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Found 74 results

  1. While one half of Eslandola's New Haven Sea expedition was establishing a base on Maldria, the other half of the expedition has returned to island #1 to establish a trading post. The trading post is the first property in the new settlement of Chiquita. It will serve as a focal point for harvesting bananas and breadfruit, and for continuing to develop the friendly relationship with the island's blind, tree-dwelling natives. Wait, what was that? Did you see something? Never mind. There's nothing here. The settlers might need some time to adjust to how the natives get around. ----- This MOC first appeared in my AMRCA thread, but I re-posted it here for licensing purposes, and it also allowed me to include more pictures. All C&C welcome.
  2. Settlement Name: Chiquita Ownership: MCTC Location: New Haven Sea, Island #1 Mayor: TBD Size: Hamlet Who can own property in Chiquita: Anyone, from any faction. Who can freebuild in Chiquita: Anyone, from any faction. Fortifications: none. Troops: As of Nov. 5, 619, one company (30 men) of MCTC troops. Please post a link to any free-builds that take place in Chiquita in this thread. Island map:
  3. Word skittered through Fuerte Unido that an adventure opportunity was on hand. Willem Guilder, director of the Merchants Colonial Trading Company, had been meeting with two ship captains that had reportedly returned from the New Haven Sea. Now the call had gone out for volunteers to join the MCTC militia as an expedition was forming. Militias tend to get a bad reputation for being of lesser quality than faction troops. As fighting men, the Eslandian militias can stand with anyone. But, if you're looking for rows of men in gleaming green uniforms marching in unison through the town square, then you've come to the wrong place. The men that assembled on the quay, ready to embark on adventure, were an unorganized assortment. Some were experienced veterans, others were new recruits; some wore helmets, others wore hats; some had full gear, some had barely a musket; some focused on the task at hand, while others were more concerned with the lovely ladies of Fuerte Unido. Sergeant de la Rosa was amazed that one of his new recruits didn't fall backwards into the bay! But he finally got their attention and somewhat organized. He would have his work cut out for him. when they reached their destination. A couple more views of the scene: -------------- OOC: A small (and quick) build for the purpose of raising a company of troops in Fuerte Unido, destined for a new settlement in the New Haven Sea. All C&C welcome.
  4. The people of northern Halos are accustomed to seeing windmills of various types across the continent and in their island colonies. But many have not seen the type built by the natives of Ferro Azure. Instead of the familiar blades spinning on a horizontal axis, which use gears to transfer the rotational power to a vertical shaft, the windmills built by these island people use paddles to catch the wind attached directly to the vertical shaft. Walls around the paddles help channel the wind so that it only hits on one side of the axis. Otherwise, they would work against themselves and would not spin. The mill seen here, near Eslandola's colonial settlement of Salida Este, shows wear from years of use. The bright yellow paint is worn away in places, and some of the indigo plants that grow naturally on the island can be seen around the paths. Here the miller's wife greets one of her friends, whose son carries a basket of grain on his head. The miller will grind flour for many families, and store the final product in barrels and sacks under the steps on the side of the mill. Here one his helpers is storing a new barrel. A customer has come to pick up his sack of flour. He looks upset, but it is only because his son did not come to help him retrieve it. Some more pics of the build: To be licensed as a medium factory. --- I had been looking for a different kind of windmill to build and discovered this design. My build would have been better if the paddles were more delicate, made of reeds or such instead of planks, but I'm still happy with how it came out. All C&C welcome.
  5. Some of the natives of Ferro Azure have developed a very entrepreneurial spirit, in keeping with their Eslandolan friends. Here in the New Town sector of Salida Este is a boardinghouse owned and operated by a native family. Hasan is the family patriarch. He spends much of his day sitting on his bench, greeting passersby and providing a low-key pitch for his boardinghouse. His daughter Natalena makes sure everything is in order in the boardinghouse, including cleaning of common areas and cooking meals. Here she has taken a break from her chores to say hello to a passing town guardsman. We also see one of the boarders heading out for the day. Hasan’s son, Budi, is helping his sister with the garden, and is picking vegetables for dinner. Hasan hopes his son will find a paying job with the Eslandolans to provide more income for the family. Here’s another look at the boardinghouse. To be licensed as a medium artisan. All C&C welcome.
  6. Wild Creek is a small river a little outside Salida Este. Its rather turbulent waters and at some parts rather flat and wide banks make for a fertile land around it. Most of that land is not used by large agricultural enterprises, like for example Fontonajo's Cotton Island, but by small individual farmers who plant maize here, carrots over there, oats on the left side and cabbage on the right side. Most of this farmland originates from the early settlement phase, where pioneers were attracted to the island, built a small hut, and while the men were trying to change the world, the women planted the fields. However while Salida Este has become a vivid town and center of commerce, the farmland was all that lasted from the pioneers' work. I played around a bit with editing and like the result. Here is a picture of the MOC in its full 32x32 fooprint without rain and clouds. I will license it as a small plantation in Salida Este. Thanks a lot to @Capt Wolf and @Kai NRG for your feedback regarding my WIPs - which helped a lot to fix all the small issues the early versions had. It is a pleasure to collaborate with you!
  7. The architecture of Salida Este's New Town turned out to be quite different from the rest of the Eslandolan Colonies. In general, the people on Ferro Azure preferred to deviate. And deviation may either make you seem weird, or will make you set trends. The innovative headwear, especially turbans, will most likely soon make its way to the other islands. At least that is what the hatmakers of Salida Este hope for. The dreamy and picturesque appearance of the town has attracted some artists as well. Like Maejo Degunado and his wife, who have spent their fortune on their small house, where the dome roof does not only serve as decoration, but also as their bedroom.
  8. Not all the development in Salida Este is happening in "New Town" -- the increased activity is having an effect all over town. Outside the new city gate, Suharto, a native craftsman, has set up shop. Soldiers stationed on Ferro Azure for the past couple of years have discovered the skills of some of the locals smiths. Suharto has had a steady flow of Eslandolan soldiers to his smithy seeking his sword-making skills. Now Suharto has set up shop near the new city gate to be closer to his customers. Here we see another happy customer admiring his new sword. Suharto's pet, Tiger, also appears to be admiring his handiwork (or maybe he's just dreaming of what he'd do if he were a "big" cat ). --- A small artisan for Salida Este. All C&C welcome.
  9. In Salida Este New Town, MCTC has established a Colonial Headquarter - a center of commercial activities, political influence and also just for the mere administrative aspects of being the one of the richest Trading Companies in the New World. The scene shows two native women of Ferro Azure carrying some of their goods in barrels, three members of the dragonguard of Salida Este, a rich gentleman going to enter the MCTC building, and one of the scribes taking a break on the balcony.
  10. The flourishing "New Town" of Salida Este on Ferro Azure has become a frequented place. Merchants from far away meet local tradesmen and the island's natives. A central place for the exchange of goods is the City Gate. The dome towers can be seen from far away, shining bright in sunlight. And while the City Wall would surely not be able to fend off siegeweapons, it is more than sufficient to keep those lousy pirates or wild animals out of town. At the small well locals meet to exchange the latest news. Mostly about trading opportunities, but also just random rumours about the chieftains daughter or the harbourmaster's gout. The "Gate Guards", recognisable by their yellow capes and the fancydecorative feathers, collect the entrance tolls. The capeless "Trade Sherrifs" with their simplistic red plumelets, paid by MCTC, ensure safe and lawful trade in Salida Este. The natives often bring their harvest to exchange it for other goods in town - and while their ox-drawn carts do not live up to modern standards, they do what they are supposed to do. And being Eslandolans, it is no surprise to see the first merchants sell their acquired goods right there at the gate. Welcome to Salida Este, one of the most flourishing Eslandolan Towns in the New World.
  11. Although many think of Salida Este as a frontier town, expanding MCTC commerce has begun to convert the tiny settlement into a wealthy metropolis. Middle-class Eslandians, staking their savings on one bold venture, have moved in and are establishing not only a center of business, but a city with a culture all its own. The Hillier family, just recently arrived in Salida Este, are happy to move into their new house in time for the holidays. A reckless sea captain turned sensible merchant with a handy ability to do almost any work, Mr. Hillier is confident of his ability to succeed in this new world. Mr. Hillier Sr. goes where his son goes, happy anywhere he can bring his library. Miss Hillier's correspondence was well known for the beauty of its calligraphy and the vacuity of its content in the old world, and Salida Este correspondents are finding her no less devoid of solecisms and originality. Long time butler, man servant, and jack-of-all-trades to the family, Aryan finds that the toughest part of the rough new life falls on him. Mrs. Hillier may have been second rank (possibly third or fourth) back in Eslandola, but here in the colonies, she has a reputation to maintain and maintain it she will, with the aid of Pussy-dinkum. Cutler Hillier - or buddy as he is better known - is one of the most accomplished jokers this side of Gotham. Watch yourself and your possessions carefully if he's within three miles! This is my first build for the "new" Salida Este - hope you enjoy it! I had a great time trying out some new color combinations. Putting my new stash of cool green to use was an amazing feeling. C&C welcome!
  12. The MCTC settlement of Salida Este on the island of Ferro Azure had grown at a leisurely pace over its first couple of years. Now the time had come for the Merchants Colonial Trading Company to develop their underutilized gem of the Azure Sea. The "old town" of Salida Este was a hodge-podge of rustic, individualistic properties, but the MCTC wanted to build a focal point for the settlement, a "new town" sector that could serve as a hub for growth into the future, both on the island and beyond to the islands to the east. The first step was to build a colonial headquarters. Amazingly, in spite of the growth of other MCTC settlements in the islands such as Bardo and especially Weelond, the MCTC's only HQ was still in the Old World. The next step was to take advantage of what development had already occurred on Ferro Azure. There was already a large cotton plantation, and a large dye factory had been built to process the indigo that grows naturally on the island. These resources were perfect for one of the economic strengths of the MCTC: textiles. And so this led to the construction of a large textile factory in Salida Este's "new town" sector. As you can see, Eslandians and indigenous people work together in various roles in the factory. Here are workers unloading cotton bales as a floor manager looks on: Other supplies are unloaded as well, but the shift foreman appears to be upset about something again! The factory machinery is powered by a waterwheel: The "undershot" style does not produce as much power as an overshot wheel (where the water pours over the top of the wheel), but it still produces enough power for the factory. The cotton is spun into spools of thread: After the thread is dyed, the looms weave it into cloth: Here a young local woman waits for her boyfriend's shift to end. A few more pics: Thanks for looking. All C&C welcome.
  13. The latest addition to the MCTC merchant fleet: the carrack Eslandita. Here's a quick look around her. The characteristic high forecastle and bowsprit: The crewmen handling this cargo are glad to be out in the open, away from the low clearance below decks: Sailors scale the rigging of the mainmast: The carrack has a tall superstructure fore and aft: A bird's eye view: From the stern quarter: Additional images: Similar to my Hidalga, but with a black-on-brown hull and more of those shield-like teeth pieces. I also approached construction of the bow a bit differently, and went with a more decorative approach for the stern windows. All C&C welcome.
  14. Somehow, Eslandola's Willem Guilder had still not departed King's Harbour after travelling there for the Great Ball, and was becoming quite adept at conducting business while travelling. Last month he spent much time with his predecessor as Admius Legistrad of the Colonial Council, Román Fontonajo. Today finds Guilder sending off another set of dispatches. "See to it that this gets to the master of our shipyard. The MCTC is commissioning a sistership of the Piece of Eight," Guilder told his courier. "Yessir," the courier replied. "And might I say, sir, the Piece of Eight was a fine ship. One of the fastest on the seas. A sistership to her will be a fine addition to the MCTC fleet." "My thoughts exactly, Eduard. Now, off with you!" And the courier hurried away, dispatch in hand. --- Just a little build for the sistershipping requirement, and a chance to use my copy of the hall for the Great Ball that I never used at the time.
  15. A little to the northwest of Salida Este on Ferro Azure lies a small island. Geographically it belongs to Ferro Azure, and the island is not really worth mentioning. Below that island lies an even smaller island, which they call the “Cotton Island”. That tiny island is owned by no other than the Fontonajo family, who made the once jungle-covered island arable and are growing and selling their cotton, solidifying the MCTC monopoly on that resource. Some patches of jungle still show what the island once looked like. In the middle of the island a small creek springs. The spring supplies the whole island through an irrigation system that Fontonajo’s men have developed. Cotton is a thirsty plant. Many workers irrigate and harvest the cotton, storing it in big boxes at the wooden warehouse on the beach. Some workers are currently removing the last parts of jungle on the eastern coast of the island, to enlarge the arable land, so even more cotton can be planted. When Don Isaac Montoya heard of the plans to destroy even more of the beautiful and original vegetation of the island, he feared for the further existence of plants and animals that might else be unknown to the world. Fontonajo granted permission to members of the Royal Society of Natural Philosophy to come to the island and preserve the wildlife. James Firming from Corrington, a well-known butterfly-catcher in the colonies, is currently hunting some of the beautiful butterflies on the “Cotton Island”. Marko big behind is the Custodian of the island, though he prefers to call himself Harbourmaster. Right now he is greeting Alvaro Bastici, owner of a textile factory in Salida Este, a regular visitor to the “Cotton Island”. Bastici usually visits the island on his small sloop to manually select the best cotton for his factory. On the northwestern shore, which the workers call the “Long Coconut Beach”, some coconut palms still stand, and sure profit can be made from harvesting and selling those as well. Marcho, a tanned guy with curly hair, who surely has some ancestors from more southern lands than Eslandola, is a trained palmtree-climber. On the northern edge stands a small watchtower to guard the island from intruders. Or at least spot them. Sure, if a real raid from Mardier was to come, the one guard most likely would not stand a chance, but if some lousy buccaneers were to come by, the people on the island know how to defend their cotton. Will license this as a "Royal Plantation". Studcount: 158x118 = 18.664 > 16.384 = 128x128. Some more pictures can be found in this flickr album. If you want to see a close-up of something else, just let me know.
  16. "How's the work going on that old galleon? Have 'er ready yet?" "See for yourself. She's out of dry dock, just loading equipment and getting her ready to sail." "Why are they bringing her back into service anyway?" "Ah, the MCTC lost the Prince Fernando two months ago. You know, when we had all those bad storms. This ol' mistress of the sea is from the same class, so they're refitting her to replace it." ------ Just a small build to sistership the Prince Fernando.
  17. Capt Wolf

    Paperwork foul up

    Willem Guilder couldn't believe it. More paperwork! He thought he had everything sorted out for the MCTC's additional ships and for his own accounts. "Get van der Meede to meet me at the warehouse. And bring the paperwork!" yelled Guilder to an assistant. "That warehouse manager has mucked things up!" Guilder grabbed his walking stick and hurried down to the warehouse district. "Gov'ner, back so soon?" said the warehouse manager. "You wuz just down here the other day. I got the warehouse prepped just the way you wanted." "Don't 'Guv'ner' me. The paperwork you sent has all the cargo assignments in my name! The dock master can't tell what are MCTC cargoes and what are mine." Just then Aaron van der Meede arrived with paperwork from the dock master, desperately trying to get things in order as Guilder continued. "Look, there are different forms for the cargoes from MCTC ships." Guilder motioned to van der Meede without looking at him. "And use these other forms for shipments from my personal ships." Aaron continued to struggle to organize the papers. "What could be easier. Now get it straight!" And with that Guilder hobbled back to his office, leaving van der Meede and the warehouse manager to sort out what was what between Guilder's personal account and the MCTC accounts. --- This corrects my error of using only one build to illustrate both my purchase of extra ship levels and the MCTC purchase of ship levels. Now there are two builds.
  18. The warehouse manager was surprised to see Gov. Willem Guilder, director of the Merchants Colonial Trading Company, walk in in the middle of the afternoon. "G'day, gov'nor. What brings you down dockside?" The warehouse manager's accent sounded out of place to Guider, but he ignored it and pressed on with his business. "I'm here to make sure we have proper warehouse space allocated for the coming trade season. The winds are fair at this time, and our trade ships will be busy." Guilder looked around the warehouse and motioned with his walking stick. "That space over there will be needed. We've added ships to our roster. And make sure the outgoing cargoes are logged properly..." The warehouse manager tried to keep track of everything Guilder said, but frankly he was just glad he hadn't been napping when the governor walked in. "And make sure you keep the schedules updated properly. The Lady of Madrice is back in service; I don't want her overlooked..." The Lady of Madrice? Didn't that ship sink? thought the manager. Then again, the ol' Wench seemed to have nine lives. "OK, do you have all that?" The warehouse manager shook his head. "Yessir, gov'ner!" "Very well, get to it" said Guilder as he turned to leave. The manager scratched his head. Now what was he saying about that space over there? ... --- Just a little build for the MCTC and Guilder to purchase some extra ship levels.
  19. Hojaroja, Otoño, the Prio Seas, March 617 HojarojaEp1_1 by Phadeout, on Flickr Alejandro felt the rowboat jar against the sands and come to a halt. He could see the Eslandian soldiers waiting on the beach, the commanding officer looking put out but well-presented and his men equally well turned out and alert. With Nacho he disembarked and walked through the sands towards them, seeing the letter in the officer’s hand and knowing that the orders had arrived before him. The officer would be unsettled, knowing that a civilian had effectively taken over the operations on Otoño, as Hojaroja, the only settlement of any size at all, and the scattered holdings on the island had previously been under a form of martial law due to the strong local Mardier presence. The MCTC had been resolute though, it was time for a sign that Eslandola wasn’t in going to sit back in the Prio seas, they were looking to expand their influence, the reports of unusual, and therefore hopefully precious minerals in the soil would be invaluable for the war effort and, as long as the troops could protect the settlement, Hojaroja could become a thorn in the side of the Mardier war machine, forcing them to engage another threat and spreading themselves thinner and thinner again. HojarojaEp1_2 by Phadeout, on Flickr Alejandro paused in front of the officer who cleared his throat, and with an almost imperceptible nod of the head said “Don de la Calle, Otoño and Hojaroja are honoured to have you here to assume governance of the settlement, I am Capitan Henrique Velasquez and am at your service, and I trust your journey was satisfactory.” “The journey was fine, I understand however the reason for me rowing ashore from a mile out is because you were concerned about the possibility of a Mardier assassin attempting to remove me from my role before I had even begun. Is the island so unsafe?” “We had received intelligence that an attempt was being planned, we used a decoy on El Heraldo de Oro and we succeeded in flushing out the agent, he will be interrogated and we hope to gain information about Mardier plans in the area and also how they knew of your arrival so far in advance. Rest assured that your safety is of paramount importance to us.” Velasquez turns to his aide saying “Escort Don de la Calle to his residence and make sure he has everything he needs I will return to the fort and try to get some answers from our new friend from Mardier.” “Lead on, Lieutenant, it has been a long day and I think I will save the full tour for the morning.” With that Alejandro and Nacho followed the soldier through the tree line and on to Hojaroja.
  20. Kai NRG

    MCS Filo Morado

    MCS stands for Merchant's Colonial Ship. Presenting the Filo Morado , by far the largest ship I've ever built! What I like most about this ship was that it only took me a week to build. Despite the front curve, this was a lot easier and a lot sturdier to build than it might look! Third mate enjoyes smoking a pipe on break time. The Captain of the Filo Morado has a very curious practice when it comes to punishing refractory crew members... he dresses them up in Oleonese costume, chains a cannon ball to their leg, and then makes them swab the deck. The Oleon ambassador to Eslandola suspects that occasionally the unfortunate individual thus "punished" is actually an Oleonese prisoner, but he's never been able to prove anything! The cook cleans fish over the side. Credit for the lantern design to W. Navarre. Glad to be back with another BoBS build! C&C appreciated, and thanks for checking her out! I'd like to upgrade this to a 6F whenever that's available, so I'm stating my intentions here as per the Naval Court rules.
  21. Around seven miles east of Nova Terreli a small ridge called the Terreli Hills rises to a height of approximately 300 metres. At their foothills Román Fontonajo owns a huge part of the lands. Young men from the old world come over to make a fortune, start their own lives and bring their families soon after. One of these men is Dilano Guerva from Terreli in the old world. He is running a medium cotton plantation in the area. On Fontonajo's land of course, and as Fontonajo's business partner. The deal is simple: The price for cotton is set, slightly below market average, yet more than enough to make some good profit - because after all Dilano has to pay neither for the small house nor for the land he farms. And of course Fontonajo knows the best ways to use the cotton for further profit. Win-win. It will only be a year or two until Dilano will have saved enough money to bring his wive and two young boys to the new world, and maybe buy some land of their own, or make a new deal with Fontonajo.
  22. The Merchant’s Colonial Trading Company is always looking to expand its trade connections, and establishing partnerships with other colonial powers in the islands is good for business. As Eslandolan governor of An Holli and a regional director of the MCTC, Willem Guilder reached out to Major Dirk Allcock, Corrington’s military governor of Alicentia and a member of the Royal Society of Natural Philosophy, to see where their interests might meet. After a short correspondence during the summer, an agreement was reached. Major Allcock dispatched a man to Weelond to establish an educational facility, and the “Red School” (as the locals call it) was operational in August of 616. At the same time, Governor Guilder dispatched Gerrit Leydecker to Alicentia to establish an MCTC office and warehouse facility in Mooreton Bay. A suitable property near the docks was secured, and as of the end of October of 616, the MCTC warehouse is up and running. Construction is of local materials, but the design is clearly typical of structures found in Weelond. Residents of Mooreton Bay find the Eslandolan design somewhat peculiar, with green double doors on the second floor with no balcony! A small footprint makes financial sense, packing more storage space into a smaller area, and MCTC workers simply hoist barrels and crates up to the second floor loading doors. One of the local militia comes by to see what all the activity is about. Leydecker is still getting settled into his office space on the third floor of the warehouse. He will definitely need more space for shipping records, but he has enough to conduct business. Some additional pics: This will be licensed as a small commerce property. As always, all C&C welcome.
  23. Explanations: * MOC and storyline are to be considered 100% IC * The MOC shows Don Isaac Montoya from Corrington (Bregir) visiting Román Esteban Fontonajo from Eslandola (Elostirion) in his new palace on Nellisa * The conversation below has been developed together from Bregir and myself. HUGE THANKS to Bregir for your massive help! Bregir's part in dark red, mine in dark green. * I have requested a charter for the grand residence ("Viceroy's Palace"), Eslandolan leadership is discussing it * Montario is a rather new settlement, between Nova Terreli and Pontelli, at the north of the island, few miles from the coast "My warmest words of welcome, Don Montoya. Welcome to the Fontonajo residence here in Montario, on Nellisa, the pride of Eslandola in Terra Nova. Such a pleasure to finally meet you in person." Montoya bowed deeply before his host, while swinging off his hat in a respectful greeting. "Don Fontonajo, I assure you, the pleasure is all on my side! I was honoured and humbled when I received your most gracious invitation. Who would have figured that one of the most influential people of New Terra would wish to invite a simple naturalist like myself to visit his very home, here, in the Jewel of the Prio Sea." "There is much which I wish to discuss with you, but first, tell me what prompted you to bestow me with the honour of an invitation." A slight smile played around Fontonajo's lips when he replied. "Aren't we all simple men, in our own way? Isn't influence only what other people see in us, what trust they give us? With that in mind I am quite confident, my dear Don Montoya, that I am currently talking to one of the most influential men in Corrington. Maybe that's why you have come here, maybe it's not. You've had safe travels on your journey here?" Montoya waved his hands before him as if protesting the compliment. "I am less off a marine animal than you might suspect, and the seas were rather stormy, but apart from a slight seasickness, I have made it in one piece. And I even laid eyes on the pelican! What a marvellous bird!" Recollecting himself, he continued: "But I forget myself. You have not asked me here to talk of birds, and neither is that why I came..." "We heard rumours of a Military coup here, although they were unconfirmed. I trust you came through unscathed?" Pausing a second, eyeing Fontonajo, he asked the question most on his mind. "My sources suggested you were in fact the very man behind the coup?.." Fontonajo thought for some seconds before he replied: "Let me ask you a question, before I answer yours: What do you assume will happen to a colony without any type of leadership?" Raising a brow, Montoya replied. "I believe that men must be allowed to govern themselves, without being subject to the rule of force. But of course, I am no anarchist, and believe in the rule of law..." "I suppose we go inside and continue our conversation while I lead you around the place?" Fontonajo waved his hand, inviting Montoya to join him. "Belief in the rule of law, you say... And I agree with you. The palace of the old world is far away. That's why Fernando Augusto established a viceroy in the first place. The viceroy however... Yes, I do appreciate Renato, a lot to be honest, but he was not the man up to the task of governing the colonies. I assume his thirst for adventure got the upper hand of him once more." Fontonajo sighed. "After he had left the city I was the only one to uphold Eslandolan values and order in Nova Terreli. People looked up to me, they even expected me to rule. Like it was a natural thing. We did in fact witness a slight increase in crimes in the city, on the island as a whole actually. But my measures were take to prevent worse things from happening. I was afraid the colonies might fall into anarchy, and thus I decided to act early. I showed the people that this is still an Eslandolan colony, that there is still order in here, and that Nellisa is still being rightfully ruled by Eslandola." Fontonajo made a brief pause before he continued. "So... Were I the man behind the actions? Sure I was! Did I profit from it in the end? Sure I did! Did I do it for the profit? No, I didn't! Do I agree it was military coup? No, I won't!" Listening carefully, Montoya pondered for a moment, following Fontonajo's directions. "The line between a coup to gain power and an intervention to prevent anarchy and chaos is a thin and wavy one, and hard to navigate for even the best of men. But judging by what I have seen in this colony, what I have learned of the situation, and what you have told me, I believe you have done so successfully. I can only offer the humble advice that you must keep this balance close at heart, not to let the corruption of power get to you..." Sending a respectful nod and smiling, he looked around and changed the subject. "A most marvellous palace, fit for a governor, if not a viceroy! Surely, Nellisa must be the pride of the Empire!" "I hope so. It's our only colony with more than one major settlement. But believe me, I have plans!" Honest enthusiasm played around Fontonajo's eyes as he continued. "Nellisa must be more than those two towns to be what it is supposed to be: The backbone of New Eslandola. As governor I plan for the island as a whole. First I will support the growth of the smaller villages all around. Nova Terreli and Pontelli are places of commerce, but all the sailors, merchants and of course the people working in town need to eat something. And I plan on expanding the infrastructure. The road from Nova Terreli to Pontelli really needs some improvements, as you might have noticed. And the jungle in the middle of the island is still mostly unknown to us. I will change that. My uncle is already eager to write down every little secret the Nelissan forest holds, make this knowledge accessible to the world. Improving the world is our responsibility, after all, I am sure you agree? Ah, and you would be so welcome to join our efforts exploring the jungle when time's right. And of course there is Montario, right here, my seat as governor. Yes, Montario will definitely become a jewel of New Terra, a center of diplomacy, also of art and culture, of science and knowledge." "Fascinating, my dear sir. I am quite convinced my old friend, Captain Jonathan Cooke, would be most interested in discussing the planning aspects of the colony with you! He is himself the military governor of the Southern Isles, and has many plans for its development. Somewhat obsessed with creating the "ideal city" I think you will find his views on urban planning, defence, and governance quite fascinating! I shall suggest him to seek your acquaintance when I next see him, if you would like." Turning to the next subject, his eyes lid up. "Your uncle is a naturalist? I should very much like to meet him, and perhaps invite him to speak for the Royal Society of Natural Philosophy! Unfortunately, the quest for knowledge is often foregone in the quest for military, political and economic power... I do agree that it is our charge to expand our understanding of the world, and further, to ensure that that knowledge is distributed widely amongst our peers. And I very much applaud your vision for Nellisa in general, and Montario in particular. Too many of the colonies of New Terra are devoid of the finer arts. Should you allow us, I am certain the Royal Society will be interested in adding our humble vision to yours." After a short pause, he interjected. "I only worry that such a beacon of wisdom and enlightenment will be exclusive, reserving the finer arts for the aristocracy. I believe in the education of all..." "You do have a point here. Education should indeed be for all. Maybe my motivation is a bit more... monetarily driven. But you are quite right. And I am confident that there have to be solutions. Why not have a school for talented kids from all over the island, where they can live and learn, whether they are poor or rich? Or have some large carriages bringing people to Montario for a day, just so that they can gain knowledge. Or bring the scholars to the cities? There will surely be ways, and I am happy to invite Royal Society o help me with that massive task!" The two men entered Fontonajo's newly built palace. In the entry hall two guards were waiting, and a the receptionist had a heaty discussion with a boy. "My nephew. Spoiled kid", he whispered, when they turned right and started their tour around the house. Montoya smiled and nodded enthusiastically. "I must applaud you for your ingenuity! It is initiatives like those that leads to progress for all, and might I add, to prosperity too! I see no reason to expect that the next Galilego or Archimebricks is necessarily born to inherited privilege, so equality in knowledge is a prerequisite to tap into the intellectual potential of our nations," he said with great conviction. "Hence, the Royal Society works towards free universal education, and access to higher learning based on skills and efforts, rather than birth." Chuckling inwardly, he added: "In those young mischievous troublemakers lie the future of our world! Does he attend his schooling? I know it can be hard here in the colonies..." "Yes, that's not the problem. His father believes that children will at some point learn what is right and wrong by their own experience, so we won't have to tell them. But this does not work out." As Fontonajo showed Montoya around the sleeping rooms of his mother, his uncle and the two boys (his nephew and his own youngest son) in the lower floor of the right wing of the palace, he continued with another topic. "When I heard news about the distribution of the new islands, I quickly realised that Corrington had claimed Celestia and Cascadia, the two largest islands. May I have the audacity to ask you about the reasoning of your nation? I couldn't hinder but notice those two were by far the largest islands in the archipalego. Was it sheer size that directed your decisions? Oh, and before you ask: Yes, I did indeed start a small campaign, unsucessful though I have to admit, for Eslandola to claim the Island of Flowers." Much impressed by the grandeur of the palace, Montoya followed closely, listening attentively to his host. "Well, señor, I cannot speak for my peers, for as you know, the Crown of Corrington is advised by a Royal Parliament, and all are heard in these matters. However, I assure you, size is unimportant in this decision. For my part, these islands are mainly chosen for their scientific interest. The marvellous jungles of Cascadia, and its large felines; Celestia and its orchids and medicinal plants, not to mention its vanilla; and lastly Garma's Key, with its crabs and coral reefs. Certainly, the opportunity for a concentrated, defensible and well-organised colony has surely been a consideration for the more tacticly minded of my peers." Smiling, he added: "I too found the rumours of the Island of Flowers most intriguing, and hope to visit it in a scientific capacity..." "But I let my mind wander, and that in the company of such an important man," he said with a bow. "Pardon me for moving on... What news of the treasure fleet? I have myself just departed a vessel that retook one of the treasure galleons... it seems its secrets were sadly public?" While they just left the rooms of the upper floor of the right wing, where Fontonajo's brother Rialto and his wife had obviously just woken up, anger appeared on his face for a second. He regained control soon after, as they went downstairs again. "Yes, I have heard about that. Thanks for your gesture of loyalty towards Eslandola, my friend. I couldn't hinder but notice that our joint venture, the Justicia, had some great success on the seas in the past weeks. As the by far more famous naval commander I'd like to hear your opinion on how you think we should proceed?" Arching a brow, Montoya took mental note of Fontonajo's evasion of topics, and said with a chuckle: "Oh nay, you misunderstand. I am by no means a naval commander, and most certainly not a famous one. But I am lucky enough to be associated with one who appears to be the very image of the ideal of the Royal Navy. On the waves, I am but a lowly surgeon, but Cooke... When he steps onto his quarterdeck, he appears to take up a perfectly herculean appearance! And he has been singularly successful in sinking, burning and taking anything flying the flags of our enemies." Recalling the recent events, he continued: "In this recent battle, he led the horrible old Ironsides in between a much larger privateering frigate and its galleon prize in a stroke of what I am told was absolute naval genius, taking the privateers aback and making them surrender almost by his pure presence alone. Although I have come to understand that some gunfire was involved, the more experienced sea dogs ensure me that that was of little consequence compared to the bravery of our captain and crew!" "As to business, I let my man of business manage my estate, as I have little mind for it, but I do understand that McLeod too has proven a capable and effective commander in the Justitia." Montoya dismissed this subject with a wave of his hand. "But I am much more concerned with the ease of which the information of your treasure fleet was spilled... It almost led me to lose a good friend in Major Allcock, a fellow of the Royal Society!" "I am so sorry to hear that! What happened? I hope he is all well again?" They had followed a girl, carrying a teapot into another room. A saxophone could be heard, but stopped as the door opened. "Come on in, my dear, join us", they heard an old man's voice. Fontonajo invited Montoya into the room. In one corner an exotic young girl, quite obviously one of New Terra's natives, played music. On the other side sat an old man, drinking some tea, inviting the small girl with the teapot to join the two. "Oh quite, and well on his way to a medal for bravery, I believe! Yet it was still a risk imposed by a lack of discretion on the part of your Empire..." "Sorry to interrupt you, my loved ones. May I introduce to you Don Isaac Montoya, our most noble guest from Corrington? And here are my uncle Raphael", Fontonajo waved his hand at the old man, who replied with a warmhearted smile. "And over there, playing the most lovely music, is my, hopefully soon-to-be daughter in law, Poca from the Ténotclaxcan. And this is my daughter Isabelle Elisa, maybe the most inquisitive person you will ever meet." For the first time since they had started their conversation there was a completely untroubled smile on Fontonajo's face. Bowing deeply, Montoya accepted the presentations with a charming smile. "A most enchanting family, I am sure." Turning back to Fontonajo, his brow furrowed as he returned to more serious matters. "I am most concerned with the relations between our great nations. As you probably know, we approached you with the intent to sign an alliance, solidifying our historic friendship in a formal agreement, but Eslandola refused. Even a purely defensive alliance was dismissed, on he grounds that it might not be opportune to help in the case of conflict! Opportune!" "I conducted these negotiations myself, with your Secretary of State, Guy Wyndzon, and was frankly shocked at the utter lack of commitment on Eslandola's part to our common cause..." Montoya shaked his head in disarray. For the fraction of a second Fontonajo looked utterly puzzled, but quickly smiled again. "I have full trust in my good friend Guy to handle all matters of Eslandolan diplomacy in the best way possible, and I do not want to doubt his reasoning. Please do not dismiss the thought that sometimes we are not the masters of our own decisions, and forced by others to conduct arrangements we do not even agree with. I cannot speak for Guy, but can only imagine how his situation must have been like, over those past months, directly serving... Well, as for my personal opinion on this delicate matter I am quite confident you know that I and my familiy have always not only respected but also cooperated with our friends from Corrington in various circumstances. I feel like an alliance of our two glorious nations might be the first step in solidifying this new world as the place of peace, order and wealth it is supposed to be. I am also positive that most of my fellow Eslandolans would think alike." They took a quick glimpse into the general working room where Fontonajo's elder nephew was about to write a letter, before they continued their way to the upper floor in the left wing. "Regarding our continued struggles with Mardier and the most unlawful actions of their privateers at sea I see even more reason for us to keep our friends even closer and solidify our mutual bonds." "Hrmph!" Montoya exclaimed. "It was my clear impression that this was a decision driven by the trade companies, not by your King, or anyone else. It is a sad collection of powerful men that will not take ownership over the decisions they take, no matter the circumstances!" Recollecting himself, Montoya forced a smile. "Pardon me for falling out so, and i beg you not to take it as a reflection upon your person. Nothing could be farther from the truth! But your King aside, it is our impression that the rivalry between the Trading Companies are threatening to tear your nation apart. And you must admit, Eslandola has done very little this last year to make any friends amongst its neighbours... To that I might well interject, that several individuals have done great services to the citizens of Corrington, but as a nation, you have made it very hard to cooperate... Take for instance the unfortunate issue of Isla de Victoria. Had it only been handled better, it would have seemed less like aggressive expansionism, and more like an effort against the oppression and influence of Mardier. I will let you know that our reaction hung in the balance between escalation, perhaps eventually war, and assistance! Some voiced serious concern of Eslandola thus shifting the balance of power to your own advantage." Sending Fontonajo a concerned and troubled look, he continued. "And I fear that for the time being, an alliance is entirely out of the question, for reasons you know as well as I. If only things had been different, our fleets could have assisted in escorting your treasure fleet, bringing it home safe despite the negligence of your intelligence services!" They had visited all bedrooms and were now sitting in Románs office. "Am I right in hearing some bitterness, if not even anger, from your words? Understandable, but my dear Montoya! Let me assure you, that while our Eslandolan nature always inspires us towards further expansion of our businesses, we have no interest in shifting the power of Terra towards us. How would that even be benefical, from a mere economic point of view?" Fontonajo had a stern look, but his voice sounded rather exhausted as he continued. "You were right in observing tendencies of strong dissent between our trading companies. But isn't that exactly what urges us to strive for improvement in the first place? While the dissents between our trading companies gave me more than one sleepless night, a fact I cannot deny, I think those inner conflicts made us even stronger in the end. And challenging Mardier for Isla de Victoria, or KMA as we now call it, solved most of our issues. Nothing unifies you better than a common foe, wouldn't you agree? But sure, you most probably ask yourself: what was our reasoning behind it? I am quite sure you know as well as I do the agreement that was made about the distribution of new islands to the glorious nations of Eslandola, Corrington and Oleon and even the group of privateers calling themselves the Sea Rats. Mardier, as we are both aware, had no right at all to even claim an island in the first place. I totally agree with you that assistance from your side would have been the right call to uphold the treaties and order of Terra Nova. The Eslandolan Trade Companies however did act, and believe me it was the Trade Companies' initiative. We started our effort to drive Mardier from Isla de Victoria, because their claim was totally unlawful from the very get-go. Please be reassured that our invasion of the island is not at all an act of increasing our territories or our influence. It's merely about clearing the island from the unjust invaders and restoring the natural order of things. The thoughtful person of Isaac Montoya that I have gotten to know is still aware of how the war with Mardier started, at least I assume so? Mardierian privateers exerted their continuous aggresion on our trading fleets, neither any cause given, nor any decleration of war from the Mardierian site. As their government repeatedly rejected our calls for peace and negotiations, we had no choice but to declare war ourselves, so we could even start protecting our trading fleets. But back to Isla de Victoria - I can assure you that I, and also all other members of all MCTC, ETWC and MAESTRO would warmheartedly welcome you and your brothers, as well as all Oleanders and Sea Rats, to join our efforts on Isla de Victoria. We would love to once again struggle alongside you to restore order in Terra Nova!" Fontonajo took a deep breath. Montoya sent Fontonajo an apologetic glance and sighed. "I must admit, those negotiations did leave me bitter, but more so, disappointed. My Queen offered her unconditional friendship in the form of an alliance, an offer we thought attractive to you, and it was rejected due to narrow concerns of profit? And more so, as Wyndzon, no doubt an honourable gentleman, seemed unable to fathom how your unwillingness to commit to even a defensive alliance could only be interpreted as a lack of commitment to our friendship. I was told that Eslandola might consider intervening, if it was in your own interest..." Montoya shaked his head with a sigh, dismissing the subject. "I am well aware of Mardier's transgressions, and their fleets have targeted us too. In fact, I will tell you that we too are considering a declaration of war... And that you may find your invitation to Victory Island unnecessary. I cannot give you any specifics, but as we speak, events are in motion that cannot be stopped. I would have wished many things different, but most of all, that this incursion on Isla de Victoria had been coordinated with us. Had not the doves amongst us acted voices of reason, we could have met as enemies at war. I myself called for an aggressive response." Sighing deeply, obviously full of regret, he continued. "You must understand, I was not motivated by any ill-will against your nation, but by the need to ensure that force does not become the ruling principle in New Terra. I see now that such a reaction would have been excessive... But I was not alone, and there is still unresolved tension. I only hope our response will help lowering the tensions between our nations. I would so loathe to be forced to consider you my enemy." Bowing respectfully, he added. "But now your King is at it again... This claim... Is he quite in his right mind?" Almost furious Fontonajo immediately took the subject, and obviously driven by emotion responded. "Dont't you ever call him that again! The Mad Man has no right to call himself anything close to royal, least of all 'king'. I will not respect that person anymore, nor accept him as my leader. And many Eslandolan's in the colonies think alike - that he is ruining us all. Let alone that he is ignoring all rights of humanity. This cannot be tolerated anymore!" Calming down a bit, Román Fontonajo continued. "His claim on the Oleander throne... was weird, to say the least, but an understandable - yet utterly dumb - attempt to increase his influence. This however was the first true sign of warning to me, that he had indeed understood nothing, nor was able to adapt his priorities to the requirements of a rapidly changing world. The colonies are the place where every leader's focus should lie those days. If it weren't for the Trading Companies Eslandola would already be irrelevant in Terra Nova." With a deep sigh he brought up the topic he had evaded through all the conversation with Montoya. "If only the Mad Man had let us alone. But then he came up with his ingeniously stupid plan to sabotage his own treasure fleet. I see it so clear now, how he had planned it all along..." Full of expectation he looked at Montoya. Raising his brow in surprise, and leaning back a bit, Montoya eyed Fontonajo for a moment. "You may of course count on my full discretion, my friend, but you must realise that these are dangerous words, marking you as nothing less than a republican, nothing less than a revolutionary. It could cost you your neck..." Realising the implication of Fontonajo's last words, Montoya fell back in his chair in shock. "Sabotage? But surely, this cannot be substantiated!" "Just think of it! Why does he need the money right now? Surely to finance his invasion on Oleon! There is no other reason, don't you agree? And how did he set up the treasure fleet? He gave order to many, many men who should contribute to the treasure fleet. We did not know of each other, thus he split up the treasure fleet. But he also made it inevitable that someone would leak something, with so many people involved. And most surely he himself made sure to leak a detail here and there! Yet still with the treasure fleet so separated into many small entities, he could be absolutely sure that most of the money would arrive in Terreli to fill his coffers of war! Now imagine a single Oleander would have attacked a single ship from the fleet or even only done any other harm to the whole enterprise?! Wouldn't that have justified all of the mad man's actions against Oleon? Wouldn't that have justified even war? And wouldn't that have united all the Eslandolan colonies against Oleon as well, seeing their hard-earned wealth being stolen? If it had not been for the discipline and loyalty of all Oleanders in the colonies, which I most deeply admire, the mad man's plan might even have worked out! Do I have proof? Most unfortunately I don't. But you have to admit that it's most obvious? But before we speak of him again... I have heard some rumours of redcoats on Isla de Victoria? And maybe even bluecoats? I am most certain you can share some knowledge in that regard?" "I would suggest caution. Such accusations based only on speculation are dangerous and may lead you directly to the gallows. And the evidence is nothing but circumstantial. As you suggest yourself, it was in factan ingenious way to ensure at least most of the treasure returned to Terreli, which may be the sole reasoning. Of course, an Olean attack would have been... convenient, given his further plans, and he might have considered this... But to go so far as to have hoped for it..." Montoya was obviously still shocked, and somewhat confused. "As to your rumours of troops... As I said, wheels are turning, and there is no going back now. But we have decided to aid you in denying Mardier their unlawful claim. And I cannot deny that the fact that it also limits Eslandian control of the island might have been part of the considerations. I know not the details of the intervention, but expect our troops to set up some degree of permanent encampment. And that Oleon may do so too. Afterall, Mardier have long preyed on the shipping and commerce of all our nations!" "That leaves me full of hope that there is a chance our three nations could become reunited at least here in the colonies again. Thank you for your trust, my friend." Fontonajo slightly bowed his head and hand as a gesture of respect. "But as you said, the wheels are turning already, and things have been set in motion now that cannot be stopped. Right as we talk my heralds are setting up all over Nellisa - in Nova Terreli, in Pontelli and in all the other settlements as well. And when by tomorrow I will step out of my palace and proclaim the independence of Nellisa from the Crown, the same words will be heard all over the island. Thousands will follow my call, and we will finally be freed of Fernando Augusto's chains. The Eslandolan Republic of Nellisa does no longer bow to a king." Fontonajo set up a massive smile, when he looked at Montoya. "I am totally aware of the gallows waiting at the wrong end of the road that I am taking. But only those who dare may also succeed. Fernando Augusto's reign in the colonies is over. It is about time we take matters into our own hands." "An independent republic of Nellisa? A bold move, I must say, and quite unexpected! Is this independence to stand, even if the King is... removed, or will you rejoin a united Eslandola under new rule? Do you expect other colonies to follow in your footstep? Is Eslandola to become a federation, or even confederation, of independent colonies? And what of your homeland in Halos? Pardon me, but your plans raise numerous questions!" Considering for a moment, he then added. "Is that the true reason you called me here? To ensure good relations with Corrington once you stand alone? And how will this republic be governed? I suppose there will be elections... a constitution... courts..." "I am fully convinced that the concept of a monarch is completely outdated. There may be royals like your very Queen Annetta, who are actually worth looking up to. But some day, maybe in ten years and maybe in two hundred, even Corrington's ruler will be falling under the pressure of the crown." Fontonajo took a deep breath. "I fully believe in Eslandola and all of its values, though. Nellisa should not be a nation of its own, but rather belong to an Eslandolan Union. Whether that can include the Halosian territories or not, I am not sure. I am definitely hoping for Colonial Eslandola to not fall apart. I am on very good terms with many of the other rulers, like Governor Guilder for instance. But someone has to take the first step..." Sitting in silence for a while, he continued: "As far as the government is concerned I am afraid that I myself am currently the only one capable of being governor of the Eslandolan Republic of Nellisa. As such we have already set up a constitution. When time has come, I will make room for others, that is certain. The least thing I am interested in is a new monarchy here in Terra Nova. But only time can tell how things will continue..." "And be assured that most certainly, good relationships with Corrington and Oleon, most of them all, are among my very prime ambitions, Isaac." And so they spoke until the late into the night, closely debating every possible angle on the current situation, both aware that the coming months would be defining for the future of New Terra. Full Album on Flickr
  24. Salida Este Salida Este has been growing recently, and as such the time has come for a formal schoolhouse. The roof is fully removable, for a better interior view. C&C welcome!
  25. Location: Salida Este Now that Salida Este is a town, the defenses are growing. You never know when pirates will come. These soldiers are a bit strange. They despise shirts, so they dyed their torsos green in order to fit regulations, and while the officer wears a shirt, it's best to avoid the topic with him. Something went wacky with the plant pieces during import. To be licensed as a small fort. C&C welcome!