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HistoryDude

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Well, apparently they can actually partially get along. Who knew?

Also, Vukasin seems like quite the foolish schemer... his doom is probably nigh.
 
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knppel

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Chapter twenty-six

Opportunity makes raiders

Thebes, fall 787

Theodore and his war council had assembled in the salon of the high tower to discuss plans and exchange information.
Besides Phil, Lantsuinda, and the finnish Marshal (who by now spoke Greek decently enough to have heard of his Lord's plans, and mostly was there to ensure he too got looting rights), the steward Gregoras was present, as well as the Bishop Eremaios and Damianos, the mayor of the bhurgers.

To his great surprise and joy, For once there was (mostly) good news.

The past week and a half he had sent his council out of town to gather investigations he needed for his plan to plunder Athens.
Gathering his men and leading them on the fields of Athens was one thing easily said and done, but he didn't intend to end up like the Achaeans not too long ago.

He meant to sack the city proper. And it seemed the circumstances actually were not as bad to try that.
Lantsuinda opened the report, assisted by Eremaios and Damianos.

"Let's get started with the troop numbers we managed to gather so far. Now, Athens has around eightundred defenders only, as the Stratigissa there, a good rival of the empress, is an equally nice person for what we know, just that she also eats her peasants, instead to only hunt them. Also she's indebted, so there's a highway robber band on the way to Athens as she cannot pay her guards."

Theodore nodded eagerly. The men from Naupaktos had arrived the other night, we rallied infront the city together with his own local soldiers, numbering almost eighteenhundred. A band of robbers would not bother them.
"What defense forces can we expect to relieve the city?"

Lantsuinda looked over to Eremaios, who caught her glance and spoke.
"The good news is, Athens is currently in revolt to Constantinople, as they're filthy Iconophiles, m'Lord. So Constantinople will not immediately come to their aid."

The details aside that was no news, Constantinople could barely help itself, left aside it's perephery, wether loyal or not.
Theodore impatiently waved him to continue.

"Also, the Athenians will notbe able to muster an army on their own for what we know, as the Stratigissa of Athens controls only this one county."

Theodore drummed impatiently on the table.
"And the bad news?"

"The bad news is Strateg Narses of the revolt controls twelvethousand men. The good news, is, though-"
Eremaios pointed it out on a crude map on the table.
"They're currently laying siege to Trebizond for what we know, thanks to information brought in by our chancellor."

Humble Damianos smiled in the back and raised a finger briefly as he was credited for his work, a nod of Lantsuinda's in the rear reaffirmed Theodore they were not tricking him, but delivering truthful intel.

"Gregoras?"
The steward cleared his throat as he was called up. There might have been better stewards for hire, but Gregoras was a qualified architect and siege leader, which had safed the coffers of Thebes investing into two people.
Theodore had tasked him upfront to give an estimation for how long it'd take him, if undisturbed, to undermine Athens' defenses.
"If they have no more than eighthundred men to defend, before winter's over."

With this it was decided. Gregor, Phil and Theodore took command of the army and prepared to head southeast immediately, as the chances seemed actually to be there to successfully enter and sack the city before a relieve army came.



Lantsuinda and Leontia watched the departing army from the tower balcony, Theodore's sisters, almost of age, with them to get educated on amateur scheming and hating on each other.
Well, truth be told, Lantsuinda was trying to do her job.

"So wherefrom did you know plundering Athens might actually be an option?"
Leontia shrugged innocently.
"Would you believe me 'I saw it in the flames', by chance?"
Lantsuinda snorted.
"Of course not."
"A shame, thought so. Theodore called me a liar too, can you believe it! But you he believes every word."

Leontia made her pouty envious face. Thus, her usual face. Lantsuinda angrily rolled her eyes and waved off.
"Maybe that's because I do not lie too him as much."
"Just that a truth is uncomfortable does not necessarily make it false."
"One day you'll be so fat this balcony breaks down under you."

Leontia smirked, she loved to provoke Lantsuinda, even more so when she succeeded. That made up for an uncomfortable truth any day.
Specially as it was certainly only fair to make Lantsuinda suffer a little for sleeping with her husband, right?

"Thanks for reminding me, love. I've been pondering, when Theo's back with loot and plunder, should I have my pillars here done doric, ionic or corinthic?"
 

HistoryDude

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"Amateur scheming and hating each other" - well, that was blunt.

Uncomfortable truths are still truths, that is true...

Athens seems to be in trouble...
 

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"Amateur scheming and hating each other" - well, that was blunt.
personally I'm glad they kept the advanced schemes off Theodore's court for the time being. His siblings and children, for that instance, were all just still growing up and would have been easy pickings for a courtier actually trying to cause grief, and not just being a nuisance to her husband occasionaly.

3acbd2dab3d723e8c6f5d69c67fba9d2.png

Lantsuinda was likely shy to take offensive action beyond stating the obvious

cec245cefac71d48ff90c8e719456814.png

Leontia was more self-centered, and possibly too lazy to seriously try anything that meant effort and was not evolving around food
8cab399ad90bd7a58b33a3e72cf77e68.png

Theodore tried hard at times, but ultimately lacked any capacity to reign anyone in as he tended to freak out on people and mostly tried to manipulate them



Athens seems to be in trouble...
You got that right. Athens picked the damn wrong neighbour :cool:
 

knppel

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Chapter twenty-seven

The Champions of Perun Dyonisos

Athens/Thessaly, Winter 787/788

Theodore returned to Thebes in triumph for christmas. The army he had left at Athens under Phil's command for now, as there was still churches and markets left to loot, but the main work had been done.

Even Leontia for once seemed halfway satisfied, and actually was almost nice to him.
"Those are absolutely lovely pillars, darling!" She said.
"But get me some corinthian ones next, yes?"

While the raiders, sacking everything they could get hold of, thus also left no contemporary accounts for this events (or as the modern historian would call it, evidence), again there's a certain lack here (athens later was rebuildt and not fully burned)
.
Contemporary surviving reports of the state coffers of the Lord of Thebes however display that over the next years, Theodore managed to make up for his father's legacy and prove he too was business-minded!


Household accounts dated a few years later:
aeb558ff32ac4a7b76751b080411087f.png

63388386c5ba3bc777bb7e19e5deee90.png

As one can easily guess, it was NOT ONLY the new castle town in Thebes that made 143 income in 7 months here (expenses not included)

The reason Theodore left his army was that he was to report to High Chief Vukasin. As he expected no battle to happen at Athens at this point, Theodore decided he could afford to leave his army in the care of his commanders.

Theodore still served High Chief Vukasin as Marshal. While he loathed the man and was reluctant to aid him in any way, him being Marshal at least gave him influence. Someone else as Marshal might help the High Chief with his stupid plot, after all.

"Ah, Lord Thebes, how nice you joined our council meeting! How's wife 'n childrens?"
High Chief Vukasin sure knew how to darken one's mood. But cheer it up right away again.

Theodore still clenched his fists and grit his teeth, when his liege Lord laughingly came around the table and put a hand on his shoulder.
"Ah, relax. You should meet one of my wifes later, mayhaps! Look, Lord Thebes, we have problems to deal with. The Strateg of Thessalia is waging war. Have you met the High Chief Draz of Ochrid, Lord Thebes?"

With grand gesture, Vukasin re-directed Theodore's attention to one of the apparent councillors meeting at the table, a man Theodore had not spotted before indeed, tall, muscular, and most remarkably with an impressive Bear's Pelt covering his helmet and armor.

"Nice pelt," Theodore said first, a bit startled. The elder warrior laughed hoarse, raised and walked over to shake hands.

"Nice to meet you, Lord Thebes. I've heard of your deeds in Athens and Naupaktos. Vukasin here calls you a most valiant warrior, 's that right, eh?"
The bear-man mustered Theodore smirkingly, flexing his own athletic body.
"Draz is the Grand Hero of our Warrior Lodge, Theodore."
"That's right!" Draz slammed his hand on Theodore's shoulder.
"Let's hold council, boys, and then we drink!"

While Theodore had not that much sympathy for the crude and barbaric warrior at first, he got to admire his expertise during the council meeting. Obviously that man was more than just hunting and posing.

It turned out the new Strateg of Thessalonike had gotten hungry, and decided to wage war on the Khan of Bulgaria.
As the Khan recently had adapted the local Slavic Faith, High Chiefs Vukasin and Draz had gathered their armies to march to his aid against the christian invaders.

After deciding they'd first meet up with the Bulgars to relieve the siege of Astibus, and then go to drive them back Thessalonike, Theodore spoke to High Chief Draz, who went on to explain in detail what a warrior lodge does (brawling around, holding drinking contests and sacking castles, mostly).

This seemed quite interesting to Theodore, and he inquired how one would sign up there.

"Of course you can join our warrior lodge, we'd be honoured to have a fighter such as young in our ranks, Lord Thebes! Same rules for everyone, though, regardless if Lord or Lightweight- you gotta fight one of our recruits in the ring to prove you can take a slap!"

As there was apparently no membership fee included that would cut on her household purse, his wife happily agreed he'd pursue some sort of hobby, as long as it was free.
Having quite some expertise in combat, Theodore soundly beat up the recruit sent his way by Draz and Vukasin, under the cheers of some of the rallying soldiers.

"Do I get my Bear Pelt now?" Theodore mused.
"No," Draz replied laughing, helping him and the recruit up (The recruit actually needed help, Theodore had given him quite a beating).
"But I heard your markets in Thebes have a good fur connection, you can give us a discount for a start. But first, we'll head out and beat these Christians!"

And so Theodore, Vukasin and their ally, the High Chief of Ochrid, marched north to Strymon to aid the wailing Bulgars.

While a bit taken off by having to go defend some casltes in Bulgaria he did not really care for, Theodore did not mind.
The army being out and Vukasin in the field would give Lantsuinda time to build up the spy network in Thessaly for their return.
 
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HistoryDude

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Theodore is now in a warrior lodge? Good, good.

Will he achieve great conquests in Greece?
 

knppel

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Theodore is now in a warrior lodge? Good, good.

Will he achieve great conquests in Greece?

At this time this was pretty much what "plan" I had for the game:
Have a little kickstarted pagan "economy" and begin to work on bloodlines, for which the warrior lodge was the obvious pick.

As the Eastern Roman Empire was in quite some turmoil, but not weakened to a point where anyone would dare attack it yet, I still expected one or other branch of Christianity to prevail in the struggle, and become the dominant religion I'd submit to too when eventually integrating in the realm to avoid being kicked from Greece.

With the conquests, he waited for now- the Byzantine Revolt faction still was quite strong, and also might have just white peaced out if I had waged war on them.
And there was trouble at home to deal with, still, as we know...

The East Romans, as well as the revolters, were focused on their war in Anatolia, however, which opened the gates of Athens for Theodore's first raid-
and having sacked the neighbouring counties would not only fill the war chest, but also leave their defenses depelted already, should an opportunity to wage war arise!
 

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Chapter twenty-eight

Money can't buy happiness, but no money can't buy happiness either

Thebes/Thessaly, late summer 788

Theodore arrived home in late summer, after a campaign that had been an utter failure. His wife greeted him more compassionately than usual, while inspecting the loot he brought home from the war regardless.
"Oh, you're wounded."

He sighed and glanced down on his body, nodding. The spear of a Thessalian commander he had fought in the first and second battle Smyrna had pierced it.
Maybe time for a new suit of armor. Now he could easily afford one, after all.

The bigger surprise however was that things had changed at home the past half year.

Theodore first had troubles determining what exactly it was, or where it had started. Had it been the apparently stand-by stable boy he never saw before, that took his girdle and horse off him as soon as he jumped off?

Or was it the new carpet in the hall- this was new, certainly.
Or the two young women waving air, or the bard?

Theodore stopped in the hall, his wife next to him stopped too and interrupted her counting of the brought in treasures.

For heaven's sake, whatever it was, that bard was wrong. This was still his home!

"Go to Thessalonike, they won the war, might be they like bards!"

Leontia cocked an accusing eyebrow at him, but ushered her new servants to go on in their chores, as she walked on, hanging her arm in with his.

"Did you really have to toss him out of the window right away?"
"He was annoying me!"
"I'll show you annoying."
"And we're on the ground floor anyway!"
"Exactly my point. If you want him to shut up, throw him off the balcony. Speaking of which."

The couple entered the salon, with a slight lazy gesture Leontia ordered the entourage following them- besides the fan-wavers an armed escort, a scribe and a little boy carrying drinks on a tray- Theodore rubbed his eyes, only on second sight he recognized his youngest son in the outfit of a page.

"Why hello there, young man! Looking great, and my, you've gotten big!"
He smiled down on the child, patting his head and ruffling his hair. The boy had strong, short black hair and seemed to be developing muscles already- he came right after his father, Theodore observed , not without pride.

Theophylakt smiled widely as his father recognized him- all too often he got to hear his father had no time for him right now.
Theodore, for once, did not mean to leave out his anger over the failed war on his kid. If anyone, his wife, after all she got the spoils too.


Theodore told his son to wait, then closed the doors after him and Leontia as they entered their salon.

She sat down on her favourite sofa- from Euboia- , he sat next to her, elbows on the knees, and rested his head in his hands.
If he had hoped this might make her embrace him, it was in vain. She started eating sweets.

"So what happened at Smyrna? I had contradicting reports, and the bard was full of lies. As I said, you should have taken him to the balcony."

Theodore sighed and leaned back.
"Everything started perfectly. I've written you in january, remember? That we'd march for Smyrna and then Thessalonike."

She nodded. "And that I should send orders to Phil and Gregor to head north, which I did. But they weren't at the battle, they said."

Theodore nodded grim and shifted around so he could look at his wife. Somehow she still managed to get fatter. Then again, he was currently getting richer, so it made sense in a way. Same as all these servants.

"They better not go against their orders."

She rolled her eyes in response. "So what happened? I heard the Khan of Bulgharia died in battle-"
Theodore interrupted her and slammed his fist in the open other hand.

"Yeah, have you now! Well here's what actually happened. Can you stop eating for just one damned moment! So we first marched north to relieve Smyrna, the Christians from Thessalonike had it under siege. We defeat them, drive them back. So far, this all worked wonderful."

He took a deep breath, she resumed to snack on her sweets.
"So far I know, yes. Then you marched on Thessaly to meet up with Phil and Gregor."

Obviously, Theodore could not miss out on that opportunity. After the successful raid on Athens, Thessalonike, with its Strategos waging his private war, was defenseless pretty much and made easy pray.
A few galleys dispatched in the western cyclades had safely brought the loot to Thebes.

He nodded now.
"It was too easy, obviously. So what happens? We lay siege, but after some weeks we get reports, the remaining Thessalians are laying siege to Smyrna again.
So, Khan Tervel orders the combined armies to turn heel and march back to drive them away from Smyrna again."

He sighed deeply and then buried his face in his hands once more, beginning to sob.
"We had almost fivethousand on their eighthundred and what happens? What happens?"

He grabbed his wife and would have likely shook her, if not for her significant weight demanding actual effort and intent to do so.
"What," she just said, with her face, thus the same expression as always.
Disarmed, he let go off her shoulders andburied his face in his hands again.

"High Chief Vukasin - Chief Blaz- and the High Chief Draz of Ochrid- we gotcut off in battle- and the Khan-"

She rolled her eyes.
"So you did betray him in battle, as I had heard."
"It was me or him! Would you liketo pay a ransom of seventy solidii in gold for me?"
"Of course not."
"See!"

She slapped him, he angrily pushed her off.
"So they got the Khan then?"
Theodore sighed and nodded.
"I've never been so embarassed in my life."

Leontia smiled (thus, she looked as boredas usual) and patted his arm.
"That is what you think, darling. Do you like the new curtains here?"
 

HistoryDude

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Well, that looks disastrous. I imagine Thebes and her Lords will want revenge for that...

It’s got to be one of the biggest upsets in history, though. Eight hundred versus five thousand, and the eight hundred wins?
 

knppel

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It’s got to be one of the biggest upsets in history, though. Eight hundred versus five thousand, and the eight hundred wins?

All I could say was: "Wait, I'll help you! Take Khan Tervel instead!"

Truth be told, Theodore could have surrendered himself, but his wife was designated regent and would most likely not even allow him to send her gifts just out of spite, left alone paying a ransom!

Obviously just fighting to the death was no option either- it would have left me as iconoclast fourteen year old with okay, but no extraordinary skills, and half the land, again.

So Theodore decided that Bulgaria would have to do without Smyrna for the time being when given the choice, with the Khan as prime defender imprisoned the Strateg of Thessalonike lost his battles, but won the war :eek:

As shameful as it was, as profitable it turned out, however- at least for the Thebans, who sacked Thessalonike in the middle of the mess, taking their good share of the spoils of war despite ending up on the receiving end.
 

knppel

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Chapter twenty-nine

Opportunity makes... diplomats?!

Thebes, September 788

To distract his mind from the shameful defeat at Smyrna, Theodore decided a great Festival to honour Jarilo (apparently one of the deities of the Serbians).
That is, he'd rather have expanded the barracks further, but his wife insisted she wanted to hold a feast to have an excuse to prepare even more food for a few weeks.

"There'll be no excuses," she snarled at him, "You messed up at Smyrna and everybody knows. I'm not going to have you in the house all day depressed and brooding, no way!"

While she organized the festivities, Theodore used what time he had to spend it brooding in the salon.

It was his younger brothers, Maurice and Innocent, who managed to cheer him up. Theodore watched them from the balcony, where they were practicing swordsplay with the soldiers.

Maurice had recently turned sixteen, and while as much as warrior as Theodore himself, Theodore often used to compare him to their father, mostly when recalling the later's good virtues, which were found again in his second son.

Maurice was well educated, he could read, was kind, and same his father was content with his lot in life, most of all, so he was not spiteful of Theodore having claimed his land such long ago- after all, it served the safety of his inheritage, so Theodore had told him as he grew up.

Innocent, seven years of age, had served as Theodore's personal page the past year already, and came more after him, which Theodore liked no less, for apparent reasons. What he lacked in kindness, he made up for with ambition and cunning.
Or so Theodore liked to see it.

What both had in common was an avid interest in warfare, and consequently Maurice, upon coming of age, had replaced the ageing Bishop Eremaios, who was not actively filling out the role anymore anyway, as one of Theodore's commanders.

Same as his elder brother, he was wearing a polished new chainmail, and wielded a spear preferably in combat- Leo's old one, which Theodore had graciously gifted to him as he turned sixteen.
Theodore himself, having gotten wealthy from plundering the past year, had had a new, better Lance fitted for himself the past months.

The arrival of a band of riders made him snap out of contemplating over wether the two might get along as well in the future, or if they'd right away turn on each other, should he or a strong son of his not reign them in.
Theodore easily recognized the banner of High Chief Draz of Ohrid.

Rather than to watch and contemplate further, Theodore went downstairs to receive him in person. Having recently turnecoat during the battle might still have stained him, after all, who knew if the High Chief was not here to punish him for it.
Or maybe it had to do with Vukasin's schemes?
Or had Leontia invited them under the disguise of the feast in yet another attempt to murder him?*

Be it as it may, he had to take care of it.

To his biggest surprise, his suspicions turned out wrong, and the biggest bother of the evening that he was forced to wear a ridiculous costume and be cheered by everyone in the middle of the feast.


04566d35aa3300d204fba32237f17720.png

Theodore hated the polonaise as always, but his nickname simply obliged him to lead the feast as always!

The High Chief's visit turned out half as bad. It turned out Draz was neither conspiring with his wife, nor with his liege, and also not holding a grudge on him over the betrayal at Smyrna.

"Tervel's a fool, Lord Thebes, don't you bother withit", the serbian nobleman said while sipping from his cup. "Hm, that's a good one. Thessalonike, or Athens?"
He winked and raised his cup to Theodore before sipping again.
"To our generous host, Jarilo." He smirked and emptied his cup, Leontia's well drilled servants ushered near right away to refill it, to the High Chief's great joy.

"Serious, don't bother with it. If Tervel was strong, he'd not called for our aid to begin with, but fought them off on his own, if you ask me. And I didn't come to discuss this, but other matters."

"I'm all ears." Teodore, still having bells all over his attire, sat stito ring them as less as possible. Being a god, what a training to learn a pokerface, he mused on the inside.
As much as a thief, they train with such costumes too. So gods were thieves. He should consult Eremaios on the matter, certainly.

"Tervel was weak", the High Chief continued, raising his new wine cup as he spoke. "We're stronger, but if Constantinople or the Franks come in force, we're as doomed as Tervel on our own."

Karl the Tenacious, mighty King of the Franks, had subjugated the Lombard Kings, taking northern Italy in his vassalage after ten years of war the past summer. While occupied in several wars with spain, Bretons and revolts, he regardless posed a potential future threat to be counted with, so it seemed.
Theodore nodded in agreement, letting the elder warrior continue.

"And this is why we have to join forces, Lord Thebes. You have a brother, I have several young daughters, one of whom he might find pleasing and that likes him too. What do you say?"

Theodore looked past the High Chief to his wife briefly, who was still stuffing herself on suckling pig next to them, chatting with Lantsuinda- The women were closer than ever since Lantsuinda and Theodore had broken off their lose affaire.
Both of them nodded.

"I say, we should totally get Maurice to meet your daughters and see if one of them likes him," Theodore said, with a for once honest smile, smirking to his wife, who rolled her eyes and pouted. He leaned forward, offering Draz his hand.

Theodore was no nice man, and not bothering to build up a reputation as one- but he certainly wasn't going to be as cruel as his father and pick a woman for his brother, who might then turn out to dislike him as bad as Leontia with him!

The bells rang as he shook hands with the High Chief of Ohrid, but this once he did not mind.
 

HistoryDude

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Alliances are always good...

Leontia is as gluttonous as always...

Theodore is acting somewhat paranoid here... That doesn't bode well for the future...
 

knppel

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Alliances are always good...

Leontia is as gluttonous as always...

Theodore is acting somewhat paranoid here... That doesn't bode well for the future...

Yes, yes and, while she indeed was not (for my knowledge) actively trying to murder him anymore, obviously that did not keep the paranoid Theodore from thinking she still might be! ;)
 

knppel

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Chapter thirty

Let's get this party started

Thebes, January 789

The new year came with interesting international and local news for the Thebans.

Rumour in town had it that Karl, mighty King of the Franks, conqueror of Italy and husband to Anthousa 'the Terrible', the Empress in Constantinople, had got occupied in a lasting stalemate in his war in spain and would thus not come to the aid of his wife to soon most likely.

While not directly involved in the succession crisis himself as participant or claimant, this was good news for Theodore regardless, as it meant he could send his soldiers to raid the Aegean Islands, and sack Euboia without repercussions!

Profiting of all this was the new King of Pannonia, mostly- Senat Senulatovic, former High Chief of Slavonia, had subjugated the pannonian basin the other year, beating the Avars in a cunning campaign, and was now expanding north west and east.

Encouraged by High Chief Draz' diplomatic approach, Theodore also sought out more potential allies in the balkan for the wars to come.
Where a few years ago, no one of interest had been willing to give their children to the christian vassal of a heathen Chieftain, things had changed apparently.

Since he had also forsaken christianity and instead joined the slavic warrior lodge, to his surprise and joy Theodore found out he was easily able to secure a good betrothal for his eldest son and heir, Zenobios:
The daughter of the Khan of Serbia, who was the strongest local power in the balkans next to now also Khan Senulatovic of Pannonia, and nominally Khan Tervel of Bulgaria, who was still licking his wounds from the loss at Smyrna.

All this massively changed Theodore's strategic options for the years to come:
Instead of his own shortly below 1,900 men, if he planned a campaign properly to allow his allies to fight by his side, he could calculate with another 1,900 men from Ohrid and somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 Serbians.

Accordingly, he found himself planning with his council regularly during the festivities even, as the new changed political situation had to be assessed and then , hopefully, exploited somehow.

It was Lantsuinda and his wife, however, who directed his attention to at-hand matters after a meeting.

"Theodore, could I have a minute?" Lantsuinda started, as Eremaios, the mayor and the steward motioned to leave.
After receiving an affirming nod from his wife, Theodore gestured her to speak up.
"Sure, what's the matter?"

Lantsuinda waited until Eremaios, who suddenly was busy adjusting his robes at the door for a suspiciously long moment, had left, and shut the door after him.

"Look, there's a different matter we have to discuss, urgently. The festivities are coming to an end, and we've had word from High Chief Vukasin who announced his visit."

Theodore was not directly happy over this, and glanced over to Leontia, who innocently pouted and combed her hair.
"Don't look at me like that, I didn't invite him."


b7c9b22debb4c0dc47c3a75fa65ae050.png

For a couple so much in spite of each other, they sure did have a healthy sex life

"She didn't, I did." Lantsuinda assisted Leontia. "But she helped me find some people in town who could organize us a special ingredient, once the High Chief is here to feast with us..."

Leontia smiled innocently (thus, she looked bored as usual) and picked another grape from her always-present bowl, raising a finger lazily.
"...we'll have him a special cup prepared."

Theodore raised a sceptic eyebrow, but nodded in agreement. Very suspicious, regardless. How had the women been able to pull this off without him knowing?
Yes, he had technically started the plot to kill High Chief Vukasin, and asked them for help, as well as the High Chief's brother, Blaz, the Chief of Demetrias. But still! Something was odd!

Theodore approached the curtain with long steps and tore it aside.
"What in seven hell's name-"

The little spy tried to burst off as he was exposed, but Theodore grabbed the boy- it obviously was a boy- at his collar, picking him up.
He had almost cracked the lad's ribs with his elbow in reflex right away, if it had not been for Lantsuinda being at his arm already.

"Theodore, stop it!"
Panting of anger, Theodore pushed the boy to the wall, yelling at Lantsuinda. "Don't tell me what to do unless I ask for!"
Then he turned around, and the red rage left his face all of a sudden, as he looked in his brother's face.

"Innocent? What the-"

The little boy used Theodore's surprise to wrestle himself out of the big brother's hold and back off.
"I thought you was going to war! I am sorry, Theo! I didn't mean to- I'll not tell anybody, I promise!"

Theodore fought his anger and surprise down, cocked an eyebrow, and smirked.
"Not gonna tell anybody, eh, young man? Well, at least you seem to grasp what's going on, good, good."

He rubbed his chin, his eyes wandering from Innocent to Lantsuinda and his wife, who caught his glance and again nodded encouraging, while placing another grape between her lips. How the hell did she always seem to know what he was thinking? Or had she just bopped her head , pleased by the grapes...? Regardless, she had a point.

"Well look, young man, here's what we gonna do. As you're my cup bearer anyway, you'll personally attend the High Chief once he arrives. Your mother will instruct you what to do when, and have the cups distributed."
 
Last edited:

HistoryDude

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And that’s why you don’t spy on the Chief...

Down with the High Chief!
 
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volksmarschall

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I've been reading through this AAR and just wanted to acknowledge my presence. Nice work so far. I've enjoyed it. Keep it up!

Cheers!
 

knppel

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I've been reading through this AAR and just wanted to acknowledge my presence. Nice work so far. I've enjoyed it. Keep it up!

Cheers!

Thanks! It's just been really fun (both to play and to write this)- as I also saw when reading up on other stories here, and when recapping this, really any protagonist offers the one or other interesting story hook. CK2 is so great at writing stories, even if at times it argues with itself wether this makes sense now.
Or successors claim all the credit for themselves in character later on. :D

Down with the High Chief!

Indeed it's high time after twenty years under the boot for Thebes to take matters in its own hands!
Or well, start working on it...