Britain, United Kingdoms of
By Rob Pierce, updated by Martin Helsdon
Known as the Kingdom of England in the late 1400's, possibly the Kingdom of Wessex earlier than that.
Still to be written.
England: Diplomacy: None
Trade Partners: (15C) Sweden, Iberia, Berbers, Novgorod, France, Iroquois, Denmark, Ottomans, Corsica, Ethiopia, Pope, Syria
King Arthur the Stout went on a great progress of the isles, handing out awards, righting wrongs, and seeing that taxes were regularly collected. The English fleet continued to prowl the Mediterranean, looking for trouble.
France: Another bunch of English spies were picked up by the Suerete.
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Follet branches exist in: All French cities, London, Dublin, Koln, Venice, Munchen, Stockholm, Novgorod, Kiev, Cairo, and New Paris. Units may be purchased at any of these cities (depending on the local political climate, of course).
Sweden: The Swedish Ministry of Trade regretfully announced that a four year moratorium on trade with Iberia, France and Denmark - remarking that it simply was not profitable for Sweden to trade with those worthy nations at the moment. The French protested the "heavy handed treatment of the war-mongering Swedish government!" In other news the Swedes engaged in a new rearmament program, bringing the frontier defence forces up to snuff. Further annoying their neighbors, the Kalmar Senate passed (in a storm of outrage) the Foreign Investor Act of 1449. The bill prohibited any non-Swedish citizen from owning a controlling interest in any Swedish firm. All members of foreign governments and representatives of foreign governments were prohibited from having ANY interest in any Swedish businesses. The English protested the law, as it meant that the chocolate factory owned by the Duchess of Winsor in Malmo was appropriated. The French, Iberian and Syrians protested right and left of course, and the courts were choked with lawyers and shysters of all kinds. Also in the Kruppson news, the firm suffered from an unexplained and damaging exodus of itsalchemists, forgers, smiths, and other trained personnel. By the end of 1453 the trained core of the company had left - leaving only managers, bureaucrats and salesmen. The Swedish government also cancelled all arms procurement contracts with the company. As a result the company collapsed by the end of 1454 and declared bankruptcy. The foreign consortiu took a bath on the stocks when the KS stock dropped sixteen points on the Lubeck exchange and then vanished from the boards.
England: Diplomacy: Scotland(a)
Trade Partners: (10C) Sweden, Iberia, Berbers, Novgorod, Iroquois, Denmark, Ottomans, Corsica, Ethiopia, Pope, Syria
The English protested the protectionist actions of the Swedes and called for "free trade" for all. London finally became a real big city. The English crown (in an interesting display of its 'free trade' policy) announced that "The French have shown deplorable manners in opening Follet ArmsWorks branches within Our domain. In addition, they have violated English law on a number of counts. Steps have been taken for their removal." King Arthur follwed up this pronouncement with the summary arrest and execution of all Follet ArmsWorks employees in England and Ireland, having charged them with "Violation of a Royal Monopoly, mopery and dopery". The Follet factories and warehouses were seized and the weapons found therein given to the Royal Army. This sorry scene was hushed up, and overshadowed by the triumphal return of one of the exploration fleets from the New World. This one had visited Azteca and came home laden with vast quantities of gold, feather-robes, trinkets, fine muskets, and lamilar steel katanas.
The Plague, of course, annoyed the English.
France: Yet more English spies were discovered by the Suerete and thrown out of the country. Some members of the Royal Council became alarmed when the King died, but were mollified when his half-brother assumed the throne.
Sweden: On the economic front, the Kalmar Senate passed the Foreign Interest Security Act of 1440, wherein legal foreign investments in Sweden were protected from governmental action. This made many people happy, and the Duchess of Glouchester was returned control of her chocolate factory.
England: Diplomacy: None
Trade Partners: (16C) Sweden, Iberia, Berbers, Novgorod, Iroquois, Denmark, Ottomans, Corsica, Ethiopia, Pope, Syria
Times of London: "The last of the spies who entered Ireland in the guise of Follet ArmsWorks Employees has been apprehended. Existence of NorthWest Passage proven by astrology, noted professor reports."
Three apprentice bakers in Dublin were arrested by the English police for peddling secrets to the French. The secrets were hidden inside of cream pies disguised as walnuts. The English fleet prowled the Channel and reinforced Dunkerque with more troops while new defenses were thrown up. The King's Herald announced that the King considered the French embargo to be an act of war and that England would act accordingly. London grew mightily to become the largest city in Europe.
France: The French Ambassador to the Court of St. James was forcibly expelled from England after he, in a speech to the Parliament, called the English a "Nation of big nosed panty wipers who cannot find their own bottoms!" (in, of course, an outrageous French accent). He also called Arthur a "poop". Following this the French began interning English citizens in France, mostly from Normandy and Brittany.
Britain: Aside from a veritable infestation of Papists (and what would old Cromwell I have thought of the Jesuits building an academy and administrative complex south of London? Turning in his grave, most like), peace reigned across green England. The bustling port of Penzance expanded, and large sums were sent to bolster the cause of the Church and the allies of Gran Bretan.
A series of queer booming sounds in the sky above Mercia and parts of Lancashire baffled the police and Royal authorities, though no cause was ever found. Reports of strange circles and signs in local fields were not substantiated.
A continuing, and aggravating shortage of local grain was alleviated by imports from Shawnee (where the rich Amerikan hinterland produced an overwhelming bounty.) The King also begrudgingly agreed to seek a bride - from some suitable family, somewhere. Anyone have a spare princess about, eh wot? He did enjoy the mysterious comings and goings of the Jesuits, and the rather kabalistic initiation rites for the Grand Master of the Order were quite fun. Then his sister Margaret died in a horse-jumping accident (put her head into the covered bridge...) and he fell into a complete blue funk, from which nothing could rouse him.
Perforce, matters of administration devolved into the hands of his Crown Ministers and the privy council, but everyone was very worried.
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: Quite pleased, the Vicar sent a large delegation to England to assist (and guide) the foundation of the Society of Jesus. Clement hoped the order would prove a puissant weapon against the enemies of the Church and God.
Shawnee: A heavy weight lifted from Treya's old shoulders - the harvests had been good, filling the land with bounty, and the bellies of Shawnee children with corn, potatoes, chicken - she was even able to assist her allies (England, the Papacy, the ARF) with grants of grain, cloth, timber, iron ingots... all the fuel of commerce.
Britain: Despite the unrelenting efforts of his ministers, Oliver V continued to ignore their pleas to marry and begat some heirs, making snide comments about "good breeding" and "cows." The young, dashing King instead meddled in the economy of the highlands - clearing thousands of acres of land for intensive sheep ranching - and made sure the government's accounts were settled.
The regular delivery of grain from the Amerikas let the cities of England break bread and sup, which pleased everyone.
Denmark: Standing below the pulpit of St. Mark's cathedral in central Venice, the Empress began to speak of her joy at returning home, of seeing her countrymen, of smelling the air of Venice, but then...
"Even walking in the sun-filled gardens of Venice, my feet shall feel the bones of the hundreds of thousands of Frost Wolf slaves cracking and splintering under them on the road to Dzungur; my ears shall ring with the screams of my faithful men being sent to oblivion by the dark forces they summoned; my skin shall feel the abyssal cold which they sought to cast over the whole Earth. Truly, my soul will be scarred for eternity, not by my mere hardships, but by witnessing evil in its purest form, snatched out of the deepest pits of Hell and placed upon the suffering surface of this planet. And yet, unbelievably, the craven senators of Sweden, lusting for otherworldly technology to use against Denmark, turn their backs on their own suffering people to succor the scattered but unrepentant remnants of the Frost Wolf. The heads displayed on pikes outside the Aeronautical Research and Fabrication factories speak clearly that the Frost Wolf conversion is a transparent fraud. It sickens me that the sacrifices made by my soldiers and countrymen, and by God-fearing people throughout the world, in repelling the Ice have been so callously and soullessly flouted by the bureaucrats and nobility of Sweden and England in their trembling inadequacy. I can only hope that they can yet open their eyes and behold the horror that they are undertaking before the world is once again threatened with icy extinction."
Oniko of Denmark
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Grain and other raw materials continued to flow into England from Shawnee (now a very valuable trade partner) and from various lands associated with the Jesuit order. Gold went the other direction. Oliver also began to stockpile a great amount of specie, which made many of the English merchants and banks happy, and displeased others. The king also buried himself in work, keeping the nagging ministers (and his mother) at bay about the question of a wife and offspring.
The London police were baffled by a spate of murders and suicides in the financial district. No less than eleven clerks and managers at well-respected commercial venture banks were found dead by their own hand, or assaulted by footpads and slain, over a three week period in the spring of ’43. Commissioner Halversham was unable to produce any suspects, motive or means – leading to a great deal of puzzlement.
On the other hand, a great many Jesuits were seen in the city, which led to understandable – but worrying – tensions between them and the Hussite citizens. The Crown began to pay close attention to the police administration, particularly during a visit by the Papal nuncio Cardenas. A general public outcry also rose in support of the Norsktrad companies, who had – of late – become an obvious target for Hussite-sponsored terrorism.
Phillip Drake, a rather clever officer in the Royal army, who had been dispatched to Antalya in ’42 to observe the Swedes in action, now found himself rounding Arabia on the RSN steam cruiser Moscow with a hamper full of gin, tonic and limes. Though he saw himself as the morale officer (and truth be told, was something of a rude, offensive, racist bastard without a civil tongue in his head), upon landing Basra-port (a filthy, stinking cesspit swarming with soldiers, brown people and hundreds and hundreds of ships) Drake was informed by Admiral Dottski that he would command the Swedish Royal Army regiments ashore, in this harebrained campaign to capture Baghdad from the daemon-sultan Rashid.
“I’m doing what?” Drake almost spilled his G&T in horror.
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.
Norsktrad: Despite the physical attacks upon the company – by the Commonwealth, and the Republica Popular – a sustained effort by Johannes managed to restore the reputation of the business in government and Catholic circles throughout Spain and England.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Far from the troubles of England, the sweltering boredom pervading the port of Huischol in the Lucayo islands was violently interrupted by a strange ‘pirate’ raid. Six ships – flying no recognizable flag, only a sun on a black field – landed several hundred heavily-armed Mayan desperadoes. These fellows then stormed into the town and attacked a number of homes and offices, dragging men out into the streets and strangling them in plain sight. Then they departed for their ships and sailed away.
An examination of the bodies found certain horrific signs and alterations upon them. The civil authorities were forced to confront a staggering truth – these men had been agents of the Lord of Eyes!
While the king did his best to avoid his mother and the flying wedges of suitable bachelorettes she was trying to force upon him, the cities and provinces echoed with the wails of the starving and the abandoned. The usual shipments from North Amerika had been interrupted by the civil war raging in Shawnee, and the Jesuits scarfed up what spare grain did reach English shores. The results were grim – cities filled with empty houses, windrows of children’s bodies lining the roads where they’d perished while begging, mobs roaming the countryside, searching for food.
In Sussex and Mercia, at least, the Royal Army was able to maintain order. Elsewhere, particularly in the wilds of Scotland, things were less orderly. The fishermen in the Shetlands rose up in revolt, driving out the English garrison, and took to the sea to fend for themselves. The ever-restive Ulsterites also revolted, slaughtering the English militia garrisoning their province. “Irish potatoes for the Irish,” they chanted.
The religious trouble in London spiked, resulting in violent rioting in Whitechapel and a number of Catholic buildings being burned by Hussite gangs. The Cromwell government sent Royal Army troops into the streets and crushed the rioters with mounted police (wielding iron-shod rods). In the aftermath of the “Easter Riots”, the Catholic clergy abandoned the city. Things were too ‘hot’ in the city, with rabid Taborite monks on every corner and the populace riled up to a dangerous degree.
Though king Oliver was half-sick at the sight of so many Londoners mangled and bloody, many killed in the crush of the fighting, he did not hesitate to order his Coldstream Guards to crush a subsequent riot and insurrection at the City of London University. Apparently some younger students had been corresponding with the Spanish Communards and sought to emulate them in rising up against the “facist overlords.” Nearly four hundred students were killed in the “Bakery Uprising.”
London seethed, and the king turned his face away, seeking solace among his friends, his hounds and endless nights of debauchery in the salons and bedrooms of his confidantes.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: The Church continued to dog the King’s tracks, badgering him to appoint an heir from among his sister Margaret’s brood of children if he would not take the time to wed and sire a successor himself. Finally, while spending Michaelmas of ’48 at the hunting palace of Falkland, the King rounded on the Archibishop of Canterbury, who had been reading to him – rather loudly – from the Bible upon his kingly duty.
“You wish an heir for this precious throne, do you?” Oliver’s face was sharp with disgust.
“Yes, your majesty.” Archibishop John Potter smiled with great patience. The placid look on the man’s face angered Oliver more than most anything he’d ever seen.
“Very well. I will give you one.” The King drew aside a drape of heavy velvet separating the sitting chamber where he’d tried to find some peace from the ball-room floor. The larger room glowed with a sky of candles, the roar of two enormous fireplaces and the tinkle of glasswear and the murmur of nearly five hundred voices. Oliver scanned the faces of the crowd, then settled on one man he knew by reputation, if not personally.
“There is your next king,” Oliver said, lifting his hand to point. The Archbishop looked out with mild interest (he expected to see a donkey or perhaps a juggler), but upon sighting the middle aged nobleman standing beside a table covered with pastries, carved meats, imported Caspian caviar and surgeon and a wealth of puddings, he blanched as white as his samite cassock.
“You cannot be serious.” Potter stared at the king, the corners of his mouth grown dangerously pale. “You… you are mad.”
“You wanted me to choose,” Oliver said, his voice low and filled with menace. His eyes – usually a merry, liquid brown – were hard, cold and glittered like winter ince. “You would not let me be – for two years you’ve hounded me to choose. Now I have, and the cost will be upon your head for daring to lecture to a king.”
Oliver threw aside the drapes and stepped out upon the dancing floor. The crowd near him turned, then backed away in a graceful circle, bowing and curtseying as required upon the appearance of the king.
“James Edward Stuart.” Oliver’s voice boomed across the room, silencing all conversation, cutting across every voice with the crack of a rifle on a cold morning. The man standing beside the table looked up, muddy blue eyes sharp with surprise. “Attend me, cousin.”
Stuart approached the king and bowed. His seamed face was tan – remarkable amongst a room with so many winter-pale faces – and his elegant, expensive clothing of a markedly different cut than the norm in Kingston. “Your majesty, I am at your service.”
“You have come lately from Rome, have you not?”
Stuart nodded, alarm sparking behind his eyes. “I have, your majesty – my family keeps an estate in the Latin hills…”
“This is known to me. Kneel.” Oliver’s brusque tone brooked no delay or disrespect and Stuart knelt rather smartly, though his jacket and vest would suffer for it.
The King cast a glance around the ball-room, ignoring the goggling, astounded crowd. He lifted his chin and one of the ‘Kingston Rovers’ – his personal guardsmen – was immediately at his side. Oliver held out his hand. “Blade.”
The rasp of a drawing sword quelled the last nervous muttering in the crowd. Oliver tested his grip on the cavalry saber, turned the blade to catch the firelight, then laid it swiftly against Stuart’s temple. The man did not flinch away, though he did turn a little pale. The Archbishop of Canterbury made a gargling, choked sound as if a fat eel were wedged in his throat.
“James Edward Stuart, second of that name, in front of these noble and pious witnesses, I proclaim you Prince of Wales, my acknowledged Heir and successor. Rise and greet your king.”
The sword moved aside and Stuart stood – rather shakily – to look questioningly at the king. “My lord… a stunning honor, surely, but… I am a Hussite as are all my family.”
“Really?” Oliver said, giving the Archbishop an amused glance. He handed back the saber. “So you are. How shocking.”
Despite the King’s decision and the acquiescence of Parliament (over the stunned and rather feeble resistance of the Church) to make James Stuart heir to the English throne, Oliver did not intend to allow any further religion trouble – either on the streets of London or on the Wessex downs. All Hussite religious figures were barred from English soil.
An English embassy to the city of Kusan, on the island of Taino in the Carribean, was nearly killed in the fighting when the Aztecs invaded that balmy tropical paradise, but Captain Cadawaller managed to escape by hiding in a cellar. Fighting in Ulster province in England went rather more smoothly, if such can be said of the English repressing the Irish…
Wolfden & Cane: The partners were busy, going to and fro, expanding the reach of the company. Plans were laid – but not yet implemented – to move the home office to the port of Brest, where the first ships in (what was hoped would become) a sizable Company fleet began plying routes to Poland, England and Spain.
ARF: More romantically, aerial courier runs were started from Tsaristyn on the Volga to Ufra in Persia and Kingston in England.
Knights of Tabor: Things went far better for the Knights in Poland, where they were instrumental in the conversion of Kauyavia and in England, where their implacable opponents, the Jesuits, had decided to take a holiday.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: The Cromwell government grappled with the twin specters of religious unrest and famine, finding little support from beyond English shores. Despite considerable payments of coin, bullion and paper notes to the Jesuits, Spanish and Iroquois, not a single ship laden with grain, potatoes, salt beef, tinned ham or doublemeat medley arrived in English ports. This stunning failure on the part of Britain’s presumably staunch allies meant widespread starvation and mass death in the winters of ’49 and ’50, particularly in the cities of Yarmouth, Mahair, Cardiff, Dublin and Birmingham.
Oliver, ably assisted by the Prince of Wales, John Stuart, took his army into the streets and countryside and imposed harsh rationing and order by main force. Looters, hoarders and black-marketeers were treated without even the slightest pretense to mercy. Every crossroads in the isles was soon shadowed by gibbets and rotting corpses. Grim-faced soldiers patrolled every market, though there was really nothing to steal.
In Whitehall, the king’s ministers labored long and hard to try and scrounge up a few extra bushels of wheat… and in private conversation, attitudes began to look very poorly upon certain ‘Catholic parasites.’ Particularly ones which did not hold to their agreements.
Hussite street preachers began to show up on the byways and lanes of Portsmouth, which made the port city very tense. So far, however, the response of the English church was very moderate and extensive efforts were made to defuse tensions in the southlands.
Knights of Tabor: Shielded behind the might of Denmark (even though the Empire had fallen on hard times), the Taborites were very, very busy… particularly in southern England, where their priesthood was vigorously proselytizing throughout Cornwall and Wessex.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: A few shipments of moldy grain, moth-eaten furs and pinecones were received from the Iroquois in North Amerika. So empty were the markets of the English cities, however, that even such a paltry donation was gratefully accepted. Russian wheat also came from the ARF, which meant - combined with an unexpectedly good harvest (and wine and olives imported from Spain) - the citizens of gloomy old England could eat again. Which was a cause of great relief for King Oliver, who was still grappling with a steadily rising state of religious tension in the southern provinces. The English Catholic Church - ignoring the protests of the Jesuits and the Papacy - made many accommodations to mollify the Hussite community.
Though these concessions angered many and satisfied few, the general level of incipient religious violence in the south declined. The learned doctors of the Jesuit Order, rather than inciting pro-Catholic mobs to violence, now deployed themselves on the street corners as well, meeting the Hussite preachers with logic and reasoned disputation rather than threats and violence. In Wessex, in particular, both the Jesuits and the Franciscans were out in force, shifting the religious allegiance of that province back to the Church of Rome.
The famine in the countryside, meantime, had driven many to seek refuge in the cities - resulting in London and Kingston expanding. Cromwell kept a close eye on these matters however, ensuring the massive ring of fortifications around each metropolis was maintained and expanded. Massive capital investment in the fishing industry also occurred, as everyone tried to park their pounds in something with a safe return.
Charles Stuart, the teenage son of the Prince of Wales, was killed in a riding accident, much to the anguished dismay of his mother, Mary of Modena and his father.
Lisbon, All-Saint's Day, November 1st, 1752: The tsunami reached, with less intensity, the coast of France, Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium and Holland. In Madeira and in the Azores islands damage was extensive and many ships were in danger of being wrecked.
Jesuits: Determined not to lose England to the Hussite by sloth, the Society assigned the noted Italian Jesuit Merry del Val to gain the friendship of the Prince of Wales, James Stuart. If they could not keep the Hussites out of England, then at least they would win back their minds…
ARF: Far, far in the east, Company laborers were hard at work rebuilding the ruined Ice-city of Drakenroost as the new, modern, Sun-turned city of Keninhei. Closer to the home office, English business investments in Urkel turned into sprawling plantation-style farms to provide the cold and distant cities of Britain with Russian wheat, rye, millet and sorghum.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: The increasing industrialization of the English southlands led to the expansion of both London and Great Yarmouth as people flocked to work in the ship- and airship yards. Despite the continuing growth of the capital, the King was careful to maintain the ring of formidable defenses around Kingston. The world was far too dangerous a place to leave the crown of Britain undefended.
A mail cutter from the north brought odd news from Elmerland on the Faeroes - apparently a Carthginian(!) embassy had arrived in those remote isles seeking an alliance with the city fathers (the Catholic city fathers) of the town. Unfortunately, those windswept isles were in no way friendly to the southern heretics and the ambassador, Sophon, was sent to a gruesome and watery end…
The city fathers of Great Yarmouth in Anglia were thrown into complete panic by the quiet arrival of a whole host of Taborite preachers in their quiet port and the surrounding countryside. The prospect of pitched London-style religious riots unsettled everyone. Indeed, within a few months of the priest's arrival a simmering disgust upon the part of the people suddenly flared into an outbreak of rabid anti-clericalism. "Down with the vampires!" Screamed thousands, rampaging through the streets of Yarmouth, London and a hundred little Anglian towns.
Priests of both Hussite and Catholic factions were dragged from their churches and beaten, parish halls were set alight and those who professed open belief were shunned and sometimes kicked as they hurried through suddenly hostile streets. All of the missionary efforts by all sides were set to naught in such an unsettled air.
While this amused the King (who had little patience with either the Pope or the Master of the Knights), the general public disgust with organized religion (even with God, in some parts) found a ready receptacle in the person of the Prince of Wales, James Edward Stuart, who - after losing his son two years ago - now lost his beloved wife Mary of Modena to tuberculosis. His disgust with the Lord of Heaven now grew without limit.
Spain: The Spanish economy managed to cling to life, as the annihilation of so many hungry mouths in the capital meant there was grain, wine, olives and salted beef to export to England and other northern parts.
Iroquois: The shipments of pinecones and boiled bark to England continued, along with bales of tobacco and hundreds of tons of fur.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Much to the disgust of his clerical advisors, the King showed public relief at the revolt of the common people against the excesses of both the Catholic and Hussite clergy in their zeal to save souls. Indeed, the Prince of Wales let it be known the Crown would appreciate all parties refraining from further activities of a proselytizing nature on English soil. Kingston, meantime, expanded. The Royal Builders took great care to see the labyrinthine defenses of the city were kept in shape. Yarmouth also expanded.
Royal Proclamation: (issued on the steps of Yarmouth Cathedral)
Be it known that we view the recent outbreaks of violence from all sides of the various religious viewpoints with extreme displeasure.
We had hoped that the people of this great kingdom would be capable of reasoned discourse and would be able to reach accommodation with those of differing viewpoints. This has not proven to be the case.
The behavior evidenced in recent months will not be tolerated. be it known that the following punishments will be imposed upon those who will are, seemingly, unable to restrain their baser instincts, be they clergy or laity:
1. Those found guilty of incitement to riot will be shot.
2. Those found guilty of causing serious injury or death to another during a riot will be shot.
3. Those who attack a member of the Royal constabulary or armed forces will be shot.
4. Those found guilty of arson will be shot.
5. Those found guilty of destruction of church or private property will be fined treble the cost of repair. Those unable to pay required damages will have land holdings, places of business, and personal property seized and liquidated with the proceeds put towards payment of damages. Should this amount be insufficient to repay the damages the individual will be indentured until the debt is paid.
All of this made the religious situation even more tense, but the Catholics (inspired by a very fierce encyclical handed down from Rome, where Clement was getting a little fed up with the efforts of the Franciscans and Jesuits in the British isles) responded admirably, getting their clergy under tight control and adhering to the letter of the law. In this they were helped by being in the majority in most provinces. Indeed, they essentially reclaimed all the lost souls in Wessex by the end of ’56.
An alternative tack was taken by a group of Iroquois priests who showed up in late ’55 and opened four soup kitchens in the poorest, hungriest parts of London. Though the Amerikan ‘friars’ displayed their religious affiliation proudly, they made no attempt to preach to or convert those they succored. They were very popular. The Knights of Tabor also adopted a similar strategy in rural Anglia, where they made good progress in converting the locals, as the Catholics were focusing on the cities.
An English fleet sent to the Shetlands found those islands inhabited by violently anti-social Japanese fishermen and settlers. The southerners were met with gunfire and withdrew to Stormgard to request orders from the Crown as to how to proceed.
Iroquois: Quite a number of Iroquois priests went the other direction as well, traveling to England to tend to the needy.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Their attention drawn to the usually overlooked isle of Man by the failed ARF attempt to gain a foot hold there, the British fleet under lords Exeter and Simmons paid a visit (and after threatening to shell Tynwald into burning rubble) exacted at least a nominal obedience to the English crown.
Despite continued efforts by the King to suppress all missionary activity in the United Kingdoms, the Taborites continued to infiltrate more firebrands into the kingdom via merchant shipping from the continent. Anglia was the latest battleground, where the Hussites made good progress among the fen-people. The general confusion which had beset the Jesuits following the capture of the Vicar-General only helped the Taborite cause.
On the other hand, Jesuit efforts in Mercia made headway in a province formerly firmly in the Hussite camp. Spanish attempts to meddle in the religious situation in Wessex resulted in a nearly sixty Spanish monks being arrested for making a public disturbance with their wailing and chanting and stinking up Portsmuth with their incense. A gang of Shawnee frontier priests also turned up in Anglia, where they too muddled about, preaching in an undecipherable tongue and were taken into protective custody by the Protector’s Guards. A group of Iroquois monks who were running soup kitchens in the poorest parts of London made much better progress simply by providing a good example.
Shawnee Empire: Missionaries (though not exactly the most vigorous or effective ones) were dispatched to Ifni in Quapaw, Anglia in England, Caddo and Natchez.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Diplomacy Man/Tynwald (^ea)
Massive construction projects were set underway in the south London docklands, where the Royal Navy had authorized the development not only of expanded capacity to build steamships of standard size, but also a planned ‘battleship’ which to judge from the size of the slipways, would be nearly twice the size of a cruiser.
The docks of London were busy with ARF merchantmen unloading grain and other goods from Russia; supplies which kept the bakeries in the city open and rolling in rolls. This, coupled with the constant influx of food from the Amerikas, proved a fine weapon for the Catholic priests preaching on the streets of Anglia and Wessex, where they could offer the faithful bread for the body as well as the soul. Coupled with a very quiet government-sponsored effort to drive out the Hussite priests, this very nearly recaptured London from the continental menace.
A Nisei embassy arrived in Kingston from the north and set about opening a new embassy. Though it appeared the Japanese were supposed to go onward to other nations on the continent, the threat of war there kept them in merry olde England where they acquired a taste for heavy dark beer.
The cities of Stormgard in the Orkneys, London and Yarmouth all expanded a level. The defenses of Stormgard and Yarmouth were repaired as well. Despite the rise in industrial production and the steadily tightening tension on the continent, King Oliver continued to roister in London and on his estates, drinking too much, spending too many late evenings playing cards in the company of his ‘knights and grooms’ and generally leaving the day to day business of the realm to Prince John.
Who, in turn, has roused himself enough from his black depression over the deaths of his wife and child to show some interest in a German princess (exiled of late by the trouble in the Danish territories) named Caroline, of the house of Ansbach. After a year’s courtship, they were wed, and the entire nation breathed a bit of a sigh of relief when news circulated she was pregnant.
ARF: Grain haulers left Rostov in a steady stream, heading north along the great rivers of Russia, carrying thousands of tons of wheat, corn and potatoes to the chill cities of Sweden and England.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Diplomacy Isle of Man (^f)
With the slowly warming temperatures (as well as the constant infusion of Russian and Amerikan grain necessary to keep the teeming hordes of London, Kingston and Birmingham fed), the southern port of Penzance expanded a level, and the town of Aberdeen (on the particularly chilly coast of Strathclyde) became a proper city. There was some dispute between the Royal Geographical Society and the local denizens, but the irascible Skawts won out, ignoring the ‘Royal’ sobriquet of Saint Michael.
Religious tensions continued to simmer vigorously in the south, though the Taborites seemed to have lost interest in their widespread conversion campaign. In any case, even though the dour and bluntly spoken Prince John Edward Stuart was keeping an eye on things in London, the incidence of rioting and general mayhem dropped markedly. Indeed, as the government had launched a very quiet and very polite campaign of counter-missionary work (aided by the Iroquois Soup Kitchen brigade), the Hussites were reduced to a tiny minority in London, Wessex and Portsmouth by the end of ’62.
Shipping plying the waters north of Skawtland were a little frightened (at first) to observe Nisei airships operating out of the Shetlands overflying their passage, but eventually word was passed around that the foreigners had established an Air/Sea Search and Rescue unit at Ukiyo-ye, and the brightly-colored zeppelins were patrolling to watch for ships in trouble.
Spain: The merchants handling the lucrative grain trade through the Spanish ports had decided to fulfill the orders for England, Sweden and Morocco by shipping out Spanish surpluses to the foreigners and then selling the imported Syrian grain to the local bakeries.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Still showing no appreciable signs of age, despite his hedonistic and dissolute lifestyle, King Oliver continued to host a round of parties, revels and debauched all-night whist sessions to lay low many a lesser man (and, indeed, they did). Prince John, meanwhile, had loosened up a little as Princess Wilhelmina had not died or taken ill (she was proving a tough German housefrau, even with a newborn daughter on her hip) and concentrated on matters of state. Very low key missionary work continued in Mercia.
An unaccustomed scuffle in the Bodeliean Library in the university town of Oxford drew the attention of the Protector’s secret police, who dragged away a gangly, middle-aged man named Puddleduck who had attempted to remove certain ancient Roman and Greek texts from the Special Book collection. Puddleduck was thrust into a police wagon, raving wildly about “they are coming! They are coming!” before someone put a sack over his head.
Some time later, Puddleducks’ rather stern-faced mother collected his body from the London City jail.
The city of Mahair, on Arawak, expanded a level. England’s first railroad was built from London to Portsmouth, and then, since the engineers working on the rail-line were far ahead of schedule, onto Penzance in Cornwall. The initial segment was then lavished with elaborate station houses, cattle-crossing guards, clever warning switches at intersections and trestle-style bridges. In all, everyone agreed that the ride from London to Portsmouth was the most comfortable journey possible to take in Europe.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: King Oliver took a long swig from a fresh bottle of Champagne, and then crashed the remainder against the iron prow of the massive shape of the HMS Audacious. Moments later, the steam-powered battleship slid down the ways and into the cold waters of the North Sea. A month later, HMS Hood joined her on initial sea trials. Prince John, watching from the observing stand, was distracted by the roar of the crowd at the awesome sight, and by his newly born son dribbling on his cravat.
The huge host of engineers which had recently completed the London to Penzance railway now turned their attentions to Cornwall, where they re-dug every well, resurfaced every road and put in new housing for the poor, new mills and mines and the province increased to 2 GPv as a result. But famine still afflicted the cities of the realm.
Overstjord: Granted autonomy in western Scandia and given free rein to resettle the abandoned lands, the township of Bergen (previously the site of a failed Nörsktrad colony), and now reoccupied by landless men and women from England, Germania and Poland.
United Kingdoms of Great Britain: Diplomacy Highlands (ˇun)
Industry continued to flourish in the south of the island, and this led (almost inevitably) to a great hewing and sawing in Scotland, for the mercantile marine of the island kingdom needed ever more ships, and the factories and sprawling cities needed firewood and furniture and all matter of building materials. Strathclyde became cultivated and literally plagued by both vast herds of sheep and catastrophic soil erosion.
The same kind of creeping cultivation afflicted Dyffed and Gwynned, which increased to 2 Gpv each. Elsewhere, King Oliver caroused in London, making it his manly duty to soldier through every fleshpot, brothel, gambling den and casino in the city on a nightly basis. Prince John himself was addicted as well, but to matters of the Fleet (he had recently taken an abiding interest in the myriad uses of steam) and running the government on a day to day basis.
One of the matters distracting the Prince from his lonely wife and neglected children (Catherine and James) was fresh trouble in the Highlands, where Duke William Exeter’s attempt to woo the clans into something approximating duty to the crown had turned violent, and the Scotsmen were in open revolt.
Exeter, despite commanding eight thousand King’s Men, immediately fled the province, letting the rebellious Scots run rampant, slaughtering every Sassenach they could find and looting businesses and farmsteads financed by ‘bloody southern gold!’. Duke William, meantime, had hurried straight through Strathclyde, across Lothian and all the way to Kingston in search of yet more troops with which to crush the rising of the clans.
This news had barely reached the King and Prince in London (where they had lately taken up residence, preferring the bustle of the city and the docks to the staid confines of Kingston) when a Carthaginian zeppelin hove into view from the east, following the prevailing winds off the North Sea. Given the tense international situation, the air wardens of the city immediately sounded the alarm – sending a droning huuuuuu-huuuuu-huuuuuu echoing over the rooftops of central London.
Along the Thames, the crews of the HMS Hood and HMS Audacious sprang into action, clattering down gangways and rushing to their gun turrets. Both battleships belched steam, boilers thrumming and made way into the channel. But the Hussite airship – engines howling – had already raced across the city, spewing bombs from its lower holds. Black spheres rained down across Soho and Covent Garden west of the center of London proper. Two sharp explosions rattled the windows of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The deep, hammering roar of the Hood’s guns smote the air – but the Carthan airship had already vanished into the industrial haze to the west. South of the city, four RAF zeppelins rose from their mooring masts, crews scrambling to load their quick-firing guns and bring the engines to speed.
In the narrow, twisty streets of Cheapside and Whitechapel, the momentary panic was subsiding. The Navy guns had fallen silent and everyone was peering out of doors – there seemed to be no fires, no billowing columns of smoke – no screams of the wounded. On the bridge of the Audacious, Prince James Stuart ordered a pinnance brought around – the King was at Kensington and Stuart needed to consult with the old windbag immediately.
A firewarden on Berkeley Square saw it first.
A drifting black cloud spilling out of the windows of the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola like slowly falling rain. Then his eyes widened, mind grasping that the street – indeed, most of the square – was carpeted with the sudden dead. Screaming in terror, he pelted back towards Oxford Circus – but the spores were already lodged in his throat, multiplying at a horrific rate, digging their sporophytes into the soft tissues to drink his blood, clogging his lungs – even as he wheezed desperately for breath and a grayish mist spewed from nostril, mouth and then – as his body crumpled to the ground, from every pore of his body.
The Contagion blossomed across central and western London, drawn by the wind, then blocked by rows of furiously burning buildings. King Oliver had not managed to consult with the Prince – he had been riding in a carriage on The Mall when a sphere burst not more than sixty yards away. The prince ordered the city fired – and now the guns of the Hood and Audacious roared again, firing incendiary rounds into the woods of Regent’s Park and flimsy townhouses lining the Strand.
Despite this desperate measure, the gray mist was flung upwards by the convection of the flames - some particles were destroyed, but the rest fell as a dreadful ashy rain that slew as it touched. James himself died late that horrific night, as the city burned and the Hood ran aground in a Thames choked with boats crowded with the dead. The crew had succumbed. More than half of the city was annihilated, including the Jesuit College in Mayfair. Fire consumed much of the rest, and the stunned, disheartened remnants of the Royal Army let it blaze, fearing the gray mist more than smoke or fire itself.
By great good luck, the wind died that night and did not resume the next day. By then, the spores had exhausted themselves, consuming all available fertilizer. The Audacious had escaped the deadly pall, along with most of the fleet. The Royal Army moved cautiously in the ruins, soaking the ashy ground with lye, every remaining building put to the torch.
While the nominal center of the Cromwell government had always been Kingston in the north, the suffocation of London (the true capital) shook the realm from crown to soul. In the north, Duke William declared himself Regent for young prince James II – though no one had seen the boy, his sister or his mother, Princess Wilhelmina. This assertion was immediately disputed by Lord Edmund Spenser (commanding a great force of engineers in Penzance) and Admiral Russell (at that time commanding a squadron off the coast of Morocco) was rumored to be sailing for home with all speed.
Exeter, in control of the Parliament, immediately issued an edict naming Spenser a traitor to the Crown. Lord Edmund, for his part, was on a train – tracks cleared, all stops out – racing for the ruins of London. The battered, disorganized remnants of the Royal Army were there… and they held the crown of England in bloody, blackened hands.
Exeter realized the Army was the key as well, though he was forced to race south over postal roads, laming horses and breaking carriage axels at an astounding rate. Spenser reached London in a fraction of the time, stepping off his train onto the siding in Kensington to be greeted by a solemn mass of soldiers, engineers and civilians who had been working the quarantine lines around the gaping wound of center City.
Spenser was a charismatic man, and rallying the Army to him was little effort. The grasping greed of Exeter was all to plain to these men. There was still no sign of the Princess or her children (nor would they be, though such heartbreaking news would not be confirmed for months, all three had died in the initial effusion of the spores). With 12,000 loyalists, Spenser swung north to intercept Exeter and his Parliamentarians.
At St. Mimms, the two armies met. Spenser was shocked to see that Exeter had managed to gather 25,000 men out of Kingston, the north and the midlands, but there was nothing for it but to rally the men into line and let fly… The army of the false Parliament charged recklessly into Spenser’s positions, which were anchored along a line of fortified redoubts ringing London. Despite their superior numbers, Spencer’s airships pounced out of a rainy sky, blasting Exeter’s artillery batteries and the Royal Army’s riflemen stood firm, smashing two cavalry charges and then a general rush of the Parliamentarian infantry.
Fortune turned her face from England on that cruel day.
Both Exeter and Spenser were killed in the waning hours of the battle. The Parliamentarian army recoiled from St. Mimms in disorder, morale shattered. Spenser was carried from the field by his grieving engineers. Both armies splintered then, thousands of men throwing down their arms and fading into the night.
In the north, the Highlanders raided across Strathclyde and to the very walls of Aberdeen, burning and looting as they pleased. The lowland clans of Lothian also abruptly revolting, dreaming once more of their ancient rule over all Britannia. In Ireland, the duke of Lienster was dragged from church and stoned to death, and Dublin-town was afire with revolt. Ulster followed close behind in bloody rebellion. Tynwald on Man threw the remaining King’s tax collectors out on their ear.
Admiral Russell arrived too late from Afriqa and his ships were turned away from Portsmouth by a rain of shells from the harbor forts – for the barons of Wessex and Mercia had raised their own flags, mustered their own militia – repudiating the authority of the rump Parliament in Kingston. Indeed, open warfare had already erupted in Mercia between Hussite and Catholic. Heartsick, Russell sailed on, round to Great Yarmouth, where he found the rest of the fleet huddled and dispirited.
The admiral stepped ashore and a Fleet chaplain greeted him with a crown wrought of metal stripped from the forecastle of the Audacious, which now rode at anchor in the harbor. The abandoned Hood was being recovered from the Thames by a gang of steam tugs.
“By this, I crown thee King of Britain,” the old man rasped.
The band of iron felt enormously weighty on Russell’s head, but what could he do but try and restore order and faith in a wounded land?
United Kingdoms of Britain: So stunned was the realm that King Sinclair (who barely had his own footing) could do little for nearly the whole of '69 and '70 but go about in Kingston and the surrounds of Northumbria and impress upon the near-to-panicked populace that there was a king and he was among them and something was being done. In the south, in the wreckage of London, the King's men worked at a frantic pace, building new houses, establishing order, sanitation, and food distribution. Vast sums immediately vanished into the city, attempting to set things right.
A spate of student unrest erupted in Oxford, where apparently the Green Book had been lately making the rounds, and Dr. Alaric Dee and a force of some 8,000 King's Riflers marched down from Kingston to suppress the unrest - which had grown into rioting amongst the Colleges, and burning of houses, and the blockading of the Bodleian by the anarchists. Though King Sinclair had sent Dee in hopes the scholar-soldier would defuse the situation, the Bookists were in the midst of such unmitigated disobeyance the King's men set right to work with rifle, truncheon and cannon. The "revolt" was speedily crushed.
In March of 1770, a Swedish steam-fleet (of appreciable size, and under the command of the now legendary Suvorov) arrived at Great Yarmouth to both support Russell and to protect the fair shores of England against the Invaders, who were rumored to be eyeing that green and pleasant land for themselves… The Russian immediately proved his quick-wittedness by avoiding an assassination attempt by Hussite youths who ambushed his carriage as it was on its way to see the King.
Within weeks, the Vinland squadron arrived as well, adding greatly to the strength of the Royal Fleet. Sinclair noticed little of his, as his beloved daughter Lucy had taken sick and died in the late fall of '70, leaving him and his wife nearly overwhelmed with grief. "Dross is a crown, when I cannot sustain even a single flower by its power…" the King said, at her graveside.
- Sinclair Russell 1767-date
- Oliver V Cromwell 1739-1767
- Oliver IV Cromwell 1704-????
- Oliver III Cromwell 1688-1704
- Oliver II Cromwell 1675-1688
- Oliver Cromwell 1657-1675
- T188-date (1703-date) John Schmid
- T187 (1701-1702) (open)
- T186 (1699-1700) Robert Plamondon
- T184-T185 (1695-1698) (unknown)
- T165-T183 (1657-1694) Oliver Cromwell
Last updated: 6 February 2005
© 2002 Robert Pierce