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Thread: Stop Stabbing Me! - House Komnenos

  1. #21
    First Lieutenant cezar87's Avatar

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    Nice! I'm now officially subscribed! It' really fun style you've chosen . And CK II sounds like it's a great improvement on CK. Could you post some screenshots, please to see how the game looks?

  2. #22
    Lt. General humancalculator's Avatar
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  3. #23
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    The AI doesn't hold back with assassination attempts, does it?
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    Honourable Saxon Thegn AlexanderPrimus's Avatar
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    Wow, I wasn't expecting to see another AAR from you for a bit, so this is a very pleasant surprise.

    This reads like a "quick and dirty" version of Rome AARisen, so I'm loving it already. Great stuff.

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  5. #25
    The Quixotic Emperor of Mexico Maximilliano's Avatar
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    im in!
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  6. #26
    Any General_BT AAR is by definition a good AAR, glad to see that you don't waste time, General. I like the barebones style you've done for this; its an interesting departure from the awesomely wordy Rome AARisen.

  7. #27
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    Crap almighty! These plots, counterplots and constant assassinations make real-life Byzantium look rather sedate by comparison... But there's certainly never a dull moment and it sounds like an awesome game to play (I don't just mean CKII in general, but this playthrough in particular).
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  8. #28
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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  9. #29
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    First, wow, the response to this has been amazing. Thank you all for reading!

    Second, an observation. To be blunt, the Doukas dynasty (or the Byzantine Empire itself) are far too powerful. Yes, there's a civil war in the reign of Michael, but in the three games I've played into the 12th century, despite multiple civil wars all that happens is the throne is tossed amongst members of the Doukas family. No one, despite the Komnenoi, the Agyroi and the Palialogi having claims to Byzantium, has even gotten the plot event to try to depose the Doukas Emperor. Maybe that plot event needs to spawn far more often... :/

    Anyways, to the story of Alexiea Komnenos (not Anna, as I misreported):

    Duchess Alexeia I (through 1144)

    Duchess Alexeia's reign began almost immediately with a hail of assassination attempts by the mother of her cousin Kyrill in Antioch. These were successfully deflected, though one assassin came close enough to wound the little girl. This experience and others left her with a very cynical view of the world. Despite this, she grew into a very brave, blunt woman, not renowned for her diplomacy but her bravery on the hunt. She often complained that she regretted being a proper noblewoman of the Roman Empire, otherwise she would have donned helm and mail and went to war herself.

    On reaching adulthood, Alexeia martilinearly married Nikolaios Synadenos, second son of the Doux of Dyrrachion. The couple would enjoy a joyous marriage, having sired so far three sons and two daughters. Nikolaios was also gifted in the field of diplomacy, and to this date has served faithfully as her chancellor.

    But, we did not come to discuss marriage, did we? As soon as Alexeia reached adulthood and sired her firstborn, named Andronikos, the wife of her cousin Kyrill hatched a plot to assassinate the young boy. Alexeia found wind of the plot, and assassinated the terrible woman. A few months later, in 1131, Alexeia’s resourceful spymaster scored another coup, and got her a claim on the County of Thrake. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect—the Empire was at war, and all of the Countesses allies were in the field. Alexeia mobilized the 7,000 men she had available, and quickly stole the county. The nobility did not remain quiet in the face of this aggression—the Countess of Monemvasia began plotting to send assassins after Alexeia’s husband. The good Duchess responded in kind, killing first the Countess’ husband, and then her for good measure. About this time her poor spymaster literally ran himself to death crisscrossing the empire setting up spy networks (He died suddenly at a young age, probably from overwork! )

    Thus Alexeia and the Komnenoi stood paramount amongst the nobles of the empire—save one, Doux Grgur Doukas of Thrake, who ruled Adrianopolis and Kalliopolis, as well as having the titles Doux of Armenia, Alania and Coloneia. His lands were vast, and literally bracketed both sides of the Komnenoi realm. Additionally, he had ducal claims on both Thrake and Byzantion, both cash cows for the Komnenoi purse. When his chancellor began pursuing claims in Byzantion, Alexeia decided to hatch a plot to kill him. The plot itself got nowhere—few nobles were interested in outright assaulting a member of the Doukids. So Alexeia hired assassins and did the dirty deed herself, ensuring those powerful lands were inherited by a two year old boy.

    Yet the nobility weren’t done with the Duchess. Kyrill died at a young age, and his sister conveniently inherited his lands. Instead of sending assassins, she sent the Church, convincing Ecumenical Patriarch Charion I to excommunicate Duchess Alexeia. This evil deed could not go unpunished, and Duchess Eunike of Antioch quickly was drowning in her own blood. Alexeia resolved to end that dispute once and for all, and a hail of assassinations whittled the Antioch branch of the family down to one—the youngest sister of Kyrill who had no claim to the northern lands. In addition, she was conventionally married outside the dynasty. To seal the peace, Alexeia handed her the County of Tortosa, part of her ducal lands, the moment it rose up in rebellion.

    The source of the excommunication dealt with, Alexeia then turned back to the Church to try and overturn the excommunication, only to discover that Emperor Daniel I (son of the Konstantinos XII “the Great” mentioned above) had imprisoned the poor man. Alexeia nervously waited for two years before the Emperor released the shepherd of the Orthodox, and her excommunication was overturned in 1139.

    Alexeia meanwhile continued her father’s extensive building program, building a new castle at Haymana in Ancyra province, as well as making numerous additions from Constantinople to Sinope. However, her bid to follow her grandfather’s footsteps and undo gavelkind succession has so far fallen away. Emperor Daniel altered crown authority on his succession. With three sons, Paphlagonia will go to one, Armeniacon to a second, and Byzantion and Thrake to a third. This clearly is unacceptable…




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  10. #30
    Honourable Saxon Thegn AlexanderPrimus's Avatar
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    Oh my, what a mess!

    You make a good point there about the Doukas... if you haven't been able to snatch the diadem by now, who can?

  11. #31
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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    Weird. Starting as Alexios in 1071, I snatched the throne in '87 after countless civil wars (5 emperors!) lowering the crown authority enough for me to plot for it without having a direct claim. Alexios the Great did well for himself too. But I digress, love the tale of Komnenoids AARising.
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  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderPrimus View Post
    Oh my, what a mess!

    You make a good point there about the Doukas... if you haven't been able to snatch the diadem by now, who can?
    This xD

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT
    Alexeia resolved to end that dispute once and for all, and a hail of assassinations whittled the Antioch branch of the family down to one—the youngest sister of Kyrill who had no claim to the northern lands. In addition, she was conventionally married outside the dynasty. To seal the peace, Alexeia handed her the County of Tortosa, part of her ducal lands, the moment it rose up in rebellion.
    The phrase 'hail of assassinations' is not one I recall reading in non-CKII AARs. This game truly takes its bloodshed serious, especially at the more intimate, personal level.

    Oh, and 'generously' handing out a County (as a 'peace offering', no less!) to the last surviving member of the Antioch branch of the family, the moment it rebels - that is a deft touch that really hits the sweet spot.
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  14. #34
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
    Alexeia nervously waited for two years before the Emperor released the shepherd of the Orthodox, and her excommunication was overturned in 1139.
    Very nervously indeed I'd imagine! Quite ridiculous that she was excommunicated anyway, ordering the assassination of numerous people a charitable act which the church should be commending.

    She seems a very formidable woman, I'm looking forward to reading more about her exploits!
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  15. #35
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Quite ridiculous that she was excommunicated anyway, ordering the assassination of numerous people a charitable act which the church should be commending.
    Besides, many of the assassinations were in clear self-defense, so they don't count on the wrong side of the ledger...
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldriq View Post
    Besides, many of the assassinations were in clear self-defense, so they don't count on the wrong side of the ledger...
    'Defensive assassination' - I like that. Has a certain ring to it. When it reads that 'Duchess Eunike of Antioch quickly was drowning in her own blood', it almost sounds like acceptable behavior. I guess we'll call it the maternal instinct, perhaps taken a little bit too far, but we all know how protective mothers can be of their little 'uns, right?
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  17. #37
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Oh, and a few screenshots for everyone:


    Alexeia as a youngster, right after she reached maturity.


    Alexeia's lands in light pink, before the aquisition of Thrake. She is a twice over Duchess (of Paphlagonia and Armeniacon), holds Herakleia and Amisos as vassals, and personally is Countess of Ancyra, Byzantion, Sinope and Paphlagonia.


    Little Alexeia all grown up, about fourteen years after the last update to her story. As you can see, she's clearly not someone to toy with...


    All I'll say (as I'm still playing her) is that if you think she's vicious now, just wait...

    Oh, and Nikolai if you're having that kind of success, perhaps I've been going about my tactics with the Byzantine throne the wrong way. I know for sure I accidentally threw an opportunity away with Alexios when I rebelled while betrothed to Michael's sister. I'm seriously not that good of a player, I just like to tell fun stories about when I play.

    EDIT - I promise I'll do some proper replies, when I get a moment when I'm not playing!
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  18. #38
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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    Well, either that or you were unlucky. Either way it makes a good story. And I have had some time to hone my skills. Check the credits. I've just ended a session of awesomeness as Sicily-Africa btw, too bad I'm not as good a story teller as you. 1066-1107: King of Sicily and halfway to king of Africa. 1132: King of both, having just gone through my fifth succession in as many years(someone HAS to be assassinating me ), and heading into a good, ol' succession crisis.
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  19. #39
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Duchess Alexeia I Komnenos 1144-1169
    Alexeia’s succession woes quickly were pushed aside, as a grand opportunity presented itself. Emperor Danield took ill at age 33. Many said this was because of how he’d killed his older brother to secure sole succession, while others pointed to his lustful habits. For Alexeia, the Emperor’s deteriorating and syphilitic condition was a boon. Daniel had two sons, Konstantinos and a legitimized bastard named Lazaros. However, Alexeia was intrigued by his oldest daughter, named Anthousa, who was only seven at the time. Alexeia’s own son Andronikos was nearing adulthood, and she quickly arranged for his betrothal to the Princess.

    Emperor Daniel languished for several more years, as Anthousa grew older. When she was finally of age, Alexeia proposed a full marriage between her and Andronikos, wherein their children would be Komnenos, not Doukas. Daniel, his condition worsening and his bad relations amongst his vassals growing only more desperate, eagerly agreed. Andronikos and Anthousa were quickly married on July 12th, 1152. The next day, Andronikos was named Count of Thrake, and everything seemed to be falling into place. Alexeia’s third son, the loud and cantankerous Antonios Nikolaioslov, died choking in his own vomit. One coming masterstroke, and it seemed nothing could stop Alexeia and her ambition to put one of her own on the Throne of Caesars…

    …until assassins sent by parties unknown killed Andronikos less than one month later. In a scramble, Alexeia hastily married Anthousa to her second son, the suddenly smiling Eustratios, now the sole heir to all the Komnenoi lands. An anxious year passed, as Emperor Daniel finally passed on, leaving the crown to his eldest son Konstantinos, who was quickly growing into a man of promise. Alexeia spent countless hours pacing the halls of the Blacharenae as the months ticked by, until finally news arrived—on September 24th, 1155, Anthousa had given birth to a daughter, Alexandra. Orders were quickly dispatched, and the greatest plot in the history of the Roman Empire went into full swing. Assassins struck down Prince Lazaros in his chambers in Korchev on September 27th. A few months later, on June 1st, 1156, Emperor Konstantinos XIII, his son Prince Daniel and his daughter Princess Alexandra all died in the worst mass poisoning in Roman history. Princess Anthousa, soon to be Empress, reportedly stormed into the chambers of the Duchess demanding an explanation. According to anecdote, Alexeia shushed her infuriated daughter in law, and calmly told her she should prepare herself to be crowned Empress of the Roman Empire.

    And what an Empress Anthousa would become… but therein lies a different story. For us, the story of Alexeia continues. Firstly she handsomely rewarded her lowborn spymaster, Apollonios, who made all of her scheming possible. Her masterstroke complete, the Duchess sent her him to Thessalonike to watch for plots against her son and grandchild, even as Anthousa gave birth to two more daughters and eventually a son (whom she named Daniel, after her father and her slain nephew). Alexeia’s diligence to the new imperial family extended beyond passive watching. When the Prince of Turnovo and Nikaea also inherited Benevento and Dalmatia, Alexeia judged him too great a threat to her grandchildren to live. Apollonios went to work, and Prince Gregorios Doukas died green and bloated like a toad. Unlike her poisoning of the little Prince Daniel, Alexeia’s involvement was not discovered. Only a few later, the Despot of Georgia, who held lands from Dukjla to Adrianopolis to his personal lands in the east, was also judged a threat. He died in a similar manner, his realm split amongst his seven daughters.

    On the more domestic front, Alexeia married her cousin Nikodemos to the daughter of the Princess of Croatia, and continued her extensive building campaign. Relations with Anthousa were improved, and her realm prospered and grew as the ambitious empress set about conquering lost territories and expanding imperial horizons. Alexeia grew fat in her old age, and in 1166 suffered a fall that rendered her bedridden. Even confined to her quarters, she kept a thumb on the heartbeat of the empire, sending assassins to Adrianopolis and Samos when nobles grew out of line. She finally suffered a stroke in December of 1168, and died the following spring—rightfully called the Mother of the Komnenoi.



    (The night of assassinations was really me saving up 900 gold and assassin spamming the emperor and his children. I only got caught once, amazingly enough… pics forthcoming!)
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  20. #40
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    This batch of assassinations was a bit less defensive, and a bit more... creative.
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