Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by bombshoo, Jun 25, 2013.
Well that's going to make things interesting for me.
Thank you for this information.
The Church of China (Portuguese) - is the oldest Church in China and owes its origins to the work of the early Portuguese missionaries. It is also one of the few churches that retains links to its notional motherland with the three Archbishops of China appointed by the Cardinal of Lisbon (albeit from a slate of candidates approved by the Church of China and the Imperial government). Numerically, the Church in China is small because membership is hereditary.This is not considered a problem because membership in the Church brings considerable advantages including the right to trade with foreigners, act as Imperial agents abroad and access certain posts in the government - such as Comptroller of Trade and the Mint.
The Church of the Americas in the East (Spanish) - is the second oldest Church in China and was marginal until it decided to side with the Mexican revolutionaries over the Spanish. This earned it considerable Imperial pleasure which saw it rapidly elevated to the same status as the Church in China, although it provides two Imperial brides. (This seems to have paid dividends, the current Emperor's favorite wife and his favorite step-mother are members of the Church in the East). The Church in the East also provides a large contingent for the Ministry of Trade's Home Fleet.
Changmao (Long Hairs) - is the largest Christian group in China and the most unusual. As the name might suggest, the Changmao do not cut their hair. The practice comes from a promise that their founder made when Zhengde-Jesus died that his followers ought never to cut their hair. The Imperial Court for what its worth still haven't figured out what to do with the fanatical devotion of the Changmao to their ancestor and themselves - as his descendants. At present, the Changmao do not enjoy significant privileges but the Empress Ju is known to recruit them to act as Imperial agents and couriers because of their by now famed probity and honesty. Changmao are also commonly found working in the communications and banking industries for the same reason.
I beg you to reconsider what this will likely mean for men's fashion in banking.
Asking for information about Korea.
Requesting Background for Peru.
It seems to have some past relations with some of the neighboring states as well ..
Guys, he literally just said this:
They pile their hair up into buns.
Buns like... this?
I see it larger, for one. And also more balanced on top than hanging awkwardly off the back like a spare cranium.
Please make this canon.
Pre-BombNES IV: Hairstyles of China
Chun-Li confirmed as future Empress of China.
This really needs to show some signs of life, bombshoo.
Yeah, sorry. I have had some family issues to deal with the last few days. It'll all be over this weekend, and I should be back to getting things done. Just to show that things are moving, here's another background. It's just Navarre, so it might not be too interesting for most of you though.
The Kingdom of Navarre
Navarre: Nested in the Pyrenees, a rugged terrain and a unique culture have kept the tiny Kingdom of Navarre independent from the surrounding powers. Though Navarre undoubtedly lies within the French sphere of influence, it nonetheless maintains a degree of political freedom, provided its leadership does not attempt to upset the current order in Europe.
Navarre achieved independence following the Spanish Revolution, when the ruling monarchy in Madrid was ousted by a combination of peasants and soldiers, discontent with their leaders’ mishandling of the Theodosian Wars. Though Castile quickly fell into the hands of a cadre of military commanders, separate Basque and Catalonian rebellions remained independent from the new Spanish leadership based out of Burgos. In 1805, French forces, worried of the revolutions spreading into their own borders, invaded Northern Iberia. While France was able to occupy nearly all of Catalonia within a year, they were unable to capture the city of Pamplona from the hands of the Basque rebels occupying the city. In 1815, the Kingdom of France reached an agreement with the rebel leader, Martin of Pamplona, wherein the French would retreat from Iberia and allow Martin to crown himself King of Navarre in exchange for accepting a permanent alliance with the French crown, aimed against the new nation of Castile. On January 1, 1816 a ceremony was held in Pamplona, crowning Martin the new King of Navarre.
Martin’s crowning would prove be a controversial move in Iberia. Not only did it force the Catalans to demand a similar concession from France as a condition to laying down their own arms, but it provoked the Castilians, who had just crowned their own king, into attacking as well. In 1820, The Castilians, under the new king, Sancho IX, attacked Navarre as the first step in reuniting Spain under one crown. The attack was an utter failure, leading to the ousting of King Sancho and his replacement by a new candidate in Castile by the Generals. The attack would also cement Martin’s power, further elevating his status as a national hero. The lack of French assistance in repelling the Castilian invasion also paved the way for further Navarrese autonomy.
In 1835, Martin I passed away, leaving the crown to his young son, also named Martin. Martin II’s long rule would be both stable and prosperous for the tiny kingdom, with even small amounts of industrialization occurring by his death in 1870. Martin’s II successor, Martin III, would have a similarly successful reign, as he even succeeding in easing tensions with neighboring Castile by negotiating the annexation of a cluster of Basque villages in 1888. Martin III’s death, in 1899, proved a surprise to everyone, as the beloved king appeared to be in excellent health. Popular rumor has since attributed his sudden passing to an assassination by Castilian radicals. Martin III’s successor, his daughter Alaia I, has been upsetting to the current order in Navarre, as not only is she a woman and quite young, at age 19, but her exact parentage remains unknown. Nonetheless, she has thus far proven to be a commanding force in the royal court, more than able to keep both the peasants and juntas generales in line, all the while refusing to flinch in the face of renewed Castilian aggression.
The Empire of Mexico
Mexico (The Empire of Mexico): The 1803 Spanish Revolution would see chaos consume the Iberian Peninsula. Ousted by the military and set to be imprisoned in the Canaries, King Juan III escaped his house arrest and fled to the province of New Spain, one of the few places still professing loyalty to the monarchy. Once in New Spain, Juan was quick to use his position to take total control of the province, delegating his cousin, the Viceroy Carlos Suarez of Cordova, to the post of First Minister of the Spanish Empire. In 1805, a British invasion force landed in the city of Vera Cruz, taking control of the city, prompting Juan to launch a counterattack with the colonial army. Juan’s attempt to retake the city was disastrous, as the colonial troops performed even worse than the Spanish forces had in Europe two years earlier. Nonetheless, the Spanish Navy, having received generous funding in previous years, remained mostly loyal to Juan and after launching a sneak attack on the British fleet in the region, was able to secure a victory, stranding the British troops in Mexico. If not for this unexpected victory, it is likely Juan would have been ousted then and there, as Suarez, who had the loyalty of the colonial army, had grown quite exasperated by Juan’s incompetence.
Juan would hold the throne for another five years, obsessed with retaking Spain proper, all the while ignoring the needs of the population of Mexico. Perhaps his only accomplishment would be securing the loyalty of the Governor of the Isabellas (Philippines) through his command of the Spanish Navy. In September of 1810, after failing at repelling another British attack on Vera Cruz (in part because a good portion the Navy was in the Pacific this time), Suarez and fifteen other generals stormed the palace in Mexico City to oust Juan once and for all. Though Juan was to officially be sent into exile in Alta-California, Suarez secretly ordered for the king to be executed. In the March 1811, somewhere in the Sonora Desert, Juan and his family were murdered and placed in an unmarked grave, with the official word being they were victim to an attack by Apache raiders. Suarez, now the sole leader of New Spain, attempted to put measures in place to consolidate his rule, but this would prove futile as Suarez himself would fall victim to another coup in May of that year. The leader of the coup was none other than Suarez’s own bastard creole son, General Octavio Suarez, who was able to rally the others generals to his cause after he successfully repelled a British incursion into the Central Valley.
Octavio immediately set forth in expelling the British from New Spain once and for all, launching a massive attack on Vera Cruz. Though Octavio was not a terrible commander (though he was by no means great), his poorly trained troops still failed to take the city, and with this failure, it appeared that he too would soon be overthrown. Fortunately for Octavio, the British, content with their recent conquests elsewhere, were ready to come to the table on their own accord and agreed to withdraw from Vera Cruz in return for recognition of their claims to Louisiana and Cuba. Octavio promptly agreed, and with a bit of sly maneuvering was able to persuade the other generals that he had convinced the British of their own inevitable defeat.
Octavio was welcomed back to Mexico City as a hero. The “victory” in Vera Cruz also cemented his relationship with the remainder of the Spanish Navy, which had essentially been leaderless since the death of King Juan III. With the backing of the army, navy, mestizos, and remaining Spanish nobility, it was clear that Octavio was now the uncontested leader of New Spain. In order to further win over the peasant class, on December 3, 1812, Octavio changed the name of New Spain to Mexico and declared it an independent state, essentially renouncing all claims to Spain proper. On Christmas Day, 1812, Octavio was crowned “The Emperor of Mexico”. The governors of the Isabellas and Puerto Rico, dependent on the newly rechristened “Imperial Mexican Navy” for their own survival, soon declared their loyalty to Octavio as well.
Octavio’s twenty-two year rule would be mostly peaceful, though numerous rebellions would occur in the early years of his administration. Insurrections by the Apache, Comanche, Maya, and Navajo would all be put down with extreme violence, while an attempt by a cadre of military officers to secede with the provinces of California would only be defeated when a large earthquake caused the deaths of the leading members of the conspiracy. Octavio would succeed in sorting out the religious issues that were plaguing the country, by officially declaring the country would remain with Rome, while unofficially allowing for the cardinals and bishops to do as they pleased, as well as tacitly endorsing the Cult of the Virgin of Guadeloupe. It was also during this time that immigrants from Europe flooded Mexico. Spanish, German and Neapolitans made up most of the immigrants, though lesser populations of Poles and Irish came as well. The latter two would become especially widespread in Texas, becoming the first groups to colonize the interior.
In 1834, Octavio would back the independence of Ecuador from the United Provinces of Maracaibo, sending a force of 8,000 men to assist the region in its rebellion. Although the venture would prove a loss, as the Ecuadorian uprising quickly failed, the navy did succeed in capturing the Galapagos Islands, which had been claimed by Maracaibo, but were never fully secured. The seizure of the islands would continue to be a sore point in Mexican-Maribo relations for the remainder of the century.
Unfortunately for Octavio, the Ecuadorian failure would be his last major action as Emperor. On October 3 1836, Octavio passed away, leaving the crown to his significantly younger brother and First Minister, Severino. The newly titled Severino I would himself die within the year, as a result of a severe lung infection.
Severino was succeeded by Octavio I’s son, Octavio II. Like his uncle, Octavio’s reign would be rather brief, though he did have time to secure his marriage to the French socialite, Marion of La Rochelle, famous for being the basis of the title character in the popular French novel, Les Danses de la Duchess. The couple would have one child before Octavio II’s death on January 3 1841, and Octavio III was declared Emperor shortly thereafter. As Octavio III was still a young child, Marion, it was decided, would rule in his stead as Empress-Regent. While Marion’s right to rule was briefly contested by the nobility and church, more serious matters would soon arise to the north, forcing the Empress and her rivals to put aside their differences.
Though Marion’s heritage made it no surprise that she would be sympathetic to the plight of the French populations in Louisiana, Ohio and Quebec, when the Great North American War broke out in 1841, almost no one predicted that she would actually risk her throne by advocating for war against the British. Using her twin brother Reynaud, a respected military adviser to the Mexican Army, to influence the military high command’s opinion, Marion moved 230,000 Mexican troops into Louisiana to back the secessionists and opened her ports to an additional 20,000 “volunteers” arriving from France.
The Great North American would last from November of 1841 until the August of 1845. Unlike their previous conflicts with the British, the Mexican Army, for the most part, performed outstandingly well in the conflict. The adoption of French military doctrine and modern equipment proved to be a blessing, as British generals repeatedly underestimated their Mexican opponents. Despite this, the war was still a major strain on the still young Mexican economy and when the draft riots sealed the fate of the British war effort, Marion and Reynaud were quick to accept Britain's overtures for peace. In 1845, the Treaty of Copenhagen was signed, freeing Louisiana and Carolina, as well as creating the new nation of Obregon to the north of Alta California. While the territory of Obregon was technically claimed by Mexico, Marion had little qualms about renouncing claim over the remote region, as it was mostly populated by British dissidents anyhow. Though Mexico’s only territorial gain in the war would be Cuba (half of which would be surrendered to Carolina following a plebiscite), the creation of several friendly buffer states and the national pride gained from having finally defeated the British would prove to be more than enough to convince the population that the war had been worthwhile.
While in the eyes of many, Marion’s victory proved her effectiveness as a leader, her new found popularity also highlighted much of the resentment that had existed against her even before the war. In 1849, a group of dissident noblemen hijacked the imperial carriage, dragged Marion, the Emperor Octavio and Reynaud into the street and proceeded to fire upon the Empress and Octavio repeatedly. The brutal assassination was viewed by hundreds and though the assassins themselves were gunned down by the police before they could kill the pugnacious Reynaud or finish off Octavio, the Empress herself was mutilated and died within minutes.
The assassination proved to have the opposite of intended effect for the dissident noblemen. Instead of creating an uprising against Marion and Reynaud’s regime, the viciousness of the attack solidified the monarchy's popularity. Marion’s death would secure her position as a martyr, while Reynaud’s personal defense against his attackers would solidify his image as a fighting man of true Mexican spirit. As Marion’s son, Octavio III, was still only 13 years old and now crippled, Reynaud would take the position of regent. A position he would effectively hold for the remainder of Octavio’s reign. In 1870, when Octavio III passed after a long life of being confined to the palace, he left the crown to his now elderly uncle in a move that surprised no one.
As Emperor, Reynaud would make the French style court, that he had already presided over as regent, official, as well as continue his policies of building infrastructure up to a European level. A steady stream of immigrants and heavy trade with Louisiana and Obregon would result in nearly fifteen years of uninterrupted economic growth. Despite Reynaud’s ancestry, relations with France would sour in the later days of his administration, as protectionist policies and a refusal to allow French ships to use Mexican ports in their attempted recapture of Haiti created some strife between the two nations. Overall, Reynaud’s policies were well thought out and effective, and by the time of his death in 1881, Mexico was considered a thoroughly modern society, almost on par with Europe.
Reynaud would be succeeded by his grandnephew Aristides I, the only son of Octavio III. Often referred to as “the impossible child”, as Octavio’s crippling should have left him unable to conceive, Aristides birth was widely considered to as a miracle, proving God's love for Mexico. Aristides’s complex relationship with both of his parents, as well as Reynaud, would have an enormous impact on how the new Emperor would govern the country.
Aristides first decree would be to reorganize the navy. After multiple years of neglect under Reynaud, who heavily favored the army, the Imperial Mexican Navy had fallen behind that of the other great powers, and was now being actively challenged by the United Dominions and Maracaibo in the Caribbean and Burgundians in the Pacific. A five year long buildup and the forced retirement of several admirals would see the navy make great strides in modernity. In 1886, Aristides would send the fleet to the Isabellas, bringing the islands, which had essentially been self-governing for the last decade, back under Imperial control. Aristides would also take a great interest in the Far Eastern nations of Japan and China. Greatly impressed with their culture, he would seek to imitate their court styles in Mexico City, though this had mixed success. Nonetheless, the improved relations with China did open the way for a great deal of trade, as Mexico itself was granted an extension of trade rights that had previously only applied to the Isabellas. This allowed for Mexico to make great headway into the Far Eastern markets, bringing an end to the long held Portuguese monopoly on Chinese trade. Aristides, never having felt quite comfortable with the Francophile culture created by his predecessor, also sought to create a new Mexican culture, even going as far as to experiment with other religions, including Buddhism, Shintoism, Lightism, Apache Mysticism and Haitian Voodoo.
Aristides death in 1890 would be met with relief by much of the court. Though, in truth, he was moderately successful, even staving off a recession that hit most of the other countries on Earth, his many accomplishments would be overshadowed by his eccentricities and failed attempts redefine Mexican culture. Aristides would leave the throne to Valerio, the grandson of Reynaud and Octavio I's daughter, Jimena.
Valerio would begin his reign by continuing many of the less controversial policies of his predecessor, such as expanding the navy and improving relations with the Far East. In 1892, Valerio put together a commission of engineers, businessmen and politicians to see about creating a canal in the southern part of the country, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Construction on the Nicaraguan Canal officially began in 1896, with heavy investments from France helping to get the venture off the ground, while Chinese immigrants were imported to help alleviate labor shortages on the dangerous project. In 1897, Valerio ordered the seizure of the Hawaiian Islands to protect Mexican traders and plantation owners operating in the archipelago. The annexation of Hawaii was to be controversial both in Mexico and abroad, as French, Burgundian and British interests in the region all voiced extreme opposition to the move.
Since beginning construction of the canal and the annexation of Hawaii, Mexico has been relatively quiet. Immigration from Europe continues to come in droves, while trade with Louisiana and Obregon is steadily growing. Trade with South America has also picked up in recent years, though rivalries with Maracaibo, Bartica and Santiago continue to pose challenges. Mexico's strong relations with the harsh dictatorship of the Torrelios, in Charcas, has also been brought into question in recent years. The largest threat to Mexican dominance over the Americas currently lies within the United Dominions of North America, where many revanchist politicians seek to rectify the losses of the 1840s and ensure Anglo dominance over the Western Hemisphere. If Mexico is survive, it will not only have to continue its path to modernity but forge strong alliances with its neighbors as well.
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