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Xhanada

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One Rome, One Sultan
A sultanate of Rum CK2+ AAR

Introductionary class 00

Alright now, class. Calm yourself. Sit down, take your notebooks and laptops out. While this is an optional class and while I'm not going to quiz you or test you, you can still take some notes. This course is going to help you when you go deeper into the required history courses, so you better keep them after this course is over! You'll also have to write an essay later on, but we'll leave that for later.

Now, you all know this is a rather niche subject all in all, but I'm thankful that you all are attending. I promise you that when this class is over you'll leave this classroom as smarter men and women one and all, and who knows, perhaps you'll even thank me when you graduate, heh...

Anyhow! Enough about these rambles. I'll pass you all the course plan and go out to get my own notes for this class. You can draft up some questions already if you want, some basics, so on so forth. Welcome to the course on the history of Rum and of house Suleyman.



---

This is my first AAR attempt in a long time (the last two were pathetic attempts by a busy, dumber me), but I'll try and keep this one active and focused, so that there will be at least some active updates. This AAR will be considered an historical one. Feel free to draft up questions from the "students", so that you lovely people can participate just a little bit. I hope you all will enjoy it!
 

Xhanada

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Class 01: The Alexiad, Suleyman's reign and the first crusade
(part 1)


And I'm back, class. Since this course is optional, I presume you all have at least some form of interest in this subject and in near-eastern medieval history in general. But to those who simply took this course because the "no exams" part on the paper looked great, I suppose I'll quickly recap what led to the birth of the sultanate.


The image I've projected out here represents the Turkish forces of the Seljuk (or Seljuq or Selkjuk, however you wish to spell it) sultan fighting against the Byzantine armies during the battle of Manzikert. The Turkish forces used tactics the Byzantine armies were not used to, ending up in the turks cutting up a large part of Byzantine armenia for themselves. The current Seljuk sultan then gifted these areas to another member of the family, who chose to form his own cadet dynasty in the area. That man was Suleyman.



Suleyman's personal historian, Muhammad, wrote down surprisingly little of the man. Perhaps it was due to his shy attitude. While the sections describing him are plastered with praise due to obvious biases, these accounts are still important to bring out some information on the at parts mysterious patriarch of the Suleyman faily. A distant cousin to sultan Seljuq, Suleyman had convinced his cousin to gift these areas to him trough his ambitious bravado that he only dared to show in private to his closest family members. A capable administrator and a dutiful, if not professional commander. These traits allowed Suleyman to rise to the Sultanate.



Suleyman's greatest challenge during the early years of his reign was Basileus (Emperor) Alexios Komneos. A true miracle for an empire that needed one. A kind man, a zealous man, a man who could conquer and rule. Muhammad wrote more of Alexios than Suleyman. Now, I understand you all might consider this a strange thing, but many historians of the time theorize this was to build Alexios up as the main enemy for the newly arrived Turks. They'd know it was Alexios they were waging war against, and they would know they had toppled a mighty enemy when he would be defeated. For more reference, please look trough Muhammad's "Alexiad" section in his history book.

These two great men, Suleyman and Alexios, were face to face. Constantinople bordered the lands of the Turks directly, and it was clear that both states were on the edge of the knife. The Imperial regime wished to reclaim their lands in Anatolia from the invading Turks, while the Rum wished to continue their expansion Westwards, to claim the empire of the Romans for their one true Rome.



In the end, it was the Greeks who begun the attack. Estimates of the time from Muhammad nailed the Ruman men at around seven thousand strong, while the Byzantine forces were singled out at around thirteen thousand. More conservative options from the Byzantine historian Michael drop the Byzantine troop count by around three thousand. What is known for sure was that the Greeks had the numerical superiority, along with coffers that were surprisingly full considering the state of the Empire at the time.

The Turks were worried. While to them Allah had granted them this land, some whispered that Alexios would come and take these lands they had just taken back. After all, they were outmatched. And even graver news were heard from the west, from where the Christian pope sat.



Muhammad wrote this on the freshly declared Crusades:

"While it is known that Allah, trough Muhammad, peace be upon him, has brought out his faith to us as the one true faith, the western men follow their own God. This God is by some said to be the same as Allah separated only by their heretical teachings from us. But led it be said that Allah did not strike down from the heavens in the move that is known as The Crusades, for peace is paramount. The Christian God attacked first, and unto him shall come ruin, and ruin shall come unto his followers."

While the Crusade was not aimed towards Armenia, where the sultanate of Rum was located, Suleyman knew this would create a way for the Christians to reclaim Anatolia eventually. But he would not let worry of the future cloud his mind when there were more pressing matters to attend to. The Byzantines were bringing war.
 

siamsee people

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Remove The False Roman
Aegytus,Italia,Armenia,Hispania,Germania,Brittania,Gaulia,Arabia,Jerusalem,Mesopotamia,Afrikanus all shall go back to the one true empire.
 

Xhanada

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Remove The False Roman
Aegytus,Italia,Armenia,Hispania,Germania,Brittania,Gaulia,Arabia,Jerusalem,Mesopotamia,Afrikanus all shall go back to the one true empire.
Oh, it's just going to get worse. I'm sorry.
 
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Macke11

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This is a very nice and interesting idea! I like the way you write the story and will follow this as much as possible! Good luck against the Byzantines! :)
 

Xhanada

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This is a very nice and interesting idea! I like the way you write the story and will follow this as much as possible! Good luck against the Byzantines! :)
Thank you! Something interesting will happen next update. I was pretty surprised by it.
 

Knightofhonnor

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Nice AAR, I like the whole lecture class style, I look forward to the rest of it!
 

blitzthedragon

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Ah, I shall be subbing to this. For once, we shall INSTALL kebab instead of removing it.
 

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Class 01:The Alexiad, Suleyman's reign and the first crusade
(part 2)




The picture I have projected out here shows the armor that the Turkish warriors began to wear during the late middle ages. In a way the armor used by the warriors of Suleyman during the 1st Alexiad war (as it was dubbed by Muhammad) were similar to this suit, although they were in many ways lighter. Suleyman himself wore armor much like this, however. He was said to be stronger than five Greek men together, a man of battle ability unseen by the weak tan skinned natives to the area. Muhammad writes that Suleyman's armor had been forged with different kinds of gems fused with the metals.



Anyhow, before we return onto the topic of the first Alexiad war that we began before our short break, we'll cover the two knightly orders that were born as a direct result of the Crusades. While neither of these orders were acknowledged by Rum, many Christian nations wrote of them around the same time when they arrived. The first order, The Knights of saint John, were initiated by a few scandinavian men frustrated with how Christendom had even allowed the Turks to take root in Anatolia. While the order had existed nominally before, these men were the ones who officially militarized the order. Their founder is now a lesser known saint.

The Knights Templar are a much more secretive order. Former by wealthy welsh landowners who turned their lands away to protect Christendom, the order would grow multinational in a mere few months. It's a mystery how they grew so quickly. Perhaps the Pope's official blessing of both orders had to do with the matter.



The first Alexiad campaign can be divided into two important battles. The first of these was the battle of Palaeokastron, where the vastly outnumbered turkish forces faced the greek fighting force. Alexios himself was not present for this battle, joining up with the army after it's defeat. This move by the Turkish had been absolutely brilliant. They had allowed the Greeks to pierce deep within their homelands, telling the villagers to leave as they went. The Greeks were starving by the time they finally caught up to the Turkish force in the mountains, and they were rather easily defeated. A good first omen, but Suleyman knew that a victory like this would not win the war. The Greeks still outnumbered the Turks, and it was just a matter of time before the Greeks would hire mercenaries with their impressive war chests.



Numbers wise, the battle of Flaviopolis was not as impressive as the earlier battle. The Turks outnumbered the opponent while attacking from good terrain. If this was any other war, this battle would've been sweeped out as a simple footnote, an impressive battle, but nothing else.



What made this battle legendary were the prisoners. Andreas of Galata was a simple but honest man, a loyal commander. He was offered back to Constantinople for a healthy ransom. Nikephoros of Dyrrachion was a doux, a lord of even higher standing among the greeks. A bookish man, he spent the next year or two under the captivity of Suleyman, writing down much of the Turk culture into the book known as "Suleyman the Magnificent". Nikephoros was drowned in gifts by Suleyman once the book was published.

But the most important captive was Alexios Komneos, the byzantine emperor. Later writings by the byzantine historian Michael theorize that Alexios had snuck upon the battlefield disguised as his cousin, Isaakios. They looked rather similar, and it was theorized that Alexios used this similarity to sneak unto the battlefield, against the suggestions of his council. For three nights and four mornings Suleyman and Alexios hid in their tent, the latter in chains. Once Alexios and Suleyman left, they left as begrudging friends. It was at this time Suleyman ordered Muhammad to start the project of Alexiad.



The first Alexiad war had ended in two battles. All of Rum celebrated as the mighty sultan Suleyman paraded across the cities, declaring that Allah had brought the infidels onto their knees in two strikes. The coffers of the true Rome were filled with Byzantine gold from war reparations, the men returned home to their wives and children, and peace returned upon Rum in a measly year or so.



Suleyman had won. But he had ambitions. Ambitions that turned south, towards the small principality of Cilicia.
 

Macke11

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Wow, that went very well! You got really lucky capturing the Emperor! And as I said before, well written. :)
 

Xhanada

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Wow, that went very well! You got really lucky capturing the Emperor! And as I said before, well written. :)
Yeah, I was honestly surprised on how it went. I had been expecting the Byzantines to start aggressive like they did and push me back deeper and deeper towards the Seljuks. Let's say this isn't the only time I get lucky.

Looks interesting.
I will follow ;)
Thank you! Some interesting things should happen next update.
 

Xhanada

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Class 01: The Alexiad, Suleyman's reign and the first crusade
(part 03)



Last we left off, Suleyman had defeated the byzantines in the first Alexiad war. Peace followed for about half a year after the quick war, until Suleyman turned his sights down south, towards the small independent principality of Cilicia. Now, before you present your questions as to why the small principality hadn't been added to the Sultanate of Rum when the Seljuks pillaged trough most of Armenia, I'll answer straight trough: We do not know exactly. Perhaps the writings of the time were inaccurate and Cilicia was actually a part of Rum since the beginning, or perhaps it was conquered from the Byzantines. But the common explanation is that it was a simple, independent remnant state.

The war itself was a mere curiosity with no real interesting battles involved, although the religion of Cilicia is an interesting thing. A small sect of Christianity known as Apostolicism. The sect was in a way similar to the other eastern sects of Christianity that had split off years prior, but the Apostolics were perhaps the smallest. Cilicia was under dire times due to the attack, so the Prince of Cilicia formed the holy order of Saint Blaise. The order's battlefield experience was short lived.



After the quick integration of Cilicia, Rum had gained a rather natural border. There was a small enclave of Byzantine influence still on Armenia in the form of Trebizond, but this could be easily removed, Qurha was proving for an effective target for future expansion. Suleyman had a whole buffet, and the army was his fork.



But instead of expanding, Suleyman called for a Furusiyaa. A grand surprise, if a positive one. Most had expected Suleyman to consolidate his power trough further expansion projects, but a longer period of peace to gather the strongest warriors true Rome could muster sounded like an attractive proposition to most. Muhammad had this to write of the Furusiyaa.

"Suleyman called for a Furusiyaa on the morn of a warm summer day. White pigeons flew trough the Sultanate as a call to arms for all of the warriors in the land to come and prove themselves. Food was carted from as far as Baghad to feed the competitors, and a small, more traditional tournament area was even prepared for the greek subjects. While Suleyman later discovered the Greeks had not ever participated in tournaments before, he did not cancel the order. In his compassion he allowed the Greek commonfold pray to their Christ."

Modern Turkish history except Johan Grenlund has theorized that the Furusiyaa was to gather the best warriors Rum had to offer for a future campaign.



The Furusiyaa had just begun when the horrible news came. Jerusalem, the city where Muhammad had risen up into the skies, had been taken by the followers of Christ. While these news did not stop the Furusiyaa and the festivities that were connected to it, the guards around the Greek section of the tournament grew rather rowdy. The estimates of death and other such accidents differ widely from historian to historian. A legend tells that Suleyman, upon hearing these news, took especial interest in each fighter, and he promised that he, quote, "would take a city just as important from the followers from Christ, and that Muhammad, blessed be his name, would land on that same city", end quote.



Caliph Al- Muqtadi and Suleyman held tight contact trough letters ever since Jerusalem fell. These letters can now be found in "Suleyman The Magnificent", as written by Nikephoros. We won't look trough them in detail now, but you can ask me for copies later on. Anyhow, the result of these letters ended up in the Caliph's own personal permission for Suleyman to declare a Jihad upon the Christians in Byzantium.

War was declared on the fifth of August, 1084.



The battle of Heraclea was one of the first battles, near the Byzantine heartlands. Suleyman quickly pierced his men into their heart, cutting a bloody swathe of Christian corpses in his way. Byzantium weeped that day, and those tears were of blood.



Skimming trough a few more battles in the Byzantine heartlands, we arrive back to the Turkish homeland. Winter had come, and Suleyman had ordered his troops to return to Armenia to stock up before returning to wage war upon the Byzantines. On his way back, near the coast of Constantinople, Alexios and Suleyman encountered each other again, for the last time. These two rivals held great respect for each other, and as their troops clashed against each other in a bloody spectacle recorded point by point in The Alexiad, the two men fought.



And so Byzantium crumbled.



The new emperor, Isaakios the second Komneos, was nothing to write home about. A man of the book, lawful and an experienced bureocrat, he would've been a decent, if not fantastic emperor in any other circumstance besides this. The empire needed Alexios, but it would have to do with Isaakios. Some say Isaakios wept for the first time in his life in front of a cross when he heard his brother was dead. Not out of love, but out of fear.



He was only afraid for a few days before he was taken to meet his God by Arslan, the son of Suleyman. His son, Ioannes the second Komneos, took the throne at the ripe age of twelve years old. The boy could have made for a fine emperor just like his father, if the situation was any different.



It is said that when the gates of Constantinople finally fell, it was Muhammad himself who had descended from the heaven with the other prophets, striking the gate down with simply their fists, allowing the victorious Turks inside the city. The sultan rode across the streets with his private guard, watching as his men ran trough the many streets of the City of the world's desire. Suleyman's promise had been fulfilled; Jerusalem's blood debt had been repaid tenfold in the streets of Constantinople. There was only one true Rome.

But Suleyman never saw his promise come true. Just as the gates of Constantinople fell, so fell the axes of the Varangian guard in one last desperate attempt to defend the city. The fierce norse warriors fell upon the Turks, and while the attack was easily defeated, Suleyman had fallen, a Varangian axe sunk deep into his forehead.



He never saw his sons, Kilij Arslan Suleyman's coronation as the Sultan of Rum, the one true roman, and the christening of Constantinople as Istanbul. The streets ran with blood as the Sultan of the romans rode trough the streets of his city, trough the streets of Istanbul. The Byzantine crown jewels were taken and smelted into a new crown for the Sultan to wear. There was only one true Rum.

----

Class 01 is finished. Feel free to present questions that shall be gone trough in detail in an intermission before class 02.
 

Janha

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Rum is getting stronger and stronger :)

"Mister Teacher.
Can I get copies of the letters between Suleyman and the Caliph Al- Muqtadi?"
 

siamsee people

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Xhanada

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I did say things were just going to get worse for the false Romans.
 

Macke11

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"Mister Teacher, could you please tell us a bit more about the Furusiyaa? Considering how many great warriors there must have been in the Sultanate, it was surely an amazing event? Also, did Suleyman participate?"

Sad that Suleyman never got to see his promise come true, but at least Rum is very strong now.
 

Orlais27

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I fear for Europe they have to deal with Suleiman the magnificent, this early. Subbed, and will you live up to that name?
 

Xhanada

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The intermission update will come tomorrow and regular updates will continue on Monday!