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Thread: The Eternal Exile: A Nation Hopping AAR

  1. #101
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Boris: Could be! I never said this story would be a happy one....
    Dewirix: Indeed, but history has a way of making such things useless. If I actually tried, I reckon I could have tricked my way to a white peace, but I actually set out for this result. I could have kept the Ottomans from invading Greece at all by endlessly using one galley to block the straits. But that's...that's for a gameplay AAR. :P
    Range: Indeed...though the city is not lost yet!

    ---------

    ZOň II PART 3

    xxx

    19/9/1431

    The position was a good one. The Ottomans would have to cross an open plain and over clear ground before advancing up a steep slope to engage the Roman army. As the Turks had only been able to bring over twelve thousand troops – not many more than the Empire’s own army – Talena was hopeful of victory.
    She was dressed in brigandine armour which had been hastily adapted to fit her, and carried a long blade sheathed at her side. She looked quite martial, even down to the helmet she wore.
    From the hill overlooking the plain Talena could see the village of Farres in the distance. It was a small place, barely twenty buildings, but it was something to give the battlefield a name and a purpose.



    General Romanos appeared from his tent, dressed for battle. The man had been a cavalryman by trade, and preferred to lead from the front wherever he could. Now, as his honour guard closed around him they could look down on the Turkish host before them.
    The captains and nobles who led the army did not like Talena. They thought she was an unwelcome pest, bad luck, or simply an bad example. If she could fight as well as a man then what would stop other women demanding to fight? However, Romanos tolerated her so long as she stayed out of his way, and the other leaders had to be content with ignoring her.
    “The Turk is deployed before us on the plain. They cannot go to our left or right because of the hills. They must come to us and be beaten. Count Pilasi, are your soldiers prepared?” Romanos asked the Italian commander of his mercenary troops.
    “We are, General. I have your promise of reward should the battle be a victory?”
    “A silver piece for every Turk’s head brought to me when we are victorious,” Romanos promised.
    “What about the left? There’s a deep gully there which only has the light cavalry watching it?” Talena asked.
    They looked at her, all of them disapproving in various levels of intensity.
    Finally Romanos shook his head. “I have inspected that, and I can see no problem. We will fight, and be victorious,” he declared.
    Dejected and annoyed, Talena walked away. However, she had not gone far when the Neapolitan count caught up with her.
    “You act as though you have fought in wars before, Lady,” he said, half mocking.
    Talena was in no mood to argue with this arrogant fool, and so shrugged. She didn’t like to recount her past...the future...to anyone, even ZoŽ. “Just hope that a mere woman such as I am is wrong,” she said and walked off.

    Talena watched from the top of the hill as the battle begun. On the Imperial right were the mercenaries, in the centre the Greek infantry, and to the left, anchored on a strong hill spur, were the levies and militias. The heavy Greek cavalry formed a reserve in the centre, while the light horsemen were on the left behind the levies.
    She had acquired a horse, a not very good one either, she reckoned, and peered down into the dust. Things were going well – the Turks were advancing into the teeth of the attack, and suffering heavy losses from the archers and mercenary crossbows on the hills. The Ottoman horse archers had a shorter range then their opponents, and had no room to manoeuvre, and so suffered heavily.
    Suddenly there was a commotion, and a party of Turks charged at the Imperial levies, firing as they came. However the men stood their ground, confident that their hill would protect them. The cavalry, losing their momentum up the hill, were driven back.
    And there it should have ended for this phase of the battle. Unfortunately, the levy troops, all locals conscripted by the Empress, charged off in pursuit. Soon a third of the Imperial army was charging onto the plain in hot pursuit of the Turkish cavalry.
    Talena did not need to be an expert to know what would happen next. Strung out and disorganised, the levies pushed too far, coming under a ferocious volley of archery from three sides. Then, the Turkish cavalry lowered their spears and charged!
    There was no point trying to do anything. It was too late. The heavy cavalry fell upon the green troops and smashed them apart. In seconds the Imperial left flank was gone....




    The battle was far from over yet. Romanos acted coolly under pressure, reforming the reliable Greek infantry to a new angle to cover attacks and advancing his own cavalry. Leading the charge himself the Imperial forces drove off the Turkish horsemen and allowed the remains of the levies to reform.



    The swirling dust made it hard for Talena to follow what happened next, so she decided to get a better view. Trotting up onto a hill high above the plain, and near the Patras road, Talena could see the main Ottoman infantry force advancing. They were suffering heavily from archery, and the Turkish cavalry was similarly being driven back.
    When the Ottoman Azab infantry finally reached the hill a furious melee developed. Count Pilasi’s mercenaries moved in and attacked from the flank, and it seemed that the Turks must be defeated.
    And then a trumpet called.



    Talena turned; it had come from behind her, and to the left. There should be no one there at all. And then she saw them. Boiling out of the gully, the gully they had refused to properly guard, was a horde of Turkish cavalry. These were no mere archers, but Spahi, the best and most experienced of all the Sultan’s horsemen. From over the hill and down the hills poured Janissary infantry, the elites of the Ottoman army. A few of the Imperial irregular cavalry tried to face them, but a single charge dispersed them, and the Turks were on the Imperial flank.



    For a moment Talena could do nothing, but then she kicked her horse into motion and rode back towards the Imperial headquarters. Alone she could do nothing against three thousand Turks, but she could warn Romanos that he was flanked.
    As she pulled up, she saw Romanos issuing orders to his troops, urging them on.
    “General! Look out for your left! You are turned!” she managed.
    He looked at her, uncomprehendingly. But before he could speak there was a trumpet call, and the banners of the crescent moon appeared on the left, while on the plain, the Turks redoubled their efforts.
    “They’ll cut us off and surround us if we don’t do something!” Talena shouted above the noise. Oddly, she was calm. She’d never commanded more than a hundred soldiers at once, but she knew all about crises.
    Romanos nodded, slumping slightly. “Watch them. I will begin...to retreat.”

    The battle was lost. Despite inflicting more losses, the Turks had won, and the Empire’s last army was on the run....




    xxx

    The Imperial defeat at Farres was a grave blow. The Ottoman General Sokulla paid heavily for the victory, which almost had become a defeat when the flanking force was delayed by bad terrain. However, having driven the Romans from Achaea, they now pursued them into the southern Peloponnesus. Two weeks later at Argos the armies met again, but this time the Ottoman triumph was complete.
    Romanos’ troops were trying to reach better defensive positions, but the Ottoman cavalry and faster infantry caught up with them near Argos. Again the Imperials fought on the defensive, and again they were caught by a flank attack and defeated.
    This battle dispersed the Imperial army so a few days later the survivors were forced to capitulate. A few survivors escaped and made their way to the coast...and then to Constantinople.



    Soon all of Greece was under Ottoman Turk control, and the focus could change to Constantinople....






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  2. #102

  3. #103
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Indeed not. From his immense shock stat Romanos looks like a good general, but he's too short on troops to be able to hold back the Turks for too long.

    Again, a navy might have allowed the Empire to withdraw troops by sea. This is what you get for ignoring your sailors.

    Hope Talena can make it back safe from Greece to Constantinople.
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  4. #104
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Hopefully, she can return to Constantinople and then methinks it'd be time to move along
    I was Sir blsteen, Knight of the Eastern West... in :One Last HurRAAh: A Milanese Empire Interactive AAR:

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  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post


    So... She invented cars? :P
    I like cookies... And ruling the world... Mostly cookies...

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  6. #106
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Boris: No indeed it is not!
    Dewirix: I was actually hoping for a better result, but the Turks had better land tech etc, so I had to roll with it.
    blsteen: It's certainly looking that way, yeah!
    poloport: Yes...well, it's really difficult to find pictures for certain areas and places. The Siege of Constantinople is one of the easiest...but finding pictures of anything related to the other Byzantine things was a nightmare. I could have cropped the car out...but I didn't think it really mattered.

    ZOň II PART 4



    xxx

    4/12/1431

    The sea gates of Constantinople loomed above Talena for the second time in her life. Their small boat had been intercepted out in the bay by one of the few remaining Roman ships and taken into the guarded harbour.
    After making sure they were headed in, Talena went back to the stern of the ship. There, she found Captain Nestor, the ship’s master.
    “I must see her Majesty as soon as possible.”
    He nodded, not entirely happy with the order. “The message that General Romanos sent is in order,” he said, holding it up and examining the seal again.
    Talena sighed and went back down to the main deck as the ship came in to dock. It was not very cold, despite the winter’s afternoon being cloudy with occasional spots of rain. She steeled herself, and when the gangplank was laid she hesitated, but finally stepped onto the shore. It was time to make a very unpleasant revelation.

    The guards and courtiers put up a fuss as always, but half an hour later Talena knocked on the door to the Empress’ private apartments within the palace.
    A guard exited from within and closed the door while he spoke with the Empress. Then the door was opened, and Talena was allowed in.
    Wearing a silk robe of blue and silver, ZoŽ was writing at a desk when her visitor entered. She stood and immediately looked concerned, anxious.
    “Talena! It’s good to see you again, of course. But what are you doing here? Why has there been no word from Hellas?”
    Talena bowed her head and looked at the guards before replying in Italian...a language they were not likely to know.
    “Majesty...we were defeated.”
    Those four words rendered the Roman Empress speechless. “D-defeated? What happened? Why have I heard no news of this?”
    “The Turks crossed into Achaea in August and we met them in battle. We killed thousands of them, but we were defeated. Near Argos the army was routed. General Romanos had evacuated as many as he can to Crete and Rhodes, but the rest are scattered or gone.”
    ZoŽ looked as if she had been slapped. “But...how is this possible? Romanos is the greatest cavalryman of his generation, we had been preparing that army for years! And now it is...gone?” ZoŽ had reverted to Greek in her distress. “But is he unhurt?”
    “He was wounded, but I helped treat him and he is fine. He will return here when he can. If he can. I barely made it as it is, but you had to know.”

    The Empress appeared to make an effort and pull herself together. With a deep breath she calmed herself.
    “Now some things become more explainable. Just two days past a Turk demanded our submission to the Sultan. He said that our army was beaten, and that the Sultan himself would spare no one when the city fell. I dismissed his comments as lies...until now.”
    “And what was your answer?”
    “I refused, of course!” ZoŽ said sternly. “This changes nothing! It’ll be months before they can even think of moving their main army north. In that time I have great hopes of our Russian allies, and help from the west.”
    “But, we cannot win this war-“ Talena said.
    ZoŽ grabbed her by the shirt, and the guards moved forward restlessly. The Empress ignored them and whispered, “What do you want me to do, Talena? You have every right to leave here if you want, but I am staying. If I am the last Roman Empress, then I will not go to the infidel on bent knee and beg to retain what is mine! My people, and my nation demands that I fight until the end.”
    She stepped back from Talena, slumping into a chair.
    Talena felt embarrassed, and worse, ashamed. She knelt down before ZoŽ and touched her hand with hers. “All is not lost, Majesty. All we need to do is resist the attackers long enough for internal problems to occur and force them to retreat! They don’t have the weapons to breach the walls like they did...in my history.”
    ZoŽ nodded. “All effort will be put into the defences. If we fall then we’ll at least give them a mauling they’ll recall for the rest of their lives! Thank you, Talena,” she said, and gave her friend a kiss.

    xxx



    The Siege of Constantinople ground on, month on month. The Empress’ skill as an administrator ensured that adequate supplies had been collected for over a year’s siege. However, after the fall of Greece and later Crete to the Ottomans allowed them to divert all their energies back to the city.



    However, for almost two years the city was under blockade rather than a siege, interspersed with attempts to batter some of the famous walls down. The Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II had left his generals and the Serbian client king in charge of matters with orders not to assault the walls until he arrived. Finally he did, in October 1433, and the siege begun in earnest.
    At sea, despite the use of raids and Greek fire, the Imperial fleet was either destroyed or bottled in port by the Turkish galleys.



    Using the biggest cannons available, and there were not many, the Turks bombarded the walls for weeks with mangonels, trebuchets and cannons. Finally, in mid January they were ready to make an assault.




    xxx

    18/1/1434



    The winter light shone down upon the burnished ranks of soldiers. Thousands of Ottoman warriors, their banners held high, let out a cheer as the sun rose over Constantinople.
    On the walls of the city, the defenders gripped their weapons and waited. The banner of the virgin was carried around the walls, while the Empress herself blessed the soldiers, receiving their cheers as she processed dressed in a ceremonial sword and armour.
    Talena Mazari also had a place on the defences, right on the breach in the walls where she felt she could be useful. She’d managed to get herself a shield and mace. She liked maces because they didn’t so much rely on accuracy or worry about armour.

    A final blast of the Turkish cannons smashed into the walls, and then the battle begun. Towards the walls the Turks came, swarming towards the small breach made in the walls, while other attacks pressed hard at other areas of the wall.
    Talena seized a flag and led the counter-charge of the Imperial troops, meeting the Turks on the very crest of the breach. Meanwhile, behind and overhead, the Greek archers shot over their men’s heads and into the vast attacking hordes.
    The battle was a nightmare. Even after all these years Talena could not get used to the close range savagery of the fighting. At a distance, with a gun, it was somehow easier then now where she was inches away from her enemy, in the press of bodies, the screams and shouts deafening. There was precious little room to swing, and eventually she dropped the mace and picked up a stabbing sword from a fallen Greek and used that like a Roman Legionnaire of so many centuries before.
    In this narrow space there was nothing to do but fight, brutally, ferociously, with total dedication. Talena’s world narrowed to just a few yards of bloody rocks. Even when a blast of flame flew over her head and slammed into the Turkish attackers she didn’t drop her concentration.
    Talena was not the strongest person in her unit back in the future. However, she was very strong, tough and resilient by any standard, woman or not, and the time warp had preserved her as such. Now, despite a half dozen wounds from swords or blunt weapons she drove on remorselessly.
    More fire, and she realised that Greek fire pumps above her on the wall were spraying the naphtha down onto the Ottomans, and the Muslims quailed before the lethal assault. Stymied at the breach, which was too small to effectively attack, panicked by the flames, and flayed by archery, the Turks drew back to their lines, defeated.

    Talena seized the battered and bloody flag of the Roman Empire and held it high, pulling her helmet free and waving it while the Greeks and western mercenaries around her cheered at their victory.
    Through the battle the Turks had tried to return the archery with their own, but their own troops had blocked their view, and the walls had made sharpshooting impossible.
    However, one arrow, fired by a Serbian axillary arced through the air and hit Talena full in the chest.
    The shaft pierced her mail – for no breastplate had been made for her – and pierced her left side. With gasp she stopped and looked at the arrow. As if waiting for it to heal she stood for a few seconds, and then crashed to the ground on her back, the flag slipping from her hands.
    There was a wail from the soldiers near her as the world slowly went dark....




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  7. #107

  8. #108
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    We shall see!

    I'm up to playing 1570, and coming across the biggest problem in this sort of game - having to spend five years getting the country back into a manageable position after 170 years of AI play. The nation I am playing now decided that armies of 20,000 cavalry sitting in winter mountains was a great idea, and thus could summon no more than 7000 combined. War Exhaustion was at 18, inflation at 12%, an illogical army of 25,000 was stuck in some disjointed province.

    It is a mess.

    But, I'll soldier on. I've written updates all the way up to 1500, which is 20 posts away, so all is good.

    Boris Next post should interest you...it has you in it as requested.
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  9. #109
    The Smiling Knight Boris ze Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    We shall see!

    I'm up to playing 1570, and coming across the biggest problem in this sort of game - having to spend five years getting the country back into a manageable position after 170 years of AI play. The nation I am playing now decided that armies of 20,000 cavalry sitting in winter mountains was a great idea, and thus could summon no more than 7000 combined. War Exhaustion was at 18, inflation at 12%, an illogical army of 25,000 was stuck in some disjointed province.

    It is a mess.

    But, I'll soldier on. I've written updates all the way up to 1500, which is 20 posts away, so all is good.

    Boris Next post should interest you...it has you in it as requested.
    Awesome, maybe you could edit the savegame a bt just to make the countries managable and writable

  10. #110
    Here's to hoping for a Roman survival.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    I'm up to playing 1570, and coming across the biggest problem in this sort of game - having to spend five years getting the country back into a manageable position after 170 years of AI play. The nation I am playing now decided that armies of 20,000 cavalry sitting in winter mountains was a great idea, and thus could summon no more than 7000 combined. War Exhaustion was at 18, inflation at 12%, an illogical army of 25,000 was stuck in some disjointed province.

    It is a mess.
    So you don't have many screenshots in that bit... just have Talena kneeing a few bureaucrats in the groin. I'm sure she'll find some way to amuse us

  11. #111
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Boris: In that case I had to cheat just a little bit due to the country having 55 infamy and -5% prestige per year from unlawful Imperial possessions...!
    Keinwyn: Yes indeed! She doesn't fill out forms in triplicate!

    ZOň II PART 5

    xxx

    18/1/1434



    The cries of the wounded and dying echoed through the church from the soldiers laying outside. Once Constantinople had boasted some of the best hospitals in the world, but time and neglect had ensured that now it was only the church which provided care to the wounded. In the church of the Hagia Sophia itself a few select casualties were brought in to be buried properly. Among them were several of the Empire’s fading aristocracy, along with several zealous clergy who were caught in the day’s battle.
    However, it was the body of Talena Mazari that drew the most attention. She had been distinctive in the defence, and many of the soldiers had thought she was a sign of victory from God. And now she lay on a slab, the arrow still protruding from her chest.
    When the Empress arrived she looked down at the body of her friend, trying to keep a composed expression. Her bodyguard, a taciturn Muscovite named Boris, followed her at every turn.
    “What happened?” ZoŽ asked.
    “Majesty, she was at the breach when this arrow struck her. I’m sorry,” one of the Priests said.
    “I thought she would...that is....” The Empress trailed off. “Give her the best burial possible,” she ordered.
    Boris had walked forward to inspect the woman, and pulled the arrow free, more out of interest then actually to help the priests about their work.

    The darkness had been total, but now...with a jolt Talena felt herself gasp. She drew breath and a terrible pain in her chest made her groan. When she opened her eyes she saw that ZoŽ, Boris and the others were looking at her in utter surprise, but also fear too.
    “What...happened?” Talena asked, coughing. She felt the wound, and as she did it closed and knitted itself back to how it had been.
    “God be praised,” ZoŽ murmured, her eyes alive with shock, joy and awe. “You were dead! There was no pulse, no breath, and now you’re alive again!”
    Boris was still holding up the arrow speculatively. “When I removed this,” he said.
    “In the heart,” Talena said softly. “That must have been it. Ooh...it hurts...but it is getting better.”
    ZoŽ took her hand and clasped it in her own. “I thought I’d lost you! We won...the Turks were driven back. And for that some credit must go to you! The captains speak of how you stood and fought on the breach for an hour, carrying my standard, fighting on no matter what!”
    “I did what I could, Majesty,” Talena said, laying back on the slab and taking deep breaths. Was that what it felt like to die? If so, Talena wanted nothing more to do with it!
    “Is there anything I can get for you?” ZoŽ asked.
    “I think...a strong breastplate would be good,” Talena said with a smile.

    xxx



    The siege continued after the failed assault. Despite some revolts in outlying regions of the Empire, the Sultan was determined to conquer the city once and for all. And so he summoned nearly 50,000 troops and begun a determined attempt to break open the city. In a way quite advanced for his time, the Turks begun to dig trenches closer and closer to the walls, and during the night would pile rocks and soil into the great moats to create a bridge, much as Alexander did at Tyre 17 centuries before.
    Next he brought his cannon closer, ever closer until he was able to blast at the walls with his engines, from only a hundred yards. Great siege towers were constructed, and boats were prepared to storm from the water, much as the Crusaders had in 1204.



    After months of frenetic activity by mid-March the time was finally right to launch the attack. Abandoned by their allies, alone and outnumbered, the Roman Empire’s last stand had finally begun.



    xxx

    28/3/1434



    In the more than two months since the first assault, Talena had found that the captains and soldiers were more accepting of her now. Stories of her fight on the breach had got around, and even the clergy were not making a fuss about her fighting. The city needed every defender it could get, especially now.

    The drums had started before dawn, and as the sun rose they reached a crescendo of sound, and fell silent. Everywhere along the walls the Greeks and western mercenaries readied themselves for the final battle. From her position on the high wall, Talena could see the thousands of Turkish troops moving into position. The cannons and catapults fired a final time, and then stopped.
    Silence covered the city and besiegers, and it seemed as though all the world was waiting.

    A great shout came from the Turkish lines, and their soldiers rushed forward from their hidden trenches to the attack. Instantly, a hail of arrows and blasts of Greek fire tore through the air and into the attackers. Men were cut down, but more pressed on, aiming for the breaches in the wall which had been extended over the last three months.
    Talena did not go down into the fight quite yet, but watched from the final wall as the battle raged. With the Ottomans having far more and better troops than the last time, and the defenders much reduced, the battle raged fiercely as neither side could gain the ascendency.

    Talena took charge of a company of soldiers stationed in reserve, and led a charge directly at one of the breaches where the Ottomans were slowly overrunning the defences.
    “Forward!” she cried, seizing a flag and leading the counter attack. The din was horrific, and the confusion palpable. Talena had kept the short sword from the last battle, and now used it to stab and cut at her opponents, struggling up the rough breach. Blades ground against her armour, or drew blood from her, but nothing could stop her as she reached the top of the breach once more.
    The Imperials let out a cheer as the Turks withdrew. All along the formidable land walls, the Turks had fallen back. It seemed as though Constantinople had prevailed again....



    And then there came a great cry that turned joy into fear.
    “The sea! The sea! They have come from the sea!”
    Talena spun to see the crescent moon banners of the Turks scaling the walls of the harbour and sea defences. Many were cut down, but there were so many of them, and too few defenders. Seeing this, the Ottomans outside the breaches saw this and moved forward to attack again themselves.
    The defenders at the walls saw the change of fortune, and many begun to desert. Talena herself headed for the walls to see if there was any way to stem the tide. However, she soon realised it was too far for her to reach. Turkish troops were pouring over the walls, and a renewed assault was breaking through the breaches.
    The city was doomed.
    Talena therefore changed direction and headed for the palace.



    The palace was chaotic, as soldiers and servants alike heard the news and took to their heels. Some were grabbing items and carrying them off, hoping to escape with some wealth before the Turks looted the city.
    Talena ignored them and ran with armour and sword up a set of marble stairs to the audience chamber. The Empress was there, waiting for news, though she could see well enough from the windows what was happening.
    “Is it over?” ZoŽ asked calmly. She was dressed in her best silk dress, with the Imperial crown on her head, and her ceremonial blade at her side.
    “The Turks have broken through, Majesty. They scaled the sea walls and are now pushing through the breaches. The city is lost.”
    ZoŽ said nothing, just nodded, as though it did not surprise her. “Then so it must be. I had a feeling this would happen, that all my dreams of restoration were mere vain hopes.”
    “Come with me. There’s still time to get you out of here. We can smuggle you out and through the blockade!” Talena insisted.
    The Empress raised her hand to stop her. “No, Talena. I will not leave. This is my city, my Empire. I am the last Roman Empress, the last in a line going back to Constantine and beyond. It was always my fate to win here...or die here.”
    “But you don’t have to! You can come with me. Together...we’ll find a way to fight back control! It doesn’t have to be like this!” Talena pleaded.
    ZoŽ smiled sadly. “It does. I’m sorry, Talena...but you have to understand that this is who and what I am. If the Empire falls then I cannot flee or be captured by them.” She saw Talena’s distressed look and touched her armoured shoulder. “You have a great gift, given by God. You will live, you must live. And perhaps one day...one day far from now this city will again be Christian. One day the flag of Rome may once again fly over these walls. And when...if...that happens, think of me.”
    Talena just stared at her friend...the last Roman Empress...and started to cry.
    “No...none of that now. You must go before they come. Even you cannot fight an army by yourself.” She gave Talena a light kiss on the cheek before giving her a gentle push towards the door. The sounds of shouts below could be clearly heard.
    “No, I’m not going to let it happen!” Talena declared, reaching for her gun. “I’ll shoot down every one of them if I have to!”
    ZoŽ grabbed her arm and made Talena look at her. “Go! That is my final command as Empress, but you will obey!”
    Talena gawped at her for a moment, and then turned and ran. As she looked back she saw the Empress lift a small phial to her mouth. She turned away so she didn’t have to see her friend die.



    Constantinople was burning, and the Ottoman troops poured into the city, looting and killing at will.
    When an Ottoman soldier crossed her path she attacked them with fury and hatred until they lay dead and savaged. Seizing a fallen mace from one of her victims, she set off into the city, looking for somewhere to go...something to do.
    The Empress was dead, and now Talena had to survive. She had to hide, then possibly she could go north west to Hungary and Austria, gain support from them somehow to fight back against the Ottomans.
    She found an abandoned house at last near the Hippodrome and entered. She stripped off her armour and sword, but kept the mace and the knife with her, along with her possessions. Once the city was overwhelmed...then she could escape. Constantinople had fallen, but Talena would survive.
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
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  12. #112

  13. #113
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    And so the fall...time to head for the steppe
    I was Sir blsteen, Knight of the Eastern West... in :One Last HurRAAh: A Milanese Empire Interactive AAR:

    I was FOTW 11/25/09 and 9/12/10

  14. #114
    General Range's Avatar
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    Magnificent…truly Magnificent…from the narrative to the screen shots to the believable characters!
    Last edited by Range; 05-10-2010 at 16:10.
    Previously Completed AARs:\
    Ireland Forever * Scotland, the Brave, the Strong and the Free * Riga - Range's Sabbatical (Yeah Sure) * Morocco - Casablanca * Poland * Range, Scotland's Highland Chieftain * Yemen - The Happy Arabia * Bavaria * Transylvania * Samurai * The Day of Reckoning * EU1 Portugal * Knights of St. John * Poland EU1

    CURRENT AARS: * Munster EU4 * England EU1 * Byzantine EU3 *

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  15. #115
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    I miss a few updates and you let Constantinople fall! I'll have to watch you more carefully next time.

    I really like the way you've made an epic out of what in the game is actually a fairly dull process:

    ("My Liege, we have lost the siege of Insert City Here...)

    It's a real tragedy that such a capable ruler as ZoŽ had to be stuck with the Empire at the point she inherited it. Given a few more years and I think it would be the Sultan who was driven to suicide.

    By the way, have been meaning to say that those CGI reconstructions are excellent. Where are they from?
    AAR in progress
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  16. #116
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    Zoe failed ,but it was a great fight !

    next country is an exemple of great AI skill
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

  17. #117
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Boris: Thanks! Out of all the countries in the EU3 timeframe, Byzantium is my equal favourite with England. In fact, my next AAR is going to be about the Roman Empire being victorious! And yes, Boris was cool.
    blsteen: Very true. Though as you will see...she doesn't get there!
    Range: Aww thanks!
    Dewirix: EU3 has immense possibilities for writers because what happens is just the tip of the iceberg. The CGI pics are from a site called "Constantinople 1204 Reconstruction" Magnificent site. Sadly, history is often like that. The bad rulers pile up until you get to the point where the good ones have no chance to reverse the rot.
    Sprites: Indeed! It's nice to lose occasionally in an AAR.

    INTERMISSION

    XXX

    30/3/1434

    Constantinople smoked as the ruined buildings finally stopped burning, and a sort of peace descended over the city. The Turks had been given a day to plunder the city, less than the traditional, but more than enough for a Sultan who wished to remake the city and make it great again.
    As the citizens emerged from hiding they saw the grim reality. Bodies lay in the street, shattered buildings stood smoking in the spring light, and everywhere was the smell of death.

    Talena emerged from her hiding place, very angry indeed. She’d found wine in her hideout, and tried to get drunk, but couldn’t. Whatever force kept her alive also stopped the alcohol affecting her, so she’d merely gotten angrier after drinking the sour wine.
    She set off through the streets, ignoring everyone she passed. When a Turk tried to stop her she hit the man with all her might and then fled before he could call for help.

    Finally she came to one of the inner walls near the water, and from there she hoped to sneak either on board a ship, or swim to the European shore. From there she could head towards Hungary or Austria.
    It was as she was planning to climb down that she saw the procession entering the Golden Gate. It was a hundred yards away, but even at that distance she could see that it was the Sultan himself making his triumphal entry into the conquered city.
    Talena remembered the Empress’ death and her inability to do anything about it. Now she had a chance for revenge. Her pistol fitted into her hand easily as she took cover behind the parapet and rested the gun on the wall. The electronic scope no longer worked, but she could aim well enough without it. At this range the bullet would fly straight and true. Bayezid II was a dead man riding if she hit.
    Clearing her mind of all that had happened, she took careful, deliberate aim, took a breath, let half of it out, and fired.
    Lack of practice with the weapon certainly didn’t help, nor did the fact that the Sultan’s horse reared slightly after stepping on a body. Perhaps it was the way he was in the shadows of the arch, or the movement of a soldier near him.



    Whatever the reason the bullet hit the Sultan, but only in the left shoulder, passing through to kill a warrior behind. The dull crack of the gunshot echoed, and Talena looked to fire again, but the Sultan had dismounted and his guards were in the way.
    There was a shout, and guards started charging in all directions. With a curse Talena pocketed the weapon and ran towards the seawall. With guards closing in she dived down from the wall into the water. It was high, and hurt like hell when she hit the surface, but her bones seemed unbreakable, and she swum desperately as arrows zipped all around her.

    She had failed. Failed to change the process of history, as well as the final outcome, but also failed to avenge ZoŽ. Cursing, she kept swimming, heading for the European shore.
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
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  18. #118
    General Range's Avatar
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    I suppose it wasn't the Sultan's time to be taken out.

    Here's to the next time.
    Previously Completed AARs:\
    Ireland Forever * Scotland, the Brave, the Strong and the Free * Riga - Range's Sabbatical (Yeah Sure) * Morocco - Casablanca * Poland * Range, Scotland's Highland Chieftain * Yemen - The Happy Arabia * Bavaria * Transylvania * Samurai * The Day of Reckoning * EU1 Portugal * Knights of St. John * Poland EU1

    CURRENT AARS: * Munster EU4 * England EU1 * Byzantine EU3 *

    Winner of King_Richard_XI's 3rd ever Irish Shamrock Cookie . Poll: Finalist in 2009 EUIII OscARRs: Best Completed ARR "Yemen - The Happy Arabia". Also, the Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds 2010 for Favourite EU Narrative AAR "Poland" - Character Writer of the week ending 12/26/10

  19. #119
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Range View Post
    I suppose it wasn't the Sultan's time to be taken out.

    Here's to the next time.
    Hey, the guy's just doing his job. It's not like an Ottoman Sultan had a great deal of choice in matters of foreign policy. Infidel-smiting comes highly recommended by both the religious and military establishments, so it would be a brave ruler who could say "no thanks, I think we have enough land."

    I'm sure this sultan would have preferred a quiet day in his garden, but noblesse oblige and all that.
    AAR in progress
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  20. #120

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