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PEnglish82

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So I'm out of my comfort zone here having never written an AAR nor ever having put anything out there, as an adult, for 'public consumption'.

I've started a number of CKII AARs before and have folders full of notes and screenshots but have always found a reason not to do anything with them … Holy Fury is out soon so I'll be starting again or I'll start after the Great Works patch.

But the wife and I have decided to set one another challenges to develop ourselves creatively and intellectually. My challenge is to develop my writing skills and to weave in my love of history. 'Your homework' she said 'Is to start one of your game stories'.

And that's why I'm here, if I don't post now I'll always find an excuse hence my very barebones beginning.

My AAR:
- Non-Iron Man and Easy difficulty (I'm still getting used to the mechanics and would prefer a more relaxed experience on my first AAR)
- Roleplay (I'll try and make decisions based on stats and traits of my ruler and where necessary advisors)
- Show don't Tell (Screenshots will likely be limited to maps and character portraits - I'll try and weave Omens/Ideas/Stats and all that into the story organically)
- Historically Authentic (Hopefully everything will be as authentic as it can be if I make any terrible historical errors let me know. This afternoon I spent hours superimposing the IR map of Crete onto the Google Map equivalent to try and find out in which City State a particular cave could be found)

… Anyway that's as much background stuff I can think of. All I have so far is a brief introduction which was meant to form part of the prologue but writing is hard (when you haven't done it for ages) and it took me pretty much all day for a couple of paragraphs.

Hopefully my posts aren't too sporadic

… Enjoy :)
 
Last edited:
Teaser

PEnglish82

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Teaser
310BCE
Crete

Helios the Sun-God resplendent in his flaming chariot rode high in the sky, a blinding ball of furious fire. Pulled by his fire-darting steeds Aeos, Aethon, Phlegon and Pyrios his journey across the heavens was all but halfway complete.

Below him and basking in his life giving gift lay the hospitable, handsome and fertile island of Crete ensconced astride the lapis lazuli waters of the Mares Creticum and Aegyptum.

In the south east of this Megá nisi lay the ancient and noble City State of Ierapetra, crowned to the north by the Dikti mountains and whose southern shores were warmed by the lapping sea.

It is towards this that the light falls, hurled by the bronze corded arms of great Helios.

Down past the graceful glide of an Eleonora’s Falcon.

Down through a cawing mass of wheeling gulls.

Down towards a courtyard of dazzling white marble.

Down to a boy sat studying a map.

A boy who would be Basileus.
 
Last edited:

Nikolai

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Welcome to AAR writing! :)
 

guillec87

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subbed
 

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Welcome! Subbed!
 

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Nice intro
 
Prologue: ‘The Mother or the Snake’

PEnglish82

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Prologue:
‘The Mother or the Snake

310BCE

The City State of Ierapetra

Prince Alkimos
'Tropheus' Damokrates Halladid

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine” exhale.
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine” exhale.
“One, two, three, fou…”

“Ah, Prince Alkimos, finally I find you” trilled an approaching voice, echoing lightly around the marble peristyle. “It is most unusual for you not to arrive promptly for your lessons. You are well I hope?”

The child, facing away from the speaker, sat in a klismos carved from oak the curved backrest and flared legs of which had been waxed to a deep glossy amber. His slender shoulders were tight with hands pressed palm-side down on a table, focused intently on an unfurled wrap of papyrus. When he spoke he did so without turning nor otherwise acknowledging the adult’s presence.

“The house is too loud. Father received guests in the andron this morning and it has descended into a festival of Dionysus.” There was a brief pause as the Prince inhaled deeply “Damokrates, may I finish my count?”
“Certainly my Prince” replied Damokrates softly, taking a step backwards and dropping briefly into a courteous bow.

In a quiet voice the Prince then proceeded to count upwards from one to nine doing so a total of nine times. Upon finishing this rote the previous tension visible across his form seemed instantly to drain from his body.
His head rolled to the left, just enough that the tutor was visible but indirect enough that eye contact could be avoided.

“My father thinks me foolish, odd, in my ways. When you taught me of Hippocrates and the humors I felt a relief for I understood I was Earth and Water, it gave a reasoning for, me.” There was a tremble to his voice, “When I told father he said he expected Earth and Water in his chamber pot but not in his heir.” The Prince turned back to his map, “I must be fire and air if I am to rule. I must be other than I am.”

Prince Alkimos shifted in his chair and for a brief second his eyes met those of the older man before they darted away like startled birds. “Come, see my project,” He said in a voice spiced with childish excitement, “You must help me chart my lands.”

“A map of Ierapetra?" Chimed Damokrates stepping forward.

“Of all Crete, of my lands to be.” Snapped the Prince, “There are nine Kingdoms and I want you to tell me of them.”

“Firstly my Prince, while there yes there are nine rulers across our great island there are but three true Kingdoms and six republics.” A thin arm reached around the Prince and rested on the western coast of a hand drawn map of Crete. “Your map is a delight my Prince you have captured in truth the sweeping grace of these lands.”

The Prince dropped his gaze from the map, “It a copy I made of one belonging to a Phrygian merchant, a poor copy.”

“When you are Basileus you will be showered with compliments and they are like wine. Where offered, take them and savour them but do not let them cloud your judgment” Damokrates lightly rested a hand on the Prince’s shoulder, “But back to my student’s map.”

“In the west we have Polyrrhenia, a republic in name but truly ruled by the rich and the powerful. They of all the Cretans are the most dangerous for their land is the only that provides iron, chief amongst the ingredients for war.”

“We then have Kydonia a republic of merchants lying on the north coast and the free Republic of Tarrha to their south. Their lands are amongst the most fertile and yield olives, grape and wine in abundance.”

“Next we have Elutherna ruled by the Basileus Helladid, no relation” Damokrates laughed at his joke. “There you will find a number of artisans, immensely skilled in the fashioning of glass. Your mother has a number of glass mosaics in the gynaeceum I believe that were gifted from Elutherna”

“East of Elutherna lies the ancient Kingdom of Knossos whose timeless history I will not speak of for fear twilight will chill our bones before I am but a gnats wing through their story. Nor will I speak of the minotaur for it would cause you to tremble long before the cold hand of Nyx arrives. While they are diminished in stature they are still a noble people creators of the finest boats, a skill which they have continued since the dark days of Idomeneus and the fall of Troy.” Damokrates smiles wistfully and rubbed his moist eyes before returning to the map.

“Below Elutherna and Knossos, the size of both combined, is Gortyna a republic of freeman. They are strong for they have access to both metals and bountiful harvests though they prefer words to war much to the relief of all.”

“As Crete narrows to it’s easterly coast we find our great Kingdom of Ierapetra to the south. A land long prosperous under your family’s glorious rule.” He bowed, “To the north the republic of Lyctus ruled by the wealthy for their own advancement. Long have there been tensions between our two rulers. In the mountains we share lies the Dikteon cave, birthplace of mighty Zeus, rightfully ours though the men of Lyctus disagree. For the most part it is contested solely with heated words though I fear there will one day be significant bloodshed.”

“Finally we come to the least of the peoples of Crete, Praesos. Pirates and thieves, growers of the driest, bitterest olives.” Said Damokrates. “And so there you have your nine Kingdoms, though in total there are ten regions in all.”

“Thank you Damokrates,” said the Prince putting down a reed pen with which he had been noting the map. “It is strange that you mentioned Troy for it made me think of the prophecy of Calchas.” Said the Prince staring intently at Damokrates, “Zeus sent a snake which devoured eight sparrows and their mother to signify the nine years needed to sack Troy. With Ierapetra there are nine Kingdoms on Crete, but without Ierapetra there are nine regions.” His eyes widened and he smiled, “Are we the mother who will be attacked from outside or are we the snake who will conquer from within?”

Damokrates laughed loudly, “That my Prince is a question worthy of the Gods.” He rubbed his smooth chin before replying, “You told me that your humors were earth and water certainly they are the humors of the snake. But if you want to be as you said earlier, other than you are, you must be fire and air which would make you the bird.” Damokrates crouched low such that his eyes were level with the Prince. “My advice is be true to yourself in both heart and mind. Standing he placed a gentle hand on the Prince’s auburn head. “Come, I can hear them calling you for food which you will certainly need if you are to ponder the nature of man.”

Prince Alkimos stood and walked towards the inner rooms and the fragrance of roasting goat. As he did he smiled and whispered, “Yes, I will be the snake.”

 
Last edited:

PEnglish82

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Welcome to AAR writing! :)
Thanks Nikolai it's something I've been keen to try for such a long time, it's not easy but I'm hoping to get better.

Welcome! Subbed!
Thanks a lot, hopefully you enjoy.

Nice intro
Much appreciated stnylan, have to say I'm a massive fan!!

==

Had a bit of difficulty in formatting/placing the images but I've only ever been a poster of text so will need to familiarise myself with the process as I post more.
With the Prologue posted I'm hopeful I can now un-pause the game and start playing given I'm still on day 1.

As mentioned previously please send any feedback my way, I'll take it all on board.

Enjoy.
 

HistoryDude

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Interesting Prologue...

So,your goal is to conquer all of Crete?
 

Nikolai

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He is the snake. A gentle soul, it seems. But cunning and dangerous within.
 

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Interesting Prologue...

So,your goal is to conquer all of Crete?
I think when in power the young Basileus Alkimos would prefer the quiet life though there are certainly a couple of cities in his sights for specific reasons. Though the environmental factors and people around him will likely lead to a Cretan power grab, after that who knows?

He is the snake. A gentle soul, it seems. But cunning and dangerous within.
He is certainly more inclined towards scholarly pursuits, though has a very black and white view of things and so has the potential to be very arbitrary in rule. He has a very dualistic personality and so the people around him will heavily influence which side is dominant.
 

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The snake is quite the pedigree to claim
 
Chapter One: Basileus Megalid - 01/10/304BC -

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CHAPTER ONE
BASILEUS ALKIMOS MEGALID
01/10/304BC -

 
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I) Beginnings

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I) Beginnings
01/10/304BC
Ierapetra, Crete
“My father is dead, drawn as we speak across the Styx to Elysium by the oars of Charon” The new Basileus paused and looked around the courtyard at the assembled men. “So ends, so begins. Time shall not be wasted in mourning as I become father to my people, aided by you great men of Crete”.

The courtyard resounded with a loud cheer and the sound of wine cups clashing on tables.

“Damokrates, my tutor, my friend. As a child you taught me all I know…”

“But was it all that I know?” Damokrates laughed lightly but his smile faltered at the rapid reddening of the Basileus’ face. “I jest Basileus, my pride at seeing you come into your birthright causes me to forget my place. And the wine” He raised his cup and his head nodded in supplication.

A tight smile set on Balileus Alkimos’ face, eyes intent and fierce turned upon the tutor blind to all else. “The love you hold for me and for Ierapetra is evident. As such I name you epiproxenos, chief diplomat and my voice where it cannot otherwise be.” His stare had not yet softened. “Remain after this session for I have your first task.”

“Who better to replace Damokrates Helladid as tropheus than Damokrates Helladid? My faith in you to teach your young is absolute, I shall pay no mind to those whispers calling you Damokrates the lesser. Where they started …” An almost imperceptible glance at the new epiproxenos, “… who knows?”

“Greatest of all our priests Chabrias Helladid shall be elevated to Hierophant, a position he has long since coveted. Indeed the Gods seem to have forced my hand in your appointment with the untimely death of your hale predecessor. Remember Chabrias for all that they are stern the Gods are also loving. Helios for example burns as well as he warms, there is a difference between the two.”

The Heirophant stood. “Wise words Basileus and ones I will take to my heart, I shall sacrifice to the Gods upon my return to the temple, do you have any requests?”

“Whoever you believe most appropriate Chabrias”

Chabrias frowned “While the Gods would prefer the choice to be from yourself I will think on it. Perhaps Athena in praise for you inquiring mind.” He sat the deep frown lines still etched on his brow.

“Athena would be a fine choice, do you not agree Aischines my new Philosophos? Knowledge is the greatest of gifts possessed by men, and you shall be our defender of all wisdom. Your eyes ever have blazed with feverish energy let us hope that flame does not jump the scrolls now in your protection. But remember the coin you use shall be mine so do not grasp it close to your chest as you do your own.” The Basileus laughed.

“Neoptolemos of my great and noble family you shall be Archigrammateus, keeper of the coin. Were it not for that hunk of bread in your hand, white and soft, I would think you King Midas reborn. There is no man in Crete better for the task.”

“Unless I were a Helladid I would imagine. If our family is so great how is it that we hold but one position? Should I be glad for your crumbs?” Neoptolemos’s face deepened to red, hand squeezing the hunk of bread it held.

Alkimos’ stern facade seemed to drop slightly in the face of this verbal tirade. “We are all of Crete, is Chrysilla my wife not a Helladid?”

“Aye she is, but what will your children be, surrounded by those dogs. I am ever loyal to you Basileus but do not forget your heritage.”

Basileus Alkimos reached for a cup of wine and took a deep draught, hand shaking. “Moving from heavenly minds to earthly bodies there are yet more positions for ennoblement.”

“Our new Epistrategos shall be Antigonous Sosthenid, may our armies forever be ready.” The previous eloquence now curt and blunt.

“Hopefully I shall only ever be faced by bitter words.” A glance at Neoptolemos, “But should anyone attempt to visit harm upon me Nikeratos Helladid shall be my Archisomatophylax, my shield. Beautiful Nikeratos as stong as Hercules and braver than Hector I shall fear no assailant for so ever as you are my shadow.”

“Finally and perhaps the greatest of all is Sosthenes Sosthenid who shall be Archiatros, my chief physician. May I ask that you attend my wife when we are finished? Her humors have been unbalanced of a morning these past weeks though I am sure you can settle her.”

Baslieus Alkimos raised a closed hand and pressed it to his chest. “My friends, together we shall gain the love of the people. Together we shall enrich Crete.” He gestured to a doorway. “Our session is ended though I shall send of you each to discuss your roles in greater details as time allows.”

The attendants, with the exception of Damokrates, filed passed the Basileus who embraced each in turn whispering in ears as cheeks were kissed.

The courtyard was at last empty but for the two men, shadows flitting on the ground as birds flew above the open roof.

Basileus Alkimos turned and stode towards Damokrates, he raised his hand and stuck the man across the right cheek with his open right hand.

“Never… Never mock me in public. Do you understand?”

“No Baslieus, an ill spoken jest nothing more.” Said Damokrates rubbing his cheek.

“It pains me to cause you hurt Damokrates, you have always been my friend. Now I am Basileus I must act as one. But the task I have for you, I believe will make amends.”

Regaining his composure Damokrates straightened and looked at the Basileus. “I am your servant.”

The Basileus turned took two steps before turning back on his heels. “Firstly you will travel to Lyctus, you will inform them that the new Basileus of Ierapetra wishes them to acknowledge the Dikteon Cave is ours and that our people, not theirs are blessed by Zeus.”

Damokrates smiled, “They will take it as an insult, I cannot see any agreement on their part”

“Nor I,” replied the Basileus “Which is why secondly you will take a boat from Lyctus and sail north to Ephesos, then overland to the Kingdom of Phrygia and strike a deal for the ongoing supply of iron from Leukophrys.”

The smile on Damokrates’ face was cheek to cheek.


Coming Next
Neighbours & Deals
 
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Nikolai

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Ah, iron. The bane of many a light infantry batallion.:D
 

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Ah, iron. The bane of many a light infantry batallion.:D
It is easy to think of war and easier still to speak of war. Making war, however, may prove very difficult for the young Basileus. Much to the consternation of his fellows.
 

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Touchy temper
 
II) Neighbours

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II) Neighbours
03/10/304BC
City of Lyktos, Lyctus, Crete


“You come here, to MY lands demanding that I surrender what is mine to your pup of a Basileus?” The reply of Simonides Dydid, Archon of Lyctus was slow and measured.

“Is Lyctus not a republic Archon? Strange that you claim these lands as yours when then are ‘of the people’.” Damokrates inclined his head and flashed a sneer.

The Archon stood and smoothed his white toga. “And if I were to entertain this friendly request how would … Lyctus benefit? No doubt you would promise us meat but deliver only fat and bone, or some other Promethean deceit.”

“We offer nothing Archon,” Damokrates extended his arms towards Simonides, palms open and facing up. “However they soon will be laden with iron,” hands clenched, “which I’m sure you agree can be just as persuasive as gold.” He drew in his arms and folded them on his lap.

“Now you threaten us?” Simonides smiled and laughed loudly. “Iron may make swords, which I am sure is your inference. But in the hands of a coward a sword is nothing but a lump of metal.” Spat Simonades.

“My Basileus is…” Stammered Damokrates.

“Your Basileus is a coward, I know him and he is weak, weak since the day he was born. Pens are not swords and papyrus is no shield, I do not fear your great Basileus nor the men of Ierapetra.”

“If that is your answer.” Replied Damokrates curtly as he stood.

“My answer is that the people of Lyctus are the true children of Zeus for it was in this city he was born. THE CITY IN WHICH YOU STAND.” The Archon’s words dripped venom and he aggressively pointed to the floor. He took a moment, a deep breath in and out, before continuing. “We shall not relinquish Zeus’ cave, though perhaps we will grant you a pen in the city in honour of your descent from pigs.” He smiled and pointed to the southern archway of the peristyle court which led to the agora. “Go and tell your Basileus we clamour for war. But war he will not make, only excuses and every day our horizon is clear of your foul silhouettes will be a black mark on his honour.”

Damokrates swallowed hard turned and strode towards the agora and towards Phrygia.
 
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Towards Phrygia? That sounds dangerous.
 

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  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
Touchy temper
Alkimos most definitely has a temper, it's a shame he mostly suffers from an impotent rage. If only he could be left to his own devices, no expectation and no questioning.

Towards Phrygia? That sounds dangerous.
Yes but hopefully not for us, a strong friend and heavy infantry would be quite a boon.