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Machiavellian

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Onward, to war, to... something approximating glory that is more realistic given the past fortunes of this dynasty.
 

Held der Arbeit

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A series of murders, eh?

What's usually nothing but the funny backstabbing-game of random courtiers might very well hurt you - seeing as your court consists of what, half a dozen people?
And you can't really spare the handful of them that's not wholly incompetent
 

Philo32b

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Ooohh...dramatic foreshadowing...

...and an epic reconquest of Gondar?

Onward, to war, to... something approximating glory that is more realistic given the past fortunes of this dynasty.

An epic reconquest of Gondar and onward to glory... Sennarian style. Sennarians don't expect the outcomes to match what is planned or even, really, what is plausible. Rather they expect the outcome to be what is bad.

A series of murders, eh?

What's usually nothing but the funny backstabbing-game of random courtiers might very well hurt you - seeing as your court consists of what, half a dozen people?
And you can't really spare the handful of them that's not wholly incompetent

Yes, it will get bad. :eek:
 

Philo32b

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Chapter 22

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Harelip? Harelip?! Well, what about "Attraction to Baboon Scar -200"?

There are two courtiers that hate me the most.

One is Ioulia Kantakouzenos, the Spymaster’s daughter. She has turned Monophysite and hates me for being a heretic, but she has many other reasons, too. Interestingly, she was maimed only a few years ago by a pack of more than 50 Gelada Baboons. I don’t know why they were attacking her, though, as they eat mainly fruits and berries. I could make Ioulia like me a little better by fulfilling her dream of finding love, but frankly I’ve completely gotten used to people hating me. It would probably be disconcerting if someone actually did like me. So she can stay single.


cced592ad6e1a5ca11ca8ed8f7bd0633cfdeb5b672d74539444669c05eb0f6ef6g.jpg

The Gelada Baboons are usually peaceful, though they do have very sharp teeth.



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The other courtier that hates me is Desta Kukur. Nobody knows where she came from. It’s like she crawled out from underneath one of these dry, ugly Sennar rocks. We don’t know who her parents are or who even allowed her into my court. We’re not picky, but come on! Anyway, she should be a little grateful to her liege on her being allowed to stay.



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I am going to have those four soldiers that called in sick murdered.

My siege in the war against Caliph Abu Mansur al-Nizar would be going well… if I had enough men to actually carry it out. Unfortunately, the enemy outnumbers us and that makes it impossible to invest the castle. Instead my men look for smallish infidel armies they can defeat to show Sennarian prowess in battle. I begin writing my declaration of surrender, just to have it handy when the time comes.



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The infidels had started sieging Sennar, so that was where we met them. Even I am present at the battle myself… from the safety of the castle walls, of course. My men win the first battle of my reign! Looks like fighting with 3:1 odds against an uncommanded army is the missing strategy to my success.



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Thousands of infidels are heading towards Sennar, so I quickly surrender. I’m starting to get good at losing wars. All in all I’m satisfied—it was a pretty good Sennarian war.



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Peace again. My lost Holy War slightly reduces the authority of the Orthodox Church. Who would have thought that little Sennar could affect, however small, the mighty Orthodox realms all the way up to Russia? The Head of the Orthodox Church is probably wishing I’d convert to heresy again.



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For some time now I’ve been getting occasional strange dreams with this individual in them. I don’t know what it means.
 
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InnocentIII

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Bah, should have let the infidels take attrition for a while. Why should they be the only ones to avoid suffering in Sennar?

Fun AAR. May your suffering not end soon!
 

Philo32b

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I am not sure if her liege has anything to say in the matter...

Good point. Tesfaye's impiety being what it is, he actually cannot (unjustly) imprison anyone, assassinate, or banish. Unless she starts a plot, he's stuck with her.

Bah, should have let the infidels take attrition for a while. Why should they be the only ones to avoid suffering in Sennar?

Fun AAR. May your suffering not end soon!

Thanks! Maybe some of the Sennarian bad luck would rub off on them, too.

xaxaxa! I think poor Tesfaye really needs a break! (lovings this AAR by the way, congrats!

Thank you! Yes, in his position, everything would need to go right to make a good comeback. And of course, we know very few things will go right for Tesfaye.
 

Philo32b

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Chapter 23

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My mother, Unia, dies at 62, a Monophysite to the last. She was getting a little older, but she was not ill, so I am a bit shocked. But I suppose any son would be taken aback at the death of a parent.



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Who are the 80 idiots who actually voted for this?

Time is running out on the possibility to grow through force of arms. “The Drunkard” is trying to install Absolute Monarchy, which would squash my ability to make any kind of war. But I’ve got to be realistic. If I can’t make use of the current opportunity for war to work, I will need to focus on other strategies. So I take great pains to pick a good target for my next Holy War, which could very well be my last.

I won’t go into too many details. I lost.



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Salerno, in middle Italy, looked nice as a target. Byzantium is already attacking the infidels in the duchy of Calabria, so that is probably distracting other infidels that could come to the aid of Africa. Salerno is owned by the Sultan al-Muizz II of Africa. That’s an impressive title, but owing to all sorts of battles and misfortunes, he can only call out 471 men to protect himself with his levees. I could probably take that by myself if I had to, but of course my ally will help me.



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We don’t have boats. The army will have to walk all the way to Salermo. That seems a bit foolish, but all the non-foolish options are not available to me. I order my men to move out, knowing that they will be away from Sennar and their homes for months, perhaps years. I hope not too many desert when they see how bad off Sennar really is compared to most everywhere else.



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Sometimes, even when you realize your marshal is craven, you need to listen to him and let him do his extensive preparation. What did I miss?



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This guy has friends. Lots of friends. Emir Hine I “the Unready” of Cyrenaica jumps at the chance, despite his name, to aid at once a fellow infidel.

Then another infidel joins in. And another.

Well, they still are no match for my in-law the Doux. I will be passing right by his demense, actually, and it will be the perfect opportunity to link up and provide a unified front to our enemies.



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As my army of 557 men sets out, my liege draws one man from Sennar to aid in his wars. I hope that one guy doesn’t get knifed outside a cathouse in Cairo on his way to Byzantium, or “the Drunkard” will think we failed our vassal obligations to provide a levee.

After several months, my men takes reach Byzantium and Doux Iosephos’ counties. I put out the call to my ally to help me take the Byzantium empire to Italy.



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What? Is he still sore over that last war that wiped out all his armies? But I need those levees!

And to make matters worse—as if that were necessary—more infidels have shown up.



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Five on one, guys? Really, now, is that fair? How about just me and the little guy.

There is no way another Julius Caesar would be able to take Italy back from the infidels with this kind of odds, let alone a barely competent general with too much of an indulgence in tej. Fortunately although they received a declaration of war from me, they do not seem to know where Sennar actually is. I order my men to turn around and come home before the infidels can figure out where we live. I guess there are some advantages to living next to nowhere.

Obviously war is not quite the solution to bring back the glory of the Zagwe Dynasty that I had hoped. It is time to set down the sword and try other methods. Our best chance now is in state diplomacy. However heretic and foreign Sennar really is to Byzantine nobles, as the count I am the reassuringly Greek Orthodox face of Sennar, and so I represent the best chance we have of forging further alliances, winning favor from the Basileus, and influencing Byzantine politics for our benefit. It is with my comfortingly familiar religion and culture that Byzantine nobles will be moved and I will win land for us when the sword did not.

Entertaining thoughts such as these, I see a crowd of men and woman by the road listening to some kind of orator. Someone shy like me is often fascinated by the ability of others to captivate through speech, so I stop and listen. And then I am hooked…


00030627313fb388633bdae6f471bb55b80f6320f5e7eb8fb87a04f9f4a7f9c86g.jpg

Can I have my 500 piety back, at least?
 
Last edited:

Holy.Death

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I see two posibilities:

Number one - the Emperor will want you to convert back to the Orthodox faith, making you look indecisive and angering the Monophysite God yet again.

Number two - the Emperor will strip you of your title (before throwing you into a cell obviously) and it'll be the End of Things.
 

Nikephorus16

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Noooo! Monophysite again? That's a pretty big hit to your relations in the empire. Who are you thinking about marrying off?
 

thekinguter

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Try to inherit some random strip of land in Anatolia and build up for an eventual reconquest of Gonder
 

unmerged(264270)

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Monophysite again... jesus... Even if you switch back to Orthodox, you'll probably just get excommunicated because of your abysmal piety. Really, the only option is to get an orthodox chaplain who hates you, who will try to spite you by converting your people to Orthodoxy (including yourself), which will, ironically, be what is best for you in the long run.

You could try the "have as many offspring with your family name as possible; (matrilineally) marry them off to the brothers/sisters of county/duchy heirs; hope that one of them ends up inheriting a title through the death of an in-law; switch to Elective and cherry pick the best one to make your heir" approach... but... Can counts even use elective succession?
 

Philo32b

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I see two posibilities:

Number one - the Emperor will want you to convert back to the Orthodox faith, making you look indecisive and angering the Monophysite God yet again.

Number two - the Emperor will strip you of your title (before throwing you into a cell obviously) and it'll be the End of Things.

Yikes, I hadn't even thought that he might revoke Tesfaye's title. That would be pretty despicable, given that Tesfaye voluntarily brought the title to him. But they call him "the Drunkard", not "the Just". :)

Noooo! Monophysite again? That's a pretty big hit to your relations in the empire. Who are you thinking about marrying off?

Unfortunately, at the moment Tesfaye is tapped out of near relations to marry off. I think his wife is ill and could pass away, but Tesfaye himself is not considered an ideal match, by Byzantine standards... or by standards anywhere else, I fear.

Try to inherit some random strip of land in Anatolia and build up for an eventual reconquest of Gonder

That would indeed be a good region in which to get some land. Lots of support from Byzantium, and not too far from the ancestral homeland.

Well let's hope that your son doesnt convert and that the father die soon .Great aar ,the end score will be epic!

Thanks!

You're right from a diplomatic standpoint. It is sad that the best thing for Tesfaye's dynasty is for him to fall over dead at once.

Monophysite again... jesus... Even if you switch back to Orthodox, you'll probably just get excommunicated because of your abysmal piety. Really, the only option is to get an orthodox chaplain who hates you, who will try to spite you by converting your people to Orthodoxy (including yourself), which will, ironically, be what is best for you in the long run.

You could try the "have as many offspring with your family name as possible; (matrilineally) marry them off to the brothers/sisters of county/duchy heirs; hope that one of them ends up inheriting a title through the death of an in-law; switch to Elective and cherry pick the best one to make your heir" approach... but... Can counts even use elective succession?

Good advice! And I don't know about the succession, especially since he is a vassal to an empire--are Sennar's succession laws dictated by the Empire of Byzantium? I haven't played many games in which I am a vassal, so I don't know.

I was really planning on offering some reassurance but..

Dear God...you're screwed

Yes, the Monophysite God must want to make Tesfaye do penance for his impiety.
 

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Chapter 24

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My council still doesn’t like me, but most of them now tolerate me. This is an amazing turn of events. I have become so habituated to the sight of dull, burning eyes of those who hate me around the council table that the change unnerves me. Could this be a sign they are plotting something lethal? I resolve to push past my shyness and investigate with each of them.

I discover that it was my announcement that I am once again a Monophysite that has won the non-hatred of several of my councilors. In secret, Marshal Nikephorus, Spymaster Anastasios, and Chancellor Nikodemos had all converted to Monophysitism, and they were now feeling much more of a kinship with me. Once I get used to it, I find I like having some people not hate me. It’s refreshing.

Gebereal still hates me because I’m Greek and for my many vices. The always quiet Stewart Anatolios is a zealous Orthodox. He is now horrified that he is the only non-Monophysite in the council and must feel that he is living out a nightmare. He burns in hatred for me.

Among my family, my wife also tolerates me better. But my son—zealous and Orthodox like the Steward—hates me now with every ounce of his being.


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My half-brother, Yemrehana, wants to become chaplain. I had put him off for a while, hoping that he would forget about it, but he comes back to me again asking for the position. I don’t like confrontation and firing Gebereal would be awkward. But certainly there is no love lost between Gebereal and myself, and he’s been very difficult to work with in the past. I tell Yemrehana that he can have the position, but he must tell Gebereal himself that he’s fired. This feels a bit low, but Gebereal hates me anyways. Yemrehana doesn’t seem to mind.



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Oh my One-Natured God! Is that a… friendly face at the council table? Yemrehana listens carefully to me, he nods and makes approving noises when I talk, he smiles at me. Thankfully from the others I had already previously adjusted to the idea of not being hated, for this obvious display of… liking… would have probably caused me to flee from the room in a panic.



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Encouraged by his rise in power (although he should not get too excited, this is Sennar we’re talking about), Yemrehana now wants to get married. I am eager to help him do anything he wants—he is my new best friend! I hastily make the arrangements for some Russian woman to be his wife. Nothing too shabby for my best friend!



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Yes, in addition to my other vices, I am also incompetent.

Wait! My friend is… leaving me? I guess I should not have been so hasty in setting up that marriage—I didn’t realize it was to be a matrileanial marriage.



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Fortunately there is another person as qualified as my half-brother for the now-vacant chaplain position, so I do not have to go crawling back to Gebereal. Eremias Ambassel, brother to Abrihet, the woman who the rebels murdered, agrees to become my new chaplain. And it turns out that he likes me just as much as my half-brother did. OK, he’s my new best friend. Could it be that things are starting to look up? That on Fortune’s Wheel, dusty Sennar has reach the bottom and is now starting to rise towards ascendency? Time will only tell, but…


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At only 38 years of age and in perfect health, my on-again, off-again trusted advisor—the man who saved me from certain death at the hands of rebels—dies. He has clearly been murdered, and we don’t know who did it.
 

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I was really planning on offering some reassurance but..

Dear God...you're screwed

:p Dear Monophysite God, please. But yeah, he is screwed.

Although, it is quite the feat that you survived this long. I hope your heretic count in his goat-infested village will slip the mind of his drunk emperor for a long time to come.

My humble opinion: if you want to prolongue your suffering (and this excellent AAR) stop thinking about military conquest and get used to the Habsburg way of empire building.
 
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