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Thread: The Silver State - A Tylis AAR {Epigoni}

  1. #1

    The Silver State - A Tylis AAR {Epigoni}



    Chapter I
    Of Salves and Salvation



    The 11th hour of night,
    8th October, 473 - AVC

    After the Weekly Tribal Convene


    The sun had long since left the coast of the Black Sea dark, and few people remained awake at this time in the small city of Tyle. A lone and weary figure trudged through an empty city street, though a regal air surrounded him. To any from outside this tribe, they would see him as merely another citizen of the fragile state, but any from within would be able to recognize the powerful stride and handsome features of their current Chieftain, Cerethrius Sinatid. He was getting on in his years. At the age of thirty three, he was by no means an old man, but he was regularly reminded of his own mortality, the aches that started to bear upon his body and the doubts that tugged at the edge of his mind. The men who did not come back from the raids. The dangerous barbarians from the surrounding lands.


    Cerethrius Sinatid


    He had never been a brilliant man, but had always been a good leader. He did everything in his power to better the lot of his people. Leading the tribal city-state of Tyle had its ups and downs, especially in the Tribal Court. They had adopted much of their construction works and architecture from the Greeks, but with a unique Celtic twist that left the city with a strange and almost alien look to outsiders.

    Cerethrius came to the end of the street, reaching his private quarters; not extravagant but clearly of better make than the homes around it. It was a warm and comfortable home, and he hoped one day to fill it with a wife and children. In the meanwhile, managing the tribe had taken all his time and energy. But for now, the home lay empty, even of bodyguards; Cerethrius insisted he could defend himself adequately.

    He longed only to rest after yet another unproductive evening arguing with the other Clan Chiefs. The history of Tylis was steeped in blood. The incursions of Greek & Roman settlers into Celtic lands in Aquitania, Iberia and the northern reaches of Italy had prompted vengeance amongst the various tribes of the Gauls, and so a great march had been called; the divided greek city-states had seemed like easy game; to march upon Macedonia and Epirus, remnants of a mighty empire, and then all of Greece. Gold, fertile lands and the knowledge their kin in Gaul would be safe from further invasion.

    It was the greatest plunder the Celts could consider.

    But it was not meant to be. Some of their brothers had turned into Asia Minor to the east, Galatia, their fates now unknown. And though the Celts fought long and hard, Macedonia and her allies pushed them back, shattering their forces.


    The Dying Gaul


    They could not return home; once a horde has been mobilized it is difficult to convince them to turn back. So Cerethrius had assumed control and this new tribe, Tylis, settled on the Crimean coast. It was an uneasy existence. The Celts were a long way from home, and the smaller tribes they had absorbed were not eager to take druidism or the celtic culture to heart. Six regiments of a thousand soldiers each was all they had, a small trickle of loyal citizens and the rare converted tribal would join the army when losses were sustained, but Cerethrius knew damn well that if the army suffered any severe casualties, they were doomed.

    A Convene had been called, and the six tribes of Tylis had bickered long into the night. Cerethrius winced as he thought to that pack of imbeciles and half-wits who would gladly throw what shreds of a nation they possessed to the winds if it meant a few minutes of power. He had asked for a week to secure a plan, and to wait for the men to return from their latest raid, before they made a final decision.

    It was looking like they'd migrate west, for friendlier climates...Cerethrius knew it would be the death of them. And the army largely supported him alone. But the tribe would buckle and tear itself to pieces if he did not offer some kind of solution to their dwindling numbers. They could not even support the military without constant raiding to keep them from starving or possibly deserting; the Chieftain personally paid for the wages of each as best he could, but he knew it was a stalling tactic. And upon his death, it was likely the tribe would die, too, with control passed on to the unworthy Ptolemy Nios, leader of the Agothoclid. The smallest, and yet arguably most influential of the tribes that dwelled within Tylis. They had claims to Alexander's empire, however remote, and they sought to somehow foster a return to glory.

    Nios.

    That was no legacy.

    He entered his home, removing his thick cloak, moving towards the fireplace wherein a dim flame struggled to breathe. The Chief stoked the fires, hoping to revive the inferno much in the same way he hoped to somehow allow this broken nation to rise from the ashes. His musings were interrupted by a cold voice a short distance behind him; "Chieftain."

    In one motion Cerethrius drew his blade and swung to strike at this intruder, but the hooded individual was quicker. The Chief felt a cold fire leap through his arm as his blade clattered uselessly to the ground, dimly aware of his new bleeding wound. A strike to his gut from a clenched fist winded him, and he felt his knees buckle before striking the floor. The cold sliver of a blade was against his throat, a thin sheen of red coating it. His attempt at yelling for aid was quickly muffled by a powerful yet delicate hand clamping over his mouth.

    "Chieftain Sinatid, I would like to have a peaceful discussion with you." murmured the would-be assassin, her voice seeming amused and predatory. "But I wanted to prove a point to you before we had that discussion: I am capable of killing you when I want, at any time. And so I need you to listen to me, carefully. But know I am a friend...and I'll bandage that cut while we speak."

    The blade vanished from his throat, and he was free, his assailaint standing before him. He looked up into the eyes of the girl that nearly killed him; she was young, and looked as if she had not seen twenty winters yet. A glimpse of pure white hair could be seen beneath the grey and dirtied cloak she wore tightly wrappped about her. She was brilliantly pale. By all means she seemed beautiful, if underfed, but any charm or attractiveness she held was dispelled immediately by her eyes. No iris, no pupil, just pure white orbs staring from beyond malnourished sockets.


    Pure White Orbs

    She offered a hand to Cerethrius, and he couldn't help but let out an exasperated laugh as she pulled him to his feet with a steady grip, and he spoke to her for the first time, a voice the consistency of dark stone and power.
    "Forgive me, but I think you're going to have to answer a few of my questions before I answer any of yours."

    -----


    The two strangers sat by the fireplace, the fire within burned brightly now, though without fuel it would soon die again. Cerethrius drunk heavily from a tankard full of a substance capable of getting one drunk off the fumes alone in an attempt to drown his nerves. This young witch was a pretty thing, but when he looked at her he felt his courage melt back to that of a boy. In absence of his regular courage, he supposed the liquid form would do.

    The girl carefully worked with the cut on his forearm she herself had placed, spreading a bitter smelling salve onto the wound. It numbed the pain as the drink numbed his fear. Cerethrius placed the tankard down on the fine wooden table that served often as a place for discussion between him and his men, and more often than not, an operating table for those wounded on hunts or in sparring matches.

    "So..." Cerethrius spoke slowly, breaking the silence. His voice betrayed him not, showing only a bemused and powerful warrior versed in diplomacy.
    "...your name" he continued "was...well, what is your name? You know mine, but you've yet to tell me yours."
    "Zinnerva. Call me Zinn." she spoke in staccato, clear and crisp.
    "Seems to be a fitting name" Cerethrius attempted to lighten the mood somewhat "I have seen lambs with darker fleece than your skin."
    Her eyes shot up at him with their blank knowing, and the Chieftain saw more wolf than lamb.
    "Names tend to be fitting. That is their intention, yes?"
    A slight pause.
    "And you claim to be an Oracle." he drawled, hoping to draw some more useful conversation from her before the night was done.
    "There are no claims to be made. I am a Druid of Andarta."
    The Chieftain blinked.
    "I know Andarta, I know her well. She is the center of much worship amongst our people, and we pray to her daily. Claiming to be her mouthpiece would be an act of heresy amongst the Druids-"
    "Then it is a good thing it is no idle claim. My Mistress knows more if you wish to speak to her directly."
    "Andarta?"
    "No, Matugena. She is the Head Oracle amongst the Sisters of Arcene. We are the Silver Hand, and your key to salvation."

    Cerethrius smiled, hoping not to offend his 'guest'.
    "I'm afraid I, and my people, don't need salvation. What we need is a miracle."
    "Andarta provides, my Chief."



    Andarta


    Silence set in once more, and Zinn had finished tending to Cerethrius' arm. He held it up to the light, admiring her work.
    "So, are you always as good at fixing the wounds you cause, Zinn?"
    "I tend to avoid wounding friends and allies. This was an exception."
    the corner of her mouth twitched, a hint of a smile.
    "Assuming that we are either friends or allies, I'm not sure exactly what I'd get out of this relationship."
    "You must not flee, Cerethrius. You must make the others see reason."
    "And how would we do that?"
    "Tomorrow your Oracle will declare a mission, handed down by the gods themselves. He will order you to to attack the Milesian Colonies to secure the province of Tomis. Your people will grow restless, but you will have holy claims to the land. Odrysae's child king will refuse to pay any more tribute, and your men will clamour for retribution, but you will not strike. Your "oracle", Comyn, will not support any endeavour to attack them. And you know you cannot risk spreading to a land with no promise of manpower to bolster your dwindling army. In addition, you have not the forces to deal with the inevitable rebellions."


    Cerethrius laughed his laugh of gravel.
    "And how do you know any of this?"
    "I am an Oracle. A true Oracle, not a fool that guts rabbits to glean false prophesy."
    "Alright. Assuming any of this comes true...what does it mean? For me or my people?"
    "It means you must listen to my advice."
    "And that is?"
    "Do not flee. Grow. The key to your survival lies in taking Ardiaei. Their relatively developed capital of Scodra, and when they soon colonize it, the province of Moesi. From there you can Celticize the surrounding tribes...and maybe survive. I must leave now."

    The girl rose swiftly and moved to the door to leave, Cerethrius jumped to his feet.
    "Wait. Why are you doing any of this? Why exactly are you and your 'Sisterhood' trying to help me? Or my people?"
    She paused, but gave no response. Cerethrius continued.
    "And how can you possibly expect me to follow this advice without some kind of proof?"
    "I don't. But you'll have no choice soon. Nios will give you an ultimatum...and you know you'd sooner die than let him seize power."


    Cerethrius' eyes narrowed at the mention of Nios' name, and Zinn briskly exited the door. Though Cerethrius followed her outside just as quick, she was nowhere to be seen, gone with the biting wind. He could have almost imagined the entire encounter, but a gentle throbbing in his forearm let him know otherwise. He turned to his fireplace, the flames dying once more, and decided that he would have to accept the soldiers' insistence of bodyguards after all.

    The coming days would be rough, he could taste it.
    Last edited by Little Darkling; 21-08-2010 at 17:15.

  2. #2
    [[So, here's my first real shot at an AAR. I've played through the first 26 years of my game already, so I already know how a lot of this pans out. I'm taking a rather narrative approach here, inspired by a lot of great work, in particular crusaderknight's tale of the lost Jewish tribes. Coincidentally, I chose to do my AAR on a nation that starts upon the Crimean as well. I'm using Epigoni, so a lot of purely fantastic things occur within the game. I'm trying to make this a rather character-driven story (you'll get a good look at other important characters within Tylis, in particular Ptolemy Nios of the Agothoclid dynasty, and his son when he is born.) I've tried to be historically accurate for the most part, but there's going to be some pretty liberal applications of fantasy within this tale. Actual gameplay will start to be shown come Chapter II, which should be up later tonight. The First 26 Years of Tylis aren't about epic and impressive wars, but purely about survival in hostile land. However, I've played a little bit ahead and if anyone enjoys this and decides to stick around, there's looking to be some mighty interesting wars brewing in the future. =D

    I'm aware Rome's AAR section isn't a blitz of activity these days. I mean, there's other AARs running of course, but I'm hoping to add to that a bit. Rome's by far my favourite Paradox game yet, and Tylis is my favourite nation. Plus, playing as a Tribe? I like a challenge.]]

  3. #3
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darkling View Post
    I'm using Epigoni, so a lot of purely fantastic things occur within the game. I'm trying to make this a rather character-driven story (you'll get a good look at other important characters within Tylis, in particular Ptolemy Nios of the Agothoclid dynasty, and his son when he is born.)
    Thanks for using my mod. You might have noticed I have taken particular interest in the characters from the great Diadochi families in the mod and tried to "highlight" them above other characters as source of focus for gameplay.

    Ptolemy Nios is a particularly interesting character, the son of Lysimachus and Arinsoe. It is possible that he is the Ptolemy that briefly re-took the Macedonian throne before joining his mother in Alexandria. It is also possible that he then resurfaced as Ptolemy of Telmessos and ruled jointly with Ptolemy II.

    I will be interested to see where this goes. If you need any custom "decisions" let me know.

  5. #5


    Chapter II
    Tongues of Gods



    The 11th hour of morn
    3rd November, 473 - AVC
    The Feast of Anextiomarus


    The festivities were loud and grand. The people of Tylis, and the surrounding countryside of Crobobizi, were carefree and engaged in raucous laughter. They all celebrated outside, under the watchful eye of the sun above. The feast had been delayed until the return of the army, an act for which Cerethrius was grateful. He had allowed the memory of Zinn to fade from his mind, though her biting words and biting blade were an unhappy reminder. All were happy and proud of their little nation, save perhaps those that presided over it. The Clan Chiefs were all seated upon the Grand Table, Cerethrius Sinatid at their head and the other four Chieftains situated at his side. Correid, Divicid, Duratid...and Agothoclid. There were also a few other various honoured ones taking seat, slightly below the Chiefs.

    The festival was for the returning army, five thousand men [the last thousand being the home garrison] had come home from their raiding of less-cohesive barbarian tribes in the surrounding countryside. Their armies varied in number, but were often defeated by the might of Tylis and her Commander, Adaeus Tirid. Adaeus was an incredibly skilled tactician, and perhaps the most skilled warrior they had available. Though uncharismatic, his capabilities as a leader allowed his men to time and time again defeat forces of equal and greater number, and preserve lives against smaller enemies of the state. He was not a public speaker by any means, and was a good friend to Cerethrius, and so the Chieftain could rest easily knowing that the army was in the hand of a capable, apt, and most importantly, loyal man.

    Adaeus finally took his seat, taking his place at the Grand Table instead of his usual spot with his men. Cerethrius nodded to him and smiled, and the Commander returned the gesture. Anextiomarus, to these people of the druids, is a god of the Sun & Protection. As the warriors would protect the people with sword, shield and spear, so too would Anextiomarus protect them with faith and divinity. The feast was held in honour of their victories, and their constant blessings by the gods above. Ptolemy Nios, sitting at the side of Cerethrius as rightful heir to the state, began to speak.
    "Well, my Chieftain, I believe the time you requested is now done. The men are back, and we must turn to taking care of our country as a whole. As you know, the other Chiefs..." Nios spoke like a snake, and was about as charming as one as well. Barely twenty, he was younger, and was eager for Cerethrius to jump into the grave for his own chances at power. Cerethrius slowly turned his head to face him, able to restrain himself from scowling, instead giving a look of neutrality...though perhaps he looked a tad too annoyed for his own good.


    Ptolemy Nios


    "Nios" he spoke low, but his voice carried very clearly to Ptolemy's ears "this is a holy festival. I'll not have you spoil it with matters of state."
    Ptolemy smiled and half-bowed in his chair, a combination of sincerity and sarcasm that rankled within Cerethrius' brain.
    "Of course, my Chieftain."

    A single booming strike resounded from a grand drum. It was time for the festival's regular sacrifice. Two lines of druids marched slowly, stooped and bowed, through the people milling tightly around the various tables and rings of men and women seated on the grass. There was no need to signal for silence, merely seeing this careful parade of hooded cloaks was enough to steal the voices of all present. The bodies melted before the progression, who had started to chant under their breaths in unified prayer. Leading them all was a man who's spine was so crooked, it was half-expected he would snap in two at any one moment, his face leathery and wrinkled after many years under the sun; Comyn.

    Two of the men behind him carried the ends of a stick, from which hung a large grey hare, tied by its paws, eyes darting around in a panicked frenzy. The leader of the band of druids had a voice that shattered the notions of this man as frail of spirit and mind, even if he was frail of body.
    "We are gathered here under the holy and burning blessings of Anextiomarus, who shields us in faith and bathes us in his generous glow..."

    The sermon as it was continued for quite some time. It was one that had been heard many times before, but every single member of the tribe watched and listened intently. The druids were higher than even the Chieftain. The hooded ones made their way through the congregation of celebrants, and eventually, reached the stone altar raised high, higher than the Grand Table. The hare was left tied upon the stone altar, and a ceremonial dagger passed to the shaking hands of Comyn. He shouted a prayer in a near-rage and plunged the dagger into the gut of the hare, to glean what he could from the organs within.

    Cerethrius was underwhelmed, never being a truly pious man, but he kept his dark eyes fixated on the druids regardless. Comyn's voice boomed once again, his admonition prepared, his entire body shuddering with the gravity of his own words.
    "It is done! Anextiomarus sees us, and is happy to see us flourish, and yet not pleased! He demands we go to war. The Milesian Colonies have long been our neighbours, mocking us with their technology! They are a vestige of our hated enemies, the Greeks! Their army is small! Two thousand men! Our six thousand shall crush them, led by the mighty Adaeus! Their province of Tomis shall become a part of our patrimony. We have rightful claims as handed by our very gods. It shall begin in the next year...and our Great Chieftain shall see us to our victory..."

    Comyn collapsed, a regular show of his theatrics, into the waiting arms of a druid who had already prepared to catch him, so often had this been done. At this, the feast was over, and the true celebration would begin. Cerethrius leapt to his feet, calling out to follow Comyn's words:
    "Tylis shall grow, as ordained by the gods!"

    A furor of great cheers erupted from the waiting crowd, washing over Cerethrius like a crashing wave. He smiled, but inwardly, he was gripped
    by a tight fear. Zinn had spoken truly. He merely hoped the war would not be the death of them. He turned to speak briefly to Ptolemy, still smiling.
    "Well, Nios, looks like we won't be fleeing west after all. Lest you anger the gods."
    Cerethrius turned and descended from the elevated Grand Table, to join his people, and to begin to prepare for this little war, the eyes of a snake burning into his departing skull.

    ~~~~~~

    The 5th hour of night
    20th December, 473 AVC
    The War Council


    The war council was a rather small event. The Chieftain, Commander Adaeus Tirid and his brother Sadalas, the Tylisian Envoy. In addition, their cartographer, Silas was there, unfurling a battered and worn map that covered the immediate region. Their eyes wandered across the scrap of paper. The battle would be straight forward, but preserving lives was of utmost importance. They could not afford to lose more than 500 men. It would take years to recuperate.



    "We see here that Gatae is actually receiving tribute from the Milesian Colonies" Sadalas spoke carefully and concisely, eager to impress both his brother and the Chieftain. "And we receive tribute from Gatae. Puts us all at odds, somewhat, but I believe we can strong-arm the Gatae, with their thousand strong army, to join us in an alliance. That will effectively remove them from all hostilities and we can focus on our true enemy. The Colonies."

    Cerethrius nodded.
    "Sadalas, I ask you to personally deliver the message of alliance to the Gatae, post-haste. Leaving first thing in the morning. Allow High Priest Kotys of Gatae to know he has very little option in the matter, and we will be incredibly irritated if he does not accept. Let them know we will be furious if we hear of them attempting to help the Milesian Colonies. Then, you will leave immediately for the Colonies. Allow their Archon, Ehnon Peithid, know that we come to remove their presence from the land. You are the writer, however, not me, Sadalas. Make it sound good and I'll reward you well. Give them ample opportunity to surrender. Cite their oppression of the barbarian tribes in their land as a reason for war. I'll be mobilizing the armies to arrive shortly after you do. And make sure you beat any Gatae that attempt to warn them."


    High Priest Kotys & Archon Ehnos Peithid

    Sadalas nodded, moving to leave the tent. "I'll prepare my things at once, Chieftain!"
    Adaeus smiled at his brother, who returned the gesture and departed. Adaeus then turned to speak jovially to the Cartographer.
    "Silas, I think you're going to have to draw a new map very, very soon..."

    The Cartographer grinned.

    Cerethrius remained in his troubled state of silence, poring over the map and the statistics. The enemy's commander was decent...enough to potentially inflict deadly casualties. And every time he slept, he could see those empty eyes. An envoy had arrived last night to inform him that Odrysae's child king, Raisdos Astae, had refused to any longer pay tribute to the state of Tylis. The druids had indeed refused any divine mission of striking at them, and the people were furious that they were being insulted in such a way. They had claim for war, but not for ownership of the province, and the potential casualties and rebellions were too great to bear.

    These events, and a gentle throbbing in his forearm reminded him that Zinn, and more importantly, her words, were all very real.
    Last edited by Little Darkling; 23-08-2010 at 11:53.

  6. #6
    [[I updated much later than I'd intended to. I had the second piece prepared and written, but I had some real connection troubles with the forums last two days, and my acting classes beat me over the head, so I wasn't able to stay up late to follow up. Still!

    Thanks for the comment Qorten, I appreciate it a lot. I'm just hoping I'm writing something worth reading!

    And thank you, Hardradi! Your mod makes everything seem much more vibrant and alive, and gives me great opportunity for story advancement as well as the advancement of the nation! I'm very appreciative of the offer for any decisions. I have one in mind, perhaps, but it's a long-term idea if anything.

    I was actually rather confused at first when I'd seen Ptolemy Nios as the Clan Chief of the Agothoclid and heir to Tylis. Story-wise I've got an explanation for how he's come to rest amongst the Tylisian tribe in such a position of power, which is historically inaccurate if anything! But I think it makes for an interesting story, so!

    Thanks again! Next update forthcoming at some ridiculous hour tonight.]]
    Last edited by Little Darkling; 23-08-2010 at 08:10.

  7. #7
    [[Had more free time than expected!]]



    Chapter III
    Bitter Taste


    The ninth hour of morn,
    3rd January, 474 - AVC



    Sadalas, brother of Adaeus


    Sadalas rode in through the gates of Tomis, an air of calm about him, despite the eyes of Greek citizens watching him closely. His audience with High Priest Kotys has been brief, but valuable. The alliance had been secured with great ease, and so Gatae could be counted out of intervening in any war. Not that it would do any good. The army of Tylis would continue to outnumber Gatae and the Colonies together, even with three thousand men to their name. But it was all about preservation and survival. Not pride or egotism. Seeing lives thrown away for no good reason, on either side, was not something Cerethrius wanted, and so Sadalas, being the good diplomat he was, prepared to deliver the declaration of war to Archon Ehnon. The city guards had permitted his entry, and his eyes passed curiously over the buildings that surrounded him as he rode down the streets, his escorts leading him carefully to the Archon's quarters. The structures were utilitarian and perferred function to form, as Tylis did, but still with the occasional flourish of regality & Greek architecture. It would serve well as a new home for their people. The barbarian citizens in the countryside would see the light of their new saviours and welcome them with open arms! Tribes would unite and be absorbed, in pursuit of a new age of Tylis. Up ahead lay what could only be described as a manor. It was changed hands between the Archon at the end of each term, but the thing was extravagant. Sadalas grimaced to think at how much money had been poured into its construction over that of the homes of free men. The place was surrounded with high walls, and the diplomat wondered how problematic riots and rebellions were. The escorts signalled to the guards who opened the hulking iron gate, and Sadalas dismounted the horse, allowing the men to tend to it. The two escorts opened the door to the manor and ushered him inside. Lining the hall within were monuments to the Greek gods, and Sadalas cursed them silently.

    Archon Ehnon Peithid strode through the entrance hall of the manor, greeting Sadalas with a smile that did not touch upon his eyes.
    "Welcome, Ambassador Sadalas, to the Milesian Colonies and her city of Tomis." Ehnon spoke flatly, doing little to hide his contempt, emphasising the word Ambassador entirely too much.

    Sadalas bowed with a flourish and spoke in his lightly accented greek, being amongst the few of Tylis who had carefully studied it for the sake of diplomacy and war.
    "Thank you, Archon Peithid."

    Ehnon snorted, irritated at the concept of a civilized barbarian attempting to ply diplomacy with him.
    "What can I do for you, Am-...Ambassador?"

    Sadalas smiled, relishing what he was to say next.
    "Archon Ehnon Peithid, it is with a heavy heart I deliver a message from the very mouth of my liege & Chieftain, Cerethrius Sinatid. For too long you have plagued the Crimean coast with your merciless attitude to the local tribes, attempting to exterminate and drive them out for being 'lesser'. We have been handed a message of divinity from our gods of Andarta and Anextiomarus. Your reign must fall and your city and lands turned to us. We are willing to accept a peaceful surrender, as you have no chance to-"

    The Archon was enraged, cutting off Sadalas with an impotent yet vicious rant
    "You little worm! You dare come here and insult me? We'll SEE if your pitiful excuse for an army is capable of standing against my phalanx! You walking on the stones of my home is heresy in itself!"

    Sadalas' smile had vanished, and he bowed again.
    "My apologies if this has offended you, Archon. I was also to inform you that Gatae has promised no intervention in this conflict, you stand alone and unable to win. Shall I relay this response to my Chieftain?"

    The Archon yelled something unintelligible, and Sadalas felt a coldness spreading through his spine, a spear planted in his back. Blood and spittle lined his lips as he sunk to the floor, staining the tiles he had so dishonoured with his diminishing life. He was struck a second time, and darkness washed over him.

    "Mobilize the stratos."

    ~~~~~


    five days later




    Adaeus howled in agony when his brother's horse was seen, his body lifeless and strapped to the saddle.

    "NO" was the message he brought, carved into his chest.

    The men grit their teeth and gripped their spears.

    Adaeus shouted an order, a week premature.

    The march began.

    ~~~~~

    three days later


    Zenodoros Alcetid, Strategos


    Zenodoros Alcetid lay quietly in his tent. The murmurs of soldiers moving about outside, the sounds of swords rattling gently in their sheathes, the stomp of boots and nervous laughs. The camp was sleeping, mostly. The thousand of them were travelling for the border, and in the city behind them, the second stratos of another thousand men was quickly being recruited from levies amongst the citizens to reinforce them in their war against Tylis. The phalanx would hold the barbarian tide off, and mercenaries would be hired to allow them to push back and slaughter the barbarians to the last man. Or so they hoped. As the general of the Milesian Colonies, Zenodoros had decided to get an early night's rest. After all, he was expected to lead them into battle the next week, and tomorrow he was going to plan long and hard about what to do next. All he wanted was a good night's sleep, but sleep eluded him. He resolved to manage his guards better, at least, if he wasn't killed in the next few moments. A dagger against his throat and a delicate hand clamped firmly upon his mouth seemed as though that might be the case, however, and his eyes were fixated on the face that hovered over him, and the hollow eyes that stared into his.

    "Flee. That is all I will say." she spoke in a harsh whisper, and in perfect Greek. "Flee to Gatae, and a reward greater than you could imagine will be waiting for you when Tylis takes your city. Fifty pounds of gold, and a permanent place as a mercenary for you and your men. In the stead of total destruction, you will take this. You know you will take this, or you will die." He nodded furiously, and in his mind he knew he was telling no lie. He would take this deal. He did not wish to stand against a barbarian army. She struck him hard with the base of the knife's hilt, and his vision left him as she left his tent and vanished into the night. Meanwhile, Zenodoros slipped into unconsciousness.

    It seemed he would be getting a good night's sleep after all.

    ~~~~~

    three days later


    The Captain led the thousand levyman in a loose formation, trudging through the hillsides of Tomis. They were just a few minutes out from the camp now, ready to reinforce Zenodoros' stratos. There they would stand against Tylis, who's armies were expected to arrive in a few days. The thousand marched slowly up the hillside, wearily awaiting the rest they deserved in high spirits for the coming battle. They had been told the barbarians, whilst many, would be completely unprepared and led by fools who had never seen the true might of a phalanx! The Captain crested the hill, smiling as he saw the edges of a camp - the banner of Tylis flying overhead. He started, and from behind a formation of rocks to their left came a hail of javelins, skewering their ranks. From the right a sudden thunder of hooves emerged from behind thick foliage and bushes, and from the base of the hill they were to descend came the march of four thousand spears & swords.



    The phalanx had no time to form, and Adaeus' battle cry was the last that many heard.

    The siege then began



    and was soon won.

    Tomis was added to the patrimony of Tylis.

    The Clan Chiefs and the people celebrated, the druids exulting in their grand victory.

    The execution block was wet with blood, as was the blade of Adaeus, honorary executioner of this event. The head of Ehnon Peithid, face frozen in terror, lay two feet from his body.

    Cerethrius mulled over a flagon of mead.

    ~~~~~

    one week later


    Zenodoros Alcetid strode into the manor of Tomis, which was now the place of congregation for the Clan Chiefs & Chieftain of Tylis. A marble table replaced their old one, the statues of Greek gods broken down from their pedestals to be sold to Greek traders. In time they'd replace them with more suitable monuments. The guards led Zenodoros into the meeting chamber, smiling brilliantly. The Chiefs looked up from their planning and strategy, confusion clouding their eyes. Zenodoros wore a tabard of the Milesian Colonies, with a great strike painted across it in ochre. The citizens had glared at him as he walked the streets, knowing he was a traitor. And one that had come to collect his reward, no doubt. But before the Clan Chiefs, he was alien and unusual.

    "Friends!" he spoke loudly and with an air of camraderie "I have come to collect my dues and take my place as Mercenary Captain of Tylis!"

    There was dead silence amongst them, and Cerethrius slowly rose from his seat, gesturing Ptolemy Nios to do the same.

    "I am Cerethrius Sinatid. You are?" Cerethrius spoke in his gravelly native tongue, whilst Nios translated to Greek for the 'guest'.

    Zenodoros looked confused.
    "I am Zenodoros Alcetid. You offered me fifty pounds of gold if I was to lead my Stratos away from Tomis until the war had concluded. And a position as mercenary captain."

    "I did no such thing." came the response.

    Zenodoros looked panicked, much like the hare the Druids had killed.

    "If you deserted your people," Cerethrius/Ptolemy continued, "then that is something we appreciate. But we do not award cowards when they have not been recruited by us."

    Cerethrius motioned to his bodyguards, who grabbed Zenodoros and began to lead him outside. He continued to yell in Greek, as he was dragged from the room. Cerethrius motioned for them to stop.

    "What is he saying, Nios?" the Chieftain asked.
    "I'm not sure, Chieftain" there was no sarcasm or disrespect in Ptolemy's voice. "it's just some nonsense about a girl with empty eyes."

    Cerethrius felt his skin crawl.
    "...what else?" Cerethrius asked.
    "He claims she was sent by you to broker that deal."

    ~~~~~


    minutes later


    Zenodoros trudged wearily through the street, clutching two pieces of parchment and a small bag of coins. Five pieces of gold for his service, and documents, scribed in Tylisian & in Greek to permit the safe passage of his men from Tylisian lands to a place of their choosing. Zenodoros didn't understand it at all. His men would tear him apart without the promised gold and mercenary work. They had abandoned their very homeland and allowed barbarians to subjugate their people for the sake of gold that was never given to them. He wished to weep, but his thoughts were interrupted by a cloaked and hooded figure approaching him swiftly.

    He saw empty eyes, a smile, and a gleaming dagger.

    And then nothing.

    Adrianos, the new Stategos of the Deserter Stratos received three pieces of parchment that night, one in different handwriting to the others, and twenty coins. He took his men and left for Athens without protest.
    Last edited by Little Darkling; 23-08-2010 at 11:53.

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  8. #8
    [[Next update forthcoming within 24 hours. Yaaay! Acting is hard.]]

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  9. #9
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    Excellent writing, Little Darkling! Are we going to see the Deserter Stratos later or do you intend to keep following Tylis only?


    When I use this color I am speaking as a Moderator.

  10. #10
    [[I'd originally intended on working them back in somehow, but I'm weighing up whether it'd be better in a narrative sense to let them go on their way!

    It's easier to follow just one nation, I believe. I've been plotting out a draft and overall story arc, and played to about a century ahead so I have a good bearing on where things are going and why. Things quickly get out of hand, and it's really hard when you start getting the nation growing large enough that it's near-impossible to keep track of every person in it. Especially when my rulers are such mean-spirited people that they father three illegitimate children for every legitimate one, and name half of them after themselves.

    Still, really enjoying my game as Tylis, and also really enjoying writing this AAR! Working on completing my goals. I haven't really outlined what those are, so...I guess I better outline them now!

    1.] Secure presence in the Balkans.
    2.] Become a power capable of defeating any nation that dares to tamper with Druidic/Celtic presence in Gaul & Iberia.
    3.] A crippling of the Roman Empire.
    4.] Maintaining independance of allied Celtic & Druidic states [from the British Isles, to Gaul, to Iberia].
    5.] A destruction & subjugation of the Greek City States.
    6.] End Game: Defeat, or push back, the Seleucid Empire.

    Note, I don't consider defeating to be 'completely destroying'. Being able to bite off a chunk of their territory, reducing their capacity to expand and be capable of defeating them and any invasion attempts is the victory I'd be looking for. But yeah...darn Seleucids.

    Thanks for the kind words Qorten, I'm glad someone is reading this!

    Edit: I'll have the next update by tomorrow. My week is all coming home late and dying of fatigue. But I'll definitely get it out there.]]
    Last edited by Little Darkling; 26-08-2010 at 21:28.

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    Europa Universalis: Rome - A Tylisian AAR: Epigoni Style

  11. #11


    Chapter IV
    The Western Land



    The second hour of noon,
    19th May, 475 - AVC
    The Conclusion of the Battle of Crobobozi


    The last of the barbarians were being slain, unallowed any quarter. They had been led to a massacre by their incapable leader, Zosimid, who was now laid before Commander Adaeus, bloodied in the Earth, choking for air. Zosimid had considered himself a liberator, seeing opportunity in the tenuous grip that Tylis held over Tomis. But the barbarian was no warrior, nor a tactician. Adaeus felt no remorse or pity as he brought his sword overhead, carrying it down in an arc to the base of the so-called liberator's neck. Adaeus surveyed the battlefield bitterly, letting the blood run freely along his blade.



    The Tylisian warband had taken very few casualties: a good thing by all means. The people of Tylis were not Celts, and very few citizens practiced the way of Druidism. Hence, it was a difficult task indeed to 'convince' parents that their sons should serve in an army. It took a month to replace every five men that fell. And so Adaeus had to conserve his men at all costs. Just under a hundred of the six thousand Tylisians died killing four thousand barbarians, hunting them from Tomis to Crobobizi. Adaeus had been warned ahead of time by a curious missive about the barbarians, and their attempt to seize Tomis; he responded with a distinct lack of mercy.

    Adaeus had lost a brother in securing this land. Any man, woman or child who thought themselves worthy of taking it would need to taste steel.

    After their crippling defeat, the remaining barbarian peoples in the surrounding countryside decided to put down their arms. As Shamans, they saw rule by Druids preferable to rule by Greeks.



    Commander Adaeus mounted his horse and called for the triumphant return of the warband to Tylis.

    ~~~~~


    The 11th hour of morn,
    10th February, 476 AVC
    Cerethrius' Home


    Cerethrius sat alone in the villa of the deposed Archon of Tomis, a small map unfurled on the table before him, his scouts had confirmed his fear. The Crown of Ardiaei had colonized the province of Moesi, lands that lay to the west of Tylis, over the mountains of Suci. The Chieftain did not give a damn that they were expanding. No, they were merely more Hellenistic demons spreading their filth across the world. What the Chieftain cared about was that, once again, the girl with hollow eyes had made a prediction that ran true. He could not stomach it.

    Was she truly able to glimpse the future? Was she really a mouthpiece for Andarta, the goddess of war? Or was she simply a clever spy with a grave capacity for lies? Either way, the girl had given him advice, and that was to invade Ardiaei and seize their two provinces. Their Capital of Scodra was an ideally placed city. It was coastal, which gave good opportunities for trade, and additionally it was civilized enough to colonize the fertile lands around it...which in turn meant that the first true Celtic provinces of Tylis could lie to the west.

    They would be able to briskly expand with these new lands at his disposal.

    He had no divine mandate, not for the conquering of foreign nations. However, the Oracle Comyn had claimed that in order to survive, horses must be secured for "the good of the people".

    Filth.

    Comyn and his brood merely enjoyed their venerated positions, their practical deification, andd their extortionate demands for gold to help placate the populace. If he wanted horses, Scodra had them. He would likely be displeased at the course of action they were taking, and the civillians would also stir at the thought of another war so soon, but there was one thing Cerethrius knew. They needed lands. Lands of Druids. Lands of Celts. And Ardiaei was the place to get them. The scouts had been busy; the Crown's forces were only two thousand strong. The only problem would be entrapping them. Cerethrius rose from his seat, determined to change the face of the landscape for the better.

    There was no casus belli.

    But the coffers ran dry, and the army too large, yet fragile.

    They must once again go to war.

    ~~~~~


    The 3rd Hour of Noon,
    27th of June, 476 AVC
    The Warcamp in Moesi


    The army of Tylis had marched acros the mountainous & barbarous region of Suci and filed uniformly into the province of Moesi without any resistance. The city quickly surrendered to the force of six thousand men, and Tylis had a place to rest before plotting its next move, and a hasty war council was called in the warband's camp; spirits were high, however, and the soldiers talked loudly amongst themselves, eager to finish the war swiftly.

    There were few present in the Chieftain's tent; Adaeus Tirid as Commander was present again, Cerethrius himself, and a young newcomer to the world of military tactics, Rubobostes Adonid. In addition, a few captains and attendants from the various regiments were present.

    "The problem we have here" Rubobostes continued "is that the enemy is much smaller and yet far more mobile than us. They may only have a thousand men, but it's a unit of cavalry and a unit of horse archers. Their general is also very talented from what our spies have surmised, and is a
    match for anything I could throw at him. Numbers are what is on our side here."

    Adaeus spoke harshly "Rubobostes, I think it's simple what we must do. Take the whole army and march into Scodra. There's no chance for them to resist us, now, is there? We'll kill them where they stand."

    Rubobostes held his tongue for a few moments, seeing that Adaeus was not terribly welcoming of the newcomer. "Commander" he began, "if we take the entire military force to bear against them in Scodra, it's more than likely they'll be able to outmaneuver us and retreat back here, to Moesi. We don't want to waste precious lives hunting them across the countryside, attrition is a concern here."

    Cerethrius nodded, deciding to end the argument between the two before it began.

    "I want you two to divide your forces evenly between you. Three thousand to Adaeus and three thousand to Rubo. Adaeus, you march on Scodra with the cavalry, the javelineers & one unit of light infantry. Rubo, you'll take the remaining infantry forces and form a defensive line in Moesi to catch them on their return. If they flee to the barbarian lands in the northwest, we have no concerns."

    Adaeus nodded grimly, and Rubobostes agreed as they both left, the Captains and attendants trailing out behind.

    Cerethrius sighed.

    ~~~~~


    The Battle of Scodra, and Tatta's Gambit


    Tatta Artid watched carefully as the Tylisian forces advanced. He could feel his own mind grinding in anticipation of the coming battle, and his men grew restless. He gave the order to advance at a light canter, banking heavily on his plan to survive the coming storm. The Tylisians only had one cavalry unit, and the goal here was not to be victorious, but to survive and deal a grave hand of damage to the forces of Commander Adaeus. Adaeus gave the order to move the javelineers into position, and Tatta gave the order to charge.

    The cavalry thundered across the plane in a line formation, whilst Adaeus' unit responded with a cavalry charge of its own. Just as it seemed the two forces were to clash, Tatta's horsemen split and divided, parting like the red sea before the wedge; behind them, a hail of arrows rung out from Tatta's horse archers, striking Adaeus' wedge at the head in a wave of arrows. The sudden shock to the horsemen was followed by Tatta's heavy cavalry cutting at the exposed flanks of the now confused cavalry, reforming on the other side as the horse archers broke formation. It was effective, but costly.

    Adaeus was wounded and his unit gutted.

    Tatta blew his war horn, and the cavalry struck softly at the Tylisian light infantry, a collective feint before breaking into full gallop into the forests from where Adaeus' forces had come. They had done heavy damage to Adaeus' cavalry unit, the only thing capable of matching their speed; they bound with their weakened force for Moesi.

    A few days later, however, and Rubobostes realized what Tatta's gambit truly was; he intended on abandoning Ardiaei's land altogether to ride for Tylisian lands, and as the few reports of enemy cavalry filtered through his scouts, he knew suddenly that they were in danger; the Ardiaei could overwhelm Crobobozi & Tomis given enough time, and they would be difficult to follow. However, bizzarre reports reached the young commander's ears. Scouts assigned to follow Tatta's units as they attempted to discern their next course of action had returned with news that barbarians in mountainous Suci had arisen and ambushed the horsemen. They had been brutally defeated, and all passage east to Tylisian lands was blocked, forcing the few scattered survivors to flee north into the unknown.

    Apparently, some 'deity' of the barbarians had informed them of the Aridaei's attempts to invade their fellow barbarian's lands, and they had arisen to stop any incursion attempts. The concern was, briefly, that the barbarians would now turn on Tylisian lands with their force of six thousand, but fortune smiled upon them and they invaded the nation of Dardania to the south instead, overthrowing its government. Rubobostes wondered aloud at what had triggered this uprising and saved Tylis irreparable damage.

    Cerethrius muttered quietly, already knowing the answer.

    Ardiaei was broken, annexed, and the future of Tylis looked a little brighter for the dour Chieftain.
    Last edited by Little Darkling; 28-08-2010 at 16:29.

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  12. #12
    Rocker moth Wave's Avatar
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    Just.. WOW! You should start writing..anything instead of acting

    I hope that evil yellow blob will fall before silver state, or at least loses a chunk of it
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  13. #13
    Nice work LD, I agree that your writing is excellent.

    Interesting tactic to take over the Ardiaei. Now kill the boy king

  14. #14
    Lt. General Beleg32's Avatar
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    Wow, excellent read and very intresting as well, your writing is more than excellent, you should publish work on Rome, like a 1000 page essay, explaining why everybody needs to buy it
    'Darkest Hour', a 1914-1964 Grand Strategy Game

    32? Oh.... whyyy... 69 is much a nicer sounding number...

  15. #15
    Major Serek000's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Little Darkling, you're this week's winner of Best Character Writer of the Week!

  16. #16
    Enewald Enewald's Avatar
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    More please!

  17. #17
    Lt. General Beleg32's Avatar
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    More please!
    +2 Well done LD for winning the award !
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    32? Oh.... whyyy... 69 is much a nicer sounding number...

  18. #18
    Oh, wow! Thank you for all these kind words!

    I'm incredibly honoured at having won that award, really! Many thanks

    [[incoming bad news / rant?]]

    I've been very busy as of late, and I've been dealing with a number of computer troubles that have unfortunately killed my Tylisian savegames. I actually played very, very far ahead, however. Not to the end of the game, but all the way to the year 620. I didn't rescue the savegames, however, I have rescued all the screenshots & consequently my records [I tend to take screenshots of important statistics rather than write them down].

    So my question is posed at the people that read this AAR; The story of Tylis could either be continued and concluded sometime in the early 600's, though somewhat unsatisfactorily in my opinion [I lost everything just prior to what I'd consider something worthy of a climax]...

    Or

    I could reboot this AAR in Epigoni Rome, as the power I'd originally wanted to play with but couldn't, i.e. the Lysimachid Kingdom.

    In game terms, the character Ptolemy Nios ended up in Tyis, and in story's terms the point of this AAR was actually going to be the idea of re-establishing the Agathoclid Dynasty of Lysimachus, albeit a Celticized & Druidic One.

    The Lysimachid game would star Ptolemy Nios as the newly ascended leader of the broken remnants of a Diadochi Kingdom that once expanded from northern Greece to Asia Minor. In addition, the characters I was writing in for more of a story's basis [Zinnerva and the unintroduced Matugena] would be brought in as well.

    The new game would have a lot of new challenges, starting a few years before the usual hardcoded startdate of 474AVC, located in roughly the same area, [the Lysimachids start in Chalcidice, an area east of Macedonia, west of Byzantium, walled in by the Seleucid Empire]. It also has a lot more potential in terms of diplomacy & economics, as being Celtic & Druidic in the Balkans made it very, very hard to secure alliances & trade with neighbours, and made Greece all but impenetrable [Bithynia was allied with -everyone-, preventing me from lifting a finger against a combined force of the Seleucid Empire, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, and all of the Greek States].

    It'd be a much harder start, with the Seleucids influence being already established in Northern Greece [the Milesian Colonies are a Seleucid Colony as well], but taking advantage of the ability to release a few nations in the area with some alternate history explanations, I feel it could be an interesting story. The start would probably feel a little familiar, but with the way the game works, it'd progress in a much different direction from the very beginning.

    I don't want to turn it into a "Macedonia, but a different colour" sort of AAR.

    TL;DR
    Would you guys prefer the remainder of the fish-out-of-water story of Tylis in the Balkans, with a set end-date of sometime in the early 600s,
    Or a reboot of the story from the perspective of the Lysimachid Kingdoms, in an attempt to reclaim the glory & power of their lost lands & armies?

    [[I would also be making a large number of backups with frequency, with intent to ride the game out, win or lose, as far as I can take it]]
    Last edited by Little Darkling; 04-09-2010 at 18:21.

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  19. #19
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    Oct 2007
    Location
    Enewald
    Posts
    23,065
    Anything you enjoy writing and playing.
    You could update unto that year, then start starting your own fictional ending.

  20. #20
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
    63 games registered

    63

    200k clubCities in MotionCities in Motion 2Crusader Kings IIDungeonland
    Elven Legacy CollectionEuropa Universalis 3Europa Universalis: ChroniclesDivine WindFor The Glory
    GettysburgHearts of Iron IIIHearts of Iron III CollectionHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In Nomine
    King Arthur IILeviathan: WarshipsThe Kings CrusadeLost Empire - ImmortalsMagicka
    Majesty 2March of the EaglesEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionNaval War: Arctic CircleSengoku
    Ship Simulator ExtremesSword of the StarsSword of the Stars IISupreme Ruler 2020Victoria 2
    Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: WarbandWarlock: Master of the Arcane
    Mount & Blade: With Fire and SwordWar of the RosesPride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight
    EU Rome Collectors EditionKnights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderWarlock 2: The Exiled
    EUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of ParadiseEUIV: Res PublicaEUIV: Art of WarParadoxian Order - 2015

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lost in time and space
    Posts
    4,018
    You were already well underway with this Tylis AAR and I'd prefer if you continued this but you should do what you yourself want. You can always do the Lysimachid AAR after this one's done or alternate between updating two AARs, as you only have to play one game anymore now.


    When I use this color I am speaking as a Moderator.

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