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Thread: Mariano's Dream: The Legend of Italian Rus

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    Off Again Alfred Packer's Avatar
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    Mariano's Dream: The Legend of Italian Rus

    Mariano's Dream: The Legend of Italian Rus



    The Introduction:

    Mariano Torchitorio was lost in the vast forest. He had been separated from the rest of his party for some time. They had abandoned the merchant in the depths of the forest almost a month ago (or so he planned to tell anyone he might meet) and he had been heading southward ever since. Eventually, he would hit the coast, or one of the vast and lazy rivers that led to the coast. Thence to Byzantium and home.

    Mariano missed his wife terribly. Mariano Torchitorio, often known as Mariano the Sweater, had married very much above his station. The Countess Margherita, daughter of the Doge of Venice, had fallen madly in love with him and, despite her father’s (and higher Venetian Society’s) protests, they had wed. Be happy, Margie had said, with Northern Sardinia – the County of Arborea, the wedding gift her father had presented the pair, but Mariano could not. After all, who could be delighted with permanent exile from beloved Venice, even if such exile came with half of a private island.

    No, Mariano would prove himself, to his wife and to his countrymen. He would corner the Amber trade for his new County. Margie had tried to talk him out of his scheme, but Mariano would not be deterred. Leaving Arborea in the capable hands of his son Orzocorre, he set sail in the company of other merchants, both Italian and Greek, from Constantinople and headed north.

    They never made it to the fabled Amber fields. Now, alone, yet strangely well fed, Mariano travelled south, ever south, towards Arborea, towards home.

    One night, the Count, exhausted, fell into a deep slumber without even bothering to pitch a camp. He simply collapsed into some bushes.

    His slumber did not last long, for he was awakened after dark by the sound of something large crashing through the woods. It sounded like a herd of elephants and Mariano trembled in fear, praying to God and awaiting his end, but then, mere yards from his bush, the herd of pachyderms stopped and a great creaking followed by a thunderous crash was heard.

    Soon, all was silent, though Mariano suddenly realized he could see. There, a few yards away, he could see the glow of a crackling fire. Forgetting all else but the possibility of rescue, Mariano ran towards the fire.

    Well, almost forgetting all else. A few bloody parcels of meat, one of which had fingers still, were first secreted in the bush.

    What Mariano saw shocked him to the core and filled him with dread. It was not so much the sudden appearance of the vile peasant’s hut that scared him so. It wasn’t even the fact that this hut had appeared from nowhere.







    No, it was the legs Mariano found particularly unnerving.

    Indeed, he was about to turn and flee back into the forest when the front door opened and a cackling ancient voice called out, “Hold fast Mariano Torchitorio, we shall have words ‘ere this night has passed.”

    The woman's voice spoke almost perfect Italian. Certainly far better than Mariano's. Now, he was more unnerved. "Who are you?" He called out.

    Then, the world went very spinny, and Mariano hoped desperately he was dreaming as a terrifying hag emerged from the hut, leaning heavily on a cane and approaching him with her free hand outstreached.

    "Mariano, it is I, Baba Yaga, the Bony-Legged One. You are fortunate this night, for I crave the bones of a Greek...and you have one, do you not?"

    Mariano wet himself and his knees went wobbly. The old hag cackled and the world spun around him as the Italian Count fell to the ground.





    The next morning Mariano awoke. His head hurt terribly. His bush was far more uncomfortable a nest that he would have hoped. The Italian would have dismissed the previous night’s activities as a dream except for three things. First, his pants were still damp, reeking of urine and feces. Second, his parcels of meat were gone. Well, except for Andreas of Milano. Third, he had a mission.

    Baba Yaga had chosen him to save Christendom and Russia from a horde that would pour from the East. Short, giant-headed troglodytes were slowly building their armies, hateful and envious of all the good things God had created, they would explode from the East, squat and giant headed, riding on their swift, flesh eating ponies, these demons from the East would destroy the world…unless.

    Unless the children, the grandchildren, the great-grandchildren of Mariano Torchitorio created a great Kingdom in the East to block their path and save the world. He had been chosen and his family’s success in this great endeavor would gain him absolution for certain unmentionable sins he’d committed in order to stay alive over the last few months.

    Mariano had been chosen because he was an outsider, the witch had said, because the locals were too fractious to ever join together and fight as one. Because only the blood of one as ruthless as he could ever tie them together into an invincible Russian Army.

    So the witch said. Had Mariano been Russian, had he known the truth about the evil witch Baba Yaga, he would have scampered home, happy to have survived the encounter, and then drank away the memory of the meeting for the rest of his life.

    But since was an Italian, an outsider, an ambitious outsider at that, Mariano decided to tackle this monumental task, much to the everlasting delight of the Bony-Legged One.

    Here is the story of Mariano Torchitorio and his descendants and the Legend of Italian Rus.



    “Off we go!”


    ------
    And so begins the AuthAAR’s first foray into Crusader Kings II AARing…the goal of this game is pretty straight forward: to take this Italian Dynasty and make them the Kings of the Rus. If they can culturally remain Italian well that would be even better.

  2. #2
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Sounds awesome. Subbed!
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    yep, sounds good, I'm in
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  4. #4
    Sol Invictus Shaytana's Avatar
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    This sounds like an interesting idea. I'll be sure to keep an eye for it.
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    Cool concept, hilarious AuthAAR, great game.
    I'm in.

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    This may be the greatest idea ever. EVER.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Sounds awesome. Subbed!
    Thanks! Welcome aboard!

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    yep, sounds good, I'm in
    Glad to have you along for this mis-adventure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaytana View Post
    This sounds like an interesting idea. I'll be sure to keep an eye for it.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dovahkiing View Post
    Cool concept, hilarious AuthAAR, great game.
    I'm in.
    Hopefully I can deliver some funny...it seems I somehow have a rep to protect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    This may be the greatest idea ever. EVER.
    *nervous sweat* hoo-boy. Okay....here goes...

  8. #8
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    Episode 1: In Which Orzocorre is displeased with his bride





    Count Mariano Torchitorio of Arborea
    Of Strange Names and Stranger Brides (1066)










    So, here I am, ready to send the family off on our Great Mission. As you can see, Margie passed away while I was gone. Turns out I didn’t miss her as much as I thought I did. I guess I just missed the ‘idea’ of her. Or maybe I just missed sex.









    Speaking of sex…here is my only son Orzocorre. I did not pick his name. Margie did.
    On her father’s advice. Orzie is not as valuable an heir as I would have wished for.









    And here is my grandson. He is also named Orzocorre.









    This is the Council of State, who ably ruled in my absence.
    They will be consulted on all major plans because Arborea is to be run for the benefit of all Arboreans …
    pppfffttt…hahahaha. No, just kidding. I’ll be ignoring them completely.









    This is my army and the 4 soldiers the City of Oristano is contractually obligated to provide. The conquest of Rus is going to require some patience.









    I’ve also decided to change the family Heraldric Arms. I know this is frowned on, but the Future King of the Rus cannot worry about such little issues as that. The small castle at the bottom stands for Arborea. The blue line with the Fleur de Leis stands for the ocean. The two top castles stand for Rus, which we will conquer. As you can tell because the one castle has a chipped base. The orange is because I like orange. Not everything has to be infused with some deep meaning you know.









    Now, Orzo isn’t going to like this very much, but I have a plan to overcome the pitiful force at my disposal,
    and it starts with me marrying this jolly and chubby Rurickovich Queen Mother…









    And Orzie marrying this decrepit bag of bones, who also happens to be a Rurikovich Queen…









    Aw, come on Dad…she’s hideous!









    Well son, someday you will be a Count with a moderately disappointing son
    and then you can force HIM to marry hideous living mummies.
    Until then, shut your pie-hole, we have a kingdom to win.









    *muttering under his breath as he stalks from the room*
    Oh you’ll pay for this one day old man…mark my words. You’ll pay.









    And so we celebrated a beautiful double-wedding…me to my plump Russian Queen and Orzie to the Grim Reaper with breasts. The plan for our eventual conquest of Russia is underway.




    -----
    So what could Mariano’s daring plan possibly be? And how does marrying two aged and fairly dried up Russian Queens fit into that scheme? And what did Orzie mean by that cryptic statement? Join us next time as we answer some of these questions onMariano’s Dream: The Legend of Italian Rus.

  9. #9
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    "Shut your pie-hole, we have a kingdom to win!"

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    your new coat of arms is impressively chosen ... especially the orangey bits
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    "Shut your pie-hole, we have a kingdom to win!"

    Marvelous. Simply marvelous!
    Thank you, sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    your new coat of arms is impressively chosen ... especially the orangey bits
    Well, if you're going to conquer Russia, you need to look good doing it.

  12. #12
    Off Again Alfred Packer's Avatar
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    Episode 2: In Which Dysentary Pays Our Hero A Visit






    Count Mariano Torchitorio of Arborea
    Of New Neighbors and Poor Scouting (1067-1069)











    While my dedication to Baba Yaga’s message did not waver, I must admit that Emir an-Nasir’s aggressive
    Holy War against my neighbor did add some impetus to my decisions this year.











    Especially once it became clear that the Emir was here to stay.











    So, I loaded my Armies, such as they are, onto my “fleet” and went in search of Russian
    (or, in this case, near Russian) prey.











    Having found what appears to be the weakest heathen around, I launched my personal Crusade.











    And this, my son, is why we married those horrible women: because their brothers and sons are also horrible,
    but in a completely different way.











    It seems I underestimated the Heathen Armies…and his friends…who sent help. Unlike my lazy Russian In-Laws.











    Well, I didn’t want to give up, I couldn’t face them in battle, and I didn’t have enough men to even siege a castle.
    So I was stuck…this was not the Glorious Conquest I had anticipated when I was loading the boats.











    And now I have Glorious Diarrhea. Perfect.











    Great job Dad. So we’ve squandered the army, the treasury, everything so that you could force me to waste my youth married to a decrepit old woman and march off to poop ourselves to death in the heart of some heathen cess-pool because of your ridiculous dreams. Great job.











    Well son, I don’t see how that attitude helps at all. Maybe you could call on your wife’s family instead of just complaining about everything.











    You old fool, those Rurikoviches aren’t morons, they know why we married their grandmothers…there is no way
    they are going to waste any of their time helping your lunatic quest!











    Well Orzie, would you like to apologize right now, or would you rather put something more formal in writing?




    -----
    So help arrives at the last possible moment! Will these Russians really help Mariano kick-start his dreams? Will Mariano recover from his Dysentery? Will Orzie change his mind about his father’s plans? What about that Arab Jihad against Sardinia? Will it include Arborea? Join us next time as we answer some of these questions onMariano’s Dream: The Legend of Italian Rus.

  13. #13
    Watcher on the Walls Dovahkiing's Avatar
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    dysentery and tardy in-laws
    not a good combination...

  14. #14
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    at least they did finally arrive. Maybe the Rurikovich's believed you jointly married their grannies for more noble reasons? In any case getting out of Sardinia quickly does seem like a good plan.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  15. #15
    Angel of Death germanpeon's Avatar
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    Swapping islands, eh? I suppose one has to start somewhere. Hopefully the natives of the Baltic are kinder than the natives of the Mediterranean.

    Good luck!
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  16. #16
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    About time they got here. Hopefully you'll take Tartu before the Sheikh moves in from behind or the dysentry gets you.
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    Crusader for Fun and Profit Murmurandus's Avatar
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    Hah, now Mariano can dump some Rurikoviches on those pesky heathens while residing in the Outhouse! :great:
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  18. #18
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    Fantastic, may your dynasty be the envy of the Crovan clan.
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  19. #19
    Off Again Alfred Packer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dovahkiing View Post
    dysentery and tardy in-laws
    not a good combination...
    And yet...well...so typical.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    at least they did finally arrive. Maybe the Rurikovich's believed you jointly married their grannies for more noble reasons? In any case getting out of Sardinia quickly does seem like a good plan.
    It sure does. Fun fact I learn here very soon: Having conquered pagans with my Christians...I get no money or levies for a generation or so :O

    Quote Originally Posted by germanpeon View Post
    Swapping islands, eh? I suppose one has to start somewhere. Hopefully the natives of the Baltic are kinder than the natives of the Mediterranean.

    Good luck!
    No, turns out they are all horrible people

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    About time they got here. Hopefully you'll take Tartu before the Sheikh moves in from behind or the dysentry gets you.
    Oh how I wish...

    Quote Originally Posted by Murmurandus View Post
    Hah, now Mariano can dump some Rurikoviches on those pesky heathens while residing in the Outhouse! :great:
    Outhouses, Huzzah! Or at least murder and mayhem!

    Quote Originally Posted by SiikFajitas View Post
    Fantastic, may your dynasty be the envy of the Crovan clan.
    Sub'd
    The Torchitorios can only dream

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    Off Again Alfred Packer's Avatar
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    Episode 3: In Which Marianio Barely Repays His Debts


    Count Mariano Torchitorio of Arborea
    Of New Neighbors and Poor Scouting (1069-1072)












    Well, the dysentery cleared up, but it seems that three months of explosive diarrhea really ages a fellow. No one said saving the world would be easy, I guess.











    On the plus side, my ‘brothers’ went ahead and conquered my new lands for me.
    Still want to whine about your wife as I double your inheritance Orzie?











    Mariano Torchitorio, you are a genius!











    *muttered* that’s certainly debatable.










    Shut up, you.











    And with this step, we have officially begun our March to Glory.











    Now, I need some new vassals on the ground in Saaremaa, so I carefully research and study all the available options before choosing this extremely pious and religious man to lead the Bishopric of Huiimaa, the right…











    Who do you think you’re fooling with that nonsense? Bonaventura was literally the first guy in the court you came across when you decided to appoint a Bishop. You know NOTHING about him. *snort* careful research? Ha!












    *Ahem*
    I send my shiftless son off to be the Mayor of Arensburg so that I won’t have to look at him every day.











    “Turnabout is fair play,” my brother-in-law points out. He is asking for my support in a war, which I will supply enthusiastically, if only morally.











    Instead, I’m devoting my time, treasure and talent to building a new wall around my castle. I’m having some trouble coaxing taxes from my new heathens and I don’t really trust them enough to arm them, so more walls is really the only solution I’ve got.











    Eventually, a Herald arrived to let me know the war between my brothers-in-law was over. Honestly, I paid so little attention, I’m not sure what side I was “fighting” on or if we won or lost.



    -----
    Well, Mariano didn’t accomplish much this go round did he? Will his relatives realize he didn’t even pay attention to the war? Does Orzocorre like his new job? What is Mariano’s grandson up to? Why hasn’t there been more deer hunting in this AAR? Join us next time as we answer some of these questions onMariano’s Dream: The Legend of Italian Rus.

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