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Found 10 results

  1. Minerary Office

    Even if Astrapi silver lore promises to be incredibly rich, the excavation of the mine is taking longer than expected due to continuous water damages: usual mining techniques seem to be uneffective and traditional water pumps are completely powerless aganist the flow of water and mud invading new tunnels. For this reason Tristan Ribaud, the owner of the mining area, decided to organise in the offices in the future mine a meeting with representatives of several foreign nations, in order to promote technological exchange in minerary field, but also to extabilish new routes to unusual commercial partners. Samples of raw minerals and refined silver from the lore are displayed as partial guarantee of Astrapi underground riches, but the most valuable "goods" exchanged in this meeting are engeering solutions in mining business: infrastructures like Ribaud Canal, water pumps in Varcoastan mines, Maharajah's Foundry in Northern Mokolei Empire, or innovative techniques, like the "oculate use" of explosives in Argentia prospects, in fact, could be adapted to different conditions, terrains and enviroments in order tosolve problems, increase productivity and reduce material, but also human costs. The meeting was friendly, and a treaty for future technological cooperation was signed: with a bit of luck, Astrapi silver mine, but also different projects in foreign countries will soon be completed, overcoming obstacles that seemed insurmontable before. Political issues and reciprocal mistrust, however, will make everything harder, since a richer nation (and a nation with better mines is obviously richer) can afford a stronger army and could eventually invade its same helper! From left to right: Salleekan ambassador, a WTC representative, Tristan Rimbaud (from Oleon), a Mololei vassal and a Varcoastan officer. Vincent Leroy, designer of Rimbaud Canal, talking to a Mokolei vassal (with his bodyguard). Tristan Rimbaud with the Varcoastan and WTC representatives. A WTC marine and a Varcoastan pandur near to a cabinet of fine liquors... probably something dangerous! A cartographer presenting his job about Ribaud Canal. A miner receiving his salary. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- @Mesabi, I just realised that a treaty signed is probably more official than what we had agreed about, even if it won't have any real implication... actually I needed a reason to justify the presence of so many foreigners and why I'm so late building my mine; feel free to ask me to modify/delete something. I think there are no problems with the other nations involved, since most of them are not "in use" and, as I said, the treaty doesn't have any practical purpose; if it's a problem for somebody or for the rules, I'll modify that immediately.
  2. Rimbaud Canal

    After the discovery of a rich silver lore in Astrapi countryside, the House of Rimbaud decided to invest in mining activities on the island. The lack of infrastructures, however, represented a huge obstacle, since building materials, equipment and supplies had to be transported on mules along a difficult path in the jungle; moreover, River of the True Faith flows near to the minerary area, but a series of rapids makes the area virtually unreachable by boat. To solve the problem and allow a faster development of the extractive activities, a small tributary of the River was diverted and channeled in a system of locks: in this way a boat (with its valuable load) can litteraly climb the great difference in height, reaching the calm flow upstream. When a boat enters the lower basin, the rear lock is closed and the water level rises, reaching the level of the upper basin... ...the front lock is then opened, and the boat can move forward to the next couple of locks. A road was built along the river: even if it's too narrow for carts and wagons, it is useful for workhorses when the load (for example machinery or building materials) is too heavy for oars. Inns and livery stables were also built at a regular distance along the canal, allowing an efficent messanger service and providing a place to rest for travelers and for the men operating the locks. This ingenious infrastructure, allowing a fast flow of goods and news (even in the opposite direction, progressively lowering the water level), represents a vital artery connecting the (still unexisting, but be faithful ) minerary district with Astrapi urban area and will probably be crucial in further development of the island. An overview of the building (two basins, the road, a tavern and a stable) A couple of soldiers checking a boatman's licence to use the locks The tavern Another view of the tavern; the man on the right is a cartographer drawing Rimbaud Canal layout A messanger changing his horse at the livery A view of the locks; an hydrometer can be seen on the left. Another view of the locks
  3. "This is the biggest nugget we have found till now!" uttered the silver seeker "And we will find bigger ones! We are all rich!" A group of adventurers left Astrapi two weeks ago and decided to get up River of True Faith, looking for valuable minerals. Along the bank of the lesser tributary, they saw "silver nuggets" (they believe) shining among the rocks... elated, they decided to build a little hut for tools and supplies and to collect as many nuggets as they could before returning in town, where they will squander all their earnings in rhum and (utterly drunk ) look for a financier to start a real mine. Unfortunately for the seekers, some silver nuggets (even if they are really silver) don't actually mean that the surrounding hills contain a huge silver lode... but who knows what an accurate geological survey will find! PS This is my MOC of a mine prospect on île de Zeus... does somebody know which form I have to fill now to pay the 25 DBs and discover what my men found? Thank you!!!
  4. Old memories

    "As I told you few hours ago, I have something interesting to recount about the letter I received. It contains nothing more than a date and a location, both written in a Varcoastan military code; the lack of any further detail confirms for me that my old comrade, as is defines himself, is in serious troubles and feared that his message could have been intercepted. For this reason, since Le Phénix is already ready for the voyage, I'll leave Astrapi with the morning tide and get to Eltina as soon as possible. For this reason, Renè, you have to manage my estate here in Astrapi for a while." "Is there such a rush, monsieur Rimbaud?" "My honour depends on it" replied Tristan seriosly "But you will shortly understand. As you know, I started my career on the Western Border, fighting bandits and marauders coming from Pontilla. Ten years ago, when I was a young lieutenant,I received my first serious task: the armies of the Great Raider got close to Pontillan border during their continuous war aganist The Great Alliance States and for this reason an Oleander and Varcoastan joint force was formed, and I was in charge of our battalion; it was more a symbolic gesture than a real help, since at the time incursions towards East were quite common and Pontilla had never been really endangered, but that time was different..." "The Great Raider declared war on Pontilla, Captain?" "Yes, Sergeant Dubois... in a sense, the Great Raider was already at war with Pontilla, since his kingdom is always at war with his neighbours. I'll be clearer: their society is basically divided in three classes. The first is composed by the knights, who own nothing but their weapons and their horses, but are allowed to take whatever they want whenever they want." "The second class is formed by plunderers and mercenaries, whose fate depends on the warlord they serve and follow during forays." "The third class is made up of farmers, artisans, peasants and so on... they spend their whole life working and wishing not to starve after their village has been plundered by their lords." "You can imagine that this kind of society completely ignores borders and is based upon perennial war." Captain Rimbaud continued: "As I was saying, when we arrived in Pontilla the disaster had just happened: after a couple of little skirmishes, the army of our allies had been directly engaged and totally destroyed by those barbarians... Western Pontilla was already on fire, and the undefended towns of the East would soon have been devastated. Alexander Braun -the commander of Varcoastan forces- and I had to act quickly, without waiting for orders: we decided to move as west as we could and we entrenched ourselves in the ruins of an ancient castle." "But you only had few hundred soldiers..." "Four hundred, to be exact. It was quite a suicidal move, but we had to allow the evacuation of civilians towards Oleander border: every day we had gained would have reduced the massacre; we knew, however, that there was no way out for us." "It was a terrible battle... there were twelve enemies for each of us, but many of them didn't use firearms and their strong cavalry was useless aganist our barricades; our brave soldiers suffered severe losses, but didn't withdraw of a footstep. The enemy commanders were furious: behind us they could almost see the rich Pontillan countyside, but simply could not pass without overwhelming us... and we resisted with nails and teeth for five days, using flintlocks and swords." "And how did you survive, monsieur Rimbaud?" "We were very lucky: on the sixth day we had almost finished our gunpowder and we were waiting for the decisive assault, but it simply didn't come... an army coming from The States of the Great Alleance wedged itself between our enemies and their territories, the oppressed peasants rose up and the front moved hundred miles west. Not to be locked out, the raiders withdrew with haste, abandoning their camp with prisoners and most of the loot... What a great day!" With a half smile, Tristan continued: "After five days of uninterrupted fight, Alexander and I had become brothers rather than simple comrades. We both promised to come without hesitation to assist the other in case of need, but also not to be too proud to forget asking for help. You can understand, my friends, that I have to hurry up... the letter I received is a serious call for help and is at least two weeks old."
  5. In Astrapi was recently opened the new Commercial Bureau. This little builing, situated in the port quarter of the town, represents the heart of all the trades from and to the island. Here, in fact, goods are weighed by an impartial functionary and honest prices are defined for what will be distributed in stores or exported on other islands; the functionary is also responsible for the sample of Imperial Pound kept in the Bureau as guarantee of absolute accuracy. This building, moreover, represents a fundamental meetig point for merchants looking for or trying to sell something (in this case, barrels of spices), asking for information about the most lucrative trades or needing armed escort for their ships. Without minifigures The pieces of furniture
  6. "All right René, I owe you a bottle of Corlander Brandy... Now you can tell me how you "guessed" that our soldiers would have landed this afternoon?" "Ahaha, you are quite philosophical about your defeat in our honest bet! This morning Le Phénix, the ship carrying the men you recruited, was spotted by the fishing vessel Trident, fifty miles north of the island: considering the different speed of the ships I could easily talk with the capitain of the latter and then arrange our little gamble right before our ship could be seen from the harbour. Knowledge is power, and sometimes also ensures a bottle of fine brandy!" Renè Duchamp, quite amused, continued "Coming back to important issues, I already estabilished provisioning and accomodation for our soldier. The upkeep costs, considering wage, food, clothes and weapons, will surely reduce our monthly balance, but honestly an additional platoon in Astrapi definitely reassures me... Maybe our investment won't end with a great fire and sharp blades among our ribs." "Your optimism moves me, can I borrow your handkerchief?" Joked Tristan Rimbaud "This time, however, you are right. Mardier is defeated but not broke, and soon they could begin a guerrilla-like campaign aganist Eslandola; a considerable number of privateers and mercenaries, however, will soon be fired and, together with deserters and adventurers, will begin to sail under a black flag. The Greens and the Corries were ready to bite each other's throat for a bunch of ruins and, on a good pretext, they would really do it... only Zeus knows what could happen then! Difficult times are certainly ahead, my friend, and ten good rifles will discourage unwelcome visitors." "Finally we will also receive fresh news from the West. I don't miss gossip about the court at all, but it's always nice to hear something from our old, civilised world, not to mention trends and rumors about colonial goods. The new Commercial Bureau here in the port will improve direct trades between Astrapi and Granoleon, but we have to invest into the right wares to ensure prosperty to our town." "Exactly, Renè. For this reason I asked Sergeant Dubois, the officer in charge, to collect as much information as possible about price changes, shortage of goods and willingness of bankers and aristocrats to invest in different businesses. If we make a bad move now, Île de Zeus will remain a minor and forgotten colony; if we make the right one, it will become the centre of the commercial routes in the archipelago." "Welcome in Astrapi, Sergeant. Did you have a smooth journey?" "Thank you, Sir. Our journey was quite smooth, we only met a couple of pirate sambuke near to Southern Oleon but they vaniquished when they saw our cannons; moreover, we picked up tailwind most of the time and didn't encounter any storm. Le Phénix is an excellent ship, and proved it during the crossing." "And what about the information I asked?" "I talked with merchants and factory owners in Granoleon and wrote a detailed report. My opinion is that, excluding a little group of old conservatives, most wealthy people in Oleon are still interested in colonial investments, in particular the ones concerning spices and sugar cane. Furthermore, Sir, I was given a letter for you: it comes from "your old comrade", the man who delivered it said so, and told that you would have understood; he seemed very circumspect and had a strong Varcoastan accent, but I couldn't guess anything more." "As the messanger told you, I understood, and it concerns a promise I made years ago... It is quite an interesting story, what about discussing it in front of a bottle of Corlander Brandy? I know someone who has just won one of that and is eager to share it with his friends..." "It seems fair, even if eager is not the best word" "Agreed, Sir! And, incidentally, this is one of the reasons why I missed you, Captain. Oh, I almost forgot: an army surgeon, Doctor Marcel Laurent, joined us. He has already been in the New World and is considered a specialist in tropical diseases. In a couple of week he will be reached by his assistant carrying surgical insruments and other stuff. He asked for a building to start a little clinic." Credit Captain Braunsfeld for the bridge
  7. "As you required in your letter, Monsieur Rimbaud, I invested the sum you sent in this powder mill. The property of your brimstone quarry outside the town provides us a regular flow of the most expensive raw material and, even if we still have to import saltpeter and coal, the profit margin is extremely good. Moreover, to avoid dangerous sabotages, I required a continuous watch." "You have been prudent as usual, Renè. We produce gunpowder in the New World, without additional import cost... that means more and cheaper gunpowder for our navy, and someone will probably be disappointed. Nevertheless, I think that our enemies will not dare directly attack us here... we should provide a small escort to the shipments of raw materials too. And what about water?" "The water we need comes from River of the True Faith so, except during severe droughts, the mill will keep working. But..." "But?" "Monsieur Rimbaud, I've been loyal to your family since before you were born, so I'll take the liberty of being completely frank: are you sure that investing in Astrapi, a relatively insignificant colony hundreds of miles far from our motherland, is a good idea?" "I understand your doubts, old friend of mine: you fear I will waste all my holdings on a godsforsaken island... but don't worry, I'm not looking forward to going broke: Astrapi is in a strategic position and, if the settlement grows, will become a fundamental resupply place for Oleander fleets east of Breshau, so I'm sure that my bet will soon be rewarded. Now, what about visiting the interior?" Here is were gunpowder is produced: sulphur, saltpeter and coal are grinded together by the heavy millstone; the powder obtained is then sifted and stored in barrels, wet with alchool to minimize the risk of explosion. Proportion of the three components and dimension of powder grains define the explosive power of the powder (the smaller, the stronger); the back wall seems so unstable because actually it is: in case of explosion it would direct the explosion towards an uninhabited area (in this case the river).
  8. Sulfur has been used for centuries in several sectors: while alchemists consider it (together with mercury and salt) one of the "primordial essences" constituing matter, physicians use sulfur in skin treatment and to prevent the spreading of contagious diseases (i.e. disinfecting a room by fumigation); modern science, additionally, is discovering more and more possible uses of this element in industrial processes. What makes brimstone extraction a real paramount, however, is gunpowder production; coal and saltpeter can be produced (even if the latter requires long and complex procedures), but sulfur can be obtained only digging it in volcanic areas: for this reason large deposits represent one of the most precious and fiercely disputed mineral resources; up until now, in the New World, no real brimstone lode has already been discovered and most of the gunpowder is still imported from the motherland. In the uninhabited interior of Île de Zeus, in a rocky area near to Astrapi, an explorative expedition recently found a volcanic cliff with deep cracks and fumaroles: some of them developed wide sulfur encrustations that can be exploited (even if on a limited scale). Hammering sulfur concrections on a rickety footbridge, clinging to the rocks among suffocating fumes, is probably one of the most dangerous occupations, significantly more than working in the mines but, since the pay is relatively good, it's not hard to find someone mad enough to take this job. Rock scraps are later lifted (using a rudimental crane) to the top of the cliff, where they are put in barrels ready to be sent to Astrapi: there sulfur will be grinded, refined and converted into "the finest gunpowder of the New World", as the manufacturers say. The largest and purest sulfur crystals are accurately selected and packed diractly in the extraction site: bought at a high price by chemists and alchemists, they ensure an additional (and considerable) profit margin. To be licensed as a small factory; this building is freely based on Cortes expedition to Popocatepetl crater (conquistadores needed gunpowder for their cannons). C&C are obviously welcome
  9. Astrapi continues to grow in size. This small warehouse includes the wares of recent trade vessels. Thanks for looking.
  10. Fort in Astrapi, Île de Zeus This is my entry for Challenge II - Defending Yer Claims, category A. On Île de Zeus, which has recently been incorporated into the empire of Oleon, Oleander military engineers have been busy erecting defensive structures. They are designed to be suitable both against any hostile natives and to defend the island from other nations if the political tensions should turn into open war. This small fort is built using resources which can be found in great abundance on the island, namely wood and sand. The slope of the walls increase their effective cross-section to provide additional protection of the rooms inside and the sand provides excellent ballistic protection (compare with modern-day sand bags). The fort is of course not built to withstand a prolonged siege, but it’s heavy cannons and high elevation should be able to put up a good resistance against any of the smaller vessels still predominant in the waters of New Terra. The three cannons can be directed in all directions from the fort, and a soldier in the high lookout tower can spot approaching ships better than lookouts on higher ground on the island, since the peaks are most often shrouded in clouds while the land closer to the beaches is more likely to have good sight of the seas. A lot of weird angles in this build and quite a few iterations to get things the way I wanted, but I'm fairly happy with the end result. The gate is on the other side if someone wonders, but in the rush to complete this it didn’t turn out well enough to merit a picture... I tried a new black background for this photo session, which I think worked ok except for that the contrast to the black roof wasn't very good... I also tried some different lighting with another flash from above, to simulate sunlight. What do you think of that?