November 9th, Feastday of Saint Theodore of Amasea, in the 1404th year of our Lord.
Events move slowly in this great, wide world of ours. Far too slowly for an old man like me. But at last, events are moving in favor of the Order.
The spies we planned to send to Cyprus were expensive, so I have ordered my spymaster to bide his time until I can come upon a sufficient sum of gold. However, in my absence from the island, the smallcouncil recieved and accepted offers of alliance and aid from none other than the Pope himself. Using our newfound, powerful allies, I have declared a crusade upon the Karamani, and a great sea battle is now being fought off the shores of Rhodes. The combined navy of the Papal States and the Order are more than sufficient to decimate the Karamani fleet, but I fear the invasion will not go so well.
By all reports, the Karamani army is five thousand men strong. The Order's own forces still stand at only one thousand, and while the Papacy can field over seven thousand men, they lack the transports to bring them to bear against Karaman. This is still a step forward for the order, and I believe that we will shortly stand upon the shores of Karaman as victorious conquerors, and those that come after us will laugh in disbelief when told tales of the Order's past weakness.
In addition, I have decided upon the creation of a new unit in the Order's military. In Adana, we have found healthy new converts to the true faith, many of whom are warriors, and these men are all too eager to serve Christ and God on Crusade. I am therefore ordering the creation of the Christguard, an elite force of Anatolian cavalrymen, to carry the banner of God against our enemies.
Instead of creating a new post every time, I have decided to append relevant information to the end of the latest post. In this case, I began the war with Karaman at the start, so information regarding the war will be added to the end of the post until the war ends.
The Knights of Saint John's First Crusade against Karaman (1403 - 1406) (Defeat)
10th of February, 1404 - It is with great pleasure that I record this great blow that has been struck against our enemies. The Karamani fleet was no match for the combined strength of Crusader and Papacy, and thought it did manage to evade capture in the seas off the coast of Rhodes, we caught it in the Gulf of Cyprus, and smashed it to pieces upon the rocky shore. With this, Karaman is no longer a threat to the Order's headquarters, but its succesful and quick siege of Alexandretta, and resulting occupation of the province of Adana, is a grim blow to the order. Our first course of action will be to reclaim the province.
The Karamani flagship, scuttled on the shore of Cyprus.
9th of April, 1405 - We have fought eachother to a standstill. In a desperate effort to retake Adana, I landed ashore with my small force. We were crushed by a six-thousand strong army of Karamani, and a bare handful, including myself, survived to escape. I now bide my time on Rhodes while I await the creation of a new host, and hope that reinforcements from the Papal States arrive soon.
January, 1406 - Disaster and humiliation. We have been forced to sign a peace treaty with the Karamani envoys, after a disastrous defeat on Karamani soil by a weakened yet still strong Karamani army. Despite outnumbering our foe, the levies raised by the Papal States and their ally, Urbino, were crushed utterly.
We must continue to bide our time, and hope an opportunity presents itself.