These Reluctant Years (WIP) - Last updated: August 11th, 2021

You know I’m curious to know what you went through to build this world? Although most of them seem obvious, I would like to expose what I can find as an analogy with reality. The colonial system reminds me a lot of the Viceroyalty system of the Spanish empire in America as well as finding heresy different interpretations of the scriptures as well as other different beliefs in this new land. Also the theme of mixing reminded me a lot of the Spanish caste system in which people are classified according to their ancestry and social function. I say this because of the so-called mestizos and mulattoes (both being the product of a fusion of white European people with indigenous people and Afro-Americans) that’s how it was on the continent. And seeing how Machiavellian this distant empire is for colonization, a plan that could be inspired by the Spanish notion is that a racial fusion be colonized and harmonized in order to have and forge biological and family ties with the locals. Such are the cases of privileged indigenous people who helped in the conquest or the Peruvian indigenous nobility following the fall of the Incas. A colonial identity product of hybridization as well as a kind of contempt for its indigenous roots as well as a kind of admiration for white European men.

Another thing that I find associated is that it is the paternalistic vision of this official religion with other peoples to spread their “justice” as well as deception to delude their lackeys who justify their closed research methodology and attached to intellectual notions with many limits. I say this because I am studying anthropology and review a little the history of it in its Darwinian origins of Taylor as well as the evolution of this discipline to lead to new ethnographic, anthropological and sociological knowledge to also promote social transformation and others to maintain the status quo as in the two academies mentioned in your story. As a reader of narrative stories and a future anthropologist, they captured my genuine attention and I wish this project to go well for this year as well as other successes for you.

Sorry for the long text but my mind does not stop working when a work captures its attention)

I have a doubt, does the printing press exist in this world? I made my wilderness report scientific in tone and hoped to spread my observations with other radical anti-sovereignty thoughts. Also, will the events of the continental empire affect the colonies for the development of history as well as with the Napoleonic wars or the dying decline of the Ottoman empire?

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Wow. It would be a crime not to see this IF published :triumph: I’ll leave the constructive criticism and recommendation thingies to our expert beta testers- I just wanna say how I thoroughly enjoyed playing with two MCs and interacting with such likable characters (made it hard to choose which ROs to focus on lmao).

Also, it’s truly a breath of fresh air how, as stated in the intro, this game is more about relationships (and I’m all in for that!). Not once did I restart my playthrough just because I didn’t have a dozen or so required stats just to get favorable outcomes. And I love it :heart:

Thanks for creating such a fantastic IF

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Good eye! I’m more familiar with the Americas, which is why there are a lot of (intentionally) obvious parallels with the real world. Other than what you pointed out, much of the (economic and social in particular) strife in Years is very loosely based on occurrences within imperial Russia.

Yes! It’s basically an entire religion based on “mudsill theory”, and I’ve been intentionally writing it to be as paradoxical and circular-logic-having as possible. Science (or “naturalism” as they call it) exists to justify the preconceived notions of the ruling few, even though that’s blatantly not even what the definition of “science” (or, like, even learning in general) is. The people at the top aren’t stupid – they know that there’s a demonstrable counter to their biases, but they would rather ignore the suffering their privilege facilitates.

I actually have a degree in anthropology, so I am admittedly very biased in finding all this analysis fascinating, like I suspect you do.

Thank you very much! I wish you luck on your degree! (:

It’s fine – I welcome any and all analysis, no matter the length!

The printing press exists, but “press” itself…? There are periodicals and “scientific journals” that might claim to be truthful, but at the end of the day any newsman knows that the Faceless Guard might be watching. Any sort of written word produced in the Mainland or the Colonies is incredibly propagandized, and literature in general is inextricably linked with the religious ideas of “canon” and “apocryphal”.

Yes, though as of the current level of technology in the game, it will take a long time for anything to happen. The Colonies are a months-long voyage by ship, and just far enough away to give the radicals time to act while the Sovereign might be waiting on news (this is one of the reasons why the current Mayhew decided “screw it I’ll fight this war without Mainland resources”).

Let’s see… do I romance myself or myself…?

You’re very welcome, and I’m so happy that you enjoyed my game! (:

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Yes, I also felt many parallels between the Spanish empire and the Ottoman empire as well as their liberal era prior to the colonial crisis as well as their exclusion of American or Arab Creoles from the Ottoman empire.

It is incredible to meet a colleague with the same type of anthropological study, that is why it is always good to give constructive criticism from our own knowledge, in my case it is a criticism from an anthropological perspective. While others give constructive narrative and linguistic criticism to enrich your own stories.

Right now I am watching a series of documentaries called The American Empire (I clarify that I use the American term for the American continent and not for the United States of America)

In which I can find historical parallels of this great story with the Spanish empire. And now new information to expose for the contribution of us readers.

How is the issue of the spread of religion in the colony?

What traditionalist exponents are important, there are some of these more progressive traditionalists, I mean keep the evangelization of the colony more inclusive of the natives and deer and seal people? Moral and philosophical debates about the humanity of beast people

Do they have a soul? are they able to venerate our god? Do they have humanity? What about the natives already living in the colonies, or the general condition of beastmen like the ones who worked on the family farm?

Did they originally have an administrative system similar to the Spanish encomiendas, I mean a feudal system where the administrators are the conquerors like our grandfather?

Are there religious capable of even questioning the cruelty of the colony as well as its departure from the original harmony of the monotheistic religion of the continental kingdom?

An example of this reformist traditionalist idea is found in Bartolomé de Las Casas, a Dominican monk who was one of the voices denouncing the cruelty of the encomienda system in defense of the indigenous people, or Joseph Conrad writing Heart of Darkness when he visited the Belgian Congo.

A theological, philosophical and intellectual denunciation Does our kingdom have the right to the colony? could he treat the natives as they did? What is the point of finding a new continent if we don’t follow our original principles of the continental kingdom?

In a moderate traditionalist sense it is to denounce the mistreatment but to be in favor of the domination and spread of the dominant religion of the empire. A moral and religious obligation to humanely treat the natives and give what is necessary to be initiated into the “true faith”. Natives and beasts recognized as subjects of the crown, trustworthy and entitled.

In real life, the so-called “New Laws” were proposed where they abolished the encomienda system and that did not keep the conquerors happy.

The parallel is in the antagonistic debate between Bartolomé de las Casas and Juan Ginéz de Sepúlveda (official historian of the empire, curiously enough)

“The Indians are Barbarians, environmentalists and servants by nature. We owe them nothing, they are here to obey us like slaves, so something of our virtue will come to them and that is worth more than all the gold in the world”

Controversial statements by Sepulveda today. This contentious issue endangered the integrity of the empire by denying allegiance to the king if such laws were enacted.

Later there was a debate between Bartolomé de Las Casas and Juan Ginéz de Sepúlveda with arguments such as the following:

“The natives are primitive civilizations like the Greeks and Romans but they have the potential of humanity like us”

"Well, if they are so civilized, how do you explain that they are so barbaric as to practice human sacrifice and cannibalism?

"Because fate took them away from God but in their soul the tendency towards the almighty persists, that’s why they give them the most valuable thing that is life, their disposition is amazing and it’s up to us to guide them towards morality "

“We bring them civilization, they owe us everything”

“They already had civilizations like the Aztec or the Inca, we have no right to impose”

“They are barbarian peoples destined to serve as Aristotle says”

“Aristotle also speaks of a natural law that makes us equal, there is no proof of barbarism among Americans according to the classical canon”

The Spaniards were supposed to only be an example of virtue without the famous Deus Vault, but the reality is that Sepulveda’s vision was deeply rooted among the continental settlers, perhaps the Creoles were the most empathic with the natives, but even so, it did not improve much.

I also have questions regarding the language barrier in your story. Are native languages ​​learned in the colony or are the natives the ones who have to learn our language?

I don’t know what would be your opinion about it?

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The more “progressive traditionalists” like the Order of Missionaries exist in a semi-legitimized limbo where they’re generally regarded as religious representatives by the populace while not being explicitly sanctioned by the central religious authority. They’re able to get away with interacting with native peoples only under the pretext of evangelization, but interaction regardless of context has of course given rise to the sorts of questions you’ve posed.

I would say that religious efforts in the Colonies are explicitly less about “saving their souls” and more about enforcing the Sovereignty’s/Hierarchy’s quasi-divine mandate to “show all those other people that they’re inferior and that it is good and just that we invade them”, so to speak, though there are certainly some in the holy orders that intend to be soul saviors. The questions about their personhood are only raised in hushed whispers at secret underground radical meetings like the Goldendoors’ – people are (unfortunately justifiably) all too aware that the secret police are lurking nearly everywhere. Among those groups, though, the prevailing hypothesis is likely dictated by the twins’ leadership, meaning that they regard slavery as a moral and ethical abomination over any deep desire to advocate for social/racial justice.

Yes, though it is somewhat decentralized – i.e. there was no board of Colonial affairs or governor granting land permits when Abner Senior got there. In their religion, the societal upper class (always the nobility) are entirely justified in whatever they want to do by virtue of their birth, and so most “original” landholders used the feudal/serfdom system currently in use by the Mainland and just transplanted it to suit the needs of a rapidly-developing and resource-rich economy (with all the abuses that implies). So you have agricultural serfdom with the nobility able to buy/sell/trade peasant farmers as part of their land holdings alongside corporate slavery in the big city, where laborers are owned by the factory, corporation, etc.

Yes, though “capable of questioning” and “willing to do/say something about it” are two entirely different hurdles for the average Colonial. If John Q. Public is walking down the streets of Gensburg and witnesses the Faceless Guard beating someone to death in an alley, then he (and most people, I think) would recognize that as a bad thing to do. But if he says something, then they might come for him or his family, next, and so he does nothing.

Here is where the parallels with the real world end, somewhat. The Sovereignty never really had even a little bit of a religious mandate to even pretend to “uplift the savages” or even “be a decent person” like many real-world religions – those that do so are still interpreting their religious right to impose their will upon their “inferiors”, just in a slightly more benign way than “kill them all”.

It’s a little of both, but more so the latter. The Exiles in Muirhallr are probably able to somewhat communicate with their dock workers with a few local words they’ve picked up over the centuries. Forcing the native populace to comply with the conqueror’s language is just another tool of cultural genocide.

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I also think about how the colony is organized after the liberation of the ties with the mainland empire. You already know new codes of coexistence, restriction of certain groups that attempt against the new state, etc.

It could start first with reconciling the hierarchical faith with that of the exiled natives as it was originally before that great religious schism and include the savage rites and reform of the original religion as part of our new collective identity in the colony, and since we harmonize again with the natives we can lay the foundations for inclusion, integration or healthy coexistence with the beastmen of the south and exiled natives and lay the foundations for this New state.

A kind of federal system where each province has autonomy to reconcile local customs with the new reforms made by the radical movement from its new base of operations

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This is where I think radical efforts will lie, logistically. Laz is principled and knows what he wants to do and how he wants to do it, but he’s not necessarily good at all the planning that funding and feeding a rebellion requires, so I think he’ll be content to more or less just let people try to reorganize into their own nations, again. Though that’s not to say that that’d be the course of action with the fewest headaches…

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You are right.

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I hope the writer is doing well I haven’t seen any updates in a while.

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I’m fine! Just busy with work, mostly. I’ve been working on Years when I get the time, though! If you want more Years content between updates, though, I regularly post on my Tumblr blog and Patreon!

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Is there a discord server for this game? If so I would like to join.

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Yes, but access to it is restricted to people that support me on Patreon.

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Just finished reading the demo and i absolutely loved it! Thank you for writing this wonderful WIP author, I’ve enjoyed reading it so i’ll be rereading it again. Stay safe

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I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

You’re welcome! There are a lot of different paths to take… So many that even I lose track of them all, sometimes!

You, too! (:

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Sorry for the probably dumb question, out of curiosity is Gensburg meant to emulate Vienna circa 1920s? Like everything fits the energy of that so well, with a mishmash of intellectuals, philosophers, artists, hedonists and bohemians, and like radicals meeting in basements and all of that. This may totally just be me connecting the two when there’s no intended relation, but it seemed to fit super well.

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It’s meant to be a general amalgamation of the kinds of cosmopolitan centers we typically think of where the major players in history tended to congregate and do smart/influential people stuff, of which Vienna is/was one, but it I didn’t mean for it to be descriptive of any one place and/or time period. (:

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Also the attack that you show in the story reminded me a lot of the murder that occurred in Sarajevo in mid-1914, a moment of shock that paralyzed the world and that was only a precursor of dark days to come in the area in many parts of the world. (Also in your fantasy world)

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