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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

EtzelHoveri

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Chapter 1: Sigismund Comes to Power


Following the death of the late King Louis I von Anjou, the Hungarian throne went to his eldest daughter Mary, wife of Sigismund von Luxemburg. Mary only recieved Hungary and Croatia as the lands to the north went to his younger daughter Hedwig. And so the Personal Union between Poland and Hungary had come to an end. In 1382 Sigismund became Regent of Hungary under his own wife who sat as the nations Queen. This did not sit well with Sigismund who sought more and more power. Most importantly he sought the throne.


For the next 5 years he schemed and planned until he finally had enough support from the other nobles to dethrone his wife who had recently tried to get an annullment from their marriage. Now as the sole ruler of the country he restrained himself from acting out and ensured the loyalty of his people and his nobles.

Finally in 1399, after 12 long years he finally began seeking more power and so order that the government become a more centralized unit under his guidance. This was resented by many of the nobles. The chief of which was Peter Kinizsi the Governor of Szolnok. Raising an army of 4000 men he prepared to march against his King.

Furious with this man's actions Sigismund quickly called up an army from across the western side of Hungary, who were all loyal to him, and prepared to march east to deal with this man. During this march he did what he could to ensure that no other nobles tried to rise against him and so he allied himself with Transylvania to the south-east and Bavaria to the north-west. This would help to ensure that no nobles followed Kinizsi's lead.

The only other thing he had to worry about was his own relatives who may try to claim his throne while he was in the field. These men and women he sent out across all of Europe from such powers as Lorraine, Burgundy, Pommerania, Scotland, Milan, Bohemia, Austria, Sweden and even such minor nations as Wallachia.

With his throne protected Sigismund left pregnant wife in Pecs and marched east with a force of seven thousand men. Arriving in Szolnok the two forces had a few minor skirmishes but in the end Kinizsi and his men fled west to try and escape to their allies in Croatia. During their pursuit of the rebel army word came by messenger that on the 19th of January 1400 King Sigismund's throne had an heir to inherit it by the name of Ulaszlo Luxemburg.

Spurred on by this marvelous news Sigismund's next three months were spent searching for Kinizsi who was able to keep one step ahead of him. Finally on the 8th of March Kinizsi and his men were surrounded in a small town in Dalmatia. Not wishing to show mercy to these men, Sigismund ordered his army to attack. After a few hours every single last rebel was killed along with many civilians.


With Kinizsi's rebellion quelled, Sigismund returned to Pecs to spend time with his family and meet his son. He no longer feared any of his nobles rising up as he had shown what would happen to them. Even other nations began to respect his power as the two great powers of Italy, Naples and Milan, requested alliances with him.

It was not until March of 1403 that word came to Pecs that a rebel army had struck out against the lands of Hungary again. This time though it was 8000 peasants from the Ruthenia in southern Poland who had been forced from their land.


These men who were only trying to find a place for themselve sent Sigismund into a rage. Quickly assembling his army of ten thousand men he lead them to Carpathia where these peasants had began their attack. He arrived just in time and after a short skirmish the peasants fled from his much larger army and returned to Polish land.

With no other threats to his land Sigismund returned to Pecs and began to build up more power. For the next two years he increased the size of his coffers and his ten thousand man army doubled in size. Then in October of the year 1405 both a great and horrible thing happened. Firstly his cousin, Jan Ernst one of the men he sent away from his court during Kinzsi's rebellion became the new King of Pommerania. The Luxemburg line had began their expansion into more of the other nations. Sadly though on the 26th word came that Ulaszlo had passed away. This death made Sigismund's second son, Karoly, the new heir at the age of three.
 
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Avindian

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Looks interesting -- what are your goals? What version of EU III are you using? It helps a reader to know what to expect. Good work so far!
 

EtzelHoveri

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Chapter 2: 2 Wars and More Power


With the loss of his son Sigismund retired from public view for many days. Nobody except for his wife was able to see him, even his son could not come before him. The one time Karoly did he was struck hard enough to bring forth blood from the boys nose. Word came though the following month which his wife brought to him that brought him out of his isolation. The King of Wallachia had killed his nephew who he had sent to marry the King's eldest niece. Greatly outraged by this King Sigismund I rushed out of his room and ordered that the army prepare to march against Wallachia the moment the weather had cleared up.

This winter was a bad one though and not many people dared to go outside. During his wait for clear weather two envoys arrived, the first was from the minor kingdom of Montenegro to Hungary's south and the other was from the Byzantine Empire. Both of these men told the King that if he should invade Wallachia that they would march against him. At first it appeared that he would see reason and there would be no attack against Wallachia but in April of 1406 he set off with his entire army. In command of 20,000 strong army he quickly put to rout the Wallachia army. Though he had quick success against the Wallachian people it took him many months before the land was under his control.

At last the King of Wallachia was captured and though Sigismund wished to kill the man he knew that the people would then rise up against him again. Instead he sent the man to his dungeons where he resided for two months. It was not until the 21st of December that Mihail I Basarab, King of Wallachia, agreed to become a vassal to the King of Hungary. Shortly after the surender both Montenegro and the Byzantines sent formal appologizes and claimed they would not move against him.

Returning to his palace in Pecs, Sigismund's rage and depression were quenched with this last war. Though the war only lasted a little more then a year he was now King of Hungary and Croatia, Liege of Transylvania and Governor of Wallachia. As time went on it became apparent that King Mihail's surrender was one of the best things for the country as the country soon began to prosper under their new leadership. King Sigismund's titles increased further in the year 1410 when the people of Transylvania deposed their old King, Stibor de Stiboricz, and offered him this man's position. He now ruled most of the northern Balkans.



Now with the provinces of Transylvania under his rule, Sigismund was able to field an army of 25,000 men and another 5,000 from his vassal state of Wallachia. With this new rise in strength he thought it was time to use it to quench the recent power hunger of his neighbor state of Venice. Over the last four years it had been capturing the greek states. 16th of December 1411 Sigismund issed a decleration of war on Venice who convinced their allies Ulm, Naxos and Genoa to come to their aid. Only Milan decided they would come to Hungary's but Sigismund was not worried.

Taking command of 13,000 of his men Sigismund marched towards Venice while the remaining 12,000 along with the Wallachian forces moved on the Venitian controlled Greek states. In just under a year all of Venice's lands except that of Venice itself was under Hungarian rule. However, at the same time the combined forces of Ulm andGenoa were able to capture Milan's lands from them. Worried as to what that would mean if he lost his only ally in this war Sigismund sent a letter to Oszkar Bathory to bring his army from Greece to aid him in his reconquest of Milan.



And so for the next year and a half it was a back and forth battle between himself and the Genoaians for the lands of upper Italy. In the end on the 13th of June 1414 peace was made between Venice and Hungary. Though no land was gained Venice agreed to keep their activities in Greece only.
 

EtzelHoveri

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Chapter 3: Iberian War​

The two recent wars which had consumed Sigismund's time had finally come to an end. But the people and the country had suffered from it. Especially from the war with Venice which had gained them nothing; not land, wealth or prestige. Only a promise that they may not keep. Worried that his country would collapse and go bankrupt Sigismund decreased the size of the military and returned his attention on trade. Among his new trading partners were Aragon, Scotland, and Provence.

As his country slowly rebuilt itself over the years Sigismund slowly began to rebuilding his army to a respectable force of 18,000 which was a full five thousand more men. This recent boost in troops came at just the right moment as a diplomat arrived on the 15th of February 1418 from his most profitable trading partner Aragon. It appeared their neighbor Castille had declared war on them in an attempt to unify the Iberian Peninsula. Deciding to come to his friends aid Sigismund ordered the immediate march towards Aragon's land. This would be a dangerous trip for many reasons though his council pointed out. First, the army would have to march across a thousand miles of land and through many mountains. Second, there would be no troops left behind to protect the nation from rebellion or should one of their neighbors decide to attack them. Lastly, the Castillian army and treasury was far larger then their own at the moment. He was only able to field a meager force of 18,000 men while they had near 50,000 troops.

These facts did not change Sigismund's mind though. He would see his allies protected no matter what. So after a few days of preperation he left Pecs and began the long march west. He took with him 11,000 of his veteran troops while General Oszkar Bathroy would have to wait until the remaining 7,000 men from across the countryside arrived and they could begin their journey as well.


The trip west was not as bad as he thought it would be as he had many friends along the way. Among them were King Gian Galeazzo I Visconti of Milan who finally got to thank him personally for saving his kingdom from the Genoians and King Charles III Pene de la Barde of Provence who after some convincing said he would send additional troops to assist Aragon. These two side tracks gave General Bathory and his force enough time to not only catch up but pass the King's army.

On October 6th General Bathroy's army finally reached the Iberian Peninsula. Holding his position for a little over a week he sent out scouts to learn what the situation was. It appeared that Castille had very little success against the Aragon army as most of their troops were stationed in Africa waging war with Algiers. The only territory they were even besieging was Barcelona with a force of 15,000 men under the Castillian King Ramiro III Tellez-Giron. Sadly though Aragon's army was already decimated and so it would be up to him to fend him off until his King arrived.

Wishing to prove himself General Bathory ordered his men to begin marching towards Barcelona on the 17th of October. This trip took fourteen days before he saw an army more then twice his size marching towards him. Setting up his battle lines Bathory worried if this in fact was the best idea. His men were not battle hardened veterans, they were outnumbered and they had just marched close to a thousand miles to get here. This could turn into a blood bat real quick. It became more obvious that this would be a fierce battle when the Castillian armies cavalry did not slow. Instead these men kept pushing forward towards him.


Giving quick orders to his men the two sides fought for quite some time until finally the enemies cavalry was seen rushing from the field. Taking a quick account of the sun and the enemies 11,000 infantry he realized that the clash between them was actually quite short only an hour if that. It was also obvious that he had won that engagement hands down as over a thousand of his enemy were dead and they had only lost about a hundred. Greatly pleased with himself he was about to ordered an attack against the Castillians when he thought better of it. He was still greatly outnumbered.

So for the next month and a half the two only fought minor skirmishes between them. Until the 19th of December when General Bathory thought it was time to strike the enemy. Already they had killed close to four thousand men and he had only suffered around 1500 losses on his side. As the sun was rising the Castillian forces woke to see that the Hungarian army was marching towards them. In no time at all the remaining 11,000 angry Castillian's came charging at them. After close to an hour of fighting the entire Hungarian force was surrounded by the numerically larger Castillian forces.


They kept fighting though and for every one of them that died they would take three to four of the Castillians with him. As the battle was beginning to wind down and they were slowly breaking apart another force arrived on the field. The King had finally arrived with his army of 11,000 men along with the extra thousand that the King of Provence had given him. Seeing their King arrive with reinforcements the Hungarians returned to the attack. By nightfall the last of the Castillian army was fleeing north towards Pirineo.


At the end of the battle it became apparent that Bathory had won a Decisive victory at the Battle of Barcelona. He had lost only a little more then 3,000 men between himself and the King's forces while King Ramiro III only had 6,000 men left. Wishing to give his General a chance to rest King Sigismund ordered him to move south to begin the siege of southern Castille while he followed in pursuit of King Ramiro III. The next morning the two armies parted ways again and within a week King Ramiro's army was completely wiped out.

From here he moved on to Castilla La Vieja the capital of Castille's lands in hopes of crippling their government. Thinking they would have an easy victory now that the Castillian's had no army on the Iberian Peninsula, King Sigismund was shocked to learn that a force of 14,000 Castillian troops were marching on him after close to a year laying siege to the city.


At the head of this army was King Ramiro III who had fled to Africa to bring back one of his armies that had recently been successful against the Algierian army. The battle for the siege of Castilla La Vieja was going well for King Sigismund who was a far better commander then King Ramiro but in the end the Hungarians had to flee back to Leon when the Castillians were able to destroy all their food. As the Hungarians fled, King Sigismund sent a messenger to get General Bathory to march north to aid them against the Castillians.

On the 6th of January 1420, Oszkar Bathory arrived at Leon where the two Kings faced off against one another. As the Castillians did not see him and his men arrive, he made use of that and struck them from behind. In the ensuing battle King Ramiro and every last one of his soldiers were killed or captured. With the King's death this left the country of Castille under the guidance of King Ramiro's son Alfonso who was only a year old.

Worried that the Castillian nobles would be able to mount a defense against him King Sigismund and General Bathory marched back to Castilla La Vieja and by the 5th of May the city was in their control along with the baby King, the late King's wife and most of the nobles that formed the Regency council. Holding these people hostage King Sigismund stayed in their capital while General Bathory marched north and within a year had captured Galacia and Asturias. As time went on and as he missed being home King Sigismund finally gave them Castillian people a chance to end the war. He would keep the areas of Galacia and Asturias as his own to ensure that they would not move against his ally again as long as the queen would kneel before him and swear they would not attack them again. So on the 2nd of October 1421 the Dowager Queen was brought before King Sigismund as he sat on the Castillian throne and she swore peace between the two countries.


With peace now returned to the Iberian peninsula King Sigismund marched back to Hungary with his force of 12,000 men. General Bathory agreed to stay behind in Galacia to ensure their loyalty and to keep an eye on the Castillians who were scared of him.

Arriving home on the 6th of March 1422 King Sigismund was greeted by a messenger from Wallachia. This man had with him a scroll from the King and a package as well. After quickly reading the scroll he was shocked by what it said. After opening the box he was even more suprised when he saw that inside was the crown of Wallachia. The King had abdicated his throne to King Sigismund.

 
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EtzelHoveri

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Chapter 4: Sigismund's Final Year


With his victory against the much larger, better trained and more well funded Castillian army King Sigismund's forces became well known through out the known world. With this recent rise in fame his cousin the King of Luxembourg and Brandenburg, Jobst I von Luxemburg, requested his aid against the great armies of Burgundy, Brittany, and Bavaria.

So on the 9th of September 1423 Sigismund took commond of the coalition force of Luxembourg, Brandenburg, Trier, and The Palatinate. However, he did not wish to go rushing to war instead he needed to seek out allies. Sadly the only monarch he could convince to join their cause was his friend King Gian Galeazzo I Visconti the King of Milan who still owed him for saving his kingdom from Genoa years before. Finally in the winter of 1424 Sigismund left Pecs and began his march northwest to the only country near him he could attack, Bavaria.

His first task was to attack Oberpfalz in an attempt to break the countries will by destroying their capital like he did against Castille. This however backfired when on 19th of February 1425 an arrow struck the King killing him instantly. Seeing their King fall the Hungarian army quickly lifted the siege and retreated back to Austrian lands. Once the troops were safe from a counterattack a messenger was sent with the King's crown to Pecs to inform Sigismund's second son Karoly that he was the new king. Karoly was crowned King Karoly III von Luxemburg King of Hungary, Croatia, Transylvania, Wallachia and Galacia on the 23 of February 1425. Following his coronation Karoly made his way to his new army to return them to the fight against Bavaria. At the same time he sent his younger brother Bela to learn under General Bathory in Galacia.




Quickly taking Oberpfalz Karoly then moved on to Niederbayern which took a month and a half to take. With half the country now in his control he moved his army against the last two provinces of Schwaben and Munchen. The first fell quickly while by the time they reached Munchen his army was exhausted and instead of forcing his way into the city he waited them out. So on the 1st of February 1426 all of Bavaria fell to King Karoly III.

Returning to Oberpfalz King Karoly convinced King Alois Johann I von Wittelsback to surrender Schwaben and Niederbayern to him. Now Bavaria fell half under his guidance and half under the Bavarian King. With peace now in the his region Karoly returned to Pecs to ensure the loyalty of the nobles who wanted to learn more about him. He also had to figure out something to do with this war he inherited along with the crown. With his time going to be spent in court for the first few years he sent a missive to Galacia to have General Bathory return to take up full command of the army. His brother stayed behind with a force of two thousand men to keep the peace.

It was not until the late winter of 1426 that Bathory arrived and around the same time an envoy from Brittany came seeking peace. With that treaty signed Burgundy sent an envoy the following spring and in the end Karoly agreed to give up Austrias in exchange for a peaceful resolution. Greatly pleased with his cousin's son's efforts the King of Luxembourg and Brandenburg sent a small stippend of gold to Karoly for saving his crown.

As time went on Karoly's fame slowly grew and he slowly gained a stronger foothold within the world. He was becoming known as a successful administrator as his country was seeing the strongest economical success it ever had. His influence grew stronger in the north with his recent alliance with Sweden and Tuscany of northern Italy soon fell under his influence as well. Then in June of 1428 an envoy arrived from the Holy Roman Emperor, Ludwig von Habsburg King of Austria. The Emperor wished to have the province of Schwaben which Karoly was happy to give away as the Bavarian people were being difficult in rule.


A month later another envoy arrived, this one was a man from the north telling him that their allies in Sweden were being attacked by England, Portugal and Urbino. Not sure what to do King Karoly looked to his General Oszkar Bathory who marched forward and told the envoy that he would see their enemies destroyed. Leaving that day with a force of 13,000 men he marched to the lands of Urbino which fell under his control on the 11th of November.

Since it would take nearly a year to reach Portugal's lands since Hungary had no navy to speak of General Bathory sent a package to the King's younger brother on how to win the conflict with Portugal even though he had only two thousand men. When the heir to the throne opened the package all that was inside was a pair of the General's clothing that he had worn during the Iberian War. Chuckling to himself Bela put the clothes on and marched south pretending to be General Bathory. His name still struck fear in the Iberian people and with this disguise Portugal quickly offered peace when they thought that he was marching on him.

So with no allies left England decided at the beginning of 1429 to call off the attack against Sweden. In thanks for their help the King of Sweden decided to make the next King a man of Luxemburg line. Even though King Karoly was left in a difficult place he proved himself quite well. So in only a few years of being King he had the love of the people, the nobles and many of the other nations. Most importantly he had proven himself a very capable monarch and a threat in the years to come.
 

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Chapter 5: The Holy War


With all the support from his nobles King Karoly III decided that this was the best time to build up the size of his armies. From the minor force of 18,000 it had been during the Iberian War to a force of 31,000 men. With this new massive army Karoly thought it was time to return the lands of the Balkans to Christianity as it should be. So on the 20th of June 1429 by the grace of the Pope Honorius V, Hungary called for a Holy War against the Ottoman Empire.


The Great Hungarian Army preparing to march

Prepared for a long campaign King Karoly III planned to set out for the Ottoman controlled land in mid-July but this departure was set back when a messenger arrived at the beginning of the month. Word had come that Francois II Antoine, King of Lorraine, had passed away. This man had left no living heir and in such a weak position they were in need of a leader who could keep their power hungry neighbors of Austria, France, and Burgundy in line. And so they agreed that Karoly III von Luxemburg should become the their new King. So on the 2nd of July 1429 Karoly III became King Karoly I von Luxemburg of Lorraine as well.


With this new land now under his control he had to delay his departure and instead sent General Bathory south towards Bosnia who along with Serbia, Morea, Algiers and Jalayinids all came to the Ottoman's aid. With a force of 13,000 of the 31,000 army he made quick work of the combined forces of Bosnia and Serbia at the Battle of Bosnia. They only numbered at 7,000 strong and by the end of a week every last one of them were dead while he had only lost six hundred men. With no army in all of the Ottoman controlled western lands General Bathory was able to quickly rush across all of Bosnia. And in 73 days the entire region had fallen to his control.


General Bathory and his men rushing across Bosnia

From here he moved on to Serbia where he decided to take his time and progress slower to keep his men fresh when he would have to face the actual Ottoman army. During his slow capture of Serbia, King Karoly finally moved south with the remaining 18,000 soldiers. These men he took and struck the eastern part of the Balkans. Hoping to gain the support of the people there and not wishing to waste troops until it was time to finally face the Ottoman Empire's army he never once pressed his troops into the city but waited until they surrendered on their own free will.

This process took a long time but he believed it was well worth it. At the same time over in Serbia General Bathory had full control of the region by the 9th of July 1430. With these region captured he moved his army into northern Greece but upon his arrival word came that the Ottoman army had finally arrived from across the Sea of Mamara with a force around twenty-five thousand men strong. Sending word to his King who was currently in Bulgaria with his men General Bathory moved to the province of Edirine to cut off the Ottoman army. Even though he was outnumbered the two forces faced off for a few days before King Karoly arrived with the rest of the Hungarian army of 18,000 men. Knowing he was not a warrior King Karoly gave full command of the battle to Oszkar Bathory. As the two armies faced off against one another it stayed relativly peaceful until finally on the 14th of February 1431 Sultan Osmen II Salih passed away. Taking this oppertunity General Bathory ordered the attack against the Ottomans and won a resounding victory forcing the Ottomans back across the sea.


Following this battle the two armies took their time in capturing Edirine to ensure that the Ottoman's would have more difficulty in crossing the Sea and wrecking havic against the Hungarian controlled lands. Finally in late August of that year the city came under their control and the two forces decided to return to what they had been doing the year prior. King Karoly would move north to take Bulgaria and General Bathory would move south towards Greece and Morea.


King Karoly III von Luxemburg informing General Bathory he is moving north


Returning to their previous strategy of letting the cities collapse on themselves it was not until the 10th of June 1433 that all lands on the Balkan peninsula was captured. During this time there were no other great battles only a few minor city garrisons which had to be dealt with. Finally on the 21st of December 1433 the Ottomans and the Hungarians made peace with the surrender of Silistria and Burgas just north of Thrace. Also the Regency council of the Ottomans agreed to allow the Dukes Grgur I Lazarevic of Serbia and Stjepan Ostoja I Kotromanic of Bosnia return to governing themselves and would no longer have any control on those lands.


The great Holy War had come to an end and once more King Karoly had proven himself as one of the great Kings of this age.
 
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EtzelHoveri

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Chapter 6: The Time is Now!!!!​

With such a successful Crusade, King Karoly III von Luxemburg became known throughout the land just as his father had been. He was known not only for being a great administrator but with the assistance of the General Bathory his army was known for its furiosity and skill. Looking to gain the assistance of such a skilled general the King of Scotland on the 18th of January 1434 sent a request in aid in the war against England, Luneburg, Ferrara and Tuscany who was still under King Karoly's control. At first the King only sent Tuscany a request to leave the war but they refused and so King Karoly joined in this war.

Once again instead of marching to war himself he sent his General Oszkar Bathory to bring Tuscany in line for their actions. Once the winter snow had melted Bathory and his army of 13,000 men who had taken part in the Holy War marched towards Italy to bring forth justice. This trip was a difficult one though as it required him to avoid the most direct route since the Venitians were still sour on their most recent defeat at Hungary's hands and refused them access through their lands. It was not until the 1st of August that he and his men arrived in Tuscany. Though when he arrived he was shocked to learn that the Tuscan army was not protecting their city and so it's walls only lasted eight days.

Taking over the city General Bathory sent out scouts to learn what happened to the Tuscan army and it not until the end of September that they learned that the King and his army were in English controlled Abruzzi just south east of him. There the Tuscan army of three thousand men were in command of an additional six thousand English soldiers. Looking for a fight General Bathory left Tuscany with his army hoping that these men would be willing to face him. Arriving in Abruzzi he was pleased to see that they were still there and he quickly prepared his men. Following his campaign against the Ottomans a majority of his men had gained horses and his army was now made up of mostly cavalry troops. These men took up the center of his army while the infantry positioned themselves in reserves and along the flanks though none of them would see any part of this battle. Giving the command the entire bulk of nine thousand strong cavalry charged forth towards the enemy. As they grew closer the center of the enemy lines broke and in one fell sweep the army was routed.

Bathory's men charging​

With the army completely routed the region of Abruzzi were happy to surrender to their new leaders. The very next day a messenger arrived from Ferrara who General Bathory was about to march against next saying that they were withdrawing from the conflict. Pleased with himself General Bathory began the long march to Pecs and his King to see what he should do next. The Hungarians still had no navy and there were no more enemies that he could attack since Scotland and dealt with Luneburg while he had dealt with Italy. Arriving home in December he learned that his services were no longer needed as England had dropped out of the war since they had no allies left standing.

At last Hungary had returned to a time of peace and General Bathory's services were once again no longer in great need. So once the winter snows had melted the King sent his General to Wallachia so he could keep an eye on the Serbians, Bosnians, and the Ottomans. During his time in Italy Bosnia had captured Ragusa and Serbia had pushed east capturing the lands of Bulgaria from their former rulers the Ottomans. Before General Bathory left though word came from Sweden though that Frederik I Gryf the King had passed away. King Frederik was true to his word and following his death Gustav I von Luxemburg and taken the crown. In thanks for helping him get the crown Gustav sent a small ammount of gold and a letter stating that they would be allies from this day until the end of his days.

Shortly after Gustav's letter another arrived by a man King Karoly had seen before. This man was an Imperial envoy of the Holy Roman Emperor. Once again the missive was short but it 'requested' the lands of Niederbayern this time. Still not in a position to question the Emperor, King Karoly agreed to his demands and he no longer had any control of the lands of Bavaria.


The land returned to a thing of peace again until word came from his brother Bela who was still living in Galacia that Castille had issued that they would no longer trade with them. This trade kept the people under his rule in Galacia wealthy and without it the province would soon turn to turmoil as they had no way of making money. There was no army in Galacia and by now they knew that General Bathory was here in the Balkans so he could not use that ruse again. So the only real option was to begin construction of a navy to bring more men to that region. Word soon reached Castille that they were building a navy to send men over to deal with them and so they quickly removed their embargo and trade resumed as it once had. The construction of the Hungarian navy however did not.

Castille trys to flex their muscles.​
Only to whimp out in the end.

Sadly on the 6th of March 1437 sadness struck across the entire land. Everybody from the lowest peasant to the King himself were in mourning when they learned of the death of General Oszkar Bathory. For twenty-six years this man had bleed and fought for his country bringing many other lands to their knees for his King. First in the war of Venitian control of Greece in 1411 he had captured all of the Greek states before assisting King Sigismund in the retaking of Milan. From there he marched across Europe to arrive with only a few thousand men and face off against an army twice his size and win at the Battle of Barcelona in 1418. With this battle won he went and captured southern Castille before returning north to save his King from a Castillian army that was pursuing him. With this great victory he went north and took the lands of Galacia and Asturias.

Following his King's death in 1425 he went on to train the future King before leaving Galacia to return to Hungary to take full command of the army under his new King. Then in 1428 he was able to capture Urbino and win a battle in Portugal without even leaving Hungary. His name alone was enough to force an army to flee. General Bathory's skill was at it's best during the Holy War against the Ottomans. Not only did he bring the lands of Bosnia and Serbia under Hungarian control but he capture Bosnia in only 73 days. With these lands conquered he fought in the great Battle of Edirine where he was outnumbered two to one again but was able to hold off the stronger army with taking minimal cassualties. Once his King arrived with his forces he was able to use them to good use and forced the Ottomans back across the sea.

And then in the last two years he had captured land in Italy and scared another enemy into surrendering before he could even prepare to march against them. This man was truly a colossus and the Defender of Hungary. With his loss it will only be a matter of time before enemies begin to try and retake the lands that he had conquered.

Statue of General Oszkar Bathory before the church he is burried in.​

Though he was saddened to see his friend die King Karoly had to move on. First he promoted Simon Meszaros to Bathory's former position. He had served under him since the Holy War and there were few with so much experience that King Karoly believed he could trust. A few months following Bathory's death word reached Pecs that the peasants had begun to rebel. Fearing that with the General's death the land only had a few years before it fell apart and was attacked the people tried to take what they could.

General Meszaros suggested they should immediately quell the rebellion with force but King Karoly did not want to hurt his people. Instead he tried to bring the people together through the church. This however backfired when he passed the Advancement of Religion Act that prevented his people from reading the Holy Bible. Outraged by this Act 4000 men in Croatia rose up in full rebellion. Again the King tried to reason with these men and the rebellion went on for four months before finally in September General Meszaros confronted the King and told him he was leaving to deal with this problem.

Leaving the capital with the King's own army of 16,000 men, which had been downsized during the recent peace, General Meszaros made his way to Croatia. Upon arriving there he quickly captured all 4000 men who had spoken out against their King and his Act and put each one of them on a stake. So on the 26th of Oct of 1438 4000 men had lossed their lives and were left to the birds of Croatia and a reminder what would happen if any other person tried to defy the King.


This had quelled the rebellion and the people started to only make whispers of actually doing anything about it. Returning to Pecs with the King's army General Meszaros proved himself to be just as loyal as General Bathory and showed that if the King was not willing to act then he would take measures into his own hand. The question though now, is this a good or bad thing for the people of Hungary?
 
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Eber

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I just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying your updates. Keep it up!

General Meszaros seems to be a dangerous man. He might be in the good graces of the King now, but will he stay that way? Interesting.
 

EtzelHoveri

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Thank you. I appreciate the comment. Hopefully I will be able to make the next chapter some time tonight or tomorrow morning.

In regards to General Meszaros you will see alot of him in the next couple chapters.
 

EtzelHoveri

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Chapter 7: Losing Control​

With his General dead and the peasants in revolt King Karoly worries about what he should do. He had been King for 14 years now and it appears he is not as great as his father had been. Though King Sigismund had to deal with a small revolt at the beginning of his reign he still had the guidance of General Bathory to turn to. Worried that his country is soon on the brink of total collapse King Karoly retires to his palace in Pecs.

In July of 1441 word arrived from the north that Jobst I von Luxemburg the King of Luxembourg and Brandenburg had passed away. The new King was Anton I von Luxemburg the late King's eldest son in Luxembourg but the people of Brandenburg decided that it was now time to end the Personal Union with them. Instead they began a new line of King's under the guidance of Joachim I Siegmud von Oldenburg.

With this loss of power under the Luxemburg line, Karoly decided it was now time to do something. He would not let his family name collapse like it was doing. So after a couple of days he declared war on Bosnia and Serbia in an attempt to regain more territory in the Luxemburg name. Both of these countries though had expanded since their release from the Ottomans. Bosnia had captured the land of Ragusa and Serbia had marched east all the way to Thrace taking all of Bulgaria from their former masters.

This war however was not a very successful one at the beginning. Marching into Bosnia with his army of 13,000 men General Meszaros found nobody defending the capital but as the siege went on word came that the Serbian army had pushed into Hungary. Pulling back he went to force the Serbian's out of Hungary only when he had succeeded the Bosnians would push out in a different direction. Back and forth the General marched trying to keep these men out of his country. For nearly two years this is all he did.

Finally The Knights of Rhodes decided they would join the defense of Serbia. However, taking their aid would end up being the downfall for these two countries. Making his way to Bosnia with a force of four thousand men Philibert de Naillac the commander of The Knights took over as the commander of all three forces which met in Bosnia. With a force of 11,000 men he prepared to march out of the city but as he went through the gates and started north he was suddenly ambushed by General Meszaros and his men. This sent the entire army fleeing for their lives and shortly there after the city fell as well. Continuing south General Meszaros captured all of Bosnian land by late September of 1443 and upon his return to Bosnia in November he found Duke Stjepan Ostoja I Kotromanic waiting for him. So in November the Duke surrender unconditionally to the army of Hungary and all of Bosnia was now controlled by King Karoly III.


With this great victory the people of Hungary no longer feared their impending doom. Even though they thought they were going to die it was obvious that General Meszaros was going to do all in his power to protect them just as General Bathory had done. So by the year 1444 there were no more talks of rebellion or revolt in all the Hungarian lands.


Pleased with himself General Meszaros then marched east into the Serbian lands which fell to him in no time at all. However, during his entire campaign through the lands he did not see Philibert de Naillac which he could only assume had returned to Rhodes where he would be safe for the time which greatly enraged the General. He had hoped to have this man bow before him just as he had done already to the Duke of Bosnia. Returning to Serbia, General Meszaros brought the elderly Duke Grgur I Lazarevic before him and told him to surrender to him just as the Bosnian Duke had done.

Duke Grgur though refused saying that Philibert de Naillac would return from across the sea and save him and his people from the General. Outraged by this man's statement he ordered the immediate execution of the Duke but before the orders were carried out a single soldier stepped forward and ordered the men to stand down. Seeing this soldiers defiance he ordered that he join the Duke in being executed but the soldiers did not do as was told. When the General took a better look at the soldier who had defied him he realized it was Vencel Bathory, son of the late General Oszkar Bathory.


Vencel Bathory


The following day with both men still alive General Meszaros collected four thousand of his most loyal soldiers and left for Dalmatia. Caring little for the other nine thousand men, the General and his small force arrived in Dalmatia and headed straight for the port. Here the soldiers quickly captured the Hungarian ships that were built and forced the sailors to transport them to Rhodes.


The Hungarian ships preparing to sail to Rhodes.


Arriving at the island by June of 1444 General Meszaros was shocked to see that Philibert de Naillac had rebuilt his army to four thousand men again. Still angry from all that has happened to him lately he ordered the immediate attack on Rhodes. For two months the General and his men fought tooth and nail across the beaches, through the streets and into the buildings of Rhodes until at last on August 4th, 1444 last keep was taken and Philibert de Naillac was captured. Bringing the man before him he told Philibert to bow to him and surrender his claim over The Knights to him and his King. This Philibert could not accept because of his honor.

With another person not doing as he was told he took his sword and ran the man through killing him instantly. However, General Meszaros did not stop there. Taking a dagger from his belt he began cutting the man's neck until finally it was removed from his body. With Philibert dead Rhodes now fell under Hungary's rule and the General and his men sailed back to the mainland. Upon their arrival they made their way to Serbia and the General learned that Vencel Bathory had taken command of his men while he was away.

Going to the throne room General Meszaros waited on the throne and told his men to bring forth Vencel Bathory and the Duke. Once both men had been summoned the General opened a small basket that sat next to him and pulled the head of Philibert de Naillac from it. Throwing the head down in front of Duke Grgur he was pleased to hear the Duke agree to surrender now that nobody was coming to his aid. With this task done Simon Meszaros ordered the room cleared except for himself and Vencel.

Sitting in the room staring at one another neither one spoke for quite some time. At last General Simon informed him that he was being relieved of duty but first he would return to Pecs and inform the King of what has happened. Doing as he was told Vencel informed the King of everything that happened which both scared the King and pleased him. He now controlled more land then any other King in the entire land. This additional land also made him become known as 'The King of Eight'. He was now King of Hungary, Croatia, Wallachia, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Serbia, Lorraine, and the island of Rhodes.

Wishing to try to unite his diverse kingdom he brought forth metal smiths from each part of his kingdom and the master smith of Pecs. Giving to this man the crowns of Hungary, Wallachia, Serbia, Bosnia, Transylvania and Lorraine the man melted them down and gave a small portion to each of the seven other kingdoms metal smiths. These men each made a cross with their kingdoms name on it from the metal while the master smith crafted a crown and an additional cross with the name of Hungary on it. Taking all of these crosses he attached them to the crown and then there was a new crown of Hungary. With this new crown made King Karoly was pleased to wear it and though the crosses bothered him it reminded him that these lands rested on his shoulders.


King Karoly's new crown of Hungary.


As word spread of this new crown and the reason it was made more and more people grew to respect King Karoly. At the same time his influence spread across more land including Montenegro to his south and the regions of Ferrara, Mantua and Modena of northern Italy. However, he still had one huge problem to deal with, General Meszaros. The only thing he could think of was to send him away and so in July of 1445 he sent the General to Galacia with his 13,000 men. He then ordered Vencel Bathory to return to court where he would act as his aide for the coming years.


The lands of Hungary in the year 1445.
 

impspy

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Long time lurker first time poster ;)

Excellent AAR! Been enjoying this for quite a while.
 

Tallfellow

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Will be following, i find Hungary fairly hard to play :) But that's just me.
 

EtzelHoveri

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Dec 16, 2010
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Chapter 8: A Knife in the Dark

At last Hungary and the Luxemburg's have returned to a state of power following the recent rebellion and the collapse of the Luxembourg/Brandenburg union. King Karoly III has recieved the title of the King of the Eight, General Meszaros has been banished to Galacia following his killing of Philibert de Naillac of Rhodes, and Vencel Bathory the son of the great General Oszkar Bathory has taken up a position as personal aide to the King himself. Overall things look to be going up for the Hungarian people. This relative peace though of course is soon to come to an end. The problems would be caused once more by General Meszaros though this time it wasn't only him as he was assisted by the King's own brother Bela of Galacia.

During his last two years in Galacia the two quickly became fast friends for they were both power hungry individuals. With General Meszaros now in Galacia as well with his army of 13,000 men the two could finally do something about it. So for months they began to fund small revolts throughout the northern portion of Castille. None of these were really that successful but what they did accomplish though was that it got the people used to the idea that the Castillian crown was not right for them. Growing furious with these revolts the Castillian King Carlos I Tellez-Girron issued a mandate to King Karoly to control his people or he would be forced to destroy Galacia.

Most times King Karoly would be furious with these actions and would do something about it but Vencel Bathory convinced the King to instead declare war on Castille. There were two possible outcomes of this conflict. Either the Castillians would kill Bela and General Meszaros or those two would bring Castille to their knees gaining more land for him. It was a no lose situation and so the King agreed and on the 4th of November 1447 he a formal decleration of war was made against Castille. Word then came that the nations of Bohemia and Bavaria had come to their aid which he had not thought of. This war would effect the Hungarian people.

Preparing his 20,000 men to march into Bohemia once again Vencel stepped forward and made a suggestion to the King. If he would give the army to him he could march on Bavaria while the two King tried to come to some kind of arrangement. If this should fail then he could take the army and attack Bohemia from the rear while he called on the local forces to hold off the depleted Bohemian army, following their losing war against the Polish and Austrians the year before. Agreeing to Vencel's suggestion the King went to Bohemia where he met with the King who was happy to agree to fall out of this war. He had not wished to get involved in the conflict but his honor requried him to agree to King Carlos request. Staying in Bohemia for a few months the King's spent time together so they could learn more about their neighbors. At last in Summer of the following year King Karoly returned to Pecs where when he arrived he was greeted by a messenger who informed him that Vencel Bathory had been successful in his campaign. The Bavarian King will now bend knee to him and the nation of Bavaria was his vassal.

Vencel Bathory proves to be his father's equal.​

At this time in Iberia the war was going quite well. Before General Meszaros could even march out of Galacia word spread of the coming war and the rest of Iberia joined in the conflict. Aragon began it's attack from the east and Portugal moved against them in the south. General Meszaros at last began the campaign in the north and had quickly taken Cantabria while Bela stayed behind in Galacia ensuring the local population, which was mostly Castillian did not try to rejoin their former masters. Following this victory he moved on into Leon which fell easily to his had as well. Aragon in the east had captured a large portion of the land but the Portugal army had been completely destroyed at this time. This 12,000 strong Castillian army then moved north towards Leon in an attempt to reclaim their lost lands before they would move west to take Portugal.

This army was made up of the finest cavalry in all of Iberia and numbered nearly eight thousand a full two-thirds of the enemy forces. At their lead was General Baltosar Galvez, the King's Master of Horse. This though did not bother the General who quickly repaired the cities defenses. So long as the city held then they would not have anything to fear from any cavalry force in the world. At last on the 16th of April of 1449 the Castillian army arrived and the Battle of Leon began. The battle was not much of one at first as the cities walls held for many days all the while the Hungarian archers reigned down death upon the enemy infantry who were foolish enough to get to close to the castle walls.


The ongoing seige of Leon.

By June a portion of the southern wall had collapsed but General Meszaros quickly set up a line holding this area with his spearmen. General Galvez learned when he tried to exploit this opening that the broken rocks from the walls and the Hungarian spearmen were not things that he could overcome very easily. In the first charge alone a full three thousand of his cavalrymen were killed. So night by night the Castillian General would send his peasants out towards the castle and they would remove as many of the rocks they could.

Until at last the path was mostly clear of debris at mid-July. In just a few more days they would be able to charge in and crush the Hungarians. At last the coming day arrived on the 26th of July 1449 and the order was issued just before dawn. Rushing across the field the Castillian army had no difficulty at all getting past the wall as there was nobody there. The entire place was completely abandoned it was then that he saw a single loan figure standing atop one of the walls with a burning arrow. With the smallest of smiles General Meszaros fired the arrow in front of Galvez setting the entire area into a roaring fire. The day before he had his men soak the ground with oil when one of his spies in the enemy camp brought him the information of the coming attack. As the fire burned it quickly engulfed a major portion of the army while the few who were lucky to be outside the walls were able to get away. In the end the cassualties on the Hungarian side was only a little less then five thousand men where as the Castillians were only able to get away with two thousand of their men. Half of these men were the last of the Castillian cavalry.


General Meszaros destroys the Castillian army at the Battle of Leon.


With this victory General Meszaros decided it was now time to take relax and take his time. For nearly a year he laid siege to Salamanca before it too fell to him. Before he could move further south though a letter arrived from Bela wishing for him to come to Galacia as he had need of his services. Not wishing to lose the land he had gained he gave King Carlos the option of surrendering it to Hungary which he was happy to do as he was having alot of trouble with keeping Aragon from moving south passed Toledo.

Quite shocked that General Meszaros chose to end the war after only three years King Karoly hoped that the man was finally finding restraint and his lust for war was coming to and end. The man was a fine General which was proven at the Battle of Leon but he was to reckless for his taste. He was certain he would be needed in the days to come however and he truly hoped that he would hear nothing from him for some time.

It was almost as he was getting exactly what he wanted. For four years the Hungarian controlled lands in Iberia had became peaceful and there were no conflicts occuring in that region. People even began to speak of how grateful they were to be under the guidance of Bela and General Meszaros. So in January of 1455 when a letter from General Meszaros arrived requesting that his banishment be lifted the King was happy to do so. By the end of the month Simon Meszaros was returned to Pecs and was given a heroes welcome. The King himself greeted him outside the castle gates. After many hours of festivities General Meszaros requested a private audience with the King to speak to him of his future in Hungary. This Vencel Bathory begged the King not to do but he discarded the man's worries and brought the General into his chambers.

Waiting for a few moments the General sheepishly looked around and the King believed he was worried that he was still mad at him. It turned out he was wrong though. He was not being shy but rather he was making sure nobody was around. Pulling a spear from the wall the General prepared to stab his King but before he could a scream was heard across the room. Rushing towards King Karoly was his wife who stood next to her husband but this did not slow the General who first thrust the sword through his King's heart and then did the same to the Queen.


The assassination of King Karoly III von Luxemburg.


With both of these two dead the General slipped out of the castle and made his way east to Burgas where he joined up with his army of 13,000 men who had sailed from Iberia on the navy that Bela had been building for quite some time. With an army now under his command he made his way back to Pecs which closed the gates to him. This he had expected and so a single rider made his way forth under a white flag. After a short talk between him and the gate's guards General Vencel Bathory was seen atop the walls and then the gates were open. Returning to the army the man smiled to General Meszaros and he patted him on the shoulder. His plan had worked and the man who had went before the city gates was now King of Hungary.

On the 31st of January 1455 Bela was crowned Bela V von Luxemburg, King of the Eight. His first act as King was to remove Vencel Bathory from his position and placed General Simon Meszaros as Guardian of Hungary. Sadly though he had to name Andras von Luxemburg, Karoly's eldest son the heir to the throne since he had no children himself. However, the moment he had a single child he would see Andras dead as well and name his own child the heir. With that done Bela returned across the sea to Cantabria which he made his new capital. A new King was crowned and only time will tell if this is the doom that King Karoly III kept believing was coming to the Hungarian people.

The Tyrannical reign of Bela V begins.​
 
Last edited:

Johhog

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Ha, ha, fighting Hungarians. How cute! :rofl:

Says the swede. :(
It's just hilarious that Cornwall is free from England. Keep the updates coming!