15 December 2009

Names you learn as a child

Some time ago I was watching the video by DireLauthris, about Admiral Tovil-Toba and his defense of Caldari Prime. Wow, what an excellent video! Makes you proud to be a patriot, n'est-ce pas? All my Caldari friends were so full of themselves when it came out...

Anyway, it's because it is impressive! Go take a look, if you haven't yet...

I showed it to C. and he was very impressed. All the way until "to this day he is revered as a national hero and his name is one of the first things every Caldari child learns."

That's when I got an earful...

Anyhow, I was reminded about a story from RealLife(tm), of a XIX century war between the two Matari Tribes, shall we call them Chilestan and Peruvia. I already knew about it, but C, he went into excruciating detail.

It's story time!


Once upon a time there was a young naval officer, Captain Arturo of Chilestan, who was in charge of camping an enemy harbour. He had been left by his FC with strict instructions no to let anything through while the main fleet sailed away to some big battle. He had two wooden ships (T1 frigates, I kid you not!), badly fit and in worse shape, but that would suffice in a place where there was only civilian traffic to block.

Only there was not just civilian traffic.

The enemy was spotted by dawn. As usual, intelligence had sucked, they had crossed the main fleet in the dark and were fast approaching the port with two lean, mean hi-tech armour-plated ships. Captain Arturo was so screwed. Not able to call for reinforcements ('cause vent had not been invented yet), he roused his crew with a moving speech and they went to battle, intending to fight till the end. He was brave but he was also smart, fighting a gun battle inside the port against one of the iron ships -they were not his civilians being shot at port anyway- while his wingman took off distracting the other ship. When the enemy FC decided to ram his own ironclad into the wooden frigate, Captain Arturo did the unthinkable and took a small boarding party across. They all died as heroes. Shortly afterward, his ship broke in two and sank straight to the bottom.

The enemy had broken the camp.

But Captain Arturo became a rallying cry in Chilestan for the rest of the war, to this day he is revered as a national hero and his name is one of the first things every child learns.

Captain Arturo had not really meant to be a warrior; he was but a young lawyer who had left an even younger wife back home when he enlisted. He had not asked to be a hero. He just did what felt right.


Captain Miguel from Peruvia was a military genius, an officer and a gentleman. He had come back from a cushy retirement seat in Congress to fight the war, commanding the very same ship he had seen built to his specs fifteen years before by the Brutish, which he had then updated, refitted and rigged. As the FC, his mission was to harass and interdict the much bigger enemy fleet, a juggernaut that included wooden boats, ironclads, logistics, advanced ammo, some of the first battleships to ever exist and maybe the kitchen sink. His tools would not be brute force and firepower, but stealth, finesse and surprise.

Captain Miguel saw many successes breaking enemy camps, capturing transports, messing with enemy pets, bombing ports, sinking stuff. His small gang would appear from nowhere, strike and then vanish. At a certain battle, he rammed his ship into the enemy frigate once and again until it broke in two, sank straight to the bottom and, hear this, he then had all the survivors picked up from the water and carried to safety before x'ing back. And after the battle, he sat down to write a poignant note to the young widow of his adversary, which he sent the very same day with her dear husband's belongings and his deepest condolences.

A true gentleman if there ever was one.

Silly politicians back home wanted to promote him to Grand Admiral of All the Fleet, a honor he protested would not allow him to do what he did best, FC'ing from the front in their best command ship. So they compromised.

Rear Admiral Miguel met his fate at a fleet battle in high seas. As usual, politicians had sucked, ordering more raids and ignoring his calls for refit. Following orders and against his very own judgement, he would thus fall to an enemy BS gang rigged for gank, speed and devoted solely to hunting him down. He died in the gun battle and his legendary ship was captured. Losing the war had become a certainty.

But Admiral Miguel became a rallying cry in Peruvia for the rest of the war, to this day he is revered as a national hero and his name is one of the first things every child learns.

Admiral Miguel was a warrior, a genius and a gentleman. He left three loving widows: his wife, his ship and his country. He was probably always destined to be a hero, whether he asked or not.


You can't make these things up.

Both stories happened at the same time, over a hundred years ago. Every nation has a national hero but what is remarkable is that in this case is that two Heroes that fought in the same war and fought each other, ultimately became their own countries' greatest. Both died on the very same deck.

To date, people from Chilestan and Peruvia learn these names as the Hero and his Enemy, and vice-versa. To date, after more than a century, they are still taught to hate each other's guts. As children, no one is told about the flip side of the coin; as grownups, only a few wonder if there is a flip side at all.


And there is a reason They teach you that stuff as a child in Real Life, so you don't question Them.

That keeps you a good patriot and a good tool.

The ugly face of patriotism, captured with such a simple phrase in Admiral Tovil-Toba's two-hundred year old story.

"To this day he is revered as a national hero and his name is one of the first things every Caldari child learns."

((Don't you just love it when they bring worlds to life, warts and all? ;) ))


  1. Excellent post!

    I always laugh at my (British) husband and his remarks about the French.... and the Scots.... and the Irish... oh and lets throw in "those Northerhers". XD

    When did that Caldari video come out anyways? Was that part of the Faction Wars?

  2. holy shit! I only just realized that was a fan made video! OMG O_O

  3. Thank you :)

    Yes, WOW, it is fan made! I think it came out sometime earlier this year. Maybe it influenced CCP movie-making?

    I remember CCP videos before, having a distinct, paused, ominous something-is-about-to-happen feeling... and since, action-filled, quicker and with this wow-I-want-to-do-that quality.