This is how the story begins: in the beginning, there was a small group of nomads ready to settle and give a birth to something greater than themselves – a civilization. And rest… is history.
Sid Meier’s Civilization is one of the most iconic series that many strategy game players are familiar with. Many of us have some memories of epic battles for scarce strategic and luxury resources placed on the square (or, with newer games in the series, hexagon) world map. The Civilization is really a battle of nations on many different levels of control and mastery: from the geopolitical reality (the economy being pretty much placed on the trade of natural resources between civilizations) to the cultural competition and even reaching the scientific field. Not to forget the religious crusade!
This is a story told about a humble civilization of Papal States from the prehistory to the modern age. How does a civilization come out of nowhere and develop into a state having the monopoly of diamond production in the world and using all its wealth to conscript one of the largest armies in the world and spread its religion to the neighboring countries? And how does it maintain its wealth despite of the world congress desperately trying to ban diamond production all in the world (and therefore cut funding from the army and religion)? This is a story worth telling!
And this is how it begins…
It’s 4000 BC and the settlers are ready to settle down and lay the first brick for the Papal State. The Rome has been founded next to Rubicon River and Stromboli volcano. Rome is the first post at the gate of the continent of Siberia, locating just next to the Siberian-Australian continental boundary. The resources near this first city are somewhat decent – when having access to luxuries like ivory, incenses and salt, is there anything you would still miss?
The year is now 3840 BC and our brave warriors have found an ancient village to lure into joining us. And voilà, it worked as we planned. Our charming soldiers have left such a impression that the villagers had no other choice but happily join our holy family.
No good news without worse ones. We have encountered the Sea Ghost Clan. If we are ever going to found some coastal cities these savages will come and ravage it all. But (trying to stay positive), maybe some day they will be wise enough to civilize, hopefully?
First meetings and new acquaintances – fear or enthusiasm?
In 3760 BC – still on the lifetime of some oldest citizens of civilized Papal States – the first connection to the outside world has been created. Being a first civilization to discover the city state of Cahokia they welcome our enjoy in their city. The first embassy of Papal States has just been established to 620 miles (1000 kilometers) south from Rome.
It starts to be revealed that we’re pretty northern country. As a fun fact our warriors maybe found the northernmost lake on the world and named it… Lake Trasimene (in reality, located in the centre of Italy).
In 3480 BC our scouts have some news to send… they have found… a place… full of riches. Our response is clear: send there a settler as soon as possible. All diamonds in the world belong to the pope. That’s how it was meant to be!
Oh… hello. The day when our two civilizations meet is the beginning of the long road to… uh-oh, let’s just state it’s a long road ahead. Where it leads, we will see… on the part 2!