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Found 409 results

  1. Located in the main sanctuary dedicated to Poseidon, on the northern coast of Oleon mainland, this little chapel is the place where the Priests of the Tides pronounce their vows.  This little temple hangs on the shore, only a few meters far from the Ocean. Therefore, many choose the place to meditate in silence, trying to find their answers in the voice of the Lord of the Seas. In the Sanctuary, as well as in most the places sacred to Poseidon, a military order ensures safety of priests and pilgrims. It is mostly a ceremonial duty, but the Knights of the Order of the Trident should not be faced lightheartedly in a real fight! —————— As I intended to license this little shrine as a small art and culture in Mainland Oleon, the rules required me to create a separate post. I used the same build in the joint AMRCA I started with @Ross Fisher, @Khorneand @Jeff of Clubs, that you can find here.
  2. Terraversan Commonwealth Rum-Runners Part of the Fort Arltrees Foreign Merchants' District Close to the southern end of the Foreign Merchants' District, the East Terraversan commercial delegation represented the greatest surprise for most of the inhabitants of Fort Arltrees. Only three years before, Terraversa and Oleon had faced each other in a bitter war, and only the military intervention of Corrington and Eslandola -both on the island and in other areas of the archipelago- prevented a complete victory of the Empire of Light. However, while not completely defeated, independent Terraversa itself didn't survive the war. The eastern region of the island declared independence from the capital, in open rebellion against Archduke Oldis, giving rise to the Commonwealth of Terraversa. At the moment, the Commonwealth was struggling to recover from the war and, despite its dreams of freedom, it had de facto almost become a vassal state of Corrington. Allowing a commercial delegation of the Commonwealth on El Oleonda, together with the ferry built between North and South Sillitholina, represented an important attempt towards the normalization of the relations between Granoleon and Westface, even if doubts and mistrust still existed on both sides. An official Terraversan consulate in an Oleonese colony or formal trade agreements between the two nations was still far too much for both sides. Instead, an office and a small warehouse of a trading company represented a less "official" step, but still allowed some informal contact between the governments. If things worked well, an RNTC office might have appeared in Tarlor or Westface, in the future, breaking the almost complete monopoly of Corrington on the trade of the young nation. The name of the company, the Terraveran Commonwealth Rum-Runners, seemed appropriate for a band of smugglers... and actually it had started as such during the Mardierian rule, before the Terraversan Revolution granted it some respectability. Quite unsurprisingly, the acronym TCRR (with the "C" added after the Westface Secession) was often preferred, especially in official documents. The uniforms of the TCRR guards were clearly inspired by the ones of Corrish soldiers, even though their training was not even comparable with the one of Her Majesty's Royal Marines: with the militias still in place, even the regular army of the Commonwealth lacked men with military experience. A couple of soldiers guarded the entrance, while a figure in black slipped through the door, with an envelope of papers in hand. A simple merchant or someone else? An Oleonese diplomat? Or maybe a Corrish agent? The core business of the TCRR in Fort Arltrees -despite its name- was not Rum, but vanilla. The only known source of this valuable spice was Jameston, on Cascadia Island, but small vanilla crops existed also on El Oleonda. Due to the huge distance from the motherland, and the limited amount of production, Fort Arltrees couldn't compete with Jameston in this profitable business (not yet, at least), but the profit margin was still interesting. The TCRR office was small and overcrowded: bags and cases of vanilla pods occupied any available space, together with maps and piles of documents. The flintlock pistol on the director's desk, a memory of his past in the Terraversan Revolution, tended to make all the reports particularly fast and concise. Even though the Corrish influence was starting to take place in some aspects of the Commonwealth administration, the influence of Mardierian culture was still clearly recognizable: for example, in the overly decorated uniforms, or the baroque still-life painting hanging on a wall. Only time would have told whether the relations between the Commonwealth and Oleon could sooner or later normalize, or if the business of the TCRR in Fort Arltrees was destined to last. Profitable trade between two nations, sometimes, could be a good reason to avoid unnecessary wars between them! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The reason why the TCRR could only dispose of the lower floor was also the only reason why that small company could afford a place in the Foreign Merchants' District of Fort Arltrees. The reason had a name and a surname: Professor Alejandro Coronel, archeologist, writer, philosopher, and, as a hobby, occultist. This peculiar character was not interested at all in the vanilla trade, but had a desperate need to move on El Oleonda... something not easy, for a citizen of the Corrish-aligned Commonwealth. Therefore, he paid a significant portion of the settling taxes for the TCRR, and personally financed the construction of the building. In return, he occupied the whole upper floor and obtained from the company a passage to the island, as well as the promise to support him in all his future enterprises. The studio of this peculiar character was completely occupied by a variety of "findings": a variety of idols, ritual masks, maps, scrolls written in ancient languages, and many other objects. In an (apparent?) chaos, Atwi idols were positioned side by side with antiquities from Tellvok, Tyree'De artifacts, and ancient codices written by the first Mardierian explorers. Professor Coronel had heard about the ruins of an ancient city on El Oleonda, and hoped to finally prove his extravagant theory. Indeed, he firmly believed that an ancient civilization once existed in the East, far before recorded history: after ruling most of both the Old and the New World, that Empire had somehow disappeared, leaving mankind in the darkness for thousands of years. Even the Great Pyramids "of Tellvok", according to Professor Coronel, were actually an artifact of that ancient empire. How could all the other archeologists not understand this truth? Despite the plot of the Order of the Faith to conceal the truth, the signs were hidden in plain sight, if one just looked for them! Even the tarots, considered by many a senseless superstition, also told a part of the story... the Rising Sun, the East; the Broken Tower, a clear hint to the cataclysm that had destroyed the ancient empire. Little mattered if other symbols didn’t have an obvious meaning, all of them must have been in a way or the other allegories of the ancient disaster! Most of the academics laughed at him, but he would have proven all of them wrong! He only needed to find the proof of his theory somewhere in the archipelago, possibly even there on El Oleonda... the large islands of New Haven Seas were clearly part of the ancient continent, swollen by the merciless Ocean millennia before! He would have laughed last, he was sure… Even if most considered him a lunatic, and the TCRR guards hoped never to be chosen to accompany him in his expeditions (actually they had placed bets on how soon he would have disappeared in the jungle), Professor Coronel had actually done some important discoveries, down in Tellvok. Only time will tell if the Professor will be able to discover something about the ancient civilisation of El Oleonda, despite his weird theories, or if he will get lost in the interior. For sure, you will probably hear about him in the future!
  3. Garvian League Guildhouse Part of Fort Arltrees Foreign Merchants' District Since the very first days of the Age of Discovery, ships with the flag of Garvey were a common sight in the New World. When the ports of the Mardierian colonies were still closed to all the other Madrician Nations, indeed, the Garvian smugglers already visited them with regularity, mooring in hidden bays and eluding the hunt of Lotii patrols. Over the years, the Garvians strengthened their presence beyond the line, establishing their own settlements and even winning a colonial war against Mardier in 617 A.E. In the last years, however, they had started to fall a little behind the other nations: Freeport and Leopaldis remained little more than small towns, and no settlements were established east of Prio. The relations between Oleon and Garvey had never been hostile, but they never were particularly warm either. Everybody knew that the Empire of Light and Mardier were close friends, and that only reasons of political opportunity kept Oleon out of the Garvey-Mardierian War... in those days, everybody in Freeport feared to see a row of blue banners appearing on the horizon! International politics had its rules, however, and holding grudges with one of the most powerful empires never seemed a good idea. Nobody was therefore particularly surprised when the Garvian League, the powerful guild of merchants dictating most of Garvey colonial policies, asked to establish a seat in Fort Arltrees trading district. Due to the close relations between Carno and Garvey, several dispatches were exchanged every day between the Essian and the Garvian delegations... too bad for the messengers that the two buildings are almost at the opposite ends of the district! The Guildhouse was garrisoned by a little unit of Garvian marines, wearing the dark blue uniform of the infantry. Due to the tight connections between the mercantile companies and the government, the Guildhouse was one of the few buildings in the District guarded by a contingent of regular soldiers, and not by private guards or trade company troops. On the upper floor, the small office was largely occupied by a long table. Due to the corporative nature of the Garvian League, representing rich merchant families, trading companies, and the merchants' guilds of different cities, important decisions often required complex discussions among the different representatives. In Fort Arltrees, so far from both the motherland and the main Garvian colonies, the seven available seats were rarely all occupied, and most votes were delivered by letter. At the moment, the Garvian representative had just signed an agreement to supply Seawatch with food and other supplies coming from Fort Altrees farms: while the siege was over, the fields around the town were still largely abandoned and devastated by trenches and other earthworks. With the Lotii war junks still lurking in New Haven Seas, the ability of the Garvian smugglers could once again come to good use! The lower floor of the building, instead, was completely occupied by a warehouse. Due to the absence of large distilleries in the growing settlement, the import of rhum produced in the Prio Sea Colonies was a particularly profitable business, even if the delivery journey was long and difficult. Garvian sailors didn't have particularly good fame in the colonies of the New World: they were considered excellent seamen, but also undisciplined, violent, and a little too eager to turn to piracy. They hadn't created specific problems in Fort Arltrees yet, but the city watch passed twice as often in front of the taverns where they meet than in any other area of the city! Another thing Garvian sailors were renowned for was gambling: differently from other navies, the Garvian one allowed cards and dice on board, even though the punishments for ensuring brawls were severe. Never challenge a Garvian in a game of card, if you want to keep your money and your shirt!
  4. Official Dispatch. If you are not the intended Oleonic recipient, report to the nearest Force Publique agent for summary execution. Dated this the 14th day of December of the 623rd year After Empire. From the office of Colonel Gerard DuQuesne, Chief of the General Staff of Guerin Godefrey de Tourment, Marechal d'Oleon, No. 12 Mardier Square, Breshaun. Dictated and Read. The following materials are to be reprinted at the expense of the Crown (rebate vouchers issued pending proof of circulation) and distributed throughout His Most Gracious Majesty's Colonies in the New Haven Sea regardless of convenience; After review of the Battle of Seawatch, it is the opinion of the Chief of Staff's Office that casualties were higher than anticipated. In order to rectify this shortcoming in future armed disputes, an Infantry Primer has been ordered into production. Excerpts from said text follow; ... ... Signed via proxy, Colonel Gerard DuQuesne. Chief of Staff. OOC: clearing out the backlog in anticipation for Era 3! Thanks, ♧
  5. Miroslav Dobric's Trading Emporium Part of the Foreign Merchants' Trading District of Fort Arltrees Far in the West, back in the Old World, lay the country of Varcoast. With the discovery of a whole New World, people rarely remembered this small and poor neighbor of Oleon. Nestled among the Madrice Peninsula and the steppes of the Continent, Varcoast was out of the main trading routes and had never attempted to change that. With its dark forests, the unforgiving weather, and its tiny, wooden villages, the country seemed indeed to have remained out of time, still trapped in the Dark Ages. Only a few merchants traveled along the roads connecting the main Varcosian cities with the Oleonese border, mostly for some livestock or wool fairs: a difficult journey along bad roads of dirt, plagued by wolves, brigands, and, even worse, arbitrary taxes imposed by the local lords. The Nation of Varcoast never attempted to colonize New Terra, and only a handful of Varcosians were ever seen in the colonies. Therefore, the Governor was rather surprised when he received a letter from a Varcosian merchant, Monsieur Miroslav Dobric, asking for settling and trading rights in Fort Arltrees. The little building established by the Varcosian delegation would probably fit better in a little town of the motherland, than in a lively city of the New World. A little out of place or not, Dobric's Commercial Emporium was bringing to Fort Arltrees an interesting number of Doubloons and silver Talers, so nobody cared particularly about the antiquated architecture. The Varcosian contingent also looked particularly unusual, when compared to the troops of the other Madrician nations. Wearing an iron helmet and a brigandine, an armor made of heavy cloth and small steel plates, these soldiers seemed more ready to fight a dragon than for a modern battlefield. Completely outdated at first look, this equipment could save a soldier's life back in the motherland, where the brigands and the raiders from the Western steppes still used bows and swords as often as muskets. El Oleonda, however, was far warmer than the Varcosian woods, and the soldiers on guard were severely put to the test by the tropical sun. On the ground floor, in a corner of the warehouse, an officer was enjoying some rest from duty, together with a little glass of liquor. The Varcosians had brought with them a large amount of rakija, a strong spirit made from plums, which soon gained popularity among the inhabitants of Fort Arltrees. The little warehouse also contained several caskets of indigo dye, produced in the nearby settlement of Jiangkai and dried in small bricks. Back in the Old World, blue was a particularly appreciated color, but most of the available pigments were either insanely expensive (as the Mokolei lapis lazuli) or not particularly resistant. For sure, the imported indigo would soon have made the vests of wealthy Varcosians far more colorful! The upper floor of the building contained a small, bare office, largely occupied by barrels, caskets, and more bottles of imported spirits. Various benches and a robust table represented the only pieces of furniture in the room, while a Varcosian flag hanging from a wooden wall was the only visible decoration. During his periods of leave in Fort Arltrees, General Tristan Rimbaud was often a welcome guest of Monsieur Dobric. The lands of the Rimbaud Family, where Tristan was born, were only a few miles from the Western Border, and Varcosian was almost his mother language. Tristan had last been to his family manor almost five years before, and receiving recent news from the Old West was always a pleasant surprise for him... even if, in this case, it also meant being offered a glass of strong spirit after the other, a typical aspect of Varcosian hospitality! The rakija, a strong spirit obtained from the distillation of fermented plums, apples, apricots, and other fruits. Typical of Varcoast, it was also popular in Pontilla and Western Oleon regions.
  6. Fort Arltrees, El Oleonda, November 623 War was still raging on El Oleonda, somewhere in the East, but the inhabitants of Fort Arltrees weren't particularly concerned. The enemy army was reorganizing around Oryant and Luyang, and the only immediate threat to the Fort was represented by bands of Lotii stragglers and Carnite deserters: they still created some troubles for the most isolated farms... but, after all, that was the New World, and always keeping the musket at hand didn't seem something particularly unusual. Therefore, during the previous months, the settlement kept growing steadily: the arrival of the allied contingent required more warehouses for the supplies, more workshops to fix the carriages, more blacksmiths, more stables, and obviously houses and taverns for all the workers. The gold mine and the farms also contributed to attracting a third wave of colonists, ready to seek their fortune in this remote corner of the Empire. With the allied fleet securing the main trade routes, and the safety offered by the imposing fortifications, the wealth of El Oleonda started attracting enterprising men from all over the Empire, but also from abroad. In Fort Arltrees, merchants from foreign nations were encouraged to settle and start their businesses in a dedicated district, close to the commercial port. In the plans of the local authorities, the presence of foreign merchants in the settlement will further boost the economy of the settlement, encouraging more regular visits from the Madrician commercial fleets. On the other hand, Oleon doesn't want to repeat the mistakes made by Mardier with Terraversa: closing the port to the other nations would only encourage them to try establishing their own footholds in the New Haven Seas, with no control or advantage for the Empire of Light. Several nations established a commercial emporium in the settlement: these little buildings represented at the same time warehouses, offices of the commercial delegation, and informal embassies. To avoid crossing too much one another's path, each trading company specialized in a few specific wares: trading from and to the very corner of the map is already complicated enough, and nobody wants to start pointless concurrencies! In the Foreign Merchants' District, hundreds of doubloons change hands every day: a single ship loaded with spices, dyes, or sugar may be worth a real fortune back in the Madrician nations, while some relatively common goods produced in the motherland or in the Western Islands might be rare and expensive in the New Haven region. In the District, it is also possible to hire captains, ships, and crews of almost any nationality, to circumvent the current political complications: for a fair price, you could get a shipment of Lotii porcelains, or even get a passage to the Southern Kingdoms on a neutral ship; needless to say, this is also of great interest for the secret services, and the "Altonian salesman" who just embarked for the Lotus Empire could easily be an agent of Corrington or Oleon, an ambassador involved in secret talks, or even a Lotii spy! Sailing under a foreign flag can also allow a safer journey to Fort Arltrees for rich passengers, valuable objects... or both, as in the case of the famous painter who has just been hired by the Garvian delegation! A real army of porters works in the district and in the nearby port: hundreds of crates, barrels, and bags have to be moved every day from the ships to the warehouses, or vice versa. Not everything, however, is worth its weight in gold, as in the case of the shipment of fruit and vegetables just delivered to the Mardierian delegation. Even if Fort Arltrees looked very different from the small hamlet of wooden shacks of only a couple of years before, the settlement was still very different from the most civilized cities of the Western Islands. Despite the fancy buildings of the District, trappers and boucaniers are still a common sight in the settlement, and the inhabitants are not particularly picky about the possible meanings of "roasted venison"... differently from that Altonian officer, who would probably think twice before visiting a local tavern! Unfortunately, the development of Fort Arltrees also started to attract a few scoundrels and petty criminals... apparently an unavoidable price of progress and prosperity, in the New World exactly as in the Old one. This officer from East Terraversa should have been a little more watchful while telling tall tales about the Glorious Revolution of 616... Citizens of Southern descent represent a relevant minority, as some inhabitants of Jiangkai resettled in Fort Arltrees after the destruction of the settlement. Some Monomonto swordsmen, abandoned by their own comrades and simply left behind, asked to serve in the Grande Armèe of Oleon: most of them were enlisted in the King's Musketeers, a unit already well-known for the swashbuckling skills of its members... if with a rapier or a katana, apparently, makes little difference for the recruiting officers. ------------------------------ A list of foreign commercial missions: The Essener New World Trading Company The Ferrer Family Commercial Enterprise The Altonian Commercial Mission Miroslav Dobric's Trading Emporium Garvian League Guildhouse Terraversan Commonwealth Rum-Runners ----------------------------- OOC: This diorama includes several little details, including a full interior for most of the builds. Therefore, apart from text completion, expect it to remain “alive” For the next few days, as I figure out the best way to assemble/move/reorganize the different parts! In particular, I plan to add individual posts for each building in this thread, so stay tuned!
  7. The battle was won, and the enemy was retreating... southwards or eastwards, to form a new defensive line between the advancing enemies and the city of Oryant. Only a few hours before, the shock troopers of the Empire had shattered the first line of the Lotii: after slicing through the defenses as a blade in the butter, they assaulted batteries, deposits and command points, causing absolute havoc among the enemy troops. Despite the complete victory, nobody among the soldiers of Oleon was celebrating any longer: during one of the first assaults, General Hercule François was hit by a stray bullet. The old commander was brought by his soldiers' hands to a farm outside Seawatch, but the red stain widening on the uniform left little hope for his survival. Almost by chance, one of the soldiers started humming, soon followed by another, and then another one. It was an old, sad song from Western Eranos, Tristan's motherland... the mourning of the soldiers for their dying officer, killed in one of the uncountable border wars. He had heard his chasseurs singing it dozens of times, but that day... that day it felt different, with their general on his deathbed. "The Captain of the Company / is wounded and he's about to die / he sends word to his chasseurs / so that they can come and see him." None of the officers Tristan had lost had had that luxury... not the old Captain Montier, drowned in his blood with an arrow in the neck, back in a dark Varcosian wood, nor the brave Major Artaud, found under a pile of dead Salleeki pirates, the sword still in hand. But going without a word wouldn't definitely halve been General François’ style, thought Tristan with a half smile. "His chasseurs go tell him / they have not shoes to walk there. / Shoes or not shoes, shoes or not shoes / I want my chasseurs here now!" In the old song, the soldiers are tired, tattered, and wounded. They are far, and they have to walk with broken shoes. On El Oleonda, the bluecoats were ready to gather around their commander, forming a wall around him. Their uniforms and their flags shane as a beacon in the jungle, despite the stains of mud and blood: no irregulars, natives or scouts, around the wounded general, but the best line infantry of the Empire. He would have been proud of his men, if he could fully realise what was happening around him... "What are the orders, Captain, Sir? / Your chasseurs now have arrived! / I command that my body / in five pieces it shall be cut!" Gruesome, yet somehow poetic... nobody even questioned why the wounded captain of the song could want that weird ritual, or how could the receivers of those weird "gifts" react. That was the tradition, the rhyme sung around the fires in the cold nights of Eranos and in the Varcosian woods... and so let the captain be sectioned by the singers one more time, without inappropriate doubts! General François didn’t ask anything similar, but still all his officers were gathered around him, to listen for his final words. "The first piece to her, the Motherland / so that she can remember her soldier. / The second piece to the battalion / so they remember their captain." General François had several defects, he was arrogant and loved the wine a little too much... but, for sure, he was a true patriot and an excellent soldier. Under his command, the soldiers felt unstoppable, as they charged with the banners flying in the wind. Despite his rank, he fought on the first line, pistol in hand, alongside his beloved bluecoats. No, the motherland and the army would never forget General Hercule François, with or without a piece of his body! Tristan realized that he had tears in his eyes, and that by now all the soldiers were singing, even the ones who had never been in Eranos. "The third piece to my dear mother / so that she can remember her son. / The fourth part to my sweetheart / so that she remembers her first love." Well, General François' mother was since long gone, and that left one spare part... that could come to use, considering the rumors. One part should probably have gone to Guemain Manor, to the General's widow, and another to the village, to the house of a certain peasant girl. A little François could already have been born, by the time the sad news arrived back in the motherland... "The last part to my woods / that will cover it with roses and flowers." Tristan didn't know where the General would have found his final rest... maybe in the woods of Gueiman, back in the motherland, or in a mausoleum there on El Oleonda. For sure he would have not lacked the flowers. The fallen commander would have been remembered among the heroes of Oleon, and the citizens of the Empire would have paid homage to his tomb for the next centuries. The song was over. The men marched on in silence, pushing forward the captured Lotii cannon: the light infantry of the allied forces was forming an advanced line on the hills south of Seawatch, in case of an enemy counterstrike. Meanwhile, the main forces were reorganizing, preparing for the next blow towards Oryant. Colonel Beauchamp had just taken command of the Oleonese contingent: everyone was still mourning the General, but the war was far from being over. The Siege of Seawatch, the Raid on Jiangkai, and now the death of General François... yes, the war was far from being over. And soon, that cannon would have been put to good use! ------------------------------ Just a quick reaction to the last KPA, and a heartfelt farewell to General Hercule François. Some of the builds are mine, others are from @Ross Fisher (pics 2, 4, and 6) and @Jeff of Clubs (pic 5). The song from Eranos is actually a famous, very sad, song of the Italian Alpine troops (The Captain's Last Will), dating back to WWI, and translated more or less literally. However, songs about wounded generals asking to be buried in multiple places have existed since at least the 16th century, with the Song of the Marquis of Salluzzo.
  8. April 622, Somewhere not far from Seawatch, New Haven Sea "Hoist the mainsail, ya scurvy dogs!" - the captain was yelling at the top of his lungs, but hearing him in the whistle of the wind was still very difficult- "Let's see if those fishing boats wanna dance with us!". The "fishing boats" had just rounded the promontory, one mile behind, and were closing in fast... but as soon as they left the cover of the shore the waves started to hit them with their full strength. The sailors of the Stormchaser laughed wildly as the three junks started to swing and list dangerously, the sails flapping out of control: they could imagine the chaos, the soldiers slipping and rolling on the deck, the wheel spinning around... for that day, their chase was definitely over! "Brace yourselves lads! Give me more jib and say farewell to those bilge rats!" The little crew roared and ran to the ropes. Soon, the Lotii would have turned back to their port, seasick and humiliated, and Seawatch would have been fed for one more day. The Stormchaser, and many other little ships with her, were the last, weak connection between Seawatch and the rest of the world: the settlement was surrounded, and all the roads had been cut. However, the Lotii junks blockading the port were not as fast and seaworthy as the Madrician sloops. When the sea became rough, therefore, brave and slightly mad captains tried the dangerous routes from Fort Arltrees or Spudkirk, defying the storms and the enemy patrols. They were called Sturmreitern, the riders of the storms, because that was exactly what they did: riding the waves and the winds, that the Lotii didn’t dare to face! Some considered them smugglers and profiteers, others called them heroes and saints... whatever the truth, their cargoes of dried meat, hardtack and gunpowder allowed Seawatch to survive. Before departure, the boat had been stripped of anything less than essential, then barrels and crates were fastened in every empty space. The little ship must remain as light and fast as possible, but the cargo had to be worth the risks! "Port ahead, Cap! I see the lighthouse!" The little port tower had been shelled several times, but somehow it was still standing. They had completed another passage, one more line to carve on the mast. Now the waves seemed funnier, and everyone was laughing and cheering... apart from the Carnite officer they had taken on board, who was still a little too green to talk! ---------- Front view of the Stormchaser A side view of the ship and its support ------------------------- After a week on a sailboat, I can finally present you the Stormchaser, which I completed soon before my departure! I'm thinking of licensing it as class 2 or 3 (suggestions appreciated: 22 studs at the waterline, 40 at the deck, excluding the bow mast). This is an idea I had before the siege of Seawatch was lifted, but I never had a chance to complete it. Now that the "humanitarian smuggling" task of the Stormchaser is over, it can move to more profitable businesses!
  9. Ross Fisher

    [OL - ship] The Ajax

    The Ajax is an 18-gun sloop-of-war carrying the Oleonaise royal colours. I think she's probably a class 6, but I'd be keen to hear opinions on that. Not sure what to do with her. I'll probably sell her to the nation or the RNTC, but this may be the point at which I finally give in and join the EGS. I also don't have any backstory, so if you wanna invent that for me, I'd be much obliged.
  10. Somewhere Southwest Seawatch, El Oleonda, April 623 All the pieces were in position, the chessboard ready. The marching songs, the chants of the native allies, the last nervous jokes...everything was replaced by an unreal silence, as every unit reached its starting position. Finally, General Hercule François roared: "Unfurl the colours. Remind everyone who the greatest warriors on this battlefield are." And louder, so that everyone could hear him: "Men of Oleon!" He roared, his voice carrying back all the way to the artillery. "I know you can gut this cowardly enemy and wipe them from this isle! But now I want you to prove it to me! Pour le Roi!" The soldiers echoed, with a deafening yell: "Pour le Roi! Pour le Roi! Pour le Roi!" It was the time. "Monsieurs, send them all you've got!" Said General Tristan Rimbaud, a fierce grin on his face. In less than a minute, all the artillery pieces assigned to his unit were blazing. The soldiers cheered loudly as, seconds later, the jungle in front of them was shattered by a series of violent explosions. Tristan had specifically required mortars and howitzers, capable of firing on high-arching trajectories... and, even more importantly, capable of firing explosive shells. "Captain du Motier! Two more salvos, then fire forward!" At this point, Tristan was yelling at the top of his lungs and waving his saber, to overcome the clamor of the battle. "Soldiers, forward! At the double! It is time to destroy our enemies!" ----------------------- Tristan and his men marched forward, with the shells whistling above their heads, and a hell of explosions in front of them. A grenade fell short, dangerously too short, but none of the soldiers was hit. As planned, the assault group reached the Lotii trenches immediately after the last explosions. If du Motier knew his job, the next salvo would have fallen a few hundred meters behind the first line, just in front of them, to hit and paralyze the Lotii reinforcements. Otherwise, Tristan would have probably had little time to regret his choices. Tristan jumped in the trench, followed by his chasseurs. The walls had collapsed in several points, allowing an easier descent. The earthworks were scattered with the corpses of several Lotii soldiers, but everyone was more concerned about the ones -alive and armed- who were running towards them. The barrage had been brief but extremely violent and, now that it had moved forward, it was cutting that position out from orders and reinforcements. The bluecoats stormed the enemy positions before the Lotii could set up an organised defence. The grenadiers, who were following closely the first vanguard, started throwing their weapons across the ditch, where some enemy musketeers were trying to form a defensive line. Other soldiers, with the muskets on their shoulders, were carrying light wooden ladders, useful to quickly climb the trench walls. Tristan didn’t plan to conquer that specific position: instead, his assault column aimed to slice through the enemy lines, to attack the artillery batteries behind them and the closest command point. The Lotii soldiers were determined and well-armed, but still disorganised. Moreover, Tristan had gathered some of the most elite troops available… including the grenadiers, who were definitely not sparing their weapons. As the battle was still ongoing, the teams in charge of the light mortars placed their weapons and opened fire. The assault column could have easily been outnumbered, but only if the Lotii could recover from the initial shock, something rather difficult if everything around kept exploding! Soon the regular infantry, the feared “blue line” would have arrived in their support… or, if everything went by the plans, to collect the wounded and the prisoners. If everything went by the plans… the soldiers had no way to know how things were going in the other areas of the battlefield, if they were rushing to victory or if they were going to be encircled. But, for Hades’ sake, their charge would have been remembered! Overall view --------------- Note: as Fort Arltrees couldn’t seem further from the frontline, and the new Gardens of Poseidon are opened, the Second Battle of Seawatch has begun. As news from the frontline have not reached the settlements yet, we still don’t have any idea whether this is a glorious victory, a limited success, or the prelude to a defeat. Credit to the (impatient ) @Ross Fisher for the general’s speech! I’m sorry for the little technical inconvenience of the half-completed story, for the next time I swear I’ll avoid that!
  11. Fort Arltrees, El Oleonda, April 623 Fort Arltrees was not on the frontline with the Lotii, at least not yet. However, building monumental gardens in the middle of a war didn’t seem a priority… but the point was precisely sending a message to both the citizens and the other Madrician Nations. The mighty Empire of the Light was not scared by a distant kingdom of the South; its settlements could keep growing, war or not war! Two men were walking along the cobbled trail, between the statues and the fountains: one, the city mayor Marcel Dubois, was well-known among the citizens; the other, instead, was a new face in the settlement. From his elegant and costly clothes, however, it was evident that he was not a trapper or a common adventurer. "...and as you know, Monsieur Dubois, my family has always been open to investments in distant lands... risky investments, sometimes. With our ships, men, and capitals, we participated in all the colonial enterprises of the Mardierian Crown, from Terraversa to King's Island. We were among the first ones to face savages, hurricanes, and tropical diseases, almost a century before the other nations even arrived on Terraversa... and this is how we earned our little wealth and the favor of the King." Don Francisco Ferrer, the foreigner, was intentionally minimizing the role of the Ferrer family in the colonial adventures of Mardier. An understandable move, considering the avidity and cruelty of the first Mardierian expeditions. From the information Marcel had taken before the meeting, however, the situation was very different: the Ferrer had not participated in anything but had instead funded, organized, and directed some of the main enterprises of the Old Empire on Terraversa and beyond the Line; the conquistadores and the galleons of the Ferrer expeditions were only slightly fewer than the ones under the King's own banners, and if possible even more brutal; and the little wealth, actually, would have been envied by several small nations. This, however, was before the Civil War... after half an hour of empty talks about trade, and prosperity, it could be a good chance to arrive straight to the point. "You and your family gave for sure a fundamental contribution to the establishment of the Mardierian Empire, and even more to the development of the colonial economy. I heard that you owned almost all the tobacco plantations on Isla de Medio, and at least half of the sugar factories on Terraversa... but I hope that the Terraversan Revolution and the Eslandolan operations of 617 didn't affect too much your enterprises!". Don Francisco didn't show any emotion, but Marcel knew that he had just hit the right point. His interlocutor would have never admitted that, but the recent events in the New World had been a real disaster for the Ferrer Family: they had lost all their estates on Terraversa, and most of their business on Isla de Medio had ended abruptly after the Mardierian defeat. By themselves, the economic loss was important, but not catastrophic. However, most of the investors had lost their trust, and their doubloons were quickly disappearing. Even the Mardierian crown had reduced its support, also due to some ambiguities of the Ferrer in the Civil War. In other words, the Ferrers were still filthy rich, but their fortune was quickly fading. "Well, Monsieur Dubois, I cannot hide that our trade companies are facing some difficulties." -in other words, they were just a few steps far from bankruptcy- "The Terraversan Rebellion and the treacherous aggression we faced in 617 had some consequences on our business... and the Empire of Mardier might not be anymore the ideal environment for our enterprises. My cousin Alvaro even decided to leave our business to reconquer our estates on Terraversa, sword in hand. But I'm sure you already knew how serious is our financial situation, and we both know that this is the reason why I am here." Marcel didn't expect the Mardierian merchant to be so sincere... better, now they could play with all the cards on the table. After a long discussion, the main points were settled, and an agreement was reached. With just some more details to define, the two men took leave and parted. Before going back to his many duties as city mayor, Marcel Dubois went to pay homage to the statue of Poseidon, right in the middle of the gardens. What they were going to do was not completely fair, nor even completely legal... but was also a unique opportunity for Fort Arltrees and Jiangkai to grow and flourish. Why understanding what was the right thing to do could never be easy? ------------------------------------- The gardeners are planting tulip bulbs in one of the flower beds, supervised by a Priest of Poseidon. Apparently, after some recent speculations, a single doubloon can now buy several cases of tulip bulbs! Meanwhile, some fish are transferred to the pond behind Poseidon's statue. Apparently, the rivers of El Oleonda host some of the most colorful and beautiful fish ever seen in the New World (that, according to the Tyree'De, are also extremely good if grilled on hot coals). On the other side, the pond has been emptied for some cleaning activity. In a settlement so far from the motherland, the workforce is too valuable to keep it closed in jail! In return for their work, the inmates receive some money to start a new life when their sentence will be over. The New World is quite different from the motherland: it can be harsh and violent, but sometimes more open-minded and forgiving. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Overall view: The story is finally complete, after some little technical inconvenience! I hope you enjoy it! BTW, I'm not planning to involve Mardier in our new colonies... I just needed to introduce a side character for some shady businesses I'm planning! To be licensed as a Medium Art and Culture
  12. Operation Hephaestus Hammer  Commander: General Hercule François  Forces involved: 6 battalions (2 line infantry, 1 light infantry, 1 artillery, 1 cavalry, 1 engineers). 540 EGS soldiers.  Aims: engage and destroy the Lotii army south of Seawatch. Plan summary: 1) Advance Our forces continue their advance, with extensive scouting by cavalry and light infantry. Increased patrols from Seawatch, in the meantime, localise the Lotii forces and fix them in position. 2) Contact  As the other armies of the coalition advance and engage the Lotii front, our forces engage the left flank of the enemy. Our forces advance in oblique order, attacking the enemy and closing the gap between our left flank and the right side of the coalition forces. 3) Press the assault Our forces advance along the whole front, pressing the enemy forces. We organise our attack in three waves: -after heavy, concentrated shelling of few selected locations, columns of elite soldiers (chasseurs and grenadiers, with a few light mortars) attempt to crack the enemy lines. If successful, they will march on, attacking supply deposits, command centres, second line mortar and rocket batteries, etc. (in modern military terms, we attempt a thunder run). -immediately after, our forces attack along the whole line. The chaos and the panic generated by the thunder runs, by the contemporary attack on two fronts (from Fort Arltrees and from Seawatch) and by the guerrilla operations on the supply lines (Operation Pandora) is expected to make the enemy line to collapse in several points, with the resisting units encircled or forced to an orderly retreat. -final blow: if necessary, we commit all our reserves against the enemy, turning the retreat into a route. 4) Exploit Our forces (cavalry and light infantry) chase the enemy to kill and capture the enemy forces. This, together with the forces from Jiangkai, should also force our enemy to abandon artillery, ammunitions and supplies, and to retreat in disorder to Luyang. ———————— Note: I’m just reposting our battle plan (with @CapOnBOBS’ great vignettes) as a separate thread, as required by the combat rules. I’ve just expanded a little bit the text, but the general plan is the very same we presented in the coordination thread. ———————— @CapOnBOBS @Ross Fisher @Capt Wolf @Ayrlego @LM71Blackbird @Bregir @Garmadon @Professor Thaum
  13. Jiangkai, El Oleonda, March 623 After some silver nuggets were found by chance in a field outside the town, an exploitable vein of the mineral was discovered on the nearby hills. In the next weeks, a mine was set up, and a steady flow of silver started reaching Jiangkai. Soon, the valuable metal will leave the settlement in the form of ingots and silver livres, the Oleander equivalent of pesos, shillings or pieces of eight. Before this can happen, however, the valuable lore must be reduced into small pieces with hammers and pickaxes… …transported to the surface (currently in bags and canisters, but soon rails and carts will be implemented)… …and washed in a stream of water, to separate the heavy pieces of metal from the lighter bits of stone. The mine is expected to be a valuable asset for the nation, with an expected yield of at least ten million silver livres. Therefore, even if a pile of unrefined silver minerals somewhere on a hill is very unlikely to be stolen, the mine is constantly guarded by a small detachment of soldiers. In this moment the men on duty are zouaves from New Oleon… a dull task, but definitely less risky than fighting the Lotii in the jungle! Overall view: ———————— Licensed as silver mine in Jiangkai
  14. Jiangkai, El Oleonda, March 623 If the enemy know not where he will be attacked, he must prepare in every quarter, and so be everywhere weak. Everyone knew that the plan was dangerous, but still the problem was turning down volunteers, not finding enough of them. The citizens of Jiangkai had seen their city invaded, sacked and destroyed, and they would have never allowed that again, at the cost of their lives. For sure, they would have never forgiven their former compatriots, responsible of both the forced evacuation of 620 and the raid of summer 622. They were the enemy, and now it was time for them to pay and to bleed! As the main forces of the Royal Armies marched from Fort Arltrees to crush the Lotii forces outside Seawatch, a young officer of the Jiangkai Tirailleurs was authorised to harass the enemy supply lines and delay enemy reinforcements in any possible way. The forces available were not large, but they would have been sufficient to make the life of the Lotii army much more difficult! Operation Pandora Commander: Captain Guillaume Tiger Dupont. Born in the Eranos province, he spent several years on merchant ships, mostly in the Southern Seas. He later joined the infanterie de marine, serving in the Second Terraversan War. He speaks fluently in Lotii and Monomonto, plus some words of the other Southern languages. He knows very well the Lotii culture, and often even quotes the texts of the Wu Cru. Respected by his men, he will soon be feared by the enemies! Forces involved: a company of light infantry (1 platoon of colonial chasseurs, 2 platoons of Jiangkai tirailleurs), plus native guides. 30 soldiers in EGS terms. Aims: harass enemy forces, block or delay supplies and reinforcements headed to Seawatch frontline, divert enemy troops to irrelevant areas. Plan summary: the company will leave Jiangkai and head north-northeast, across the roads from Oryant and Luyang to Seawatch. Once there, the soldiers will start guerrilla operations against Lotii supply lines. The soldiers will avoid direct engagement enemy troops, and will instead ambush supply convoys, small units, messengers, etc. Moreover, they will interfere as much as possible with the enemy movements by placing obstacles on the roads, damaging bridges, and creating false trails and signals. The unit will move continuously, waging attacks in distant locations and occasionally sparing a vulnerable target, to create confusion about the area of operations. Significant increase of Lotii patrols would keep our soldiers out of some areas, but also divert forces from the garrisons and/or Seawatch front. ————————————- OOC, a note for the GMs: this operation starts from Jiangkai (30 EGS soldiers involved) and is independent from the main attack, but it’s coordinated with the attacks in the Seawatch area. Please manage it as you think it’s better for the game dynamics. @CapOnBOBS @Ross Fisher @Capt Wolf @Ayrlego @LM71Blackbird @Bregir @Garmadon @Professor Thaum
  15. Jiangkai, February 623 As new colonies are established more and more eastward, and the frontier of the Empire gets farther and farther from the motherland, the local recruitment of high-quality troops has become a paramount. Officers born in the colonies and trained in Breshaun military schools lead to the victory men who have never been in the motherland, for a king they’ll only see on coins and medals. In Jiangkai, this resulted in the recruitment of both line infantry and auxiliary light infantry: units equipped and trained according to Oleander military doctrines, but mostly made up of citizens of Lotii descent. On the same line, a unit of chasseurs was raised in the settlement. Despite the inclusion of some Lotii elements in the uniform, these skilled marksmen are equipped and trained as the other metropolitan or colonial light infantry units. Differently from the tirailleurs, the chasseurs know how to fight in a battle line, but they are far more effective in open formations: their role on the battlefield is not to face the enemy in a tight formation, but to aggressively pursue and flank him, shooting without fail with the lethal Charleville rifled carabines! This build will be used to raise a platoon of soldiers in Jiangkai.
  16. Working closely with the army's pioneers and surveyors, members of 3.Division's signals staff have erected a series of semaphore telegraph stations along their route to Seawatch. Placed at regular intervals, the stations, such as this one on the promontory southwest of Seawatch, carry the will of Good King Phillip to all his servants in the Oleonda Division. Another was errected in the city itself by the liason party under Chef de Battalion Glenson. Using various cyphers developed by the Army Signal Corps and Royal Intelligence, coded messages are now reaching 3.div and the coalition in a matter of minutes. For security purposes, the decoding methods are only retained where necessary. With Glenson in Seawatch, with the signals 'trunk' station in Ft. Arltrees, and tightly guarded by marines and RI agents in the field, with the staff of General du Brigade Francois. ... This is meant to add some redundancy to 3.Division's lines of communication and near real-time coordination options with the Coalition. I don't know that this is big enough to really license but if anyone would like to build some of her sister stations, go nuts. I will probably try to build another base reflecting Seawatch and set it up again. Apologies for the utilitarian nature of my photography. Plans are made. Thanks! ♧
  17. Somewhere between Fort Arltrees and Seawatch, El Oleonda, January 623 Tristan stopped his horse and dismounted, immediately followed by most of his guards. Others, instead, remained on the saddle, carabine in hand. Even at the border of the main camp, the chasseurs were alert… a healthy habit, since any bush of El Oleonda seemed to hide a Lotii soldier or an angry native warrior. After weeks spent chasing the Lotii patrols, and so close to the territory of the fierce Daca tribe, a soldier could either be careful or dead. Curiously, Tristan had never met General Hercule François before. When the newly-appointed commander arrived on the island with most of the troops, Tristan was already scouting the hills with the light infantry. He had received new orders and fresh troops, he was appointed commander of the vanguard, but he had never been to the headquarters. Tristan, however, knew General Hercule François by fame. In the high society of Granoleon or Breshaun, he might have been known for his alcoholism, and several hastily covered scandals… but he was also a skilled commander, a cunning soldier, and a hero of the Juniper War. Despite the over elegant uniform, the ruff and the anachronistic porcelain cup, he was still the man who had broken through three lines of Corrish grenadiers during the Willow Ridge Battle… but, for Poseidon’s sake, a field chef was a little too much! As Tristan started to present his report, General François seemed almost more interested to his incoming lunch. It was an arrogant and frustrating move, especially considering that Tristan was just below him in the command chain… but probably it was just a calculated assertion of superiority. Screw that, they were not in a court or in a damned ballroom! He was sure that General François had carefully listened to all he had said- positions, numbers and quality of the enemy troops, location and inclination of El Oleonda tribes, important obstacles and landmarks- and that was the only important thing! Once more, Tristan didn’t regret at all leaving the motherland for the colonies… he could better serve the King far from the halls of Granoleon and their intrigues, and here the risk of smashing a nobleman nose was far lower! ———————— Just a little vignette, with a little bluecoat figbarf and some terrain. For the campaign purposes: this build links the vanguard operations with the advance of the main column, and provides our headquarters with the most recent intelligence. The rivalry between the commanders (@Ross Fisher, I hope everything was in line with your character) is just for story reasons, and will have no impact on our military operations!
  18. Jiangkai paddy fields, El Oleonda, January 623 Somewhere in the rice fields outside Jiangkai, a heron was strolling in the shallow water, looking for frogs and small fish. Apparently, the bird enjoyed that new hunting ground even more than his usual swamps: food was abundant, and the farmers never annoyed it, even if the humans were particularly noisy that day. The excitation of the farmers was well justified: during some repairings, some strange minerals had emerged from an embankment... with a bit of luck, they could even be worth something! The heron, however, couldn't care less, and just passed by. Actually, it wasn't even a "heron", an Old World name for an unknown bird in an unknown land... but it didn't seem to be particularly offended by the lack of fantasy. Instead, it had just spotted a fat toad, and was already foretasting its dinner! ----------------------------------------- A small prospecting vignette for Jiangkai, on El Oleonda. My usual white setting (as you can see in the last picture) was not very appropriate, as many details faded in the background, so I used a darker picture on my laptop screen. I hope you like the result! With this, I also finished one of the short periods in which I could build at ease... so I'll finally catch up commenting all the great builds published in the last month! @Ayrlego, if the procedure hasn’t changed this is up to you now, thanks!
  19. "To these constructions, necessary for such huge quantities of water, would you dare to compare the useless pyramids of Tellvok or the works of the Pyrites, as famous as they are unproductive?" Water, safe and drinkable water, is the lifeblood of a settlement. Wood and building materials can be shipped from a long distance, food and commodities can be imported and stored, but very little can be done about water: without a reliable source of fresh water, a settlement can't survive. When the wells get dry or the river changes its course, when the crops and the livestock begin to die, people can only abandon their houses. This, fortunately, will never happen to Fort Arltrees. The city, which already received water from the nearby River Rimbaud and the ancient canal system, can now rely also on a modern aqueduct. Back in the Old World, aqueducts were a point of pride for the Ancient Empire, even more than the majestic temples or the towering statues. Most of the aqueducts were abandoned during the Dark Ages, as only a few far-sighted kings had the knowledge and the resources to keep them working. For centuries, therefore, people of the Madrician nations had to rely only on wells and rivers, until enlightened monarchs began rebuilding the vital water infrastructures. In the New World, modern aqueducts are still a rare sight: the one of Fort Alrtrees is only the second, after the one of Mesabi Landing on Alicentia. Fort Arltrees Aqueduct connects the settlement with the springs on the King's Hills, crossing several miles of fertile countryside. In the city, it supplies a large number of fountains and drinking throughs, and even more importantly fills some large cisterns: even during a harsh siege, Fort Arltrees will not remain without water. The war raging in the eastern part of the island, however, couldn't seem more distant: after the military columns left the settlement, life returned to its normal rythms... crops must be sowed or harvested, no matter if a Carnite settlement in the East is besieged! The ensign of the Rimbaud family decorates the pillars of the arched bridges (actually a small part of the whole aqueduct, but the most impressive one), since the infrastructure was privately funded. Despite the huge interests of the Crown in the city, Fort Arltrees remains in fact a squatter settlement, at least on paper... a strange status, for the actual capital of Oleon colonies in the New Haven Sea region! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Overall view: As you may notice, I'm currently forced to work with a small part of my bricks, hence the little monotony of colors in my last builds... however, I'm quite satisfied by the result. I liked the idea of building something completely new here in BoBS, but apparently @Mesabi had preceded me of a few years... nice aqueduct BTW, somehow I had missed it at the time! To be licensed as a medium property, even if suggestions for the category would be extremely appreciated!
  20. The Labyrinth, El Oleonda, December 622 "Enemies ahead, take cover!" Shouted Tristan, as his men started to kneel behind the ruins or in the thick undergrowth. "Open fire, at will!". Bullets started flying in all the directions. The chasseurs aimed carefully before each shot, but also the Lotii were in a good position. After the Lotii had disengaged from the siege of Seawatch and had -likely- returned to their bases, nothing seemed really different from two years before: both armies were hidden somewhere in the jungle, as invisible as if they had been an ocean apart; only small patrols crawled in that green hell, hunting one another and looking for any sign of the enemy forces. Things, however had actually changed a lot since then: the recruits just dragged from the West had quickly been replaced by battle-hardened jaegers and chasseurs, the Lotii militiamen by the finest warriors of the four banners. Now all the fights had become fiercer, and any mistake was paid in soldiers’ lives! That day, Tristan was crossing the Labyrinth with a company of light infantry, when they surprised a group of Lotii soldiers coming from the opposite direction. The huge complex of ruins represented one of the few reference points between les Colines du Roi (the King’s hills) and Seawatch, and could either represent a safe shelter or a deadly trap: the Lotii knew that place too, and dozens of men could in any moment be -completely unseen- just a few buildings apart. The place must have been an important city, the largest among those discovered on El Oleonda. Now, however, only a few large palaces were still standing, covered by the vegetation, among a web of alleys, canals and low walls. One of the Lotii fell, wounded or dead, as his comrades continued shooting. The two groups were just a few metres far, but the ruins offered them a good protection, and most of the bullets just shattered some old bricks. The Lotii were fighting well, but they were outnumbered, and soon they started to disengage, disappearing again among the ruins. Everything finished in a matter of minutes, then the jungle was silent again, as if nothing at all had happened. Even though the soldiers of Oleon had won, their victory was almost pointless. The chasseurs owned the battlefield, but the enemy had disappeared, as always, and very next day it could have been their turn to die or to run for their lives. That evening, Tristan scribbled just a few words on his diary: “Lotii scouts engaged and repelled. Still no trace of the enemy army. All quiet on El Oleonda”. ——————— I put together this moc quite quickly, but I’m very satisfied by the result! I hope to show soon more of the Labyrinth, actually a ruined city somewhere on El Oleonda (since there are no official “King’s Hills”, it could basically be anywhere). In the campaign, it should be considered as a minor skirmish, part of the recognitions from the advanced positions often light infantry. C&C are welcome, as always! I hope you enjoyed the build and the story!
  21. Sacred Tyree'De grounds, El Oleonda, December 622 The sacred House of the Ancestors, one of the holiest sites for the tribes of El Oleonda, was located somewhere between Fort Arltrees and Seawatch. Like most of the temples and the villages of the Tyree'De, it was built among the ruins of the ancient civilization that inhabited the island: majestic cities and temples laid in the jungle and on the heights, mysteriously abandoned centuries before. It was surprising how fast the Tyree'De (a blend of indigenous people and stranded Lotii sailors) had developed their own culture, religion, and myths, and how fast that small group had become one of the most important tribes of the New Haven islands. That day, however, Tristan was not there to talk with the Tyree'De about their fascinating culture: he was there to win the native tribes to the cause of Oleon, and help the Empire to win the incoming war. The Tyree'De had always been friendly, and many warriors had joined the army as scouts and auxiliaries, but other tribes had remained neutral or openly hostile. The Tamaco people, in particular, had sided with the Monomonto since their arrival on the island. While the Lotii forces were encircling Seawatch, the Tamaco warriors had intercepted all the Carnite messengers before they could reach Fort Arltrees, and had forced Tristan's scouts to maintain a certain distance from the Lotii positions. As Tristan discovered, however, the relations of the Tamaco with their new lords had deteriorated quickly. In the highly hierarchical Monomonto army, the natives were not considered as allies, but as “ashigaru”, that is subordinated peasant soldiers. After a Tamaco chief was beheaded by a “samurai” for insubordination, most of the native warriors deserted in mass. With the mediation of the Tyree’De chief, Tristan met the leader of the Tamaco. The sacred grounds, where no weapons were allowed, were the ideal location for the difficult talks: decades of rivalry with the Tyree’De were difficult to forget, but at the same time an alliance with Oleon was probably the best defence against a Lotii reprisal. The Tamaco leader proved to be a reasonable man: for sure he was a though warrior and a proud man, but he listened carefully the proposals of the Olee’Ion war chief… and, in spite of the warnings (clearly impartial and prejudice free) that Tristan had received from the Tyree’De, he didn’t even try to eat his liver! Outside the walls of the sacred land, the blue warriors were fraternising with the natives, exchanging gifts and showing them their mighty thunder spears. Armed warriors secured the area: the meeting, with the war chiefs of the main tribes of El Oleonda (Tamaco, Tyree’De, and the newly arrived Olee’Ion), represented an inviting target for the Lotii warlords. The situation, however, seemed completely calm, and no incident had occurred among the different groups. As the discussions went on, a large banquet was prepared, as the sacred traditions required: if the talks had been successful, all the warriors- the ones with the blue coats, the Tyree’De with their red bandanas, the Tamaco with the painted faces, and all the others- would have eaten together. Otherwise, all the food would have been burnt for the gods of war, and the two chiefs would have fought to the death on the sacred ground, or they would have been considered coward and blasphemous. Despite the sacred traditions, however, everyone hoped for the success: together, the tribes were stronger and, despite the rust between Tyree’De and Tamaco, nobody really wanted a bloodbath. Moreover, that food looked so inviting… ———— While Tristan was discussing with Atanak (the Tamaco chief), Lieutenant Marcel Dubois (the major of Fort Arltrees) took the chance to visit the fascinating House of the Ancestors. In the Tyree’De culture, that building represented all the members of the tribe who had gone to the World of the Spirits: in that place, the tribe remembered them, and the shamans tried to receive their wisdom in times of need. Food offerings were deposed on the central table, while objects of the Ancestors themselves were lined along the walls: weapons, masks and amulet, but also glass bottles, Lotii coin and old maps, memories of the sailors stranded decades before. Discovering the mysterious Tyree’De culture, however, didn’t seem to be Marcel’s only interest… and the beautiful daughter of the tribe chief, apparently, reciprocated him! ——— Overall view: ------------------- Many fantastic builds have been published in the last weeks, and I'm far from keeping up with everything. With this, I'm trying to progress my story, show the effort of Oleon to befriend most of the natives of El Oleonda (not only the Tyree'De) and answer at least some of the last development on the island.
  22. December 622, Somewhere outside Nouveau Oleandia, Ile Dionysus As the winds of war started blowing again on the New Haven Seas, the exploration of the newly discovered lands was largely stalled. Knowing if the enemies had a foothold on an island was more important than studying the plants or animals living on them; discovering if Lotii agents had tried to make an alliance with a warrior tribe seemed more important than understanding the new languages and cultures. However, a few brave men still decided to try their luck, "for the progress of mankind, the glory of the Nation, and their own name". Expeditions of botanists, zoologists, and cartographers, part of the Oleander Royal Society of Science, arrived on the newly discovered lands alongside the soldiers. After a brief stop in Fort Arltrees, Jiangkai, or Nouveau Oleandia, the expeditions leave for the unknown: an uncontacted tribe, a coral reef, or the mysterious, unexplored jungle. Local guides, laborers and a few marines complete the teams, which will be alone and completely self-sufficient for several months. Among the various expeditions, a group of archaeologists arrived on Ile Dionysus (also known as Crocodile Island) to investigate some old bones discovered in the local copper mine. Some mysterious ancient bones had already emerged from the ground of Avestia, but the skeleton was too incomplete to determine the appearance of the animal. The mud of Ile Dionysus, instead, proved to be a real vault of ancient treasures: skulls, rows of vertebrae, complete and perfectly preserved skeletons... most were -unsurprisingly- crocodiles and alligators, but other remains belonged to animals never seen before. The most surprising discovery was made in a wet, cold morning of December: the skeleton of a monstrous snake was dug out of the mud, bone after bone. The animal must have been terrifying. From head to tail, the skeleton was at least 15 metres long, larger than any known reptile. If it had been similar to the other large snakes of the New World, this meant that it could have swallowed a horse, an ox or a large crocodile. Apart from the scientific value of the discovery, everyone was a little concerned… that skeleton could be just a trace of an ancient past, but nobody could exclude that snakes like that still crawled in the swamps of Ile Dionysus! A group portrait of the scientific expedition. The measuring rope was too short for the whole skeleton. Overall view ————————— Just a little MOC, to experiment with vegetation, mini figures and, obviously, the skeleton. Tilting a little bit the connections between the studs and the 1x1 plates gave a nice curved effect. I will license it as a small art and culture for Nouveau Oleandia (32x32 plot size, but too simple to become a medium property). I hope you like it!
  23. Although difficult to transport through a fresh-cut and narrow jungle road, artillery is a critical component of any modern army. Here some poor souls from the artillery branch work to dislodge their 6lb field gun. Although frustrated, they are surely greatful that they don't operate one of the many larger pieces in the Oleonda Division. Part of 3.Division's march to Seawatch. Thanks, ♧
  24. Jeff of Clubs

    [FB-OL] Le Grand Delais

    As word of the coalition's victory at Seawatch speads across the brick seas, it seems everyone is asking, "where is La Grande Armee?" It would seem that even the royal family has been asking this question. A week ago, a group of dour toughs, clad in black and carrying only the seal of the royal family, barged into the headquarters office for the army mustering at Lavalette and demanded an audience with the ranking officer. Major Cambois: "...but he asks the impossible. I need more men." The Stranger: "Tell me. What is the nature of this army's delay in sailing for New Haven and what happened to the general? Major Cambois: "Ah, you see, just as the army moved to the docks to embark, a crane line broke depositing hundreds of poisonous tree frogs of some type all across the harbor." The Stranger: "Sabotage?" Major Cambois: "We don't believe so. In any event, the ordeal took several weeks to rectify and cost us over a hundred casualties." The Stranger: "Your General was among them?" Major Cambois: "Well, no. See, after the battle there were ample slain frogs laying about and as no true blue Oleonese can throw away a perfectly good frog leg, a morale building feast was held." Major Cambois: "Sadly it turns out they were still quite poisonous and we lost the general, another hundred and fifty-two men, and a whole month." The Stranger: "Outrageous! If word of this ever reached the coalition!... We shall have to blame this whole incident on a Lotii spy within headquarters..." Major Cambois: "...megablock..." Thanks, ♧ OOC; I got a Bonsai Tree kit. If, like myself, you struggle with trees and/or floral bits, I can't recommend that kit enough. Plus it has a hundred frogs! Which should come in handy all the time.
  25. Somewhere in the bayou, Ile Dyonisus, November 622 Copper is not exactly what a miner hopes to find, when he first hits the rock with his pickaxe. However, it is what the prospectors found in the swamps of Ile Dyonisus: the weird minerals surfacing from the mud turned out to be azurite, a valuable copper ore. Despite the initial delusion of the prospectors, the city government was enthusiastic about the discovery. Copper doesn’t immediately fill your purse, this is true, but with copper you can make bronze, and with bronze you can make the cannons that your navy needs… or, if you feel particularly pious, the bells for the new temple. Digging tunnels in the soft ground of Ile Dyonisus was out of question. The slow flow of the water, however, had already made most of the job, century after century: in some areas the copper minerals were already exposed, and damming the river was sufficient to create a sort of open mine. The mud was removed, and the valuable minerals were shattered and brought away, piece after piece. When all the available ores will be collected, the dam will simply be moved of one hundred metres, and the hard work of the miners will start again. The environment of Ile Dyonisus is particularly harsh for the miners: humidity, mosquitoes and the ever-present mud are only the most immediate problems of the workers. Moreover, drinkable water has to be brought from a nearby river, as the swamp water would probably poison the miners. Then, obviously, there are the alligators: the dam and a fence of wooden spikes are usually enough to keep them out, but on Ile Dyonisus you can never really know… As a good precaution, a few armed men are always present: if an alligator could find his way into the governor’s house (some say with a little help), a fence is definitely not safe enough! Copper will soon leave the swamps of Ile Dyonisus and reach the whole Empire, as cannons, bells, statues, boilers to make sugar or whisky, or maybe the sheathing of a ship hull! To be licensed as a copper mine on Ile Dyonisus, the swamp island. Overall view: --------------- I didn't realize how long it had been since I last built something of this scale... but, as my brave prospectors explore the bayou of Ile Dyonisus, and my soldiers march on the hills of El Oleonda, real life tends to happen! I hope I'll be able to continue soon with my storylines!