Part 12: da Gama
As the Nau prepared to undertake its exploration across the treacherous sea of Norte Portugal, the sailors regarded a map of their homeland fondly, and offered their prayers for a safe return.
The people of Lisboa, meanwhile, hoped that some entertainments popularized by Luanda would help alleviate the sadness felt by the sailors' families.
Its course charted, the men of the ship began their undertaking.
The sea is the loneliest place of all, but with the burning fire of the Great Lighthouse of Lisboa behind them, the men of the Nau prepared themselves for a journey into the unknown.
Back in Lisboa, the professors of the Twin Universidades published a treatise on the principles and codes of building structures based on the historical precedents set by the legendary Portuguese architects of old.
Lisboa, meanwhile, busied themselves with a training academy for soldiers and seamen, that they might be more adequately prepared for dangers on the high seas.
The Workers took to quarrying stone by the city of Faro, in order to support its growing industrial base.
The Nau, meanwhile, encountered a new neighbour. It was strangely isolated despite being on the same continent as the Assyrian people. The Portuguese attributed this to the incredibly dangerous terrain of Assyria, including hills of pure stone that seemed to reach the skies.
Though, their distance and diverse resource base of Zanzibar made trade with them all the more appealing, and the sailors also took to bringing along clergymen with them to spread the word of Sebastião.
As you can see, trade routes that go to Cities untouched by the local Religion's pressure sphere can instead receive religious pressure from trade routes.
The spirituality of the unenlightened finds ways of growing even in new eras of change.
The men of the Nau, however, were then suddenly delighted by the sight of a strange mountain off the coast, which spewed fire and smoke into the sky in a bizarre display.
However, they also elected to trade ivory-carved religious icons and goods to the locals of Zanzibar, and even recruited a few local sailors with promises of opportunity across distant seas in Lisboa.
(The Nau ability info box cuts it off somewhat, but this is the saddest Krakatoa I have ever seen, since it is 4 tiles from the nearest landmass and therefore cannot ever be worked by a City.)
The Portuguese builders also expanded further upon the Construction Code developed years earlier, and proposed several theoretical improvements to local infrastructure that would make travel and local building projects more feasible. It even conceived of a permanent bridge across the river dividing the Via da Rainha, a feat that builders a generation past declared utterly infeasible.
Having learned quite a bit from the locals as to the practices of seamanship in the northern wilderness, the men of the Nau developed a protocol for repelling aggressors at sea with the use of Boarding Parties.
At that time, the Zanzibar locals asked a strange question:
"What is the name of your vessel?"
Thinking of home, and God, the Captain of the Nau declared that the ship was known as São Gabriel, a protective figure who would someday bring the Nau safely back to its homeland.
The money gleamed from the impromptu trade mission, upon its return to Lisboa, was used to finance a third military training institution in Faro.
The city then began to build a proper library, in order to contribute more meaningfully to the scientific profile of the otherwise industry-focused city.
In Lisboa, authors began to write tales of the absent São Gabriel and its sailors, immortalizing them as heroes to the realm whom future generations of sailors should strive to emulate.
Oriana, meanwhile, was informed by secret message dispatched with the Nau that her assignment in Assur was over, and that she would instead be currying favour with the locals in Zanzibar.
The Sao Gabriel began its circumnavigation of the new continent, encountering ice and snow to Zanzibar's north.
Yet, the information that they gleamed inspired others back home to devote more of their time to the issue of world exploration.
The learned man, a bit of a recluse, takes to the hills outside of northern Lisboa and commissions the creation of an Academy near the river. As a private institution, it does not enjoy the support of the Church but offers an altogether different scope of learning, focused more on the natural world.
(Great person names are chosen from a table at random, so unfortunately Mr. Mendeleev is eight centuries too early to be worked more plausibly into the narrative)
While the circumnavigation of the lands of Assyria continue...
The brother ship of São Gabriel is completed in Luanda.
It takes to the north while Luanda focuses on trade ships in its wake.
Where there is learning, there must also be faith.
Where there is success, there is also some measure of disappointment.
In Northern Assyria, the snow and gigantic mountains both awe and bewilder the sailors.
The Nau swiftly navigates the ice, though there is a sense that it will not be able to continue much further.
The industrial base of Faro attracts more Workers to quarry stone...
While Lisboa further dedicates itself to learning and faith.
Yet the Portuguese are more than hunters of elephants and ideas, they are discovering that the sea is a home to them as well.
Even if the ice is treacherous.
The São Rafael sees a wondrous mountain peak that seems to pierce the heavens.
Yet, to Dona Maria, there is something troubling afoot.
She imagines a man of similarly regal demeanour, but his countenance suggests a strange indifference. He speaks of a land that seems familiar to Dona Maria in a few ways, as though perhaps they were from a similar place and time once. However, where Dona Maria is a feared huntress of fervent piousness, this Augustus of Rome seems a layabout content to allow his people to govern themselves.
Yet, despite this, his material wealth is strangely impressive, though he seems prone to living beyond his means. In the end, Dona Maria agrees to send him an ambassador in exchange for same, then she awakens.
Reports from the Sao Rafael indicate that one of the supposedly "Roman" cities has recently been the site of some kind of battle, and the people of Kabul are recovering from some sort of revolt. Furthermore, the Roman soldiers appear to be moving in the direction of Assyrian territory. Just what is going on in the world?
The people of Portugal understand that now is the time to build, and hopefully weather, if not initiate, an oncoming storm.
The working merchants and craftsmen of Portugal begin the process of formal organization into Guilds...
...while São Rafael meets more Roman allies. Unlike the people of Kabul, however, the Sydneysiders appear to have joined forces with the Romans of their own volition.
It is a strange sight to be sure, one city full of a happy, healthy populace, while their neighbour recovers from devastation and strife.
The captain of the São Gabriel reflects on the fact that Barbarians appear in so many different places in so many different ways.
Luanda, ever the innovator, begins construction of a Workshop to support the developing Faroan Guilds.
Their traders, meanwhile, consider their options before deciding to journey to Sydney.
Sydney, however, has other neighbours of their own, and the people of Samarkand welcome the explorers of the Sao Rafael.
The scholarly clergy of Lisboa commissions a new group of Missionaries to spread the faith of Sebastião in the new Continent, but there is a sense that their work may be difficult in a land wracked with war and strife.
Note that missionaries are now more expensive than they were previously. Faith-bought units and buildings become more expensive with each advancing era. A consequence of scientific progress eclipsing faith in more modern settings.
The São Gabriel, meanwhile, approaches a cape flush with strange goods and a sea full of fish.
The Guilds, however, begin their work in earnest, to bring greater wealth and industry to the people of Portugal.
In these times, however, there is a need for strong leadership in determining our fate.
Please decide our next technological innovation.
There is a strong case for Navigation as it will support our naturally powerful navy and enable the start of our next Unique Ability, though it will take some time to develop.
Acoustics leads to a fantastic wonder in the Sistine Chapel, which will boost Culture gains across all our cities, albeit at the cost of some turns otherwise spent building more National Wonders or Nau.
The Printing Press will require no less than three prerequisite Technologies, but the acquisition of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Globe Theatre will be nice boons one way or another.
Otherwise, make any choice that seems suitable, and we will see it through.
The fate of Kabul is also in our hands. We see that they have been oppressed and are at their weakest, thus we should determine whether to Liberate them, Leave them, or Capture them.
If we approach them as Liberators, then we will anger the Romans but suffer no penalties with other Civs, and the City-State of Kabul will gain a massive influence boost that will almost certainly propel us to Allegiance status for decades. However, the Capture option would give us access to Mt. Fuji and a foothold city in the new Continent, albeit one next to angry Romans.
Voting will close in two days, per usual.