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bkj123

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Prologue: The Crusade
So, I was playing with Bohemond the second, son of Bohemond the first of Antioch. And I just had to try and write an AAR about it....
So here it goes.......
Note: The whole of my first ruler''s life, Bohemond the second, will be written in first person. After that, it may change.

16th of March, 1136 In the year of Our Lord
Dear Diary
Today I came back from my pilgrimage to the seat of St. Peter, and I have came back a changed man. Rome has reinforced my impregnable faith, and now I stand
ready to bring the sword to the infidels.
522DBA3A7BBF8629A6B6D3BEF3539D929192CE96

On a sadder note, my faithful dog, Moses, now rests by our Lord's side. We shall miss him.
1st of September, 1136 In the year of Our Lord
Deus Vult! The time has come to punish the infidels! A crusade has been called for lost Jerusalem!
I was in the middle of throttling my brother Godfrey, who was starting to annoy me with his lectures on patience again, when my wife arrived.
"My Prince, the Holy Father has called a crusade to retake Jerusalem from the Infidels! Deus Vult!" She said as her eyes blazed passionately and her hair flicked
everywhere.
"What! We must leave at once!" I responded with righteous zeal.
"As usual, you are too bold, my brother." He gasped before I started putting on more pressure.
"Let your brother go. Is our Lord not a forgiving one?" My wife knew she could control me through mentioning God.
I stopped putting on the pressure, and quickly released him. Before he could get in one good breath, I pushed him, sending him sprawling.
"Thank you my Lady. Bohemond, you have to learn to think! Don't you remember what happened with Peter?" He asked sharply as he started rising slowly.
I remembered him well. The traitor who had refused to give me his titles.
"I let him out of the dungeons didn't I?" I smirked, the memory making me smile.
"You left him penniless, landless and banished from his homeland." He screamed it louder then I thought that his small frame would have allowed him to.
"How many times do I have to tell you." I sighed heavily. "HE WAS A TRAITOR!" I roared. "The only reason why he isn't dead is because he is my brother, and no man of God would spill his own blood."
"Let us not forget, I handed you my titles without a fight, and yet you still forced me to become a monk. 'For the good of the family' you said."
I stood dumbfounded for a second, shocked that he could sound so bitter.
"You would have produced heirs. Dangerous heirs" I replied. There was a moment of cold silence that actually made me feel guilty.
"I'll go tell our Marshall to get the troops ready." He said resignedly.
AAD1B294CF1897485B3876F9366C3439851FB120

Ahhhhh...... The man makes me feel guilt. But God will judge me, him and Peter all fairly.
Edit: I forgot to say, please criticise and comment!
Second Edit: Uhhhhhhhhhhh, sorry about the mistake guys, but it turns out that I only stripped Peter of all his titles. I didn't banish him, lol. :blink: He was
fine and well at court... but he still hates Bohemond!
7C3B95B703BF5E289623A440F5893C05EA4D61BA

Contents
Book 1: The Clouds of War (November 20. 1136 -16th December, 1146)
Chapter 1: Setting out
Chapter 2: An Unexpected War
Chapter 3: Allies
Chapter 4: The Tide Rises
Chapter 5: Victory in Our Grasp
Chapter 6: A small respite
Chapter 7: God and Antioch
Chapter 8: Expulsions and peace treaties
Chapter 9: Victories and Defeats
Chapter 10: Defeats and Surrender
Book 2:The Spirit of Independence (16th December-????????)
Part 1: Old Bohemond's reign

Prologue: Antioch shall be freed!
Chapter 1: A Shining Opportunity
Chapter 2: The issue of Antioch's independence
Chapter 3: Victories and funerals
Part 2: New Bohemond's reign!
Chapter 4: A new generation

Epilogue and Lost chapters
 
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RossN

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Nice start, funny! :)

I have a soft spot for Antioch stories!
 

Khryses

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Good start, I look forward to seeing how this one plays out (especially since I'm writing in the same area around the same time!).

What happened to the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Godfrey de Boulogne in your timeline, if you can tell?

It looks like the Fatimids reconquered it?
 
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DKM

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subbed
 

bkj123

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Good start, I look forward to seeing how this one plays out (especially since I'm writing in the same area around the same time!).

What happened to the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Godfrey de Boulogne in your timeline, if you can tell?

It looks like the Fatimids reconquered it?
They retook Jerusalem, leaving Godfrey's son with a handful of territories in the Levant. What's your AAR called by the way? I wouldn't mind
checking it out :). Edit: Oh I have seen your AAR! It's really good :)!
Should've started as Raynald de Chatillion.
Yeah, he would have been interesting, but for some reason, I really wanted to start with a first generation crusader.
 

bkj123

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Chapter 1: Setting out

20th of November 1136 In the year of our Lord
Dear Diary,
Today, I set out to Archa, where my army of four thousand will gather and will begin the long march to the Holy Land.
D803732CA6DC59FDB2FEF0C0DE629E2A6D79A509

Even as I sit here, writing about retaking the Holy Land, I cannot help but feel anger at the men who abandoned the Holy land over thirty years ago. When they went back to Europe, they abandoned Jerusalem. What did their Kings do when Jerusalem fell? The did nothing. I remember as a child hearing
about Jerusalem's fall. I remember my father recounting the crusade, and laughing about how our pope meant to distract them by sending a crusade to Anadulsia.
I also remember hearing him lament the loss of the city, when he was old and more pious, and how he was preparing to retake it before his death.
Edessa fell to the Armenian Miasphytes decades ago, the Kingdom of Jerusalem is now a handful of counties deep in Muslim territory, and Antioch is a tiny state struggling for survival. This is what is left of my father's crusade.
We shall see if we can do better this time.
Today however, I shall set my mind to saying farewell to my son, named Bohemond after yours truly, and tell him not to starve himself too much, for there is a difference between being temperate and starving yourself, and pray one last time to God.
Edit: After looking over it, I have to ask, is the chapter too short? and if so, should I make the next one longer?
 
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bkj123

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Chapter 2: An unexpected war

Sorry this one took so long!
Chapter 2
8th of December 1136 In the Year of Our Lord
Dear Diary,
As I was putting up my feet today at Archa, congratulating myself on a good march, when my son Bohemond, who had begged me to come along, came into my chambers breathlessly.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Father, an envoy has arrived. He's from Damascus, and claims he has an important message from the emir."
I was feeling rather parched from the trip, and tired to boot, and in perhaps one of the greatest ideas I've ever had, I decided to send Bohemond in my place. It would be a win win for everyone. He'd be getting used to being in charge, the nobles I brought with me would get used to him being in charge, and I'd be getting used to sleeping in afternoons when I put him in charge. Even the most diligent man, after all, has to get rest.
"Bohemond I think that it is time that you put all your etiquette that I taught you to use. Say that the Prince is suffering from an...... illness, and receive him."
"But Dad, you don't teach me etiquette, and he called me ugly......" He whined.
"Then congratulate him on being honest. And just remember to smile a lot. Off you go now!"
After Bohemond was gone, I had a good nice nap, and reviewed to myself all the different ways a man could be poisoned, and could poison. My father had sent me to learn under his spymaster, and I could kill a man in as many ways as an Assassin of Masyaf. My guardian had always berated me for trusting to easily, and for giving too many opportunities for my enemies to kill me.
I was wondering about getting a food taster when Bohemond returned, huffing and puffing.
"Father, we are at war."
43461C35EFE0A29DF8C950EE59B599CAC123117F

"Yes my son, that is why we are marching to fight the Fatimid infidels. Deus Vult!"
"No father, I mean Damascus has declared war on us." His voice broke and turned into a screech as he said the words.
I pulled myself out of my bed, and turned to face him.
"Then let us crush another infidel while we march to Jerusalem! We shall crush these enemies of Christ quickly and continue to Jerusalem!"
17th of December 1136 In the Year of Our Lord
Dear Diary,
We have won a mighty victory! I broke the enemy lines with my vanguard, sending them fleeing from Damascus like the rats they are, and have
begun a siege of
the capital.
Today, as I was talking with my Marshall Raymond about are victory, he brought into attention that Bohemond, could barely talk when he met the envoy from
Damascus a couple of days ago.
"Yes, my lord, shyness is indeed a terrible curse, you must speak to him about it." A mysterious voice said.
EBD437610A24184FF6BE6E4B73148C5C6FCF1EB3

I turned abruptly and saw Godfrey with his red lips smiling, and wearing a beautiful dark purple cloak. His grey eyes shined with amusement, and his hair was covered in a blue hood.
"Never figured out how you could sneak up on me like that." I said to him.
"That's why I'm your spymaster."
"I Haven't seen you since we set off from Antioch, almost forgot I'd brought you." I chuckled a little.
"I'm sorry to spoil your mood. But you have a couple thousand Seljuks coming your way."
A888BDF66AC87ADE591ED2AB42EBFD511C4B57EC

"Christ almighty!" I cried before I could stop myself.
"Godfrey, start sending the letters. Plead all our relatives to join our war. Hopefully, on the way to Jerusalem, they will stop to help us."
I cursed my overconfidence in this war, and my forgetting of sending the letters out before.
"All of these Infidels just have to be related don't they?" I muttered angrily to myself.
I turned to Raymond told him to get the troops ready for battle.
"Brother, don't forget to speak to Bohemond." Godfrey shouted as I stormed off to make my own preparations.
........................................................................................................................................................................
Ok guys, got any suggestions for me? Should I change anything, or is everything fine?
 
Last edited:

aap5454

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Looks promising! The current format is perfect by me! Keep 'em coming, can't wait to see how you're going to deal with the Seljuks!
 

DKM

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Great job! Also I believe you forgot part of these sentences.
"Haven't seen you this since we started off from Antioch
"For the record, these musli

Also, you might want to review the chapter more next time. It was missing some punctuation, capitalization, words, and there were some awkward looking areas where you skipped to the next line mid-sentence. I hope I don't sound too harsh.
 

bkj123

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Great job! Also I believe you forgot part of these sentences.
"Haven't seen you this since we started off from Antioch
"For the record, these musli
Also, you might want to review the chapter more next time. It was missing some punctuation, capitalization, words, and there were some awkward looking areas where you skipped to the next line mid-sentence. I hope I don't sound too harsh.
Not at all! Thanks for telling me. Probably should look more closely at it after I'm done writing the chapters.:blush: Reading over it, its kind of embarrassing how many mistakes there are. If there's anything else bothering you, please tell me!
 
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bkj123

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Chapter 3: Allies

12th of July 1137 In the Year of Our Lord
Dear Diary,
Despite our best efforts, our men were crushed under the overwhelming Muslim tide at the Battle of Mafraq , and though we fought with zeal in our hearts and steel in our hands, I was forced to retreat. The retreat swiftly became a rout, and when I had regrouped my men, I had found that I had lost over two thousand men to Muslim swords. The only relief I had that day was that Bohemond had managed to escape, but Godfrey had seemed to have vanished. Just as I had resigned myself to the fact of having to fork out a ransom, we came to a small town, and by the mercy of God, we found him in the tavern, a mug in hand. We shared and embrace, before I asked him if a monk like him should be drinking.
"Well technically no, but it's watered down. If pregnant woman can drink it, I can't see why can't I." He shrugged a little.
"Anyway, how many troops are left?" He asked as if he knew the answer already, but just waited confirmation.
"Three hundred and fifty." I replied with my head bowed and my voice somber.
He nodded his head. "War is made up of both victories and defeats." He said soothingly.
"I know that!" I snapped.
"You were always better at these things Bohemond." He gave a small smile. "You were always dad's favourite for a reason."
Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. I tried to raid the surrounding countryside with my army, but I knew that now the fate of Antioch now rested on my relatives, who had joined the war with great enthusiasm. Chief among them was my wife's half brother, the Holy Roman Emperor. My wife being an illegitimate bastard, would not have been entirely high on the 'to marry' list, but for the alliance it brought with the Emperor.
BE98AC352B3369E253F618B51DDFE46631104F8B

I can only sit and pray that they will arrive in time.
.......................................................................................
Do you guys think this is too small a post, or just right?
 
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DKM

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I'd say it's an okay post. Just go at your own pace. Also, good job this time on the grammar!
 

bkj123

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I'd say it's an okay post. Just go at your own pace. Also, good job this time on the grammar!
This time I checked carefully!
I'll make the next post bigger, the chapter just seems a bit small to me.
 

guillec87

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Subbed!!!
 

bkj123

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Chapter 4: The tide rises

5th of July, 1138 In the Year of Our Lord
Dear Diary,
It has been nearly a year since the Battle of Mafraq, and still the situation gets worse. The castles and cities around Antioch are falling, one by one, and soon enough the city will itself. I have received no news of troops from the Emperor, but my Sicilian kinsmen have been forthcoming in there aid. I fear it is not enough, as the Infidel still outnumber us by over ten thousand. How can so few prevail against so many?
23F257595F2467DF44B9160C3D7B70ADB9C80228

My son Bohemond was very responsive to my talk with him, which involved me talking about how it was not acceptable for a son of mine to be shy, and that he must talk and mingle with the court. I've seen him mingling with the men a lot more, and despite his ugly face, the troops love him.
One day, as I was planning another minor raid for supplies, my brother Godfrey burst into my tent with Bohemond right behind him.
"My Lord, another Emir has declared war against you."
I gave a shocked cry of despair and threw my hands into the air, falling backwards on my chair in my despair.
"Oh, what does it matter? The Principality will fall, no matter what we do. We might as well present ourselves to the Emir of Damascus and hope he is merciful." I said as I was dusting myself off.
"Do not give up hope father, the Emperor may come yet." Bohemond said.
"If he does, it will likely be too little too late."
After they had left, I rethought my position. Should I actually give in to the infidel, and hope for mercy? After all, how was it being faithful to God to make my people suffer?
After many hours of thought, I finally came to the conclusion that I would wait, and see if there would be a sign from God. I decided that I would also need all the help I could get, and with the resources of the Holy Orders concentrated on the crusade, my only choice was to send for help once again from my allies.
I pray that the answer will come soon.

19th of February, 1139 In the Year of Our Lord
Dear Diary,
Our salvation has arrived! God has answered my prayers, and rewarded me tenfold, for the Emperor himself has arrived, at the head of over ten thousand troops. Today, we march through familiar lands once again, after two years of raiding and skirmishing in hostile lands, my troops are eager to return to their homes. And so am I. I think about my beautiful daughters every day, and miss my nagging wife's voice. Home would be good after these years of war.
Just today, as Bohemond and I were traveling along well remembered roads, I noticed how much he'd grown, and how much he'd learnt while he'd been with me. I'd taught him a couple of poisons, shown him how to use a sword, and taught him how to lead. He wasn't much good with a sword, but he tried hard, and despite my angry complaints of him being "useless", and "stupid", I still enjoyed my times with him the most.
4E58C9E92C1B0D6E7F9739F8390B5318487F1110

On the return trip, I met a wonderful lady by the name of Richara. Intelligent and rather attractive, after an hour or two, it became quite obvious that she was rather taken with me. After the uncomfortable realization, I tried to avoid her as much as possible.
"I see that Lady Richara wants to bed you, father." Bohemond told me with an ugly grin while we were sharing a drink.
"You shouldn't be talking like that!" I snapped back.
"Oh come now, you should be flattered." he told me.
"It is a sin to be unfaithful to your spouse!" I roared at him.
Everybody stared at us uncomfortably for a couple of seconds, before Bohemond burst into laughter beside me. That seemed to break the ice, and after a couple of chuckles, everybody was drinking again.
"At least I don't have a face like yours." I said quietly to Bohemond.
He gave me a hurt expression, but broke into a grin before he said:
"Soon enough, I'll be able to tell mom you said that."
......................................................................................
Sorry about how long this took, but for the next couple of weeks, I'll only be able to work on this at weekends. You should be able to expect a chapter per week.
 
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guillec87

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nice update! Bohemond Jr is starting to be a problem?
 

bkj123

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The boy's ambitious, and being trained for intrigue :unsure:.
Anyway, glad to here you liked it!
 

bkj123

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Sorry, just bear with me a little while longer. I should have the next chapter up tomorrow! :)
 
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