+ Reply to Thread
Page 43 of 43 FirstFirst ... 18 33 41 42 43
Results 841 to 859 of 859

Thread: The Morea, a Palaeologid AAR

  1. #841
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
    200k clubHearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis: Chronicles
    EU3 CompleteDivine WindHearts of Iron III CollectionHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the Throne
    March of the EaglesVictoria: RevolutionsRome GoldVictoria 2Victoria II: A House Divided
    Victoria II: Heart of Darkness500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of Paradise
    EUIV: Res PublicaCrusader Kings II: Legacy of RomeCrusader Kings II: Sword of IslamCrusader Kings II: Sunset InvasionCrusader Kings II: The Republic
    Crusader Kings II: The Old GodsCrusader Kings II: Sons of AbrahamCrusader Kings II: Rajas of IndiaCrusader Kings II: CharlemagneEUIV: Art of War

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    You might very well think that ; I couldn't possibly comment
    Posts
    5,897
    An excellent update ! I see you're not only setting up for future clashes , but I'm seeing a lot of potential double crosses and third agendas . I think you're setting up excellent moderate characters that will bring about a more human face to all of these conflicts . Well done !
    DANGEROUS LIAISONS
    The New Short AAR about Seduction , Manipulation , Intrigue , Mystery , and Revolution .
    -~= =~-
    T I M E L I N E S : What if Spain Failed to Control the World?
    Seventeen AARLand Choice Awards: Favourite Overall New WritAAR Q1 2007.
    Favourite Overall EU3 AAR: Q1 2007; Q2 2007; Q3 2007; Q4 2007; Q1 2008; Q2 2008; Q3 2008; Q4 2008
    Favourite Narrative EU3 AAR: Q1 2007; Q2 2007; Q3 2007; Q4 2007; Q1 2008; Q2 2008; Q3 2008; Q4 2008

    Three Times WritAAR of the Week: 4 March 2007 13 May 2007 & 28 March 2008;
    Twice AAR Showcase: 9 Dec 2007, 14 Jun 2009; Twice Best Character Writer: 9 Dec 2007, 13 Sep 2008

    Editor in Chief of The AARlander

  2. #842
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369
    AlexanderPrimus: No worries. I noticed later on that I had forgotten to update my sig, and I know how easy it can be to miss an update. So without any other reminders, it is understandable that this last update was overlooked.

    As far as the intrigue, I am hoping this time I will be able to work it out much better. I usually have a hard time dealing with a lot of intrigue. I think what helps is this time there is more going on in the foreground. As far as whether the Kingdom will survive... that remains to be seen...

    As far as who is speaking to Anaximandros, let's just say he's one bad fellow...

    And the tournament results are bound to surprise most if not all of you, assuming I can write as cleverly as I can imagine...

    canonized: Thankyou for the high praise, old chap! That is my goal, to make the characters of this generation more human and believable. Because this generation and the one after it will be incredibly pivotal to the story. The events of (primarily) this generation and (secondarily) the next will determine the course of the Morea's history in a way I do not think anybody will see coming. And I would like to hope that the more human these characters are, the more the highs and lows of the aforementioned events will pull at the heartstrings of my readers.



    To all readAARs, I apologize for my scant presence in AARland these past few months. Things at school went not at all as I had anticipated. This past semester was my lowest number of credits yet (17), so I assumed it would be a nice easy ride with plenty of time for AARland and other activities, but ironically, it was my most academically intense semester yet. I had little time for much else besides school. But summer is at last here and I plan to make up for all the time I have lost. We've got a lot of epic battles and intrigues yet to go, and I am eager to get them out to you.
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

  3. #843
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369
    Working on the latest update now. I am also going to do a better job of organizing the updates from now on, since the plot is getting much more in depth. I am reserving this spot for a future table of contents. For the moment (once I get it up and running, that is), it will only be used for 1223 onwards. But eventually I will get the whole story organized here. Also, I'm going to start naming chapters now, like I do with my other AARs. Again, initially it will just be for 1223 onwards, but as I add older information to the table, I will name those chapters, too.

    Last edited by crusaderknight; 22-07-2011 at 22:10.
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

  4. #844
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369
    I apologize for the brevity of this chapter. But I felt that this piece was best on its own, rather than waiting to add the next few sections to it. I hope you enjoy it.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

    BOOK IV
    The Shifting Tide

    Chapter VIII – An Unlikely Teacher



    The next morning Konstantinos awoke before the sun. Only two days remained until the tournament began. And tomorrow was the first of the three great feasts that his grandfather had planned for the event. That meant that he had today, and today only, to rest and enjoy himself. He was not about to let this opportunity slip through his fingers. He quickly got dressed into his riding clothes and made his way to the stables, seeking out his beloved horse, Basileios. Now was the time to ride, now was the time to be free.

    He knew that Imbert would not have approved of him making this little excursion. According to Imbert, today was the perfect opportunity to practice for the tournament. But the Prince had been practicing and preparing for a time such as this since he was old enough to wield a sword. Today he could afford to skip on practicing. He shook his head to clear it of all thoughts of the future, and did not noticed as he stumbled right into a girl, who fell back to the ground with a cry of shock.

    At first he had thought it was a mere servant girl and was about to chide her for not being more careful, but when he looked, he saw the same beautiful blonde he had met the day before. He looked into her green eyes, lost for a moment in the sheer beauty of those shimmering emeralds. Then he remembered that he had knocked her to the ground, and was now standing over her, gawking. With another shake of his head he regained control of his senses and reached down to help her up. As she took his hand, he said, “I’m really very sorry miss…”

    “Sophia,” she said, her voice soft and gentle.

    Having expected her reaction to be more upset, and not understanding what she had just said, the Prince replied, “What?”

    With a giggle she said, “My name, silly. I am Sophia Palaeologina, daughter of Prince Romanos of Imeretia. You’re name is… Imbert, correct? Imbert Nikolaidos. You were the honourable knight who defended that poor Pecheneg man from the Norman, weren’t you?”

    Konstantinos’ face was flushed with both genuine humility and embarrassment that he could barely find the words to speak. Finally he was able to sputter the words, “Uh… yeah…”

    Sophia smiled, acutely aware of the effect that she had on this young man, though completely oblivious to their shared dynastic name. She nodded her head in the direction of the stables and said, “I was just on my way to my horse, to go for a morning ride. Would you care to join me, Sir Imbert?”

    Summoning up the will to speak, the Prince replied, “Um… absolutely! I was on my way there as well. It’ll be my only chance to go riding before the banquet and the tournament and all that and I was really looking forward to taking Basileios out for a ride, he really likes beautiful days like this, my horse, that is, Basileios is my horse, you know, the one I’m going to ride.” By the time he finished speaking, his cheeks were red as cherries, he had gone from speechless to blathering. What was the matter with him? This had never happened to him before. He did not understand just what was going on.

    Despite his run-on sentence, the lass did not lose her smile. She simply replied, “Basileios is a beautiful name for a horse. My horse is named Kallista.”

    Kallista,” mused the Prince as the two began to walk towards the stables. “It means ‘most beautiful’, doesn’t it?”

    Sophia nodded gleefully. To this Konstantinos replied, “It suits you. I-I mean, her. I mean, I’m sure she’s a beautiful horse. I mean…”

    This time, she commented on his continual speech, but not in an irritated way like he would have expected. She merely held out a finger to his lips to stop the words and said, “I know what you meant, Sir Imbert. You do talk a lot, you know? I like that. But sometimes it is better to just be quiet and enjoy the wonders of Creation. See, now that we’re outside, we can hear the birds. Listen…”

    He did as he was told and listened. He could indeed hear the birds chirping. It was a marvelous sound. It was then that he realized that he had never bothered to listen to the sound of birds before. He had always been so engrossed in sword-play or his studies. He could tell you the type of blade a man was wielding just by the sound it made when it struck armour, he could name every great general of history, he could recite the opening lines to Vergil’s Aeneid or Caesar’s Gallic Wars or Augustine’s Confessions, he knew Christian doctrine forwards and backwards, he had an aptitude for legal matters, anyone who knew how thorough his education had been and how much knowledge he had absorbed would agree that at fifteen he was a prodigy. And yet despite all that, he was barely even aware of the song a happy bird sings as he welcomes the sun for a bright new day. Wonder filled his eyes at this revelation, and a new smile crept onto his lips, a type of smile he had never experienced before… simple, honest, innocent joy.

    “See?” asked Sophia with another giggle, “Isn’t it beautiful?”

    “Yes…” he said, mesmerized by the effect this girl was having on his senses.

    “Then come on! We’re almost to the stables. It seems you know nothing of nature, Sir Imbert, and that saddens me. We shall have to change that before the day is through!”

    And so they went to the stables. They found their horses and mounted them. From there Sophia took the lead and led him outside the castle and outside the city. Once in the countryside, she took him and showed him peasants at work in their fields. A young girl in the fields saw them and stopped to give a friendly wave, oblivious to their status as nobles. Sophia gently returned the wave and called out a warm greeting to her. Then, with a smile, she turned to the Prince and said, “Look at them, Imbert. They lack all of the luxuries people like us take for granted. They will never know carpets, horse rides, cleanliness, good food, linen sheets to sleep in… They live from day to day, eating barely enough to stay alive. They work all the day long, and sleep on straw on the floors of their hovels. And yet that little girl can smile with simple joy. Why is that, do you think?”

    “I… I don’t know…” he replied. Once again, she had brought something to his attention that had never before occurred to him. He had never before bothered to think about the life of a peasant, what it must be like to work all day, your whole life long. She was right when she said the nobility took their privileges for granted. He had always accepted those things as a natural part of life. It was almost unthinkable that most human beings lived without so many of the things he thought of as necessary for existence.

    With a more somber look now on her face, the Imeretian Princess replied, “I do know why. It is because here they are not oppressed. Their lives may be hard, but they are still free. These people are not serfs, Imbert. My ancestor, the great King Georgios I abolished serfdom within the Morea. He saw that there was a balance within the Kingdom, just like there is a balance in all things. The people need their King. This much every monarch throughout history has known. But he saw what few others could, that the King needs to protect his people every bit as much as they need to serve him. That he needs them every bit as much as they need him. And he established laws which protected his people’s freedoms, and they loved him for it. Everyone remembers him for his crusades, but that is not what made him great. It was his kind and gentle heart, his goodness to all people. That is what makes him so great.”

    Konstantinos was utterly amazed. Here he had thought himself to be so smart, so wise, such a prodigy for being only fifteen years old. But here was a lass a year his junior and wiser than any man he had ever met. Now that he thought about it, she was completely correct. Georgios I had been beloved because he was good to his people. He was a kind and benevolent monarch.

    His musings were interrupted as Sophia continued, “But times are changing, Imbert. Many of the nobles of the realm forgot the ways of King Georgios long ago. Peasants here, or in Imeretia, where the royal blood of the Palaeologi still flows through the veins of their rulers, still know freedom. But elsewhere… elsewhere it is not so. The Norman lords in Naples rule their peasants with an iron hand, despite the laws of the Kingdom. The Cumans groan under the weight of the Kenchres family, once a noble line, now merely tyrants and self-serving gluttons. And what’s worse, the Butrintan branch of the Palaeologid line, descended from the half-brothers of King Georgios I, are the worst. Under the House of Butrinto, the people are oppressed more than even in lands like England or France. It is terrible, Imbert. Terrible. And even amongst the royal bloodlines, the old ways are being forgotten. My brother does not think as the Palaeologi of old. He is too much of a politician. I fear that when my father is dead, my brother will use his people as a means unto an end. They will live and die for him and he will not care what happens to them. And even our King, Georgios III, who by right and descent is the heir of his namesake, is failing to protect his own people. Not only does he fail to see the corruption that runs rampant in his realm, but he gives ever more power to that rotten Council of Bishops who do nothing but bicker and argue all day long. They care nothing for poor, innocent farm girls like the one who waved to us in the fields. To them she exists merely to do their bidding.” Now tears began to brim under her eyes, “Oh, I wish I could change things, but I can’t… I can’t…”

    The Prince reached out and caught the first of her tears, and, wiping it away, spoke to her for the first time with real conviction, and knew exactly what to say, for he had made this determination while she was speaking, and it was now a firm and resolved part of his will, “One day soon, all this will change. The corruption will be stopped, the Council will be brought to heel, and justice will be restored.”

    “How do you know?” she asked.

    “It will not be long before the old King passes away, and Crown Prince Konstantinos will be the new King. He will put an end to this time of darkness.”

    “But how can you be sure?” she insisted. “I know you are the captain of his body guard, but how well do you actually know him?”

    With a smile, the Crown Prince replied, “As well as I know myself. I know the very bottom of his soul. And with such knowledge I can assure you now, nay, I can promise you, that he will see to it that the little girl in the field will never know the heavy hand of oppression. He will restore justice to this Kingdom.”

    Sophia allowed herself to smile again, “The Crown Prince sounds like a good man.”

    With a shrug, Konstantinos replied, “He is young, but he is willing to learn. And I think he could learn much from you.”

    Her smile grew at that remark, and it pleased him. For a time, neither one said anything more. They simply continued to ride their horses, enjoying each other’s company in silent contentment…
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

  5. #845

  6. #846
    Yeah... even if it is between cousins... always a little creepy...
    I didn't start reading this AAR until a week or so ago, trying to balance it with RI (which I started at about the same time, but it's 1/3 the length). I finally read all 43 pages of this thread. This is such a great AAR... shame it takes so long to read; I think I forgot some of the characters by the time I got here. I'm glad you decided to keep writing instead of kill this AAR... but by your sig, I knew the answer already...
    I would have loved to see the response CP Konstantinos wanted to give to his eponymous cousin: "Oh, you think you're so high-and-mighty, mister 'fourth in line'? Well, guess what? I'm actually CROWN PRINCE KONSTANTINOS!!!! So watch what you say, Visigoth, for I shall be King soon, and you my lackey!" Except perhaps a more archaic version of that first sentence.

  7. #847
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369
    AlexanderPrimus: That is the question, isn't it. What will the future bring for these two?

    enf91: Glad to have you on board! If you read all of this in a week, you must be a very fast readAAR! So far this AAR takes up about 300 pages in Word, so we are talking the length of a short novel!

    I think you will like what happens when the two Konstantinoses face each other, both in the arena and a little later in the story.





    To all readAARs, next chapter is now underway.
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

  8. #848
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369
    After a far-too-long hiatus of a year, for which I apologize, I have now returned, as has this epic story! The great tale of the Morea is not dead! It lives! And if even one person is still interested in hearing the tale, I plan to continue telling it to its final conclusion! For now, here is the latest chapter, long overdue!
    __________________________________________________


    BOOK IV
    The Shifting Tide

    Chapter IX – New Perspectives



    It was now late afternoon on Thursday, the 17th of July, 1230. The young Prince Konstantinos had just donned his formal wear for the banquet tonight. He was looking himself over in the mirror, making certain he was 100% dashing, for he had to make a very good impression with Sophia. Yesterday’s horseback ride was still a fresh memory, and he even thought he could hear her laugh now in his head. He straightened out his green vest a little, and was startled by the sound of someone clearing their throat. He turned to his right and saw Imbert Nikolaidos standing there. He asked, “How long have you been standing there?”

    With a slight smile, Imbert replied, “Long enough to see you make a fool of yourself trying to look perfect.”

    The Prince blushed a little, and said, “I-I have to make a good impression.”

    Imbert chuckled, “I’ve seen that look before on many a young lad’s face. You are not interested in impressing the nobles or even your grandfather. There’s a woman involved here, isn’t there? It’s about time someone caught your eye! Tell me, who is it?”

    Smiling sheepishly, Konstantinos replied, “Sophia, Princess of Imeretia.”

    “Your royal cousin!?” exclaimed the elder of the two in disbelief.

    The Prince rolled his eyes, “Distant cousin. We are separated by six generations! Our first common ancestor is King Georgios I himself! I hardly see anything wrong with it.”

    Imbert folded his arms, “Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with it. However you would be a Palaeologid Prince pursuing a Palaeologid Princess. The last time that happened, it became a large part of a much greater problem. It would be… awkward for the people. Especially since the last Palaeologus to do this was your eponymous predecessor, King Konstantinos II.”

    At this Konstantinos became indignant, “Konstantinos II was insane! What’s more, there has never been any proof that he and Cheilous were involved on any level deeper than friendship! You cannot rightly compare these situations!”

    Nodding assent, Imbert said, “I know this. But the people listen to rumors, not reason. Konstantinos and Cheilous were first cousins, and all the rumors say they were also lovers. What’s more, that’s not even what I was talking about! Konstantinos II’s first wife was also a first cousin, Eudokia! She died within months of their marriage and everyone considered it a jinx! Konstantinos II was and is, in every conceivable way, a black mark upon the noble dynasty forged by Georgios I. Anything and everything associated with him is tainted. Your father unwisely chose to give you the same name, perhaps not realizing at the time that you would ever hold the throne. It will be hard enough to convince the people you are not jinxed because you share his name! If you start to exhibit behaviour that even remotely resembles his, it could jeopardize your reign!”

    “How dare you!?” shouted the Prince. “They don’t even know who I am right now! By all the Saints they think I’m you!”

    Now Imbert began to raise his voice as well, just to be heard, “This charade will only last until the end of the tournament! One day you will be King, and then everyone will know the truth about what is happening now! What will you do then? Just cast Sophia aside as an unwanted liability? Not only would that be cruel and dishonourable, but just about the worst move you could possibly make, politically! You do not want to alienate your own blood and make enemies of the Imeretians!”

    “You think you know me so well, don’t you?” demanded the Prince. “You dare to think I would do that to her? I love her, I tell you! And I would never cast her aside! Never!”

    “You love her?” asked Imbert with a mocking tone, “You’ve only known her for what, two days?”

    Konstantinos’ face was now burning with rage, “In those two days she has opened my eyes to things I had never before considered, things I never learned from you! She has reshaped my understanding of the world in ways I never thought possible! She is the most amazing person I have ever met and I will not let anyone, not you, and certainly not that damned Konstantinos Orestes, stand in my way!”

    The elder man threw his hands up in frustration, “You know what? Fine! You want to screw everything up? Go right ahead! You’ll only succeed where the last Konstantinos failed and bring down the whole damned Kingdom! Well, if that’s what you want, then I won’t stop you!”

    With that Imbert stormed out of the room, while the Prince yelled after him, “Oh yeah? Oh… oh yeah?”

    - - -


    “You did what?” asked Alexandros Chrysasphes in sheer disbelief.

    Imbert sat on a stool, hunched forward, his face half-buried in his left hand as he rubbed his temples to alleviate his extreme headache. With a sigh he said, “I… may have… slightly… gone overboard… a little… and… yelled at him… a bit.”

    “A bit?” said Alexios Chrysasphes. “From what you just told us, it sounds like you practically accused him of bringing down the kingdom!”

    Alexandros shot his twin a harsh glare, as if to say, “Not helping…”

    Imbert looked up and said, “You’re right. I just… I don’t want to see him make such a huge political mistake, before he’s even King! Ever since his father died, I’ve been raising that boy to be a King, a real King. Not like Georgios III or Petros, men who tried, and did well enough, but will never be remembered as great rulers. I certainly did not want him to pull a stunt like this, and be stigmatized like his eponymous predecessor! I wanted him to be like Georgios I. He was the first and greatest King of the Morea, and since him we’ve never had another quite like him. As a King, he was perfect in every way. He was everything a King was supposed to be. All of his successors fell short somehow. I thought… I thought I could raise Konstantinos to be different, to be more like him.”

    Alexandros walked over to his friend and superior officer, put a hand on his shoulder, and said, “You’ve done a marvelous job raising him, Imbert. You really have. I doubt if any other man could have made as good a foster father as you did. But he is his own man, and he has to make his own decisions. You’ve done all you can do: teach him. Now it is up to him to put those lessons to use.”

    Alexios chimed in again, this time trying to be more helpful, “Besides, maybe he’s more like Georgios I than you realize. Georgios was sixteen when he became King, our young Prince here is just two months shy of that same age. And remember, Georgios wasn’t always the perfect King we remember him as. His first year as King, the very first year of our country’s history, was a rocky one, caused all too much by his own immaturity and lack of experience. Konstantinos is equally immature and inexperienced. Georgios had to make a mistake that almost shattered his tiny Kingdom before he learned his lesson and became a paragon of royalty. Maybe Konstantinos needs to follow a similar path and make his own mistakes before he can truly learn to be a great King.”

    With another sigh, Imbert said, “True. I suppose I was being too over protective and controlling, wasn’t I?”

    With an understanding smile, Alexios said, “Just a little.”

    Alexandros then said, “He knows everything you’ve taught him by heart. When it comes to the mind, the boy’s a prodigy and infinitely superior to us. He’s already smarter than we could ever hope to be, even my father has had to admit that. That boy may be the smartest man to walk this earth since Archimedes himself! But he’s more than just a brain. Like all men, he has a heart, too. And while he may have a brain like Archimedes, he has a heart like a fifteen year-old boy. Both you and my father have filled his head with knowledge. Now it is up to God and time to fill his heart with maturity and experience to use that knowledge.”

    Then Alexios added, “Um… I hate to interrupt, but I just realized, Alexandros, if you and I don’t leave now, we’ll be late for the banquet!”

    “Oh, that’s right! All the competitors are expected to be there!” said the other twin. “Sorry, Imbert. Wish you could come, too. But uh, we need to go now.”

    With a casual swat of his arm, Imbert waved them away, as if to say, “It’s okay, just go.” After they had left, he sat in silence for hours, pondering how he would apologize to the Prince, and, more importantly, how on earth he was going to explain to the boy why he had to leave.

    - - -


    As Konstantinos entered the great hall of the castle, he was amazed by how large it was. It was more magnificent than he could have imagined. And to think, one day, this would be his. All the frustration of his argument with Imbert had passed in the wake of this awe-inspiring sight. He was jolted from his musings by someone saying, “Sir Imbert, please, you must follow me.”

    The Prince shook his head to clear his mind, and realized that the servant had been talking to him. Yes, to everyone here, he was Imbert Nikolaidos. He nodded and said, “Yes, of course.”

    The servant led him to the seat at King Georgios III’s right hand side, and introduced him before the King, “Your Majesty, may I present Captain Imbert Nikolaidos, here representing your grandson, Crown Prince Konstantinos.”

    The old King looked to his right, weakly, and said, “Greetings, Captain Imbert.”

    It took the Prince a minute to regain his composure. This was his grandfather. His father’s father. For the first time in his life, he was meeting him. Then he remembered where he was and said, “Sire, your grandson bade me to wish you well, and to tell you that he wishes with all his heart that he could be here, but his dire illness prevents travel.”

    The King nodded and said, “Hmm. Yes. Say, my boy… you remind me of someone… someone I once knew… have we… have we met?”

    Konstantinos shook his head, “No, my liege. We have never met before.”

    “Oh,” said the King weakly, and with a slight hint of disappointment.

    The Prince then took his seat, and realized with dismay that the Imeretian Palaeologi were to the King’s immediate left and hidden from view by the rather large throne. He could catch no glimpse of Sophia, nor would she be able to see his dashing green outfit. A moment later, he heard someone to his right say, “Imbert Nikolaidos?”

    He turned to see the Pecheneg from the other day. After a moment, he said, “Good evening… Alexes, is it”

    The Pecheneg smiled, “It is indeed! How good of you to remember, my friend!”

    Konstantinos nodded, “Can you believe this banquet hall? It’s huge!”

    Alexes laughed, “Indeed it is. Magnificent, isn’t it? But do you know what is the most amazing thing about this hall?”

    The Prince shook his head, “No, I-I really don’t.”

    With a gesture to the many guests seated at the table, Alexes said, “It is the only place on earth where men of such varying backgrounds gather such as this… as brothers! We have Moreans of the finest caliber, such as the Palaeologid nobles or the descendants of St. Alexios Dekanos. There are Greeks converted to the service of the Morea, such as Prince Mikhael Angelos of Apulia or Theodoros Blangas of Samos. I am a Pecheneg, and over there, young David Kenchres, son of the Prince of the Krimea, is a mixture of Morean, Russian, and Cuman blood. There are Italians like Count Bertoldo di Salerno, and even Normans such as the Counts Alexios de Hauteville of Messina and Arcill di Aversa of Benevento. Where else in all the world do you find such a mixture as this?”

    Konstantinos shrugged, “Judging by the behaviour of that Alain di Aversa the other day, I would say not everyone here has gathered as brothers. Some disdain you for being a Pecheneg.”

    “It is the way of things,” replied the Pecheneg. “But it does not bother me. It will take a long time for men to overcome their prejudices. Most of my people resented the Moreans and mistrusted the Church for a long time after the conquest of the Moldau. But with time, they have come to a better understanding and now gladly call themselves Morean subjects and members of the Morean Orthodox Church. The Normans are a very proud and stubborn people, clinging to what remains of their dying culture. It is understandable that they would be harsh towards men such as myself. I will be patient with them.”

    The Prince smiled, “You are a very noble sort, Alexes. If only more men perceived the world as you do.”

    “It will all come in time,” said Alexes. “I am descended from the great Aba of Peresechen, who paved the way for my people to become brothers with the Moreans and members of the Church. At a time when many of my people saw Moreans the way these Normans now see me and my people, Aba knew he must look to the future, and what a future he has given us! I can do no less than follow in his footsteps, and devote my life to a better future for all men. He believed, as I do, that the future of mankind lies with the Palaeologid Dynasty of Georgios I. They are the beacon of hope for a brighter, better world.”

    At this, the Prince grew somber, “Georgios I was a great King, but how can you see such light in the Dynasty when every King after him had his dark spots? Athanasios was cruel and unforgiving. Georgios II was a warmonger and a stubborn over-achiever who could not share work nor glory. Stephanos was lazy and weak. Konstantinos I reigned for less than a year, and in that time nearly bankrupted the Dynasty. Konstantinos II was insane and almost tore the Kingdom apart! Petros was a Kinslayer and disrupted the order of Morean traditions. And our current monarch,” here he lowered his voice a little, “has grown weak-willed and surrendered his authority to a heretical Council of Bishops. I do not see the light.”

    “My friend,” said the Pecheneg with a sympathetic smile, “You see no light because you do not look for it. Yes, you are correct in noting all those tragedies which are associated with the Dynasty. But for every one of those Kings I can find redeeming qualities as well. Athanasios finished the conquest of the Moldau and brought my people together as one, and opened the door for Aba of Peresechen to help the Pechenegs accept Morean rule and Christian faith. Ever since that time, my people have been far better off than we were before the Moreans came. I thank God every night in my prayers that Georgios I and Athanasios brought my people into their Kingdom. And even as he lay dying, he repented of all his evils. Georgios II built upon the foundations of his father, and he sent in the missionaries who converted my people. He also established the Morean Orthodox Church and set up Patriarch Pantoleon I as the first Patriarch of Korinthos. Stephanos’ wife, Maria, brought much prosperity to the realm. Konstantinos I may have spent a lot of money on the fortress at Nafplion, but it remains one of the most powerful in the land. Konstantinos II believed the prophecies of Princess Cheilous, something few have been wise enough to do. She foresaw evil that is yet to come, and was sent by God as a warning, I believe. Petros restored order after the madness of his predecessor, and Georgios III had a mighty crusader spirit in his youth, and turned the Morea into a true power to rival even Constantinople. I urge you, friend. Look to the light and see hope. Who knows what good our next King, Konstantinos III will bring?”

    All the Prince could do was nod silently. Alexes was right, as Sophia had been. How was it that he had never before seen the world as these two did?

    The rest of the banquet proceeded normally. At the end of the feast, the sixteen matches that would take place on the morrow, between the thirty two contestants, were announced. Of special interest: Imbert Nikolaidos would face Nikolaos Angelos, Alexes of Peresechen would face Guy di Aversa, Alexios Chrysasphes would face Demetrios “the Kalabrian” Dekanos, Alexandros Chrysasphes would face Alexios de Hauteville, and Konstantinos Orestes Palaeologus would face Stephanos Petraliphas. All of the contestants would have difficulty sleeping that night. The adrenaline for the upcoming battles already coursed through their veins. This was the be the most glorious tournament in the history of the Morea, and one of them would win it and become the most famous hero of their generation, to be remembered along with St. Alexios himself and Stephanos Beroiaios as one of the greatest of Morean warriors. None of them, however, could have foreseen how it all would end…
    Last edited by crusaderknight; 17-06-2011 at 03:07.
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

  9. #849
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
    62 games registered

    62

    200k clubArsenal of DemocracyCities in MotionCities in Motion 2Crusader Kings II
    DungeonlandElven Legacy CollectionEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis: ChroniclesDivine Wind
    For The GloryGettysburgHearts of Iron IIIHearts of Iron III CollectionHeir to the Throne
    Europa Universalis III: In NomineKing Arthur IILeviathan: WarshipsThe Kings CrusadeLost Empire - Immortals
    MagickaMajesty 2March of the EaglesEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionNaval War: Arctic Circle
    SengokuShip Simulator ExtremesSword of the StarsSword of the Stars IISupreme Ruler 2020
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: Warband
    Warlock: Master of the ArcaneMount & Blade: With Fire and SwordWar of the RosesPride of NationsRise of Prussia
    CK2: Holy KnightEU Rome Collectors EditionKnights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    Warlock 2: The ExiledEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of ParadiseEUIV: Res PublicaEUIV: Art of War

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lost in time and space
    Posts
    4,018
    Welcome back, crusaderknight! Good to see someone from the good old days getting back on track.


    When I use this color I am speaking as a Moderator.

  10. #850
    Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

    Damn your cliffhangers! You leave us for a year and then go right back to leaving us in further suspense!

  11. #851

  12. #852
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIDeus VultEast India CompanyEuropa Universalis 3
    Hearts of Iron IIIEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: Rome
    Victoria 2Rome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: With Fire and Sword

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Between Kwikwetlem and Qayqayt
    Posts
    5,575
    Blog Entries
    2
    It's quite cool to see peripheral nations sort of blend into the Roman world.

    Welcome back, ck.
    The Russia Megacampaign - See my other work at my Inkwell

    A YeAAR's Education - Rurikovich in Crusader Kings 1066-1393

    From Rus to Russia - Kiev in EU3 1393-1836 - Get the Loading Screen Pack - Weekly Showcased AAR, 6/6/09 and 7/7/10 - WritAAr of the Week, 27/7/10 - Ambitions are denied and tasks appointed - Check out the first installment of the Medieval Atlas!

    Duke of Bonbon, and also Chevalier Grand Croix of the Ordre Militaire du Saint Christophe.

  13. #853
    Major Alfredian's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Rome GoldVictoria 2Victoria II: A House Divided

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    733
    Blog Entries
    2
    This was the first CK AAR I ever read. Fantastic to see it back.
    Exile in the East - a Helleno-Varangian CK AAR (Part 28 posted 03 January 2012)
    AARland Choice AwAARds - CK historybook winner Q3 & Q4 2011
    Showcased 09-Sep-2011, Character writer of the week 28-Mar-2011
    Fan of the Week 07-Feb-2011 & 03-Jul-2011

  14. #854
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369
    Qorten: Glad to be back! I've considered giving up on this one multiple times, but in the end, I decided I just couldn't do it. This story needs to be finished.

    enf91: Cliffhangers are my specialty.

    AlexanderPrimus: I am also very excited to see this story reach its epic climax. I've been building it up for a long time now, it would hardly be fair to just let this tale die here and now.

    RGB: I agree. And thanks!

    Alfredian: I am honoured. I hope the conclusion proves to be worth the wait!
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

  15. #855
    Earl of Groan Tufto's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIMagickaSengokuRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
    500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderCrusader Kings II: Legacy of RomeCrusader Kings II: Sword of IslamCrusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    Crusader Kings II: The RepublicCrusader Kings II: The Old GodsCrusader Kings II: Sons of AbrahamCrusader Kings II: Rajas of IndiaCrusader Kings II: Charlemagne

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Gormenghast
    Posts
    2,553
    Congrats, you are Character Writer of the Week.
    The Iron Horde: A Kirghiz Narrative AAR My Inkwell.

    "There is nowhere else. You will only tread a circle, Titus Groan. There's not a road, not a track, but it will lead you home. For everything comes to Gormenghast."

  16. #856
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369

    BOOK IV
    The Shifting Tide

    Chapter X – The Tournament Begins



    As the first rays of light peeked over the horizon, marking the dawn of Friday, July 18, 1230, Alexios Chrysasphes shivered. He stood in his armour, ready for battle. At his side was his trusty horse, and there with him also were his brother, Alexandros, the Crown Prince masquerading as Imbert Nikolaidos, and the real Imbert as well. Alexios was first up for battle, facing off against Demetrios the Kalabrian. He began to nod his head up and down, repeating to himself, “I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.”

    Alexandros placed a reassuring hand on his twin brother’s shoulder and said, “I know you can do it, brother.”

    The real Imbert nodded and said, “Demetrios is a proud descendant of St. Alexios. He will trust in his ancestor’s spirit to help him. Just hit him with the moves I’ve taught you, and he’s all yours.”

    The Prince motioned to the field, “Look, there! He’s coming out to be announced!”

    At the far end of the tournament grounds, Alexios could see his opponent ride out on his war horse, lance in hand, helmet tilted up so the crowd could see his face. A herald came out with him and proclaimed, “My master, the Prince Demetrios Dekanos of Kalabria, descendant of St. Alexios himself!”

    Demetrios raised his lance and received the cheers of the crowd, all of whom loved St. Alexios as the patron saint of the Kingdom. This automatically made Demetrios and his cousin, also named Demetrios, instant fan favourites. After the noise died down, Demetrios lowered his helmet and moved into position to begin the tournament.

    Alexios mounted his steed and gulped. He was twenty years old. He shouldn’t be scared anymore. But the thought of a lance striking him hard in the chest always gave him the jitters. Nevertheless, he received his lance from his brother, and rode out into the field, the real Imbert at his side, posing as a squire.


    The Tournament Grounds in Korinthos


    When they were in full public view, Imbert proclaimed in a loud voice, “Alexios Chrysasphes, son of Protodeacon Andronikos! Knight of Sardinia!”

    Some moderate applause were heard, nothing like the reception Demetrios had received. Alexios snorted and muttered, “How do you like that?” He then lowered his own helmet and moved into position.

    When the two knights were facing each other, a herald proclaimed in a loud voice, “The joint sword-joust tournament is about to begin! A knight, when un-horsed, is not automatically disqualified. He has the option of rising, drawing his blade, and continuing the fight. Matches shall proceed until one combatant yields, or until otherwise declared by an official. And now, His Majesty, King Georgios III, shall initiate the tournament!”

    With a nearly imperceptible wave of his very weak hand, the seventy year-old monarch motioned for the tournament to begin. The herald shouted, “The sign has been given! Let the tournament commence!”

    Demetrios spurred his mount on towards his foe, and almost immediately thereafter, Alexios followed suit. The two warriors sped down the course towards each other, ready for the combat. All thoughts of fear fled Alexios’ mind in the wake of adrenaline. As they closed, the Chrysasphid knight let out a loud yell, and smashed his lance into Prince Demetrios’ chest. The Kalabrian fell from his horse onto the ground with a thud. Alexios raised his lance in the air, cheering in victory.

    Demetrios was not ready to give up, though. He rose up from the ground and rushed at Alexios with his lance. The younger knight had not been expecting this, and was subsequently thrown from his horse by the collision. Alexios rolled out of the way just in time as Demetrios brought his lance down to crush him. Rising to his feet, Alexios drew his wooden blade and rushed into the fray. But Demetrios was ready for him. Without even using his sword, still holding his unbroken lance, the Kalabrian swung with full force and his weapon collided with Alexios’ head, sending him reeling. Another two heavy blows fell, and young Alexios lay on the ground. He raised his right hand for a moment, before it sank back into the dust. An official came onto the field of battle and waved his flag, signaling an end to the fight. He took Demetrios’ hand and lifted it on high, proclaiming, “Our first winner is Prince Demetrios of Kalabria, victorious over Alexios Chrysasphes! The next fight will begin in twenty minutes: Tobromeros Poniros, Knight of Euboia versus Orestes Dasios, Knight of Naxos!”

    Alexios’ brother rushed onto the field, followed closely by the Crown Prince and the real Imbert. They knelt to the ground and helped the fallen knight to his feet. Konstantinos took the warrior’s helmet off to help him breathe, and beheld the bruised and bloody visage of his friend. Alexios forced a weak smile onto his face and said, “Did I beat him yet?”

    None of them said anymore as they helped him walk off the field, amid the cheers of the Dekanid Prince’s adoring crowd.

    - - -


    “You can’t go through with it. I forbid you to!” said Imbert sternly.

    Exasperated, Konstantinos replied, “How are you going to stop me?”

    “I could reveal your true identity. They would force you to withdraw then.”

    The Crown Prince rolled his eyes, “Why now? Why are you doing this now?”

    “Did you see Alexios’ face?” demanded Imbert, pointing to their bloodied comrade. “If you should lose a match, that could be you. The last thing we need is for the heir to the throne to get that battered and beaten before he’s even sixteen years old!”

    In the background they could hear the herald proclaim, “Our winner is Tobromeros Poniros, victorious over Orestes Dasios! The next fight will begin in twenty minutes: Imbert Nikolaidos, Knight of Sardinia versus Nikolaos Angelos, Heir to the County of Consenza!”

    Konstantinos indicated with a motion of his head towards the field and said, “It’s my turn to fight in a minute. If you’re that worried about me, then pray to St. Alexios I don’t lose.” With that, he put his helmet on and went to make sure his trust horse, Basileios was ready for action.

    - - -


    As the two warriors sat mounted on their horses, facing down the line towards each other, Nikolaos Angelos’ herald came into the field and proclaimed, “My lord, Nikolaos Angelos, eldest son and heir of Count Nikolaos of Consenza, here representing his father!” There was some cheering from the crowd.

    Next, the real Imbert came forward, as he had done for Alexios, and announced, “Captain Imbert Nikolaidos, Knight of Sardinia and head of the bodyguard unit of the Crown Prince, here by order of the Prince himself, and representing his majesty both on the field and off! He is a master at arms, fearless, and devout. God is with him!”

    As he left the field, he walked past the Prince, who looked down from his horse and said with a wink, “I don’t know who you were really trying to praise with that introduction, me or you?”

    The real Imbert patted his pupil’s arm and said, “If I have to play the part, I might as well enjoy myself. But I did speak the truth about you. Every word. Knock him senseless, my boy. Show him, and everyone here, what the heir to King Georgios I can do!”

    Konstantinos nodded and said, “Thank you, Imbert.” He was about to lower his helmet for the match when a cry rang out through the stadium, “Sir Imbert! Sir Imbert, over here!” He looked, and there was Sophia, sitting in the stands near the King. She was waving a handkerchief as she beckoned to him. He rode his horse over to her and said, “How may I be of service, milady?”

    She tossed the handkerchief to him and said, “You can wear this favour, and ride in my honour.”

    As he caught it, the Crown Prince opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by Sophia’s brother, Konstantinos Orestes, who said, “Tread carefully, Nikolaidos. This is a woman of Palaeologid blood you court, daughter to the Prince of Imeretia. You wear her favour, and thus her honour. If you should shame my sister with defeat, you will have made a true enemy of me, and not merely a rival.”

    The Prince just smiled and said, “I was unaware that competitors prepared for battle in the stands, Konstantinos Orestes Palaeologus. Or have you withdrawn from the tournament?”

    The Imeretian sneered and said, “I do not fight for another two hours. Rest assured, I will be ready when the time comes. I do hope you survive this fight, Imbert. I would hate to see someone else spoil for me the treat of defeating you in this tournament.”

    Ignoring this last statement, Konstantinos looked back to Sophia and said, “Milady, I thank you for your favour. I shall bring you honour, and win this tournament for you!” With that he rode back to his starting position.

    The herald asked, in a rather annoyed voice, “Do we have any other distractions?” After a brief pause, with no apparent answer to his question, he exclaimed, “Good! Then let the joust begin!”

    The flag was waved and the two competitors sped towards each other. As the distance closed, Konstantinos held his lance firmly, yet not rigidly. He aimed for Nikolaos’ upper left chest, hoping the force of the thrust would send him flying. Suddenly there was a loud “crunch!” and his lance exploded from the force of striking its opponent. He was also jostled by the force of Nikolaos’ lance striking him square in the centre of his torso. The Prince was able to remain mounted, despite the blow. Nikolaos was not so fortunate. He was unhorsed and struck the ground with a thud.

    Konstantinos discarded his broken lance and drew his wooden blade. Nikolaos arose and also drew his blade. As Konstantinos made a pass at him, Nikolaos rolled out of the way. The Angelid dynast taunted, “Is that all you’ve got! Ha!”

    The Prince called his horse to a halt, dismounted, and began to walk towards his opponent, sternly silent.

    Nikolaos continued to taunt, “Come on, Knight! Let’s see what you’ve got! You’ve got nothing, eh? Bring it!”

    As the Angelid spoke that last taunt, Konstantinos had come within sword range. With a single forceful blow made contact with the point between Nikolaos’ neck and his left shoulder. The Angelid sank to the ground, in shock. The Prince looked down at him and said, “Next time, more fighting. Less talking.” He then raised his wooden blade into the air and let out a cry of victory. There were some cheers from the crowd, but the Prince was disappointed in their lack of enthusiasm. Evidently his fight had not been exciting enough. They were here to see combat, not to see one knight quickly beat the tar out of another. He remounted his horse and rode off of the field while the herald proclaimed, “Our winner is Imbert Nikolaidos, victorious over Nikolaos Angelos! The next fight will begin in twenty minutes: Leonidas Palaeologus, representing his father, Prince Leonidas of Butrinto, versus Arcill di Aversa, Count of Benevento!”

    - - -


    “That’s not how I taught you to fight,” said Imbert.

    The Prince rolled his eyes, “I beat him, didn’t I?”

    “Yes,” conceded the elder of the two, “but only because he was more of an idiot than you were. If you try to pull a stunt like that tomorrow, you’ll lose this tournament for sure.”

    “Anselmo taught me to go for the enemy’s weakness. Strike swiftly, strike deadly. That’s what he taught me.” Konstantinos was insistent.

    “Ah yes, the Italian with a sword as thin as my finger!” said Imbert. “Yes, if you fight like him, all of Europe will laugh.”

    “You never had any respect for him!” shouted the young Prince.

    “And you’ve never had any respect for me!” was the shouted reply.

    “Maybe that’s because we’re always fighting and shouting!” With that, the Prince stormed off, bringing his horse with him.

    Imbert watched as his young pupil marched away, angry again. Once the boy was out of sight, Imbert sank to the ground, buried his face in his hands, and said, “Oh God, why do I always argue with that boy?”

    Alexios shrugged, “You just have a very… unusual way of showing you care is all.”

    Alexandros shook his head, “As usual, Alexios, you really don’t have anything constructive to say, do you?” Then, sitting down next to Imbert, he said, “Imbert, my friend, you can’t approach him like a soldier. Remember what we talked about last night? He’s a genius, and a reborn Achilles to be sure, but he’s still a fifteen year-old boy. You’ve got to treat him like one.”

    “I know. I know,” replied Imbert. “I keep telling myself that I’m hard on him because he needs it. But the truth is, I’m scared to lose him. I’ve practically raised him after his parents died. And now, Grand Master Stephanos, right before he died, assigned me to take the young boy Manuel Angelos to Abkhazia. He told me I have until this tournament ends, and then I am to leave Konstantinos. I haven’t broken the news to him yet. How can I? I can’t tell him about my secret mission. Only we members of the Order are allowed to know about that. But the truth is, the last day of the tournament is my last day as his mentor and surrogate father. And that day is only five days away. Oh God, I need to stop treating him like this. I don’t want this to be how he remembers me.”

    “There are other ways of guiding him than to yell at him and attack everything he does,” said Alexandros. “Yes, the boy was too headstrong in this battle. But next time, praise him first for a job well done, then gently point out his mistakes. After that, give a little more encouragement. Let him know you are proud of him, not just angry that he did something stupid.”

    Imbert glanced at him and said, “Are you sure you’re only twenty years-old, Alexandros?”

    The Chrysasphid knight chuckled, “Last time I checked.”

    “You are wise beyond your years,” said Imbert. “Our Prince is smart, strong, and fast. But you possess the wisdom he lacks. Promise me something Alexandros.”

    Alexandros said, “Anything.”

    “Promise me that when I leave for Abkhazia, you will become the Prince’s mentor. Never leave his side, Alexandros. Alexios, you promise me, too. I want you two to be there for him always. Help him to become a good man, a good King. And keep him safe.”

    The two young knights both put their right fists over their hearts and said, “I swear.”

    In the background they could hear the herald, “Our winner is Leonidas Palaeologus, victorious over Arcill di Aversa! The next battle shall begin in twenty minutes: Alexios de Hauteville, Count of Messina versus Alexandros Chrysasphes, Knight of Sardinia.”

    Alexandros then said, “Well, I’d better get ready. Looks like it’s my turn.”

    Alexios smiled and said, “Give him hell, brother!”
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

  17. #857

  18. #858
    Major Alfredian's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Rome GoldVictoria 2Victoria II: A House Divided

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    733
    Blog Entries
    2
    terrible slip of memory, but why is Imbert off to Abkhazia?
    Exile in the East - a Helleno-Varangian CK AAR (Part 28 posted 03 January 2012)
    AARland Choice AwAARds - CK historybook winner Q3 & Q4 2011
    Showcased 09-Sep-2011, Character writer of the week 28-Mar-2011
    Fan of the Week 07-Feb-2011 & 03-Jul-2011

  19. #859
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
    A Game of DwarvesCrusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Europa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSupreme Ruler 2020 GoldVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In exile in Minnesota
    Posts
    2,369
    AlexanderPrimus: I'm doing my best! We've still got a lot of ground to cover. The next few decades are going to be epic.

    Alfredian: Here, skip down to the third section of text, the meeting between Imbert and the dying Stephanos Beroiaios. Hopefully that will answer your questions. If not, just say so, and I'll fill in whatever else is missing (assuming it is not a spoiler, of course. )
    ++ Member of the Christian Paradox Players Club ++
    Honorary Byzantine
    I was canonized!
    See my AARs at the Ink Well
    Active AARs:
    Fresh Blood on Ancient Soil - A Saga of the Scottish Kings of Aquitaine - NEW UPDATE: 21/02/2013
    The Morea, A Palaeologid AAR - Last update: 22/7/2011
    Regnum Iudaeorum - The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel - 4x Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds - Last update: 22/7/2011

    Remembering Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006) we will miss you, Steve.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 43 of 43 FirstFirst ... 18 33 41 42 43

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts