Hastings1066

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Chapter 33: The Dawn of a New Era




To many, it seemed the Empire did not take notice of the Mongol threat; they carried on regardless, with Prince Romanos celebrating his 16th birthday with a lavish party, and after Verona fell, the Empire marched to war against the Fatimids again, taking Medina in 1216.




This was not entirely true however. Theodora recognized the Eastern threat as legitimate, and made preparations for a possible confrontation in the future. The vast deserts of Arabia were incredibly difficult to traverse, and in the time troops could arrive from or get to Arabia, an entire war could be won or lost. Rather than have a multitude of separated duchies that would never be of use, Theodora consolidated them under the rule of her cousin, the new Despot Manuel I of Arabia.


From desert duke to desert king


1216 however, would live in the shadow of it's successor, 1217. Before his death, Chancellor Ioannes I Kometopaulos of Karvuna had accomplished his greatest mission; using obscure documents and the bribing of a few corrupt officials, he had created a tangible claim for his Empress. The Empire declared war, with the intent of taking Venice.






Theodora raised her arms above her head, and the crowd yelled louder in delight. Her silver hair framed her face in ringlets that dropped below her shoulders. Behind stood her children and her new son-in-law, King Benedek I of Hungary. Behind them was King Manuel I of Arabia and the Royal family of Arabia, and then the Council and other powerful nobles and member of the court. Standards and banners waved from poles, but they were different from the usual ones. These new ones displayed an Imperial eagle, and the letters "SPQR". Furthermore, the city was different; this was not immaculate Constantinople. The capitol had been returned to Rome, and in preparation for the ceremony, a mass cleaning had been undertaken. Even so, the city failed to compete with Constantinople. Theodora didn't mind however, one day, the city would be just as grand, if not grander, than the Rome of old. Tears formed in her vivid blue eyes. This had been her dream since childhood, and now she had achieved it.


Centuries later, suffragettes and feminists would point to Theodora as an example for women



As the crowd applauded, Theochariste stood behind Theodora with the other courtiers. Supported by a cane, she thought back on her life. The world had changed so much since she was born. She had now seen the Empire take back it's rightful place in the world. "I shan't live see much more than that." A year later, Theochariste died peacefully in her sleep. Though the Empire had become the premier power in the entire world, it's biggest challenges were yet to come; challenges that would threaten the existence of the Empire.​







Since this AAR is now quite a few patches out of date, I've been wondering how I should continue this. I think it would be best if I made it so that each new update would summarize a period of 10 years or something like that, so as to get this AAR finished sooner rather than later, otherwise I feel as though I might never finish it. World updates would still come every 20 years. With another DLC on the way, this AAR is going to look old-fashioned.
 

Surt

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I shall try! They'll be some bloodbaths along the way though... but as they say, you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

Don't worry the Mongols have already broken some 30-70 million eggs, so what is a few million more ...
 

Hastings1066

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Chapter 34: Arrivals and Departures




The Empire's rate of expansion only quickened when the Ilkhanate arrived in 1220. Though the Council (and the general population) believed that the Mongols offered no threat to Rome, Theodora was certain that eventually a war would arise between the Empire and the Mongols. Eastern expansion was done mainly to strengthen the local nobles and tie up loose ends. She put a high focus however on Western expansion; so that if the Eastern provinces should fall, the rest of the Empire would not be left defenceless.




One person who did not dismiss Theodora's fears was the young Despot Loukas, who had recently succeeded his father Manuel as Despot of Arabia. He knew that if the Ilkhanate were to destroy the Imperial legions in Mesopotamia, his Kingdom would be left to it's own devices, surrounded by enemies. With this in mind, he attacked the Fatimid Caliph with the intention of seizing Damman. He failed, and it would not come under Arabian control until years later when the Empress took it herself, before handing it over to the Despot.

In 1222, Theodora finally made a decision on her successor. After having watched both of her sons, she decided that Philippos would be better suited to being an Emperor, and he was made Despot on the 5th of May.



He's by no means good, but he's good enough

Italy became the focus of the Empress in her later years, capturing Modena and then in 1225, Tuscany; and with that, the only recently restored Serene Republic of Genoa was destroyed.

Panic struck Theodora when the Golden Horde arrived in 1226. Reports had led her to believe the Ilkhanate was the only Mongol invasion. She believed the Empire might be able to defeat one; but two? She decided it was not enough to do small wars here and there. She had to start going after the big fish.


You ain't so tough!


The troops were organized quickly and Verona and Mantua soon fell. Though Karloman was in the middle of a war against Poland, he was not interested in losing ground in Italy to nostalgic Greeks. The Battle of Manerbio commenced on the 25th of March, 1229. Initially outnumbered, reinforcements arrived and the German army was forced to retreat. In the battle, two of their generals died(Duke Floris I of Lower Lorraine & Count Goffredo of Corsica) and a third, Count Severin of Kulm was captured.


You didn't believe me when I said they weren't so tough, did you?


The battle was immediately followed by another; at the exact same place, Manerbio. Once again, the Germans were repelled and this time one general was captured: Baron Luitpold of Karlstein. The final battle of the war was fought at Peschiera; just like Manerbio, the two closely matched armies met, ending with a Roman victory. Exhausted, the Germans surrendered. The older Rome had triumphed and proven it's superiority.

 

Hastings1066

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Hmm, shouldn't the western powers unite like they did when they defeated the Huns 600 years earlier?

Nah, Theodora's preferred policy is that when threatened, you should kill your friends and take their stuff. I suppose she learned at some point in her life that you can't trust anyone but yourself; so instead of joining with her neighbors to fight a common foe together, she prefers to just make herself more powerful and take on the enemy all by herself.

From a gameplay point of view, they wouldn't be of any help even if we were allied. Firstly, their too far away; it would take them forever to arrive and when they do it will probably be too late. Secondly, the allied armies would maneuver themselves right on top of my armies and cause them to die of attrition. Thanks a lot Kaiser, the Mongols haven't even arrived yet and we've already lost :mad:.

Then theirs the fact that we're the Roman Empire; we do not need any help! We are invincible!
 

mike the knight

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Hastings1066

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Chapter 35: End of an Era




While Despot Loukas had failed in his war for Damman, he did not let his first failure defeat him; in 1229, he went to war against the Seljuk Beylerbeylik, a much easier target, with the intention of seizing their lands in Sanaa. He also found himself favoured by the Empress, who captured Damman for him in 1230.


Loukas will finally establish control over Seljuk holdings in Sanaa in 1231


In a last, desperate attempt to regain control, Caliph Nuraddin declared a Jihad for Arabia, an event that was laughed off in Rome, before moving on to more interesting events; Prince Romanos was married to the Princess Zenobia of Arabia in 1233.


Inbreeding... a sign of the unrivaled power of the Empire





Theodora opened her eyes slowly and let them adjust to the darkness of her bedroom. It was cold; she shivered as she stared at the fireplace, just barely visible was it's faint outline. She could hear wind whistling in the distance. It became louder, and louder. Suddenly light gushed out from underneath the door. She could familiar voices. Fear gripped her. "Their dead, it's impossible. Someone's playing a joke on me. Damn them!" She tried to move. Her arms lay dead beside, her legs lifeless. All that she could move was her head. When some people are afraid, they become tearful or panicky. Not Theodora; she just became mad. She yelled for her servants. The dead voices stopped. The room was quiet. The door fell and light flooded the room.

As her eyes adjusted to the light, Theodora realised she was screaming. Her throat hurt. Black shapes crowded around her bed. Each wore a crown; THE crown. Multiple voices whispered into her ears.

She awoke, bathed in sweat and with her blankets thrown about. The sun's rays coated the room in sunlight. Concerned and frightened servants surrounded her bed, while guards ran about the room, inspecting every crevice, curtain, and windowsill. "I don't have much time left" she thought, letting her head fall back unto her pillow, her breathe coming in heavy, struggling gasps. The guards and servants were relaxing a bit more now, and asking her questions she couldn't hear. "No point laying around I suppose. Time is fleeting." She jumped up out of bed with such vigour the servants all jumped with her; more than a few fainted and a guard, startled by the sudden movement, smacked his head on the wall, leaving a dent. Theodora just laughed, and ordered everyone to get back to work.

Theodora did what she could in what was left of her time on Earth. The Jihad was repelled, and they marched on the remaining Fatimid territories. Theodora would not see the completion of the campaign; she died peacefully in her sleep in 1234.


Goodbye Theodora



Despite the strengthening of factions against him, the new Emperor did not waste time. Just a few months after the death of his mother, Oman was subjugated and the Fatmids annihilated. He then began the Conquest of Spain; Barcelona was taken from Mali and Aragon from Asturias.

Though the factions presented no threat to the Emperor, his father's assassination had had a great effect upon Philippos. He took a deep interest in security, doubling the size of the guards and launching his own personal study into alchemy. From his study, not only did Philippos expand his knowledge of poisons, his collected works on the subject of alchemy helped contribute to early chemistry.

His wife, the Empress Sophia, neglected by her nigh-paranoid husband, took up a hobby as well. Her studies on torture would be of great interest to later psychologists, and she invented new devices of torture that no respectable dungeon would be without for the next few hundred years. She then took up a second hobby- drinking.



The Kingdom of France, one of the few remaining Catholic states, was not in a good position. Surrounded by more powerful Orthodox neighbors and with little help coming from what remained of Catholicism, France slowly started losing land. The Holy Roman Empire had already begun slicing off border states from France, and it was obvious that the Greeks would want to connect their territories in Poitou and Aragon to the rest of the Empire. Battered and distracted, the French quickly caved in to Roman demands, surrendering Toulouse on the 12 March, 1239(the Emperor's Birthday). The Conquest of France had begun.


Now I just have to connect to Poitou before the Germans do...



The next update will be the 1240 World Update
 

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Chapter 36: World Update 1240




Independent States Table (by Army Size)



Independent State Map



Empire Dejure Map



Imperial Dejure Shift



Religion Table



Religion Map



Orthodoxy Map



Culture Map



Republic Map

Green: Damietta
Blue: Venice
Tan: Pisa
White: Ancona



Western European Dynasties



Eastern European Dynasties



Northern European Dynasties



Middle Eastern and East African Dynasties



West African Dynasties



The Emperor



The Council



The Dynasty



The Vassals
 

Hastings1066

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I'm afraid I must say that I'm ending this AAR; due to both a lack of time and interest on my part. At one point I reached a point where it the future of the game could be summed up as "victory". Their was very little challenge, and each future update would basically always ends "we won."

However, I will let you know that we did go to war with the Ilkhanate eventually. The Golden Horde was broken by the Ilkhanate, who then stretched across the steppe, and so, rather than wait for the inevitable, I declared war on them. We met in a massive battle in the Crimea; thousands died, but we emerged victorious. The Ilkhanate would eventually be pushed back into Persia and out of Alania and Taurica, though they just made up for the lost land by advancing further into Europe. They would eventually convert to the Nestorian heresy.

In the reign of Alexios III 'the Monk'(55 years) the bubonic plague struck. It was mainly contained to Italy and Sicily, though a few provinces in Africa and Serbia were affected. My Spymaster, Mother, Wife, second son and assorted relations and vassals would be taken by the dreaded plague.


A final view of the Empire:



Thanks to all who have been reading this AAR, and to the entire community of people here on this Forum and of course to Paradox. Now if you excuse me, I'm a bit behind on my reading of AARs, so I'll want to start getting caught up soon. :laugh:​
 

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  • 500k Club
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
Despite my sadbess about its end ,I should acknowledge that this AAR was amongst the better that I have ever seen .We hope that you shall return soon with another project :happy: