• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Introduction

HistoryDude

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Introduction to A Narrative History of Byzantium:
Almost the entire galaxy, and even beyond, has been affected by the great Byzantine Empire. This book will cover the history of Byzantium in narrative from its relatively humble beginnings on Earth to its dominion over the entirety of the Milky Way galaxy, and even its forays beyond. The information has been compiled from varying sources across the Triple Galaxies.

When reading this, keep in mind the two Prime Laws of Sentientkind:
  • Contradiction is the Law of Mankind
  • Esse est percipi


So, I am starting a new AAR. I've already covered most info above, and as you can probably tell, this will be a megacampaign. It will start with the When the World Stopped Making Sense mod for CK2...

Edit: I do appreciate comments and advice on my writing, by the way.
 
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Good luck!
 
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Will try to follow
 
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Part 1: The War in the Shadows

HistoryDude

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The year is 477 AD, and everything seems fine in the state of Byzantium. It stands as a bastion of stability in a rapidly collapsing world. Yet, in the shadows, things... ancient things lurk, waiting to pounce.

The Throne is manipulated at every corner. Across Eurasia, men scheme and plot. The shadows are filled with many factions, and all wish for their goals to be fulfilled. With all this scheming, there is one question above all:

Who can you trust?

Quote: “Nothing is above the daring of mortals. We storm heaven itself in our folly [or perhaps in our wisdom...]”. - Horace

First update should be out sometime this week...
 
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Part 1: The War in the Shadows:The Land Between the Rivers, Part 1: The Persian Conspiracy

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was when Civilization rose and fell. It was when an age of oppression and freedom. In short, it was the age of Paradox and contradiction.

In these days, there was an indescript house. Inside this house, there was a room, a dark room. Within this room, an ancient group plots in the shadows.

They wish to destroy Persia once and for all. They are Greeks, and they manipulate whoever happens to rule Greece to want Persia. At the moment, that happens to be Byzantium, and Byzantium will destroy the Persians as Rome could not. However, their policy could not be too obvious. Furthermore, they had to know where and when to start…

“We should begin now,” a member suggested.

“No,” another member replied. “We should wait until they are embroiled in civil war or being invaded on all sides”.

“They are currently being invaded,” the first member argued back. “The time to strike is now”.

“Very well,” the second member responded. “But where?”.

“We should begin with Armenia,” a third member suggested.

“No,” the second member said. “We should attack all of Persia at once, to bring them down once and for all”.

“We are supposed to be inconspicuous,” the original member pointed out. “Attacking all of Persia is not inconspicuous. We should begin by attacking their client Arabian Kingdoms”.

“No,” a fourth member said. “That will achieve nothing. We should attack Armenia, but also all of Mesopotamia proper”.

“Manipulating the Empire to attack all of Mesopotamia will be suspicious,” the current leader of the group pointed out. “Therefore, we should get the Emperor to attack most of Armenia and some of Mesopotamia”.

“Very well,” the other members reluctantly agreed.

“However,” the second member said. “We should go for almost all of Persia under an ambitious Emperor”.

“Yes,” the leader replied. He turned away and murmured “alea iacta est”. The die is cast. “Or rather the die was cast long ago…”.

They whispered in Emperor Zeno’s ears. “Attack Persia,” they said. “You will gain glory for it”. The Emperor listened, and in 477 AD, he declared war on the Sassanid Empire. No one realized that Rome and Persia had been fighting for centuries. No one suspected that there was a group that guided the Empire’s decisions....

And no one suspected that there could by multiple groups guiding the Empire. There were, though. These groups could not agree on much. In the shadows, they plotted and schemed. Each group had its own goals, and all held grudges. Alliances between them were for convenience’s sake alone. In the shadows, the only person you could trust was yourself.




Sorry for the late update. The members aren’t given names in this chapter because their names aren’t important, yet....
 
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there is always someone trying to be the puppet master.
 
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there is always someone trying to be the puppet master.
Indeed. Or in this case, multiple someones, at odds with each other…
 
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As we close in to the 600s, someone, I bet, is working in the shadows in Arabia...
 
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As we close in to the 600s, someone, I bet, is working in the shadows in Arabia...
Perhaps. Or perhaps they are being manipulated by other factions…
 
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Part 1:The War In the Shadows:The Land Between the Rivers, Part 2:Armenia Recaptured

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March 477

A man sat on a throne. It was in an ostentatious room, worthy of the Emperors of Rome. This was the Emperor of the East, Zeno.

A few advisors approached him. They told him to attack Persia, for he would gain great glory if he did so. He agreed, thinking about the glory history would grant to him if he succeeded at defeating Persia. He was not overly ambitious, however, so he did not want to claim all of Persia. He figured that ruling all of Persia would be too much work. However, Armenia and some of western Mesopotamia were previously ruled by Rome, so he would only be recovering rightful Roman lands… As such, he declared war on Persia and readied his armies.

“Your Majesty,” one of his servants said. “Your Illyrian vassals desire a marriage between one of their line and Princess Helena”.

“Agree to this,” the Emperor responded. “It will make them more loyal to us”.

Another of his advisors told the Emperor, “Your Highness, not all of the Empire follows the true way of Christ. You should root out the heretics”.

“Hmm,” the Emperor mused. “If our subjects have the same beliefs as us, they will be more loyal”.

“Bishop Ilyrios, go to Tyana and try to convince them of the true religion. Make them renounce their heresy,” Emperor Zeno ordered.

January 478

“My lord,” a messenger said. “News from the front!”.

“What is it?” the Emperor asked.

“Our forces have won a great victory against the Sassanids at Erebuni,” the messenger said. “We have suffered minimal casualties, but many Persians lay dead around the city”.

“Have the gates of the city been opened,” the Emperor asked.

“The Persian garrison defending the city are either dead or have surrendered to our forces,” the messenger responded.

“Good. Tell the generals to press their advantage until Persia surrenders outright and is at our mercy,” Emperor Zeno ordered.

July 478

“Your Majesty,” a messenger from the Mesopotamian front said. “We have achieved another victory”.

“Where? And how defeated are the Sassanids” the Emperor asked.

“The victory was at Ghapan,” the messenger replied. “And the Sassanids are retreating across the Euphrates”.

“If we asked for Armenia and portions of western Mesopotamia, would they agree” the Emperor asked.

“It is extremely likely, Your Majesty,” the messenger replied.

“Tell the generals to not advance further into Persia,” the Emperor ordered.

The Emperor began to write out terms for the Sassanids. They would have to give up all of their Armenian possessions and small portions of Mesopotamia, but they would get to keep most of Mesopotamia. The Sassanids would get to focus on the Hephtalites invading their eastern border, and the Romans would get to enjoy peace.

The Emperor, however, worried. The Egyptian Monophysites were riling up the Provincial governor, telling him to declare independence. The Syrian Monophysites were restless, and Emperor Zeno needed to make a decision on who carried the legacy of the Western Empire. Zeno wished to see Rome restored, whether diplomatically or militarily, in the long term. He needed time to plan those connections.


On August 19, 478 Anno Domini, or 1232 Ab Urbe Condita, the Emperor received the Sassanid surrender. Armenia was fully recovered, and some of Mesopotamia was Roman once more. The soldiers were granted a triumph in the Hippodrome. The Emperor also issued an edict that restored the Eastern Scholae Palatinae, and the new unit of the Imperial military was fully incorporated by September.




Sorry for the late update, although I did finish the current arc. I'll try to update weekly, at least. You'll get some battle scenes when I have an Emperor who leads from the front.
 
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Seems like the Sassanids are on full retreat and with their hands full. Might be a smart move to put them down before they can recover, allowing for a much safer and easier reconquest of the Empire. Certainly interested in this run, although my kid brain would love a few pics here and there, whether just general art or screenshots from the game. Still, I am enjoying this regardless of the pics :p.
 
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Seems like the Sassanids are on full retreat and with their hands full. Might be a smart move to put them down before they can recover, allowing for a much safer and easier reconquest of the Empire. Certainly interested in this run, although my kid brain would love a few pics here and there, whether just general art or screenshots from the game. Still, I am enjoying this regardless of the pics :p.
Pics should be coming soon.

From the perspective of the Anti-Persian Conspiracy, seizing all of Persia would out their existence. From Zeno’s perspective, seizing all of Persia would create a host of new problems, between the Hephtalites, the Persians wanting independence, and the new neighbors. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.
 
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The Monophysites are going to be a terrible thorn in the foot I believe.
 
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HistoryDude

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HistoryDude

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Sorry about this, but there will not be an update this week. I'll try to make up for it with an extra-long update next week. Sorry!
 
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No worries
 
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Part 1:The War in the Shadows,The Egyptian Plot, Part 1

HistoryDude

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Egypt, 478 AD

It was a pyramid. There was a group meeting inside this pyramid, and they were talking about recent events and how well their plans were doing.

“So,” their leader, Ramsesses, began. “The attempts of the emperor to get the followers of Christ within our lands to agree dogmatically with their ideas have failed”.

“Yes,” a member agreed. “We can take advantage of this”.

“Indeed,” Ramsesses commented. “The governor of Egypt is not happy, and he is preparing his forces to revolt”.

“Also, the Empire is still recovering from their recent war with Persia,” another member pointed out. “And the goal of this uprising is only to wear down their forces, as we bide our time for our actual revolt…”.

“Also,” the second member wondered. “Why do we care about the schisms amongst the Christians? Aren’t there other things we could take advantage of?”.

“The followers of Christ are extremely concerned with what they perceive as ‘heresy’. They care most about whether or not their ideas are agreed with,” Ramsesses explained. “They will continuously fight against each other based on minor differences. We are going to take advantage of that to reclaim our freedom”.

“The current governor of our province is ambitious anyways,” the first member pointed out. “He believes that he will gain long-lasting glory if he founds a new kingdom… and all men want to be remembered...”.

The Emperor’s palace, 478 AD

“My lord,” a messenger said. “Our attempts to mend our schism with the Monophysites have failed, and the Egyptians seem to be preparing for war against us”.

“This is worrying news,” Emperor Zeno exclaimed. “Send for the governors of the provinces of Greece and Anatolia. Also, what is your name, messenger?”.

“Alexander, your majesty, and I shall contact them immediately,” the messenger, now identified as Alexander said. “What should I tell them?”.

“Tell the governors to prepare their armies, and to meet at Ancyra,” Emperor Zeno replied. “From Ancyra, they shall march east to the Tigris, and then they shall go South to the Holy Land”.

“And then, your majesty?, Alexander asked.

“Tell them to march to Sinai, where they will stay as an unspoken threat to the Egyptians if they try to revolt,” the Emperor responded.

“And if the Egyptians are foolish enough to revolt anyways?” Alexander asked.

“Tell the generals of the armies of Greece and Anatolia that if Egypt does revolt, they shall march into it, and they shall begin by taking Alexandria,” the Emperor ordered. “If they don’t surrender with this show of force, then the Graeco-Anatolian Army shall attack them until their armies are decimated or until they do surrender”.

Mentally, Alexander wondered if he should tell the Emperor about his dream. After some pondering, he decided that he was just worried about the coming war, and the dream probably didn’t mean anything. The Emperor’s plan for this war sounded like a good one, anyway.

“Also,” the Emperor began. “Gather some diplomats and lead them across the lands of Europe and Africa to create alliances with a few other powers, just to secure our backs for the time being”.

“Yes, your majesty,” Alexander agreed. “What shall we do about the Monophysites in Syria, if I may ask?”

“We shall gather the armies in Armenia and the portions of Mesopotamia that we now own, as well as the armies loyal to us in Syria and Palestine, and split them in half… one half shall go to our border with Persia, in case they try anything, and the other half will go to keep order across Syria and the Holy Land,” Emperor Zeno explained. “Tell the governors that we are going to take some of their troops for that,” he added as an afterthought.

“Very well, my liege,” Alexander responded. “When am I to gather the diplomats?”

“Gather the diplomats after you deliver the orders, but begin your mission after Egypt is relatively pacified,” the Emperor responded.

Inwardly, Alexander sighed. He could see so many things that could go wrong with this plan. Other powers could easily begin their own alliances, and what would happen when the new alliances fought each other. However, he didn’t have a better idea, and who was he to question the Emperor, anyways?

Still, the entire situation reminded him too much of his recent dream. He was beginning to get very worried. Although dreams couldn’t tell the future, could they?

The dream began with the negotiation of a few alliances, and everything spiraled out of control from there. A war began, and soon, most of the world was embroiled in conflict as a result of these alliances. Then, heavens trembled, as creatures from ancient myths joined the conflict. Devastation reigned across the entire known world. He saw thousands of cities reduced to ashes. He stood at both the Pillars of Hercules and coast of the Holy Land, and all he saw in every direction was a red sea. He knew that that meant that the entire Mediterranean Sea would run red with the blood of millions… if the dream came true. He feared that the dream was warning him of a coming apocalypse…

If his dream came true, would Paradise follow?

Far away, an entity whispered, so softly that she was heard by no one, that it wouldn’t. No, there would be suffering for two millennia longer until the end would finally come, and Paradise would not follow even then…

Men must always pursue gloria sine fine - glory without end - and so, there must always be bellum sine fine - war without end. The worst is always yet to come...
 
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One cannot but help but think that Zeno is being well played.

Men must always pursue gloria sine fine - glory without end - and so, there must always be bellum sine fine - war without end. The worst is always yet to come...
And all one can hear is the laughing of thirsting gods?

:D
 
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