terça-feira, 22 de outubro de 2013

Winepunk Timeline: alternate history with wine at the core

In the beginning of the XXth Century, Portugal was under severe changes, both political and cultural. The King was murdered in 1908  and two years later, in October 5th, the Republic was imposed in Portuguese territory but not without resentment. In the following turmoil, the Monarchy of North is established. It last nearly a month and collapsed in anger, treason and malicious humor from the South. The Kingdom of Bludgeonland  (in Portuguese, Reino da Traulitânia), was the nickname bestowed, as Lisbon smirked in contempt.
But what if it had lasted more than a month? What if it had not collapsed among intrigue and treason, but rather it had thrived within those? What if the northerners had obtain an alternative source of energy, similar to coal and oil in efficiency but from another organic source, the Port wine? An energy source that sustained the rebel Kingdom, not only against the Republican South, but also against the other nations? A new pawn in the world geopolitical chess game, disputed between America and England, the oldest ally of the Douro Region? History would have not been the same again. And neither would it be Port wine. Or wine, for that matter.
The Winepunk Universe is defined in this fictional perimeter. For three amazing years, the Porto’s british past and the Touriga grape vineyards melt in a new reality. A world with technology from the Port wine cellars, rebel, idiosyncratic and ferocious, as only the most conservative societies can be, in an iconography as local as is world recognizable. To hold the universe in the palm of your hand as we sip a well aged Porto. Truly hold, in consequence and flavor. Alternate history as one has never done before: with wine.
The established official timeline is rather rigid in the historical events in the Winepunk Universe but the scientific extrapolation is not. The timeline includes an official source to the vinous technology, based on modified yeast, the Saccharomyces monarchica, that increase exponentially the efficiency of fermentation of Port wine and permit the use of its alcohol as alternate fuel. However,  possibilities of new technologies are open to the imagination of anyone. As long as they do not contradict the infamous yeast, there are no limits. So, fly away, with Port spirits by your side!


April, 9-10 - Battle of LaLys, where the Portuguese Expedicionary Corps suffers severe casualties
November, 11 - End of World War I


January, 18 - Beginning of the Versailles Treaty in Paris.
January, 19 - Implantation of the Monarchy of the North in Porto.
January, 27 - The monarchic troops are stopped at the Battle das Barreiras (Águeda), but (historical divergence) a quick intervention from a monarchic column from Guarda/Covilhã, commanded by Francisco Rolão Preto (historical figure), comprising the soldiers that escaped Lisbon (ficcional) through a forced march across Serra da Estrela, destroys the republican aspiration to victory. This action would become known as "The March of the Elephants".
February, 4 - Along the line Aveiro - Albergaria -Viseu - Covilhã, fortifications and trenches are built on both sides, as the enemies reassemble and review tactics.
February, 16 -  King Dom Manuel II (historical figure) still condemns the insurrection until Paiva Couceiro (historical figure), the efective ruler of the Monarchy of the North states: "We will have a king, even that he shall be another king." This message is trusted to the first agent of the new monarchic intelligence service, The Department, which escapes the republican naval blockade.
February, 18 - The Russian scientist Ilyallyich Mechnikov (historical figure), a guest at the Pasteur Institute of Porto since the beginning of the year (fiction), offers his help to the Monarchy of the North. Taking in account his experience in warfare in the Pasteur Institute of Paris during World War I (historical fact), the offer is accepted.
February, 25 - The King arrives at Coruna, benefiting from Galician monarchic contacts. The Department's plan is to make the king's arrival as noticeable as possible. As the entourage moves towards the new realm, news of the arrival spread quickly.
February, 27 - The atitude of Spanish troops, sent to stop the monarch, causes a nationalistic fury in the Galicians, resulting in a bloodbath in Santiago de Compostela.
March, 1 - When the king arrives at Vigo, the Galiza already declared its union to the Monarchy of the North.
March, 8 - Triumphal arrival of Dom Manuel II. The Department deploys two attempts on the monarch's life from its republican counterpart, The Prevention Police (historical fact).
March, 11 - Spain officially declares war on the Monarchy of the North.
March, 12 - Mechnikov presents his hidden ace: production of biofuel from the Port wine, based on a new yeast species, the Saccharomyces monarchica, and belic vehicles, true heirs to World War I tanks, the Mechas.
May, 1 - The Winepunk Civil War is reaching new peaks.
June, 12 - The high number of casualties inflicted to the Republican Army forces Lisbon to engage on tactics to prevent the South from joining the Monarchy of the North.
June, 23 - Spanish attempt to conquer Braganza (Batalha do Bottelon - Battle of Bottelon), defeated by the joined forces fo Portuguese armies and Galician militias.
September, 11 - Begins the Rebelion of Catalunha, after confrontations in front of the monument of Rafael Casanova (historical figure) in Barcelona. Foreign press designates the war in the Iberian Peninsula as the Iberian Cauldron.
October - The Rebelion of Catalunha degenerates in a guerrilla movement, as a large scale action seems impossible. Meanwhile, in the frontier mountains of the Galicia, a second line of trenches is build to support the Monarchy of the North.
November, 9 - Spanish officers are unable to stop the defeats, one after another, and a coup d'etat lead by General primo de Rivera and sanctioned by King Afonso XIII, establishes a dictatorship (historical fact but only two years later).


January, 7 -  Pressured in three fronts (Galiza, Catalunha and Morocco), the Spanish dictatorship hires the german Hugo Stoltzenberg, specialist in chemical weapons (historical fact but only one year later) and collaborates with the Portuguese republicans.
January, 19 - Celebrations of the first year of the Monarchy, shadowed by rumors of Spanish invasions in the coast. First parade of Mecha prototypes.
January, 28 - Foundation of the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco (Tercio de Extranjeros), to fight the berberes.
February, 11 - The actress Gaby Deslys, former love of King Manuel II, dies in Paris and the monarch, that widowed in 1919, embarks on a journey to the USA, to fight depression and gain financial support.
February, 15 - Two Spanish naval fleets are beaten by the new Royal Naval Aeronautics, designed by Portuguese engineers (Batalha dos Carapaus - Battle of the Mackerels), stopping the invasion.
February, 17 - Following the amazing victories, the King arrives in the USA in glory and the American press takes his side, especially due to the animosity from the Hispano-American War of 1889.
March, 5 - The king returns, with Mary Pickford and Thomas Townsend Brown.
April, 21 - Royal wedding between the King and Mary Pickford.
July, 14 - Thomas Townsend Brown starts to develop his concept of Bliefeld-Brown effect (historical but only one year after) for the Monarchy.
October, 19 - The Republic is taken by radicals, which promise to end the Civil War.
October, 31 - First reports of republican antropo-modified platoons attacking the monarchic trenches.
November, 10 - England finally decides to help the Monarchy and invades the Spanish-controlled part of Galiza, establishsing a new British government there. Secretly, the Order of Saint George, a monarchic secret society related to the Department, tries to stop the King from accepting this help.


April, 5 - The air cruiser Vasco da Gama, armed with Bliefeld-Brown weaponry, faces republican airplanes.
July, 22 - Spanish defeat in Battle of Anual, on Morocco (historical fact).
August, 29 - After the Spanish surrender in Mellila (historical fact), Spain sends the Legion to fight the Portuguese Monarchy.


April, 23 - Saint George's Day, the new patron of the Monarchy. The day the Monarchy of the North ends. The reasons are still disputed but, above the Douro River, all land disappears and an Iberian Atlantis lies in ruins, at the bottom fo the sea, the leftover of the Monarchy of the North.

The End?

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