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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Mr. Capiatlist

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Woot! Finally caught up :D
Huzzah!

Was it that Dzintis really attacked Hungary?

Emperor of Prussia?
Servant of the faithful?
Lord of the north?
Lord of the North and Emperor of Prussia are titles that come later. Officially Prussia became an Empire in the 1600s, and Lord of the North comes with the conquest of Finland and the other Finnish territories. It can be a bit confusing because I used the term "Empire of Prussia" to refer to Prussia with all of its subservient states (like Bohemia and Hungary now), but it was an Empire led by a King.

Dzintis didn't attack Hungary, he attacked Mihály during the civil war, but deposed his own son to bolster his own prestige under the guise of stabilizing the region.
 

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Prologue Three: The Kings of Kings
Part 24


sá hór sind we, se hæláţæs ŝev land; we kán in se pláváland kámáju!
So here we are, the heroes of the land; We who come from the meadowland!​

The reign of King Kárnák was very important to the rise of the Azowians. Kárnák had a strange fascination with their culture and their military prowess, and so let them get away with many things that his ancestors would have not tolerated. Amongst the Azowian chiefs, the King's favorite was Serlo Dormandy, the son of the late Hyg Dormandy. Serlo ruled from the city of Kán (officially Wánskán) named after the city of Caen in their native Normandy. Unlike many peoples in the Kingdoms of Prussia, the Azowians never really became Prussian. Most never even learned how to speak Prussian, just knowing enough to get through church or talk to nobles. Instead they spoke a form of Ruthenian, peppered with French and Norman, their language was not unlike Prussian in that sense. In 1226, Kárnák allowed the Azowians to invade and annex the territories of the Alans, a Persian people who lived just outside of Prussia and raided Azowian settlements. Serlo attached the new lands to his own fief, making him easily the most powerful chief in the Azowian lands.

But with this new found power came the jealousy of the other chiefs. But still, Kárnák's ignorance of Azowian lifestyles made the situation worse. Once the chiefs held an equal footing over one another, now Serlo had the advantage and the King expanded that by crowing him "Sich" or Ruler of all the other chiefs. This lead to open conflicts between the different chiefs and eventually open warfare. But Serlo came out on top, securing the region for himself with one small exception: Taurica. Roman Crimea, known as Taurica, was on the very outskirts of the Empire, often left to its own devices during revolts and famines. Many Greeks retreated off the peninsula, leaving northern Taurica to the Azowians. By 1200 most the region was filled with Azowians, even the parts in the Roman Empire. By the time Serlo became Sich of all the Azowians, even Roman Taurica was led by an Azowian descendent of Norman nobility. Tension between the Romans and the Prussians was briefly eliminated by Kárnák's decision to invade the Papal Fortress in the Carpathian mountains. But with the final ousting of the Catholic Pope and the end of Catholicism, the two Orthodox nations turned their ire to one another.

The Roman Empire was no longer ruled by Greeks, rather by Saxons. They were relatives of the ruling family of Prussia, but as Saxons felt obligated to antagonize the King of Prussia. And with a new realm under their control, many Saxon nobles fled Prussia and went to Rome, opening up new regions for Prussian nobles. Taurica was a proxy, just a battlefield for the jealousies and the anger between the two ruling families to take out their hatred and frustrations. The Roman Emperor threatened war, and the Azowians counted with threats of victory. And when the Roman Emperor conceded to the Azowian demands for Taurica, Serlo Dormandy looked disappointed.
 

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Alans were Persian people? :confused:
Alans and their modern descendants, the Ossetians, are both Indo-Iranian peoples. Their self designation "Ironau" is a cognate of "Aryan" (kind of like "Iran").
 
Last edited:

Mr. Capiatlist

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Thank you everyone, Homelands won her final award in the AARland Choice Awards. After this point she is not eligible, so it means a lot to me for Homelands to end on such a strong and positive note. This really means a lot to me, and so does your continuing support. So thank you.
 

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Prologue Three: The Kings of Kings
Part 25


sá, ándrætresunpekte gádsæs pæc æţælwerd átŝkiriţ próŝjá in ien románjá, átŝkiriţ kárnák próŝjá in ien ortis.
So, one hundred and fifty three years after Æthelweard separated Prussia from one Rome, Karnak separated Prussia from a second.​

Russia was a tempting target to Kárnák, who enviously looked to the city of Tver. Tver was the center of the free Russians, a people who were claustrophobically caught in a thin strip between Prussia and Mordvia. There was more to the region than Tver, but it was the only major city left. Kiev was a Prussian city; Chernigrád was as well; Moscow had fallen to the Prussians; Novgorod to the Mordvins. Russia as a political definition was also fading away. "Eastern Prussia" was a common moniker if one was required, Ladusia was popular for the northern reaches that were not yet conquered by Mordvia. It came from Prussian and meant "Land of ice". The first move was to capture the eastern edge of the Russian territories, leaving Tver surrounded by Prussia on three sides. But this meant sieging Tver itself, which was fortified from years of attacks from Mordvia and after captured by the Mordvins: fear of Prussian attack. The only hope was a rumor of a great technology in the West. Prussia purchased four massive cannons from the Caliphate. Along with their operators, the cannons came with a diplomat and his family. Yusuf Hadad was sent as the permanent ambassador to Prussia, but was also an accomplished blacksmith and cannon maker. By the end of 1245, Tver surrendered its eastern lands and was left with only the city and its environs. It was just as Kárnák had planned.

The Romans felt left out by Prussia's goal to unite the Russian people. King Kárnák was quickly rising in popularity amongst the Orthodox population as a crusader and defender of their faith. The Catholic church had hung in a state of suspended animation, kept functioning by its bureaucracy and cardinals. But after twenty years, in 1250, the cardinals ruled that Catholicism was over and disbanded the church, which was no longer making any profit. This left thousands of Hungarians without a church and Kárnák was quick to make the Christians in Hungary to turn to Memelgrád for its spiritual guidance. Rome responded that the Church in Prussia was essentially a vassal of the one in Constantinople, so the Hungarians should look to Constantinople. In the middle, Unionists still preached that everyone should get along, but even they were forced to take sides and become either Pro-Prussia or Pro-Rome. In the end, Kárnák declared that the Patriarch of Constantinople was a false one and separated Prussian Orthodoxy from Roman Orthodoxy. This riff was just the embodiment of the increasing tension between Prussia and Rome, the two dominate Christian powers in Europe.

In 1252, Kárnák had a sole son, Kiten who was 17 at the time. However, Kiten was one of the greatest diplomats in Prussia's arsenal. He was friendly, outgoing, and especially good with women. His nature and demeanor meant that people had a tendency to flock to him, believe him, and trust him. Often times he was very honest, understanding and forgiving. Even so, he had a strong interest in women and earned the name "The Green Gallant", based off his father's "The Gallant". Kiten grew up with five older sisters and one younger one. He was very used to being around women. But the Prince kept Rome and Prussia from going to war, trying to cool over the two sides. It was Kiten who convinced the city of Tver to join Prussia, surrendering its independence to a state that had invaded it only years ago. Kiten's second task was then to go to Brandenburg, a small Unionist state between Prussia and the Kingdom of Germany. By this time Germany was a Revisionist state led by the Zähringer dynasty as both religious and secular ruler. The Priest-King had declared a Crusade against Brandenburg and it was up to Kiten to defend it.
 

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Mr. Capiatlist

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Prologue Three: The Kings of Kings
Part 26


æs aizliktáju næ ţáó wuldáţ aizmirzæt. æs aizliktáju ţáó wuldáţ prom kustibæt. nó, bráult we.
I never said you'd forget. I said you'd move on. Now, let's go.​

Luckenwalde before 1254 was a small village on the western edge of Brandenburg. Officially it was a settlement and it was an important border town between the small state of Brandenburg and the Kingdom of Germany. Brandenburg itself was a tiny country, populated by Wends, Germans and Prussians. It was led, nominally, by Heinrich Luxembourg, a native of Bohemia. Heinrich had nearly been assassinated on Christmas Day, 1253 and was bedridden. So Prince Kiten of Prussia was his regent. War between Prussia and Germany was obvious and both sides prepared to duel the other for Brandenburg. The war lasted only a single battle, outside of Luckenwalde. Afterwards some 14,000 Germans were dead and another 3,000 missing. The Prussians lost nearly 5,000 with 2,000 missing. The failure of the Germans was due, in part, to the lack of ability of its commanders and the nature of its soldiers being peasant levy. Many German nobles were killed; including Prince Ludwig von Zähringer, heir to the Kingdom of Germany. The battle left Kiten very conflicted. The sight of death was nothing new to him, but the scale and futility of the carnage left him moved. Many German soldiers were left unburied, rather they were piled up and burned as part of massive funeral rites. It would not be long before the Netherlands broke away from Germany under their own King.

When Heinrich died, Kiten turned down the title Prince of Brandenburg and left the territory, now incorporated into Prussia, in the hands of Heinrich's family. He returned to Memelgrád and to his father who was looking to have his son married as soon as possible. Kiten was well known for his romantic interests and his many mistresses. Kiten did eventually settle down, choosing a distant relative, Rasa, as his bride. However, Kárnák had already chosen Cecile, daughter of the Prince of Pomerania (the Danish royalty), to be Kiten's bride. The Prince dutifully married the Princess, but maintained a separate family and life with Rasa. But the marriage with Cecile lasted only three years before she died of natural causes and the Prince was married to his bride of choice. Rasa and Kiten were very close, far closer than almost all royal marriages at the time. In the meantime, Kiten and his father began a long process of feuding with one another. Kiten still held lingering resentment to his father for forcing the marriage with Cecile, but also with political ambitions. Kárnák was apt to follow a system of give and take with the Roman Empire, but Kiten was growing to resent the Romans and openly advocated waging war against them.

Eventually Kiten had enough of his father and he left Prussia to travel the Middle East. Kiten told the court that it was to engage neighbors and maintain the peace between Prussia and the near-by Muslim nations. Forever, many understood that it was a young man striking off on his own for the first time. Kiten's travels became well known, though he got no farther than the capital of Persia. There he met ambassadors from all over Asia, including an ambassador from the Yuan Empire that dominated much of China and India. Hearing stories of other people's homelands made Kiten miss his all the more and the Prince returned to Prussia in 1262, arriving in the southern port of Morcárgrád. While Kiten was gone, however, Kárnák did stretch Prussia's might a bit, invading Sweden and capturing Scania. With this new territory, Prussia controlled all access to the Baltic Sea, essentially making Sweden and Finland both tributary states.
 

Enewald

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What Finland? :p
The northern tribes?

So, angry young Kiten left the court to return only a few years later back?
And brought nice stuff from abroad. :cool:
What did he bring back with him?
 

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Prologue Three: The Kings of Kings
Part 27


hwæt... ţon lætt he inizrákæt! siniga rásá, siewá uv sinik kiten, ieniát wins nehstá.
Well... let it be written then! Queen Rasa, Wife of King Kiten, hates her neighbors.​

After a series of revolts in Poland concerning an inept ruler, King Kárnák suffered a stroke in 1269. It left him completely unable to rule, and Kiten took the position as Regent. Given Kárnák's advanced age, few thought he would survive, so Kiten was afforded more powers than most Regents, though many nobles resented the Prince's move to power. However, Kiten could have been one of their biggest allies. Though he disagreed with decentralization, Kiten saw legitimacy in the other noble houses. His first act was to pardon the Dukes and Count arrested after the Polish revolts which were centered on an ineffective ruler from the royal family. Kárnák spared him solely for this fact and Kiten would have none of it. The Prince quickly went about with undoing many of Kárnák's decisions, claiming he'd rather have his father angry at him then have the power to fix something and not. The nobles quickly retorted by enforcing a rule that said a Regent must have witnesses. They chose amongst themselves some of the staunchest opponents of centralization and forced the Regent to accept them in to the court. Amongst these nobles was the Prince of Estonia, who's arrogance and stubbornness would lose him his rank and his land. The strain became worse when more German nobles arrived and the old guard did not want to let them into the court (and threaten their own positions). Prince Kiten solved the problem by letting them into the Principality of Prussia, the personal lands of the Prince where he had sole authority.

Eventually Kárnák reawakened and gained some semblance of sanity. But he was very frail and unable to interface directly with the court. Many suggested that they should get the King's blessing to crown Kiten and allow Kárnák to rest. Kiten refused, in an act of kindness and respect to his father. He said that his father's memory was gone and though he might agree to it one day, he'd forget he had done so by the next day. So, the Prince continued to exist as a Regent and was eventually able to get rid of the nobles in the court now that his father was well enough. In the spring of 1277, King Kárnák passed away and Kiten ascended the throne after a long and painful regency, and Prussia quickly returned to normal. During the past eight years, Prussia had ceased many of its international functions, since the Regent had no authority to dictate anything but domestic policy. King Kiten was quick to return Prussia to its place in Europe. Many called for war, a war to take a war-weary Germany and bolster Eastern Europe against its Muslim foes. But Kiten refused, he was unwilling to spark a war with the Caliphate. The two nations were not close, but rather depended on one another economically.

To the south, the Roman Empire was facing its doom. Its entire eastern border was made up of Muslim states that craved to conquer Asia Minor. The pushiest of them all was Armenia. Armenians populated much of eastern Asia Minor as well as the southern Caucasus regions. Under the Seljuks they were granted rule over both Armenians and Georgians. After the Seljuks were toppled by their Persian brethren, Armenia was overthrown by the Georgians. But after they restored their independence, they looked to reunite with their brothers on the Mediterranean coast. But as the war continued, the Armenians began to see themselves as true rulers of Asian Minor and stepped up pressure on the Roman Empire. The Romans sent representatives to Memelgrád to attempt to woo Kiten into helping them with their troubles. Kiten consented and sent the Azowian horse lords, but gave them orders to not leave the Roman Empire. They were there to defend Rome, not be invaders.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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What Finland? :p
The northern tribes?

So, angry young Kiten left the court to return only a few years later back?
And brought nice stuff from abroad. :cool:
What did he bring back with him?
Well, Finland as a region.

Kiten was away for quite a while, but he was a Prince and he could not be abroad forever. How else could he have been Regent? ;) As for gifts, the actual chapter mentions pretty minor things, trinkets really.


I have a bit of an announcement, Issac Wolfe and I might be starting an AAR called "I do not Wait for Eternity, I am Eternity" in CK. It will be centered on two Lombard counts in southern Italy. More info as soon as we can figure out what is going on.
 

Enewald

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Oh yes, what happened in game?
Armenia established? Strong rebel dukes?

You had a lot of long reigning monarchs in your game. 8 rulers in CK?
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Oh yes, what happened in game?
Armenia established? Strong rebel dukes?

You had a lot of long reigning monarchs in your game. 8 rulers in CK?
Armenia, in game, was really just a blob of Muslim states that swamped Rome. I had to figure out an idea for what really happened.

10 rulers total:
Mocár, Æthelweard, Eadbert, Gunvald, Sviendorog, Meinekinus, Dzintis, Karnak, Kiten and Vishly.
 

unmerged(174602)

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Vishly's my favourite :D

Well, from a story standpoint, wouldn't want him as MY king that's for sure.
 

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I think I liked Gunvald the most actually. Either him or Sviendorog.

I thought Vishly would be an intelligent tyrant killing of vassals right and left. He turned out to be a psycho with too much power in his hands. :p
 

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Vishly's my favourite :D

Well, from a story standpoint, wouldn't want him as MY king that's for sure.
Vishly was something different, that is to be sure.

I think I liked Gunvald the most actually. Either him or Sviendorog.

I thought Vishly would be an intelligent tyrant killing of vassals right and left. He turned out to be a psycho with too much power in his hands. :p
Gunvald I and Sviendorog I are my favorites by far. Vishly's character evolved a lot between my first conceptions of him and actually writing him.
 

Gwyn ap Nud

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It was sad to watch Vishly slowly and clearly degenerate from a power-hungry tyrant to evil for the sake of it. At first, his evils had PURPOSE, but eventually, he clearly became delusional.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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It was sad to watch Vishly slowly and clearly degenerate from a power-hungry tyrant to evil for the sake of it. At first, his evils had PURPOSE, but eventually, he clearly became delusional.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
Yeah, like I said, that wasn't the path I necessarily wanted to go down with Vishly, which is why I stopped centering the story around him, but he provided a good foil to both Gunvald II and Doyvát I, so I guess he served his function.

I have an update under way, hopefully have it up later tonight. For those of you keeping track, Homelands turns 2 years old today! Thank you everyone for two years of awesome fans.
 

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Prologue Three: The Kings of Kings
Part 28


se fældæs uw próŝjá sie suligs un gátaw, se firţæs: zálá un gárs; un laká growáp románjá mas.
The fields of Prussia are lush and ripe, the forests: green and tall; and all the while Rome grows small.​

Prussia's kindness to Rome was quickly forgotten, as Romans are oft to do. The Roman Emperor saw an opportunity to do his two favorite things at once: anger Prussia and make money. In 1280 the Roman Emperor shut Prussian access to the Dardanelles and the Bosporus down. Prussia's Black Sea trade would be effectively bottled, despite the existence of treaties that prevented such actions from being taken. To top off the insult, the Emperor sent his heir to deliver the news as well as be the one that Kiten had to make his appeal to. But the Prussian King would have none of it. He told the Prince, "I will go to Constantinople and I will reopen trade and that is final." With the Prince dismissed, Kiten gave his commanders a simple order, "iebrukt se románænæs" or "Invade the Romans!" So the Prussians called up a massive army, forged massive cannons from the iron of the Carpathians. Modern estimates put the Prussian army between 60,000 and 130,000 strong. The King, driven by the death of his beloved wife Rasa and the constant insults of the Romans, insisted on cracking the toughest nut in all of Europe: Constantinople. So the flames of industry grew under the constant breeze of bellows. It took two years to build the army and then march it to the gates of Constantinople. And once it was there, Kiten took great pride in the systematic deconstruction of the Queen of Cities. The largest cannon on the field was the famed Uzwáru, or Victory, which had been so large that after it had been erected it became a permanent part of the surroundings of Constantinople. Always ready to take shots at the city.

In June of 1282 the sons of Prussia stirred from their wait in the shadow of the great walls. The breeze carried aloft the white and gold banners of the "Great Northern Kingdom", as the Roman Emperor would later call it. The Second Rome had never before fallen to an invading army, its people did not try to flee, they kept living their lives despite the constant thunder of cannons. And when it was obvious that the walls would fall, it was too late to flee. The Roman navy was busy keeping the Prussian fleet away from the Golden Horn. The walls eventually cracked and came tumbling down. The Emperor fled to the Hagia Sofia as the Roman armies began to deteriorate. The people panicked as the city flooded full of Prussians. Constantinople had fallen, the city was in ruins. Prussian soldiers looted her wealth, stole her relics, and made off with her women. The city burned, the flames stoked by the same anger that drove the bellows and crafted the swords. Despite the buildup, Kiten was surprisingly lenient on the Romans demanding three things: one ton of silver, the Bulgarian province of Varna, and the reopening of the Bosporus to Prussian trade. With that the Prussians retreated from the city and left the Roman Empire. It would not be the last time the Prussians marched in or out of Constantinople, but for now peace was secured between Rome and her northern neighbor.

Between 1280 and 1284 Kiten had been forcibly wed to Marie Dormandy by his court. But Kiten refused to consummate his marriage, despite lacking a male heir and being almost fifty years old. Marie eventually became pregnant, but Kiten said he could not possibly be the father. The two were divorced and Marie exiled. Kiten quickly married his mistress, Blazena Luxembourg. Blazena was also pregnant, so a quick marriage was necessary to ensure their offspring would be considered legitimate. In October of 1284, Queen Blazena gave birth to Vishly, who was quickly crowned Prince of Prussia, despite being a minor. In 1285 Kiten chose a new target for Prussia's ire, the nation of Bosnia. Bosnia was a Shia Muslim state ruled by Peter Crncevic, a former Prince of Naples. Peter had managed to conquer much of the Balkans, including the remains of Christian Croatia, Styria, and Dalmatia. Prussia, along with an surprising ally, the Caliphate, decided that the upstart Peter the Black had to go.