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Queen Of Chaos

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Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Likes
24,743
#1
QUEEN OF CHAOS.

Part 1 - Episode 1

A Greek, a Russian, a Pole, an English and a French are stuck on an Island.

It could have been the first line of a joke. But for the five of us, it was no joke. Five women, one from Greece, one from Russia, one from Poland, one from England and one from France, got stuck on an island. An island that is called Chaos. An island where one easily comes in, but getting out is more a problem. Especially for those who better avoid the rest of Europe, for some reasons of personal security, like myself, for instance. We got all five on Chaos by circumstances. One by one we have once arrived here, free, relieved, but penniless, and facing an uncertain future. But we have found and supported each other, and we have all five tried to work together to make the best of it. We, the Queens of Chaos.

To make it all clear, I will have to start with a probably boring course in geography and history. Chaos is part of the Aegean Archipelago, located in the Thesean Sea. Chaos is the largest island of the Archipelago, and also the most populated one. Today it is a popular tourist destination and it has some reputation as a tax haven. But because of its location, it has since centuries a particular strategic importance.

Chaos is located some fifteen miles from the mainland of the Empire of the Sultan. Seen from Chaos, that mainland is mountainous, with many inlets. In one of these inlets, hidden by a mountainous cape, lays the city of Brol, with its harbour. Today, Brol is mainly a merchant port, but for centuries, it was an important base for the Sultan’s navy, and for privateers and pirates, for slave traders, in short, for all those who participated in the vicious machinery of looting, pillage, plundering and ransacking, the four pillars of the Sultan’s economy.

Chaos is therefore an important observation point for monitoring traffic of the merchant and naval ships near the Sultan’s Empire. What makes the island so particularly interesting, is that the shipping lanes are very restricted near Chaos. It is risky to sail too close to the mainland, because of dangerous rocks and shoals, which are mapped only at the pace of successive shipwrecks. Ships have to pass halfway the mainland and Chaos. The cannel between the Ottoman Coast and Chaos is the busiest shipping route from southern Europe to the Middle East and Egypt. It has to do with a phenomenon called the Cross of Gyros, named after a small island east of Chaos. It has once been explained to me how that works. The Mediterranean is an enclosed basin, that is supplied by water through the Straits of Gibraltar, in order to compensate the evaporation. This creates an eastward directed current, that gets a boost in the western Thesean Sea, where the waters flow in from the Black Sea (which also compensate for evaporation in the Mediterranean). The current then turns clockwise along the coasts of the Middle East and Egypt, to finally turn northward, where it collides with itself, as a snake that bites its own tail. That creates a huge clash. There is a difference in water level between the two sections of the current. Salt water sinks under fresher water. But the salt water is warmer and wants to surface again! I have been on Gyros once, to watch it, from an apparently safe cliff, but even from there it was scary to see the waters violently clash! One can witness waves of thirty feet high suddenly rising up and then break on the coast, giving sprays up to hundred and fifty feet over the cliff I was standing on. I really got showered, up there! In open sea, the clash of the currents may create swirls that are deep enough to make ships capsize. Rogue waves of hundred feet high may unexpectedly show up. The name ‘Cross of Gyros’ refers both to the phenomenon of the colliding currents itself, as to the thousands of watery graves that are concealed in the abyss beneath the boiling surface.

Both east-west as north-south traffic better follow the current along the Ottoman coast. Curiously, there is one safe direct passage in the north-south axis, the seven miles wide channel between Chaos and the tiny island of Gyros, which acts as a huge breaker against the treacherous seas, where the two marine currents violently clash. So, who controls Chaos, controls maritime traffic in its wide realm.

The island of Chaos is about fifty miles long and up to twenty miles wide. It is mountainous and has not enough arable land to feed itself. The water supply is by moments also a problem, the same for energy, although recently, wind and solar power provide solutions for that. But in the past, these shortages were a weakness in times of war or conflict.

The capital of the island of Chaos also bears the name Chaos. Chaos City exists since Ancient times. It is difficult to neglect its military past. Its lay-out exhibits a concentric structure of three defense walls (if you want to follow my explanation, you better get yourself a tourist map of the city, and keep it with you, as you could need it later). At its heart is the Palace of the Governor, itself a complex of three units: a central donjon, a reinforced ring-shaped complex of service buildings, today occupied by office space and the guard garrison, and a ring wall wich acts as the innermost ring wall of the city, basically intended only to protect the palace. The next wall encloses the Diplomats Quarter, populated by officials and the mighty people of the city. Outside that wall live the traders, the artisans and the lower ranked officials. Traditionally, since the reconquering on the Ottomans in 1899, only Christians live within the city walls. For completeness I have to mention that the structure of Chaos City is not circular, but egg-shaped and not concentric but rather eccentric, with the Governor’s Palace located on a rock in the ‘point of the egg’, close to the port. At that point, all three rings of city walls converge to one complex of successive defense lines. Furthermore, the walls are also social boundaries. The closer to the Governor’s Palace, the richer the inhabitants. The poorest city population lives the closest to the rounded end of the ‘egg’, in the Saint-Georges Gate quarter.

After the year 1900, Chaos City has expanded outside its city walls. Outside the Saint Georges Gate lays a quarter with monotonous five story concrete apartment housings, in even so monotonous streets. They are inhabited by the poorest population, those who cannot afford housings inside the walls, and by the Muslim population. From there, moving counterclockwise towards the port and the Governor’s Palace, the housings outside the city walls evolve to mansions and more spaced detached houses, the Saint Paul’s Quarter. This quarter is accessible from the Diplomats quarter by the Saint-Paul’s Gate (only for cyclists and pedestrians). The other gates in the outer walls are, clockwise the Saint-John’s Gate, like the Saint Paul’s Gate a double gate through the outer and middle walls (cyclists and pedestrians), and leading from the Governor’s palace to the port, the Saint Michael’s Gate, also a double gate, giving entrance to the Diplomats quarter for official vehicles, the Saint Peter’s Gate, the main entrance for all kinds of motorized traffic, close to the docks, the already mentioned Saint George’s Gate (only pedestrians and cyclists), and the Saint Andrew’s gate (passenger cars). Inside the city walls, access to the Diplomat’s quarter is possible through the Saint Marc’s Gate (all traffic) and the Saint Nicolas’ Gate (only pedestrians and cyclists).

The central part of the island of Chaos is mountainous and difficult to access. Good road infrastructure is only found within twenty miles around the capital. That is the area the airport and with touristic beach resorts. From the capital, two motorways lead along the coastlines, one to the airport, the other one to Kathalos, the other main port on Chaos.. West of the city, they are linked by a ringway, allowing access to the city through the Saint Andrews Gate. Twenty miles from the city, another main road crosses the island, linking the airport with Kathalos. The access to the western part of the island is only possible by narrow, often unpaved roads, linking small villages. Much of the western part is military area, with a large encampment. Some thirty-five miles from Chaos City, on the highest mountain of the island, Aghia Appolonia, stands the largest radar and communication interception post of the eastern Mediterranean, monitoring all military and civil maritime and air traffic and communications in the area. Aghia Appolonia emphasizes the strategic importance of the Isle of Chaos.

(to be continued)
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Likes
24,743
#7
Loxuru, a town plan and sketch map, however rough, would help us digest this, as I guess it is all important for your story.
I found this old schematic map. On request of the military authorities, a detailed outline of the docks and quais has been ommited.
(I had to make it for myself to keep track of the local situation:confused:)
 

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windar

Teller of Tales
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Likes
22,820
#9
I found this old schematic map. On request of the military authorities, a detailed outline of the docks and quais has been ommited.
(I had to make it for myself to keep track of the local situation:confused:)
Your map doesn't show the decent hotels and restaurants. What kind of tourist office are they running?:rolleyes:

Sure seem to be a lot of Saints here. No one left out. :rolleyes:
Saint Stan of the Bronx...:p