• Hearts of Iron IV Survey

    Help us make HoI IV better by sharing your experiences in this 5 minute survey


  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
Well...

I have no life apparently...

And the steam behind my Nubian AAR seems to have faded (I guess I shouldn't have taken a three-month break...)...

However, I was toying around with the idea of doing a World History AAR, where I would basically control various nations throughout the world, influencing events by assuming control of nations whenever necessary.

It is an attempt to "recreate" history.

I say "recreate" loosely, because I intend to create a world where the Crusader States survived. I also intend to keep the Muslims from turning Scandinavia into an Arab lake, or Central Europe into a quilt of Sheikdoms.

Therefore, lacking the save game editing skills of Gratianus, I will utilize very "gamey" exploits and cheats to keep countries intact, and avoid the "Hapsburg" effect, where Scotland gets Anatolian territories by inheritance, or some pissant Italian Republic cleans up after some Iberian war, getting a thirty-province control of North Africa with no demense penalties.

I favor no nation, no religion, and I try to represent the capabilities of each nation as it unfolds throughout the game.

It will be a history book style, utilizing a lot of graphics, especially in the map department, by far my favorite.

In terms of other artwork, I will use a lot of neat pictures that I have modified, or created from scratch (especially once I get my scanner).

I plan on having battle videos (from M2TW), like Thrashing Mad, and world-wide maps like Gratianus.

As for mods, I don't use Crusader Events, instead hopping around the various nations and waging wars to make Crusader States, before I then switch to them to declare independence, making the Crusader States independent and fully inclusive. I also will modify events as necessary to keep the game as historic as possible. There will be a little save game editing, at least for BB reasons, as I think forcing peace on Pagans shouldn't give you a crappy reputation, especially when you take your territories back. Let's face it, the Tribe of Mordvins should'nt be able to conquer Russia, nor should the Cumans or Pechenegs...

The main goals of this AAR are:
To keep Spain belonging to only four main kingdoms- Leon-Castille, Aragon, Navarre, and Portugal (for the Christians, I mean). I don't think that the HRE would even be capable of supporting territory in Spain. As for the success of Le Reconquista, it just depends on the strength of the appropriate armies...

To obtain the appropriate lands for the Papal States- mainly the "L" in Italy and Avignon in France.

To engineer inheritance to ensure that the Hundred Year's War does happen.

To keep the Seljuks from owning half of the map, and allowing them to subsequently split into Rum and the Abbasid Caliphate.

To keep Poland and Hungary from interchanging borders, becoming a "Green-Gray checkerboard"

To make sure that the Balkan nations DON'T go Crusading... Ugh... (Croatian Arabia? You have got to be joking me...)

Inspirations for this AAR come mainly from three different sources...
A Silent AAR- The picture scroll of the Kingdom of Jerusalem Quite literally, the AAR which made me start AARs...
History of the White Eagle: A Poland Megacampaign AAR Part I The AAR which I learned of the importance of graphics
What began as a Dream... A NubiAAR GC I know it's my own (and it's still active), but through this I finally developed my graphical style

Lastly, my final, and most important inspiration, is from all of you. Literally, you have given me the perfect forum to vent anything, from OT discussions in the OT Forum to my game exploits here. I just wished every game had such an intelligent and thriving community to support it. We really are the definition of "niche" gamers, and without each other, I don't know if Paradox could've made it the way that they have...

So, it's time to begin...
 

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
Chapter One: The World Post-Hastings
WorldPost-Hastings1066.jpg


In 1066, the forces under William of Normandy, dubbed "William the Bastard" or "William the Conquerer," crossed the English Channel to invade the British Isles, after William was denied the title of King upon the death of Edward the Confessor. In the subsequent Battle of Hastings on October the 14th, 1066, the then-reigning king of England, Harold Godwinson, was killed and the Normans won the battle. After the victory, William then proclaimed himself the rightful King of England. Even though the subjects of the realm were Anglo-Saxon, the infusion of the Anglo-Norman feudal system progressed rapidly.

William the Conquerer
WilliamtheBastard.jpg


Saxons and Normans, Post-Conquest

NormansandSaxons.jpg


Initially, the Normans were vassals of the King of France, but in reality, the French King had little real power, holding only small lands in the vicinity of Paris and Orleans. Instead, French royal power was controlled by the powerful potentates to the throne, the Dukes of the Kingdom. So, while William was technically a vassal of Philip Capet, in practice the lands of Normandy and England were independent.

Philippe I of France
Philip1.jpg


The Normans hadn't only conquered England, however. In earlier expeditions from Normandy, they had participated in campaigns against the Moors in Iberia (the short Crusade against the city of Barbastro), and had migrated en masse to southern Italy, to fight the Saracen invasion from Sicily (in particular the families de Hautville and the Drengots). There, they established their rule over the local populace, mainly to fight off the Islamic invasions coming from Sicily, the goal of the next stage of their conquests.

Normans on the Shore of Sicily
Normans.jpg

Elsewhere, the Abbasid Dynasty on the Tigris and Euphrates had become absorbed into the Seljuk Dynasty under Alp Arslan Seljuk, also named Muhammad bin Da'ud Chaghri. From his power base in control of Persia and Mesopotamia, he had set his eyes on the Byzantinian holdings in Anatolia, as well as the territories of the Kingdom of Georgia and other Armenian lands.

Seljuks in Abbasid Courts
Seljuks-1.jpg


Meanwhile, the Christian Kingdoms of Leon, Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and the Duchies of Catalonia and Braganza were poised to defend Western Europe at the Moorish foothold in southern Iberia. The Reconquista had been basically in effect since the late 700's, and the Moors ferociously held onto their territories there. Numerous minor Crusades had done little to force the Muslims out of Spain, and dynastic infighting between the Spanish Kingdoms was just as much to blame as Jihads and raids from the Islamic warriors.

The Moors
Moors.jpg


In Egypt and the Near East, the Fatimid Caliphate had maintained their hold for quite some time after breaking free of the Ummayads. Furthest from their minds were attacks from any of the major Christian powers, as they instead focused their attention on the warmongering Turkish hordes under Alp Arslan Seljuk. They had earlier lost their West African territories to the Emirate of Cyrenaica and the wandering Berbers and Bedouins. This was beneficial, however, as this allowed the Fatimid Caliph al-Mustansir to focus on preparing his defense against the Seljuks and against the Ismaili and Druze Muslims wanting to separate from the Caliphate. South of them, the Monophysite Nubians tried desperately to stand against the southern influx of Islam.

The Fatimids
Fatimids.jpg


The Nubians
Nubians.jpg


In the Holy Roman Empire, the recent crowning of Heinrich von Franken, also known as Henry IV, had also taken place. He halted an invasion of Italo-Norman territories after learning about an earlier expedition (which failed) led by Godfrey of Tuscany. Heinrich IV sought to expand the national boundaries of the German Kingdom portion of the Holy Roman Empire, fighting against rebellion and the wily cunning of the German, Burgundian, and Italian electors seeking to constantly gain the favor of the church against the current Römischer König.

German Soldiers
Germans.jpg

 
Last edited:

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
Meanwhile, in the lands of St. Peter, Pope Anselmo di Baggio, also known as Pope Alexander II, who sought to maintain financial and political dominance over Antipope Honorius II, an antagonist Papal claimant backed by a substantial portion of the German Electorate, as well as to prevent the wholesale slaughter and forced conversion of the Jews, an act which he saw as most Unchristian. At the same time, indulgences and Papal sanctions for Christians becoming involved in La Reconquista grew in strength and number, and the pleas from the Byzantines for aid against the Turkish Muslims fell on ready Papal ears...

Pope Alexander II
PopeAlexanderII.jpg


In the Balkans, the Byzantinian Empire held onto a thread of hope. Their vastly overextended realm, filled with a host of subjugated and violent peoples, struggled to maintain not only itself from threats within, but also from external violence in the form of the Seljuk hordes sweeping into Southeastern Anatolia. The Bulgarians and Serbians inside the realm had taken to raiding, and the military resources of the Byzantines were also put to the test against the minor incursions of the Hungarian Magyars and Vlachs. The Byzantine Emperor, Michael VII Doukas, was barely able to hold onto his rapidly declining state of affairs. Serbia was poised to take the Republic of Ragusa, or at least the vast majority of the lands surrounding the city, and the Trpimirovic Dynasty of Croatia sat in a favorable position, hoping to avoid the growing power of the quickly-expanding Kingdom of Hungary.

Petar Krešimir IV of Croatia
KresimirIV.jpg


Byzantine Soldiers
ByzantineSoldiers.jpg


In Russia, the power was held by main Principalities; those of Kiev, Polotsk, Pronsk, Novgorod, and Pereyaslavl. Each sought to control the entirety of the Land of the Rus, but had more pressing matters to deal with on their borders. For Kiev, it was the Kingdom of Poland and the Cuman tribes to the south. To Pronsk, it was the Cumans, as well, and the Principality of Alania bordering its territories at the mouth of the Sea of Azov. Novgorod had to contend with the pagan tribes to the north, and Polotsk to those on its Western borders. Only Pereyaslavl had to really deal with its Russian neighbors, since it was bordered on three sides by its highly ambitious neighbors.

The Grand Prince of Kiev
GrandPrinceofKiev.jpg


To the West of Rus, the Poles themselves had recently installed Boleslaw II, of the Piast Dynasty, to the throne as the Duke of Poland, and as de facto King of Poland. He greatly wanted to increase his power with the Poe, as well as gain strong allies on his borders, in order to oppose the might of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1060-1063, he aided the then king Béla I of Hungary to increase Béla's power in Hungary, but this plan failed when the Holy Roman Emperor succeeded in installing Solomon Árpád to the Hungarian throne, against the proper succession of Géza I to the throne of Hungary. At least, however, Boleslaw II succeeded in increasing the ties to the Principality of Kiev and Hungary, effectively freeing his Eastern and Southern borders, allowing him to concentrate on the Pagan tribes to the North and the Holy Roman Empire to the West.

Boleslaw II Piast
BoleslawIItheBold.jpg


As for the total world situation, nations were stabilizing, and the strong call for a Christian Crusade to retake the Holy City of Jerusalem began to grow in power. The strength of the Church was at its zenith, and despite the power of the Fatimids and Seljuks in the Holy Land, eagers eyes set greedy looks upon the Holy City, as the Age of Crusades was almost at the doorstep to Europa...

The Future... Deus Vult!
DeusVult.jpg

 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
20.020
631
This looks very promising!
 

Murmurandus

Crusader for Fun and Profit
84 Badges
Apr 12, 2002
5.876
1
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria 2
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • March of the Eagles
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
Impressive start indeed... :cool:
 

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
Thank you all...

It might be a few days until an update, and it will always be preceded by a few <reserved> posts, as these will be quite long in their depth...
 

Konig15

Major
On Probation
2 Badges
Dec 3, 2003
638
1
  • Europa Universalis III
  • 500k Club
This looks more than promising! When playing as Byzantium, as you going to install a Commenus, Paleiolog, or Dukas dynasty?
 

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
@Konig15- I don't really know. I'm letting the AI make some of the decisions, but I removed the events that allow Crusades, and that give Muslims stat bonuses, and changed some of the opinion penalties for Kinslayer and Excommunicated... And I closely monitor (mostly yearly) the succession in lands and possession of territories, so characters don't always have a quilt effect. In reality they preferred to try and keep it mostly homogeneous, to ease administration. Whoever in the Byzantine Empire is deserving will get it. With them, I am mostly wanting to make sure that the Seljuks don't overrun the Balkans before the 1400's (unless it seems appropriate), and I want the Ottomans to appear.

@Everyone Else- Thanks you all, I really hope this works. In fact, I prefer this type of game in general, and I have done it before... Because, let's face it...

Does CK even have AI?

Really?

(I still love the game though)
 

EvilSanta

Untrustworthy poo
12 Badges
Dec 18, 2004
3.535
4
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Majesty 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
Looks great. But I hope you don't stay too historical so I won't know what will happen next. ;)
 

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
@EvilSanta- Oh, believe me, it's not too historical, but I am trying to keep the world from becoming a damned quilt...

I will have an update within three days (most likely tonight or tomorrow), and so far it's looking good.

I have the mod (can't remember the name) where you can play as the Pagans/Muslims, and create titles, etc. So far, it's helped me to stop useless wars, especially when the damn Cumans started marching across Russia...

Ugh...

The Reconquista is progressing faster than OTL, but the Muslims are uniting into a single faction, and the al-Murabitids are beginning their creep into Iberia.

I won't spoil too many of the details... But I have done a lot of editing, especially to play as Republics/Military Orders (which haven't shown up yet), especially when it comes to Venice... (They got some province near Sweden, and I had to get rid of that... Ugh... Again...)

Sorry about the delay :(
 
Last edited:

Murmurandus

Crusader for Fun and Profit
84 Badges
Apr 12, 2002
5.876
1
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria 2
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • March of the Eagles
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
Sounds like fun anyway... :D
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
An ambitious project. Best of luck.
 

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
Chapter One: "The Gathering Storm: The West Preceding the First Crusade- 1066 to 1092"

The political situation in Europe preceding the First Crusade was hectic. The Moorish occupation of Spain highlighted the period, and La Reconquista had escalated, eventually culminating in a united Christian front versus a united Muslim front. In France, King Philippe I had taken measures to counter the incredibly strong Dukes in a constant challenge for the throne. And further north, the Normans under William the Conquerer consolidated their control in England, while various Irish factions participated in a constant struggle for control of Eire. In the Holy Roman Empire, the hegemony of various nations, nominally under the control of a single man, and dictated by Papal sanction, warred and plotted almost incessantly to gain control over Heinrich IV. Further south in the Empire, the Normans in Sicily finally managed to unite, and could subsequently begin to push the Muslims out of the island.

France:
In 1066, Phillipe Capet, the fourth of the Capetians to rule over France, found himself in a precarious situation. The unruly Normans to the north had gone and invaded Britain, declaring themselves kings as well. While they were nominally vassals of the French king, Philippe knew that he would never control them. If he tried, war might break out, and Philippe knew that his all-too-powerful Dukes would do nothing but wait for the chance to grab the throne in the downfall. It was a game of thrones for the child king, and he could hardly leave his estate for the fear that his life would be taken in some ambitious quest to gain the French crown. His strongest opponent, Guillaume d'Aquitaine, the Duke of Poitou and Bordeaux, had a beautiful young daughter, Agnes d'Aquitaine, who was only a few years younger than Philippe. When she became of age, Philippe wasted no time in marrying her, gaining the support of the wily Duke in the process. Philippe intended on using her originally as a pawn to gain claim on the title to Poitou, and Guillaume intended to use his daughter as a pawn to gain a bloodline claim on the crown.

AgnesdAquitaine.jpg

Artist's rendition of Agnes d'Aquitaine

Meanwhile, in England, William the Conquerer had given his first son, Robert, the Ducal title to Normandy. However, relations between the two were strained, as William favored his other children over Robert, and Philippe used that to his advantage, garnering favor and befriending Robert, hoping to reabsorb Normandy back into France. As Philippe grew older, he made certain to try and curtail any Norman interest in other parts of France, as well as put down the numerous revolts from his power-hungry vassals. When he received word that William had begun preparations to take the Duchy of Brittany, Philippe made it his goal to get it before William could finish his preparations.

In the winter of 1071, Philippe set forth plans to take Brittany, laying out orders for stocking supplies, as well as furnishing his troops with the best arms and equipment available. While the snow was still thawing on the ground, Philippe set out with two armies, led by himself and his brother Hugues. It took two years to finish the conquest, as troops from his other vassals were few and far between. A complot by the Duke of Poitou was spoiled by Agnes, who informed her husband of her father's intentions, and civil war was narrowly avoided when Hugues' army was sent to camp on his northern border as a warning. At the conclusion of the war, Hugues, who had formed a strong attachment to his brother, was given the title to Duke of Brittany, and Philippe marched victoriously back to Paris, stopping in Orleans to celebrate with a grand feast.

French.jpg

French troops in Brittany

The next eighteen years passed by without incident, except, of course, for the constant quelling of rebellious Dukes, until William the Conquerer called on the French to aid him in his war against the Welsh. Originally wanting to take no part in the fighting, he changed his mind when he learned that William's son Robert was also participating. Seeing his opportunity to form a stronger connection, a hopefully negotiate his switching of allegiances, he traveled with a contingent of knights from the Ilê-de-France and the Vexin to combat the Welsh Duchy of Dehuebarth. It was to be a disaster. Initial English-French success met a cruel fate when the Duchy of Gwynedd, before remaining neutral, had joined the war with its kin, ambushing the French and English at the Battle of Aberdar. The battle was initially in the French and Englishmen's favor, until the reinforcements from Gwynedd arrived. French retreat was cut off, and Philippe died in the ferocious combat on April the 11th, 1090.

It took almost a week for the news to reach France, and, fortunately, Hugues heard the news before the rest of the Dukes, setting up a regency for Philippe's son Guillaume, who was only ten years old at the time. Guillaume, along with Hugues and his mother Agnes, was crowned King of France at his coronation on April the 20th. For now, the King of France was nothing but a puppet to the whims of Hugues and Agnes, as they dictated the terms of the alliance that was formed between Guillaume and Heinrich IV, the Holy Roman Emperor. It was under Hugues' directive that the Count of Forez was taken into the Kingdom of France, after it had broken off from Heinrich's control. The relations between the two great nations had began to become strained...

1092France.jpg

Map of France in 1092

Iberia:

The situation in the Iberian Peninsula was desperate at best for the Christian Kingdoms. The Kingdoms of Navarre, Léon, Castile, and Aragon, while all led by relatives of one another, were not in any way united. The Duchy of Catalonia, Galicia, and of Braganza, separate entities from the Kingdoms, had refused to become involved in anything except matters involved in the interest of their own self-preservation. The Jimenez families were prone to bickering and infighting, and it was in that way that Alfonso VI Jimenez, the King of Léon, successfully fought and defeated Sancho II of Castile, absorbing his territories in 1078. Galicia decided to join the Kingdom of Léon-Castile shortly after, and so did the Portuguese Estavão de Távora, the Duke of Braganza (after fearing that he too would be conquered). The war didn't harm relations within the family, however, as Alfonso made sure to give his relative their appropriate titles (sans Kingship) again. During the short war, the Kingdom of Aragon managed to secure the loyalty of the Duke of Catalonia.

Meanwhile, in the south, the Emir of Granada managed to successfully capture much of the other Moorish territory. Only near Lisbon did he encuonter trouble, as the Moorish presence their welcomed a host of al-Murabitids, who subsequently took their hosts land and fought Estavão de Távora (which also influenced the Duchy of Braganza's decision to join Léon.).
The Muslim struggle for succession and control of Iberia left many of the northern Moorish holdings open, and from 1080 until the signing of the Truce of Toledo in 1088, the Christian kings pushed further and further south. The Kingdom of Aragon made it as far south as the northern edge of the Ebro River, and the Kingdom of Léon-Castile pushed south of the Duero, capturing Évora (1083), Alcantara (1084), and Toldeo (1086).

Moors2.jpg

Moorish troops in Cordoba

After capturing the cities, hordes of Spaniards returned south, and many of the Muslim subjects fled or converted to Christianity to avoid the "Purification by Fire" in the Great Cleansing started by Rodrigo Hernandez, the Bishop of Toledo (but only in the church, as Toledo wasn't made into a Bishopric). From their stronghold there, the Spanish armies fended off attacks from the Moors, with support from Italian mercenaries from Pisa and Orbetello (under Papal directive), until the Battle of Marjaliza, north of the Algodor River, on August the 17th, 1087. Due to the Moorish losses during the battle, Abd Allah ibn Baris ibn Ziri, the Emir of Granada, sent an emissary to sign a truce, the Truce of Toledo, on February the 3rd, 1088.

TruceofToledo.jpg

The Truce of Toledo

After the truce, Abd Allah continued his conquest of the other Moorish kingdoms, finally taking all of the Moorish land west of Valencia. By 1089, only two major Moorish powers existed in Iberia; the Emirate of Granada, and the Emirate of Mallorca, which held the Valencian and Murcian coasts as well as the Balaerics. A small contingent of al-Murabitid holdings survived just south of the Duero, until the Duke of Braganza, with a large force of allied Christian mercenaries, invaded and captured them in the summer of 1090. Since the truce dictated a five-year peace, Abd Allah decided to turn his attention on Ghani al-Amiri, the Emir of Mallorca.

As of 1092, the situation in Iberia looked like a stalemate. The previous benefits for the Spaniards of having disunited Moorish Emirates was negated through the actions of Abd Allah, as the forces of Ghani al-Amiri were pushed to the Eastern Iberian coast, and all of the previous Emirates were now under direct administration of, or vassalage to, the Emir. To the north, The Kingdom of Léon-Castile stood united, and the Kingdom of Aragon was prepared, ready as well to fight the Moors. La Reconquista wasn't over yet.

1092Iberia.jpg

Recently discovered map of Iberia, made in 1094, showing the political divisions in Iberia in 1092

The British Isles:

In 1066, William de Normandie invaded and conquered England in the Battle of Hastings, earning him the moniker of "William the Conquerer." In truth, he preferred to go by his official title, William I, King of England. To say that the trouble ended immediately after the battle, however, would be a terrible mistake. It took William some six years to finally subjugate the Anglo-Saxon population. The original Anglo-Saxon lords were used to a much more decentralized system than what the Normans had introduced. They also had one of the most sophisticated and efficient systems of government, despite the lack of centralization, as they issued writs and had a centralized treasury (in Winchester).

In truth, the lack of centralization hurt the Anglo-Saxons. Some sort of unity might have helped the Anglo-Saxon kings present a united front against William, but it was too little too late. And while the Anglo-Saxons put up fierce resistance, the efficiency of their system made it easier for the Normans to administer in place of the former lieges. At first, outright rebellious nobles were simply replaced with noble from Normandy. Those who capitulated to Norman rule could expect to continue in their original riles, while acknowledging their Norman "liege" (oftentimes not even in England). In this way, the ruling aristocracy was slowly supplanted by loyal Norman nobles. Norman French and Anglo-Saxon slowly began to mix as the invaders slowly began to intermix with the populace, thus forming the first of the true English.

NormanKings.jpg

Norman nobles becoming accustomed to life in England

William had several children to secure his rule, and the least loved of them was his first-born, Robert Curthose de Normandie. Robert, while being a capable commander and a good administrator, was also rebellious and short, which, although purely superficial, led to his being ostracized amongst his peers. More than once Robert, with his small army from his being the Duke of Normandy, met and engaged the forces of his father on the field. However, the relations between the two began to cool, especially once Philippe I, King of France, had formed a strong friendship with Robert (who had became an unknowing pawn in the game of thrones for Philippe).

William knew the territorial goals of Philippe, especially after the French King had beaten William to the goal of conquering Brittany. William had since set his mind to conquering Wales, after initial diplomatic efforts had proven a complete waste of time. In the spring of 1088, William started his war against the Welsh, which, because of a lack of support from the Anglo-Saxon kings, was proving to be a terrible disaster. Using his son's "friendship" with Philippe I, he convinced Robert to lure the French King to join the war effort in southern Wales. There, at the Battle of Aberdar, a Welsh reinforcement ambushed and slaughtered the French and English forces present, killing Philippe. William knew of the Welsh army of reinforcement, but didn't move to intercept them. After learning that his son Robert was truly upset at the loss of Philippe, and that Robert, too, had almost died that day, William decided to keep his involvement in the incident a secret.

During this entire period of time, in the northern reaches of Brittania, the Dunkeld Dynasty under Malcolm Dunkeld ruled the Kingdom of Scotland. The Scots, in contrast to the Anglo-Saxons and Normans to the south, had too decentralized a system of rule, and so little resources with which to do anything, that they did nothing spectacular, even in response to the Norman invasion. The only preparations they made were to strengthen their forces at the border to England, and to plan a way to regain Caithness, the Hebrides, and the Orkneys from the Kingdom of Norway.

In Eire, the various Irish Duchies (those of Ulster, Leinster, Conacht, and Munster) fought with one another in an endless power struggle for dynastic supremacy. On one side, the Duchy of Leinster (led by Enna Ui Mórdha), along with the Duchy of Ulster (under Dun Sléibe Ua Flaithri), were allied together against the Duchy of Connacht (under Ruaidri O'Connor) and the Duchy of Munster (ruled by Muirdertach O'Brien). Their incessant warfare led to a short-term truce, which then prompted the Duchy of Leinster to pull itself out of the war for control of Eire, and into a war against Maredudd ap Bleddyn, the ruler of Duchy of Gwynedd. The war wasn't territorial in nature; It was more of a "personal" issue for Enna Ui Mórdha, a chance for him to make up for his poor performance against his rivals.

Germany and Northern Italy:

The situation for the Holy Roman Emperor was turbulent during the time period, as always. The Holy Roman Emperor, or Römischer König, Heinrich IV von Franken, tried to do his best to maintain the support of the nobility and that of the Pope, Aselmo di Baggio, or Pope Alexander I. However, the death of Pope Alexander in 1076 led to a very pious, but quiet and unassuming Cardinal, Consecrano of Tuscany, to assume the mantle. Heinrich IV's attempt to undermine Papal authority without the interference of Pope Alexander, led to his virtual dominance over Pope Augustus I (as Consecrano named himself). This control allowed him to consolidate his power by appointing the Bishops that he wanted in the positions that he chose. However, the replacement for Pope Augustus in the Duchy of Toscana, Cardinal Girardino Cotanto, successfully led the Duchy to rebel against Imperial rule.

Retribution was swift, and the political placement of Bishops allowed Heinrich IV to garner the support of his vassals in defeating the rebels in a six-year war from 1077 to 1083. In the end, Heinrich managed to keep the lands of the Duchy from falling into the other Dukes' hands. During this time, the Republic of Venice also went to war against the Empire, taking lands west of Venice and lands in Istria, from the Duchy of Kärntern. Venice successfully managed a negotiated end to hostilities, and instead focused on trying to secure important cities in the Dalmatian Isles through diplomatic channels. The Republics of Genoa and Pisa voluntarily switched from supporting the Emperor to maintaining their independence, depending on the whims of the ruler, although by 1092, they were still within the Empire.

Italians.jpg

Italians under the Duchy of Toscana fighting Italians still allied to Heinrich IV

Also, to garner his favor even more over the Pope, Heinrich invaded and captured the lands belonging to the Pagan Tribes of the Veleti and the Abrodites on the southern edge of the Baltic, putting the pagans to death with mass conversions. This rose his status with Pope Augustus, and Heinrich used it to his advantage even more than before, to counteract the negative effect from fighting one of his former vassals.

The quiet Pope Augustus' Papacy was short, as he died in 1082, during the dying stages of the war against the Duchy of Toscana. His successor, Urbano da Capua, or Pope Urban II, quickly did his best to reverse Heinrich IV's control over the ecclesiastical power wielded by the power-hungry Römischer König. He dictated the end to the war with Toscana, leaving them with only one small bishopric, that of Trent, while the remaining lands went to Heinrich IV. Pope Urban II's papacy was also short, as he died in 1085, to be succeeded by Iséilfur Tostison, a Norwegian Cardinal. Not concerned with German dynastic struggles, Pope Aquilonius I (or Pope Northern, as he came to be named) relaxed Papal control, giving Heinrich IV more power, once again, over Church appointments.

However, the sole authority to dictate Cardinal appointments during this entire time was not entirely within the hands of Heinrich IV, as the true power behind the Pope was actually Godfried d'Ardennes, the Duke of Lower Lorraine. Heinrich made sure to stay on Godfried's good graces, but the end of the war with the Duchy of Toscana netted no benefit for the Duke, and he subsequently began to take actions to have the Emperor excommunicated, or to force him to abdicate the throne. When Pope Aquilonius I died in 1088, he was followed by the Cardinal Theodoric Orda (named Pope Victor III), a German Cardinal from within Godfried's demense. However, against the Duke's wishes, he began to preach for a Crusade to capture the Holy City of Jerusalem, instead of monitoring the affairs of the Holy Roman Emperor as was the Duke's original intent.

Additionally, in 1089, the Pope granted Boleslaw Premyslid the title to King of Bohemia, which subsequently broke free from Heinrich IV, and the wishes of the church, as the Bohemians maintained a distinct national identity unusually separate from the rest of Western Europe. The Kingdom of Bohemia then formed a strong alliance with the Kingdom of Poland, another nation at odds with the Pope, and participated in a short war with Poland against the Kingdom of Hungary.

As of the beginning of 1092, the Holy Roman Empire was blessed with an unusual unity, through the actions of Heinrich IV, despite the loss of Bohemia, Trent, and lands in Verona and Istria to Venice. Now, the stage was set as the jealous and slighted Duke of Lower Lorraine attempted to use his stranglehold on the Papacy to control his rise to the title of Römischer König...

Southern Italy and Western North Africa:

The Normans originally arrived in the Mezzogiorno, or Southern Italy, as mercenaries to expel both the Byzantine presence, and that of the invading Saracens from North Africa. There, they eventually rose to preeminence over the Lombard princes, but Papal-sponsored expeditions to the Duchy of Apulia kept the Normans there from uniting and confronting the Saracens in Sicily, save for the small foothold on Sicily's northeastern tip. Throughout the late 1080's, the Normans continued to conquer the lands, eventually creating the Kingdom of Naples in 1087. Still, the lands were constantly being supplied with North Italian mercenaries paid by Papal sanction, keeping the Normans from consolidating their efforts to expel the Saracens from Sicily.

Normans2.jpg

Norman troops in The Kingdom of Naples

In the far west of Northern Africa, the Kingdom of the al-Murabitids (led by Abu Bakr bin Yusuf bin Taishufin) managed to oust some of the local leadership in Portuguese territory, until they were expelled by the Duchy of Braganza. Their alliance with the Sheikdom of Tangiers (led by Sheik Nuri ibn Ali ibn Hammad), proved fruitless, and they instead began to plan the annexation of the Kingdom of Zenata (under Mu'ansa Banu Khazrun) and the Emirate of Granada, with the future goal of expanding into Southern France. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of the Hamaddids (under al-Nasir ibn Alennas ibn Hammad) kept their homelands without participating in any significant political machinations. The Zirids (led by Tammim ibn al-Muizz ibn Ziri), however, had participated against the Republic of Pisa in its short alliance with the Spanish Kingdoms, rading Italian coastal settlements, and capturing Malta, with the goal of taking Sicily before the Normans could...

Arabs.jpg

Zirids planning to invade Sicily
 

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
Chapter Two: "The East Preceding the First Crusade- 1066 to 1092"

The situation in the East of Europe from 1066 to 1092 was just as hectic as it was in the west, although the religious implications of it were far less drastic. Instead, it was more of a dynastic struggle between the various Russian Princes, which set the stage for a massive war between the Principalities, as well as between the forces of Orthodoxy and Paganism.

Scandinavia:

Swedes.jpg

Scandinavian Soldiers

In 1066, the Norwegians (led by Olaf Haraldsson Yngling) returned home after their last incursion in England failed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. From their isolated fjords they worked to consolidate their power over the independent nobles to the north, and to gain power over the Kingdom of Sweden to the East. Norway, being a mountainous country with little open agricultural land and covered in many forests, was hardly the place of bounty that they had tried to find in the previous few centuries of raiding Europe proper.

To the East of the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden, led by Sven Kolsson Sverkerätten, wanted to consoldiate its power too, working to gain the allegiance of several indpendent nobles to their southern border with the Kingdom of Denmark. By the end of 1071, they, as well as the Kingdom of Norway, had managed to gain support from the Christian nobles in all of the independent realms. Now, only the Lappish and Swedish Pagans at the upper end of the Baltic remained independent.

Norway still also had possession of the Shetlands, the Orkneys, and the Faeroes, as well as the Hebrides and Caithness in Scotland, although the constant demand for the return of these island to the Kingdom of Scotland had yet to turn into anything more than the fledgling Kingdom's futile diplomatic attempts to regain its territories. It seemed that the people on Britain still remembered all too well the fury of the Viking hordes of a bygone age. And the Kingdom of Denmark still retained its southern Swedish lands and various islands at the junction of the Skagerrak and the Baltic.

However, despite all of this tension, nothing drastic took place, as the Scandinavian Kingdoms worked to gain some kind of edge over their more advanced and economically fortunate southern competitors. That would change in 1091, when the desparate nation of Sweden began to mount coastal raids on the Pommeranian towns, eventually traveling further south to attack the Kingdom of Poland. This would turn into a war, but a war less about territorial control, than trying to regain some of the lost glory of the Viking hordes. The Swedes were not prepared for the martial prowess of the Poles, and the war quickly lost steam, although the raids still continued by the beginning of 1092.

1092Scandinavia.jpg

Scandinavia in 1092

Eastern Europe:

In Eastern Europe, little happened of much note in the time preceding the First Crusade, up until the beginning of the "Rurik Expansion" into the Pagan lands of the Baltic Sea. It was marked by main historical events; The Hungarian-Pecheneg War of 1076, The Polish-Hungarian War of 1087, the Kievan Expansion, and the Schism of Vysheslavich.

In the Kingdom of Hungary in 1066, the child king Salamon Ārpád rose to power at age ten, due to the efforts of his father, Andrew I Ārpád, and of his uncle. His health in serious decline at a young age, it took a skilled healer and vast portion of the royal treasury to cure him, and he was finally completely healthy by the age of eighteen. Around the same time, the Pechenegs and Vlachs living Wallachia had begun to raid and press into the Southern Alföld. Minor border skirmishes were common, and finally, in the summer of 1076, King Salamon finally had had enough of it, and sent his nation to war.

The forces of the Hungarians had originally been mainly a force of light cavalry, but the Ārpád Dynasty had began the slow transformation from their original style to a western one, with more emphasis on the heavy cavalry than had been so in the original invasion of the Magyars (the tribes from which the Hungarians descended). They, however, adapted their tactics to specific foes quite well, instead of forming a static formation consisting of three main "Battles" like Western armies. The Hungarians would use their light cavalry and horse arhers in a planned retreat, until the (mainly) heavy cavalry would meet the host and defeat them. In fact, they were more than a match for most western armies, as the psychological effect of the Magyar invasion was still fresh on many Western European's mind.

However, the Pechenegs themselves were no stranger to the use of planned retreats and light cavalry, being nomadic tribes themselves. However, their definition of statecraft came down to being nothing more than occasional raids against their neighbors or short-term alliances. They were culturally similar to the Cumans, having focused themselves on their skill on horseback, and were also a variety of Turkic nomad, like the Seljuks Turks to the south.

The Vlachs, living south of the Carpathian Mountains in the lands north of the Danube, and just south of its mouth into the Black Sea (Dobrogea), were originally Romanised Dacians, Thracians, and Illyrians. They had culturally adopted the ways of the Roman Empire due to its influence in the century previous. However, since the Roman Empire had fallen, and the Byzantine Empire had lost much of its former influence, the Vlachs had to taken to ruling themselves independently.

When the Hungarians moved south in 1076, they used the raids mounted by the Pechenegs as an excuse to conquer the entire region. Without a significant localized government due to the Pecheneg's tribal nature, the regions quickly fell to the Kingdom of Hungary within a few years. The control that they had over the region was not absolute, as the Pechenegs continued to raid against the Hungarians, while they emigrated, en masse, to Cuman territory. There, Sharu-Khan gave his ethnic brethren sanctuary.

It was this sheltering of "Hungarian Royal Subjects" that gave King Salamon reason to invade "Cumania," or the lands belonging to the various Cuman Khans. The Cumans put up fierce resistance, but by 1080, both sides negotiated a truce, as the Cumans had to focus their attention to the Principality of Pronsk to the north. The victory for King Salamon was Pyhrric, as he had lost many men, too many to effectively rule over Southern Wallachia. In a period of revolt following the war, the lands above Dobrogea and the furthest southern parts of Wallachia had declared their independence and remained so until the end of this chapter, in the beginning of 1092.

Meanwhile, the King of Poland, Boleslaw II Piast, had spent his time trying to consolidate his rule, attempting to gain his legitimacy as King in the eyes of various rulers, who had designs against his crown. Not following the idea of his forefathers in splitting the land between his children, he worked to deprive his relatives, rulers of the Duchies of Silesia, Masovia, and Wielkopolska. He engineered the return of many lands to his personal demense, basing himself out of Kraków and increasing the size of Małopolska in the process.

tarnow.jpg

Painting of Polish Knights (contains equipment oversights by the author, who painted the picture two centuries later)

His actions to increase his power were fortunately ignored by Heinrich IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, as he had instead focused on the political placement of his Cardinals within the Empire. This inspired Boleslaw II to work with the Duke of Bohemia, Boleslaw Premyslid, to try and gain his independence from the Emperor. In 1089, when Bohemia did succeed in breaking off and gaining independence, Boleslaw II, the King of Poland succeeded in getting the Kingdom of Bohemia to support a short war against the Kingdom of Hungary, gaining the city and lands around Trencín in the process in the summer of 1090. This would serve to create a great competition between Salamon and both Boleslaw's, eventually setting the stage for another war between the two at a later date.

Meanwhile, the Veliki Kniaz (Grand Duke) of Kiev, Iziaslav Rurikovich, had watched the situation with the Kingdom of Poland very closely. Fortunately, the familial relations between the two crowns (from Boleslaw's mother being sister to Iziaslav) had kept any "bad blood" from spoiling political situations in the region between the two. When the Principality of Pronsk and the Principality of Pereyaslavl began to attack and conquer the surrounding Pagan tribes in the late 1070's, Iziaslav saw that he needed to gain prestige and power among his relatives (rulers of the said Principalities) in order to exercise the authority that he had from being the Veliki Kniaz.

In 1084, the "Kievan Expansion" began, with the Kievan Rus conquering along the Eastern border with the Kingdom of Poland, taking the lands of the tribes of Prussian and Lithuanian Pagans, all the way to the border of the Baltic. By 1086, the Principality of Kiev (and Galich, Podlasia, and Turov) stretched entirely along the Polish border, and along those of Pronsk and Pereyaslavl. Then, the Kniaz' of Samogitia, Iakov Vysheslavich, broke away from Izialsav, in what was known as the "Schism of Vysheslavich." Iakov promised to gain the support of the larger Principalities against Iziaslav, and Iziaslav didn't call Vysheslavich's bluff, as Vysheslavich maintained his rule, one of the few not of the Rurikovich Dynasty.

Russia:

The Kievan Rus, the predecessors to modern Russians, were, in 1066, under the de facto rule of the Veliki Kniaz of Kiev, then Iziaslav. His theoretically subordinate relatives all paid homage to him, but were basically self-sufficient. Unlike many of the nationsof Western Europe, the Rus had made remarkable achievements in the advancement of cultural and political means. While they may have been geographically fragmented, the truth existed that most of the people within the Russian territories were literate, even the children and poor. Also, with the Russkaya Pravda, the written legal system of the Rus Principalities, the oft over-abused death sentence was given no offical mention, instead with crimes being punishable by a series of fines. In a time when urban decay and rampant disease was common, the Rus had wooden paving on some of their roads, and many of the cities had sewer systems.

The introduction of Orthodox Christianity (in 988) had a far-reaching impact, as the Rus had formed strong political connections to Constantinople, with it being the hub of of their river trade as their Black Sea merchants traveled down the Dnieper River to trade with the rest of the world. The Rus, one might say, were the most culturally advanced in all of Europe, maybe even the world. Also, even though they were all competing with one another, the Principalities overall were related by blood to one another, and could count on each other for support in hard times.

At first, the Principality of Novgorod, under Rogneda, was attacked by violent waves of Finn-Ugric Pagans from the north, which were subjugated over the years of 1068 to 1076. Then, the Principality of Pronsk, in 1080, had decided to go to war against the Cumans, as well as many of the neighboring Pagan tribes and the Bolgars, negotiating a truce with the Cumans to continue its efforts against the Bolgars, which were finally defeated by 1084. The Principality of Pronsk stretched all of the way to the Ural mountains. Then, the Principality of Pronsk started war again with the Cumans in 1085, making a beeline from the Southern Urals to its territories on the Sea of Azov. The Cumans were prepared this time, and invaded the heartland of Pronsk, buring the capital city to the ground on June the 9th, 1086. Only after the introduction of the Druzhina of the Principality of Pereyaslavl, would the Cumans and the Rus make peace.

Russians.jpg

Cuman Horseman attacking a Russian Noble

In exchange for a undetermined neutrality of both nations regarding one another, the Principality of Pronsk would gain territory along the Sea of Azov, and both nations would avoid contact with one another, save for river trade. It was a shaky situation at best, as Svyatoslav Rurikovich, the Kniaz of Pronsk and Ryazan, attempted to consolidate his forces for yet another southern push. However, the Muslim subjects of the conquered Bolgar territories began to stir up dissent.

In the west of Russia, the Principality of Polotsk faced terrible raids from Lithuanian Pagans in 1078, prompting the Principality of Pereyaslavl to step in and help out, gaining much the land of Polotsk in the process. By the end of the wars in 1089, Polotsk had been reduced to little more than a shade of its former self. However, the Principality of Pereyaslavl, Suzdal, and Yaroslavl, under Vladimir Rurikovich, had lost control of Moskva, and Rostov-Suzdal to Dmitry Zavidic and Vasilii of Suzdal, respectively, while it was at war (the two were two of three non Rurik rulers in Rus).

Following the success of the other Rus Principalities, Novgorod continued to expand, taking lands as far east as the Urals and as far north as the Kola Peninsula. It was at this stage, that with the twilight of the Rurik Dynasty began to approach, that a web of claims and inheritances threatened to tear apart the Principalities, as they secretly began to form designs for one another's territories.

1092Russia.jpg

Birchbark Picture of Russia in 1092
(with names added over the image for identification)

Balkans & Asia Minor:

In the once-great Byzantine Empire, the year 1067 dawned with the Emperor Constantine X Doukas as the ruler. In 1057, he had supported the abdication of Isaac I Komnenus, but gradually sided with the court bureaucracy against his Emperor's policies. Despite his cry for Isaac's abdication, he was chosen as the successor, being crowned Emperor in 1059. He quickly cut the financial support for the military, creating strong opposition with the military aristocracy, who favored Isaac's strong militaristic stance. This was to be a bad decision, as the Turks under Alp Arslan began invading Eastern Anatolia in 1064, and the Uzes, a Turkic tribe in the Balkans, began raiding the Northern Thracian regions in 1065. Also, the Normans under Robert Guiscard took most of the Apulian Byzantine territories during the first part of his rule, except for a small area surrounding Bari.

When the Seljuks began their strong drive into Asia Minor, from their stronghold in the Middle East, where they had previously overtaken the Abbasid Caliphate, the Byzantine Empire could do little to stop them. Fortunately, when Constantine X died in 1067, his son, Michael VII Doukas, was chosen as his successor. Michael had the foresight to try and secure strong allies against the Turks, and his initial success in securing the Kingdom of Georgia's aid was negated by the near-destruction of that kingdom at the hands of the various Emirates also established in the Caucasus Mountains. The Turks began conquering all that they could see, only stopping after a great Turkish defeat at the Battle of Erzincan on May the 14th, 1071. With his defeat, Sultan Alp Arslan retreated back home to consolidate his forces, instead expending valuable men and resources to conquer territories further east, fighting the Ghaznavids in Baluchistani territories. The influx of Turkish immigrants in Asia Minor could not be stopped however, as the Greek presence in Anatolia began to be supplanted over time.

In the Balkans, the situation was almost as severe, as several of the Bulgarian provinces broke free, fighting the Byzantines in 1076. With the death of Michael VII Doukas that same year, enough political manipulation was mounted to install Alexios I Komnenus as the second of the Komnenus Emperors of Byzantion. He overestimated his ability to secure the Anatolian territories, and instead focused on conquering the Western Slavic territories that claimed their independence.

AlexiosI.jpg

Alexios I Komnenus

Unbeknownst to Alexios I, the Duke of Serbia, wanting to elevate his status to King, had designs for the territories as well. He supported the independence of the Dukes, granting them the use of some of his forces as mercenaries, as well as giving them direct sums of wealth from the royal treasury. Eventually, as the Byzantines began to withdraw, the "mercenaries" lent to the Dukes attacked, in what what known as the "Tih Nevjera", or the "Silent Treachery," in 1078. After they had defeated the Dukes, the forces then moved to take Belgrade, besieging the city from August of 1078 to February of 1079. When word reached Alexios that the Turks had began to invade again, he negotiated a truce, relinquishing his claims on the titles in the area to concentrate his forces against the Turks in Anatolia. Konstantin Bodin Vojislavljevic proclaimed himself King of Serbia in May of 1079.

This time was among the worst for the Byzantines, as Armenia declared its independence and negotiated a peace with the Turks, in exchange for the free passage of troops through the area. However, disgusted at this turn of events, the Armenian Byzantine General, Hetum of Lambron, left the area with the entirety of his forces, traveling to the Principality of Antioch, still loyal to the Emperor Alexios I, where he began to rally as many able-bodied men as he could for the coming war. It was to be a successful endeavor, as enough forces were amassed to stop the Turks from running through the entirety of Anatolia. This was especially evident in the destruction of the Turkish forces in the Siege of Nicaea, where Hetum of Lambron arrived with a contingent of men that successfully defeated and drove off the Turks on March the 28th, 1085.

Earlier in the war, the revitalized Kingdom of Georgia, led by Ketevan Bagratuni, son of the famous Giorgi Bagratuni, had successfully thrown off their Muslim oppressors, and had committed forces to fight the Turks with the Byzantines. They were successful in the narrow confines of the Caucasus, suffering defeats only when they were caught unaware in open land, where the supremacy of the Turkish cavalry over the Georgian infantry was all-too apparent. However, the necessity of the Turks to commit forces against the Byzantines kept them from conquering the Georgians, and by the end of the Georgian involvement, their kingdom stretched from the Black to Caspian Seas.

From their defeat at Nicaea, the Turks were slowly pushed back, until they had only retained the interior of Anatolia. Then, the forces under Kutalmis, the cousin to Alp Arslan, succeeded in turning the war into a stalemate. With the news of a wave of reinforcements coming from Persia, Alexios negotiated a peace agreement with the Turks in 1086, relegating themselves to the interior of Anatolia while the Byzantines kept their coastal territories. Citing his success in keeping the Byzantines from completely reconquering the Turkish conquests, Kutalmis coerced Alp Arslan, who had decided to commit forces to fighting the Gazhnavids in the east, to grant him the titles in the interior of Asia Minor, effectively establishing his independence from his cousin in 1088. In the beginning of 1089, the Sultanate of Rûm was established, and Alp Arlsan died fighting in the east, passing the rule to his son Malik Shah, who took no initial effort to regain his father's cousin's territories.

The Armenian defection was a sore spot with Hetum of Lambron, and Alexios I's inability to continue the fight to reconquer the Turkish conquests (which modern historians believed to be realistically possible), Alexios I was forced to abdicate his thrown in Hetum's famous "March on Constantinople" on April the 3rd of 1089. Hetum I of Lambron was crowned the first Armenian Emperor of Byzantion, and spent the next few years preceding the First Crusade renegotiating the integration of Armenia into the Empire, rebasing his capital just north of Antioch (Although not the financial capital, it basically became a miltary outpost). As 1091 passed into 1092, the Empire of Byzantium had poised itself to retake its lands, under the militaristic guidance of the new Armenian Emperor.

HetumofLambron.jpg

Artist's Rendition of Hetum I of Lambron

Eastern North Africa & the Levant:

Originally, the entirety of the Middle East and North Africa, including most of Iberia and some of Southern France, were part of the Ummayyad Caliphate. However, the Muslims squabbled over rights to succession, and the Caliphate broke apart into its constituent kingdoms. In the vast stretches of the Sahara, nothing more than isolated trading outposts in the coasts or oases could flourish. Therefore, the Sheikdoms and Emirates in the region were of little importance or political power. However, the same was not true of the Fatimid Caliphate, which ruled from its base in Egypt, controlling the Levant up to the Principality of Antioch. The ruler of the Fatimids in 1066, Abū Tamīm Ma'add al-Mustansir bi-llāh, the eigth Fatimid Caliph, was struggling to keep his realm intact in face of possible Turkish aggression. Previously, the Turks had subjugated the Abbasid Caliphate, and al-Mustansir feared the same would happen to him.

He wanted to keep the Caliphate intact, since he had ruled since the time he was seven years old, when he took the in 1036. He even managed to maintain a friendly relationship with Constantine X of Byzantion, who sent him shipments of wheat during a famine which caused severe turmoil amongst the population. He wanted to maintain this relationship with the Byzantines, as having two powerful enemies while his own borders were filled from within with ambitious nobles was not a wise political path to pursue. Fortunately, al-Mustansir was saved by the failure of the Turks to make substantial gains in Anatolia, as Alp Arslan decided to pursue war with the Eastern Roman Empire instead of trying to subjugate the Fatimids, as al-Mustansir feared.

When his son, Aħmad al-Musta'lī, took the throne after al-Mustansir's death in 1085, internal struggles for power, with many of the nobles supporting the Nizari Ismaili brother to al-Musta'lī, Abu Mansur al-Nizar, instead. The struggle to appoint the "correct" Imam to rule over the Ismaili Shia of the Fatimid Caliphate led to the Emirates of al-Quds and Tarābulus (Jerusalem and Tripoli) under Abdul-Aziz Ahmed and Umar Yaseen, respectively, led the two Emirates to declare independence. A short war (1085 to 1087) turned out inconclusive, as the original borders were kept and peace was signed. Internal struggles threatened to tear the country apart, and al-Musta'lī sat back, hoping to weather the storm successfully, especially since it seemed that the whole of the Christian world was taking steps to smash Islamic rule in the Levant.

Persia and Transoxiana:

Seljuks.jpg

The Seljuk Turks

Arguably the most powerful nation in the world in 1066, the Seljuk Turks had come from the Oghuz Turks in the lands northeast of the Caspian Sea, allying themselves with the Persian Samanid Shahs against the Qarakhnids. When the Samanids fell to the Qarakhnids, the Ghaznavids rose to power before esablishing their own independent power base elsewhere. The Seljuks managed to carve an empire out of the Ghaznavid lands and then expanded south. Taking an Abbasid commission, from which the Abbasids would become protectorates of the Seljuks, the Shi'a Buyids were conquered and Baghdad was sacked in 1055.

Eventually, Alp Arslan expanded the realm of his kingdom, starting with raids against the Kingdom of Georgia and the Empire of Byzantium. Progress was great intially, until the Turkish defeat at the hands of Byzantium at the Battle of Erzincan on May the 14th, 1071. With this defeat, Alp Arslan wanted to take back some of his former glory, going to war in the east against the Ghaznavids again, trying to "harshen" his men to fight agains the armies of Byzantion. The war ended with no real victor, and Alp Arslan returned home again, shamed, waiting for the right time to strike against the Empire.

He got his chance in 1079, when the majority of Byzantine forces were tied up fighting against the Serbians in the Balkans. Armenia declared its independence and negotiated peace, allowing free passage to the Turks, much to Alexios I, the Byzantine Emperor's, disgust. The progress was lackluster, and the Turks suffered another horrible defeat when Hetum of Labron arrived at the city of Nicaea, routing the Turkish forces laying siege. The Turks began a hasty retreat, until the cousin of Alp Arslan, Kutalmis, successfully fought the Byzantines to a standstill, winning victories and suffering minor losses. After Alp Arslan successfully managed to raise a wave of reinforcements (which was a calculated risk, and a "bluff"), Alexios I managed to negotiate a truce, giving the Turks the interior of Anatolia in 1086.

The Kwarezmids, disgusted at Arslan's lack of ability to defeat Byzantium, declared their independence, forcing the Seljuks to fight another war. This time, Alp Arslan fought directly in the major battles, eventually dying in personal combat against a Khwarezmid noble, when Alp Arslan (an excellent archer) slipped while trying to stop the man with his bow, taking a wound that killed him four days later, in June of 1089. Right before this, his cousin Kutalmis, defying Alp Arslan's legitimate rule, established himself as the de facto Sultan of Rûm. Receiving the news of his liege's death, he too established his independence, and the new Sultan of Seljuk Turks, Malik Shah, could do nothing to oppose him.

As of the beginning of 1092, the situation in the Middle East looked even more terse than it was before. Dynastic struggles over succession and religious matters threatened to tear the entire region to pieces...

1092MidEast.jpg

Modern Image of the Middle East in 1092
 
Last edited:

EvilSanta

Untrustworthy poo
12 Badges
Dec 18, 2004
3.535
4
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Majesty 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
CrackdToothGrin said:
<reserved for the second half of the above post, which took me from 3:00 AM to 11:00 PM to make, on top of gameplay... :( >

:eek:

Well, the time well spent, atleast on first half.
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
20.020
631
I fully agree. This AAR is astonishing!
 

Murmurandus

Crusader for Fun and Profit
84 Badges
Apr 12, 2002
5.876
1
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria 2
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • March of the Eagles
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
I just love it... :cool:

BTW if Agnès d'Aquitaine is your girlfriend, you should be lucky, if it's someone famous I'm too stupid to notice it... :D
 

CrackdToothGrin

Mercenary Face Builder
35 Badges
Mar 18, 2007
2.547
690
crackdtoothgrin.designbinder.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
No, she isn't my girlfriend, she is some French T-shirt model I found on Google.

I just needed another picture, so I messed around with the photo to get some "painted" effect...

The second half should be done by tonight or tomorrow (around 11:00 PM or such), I just have to go to work or I would have it done by right now.

And to let you know, the Crusades are going to be interesting.

I have to save and reload as another nation about 100 times per 10 years, so it takes a while to get anything done, but at least if I load up as a nation and give them orders, the AI carries it out while I can go to another nation. (When I had the Sultans of Rum break off [with some editing to actually turn them into Rum], I had some Turkish troops heading north... After checking it a few years later, they still were sitting there, fully mobilized :eek: )
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
Have you looked at Gratianus's picture scroll? It reminds me of what you're trying to do. This is going to be a lot of work, but the posts so far are extremely solid.