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Queen Of Chaos

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Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
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Jan 1, 2011
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Location
The Northern Forest
#26
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:)
Here's a couple of antique maps, and a nice satellite image:

Chios_by_Piri_Reis_Rotated.jpg Map_of_Chios_-_Bordone_Benedetto_-_1547.jpg ChiosPrefecture.jpg

Life there does seem to have been a bit chaotic:

Eugène_Delacroix_-_Le_Massacre_de_Scio.jpg Francesco_Solimena_-_The_Massacre_of_the_Giustiniani_at_Chios.jpg
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
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29,411
#28
Part 1 - episode 2.

During centuries, Chaos was an important waypoint underway to the Crusader Kingdoms of the Holy Land. The governance of the Island was therefore put in the hands of a knight order, who turned the capital into a stronghold. The tradition to name the city gates after saints, goes back to these times.

Halfway the 17th century. It had taken Christianity about hundred fifty years to defeat the biggest internal crisis in its existence: the rebellion of Protestantism, that had spread over large parts of England, the German States of the Holy Roman Empire and the countries around the Baltic Sea. But the price for the victory was high. During decades of war, large parts of the Holy Roman Empire had been looted and ransacked by wandering armies. It had also been disastrous for England. In 1628, the cunning Cardinal Richelieu lured England’s fleet in a trap, off La Rochelle, resulting into its catastrophic destruction. Subsequently, Spanish and French warships could sail undisturbed up the Thames and shoot London to rubbles and ashes. The English army was destroyed, its king was defeated and killed. England was forced into a personal union with France. With the French came the Inquisition, radically expurgating the country from Anglicanism. England had to accept a humiliating peace, which forbade it to own warships. It lost Ireland, that always had remained Catholic and, at his own request, was made a Pontifical protectorate. Scotland, Wales and Cornwall became independent kingdoms. England would remain troublous for a century and saw its economy reduced to the level of the dark ages. Meanwhile French, Spanish and Imperial armies began a combined offensive through the seditious Protestant areas in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1647, the German protestant princes of the and their Dutch, Danish and Swedish allies suffered a series of heavy defeats. The peace treaty of Münster in 1648 meant peace at last for the Holy Roman Empire.

The treaty gave France, that ultimately had knocked out its former ally Spain out of the Spanish Netherlands for good measure, its so long desired Rhine boundary. Denmark and Holland became annexed to the Holy Roman Empire and underwent the same harsh occupation as England. The Kingdom of Sweden remained the only Protestant country to that survived after the treaty, but it had to cede large coastal areas to the Holy Roman Empire and hence lost the control over the Kattegat and the Oresund. After the treaty, it was submitted to a policy of isolation. Europe's geography had become very simple by the Treaty of Münster. West of the Rhine and the Alps ruled the D’Archambaults, the Kings of France, to the East the Hohenburgs, emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. To the end of the century, Louis XIV would forge a personal union of the thrones of France, Spain and Portugal. The Franco-Iberian Union and the Holy Roman Empire had become two strong continental powers. This Treaty of Münster had started two centuries of political stability in Western Europe.

The Münster Treaty did however not necessarily mean peace. The religious conflict had particularly weakened the southeastern flank of the Christian world. The dignitaries in Münster had little cause for celebrations, since, although the internal conflict in Europe was finally resolved, they had to learn that the armies of the Sultan had invaded the Danube valley and had approached Vienna to only 100 miles. The Dalmatian coast was already in their hands. Greece was cut off.

The Pope called for a crusade against the invaders. But Europe was war weary and its economy was grounded, by decades of religious wars. Choices had to be made how to stop the Ottomans : by land or sea. And even then, each choice would be a defensive one. This meant that no counteroffensive could be set up, but that a line of defense had to be organized. This also meant accepting the loss of more Christian territory. This meant the Sultan could initially advance to Vienna, and start to besiege it. Gambling that the sultan would at all costs try to get this price, time could be gained meanwhile. Vienna would have to resist alone for a few months before an army could be raised for its relief. Meanwhile in Dalmatia and the Danube valley, small local militias would set up a guerilla against the supply lines of the Sultan, weakening his efforts to capture Vienna. Finally the Sultan, determined to continue the siege of Vienna at all costs, was chased away behind the Iron Gate. At sea, Malta, the gateway to the western Mediterranean, was reinforced with ships and troops, but is was feared little could be done if the Sultan would really attempt to invade Italy by sea. Privateers were hired to raid the seas around Greece. Although it turned out that the sultan’s fleet was not so powerful as feared, little could be done to save Greece. One by one, the islands in the eastern Mediterranean fell in Ottoman hands, Chaos and Gyros the last of them.

But in large parts of Europe, the aftermath of the wars against Protestantism made peace and stability prevail. Historians later looked back on a period of incredible peace and prosperity. But almost imperceptibly the balances would shift. The cause of that change did not come from behind palace walls, but from the workshops of some enterprising men. Men who, at the beginning of the 19th century, discovered that in a simple coal fired water boiler, huge forces were hiding. Forces that proved much powerful than what horses, or water-or wind mills could generate. The social consequences were enormous. With the new technology, huge fortunes were earned in no time. The economic power shifted from the rural areas, from the wheat fields and the home labour in the feudal domains, to the cities, which were until then rather organized as autarkic military strongholds.

Soon, completely new economic relationships were created. Before, political power and money had been owned by nobility, the supporters of the monarchs. Suddenly, common people, not fearing enterprise and taking risks, could also get immensely rich, and they soon stood up to use their wealth to claim their own share of power in their country. And if they did not get their share, they simply bought it, because nobility had completely missed the evolution. Too long, they had considered their leading position in society as the will of God, and they had thought that the world would therefore stay like it was forever. They kept sticking too long to traditional rural economy on their domains. They had it wrong, and many nobleman ended up impoverished in no time.

For the European monarchs, the new economy was a double edged sword. The increasing wealth meant that more tax could be raised for the crown’s treasuries. But meanwhile, the strength of their supporting nobilities was severely weakened. The newly created taxes were mainly destined either to the crown or to the cities. Political power shifted from the nobility to the citizens and the monarchs. The monarchs and the new rich came to a deal : abolishment of feudality and serfdom, more liberties and rights, and more representation of the people in the parliaments, in exchange for new tax regulations.

Already in 1810, the pope, also fearing the shift of power, hurried to curse the new technology as ‘machines from hell’ and warned against the perils they would bring to society. But, unseen before in the Christian world, his calls were boldly neglected and the number of factories kept growing.

The country that took most profit of this economic revolution was England. For the first time since the religious wars, its economy grew. The growth of trade, also overseas, gave it a privileged position, at the edge of the Atlantic. The increase of tax incomes allowed the king of England to gain some independence from the continental powers and to start his own foreign policy.

The industrialization also caused a strong population growth and increasing urbanization. There was a real fear that food production would be insufficient to feed Europe’s growing population. The great kingdoms started to look out for arable land, on each other's territory. And as a result they began to extend and modernize their armies and navies.

The rising tension on the continent troubled the pope. He feared for a new conflict among Christians, something he wanted to avoid absolutely. In November 1895, in Châtillon-sur-Marne, at the huge statue of his distant predecessor Urban II, on the 800th anniversary of the Council of Clermont, he called the Christian armies to use the technological advantages of the new economy for the benefits of their faith. He urged them to join forces to throw the Sultan and his infidels out of southeastern Europe. The call was received enthusiastically. The reason for action were rumors about persecution and even mass murders on Christians, in Armenia, Kurdistan, but also in Dalmatia. In addition, there were rumors that the Sultan was building huge iron battleships, with ten, twelve or even fourteen heavy cannons, surpassing everything that existed in speed and firepower.

Many rumors eventually would prove untrue or exaggerated (particularly about the battleships), but meanwhile the Kings of Poland and France and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire joined, to rise 'the Papal army '. The response was enormous, in a Europe where population growth had created a surplus of young men with a surplus of vitality and energy. The Coalition army was sent to Dalmatia. Using their technological lead, and supported by a rebellion in Dalmatia, Bulgaria and Romania, they soon liberated Athens and Bucharest. The dreaded army of the Sultan, once feared as ' the fourth largest army in the world’, was no match for the invaders. It had been poorly armed, poorly trained and poorly motivated, because the sultan had drafted troops from all over his territory, many of them being hostile to their rulers.

Another ally of the coalition was the King of Naples and Sicily. He had always been a maverick on the European map. No D’Archambault, no Hohenburger. A little bit of everything: Norman, Hohenstaufen, Anjou. Never recognized as serious, because his ancestry was a bunch of bastard lines. But his predecessors had been ardent protectors of the Pope in the 17th century wars against the Protestants and the Sultan. His kingdom was a patchwork of territories. He was, by his complicated family tree, through a personal Union, also King of Sardinia and of Piedmont (to the annoyance of the Pope who rather had preferred the Papal States would not be squeezed between the territories of one and the same king). The King of Naples-Sicily, also sent a contingent of soldiers to the Papal army, but he also had a secret agreement with the party that deliberately had been excluded from the coalition by the other monarchs : England. England possessed something he hardly had : a battle fleet. Although this had been forbidden by the Münster Treaty. But England argued the Münster Treaty only forbade wooden warships, and mentioned nothing about steel hulls.

The King of Naples and Sicily wet leased a part of the English battle fleet, and added them to his own fleet. This joint Fleet sailed to the Peloponnese and did a successful invasion. This attack in the back of the Ottoman army proofed fatal. The sultan was no longer able to defend his European possessions and withdrew soon from the Balkans. Christianity recaptured the European continent. But only few areas of the liberated territories were granted real independence. The Holy Roman Empire annexed the Dalmatian coast and its hinterland. The King of Naples-Sicily, frowned upon because he had acted with the English, annexed Albania and the Peloponnese to his patchwork of territories. As England was reluctantly assigned a piece of Crete, France occupied the other half. The King of England also got awarded a tract of desert, from Alexandria to Baghdad. Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Greece were granted some independence. England and Naples-Sicily had also jointly conquered the Aegean Archipelago, including Chaos and Gyros. But the other European monarchs absolutely did not want to leave these strategic islands to be ruled by a couple of third rate monarchs. In exchange for facilities in the port of Athens, and some other compensations, the control over Chaos and Gyros was handed over to an international coalition. The daily governance of the island was entrusted to the successors of the same knight order that had curled the island already for centuries.

After the successful landing on Gallipoli and a blockade of the Dardanelles by the Coalition armies, the Sultan asked for peace. His army and navy were defeated, the cost of the war became an unbearable burden. He risked to lose everything, including his own country. The Sultan obtained an armistice allowing to repatriate his armies. Next, Gallipoli was evacuated, and the Sultan was allowed to restore order in his remaining territories. But he had lost in a few months all his south-east European territories, which had taken his predecessors centuries to conquer.

When the conflict had settled, Chaos, under its international rule, began to play out its strengths: sun, sea and thirty centuries of history. Within decades, Chaos became a major tourist resort.

As a result, Chaos needed manpower, and anyone who could work and was skilled, was welcome. The local population preferred trading business. Those lacking education, did manual work. Due to its special international status, Chaos was legally a safe haven for everyone who got in one way or another in trouble with his or her Government. Because, although prosperity and peace ruled in Europe, the Royal and Imperial regimes were very reluctant to soften their authoritarian character. But their justice had no authority on the island of Chaos. As long as newcomers behaved, the rulers of the island did not ask questions. The military of the international coalition acknowledged this ‘live and let live’ policy, as long as the tourism industry stayed out of their way. Good agreements had been made about these issues. Likely, Chaos became a very variegated community. A community we had become part of : Olga, Maryszkà, Judith, Smyrna and me!

(to be continued)
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
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27,439
#30
Interesting alternate scenario, Lox with France taking control of England. I wonder whether that would have resulted in the English colonies in America becoming French. A great French Empire ruled from Quebec!!! Make New France Great Again!!!
 

Repertor

Artifex Imaginum
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Likes
16,682
#31
Loxuru, that is an amazing introduction; some of it I knew, some made sense, some I had doubts about and some is just fiction (I think). The boundaries between these classes is so blurred it all blends together into a complete, complex world.
I was thinking the same and I began to hesitate what is historically correct and what is fiction.
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Likes
29,411
#32
Well, I made real history slowly grade into a fictional one, rooting it somewhere in the Thirty Year's war. Resulting into two dominant Catholic continental powers, the Franco-Iberian Union and the Holy Roman Empire, that ensured political stability on the Old Continent. I drew a working model for it. Some of it will become more clear in the next episode, when the characters will be presented.
 

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Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
Joined
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#35
Part 1 – Episode 3.

I told you at the beginning : we were five. A Russian, a Pole, an English, a Greek and a French.

Olga is our Russian friend. Her name is Olga, followed by something I still cannot pronounce after so many years. I did not mention Russia yet. It seems to be an enormously wide country, extending from the Baltic and the Black Sea, all the way to the other end of Asia, to the Pacific and even beyond, as it borders Québec. Russia is ruled by a Tsar, some kind of absolutist tyrant, and at least according to Olga, it is also ruled by immense boredom, as immense as the country is wide. I always had imagined Russia as a mysterious country, with a population living peacefully at the pace of nature, in cute villages, in the shadow of church towers with gold plated onion spires. Olga says it is true about the gold plated onions, but that they stand amidst sheer poverty and harsh serfdom to which the peasant population in Russia is still subjected. The only way to escape serfdom is moving to the cities, but there, they join the large proletarian populations, struggling for underpaid jobs in the scarce factories, or to work in the service of the rich and wealthy upper class gentry. Olga describes the life of the urban upper class as a mixture of subjection to the Tsar, profound religious beliefs and sheer decadence. Anyone stepping aside the line, finds the way to exile in Siberia.

Nevertheless, Russia is considered as a permanent threat to Europe. The reason is, that such a huge country is populated by huge numbers of inhabitants. Russia has a huge army, but since the country is wide and has long borders, the army is dispersed over a large area, and since road infrastructure is rather poor, and different railroad companies curiously have different rail gauges, it is difficult to move troops quickly across the country. And although it will take long to build up force, once the Russian army would be on the move, it is considered unstoppable. The threat is due the power of the numbers. The Tsar can mobilize a huge army of obedient simple farmers who are willing to die for their emperor, for their Mother Russia and for their faith. According to Olga anyway. The armies of the Tsar can simply afford to sacrifice ten soldiers for one enemy, and then bring in ten more to replace them.

The policy of the European monarchs towards Russia is simple (on paper!). First, keep the Tsar as a friend. Treat him with the respects he deserves, not as a second rate peasant tribal leader (as former Holy Roman Emperors occasionally used to do before the year 1900). Secondly, limit Russia’s access to modern science and technology. Thirdly, isolate and surround it. Prevent Russia to have access to ice free ports, particularly in their European part. Force its western boundary as far as possible eastward. Maintain a cordon sanitaire of small buffer states, ruled by authoritarian princes who never stop scaring their population against the Russian threat, keeping them vigilant. From Viborg at the Baltic, to Sebastopol at the Black Sea, lays a chain of these states, starting with Finland, then Karelia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Courland, Livonia, Ruthenia, Carpathia, Moldavia, Ukraine and Crimea. Fourthly, secretly stir up and maintain conflicts in the common area of influence of the Tsar and the Sultan, making them waste their energy to fight each other in distant countries. Ignore the collateral atrocities committed by all sides.

How and why Olga made it through the Bosporus, all the way to Chaos, is still not clear to me, but there are some clues. It has to do with things like mental and economical poverty a result of the overall state, religious and social terror in her country. That creates frustration, ambitions and intellectual competences are mentally suppressed by the system. Olga sometimes mentioned the stunning surplus of women in her country, which seems to be caused by the fact that Russia is not just immensely wide and flat, but also has a rich and fertile soil. On this soil grow immense grain fields, producing immense surpluses of grain. Yet there is often famine in parts of the country, because the infrastructure is often too inadequate to bring the surpluses to areas where there is grain shortage. One way to avoid wasting the surpluses is to treat the grain in a way that it can be conserved. Unfortunately, the most efficient way to conserve the grain, is by turning it into a booze named vodka. Because of the immense production, it is a very cheap booze, and furthermore, the male population of Russia feels committed to consume the entire year production of vodka within a year. Likely, as Olga states, because of the immense boredom in the immense country (“except for the taiga in the cold north, all Russia is one boring plain without a single tree” dixit Olga), and also to keep themselves warm, as it can freeze thirty or forty degrees there during winter (and winter nights in Russia are long). And to forget the hard work and poverty, and the frustrations for their ambitions and capacities being held under the knout (I come to that later) by conservative and oppressing powers. Such an immense alcohol consumption inevitably undermines public health and besides brings about aggressive behavior. A majority of the Russian young men, Olga states, show that mysterious mixture of joy of life, a shear unlimited endurance when it comes to hard work, profound respect for the Tsar and the church, and an unpredictable temper. Mix that with excess vodka, all these behavioural characteristics strongly affect the life expectancy of the average young male Russian. Olga more than once complained that Russia has everything to be a great country : plenty good arable land, plenty of natural resources, plenty brains and craftsmanship, plenty intellectual competences. But the immense parochialism and the selfishness of the Tsar and the ruling classes ruin it all. Drown in wodka and oppressed by the knout.

Hence an immense women surplus. And the women bear the burden. Finding a husband is a hell of a job. Finding a decent husband is mission impossible. Keeping one is a miracle! The whole situation makes women cheap, replaceable. Women are constantly oppressed, in many ways. They are supposed to stay less smart and less enterprising than men. They are not supposed to have rights. They only must obey. They are under the knout (here it is again), both mentally and physically. The knout is a punishment, a kind of whipping, applied for even the least infraction of an absurdly severe legislation. The execution of the knout is public and humiliating. Olga knows what she is talking about. The weals on her back and her buttocks tell it all.

We understand that Olga, which we learned to know as an intellectual, broadminded, highly educated, multilingual and culturally versatile woman, absolutely could not thrive in her country. After she ended up on Chaos, it took us some persuasion to convince her that her make-up and dressing style maybe would fit in a country with an immense women surplus, in order to make a chance to ever pick up a husband. But on this island, only the hookers in the port go out like that. Furthermore, we must curb her sometimes, in occasions when drinking is involved, otherwise she risks to lose herself into the mysterious mental caverns of her Russian soul. Some things are in the blood!

Olga can listen to hours of records of ringing of Russian church bells, with tears in her eyes. I think, if Olga would ever get the opportunity to return to Russia, considering it would be more women-friendly, she would go immediately. This in contrast to Maryszkà, who has sworn to never set foot again in her country of origin! Maryszkà is our Polish girl. The Kingdom of Poland, which I merely mentioned, is located east of the Holy Roman Empire, and has, together with the Kingdom of Hungary, also obtained its status and merits due to its smart alliance during the wars against Protestantism. Catholic Poland bordered to the Protestant Kingdom of Brandenburg, making it a strong and reliable ally in the rear of the protestant armies. Poland was then also known as ‘the pillow of Wallenstein’, because Catholic Polish militias regularly raided the Protestant territories and kept their armies busy. The King of Poland made use of the war to conquer the Protestant German States on the Baltic coast. So, he drove out the renegade Protestants and provided himself an access to the sea. At the end of the war, Poland was rewarded with the possession of these former German territories on the Baltic coast it had invaded. Concerning the German population in these territories, living there for centuries already, but who had made the wrong religious choice, no one was worried. The word ‘genocide’ was not yet invented in those days.

Poland became respected as an independent Kingdom. However, due to a shortage of raw materials, and because the King of Poland was one of the few who obeyed the pope’s ban on steam engines, the country completely missed the 19th century industrialization. Poland got stuck at the level of a rather poor agricultural nation. Although the King of Poland had always been respected, and treated as an equal, many considered Poland in fact as the most western buffer state against Russia, rather than their easternmost ally.

Partly due to the language barrier, Poland had remained traditionally a closed community, sticking to its own habits. In particular concerning the Catholic faith, they still cherished traditions of the eighteenth century. From Maryszkà’s story I could deduce that Poland was anything but friendly for woman. Especially for women like Maryszkà with more skills than cooking, sewing, cleaning and serving a husband. Things became evident for me on the day Olga and Maryszkà had a discussion about who had actually had invented vodka, the Russians or the Poles, and whom of them had invented the knout, which has also left its marks on Maryszkà’s body. The point was, that Poland had also a problem of women surplus. Not because the men carry knives! The possession of a knife, or using violence in public space is punished with the knout in Poland. Not because of overconsumption of vodka. Being drunk in public space is punished with the knout in Poland! No, according to Maryszkà, there is a women surplus in Poland because so many men want to become a priest! The best opportunity for a comparatively good life and a job with esteem and authority. Despite the women shortage, women are not allowed to attract a possible husband by going dressed appropriately! Wearing skirts higher than the ankles is punished with the knout in Poland! No, Poland solves its women surplus by forcing as much as possible women into a convent. Maryszkà, a smart woman, who wanted to become a teacher, had seen no other possibility than entering a convent, because the profession of teacher for women is restricted to nuns in Poland’s schools. But because of the forced character of the convent entrances, there is a lot of social frustration and turmoil behind the walls. Frustrations that are squeezed out by the knout. Maryszkà even made Olga say once, that life in Russia seems after all not that bad, compared to living in Poland. So when Maryszkà arrived on Chaos, we had to curb her the opposite way as we had to do with Olga : do not dress like a bigot ready to enter a convent, and enjoy life!

Judith is the English. She arrived on Chaos with a Lieutenant of the English navy, who was stationed here. Then, tragedy struck. Although he had an assignment on the shore, one day Judith’s lieutenant went aboard of a destroyer, as the English call a contre-torpilleur, taking part in an exercise. During the exercise, the destroyer was rammed by a battleship and sank immediately. Only a handful of people on board survived the disaster. The Lieutenant was not one of them. He has been reported missing since.

For so-called security reasons, the English navy has always kept secret about the exact circumstances of the disaster. But Judith got stuck on Chaos. The Lieutenant had not acted on orders. He had taken leave to participate in the exercise, and had requested on his own initiative the permission to board the destroyer. Since he was officially reported missing during a leave, certain regulations did not apply to Judith. She had to await a death certificate according to civil regulations, what could take years. Meanwhile, her money was blocked on the bank. For the same reasons, the Navy refused to repatriate her, so she would have to pay for it herself, but the money needed for it was blocked. So she got stuck on Chaos, forced to make money just for sustaining a living, until her situation would be cleared. Problem was, she was not married to the Lieutenant!

Smyrna is our Greek girl. Greece was restored after the wars of 1896-1898 in the Balkans. The good news was, that the Greeks were finally freed from the tyranny of the Sultan, the bad news was that large parts of the original Greece had been divided among the victors, and that the Kingdom of Greece consisted of two separate territories. The King of Naples and Sicily had added to his territory the Peloponnese, the Greeks had also to accept the fact that Macedonia had become an independent Kingdom, a client state of the Holy Roman Empire, as counterweight for the annexation of Albania by the King of Naples and Sicily. On Piraeus, right opposite their capital Athens, the Greeks had to tolerate an English enclave with a fleet base. The Aegean archipelago, considered as a historical part of the old Greece, remained also under foreign control. Crete was divided between France and England. East Thracia had become Bulgarian. At the end of the war, Bulgaria had made use of the chaos on the Balkans, to invade Thracia, cutting off major supply and retreat ways of the armies of the Sultan. But afterwards they kept the area, inhabited by Greeks, with the port city of Maestros. So Bulgaria had obtained a direct way out to the Mediterranean Sea. What was left of Greece was a rump state, split in two parts by the Kingdom of Macedonia, that got a coastline around Thessaloníki.

It is therefore no surprise that in Greece and in its occupied areas, a lot of nationalist unrest prevailed. The King of Greece was constantly in a difficult position, between the major European powers which he needed for support, and on the other hand, the nationalist forces in his own country, which expected a powerful policy about the occupied territories, where ethnic Greeks still 'suffered'. Greece, however, had neither military nor economically the strength to control the situation. Openly military intervention would not be tolerated by the other monarchs who, through the guns of the English warships in Piraeus, kept the Greek Government permanently in their firing range.

The problem of the Greek territoriality went far beyond reuniting the land of Greece itself. Smyrna's own name testified the issue. Smyrna is, or was, the name of a city on the west coast of the Empire of the Sultan. The city and its surroundings were since ancient times inhabited a by ethnic Greeks. At the end of the war, in 1898, the armies of the Sultan, in revenge for their huge defeat in the Balkans, massacred the ethnic Greeks, and the survivors were expelled from the country. It happened in the face of the approaching Christian armies, but none of the major European powers intervened. With the excuse that a relief operation would be logistically too risky, and would arrive too late anyway, the troops of the Sultan were given a free hand. In fact, it is said, the European powers at that time were too busy dividing their newly conquered territories, and the fate of several hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks in Ottoman territory, did not care to them. That is certainly the view of Smyrna.

Smyrna often utters radical viewpoints on the Greek question. So radical that we suspect her of having sympathy for the 'Hellenic Dawn', a radical group of the Greek nationalists. The Hellenic Dawn dreams of reunification of the entire Greek territory: Macedonia (all Macedonia, including the Northern Slavic speaking part), the Peloponnese, Eastern Thracia (including the Bulgarian speaking part), Crete, the Aegean archipelago, but also the Kingdom of Cyprus (which, in 1898 gained independence from the Sultan too) and the western part of the Ottoman mainland, including Istanbul and the lost Greek-speaking coastal areas around the city of Smyrna.

What's more, the Hellenic Dawn also regards Sicily as a historical part of greater Greece, something that would bring them into conflict with the King of Naples and Sicily and Piedmont and so with a major monarch in the European balance of power. No wonder that the Hellenic Dawn is considered a major threat to stability in the Balkans. The radical Greek nationalism is openly rejected by the Greek Government and the Hellenic Dawn is portrayed as a bunch of traitors. Whether the Greek rulers do so under the pressure of the other monarchs, or just to please them, is not always clear. Organizations such as the Hellenic Dawn conveniently get the label of 'terrorist organization' even though their actions were very limited so far.

The Greek question is a potential bombshell, since Greece is close to the Sultan’s empire. A neutral Greece is in the interest of the whole Europe. And there is some deep fear that Greece could turn to the Sultan’s enemy, the Tsar, to get support for its targets, giving the Tsar an opening to Europe no one desires. And even more, if Greece would get what it wants, then Bulgaria could be angered about Thracia, and seek in turn support from the Tsar. The problem is, however, that no monarch wants to make the first move to cede their occupied Greek territory.

So, in order to appease the tension in the Balkans, the Greek government persecutes the Hellenic Dawn and its sympathizers. Is Smyrna one of them, and did she had to flee Greece to avoid persecution? She never has told us. Point is, Smyrna, a Greek girl, is now on the run for the Greek government, hiding on Chaos, an island claimed by Greek nationalists!

An finally, the French girl, that is me : Luisa Schneider.

(to be continued)
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Likes
27,439
#40
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