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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Shaytana

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I've decided to post an AAR of my current test game. This is not a play to win game, but I will still be trying to restore Arche Seleukeia and if possible put my Seleukidai on the their proper Imperial throne. (just not as hard as I would otherwise)

THE SETUP BEFORE THE MADNESS STARTS:

First off, the initial culprit: (He is labeled as no. I because I have not implemented the gazillion historical characters needed to have a proper number in the history files)
moZMk.jpg


Notice his bloodline trait, with a short history of the bloodline attached. To the east of the small Seleukidai kingdom centered on Antiocheia, lies the Kingdom of Palmyra...a great potential ally or enemy, depending on how the tides of politics turn. One problem the Seleukidai face is their worship of Alexandros-Ammon in a sea of Infidels...let's hope we can restore the proper religious order to the region.

Notice the army composition -> The army of the Seleukidai still follows a Hellenistic model, if updated, and Antiocheia is home to a legendary military tradition... a place where an ultra-elite army can be trained.

pNncl.jpg


A few hundreds of buildings up the building tree, the Seleukidai have the potential to build a powerful Hetairoi corps (comprised of both Cavalry Hetairoi and Asthetairoi Foot Companions) and enlarge it...many many things need to be in place first and a very strong economy needs to be built up to sustain an elite professional army, so that won't happen anytime soon.

p37Te.jpg


The ace in the Seleukid sleeve is their elite corps of Argyraspides, ready to be raised for war in times of need. These troops will be very useful as the very steadfast center of our army.

yki2L.jpg


It is now time to see wether the heirs of Seleukos can march East, humble all those who oppose them, and enter Seleukeia on the Tigris crowned with the laurels of victory, and thus reforge their ancient Empire!
 
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Shaytana

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As Antiochus lacks the necessary prestige and cash to wage a war...he is occupied with other important matters...such as errr administration obviously:

mK9Py.jpg


Sadly, historical re-enactment is a costly hobby and he can't afford it... besides history is boring anyway, right, right?

Administration does have its perils...

qkJOh.jpg


Antiochus decides to cut off that bastard's tongue and be done with it... (he doesn't need stress now, does he?)

1075 finally saw the acquisition of Tripoli after a short pikemen parade exercise versus those clueless infidels who used to hold it... Meantime the Basileus is crying tears of blood as he sees that his neighbours are warring against one another and destroying their military strength in the process, while he can't convince his people to go fight another war...

Although a little bit of Faith is found... mostly because Antiochus thinks piety is a requirement for Holy Wars...

KYcHi.jpg


Antiochus also gains a bit of enlightenment...but not much.

k9iUJ.jpg


In 1080 Antiochus sees his chance as major regional wars are being fought... his feckless fellow descendant of Seleukos ruling over Beirut is fighting elsewhere... now this is a perfect time for a triumphal Argyraspides parade in his city...so the army goes South looking spiffy.

The parade lasted a bit longer than anticipated, but in 1082 it finally ended... so the proud Kingdom of Syria got its new parade ground:

nt8yZ.jpg
 
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Shaytana

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Apparently Antiochus's fondness for military parades upset some people...

tWm6Z.jpg


But tyrants do know when to retire!

And they also know that a proper tyrant needs a personality cult:

y7jjn.jpg


History will surely remember Antiochus as the God he was!

And because old age brings about wisdom...

KrbTX.jpg


Glory is obviously a manufactured product...and Antiochus is a proper glory venture capitalist!

And as time passes and he still can't convince his people to go on another parade...

ePvgg.jpg


Antiochus becomes a conoisseur of natural human music!

Sadly the fates are not kind with our music lover... and his heir dies...

TOWyS.jpg


Could this be because his second born is now bethrothed to the future Queen of Nabatea? Could the Gods be following some grand plan here? Maybe, maybe so... the Divine Antiochus whispers.

cWIam.jpg
 

Shaytana

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After fighting a victorious war on behalf of Nabatea (and thus his son), Antiochus finally decided it was time for a parade around Baalbeck or thereabouts.

Parading was not an approved activity in that corner of the world it seems so... a great battle had to be fought...

X8unR.jpg


The Argyraspides stubbornly held on without budging in their place of honor on the right, and the Hetairoi cavalry overwhelmed the Infidel flank... Strangely enough the battle was fought under the command of a Norman Cathar infidel baron vassal of Antiochus... but still glory belonged to Alexandros-Ammon!

c1Eft.jpg


A series of battles and sieges later...sometime in 1103 the war ended with the much expected parade.

1105 saw the addition of another parade ground, namely Tyrus. The God Antiochus beamed upon his victorious Argyraspides and waved as a proper Jubilee celebrating Basileus...although he wasn't quite sure if it was the proper year for it.

Just as he was thinking that all was well in the world... and he might even live to do some historical re-enactments...

zP9Ws.jpg


The defiant Basileus assembled his Argyraspides in the great Agora of Antiocheia, and after a speech that would live on in history, proclaimed:

"We shall fight in the plains, we shall fight in the hills, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the mountains... we shall never surrender!"
 

Shaytana

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The secret to surviving Jihads is simple... mercenaries! Or was it allies? Or maybe both! That and a great mass of unbreakable pikemen.

The Jihad proved to be a bit of an anti-climax, with the foolish Infidels losing battle after battle... Basileus Antiochus proved his Divine Blood leading the Hetairoi into battle time and time again, their thundering charges breaking the enemy and sending them straight to their prophesized paradise.

Cl4wI.jpg


Alexandros-Ammon proved the stronger in his contest with Allah and finally in 1109...

TkTWc.jpg


But some foreign trickster god must have interfered with the wellthought plans of the Divine Antiochus...because his heir had still to produce a proper male child and he had himself imprisoned somehow...

q6p8a.jpg


The succesful defense against the infidel Jihad left Antiochus with a ton of piety ready to be spent....on that most pious enterprise called war!

So it was that 1111 saw the annexation of Irbid... and in 1112 while a war for the conquest of Beroea was being waged...

TRGp1.jpg


It is said that the Argyraspidai wept to a man, as the old Basileus ascended to become one with Alexandros-Ammon.

Before his death, true to his love of Roman history, the last words of the Divine Antiochus, are reported to have been:

“Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit!” and the entire army camped before the walls of Beroea applauded, and the Christian infidels inside the walls thought the very walls of the city would collapse from the neverending, glorious noise of his passing!

Thus ended the life of Antiochus Soter, in a glorious thundering torrent of applause, may Alexandros-Ammon find him worthy.

6AiV3.jpg
 
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Shaytana

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OK so starting a new reign as an imprisoned character... that is going to be interesting!

Aye, especially as I saved, exited...and going to adjust everything I found wrong throughout this playthrough... as tech research rate, and casus belli costs etc... I will tweak things to what I consider to be better, then load up the game (after I return from lunch) and continue my epic adventure...provided Antialcidas reigns long enough for me to reach some conclusions on what needs further adjustment, I shall repeat the process I outlined before and so on. :D
 

Shaytana

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As the very rules of the Universe shift and change around him, Basileus Antialcidas of Syria and Nabatea is quite oblivious to it all, as he is too busy listening to the incessant pestering of his father's shade. It goes on like this: "What's wrong with you boy? I offered you Nabatea on a platter, and you could not spare the seed to father one puny little weakling son! Were you too interested in Hephaistions or what? Now I command you to get out of here and go father a child...a male child!"

So while Antialcidas is being haunted by his father and....errr....entertained by his kind hosts... the world is going on with its usual bussiness.

Somewhere deep in the Barbarian North, Dacia has emerged as a regional power. (Antialcidas doesn't know and could not care less)

y8S7l.jpg


And elsewhere, this time far to the West (even further away from our hero's concerns) the Pepinid Karling King of Austrasia has had enough and removed his Karling relative from Aachen... Woe to the world, the Karling Sacral Emperor is no more... Charlemagne sighs and shakes his head, but decides not to pester any of his descendants in the way Antiochus does... besides he is not divine enough to be able to do it in the first place...

R4IOD.jpg


What Antialcidas would care about (if only he knew about it) is the conquest of Beroea... done in his name and towards his greater glory, although he obviously does not lift a finger... for a while at least... because he manages to get himself ransomed! (at tremendous cost but what use is an imprisoned Basileus? -although the question should be what use is Antialcidas, at all?)

So in order to shut up his father.......Antialcidas decides to help out a Lady in her time of need...

G2bFL.jpg


But then his father changes his mind, and so does Antialcidas...and old men are truly entitled to their just rewards, no?

Meanwhile Beroea is annexed... and while his armies are putting down a revolt in Irbid...

qPS3D.jpg


The noise of the passing of Antialcidas proved to be even louder than that of his father... It literally made the Earth tremble and the Heavens shake!

Sadly, not in a good or glorious way...

Thus passed Antialcidas the Unready... without any applause whatsoever...

jreA9.jpg
 
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Shaytana

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It has to be said that the death of Antialcidas tooooooootaaaaaaaallly ruined my plans... and made me rage a bit...you will see why in the next update...........
 

Shaytana

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Behold Queen Philippa I of Syria! Trueblood of Seleukos, Supreme Autokrator of the Hellenes, Mistress of all She Surveys, and even some things she doesn't!

h4ixy.jpg


Her only sin, and a major one at that in the eyes of Antiochus's restless shade is...... that she is a woman.

While the revolt in Irbid is put down in her name (the queen is too busy humiliating her tutor with intellectual displays that would make Plato quiver with envy) the ultimate insult the Gods could muster is thrown Antiochus's way... the Queen of Nabatea gives birth to a posthumous son by her not so lamented husband Antialcidas... a Trueblood male heir of Seleukos is born only after his older sister has already been proclaimed and crowned Autokrator of the Hellenes... The nobility of Syria much prefer the young queen - who will need a husband, why not a Syrian husband at that? - to the little helpless boy being nursed in far away Nabatea...

RYxR2.jpg


This sends Antiochus's shade in a paroxysm of fury...and to soothe his divine nerves... he beats the unliving daylight out of the shade of his feckless son, but he can do little as he looks on upon this ultimate irony of fate... A Seleukid King will reign in Nabatea while his sister will rule in Syria... or try to at least.

"You brainless, impotent idiot!" he rages at his chastised son "Why couldn't you have lived for a couple more months? Then you could have died and everyone would have been happy about it...but noooo! You had to come here and spoil my afterlife... Woe, woe is me!" and so on, and so forth, punctuated by merciless kicking - and the kicking does hurt because these are Divine shades we're talking about here!

Philippa does not know about this, and knows even less about her armies being used to fight a war on behalf of Nabatea to the South...a succesful one at that.

1117 is spent putting down the revolt of Diodotus Antipater, Meridarch of Tyrus, and then the revolt of the Meridarch of Beroea... (These revolts make Antiochus rage even more -if that is even possible- and lament the great misfortune of his line all over again)...and while her army is again to the South fighting yet another war on behalf of Nabatea...

Queen Phillipa comes of age...

U8sop.jpg


All hail, Basilissa Philippa of Syria, the First of Her Name, Trueblood of Seleukos, Autokrator of the Hellenes, Supreme Hegemon of the Inner Sea, Mistress of the Four Corners of the World, Divine Sword of Alexandros-Ammon, Defender of the Light! (and many, many, many other assorted titles even she can not remember, in spite of her prodigious intellect)
 
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Shaytana

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While her armies are fighting to expand Nabatean territory... Phillipa is experiencing a streak of very strange dreams... She can vividly see an ever furious scarred hunchback and someone who could very well be her father talking to each other. The scarred hunchback stares at her on occassion and shouts: "Do not marry! You hear me girl! Do not marry!" before proceeding to kick the man that looks like her father...who can't be her father because he not only allows himself to be kicked but also is quite content only to whimper in response...

Sometimes Philippa thinks this old man could be her grandfather...he does have that famous Seleukid nose after all... but then she stares at the beautiful colossal statue of him - made by that incredibly great and divinely inspired artist Phidias the XXIVth - eternally presiding over the Great Agora of Antiocheia...and realizes that her grandfather had been a God among Men, a supremely beautiful Apollo made flesh, perfect in every possible way, including all the physical ones...and surely this demented hunchback bears no resemblance to her Divine Grandfather.

Deciding that she is still young, and needs no man to tell her what to do...Philippa starts a war to conquer Hellenopolis for one of her vassals...

And while that is going on...

al0lU.jpg


The ever angry hunchback seems to have lost his bad temper...he whispers to Philippa that he is Seleukos, and indeed he is her, for her blood is strong! His seductive words speak of great deeds and conquests and eternal glory! And Philippa listens avidly!

Then a Sign splinters the Heavens!

3xBYp.jpg


With a little urging from "Seleukos", Philippa knows now that she must ride to glory! A suitable warhorse and a brand new suit of armor are easily found!

Hellenopolis is conquered in 1122, and the shade whispers: "Gloriana!" into her ear, as she nods and smiles.

1124 sees the conquest of Teluch. The Argyraspidai cheer their Warrior Queen as she enters Teluch in triumph riding her great black warhorse, aptly named Bucephalus. She is a vision of martial splendor and beauty, and the Argyraspidai spontaneously take up the chant:

"Seleukos Akatanikitos! Akatanikitos!"

Seleukos, Invincible Forever! The shade smiles and nods knowingly from behind the steely eyes of the Great Warrior Queen of Syria. Glory is theirs, now and forever!
 
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Shaytana

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1129 saw the conquest of Epiphania. The Great Warrior Queen of Syria followed this great victory with another war, this time for Emesa. The war had been going well when in 1134 suddenly...

cHYo1.jpg


The death of the Warrior Queen of Syria remains a mystery to this day. It is whispered by some that following a meeting with a mysterious preacher, she threw herself from the highest tower of the conquered city of Emesa...vile rumours for sure... Her official biographer proclaims she did not die, but merely ascended to Alexandros-Ammon in a chariot of fire! This account is taken up by the Argyraspidai who chant her name before the walls of Emesa, as they have not chanted for milennia:

Megas Philippa! Megas Philippa!

And thus Philippa, Warrior Queen of Syria, Trueblood of Seleukos passed on into Legend, to the glorious sound of chanting by her beloved Argyraspidai.

It is not known what happened to the body of the Warrior Queen, but few wonder about it. Surely she is now with Alexandros riding together to even greater glories!

2SX9O.jpg


The House of Seleukos, upon the Ascension of Queen Philippa to Eternal Glory.
 
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Shaytana

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And thus the throne of Seleukos came to... Antimachus...

zpH9e.jpg


Antimachus, Trueblood of Seleukos, the Unhellenic Supreme Autokrator of the Hellenes, and so on and so forth...who barely understands the meaning of the word Basileus and errrr...what is this Elohim bussiness?

A frowning hunchback looks upon this scion of Hellenism and sighs. A beautiful woman bedecked in jeweled armor takes up the sigh and mercilessly kicks a third figure, a man who merely whimpers at the indignity.

"Shut up!" the woman says. "This is all your fault."

"Well at least he married properly" the hunchback mutters.

ltk8N.jpg


"Not quite..."the woman says. "That girl's dumb as a brick. She can even do a passing impersonation of my father!"

The third figure groans, but before he can say anything a 4th appears. This spectre is a man wearing the Pschent, the Double Crowns of Egypt and holding the two Sekhem-scepters of power, one for Seth and one for Horus.

"Careful how you insult my bloodline Seleukidai currs." the man says looking quite regal as he does.

"No one invited you here, old man."Antiochus mutters."Go back to Horus and leave us be."

"And take your little puppy daughter with you!" the whimpering man says, finding his courage. The crowned spectre answers him with a Sekhem-scepter blow to the head, and he collapses into a pile of agony.

"Maybe we can get along after all!"Antiochus says beaming widely while looking at the agonized figure of his son.

"See I have this vision of a united Divine bloodline...ruling over Syria, Kyrene and Nabatea...and from there...Arche Seleukeia awaits...no wait, what say you my friend, could we restore Arche Makedonia together?"

The regal pharaoh-like figure frowns, then speaks as if with a forked tongue:

"Stay away from Kyrene," he proclaims, "or you shall feel the wrath of Horkhenti Irti" then dissapears as the beating wings of falcons are heard.

"Hooorkheeenti Irrrtiii? What nonsense is that?" Antiochus asks the woman.

"I believe that's..." the woman starts to speak but Antiochus cuts her off.

"Does not matter. Whoever that is he is no match for our very Divine selves... Let him try and stop us... Now, now, let us see what can be done about this wayward scion of ours..."

"He will do whatever is needed...or ascend to Glory" the woman says smiling diabolically.

"Ascend to Glory!" the whimpering man agrees as he rises up to hide behind his father.
 

Shaytana

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I have played a bit further...and so I can safely say that tomorrow you will see whether Antimachus ascends to Glory...or not... Can he prove himself worthy of his Divine Bloodline? He does have the Seleukid nose after all... Stay tuned for the Life and Deeds of Antimachus, and tell me if you want me to continue this aar, I'm thinking I should maybe get back to modding. :p
 

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This AAR is a lil crazy :D (a good sort of crazy) and convinced me to try out your mod. Please keep going, but it doesn't have to be today, you already posted lots of stuff :p
 

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This is a fun thing to read. I especially love the image of the shades of past family members beating each other for their stupidity.
 

Shaytana

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@Thanks guys. The AAR will continue today.

I'm going to do a a strange thing for the next updates...adopt a theme, while already went a bit Dune with Philippa :p, next up is...........errr you will see.
 

Shaytana

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THE LIFE AND DEEDS OF ANTIMACHUS:

EPISODE IV: (why is this labeled episode IV? maybe I didn't implement the other episodes in the history files???) AN OLD HOPE!

Tatatataaaat...tatataatatata...taatatatatataaaaa... (EPIC MUSIC score here and missing opening crawl - to be implemented in a future version)

A long time ago...In a Kingdom FAR, FAR, away...


1134 saw the annexation of Emesa... but most importantly:

ShVwV.jpg


All hail Basileus....errr Sultan Antimachus, of Syria and Nabatea, Most Unhellenic Supreme Autokrator of the Hellenes, Hegemon of the East, Spear of Elohim and so on and so forth...

3mF0i.jpg


Meanwhile in a place some wrongly called "The Star of the Dead" - I assure you that's an unfortunate translation and misnomer - three shades are having a conversation of sorts (that is to say two are talking to each other while ocassionaly kicking a third).

"A theologian...a bloody mastermind Theologian....believing in this Elohim bussiness to boot!" a hunchback shade laments.

"Theology is the opium of the priesthood, grandfather" a female shade says haughtily "we just need to provide him with a different sort of opium!"

The hunchback stops fretting, then smiles widely.

"You would know all about opium now my dear, I do agree!"he says. "The only problem here is that I can't get through to him... and we have an important issue that needs imminent addressing...just look at this heir of his..."

fxkqT.jpg


"Ezrah! I mean what kind of a name is that? And this Elohim bussiness again..."the hunchback sighs. "We need to make sure that lad becomes a proper Hellen worshipper of Alexandros-Ammon....and I can't get to him."

"Maybe he can." the woman says pointing to the whimpering shade.

"Good idea" the hunchback agrees. "Maybe he is not Divine enough and can to get to the lad somehow, go do it son!"

"But father..."

"No buts! Look at this kingdom here..."

4mnrl.jpg


"Yes, father but..."

"Enough with the buts! That's a banned word from now on! No more BUTS!" the hunchback thunders.

"Do you want Hellenism to lose this beautiful kingdom? Do you want the old hope of Megas Alexandros to be lost??? Do you, do you, skunk?"

"No...b..." He is interrupted by a kick in the groin - courtesy of his daughter.

"No buts! Go to him now and see to it, or you'll be very, VERY, sorry!" the hunchback roooooooars, while pointing towards the general direction of his male organs.

The whimpering shade disappears (while nursing his ethereal groin) suddenly deciding to accept his mission (rather than accept potential spiritual impotence).
 
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Shaytana

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THE LIFE AND DEEDS OF ANTIMACHUS:

EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!

Tatatataaaat...tatataatatata...taatatatatataaaaa.. . (EPIC MUSIC score here and opening crawl STILL MISSING - to be implemented in a future version)

A long time ago...In a Kingdom FAR, FAR, away...


Basileus....errr Sultan Antimachus of Syria and Nabatea, Most Unhellenic Supreme Autokrator of the Hellenes, Hegemon of the East, Spear of Elohim and so on and so forth... is contemplating the birth of his son...

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...and his Southern campaign of conquest - the one he inherited from his mother... and his defense against the latest flavor of the month Jihad sent his way... His Empire will strike back with righteous fury at those Muslim Infidels and spread the Light of Elohim and.......

Suddenly the air around him darkens...and a rather imposing man, breathing heavily (while holding on to his groin) - dressed in long flowing black clothes appears. This most imposing figure, clothed in the very fabric of shadow looks at him from behind a veil of obsidian energy.

"Elohim protect me!" Antimachus whispers frightened by this mysterious apparition.

The Dark Spectre, breathing ever more heavily booms:

"Antimachus, I am your faaaaaather!"

At this, the frightened Antimachus takes a step back, but the spectre takes a step forward stretching his hand towards him:

"Your mother never told you, what happened to your father" the spectre says.

"She told me enough!" Antimachus whimpers taking another step back.

"Your mother was a born liar...a pathetic worshipper of Elohim at that... Now witness the power of Alexandros-Ammon made errr..flesh...before you!" the spectre booms (still holding on to his groin) as Antimachus retreats.

"But Elohim will protect me from this madness!" Antimachus persists (while still retreating).

"Nonsense my boy! Nonsense! Just stretch out your hand towards Alexandros-Ammon... and together we shall...rule the wooooooorld!" the heavily breathing spectre roars.

"Noooo, away foul demon!" Antimachus cries as he takes another step back. "Away to Hades with you!"

"But...Antimachus!" the spectre proclaims (forgeting but was a banned word) "I am your fatheeeer!"

"Nooooooooo!" his son cryies...and Antialcidas is not quite certain if it's a denial of his parentage or a shout relating to his son's rather unfortunate fall from the balcony. (having backtracked to get away from his father's shade Antimachus managed to reach the balcony's edge and fall in the gardens below- a rather unfortunate long fall at that)

"Well, father won't be happy now..." Antialcidas says (still nursing his groin), while he dissapears.

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As Antialcidas appears besides his father's shade, he notices Antiochus is in a particularly good mood.

"Good job son, good job!" Antiochus smiles and pats him on the back.

"Errrr...thank you father." Antialcidas answers not quite sure why his father is in such a good mood.

"Look here son! This is your work!" his father points.

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"Ooohh, but I thought he was named Da'ud" Antialcidas whispers.

"Apparently your visit did something to him." Philippa says. "Although it's highly questionable we want another Antialcidas around here in the near future..."

"Patience daughter, patience" Antiochus says. "Give it time, the lad might sire a proper Antiochus in a couple of years or so..."

"Good job son" he adds and pats Antialcidas on the back again. "Maybe the Empire can strike back after all!"

And with that the three shades smile, and they have a lot to smile about:

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Shaytana

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EPISODE VI: THE RETURN OF (SPOILER) might be delayed.(but will come for sure) I am working on the traits system a bit - one consequence will be less lunacy.

Please tell me if you want the DIADOKHOI WARS SAGA to continue... (I am increasingly thinking of starting a new game with all my tweaking going in effect from day 1)