Holy replies Batman!
On the subject of the EU3 version of this, other than toying with maps in Photoshop, I have done nothing substantial. I had a test version for regular EU3, but I never brought it up to date with IN. I actually have not played an EU3 game with any of the mods people have listed (could someone please tell me what they do, in short?) , and I’m an amateur modder at best, so I’m approaching the project with some trepidation. As of right now, the following will be in the EU3 HttT version:
“Several” new religions (number still being determined)
New countries (obviously)
Missions for Roman successor states to take Constantinople
Some new units
New borders for HRE
Redone Asia and India reflecting changes from the story
Redone Africa reflecting changes from the story
New series of Reformation events
Most definitely the mod will probably not have any new provinces—there’s enough on the plate as is, and I’m going to be doing the mod as I’m writing the story, so I can’t do too much or both are going to suffer. That all said, down the line when modding time gets serious (when the story finally reaches 1300, for example), if people want to help, we can make this thing bigger than the small things I’ve listed above…
As for my distractions—I’m staying with Oblivion for now, for as my boyfriend said, it doesn’t make sense for me to run off and buy another game when I still need to finish this one! (and Fable II, and GTA4…)
“I’d never planned on Nikephoros, or his machinations. God willing though, I shall see them undone before my days are finished.” – attributed to Albrecht von Franken
May 18th, 1240
Future historians would comment that Nikephoros IV Komnenos’ entry into Konstantinopolis on the 18th of May, 1240 was far more grandiose than that of the two legitimate Eastern Emperors a year before. Nikephoros arrived in the city on a galley worthy of an Emperor, at the head of 90 of Spain’s finest warships and hundreds of smaller vessels, their brilliant silk pennants and streamers covering the Golden Horn. Aboard came not just the Emperor, but his personal tagma and the Cordoba ‘militia,’ 15,000 of the finest troops Roman Spain had to offer. They marshaled on the quays, and with precision and luster that would have done Basil III or Thomas II proud, they paraded through the city to the lilting of pipes, castanets, and drums. It would later be said that his armor rivaled the ‘golden suit’ that Basil III wore in Rome, and that nearly 100,000 copper and 10,000 silver solidii were tossed to the crowds of the Queen of Cities. Jugglers, tumblers, clowns, knights and knaves, the massive display of wealth was unlike any seen in decades.
A fact not lost on Frederica von Hohenstaufen-Komnenos, Empress of the Roman Empire.
The Empress, like her husband, his brother, and all manner of dignitaries and representatives from the princes of the Empire and the nations surrounding Romanion was seated on a special dais made for the occasion, tyrian purple silk bearing the Komnenid double eagle sheltering them from the early summer sun and fluttering gently in the breeze. Yet despite sitting next to the Emperor of the Romans, the man she was spiritually and legally bound to, Frederica did not look at Thomas III Komnenos even once as the immense cavalcade swept by—there were far too many morsels in the gathered audience that took her attention.
Not that she would’ve looked at her husband anyway—not after what had happened.
There was a time, once, when she would’ve fawned over Thomas. She intrigued—he was strange, he was not like anything she had encountered before. Most men would have willingly crawled naked through sheets of broken glass for a chance at her favors, but Thomas III Komnenos seemed oblivious at best. At first, she assumed this was because he was simply shy, or ignorant. Yet as the months went by, and her attempts at luring him to her chambers failed again and again, she realized something no one else seemed to recognize.
Thomas was genuinely not interested in her sexually—or anyone, for that matter. She’d paid several manservants to report to her if her husband had any unusual visitors—mistresses, stableboys, the usual—and the only thing she’d found out was that he often worked late into the night on his drawings. The more he’d resisted, the more she’d been intrigued, like a moth drawn towards the flickering of a candle. She began to daydream of what wonder must lie underneath his trousers, what spectacle he would be if she could only just pry him open…
She frowned, even at the partial thought of how she’d been then. She’d been absolutely giddy the day he finally caved! It was two days after their arrival in Konstantinopolis, and her husband had spent most of it crisscrossing the city, commenting on what landmarks needed repair, what buildings needed renovation, and all sorts of manner of work that needed to be done. She’d followed, trying to provide observation just as she had before—it’d been a new tack, trying to show interest in his odd architectural obsession to win his favor. It’d gone swimmingly at first—he’d agreed to let her into his chambers to help him with his drawings later that night.
Her frown deepened as a troupe of jugglers clad in a riot of yellow and red tumbled by. She’d used all the weapons she had in her arsenal—drank all the brews she knew to increase men’s desire, covered herself in the finest perfumes, even arranged to be in her husband’s room, naked and waiting, when he arrived from the last of the onerous meetings the Megoskyriomachos dragged him to throughout the day.
She remembered the look on his face when he’d come into the room—eyes wide, mouth agape—she thought she’d finally ensnared him. She told him her intentions in plain, hoping that wide eyed look would turn to the unslakeable look of desire she was used to seeing in men’s eyes.
Yet the look that momentarily crossed her husband’s face was one of anger. He’d frowned, looked down, then said, without a hint of desire, lust or even a smile:
First, he’d demanded they go to the chapel and pray. She agreed, giddy at the prospect of finally conquering that which had been unconquerable. True, her knees ached after kneeling for over an hour on the marble floor while her husband prayed fervently for the sins he was about to commit—he evidently took [verse] extremely strictly—but she thought nothing of it. In her experience, the shyest, most religious young men were the most untamed when their chains were slackened…
Yet nothing had ever prepared her for what had happened.
“I heard they were going to bring elephants,” Frederica heard her husband prattle to no one in particular, “but they died on the journey here. What a pity! I would have fancied seeing live elephants!”
She remembered thinking he was prattling on then as well. Her prize was in sight—she wanted it, and wanted it now! Her husband, however, went on and on with his prayers, deep into the night. Then, he insisted after prayers they cover themselves in ashes, a sign of the mortality of the flesh. She’d agreed, only hestitantly—she’d assumed “cover” meant the sign of the cross on their foreheads, as done on Ash Wednesday. Slightly out of the ordinary, she would grant, but nothing to be worried about…
Frederica winced, even thinking about it. No, Thomas had meant fully covered in ashes, hot ashes, starting with the parts of the body that would commit the mortal sin. Naturally, as any sane person would do, she abjectly refused. She didn’t care for what Thomas thought about sanctifying the mortal flesh, or purging sin before and after the deed was done! Burning oneself before the deed? One just didn’t do that!
The sudden rumble of drums made Frederica jump a little in her seat. A troupe of Moors, each carrying an enormous drum almost as tall as a man, stopped in front of the imperial dais and began an intricate performance. Frederica calmed herself by eyeing the drummers closely—several of the morsels looked particularly appetizing, but the daydreams of what she could do with them didn’t shake the memory of the past, of Thomas’ response to her refusal.
How he screamed at her, hit her, called her a harlot, a whore, a deceiver, someone who was trying to pull his mortal body into sin.
And then he’d had his way with her.
She was right on one account—with his shackles loosened, Thomas was a beast in the bedroom, but not the kind she had hoped for. The experience wasn’t exciting, exhilarating or breath-taking—only frightening, brutish, and torturous. For the first time in her life, Frederica had wished a tryst to be over, to be done with, but it seemed her husband wouldn’t stop. No, she remembered, he’d yelled at her—that this is what she had wanted for so long, so now she was going to receive it doubly so. If he was going to have to fall to darkness to make her happy and make an heir, then by God it would be done.
And so it was. Every night, for two weeks straight. There was no passion, no joy in the entire affair. Thomas treated her as if she was an evil object, a thing to be used only until his duty was complete, then tossed aside. He even managed to force the ashes onto her forehead once—the burn mark left behind took two weeks to heal.
Far to her right, a baby’s gurgled screech of delight brought her out of her doldrums. Thank God for little Thomas, she thought. The baby, clapping its hands happily in a nursemaid’s arms, was her ticket away from that hellish experience. Her husband had an heir, and Thomas seemed perfectly happy to leave the ‘mortal sin’ of the bedroom behind him now that his moral duty to the state was complete. As for Frederica, she smiled slightly. Her husband’s apparent dislike of her, or the bedroom, meant she was free to roam and play as much as she pleased…
“Are you enjoying the parade, Christian?” Frederica turned towards the man sitting to her left and asked with an entirely un-Christian smile. She was bored of the parade, and frightened of the memories that were cropping into her head. The Game would keep her mind busy, and perhaps lead to some fun that night.
The object of her gaze turned and smiled back. Christian Knytling looked only a little like his father, the Grand Duke Knud of Sortmark. His face was squat, but pleasant enough, with both a smallish nose and beady eyes. However, once he flashed his smile at her, his teeth beamed huge, almost swallowing his whole face.
“I am, Majesty,” the Dane bowed slightly, as Frederica heard her husband burble something inane. “My brother, however…”
Frederica glanced off to her left, towards Olaf Knytling, eldest son of the Grand Duke. According to protocol he was allotted a senior spot to the right of the Imperial throne, which placed him immediately in front of the Megoskyriomachos. Frederica sighed—her fellow German already had Olaf’s ear, as the two animatedly discussed some point of plotting or another. Where Christian might not have been the most pleasant to gaze upon, at least he was sociable. His elder brother was always too busy to pay much attention to the Empress.
Which was sad in Frederica’s mind, for all the Danes, it seemed, came “well armed.”
“Albie!” Frederica called across the imperial dais, purposefully using the nickname her husband used for his uncle. It annoyed von Franken to no end. “Albie! Leave the poor Dane alone so he can enjoy the parade!” At neither Olaf nor Albrecht paying her any attention, she turned back to Christian. “Bah! Probably planning a war or something!”
“Probably,” Christian grinned, “Let’s enjoy the spectacle, shall we?”
“And then perhaps discuss it over dinner?” Frederica put on her best smile. Christian was clever, and his smile grew absolutely enormous.
“Ah! There’s those camels I was telling you about!” Thomas called excitedly, clapping his hands together. Frederica glanced over at her husband momentarily, long enough o catch a glimpse of some Moors on their dromedaries.
“Yes dear, I see,” she sighed, before turning her gaze back to Christian…
May 21st, 1240
Gabriel Komnenos, Emperor of the Romans, sighed as the great doors to the throne room of the Blacharenae closed behind him. Already he could hear the slight intakes of breath from the servants clustered in the room, for he was leaving an entirely unregal trail of mud on the marble floors behind him. He’d been called in from the polo field because his dear Spanish cousin wanted to have a meeting, immediately, with no advisors present.
Emperor to Emperor, the messenger had said.
Gabriel smirked slightly at the thin, mop-headed Komnenos already seated at the ebony table that dominated the otherwise empty room. Since his ever so glorious arrival in Konstantinopolis, Nikephoros had been in constant meetings with Gabriel’s brother, or Albrecht von Franken. For three days the Emperor in the West had not deigned to call on his senior counterpart in the East, a fact that rankled Gabriel to no end.
So now, Gabriel thought darkly as he squished his way to the tall chair opposite Nikephoros, he’d send a message back. He flopped into the chair opposite his regally adorned cousin, and sighed.
“So?” Gabriel leaned back, his legs complaining from the hard polo ride, “What is this hub bub about?” The Emperor threw his legs onto the table and stretched, smearing mud onto the ornate ebony. “Something that gets you off of my brother’s shoulder and not chatting about architecture this and that? Perhaps it’s the reason for your massive state visit?” Gabriel smirked.
To Gabriel’s surprise, his younger, distant cousin didn’t look on his show of poor manners with distaste. In fact, Gabriel swore he saw Nikephoros smile slightly as he dirtied the table with his boots.
“Hail Gabriel Komnenos, Conqueror of the Turk?” his cousin nodded slightly. “And yes, it is,” he added, smile frozen on his face as he stood up and circled around to behind his chair. Gabriel waited impatiently for several seconds, before finally letting out a growl.
“Well, out with it!” he said, an edge of snappiness seeping into his voice. “Why did you request me to come all the way from Persia, to simply discuss something incessantly with my brother and that man without talking to me or my people at all?”
“A united empire,” Nikephoros said, the smile on his face as wide as the Marmara.
“A…a what?” Gabriel’s anger evaporated into confusion. The Emperor’s legs were instantly back on the floor, smirk gone from his face.
“A united empire. One Romanion,” Nikephoros grandly held his hands out wide, before slamming his palms on the back of his wooden throne. “Well?”
“A tad difficult, considering we have three Emperors,” Gabriel muttered sharply. “By the Treaty of Palermo, your lands were recognized as independent by my father and your grandfather. How, and why, should that treaty—negotiated by your own great-great-grandmother, need I remind you—be cut apart?”
“Romanion has been one Empire with more than three sitting emperors!” Nikephoros waved his hand dismissively. “Diocletian and his comrades governed well! We shall do the same—split the empire into districts of governance, but with a common currency, a common language, a common faith. Think on it, cousin! A united empire, stretching across the Mediterranean like the days of old! History calls to us, to you, to me…”
“Why?” Gabriel asked, annoyance plain in his voice. This young boy was blathering on and on about history and glory, but there was no substance. Was this what he was asked to travel almost two months from Persia to listen to? A teen babble on about ancient glories long gone and inaccessible?
At his sharp reply, the glowing face of Nikephoros dimmed somewhat. The Emperor in the West gave a huff of annoyance, before slumping into his chair with a glare towards his elder cousin.
“I see history doesn’t call you,” Nikephoros grumbled.
“Common sense calls to me,” Gabriel shot back, “and you still haven’t answered my question. Until you do…”
Gabriel blinked. He had a hint that was Nikephoros’ goal, but he hadn’t expected his distant Spanish cousin to put things so… bluntly.
“You’re surprised I’d tell you?” Nikephoros smiled slightly, before visibly relaxing. He was clearly pleased he’d thrown Gabriel off a bit, and casually tossed his leg over the arm of his chair. “Frankly, so was my own chief advisor. Said we should keep it a secret, et cetera,” Nikephoros waved his hand dismissively, “But I said no, because I think you and I both have something to gain from this.”
“So de Bracy was entirely your idea,” Gabriel said grimly, raising his leg over the arm of his own chair in response. The young man’s casualness unsettled him—and Gabriel hated feeling unsettled. “One empire means you can ‘take custodianship,’ ‘guardianship’ or what have you of Italy with no word coming crosswise from Konstantinopolis. De Bracy is your casus belli to take the region.”
“I see we think alike,” Nikephoros beamed.
“Yet you haven’t explained what is in it for me,” Gabriel snorted. “In fact, Italy might be war torn, but Italy’s coin being deprived from my coffers while I’m at war...” Gabriel laughed, a sharp, barking noise. “Ha! You’re young and foolish. Come back when…”
“You gain two things,” Nikephoros’ smile disappeared, and the young emperor was suddenly leaning forward across the table, eyes sharp and intent. “First, you distrust your uncle, Lord von Franken. Frankly, I don’t blame you—that man was trained by my grandfather’s enemy, Mehtar Lainez. I wouldn’t trust him more than I’d trust a snake.”
“And you getting Italy does what against Albrecht?”
“If you go along with this idea—one empire, three emperors—naturally the whole will have to be subdivided into districts that we can each supervise, to prevent countermanding orders and confusion. If you support me getting Italy, North Africa and Sicily in my administrative area, it will cut down on the power and influence of your ‘esteemed’ uncle.” Nikephoros raised an eyebrow, and added slowly, “Power and influence that grow every day you are kept from the capital…”
Gabriel frowned, and shook his head. “Not good enough.” There were plenty of ways he could try to confine Albrecht’s influence on his own…
“And I would support you gaining more districts into your administrative area,” Nikephoros waved his hand slightly. “The Levant? Egypt? Syria? In addition to Persia and Mesopotamia of course.”
“And stomp on the toes of Adrianos Komnenos?” Gabriel rolled his eyes slightly. “How would you get him to agree to let his power as Despotes be drained away? He’s a stooge of Albrecht, he’ll stand his ground firmly!”
“That problem has been handled,” Nikephoros smiled darkly.
“How so?” Gabriel pressed. Adrianos Komnenos was, outside of Albrecht himself, by far the most powerful man in the empire who did not wear the purple. If he dragged his feet, added to Albrecht’s undoubted opposition to any plan that cut power from him…
“I have my ways,” Nikephoros’ smile didn’t change. “You have to trust me on this, cousin.”
“Yet I don’t,” Gabriel shot back, “especially if you can’t tell me how. Still not good enough.”
Gabriel watched as his counterpart sighed and rolled his eyes while drumming his fingers on the ebony table.
“Fine. If that isn’t enough for you. I’ll offer the following: A common treasury pool for defense.”
“A what?” Gabriel blinked. Did Nikephoros just offer…?
“A common treasury for defense—say, 30% of our respective incomes?” Nikephoros repeated himself, a slight smile coming to his face. Gabriel tried to make his face blank, but by the steadily creeping growth of Nikephoros’ upturned lips, the eldest Roman Emperor knew he was failing. “Your war against the Mongols will be quite expensive, perhaps ruinously so,” Nikephoros went on. “Italy, as you said, is war-torn. Egypt is recovering from the Flood Tide. Spain, however…” Nikephoros let his voice trail off.
Gabriel grunted quietly.
“Listen cousin. Your tagmata are not free. The Persian levies will expect money the longer they are in the field, and the more time it takes before your politikoi see their lands, the more likely they will demand a silver sweetner to keep their loyalty. Spain is rich in silver and gold—mines and taxes,” Nikephoros raised his eyebrow slightly. “More gold than your tax strapped, farmer starved eastern lands could provide…”
“So you would pay a portion of the Persian campaign?” Gabriel muttered. He tried to not act intrigued, but he was. “How do you know we wouldn’t be able to manage without your interference?” They could have, Gabriel wanted to add—things would have been tight, there would have been precious little cash left over, and often Peter would have been robbed to pay Paul, but they could have made it!
“You’re asking why you should agree to some scheme proposed by a mere boy for extra cash?” Nikephoros mirrored the thoughts running through Gabriel’s head. “Because, if I’ll remind you, that cash comes with soldiers. 15,000 battlehardened troops, led by me for the first year, and thereafter by Malik Andronikos Elabdalites. And,” Nikephoros leaned closer, “the scheme decreases your income none, increases your cash greatly, and weakens your great rival here in the East.”
“And how can we be so sure you’ll stay happy and content in the West?” Gabriel grumbled. Part of his mind was agreeing with the young Western Emperor—Italy cost Gabriel nothing, that was Albrecht’s problem. And while they could pay for the campaign now, cash on hand could make it far easier—money for bribes, increased fortifications in the deeper cities, all were things on Gabriel’s list of what needed to be done even as the Mongols plunged into northeastern Persia. But would Nikephoros stay West? The young man clearly had ambitions far larger than Cordoba… “If I sign,” Gabriel added pointedly, “will I be exchanging the jackal I know for a lion I do not?”
“What would you have to fear?” Nikephoros shrugged nonchalantly. “I will admit, I covet the East. It is the center of Roman civilization, wealth and power. Yet I know I cannot have it.” The young Emperor sighed. “One, your armies are far larger than mine, even with the Mongols on your doorstep. And, alas, I would be far too much of a ‘Moor’ for the East to tolerate. I can’t imagine the minor annoyance of the Bishop of Santiago compared to the wrath of the Patriarch of Konstantinopolis…”
Gabriel snorted. ‘Problem’ indeed. Patriarch Gennadios would likely eat the young man for breakfast… it was a testament to his authority that despite him willingly crowning Antemios Emperor of the Romans, the Patriarch still held his position, let alone his life.
“So, money and soldiers for Italy it is then?” Gabriel asked, looking at the young man’s eyes, desperately trying to gain some insight, a ‘read’ into what his imperial counterpart was thinking. His gaze met green steel wall, impenetrable, unreadable, save the glint of youth. Gabriel still wondered what the young man was thinking, why he was offering this. Money for Italy? Italy had always been a hornet’s nest for the Empire, nothing but a source of trouble since the days of Emperor Manuel. The Venetians and Leo’s rebellions, then Adhid Kosaca’s, then Bardas Komnenos…
Money for Italy. Money for shoving a perennial problem place on someone else, and weakening Albrecht von Franken while Gabriel hopefully heaped victories, honor and prestige on his own name. He started running figures through his mind—income numbers, the taxes he could recall off the top of his head. Two sets of figures emerged—one grim, and one far happier.
Give up Italy now. Gain a great deal of cash to defeat the Mongol and gain prestige and honor, at the same time his principal rival was weakened, and his other paid him to stay in the field. If the Mongols were driven off, Gabriel Komnenos would be left with a large, battle-hardened, and well paid army backing him. What would stop him from marching on a weakend Konstantinopolis and forcibly removing von Franken? Would would stop him, for that matter, from then loading his men onto fleets of ships and making himself ‘administrative emperor’ of Spain as well?
Ideas flashed through Gabriel’s head, as his eyes flicked up towards Nikephoros’. Did the young man know what danger he was putting himself in? Or was he so intent on gaining Italy in the short term he didn’t see the long term threat?
The decision was quick.
“I’ll sign off on it,” Gabriel said finally, folding his hands, still hoping to find something in his counterpart’s eyes. The moment Gabriel opened his mouth, however, those that steel green wall erupted into a sea of brilliant excitement.
“Excellent!” Nikephoros clapped, before excitedly calling for his servants. A few moments later, a small mound of papers was laid before Gabriel, servants helpfully pointing to the relevant parts that needed an imperial seal. “These are the papers! I’ll also notify Louis that I will be marching overland to Persia with my troops as soon as I can! Where would you like me to head?” A watery flood of words tumbled from the young man’s mouth. “My boys march fast! Fifteen days to Kaiseria, I’ll wager…”
Gabriel grunted, ignoring his cousin who was suddenly acting his age. Instead, the older, wiser Gabriel was busily scanning each parchment the servants held before him, checking that there were no loopholes, no extra clauses or agreements beyond what he and Nikephoros had discussed. After each page, he grunted in satisfaction that there were no loopholes, and affixed his seal where indicated.
The entire affair, momentous as it were, was finished in less than five minutes. Once the servants withdrew the last sheet of parchment, Gabriel finally looked up at his cousin, a smile on his own lips.
“First coin to arrive from Spain at the beginning of the new year,” Gabriel grinned slightly. “A little eager to let go of your coin?”
“Eager to get this endeavor started,” Nikephoros replied, echoes of excitement still in his voice. “Though,” the Spanish Emperor added after his servant withdrew the final parchment, blowing on the still wet wax, “there is one caveat you should know about, now that you have signed. A minor detail.”
“What…detail?” Gabriel said slowly, deliberately, trying to keep thunder from rising in his voice. What trap had the Spaniard tossed onto him? Gabriel brought back the words of the document to his mind, what David had told him, everything… yet he could think of nothing. Was there some loophole? Some small phrase he had missed?
“10% of the common treasury pool is to be dedicated to building projects, the lion’s share of which will likely go to you and your brother,” Nikephoros smiled beamed. “It was in the fourth paragraph, a small phrase, probably missed. I think if we are to be imperial brothers, it’s my duty and honor to help you turn Isfahan into an imperial capital. Your brother felt the same.”
“My brother… Thomas already signed onto this?”
“This morning, over the howls of your uncle!” Nikephoros was on his feet, already spinning to the still waiting servants. “Wine!”
Suddenly it all hit Gabriel—he was the last one Nikephoros had spoken to! As the smiling young man nodded politely to his imperial cousin, Gabriel felt his jaw start to drop. It all made sense—why Nikephoros had spent hours ‘walking’ with Thomas talking about architecture, giving his brother plan after plan as a gift! With the promise of money for vast building projects, Gabriel knew Thomas would have chewed Albrecht’s ear off to sign the treaty! Hell, he probably signed it without the knowledge of his puppet-master!
“Even administratively dividing the empire?” Gabriel pressed.
“Italy and North Africa were mine,” Nikephoros confirmed, “if I was able to get you to take Egypt and Syria from him! Your brother is a most peculiar emperor,” Nikephoros added, the grin on his face turning wry, “One who rules, but wants nothing to do with the Throne of Caesars.” The Spanish Emperor shrugged slightly. “I showed him the papers on one of our walks to discuss flying buttresses, and he leapt at the plans. Your uncle was furious.”
“You’re more clever than I thought,” Gabriel said, half amused, and half alarmed, before the mental image of Albrecht von Franken’s wretched, powerless face came into his mind. That made Gabriel smile, then laugh out loud. “Poor Albrecht! Having the rug pulled from under his feet by dear Thomas!”
“Know your mark, says the thief?” Nikephoros chuckled, grabbing a jug of Crete’s finest from his returning servant. “Now,” the Emperor in the West laughed, pouring quickly, “I think a toast is in order! To one, eternal empire—may she last forever!”
So Nikephoros has managed to get Gabriel and Thomas to agree to administratively divide the Empire, yet Gabriel already has long term designs to force the whole under his rule (and force out Albrecht in the process). Was Nikephoros being level, and what arrangement does he have with Adrianos that would effectively undercut Albrecht in Thomas’ part of the new empire? How will Albrecht respond to this, and what was he talking about to the heir to Sortmark? The Mongols, plots, and war, next time, on Rome AARisen!