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"I HAVE NO BAN AND I MUST CRINGE." Rest in peace to the last of the good men in this world. I will shed a thousand tears and pour a hundred 40s of Olde English.


Armenia - Precipice of War 2017

France - New Earth Oracle

Korea - Our World in Turmoil

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New York City - Fallout: War Never Changes III

Persia - The Ghost of Napoleon

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You've successfully bullied me into this on Discord.
Saint-Denis, Réunion
Autumn, 1836

Pierre Jaubert emerged from the cramped deck of the primitive merchant ship to feel the fresh, salty ocean air against his face. He had traveled long and far aboard the rugged and unadorned sailing vessel for weeks, stopping at each of France’s colonial possessions along the East African coast. It helped to break up the journey, and he had gained a newfound appreciation for the sailors who endured the arduous trade routes between Europe and India. Jaubert had mused at dinner with the captain a few nights ago about Napoleon’s proposed canal through the Sinai. They proposed wild and drunken figures about how much they thought it would cost, and how many men were needed to dig. Both of them laughed off the reality of the proposition: a crazed native Egyptian was in charge of the land and there was no possible way they could engineer a project of that scale.

The Shah’s proposal to raise the Qajari flag over the Seychelles and Isle-de-France had been received by Jaubert’s colleagues on the islands. Réunion, being the southernmost territory, was last on his trip. Saint-Denis was a quaint European-looking town that sat nestled in the hills of the island’s north side. Merchant vessels of all countries were docked on the industrial side of the port, loading up on stores of provisions to continue their journeys to India. Crews of expatriate European sailors, Africans, and Indians made up a diverse population along the seaside districts. Captains would rotate their men for rest, taking on new crew to keep sailing. Beyond the peaceful port of Saint-Denis, plantations of sugarcane dotted the rest of the island.

A man by the name of Cecil Montauban ran Réunion island. Jaubert knew that the administrator was an ardent capitalist, so he had plenty of time to prepare a sales pitch to the island. The Shah had not indicated any desire to buy out the small island, as that would require negotiations with the Bourbon regime in Paris, but Jaubert was convinced that he could get Montauban to turn it over without a fight. After all, money talks, and the Shah had opportunities to make plenty. Jaubert was led up to the administrator’s mansion atop a hill in Saint-Denis, past the nice-looking quarters for the French personnel on the island. Carefully hidden from view were the slums of the indigenous and migrant workers. He remarked to the guide that it looked like a little piece of home.

Montauban greeted Jaubert at the door with a firm handshake. Clean-shaven with long sideburns, he dressed down in lightweight attire to better acquaint himself to the tropical conditions. Jaubert had clumsily forgotten to pack his lighter clothes and was wearing only the heavier garments needed for Iran’s autumn season. He had been sweating through them for the entirety of the trip and no doubt would have smelled horrible if not for the copious amounts of perfume he had been using to mask it. “Good afternoon, Monsieur!” he said to Montauban. “May I enter?”

“Of course, sir,” Montauban replied, waving him into the mansion. “I have heard you’ve traveled for a long time.”

Montauban gestured to a servant. “Fetch this man some food and tea. Surely he needs something more substantial than ship’s rations.”

Jaubert removed his hat and ran a hand through his sweaty hair. He thanked Montauban for the offer of food. “If I have to eat another damned tin can of salted beef, I will lose my sanity entirely. Industrialization is killing the art of cuisine.”

Montauban laughed. “Well, we have plenty of that here for the merchants, my friend. I’m afraid that your vessel will be restocked with canned foods for the journey home. After all, you’re only halfway done.”

Jaubert grimaced and shook his head. “Don’t remind me.”

The Frenchmen entered an elaborately decorated dining room where a long table had been prepared with silverware for the both of them. It looked as if it was usually used for larger meetings, but the two plates were just for Jaubert and Montauban. Montauban sat at the head of the table and invited Jaubert to come next to him. A servant, Indian by the looks of him, filled up ceramic glasses with steaming hot tea. Montauban barely acknowledged the presence of the worker and smiled at Jaubert instead. “I hear you are coming straight from the court of the… Persian king?”

“Well,” Jaubert said, sipping contentedly at the fresh beverage, “the Shah has an offer for you.”

“Seychelles and Isle-de-France have already accepted. Word travels fast.”

“Yes, it does,” Jaubert replied. “Do you feel that it is time to leave France behind for good?”

Montauban scoffed. “The Bourbons have maintained the status quo, I have not had any issues with them. And besides, what are they going to do? Sail out and arrest me for insubordination?”

“It is far more likely that they will sell you to the British again. Charles already does not like those of us who have stayed overseas in the empire colonial. He thinks we are disloyal. Napoleon is no longer here to protect us, you know this.”

“Talk of disloyalty from a man who is in the employ of an oriental king is an interesting thing, monsieur,” Montauban said pointedly.

Jaubert frowned and crossed his arms. “Would you rather be British, or work under a man who we have basically colonized in reverse? Mohammad Shah loves us. He loves all things French. You have no idea of the special privileges he has granted Frenchmen who own companies in his kingdom. There are dozens of mines producing coal for the Iranians and riches for their French owners. They all live in mansions along the Caspian Sea that makes yours look like a shack.”

Montauban frowned. “Are you here to mock me or offer me a choice?”

“The latter, my friend. Pledge loyalty to Mohammad Shah Qajar and you will be rewarded beyond anything France will do for us. The Muslims are not savages, they are an untapped market of wealth sitting right under our noses. Flying the flag of Mohammad Shah will grant you tremendous opportunities to profit from trade with the Arabs, Indians, and even African kingdoms. The routes are shorter, we will have more say in the value of our goods, and the political situation is much less tenuous. Not to mention now that the rest of the French positions have switched sides, you will be integrated into a much more tax-friendly network.”

Montauban sat back in his chair, stroking his chin. “I never imagined this day would come,” he lamented. “Napoleon offered us a path to greatness. We were even close to destroying the British, for God’s sake! And now we are led by a cripple. And even ‘led’ is a strong word… nobody has seen that senile old man for weeks! Even we know this out here.”

“Exactly,” Jaubert said. “Mohammad Shah is eager to exert himself. He is young but driven. Some may even say the ghost of Napoleon himself lives inside him.”

“That’s rather dramatic,” Montauban chuckled. “But I see your point. It is just unconventional, never in my life did I think that the Muslims could mimic even a fraction of Europe’s power.”

“The Muslims had a golden age while we were struggling with the dark ages. And the Persians were the first world empire, eclipsing even the Greeks or Romans in their prime. I think we as Europeans simply don’t want to think about the concept of oriental power. I have lived there for almost three decades, monsieur, they have a fire burning within them. They just needed some help.”

The meal arrived. Chicken, rice, and vegetables raised all from local farms on the island. The chicken had been seasoned with a uniquely Indian spice that had come from the traders stopping by Réunion. Had Jaubert not been living in Persia for so long, he would have been uniquely surprised by the taste. The eastern colonies had more in common with the Iranians than they believed. Jaubert and Montauban enjoyed the meal, making small talk about life in Persia. Jaubert told him of the history and ancient sites of Shahs past, while Montauban asked questions about the culture.

“So you mean to tell me that the Persians have alcohol?” he asked incredulously, sipping on a glass of imported French wine. “I thought they forbid it entirely,” Montauban proclaimed as Jaubert chuckled at his comment.

“Well, the Muslims do not,” Jaubert explained. “But luckily through my connections, I have a fine cellar of Armenian brandy in my home. See, they are the oldest Christian nation in the world and their alcohol rivals even French bottles!”

“Preposterous!” Montauban laughed. “I may need to put out a request for a few of these bottles of Armenian brandy, then.”

“Absolutely, monsieur!”

The pair ate and drank their way into the night. The topic changed from alcohol to tobacco, to women and their beauty, to the traditions of Persia. Montauban was amused by the Iranian holidays, particularly jumping over the fires during the festival of Charshanbeh Suri. It had been long past the sun setting on Réunion that Montauban offered a guest room to Jaubert. “Monsieur,” he slurred drunkenly. “Tell Mohammad Shah that Réunion accepts his offer. It will be difficult for me to transition, but as long as things are kept running smoothly then I think we fit better with you than the Bourbons.”

Jaubert bowed to Montauban and smiled, almost stumbling when he lost his balance briefly. “Thank you, monsieur. You will not regret this decision.”
Hah, what tomfoolery is afoot! How funny that a necroposting scheme has occur-


wait a minute.



are you?

Put together a character list on the application sheet since I understand that a lot of these names and relations can get rather dense.

Lotta dudes doin' dude shit. Doesn't help that half these guys are related so they've all got the same names.
Tehran, Persia
Summer, 1836

The shade of the palace walkways offered little respite from the summer heat that beat down upon the imperial capital of Tehran. Mohammad Shah Qajar, sweating below the thick imperial robes he wore, wrinkled his nose at the stench of hot garbage and waste wafting up from Tehran’s neighborhoods. The city below had changed dramatically since the installation of the Qajari government. While Tehran had been a small merchant town with only a citadel and bazaar of note, the decades-long expansion of Qajari bureaucracy and government systems had led to an explosion in its population to staff offices, government buildings, and educational centers for all manner of sophisticated administrative techniques now fielded across the empire.

He made a note to himself to engage with the man responsible for Tehran’s sanitation, lest they become no better than the filthy, sand-covered, and unwashed Afghans to the east. Meetings within the crown city increasingly included public health physicians and engineers, trained in France, who advocated for a sewer system like what was being proposed for European capitals. Although Mohammad Shah had his doubts about the complexity and necessity, the smell of Tehran increasingly bothered him. Besides, Grand Vizier Haji Mirza Aqasi had mentioned that Istanbul had constructed a sanitation system during Byzantine times. Despite the Romans accomplishing this feat, Mohammad Shah similarly did not want to be outclassed in his crown jewel city by the Ottomans.

He continued through the exquisitely ornamented halls of his palace, now inside and out of the weather. Lines of Persian soldiers stood at the walls, clad in their Napoleonic uniforms – constructed with a lighter material for the heat – and holding muskets ready at attention in European drill posture. He walked past them proudly, having idolized the Persian soldier’s transformation since birth. The uniforms were smart and professional, a far cry from the tribal garb that his eastern vassals still maintained. He had summoned some of them from the east for precisely this reason, as his previous orders to modernize had obviously been ignored. Mohammad Shah was certain that the mullahs held more power than himself in those regions, frustrating him.

The seat of imperial power, the Peacock Throne, sat in the center of Mohammad Shah’s palace. Inside his court, a wide array of characters had assembled for his planned meeting. As he entered, the men bowed in deference to the Shah, remaining submissive as he marched to the throne ahead of them. The doors to the court shut, and Mohammad Shah called the session to order – something he had become enamored with from French judges. He thought it sounded more official than the raucous meetings of the past.

“My friends,” Mohammad Shah began. “Thank you for traveling such far distances to convene here.”

He eyed the vassals from the eastern provinces, standing out in their dress from the fashionable Tehranis closer to the throne. He made no further comment about why they were there: that would come later.

“I was informed by my foreign minister that our French counterparts have an interesting proposal,” Mohammad Shah said. “I am looking forward to hearing about it.”

From the crowd, Mohammad Shah’s foreign minister emerged with a French advisor. Mirza Abolhassan Khan Ilchi had been loyal to Mohammad Shah’s grandfather, the venerable Fath-Ali Shah Qajar. A cunning diplomat who had successfully retaken the Armenian and Azerbaijani territories from Russia during the wars of a decade prior, Mirza Abolhassan had delivered diplomatic success to Fath-Ali Shah. Despite the turbulence of succession, Mirza Abolhassan remained loyal to his Shah’s grandson and avoided the purge of officials who had defected to the pretender. To his side, a distinctly European man in a suit clasped his hands behind his back. This was Pierre Amédée Jaubert.

Jaubert had been described to Mohammad Shah as the favorite orientalist of Napoleon himself. Mirroring Mirza Abolhassan, Jaubert was the French architect of Napoleon’s alliance with Fath-Ali Shah. He had managed the professionalization of the Qajari military, rotating hundreds of French instructors and officers through Fath-Ali’s forces while sending trusted Qajari leaders to French military academies. When the time came for Napoleon to thrust into Russia, Fath-Ali finished his famous reconquest of the Caucasus. Fath-Ali had taken a liking to Jaubert and, with his counterpart General Claude Matthieu, they stayed in Persia to advise the court on Western techniques. Indeed, they had even married Persian women of influential court families and settled down on luxurious estates gifted to them by Fath-Ali Shah.

“My counterpart, Monsieur Jaubert, has informed me that there are a great many rumors about the health of King Charles,” Mirza Abolhassan said. “I know these have been circulating for many years, but they have intensified over the last few months. The French people are convinced that their monarch is going to perish soon.”

Mohammad Shah stroked his beard, leaning on an arm of the Peacock Throne. “I have heard these rumors, yes, but why do you believe that they are more relevant now?”

“Mohammad Shah,” Jaubert said, his Persian accent coming through as incredibly sterile and academic, “I still retain contacts from the old regime in Paris who are deeply skeptical of the Bourbons. Charles has not been seen in public in many months, and those who are still inside the government report that he has not been involved in policy decisions lately. Truly a man on his deathbed, if I were to predict these things.”

Mirza Abolhassan nodded. Aqasi similarly tutted in agreement while turning to Mohammad Shah: “Your grandfather was, despite our best doctors’ work, in a similar state before his passage.”

“I have taken the liberty of messaging my counterparts in our territories east of Africa. Many of them are good friends of myself and General Matthieu. As you may well know, these men were instrumental in reestablishing control over these territories during King Napoleon’s return. They were sold out by the French before and have no desire to become traded to the British for a one-time payment again.”

“Yes, Mohammad Shah,” said Mirza Abolhassan. “The French governors have all expressed interest in continuing their business under the Qajari banner. Minister Jaubert and General Matthieu have all extolled your generosity to the comrades of Napoleon. They would be honored to further our cause.”

Mohammad Shah raised an eyebrow. “Truly this would disrupt what little relations we have with the Bourbon regime. What benefit would this gain for us?”

“Mohammad Shah, while the Indian colonies are a mere shadow of their former selves, they provide us with financial opportunities in terms of their factories there. More importantly, there is a substantial income that comes with the island colonies. While some of them grow coffee, tobacco, and other exotic crops that you cannot find in your kingdom, the true value lies within the East Indies trade route. Ships of all flags must stop at some of these islands where the governors there tax provisions, crew rest, and maintenance. We may even see business from the British, if the Egyptians follow through with their threat to close the Sinai to British overland transfers.”

Aqasi leaned in to Mohammad Shah’s ear. “There are accountants working on the total amount of profit, if you care for the details.”

“I do not,” handwaved the Shah. “But it sounds like a tempting opportunity.”

He turned back to the court ahead of him. “Do we have any predictions of how the Bourbons will react?” he asked Mirza Abolhassan.

“I suspect they will be too embroiled in domestic turbulence to do much about it, besides economic means. But, it is better to become self-sufficient than to keep ourselves tied to Europe. In their own words - mieux vaut être seul que mal accompagné.”

Jaubert smirked, but remained silent in the court. He composed himself: “Mohammad Shah, if you give me the approval, then I shall send a clandestine message to the governors to prepare for Charles’s death.”

“I agree,” declared Mohammad Shah. “Make your preparations.”

He waved away Mirza Abolhassan and his French advisors, who politely bowed out and shuffled to the rear of the court. Mohammad Shah turned back to Grand Vizier Aqasi: “I would indeed like to visit one of those islands, perhaps next spring.”

“Absolutely, Mohammad Shah,” Aqasi replied. “Now, let us attend to the Khorasanis.”

Mohammad Shah, from the Peacock Throne, dismissed the foreign minister and his French counterparts. As the court rearranged itself to allow for these men to leave, the eastern vassals trudged forward to Mohammad Shah’s feet and stood, bracing for the admonishment that they were about to receive. As the doors closed behind Mirza Abolhassan and Amédée Jaubert, they could hear the faint sounds of the Shah shouting. But what happened behind closed palace doors was none of their concern.
<Snipped quote by Dinh AaronMk>

Early loss of the Philippines is in the realm of possibility, yes?

Just play the game by the rules, buddy. Make it make sense. Does your idea make sense? Does it play the game? No? Easy.
@Letter Bee

My points on Egypt still stand as they did before. Egypt would exist in a delicate balance of social relationships within the Middle East as was carried out by the Ottoman Empire. Similarly Muhammad Ali exists predominately by the will of the Ottomans that granted him permission to be the ruler of Egypt to begin with and ruling Egypt was a balance of maintaining that cordial feudal relationship with the Ottomans as much as it was having to fight them now and then to maintain independence at arm's reach, as with anyone in the greater Levant, Arabian peninsula, and Mesopotamia who would be as much subjects of the Ottomans as they were independent actors doing their own thing on pure vibe.

And besides the fractious conditions of this RP, the European calculus towards the Middle East and larger Ottoman Empire is always how best to use them as the foil to the Russian Empire. Neglecting the Ottoman Empire to allow them to break down too fast creates a void that the Russians could use to surge back from their punishment and bruising during the later alt-Napoleonic timeline, where even the Persians had the opportunity to nip at the Russian frontier and make gains on them after a little over a century of losing.

Internally in Egypt you have to remember that the departure of Napoleon from Egypt would have been still at best bitter, because he was not a popular figure in Egypt at all and anyone doing rapid western modernizations in Egypt could well be seen as just another Napoleon, even if they are Albanian Muslim and not French. But much of the Egyptian industrialization was fueled by European coal and would or could be very vulnerable to being leveraged that way. All those state centralizations and nationalism that Mohammad Ali did? Not only unpopular to his restless Egyptian subjects but also tasteless for European investors and parties who would source Egypt their most valuable coal to run their manufacturing depots.

A large part of this may just be an overall lack of regional players to drive competitive or antagonistic relationships towards Egypt. But skimming the app it's roughly the same as it ever was.

Persia is, in this RP, undergoing those kinds of Western modernization as a result of being the vacation paradise for exiled Napoleonic loyalists. If anything, when I wrote the app, I imagined Persia as hyper-French (more so than it was irl, where it kind of got a ton of Russian influence later on in the 19th century in the form of the Persian cossacks) where Napoleon lives on through the Shah who's a total Francoboo and generally feels the need to be competitive to Russia, the Ottomans, and probably now also Egypt.

The perfect storm of Napoleonic imperialism and the traditional Persian desire to go back to being a great power... not many folks on the borders are going to like that very much, which sets up some competition.
Ahmad Shah Massoud (AQ never killed him!) leads a revolt against the Khwarazmian Empire.

He is successful.

Kabul, 2030:

Martin Luther Gandhi Mandela stood in front of the UN, clicking and clacking in his alien language. After every sentence, Microsoft Sam translated for him. The entire audience sat politely and listened, nodding along to his every word. Through the magical connotations of alien language and its verses of pure poetry, Martin Luther Gandhi Mandela proposed peace on earth.

At the conclusion of his speech, everyone cheered the alien and gave him a standing ovation. Several ambassadors cried tears of joy. They all showered the former alien refugee with flowers.

All of a sudden, world leaders began to take the stage.

Kim Il Sung: "You know, I never thought about it that way. Maybe I have been treating my people badly all along, and for that I am sorry. Truly your experiences have taught us humans to grow beyond our petty nature."

Saddam Hussein: "With Martin Luther Gandhi Mandela's pointed talks on diversity and inclusion, I have decided to step down from power and appoint an equalitarian and multi ethnic council to govern complicated Iraqi affairs."

Deng Xiaoping: "Wow, all I have to say is that we are going to allow everyone a free forum to talk about their feelings. The police are disarmed, come to Tiananmen Square and we'll sort everything out."

Martin Luther Gandhi Mandela bowed and turned to the newly created country of Zimbabwe to offer them a special appreciation for proving that racism is wrong. He then left aboard a spaceship back to District 9.
Alt history: Rhodesia wins and defeats Communists with US support.

Hey man, there's a meeting at the UN. Martin Luther Gandhi Mandela is going to be speaking.
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