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Heaven On Earth: Part One

The History Of The Orthodox Empire



unidentified man's letter home said:
I cannot begin to tell you of this wondrous city. This bustling metropolis is filled with people from all over the globe. Merchants fill the streets, selling their precious and exotic goods. Courtesans and diplomats fill the courts, giving homage to the great Emperor. The buildings and splendor are beyond compare. The riches of this mighty capital are unsurpassed. Truly, this is Heaven on Earth!”
The Hall Of Saints

The Orthodox Empire In The Middle Ages

Table Of Contents
Prologue: Sons Of Thunder
Europe 1072: From Iberia To Holmgard, And Beyond!

Romanos IV: The Sun And The Moon
Romanos IV: The Wanderer
Michael VII: Tears Of War
Michael VII: Old Thunder
Michael VII: Fields Of The Devil
Michael VII: Fields Of Gold
Michael VII: Ready For Salvation
Michael VII: The Long Serpent's End
Europe 1100: The Spirit Of Fire

Alexius I The Great: Entering The New Ark
Alexius I The Great: The Ocean Land At War
Alexius I The Great: A Call To Awake
Alexius I The Great: The City Of God
Alexius I The Great: Horrors Unimaginable
Alexius I The Great: Domination
Alexius I The Great: Bleak
Alexius I The Great: Child Of Oblivion
Alexius I The Great: Heir Apparent
Europe 1118: Panicked Changes

John II: The White Emperor
Europe 1159: Holy Symphony Of War
Manuel I: Bearing The War Of Stone
Manuel I: The Adriatic
Manuel I: At The Ruins
Europe 1180: Towards The Sky
Alexios II The Dragon: On The Steppe
Alexios II The Dragon: Warrior's Quest
Alexios II The Dragon: The Birth Of The Dragon
Alexios II The Dragon: The Song Of Victory
Europe 1237: The Last Compline Of An Age
Manuel II: The Descent Of Empires: I
Manuel II: The Descent Of Empires: II
Manuel II: The Descent Of Empires: III
Manuel II: The Descent Of Empires: IV
Manuel II: The Descent Of Empires: V
Manuel II: The Descent Of Empires: VI
Manuel II: The Descent Of Empires: VII
Manuel II: Salvation
Europe 1268: Dawn Of A New Age
Michael VIII: The Phoenix: I
Michael VIII: The Phoenix: II
Michael VIII: The Phoenix: III
Michael VIII: The Phoenix: IV
Journey To Uncharted Horizons
 
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Author's Note

Author's Note

Hello and welcome to Heaven On Earth: Part One! This AAR will be a mega-campaign that will go all the way to Doomsday. It will chronicle the history of the Orthodox Empire. I won't spoil much after that.

The style will be a history-book. I'll include world maps and Medieval Total War II screenshots. Since, Machiavellia is currently on hold and Arthodhos is easy to update, I figured why not start an epic mega-campaign. I hope you enjoy this, I know I will.



So here goes, enjoy!
:) asd
 
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I'm gonna be buried in work tonight and probably tomorrow as well, so the introduction will be hard to write for the time being, so don't count on it coming immediately.

Does anyone have a link to a blank Crusader Kings map (that can be colored on, say, MS Paint) ?



comments appreciated,
:) ASD
 

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Good luck with your AAR

You can find a blank-map of CK here (the file called 'blank')
 

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Veldmaarschalk said:
Good luck with your AAR

You can find a blank-map of CK here (the file called 'blank')
(sheds tear)

:p It's.....its...perfect!

(Any other blank maps for the other games?)



thanks a lot,
:) asd
 

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Imageshack is down at the moment, so that means the update will be slightly delayed. I'm trying to write it as we speak.

A short fake letter has been added to the first post, by the way.



comments very appreciated,
:) asd
 

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asd21593 said:
Imageshack is down at the moment, so that means the update will be slightly delayed. I'm trying to write it as we speak.

A short fake letter has been added to the first post, by the way.



comments very appreciated,
:) asd
I'd recommend you to sign up for Photobucket and use that instead; your files do not stay on Imageshack forever. :)

Good luck with this, it demands courage to take up a mega-campaign. :D
 

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Snugglie said:
I'd recommend you to sign up for Photobucket and use that instead; your files do not stay on Imageshack forever. :)

Good luck with this, it demands courage to take up a mega-campaign. :D
really, how long do they stay exactly, don't want to see all my screenshots in my AARs suddenly go away?

Wikipedia said:
Images are stored on ImageShack indefinitely unless the image or the user who uploaded it abuses the Terms of Service.
update soon,
:) asd
 

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Prologue: I

Heaven On Earth

Prologue: Sons Of Thunder
(Mood Music)


The world experiences defining moments in its history, every now and then. After these moments, the world will experience amazing changes that will leave the present wondering what could have been. The world we live in today was quite possibly shaped by one battle, Manzikert.


A medieval depiction of the Battle of Manzikert, note the inaccurate equipment.

The lead up to the great Battle of Manzikert is quite simple. The Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan had led invasions in Armenia and eastern Anatolia. Emperor Romanos IV by offering a treaty to the Turkish sultan, but he refused. Therefore, Romanos IV prepared for war.


A depiction of Emperor Romanos IV.

Into August of 1071, he marched out into eastern Anatolia with a grand army of over 70,000. And on August 26th, battle was to be engaged near the town of Manzikert. Romanos IV set up his army in a typical Roman battle formation, orderly and ready to fight they stood. Meanwhile, Alp Arslan, with his smaller army, arranged his force in a practically disorganized formation, with horse archers and troops all spread. To the Roman eye, this was chaotic and foolish, but to the sultan’s, this was a typical Turkish formation.

After a tense stand-off, battle was engaged when the Turks let loose the arrows from their bows and hundreds of arrows flew across the field. The two sides immediately charged at each other. Most Romans were simply on foot, while the Turkish force was on horseback, yet lightly-armored. They clashed in the afternoon air for hours. Swords and shields smashed together and men were crushed beneath the sheer weight of the armies fighting.


A modern depiction of the great battle.

So intense was the battle that some men just died out of exhaustion. But still the Romans fought on and held their positions. Romanos IV made sure they kept formation, even when the Turks tried to lure them away with feigned retreats. Finally, the Turkish army broke under the constant pressure of the chasing Roman cataphracts. Then, at the sound of a deep horn, Romanos IV’s plan was set in motion as the Armenian mercenary horse archers came over the hills to attack the Turks. The ensuing slaughter was so great, that even Alp Arslan himself was killed in the fighting.

After the battle, the Romans marched further into the now defenseless Turkish land, conquering all the towns in their way and massacring every militia in their way. The world was forever changed when the Romans held their ground on the fields of Manzikert. The world was forever changed when the Armenians massacred the Turks on the fields of Manzikert. Perhaps a world with a Roman defeat would have been worse off than ours. Perhaps the Turks would have conquered their way into Europe. No one can be certain. But one thing is certain, the fact that our world was greatly shaped by the events that took place at Manzikert.
 
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Enewald

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Aww... so no traitor...
But let us hope that this battle changed your world dramatically.
As it did irl. ;)

And the turks attacking Europe?
What a crazy idea!!! :p
 

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asd21593 said:
really, how long do they stay exactly, don't want to see all my screenshots in my AARs suddenly go away?
Well... I used it to start with and they remained there, say, two-three months or so. It's very irregular though, so it's hard to know. That's why I recommend Photobucket instead, the good thing there is that you can gather them all in the same album which makes it much easier to keep track of all of them.
 

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Snugglie said:
Well... I used it to start with and they remained there, say, two-three months or so. It's very irregular though, so it's hard to know. That's why I recommend Photobucket instead, the good thing there is that you can gather them all in the same album which makes it much easier to keep track of all of them.
Well my summer AARs over at Total War Center still have their screenshots, perhaps they changed their policy and keep pictures now.

EDIT: Forgot the mood music for the Manzikert part, it has been added, and will be in updates from now on.



comments appreciated,
:) asd
 
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Prologue: II

Heaven On Earth

Europe 1072: From Iberia To Holmgard, And Beyond!
(Mood Music)


A year after the Battle of Manzikert and the world had already changed, both in and out of the Roman Empire. In the Roman Empire, Emperor Romanos IV had stabilized the Turkish situation and had led excursions into Seljuk territory, gaining a modest amount of land. The Seljuk military was devastated by the Battle of Manzikert. Their ability to raise an army of equal stature was lost and their lands were defenseless. But Romanos IV was no fool; he knew that to go too far into Muslim lands would be suicide for him and his army. So he signed a peace treaty with the crumbling Seljuk Empire in 1072 that gave the Romans the lands of Armenia, Georgia, and Assyria.

]
A map of Europe in 1072.

Elsewhere in Europe, the three main kingdoms of Spain (Leon, Castille, and Aragon) were still disunited against the Muslim threat. However, hopes were high for the Spanish, because the Muslims seemed to have run out of steam. The Kievan Rus were on the rise, with their large empire stretching from Finland to the Black Sea. Of all the nations of Europe, the Rus had the best relationship with the Romans. North of Constantinople, however, were troublemakers to the Romans. The Transylvanian nation, despite being Eastern Orthodox, were still enemies of Rome and their raiding was going to be stopped soon enough. Another problem to the Roman Empire was Norman Sicily, who were constantly warring with them and pushing them out of Italy. To the north was the Holy Roman Empire, Hungary, Poland, and the Scandinavian countries. They had a relatively neutral relationship with Rome.

In western Europe, lay the nations of France, Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy, England, and Scotland. In 1066, William of Normandy embarked on an invasion of England. After his astounding victory at Hastings, he went on to conquer London and crown himself King of England. However, the Anglo-Saxons (English) were not too keen to give up their land so easily. Up until 1072, they had continued guerrilla resistance while Duke William furiously marched his armies throughout England and tried to quell the resistance and build castles. However, the English resistance was too much for the Normans, as the traveling Norman army only served to further resistance through their village burnings and killings. In 1072, an English army was finally organized and met William and his marauding force at Northampton.

The battle raged for a full two days, with only a night’s rest in between. The first day started with infantry exchanges. Both armies lost many men, but not to death, but rather, to war prisons. On the second, the English launched a cavalry attack early in the morning on the Norman camp. The ambush was successful and also set free the hundreds of captive English men captured the day before. The exhausted Norman troops didn’t stand a chance. The Battle of Northampton so devastated the Normans that by the end of 1072, they were nearly out of England and Duke William had already retreated to Normandy. Times were changing in Europe, and an old power was to be reborn.


A medieval depiction of the Battle of Northampton.
 
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I see you've already gotten a toehold on Italy. Will Romanos turn his attention there next? And will he dare tackle the potential issue of the succession?
 

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General_BT said:
I see you've already gotten a toehold on Italy. Will Romanos turn his attention there next? And will he dare tackle the potential issue of the succession?
While CK is pretty focused on succession and dynasties, there actually won't be a lot of that in this AAR. I want to focus more on history rather than dynastics. I'm much better at history book writing than intriguing narratives about dynastic politics :p

Now is when the true AAR begins, along with the Orthodox Empire!

PS: By the way, how is the mood music working out for the enjoyment? I think folk metal is perfect for medieval times! ;)



comments appreciated,
:) asd
 

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What Is Glorification?

What Is Glorification?​

Glorification is the Orthodox “version” of the Catholic practice of canonization. The Orthodox believe that anyone who enters Heaven is a saint. Therefore, canonization isn’t needed for the Orthodox. Instead, the Orthodox “glorify” certain saints who led especially exemplary lives.

Anyway, as this AAR is pretty heavily focused on Orthodoxy and the empire that will be built around it, I though it would be fun to glorify certain members of our AAR community. Now I know what your thinking, “he totally stole the practice of canonization from canonized!” Yes, yes I did :D . However, I stole with permission :p.

Since canonized has canonization in his heavily-Catholic themed AAR, I though why not contrast this with glorification in this heavily-Orthodox AAR. So every once in awhile, I will try to glorify those that haven’t already been canonized and make them AARLand saints, at least in “Orthodox” eyes :p. Interviews will be carried out canonization style. So prepare yourselves for the blatant Orthodox version of a canonization-mooch! ;)


Thank you,
:) asd
 

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Great start. William cast out of Normandy, the Empire successfull in Manzikert, great story!
 

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