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  1. 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 Completely outdated at first look, this equipment could save a soldier's life back in the motherland, where the brigands and the raiders from the Western steppes still used bows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.
  2. 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 ----------------------------- 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!
  3. The Ferrer Family Commercial Enterprise Part of the Foreign Merchants' Trading District of Fort Arltrees The largest building of the Foreign Merchants' District belonged to the Ferrers, a rich Mardierian family of bankers and traders. The palace was an elegant and classy building, for the Mardierian canons, even if a little too modest... for the Essians of the adjacent building, instead, it represented an awful baroque monstrosity! The Ferrers earned their impressive fortune a the very beginning of the Age of Exploration, when the ports of Terraversa were still closed and most of the Madrician Fleets were still locked behind the Line. At the time, the Ferrer Bank had the great intuition to finance the colonial adventures of the Mardierian Crown: soon, gold, silver, and spices started to flow back to King's Port and Londa, making the financiers rich beyond any measure. In a short time, the Ferrers were also able to launch their own private expeditions: in some periods, their galleons and conquistadores were almost as many as the ones of the king himself. Many years had passed, and now the quartered banner of the Ferrer only represented one of the many flags flown in the New World, and no longer the most feared. The Civil War, followed by the Terraversan Revolution and the Eslando-Mardierian War, represented devastating blows to the power of the Old Empire and its trading companies. Don Francisco Ferrer, one of the current representatives of the Company, had recently arrived at an agreement with the governor of Fort Arltrees: the Ferrers were authorized to establish a trading mission in the settlement; in return, they would act as middlemen in some trading businesses at the very border of legality... One of the most profitable -and possibly the most controversial- of these activities is trying to establish trading bonds with some Lotii merchants, in order to erode their support to the war against Oleon. Technically speaking, war was never declared between Oleon and the Lotii vassals, even if the latter had provided the Imperial Army with ships and numerous mercenaries. Therefore, again in principle, nothing forbade merchants from Banersbi or Bouton to moor in Fort Arltrees, trade with a Mardierian merchant, and leave unharmed... and nobody ever went too deep in investigating their precise nationality! For safety reasons, the Southerners were always escorted by Oleonese soldiers, were not allowed close to military installations, and could not spend the night in the settlement; apart from these minor aspects, everything had proceeded smoothly until that moment. The most well-paying trade of the Ferrers in Fort Arltrees is an unusual one, basically creating money out of thin air. Both in the Madrician states and in the Southern Kingdoms, gold and silver are valuable metals, and the former is worth more than the latter. How much more, however, is a different matter... A merchant of Oleon, Garvey, or Mardier, for instance, would be happy to pay a golden ingot with nine or ten silver ingots of the same weigth... ...while silver is much more priced in the Southern Kingdoms, and a Lotii merchant would gladly make the same exchange accepting five or six silver ingots. Therefore, by setting the exchange at an intermediate value, both sides would leave richer and happier, buy more metal in their home countries (gold for the Lotii, silver for the Marderians), and repeat the cycle indefinitely! As Fort Arltrees is probably the only place where this type of trade can currently happen, the pressure of the richest merchants on the Lotii commanders could defend the settlement better than a battery of howitzers... at least unless someone decides that raiding and plundering could be a more effective way to get cheap silver! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ On the upper floor, Don Francisco Ferrer was discussing some future plans with the governor of Fort Arltrees and the commander of his guards. Apparently, there are many ways in which the funds of the Ferrer Company could be put to good use in Fort Arltrees, far from the greedy tax collectors and the cumbersome bureaucracy of Mardier. From his side, Marcel Dubois knew that he had to be extremely careful in all his moves: politics might be far more dangerous than a battlefield, and a forged accusation of corruption or even treason could move him into a dark dungeon or in front of a firing squad really, really quickly. Additional picture in the spoiler: ------------------------------------------------------------ I hope you enjoy this second build! The backstory is somewhere between the established lore for Mardier, and something I completely invented (the Ferrer Family is something I introduced to build shady and slightly debatable stuff, without my main characters getting directly involved). I hope I didn't go too far in the business with the "definitely-not-Lotii" merchants, which is quite in line with how business and war were managed during the Age of Sails! The differences in the exchange rates between gold and silver in different places, historically, were a real thing: the Portuguese merchants of Macau and Nagasaki earned fortunes in this way, as China was a hungry importers of silver, and didn't use gold for its coins (therefore, the metal was less valuable).
  4. The Altonian Commercial Mission Part of the Foreign Merchants' District of Fort Arltrees Altonia has never really been a country of sailors and explorers. A lively class of merchants always existed in the nation, but their activities were mostly limited to the export of hard cheeses or the import of salt from Wisimar. Times, however, had changed quickly, and some had started to look beyond the traditional routes and wares. The recently opened Breshaun-Ulric trading route renewed interest in the New World among the most enterprising Altonians. After long discussions in the parliament, an influential league of merchants had convinced the government to claim sovereignty over the so-called Bat Island, in the Prio Seas... a small island with no proper mooring point, thousands of bats, and a native tribe still unaware of having become subjects of Her Majesty, Queen Brigette III. However, not even an outpost was established yet, and many thought that Altonian government was still not seriously pursuing its colonial adventure. To participate in the New World spice trade, a group of Altonian traders established a commercial mission in Fort Arltrees: apart from profit, their not-so-hidden aim was to attract the Queen's attention to the colonies, and to push the Crown to finally take some more serious steps on Bat Island. Informally, Oleon supports this plan: an Altonian colony on Bat Island could represent a friendly port halfway between Lavalette and Kojima, in an area infested by the pirates of Barracuda Bay. As the commercial mission was not directly backed by the Altonian government, the guards were not drawn from the army but were instead civilian volunteers. With all the books describing the New World as a tropical paradise, it was not particularly finding young men looking for adventure! The Altonian guards were equipped with modern muskets and uniforms but still wore cuirasses while on duty... when they were equipping their men, the Altonian merchants had still in mind Armond Basker and his conquistadores. Paprika and dried chili peppers had quickly become the main interest of the Commercial Mission, even though small amounts of tea and other spices were also exported. Compared to pepper or vanilla, chili peppers were not considered the most interesting good by the merchants of the main colonial Empires. The spice was very sought after in the Old World, and a cargo of paprika was still worth a little fortune, this was true, but the plants had quickly adapted to other regions of Halos, and now chilis were planted at ease also in the Mokolei Empire, in New Oleon, and even in some areas of the Madrician peninsula... even if definitely not in cold countries, such as Carno, Garvey or Altonia! Dried chilis were carefully mixed and controlled before being packed in bags of canvas and shipped to the motherland: a moldy cargo of spices would not make a good impression on Queen Brigette and her court! For paprika and ground chili, barrels and caskets were usually preferred. The Altonian merchants had also started to export, alongside the raw spices, blends of different chilis, paprikas, and local herbs. These products were having a lot of success, both in the motherland and in the rich westernmost colonies in the Sea of Storms. Unfortunately for the Altonian merchants, this also meant tasting way too many chili peppers, ranging from slightly spicy to unbearably hot. Hopefully, the people in charge of this were paid a little extra... In the little office, a curious machine helped the clerks with their duties: built by an Altonian clock-maker and inventor, it can make complex mathematical operations through an intricated system of buttons and dented wheels. Operating it, however, is so complicated that many still prefer the old, dear, paper and ink! Hide contents A different angle: ---------------------------------------- Here you can find the interior of the third build of the series, the Altonian Commercial Mission. A little less elaborated than the previous ones in terms of furniture, as I tried to keep it a little more warehouse-like. I hope you like it!
  5. Name: Fort Arltrees Ownership: Squatter settlement founded by Tristan Rimbaud Location: El Oleonda, New Haven Sea Map: Mayor: Lieutenant Marcel Dubois (@Keymonus) Who can own property in Fort Arltrees: Citizens of all the Empires, and the independent traders who call themselves "Sea Rats" Who can freebuild in Fort Arltrees: Citizens of all the Empires, and the independent traders who call themselves "Sea Rats" Description: Fort Arltrees was founded as a small military outpost during the first El Oleonda Campaign. The nearest settlement, Fatu Hiva, was several hundreds of miles far from El Oleonda, and the Kingdom of the Light needed a stable foothold in the area. The fort was at first nothing more than a fortified camp with a few warehouses and a pier, a place where soldiers could rest and friendly ships could resupply. Located in a little bay on the North-Western Coast, Fort Arltrees is in a strategic position between the Carnite cities in the West and the Lotii settlements in the East, and also represents an excellent starting point to explore the northern part of the archipelago. The settlement is surrounded by a thick tropical jungle, but a nearby river -recently named River Rimbaud- offers easy access to the interior. Most of El Oleonda inland is still unexplored, but the recent expeditions have mapped quite well the surroundings of Fort Arltrees. The first expeditions in the interior confirmed a limited presence of other nations in the area -substantially some small military units hunting one another- and found a number of small native villages, likely inhabited also by indigenous people and early Lotii explorers stranded on the island. The jungle around Fort Arltrees is also spotted with large ruins, ancient roads, and a system of canals, likely remains of an advanced civilization. During the last months, the settlement has grown quickly: after the end of the first hostilities, the small tent camp surrounded by a palisade has grown into a bustling, large town. The first wooden shacks were soon replaced by large stone buildings, including a new impressive fort guarding the bay. However, small wooden buildings such as farms and hunter shelters are common in the outskirts of the settlement. Despite the fast development, Fort Arltrees is still a frontier settlement, where life is hard and can end with a sudden, violent death. However, thanks to the new, imposing fortifications, it is very unlikely that Fort Arltrees can be simply wiped out of history. War is raging again on El Oleonda, but everyone feels safe inside the settlement, and both businesses and services are rising. Outside the palisade, on the contrary, almost everyone carries a musket in everyday activities: the natives of El Oleonda are mostly friendly, but bands of both Carnite and Lotii stragglers still haunt the jungle. Even if the settlement has grown quickly, most of the future buildings are expected to be simple stone or wooden structures, and development plans are still focused on the basic needs of the inhabitants. Most of the residents are currently soldiers, hunters and adventurers, but more and more colonists are looking for fortune on El Oleonda. With the growth of the population and of the settlement economy, large stone builds have appeared in Fort Arltrees, and important urban development plans are ongoing. Outside the settlement, instead, most of the buildings are still simple wooden houses and small farms, often fortified against the bandits. More Information on El Oleonda: El Oleonda is one of the four main islands of the New Haven Sea region. Like most of the lands of the New World, it is largely covered by jungle and thick tropical forests, but grasslands, marshes, and a variety of other biomes are also present. The central part of El Oleonda is crossed by a range of rocky hills, one of the highest in the whole New World. The island is inhabited by several native tribes, each with its unique traditions and culture. Moreover, the abandoned ruins of an ancient civilization (imposing temples, canal systems, even large cities) are scattered all over the island, and often host the -far more modest- settlements of El Oleonda tribes. In 620, El Oleonda was the theatre of one of the major wars of the Second Era of colonization: tensions and fights between Carno and Lotus Empire quickly escalated into an open war. The Madrician Empires were soon directly involved in the conflict, with the military campaigns against the Lotii forces and the Lotii raids against Spudkirk and Jiangkai. You can find more about the first El Oleonda Campaign here or in the spoiler below. Garrison: 1 Company of Essener Totenköpfe El Oleonda Ragamuffins - local militia unit Builds in Fort Arltrees: Please post a link to your build and specify if licensed or not. Licensed properties: 37 Size for EGS purposes - Level 4 'Large Town’ Properties required for the next level Artisan: 10/8 Commerce: 11/8 Cultural: 7/2 Educational: 4/3 Factory: 8/8 Residence: 13/8 Royal: 0/1 Total points: 66/61 Notable Events: A fort in the jungle - Founding of the settlement, in February 620 The Battle for El Oleonda - The First El Oleonda War, started after the Lotii raid against Spudkirk The Seawatch Campaign - Military campaign of allied Madrician Nations (Carno, Corrington, Eslandola, and Oleon) against the Lotii forces on El Oleonda, started after the Siege of Seawatch and the Lotii raid against Jiangkai The Foreign Merchants' District - A new commercial district of the settlement, attracting several merchants from foreign nations Residence: Fort Arltrees Vicarage - medium Hotel in Fort Arltrees - small Tree House - small An Essener House - small Marshal DeQuesne’s Flat - small Homestead - large A mostly warm reception - small Forward HQ Corrington Expeditionary Force - small Tamish bothy - small Fort Arltrees brig - small Factory: Vin de riz brewery - medium Small Factory Sawmill - small Smoked meat for the Fort - small Candy Factory - small Smith’s Smithy - large Plantation: A'Chua's people - small Rice Plantation - medium LBSF wheat farm - large Mine: The mine at the World's End - gold mine Artisan: The Tavern - large Fort Arltrees Bazaar - large Mr. Shur's Lotii Curiosities - small Ship repairing workshop - small Rimbaud Aqueduct - medium Commerce: Sutler's shop - small Lighthouse of Fort Arltrees - medium Small Commercial Wharf - small Dress Shop - small Among thieves - small Fort Arltrees military HQ - medium The Altonian Commercial Mission - small The Ferrer Family Commercial Enterprise - small The Essener New World Trading Company - small Education: A Little Schoolhouse - small Fort Arltrees public school - large Art & Culture: Church of Hades - large House of the Ancestors - medium Gardens of Poseidon- medium Forts: Fort Arltrees - small Gatekeeper Point - large Unlicensed Builds (similar to EGS properties): Essian Reiterhaus - a small garrison of Essian light cavalry Other Freebuilds (not similar to EGS properties): Sweet, sweet rotten eggs - A sulfurous spring, somewhere in the interior Monsieur le Filon - Prospecting outside Fort Arltrees found a gold vein A patrol encounters a bear outside the settlement - an unpleasant accident Return to the Tyree'dee - Bishop François returns to El Oleonda Introducing General Hercule François - General Hercule François arrives at the settlement
  6. Essener New World Trading Company Part of the Foreign Merchants' Trading District of Fort Arltrees Located in a strategic position between Neustadt and Seawatch, Fort Arltrees always represented a fundamental waypoint for the ships of Carno. The first presence of Carnites in the settlement was established as early as the summer of 620, during the battle of El Oleonda: a company of Essian infantry was hired in the garrison of Fort Arltrees, soon reached by a squadron of the hussars from the same city. Treesborg -the Carnite name given to Fort Arltrees- also had a crucial role during the siege of Seawatch: brave captains from Carno, Garvey, or Oleon left the settlement during nights of storm, defying the Lotii ships to provide the defenders with gunpowder and supplies. Most of the Carnite activities in Fort Arltrees were linked to the Free City of Essen, which traders didn't dislike a little more autonomy from the Grand Merchant Council of Aden and its representatives in Neustadt. The security of the commercial delegation is ensured by a small contingent of marines of the Essener New World Trading Company. On paper, these guards are employees of a private commercial entity, but their uniforms and equipment show a clear connection with the regular armed forces. During the previous two years, organizing the smuggling runs to the besieged settlement of Seawatch was one of the main activities of the Essian merchants in Treesborg. A noble mission, but also a quite profitable activity, as each cargo was generously paid in emergency certificates by the local governor. This represented quite a gamble for the Company: the hired captains demanded payments in doubloons or silver thalers, not in promises, and a Lotii victory would have turned all the "siege money" accumulated by the Essian merchants into wastepaper. On the ground floor, clerks and secretaries write and organize the huge pile of contracts, certificates, reports, and other documents that any trading company produces daily. People from Essen are known to be honest, precise and methodical, therefore any comma in the registers could be expected to be in order. In the near future, the Essener New World Trading Company planned to expand its activity on the island. The discovery of rich gold and silver ores on El Oleonda suscitated a particular interest in the Essians, well aware that the experience in metalworking of their countrymen could be put to good use there in the New World, where most of the smelting facilities were still rudimentary. Many Essians see in the New World the opportunity for a new dawn of prosperity for their city: for this reason, the sea flag of the Company includes the golden yellow of the historical flag, a symbol of greatness and power rarely used by the city in the current times... who knows, possibly the sacred Oak of Wotan could find a fertile soil on El Oleonda, so far from its homeland! ------------------------------- I hope you enjoy the first building of the trading district, belonging to the Free City of Essen. Obvious credit goes to @Khorne, who invented it and established most of the lore... for this reason, it was also the most complicated in terms of text writing, as I wanted to be as coherent as possible with what was previously established. The reason behind the black and yellow flag is that while building I realized (to my surprise) that I don't own a white one, required for the more canonical Essen City Banner... my soldiers never felt the need to surrender, apparently!
  7. 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 calle 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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
  11. The musketeers have joined the fray, and under the protection of the pikemen, open fire on the Lotii. Smoke billows from the muskets... A few more pix: All C&C welcome.
  12. General Alonzo watches on as a company of pikemen move through the jungle to get into their position in the line of battle. Musketeers will join the pikemen to complete the feared Eslandian tercios. ---- A small build to contribute to the battle on El Oleonda. A couple of additional views of the build:
  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. 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
  15. Jeff of Clubs

    [OL-FB] Vive Le Roi!

    Upon the bones of an ancient empire, a fledgling empire stokes its own ambitions. From this dias the high priests of old enthralled the hearts and minds of their subjects. Thousands of years later, much hasn't changed within the human condition. Though the ancients would likely express some consternation at the use of water in such a ceremony. Let the other nations fuss over plans and tactics until the last minute. Gran Oleon has The Faith. Bishop Francois blesses the battalion and company standards on the dawn of battle, conflating the colonial conflict with a war most holy and compelling the men to great feats of courage and sacrifice...or else. +1 Tactical Value for 3.Div for superb Elan! (j/k) Based on a painting of a certain naughty French emperor. 'The Distribution of the Eagles' by Jacques Louis David. Thanks to @Ross Fisher for the use of his Bishop! ♧
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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! ♧
  19. "A pair of barbarians gather at a signpost seeking direction." "Yet, it is Shinobi and they fall, just as the cherry blossoms do. And this was very well." Thx, ♧
  20. 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!
  21. "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!
  22. 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!
  23. 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!
  24. 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.
  25. 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, ♧