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HistoryDude

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So, EU4 has a custom nation feature. I decided to take advantage of this (and also the fact that you can make more than one custom nation) for this AAR. This AAR will focus on my custom Romano-Mongol Empire. It will start with a rather long (multi-post) prologue to set the stage, and then we will get into some actual gameplay. I'm hoping on updating this weekly.
 
The Earliest Days - A Dying Empire

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The Western Roman Empire was dying in the fifth century. By the middle of that century, the Western Empire had lost large portions of its lands. It was on its last legs, and everyone knew it. Soon, the barbarian tribes would, like vultures, partition its remains between themselves.

Rome would burn, and that was inevitable. This is not that tale. This is the tale of what happened to those who might’ve been in the burning Rome. Alas, it might well have been out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Regardless of such matters, our story begins with a barbarian conqueror, known by many as the Scourge of God, and a Western Roman princess....

Attila the Hun had built a great empire. He had conquered most of what the Romans knew as Germania Magna, and the Hunnic Empire was mighty. It had driven many Germanic tribes west, where they had invaded the Western Roman Empire. Meanwhile, the Huns had ravaged much of the Balkans, which were under the theoretical protection of the Eastern Roman Empire. Attila, however, failed to capture Constantinople.

In 450 AD, Princess Honoria of the Western Roman Empire sent Attila her ring, requesting his help in exchange for her hand. Attila accepted, and he demanded half of the Western Roman Empire as his dowry, so he invaded. The Western Romans allied with many tribes that had settled on their land and owed nominal loyalty to them. Attila’s army met them at Chalons in 451 AD, and they defeated the alliance here. There were numerous small skirmishes after that, but none of major historical importance. Attila claimed Honoria’s hand in marriage and Hispania, Gaul, and northern Italia.

Many Romans moved to the Steppes to begin new lives. Many of these were born into bad circumstances back in the homeland, so they had reason to move. This area would become the nucleus of the first state the ancestors of the Romano-Mongols established. They would found small towns here, most notably New Mediolanum.

Ultimately, Attila and Honoria would have a child, named Marcellus. Attila had numerous other descendants, as well, but Marcellus is the child most relevant to the tale of the Romano-Mongols. He was raised in both Roman and Hunnic traditions. Ultimately, Attila would perish in 460 AD in bed, having lived a long and fulfilling life. Many of the former Hunnic vassals would revolt, and different claimants to the Hunnic throne would emerge. Marcellus would take over New Mediolanum and begin the process of creating a new realm in the Steppes...

Hun Image.jpg

The above is the Hunnic Empire at its greatest extent, alongside the neighboring Roman Empire...
 

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Cool premise. :)
 

HistoryDude

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Establishing a Realm Amidst the Steppes

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New Mediolanum was promptly established as a base for the various Huns that had adapted elements of Roman culture or the various Romans who had adopted elements of Hunnic culture. These two groups, collectively called Romano-Huns, established a regency council to rule over New Mediolanum and the various smaller settlements around it.

Marcellus was the titular ruler, but he was still young. This meant that the regency council did most of the actual ruling. They ruled until 475 AD, when Marcellus reached 16. The regency council began by establishing various administrative organizations. This was to ensure that their new state wouldn’t collapse as easily as the Hunnic Empire had.

The regency council, however, had no interest in expanding. They wanted to construct a state, yes, but they weren’t interested in making it a large state.

By contrast, Marcellus was an ambitious man. While he held no delusions about being able to restore his father’s empire, he still wished to make a sizable realm. He wanted to be remembered as a great conqueror.

However, Marcellus was aware of what brought empires led by great conquerors down all too often. He knew that the problem with these empires - examples of which included both his father’s empire and Alexander the Great’s - were brought down by a lack of planning for the future. Marcellus was aware of his own mortality, and, therefore, he sought to establish a line of succession.

He knew that the new state was already well governed, courtesy of the regency council. Marcellus, therefore, took a wife to grant him children almost as soon as he came of age. However, he attempted to keep the amount of children he had to a minimum, knowing that a succession crisis could emerge if he had too many. He gave his younger children small fiefs to rule so that they didn’t threaten the succession as well.

As he prepared the succession, he also got to work creating a great army. He recruited many citizens, freemen, and a few tribes into his new army. He spent many years getting his army trained so that it would become unmatched throughout the Steppes.

Once his army was trained, he launched a whirlwind campaign against the neighboring tribes. Beginning in 487 AD, he attacked his neighbors. By 490 AD, he had conquered much of the Steppes. He settled down, then, and he did some more recruiting and training of his army. In addition, he sponsored the construction of various cities and towns.
Romano-Hun 1.jpg
Map of the Romano-Hunnic Empire after Marcellus's first campaigns.

By 500 AD, Marcellus knew that he grew closer and closer to the grave. Deciding that his new military shouldn’t go to waste, he launched another whirlwind campaign. He subjugated more of the Western Steppe, even managing to gain territory in Scandinavia.

That campaign ended in 505 AD. Marcellus then knew that leading his armies in person had become too risky to his health, and he ended his campaigns. However, he sponsored the creation of new settlements in the newly conquered territories once more.

In 510 AD, at the age of 51, Marcellus died peacefully in his bed. He was remembered as Marcellus “the Great” and Marcellus “the Conqueror” by his subjects. His eldest son, Julius, would assume the throne at the age of 20. Julius’s reign would see the new Romano-Hunnic state intervene in the affairs of other nations…
Romano-Hun 2.jpg
Map of the Romano-Hunnic Empire at Marcellus's death
 

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Not bad for a first expansion. And best to take it relatively slow.
 

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Not bad for a first expansion. And best to take it relatively slow.
Indeed. Overextending realms is a great way to destroy them.
 
Aiding Byzantium

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Julius decided that he would focus on consolidating his father’s conquests to begin his reign. For about 5 years, there was complete peace in the Romano-Hunnic Empire. However, Julius knew that the Empire was bound to face hardships.

As such, he decided that it needed allies. As his reign began, he realized that Scandinavia was too far from the rest of the Empire. He withdrew his troops from there, knowing that he could not defend it. He established an alliance with the Eastern Roman Empire.

After 5 years had passed, he had heard reports of the less organized Hunnic tribes raiding the Empire’s southern border. Therefore, he decided that the Empire needed to teach these tribes a lesson. From 516-521 AD, he launched a campaign against them. In this way, he managed to expand the Empire all the way to Crimea.

He then began to fund settlement in the new territory. Cities were established. The most notable of these cities was New Lutetia in Crimea. For the remainder of Julius’s reign, the Romano-Hunnic Empire was at peace.

Julius passed away in 545 AD. His son, who had been married to a Byzantine princess to support their alliance, assumed the throne. His name was Marcus. Julius would come to be remembered as Julius “the Peacemaker”.

Marcus would begin his reign with a quick eastward campaign. He knew that many of his men wished for war, and so he granted them a small war.

However, soon the Romano-Hunnic army wouldn’t have to settle for small wars. The Byzantine Empire had been at war with the Sassanids since 540 AD. They had initially done poorly, but they’d recovered by 545 AD, when a truce was agreed. However, sporadic fighting continued in the Caucasus Mountains, specifically over Lazica. In 554 AD, this exploded into a more expansive war. The Byzantines had just finished reclaiming Italy. As such, they were initially taken by surprise when a large Persian army invaded Syria. This army managed to make it to the coast before a Byzantine army defeated them.

The Byzantine Emperor called the Romano-Huns into the war. The Romano-Huns would quickly sweep down the Caucasus, surprising the Persian armies at Nineveh. The Persian army was ultimately defeated during the Battle of Nineveh, and the Romano-Hunnic army gained free reign over all of Assyria.

In Syria and Babylonia, the Byzantines managed to push the Persians back to the Tigris River. In 556 AD, the Tigris had become the de facto border between the two armies once again.

However, the Persians worried about the Romano-Huns in Assyria. They gathered an army from across their lands. This army met together at Babylon.

By 557 AD, the Romano-Huns had occupied most of Assyria. In that year, they gathered most of their army for a campaign. This army met at Asshur and then moved south. Ultimately, they would take some northern Babylonian cities, but the Persian army wouldn’t be lured out. Finally, in 558 AD, the two armies met in battle outside Babylon’s gates. The Romano-Huns would emerge victorious, but it would suffer many casualties.

At this point, the Byzantines and Persians made peace. The terms were status quo ante bellum. However, Persia surrendered much of their Caucasian territory, consisting of the former state of Iberia, to the Romano-Huns. The Byzantines also granted the Romano-Huns sovereignty over their settlements in Crimea.

The Romano-Huns would accept the suzerainty of the Crimean cities. However, they would enthrone a king of Iberia and leave him to rule autonomously. Of course, they agreed to protect him in exchange for an annual tribute payment.

Seeing the might of the Romano-Hunnic state, some neighboring tribes would swear their allegiance to the Romano-Hunnic Empire.

Romano-Hun 3.jpg
Map of the Romano-Hunnic Empire after the war detailed above

Marcus would ultimately die in 600 AD. He would be remembered as Marcus “the Victorious”. His 17-year old grandson would take the throne. He was named Julius.

Julius’s reign would begin peacefully, but that wouldn’t last. In 602 AD, Byzantium called the Romano-Huns into another war against the Sassanids. At first, the Romano-Huns sent only moral support, but that would soon change. By 618 AD, the Sassanids had seized control of most of the Levant and were invading Egypt. In addition, large portions of Anatolia had fallen. This immensely worried Julius.

Julius feared that the Byzantine Empire would fall. He figured that an ally was better than an enemy on his southern border. As such, he launched a surprise campaign through the Caucasus, which was quickly successful. In 619 AD, he successfully took Nineveh. His armies would march across Assyria, but the Persians didn’t rise to the bait. They believed that they were on the verge of total victory.

In 622 AD, however, the Byzantines launched a desperate counter-offensive against the Persians. The Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius, won a crushing victory of the Sassanids in Eastern Anatolia.

Julius saw this as an opportunity. He took his legions and marched them to Asshur. If Asshur fell, Julius knew, then Assyria would be lost to Persia. This time, the Persian army took the bait. Asshur was a glorious victory for the Romano-Huns, and it meant that there were now no barriers to complete control of Mesopotamia. This cut the Sassanid Empire in half, with Persia proper separated from their conquered western territories.

Ultimately, in December 622 AD, the Persians and Byzantines decided on a white peace. However, the Romano-Huns made Persia pay them tribute in exchange for the return of Mesopotamia. This peace allowed the Byzantines to crush the Avars invading the Balkans by 625 AD.

In 634 AD, however, the Byzantine Empire fought against the Muslims. Unfortunately, they were still weak after their recent war with the Sassanids, so they lost the Levant and Egypt. The Romano-Huns were not called upon in this war, and they remained at peace.

In 635 AD, however, the Romano-Huns launched a comprehensive campaign. They managed to bring many more Steppe tribes under their rule. This “Eastern Campaign” was finished by 642 AD. The new conquests had cities built in them, and they were gradually introduced to the benefits of Romano-Hunnic rule.

Ultimately, Julius would die in 650 AD at the old age of 67. He would be remembered to posterity as Julius “the Savior”. He would also be sainted by the Eastern Orthodox Church. His son, Marius, would assume the throne.

Romano-Hun 4.jpg
Map of the Romano-Hunnic Empire at Marius's ascension
 

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Roman Russia in the making. How is the claims for the mantle of Time going? Is the Hunnic Rome claiming the mantle of the western empire?
 

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Roman Russia in the making. How is the claims for the mantle of Time going? Is the Hunnic Rome claiming the mantle of the western empire?
Nah. They might end up claiming the legacy of the entire empire in due time, however. Of course, so far they have had good rulers and have been doing well. Their luck is about to run out on that front, though.
 

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I wonder how the encounter with the mongols will take place? Since they are called Romano- mongols a possible melting pot?
 

HistoryDude

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I wonder how the encounter with the mongols will take place? Since they are called Romano- mongols a possible melting pot?
They will meet Mongols (or at least promo-Mongols) soon. Just because they're doing well now doesn't mean they'll always do well, does it?
 
One Realm Destroyed, Another Realm Created

HistoryDude

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Marius was a terrible ruler. He decided that all threats to the Romano-Hunnic Empire were destroyed, and he killed everybody who questioned his judgement. This was kind of problematic, considering that his judgement was terrible, and most sane people questioned it.

Eventually, the executions did quell dissent within the court. Unfortunately, that meant Marius had free reign to do whatever he wanted. This was a bad thing because Marius was insane. He overtaxed his subjects, and he oppressed the tribes. The tribes couldn’t take it out on Marius, of course, but they could take it out on the Romano-Hunnic cities near them.

The tribes began to destroy Romano-Hunnic settlements. The Romano-Hunicl people quickly caught onto this, so they all fled to New Mediolanum and its environs. However, many of them couldn’t stand the increasingly decadent culture in New Mediolanum, and so they moved.

In the easternmost portions of the Empire, peace remained. The tribes continued their old ways, and the authorities in the nearby city, New Veii, refused to enforce Emperor Marius II’s increasingly insane laws. Soon, all of the non decadent urban residents had fled to New Veii, and it had expanded.

Eventually, things got so bad that Emperor Marius II’s own son, Marcellus, left New Mediolanum for New Veii. Marcellus liked stories of when the Romano-Huns - and both the Huns and Romans individually - were mighty. He wished to return the Empire to its glory days.

Finally, things got so bad that all the tribes entered into the alliance against Marius. All Romano-Hunnic settlements besides New Mediolanum and New Veii were now either completely destroyed or remade into tribal camps. Marius II would be remembered as Marius “the Terrible”.

In 700 AD, New Mediolanum was captured and burned to the ground. Emperor Marius II was killed. Considering all of New Mediolanum was completely decadent anyway, few cared about its destruction. Marcellus would take command of the Romano-Hunnic Empire, which was now reduced to New Veii alone.

Romano-Hun 5.jpg

Emperor Marcellus II’s first move was to have everyone pack up all of their belongings. He had the Romano-Hunnic people embark on a long exodus east. At the time the Great Exodus began, Emperor Marcellus II was twenty.

The Great Exodus finally ended in 760 AD. Emperor Marcellus II had his people set up their new city on the edge of the Pacific. Then, seeing that his people had found a new home, he said three words: “Remember our Exodus”, and, then, he perished. The city was named Marcellipolis in his honor. Emperor Marcellus II would be remembered as Marcellus “the Renewer”.

His son, Julius, assumed the throne. He began to solidify their new home. He interacted with the locals, and he encouraged his subjects to do the same. Many did.

Julius didn’t expand the Empire’s territory much. Emperor Julius III, however, did lead the initiative to get the new Empire stable. This worked. He would die in 810 AD. His son, Publius, would assume the throne.

Publius would expand the Empire south. Numerous southern tribes were subjugated. He would become known as Publius “the Conqueror”. He would die in 890 AD, and his grandson (his son had predeceased him), Lucius, succeeded him.

Lucius began his reign by consolidating his grandfather’s gains. However, in 907 AD, the Tang Dynasty of China officially collapsed. Numerous kingdoms and empires now warred for the Chinese throne. Lucius saw this as an opportunity. He began to subjugate these states. By his death in 950 AD, most of northern China had been forced to submit to the Romano-Hunnic Empire. Lucius would be remembered as Lucius “the Great”. His son, Marcus, assumed the throne.

Romano-Hun 7.png

In 960 AD, however, the Song Dynasty was founded in China. They began aggressively expanding. To make matters worse for the Romano-Huns, the Liao also began to invade their territory. Emperor Marcus II withdrew from most of China to focus on dealing with the Liao. By his death, the Liao had submitted to Romano-Hunnic rule. He died in 1000 AD.

Romano-Hun 6.png

The next important ruler was named Publius. However, he ruled in 1200 AD. He was Publius, son of Marcellus, son of Lucius, son of Publius, son of Marius, son of Marcus, son of Emperor Marcus II. He began what is often seen as the Romano-Hunnic Empire’s last hurrah.

He expanded across much of the Eastern Steppes. Unfortunately, time was against him, and his gains were quickly undone. This is because he lived around when the great Temujin lived. Temujin united the Mongol tribes, beginning the Mongol Empire.

In 1210 AD, Emperor Publius III attempted to fight Temujin, now known as Genghis Khan. He lost most of his Steppe territories in that war. Therefore, he decided that, if you couldn’t fight them, you should join them.
 

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Now, that is upheaval for you.
 

HistoryDude

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A New Master

HistoryDude

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Publius III was nothing if not pragmatic. He had lost territory to Genghis Khan, and, if he continued to resist, he would lose more territory. Therefore, he swore allegiance to the Khan. He would aid the Mongols in war, and he would pay them tribute. He would be their vassal, and, in return, they wouldn’t attack him.

Publius III also married his son, Lucius, to one of Genghis Khan’s daughters.This ensured that he was on good terms with his new liege. Publius III knew that, eventually, the Mongol Empire would collapse. This marriage would grant his descendants legitimacy, and it would probably expand the territory that they could claim their ancestors ruled.

The Romano-Hunnic subjects, for their part, understood how pragmatic this was, and, therefore, they didn’t chafe under Mongol rule.

The Romano-Huns aided the Mongols in taking over Persia, the Steppes, and the areas of northern China that the Mongols had not already taken from the Romano-Huns. In addition, they helped force the cities of the Rus (which had sprung up in lands where the Romano-Huns once ruled) pay tribute. In gratitude, Genghis Khan gave some of the tribute from the Rus to the Romano-Huns.

However, Genghis Khan was not immortal. He eventually died, and his son, Ogedai, took the throne. However, the Empire was effectively partitioned into four parts. These were Persia, the Steppes of Central Asia, the Rus, and China. The Romano-Huns were under the Chinese area, ruled directly by Ogedai.

Romano-Hun 8.png

(map of the rump Romano-Hunnic Empire under Mongol suzerainty)

In due time, the Great Khan’s descendants conquered China and established the Yuan Dynasty. By this time, the Russian area had become the Golden Horde, the Central Asian area had become the Chagatai Khanate, and the Persian area had become the Il-Khanate.

However, these realms would quickly collapse. This left the Romano-Huns free to expand as they pleased.

While all of this was happening, the Romano-Huns gradually absorbed some Mongol customs. Lucius III’s descendants would begin to adopt Mongol names. In addition, Tengriism (the Mongol religion) was gradually merged with Christianity. The new syncretic religion was still called Tengriism, and most of the population of the Romano-Hunnic Empire adopted it.