Vastmark, Principate of

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Information

Vastmark2.gif
Modern flag
Vastmark.gif
Earlier flag
Foundation: 1707-date
Capital: Chihuahua City in Takrur
Religion: Roman Catholic

By Robert Pierce and Martin Helsdon

Description

The Pricipate of Vastmark is a splinter from the Mali Ax Empire, rebelling against the Emperor's intent to impose Lencolar Christianity on the vastly Roman Catholic populace.

Vastmark is composed of the provinces that used to be Danish West Africa, which was settled by the Hanseatic League oh, a hundred, two hundred years ago (game time). Dutch / Batavian settlers and north Germans, Frisians, that sort of thing. It's the Gambia / Senegal rather than Cape colony, but there you go... The cities are named things like Bremen, Jena, etc.
It has a three-layer population now; Africans at the bottom, Afrikaans in the middle and Mixtecs on the top (for the moment, anyway). Fun and a half.
--Tom Harlan responding to a question on the Lords of the Earth listserv

The History:

Still to be written.

NewsFax Entries

1739-1740 (T205)
Jesuits: Somewhere outside of the pestilential sprawl of London, amid green fields on a vast and well-ordered country estate, a conclave gathered in rapidly falling dusk. Countless candles and torches illuminated a long procession of potentates, kings, princes, priests from every corner of the globe. A simple shrine stood under the brow of a turfed hill, a gleaming marble statue of the Risen Christ standing alone on the altar, the dark, almost invisible shape of a simple wooden cross behind him.

The ceremony was short, entirely in archaic Church latin, and the man kneeling before the old priest bowed his newly tonsured head. "Do you accept the service of Christ, his Church and his people, forever?"

"I do," Vladimir Tukhachevsky answered, rising newly anointed, a prince of the Church, and now founder of the Society of Jesus. A white brand, a keen blade, by which the Catholic nations hoped to drive back the darkness and usher in a new, golden age.

Expansive support in gold, men, arms, materials (even entire corps of clerks, priests and librarians) were provided by all the Catholic realms save that of Judea, which was rather aloof from the proceedings. The Shawnee, however, more than made up for the lack - for the faith of the western kingdom was strong, and a bulwark against all darkness, be it of the Ice, or of Huss.

Papacy: Still quite irritated with Georganta's failure in Vastmark, the Pope took ship south into African waters for an official visit to the small nation. He found a lukewarm reception, but still managed to make headway in restoring normal relations between the Holy See and the prince's government.

Vastmark: The prince was very concerned to read a dire set of reports from certain internal ministries - but then the Pope showed up with about a million cardinals, guardsmen, ships, valets, chanting monks, praying nuns and all the rest of the Papal carnivale and William was forced to play host for months on end while Il Papa wandered the countryside, inspecting churches and generally being pontifical.

And while the prince and his guardsmen were entirely distracted keeping an eye on the Pope (and the Holy Father out of harm's way), someone pulled a slick little caper and stole nearly half of the gold being transferred to the Nörsktrad Brehmen Bank to pay for a substantial government loan. A broken wooden statue of Cicero was found near the crime scene, as well as discarded Scottish kilts.

1741-1742 (T206)
Jesuits: In a daring and unexpected move, the Jesuits took it upon themselves to send a powerful fleet south along the Afriqan coast (under the command of the Vicar-General) and to establish settlements in Senegal (Dakar), then across to the Amerikas, and St. Laurent in Camopi and St. Augustine in Calusa (the southern tip of Florida).

Spain: The arrival of a squadron of Vastmarki frigates went entirely unnoticed amid all the other hullaballo, and the Vastmark commodore (lord Ixapopolotl) spent many days waiting in many government offices, unable to find the man he was sent to see.

Vastmark: Beside taking very great care with their loan payments, the Vastmark minded their own business, only sending a small squadron of warships on a good-will visit to Spain.

A large number of Jesuit scholars descended upon Chihuahua City to render aid, advice and assistance to the prince's government. He set them about cleaning up certain clerical records and making sure no one was embezzling or stealing government monies. They had a fine time, and more than one clerk found himself being dragged into a small, dark room with some grim-looking men.

More Jesuits were busy in Senegal, where they built a fine modern town on the coast at Dakar.

1743 – 1744 T207
Jesuits: Despite the horrible massacre in Calusa in ’42, the Jesuits continued their plan of building small religiously-planned cities at convenient locations. This time, however, they secured the assistance of local rulers, or provided protection themselves. In this way, the cities of Bissau in Susu (shared with Vastmark), San Augustine in Calusa and Portsmouth in Wessex (shared with England) were built.

Republic of Spain: And, while the Largoista armies had been entirely busy in the north and west, a daring force of African volunteers (mostly students attending the Universidad de Sevilla from Carthage, Mixteca, Vastmark and other southern nations) had marched up the eastern coast of Spain, capturing the provinces of Grenada (and the city of Cortez) and Valencia (and the city of Tortosa), which are now in SRC hands. Papal and Jesuit holdings were looted and – as in Estremadura – set afire, the servants freed, the priests sent to consult with their Lord from the end of a rope.

Vastmark: The stadholder resolved to take a small party of guardsmen north and enter the lands of the Moslem tribes of the Adwaghost. His advisors were horrified … “the Adwaghost are restless butchers,” they exclaimed. “They eat human flesh! They bow down before horrific idols!”

“Nonsense,” William said, preparing to set out. “They’re human beings – possessed of rational thought and intellect!”

Despite what everyone expected, William’s mission to the Moslem tribesmen was not a horrible disaster ending with ants burrowing into his eyes as he struggled against chains or ropes binding him to the sand. Instead – by sheer blind luck and relentless bravado – he traveled among them, impressed the clans, made the women swoon, showed his courage and wit, and escaped with the lives of himself and his men. No mean feat, considering the tremendous hostility evidenced by the Moslems for the Catholics in the south.

Despite recent reforms by the prince to regulate the commercial lenders in Chihuahua City, trouble continued to afflict the stock companies and pawn-shops. A number of notable local financiers were killed in duels – mostly over trivial matters of honor – and two hanged themselves over irregularities in their books. The prince, seeking to calm a skittish business community, promised to investigate fully and see orderly business was restored.

The Jesuits built a town, Bissau, in Segu province with help from the Principate.

1745 – 1746 T208
The War Against the Daemon Sultan (AD 1743-1746)
August: The Vastmark general Nkwame arrives at Antalya in Isauria with a corps of engineers and supporting Senegalese mercenary infantry.

April: In Cilicia, the combined Afriqan/Vastmark/Islander army besieges Tarsus, supported by the Islander fleet. The city, though the defenders fight bravely, is flattened within the month.

Late May: The Islander/Afriqan/Vastmark army advances into Aleppo, driving off a demoralized Georgian garrison. They find the city of Antioch is nothing but grass-covered ruins. Even the province is barely populated, the locals living in wandering groups as herdsmen. “What happened here?” Neya is dumbfounded.

Early June: Islander/Afriqan/Vastmark army marches south into Lebanon (after Neya bent some arms and came close to throwing a fit). They find the province in the midst of coming to grips with the reported death of the Sultan as well as (apparently) most of the royalty of western Europe. Neya thinks that is all very fine, but makes sure her troops garrison the province and the port of Beirut.

August: Leaving the Islanders in Lebanon to reduce the local tribes to something like order, the Afriqans and Vastmark corps march down into Levant and find the Masai in possession of Akko, where there are also a large number of Albanian air-men (Nikolas having returned from his raid over Baghdad), princess Margaret of the Franks and her airship squadron, a whole gang of Nisei sailors and other hanger’s-on. Everyone immediately begins to tell everyone else everything that happened and the combined Sunlander armies wind up throwing a six-week-long barbecue.

Carthage: The Emir’s efforts to forestall widespread famine met with a little success, but even the gracious aid of the Vastmark did not allow Hamilcar to feed so many hungry mouths or to let the crops grow in fields under constant, dim shadow.

Vastmark: Now this was strange days… the Principate the powerful realm with deep pockets? Indeed! Vastmark shipped grain to Carthage (though not as much as the northerners needed) and gold to Sweden and the Jesuit order. Investigations into the banking scandal continued, though the Stadholder was not pleased with the results. “The Kievians,” he growled, “couldn’t steal a pastry from a pig! Even a drunk, Baklovakian pig!”

The Jesuit-built city of Dakar in Senegal was placed – after an arrangement was reached between the prince and the Society – under Vastmark civil administration. The priests, of course, retained extensive facilities there. William, however, was welcomed and soon acquired both a loyal dependency and a wife (Jenna Jamirson) for his son Jason. Even that match was fruitful, with the young bride soon bearing a golden-haired daughter for the happy husband. Jason’s little brother Daniel also came of age and was immediately entrusted with a regiment of Hussars.

Lord Nkwame was dispatched the Mediterranean with a mercenary fleet (arranged through the reliable and low-cost Norsktrad mercenary brokerage) and a passel of Vastmarki engineers to assist the Sunlander invasion of Georgia.

Finally, a low-key diplomatic note was circulated to all foreign embassies in Chihuahua City – a formal armistice had been declared between Vastmark and the Mixtec Empire. The two realms were now officially at peace.

1747 – 1748 T209
Republic of Spain: General Alfonso led off the campaign with a direct invasion of Languedoc – and there he found nothing but chaos, civil unrest and confusion. Apparently the authority of the SRC commisars had collapsed, leading to anarchy. The Spanish immediately moved to restore order and to arrest those few Communards still alive and present. Largo, the ARF aerosquadron, a passel of Vastmark riflemen, Afriqan mercenaries and a strong force of Templars arrived later in the year, and by the end of ’48, the provinces of Languedoc, Aquitaine and Auvergne (as well as the cities of Narbonne and Limoges) were once more in Largoista hands. Islander and Norsktrad fleets supported this operation offshore, blockading the coast and seizing considerable amounts of Espanan shipping.

Vastmark: The Stadholder ordered more fishing boats constructed, which put the port facilities in Bissau and Dakar to good use. Many of the fishing crews wound up coming from the Boure district inland, where the Bakani gold mines had become exhausted. Back in Chihuahua City (where there was a petition circulating to change the name of the stad to ‘Casimir’, but was having trouble gaining popular support), prince Jason was devastated by the untimely death of his wife Jenna. The cruel blow sunk him into depression.

At least one of the squadrons dispatched to fight in the Middle East returned under the command of Ixapopolotl, though Lord Nkwame and his soldiers were now fighting in Spain. A number of Carthaginian-built airships were unloaded in Chihuahua City, which allowed the Stadholder to claim an “aerial force.”

1749 – 1750 T210
ARF: ARF ships once more plied the sea-lanes to Iroquois, Vastmark, Mixtec and many other strange, fabulous lands.

Vastmark: The Stadholder continued to stubbornly pursue negotiations with the Senegalese, who were really being very, very difficult. He also kept a weather eye on the increasingly powerful Moslem tribes to the north – though they continued to mind their own business.

The Takrur salt mines bottomed out, causing a minor local recession as thousands trekked to the cities in search of work. Prince Jason was married (again) and this time his new wife managed to bear him a son without perishing in the process. A near-disaster among the lending and commercial credit banks of Chihuahua City was averted by the combined intervention of the Prince and the Norsktrad mercantile bank.

1751 - 1752 T211
Carthage: Nador, Alexandria, Al-Rhemish, New Oran and Augostina all expanded a level as tribal peoples, Polish emigrants and other 'overseas Hussites' flooded into the cities in search of jobs, warm weather, cheap housing and cheaper Vastmarki wine.

Vastmark: The Stadholder returned to the capital (from his endless perambulations among the Senegalese townships) to meet with representatives of the Sisters of the Rose and to issue an Edict:

The Edict of Minden, AD 1751
Following the recent Conclave of the Church, and the worthy efforts of the Pope to encourage dialogue between adherents to the Church and the Lencolar Faith, The Stadholder has elected to follow this example, and invite discourse with the Sisters of the Rose in the hope that misunderstandings between our two peoples can be avoided in the future.
In the tumult that followed the birth of Vastmark some years ago, most of the people who chose to defect from the Mixtec nation retained their Roman Catholic beliefs. However, not all did so. The people of Minden in Ghana elected to abandon the Faith as set out in Papal Doctrine and adopt the ways of the Lencolar faith. Since then, their existence has been an uncomfortable one, as Vastmarki law has prevented access to clergy of their faith to minister to them.
In recognition of the peace that has held in West Afriqa for many years now, Vastmark has resolved to overturn years of mistrust, and has written to the Sisters offering the hand of friendship.
The people of Minden will no longer be forbidden access to the leaders of the faith, and the Sisters of the Rose now have leave to establish a presence in Minden to better minister to their followers.
This access is not, however, unfettered; for the years have not passed that all of the people of Vastmark can forget the suffering inflicted upon them by adherents of the Lencolar faith. The Sisters may only establish a limited presence in Minden, and may not use that presence to increase their influence - either secular or religious - in any part of Vastmark outside Minden. Only ordained servants of the Order and their administrative support may enter Vastmarki territory, and naturally the presence of military units on behalf of the Order will invite a swift and harsh response.
Vastmark is gratified that the Sisters of the Rose understand and have accepted these conditions in good grace. It is sincerely hoped that this initiative will open the door to further discourse, and ultimately friendship between the adherents of Catholicism and their Lencolar neighbors in West Afriqa.

As it happened, William was also on hand to share his son Jason's grief at the death of the princess Tara von Saxe-Coburg. The father urged the son to remarry as soon as possible, but the middle-aged Jason was rather distraught and refused. Eichstatt in Galam expanded and the Prince's Own Air Corps made some maiden flights over Chihuahua City (and did not crash into anything) in their new, Spanish-built, zeppelins.

Afriqa Co.: While the Company worked feverishly to fulfill a huge number of contracts - at home and abroad - Kaiune himself paid a visit to the domains of the Vastmark, where he contracted some kind of spotted fever and then died in '52, coughing his lungs out in a Brehmeni latrine.

1753 - 1754 T212
Vastmark: The Stadholder stayed home and minded his own business.

1755 - 1756 T213
Vastmark: A rainy day finally having come, the Prince opened his purse and spent wildly. Thanks to the generous assistance of the Norsktrad, Vastmark now possessed the technical skills to build ships of the air, so enormous sheds and workshops sprang up at Chihuahua City and Eichstatt. A postal road was built between Galam and Susu.

From the Vastmark Times. “…and we thank the leaders of Carthage for providing us with these prototype airships. Soon we shall be able to build them for ourselves and no longer depend on the gifts of others for these products of advanced technology. It is with these words that I, William Casimir inaugurate the Vastmark Air Corps.”

Still desiring amicable relations with the Senegalese, the Stadholder (still traveling about that region) granted them partial autonomy and their own government. His gloomy son Jason marched through a bit later with most of the Vastmark army, including their precious four airships, on his way north-east to bring the tribes of the Adwaghost to heel.

Prince Jason’s army entered the desolate plains with high hopes and jaunty banners. After a month of hiking, however, everyone was growing bored and tired. There was nothing in these lands but sand, scratchy bushes, long barren ridges and the tracks of an inordinate number of nomads… but not a single Berber could be found.

After two months of marching about, one of the zeppelins flashed an alert to the prince – leading his army from the van, as ever -- tribesmen sighted. Many tribesmen! A party of Seguan scouts were sent forward and soon they returned in haste to report a vast army of Berbers – more desert-rats than anyone had ever seen – were sweeping around the Vastmarki army in a huge crescent…

Forewarned, Prince Jason immediately retired to the south. Guided by his airship scouts, he was able to deftly extract his army from the trap and the Europeans marched back home as fast as humanly possible… the Berber crescent closed on nothing … only dusty ground and muddled footprints.

The three sheikhs considered the signs, listened to the reports of their scouts and thought long and hard about the matter of the flying sausages and how far a man could see in this land of rock and sand if he stood on a high place. The Berber armies faded away into the sand, vanishing to the north.

An embassy from the Sisters of the Rose arrived in Minden by way of Senegal, looked around, consulted their maps and then gave up and had tea. Apparently someone had told them the province was Lencolar – which was very far from the truth.

Elsewhere, Prince Daniel – using publicly-available charts and maps provided by the local office of the Norsktrad Company – took a squadron of ten galleons across the Atlantic to Pennacook, where the sailors were glad to visit with the natives and sample the fruits of their breweries.

Kingdom of the Iroquois: Some time later, the citizens of Pennacook entertained a squadron of Vastmark galleons under the command of the well-spoken Daniel Casimir.

1757 - 1758 T214
Vastmark: The ringing of hammers and the hiss of cutting torches continued to fill the byways of Eichstatt and Chihuahua City – the stadholder had a great interest in a modern aeroforce. William also undertook to build a large, modern Skywatch tower (and support complex) in Marampa province – Jagdschloss.

The cities of Bakani, Minden, Xuichitlan and Dakar all expanded a level as rural populations flocked to the urban centers to earn a better living.

Vastmark Times ~ Mystery object spotted by Jagdschloss Telescope.
While being tested prior to the official opening, the new Jagdschloss Telescope in Marampa Province has spotted a strange object believed to be some kind of vessel capable of traveling through the Outer Dark in the same manner as an Airship moves through the skies.
The object was soon lost to sight, though during the next nights observing a bright light was observed between the Earth and the Moon.
Observatory Officials have stated that they have no idea where the craft came from, but that it was too small to have contained a man.

Daniel Casimir, commanding a Vastmarki squadron operating off the coast of North Amerika, ran afoul of the denizens of Pennacook, who attacked him and his galleons and destroyed two before the Afriqans fled to safety at the Aztec port in Micmac.

The stadholder announced he had struck an arrangement with the Sharif of Mauretania to secure the borders of the principate. He hoped this arrangement would give both nations time to build in peace and to, one day, play a leading role in the defeat of the last remnants of the Ice. This announcement was followed, within a few weeks, by a variety of disturbances in the northern provinces. Attacks on garrisons and government offices were laid at the feet of the Carthaginians, who (according to reputable government sources) were seeking to destabilize Vastmark in preparation for invasion.

Vastmark Times ~ Meteor impact on moon observed by Jagdschloss Telescope.
Last night the Jagdschloss Telescope made history by observing what is believed to be the first meteor impact on the moon in historic times, the bright flash which lasted for only about a second was located right on the lunar terminator and was easily visible. It was followed by a spectacular atmospheric display believed to be similar to the Northern Lights.
The resulting crater is under a half a mile in diameter, it has been decided that it will be named Henry, in honor of Prince William’s father.

Mali Ax Empire: The cozying up of the Vastmark with the Sharif did not go unnoticed, however, and was cause for considerable grumbling.

Great France: Finally, certain commercial arrangements were made with the Honorable Afriqa Company to carry French trade to both Vastmark and Persia.

1759 – 1760 T215
Norsktrad: Stuck in a fiscal situation more common to primacies that presumably profit-making companies, the Company purse dispensed substantial funds to Vastmark, the Swedes, Spain (did they ever stop crying?), even the Pope!

Vastmark: The ancient stadholder (his son often wondered if the old geezer would ever die) attempted to wash his hands of the Senegalese problem by granting the province to Lord Uwe Anderson, who had long and faithfully served the state. Of course, Anderson soon found he was now the master of a great number of recalcitrant and almost-rebellious Orange Catholics. Still, the general was not without some wit of his own, so he became an Orangist as well.

William, meantime, found himself often at odds with his son Jason, who had returned from the devastation of Sankarani a little strange. Various of the stadholder’s councilors urged the old man to disinherit his son, which William (as yet) refused to do.

1761 – 1762 T216
Trebizond: The Mixtec ‘outpost’ in Lydia saw a massive degree of investment in rural grain combines, mills, irrigation canals and reforestation. The House of Mary was also very busy, as the Mixtecs implemented a ‘free passage’ program to allow throngs of pilgrims from sub-Saharan Afrika to visit Ephesus and the cathedral there, as well as the stone house on Mount Prion which had been the last dwelling of the Holy Mother. A very substantial number of Vastmarki matrons took advantage of this generous offer.

Norsktrad: Continuing to draw a raised eyebrow from the Catholic crowned heads of Europe (at least those not on the ‘dole’), the banking arm of the Company disbursed substantial sums to the Jesuits, the Spanish, the Swedes, Vastmark, as well as Al’Haggar and Mauritania (as peace had been successfully concluded with the Orangist Berbers).

Vastmark: In a rare event (or it seemed so, anyway) the Vastmark actually paid the Norsktrad money for several modern warships to be delivered later. At the same time, the Stadholder expanded the coastal merchant fleet, hoping to boost trade and commerce. A postal road was also cut through the brush between Eichstatt in Galam and Xuchitlan in Khalem.

Catholic counter-reformatory missionary activity began in Senegal, where the Holy See hoped to roll back the tide of Orangist sentiment threatening to spread into the south. Progress, however, was very slow. Only Dakar, controlled as it was by the Jesuits, seemed immune. Indeed, the Orangist faith began to pick up steam among the African peasantry, spilling south through Gambia and picking up a steadily-increasing number of adherents even in cosmopolitan Brehmen. The countryside of Khalem also became Orangist.

The Stadholder returned to Chihuahua City in company with his elite personal guard and promptly fell ill and died in the winter of ’61. Before his death, however, old William had issued an edict disinheriting his son Jason (who had been so troublingly changed by his disastrous expedition to the wasteland of Sankarani) and making the 12-year-old Henry II Casimir (Jason’s son) the next Stadholder. By these means, the old man managed to outrage prince Jason and put him at odds with the young Henry and his Saxe-Coburg uncles.

Jason immediately declared himself regent for young Henry and launched a vigorous purge of the Saxe-Coburgs. As blood ran in the streets and estates burned merrily, painting the sky black with smoke, prince Daniel returned in secret to the city and attempted a counter-coup to rescue Henry II from his maddened father…

The coup failed, there was a fierce battle in the palace and in the army camps outside the city between factions loyal to the two brothers – Jason was killed by a stray mortar round, Daniel declared himself regent for young Henry – the Saxe-Coburgs broke with Daniel, precipitating a third coup attempt – young Henry, while being whisked to safety, was badly wounded by rifle-fire, fell gangrenous and died. The old Stadholder’s wife, Maria-Claire also suffered a seizure during this period and wasted away.

Prince Daniel was widely blamed for young Henry’s death, causing him to attack the Coburgs openly, which in turn precipitated a counter-revolt by lord Nkwame and his pro-Mixtec faction in the army. Nkwame and the Eichstatt garrison marched on Chihuahua City and clashed with Daniel and the Stadholder’s Guard at Dioloulou. Despite being outnumbered (Daniel commanded 10,000 men against Nkwame’s 8,000), the general was a capable man and the prince was an idiot of the first water, particularly in military matters. Victory was fumbled and then lost, and the Prince’s army smashed and sent fleeing for the walls of Chihuahua City. Daniel was right at the front of the pack, too.

Chihuahua City was then besieged by Nkwame’s forces – which happened to include three thousand siege engineers. Of course, the capital was one of the most heavily fortified cities in the world – but then, Prince Daniel was once more in command! Emboldened by this, Nkwame launched into an aggressive siege of the city… and immediately got his tiny army badly chewed up. Even with the idiot Daniel in command, the defenders of Chihuahua City could savage any attacker. Fortunately for the Saxe-Coburg faction, Prince Daniel also decided it was a good idea to parade about on the battlements “to inspire the troops” and got his fool head shot off by a sniper.

With Daniel dead, Lord Ixtoc (being a far worse military commander, yet also possessed of some native wit) bowed to the inevitable and surrendered the city to Nkwame and his faction. A marriage was then arranged between Nkwame’s son, Kusar, and princess Raye Casimir of the Stadholder’s line.

Nkwame then declared himself Stadholder, standing on the steps of the Royal Palace, flanked by the Mixtec ambassador on one side and the prelate of the Sisters of the Rose on the other.

1763 – 1764 T217
Vastmark: True to his word, Nkwame immediately raised every man he could lay hands upon – reservists, new levies, even foreign mercenaries. Better, the Principate navy took delivery of two newly-commissioned, Norsktrad-built, steam transports at Brehmen and immediately tore them apart. New airships were delivered as well, doubling the size of the aeroforce. The Stadhouse was tenanted not only by guardsmen from the hluVren sept, but also by an inordinate number of well-armed Jesuits.

The fortifications of Brehmen, Bakani and Jena were all refurbished and the garrisons strengthened. A steadily increasing number of Catholic missionaries moved into the northern provinces, trying to stem the tide of Orangist fervor in Gambia and Brehmen. The heretics were, indeed, driven out of the city and the situation in the countryside seemed to be tipping in favor of the Catholics. In Dakar, however, despite a major Jesuit presence, the underclasses of the city stealthily took up the new faith.

And while his son handled the arrests, interrogations and executions of many of his old friends and allies, Nkwame occupied himself with drilling the reformed army – particularly three new regiments of Grenadiers and artillery. “Ah, majestic!” The Stadholder also signaled his distance from the Mixtecs by converting to Roman Catholic.

1765 – 1766 T218
Events in Spain
June: A Vastmarki fleet commanded by Lord Nkrumah arrives at Barcelona, expecting to find the city in Catalũnan hands – but it’s not – so they have nowhere to land. The nearest friendly port is Narbonne in Languedoc, so the Vastmark squadron sails north.
July: Nkrumah’s Vastmark fleet lands at Narbonne and unloads the 5,000-man Expeditionary Force.
August: The Royal Vastmark Expeditionary force marches south towards Catalonia.
September: The Royal Vastmark Expeditionary Force enters Catalonia and finds the land once more in Catalũnan hands. “Onward to Valencia!” Nkrumah declares.
October: Hector and his victorious Cruzaderos invade Catalonia again. They immediately encounter the surprised Royal Vastmark Expeditionary Force and battle ensues south of Barcelona at Vendrell. Outnumbered and outgunned, Kruhmah’s Afriqans put up a staunch fight but are smashed decisively. The survivors join the general migration of demoralized and defeated Catalũnans streaming northward and pillaging the countryside.
November: Nkrumah’s Vastmarki squadron gathers up survivors of the defeat at Vendrell from the Catalonian shore and sails south to St. Georges in Morocco, the nearest friendly refuge.

Church of Rome: The Church’s main efforts (other than ranting about the mess in Spain), was in Africa, where the Orangist tide was still lapping dangerously against the northern border of Vastmark. Good success was had in Senegal.

Vastmark: Takrur itself was settled back to 3 GPv as the Stadholder drew in supporters and co-religionists from the countryside. Brehmen and Chihuahua City also expanded, and the city walls and fortifications refurbished at their new extents. Just to show his strength, Nkwame purged his officer corps and confiscated many estates, particularly those of Lencolar or Orangist commanders. The usual gangs of Catholic priests preached in the countryside, trying to stem the Orangist tide.

Religious troubles continued to percolate just under the surface of Vastmarki society as the Orangist faith grew stronger and stronger in the north. Worse, whispers in the coffee-houses and public taverns began to circulate, suggesting that with the tide of Orangist believers, the Sisterhood should be allowed into the Principate, and even (when no one thought one of the Stadholder’s men was within earshot) Mixtec administration.

The delivery of two shiny new steam-powered Cruisers did bring a sparkle to Nkwame’s eye, particularly since they had been built under contract in the Chihuahua City yards, by NorskTek contractors, and were entirely crewed by Vastmarki sailors.

An expedition was mounted to assist the Catholic king of Spain, but that didn’t quite work out like everyone expected.

1767 – 1768 T219
Vastmark: The cordial relationship of the Principate with Nörsktek continued – another steam-powered cruiser (the DeRuyter) rolled off the Chihuahua City ways and immediately began working up under Vastmarkken crews. While this went well, efforts inland to roll back the Orangist tide still creeping south from the desert (and to revitalize the piety and Catholic nature of the kingdom) did poorly – Vastmark and Papal missionaries were roundly reviled, and only the stalwart presence of Sud Afriqan priests prevented the effort being a complete loss. Lord Nkrumah returned from Spain with his sadly reduced force of ships and men. He did not receive a triumph.

Efforts by the Air Corps to set a new altitude record for an airship failed disastrously, leading to the loss of four zeppelins and Minister Kalagi as well. This led to a deep gloom afflicting the remaining members of the Corps, despite one of the airships reaching almost four thousand meters.

And at the end of ’68, old Nkwame finally succumbed to a strangling cord (he had been suffering from a ghastly fluxion of the bowels and his son Kusar could no longer stand the smell) and the Prince became Stadholder.

1769–1770 T220
ARF: Efforts were made far afield as well, such as in Dakar, Senegal, where the city expanded with an influx of Arfen technicians, their families and aeroinfantry to protect them.

Vastmark: Despite the urging of his councilors, the Stadholder kept close control of his army. The councilors soon disappeared among the constant "shadow" war occupying the powerful of the Principate. Arrests, disappearances, unidentifiable bodies floating in the river come morning… all very common now. Admiral Makeni kept the naval flotillas busy patrolling the coast, keeping fruit smugglers and grain merchants from evading inspection at the ports.

The local Jesuits- inspired by the arrival of the Vicar-General himself from the south -- struggling to roll back the gains of the Orangists in Senegal at last managed to get some traction – a number of critical villages were reclaimed for the Catholic faith, assisted by rumors out of the mideast that the “Prophet” had gone mad and been murdered by his own followers. This progress then led into a substantial improvement of relations between the local chiefs and the Principate - mostly due to the dogged efforts of Baaba Dakari, the Vastmarki "proconsul" of the region.

Norsktrad foremen and engineers were quite busy in Chihuahua City, where a large number of new factories were under construction. Part and parcel of their efforts was to launch another steam-powered cruiser, the Valken, to join the steadily growing fleet of the Principate.

Stadholders

  • Kusar hluVren, 1768-
  • Nkwame hluVren 1761-1768
  • William Casimir 1713-1761
  • Henry Casimir 1707-1713

The Players

  • T216-date Scott Stricklin
  • T212-T215 Graham Donald
  • T205-T211 (1739-date) Julian Page
  • T193-???? (1713-????) Dan Bresien
  • T192 (1711-1712) (open)
  • T191 (1709-1710) Logan Vanderlinden
  • T190 (1707-1708) (open)

Last updated: 26 December 2004

© 2002 Robert Pierce © 2004 Martin Helsdon

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