Afriqa Company, The Honorable

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Information

Hac flag.gif
Foundation: 1739-date (T205-date)
Capital: Iusalem in Karanga
Religion: Roman Catholic

By Rob Pierce and updated by Martin Helsdon

Description

The Afriqa Company was formed in the aftermath of the Sud Afriqan civil war against emperor Togor.

For the future history of the Company in the time of the Sixth Sun see the Company.

The History:

Still to be written.

NewsFax Entries

1739-1740 T205
Afriqa Co.: Continued to quietly make money and stay out of the papers.

1741-1742 T206
Afriqa Co.: Diplomacy: Ujimbili in Matabele(ci), Iesuwayo in Mbundu(ma), De La Roche in Niete(bo), Umtata in Transkei(ma), Goana in Vaal(bo)

Determined not to be left behind (and to leverage their relationship with the Republic), the HAC announced commencement of a Lisbon Accords initiative, as well as plans to develop ships based on this "new-fangled steam technology." A counter-proposal to create a series of engines based on "bean science" were ignored.

1743-1744 T207
Republic of South Afriqa: On the other hand, relations with the HAC were excellent and a substantial tithe was sent to support the Jesuit order. Any drop in trade, however, was more than offset by the establishment of new routes to Japan and Arnor.

Afriqa Co.: In the interests of acquiring future business, a tidy sum was dispatched in letters of credit (on Persian banks) to aid the Prester John in finding a new home in the land between the two rivers. An even tider sum was disbursed to the government of the Republic as a cartel share.

1745-1746 T208
Yasarid India: They were intrigued, in fact, to learn an Afriqan merchant house had quietly acquired offices in Mozul and – among other goods – offered a variety of books for sale.

'The War Against the Daemon Sultan: February 1746: A vast Afriqan Republic fleet (176 ships, including many hired from the Honorable Afriqa Company) arrives at Antalya in Isauria. They find the city garrisoned by the Duchy of the Three Isles and go ashore. Neya rejoices – at last her armies can take the field against the Georgians.

Afriqa Co.: Scrupulous as ever, the Company disbursed large sums to the Republican government and also dispatched humanitarian aid to Persia, so the Prester John ‘refugees’ might be able to find a home. A large number of Company hulls were also rented out to the RSA Navy to help move an army to the Middle East. Carting infantrymen and cannon all over the place occupied a great deal of time and wear and tear on the ships. Still, the Company captains were honorable men, and patriots to boot!

1747 – 1748 T209
Afriqa Co.: The Honorable offices fairly hummed with activity as the Southern House labored long and hard on a wide constellation of projects, including an ever-sprawling number of foundries and workshops in the suburbs of Iusalem – just the gear machining factories employed almost six thousand people. Their ships plied ever more routes, bringing the manufactured goods of the RSA to distant lands.

Master Calitho (accompanying Kaiune to negotiations in Iesuwayo) fell sick and died in ’47. This led to the Company approving the elevation of young mister Dahel (Kaiune’s son) into the post of second-master. Unfortunately, while sailing to southern India, a typhoon overcame Dahel’s flagship, the Cormorant and he perished with his entire crew. This left the embarrassingly young Numeke to fill his father’s shoes.

1749 – 1750 T210
Danish Empire: An engineering team from the Honorable Afriqa Company arrived in Genoa under the guidance of Joseph Gutombo and began work on repairing the damage to the port and rebuilding the middle of the city.

Duchy of the Isles: An Honorable Afriqa Company engineering team led by Master Kurpanga arrived in Calabria, where they began laying out the ground-plan for a new city, to be called Catanzaro.

Afriqa Co.: The frenzy of construction in and around Iusalem continued, with new factories going up on an almost daily basis. The hunger of the Republican railroad effort fueled the Company expansion (particularly as the HAC held monopoly rights over iron, rolled steel and boiler construction within the RSA). A number of Company agents were dispatched to help certain Mediterranean powers build or refurbish cities.

1751 - 1752 T211
Republic of South Afriqa: Railroad construction proceeded apace, with the Republican Corps of Engineers laboring to clear right of way from Matabele to Hwange, while the government-sponsored Sud Afriqan Rail (in association with the Construction and Works branch of the Honorable Afriqa Company) completed a spur line from Darian in Matopos through Banhine and down to the coast at Iusalem in Karanga. A first class passenger could now choke on cinders and sulfur-smoke while being rattled and jarred for twenty-six hours to make a speedy transit from the great port to the capital.

In cooperation with the HAC, a modern, planned, trade-city named Hacseeto was built on the Xhosan coast. Throughout the whole central plains, a number of agricultural innovations (steam powered tractors and wells for one) allowed a substantial expansion of the amount of land under cultivation.

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. His son Numeke did not learn of this for quite some time, as he was gadding about in South Amerika. While the business of opening the enormous market of Great France went slowly, business in the Persian Gulf and points east went well.

Joseph Gotombo and Gabriel Naeem, sadly, were killed in Nur-Ahan on the Somali Sea when their packet boat was attacked by pirates and both were murdered along with the crew.

Great France: Letters of permission were granted to the Honorable Afriqa Company and the Aeronautical Research and Fabrication companies to operate in ports and towns throughout Great France. The Afriqans responded by opening an office in Chamonix on the Rio de la Plata.

1753 - 1754 T212
Danish Empire: The Afriqans working in the ruins of Genoa continued to make progress on building that city.

Duchy of the Isles: The steady growth of the 'planned' city of Catanzaro in Calabria also proceeded apace, though the Italians were a little mystified by building techniques of the Afriqans.

Carthage: Squabbling between the city fathers of Augostina and the Honorable Afriqa Company led to police raids on the Catholic merchants and the discovery of rampant bribery on the part of the southerners. The local judiciary was not pleased.

Republic of South Afriqa: After lengthy negotiations the Trade Office decided to remand some of the concessions previously made to the Afriqa Company, allowing open competition on the routes to Indonesia and the South Pacific.

Afriqa Co.: Trading in the southern ocean continued to prove quite profitable as the Honorable Company traded French, Afriqan and Islamic wheat, cotton and salt-beef north and south. Efforts to begin widespread land clearing in the province of Xhosa were stymied by the lack of engineers and workers on hand. They did eventually show up, but too late to work on anything this turn.

Faced with something of a succession crisis, Tikumbay and the board chose Joseph de'Beers (whose family had emigrated into Afriqa several generations ago, and held extensive interests in lumber and iron throughout the Cape) as the Company No. Two. (No eyepatch was provided).

The Honorable Afriqa Company is proud to announce the opening of the HAC Grand Hotel. Catering to the discriminating hunter seeking an exceptional safari, explorer and adventure enthusiasts, or those interested in experiencing darkest Afriqa. With proper RSA forms, visas, and travel documents the heart of Afriqa awaits! The HAC Grand is proud to offer a variety of tours and destinations, one of which is a day trip to the Victoria Falls. Not only will you experience the Falls but also first class accommodations upon the RSA Rail line (finest in the world) which will whisk you to the fantastic Victoria Falls deep in the interior. For more information, or to book your trip, please contact your local HAC office.

1755 - 1756 T213
PM&T: There was some trouble down in Iruka, where Captain Keiryaku was shot dead by hostile Afriqan merchants.

Church of Rome: At home, a contract was signed between the Holy See and the Honorable Afriqa Company to have the Afriqans completely rebuild the ancient edifice of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Some plans were displayed, promising a building of exemplary glory and size.

Afriqa Co.: Pressing into new markets, the Honorable Company tried to match the Republican government in a race to build the first seaworthy steamships in southern Afriqa. They also undertook commercial land-clearing operations in Xhosa and an innovative managed settlement policy in the steppelands of Orange (Tikumbay himself took charge of this effort). Work also began on a massive complex of airship yards, factories and workshops at Goana in Vaal. Grain, cloth and other goods were purchased from the French, Spanish and the Maasai as well.

The company factor in Brehmen, Kurupanga, suffered some kind of seizure while reviewing plans for expanding warehouse holdings and died. A similar fate befell Christopher Mpumelele in Karrratha, Austral, save he was shot sixteen times by the angry lover of a Japanese geisha he was spending far too much time with. The president’s wife, Gracaiela Donato-Villareal, remained home in Iusalem – fearing the toll the wilderness of Orange might exact on her daughter – but the girl died anyway of a summer cough.

1757 - 1758 T214
Afriqa Co.: Company engineers continued to build irrigation canals and dams in Xhosa, trying to jumpstart cultivation in the desolate province. Foundations were broken for even more airship sheds, fabric drying plants and machine shops in Goana, which bade fair to become the center of the aeroship industry in southern Afriqa. Grain continued to be imported from the Islamic Union and from Spain, even though harvests in the south had been improving for some time.

A small fleet sent to Sud Amerika under the command of Halsfield failed to reach Chamonix as scheduled and was assumed lost with all hands.

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
Safavid Persia: The Honorable Afriqa Company, which had lately taken over several trade routes to distant lands, also began selling the Imperial army a variety of different kinds of blasting explosive and artillery shells.

Republic of South Afriqa: A naval squadron was dispatched to the west, in company with certain Honorable Afriqa Company ships, to visit Sud Amerikan ports and to lay claim to the islands of St. Helena, Ascension and Ilhas Martin Vaz. (Too bad there’ not going on the map, huh?)

Afriqa Co.: Did the masters of the Southern House ever sleep? It seemed not as settlers continued to pour into the province of Orange, which was now a (0/3) region. Numerous arrangements were made with other trading houses and foreign powers to improve the bottom line. The acquisition of transport airships from the Islamic Union and Belisarius-class ‘fast’ zeppelins from the Polytechnic League allowed Company technicians and overseers to tear the example craft apart and being laying plans to build their own versions.

Despite the growing fascination of people around the world for steam-powered ships, the Company shipyards in Iusalem continued to build top-of-the-line clipper ships, particularly for fast mail packet work and luxury goods. This proved quite useful on several trade routes from Persia, which were now maintained by the Company.

Knights of Saint John: A large fleet of Afriqan merchantmen, escorted by Sud Afriqan naval vessels visited the northern ports.

Great France: Honorable Afriqa Company merchants were also a common sight, even in the halls of the Sorbonne, where they were helping the French open a school of navigation, astronomy and nautical arts.

1761 – 1762 T216
Islamic Union: The Honorable Afriqa Company also picked up six top-of-the-line zeps from Aqaba.

Norsktrad: Captain Kristján Thórdarson was dispatched to the south... His pair of clipperships were also escorting the steam-powered cutters intended for Afriqan hands, which proved quite amusing to the sailing crews.

Afriqa Co.: The Honorable Company continued to conduct a brisk trade in guns, grain and technical expertise throughout South America, Afrika and Asia. The settlements in the northern deserts continued, with Orange now targeted for model farms, ranches and villages. Efforts to secure the contracts of all of the regional mercenary companies, however, failed due to the prospect of a general war in the Mediterranean, which was distracting the condotierri.

Work began on a massive expansion to the harbors at Iesuwayo – a so-called ‘Great Harbor’ project – to handle the enormous volume of trade passing through that entrepot to the southern Republic. In a personal note, Mariane de Beers (the wife of the number two man in the Company, Joseph de Beers) took sick with penumonia and died in ’62.

Arapaho Texas: A black Afriqan (quite a rarity in these parts) arrived to take charge of a large number of engineers which the Arapaho had arranged to lend to the Honorable Company for some kind of building project in the partially ruined town.

Great France: Not so far away, in Chamonix, the Afrikan merchants began hiring thousands of laborers to begin clearing right-of-way for a railroad (using Afrikan steel rail, locomotives, wagons and conductors) which would run from the port of Chamonix up to Versailles. Leaflets were distributed widely throughout Great France, offering jobs for laborers, forge-men, accountants, clerks and cooks in job lots.

Further concessions were made to the Afrikans, including being given rights to the entire province of Guenakan! This outraged the local nobility, who promptly revolted, fired shots on the six Afrikan clipperships off-shore and chased off two Afrikan leaders who had arrived to parley with them.

1763 – 1764 T217
Primacy of Oro: In the far west, an Honorable Afriqa Company squadron of clipper-ships arrived at Karratha in Yaralone and unloaded a set of disassembled Herrin-class scout airships at the port. Under the able command of P.K. Sureshiandar, the Afriqans assembled the sleek gray aerocraft in preparations for exploring the mountainous region of Kooline and other points further inland.

Afriqa Co.: The Company spent vast sums enticing settlers to move to Orange and Xhosa, though those lands were dry, forbidding and haunted by the “little people.” New factories went up on a seemingly-daily basis, particularly in Goana and Ujimbili. By careful negotiation, the Honorable Company finally managed to secure cartel rights to lucrative Persian, Afriqan and New Granadan trade.

A programme of technology exchange continued with the Norsktrad Company; Tikumbay himself took delivery of a pair of Norsk-built steam tranports, which were then used as templates to complete the Honorable Company’s existing efforts to build steam-powered ships in Sud Afriqa.

Though he had been favored by nearly all factors of the Honorable Company to succede Tikumbary, Joseph de Beers somehow managed to get himself involved with a secretive group of ‘old worshippers’ in the countryside outside of Iusalem. Republican police raided the gruesome ceremony and found, to their horror, that Mr. De Beers had become a ritual sacrifice. Collecting the body parts took nearly a day’s effort by a hundred officers. Tikumbay attempted to have the scandal hushed up, but failed. Thomas Chard, an English immigrant to the Republic, was now widely considered to be Tikumbay’s successor.

Back in Iusalem, representatives of the Republic, the Danish Empire (no one in Afriqa could quite stomach calling it a ‘Republic’ yet), and the Jesuit Order attended a ceremony devoted to the ritual cleansing, exorcism and destruction of a zeppelin recently acquired by the Honorable Company from the decredited (and destroyed) Polytechnic League. Though the Jesuit emissary was wounded in the processed, the cursed airship was completely destroyed – and hopefully the souls imprisoned therein were loosed from infernal bondage.

Jesuits: With the Vicar-General’s death, Redfox became leader of the society, though he was at that time in deepest Africa. The Vicar-Lieutenant had taken ship to Iusalem in the Republic to oversee the careful destrction of a Polytechnic League airship which had been acquired by the Republican air force – and it had been discovered to be powered by the entrapped souls of those sacrificed to the heathen gods worshipped by the Athenians. Unfortunately, in the course of exorcising the entire vessel, a large bolt plunged from a gas-cell girder and struck Redfox down. He was some time recovering from his wounds.

Nisei Republic: Efforts to hire additional transports for the movement of reinforcements to Dakota were foiled by the Honorable Afriqa Company having needed every spare hull to move mercenary contingents to Great France.

Arapaho Texas: Another foreign company (the Afriqan) was also busy in Texas, where a large troop of engineers and railroad workers marched up from Natchez to establish a camp in Osage for further work.

Knights of Saint John: An Honorable Afriqa Company fleet of clipper-ships stopped in Cuiaba and delivered several hundred technicians destined to assist the Knights of Saint John in attempts to modernize their army by learning how to construct airships.

Great France: Despite promises of a swift completion of the new railway, the Afriqan engineers took two years off to drink, chase local women and go hunting for moa-birds. Apparently they were waiting for local workers to finish construction of a set of rolling mills, foundries and workshops in Charrua. While the Emperor was displeased with their seeming indolence, there were more pressing matters demanding his attention. The Afriqans were also gathering a huge mercenary army at Chamonix, with ships arriving almost daily from the north, heavy with guns and troops.

1765 – 1766 T218
Afriqa Co.: “Afriqa stood at the sidelines,” Numeke proclaims to his board of officers and shareholders, “while the rest of the world waged war against the Ice Lords. Now this is our time to stand up, to fight, and to protect humanity from evil.” The President followed words with action, incurring massive debt to finance the deployment and training of a ‘new style’ army in South Amerika. The Company would spare no expense in support of its patrons and allies. At the same time, a joint venture was entered into with the Arfen, one which promised to yield considerable profits in the future.

Great France:
January 1765: The French army and the Honorable Afriqa Company begin constructing a ring of fortifications ten or twelve miles out from the city of Chamonix in Charrua, replete with networks of trenches, hidden bunkers and all manner of surprises for the Invaders, should they come a calling.

March: Determined to commit every available resource to the coming struggle against the Invaders, the Honorable Afriqa Company hires 34,000 Amerikan mercenaries at Chamonix and immediately launches into a daring re-training program. The condotierri captains Kei, Wolf and Sackville are also hired to rush the project through to completion. A Companyman noted for his military skills, Seppeveld, was already in South Amerika, and he assumed overall command of the massing Afriqan, French and mercenary armies at Chamonix. Though he was supposed to advance with his retrained army to Minuane, the necessity of training the men required him to stay in the port.

April: Axacayatl the Wolf, leading a reconnaissance force of Afriqan scouts, observes more than twenty of the tripodal machines on the attack, while a half-seen black shape haunts the upper air. He and his men, using the panicking crowds as cover, fall back to Minuane.

May: In Varres, Emperor Francois and Seppeveld have a bitter, fractious meeting. The Afriqans are not ready to fight yet, and the French have only the most minimal forces in Minuane to resist the Invaders.

August: The Afriqan-hired mercenary companies finish the re-training program.

November: A very substantial fleet of South Afriqan ships (including an impressive eighty clipper-ships) arrive in Chamonix. They then unloaded thirty thousand troops who set up camp outside the city to defend the Honorable Afriqa Company installations there. Seppeveld now has 35,000 men at his command.

October: Captain Washington of the East India Company arrives unexpectedly in Chamonix with two battered clipper ships and two large transports. His ships are towed into port, and the pilots learn the Albanians have made a trip ‘round the Horn in the worst possible weather.

Seppeveld and Vendome rush to prepare their trap, long held ready, and fifty thousand men are in motion! But even as the artillery batteries and regiments of infantry form up in their camps, a queer tremor fills the air. A sound beyond hearing, piercing the hearts of every man in the entire host.

Ahorse, Vendome and Seppeveld turned as one – as through their eyes had been opened – and spurred towards the port. The army, already in motion, paused in confusion. Men began to fight in the ranks, some seemingly mad, others trying wildly to run towards the sea, other unaffected… the entire city was likewise affected, as though an invisible madness swept across chapel and inn and house alike, leading mothers to strangle their infants, fathers to shriek and flail, crashing through windows, maids and priests alike to caper wildly in the avenues, tearing their clothes…

The Duc du Coligny, however, was unaffected by the madness. Further, one of his lookouts on the Héritier de Foudre had spied the Albanians unloading a large cylinder of peculiar green metal from one of their ships. Seeing disaster looming, he immediately ordered the steam cruisers to fire upon the Albanian clipper ships.

Cannon roared, reducing the two white-winged ships to burning wrecks, but the Albanians and their deadly cargo had already vanished into the streets of the city.

Where riot now held full sway.

The mercenary captains scattered, deserting, leaving only Axacayatl the Wolf to rally the troops outside of the city. Grasping the nettle swiftly, old Wolf had the madmen among his ranks shot or stabbed, and those that stumbled towards the city purchased a bullet for their treachery.

By the river, Coligny was also rallying the French, and found a welcome ally in the Republican commander Mbeki, who held his troops in tight order. The Duke, holding a hurried conference with the Zulu general, was struck by the sudden and apparent lack of pale faces among the Afriqan ranks.

“They went mad, most of them,” Mbeki answered with a sharp white grin. “So we put them down like dogs.”

The wind turned to the west, and the nightmare cry of ulla ulla ulla now penetrated air rent by the roar of burning buildings, the screams of the mad and the rattle of guns and muskets on the Varres road as Axacayatl’s regiments dispersed to give battle.

“I am not mad,” Coligny replied, hand to a face bronzed by Incan ancestry, “but many of our officers and men are. Take your fleet to sea – as soon as the tripods can range on the port, you’re lost. I will take the Black Caracaras up the road and succor whoever is still fighting there.”

Mpahlwa grimaced, but the snap and hiss of the enemy ray was already stuttering in the air. “There are five impis of Zulu riflemen here – they will go with you.”

1767 – 1768 T219
Norsktrad: Sir Charles regarded the members of the Board with a level gaze. “Despite the criticisms of the shareholders a few years ago, the Company has striven to improve its commercial success and profitability. Operations in Spain have been curtailed and this year a lucrative licensing agreement has been made with both the HAC and the AEIC to allow them to build the Mjöllnir artillery.”

Afriqa Co.: All manner of foreigners were seen coming and going from the Company offices, including some slant-eyed fellows who would have been cause for alarm and gunplay only a decade ago… but how things have changed! As per usual, enormous sums flowed out of the Company coffers – through now it was to purchase the secrets of their competitors, for the Invaders threatened to choke off all commerce, even as the damnable weed strangles all that is green.

Thomas Chard, the currently presumed heir to the Company directorship, was embroiled in a gambling dispute in Nova Roma and barely escaped alive, despite the coolheadedness and ready pistols of his boon companion, P.K. Sureshiandar.

1769–1770 T220
Afriqa Co.: The industrious southerners continued to expand their cattle ranching and cotton plantation business in Orange, as well as begining to expand ranchstations and mining outposts into Nama, Namibia and Damara.

This went well – which could not be said of Captain Stein’s efforts to ingratiate himself with the neo-French aristrocrats of De La Roche on the Niete coast. The foul-mouthed sailor was challenged to, and killed in, a duel. The Company also suffered the loss of Thomas Chard, who fell off a train while traveling through Matopos – he’d stepped onto the rear platform for a smoke and fell through a rusty railing.

Presidents

  • Numeke Tikumbay 1751-date
  • Kaiune Tikumbay 1739-1751

Players

  • T205-date (1739-date) Steve Bochenski
  •  ????-T204 (????-1738) Paul Flinton

Last updated: 22 December 2004

© 2002 Robert Pierce © 2004 Martin Helsdon

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