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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

hirahammad

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((Greece))
Strangely, Timur couldn't land in the city of Athens, so instead, he disembarked in the countryside. As he traveled through the farms, he saw few signs of life. The fields lay empty, livestock rare and undernourished, and the houses dark. Fear hung in the air, or perhaps it lay in the heart of one resigned to murder.

He made a spartan camp at the ruins of the Long Walls, and, at twilight, headed northeast towards the city. Tall walls, dark and brooding, await him as he neared, and as Timur lay in watch, he saw the gate open twice. Once, for an escorted convoy of wagons, carrying what smelled like foodstuff.

Strange, thought Timur, that the merchants would travel like so in such a safe country as Hispania. Timur had seen this, but only in war-torn India, never in his new life. The second time the gates opened, was to admit a heavily-guarded, luxurious carriage, regal in its appearance, and bearing the Mandromenos coat-of-arms. Timur would have struck, but he did not come prepared to fight a small army and could only wonder if Philaretos was inside.

((Theme
No law-breaking intended :)
))
 
Last edited:

Mach Twelve

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As he was returning from an important task that needed the secrecy of the country, the man in the carriage thought he noticed a small camp by the Long Wall. When he got to the city, he had a set of guards investigate the area. Nothing was found and no trail was picked up. The man sighed, and went about his way thinking no more of the matter, and focused on what he learned on his visit.
 

alscon

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((priavte - Jaume))

The Marshal, back from Egypt, had heard of the Greek general's new demands, and immediately went to the palace, getting to the Emperor in a quiet place, alone.
'Your Imperial Highness', he began, 'I don't have any matters related to the army right now to present You, else I would not have interrupted Your thoughts. No, it is the new Greek demands I come for. You cannot simply give in. Let me explain my reasons: Think of the last demands. Mandromenos stayed back on the Serbian border, certainly not for the reasons he stated. Then, against Persia, he ignored my campaign planning, stormed ahead to claim his victory. What does that signal now? That he can have Hispania do exactly what he wants. First, Genoa: Only Hispania was involved, while the Greeks could relax. Then Persia, showing his skill against a far inferior enemy, no matter if my campaign would have been more efficient, only for personal glory. Gains he already tried to capitalise on as he spoke about the Basileus. You cannot appear weak again, or there will be no stop to Greek demands, and we will have to ask us if we are protectors - or slaves.'
Montségur paused. 'And his cause - ancestral lands and imperialism - are both wrong. No Serb or Hungarian will feel Byzantine, but that is the weak part. Do we have to remind the Greeks who is Caesar of Rome? Your Imperial Majesty, the Greeks will not give in if You reclaim their lands as part of Rome, so why should You support them? And while they do not like the word, and it is officially shunned - they remain Your subjects. If a nation is to claim Imperial grandeur, then Yours, more than it already does.'
He let that sink in. 'The time of weakness is over. And the Cortz certainly won't approve the war either.'
He left, as suddenly as he came.


((Cortz))

We cannot give in to the Greeks again. This is no longer Anatolia. I call for our assembly to veto this decision, should it stand.
 

Michaelangelo

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((priavte - Jaume))

The Marshal, back from Egypt, had heard of the Greek general's new demands, and immediately went to the palace, getting to the Emperor in a quiet place, alone.
'Your Imperial Highness', he began, 'I don't have any matters related to the army right now to present You, else I would not have interrupted Your thoughts. No, it is the new Greek demands I come for. You cannot simply give in. Let me explain my reasons: Think of the last demands. Mandromenos stayed back on the Serbian border, certainly not for the reasons he stated. Then, against Persia, he ignored my campaign planning, stormed ahead to claim his victory. What does that signal now? That he can have Hispania do exactly what he wants. First, Genoa: Only Hispania was involved, while the Greeks could relax. Then Persia, showing his skill against a far inferior enemy, no matter if my campaign would have been more efficient, only for personal glory. Gains he already tried to capitalise on as he spoke about the Basileus. You cannot appear weak again, or there will be no stop to Greek demands, and we will have to ask us if we are protectors - or slaves.'
Montségur paused. 'And his cause - ancestral lands and imperialism - are both wrong. No Serb or Hungarian will feel Byzantine, but that is the weak part. Do we have to remind the Greeks who is Caesar of Rome? Your Imperial Majesty, the Greeks will not give in if You reclaim their lands as part of Rome, so why should You support them? And while they do not like the word, and it is officially shunned - they remain Your subjects. If a nation is to claim Imperial grandeur, then Yours, more than it already does.'
He let that sink in. 'The time of weakness is over. And the Cortz certainly won't approve the war either.'
He left, as suddenly as he came.

((Private - alscon))

JpsioAG.png

I personally am not concerned with this Greek general's vanity, and the reasons they desire the war are not as important as what it would do for Hispania. War with Serbia means war with Poland, and that is something that could be of great use to Hispania. We help the Greeks again and in the process crush a growing threat in Europe. War with Hungary is admittedly less beneficial for us, but a more secure border for Byzantium and happier Greeks will pay off in the end. I do not see why helping our closely ally is a bad thing. We are in no condition to expand Hispania's borders at this time due to recent conquests in Africa, so we may as well eliminate a few threats in Europe. If the Cortz would prefer to see the Greeks go off on their own while we sit around twiddling our thumbs, that is their decision to make.

- His Imperial Highness, Jaume IV de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks

((Cortz))

We cannot give in to the Greeks again. This is no longer Anatolia. I call for our assembly to veto this decision, should it stand.

((The Cortz now must vote on whether to veto the war, or rather wars since there will be two, which I shall include with the vote. @BelisariustheGreat and @Robban204 should make sure to vote then. Other than that, we shall vote on whether or not to support American independence in the future, as well as choose our next mission and idea group. Keep in mind that the idea group vote is tiered, so make sure to include your top three in order of preference. I'll include screenshots below, and here is the wiki page for the idea groups.

Veto Serbia War (Cortz Only): Yes/No/Abstain
Veto Hungary War (Cortz Only): Yes/No/Abstain
Support US Independence: Yes/No/Abstain
Mission: Gunditjmara/Overextension/Oyo/Abstain
Idea Group:
1.
2.
3.​

The vote shall last until Thursday at 12PM PST. All players should bold their votes and include their character's name and class.

RiDqO7N.jpg


BVjXbAE.jpg
))
 

Mach Twelve

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((Is the Cortz vote considered to be public knowledge? The good Megas Domestikos would send a message if it is.))
 

wzhang29

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2. Expansion
3. Maritime
 
Last edited:

Michaelangelo

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((Is the Cortz vote considered to be public knowledge? The good Megas Domestikos would send a message if it is.))

((I would imagine they would deliberate in private, but their decision would be announced publicly. I suppose some of them might share their views publicly beforehand, but that's up to them.))
 

DragonOfAtlantis

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Sancho Villanova
((Courtier, Colonist, NPC Merchant, Funded Colony, Grand Admiral))
 

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hirahammad

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((Greece))
How would Timur get in? The only way to infiltrate the food wagons would be at the farms themselves, for certainly they would not be guarded then. It would be impossible to enter through the gate without permission, and all that remained was the walls themselves. Timur scouted the walls, and he found a weak spot, still no easy climb, but possible, if there were no guards there.

Timur began to formulate a plan. Throughout the day he discreetly spread tinder, from near the Long Walls to near the city walls. Fortunately, the weather had been extraordinarily dry, so when he lit the fires, they quickly spread, until large parts of the horizon were engulfed in flames. Timur went to the weak spot, and waited to see if the guards would relocate.
 

Mach Twelve

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After seeing the blaze, the captain of the guard ordered his men to investigate and contain the fire. The gate was left open and unguarded in their rush.
 

hirahammad

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((Greece))
As Timur watched the guards rush to the fires, he saw they had committed a capital mistake. If hew were a still general, he would have issued a public reprimand. If there were war, the commander of the guard would fear for his life. They had left the gate open! Quickly, Timur took advantage of the fact.

One standing at the gate would have seen emerge, seemingly from the fire, a specter, dark but for a glint of gold from his veil. And one standing such there was, much to Timur's chagrin.

A young child, alone, who had been drawn to the terrible fires from without, fires from Hell, a child, drawn to the endless heat of adventure, to the flames of danger, and the sparks of heroism, quick enough not to get burnt, but too naive to stop, such a child had found this phantom, a phantom accompanied by the barks of Cerberus, dark and looming.

"What are you?" the child sputtered. Suddenly, the child added, "Please don't hurt Father. He means well. Please!"

Timur taken aback, hesitated, allowing the child to add to the pitiful pleas.

Finally, he replied, "I am the Agent of Providence. I have come to smite the wicked who reside within these walls. Not your father, but Mandromenos. Where is he? Tell me now."
 

Mach Twelve

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The child's eyes grew wide as he recognized the name. He answered, "They live in the palace, on the hill behind the walls. The place serves as the center of rule for the city. Wicked men watch it with hard eyes, and punish any as they deem fit. You would be wise to avoid it. Better yet, you would be wise to return to wherever you came. There is no Providence or Justice here. Not anymore."

At the Palace, the man from the carriage looked upon the city, and saw the Light of his Lord wash over it. He howled in laughter at the sight. Soon all would accept it as he had.
 

alscon

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((My voting should surprise nobody ;):

Veto Serbia War: Yes
Veto Hungary War: Yes
Support US Independence: Yes
Mission: Gunditjmara
Idea Group:
1. Offensive
2. Aristocratic
3. Defensive))

((private - a short time ago))
Montségur was returning from the campaign in Egypt, and stopped in Palermo. He had been informed that his guest had accepted his invitation. Alexandre led him through his garden to talk about why he came. The discussion soon heated up.
'Never! The mere suggestion insults me.' The guest exclaimed angrily, the interpreter not having to translate.
Montségur stayed calm. 'You must be desperate to even have come here. Your time might be over soon.'
'Infidel dog...' the guest sighed. 'A drowning man may grab each branch thrown to him, but not the poisoned one.'
'You didn't come to drown. Nor do you want to drag your family down with you. You had to expect this.'
'I will not accept. Convert yourself if you want to know the truth.'
'Allah must like to see his followers suffer then. Or he just prefers Morocco.' Alexandre paused, waited a bit after the end of the translation. 'Keep the possibility open. I would accept a compromise - your son converts when you accept my offer. Your grandchild will be taught Christian values at my court. You yourself don't need to.'
The guest thought carefully. 'I will not push a branch away. Fine, I agree.'
'I need a guarantee. One that will show both of our good wills. How about you leave your youngest daughter here to be taught? I can hardly see anyone interested in her, you included. I shall not harm her, just as I give you my word to hold my part of the bargain. In exchange, my best guard will accompany you, and save you from your inevitable end.'

Some more compromises later, the duke of Trinacria signed his agreement with the Sultan of Tunis. Shall his realm fall to Morocco, a Sicilian army shall try to reclaim his lands, perhaps even a Hispanian one - if the Sultan's son would convert to Christianity, his future grandchildren raised as Christians.
((Absolutely no in-game or other effects. Perhaps you can figure out the purpose of this then. :rolleyes: Good luck if you try ;) ))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private))

Chancellor Andreu de Trastámara went over the latest world maps he had in his possession. Hispania could not sit around doing nothing. There was always so much land and resources to claim, and if it wasn't aiding its allies it should be helping itself. The administration was stretched to its limits yet again managing the new African territory. Further conquest was not advisable. Perhaps a colonial adventure was in order. Andreu poured over his maps, spotting one particular nuisance in Mexico. Xiu had somehow managed to survive, perhaps by stealing Hispanian weapons and borrowing their ideas. Perhaps securing all of Central America was the best thing to do. Nova Hispania could manage the burden of the new lands, after all.

A sharp knock on the chancellor’s door pulled him out of his thoughts. “Enter,” Andreu said, not once looking up from the map.

Andreu was ready to ignore his guest, for he had much more important business to attend to, until he actually looked up to see Empress Eirene standing before him.

“Your Imperial Highness,” Andreu said, rising from his chair.

“I hope you do not intend to listen to the Cortz when in comes to the proposed wars against Serbia and Hungary.”

Andreu suppressed a smirk. Of course the Greek empress would be concerned about wars involving Byzantium. “I do not exactly have a choice in the matter. The Cortz has vetoed the war, so Byzantium will have to wait to reclaim the Balkans.”

“This is unacceptable,” the empress said, clenching the edge of the desk so hard the wood groaned in protest. “We are not some feudal monarchy where the nobles lead their own levies into battle. Why should they have any say over what the army does?”

Andreu stepped around his desk and slowly eased the empress back. He could sympathize, for he too wanted the war for Byzantium, but he also knew that Hispania came first. Pursuing a war without the support of the nobility would be pointless. “Do not fret. The day will come soon that Hispania shall help Byzantium reclaim the Balkans. It has been proven time and time again that Hispania cares for the Greeks.”

Eirene pushed the chancellor away, scowling in the process. “Don’t you think I know that? Unfortunately, the Greek people aren’t prone to wait any longer, especially with that fool Pausanius riling them up.”

“Ah yes, Byzantium’s star general,” Andreu said with a chuckle. He had heard enough about the man from his wife Kyra, Eirene’s aunt, before she passed away to know all about the problems going on at Greek court. Tensions between the royal family and the general were constantly near boiling point, what with Pausanias bypassing the royal prerogative and doing as he pleased. Only his continued successes and the love of the people kept him from being outed. Knowing the basileus, he was patiently waiting for the man’s fall so he could torture and execute him.

The empress’s expression became solemn for a moment. “I fear that if Hispania does not intervene again, Pausanias is likely to march into Serbia and Hungary and start a war on his own. My brother cannot tolerate any further breaches of his authority. It weakens his reign. His position has already been made shaky by his long regency. My mother was not the most adept regent, what with being a Frenchwoman that knows little of Byzantium and its people.”

Andreu let out a sigh. Byzantium surely had seen better times, and he truly wished to see their court brought to order, but ultimately his duty was to Hispania. “I am not certain what I can do. My hands are tied.”

“Your hands may be tied, but the bindings are loose,” Empress Eirene said with a cold stare that sent shivers down Andreu’s spine. “Find a way to break free of them or Byzantium will find itself embroiled in wars and inner turmoil it cannot handle alone.”

With her point clearly brought across, Empress Eirene left the chancellor’s office. Andreu watched her leave before returning to his seat. He did not see how he could aid the Greeks without raising tensions within Hispania. He would have to think more on it later. It seemed likely it would all come down to what the Greeks decided to do. For now he had a new war to plan.

* * * * *

((Public))

With the Cortz's decision to utilize its veto, it seems that Hispania must pursue other ventures. Seeing as the empire is too far stretched to conquer too much land for itself, it seems that we must look towards expanding our colonies. Securing the rest of Mexico should be a priority then with the elimination of Xiu.

- Andreu de Trastámara, Chancellor of Hispania
 

Mach Twelve

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((Constantinople))

The Megas Domestikos frowned when the news arrived. Disappointing, but not a total defeat. It wouldn't do for him to not have a contingency plan, but it was too much for him to do alone, even with the liberties he was willing to take.

He sent a letter to the Basileus requesting an audience, and began to prepare his presentation.
 

hirahammad

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((Greece))
A gold-veiled ghost, floating through deserted streets. A castle, bathed by the glow of fire. A vengeance, growing to encompass an entire spirit. Years of being ignored, years spent in fear of discovery, turns to anger, fed by the fire, framed by the suffering of Athens. Anger, righteous anger, propels this beast of vengeance forward, until the castle rises up, a castle fit for a Shadow King, a Prince of Darkness.

This Agent of Providence climbs to a roof near a castle windows, but it is barred. However, this phantom has come prepared. He had wished to dispense his justice by first blinding the victim. The acid required for such a task could also melt iron, though with great odor and time. He took his vial of acid, and leaped across to the window, and, perched on the ledge, applied the onerous chemicals onto the iron, and waited.

((Theme:

))