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Thread: Out Of Taurica - a Rurikovich AAR

  1. #1
    First Lieutenant 0Emmanuel's Avatar
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    Out Of Taurica - a Rurikovich AAR

    Hello, everyone. So, this is my first foray into AARland. I've been meaning to write an AAR for ages, but my attempts for EUIII, VickyII, CK never got past the idea and first draft stages. This might be the reason why I'm going to go ahead with this now, even though somebody (*cough*Kazmir*cough*) beat me to the punch with making a story about the Count of Korchev starting in 1066. All I humbly ask of you is to keep my inexperience in mind when comparing the two.

    As for what to expect, this will be a gameplay AAR with a generally comedic tone. Yeah, we'll see how that works out.

    But that's enough introductory notes. What follows is a short overview of the starting situation, and the first story update should go up tomorrow. Enjoy!





    Korchev in 1066 - an Overview
    as told by Rostislav Vladimirovich Rurikovich






    On the northern shores of the Black Sea, or the "Pontos Euxeinos", as the Greeks call it, lies a peninsula called (again, in Greek) the "Chersonesus Taurica", the Peninsula of the Tauris (this refers to modern-day Crimea, ed.). The Tauris were known in ancient times for sacrificing any foreigners (mostly Greeks) that happened to land on their shores, as Herodotus tells us. They were also expert wine-makers, a tradition that continues to this day, other than the Greek-killing. Or, well, there is still Greek-killing, but not much sacrificing, really.

    At the eastern end of Taurica lies a strait that connects the Sea of Azov (and the River Don that flows into it) with the Black Sea. This strait is called the Strait of Korchev, after the city that lies there. And it is this city of Korchev which controls the trade between the steppes and the Greek world. Trade that must flow through the strait. Trade that goes through my hands, for I am the lord of the city of Korchev, as well as the land on the opposite side of the strait.

    I am Rostislav Rurikovich.





    No, I didn't draw this myself.

    Yes, I am one of the children of Rurik who rule the lands of the Rus.





    I also got a bit shafted on my inheritance, it seems.

    I basically control two cities on both sides of a tiny strait. It may be a crossroads of trade, but compared to the vast lands my relatives control, it looks rather insignificant. I have three uncles and two cousins who are dukes reigning over large swathes of land. And two other cousins are kings and they are not even sixteen yet.





    Additionally, the international situation doesn't look too good either. The steppes to the north are controlled by the mighty Cuman confederation. To the south lies the Empire. And even the relatively small Kingdom of Georgia to the east could probably crush my armies without much hassle.

    So, what's a man to do when he gets patronizing looks at family reunions and is surrounded by powerful enemies?

    He looks for opportunities, of course!





    There he is, my archnemesis!

    Well, not really. Only by virtue of controlling the southern coast of Taurica.
    Naturally, I covet his lands, as, I'm sure, he covets mine. He is currently a vassal of the Emperor and, as such, well protected. But the Empire is under attack from the Turk and prone to internal strife. One day, an opportunity will present itself.

    And then I will strike.





    Will an opportunity present itself? Or will Rostislav's two cities be conquered within the year? Why are his relatives so mean to him at family reunions? Did medieval rulers have "family reunions"? What, are we supposed to believe the Rurikovich rulers travelled thousands of miles to share a thanksgiving dinner? And what's with the "funny questions at the end" bit? All that, or some of it, or none of it, will be answered over the course of Out Of Taurica.

  2. #2
    I'm currently playing a Korchev game, I'm already in 1227 and its definitively possible. Luck to you!
    Its a pretty messy position indeed, you're between a Byzantine vassal, a immense horde of pagans and a weak, though stronger kingdom.

  3. #3
    First Lieutenant 0Emmanuel's Avatar
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    @Slaughter: Yeah, I'm basically hoping for a lucky break. Otherwise it'll be tough to improve the situation. But since this is an AAR, failure might be just as entertaining, right?




    Episode 1 - Scholars & Poets
    as told by Rostislav Vladimirovich Rurikovich






    My ambitions may be grand, but so are the obstacles in my way. And so I have to occupy myself with domestic matters.

    By inventing new tortures for my prisoners, mostly. People love my tough stance on crime.

    Also, the city is full of spies who don't spill their secrets willingly. You have to make them.






    Viacheslav here is pretty amusing as well. He hangs around the palace and "petitions" me for some governmental function whenever he sees me. If you have never heard a drunk man with a lisp try to give a speech, let me tell you, it's hilarious.

    "Mylowd, I thingk, you thoud conthidda me ath yor cout chthaplin. I have eggth... exth... exthtenthiv knowledth in madderth eggth... eccle... ecclethiathtical..."

    Yes, I like eggs, too.

    Teehee.






    Also, meet my poet laureate!

    His poetry isn't half bad, as long as he doesn't recite it himself. Wait, I think I have some of his more experimental pieces lying around here...

    There once was a noble named R
    who was always talkin' 'bout war.
    Yet he never went
    and took out his pent-
    up frustration with tortures bizarre.

    Tsk, modern poetry, am I right? He calls these things "limericks". Once told a story about some Norwegian named Crow Dan he got the idea from, or something.
    Well, I'm more a fan of the classics.

    ...

    Wait, is that poem about...?





    Yeah, why don't you try painting instead, Iakov?






    "The Old Ones are coming."

    Who's coming...

    "Prepare yourself!"

    For wha...

    "Read this revelation and all will be clear."

    What will be clear?
    Hey, where did the guy go? And what book is this?

    ...

    Well, might as well read it. If you'll excuse me I'll be in the dungeons. I can always concentrate best there...





    "Mylowd..."

    Not now, Viacheslav.

    "Bleath, hear me out..."

    I said 'not now'!

    "I'm one othe finetht thkolath in..."

    God! Alright, you want something to do? Yeah? Okay, I'm putting together a diplomatic mission to find me a suitable bride. A princess, preferably. Why don't you join that? And now leave me alone. I need to read this book.




    Will Rostislav find wisdom in that book? Who was the man that gave it to him? And isn't chaos and mayhem pretty much guaranteed when the Old Ones awake? What's a book gonna help with that? Well, at least we can look forward to a wedding, apparently. Maybe. Find out in the next episode of Out Of Taurica!

  4. #4
    Field Marshal Tanzhang (譚張)'s Avatar
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    even though somebody (*cough*Kazmir*cough*)
    Don't worry, I can always follow both!

    I think that your hesitation in starting an AAR has paid off. I doubt you could have had this much fun with characters in a EU or Vicky AAR. Good start so far!

    Tsk, modern poetry, am I right? He calls these things "limericks". Once told a story about some Norwegian named Crow Dan he got the idea from, or something.
    The shadow of AP hangs large over us all, or so it seems... *nods sagely*
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    Keeping the ship on course Kazmir's Avatar
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    Great to see you went ahead with this after all, it will be interesting to see how different paths our realms will develop from the same position and what decisions you will be making.

  6. #6
    First Lieutenant 0Emmanuel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words, guys!

    @Tanzhang: *nods along* His greatness is what we all aspire to, but will never reach.
    @Kazmir: Indeed, the comparison will be interesting. I can already promise you one thing, though, my Rostislav survives longer than yours.

    And since it's already done, here's the next update. Speaking of which, I'd appreciate some feedback on the layout of the dialogue part at the end, regarding readability and who says what. It works for me, but I'm not sure whether it does for others.




    Episode 2 - A Day In The Life Of Rostislav
    as told by Rostislav Vladimirovich Rurikovich







    Ah, hello again! I'll be right with you, let me just put this stupid book away.





    I wasted way too much time trying to make sense of it. Completely incomprehensible. Also, one of my prisoners went mad when I read it to him.

    ...

    Maybe I should destroy it?

    ...

    Nah. I'll just put it in a little-used corner of the library where noone will find it.
    Ever.
    Yep, that's a good idea.


    So, let's get to business. What do we have here? A letter from Viacheslav.





    Looks like he found a princess for me to marry. In England. That's, like, the other end of the world, right? Ah, well, I guess I can't be too picky if I want to marry up.
    I wonder where Viacheslav found her, though. I sent him to Hungary, if I recall.

    What else? Oh, this one looks pompous. I wonder who sent...

    The Emperor?!





    '...even though you are not my vassal, yet'? Yet? Who does he think he is? Oh, you just made an enemy for life, mister!

    Well, you know, I get to you once I have dealt with all the other enemies around me.






    Like the Cumans whom my chancellor Kirill is trying to divide, so I may conquer them.

    ...

    It hasn't really worked so far.


    One more letter to go. Let's hope this one's a winner.





    Awww, no! I missed this month's meeting of the Philosopher's Club? And they had fun without me? You're supposed to sent me a reminder beforehand, Gleb!

    Ugh, this is just one of those days. I think, I'll head to the dungeon to cheer myself up...


    Ah, Iakov! How's the icon coming along?



    "Oh, it will be ready soon, mylord. I just had a bit of, um, trouble getting into the new art form."

    It better be great or else I'll be very disappointed.

    "..."

    ...

    "It will be quite... something, I assure you."

    Good.

    "But, just in case it doesn't live up to your magnificent taste..."

    ...

    "Is there any way I could alleviate your... disappointment?"

    Like how?

    "I could... write... your family chronicles?"





    That's a neat idea.

    "Writing is also more my thing, really."

    A chronicle of the Rurikovich family. The more I think about it, the more I like it.

    "..."

    ...

    "Wait, all the Rurikovichs?"

    Of course.

    "Of course."

    ...

    "I better get to work then, mylord."

    You do that. Oh, and you still have to finish the icon, of course.

    "Of course."



    Teehee, did you see him squirm? That cheered me up.

    I'm still going to take a look through the dungeon, though.






    Just what is Rostislav doing in the dungeon all the time? Reading? Also, what happened to his expansionist plans? Is he still waiting for an opportunity? What is that Greek doux up to? And when will that wedding finally take place? Find out next time (maybe) on Out Of Taurica!

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    The Cumans are Tengriists right? Shouldn't you be able to take their lands with a Holy War CB instead of relying on your chancellor to fabricate a claim?
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    The Cumans are way too big to take on, so he is trying to Sow Dissent in their capital.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OutsiderSubtype View Post
    The Cumans are way too big to take on, so he is trying to Sow Dissent in their capital.
    How silly of me, force of habit no doubt.
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    An enjoyable read thus far and an interesting starting position which should provide quite a challenge. I'll keep an eye on this.
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    Hah, I can't wait to see how Iakov's painting turns out to be.

    Did you get yourself married to an actual princess? Lucky you! And would it be possible to include the events' effects on their pictures? For example I have never had those book-events and got curious what do they actually do.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0Emmanuel View Post
    @Kazmir:I can already promise you one thing, though, my Rostislav survives longer than yours.
    Who would have thought?

    Oh and about the layout of the dialogue: works for me at least, though it might not work when there are more than two people involved in a conversation.

  12. #12
    I also started a Rurikovich game. Though not way down south. Do you have claims on all of the others? That can be fun.

  13. #13
    First Lieutenant 0Emmanuel's Avatar
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    Ui, so many comments!

    @Tanzhang: Indeed, as Outsider explained I'm trying a bit of divide and conquer. It's not really working, but with this starting position I have to grasp at every straw.

    @OutsiderSubtype: Good to know someone pays attention to the details.

    @morningSIDEr: Thanks! I hope, it will stay enjoyable.

    @Kazmir: You mean, I actually have to show Iakov's painting?! I guess, I better think of something then. *frantically rewrites script while looking for suitable pictures*
    If you are the type to search for spoilers in details, a closer look at the princess' name and where she's from might shed some light on her "royalty".
    As to the event effects, I will definitely keep that in mind in the future. I'm a bit ahead with playing, though, so it might take a few updates. The event in question doesn't do that much, by the way. The first option in the first event leads to the second event which gives the character the "scholar" trait. I'm not sure what the second option does.

    @Omen: I don't have any claims on my relatives. Which is just as well, since there is no way I could take any of them on. There are some titles I could inherit if I assassinated enough people, but take a look at Kazmir's AAR to see how that works out.


    Next update will come tomorrow! Probably.

  14. #14
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    I'm highly enjoying the humor in this story.

    Keep it up!

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    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

  15. #15
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    @TheExecuter: Glad to hear you enjoy it. I'll do my best to keep it that way.




    Episode 3 - Bells
    as told by Rostislav Vladimirovich Rurikovich






    Hello, everyone!

    I'd like to welcome you all on this joyful occasion, my wedding to Princess Gytha of England!





    Since speeches are boring, let me just point you to the buffet with everything from pheasant to caviar, and the finest wines of Taurica. Go ahead, enjoy it, it cost me a small fortune. As did Bobby Cuman And The Swingin' Kipchaks, the hottest new band in town.

    You better be worth it, guys! Or else, it's the dungeon for you!





    "..."

    I'm kidding! Just play some music!


    Anyway, meet the bride!





    Turns out, Viacheslav kinda screwed up on the 'Princess' thing. She is the daughter of a king, alright, but, unfortunately, he got killed by some other guy three years ago and her whole family was ousted from power.

    So, I guess, she is not techically a princess anymore. But who cares, right? She's kinda cute!

    Also, I'm a bit drunk.






    Heeeeyyyy, Viacheslav! My man! Viacheslav!

    It's okay. I don't care that she's not really a princess.

    Hey, where ya goin'?





    Whoa, man, you pretty quick for a drunk. Wait up!

    Whatya got there? A book? Show me, I love books!

    "No, mylowd..."

    Damn right, I'm your lord. Give me the book!



    [This modifier indicates that the character recently had that book event from earlier. It is applied after the first event and stays until the second fires shortly after. Ed.]


    Wait, this is that stupid book that guy gave to me. Where'd ya get that?

    "The libary."

    Really? But I, like, put it where nobody would find it!

    "It wath on the firtht thelf by the door."

    ...

    "..."

    Are you being smart with me?

    "No, mylowd."

    I didn't think so. And why aren't you drunk?

    "The book inthpired me..."

    To turn the natural order of things on its head? What's next? Black is white? Bad is good? The earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical orbit?
    Get yourself a flaggon of wine, stat!

    "Yes, mylowd..."






    Ah, Mitrofan! How is my second-favorite bishop?

    "There are only two bishops in your..."

    How are you?

    "..."

    ...

    "Well, since you ask..."





    "...I have a new falcon."

    Wow.
    That's...
    Yeah, I really don't care.


    Gytha! Gythyasha. Gythyashka-mashka. Do you like the party?





    "I..."

    D'you wanna present?

    "What kind of...?"

    How about a horse?





    "What would I want with...?"

    I saw one at the market the other day that would be perfect for you.

    "I don't..."

    Ah, don't mention it. Everything for my bride! Gimme a kiss!

    smoooooch

    To the bride, everybody!

    Hm, I'm out of wine.





    Son! Bring your old man some more wine, willya?

    "I won't, father."

    Why not?

    "Because you're drunk."

    Haha! My son, everybody! An honest lad, if I ever saw one.
    To Rurik!
    Like, the living one, not the dead one. Or, to the dead one, too, I suppose!

    I'm still out of wine.





    "Ahem, my lord? Would you like to hear the poem I wrote in honor of the occasion?"

    Well, of course! What else would I have a poet laureate for? Everybody be quiet! Iakov wants to recite a poem!

    "Ahem...
    There once lived a count by the Black Sea
    who went 'bout his days pretty lonely.
    And in his distress
    sent for a princess
    to henceforth be his one and only.
    A princess was found who, though kingless,
    was clearly a maiden of status.
    She thought she would see
    a new Achillee
    instead he was more a Thersites."

    Woooh! Awesome! Everybody, give it up for Iakov!

    Huh, glass still empty.

    What did you think of the poem, son?





    "I found it to be a rather labored attempt, really. I mean, 'Achillee'? Seriously? And wasn't it quite insult..."

    Oh, ya big ol' stick-in-the-mud.

    Anyway, time for my bride and I to withdraw.
    Teehee.

    Come on, Gytha!






    [The next morning]

    Ugh, some idiot left the curtains open and the sun shone directly in my face this morning.
    Not a good way to wake up when you're hung over.

    And those damn birds!

    Shut up, willya?! I mean, I get it, spring is here! Now give it a rest!

    Ugh.

    And I barely got up and already there is some message waiting. What is it?





    Ugh.




    A wedding? And now a war? Things seem to be heating up. And we got to see a son we had never heard about before. Even though Rostislav just got married. How does that work? Are there any more children running around the palace? Will the author point out that he used some really awesome literary references in the poem up there? I believe I just did. And where, exactly, is "Southern Ural"? You'll find out, if you tune in to the next episode of Out Of Taurica!

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    A very good update with some truly fantastic poetry. Rostislav is showing himself to clearly be a man of great tact and charm;

    Quote Originally Posted by 0Emmanuel View Post
    Ah, Mitrofan! How is my second-favorite bishop?

    "There are only two bishops in your..."
    Cunning too, bringing up the subject of riding to his newly married bride. Horse riding that is, of course, but they did seem to enjoy success with another form of riding after the wedding. Now to war!
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    A very good update with some truly fantastic poetry. Rostislav is showing himself to clearly be a man of great tact and charm;



    Cunning too, bringing up the subject of riding to his newly married bride. Horse riding that is, of course, but they did seem to enjoy success with another form of riding after the wedding. Now to war!
    Tactful, charming and cunning? I'm sure Rostislav would like that description. Let's see if we can add "valorous" to it...

  18. #18
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    Episode 4 - Glory
    as told by Rostislav Vladimirovich Rurikovich






    No one can say I don't take commitments seriously. If one of my allies asks for help, I help.

    And who knows, there might be something in it for me.

    Besides, Gytha is growing more moody and irritable by the day. It's probably the pregnancy. Or all the talk of me going to war in a far off land.
    Well, only one thing I can do about it. Go to war in a far off land.

    Who are we fighting anyway?





    Heh, seems to be a family enterprise. All Rurikovichs against one pagan chief.

    Sounds like my kind of war.






    The plan was simple.

    March there. Kick pagan ass. Return with spoils and glory.






    My daughter is born while I'm off in some swamp fighting. That's gonna make a fun anecdote for my toast at her wedding.






    It seems, one of my uncles is already busy besieging the enemy's holdings. I hope, we're not too late to get a piece of the action.





    Luckily, there is a small pagan force a bit to the north that's just asking to be defeated.

    Onwards! To glory!





    Hey! No! I called dibs on them!

    Great. And now?





    Let's take it out on some peasants.





    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul al...





    Hey, where are you all running to? Get back here!

    ...

    Wait for me!





    "Fortunately", my uncle's army arrived just as the center of my line was collapsing.

    Vsevolod gave me a clap on the back afterwards and said that it could have happened to anyone. And that those peasants looked really "vicious".

    Well, they did.

    Git.






    Since he had also made peace with the pagan, we begin our trek back.






    One year on campaign and nothing to show for it.

    Except another vaguely embarrasing story for next thanksgiving.

    I really am happy to be home again.

    Gytha, my dear! Where are you?




    "..."

    Ah, there you are!

    "My darling, we need to talk..."

    About what? Why are you crying? Is it because you have put on some weight? Now now, don't you worry about...





    ...that.

    Oh.

    Wait a minute...



    Looks like Gytha's got some 'splainin' to do. Is there any way the child could be Rostislav's? Probably not. Will Gytha have a convincing explanation? Probably not. Will there be more embarrassments to come for Rostislav? Most definitely. See it next time on Out Of Taurica!

  19. #19
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    A most impressive war, I certainly think Rostislav can add valorous to the list of his qualities, nearly achieving victory against a bunch of peasants certainly showing him to be so. Unfortunately it does rather seem as if cuckolded may have to be added to his description as well.
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  20. #20
    Keeping the ship on course Kazmir's Avatar
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    Oh my, will the future heir of Korchev be the son of a stable boy? This is why you should always drag your wife with you when wading through swamps (attempting) to slaughter some pagans - or peasants, for that matter.

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