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DensleyBlair

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Hooray! The HRE is no more. I'm looking forward to watching you mop up the independent duchies. Actually, maybe you should leave them be and see if any of them destroy each other before you can get around to it. Might be fun to watch.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how far you can get towards a (known) world conquest - Norman Cathar Iceland, anyone? ;)
 

bussoloni

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But then something more unexpected happened- Kagan Alchi had made a decision. A totally unexpected one and the one that the Papacy, under their lost authority, needed. Just a few days after the sack of Krakow, Alchi and his Horde converted to good old catholics. This sure makes Europe more interesting...

sicily471.jpg

Oh dear, oh dear...
Mind=Blown O_O
This ARR is awesome!
i Henceforth bostow upon you a battlefury awesome cookie
 
Last edited:

Arokel

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I lost track of this AAR a while back when you had just declared the Norman Empire. I come back and see that you are now Rome and on your way to surpassing the old empire.

Very well done.
 

hjarg

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Interlude: The Rise and Fall of the Holy Roman Empire

Introduction


Holy Roman Empire is a curious thing. It was never particularly Holy, for the Kaisers were usually in hostile relations with the Pope. Also, it was never really Roman. Heartlands of the Empire were in the lands of Germany that had never been under Roman rule. Ancestors of the Kaisers of the Holy Roman Empire were the ones responsible for the destruction of the Holy Roman Empire. As for the Empire- there was no doubt about that. When Normans came to power in Southern Italy, Holy Roman Empire already controlled Germany and Northern Italy, making it the biggest and most powerful medieval country. In their height, Holy Roman Empire reached from Scandinavia to Iberian peninsula, from Baltic sea to Atlantic ocean. Now, the Holy Roman Empire was not even an Empire. Wars with Normans, lasting for over 170 years, had left the Empire basically landless.

Ottonians

The beginning of Holy Roman Empire is considered to be year 919, when Friedrich the Fowler was elected as a King of Germany. Former Duke of Saxony, he abandoned the title of Kingdom of East Francia and instead, he the first King of Germany. His expansions did not touch Italy, instead he fought the Magyars, expanded his territories in the east and north, fighting several slavic tribes and by the time he died in 936, Germany was united under his realm.

Firstborn son of Friedrich, Otto I, succeeded him. Otto faced several rebellions, defeated them, also fought the slaves and danes and did all the things good medieval monarch was expected to do. But most important of his reign was a marriage that changed the fate of Europe. In 951, Otto married Adelaide of Italy, daughter of King of Burgundy and pretender to the throne of Italy. Otto had prepared an army to fight over the Alps, to support Adelaide's claim on Italy. Her rival, Berengar II, lost all his support, abdicated and thus, Otto became King of Italy and Germany. Berengar II was still allowed to keep himself as a King of Italy though, only subjected to Otto. When he rebelled ten years later, Otto took the throne to himself and in 962, he was crowned as a first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome and thus, he became the first German Kaiser.

Otto_I_Manuscriptum_Mediolanense_c_1200.jpg

Kaiser Otto I

The descendants of Otto further expanded Imperial borders. By the time Ottonian dynasty ended with Henri II, Holy Roman Empire was the most powerful nation in medieval Europe.

HRR_10Jh.jpg

Holy Roman Empire in the year 1000

Salian Dynasty

After Henri II died heirless, Conrad von Salian, first Kaiser of the Salian Dynasty, came to power. By that time, borders of the Holy Roman Empire had been fixed and stayed quite the same, until Kaiser Heinrich IV came to power in 1056. He expanded Holy Roman Empire northwards, taking lands from the slavic tribes in the Baltic Sea. By the year 1000, Heinrich and his descendants had succeeded in taking the pagan lands and turning them into proper Christians. Also, in south, Kaisers expanded a bit, taking the Island of Sardinia and in the year 1104, Germans ousted independent Norman Count, Jordan Dregnot, from county of Capua. Thus, the Germans moved much further south then they were allowed, crossing the fine line between southern and northern part of the counties.

During the time of last of the Salian Kaisers, Normans went to war against the Holy Roman Empire for the first time. Lasting from 1161-1163, Normans showed their superiority by defeating several German armies sent over the Alps and in the end, gaining back the Duchy of Capua.

By that time, Normans were not insignificant rulers in the South Italy no more. They controlled Africa, were owners of Jerusalem, had beaten Caliphate and under the rule of Asclettin, one of the greatest Norman Kings of Sicily, were slowly becoming dominant power in the Mediterranean.

Normans and the Pope were enjoying good relations back then, for they had a common enemy. Who else but the Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire- and when Asclettin asked Leopold to be excommunicated, Pope agreed. Result- when Leopold died in 1169, at the age of 37, the electors of the Holy Roman Empire chose Otto IV von Nordheim as the next Kaiser, ending the Salian period.

sicily105.jpg

First war between Normans and Germans

Nordheim Dynasty

Otto IV was the first Kaiser of Nordheim dynasty. He was unremarkable, losing some territories in the Italy to Normans. His son, Leopold II, who ruled from 1187-1240 and died at the age of 87, was the greatest ruler Holy Roman Empire ever had. During his rule, borders of the Holy Roman Empire expanded more then two times. It was not military expansion though. Emperor Turquetil had just turned Cathar, evicted the Pope from Rome and it seemed like nothing would stop the Norman expansion. Then, Leopold stroke a deal with King Eudes of France. Second most powerful ruler in Europe, King of France, bent his knees in front of the Kaiser and swore fealty to Holy Roman Empire. Without any wars, Leopold gained the lands of France and French conquests in Iberia. This happened in 1201. In 1219, King Eudes also inherited the Kingdom of Leon.

sicily193.jpg

Holy Roman Empire when Leopold and Eudes made their treaty

Also, Leopold had started the German expansion to Scandinavia, gaining parts of Sweden and Finland. In about 1220, Holy Roman Empire was a terrific sight indeed. Expanding from Iberian peninsula, where the waves of Atlantic crashed against the German holdings to the gray and stormy seas of the Baltics, all was part of the Holy Roman Empire. All Europe listened when Kaiser spoke and Leopold’s authority was without question. Well, all except Normans.

When Leopold died in 1240, quite a bit of his new conquests were lost though. Normans had taken southern France, chunks from Iberia and had became dominant power in Italy. Not as much as Leopold gained, but still, in just 20 years, Normans had managed to use the rebellions of vassals to really expand their holdings.

sicily570.jpg

Holy Roman Empire during Turquetil's death

During Adelise’s reign, the Holy Roman Empire was really going downhill. They had lost most of their holdings outside Germany. One Kaiser after another tried to stop the Normans, but in the end, all fell between the might of the Roman Empire. Iberia was almost Norman, France was in Norman hands and Frisia was also in Norman hands. Also, Adelise was the first Norman ruler to cross the Alps.

sicily571.jpg

Holy Roman Empire during Adelise's death

The End

The downfall of the Holy Roman Empire was finished when Sayer took the throne in 1304. Sayer pushed North, to the lands of Germany proper and with that, he also managed to cause total unrest in the Holy Roman Empire. One rebellion followed another, Sayer took advantage of them all. In a series of wars, Normans took most of the Germany proper from the Holy Roman Empire.

Finally, in 1321, Holy Roman Empire was in shambles. In 1st January, Sayer took the title of the Holy Roman Empire from last Kaiser, Deitpold I.

In 24th January, 1321,Sayer held a meeting in Palermo, capital of the Roman Empire. There, in lavish ceremony, he said that there would be no need for two Roman Empires. With that, he declared that the Holy Roman Empire would be no more. In that day, the fight that lasted for 170 years, ended. With total Norman victory- Holy Roman Empire was no more.

sicily569.jpg

The destruction of the Holy Roman Empire and what was left of it
 

hjarg

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This is it- official good-bye to the Holy Roman Empire

Ricardo Rolo - who would dare to oppose the Augustus of the Roman Empire? Plus, it's his own fault he wasn't born a genius! :p As for Mali- it seems like i took the screenshot while it was still populating the provinces, all are nicely here now. And thanks for the warning, i'll keep that in mind.

SirkTheMonkey - yes, i was actually surprised. The enemies made an effort. Haven't seen that in too long time. As for HRE- most of it is purple!

grumphie - just one battle! And i wouldn't call it losing, more like a strategic retreat to combine the two armies and fight the Muslims more effectively! Good enough explanation? :p As for dukes- really, not that much! All the map is nicely purple... As for North- as soon as the truce ends, Trondelag falls...

DensleyBlair - There is not much left, you know.
- Former Kaiser, Duke of Finland and Bergslagen
- Duke of Meissen
- Duke of Östergötaland
- Duke of Smaland & Pomeralia
- Prince Bishop of Luxembourg

And that's it...
Iceland will fall when i grab title of Norway...

battlefury13 - mmm, cookies! Thanks a lot!

Chief Ragusa- Mongols have been catholic for quite some time, they've even had Cathar Khagan. Europe is being mopped up though, yes

Aroke- Welcome back and thanks!
 

SirkTheMonkey

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Uhhh, I thought that the HRE began with Charlemagne and the Carolingians. Or perhaps this is a clever rewriting of history by Cathar scholars.
 

DensleyBlair

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Uhhh, I thought that the HRE began with Charlemagne and the Carolingians. Or perhaps this is a clever rewriting of history by Cathar scholars.


You mean my magnum opus is based on lies? Say it isn't so! ;)

A nice history, in any case - I'd forgotten how far the Normans had come. I'm so used to seeing a sea of purple that I forgot the Kingdom of Sicily days.

I imagine that you'll be able to take everything that isn't part of the Horde, at least. I wonder how long that will take.

Looking forward to the next one.
 

hjarg

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Picking up the Pieces

Germany Will Be Norman!

When Sayer destroyed the Holy Roman Empire, there were still some small pieces left. Biggest of them was former Kaiser, now Duke of Bergslägen and Finland. Also, there were smaller ones, like Duke of Meissen, Prince-Archbishop of Luxembourg, Duke of Uppland and Duke of Östergötaland. Biggest former vassal was Duke Hermann of Pomerelia and Smaland. All of them received declarations of war in January 1321. All except the former Kaiser, with whom Sayer still had the truce.

In March 1321, Philipp of Meissen was the first to fall. The instigator of the last civil war that tore Holy Roman Empire to small pieces that Normans so conveniently added to their purple empire was thrown out of his last holding and sent walking. He reached the court of Norway, where he lived on the alms on the King for the rest of his sorry life.

Luxembourg was next, in the beginning of April 1321. Another province added to the Roman Empire. In the end of April, Gotland fell and the island also became Norman property. Also in April, last Kaiser, poor Dietpold, died of pneumonia at the age 16. His twin brother Werner inherited all of his holdings.

sicily577.jpg

Death of the former Kaiser. I wonder if his death was a blessing or a curse to him?

Lombardy took a bit more time, falling in September 1321. Finally, last of the Italian provinces fell when Norman troops started approaching Uppland. It took it’s sweet time, but all of Italia, the core land of the Roman Empire was finally in proper Norman hands.

That leaves just Pomerelia. Norman troops have taken Danzig and Kulm, one from Pomerelia, other from Prussia and were now just waiting for the time until Duke Hermann von Nordheim gave up. This time, things were not that simple though. Hermann had asked for help from Golden Horde and in September a host of 28 000 Mongols marched towards Danzig. Norman troops there were already sent back home and onslaught of Mongols was totally unexpected. So, by the end of October, Danzig fell. Sayer reacted fast. He raised the hosts of England and Scotland and sailed them to Baltic Sea.

By the end of November, Normans arrived. In battle outside Bytöw, Normans engaged in a biggest battle in Sayer’s time. 44 000 Normans versus 27 000 Mongols. This was not the normal Norman army, but usual levy host, meaning lots of light infantry and just a few knights, but they were the Normans. Loved the battle, loved the fray. Entrapped the Mongols between the swamp and the sea, in a position where they were unable to maneuver, they caught most of the enemy and stopped only when they were too tired of killing. 9000 Mongols fled in despair and Duke Hermann gave up. In December 1321, Normans gained the province of Danzig. Now, Hermann still controls Smaland and Kulm.

sicily576.jpg

The biggest battle Sayer had fought yet.

With this year, most of the fighting in the former Holy Roman Empire were finished. Former Kaiser still controls 3 provinces in German era and Kulm is the fourth, rest is Norman. Two remaining Normans armies in the area were sent to march towards Crimea, for the truce with the Golden Horde was about to expire soon.

Far North and Far South

So, in December 1321, Normans were at peace again. This meant that it was time for another war. As poor Dietpold had died, the peace has been called off. And though Werner was not a Kaiser anymore, Sayer deemed him worthy for a traditional coronation gift to the Kaisers- declaration of war. This time, taking the Duchy of Finland from Normans.

In the South, Sheikh Qawurd of Kathiri was rebelling against his masters of the Zuravid Sultanate. A single province in a far away lands in Abyssinia and the first Norman attack on Muslims since time times of Turquetil.

For Finland, Sayer mobilized hosts of England, Scotland and France. Total 50 000 troops for these quite lightly defended provinces was an overkill, but hey! you get to finish the war quickly and go home. For Kathiri, Sayer used troops from Egypt and Abyssinia.

Finland fell quickly. Normans used their boats and landed quickly in the coastal areas, took them by fast assaults and in July, Finland was Norman. It was one of the biggest Duchies in the world, but it was sparsely populated and not really rich. Still, the land mass itself was really impressive.

sicily575.jpg

The thing about conquering Finland- when you do, map turns quite purple

Meanwhile, in the South, Kathiri had fallen, but the Sheikh was not ready to give up yet. Sayer was also hesitant to send his troops to the far south, where the sun was killing soldiers by the hordes and the territory was hostile. Instead, he waited until December, when Sheikh Qawurd finally gave up.

sicily572.jpg

While Kathiri was not much of a catch

End of Jihad

For the last half year, Muslims made some half-hearted attempts to attack Baghdad or newly conquered Tigris, but the three Norman armies stationed in the area ended all attempts to invade quickly. Slowly, Muslims became more and more hopeless, for the Norman fortresses of Mesopotamia stood strong, the Norman armies were invincible and the Muslims themselves were running out of men and morale. Finally, in August 1322, Muslim finally realized that the fight against the Normans was a lost cause. Caliph Dodai came crawling for peace, and Normans were nice enough to accept it.

sicily573.jpg


Just a hundred years ago, Jihad would have been much more taxing to the Normans, but now, it was more of an annoyance. Still, Sayer deemed it important enough to hold a triumph in the Hippodrome. So, one was quickly built in Palermo and Sayer paraded the Muslim captives, the treasures and flags looted from both Mongols and Muslims and the folk in Roman Empire. First Triumph held in Roman Empire in over a thousand years, it was a fabulous event.

sicily574.jpg

The first Triumph in thousand years

What happens next? Well, there is an old saying. Don’t poke the sleeping dragon. Muslims failed to realize that and now it is time to face the consequences.
 

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Another update, this soon? Shocking! Still, remnants of the HRE picked, two wars in north and south won and now, Muslims learn the hard way that jihad was not the greatest idea.

SirkTheMonkey, DensleyBlair- First, i'm too lazy to write the whole history. But mostly- with mr Fowler, the kingdom wasn't East Francia anymore, it was Germania. Also, Carolingians had simply died out. Basically, end of East Francia, end of Carolingians and the start of the Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation; end of frankian, start of german etc etc. You get the point why i started there?

DensleyBlair- heh, to remind even more: here is the map of the kingdom after the death of Asclettin:
ck2_map_3.jpg


Normans have indeed come far. But at this point, i plan to conquer everything, including the Horde. With a little over 100 years to go, it should be possible... We'll see soon.
 

DensleyBlair

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The Duchy of Finland is very large - I'd forgotten just how big it is.

Seeing all of those colours on the Asclettin map is too much for my eyes - thank God there's only really purple now ;)

Going for an entire world conquest is bold - I'm excited to see whether or not you can achieve it.

Also, is that a Mongol Caliph?
 

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My heart cannot take updating at this speed. Did you get +3% Moral Authority just for conquering one province? That seems a little unbalanced. Then again, I haven't played since before Old Gods so I don't know if MA is good for anything except avoiding heresy.
 

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Ok, finally the HRE is no more and, as the bard would put it, how the mighty ones have fallen ... BTW it was nice of Sayer of not depriving Werner of the traditional gift his family receives of the Hautevilles, even in their current dire state :p

Anyway, with the HRE in the dustbin of History, there really not much of consequence to do in Western Europe: basically clean up Norway and Denmark ... so you really don't have much of options besides hammering the southern Muslims ( it would be that or to hammer the GH ). Given that you have not shown a decent map of the Middle East area since the death of Adelise ( hint hint ), I would assume that you will start with the rulers of Mecca , since you most likely still have a truce with the southern Khan and you already stated you have not mcuh of will of fighting south of Ethiopia ( due to atrittion and the fact you can't play with boats in the same way do do in the Med ). Hum, conqueror of Mecca sounds a good reason to do yet another triumph :p
 
Last edited:

hjarg

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Do Not Poke the Sleeping Dragon

Piercing the Heart and Soul of Muslims


When Caliph Dodai declared Jihad on Sayer, he made two mistakes. First, he for some strange reason thought it would be possible for Muslims to defeat Normans. As Sayer showed, Normans were more then capable of defending themselves while to mock the Muslim attempts, took another Duchy in the Mesopotamian area. Second mistake was much more far-fetching. The last war between Muslims and Norman Emperors (well, not counting the Mongols, but they are primarily Mongols and them Muslims) took place in 1227, when Turquetil took Antioch from Caliph Söbuk of the Shia Caliphate and named Bohemond as the new Count of Antioch. After that, branch families of Hautevilles have been fighting the Muslims, for example Egypt in her push for the south, but for Norman rulers in Palermo, there has been peace for almost a hundred years. Now, Dodai broke it. Now, Sayer had once again noticed Muslims. And wanted revenge...

So, in December 1322, three Norman armies were amassed in the borders of what Muslims value the most- Emirate of Medina. The war was declared also in December and Normans swarmed the Muslim borders. And were stopped quickly- the defences of the Muslims were something special. Well-fortified fortresses, garrisons reaching 4000 soldiers. Add the desert and the heat to the equation and it was no wonder Normans couldn’t manage more.

Two fortresses were overrun, but when Sayer, in desperation, ordered his troops to attack Sakakah in the middle of June 1323, the losses were horrendous. Normans, also shocked by the losses, took their revenge on the defenceless citizens of the city. Sakakah, located in the desert, next to only oasis on the road to Mecca, had become rich on the money of the pilgrims. Rich, lazy and fat. And when the Normans took the city, they raged there for three days. After that, the citizens of Sakakah were poor, dead and usually chopped into pieces, while the rich and prosperous city was now a smoldering ruin. News of Massacre of Sakakah, where almost two thirds of city’s population was killed, spread like wildfire. It actually showed the Muslims what will happen if they resist too hard, thus making the war a bit easier.

sicily579.jpg

The assault on Sakakah

tumblr_m85a7bWDfP1rqxd5ko1_1280.jpg

... and the following massacre

Also in June, Sayer raised a host of Jerusalem, over 30 000 soldiers. They were ordered to march over the desert, across the province of Hail and take on Medina. After marching through the desert and taking two defending fortresses of Medina, their numbers were down to 10 000 soldiers. But Medina was next- and Normans were offering the city the fate of Sakakah. So, Muslims deemed it would be better to open the gates, and that they did. The city was spared, it’s inhabitants safe. Mecca soon followed the suit and the Masjid al-Haram was spared. Normas stayed well away from the mosque and the Kaaba stone.

This happened in January 1324, and a bit over a year after the war had started, Normans had won. The two holiest sites for Muslims were under proper Cathar control, ruled over by Norman Duke. The Norman losses had been horrible, but the birthplace of Islam was Norman.

sicily581.jpg

Norman Mecca and Medina

War Against the Golden Horde

Back in the eastern part of the map is the Duchy of Sarkel. It is a huge Duchy, separated by the River Don. Land in the eastern side of the river belongs to Ilkhanate, while the western is part of the Golden Horde, and is home province of Khagan Alchi. So, what more perfect target could the Normans want?

Same time as Normans begun their war against Medina, Sayer also declared war on Golden Horde, demanding Sarkel. Two Norman armies were next to the border and reinforced by Bulgarian army, marched north. There were some small battles too, but overall, Normans came so fast that Golden Horde did not have time to gather their forces. In the end of the war, an army of over 20 000 circled the Normans, but dared not to attack. In summer of 1323, Alchi was forced to leave his home and move elsewhere. Normans now ruled in the Palace of Khagan.

sicily578.jpg

Normans swarming Sarkel

Kicking the Former Kaisers When They’re Down

After taking Finland, poor Duke Werner had a claim on Holy Roman Empire he could never use- and a single Duchy called Bergslagen. Sayer had truce with him and was forced to honour it, but Wymund, brother of Sayer and King of Sweden had no such obligations. Instead, in February 1323, he declared war on poor Werner with intention of taking everything from him.

By March 1324, he was also victorious and the main line of von Nordheim family, former glorious rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, were now down to one holding- Island of Aland in the Baltic sea.

sicily580.jpg

The last holding of the Kaisers of the Holy Roman Empire
 

hjarg

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Oh dear, i hope that image wasn't too much. I know for sure i really-really don't like looking at it- but i think it's the biggest loss i've had in assault and wanted to write a story about it- and it kinda fitted real well. Found it on the net, with no explanation attached, though i think it's the King Herodes ordering death of all infants back in Jerusalem.
As for the war- Normans control now all Muslim holy sites, but boy, do i hate fighting in the Arabian peninsula. Strong forts and attrition makes the war a pain. And thinking of all the fighting i'll have to do in the east- grrrr, almost feels like making the rivers navigable for Normans too.

DensleyBlair - Finland and Karelia are the biggest landwise, i think. Impressive to look at for sure! As for world conquest- i think i manage. Just need to splinter Mongols and i think Timurids will spice things up as well, but if there are no civil wars, then it should be manageable. And purple is good!
And yes, it's a Mongol Caliph, Ducal level title, good vassal of Ilkhanate- created by the new patch.

SirkTheMonkey- You know, i realized that EU4 is just 1,5 month away and i want to finish by then! +3% moral authority comes from winning a holy war, no matter the number of provinces.

Ricardo Rolo - how can i forget the gift? Traditions must be held! :p
And you, sir, are a psychic! Mecca it was indeed- and i've played ahead, so... hmm, any chance you work with the NSA? :p But yes, i'm running out of targets fast... And dammit, i miss my boats. They make the life so much easier!
Anyways, here is the map of Middle East. Nothing much to show here: Normans, Mongols and some independent states in Arabian peninsula.

sicily582.jpg
 

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It's a bizarre world where boats aren't allowed to sail the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf. That picture was a bit... I'm not sure what the appropriate word would be, confronting is close but seems too serious for what I want. That picture was interesting and it makes me wonder what the actual context for it is. I can imagine the conquering Normans taking their revenge on a city that forced some non-trivial losses. I hope you're keeping a close eye on the Mongol successions to see if there are any prime civil war opportunities coming up.
 

DensleyBlair

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A Norman ruler of Mecca? That is an achievement. What great things such a this could you still do - first Norman ruler of Finnmark, ruling the most northerly and southerly parts of the known world?

In any case, I'm eager to see where you go from here.
 

hjarg

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The Great Northern War(s), part I

First Wave


When Wymund, King of Sweden, took Bergslagen from Werner of the Holy Roman Empire, the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire fell apart. This meant that what was left of their German holdings were now ripe for picking. In addition, the truce with King Arne of Norway had ended. Meaning- it was time to paint the map purple.

To make it simple, in May 1324, Sayer sent out several declarations of war. Counts of Plauen, Nassau and Schwyz from Germany each received one. King Arne of Norway also received one, demanding the furthest (and biggest) duchy of the Kingdom. Duchy far east, that Norwegians had conquered about a century ago- Duchy of Bjarnia. The land was so far away from everything, reached east toward unknown lands and reached as far north that in summers, the sun never sets. Lands were poor, holdings were far in between, but it was the biggest duchy Norwegians had- enough to claim their kingdom. In addition to that, Karelia, formerly part of Norway, now independent, was in the target list. So, five wars.

Sayer’s armies were far south, so instead, Sayer used the levies of local rulers. Scotland, England, France, Frisia, Aquitaine, Germany, Burgundy and Lotharingia- basically raising forces from half of Europe. Plus, lots of boats from Ireland and Brittany to transport them all. Never in history of the Roman Empire had such a host been raised.

Schwyz was the first to fall. By June 1324, Burgundian Normans had beaten their army in the field of battle and took some of their holdings. Enough to make Count Thietmar to give up his lands and flee in terror. With the conquest of the province, Sayer had finally finished conquest of Gallia.

sicily587.jpg

Yet another province of the former Roman Empire where it should be- ruled by Normans

The distance to Schwyz was small, and so was the marching distance to all other German states. They were also under siege. But in the far North- by the end of July 1324, Norman forces had just reached the White Sea. Nearly 1200 ships, carrying three armies. Plus one army in Baltic Sea, invading the province of Käkisalmi.

sicily588.jpg

Overkill?

While Norman armies were starting their invasions, another German province fell. In August, Nassau was Norman. While in the North, Normans were not encountering much of resistance. Meager forces of the enemies were destroyed and now, it was only siege, assault, wait, siege, assault. To be honest, Sayer managed total overkill. Three armies of over 20 000 soldiers plus one nearly 15 000 to conquer these two provinces was too much- but it was also show of force. To show the world that Normans can muster such armies to take even two unimportant provinces in the north.

In the beginning November 1324, Bjarmia was Norman. King Arne gave up his lands- and with that, Normans actually had enough lands to claim ownership of the entire Kingdom. But, poor Arne was attacked by not one, but two hosts claiming the throne to themselves, so Sayer could not get the kingdom yet. Meaning Finnmark and Iceland would still remain in Norwegian hands.

Also in November, Karelia gave up. Tavastehus and Kandalax were the only provinces in Finland not yet conquered by Normans. It also meant that Normans created yet another Duchy and Duke Roscelin, formerly known as Duke of Finland, was now granted the title of King of Finland.

Plauen was actually last to fall, but in December, the sieges ended too and the county was in Norman hands. In all Germany, there was but one holding that still belongs to someone else, rest of the country is properly Norman.

sicily586.jpg

Poor countries, but boy! they are big!

End of Denmark

Meanwhile, Kingdom of Denmark was in trouble again. King Torgils, a 10-year old child, had won now taken the throne and the vassals were traditionally at it again. Meaning it would be perfect time to strike and grab what is left of the Kingdom. In December 1324, Sayer declared war on Duke Ture of Jylland, claiming Holstein, Count Pridbjorn of Bornholm, claiming the Island of Bornholm, King Torgils, claiming the heart of Denmark, Sjaelland. Finally, Duke Olav of Samogitia, instigator of this little civil war, will also lose all of his lands.

As usual for now, Sayer used the armies of nearby rulers. Once again, soldiers from England, Scotland, France, Frisia and Aquitaine sailed to Baltic. Bornholm was first to fall, in March 1325. Next was Holstein, capital of Duchy of Holstein, in May. After that, Sayer also created the Duchy.

In July, Norman forced had swarmed the Sjaelland and King Torgils lost Copenhagen to Normans. That left just Samogitia. Normans had managed to take all the holdings, but Olav had managed to get help of the Golden Horde that managed to get 20 000 soldiers to shores of Baltic and take one holding in Vodi. Meaning that the war was slowed down a bit. Then, Mongols sent another army of 14 000 soldiers to free Samogitia. Outside the city of Russ, Normans attacked the Mongols and defeated them. This was it, the end of the war. In September 1325, Olav gave up. This was an end of Denmark as well. Sayer took the title of the Kingdom and destroyed it, leaving the vassals of Denmark so nicely splintered.

sicily584.jpg

Kingdom of Denmark looks much better now!

Sad Fate of Count Michael Melissenos

When Count Michal of Cephalonia (an island in the duchy Epirus, greece)thought it would be good idea to start an intrigue. For some reason, he thought that Duchy of Latinum needs a new ruler and begun working on it. Failing to forget that the spy network of his Augustus was superb... So, Sayer found out and sent up emissaries to imprison the poor count. In his foolishness, he thought the best thing to do is to raise his flag in rebellion. Sayer cheered, gathered his personal host, sailed them to Cephalonia and invaded the province. From Sicily and Calabria, the heartland of Roman Empire, he gathered nearly 40 000 soldiers and nearly 800 ships. Normans arrived, invaded and won. Michal was stripped from all of his possessions and kept in jail, while a proper Norman took his place.

sicily583.jpg

Full might of Sicily and Calabria

Other Matters

In Summer of 1325, the Princess Adriana, daughter and heir of Isaakios of Taurica, was married in a lavish ceremony to Prince Sayer, the second son of the old Sayer. Soon, Adriana accepted the cathar faith and everyone starts expecting the child now future heir of Taurica, who will bring the last provinces of the Black Sea into Norman hands.

sicily589.jpg

A happy couple! Now, we just need a baby!

Also, in October 1325, a Mongol called Yesugei has raised soldiers, with intention of conquering Lesser Poland. Khagan Alchi claimed he was working on his own, but there were rumors of Yesugei marching unopposed through Mongol lands, with Khagan helping him to feed his army. No matter, the Khagan will also get his share of Norman wrath, but first, Yesugei.

sicily585.jpg

Now here is a brave soul. Stupid, but brave. Also, his target
 

hjarg

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From conquest of Mecca back to North. You know, if i keep this up, there will soon be a situation where there are only three countries in the map- me and the Mongols. Alas for poor King Arne and two hosts attacking him though, or the map would be much more purple.

SirkTheMonkey - yea, agree. And the armies have to march forever to get to destination. Red sea should be at least navigable- and well, vikings should be able to drag their ships across Suess. You know, for funny AARs where vikings sack Mecca and Medina!
As for the picture- i think it represents when Herod offered killing of all babies, for three wise man told him that new king of Judea had been born and after all, the wise thing would be to order death of all babies in Judea or Bethlehem or.. dammit, don't remember the extent. Hmmm, and the world would be perhaps disturbing? Anyways, it fitted, but i think it's the last time i'll use something like that.

DensleyBlair - Finnmark, yes, sure. One day- now Norman ruler of Bjarmia, almost as good.

Last_Revanant- thanks a lot! Always glad to see people enjoy my writing! :)