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Thread: Rome AARisen - a Byzantine AAR

  1. #5321
    Mare Ban al Olteniei Laur's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post

    Hey, made it to friends and family after slipping and sliding across the roadways of the USA. Sadly there'll be no update before next week--I have about half of the update finished, but simply ran out of time. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone, have a safe and enjoyable time with friends and family! Rome AARisen will be back next week!
    Merry Christmas to you as well. I was just wandering if one of your future updates could give us a glimpse into how Christmas (or any other Christian festival) was celebrated in 14 century Constantinople? Life at the court had become pretty ritualized by this time after all, while the emperor was the representative of God on Earth and consequently, any religious festival centered around his person.
    "When I lead my army against Baghdad in anger, whether you hide in heaven or in earth, I will bring you down from the spinning spheres; I will toss you in the air like a lion. I will leave no one alive in your realm; I will burn your city, your land, your self.

    If you wish to spare yourself and your venerable family, give heed to my advice with the ear of intelligence. If you do not, you will see what God has willed."

    Hulagu Khan (letter to the last Caliph of Baghdad 1258)

  2. #5322
    Nerd Vesimir's Avatar
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    Happy Christmas! I too think an update about the christmas parties held in Constantinople, Cordoba and Baghdad would be nice.
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  3. #5323
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    Merry Christmas BT

    But, just to reiterate my frustration: Down with the Roman Empire!
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  4. #5324
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    Merry Christmas

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  6. #5326
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    Merry Christmas Y'all!

  7. #5327
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Happy Hannukah everyone

  9. #5329
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  10. #5330
    its almost 2 days after christmas in australia now. no more christmas sprit

  11. #5331
    After reading this from september I finaly caught up. Really epic tale.

    Anyway, I have one question and two pleas:

    1)Did you model Basil the III. on the Heraclious? Their life stories seem a bi similar.
    2)Could we get update on the state of the Imperial Navy, organisation, ship types and numbers?
    3)Please don't let Constantinople get sacked like in 1204. It would be a pity to see this greatest of cities destroyed and its beauty stolen and dragged elsewhere (esp. Venice).

  12. #5332
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Hello everyone! I've returned from Christmas vacation, and now its nose to the grindstone update writing time... after I get some sleep, of course! I will, however, leave you with a line from a future update from this chapter. While you wait (it will probably be Thursday before the update is done) go ahead and try to translate this one:

    على السيف والحربه


    Or, transliterated:

    Ala El-Sayif wal Hurba!

    Carlstadt Boy - Basil was modeled on a bunch of Byzantine Emperors--by in large, however, he is half Heraclius (the striking the enemy away from his main army, military genius part), and half the real life Manuel Comnenus (the fascination with western culture and mores).

    I've been thinking of doing an update on the oft ignored navy for some time, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. It'll happen soon, though!

    I hate to be the harbinger of bad news, but the Queen of Cities gets sacked before the AAR ends...

    Morrell8 - I love Christmas, seeing friends and family, but part of me is happy its done--chiefly because at work I'm no longer bombarded with annoying Christmas music (they don't even play good Christmas music, they play the terrible pop-remakes of Christmas carols), so I understand...

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  13. #5333
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
    Hello everyone! I've returned from Christmas vacation, and now its nose to the grindstone update writing time... after I get some sleep, of course! I will, however, leave you with a line from a future update from this chapter. While you wait (it will probably be Thursday before the update is done) go ahead and try to translate this one:

    على السيف والحربه


    Or, transliterated:

    Ala El-Sayif wal Hurba!
    Google Translate says "On the sword and spearhead".
    Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. -Isa 41:10

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16
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  14. #5334
    Rättshaverist FrozenWall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post

    على السيف والحربه
    Sounds promising
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  15. #5335
    Slacker Extraordinaire Zzzzz...'s Avatar
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  16. #5336
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    An actual Yuan Emperor who would ride out all the way to Persia and not crush the little Roman whelp?

    Seriously?

    Would you leave the palace if all that there was at stake was a little posturing? Bah.

    Angelos is totally slipping into Chaotic Evil territory. Delightfully so.
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  17. #5337
    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post
    An actual Yuan Emperor who would ride out all the way to Persia and not crush the little Roman whelp?
    That would be an awesome battle to see (another what if?). Especially if Anatolikon Stratos & Gabriel's army grind the Chinese into dust (however unlikely that may be). Then Kosmokrator would not be so outrageous title.

    Edit - Now I want to go and reread those last chapters. There is something intoxicating in succesfull Roman intervention in Persia and central Asia (and with only a fraction of Romanoion armies), accomplished so easy that it's almost boring. Overwhelming power must feel like that. And to make things better, it's followed with stand off and saber rattling against Kublai Khan himself. Definition of epic.
    Last edited by Carlstadt Boy; 30-12-2010 at 23:07.

  18. #5338
    Nerd Vesimir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlstadt Boy View Post
    Then Kosmokrator would not be so outrageous title.
    That title is just silly.

    I can imagine it - Imperator, Megas Komnenos, Kosmokrator, Andronikos Augustus Ceasar.
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  19. #5339
    Quote Originally Posted by Vesimir View Post
    That title is just silly.

    I can imagine it - Imperator, Megas Komnenos, Kosmokrator, Andronikos Augustus Ceasar.
    I can somewhat understand why did they procclaimed themself rulers of the world, but I think I read in this thread that they also used the title of Kronokrator? Whose great idea was to call himself Lord of Time? How the hell did they tried provide explanation and legitimacy for that?

  20. #5340
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Carldstadt Boy - In the later Byzantine court, Kronokrator was one of the titles used for the Emperor, yes... its more a byproduct of the insane title inflation that went on, rather than having any real pretensions of being related to Dr. Who.

    Vesimir - I think at this point Andronikos' actual full title is something like, Andronikos I, Megas Komnenos kai Autokrator ton Romanion, Kyrios ton Istrion kai Neilon, Rigas ton Hispanikon, Italikon, Aiguption, Ierusylema, Afrikon, Syriatikon kai Kroation, Archon ton Konstantinopolis, Kyrios ton Mesurgion kai Pontikon, Kosmkrator kai Archon ton Kristoi... or something like that...

    RGB - Andronikos needed to be put down and insulted by someone. I thought it fitting (considering the improbability of Andie being there himself anyways) that it was Kublai who did it... and the sheer distance meant there was nothing Andronikos could really do. In other words, story. Simple as that. :-p

    Next update! Graphics are a little less than normal, but I simply ran out of time, and everything that could go on to delay it happened (busy work schedule, boyfriend's parents randomly visiting, random demands to go shopping, mouse breaking, computer freezing... you name it, it happened!)...




    “Simon Tetragonites is why no Emperor should stomach a stupid man, be he a tanner or a Patriarch!” – Emperor Andronikos II.


    January 4th, 1275

    “Majesty?”

    Emperor Andronikos scarcely looked up from the lyra at the call of his Archekronokrateros—not that he wanted to. Syrenios’ arrival meant only one thing—it was time.

    Andronikos the man had dreaded this moment, the first in what could be a lifetime of dreading ahead. Andronikos the Emperor knew he had little choice—he was the most powerful widower in the world, and his arranged marriage to Dorottya, sister of Emperor Hesso of the Germans, simply made political sense. It’d cement the continuation of Romanion’s longstanding alliance with the Western Emperor—a useful counterbalance to France and a Papacy the Oikoi were sure wanted Rome returned to them, by force if necessary. Hesso’s friendship did the same job as the entirety of the [i]Hispanikon[i/] and Italikon Stratoi.

    No matter his personal feelings, Andronikos knew he had to go through with it.



    Duty was a harsh mistress, and just because Andronikos knew he had to lay with her did not mean he wouldn’t postpone the act as long as reasonably possible. Dorottya had been in The City for nearly a week now, yet the Megas Komnenos had yet to receive her beyond the rather stiff, formal greetings after her ship docked in the Golden Horn. He knew it was unfair to her, but he also knew if he received her too soon, he’d botch the situation. He needed time to come to grips with the fact he was about to wed and bed someone other than Cecilia, his Cecilia—but time was something he didn’t have.

    So Andronikos contented himself with stalling, knowing each minute that went by ticked down the hourglass. Now as the last grains tumbled through the glass, he glanced out the window of his private chambers, wishing the moment could be postponed yet again.

    A look at the door, and the ever-patient Antemios Syrenios, told the Emperor otherwise.

    No, it had to be done now, Andronikos told himself yet again as he finished the final notes of his song. The Emperor snorted—one of his strings was still slightly out of tune. Nikephoros would have heard it, if the five year was present. He had an excellent ear, just like his mother. That memory brought back melancholy thoughts at first, then a slight brightening as the Emperor remembered the documents he’d signed only days before.

    No matter how many children his new empress gave him, one of his sons by Cecilia would be his heir.

    It’d be the ultimate way to honor her, he’d decided. The fates seemed to conspire with him—Demetrios was fearless and big for his age, and while seven year old Nikephoros was shyer than his older brother, he was intensely inquisitive about the world. The two seemed to get along as well, but Andronikos knew childhood friendship could easily turn to adult rivalry. If all went according to plan, however, one would wear the diadem, with the other supporting him in any way he could. And why couldn’t he plan such things? He was Megas Komnenos, feared and respected at a tender age. All had gone to plan in his life so far, Andronikos thought—before the memory of a cold day long before whipped into his mind.

    Syrenios cleared his throat, and the Emperor’s grudgingly dragged his mind back to the present.

    “Well?” Andronikos sighed, setting down the bowstring of his lyra. There was no more putting it off.

    “I’ve been informed that Princess Dorottya is waiting for you to receive her,” Syrenios bowed politely with that dark grace that was his hallmark. “However, Majesty, there is one pressing matter that needs your attention. If Your…”

    “Yes, please!” Andronikos waved his Archekronokrateros on, before picking up the cup of qahwa. It felt warm in his chilly hands—despite knowing it was one of his stepfather’s favorite drinks, it’d become one of Andronikos’ guilty pleasures.

    Syrenios smiled politely, and yet again the Emperor thanked his lucky stars that Angelos had picked this obscure diamond from some bureaucratic rough. It seemed that, like Angelos, Syrenios could read Andronikos’ mood, and was always eager to please his master—even if it meant leaving a princess waiting on account of less-than-urgent-business.

    Syrenios reached into the seemingly innumerable folds in his robes, and produced a small stack of letters. “These are dispatches from my agents in Baghdad. There’d been some kind of fracas—apparently a man calling himself the ‘Timeless One’ caused a public disturbance that threatens to turn into rebellion in the region.”

    “Rebellion?” Andronikos immediately sat up—that was more serious than a mere distraction. “How large of a rebellion? Wait… how was some man able to walk into Baghdad and cause a revolt?”

    “Well, Majesty,” Syrenios replied, “my agents have been tracking the growing popularity of a cult following this ‘Timeless One.’ He calls himself ‘Aionios’ in Greek. He was the son of an Egyptian noble, and exiled to Arabia almost thirty years ago for rabble-rousing in Damietta.”

    “Ah,” the Megas Komnenos nodded. “So he’s a troublemaker then, intent on being king or something?”

    “No,” Syrenios chuckled, “this man maintains he is Mohammed’s successor!”

    “Mohammed’s… wait…” Andronikos frowned. The Megas Komnenos might not be Muslim, but he knew a little about the second largest religion within his vast realm—it was a fact he loved to use to browbeat thickheaded priests like Thomas of Aquino. “Doesn’t the Saracen faith call Mohammed the final prophet of their god?”

    “Indeed,” Syrenios nodded, “which makes this Aionios an anathema to some of the Muslims in the region—however, he has gained a large following. He’s even compiled a scripture of sorts—its rather fascinating, actually,” Syrenios smiled thinly. “He calls it an Eternal Tablet and…well, I can give Your Majesty a description later if you wish. The fellow has been calling for a ‘renewal of faith’ amongst the Muslims along his own ideas—some of the Muslims in the area have responded positively to his ideas. Others think he’s an apostate and his claims to be the Voice of God are misplaced.”



    “Prophets have a way of attracting detractors,” Andronikos quipped, taking another sip.

    “Indeed. This Aionios fellow journeyed to Baghdad, vowing to meet with Caliph Abbas to continue his efforts to renew the Muslim faith. There, he publically pledged his loyalty to Abbas, calling him ‘Prince of the Faithful.’”

    “And dear cousin Alexandros overreacted?” Andronikos smiled thinly. It seemed out of character for Alexandros the Elder—the man, along with his father and late brother, had been one of the voices of tolerance in the Roman world. One could hope he had a fit of madness, however…

    “No, but the Patriarch of Samarra did,” Syrenios pointed to the uppermost letter in the stack. Andronikos broke the seal, and read.

    “He ordered him charged with sedition?” the Megas Komnenos raised an eyebrow. “How? Why?”

    “Well, the Patriarch is good friends with Alexandros’ military commander in Baghdad, one Simon Laskaris. The Patriarch claims that the Aionios man swore loyalty to Abbas as a political figure, not a religious figure, and therefore he committed sedition against both Basilieus Alexandros, as well as Your Majesty. He then called upon his friend to send in the soldiers to carry out the warrant.”

    “But why would the Patriarch step into secular affairs?” Andronikos was still confused and slightly worried—the Church entering secular affairs was a dangerous precedent. Thomas had tried in Konstantinopolis, and failed miserably. Sedition was a crime against the state, but the Church was only supposed to try crimes against…

    “How many…” Andronikos started to ask.

    “Exactly, Majesty,” Syrenios nodded at the Megas Komnenos’ train of thought. “This Aionios fellow has many followers in Mesopotamia—more people were taking up this cult than Christianity, it seems, and the Patriarch probably assumed cutting off the head would make the cult disappear. Ironically, the Patriarch was likely encouraged by the voices of some of the more conservative Muslim nobility—they saw this al-Hinnawi and his followers as a threat…”

    “…and if the Patriarch executed him, he’d be gone, and there would be no blood on their hands,” Andronikos nodded, then chuckled. That put his Persian rivals in a pickle! Christian and Muslim leaders both wanting this Aionios killed, despite his large and growing following? Andronikos wasn’t sure if he could think of a way out of that one without force of arms. “Was this ‘Aionios’ executed?”

    “No, Majesty,” Syrenios shook his head. “He died two days after being taken into custody, under some… dubious…circumstances. Both denied responsibility,” Syrenios rolled his eyes slightly. “Patriarch Simon, according to my contacts, assumed that because of his position in the cloth that Isfahan would only complain. Laskaris assumed his high rank and friendship with the Patriarch left him immune as well.”

    “I see,” the Emperor nodded.

    “In response, the followers of al-Hinnawi took to the streets in force,” Syrenios continued. “Laskaris called out the tagmata, but fully half of his men refused to muster, for they too followed this Aionios.” Syrenios’ smile grew slightly. “Some of the more enterprising ones stormed the Strategos’ home and assassinated him. The Governor of Baghdad was not able to escape either.”



    “So the whole of Mesopotamia is in open revolt?” Andronikos asked, steepling his hands. That was certainly more than he’d hoped, or bargained for. If there were followers of this Aionios in Mesopotamia, it was a safe guess there were followers in Syria, the Levant, maybe even Egypt. Clearly, Andronikos had to position himself against the stupidity of the Samarra Patriarch and Laskaris—but how to do so without angering the Church in the Empire proper?

    “More or less,” Syrenios nodded. “The debacle is even more complicated because some of the more hotheaded Muslims are using the chaos to break off as well—Basra, for example,” Syrenios gestured to one of the letters lower in the stack. “The followers of al-Hinnawi are split into many factions which we could possibly exploit—some claim al-Hinnawi’s final words were a call for peace, while others see his act of proclaiming loyalty to the Caliph as a sigh that Abbas should be a political leader. Some interpret his more insidious sermons as a call to overthrow us, Abbas, and all the Muslim political leaders in the region.”

    “Absolute chaos,” Andronikos murmured, rifling through the letters as Syrenios spoke. The Governor of Basra had been murdered in the streets, and a council of local Muslim leaders had declared themselves the rulers of the new Emirate of Basra. Patriarch Simon wrote from Mosul, having fled there after rioting broke out in Samarra. Andronikos snarled a little—Simon was demanding assistance from Konstantinopolis to put out the fire he’d brazenly started! “Has the chaos spread anywhere else? Syria?”

    “The followers of al-Hinnawi have a major presence in Arabia, and Rigas Georgios has already condemned al-Hinnawi’s execution—a political necessity for him, considering he is surrounded by hostile Muslim states and many of al-Hinnawi’s followers live in Jeddah, Mecca and Medina. From Egypt and the Levant we’ve heard little—some of the leading members of al-Hinnawi’s followers have made murmurs, but little more.”



    “What’s Alexandros doing?”

    “My reports are that Emperor Alexandros has taken ill,” Syrenios reached into the stack and produced the requisite letter, “to the point the day to day affairs of state are in the care of his eldest son. Prince Alexandros has already announced he intends to march into Mesopotamia to sort the situation out in person—loyal people, regardless of faith, will be rewarded, the disloyal rats will be punished…”

    “Bold words,” Andronikos murmured, reading the letter for a moment. Alexandros was only twenty, and had only a shell of the once mighty Persian army—the Oikoi agents to the East had kept a constant watch on Persia’s strength, and her legions were only just starting to recover from the disaster of the Caspian Gates and Isfahan. Add to that, it sounded like some of the ranks were not the most loyal—youthful hubris and a ramshackle army sounded like an opportunity in Andronikos’ mind.

    If Alexandros the Woman leapt in over his head and Konstantinopolis had to rescue him, Andronikos could leverage even more out of Gabriel’s sons—more scutage, yearly tribute, perhaps more tame provinces like Shirvan and Derbent.

    “Well,” Andronikos said after a moment’s more thought, “I’d like your agents to spread the word to the ‘Aionite leaders’ or whatever that Konstantinopolis condemns any miscarriage of justice, be the victim Muslim, Christian, or any other faith. I also want some more information on the great Muslim families and clergy still in Egypt—get some feelers on their loyalty, what price it might have, and which ones need to have ‘accidents.’ I’ll leave the arrangements to you, and you have my permission to tap into the special section of the Treasury as you see fit to accomplish these things.”

    “Of course Majesty,” the Archekronokrateros bowed. “And what shall I do about the situation in Baghdad?”

    “We’ll let that fire burn,” Andronikos tossed the Patriarch’s letter into the fire. It’s edges blackened, then rolled up as it was consumed. “It’ll keep Gabriel’s son and grandsons busy, and out of my hair. However,” Andronikos turned back to his aide, “I’d like to send instructions to the Syriatikon to have instructions prepared for its thematakoi to mobilize, just in case things spread despite our best efforts.”

    “Excellent, Majesty,” Syrenios bowed.

    “And I’d like a meeting with Patriarch Thomas tomorrow, first thing,” the Emperor added. “I want him to draft a letter condemning Samarra’s actions as a violation of the rights of the state versus the Church,” Andronikos went on. “It’s the job of the state, not the church, to prosecute sedition. Letting the Church go ahead with such idiocy…” Andronikos shook his head. Since his browbeating a decade before, Thomas Komnenos had turned into a political mouse. Weak-willed or not, he was still the Patriarch of Konstantinopolis, the leading figure in the Church, and the others would follow his guidance. “God is just, and expects us to be just to our fellow man, et cetera, et cetera,” Andronikos waved his hand. “I’ll have the Archeoikos make a final read of it before it goes to the scribes. Anything else, Antemios?” the Emperor asked.

    “I think those are prudent responses,” Syrenios bowed again.

    “Good,” Andronikos smiled thinly for a second, before he remembered what was to come afterwards. Instantly, the smile was gone again. For a moment, he looked at the expectant Syrenios blankly, before a “Is there anything else?” stumbled out of his mouth.

    “Princess Dorottya is waiting, Majesty,” Syrenios said quietly.

    “Send her in,” Andronikos said quietly—there was no reason to put off the inevitable any longer. That would no doubt anger the Princess, and prolong the discomfort the coming ceremony would impose.

    Syrenios nodded, and quickly disappeared outside. A few moments later, he returned.

    “Princess Dorottya Arpad, Majesty,” Syrenios bowed, opening the door wide.

    With the tinkle of pearls clattering, Dorottya Arpad entered the room.

    Even without her large, jewel encrusted hat, she was nearly as tall as Andronikos. Her lips were slightly fuller than he expected, her skin slightly paler than he’d heard, her hands delicate. With an airy grace she wafted into the room, as Syrenios excused himself with a bow, and left the royal couple alone.

    “Your Majestys,” she curtsied. Her voice was soft, barely audible, her curtsy graceful, but Andronikos swore he saw her trembling slightly as she rose. When she looked at him afterwards, her eyes were brown and wide—like those of a deer the moment it knew it’s hunter had draw a bow…



    “Princess,” Andronikos bowed, willing a smile onto his face. “Please,” he gestured to the chair opposite. For a few moments after she sat, an uncomfortable silence hung in the air. “So,” he said awkwardly, “um, how do you find The City?”

    “It is… große? Big,” she said, before laughing nervously. Andronikos found the noise not unpleasant—it was more like the tinkling of fine crystal than a baying hyena. “I has been to zee menagerie, und…and…I has been to zee Hippodromes. Zee races were… Spaß… fun,” she stammered her way through Greek.

    “Ah,” Andronikos smiled and nodded. Dorottya looked at him, her left hand rubbing her right. Andronikos knew he should say something, anything, something true, something sincere, but all he could find was…

    “I’m glad you are enjoying your stay,” he said, before getting angry at himself. He was the Megas Komnenos, the most powerful man on Earth! Why couldn’t he speak to German princess? What was he supposed to say, anyway? Thank you for coming to replace the woman I love? Who did she think she was? She couldn’t waltz into The City and think…

    “Majestys?”

    Andronikos froze and kicked himself. Something had shown—Dorottya’s eyes were now wide with concern, and the poor girl was visibly trembling. She probably had little to do with the decision, Andronikos reminded himself. Hesso, blunt man that he was, probably told his sister that she was probably going to Konstantinopolis, and the girl had tried her best to be pleasing…

    “I…um…nothing,” Andronikos shook his head. He needed to end this, before he said something foolish to her, or something she didn’t deserve. “I trust your quarters are comfortable?” he skipped down the appropriate questions on his mental checklist to one near the end.

    “Yes,” she smiled. Her teeth were slightly large, but even and white as snow, and her relief was so obvious Andronikos smiled too before he realized it. “Zey are very comfortables, and I am getting used to this…large…palace,” she gestured around his chamber. “I hopes Your Majestys likes the gifts my brother gives, ja?

    “I…yes…” Andronikos said quickly. Truth be told, he had been pleased with her dowry—the continuation of the alliance with Hesso, 60,000 silver ducats, and Aachen recognizing Andronikos’ suzerainty over the Duchy of Temes. The three foot tall golden lion statue Hesso sent with his sister was a mere bauble in comparison, but Andronikos added it to the Octagon throne room nonetheless.

    The Emperor looked up after his halting words. Brown eyes stared at his expectantly, but words couldn’t, wouldn’t, come to Andronikos’ mind. He knew he couldn’t say what he wanted to—it was rude, it was unfair to her. For another awkward minute silence hung in the air, before the most powerful man in the world decided to tuck his tail between his legs and flee.

    “Well,” he said quickly, looking down, “there is still much work to be done tonight, I’m afraid.” He gestured towards the opened letters on the desk beside him. “If you need anything, Highness, you need only ask—it is the least I can do for my future bride.” He looked up—those brown eyes still looked at him unnervingly. He wished she’d look away—after a moment, she did as she rose.

    “I do not want to be in zee way, Majestys,” she said quietly.

    “Oh no! You’re not,” Andronikos hastily said. “It’s just…” His voice ground to a halt as she gave a sad caricature of a smile.

    “I…” the woman stammered, “I know I cannot fill zee hole she left behinds.”

    Andronikos’ eyes snapped up. Dorottya trembled visibly. Her brown eyes, big and expressive as a doe’s, flicked down, then to the left—any direction but at Andronikos. The German uneasily put her hands in front of her.

    “I cannots fill zee hole left by zee firsts empress,” Dorottya repeated. “I knows your heart is hers, not…meine,” the princess stumbled. “My only hopes is zat I can make Your Majestys… glücklich…uh,” she looked right, then down. “Happys.”

    Andronikos blinked, unsure of what to say. What could be said? Possible phrases went through the Emperor’s mind, some even trickled to the tip of his tongue, but none found their way out.

    “Now, Majesty, I… shall go,” Dorottya unsteadily curtsied. “I hope Your Majesty haz a… resting…night.”

    She turned towards the door, her train rustling on the floor behind her. Andronikos sat, mouth agape, still unsure what to say. That she was right? That she shouldn’t even think of trying for his heart?

    “Princess?” Andronikos called unsteadily.

    “Yes, Your Majestys?” she turned quickly, a storm of emotion running through those brown eyes. For a moment, Andronikos sat, mouth open, unsure of what to say, until two words finally worked their way out. Two words that summed up everything that her words meant to his troubled mind.

    “Thank you,” Andronikos murmured unsteadily. He expected her to look hurt or angry—he’d acknowledged he’d never love her. Yet when his eyes went up, she was smiling shyly.

    “Good night, Majestys.”

    ==========*==========


    So Andronikos meets his new bride. Perhaps things will go better for him than it has for Komnenoi in the past, or will Dorottya become a new Hajnal? Meanwhile, the Patriarch of Samarra (continuing the overzealous tradition of his see) inadvertently sparks a full scale religious war in Mesopotamia, one that curiously pits Christians alongside some Muslims, versus a new religious group, the Aionites, as well as against other Muslims! How will it all sort itself out? Can Alexandros the Younger take control of the situation? Will Andronikos' succession work as securely as he thinks? Plots about East and West when Rome AARisen returns!
    Last edited by General_BT; 31-12-2010 at 01:13.
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