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Offline rickshaw

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Eora!
« on: January 19, 2012, 08:42:25 pm »
Eora

Chapter 1 - The Dreamtime


In the dreamtime, the first groups of what we now call Eoraians arrived on what is now called Eora, approximately 50,000 years ago.  They are the oldest living culture on Earth.   This story begins 20,000 years ago, when the Megafauna still ruled, before the Eucalypts came to dominate on the continent and helped dry the environment to the point where the Megafauna died out.  When the Aborigines arrivd after crossing the narrow sea gap, in the midst of the last great Ice Age when water levels were lower, they were a technologically primitive people which already had a rich culture.   This was what they called the "Dream Time".  A period of apparemtly idyllic existence, in a veritable Garden of Eden while they explored and occupied this new continent.

Approximately 10,000 years ago, that started to change.   When Apari Currawinya who is recorded as the first herder noticed that the Megafauna were disappearing he decided to do something about it.  He gathered several baby Bunama (A small, bullock sized Diprotodontid., which are called today Zygomaturus trilobus in European nomenclature) and hand reared them, domesticating them.  He showed his people the Koori what he had done and convinced them that this was a way to assure them of always having food available, compared to their traditional hunter-gatherer ways.  Sometime later, believed to be about 5,000 years ago, a woman, named Anjea noticed that if she spilt certain seeds upon the ground, if she returned after the rains, they would have sprouted and be growing.  She experimented with the various plants that were edible.  She soon had some small gardens and was able to feed her family as they moved from waterhole to waterhole, following their Bunama herd.  She decided to settle down and farm.  Soon other clans and then tribes begane to copy her and agriculture arrived on the continent.

With a more settled, agricultural lifestyle, Koori, Noonga and Murri begane to vie for the best lands, suited to their changed lifestyle.  Tribal wars and disputes waxed and waned.  As the continent began to dry out, the Noonga found themselves becoming increasing isolated as a desert barrier formed across the centre of the continent from the centre to the southern coast.  Trade started but was difficult.  The next big step was the discovery of smelting.  Ja'Edo Wens is credited with the discovery of how to mine ore and smelt it into metal.  Apparently observing that when struck with lightning certain rocks would melt and become maleable.  He recreated the effect with fire and created spear points which were stronger and sharper and longer lasting than the previous flint or bone ones.  Soon, metal became commonplace and was put to other uses, such as plows and other agricultural instruments.   Of course, weapons also appeared.  The aforementioned spear tips, then swords and slowly armour.

With the establishment of agriculture, farms, villages, towns and eventually cities appeared.  Initially small by European standards, they grew slowly.  Roads linked them with their surround hinterland and thence to one another.  The Koori were the best situated, in the South East corner of the continent where the rains were fairly predictable and the majro river systems existed.  After several severe cyclical droughts, dams also appeared.  The Murri, across the top and East of the continent were the first to come into contact with overseas traders.  Maccassians (from the islands now called the Celebes) were the most plentiful, coming in search of Trepang and Sea Slug.  From them, the Murri learnt the art of ocean going canoe building.  This enabled them to spread a web of trade not only to the relatively prosperous Northern Islands but slowly around the continent.   They came into much heavier contact with the Noonga and eventually even reached that lonely, isolated outpost of the Kooris in Tasmania.   It was through trade and war that the Aborigines slowly became united.   In the end, the three nations, the Koori, the Murri and the Noongas came to predominate over all others.  They were uneasy rivals who were forced to largely accept each other's territorial claims.  Each slowly advanced technologically, sometimes with new innovations arriving via trade with South-East Asia.  Their origin largely remained a mystery, away to the South East.  It was known to be a vast land, occasionally smoke from gigantic bushfires coloured the skies in that direction and were observed from the nearer islands like Timor.

Large canoes became small ships, which in turn developed into medium sized ones.  This allowed them to range further afield and soon Murri, Koori or even Noonga ships were irregular visitors to ports in SE Asia and the Islands.   Gun powder was introduced and cannons appeared.  However warfare still remained largely unorganised and often ceremonial, between leaders and champions on both sides.  Slowly their numbers increased, filling the land.

When the first Europeans started to arrive, in the form of the Dutch, in the late 17th centry, they discovered a fierce, warrior race.  However, their first encounters on the remote, desolate NW coast weren't encouraging.  While they saw some evidence of some technology and trade in the form of metal weapons and coloured clothes used as clothing and adornment.  They were unable to ascertain though, where these come from and largely repelled by the forbidding nature of the terrain and the peoples, they largely ignored the continent.  Torres, Tasman and other explorers touched the edges of the continent and described its periphery, never understanding its true size or the complexity of the culture which was growing up there.   Occasionally, Murri, Koori or Noonga ships were encountered in the distance but they always shied off from a direct encounter with the Europeans.  On the few occasions when it was unavoidable, they could not or would not communicate with the hails from the passing European ships.  While these encounters were written up and occasionally made it into the reports of the captains, they were largely ignored by the European authorities.  What was noted was that these people appeared to be efficient seamen and their ships seemed well armed and had a mix of influences, such as from SE Asia and the sub-continent.

[to be continued]  
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 04:02:55 pm by rickshaw »
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Offline The Rat

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Re: Eora!
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 07:12:00 am »
Lovin' it!  :thumbsup:
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: Eora!
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 07:43:47 pm »
Eora

Chapter 2 - Contact!

In 1766, the Royal Society engaged Captain James Cook RN to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun. Cook, at the age of 39, was promoted to lieutenant and named as commander of the expedition.[15][16] The expedition sailed from England in 1768, rounded Cape Horn and continued westward across the Pacific to arrive at Tahiti on 13 April 1769, where the observations of the Venus Transit were made. However, the result of the observations was not as conclusive or accurate as had been hoped. Once the observations were completed, Cook opened the sealed orders which were additional instructions from the Admiralty for the second part of his voyage: to search the south Pacific for signs of the postulated rich southern continent of Terra Australis. Cook later mapped the complete New Zealand coastline, making only some minor errors. He then sailed west, reaching the south-eastern coast of the Eora continent on 19 April 1770, and in doing so his expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline.

As he sailed northwards, along the coast, he found his ship mixing with numerous canoes and ships of many sizes, moving north and south.  He also observed many small villages and even towns, nestled amongst the hills along the coast. On 23 April he made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Eoraians at Brush Island near Bawley Point, noting in his journal: "...and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour. Many were dressed in bright, dyed, clothing and carried weapons.  They viewed our approach with some apprehension." On 29 April Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known to Europeans as the Kurnell Peninsula, which he named Botany Bay after the unique specimens retrieved by the botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. It is here that James Cook made first contact with an Aboriginal tribe known as the Gweagal.  He also observed, to the north, a cloud of smoke, which he surmised came from a large town.  The Gweagal received him apprehensively but accepted the few gifts that they were presented with.  Cook was able to see that they carried what were obviously firearms.  This alarmed him and he in turn was wary about staying in the area.

After his departure from Botany Bay he continued northwards.  The Endeavour soon passed a narrow opening between high cliffs from which many ships and canoes issued, surrounding the ship.  With some reluctance, Cook allowed his ship to be forced into the narrow mouth, only to discover a gigantic harbour, well appointed for the anchorage of ships.  There were literally hundreds of canoes and small and large ships surrounding his.   Through signs, he allowed a well appointed delegation, obviously leaders and chiefs to come onboard the Endeavour.  This as the first historic meeting between a modern European nation's representatives and the Koori peoples.   Gifts were exchanged, with Cook being presented with a ceremonial club, called a Nullah-Nullah.   He in turn presented some trinkets and a watch.  Later he was to learn that he had spoken to the Mayor of Djubugul.  Cook stayed a week.  During that time he was allowed to tour the city and it was a city, nearly as large as London.  He found it a busy place with forges, shipyards, markets and all the hustle and bustle of a metropolis.  The scientists he had brought with him on his voyage visited the places of learning in the city, finding academies and universities.

He left Djubugul on 30 May 1770.  He continued northwards, nearly running aground on what was to become known to Europeans as "the great barrier reef".  Along the way he passed other cities but did not pause, feeling that his discovery need to be gotten back to England as speedily as possible.  He then sailed through Torres Strait and on 22 August he landed on Possession Island, where he claimed as British territory the entire coast he had sailed along, despite the obvious prior claim of the native Eorians. He returned to England via Batavia (modern Jakarta, Indonesia), where many in his crew succumbed to malaria, the Cape of Good Hope and the island of Saint Helena, arriving on 12 July 1771.

His findings caused a sensation in first the UK and then later, Europe.  Cook had obviously discovered not only a new continent but an entirely new culture.  One that had developed in almost complete isolation from all other cultures and was apparently even more ancient than that of China.  This knowledge fermented for over a decade in London.  Many proposed greater contact with the Natives of Eora.  Some suggested conquest, point to Cook's claim on the coast.  Some said such imperial endeavours were invariably a gross wastage of the public purse and pointed to the mounting costs of attempting to quell the rebellion in North America.   As always, it was the merchants who carried the flag.  The Dutch upon hearing the news sent messages to Batavia, suggesting that trade be opened with the new southern continent.   When London heard of that, they immediately decided they would support merchantile efforts as well.  Several merchant ships sailed south.   When the Dutch, made the Murri their primary point of contact, along with some interaction with the Noonga.  The English concentrated upon the Koori.   All three tribal nations were cautious but cordial in their contacts with the Europeans.  The Europeans, for their part were as well, at least initially.

1779 became known amongst the Eorians as the "Year of Sorrow".  The increased contact with Europeans had come at a price.  That price was disease.  Smallpox was introduced by the Dutch to northern Australia and spread like wildfire across the continent.  Then came Measles, Chickenpox, and the worst of the lot - Plague, the Black Death, in successive waves, each in turn exacting its own casualties.  It is now estimated that the total loss was as high as 40% for the entire population.  Eoraian society was devastated.  Death bestrode the land and carried off millions.  Villages, towns, even cities disappeared.   Eoraian medicine was totally unable to cope.  Corpses literally piled up and rotted in the sun as there was no one able or willing to bury them.

This did not go unnoticed.  When the news reached Europe, several powers all thinking alike, started to plot the establishment of colonies in this rich, now partially empty land.  In London, a new penal colony had been planned to be established in what is now called Canada was being fitted out.  Designed to relieve the pressure on the over-crowded prisons and hulks, it was intended to remove the worst from England and plant them in a new land where they might have a chance to redeem themselves.   The Imperialist Expansion faction, by some quick lobbying and committee work had the location of the new Penal colony changed to Eora.  It was felt that the large Island, discovered by Abel Tasman and named by him "Van Diemen's Land" in 1642, would be an excellent initial starting point and secure base.  It appeared the natives were more primitive than the mainlanders and it was even more sparsely settled after the plagues had swept across it's population.  The fleet was assembled, the convicts loaded and it set sail on 3 May 1787 from Portsmouth.  It arrived in Tasmania on 27 January 1788 after a long, arduous voyage out.  The new settlement of Port Arthur was established on the SE coast.  The local Eorians did not discover it until nearly a month later.  A small, sorry band wandered into the settlement seeking succour.  The settlers helped them under the orders of the Governor who was intent on befriending them.

While the English were establishing their colony, a French explorer, the name of Nicolas Beaudin was dispatched by the new French Revolutionary Government to explore Eora in 1798.  While the primary purpose of the expedition was scientific, he was also charged seek contact with Eora with the prospect of establishing a French Colony on the new continent.   His ship arrived off the South-Western Eoraian coast late in 1799.  In the meantime, war had been declared between Britian and France but the news had not yet reached the otherside of the world.  Baudin sailed along the south coast, finding several fine harbours suitable for the establishment of French colonies.  He also found Eoraians in greater numbers than the Van Diemen's Land English had.  He was welcome cautiously by Eoraians which had survived the Plagues who were wary of further contact with Europeans.  He negotiated particularly with the Noongas of Kincinnup, where he signed a treaty.  In return for ceding the use of land around the excellent harbour he had discovered there, the Noongas would receive protection and food.   He left a small group of sailors and dispatched one of his ships immediately back to France for settlers.

At the same time, the Dutch had forced a colony on the Murris in Northern Eora.  Upon landing, the Dutch merchant-adventurer,  Jospeh Frederick de Houtman, encountered a party of Eoraians, whom, upon discovery of what his party was doing - building fortifications - called upon them to cease.  De Houtman massacred them.  When more Eoraians arrived, they in turn were killed.  Finally when the chiefs of the local tribe, the Larrakeyah raised the alarm and the Murris organised a large, militia force equipped with guns and cannon to drive the Dutch out, they found a large, well established fort.  When their champion was killed when he called upon the Dutch to fight in the traditional manner, the entire force attacked.  The Dutch beat them off, killing over a thousand Murris.  This established the pattern of interaction with the Dutch who established a chain of forts along the North coast.  While trade was uppermost on their mind, they believe the best way to establish that was to force the locals to accept their presence and domination.

[TO BE CONTINUED]
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 01:45:15 am by rickshaw »
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: Eora!
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 09:32:57 pm »
Part 3 - Accommodation

The English colony in Van Diemen's Land flourished amongst the rich, lush landscape.  The Eoraians were treated well, in the early days of the colony and welcomed the charity.  Unfortunately that started to change, when the English started to expand their colony.  Suddenly the colonists found themselves and their demands for new land coming into conflict with the Eorians' existing ones.  The English, responded with force but found their foes elusive and so a guerrilla war started.  Eorians flitting through the forests, the suddenly flash of a black skinned body, the bark of a musket or the whoosh of a spear and either a hit or a miss would eventuate.  The attacks came without warning.  The English found it expedient not to travel or live alone.  When an Eorian settlement was discovered, the eventual result was rape, pillage and massacre.  The local Kooris appealed to their mainland cousins and soon fresh troops arrived.   The slightly superior technology, the ruthless use of superior tactics and training resulted in the eventual defeat of the Eorians who found themselves increasingly confined to the very rugged Western half of the island where even they found living hard.  The Eorians who accepted their new colonial overlords weren't necessarily treated well.  The majority were moved onto Missions where their souls could be saved for them and starved by colonial administrations who preferred that they'd all died out.

On the mainland, the Koori nation slow became aware of the fate of their cousins across the Strait.  However, they were also suffering incessant raids from European and American sealers and whalers who stole women and food, when they could.  Their political organisation was that of something akin to a loose feudal system, with family, clan, tribe all owing fealty and loyalty to one another.  Overlaid over the top was the concept of "skin" - a bewildering concept to most Europeans - where members of all three levels of society had criss-crossing loyalties based upon blood relationship to one another.  Intermarriage was possible and indeed encouraged as a means of ensuring greater loyalty.  The Great Chief was elected periodically at Grand Corroborees where the different groups came together to celebrate, feast and exchange brides and women.  Special ceremonies were also performed.  At all levels, the leaders/Chiefs also performed religious duties, advised by Kadja Men ("Shamans") and were a major part of "Secret Mens' Business" as it was known.

The Great Chief could call upon all the tribes and clans to provide manpower when and if required for large projects, both in peacetime and war.  He was also charged with the management of roads, riverways and ports which might and often did cross clan and tribal boundaries.  On top of all this, groups which were roughly analogous to European Guilds and other collective organisations which made up of numerous different people from multiple clans and tribes owed their loyality to him.  He also maintained a small regular military force, made up of technicians and champions from the clans and tribes, with which he enforced the peace and if necessary could respond to civil or military emergencies.  This force was a strange mix of the technically inclined and proficient and the traditionalists.  The first group maintained the artillery and other specialist arms, while the second were the champions who answered traditional challenges or made them to decide battles.

The Murri and the Noonga were similarly but necessarily identically organised.  The Koori because of their more settled nature in the more bountiful South East of the continent tended to be the more sophisticatedly organised.  The major differences were that the Noonga, living on much more marginal lands tended to be much more decentralised, with several Great Chiefs.  The Murri had a Great Chief and a Great Chieftess each charged with control of respectively, "Secret" Mens' or Womens' "Business" whereas in the other two tribes, women had a distinctly subservient position.

The Noonga's suffered far less from the depredations of the Whalers and Seakers, having been taken under the protective wing of the French.  Several colonies were established on the best harbours on the South coast.   Yannicup (in the RW called "Albany") and Kepa Kurl (RW called "Esperance").  The Napoleonic wars however came to Eora, with the British seeking to destroy French influence on the new continent.  British naval ships intercepted and captured French ships or blockaded the French colonies. Several minor sea battles were fought in the apppraches to the continent from the West.  The French faired badly and were almost at the point of starvation when the Noongas came to their rescue.  Their small navy, joined with a French convoy and managed to beat off the British blockaders.  There was considerable chagrin at that and the British organised a small invasion force from the colonists of Van Dieman's land which attacked the settlement at Kepa Kuri, seizing it and burning it to the ground.

The French withdrew to Yannicup and managed to defend it with the help of the Noongas.  The Kooris in the meantime looked at what was occurring and decided that it would be better to, at least initially, join with the English than fight against them.  They invited the English to sign a treaty of friendship and trade with them.   In exchange for assured levels of trade, the British were to curb the raids by the Sealers and Whalers and to provide technical advice to the Koori Army and Navy.  The English, flattered decided it would be easier to seek accommodation rather than open warfare with the Koori nation.   In the light of the end of the Napoleonic Wars and a desire to curb defence spending, this was seen as the wiser course.

The Murris on the otherhand had entered into a long period of ongoing conflict with the Dutch.  Seeking to expand their hold on the North Coast, the string of Dutch forts were slowly being expanded Eastwards.   Outbursts of fighting, the exchange of strong points, the deaths of large numbers on both sides embittered all.  The Dutch found trade poor, their ships occasionally being overwhelmed but pride prevented them cutting their losses and leaving.

The Dutch were slowly forced backwards.  The sheer numbers of Murris told against them.  Their colonial administration in the East Indies realised they were on a losing course.  In 1860, they finally decided to withdraw almost completely from the continent.  Two forts though, were retained.  One on an island off the North Coast, nicknamed "Goodenuff", the other in a large harbour, nicknamed "Parrakeet" after a misunderstanding, perhaps deliberate of the local tribe's name.  Even those were occasionally raided but their large, stout walls were more than sufficient to keep the Murri forces at bay.

Over the ~80 years since the establishment of the Treaty of Friendship and Co-Operation, the English had moulded the Koori military into a well led, well trained and above all else, well equipped force.  Well appraised of the latest developments in Europe already, when gold was discovered in Koori lands in 1855, the Kooris were able to purchase the best that Europe could produce.  They also found many Europeans coming to their lands as part of the massive Gold Rush.  In the first two years, over a million Europeans came ashore, along with 500,000 Chinese, all attracted by the lure of apparently easy riches.  The Koori were simply not used to such vast numbers of people, nor of the new found wealth.  Villages became towns, towns became cities and cities, metropolises.   The boom was a heady time.

The first thing many of the Europeans found difficult was the idea of Black people being in charge.   Another was the presence of the Chinese.  Riots broke out when the Chinese were felt to be getting a better deal from the Koori, when in reality both groups were treated somewhat with disdain by the ruling people.   When a European anti-Chinese riot near the new town of Baalarat swelled into open rebellion and defiance of the authorities, they moved swiftly.  The stockade that had been hurriedly built by the Rebels, flying its flag of blue defiance was rapidly over-run by the well trained and equipped Koori regulars.  Onlookers were to later write of the horrifying savagery of the Kooris, bayoneting and stabbing their opponents as they stormed the flimsy walls of the stockade near the Eureka Creek.  Mention was made of trophy taking, with fingers and ears being favourites.

Many Europeans and Chinese fled the gold-fields, terrified at the possibility of a Koori pogrom against them.  However, it never eventuated.  The Koori authorities, mindful of their need of the Europeans and Chinese to dig the yellow metal from their soil, quickly and efficiently, ensured that while they were aware that they were not in control, their contribution was valued.   Many Europeans and Chinese made the Koori lands their permanent home, once the Gold Rush had abated.  With their knowledge and labour, most facets of Koori technology were transformed.  Everything became more efficient and more up to date.  Many Koori took in particular to the introduction of Steam.  Soon, railways were criss-crossing the land, linking far flung places with one another, conquering the tyranny of distance.  Steam powered river boats ploughed the great river basins of South-East Eora.  Steam ships were soon joining Eora's three main tribal lands with one another. By the 1880s, the Kooris were the equal of the British in most aspects of this new technology and had started to industrialise their economy.

In the West, the French influence was less but still noticeable.  Many Noonga became Francophiles, adopting French names, manners, dress, cuisine and technology.  Regional differences started to become far more noticeable, with Southern Noonga  more Francophone compared with Northern Noonga .  France was looked to for innovation and protection, becoming closely allied with the Noonga  leadership.  However, this lead, as we have seen to the Noonga becoming involved in the Napoleonic wars, to their detriment.   Even after this, the French influence remained pronounced in Noonga society.

In the North, the Murri waged their long campaign, attempting to eject the Dutch from their land.  This lead to them becoming suspicious of all European influence.  While the flow of technology from their southern cousins was slow, they remained the most primitive of the Eoraians.  In 1875, a short but savage conflict broke out between them and the Koori.  The Koori readily defeated them and expanded their influence along the Eastern seaboard northwards, nearly to the tip of the Great Capee (RW "Cape Yorke").  Much lamenting of this defeat was heard but it was to in fact prove to the Murri's benefit as the Kooris became more aware of the Dutch issue.   They started to advise and help the Murris finally eject the Dutch from most of their enclaves, except for the two already mentioned.  Even so, the Murris were long to remain the most xenophobic of the Eoraians.

At the close of the 19th century, the Eorians still remained divided.  The Koori were rapidly industrialising and expanding contacts with the outside world, particularly England.  The Noongas were in close contact with the French but remained a largely agrarian society.  The Murris were suspicious of outside contact with the world, had fought a bitter and long campaign to eject the Dutch from their lands.

[TO BE CONTINUED]
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: Eora!
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 10:03:30 pm »
Sometime since I added to this storyline so I thought I'd best get a move on before the end of the year!

Part 4 - Turmoil

As the 19th century waned and the 20th arrived, a terrible series of fierce cyclones struck the NE coast of Eoria.  This devestated the Murri crops and brought famine to the land.  The Kooris, quick to seize the opportunity and expand their influence rushed to help their neighbours.  As the famine decreased, the Murris suddenly found that the Kooris who had come to help, weren't going home.  They displaced the Murri leaders at local levels and when the Murri King and Queen perished in mysterious circumstances, drowning while going south to visit the Koori King to ask him to leave their lands, the young Prince XXX was placed on the throne by the Kooris.  On 12 years old, the young prince was kept in seclusion.  Decrees were issued in his name, declaring that the Kooris were the friends of the Murris.  These were little believed and local rebellions against Koori rule occurred across the country, flaring and waning as they were put down, often savagely by the Koori troops.  Many Murris believed the Prince was actually dead and that they were to become permament subjects of the Koori.  Imagine their surprise when a small band of conspirators whisked the Prince out from under the noses of his captors on the eve of his 15th birthday (the traditional date for reaching majority in Murri society).  His sudden appearance at the annual Larakia festival of Garma electrified his people and whe he appealed to them to rise up and throw off their appressor's shackles they did so, engaging in a bloody rebellion which saw all the Koori either dead or fled from Murri lands.

The Murri Prince, educated to a much higher standard than his compatriots and well aware of the increasing industrial might of the Kooris and their English backers, decided to seek help overseas.  Looking around he realises that while other European powers would be keen to help the Murri, only the Americans would do so without extracting a heavy price.  Prince XXXX sent an emissary to  Washington, to seek audience with President Theodore Roosevelt.   Roosevelt was intrigued, if only on a personal level, having read and heard a great deal about the exotic wildlife of the Antipodes.  He directed that his "Great White Fleet", on it's round the world sail, put in at both Djubugul and Larrakia.  While it was cautiously welcomed by the Koori, the Murri were ecstatic about it, seeing it as support for their nation.  Prince XXXX was invited aboard the flagship and greeted as the Head of State of his nation.  He quickly sent an Ambassador to Washington, hoping to establish full diplomatic relations there.  The United States, believing in "Manifest Destiny" to challenge European imperialism, welcomed the Murri and established their own Embassy in Larrakia.

The British, increasingly alarmed at the machinations of the Americans increased their support to the Koori.  A modern Koori navy was established and retired warships from the Royal Navy provided to form is nucleous.  Washington, unwilling to be outdone and frightened by the Murri stories of Koori aggressiveness, provided more modern ships (although, second-hand by naval standards of the day) to the Murri.

The Kooris, in the meantime seeking closer ties to the British Empire, sent a volunteer unit to the 2nd Boer War.  The British however were unwilling to use these "black b*stards" as troops against the White Boers.  The Boers, publically declared that the British were trying to subjugate fellow White Men with Blacks.   The Native Africans gazed in wonder at the modern, well-equipped and disciplined Koori troops as they marched ashore in Cape Town.   Kept deliberately idle for several months, they left South Africa without firing a shot.  However, their legacy would come to haunt White South Africa when the natives rose against Apartheid rule but that is getting ahead of this history.

When the Great War broke out, the Noonga and the Koori immediately pledged to help the French and British respectively.  The Murri however chose to remain neutral, just as their American backers advised them to.  When Graf Spee's German East Asia Squadron fled to Larrakia, it was interned.  The Kaiser, accepting the fait accompli, in 1916, gifted the East Asia Squadron to the Murri.  This made the Murri the most powerful naval force in the Antipodes.  However, they attempted to downplay their position by retiring some of their oldest American ships.

Koori units served in East Africa against von Lettow-Vorbeck.  Used primarily as garrison troops and labourers, the Koori force was devestated by disease and misuse.  When they did encounter von Lettow-Vorbeck's Askaris, they invariable routed them with their fierce reputation as Cannibals (only partially true) and fierce warriors.  Again, they set an example to the native Africans, showing them that Black people could be as good as Europeans.

A small token force of Kooris also took part in the disasterous Gallipoli and Mesapotamian campaigns.   The Europeans who fought both with them and against them were impressed with their martial abilities and their discipline on the modern battlefield.  It was though, in the Palestine campaign that they were to earn the respect of the British high command.   Equipped as light infantry, they were able to cross long distances of desert terrain and fight at the other end, foraging for water and food as they went.  Even the Arabs came to fear them, appearing out of the desert and disappearing again.

Under the pressure of isolation during the war the industrialisation of the three nations grew.  While the Koori had the most help from the British, the Americans were quite willing to aid the Murri.  French aid to the Noonga was much smaller.  The Koori and Murri navies took note of the latest developments in Europe and new ships were built in a mini-naval arms race.  The Koori were playing "catch up" with the Murri who were in the dominate position since receiving almost the entire German East Asia Squadron.  The Koori's Royal Navy advisors suggested the gift of an older Battleship to the Kooris to redress the balance.  While British were loath to do so but decided that a pre-dreadnought battleship (which was in reality of little value compared to later battleship designs) could be spared and so HMS Swiftsure was transferred.  The Murris unable to secure something comparable from the United States, created an asymetric response and started building submarines and fast destroyers, hoping that torpedoes could counter heavy guns and armour.

The Noonga weren't even in the race, deciding instead to concentrate on a defensive stance, with heavy coastal defensive works and a large army in case any landings took place from their two competitors.

Even after the outbreak of peace in Europe, tensions remained high in the South Pacific.  The return of the highly experienced Koori expeditionary force from the Middle East and the transfer of several other heavy ships from the Royal Navy seem to put the Koori in an unassailable position.  Coupled with the retreat of the United States into isolationism, gave heart to the Kooris who remembered their expulsion from Murri country two decades earlier, the Kooris become more aggressive in their dealings with Larrakia.  Skirmishes turned quickly to outright war.  Both military forces relied upon the advice and experiences created by the Great War.  The Koori advanced quickly overland, utilising railways to bring their large but lightly equipped army to the borders of Murri country.  The Murri moved their naval forces rapidly down the East coast, hoping to disrupt and destroy the Korri coast trade and perhaps even bring the major Korri cities under bombardment.  The Koori counted, using their powerful flagship, ex-Swiftsure, renamed Karlkawima ("Fast"), formed a moderately powerful task force, made up primarily of destroyers and light cruisers.  The Murri, on the otherhand had several ex-German armoured cruisers: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (now renamed Mungka ("Thunder") and Berrimilla ("Kingfisher") ) and several light cruisers, both ex-German and ex-American.

The Koori force was faster, if Karlkawima was left behind.  However without Karlkawima, it lacked firepower.  The Murri force was more manoavrable as a consequence.  The Koori made the mistake of proceeding at the speed that Karlkawima could keep up and allowed themselves to be trapped inside the Great Barrier Reef as they proceeded North.  The Murri, on the otherhand, knowing the North-East coast better, left the protection of the reef and manouvred behind the Murri.  Finding other gaps in the Reef, they then came up behind them.  The result was the Koori were annilated.  While the Murri suffered losses to the longer ranged guns of Karlkawima, Karlkawima itself was lost when struck by several torpedoes from a lurking Murri submarine, blocking the narrow inshore passage behind the reef.  Once Karlkawima was eliminated, the cruisers were able to handle the remaining Koori light forces.

On land, the Koori found that the vast distances they had to travel across the continent stretched their logistics to their limit.  While the Koori forces lived far more off the land than their European counter-parts, the Murri adopted a "scorched earth" policy, destroying all farms, removing all livestock and burning crops.  As they retreated, the harried the colums of advancing Koori.  The swift victory promised, turned into a long hard slog going from days, to weeks, to months.  With the defeat of their navy in such a devestating fashion and trade completely disrupted, the Koori population's morale plummetted.  When the Murri introduced their ace, the aircraft carrier Woomera which they had hurriedly finished converting from the ex-American cruiser USS Olympia and used even its small number of aircraft to bombard Djubugul (RL Sydney), the Koori requested an armistice.  The Murri, whom had no desire to occupy the Koori lands, agreed and the pre-war borders were restored.
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