guillec87

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I am glad that Byz still survive in the Balcans, and that you can expand into Asia Minor, like the Old Tigranes... and even Egypt through your sister
 

Werson

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Chapter 24.5 - State of the World: 1166

The Warring Kingdoms of Iberia

The Iberian Peninsula remains divided between the declining Andalusian Sultanate and the warring Christian Kingdoms to the North. Unable to set their differences aside, the Christian Kings would rather shed blood fighting each other than oust the Mohammedans from their land.

Spain.png


The Kingdoms of Portugal and Leon are reigned by the Portuguese Vimaranes family, the same family Emperor Leonardo of Armenia married into. Originally one single kingdom, petty disputes would divide their lands into two, vastly weakening their hold on the region.


Cousins.png


The Kingdom of Castille had once formed part of the Vimaranes Kingdom of Leon, but a determined Alvar de Castilla would stage a rebellion and overthrow Portuguese rule from Castille, crowning himself King.

To their immediate South lays the unstable realm of Andalusia, constantly plagued by rebellions. As the zeal of Catholics grow with the success of the Crusades in Jerusalem and Egypt, it seems its days may be numbered.

The Kingdom of France once ruled over the lands of Aragon and Navarra, but victims of a succession crisis, the French Kingdom would fall in disarray and collapse, giving the de Pouget family ample room to crown themselves Kings of Navarra during the ensuing chaos.


Others.png


Just as the de Pouget family crowned themselves Kings in Navarra following the collapse of the French Kingdom, the de Kernev family would crown themselves Kings of Aragon, seizing the remaining lands South of the Pyrenees. Their rule would be plagued by chaos however, leading to the independence of the Duchies of Aragon and Catalonia by native dynasties, the later of which would crown themselves King of Catalonia.

Aragon.png


--------------------------------------------------

The Collapse of the French Kingdom

After a series of plagues devastated the once mighty French Kingdom, which stretched from the Netherlands on the North to the hills and mountains of Aragon on the South, the Capet Kingdom would fall on the hands of a young Queen Julienne, only six years of age. Her reign would end just two years after, when a rebellion staged by the de Bourgogne family would oust the Capets for good. The reign of the Burgundian dynasty would last for nearly 100 years, but would suddenly end after their last King left no heir behind of their dynasty.

The French Kingdom would then join the Holy Roman Empire, as a lowly German Duke was the closest relative of the Burgundian King, inheriting the crown. Imperial rule over the French Kingdom would be short lived however, as merely 14 years after its annexation to the Empire, William de Normandie would stage a rebellion, ousting the foreign King and regaining the independence of France from the Empire.


France.png


The Norman dynasty would hold a tenuous rule over the land, losing much of its territories to the native Occitan d'Agen dynasty as well as the rebellious dukes of Iberia. By 1166, the Kingdom of France is split between the Normans in Paris, the Occitans in the South, and a myriad of independent French counties

French Kings.png


--------------------------------------------------

The Fragile Balance of the Isles

The British islands would enjoy a fragile balance of power throughout the years between the Scottish and Anglo-Saxon dynasties, but a recent Danish invasion in England seemed to tip the favor to the Scottish, which used their neighbor's weakness to conquer much of Ireland.


British Isles.png

The Ua Briain in Ireland would nearly conquer the entirety of the island prior to the Scottish invasion, but would be forced to cede the northern half to the invaders. The fight was not an easy one however, and the Scottish recoil from the loss of thousands of men, perhaps the Irish might free themselves once more of foreign rule.

To their East laid the lands of the Kingdom of England, ruled by the Thorolding Anglo-Saxon dynasty. Over the years they would solidify their realm and conquer much of Wales, although a new invasion from the Danes has put the longevity of their reign in question. Will the English complete their conquest of Wales, or will they succumb to a second Danelaw?

British Kings.png

--------------------------------------------------

The Imperial Collapse and Rise of Sicily

Having established themselves as an independent County in the year 1043, the Normans would soon eclipse the neighboring realms, annexing the Lombard principalities and driving out the Greek heretics. As the Byzantine and Fatimid decline continued, the Normans would expand their domain by conquering much of Albania, the Ionian islands, and Tunis.

As Imperial authority in the region degraded, the people of Lombardia and Tuscany would stage a rebellion and liberate themselves from the German so called Empire. Despite their newfound freedom, their path to stability has been an arduous one, as the upstart Venetians conquered much of Lombardy and seemed to set their ambitions on all of Italy.

Italy.png


The Sicilian Kings would soon establish their dominance over the fledgling Kingdom of Tuscany, forcing them into tributary status, protecting them from the perfidious Venetians. As their wars of Independence occurred just a few years prior, their fate is still up on the air. Will the Lombards and Tuscans persevere, or will they fall prey to the ambitious Venetians and Normans?

Italy Kings.png


--------------------------------------------------

The Baltic Century

As Imperial degradation continued, the Baltic peoples would experience a renaissance of sorts, consolidating their realms and expanding at the expense of their neighbors. Recently converted to Christianity through the actions of the Hungarian monarchs, these Baltic converts would soon establish themselves as the premier powers in the region.

Central Europe.png


The Hungarian Aba dynasty would become close allies with the Papacy, being the primary supporter of Rome in the Baltics and Jerusalem, which is also reigned by an Aba.

The Wends would unite behind King Lech, who would organize a massive conversion ceremony, bringing their vast realm into the fold. The western Lithuanians would Christianize as well, greatly expanding their realm into the Russian heretics with great zeal.

The Holy Roman Empire saw a century of decline, constantly changing rulers as rebellions and assassinations became commonplace on its lands. Kaiser Paul II seemed to have stabilized the region, but it is yet to be determined what kind of legacy he'll leave behind. Will the Empire continue its plunge downwards, or will the Germans experience a renaissance as their Baltic neighbors have?

Central Europe Kings.png


--------------------------------------------------


The Sultans of Russia

As the Fatimid Empire collapsed on itself following numerous rebellions, Norman incursions, and the First Crusade, its people would seek a new future declaring Jihad on the lands of Russia, inspiring many Ismai'li Muslims to leave the declining Caliphate and embark on a glorious conquest of Eastern Europe.

East Europe.png


These newcomers would face stiff resistance from the natives however, as the eastern Lithuanians pagans in Polotsk as well as the Manichean Pechenegs on the steppe would become their fierce enemies. Having lost many of their brethren on the lands of Armenia during the Second Crusade, the fate of the Islamic realms in Russia is far from secured.


East Europe Kings.png


--------------------------------------------------
A Land of Empires


The passing of time has not been kind to the Greeks in Constantinople, facing multiple invasions from all sides, the Empire would recede into the core of their Greek lands. Ambitiously eyeing the jewel of the Empire, the Ridvan Sultanate seems poised to conquer Constantinople, while the Venetians descend on the land like vultures.

The founding of the Armenian Empire further complicates things in the region, and Seljuk presence in the region is far from assured. Will the upstart Armenians oust their rival Empires from the region, or will the Greeks and Turks avoid their demise and retake what is rightfully theirs?

Middle East.png


The di Ganzera family of Venice has pursued an aggressive expansionist policy during the last century, greatly expanding their domain over Lombardy and Asia Minor, yet their ambition has put them in conflict with the rising Ridvans, which might put their dominance over the region in peril.

Despite a century of decline, the Byzantines managed to nearly destroy the upstart Bulgarian Kingdom, which barely holds on the North, constantly pillaged by the Manichean Pechenegs, it seems the days of the Bulgarian Kingdom are numbered.

Balkans.png


Greatly contributing to the Seljuk Empire's decline, the Ridvan dynasty's sudden rise to power came as a shock to the powers in the region, quickly establishing itself over Trapezous and the Crimea, this ambitious Seljuk cadet dynasty seem poised to destroy the remains of the Byzantines, hungrily eyeing the jewel of the Empire from across the Bosporus.

In Jerusalem, the Aba dynasty of Hungary reigns supreme under their King Adrian, having expanded its realm into the Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula, the future of Jerusalem seems bright, although a marriage between the duchess of Galilee and the ambitious Emperor Leonardo II of Armenia certainly complicates matters.

To its immediate North lays the Bogomilist principality of Tripoli, which after their defeat at the hands of King Leonardo I of Armenia, migrated unto the Byzantine remains in the Levant, quickly ousting the Greeks from the region. As Emperor Leonardo II rises in Armenia, Bogomilist rule in the region may soon come to an end.


Far East kings.png
 
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stnylan

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The collapse of the Seljuks is a sweet thing.
 
Chapter 25 - Where Empires Come to Die (1166-1170)

Werson

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Chapter 25 - Where Empires Come to Die (1166-1170)

entry-of-the-turks-of-mohammed-ii-into-constantinople-benjamin-constant.jpg

The entry of the Ridvan Turks into Constantinople

Shortly after returning from the Crusade in Egypt, Emperor Leonardo would resume his campaign against the heathens, declaring war on the Bogomilist principality of Tripoli, annexing the fledgling realm into the Empire.

Bogomils.png


Bogomils 2.png

Emperor Leonardo was a renowned paranoid, hiring spies to prevent plots against him, as well as recruiting food-tasters and many guards to protect him against any possible threat. Upon receiving word of his wife's pregnancy, the young Emperor set many of his spies to track the duchess, believing the child to not be his. This would occur two more times during his reign, with Duchess Mafalda conceiving three girls of Leonardo's seed.

Pregnant.png

The growing paranoia of Emperor Leonardo

His paranoia bordered on insanity on the eyes of many, including Mafalda herself. Their marriage was far from healthy, with Mafalda refusing to leave her duchy in Galilee, and Emperor Leonardo only visiting her to relieve his lustful needs. At the time no one thought much of his actions, for the man was extremely popular among his vassals and soldiers, nearly reaching cult status.

Leonardo's inspired.png

Emperor Leonardo was fond of big speeches before and during battle, greatly motivating his men, who'd develop a great devotion to him

During the conquest of the Bogomilist principality, Emperor Leonardo ordered the desecration of their churches and temples, hoping to erase any trace the heretics might have left on the land. Unable to differentiate them from the heretic ones, Leonardo's men would accidentally pillage a Catholic church, earning the ire of Rome. Already upset with the founding of the so called "Empire of Armenia," relations with the papacy would sour during Leonardo's realm, for only the pope could crown the true Emperor.

Church raiding.png

The growing dissent between the Armenians and Rome

Despite the constant growing of the Armenian kingdom since the times of King Norman, the laws of the Armenian realm remained stagnant, unable to keep up with the immense growth it had seen since its independence. Leonardo would seek to amend that, enacting multiple laws that would grant him greater powers over his subjects, while decreasing theirs. Many in the Empire resented such changes as they feelt their freedoms were being limited, but due to Leonardo's God-like status at the time refused to object.

New Laws.png

Emperor Leonardo "the Law-Maker"

The harsh intolerant policies adopted during his and his father's reign would provoke many of the affected to raise arms in revolt, a thing that would become common throughout the Empire as Leonardo continued cementing his rule over the conquered territories.

Revolt.png

Just one of many, many rebellions Emperor Leonardo would have to face

This particular Sunni revolt proved problematic however, as during this time the Seljuks would invade the Kingdom of Jerusalem, who Emperor Leonardo offered to aid in the case of war.

Aid.png

The Jerusalemite-Seljuk War, November of 1167

Rather than waging war on two fronts, Emperor Leonardo saw fit to first eliminate the Sunni threat within his borders, crushing the rebellion of Arbil before they could gather strength from the neighboring provinces.

Rebels.png

The Battle of Arbil, February of 1168

Swiftly defeating the rebels, Leonardo would march South to meet with the armies of King Adrian, not before encountering a few lone Seljuk raiding parties, who were quickly dispatched by the numerically superior numbers of Leonardo.

Seljuk Battle 1.png


Battle 2.png

By February of 1169, both sides prepared for a final battle in the fields of Barin, where the combined forces of Armenia and Jerusalem broke the Seljuk armies, forcing their surrender, preventing Turkic expansion in the region for years to come.

Battle 3.png


Victory.png

The end of the Jerusalemite-Seljuk War, April of 1169

As Emperor Leonardo watched the peace treaty be finalized in Jerusalem, an envoy of King Adrian's arrived, bringing devastating news for Christendom. The Byzantine Empire was no more. The Ridvan Turks had broken through the Theodosian Walls, conquering the capital of Constantinople, ending over a millennia of Roman control over the city.

End of An Empire.png

The Fall of Constantinople, April of 1169
Unhappy with the peace treaty signed by King Adrian of Jerusalem, Emperor Leonardo launched his own campaign against the Seljuk Turks, hoping to drive them out of Asia Minor for good. Once defeated, he could turn his attention to the rising Ridvan Turks with the intent of reconquering Constantinople.

Battle of Melitene.png

Emperor Leonardo's invasion of Asia Minor

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The Battle of Melitene, January of 1170

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The Battle of Lykandos, May of 1170
Shortly after the battle of Lykandos, the Seljuk Emperor would succumb to the dreaded Camp Fever, putting a young child at the helm of the Empire. Surrender seemed inevitable to Leonardo, as prolonged warfare with Armenia could potentially destroy the struggling Seljuks who now laid leaderless against his might.

New Sultan.png

The death of Emperor Saltuk

Regardless of the inevitability of their surrender, the impatient Emperor could not stand idle and wait for the Seljuk envoys, attacking their remaining armies in the region.

Last Battle.png

The Battle of Sebasteia, July of 1170

This move would have irreparable consequences for the Empire, as the young Leonardo would be struck down, leaving him bed-ridden for many years, perhaps even the remainder of his life.

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The fight would go on without their Emperor, easily defeating their opponents, and eventually the Seljuks would sign the peace treaty, ceding much of their lands in Asia Minor to the one true Empire of Armenia.

Ikonion conquest.png

The Armenian Empire in July of 1170

The apparent loss of their Emperor would be disastrous for the Armenians, as Leonardo had left no male heirs behind, having three daughters and three sisters, neither of whom could inherit. If Leonardo were to die, or worse, be assassinated during his regency, the Empire would pass on to the nearest blood relative of his. The de Hautevilles. As law changes were forbidden during regencies, the people of Armenia would be at the mercy of God, praying their Emperor would wake up and conceive a proper heir.

Emperor.png

Emperor Leonardo upon entering his coma and his regent Thoros III

New Heir.png

The succession laws of the Empire, and the nearest male blood relative to the d'Avligiano-Bagratid dynasty
 

Werson

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I am glad that Byz still survive in the Balcans, and that you can expand into Asia Minor, like the Old Tigranes... and even Egypt through your sister
Yeah, about that :oops:... R.I.P. Byzzies.
The collapse of the Seljuks is a sweet thing.
Oh it really, really is. Although their cousins in the Ridvan Sultanate seem to be on the rise.
 

Werson

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You might be playing as the de Hautiviles after all
:D You read my comment in the other thread? Yeah I might, or I might not... Y'all will see what happens in the next couple of chapters. Like I said, the roller coaster ride is far from over, and the Bagratids sure love their ups and downs.
 

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Especially when they are not Bagratids anymore. Is the house extinct now?
Well, Leonardo's line is technically Bagratid since his grand-father Ishkhan was a fully blooded Bagratid, even if the product of his seed became of the d'Avligiano family. But yes, the Bagratid house is nearly extinct, with only the sister of Ishkhan still alive, unmarried, and on her 50's if I remember correctly.

Edit: Never mind, she died in 1106 :p. So yes, the Bagratid line is extinct.
 
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stnylan

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Oh my goodness that is an "interesting" turn of events, as they say.
 

guillec87

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mmmmmm, a new 'Roman Empire' could emerge... I think Tigranes and Mithriades would be laughing in their tombs
 
Chapter 26 - The Calm Before the Storm (1170-1175)

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Chapter 26 - The Calm Before the Storm (1170-1175)

As word of the Emperor's injury spread throughout the realm, the recently defeated Bogomilists once more made their move, rising up in both the Levant and Assyria. The speed at which they could organize leads one to believe that perhaps they received help from nearby nobles, hoping to destabilize the Empire for their gain.

October 1170.png

Yet another Bogomilist uprising, October of 1170

The newly appointed regent Thoros III Aaronios was a competent administrator, but he lacked the skills and knowledge to command the imperial armies. Looking to delegate a few of the duties of his post, Thoros would revive the office of Sparapet or Supreme Commander of the armed forces, appointing Vartan, duke of Vaspurakan.

Vartan would lead the imperial forces against the Bogomilists, swiftly crushing their armies in the Levant. Ready to march against the remaining rebel forces in Assyria, Vartan would be forced to change his plans, for an envoy arrived from Egypt, bringing worrying news.

Bogomil Battle.png

The Battle of Al-Qadamus, January of 1171

Queen Keran of Egypt, the sister of Emperor Leonardo, had never been educated on the difficult duties of ruling a vast realm, let alone one populated by infidels and heretics in a hostile land. She would succumb to the pressure and die of severe stress, leaving no heir behind. Being her closest blood relative, the Crusader Kingdom of Egypt would pass unto the Empire, bringing with it a distant realm which Regent Thoros and Sparapet Vartan would be forced to defend.

While the inheritance of Egypt brought the Empire into the wars Queen Keran had been fighting before her death, it brought joy to those loyal to Emperor Leonardo, for the Kingdom of Egypt enjoyed a bit more favorable laws than those in Armenia, allowing for female succession. If Leonardo were to die, the Empire of Armenia would be inherited by the de Hautevilles of Sicily, but Leonardo's daughter Alitz would inherit the throne of Egypt, bringing some respite to the Bagratids.

dead from stress.png

The passing of Queen Keran, February of 1171

Queen Keran had left her Kingdom facing war on two fronts: On the South, an independence rebellion led by one of his Venetian vassals sought to liberate themselves from her rule, surely with some insidious plan to join the conniving Republic of Venice. On the North, Keran had declared war on the Genoese merchants that established themselves on her shores, backed by the Venetian Republic.

Trade and Independ.png

The wars of the late Queen Keran

Egypt.png

The Kingdom of Egypt (green) and the lands under rebellion (red), featuring many other independent realms that Queen Keran failed to subjugate

As Queen Keran had been the instigator in the Egyptian-Genoese War, the Armenian High Council saw fit to simply pay off the greedy merchants of Genoa, hoping to avoid further bloodshed, allowing Sparapet Vartan to focus on crushing the rebellion to the South.

White Peace.png

Wanting to secure peace within the core of the Empire before securing the far-flung provinces of Egypt, Vartan would move unto the remaining Bogomilist forces in Assyria, capturing their leader and forcing their surrender.

End of Rebels for now.png

The end of the Bogomilist revolt, June of 1171

After six months of arduous marching through the sands of the Levant and Egypt, Sparapet Vartan would clash against the rebel forces near the independent city of Tobruk, swiftly crushing their forces. Their leader Lamberto would be captured shortly, putting an end to the revolt for good.

independ rebels battle.png

The Battle of Tobruk, February of 1172

Armenian Empire.png

The Armenian Empire at the end of the rebellion (The rebels would lose a province to the Salids in Cairo during the war. If you wonder why it says Sicilia over Arabia, it's because the Fatimids who hold the land are tributaries of the Normans in Sicily)

Giving no respite to Sparapet Vartan and his forces, a new revolt would arise in Assyria, taking advantage of Vartan and the imperial armies absence from Armenia. Without any rest, Vartan would have to make the arduous journey once more, losing many of his men to attrition in the sands of the Levant.

Two new revolts.png

The Assyrian revolt, April of 1172

Vartan would arrive in the Assyrian provinces by July, assisting the Duke of Assyria in putting down the rebellion

Assyrians.png

The Duke of Assyria fighting the rebel forces, July of 1172
As peace returned to the realm once more, the Armenian High Council convened to discuss the succession of the Empire, as Leonardo remained in his comatose state. Many of the nobles in the Empire had ties with Sicily, as their families had been landed by King Norman and were of Norman-Sicilian heritage, this faction delighted on the idea of the powerful de Hautevilles taking over the Empire.

Still, most of the council remained loyal to the Bagratids, and wanted to consolidate the Kingdom of Egypt so Leonardo's daughter Alitz could have a peaceful succession to the throne, lacking any potential enemies that might upset her rule. With a four-to-two vote in favor, Regent Thoros declared war on the upstart Salid Sultanate of Cairo.

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The High Council declares war on the Sultan Zayd, January of 1173

Facing multiple rebellions within their own realm, the Salids were unable to mount a resistance against the armies of Sparapet Vartan, who inflicted multiple defeats on their unorganized armies.

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As more and more of the Armenian forces descended from the core of the Empire to Egypt, the Salids were forced to admit defeat, ceding their capital and much of the surrounding areas to Vartan.

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The occupation of the Salid Sultanate and the large Armenian supply train across the Levant, January of 1174

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The Kingdom of Egypt following the victory against the Salid Sultanate

Faced with the might of their new Armenian overlords, most of the Muslim population fled the city, leaving only those who agreed to convert to the Catholic faith, including most of the Coptic population, who welcomed their liberation from the Arabs.

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The surprising conversion of Cairo, February of 1174

Despite their great victory over the Mohammedans, the nobles of Armenia grew restless, beginning to conspire against the Regency Council fearing their glorious Emperor might never wake up. There however are records of Emperor Leonardo's lucidity during short periods of his coma, where the once great warrior would ask his physicians to end his suffering, only for his caretakers to turn their back on the Emperor, prolonging his suffering.

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The many, many factions conspiring within the Empire

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The failed suicide attempts of Emperor Leonardo

With rumors of the many factions within the Empire planning a large-scale rebellion, Regent Thoros would move the capital to Cairo, cementing the Armenian presence in the region while ensuring the safety of Leonardo's daughters.

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The new capital of the Armenian Empire, November of 1174

Merely a month later, the Coptic ruler of Tubruk would agree to join the Empire as the forces of Sparapet Vartan laid a siege on his realm.
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Seeing the movement of the capital to Cairo simply as the weak Regency Council fleeing from Armenia, the conspirators would declare their independence from the comatose Emperor, raising their armies in rebellion.

This rebellion would start what would be known to future historians as the "Times of Troubles," for this was but the start of steep decline the Empire would face in the following years. Of course, it could be argued that the "Times of Troubles" started much sooner, with the injury of Emperor Leonardo and the establishment of the Regency Council, but during those early years the council would be very much in control, even expanding the realm at the expense of the Salids and Copts in Egypt. Regardless, the difficult coming years would put the longevity of this so called Armenian Empire into question. Perhaps Leonardo's Empire too was destined to failed.
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The start of the Times of Troubles, August of 1175
 

stnylan

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Rough times for the Empire, and clearly rougher ahead.
 
Chapter 27 - The One Where Armenia Loses (1175-1177)

Werson

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Chapter 27 - The One Where Armenia Loses (1175-1177)

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Sparapet Vartam retreating after yet another defeat

The rebel uprising had evenly spread throughout the empire, plaguing both Egypt and Armenia. Asia Minor remained loyal, but only because an overly ambitious duke had consolidated most of it under his rule and currently waged war on the Ridvan Sultanate, unable to join the revolt.

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The Armenian Independence Revolt, green represents the loyalists, red the rebels.

As the conquest of the independent city of Tobruk had just occurred, Sparapet Vartam and the standing armies were in Egypt when the revolt started, unable to quickly link up with the bulk of the loyalist forces in Armenia.

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Sparapet Vartam at the outset of the war

As wars tend to do, many marauders and opportunists would soon join the conflict wishing to fill their pockets, mostly on the side of the rebels. The rebels also saw many heretics and infidels join their ranks, mostly Muslims and Bogomilists who still resented the Armenian leadership over their lands.

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More rebels join the party

As the rebel forces controlled both the Sinai Peninsula and most of Antioche, Sparapet Vartam would not be able to unite the Imperial armies, and thus would be forced to rely on mercenaries to break their line of defense. Being located only a few days away from Cairo, the Nubian Band was the optimal choice for Vartam.

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Ever since the revival of the Armenian Kingdom and the founding of the Empire, the foes the Armenians had battled always were nearly always numerically inferior or outright worse in skill, lending to swift victories by the better prepared and equipped Armenians. As Vartam had grown accustomed to facing weak opponents, he failed to adapt his strategy of reckless aggression, leading to a loss near Qulzum, even with the aid of the Nubians.

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The Battle of Qulzum, November of 1175

As Vartam retreated from Qulzum after suffering heavy losses, the loyalist forces in Armenia too suffered a defeat near the capital.

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The Battle of Ashtarak, November of 1175

With the abscense of Vartam in the region, the loyalist forces failed to organize and would repeatedly fall prey to the much better assembled rebel forces.

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The Battle of Oshakan, January of 1176

Rather than helping against the rebel forces, the duke of Anatolikon remained put in his capital, and abusing the lack of imperial authority due to the conflict, would crown himself King of Ikonion, greatly strengthening his authority over the region.

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Sultan Nikephoros of Ikonion

After his loss on Qulzum, Vartam would retreat through Jerusalem, hoping to reach Armenia and the loyalist forces within before the rebels could catch up to them. Alas, Vartam's forces would be intercepted shortly after entering the Crusader Kingdom, and handed another devastating defeat.

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The Battle of Daron, October of 1176

Unable to link up with the loyalist armies in Armenia, the tax flow to Cairo would soon stop, forcing Vartam to request loans from local Jewish traders and the Templar Order in order to pay his troops and hire more mercenaries.

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Being stranded in Egypt, Sparapet Vartam would be forced to hire more of these poorly trained African mercenaries, with the only alternative being Muslim Arabs, who Vartam feared would turn on him as soon as they could.

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More African mercenaries join the ranks of Vartam

Hoping to break the rebel armies by overwhelming them with bodies, Vartam would soon learn that sometimes quality is far better than quantity, as he observed the hired tribals flee in terror, leaving his men to die in the battlefield. With his coffers exhausted and his armies depleted, Vartam would be forced to sign their surrender, much to the dismay of Regent Thoros who did no approve of such action.

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The Battle of San, February of 1177

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The Armenian Empire following the surrender against the rebels, May of 1177
 

stnylan

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I am sure the crows will start to flock about the empire now its has been shown to be weak.
 

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