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Thread: The Kingdom of Heaven - A House of Bouillon AAR

  1. #1
    Captain Robert Wyatt's Avatar
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    The Kingdom of Heaven - A House of Bouillon AAR

    The Kingdom of Heaven
    The History of the de Bouillon Dynasty



    The First Crusade and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

    The First Crusade was instigated by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095, originally in an effort to support the ailing Roman Empire against the incursions of the Seljuq Turks, though it swiftly became a large scale effort to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslims who had invaded them years earlier. Capitalising on regional conflict between the Fatimid Caliphate and the Seljuqs and internal strife the crusaders were able to take advantage of the chaotic political situation to avoid facing a large resistance to their campaign.

    The crusaders arrived at Jerusalem in June 1099, capturing the city on July 15th. On 22nd July, a council was held in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to establish a king for the newly created Kingdom of Jerusalem. Raymond IV of Toulouse and Godfrey of Bouillon were recognized as the leaders of the crusade and the siege of Jerusalem. Raymond was the wealthier and more powerful of the two, but at first he refused to become king, perhaps attempting to show his piety and probably hoping that the other nobles would insist upon his election anyway. The more popular Godfrey did not hesitate like Raymond, and accepted a position as secular leader. Although it is widely claimed that he took the title Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri, this title is only used in a letter that was not written by Godfrey. Instead, Godfrey himself seems to have used the more ambiguous term princeps, or simply retained his title of dux from Lower Lorraine. According to William of Tyre, writing in the later 12th century when Godfrey had become a legendary hero, he refused to wear "a crown of gold" where Christ had worn "a crown of thorns". Robert the Monk is the only contemporary chronicler of the crusade to report that Godfrey took the title "king". Raymond was incensed and took his army to forage away from the city.


    The Kingdom of Jerusalem in the summer of 1099.

    The new kingdom, and Godfrey's reputation, was secured with the defeat of the Fatimid Egyptian army under al-Afdal Shahanshah at the Battle of Ascalon one month after the conquest, on August 12th, but Raymond and Godfrey's continued antagonism prevented the crusaders from taking control of Ascalon itself. Uncertainty surrounded the new kingdom and the matter of resolving internal issues became paramount in the face of obvious foreign threats as Islamic lords began to clamour for a campaign for the reclamation of Jerusalem and the lands lost to the crusaders. It was Godfrey of Bouillon who was tasked with solidifying the kingdom's presence in the Holy Lands and preserving its sovereignty in the face of certain invasion.

    Godfrey of Bouillon

    Godfrey of Bouillon was born around 1060 in either Boulogne-sur-Mer in France or Baisy, a city in the region of Brabant. He was the second son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida of Lorraine (daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine and his wife, Doda). As second son, he had fewer opportunities than his older brother and seemed destined to become just one more minor knight in service to a rich landed nobleman. However, his uncle on his mother's side, Godfrey the Hunchback, Duke of Lower Lorraine, died childless and named his nephew, Godfrey of Bouillon, as his heir and next in line to his duchy of Lower Lorraine. This duchy was an important one at the time, serving as a buffer between the kingdom of France and the German lands.

    In fact, Lower Lorraine was so important to the German kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire that Henry IV, the German king and future emperor, decided in 1076 that he would place it in the hands of his own son and give Godfrey only Bouillon and the Mark of Antwerp, in the Duchy of Brabant, as a test of Godfrey's abilities and loyalty. Godfrey served Henry IV loyally, supporting him even when Pope Gregory VII was battling the German king in the Investiture Controversy. Godfrey fought with Henry and his forces against the rival forces of Rudolf of Swabia and also took part in battles in Italy when Henry IV actually took Rome away from the pope.

    At the same time, Godfrey was struggling to maintain control over the lands that Henry IV had not taken away from him, as his uncle's widow, Matilda of Tuscany, was claiming them. Another enemy outside the family also tried to take away other bits of his land, and Godfrey's brothers, Eustace and Baldwin, both came to his aid. Following long struggles, and after proving that he was a loyal subject to Henry IV, Godfrey finally won back his duchy of Lower Lorraine in 1087. Still, Godfrey would never have had much power in the German kingdom or in Europe if it had not been for the coming of the Crusades.

    It was in Jerusalem that the legend of Godfrey of Bouillon was born. The army reached the city in June 1099 and built wooden ladders to climb over the walls. The major attack took place on July 14th and 15th 1099. Godfrey and some of his knights were the first to get over the walls and enter the city. It was an end to three years of fighting by the Crusaders, but they had finally done what they had set out to do in 1096 — namely, to recapture the Holy Land and, in particular, the city of Jerusalem and its holy sites, such as the Holy Sepulchre, the tomb of Jesus Christ.

    As the autumn of 1099 began it remained to be seen how much Godfrey had learned from his positions of power in Europe and the subsequent years on Crusader in the Holy Lands and whether it could be transferred to effective Kingship, albeit under a different title for the time being, humbly requested or otherwise.

    ---------------------------------

    Godfrey of Bouillon 1099-1102
    Péronelle of Bouillon 1102-1105
    Last edited by Robert Wyatt; 18-02-2012 at 05:59.
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  2. #2
    Subscribed and eager for more. Great choice of setting.

  3. #3
    Corporal Firefly21's Avatar
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    Great start and nice history to start it off.

    Will be following

  4. #4
    Von Strohm Kolonel's Avatar
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    Go Godfrey.
    "Hic iacet inclitus Godefridus De Bulion qui totam istam terram acquisivit cultui Christiano, cuius anima cum Christo requiescat. Amen."
    -- Alleged inscription on the tomb of Godfrey of Bouillon, Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri

  5. #5
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    Very interesting introduction !
    How did you manage to get these maps ?

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    Unrepentant Literal Democrat Tanzhang (譚張)'s Avatar
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    Solid stuff so far, looking forward to more!

    (By the way, could you not use brown for water in your future maps?)
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    Looks cool. Subbing

  8. #8
    Captain Robert Wyatt's Avatar
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    Godfrey of Bouillon
    Defender of the Holy Sepulchre


    Early Reign

    As September 1099 approached the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and its ruling dynasty under Godfrey of Bouillon, had numerous issues to address. Firstly, the fledging kingdoms position in the Holy Lands was a precarious one at best, it was surrounded by Islamic states eager to remove the crusader state from Jerusalem as well as being isolated geopolitically from the rest of Europe, instead relying on even smaller crusader realms in Edessa and Antioch to provide potential allies although interpersonal rivalries garnered during the First Crusade played a divisive role in the political relationships of Godfrey of Bouillon and his fellow rulers. This position would force the Franks to seek greater relations with the Byzantine Emperor, out of necessity rather than any genuine desire to engage with the Orthodox Empire whose position in the region had become tenuous after Seljuq incursions forced them back towards Constantinople after the Battle of Manzikert in 1054.

    Secondly, Godfrey himself was unmarried, instead relying on his brothers to provide potential heirs to Jerusalem, an issue that was unpalatable to many who relied on Godfrey for the maintenance of their position in court, his brothers possibly preferring their own men over the current incumbents. This issue was immediately address as Jersualemite envoys travelled to Europe to scout out potential matches in the courts of Denmark, the Holy Roman Empire and France before progressing with more intense negotiations with the latter. Eventually, after lengthy discussions with King Phillipe I, it was agreed that Constance Capet, the daughter of Phillipe, would be offered to Godfrey in exchange for an alliance with the French crown which not only strengthened ties with mainland Europe but also provided the desired marriage which Godfrey had been persuaded to seek after much deliberation.

    Godfrey and Constance were married in a modest affair on September 16th 1099, the ever pious and humble ruler preferring a less lavish affair to increase his popularity amongst the local populace who had yet to fully accept their Frankish overlords. Their union opened Godfrey's first official state gathering which began on the following day which was attended by Godfrey's most important vassals to discuss the future of the realm as well as two honorary positions on Godfrey's council as the Defender of the Holy Sepulchre appointed Duke Tancred d'Hauteville of Galilee and Grandmaster Géraud Tenque of the Knights Hospitaller as Seneschal and High Almoner respectively, a move engineered to ensure their prolonged loyalty in the face of an uncertain future. The previous appointments of Hughes the Great, Baudouin de Rethel, Gilbert le Blount and Charles of Lydda were also confirmed officially as each was assigned to numerous roles in preserving the fragile stability of the realm and improving the local economy.

    The main function of the gathering was to rally support for Godfrey's proposed invasion of Tyrus which lay north of the kingdom just below Beirut, the isolated Beylik was a convenient target for short term expansion which Godfrey had craved since his original disagreement with Raymond of Toulouse, who had ironically refused to attend, led to the failure to capture Ascalon. The Shia Caliphate in the South was an imposing proposition in 1099 and Tyrus provided Godfrey with the opportunity to increase his demesne in preparation for the inevitable clash with the Fatimids whilst avoiding direct conflict with any of his more powerful neighbours who would provide much sterner resistance to the Jersualemite armies. With his political foes absent, Godfrey easily managed to persuade his vassals to throw their support behind a campaign in Galilee to expand the realm which pandered to the prevalent religious fervour which had driven most of them to the Levant.

    As Jerusalem secretly prepared for war, Hughes the Great was dispatched to Constantinople to pursue an audience with the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos who had recently begun to press his own personal claim in Beirut. Improved relations with the Romans were paramount to the long term survival of Jerusalem and Hughes went to great lengths to impress the Emperor who reacted cordially to Godfrey's advances without throwing his weight behind the fledgling state. Whilst Hughes enjoyed success aboard, his fellow councillors were tasked with suppressing numerous revolts which has erupted firstly in Jaffa before spreading to Tiberias, Irbid and Hebron before later erupting in Tortosa under Taimur Yaruq who was determined to remove the Frankish invaders. Intermittent revolts became a regular feature of life in the kingdom throughout Godfrey's reign, although few were ever great enough in numbers to truly trouble any settlements themselves the presence of the rebels in the surrounding area caused great internal disruption. The revolts, however, swiftly became a secondary issue as Godfrey declared war on Bey Murad mn Scandalon of Tyrus.

    Jerusalemite Holy War for Galilee


    The Kingdom of Jerusalem on the eve of war with Beylik of Tyrus.

    On October 6th 1099 Godfrey raised his levies and marched north towards Tyrus to engage the forces of Bey Murad and press for the advantage, determined to end the war as quickly as possible and bring the Beylik of Tyrus into his own personal demesne before the Fatimids made their inevitable move to gain revenge for their defeat at the Battle of Ascalon in August. Bey Murad was furious, but his rage was for nought as none of the neighbouring Muslim Emirates responded to his pleas for aid against the invading Frankish armies leaving him to stand alone against the superior forces of Godfrey. His immediate tactic was to avoid conflict with the crusaders at all costs, preferring to raid their supply lines before disappearing into the wilderness, but this merely prolonged the inevitable conflict which finally occurred after he was forced to retreat back to Tyrus in February 1100.

    After finally trapping Murad's small army near Scandalon the pair engaged in the Battle of Scandalon on February 22nd, although the Bey was powerless to avoid defeat as his force of roughly 750 men were beaten by Godfrey's superior personal army of around 1300, suffering an estimated loss of around 550 men, well over half of his army. Following his defeat at Scandalon Murad was forced to retreat into the mountains and from this point on his only real resistance was limited to raids on trade links in the north of the kingdom. As Murad engaged in guerrilla tactics Godfrey pressed on laying siege to Scandalon in the days following his victory over the Bey before finally overcoming the city nearly a year later on January 6th 1101 before moving onto the city of Sarafand which he captured on June 7th of the same year with little bloodshed on either side.

    Shortly after the fall of Sarafand Godfrey received news that his wife had fallen pregnant after accompanying him on campaign, sparking her immediate return to Jerusalem to prepare for the birth of their first child as Godfrey return to Scandalon a few days later after reorganising his supply routes.

    With Murad all but defeated, Godfrey set up court in Scandalon to prepare to officially end the conflict when he received troubling news from the Fatimid Caliphate on the southern border of the kingdom. Caliph al Mustali had officially declared war on Jerusalem for the return of the remaining provinces of the Ascalon, mostly notably the county of Jaffa, and had begun to march on the kingdom whilst Godfrey had remained engaged in Tyrus. Acting swiftly Godfrey issued peace terms to Murad who, despite wishes to the contrary, was in no position to reject and he formally ceded Tyrus to Jerusalem on September 3rd 1101. Immediately after Murad's defeat the Defender of the Holy Sepulchre began a forced march back to Jerusalem to set up council to prepare for the upcoming conflict with al Mustali whose forces grew day by day as he progressed closer to Ascalon in the final months of 1101.

    Caliphal Holy War for Ascalon


    The battle sites of the Caliphal Holy War for Ascalon at Nablus, Agelen and Darum.

    An emergency meeting of Godfrey's council was convened on January 24th 1102 to address to the declaration of Holy War by the Caliph and was attended by all of Godfrey councillors, barring Hughes who remained in Constantinople at the time of the crisis, only personally learning of the conflict weeks later. It was decided that Godfrey would lead a combined army of his own personal levies and the forces of the Knights Hospitaller under Grandmaster Géraud as well as a volunteer force of Bulgarian mercenaries who offered to join the troops in their efforts to save Jerusalem from destruction a mere three years after its birth. This combined force would eventually number roughly 11500 men in comparison to the reported 11200 men under Caliph al Mustali's pay and was deemed fit to defend the forces of Christ against the threat of Fatimids who had longed for revenge for some year, consistently rejecting any diplomatic overtures the crusader state had attempted.

    Caliph al Mustali began his march to Jerusalem in early February as the kingdom's forces continued to muster and despite the main bulk of the force being in and around Jerusalem at the time it begun to make its march to intercept the Caliph slightly outnumbered by their Islamic foe. The two forces met at the Battle of Nablus on the 7th February 1102 as both side looked to win the campaign early on with a decisive victor over the other, both sides fairly evenly balanced as Godfrey waited nervously for a sizeable reinforcement of 1000 men from the north that had been promised to him to make up the agreed 11500. The Caliph spotted this opening and pushed forward aggressively, choosing to press his minor size advantage whilst he was still able in an attempt to break the Jerusalemite army before extra troops were able to arrive.

    Attacking Godfrey's left flank with a group of around 3000 men al Mustali fought vigorously to break the line but his attempts eventually came to nothing as Godfrey's men stood firm in the face of the Fatimid onslaught, buying their time whilst they awaited fresh troops. Godfrey himself remained in the centre of the formation, directing his troops from there whilst personally avoiding any part in the battle to prevent a drop in discipline. For a while it looked as though the Caliph would possibly make the decisive breakthrough as Godfrey continued to act cautiously but just before al Mustali was able to break Godfrey's centre the reinforcements arrived to the Jersualemite leader's right finally breaking al Mustali's flank which caused the eventual collapse of his entire army and the subsequent rout that ensued.

    The Caliph had suffered greatly, an estimated 8100 men of his 11200 had been killed or wounded and Mayor Ra’uf of Rafah and Usama mn Girge had been captured by the crusaders whilst his foe had suffered only 4200 in comparison, a sizable amount but nearly half as many as the Caliph. Licking his wounds al Mustali limped his decimated troops back into his own territory but he was swiftly pursued by Godfrey who was keen to capitalise on his crushing victory at Nablus to end the war before it ever really begun and it was during his pursuit that he learnt of the birth of his daughter Péronelle de Bouillon on February 21st 1102. Godfrey was reportedly delighted by the birth of his daughter and was keen to return to Jerusalem to meet her and celebrate with his wife Constance whom he had grown remarkably close to during their short marriage after she had accompanied on his campaign in Tyrus the previous year, though he knew that he would never get the chance if he did not defeat al Mustali whilst he was on the back foot.

    On February 24th 1102 Godfrey's force finally caught up with the Caliph who was forced to make camp and dig in to defend himself against the crusaders at the Battle of Agelen. The Caliph offered little resistance but, disastrously, Godfrey was struck by a stray arrow in the throat during a cavalry charge on al Mustali's left flank and fell thunderously from his horse before being crushed by his own men who were powerless to avoid him. The crusaders ensured a further Jerusalemite victory but it was tainted by the death of their leader who had lead them so valiantly against the invaders and despite dealing a further blow to the Caliph, the victory was barely celebrated as the men mourned Godfrey's death. The Caliph was later claimed to have later lamented that "if only Allah had struck Godfrey down at Nablus, perhaps I wouldn't have to endure the shame of defeat".

    Géraud assumed command of the army after the King's death and prepared for the swift return of his body to Jerusalem, though his funeral would have to wait as the Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller was all too aware that he needed to continue the pursuit of al Mustali to force the Caliph to agree to agreeable terms. Despite the loss of Godfrey, the Battle of Agelen had gone remarkably well for the Jerusalemites as they killed or wounded a further 3200 men from the Caliph's remaining army of 6000 men whilst suffering minimal causalities in return and the Emir al-Afdal Shahanshah of Alexandria and Wali Sabah of Burg El-Arab were both killed in the battle whilst Mullah Abu Bakr of Agelen and Captain Abdul-Salaam of Mamluks had been captured during the retreat.

    As the crusaders continued to chase the now crippled force of al Mustali the Caliph himself quickly made his way back to Alexandria, leaving the army under the command of Mullah Alam of Durunka, instructing him to buy him time to escape by diverting the crusaders back towards Jerusalem. Géraud has little interest in wasting an opportunity to finally destroy the Caliph's armies once and for all and on the 19th of April the two armies met at the Battle of Darum which once again resulted in a decisive victory for the crusaders who killed a further 1000 men, including Mullah Alam of Durunka whilst they also captured Mullah Nasir of Saramsah and Mayor Nassib of Mersa Matruh before finally crushing the Caliph's troops at the Battle of Rafah on June 23rd which forced al Mustali to entertain negotiations to end the war.

    Five days later on June 28th al Mustali officially agreed to a white peace, ending his war for Ascalon after only ten months. The turning point of the conflict was undoubtedly Godfrey's victory at the Battle of Nablus which saw the majority of al Mustali's troops die or receive wounds that removed them from combat indefinitely, though the lasting legacy of the war was the death of Godfrey himself which plunged the Kingdom of Jerusalem into a severe state of uncertainty as his daughter Péronelle de Bouillon was declared as his successor at just three days old.

    Godfrey's Funeral


    The Kingdom of Jerusalem upon the ascension of Peronelle de Bouillon following the end of the Caliphal Holy War for Ascalon.

    Géraud and the rest of the army returned to Jerusalem in late July, taking time to disperse a few small bands of rebels en-route, and Godfrey's funeral was quickly scheduled. A humble man in life, his wishes were respected and he was laid to rest in a low key affair attended purely by close friends and family who openly wept for the 42 year old. As soon as Godfrey was buried the question of who would lead Jerusalem during Péronelle's infancy became a pertinent one as the Kingdom of Jerusalem was the target of a Jihad, forcing Géraud's swift exit from Jerusalem back to the army which had campaigned against al Mustali. In his absence the issue of Godfrey's temporary successor became a hotly debated topic which would have a unavoidable influence of the future of the kingdom which continued to remain uncertain, even more so after the untimely death of Godfrey. He left a infant daughter and no other issue and with the strong Géraud absent, it remained to be seen whether a capable regent would grasp power or not.
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  9. #9
    Captain Robert Wyatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptikalz View Post
    Subscribed and eager for more. Great choice of setting.
    Thanks, it was an easy choice once I sat down and really thought about it. Jerusalem is in such a unique position it makes for a different game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly21 View Post
    Great start and nice history to start it off.

    Will be following
    Thanks, hope you continue to enjoy the AAR!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolonel View Post
    Go Godfrey.
    Yes... Go Godfrey...

    Quote Originally Posted by Aetherius View Post
    Very interesting introduction !
    How did you manage to get these maps ?
    I made the maps myself in photoshop using the game map then added some "aging effects". Hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    Solid stuff so far, looking forward to more!

    (By the way, could you not use brown for water in your future maps?)
    Actually, I just used the default water colour from the f10 map grab, hopefully the maps in the newer update are a bit better with a brighter blue!

    Quote Originally Posted by NRDL View Post
    Looks cool. Subbing
    Hope you enjoy the rest of the AAR!
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  10. #10
    Unrepentant Literal Democrat Tanzhang (譚張)'s Avatar
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    Those maps are much better now, thanks!

    I wonder whether Gerard will be able to strive to the same heights as the late Godfrey, in any case he should prove a most capable regent for Péronelle in the years to come.
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  11. #11
    I think the brown adds a nice touch, gives the map a very dated feel.

    Still looks good now though. I was wondering, what are the trigger points in your game which motivate you to begin writing about them?

  12. #12
    Field Marshal hjarg's Avatar
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    Interesing kingdom, good storytelling!
    And really shame about Godfrey!
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  13. #13
    Captain Robert Wyatt's Avatar
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    Péronelle de Bouillon
    Queen of Jerusalem


    The Regency Crisis

    When Godfrey of Bouillon died in February 1102 he left a young daughter who was only three days old on the day of his death, plunging the realm into a leadership crisis which would not be address until the war with the Caliph as concluded. Once Godfrey was buried the Jerusalemite Council met in the capital city to discuss the crisis which had beset the kingdom with his death and main crux of discussion was who would perform in the role of regent for the infant Péronelle, a position that would hand near total control of the state to the individual lucky enough, or ruthless enough, to grab it. Géraud, head of the Knights Hospitillar, was reputably the preferred option of Godfrey during his lifetime, although these reports are hotly disputed, though he was conveniently absent at the time of the meeting in the north of the kingdom dealing with revolts and the subsequent invasion by Emir Hatam of Sansa.

    Numerous men argued their case, a few coming to blow over the few days the session ran, as they all jostled for position but eventually it became apparent that the most likely candidates were Godfrey’s brother Baldwin and Gilbert le Blount, steward of Jerusalem. Baldwin’s obvious connections to the late ruler made him a strong option and it was reported that most of the men present assumed that he would assume the position of regent for his young niece but when the votes were collected it as Gilbert who emerged victorious. In the following days rumours spread that Gilbert had bribed his was to the regency, although there are very few reliable accounts to confirm these accusations.

    Baldwin was incensed at the rejection and swiftly left Jerusalem for Jaffa where he boarded a ship and sailed back to Europe, Gilbert on the other hand stayed in the capital and met with his fellow councillors to discuss the matter of state. Jerusalem found itself a subject of a Jihad by the Emir of Sansa and whilst the threat as fairly manageable it was agreed that it would be the first of many likely attempts at reclaiming the holy city for Islam and steps were therefore necessary to ensure the long term survival of the kingdom.

    Gilbert moved quickly to assert his authority, most notably rejecting Duke Tancred’s request that the County of Tyrus be transferred to his demesne and whilst this would have dire repercussions later was a clear show of force from the new regent who was eager to ensure that the realms vassals knew their place in the hierarchy.

    Once the council was adjourned and the members travelled back to their own estates, Gilbert himself moved his possessions into the royal houses in Jerusalem alongside Péronelle and her mother Constance to further police their activities and more importantly those who wished to undermine his authority.

    Sanaan Jihad for Galilee

    Midway through the conflict with al Mustali Jerusalem found itself the subject of a Jihad from the Emir of Sansa, Hatam. For the majority of the more pressing conflict the realm had remained completely unscathed but on the 18th July 1103 the Emir arrived in Karak and he began to march on Jerusalem itself before retreating in the face of Géraud’s superior force and diverting to Tiberias instead where he laid siege to the city on 11th August. Wasting little time Géraud began his pursuit of the Emir whose army of fanatics had marched all the way from modern day Yemen to answer the call of the Caliph to reclaimed Galiliee, correctly assuming that they would be exhausted from the long journey and looking to recuperate as they laid siege.

    After reorganising his own forces Geraud arrived on October 5th and engaged the Emir in the Battle of Nazareth which resulted in an emphatic victory for the crusaders whose army of roughly 4800 men killed 2800 of Hatam’s 3500, leaving the rest shattered and demoralised as they made their way southwards in retreat. Their luck, however, was all used up as they were roundly pursued successfully by Géraud who wiped out the remaining men in a minor skirmish at Acre on October 31st.

    Six days later the conflict was over, resulting in another victory for the Jerusalemites who had grown accustomed to invasion by their Muslim neighbours who yearned for the extinction of the crusader state. In truth, Jerusalem was in little danger through much of the campaign as the Emir was ill equipped to make a real dent on the kingdom, hampered mostly by the long march from his own realm to Jerusalem itself as well as Geraud’s superior leadership in battle after many years of experience.

    Ultimately, the conflict was merely a warning for the potential threats that could be unleashed upon Jerusalem and this became even more prevalent in the summer of 1103 when Jerusalem found itself the even more alone in the region.

    The Fall of Antioch

    Almost as soon as the Caliph in Egypt called for the return of Galilee to the Muslim faith, his counterpart Al Mustazhir had called for the return of Antioch, a call which was duly answered by Beylerbey Radwan I of Aleppo. The Principality of Antioch was much smaller than Jerusalem, but was still relatively powerful under Bohemond of Salerno who was a seasoned veteran of the crusades a few years earlier. His skills, however, were quickly overshadowed by the sizeable levy at the Beylerbey’s command as a force of roughly 8000 men descended on Antioch, far outnumbering the fledging states own forces. Bohemond fought bravely but he was quickly defeated by the vast host which swarmed across Antioch almost as quickly the crusaders who had founded the principality, soon reduced to hiding in the mountains to avoid capture by the Beylerbey’s men.

    The attack on Antioch coincided with the declaration of war by the Seljuq’s of Rum on the Byzantine Emperor whose recent conquest of Beirut was quickly overwhelmed by a force of 7000 men, though the city itself had been the subject of a revolt only a few months later by Muslim freedom fighters who quickly joined the invading armies of the Turks which lead to the fall of Beirut a few months later.

    Most of Antioch had fallen to Radwan by 1103 and on July 18th the capital itself fell, signalling the end of the young crusader realm which was wiped from the history books as the Caliph proclaimed a month of celebrations in honour of the Beylerbey’s victory over the infidels. Bohemond, however, had managed to escape to Edessa where he boarded his demoralised fleet and made the long journey home to Salerno where he made en entry into his journal which was discovered in 1945 following the conclusion of the Second World War by Allied Forces in Italy.

    I will never forget the day that Antioch fell and the blood we had spilt was rendered for nought. The heathens grow stronger by the month and I fear for the future of our grip on the Holy City itself for they will not stop with Antioch, indeed their thirst will never be satisfied until Jerusalem is back under the crescent.
    His concerns were valid, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was now perilously alone in the region and with the Byzantine’s preoccupied with the Seljuq’s and unwilling to sign an official alliance the crusader state was effectively on its own. The fall of Antioch was an undoubted turning point and likely inspired the aggressive decisions the Jerusalemites would begin to make in the following months.

    Usurpation of Tyrus


    Duke Tancred's holdings (Blue) during his usurpation of Tyrus (Red) in 1104-1105.

    Gilbert’s earlier refusal to grant the County of Tyrus to Duke Tancred of Galiliee had yet to return to haunt him but the situation reached boiling point in January 1104. The previous year the regent had seen fit to reward Grandmaster Géraud of the Knights Hospitillar for his service in the wars against the Caliph and the Sanaan Jihad by granting him the county and a significant payment for the church, a move which greatly angered Tancred who had long coveted the province since Godfrey’s death, previously avoiding direct conflict with the powerful leader.

    Tancred, however, did not fear Gilbert in the same way and in February 1104 he began financing raids on trade caravans in Tyrus in Géraud’s absence as the Grandmaster moved his army back to Jerusalem. This campaign continued for months as he begun to bribe local officials and forge questionable documents declaring his legitimate right to the county, actions which did not go unnoticed by Gilbert.

    In a letter sent in August of the same year Gilbert demanded that Tancred cease his pursuit of the county, but this only seemed to exacerbate the situation as the Duke not only ignored the regent but officially declared war on Géraud on September 1st. The Grandmaster was in no position to return to his holding and mount a defence, instead staying in the capital where he protested from afar as Tancred’s men laid siege to the settlements inside Tyrus, eager to end the war quickly before Géraud was able to engineer a resistance, either politically or militarily.

    This haste was ironically unnecessary as Géraud was forced to march north with his army on a separate matter and despite Gilbert’s protests the county fell on November 4th 1105, leaving the regent with little option but to ratify the Duke’s usurpation, though this began an uneasy rivalry between the pair, Gilbert unwilling to entirely trust the Duke from this point on following hat he deemed an illegal usurpation of Géraud’s property.

    Tancred’s actions were even worse in the context of the situation as Jerusalem had declared war on the Sheikh of Tripoli a few months prior to Tancred’s official declaration of war, diverting precious manpower from the conflict and taking advantage of Géraud’s commitment to the capture of the province. Though Tancred himself joined the war, his actions were roundly denounced by his kinsmen across the kingdom.
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    Captain Robert Wyatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    Those maps are much better now, thanks!

    I wonder whether Gerard will be able to strive to the same heights as the late Godfrey, in any case he should prove a most capable regent for Péronelle in the years to come.
    Géraud sadly was left to command the armies, although to be fair his presence was most definately required!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptikalz View Post
    I think the brown adds a nice touch, gives the map a very dated feel.

    Still looks good now though. I was wondering, what are the trigger points in your game which motivate you to begin writing about them?
    I tend to play a few years in game, taking screenshots of all "flashpoints" during those years then when it comes to writing the AAR I try to decide which ones are most relevant and interesting and go from there, for example there was a ton of revolts early on but none were even large enough to take the settlements so I only made passing reference to them. I tend to only include major events whilst also embelishing a little on certain events to flesh them out more than the game goes (for example, Godfrey's death three days after his daughter's birth etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by hjarg View Post
    Interesing kingdom, good storytelling!
    And really shame about Godfrey!
    I know, I was gutted after spending so long reading about him I was looking forward to a nice long reign but alas it was not to be! Long live Péronelle, I want to keep Godfrey's blood in the line of succession!
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    Second Lieutenant iskallinn's Avatar
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    Good luck with Jerusalem, I tried them tonight after reading the first two chapters and after 15 years of continuous war I was demolished by the combined might of most of the Middle East.

    Once the jihads start piling up you need a wizard

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    Captain Robert Wyatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iskallinn View Post
    Good luck with Jerusalem, I tried them tonight after reading the first two chapters and after 15 years of continuous war I was demolished by the combined might of most of the Middle East.

    Once the jihads start piling up you need a wizard
    I get the impression that is a fairly standard experience as Jerusalem! Thus far every invasion has been repulsed and inbetween I've tried to grab a bit of land to compensate and beef up a little for each invasion, my strategy is one of survival as a dynasty, hopefully in Jerusalem!

    I will have another update done tommorrow, had a busy day today unfortunately!
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  17. #17
    Resauce biased economist Beladriel's Avatar
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    Loved the AAR! Shame about the anti-climatic death of Godfrey.

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    it kinda struck me that:
    when CK came out you first had a byzantine a jeruzalem aar
    now CK II is out and what are the the first AARs you see (post release) a byzantine and a jeruzalem aar

    not that there is anything wrong with that
    If you bring me fish its good, but if you learn me how to catch fish its even beter

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  19. #19
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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    Well written story you've got here.
    Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. -Isa 41:10

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16
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    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
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    Nothing like rebellious vassals to really put a damper on that whole survival thing. I love your maps, the texture is great. Any chance we could get a key to the next one? Keep us updated to the changes around you.
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