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Thread: ES Vol. IV|Iss. XII: Broken Crescent, Narnia Total War, AAR, Comic

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    Default ES Vol. IV|Iss. XII: Broken Crescent, Narnia Total War, AAR, Comic

    The Eagle Standard


    Editor's Welcome
    Ah yes, the time has come my friends. The time for me and the rest of the Eagle Standard team (who has shrunken for some reason ) to say au revoir (or is it adieu?). Let's just call it farewell. After this issue we will go into hiding in caves in the Caucasus mountains, and will only return on June 2nd.

    Well.....no, I'm lying. We'll still be here, but the Eagle Standard will be in a short hiatus of one month. However, before we go, we want to go out with a bang. Issue XII includes a spectacular interview with Broken Crescent members, mirage41 and AlphaDelta, as well as an interview with oscarreeve, leader of the Narnia Total War mod. Next is the second part to my personal "Sons of Drest" AAR, the comic "The Last Crusader" by Halie Satanus, the PotW, and we close off the issue with the modders' classified ads.

    So, before you leave us, please........JOIN US!

    Bulgaroctonus interviewing mirage41 and AlphaDelta, the co-leaders of the Medieval II: Total War mod, Broken Crescent



    Mirage41

    Can you tell me a little about yourself? How did you enter into the modding scene?

    In real life I'm a 2nd year electrical engineering student here in the Calgary, Canada next to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. And since I mentioned mountains that reminds me of what got me into modding: geography. I love maps and topography and wanting to make my own maps and 'worlds' got me interested in mapping. I had made a few maps for myself in RTW but nothing for a mod or anything. Just treated it more like a hobby or art than modding. So I never really was in the modding scene at all until my announcement of Broken Crescent.

    What is the Broken Crescent mod about?

    Broken Crescent is a modification that focuses on the warring states of the medieval middle east. Broken Crescent features a brand new campaign map that extends from Anatolia and Egypt in the west, through the rocky cliffs and deserts of Persia and Central Asia, and into the deep and mysterious lands of northern India in the east. The game's time era dates from the rise of Saladin and the Crusaders states in 1175, through the devastating Mongol invasions and ending with the conquests of the Timurids in 1400.

    Broken Crescent has many brand new factions that are involved in desperate struggles and empire building. Brand new Muslim factions like the resurgent Abbasid Caliphate in Iraq, the rich city states of Khwarezmia in central Asia and the Ghorids of Afghanistan looking greedily to the riches of India. Broken Crescent also features 3 brand new Christian factions like the Crusaders as the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the embattled Kingdom of Armenia in Cilicia and the rising power of Georgia in the Caucasus. Bored of Muslim and Christians? Then why not hop on your mighty war elephant and take control of the new Rajput States, along with a new religion of Hinduism, and defend India from the Muslim invaders!

    Each faction will feature brand new high quality skins and new models. Spearheaded by Broken Crescent's co-founder AlphaDelta, AKA the "Skinning Machine", this mod has seen fast progress in high quality skins and has already completed the base units of 4 factions and levy units for 2 cultures. So you can expect dozens and dozens of brand new warriors, levies and horsemen of every culture and rank under your control and ready to battle in the strategy world or custom battles.

    Broken Crescent is however not just a pretty game. We are revamping the entire gameplay and forming a more challenging gameplay. No more cheap elite units, no more instant routing, not more stacks of ballistas. Broken Crescent will feature a brand new AOR system inspired by the likes of Rome: Total Realism and Europa Barbarorum but simplified to keep things fun. The campaign game will be feature a set of "home regions" for each faction where they can recruit their whole unit roster. Outside of this only local levies can be recruited. So don't expect to recruit crusader knights in India! However, the flip side of the AOR system is that conquering new lands will give you access to local certain AOR units. So all factions will be able to recruit, say, Elephants if they conquer an Indian city. On top of this the battle system and stats will be entirely revamped to give play longer and more challenging battles. The campaign game will also feature a rich selection of mercenaries that reflects the nature of Muslim military power of that age.

    What inspired you to create the Broken Crescent mod?

    Like most TW players, I'm passionate about history. I am especially interested in the state of the medieval Islamic world and the many conflicts, struggles and invasions that it experienced. I thought that the M2TW would be a great platform to really showcase the struggles of the many divergent Muslim and Christian factions that were present in 1175. Also I felt pretty numbed at this point by the dozens of mods focusing on trying to represent every single European county that every existed as a its own faction. While east of where the vanilla M2TW map ends, there is a rich and exciting strategic scene that could make for an amazing game, yet was being ignored. There were many rich and powerful state that existed in Persia and Afghanistan at this time and I really wanted to see a game that featured them. Also I felt that many mods were also ignoring or not focusing on the eastern Christian states like Armenian Cilicia and Georgia. I wanted to create a mod that really let these two embattled Christian states shine and I knew these two factions would make for some seriously interesting gaming. Lastly, the fact that I had a working knowledge of modding and new what I could and couldn't do led me to conclude that such a mod was technically feasible. So in essence what inspired me to initiate Broken Crescent was to provide a fresh new game featuring an a oft neglected culture, history and region and also the fact that is was entirely do-able.

    Apart from the new AoR system, what other interesting changes will be made to the game?

    Well, there's quite a few things but there are some specifics which I think are very interesting. Of the most interesting is our diversification of Horse Archery, often brushed off as a bore by many players, and Guild's being used for Tribal Affiliation or Settling. For Horse archery, instead of just the generic Vanilla Horse Archery, there's now 2 more additions on top of Vanilla's.

    The first has a 'close bow', with a short range but a powerful punch, able to pierce armor as was historically true at shorter ranges. The second is 'Volley fire', based off of a traditional Middle Eastern style. It puts lots of arrows in the air from usually a stationary but also mobile position, with less damage but a higher quantity. Turkish factions have access to the former, and Less Turkish (Abbasid, Ayyubid, Zengid,) the latter. However, the Archer-Ghulams of Seljuk and Rum will likely use the Volley Fire (As was historically the case with Slave-warrior Turks)

    We need to test to see if the AI responds correctly with Volley Fire, but it should give Horse archery a much needed boost in gameplay. With these two we can achieve some interesting dynamics in warfare. For instance, if Seljuk Close-bow Horse Archers approached your Ayyubid Army, you could use your Volley-Fire Ghulam Archers to spew forth a great amount of low damage but quick arrows, which while not effective against those well armored, could tear up the Close-bowmen before they even get in range. In a similar vein, we'll also be likely to take an approach with melee combat similar to real-combat's, so that we have a true value behind the different weaponry and different units, not just a split of 'the good units' and 'the bad'.

    Another interesting change our planning (Implementation will/may occur if the coding allows it, though it should) for the guild system. Guilds will likely include the civilian ones of Vanilla, more or less, but they will also feature a 'tribal allegiance' system. This is almost the Muslim version of a Crusader Order.

    An example of how we may implement this tribal-Affiliation would be this: Let's say the Abbasids conquer into Afghanistan. The AOR features a Pashtun unit, but there are more Pashtun units unavailable to them. If the Abbasids win enough points with the Pashtun 'guild', the pashtuns will offer a guild in an Afghan city to them. It might offer the AOR Pashtun with a higher valour, or a brand new Pashtun unit. As they gain points with the Pashtun guild, they get a bigger guildhouse and better units. This is however a work in progress and subject to change, but preliminary research points to it being possible.

    There is also a similar concept for Outremer, if we include the other 1-2 Crusader Kingdoms as minor kingdoms. Since we have no plans to expand into the west, we can bring the west to us. Much like Caius had shipments of Crusaders from 4 European Nations in his mod, the Tribal Affiliation system can be tailored to give each State of Outremer their own European 'sponsor'.

    For instance, it was the Italio-Norman Bohemond I who established the Principality of Antioch. This would mean that if implemented, Antioch could recruit some Italian and Norman Units other Outremer States cannot. Either this would be as part of their native roster, or as a guild representing firmer ties with the lords of Italy and Norman Sicily.

    We are still uncertain if we'll include Antioch or Tripoli just yet. If we do not include these two, then the "Sponsor-system" can work even better with guilds in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. However, this is still a concept not yet certain to be implemented.

    Why do you think Total War players will enjoy your mod?

    There's many reasons that might vary depending on the player, but overall, I think it's because we're a fresh setting with diverse and beautiful factions.

    One of the finer reasons persists to our approach: You can say that our mod is Historically inspired and historically based, but not a historical Imitation. We care about history and adhere to many of it's guidelines, but we are not hindered or forced by it to follow the smallest detail [As EB or RTR did and pulled it off wonderfully]. We're more in line with Caius' "The Crusades" mod, something attempting to depict the Vivid, Epic tableau of the Middle East. This lets us take some creative licensing and improve where it might be stale or otherwise boring. We don't go over the line and into the realm of fantasy, however. Everything has some historical link.

    Yet I think that a lot of those who didn't expect to enjoy the mod shall be thoroughly surprised. Many may have shrugged off the mod, assuming it would be centered on the horse archery that is synonymous with the Mid-East. Yet in research we've found a very under appreciated atmosphere of infantry and cavalry that is giving the Mideast as much if not more diversity than one might find in Europe.

    From the Abna Elite Militiamen charging beneath a javelin storm of the notorious Daylami, who fight like Roman Legionaries lost in the hills of Iran for centuries, to exotic Rajput elephants and infantry holding out beneath the stress of hordes of aggressive light Afghan and Pashtun infantry. Seljuk Cavalry darting about the thunderous charge of Khwarezm Cataphracts, as well as the Heavy Georgians clashing with the well-equipped Splendor of Byzantium. Or the lion's charge of the knights of Christ, as spear and shield line up in the Ayyubid's line, tall flags with the scripture of Allah flipping about in the wind.

    We've got it all for them to enjoy and more.

    And to spice things up a bit, when you're done with the creation of Broken Crescent, which faction will you play first?
    I've joked that with each faction's development, someone will say they'll play that one first, and then with the next they'll say the same thing. This holds true with Broken Crescent: it's really hard to say which I'd play first, because all of them offer so much potential. We didn't go for almost game-y diversity in the factions, yet the finer differences have seemed to end up being far more diversifying and entertaining than any blunt and simple unit inclusions or exclusions could have. The Seljuk's strong Close-bow Component, the Crusader's absolute-dominance in the Charge, the Ghorid's monopoly on affordable and effective light infantry, all of these and the others unmentioned make it so that while each faction tends to have at least one of each unit type, they are by no means similar.

    I have to say that Khwarezm or the Ghaznavid Sultanate will be first for me. The Daylami have really impressed me, being perhaps the only professional infantry from the fall of Rome until the rise of the Swiss to be known to us so many centuries later and gain widespread renown (Being known and used all over the Muslim world).

    How would you describe Broken Crescent mod in 10 words?

    The essence and grandeur of the warring medieval Middle East.

    AlphaDelta

    Where did you learn to skin so beautifully?

    My interest and skills have always been in 3D, but I was more or less forced to learn photoshop in order to paint textures for my models. That said I honestly don't consider myself to be a skinner. Most of my skins use components (chainmail, helmets etc) from M2TW's textures. I'm really the 'cut and shut' guy of M2TW skinning.

    On average, how long does it take you to skin one unit?

    It can take anywhere between 10 minutes and an entire weekend, depending on whether I have already made a template for that model or not. Since the release of the .mesh converter, I've found it actually takes longer, and on average I spend at least 5 hours working on the new mesh (making weapons/shields/helmets/head gear etc) before I even open photoshop.

    Where do you get your inspiration for your skins?

    Usually from the resources that are posted on our forum. For some factions (Armenia especially) we lacked good resources so I had to use some imagination. Often we look at what other mod teams have produced to give us ideas for our work.

    Of all the units you've skinned for Broken Crescent so far, which is your favourite?

    Either the javilenmen from the Rajputs or the Nubian archers from the Abbasids. They both have new shields and weapons and have new and distinctive looks.

    When you're done with the creation of Broken Crescent, which faction will you play first?

    Probably the Seljuks. At the beginning of the campaign they hold so much land, and border so many factions that you're really going to have to fight hard to control your borders. We have some interesting units planned for the Seljuks including different styles of horse archery. They're really going to be the faction for the horse archer fan.

    Any other comments


    Thanks to Grumpyoldman, KnightErrant and co. for their work on the .mesh format and for letting me alpha test their converter.



    And now, for some SCREENSHOTS, courtesy of Ahiga, of Broken Crescent

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Baghdad, the heart of a united Muslim Empire, now merely another pulsating artery in the bloodied veins of this shattered world.


    A scene that has played itself out a thousand times over a thousand years, as horsemen of the steppe trot through their domain, such a thing that's borders are not even found at the edge of the horizon.


    Jerusalem. Navel of the world to Christians, third holiest city to Muslims. Always at the crossroads of cultures, always in proximity to the fight of great empires. Perhaps the only certainty of Jerusalem is this, and not to whom it belongs to.


    A resurgent Abbasid Caliphate, walking in the very same strides as the ancestral caliph's did so many centuries ago, advancing into Central Asia and Iran.


    Under the watchful eyes of God, and symbol of Christ, the Crusaders march towards God-given victory, or God-given defeat.


    Well Armored and Well invigorated by faith and martial pride, the Georgians charge, and it would be a promising foe who might not flinch or tremble at their arrival.


    However ornate these Abbasid Horsemen might look, they are all business, and get down to such as they circle and shoot at the Crusaders over on the hill.


    The Daylami Infantry (Medium Infantry), men who seemed like Roman Legionaries who got lost in the hills of Iran and emerged centuries later. With shield wall, axe, and Javelin, they have made a name for themselves as infantry when their neighbors and enemies fought with bow and horse.


    Their Heavier version.


    One would be foolish to suspect the Rajputs will be a pushover to the Ghorids. Though less armored than the spearmen of Islam and Christ, armor is not end-all in the hot, hilly jungles of India.


    However humble they might look, it is these men to whom the guardianship of Islam fell to for nearly a Millennia.


    "The pagans recruited by the infidel prince, in addition to the Turks, Saracens, Arabs, and Persians (who are already familiar to historians), bore new names: they were the Publicans, the Kurds, the Azimites, and the Agulani, together with innumerable others, who were by no means human, but monsters. Three thousand of those who were called Agulani were said to be present, and they were afraid neither of swords, lances, arrows, nor any kind of arms, because they and their horses were covered with armor everywhere. In battles the only weapons they used were their swords."


    Nakharar cavalry of Armenia, whom with faces shrouded by mail should have their humanity be found only in the artwork of Saint and Christ. Only eyes may peer from beneath that veil, and with the vengeance and warrior's zeal those eyes carry, any underneath such a gaze would find little humanity in them.



    -----------------------------------------



    Don't forget to check out Broken Crescent's forums HERE AT TWC

    While you're there, don't forget to look at the Units Thread, where all of the up to date unit skins are posted!

    Also, if you're a fan of Broken Crescent, make sure to have a dandy Broken Crescent Signature like these:




    and more!

    Well, that's all for today. Phew, I'm tired, maybe I should retire. I hope that you enjoyed this interview, and I want to thank once again mirage41 and AlphaDelta.

    See you again soon!





    selenius4tsd interviewing oscarreeve, leader of Narnia Total War, a mod for Rome: Total War


    So we come to the last edition of the Eagle Standard...for now at least. From my side I'd just like to say thanks to everyone for their support and be sure to check us when we are back!

    Ive got a special guest with us today, oscarreeve, creator of Narnia Total War! I'm sure you'll find out though, its not all lions and witches and wardrobes...

    Narnia Total War - sounds like an ambitious project..
    Yes, Narnia TW is about recreating the fantasy world that C.S.Lewis managed to create in the Narnia books, which means we have quite a high standard to look up to.

    Why make a mod on Narnia? What inspired you to do so?
    it was when i had got to the silver chair in the narnia series when i suddenly thought that narnia would make a cool mod, anyway i had been wanting to do a mod for quite a long time so there u go it all semed to slot in to place, when i look back on now it kinds of seem ser real that i am actually leading a mod.

    Will we see real lions and witches like in the book?
    This question has been asked a few times before so i will be able to answer fairly easily.
    Aslan will appear in one historical battle but not actually in the campaign and custom battles. Jadis (a witch) will appear in the campaign and some historical battles.

    Who is on the team?
    Its a pretty big team...
    First of all Leonidas the Lion - he is the co-leader and is helping a lot in almost every way possible.
    Then there is Pharnakes, he is making the map and the unit stats.
    Alexander 323 is learning scripting and doing a flash preview, while King numero is doing concept art.
    Roman man 3 is helping us with some skinnig and Murfios, who made all the faction symbols, is going to start skinning for us when we need it.
    Jula_barca has given us some of his models from his own mod and skinned the centaurs for us, gandalf the white is doing some loading screens, and elohim is writing the campaign descriptions.
    However, we are still looking for a modelers, so join up if you can!

    Imagine it is the day Narnia TW is released; Im thinking that I should wait up all day/night to download your mod – what will make the waiting worth it?
    Erm... the main thing that i would say that is worth waiting for is the mythical beasts or combination of mythical beasts - we are going to have centaurs, minotaurs, giants, fauns, etc.
    Also for Narnian fans it would be worth waiting for the historical battles as we are going to make them as close to the book as possible.

    What tips would you give to someone who wants to make their own mod? What would you suggest for them to start off?
    I would advice for people who want to start modding to first of all make sure you have the time and do not rush into it. Secondly, if you do have the time build up a faction list as well as a unit list; that often gets more people interested. Last of all, once you have some beautifully made models take a screenshot of them and post them as the public love to see screenshots.

    Where do you see this mod going in the future? Do you plan on doing an expansion pack?
    I see this mod in the future to be a great success. I think there will be some expansions but at the moment we are working on our first release (as there is no release at the moment) and once that is done we can start to think of expansions, etc...

    What would be a slogan for your mod?
    Um, this may be rubbish but it is all i can think of.. "Enter Narnia , Enter War!"

    And now for the lovely sneak preview...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    selenius4tsd, for the Eagle Standard, saying farewell



    After Action Report



    Presents:

    Sons of Drest

    by Bulgaroctonus

    Part I of "Sons of Drest" found HERE

    Part II

    King Kenneth III


    Right from the outset of his reign, Kenneth III saw that it would not be an easy one. A month following his coronation, Munster was lost to the Irish, and a civil war erupted throughout the Kingdom. The rebels, led by Artgal of Alba, had more than 4,000 men in their armies, while the loyalist forces easily outnumbered them with 8,000 men. The rebels had taken hold of eastern Ireland and northern Scotland, but the richest provinces were still in royal hands. And so, Kenneth began the long road to reconquest.

    In 849, two years after subduing some of the northern lands, there was an attack on Cyril by the Northumbrians; this raid sent shivers down the spine of Kenneth; he could not tolerate another enemy in these tumultuous times. Fortunately for him, the Northumbrians were quick to call a ceasefire, and Kenneth to turn his sights on Scotland and Eire once more.

    In 850, an army under the command of Prince Fergus invaded Brega, just south of Ulster, and decided to Teamhair by storm. The army, which amounted to more than 3,000 men, was set on taking it from Conare the Swift, who commanded 2,000 troops. The memory of their comrades who had fallen in these hills 40 years earlier was imprinted into each and every warrior’s minds.


    The assault began when Scottish troops ripped through the first gate to the castle, and quickly dispersed the defending spearmen. The rest of the Irish troops retreated back behind the main fortifications to await the final Scottish breakthrough. As Scottish troops were massing near the gate, Conare the Swift ordered a final desperate sally to try and disperse the enemy. The fighting in and around the gate is extremely bloody, with the Irish fighting for their lives.


    But the Irish defence was all for naught. The fierce onslaught could not be stemmed, and within an hour the Scots were masters of Teamhair. The fall of Teamhair to the Scots is considered by many historians to be the turning point of the Irish War; others however claim that the Battle of Laigin, which took place in 861 (and will be discussed soon), was the true, definitive turning point.


    The fall of Teamhair stunned all of southern Eire. With both sides weary to take the initiative, there was an uneasy ceasefire (though not technically) for nine years. In 860 Prince Fergus led an army into Laigin, south of Brega, and awaited a relieving Irish force. That force came the following year: it was led by the Irish Prince Brian, who was at the head of a 4,000 man army. Fergus, with his 6,000 man army, decided to meet him in combat

    Fergus set up his army on a ridge overlooking Prince Brian’s army. He placed most of his spears on the left flank and most of his lighter infantry on the right flank (though he did include a unit of highlanders in the left flank). He knew that the battle would be met on the left part of the ridge, so he placed his spears there to hold off the enemy troops while his lighter infantry came around the right flank and attacked the enemy in the back or side.


    The main combat took place on the left flank, just as Fergus had predicted. However, his troops on the right had been delayed by strong enemy resistance, and were not able to break through for quite some time. Soon the Irish resolve began to deteriorate, and the Irish right broke and ran. Soon the whole army was in flight, and Fergus with the rest of the Scottish cavalry, chased the fleeing troops for miles, cutting down all in their path.


    The slaughter was great. The army under Prince Fergus had killed more than 2,500 Irishmen, and took more than 1,000 prisoners. Their own loses amounted to 1,000 casualties. The Irish were broken, and the path to domination of the whole island was in sight. In four years King Kenneth would die, and Prince Fergus the Conqueror would become King Fergus I. This time there was no civil war; no rebellions; no discontent. This time Fergus could complete his conquest of Eire…


    Picture of the Week

    Well, unfortunately the Picture of the Week has not released a victor this week, due to the new reforms to its structure. For those not familiar with it, please visit the Picture of the Week Forum, and report back to me when you have it figured out......I have no idea how it works myself . Needless to say, I hope it works out well.

    Alright then.....next


    Comic

    That's right, the third installment of Halie Satanus's comic "The Last Crusader" has returned! Click on the spoiler to view it in all its glory!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 







    Modders' Classified Ads




    Justinian Total War:
    looking for skinners, mappers and coders


    Xenophonia
    : looking for translators and voice actors

    Alagaesia Total War: looking for a mapper (map heights)


    Inca Total War
    : looking for skinners, 2D Artists, and scripters

    Memoirs of India: looking for scriptors, map makers, skinners and modellers (the whole shabang)

    For more adds, make sure to visit the Modders' Classified Ads forum




    Well, that's it folks. I want to thank you for reading the Eagle Standard, and joining it on its fourth journey. All of us aboard the SS Eagle Standard hope that you return in June and join us for the fifth Volume of the Eagle Standard: we've got some radical changes coming (some which the guy members here might really like.....)

    I shall say no more, but will add a lyric from a certain Beatles song....

    And in the end
    The love you take
    Is equal to the love you make.



    See ya later
    Last edited by therussian; May 06, 2007 at 06:17 PM.

    House of the Caesars | Under the Patronage of Comrade Trance Crusader. Proud Patron of Comrades Shadow_Imperator, Zenith Darksea, Final Frontier and Plutarch | Second Generation| ex-Eagle Standard Editor| Consilium de Civitate | Album Reviews

  2. #2
    Indefinitely Banned
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    Default Re: ES Vol. IV|Iss. XII: Broken Crescent, Narnia Total War, AAR, Comic

    It was our pleasure being inteviewed by you Bulgaroctonus, Thanks!

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    selenius4tsd's Avatar Happiness Is A Warm Gun
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    Default Re: ES Vol. IV|Iss. XII: Broken Crescent, Narnia Total War, AAR, Comic

    Good stuff all around!
    Under the patronage of vikrant
    Patron of Ramtha, Alletun, finneys13, SirPaladin and GrnEyedDvl

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    Hex Khan's Avatar Oooooh Yeeeaah!!
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    Default Re: ES Vol. IV|Iss. XII: Broken Crescent, Narnia Total War, AAR, Comic

    Thank the various gods its all over! hazzah!
    Freedom from Bulgaroctonus' heavy enslaving yoke!

    You may take my interviews, you may take my AARs, but you'll never take my Freedom!!!!!!

    *rattles AAR cage*
    C'mon dont leave me here till june! I'll miss my birthday! Dont turn off the lights!

    ....
    ....
    *Sitting in the dark*
    ....
    ....

    I hate you guys...
    Historical Reenactor and Proud of it
    Winner of Best AAR Writer Award 2007

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