Princes of the Universe, Part I Table of Contents Foreword Prologue Chapter 1: Fighting for Survival Chapter 2: The Brothers Chapter 3: First Contact Chapter 4: The Flight of the Dragon Clan Chapter 5: Render Unto God What is God's Chapter 6: First and Foremost Chapter 7: The Sun Also Sets Chapter 8: Slavery, Part 1 Chapter 8: Slavery, Part 2 Chapter 8: Slavery, Part 3 Chapter 9: Great Works, Part 1 Chapter 9: Great Works, Part 2 Chapter 10: Good Queen Bess Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 1 - The Kong Miao Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 2 - Defending the Faith Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 3 - Crying Havok Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 4 - Claudia Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 5 - Summon Up the Blood Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 6 - The Battle of Tlatelolco Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 7 - Corona Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 8 - Comrades in Arms Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 9 - Within the Gates of Tenochtitlan Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 10 - Brothers and Sisters of the Faith Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 11 - To the Victors Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 12 - Anarchy Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 13 - Order Chapter 11: Noble Men, Part 14 - First Business Chapter 11: Noble Men, Epilogue - On Nobility Chapter 12: The Merchant, Part 1 - The Pitch Chapter 12: The Merchant, Part 2 - A Passage to Mongolia Chapter 12: The Merchant, Part 3 - Bearing Gifts for the Greeks Chapter 12: The Merchant, Part 4 - The Incident at Argos Chapter 12: The Merchant, Part 5 - The Chimes at Midnight Chapter 12: The Merchant, Part 6 - This Other Eden Chapter 12: The Merchant, Epilogue Chapter 13: The Golden Age Chapter 14: Child's Play, Part 1 - Shortcomings Chapter 14: Child's Play, Part 2 - Family Honour Chapter 14: Child's Play, Part 3 - The Games of Boys Chapter 14: Child's Play, Part 4 - Weapons Check Chapter 14: Child's Play, Part 5 - The Games of Nations Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 1 Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 2 Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 3 Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 4 Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 5 Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 6 Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 7 Chapter 15: Scipio's Spy, Part 8 (Conclusion) Due to size limitations, this thread has been locked. The remaining stories are in a new thread--which is where the links below now lead. Princes of the Universe, Part II Chapter 16: Scipio's Sabre, Part 1 Chapter 16: Scipio's Sabre, Part 2 Foreword Its been a running joke in the Civilization community. For a game that tries to include as many real-life historical elements as possible, one of the most unrealistic is the use of seemingly-immortal leaders who run their respective civilizations for 6000 years or thereabouts. After all, the real-life leaders represented in the game are all the more remarkable for the fact that they led brief lives like the rest of ussome briefer than othersyet still managed to create a lasting impression, for better or for worse, that has lived on for centuries after they died. Still, Civilization is a game of what-ifs. What if Spain and the Aztecs had started as neighbours? What if Alexander the Great had been peaceful and devoted to diplomacy, or culture? What if Genghis Khan had possessed tanks? And what if the great leaders of history truly had been immortal? There are, of course, several fictional worlds where immortals do exist. One of my favourites has always been the Highlander universe, especially that of the first movie and the TV series. In case youre not familiar with Highlander, in that fictional universe, a small number of people in the world are, mysteriously, immortal. Their immortality manifests if and when they die an untimely, violent death. They cannot be killed, unless you sever their heads from their necks. An immortal who does that to another one then takes his opponents skill and knowledgecalled the Quickening. The immortals hide their true nature from humanity, but cannot do so from one anotherthey have a sort of sixth sense about that. Thus, they live through the centuries and periodically fight one another with swords. Eventually, only one immortal will remain; and he or she, who survives all the battles through the millennia, will claim the Prizewhatever it is. Now for the what-if, which is probably pretty obvious to you at this point. What if the leaders in Civilization were immortal in this same way? And, just to get one complication out of the way, what if their immortality was an open fact and largely accepted instead of hidden? (I have tweaked this and a few other items from the Highlander canon to better serve the story. I have done the same with people and events from world history. I hope this does not detract from the story, especially for fellow history buffs and Highlander fans.) Based on this idea, I decided to play through a game of Civilization IV, capture appropriate screenshots, and turn it into a story to share here. The game was played on a continents map at epic speed. I played a custom game at Prince difficulty level, because I had a rough story in mind and wanted leaders and civilizations which I hoped would lend themselves to it. In addition, I turned off all victory conditions except the one that made the most sense in order to emulate the Highlander universe: Conquest. Complete elimination of all rivals was the only way to victory, because, of course, in the end, there can be only one. An avowed Romaphile, I played as Caesar. I should acknowledge, before I go any further, the obvious inspiration of Helmling and his Philosopher Kings series. I am not trying to compete with him; rather, I hope to complement him. Ive tried to take a very different approach in the story in order to avoid it being too derivative. In particular, The Philosopher Kings were very peaceful; the Romans, as you might expect, are not. Helmling, thank you for your example and inspiration. Dude, you seriously rock.