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Mr. Capiatlist

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Letters from Amazonia
A HIP-CKII AAR by Mr. Capiatlist

Letter One - 3rd July, 922: Heinrich of Arlon to his brother the Count of Luxemburg
Letter Two - 17th December, 922: Heinrich of Arlon to his brother the Count of Luxemburg
Letter Three - 8th April, 923: Heinrich of Arlon to his Lord, the King of Saxony
 
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Mr. Capiatlist

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Heinrich of Arlon paced around his smallish room, the troubled scenes of the last few hours playing furiously through his head. Though it should have been obvious earlier, it was now abundantly clear that this task was certainly unlike any other in the past. For years the young man worked diligently for his cousin, representing him abroad to the many palaces of Europe, almost always with great acclaim. These periods away from his wife and children were ones of great luxury: women, wine, tournaments - all the things that made life worth living. Never before had a host ever grown tired of his stories and tales and flattery. This time, however; Heinrich was worried. No longer was he in the realm of good upstanding Christians. Now he was on the edge of the known world. Beyond help if something were to go terribly wrong. Outside he could hear footsteps approaching; instinctively he faced the door and whatever was behind it.

There was a slight rap and then the handle turned revealing a woman in dark red robes that flowed loosely around her body, concealing very little. Golden chains hung from her blondish hair that connected to a piercing through her nose. Small gems dangled along the chain and gave a small clinking noise as she walked. Her face was painted up, green and red swirls that raced along her graceful lines, under her eyes and ending with a series of small dots. In her eyes burned a fire of hatred, perhaps the other guests for the evening had sabotaged this mission before it had even truly begun. She barked something in the tongue not unsimilar to that of the other Turkic peoples and produced from her robes a vile of ink, a quill, and paper. Heinrich accepted them with a small bow, trying not to do anything that might offend his hosts. He didn't bother saying anything, it was pointless. No maid in this land was going to speak any of the more civilized tongues.

With her task completed, the maid left, closing the door disappearing down the hall. As she left, though, Heinrich was able to get a quick glance at the two guards standing outside his room. Their armor was snug and richly embellished, jewels and capes of fine colors hung from their shoulders. Their faces mostly covered by veils, but their eyes distinctly feminine. Isolated once again, Heinrich went about his first task. Under the only window in the small, plain room sat a small writing desk. He opened the top up and stashed away all but a single sheet of paper, then closed it again and put small trinkets on the corners of this one sheet to keep it flat. He took a deep breath and began to write.

To his Majesty, by the Grace of God, King of the Saxons and Rightful King of Rome - Ludwig the First

He paused. He doubted for a moment that Ludwig could even read - he was a small boy, though with a little more thought he remember that the boy would be nearly twelve now. He stared at the letter, knowing it was his job to complete it. But he couldn't help but think that he needed some time to rest before he completed it. He needed to extract his thoughts first and so he removed the trinkets, opened the desk, retrieved a second sheet of paper and stored away the first. Once he was ready he started anew.

To his Lordship, Sir Otto of Luxemburg, Knight of the Temple and Count of Luxemburg, from his brother.

Otto,
I must admit I was apprehensive before accepting this particular assignment, though I assume that you are well aware of that. I spent many an hour discussing it with you before my departure. It seems that our concerns were potentially a bit unwary, of all things.

My missions to the East have so far proved a complete failure. The Roman Empire, reeling from the loss of Constantinople to the pagan Magyars was not as welcoming as they had been in the past. Empress Pelagia has taken residence in Alexandretta at great personal peril. The city lies only miles from the Muhammadians, though I guess it is far safer from the Magyars than a city like Athens. I feel the wisest choice would have been Rhodes, as I have yet to see a Magyar at the helm of a ship.

But I digress - the Romans are accepting no diplomats at the time, their court is silent and empty for fear of spies of the enemy. They have little trust for us Papists, who admittedly have done little to help them stem the tide of the heathens. They don't see the loss of England as quite equal to the loss of Thracia, Thessaly and the great Queen of Cities. With this first task a failure I have moved on to my secondary task - the great pagan horde of the Amazons.

I write to you now from Itil, a city unlike any I have ever seen. The city bustles like a great pagan parody of Venice or Constantinople. Turkish, Greek, Russian, Norse - all the great languages of the East are present. It is hard to get any idea of what a "normal" Amazon looks like. From my limited discussion with other diplomats the Amazons themselves are a pale race, generally with blondish hair. Obviously enough, the Queen and her closest relatives all fit this description.

But with great expansion has come a great deal of other peoples, Mords and Russians make up a large portion of the population as do dark-skinned Khazars. Steppe Turks and Persians are a recent addition from the conquest of Samarqand. Most recently are the Armenians, conquered only months before my arrival. I passed through the region on my journey to Itil. It took a great deal of convincing as the Romans were sure that I would perish during the long journey by cart and foot.

The Christian regions seem especially depressed. Amazonian soldiers are posted everywhere, vigilant to a potential rise of the rightful patriarchy. Merchants have their businesses and wares stolen, shepherds their flocks, and all are granted to sisters and wives. Land is granted to powerful warriors who helped conquer the lands, giving great cause to fight fiercely. There is much to be won for these women, the greatest commanders of all win authority to rule over the others - their lineages guaranteed to rule for all time.

Generally though, having spoken with a few of the recently 'freed' women, they seem disgusted by being forced into such un-Christian actions. In their households the men are still allowed to rule and indirectly rule their businesses still, though this practice can be disastrous if found out. The pagan conquests, though, seem more than happy to adopt the styles of their new masters. So far from God, they do little to resist the temptations offered by the Amazons. The men weep freely as they march into their forts and cities.

In the core pagan lands, the women are lustful and without shame. They walk openly with their breasts visible, speak openly to others and rule their households as if they were tyrants. In Itil I saw very few men out in the open, those that I did were generally foreign or single. The Jewish population of the Khazars has been all but extinguished under the pressure of the Amazon Queen who made the city her capital soon after its conquest. Queen Mala, though old and scarred, is still a rather beautiful woman and I must admit some pain at not seeing her in her prime. Her presence here in the capital, though, is limited. She will likely be leaving for the front lines again, pushing her empire further and further. Her daughter and heiress Irge seems to command a great deal of loyalty in the court for her sense of justice and charity. However, some frown upon her forward nature with other women - touching and caressing them in the open, even kissing them where only a man should.

My own presence here has been limited to walking through the throne room and to my chamber, where I've been locked. I fear that my mission has been compromised even before I've had a chance to even speak. In my brief time in the throne chambers, I watched in horror as the Patriarch of the Romans was dragged off in chains at the Queen's command! I could never believe such an act of aggression toward a priest trying to save her soul. The audacity of such an act will surely move the Romans to war.

Tomorrow, though, will be a new day and hopefully things will look up then. I hope to be able to speak to the civilized few who might understand Greek or Latin and begin my task of trying to improve relations between the Khanate and Christendom.

GOD preserve us all, AMEN,
GOD preserve my mission, AMEN,
GOD preserve Ludwig the First, AMEN,

Heinrich
3rd July, Anno Domini 922

Taking care, Heinrich folded up the letter and sealed it with a small glob of red wax from a near-by candle. He pressed his seal into it as it cooled, leaving the lion of Luxemburg disgraced by a bend sinister. The image was one burned into his mind. He picked up his letter and walked up to the door, knocking on it to get the attention of those outside.

Almost immediately the door was opened and a new maid, this one much younger and wrapped in pure white linens stood there, her small breasts hanging freely. Heinrich sighed, averted his eyes, and produced the letter. "Where is this going?" the maid asked in Greek.

He cracked open his eyes and saw she was a Greek-looking maid. "To my brother: the Count of Luxemburg." She snatched the letter and walked off, leaving Heinrich standing between the two towering female guards. After a short hesitation he went back into his room and closed the door.
 
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DensleyBlair

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I don't think I could not comment here and still have a clean conscience. :D

An immensely intriguing opening, Mr C. I'm looking forward to seeing where you go from here, and it's great to see you writing again – even better that I can follow from the beginning.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Amazonia, eh? You certainly would not want to visit it...
Depends on how much you enjoy the Steppe, I guess.

I don't think I could not comment here and still have a clean conscience. :D

An immensely intriguing opening, Mr C. I'm looking forward to seeing where you go from here, and it's great to see you writing again – even better that I can follow from the beginning.
Welcome aboard then!
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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volksmarschall

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Games are so much more fun when you can mod them yourself, if you have the time and desire to do you so! Looking forward to the rest Mr. Capiatlist! Epistolary narratives are always intriguing and fun!! :cool:

Cheers!
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Games are so much more fun when you can mod them yourself, if you have the time and desire to do you so! Looking forward to the rest Mr. Capiatlist! Epistolary narratives are always intriguing and fun!! :cool:

Cheers!
Yeah, unfortunately I must have installed HIP wrong because I get very few events events. :confused: It can be nice for speed, but dull. O well, I'll have to create my own fun.

The letter-system is something I am new to, hopefully I can get comfortable in it.
 

ngppgn

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Interesting start! So a crhistianized Magyar realm has taken Constantinople? And the feminist horde is down the caucassus? It must be an interesting eastern landscape.

(On a linguistic note, I just learned that "produce" also can mean "give" or "deliver". Am I right at that? I'm (ibviously) not a native speaker, and am always eager to keep learning)

How much have you moded the Amazons? An enatic succession, or also custom religion, culture, events, etc. If the latter, that would amount to the third Amazon modm in the forums!
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Interesting start! So a crhistianized Magyar realm has taken Constantinople? And the feminist horde is down the caucassus? It must be an interesting eastern landscape.

(On a linguistic note, I just learned that "produce" also can mean "give" or "deliver". Am I right at that? I'm (ibviously) not a native speaker, and am always eager to keep learning)

How much have you moded the Amazons? An enatic succession, or also custom religion, culture, events, etc. If the latter, that would amount to the third Amazon modm in the forums!
The Magyars are still pagan.

The Amazons are just Pechenegs with enatic succession. Still tengriist. It is actually rather bare-bones.
 

Tommy4ever

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Considering the quality of your previous AARs I can't imagine not following this one.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Considering the quality of your previous AARs I can't imagine not following this one.
Thank you!

Hopefully a new update will be out tonight. Wrote it a few days ago, but I've been rather busy and haven't finished it up.
 

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Yeah, unfortunately I must have installed HIP wrong because I get very few events events. :confused: It can be nice for speed, but dull. O well, I'll have to create my own fun.

The letter-system is something I am new to, hopefully I can get comfortable in it.
What modules did you select? If you didn't select VIET Events, that explains why you're not getting any more events than vanilla.

And assuming you're on the previous HIP release (2014-02-15/17), the latest release (2014-03-08) should be entirely save-game compatible (though of course, copying your current HIP folder somewhere would be a good idea). That also brought a number of changes to the installer, so that might fix whatever issue you might be having.
Of course, if you then end up with a different combination of modules saves might not work.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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What modules did you select? If you didn't select VIET Events, that explains why you're not getting any more events than vanilla.

And assuming you're on the previous HIP release (2014-02-15/17), the latest release (2014-03-08) should be entirely save-game compatible (though of course, copying your current HIP folder somewhere would be a good idea). That also brought a number of changes to the installer, so that might fix whatever issue you might be having.
Of course, if you then end up with a different combination of modules saves might not work.
I am not 100% sure anymore. First time I tried I was told VIET was not compatible with SWMH, which is really all I want. So I might not have. Or I did and something screwed up. I'll have to give the new version a shot.
 

Meneth

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I am not 100% sure anymore. First time I tried I was told VIET was not compatible with SWMH, which is really all I want. So I might not have. Or I did and something screwed up. I'll have to give the new version a shot.
It is only VIET Immersion that isn't compatible. Events and traits both work fine with SWMH.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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It is only VIET Immersion that isn't compatible. Events and traits both work fine with SWMH.
Then I will have to double check when I get a chance to update HIP. Thanks.
 

GreatUberGeek

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Defiinitely following! A great idea, and something I would very much like to see! :) Good luck!
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Snow drifted gently through the streets as winter came to the great city of Itil. Her citizens bundled themselves up as they quickly and silently shuffled from one building to another. The great palace was no different, the gardens were empty for the season and the great pools and fountains were still. Heinrich of Arlon wrapped himself tightly in furs and skins to keep warm as a small group of diplomats huddled around a fire following their meals. Dinners were often hardy but unimpressive. Fish and tough game meats, small amounts of fruit or some tubers rounded everything off. To wash it down they drank goat's milk or a clear alcoholic concoction distilled from barley. They chatted idly above wives and children, wealth and travel. Most were highly respected in their homes and as Heinrich was finding out, most were pagans. Greek was generally the language of communication, well understood by any diplomat or merchant worth their salt in the East.

One of the loudest was a Norseman from the powerful Kingdom in Novgorod. He spoke merrily of mead and beer, women and sex, and the luck of Thor. Heinrich was quiet as the man described sacrificing captured Christians to the gods during great feasts. To him it was surprising that the Amazonians did not seem to do the same. Their sacrifices were generally in the form of food or wisents and were a time of quiet contemplation. They only celebrated conquest and with the March thaw still a distant shimmer on the horizon, a new side of these people appeared to Heinrich. Crafty and social, the Amazons took to their winter tasks: baking bread, brewing beer, and forging swords. Winter was a time to prepare for next year's conquests. Eventually the German diplomat excused himself and accompanied by his guards returned to his room. Waiting for him was a half-finished report to the King - his third in as many months.

To his Lordship, Sir Otto of Luxemburg, Knight of the Temple and Count of Luxemburg, from his brother.

Otto,

I received your letter a week ago or so, but I have been apt to stay in the warmer rooms, away from my writing desk. Winters here are not unlike those at home, but when you are not master of the house blankets are harder to come by. I have spent most of my stipend on furs and leathers to pile over myself. As you predicted, the cold has too chased the lustfulness from the women here.

Since my arrival I have spent a great deal of time learning of their social hierarchies. Most of the contact I have with people in the palace is through an assigned assistant - a slave girl who has yet to share her name with me. She was captured from the Romans during a war in the Crimea; her status denoted by a large piercing through her nose to which decorative chains are attached. If she disobeys, I've been told to yank on these chains being careful not to tear her nose off as she is still technically property of Queen Mala.

Speaking of the Queen, she has returned to the castle for wintering. She arrived just as the snows fell with some five thousand troops on horseback. It was quite a sight to watch them parade down the main avenue. In a few months they will be back on the front lines. Murmurs say that this next war will be a rather decisive one. The order for weapons and armor is nearly beyond the ability for all the smiths in Itil to fulfill. I can only imagine one target of such grandeur: Anatolia. The Queen's daughter and heiress Princess Irge will likely be rewarded with command over the region as part of preparing her for her eventual tenure as Queen. It means, though, that she will have to leave Itil behind and command troops. It will be her first real test of her leadership skills.

I cannot say that it will be both a boon and a bane to have her gone. I have grown quite fond of watching her go about her day (If you ever lay eyes on her you will understand), but perhaps it is best for my precious soul that she be banished from my sight.

Since my first letter I have been able to wander the palace a bit more, though always under the watchful gaze of two guards. They follow behind dutifully and are dead silent, responding to none of my actions except to block me from going where I cannot.

A light rapping at the door broke Heinrich's focus. He looked up from his desk and in the reflection in the window in front of him he saw the slave girl enter with a bundle of fabrics. She seemingly ignored him as she headed to the bed and began neatly unfolding the fabric.

"What are those?" Heinrich asked.

"Your robes for tomorrow. Irge is hosting a large dinner for the return of her majesty. It is important that you appear and stay throughout. It is hugely insulting for you to show up late or leave early. Once you are there I suggest only speaking when spoken to and not saying anything of any real matter."

"Any other suggestions?" Heinrich asked sarcastically.

"Yes. Try not to ogle the Princess quite so much. Unless ending up in prison was part of your plan. Don't bother complimenting either of them, as well. No one cares for your opinion here. Do you have any other questions?" the slave girl asked authoritatively.

"No," the diplomat replied like a dutiful childe.

"I'll help you into your robes tomorrow when you have trouble."

Great news, brother. It seems that the Princess is hosting a grand feast tomorrow in celebration of her mother. I've been invited, so apparently my glances have not gone unnoticed. It will be a great time to try to see what the Amazonians are like beyond the cold shoulder that we diplomats have been given so far.

Heinrich sighed as he looked over the letter one more time. He couldn't fight back a welling of honesty and added a line before wrapping things up.

To be honest, I sometimes question my purpose here.

GOD preserve us, AMEN

Heinrich
17th December, Anno Domini 922

He folded the letter neatly but did not get up to send it off. Staring intently out his window into the black he thought about the present and the future. Perhaps tomorrow was something to worry about.