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Hastings1066

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This chapter is mostly narrative


Chapter 17: The Contessa






The army that the Pisans brought into the fray was not enough to beat back the Imperial armies; they surrendered on the 15th of January, 1167. Contessa Eleonora of Leece was now officialy the Countess of Brendesion, though she was still referred to as the Contessa by the males, as it made her seem more exotic.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/PisaSurrenders1167_zps1c8ffaaa.jpg.html] [/URL]
Pisa didn't put up much of a fight


A party was held after in Constantinople to celebrate the victory and the Contessa's vassalage; the hall was decked in decorations, a magnificent feast was prepared and all sorts of entertainment was brought in. All of the more important nobles were invited, with the exemption of the Occitan lords.

Philippos eyes drifted over the crowd, inspecting the young ladies who clustered together in groups to gossip and giggle. Philippos sat high above them all, in a masterfully carved chair at the head table, elevated on a platform. He was dressed in imperial purple robes, his back straight and his face stern; looking disinterested and rigid.





Contessa Eleonora sweeped into the room on the arm of a handsome Greek nobleman, not because she cared at all for the nonentity on her arm, but because it was improper for her to be unescorted. Her husband, who was the old man Philippos had seen previously, was not attended because he was 'feeling ill'. In reality he had gone to satisfy his interests in musical theatre.

The Contessa had already attended Demetrios the Stewards one-on-one seminar, but she had bigger thinks in mind. She watched as the Emperor said goodnight to his plump and child-laden wife. His face had turned red as soon as the Contessa had entered, as had all the other men in rooms. His eyes constantly darted towards her, and then to the ceiling, and then back to her, and then to the ceiling. "Now is the time." she thought, and leaving her escort's side, began gliding towards the Emperor, whose face turned a darker shade of red, his eyes fixed on her.
"He needs a release from his stressful duties, a release his wife cannot advise; and what's good for the Emperor is good for the Empire."





"What a cheap, morally degenerated, maid of the night!" thought Theochariste as she watched Countess Eleonora move towards the Emperor. "I know my Cousin, and I know he would never contemplate infidelity; he is a good, morally upright man. There is a lot I don't like about him, but he would never, not even for a second, consider committing a crime against God like that." She was startled from her thoughts as the Chancellor and Spymaster marched past her; she positioned herself to greet them but they had moved to quickly for her. "For men of such an advanced age, they certainly can move."






Philippos watched as she moved closer, her womanly hips swaying. His mind was bursting with all the evil and repulsive thoughts and desires that he had pushed aside into a dark corner of his brain. His conscious tried to fight back, but was knocked out cold by a swift response from his rampaging emotions. A dark shape appeared in front of him and he looked up, seeing an imperial white beard. "Oh God, it's father!" His eyes focused. It was the Chancellor. Beside him was the Spymaster. Neither looked happy.





The Emperor and the Councillors had moved into an adjoining; the gay music and incessant chattering could be heard despite the heavy door and thick walls. The Emperor paid no attention; emotion had been dealt a cold, hard blow by logic and reality. "Your Majesty, the Doux Miquel of Armeniacon will not back down; he is a stubborn and childish man with a bloated pride. Our only hope is to prevent the others from following him." advised the Chancellor. "I doubt we can manage to arrest him, and attempting to do so--- and failing--- will only frighten the others. Doux Miquel is elderly and in ill health; he will not live much longer, and the problem will resolve itself. In the mean time, I think a few bribes, or gifts rather, will be enough to placate the others."

The Spymaster lit up at the word "bribes" while the Steward shifted uncomfortably.

"No!" shouted the young marshal; this was his first crisis. "We should teach the Occitan's a lesson and force them to comply with our demands."

"Tsk tsk, such rashness. He is far too young to be on the Council." both the Chancellor and Spymaster thought, sharing a look of disapproval that while hidden from the others, was obvious to each other.

"I advise that we imprison the Doux, to show that we will not compromise. If he escapes, fine, then we will destroy him on the field of battle. I also advise that we use our soldiers in a show of force against the other traitors."

The Chancellor and Spymaster once again shared a look of disapproval. The Steward winced at the cost. The Court Chaplain stared blankly; he was still preoccupied by thoughts of the Contessa.

The Emperor thought about it. He remembered the blackmailers. "They did that because they didn't fear me. I must teach them to fear me again!"

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/ImprisonArmeniacon_zps1a58c961.jpg.html] [/URL]
Never tell me the odds!


Next update will probably be on the weekend.
 
Last edited:

Mithfir

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Sometimes, imprison failed for me at 84%... Sigh. This reminded me when I had the option to bang my mother-in-law in my current Byzantine game. If I wasn't piling up Piety to mend the schism, I might have tumbled her just for the spiciness. Scandalous sex is so liberating, if only for a short while.
 

DutchGuy

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I think that you are doing a great job.
And on my own campaign it is the year 1180 and Anatolia is almost fully mine with no crusades.(Claimants, starting with armenia then annexxing it)
I have almost all land you have exept the Levant provinces and Tunesia
How the hell did you get those ? as I am doing 1 county a time now

PS(4th ruler but the current 1 is not the main line as those had very bad traits.Now trying to educate the grandson of my original heir of my 3rd ruler to rule over byzantium once more .
 

Hastings1066

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I hope to get the next chapter up today.


They should learn to obey@!

Indeed they should, and indeed they shall.

Sometimes, imprison failed for me at 84%... Sigh. This reminded me when I had the option to bang my mother-in-law in my current Byzantine game. If I wasn't piling up Piety to mend the schism, I might have tumbled her just for the spiciness. Scandalous sex is so liberating, if only for a short while.

Ha, unfortunately their won't be any mother-in-law tumbling in the foreseeable future. :eek:

I think that you are doing a great job.
And on my own campaign it is the year 1180 and Anatolia is almost fully mine with no crusades.(Claimants, starting with armenia then annexxing it)
I have almost all land you have exept the Levant provinces and Tunesia
How the hell did you get those ? as I am doing 1 county a time now

PS(4th ruler but the current 1 is not the main line as those had very bad traits.Now trying to educate the grandson of my original heir of my 3rd ruler to rule over byzantium once more .

Earlier in the game, Anatolia had been won in a Crusade by the Duke of Poitou, so rather than slowly conquering Anatolia piece by piece, I married into it, so Philippos inherited it from his mother, Queen Aines of Anatolia. Since I didn't have to focus on Anatolia, and Rum was no longer a threat, I was able to concentrate my efforts elsewhere. I kept beating on the Fatimids with Holy Wars as much as I could, but it seems every time I took a duchy, they took another duchy or even worse, an entire Kingdom. You'll get to see this in the 1170 world update. At one point the Fatimids took Tunisia from the locals, and then I took Tunisia from the Fatimids.

Meanwhile, the Seljuk's had partially collapsed, leaving large parts of the Levant ruled by small, independent rulers. I was able to use the civil wars (and also a Fatimid-Seljuk war) in the area to my advantage and take over all of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Syria will take longer, since it's divided mostly into small independant counties who are individually weak, but together are strong. The Seljuk's are also doing well again, so I've been ignoring them for the time being.



With the Old Gods coming up now, what do I do to save the save games from the patch? I have the game on Steam which allows you to say no to updates, but of course it doesn't work, as I learned from the last patch, ending my Sweden game with only a few decades left. :sad:
 
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BogMod

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With the Old Gods coming up now, what do I do to save the save games from the patch? I have the game on Steam which allows you to say no to updates, but of course it doesn't work, as I learned from the last patch, ending my Sweden game with only a few decades left. :sad:

Risk the patch!
 

Hastings1066

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Chapter 18: Resisting Arrest



Captain Magnus of the Varangian Guard marched briskly up the hall, his men following close behind. His eyes surveyed the space around him, but he saw no threat; occasionaly a few Kitchenmaids peeked through doorways with frieghtened eyes, or a elderly woman was hurried out of the way by others. A gray cat watched them from behind an old vase. "I musn't get complacent though." They were coming up to the main room now. "Oh, my stomach." He regretted eating that large dinner, but he loved food; he ranked it below only his love for the Emperor. The approached the door. The guardsman moved into position around the door, readying their weapons. Magnus kicked in the door with his foot.







"I wonder what that was all about?" wondered Theochariste as she stared out the window of her carriage. "That Italian woman was prancing over to the Emperor, and then the Chancellor and Spymaster walked up to him and they all dashed into another room, leaving that Italian woman looking rather confused." She looked over to her husband beside her; the glutton was fast asleep, having ate too much at the feast.







The Guardsmen fanned out across the room, overturning tables and chairs, and tearing down the curtains. The room was empty. "Didn't that old man we captured say that the Doux was having a meeting?" He heard footsteps, and looked towards the door just in time to see it close behind them.

There should have been a screenshot of the Doux evading capture here, but I neglected to take a picture. My apologies.







The old man laughed as he watched the few surviving Varangians flee from a window of his castle. Two servants helped him undress from his dirty peasant clothing and change into his robes. "The look on their faces when they came running out, especially that fat one! Ha!" The Doux, or Duke as he addressed himself was a known collector of exotic animals, and liked to test them, to see what their capabilities were. His first wife had called him insane, and she too had found herself the target of his dementedness.

"I'll let those buffoons escape; that way they can tell all about to those moronic Greeks in Constantinople." The Duke broke into his demented laughter again, which to those who didn't know him, sounded as though the devil was crawling up from his throat. "I can't wait to do that again!" thought the Duke. He would not.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/ArmeniaconSurrenders1167_zps35a66454.jpg.html] [/URL]
I didn't bother with taking pictures of the battles; Armeniacon only put up token resistance. I guess the population were smarter than their Doux.







The Marshal's plan to make a show of force to the others paid off, resulting in Doux Miquel Ironside of Armeniacon finding himself clasped in iron chains. However the Chancellor also proved right; a few months later his corpse was found in a pool of blood and vomit. His body was burned to prevent the spread of disease.

Before he died however, he was stripped of Armeniacon, which was handed over to the Metropolitan Adrianos of Chaldea, becoming Prince-Archbishop Adrianos I of Armenaicon.

Adrianos did not have much time to enjoy his new title and equality to his previous dejure liege the Doux of Trebizond; before even Miquel had died, Adrianos died peacefully in his sleep.


[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/AdrianosOfArmeniaconDies1167_zps9ea88e03.jpg.html] [/URL]
Gone to meet his maker
 

BogMod

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Really? Wouldn't I then risk glitches and other irregularities, and worse, damaging the save game?

Honestly, I have never had a problem with the patches and upgrades. The choice is yours of course.
 

Mithfir

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Idhrendur suggested me to copy my game install as a backup for my older saves. I'm not taking any chance with the Old Gods releasing tomorrow, so I went and copied it.
 

Hastings1066

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Honestly, I have never had a problem with the patches and upgrades. The choice is yours of course.

Idhrendur suggested me to copy my game install as a backup for my older saves. I'm not taking any chance with the Old Gods releasing tomorrow, so I went and copied it.

Thank you to both of you for your help.


Unfortunately I'm pretty much incompetent with computers; however I think I may have figured out how to launch the game without Steam and it's pesky auto-updates. Until tomorrow, my friends; only then will we know for sure. If not, maybe I'll see if it's not too bad and shouldn't wreck everything. :)



EDIT: My plan worked, as long as I don't access Steam I should be fine. BogMod, your probably right that it wouldn't have damaged the saves, but what really concerned me was new counties and titles, and how that would affect balance and how the map looked. Of course save game damage was still a worry; I've grown attached to this playthrough, and I hope it will be the first one that isn't ended by unforeseen events. I'm especially looking forward to the succession of Theodora; I can tell she's going to be a lot of fun to play, and should make for some interesting chapters (at the moment the end of the last chapter is where I left off).
 
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Hastings1066

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Chapter 19: Ambition, Subjugation and Religon






With the Armeniacon threat dealt with and the factions temporaily subdued, the Emperor cast his eye once more to expanding the Empire.

The Fatimids had been expelled from Africa during the reign of his father, but they were still a major force in the Middle East. It was believed by many in the Empire that the Fatimids could not just be brushed aside and subjugated; they had to be completly annihilated, or they would rise again.

The Fatimids were weakened however; the regime was of the young Caliph Qadir I was shaky at best, and their constant attempts to expand their powerbase depleted their troops and finanicial reserves. Even without these factors working against them, it was doubtful the once proud Caliphate would ever be a power to match the Empire or the Seljuks again. On the 14th of May, holy war was declared on the Fatimids by the Empire, for the purpose of aquiring Arabia, which was wanted as a buffer between the Empires prosperous coastal areas in Egypt and Jerusalem.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/DeclaringWarFatimids1168_zpseacb6d20.jpg.html] [/URL]
Every time you take a duchy from the Fatimid's, they take a Kingdom from someone else


Philipos of course was far away from the fighting. Unlike his father who strived for glory on the battlefield, he realized he was of more use in the capitol. He would just be a nuisance on the battlefield. Besides, he had already seen the area many years ago, during his father's last-ditch effort at glory.

"I remember father sitting proudly on his horse, reviewing the troops as they marched by. What a stupid old fool. He didn't care that we were battling infidels. He was blinded by ambition!"





The Egyptian generals knew they could not defeat the Empire; they were in fact only battling a part of the Empire's armies. So, they decided to delay the Greek victory as long as possible.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/MarchOnEilat1168_zpsc3310771.jpg.html] [/URL]
March of the Greeks
[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfEliotStart1168_zpsd68f8104.jpg.html] [/URL]
[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfEliotEnd1168_zpsd8debfea.jpg.html] [/URL]
War-torn Eilat was not pleased with the arrival of another war


The Egyptian led the Imperial army all over the duchy of Arabia and Sinai, pulling them deep into the deserts, killing many of the Empire's soldiers through attrition; but slowly the Egyptian army was worn down, and reinforcements from the Mamluks and the Abyssinian band was not enough. The Empire began it's occupation of the area, and the Caliph and his court fled elsewhere.





Doux Iosephos II Tarchaneiotes of Armenia Minor, Chancellor of the Roman Empire sat hunched over his desk. Before him was an impressive amount of paper and books. Iosephos was 84 years old now, making him the oldest member of the Council, and in the Imperial Court. He had served two Emperors (and three wives) and seen more than his fair share of crisis, war, instability, and intrigue.

His current wife could see the stress was taking it's toll as she peaked through the door; he had only a few hours sleep on a quiet day, deep bags had formed beneath his eyes, and she frequently caught him pulling out his hair when he was deep in thought. She knew it to be only a matter of time. She quietly closed the door, and went off to bed. He would come to bed, eventually, she thought wrongly.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/ChancellorIpsephosArmeniaMinorDies1170_zps882d0846.jpg.html] [/URL]
Not even his moustache could save him



He was found the next morning, face down in his paperwork, his hand still grasping a quill. A jar of ink had been knocked over and ruined much of the papers he had spent his final night working so hard on. Succeeding him as both Doux and Chancellor was his son, Katakalon. "I'm already sixty-five years of age; how long will I have? Damn my father, why did he take so long? My sons will soon be fifty themselves and waiting for me to die!"

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/ChancellorKatakalonArmeniaMinor1170_zps3b912604.jpg.html] [/URL]
You can definitely tell they were father and son; just look at the moustache!





The final battle of the Campaign was fought at Aqabah, with over 8400 Imperial troops and over 1400 mercenaries of the Abyssinian band.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfAqabahStart1170_zpsb93199e5.jpg.html] [/URL]
[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/BattleOfAqabahEnd1170_zps9f7c60a5.jpg.html] [/URL]
The Fatimid's are no longer a threat to Abyssinia, but now the Empire is


The Empire easily won, and the Caliphate could no longer offer any serious resistance; they surrendered the next day.

The title of Doux of Arabia was given to Philippos grand-nephew, Timetheos, son of Demetrios the Steward and sister of Theochariste.






The next update will be the 1170 World Update; I will probably post sometime this week, or today if I can.
 
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Hastings1066

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My apologies for the delay; I have been busy and have not had time to update. Hopefully that will be changing soon.


Chapter 20: World Update 1170





[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/EmpireMap1170_zps6636d61b.jpg.html] [/URL]
Map of the Empire, 1170

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/IndependantStateMap1170_zps622149e8.jpg.html] [/URL]
Independent States Map, 1170

Kingdom of Abyssinia- The Zagwe's were overthrown and fled to Norway, and are now the surviving members of the family are Catholic Norwegians. The Solomonids have since died out. The current ruling family are the Shirazids, led by King Azam "the Lame", a Ethiopian Sunni Muslim. As you can see, they are currently in a state of civil war that has been ongoing for decades now, victory inching slowly towards the rebels.

Sultanate of the Almoravids- Still ruled by the Almoravid dynasty, civil war has weakened them, allowing Mali to grow unchecked. They only hold a small amount of land in Iberia now, including their capitol.

Kingdom of Aragon- Ruled by the Jimena's, they live in the shadow of their cousins in the Union of Castille and Leon. During the Almoravid Civil War, they were able to capture some lands in Andalusia.

Emirate of Atef- Having once ruled most of Arabia, pressure from the Fatimids has worn them down, and they now find themselves between the two great Middle Eastern powers; the Seljuks and the Fatimids, as well as the emerging power of Guahar Ayin.

Duchy of Brittany- The duchy has mainly kept to itself, but England is seeking to expand it's power on the continent, and has pursued expansion into Brittany, with success.

Kingdom of Castille and Leon- The most successful of the Spanish kingdoms, she now seeks to unify the peninsula for herself, but recent civil war has prevented that. With peace restored, the dual Kingdom must be quick unless jealous Aragon, the greedy merchants, the zealous Scots or the expansionist Byzantine Empire do so first.

Principality of Chernigov- The last bastion of Rurikovich power, they are struggling to hold back Cumania and Volga Bulgaria. Norway, Sweden, and Poland have also showed their interest in the region as well.

Kingdom of Croatia- Still ruled by the Trpimirovics, they had just narrowly avoided coming under the rule of the Arpads, only to be attacked by the Byzantine Empire. It seems unlikely that they will continue, at least not in any significant way.

Khanate of Cumania- The leading superpower on the Steppes, their position is secure, at least for now.

Kingdom of Denmark- The ruling dynasty, the Ylvings, have been unsuccessful in their attempts to expand into Finland and Lithuania, losing much of what they gained to Sweden and Norway. They have however, spread their family to rule a large part of Norway, including the duchy of Trondelag.

Kingdom of England- Ruled by the de Normandies since 1066, trouble began for the now English kingdom when King Anqetil was overthrown in favour of his son; who held only a small county. When his son died, his grandson inherited the Kingdom, and now grandfather and grandson are pitted against each other in a brutal civil war.

Caliphate of the Fatimids- Exiled from their native Egypt, they now seek to build a new base of power in Arabia, despite the protests of the Sunni's.

Kingdom of France- France has been severely weakened since the lost of Aquitane, and the expansionist England and selfish vassals have been no help to the Capet dynasty. France has potential, if only a strong ruler could take it, before someone else does.

Serene Republic of Genoa- Genoa has done well, but not as well as the Pisans and Venetians. She must be smarter than them if she wishes to pull ahead.

Kingdom of Georgia- Weakened by internal strife and attacks from Muslims and the neighboring Byzantine Empire, Georgia is divided into two sections. They do have a friend in the Emperor however, but no man lives forever, and Georgia might find herself alone again.

Emirate of Guahar Ayin- Cousins of the Emir of Syria, Guahar Ayin has broken her ties to the Seljuks, and hopes to build a new Empire in the Middle East. The Seljuks however are enjoying a renaissance, and Guahar Ayin has few neighbors weaker than herself.

The Holy Roman Empire- Ruled by the von Eppensteins, the empire has failed to establish a strong control over it's vassals, resulting in the loss of much of it's Italian possessions. Still, few would dare to grapple with the Empire. The Empire of the Greeks is a growing threat however, and many scholars predict that war will come between the two giants, eventually.

Kingdom of Hungary- A regional power, Hungary has few enemies, but also few weaker neighbors. If she wishes to expand, she must be careful in her timing.

Sultanate of Mali- Wealthy and strong, Mali has used the weakness of the Almoravids to expand, and has gained sea access. Her prospects are still limited however, and she can only expand safely if the Almoravids can be permanently disabled.

Duchy of Munster- The largest of the Irish duchies, she is still not powerful enough to stop the Scottish menace. England too, might interest herself in Hibernia.

Kingdom of Norway- Having established control over a large part of Scandinavia and parts of Russia, Norway has little to fear from her neighbors. Her fear comes from within.

The Papacy- The Papacy has made only small gains in land in recent years, as after all, who would threaten God's representative on Earth? The approaching Greeks seem willing to try, however.

Serene Republic of Pisa- Pisa is the strongest of the Italian merchant republics, but she must not get complacent; Genoa is envious, and Venice will not go down without a fight.

Kingdom of Poland- Poland has managed some expansion, but has also lost land to the Germans of the Holy Roman Empire, and Cumania remains a threat. Hungary too, is on the prowl for new lands.

Kingdom of Scotland- With her old enemy of England weakened, Scotland has bee focusing on expanding into Ireland, as well as gaining a part of Andalusia in a crusade. Can she hold herself together though?

Sultanate of the Seljuks- Despite having lost much land in civil war, the Seljuks have recovered and are on the attack again. However, their Sultan is aging, and it might not be long before their Empire is torn apart by war.

Kingdom of Sweden- Sweden moved quickly to consolidate it's control over Sweden proper, but not quick enough to prevent the Norwegians from taking land that is rightfully Swedish. Their expansion into Russia is not enough to make up for the missing Swedish lands.

Emirate of Syria- Formerly ruled by the Uqaylids, and now by the Guahar Ayins, Syria is a regional power, but is still no rival to the Byzantines or the Seljuks. It does however, lead the smaller Sunni countries who fear the retribution of the Seljuks for leaving them.

Serene Republic of Venice- The Venetians were the leading merchant republic, until the resurgence in Byzantine power. By herself, Venice cannot defeat the Empire; she will need help.

Khanate of Volga Bulgaria- One of the most powerful steppe nations, her power is declining thanks to the expansion of Norway. Cumania is far too large to mess with, but their are others she can look to satisfy her hunger with.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/ReligionMap1170_zps3c93f2f5.jpg.html] [/URL]
Religion Map, 1170


NOTABLE: Shia Islam is fighting a losing battle, and Paganism has been almost wiped out, with only Tengrism staying strong.


[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/CultureMap1170_zps32b18944.jpg.html] [/URL]
Culture Map, 1170

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/RepublicTradeMap1170_zps7b768cc1.jpg.html] [/URL]
Republic Trade Map, 1170

Green: Damietta
Blue: Venice
Tan: Pisa
Salmon: Genoa

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/EuropeDynasties1170_zpsd089a841.jpg.html] [/URL]
European Dynasties, 1170

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/SteppeDynasties1170_zps02ec9afd.jpg.html] [/URL]
Eastern European and Steppe Dynasties, 1170

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/MiddleEastDynasties1170_zps6a25ee18.jpg.html] [/URL]
Middle Eastern and East African Dynasties, 1170

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/AfricanDynasties1170_zps22c94d69.jpg.html] [/URL]
West African Dynasties, 1170




Feel free to ask any questions; I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability.​
 

Mithfir

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Odd to see the republics being so weak... Around the same time, Genoa is always expanding where I don't want them to be, pesky merchants. House Salian is still alive in northern Germany... that is intolerable!
 

Hastings1066

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Odd to see the republics being so weak... Around the same time, Genoa is always expanding where I don't want them to be, pesky merchants. House Salian is still alive in northern Germany... that is intolerable!

I guess the Republics have run into a little more competition than they expected... Me attacking Pisa and Venice so often probably did not help, through I thought that would mean that Genoa might be able to get ahead a bit.



My apologies to everyone for not posting when I said I would, it was due to a combination of lacking time and just a bit of procrastination :eek:o . I should be able to post with more regularity in the near future. The next update shall come today.
 

Hastings1066

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Chapter 21: A Brief Ovation




Despite the Empire's gains in the Middle East, the Emperor was not yet satisfied. The advance of age upon Philippos had made him only more religious, and he had had dreams, of an eagle flying over the Arch of Constantine in Rome, while the Papal Palace burned, and the Pope lay dead. Philippos was convinced it was his destiny to restore Rome to Roman control, and bring an end to the Catholic heresy.

However, he could not attack the false prophet in Rome just yet. Orders were sent to the Chancellor to go to Rome (though these orders were delayed and the Chancellor remained in Bologna for some time), and an envoy was sent to Venice; to let them know they were at war with the Empire once again.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/PressingAllClaims1171_zpsf181bd71.jpg.html] [/URL]
Italians out of Italy!


While the land demanded was not necessary, the wealth and soldiers of Italy would be helpful in future wars, especially after they had renounced their blasphemous ways and accepted Orthodoxy.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/Invasion1171_zps6d2ff90b.jpg.html] [/URL]
Invasion 1171


With the Empire on the road to war once again, Philippos made another decision; the Anatolian lords would no longer swear their allegiance to the Crown of Anatolia as well as the Imperial Crown. The Kingdom of Anatolia was abolished on the 1st of February, 1171. The Anatolians were now subjects of only Imperial law, and not Anatolian law, simplifying the bureaucracy.

[URL=http://s1327.photobucket.com/user/MapleLeaf16/media/DestroyingAnatoliaKingdom1171_zps14f549d2.jpg.html] [/URL]
The Occitan-Anatolian lords can't hate me anymore


Two armies were sent to Italy; one was made up of the combined forces of the Emperor's personal retinue led by the Marshal and the Varangian Guard, while the other army was made up of the regular army led by the Doux Serapion of Aswan.

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No resistance at this point in time


It was not at the target of the invasion where most of the battles took place however. The Venetians sent their army to the isolated Prince Bishopric of Ferrera. In response, a army of over 13,000 of the Empire's finest was sent to repulse the invaded invaders.

After routing a small force at Cervia, the army advanced to Ferrera.

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Landfall at Ravenna


The two armies met at Tresigallo; the Venetians were outnumbered and retreated to Bologna., with the Imperial army under the Doux of Poitou in pursuit.

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And thus an elaborate game of cat and mouse...


The Battle of Bentivoglio that followed also ended with another victory for the Empire.

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The Venetians must really hate me for going after them all the time


At the Second Battle of Cervia that followed, the Bishop of Rialto, Zaccaria was captured and immediately sent to Constantinople.

"The Emperor of the Greeks I hear is a pious man; he is still an Orthodox, but he is still a Christian. I have nothing to fear."

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Nothing to fear but fear itself


The Venetians retreated to Bagnacavallo, and in the ensuing battle what was left of the Venetian army there was destroyed. In the battle however, the Doux Iokobos of Sinai, a Nestorian, was killed, leaving his land to his young son, also a Nestorian.

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Zealous? We'll see about that!


Philippos uncle, Igor Rurikovich also died on the 4th of August due to a serious injury sustained during the campaign.

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And how can man die better, than facing fearful odds...


The last battle of the war was fought at Ferrera, leaving the Venetians demoralised and exhausted. They surrendered on the 17th of December, 1171, so that they could go home to their families for Christmas.

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Victoria
 

Hastings1066

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Chapter 22: A Lesson in Intrigue





The Emperor lay slumped in his chair, an open book upon his lap with a small pool of drool collecting in it. All sorts of books and maps were scattered throughout the room. The fireplace blazed with orange flame, but their was still a chill in the room; one window was wide open.

The cloaked figure moved silently up behind the armchair, a gleaming dagger in his hand. "The fool will never know what hit him...". Just then, the Emperor stirred, bringing his own dagger to bear, holding it to the cloaked figure's throat.

The cloaked figure removed his hood, revealing an elderly man, and Philippos lowered his dagger. "Excellent Your Imperial Majesty, I was beginning to think I had taught you nothing. However, Your Imperial Majesty would be wise to improve the security of the Palace; I had no trouble at all getting in here, as would any half-decent assassin."

A recent burst in assassination throughout the Empire had caused the Emperor to fear for his and his families safety, so he had hired Spyridon, a retired assassin who had served both him and his father, as well as countless others throughout Europe. Philippos had been to Spyridon's Constantinople residence before, and it was an unimpressive home from the outside, and in most of the interior as well. One room however, was stuffed with all manner of objects, most of them probably aquired through illegitimate means. Most of them were probably stolen from the people he had killed, Philippos thought.

The lessons Spyridon taught him were invaluable, but one lesson Spyridon taught last was one that hit Philippos hard; Spyridon was found murdered one day in his house, in his bed. Despite all your preparations and paranoia and protection, something can always goe wrong.

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These pictures were cropped to show just the messages, but for some reason they won't work correctly






Their confidence burgeoning from the victories secured by the Empire, more calls for war were made; so in 1172 two minor wars were declared, one for Aleppo and the other for Edessa. Both came to a quick and uneventful end in 1173. The wars were unimportant, but they, along with the influence of Spyridon, convinced Philippos that he should improve his martial capabilities.

MartialToys1172_zpsc6e1d776.jpg

I doubt his Generals were pleased to hear that the Emperor considered himself better at strategy and tactics just because he played some game.


The far more prominent event of 1173 took place in the Sinai peninsula. Sinai had, since the time of Iakobos Caesarea, been a safe haven for Nestorians, were they were able to follow their beliefs without fear of persecution. In 1173 however, Philippos put an end to the "bastion of heresy and debauchery" revoking all the titles of the young Doux Isaakios, and giving them to his zealously orthodox uncle Isias Caesarea, who with his wife and son had been living in exile.

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I also revoked El-Arish before this, and Eilat after this

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Have fun dealing with the 21 heretics in your court and on your Council


1173 also saw a change in the Imperial Council; the Spymaster, the Patriarch Matthaios was found dead in Beneveneto, having arrived to investigate allegations of corruption. While angered that someone would flout his flout his Imperial authority, it did give him a chance to bring in someone more talented. Doux Konstantinos of Bononia, the son-in-law of Steward Demetrios Komnenos through his marriage to Theochariste Komnenos, was appointed the new Spymaster.

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His slavish devotion sealed the deal





Konstantios listened through the door, to his wife's angry and foul-mouthed screams, as well as the clatter of objects hitting the wall. He opened the door slightly, peaking in to see his wife pick up a dagger. His heart missed a beat as he watched dagger fly towards the aged servant, narrowly missing her and stabbing the wall instead. The old woman left apologising and in tears.

"Maybe returning to Constantinople will calm her down, she never did come to enjoy this boring life out in the provinces."
He closed the door and went back to his desk, as a servant had just arrived with his before-dinner snack. His mouth watered as he eyed the plump greasy legs on the turkey dinner.





Theochariste was happy to be back in Constantinople, though she didn't particularly enjoy her new duties. The Empress was sobbing on Theochariste's shoulder, as she did almost all the time. The Empress had come to regard Theochariste as a sister, something she did not reciprocate. It was not particularly hard however; just sound an agreement every once and a while, and besides, it gave her some time to think.

The most recent topic in everyone's minds was the Princess Theodora, who had come of age, and was in the possession of great ability and beauty, much to the chagrin of the recently widowed Contessa Eleanore of Brendesion, who's fading looks were no match for the enchanting charms of the youthful Princess and heir to the Empire.

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Another use of the depressed Empress was attaining insider information. "My Empress, try not to think about the Emperor and his silly games anymore (Philippos had become more interested in his toy soldiers more than anything else). Tell me about your nephews, why did they come?"

"Not to see me! Their poor old aunt is feeling lonely and they spent the entire time with Theodora, saying how beautiful she is and following her around all the time. When they were young and I was still living in Germany they used to follow me around all the time, and say how pretty I was. That's all boys care about, pretty girls!" Sofie dropped back into uncontrolled sobbing again, wailing about something. Theochariste calmed her down once again, and decided to probe further.

"Will the Emperor allow one of them to marry Theodora?" she asked.

"No, he thinks she should only marry once she has become Empress; that way her children will be Porphyrogenitos." The Empress struggled with the word; despite many years of practise her Greek was still somewhat poor. "My brother will not want to wait that long to marry his sons. Besides, he wants the children of such a marriage to be von Eppensteins; I sometimes think my brother is a complete idiot; why would Philippos agree to that? He would be giving the Empire to the Germans!" The Empress continued on another topic of depression, but at the first available opportunity Theochariste found an excuse to leave. An unfortunate maid who had come into the room with lunch found herself burdened with the duty. "Good, those German princes are not competition." Theochariste had been hoping that Theodora might marry her eldest. As Theochariste walked down the hall, she came upon a group of servants whispering in the shadows. "What are you all doing? Typical servants; gossiping fools! What are you whispering about?"
"It's just that I, uh, heard some news."
"What news?"
Well, you see I was cleaning the floors outside the doors to the Council Chambers, and I, well, didn't mean to overhear, it's just that the door was somewhat open and they was talking loud. And so I, by accident you see, overheard some news."
"Get to the point boy!"
"Well, they were talking about the Catholics, and the Marshal said..."
As he explained, her eyes grew wide with realization. She walked off before the servant had finished, and went in search of her husband.



 

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Chapter 23: The Siege of Rome




By the time Theochariste had found out, the wheels were already in motion. They had already known the army had been prepared to go to another war, but it was thought that it was to be against the infidels in Persia; the Seljuks had been overthrown and replaced, so it seemed the perfect time to strike. In a way though, the war was to be against "non-believers".


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Telesphorus? Sounds like a chemical


The declaration of war brought much of Europe off it's guard; civil war was rampant, and Catholics could only watch on in shock as the Papal and Imperial armies clashed at Gaeta.

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The battle begins, Gaeta 1178


The Pope himself was present for the battle, but this had a negative effect upon the Papal force; Telesphorus had only a limited understanding of martial matters, and his presence stressed many of his subordinates, including his two generals.


The Imperial army meanwhile, was led by the Doux of Aswan, a man considered the best general of the day, an supported by the Doux of Cairo and the Count of Usora, also accomplished tacticians in their own right.

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The battle ends, Gaeta 1178


The following battle of Tusculum went no better for the Papacy, and at Narni the entire Papal army was annihilated.


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Pope On the Run





The corridor was dark, lit only by an orange glow from the fires that ravaged the city. He ran down the hall, passing the corpses of looters, guards and courtiers. He heard a man shout behind him, but he ignored it and ran on. In his left hand he grasped the Papal ferula, and in the right the Papal tiara. As he passed a window he saw a cart filled with peasants overturn, their screams joined with those of the men who jumped upon them.


He passed a large door, with furniture and guards piled up against it; even so, he could see they could not hold it for much longer. With a thud, the door opened slightly, allowing a sword to momentarily enter the corridor before the door shut again.


He kept moving, following a long winding path through the halls, quickening his pace when he heard the door behind him fling open, and the clash of blades.


As he turned a corner, his heart jumped as two armed men grabbed him by the arms and pushed him through a bookcase. He emerged in the hidden passage, and the two guards pulled him along. After some distance had been covered, they emerged outside the city walls, and he jumped into a waiting carriage, which sped off into the forest. Other men on horses surrounded them to ensure security. Their was no light, and they only talked when they had to, and then it was only whispered. Across from the man sat the head of security in the palace.


"Your Holiness, are you well? I noticed the guards we attached to you were not with you."


"We came upon some Greeks when we were leaving, they were caught up in a fight. They told me to flee onwards, and gave me the map." Telesphorus responded. "Very courageous." he thought. He looked at the tiara he grasped in his hands, and the ferula that lay besides him. It was all that he could save, along with the robes he wore, and of course the Ring of the Fishermen. "The rest will be looted and defiled by those heathen bastards!"


He felt rage. "How could they do this to me; to all Catholics?" He put his head out the window, and called to the bodyguard around him. "They may destroy Rome, but they will never destroy the True Church! For we have God on our side!" As he finished, an arrow flew towards him, narrowly missing him and piercing the carriage. Telesphorus dropped back into his seat, shocked, as the convoy increased it's speed to escape it's pursuers.


"They may have won this battle, but we'll win the war, with God on our side!" Later that month, the Papacy surrendered control of Rome, an event that would have repercussions felt throughout the span of human history ever afterwards.



"To understand the big picture, one must study the smaller picture."
-Eustathios Gianopoulos, Roman historian and political thinker; "The Decline and Fall of Catholic Europe"

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Put that in your pipe and smoke it Telesphorus!

 
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