A First Study of the History of the Empire

…The announcement of Cornwall’s independence as a gift to his son, King Richard, in 1649 was a shocking and unexpected move by King Matthew. While many scholars disagree, the generally accepted version of the story is that a certain Nathaniel Greyhawk, a pirate of some renown, initiated the move as a bid for personal power. Somehow, he managed to convince Lord Walter Devereux, and together they convinced the King. The benefit to Albion is still unclear, unless, as some argue, it was simply the altruistic move that the King claimed it was. A number of commentators of the time note the short distance that Greyhawk stood behind the King as he made the pronouncement.

Despite the questionable reasoning behind Cornwall’s separation, it undoubtedly began a very positive process for Albion. To the surprise of many observers, Cornwall moved away from Albion in many of its policies, although the two countries naturally maintained an excellent alliance. While other texts cover the drastic religious changes in more detail, Richard’s notable allegiance with Prague paved the way for the strong allegiance Prague had with all of King Richard’s nations later in life, surviving even the famines of 1682 and 1684.

After Cornwall separated, there was little King Matthew could do following the pressures placed upon him by other parts of Albion. Navarre, led by Don Iñigo Arista, was the first to follow Cornwall’s path. While Navarre never received the full autonomy granted to Cornwall, Arista was appointed Prince of Navarre, supported by a General Council entirely separate from the government of Albion, save that the Prince would be elected by the King of Albion from a choice made by the General Council. Many others followed Navarre’s footsteps, specifically a number of the colonies in the Americas. Although the names changed, the governance was much the same. A number of the American colonies, for example, called their equivalent of the General Council the “Prime Synod”, for reasons that have been lost to time.

The United Aztec Kingdoms: Movement to Albion


Movement Kingdom rapidly shored up its hold on the other three Kingdoms of the UAK, thanks largely to the efforts of its new King, though aid was also provided by noted explorer Sir Richard Forrester, who presented himself to Queen Tlalli's service in 1648 (strangely no records exist of him before this time). Though this was proclaimed to be an alliance of the Kingdoms in truth it was largely a conquest by Movement Kingdom.

The conquest of Jaguar Kingdom was more painful, with the Jaguar warriors retreating to the jungles and abandoning besieged cities in favour of guerilla tactics. Many raided Movement Kingdom, one party making it as far as the throne room. It was when they were surprised by acid darts shooting from the eyes of crystal skulls on the arm rests of the throne (some accounts state that this was a surprise to the Queen too) and the speed with which it appeared to eat half the party that the superstitious Jaguars decided that the gods clearly favoured Tlalli and Franz and swore their allegiance.


1650 marked the start of the years of progress of the UAK with the arrival of Sir Randolph Blenham, the first of a number of Albion's academics to grace the Universities that were being set up across the Kingdoms. Though the inventions produced by Aztec students often puzzled their mentors, the results were usually impressively violent. Golems became particularly popular after the defence of Queen Tlalli from the Jaguars.

It was also during this period that some of the first children to pass through the O'Farrel orphanage returned to their native land, a number taking positions of authority to manage relations with the Europeans they had been brought up by. Indeed it became traditional for a young half-breed from the Orphanage to act as personal aide to the ruler of the UAK.

In an effort to stop emigration to New Cornwall the Aztec faith was placed alongside Christianity as the only acceptable religions, with the proviso of no sacrifice of an unwilling person, in 1651. Aside from the addition of Judaism in 1660, the religious reforms were slow and conducted at much the same pace as those in Albion.

The Empire of Albion Expands

“Twenty-five years ago you fought against those who would murder and call it religion. It is only because of the actions of you and your comrades that every inhabitant of the Kingdoms is safe from ritual murder. We live under a new sun now, the Sixth Sun, formed by the Saint Guantla, formerly of Albion. We live, thanks to you.

“I give my allegiance, and that of my heirs, to you and your heirs, from this day forth, that the Kingdoms may prosper together.”

Many have speculated over the reasons for this pledge, most concluding that the timing of it was most significant. By 1660 the UAK were progressing rapidly and in a position where joining with Albion would not lead to their subjugation, but rather great benefit from collaboration between academics of the nations and free trade, particularly in gunpowder.

New Cornwall: A History

The revelation of the existence of a Sixth Kingdom of Aztecs in 1648 was cause for a good deal of politicking, as the UAK looked to it for expansion and the Church looked at new targets for conversion. Its rapid declaration as a Cornish colony and assumption of the name “New Cornwall” did much to stop this, as did the proclamation that there was to be no sacrifice of an unwilling person or forced renunciation of gods on pain of death. There was, however, some debate as to whether allowing all criminals facing harsh sentences (which was most of them) spare themselves pain and their families shame by offering themselves up for sacrifice was entirely within the spirit of the law. Though New Cornwall was swift to offer military aid to Albion in times of need it maintained a policy of heavily discouraging the settlement of those not following the Aztec faith until the 19th century.

Limited evidence suggests that there were a number of assassination attempts on the leaders of New Cornwall, probably at the order of Queen Tlalli who made little secret of her desire for expansion, however even today no conclusive proof has been found.

The Panama Canal

A billboard proudly proclaiming the history of the canal.

Constructed 1647
Demon free since 1649
Hostile tribe free since 1656

The Merchant Companies Reformed

Extracts from “An Economic History of Albion” by David Ballard (East India Publications), 1776.

In the confusion of the riots and Civil War that ended the 1640s it is perhaps understandable that few contemporary commenters noticed or understood the remarkable changes happening within the Merchant Companies. Concerned by the damage that Marcus Fervent, of the New England Company, and more especially Haroun ibn Rasheed (as he was then thought to be named), of the Molyneux Investment and Stock Company, had caused the Lord-Director Mandrake of the East India Company made his move. Enjoying the impressive influence and support of the Duke and Duchess of Hereford, Walter and Eliza Devereux, as well as his own considerable importance as privy councillor and Lord-Director of the most powerful of the Merchant Companies he led numerous investigations into corruption within the Companies.

The most immediately fruitful of these proved to be the investigation of the Central American Construction Company, which was found to be almost a shell company controlled by the Cinnamon Cartel of the MISC. This in turn was discovered to be a literally demonic instrument of the infamous traitor Haroun ibn Rasheed. The evidence provided by Prince Ali into the CACC and Viscount Gray on the Cinnamon Cartel proved invaluable. (As well as quickly establishing their own innocence of conspiring with the malevolent Baron of Eynesford.)

The Lord-Director Mandrake thus discovered the tools with which to demolish the influence of the NEC and MISC and, though few noticed, when the Civil War concluded the other Merchant Companies were firmly under the control of the East India Company. Thus the East India Company resumed its role as the natural holder of monopolies in Albion. More importantly, though outside the scope of this text, this purge and restructuring marked the birth of the Drakes that would soon act as guardians against treason and conspiracy throughout Albion.

It also proved extremely profitable for those who had demonstrated their loyalty and devotion to King and Country. The Devereuxs in particular made significant sums, even given their wealth, from the advice of the Lord-Director Mandrake and their own superb financial acumen. In particular their dealings in gold in 1657 remains a textbook example of […]

The Secret Services

Extract from “Drakes and Coins - A History of Secrecy” by P. S. Nimm (Oxford University Press), 1894.

Duchess Eliza Devereux's appointment in 1651 as a Director in the East India Company, with no specific portfolio of responsibilities, is generally regarded as the birth of the Drakes, the organisation responsible for rooting out corruption, conspiracy and treason within the organisations and institutions of Albion. Only established a few short years previously as internal investigators into the affairs of the Merchant Companies, and more particularly as agents of the East India Company (or even the Lord-Director Mandrake) they now began to operate with Royal sanction. The secret treasons that had been uncovered too often and too late over the last decade were no longer to be tolerated.

The East India Company was already known for the often ruthless pursuit of its goals, the attitude that the ends justify the means and that success is the best means of ensuring forgiveness, and this rather brutal and efficient attitude has remained part of the Drakes mystique. Everyone knows that the Drakes will be willing to use the full force of their powers should they believe it necessary.

Of course the first Director, Lady Eliza Devereux, was a powerful shaper of the Drakes too. It was she that ensured that the Drakes' Department of Futurological Predictions, nicknamed Department F or the Drakes' Eyes, would recruit the best and brightest of the Kingdom's astrologers as well as ensuring that the Colleges' astrological faculties remained conspicuously well-funded. It was Lady Eliza too who took a keen interest in establishing a new means of gathering intelligence, one which Albion's enemies and less-trustworthy friends only learnt of decades after her death.

Since witchcraft had long been considered a less respectable branch of magic, unsuitable for the gentry and nobility and amateurs who had previously acted as spymasters, few understood the true powers of its practitioners. It was certainly true that many took care to guard against divination, an obvious means of scrying and spying for even the most ignorant. None however took head of the dangers that the spirits of their own buildings represented to their secrets and plots. Lady Eliza, or her agents, cultivated friendly relationships with many of the townhouses and country retreats of Albion.


Lord-Director Mandrake also took a personal interest in intelligence matters outside of Albion's borders. Through means which are not yet clear Mandrake managed to turn one of the Jesuits' most senior agents in Europe, the Baroness von Pomerania, who masqueraded as spymistress opposing the Catholic Church! The records of the issue are confusing and suggest that the Baroness may even have been replaced by an agent. Certain readings of the available material can even construed to suggest that she was once a man in the service of the traitor Wyndham. It must be assumed that this mystery was simply some plot of counter-intelligence though it is difficult to see at this remove how the tale would have benefited Mandrake.

The Lady Weaver too had quietly built up her own intelligence network in the palaces and chancelleries of Europe. Seeing that their respective networks would be stronger together than apart, the two privy councillors approached the King and formally requested permission to organise an intelligence network for the good of Albion. Thus it was that in 1652 that Continental Intelligence, or COIN, was formed. Lady Weaver took charge of the running of the new organisation which was funded generously by money from certain secret budgets within the East India Company. Baron Mandrake took a keener personal interest in the intelligence of COIN than of the Drakes though he did not interfere in Lady Weaver's running of the new organisation.

The COIN and Cornwall's Obfuscated Order of Special Circumstances enjoyed a cordial working relationship, helped by the easy cooperation between the leaders of the two organisations at their founding.

The East India Company Ascendant

A reformist pamphlet, “A Matter too Momentous for Merchants” circulated in Oxford in 1712.

[…] and so it seems ill-becoming a powerful state such as Albion that it should be represented abroad almost exclusively by gold-weighers and coin-counters. It is customary in other lands for the State to establish embassies and for the King to use his own warships to guard the haulers of cargo. In Albion though our rulers have surrendered such matters to the East India Company who seem now to set the policy of the nation in all matters beyond sight of its shores by their own lights. There is no state in Europe, not though it be as small and inconsequential as cloud-scraped Andorra that lacks for an agent of the John Company. In the East they are said to swarm over nabobs and panjandrums like flies over meat and scrap and bow in a matter that should shame any real ambassador. […]

The Gunpowder Monopoly

An extract from Chapter 6 of Foundations in Economics: “Monopolies”

One of the greatest historical monopolies was that perpetrated by the East India Company in the mid-1600s. Gunpowder was, at the time, considered a vital importance (naturally, this was before the discovery of the Gindrogac purification process). While war was something generally to be avoided, each nation of Europe feared a gunpowder shortage, as it would mean they were immediately vulnerable to attack.

Holding the exclusive supply of gunpowder essentially meant that Albion could charge arbitrary prices for it. This meant, for example, that the period of rebuilding following Albion’s civil wars was much shorter than it would otherwise have been, and some of the most beautiful and architecturally challenging buildings of Albion were constructed at this time. The infamous cottages of the Shire, for example, were constructed by inventors from the Invisible College with funds from the gunpowder sales.

The monopoly also prevented other nations taking advantage of Albion’s weakness following the civil war: with the sole supply of gunpowder, not only were Albion’s forces better armed than those of the rest of Europe, but each nation feared being the first to run out of supplies, and being beset by its neighbours. This gave time for the fallout from the wars to be dealt with; the land in Hereford to be made holy again, and

The monopoly did not last long; the Cathayans began exporting again in 1673, and the increased competition drove down prices across Europe. Albion’s powder had the advantage of proximity and rapid delivery by a flying island, while that shipped from Cathay had the advantage of price and not causing sneezing upon swearing. Some military officers took offence to this, however, and began mixing Cathayan powder with that from Albion in a bid to ensure their military remained as polite as it had become.

news/2.eternity.empire.txt · Last modified: 2008/03/04 09:16 by adam