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Thread: The Final Crusade - A Knights AAR

  1. #1
    Colonel daemonofdecay's Avatar
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    The Final Crusade - A Knights AAR

    The Final Crusade
    A Knights AAR

    This is my first AAR. I thought I'd give it a shot.
    Made with Vanilla Eu3 1.1.



    Prologue

    Rhodes, 1461

    Piero Raimondo Zacosta, Grandmaster of the Knight's Hospitaller, the Knight's of Rhodes, and inheritors to the crusader tradition, was a worried man. He roughly scratched at his beard as he stared out from his keep across the moonlight waters below him, a grimace etched into his features. For over a century his order had held the island of Rhodes, strategically located in the Eastern mediterranean. Protected by the sea, the Knights had survived when Jerusalem fell to the moslems, or the conquering of Constantinople by the Turks.

    With a disgusted snort, Zacosta turned from the window and marched to his desk. With one hand he grasped the chalice waiting there and, throwing his head back, emptied it. The Grandmaster wiped his mouth clean with the back of his hand and quickly poured himself another amount of wine. "If there's one thing these Greeks can do right," he muttered to himself "its wine."

    Slowly rolling the wine in his cup, the Grandmaster made his way back to the window. He now faced a terrible foe. The Turks, who had violated Constantinople only a short few years ago, now controlled most of the lands around the Knight and posed the greatest threat to the continued existence of the Order.



    "I wonder how the Blessed Gerard would have handled such a situation as this?" Zacosta pondered outloud, sipping at the lukewarm wine. The rich flavor and strong taste went unapreciated in his melancholy; the dangers and worries facing the Order weighing upon his shoulders like a suit of stone armor that supressed the few pleasures in his life. Despite this, Zacosta had himself finished off a dozen or so servings of wine, his thoughts of the future forcing him to drink until he can finally, blissfully find sleep.

    "What is the point?" Zacosta posed the question, knowing there was no answer. "For every man I raise the Turks will bring 50. Bah!" Turning to refill his cup, the Grandmaster absentmindedly placed his foot into a small puddle of his spilt wine. With a start, Zacosta felt his legs kick out from beneath him. Before he could even shout in suprise, his head crashed into the stone floor with a wicked crack. His world flashed white.

    - - - - -

    "Aaaraaahh!" The loud shout, a mixture of pain and suprise resonated through the oak doors to the Grandmasters room. The two honor guards turned to one another in suprise before registering the possibility that their liege needed help. They threw the doors open and stormed into Zacosta's spartan quarters to cries of loud exclamations.

    "I have seen it!" The guards were caught off guard by Zacosta as he lept forward and hugged the soldier nearest to him in a crushing bear hug. His wild eyes, still glazed from the fall, were full of happiness and joy. "He has shown me the way! I have seen our Lord, and he has guided me this day!" Letting loose an elated laugh, the Grandmaster almost danced to his desk. "My prayers have been answered!" Zacosta grabbed a quill, and dunked it into his inkwell. Furiously he began scratching away onto a loose sheet of parchment, humming to himself as he wrote.

    The guardsmen looked at each other again, a mixture of shock and confusion on thier faces. "Grandmaster, sire," one began, attempting to get Zacosta's attention. "What has happened?" The other gestured to the matted blood on Zacosta's head, asking ,"do you need an apothecary, Grandmaster?"

    "No time for that! No time!" Zacosta was filled with richeous zeal, his eyes ablaze with purpose. "I have had a message from God himself! He has sent his true son to give me the direction I need!" Finishing his writing, Zacosta quickly rolled the paper tightly while looking up at the two baffled guards. "Our Lord has spoken to me, and He must be obeyed!" Sealing the letter in wax, Zacosta pressed his ring into the soft red wax, leaving the sybol of his office prominently displayed. "I need one of you to take this to Brother-General Guillaume d'Ambray. Swiftly now."

    Hesitantly, the guard closest to Zacosta reached out and took the paper. The other guard cleared his throught. "Sire, might I be so bold as to ask what message is so important that you would ignore your own injuries to deliver it?" Zacosta dropped his smile, his face taking on a severe aspect.

    "What message could be that important, you ask?" the Guard was unable to meet the Grandmaster's gaze, even as Zacosta rounded the table and stood inches from him. "Why, the message that God himself entrusted to me! We are to begin a final crusade! A crusade to reconquer the Holy Land from the infidel, bringing The One True Faith back into HIS lands!" The Grandmaster's mad peal of laughter echoed throughout the castle and into the night.
    Last edited by daemonofdecay; 07-02-2007 at 00:29.
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  2. #2
    Sergeant przemek's Avatar

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    I am with you mate. Knights were my first choice with EU III and it was fun .
    Life is hilariously cruel...
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  3. #3
    Deus Vult - God has willed it!

    Good luck smashing the heathen Turk.

  4. #4
    Chairman of this board Dysken's Avatar
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    Knights was one of my favourite countries in EUII, take good care of them!

    Also the fact that you have arabic as your main culture makes for an interesting expansion trail I assume.
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  5. #5
    Colonel daemonofdecay's Avatar
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    przemek: Yeah, but I gave into temptation. The first nation I played when I recieved my copy? The Turks. . .

    Corbett : Deus Vult was my original name for this AAR. Actually, it was 'The Last Crusade', and I was gonna post a picture of Harrison Ford and Sean Connery fighting Nazi's. But then I realized I lacked the intelligence to pull of a humurous AAR like phargle's Prince Knud. . .

    Dysken: Oh, this Crusade has big dreams. Big un's. Of course, that means I'll need money. . . and the Knights start off with zilch, which is fun.
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  6. #6
    The Closer Supermoderator Veldmaarschalk's Avatar
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    Good luck with your first AAR

    The start is excellent !

  7. #7
    Talk about the ultimate underdog AAR! This should be intresting.
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  8. #8
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Madness and divine inspiration so often go together...

    And they better hope he is god-touched!
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  9. #9
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    An outstanding start and quite the revelation! We can only hope the Grandmasters can carry it out! Good luck.
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  10. #10
    Colonel daemonofdecay's Avatar
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    The Final Crusade
    A Knights AAR

    This is my first AAR. I thought I'd give it a shot.
    Made with Vanilla Eu3 1.1.
    If I mention ducats, I have multiplied the real amount by 100 for the sake of realism.



    Chapter 1: A Most Holy Endeavour

    Rhodes, 1461

    Piero Raimondo Zacosta, Grandmaster of the Knight's Hospitaller, the Knight's of Rhodes, and inheritors to the crusader tradition, was a man possessed. Only a month before he had been a depressed ruler of a dying nation. Now, he had purpose. He had a goal. And it was clearly evident to all around him. The knights were walking taller, recruitment was up, and the air of tragic certainty had been replaced by a cautious optimism.

    Zacosta turned to the assembled Knights, those high-born individuals who were of highest merit and honor within the order. They were arranged down either side of the main hall's massive wooden dining table, resplendent in thier black surcoats and tunics, emblazoned with the white cross.

    "Amen!" Zocasta fished the prayers, lowering his hands and taking his seat at the head of the table. "Amen." His fellow knights finished, then took thier seats. Zacosta paused for a long moment, letting the silence hang in the air. "Brothers, we have been given a most holy quest." Zocasta stated flatly. "Our lord and saviur Jesus Christ has made our purpose known to me." This was met with a few whispered prayers and signs of the cross. Even though they had heard it before, such proximity to God was still frightening to hear aloud.

    "We have been given the holy mission of reconquering the Holy Land, and eradicating the Turkish menace from European soil!" The knights roared in approval, shouting "God wills it!" Calmly, Zocasta let the cheering die down before continuing. "But we must make preparations. God will give us the strength, but we must give ourselves the opportunity." Zacosta gestured to his right, where a flamboyantly robed man stood half hidden in the shadows.

    "Signore Garzoni has offered to loan our order 200,000 ducats to fill our empty coffers." The italian banker bowed humbly at the mention of his name, but more than a few knights grumbled at such a holy endeavour being tainted by an association with such men as moneylenders.



    With a curt wave of his hand Zacosta dismissed the italian before returning his attention to the knights. "But money is useless to we faithfull men except in furthering God will. I have used a portion of our funds to purchase some fine vessels for our fleet." A rumble of agreement passed through the assembled men, as most recalled the great difficulty thier own meager fleet had in repelling even the occational pirate attack. "We are on the road to victory gentlemen, and it shall be paved with the bones of heathen turks and dyed red with the blood of infidels!" The knights shouted again even louder, raising thier chalices in salute.

    Zacosta smiled, knowing that his men were ready. Soon, the whole world would know that the Knights of Saint John were the chosen warriors of God himself!

    - - - - -

    Spring 1462

    The cool sea breeze ruffled the papers laying across Granmaster Zacosta's desk and stirring the bottom of his black habit around his sturdy legs. From his window, he could see the large white sails of the Order's new ships anchored in the harbor. Within thier holds were enough fine spanish weaponry to equip an entire regiment of infantry, new horses to for his knights, and a very special guest.

    The sound of approaching footsteps reached Zacosta's ears. Turning from the window Zacosta returned to his desk, deliberately placing his foot onto the same stone that had caused him to slip nearly a year ago. He was the chosen of God himself, and he would not give in to his superstitious fears.

    Zacosta sat down and prepared to recieve his visitor. The steps continued to approach, reaching the doorway to his room. Although distorted and muffled through the thick oak, Zacosta could hear hear the sylised and formal challenges the guards would be asked of his guest. He himself had spent enough time protecting those same doors when Jean de Lastic was still Grandmaster. "Rest in peace, brother," Zacosta intoned solemly, crossing himself.

    With a low rumble the door to the Grandmaster's room opened, revealing two Knight's in full regalia standing at attention. Between them was the honored guest. Zacosta stood, bowing as far as protocol dictated. "Herr von Marienburg, please come in." Von Marienburg was a reverse image of the Knights Hospitaller; a plain white tunic with black cross, leather boots and belt, and white overcoat carrying another black cross on the shoulder. "What do I owe the honor of recieving a Teutonic knight into my order?"

    The gruff German bowed stiffly before replying, strands of his blonde hair peeking through his chainmail coif. "Ah, Herr Grandmarshall Piero Raimondo Zacosta," von Marienburg's words were guttural and rough, and it was immediatly evident that this man was no polished diplomat. The Hospitaller's fellow order had sent this man on serious buisness. "I come on behalf of Hochmeister Ludwig von Erlichshausen. He has heard tales that the Knights of Rhodes were preparing for war mit the Turkish Heiden, and has sent me to bring offer you alliance between our two great orders."

    Von Marienburg produced a rolled parchment from beneat his robes and proffered it to Zacosta. He grabbed the papers and quickly opened them, scanning the text intently. Finishing quickly, Zacosta tilted his head to back to look at the German, who was uncomfortably shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "I am honored by von Erlichshausen's offer of an alliance between our two great orders, and most readily accept." Von Marienburg's body nearly sagged in relief at those words, his martial upbringing turning the sag into an almost invisible shrug.

    "However, it say's here that the Teutonic knights have sent us a contingent of men to help with the fight against the heathens," Zacosta laid a finger on the line. Von Marienburg coughed, then answered the unspoken question. "Ja, Herr Grandmarshall. I have brought 20 good German Ritteren mit me, and they are to serve you in your endeavours." Von Marienburg burst into a coughing fit, bringing a hand to cover his mouth. Once they had stopped he wiped his mouth, leaving a small trace of blood on his chin. "However, meinen Hochmeister asks that if you are to take Jerusalem oder Constantinople, you will allow the Teutonic knights a chapter house within the city."

    The grandmarshall grinned boradly. "Of course, my brother. When we reconquer Jerusalem, we will of course acknowledge the support of our German brethren." Swiftly attaching his signature to the document, Zacosta returned it to the German, who bowed with visible discomfort before turning to leave the room.



    Only once the door was shut did Zacosta let the smile drop from his face. "The man thinks he can gain a place in God's glorious works for a meagre 30 knights?" the quill snapped between Zacosta's clenched fists. "Is there no true Catholic sons left who will take up this quest willingly? I need an army of thousands to defeat the Turks, not 30! Bah!" Zacosta turned back to the window, casting his troubled eyes across the calm seas. It was no matter. His preparations were bearing fruit, and the Knights were almost ready to begin their Holy Crusade.

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  11. #11
    Field Marshal GhostWriter's Avatar

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    excellent start, and good luck ! !
    B an 0:-), make someone happy, :-) GhostWriter :-)

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  12. #12
    Colonel daemonofdecay's Avatar
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    Veldmaarschalk: Thanks! *blush*

    canadiancreed: Granada is a cakewalk compared to the Knights. If Chuck Norris played EU3, he'd play Knights. Or Creek. And conquer the world every time.

    stnylan: Oh, he definetly believes he's touched by God.

    coz1: I hope I can pull it off!

    GhostWriter: You guys are really gentle for my first time. . .

    . . .wait. That came out wrong.
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  13. #13
    Good luck! With money raised for your crusade, the infidel will never see it coming. I just hope you can capitalize on your faith and your surprise; Sun Tzu said surprise doubled your numbers, but what is the value of faith? Hopefully, of a high value, since you'll need at least twice as many...

  14. #14
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    excellent start.
    but you sort of stole my idea

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  15. #15
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    Very good start, I wish you luck. What culture group do you have? I got French one but I can tolerate Greek.

    Speaking of which, I almost finished writing the next chapter in my Cyprus AAR long and bloodly the death of Emperors it was, the war to reclaim the Holy City.

    Cheers

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  16. #16
    Colonel daemonofdecay's Avatar
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    Corbett: I doubt the knights will have read Sun Tzu. It being an evil, heretical text, and most of the knights being illiterate.

    rcduggan: It was all part of my sinister plan. . . Muahahahaha!

    Sapphire: Cyprus is a much wealthier nation than the knights it's amazing. I mean, holding only Rhodes didn't me enough gold to support the single regiment and naval vessel I began the game with! But good luck to you too.

    And cultural group? Maltese, which is in the same group as the north African arabs. Why maltese when I don't own Malta, nor ever have owned it? I'm just special like that. I guess.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by daemonofdecay
    rcduggan: It was all part of my sinister plan. . . Muahahahaha!
    noooooooooooooooo!

    but seriously NO ONE TAKE THE NAME "The Greatest Crusade." its mine.
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  18. #18
    Colonel daemonofdecay's Avatar
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    The Final Crusade
    A Knights AAR

    This is my first AAR. I thought I'd give it a shot.
    Made with Vanilla Eu3 1.1.
    If I mention ducats, I have multiplied the real amount by 100 for the sake of realism.



    Chapter 2: Foriegn Soil

    Rhodes, Summer 1463

    The cacophony of noises around the docks were nearly deafening; the shouts of the dockhands, the breying of the animals and livestock, and the creaking of the wooden galleys. Busy on any normal day, the wooden landings were absolutely overflowing with the mass of men pushing their way to the berthed ships.

    "Make way for the Grandmaster!" Piero Raimondo Zacosta's Shield-bearer shouted, straining to make his voice heard over the maelstrom of activity around them. If his shouting made any difference, Zacosta couldn't tell. But even the slow pace and general chaos around him couldn't ruin his mood. For today, the Knights were heading to war.

    Only two days ago had the High Council decided upon thier first target for thier Holy Crusade; the small heretic nation of Karaman. Some in the council had pressed Zacosta to take the Hospitaller army and land it directly onto the Judean coast, trusting in God to bring them victory. But Zacosta had dismissed such ideas immediatly, knowing that such a path lead to failure and distruction. "We cannot fail" Zacosta announced to noone particular.

    "I agree, my grandmaster." Brother-General Guillaume d'Ambray answered Zacosta with a firm nod. "But this most Holy of Quests shall not fail while a single Knight stands breathing!" d'Ambray was a young Frenchman who had come to the knights as a young teen with nothing but a worn sword and a past he never elaborated on. There were rumors that he had tried to elope with a princess of Brittany and had his inheritance taken in response, but others swore that he was wanted for striking down a Constable in Paris after an argument. Zacosta truly could care less. d'Ambray was a true warrior of God, and his trust in Zacosta was absolute.

    The grandmaster turned to d'Ambray. "It is not the Knights I am thinking about." Zacosta nodded towards the number of simply dressed men boarding the other ships in the harbor. "I worry for our Greek infantry. While Christian, they follow the wrong path. Thier souls are consigned to hell unless the convert. And are we to trust God's mission within the hands of heretics such as these?"

    "Well Sire, we have had a large number of converts recently," d'Ambray pointed out, "and we could step up our missionary work around the island."

    "We must! We must!" the Grandmaster agreed vigorously. "It is not just God's will to conquer the lands from the pagan and infidel and rule it with good Christian sons! We must bring the light of our Lord Jesus Christ to all those shrouded in the darkness!" Zacosta raised his hands, his words loud enough to be heard by all those nearby. He could feel the fire within his soul grow, as it did everytime he preached the word of God. "Our most Holy of Quests is to continue God's work on earth! We shall save the souls of false christian and moslem alike! It is as God wills!" The Knights cheered, shouting and beating on thier chestplates. Zacosta could feel thier martial zeal. These men would die for him.

    From the other landing, the Greek spearmen were suprised by the sudden shouts and noise, quizically staring at the chanting knights. After a moment, they mentally shrugged and returned to thier loading. The Knights were a strange bunch, but they were offering a decent wage and seemed confident enough.

    By noon, the Knights were ready to launch thier ships to strike out towards Karaman.

    - - - - -

    Karaman, Spring 1463

    The preparations had been immense. The Knights had stockpiled supplies, taken loands to finance the recruitment efforts, purchased arms and ships, and had sailed to foriegn soil on the first steps to reconquering the Holy Land.

    The effort needed to arrange and control such an undertaking was massive, and the depth of planning and training was intense. The Knights were ready to meet death with prayers on thier lips, and die in God's name.

    The battle, was as anticlimactic as it could possibly be.



    The moslem army had marched out, numbering roughly half the Knight's own force. The infantry engaged each other, while the knights own men circled around the flanks and delivered an unstoppable charge. The Karamans broke and ran, dropping thier weapons and other encuberances in an attempt to escape the christian army. The battle lasted barely a half-hour, and the Knights stood victorious.

    "My liege," the voice snapped Grandmaster Zacosta out of his musings, and he turned to see a Greek spearman before him. "Yes?" Zacosta snapped, causing the nervous soldier to jump. "Ah, yes. Sire, we have delivered the terms of surrender to the enemy King." The greek swallowed before continuing. "However, he refuses to surrender the castle."

    Without a word Zacosta turned his gaze back to the castle before him, rising on a low hill to dominate the horizon. While crushing the infidel army, it now seemed that the Turks would not surrender thier fortress with a minimum of bloodshed. Zacosta knew why: They were hoping the Ottomans would intervene, rescuing them from certain defeat. But the horseman the desperate King had dispatched to carry word to the Ottomans lay in a shallow ditch not 20 steps away.

    Considering the news, Zacosta returned his attention back to the waiting Greek. "Tell d'Ambray to begin his siege. We will have this land, if it takes us till Judgement Day!" he snarled as he guided his white horse around to return to his tent. He needed to pray.

    - - - - -

    Karaman, Spring 1464



    The king was dead, his family imprisoned, his castle in Hospitaller hands. The siege had lasted nearly a full year, but the Knights had maintained thier discipline and overcome the brutal summer heat and bitter cold. Grandmaster Zacosta slowly paced down the empty stone halls of the caste, his eyes closed.

    He could feel the warmth of the divine touch, and knew he was on the right path. God had seen his loyal sons taking up the mantle of crusader once again, and given unto them a victory. But this was only the begining. "Only the begining," he whispered with a smile, his steps echoing into the darkness. "Only the begining."



    Last edited by daemonofdecay; 07-02-2007 at 18:24.
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    Magnificent! If my AAR is the main course yours truly is the dessert. Fantastic writing and in my favourite literary style no less.
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    Excellent writing and story. I'm watching this with a keen interest. An invasion of Anatolia is always a daunting prospect... but then how can you fail with God on your side?
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