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Neoteros

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Mariano II, Part I (1387/1417) - Rome is Ours!


God punished the Christian people, for it lived in sin and forgot His word. Spreading from the lands of France, the deadly disease He sent to Europe spared no one, killing men, women and children, leaving the continent empty. Only a few chosen ones managed to survive, seeking refuge in the major islands, who had not encountered the wrath of the Lord.

One of these islands was Sardinia. Mariano IV of Arborea, King of one of the four states in which the island was divided, wisely employed the refugees as mercenary soldiers, and in less than a decade he conquered the whole of the island, taking a new royal name: King Mariano I of Sardinia, or, in the native tongue, Giuighe Mariane I de Sardigna. He was succeeded by Queen Eleonora I. Her most known accomplishment was the conquest of Corsica, who was in a perpetual state of civil war between the Genovese refugees, whose government in exile ruled the island, and the Corsican locals, who, thinking of the Genovese as cursed by God, rebelled and longed for a local King. A good part of them accepted the rule of Eleonora, seen as the descendant of a dynasty whose survival was wanted by the Lord Himself, while more than an half of the Genovese were either lynched by the locals or sentenced to death by the Queen in person. Her reign was inherited by Mariano II of Sardinia.

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The Kingdom of Sardinia in 1399, 12 years after the coronation of Mariano II

His policy was at first aimed at improving the state's finances, by trading with the surviving Orthodox kingdoms of the East, such as Georgia and Trebizond. He also sent part of his fleet to explore the shores of Europe, in order to find if there were surviving kingdoms even in the West. To his surprise, the fleet headed by the admiral Francesco Trambusto, a Sardinian of Florentine origins, made contact with what remained of the kingdoms of Scotland and Norway, and in a year's time an alliance was signed with both. However, the alliances did not last long, since Scotland, who controlled the Western Isles, declared war on Norway in 1407, claiming the Orkneys that the latter controlled. Mariano II, in order to avoid war, did not take sides, leading to the cancellation of the alliance by both parties. But then, Trambusto's fleet, returning from its second voyage to the British Isles, told the King that the Orkneys were occupied by rebels, and that Norway's only defense was a single fleet. This, coupled with an offer of 100 ducats from the belligerent faction of the nobility, led Mariano to build a war fleet and recruit 3.000 soldiers, maybe the greatest Christian army since the Plague hit. He personally led the army, but once arrived near the Orkneys, he discovered Scotland and Norway had signed a white peace and a truce. He was to come back, but a large chunk of the army threatened to kill him if he did not live up to the nobility's expectations. So, he attacked the Orkneys, and annexed them after a 6-months-long siege. This was followed by another gift from the nobility, who set up large feuds in the islands and on the shores of what was once Scotland. Returned home, he discovered that Malta was occupied by the surviving Knights, who, in exchange for some troops, informed him that Rome had been occupied by Muslims, who set up a so-called Sultanate of Ruma, and that the Pope lived in Malta in exile. His Holiness tasked him with the liberation of the Holy See, and the King did not wait a single minute to do so. He set up a colony near the abandoned city of Siena, from which he moved against the scarce forces of the infidels. In 1410 the whole of Latium was liberated, and the Pope returned where he belonged, under Sardinian protection.

1410_by_neoteros-d42fy1x.jpg

The Kingdom of Sardinia in 1410, after the conquest of Rome

Not much time later, a Scottish envoy warned Mariano that his occupation of the Orkneys was illegal, being the islands legitimate Scot soil, and that he had to give them up if he wanted to avoid war. So, he sailed once again to Britain, where after a long assembly with the Sardinian nobility and the Scottish leaders, including the King, it was decided that Sardinia would cede the islands to Scotland in exchange for money, and that the nobles who had taken residence in the Highlands would relocate to Siena and Rome. This was the inauguration of a policy of religious and cultural conversion of the newly conquered areas, who led to a Sunni revolt in Rome, soon tamed. The Pope, in order to thank Mariano for what he did, issued a statement who was to be respected by the whole of what remained of Christendom: Sardinia had the right to declare war to every infidel and the right to take possess of all the conquered areas. This led to the Sardinian crusade against the little Republic of Faransa, based in what had been Nevers. The war lasted three years, at the end of which Mariano II annexed the territory. But soon, less pleasant news arrived: powerful Mohammedan states were rising in Germany and Pannonia. Would he declare war to them, or wait for more adapt times?

1417_by_neoteros-d42fy7f.jpg

The Kingdom of Sardinia in 1417, after the Faransan Crusade

Part II Coming Soon!
 
Last edited:

Neoteros

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What you will find in the next chapter:

Mariano II dies
Nevers is lost
Jewish Catalunya
Pagan Iceland

AND MORE!
 

Neoteros

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Mariano II, Part II (1417/1424)
Pietro I (1424/1446) - The Italian Idea
Beatrice I, Part I (1446/1481)


Unfortunately, Mariano II died shortly afterwards, after converting Latium back to Christianity. The kingdom was inherited by his son Pietro I. Soon, unpleasant discoveries were made.

1418_by_neoteros-d42gxsf.jpg


1423_by_neoteros-d42gxy6.jpg


The result of years without a Pope

Apparently, years without a spiritual leader had favoured heresy and heathenism among the inhabitants of some of the surviving kingdoms, convinced that God had abandoned them. In particular, some areas of Europe had been claimed by Jew settlers, both in the West and the East, now that they were free from their persecutors. Pietro chose to eradicate the Pagans first, being them weaker than the Catalunyans, and in 1925 the heathen armies were destroyed, giving back the island to Christendom.

1425_by_neoteros-d42gy4d.jpg

Iceland conquered

Then, he allied with the Knights of Malta, who were attempting to conquer Catalunya, and with the Kingdom of Crete, who unified Greece but was struggling against the Ottomans. This "double crusade" lasted for a decade, resulting in a political status quo and a decimation of the army and the navy. The moral defeat was made even more bitter by the success of the Faransi indipendentists who started their struggle against Sardinian occupation during the last years of Mariano II. Unable to accomplish anything politically, Pietro I focused on colonization and culture. Rome became culturally Sardinian due to immigration from the overcrowded island, and many provinces in the peninsula were colonized. His reign saw also the birth of the masterpiece of post-Plague Christian literature, the epic poem Reconquest of Rome, centered on Mariano II's battles against the Rumi Muslims and the siege of their capital. Made to glorify Sardinia's holy duty as defender of what remained of Christendom, it was written in the Sardinian spoken by the masses, but soon Pietro I realized something: this new Sardinian was only a shadow of the ancient tongue, having been influenced by the tongues of the immigrants and their descendants, mainly Tuscan and Ligurian. And he also realized that these same descendants did not think of themselves as pure Sardinians. They rather identified with the Italian survivors of the Plague. He then thought that the establishment of an Italian state was crucial for obtaining the support of his people, only a fraction of which was actually full-blooded Sardinian. His last act before dying was endorsing a second version of the Conquest of Rome, who featured several new verses focusing on the colonization of the peninsula and retroactively made Mariano II the king of all Italians.

He was succeeded by Beatrice I, who finally managed to conquer Catalunya, and established a royal marriage with the heir to the throne of Crete for political reasons: Crete was the second biggest Christian power, even if it was defeated by the Moroccans and had to give up its possessions in Sicily and the Peloponnese. She then used the pretext of a border friction with the weak Knights of Malta to invade them and annex their territories. Also, Sardinia wiped out its main rival in the rump Church.

1461_by_neoteros-d44kkyq.jpg

1472_by_neoteros-d44ks91.jpg

Sardinia in 1468, and its influence on the Church

But the reign of Beatrice would see even greater things in times of peace, on the other side of the ocean...
 

Wombats O' War

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Cool stuff! I've been meaning to try this scenario more.

I look forward to Sardinia restoring Christian Europe to it's rightful place.
 

Neoteros

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In the next update:

America is discovered
Italy is formed
First colony in Africa
Fail attempts at establishing a colony in America
 

dinofs

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Excellent! Dark Continent is one of the best alternate history scenarios out there, so I'm glad to see it getting some more attention.

Anyways, about the AAR, do you plan on colonizing more and more of Europe, or are you going to turn your efforts entirely to the Americas and Africa?
 

Neoteros

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now the game's giving me missions pertaining to European colonization, so i'll do that... but once they'll get self-sufficient, i'll release the colonies as vassals, so i will not have to manage them.
 

generalolaf

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Nice AAR! This scenario looks really interesting. Which version of the game is it for?