Deeds of the Dukes of Chariton, part V

(I sort of forgot about this, honestly.)

Deeds of the Dukes of Chariton


V: The Regency
July 2680 – January 2686

In December 2680 Pamela, the wife of Regent Lavon of Chariton, gave birth to a girl, who was named Theodora. When pressed, Pamela claimed that the girl’s father was Count Zedkiah of Prairie Rapids, but he did not acknowledge the girl as his child.

In February 2681 the seat of the Queen of Lakotah fell to an Iowan army. Queen Lacotawin evaded capture, but Iowan armies were laying siege to her lands.

On May 1 2681, Duke Lyman gave the order for a summer fair to be held at Maryville, and it ended on the last day of June.

In July 2682, the self-proclaimed State of Missouri (also known as the Boonslick Republic) declared war on Duke Carl of Kansas.

After King Franklin had begun his war for Rock Rapids, various lesser rulers took advantage of the Iowan-Lakotah war to try conquering various parts of Lakotah ruled by Queen Lacotawin, including Count Daniel of Freeborn and Chief Stuart of Black Hills.

On August 12, 2682, Queen Lacotawin and King Franklin made peace. Queen Lacotawin ceded Rock Rapids (formerly ruled in her name by Duke Yahto Ingyang of Siouxland) and the surrounding lands to King Franklin.

The next month, King Franklin took Estherville from the heathen priest who had been ruling it and granted it to Gerald, who became Abbot Gerald of Estherville and would later serve as King Franklin’s court chaplain.

In February 2683 there were rumors that King Franklin sought to take Icaria from Countess Diana, Duke Lyman’s betrothed.

King Franklin of Iowa was first called Stonewall in July 2683, after a singer sang of his deeds in the war for Rock Rapids. Continue reading

Deeds of the Dukes of Chariton, part IV

(It’s been 4.5 months since my last post in this series. Oops.)

Deeds of the Dukes of Chariton


IV: Victory and Succession
April 2676 – July 2680

In early April 2676, Duke Truman mustered his levies and became known as a skilled fighter.

Prince Salathiel of Iowa, King Franklin’s fourth son, was born on May 15, 2676.

Duke Truman’s friend and chancellor Lavon began to speak in tongues, so he was replaced as chancellor by Milo Trenton, a knight in Duke Truman’s service. Lavon was given overall command of Duke Truman’s 1400 men once they had all gathered at Kirksville, and the army began marching south to Moberly in early May.

In early June the improvements to Maryville’s walls were complete and, a few days later, Duke Truman’s 1400 men met Count Napoleon’s 600 men near Carrollton.

After some initial skirmishing saw Lavon Graham’s 700 men put the Thompson pickets to flight, Theophile Lucerne and Lavon Graham, commanding the Chariton right and left respectively, advanced in support of the Chariton center as Lavon and his 500 men charged Count Napoleon’s 500 men.

Some 200 men of Duke Truman’s army were killed and wounded, while 500 of Count Napoleon’s men were killed and wounded. Only a few of Count Napoleon’s light horse and light infantry managed to flee East, and Duke Truman’s men began to lay siege to Moberly.

Count Napoleon’s surviving men raided near Hannibal and Kirksville, but Duke Truman decided that Count Napoleon’s 80 men were not going to cause any real threat and taking Moberly would bring about a faster end to the rebellion.

In January 2677, Duke Truman’s daughter Evanora was betrothed to Roquat, the eldest son and heir of Duke Poynter of Driftless. After Phineas resigned as spymaster, Duke Truman made his friend Lavon spymaster.

In March 2677, Moberly and Count Napoleon surrendered to Duke Truman. Count Napoleon was taken into custody and imprisoned in Maryville.

In June 2677 King Franklin created the Duchy of the Quad Cities. In August, Duke Eustace of Iowa’s ambition to become King of Iowa was discouraged by a visit from King Franklin, and in September King Franklin inherited the barony of Moline from Baron Otis of Moline, who died of a sudden illness at the age of 39 years. Duke Truman sent Milo Trenton to improve relations with King Franklin, but this failed to have the desired result when Milo Trenton accidentally insulted King Franklin.

On Christmas Day 2677 King Franklin of Iowa summoned his vassals and declared his intent to return Rock Rapids and the surrounding lands to Iowan rule as opposed to its current rule by the 15-year-old Queen Lacotawin of Lakotah, the granddaughter and successor of Tasinagi the Lame. Continue reading

Last gasp

My writing class is finally over as of yesterday. Due to a consistent lack of effort and interest, I suspect I’ll probably have to take it again in the future, and I haven’t decided yet when that might happen. The good news, at least, is that the final grade will be available next week, and for now I have about two weeks (technically, two weeks and a few days) before the fall semester begins.

Personally, I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy myself again. For the last several weeks, I was stressing and focused on the class, which usually resulted in procrastination and feeling bad about procrastination rather than anything resembling productivity. Since the class is over, I’ll be able to resume work on my various creative writing projects and ideas, as well as possibly finish a few books and play some computer games.

I’m planning on going home for a brief trip next week, so that will be nice. I’m sure being a full-time student again this fall will impact my free time, but I’ll have to see. I never had cause to develop study skills in high school, and after quickly learning that I didn’t like being a computer science major my freshman year of college could definitely have been better.

Anyway, on a lighter note, here’s a brief list of current writing project ideas.

  • Crusader Kings 2: After the End mod history and/or narrative
    • Tribe of the Mouse (central Florida)
    • Duke of Driftless (Dubuque/northeastern Iowa)
    • something in the Ozarks (southwest Missouri/northwest Arkansas)
  • Europa Universalis 4: Super States mod history and/or narrative
    • California
  • Crusader Kings 2 narrative
    • Byzantine Balearics – working title “Edge of Empire”
  • list of fantasy ideas to be made into a story

summer and strategy

Apparently I haven’t written any posts here for almost two weeks. I suppose I should change that, shouldn’t I?

I don’t know that I can think of anything recently that’s particularly exciting, since I’m still working, taking a writing class, and corresponding with F (the young woman I’ve been texting since late February).

The night of the 4th of July wasn’t as busy as I had expected it to be, but of course the next day, when I had the kitchen to myself, was the day that more people decided they wanted pizza. I managed, and I’ve heard that my hard work is appreciated, so that’s always good to hear. Days off are always nice, particularly this week – I had last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off work, worked Friday and Saturday night, and then I have three days off this week, which I just realized are about half over, since I had Sunday (for once), Monday, and Tuesday night off.

Last Tuesday I drove to campus and sat outside the classroom for several minutes before one of my classmates pointed out, as he was leaving, that there was a sign posted that class had been canceled. I had received a wake-up call from my mother that morning, which meant I was awake 45 minutes to an hour earlier than usual, and I later saw that the teacher had sent the e-mail canceling class around 8:30 that morning. Driving to campus only to find out that class was canceled was slightly frustrating, but it was nice having class canceled on a day off (even if I had trouble imagining being ill in July, as the teacher apparently was).

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned Europa Universalis 4 or the Super States mod here before, but I’ve been thinking about it lately. Europa Universalis 4 is a game from Paradox Interactive (the company that makes Crusader Kings 2) that allows one to play as any country between roughly 1444 and 1820. About a year ago, I discovered that someone had made a mod (the Super States mod) that allows you to play as a US, Mexican, or Australian state or Canadian province that somehow wound up in 1444. Now, of course, there are a few additional scenarios, but playing as a US state thrown back in time has appealed to me. I’ve thought before that it would be interesting to play a game with that mod and then write a history from “the beginning” (1444) to European contact in the late 1400s/early 1500s. European interaction with the new world would be very different if there are equally advanced states of European descent occupying the New World.

Previous ideas for writing this “history” have included Missouri (because I’m a life-long native of Missouri) and California (because it offers more interesting opportunities, like the possibility of having a navy and Pacific colonization and exploration). The creator of the mod, however, has been busy with vague “real life” issues, and has not been able to keep the mod updated for the current version of EU4, since several expansions had been released since the last mod update. However, an update for the mod was released on July 4, which unfortunately wasn’t working but did get me thinking about the interesting possibilty of a strategy game, like RISK or Diplomacy, set in the United States. Or perhaps I should say the Divided States.

Initially I thought it would be interesting to have the players playing as different states, and that led to the idea of having the players start by fighting over a particular state, uniting it, and then moving on to try uniting the States in their image. I drew a few rough maps of Midwestern states (Missouri by hand, Iowa and Nebraska on the computer) for this game, but it’s somewhat hard to do that when you’re not familiar with an area of a state and there’s not much in a region. It’s fairly easy to designate a metropolitan area as a “territory”, or to draw a shape around a town that’s obviously going to dominate an area due to having the largest population in a particular area, but beyond a certain point I feel like it would be difficult for aspiring governments to hold on to territory beyond a certain distance if they’re limited to pre-modern technology.

I’ve also been thinking about the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2, probably because thinking about the Divided States and pre-modern technology reminded me of it. Lately, for some reason, I’ve been thinking it would be interesting to play in the southern US – I’ve never been east of Chicago, but lately I’ve been thinking Florida, the Carolinas, or Virginia (among other places) might be interesting to play because of the possibility of naval combat. Who doesn’t like ships, right? At the moment I’m considering a project, similar to my Chariton after-action report, for somewhere in Florida, but I don’t think I’ll start that until some time after the Horse Lords expansion is released tomorrow and the After the End mod is updated with whatever new mechanics they decide to integrate.

A few ideas

I know I haven’t written here for a while, but I haven’t had much to report. Texting until 5:30 AM is enjoyable, but (at least earlier this week) it means sleeping until 1:30 PM, which, like every time I sleep past about 10:30 AM, makes me feel like I’m wasting the day. Today I only was texting until about 5 AM, and got the 5 hours of sleep I was desiring. With 2 cups of coffee, and writing 1849 words for my Crusader Kings 2 after-action report of Orkney beginning in 769, I feel like I’ve had a reasonably productive day.

Playing Windward, a recently released game on Steam where you control a sailing ship and can do quests, trade between towns, or hunt pirates (or, I suppose, possibly turn pirate yourself), has put me into a maritime mood, and made me want to write something involving boats, ships, and large bodies of water. It would be difficult to integrate that into my ongoing game as the Duchy of Chariton in the CK2 After the End mod, considering, with the exception of the Missouri River and a few other minor rivers in the region, there aren’t many major bodies of water in the lands known as Northern Missouri. Orkney, by virtue of being some islands off the coast of Britain in the North Sea, has slightly better odds, but I’ve decided to consider starting yet another idea.

For a while, I’ve considered writing an “after-action report” involving Sardinia, Corsica, and/or the Balearic islands, in the Western Mediterranean. At one point I actually did start one for the original Crusader Kings involving Sardinia, but that fell by the wayside due to computer issues, loss of interest, or other reasons after about 20 years of gameplay. I also tried starting one for Corsica at one point, but, again, that didn’t happen. I’ve tried playing games in Sardinia and the Balearic islands, at least, in Crusader Kings 2, but I have yet to actually start an after-action report. I thought it might be interesting to write a “narrative”, much like my Master of Magic project, where I write it more like a historical fiction novel and less like a history written by a monk.

According to my historical research, the Balearic islands were colonized by the Phoenicians before they were taken over by the Romans. The Vandals took the Balearic islands shortly before the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and the Eastern Roman Empire took the Balearic Islands back in the 530s (around the same time that Sardinia and the province of Africa was taken from the Vandals). After Carthage fell to the Umayyad Caliphate in 698, the Byzantines effectively lost the Western Mediterranean, and in 707 (per Wikipedia) the islands submitted to the generous terms of a Muslim fleet, which rendered them, in name, both Byzantine and Umayyad.

This is the last thing written in the Wikipedia article before mentioning that they were sacked by Vikings in a 859-862 raid. As I’ve been thinking lately, Crusader Kings 2, as I suspect of most video games, doesn’t handle multiple overlords very well. There are other historical examples of lords that had to choose which liege lord to obey, but in Crusader Kings 2, in the 769 bookmark, the Balearic Islands, like Sardinia, is Catholic and considered part of the Byzantine Empire, ruled by an Iconoclast emperor (considered a heresy of the Orthodox church). If I’m not completely mistaken, the distinction between Catholic and Orthodox didn’t really happen until the Great Schism in 1054, but it would vastly complicate things to add that in, and there were probably differences in practice before that point anyway, if I remember what I’ve read correctly.

In general, in Crusader Kings, I seem to be fascinated by alternate history, obscure rulers that didn’t historically exist, and, in general, playing as obscure, weak rulers and changing history. For example (though I haven’t done it for a while), playing as a Welsh ruler and becoming King of Wales, or uniting Ireland. Where’s the fun in playing as the Byzantine Emperor or Sunni caliph when you can play as the lord of a desolate bunch of rocks in the North Sea?

Anyway, as for my nascent Balearic game, I haven’t had much happen in the first 4 years. I’m not really sure how I’d write the whole “being de facto independent”, considering that isn’t really an option in the game (and no rebellion for independence yet), but I’ve already thought I may have to make some stuff up about the Byzantine navy and government, so what’s a little bit more fabrication? They do, after all, call it “historical fiction”. 

Summer!

My Business Applications final has been available for a week, and was due by the end of finals week, which if I remember correctly is Thursday of this week. (See previous posts about online classes leading to disconnnect from campus schedule.) Anyway, I submitted my final earlier this afternoon, and according to my math even if I don’t do very well on my final I should achieve a satisfactory grade, considering I have 100% or close to it on all of the assignments, and about 90% on the two quizzes over Microsoft Excel and Access in the last weeks of April. Now I can enjoy the week until final grades are available and the 27 days until my summer class starts.

Technically, that number should probably be more like 26, considering today is essentially over due to my working from 4 to midnight tonight. Tonight is, however, the last day I work this week, and now that my spring semester is over I can (finally) return to amusing myself with Netflix, Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis 4, and writing.

In Chariton news, I’ve played to (if I remember correctly) 2767, and the current Duke of Chariton is in his 50s, so he probably has less than 20 years left. My current plan is to finish playing his rule. I’m not sure what will happen next, but Paradox Interactive (the company that makes Crusader Kings 2) released the first information about the next expansion, which will probably be coming out sometime in the next month or two. For my next After the End-related writing project, I’m considering playing as a Norse chieftain in the wilderness once known as Wisconsin, but that probably won’t start until after the next expansion is released. I know the After the End mod has expanded to California, and I’m looking forward to updating my version of the mod from 0.4 to 0.5 and seeing how California might impact the rest of the map (though I admit I don’t anticipate much influence from California to reach the Midwest).

I’ve also been thinking lately about how I haven’t posted much about the Chariton game here lately, which I’m going to have to address now that I’m done with the spring semester. I think my writing has reached the point at which I’ve played to, but since I haven’t looked at that for at least a week or so I’ll have to look at that later. I also keep thinking about writing 25-year updates to show the state of “the world” (or at least the part on the map), which would be at roughly July 2691, 2716, 2741, and 2766. I’ve also considered playing a while in “observer mode” to see what the AI might do. So far, the current Duke of Chariton’s heir has proven to be quite lustful, considering he’s acknowledged a bunch of illegitimate children in addition to a decent number of legitimate children.

Current projects

Crusader Kings 2:

(After The End mod) ChAARiton: A history of the Dukes of Chariton (rulers of the lands once known as northern Missouri) and their descendants, starting in 2666. At present I’m thinking about ending this around 2766, after one century of gameplay, so I can update the mod to a more recent version. So far, according to Google Docs, I’ve written about 18 thousand words, and I still have at least 20 more years to write about, so I’ll probably meet or exceed 20 thousand words.

(CK2+ mod) AARkney (working title): A history of the Pictish chiefs of Orkney, starting in 769 and ending… well, whenever I feel like ending it, I guess. I haven’t worked on this very much, and have only started working on it briefly about a week ago.

Master of Magic:

(untitled): a narrative of the progress of a game of Master of Magic as a wizard specializing in Life and Sorcery magic (or, in Magic: the Gathering terms, White and Blue) and ruling a city of High Men. I’ve played the game for 20+ years now, and have come up with several characters. My goal at the moment is for a sort of generational saga, because I always enjoy reading those. While writing earlier today, I realized I need to do some research on medieval houses, and possibly urban society in general.

Master of Magic

Master of Magic is a single-player turn-based strategy game originally released in September 1994 for MS-DOS. The player is a powerful wizard whose goal, along with their computer-controlled counterparts, is to dominate the two worlds of Arcanus (similar to Earth) and Myrror (more magical and with various flora, fauna, and minerals that aren’t present on Arcanus) through military or magical might. In this game, magic is (like Magic: The Gathering) divided into six schools of magic: Arcane (available to everyone), Life, Death, Nature, Sorcery, and Chaos. Instead of the technology tree available in most strategy games that requires you to research technology in order to advance, you spend turns researching various magical spells, until (if the game lasts long enough) you can research the Spell of Mastery and win the game.

You begin the game in January 1400 with a small town populated by one of the races. If you start on Arcanus, you can choose from the Orcs, three flavors of human (High Men, Barbarians, or Nomads), High Elves, Halflings, Lizardmen, Gnolls (like the D&D race, basically humanoid hyenas) or Klackons (insectoid, basically giant ants), while Myrror is populated by Dark Elves, Beastmen, Trolls, and Dwarves. Not all of these races are necessarily present in any particular game, and each one has its differences. While the Orcs can build any building, the High Men (for example) can’t build Fantastic Stables, so they aren’t able to build a unit like the Nomad griffin cavalry. Other differences include population growth (slower or faster than “normal”) and diplomatic relations – some races get bonuses to “unrest” if their city is occupied by another race that they don’t get along with. Additionally, a few races (High and Dark Elves, and possibly Beastmen if I remember correctly) have magical populations that generate “mana” (i.e., power that can be used by the ruling wizard) directly, without requiring construction of religious buildings. Additionally, various roaming heroes may offer you (or your opponents) their services or be summoned via spells that can lead your armies to victory with their various abilities and skills.

I don’t remember now when I first heard of Master of Magic, but it was probably at some point within the last five years or so while reading about strategy games and/or fantasy strategy games. At some point in the last three or four years, I found it via Good Old Games (gog.com), which has (or used to have) the most recently patched (March 1995!) version available bundled with DOSBox, which I’ve played on my Linux computer with the aid of Wine (software that allows Windows programs to be run on Linux, not the alcoholic beverage).

At some point within the past month, I had the idea of writing a story set in a game where my actions, as the game player, were in the background of the story. I decided to do this with Master of Magic, so instead of writing from the perspective of the ruling wizard I would write from the perspective of his subjects. After some “random” generation with a list of heights, Myers-Briggs types, hair colors, and possibly a few other characteristics I can’t remember offhand, I’ve concocted (so far) 4 viewpoint characters, including an ENTJ soldier, an INFP scholar, and an ISTP merchant. Due to my playing the High Men, intending to base their religion on medieval Catholicism, and having a variety of viewpoint characters, I feel like I owe George R.R. Martin (author of A Song of Ice and Fire, also known as the Game of Thrones series) some kind of apology. Since I really enjoy his work, maybe no apology is necessary. At any rate, so far I have vague ideas for how I plan to start the story and I’ve played the game for 16 years (1 month per turn). I should probably start writing soon, but I feel like I need a better title than “the Master of Magic story”.

Deeds of the Dukes of Chariton, part III

(I played and wrote about these events more than a week ago. As of this morning, I’ve played this game as the Duke of Chariton to 2701, so there’s plenty more to come.)

Deeds of the Dukes of Chariton

III: War and Rebellion
January 2670 – April 2676

In April 2670, Duke Truman purchased an indulgence from the Pope, and news of the pope granting absolution reached Duke Truman near Des Moines mere days before King Franklin summoned his vassals to war, announcing his intent to return Rock Island to Iowan rule.

In late April 2670, Rose, the young wife of Duke Truman’s marshal, was the subject of salacious rumors after she was supposedly seen in a compromising position with the Count of Thompson, who was 22 years her elder. In early June, Rose died after a brief illness.

In June 2670, heathens from Michigan raided the country near Hannibal.

In July of that year, Count Napoleon requested to be allowed to duel his rival, Duke Truman’s marshal, over affronts to his honor. Duke Truman allowed the duel.

Duke Truman’s marshal, a man named Phineas, would later marry Maisy, a woman from the Canonate of Boone, part of the Boonslick Republic (also known as the self-styled State of Missouri).

In September, the heathens from Michigan who had pillaged Count Hamilcar’s lands were raiding near Ottumwa, so Duke Truman sent orders to muster men from his lands around Kirksville in order to defeat the pagans. 600 Chariton men under the command of Count Hamilcar and Lavon Graham marched north from Kirksville to Ottumwa and met the 500 Northmen near Ottumwa, where they were also joined by 500 men led by the Canon of Shoquoquon.

The 1000 Iowans met the Northlanders south-east of Ottumwa in early November. Count Hamilcar commanded the Duke of Chariton’s men on the Iowan left, while Canon Flint of Shoquoquon commanded his men in the Iowan center. After putting the Northlander scouts to flight by his vastly superior numbers, Count Hamilcar joined the Canon of Shoquoquon in attacking the Northlander center.

On November 24, His Holiness Praised-Be died in battle against the heathen King Louis of Louisiana at the age of 48. The College of Cardinals quickly elected Pleasant Cottonclad, the Abbot of Doniphan (a vassal of the Duke of Lead Belt, in southern Missouri).

Upon his hasty election, the 31-year-old new Pope, who had been commanding troops near Rapides in Louisiana, assumed the name of Cruxipher. Continue reading

Draft: Deeds of the Dukes of Chariton, part 2

(This is almost everything I’ve written in the past few days, after restarting my post-apocalyptic North America Crusader Kings 2 game as Duke Truman Still of Chariton earlier this week.)

Part II:

War, Peace, and Succession
July 2666 – January 2669

After swearing fealty to King Franklin in 2664, Duke Truman served as his Lord Treasurer, usually spending a part of each year in Des Moines and in his own lands near the kingdom’s southern borders when he wasn’t traveling in either direction or on His Majesty’s business. Continue reading