V.O.C. of the People
State of the World
So what are things like now?
I could write you a flowing narrative that neatly describes how things are, while also weaving it into a fun and easy-to-read story. But that sounds hard. You know what sounds a lot easier than that? A list.
- François-Marie Arouet is currently being held in the Bastille for subversive speech against the crown. When he emerges next year, he will resume his riotous rhetoric, only he will do so more publicly, and under the much more recognizable name of Voltaire.
- King George I is dead, having been killed by (what are widely believed to be) Prussian assassins. The Pretender King, James Francis Edward now rules the country from exile, aboard his mobile palace, His Majesty’s Ship, the Sovereign.
- Electricity was unveiled two years ago in Amsterdam as a new alternative to steam power. Though Orichalcum is messy and expensive, electricity still has yet to catch on outside of Amsterdam and Batavia.
- Though no formal wars have yet been declared, Prussia’s King Frederick Wilhelm I’s aggressive behavior towards his neighbors (and beyond) has led to many border conflicts. The V.O.C. has yet to formally reprimand his behavior, causing many to believe there is a collusion at hand.
- The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth hovers on the brink of civil war, a problem that — many suspect — is only being exasperated by the Russian presence.
- The Turks are growing tired of war with the Austrians, and rumors of the Ottomans finally making peace with their European neighbors are beginning to circulate.
- Omani forces were repelled at Bahrain earlier this year, having been outflanked by a surprise arrival of Hessian forces — leading to what many are calling an “unnatural extension” of the bloated and archaic Safavid Dynasty. The V.O.C. is suspected of being behind the sudden and unexpected reinforcements.
- Hinduism was declared the official religion of the State of India. This comes in on the heels of the newly-appointed Maharaja and powerful Othermekanist: the V.O.C.-sponsored Gharib Nawaz.
- Piracy is rampant across the globe, and buccaneers exist as a near-constant threat to any seafaring vessels in the Western Atlantic, Mediterranean, and South Pacific. The Caribbean and Indonesia stand out as hotbeds of piracy, and many famous pirates have begun to emerge from these areas.
- Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy sails as a “seafaring Robin Hood” in the eastern waters of Malaysia, with his ironclad flagship the Whydah Gally — rumored to have over a million dutch guilders stored in her hold.
- The fleets of Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Benjamin Hornigold, and Stede Bonnet plague the waters of the Caribbean isles. Legends tell that Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, sports over 80 cannon, with armor tough enough to withstand a broadside salvo from a full English Imperial line.
- Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts and his veritable navy of Barbary pirates have long been a thorn in the V.O.C.’s side, and currently has a bounty of 10 million dutch guilders on his head.
- Batavia — the V.O.C.‘s capital away from Amsterdam — is growing less and less stable with each passing year. The locals, weary from over a century of Dutch oppression, are beginning to reject the V.O.C.’s presence, and rumors of an organized resistance are beginning to circulate.