Dec 1862 Britannic Times has shown up and for non scrabble players here are the highlights:
1) On the Holiday Island of Ceylon the troops of the Sultan of Kandy continued to bombard the Tea Cartel sepoys holding Snake Hill and eventually forced Maj- Gen Cavendish and his Tea Cartel chaps to withdraw into the Port of Colombo. However, before Mataran foces could occupy the hill and advance on Colombo the hill was re-occupied by Britannic Troops under Sir Thomas Canterfield who engaged the Mataran artillery with counter battery fire with both sides artillery finally running short of ammo and feeling very "tired".
2) While this was going on in the south of the island in the north of the island Sir John Nicholson and the troops of the John Company dragged themselves away from beaches and favoured bars were they have been having a spot of R & R (Its a tough life in the HEIC !) and headed south. With Sir John and his men annoyed about their messed up leave and holding view that people should not be allowed to shot with impunity at British Sepoys in case it caught on.
Nothing said in the Britannic Times about offering's to the Spirits but clearly the spirit of Flashman was with the HEIC and against their foes since the HEIC captured the Palace at Kandy and arrived in the rear of the Mataran forces without a shot fired. The whole Mataran force then surrendered even after some iffy behaviour by their Sultan which got him hung.
Some may claim that the Mataran Army gave up because it was outnumbered, disordered, outgunned, trapped and about to be ridden down by the Poona Light Horse but clearly they are wrong and the Mataran's were struck down by the mighty spirit of Flashman.
3) On the subject of Flashman according to his press office Dr Fu Manchu is very upset about claims from the camp of Prince Dakkar that people other than the Doctor had a hand in the death of the Hero of the HEIC.
Perhaps linked to the Doctor being upset, in Jaipur: Hardeep Johal the strike leader and noted backer of Prince Dakkar as Maharajah of Jaipur got blown up by a box of Bibles "sent" by the Rev Charles Parker. The Rev Parker has now left Jaipur having being made Bishop of New York which is probably just as well for the good clergyman as the ISB has a bit of a reputation for working on basis of Crime + Person punished for it = correctly completed paper work.
4) Reports in the Press also indicate that the long time missing Prince Dakkar who claims the abolished throne of Jaipur and Captain Nemo may be one and the same person. Press claims also indicate that when he is not getting upset about people making claims on his glory and prestige, Dr Fu-Manchu may be worried by dreams that his plan's against the British, French and Germans have worked too well allowing a Russian threat to develop against the Middle Kingdom.
5) Russian troops still trying to take over Yonwa but without marked success. Meanwhile after dropping the Germans off last month in Ottonia the Russian Navy made its way back to its home port of Savastopol. On route they picked up some of their ships left to blockade Istamboul and proceeded to shell the the port facilities of Istamboul wrecking it as a base for the Ottonian Navy. They then had a clash with Ottonian ships which were trying to blockade Savastopol which damaged several Russian ships and sunk a Ottonian Line ship.
6) Question now is do the Rossians think they have done enough to help their Germanic allies or could 1863 see further Rossian military intervention in the long lasting Ottonian-Germanic war? The Ottonian Sultan has declared himself baffled on this subject. While no doubt seeking to find some answers to this question Lord Louis Lamour has shown up in Istamboul from the the Sultan's Franconian ally and famous war reporter Victor Hugo has set out with team of guards, translators and grooms looking for the Ottoman-German front line.
Going with Hugo is the female English photographer Jenny Forthingbrass-Smith. No doubt some photo's will help Victor win more awards but a cynic might also suggest that while General Model may not bother much about a shot French reporter he will probably not want his men shooting a English woman who's work is used by the Times & Telegraph etc. Not if he ever wants to sail home that is.
7) Back in Franconia Adolphe Thier very expensive Congress on European Unity has started attended by representatives from Italia and Germania. While Lord Derby joined the Czar in saying he is not going, through he made no comment on the Russian position of last month which seemed most influenced by distrust of Lord Derby's trade companies "The Hongs". Lord Derby also claimed that it was the British who saved Germany from the Reds and had stood ready to destroy the French fleet in order to save everyone from the threat of the Islamic Republic. Oddly he again made no mention of the part played in these events by the Czar merry hymn singing hordes.
- Outside the doors of the Congress on European Unity Franconia itself seems to be spiltting into a Royalist South and West and a Republican North with Republican feeling most strong in the Isle de France and northern mining communes.
Various Christmas type events esp in Britannia and Rossia - with Tea Company shareholders in particular getting a very merry Christmas as that company paid out £250m end of year dividend and another £25m in staff bonus payments.
9) The Imperial Army of Nippon has seized Diablo and declared it a colony of the Empire of Nippon. There was no resistance to the actions of Japanese 1st Division as no one actually seems to live in the mountains of Diablo in the winter and the place seems abandoned.
10) Japan continues its diplomatic efforts in Tobasco and now has permission to build railways. Oddly no news about the French forces who landed near Tobasco......it is assumed they are still resting and trying to get over being badly sea sick.
11) Some odd stuff inc reports on petty crime mentioned in reports from Indea and Nippon. Such as who pinched a load of trained parrots in Tokyo? and who stole £1000 and a pistol in Delhi? In scrabble for crime to get into the Britannic Times it normally means horrible murder, rival factories blown up or torched, trade caravans ambushed, millions of pounds stolen or perhaps a train load of modern rifles gone missing. It does not involve the activity of pick pockets, minor house thefts or parrot nappers!