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IamWhoa

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TheConqueror: Now that the East is somewhat weaker than before I can attempt it. We'll see what happens though. ;)

Mettermrck: They are still quite powerful, in fact those three factions are all much stronger than Brittany. They'd rather bother each other thankfully.

General_BT: Jerusalem of course :p. I delayed the invasion because he was in fact such a good steward that his army was gigantic.

phargle: I do to sometimes. ;) I'm glad you like them.

stnylan: Considering how powerful they are, definitely.

Enewald: Perhaps in the distant future, they are still too much to handle at the moment.

Estonianzulu: Yes, I can't wait for Daniel to become Duke. The target is Antioch but I'm going to weave it in to the story in some more interesting manner. (My ultimate goal was Jerusalem).


Thanks for all the comments! :D No update today, to the tears of many I'm sure. I'm still not sure how I'm going to work the next bit of the story, or even what style I'm going to pursue.
 

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Part VII: Return to Mallorca

PortraitChapter2.jpg
Duke Alan Fergant Kerne​


In the halls of the commandeered and unkempt Emir’s Palace, Alan maintained his base of operations. With his numerous other commanders, the Duke poured over Moorish maps of the Mediterranean. The Count Jermen Porhoet sat across from Alan. His head resting in his hands, the Count was completely absorbed by the calculations that went through his mind-

“Perhaps– no...” Jermen whispered to himself.

Count Louis de Rennes, seated towards the middle of the table, looked over to Alan-

“Antoine will arrive soon I hope.”

Alan’s head tilted sideways in relaxation as he responded-

“Yep, any minute now.”

Louis raised his chin in contempt-

“Surely there’s a better punishment for him than having him run naked through the streets?”

Amidst a burst of chuckling – save for the oblivious Jermen, Alan replied without humor-

“It didn’t have the effect I wanted I suppose, I’ll give you that. But the people love him dearly. He’s going to stay Count of Mallorca and there’s nothing anyone is going to do about it.”

“Humph!” Louis grunted as he reached for a pint of local wine.

At that moment footsteps echoed through the halls – Antoine had arrived. He had hastily thrown together what clothes his servants could bring him and he bore a terribly despondent look. Antoine quickly walked passed Alan’s guards and up to the Duke. In a subservient gesture, he kneeled, stressing every phrase he uttered-

“My Lord, Duke of Brittany, most gracious of Kings, grandest of –”

“I’m through dishing out penalties to you. You can rise,” Alan interrupted with disdain.

Antoine immediately stood, his look of despair having transformed into that of a swindler-

“Well then, my good cousin, how may I help you?”

“I need you to make arrangements for war supplies, enough to get us to Greece,” Alan professionally.

“Of course! I can do that without problem, Alan.”

As what Alan implied finally registered, Antoine’s eyebrow raised-

“You aren’t thinking of traveling to that war-torn land yourself are you?” he asked with inquisition.

Alan looked back down at the maps-

“I believe I am; I will be setting out by April. We will first gain a foothold in Crete, before seizing Jerusalem itself.”

“Move aside you oaf! Your business is through here!” Count Louis interjected. As he gestured wildly, wine spilled from his flagon.

Antoine quickly bowed to his Duke before leaving, intrigue – perhaps habitual, apparent in his eyes.

“Ah-hah!” Jermen bellowed as his finger came slamming down onto a point of the map – somewhere near the island of Rhodes.

“Here is the ideal, nay the perf– wait...never mind.” With a disappointed sigh, the Count quickly drifted back into heavy thought.


PartSixPalace2.jpg
 

Enewald

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To Jerusalem?
Are there not enough problems at home front? :eek:
 

stnylan

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The man doesn't think of small scale expeditions does he?
 

IamWhoa

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Enewald: Things are stable enough, France is preoccupied as well.

stnylan: Whatever it takes to be remembered :p

Mettermrck: Yes indeed. I was originally going to take it and give the Duchy to a relative, but that didn't happen...

Note: Just for kicks, in my next very experimental update, let's see who can re-tell what happened in gameplay terms. ;)
 

IamWhoa

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Interlude: Lay of a Crusader (c. 1500)

Flavor

'My Lady Carey's Dompe' -- Performed by Jon Sayles



About the Emirate of Crete
Alan's ships were anchored.
As he pondered the rocky shores
A large Dromon appeared...

DROMON.jpg



Was it a heathen? No
A messenger it was
An Orthodox he was
His message bore three tongues

That of Greece
Saracen
and Latin
In Rome's word
He read it

You Latins about Crete
Leave at once For I, Basileos
Prince of Rhodes, claim this land
and I shall now take it.

Between the Cross and Heathen this
War may be. So is true
That no Latin, no Catholic
should tread between two Greeks


So Alan left the lands of Crete
Not to return again.
To Antioch he sailed for weeks
Across the open blue sea.

***

Off the lands of Antioch
Alans ships were anchored.
And as he pondered the arid
shores, a small Dhow soon shown...

DHOW2.jpg



Was it a heathen? Yes.
A messenger it was.
A Muslim he was.
His message bore three tongues.

That of Greece
Persian tongue,
and Latin
In Rome's word
Alan heard

You Infidels' off shore
Leave now for the Sultan,
King of Rome, claims this land.
and he shall now take it.

A mutual foe we may
Share. So it is correct-
Walk upon these lands defiant.
You shall die upon them.


So Alan soon left Antioch
Not to return again.
Where to now? How best to reclaim
God's city, Jerusalem?

Would he succeed? We shall soon see.​
 

Enewald

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That was a good poem. I liked it. :)
King of Rome?
No kings, only principes. Or emperors... or just rulers. ;)
first man of the republic? :D

Why not Alexandria?
 

CountArach

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I just read this from beginning to end and I must say that your descriptions of the Court of the Duke are great.

Onwards to Jerusalem!
 

stnylan

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A nice change. I always like a bit of poetry. Good couple of pictures in it too.
 

IamWhoa

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Enewald: The Turks called the Byzantines some variation of Roman, so I just thought they might consider their title that also (the Sultan is Emperor of Byzantium in game).

Mettermrck: Thanks :) That was the first song I clicked, seemed to fit nicely.

CountArach:
Thank you, good to hear :)

stnylan: It was a lot of fun to make, perhaps in the future I'll do more.


Note: Just a tiny update today, but I did spend a lot of time on the map at least.
 

IamWhoa

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Part VIII: Broken Sheiks'

As the Seljuk hordes swarmed the independent Saracen city of Antioch, Alan was left with few options. He could have engaged the Turks and taken the city, but their overwhelming numbers would have almost surely doomed the Crusade. Setting up any sort of coherent Christian State in the Holy Land would have been rendered impossible by Turkish harassment. Returning to Brittany likely crossed his mind but one last option remained – the shattered Sheikdoms of Palestine. Having successfully shaken the reigns of Egyptian dominance, the Sheiks of the major cities of the Holy Land proceeded to squabble. The situation was perfect for Duke Alan and taking the territory appeared simple. The most powerful Sheik was Turki Yaseen of Beirut. It would be this Sheikdom Alan would target first, as to avoid having a powerful enemy at his heels in Jerusalem.

Turki Yaseen dominated at least half of Cyprus, where he was in continual conflict with the Free Greeks on the other side. Alan decided that Breton forces would be split, taking Turki Yaseen’s Sheikdom in one swoop. With nearly 8,100 soldiers remaining, Alan tasked Count Jermen and Count Daniel to seize Famagusta in Cyprus with at least 3,600 soldiers. Alan would lead the remaining 4,500 ashore in Beirut. With Turki Yaseen’s quick defeat, the Duke would immediately move against the much weaker Palestinian Sheiks.

So in 1112, Amidst the heavy swells of the December sea, the Crusader fleet parted and the invasion began.​

PartVIIIMap.jpg
 

CountArach

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I like where this is going. You will have a very strong base that you can build up to supply yourself with more soldiers in a short time.
 

Enewald

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Yay, kill the infidel!
Or just convert.
Prestige you shall get. Hopefully not many bad boyz.
 

stnylan

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To to regain the Land of Christ.
 

IamWhoa

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Mettermrck: Yes it was, though the Sheikdom of Beirut is pretty tough.

CountArach: We'll see ;)

TheConqueror: Yeah, but in this case I just wanted to get the Sheik of Beirut to surrender all his territory.

Enewald:
Not too much :p

stnylan: That's the plan. :D
 

IamWhoa

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Part IX: Cypriot Folly



Daneil.jpg

Count Daniel Kerne

Do not bring up religion in his presence, you will immediatly be corrected. - Bishop of Penthievre


Jermen.jpg

Count Jermen de Porhoët

He is so terribly loud -- it is a relief to be away from that disagreeable brute. - Count Louis de Rennes



Count Daniel Kerne took a moment to glance back at the Cypriot city behind him. Famagusta had fallen with little resistance and now the Crusader forces were marching inland to the seat of power on the island – Nicosia. Count Daniel and Jermen had succeeded, for the most part, in keeping their soldiers in line. Despite having been cooped up in small trading Cogs for months, his troops had only set fire and looted a few buildings. As a result, seeing the small amount of smoke arise from the city filled the young Count with a sense of success, rather than failure. Daniel felt only slightly disappointed at the ease with which he was to prove his worth.

The largely Greek inhabitants of Eastern Cyprus had shown surprisingly little concern for the arrival of Crusaders in their towns. As the shabby and unwashed Bretons moved further inland, they were often mistaken for Orthodox Greeks and initial cheers gave way to chilling disappointment.

In mid-day, the Breton army slogged towards Nicosia, now only a short distance away. The blue haze of the distant Troödos Mountains had soon lifted, revealing them in their winter splendor. Their beauty was spiteful in the face of the piercing winter winds blowing down from them, but as Daniel’s fixation with the rolling peaks tightened, faint sounds of battle began to enter his ears. Not concerning himself, he became ever more hypnotized. The clamoring cries and clashing steel came like a wave down the Breton column. It was only when Jermen and the Knights turned with alarm that Daniel began to wake from the Mountains’ spell. A thunderous hail of arrows finally wiped away the remaining fog, causing the Count to duck, clutching his horse as if it were a life raft.

“Formations!” Jermen boomed as he darted down the surprised Breton ranks.

With that, a swarm of Saracens poured out of the shrubbery, plowing into the untouched front of the Breton column. Though the thin ranks of the men-at-arms initially wavered, the well equipped Breton Knights soon strengthened the weak-points. Quickly delivering himself and his army a prayer, Daniel unsheathed his sword, which growled with anticipation. Still an arms length from the fighting, the young Count immediatly moved his horse through the ranks. As Daniel began dispatching the poorly armored Saracens, Jermen bellowed-

“The rearguard has collapsed! Come to me!”

Like a massive beast obeying its master, the back ranks began to contract towards the front. Daniel had only moments to glimpse the show before the Saracens began to target him, the only mounted warrior nearby. Straining to fight off enemies on all sides, the young Count swung his sword from side to side, until finally his horse was brought down. Uninjured, Daniel rose with vengeful anger, leaping back into the combat.

After a few minutes, the musical and horrifying sounds of war began to wane, until it suddenly came back with new vigor. A fresh Saracen wave had joined the fray and the Bretons began to be pushed off the road. As they fell back further, parts of the Breton line began to crack. Like a glass slammed against a rock, the army splintered.

“Daniel!” Jermen hollered with a frantic tone, straining to see the young Count in the chaos.

“Daniel you fool!” Jermen continued with obscenities.

Barely able to hear the baritone of Count Jermen above the whirlwind of battle, Daniel waved desperately, unsure whether he could be seen through the thick of the ranks.

Jermen immediatly caught sight of Daniel, returning a gesture of his own. He pointed in the direction of the Breton rout, towards the Troödos Mountains. With that, his massive horse carried him away with the tides of the Crusader retreat.

The Lord has abandoned us this day, Daniel thought. Before long, he too was running for his life.​
 
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