The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wing Commander reboot, part 3


Blackmane Strike
As the Vega Sector’s main line of defense continued to grow in strength, the Kilrathi spent much of the year 2636, aiming for weaknesses. Several raids were launched against Vega, Enyo, Alliance and Blackmane. The largest of these raids was against Blackmane in July. Blackmane Station had effectively doubled in size since the war began, and a series of fortresses were in the process of being constructed to guard the jump points. A Kilrathi incursion into the system included three carriers, five cruisers and a dozen destroyers. No transports or any sort of ground forces were moved into the system; it was strictly a raid.
The Blackmane System was currently guarded by a single Concordia class carrier, a battleship, three cruisers and six destroyers, all aided by Blackmane Station’s fighter compliment. The Kilrathi managed to destroy two fortresses guarding the jump point to the Ariel System, neither one complete, as well as many construction and support ships. Learning from previous engagements, the Kilrathi capital ships held back, as did half of the fighters, as the other half struck out towards Blackmane Station. The battle was short, and brief. The Kilrathi lost more fighters than Confed, but the TCS Havana, a cruiser, was destroyed. Confed fighters and bombers pursued the Kilrathi, but the raiding fleet jumped out before they could be hit.

The Epsilon Front
Part of the reason for the lull in the Vega Sector, aside from the massing of Kilrathi forces on their side of the frontier, was due to Kilrathi advances in the Epsilon Sector. In 2634, the Epsilon Sector was minimally under Confed control. Most of it was frontier, beyond the border, were a hundred colony worlds existed outside of Confed jurisdiction. Taking into account that the average world might have had a hundred thousand inhabitants at war’s start, the rapid conquest of the Epsilon frontier was not that impressive. Quite a few worlds, were in fact, uninhabited. These were immediately opened to Kilrathi colonization.
The biggest loss in the sector in 2636, was that of the Torgo System. Torgo had only one jump point leading into Confed’s Epsilon holdings, but four that lead into the Vega Sector, and an additional two leading into the Epsilon frontier. It would be a key system to strike at the Kilrathi, and the Kilrathi were quick to strike, but slow in conquest. Torgo II, a planet more than twice the size of Earth, had a population of over a hundred million, far higher than worlds beyond the official border in the sector, as well as over a million soldiers guarding it.
Confed had few ships to spare for the sector, and the Kilrathi easily destroyed the small frigates and corvettes serving as pickets. Their greatest spaceborne losses came in assaulting Fort Maurice, in high polar orbit of the planet. The Kilrathi lost six frigates in the attempt. It was costly mostly because the Kilrathi used little in their naval forces in the sector, focusing on the bulk of TCN in Vega. The initial invasion force of sixty-four thousand were chewed to pieces in a month long battle on the Plains of Bonaparte.
The Kilrathi sent in larger forces the following month, August. Repairs on Fort Maurice allowed for the Kilrathi to bombard the planet from orbit, including the plains. At the end of the month, an armada carrying an invasion force of over one hundred thousand hit the planet. Between September and November, the Kilrathi opened a constant stream of soldiers to Torgo II. By the start of 2637, the planet was still contested, but its fate was already sealed.

First Kilrathi Refugees
Since the start of the war, thousands of ships worth of Terran refugees have been flooding back across Confed’s front lines. On October 17, the first of the Kilrathi refugees arrived in the Orsini System. Of the three ships, one was destroyed outright by Confed fighters in the system. The Kilrathi began to transmit their surrender, which struck the system commander as suspicious. Kilrathi never surrender, and their language did not even have a word. In fact, the transmission used the Dutch word for surrender.
The two ships were boarded by Confed Marines, far from Orsini Station or any of the systems other stations or fortresses. If a bomb were on board, it could easily destroy the station (similar tactics were used at McAuliffe). On board were one hundred seven females, and two hundred cubs of various states of development. All of the females were technicians and machinists, some working in Kilrathi fighter plants. These were the females of the Shruki Pride, a very minor pride that had been forcefully relocated to the Valgard System in a colonization effort. Their lands on their original world were taken by the Marqi Pride, one of the Eight Prides.
Dispossessed and sent on their way, once arriving in Valgard, the Pride simply continued onward towards Confed territory. It was learned that the females of the pride cared little for their own people in general (a common Kilrathi trait) and had no loyalty to the Imperial Government (another trait of minor prides. The females’ main concern was the safety and health of their children. Much was learned about Kilrathi sociology from the Shruki Pride. When the pride was relocated to the Vespus System in the Enigma Sector and debriefed, much more was learned about the technical details of Kilrathi fighters. This was the first, but most certainly not the last pride defection of the Kilrathi War.

Capitals of the United Provinces

National: The Hague
Holland: Amsterdam
Zeeland: Middleburg
Drenthe: Assen
Friesland: Leeuwarden
Groningen: Groningen
Ommelanden: Haren
Overijssel: Zwolle
Utrecht: Utrecht
Gelderland: Arnhem
Brabant: Breda
Flanders: Ghent
Artois: Atrecht
Hainaut: Lens
Namur: Namur
Liege: Liege
Limburg: Hasselt
Luxembourg: Luxembourg City
Norway: Bergen
Iceland: Reykjavik

Flower-coded War Plans

Dutch War Plans

War Plan Rose:
War against the United Kingdom
War Plan Violet: War against France
War Plan Tulip: Invasion to liberated the United Provinces
War Plan Lilac: War against Spain
War Plan Daisy: War with Sweden
War Plan Pansy: Oversees rebellion
War Plan Fuschia: War with Japan
War Plan Marigold: War with China
War Plan Ivory: War with a minor overseas power

The Empire of Brazil


Population: 187,921,412
Language: Dutch (Official), Portuguese
Religion: 46% Catholic, 43% Protestant
Area: 8,734,447
Capital: Recife
Largest Cities: Recife, Fredericksbourg, Natal, Cayenne, Salvador
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: Empress Beatrix
Divisions: Provinces, 29
Industries: Automotive, shipyards, aerospace, heavy industry, military hardware, mining, forestry, agriculture
Crops: Coffee, sugar, tobacco, cotton, tropical fruit, grains
Resources: Minerals, Gold, Precious Gems, Timber, Fish
Currency: Guilder (0.603 = 1.000 $US)
GNP: $ 5.181 tin
Per Capita: $ 27,570.03
Import: Clothing, electronic software, beef
Export: Steel, Iron, Copper, Metals in General, Lumber, Cotton, Coffee, Tobacco, Sugar, Automobiles, Industrial Equipment
Trade: Other Commonwealth Members, United States, Patagonia, Grand Colombia
Life Expec: 77.4 years
Education: Universal, compulsory primary and secondary school. 27% are privately owned.
Literacy: 98.2%
Military: Part of the Dutch Commonwealth of Nations. Home base for 2nd Fleet, 2nd and 3rd Air Forces, along with 14 divisions
Conscript: No

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


This is a little something created by one of my fans. I only know him as Korperal Nooij. He's also the chap who created the Das Dritte Reich alternate history (that website is over in the links box). Anyway, this is a passport for the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

Colonial Doodle

I got real bored a few months ago and created a series of maps based on something I use to do in High School. I use to draw these maps show expansion and wars and such (instead of taking notes... which might be why I am where I am today). This is an animation of how one of those doodle games might have played out. It has absolutely nothing to do with any of my websites.

The New Calender

Anno Lunarium

In the year 2113, old reckoning by Lunar standards, the nations of Luna developed a new calender. Where as the previous one was in the year of the Christian Lord, the new calender would be in the year of the moon, the new center of civilization. With Earthbound civilization nearly obliterated in 2090, the creators of this new calender, lead by the Swede Anton Swenson from Lunapolis, was retroactively began in 2090. Thus the year of the exchange was now year 1 A.L. The development of this new system of time was an addition to the already mounting cultural independence of the Lunar nations of the Continental States, Nieu Prussia, Avalon, Lunapolis and Fort Recife, all greatly expanded since the Nanotechnology Revolution. It was also the year of de facto political and economic independence from Earth, as well as the year Luna became the new center of technological civilization. The new calender confounded the nations and companies of Earth that did business with Luna for years to come. The fact that the calender had no months and instead was divided into fifty-two weeks, each numbered, only add to the initial confusion.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The VOC Empire around the Indian Ocean.

Wars in India

All throughout the 18th Century, the United East India Company was plagued by warfare in India. Fighting both their European rivals and the native Princes slowly drained the VOC’s coffers. Management in Amsterdam had little tolerance for lost profits, but the expense of waging war would inevitably lead to the Company’s domination of India itself. The VOC went to war when the United Provinces went to war and against the same enemy. During the wars with France, they attacked the French East Indian Company and its holding in India. The VOC’s own navy did the fighting on the seas, while native allies and mercenaries comprised the bulk of the land forces. Only Dutch officers served in the VOC’s Army. France’s own Indian army launched its own attacks on Company holdings in Goa and along the western coast of India. The bloodshed at the Battle of Nagapatnam in 1758, ending in a Dutch defeat cost the lives of over ten thousand Indian soldiers when the Company officials refused to surrender. One newspaper in Rotterdam put it well when after the battle it declared that the VOC would defend their holdings to the last Indian.

Per the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the VOC took control over all of former French India. This only brought them into conflict with Mysore. Between 1767 and 1775, the VOC waged war against Mysore, who steadfast refused to trade with the Dutch. Through a series of alliances with Princes in the Deccan, the VOC finally subjugated Mysore, annexing it outright and securing undisputed Dutch control over all of southern India. The heavy-handedness of the Company is the source of much of the anti-Dutch sentiment that has raged in India over the centuries. The entry of the Dutch into America’s own revolution brought the VOC into conflict with their last opponent; the British East India Company.

When word of war reached India, the Company was not ready to take Bengal. Like the VOC, the British trading company also had its own share of enemies in northern India. The Company spent hundreds of thousands of guilders arming these anti-British Princes and bringing them into alliance with the VOC. The British did likewise with the Dutch’s own Indian malcontents. On the seas, the VOC wasted no time in attacking British ships. Losses in trade in 1779 alone drove the British East India Company’s profits so low that bankruptcy was inevitable. It was not until well into 1779, that the VOC have sufficient forces in place to invade Bengal. The first regiments landed in March of 1779.. They petitioned both Parliament and King for assistance against the invasion. Word of British losses provoked many natives in India to rise up against company rule.

British control over the land was forever broken on June 15, 1779, when VOC soldiers decisively defeated the British at Dacca. The battle was one of the few cases of two rival corporations actually coming into direct conflict on the land, relying more upon Europeans borrowed from their respective government than native soldiers. Never again would companies wield so much power as they did at the Battle of Dacca. Following the battle, company officials surrendered all assets in Bengal to the VOC. It would be three years before the British would react to the shock to their own economy. Britain’s Royal Navy set sail for India in 1782, with fifty ships and enough soldiers to hopefully drive the Dutch from Bengal. Tragically, the fleet never reached Bengal. It was intercepted by VOC and Dutch ships off the coast of Ceylon. The Battle of Jaffna marked the end of British control over India and Dutch supremacy. Little did Company officials in Amsterdam realize that within a generation, their own political power would be forever shattered.


Following the defeat of the British East India Company, the VOC commercial empire dominated the Indian Ocean, holding large chunks of land along with millions of Indian, Ceylonese and East Indian subjects liable to company taxes. The VOC used what they taxed and invested it into the area in which it was taxed. Along with road and harbor improvements around the ocean, the VOC ran its own company schools and hospitals within its private empire. Tens of millions of more people were dependent upon the VOC. Across Sumatra and Borneo, small states and sultanates grew dependent upon the VOC for all of its external trade. The Kingdom of Kandy, still nominally independent, could not access the outside world without the use of VOC ships. For all intent purposes, between 1783 and 1799, the VOC was one of the largest Empires in the world.

Like all empires, the VOC’s Indian Ocean operation was not without troubles. The largest trouble came not from native population, but from the Dutch colonists in South Africa. Kapenstaat was established early in the 17th Century by the VOC as a resupplying base for the spice trade. When the settlers, known today as the Boers, attempted to alter their own farming practices, growing crops that would gain themselves profits, the VOC declared they were in violation of their contracts. The issue of these contracts is still a controversy, centuries later. The great-grandparents of the Boers had entered into contracts with the VOC. In exchange for transportation out of the United Provinces to lands of more opportunities, the settlers would grow a certain portion of crops, such as potatoes, wheat and fresh fruit for the VOC’s ships.

Settlers’ experiments in growing sugar and cotton were quickly squelched by the Company. The VOC needs food grown at the Cape, not cash crops. Much protest came out of the issue. “It is my land, and I will grow what I like,’ to which the VOC replied that no, you are our employees and you will grow exactly what we tell you to. Instead of a second Brazil, the Cape became Holland, Flanders or even Limburg transplanted on the opposite side of the world, complete with dairy farms, but minus the liberty. Rebelling against the Company was a poor option, since the VOC had absolute control over what entered and exited the Cape Colony.

Instead of rising up, the Boers moved out. The first exodus of Boers took place long before the conquest of Bengal. In 1768, over a hundred families packed up their belongings, seeds, supply, livestock and anything else they thought they would need to survive, and moved further inland into the Weld. The VOC moved fast to stop them, or more specific, to stop the movement of livestock. Wool from sheep and leather from cattle comprised an appreciable part of the colony’s economy. Not to mention to meat produced also fed the crews of passing ships. The VOC sent several expeditions to bring back the Boers. In 1786, they sacked Johannebourg, taking all livestock back to the Cape, burning the thriving settlement and even poisoning the watering hole.
This was the peak of the anti-Boer campaign, as the Board of Directors in Amsterdam decided that pursuing the Boers was simply not worth the expense. After giving the British the boot in India, the Company was in severe debt. Anything that could be cut, was cut. Instead of bringing back the Boers, thousands of new settlers were brought to Kapenstaat from Flanders. These colonists had but one decade to live under the VOC’s rule. To further exasperate their debt, the VOC had the third largest navy in the world, behind the United Provinces and the United Kingdom respectively. The upkeep of such a navy took almost 40% of the Company’s budget in 1798.

The Raspberry Bush

Cinnamon sticking her head up through the raspberry bush while I was picking berries the other day. I realize it has nothing to do with my works, but this was just too good of a picture to pass up. This isn't the first time she got into the raspberries.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tactics of the VOC

The tactics that the VOC used to keep on the top of their business varied during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Their size permitted them to simply undercut their smaller competition, buy paying more for spices in the East and selling it for less. This means of competing with what we would now call “the little guy” tend to cut into profits. Instead of lowering their prices, the VOC preferred to simply sink independent and small traders. The VOC’s private navy was also used to clean out pirates, which indirectly benefitted the small business ventures, as well as do battle with rival national monopolies, most notably the English (and later British) East India Company.
The VOC was a quasi-nation in its own rights. The monopoly granted by the Staaten-General allowed the VOC to sign its own treaties. The VOC signed exclusive trading treaties with states such as Kandy and Sultanates across the East Indies. In other cases, such as western Ceylon and Java, the VOC simply marched in and conquered their sources of spices and trading partners. Many of the independent states soon found themselves dependent upon the VOC. With the Company lending credit and minting coin, all of which the VOC forced its trading partners to accept. Back home, the VOC bankrolled many members of the Second Chamber of the Staaten-General, and flat out bribed those in the First Chamber. With this, and national interest, the VOC insured its exclusive trade monopoly was renewed time and again.

Their biggest threat came from other national monopolies. To battle these, the VOC and its navy took control over entire trading lanes. In the Indian Ocean, the Dutch discovered that sailing eastward across the Indian Ocean from around Forty Degrees allowed them to bypass the mercies of the seasonal monsoon patterns; flowing southwest during one part of the year and northeast during another. By taking control of the best route and currents directly across the Indian Ocean, along with the Cape of Good Hope, the VOC was able to trade year round. Those who either did not know about the currents, or were banned from them, had to wait months in India until the monsoon winds shifted and allowed for a return trip to India.

Wing Commander Reboot, part 2


The Alliance-Hubble Line
With the loss of a good portion of the Vega Sector fleets, the remaining ship of TCN focused their defensive efforts on a fortified line that included the Alliance, Blackmane, Apocalypse, Enyo, Vega, Chengdu, Hubble’s Star and Proxima Systems. Of these systems, Proxima was the most vital, since its jump point lead directly to Earth. However, it was not technically part of the line, as it was one or two jump points behind Confed lines. While ships from the opposite side of the Confederation, as well as sectors not threatened by the Kilrathi, begin to transfer their fleets to hold the line. Given the distance, and limitation of speed, several months would be required to reinforce the sector. While the Vega System is nominally the capital and administration center of the sector, the vital importance of Proxima caused it to be the new location for Vega Sector HQ.
In the systems already named, new orbital fortresses and stations were rushed into service, as well as reinforced locations on planetary surfaces. Soldiers were shipped in to reinforce the systems, and protect the planets from invasion. Enyo II alone received four million additional soldiers to defend it. Many worlds in the line produced a surplus of food, which allowed for fielding of large armies. Only Vega lacked agriculture, and that was due to the fact the star was relatively young (in astronomical terms) and had no habitable planets. Its location on the jump point network did make it a center of trade, and dozens of stations were scattered throughout the station, as well as domed and underground habitats on the surface of Vega IV and Vega V, the former being the capital world.
In the space of five months, Blackmane Station, the key point for the system’s defenses, mostly because that in order to fly from one jump point to another, concerning any of the seven jump point, a ship will pass with striking range of the station’s fighter compliment. By the middle of 2635, Blackmane Station had a compliment of two hundred fighters and bombers. Apocalypse, known commonly as Hell’s Kitchen due its truly nasty environments, had an addition three stations constructed in system between 2635 and 2637. It was the system linking Blackmane and Enyo, as well as several other systems. It would be the perfect place for the Kilrathi to bypass stronger defenses.

Kilrathi Gains
With the bulk of Confed’s navy in the Vega Sector spread across its Line, the Kilrathi were virtually free to move into systems coreward of Hubble’s Star. In February, the Kilrathi entered Planck’s Star, conquering its small colonies, mostly on lifeless worlds, in a matter of a week. The Warsaw System, another system that lead to Vega, was a tougher nut to crack. Warsaw II, the primarily inhabited planet, put up a stiff resistance. Warsaw Station, in orbit of Warsaw between planets I and II, sent out waves of fighters against the Kilrathi. Two militia frigates waited in Warsaw II orbit for the Kilrathi invasion force to attempt to land. Both ships were destroyed by Kilrathi fighters. However, the Kilrathi targeted orbital fortifications of Warsaw II, instead of Warsaw Station. Fighters from the station destroyed three Ralatha as well as a dozen transports.
In response, when the Kilrathi entered orbit of Warsaw II, several of the planet’s cities were destroyed by fusion warheads, with an estimated death toll of twelve million. When the Kilrathi began to land on the planet, minus thousands of warriors, Warsaw Station struck again, damaging a Kilrathi light carrier and a Fralthi. Ground-based fighters and SAMs destroyed many of the invasion craft, but to no avail. Even with 24% of their invasion force destroyed before planetfall, the Kilrathi still landed ninety thousand soldiers during the initial invasion. The total conquest of the planet of seventy million took three months and required an addition seven hundred thousand Kilrathi soldiers. Warsaw Station was finally discovered to be the source of the spaceborne resistance after a week’s worth of attacks. The Kilrathi operated under the assumption that Confed had a carrier in system. The Station was not destroyed outright, but boarded and captured after two weeks of fighting on board. For the Kilrathi, Warsaw Station had a higher percentage cost in capturing than Warsaw II. For Terrans; in addition to the twelve million killed in bombardment, another twenty million died during the conquest of Warsaw II. The Kilrathi quickly put the survivors to work.
The Munro System put up some resistance, but surrendered after three weeks of Kilrathi campaigning on Munro III and the largest moon of Munro VI. Anti-coreward, the Kilrathi succeeded in conquering the Tali System. The system, and its three inhabited (though not inhabitable) planets, happened to be one of the larger industrial centers in the sector. Confed was forced to send its fleet in to cover the VOC freighters that were transporting the dismantled parts of a VOC Stars anti-matter production plant. The plant was built on a vulcanoid that orbited Tali once every four days. The solar power, and solar winds collected from the star generated great power, which in turn made it possible for anti-matter to be produced in economically useful quantities. Confed also evacuated as many specialists from the planets as possible.
When the Kilrathi entered the system, the TCN battleships Simon Bolivar and The Seventeen Provinces, escorted by the carrier Victory held off the initial Kilrathi attack. The Kilrathi believed that Confed had pulled out of the system, which they had in order to reinforce Blackmane and Alliance, and did not expect battleships or carriers. Consequently, the two TCN battleships destroyed most of the Kilrathi strike force as well as the initial landing force. Retreating ships returned to Kilrathi territory to report on the loss. In the space of a month, the Kilrathi were forced to shift forces away from Vega and Hubble’s Star to take a system that should have fallen in weeks. By the time the Kilrathi returned, with three carriers at the lead, TCN had abandoned the system. With no enemy to fight, the Kilrathi took out their frustrations on the inhabitants of Tali. After a seven week long conquest of all three planets, the Kilrathi killed off ten percent of the population and began to ship the remaining population across their empire to be used as both slaves and food.

The Vega Raid
With forces relocated across the Vega Sector, the Kilrathi could only afford a punitive raid against the Vega System. In October, a force of seven cruisers and eight destroyers entered the system. The cruisers had very limited deck space, and could only deploy a squadron each. Fifty-six Kilrathi fighters struck at listening posts around the Vega-Alcor jump point, as well as Fort Carson which defended the jump point. The fort survived, but the listening posts were destroyed. The Kilrathi passed the damaged fort and headed for Vega Station, the key to the system. They did not intend on conquering or even destroying the station, but rather targeted Confed ships in the system.
However, Confed had the Arc Royal at the head of a fleet of one battleship, the Kaiser as well as six cruisers and eight destroyers. The Kilrathi fighters did little damage to the station, and half were destroyed in the process. On the TCS Victor, a destroyer, was destroyed. The Kilrathi fleet suffered its own losses to Arc Royal’s fighters. However, the obsolete fighters and bombers did little damage, and as many of them were lost as Kilrathi fighters. This raid reinforced the need for Confed to design a new fleet of fighters and bombers to match Kilrathi technology. Normally, new fighters were introduced once every fifty to sixty years, and even rushing design and construction, Confed was stuck with Firecats, Wildcats and Warhammers for the next two years, though new variants of those designs were seeing action as early as 2635 (none in the Vega Raid).

America's REAL National Pasttime

Major League Football

American League
Western Division
-San Diego
-Port Sinoloa
Southern Division
Eastern Division
Northern Division
-St. Louis
-Fort Wayne

Continental League
Western Division
-Salt Lake City
-Los Angeles
Southern Division
-San Jose
-New Orleans
Eastern Division
-New Amsterdam
Northern Division

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wing Commander reboot, part 1


False War
Upon declaring war on the Kilrathi, TCN immediately moved across the frontier to strike at the known Kilrathi bases. Most of these took them into the former systems of the Varni. One such engagement took place at what Confed called Baird’s Star, in the coreward region of the Vega Sector. The Kilrathi installations there were small, but it did have a sizable civilian population. The Prides that had colonized Baird III numbered some fifteen million. The fact that this system was once populated by a hundred million Varni less than a decade ago said volumes about the Kilrathi’s ability to kill and their ability to repopulate the system. The scars of the Kilrathi invasion of the system still were visibly clear. Because of concern over Varni kept on the planet as slaves, Confed HQ marked the planet itself as off-limits.
A Confed task force built around the carrier Revenge and battleship Norman struck at the forward Kilrathi post orbiting the fourth planet. The Kilrathi had few defender, which despite a fierce defense, were brushed aside by the Confed task force. The outpost was boarded, but destroyed in the process. Whether the station was badly damaged or the Kilrathi defenders had waited until Confed Marines boarded to set it off, is not clear. Only a limited amount of information was gained from the venture, such as complete star charts of the Kilrathi owned parts of the Vega Sector, though no force deployments or reports were taken.
The tragedy of this so-called victory was that it targeted Baird’s Star instead of Dakota, which was but a jump away. Had the task force hit there, they would have discovered a Kilrathi invasion force assembling in the system for its eventual jump into the Port Hadland System, a strategically key system in the coreward part of the sector.
Further skirmishes took place in the Loki System, that did bare fruit. At it was later discovered, the Kilrathi did plan on assembling in this system to invade the Blackmane Station, another strategic nexus of jump points. The Kilrathi were in the process of assembling there, with hundreds of transports already in station. Believing rightly that this was an invasion force, a task force under the command of Admiral Mason van Melon, centered around two carriers, Vespasian and Phoenix struck at the gathering of troop transports, supply ships and landing craft. The utter destruction of the latter put off Kilrathi plans for Blackmane. Hundreds of thousands of Kilrathi soldiers were killed in the attack.
The small force guarding the invasion force until more powerful ships could arrive from deep inside the Empire, mostly destroyers and a pair of Fralthi-class cruisers, were eighter destroyed or crippled by van Melon’s task force. However, the Kilrathi got in many good shots, including a successful attempt to destroy the Vespasian, which was scuttled upon jumping back to the Blackmane System. These early victories will turn out to be disastrous for Confed as it bred a sense of invulnerability in TCN. These early actions lead many to believe the Kilrathi were not as fearsome as portrayed, and their victory over the Varni was due only to sheer numbers. Some media commentators and government officials made the old prediction that the war would be over before the year was out. How close to correct they came to being—

McAuliffe Ambush
Two months into the war, Confed Intel intercepted many Kilrathi signals from their side of the frontier. Leading a team of cryptographers, Ches Penney managed to break parts of the Kilrathi code. He discovered the Kilrathi were planning to deploy most of their Vega fleet against the McAuliffe System, the forward Vega Sector base for Confed. The Kilrathi were scheduled to arrive in the system on Confederation Day, the anniversary of the founding of the Terran Confederation in 137 A.L. Penney deciphers that the Kilrathi strike force would consist of at least two carriers and a dozen cruisers. It was seen as a pitifully small force, and Confed decided to deploy twice as many ships around Alexandria Station to spring a trap for the Kilrathi.
There were some in Intel that warned that the message was wrongly interpreted. The Kilrathi numerology system would later be revealed as a main cause of the misreading of their signals. The counting of two carriers was also believed to be two carrier fleets, though Penney dismissed these concerns. Others voiced concerns that the code was broken with such ease (albeit by quantum computers) that it must be a trick, bait designed to lure prey in for the kill. In 2634, there were few experts on the Kilrathi, Banbridge being the closest Admiral to be called such. Banbridge delayed his retirement for the duration of the war, one he did not believe would be quick or painless.
He attempted to convince Confed HQ to send more ships, but was vetoed by the Naval Chief-of-Staff, Karl Chengdu. Banbridge was put in command of the 2nd Fleet, assembling in the Proxima System for its own strike into Kilrathi space. His fleet would have only three carriers, three battleships and thirteen cruisers. The fleet was intended to jump behind the Kilrathi invasion force, and capture its own supply bases, thus trapping the Kilrathi. However, this was not to be.

On Confederation Day, 2634, the first sign of the imminent invasion occurred when the listening post and commercial traffic from the Gimle System abruptly ceased. Gimle was not defended by any Confed ships, and the few militia vessels failed to send a signal. Picket ships were stationed at the jump point leading from Gimle to McAuliffe, as a means of advance warning of the Kilrathi invasion. Admiral Long, commander of the McAuliffe Ambush, stationed only one frigate at each jump point leading across the frontier, believing it could easily sound the alarm when the Kilrathi began to jump in-system, one ship at a time.
In the morning of October 15, a small courier ship jumped in from Gimle, showing signs of damage. The TCS Peregrine, the frigate defending the Gimle Jump Point reported that a militia ship had just jump in-system at high speed, before going offline, only two minutes later. The loss of the Frigate was assumed to be a collision between the two craft that damaged the transmitter, and not the ship sent through on auto-pilot with an annihilation (anti-matter) warhead placed inside it.
Upon losing his eyes at the jump point, Long immediately recalled all his personnel and began to deploy his ships. Hours later, the entire Kilrathi invasion force had jumped into the system, commanded by the Crown Prince, son of the Emperor, as well as important heirs of all the Eight Prides. It was immediately clear that the Kilrathi had eight carriers leading their invasion force, and not the two originally predicted. The Kilrathi struck immediately at the Confed fleet in orbit of McAuliffe VI. The Kilrathi anti-ship missile, launched from bombers, were far more powerful than Confed had first believed. In the initial strike, the carriers TCS Manticore and Java Sea were destroyed outright, at the loss of half the Kilrathi strike force.
The Battle of McAuliffe lasted for four days, with most of Long’s force being utterly destroyed. Even the arrival of reinforcements lead by carriers Ark Royal and Concordia were not enough to turn back the Kilrathi tide. The Concordia launched a feint against the Kilrathi carriers, at a great lost to their own fighters while the Ark Royal’s fighters and bombers struck at the Kilrathi landing ships approaching the planet. Only ten percent of the hundreds upon hundreds of landing craft were destroyed, but one such ship contained General Metrik nar Tr’Pak, King of the Tr’Pak Pride (one of the Eight), instantly killing him and his staff. This one fluke was enough to delay the Kilrathi’s drive towards Earth in the starting days of the war just enough to save the Confederation.
The reinforcements, which did arrive on the fourth day, were so ravaged by the Kilrathi that they were forced to retreat after only a single pass at the Kilrathi. Recall orders were sent by Banbridge, who was preparing his own defenses. The Kilrathi took this as a sign of Terran weakness, but the confusion caused by the loss of Tr’Pak forced the fleet to stop in orbit of McAuliffe while a new General was selected. While the debate was happening, Kilrathi cruisers finished off Alexandria Station, while other ships began to pound cities and fortification on the surface of the planet. The initial Kilrathi invasion force, those that reached the planet, numbered some ninety-three thousand. They stormed the fortifications that were directly “below” Alexandria Station in a matter of days. With this as their base of operations, the Kilrathi began to steadily bring in more soldiers for their months-long conquest of McAuliffe VI.

Other Losses
Aside from the McAuliffe System, the systems beyond the frontier, as well as several within Confed jurisdiction fell to the Kilrathi over the course November and December as there were no TCN forces to defend the planets or hope of reinforcement. Several systems, including Delius, Pephedro and Trimble simply surrendered. The Kilrathi were unsure what to do with an enemy that simply gave up. This caused more delay in their invasion as system commanders sent messages back to Kilrah, requesting instruction. In the case of Delius, which had a somewhat large industrial infrastructure, the planet’s population was put to work for the Kilrathi war effort. Other words fought back. The most notorious of the year was that of Carlin II, site of the Carlin Massacre. This planet had only three hundred thousand persons living upon it, and was largely agrarian. The Kilrathi had no use for plants, but made great use of the herds of cattle living on the planet. The planet’s militia, fought bravely with Confed Army forces upon the planet, but the total population of the planet were outnumbered by the half-million Kilrathi that landed upon the planet during the month of November. The defenders were killed almost to the last, but this was not the massacre. That happened when Kilrathi priests landed upon the planet and oversaw the construction of a temple to Sivar. The few who escaped the planet reported that the Kilrathi priests sacrificed the surviving two hundred thousand people to their War God. Afterwards, the planet was open to Kilrathi colonization.
The Trimble System, despite surrendering, suffered a similar fate. However, it was the inhabited stations scattered throughout the mostly lifeless (one planet did have primordial ooze) system. Five million humans were killed as the Kilrathi cleared the space of these useless stations, and focused their efforts on the moons of Trimble VII, which also had two jump points (one in high polar, and the other some ten million kilometers distant) orbiting it. Again, the Kilrathi used the surviving locals as labor pool. Slavery among the Kilrathi was very different than that of human history. Perhaps forced labor would be a more accurate description. The Kilrathi simply saw them as a useful resource.
The Kilrathi not only drove deep into the Vega Sector, but made incursions into the Epsilon Sector, which itself was largely beyond Confed’s border, and sparely inhabited by humanity. Most planets the Kilrathi ended up occupying in the first year of the war were uninhabited, and immediately opened to Kilrathi colonization.

Battle of Enyo
In the last days of December, 2634, the Kilrathi fleet moved on from McAuliffe, which was largely under Kilrathi domination by then. The fleet’s original mandate was not simply to destroy Alexandria Station, but to cut a swath of destruction all the way to Earth. Like a spear, the fleet was to penetrate the prey’s hearth and bring it down quickly. However, tough resistance at McAuliffe delayed the Kilrathi enough for Banbridge to bring his fleet into the Enyo System, a heavily populated system that sat before the jump point to the Proxima System, and beyond that the Sol Sector.
Banbridge managed to bring together five carriers, including the Arc Royal. The Concordia was so badly damaged that it exploded shortly after entering the Enyo System, fortunately after much of its crew had evacuated. After McAuliffe, it was clear that Confed fighters were grossly inferior to Kilrathi fighters, but capital ships could match each other rather evenly. Banbridge’s plan was to neutralize the Kilrathi carriers immediately, then go in with cruisers and battleships.
On December 30, the Kilrathi fleet jumped into Enyo. Immediately, their carriers launched all fighters and bombers to sweep the system. The Kilrathi did not anticipate Confed moving a second fleet into place so quickly after the destruction of their McAuliffe fleet. This cost the Kilrathi dearly. The McAuliffe-Enyo jump point sat in the middle of a Trojan asteroid field at the L-5 point between Enyo and Enyo V. It was here that Banbridge hid most of his fighters and bombers, keeping just enough back to act as point-defense for the Kilrathi bomber strike he knew was coming. Confed strikes, lead by a Commander Winston Turner, crippled two Kilrathi carriers and gutted two more in a matter of minutes. The ambush forced the Kilrathi crown prince to recall his own attack.
The battle did not unfold the way Banbridge had wished. Most of the Kilrathi ships that were destroyed or damaged on the day were hit during the first few minute. The 2nd Fleet did move at high cruising speed to engage the Kilrathi, however the L-5 point in the Enyo System was notoriously hazardous due to the unusual density of small asteroids. More Confed and Kilrathi ships were damaged by collisions with house and car sized asteroids than by the annihilation warheads of anti-ship missiles.
By Terran naval standards, the Kilrathi should have withdrew immediately, however Kilrathi politics would not allow it. If the Crown Prince showed weakness, then the males of the Eight Prides might see it as a chance to take control of the Kilrah Pride. Should this happen, the Kilrathi would plunge into a civil war that would all but hand victory to the Terrans. Kilrathi cruisers were sent forward as a screen to defend the damaged carriers, as technicians worked to repair the engines of the two damaged. Skilled personnel from the two gutted ships were shuttled over, while the rest were left to fend for themselves.
Kilrathi bombers returned to the fray immediately, but with minimal fighter cover. Fighters were retained to defend from another sneak attack from behind asteroids. This was the first time the Kilrathi began to realize Terrans were not the prey they initially believed, and it would not be the last time they learned this lesson. Kilrathi underestimation, rather than Terran resolve, had much to do with the course of the war. Of the two hundred bomber sent forth, only twenty-three reached their target. Most anti-ship missiles were shot down, but not all. The carriers Independence and Lake Eire were both destroyed, while Victory took significant damage.
In ship-to-ship engagements, the battleship Alexander engaged and destroyed two Fralthi-class cruisers as well as three Ralatha-class destroyers before being forced out of the battle by an anti-ship missile to its bridge. Losses on both sides were high that day, but the Kilrathi, with half of their offensive force either gone or disabled, where finally forced to retreat. The Crown Prince, who would later pay with his life for his failures, sited a serge of guerilla activity on McAuliffe VI as the official reason for retreating. Several Kilrathi ships were too damaged to jump and were finished off by TCN before noon of December 31. Those ships were crippled, not dead, and caused a great deal of damage.
The battle ended in a strategic Confederation victory, as well as the safe guarding of three hundred million Terrans living in the system and its industry. The entire system’s industry quickly went into war production and building the systems fortifications. By the New Year, it was clear to both sides that the war would not be over quickly, nor that their enemy was a pushover. This came as a greater shock to the Kilrathi, who have never had an attack thwarted in all their conquests. For the Terran Confederation, it was the start of decades of hardship and rationing as the entire industrial base of the Confederation was shifted in fighting what would be a total war against the Kilrathi. In this first year of the conflict, several million Terrans were already dead, the majority civilians. Billions more would join them before the war was over.

Wing Commander Reboot website

More from the land of insomnia: I just started work on a website for the Wing Commander reboot. It will be a work in progress for a while. Fortunately, I have all the entries in Word format, so all I have to do is copy and paste.

VOC History Report

I just finished slapping together the tidbits and created Report #4; The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of the VOC on the AHN Website. Nothing like good ol' insomnia to motivate you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More VOC competition

VOC on Formosa

The first Europeans to land on Formosa did so in 1624, on the sandy Tayouan Peninsula. It was here that the VOC erected its first trading post on the island. The VOC planned to use it to strengthen their trade in China and with Japan. The Japanese in particular; the hide of the Sitka Deer was sought after by samurai for use in constructing their armor. The VOC would pay the natives for the deer hides and trade them to Japanese warlords in return for silver. VOC operations on the island expanded with the establishment of Fort Zeelandia in 1635. Before then, the Company saw the island and its operations important enough to appoint a Governor-General in 1627; one Gerald de With, who carried out this office until 1636. VOC control of the island was not uncontested; during the 1630s, Spanish attempts to establish trading posts and missions on the island failed, usually by means of the VOC attacking the Spanish, slaughtering them and burning down their post.
Twenty years after first establishing themselves on the island, the VOC soon found the Sitka Deer population in decline, and were forced to pay more and more for the hides. With this trade venture turning unprofitable, the company introduced both sugar cane and mulberry trees to the island for cultivation. Over a hundred colonists from Liege arrived in Fort Zeelandia in 1644, and each had lots of land parceled out to them to establish plantations of sugar and orchards of mulberry. The mulberry alone was of little commercial value; however, the silk worm thrived upon it. Labors were brought in from China to work these plantations, and even their own rice paddies. Some specialist silk cultivators were lured from their ancestral lands by high paying Company contracts.
Not all the locals were so pleased by the Dutch presence on the island. Pirates plied the China Sea, and in 1641, made the mistake of preying upon a VOC ship. The VOC, over the next three years and at great expense, combed the Sparely Islands, and rooted out every single pirate nest they found. It has been estimated that over thirty thousand pirates were killed during this period. Even the natives of Formosa were not always as cooperative as the Company would like. Opposition to VOC attempts to unite the tribes of the island under their rule lead to a punitive expedition against Bakloan and Mattau, near Tayouan, which ended in both villages being razed to the ground.
Finding themselves effectively governing the island, the VOC levied a head tax on all the natives six years of age and older. This hit the natives hard, for they never had to pay taxes before the Dutch arrived. The VOC used this tax to finance the building of roads to improve the island’s non-existent infrastructure and in harbor improvements. The tax also paid for Company schools that sprang up across the island, where the natives learned to speak Dutch, the only language the VOC would do business with the natives.
The largest threat to VOC rule on the island came in 1660, when Ming Loyalist, Koxinga, lead an army on four hundred ships to invade the island. Thousands of Chinese soldiers besieged Fort Zeelandia. Defending the city was Governor-General Frederick Coyett, several hundred Company men along with a thousand natives. Such a threat was Koxinga, VOC forces were drawn from Java and even as far as Ceylon, to combat the Ming. From Ceylon, the King of Kandy sent four thousand soldiers to aid his allies in their fight. The Siege of Fort Zeelandia was lifted by the arrivals from Ceylon and Java. For two years, the VOC fought Koxinga for control of the island, finally cornering the General on Formosa’s western coast, where he was executed by the VOC, along with the survivors of his army.

VOC in Hainan

Hainan was the last of the “Big Four” in the VOC’s possession (Ceylon, Java, Formosa and Hainan) to be colonized. The VOC captured the island from the China in 1664, following the generalized chaos caused when the Manchu invaded and overthrew the Ming. Unlike the Ming, the Qing Dynasty had no overseas ambition. After half a century of operating in the Orient, the VOC had the leverage to cut off China from trade. In the brief war, lasting only a matter of months (in fact, it was fought and over with a treaty signed before word even reached the United Provinces) the VOC forced the Qing to cede the island of Hainan and grant the Dutch trade concessions, such as a monopoly in China’s tea trade. This was partly business and partly a slap in the face of the English and the humiliating peace they imposed upon the United Provinces following the First Anglo-Dutch War. Since the English restricted trade in England, the Company had no qualms in taking over the tea trade.
Hainan was used as the VOC’s primary trading center in the South China Sea, where commerce between the island, southern China, and Vietnam was moderately prosperous. Colonists from the Provinces arrived on the island just as the Second Anglo-Dutch War erupted. These colonists, like those on the other three of the Big Four, were interested in making their fortune on plantations. Sugar plantations were started on Hainan, but the company decided to limit the amount of sugar it produced to keep the prices from bottoming out. Instead, the Company started tea plantations on Hainan, overseen by Dutch colonists and worked by laborers brought over from the mainland of China. The higher pay of the VOC over that of feudal lords of the Qing caused a flood of immigration. This threatened to precipitate another war in China, for which the VOC was not equipped to fight while fighting the English. The Company negotiated another treaty with China establishing tight quotas for the flow of labor.
Following the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the VOC had a stranglehold on the tea market. After losing the war, the English were forced to buy much of their tea from their former enemies and now new allies, the Dutch. This arrangement continued until the English, and later British, began to operate their own tea plantations out of the Philippines and Malaysia. By the start of the 18th Century, the VOC had expanded its operations on Hainan beyond tea into mulberry plantations and even mining. Deposits of silver on Hainan were tapped by the Company and used to further finance the VOC’s expansion in the East Indies. Though there was ample room for colonization, most Netherlanders preferred Ceylon, followed by Java, then Formosa, over this fourth island.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It has absolutely nothing to do with my works, but this a video of my room mates... it's a couple of years old, and show Ginger as a puppy.

U.B.S.R, map of the First Balkan Union

A map that I took a day to work on. Still needs work.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Roadwalker

The roadwalker is one of the largest land predators on the world of Towne. One makes a brief appearance in Stardust: Towne.
Female Roadwalker, made using Spore. Not a few things missing....
Description: The most dreaded and feared predator on Towne it the road walker. They look like the cross between a Tyrannosaurus and a Road Runner. They stand four meters high at the hips, and stretch fourteen meters in length.
Head: All have a crest of feathers upon the backs of their heads. Their skulls are overbuilt and intended to crush bone. The top of the skull is also reinforced, allowing the road walker to butt heads with each other, or to ram another animal.
Body: The males have a peacock-like tail covered with blue and ultraviolet feather.
Limbs: Road walker wings have shrunk to the point of being vestigial limbs, and their legs are built for running, not kicking. Half their body’s muscles go into locomotion.
Color: Like with most savanna species, they are covered in orange feathers, to aid in hunting and protection during roosting. Males tend to have brighter, more attention-getting colors to attract mates.
Internal Structure: Living on the savanna could mean a few days between meals. As such, the road walker has a thin layer of fat between skin and muscle that serves as an energy reserve. It also gives them a little buoyancy, allowing them to swim– that is when they actually come across large enough bodies of water that requires swimming to cross.
Diet: Road walkers are the ultimate predators and will prey upon virtually anything they can catch, though they tend to avoid the newly arrived elephants, which are shorter, yet larger than they. Road walkers run up to forty kilometers and hour, and tackle their prey depending upon its size. For small prey, they simply catch it in their toothed beaks. For larger prey, they will attempt to knock it down by hitting it with their heads.
Lifecycle: They hatch out of football sized eggs as quail-size hatchlings. At hatching, they are helpless despite their long incubation. Their body is developed, yet a couple of days is required for them to become sure footed enough to leave the nest. Upon leaving, they following the parents as they hunt, and eat from kill as soon as they can walk. When not waiting for their parents to bring down large prey, the hatchlings tackle insects and small reptiles found across the plains. They are able to fend for themselves after a few months, when they are promptly scattered by their parents. After that, the road walkers begin their solitary life that lasts for over two decades.
Reproduction: A male will stake out a good piece of land for a nest, and fight other males to keep that nest, until a female comes along. When a female is in sight, the males flare their flashy tails to get attention. Upon doing so, the female will judge the male’s health and the location of the nest, then select a mate. Females will lay up to nine eggs, where up to half may not even hatch. Both parents will sit upon the nest, guarding it from scavengers and other road walkers who might want to take it for their own.
Sociability: The species is almost always solitaire, except during mating season, where they are seen in pairs, and both parents help rear the young. While the eggs are incubating, hundreds of nesting pairs can gather in a sheltered area.
Habitat: They live on the open plains, with their range being restricted and cut up into sectors by human activity.
Communication: Road walkers do not roar, but have an eagle-like screech that can be heard for ten kilometers in any direction.
Enemies: Road walkers and dragons give each other a wide berth. Humans have taken to build walls around settlements located near where road walkers roam.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Competition in the spice trade.

Competition in Java

The first permanent Dutch trading post was established in the East Indies before the Forty Years War even drew to a close. The post was established by the VOC at Banten on the western coast of Java. The VOC wasted little time in trading for spices and hunting down competition. In 1605, the VOC captured the Portuguese fort in the Moluccas. By 1607, the VOC had driven the Portugese from the island of Sumatra and virtually locked them out of the East Indies. With Brazil and its other possessions under attack, the Portuguese were hopelessly divided, and easily conquered. With the end of the Forty Years War, the Portuguese Empire was in Dutch hands, removing them as competition for keeps. In 1611, the VOC established another trading post, this time in Jayakarta. The post was allowed after the VOC subverted the local prince to their way of thinking.
To enable more effective control of its East Asian affairs, the VOC created the office of Governor-General. Along with the Governor-Generalship came the Council of the Indies, an advisory body that also served to prevent the Governor-General from getting ideas of personal empire in his head, and to remind him that his true loyalty is to the company. To gain its monopoly and keep it, the VOC did more than simply subvert local leaders. The VOC fought its own share of skirmishes with England’s East India Company. When the English attempted to subvert the chiefs and princes of Ambon into their camp, the agents, some who were VOC employees, were discovered. The VOC employees were executed on charges of treason. The event became known by the English as the Amboyan Massacre.
In 1619, the VOC appointed a ruthless and single-minded son of a Hoorn investor to the office of Governor-General. Jan Pieterszoon Coen was almost single handedly responsible for creating the Dutch spice monopoly. In the same year as he was appointed, the English and their native allies had the Dutch post at Jayakarta under siege. On May 30, Coen arrived with 19 ships, saved the post and stormed the city. Atop of the ruins, the VOC constructed the city of Batavia, named after the ancient tribe that once roamed the Netherlands. Batavia quickly becomes a center of the spice trade and the VOC’s capital in the East Indies.
In response to English meddlings on Banda, Coen ordered an invasion of the island in order to maintain the VOC’s monopoly on Clove. Coen responded so heavy-handedly, that the natives ended up driven from the island. The natives were either deported, starved out or just plained killed to make way for Dutch plantation owners, and their slaves. Some of those slaves were hapless natives of Banda that survived Coen’s furry. The justification of the invasion was that Coen claimed the English were attempting to subvert the island. So tight was competition between England’s and the Netherlands’ companies, that many of the natives were stepped on during the fight.
Coen was more than a butcher. He was also an able administrator. One of his plans for the East Indies was to bring in Netherlanders to colonize the islands. This plan was shot down by the VOC shareholders as cost prohibited. A more successful plan was a system of intra-Asian trade Coen established. Though Europe had great demands for spices, the natives had little demand for European goods. Aside from textiles, which the United Provinces had plenty, the natives would only accept gold or silver in trade. Japan was a known source of silver, but they had even less interest in European goods. However, they had a demand for Chinese goods. China, in turn, had a demand for sandalwood, which the VOC had relatively easy access. The intra-Asian system aided the VOC in gaining control over the spice trade on Java, and in 1629, Coen retired a modestly wealthy man.

Competition in Ceylon

The first of the VOC ships to arrive on the island of Ceylon arrived in 1607 at the trailing days of the Forty Years War. Upon arrival, the Kandyan Kings of Ceylon found themselves under the heels of the Portuguese. Portugal attempted to impose its own culture upon the native. Portuguese advisors were in the royal court; Kandyan nobles had a Portuguese education and the missionaries were everywhere. When the VOC ships full of mercenaries and adventures arrived in Kandy, and a proposal of alliance against the Portuguese was offered to King Rajasinghe, the King jumped at the offer. Portugal’s navy was much diminished from the Forty Years War, and its colonial empire was teetering on oblivion. By 1609, the Portuguese were out, and the VOC had in their hands a treaty with the Kandyan King, paving the way for trade and eventual colonization. The VOC annexed former Portuguese lands on the west coast of Ceylon, including the port of Colombo, in the name of the United Provinces.
The treaty between the VOC and Kandy stated that in return for Dutch protection against other foreigners, Kandy would grant the VOC a trade monopoly on the island’s spices. As long as the spice flowed, the Dutch were utterly indifferent to the native’s customs and religion. Attempts by Calvinist missions from the United Provinces to infiltrate the island was defeated by the VOC. The Company was not about to let any religious sect from the motherland endanger their trading rights. When British ships attempted to trade with the Kandyans, the VOC captured the ships and imprisoned the crews. The VOC further extended its hold on Ceylon and the cinnamon trade by waging war against the Kingdom of Jaffna between 1632 and 1634. The war was largely fought by Kandyan soldiers, and both the Company and Kandy besieged the city of Jaffna for thirteen months. The war ended with the VOC annexing the former Kingdom of Jaffna.
The VOC did open the island to limited colonization by Netherlanders. Many colonists took up lands in Jaffna, and were under contract with the VOC to grow spices in high demand back in Europe. Dutch plantations spread across the Company lands in the decades of the 1630s and 1640s. By 1645, some ten thousand Netherlanders had settled the island. Along side the Dutch settlers, the VOC also contracted with native land owners in Kandy to supply additional spices. Unlike many of the other Company territories across the East Indies, Ceylon began as a true partnership between Europe and India. By 1640, the VOC had extended its influence over Kandy to the point that it was levying its own taxes and coining its own money.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Symbol of Abyssinia

Abyssinian Wolf
Critically Endangered

The Abyssinian Wolf is the rarest Canine in the world. They range has been greatly reduced to only a few Royal Parks and Preserves in the Ethiopian Highlands. At most, 500 remain in the wild. Before the Dutch conquest of Ethiopian, the Abyssinian Wolf had a precarious relationship with the Ethiopians. Some tribes in the north of Abyssinia would use the wolf’s liver as a traditional medicine. Aside from that, there was little persecution since they prey mostly on the various species of rodents and, compared to hyena and jackals, they pretty much left livestock alone. When Dutch colonists flocked in during the 1890s, they brought their European prejudice of wolves. In the early 20th Century, bounties were placed on the heads of the wolves, whom were feared to destroy the livestock of the newcomers. The species was nearly wiped out by 1939, with an estimated 37 left alive. The wolves that lived in excess of 3,000 meters above sea level were protected due to lack of human inhabitation. By the 1970s, naturalists finally realized the nature of the Abyssinian Wolf and its importance in the ecosystem. Since then, they have been protected, and viewed as a national symbol by some Abyssinians. The wolf has become a cultural icon, appearing on stamps, Abyssinian-printed Dutch Guilders (10 guilder note) and even appeared in a 1990s cartoon serial. There are no captive breeding programs, nor any Abyssinian Wolves in zoos. They are kept on their preservations. This may change in years to come, as a rabies outbreak in one of their preserves resulted in a 67% fatality rate of the local population.

State of California

Statehood: September 9, 1850
Population: 37,463,102
Area: 567,366 km2
Capital: Vallejo
Largest City: San Francisco
Crops: Grapes, Citrus Fruit
Resources: Minerals, Lumber, Fish
Industry: Aerospace, Entertainment, Banking

California entered the Union without territorial status. During the Mexican War, Federal agents, such as John Fremont, convinced the Californios that they would get a better deal being one of the United States. Thus, they rose up against the central government in Mexico. Only shortly after gaining control of California by treaty, a gold strike in the Sierras brought in a flood of immigrants from around the world. Further gold strikes brought in more prospectors. Many returned home after they failed to strike it rich, but hundreds of thousands stayed and settled the Central Valley.
The influx of immigration by sea, as well as trade up and down the Sacramento River, lead for San Francisco, and its superb natural harbor to become the largest port on the West Coast. Other ports, such as Los Angeles and San Diego would grow in importance as the 20th Century progressed, with the latter being home to the Pacific Fleet prior the Great War. Los Angeles brought in hundreds of thousand of workers during World War II, and most of those stayed after the war was complete, turning the port into a sprawling urban complex. With the annexation of San Jose in 1947, and Oakland a couple of decades later, San Francisco reclaimed its spot as the largest city in the state, reducing parts of Los Angeles to ghost town status.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Currencies of the World

Dutch Guilder: The currency used by the entire Dutch Commonwealth. 1 Gldr = 1.6 US $
Pound: Used by Britain, Canada and Australia.. 1 Pd = 0.96 US $
Mark: Used by the German Empire, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland. 1 Mk = 0.78 US $
Franc: Used by France, and an assortment of African countries. 1 Fr = 0.60 US $
Krona: Used by Sweden. 1 Kr = 0.83 US $
Lira: Used by the Italian Federation. 1 Lr = 0.32 US $
Dinar: Used by the Arab Republic, UAE, Kurdistan, Kingdom of Arabia and Egypt. Exchange rate varies by country.
Yuan: Used by China, Kamchatka, Korea and Indochina. 1 Yu = 0.01 US $
Yen: Used by Japan. 1 Ye = 0.01 US $

The Dutch Guilder is the common currency of international trade, and the strongest in the world. All currencies use the United States Dollar as a comparison. Obvious $1.00 US = $1.00 US.

Founding of the VOC


In 1600, the English government established the English East India Company as a monopoly over English trade in the Far East. This one company was seen as a major threat to Dutch trade. Despite the fact that both countries were allied against Spain and Portugal in the ongoing Forty Years War did not jump from the political realm into the business one. While the English would have a united front in the spice trade, the Dutch were still forming their own corporations and funding numerous trade missions to the Spice Islands.
In 1603, the Staaten-General sponsored the creation of a single company, a United East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie). The company charter was created and signed by a coalition of investors and politicians in Amsterdam. In order to counter the Portuguese stranglehold on trade, and rival Companies, the VOC Charter granted the company the right to raise armies, build forts and conclude treaties with the Princes of India and the Indies in the name of the Staaten-General. The Dutch government went further and granted the VOC a twenty-one year monopoly on all trade with East Asia. The Charter was granted on March 20, 1602.
The VOC was ran by a council of seventeen gentlemen from offices in the city of Amsterdam, eight of which were elected by the Provinces. These gentlemen owned the largest share of the company. Despite the fact that any Netherlander could own shares in the VOC, a vast majority were owned by just a handful of investors. In theory, this allowed the whole public to take part in the VOC, to profit from its business ventures. In reality, the power of the company rested in the hand the Dutch trade cartel and the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Delft, Hoorn and Middleburg. The Counts of Holland and Zeeland both own their shares of the company, as would the Staaten-General in 1612.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wing Commander reboot, part zero

Prelude to War
(2629 to 2634)

First Contact
First contact with the Kilrathi did not come to a total shock of Confederation HQ, but it did to the crew of the TCS Iason. The Iason was on a planetary survey mission beyond the frontier of the Terran Confederation, that is the official border. Numerous human colonies have been established beyond the frontier, which had not moved to include any new worlds into the Confederation in over three centuries. Confed knew much of what happened beyond its legal boundaries. Ships were sent regularly into the frontier to catalog human colonies and chart new worlds as new jump points were being discovered.
On April 15, 2629 A.L., the Iason encountered an unidentified ship in the Warhammer System, a previously unexplored system with no known human inhabitation. Captain Jedora Andropolis attempted to establish contact with the ship, at first believing it to be from a frontier colony. However, the asymmetrical design and sharp angles of the ship quickly forced her to change her mind. No human would design a ship to look like it came out of a nightmare. The alien ship was larger than the Iason and Andropolis ordered her ship to back away from it. What exactly happened next may never be known, for only the initial contact information was transmitted back to Confed. Shortly after encountering the alien ship, the Iason was destroyed with all hands. The Iason Incident is the first documented contact with the Kilrathi, but by all means not the first absolutely. Human ships have traversed the frontier of the Vega Sector and beyond for decades, and no doubt some have stumbled on to the Kilrathi, as the Kilrathi stumbled upon frontier settlements. When the first human met the first Kilrathi will never be known, but interaction with aliens on the frontier was common enough for decades before.

The Varni
Around the same time as the Iason Incident, a reptilian alien species known as the Varni began to flood across the Confederation border in the millions. At first, Confed believed this was an invasion and sent the 5th and 7th Fleets out into the coreward systems of the Vega Sector. However, few ships were armed and all were damaged to a degree. The aliens were in poor health, and the fleets were quarantined. Several ships were destroyed attempting to break out of quarantine. The Varni were known by Confed for more than fifty years. They inhabited six systems beyond the Vega Sector and had only recently developed their own jump drives, circa 2610.
It was soon discovered these Varni were refugees, fleeing an unstoppable invasion of their territory by a species that called themselves the Kilrathi. By data retrieved from the Varni ships, it was determined the Kilrathi were also responsible for the destruction of the Iason. The conquest of the Varni, and their near extinction at the hands of the Kilrathi took less than three months. Confed HQ was extremely interested in everything the Varni knew about these new aliens. It was soon discovered the Kilrathi were a violent people, with atrocities that make human history almost pale in consideration. Surviving Varni leaders swore by their ancestors that the Kilrathi made no attempts to contact or negotiate, nor did they state any demands. They simply attacked the Varni after a short period of non-contact.
Confed HQ realized that the same period of non-contact was upon them now, and there was deep concern that the Kilrathi might start targeting human colonies in the frontier. One Rear Admiral Wayne Banbridge was tasked with learning as much about the Kilrathi before they did attack. Banbridge took this assignment, believing it to be his last before retirement.

Fawcett’s World
One of the most distance frontier worlds, settled over a century before by the Fawcett Party, fell to the Kilrathi even before the Iason Incident. For over a year before, the Kilrathi were taking apart the colony and interrogating all its inhabitants, attempting to learn all they could about these hairless apes they have encountered. At first, the Kilrathi Emperor believed the apes were as small as the Varni. After capturing star charts and jump points from Fawcett’s World, the Kilrathi learned that the Confederation was large, maybe even larger than their own empire.
Of the Council of Eight, the Ki’Ra Pride was given the planet and the responsibility of learning more about the Confederation before the Kilrathi would launch a decisive strike against them. Of the Council of Eight, the King of the Ki’Ra Pride and his sons were considered untrustworthy by many of the Eight. Their tendency to think and plot instead of act brought them scorn. This trait was also the reason the Emperor assigned the task to them. It was the final act of the Kilrathi Emperor, who died in 2630, and was replaced by the Final Emperor, his son. The Emperor would continue to value the advice of the Ki’Ra throughout the war.
Fawcett’s World fell without a fight. The twelve thousand humans living there were no match for the landing of a Kilrathi Army Battalion. For good measure, the invaders killed off more than a thousand of the colonists, eating some of their victims. The Ki’Ra Pride developed cordial relations with the colonial leaders, despite the fierceness of the Kilrathi soldiers. It was through them, that the Ki’Ra Pride learned not to underestimate this new enemy. Much was learned about human history, with its violence second only to the Kilrathi. The Ki’Ra King quickly decided that humans were not warlike because they were weak, but because they were exceedingly proficient at it. When he advised the Emperor to delay attacking the Confederation, the Emperor removed Fawcett’s World from his control and the Kilrah Pride launched its own investigation of the Terran Confederation.

Public Reaction
Through 2629 and 2630, the human public knew little about the Kilrathi. Only those living on the border in the Vega Sector knew anything, and most was from second-hand accounts of Varni refugees. Public reaction to allowing aliens to settle within the Confederation was very negative, with some in the Congress considering bills that would eject the Varni. Only President Mellen’s charisma convinced Senators from the Vega Sector to withdraw the bill. The Varni were an excellent source of intelligence concerning the Kilrathi, and when if they could rebuild their population, would make willing allies.
Kilrathi raids beyond the Vega Sector border continued throughout 2631, finally drawing in public notice. Isolationists said that it was the colonists own fault for going out into the frontier and unknown. More jingoistic elements of Terran society wanted to take the war to the Kilrathi. Since 1337, when the first jump-capable ship was launched from Luna, humanity had defeated every alien species it ever encountered. Of them, only the Wu were jump capable, and were not relegated to a reservation consisting of their home world and its system. Humanity was undefeated, and could lick the cats with little effort.
The general attitude was one of live and let live. The people demanded a sort of non-aggression pact with the Kilrathi, especially after learning that their empire was the largest alien entity humanity had ever encountered. Space was large, and there was plenty of room for Terran and Kilrathi alike. The Congress of the Confederation attempted to do just that, but messages sent into Kilrathi space were not returned, and ships that entered did not either. Banbridge’s initial report on the Kilrathi, gathered mostly from the Varni, poured water onto the flames of hope. The Varni described a ceremony where the Kilrathi sacrificed countless Varni after conquering their homeworld. More attested to Kilrathi expansion being tied into their religion. From the lessons of human history, that would make negotiations nearly impossible.
Nonetheless, on February 1, 2632, the Congress passed a resolution calling for enforced nonaggression towards the Kilrathi. As long as they do not cross the Confederation border, then the Kilrathi would be officially ignored. Unofficially, Confed HQ would send several fleets into the Vega Sector and continue recon missions across the frontier. Alexandria Station in orbit of McAuliffe VI, a world of seventy million humans. The station would serve as command and control for the entire sector, as well as primary fleet base. The McAuliffe System was only a jump point away from the official border, and there was some concern such a move by the TCN (Terran Confederation Navy) might provoke the Kilrathi. As such, TCN was ordered to pull away some of its forces from so close to the border.

Storm before the Flood
During 2633, the Kilrathi expanded their raids and attacks along the frontier into the Epsilon Sector and even towards the Landreich worlds. The Landreich was a stretch of frontier anti-coreward from the Enigma Sector, populated by outlaws, criminals as well as part of the Boer Diaspora. The Landreich operated as an independent state, outside of Confed with not interest in joining. Normally, a threat to the Landreich would garner no attention from Confed HQ, however, the Kilrathi were moving in scope to be able to attack not only the Vega Sector, but the Epsilon and Enigma as well. Intel still believed the Kilrathi would try for a direct strike at the heart of Confed first.
The TCN entered its first skirmish with the Kilrathi on December 29, 2633, in the Mylon System, a system just on the other side of Confed’s borders. Some three million colonist live in the system, and the TCS Belgrade, a Acropolis Class Cruiser was already in system when a Kilrathi cruiser jumped in. It was not the first time the Kilrathi had entered the system, and they had destroyed several local ships. For an hour on the 29th, the Belgrade and the Kilrathi Fralthi exchanged fire. Neither ship was heavily damaged, and the Kilrathi withdrew from the system with still more than a little fight in them. It is now believed the ship’s mission was to gauge the strength of the Confed cruiser. The captain of the Belgrade was relieved of command for his actions asa it clearly violated the nonaggression stance.
The Kilrathi continued to grow bolder in their attacks, starting as a drizzle, transforming into a torrent, with an eventual flood to follow. The Kilrathi continued to test Confed’s borders, but never crossed into Confederation territory. That is until June 6, 2634, when the Kilrathi destroyed the transport Anna Magdalena in the Deino System. The ship was transporting refugees from the frontier, mostly orphans, to their new home when a pair of Kilrathi Dralthis attacked and destroyed it before returning to their ship. The attack on an unarmed ship within the Confederation’s borders sparked outrage and forced the Congress to declare war against the Kilrathi Empire on June 12, 2634, officially starting the thirty-five year long Kilrathi War.

Beginnings of the VOC

The Spice Trade

Spices such as cinnamon, ginger and especially pepper, where known to the peoples of the Far East for millennia and used as staples in their diet. In Europe, however, spices were a luxury item and much sought after. Since the time of Rome, a trade in spices existed. However, with the fall of Rome and the coming of the Dark Ages, the trade slowed to a trickle in the Far West. In the coming centuries, Italian city-states, such as Venice, dominated the trade in Europe, going through the Byzantines, the Arabs and later the Ottomans, acting as their middle men. However, the Ottomans controlled contact with India and the Far East, and imposed heavy taxes on European traders.
During the middle of the 15th Century, an alternative route to the Indies was sought after. The Portuguese made several attempts to circumnavigate Africa, succeeding in 1488. In 1497, Portuguese traders sailed as far as India, loaded their hulls with spices, and returned to Europe. The Castillian and Argonese monarchs were convinced that by sailing west, an expedition could make it to India. They allocated three ships for Columbus to use, figuring that if he was truly mad, then they would only be out three ships. If he were correct– He did reach land, however it was not the spice-rich lands he desired. This voyage opened the New World to the Old.
In 1509, at the Battle of Diu, the Portuguese defeated an Ottoman-Venetian force, securing their own place in India. Over the next thirty years, the Ottoman navy was forced from India, leaving Portugal in control of the spice trade. Further Portuguese control over Ceylon and the East Indies gave them unsurmountable control of the trade in spices. Some voyages brought back wealth rivaling the annual revenue of some European states. This wealth, and attempts to block trade with the Indies is what turned the United Provinces’ struggle for independence into a conquest of the Portuguese colonial empire. Portugal’s attempts to cut out Dutch traders from the wealth of spices is believed to have lead to Portugal’s downfall and eventual absorption by Spain.

Early Dutch Voyages

The first exclusively Dutch venture into the Far East in search of spices started in 1595, when a group of Dutch merchants attempted to bypass Portuguese control of the spice lanes. In 1596, a four-ship flotilla, commanded by Cornelius de Houtman made contact with the spice islands in present day Indonesia. At Java, the fleet battled both hostile natives, and Portuguese sailors, losing half the crew in their time around Java. However, they returned to the Netherlands with sufficient loads of pepper to declare the voyage profitable.
By 1598, several more of these small trading fleets reached the East Indies, and most returned with significant profit. In March of 1599, a twenty-two ship fleet commanded by Jacob van Neck set sail for the spice islands. Though eight ships were lost in the course of two years, the remaining ships returned to Europe with a profit margin of over four hundred percent. Furthermore, the traders allied themselves with anti-Portuguese elements, and cleared the island of Hitu for exclusive trading rights with the United Provinces.
In these years, a company was formed for the duration of a single expedition. Given the amount of capital invested, and the dangers in making the voyage, investors were keen to receive their own share of the profits. After the voyage ended, the spices, other cargo, and ships themselves were liquidated and the cash split between the investors. These early investments were hit or miss. The ships could return with huge profits, or they could not return at all, falling prey to the weather, pirates, disease or enemies of the Dutch state.

Dutch Monarchs.

1. Maurice (1611-25)
2. Frederick (1625-47)
3. William II (1647-50)
4. William III (1650-1702)
5. Johann (1702-11)
6. William IV (1711-51)
7. William V (1751-1806)
8. Maurice II (1806-40)
9. William VI (1840-49)
10. Frederick II (1849-80)
11. Frederick III (1880-91)
12. William VII (1891-1936)
13. Juliana (1936-80)
14. Beatrix (1980- )

Stardust: Apocalypse

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hereditary Titles of the Dutch Commonwealth

The United Provinces: The United Provinces have several titles, including that of King, Grand Duke, Duke, Count and Lord. These titles date back before the unification of the Provinces. In fact, these titles predate the title of King of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, which was created only about four hundred years ago. The most recent title would be that of Grand Prince of Norway, which is given to the heir-designate of the Kingdom. Peerage the U.P. are more than just a title. Each of the four dukes, seven counts, one regent, and three dozen lords all hold seats in the Senaat as well as are responsible for the governing of their duckies, counties, etc.

The Brazilian Empire: Along with the title of Emperor, Brazil also has the Duke of Mariarbo, Counts of Natal and Recife, along with forty marquis, which are left over from colonial marches. Just as with the U.P. these peers hold seats in the Brazilian Senaat, however they do not rule any province.

The Kingdom of Ceylon and Indian Empire: The newest titles are those of former colonial marches as well as the Count of Colombo; these are held by Ceylonese and Indians of direct European descent. On Ceylon, there is still the title of the King of Kandy, which is little more than a title. On the subcontinental mainland, dozens of Princely States exist within the Indian Empire, each ruled by a hereditary Prince who is subordinate to the Empress. These Princes hold a great deal of power within their own states, as well as their own seats in India’s very large Staaten-General.

Electorial College

The electorial college of the United States, and votes allocated as ot the 2010 census. I ran the numbers a couple of times, and it was 688 both times.

Congressional Appropriation

In 1880, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, eliminating the previous 30,000 requirement for appropriations for a seat in the House of Representatives. With a growing population, it soon became clear that the House may become packed with thousands of Representatives. The amendment permitted Congress to set a fixed number of seats, which would be redistricted following the census. The number of seats was fixed at 450 seats in 1887, with an addition seat per new state until the next census. This number only increased with the Restoration of the Union in the late 1940s and early ‘50s, with an additional 132 seats from the former Confederacy. The House now sits at 582 seats, and the Senate at 106. This brings the Electoral College count up to 688, with a Presidential candidate requiring 345 to be elected.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A mirror of our own universe.

An Alternate History of Britain

An Alternate History of Britain is a three volume saga written by Simon Schama, and released in the late 1990s. The three books were wrapped in controversy in parts of the world, yet hailed by anti-imperialist as well. It was a hugely success in Britain and the British Commonwealth. The alternate history is based on the premise of what if the United Kingdom, rather than the United Provinces, ruled the world’s oceans. The story begins with the earliest evidence of settlements in the British Isles and works its way to the modern days. The main point of divergence in this alternate history is not British, but rather Dutch; in the form of the Provinces being divided by religion. This lead to an overall weaker Dutch navy which lead to an inevitable rise of British naval forces. The very idea of the United Provinces being divided into north and south along Catholic and Protestant lines is laughable indeed, and brought much scorn from critics in the Dutch Commonwealth. Worst criticism came from the Slavic citizens of Sweden, who balked at the idea of living in a Communist state ruled by a Georgian despot during World War II. The Swedes were not fans of the books for they reduced their mighty kingdom into a Nordic do-nothing neutrality. Jewish communities were disturbed by the book, for it made them targets of the Nazi butchers instead of Balkan Slavs. The biggest critics of the book were the Germans themselves. So bad was it, that the book is actually banned in the German Empire. They were offended not only by the deposition of the Kaiser, but the fact that Schama turned the Germans into a weak and gutless people by the start of the 21st Century.

A Dutch National Hero

Short Bio- Ernst van Bohr
Little is known about the early years of one of the United Provinces’ most famous and celebrated admiral. He was born in the year 1561, though which month is not clear, and was born in Utrecht. The earliest records of van Bohr came when he was recorded as a sailor on board a Dutch ship at the age of 16. Most of his life was spent on the seas, either as a privateer or a sailor within the Dutch navy.
In 1588, he commanded one of the Dutch ships during the engagement with the Spanish Armada. During the battle, Bohr earned the reputation as a reckless leader, willing to throw himself into the line of fire to obtain victory. Unlike many Dutch, Bohr had little interest in business. He lacked the patience to gradually earn wealth, and preferred the gloriesof conquest over the subtleties of trade.
By 1602, Bohr rose to the rank of Admiral, commanding 18 ships, led a raid on Aviliz, on
the Spanish mainland. For twelve days, his sailors and marines occupied the Spanish port. Bohr resupplied his fleet courtesy of the Spanish, and pillaged anything of worth not nailed down. Bohr’s biggest acclaim to fame was as Conqueror of Brazil. In 1604, he landed eighteen hundred men in the Brazilian port of Salvador. No resistance to speak of was offered, and the only combat within the town came from a lone colonist mistaking patrolling Dutch for game. After assembling his force in Salvador, Bohr threw off his admiral’s hat and took up the mantle of general. He lead his small army towards Recife, to battle the Portuguese garrison stationed there.
The Battle of Recife, future capital of Brazil, occurred on May 8, 1604. Bohr now lead only
one thousand men. Five hundred were left to hold Salvador, while nearly three hundred already succumbed to tropical disease. Portugal mustered only a few hundred colonial militia to combat a
vastly larger invasion fort. Bohr’s five cannon helped decide the outcome before the battle even began. Militia charged into a volley of fire, falling before they could come into range of sword.
Bohr wasted no time in fortifying his new conquests. Months passed before word of the fall of Recife reached the Iberian Peninsula. A small armada of thirty-one ships and three thousand men were assembled in Seville, with the explicit goal of eliminating Ernst van Bohr. In early 1605, the Spanish and Portuguese set sail for Brazil, meeting the Dutch fleet off the coast of Natal. Unlike the much larger battle with the Spanish Armada, the Battle of Natal ended far more decisively. Twenty-seven Dutch ships encountered thirty-one ships early in the morning of March 15, 1605. After a two day battle, the Dutch all but destroyed the combined fleet. Bohr proved once again a master admiral, while the Spanish and Portuguese failed to achieve any cohesion. Using one of the oldest strategies in the book, Bohr managed to divide the enemy fleet, and destroy it a few ships at a time. In the end, the only reason any Spanish ships escaped was due to exhaustion of ammunition and powder on the Dutch side.
Following the Conquest of Brazil and Netherlander independence, the Staaten-General bestowed on van Bohr the title of Count of Natal, with estates to go with it. After decades in war, van Bohr finally retired from the navy to his plantation and duties as count. He took control of his county in 1612. It was as the Count of Natal that van Bohr earned a dark blight on his reputation. He requisitioned land from the dispossessed Portuguese colonists, and other property; chiefly slaves. His ownership of nearly a thousand slaves to work his sugar plantation has brought him under much criticism as of late. He lived twelve more years as count, before dying in 1623. His title and lands were inherited by his eldest son, Maarten.