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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » The Town Square » Silk Road Discussion
Topic Subject:Silk Road Discussion
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Eminence Grise
posted 02-02-01 05:41 ET (US)         
Well, a while ago, in an old story we had a cameo appearance of Angel Zen and his papyrus scrolls and paints. We thought it would be a nice idea to visit him 'at home' and travel to Ch'in, the Middle Kingdom.

The current ideas are still pretty fluid, but here's what we have so far.
- the story will be set somewhen during the Pax Romana, we never actually fixed a date for when Civis lived. I don't remember which of the PR links best with the events ancient China. Emperor Hadrian's age sounds like a nice period.
- Civis and Jayhawk will end up in China, probably taking the long road there. However else wants to come along is welcome.
- a possible reason to go there is that the Emperor has laid his hands on some silk, through India, and want to get more. Civis could be sent as an ambassador.
- alternatively, in a plot similar to last, a jade statue ends up in Civis' posession. Jayhawk tells him it shoul dbe returned to China. (I like this one )

Any ideas?

Cast of characters

CIVIS ROMANUS: 30ish Chief Military Advisor to Caesar. Master swordsman. Brown hair, blue eyes, medium heighth and build. Spouse of Apolita. Father of Apollonia and Civis the Younger. (Civis Romanus)
GAIUS ACCIPITER: Immortal Angel with sensitivity to humans. Tall with green eyes that flash hues of blue, gold or red when using personal powers. (Jayhawk)
RADKO: Stablemaster on Civis' villa. (Nutmegger)
SIN YING: Orphaned oriental girl in Rome with vague memories of homeland but no other recollection. (Jaguar)
TITUS TARQUINTIUS: 21 year old Tribune. Assigned by Caesar to accompany Civis on his mission. (Micah Aragorn)
ROULV DANIA: Runaway Christian slave. To appear after Tyre. (Proconsul Creaticus Dania)
SEPTIMUS ODYSSEUS: Failed mage's apprentice. (Cyber Paladin)
Mangahard: Gothic warrior, served in the legions. (Benson)

APOLITA: Spouse of Civis Romanus. Celtic girl educated as a Roman on the Isle of Celtia. Thick auburn-colored hair and hazel eyes. A few years younger than Civis. (Civis Romanus)
APOLLONIA: 10 year old daughter of Civis Romanus and Apolita. Favors mother in appearance. (Civis Romanus)
CIVIS THE YOUNGER: 7 year old son of Civis Romanus and Apolita. Favors father in appearance. (Civis Romanus)

CAMEL DUNG MERCHANT: Unknown appearance. (SenetEr)
CIARA: Tribal queen of Keltoi/Celtae. 30ish, long light brown hair, green eyes. To appear being held for ransom in Parthia (Caylynn)
FIONNABHAIR: Celtic aide to Ciara. Mid-20's. Messenger. Meek, fair complexioned, blonde hair, blue eyes. (Caylynn)
SPY/INFORMANT/SHADOW: To appear on the Silk Road. (Windplume)

En route
This is a suggested route with some of the highlights noted.

  • Athens (pick up some people)
  • Tyre (Port)
  • Damascus
  • Seleucia (Parthian capital)
  • Hamadan
  • Merv
  • Bokhara, a wonderful trade town
  • Samarkand! capital of the area, then cross the Pamir to Kashgar
  • Kashgar
  • Aksu
  • Kucha
  • Turpan, cisterns if memory serves me well. Time for a side trip?
  • Hami, following along the Tien Shan instead of Tibet
  • DunHuang, many Buddha caves (China)
  • Chang'an, Ch'in's gravemound (modern Xi'an)

I'll post some more details as I find them:
Marco Polo

Angel Jayhawk
Eyrie, Pharaoh Heaven, Caesar 3 Heaven, Zeus Heaven

[This message has been edited by Jayhawk (edited 05-14-2001 @ 07:29 AM).]

Caesar Alan
posted 02-02-01 06:29 ET (US)     1 / 503       
Sounds like a nice idea... perhaps we could have a combination of the statue and silk idea: one of the leading characters has to procure some silk as part of dowry, for example (a task which intended to be impossible, but naturally is eventually completed). Thus we have two 'quests' if you like: a personal one and a 'team' quest.

I really must write myself into one of these stories somewhere along the line This one sounds like an interesting opportunity to do just that.

Caesar AlanThe Appian WayThe Trojan Horse
"Don't be frightened little sheep. I won't hurt you... much."

Cyber Paladin
posted 02-02-01 09:03 ET (US)     2 / 503       
How about having a young sage seeking Chinese Confucius philosophy?
Or having a young warrior seeking Chinese Kung Fu?
And generals seeking Chinese gurriela (spelling) tactic?
posted 02-02-01 09:30 ET (US)     3 / 503       
Perhaps the jade idol was brought back by Alexander from India (where it had been brought by conquest from China), and has cursed the families of all who have held it. (Starting with the Indian family that was defeated by Alex, then Alex himself, on his return trip.) Only by returning it to China can the curse be lifted.
Eminence Grise
posted 02-02-01 10:24 ET (US)     4 / 503       
Now there's a wonderful thought, Nutmegger.

Paladin, we might meet someone like that along the way, but it seems unlikely he'll start off with us.

Angel Jayhawk
Eyrie, Pharaoh Heaven, Caesar 3 Heaven, Zeus Heaven

Civis Romanus
posted 02-02-01 12:26 ET (US)     5 / 503       
I like the ambassador idea as there seems to be a disturbance in the Eastern Empire. Germanic barbarians are on the move again, the Parthians seem agitated... Something about Chi'n, Mongols and Huns. Caesar needs someone posing as a diplomat who is actually military-minded to spy out the situation under the pretense of establishing trade relations. Enter Civis...

Oh, and Civis just happens to have a jade statue of particular interest to the "just happens to be visiting" Uncle Jayhawk. (Yes, Civis has children.)

Jay: My first post was a single paragraph addition to a story running in June 1999.

I visualized Civis as living in the very earliest years of the reign of Caesar Marcus Aurelius, but I have never really established that fact. As you know, the names of the Caesars in our stories tend to be fictionalized and so I was never given the chance to establish the period. So far as I'm concerned whatever Caesar it is, it must be in a time when the Germanic barbarians are less than friendly, but still under the general control of the Roman Empire; and the Empire is perceived as near its zenith in power militarily although its institutions are beginning to diminish somewhat.

Hadrian's or Marcus Aurelius' time period would be acceptable. Obviously, BCE would be out.

Suggestions for the mood of this story. Let's inject a little more humor in our passages... a little, shall we call it, situation comedy. They laughed back then too, I believe. But not silly stuff. Call it reality humor. Example - The fun we had with the Zeos character for a time in Beyond Posedon's Throne. Just a little more of it than we added to that story. And no character should be immune to something of a joke at its expense. Even Civis has taken a pratfall in times past. Herbals and egyptian chairs have caused him occasional problems. He will discover he's allergic to oriental incense.

Are actively participating gods and sorceror's magic in or out in this story. I'd like to suggest "out", but will go with the majority's preference.

Can we bend history? Anyone object to this liberty?

posted 02-02-01 12:40 ET (US)     6 / 503       
I'd like to be in, but should probably decide what kind of character to play this time But I don't think it will be a cross-dressing one this time

Looking for adventure.. Any ideas for a good character would be welcomed. I am not very good at a "fighter" type character though.

Civis Romanus
posted 02-02-01 15:07 ET (US)     7 / 503       
Jaguar: Male or female character? With which are you more comfortable?
Civis Romanus
posted 02-02-01 16:04 ET (US)     8 / 503       
Thought maybe I should provide some background on the Civis Romanus character. Those of you with us for the Nautica Prima adventure will be more used to my work with the Edes character and might expect the Civis character to be similar. Nope.

The current Civis Romanus comes from a long line of Civis Romanus's all of whom have been involved in military careers and many military campaigns. Our Civis (who I'll talk about as Civis from here on out) is married to Apolita of Celtia, a full Roman citizen of celtic heritage but Roman upbringing. They have two young children, Civis the Younger and Apollonia. The girl is the eldest child at 10 years and the younger Civis is 7 years old.

The association between the Civis and the Angel Jayhawk characters goes back many years and many adventures. The Angel is an "Uncle" to the children. Civis and Apolita know of and can see the Angel's special "features" (ebony wings). The children do not, nor do any others in the villa or elsewhere unless Jayhawk has permitted it.

Civis is honorable and loyal to Caesar (whoever is Caesar at that time). He does not seek the throne. He has served as a legion commander, a commander of the host, and as Supreme Commander of the Legions of Roma. He serves Caesar in these times as Chief Military Advisor, living with his family in a villa on the outskirts of Roma.

Civis' personality is forthright but can be occasionally moody, especially if he thinks inaction is too excessive. He thinks mission and military first. In this regard he can be absolutely ruthless whether leading legions or if personally in battle. He is a master swordsman with a preference for the famous short sword of the Roman legionnaires.

He tolerates but has little appreciation for sorcery. He has three hot buttons: 1) he dislikes being treated or seeing anyone treated discourteously, 2) he abhors slavery (Civis has servants, but no slaves in his villa) and 3)he will immediately come to the aid of any girl or woman he thinks is being maltreated, almost to the point of personal foolhardiness.

Civis has a typical Roman weakness, though his adventures with the Angel have tempered this lately. He is somewhat ignorant of foreign cultures, geography and history. This is why he and the Angel team up occasionally on adventures. The Angel is constrained from engaging in violence; Civis has no such constraint. Civis needs assistance when dealing with foreign cultures; Jayhawk is the perfect advisor and confidant. Civis respects but is never overawed by the powers possessed by the Angel. Jayhawk will tease Civis for his lack of cultural knowledge, but places total trust in his friend's judgement of what to do when action is called for.

If it seems to you this Civis character is heavily developed, you're right. He's been around awhile, has had lots of adventures and has the scars to prove it.

Proconsul Creaticus Dania
posted 02-02-01 17:55 ET (US)     9 / 503       
Could be fun participating in a story so I made a little research on Hadrian and Aurelius.

Hadrian withdraw from some of the eastern parts of the Empire and fortified the borders at the more unruly spots.
Hadrian accepted the Christians and didn't percecute them but the instead the Jews after their uprise in ~130BCE.

Aurelius seems like being more agressive military seen and did percecute the Christians.

What I think at is a slave of Danish origin, taken as POW by the Goths, and later by the Romans. Name is Roulv but nicknamed Dania as that is the translation of the name the Goths has given him.
In Rome this ~30 year old man has ended up as slave and become a Christian a few months ago. Someone has told the authorities about this, and now he's trying to escape the percecution and joins the party. He hasn't forgotten about his past as warrior and is quite capable with bow or sling, just as he still struggles with living the Christian way which means love your neighbour, obey your masters command etc.

So, what do you think? I can't promise anything like the great writing by Civis and others....

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the body. Pr. 16:24

[This message has been edited by Proconsul Creaticus Dania (edited 02-02-2001).]

Civis Romanus
posted 02-02-01 21:09 ET (US)     10 / 503       
PCD: We aren't trying to do great writing as a team, just fun, recreational writing. Your contributions would be welcome.

The Danes were beginning to make their presence known at this time, but they had not become the powerful people known as Norse (Vikings) yet. It makes sense that a Dane could be enslaved by the then more dominant Goths or Visigoths. These germanic tribes were just beginning to be christianized, so being converted while a slave is possible, though historically it might be a little early for such to occur.

It might be an interesting way to add depth to a character's personality and behavior to have him committed to his fellow traveller's wellfare in a way contrary to his beliefs. What does it mean to "love your neighbor" when your neighbor is threatening to slaughter your friends and family. How do you respond when to save yours and your friends' lives you are ordered to ambush and perhaps kill. Interesting moral dilemna.

Have fun with it PCD, but do keep in mind we have forumers who belong to different faiths and we make every effort to respect that in each other.

posted 02-02-01 22:45 ET (US)     11 / 503       
I hope to be a better contributor that to the last story. I think this character will be a Romanized Visagoth.
Cyber Paladin
posted 02-03-01 00:37 ET (US)     12 / 503       
I just got another idea... but not sure if it's the mood of the story.
How about a Chinese Wizard... you know, the kind of waving bells, playing with wooden swords and burning yellow papers?

If that's not OK, I'd like to be a yound mercenary "green" guarding a trading caravan between Roman Empire and China (I know in reality there was none, but... er... bend it a little bit?)

Just two that I can think of... let me know which one gonna be better~ thanks

Proconsul Creaticus Dania
posted 02-03-01 05:38 ET (US)     13 / 503       
Civis I'm a Christian by heart and soul and prefer not to discuss religion online as it tends to get a bit too heated. I respect other people and don't want to harm them in any way. If they like to talk about religion it's ok with me as long as it doesn't end up in arguing.
Only thing you can be sure at is that I'll make a point at bad language or blasphemy against the God I believe in, not that He needs me to defend Him...
Arguing leads nowhere and religion is a question about believing or not believing...and I don't believe in religion

About the character Roulv Dania. He became Christian a few months ago in Rome, sorry I didn't make that clear. He's still struggling with his old kind of life. This means he'll get into some conflicts with himself as you pointed out and also now and then do something very un-Christian.

As a run-away-slave he's having several problems. He has to hide both being slave and being Christian. This means he might have to lie instead of telling the truth. He's good at bow and sling, but is it Ok to kill other people trying to defend your friends/fellowers?

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the body. Pr. 16:24

[This message has been edited by Proconsul Creaticus Dania (edited 02-03-2001).]

Eminence Grise
posted 02-05-01 04:18 ET (US)     14 / 503       
Just found some interesting bits in the AoK History forum.
There was a obscure battle I read about called, "The Battle of Sogidana," an area near the Caspian Sea.
Although not a direct source, I read that 2 Roman legions of 20,000 man engaged 5,000 Han mounted crossbowmen. The result was, 2,000 Roman casualties and 500 Han casualties.

I forget the date, I am guessing between 10 BC and 100 AD.

There was a large Han "expidition" of types that was assembled during the "expansionistic period," and it was said it was composed of 100,000 mounted warriors with steel crossbows. Again, this is not a direct source.

For further reference, I believe The Harper's Military Encyclopeida has something about the mentioned battle.
-- Shenlong

After Cannae the Parthians captured alot of Roman prisnors and relasing there superior infantry tactics press ganged them as mecenarys. They were then sent to the Chinese border where they fought for a time before being captured again! they then fought for the Chinese for a little while before finally settling in a big trading town at least thats the theory as to why a few hundred ROmans ended up in China.
-- Piemaster

Angel Jayhawk
Eyrie, Pharaoh Heaven, Caesar 3 Heaven, Zeus Heaven

Eminence Grise
posted 02-05-01 04:23 ET (US)     15 / 503       
Forgot something
As Nutmegger suggested it would be a 'nasty' relic, so what might happen, and give Civis so much more motivated, is that Civis the Younger is struck into a coma by the artifact.
Among the things needed to get him back would be the return of the relic to a monastery somewhere in China and some Chinese medicine, like ginseng.

Paladin, I'm fine with a Chinese magician, especially if he turns out like some of the characters in "A Chinese Ghost Story"

Dania, welcome aboard, hope you won't mind the odd bits of magic, foreign gods and other minor miracles happening throughout these stories.

As for the Jayhawk character, he's much like Aythadis, as a matter of fact, he is Aythadis
Angel Jayhawk
Eyrie, Pharaoh Heaven, Caesar 3 Heaven, Zeus Heaven

Micah Aragorn
posted 02-05-01 05:07 ET (US)     16 / 503       
Having trouble trying to think of a character for this story. Maybe a Roman officer assigned to the party traveling to China?
Proconsul Creaticus Dania
posted 02-05-01 07:48 ET (US)     17 / 503       
No problems with that Jayhawk it's only a story
I hope as well you don't mind if I'll end up using a miracle for getting me out of a situation...just don't expect me to join in the magic or pray to those foreign gods

I got to find a way joining the party.
As a Christian run-away slave none of the other must know me. Civis is loyal against Caesar and would have to turn me in or even kill me when he finds out. Just being a run-away slave is a great danger as I can end up in the Colosseum feeding the lions. So we got to find a way somewhere on the travelroute where I can join. Maybe that I warn you about an ambush or something like that.

I think I'll need at least one post in the storythread for telling my situation, alone out in the dangerous distant part of The Empire...

If anyone have a better way I'm open for surgestions as I'm new to this

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the body. Pr. 16:24
Cyber Paladin
posted 02-05-01 09:39 ET (US)     18 / 503       
I think Civis opposes slavery, so I ain't sure if he'll be after your char. PCD~

Well, here comes my char.:
Full Name: Septumus "Septi" Odyssius.
Septi, a youngster around 17 who has been dreaming for being the most powerful mage since he remembers. Originated from southern Brittainca in a noble family, he left his parents, who wanted him to be "simple", secretly travelled to the Alps region in order to find the legendary magic master "Master Will" in the age of 10. Successed, but Septi do not seem to be able to safely control his own mana. He is only able to occasionally summon a few harmless (but beautiful) sparks... fireworks, a little bit cantrip. The most powerful magic in his arsenal is telekinesis which at most can move a few ounces for about an inch. His worked hard and followed Master Will for 5 years, learned the above magic as well as archery for hunting purposes. In fact his archery is much better than his magic. He has been using the same arrows for 3 years as he didn't lose them, every single one find it's target, everytime.
In Septi's late 15, Master Will died. He gave Septi a small wooden dagger wrapped in yellow paper, which is inscribed with strange red drawings. Master Will said if Septi is able to bring this to China and find the Great Dragon's blood, he'll find ways to fully control his own mana, which is errily enormous.
Septi attempted twice, but is brought back twice by trading caravans, in coma due to starvation and exhaustion enroute. He is now temporarily settled in the very Eastern edge of the Roman Empire, right on the start of Silk Road. Hunting for daily need.

Physical characteristics:
Around 5.5 feet tall, slender. Long, fine grey hair pony-tailed. No beard (so young?). Light blue eyes, pale brown skin. Quite intelligent, yet hardly have any common sense except hunting. (Does he know that water can put out fire?)
A burnt scar on right forearm due to a mana explosion in the age of 14. A strange yellow paper with red drawings folded into a medallion and hanged on his neck, given by Master Will, who said it's able to bring fortune.

"Wanna try anything" type. Wanderlust. Chase blindly to achieve the target set. Very polite and well mannered, somewhat naive. Easy to trust people. Cheerful, very serious over-optimistic.

A few tunics. A small wooden hut near the Silk Road. A bow with a quiver of arrows. A few Denrii. The yellow paper medallion, the wooden dagger. That's all.

P.S.: I hope you know what those "yellow paper" and wooden dagger is. For those who have read "Chinese ghost stories" must know what I've been talking about. If not, feel free to ask me. The trusty bell and the "Taichi sword" will kick in soon, don't worry
And be sure to let me know if I overdo the magic part.

[This message has been edited by Cyber Paladin (edited 02-06-2001).]

Proconsul Creaticus Dania
posted 02-05-01 10:12 ET (US)     19 / 503       
I'm more worried about me being Christian CP -percecution

Hmmm, might better tell about my looking and other stuff.

5'8'' tall, lightbrown long hair, clear blue eyes that sometimes looks like they stare right through you, has a fish cut in bone hanged on his neck together with a little purse containing a few coins. Has a sharp knife and a purse containing stones for the sling at the side.

Clothes are simple and grey/brown

Am working at manufacturing a bow out of a long piece of wood. (Longbow wasn't invented yet, but almost as long)

Has never missed a target with the sling and are almost as good with the bow.

Has a leatherbag hanging on the back. In the bag is a few things like the string for the yet to be finished bow, a little food, a small bag with water and a thin carpet.

Is capable of running mile after mile in a steady speed that would take the breath from most people which is good as he's a bit scared for horses.

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the body. Pr. 16:24
posted 02-05-01 10:23 ET (US)     20 / 503       
Civis, I'd prefer a female character, but either one is fine. I still have no ideas though. Too many hours playing the C3 comp map and not enough time letting my imagination work...
posted 02-05-01 11:42 ET (US)     21 / 503       
I'd like to try my hand at joining in a little better this time, since I (hopefully) won't be travelling anywhere, as I did last time - I just never had the opportunity to catch up once I got back. Keeping on top of things is easy, catching up isn't.
Civis Romanus
posted 02-05-01 11:49 ET (US)     22 / 503       
PCD: I've seen your posts for going on two years now and I'm certain you'll bring just the right touch of creativity and sensitivity to whatever you post in the upcoming story. Welcome aboard!

Note to PCD: Civis abhors slavery. Loyal to Caesar or not, Civis is not going to permit a slave to be one for long. But to make the story interesting, it's good if your character doesn't realize it or trusts Civis and keeps his former slave status a secret for awhile.

Jaguar: There's no rush. Introduce your character when you are ready. A thought: Civis is a married man, but has a weakness for females in trouble. He will come to their aid immediately, but will not violate his vows to his beloved Apolita, no matter how tempted.

Cyber Paladin: Civis and Aythadis (Jayhawk) will look forward to meeting Septuma (may I suggest the name of Septimus, the "us"latin suffix denotes male - the "a" suffix denotes female - unless you want a "boy named Sue" situation). He sounds like an interestingly complex character that should permit a great variety of situations to be built around him. A fine contribution.

Micah: It would be appropriate for Civis to travel with a Tribune in his entourage. A tribune is the Roman version of a military/political officer. He is normally a patrician by birth and is typically not a career military commander but is serving in the military for training purposes in preparation for a career in Roman government. He is trained in weaponry, but is not likely to be a masterswordsman. In combination with Civis, the tandem could be quite versatile.

Jayhawk: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you are implying that Jayhawk will assume the cover name and guise of Aythadis for this journey. Only Civis will know who Aythadis really is.

Since the adventure seems to be poised to launch from either Caesar's council room or Civis' villa, please give the word and we'll get it underway.

Jay: Do you want to launch the story thread or do you want me to launch it?

Civis Romanus
posted 02-05-01 11:53 ET (US)     23 / 503       
Caylynn: Good to hear from you regarding our upcoming story. Of course you are welcome to join in. We are still developing characters and plot ideas. Contribute when you are ready.
Proconsul Creaticus Dania
posted 02-05-01 13:56 ET (US)     24 / 503       
Thanks Civis, Dania doesn't know the slavery thingy, how about the Christian thingy, Caesar is percecuting Christians and Civis is always loyal to Caesar who ever he is???

Please post here when you find it's time for me to prepare Dania's joining up with the travellers, I think I'll start Dania alone when the joining up is just around the corner, then he meets the travellers and join them.

It's about finding a reason for letting him join....

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the body. Pr. 16:24

[This message has been edited by Proconsul Creaticus Dania (edited 02-05-2001).]

Civis Romanus
posted 02-05-01 15:19 ET (US)     25 / 503       
PCD: Civis is loyal to Caesar, but is involved with Caesar only in regard to military and foreign politics. Civis has no involvement in domestic policy unless it involves use of military, such as to put down a revolt. He hasn't had to deal with the "persecution" issue but has given it some thought. He is a believer in situation ethics.

Well... That's enough about Civis... Any more about him and his reactions will be too predictable. I won't be able to open my bag of surprises and find anything in there with which to entertain or amaze.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 02-05-2001).]

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