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Pre-SpryNES VI: Tumidi maris imago

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by spryllino, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

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    This is a pre-thread for a historical NES, with its starting point in the Mediterranean as it was in 276 BC.

    This is a fun place to start (I hope!) because (a) it is about the first point in history where a fair bit of Europe was dominated by large territorial states; (b) they are not badly balanced, in ways that I think will make them enjoyable playing experiences for NESers; (c) there is particularly considerable amount of room for monarchs and other governments to have an impact not just on political but also on cultural matters, in one way or another.

    I am going to post material as I come up with it here and on the Frontier, and comment and criticism is extremely welcome on every aspect, although of course I may not be able to take account of every such point.

    I also now welcome applications. I am going to ask for much the same thing as Thlayli has been asking for in his thread - three choices and an explanation of what particularly attracts you about them. These can of course be changed. I particularly wish to have experienced players to take the major powers, which are:

    Rome
    Carthage
    Epirus (Pyrrhus)
    Macedon (Antigonus Gonatas)
    Egypt (Ptolemy II)
    Seleucid Empire (Antiochus I)
    Maurya Empire (Bindusara)

    The following minor powers will (almost) certainly be playable:

    Cyrene (Magas)
    Armenia (Orontes III)
    Iberia [in the Caucasus] (Pharnavaz/Pharasmenes)
    Bithynia (Nicomedes I)
    Cappadocia (Ariamnes)
    Cappadocia Pontica [i.e. Pontus] (Mithridates I)
    Odrysian kingdom
    Dardanian kingdom (Monunius)

    I would also definitely welcome a few players to play various Celtic tribes and tribal associations. One player in Cisalpine Gaul, one or two in Thrace, and one for the Celts in Asia Minor ["Galatians"] would be very welcome.

    India is not nearly finalised, so I don't really know what's going to be happening there at this stage.

    If anyone wishes to take the Garamantes [in Libya], Kush [in Sudan], the Bosporan Kingdom [in the Crimea], or the Scordisci, Triballians or Getae [on the Danube] - or indeed if anyone would like to do anything under cover of the black area - they should express interest and talk to me about it. I have not decided whether these will be open to players at the outset, but in those cases I would invisage the role of the player being to varying degrees more about culture-building, and rather less about politicking and role-playing the polity's leadership, and would like to get a fairly clear idea of what kind of thing any potential player would like to do beforehand.

    More material related to the stats and rules will come in due course. Anyway, post away with statements of interest and what you might like to play and why.

    Map:

    Spoiler :


    City dot outlines: white = capital; red = economic/commercial centre; green = religious centre; blue = other cultural centre.

    City dot centres: The main distinction on the map is the important one (especially in the Seleucid empire) between Greek cities and foundations by Alexander and his successors on the Greek model, which are black; and pre-existing non-Greek cities, which are red. Obviously there is a large variety of types of settlement, though, and this categorisation is not absolutely firm and moreover does not extend to the western Mediterranean (where all cities are marked in black). Green dot centres designate the current centre of a nomadic tribe of some sort, mostly Celtic on the map as it stands.
     
  2. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    This is interesting, but It's not the period of history I know well, and I'd be afraid to not give you a fair shake.
     
  3. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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  4. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    Edit: I'll just lurk; I think I misunderstood what was expected.
     
  5. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

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    Thomas: I hope the setting of the NES will be, though complicated, mostly explained by the detailed polity descriptions and Update 0 I intend to write. I think you might make a good Celtic player, though, if you asking about that book suggests that you are inclined in that direction. TMG wants to take the Galatians, though.

    Immac: I believe I already have five (!) statements of potential interest in Egypt, so, although yours (and anyone else's) is also very welcome, some idea of what you might like to do with it along with second and third preferences would be much appreciated. :)
     
  6. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Like Koi-san, I'm interested in the Seleucids and Carthage. EDIT: Scrap Carthage, I'm already playing that region in stazNES, and even if it's unlikely it starts, I don't want the same region in two NESes.

    I'm also interested in several of the minors. Iberia and Armenia especially.
     
  7. mrrandomplayer

    mrrandomplayer Potentially back

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    I'd be interested in joining, either as Carthage or somebody in Southern India or Sri Lanka.
     
  8. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

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    I realise that you may each prefer to do this a bit later on, but I am going to be very reluctant to hand out any major power to anyone who has not provided a rationale to make it clear to me approximately what they would like to do with it. :) Also, lists of preferences where all the options are major ones are only semi-helpful, Immac.
     
  9. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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  10. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Just give me Iberia or Armenia then :)
     
  11. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

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    I'm on the fence about joining another game right now but I'll bite I guess.

    I'll put myself for the Mauryas (for reasons that should be relatively obvious by now :p). It would be fun to make a Maurya Empire that is more western-oriented and has even closer ties to the hellenistic world than OTL's did, and (in time) patronizing/adopting the Greco-Buddhist aesthetic. And, of course, making all the internal improvements that Asoka would historically do. Alternatively, I could make the throne stick to the Ajivika faith of Bindusara rather than officially adopt Buddhism as Asoka would do. Either path would be interesting.

    I feel like it would be more fun to not be the Mauryas however, but rather to be one of the petty dynasties of South India (the Cheras would be the most fun of these), and build a land-based empire in South India to act as a counter to the Mauryas, with potential Hellenistic cultural influences brought in by Yavana traders.

    If for whatever reason I end up not being in India, then Armenia would also be a fun country to play. I would in this case attempt to make the country a bastion of Zoroastrianism, and try to build it up as a military counterweight to the Seleucids or whoever else attempts to rise out of the chaos that is Asia Minor.
     
  12. Polyblank

    Polyblank Chieftain

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    I am not sure of whether I know much about this period, but I would like to learn more about it. Nevertheless, I don't know whether you will accept this as the GM or not, but I would like to play as the Hellenic City - state of Byzantion, mainly for the sole reason that they are an interesting if not weak and endagered entity that is shrouded in mystery and because I would like to utilise this chance for culture buidling reasons and also try to defend against the Odrysians.
     
  13. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

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    I'm afraid that it is not currently my intention to allow players to take individual city-states (although nothing is really final at this stage and I may change my mind), so I would encourage you to consider alternatives.
     
  14. Polyblank

    Polyblank Chieftain

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    If that is the case and I can't take Byzantion in the end, I would like you to consider me for the position of The Kingdom of Bithynia, as that it is also a really interesting region.
     
  15. Double A

    Double A WAAAH

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    I have a Romeboner, especially this early in its history. I dunno who else I'd want to be if you'd rather me not take up such an important country, though. Maybe a Greek colony? Cyrene and Pontus are pretty neat.
     
  16. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

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    I would say Sparta, but since individual city states are a no:

    Epirus (Pyrrhus)

    I have studied extensively this period, and the person I love the most is Pyrrhus, the Eagle, as he was called due to his (initial victories) against Macedonia of Demetrius I the Besieger. This is mainly the reason I want to join as Epirus. It has few resources and is surrounded by enemies, but it has a small but pretty effective army and I want to try my luck in trying to do what Pyrrhus failed: conquer Italy. Also, my personality resembles that of Pyrrhus. We are both somewhat aggressive, warlike and ambitious if somewhat reckless. I have also studied this age of warfare far far more than others.

    I know I have a bad history but I have improved by a lot since the last NES we were together (you can ask other GMs of NESes I have participated, like SK). I will try my best as Epirus and write orders/do diplomacy as best as I can. I know you want experienced players, but this is the only state that really interests me and I will really try my best.
     
  17. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

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    I can confirm/back up everything in the above post. Christos is a great player and really very knowledgeable, especially about Greece (and China though that's not relevant in this case)
     
  18. Bair_the_Normal

    Bair_the_Normal 全は禪

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    I have a marked interest in culture building and developing insights into the inner workings of a relatively shrouded society. That being said, I would like to first and foremost request to be able to develop the Garamantian kingdoms and their culture. My primary reason for this is that of all the states and polities on the map, the Garamantian states appear to be the most 'blank' of all slates. As this may understandably be a worrying statement to you, spry, allow me to elaborate. I use blank to here mean that if I were to take hold of the Garamantian states, due to the relatively absent lack of immediately available information on their culture and society (immediately available here meaning on the internet; my greatest apologies that I have not been able to find any written material on the Garamantes within my immediate vicinity) and the relative cultural (if not commercial) isolation, I would be able to be more liberal and creative with my depictions of Garamantian society and culture. That being said, I hope it is obvious enough that I would keep my cultural developments and abstractions within reason. To be more specific, I would base the Garamantian language (name in progress) upon the Berber languages, specifically modeling it off of reconstructed Proto-Berber with significant Ghadamès, Sokna, and Tuareg grammatical and phonological influence (for now, as I haven't done any significant research into the history of the Tuareg languages, so I am not sure if this is anachronistic or not; obviously, Ghadamès and Sokna are modern Berber languages: I am looking primarily at taking phonological developments from these languages). In addition, I would love to write on the sophistication and development of the Garamantian underground irrigation system and their increasing reliance and exploitation of underground fossil water, and their contributions to the development of the central Trans-Saharan trade routes. On a similar note, I would eventually want to pioneer the domestication of camels in the Sahara for commercial and administrative purposes. For more long term/abstract/not particularly sustainable or realistic goals, I would hope to expand Garamantian cultural and economic influence (if not necessarily direct control) along the Trans-Saharan trade routes to the Djado Plateau in the south, the Tibesti mountains to the southeast, the proto-Tuareg inhabited Hoggar Mountains and the Tassili n'Ajjer to the west and southwest, and the Ghademes Oasis and Nafusa Mountains to the north. Perhaps also chart routes east to the Kufra Oases group and even the Darb el-Arbain route farther east between Egypt and Nubia. Finally, with the development and maturation of a mercantile culture in the Garamantian capital (Garama for now; as with the language and overarching culture, I will with your blessing, spry, develop a contemporary name for the city) and associated satellite cities, and with noteworthy Punic and Greek influences, how to illustrate and adopt a city-centric urban culture for the Garamantian states.

    Should you not trust or accept me to develop a realistic, viable Garamantian culture, I should be happy to instead join as the Kingdom of Atropatene. In Ganzak, I would hope to be able to continue the legacy of Atropates and diplomatically maneuver the kingdom through the stick situation that existed between the Seleucids and Armenia over Sophene. In addition, I would like to culturally develop Atropatene and differentiate it from the rest of what was Media (Media Magna? at the Partition of Babylon) and develop a distinctly Iranic identity for Atropatene, in the hopes of rebuffing Seleucid ideas of 'reunifying' Media. :p

    If you should decide to not let me develop the Garamantians or or to have Atropatene be an unplayable state, then I would greatly enjoy taking the helm of Kyrēnē. If I were to be accepted to be given Kyrēnē, I would particularly write on the development of the Later Kyrenaics and hope to expand upon and articulate the Kyrenian marital alliance with the Seleucids. In addition, I should hope to develop an urban culture not only in the city of Kyrēnē proper and the rest of what I presume to be the Pentapolis [Euesperides, Teuchira, Balagrae, and Barca] (please do correct me if I am incorrect), but also in the Marmarican outskirts and client states of Kyrēnē, Zygra, Antipyrgos, and Baranis in particular. Having to juggle internal politics and balance Kyrenian and Marmaridae interests will prove to be particularly interesting, if occasionally a massive headache. :p

    I am fully aware that I also don't have the best reputation in NES, but I hope that you might look past this to consider my application for the Garamantian kingdom. That aside, this whole project looks absolutely amazing.
     
  19. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Bair, you totally have a great reputation. :p I'm one of your biggest fans, in particular because you are an extremely talented historian, as evidenced above.

    (I applied for Epirus and the Ptolemids on the Frontier thread, FYI, but if both of them end up getting taken I'd be happy to flesh out a rationale for Macedonia as well. Keep me posted, spry-alai.)
     
  20. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

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    Polyblank, Christos: Multiple preferences would be helpful. :)

    Double A: I already have two decent applications for Rome (although you can write a third application if you want to), so you're probably right that Pontus or Cyrene might be more likely.

    Bair: Thanks, that looks promising for either the Garamantes or Cyrene - as I said on the Frontier.

    Thlayli: Thank you, that's very helpful. I'm going to finish off most polity descriptions and various other bits first, allowing people to apply if they're waiting for more details; then I'll try and find suitable places for everyone. I won't be sure where I want anyone until then really. :)
     

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