Chapter I: The Ottomans shall not pass
In 1453 where we begin, Serbia is only a shadow of the power it's been in the 13th and 14th century. Infighting created bitter rivalry between nobles and any form of central government is lost. After a great defeat on the river Maritza (1371) and the indecisive battle of Kosovo (1389), what's left of Serbia had to accept Ottoman supremacy. After a brief period of being a vassal of Ottoman Empire, Stefan Lazarevic used the chaos in the Ottoman Empire after their defeat in the battle of Angora (Ankara) and made Serbia an independent nation once more.
In a year of 1453 Constantinople has fallen and the situation in the Balkans is grim indeed. Islam is going to spice up already chaotic situation in the Balkans.
The Ottomans have established themselves as a major power and now they've gained a foothold in Europe that won't be given up easily. They are now controlling the most important land route from Europe to Asia Minor and Middle East and don`t want to stop there.
Catholics to the north don't show much interest in helping orthodox countries including Serbia or stopping Islam expansion in Europe. Sultan Mehmed II stationed 10000 troops in Macedonia and he is ready to break down what is left out of Serbian army.
Hungary with their vassal Transylvania are fighting with the Ottomans too and they are only allies with Serbia in a war with the Ottomans, outside this war Serbia doesn`t have any military allies. And in Serbia we begin our epic tale.
Djuradj I, the King of Serbia was angry on Montenegro because they didn`t have plans on helping Serbia defend their independence. That`s why Djuradj decided that if Montenegro won`t send their soldiers to help, Serbia is going to take their soldiers to fight by their side by force.
And Djuradj knew that if Serbia survives war with the Ottomans it will need powerful military ally latter. On his wishlist Hungary was number one. Serbia didn`t have any money and that`s why Djuradj took a loan of 200 ducats and decided to send gifts to Hungary on regular basis.
He hired 1000 soldiers, combined them with regular 2000 Serbian infantry, declared war on Montenegro and ordered march towards Zeta with him leading the army.
People didn`t understand why in those bad times Serbia is going to war against a country that`s also Ortodox and a country with whom Serbia have great relations with and that`s why stability dropped to the lowest point.
Tale says that the god appeared in Djuradj`s dream and gave him a proposal. He is going to live 100 years of a great life but Serbia will fall or he is going to die in exactly two years but Serbia will live to see another day. Like a real king he decided Serbia to see another day.
Army was on their way to Montenegro when they heard that only army of 1000 soldiers is heading towards Serbia. Someone would say that it was pure luck, others would say that the Ottomans just wanted to take a break in Macedonia before proceeding forward and who knows, maybe that dream that Djuradj had, had something to do with it. Transylvania sent 2000 troops to defend Serbia and few Ottoman attacks of 1000 troops were drawn back.
After successful battles in defending Serbia, Transylvania decided to attack Ottomans in Macedonia and Hungary decided to help them. Ottomans couldn`t just watch and they sent an army of 10000 troops to conquer Serbia! Hungarian and Transylvanian army tried to hold back the Ottomans out of Serbia, but they lost and their armies fled to Bulgaria and Macedonia. In that time Djuradj was sieging Montenegro and immediately when stability in country went up he declared war on Ragusa and sent 2000 troops to them. Tuscany was Ragusa`s ally, but they were far away to do anything about it and that was Serbian chance.
In times to come Djuradj defeated Montenegro and Ragusa, Ottomans defeated province of Serbia and Transylvania defeated province of Bulgaria. On 11th September 1354 Djuradj annexed Ragusa and no longer had to fear that the Ottomans would annex Serbia. He didn`t wanted to annex Montengro yet so that the Ottomans couldn`t have land access to Ragusa and Djuradj could finally sleep tight.
Somewhere around that time Djuradj got an opportunity to choose if he is going to take 200 ducats and have -10% tax penalty for next 20 years or loose 30 ducats right away with some prestige loss. He thought he really was blessed by the God himself, because Serbia needed money badly and that first offer was just what Serbia was needed.
But Djuradj never forgot that dream he had. One night in a year of 1455 he suddenly died in his sleep and the next day Lazar II was proclaimed the new King of Serbia.