unable to fight under Yamato flag pains us, we know it has to be so. If by any chance our ship sinks, we will start plundering their lands.
                Your faithful servant.
                Mori Motokiyo.

                The gates of Ectabana
                14th day of the Moon. Year 54

                I have finally reached Ectabana. I had anticipated similar situation, as it was in Persis, however, recent incidents have only worsened the already bad situation. People are no longer simply nervous. Panic spreads evenly through Civilians and Soldiers. Thousands of people are coming from the east, saying that Persegarde has fallen to the hands of Indians. A few of them mention something about the siege of Persepolis...
                I suppose it's just a lie, which has arisen because of terror the mad dogs create, but... these cities are very close to each other. It should be only a matter of time before their capitol is besieged and claimed by enemies. It is bad. Very bad. We must act faster, before all will fall under the might of the Indians. We cannot allow these people to become slaves of an insane ruler.
                I hope these news will reach the ears of the Great Shogun.
                Your loyal Servant
                Iga Miko

                The Plains of Betrayal.
                15th day of the Water. Year 54

                Dear Father. We are getting close to our destination. As I write this letter, everyone is in high spirits. The winter has ended already, so there shouldn't be any serious impediments. It should not take long before we start building the port on the Eastern Frontier. Waters supply us with enough food for everyone.It appears like the coming spring is going to be as mild as the winter had been, so everything should go according to plans we were entrusted with. I hope situation in Capitol is as good as here.
                May the spirits guide you, dear Father
                Your always loyal Son
                Date Takeuchi

                The Sea of Japan
                17th day of the Sun. Year 54

                Dear Lord, I hope these news reach you swiftly. I am dispatching my fastest courier, to show how urgent matter it is. We have scouted a ship approaching our lands. Our patrolling longships have discovered their presence on our waters. When we tried to approach them, they mentioned an important persona on their ship - an ambassador. They did not want us to get close, which made me curious about their goals. The Russians openly dislike us. Why would they want to discuss now? They never agreed to exchange maps, so I'm wary of what their true goals may be. They were spotted north from Edo, and for now we are stationing in Yokohama, ready for your orders.
                Whatever your decision is, we are ready.
                Your loyal servant
                Kikkawa Motoharu

                The Warlord put the letters aside. His duties were never light, but the burden of this day was extraordinary. He was Koga Sasaki. The ears of the Shogun. And one of his counsellors.
                He looked at the reports again. They were brought from other branches, and it was his job to decide which ones should reach the ears of Nekomimi XVI. With the rest, he had to deal himself.
                The ruler was wise, but no one wants to be the bringer of bad news. Not to mention extremely grim ones. Shadow of death falling upon the Mori expedition. The fall of Persegarde. And... Russians. Nothing but threats to our great country. There were plenty of good ones also, but their importance was extremely low, compared to these. And to tell all of these at once to the Shogun...
                He had to prepare. Shogun would want to hear his opinion about these incidents. He must think how Yamato can respond.
                The door slid. Without a single word of introduction. There was only one person who could do that. Koga turned around and quickly got on his knees.
                "My lord" he said. It only gets complicated he added, but only in his mind.

                Nekomimi XVI finished reading the reports. He had a dissatisfied look on his face, as if he bit something very bitter.
                "My great father always told me, to trust my intuition." He said "It is the greatest weapon of a Samurai. That's why I came here today. A single unreasonable thought. But I see some time was saved by it. Tell me, Sasaki. How much time we have until the Dog of Moscow will reach our shores?"
                "A few days at best, my lord. Winds are not in their favour at this season, so their boat is proceeding slowly. Even the Gods favour us."
                "Good. Get the fastest horse from my personal stables. Find the best rider in Kyoto. The order to Motoharu is simple. No one of them can reach our shores. We cannot let them get close to our lands. They may plot revenge for our expedition, and I won't allow that."
                "Yes my lord." Koga responded. It was unusual for him to act without any discussion. Did he have a plan? Or acting on his gut feeling again, he thought. - Any other commands? What about the Persians, or Indians? Time is running out, I'm afraid.
                "Be patient, my servant." Nekomimi said, playing with the pen in his hand. After a brief pause, he continued "But make no mistake. War is coming. Not today, but soon."
                "Yes my lord."
                "Let Date Terumune know what is going on. Tell him... to start the preparations."
                Last edited by Eerion; April 21, 2013, 04:37.


                • A personal diary of some unknown Egyptian lieutnant, circa Kingdom Year 950

                  We have left the stronghold of Bubasti and the shores of the Black Bay over two months ago, heading inland, into the vast foothills of the Himalaya Mountains. Three full regiments of armed men, with our wives, children and as much equipment as our wagons could carry. Slow, drudging march, valley after valley, always ascending, like we were to climb into the Heavens themselves. Now I can see we were wrong, when the pale shapes of the moutains proper appeared finally in the vast distance. They seem impossible to climb, impossible to pass, impossibly tall and getting even taller further on. Yet we're not alone here; we know of Indian camps in hidden valleys, and we know about a pass, where we were ordered to establish a permanent fort. The lake down there will provide us with food, but this vast and empty land wasn't clearly meant for men to behold. Yet, orders are orders, passed down straight from the Lord Kopapsis, the governor of these lands (on paper, at least; beyond the walls of Bubasti, there isn't much than a few villages and wild beasts to govern). Morale isn't too high, but I guess our remote outpost will serve some grand plans. Who knows, a major war with the Indian barbarians might break out any moment; there are horrendous tales of mass beheadings in the Persian cities of Jarmy and Parsegrade, which they conquered. I can only trust our Kingdom is stronger than Persia. And I can only hope, that, someday, if notmyself, then at least my childern will be able to see the white walls and towers of my hometown, Pergamon, so far away now, past the Black Bay, past the shores of Akhimi, past the blue vastness of the Spring Sea, thousands of miles to the north.

                  Last edited by Max_Smirnov; April 14, 2013, 23:46.


                  • "Uncle Baruch! What are we going to do, with the French uccupying our holy mountain now?"

                    "Why are you so excited, boy? The Celts have been occupying it since the dawn of time, and there was never a problem. Not like the place, may the God bless it, is any good to really visit. Who knows, maybe it's a good thing, too? The French are separated from their homeland, many people are going to make money, selling them goods... and...
                    services... If you know what I mean."

                    "Uncle Baruch!"

                    "I know, I know. In the bigger picture, it doesn't look so good. I've heard that the French are already hiring workers. They intend to dig out their own channel across the Celtic Passage, so their ships could travel South without any itereference from Pergamon... Or without having to sail all around the Celtia."

                    "Bah! Channel or not, it's about who controls the waters! And it's Egyptian Queen who has the Morningstar! Have you heard? Just a few weeks ago there was a battle ine the middle of the Celtic Sea! The Morningstar burnt an entire flotilla of Indian longboats!"

                    "And do you really think the Queen will order that warship from Hell to attack French vessels? She and Bonaparte are
                    close friends, if you know what I mean."


                    "Doesn't matter, boy. Pack up your things. Tomorrow, we're leaving Pergamon."

                    "What? Where? Why?!"

                    "To Luxor."

                    "Luxor? That remote place at the end of the Kingdom? There is nothing there, but stinking furnaces and dirty miners!"

                    "Not so remote - at least not anymore, once the Egyptians finish that road from there to Oryx, and further, to Karnak. They have it already planned out; my cousin from Thebes, Mosche, told me so. Pergamon is history, boy. What here is to do? Sell grapes to those filthy Theban capitalists and buy back wine they make from it for a huge profit? Nah. Luxor is the future. I trust my nose. They ain't building that road for nothing. Something is afoot, I smell money there, and we'll be there when it materialises. The first might be the last, but the last aren't getting rich boy, the God Himself said so. Or at least I suppose He did, 'cause that's true."
                    Last edited by Max_Smirnov; April 16, 2013, 16:55.


                    • To: Her Royal Majesty, Queen Cleopatra

                      We need reinforcements!

                      My scouts report a large Indian army advancing towards our territory. Heavy cavalry had been spotted, along with massed infantry and archers; another, smaller army is following in their footsteps. I can't hope to stand up to such force with one Legion and one regiment of Longbowmen, and the other half of my garrison is deployed around the Pale Mountain to stop Indian skirmishers from flooding deeper into our lands. I can't pull back any soldiers from the Khopesh fort, as they're even more beleaugered than I am. I can't ask the Lord of Armant for help, because, once this Indian army floods through Jarmy (possibly being further reinforced by Jarmy's huge garrison) and into the southern plains, he'll be in asmuch danger as I am. Considering the current armistice between Persia and India, Gandhi is able to throw at us everything he has. I do not need to remind Your Majesty, that my fiefdom is pivotal to the defense of the Southern Kingdom, and if it falls, our entire line will fold like a house of cards.

                      I have already ordered all able-bodied men to be put into military training, and all the agricultural tools to be reworked into armaments. My best blacksmiths are busy seven days a week making suits of plate armor, with how limited my manpower is, I need to provide my elite retainers with the best protection available. The longbowmen won't hold off such an overwhelming force by themselves, I need lots and lots of footmen to absorb the impact of that damned heavy cavalry!

                      I plead for consideration and help! There is no place in the South or the North where Egyptian soldiers are needed more than here, and they are needed now!

                      Duke Kopapsis, the lord of Bubastis, March 14, Kingdom Year 1089

                      Last edited by Max_Smirnov; April 19, 2013, 08:09.


                      • Excerpts from "My Voyage to the Mysterious Land of the Celts" by Herodothep of Thebes, Kingdom Year 1205

                        April 20th, South Sea
                        It's been a week since my ship had left Abydos, but it seems the voyage will take longer than expected. I was planning to land in Llandow, but the Celtic captain didn't understand me clearly and laid a course for Llandarcy instead. Surely, both names sound similar (which makes me question Celtic intellect, if you name your cities so similarly, grevious mistakes are bound to happen sooner or later! Like today), but I suspect the captain is kind of dim, or deaf, or both, since I was talking very slowly and clearly in simple Egyptian.
                        One more thought - why the name South Sea, while it lies to the north of Egypt? I guess that's because the sea north of it is called North Sea, but still, kind of stupid, don't you think?

                        May 2nd, Llandarcy
                        Finally, I have landed on the Celtic shores! The captain told me of a city, but what I see here is just a fishing village. Well, I was always suspecting that all that admiration they have for the Celtic Empire back at the University is overblown.
                        The houses are curious, they're universally made of stone, since the dry Celtic land lacks woods (thankfully, it also lacks Egyptian rains. Half of our months are named after some type of rain). And not of large blocks, like ours, but cleverly stacked small stones of various sizes.
                        I was told I can reach my next destination, Caerphilly, located in the middle of the Bogerragh Plateau (damned Celtic names, I feel like I was breaking my tongue every time I tried to pronounce them), by the means of Imperial Post Office, that runs regular coach service. How silly of the Celts, to travel across land, instead of sailing in comfort like true gentlemen do.

                        May 10th, Caerphilly
                        This town is vast! I doubt it comes close to Pergamon, in terms of population, but I've been riding along rows of those stone houses for hours, passing barns and animal ranches, before I even reached the city proper, which also stretches quite a bit. Well, they don't know how to build multi-storey buildings, that's for sure.
                        I've also passed as many as three different temples. No doubt the remnants of the pre-Empire times, but they seemed to be attended. I've heard they have temples in every town. How peculiar. That's certainly due to their scientific underdevelopement - or maybe the other way around. We, Egyptians, have just one Temple, in Thebes, and that's more than enough for everybody. But I guess I have to be tolerant of those superstitious people who still live in the age of the myth and legend.
                        I must also say: Caerphilly is dirty! The detritus is thrown around the whole place, and human and animal excrements flow freely along the streets. Surely, they never heard about our Royal Street-Sweeping Corps or sewer systems. Similarly, people are mostly dirty and wearing rags, but on the other hand, strangely content and friendly, in contrast to the ever-upset Egyptian masses.
                        The more striking was the contrast when I finally arrived at the laviscious palace of the local Prefect, the ruler of the province and lawman in one person. I've heard such office of similar majesty exists in every major town of the Empire, which seems downright crazy - only Pergamon has a similarly extensive governing compound, and only because of sheer number of ships passing by and citizens living in the city.

                        View from the Caerphilly to the south, showing the typical highlands landscape with the Cruacha Gorma Range visible in the distance

                        May 27, Pentraeth
                        The highlands are gone now, and I have arrived at the northern shores of the Empire, to catch a ship to Narberth and continue my travel to the capitol of Numantia from there. The sheer number of fishing boats of all sizes is dazzling. The Celts are certainly skilled fishermen.
                        The town itself is a bit smaller than Caerphilly (the local Prefect estimated the population at 15,000, larger than Abydos), and nowhere as dirty, but the everpresent smell of the fish is capable of knocking a man down. I was invited to take a part in a hunt for a great whale.

                        June 15, Narberth
                        Still trying to forget about the experiences of whale-hunting, I barely noticed Narberth, but I have noticed how cold it is here. Vast fields of frozen tundra to the north. Vast expanses of dry grass to the south, those infertile steppes cover the whole eastern part of the continent. I was advised to travel under escort, because of the constant threat of Russian pirates (who are sometimes landing on the eastern shores of the Empire) and common ruffians, who are even more of a plague here than in Egypt.

                        The Northern Lights over the Frozen Sea seen from a hill near Narberth

                        July 27, Numantia, the Capitol of the Celtic Empire
                        Finally! It took me over a month to get here, because guess what, the road from Narberth was never finished. You have to get off at some village in the middle of nowhere and continue your travel on foot for over 70 miles, before you get to the outer circle of the forts that surround the Imperial Capitol in a wide radius, where you can find another ride. I understand, security measures, but, come on! This is not civilized. I guess I was expecting too much again.
                        The Numantia itself... Well, at just over 50,000 thousands of inhabitants, it's tiny compared to Thebes, but surely it's pretty glorious, with tall, imposing walls, heavy military presence, and all the towers and palaces, and public buildings. The whole wealth of the Empire is flowing here. Even the beggars look better than average citizens in the towns I visited previously.
                        I have arrived at the middle of some festival; surprisingly, they're held quite often, bi-monthly even. A festival, as in gladiatorial games. Oh yes, there's a huge Arena in Numantia, unlike anything you could find in Egypt, where those blood sports are held. Horrible, just horrible - people killing each other for the amusement of the crowds. At least they're volunteers, since the arena games are some degenerate form of ancient celtic rites of passage.
                        Of course I absolutely had to see those games. For the scientific purposes, of course. And the tickets are free, can you believe that!
                        There, I was able to see the Empress Arturia herself, in her black armor, presiding over the games. Even from the distance I could feel an unsettling aura, like I was looking at an avatar of Seth in female form. Well, who else than such a scary person could keep in line all those bombastic and wealthy Prefects I have met? She never said a word, just made slight gestures to let the defeated combatant live or die, always going with what the crowds seemed to want. Whatever can be said about the Celts, an Empire held by such a hand and commanding such a powerful and obedient military shouldn't be underestimated, even if their towns are rather smelly.

                        Empress Arturia presiding over gladiatorial games in Numantia
                        Last edited by Max_Smirnov; April 21, 2013, 04:50.


                        • Armand de Chéron and The Philosopher Stone

                          “Well, well, look who's up. Welcome back to the world of living!”

                          Armand de Chéron groaned as he opened his eyes. He was laying in a simple, but comfortable bed, naked under animal furs that he was covered with. Above him was a ceiling of rough stone, much like in a dungeon. This didn’t exactly bring back nice memories.

                          Luckily, the person standing above him was not a jailer. It was someone of much greater importance. On the other hand, he could be just as cruel, especially to clumsy apprentices.

                          “Well, boy? Are you still hurting, or you simply lost all resemblance of manners? Not that you had much before.”

                          “Master.” Armand blinked a few times, trying to adjust his hurting eyes to the image of his old mentor, a ghostly thin individual known to ordinary folks as Nicolas Flamel, and to the initiated also by several other names. “You have no idea how much happy I am to see you.”

                          “That’s charming”, answered the other dryly. “However, considering the state I found you in, you would be happy to see the Devil himself. What on earth has prompted you to travel across the northern mountains dressed like that? Are you insane?”

                          Armand recalled being reasonably dressed for winter, even so far up north, but the winter turned up to be pretty unreasonable. “Well… When I heard your workshop was in Rouen, I expected it to be in the city, not so far away in the mountains. I think I travelled for five days through the glaciers. So let me return the question, what on earth has prompted you, master, to move to this God-forgotten wasteland, where night lasts for months?”

                          “We’ll get to that, son. First, I need to make sure your body is fine, or you will be of no use to me.” Flamel gave him a high-class smirk only a veritable genius, or someone who considers themselves one, could deliver. “Tell me, how do you feel? Can you move your fingers and toes?”

                          Armand’s hands and feet felt dry as parchment, but he felt no pain. To his relief, they also seemed to respond to his will.

                          “I think I’ll live…”

                          “Good. Then stop bumming around and come to dine! You need to gain some weight to endure our work.”


                          A little time later both alchemists, the young (now dressed) and the old, were finishing a simple but refreshing meal that mostly consisted of venison and bread. It had been brought by a local woman, with dark hair and Alpine features; she was rather good-looking, but didn’t say a word to answer Armand’s attempts at a conversation. He wasn’t even sure she understood French.

                          “So”, said Nicolas Flamel sipping his wine, “you decided to join me after all. I must admit that’s a little surprising. I considered you not the type to abandon luxuries just for pure knowledge.”

                          “Sir, how can you say that! When I received your letter, I wouldn’t think of not coming here to work with you. I am so honoured, and your reputation -”

                          “Ah, so it had nothing to do with you falling from the grace of Lord of Toulouse?”

                          “Absolutely nothing, master!”

                          Uncharacteristically for him, Flamel burst into laugh. It was dry and a little unsettling, but also seemed almost miraculous.

                          “All right, all right. We all have our own circumstances.” He emptied his goblet in one gulp. “What matters is that you are here.”

                          Armand decided to get straight back to his question. “Speaking of circumstances, why have you moved your workshop to this old tower in the midst of frozen hell? Surely you would be more comfortable in Rouen, or indeed any other place in the Kingdom?”

                          “Well, there are reasons for this. My research is of an, um, delicate nature. Here few people can learn about it and even less could be hurt because of it. It’s hard to find this place and it is well guarded by the Alpines. Also, the King himself agrees with my reasoning.”

                          “…oh. So it must be something… pretty important.”

                          Flamel stood up energetically, uncharacteristically for his age. “Come! I will show you my work. From now on, it will be your work too. It is crucial that you understand the stakes here.”

                          Intrigued, Armand quickly drained his own goblet and followed his former – or new – master back into the dungeons. It was a different wing though, one protected with thaumaturgic signs and a quite ordinary, but very sturdy iron door, and even several mechanical traps laid along its length.

                          At the end of the main corridor there was an alchemist’s laboratory. To Armand it was quite familiar; after all, his own workshop was modelled after this one. There was an astrolabe, a set of stone tables explaining how elements relate to each other, some glass equipment to work with liquids and gases, many books on religion and philosophy… There was also a transmutation table, filled with devices and ingredients used in the quest of discovery how to turn lead into gold, the greatest mystery of nature, which Armand had almost paid with his head for. Yup, all familiar.

                          “Look here, my young friend”, said Flamel in a suddenly serious voice. He picked up a marble table laying on the transmutation desk. “Do you recognize this shape?”

                          “Hmm. It looks like on of those impossible forms you forced me to study back in Paris”, Armand mused. “An eight-sided cube, right?”


                          “So… What about it? Why is the King interested in something like this?”

                          “Because I made him interested in it.”

                          “But… how?”

                          “Because I told him it would give our kingdom an immeasurable power.”

                          “What? Why?!”

                          “Because it’s true.”

                          Armand could only look at his master quizzically. Was it any other man, hell! any other alchemist, Armand would think they went senile. But surely not Nicolas Flamel, the greatest mind of the era.

                          The greatest mind of the era nodded with satisfaction. “Yes, I am sure of this. I spent my last decade trying to find a way to improve both matter and soul using a special vessel, an ultra-pure item known as a Philosopher Stone. I’m sure you know all there is to know about it, except this one thing: I actually found it.”

                          Armand felt his knees weakening, so without asking he sat down. Flamel paid it no attention.

                          “You see, what is needed is an enormous amount of power. Reaching out into the Cosmos and using its pneuma to transmute a man cannot be achieved through normal means, no matter how pure you are, because it is forbidden by the very laws of nature. With the Stone, however, it becomes possible, because no law is actually broken! Therefore we can do anything, become anything! …well, potentially.”

                          “And… and you say this form, this eight-sided cube, is the vessel? The Philosopher Stone?”

                          “Precisely. Because it is impossible, it can sidestep our usual limitations and… well, let’s not get blasphemous here. What matters is that it is vital to the Kingdom to complete it before it’s too late.”

                          “I see…”

                          They both fell silent, each of them contemplating the ramifications of what had been said.

                          “Master Flamel?”

                          “Yes, Armand?”

                          “I just remembered the name of this impossible shape.”

                          Armand’s eyes open wider as he uttered the word.

                          “It is called the tesseract.”


                          • Chosokabe Yukki stepped outside of Nagoya Castle. The strong sun reflected in the everlasting snow, making it impossible to look at the scenery without going blind. Or damaging your eyes.
                            „Do you really have to go dad?”, the Feudal Lord heard a childish voice behind him. He turned away from the landscape at looked back at his son, and the castle behind.
                            „It won’t take long Hyouden. Don’t be a crybaby” he replied coldly.
                            „Yes, father”, his kid got serious momentarily. He knew, if his father was serious, so he had to.
                            Yukki looked at his Royal Guards, and signaled to begin the travel. Shogun asked all Daimyo to arrive. He had to go.

                            Just before the castle hid behind the hill, Daimyo took a last glimpse of it. Grey stones, among white snow were like a paradise to the eyes.
                            „Someone have to invent sunglasses really soon” he muttered to himself.

                            „So you are all probably wondering why I have gathered all of you here today.” Nekomimi XVII said. A great hall was full of Daimyo’s – feudal lords governing the Japanese Shogunate. Most powerful people that live in this country. Except him of course. They were looking at their leader with anticipation.
                            „The plans set in motion by my Father are progressing smoothly. Soon we should be able to make a move that the world will recognise! Persian armies will fall before our might!”
                            A murmurs arose between the people. There were rumors saying that the only Nekomimi XVII inherited from his father was his weird side. Rest was as simple as a warrior’s spear. He referred to it pretty often anyway. Also saying things about the Warrior Spirit hitting people in the face.
                            There was only one issue. With such wielder you can’t be sure which side will hit the face – the tip behind or in front. That was the best comment one could make about the wielder. And he loved to sing. With a voice that was never made for such a thing.
                            „Dear Lord! Our recent reports said that Romans are besieged by Russians. They were always our loyal allies. Do you really want to abandon them at such important times?”
                            „I’m Nekomimi and I don’t give a fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck” the Shogun sang. The room instantly went quiet. Whenever it happened, well... one couldn’t say the shlt was getting serious. But weird for sure.
                            „Russians are mysterious like the dark side of the moon” he continued. And by the way Date. Did you just tried to tell me what to do?
                            „No my lord” his Daimyo responded hitting ground with his forehead.
                            „Someone, throw him out of the window. And some arrows afterward. So everyone can actually take a good luck at these fu.cks I gave to this fool”.
                            Chosokabe Yukki looked first at Shogun then at the Date.
                            „This is getting ridiculous”, he thought.

                            „You look really excited today, Hanekawa.”
                            „You’re surprised? Today finally this retarded brother of mine is going to be disposed of” – the girl responded. As a second kid of previous Shogun, and the only one with common sense she had a sense of duty toward nation her father cared about so much.
                            „How did he spawned such retard” she wondered sometimes.
                            „But you know, people won’t accept you as a Shogun. A woman can’t be one. You told everyone that you will consider what to do my lady. Does everything means, you came to a conclusion?” Date Terumune, old war advisor of the previous Shogun asked her. He has forsaken the current ruler, which resulted in an execution order. However respect he has among the soldiers, became a secret shield, which he is using to... straightening the course the country took recently. Nekomimi XVII could think only about parties and conquest. And his shouts about warrior spirit and being a men were as far from being funny as they only could.
                            „Yes, I did. I promised you, that in order to heal this country I will do everything. even if it means becoming a devil or a goddess. And to be honest I plan on becoming the other.
                            „Excuse me?” The old general was taken off guard.
                            „I will claim the throne. Shogun will be no more, and I will become an Empress. A voice of the Gods, which allowed me to win, in order to push Japan toward unimaginable greatness.”
                            „Do you think people will accept that?”
                            „Daimyo are reasonable people. They for sure prefer a reasonable women, then retarded and unreasonable man. And peasants... they may rebel at first, but we should manage it. And after some time, it will be considered obvious. Fools will believe in everything they are told if you repeat it enough times.” She answered. Softly, but with a tone that did not allow any objections. Voice of the rulers. „Is everything ready for our assault?” She continued.
                            „Yes my lady. Whenever you are ready”.

                            Last edited by Eerion; May 7, 2013, 20:09.


                            • Turn 125 report, late because of Apolyton's techincal problems, none the less, not thwarted!

                              A Look at the Changing World
                              The Middle Ages
                              Prepared by the Theban University, Kingdom Year 1400 (750 BC)

                              THE KINGDOM OF EGYPT
                              After years and years of heavy investment in public works, and millions of shekels being spent from the seemingly inexhaustible royal treasury (so much about all this talk about economic crisis), a dozen of new mines have been dug, and many windmills, foundries and manufactures have been erected. Our production of armaments had skyrocketed, and for a good reason - the whole Southern Kingdom is practically besieged by bloodthirsty Indian hordes. While we're below average in terms of population, the rigorous training, superior armor and weapons, as well as thick walls of our well-manned fortresses (including the interlinked system of citadels around Havara, unprecedented in its scale) should be more than enough to repel any would-be agressor.
                              Meanwhile, in Thebes, life is much more peaceful. Despite many contenders, our capitol is still the grandest, wealthiest and most enlightened city in the world. The Great Library, which had been gathering scrolls of knowledge for several millenia now and had grown enormously, allows our scholars an unprecedented reach into places and times far away, and continues to spark inspiration into the minds of the numerous students.
                              In the province, the things do not look so good - Cleopatra's projects have put a heavy strain on the society, and while the sense of an immediate danger had passed, it had been replaced by the general discontent with the Queen who's so unreachable; the public sewer systems and street cleaning corps seem, for some reason, not be enough anymore. There are even wild theories, that, while pursuing the mundane power, we have somehow lost our spirituality. In the provinces blessed with strong and clever Lords, the morale isn't too bad, but in other places, the egyptian common man is less than happy. Here, at the University we can't help but wonder - how can it be so, while the world is undergoing such momentous changes?

                              A typical Egyptian town, small but modern and heavily defended. In the foreground, a Royal Halberdier, the elite force of the Kingdom, clad in famous Egyptian plate armor.

                              THE KINGDOM OF FRANCE
                              After centuries of stable developement, and his recent declaration of The Code of Eight Chivalrous Virtues, King Bonaparte managed to forge France into a perfect Kingdom: strong, enlightened, wealthy, just and peaceful. What may seem strange, the Virtues - Honor, Justice, Compassion, Honesty, Valor, Spirituality, Humility, and finally, Sacrifice - are universally respected by the knighthood, and even the lowly peasants. The Lords rule with Compassion and Justice, the Knights serve with Honor and Valor, not forgetting about the Spirituality, while the common folk understand the need of Humility and Honesty for the betterment of the whole. This unheard-of cultural achievement is, however, only the pinnacle - the French kingdom is something to behold, with well planned and maintained cities (on average, more populous than ours), roads and sea routes. Meanwhile, The University of Paris starts to rival Thebes as a centre of progressive, enlightened thought, their grasp on the esoteric and the mundane is impressive, even if the most radical of Theban thinkers consider the French as overtly traditionalistic and too keen on the mystical.
                              On the political side, King Bonaparte managed, through skillful diplomacy, to build a fort in the middle of the Celtic Passage that separates us from the Celtic Empire. The channel that was dug there allows ships from the east of France into the wide waters of the Spring and Celtic seas; the move, however, failed to protect Indian merchants travelling to France, as both Celts and ourselves have a strong naval presence there and are on a very bad terms with India.

                              A French Scholar-Knight, versed in warfare and philosophy, over the backdrop of the Alps.

                              THE CELTIC EMPIRE
                              In the ancient times, the land of the Celts was the most populous place in the world, and no other land could match the massed manpower their clergy was able to muster to perpetuate ambitious construction projects (not all of them being reasonable). The price they paid was stagnation, and both those edges were slowly lost, pushing their Civilization to below-average levels. But not even stagnation can last forever, and several centuries ago, the coming of Empress Arturia heralded the change. While not everything is well in the Celtic Empire, and they're still lagging in the scientific advancement pretty badly, there are signs of new times coming.
                              One of them is, without doubt, their increasing naval presence, in part forced by Indian and Russian piracy. The Empire is building triremes by the dozen, establishing forts on the southern islands (the area of soppy land and shallow water, commonly known as Doggerland), and some people are saying Empress Arturia is planning something big - maybe as big as an all-out war with India.
                              Then, there is the capitol, Numantia, which more and more resembles Arturia's private palace. With all the wealth concentrated there, and the gladiatorial games held in the local grand Circus, the place is gaining more and more fame with every passing year.

                              The Celtic Imperial Fleet fights the Indians on the waters of the Celtic Sea, near the shores of Doggerland.

                              THE HOLY EMPIRE OF NIPPON
                              Times are changing, and nowhere else it is as visible as in Japan. The Shogunate had fallen, and the nation shifted... the shift looking greater and greater the more you look at it. The mere fact that their new ruler is a woman - for the first time in history - and she titles herself an Empress, wouldn't mean that much in itself, if a more profound change wasn't hidden behind it. The Shoguns were just rulers of a country; the Empress is the voice of the God, guiding, not ruling, her people to some new, yet unknown, heights. The fact is, her vision seems to be on a wholly different level than anything the world had seen before, something grand, looking beyond their immediate borders, who knows - perhaps at the whole world. And this new vigour is felt all across the population, the eagerness and will to break the limitations.
                              Considering the new Nippon Empire is the most populous country in the world, and that their advancement is quickly closing the once-vast gap that separated them from the leading countries, and that their military is growing at an immense pace, the whole world could shake because of that seemingly-small feud that left the insane Shogun Nekomimi XVIII dead and his sister assuming the throne, then quickly looking for a way for the Japanese to accept her rule. Which was to become a virtual Goddess.

                              The panorama of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. In the foreground, a warrior priestess, one of the personal guard to the Empress.

                              THE WARLORD STATES OF INDIA
                              The evil Kingdom of India had finally splintered into loose confederation of city-states and provinces, each ruled by a warlord (a tyrant by any other name), and each conducting their own campaign of terror upon the neighbouring lands. Only the fear of the supreme cruelty of Gandhi keeps those warlords from going at each others' throats, at least most of the time. Immeasurable hordes of Indian brigands keep pushing at the border of the Southern Kingdom, and their ships keep marauding across the Celtic Sea (a threat that had been mostly averted by our strong naval presence there), but recently in the Persian Gulf area as well.
                              While the splintering of India had considerably reduced the threat to our Kingdom - the disparate warlords are unable to conduct a war on a scale like the united India used to, and their troops are of noticeably worse quality - it is still a vast, populous and rich land, and their knowledge of the tools of war is in no way inferior to ours, barring the area of naval warfare. Their recent breakthroughs in the areas of mechanics and manufacturing, fuelled by the war, are not a cause for celebration either.
                              Currently, India is at war with Egypt and Celts, and their relationships with Persia are strenuous at best. The Russians, the French and the Japanese seem to be neutral to them, with the Indian-Japanese relationships getting warmer lately, which is a source of no small concern in some circles of our ruling class.

                              An Indian warrior, skilled, fierce and well-armed, during a skirmish in the Himalayas.

                              When it seemed that the fate of Persia was sealed, a mysterious figure - known only as the 'Prince' - stepped in, and somehow negotiated an armistice with Gandhi in the middle of the great siege of Persepolis. Crazy tales are abound about this man, some say he commands a network of assassins that reaches as far as Delhi, or maybe even Thebes; some even go as far as speculating that splintering of Gandhi's kingdom was due to his careful behind-the-scenes manipulations. With the entire Persia still being in the throes of post-war chaos, fearing another Indian invasion - or maybe, this time, a Japanese one - and the Grand Visier of Persepolis rarely abandoning his palace, this mysterious Prince seems to be the only person with any real power in Persia. One of our scholars managed to actually meet him, only to hear a cryptic sentence: "There will come a day when both Egypt and Japan will be swept away by the sands of time."
                              As far as the civilization advancement goes, Persia is not hopelessly outmatched, having all the essential tenants of a civilization, but such things like scientific method, engineering or even iron working are beyond them.

                              The mysterious ‘Prince’

                              THE REPUBLIC OF ROME
                              While being so tiny of a state that they're often overlooked on the political mosaic of the world, their country small and military insignificant, the Romans have none the less achieved surprising heights of cultural advancement. They have recently overthrown their King and, by popular decree, enacted a Republic, where the rulers are no longer determined by their bloodline, but rather elected by the people; and the people, called 'citizens', have all equal rights and privileges. This is an experiment without precedence in the annals of history, and their Senate, supposedly seated by the best and the brightest, already started discussing the situation of their newly-born state. And they have much to discuss - the great fire in Rome, which erupted during the turbulent times of change left the city but a shadow of its former self; if that wasn't enough, one of the Russian city-states decided to add Roman lands to their holdings and had conquered Antium, one of the most important Roman cities. Will the Republic be able to survive and cherish its freedoms, or will it be squashed by iron-fisted tyrants, only the time will tell.

                              The Roman Senate debating over the hostilities with Russia and new civil liberties.

                              THE OLIGARCHY OF RUSSIA
                              Centuries have passed, and still not much is known about Russia, most information second- or third-hand, coming from the Japanese spies and pirates who harass the south of Russia, just like the Russians harass the east of the Celtic Empire. Due to the vast distances involved, a real war between Russia and either of those states seems extremely unlikely. In part this is also due how inward the Russians are. The wealth of their city-states had grown beyond all measure, but while still very powerful, they've also become stagnant and decadent, like a dream of greatness that lasts thousands of years, unable to keep pace with the changing real world.

                              The City-State of Sevastopol and its mysterious ruler. The city is the home to the fabled Court of Sevastopol, where, it is said, no pleasure or pain is unknown, as well as the Great Pyramid (visible in the background).


                              • It was another sunny day over Nicosia. All days were sunny over Nicosia, the small, pretty village hugging the idyllic beach, even the impressive mountain to the north, that made the bulk of the island of Cyprus not spoiling the sun regardless of the time of the day. Just another perfect day, thought Princess Azuria. The millionth perfect day in this little paradise at the end of nowhere.

                                "Hey, Azuria, I'm back," announced a girl that entered the room, one of her very few friends, or fellow oucasts, depending on the point of view. "Bored again?"

                                "Actually, I was just considering beating my head against the window frame."

                                "Aw come on. Let's do something!"

                                "Like what?"

                                "Um, climb the mountain?"

                                "We did it like, a hundred times already?"

                                "Um, than maybe, play a game?"

                                "I'm always winning, anyways, Lia."

                                "Let's go to the beach then?", with a hint of desperation now.

                                "We're going to the ****ing beach every ****ing daaaay! Grrr." But there was no choice, she had to do something. She looked at the window frame again.

                                Suddenly, there was some commotion at the door.

                                "Princess! An envoy from Her Majesty is here!"

                                "Oh?" It took her only a few seconds to regain her composure. "Yeah, let them in. So..." She adressed the envoy, who looked like a young naval officer of some sort. "What does my big sister require of me this time? Had she suddenly remembered she casted me into this tiny splinter of Hell? Things got so boring in Thebes lately? Or maybe, she wishes to abdicate in my favour, a- ha- ha-" Azuria's laugh was cold and devoid of any cheeriness. "Spit it out already, god damn it!" she frowned.

                                "M-my lady, I-I have this letter..." managed the envoy. The mere fact of being on the same island as Cleopatra's younger sister made even his Captain uneasy for some reason, so he probably shouldn't feel comfortable too. "From h-her Majesty..."

                                "Aw, give me that," she snatched the letter. For a moment, she was considering burning it, along with that officer, maybe, but she was just too bored to ignore an once-in-century event, like Cleopatra actually wanting anything from her. Well, anything else than sit on her ass in this farthest and most remote corner of the whole Kingdom. "She was probably bored and wrote something just to mock me," said Azuria, as her reptile-like eyes were quickly reading the parchment. Then, she suddenly stopped. "Wait. Is this for real?" she looked at the envoy with a gaze that promised a painful death if a wrong answer was given.

                                "A-admiral Tuzalomon is awaiting you onbard the Morningstar, o Princess... A-and if I may..." added the envoy, blushing furiously. "I'd advice ag-against g-going there in your current state of u-undress."

                                Azuria smirked. "Lia, tell my servants to start packing up."


                                That evening, when Princess Azuria boarded one of three Morningstars, crowding in the tiny Nicosian harbour, she looked like a very different person, radiating an aura of fear and authority. She was wearing a perfect-fit Royal Navy uniform now.

                                "By the order of Her Majesty, Queen Cleopatra," read Admiral Tuzalomon aloud, "With the day my fleet reaches Nicosia, which is today, 17 June of the Year 1488, Princess Azuria is granted the title of Admiral and the command of the fleet, with the orders to patrol the South Sea..."

                                "So this means I am your boss now. Allright." Azuria glanced around the impressive ship. "Make sure the flamthrowers are at full capacity and the deck is spotless. The first sailor who is found bumming around is to be publicly beheaded."

                                "But Princess..."

                                "Patrol duty, you say... I feel like burning something." she took a deep breath.

                                Set the course... for the Indian mainland.
                                Last edited by Max_Smirnov; April 26, 2013, 19:26.