Chapter 1: Holy Roman War of Mecklenburg
Today was the first day at a new university and the first time he would teach a class on the High Middle Ages. Or better known as some as the Crusader Age. He had been teaching for nearly ten years now and it would be fun to start a new class. Sitting down at his desk he waited for the students to walk in. Once they had arrived and the bell rang he rose from his seat and made his way to the board. On it he wrote High Middle Ages - Balog "Welcome to the study of High Middle Ages. We will be covering the time period between 1066 to roughly the 15th century. I originally was going to tell you about all the major events that occured through this era but instead I have decided to start off this semester with just one family. When anybody discuss the High Middle Ages one family above all others is spoken of. So, over the next few weeks I will be telling you the history of the Balog family. This was a minor family in the late 11th century but over the years would come to great power. They like the Habsburg's of Switzerland went from ruling a minor country, in their case Hungary, to become Kings and Queens of Europe.
"The founder of this great family was Altmann Balog. This man was guardian and protector of King Bela the Firsts family. When they were forced to flee north to Poland he kept them safe and was even present for Geza Arpad's birth. He would serve the family faithfully for years and in recognition for his service he was told he would be given land once they had returned to power in Hungary. Sadly for him he would die before the peace talks in 1064 and this line of Arpad's return to power. Instead Geza now Duke of Nyitra and Slovakia would name Altmann's eldest son, Count of Gemer.
"Gemer was a minor county just north of the capitol of Hungary. At this time the capitol was Esztergom. It had a run down territory of Gomor where Tamas and his family would live, a simple village in the east called Dobsina and the monastery of Losonc which is still there today. Under the rule of Altmann's eldest son, Tamas, these lands would flourish. But like all things it would take time, patience, and above all connections and wealth.
"In an attempt to ensure the security of his posiiton Tamas married Lanka Arpad. This woman was the sister to the three great Dukes of Hungary; Laszlo of Transylvania, Lampert of Ungver, and his own liege Geza. He knew that these three men were the true powers of the Kingdom even though they only controlled a third of the entire land. Tamas also had a half-brother Ince who would marry Mayor Jimena, sister to the King Antso IV of Navarra. These union's brought great happiness to Gemer but on the 28th of November 1066 Tamas found himself taking part in his first war. Today's class will focus on this war which will come to be known as the Holy Roman War of Mecklenburg."
Before the teacher could say anything else one of the students raised her hand and asked, "I thought the Holy Roman Wars were battles fought between the Holy Roman Empire and their enemies? Why would a Hungarian Count be fighting in this war?"
Smiling to the young woman the professor nodded. "It is true the Holy Roman Wars were just that. However, at this time in history, the Hungarian King Salamon was basically a vassal to the Holy Roman Empire. He was married to Kaiser Heinrich IV's sister Judith. Though they were not official vassal's any time the Kaiser told him to he marched his armies where he was told.
"Now then as I was saying Salamon agreed to send troops north, but it would not be until the spring that he had begun his march. From the writings of Bishop Andres, the Court Chaplain to Tamas from 1076 to his death, Tamas marched with a force of twenty-two hundred men. This trip through Poland lasted the entire Spring. Tamas was a minor count at the time and only commanded a little more then fifty men in this army.
"Over the summer and into the next year the army laid siege to the province of Worle. After these lands fell the Hungarian and German troops split apart. The Hungarians went west to Mecklenburg itself to join their Swedish allies while the German army went east. At the beginning of March the turning point of the war occured. The Germans which numbered roughly six thousand men from reports fought against the Mecklenburg army at a place called Stralsund. These two armies fought back and forth for the province for nearly the entire month of March and in the end the Mecklenburg army was severly beaten.
"Some reports say the Germans killed the army to the man. However, Bishop Andres states that nearly two thousand men lived and fled. These two thousand would later come across the Germans again at Wolgast where they were severly beaten in two days in April and sent fleeing again. The only thing I'm certain of is that in late September, Rostock fell to two thousand Germans who then fought against an army of six hundred Mecklenburg warriors who tried to take back the province. I do not know if these are freshly recruited warriors or a different army or survivies of one of the previous battles but I do know that they were severly outmatched. The superior leadership of the Germans had them walk away from the Battle of Greifswald with only a hundred losses while the entire enemy army was destroyed.
"With no warriors left alive the Mecklenburg's surrendered to the Kaiser and the Hungarians returned to their homes. This was Count Tamas' first war and he never fought in a single pitched battle. Upon his return hom to Gemer though he was pleased to see that his wife Lanka and his half-brother Ince had been busy."
Going over to his bag the teacher pulled out a small leather bound book. On it's cover was a red griffen on a checkerboard field of red and white. "Let me read you one of the few writings still whole from Count Tamas Altmannfi Balog himself." Clearing his throat the teacher began reading, "After a year in the cold north I found warmth and love again when I set my eyes on Gomor. It had been a long time from home but it was great to return with all of my men. My land had changed a little in our absence where now a great wooden wall stretched around the few buildings which held my family and those who lived in the area. The farms to the east were still without adequate protectiong or housing but that could be taken care of in time.
"I also learned that Bishop Benedek had died. One day he was annoying my wife and a few days later he was gone. I won't ask her about it but I'm pretty sure what had happened. She would need to learn that she was no longer a Princess of Hungary who had servant after servant to serve her. I am not a rich man or powerful for that matter. I must keep the loyalty of the few men who do serve me or else I will never accomplish anything of importance in my life. The greatest suprise of all though was that upon riding up to my manor I saw my family along with two new additions. Ince had had a little boy he named Pal while I was away. But more importantly my wife held a newborn baby girl. Her name was Edit. Edit."
Setting the book back down the teacher smiled to his students. "Count Tamas was a very capable man. Though he was not a warrior he road to war, he did what he could for his people and would prove his loyalties to his Duke following Geza's death just like the man had done for his father." Looking to the clock the teacher nodded once before saying, "Now that ends this class. Tomorrow we will focus on King Salamon's attempt to gain power and the collapse of the south-western portion of the Holy Roman Empire. Have a good day."
(I'm sorry there are no screenshots. For some reason FRAPS didn't take a single photo of my first twenty years. The first photo will show up in the year 1086. I hope you like how the AAR is written and if you have any suggestions I would love to hear it. Thank you.)