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Hastings1066

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Chapter 8: Funeral in the Mountains




On the 15 December 1159, a courier arrived from Tao, carrying grim messages from the Georgian capitol.


[URL=" "
[URL=" "
Unable to deal with the passing of his wife, an invasion, and a new young wife, Davit's heart failed him


"You say my dear Aunt Theodora and King Davit died on 6 of May and 25 of July. Do you know of the current date?" Philippos asked of the kneeling courier.

"No your Imperial Majesty." replied the courier, blushing from embarrassment and fear.

"Today is the 15th of May. Why did you not arrive sooner? Tao is not far away. Are you in league with the heathrens? Are you a traitor to your King and to the one true religon?" asked the Emperor, frustrated and angered by the serious delay in messages between Constaninople and Tao.

"I was delayed coming here by the armies of the heathens; I guess their were over 10,000 your Imperial Majesty! The capitol has almost certainly fallen." The man was right; Tao had fallen, to over 16,000 of the combined armies of the Uqaylids and those in league with them.

He was let go, not because Philippos decided to forgive the courier for his tardiness, but because quite simply, the man was not his to punish, and he had little interest in creating a divide between himself and the Georgians in this time requiring unity.

Weeks later, another courier arrived from the new capitol confirming that Tao had indeed fallen and that Davit and Theodora's grandson King Kaikhosro I had relocated his court to Imeretia. The Uqaylids had accomplished their goal. However the new Georgian King was not ready to give up, and Philippos sent the couriers back with the message that the Empire would not abandon their fellow Christians in their time of need.

Philippos was a man of his word and soon additional troops had arrived in Trapezous to reinforce the Greek legions. But when the combined armies arrived in Tao, they found it occupied only by meagre garrison forces. Through the interrogation of a captured enemy courier, they learned that they had fled north to Zeda-Zaden, with the intention of forming up with additional reinforcements. The Greeks quickly pursued, and made battle with an army of 7,283. No match for the superior Greek legions, but reinforcements of over 11,000 were on the way...

[URL=" "
A clash of armies in windswept mountains... someone will make a movie about this


With the news of Philippos zealous devotion and unfailing defense of his fellow co-religionists spreading throughout the Empire and the world, the Ecumenical Patriarch Makarios I officially granted Philippos the epithet 'the Apostle'.

[URL=" "
Philippos new epithet. He doesn't look like much of an Apostle does he?
 

mike the knight

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Hastings1066

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No update today, I'm aiming for Wednesday; if not, then either Friday or Saturday.


lol, still wondering how the nicknames get assigned sometimes. My problem is all my guys keep getting named 'The Just' because they have so much diplomacy

I haven't seen 'the Just' all that much. Personally I dislike 'the Great' epithet, it's so easy to get and so has lost much of it's meaning. I also seem to see a lot of 'the Wise', and it's not a very interesting one.

Time is not in our favour but maybe divine intervention will make the day

Philippos is an Apostle now, so we can hope...

He has almost more piety than prestige... Must be a holy man for sure!

LOL

A helpful by product if holy wars. Give 100 piety/ 50 prestige, plus piety from sieges/ battles

Too bad many of the Empire's vassals care little for piety... especially the Nestorian Duke of Sinai.
 

Jarren

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before the patch, it was possible to break truces with infidels and still get a net boost to prestige. 50 from the war victory itself, then any gained from battles and sieges. i conquered all of Alania and Georgia in like 3 years from the cumans that way
 

Hastings1066

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Chapter 9: At His Imperial Majesty's Pleasure




On 3 April 1160 the Roman legions made battle with the Uqaylid forces, with the combined total participants numbering 37,645; by the end of the battle of Zeda-Zaden on 28 April the combined casualties numbered 12,235. It would be the largest, and the second last battle of the war.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleofZeda-ZadenEnd_zpse320e740.jpg.html] [/URL]
The Battle of Zeda-Zaden


When the news of the victory reached the Emperor, he cared little; even if it meant that the Uqaylids had been disabled , he had other things on his mind.


[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/SofievonEppensteinPregnant_zps08781d6e.jpg.html] [/URL]
People across the Empire celebrated the pregnancy of the Empress with festivals and feasts


On the 5 May he was alerted that his wife was with child, securing his succession away from that of his conniving brother Isaakios.

Philippos stood at the end of his wife's bed, watching as she slept. Their were bags beneath her eyes and her was frizzled, but she was still beautiful.

"She is beautiful, but I do not love her. I loved Iouliana, and she was the only woman for me. Sofia is just a vessel. A vessel to bring children into the world. My children. And for that I'm grateful to her. I will love the children as though they were Iouliana's, but no women can ever replace Iouliana."

Philippos sat staring at his wife, thinking of the sons and daughters Iouliana would have borne him when the old absent-minded chancellor the Doux of Armenia Minor burst in, breaking the spell and startling Philippos; who knocked over a nearby vase as he jumped. Startled shrieks came from a connecting room, and the door opened revealing the blushing faces of the young maids and the stern and disapproving expression of the old one. A pair of maids rushed in and began sweeping up the shattered hazy-white coloured porcelain of the vase as Philippos chastised the Chancellor for not knocking. Sophia did not awaken or even stir, so deep in sleep a band of Normans could not awaken her.

The Chancellors reason for his rudeness was because of new information that hat just reached the capitol from Narikala.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/EmirMasudUqualidCaptured_zps28d26417.jpg.html] [/URL]
There's lots of nice people to play with in the dungeon



Philippos sat alongside his Council, numerous diplomats and the new King of Georgia as they discussed peace terms with the captured Emir and some Muslim councillors who had arrived to bargain for the release of the Emir.

"What a pathetic looking man". thought the Emperor, looking at the shrivelled, bloodied 40-something face of the Emir, who was staring at each of his enemies before him with a look of child-like anger. "I should have him killed just for that imprudent look on his face. He thinks he can do whatever he likes, thinking as though we will release him at the conclusion of this war. How naïve." It was decided by the Council that the Emir should be kept in prison at His Imperial Majesty's pleasure, both to deter aggression from the other Emirs and Sultans and Sheiks; and so that if the Emperor entered one of his bouts of terrible rage, he should have someone to release it on. "Better him than us" thought the Councillors as the Emir was dragged to the dungeons.


[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/UqalidHolyWarKartliEnd_zpse1e10fca.jpg.html] [/URL]
Their are far worse fates in the Empire than being sent to the dungeon




My apologies for taken so long to post this chapter; I didn't have much time during the week, and when I did I spent it reading the forums rather than writing.
 

mike the knight

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Never mind mate ! It seems that Philippos has many things to iron out at a personal level....
 

Hastings1066

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Chapter 10: Porphyrogenitos




On the 5th of December the Emperor Philippos celebrated his 50th birthday and while the Empire was celebrating, it was noticeably subdued; his father Alexios II had died at 65, and his father Alexios I had died at 51. The Emperor had no children yet, leaving the future of the Komnenos dynasty, and the Empire, in doubt.

The following day however, Sofia finally gave birth to the child she was carrying; but this did not lessen the worries of the Empire, but in fact heightened them.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/TheodoraKomnenosBorn_zps15afe489.jpg.html] [/URL]
She was named in honour of her late great Aunt Queen Theodora of Georgia


The girl was named Theodora in honour of Philippos deceased Aunt Theodora, the wife of late King Davit V of Georgia who had died during the evacuation of the Georgian capitol of Tao. The heir to the Empire being female caused discontent among many in the Empire, who believed that a man was needed to rule, a girl would weaken it and undo all the progress the Komnenian Restoration had made. Some now cast their support to Philippos brothers Isaakios, Ioannes, or Manuel.

Exhausted after the last few days, Philippos settled down to business in his throne room with his Council.

"Your prisoner Mas'ud has lost control of his Emirate to an Uncle..."

"We have recieved information that reveals the Doux of Trebizond is conspiring to be King of Anatolia but as of yet has received no support..."

"A group of bandits calling themselves the 'Gregarious Gentlemen' have been raiding the countryside in Nikomedeia, we have dispatched additional guardsman..."

"The heretic and traitor Porphyios has resisted arrest and fled..."

Philippos wasn't listening, but instead was watching the Chancellor who sat nearby. Old Iosephos was covered in red blotches, and it had been assumed that he was just tanned from his recent mission to Alexandria.

Iosephos was squirming in his seat, shivering and scratching himself; his eyes were bloodshot and as the clouds outside departed revealing rays of sunshine, Iosephos let out a loud moan and shrank from the window. Philippos noticed that the Ecumenical Patriarch had stopped talking about controlling heresy (His and Philippos favourite subject) and was staring with frightened eyes at the Chancellor. Everyone was.

The Chancellor was taken away and quarantined in his quarters. Some of the servants were quarantined as well. Doctors came, and diagnosed it as Slow Fever. Philippos could see an elderly courtier, the head of the faction of old women in the court, standing behind the doctors nodding her head with confidence and bragging about how she had said it was Slow Fever.

Philippos thought of the expression of pain that he had seen on Iosephos face. With the Councillors distracted, Philippos slipped away to the prison, looking for the Sheikh Mas'ud. On his way there, he could hear the distant cries of his daughter. In the Sheikhs home in Kurdistan, his infant daughter was also crying.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/985ca953-6f18-45d8-bdc9-5472d95ae756_zps462f4cfe.jpg.html] [/URL]
[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/MasudDungeonDeath_zpsa8d29bc7.jpg.html] [/URL]
He had lost his value anyways




I probably will not have time during the week to write, so the next chapter will probably not be until Saturday. However, I might post a short update dealing with Theochariste, the little girl Alexios II had been the guardian of.
 
Last edited:

Hastings1066

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Well to be fair to Philippos, he didn't intend to kill Mas'ud; he just maimed him to the point that he died of his injuries days later. But yeah, Philippos is a little devil. Maybe the next Emperor(or Empress) will be less... psychotic. Hopefully though the next succession won't be for some time. Of course, the last time I said that I jinxed myself.
 

Hastings1066

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Byzantine AARs like these are not to miss. I'm in!

Welcome! The Komnenos shall not disappoint.



I have had no time play CKII this week, so I will probably start posting chapters again next week, probably starting on Monday. However, tomorrow I may post a smaller update about Theochariste; not a true chapter, but a side story.

EDIT: I changed my mind, I'll post Part I of Theochariste's Story today.
 
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Hastings1066

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Chapter 11: Theochariste's Story



Many people were surprised that Theochariste Komnenos adored her cousin Philippos (who she called 'Uncle') since it was known that he only barely tolerated her. In fact, Theochariste was only barely tolerated by her parents and the Imperial Court in general. She did not fit in; she was generous and forgiving to a fault, she could be terrible and brutal when her wrath was tempted, she always told the truth and never lied , and worst of all in the eyes of her mother and father, she had no ambition and was awkward towards strangers, especially men. She also showed an un-ladylike interest in economic affairs, since after all, her father was the Steward and she had often listened to him complain about financial matters and argue with scholars over different theories. Whenever she could get away from her nurse and guardian she would sneak into her father's library and study his papers, deluding herself as a child that she would make her father proud by growing up to be Steward just like him. For this she had received a beating from her mother, the beautiful but cold Helene, who despised her daughter for her plain and almost-mannish face.


[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/TheocharisteKomnenos16_zps1fc0f8ef.jpg.html] [/URL]


Not long after her 16th birthday in 1162, no one was surprised to hear that Theochariste was to be married away before the year was out. Her husband to be was hardly the most eligible bachelor in the Empire; Konstantios I of Bononia was an aged and stupid glutton ruling over an unimportant scrap of land along the border populated mainly by an uncivilised and uncouth people who paid little interest in the news from Constantinople.


[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/1a932cb6-dd46-41d8-8e57-f76bc0ca7fed_zps47ac7b21.jpg.html] [/URL]





Theochariste sat in a second-hand carriage travelling along a dusty dirt road, watching dirty farms and dirty people go flying past the window (They had been told to travel as quickly as possible, due to the threat of bandits in the area). Her old nurse sat snoring next to her, and she could hear the sound of the Cataphracts in front and behind.


As they pulled into the "city", she got a good look at her new home. Standing perched above the dreary town stood the Doux's yet drearier castle, an ugly weather-beaten grey monolith separated from the town with a dirty brown moat filled with more garbage than water.


"It just needs a little cleaning, that's all"
thought Theochariste as they pulled into the stained courtyard. Waiting for her sat her new husband in an ugly chair munching on a piece of meat, while an old toad-like woman, his mother, stood next to him, with a maid holding on to her in case she fell asleep standing up. "I am beginning to doubt my fondness for the Emperor"





In case your wondering, the purpose of Theochariste's story is to provide another view of the Empire from someone else besides the main character. Her story will pop up between the main chapters every now and then.
 
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Chapter 12: The Mercenaries of Venice




With the factions growing more powerful and attracting new members, the Emperor decided to try and boost his regime's popularity by attacking the Venetians, the primary rivals of the Republic of Damietta. On the 5th of April 1162 the Emperor declared war on Venice for their holding in Dalmatia, which was ruled by the Empire under the Prince-Archbishop of Dalmatia. The Archbishop, while not a member of any of the factions, was beginning to have his doubts over which side was the most profitable for him. So to appease him and other coastal lords; as well as the Greek merchants, the Empire marched to war. Reports from the ambassador to Venice indicated that the Venetians could only raise an insignificant force, and were not financially capable of hiring any outside help.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/DeclaringWarVenice1162_zps52913933.jpg.html] [/URL]
The declaration of war




The Council of Venice stood around a large table with a map spread out on it, with the Councillors pointing at parts of it and arguing with each other. In a chair sat the Serene Doge, Giovanni 'the Chaste', with his red-faced Marshal standing next to him.


"Your Serenity, I beg you to listen, he is willing to work for us at a reduced price, and we can't afford anyone else."

"What will it look like to the rest of Europe; to the Kaiser, to the Pope? His demand is to pillage! What will it look like if we stand by and let these cretins pillage and take what they want? And we will receive nothing. The Greeks will never forgive us."

"We have no choice, Your Serenity. We can't fight the Greeks alone, if we lose this war we'll be humiliated and others might decide to take advantage of the situation; such as Genoa, or the Pisans, or worse, the Damiettans."

Giovanni knew his Marshal was right. "All right" he sighed "Send him in".




The Empire had much success at the start of the war; Venetian trading posts were quickly shut down and the objective of the war was quickly captured with little fighting. However on the 9th of June a messenger arrived from the of Count of Cephalonia; a large force of mercenaries on the payroll of Venice had landed on the island, and were quickly making their way to the mainland. It seemed it was their plan to strike at the most populous area of the Empire while the main armies were away.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/VenetianArmy1162_zpsc1d51120.jpg.html] [/URL]
The dishonourable Venetians strike at Greece


To deal with the threat, it was obvious that more was needed than just border troops. Large numbers of soldiers were called into service, stripping counties of garrisons and emptying fields of peasants who were conscripted to fight.

The initial army consisted of around 12,300 fighting men, with many more on the way via the Imperial Fleet. It was on the 16th of July 1162 that they clashed at Angelokastron in the province of Arta, belonging to the Doux of Epirus.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfAngelokastronStart_zpsaa42a4bf.jpg.html] [/URL]
The Imperial Army is led by the loyal Doux of Aswan
[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfAngelokastronMiddle_zps9d7682da.jpg.html] [/URL]
On the 21st of July reinforcements arrived, numbering the Imperial army at 18178 soldiers


With the arrival of the reinforcements, the Venetians found themselves hopelessly outnumbered, and were forced to retreat to the neighboring province of Epieros, the seat of government for the Epirus theme.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfAngelokastronEnd_zps50156de5.jpg.html] [/URL]
Victoria


On the 10th of September came the Battle of Bouthroton, which resulted in a victory for the Empire on the 28th; on the 27th of October the Battle of Valona began. It was finished on the 1st of November, ending the rampage of the mercenaries in Greece.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfBouthrotonEnd_zps25adec8a.jpg.html] [/URL]
[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfValonaEnd_zpsb4fa33f3.jpg.html] [/URL]
The end of the Venetian rampage


Defeated, the Venetian were eager for peace, especially since their coffers had been emptied of what was left by war expenditures. When the envoy from the Emperor arrived, they expected the worst.

To their surprise though, the demands were relatively light; a city in Spalathos was all that was demanded. It was a wealthy city, but in the great scheme of things, unimportant.

The reason? The Emperor had bigger problems to worry about; many nobles had been upset by this sudden war thrust upon their lands by an Emperor who had promised nothing large, just intelligent and controlled growth with no foreign armies marching on Greek soil.


[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/ByzantineFactions1162_zps10829468.jpg.html] [/URL]
Traitors, cowards, young fools and senile old men. Just another day in the Byzantine Empire (A few days after I took this picture, more joined)


The Emperor could also not count on the support of Kaiser Ulrich I, his father-in-law. They both had a deep respect for each other, but when Ulrich died on the 27th of June, his son, Philippos brother-in-law did not inherit this feeling.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/KaiserUlrichDead_zps8e8b822c.jpg.html] [/URL]
Auf Wiedersehen
 
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Hastings1066

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ohh boy, me thinks the civil wars are going to last awhile for the Empire...

Hopefully the rest of the world won't try to interfere, especially the merchant republics.

Nothing like a good civil war to remind the empire why the Komnenos need to be in charge. And mass revoking always feel good!

Indeed, it will allow me to get rid of the Occitans, Levantines, Egyptians, Magrebs and the heretics who are the leading forces behind the factions.


This is actually the first time I've dealt with revolting factions; previously I've always been able to appease them, but in this case, foreign cultures, different religions and Philippos being cruel makes civil war unavoidable. Any advice? I would particularly like to know at what point does a faction consider revolting?

Next chapter should be either later today or tomorrow.