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Thread: The Atheling Chronicle - A King without a Crown

  1. #261
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Spent some time catching up this weekend and love what you've got going on here, AllmyJames. Keep it up!

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    Congrats! You definitely deserve this - your AAR is totally intriguing, complicated and fascinating!
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  3. #263
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coz1 View Post
    Spent some time catching up this weekend and love what you've got going on here, AllmyJames. Keep it up!

    You've been named Character WritAAR of the Week such is my appreciation of the "character" of your chronicle writers.
    Why thanks, coz! I really appreciate this award, and I'm very happy to know my work is admired.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Oliverio View Post
    Congrats! You definitely deserve this - your AAR is totally intriguing, complicated and fascinating!
    Thanks! Being a reader of your AAR, that's particularly high praise!

    To all - partly due to the award, there's a bonus update below.
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  4. #264
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    Chapter 57 – The Family of the Athelings

    Chapter 57 – The Family of the Athelings



    1195


    From Theophilus of Jerusalem’s Lives of the English Kings

    In the year 1157, on the death of King Saelred, the family of King Edgar and the great English Kings had seemed in danger of extinction. Yet some forty years later, upon the majority of the King Theodorus’ sons, God had greatly blessed their line, and it had multiplied and flourished beyond anything known since King Edgar arrived in Judea.



    King Theodorus had given birth to four legitimate children with his wife Aethelflaed. Three sons – John, David and Romanus – between whom his domain had been divided upon his death. John was granted dominion over Jerusalem, David over Arabia and Romanus over Syria.



    Moreover, two of these three children, David and Romanus, had both sired healthy sons. The son of King David was named Wulfnoth.






    And the son born unto King Romanus was named after his father.





    The sole daughter of King Theodorus surviving to adulthood, younger than King John, but elder than any of her other brothers, was Anna. She was married unto Mathias, the Duke of Apuilia.





    Yet this was not the limit to his issue. For it is now well known that King Theodorus conducted many indiscretions outside of wedlock. In the normal course of things, the children who resulted from such illicit couplings would have been discarded and lost to posterity, but a twist of fate proved otherwise. The young royal sons of King Theodorus, in desperate need as they were of allies, turned to their kin in their time of need, and promoted these bastards of their father to positions of authority. In this way, many of them gained legitimacy in the eyes of the earls, if not in fact. In particular, King John’s appointment of Basileios as regent in Jerusalem, changed the perceptions of the Witans towards the illegitimate Theodorlings.

    The eldest of these was named Zeno, and he was entrusted with the estates of the treacherous Duke Thurcytel around Baghdad. He and his wife had given birth to a son, by the name of Gennadios.





    Younger than Zeno in age was Leo, and though he had, in despair at his social standing, been driven to take his own life, he had sired a son, whom he named Demetrius.





    Younger than the perished Leo, but still elder than King David, was Theodorus, bearer of his father’s name, but much unlike him in temperament. He had been enlisted by King Romanus to administer the lands of Eastern Syria, after the rebellion of Assad the Persian. His son was named David.





    The youngest of the Theodorling sons was Basileios, the aforementioned regent in Jerusalem. His own first-born son was born in the same year that he assumed the regency, and was called Anthemios.





    The one final living Atheling was a cousin to King Theodorus, Aethelhild, who was the daughter of Baldred the younger, and granddaughter of King Baldred the Great. In the year 1195, she was the widow of the Count of Finndeven in the lands of the Norse, and had returned to Galilee to take up residence in the land of her forefathers.



    In this way, the family which had once been the family of King Edgar was quickly becoming, against all expectations, the family of King Theodorus, not just in their blood ties, but in their affinity to Greek manners and customs. This was amply proven when not one of his siblings accompanied King John on his return to England.
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  5. #265
    Patron Saint of Suenik Iain Wilson's Avatar
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    Interesting update - I'm always fascinated with the twists and turns of CK geneology and this update embodies that nicely!
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  6. #266
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Give Wulfnoth a duchy and switch to play him.
    He has an awesome name, and is a proper saxon.

  7. #267
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Wilson View Post
    Interesting update - I'm always fascinated with the twists and turns of CK geneology and this update embodies that nicely!
    Thanks! I always like the genealogy aspect too. The Athelings are certainly easier to keep track of than, say, the Rurikoviches! But I'm glad I have more than one heir for the first time in many years!

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Give Wulfnoth a duchy and switch to play him.
    He has an awesome name, and is a proper saxon.
    That is true, he's pretty cool. It only took 7 marriages to produce another Saxon . He's in line for the throne of Arabia, at least, so we should see him in action soon!

    To all - the next update should be longer, but it has too many images, so you'll get one today, and one tomorrow.
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  8. #268
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Chapter 58 – The Reign of John I, part 4

    Chapter 58 – The Reign of John I, part 4

    1195 – 1196



    The Consolidation of the Invasion


    From The Glastonbury Chronicle, by Augustine, Abbot of Glastonbury

    The Twenty-Third Day of September, 1195

    The King’s heralds went into the city of Gloucester today and issued summons for the Fyrd of the shire to gather. The King has proclaimed that he wishes to claim by force those estates which he believes are his by right of birth.



    The Fourth Day of October, 1195

    The Fyrd having gathered in Gloucester, the King’s army marches eastwards to the city of Oxford today. To my surprise, the muster of the Fyrd was quite considerable. The King believes this to be a sign that the people support his right to rule. I, on the other hand, suspect that the people of the shire are stricken by poverty and disease, and flock to the King’s banner for a chance of bettering their lot through stolen riches.



    The Twentieth Day of October, 1195

    Today the King’s army encamped beneath the walls of Oxford. The city’s earl, Henry de Fauconberg, a Norman, was commanded to come forth and surrender his town and shire to the King. When no response was forthcoming, the King instructed that the army lay siege to the town.



    The Twenty-Seventh Day of October, 1195

    The King’s army did battle with the forces of the earl at first light. The earl’s army sallied forth from the city and crossed swords with the English and Greeks fighting under the Martlet Banner. As he was greatly outnumbered, it surprised no-one that the earl’s men were cut down, and the himself slain.
    To the chagrin of the fyrdsmen, not to mention his foreign mercenaries, the King instructed that the town and burghers be spared and their property protected. It did him no good however, for he entered the city in much the same way that he had entered Gloucester, with shutters closed and the town silent, save for the odd brave soul who spat at the King’s retinue, or threw excrement from the upper stories of houses. The King remains puzzled that the people do not view him as a liberator, and is greatly displeased.



    The Thirty-First of October, All-Hallow’s Eve, 1195

    The King returned to Gloucester to find further problems. His wife, the Queen, has arrived in the city, and finds her surroundings most disagreeable. It seems she views the translation from Judea to England a difficult one. Daily she has been letting all who will listen of the fruitlessness of her husband’s endeavours and her earnest wish to return home. It has not improved the confidence of the burghers in the new King, nor his popularity about the county.



    The Fifth Day of November, 1195

    The King sent me to the city of Warwick and bade me confer with its earl. It is a sign of the state of disarray that the land has fallen into that the shire of Warwick is held in trust by a Dalmatian infant. Having met with the reeve of the town, I delivered my missive; that the rightful King of the English did desire that his lord resign his title and deliver his estates to the crown. To my great surprise, the reeve acquiesced, on the condition that his ward, the infant count, be permitted to travel safely into exile. Thus was the third of the Kingdom’s shires delivered to the King, by power of the pen and not the sword.



    The Fifth Day of March, 1196

    For the past few months the King has been busy attempting to endear himself to his new subjects, to limited effect. In Oxford and in Warwick, the King has appointed reeves from among the local burghers, for he yet has none of the high nobility within his trust. This is partly because the well-born men of the realm instinctively distrust him and his foreign ways, but also because the King himself ostentatiously refuses to give refuge to any who were friendly to King William. He even goes to the extent of making a show of not comprehending anyone who addresses him in French, as they have been accustomed to doing in previous years. Whether this is because he genuinely cannot understand the tongue, or because it galls him to have it spoken in his presence, I cannot tell.

    Such peaceful affairs have been brought to a close, however, by the actions of the young Duke of York. This child is the only grandchild of the late King William and, therefore, the rallying point for the opposition to King John. The Duke, or more accurately, those who acted on his behalf, chose the spring of this year to strike against the new King, and declare that he would make war against King John and drive him into the sea.



    The King reacted as was to be expected and his great army, which has remained in the county, making life miserable for its inhabitants and causing great distress for the townspeople, marched northwestwards to the city of Lincoln, wherein the Duke held his residence.
    There is a palpable sense of relief among the burghers and peasantry that the King and his armies have departed but also unease, for none of us know who will return to the city with the crown upon his head.

    The Twenty-Ninth day of March, 1196

    King John’s army, it is said, has been defeated at Grantham in Lincolnshire by the armies of the child-Duke. The brothers here are in a great state of anxiety at the news.



    The Thirtieth Day of May, 1196

    The fyrds of Warwick and Oxford were mustered by the King and they have done battle with the forces of the young duke in the shire of Northampton. Again the King’s men were defeated, and the panic within the city and county grows. Surely in the city of Oxford these feelings must be far greater.



    The Ninth Day of July, 1196

    Praise be to God! King John’s banner flies over the city of Lincoln, and the child pretender has been captured. This news comes none too soon, for the town of Oxford is under siege and the town council even here has been whispering of surrender to the Norman forces. Everyone at the abbey is greatly relieved.

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  9. #269
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    Beating Hohenzollerns is not that easy.

  10. #270
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    Just catched up. It's good to see the english are returning home. Now you need to get your culture right.

    And Greeks in Spain are cool. Russians in Greece are not.
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  11. #271
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Beating Hohenzollerns is not that easy.
    Indeed. Even when they're only 6 years old! John, we shall see, is not exactly a tactical genius...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vesimir View Post
    Just catched up. It's good to see the english are returning home. Now you need to get your culture right.

    And Greeks in Spain are cool. Russians in Greece are not.
    Depending on which way you look at it, we could even have Greeks in England now
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  12. #272
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    Chapter 59 - The Reign of John I, Part 5

    Chapter 59 - The Reign of John I, Part 5
    1196 –1199



    The Southern Shires


    From The Glastonbury Chronicle, by Augustine, Abbot of Glastonbury

    The Thirtieth Day of July, 1196

    Though the King returned to Gloucester today, it seems that he will not be remaining long. The closeness of his victory in Lincoln has led to rumours around the shire, and this has driven the King to further restlessness. His gaze has turned southwards, to the lands south of the Thames.

    In the reign of King Henry, refuge was granted unto many lords and noblemen from every corner of Christendom. Some came because of their admiration for the great power of the King, some because they had nowhere else to turn. One of these refugees was Phillip, King of the Iberians, who had been driven from that land by the Moors. This man had been granted estates in the shires of Surrey and Berkshire while King Henry and later his brother had promised to restore him to his kingdom. However, discord amongst the Iberians, and Phillip’s closeness to the disgraced William, had led His Holiness to pronounce upon Phillip also the sentence of Excommunication.



    Having learnt all this, King John was seized with a desire to make war upon Phillip, and drive him from the Kingdom. His reasons for this were many. Foremost, he sought a great victory to endear him to his new subjects, and restore his reputation. Secondly, he could not bear any other man living in these islands to bear the title of king, much less the three crowns Phillip laid claim to. He also professed to be disgusted by the presence of foreigners in the Kingdom of England (though his own army of Greeks, Franks and Persians were apparently exempt from his ire). Furthermore, by this act, King John could claim to be enacting the will of the Bishop of Rome, and he was in some great need of the Pope’s approval.

    The Twenty-Sixth Day of August, 1196

    News has reached us that the King’s army was defeated again, outside the city of Windsor. The King of the Iberians was possessed of more men-at-arms than King John had anticipated, and the fyrdsmen were easily routed. However, the King shows no sign of halting for the winter season, but is determined to press on regardless.



    The Twenty-Eighth Day of September, 1196

    The King, in his determination to gain a victory at any price, has issued many contracts to local mercenaries, though they are little more than thugs and brigands, and hardly worth the gold they have been promised.



    The Twenty-First Day of November, 1196

    Again the King has been defeated in the shire of Surrey. His fyrdsmen are deserting him in great number, unwilling as they are to fight in the winter-time, and even his own household men are unused to the weather here. A large amount of his army now refuses to travel across the Thames again.



    The Sixth Day of December, The Feast of St Nicholas, 1196

    The King, having returned to Gloucester this month, is more stubborn than ever in his desire for a victory. Even in this season of advent, and against the stern protests of the brothers here, he has borrowed large sums of money from the Jews of the town, that he might continue to pay his soldiers to fight their Pyrrhic war. This act of impiety has not gone unnoticed among the people.





    The Seventh Day of February, 1197

    Having been repulsed yet again from Surrey, the King’s men have retreated into Hampshire to forage for supplies. This county is in the possession of the Countess Agatha, a woman of fierce wit and independence, and ill-disposed towards trespassers. King John, however, cares not for civilities towards minor entities such as the countess, and has vowed to sieze her castles by force if need be.



    The Eighteenth Day of February, 1197

    The King has won a great victory outside of Winchester! The forces of the Countess Agatha have been utterly defeated, and the city and the county belong to the King! All the town is abuzz with stories of the battle.





    The Twenty-Sixth Day of June, 1197

    Soon after the Summer Solstice, more Greeks arrived by ship at the mouth of the Severn. They have travelled from Judea – a journey of remarkable length! – to join the King in his war. Their manners and customs are peculiar indeed, even more so than the King’s ghostly warriors.



    The Fourteenth Day of August, 1197

    Despite the treasures which have arrived in Southampton from Judea and the King’s friends overseas, he is still in need of silver. And so, above my great opposition, he has turned again to the Jews of Hampshire for further loans of money. Such usury will only bring him further damnation in the afterlife.



    The Tenth Day of October, 1197

    Perhaps in order to assuage his guilty conscience, the King has offered to donate his gains from the capture of the towns of Windsor and Guildford to the abbey at Glastonbury. Whether such promises will be fulfilled is yet to be seen.



    The Sixth Day of October, 1197

    Phillip, the so-called ‘King of the Iberians,’ is no more. King John slew him on the field at Weybridge, and his forces have scattered. Some fifteen months after he set out to do so, the King is finally in possession of Surrey.



    The Twelfth Day of March, 1198

    This year’s Lenten Fast has been tarnished by the Queen’s infidelities. It is now common knowledge that she has been conducting adulterous acts with a Norman baron. The King was set to have both she and her lover executed by the law of Moses, but I counselled mercy. Instead therefore, the Baron Lovell has fled into the Kingdom of the Franks, and the Queen has been confined to the castle.






    The Twenty-Eighth Day of March, Easter Sunday, 1198

    The King’s reaction to the Queen’s indiscretions has been unusual, to say the least. He has taken it to be a sign of displeasure from the Lord God, which, given the sins committed by him in the past three years, is quite probable. Today he came to the abbey for the Easter feast, and abased himself at the altar of the great church, in order to atone for his acts of usury with the Jews, for the rape and pillage committed by his mercenary men-at-arms and his other offences before God.



    I have advised him that his penitence will take some time, but that with a true heart and open mind, the Lord will cleanse him of his sins. Even for one so rash as he, there is forgiveness in the arms of Christ, and the brothers at the abbey pray every evening for his redemption.
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    Bah! Who needs Rome and the Pope?

    He should've created his own church instead.
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  14. #274
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    What a brilliantly described mess.
    How are the brothers taking the news of their brother's adventures?
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    Stop enriching your diocese.
    Shall you ever manage to pay back to the Jews?

  16. #276
    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Shall you ever manage to pay back to the Jews?
    Not with interest, he won't. But then again, he is a medieval Christian monarch- he'll burn the people, smash the temples and force them to clear all his debts.

  17. #277
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesimir View Post
    Bah! Who needs Rome and the Pope?

    He should've created his own church instead.
    The last thing King John needs is another enemy in the form of the Pope. He's got enough on his plate as it is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eams View Post
    What a brilliantly described mess.
    How are the brothers taking the news of their brother's adventures?
    Yep. Wait until I tell you how the rest of the islands are divided up. Vikings, Frenchmen, and more! So far John's main accomplishments are besting two children and a woman. Still, got to start somewhere
    Events in Judea are for the next update. Needless to say, they've got their own problems...

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Stop enriching your diocese.
    Shall you ever manage to pay back to the Jews?
    So far I've borrowed around 6000 ducats, so...no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal X View Post
    Not with interest, he won't. But then again, he is a medieval Christian monarch- he'll burn the people, smash the temples and force them to clear all his debts.
    Yep. No credit crunch for King John!

    I'm working on an update for later today or early tomorrow.
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  18. #278
    Major Alfredian's Avatar
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    What could be better. An English(ish)man back on the throne in England. Now all he has to get used to is marauding norsemen and constant rain. Perhaps Augustin could set him a penance that would work off his sins and improve his English credential (e.g. learning all the fielding positions in cricket).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredian View Post
    What could be better. An English(ish)man back on the throne in England. Now all he has to get used to is marauding norsemen and constant rain. Perhaps Augustin could set him a penance that would work off his sins and improve his English credential (e.g. learning all the fielding positions in cricket).
    Well, so far John's one of the few people happy with the outcome (and confident that it'll last ). Maybe its the rain and fog which explains all those military defeats!
    Perhaps the penance could also include learning to queue properly and complain about the post offices he's yet to build

    Quote Originally Posted by AllmyJames View Post
    I'm working on an update for later today or early tomorrow.
    Well, that wasn't quite true . But here it is anyway.
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    Chapter 60 – The Reign of Romanus I, part 2

    Chapter 60 – The Reign of Romanus I, part 2
    1195-1200



    The Conquest of Mosul



    From Wilfred of Acres’ Tripartite History

    Affairs in Jerusalem

    Upon his departure, King John placed the regency of his realm in the hands of one Basil, a young man who had recently been revealed to be a half-brother of the King and an illegitimate son of the late King Theodorus. Now, this appointment angered many people, for King John, as was his wont, had consulted few others, and considered the consequences of his actions but little. The other Kings were dismayed that such legitimacy had been granted to one of their bastard half-brothers, of which there were many more in their own lands. The nobility of Jerusalem and Judea, however, were even more greatly affronted by having their own wishes ignored, and by having a ruler granted to them whom they neither knew, nor liked, nor had assented to. King John appeared not to have considered that his decision would have been in any way unpopular, for the sole concession he made before his departure was to divert the responsibility for local decisions to the minor nobility in the provinces.



    The discontent within the realm was only accentuated by the strain that King John’s war in distant England was placing upon the treasury in Jerusalem. By the King’s command, large quantities of silver were dispatched by ship to England, and the witan was asked many times to raise their fyrds to assist the King. However, the calls for volunteers went unanswered, and the regent Basil resorted to the hiring of mercenaries, an act which placed yet further demands upon the chancellery, and led to the imposition of greater taxes upon the realm.



    The Death of Duke Theodorus

    In the Year of Our Lord 1196, one year after the departure of King John, there was a disturbance in the earldom of Syria. The affair itself was so small that it would normally have passed without comment, except that in the course of the fighting which followed, one of the sons of King Theodorus was slain. Duke Theodorus, who bore the same name as his father, had been the closest ally and strongest friend of King Romanus in Syria. Indeed, the Duke had been awarded stewardship of the duchy in eastern Syria as a reward for his loyalty and aptitude. It was, therefore, a great tragedy for all the realm when he was cut down in his youth by the rebellious bishop of Tadmor.



    At the same time, however, there were dark rumours afoot, which noted that since King John’s departure and recognition of his illegitimate half-brothers, Duke Theodorus had become a threat to the authority of King Romanus in his own realm. For the younger Theodorus was older than King Romanus and cut a dashing figure among the populace. Though he was unpopular with the English earls of Syria, he was beloved by many of the burghers and peasantry. There were suspicions therefore that one of the jealous earls of western Syria had played a hand in the premature death of the Duke, or even that King Romanus himself had desired to be rid of his elder brother. The latter seems somewhat unlikely, however, given how closely the king relied upon the Duke for counsel and support.

    Further Trouble in Jerusalem

    Meantime, Basil, in his role as regent in Jerusalem, continued to be unpopular, not merely with his brothers, but also the earls of his own Kingdom. King John had been able to command the loyalty of the Witan through sheer force of his personality and charisma, but the regent Basil was composed of a different humour, and his attempts to rule in this fashion were ruinous to the Kingdom. Without instructions from his brother, in whose name he ostensibly ruled, Basil reigned as if he were, in fact, anointed King. This itself would have been enough to irk the earls and Dukes, but Basil was also confident to the point of arrogance, and he made little pretence of consulting the Witan before taking any decision which affected the realm. When this was added to the burden placed on Jerusalem by King John’s war in England, many of the earls began to plot the regnet’s downfall.

    While Basil’s brothers disliked him personally, they were unlikely to stand for any one of the earls usurping the crown for themselves, and so no member of the Witan was willing to challenge Basil on the open field. The strongest of the earls was Heraclius of Aleppo, but his friendship with King John made him stand against treasonous action, despite the attempts of many earls to entice him in their plots, and the Duke's own dislike of Basil.



    Instead, many of the younger earls simply refused to attend the witangamots in Jerusalem. Finally, in the year 1197, Andronicus, the Duke of Sinai declared that the agreement of 1181 guaranteed that the earls be heard in meetings of the witan, and that if Basil was unwilling to rule with the consent of the earls then the earls had a right to seek authority elsewhere. From that moment onwards, the Duke pronounced, he would be attending the Syrian Witan in Damascus.



    In Egypt, however, the threat to the English Kingdoms’ stability was greater, for the left bank of the River Nile was held by Normans who had sworn loyalty to the King of the French. In July of the year 1198, earl Hardegin, himself of Norman ancestry, turned the city of Cairo over to the authority of the French King, and thus allowed the Franks influence in eastern Egypt, which until now had been solely under English control.



    The Fifth Crusade
    On St Stephen’s day in the year 1198, a great gathering was held in Rome, and the Holy Father Alexander preached a sermon to the assembled princes of Christendom. A great many noblemen, Franks and Lombards and Teutons attended, and were exhorted by His Holiness to cease their internal strife, and instead make war against the heathen, who threatened the shores of Italy itself, by inhabiting the city of Carthage in Africa.


    The Mosulite War

    This event however, was barely heeded in the English Kingdoms, for in April of the next year, the wicked Emir of Mosul, so long an enemy of the English people, launched raids across into the estates on the English side of the Euphrates.



    The Emir no doubt thought the English weak, divided as they were, and sought to take advantage of that disunity. But in the act of war, the infidel unwittingly served to unite all the kings and earls together in defence of their lands. In Syria and Arabia, Kings Romanus and David immediately called to arms all the fyrds of their estates and those of their vassals. Tens of thousands of men gathered to repel the Mohammadeans.




    While the Emir’s hordes descended into the rich fields along the Euphrates in the Kingdom of Arabia, King Romanus and his subjects laid siege to the great fortresses on the borders of Syria. For decades past the infidels had strengthened and enlarged the mountain citadels which faced the English lands, and now it took a great struggle to starve the garrisons housed within. Throughout the month of May, Syrian armies encircled and blockaded the castles and cities of the Mosulites in the west.



    In the month of July Egfrith Duke of Damascus met the Emir of Azerbaijan (a wicked ally of the Evil Lord of Mosul) by the name of Fahd, beneath the walls of the city of Mosul and defeated him utterly. His men were unable to assist the Mosulites in their campaign against God.



    In the Month of August, many of the Emir’s castles in the west surrendered to King Romanus’ forces. With their allies routed and the Emir himself turned away from the banks of the Euphrates, the heathen castellans soon realised the futility of their resistance and gave over their strongholds to the English soldiers.



    And by the first week of October the city of Mosul itself was captured by the King’s men.



    In that same week, King Romanus fought a mighty battle against the Emir himself, in the lands of the Kurdish people to the north of the city. Ten thousand men fought one another on each side, and after three fierce days of fighting the heathens were broken and sent into retreat. In desperation the cowardly Emir now fled to the hills and mountains of Azerbaijan.



    While King Romanus was urged to pursue the enemy to the northern seas if need be, he was well aware that the foothills would provide shelter to the heathens, and allow them to harass the English men along their march. Having paused near the city of Nisibin to celebrate Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany, the King therefore resolved to make peace with the Emir, who was divested of all his holdings in and around the city of Mosul, but allowed to remain as lord of the northern mountains.

    A number of observers were surprised at the outcome of the war, both at King Romanus’ restraint, and at his success. While it is true that the King had lost, in the form of Duke Theodorus, his most competent military strategist, the King was ever a diligent scholar, and a student of the writings of the Romans and Greeks in warfare. Perhaps it was even a surprise to himself, but King Romanus, who had until now desired nothing more than to study theology in peace, found himself the conqueror of a great swathe of territory in the twelve hundredth year of Our Lord’s incarnation. The Kingdoms of the English had humbled yet another great enemy, and controlled all the lands south of the Taurus Mountains, and west of the River Euphrates.



    The Rebellion of Theodorus the Egyptian

    The triumph of English armies over the heathen marked a great departure from the dark days of the reign of King Theodorus, in which the Kingdom had been weak and the object of pity more often than jealousy. The year 1200 also saw the final remainder of King Theodorus’ legacy destroyed. Some twenty-four years earlier the late King had overseen the baptism of the eldest son of the heathen King of the Egyptians, and granted him lands around the city of Pelusia. King Theodrous’ hopes had been to see a reconciliation between the English and Egyptians, but this was not to be.

    Though the young Egyptian, who had taken the King’s name upon his baptism, indeed strived to be a pious Christian, his conversion had alienated him from his father and all his heathen family. In addition, the English and Greek earls of Jerusalem and the other Kingdoms looked down upon the Egyptian earl as inferior, a situation which was only exacerbated upon the death of the infirm King. With friends neither among his fellow earls nor his own family, the earl’s prospects for the future were few, and it was thus inevitable that he would resort to armed rebellion, which he did in the midst of the Mosulite War.



    Needless to say, the earl was unsuccessful, and when he was captured by the Earl of Manipura, despite his protestations of faith, he was sentenced to be burnt alive as an infidel and a conspirator with the Emir of Mosul. Through an unknown act of fate, however, the traitor escaped. He fled first to the court of his father, in Upper Egypt where he was welcomed with some reservations. But he was not to rest long. For the King of the Moors, ever greedy for more land, soon made war against the King of the Egyptians, and stole his throne from him in a matter of months.



    Once more blessed by the luck to escape, Theodorus the Exile fled next to the city of Jaffa, where he made his final bid for recognition. Working with malcontents within the court of Duke Ølver, particularly a group of the outlawed Knights of the Temple, he conspired to seize control of the Duchy.





    However, the Duke was able to act quickly against the conspirators, and once more expelled the Templar Knights from his realm. Thus Ølver, the son of Duke Morcar the treacherous regent defeated once and for all the ambitions of Theodorus, the godson of the late and much-maligned King, and with him, the King's ambitions for reconciliation with the heathens.

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