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Thread: Heaven On Earth: Part One

  1. #441
    Lord Protector of Britain Lord Valentine's Avatar
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    So the recovery has begun. I can't help but feel however that a recovery of Egypt would have been more valuable than retaking Hungary. That area of the world must be close to worthless after all the deadly conflicts including pillaging on a massive scale which have taken place there in the last 100 years. But at least it shows that the empire is once again a force to be reckoned with.

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  2. #442
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Heaven On Earth

    Emperor Michael VIII: The Phoenix: III
    (Mood Music)



    The next logical step in Michael VIII’s resurrection of the Orthodox Empire was to secure all of Anatolia for the Orthodox. To do this, he would need an even larger army to invade and conquer the now-Mongol region. However, with the conquest of the Balkans, Michael VIII had thousands of willing volunteers ready to join his army. By the year 1280, he had an army of 100,000. The Imperial army had almost reached its former strength.

    In the year 1281, the armies of the Orthodox marched into Mongol territory, for the first time since 1244. Revenge was at hand. Immediately, the outposts of the Mongols were destroyed. Every Mongol was killed, and every Mongol institution was burned to the ground. The many mosques that the Mongols built, they were Muslim by now, were also burned. At every fort that the Orthodox encountered, the garrison was massacred and the outpost was burned. Bodies were piled high and heads were place on pikes. Body parts of other Mongols were flung against the walls of other Mongol forts. Michael VIII wanted bloody revenge, and gave the Mongols a taste of their own medicine.

    Finally, after about 2 months of ravaging the Mongol countryside, the army reached the city of Ankyra. Michael VIII’s catapults fired on the city with all their might. For hours, a non-stop barrage of stone smashed against the walls. Not surprisingly, the Mongols faced internal riots by the still majority Orthodox population. An old folktale describes the killing of the Mongol general by an old lady. Supposedly, she beat him to death with her cane. The rioters decimated the Mongol force and opened the gates. For two days, Michael VIII spent his time killing Mongols in all sorts of bizarre ways and celebrating his victories.



    A depiction of Michael VIII’s torture of the Mongols


    But after this victory, a significant Mongol force of over 75,000 men finally arrived to challenge the 100,000 man Orthodox army. Michael VIII started to move his men out of the city. But when about half of the Orthodox soldiers were out in the field, the Mongols rapidly ambushed the area cut a swath through the Orthodox force and separated the army into two parts. Michael VIII was cut off from the main force which still remained in the city.


    Another depiction of Michael VIII’s torture devices, which are said to have killed about 2,000 Mongols


    This siege lasted even longer than the Orthodox one. For months, the Orthodox camp outside the city, Ankyra, and the Mongol camp made no actions aside from minor skirmishes. Presumably, disease had broken out and no army was in shape to fight. Finally, in the winter of 1280, as Michael VIII and his force were running out of supplies, the Orthodox made a risky move. It was bound to be disorganized, as little to no communication could be made between Michael VIII and the city with the Mongols in the middle.

    But nevertheless, Michael VIII was a risk taker and went on with it anyway. He had his men construct a massive tapestry. It was a blank canvas with big black letters displaying the Greek word for “charge” on it. In early December, his men hoisted this huge banner up an enormous pole, and the citizens of Ankyra saw it. They immediately understood it and the Orthodox commanders in Ankyra knew to sally forth and try to reconnect with Michael VIII and his portion of the army.

    So, a stampede of cataphracts and men rushed from the gates of Ankyra and a true battle erupted. Michael VIII led his men in a charge as well. In a pincer movement, they split the Mongols in half and massacred each half individually. Apparently, the Mongols had not anticipated that splitting up the Orthodox army would also give the Orthodox an opportunity for encirclement. By the end of the day, 50,000 Mongols were dead and 30,000 Orthodox were dead. Even if the cost was huge, it did get rid of the only significant force that the Mongols had in the region.


    A depiction of the siege of Ankyra
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  3. #443
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Wasn't Ankyra supposed to be at the border?

    Nice battle!

  4. #444
    Lord Protector of Britain Lord Valentine's Avatar
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    A great victory! Now Asia Minor should be ripe for reconquest! May the imperial banner wave proudly over the cities of Anatolia once again!

    ~Lord Valentine~
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  5. #445
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    Magnificent victory! All of Asia Minor lies open to you and will almost certainly fall into your lap without much more heavy fighting.


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  6. #446
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Small update coming up....

    Expect big changes coming soon...



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  7. #447
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    Heaven On Earth

    Emperor Michael VIII: The Phoenix: IV
    (Mood Music)



    After the victory at Ankyra, Michael VIII and his men ran wild throughout Anatolia. They pillaged every Mongol village they came across, raped every Mongol woman, and killed every Mongol man. They wanted to commit the same atrocities the Mongols had years earlier, as revenge. And they did. Women were raped and beheaded. Men were killed in all sorts of cruel ways. Some were sawed in half, others were tortured, and some were beaten to death.


    One of the horrific ways Emperor Michael VIII executed his victims


    After all these atrocities, Michael VIII reached Armenia and the Caucasian Mountains. Beyond that, there were Mongol forces that could challenge the Orthodox. Not wanting to jeopardize what he had accomplished, he stopped. After a whole year of looting Mongol Anatolia, the Orthodox army was tired and wanted to go home. Michael VIII signed a quick peace with the Mongols in 1282. It was agreed that Anatolia would be given to the Orthodox Empire. It was not a big loss for the gigantic Mongol Empire. Anatolia was just another tiny region in the huge Mongol Empire. But for the Orthodox, Anatolia was a key part of their Empire and culture and needed to be won back.


    Some of Michael VIII’s massacres were so brutal that they were depicted in Indian art


    The last years of Michael VIII’s reign were very prosperous for the Empire. Michael VIII helped the Empire make a critical resurgence and made it regional power, not what it used to be, but better than what it had been. Anatolia was rebuilt and the Mongols were kicked out. Constantinople, the Greek islands, and Aegean coastline regained their places as key figures in world trade. The coffers of the Empire were filled once again and the population of the Empire was steadily on the rise again. Life was good for the Orthodox people. Then, in 1291, Michael VIII died at the age of 67. The year 1291 changed the world. But it was not because of Michael VIII’s death.


    Michael VIII on his deathbed, something which was much mourned at the time, today the details of Michael VIII’s atrocities are clearer and he isn’t considered as heroic
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  8. #448
    Lord Protector of Britain Lord Valentine's Avatar
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    Your a right one asd! First you promise a big change and then there's no sign of it in the update itself. Now you'd better get that next update with the big change out real quick. The tension is killing me.

    ~Lord Valentine~
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  9. #449
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Valentine
    Your a right one asd! First you promise a big change and then there's no sign of it in the update itself. Now you'd better get that next update with the big change out real quick. The tension is killing me.

    ~Lord Valentine~
    This change is so Earth-shattering that it couldn't just be summarized in that tiny update. It deserves an update of its own, if not a full blown AAR segment!

    I love building tension...



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  10. #450
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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    He didn't say we'd get the big change in this update though.
    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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  11. #451
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolai
    He didn't say we'd get the big change in this update though.
    Yes I said that the update was coming UP and the big change was coming SOON

    By the way, just so I can torture you more, I won't reveal the big change until I finished have the newest segment of this AAR. It will not be about history, but be about the overall culture of the Orthodox Empire in the Middle Ages.

    But if you must know, look up any significant events that happened in 1291 and try to apply it to the timeline of this AAR. If you believe you have discovered what is going to happen, do NOT spoil it in this thread, just pm me for affirmation.



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  12. #452
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Oi, another mongol invasion coming?

    Or plague?

    Timur?

    Nice conquering, eh...

    Or a crusade against you?

  13. #453
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald
    Oi, another mongol invasion coming?

    Or plague?

    Timur?

    Nice conquering, eh...

    Or a crusade against you?
    No

    No

    No

    Thanks

    No





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  14. #454
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Don't tell me that someone alreayd discovered america.

  15. #455
    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald
    Don't tell me that someone alreayd discovered america.
    Mongols , that would change things...or not. But it certainly would be interesting.

  16. #456
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    Heaven On Earth

    The Orthodox Empire In The Middle Ages
    (Mood Music)



    The Orthodox Empire of the Middle Ages had a very distinct culture. It was a land where East met West and those two cultures fused together to create a colorful society. Constantinople, as one of the great trading centers of the world, was the center of a vast trade network. This helped make the Empire rich and encouraged merchants from all over the world to trade in Constantinople. Everything from silk to precious metals to weapons to grain was sold in the Empire, a scene that was magnified in Constantinople.

    Orthodox intellectuals studied a range of topics, from the metaphysical to the physical. Philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, doctors, and lawyers all practiced their trades in the same tradition of the ancient Greeks and Romans, albeit with modern influences. During the Middle Ages, the Orthodox intellectual community was the most advanced in the world.

    Obviously, as its namesake suggests, the Orthodox Empire was almost 100% Eastern Orthodox Christian. The Church and Orthodox culture are very closely tied and all parts of Orthodox society are affected by the Church. The Ecumenical Patriarch had a role in the state as spiritual leader, and advisor to the Emperor. And the Emperor had a role in the Church. Officially, the head of the Church is Jesus Christ himself. Church administration is divided into many different “metropoleis,” each ruled by metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, etc. The entire administration is ultimately overseen by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Today, the center of the Orthodox world lies in Jerusalem, but in the Middle Ages, Constantinople, specifically Ayia Sofia, was the center.

    The Church also heavily influenced Orthodox art and music. Orthodox art was mainly iconography. Icons depicted various religious figures and Biblical scenes. After the reign of Romanos IV the number of non-religious art such as statues, mosaics, and frescoes of Imperial figures, scenes from daily life, and battle scenes rose drastically. Orthodox music had two forms. Religious chanting was the most common and could be heard in church and sometimes in the courts of the upper class. It was strictly vocal music, sung by mostly deep voiced men, yet it also had melody. The other kind of Orthodox music was regional folk music. Flutes, string instruments, drums, among other things, were used to make distinct music in different areas like Greece, Anatolia, and Russia. Both chanting and folk music were heavily influenced by the Eastern and Islamic music.


    A typical Orthodox icon


    Most famous of the Orthodox works of literature is the Alexiad, written by Anna Komnini. The Alexiad is one of the national epics of the Orthodox Empire and describes the life of Alexios I The Great. There is also the heroic epic of Digenis Akritas. A variety of theological and encyclopedic books were also written during the Medieval period. The primary language of the Orthodox Empire was Greek, which by 1291, was spoken widely as a second language in places like Russia.

    The common Orthodox man wore a typical outfit of a tunic and pants, while a woman would were a slightly more elaborate dress. An upper class Orthodox man would were elaborate robes with a cape, while an aristocratic woman would were a very elaborate dress, with much jewelry and sometimes some sort of veil lightly covering the hair. Around the time of great Emperors such as Romanos IV, Alexios I The Great, and Michael VIII, military dress became popular among the male youth.


    A diagram showing the typical clothes of the Orthodox populace


    The basic diet of the Orthodox Empire consisted of cheeses, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and for the upper class, many different meats, though poultry was quite common even among lower classes. These foods often carried a very Eastern influence. They often were heavily spiced and flavored with Eastern spices. The Orthodox Empire was famous for its wine, which was demanded in all parts of the globe. Entertainment for the Orthodox consisted of many different things, based of Roman customs. Board games and gambling were popular. Theater was attended regularly, as was the hippodrome, where races were extremely popular and watched by tens of thousands.


    A 19th century depiction of a chariot race
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  17. #457
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    Looks like the empire is not yet dead. Good.

    Signs of renessaince?

  18. #458
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    Heaven On Earth

    Journey To Uncharted Horizons
    (Mood Music)



    On the morning of March 29th 1291, Vandino and Ugolino Vivaldi set sail from Genoa. Their goal was India, but they would reach a far more wondrous and rich place. Pope Nicholas IV of the Papal Empire was very much interested in exploration and the prospect of bringing Catholicism to new lands. So he funded the Vivaldi brothers heavily and gave them a fleet of 8 ships. With funds, ships, and supplies, the Vivaldi brothers were more than accommodated to make the journey to India.


    A medieval depiction of the Vivaldi brother’s fleet


    But there was one large obstacle in their way. The Strait of Gibraltar was controlled by the Muslim Moors, and they would never allow Papal, or any Christian, ships through. So the Kingdom of Iberia, formerly Leon, sent a fleet of 30 ships at Nicholas IV’s command to assist the Vivaldis on their journey through the Strait. When the 38 ships, with crosses on their sails, approached Gibraltar, the Moors immediately attacked. Catapults that were set on the hilltops fired down on the Strait, through they were for the most part ineffective and missed the ships. Muslim ships from nearby harbors attempted to stop the Catholics from passing. They even tried to board the Vivaldi’s flagship, “Eugene III,” named after the “Warrior Pope.” But the Catholic ships pressed on through the Strait. Once the Vivaldi brothers and their ships had passed through and were out in the Atlantic, the Iberians attacked the Moorish forts around Gibraltar and captured them. But Pope Nicholas IV, seeing the strategic importance of the Strait, requested the Strait from the Iberians, and it was handed over to Papal rule.


    The Battle for Gibraltar is depicted in this 16th century painting


    The Vivaldis had intended to sail down the coast of Morocco, but they were blown off course. Out in the middle of the Atlantic, they continued sailing south and were helped by the wind. But they eventually found themselves going southwest due to the wind currents. Very few men died on the journey due to abundance of supplies. Finally, on July 25th 1291, they landed on the island that they named, and is now called, Santa Trinità (Holy Trinity). Upon seeing the inhabitants, they knew they were not in India. After staying with the inhabitants for awhile, they sailed up to the island we now called Antillia Medie. They claimed that each island was part of the Papal Empire and tried to convert the inhabitants to Christianity. They stayed with the natives for a couple of weeks and then decided to sail back to Genoa with some of the natives.


    The Vivaldi brothers with the natives of Santa Trinità


    Upon their return to Genoa on December 2nd, the news spread like wildfire and caused mass hysteria among the populace. The natives brought back were taken to Rome and baptized by Nicholas IV himself. Immediately other nations made plans to set sail for the land. Everyone was talking about this “New World.” Some said it was Atlantis, the land of Prester John, while others said it was indeed India. But the general name for the land became “Vivaldia.” An entirely new world, a whole half of Earth, had been discovered and the world was instantly shot into another age. The world would never be the same.


    Onto new horizons!

    End Of Part One
    Last edited by asd21593; 25-09-2008 at 23:20.
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  19. #459
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Closing Statement

    Well, Part One is finished!

    Thank you all so much for reading this and commenting! I hoped you enjoyed this part as much I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for helping me win my first AAR award and helping it become my longest AAR yet!

    Onto Part Two!



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  20. #460
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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    Bravo! It has been an enjoyable read so far, looking forward to the next part. Will you link to part two here when you post the thread? Will it be in a modded EU3 btw?
    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
    -------------------------------

    My machine specs: i7 2600 @ 3.4 GHz, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, Radeon HD6870 with 1 GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit

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