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The Medieval South [IC]

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Vienna Eliot
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The Medieval South [IC]

Postby Vienna Eliot » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:01 pm

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BILTMORE. JANUARY 1877.

They buried him deep. Again.

This time without fanfare, though church bells sounded in distant Asheville, marking midday. The first bong startled a flock of five, maybe six blue thrushes that were foraging in the lawn nearby. They launched into the sky. It was cloudy overhead. Georgie found the ambience fitting for the occasion. Three rings—Pause. The Emperor is dead. Three rings—Pause. Long live the Emperor. Three rings—Pause. For good this time. Andrew asked if he needed a moment.



The shotgun cracked off, smoke mixing with the fog, and the deer fell dead in the green underbrush.

"Uh huh," Georgie said, marching through the mud toward the animal.

"You aren't listening," Andrew said.

"I am," said Georgie.

"You're too blasé."

"You're too anxious."

"The Empire barely holds Maryland. The North is still meeting in Washington."

"I thought we sold it," Georgie said, reloading his gun.

"It's only a matter of time before... Grant and his army could cross the Ohio any day."

"Grant ain't got an army."

"The Emperor would have never—"

"I am the Emperor. Now won't you shove it? You're grandaddy ain't dead."



They decided not to report the Emperor's untimely resurrection, nor his second burial. Not even to the family. The news had been sent out two days ago, anyway. By now it'd have reached Louisiana, if not Texas, and Emperor Alive; Dead Again was no headline befitting a Vanderbilt. The mourners, who had gathered at All Souls for the Emperor's funeral, gathered again the Sunday after the next to see the coronation of his grandson.

Bishop Atkinson travelled from Greensboro to conduct the ceremony. This proved briefly controversial in some circles, with a young man suggesting to the local press outside All Souls, day of, that the Presiding Bishop rejected the authority of the new Emperor. In fact, the Presiding Bishop was busy in Florida at the time and had no means nor time to travel to Asheville.

Georgie was late, as always, and evidently drunk. No respectable paper reported this. By sunset, word had spread. The Emperor was dead. Long live the Emperor.
Last edited by Vienna Eliot on Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Lux Pulchrae
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Postby Lux Pulchrae » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:09 am

Asheville

Vincent was there for the emperor's funeral, the public one at least. He watched the procession from among the crowd, with a smirk if not a smile. Vincent never really knew the emperor, never met him personally or knew anyone that did and doubted anyone in that town knew him or cared a slave's ass about anything in Louisiana.

Present at the coronation as well, his levels of joy were amplified. Finally, that drunken monkey with the imperial crown on his head took power. Now no empire hick can get in his way, the only real problem he could possibly face was the glorified Dauphin in Orleans. In no way did he hate her or harbor any ill will like he did with the emperor, only that she could get in the way.

Accompanied by his personal servant Duvalier, and several noticeably armed guards close by, the young lord walked the streets of Asheville in polite conversation with his servant, no doubt attracting looks from the common folk around.

He could only smile as he noticed these looks. "Duvalier" he called to him. Vincent's English was typical, a slight hint of Louisiana but other than that, it was indistinguishable. He also spoke perfect french, as was obvious.

"Yes Monsieur."

"Do you know why I had brought you here?"

"I would not know, Monsieur. But I had thought you might have finally considered me a friend." he answered, replying in his usual deadpan banter that Duchamp liked so much.

He smiled again "No Duvalier my silly negro, because you are controversial. You scandalize this place. These Anglo pigs, they would sooner move North than have a society where you and I wander the streets together."

"But Monsieur. The North is like that."

Stopping in his tracks, Vincent looked at Duvalier, "Are you questioning me Monsieur Duvalier?"

"No Monsieur. I didn't ask a question."

Chuckling, then full on laughing, the young lord enjoyed Duvalier's presence. Maybe it was his rather quick, deadpan negro wit, or the fact that he was also his father's servant, but nonetheless he was a fun colored to be around. "And do you know why I wore white? While all these mourners wore black."

"Because you are not a mourner."

"Precisely! You are a quick one! They mourn, I rejoice." he motioned to his attire, rather high end white coat and pants. "That fat Dutch bastard croaked and now his drunken stupor of a grandson has taken the throne. Do you know what a man that has alcohol as half the liquid in body can do to stop me down south? Nothing."

"And the royal forces of Madame Ernestine?"

"I'll worry about 'La Petite Dauphine' when I have to." the entourage finally stopped in front of a local bar. "We'll get a drink here then back to the coaches to Baton." he said as and Duvalier entered.

"Oh no you don't!" the bartender said aloud from behind the bar. Able so see who came in and out, he saw Vincent and Duvalier coming in, particularly Duvalier. "No one coming in here tell that negro leaves."

"Why? Our money's worth its weight sir." Vincent assured.

"I don't care. Have him step out, then you can come and get a drink."

The young lord acknowledged this and motioned for Duvalier to leave. Walking to the bar, he ordered a whisky. "May I ask why I cannot bring my companion inside?"

"Why do you think dumbass?" the bartender chuckled as he poured a drink "Ain't no one in this city ever had, or will have, a nigger in their bars. You want them drunk and lazy? How's any work supposed to be done? Besides, you're a little bit to friendly with them to be from around here. Where you from?"

"Me, from good ol' Baton Rouge."

"So you're one of them little French faggots. If I knew that I'd've kicked you out too. But seems as I already took your money, and I'm not the thieving type." pouring another drink, he noticed Vincent's rather white attire. "Odd getup, we're in mourning. Mourners wear black."

"We mourn differently in Louisiana." he smiled, for he knew that the reasoning he gave to the bartender wasn't entirely true. He was mourning, just not sad. "How much for the whole bottle?"

"Fifty."

"Fifty?" Vincent questioned with a shock.

"For one, you ain't from here. Second, you're too fancy with that nigger over there. And third, you won't get a better deal. Especially not once they see you walking around with that one. What the hell are you thinking? All friendly and laughin, I saw you two outside. It's best you go back whence you came. Or the next glass bottle you see won't be given to you so friendly like."

With a sigh, he paid for the bottle and headed out. Reaching the stagecoaches, they all loaded up again and made haste back down south. A week away from home is a lot for someone like him. "A drink Duvalier?"

The servant looked at his master, of the masters he has served in his sixty odd years, the Duchamps were by far the kindest. While they can still be hard on his brethren slaves, to himself they were kindly, amicable, and he'd even dare say compassionate. Rarely was Duvalier ever offered a drink, and in this moment, he felt as if an equal. Not ruining the moment by shedding a tear, he nodded and accepted. "Oui Monsieur Duchamps. I would like a drink."

"Back home we go, to Baton Rouge."
Last edited by Lux Pulchrae on Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Vienna Eliot
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Postby Vienna Eliot » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:44 pm

GRAND BALLROOM. BILTMORE PALACE.

"—which His Imperial Majesty has hosted for us, in the Royal Biltmore Palace, on the occasion of his coronation. So with that, I raise a toast: to the Emperor!"

The reception-goers raised their glasses. "To the Emperor!"

The new Emperor was nowhere to be seen. He was derobing, Andrew explained to one guest, a count from somewhere in South Carolina, and the process took awful long, and why didn't he go fix himself a drink? Some two, maybe three weeks had passed since the Commodore's funeral, and though Asheville — and, surely, the whole Empire — had mourned in that time, now they could rejoice. The formalities of the coronation dispensed with, Andrew made his way through the crowd at the royal reception.

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The United Empire of Exucular
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Postby The United Empire of Exucular » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:39 pm

Biltmore Palace

"To the Emperor!"

Bernard raised his glass in the air before tipping the liquor back. A slight burn traveled down his throat before disappearing just as quickly as it when in. He looked around the reception at all the gorgeously dressed women and handsomely dressed men. Many of the Souths most influential and wealthiest people stood there surrounding him at the reception. How many of these people would still be in there positions in a years time? A months time even?

The Emperor was dead. A grand struggle for new positioning would be underway, if it hadn't started already. Dozens crowded Andrew giving there condolences and sympathies to him, hoping to have their words lifted up to the ears of the new head of the Vanderbilt Dynasty. Bernard Kelsey wondered how many genuine and how many just wanted to keep their seat at the table. Some, if there title was lost, would lose close to everything. Bernard was thankful that his portfolio was a little more diverse. His title, Duke of Charleston, though only recently taken, was a good title to heighten his standing among the aristocracy. However, titles can only give you so much power.

Bernard Kelsey's true power laid in his business. A baron of the shipping and railway industries. His empire was one of hard metal snaking across the entirety of the southern states, with the notable exceptions of Texas and Louisiana out of respect for the King and Queen out towards the frontier. His war machines were the locomotives and train cars that charged across the landscape carrying goods and passengers to wherever needed. His loyal subjects were the railway workers, depot employees, and business owners that needed his network to keep their families fed and a roof over their heads.

Andrew was coming towards his area of the reception. Already he was being approached, by aristocrats from South Carolina, people from the state he watches over from his city of Charleston. Bernard mused to himself, which of these people would come for my seat at the table?

Bernard finally had his moment with Andrew. He gave his condolences and sympathy to the Vanderbilts and the South. Were his words sincere? or just as empty and meaningless as many of the other men and women in the room. Honestly, Bernard didn't know.
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Alaroma
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Postby Alaroma » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:08 pm

Benjamin Boykin: King of the Texans

Chapter 1: Den of Wolves



“To the Emperor!”

The words came out of my mouth, but they felt hollow. The southern experiment was in trouble, and I well knew it. I had raised my glass of champagne to the new ‘monarch’, but I did not down any of my glass’s contents. I wasn’t particularly thirsty.

I looked at the crowd of people who came to celebrate the new Emperor with a certain level of amusement. It was all they ever wanted, wasn’t it? To lord over their fellow man, and it wasn’t enough to break the Union. No, they had to break the very state authority that permitted the simplest of things like the organization of defense. I couldn’t tell if this was 1877, or 877, the way some of these people acted.

Though was I much better? I am the son to a man who helped break Republicanism in Texas. Or perhaps I am the son to the man who helped saved what remained of it. Either way, I had an uneasy anxiety. I looked at these people, and it was as if they didn’t care that while we played Kings, the Union got stronger. My old Northern University friends mock the south for what it has become, a regressive oligarchy.

I felt a small hand land land on bicep, gently. Looking to my right, sweet little Iris had a mildly worried look in her eyes. “Are......you alright father?” She asked me gently, her bright blue eyes, the inheritance of her mother, stared at me. I looked back at her, and realized what she saw. The lines in my smile to perfect, and my gaze too serious. Not the sort of warm eyes I give her when we go horseback riding, but the look I give men I don’t trust. Putting up a facade.

I put my left hand on hers, and gently removed it from my arm. “I’m fine love, never better. We have a new Emperor after all, and he’s around your age as well.” The girl shifted, before her brother came to my left side. “That he is........” he commented, a smile on his own face, “but doesn’t the Emperor seem a little off to you, father?” He asked.

I chuckled as if he had just said a funny joke, while discreetly looking around. At least he’s prudent enough to make such comments out of anyone’s earshot. “He looks like a boy who just lost his father, and is now the Confederation’s Representative to the world. And it is our duty, as loyal vassals, to lend him our support.” Israel gave me a knowing look, before nobles from Texas began coming to me, expressing their undying loyalty to me. Complementing Israel and what a fine man he has become, not to mention an exceptional duelist. Of course they couldn’t ignore my beautiful daughter. I suspected some would love to have her for their sons. Though what I really wondered was how many of them were simply full of shit in their flattery.

Before long, Andrew came to me. We had a small cordial conversation. I promised my loyalties, I gave my condolences, and I wished for a strong Emperor. Though, Iris made sure to send her own personal condolences and pleasantries as well. After he left I wonder how full of shit I was. Well, if nothing else, I did want a strong south. It was also clear that this boy, when he came out, would be entering into a den of wolves. Was I among the wolves? Perhaps. However we all had to play the game, didn’t we?
"Yeah, you're right. You got lucky this time. If there were Dutch people there, you would be facing so many rebels!"
-Nuverkikstan

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Postby The Miaphysite Church of Coptic Archism » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:27 pm

A Week Ago, Vicksburg

"-to which we, the landholders of this territory, do recognize the legitimacy of the inheritance of the Marquessate of Vicksburg. Long live the Marquess!" The most literate of the barons sat, looking up from the document in his hands, being joined by a chorus of voices echoing his sentiment.

Standing in front of them, in the Warren County Courthouse, was Jefferson Davis Jr. who stood stoically. Bishop Green placed a simple wooden circlet on his head, following which Davis sat back on his repurposed throne with caution. The minor landholders of the region approached one by one to give their oaths of loyalty, and receive their accolades.

The investments Davis had made were paying off. Using his role in the Armorial of Mississippi, he had managed to uplift a number of local families to "nobility", especially targeting members of the New Whig Clubs. And now, when old Pemberton finally croaked, he had enough support with the Marquess's underlings to have them sign off on the documentation naming Jefferson Davis Jr. his heir.

Seated in his new prospective court, Davis noticed Hayes rushing through the crowd towards him. His brother-in-law was a knowledgeable sort and a useful servant. He leaned forwards when Hayes moved to whisper something quietly to him. Sitting back again, Davis mused. "The Yankee is dead, long live the Yankee."


Biltmore Palace

"To the emperor." Davis toasted politely, but with no vigor. When he drank, he drank from a cup dosed heavily with laudanum. Travel was always harsh on his sensibilities, and Davis's main goal at the moment was smiling and shaking hands without coughing up a lung.

The young heir to the Davis legacy greeted a number of aristocrats as they all rotated through the grand ballroom. Many expressed their sympathies to him about how much he was starting to look like his father. Some congratulated him on his succession to the Marquessate. A few he even noted as regular attendees at Whig Clubs. Davis was careful not to accept too much attention, of course. He was the vassal of a vassal, here as a guest only.
Last edited by The Miaphysite Church of Coptic Archism on Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Khasinkonia
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Postby Khasinkonia » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:41 pm

Ernestine, par la grâce de Dieu, Reine de Louisiane, Princesse de Nouvelle-Orléans, et Duchesse d’Angoulême
La Salle de Bal du Château de Biltmore
À Sa Santé


Though the ballroom echoed with a repetition of the toast, mixed within it was a different sound. Standing with rigid discipline along one section of the wall was myself, alongside my small assembly of loyal nobility, we raised our glasses.

«À sa santé»

I sipped from my glass in accordance with tradition, and then handed it to a courtier so that I could give my reflection a final check with the special compact mirror that I kept near me for all occasions. One could never be too careful. My hair was still perfectly in place. It was composed of small curls preceding an intricate chignon with a brooch in it. This brooch was none other than the Brooch of Saint Louis, a family treasure. Although many had been lost to the revolutionary state, my late mother obtained it before the revolution against the Orléanists once more returned France to republican rule. For earrings, I wore the newest additions to the slowly growing collection of Louisianian Crown Jewels: The Fleur de Lis Diamonds. Though he had not been able to attend, my cousin, dear King Leopold II of Belgium, had sent me a pair of beautiful earrings for my coronation. They were composed of rather large yellow diamonds held with a golden head along the back and edges. Although they were rather heavy earrings, for a formal event such as this, they were the only reasonable choice.

My ball gown itself was tailored perfectly to fit me with no more give to spare than what I needed to sit. It was made for such official functions as this. It was pure white save for golden trimmings, which matched well with the gold ribbon I wore around my neck. Although it was a ball gown, it had a neckline that looped along my collarbone, rather than daring to plunge further or lower. For someone at my age, or indeed, anyone to show more skin at such an event would surely be considered impropriety to the press. Not that it was bothersome to me, for Biltmore was far less warm than New Orleans. Certainly, here one would not be concerned over Yellow Fever or plagues of insects in the summer, both of which my father and now I have gone to great lengths to dampen through every means possible. Alas, it could not be helped to some degree.

Now that most official presentations were complete, it was understood that all but the closest of my present nobility were permitted to go where they wished at the ball. Now that we had displayed our superiority in demeanour and discipline, we could engage in socialisation. Unlike most of those present, it seemed, I had sent my condolences in written form prior to my departure for the coronation. It was best to reserve condolences for appropriate times, and it was my opinion, and no doubt that of my court as well, that the moments after a coronation were not ones that ought to be spent providing condolences but rather congratulations exclusively. It had been a peeve of mine that my coronation itself was plagued with such things. Death was a natural part of the world. Naturally, the time between my father’s death and my official coronation had been longer, for an appropriate period of mourning in black clothes was taken as we discussed the topic of my ascension, but it was the principal that mattered.

Things were done differently in Louisiana.

I would eventually visit the refreshment room for a small bit of food, but for now, it was best to maintain good posture and see to it that I could soon converse with the Emperor. It would be most pleasant, I hoped, to speak with another young ascendant to a throne. Although, unlike me, he would be immediately assuming full responsibilities as monarch, while I had only recently been freed from my education for enough time to do so. It was good, too, as I could perhaps finally make my stance on attempted regency clear.

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Lux Pulchrae
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Postby Lux Pulchrae » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:14 pm

Biltmore

Having parked their coaches close to Biltmore, they were soon about to leave. "Back home we go, to Baton Rouge." Taking the from Duvalier, Vincent took a hard swig. "Say, you think we should pay visit to the Dauphine when we get back home?"

"I believe you would have to wait Monsieur."

"And why is that?"

"You would have to wait for her to get back from the coronation."

"She's here! She's here and you didn't tell me you giddy nigger!" he pulled the servant harshly towards him.

"Pardonnez-moi Monsieur! I had thought you elected to ignore it."

"And miss my chance to miss the Queen herself? Are you mad?" furiously leaving the stagecoach, he got out and fixed himself, straightening out his coat and dusting his pants. He then turned around to face the coach "Don't you dare try and leave this coach." he was about to call one of the other coaches to take around to the entrance of the estate when he had a realization "Wait, you get out of my coach. Get in that one and stay in it." tossing the liquor bottle out the coach to Duvalier "And enjoy that, the last good thing you'll experience from here to Baton. Why in your relatively wise negro mind would you ever think I'd miss any chance to have a presence with the Queen. I won't forget this Duvalier. Hear me? I'll keep this in mind."

Keeping silent, Duvalier watched as his master's coach rode up the the Biltmore entrance, smaller and smaller as he rode away. Sighing, a hopeful smirk appeared on his face as he was left with a whiskey bottle with a significant of alcohol left inside. He would get in the coach and enjoy the moment.

Meanwhile, Vincent had entered the estate and headed for the ballroom. He could see he was relatively late, missing more or less the introductory parts, many with drinks in hand and the socializing had already begun. Looking around the ballroom for the Queen, eventually he had spotted her from a distance. He stood in thought for the moment, mentally preparing himself. He couldn't believe it, he was losing his mind at the thought of approaching someone just about half his age, not just anyone however. The Queen of Louisiana, his lord, or rather lady. Clearing his throat, he calmly approached and addressed her, genuflecting on his left knee "Votre Majesté. C'est un honneur. Vincent Duchamp, Prince of Baton Rouge." he introduced himself and stood up "Please forgive me for not being being present earlier. I had quick matters to tend to outside, some mess about one of my slaves." Vincent stepped back and saw Her Majesty's stunning attire, and white too "You look radiant, Your Majesty. And I see we both received the white attire memo, no?" he joked.
Last edited by Lux Pulchrae on Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The United Empire of Exucular
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Postby The United Empire of Exucular » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:51 pm

Biltmore Palace

"Anything to drink sir?"

Bernard turned around and saw a server with a cart full of bottles in front of him. He made a quick glance down at the assortment, giving a smile as he looked back up to meet the servers gaze. Before he spoke aloud Bernard thought to himself. Our Emperor spared no expense on the liquor tonight. It wasn't surprising considering the activities our new sovereign of the south liked to partake in.

"Nothing for me young man. Carry on."

"Yes sir."

The server quickly turned his cart around and proceeded away from Bernard.

"Wait!"

Bernard approached the cart and looked down. He examined the corner bottle, the one that he was unable to see from his angle a moment ago. He picked the bottle up and examined it. Dalmore '55. He recognized the brand name, it was the name of a Scottish Distillery out across the Atlantic. Very expensive, very rare. Bernard once shared a bottle of this whiskey with a good friend from Europe some years ago. He passed the bottle to the server to have it opened. When it was handed back to him Bernard brought it to his nose so that he could smell the aroma. Just as good as he remembered. He held the bottle up.

"Would anyone like to empty this with me?"
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Khasinkonia
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Postby Khasinkonia » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:41 pm

Ernestine, par la grâce de Dieu, Reine de Louisiane, Princesse de Nouvelle-Orléans, et Duchesse d’Angoulême
La Salle de Bal du Château de Biltmore
Le Seigneur de Baton-Rouge—Parle-t-il Français?


With a small nod of acknowledgement, I provided the Prince with my audience. Tardy. Quite tardy. And, as I recalled, he had completely missed the coronation. Certainly, this was a poor reflection on his disposition. A “mess” with slaves, a singular one no less. Quite the pitiful excuse given the occasion. Had he taken more time to get to his pitiful excuse, I would have been quite more taken aback. I looked him up and down as he spoke, but kept my expression neutral. Naturally, to try to evade scrutiny, he endeavoured to compliment me, and then said what I assumed was a joke. As he spoke to me in English rather than French, I responded in accordance.

“Most certainly,” I replied, “It is most appropriate to wear white on such a jubilant occasion. We trust your voyage here was pleasant?”
Last edited by Khasinkonia on Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alaroma
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Postby Alaroma » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:53 pm

Israel Boykin: Prince of the Texans

Chapter 1: Den of Wolves



I looked at the man with the curiosity that one might look at an exotic animal in a zoo. He was certainly bold for proclaiming his interest in sharing whiskey with, well, whoever. Father eyed the man as well, before noting to me and my sister “That man is Bernard Kelsey, Duke of Charleston.” My fist clenched and opened, a sense of restlessness falling over it.

I was in a black suit, as many of the men were. I had “just dashing” brown suit as Miss Crawford would like to say, but my father tells me at places like this, it’s better to stand out with my tongue, not my dress.

“Well, is he important? Can’t imagine you’d know just any Duke from the South Carolina.” Iris asked, her blue eyes looking over the crowd, not paying too much attention to the man himself. “Oh, very. His railroads spread throughout the Confederacy. His shipyards are some of the finest to be had. He’s partially to blame for my troubles of getting my rail lines anywhere outside of Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana.”

He didn’t need to explain the implications to me or Iris. Controlling the transportation system gave all kinds of leverage. “Not what I expected from a corporate warlord.” I said bluntly, to which my father chuckled. “Well, what would you call me and your grandfather?” I paused for a moment, before saying “Corporate warlords who became Kings.” My father stewed over that for a moment, before saying “Fair enough. Either way, I want you to go probe him a little.”

I pursued my lips, and gave him a look. The Duke seemed like a fellow you’d want to admire from a distance, lest you get caught in one of his machinations. “What, doesn’t he look like stimulating company?” My father asked. My sister meanwhile took out a white fan, and began gently cooling herself. “The Queen is preoccupied anyway.” She said with a pinch of amusement of my voice. In the peripheral of my vision, sure enough, some man in white was chatting her up.

I eventually nodded to my father, saying “Very well then.” Turning around, I began waking towards the man, picking up two appropriate glass from a passing waiter on the way. I would be a few feet away from him before he’d take note of me, or at the least let me know he acknowledged my presence. “I’ll share some of that with you, my good man.” I said with a smile. Was I younger than what he was probably expecting? Probably. “The name is Israel Boykin, I am Crown Heir to the Texan throne. How do you do?”
"Yeah, you're right. You got lucky this time. If there were Dutch people there, you would be facing so many rebels!"
-Nuverkikstan

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Sarderia
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Postby Sarderia » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:20 pm

Image


DUCHY OF SAN ANTONIO
COUNTY OF GALVESTON



    BILTMORE PALACE

"Remember the Alamo". It was a phrase that almost every Texan knew, either young or old, soldier or civillian, free men or slave. It was meant to affirm Texas' independence from General Santa Anna's tyranny, almost six decade ago, but it seemed so long ago that barely anyone reminds it now. Texas has been embroiled in multiple wars since its foundation, with rarely a moment of peace in the lands again. Although after the King's rise to power things has been relatively calming down, but it happened under the watchful eyes of tyranny. Double tyranny in fact - one exerted by Emperor Vanderbilt, God bless his soul, and the other one the self-styled King from his golden shining palace in Austin. How ironic, Elias thought. For all his talk of economic development and growth, he seemed more keen to let himself run all the business in the country. He never liked the man, not one bit despite serving in his batallion back in the War, but as a loyal vassal should, he respected the King as a lawful overlord. Though a part of it out of fear of what royalty might do to his business. In fact Elias preferred the Northern way of running a country. With all the representatives, the Congress, the Senators, and the elections - a more civilized way of things than dealing with absolutist shit. It was very, dearly unfortunate for him that he'd only experienced civilized society in his youth. Maybe, it will be just better if the South had lost the War. It certainly don't deserve winning though - from the one year he served in the Confederate army, he could tell they won the war only out of sheer luck.

And it is that sheer luck that brought him to the doors of Biltmore Palace today. The new Emperor had his coronation today, and he's handing out free liquor - the only good thing of this whole mess. Even the most hallowed Emperor, by God's Grace himself is nowhere to be seen; some servant said that he was derobing. Elias gave a toast of "To the Emperor" just like all the other sheeps in the room, but he spat in his champagne afterwards. Jesus Christ, don't even bother making a grand ball if you can't show yourself in front of your vassals. In proper dress. He had been to Manhattan before - oil business, collecting investments from Goldman Sachs - and even a small banquet in Wall Street is far more grand, civilized, fine compared to the coronation. Wouldn't it be for his father's inheritances and the oil drills, he would have left for New York, or Philadelphia, or London. I've got no problems with the South, but their leadership frustated me. Especially noting that I could't even buy a railroad in Texas. At least both San Antonio and Galveston has representatives and mayors, something that other parts of the county's dearly lacking nowadays.

He adjusted his suit and took another glass of champagne from a butler, sipping it slowly, as he reached for a dollar in his pockets. He gave the butler a tip for the drink, but the man refused, citing that he's been a slave to the lords his whole live and just recently got freed. "I insist on it," Elias said. "Here's a fifty bucks for you; head north, if you can, take a boat to Wilmington or New York or Boston, just get out of here. I would do so if only I'm a butler." The man thanked him and pocketed the cash; but he still went on carrying glass for the milords and miladies. Some people are just strange in their choices, Elias thought. Why people are not moving in mass numbers to the North just boggles his mind. There is industrialization in the Midwest, farming and ranching being opened everywhere in Kansas and Nebraska, and gold in California. He might buy a stake in one of those industries as well, later; he could not rely on such things being bulit back home.

It is when he just sent the butler off that he noticed the glorious and hallowed King of Texas with the Prince and Princess of Oligarchy in the making beside him. He put the glass of champagne in a table. It is expected of a lesser and humble vassal to bow his back and kiss your liege's hand curtly when meeting a King. At least that is what the old bedtime stories told him about the knights and dames in Europe, more than a thousand years ago. Elias approached the King and bowed slightly to him, speaking with the sweetest, honeyed tone in his voice. "Your Majesty," he greeted the King.
Last edited by Sarderia on Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alaroma
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Postby Alaroma » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:26 pm

Benjamin Boykin: King of the Texans

Chapter 1: Den of Wolves



Some men, you wondered if they meant you well. I had no misconceptions a snake has just crossed my path however. Elias, was a rival and competitor. His views from what was best for Texas, to what was best for the economy. He suspected, and has told me as much, that the man was concerned about his financial interests. However, to his credit, Elias had always voiced these disagreements within the system. That didn’t make him any less of a headache however. That said, today was one for appearances above all else.

“Duke West, my good man, it is good to see you here.” I returned in my own warm voice. As surely as his is a facade, so was mine. If this had been the United States, or the Republic, this invisible tension wouldn’t be nearly as strong I fancy. But this system being as it is, and with the urgency we need to act, this man found himself on the wrong side of that. Though more importantly, I wonder if he might be tomorrow’s threat to my children. I heard the stories of how he coerced some mayors at gunpoint. At least my father had the sense to force his ascension with his railroads, and not violence. Which bagged the question, would he do it to me?

“Greetings Duke West, always a pleasure for you to be with us. I trust your trip here was pleasant?” She said in her sweet manner. That girl, it’s like she’s genuine the way she looks. Who knows, maybe she is. Way she and Miss Jones go over a Bible, this is all probably petty to her, and that we’re all on the same side in the end. Miss Jones would probably have us do Bible study together to solve our problems............not that anything is wrong with Bible study.
"Yeah, you're right. You got lucky this time. If there were Dutch people there, you would be facing so many rebels!"
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The United Empire of Exucular
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Postby The United Empire of Exucular » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:48 pm

Biltmore Palace

Bernard watched as Israel Boykin approached him from across the room. As he moved forward the crowd divided in front of him, like he was Moses splitting the Red Sea. The Duke of Charleston looked behind to where he originated from. There he saw the King and Princess of Texas. He met eyes with Benjamin Ethan and nodded his head in acknowledgement and with the respect that should be afforded between two of the continents strongest barons of industry. It was the Boykin's that stood between Bernard's rails to the western coast of America, a region rich and ready to be settled properly. The Duke would have to go through the Indian territory or the unsettled areas of the Great Plains to reach the west. It would be a hassle, an inconvenience that would take extra time and resources to bring to fruition. If it meant not coming to blows with the House of Boykin, however, Bernard was willing to go the extra mile.

Bernard brought his focus back to Israel. It was the Texans, specifically the Boykins that would one day reach their hand towards California. Benjamin would undoubtedly begin the expansion west, but Bernard believed it would be Israel who would finish the quest. Bernard took a moment to study the Crown Heir. Bernard recalled a time in Richmond, years ago when he was young industrial baron still getting accustomed to the business and politics of the Confederacy. It was a meeting called by the Emperor that many aristocrats and industry leaders were there in attendance. What the meeting was about Bernard couldn't recall, but what he did remember was a young boy present among the crowd of elite. It wouldn't be until later when he would be informed that was Israel Anthony Boykin. Was this man walking towards him that same boy?

That memory was perhaps a decade old at this point. That was the last time he had set his eyes on young Israel. Now he was here again, approaching Bernard with two glasses in his hands. Israel was younger than Bernard by maybe a decade, perhaps even two. Regardless it would be Israel and his generation that would one day inherit the world from us Bernard thought. Or at least, inherit whatever remains if things take a turn for violent once again.

As Israel came closer Bernard saw him more clearly. Grown. Strong. When he looked in his eyes he saw the passion of youth. A conviction to make a change in this world. A change for the better Bernard hoped.

Bernard smiled back to the Crown Heir.

"Its an honor to meet you Prince Boykin. My name is Bernard Kelsey, Duke of Charleston."

He held out his hand as a gesture of respect.

"I do well, thank you. Or at least as well as one of us can be considering recent events," Bernard laughed.

"And you sir, how do you do?"
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Postby Lux Pulchrae » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:07 am

Khasinkonia wrote:
Ernestine, par la grâce de Dieu, Reine de Louisiane, Princesse de Nouvelle-Orléans, et Duchesse d’Angoulême
La Salle de Bal du Château de Biltmore
Le Seigneur de Baton-Rouge—Parle-t-il Français?


With a small nod of acknowledgement, I provided the Prince with my audience. Tardy. Quite tardy. And, as I recalled, he had completely missed the coronation. Certainly, this was a poor reflection on his disposition. A “mess” with slaves, a singular one no less. Quite the pitiful excuse given the occasion. Had he taken more time to get to his pitiful excuse, I would have been quite more taken aback. I looked him up and down as he spoke, but kept my expression neutral. Naturally, to try to evade scrutiny, he endeavoured to compliment me, and then said what I assumed was a joke. As he spoke to me in English rather than French, I responded in accordance.

“Most certainly,” I replied, “It is most appropriate to wear white on such a jubilant occasion. We trust your voyage here was pleasant?”


Something seemed off, he knew facades very well, and the Queen was hiding something. Subconsciously he went through whatever he did that might be viewed as wrong. Nonetheless he'd be courteous to his queen, who he would admit, did look rather queenly this evening "Oui, Votre Majesté, my travels from Baton Rouge were rather pleasant. Dixie has some beautiful sights. And please, forgive my use of this vulgar Anglaise. I speak according to my surroundings and I am surrounded, or rather we, are surrounded by Anglos, Germanics, et cetera. I hope the voyage here was just as good, Votre Majesté. How goes New Orleans?"
Last edited by Lux Pulchrae on Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Baton Rouge Free State
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Postby The Baton Rouge Free State » Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:52 am

Viscount of Norfolk, James H. Dillard
    Biltmore Palace, Asheville

James Dillard cheered as the mans speech about the emperor rung across the room. He, however, did not much fancy the cheap ornateness of the whole ceremony. If you're going to be humble, be humble; if your going to be extravagant, be extravagant. But this lowly middle ground brought nothing to light save for the true face of the confederacy. A crumbled shell of the ideas it once fought for, as James saw the Confederacy had failed in almost every regard, and it was part of his duty as an aristocrat to save what little he could. Unlike some, he favored the aristocratic style of the European monarchs, but also believed that people should have a voice, he of course saw the British Parliamentary system as the most distinguished and honorable form of government, a representation for the masses, and a representation for the educated and the money makers.

James was as much an industrialist as one from the south could be, his time in the United Kingdom at boarding school saw him take many trips around Europe as well; Milan, London, Paris, Frankfurt, all cities which he admired for their industrial capabilities. He remembered the day his school took a trip to London to see the new London Underground Train System, a marvel for them all to behold, even though the train was much akin to a cattle cart with seats, he was in awe at such genius, a way to move about the city quite quickly like this, no doubt a great benefit to all the citizens who resided in London.

He scanned the room, and noticed many nobles begin to break off into groups. 'Well I suppose its time for a chat with someone then' he though, looking around he noticed a Frenchman walk quite fast across the room to meet the Queen of New Orleans. Catholics and Baguettes were not his cup of tea to say the least, he was an Englishman and proud of it, he further scanned the room when he noticed the Duke of Charleston and the Boykin son, Israel walking toward each other. He hadn't much mingled with any nobles of the nation yet, spending much of his time since being coronated in Norfolk. From what he knew the Boykin family wanted to industrialize but in a more monopolistic manner, not much different than what the Dutch had done in the Indies; and then of course there was the Baron of the Railroads himself the Duke of Charleston. Both a friend and a competitor as the two cities were among the dominant Atlantic ports in the confederacy. Perhaps this was a chance to make some friends. He finished his glass of Bourbon as the perfect cube of ice made a clinking sound when it hit the bottom of the glass as he set it on a table, and he began to move toward the conversation.
Last edited by The Baton Rouge Free State on Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Sarderia
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Postby Sarderia » Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:52 am

DUCHY OF SAN ANTONIO
COUNTY OF GALVESTON



    BILTMORE PALACE

Elias took three glasses of champagne from a passing butler, and handed the King and Princess Iris a glass each. "It is good, or should a say, a honor, to see you here as well, Your Majesty," he raised a glass to the King. "And you as well milady." he bowed to her. Elias stroked his thin beard, which he ofted shaved but didn't want to be fully clean yet. "Yes, my trip was quite pleasant. Though I need to make frequent stops at some planter's mansion. This is a bad year for plantations, I would say." He took a sip of the champagne. "All over Dixie from Shreveport to Atlanta people are complaining either about escaping slaves, riots, or bad harvest. Slave ships ain't coming the way it was anymore, not on Galveston, not on New Orleans, not on Mobile, or practically anywhere as I've heard. The British harassed every vessel that sailed up from Guinea. But what's bad for 'em, good for us," he put the glass on a table nearby.

"These damn inbred bastards are all too keen to throw their money. Word of oil got far from Galveston, good Lord, they're always asking me did I want to bulid another Kerosene refinery or not. Well, who am I to refuse? Investments are an essential fuel for business. The drills on Midland County is growing more and more lucrative each day, and I haven't heard not a single bad news about the oil production. We're churning out barrels at an unprecedented rate, and I've even opened again ferries to Mexico and Cuba. One thing I am very sure, though, is that the North are keen to have their hands on oil. Pennsylvania's dried up since, and word got to me they wanted to trade with us. It would be... beneficial... if we could use some railroads, and some trade with more countries, y'know, to get the Lone Star State running faster than before Your Majesty."
Last edited by Sarderia on Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The Miaphysite Church of Coptic Archism
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Postby The Miaphysite Church of Coptic Archism » Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:00 am

Jefferson Davis Jr.

Davis smiled and shook the earl's hands, accepting his well-wishes before the man moved on to flutter in front of other eyes.

Finally having a moment to strategise, he glanced around the room. There was the Big Texan, politely standing off with his vassal. Here, the rail baron drank whiskey with the son of a rail baron. And there, ah. La Reine de Louisiane, with some of her own. Davis felt he had some similarity to the Queen, having also come into his position so young (though admittedly the name he inherited was of a different sort). Additionally, as Ben Montgomery always reminded him, they shared some strategic goals. Both, after all, were in a position to cut off or profit from trade down the Mississippi River.

Of course, there were some differences, Davis considered to himself as he cautiously approached.

Nodding his head in respect, he greeted the Queen, as well as the Lord of Baton Rouge. "C'est un plaisir de vous rencontrer, votre majesté et mon seigneur." His French wasn't perfect, but one had to be competent with it living along the river. He indicated to his ear as he continued. "Je suis charmé par vos boucles d'oreilles, votre majesté. C'était le cadeau du Belge, non?" Davis hadn't been at the Queen's coronation (a child with Yellow Fever tended not to travel) but Montgomery and Hayes always made sure he did his research.
Last edited by The Miaphysite Church of Coptic Archism on Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alaroma
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Ex-Nation

Postby Alaroma » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:58 am

Benjamin Boykin: King of the Texans

Chapter One: Den of Wolves



As he handed me and my daughter both glasses of champagne, I internally groaned. I wasn’t in the mood for drink at the moment, but I wasn’t about to be impolite either. The man then went on to casually stroke his lackluster beard, which only meant he was missing a shave, and tell us of his trip. The complaints of Plantation owners. I could especially care less about the slave trade, and he knows my two views on it. We don’t have the power to stop the British from harassing ships with slaves on board, and that I oppose the slave trade generally. For moral reasons, but also for practical ones. It looks incredibly bad to Europe, and bad to our neighbors.

However then he got onto a more at home topic, oil. Besides the mild cursing, not befitting of being uttered in front of my daughter if you ask me, he had some things to say on the increasing value in the industry. I’ve heard similar things as well. Mr Perkins, my financial advisor, was so adamant about it I allowed him to set up a task force to search for oil. There was even some small independent oil producers in counties I owned, who lamented at having to send their oil so far to be refined. Though truth be told, it seemed sort of like a side show. Don’t get me wrong, oil to light lamps is great, and there’s always a demand, but I suppose I wonder it’s use for the Industrial Revolution besides longer working hours. Though I’m told it could be used as a fuel source.............and apparently the North wants some. “I’m sure you’re aware of the terms of service for the transportation of goods. If it needs to go to the North, and you have buyers there, my trains are happy to help. Just pay the fees that come along with it. If this turns out as fabulously as you obviously think it might, I’ll expand railroad capacity so you can expand production capacity. Send me your plan, and a contract can be worked out.”

Iris looked at the both of us, as She measuredly sipped her champagne. I could see that Miss Crawford’s lessons had obviously rubbed of on her due to her mannerisms. I wonder what she made of this conversation. The prattling of older men, I’d imagine. Refocusing on the Duke, his quest for more industry was quite clear. It didn’t bother me none, his mines and other businesses made me money when they used my railroads.

Israel Boykin: Prince of the Texans



I shook the man’s hand, and having a look at him, I wondered if he served in the war. It was something I usually wondered when I meet these types. There were three kinds of aristocrats I’ve come to discover. Soldiers of merit who fought during the war and took power through their men’s love of them, men who were wealthy Plantation owners, or men like my grandfather who had made the right business decisions, and now millions of people’s livelihoods depend on their services running on time. This man decidedly landed in the latter, so it’s not a stretch that he’s at least aware of the position the Confederacy is in.

“I do well-“ I begin, before handing him a glass with a well shaped ice cube inside. In the south, such luxury couldn’t be overstated. “I’ve just returned home from my second year at the Dallas Military Academy. Of course with the coronation, I was honor bound to give respects to the new Emperor.” Looking momentarily at the bottle, I asked “So tell me, what drink are we sharing on this joyous occasion?”

While I had been expecting this to be a one on one conversation, another man was very obviously heading towards the both of us. Who was he? He had been with Virginians earlier, but besides that I couldn’t give an accurate read on the man. Once it was obvious he had joined us, I nodded to the man, before saying “Oh? Have you come to share a drink with us as well?”
"Yeah, you're right. You got lucky this time. If there were Dutch people there, you would be facing so many rebels!"
-Nuverkikstan

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The Baton Rouge Free State
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Postby The Baton Rouge Free State » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:07 am

James stopped for a quick second, was he sure this was the right move, pissing off aristocrats isn't exactly the most efficient use of ones time. He looked at the young man who asked him the question, couldn't have been much younger than James. "Yes, if it wouldn't be so much to trouble you, I would indeed enjoy a glass with you two fine men." 'Too fanciful...?' He thought as he took a glass in his right hand. '..perhaps but always nice to show off a little in a first encounter, ensures both parties are aware of the skill and perception of the others involved.' He looked again at the young man who had asked the question. "So you're the young Boykin I presume? I saw you with His Majesty Boykin earlier."

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The United Empire of Exucular
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Postby The United Empire of Exucular » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:15 pm

Biltmore Palace

Before Bernard could answer his question James Hardy Dillard approached. Though Bernard never met the man in person he recognized and knew of him. It was important to know as many players in the game as possible after all. Especially players in Virginia that stood over one of the North America's most profitable ports.

Bernard knew that Dillard was new to the corporate and political scene, only having his title a few years after the passing of his father. Regardless, it was impressive he was able to hold his position in the Confederacy in a state with some of the most valued lands, being so close to the capital Richmond after all. Weaker men would falter and be thrown to the wind, James Hardy was not one of them it seems.

Perhaps a year ago Bernard was up north in Dillard's governed lands. He visited Norfolk and witnessed first hand that the tales of its stature were true. A beautiful city, impressive facilities, and a busy dock bringing wealth and resources into the south. Young Dillard had done well with its upkeep. A city that could rival any in the North, Europe even.

Bernard smiled, greeted the Viscount and happily filled Dillard and Israel's glasses.

"This is Dalmore Whiskey."

Bernard held the bottle so that the two could study it clearly.

"I must be honest with you two. I'm not much of a connoisseur when it comes to liquors and spirits. This name, however, I am familiar."

He paused before continuing.

"This bottle comes from Scotland if my memory is correct. A close relation of mine from Europe brought me a bottle once and told me the story of Dalmore. Centuries ago a Scottish king was about to be killed by a charging stag, but was saved by the chief of a local clan. In thanks the king gave the chief lands, rights, and a motto."

Bernard looked at the liquid in his glass.

"I Shine, Not Burn."
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Khasinkonia
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Postby Khasinkonia » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:12 pm

Ernestine, par la grâce de Dieu, Reine de Louisiane, Princesse de Nouvelle-Orléans, et Duchesse d’Angoulême
La Salle de Bal du Château de Biltmore
Un Jeune Ami Vient


It was an interesting reasoning for speaking in English. I raised an eyebrow ever so slightly at the notion. Indeed, we were among Anglos, that much was true, but I got the impression that it was more to his personal preference as well, given that he mixed up the gendering on Anglais. Perhaps his melange of facile French with English was an overcompensation for lack of true bilingualism. But no matter, to comment on such a notion would be the antithesis of cordiality.

“New Orleans, it is well. As you may know, our public works are most productive. One might remark that the current state of education is proceeding most fortuitously. We might consider visiting the preparatory school L’Académie de Saint-Ursule for a sample lesson come next semester. We did visit le Lycée des Frères, Prêtres et Soeurs de la Sainte Croix for their most recent celebration, and did receive a commendable reception. One would imagine that these institutions have well studied their European predecessors. Indeed, we have been thus far thoroughly pleased with these Catholic institutions, and, should Sainte-Ursule continue the trend of commendable presentations, we shall endeavour to charter further expansion of Catholic education throughout the remainder of the Kingdom, northern parishes included. It is most fortunate that we have such opportunities and support from fellow followers of the Pope as to expound upon our proud educated populace. It is our opinion that with such continued developments, perhaps in due time, Louisiana shall boast an educational system robust enough that we might see even our homemakers more educated than the businessmen of elsewhere! It would be quite a matter of civic pride were we to accomplish such a feat.”

Although I certainly had more to gush about regarding the delightful recent expansions of education in the capital, and my plans to sign into action charters to expand such enlightenment elsewhere, I did not have the time to further speak as a Mr. Jefferson Davis Jr. took agency to greet myself and the Prince.

To his greeting, I responded with a polite smile, and replied, «Bonsoir, cher comte Davis.»

Once he complimented my earrings, I nodded.

«Certes, ces boucles d’oreilles nous ont été données par notre cousin, le bon roi Léopold. Nous avons un vrai camaraderie, on croit. La Belgique et la Louisiane, nos pays sont soeurs.»

It was delightful to converse in French with a fellow young leader. Older leaders had a tendency to underestimate us, but between one another, we could see that age was not necessarily an indicator of ability.

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Alaroma
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Postby Alaroma » Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:30 pm

Israel Boykin: Prince of the Texans

Chapter One: Den of Wolves


Coming over, the man asked for affirmation of who I was. ‘Young Boykin’ huh? The man couldn’t have been much older than me, but I suppose he’s right. “You’d be right my good man, I’m the son to King Boykin.” I momentarily nodded over to my father, but I had a surprise. Apparently, that snake Elias was talking to my father. I unconsciously frowned momentarily, which was fine enough, he wasn’t staring at me. My sister gave me a soft smile as the Duke and our father talked, and I took the cue to return to my own conversation.

Taking the opportunity, Bernard answered my question as to what we’re drinking. A Scottish Whiskey, huh? He says he doesn’t know much about drink, but he appears to know more than I’d take time to find out about a liquor. Taking a sip of the Whiskey, I was impressed. You could really feel the spices in the drink, and the taste of what I suspected as citrus sort of flavor. Truth be told, I was no liquor expert either, but I liked it enough. Showed on the pleased smile on my face, and examined my cup. “Not bad, the Scottish know their stuff.” I said, before once more turning to the stranger.

“Well my good man, you obviously knew my name. What’s yours? You from the east, or out west like my and my father are.” He recognized my father, which at first would have made me think he knows him. Would make sense for a western noble to. Then again, I probably would have recognized him if he was from the west.
"Yeah, you're right. You got lucky this time. If there were Dutch people there, you would be facing so many rebels!"
-Nuverkikstan

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Lux Pulchrae
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Postby Lux Pulchrae » Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:40 pm

"C'est vrai, Votre Majesté, education and the true Catholic faith are one of a community's top priorities, especially Baton Rouge under me. Without proper education, how can our future generations learn of and expand the French and Catholic way of life? I myself spent some of my learning years in a seminary."

Just then, a young man greeted them both, and in French but he did look like one to do so. He didn't know too many folks outside of those in Louisiana or those he needed to know, but he knew Davis who was and greeted him in kind "Bonsoir Monsieur Davis." He watched as the young lord strike up a conversation with Her Majesty about earrings and Belgians. He seemed to be a bit of an impressant, which he didn't surprise him, who would at the sight of the young queen.

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Union Princes
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Postby Union Princes » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:43 pm

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The CSS Texas ironclad, built in the shape of the USS Monitor, laid in the Galveston dock. It was 190 feet long and weigh 1000 tons, this rather fearsome boat had two 20lb Parrotts cannons in its rotating turret as its only armament. It has a crew of 50 men including the captain and officers. Unfortunately, the CSS Texas never saw combat in the War of Northern Aggression as the government was strapped for money and time, it's construction only resumed thanks to the large amounts of the funding given by the Colt company. Technically speaking, the captain, Caldwell Hart Colt, owned 72% of the ship. Figuratively speaking, he owned the entire ironclad.

"Salutations, Capt'n!" greeted a young seaman, no older than 17, of the CSS Texas, as he eagerly jumped off the turret like a monkey from a box to greet his commanding officer. "Did you hear the news?"

Captain Caldwell Colt arch an eyebrow as his hand went up to scratch his burnsides. "Talkin' about the Emperor's death or coronation, Flapjack?"

"Aye, sir!" the young sailor exclaimed, "How goes your business trip to Dallas?"

"My armories are runnin' as clean as whistle, son." Colt huffed proudly, "My father was a genius when it comes to assembly lines, it's only my job to make sure they stay clean. Speaking of my armories, I brought something extra for the crew."

"More rum, sir?" Flapjack scratched his head in thought.

"Nope, even better: ammunition for your revolvers," Colt revealed when he brought forth several crates of bullets in a wagon.

The boy gasped, "Does this mean..."

"Yup," Colt nodded, "Gather the rest of the crew, let's practice like Texas Rangers!"

"Lord Colt," an older sailor stroke his beard, Matthias Reeve, as he stared down the open crates of 0.45 caliber bullets. "Awfully generous of you." The rest of the crew were busy loading up their revolvers to try out target practice.

"Don't worry, consider it a team exercise." Captain Colt smiled at his helmsman. Matthias was one of the few elders on his ironclad that were veterans of the Civil War. Ironically enough, he was a shipwright prior to his military service.

"Say, you got any rifles for us to try out, my lord?" a different voice came from a crew that formed a firing line with their revolvers.

"Not yet, son." Colt shrugged. "Soon but not yet."

And so went one hour of shooting, swearing, reloading, and shooting again. It didn't help that some were still slightly tipsy as Flapjack had to wrestle them away from the saloons they have been drinking in. The young sailors couldn't hit the broad side of a barn but the old veterans help set them straight with their previous combat experience. But in the end, it didn't matter when it comes to naval warfare. Although, it never hurts to have some protection against naval boarding actions.

"Long live the Confederacy!" Flapjack hollered as he finally scores a hit on the target set up 60 paces away from him.
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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