Enemies at the Gate
A Role-Playing AAR in MEIOU
Eastern Europe is a dangerous place for the Russian principalities. To the east is the infinity of Asia. A featureless landmass that stretches out for eternity, filled to the brim with Mongols and Siberians all who want to settle the green pastures of Europe. Every five years -or so- they reappear when the treaties expire and begin their raids anew. They burn villages, stampede livestock, and run off with good Christian women. But defending against the disorganized and war-torn Mongols is the least of the problems for the Russians. To the West a super-power has emerged in the last two hundred years, leaving behind it a bloody and treacherous history: The Empire of Lithuania.
Lithuania began as a humble collection of pagan states, united and then whipped up into a frenzy of conquest and domination. No Russian city was safe from the pagans who quickly conquered much of Russia and converted once honest Christians to pagan heathens. Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Riga, Kiev, Cherigov, Donetsk, Pskov, Tver, Tula... all lost forever to the might of the pagans who stubbornly held on despite Christendom's attempts to convert or eradicate them from the face of the map. Before the sack of Novgorod, the Russian states believed that they might still be able to resist the pagans, but now they were only there because the Lithuanians had begun to stabilize their eastern borders and look west for new lands to conquer.
But on a fateful summer morning in 1522 the Lithuanians showed up: 30,000 men under the command of some of the best generals in all of Europe. They marched into Murom, not to burn or pillage... but to offer 540 ducats. Their gift gladly accepted, the Lithuanian armies split up and began a campaign to end a three-year-long peasant uprising, defeating the rebels in a matter of months. And then they turned toward Moscow and it was the same story: pagan soldiers defending the Christian realms from rebels and Mongols. They were brutally efficient and quickly began to win over allies... but also began to cause people to worry.
It is now the Spring 1253 and the treaties with the great Khans of Sibir and Nogai will expire in the Autumn. The Lithuanians have invited the Russians into a large treaty, guaranteeing their independence and subsidizing their wars against the Mongols but demand complete and unquestionable military access in the name of keeping the peace. It is up to you to decide the fate of Russia.
Welcome to Enemies at the Gate, an inter-active role-playing AAR! In this AAR readers are encouraged to create characters and join in on the debates, scheming and back-stabbing. Post should remain in character unless you are asking a question. To prevent confusion, in character posts should be bolded and in a color of your choice. Out of character questions/comments should be left as is.
You can submit a character to me via PM here is an example of submission (my own):
There is no need to give me their goals or loyalties, that is up for you to decide and share at your discretion. If you would like to submit a background, that is fine, though it is important to at least thought of one. Countries can have multiple players and they don't necessarily have to be allies. There are a couple positions that need to be filled to ensure a good game:Name: Kazimieras
Religion: Baltic Pagan
Prince Yuriy III Mustislavski - Prince of Moscow
Voivode Vasily II Glebovich - Voicode of Murom
Posadnik Boris Vorotynsky - Posadnik of Novgorod
and we need an ambassador from the Papal State.
You must have been approved to play, I will keep an updated list of approved players.
Stay on topic, I am still a demi-mod so this thread will be clean.
What you do in PMs is up to you, if you want to try to unite a bunch of players, have at it. Remember to keep your PM box from getting full, it is actually a board rule.
All things are open - but wars and assassinations are tricky. People are not going to want to just up and die, and it is likely that they are going to "remember" who did it in their next life.
When in doubt, PM me.
Every week or so I shall post a gazette of sorts covering what was happening. And once a month I will update the map (if it has changed) and tell you what the pesky Mongols are doing.
Eventually (no saying when), the Russians will have to decide what to do and who (if anyone) to side with. There is no winning per se, but you character will be happier if they can meet their goals.
Here are some interesting countries to play and what their country is doing, I'd prefer you stick to the list for loyalties but if you'd like to use a different country please PM and I can give you a background:
Lithuania - Lithuania is Europe's last remaining pagan state. In the last two hundred years they have expanded rapidly and often at the expense of the Russian states. Most people in Lithuania are pagan, but there are significant Catholic, Orthodox and Sunni minorities. Christians are not allowed to hold titles of nobility, though can be merchants and continue to practice their religion. The practice of Islam is strictly forbidden in Lithuania due to the once constant wars with the Muslim Khans.
Moscow - Before Lithuania had successfully annexed Poland, Moscow was probably the strongest player in Eastern Europe. They were even able to briefly regain the title after successfully defeating the Blue and White Hordes. Their Empire stretched from the Moskva River beyond the Aral Sea... but then the Kazakhs and Siberians invaded together and now Moscow is back down to their core territories.
Novgorod - Novgorod has remained mostly unscathed due to their location. However; they enjoyed meddling in Lithuanian affairs, though they stopped after the disastrous 1511 attempt to assassinate Lithuania's high inquisitor gave Lithuania cause to invade Novgorod and pillage much of their wealth. It was this war that cost Tver their freedom and for the first time included large numbers of Polish converts in the Lithuanian army.
Murom - Murom's existence is all down to luck. Once a small Russian city-state, Murom has withstood the test of time and expanded into the former territories of the Blue Horde. It can be said that they survived only because the Blue Horde was too busy fighting Lithuania and Moscow to even remember the tiny state, but survival is survival even if you did it by riding the coat-tails of a larger nation.
Papal State - The Papal State has recently managed to whip Europe back into the mood for Crusades. They have taken footholds in Anatolia, the Holy Land, and Northern Africa. In 1520 they were able to convince the Roman Empire to convert to Catholicism in exchange for stopping the Venetian raids and helping Rome fight the Turks. It is their hope to expand the Roman example in to Russia and effectively heal the Great Schism.
Interactive AAR approved by loki, Qorten, myself