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Hastings1066

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Next step mendeing the schism ?

Indeed that is the next step. Europe will burn with hatred, and the streets flow with blood...

Hmm... I just realized that I gave Chapter 23 the wrong name. It is now titled "The Siege of Rome" rather than the previous name, which you all will forget, because it never existed. ;)
 
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Chapter 24: The Saint







"Well, goodnight milady." the young man said, departing for his own chambers. The Contessa watched the muscular back of her young husband as he went. She was too tired. "I wonder if it's true? What can some other woman offer that I can't! I have experience." The Contessa looked into the mirror, examining the wrinkles that etched her face, the gray at the roots of her hair and the skin that sagged. She was not old yet, only 39, though it seemed only yesterday that 39 had been old. "Things are just moving too fast nowadays for me!" At least her eyes were still just as beautiful, she thought.
She stared at the kindly and crinkled face of her husband on the wall. It was a small, but decent painting. "Loukas was the better husband. Unconditionally loyal, even when I wasn't."

She took a drink of wine; her chest had been feeling pressured all evening.

"Yes, things are moving too fast. First Loukas dies, and then His Imperial Majesty sets Europe aflame." She had decided to spare the Bishop and let give him her protection to get to a place more friendly to Catholics. He had been so understanding when she had been young and rebellious. The first act of the new Orthodox Bishop had been to bring her into the Orthodox Church. Her parents had been devout Catholics, but she sided with practicality over loyalty, as she had always done.

"Things move to fast." she thought as the glass of wine slipped from her fingers fell to the floor, followed by her.



Addio*





Philippos had almost completely forgotten about the Contessa. She had, overtime simply lost her charm, and so subsequently he had lost interest. He remember how she moved, like a dream. Now she was dead, and her previous role was being filled by his beautiful daughters. Except his daughters were nicer, and didn't fool around.

The Contessa had been succeeded by her son, the Count Sciarria, a nice little boy, now being educated by the Princess Theodora. "I hope she can teach that boy better Greek. I can barely tell at times if he's speaking in Greek or Italian!"

The Emperor cleared his head and refocused his mind on the matter at hand; the Holy War Against the Pisan Heretics had finished and the land gained had to be administered, and the Court Chaplain had to be replaced.

"The new Patriarch of Rome would just right for the job."


At least he's not Catholic





He reviewed the troops as they marched past; they looked fierce in their armour carrying their blades. "We will take back what is rightfully ours!" he shouted, and the troops cheered.

It was just a small step on the path, but it would bring them one step closer to restoring their ownership of their ancestral homeland. "Every infidel shall burn, just the Greek Barbarian 'Alexios' burned out my Great-grandfather's eyes. I hope I shall have the opportunity to burn his grandson's eyes out, and achieve vengeance for my family."


*-Previously "Arrivederci";Thanks to Titan79 for the correction



Here is some information on the mending of the Great Schism.



The new Patriarch of Rome



God be praised!


France, Scotland, and Poland are the major powers that remained Catholic. England however, might return to Catholicism since the Crown is weak. It looks like Iceland will be the Ireland of Europe in this game; half Catholic, half Orthodox.
 
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Titan79

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Thank you! I must confess for that caption I just typed "Goodbye" into Google translate. :eek:o
Ah, no problem - I thought so ;) . In fact, even "Arrivederci" could do - it could be considered more "poetic", somehow - as it's the term used when e.g. people say goodbye and know that are going to see each other again. "Addio" is commonly used just when, as in this case, there is no real seeing someone again (it literally means "To God"); but again, for this reason, "Arrivederci" could have been considered a sort of poetic license ("see you again in heaven"...).
 

Hastings1066

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Ah, no problem - I thought so ;) . In fact, even "Arrivederci" could do - it could be considered more "poetic", somehow - as it's the term used when e.g. people say goodbye and know that are going to see each other again. "Addio" is commonly used just when, as in this case, there is no real seeing someone again (it literally means "To God"); but again, for this reason, "Arrivederci" could have been considered a sort of poetic license ("see you again in heaven"...).

I've already changed it to "Addio" , so I guess I'll just keep it at that. Besides, the captions are more from my view than any particular character's, and I shan't be seeing the Contessa in heaven! :)
 

Hastings1066

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Chapter 25: Chains




The general watched hopelessly as his centre crumbled, and as his flanks were over run by cataphracts. He mounted his horses, knowing that the enemy would soon be upon them. It was not the Greeks that he feared though. It was having to report failure to his master.

" I am doomed, either way." he thought, drawing his sword and turning his horse about, much to the dismay of his guards. His mind blank and completly inresponsive to the calls of the others, he charged down the hill, and directly into the Roman ranks.

He managed to startle some of them, seperating the invaders from their bodies. They regained their composure quickly, having been relentlessly trained, and soon the general lay in a heap upon the dirt. He looked up to see a blade descend towards him.





The Doux of Aswan watched the prisoners shuffle past him. Some would be executed-brutally-and some would be allowed to live, so as to spread the word of the efficiency and might of the Roman army. The captured general would be sent to Constantinople, where the Emperor would decide his fate. He did not envy the Arab; the Emperor was not renowned for his mercy. The Doux had heard some of the stories. The grandfather of the Caliph they were fighting now- they said the Emperor had cut out his eyes personally. He shivered, despite the heat. "It's just gossip. He would have been just a child at the time; how could he have possibly done such a deed? Gossip and exaggeration."





The Emperor wiped the blood off his hands, watching as the guards pulled the mutilated body of the disgraced Doux of Dioclea back to his cell; they would tend to his wounds, so that he wouldn't die, at least not yet. Grinning, he turned around and ascended the stairs out of the dungeon. He passed the pale and sweaty face of the Spymaster. "You would think he could handle this stuff better."

Konstantios swayed as he stumbled back to his chambers, before on the floor. The sight of His Majesty doing such things was too much. He dropped in unconsciousness.



Another one bites the dust


The guard tossed the food into the cell, as Bashar ibn Dawlat pulled himself along the floor. His ankles were in chains. He shoved the food into his mouth, oblivious to the grime that coated it. "Was what the guard said true? Has the Caliphate really surrendered? Does it matter? We failed because we failed to prove our self. Next time will be different."



When will they ever learn?


He tore off half of his piece of bread, passing it to the man in the cell next to him. The hand quickly grabbed it, and he heard the muffled sounds of the man eating.

"Thank you, thank you, you are a generous and noble man." whispered Katakalon to Bashar. "I know not whether I shall escape this prison, but I pray you shall."





Theodora and her sisters sat huddled praying together, as their mother's corpse was taken out of the room. Their father was not there, having already left. He had gone to speak with his advisors about the involvement with his former brother-in-law's war against the heretical Franks in Burgundy.

Theodora glanced up from her prayers to see her mother's cold, blank face. "Her hair is still black, just like mine. When will death cometh for me? I must ask father about marriage again. It is my duty, to marry and produce children; children for the Empire! It is my love for the people that commands me, not the nobles and their obsession with the purple chamber."



Maybe she shouldn't wait any longer...
 

Lord Durham

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Good AAR, Hastings. I got a kick out of this line: Now she was dead, and her previous role was being filled by his beautiful daughters. Except his daughters were nicer, and didn't fool around. The defeated general charging into the enemy to die an honourable death was a nice touch, too. Better than reporting failure and suffering some fate worse than death. Now go deal with those pesky Catholics... :)
 

Hastings1066

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Give her a stud already!

She'll get her man... she's like the RCMP. ;)

Good AAR, Hastings. I got a kick out of this line: Now she was dead, and her previous role was being filled by his beautiful daughters. Except his daughters were nicer, and didn't fool around. The defeated general charging into the enemy to die an honourable death was a nice touch, too. Better than reporting failure and suffering some fate worse than death. Now go deal with those pesky Catholics... :)

Thank you Lord Durham! Unfortunately for the general, he failed to meet his honourable death, and found himself in a dungeon that makes the Caliph's look like a 5-star resort. No one has ever escaped, and those released are missing parts of their body. The defeated general was the captured general mentioned by the Doux of Aswan, and then revealed as Bashar ibn Dawlat. We'll being seeing more of him in future updates. (Hopefully with all his body parts!:eek:hmy:)

As for the Catholics... they shall be dealt with.
 

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Thank you Lord Durham! Unfortunately for the general, he failed to meet his honourable death, and found himself in a dungeon that makes the Caliph's look like a 5-star resort. No one has ever escaped, and those released are missing parts of their body. The defeated general was the captured general mentioned by the Doux of Aswan, and then revealed as Bashar ibn Dawlat. We'll being seeing more of him in future updates. (Hopefully with all his body parts!:eek:hmy:)

Yeah, of course. It was staring me right in the face. Been a long day... Oh, and if Theodora is anything like the RCMP she'll be mired in controversy :)
 

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Chapter 26: All's Fair In Love And War





His daughters were still beautiful, and their increasing age had, unlike the Contessa, provided a positive effect on their beauty. They had lost their shiny-eyed innoncence of youth, and gained a mature confidance about themselves. But, they were still getting older, and it didn't really matter if they were attractive or not. They just had to be fertile. With every passing year, their chances of having children dropped. So, Philippos renegaded on his original plans; Theodora would be the first to marry.
Unfortunaly, the Kaiser's sons were no longer available; in fact, no princes were available over the age of 15. So, Theodora would have to make do with less.


The famed and noble house of NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY HOUSE, more commonly known as the von Hofenstaufen's



He may not be a Prince, but at least he has the attractive trait


On the 4th of April, Philippos treacherous brother, Prince-Archbishop Manuel of Tripolitania died, an event that was celebrated with the marriage of Philippo's second daughter Eirene to Iordanes Komnenos, a distant relation from the Cairo branch of the family.


Keeping it in the family


After the conclusion of a war with Pisa over Bologna, Manuel's bastard son was made the Mayor of Bologna, making him the youngest Mayor of Bologna at just 9 years of age.

Having seen her older sisters married, Philippo's youngest daughter Anastasia yearned for marital bliss as well. So she found herself a man.


Whatever makes you happ-- yeah right, stay away from my daughter you Swedish meatball


The Emperor of course refused, and the guard was sent away from Constantinople, under penalty of death should he ever return. He never forgot Anastasia, but ultimately moved on with his life. Anastasia couldn't.





Telephrourus II found himself once more on the retreat. "This will be my legacy. Losing all the Papal holdings. Damn the Emperor, damn his entire family, damn the Greeks and damn the Ecumenical Patriarch and his sordid religion!" The Pope tightened his hands into balls, his nails digging into his own flesh, drawing blood. He took no notice of the pain, concentrating on his hate. "They'll get what they have coming to them, our 'allies' will see to that."





As Latium fell, Theodora was blessed with her first child; Philippos, named after his grandfather, and then Eirene too was blessed with a child whom she named Sophia. The two would become very close, too close in the opinion of many.


Hopefully he won't inherit certain traits from his namesake and grandfather


The birth of his first grandchildren did not lessen the Emperor's interest in conquest however. Their were many powerless Muslim lords in the east just waiting to be conquered. He also still had two daughters left.





"Another daughter married off. Only Anastasia is mine and mine alone. At least Theodora and Eirene are still here, if not wholly mine anymore."
His third child, Anna, was married to the third son of King Vysheslav I of Volga Bulgaria, a young man named Roman, on the 11th of January.



The King of Volga Bulgaria is monolethite, as is his second son, but Roman and his eldest brother are not... yet.


It would only be a few weeks later that the Volga Bulgarians would be called to honour their new alliance.





The general led his charge into the enemy force, devastating the Greek infidel ranks. Having finished decapitating a pathetic looking youth's head, he looked far over to his right and left to see his subordinate generals engaged in battle as well, winning. The general was a devout Sunni, but he was still a practical man; he knew that if the Greeks were given time to muster their forces, they could easily put to ruin the Jihad. Even with the advantage of this being their land, the general knew the Greeks had the shorter distance to travel. They could transport their armies in by ships and the land they had stolen was easier to travel across. He on the other hand, had to cross less friendly environments, with the majority of the armies being led by different leaders from different lands. The motive of their shared religion could not even bring them together.

But he was convinced all he had to do was destroy their armies before they could organise themselves. The Greeks and their Empire were spread out, not even with the assistance of their mighty ships and road networks could they unite their armies quickly enough. The general trampled a gray-haired Greek beneath his horse, not bothering to use his weapon. All was going according to plan, he thought.

The general could hear the sound of marching. He turned his eyes to his flank. "Why are the reserves being brought up? I told them to wait for my command!" But they were not moving. He looked about for the source of the sound of soldiers moving, finding it on the opposite side of the field. " How could they get here so quickly?" The general was outdated on his knowledge of Greek possessions in the region. Significant numbers of people had embraced their Greek rulers, and even more had embraced Orthodoxy. Very little reinforcements were needed from Greece or Italy.

The general brought his eyes back to where he was standing, and saw a few feet away from him, and elderly man with a white beard sitting on a horse, staring at the general. The old man reminded him of the previous infidel Emperor, whom he had seen when just a young soldier, at the Battle of Ma'an. "This was my chance to prove myself to the Caliph, and attain something better for me and my children. It's over now." The old man grinned, mocking him. The general glared back with anger, flinging his armour and swears at the old man. He didn't hear the twang of arrows being released. The dust was beginning to swirl about from the melee, so he never saw the arrows rain down around him. None hit him. However, one Greek archer had developed hearing problems and released his arrow later than the others. His arrow struck the general, piercing though his chest. He fell to the ground, dead. The old man laughed.


The man captured was not the general mentioned in the story. He was just some guy I captured and executed





The Battle of Dibin was not the deciding battle of the war however. After it followed the Battle of Russeifa, Adra, and the Second Battle of Dibin. After these battles, no significant resistance could be raised in opposition to the Empire.

Despite the advantage the Empire now possessed, the war would last many more years, as the Caliph and his allies did whatever they could to keep the war going for as long as possible. At worst, they could destabilise the Empire; at best, they could hold out until the Pahrahids came. The arrival of the Pahrahids could spell doom for the Byzantine cause.

The Pahrahids would not be able to intervene however. Their time was coming to an end. The Seljuks would reclaim their throne, if only for a short time before being replaced again.

In 1191, tragedy struck the Komnenos. Anastasia, still upset over being denied marriage to her lover, simply "lost the will to live" and died at the age of 24. Philippos was wracked with guilt over his daughter's death. While he was cruel man, his did not enjoy seeing his daughters suffer. The next year, Basileus Philippos II would take the same path his daughter did.


Bereft of life, he rests in peace





I would like to ask you all some questions. I have been playing ahead, and I am currently at the year 1212. Which of course means the Mongols, specifically the Ilkhanate, will soon be upon us. While I have dealt with the Mongols before, I always had some distance between them and me, so they could exhaust themselves before getting close. From what I have read, it would seem they attack the most powerful states first, so as to get rid of the threat. Only Persia lies between me and them. I remember I had two questions I wanted to ask; however I've forgotten what they were. :rolleyes: So, If you have any general Mongol related advice (or any advice at all), feel free to share. I'll see if I can remember what my two questions were.