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Thread: De Hautevilles- Can Anyone Stop the Norman Invasion?

  1. #221
    An impressive list of achievements. He's left big boots for his son to try to live up to. There's still quite a bit of work to do beforethe Levant and North Africa are secured and Italy is still a job on the to do list. Overall, a steady expansion of de hauteville power.

  2. #222
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    Three Wars and a Funeral

    The End of War for Seville -1194


    Bohemond was 29 when his father died in battle, leaving an Empire to his hands. He also left to him an unfinished war with Emirate of Fez that was basically already won when Bohemond I perished in the battle. Seville was safely under Norman hands and all the new Emperor had to do is wait for the war to finish.

    He fought some minor battles, stopping Fez’s and former Sultan of Mauretania’s (who had been called to aid in January 1194) forces from advancing into Sicilian soil. They were small battles, few thousand Muslims against 15 000 Normans and nothing to write home about.

    In October 1194, the war was finally over, Emirate defeated and last desperate attempt of Muslims to redo their conquest nearly 500 years back failed. Normans on the other hand had gained their first foothold in Iberian peninsula. Duchy of Seville was created and handed to yet another de Hauteville.


    And thus ended the war that killed Bohemond I

    The Holy War for Cyrenaica, 1194-1195

    Cyrenaica, the easternmost Emirate of Kingdom of Africa, had remained independent. Rest of the Emirates were conquered during King Bohemond the Great’s, Roger I and Asclettin the Great’s time, but this was spared. First, it wasn’t as rich, but more importantly, it was kept as a buffer zone between Normans and Shia Caliphate. During the first war between Caliph and Asclettin, the decision to do that was correct one, for Caliph’s armies lost huge numbers when trying to attack Sicily through Cyrenaican lands.

    Now, Shia Caliphate was terribly weakened, with several states gaining their freedom and they were no more of any threat to Normans. So, Cyrenaican buffer zone was also to become thing of the past. In October 1194, Bohemond decided to end the Emirate and take the lands Norman. So, the war was declared.

    Cyrenaica is not the most hospitable of lands. Deserts and low supply kill more soldiers then enemy does. So, Bohemond let the enemy gather and only in December 1194, when all Cyrenaican forces were in one army, he ordered a quick naval invasion to Cyrenaica.

    Normans outnumbered the enemy for nearly 3:1 and the battle soon turned into massacre. But that lead into carelessness. Bohemond, as tradition of Sicilian warrior-kings dictates, was leading his personal troops in the battle. And since he was Norman, he picked the most dense concentration of enemies. Else it would not bring him honour. And he charged with his retinue. And there was a Muslim pikeman who killed his horse. And then, a muslim swordsman that managed to wound his shield-hand. They were all of course killed by Bohemond’s retinue, but the arm had to be amputated after battle.


    The battle was victorious, but the cost might have been too high

    Soon though, the enemy forces fled toward Tobruk while Bohemond and his troops boarded ships again and when the enemy was safely there, they landed again, beat the remnants of Muslim army and assaulted walls of Torbruk. The province fell soon after and yet unaffeced by attrition, Bohemond sailed away once again.

    This time, target was Benghazi. Bohemond’s troops arrived in March 1195. The fortress here were more defended, the land was as inhospitable and the assaults and climate did their job- by the end of the April, the province was under Norman hands, but the death toll was about 8000 to sieges and heat.

    In Senoussi, the next target, Normans did not even bother to assault, but decided to slowly siege the province. The war was won anyway and there was no need to rush even more lives. It was in September 1195 when Emir Hafiz II finally crawled and gave up- Normans were the new owners of Cyrenaica. Muslims had lost another of their preciously few Mediterranean holdings and Northern Africa was becoming fast Norman territory. Bohemond converted the place into yet another merchant republic.


    The War won and Norman gains

    War for Lombardia, 1196

    Holy Roman Empire was next target Bohemond chose. The claim on Duchy of Lombardia had been around for some time and Simeon de Hauteville, the future Duke, was already 21 years old. Meanwhile, the Duchy had been splintered. Emperor himself was holding Lombardia, Brescia was a vassal of Duke of Franconia and the rest were still in the hands of d’Este, making total 4 provinces to be conquered on the first war.

    It was in January 1196 when Bohemond II declared war on Holy Roman Empire. Soon, his 15 000 soldiers sailed from Palermo to Genoa and started their march towards Pavia. By end of February, Pavia was in Norman hands and in the beginning of March, Cremona was conquered as well. Then, instead of marching on to Trent, Bohemond turned back to save Pavia from 5000 Germans sieging it.

    In glorious battle in May 1196, Normans beat the German troops and even captured Otto, brother of an Emperor who thought that it would be a good idea to prove his martial prowess against the Normans. Despite of several tries, Normans did not feel like ransoming him, so he spent most of his life in Norman dungeons. Considering he was only 18 when he was captured, it was a cruel and unusual punishment.


    The Battle of Pavia and captured princeling

    But the war went on. In June, Normans attacked yet another German army in Lombardia and defeated 7000 Germans in the beginning of the month. Soon after that, province of Lombardia fell to Norman troops.

    In June, Empress Consort Alienora died. She was mother of 6 children and evil tongues kept repeating that the pure pain of childbirth was what killed her. Still, an Emperor cannot be without a wife and so, he was soon married to princess Emonie de Hauteville, daughter of Asclettin, King of Jerusalem, cementing the alliance between West and East Hautevilles.

    It was time for reinforcements as well- about 10 000 soldiers, mostly from African holdings, but also from Venice, Verona and Naples, sailed to act as backup while Bohemond’s army marched on to Brescia, capturing the province in September and marched on to Trent.

    Meanwhile, reinforcements broke another siege of Pavia and followed the siegers to Padua. Bohemond took the province of Trent by the end of October and second army broke the capital of Pavia in the beginning of November. This was the final straw on Emperor’s back- in November, he gave up the lands of Lombardia and Normans were again one step closer into beating the Germans out of Italy.


    Norman gains and peace

    Death of the Emperor

    After the war, Bohemond was feeling fine at first. Then, his maimed hand caused him to lie down with fever in March. That did not stop him from doing his husband’s duties and in the beginning of April, Emonie reported to be pregnant. There was much cheering in Palermo, only to be shocked of the news that Emperor’s condition worsened quickly. Just a week after the news, in 19th April 1197, Emperor Bohemond II departed from this world, leaving his son Turquetil I, a 15-year old boy, to rule over the whole Empire. Before his death, he called Anselm de Hauteville, his spymaster, to him, gave him order to keep the throne secure until Turquetil would be a grown-up and gave the spymaster a permission to stab as much as is needed to keep the job done.


    The Emperor is dead, long live the Emperor

    Though he ruled for only 3 years he fought 3 wars and brought 11 new provinces to the Empire. In addition, he managed to build a city to Malta and a castle to Sycaruse. He did not live long enough to see the completion though.

    And from April 19, 1197, Regent Anselm de Hauteville, who had served the father of Bohemond and Bohemond himself, now started to rule under the name of Turuqetil.


    New Emperor and his Regent
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  3. #223
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    And i'm back in business! Side note- savegame is not really compatible with 1.06. Luckily, i kept a version of 1.05 away before upgrading, so no worries, de Hautevilles keep on coming!

    Saitis- yes, in the end, he wasn't that bad. And though 150 years in power, Normans still haven't softened up.
    Chief Ragusa- the problem is that the boots keep getting bigger and bigger. Soon, to keep up, poor grand-grand-grandson will have to conquer the Moon to keep up the proud de Hauteville tradition :P
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  4. #224
    i come back from vacation, and hey: a new update!.

    i think that the great great grandson doesnt need to conquer the moon though. far before that asia will be in a state of pernament civil war due over 9000% chance of rebellion due distance. now, pray the regent is a capable one that doesnt declare you incapable and insane and steals half your demense. he's ambitious though, so probaly no chance on that

  5. #225
    SoN Developer TheConqueror's Avatar
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    I finally decided to read all of this. It was very fun and interesting. (also I am a de Hauteville fan)

  6. #226
    Bohemond II (emperor that is) was going like a train. Burn out would have resulted had an unfortunate loss of arm and subsequent illness not killed him. He was on his way to more than filling those boots. Historians would be arguing long into the future about what he would have done had he lived. A regency is a chancey thing. Anselm may decide that a union of east and west de hauteville territories is just what is needed. The boy's attributes are already pretty darned stellar. The only one he trails his cousin n is intrigue. He's way too trusting and Anselm is the spymaster, too. This isn't going to end well for the boy.

  7. #227
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    Growing Up

    Studies in Alexandria


    Half a year to go until Turquetil I has full power over the Empire. Until then, Anselm de Hauteville, his Spymaster, would look after him. But that is not all- future Emperor has to finish his education, started by his grandfather, then tutored by his father. Gerbert I, Duke of Alexandria was deemed worthy of honour to be the final tutor. In addition, 4 brothers and sisters of Bohemond were sent to be host... khm, to be educated by other various Dukes in the Empire. In the end, everyone was happy.


    Gerbert after being tutor of Turquetil. Stressed and ill might give an idea what is going on

    Turquetil spent from April to September, till his birthday, in Alexandria. It was one of the biggest cities in the world. Cultured, rich, though ravished by Caliphate civil wars, it was still a sight to marvel. Future Emperor mingled happily with locals, conversed with Catholic, Muslim and even Coptic wise men, finding the Catholic ones most lacking- much to his own surprise. Later, historians tend to agree that great changes made by him were inspired from his time in Alexandria.

    He visited the bazaars, saw strange men from strange land in the harbour, watched as Normans slowly made populace accept them as new rulers and all that you can see in big city and its strange dark back alleys. The Library had been destroyed for centuries, but the Lighthouse, one of the Wonders of the World, was still there, though damaged by the earthquake and its magnificence left Turquetil deeply touched. Overall, he did everything but study and enjoyed his free summer before his ascension.

    Adelaide, second daughter of Asclettin I de Hauteville, King of Jerusalem and sister to Turquetil’s father’s second wife, also aged 15, came to Alexandria for the summer. Young ones hit of at once and soon, they were seen everywhere together- never alone though. Their guardians took full care of that. Did not stop the young people from stealing a kiss or two though- there is not guardian smart enough of chains strong enough to keep two young people apart.


    Young Adelaide


    Turquetil wooing Adelaide. Things went well until he tried to sing, then locals called the guards for they thought someone was torturing the cats.

    But not only Adelaide- quite a lot of eastern de Hautevilles too used a chance to meet with the future Emperor. Old and young, courtiers and Dukes came to Alexandria from lands of Africa, Egypt and Jerusalem and for a while, Alexandria became the most important city of the Empire, bustling with social life of de Hautevilles. Kind of Eastern family reunion and Turquetil was the star of all that.

    In September 1197, Turquetil stepped into ship and sailed back to Palermo, having graduated de Hauteville University of Life with “Minas Touched” diploma and took on the realm without a hitch. In fact, his superb diplomacy skills helped to ease the fears of many Dukes and overall, the realm was much more stable after the his ascension to the throne. Looks like little regency did the realm good and Anselm, richly rewarded, stepped duly back and continued his work of being the most scared of person in the realm.

    Marriage

    As soon as Turquetil was declared adult, he sent his envoys to King Asclettin of Jerusalem, asking for two things- betrothal between himself and lovely Adelaide and the right to become the ward of Adelaide. To be honest, Asclettin was expecting this and maybe it was even the reason why Adelaide went to Alexandria this summer- 2 empresses in the family is much better then one. Without delay, Asclettin agreed to both propositions and Adelaide sailed back to Palermo with Turquetil’s envoys.

    Until April, Adelaide and Turquetil shared a master-tutor-secret-lover relationship (and to the people curious- is there a way to stop the Emperor moving freely around castle and going where he wants, even if it is in the middle of the night? Guards in Palermo learned quickly that sometimes intensely staring at random direction where there is no suspicious movement was quite profitable). Emonie, sister of Adelaide and former Empress, still pregnant from Bohemond, was enjoying seeing his sister and enjoyed the intrigue of young, forbidden-for-a-while-longer love and kept going for a refreshing walks under Sicilian night, leaving her room open and door unlocked. In short, Turquetil and Adelaide were having time of their lives.


    Emperor and Empress

    In April 1198, the young couple got married and Adelaide was crowned as the Empress. From ward to wife, and with personality and skills worthy of an Empress, this was a match made in Heaven.

    First War

    de Hautevilles are known as warrior-kings, and for a good reason. They spent more time in battlefields then in home, they tend to be brave and lead their troops personally and they tend to love the fighting. Turquetil was no exception- he was good at war, he loved a good fighting and he promised to his wife to bring a crown as a wedding gift. A crown that had been long due, but was finally almost ready for the taking.

    In May 1198, Turquetil declared war on Holy Roman Empire, claiming that Goubert de Hauteville is the rightful Duke of Sardinia and Normans are backing that claim with good old war. Normans started quickly and by August 1198 Sardinia was under Norman control. By October 1198 Corsica was also under Sicilian control and Normans marched North, to Pavia, where 9000 Germans were sieging the province.

    That battle is special for only one reason- it was Turquetil’s first battle. Emperor was as expected, amongst the first to charge. And as usual, Norman knights were successful, breaking into enemy and splitting them, then turning enemy into mindless escaping mass and winning the battle. Turquetil was generous enough to grant 3 enemies the honour of being slain by the Emperor personally.


    Turquetil's first battle.

    Meanwhile, 6000 Germans landed in Sardinia in a desperate attempt liberate the province, and were soundly beaten by 11 000 African troops that were just gathering to aid Sicilian Normans.

    Turquetil moved forward, captured and looted Siena and Lucca and marched towards Firenze. That was the final straw- in April 1199, the Emperor was forced to sign the peace, ceasing island of Sardinia to Goubert and making the new Duke a vassal of Turquetil.

    In May 1199, Turquetil finally managed to legitimize Norman claim on Italy and crowned himself as the new King of Italy, adding 5th King title to de Hautevilles. Adelaide was thrilled- not many girls even at that time were given crown as a wedding present.


    Finally, King! (well, 5th King)
    My latest AARs

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  8. #228
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    As we can see, Turquetil grew up quite fast and managed to inherit the realm without problems.

    grumphie- no way i'm gonna expand that far! But as you can see, the regent was actually quite nice.
    TheConqueror - welcome aboard. Hautevilles are one of the nicest dynasties to play- and imagine, Normans just happening to walk by and take over Southern Italy. It has ring to it
    Chief Ragusa - well, the new emperor has to prove himself capable, but yes, Bohemond was going on like a madman.

    As for the game- we're now waiting the turn of the century, and people always predict that radical changes happen at the turn of the century. This time, they are right, so wait for the next episode for some shock!
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  9. #229
    a shock?

    mongols. i go with mongols.

  10. #230
    A great read. Any mods being used and I would love a big picture of the whole of the Empire.
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  11. #231
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    Interlude - Ch-ch-changes

    The Decline of Papacy


    Papacy has an interesting history and their route to higher representatives of God on Earth was quite a difficult one. From the beginning, after the legalization of Christians, they were nothing but Bishops of Rome. And there were several different sects of Christians, Arians being the largest. But Bishops of Rome survived, gaining power, spreading influence over the Europe. Popes survived Byzantines, Lombards, Franks and even Germans and though rulers over Europe tried to fight the growing influence of Rome, the excommunication forced the Emperor of Holy Roman Empire to trek to Canossa and humiliate himself before Pope.

    Success of Normans added yet more lands under Papal influence. Normans, like good Christians should, tried their best to spread Christianity in their freshly conquered lands and slowly, North Africa, Holy Land and other lands were becoming Christians, with Bishops paying their dues often to Rome, making the coffers of Pope brim with money. Besides that, Iberia was now under Christian control, making the Pope spiritual ruler of Europe and surrounding lands.

    With that power more often than not comes corruption. From the beginning of 1100, Papacy has slowly grown into decadence, celibacy was becoming more or less of a joke and monasteries... well, monasteries were slowly turning into some kind of mixture between pubs and bordellos. Not to mention the nunneries. For the last 20 years or so, the situation had reached the point where people were making of the God’s true servants and the bastards of Pope instead of relying on them for their salvation.

    That did not stop the Pope from enforcing his right for secular rule, trying to enforce himself as the head of Catholics (basically meaning that Pope did his best to tell every Duke, King and Emperor what to do) and trying to interfere with the affairs of the state.

    Back in 1192, just 7 years ago, Emperor Bohemond I broke the Papacy by installing Sayer de Hauteville, also known as Simpicitus II, as the Pope. While Bohemond lived, the Pope did what was expected of him- he started with reforms of the church, trying to cut back the money-spending and luxury-indulging of the Church and also trying to cut back Pope’s secular affairs.

    Just about a year later, Bohemond I died in a battle with heathens. Bohemond II did not have the same grip on the Pope, for Simplicitus seemed to forget who put him on the throne. Instead, he seemed to be slowly corrupted by power of Rome- he basically became just like other Popes. Power-hungry indulgent wastrels who tried to enforce their will on entire Europe and had powerful tools to stop anyone who dared to disagree.


    The Pope trying to lure everyone to his greedy hands

    For Normans, final straw was the Pope demanding guardianship of young Emperor Turquetil and with it, the power over de Hauteville Empire, claiming that as the Pope, he was most suitable candidate for both educator of the future Emperor and as a Regent of the Realm. He also claimed that suitable age from what people could be Emperors is 25. Basically, he tried to usurp the power in the realm for at least 10 years and use the Empire to advance his own goals. Pope threatened with excommunications and wrath of God and other things, but Normans did not let the Pope to power, threatening that any action taken by the Pope would be met with Norman soldiers appearing outside the walls of Rome. Did not stop the Pope, but scared Roman nobility who still remembered previous Norman trek to Rome just 7 years ago, when the city was properly looted and quite a few people were killed. Scared enough to persuade Pope from taking direct action against the Normans. That did not stop the Pope from declaring himself as a guardian of Turquetil, though no-one in Hauteville Empire cared.

    Holy War for Alexandria, 1199-1200

    The split of the Shia Caliphate had left one independent Sheik to control the last province of Alexandria- Buharya. It seemed to be an easy war, against 2-province county (plus possible allies from nearby) and Turquetil was thinking a nice thank-you-for raising-me present for Duke Gerbert of Alexandria, so Normas went to war in Autumn of 1199.

    War went on as planned, 20 000 Normans landed in Alexandria. Since Buharya was one of these heavily defended, poorly supplied provinces, army was split into two. Bigger part was left in Alexandria to rest, while smaller part, lead by Turquetil himself, went to prepare for the assault and siege. It was a right choice, since the preparations for assault needed over a month to complete. Meanwhile, armies of Sheik marched to siege county of Giza.

    Then, something unexpected happened. Pope Simplicitus II, claiming guardianship over the Emperor and the Empire, demanded that the soon-to-be-conquered province would be handed over to Holy See and it would be governed under the direct guidance from the Pope. Pope also claimed that the conquests of future Holy Wars would belong to Pope, for the Pope is the only one truly capable of making the subjects good catholics. To make Normans crumble more easily, Simplicitus added a threat of excommunication and putting the whole realm under Papal interdict. Naturally, the Normans were not happy.

    The Solution and the Way

    Turquetil, his council and some of the Dukes who had decided to come along for the war were having an emergency meeting in a small house outside the palace of Alexandria. Date was 16th December 1199. Ideas were flown back and forth, but none really stood out. The solution of the problem was solved by Court Chaplain Randolf de Tabor, who incidentally was the father of the current Pope Simplicitus II. It was just one question he popped at the meeting:

    “Is there any particular reason we need the Pope?”

    That was a good question, for come to think about it, you really don’t. The Church is morally, spiritually and politically corrupt and relying on them to get to Heaven might be a mistake. After all, it seems like Pope has a special place reserved for him in hell, and following that kind of man would most likely end up with you sharing the place. So, in order to save their own immortal souls, it would be better to get rid of the Pope, and all the fat priests. Some kind of anti-sacerdotal religion, where one could get salvation without priests.


    Randolf de Tabor, root of all evil and incidentally, the father of the Pope. Sometimes, the world is a strange place.

    The silence fell after the words of Randolf. Then, there was a knock on the door. Startled, everyone looked up.

    “Come in,” said Turquetil.

    Slowly, the door opened and there were two youngish men, shaved, freshly bathed, hair cut short, wearing black robes and some sort of common shoes. Overall, they had very “official” look. Nametags “Brother Aimes” and “Brother Gustau” were sewn into their clothes. The men seemed to be startled by the audience they had stepped upon, but the elder one gathered his courage, stepped ahead and said:

    “Hello, I’m brother Gustau of Cathar Witnesses and we would like to talk to you about God.”

    Younger one covered, as expecting some heavy items to fly their way this instant, but instead, Emperor, Council and Dukes glanced at each other, totally surprised.

    “It must be a sign,” Randolf de Tabor muttered under his breath.

    “A miracle,” someone else muttered.

    “Invite them in, My Lord, and let us hear what they have to say,” asked Randolf and Turquetil followed his advice, beckoning the astounded men in.

    That evening, after a long theological dispute with the strangers, Randolf had renounced catholic faith and was convinced that cathar is the way to go. Following his suggestion, Turquetil followed his suit and by the evening of 16th December, the official religion of Empire de Hauteville was cathar.


    Some men just wanna watch the world burn
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  12. #232
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    In case anyone starts to wonder- the whole story is made up. It happened as a random event when Randolf popped the question and i clicked yes, everything else is fiction.

    grupmhpie- as you can see, no mongols! Though i just made my life harder against mongols- no Holy Orders
    BogMod- Thanks a lot! No mods- i started writing this as soon as the game was released and there were no mods yet. I've modded myself in Hauteville empire, but that's about it. As for the map- tomorrow.
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  13. #233
    ok, no mongols. too bad.

    still, mongols would spice things a bit up. ok, you now can holy war the world into oblivion, but still. the cristian world isnt really a threath to you anyway. hows the state of the sunni caliphate currently? in any position to call a jhhad? attacks from both mali, the middle east and russia could prove dangerous as unchecked realms launch wave after wave at you.

  14. #234
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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  15. #235
    Of course the provinces belong to the Normans. Rome is part of the Kingdom of Italy. You must have a claim to the County. The change must be cathartic. Being a heretic is going to make things difficult for the Empire. An increased risk of revolt and should be fun fun to see where to go with this.

  16. #236
    Sol Invictus Shaytana's Avatar
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    Cathar time! Love it!
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  17. #237
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    Here we go, overview of not just empire, but the whole world.



    And a small overview of finances.

    Empire has 5 Kingdoms, 4 of them ruled by the Emperor and Jerusalem under control of of Asclettin de Hauteville. It has a mix of republics and dukes, Africa being mostly Rebublics, giving a lot of money to the empire, and East mostly Dukes, for military is more needed there. Italy is a mix.

    Average income is over 100 per month, half of it from personal demesne and another half from republics. Overall, empire is swimming in money. Emperor can get about 20 000+ troops from his personal demesne, plus about 40-50 from vassals if needed. Usually it is never needed. Sicily and Calabria are getting slowly fully upgraded to produce max number of troops, and with some additional cities to bring more money in.

    Any more questions?

    grumphie- if whole Christendom falls down on me, then even i'm helpless. And i can win quick wars, but no manpower for extended conquests. As for Caliphate- still in a really sorry state. Last time i checked, Egypt was fighting for their freedom, so constant warfare and ruin. As for Mali, well- no patch 1.06, so no Mali. We'll see who will be dangerous, but at the moment, i'm not really scared of everyone.
    Saithis- hehh, talk about it. The decision just popped up and i took a good time to think about it. But overall, i think de Hautevilles are strong enough to try to make them a success.
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    Shaytana- somehow, cathars have managed to get themselves a special brand of heretics But yea, love them too.
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  18. #238
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    The New Religion

    Changes made to Empire


    Differences between Cathar and Catholic religion are quite big. Some even agree that it is not heresy, but a different branch of Christians, like Protestants or even Catholics. For practical purposes though, the difference in Hauteville Empire was these simple steps:
    1. No Pope! Or other head of religion.
    2. Bishops and Priests remained, but with very much reduced power and wealth. Much of the lands donated to the Church were confiscated and either sold or given to loyal vassals. Bishops still remained, and now definitely paid taxes to their lieges, and even had small armies, but still they were more spiritual then secular rulers.
    3. No more monks and nuns. Monasteries were dismantled, their lands given to loyal followers or sold and their inhabitants sent to do more useful jobs.
    4. Monks and nuns replaced with perfecti, a Cathar sort of wandering monk/nun- both sexes were allowed. They were the people living under true Cathar ideals- owning nothing, living nowhere, not eating meat at all. Ideal towards what everyone should strive to, but no-one would be giving you a bad eye if you didn’t follow them. And since they owned nothing and lived nowhere, there was no chance for corrupt monasteries.


    Cathar perfecti giving last rites to a man while Catholic monks watch helplessly

    Most churches were slowly turned Cathar, though in theory Cathars needed no churches, but what the hell, they were there and ready to be used, so why waste a good church. Good catholics were not persecuted, and left alone for their beliefs. No forced conversion and no inquisition, but also some maluses- if you weren’t Cathar, you couldn’t own any baronies or higher, unless your liege didn’t mind much. Also, you couldn’t take any state jobs (marshal, steward etc) unless you turned Cathar. And you couldn’t be chosen to educate young de Hautevilles unless you were a Cathar. Overall, most of the populace took the religion change easily, though over time, peasant revolts led by an angry Catholic priest popped up, though they were dealt swiftly.

    Conversions and Revocations

    Of course, successful religion needs a lot of followers. So, Randolf de Tabor was sent to Palermo to try to change the simple folk to Cathar, while Turquetil himself started as a missionary for higher folk. Letters asking for conversion were sent vassals of Turquetil, both Dukes and Doges of the higher folk and Mayors and Bishops of lower tier. Sometimes, a bit of gold or an honorary post were offered to the person. For example, Turstin, Duke of Verona, was dubious at first, but the honour of being appointed Master of the Hunt for the Empire was enough of a treat to convince him otherwise. Besides vassals, the Council soon saw the light and converted, and Empress Adelaide turned Cathar. By the end of January, Catharism had taken the Empire by a storm and most of the ruling folk did become Cathar. Some Bishops under Turquetil refused to change religion, as did some of the higher vassals, like uncle of Turquetil, Adelard de Hauteville, Doge of Ancona and Torf de Hauteville, Doge of Mallorca. Some were still in doubt, like the Doge of Cyrenaica, while others embraced the Cathar faith without question- like the most important vassals of the Empire. For example, Doges of Venice and Kabylia, the biggest money-makes in the Empire, accepted the new religion without questions. Same applied to the most powerful feudal lord in the Empire- King Asclettin of Jerusalem. Some of the folk, like newly-appointed Duke Goubert of Sardinia, were just too young to demand a conversion from, but as soon as they hit the full age, they also became good Cathars.


    Some of the important people of the Empire who chose to convert

    Of course, some people refused to convert. The most drastic case was with Eleanor, wife of King of Jerusalem. Asclettin finally had her killed and quite openly. Turquetil didn’t press the chance to arrest the King though, but instead, married his sister to Asclettin, thus making her the Queen of Jerusalem and as for the moment, the situation is as follows- Asclettin’s one daughter is Turquetil’s stepmother, another daughter is Asclettin’s wife and Asclettin’s sister now a Queen of Jerusalem, making the relations between West and East de Hautevilles strange indeed.

    In court in Palermo, people converted more easily. Sometimes, a gift was required, but usually it only took Turquetil to ask them to change faith. Slowly, the huge court of de Hautevilles turned to Cathar.


    Cundo de Hauteville, first child in the Empire born Cathar

    There were those who stayed true to their faith though. And in some cases, the conversion wasn’t even asked and rulers took advantage of Catholic heretics as their vassals. Sicilian crown laws allowed revocation if the title holder is a heretic and several Dukes saw their chance to regain lands once lost. For example, King Asclettin of Jerusalem regained Counties of Arce and Herbon, and later acquired Duchy of Outlejordian from the underage Catholic Duke, while Dukes of Galilee and Ascalon were converted to Catharism. Duke of Tripolitania claimed back Leptis Magna from a Countess Mathilda, age 9. When Count of Syrte resisted revocation, he went to war over the county, took half of de Hautevilles as allies, took the castle, imprisoned the count and revocated the title anyway. Doge of Pisa took a change and increased his personal rule over every other city in the Republic, growing his personal demesne from one city to four (and increasing the tax he pays to Turquetil). All the rulers who converted to Catharism enjoyed the chance to gain some extra power and money on the side, and revocations of different minor titles continued for years, until every ruler in Sicily was Cathar and coffers of the higher rulers were full.

    End of War for Buhairya

    The religious change throughout the Empire didn’t meant that conquest of final province of Alexandria was forgotten. Turquetil was still personally in charge of the siege, and in February 1200, everything was ready for assault. So, rest of Normans marched to the province, assaulted the castles and the province fell. Then, the army got divided again, with bigger part hunting the enemy army and smaller part retreating to Alexandria.

    In March 1200, enemy forces were caught outside Gizeh and under the shadows of the pyramids, 12 000 Normans killed 4000 Muslims to the last man. There were still small battles, with allies coming to the help of Pelusia, but they were soundly defeated and in May, peace was signed, giving last province in Alexandria to Normans. The Duchy was promptly gifted to Duke Gerbert. With this ended the first Cathar Holy War, that had started as a Catholic Holy War.


    End of that war

    Conquest of Rome

    Being a Pope is a dangerous business when your neighbour is powerful and bloodthirsty heretic. In October 1200, Turquetil decided to use the sword to end the disagreements between the Pope and himself once and for all. The Holy War against Pope was declared and Normans prepared themselves for battle.

    A bishopric of Trapani, under the command of the Pope since Simplicitus II rose to the throne, was the first to fall. Norman troops from the province casually assaulted it when they were raised.

    Meanwhile, 8000 Papal soldiers started their march south, hoping to find quick victory of these Norman heathens. After all, God was on their side, right? So, they marched to Capua and were caught by Normans outside Gaeta- Hauteville fleet brought 20 000 Normans from Sicily, and the Papal soldiers did not stand a chance. 3000 of 8000 survived though and started retreat back to Rome.

    Back in Rome, Pope raised another 5500 soldiers in desperation, mostly mercenaries. Instead of following the retreating Papal army to Rome, Normans went back to their ships, sailed to Ostia, landed there and attacked the Roman mercenary army. They met in battle outside Viterbo and though the retreating enemy managed to join the mercenaries, they were still no match for ferocious Normans. Total 8000 Papal soldiers lost their lives, and only 345 Normans.


    Situation in Rome in the end of November 1200- main Papal army is beaten in Gaeta and is slowly retreating to Rome while Normans are already waiting for them and fighting the mercenary army

    Rome itself fell in the beginning of December. Ostia, the last of the Papal stronghold in province, fell in the beginning of January 1201. Rome was once again Norman, but the war was not over yet.

    Pope had managed to flee to Orvieto and bring the treasury with him. Not willing to give up yet, he hired another 4000 mercenaries and sent cries of help to every European court. Kaiser Leopold, who hated Normans as much as humanly possible, was the only one to answer his calls, and he joined Simplicitus II in his desperate fight. But the forces of the Holy Roman Empire were behind Alps and took time to gather and march to south, while the main Norman force was just a province away.

    Pope marched his troops to Orbetello, in Pisan territory. Normans once again boarded their ships, sailed to province, landed there and beat the final Papal army, then marching to Orvieto to take the final Papal land. With not a single soldier left and allies far off, Pope was forced to sign the peace, giving away Rome to the heretics and becoming a minor player in secular world, with only 2 holdings left- bishopric in Taranto and barony in Benevento. Both in Norman territory.


    The Rome is Norman! Most likely will be Cathar as well soon.

    Turquetil gave the bishopric of Rome to a cathar Bishop, but just a Bishop, with none of the awesome powers or vices of the Pope. The whole Papal Lands were converted to Duchy of Spoleto and granted to Rolland de Hauteville, who would rule them like any other Duchy in the Empire.

    European reaction

    When the City of Rome fell and Pope forced out of Rome, it caused quite a stir in all over Europe. Some people just plain refused to believe such a thing is possible while others swore revenge, while third kind sold all their worldly possessions and gathered in groups to wait for the end of the world- for the fall of Rome would most surely be the sign of even worse things to come.

    But the most important reaction was that of King Eudes de Capet of France. Seeing the heretic threat rise from the South made him to do something that was unthinkable- he bowed his head to Kaiser Leopold II von Nordheim, vowing an oath of fealty to the Kaiser, thus making King of France vassal to the Holy Roman Empire and creating an united front against Normans. Since the times of Charlemagne, Europe had never seen such a landmass being ruled under a single Monarch. Will the Holy Roman Empire crumble under its own weight or will it become a bloody struggle between the two large Empires of the West? Time will tell.


    Oh dear...
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  19. #239
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    The New and Improved Holy Roman Empire does look scary, doesn't it? Hope that when Leopold dies, it will crumble.
    But still, Normans control the Rome!
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  20. #240
    The Holy Roman Empire has lands in Italy and Spain that are truly Norman. They also hold Normandy. Time to retake the lands. The Empire has lost every war its fought with the Normans. Long may that continue.

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