Part 13: Sonhos e Pesadelos
Let's talk about Portuguese colonialism.
Since Portugal as a country had historically existed as part of Spain, which was also its only land neighbour and one of its biggest historical allies and enemies, there was little reason to attempt significant altercations with them over the Iberian peninsula. Further, as established by the example of King Sebastian, conflict with the Berbers in North Africa, while feasible at one time, was not exactly sustainable for the Portuguese.
Instead, through a combination of missionary work, trade, and exploration by sea, the Portuguese essentially started the particularly European practice of colonizing overseas territories. Trade made them wealthier, and exploration made them famous, but their overall lack of resources and small population meant that their colonial holdings, for the most part, could not be adequately overseen, and eventually collapsed...
The years seemed to pass with particular quickness as message after message flooded back from the twin Nau, enraptured as they were by their wondrous journey.
Yet more missives brought dreams to Dona Maria, in which she saw men wandering across great expanses, claiming territories larger than any she could imagine.
These Shoshone people must be in need of trade, a reminder that the sacred hunt and piety brings with it wealth and prosperity.
The images described by the sailors reflected this, as the sights they encountered seemed like dreams of their own.
Yet, the dreams began to give way to a reality, as the Portuguese began to accrue knowledge of the world as it was, rather than just how they imagined it.
Still, some things remain ever as they were, Faroans are committed to their industry, which brings them a sort of joy.
The hunt must continue as well, as it remains the purest expression of faith in Portugal.
To Dona Maria, the dreams continue to bring her closer than ever to her fellows across hundreds of miles and the barriers of language.
She comes to think of her fellow dreamers as equal parts friends and strangers. They are cordial and welcoming one moment, but their distance and language barriers seems to give each of them pause about growing too close to one another.
Some of them, however, seem so familiar as to be uncanny.
The world yet grows in both size and wonder, as Maria travels the world before any of her Nau even become aware of it.
There are dangers to be sure, but nothing that the adventurous Portuguese are unable to handle.
Whether in dreams or reality.
(Ordinarily Byzantine presence would annoy me when we are in a religious game, but this is going to be hilarious for reasons that will become obvious later)
There is a sense that the world is a place of chaos and opportunity. Neighbours bring potential friendships and potential strife.
Astute readers will have already realized why this image is funny.
The Portuguese, however, are ready to rise to the occasion.
Unfortunately, Dona Maria becomes acutely aware of the fact that others seem to be trying to take advantage of her. She refuses all attempts others make to trade when they do not understand the value of what she offers.
Yet, the business of exploration continues unabated.
It is a lucrative business, to be sure.
As well as a profoundly educational and enlightening one. A pursuit well-suited to the triumvirate of Portuguese values.
The men of the São Gabriel are somewhat disconcerted by the sheer number of Japanese soldiers. Are Barbarian hordes really such a concern in places like this?
Lisboa sees to opportunities to earn more money.
Yet Dona Maria asserts that some things are just not worth the pittance of coin, and refuses Dandolo's request.
She will have to teach a few of her fellow dreamers the actual value of things.
Everyone is improved by experience and knowledge, after all.
(I went with Mobility for the São Rafael, since it gained a hefty amount of XP from the trade with the Shoshone.)
Such experiences can only lead to better things for each person you meet.
It can even lead to unexpectedly pleasant surprises.
This. This is the hardest the game could possibly dunk on the Byzantines. I noticed after the initial encounter that the Byzantines were in the game but Eastern Orthodoxy was not one of the Religions that was active. Then I remembered that Japan had taken a Capital, but they must have gone after the Byzantines so strongly that they never even had a chance to advance the religion to the point that thy got the first Great Prophet. Alternatively, they went for Stonehenge and we sniped it first.
I laughed so hard when I saw this.
The people of the world adopt strange ideas about the kind of Gods that oversee them.
However, harmonious living and acceptance is a worthy end to achieve regardless.
After all, the world is full of fascinating chance encounters that deserve to be treasured.
Luanda, quickly becoming renowned as the wealth of Portugal, begins the process of becoming a true merchant empire.
A move that Lisboa can support through further military development.
While, far from the shores of the Portuguese homeland, the most surprising meeting of all takes place.
What a strange and wonderful world we live in, where Gabriel can go east, Rafael can go west, and they are still reunited at the day's end.
The worker corps receive a strange directive from the Casas of Luanda to undertake a new assignment...
São Miguel discovers Venetian shores, chock full as they are of crabs. Rumour has it that the Venetian faith is somehow centred on stories of an ancient people living under the sea.
Faro continues to pursue industry.
The Portuguese, at long last, enjoy the recognition of their intellectual prowess.
The São Miguel approaches a snow-filled southern coastline, and, to the incredulity of the crew, spots Barbarians living much further south.
Lisboa, meanwhile, sends its own group of Workers to Zanzibar.
Dona Maria proposes a friendly agreement with Ashurbanipal, the first of her neighbours, and she respects the fact that he recognizes the value of what she is proposing.
The Berrio, the latest of the Portuguese fleet, takes to the oceans.
While the Sebastianist dispatch begins the task of enlightening the whole of Assyria.
Part of why I got Open Borders from Ashurbanipal is that I noticed too late that the Missionaries started taking attrition damage. Attrition in this case refers to the fact that Missionaries can cross another Civ's territory without sparking a war (other Units cannot do this if an Open Borders agreement is not in place). However, the cost is that they will take 250 points of attrition damage each turn, which causes them to be less effective at performing conversions and eventually outright kills them if they take 1000 points of damage.
Originally, I had thought that Attrition damage did not apply if the other Civ did not have a religion, but I was wrong, as evidenced here.
The time has come for Portugal to continue growing.
Without a moment to spare, Dona Maria has every man, woman and child in Lisboa prepare for another excursion.
The world presents many wonderful possible sights to see, and many unknowns as well.
Yet, every surprise is exciting, if not always pleasant.
Indeed, contact brings with it some unfortunate strife.
Here is where spies on defence can be helpful. I will likely have a hard time getting this spy dislodged until Oriana gets back, and even then it can be hit or miss depending on how our luck goes.
The duty of any Portuguese person who considers themselves enlightened is to share that enlightenment.
As the world is...wait...
Something...something is not right...
The dream is starting to look like a nightmare...
Dona Maria is awoken in her chambers by a panicked messenger, claiming that nations around the world have erupted into some sort of mass frenzy. Romans and Assyrians have begun to slaughter one another on distant fields, and the Shoshone have begun roaming through the jungles hunting down Brazilians. Japan has also begun an invasion of La Venta, which is likely to result in a Japanese conquest of the city.
In the midst of her dreaming, she had come to realize something horrible about the world she lived in.
Sebastião's vision was coming to pass.
People no longer felt the joy of the hunt as it was intended. They had run out of challenges, their weapons were no longer meant for hunting food, they had turned to hunting other humans.
There would soon come a time when the Portuguese may have to protect themselves against this encroaching madness.
Everyone realized, far too late, that it had already claimed one city, and it was likely to claim more.
The world was a marvel, yes, but like anything in nature, it was also dangerous if approached irreverently.
It would have to be treated with respect, with the sort of caution one might take when approaching a wild horse or deer.
If the world is to be saved from this chaos of war, then important decisions need to be made.
We have new neighbours, and battle lines have already been drawn. Using similar metrics to the ones we have already established, please determine our treatment of each of our neighbours, whether favourable, unfavourable, or indifferent, one at a time:
Additionally, we have a new Settler, and a vitally important decision needs to be made as to its placement. However, there are 3 opportune locations that we may be able to use.
The last of the Portuguese mainland here, 3 tiles northwest of Kilimanjaro (one southeast of the spot recommended by the game). This is likely the safest location for the new city, being located on the mainland, easily supported by roads and protected by oceans. It also has access to the remaining Ivory on the island, ensuring the Portuguese monopoly over the resource. However, it does not offer anything we do not already have, but perhaps we have enough to guarantee our immediate future and there is no sense taking further risks. If you wish to vote we settle here, then use the city name Coimbra.
This desert hillside east of Assyrian territory, which is conveniently next to a river, a mountain, and a lot of sheep. Its resource access is quite good and it can thrive with a combination of natural defences and boons, and a mountain will both defend us and allow for the construction of an excellent building in the Observatory, but it may be a target for Romans if they are successful against Assyria, and it offers several unknowns with regards to neighbouring territories. If you wish to vote we settle here, then use the city name Ponta Delgada.
This cape at the southern end of the new continent, stuck between Samarkand and Buenos Aires (this game...). I'm going to recommend we sit directly on top of the hillside with gems, as that way we have a production boost and access to a camp from which we will get truffles, and between those two items we have enough Luxury resources to ensure good Happiness at no real cost, while the 4 nearby Fish resources will be great boosts to production. The only issue is that it will likely not get a lot of new territory given how much nearby already belongs to City-States, so its overall growth may be a bit limited. If you wish to vote we settle here, then use the city name Cabo Rachado.
Voting will close on Wednesday night.