The Death of Gandhi
"If love or non-violence be not the law of our being, the whole of my argument falls to pieces." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Gandhi at Bombay
This bloody sash is all that remains of my family. It's been ten years since Delhi fell to Russia, and though I have sent a dozen spies to the old capital, nobody has found the bodies of my wife or my son. Did Arslan burn them? I hope not. The possibility that their bodies will not be found angers me so deeply that I shake and shut my eyes till they hurt.
I cannot sleep more than a few hours each night.
Peter the Great, what did India do to deserve this? Did we not comply with your demands? Was a temple not built to honor your beliefs? Have I not written, "I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible?" At my request India does nothing to prevent this aimless slaughter, but instead of pausing to examine your heart, you have only smiled at our strength and called it weakness.
The Chinese understood. They razed Chapatka in the Yangtse, and after they counted their wounds they cried over the rubble. They remembered our love and now our nations are at peace. Why can't you understand? Are you weaker than the Chinese?
How deep does your weakness run?
-- Mohandas Gandhi, 426 AD
Let me explain something about war.
War is ugly. It not only siphons your production away from infrastructure, it also creates various types of happiness penalties, damages improvements, and places a tremendous long-term economic burden on the shoulders of your empire. The faster you win a war, the better you'll be: you'll have to fight fewer enemy units, and you'll spend fewer turns suffering happiness penalties and pouring cash into the sinkhole of a wartime economy.
The biggest penalty of war is called war weariness. My capital and several other cities in my empire have begun to feel its effects. As a war drags on, progressively larger happiness penalties are subtracted from your cities depending on the city's population, the city's proximity to the war, and the damage the city suffers.
Furthermore, war is expensive. Units in enemy territory have doubled supply costs, and freshly captured cities are generally weak producers. Oftentimes you'll be forced to devote less and less commerce to research as your empire quickly expands.
So when you're fighting a war, make sure every move counts. When a unit groups into a stack to heal, make sure it heals closer to the place it will fight next. If you fear enemy attacks from the side or the rear, then constantly produce fresh defenders to sweep in behind the attackers--if not directly with them--and garrison the cities.
On this particular turn, I sent the archer out of Madras. Why? Because India has no units in range capable of recapturing the city, and on my next turn the archer coming from Grozny can garrison in Madras, while the archer who left Madras can garrison Delhi. This allows me to immediately move my stack of healthy units out of Delhi--the archer will be there to defend the city on the same turn! If I had waited for the unit from Grozny to arrive, I'd have spent two extra turns doing nothing.
The red lines represent what will happen next turn. The green line was the move from Madras that I made this turn.
The Violence of Godse
I spilled the blood of a fellow Indian. Captain Rastov commanded I wash in Godobhida Lake, but my hands are still greasy.
The raiders were like children avenging their fathers. They'd stolen axes from Delhi--or maybe they were given them.
They were angry at Ghandi's appeasement. The Russians raped their mothers, sisters, wives, and our despot's command was non-violence. Maybe that's why they pillaged the villages around their own city. They didn't care about the Indians because India had betrayed them.
Rastov is right. He is a brilliant man. The only hope for India lies in the arms of the Russians. If we work with them, if we embrace them, then we will keep our identity. If we resist further, especially in Gandhi's soft manner, we risk destruction.
This morning we rounded up the axemen in a circle of elephants and pleaded with them to surrender to the mercy of Peter the Great. But they refused, and a boy struck at the leg of an elephant like it was a tree. He was starved and inept, and swung his axe like a marionette in a puppet box. I could have tackled him, but there would have been no purpose. His soul was imprinted with dark karma. To keep the elephants from panicking, I split his skin like old papyrus, and my hands were washed with his life.
-- 444 AD, Vinayak Godse
The Affairs of Russia
To Peter the Great, may he live forever,
My cartographers have returned with detailed knowledge of the land around Horse's Mouth Bay. If the court has finished exchanging craftspeople with Hatshepsut, I eagerly await the arrival of the Egyptian horse-tamers. Surely their knowledge will teach us the way to harness and ride these magnificent beasts.
May this messenger bring you good tidings,
Monk Vascula of Grozny
Tsar Peter, source of law,
We have recently completed the construction of the grand courthouse of St. Petersburg--a feat that was impossible before you gifted us thirty pounds of Indian gold. As you wished, the former governor is the first man to trial, and I predict that by the time you recieve this message, his corrupt head should be in a box on its way to Moscow.
My father's funeral is complete. They bury him under the keystone of Lighthouse at Port Kavkaz. I will sample seafood of this city and return to Moscow in month.
To thank you for the sacrifices you will make at Horse's Mouth, Peter grants each family six ounces of Indian gold.
Novgorod Governor-To-Be Eusik
A Great Man Is Born
I'm going to mention some of the stuff happening around my empire.
Because of my massive war deficit, I've got to find ways to cut down on costs, and one of the biggest tricks is to build a courthouse in each city, which halves the maintenance costs of that city. Later in this post, I'll explain these costs in more detail. For now, know that I built a courthouse in St. Petersburg.
I built a Lighthouse in Port Kavkaz. Lighthouses give all water tiles around a city +1 food. Since each population costs 2 food, the city produces 2 food of its own, and the lighthouse makes each ocean tile produce a total of 2 food, you can eventually grow a coastal city large enough to work every ocean tile in its radius with a population point. In fact, you have no excuse not to.
Whenever you're building (or rebuilding) a city, granaries and lighthouses come first. These buildings increase the growth rate of a city immensely, and pay back huge returns for the investment. After that, you can begin to specialize your cities with whatever buildings you need.
We'll talk about city specialization in the next update.
Now to talk about horseback riding. This is a powerful technology. If you find horses and acquire them quickly, horse archers make a fantastic unit for the early game. Furthermore, this technology eventually allows for knights and calvary, two of the key units in the early midgame and late midgame. Since Russia's special unit is a calvary replacement, the Cossack, this technology is even more important for them.
However, if you don't have horses, hold off on acquiring the technology until you can trade for it. It's relatively expensive for an early-game technology, and provides no other bonuses besides access to these military units.
Lastly, I'll mention that I'm settling my next city, Novgorod, right on the horses along the coast of Horse's Mouth Bay. This will give me horses (duh) and eventual access to silver and whales.
His words were hardly recognized in his lifetime. He basked in the silence of the halls of the Great Library at Moscow, and he stared at the lines in the ceiling. Who knew that his mind was not looking at the crude construction of the stone, but instead at the mathematical perfection behind it. Euclid passed through the mind, and with his soaring intellect he saw into another realm of infallible reason and timeless logic.
It was after he died that his philosophy was discovered, his assertion of the Ideal reality beyond this one, his acknowledgement of the Tao. It was his student, the prophet Obeshchan of Grozny, who understood the true nature of Euclid's insight; the Tao was the face of the Divine. No longer would Russia need Ishvara to guide them; they could follow divine reason alone.
Euclid stood in Moscow...
He discovered true philosophy.
This technology gives you the pacifism civic, which I will discuss very soon.
It also allows you to build Ankgor Wat, a powerful world wonder which produces great prophet points and makes priest specialists as powerful as engineers.
Finally, if you're the first to discover it, and I am, you found Taoism.
In the city of Grozny, we contemplate the Tao.
The Foundation of Novgorod
Yay! I used my great scientist to discover Philosophy and found Taoism. I've already talked about religion before, but I think it's time talk about missionaries.
When you found Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism, and Islam, you get a free missionary. These are fast units that can be used once on any friendly city on the planet to spread a religion there. Of course, each religion beyond the first has a smaller chance of spreading: so it may take several missionaries to spread a religion to a city with several indigenous religions.
If you want to produce missionaries, you must first build a monastery for that religion in a city, or you should select the Organized Religion civic. Once you have a monastery, you can build missionaries.
Currently, I'm building a Hindu monastery in Grozny. Then I'll be able to build Hindu missionaries to spread Hinduism to all the cities of my empire.
Under the guidance of the Egyptian horse tamers, the citizens of Moscow have founded Novgorod, a colony manned by expert animal breeders and a supporting population of a thousand farmers and fishermen. May Russia's horses breed strong and true!
-- 500 AD
I can hear the rocks crashing in the houses of the Brahmin. Peter, have you any shame? We do not threaten you or your ken, yet you still hammer us from the sky. I can only pray that Russia finds her senses before the siege reduces this country to rubble.
I am walking in the streets. I should need a lamp, but the southern horizon is as bright as the dawn. Someone sets another fire every week, and I can see the quarters of the Harijans are burning. Whether this is the retribution of the craftspeople or the assault of the Russians is irrelevant. People are dying without point, and despite my orders, the response to douse the flames is slow. Doesn't India understand? They should not save themselves the horror of touching the untouchables. I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good of the greatest number. The only real, dignified, human doctrine is the greatest good of all.
-- Mohandas Gandhi, 533 AD, twelve hours before his death.
I have followed General Rastov for years. Now I follow him one last time into battle. We have seen civilians fleeing the city and heading east. Rastov has ordered his men to let them pass. We will take Gandhi tonight, for if we do not, we may never unite the Indians under the rule of the Russians.
Ghandi left with an axeman, an archer, and a settler last turn. He hasn't settled yet, since his diplomacy screen doesn't list another city. However, if I wait another turn, I'm sure he'll settle and drag out this war. So I'm going to blow a few units to overrun the remaining archer and axeman in Bombay.
I personally led a group of sixteen men into the Dalit district on the south side of the city. Though our Indian faces and Indian tongues would have let us walk through the sentries of Gandhi's palace, they were unnecessary--nobody was guarding the untouchables. And so we polluted our souls; we set fire to the filth and waited for Captain Hastur to respond to the signal. A regiment of archers arrived with the fire response teams, but we hid ourselves amongst the crowd of terrified peasants until the elephants came charging down the streets.
I've bombarded the city twice to reduce it from a 60% defense bonus to 43% defense bonus.
These were the worst twenty beasts in Hastur's herd. These were the lame, the weak, and the sick. They had no riders, no direction except that given to them by the whips of the furious screaming Russians following on foot. The poor elephants crashed into the crowd, drawing the fire of the archers. But in the darkness and the flickering light of the fires, some arrows struck the untouchables as well. For a few seconds, the untouchables counted their losses, and then, seeing the hand of Gandhi in these archers, they surged forward to seek revenge.
Hastur himself entered the district on foot with fifty men. Like avatars of Krishna the destroyer, they stood in a mob like a field of iron statues and slew untouchables and archers without discretion. My men and I were horrified at the butchery, but in truth, I knew Hastur was only being practical. Once the archers were dead, the untouchables would readily turn on the Russians.
My men and I moved farther into the city. Coming out of the Dalit district, we came across the primary avenue of Bombay, a road running east to west and bisecting Gandhi's Palace. By the light of the fire, we spied a regiment of axeman assembling in the palace courtyard to our east. We traveled west as quickly as possible, and in half an hour we'd come up behind the western gate. The news of the fire hadn't reached the guards here, and they weren't prepared for a concerted attack from within. We slew all twelve of them while suffering only one fatality, and then we opened the gates and broke the mechanism. I sent one of my men out to find General Rastov, and then I waited for two hours until dawn.
-- Vinayak Godse, three hours before the death of Ghandi.
Captain Hastur crushes the archers defending the southern border of the city.
The fires haven't died. I sent a runner to the Harijans. He returned twenty minutes later with a warning: Russians have entered the city. I immediately ordered my palace guard to ready their axes in the courtyard, and then I went to my room in the left minaret of the palace.
I'm waiting here. I wish I could contact Peter. I wish I could see the Russian king in person. I'm sure his heart would melt, I'm sure he would leave us be, if only he could see our peace and love. Humanity is not inherently evil, all my life I have believed that.
It is dawn now, and out my window I see that someone has opened the western gate. I'm ordering my axemen to move down the avenue and close the walls before the Russians notice.
No! I've given the order too late. I can see the elephants coming down the avenue. The axeman are like ants before them. I scream through the window, fight, fight, do not die! But they are like so many ants, and all the Russians are crushing them beneath their toes.
-- Mohandas Gandhi, twenty minutes before his death.
The End of Gandhi
General Rastov arrived at dawn with all his elephants. I climbed into the basket beside him, and we made our way down the avenue. There were no Indians on the streets that Gandhi hadn't ordered there. But I could feel their eyes staring at me. They were watching the end of Indian history. They were blaming me for the loss of their empire. If only they knew how I felt. I was saving their future from Gandhi and ruin.
The regiment of axemen tried to block the avenue, but a hundred yards before reaching them, General Rastov ordered his elephants to charge. The result was predictable. As in a hundred battles before, a man with an axe cannot hope to deal an elephant anything more than a fleshwound. Those who didn't die, scattered. For a while afterwards it looked as if the elephants' legs were sliced and bleeding, but as the blood dried, it became obvious whose blood it was.
General Rastov and Godse easily defeat the last of Gandhi's forces.
Rastov's bull elephant brushed aside the doors to Gandhi's palace, and once inside, the general and I took to using our swords. Backed by a core of Rastov's personal guards, we fought up through the main hall and into the throne room. The last of Gandhi's personal guard were secured there, but after only a couple of minutes, we were inside and stepping over their corpses.
Beyond the throne were two stairwells, each leading to one of the two tower bedrooms. Rastov and three men went into the right tower. I and two other men went into the left.
When I reached the tower entrance, I bade the two men wait while I opened the door. Beyond it, I saw a figure beside an oil lamp.
"Gandhi," I said. His legs were crossed and his hands were folded in his lap. I'd seen a painting of him in Delhi. The artist had drawn a striking figure radiant with wisdom and warm confidence. But before me was something else, a tired, frightened old man with no understanding of politics or the world outside his palace.
"Are they all dead?" Gandhi said. He turned and looked over his shoulder at the sliver of morning light in the window. "I ordered them to fight."
I hefted my blade. This was no monster; he was a hypocrite and a fool, but not a tyrant. There could be no public trial or execution. If Gandhi died violently, he had to die with his legend intact. Anything else would have been unjustifiable.
Gandhi turned back and looked me in the eye. He understood. He spoke to Russia with his last words: "It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." Then he spoke to me: "Go ahead."
I swung my sword. The Grozny-iron flashed a soft blue in the dawn, and Mohandas Gandhi sighed softly. He touched his own heart, lay back on a silk pillow, and fell asleep for the last time.
For India, this was the end of history.
-- Vinayak Godse, the man who slayed the Indian Civilization.
Crap. I'm out of time again. At least I found a good place to stop. I said I'd catch the aftermath of the war and explain a few concepts about civics and maintenance, but I guess that'll have to wait for tomorrow. Consider this the first half of a two part update, okay?
It's 540 AD, and each turn now takes 20 years on the calendar. Let's see where this leads tomorrow.
Also, for those who want to know: I conquered all of India. I'll post a map of the world when I wake up tomorrow. I traded Drama to Hatshepsut in exchange for 40 gold and Horseback Riding. I'll earn Civil Service on the first turn of the next update. Whee!