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Thread: The Eternal Exile: A Nation Hopping AAR

  1. #141
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Boris: Sadly not for long.
    blsteen: Indeed! Stay tuned for the next part.
    Kapt: They are! But the Byz ones are better. Still, the Ottomans have awesome powers.
    Dewi: Yes, like so many rulers, he is beginning to feel that he truly is immortal and everlasting. Of course...as we shall see, he's wrong.
    Razgriz: Sadly not for a long time. But one day...one day it'll happen, I promise.
    morningSIDEr: Thanks for reading! Your AAR is great as well, and I'm very happy and pleased about all the readers who are happy with this.
    Zitanier: This will soon be remedied as you shall see!

    Thank you all for your kind words and advice!

    BAYZID II PART 3



    XXX

    16/1/1439

    To say that the Padishah was angry would not do his temper justice. He was enraged. He could even be described as ‘incandescent with fury’. For a man who was as dangerous to his friends as well as his enemies, and had a formidable temper, it was not a pleasant experience.
    Talena could hear him even in the stables beneath the palace. There was one small bright spot though, her name was now known among the guards of the palace, and they had evidently heard of her defence of Constantinople, and her apparent ability to survive any wounds. So, mostly, they left her alone. The downside was that they left her in the cursed cage which know amount of fiddling would open. They simply passed things through to her, and took them back the same way. One night, in frustration Talena had hammered on one of the iron bars for an hour, cutting her hands open only for them to heal. It had done exactly nothing except make her more angry.
    It was as she looked out through the stable to the night sky that she saw something beautiful. It had to be a shooting star, maybe even a comet. Back in the old days she had cherished the moment when her transport had come within a mere hundred miles of a comet and she had seen the celestial beauty.
    It seemed that the appreciation of beauty was not shared by the Turks – there was a murmur of voices and many pointing fingers at the sky.
    This muttering was cut off by the Padishah’s angry shout, and a long rant. Then, in case any Greeks were listening, he repeated it in that language.
    “It is a sign from God that we, the true followers of Allah, will prevail over these usurpers! Tomorrow, we go to war!”



    XXX

    The ‘Roman Empire’ in the Crimea constituted only a small area around the city of Kaffa, Sudak and Theodosia. However, it did contain the genuine heir to the Imperial Throne – the young Theodorus, and General Romanos, his father, as regent.



    The appeal of such a government in exile was dangerous to the Ottomans, and so the Padishah declared war, aiming to conquer and destroy these usurpers.



    What followed was a longer campaign than anticipated, as the Ottoman armies advanced by land and sea on Kaffa. Despite an energetic defence, and the assistance of the Despotate of Trebizond, the Ottoman victory was never in doubt. A mere five thousand defenders stood to oppose the Padishah’s mighty army, and in battle it was soon crushed. General Romanos himself fell, cut off from his troops and slain in the melee.



    By August 1439 it was over. The city submitted, and the ‘Heir’ Theodorus vanished, presumably murdered by the ruthless Padishah. In November 1440 Trebizond finally submitted and was also annexed.



    And so the Ottoman Empire ruled with power in Anatolia unseen since the reign of Basil II ended in 1025. He now ruled all Georgia, Anatolia, Greece and Bulgaria. However, the Padishah was ill. The attempted assassination had never healed properly, and the long campaigns through winter and summer had made him sick. Bayezid stopped at the Sümela Monastery in December 1440, planning to wait for winter to pass before returning to Istanbul. It was there he made his greatest mistake...and paid for it with his life.


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  2. #142
    Colonel Razgriz 2K9's Avatar
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    The next chapter, the death of Bayezid...oh I'm so excited.
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  3. #143

  4. #144
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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  5. #145
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    I like how the accursed comet event was worked in there, very nicely done. I'm very intrigued to find out how exactly the Padishah has passed away.
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  6. #146
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Razgriz: Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.
    Boris: Yeah, he kinda deserves it for being a jerk.
    blsteen: Indeed. Never upset immortal women...they're even worse then the regular sort.
    morningSIDEr: Thanks! I don't often get the comet, so I thought it'd be nice to include it, since it's such a famous event.

    I'm going to be away this weekend, but I'll post when I get back on Sunday night. Thanks for reading!
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  7. #147
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    The comet event also makes it to Vicky 2, which made me laugh when I saw it.

    The Ottomans seem to be skating close to the edge of their Infamy. It would seem unwise for the Sultan to be too trusting of anyone he doesn't know at the moment, and staying at a Greek Orthodox monastery just seems to be asking for trouble.
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  8. #148
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    Excellent...right down to the photos. I also like the thoughts on the comet...you know...I can't recall me ever writing about the comets. Excellent!
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  9. #149
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Dewi: It doesn't bode well...indeed!
    Range: Well, the comets are so famous I felt they needed to be included!

    Here we go...intervention!

    ----------

    BAYEZID II PART 4

    XXX

    3/4/1441

    It had given Talena no small satisfaction to watch the trouble she had caused. Back in December, through the icy chill of a Pontic winter, they had dragged her cage up the steep slope and into the mountain fortress. She had been put inside the stable and given a couple of blankets. Even so, it was freezing, the bars of her cage were so cold that it burned to touch them. Still, she had survived, and warmer weather was coming.

    The tramp of boots announced the arrival of several guards. They pointed their spears at her and unlocked the cage door. Talena hadn’t been allowed out often, and the fact her hair wasn’t growing ensured that the superstitious soldiers feared her even more. On the Padishah’s orders she was given food every day, and a bucket of water to wash with, but no way of escape.
    “You follow,” the Captain, now much aged and scarred from battle, ordered.
    Talena did so, climbing into the higher monastery. They were twelve hundred metres above sea level in this place, and the air was quite thin.

    The Padishah was waiting for her arrival in the top room of the monastery. With two large guards beside him he sat on a temporary throne. It also appeared to be his bedroom, as a canopied bed with a full fireplace were set out. It was marginally warmer inside than out, but only just.
    “Bind her arms behind her, then go,” he told the escort in Greek, for Talena’s benefit, but his two bodyguards stayed.
    The Captain asked a question after this was done, pointing to Talena’s legs and gesturing with the rope. It had taken a long time, but Talena was finally understanding Turkish. Not enough to understand what he had just said, but even so, she knew his meaning.
    Bayezid nodded, and her ankles were soon secured. “I don’t want her to be able to use her legs.” He said something to the guards, who tied a rope around her neck like a leash, or noose, depending.

    After a moment, the Padishah, Talena and the two guards were alone. “My triumph is complete. Your weak Greek Empire is destroyed, and my son is heir to the true Empire. Your failure, and that of your whore Empress, is now total.”
    Even after seven years Talena felt angry about it, and she wanted nothing more than to beat this bully, club him down and kill him. However, her bonds were too tight, and the two guards looked stronger than her.
    “And therefore I have no more use for you. Except one....” He came closer. Even after seven years his left arm was almost nerveless and useless. Soon her was close to her, very close, and one hand reached up and caressed her cheek.
    Her response was automatic and furious. She turned away, tripped because of her bonds, and fell to the floor.
    The Padishah laughed and casually kicked her in her stomach, and avoided her attempt to trip him.
    “I don’t know who you are, or what you are, girl, but it ends tonight. You are going to die, but first I’m going to make sure you go to hell knowing that I am the true Emperor. And the best way to do that....”
    He clicked his fingers and the guards hauled Talena up and threw her onto the bed. She knew what he wanted, and she fought violently, obliging the guards to hit her until she lay still.
    Bayezid drew a long bladed dagger and advanced on her. The guards held her as she struggled more.
    Then, to Talena’s surprise, he cut the ropes binding her ankles, clearly not wanting them to get in the way of what would follow.

    Talena decided it was time to act. Memories of a teenage assault still haunted her, and she was determined to risk everything. She was not going to let this happen. But she waited, laying still, making the guards think she was submissive.
    As Bayezid got onto the bed she acted. As a soldier she had been trained in how to use kicks only. Some of the most formidable fighting styles relied on them. None of these would be known for centuries, and so she had her moment.
    The heel of one leg took a guard in the side of the head so hard that he fell backwards, stunned. The Padishah lunged at her, stabbing her, but her other leg shoved him back. Getting up, hands still bound she avoided the second guard’s spear and pirouetted to kick him in the head. As he fell she kicked hard into his throat.
    Bayezid was up and shouting for guards, but stopped when he saw the wound he had given Talena was healed.
    She, however, was not given to wait, but seized the knife and awkwardly cut her wrists free, slashing her wrists as she did.
    “What am I?” Talena demanded, advancing on the Padishah with the dagger. “I am nemesis. I am vengeance! This time I won’t just get your shoulder!”
    It was hopelessly dramatic, but seven years of rage piled into her muscles and drove the knife into Bayezid’s chest. His last expression was one of shock, both at her words, and the wound he had been given. Then she stabbed again, and again, finally dropping the lifeless body to the ground to face the guards.



    The door burst open behind Talena, and with the other two guards advancing, murder in their eyes, Talena had only one option. If they caught her, and there was at least a dozen of them, they would kill her eventually...probably after whatever nasty torture was inflicted on regicides. And since she healed so quickly the same things could be done again and again.
    That left the window, which looked out onto four hundred metres of open air and a forest far below. It was time to put her healing to the test. Better to die quickly than suffer long.



    She dived from the window, and into the open air. The ground started rushing towards her. The four hundred metres was nothing – it was the last two inches that killed you....

    XXX

    After the assassination of the Padishah his son Abdulaziz came to the throne. Though he was still a minor with a regency council, he was already showing his brilliance of mind and religious learning that would make him famous.


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  10. #150

  11. #151
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    I've just read the whole thing in one go. This is one of the best pieces of work i've ever read online! Your style of writing is compelling and varied and the story is pretty damn good too. You really know how to convey images and scenes, i feel like I'm reading a proper book.

    So please don't stop!
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  12. #152
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    Wow, that new Padishah is truly great! He's sure to lead the Ottomans to further greatness in the years ahead.
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  13. #153
    Fingers crossed that Talena lands in either water or hey.

  14. #154
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    A very nice action sequence followed by an excellent cliffhanger to end the update on. Cracking stuff.
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  15. #155
    Colonel Razgriz 2K9's Avatar
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    That assassination was epic...but now she made herself an enemy of the Ottoman Empire, where is Talena going to run to next?
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  16. #156
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    How many leaders is that for Talena now - I count the King of France, the King of Castille (assist) and now the Ottoman sultan. She's not exactly the person you want to have around!

    Can't wait to see where she goes next, but the uncertainty should make the local rulers pretty nervous.
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  17. #157
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    A one woman regicidist
    And really, the Padishah was a fool. Hopefully, he intensely rued the moment that he thought of bedding Talena in the seconds before his death.
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  18. #158
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Thanks for your great comments! This next post will be of particular interest for DEWIRIX and RANGE as it has their character ideas in it (I write a long way ahead :P)

    Boris: Thanks!
    Beowulf1990: Thanks! I appreciate your comments greatly, and glad to have you on board.
    dinofs: Indeed he does. It's the only AI empire so far to be much stronger after 50+ years then when I found it. Even the AI couldn't stuff it up.
    Zhangku: Unfortunately...not much of either in the mountains of Trebizon.
    morningSIDEr: Cliffhanger indeed! Thanks!
    Razgriz: A long time before even she knows, but the pull of the east is strong....
    Dewirix: Good point you know! It will only get worse....
    blsteen: Probably he was more surprised that a mere woman could stand up to him!

    LONG update!

    --------

    INTERMISSION

    XXX

    4/4/1441

    Talena opened her eyes. She was sufficiently surprised about this that she didn’t feel the pain at first. Then it hit and she groaned. Her entire body ached, but if that was all she got for falling four hundred metres onto rocks with her head, then so be it.
    “The angel awakes at last,” a man said in Greek.
    She looked over and saw a young man with dark hair and the unmistakable look of a formerly wealthy man down on his luck. His clothes were good quality but dirty, and his sword in its sheath was expensive.
    “Ow...” Talena said, sitting up. The pain was slowly going, and when she looked at her body it was covered in bruises and cuts, as were her clothes.
    “Now, I’ve often prayed for a beautiful woman in my bed, but one’s never fallen out of the sky before.”
    Talena looked at him blearily, and then down at the blanket roll she was on. “What happened?”
    “I was just making camp yesterday, and then you come flying through the air and land splat on my bed. I couldn’t believe it, you were still alive, with no broken bones, so I left you alone. I thought you might die, but all the cuts are healed. It’s...it’s a miracle!”
    “Maybe. Anyway thanks...I don’t think I want to do that again in a hurry.”
    “What happened to you?” the man asked.
    “The Padishah tried to rape me so I stabbed him and dived out the window of the monastery up there.” She pointed up at the building through the dawn fog.
    “You killed the King of Kings?” he asked, looking dubious.
    “What’s more unlikely, that I stabbed him, or that I survived falling a quarter of a mile?”
    “I take your point. And if you did indeed kill him then good for you! My name is Nestor Poikillo.”
    “Talena Mazari,” she replied, holding out her hand.
    Nestor looked puzzled, but shook it. “I’ve heard of you, I think. You were at the Fall of Constantinople, right?”
    “Yes,” Talena said grimly.
    “Me too. My family...well. I couldn’t stay there after that.”
    “So what are you doing here?”
    “My family had friends in the palace of the Despot of Trebizond. But then his army got beaten, and I’ve been wandering since.”
    “In winter?”
    Nestor shrugged. “I only came up here from the coast because I was trying to find a way through the mountains to the south. I couldn’t, so I’m heading back to Trebizond.”
    Talena shrugged. “I’m heading that way too. But you’re awful eager to tell me about yourself. I could be a Turkish spy.”
    “Anyone who survived the fall you did is pretty reliable I reckon,” he said genially.
    “If you say so. Well, I’m feeling better, let’s get going.”
    “You fell a quarter mile, and you’re feeling better. Just who are you?”
    Talena shrugged. “No one important.”



    XXX

    The new Padishah was a very different man from his father. He was cultured, embracing art and expression as key tenants of his rule. However, he was also a more devout man than his father. While Bayezid had used religion and tolerance as pragmatic tools, his son set about converting all the European lands to Islam, though he did so with peaceful rather than hostile means. In his long reign he brought more and more states into the Empire’s fold, focusing on conquering the Mamluks for much of his reign.

    However, by this time Talena had already long gone from his Empire..





    XXX


    23/7/1441

    It was hot, but Talena didn’t seem to notice, she just walked ahead, almost tirelessly. Nestor noticed though, and called ahead.
    “Do we have to walk so fast? I mean, it’s not like the road’s going to vanish!” he called out.
    “We’re almost there!” Talena called back.
    “Almost...where? Edirne is still five miles away!” He panted forward to catch up with her.
    Talena sighed. Sometimes she regretted taking Nestor with her, but it was nice to have company. And besides, he seemed so in awe of her, when he wasn’t complaining, that it was actually quite nice. He took all the strange things that she said in, and seemed to want to follow her even across hundreds of miles. First they’d gone by boat to Istanbul, then walked from there to Edirne. It had taken them months, with constant annoyances and dangers, but they were finally back near the spot where she’d been captured seven years before.
    “I left something here. Besides, we’re going north to Austria, and this is on the way.”
    “You move and travel as though it’s all so normal,” Nestor said.
    “If only you knew where I’d travelled,” she said dourly.
    “Are you alright?” Nestor asked timidly.
    “Of course I’m alright; that’s the problem! Do you know how old I am?” she demanded.
    Caught in a position no man ever hoped to be in, he shrugged. “Twenty five?” he suggested.
    “Try seventy two,” Talena said softly. “What?” she demanded, on seeing his shocked look. “You saw me fall off that mountain. When that man tried to attack us in Corlu you saw me get stabbed and recover at once. Why is it so impossible to think I’m not aging either?” she said. After a moment she sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s just...a big weight on my mind.”
    Nestor smiled nervously. “It’s fine. But are you an angel?”
    “No. I’m just...different. Here we are.”



    With that Talena headed off into the trees, eventually coming to the ruined church where she had hidden her gun. As she pulled out the wrapped bundle she saw that it was still mostly sealed, though dirty and covered in water. Pulling the gun out of the bag she looked it over as Nestor approached.
    “What is it?”
    “It’s a weapon. Did you see the gunpowder weapons the Janissaries used at Constantinople? This is like that in theory. I can fire a bullet at hypersonic speeds through two inches of wood.” Talena caressed the weapon, as though it were alive. “I’m from the future, Nestor, trapped here. Forty two years and counting. It’s like a dream...or a nightmare.”
    Nestor peered closer. “I recognise that weapon.”
    “No you don’t. There will be nothing like this for twelve hundred years.”
    “I tell you I’ve seen it before. On that day in Constantinople when you went to the markets I went to the old Genoese Quarter. I saw something just like that, but rusted.”
    Talena stared at him. “Are you certain?”
    Nestor looked annoyed. “Of course I am! It had these letters on it. Just like those...but this one was different. I cannot read what this says.”
    She saw that he was pointing to the serial number stamped on the gun’s barrel. “We need to go there and find it.”
    “But I thought you said you wanted to go north, not back into the Turk’s lair!”
    “You can go, but I need to find this. It might lead to others like me. I need to find out.”
    Nestor shrugged. “Very well. We go back.”

    It took two more weeks before they arrived back in Istanbul, hindered by the Padishah’s new army which was heading north on a mission to subjugate Transylvania.
    “They better watch out for the vampires,” Talena had joked, then sighed at the blank look she had gotten from Nestor.

    After they had arrived in Istanbul, they went directly to the old Genoese merchant area of the city. Nestor led the way through the buildings, many of which were still abandoned even after seven years. Some indeed looked as though they had been empty for generations.
    Finally they came to a collection of stalls huddled against the very easternmost part of the city. Nestor went straight to one of them, where a pale man was sitting in the shade.
    “What can I do for you, people?” he asked in fluent Greek. His features though were more from the north rather than the south of Europe.
    Despite the pressing questions in her mind, Talena leaned forward. “Are you English?”
    The man looked horrified. “May God and his saints preserve you, my Lady! I’m Welsh! Dewi’s the name.”
    “Right. We are looking for something unusual.”
    “I have many unusual things,” Dewi said. “I have this rare golden-“ he begun.
    Talena drew her weapon and put it on the counter between them. “Nestor says you had one of these.” Even now Talena expected it to be a mistake, for their trip to have been a waste of time.
    However Dewi merely looked surprised, and reached under the counter. He produced a battered, rusted and partially broken pistol of the same design. “Junk really. It’s some sort of mechanism, even I know that, but for what...I don’t know.”
    Talena picked it up and looked it over. The clip, trigger and slide were all gone, and the rest had a distressingly melted look. “Where did you get this?”
    Dewi looked a little uneasy. “I go all over. All over. I met a friend of mine in Kaffa...you know...before the siege. He was Genoese, and he had been as far as Hoveizeh in Persia. He said this was found in the northern mountains, near the Great Inland Sea. He said that there were more things, strange things. Metal that talked....”
    Talena nodded. “Persia...the Timurids?”
    “No, they broke free and fight constant wars against them. It’s a dangerous place.”
    “Thank you. Here,” Talena took the wrecked gun from his hands and handed him a silver coin.
    For a moment Dewi looked ready to argue, but sensibly gave way.



    Walking away, Talena looked at the ruined weapon in her hands. There was something of a responsibility for her there. To find if there were others of her team still alive, or at least to know what happened was the primary concern. To get rid of the remaining evidence was another matter as well that deserved attention. There was one final, somewhat guilty reason too; to see anything else from her own time would make it more real. Her own gun was the last thing she had to remind her.
    Of course, it was not sensible. Her geographic knowledge was somewhat limited, it was true, but it was at least three thousand kilometres by road. A plane from her time could cover it in two hours, but on foot, across bad roads, it’d take years, quite literally. And all for something which might, or might not be there when she arrived.
    She had to try though. If there was any hope of meeting any others of her team then it had to be taken.

    “I’m going to Persia,” Talena said.
    Nestor just looked at her. “Do you realise how far that is?”
    “I started in France, it’s just another journey.”
    “Maybe for you. I’m not going that far.”
    Talena nodded. “I’m sorry then. All the best...maybe I’ll see you again, Nestor. Good luck.”
    “May God go with you, Talena,” he replied.
    “Here, take this,” she added, throwing him the broken gun. “Something to remember me by.”
    “Thank you...I will keep it safe,” Nestor promised. “Good luck on your mission.”
    “How hard can it be? It’ll take 6 months, I expect!” Talena said jovially, walking towards the dock.

    It took seven years for her even to reach Persia.

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  19. #159
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Excellent update, and I'm not just saying that because my character got to make an appearance (as a trans-temporal arms dealer no less)! The plot thickens and it makes me wonder what havoc another time travller could get up to, given how Talena's responsible non-interference attitude hasn't really worked out that well in practice.
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  20. #160
    Colonel Razgriz 2K9's Avatar
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    Ah Persia...I wonder if we will be meeting the Prince of Persia...
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