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Thread: Rome AARisen - a Byzantine AAR

  1. #2821
    Captain Deamon's Avatar
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    Once more i'm away and suddenly the whole Civil War is concluded, bummer and my beloved Andreas even lost! :0 but never the less those were some amazing updates! I really enjoyed them (And my essays look strangely familiar to those of Mark) . It seems Thomas is becoming a cursed name a pity for the young Thomas.

    And i got a new favorite: Gabriel Komnenid "The Messenger...... of death, destruction, famine and the fall of the great Komnenid empire!" Yipee!
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  2. #2822
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
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    By the way, the essay should have been titled "Plains, Trains and Plantains" I think it would have passed that way.
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  3. #2823
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estonianzulu View Post
    By the way, the essay should have been titled "Plains, Trains and Plantains" I think it would have passed that way.


    Plantains? Aren't those from South America?

    Or are you suggesting the student should've bribed the TA? They are pretty delicious...
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  4. #2824
    Imperator General Ksim3000's Avatar

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    HAHA! Man that was a great update BT! I really did have a good laugh at that students paper! Especially the bit with "LOLZ" and "PHAIL" on that hand drawn map! Maaaaan, that was great!

    But anyway, it seems Thomas has triumphed at last! However it does make me wonder if he'll go on anymore conquest sprees of settle in for a more admin role over the Empire. Afterall, since his ascension, we've only just really seen him on the battlefield and nothing more. So it'll be interesting to see how he manages the empire.

    Also its nice to see all his kids! Man, Zoe looks hawt. I hope Helene gets a big part also. Nice to see the girls shining through again! But yeah the new generation should be a very interesting brood overall.

    Anyway keep up the good work! Looking forward to the next update!

  5. #2825
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llywelyn View Post


    Plantains? Aren't those from South America?

    Or are you suggesting the student should've bribed the TA? They are pretty delicious...
    Do a google search: "Planes Trains and Plantains". Read it. Laugh. Cry.
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  6. #2826
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estonianzulu View Post
    Do a google search: "Planes Trains and Plantains". Read it. Laugh. Cry.
    Just read it. All I have to say...

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  7. #2827
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    Llywelyn - Firstly, you caught me! I tried to write a bad sounding paper... evidently I abjectly failed at that. As for the saint's day... um... yeah.. of course that was completely intended! Please ignore my nose growing abnormally large after the last comment, Geppeto hasn't had time to fix it yet...

    Enewald - Well, there was an Andronikos Dukas in the battle, so I couldn't resist having a reverse Manzikert...

    KlavoHunter - We'll definitely be seeing more of Mozes in the future! There'll definitely be appearances by Subotai, but as for Genghis himself...

    Hannibal X - Thank you for the plaudits! The balance between exposition and dialogue, for me, is often the hardest part of an update (it's what I'm having trouble with on the update I'm working on tonight). I'm glad to hear I'm getting a vote of confidence!

    Estonianzulu - Yeah... it's been drilled into my head again and again that's an official "NO NO DO NOT DO." AS for Planes, Trains and Plantains... I am so happy I never had to grade anything like that! That T.A. was being awfully lenient... I would've drawn a line with a note of "I stopped reading here, this paper fails. See me after class."

    RGB - I'm not sure what's wrong... they're appearing on my screen. Anyone else having problems seeing the pictures?

    asd21593 - More is on the way, as soon as I have time after unpacking to work on it!

    Deamon - I think you will be very pleased to hear that Gabriel is going to be the focus on the next update!

    Ksim300 - We've seen Thomas on the battlefield mostly because that's what he's been channeled into doing for the most part--he was raised by the army to be a warrior emperor, he thought even before he lost it that the only thing he was good at was fighting, so its no wonder he's been at war constantly, leaving the business of governing to others...

    Next update is about 60% done... It'll likely be finished once I've finished unpacking in my new home!

    EDIT - and officially, all of you have spoken. I'll be drawing up some musical themes for Demetrios I, Manuel I, Thomas I, and Mehtar Lainez...
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  8. #2828
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    “Our empire rests on our future generations… as I have seen several, I can tell you their shortcomings will outweigh their promise.” – Albrecht von Franken, Lamentations



    May 17th, 1229

    “Will you be attending the banquet later tonight?”

    Gabriel Komnenos, Prince of Romanion nodded as he slowly adjusted the grip on his sword, before pushing blonde locks of hair from his view. Around his tall, statuesque figure, the columns and statues of the Megara Gardens where once Basil Megaloprepis practiced with his blade, now vines crawled all around. And this, Gabriel reflected grimly, was the part of the Great Palace in the best condition.

    “It’ll be a grim affair,” his friend David Paleologus sighed. The son of a Chillarchos of the same name, Gabriel’s best friend was tall and muscular like the Prince himself, save instead of green eyes his were brown, and instead of blonde, his hair was pitch black. David gave a smirk. “They say Anna Droulenos will be there…”

    Gabriel grinned lopsidedly. He already counted Anna’s older sister as a conquest, but the more chaste Anna was a much harder nut to crack… of course he was going to be there, if only to have a chance at some honey…

    “Who’s that?” Thomas Komnenos piped up. The youngest of the three Komnenid sons was hidden behind layers of leather armor far too large, a heavy kite shield, and a wooden practice sword nearly as long as he was tall. “Will Papa be coming?” the seven year old asked, brown eyes bright with hope inside the ominous slit of a Latin steel helm far too big. “It’s been a week since I’ve seen Papa…”


    By 1227, Gabriel Komnenos, then 14, was the presumptive heir to the Roman throne. This was despite the fact that his cousin Bardas still held the title of Kaisar, and award given to the Italian Komnenos at the end of the Great Civil War nine years before.


    “Father won’t be coming,” Gabriel said quietly, “he’s still in the Golden Horn.”

    The Prince looked off towards the north and west, as if there wasn’t the bulk of the now forlorn Great Palace as well as the city of Konstantinopolis between him and the fabled harbor. Somewhere, beyond his sight, lay the bulk of the Imperial galley Drapetevo, Emperor Thomas II Komnenos most common home since that dark day, nine years before…

    Gabriel still remembered that day well. This father’s entrance into the Imperial City had almost been silent, save the tramp of military boots and the bellowing of officers. No crowds came out, no cheering throngs as Gabriel and Antemios rode beside their grim father through St. Michael’s gate, only hushed whispers, shuttered windows, and silence.

    He closed his eyes, remembering what happened next. When the Prefect of the city and a small delegation had revealed the dismembered body of Andreas Kaukadenos, it was the first time Gabriel had ever seen a dead body. He’d cried at the sight, even listless Antemios had shrunk away in horror. Thomas Komnenos, however, had simply dismounted then walked forward, the noise of his military boots on the stone streets echoing, ringing against those closed shutters. The Emperor had merely held out a hand, and the Prefect knelt, shaking as he proffered Kaukadenos’ head.


    A contemporary Frankish illumination depicting the dismembering of Andreas Kaukadenos by the citizens of Konstantinopolis, desperate to avoid the wrath of Thomas as he descended on the city nine years before.


    Gabriel closed his eyes, hard. He tried to this day to banish that image from his mind, but once one saw someone’s eyes, even a dead person’s plucked out with a dagger, one never forgot the gruesome image.

    Many had feared the city would be burnt that day, just as Kaliopolis had been only week’s before. Yet Thomas II had a far more onerous plan in mind. As punishment for the city backing the usurper and not him, the Emperor had proclaimed the city was no longer the capital of his empire, and commissioned one of the dromons in the Golden Horn be refurbished to house the Emperor himself as well as a small staff. There would be no more games, no more handouts of bread in the name of alms, no Great Market. While Thomas waited on his Drapetevo (Escape) to be finished, the city would languish in the silence that had greeted his return. The Megoskyriomachos lived in the Blacharnae, administering affairs in the Emperor’s perennial absence. Normally this state of affairs would have encouraged dissention, but an event that occurred only hours after the Emperor’s return to the city had changed all that…

    Emperor Thomas’ arrival at the Great Palace that day had been anything but quiet. As Gabriel opened his eyes and looked to his friend David, he could see the terrors of that day replaying in his friend’s mind as well. One by one the great noble families, in their entirety, even relatives that had faithfully served Thomas during the wars, were called before the Emperor—the Dukas first. As each group were admitted into the Octagon, Thomas had the whole lot seized by his Nubiatakoi. He then lectured them for a half-hour on the vanity of rebelling against an Emperor, before Andronikos Dukas had the temerity to loudly say he betrayed the betrayer in order to better serve Thomas.

    At this comment, Gabriel could only remember the look on his father’s face—his lips curling into a snarl, a guttural growl coming from his belly. Before Andronikos Dukas could say another word, Thomas’ dagger had found his throat. Gabriel remembered the blood spraying on Dukas’ wife, the screaming children, and the smile on his father’s face. The Dukids were dragged off, each and every one, from the greatest lord to the lowliest child, sentenced to die by the axe of Thomas’ Nubiatakoi.

    One by one, family by family, they were dragged in. With the Byrennids, Thomas had those that conspired against him executed, and blinded and tonsured the rest. The Emperor made David Bagratuni watch as his whole family was blinded before his eyes, before pronouncing he’d ship the old Prince off to the lands of the Mongols, stripped of money and even clothes to spend the rest of his days wailing in memory. He personally sheared the head of Romanos Cherven, then handing the man’s bloodied locks back to him as he pronounced him ‘Prince of Hair,’ and no more. Through the entire macabre scene, Thomas made his two sons Antemios and Gabriel watch, with the calm assessment that “blood comes with the imperial title.”


    The rack was one of the more humane destinations for many of the dynatoi that had assisted or relatives of those who had assisted Andreas Kaukadenos…


    It was late in the day when the Paleologi had their turn before the Imperial ire, and it seemed as if Thomas had something especially horrible drawn up for them. The Prince of Achaea was castrated before everyone, while his cousin the comes of Kaneia had both his hands cut off. Quickly, Thomas ran out of the guilty and turned his ire on the lesser branches of the family, including one chillarchos David Paleologus of the Alexandroi Aetoi tagma and his young son of the same name. Gabriel remembered his horror—David had been a playmate in the camps of Thomas’ army, a friend even as his father fought against other Paleologi in the civil war.

    They told Gabriel he ran forward as his father approached the chillarchos, sword in hand, and that he threw his arms around David’s chest, crying that there should be no more blood. They said Gabriel’s father raised his sword anyway, asking if Gabriel would be willing to die in the place of a traitor. Gabriel, then only five, remembered none of those things—he remembered only the word he said in reply.

    “Yes!”

    He remembered the look of surprise that crossed his father’s face, then the strange smile that came on the Emperor’s lips.

    “All of you! Look at this boy! That is true bravery!” the emperor had beamed, before stalking away from the shivering father and son with only a cursory shout that they should be released, and chillarchos Paleologus should be promoted to Strategos.

    For nine years the ship of state had floated listlessly. Gabriel knew that Albrecht von Franken had done the best he could, and the fact that the Empire had several years of uninterrupted peace was no doubt due to the fact the man was a miracle-maker. Yet also for nine long years, Thomas II had almost refused to stir from his blood-gorged torpor—since the massacre of the disloyal dynatoi, Gabriel and a few others knew that scarcely anything ever reached the Emperor’s personal eye…

    …that is, until three months ago, when a messenger from Alexios Komnenos, Emperor of the West, came calling…

    His eyes flew open.

    “Ready?” Gabriel asked, banishing the dark thoughts from his mind. He’d gotten better at making the nightmares go away. In a way, he was thankful young Thomas was still in the womb that day—he didn’t have to witness the horror, and he’d never have the nightmares….

    “Would it make any difference if I said no?” A muffled, high pitched voice asked from behind the dark visage of the Latin helmet.

    “Not really,” Gabriel smirked. Thomas was always one for a smart word when he wasn’t busily sketching buildings, ships, or all manner of things. Gabriel honestly wasn’t sure why his father had told him to train the youngest Komnenid brother in the art of war—Thomas was third in line from the throne. It made little sense… Gabriel calmed his mind, and told himself he should stop thinking…it was time.

    “Body!” Gabriel shouted, swinging hard. Despite the warning, his younger brother only managed to bring part of his blade down to block, and Gabriel felt the wood smash hard into the side of Thomas’ leathers. Thomas stumbled back, but remained on his feet—an improvement, Gabriel grimly noted.

    “Shield!” Gabriel barked again. Ringing from the blow, Thomas tried to bring his own shield up, but not in time as another blow landed, this time on his chest. The young boy stumbled back even further.

    “Head!”

    “Head?!” Gabriel heard his brother cry in confusion, moments before his sword landed on Thomas’ Latin helm. Metal rang, and the poor young boy tumbled to the ground. Gabriel quickly had a hand down, and yanked his younger brother to his feet.


    All little Thomas could see of his older brother…


    “Are we done?” Thomas murmured from behind the helm, his voice still shaking slightly.

    “Yes,” Gabriel stuck his blade into the ground with a sigh. It was useless. It wasn’t that Thomas wasn’t trying—Gabriel watched as day in, day out his youngest brother tried his best. Gabriel had told himself even the Megaloprepis has started out as a horrible swordsman as a youngster… but those hopes died in Thomas’ hellacious footwork and terrible backswing.

    He would never…ever…be a warrior.

    Period.

    “I tried Gabby! I really tried!” Sniffles were coming fast even before the boy could rip off his helmet. “I tried really hard! It’s just things were so fast, and I…”

    “I believe you, Tom,” Gabriel leaned down and put a hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Listen… some people just aren’t meant to go to…”

    “But Papa…” Thomas’ lower lip was already quivering. “He said he needs men for the expedition to North Africa! I wanted to join the pages, it’s where every Komnenoi goes…” A tear coursed down his cheek. “You’re going Gabby! I wanna go too!” Another tear, with the promise of a torrent to come. “I don’t wanna be alone here!”

    “But you won’t be alone…” Gabriel tried to offer…

    “I will!” More tears. Thomas was now clinging to his older brother. “You’re a great warrior, Gabby! Why can’t I go! I want to be a warrior like you, like Basil, like Papa, like the Megas! I wanna see Papa see me fight!”

    “I really don’t know why you’d want your father to see… this… or anything for that matter…” David growled, slowly walking over. “Besides, North Africa? Yes, he made a promise to that Saracen-wannabe Alexios, but…” David’s curt assessment came to a grinding halt at Thomas’ renewed look of abject failure and, torrents of tears now coursing down Thomas’ cheek, the Paleologi began to backtrack. “No, Thomas, not your fighting! It’s just…” He looked at Gabriel, eyes pleading for help.

    Gabriel nodded—understandably, no matter how much David might have trusted Gabriel as a friend, he would never look on Thomas II Komnenos with anything but horror. “David is just saying that Father’s very busy,” he lied, circling Thomas in a hug. “It’s not that he doesn’t love you,” Gabriel said, mentally changing the ‘you’ to ‘us,’ “it’s that the affairs of state keep him away much of the time.”

    Gabriel looked back up at David, who mouthed a “thank you,” to the Prince.

    “Listen, Thomas,” Gabriel went on. “I’ll… I’ll talk to the Megos Domestikos.” Gabriel looked up at David. “After all, Antemios is going too… and if that lazy fool can…”

    “Are you bad-mouthing me again?”

    Gabriel grinned slightly, before releasing his younger brother and spinning Thomas around to see their older sister Zoe. The daughter of the Emperor was dressed in a blue dress that rather scandalously left few of her ample curves to the imagination—hardly appropriate attire for any other bride-to-be, but Zoe Komnenos was no ordinary woman. In more polite circles, the Emperor’s eldest daughter could be best described as a thunderstorm—beautiful, surprising, and dangerous at the same time.

    “Of course not, madam,” Gabriel grinned.

    “Milady!” David gave an exaggerated bow, which prompted a laugh from the Princess.


    Princess Zoe Komnenos


    “You all are so polite! Such manners to a woman that is about to earn herself a ball and chain!” Zoe walked over. She leaned over, and gently brushed Thomas’ cheeks free of tears. “There there. Now, what had you so upset, Thomas?”

    “Papa won’t take me to Africa…” Thomas said haltingly, tears stopped for the moment.

    Gabriel sighed—truth be told, he didn’t want to go to Africa. In the immediate aftermath of Mount Hymettus, when Arnaud had been a Roman prisoner, that would’ve been the time to go to Africa. It’d taken nine years for Thomas II Komnenos to awaken from his slumber, and Gabriel had no doubt that the Crusader princes had spent the near decade holing themselves up and building even stronger fortifications.

    “Bah, why would you want to go to Africa?” Zoe said in exaggerated disdain. “It’s hot, the animals are ghastly, and worst of all, I’ll miss you!” She put on her worst pouting face, one that sorely tempted Gabriel to snicker. The Prince held his tongue, and more importantly, it worked on Thomas—his pouting slowly ceased. Zoe looked up over Thomas’ shoulder at the two friends, and a short, unspoken conversation ended with her nodding.

    “Here,” she said, pulling away so she could look Thomas in the face. “How about you come with me? I’ll take you to see Master d’Orbais’ latest drawings!” At the mention of some building sketches, Thomas’ face lit up.

    In a world where everything was right, the young Prince would have been the son of a builder, not an Emperor. As Zoe stood up and offered her younger brother her hand, Gabriel was secretly jealous of Thomas—as the youngest and furthest from the throne, he’d likely get his wish. No one cared what happened to the third son really… but with Antemios rapidly turning into a drunken, slovenly disappointment, Gabriel knew the weight of Empire was leaning on him, on his shoulders. He couldn’t indulge himself in his passions of language and science, not when his father insisted he learn war. Thomas, though…

    “Will your betrothed mind?” Gabriel raised an eyebrow.

    “Oh, the high and mighty Prince of Azeribijian can stand to wait an hour for his future bridge to entertain his future brother in law,” Zoe said with more than a little disdain in her voice. Azerijibian had a pleasant climate, supposedly… and little else.

    “Bye Gabby!” Thomas called as his sister lea him away

    “You two behave!” Zoe added with a laugh.

    “I always behave!” Gabriel shot back at his siblings, before they disappeared. He turned to David. “Fancy a spar? It’s not even midday, and I don’t have to see Father until sunset.” Gabriel really didn’t like the evening sparring sessions with his father aboard the deck of the Drapetevo, but he dared not refuse the old man… not when the Emperor was liable to quickly enter one of his murderous moods.

    David smirked, and hopped off his perch. “Anytime! Staves?”

    “Yes,” Gabriel said quickly. The wooden sword, he thought, wasn’t balanced properly. The staves were balanced better though. He grabbed the requisite equipment, then started walking back to his friend.

    “Alright, we do it bare? Make it count?” David asked, even though he was already stripping off his shirt even before Gabriel arrived.


    David Paleologus, longtime friend of Gabriel Komnenos


    Gabriel swallowed hard.

    It wasn’t because of the risk of sparring bare-chested—the blows would be all too real, even blunted staves would easily leave a bruise—but because of the sight of David’s bare chest, his flexing pecs as he pulled his shirt over his head.

    “Um…” Gabriel stuttered quietly.

    “What? Tongue tied facing your equal, and not a little runt of a brother?” David laughed. Gabriel watched his muscles ripple, and a chill went down his spine. Slowly, he offered David a staff—the Paleologus took it with a flourish, smirking the whole time.

    “Distracted by something?” David chuckled. “The prospect of a fair match?”

    “N…No,” Gabriel stumbled, reflexively acting like he was testing his own staff. Weight was proper, balance was right, but the Prince paid little attention to these things… David’s body was far too distracting. The Prince shook his head, and took off his own shirt.

    “Ah… so the noble Prince doth quake?” David rubbed things a little harder. Gabriel grimaced—David was always good at this, talking an opponent into a mistake. In the heat of a true battle there was little time for such silliness, but on the sparring field or in a match…

    “No, of course not!” Gabriel added, stumbling over his words, and cursing himself. He couldn’t let it show! The court was crawling with people who would love to tell the Emperor of something like this, to break his already broken mind with the news that his imperial son, his heir, the young man that would take his mantle of conquest, was…

    Gabriel halted the train of thought, breathed, then unleashed it.

    “Draw!” he barked, covering his discomfort with a stentorian voice. “Ready!”

    David flicked the wooden stave out to his hand with ease, and smiled. Smiled. That alone drove Gabriel’s blood up. Carefully the prince eyed his opponent, watching, waiting, circling, testing and probing. David, true to his word, followed all of Gabriel’s moves with ease, staff at the ready. For several minutes there was this silent dance, before an explosion of noise erupted in the courtyard, as staff met staff. A furious series of blows, no ground gained, and just as quickly, both combatants were back to circling.

    “That all you got?” David snickered, confidence seething through those brown eyes of his.

    “You haven’t seen half of what I’ll do to you,” Gabriel smiled grimly, before leaping at his foe again.

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

    Gabriel's Theme


    So we’ve moved ahead a bit, and everyone has received a flash of the new generation. After nine years of peace (at least abroad), the Mad Emperor now seems poised to hold his end of the bargain and sail for North Africa to help his cousin Alexios drive out the Crusaders from their strongholds. Will Gabriel prove to be the heir that Romanion needs? Or will his little secret ruin things?
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  9. #2829
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    What Crusaders are there in Africa?
    I thought they were all conquered all a long time ago.

    So another homosexual...
    Well, at least his brothers might leave heirs behind.

    I don't understand the point why the Emperor should be married, Basil II was never married.

    Hmm, I wonder shall David be homo also...

  10. #2830
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    It seems half your emperors are gay General. Of course an exaggeration, but notable.

    Good update, I felt I was dragged right into the story.
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  11. #2831
    The Avatar of Time 4th Dimension's Avatar
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    Sha'll we start betting who will get the throne? Gabriel, Antemios, Thomas or Zoe. Knowing how this story goes, the most scared one will get it. And there will almost certainly be fratricide.
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  12. #2832
    Field Marshal Llywelyn's Avatar
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    I'm sorry. I know it's always hard to come back down to the domestic details (and the imperial houseboat was an odd and great touch,) but

    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
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    The new generation looks promising, except for Antemios and I remember his name being called updates ago by some prof or something. And i'm still a fan of Gabriel!

    Your description of Thomas really reminded me of this guy:

    Last edited by Deamon; 05-08-2009 at 21:01.
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  14. #2834
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    While we're speculating on who will get the throne in the end, wasn't it mentioned earlier that an Emperor in the near future would embark on a vast building campaign? I suppose this depends on the definition of "near," but Thomas (III) would seem like an excellent candidate for this role, given his apparent predilection towards architecture and the salient fact that he seems otherwise entirely unsuitable for the throne. Albrecht von Franken, after all, didn't seem to optimistic in his epigraphical quote...

    Oh, and one more thing--what have the Mongols been doing for the last nine years?
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  15. #2835
    Revolutionary Leader VILenin's Avatar
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    I hope against hope that maybe one day we'll have a normal, complications free Emperor to rule over an undivided Empire. And as soon as that happens he'll probably get killed by plague, or natural disaster, or some other random act of God. Clearly it's divine will that the Komnenid Emperors suffer. *sigh*

    I really hate to say it but maybe it's time for a new ruling dynasty. If it doesn't happen soon it might never happen at all. Give the Komnenoi three centuries on the throne and they'll have legitimacy coming out the wazoo that no one will be able to compete against.
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  16. #2836
    Boulgaroktonos Basil II's Avatar
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    Zoe is definitely Byzantine. Beautiful, smart, conniving.

    I suspect she won't be a Sophie.

    Which actress is that?
    Last edited by Basil II; 05-08-2009 at 18:25.

  17. #2837
    Field Marshal Llywelyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VILenin View Post
    I really hate to say it but maybe it's time for a new ruling dynasty. If it doesn't happen soon it might never happen at all. Give the Komnenoi three centuries on the throne and they'll have legitimacy coming out the wazoo that no one will be able to compete against.
    Well, I don't see a dynastic challenge ever being inevitable, given the empire's long history and their own origin in Isaakios's usurpation.

    They just put down a major rebellion, but even without another one I could see (A) infertility or, eh, 'reproductive disinterest' shunting the inheritance through a female line or (B) the empire's expansion into Arabia, Italy, and Egypt bringing foreign dynasts into power or independence.
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  18. #2838
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    1. Gah, Gabriel is thinking with his lower regions. Typical teenager.

    2. Thomas II - gah, enough with the blood. 9 years!

    3. Gotta echo Lly on the houseboat and the Octagon.

    By coming, they put themselves at an immediate disadvantage!

    4. I'm getting echoes of the Pevensy kids, but really, it should all be about prophetic dragons.

    5. An architect to rule an Empire? Sounds nice. For a change. The military types keep disappointing.
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  20. #2840
    Revolutionary Leader VILenin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llywelyn View Post
    Well, I don't see a dynastic challenge ever being inevitable, given the empire's long history and their own origin in Isaakios's usurpation.

    They just put down a major rebellion, but even without another one I could see (A) infertility or, eh, 'reproductive disinterest' shunting the inheritance through a female line or (B) the empire's expansion into Arabia, Italy, and Egypt bringing foreign dynasts into power or independence.
    Not impossible, no, though increasingly difficult with time. And eventually someone is going to connect the status of Emperor as 'Equal of the Apostles' with divine right and create a Mandate of Heaven like justification for the Komnenoi.

    The number of Komnenoi on the ground now makes it very unlikely that mere infertility could wipe out the family unless it was combined with natural/unnatural causes like plague and/or widespread assassinations. A splintering of the Empire with local dynasts taking power is possible though the number of Komnenoi in positions of power again make them prime contenders. After all, there's already another Emperor in the West and we know that there will be one in Persia sooner or later who'll be part of the family.
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