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Thread: New Constantinople in the Age of Exploration - A Byzantine AAR

  1. #21
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  2. #22
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    General_Hoth: Always glad to hear someone else is enjoying my work

    -----


    May 29, 1453

    "He is dying, your Lordship."

    Konstantinos frowned, glaring irritably at the doctor. The man wilted under his stern gaze, meekly folding his hands together as if to shield himself from the onslaught Konstantinos was about to unleash.

    "What sort of nonsense is that?" Konstantinos snapped. "He's not even sixty yet. He was perfectly well when I saw him last week!"

    "He has lived a long life," the doctor calmly explained. "All those years sailing and explorer, never resting. I have been his doctor for almost ten years now, and not once has he ever heeded my advice."

    "It sounds as if you didn't do your job, then!"

    Konstantinos was angry, and a small part of him felt rightly so. The Emperor had been confined to his bed for days now after some sudden affliction had struck the otherwise healthy and energetic Isaakios Batatzes. For the thirty years Kosntantinos had known the Emperor, he had never been sick or shirked his duty for even a day.

    So why start now?

    The prince ignored the doctor as he droned on about some aspect or another of his diagnosis. He cared little for what was wrong with the Emperor, so long as he got better.

    "I wish to see the Emperor now," he gruffly interrupted the man in mid-sentence.

    "He should rest in the state he's in," the doctor protested feebly even as Konstantinos marched past him toward the door to Isaakios' private chambers.

    Konstantinos glanced suspiciously back over his shoulder. "If he is dying as you say, then it makes little difference," he retorted before shoving the door open and stepping inside.

    He halted midway. Shades hung over the windows deprived the room of any light save for a few flickering candles at the bedside. The Emperor lay prostrate in bed, eeriely still. As Konstantinos drew slowly closer, he watched shadows move about a face that seemed to have aged a decade since he had last seen the emperor.

    As Konstantinos sat down at the Emperor's bedside, Isaakios stirred, opening his eyes and gazing wearily up at him. It took a moment, but recognition finally dawned on him.

    "I thought... you were taking an expedition to the south..." Isaakios said, his voice straining yet hardly more than a whisper.

    "I heard you had fallen ill and hurried back," Konstantinos answered. "The men can survive without me for a few days."

    Isaakios cracked a smile, which seemed only to exhaust him further. "You would be surprised, old friend. They rely on you to lead them."

    Konstantinos shook his head slightly and patted Isaakios' shoulder placatingly. "I just follow my orders. They already have a leader, a better one than I'd ever be."

    Isaakios broke out into a laugh, a hoarse, throaty noise that soon degenerated into a fit of coughing. "Too humble for your own good," he responded. "That's what your father said to me once, and it seems he was right after all, amazingly."

    There was a brief moment of silence before he continued. "I'm dying, you know."

    Konstantinos wanted to protest, but he merely nodded his head.

    "I guess that's what happens when you spend half your life in some unexplored jungle eating nothing but naval rations," Isaakios concluded with a chuckle. "I was too busy all these years to really think about death, and now that it's staring me in the face... all I want to do is punch it in the damn face!"

    Konstantinos smiled. "See? There's still some fight left in you."

    Isaakios waved his hand dismissively, covering his mouth with the other as another coughing spell convulsed his frame. "I'm just glad I'll have a good man to continue my work when I'm gone."

    "Your successor still has to be selected by the people," Konstantinos rejoined.

    "Don't try and deny it," Isaakios said, shaking his head slightly. "It will be unanimous. No one can deny the dedication you've shown in building our new home."

    "I just do what needs to be done."

    "And you'll keep doing it!" Isaakios barked a laugh, jabbing a finger at Konstantinos. "And never forget where we came from. Never forget that one day, when we are strong and powerful again, we will return to the Old World and reclaim our lost homeland, free our people, and restore the glory of Rome. "

    Konstantinos nodded intently. "I won't forget."

    "This New World will provide us with the means. We can never forget how blessed we are to have been given this opportunity!" Isaakios said, his voice rising in intensity as his mind slipped further into a delirium. "We are Romans! The New World is ours! And we shall reclaim the Old!"

    -----

    A large group of nobles stood anxiously outside the door to the Emperor's private chambers when Konstantinos finally emerged just over an hour later. Gazing down somberly at the floor as he gently closed the door behind him, Konstantinos showed no sign of acknowledging the men gathered before him.

    Finally, after a tense moment of silence, he looked up, regarding them each in turn. Representatives of all the major noble houses were present: Dukas, Komnenos, Byrennios, Thrakesios, Skleros, Kantakouzenos, and more.

    "The Emperor is dead," Konstantinos announced at last, suppressing his emotions and clenching his jaw firmly.

    There was a moment's hesitation as the words registered in the minds of the nobility. Then, as one, they shouted: "Long live the Emperor!"


  3. #23
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  4. #24
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    'You may plant whatever you wish in your fields, but I swear I will wreak havoc on you if you ever give me that disgusting weed again!' -Emperor Konstantinos Palaiologos

    The death of Isaakios Batatzes in 1453 was a sad day to all the colonists of the New World. Whether part of the original few that had boldly departed Constantinople in 1418 or more recent settlers, all had in some way or another and come to rely upon the imperial leadership of a made who, it seemed, had been chosen by destiny to lead his people into a glorious new frontier. His reign had not be entirely peaceful, either internally or externally, nor had all the Emperor's policies met with universal acclaim. But no one could deny what he had done to remake the Byzantine Empire. The legacy of Isaakios Batatzes cast a long shadow over the throne indeed.

    Fortunately, a man equal to the task succeeded the late emperor. Konstantinos Palaiologos, a soldier his whole life and almost as important to the foundation of the new empire as Isaakios had been, was unanimously appointed Emperor by the representatives of all the great noble families. With tens of thousands of colonists spread along a thousand miles of scattered settlements, the spontaneous assembly election of Isaakios three decades prior could not possibly be replicated. Nevertheless, the new Emperor enjoyed the support of nearly everyone.

    Most predicted the military-minded Konstantinos would turn his attention to finishing off the remnants of the Mohican and Iroquois tribes, who had suffered devastating losses in their fierce war against New Constantinople, and had suffered equally since then by the insidious spread of Old World diseases and the encroachment of land-hungry colonists. Instead, Konstantinos directed the energies of the imperial administration toward the southern regions, which until then had only been loosely settled. Barely a year before the so-called Native Wars, the town of Konstantia in the Santee region was in 1453 still little more than a tiny outpost in the sweltering, swampy landscape. Had it been left to its own devices, it almost certainly would have remained a minor backwater. But in 1455, Konstantina began to export a new crop: tobacco.

    At least half a dozen plausible candidates exist for who first commercialized it, but regardless of who did, it soon became a boon for the otherwise cash-strapped settlers. As word spread of this new, profitable crop, countless settlers and immigrants rushed to exploit the possibilities, buying up the land around Konstantia en masse. Though he personally considered the crop to be a weed and repugnant in nearly every sense, Konstantinos nevertheless recognized its potential as a means of enriching the whole empire through trade and immigration drawn by the prospects of wealth.


    A tobacco-fueled trade boom in the mid-1450's profited the north as much as the south.


    The expansion sparked by the tobacco cash-crop accelerated the southern colonization more than anyone could have expected. By as early as April 1454, the Byzantines had pushed the boundaries of settled territory as far south as Florida. But the Emperor, not content to simply base his empire's future prosperity on the fortunes of a single crop, let alone one he so disparaged, pressed onward. Having heard rumors of the rich, fertile islands of the Caribbean Isaakios Batatzes had first discovered years before, Konstantinos outfitted an expedition from his own private funds to carry the Byzantine standard into these warm waters to the south. On February 1, 1457, Konstantinos' force landed on the island of Puerto Rico. The colonization attempt proved more difficult than initially expected, and it was not until July 9 that the Emperor could establish a viable colonial settlement.



    The expansion of the southern colonies and the establishment of a Byzantine foothold in the Caribbean would be the most recognizable accomplishments of the Emperor's reign, but hidden beneath all the adventurism, sound government policies underpinned a bustling colonial nation. Following up on the pro-commoner policies of the previous Emperor, Konstantinos cracked down hard on what he saw rightly as the excesses of the nobility. Though usually the wealthiest and owning the most land, individual magnates were rarely satisfied with their lot in life and sought all sorts of ways to increase the scope of their wealth and power. Rarely did they manage to escape the wrath of the authorities in New Constantinople.


    By the 1450's, the nobles were becoming even more troublesome than before.


    For an emperor whose power had been bestowed by popular acclamation by the landed nobility, the growing situation was clearly bound to produce trouble in the future. But Konstantinos was no dynasty-maker. He had been too busy, first as a soldier-explorer, and then as Emperor, to sire any heirs to whom he might pass on his authority, and his brothers were either all living comfortably in the Old World or deceased. It was not the first time in the history of the Byzantine Empire that such an oversight would plague its future.


  5. #25
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    wonderful! I say hurry up and annex all the new world nations before the Spanish come knocking on your door!

  6. #26
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Where did you get a nobility?

  7. #27
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    It occurred to me lately that I've been letting myself get bogged down in some of the less important details and dragging things on unnecessarily. So last night I did some modding to get things back on track and take things in a new direction. I hope no one is bothered by the, admittedly, abrupt change in pace and tone. I don't know how it will work out but I think it's worth a shot. This update is meant to make the 100-year jump in a single go so that I can get to the stuff that really counts in my book.

    -----


    The lecture hall was buzzing with the gentle drone of the students all talking at once when Professor Ignatius Moebius walked in, briefcase in hand and a large stack of papers tucked under his arm. As he walked down the central aisle toward the podium situated at the front of the room, hardly any students took the time to notice the professor's disheveled appearance, far moreso than usual. Abruptly, Moebius slammed his briefcase down on the table next to the podium, causing a few students to jump as the sharp noise rang through the hall.

    With an exaggerated sigh, the professor dropped the stack of papers next to his briefcase and slumped forward against the podium, slowly scanning the gathered students with barely-restrained frustration as they stared back with a mixture of confusion and nervousness.

    "Never before in all my years of teaching," Moebius began slowly, picking each word with great care, "Have I seen a more abysmal performance by a class in last week's midterms."

    A groan of disappointment rippled through the gathered students, many of whom reached immediately for their phones to type out some, no doubt pointless and inane, message to their friends and fellow students. It served only to make Moebius angrier.

    "Everyone put your phones down and shut them off!" he barked, hitting the podium with the palm of his hand. "If I see even one of you using those infernal devices I will fail this entire class! We shall instead discuss the contents of your exams."

    Clearing his throat, Moebius reached over and picked up the paper at the top of the pile. Reaching up, he carefully adjusted his glasses and quickly scanned it. "Ah yes, this student writes 'After the death of Emperor Konstantinos in 1466, Manuel Komnenos seized power and used his new authority to explore and colonize the South.' First, he did not seize power, he was elected. And he did not explore the Old Southwest, Basileos Skleros did. Manuel never even left New Constantinople!"

    Sighing, the professor plucked the next paper from the stack while tossing aside the other example of contemptuous carelessness. "This one reads 'Cortes' landing in Canada in 1495 caused panic amongst the Greeks, who were afraid Spain would steal of their land.' Cortes was born in 1485! No doubt the Byzantines were terrified of the approach of a 10-year old. He conquered the Aztec Empire in 1521, though yes, the Spanish trading posts in Canada did cause a great deal of concern. Not the worst, but it could be better."

    "Oh, this one was quite illuminating!" Moebius exclaimed mockingly as he surveyed a paper that seemed practically drenched in red ink. "'The war between the Mohicans and Iroquois,' both of which this student has misspelled nearly beyond all recognition, 'was started by the Byzantines in a clear example of their expansionist goals in the reign of Andronikos Dukas. Once the dust settled, the Byzantines would move in and conquer the victor, who would no doubt be weakened by the conflict.' Let me be clear, this sort of conspiracy-theory tripe has no place in serious, scholarly work!"

    The professor continued to shuffle through papers, muttering quietly under his breath as he looked over each paper. He paused on one and held it up for the student audience. "A blank paper. While I appreciate sparing me the effort of grading it, please note in the future that you are in fact paying stupendous amounts of money to recieve these lectures."

    Moebius grinned as he pulled another paper from the pile, recognition dawning on him. "Oh, this one was quite a comedic piece. 'The colonists were very happy when they completed the new Hagia Sophia cathedral in 1500. They felt they were becoming a true empire, so they decided to attack the Shawnee tribe in 1516 because they had already conquered everyone else.' This student goes on to elaborate that 'no one liked that Andronikos Skleros treated the natives badly, so when he was really sick right before he died, all the nobles got together and decided they would share being emperor and run things for themselves.'"

    Moebius bowed his head and stared down at the ground silently for a moment, girding himself. "I think I can safely say for all the countless thousands who were subjugated and enslaved by the aristocracy's reign of terror following Andronikos Skleros' death in 1529, that I do not appreciate these matters being trivialized in such a way! A century of free expansion and prosperity was nearly crushed by the greed and ambition of a few noble houses. True, Andronikos Skleros was only emperor because the fame his grandfather Basileos earned, but he had continued the policy of protecting the commoners!"

    For the next several minutes, Professor Moebius went paper by paper, mocking and correcting the innumerable errors, omissions, and other mistakes that filled the students' exams. The discovery of gold in the Caribbean islands in 1503, the development on New Constantinople as a flourishing center of trade in 1521, the intellectual reforms Emperor Isaakios Thrakesios, the bloody frontier war of 1493-4 against the Huron and remnants of the Alnanbal tribe. The list went on and on, as though the students had not heard a word he said.

    Finally, a lone student, a nervous-looking girl seated in the front row of desks, raised her hand, interrupting Moebius in mid-rant.

    "Yes?" he asked, frowning slightly in confusion as he failed to recall the girl's name. He could recite the names and dates of all the Roman emperors by heart, but could never get the names of his students to stick in his mind for more than a few minutes.

    "Professor," she stammered meekly, "I-I don't think what you're doing is fair. All these dates and names aren't really important, it's that we tried our hardest."

    Moebius' jaw dropped as he struggled to recompose himself. "I don't think you did try your hardest," he responded, his voice eerily calm and quiet, like the calm before a storm. "I've lost count of how many times I've seen you all falling asleep in class, or playing on those damn phones. It's clear none of you do the reading, or if you do, you certainly don't read all of it or grasp what's printed on the page. In this exam alone I have six individuals under investigation for plagiarism."

    Moebius paused, glancing at the gathered students before continuing. "You know what? Fine!" he shouted, throwing up his hands in resignation. "It clearly doesn't matter what I say, nothing gets through to you. So forget it, I'm going to lecture on the Holy Revolution of 1550..."

    "But the syllabus says we're supposed to be talking about the rise of serfdom in the 1530s," the student who had spoken up early objected.

    "Forget about the syllabus!" Moebius shouted back in exasperation. "And you had all better pay attention. The Holy Revolution of 1550 is when the story starts to get interesting."

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by TC Pilot View Post
    It occurred to me lately that I've been letting myself get bogged down in some of the less important details and dragging things on unnecessarily.
    Well Im more of a big picture kinda guy so I like to see an extra pic here and there of the empire growing. But that's just me

    As for the new style... it's different

    Im surprised that you gave yourself such small starting capital, I would have thought 2000 or 3000d would have been more on the mark.

  9. #29
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    rise of serfdom?
    Low population, endless wilderness, not that much nobility, new age... And you manage to bring back serfdom?
    Just for plantations?

  10. #30
    Lt. General TheExecuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    rise of serfdom?
    Low population, endless wilderness, not that much nobility, new age... And you manage to bring back serfdom?
    Just for plantations?
    It IS the byzantines...it can't all go 'right' for them, you know?

    Hmm...'Holy Revolution', eh?
    The Last Mission A Love Story

    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

  11. #31
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    Strategic Fail: The change was meant merely to serve as a means of pushing forward a hundred years. Very little actually happened in that timeframe, with only a few minor events.

    And yes, it turned out to be a rather small amount of resources to start with. I've been adjusting things as I've went along. Tech speed, for one, was particularly awful give the orthodox tech group and low province income. I also had to change my capital province to European, so that I could build ships and cavalry.

    Enewald: Historically, the cash crops the southern United States are well suited to grow required large amounts of cheap labor, be they indentured servants or slaves, and this coming from a society largely devoid of the more common European serfdom. The Byzantine refugees who came over originally included a large number of nobles who controlled more resources than the random commoners who joined in. Given time and a free hand, it's not impossible that the rich would accumulate more land and wealth while the poor become indebted to them

    -----


    'All she demanded of us was complete obedience and control of our souls. It was a fair price for revenge.' -Archon Arkadios Karxarias

    By the start of 1550, power in the Byzantine Empire lay exclusively in the hands of the aristocratic class, descendants of the nobles who had joined Isaakios Batatzes in his journey across the Atlantic Ocean over a century earlier and the lucky few who had made an early fortune. Over time, these nobles had agitated with growing strength and effectiveness to usurp most of the emperor's powers, culminating in the ultimatum to the dying and bedridden Andronikos Skleros in 1529. Since then, the country had essentially degenerated into a loose confederacy of isolated noble fiefdoms and plantations, headed by a tiny handful of hereditary households and enforced by mercenaries paid for and equipped by the labor of the peasant masses.

    1529 did not mark the beginning of aristocratic excess, merely the height of a long trend in Byzantine history, which saw the greatest possible abuse of the poor masses at the hands of the wealthy few. The poor got poorer and the rich got richer, and it continued in this way for many years without serious opposition to the system that was developing with the Byzantine Empire.

    But discontent was not far below the surface. The sons of farmers remembered a time when their families tilled the soil for their own profits, the merchants a time when they could buy and sell to countless thousands of frontier settlements, and not just the monopolized plantations. Rather unexpectedly, the first sparks that were to ignite the great conflagration began in the Orthodox Church, hardly a bastion of radical thought.

    Ever since the first arrival of the Byzantine colonists in the New World, there had been a pronounced shortages of clergy. Few priests had joined the ranks of the intrepid explorers, while most of those who actually did travel across the ocean soon rushed off into the wilderness in the hopes of converting the native populace, leaving the fulfillment of the people's spiritual needs in the hands of local communities. The inevitable consequence of a lack of trained, even literate, clergy was a profusion of localist diversity. Though the Patriarch in New Constantinople might commend the people for rising to the initiative and taking up God's calling, he would have been horrified if he took a closer look at their theology. Some priests reassured their parishes that they were not in fact eating and flesh and blood of Christ, others argued that he was just a man called upon by God to save mankind from its sins, others that it made no difference what kind of food and drink was used at communion, so long as the spirit was willing. Initially, such theological lapses might easily have been stamped out by a few corrections and rebukes from New Constantinople. But after decades of neglect, these divergences became entrenched local customs and traditions.

    Mounting peasant indignation and the religious diffusion combined together into a common strand by the 1540's. The common people often took solace in the belief that the oppressive aristocrats would find themselves tormented in Hell after death, and that God would surely punish the wicked and reward the righteous for enduring their misery. It seems only fitting that it would be a woman who would start everything off. Much about her is lost to time, including her true name and her date of birth. Agnostikas Benetianos first enters history as a member of the then-named West Point monastery. Leaving the holy sanctuary after a theological argument that very nearly turned violent, Benetianos took her message to the general populace. A bizarre mixture of millenialism, crusaderism, and class warfare, her message struck a resounding note with the oppressed Byzantine peasantry. Eerily charismatic and a superb organizer, she quickly gathered a following amongst the dispossessed and impoverished.

    At its heart, Benetianos' message was simple: there were more peasants than nobles, so the peasants should kill the nobles and take their wealth. They should then use that wealth to revolutionize society on egalitarian lines and, made stronger from it, conquer those who disagreed. 'Kill the nobles' became the common phrase, and it proved stunningly effective. But had Benetianos' allies remained limited solely to the peasantry, it is likely that her movement would have eventually collapsed as most peasant rebellions did in history. But the merchants of New Constantinople saw an opportunity. Too long held economically hostage by the nobility, they invited Benetianos to New Constantinople to preach her message. Before long, the lower class mobs had been won over, and in a dramatic ceremony staged in front of the Hagia Sophia, was proclaimed empress in the fashion of Isaakios Batatzes.

    With the aristocracy all ready rallying to dispose of this growing nuisance, the new Empress acted swiftly, declaring all nobles who did not immediately swear complete allegiance to the throne and voluntarily relinquish control of all their assets to the throne to be traitors and their lives and property subject to the mercy of their tenants and serfs. The peasantry had rarely needed encouragement to rebel, but with the capital now sanctioning it, the whole country erupted in civil war. Armies of peasants roamed the countryside, ransacking and looting the manor houses, estates, and great plantations of the nobility, as those who managed to escape the lynch mobs and roving bandits hired what mercenaries the New Constantinople merchants had not already and fought their way across the mountains and into the vast, untamed wilderness that lay beyond.

    With the noble classes being torn apart by the peasants, Agnostikas turned toward her second enemy, the Orthodox Church. Condemning it of decadence and failing to aid the people in their time of need, the Empress proclaimed numerous doctrinal reforms, including the canonization of Isaakios Batatzes as the hero of the common people and the transfer of all the Church's temporal power to the throne. With a peasant pitchfork practically at his throat, the Patriarch consented. Agnostikas Benetianos was now not only empress, but goddess.

    The Holy Revolution had begun.



  12. #32
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    Scary...
    The Last Mission A Love Story

    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

  13. #33
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    An Orthodox Puritan sounds so... odd.
    Last edited by Kurt_Steiner; 25-05-2011 at 10:09.
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    Palo Dixit: posible Anticristo, vacalentacialanonanista, Culé y Salido que provoca manifas por donde pasa.
    Palo Dixit redux: Escatológico bipolar

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  14. #34
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Goddess-Empress of Mankind?

    Ruler of Time and ruler of all Men?

    Vicegerent of Christ upon Earth?

    Combined with American resources...

    RUN TO THE HILLS!

  15. #35
    Captain Misconstruction's Avatar
    Europa Universalis 3For The Glory

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    Divine Roman Empire of both Americas? :-0

    The awesomness of this AAR is growing update by update! I would love to see a map or two of the settlements in the New World (my fear of the Spanish is increasing!)

  16. #36
    Field Marshal TC Pilot's Avatar
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    TheExecuter: It gets better.

    Kurt_Steiner: That's only because you have yet to unshackle your mind from its preconceptions. Embrace the new truth, or embrace the fire.

    Enewald: Om nom nom nom!

    Misconstruction: Fear not, there will be pictures!

    -----


    February 1, 1555

    Arkadios Karxarias marched quickly through the corridors of the Imperial Palace, his red cape billowing slightly behind him and his boots ringing against the barren stone walls. Hurriedly, peasants and holy acolytes stepped out of the way, saluting the passing commander in the new manner, crossing their arms over their chest in the shape of an X and bowing.

    Not waiting for his presence to be announced or for the Imperial Bodyguards flanking the door to the throne room to open it for him, Karxarias shoved the great oak doors aside with both hands and marched inside. Staring straight ahead as he passed the rows of marble columns, he quickly realized he was the last to arrive. Three other men stood before the great imperial throne at the center of the chamber, bowed on one knee and their eyes averted down. Quickly crossing the distance, he joined the others in that pose and awaited the response from the throne.

    For a moment, there was only silence. From his years of service, Karxarias had no reason to look up. The Empress was sitting perfectly still on her throne, her back perfectly straight and her chin tilted slightly upwards so her eyes gazed up at the windows ringing the room's great domed ceiling. Her expression was one of complete serenity.

    "We have received reports that the rebellions across the mountains are nearly suppressed, my lord Archons," she intoned airily. None of the four men replied, and remained patiently bowed. "Many have already expected the righteousness of the Purity, but many more remain defiant in holding to the old, corrupt ways."

    This proved too much for the man at the opposite end of the row from Karxarias, whose features were hidden behind a simple, brown sack-cloth robe. "We shall endeavor to..."

    The Empress interrupted him before he could go any further. "The Order of Hagios Isaakios shall endeavor to do what is instructed of it by the Imperial Throne, nothing more. The Pure Way has indeed made commendable progress, but matters of other importance must now receive our attention."


    Assets seized by the state during the eradication of the noble land holdings allowed the new regime to conduct a massive, empire-wide conversion program. In many cases, these efforts were readily accepted by a grateful peasantry. But in the north, particularly amongst the surviving native populations, the conversion program was met with violent resistance.


    Karxarias had known for several months now that something momentous was about to happen. All those soldiers who were not preoccupied with the suppression of the rebellion had been called to assemble in New Constantinople. Some believed it was the start of a grand crusade against the Spanish in the south or the French in the north, others hoped that the Empress had gathered them together so that she might impart her God-given wisdom on them, her most loyal servants.

    The presence of a representative of the Order of Hagios Isaakios almost assuredly meant the former. The order of warrior-monks was the Empress' most fanatical acolytes and the fiercest soldiers in the entire Hemisphere. All had pledged to joyfully surrender their lives in service of the Pure Way, though usually it was those who oppossed them who found themselves shedding their mortal coil. That Arkadios was kneeling before the Empress alongside Heraclius Nihilus, the Merciless Judgment, and Gabriel Anqrakias, the Holy Fire, merely confirmed it in his mind.

    "It was the greatest hope of the blessed Hagios Isaakios," the Empress continued, "That our people would return to the Old World and reclaim their rightful homeland. Until now, we were not yet strong enough to embark on such a momentous crusade. The Pure Way has given our people the strength to overcome all the evil of the Old World. You, my Archons, shall lead this mission to see it to fruition."

    "Your will be done," all four men said in unison.

    "By our faith in the righteous of our cause, and in the strength of the purified soul they shall tremble before our onslaught," the Empress proclaimed with the same serene tone. "Divine Retribution shall serve as supreme commander of the crusade's army."

    Arkadios' eyes went wide, overcome as he was by the shock of the Empress' choice. Quickly, he recomposed himself. "God's light shall guide me, Empress!" he managed to stammer out.

    "Then our victory is assured," she rejoined. "You will have under your command many thousands of our brave soldiers. It is inevitable that some shall fall in the course of our battles, but never forget that these men are your responsibility. God will freely welcome these martyrs at the gates of Heaven, but He may send down his wrath upon those who would treat such sacrifices irreverently."

    "Where would God direct my sacred armies?"

    "This land is too distant from our homelands for our armies to sail there in safety. The Pure Way shall require a base of operations in the Old World before proceeding further. The land of Portugal is weak and ripe for conquest. That is where God shall direct you."



    "Do not hesitate in your task, and show the enemies of the Pure Way no mercy. Once more, our people shall rule over the Old World."

  17. #37
    Lt. General TheExecuter's Avatar
    Europa Universalis 3

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    Ah...a reconquista...Roman style.
    The Last Mission A Love Story

    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

  18. #38
    Colonel General_Hoth's Avatar
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    Darth Byzantius?
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    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...ar-double-AAR: my first AAR. a french and indian war game vs Narwal

  19. #39
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    I always told ya: nothing good can came from USA
    Fan número uno de Ailee para el resto de la eternidad y un poco más.
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
    Palo Dixit: posible Anticristo, vacalentacialanonanista, Culé y Salido que provoca manifas por donde pasa.
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    AARs en curso o acabados -Ongoing and finished HoI2 AARs-
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  20. #40
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Warriors monks?
    Why is there always an angry Western blob that wants to conquer eastern lands over the seas and subjugate them?

    How about killing the Pope in the fires of Mount Vesuvius?

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