- Oct 16, 2009
House of Ivy
An Ottoman Narrative AAR for Europa Universalis IV
So, I'm going to write a narrative AAR as the Ottoman Empire. Expect mostly words, with a few screens here and there. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I like writing stuff so I'm doing this. And I'll probably be making loads of mistakes, as this will be my 1st game, so hopefully the narrative will be a little less victory-after-victory, with plenty of lost battles and wars. I'll also be re-cycling several characters from my other, abandoned-or-on-indefinite-hold AARs (beginning in the prologue).
Hopefully I'll actually finish this one, unlike some of my previous attempts. Expect a proper update on Wednesday.
Book One: Romans and Emperors (Sultan Mehmed II Fatih, reigned 1444-?, lived 1432-?, chronicling 1444-1452)
Prologue: Entry into Rome (below, The Whisperer)
The Fall of Albania (Cobalt).
The Glittering Ruin (The Whisperer)
The Morea (War)
The Fall of Constantinople, Part One (Cobalt)
The Fall of Constantinople, Part Two (Ivy)
The Fall of Constantinople, Part Three (The Whisperer)
The Fall of Constantinople, Part Four (Ivy)
The Fall of Constantinople, Aftermath (War)
The House of Ivy Creepers (Cobalt)
The First Rebellion of Akropolites (The Whisperer)
One Starlit Night in November (Ivy)
Laughter of Ivy, Part One (The Whisperer)
Laughter of Ivy, Part Two (Ivy)
An Interlude of Knives (Young Abbas)
Laughter of Ivy, Part Three (War)
The Disaster at Patras (Cobalt)
The Court of the Zealot-King (Young Abbas)
The City Slumbers (Ivy)
The City Roars (Ivy)
The Fire and Fury (The Whisperer)
Epilogue: The Last Cinders (War)
Book Two: The Weeping Waves (Sultan Mehmed II Fatih, reigned 1444-?, lived 1432-?, chronicling 1452-?)(Coming Soon)
Prologue: Marmara (Ivy)
Book One: Romans and Emperors.
Prologue: Entry into Rome (from the Chronicle of the Whisperer).
"I only ever tried to do what was right. Can you say the same?"- last words of Isra El-Amin, called Ivy.
Constantinople glittered in the sunlight. Even from a distance, and even after hundreds of years of neglect at the hands of the Romans, there was still an immensity, a broken but living glory about her. Here was where the Occident, with all its honour and fury, and the Orient, with its beauty and reflection, mixed and mingled. Here was where two hated rivals came together, in this one singular checkpoint, with the Church of Holy Wisdom towering above it all.
How could one not be intoxicated by it, coming as Ivy did from a land of scorching sands? She had seen many cities, but all of them were inferior copies. Paris was just a mush of poor dwellings in service of the few rich, safe in their stone halls. London was nothing but a village on a river, with pretensions of grandeur. Even sandy Cairo was full of disease and ruin. No, Constantinople disdained these lesser vessels of human interaction. Constantinople had attained greatness.
I remember, across the years, that Ivy took the water-skin out of the pouch on her waist, and drank deeply. She’d been conserving it, taking as little as possible for weeks now. Clean water was not exactly common in Europe; weak beer was the usual drink of choice. But we knew of many springs; it was fairly compulsory on our travels.
Behind her rode Cobalt. He was a strange, thin youth, with piercing black hair and a permanent look of melancholy on his face. Hailing as he did from Poland, and she from Egypt, the three of us had to communicate in Latin, being the only common tongue we all held. The mules we sat upon snorted and waved their tails, plodding along into the half-light; we were so close to our destination that we had ridden all night.
The roads were not safe for travellers at this time. The news was buzzing throughout the Turkish empire; the Crusaders, riding to the relief of this city, had been destroyed. The last effort to drive the Ottoman state out of Europe had failed. Islam had its foothold, and it would not be letting go quickly.
It was a curious fact that the now-increased threat of conquest of her beloved city did not dishearten my beloved Ivy. On the contrast, she was elated; she saw a vision of the future. Rome was dying; it could not be saved. She had an attachment to that ancient state, which her ignorant countrymen saw as nothing more than some dying Greek city-state with Imperial pretensions; she alone seemed to recognise that it had been, it was so much more. It was the last bastion of that vast, all-powerful empire which had been the cradle of the West.
But it was still dying. That much had to be accepted. And so, Ivy and Cobalt and I rode to the last bastion of Rome, there to watch it meet its fate. She had met Mehmet; she knew what was in his head. She knew of his plans for the City. She had encouraged him. “Take it. Take it and forge it anew. The Romans have been bloodied and shot. Put them out of their misery, and make it the most glorious metropolis in the world! Raise it up to the city of Justinian and Basil, and make it the centre of the world once more!”
She’d had to soften her words after that speech. It had made the young Sultan irate. She made some mention of his infidel faith, and all was well again. She was ready to see it change hands. It was time for a new City, a City of God and man, a city to rule to world.
And so it was that the corn-blonde maiden and her dark-haired friend rode to Constantinople, there to accomplish many great things; with my help, of course. Ah, yes, I seem to have forgotten myself somewhat; I have a habit of doing that when talking about my sweet Ivy. I was there, too, riding beside them, also on a mule; but I was a strange beast. I had lived in Samarkand for a time, and bearing great scars given to me by Ulugh Beg himself, my face was wrapped in black bandages. My throat was branded with a deep scar, which rendered my voice hoarse and faint.
I was born in the farthest East, upon the vast and barren Steppes, where I was raised to use a bow and ride a horse; but combat was never my forte. I was always more of a scholar, working in the libraries and treasuries of the Khans, Shahs and Sultans of the world. I have many names, but you, gentle reader, may call me Whisperer, for that is how most of the world remembers me; a man of secrets and lies. And even as I sit here, an old man, imprisoned and defeated at last in this high tower of Isfahan, I will recall the adventures of my youth, when I left the bitter East and all my glories to travel with my friends to Constantinople, at the tender age of thirty-five. Ivy, Cobalt and the Whisperer; how we three would change the face of the world, and help create that new City which Ivy dreamt of so desperately, that Empire of Constantinople which would spread from sea to shining sea…