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Mr. Capiatlist

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Like the update! A lot of tension, and with my favorite Prussian group, no less.
Thank you. I might not know my audience well, but I know everyone's favorite underdog. ;)
 

unmerged(156978)

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Why wouldn't you know your audience well? You probably have one of the best AARs in the forums and a lot of people get excited with that (not me though ... *suspicious eyeshifting*)
 

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I have a question I'm not sure has been answered yet Capiatlist. How is it that there are so many Natives in the New World? Was there some failed expedition that gave them time to recover from the diseases? It's just something I've been curious of for a while.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Why wouldn't you know your audience well? You probably have one of the best AARs in the forums and a lot of people get excited with that (not me though ... *suspicious eyeshifting*)
No one is perfect. But I am glad that people do enjoy it, even if they are too shy to post. ;)

I have a question I'm not sure has been answered yet Capiatlist. How is it that there are so many Natives in the New World? Was there some failed expedition that gave them time to recover from the diseases? It's just something I've been curious of for a while.
Yes, the Norse expeditions which saw a relatively extensive settling of Newfoundland and Labrador (including permanent walled cities) and of course brought their diseases with them almost 200 years earlier. However, these colonies proved too dangerous and costly, so they were abandoned. The remaining Norse mingled with the surrounding natives. The Norse discovered the region around 1000 in real life, and in the Baltikja timeline begin exploration around 1200 and settling was mostly an affair of the early 1300s before they gave up.

There was also less of a campaign of getting rid of the natives. Natives were often enslaved (thus there wasn't much importing of African slaves into the New World) rather than being given the small-pox blankets.

I love this AAR. One of the best.
Thank you very much and glad to be the host of your first post. :)


I am in Memphis, Tennessee for the holidays (beats Detroit) so I'll be spotty. There is a new update that was almost done, but it needs to be wrapped up. Expect it after the 27th.
 
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Mr. Capiatlist

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Mr. Capiatlist

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Bastions
Chapter Fifty: A King of Peasants
Part 3


Prelude:
The so-called Horselords of Azowia arose after the break-down of the family system during the Dormandy rise to power. Ties to particular lots of land faltered and the counts took to a far-more nomadic life-style. The Azowian word for "Count" is "Mekedar" from Georgian for "Horseman" and describes a leader as someone who commands from horse-back. In the XIII and XIV Centuries the Eastern shore of the Sea of Azov saw a great mingling of cultures. The lands were originally inhabited by Cumans and other Turkic peoples, but were settled by Georgian refugees refused entry into Prussia. When the Prussians eventually conquered the region they did so with Norman and Ruthenian mercenaries who were paid not in gold, but in the right to settle the lands they conquered. The leader of the Normans, Jordan de Normandy, took for himself the eastern beaches of the Sea of Azov and built there the only major Azowian city until the XV Century: New Caen. It is from this point of strength that his family went on to conquer Alania and eventually unite the squabbling Azowians into a sing, united state ironically called the "Sich", a word with its origins in the Old Ruthenian word meaning "to chop" or "to divide". At the end of the XIV Century the Azowians were still mostly a nomadic people, though many of these groups had a particular wintering area, the closest thing to a permanent city. This wintering ground would often have several permanent buildings in the form of a small fort. Here they could store plunder from neighboring lands as well as conduct a small amount of farming and husbandry. Some women rode with the men during the nomadic season, often fighting or at least helping prepare for battle. The majority of women, however; would remain at the wintering fort, ensuring that the tribe would be able to survive the winter. Azowians would never raid each other's holds without due cause and even then it would often come down to a single "honor duel" rather than out-right warfare. But many a Turk wound up dead for thinking that the daughters of Azowia would not defend their lands.


The lands of the Azowians before their arrival. Gold is the Seljuks (roughly at their height) and the Golden colored nations are vassals of the Seljuks. Rome is in Purple and their titular vassal Taurica in Pink. Prussia (Grey) and Hungary (Red) are both under the Empire of Prussia at the time. Green is the Mordvins and their vassals in Khazaria. The Orange is the so-called "Free Georgians". In Blue are the remains of the Cumans.


The Azowian realm soon after their settling of the region. In Dark Red were the lands of Prussian Azowia, in the Medium Red the lands settled by the Azowians soon after the war with the Cumans. In Red are regions often raided by the Azowians.

June 5th, 1389

The roads of New Caen were thick with mud and the waste of horses. In the sky thunder boomed and lightning crackled and the rain fell sideways. Sich Rollo watched as the drench as a column of drenched and tired forms marched into the courtyard of his keep. Many of them were on foot and carried the banners of the King, an unexpected surprise. He turned around and entered the second floor of the modest building, it was his prison. In his soul he longed for the smell of fresh grass and the sun over the plains. One floor below him he could hear the sounds of boots and armor on the stone floors. Voices chatted in the language of Kings, a language that old age had erased from his memory. A head appeared coming up the stairs; it was Merry, his steward.

"Merry, the weather does not seem to have had the patience to let you get home," the Sich said, spreading his arms wide to receive his best friend. Merry smiled, and though his cape and jacket were still sopping, embraced his half-brother warmly.

"It never does, my lord. Your son has honored you with a guest, but I assume you could already tell."

"I could, what word from Memelgrád?"

"His majesty, King Doyvát Sealegs, agrees with you and asks that you do nothing you wouldn't feel wise. We might be in a second age of Lord Karnak. Maybe we'll be left to live our lives as we wish."

"I never expected a sailor to understand the plight of soldiers. Let us meet the chap, then!" Rollo patted Merry on the shoulder and led him to the stairs. The stairs were barely functional; they creaked and groaned under the weight of even a modest child, let alone two tall men. At the base of the stairs was the edge of the great hearth, the only real room in the building. Rings of benches surrounded a large roaring fire where the cooks were preparing a small something to tide the travelers over until dinner. On the bench nearest the fire was a huddled figure draped under several blankets but shivering uncontrollably.

"Her Majesty, Queen Sarah of Prussia, originally of England," Merry said.

"Ah! England, a land my people once knew!" Rollo said loudly in broken Norman.

Sarah turned and tried to smile, "Hello, Lord Rollo, not quite the way I'd like to present myself to an esteemed host."

"Ah! And she still speaks the mother tongue! Com'ere!" The old man swung his arms open and squeezed her tight. "Aren't you just the prettiest little thing?! My daughters will love to speak to you about everything, I hope you don't mind, they are chatty little birds!" He looked up and saw a dark-haired man who did not seem out of place in the rain and cold, he chatted idly with Gaspar in Prussian but the two looked as if they could have been brothers. Beside them was a silver-masked woman and beside her was a large red-headed knight who seemed never to leave her shadow.

"Father!" Gaspar called in Azowian. He spread his arms as many were around him and greeted his father. The two men held each other for a few seconds before patting each other's backs and separating. "Father, this is his Majesty, King Doyvát the Second of Prussia!"

A wry smile crossed Rollo's face, "Sealegs, aye?" he asked in Greek, "No stranger to rain?"

"The sea, like the plains, offers little respite from the weather," Doyvát replied in the same. He opened his arms too and after a brief chuckle Rollo grabbed up the King as he had done his son and half-brother.

"No, no they do not," he said when they had separated. Then, with his voice dropping lower as to not stop any of the happy scenes around them, "What brings you to our humble patch of field?"

"Gaspar seems to believe that some of my other vassals would not be quite as welcoming as you, I have decided to see their disloyalty for myself," Doyvát said.

Rollo eyed him cautiously then nodded in agreement. From his reaction Doyvát suddenly became aware that others were probably listening in. "We'll talk about this later," he said in a hushed voice. A glance of his eyes led Doyvát to a portly man who wore the finery of the Moldavians. This man tried not to look it, holding his wine glass and chatting idly with another, but his eyes glanced over to the two rulers from him to time and ever so slowly he inched his way closer.

In a smaller, private room, a select group stood around a table strewn with the odds and ends of an often ignored room. Gaspar and Rollo took one side, while Merry and Doyvát took another. Two senior Azowian generals stood on the remaining two. In the corner sat Lady Grey, quill and ink at the ready and a long roll of parchment. Her son sat beside her, silent as ever, speaking only when directly spoken to or to his mother. "Your Duke of the South has taken precautions that point to him expecting a rather lengthy siege in the near future. He seems to have abandoned Morcargrád as his capital for a city far less easy to blockade. Garrisons have been put up on the roads to Kiev and Chernigrád," Rollo explained.

"Imperial cities," Doyvát thought aloud.

"Seizing those right-quick will definitely pour water on any plans you had drawn up," Gaspar said.

"Seizing Kiev is an inane idea. Duke Janissun would never attempt such a move," Doyát responded.

"Why?" Gaspar asked.

"The walls of Kiev make the ones around Constantinople look like hosiery fabric. Plus the river will keep it fed and slated. Kiev was one of the great fortresses during the civil war," Merry said.

"Control over the city is imperative. Meinekinus would seek to control the city by any cost," Rollo responded.

"He'd take it by the river, then," Doyvát said. He paused and thought for a bit, "I will be there soon enough; sooner than any invasion scheme can be hatched. I will speak with the engineers there."

"What goal could the Duke possibly have?" Gaspar asked looking around at the faces around him.

"The throne," a quiet voice responded. Everyone turned and looked at the red-headed knight who had since stood up. Lady Grey still had a hand on his coats, trying to keep it from doing so but calmly he turned to his mother and carefully took her hand off him and placed it back on his lap.

"And who is this?" Rollo asked, puffing his chest slightly to ward off the newcomer.

"Sir Edward FitzSarah, Knight of Prussia," Edward said, doing his best to keep his voice from cracking under the pressure, "and loyal servant of the crown."

"You speak of a heinous crime, Edward. I would hope you would do so only with evidence," Doyvát said, his eyes tightening into a glare. "A revolt against my laws is one thing... a revolt against my right to rule is a totally different matter."

"I have only what I heard," Edward replied, "If that is not enough I shall hold me tongue and retract my words."

Doyvát started to reply but Gaspar cut him off, "What did you hear, lad?"

"His Lordship, Duke Meinekinus, thinks me a dullard. He speaks around me as if no one was listening. He openly covets the throne and surrounds himself with allies who conspire to see him on it."

"Who?" Rollo spat.

Edward looked to his King who just nodded, "Many of the southern Dukes and a Horselord, I believe his name was Lord Merryweather Dormandy..."

Rollo roared to life and grabbed at Edward, grabbing him around the neck and choking the life out of him, "Point the finger at my brother will you?!"

Doyvát rushed to Edwards aid and pried the boy out of the Sich's hands, "You will not kill a Knight in my service without trial!" the King shouted. Rollo took a few deep breaths and then looked around the room, "Where is Merry?" he asked.

"He ran sir," one of the Generals answered.

"Find him!" Rollo screeched as he tore out of the room. He skidded out of the doorway just in time to catch the much more athletic Merry rounding a corner and headed toward the courtyard. "STOP HIM!" the Sich shouted to anyone who could hear.

A small clash of steal and then a body hit the floor. Doyvát made it around the corner, his sword drawn and Edward on his heels. On the floor was a guard, blood seeping into his shirts. Outside the King could hear the sound of hooves pounding on the snow-covered stones of the courtyard. The hard clacking swiftly became a thick sucking noise and as Doyvát and Rollo entered the courtyard they saw several archers line up shots and take them. It all ended with a quite scream and a thick splash in the mud. Rollo's breathing never settled, Doyvát turned to see his vassal's face red with anger, but his fist clutched at his chest. The Sich slumped to his knee and as he tried to stand up he fell back down on the floor.

"Father!" Gaspar called. He caught up and grabbed up his father in his arms. The King sheathed his weapon and turned to Edward, putting a hand on his shoulder. He looked him in the eyes before patting him on the back and then moving back into the keep. Edward swallowed and stood in the doorway as Gaspar cried and soon the scene was filled with priests and caretakers.
 

Killerflood

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Wait. . .when did Sarah (Lady Grey?) have a son?

Also, it seems a new Sich will be crowned and a new Pretender killed?
 
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Mr. Capiatlist

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Wait. . .when did Sarah (Lady Grey?) have a son?

Also, it seems a new Sich will be crowned and a new Pretender killed?
There was a small red-headed child with her when we first meet her, implied to be the son of an Irish raider who raped her and then tried to kill her. I am more surprised no one else called me out on his disappearance.

I really love those azowians ...
I agree, the Azowians are my favorite group. Medieval cowboys! And Everyone loves a little bit of rebellion.
Medieval cowboys? Hmmm... ;)
 

cpteveros

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There was a small red-headed child with her when we first meet her, implied to be the son of an Irish raider who raped her and then tried to kill her. I am more surprised no one else called me out on his disappearance.




Medieval cowboys? Hmmm... ;)
Now that you mention it, I do remember the child. I guess you made him so shy he disappeared in my mind! Great update though.


And can you blame me? :p would be cool if like, in this timeline the whole cowboy phenomenon came from the Azowians. Would make a lot of sense!
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Also, I'm curious to see what you keep for the XV'th century :)
Some big wars, a climatic battle, lots of filler (no change there). ;)

Now that you mention it, I do remember the child. I guess you made him so shy he disappeared in my mind! Great update though.


And can you blame me? :p would be cool if like, in this timeline the whole cowboy phenomenon came from the Azowians. Would make a lot of sense!
Cowboys are very different both in RL and in the Baltikja timeline. Might have to focus on them a bit in later books. :D
 

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Great update, as usual ! :)
 

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Cowboys are very different both in RL and in the Baltikja timeline. Might have to focus on them a bit in later books. :D
How are they different in RL? Though I am now very curious to see how they turn out in this AAR :p
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Cowboys on the steppes...
Unfortunate that the Prussians are finding things so restless, still they seem well equipped to deal with it.
It wouldn't be the High Middle Ages if everyone was happy. ;)

Great update, as usual ! :)
Thank you as always!

How are they different in RL? Though I am now very curious to see how they turn out in this AAR :p
Cowboys in real life are rather dull, I mean they were farmhands they didn't really do anything cool. It is interesting to note that the majority of "cowboys" were minorities (because it was a grueling task and considered beneath most land-owners), were underpaid, and honestly were little different than the coal miners of the East. The cowboys we all think of a purely a creation of Hollywood.

Which is why it is hard to think of cowboys in the Hollywood sense, they wouldn't exist at all here. The cowboy archetype of Hollywood (which comes from the cowboy archetypes of literature) is based purely off the romanticized views of Manifest Destiny. No country in this timeline really has a true feeling of Manifest Destiny, North America was colonized from both sides as immigrants would land in Mexico, then take ships up the coast of California and settle in the trading posts (this is why Whites are mostly on the coast and in the south of my California). Meanwhile, in real life the West was settled from the East.

So sure, in my Texas, Mexico and Grand New Iberia there are probably farmhands are basically real-life cowboys, but there isn't this popular archetype of "the cowboy".