Mansur Marawi
Avatar: sircharlesmormont
VW: Second Life

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Country: US
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Recently, RPers at the Barbary Coast have partnered with 1798 Deep South and Antiquity. Two travelers from the city of Korat share their letters home.

Xander Marawi, visiting 1798 Deep South

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Dear Father:

I am greatly honored to have been entrusted with the task of expanding our foreign holdings and trade. I have found ready partners here and good, solid crops which I believe will withstand the passage home. There is cotton and tobacco in abundance. I believe any green thing in Allah's fine creation could grow in this soil. It is thicker than in any oasis.

I cannot describe to you the lush foliage that everywhere abounds, or even the pestilential swamplands on the borders of my host's estate. Trees grow, as thick as a forest, straight out of the water! Along with greenery, however, comes vermin, and my skin is a mess of small bites. Further exacerbating matters is the humid, unhealthful quality of the air. It is... miasmic. One feels as if one is breathing in soup. I find it little wonder that these people are in need of servants; they overwork the help they do have and needs must lose great quantities of slaves to disease.

It is in this way that I think we can be most helpful to them. They are in need of opium and other goods, certainly, but it is labor which they most require. The trouble is that they are curiously particular as to the color of their servants. I am led to understand that they accept only the local savages, like our boy Shadow, and black Africans. I cannot quite fathom why a region so in need of farm hands should be so damnably picky, and yet they are. I shall have to ask them about indentures; I have heard they are somewhat more flexible on the subject of indentured men and women. Perhaps we can send them some criminals.

To help me to better determine the health of the crops and to learn new farming methods, please ask Uncle Rowan to send or bring his farm girl, Celia. She has a remarkable talent for greenery. Also, in the meantime, consider what we can do to gather fewer Christian Europeans. They are unaccountably opposed to that particular brand of livestock in this region.

Your Son,
--Dr. Michael Alexander Luke Marawi, Pashazada--

Mansur Marawi, visiting Antiquity Finlanda

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Dear Sir:

I trust that all is well back home? Dr. Larkham and I arrived safely at our destination and have enjoyed unseasonably cold weather. While the locals may lament the cold snap, I, for one, am delighted! On our first evening here, I met my first reindeer and, later, tasted the same. The meat was sweeter than lamb, perhaps a tad gamier, and I shall attempt to bring some home as jerky or salted or perhaps smoked, however it will best travel. The night brought with it my first glimpse of the famous northern lights. They are astounding, fiery slivers and jags of color that seem to billow and shine. Words cannot describe the scene, so I have endeavored to paint it. I send a few rough watercolors enclosed.

Our next trip was inland, up the mountains. I found the hiking very taxing, as you might imagine. Did you know that snow is slippery? Of course you did; you grew up with snow. I did not. Everyone neglected to inform me that, in addition to being wet and white and cold, the stuff is also beastly hard to get a foothold in. The clearing at the top was worth the effort, however, for we arrived at a white slice of paradise. Neither words nor paints can do justice the beauty that I found atop that mountain. Luke slipped once and I had to catch him, but he is unharmed. That is another thing worth the mentioning: ice, too, is slippery. It is especially so when allowed to form on bridges.

The cold is most disagreeable to my person and the clothes are uncomfortable. I miss my sand and heat and caftans. The people at the marketplace were an odd bunch, mostly children. The language I find a jumble incomprehensible babble. Be that as it may, I have seen snow and the northern lights and I am the richer for it.

Now, then, enough of my little holiday abroad. How are you? How fares the city? I know you were of two minds with regard to my leaving, so I thank you heartily for 'holding down the fort,' as it were, in my absence. Pray send my love and well wishes to those back home.

Your Friend,

--Sir Mansur Marawi Pasha--

Enclosed:

The Northern Lights:

Snapshot_AntiquityFinlandaAntiquityFinla

Snow:
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I am an admin at The Barbary Coast, a Second-Life role playing simulation open since the summer of 2009. We are set sometime in the 1700s, with time being relatively fluid, and take place along a northern stretch of African shoreline. Roles are varied. A plethora of options from vulnerable shipwreck victims to pacifist physicians to mercenary knights to bloodthirsty outlaws are available. We are a thriving port city and, as such, we welcome citizens of all nations except Japan (whose borders were closed during our time period). A mixture of text-based para-rp and light metered combat is employed.

We would love to take part in cross-sim rp and to join the other 18th century role playing communities in Second Life and beyond. It is our supreme pleasure to meet and mingle with those from other rp environments within our period. Please let me know if you would like to send or receive an official ambassador or delegation.

Slurl:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hunters%20XVI/88/193/32

Sir Mansur Marawi – nay, Sir Mansur Marawi Pasha, now -- steeples his hands over a broad swath of black linen caftan. He inclines his head in a seated imitation of the courteous bow he had previously offered you.

"Please sit," the bewhiskered man says politely.

You find yourself in a palace. From the harem room above, the loud peel of an infant's cry echoes over intricately paneled walls. In the back of the room, a drape of patterned silk wafts invitingly. The shadowed corridor beyond must lead to a kitchen; you can tell by the ever flowing aroma of falafel, shwarma, and shish kabob. You hear the jingle of bells, the coarse laughter of corsairs. Once, muffled, the walls shake with what might be an explosion or could be the clatter of a large skillet falling to the floor. Your nostrils flare subtly. Is that sulfur in the air?

Mansur's only reaction from his seat upon a high-backed, velvet upholstered throne is to cross a wooden leg over another of flesh and bone. No one else in the parlor seems much discomfited by events beyond the curtain. Guards, guests, officials, and a child or two bustle about on their way to or from various duties. Some even stop to take refreshment alongside you, to lounge about the comfortably appointed sofas and chairs, to chat, to rest, to sip the tea that flows like water while servants ferry plates laden with cheese and dates.

Your portion of this fare is served by a cheery female with shorn locks of black, springy hair. She glides with the self assurance of a princess despite the blue silks and jeweled collar that mark her as a slave. She slides to her master's side, kneeling, and you feel a curious prickle at the nape of your neck. Every time you look up, the woman's blind, clouded eyes are respectfully averted. But you feel her gaze; it follows you like a shadow.

"My friend, you have my sincere apologies," Mansur says at last. He brings a falafel ball to his mouth and chews thoughtfully. "I have been remiss, I think, in putting off our visit for so long. How do you find our city?"

"Well," you say with a chuckle. "It is not Europe."

The year is 178x, but it is not the 178x with which you are so intimately acquainted. This is a different 18th century, a new perspective on the world you knew, and your lungs cramp with the desire to be home.

For some, this strange place is home, and you recall it sharply when a petite woman, obviously breeding, sidles up along the other side of Mansur. Her eyes are bright and merry. Her long black hair, subtly streaked with gray, hangs loose over a modest blue gown. For all of that, she wears a scimitar in a belt slung low beneath her belly.

"Salaam, Brute. Who is your friend?" this woman asks, giggling, as she plops into Mansur's lap.

The slave on the floor huffs indignantly at the two scarred feet that now dangle in the general vicinity of her earlobe. "Mistress. Salaam," she says.

The pasha's lips twitch in a mixture of annoyance and amusement and you are not surprised when he introduces the impertinent minx as his wife.

"You have been too busy to receive visitors, I wager,” you remark with a fleeting glance toward the wife's blooming belly.

Mansur shrugs. "I have many claims on my time. The recent fires come to mind -- and those Russians in my harbor. Tell me, would you like a tour of the new constructions?"

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I am an admin at The Barbary Coast, a Second-Life role playing simulation open since the summer of 2009. We are set sometime in the 1700s, with time being relatively fluid, and take place along a northern stretch of African shoreline. Roles are varied. A plethora of options from vulnerable shipwreck victims to pacifist physicians to mercenary knights to bloodthirsty outlaws are available. We are a thriving port city and, as such, we welcome citizens of all nations except Japan (whose borders were closed during our time period). A mixture of text-based para-rp and light metered combat is employed.

We would love to take part in cross-sim rp and to join the other 18th century role playing communities in Second Life and beyond. It is our supreme pleasure to meet and mingle with those from other rp environments within our period. Please let me know if you would like to send or receive an official ambassador or delegation.

Slurl:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hunters%20XVI/88/193/32