Island in the Sea of Time Wiki

This is the third book of the 'Nantucket' trilogy and describes the progress of the war against the psychotic William Walker and his allies.


Babylon, September, 10 AE (After the Event)[]

Justin Clemens explains to his fiancee Azzu-ena where the Nantucketers come from. (Ch.1)

Captain Vicki Cofflin climbs to the observation post of RNAS Emancipator. Colonel Kathryn Hollard, Queen of Kar-Duniash, is there. They discuss Princess Raupasha of Mitanni, rescued by Brigadier Kenneth Hollard. After subordinating her kingdom to Kar-Duniash, Raupasha announced she would marry Kenneth, unaware that she threatened political stability between Nantucket, Mitanni and Kar-Duniash. (Ch.2)

Justin Clemens and Azzu-ena go to her uncle's house to marry according to local custom. (Ch.7)

King Kashtiliash is pleased when the commander of his New Troops arrives and declares that a tribe of Aramaeans is destroyed, trapped between camelborne troops and the new infantry. Kashtiliash asks his merchants to set up a breeding program for camels.

The Hollards with Princess Raupasha see the king. Kenneth stands up to Kashtiliash, and Raupasha apologises; Mittanni will remain a province of Kar-Duniash. Kashtiliash forgives - once. (Ch.8)

Raupasha demonstrates Islander-designed chariots and weapons to her men. (Ch. 10)

Babylon, June 11 AE[]

Kashtiliash finds Justin Clemens studying a model of a new Babylon, designed with sewers and fresh water, and surprises him with a model of what will be the Clemens Teaching Hospital. (Ch. 32)


September, 10 AE[]

Ian Arnstein makes policy decisions by radio from besieged Troy. Major Chong shows him the progress of the enemy trenches and tells Ian they are running out of time. (Ch.10)

October, 10AE[]

Walker's men are breaking into the city, the Islanders must leave. As they do so, they are attacked by a group of Alice Hong's female Ninjas. Arnstein is left for dead as RNAS Emancipator makes an emergency lift to remove the last Islander troops. Arnstein is handed to a crowing Walker, who passes him to Odikweos in Achaea. Once over the shock, Ian starts listening to his escorts and adding new intelligence to what the Islanders know and guess. (Ch.11)

O'Rourke's Ford, East of Troy[]

September, 10 AE[]

Colonel Patrick O'Rourke arrives at a Nantucket Supply Post run by Captain Barnes. Troy is expected to fall, his orders are to evacuate. Unfortunately the enemy Ringapi move faster than expected, and they have brought a mortar with them. O'Rourke's Gatling makes short work of mortar, crew, and ammunition, but then his team must cut their way back through Ringapi warriors. (Ch.2)

O'Rourke and Barnes turn the Supply Post into a defensive position. (Anyone who has ever seen the British film Zulu can stop reading at this point, and move to the next date summary - Ed.) (Ch.3)

Private Hook is in hospital malingering when O'Rourke's Gatling opens fire. (Ch.6)

Next day O'Rourke discusses defences with Barnes and a Hittite officer, Hantilis, when they hear what sounds like a steam engine in the distance. Up on a hill, sentries hurry back to base with the news that thousands more warriors are on their way. (Ch.7)

Bugles sound Stand To and the company fixes bayonets. Chaplain Smith, an Iraiina, quotes scripture to raise morale. The enemy surround the base, and the steam-engine noise is explained by the tribesmen beating their spears against shields. Private Hook is betting with cards when orders arrive to dig loopholes in the hospital walls. (Ch.8)

The Marines repel the first charge. Hantilis spots a Ringapi chief counting their guns. The Ringapi move into forward attack positions, and snipers open fire from the nearest hillside. (Ch.10)

Hook opens fire from the hospital window as the tribesmen launch an attack on all sides. (Ch.11)

The Ringapi finally break the outer wall on their tenth attack, but the Marines retire, reform ranks and fire volleys into the tight-packed tribesmen. They retake the wall just as the Gatling overheats and a round explodes in the chamber. (Ch.11)

O'Rourke arranges a smaller redoubt. He cannot spare anyone to rescue those in the hospital. Hook, realises he, personally, is trapped, and sets some patients digging the wall into the next room so he can get out. As the attackers break in the patients dive through, leaving Hook as rear guard. Hook snaps, and destroys his attackers before rejoining the rest. O'Rourke's Marines retire to the redoubt. Captain Barnes is in charge of two ranks of rifles which appear and shoot over the heads of their colleagues. Now four ranks fire and reload at the confined ranks of Ringapi, who run or die.

The following morning, the Ringapi have gone. The rest of the regiment arrives, led by Brigadier Hollard, attracted by smoke and the flag still flying over the outpost.

Hollard orders assistance, then orders the outpost to burn everything and retreat. (Ch.13)

Hattusas, Hatti-land (Modern Turkey)[]

September, 10AE[]

Doreen rides into Hattusas, accompanied by Ken Hollard. Ken shocks her by describing how he could destroy the place. They meet King Tudhaliyas and Queen Zuduhepa and discuss the strategy for destroying Walker's army. Unfortunately, this means withdrawal across Hattusas and a scorched-earth policy until Walker's army outreaches its supplies and starves. (Ch.10)

October, 10AE[]

Doreen, and Raupasha wait for news from Troy as RNAS Emancipator comes into view. Doreen worries about the lack of messages from Ian. (Ch.11)

Raupasha makes a rousing speech to her re-equipped charioteers; their task is the important one of destroying enemy supply lines. Her troops now have rocket grenades, shotguns, muskets and aerial scouts, and take to the task with glee. (Ch.14)

November, 10 AE[]

O'Rourke hints to a group of complaining soldiers that they may be retreating, but they have food and the enemy does not. (Ch.16)

Doreen explains to Brigadier Hollard that she is cautiously optimistic about Ian's fate: her sources, different from Ian's, have not told her anything untoward. (Ch.19)

Raupasha meets the other commanders at an informal picnic at a hot spring where they discuss Walker's advance through Hattusas. She is still in love with Ken Hollard. (Ch. 21)

December, 10AE[]

As winter begins, we follow a pair of 'immigrant' Marines digging in for the expected last-ditch attack by Walker's army. (Ch.23)

We follow Raupasha and her Mittanians as they also dig in to hold Hollard's flank. She does not think much of their chances. Through a snowstorm, Ken Hollard hears the intensity of firing to his north, and leads a reserve force into the attack. (Ch.24) His desperate counter-attack succeeds, at the cost of finding a badly injured Raupasha. Ken pulls his troops back again. An infuriated Walker tries to explain to his generals that they have over-reached and must pull back, despite winning the last battle.(Ch.25)

Ken visits Raupasha, who has burns across her face and is blinded in one eye. Her imperfection prevents her from ever ruling Mitanni again. Ken has faced the prospect of a life without Raupasha, and tells her he was a coward not to admit his feelings for her before. (Ch.26)

January, 11 AE[]

Hollard holds a council of war, wishing that Walker's generals had continued to attack. Doreen announces she has good news from Tartessos, and bad news from Egypt. (Ch.27)

April, 11 AE[]

Marian Alston meets with Ken Hollard and arranges to borrow troops to turn back the Egyptians. (CH.30)

May, 11 AE[]

Odikweos refuses to hand over any of Walker's staff: those left alive are too useful. King Kashtiliash is pleased to 'inherit' the Canaan territories vacated by Egypt. King Tudhaliyas gets his own lands back, plus the idea that he can expand east and north. Everyone thinks a trade agreement is a good idea. (Ch.32)


October, 10 AE[]

Jared and Martha Cofflin are looking after Marian and Swindapa's adopted children as well as their own.(Ch.1)

Jared's privy council discuss immigration quotas and the fate of the ship Merrimac, bought by Emma Carson and requisitioned by the Council. Jared guesses Carson was avoiding quotas by taking possession of her ship in Alba, where she could also hire a cheaper crew. (Ch.2)

Jared and Joseph Starbuck discuss how to pay for the war, and what to do with the survivors.

Cofflin then sails to Long Island with his children and Alston's. (Ch.14) They land on an estate owned by Ken Hollard's elder brother and look at the abandoned farm next to his: Marian Alston will buy it with prize money. (Ch.16). The radio message of Alston's fleet victory reaches them there. (Ch.19)

December, 10 AE[]

Christmas is celebrated with the news of Marian's victory, that her girls now have a brother, and that Doreen wants approval of a scheme that could have far-reaching consequences... (Ch.29)

September, 11 AE[]

The Islanders prepare to host a meeting of the great Kings of the time. Peter Giernas meets with his friends and they discuss moving to the new settlement of New 'Sconset at what-would-be Buenos Aires. (Ch.32)


October 10 AE[]

Marian Alston and her partner Swindapa lead mounted Marines to Irondale, a town since 4 AE. (Ch.1)

They meet Councillor Ron Leaton who is re-visiting the Industrial Revolution. They talk through problems with Marian's Merrimac project, and discuss persuading Alban farm labourers to work machines all day. (Ch.2)

Marian travels the Severn River to Westhaven, where Merrimac is waiting. She watches an Alban deep-ocean ship and reflects on Alban progress. (Ch.4) She leaves this end of her supply chain in the hands of Gerta Hendriksson. (Ch.6)

Merrimac joins a fleet of thirty ships at Portsmouth Base - Alban volunteers, issued with Islander kit, embark. Swindapa greets an Iraiina leader surprisingly politely, explaining to Marian that the Iraiina are Anglicising themselves and will vanish in a generation: Her revenge will be complete. (Ch.7)

The fleet is caught in a storm. The steam ramship Farragut reports damage, and neither Severna Park, a collier, nor Merrimac are heard from. Next day, Merrimac radios for help. Marian heads the fleet that way. (Ch.10)

Greater Achaea[]

Walkeropolis, September, 10 AE[]

William Walker, his wife Alice Hong, and his Secret Police chief Helmut Mittler look over Walkeropolis. Walker decides he must be at the seige at Troy, he needs the victory to seal his claim to the throne of Achaea. (Ch.1)

Walker makes Odikweos regent of Greater Achaea. Mittler is to feed information to Odikweos. (Ch.8)

Neayoruk, October, 10 AE[]

Ian Arnstein disembarks with his escort. Mittler is waiting for him, but Odikweos intervenes and has Arnstein taken to his town house instead. (Ch.14)

Eurotas Valley, November, 10 AE[]

Ian Arnstein makes the most of his observations of the Spartan countryside and gives Odikweos some thought-provoking socioeconomic 'guesses'. He is deeply offended by confirmation that Walker crucifies criminals, and by the sight of one of Alice Hong's temples, which he tries to explain is not an Islander idea. (Ch.21)

Carpathian Mountains, November, 10 AE[]

Ohotolarix is in charge of the stronghold of Fort Lolo, watching a train of slaves and metals set off to Walkeropolis. A wagon train is sighted, led by Walker's daughter, Althea. She tells of the downfall of Troy, and brings rewards for Ohotolarix, who holds a feast in honour. (Ch.11)

Walkeropolis, November, 10 AE[]

Ian is treated as an honoured guest. Odikweos wants a 'fireside chat', but starts by announcing that he has deduced Walker and his people "are from the times yet to come". He thinks they are simply very cunning men, not gods. Arnstein adds that cunning can come from learning history. Odikweos wants to know about the Islanders: if they are all like Walker, Achaea might as well stay with the man in control... Ian speaks for Nantucket. He finishes with retelling Homer's poem. Odikweos is horrified that Walker has robbed him of near three thousand years of fame, yet adds that a King cannot be overthrown while he is victorious. As they finish RNAS Emancipator arives to bomb Walkeropolis. (Ch.23)

Vicki Cofflin commands a bombing raid from Hattusas in RNAS Emancipator. The weather is bad, it is night, and Walker's anti-aircraft defences are rocket pods mounted on blimps. Vicki orders bombs jettisoned, but a rocket catches Emancipator, starting a fire and driving her towards Mount Taygetos. Vicki drops all water and emergency ballast in an attempt to get clear, but still strikes the mountain. (Ch.22)

Walkeropolis, December, 10 AE[]

Ian is taken to a slave market, where he discovers John Martins buying slaves. He misunderstands, but then learns that Martins is freeing them. He also learns that John has been spying for Doreen, using his network of swordsmiths. Ian starts planning. (Ch.26)

Christmas is celebrated at 'Rivendell', where Martins and Arnstein are admiring some forged letters they hope will cause trouble... (Ch.29)

Eurotas Valley, April, 11 AE[]

The letters are passed to Martins' blacksmiths on courier routes which they know are intercepted by Mittler's agents. (CH.30)

Walkeropolis, April, 11 AE[]

Walker and Hong are on a combined boar hunt and royal family picnic before Walker returns to Hattusas. Walker scoffs at a suggestion that Ian Arnstein might subvert Odikweos; he thinks Odikweos will get more information. The chili sauce for the roast boar is poisoned... (Ch.30)

Helmut Mittler is proud of his palace revolution, and steps out to meet Odikweos. He finds that Odikweos and Arnstein have anticipated him, and were both aware of all his plotting. In killing Mittler, Odikweos can acheive several aims for himself, Achaea, and Arnstein. (Ch.31)


City of Tartessos, September, 10 AE[]

Isketerol receives an embassy from Greater Achaea. Odikweos, King of Ithaka, and Telemakhos his son, bring the good wishes of William Walker and a gift of eighty Dahlgren type guns, manganese, and sulphur, in exchange for cotton and mercury. (Ch.4)

Corunna, October, 10 AE[]

Marian's fleet is at what would be La Coruna, resting and repairing. She holds a Captain's Meeting to discuss strategy, leaving some of her injured troops behind to start a new base. (Ch.11,16)

City of Tartessos, October, 10 AE[]

King Isketerol is sitting in judgement when Alston's fleet arrives off what-will-be Cadiz. (Ch.18) Marian Alston's light aircraft scout Tartessos.

Marian's fleet attacks: Her initial advantage is lost as the Tartessans have rearmed with the new Dahlgren guns, but her trained crews can fire twice as fast. As the battle reaches climax, the Tartessans still appear to be winning, but a cloud of smoke appears on the horizon; Farragut rejoins the fleet. (Ch.19)

Marian watches from Cadiz Base as Farragut is beached for repair and the fleet is unloaded. The least damaged troopships are to return home or on a supply run back to Westhaven, then she starts to organise her tent city. Later she tours the hospital and prepares for the funerals. (Ch.21)

Marian, Swindapa, and Marine cycle troops head inland for a meeting with King Isketerol. Marian sets out terms for surrender. Isketerol refuses. They agree a one day truce to exchange wounded. (Ch.22)

Marian develops plans on the way back to Cadiz Base. Briefing her officers, she wants to use speed, mobility and rapid communication against Isketerol, who will defend his towns basically using bronze-age techniques. (Ch.23)

City of Tartessos, November, 10 AE[]

Islander troops prepare for action before Isketerol's main harbour fort. Marion and Swindapa with others make a dawn attack on the harbour at the town of  'Crossing'; they kill the Commandant with sniper fire and cross the river. The Marines raid the Tartessans and Marian finds the Commandant and his wife dead. Swindapa claims the baby boy they find. The troops row away, leaving chaos. The alerted harbour fort springs to life, and fellow Marines attack with magnesium flares and bazookas. Marian's attack force paddles safely past. (Ch.24)

Isketerol mourns his brother the Commandant. He orders his army away from the river valley. His subordinates puzzle over how the attacks were coordinated. (Ch.25)

Tartessos, December, 10 AE[]

Marian has turned Cadiz Base into an Auxiliary Troop's training camp, and has Farragut under repair. She is also arming and training escaped slaves and bandits in Tartessos. (Ch.26)

Marian and her cycle troops launch a rocket attack on an inland town, destroying the walls and industrial areas before calling for surrender. She frees the slaves, and sends the townsfolk out before destroying the rest of the town and marching her troops rapidly away. She watches the launch of the reconstructed Merrimac, now converted into an ironclad and christened Eades (sic).

Isketerol realises he is riding a tiger; his only hope is to delay Marian, for he knows she must move quickly across the Mediterranean to support the Hattusas campaign. Marian closes in, aboard Eades.

Eades proves that she is more than a match for Tartessos' heavy weapons, and Marian sets about destroying Tartessos City and Harbour. (Ch.27)

Isketerol arrives at Cadiz Base to hear the terms of surrender. His son and daughter are with him, learning 'kingship'. This time Marian demands much more, plus recompense and a hostage - Isketerol's son, who is actually eager to go to Nantucket and learn at the University. Isketerol has to agree - provided his daughter is a 'hostage' too. (Ch.28)

American Continent[]

Feather River Valley, March, 11AE[]

Alantethol, leader of the Tartessan Hidden Fort, discusses the smallpox epidemic on the last ship to arrive. His healer recognised the disease and the cows at the base are now a source of vaccine. Alantethol sees this as an advantage over the native Americans - he can vaccinate or supply smallpox-loaded blankets as required. (Ch.5)

Giernas expedition, High Sierras, March, 11AE[]

Peter Giernas and Sue Chau his wife are with Eddie Vergaraxsson, Jaditwara, and Spring Indigo, Pete's second wife of the Cloud Shadow tribe. Indigo has Pete's son, Jared. Also present is Tidtaway, their guide and 'interpreter'. Pete thinks they are outreaching Titdaway's ability, but they carry on to the next tribe. Their village is quiet, and Giernas investigates. The entire tribe has died of a disease which he recognises as smallpox. He burns the bodies, spots a single hoof print from a shod horse. (Ch.5) He investigates, discovering a Tartessan fort, which he estimates has been there about four years. Pete 'talks' with a local tribal chief: The Tartessans collect gold, and are hated for taking slaves to mine 'red rock'. They spread disease but offer protection against it using a cow. Pete develops a plan. (Ch.9)

Feather River Valley, April, 11AE[]

A Tartessan "tax collection" raid is ambushed by armed natives, led by Giernas. Pete's simple 'hunt' tactics destroy the Tartessans. Giernas captures a healer and the cow she uses as a vaccine source. Next step is to train the locals to use captured weapons. (Ch.12) Spring Indigo argues her way into scouting the fort for Pete, returning to sit proudly at the Council Fire and report.

Pete decides on a river approach, amazing the local warriors with the speed he and his 'men' turn trees into canoes with rudders. Their guide Tidtaway trains others to load and fire muskets. One hundred warriors join the assault force. (Ch.17)

Pete captures a ship moored at the fort's river dock, just as the Tartessan fort commander discovers that his patrol was wiped out. The Tartessan leads a reconnaisance in force to follow the patrol's route, and quickly finds the ambush site, then the Islander's camp. He attacks and learns that four Islanders went downriver in canoes. (Ch.20)

Pete and his troops return to a ravaged camp. Pete finds his wounded dog and a set of tracks which he thinks is Spring Indigo escaping. The only place she can hide is in the Tartessan fort. (Ch.24)

Peter's advances the plan. He climbs the walls of the fort, while his warriors tow the captured ship upriver, guided by Sue and Jaditwara. Their part of the plan is to load cannon, then drape 'dead' warriors dressed as Tartessans about the ship. When the 'unmanned' ship nudges into the fort's dock, the Tartessans investigate: Sue and Jaditwara then fire, blowing the fort gate apart and causing panic as the 'dead' charge off the ship into the crowd. (Ch.27)

Pete gradually takes charge. He finds Spring Indigo and is hit in the leg by a musket ball.

He holds a Council-of-War as best he can through bad translation, advising the local tribes to keep the Tartessans alive to learn from, when another boat appears, sent upstream by a Nantucket Coastguard ship regularly sent to California in case Giernas survives... they tell him the war with Tartessos is over. (Ch.28)


Syracuse, February, 11 AE[]

Marian ponders the problems of Sicily, now abandoned by Greater Achea. Eades is grounded outside the harbour at Syracuse, pounding the town but being struck in return. Marian has set up a conference of all three parties disputing possession of Sicily; risen slaves, Achean landowners, and native Sicilians. Her solution is to parcel out land and set up a voting system, sending delegates to a parliament ruled by an elected triumvirate, one man from each group. She leaves a couple of battalions of auxiliary troops to keep order, and sails on to Hattussas. (Ch.29)


Pi-Rameses, September, 10 AE[]

George McAndrews, or Mek-Andrus, having introduced dentistry, anaesthetics, iron, watermills, muskets and cannon, is a despised foreign aide to Pharoah Ramses. He has married one of Pharoah's 'gifts', and has recruited most of his support and workforce from freed African slaves. He is under no illusions, and negotiates a place of safety with one of the what-will-be-Ethiopian tribal chiefs. As he sees it, if there is no Black Empire to welcome him, he is free to create his own. (Ch.15)

Canaan, April 11 AE[]

Pharoah has decided that his New Regiment will attack the rear of the Akkadian army while he takes troops up the coast. Generals Djehuty and Mek-Andrus are in command. Tha Akkadians move troops down the Jordan valley. McAndrews selects a valley to block with a semicircle of troops and entrenchments for cannon.

They refuse Marian Alston's surrender offer.

It takes a while before Djehuty realises that he faces only spears and long-range cannon, and wonders where the muskets are, and why Pharoah is not moving in support... Marian has mousetrapped him by attacking Pharoah's flank from the sea. (Ch. 30) Djehuty's regiment is overrun, and McAndrews disappears.(Ch.31)

Djehuty wakes in an Islander hospital tent, and Marian takes the opportunity to spread a little sedition by telling him about democracy. He learns that his battle took place at Armageddon, in the Islander tongue. (Ch.31)

Central Asia[]

Tarim Basin, December 10 AE[]

Vicki Cofflin surveys her destroyed airship, and meets the local people. (Ch.32)

Ural River, June, 11 AE[]

Althea Walker leads a wagon train which has made its' way through the Carpathian mountains. With her is Ohotolarix. She intends setting up a colony as far from the sea as she can. (Ch.32)