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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Midnite Duke

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The opinion values are very out of whack. -5 for lover's pox but +10 for spouse being court tomcat. Court tomcat should be +10 for opposite gender (unless homosexual), -25 for same gender, and -500 for spouse. The Basileus only counts the gold bags monthly, I am sure a weekly count would be closer to the truth. Everyone be safe.
 
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So we have a very frustrated Basileus.

He needs to do some more matchmaking to relieve stress
 
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Chapter Seven Hundred-Twenty-Five : Death And Poetry


"Guys, I Didn't ASK For Your Help!"

This chapter opens in late February, of the year 917 AD, the Basileus receiving a letter from a Lowborn man called Uchita. Uchita was a member of the Savak-Sangha and wanted advice on his poetry from the Emperor who was seen as a scholar. The Basileus went through the poetry and felt some of the metaphors seemed forced.


He sent a letter in reply saying so. As he waited for a response he looked up where Uchita was from and realized the man lived on the southern tip of India in the Kingdom of Talakad Ganga. Whose new Ruler was a 16 year old Queen?


"Seems to be a lot of female Rulers lately," the Basileus said to himself. "I wonder why?"

Then in March a Hindu Noble was banished from the Mongol Empire. Was their neighbors having a Religious conflict of some kind?


Then the Savak-Sangha asked him to seclude himself for meditation. He agreed, as there was nothing else to do, and placed himself in private quarters.


Around the same time a Noblewoman of the House, a Courtier of the name of Bei, died a natural death at the age of 74. The Basileus wondered if there was anything he could do for her remaining daughters, but as they were both already married and full adults, he felt his help wasn't needed.


Finally, in April, the Basileus received a reply from Uchita. His new draft which he had worked on had greatly improved even though the man still felt uncertain about his poetry.


The Emperor felt the man's work was more than good enough to be published and DID SO! Maybe it was because he had read the second draft while during meditation but it seemed to have become so powerful. It needed to be given to the world!


That same day his youngest daughter, Sibylla, came of age with a proper education as a Scholarly Theologian. Sadly, her future husband, the Doux of Qamdo, was two years behind her.


Then horrible news was brought to him later that month. Euphemia Dysnomia, the newest member of the Dynasty, died. She was just too sickly an infant to live.

The Basileus mourned her in his quarters. The simple surroundings and simple food just seemed to make the news hit all the harder. So we end this chapter with a very depressed Emperor.
 
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A sad Basileus needs to make some matches. He certainly will make better choices and bring more harmony than if people make choices for themselves. Or he could eat pastries and dream of days long gone.
 
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Sad news to end the last chapter, but not unexpected. Niphon himself still seems in good enough health and has now already lived to a ripe age. It seems so long since his mother was killed in that ambush. His passing will be a great shock to the empire, most of whose population will be able to remember no other ruler.
 
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Chapter Seven Hundred-Twenty-Six : Changes In The Mongol Empire


Hinduism Spreads

We open this chapter in late April, of the year 917 AD, with the Basileus receiving some interesting news. Seems that Popatraj of the House Bhar was plotting to murder his own wife.


The Basileus shook his head and told his Spymaster, "Tell Popatraj not to kill his own wife. That's bad manners."

Then there was some very interesting news from the Mongol Empire. It seems a Khan disbanded a Faction he had created. It was a movement to overthrow the Great Khan. The Noble who had formed, and then disbanded, the movement was Hindu!


"So Religion IS ripping the Mongols apart!" exclaimed the Basileus with a shout.

The staff looked at each other and one said, "Yes and no, Sire."

"Explain," demanded the Basileus. "What am I missing?"

"First, the Noble hates the Great Khan," pointed out the Courtier. "He revoked some of the Noble's titles."


"As for the Religions, well, Hinduism has become somewhat powerful," commented the same Courtier. "In other words it has a pretty high Moral Authority. Much higher than the Religion of Tengri. It seems that many of the Nobles within the Empire has been converted to Hindu."


"Including," the Courtier added, "the Great Khan himself. Which has upset some to those still following the old ways. Which explains why his Dynasty's Arms changed."


"Hmmm," the Basileus looked up at the ceiling in thought. Then he gave off a laugh. "Not much of a change. He switched from one aggressive Religion to another. Still, I am upset with myself at missing this change in the Mongol Empire before this. I need to focus on the details."

So we close this chapter with the Mongol Empire having changed its official Religion. And therefore becoming much more dangerous than even the Emperor had imagined.
 
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Hindi Mongols ... is not something I expected.
 
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Folks, just to let you know my old PC started to have issues with power and I had to move my favorite games and important stuff to another computer. Until I am back to normal, as I am trying to figure out how everything works - the new computer did not come with a word program - I will leave you this filler which gave me the idea for the title to this AAR. Enjoy!

The Road of Kings By Robert E. Howard

When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat;
The people scattered gold-dust before my horse’s feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.


Gleaming shell of an outworn lie; fable of Right divine -
You gained your crowns by heritage, but Blood was the price of mine.
The throne that I won by blood and sweat, by Crom, I will not sell
For promise of valleys filled with gold, or threat of the Halls of Hell!

What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.


 
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Good fortune sorting it all out.
 
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Chapter Seven Hundred-Twenty-Seven : Upsetting People


Published Against His Will

We open this chapter in late April, of the year 917 AD, with the Basileus receiving a letter from Uchita. A unhappy letter. If pieces of paper could feel emotions. It seemed that the man was not happy with his poems being published against his wishes. He felt his work had needed more polish and was very upset with the Basileus.


Later in the month the Basileus heard that the Despot of Nepal had gained the nickname “The Ill-Ruler” which was not a good sign.


“Nothing good can come from earning that name,” murmured the Basileus as he enjoyed his simple meal of fish stew and bland water.

A day later Doux Bhogishwar of the Bhar Raj took the County of Munda from Gopal of the House Munda. The man was now without titles or land.


As the Doux was married to the Emperor’s granddaughter, Euphemia, the Basileus wasn’t TOO upset about this. He was family after all.

In May he was told that the Great King Kalahastambha of the Kingdom of Satyavarman still refused to join the Empire. He barely liked the Basileus and the Basileus didn’t like him at all. On top of that the Great King was RAIDING China and, somehow, had captured a pair of breeding pandas.

And as for the Yuan Empire there was a interesting issue. The Emperor Zhaozu Borjigin was still following the Tengri Religion.


And he had a claim on the Mongol Empire. He COULD prove a danger to the Mongols in the future.

So we close this chapter with the Emperor pondering what would be happening in Asia in the near future.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Author's Notes:

OOC : Had some issues. On one hand I was able to download, for free, WPS Office, which acts very much like my old MS Word but is online and allows you to share documents. Useful for those of you thinking about future co-op AARs? On the other hand Imgur refused to upload anything. OR, maybe I should say, it would get to 90% and stop. So I am now using Imgbox. Not as easy to use but does upload all the images in one batch and keeps them in order. And now I know how to use it, and the WPS, I will faster in the future. Took me hours to do this chapter!
 
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I feel that is a highly speculative and theoretical "could".

Also glad your IT issues seem to resolving.
 
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Chapter Seven Hundred-Twenty-Eight : Running The Empire


Outposts For Everybody

This chapter opens in mid May, of the year 917 AD, with the Basileus focused on the annoying Kingdom of Orissa and its Great King Vigrahapala.

Sadly, not only did the Great King not like the Emperor. Even the Great King’s Heir did not like the Emperor. Any future chance of them joining the Empire on their own was highly unlikely. Of course that could be due to the fact they were under the boot of the Chinese.


Of course during all this the Basileus was in his simple quarters trying to understand the words and thoughts of Buddha. He had come upon a very hard passage to understand. Should he ask his Upadhyayani, his wife, for help or try to figure it out on his own? Since, in the past, asking his wife for help had caused arguments between him and his wife he decided to try to figure out the passage on his own.


And fails completely. Afterwards he felt somewhat stupid and depressed.


In June he received the news that the Countess Bushwas Devi of Chunar was trying to murder a Rival Gayatri of the House Karmantid.


“Tell them to stop,” remarked the Basileus after reading the report. “Now leave me be. I am on a very tough passage.”


Later in the month he was approached by the Protostrator. It seems the peasants of the County of Pundravardhana were having issues with highwayman and wild chipmunks. Paschalis of Nyingchi suggested a series of outposts which could protect the roads and keep the chipmunk population in check. The Basileus agreed - it didn’t cost THAT much.


And it worked - the peasants were very happy.

So we end this chapter with happy peasants, a Basileus with mixed feelings, and a lot of dead rodents.
 
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Well happy peasants aren't bad, per se. Happy Niphons are better :)
 
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Chapter Seven Hundred-Twenty-Nine : Death In The Family


Death Of A Councilor

This chapter opens near the end of June, of the year 917 AD, with the Basileus receiving some very bad news. His son, Prince Eustratios “The Gentle”, was no longer Doux of Kasi. He had died clutching at his chest and now his oldest son had the title.


The Basileus was unhappy about this for a number of reasons. Now only had he lost a son but now a inexperienced grandson was Doux of a, somewhat, troublesome Duchy. And the Imperial Council now needed a NEW Magistros.


But the list of available appointees showed the Basileus that the best replacement for the dead Magistros was a Mayor. Ioustinos, Mayor of Sutrapur, was skilled, wanted a position on the Council, and was a Loyalist to boot!


So he was selected and sent to the Kingdom of Orissa, in the County of Kataka, to work on a claim.

So this short chapter ends with a New Doux, a New Councilor, and a saddened Basileus mourning a son.
 
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Another sign of Niphon's own impending mortality
 
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Chapter Seven Hundred-Thirty : Peace For All


So Many Claims!

This chapter opens near the end of June, of the year 917 AD, with the Basileus asking the Council to Enforce Realm Peace. It had canceled out due to the death of the last Magistros. Seemed everybody was willing to vote for it.


And just like that Realm Peace was being enforced.

As the Basileus tried to get back to his studies the Courtiers brought him some interesting information. The Doux of the Kumanchal Raj had claims on the County of Doti.


“I thought we owned that?” remarked the Emperor. “Well, let’s shelf that for the moment. I don’t want to get in a war with the boy Khan. Not right now.”


Yes, war with Guge was always in the cards. Mostly because the young Khan Asalup II of Guge refused even the IDEA of joining the Empire. Also Basileus knew his daughter, the next Ruler of the Empire, seemed to WANT to go to war with Guge.


The Courtiers also pointed out that there were many within the Empire who had weak claims on parts of Guge and the Kingdom of Ayudha. Eleven in fact. The Basileus could be in wars for the next decade if he wanted.


The Vassals of the Empire could descend upon the lands like a swarm of locust and claim much of the Holdings of the neighboring Realms. But the Basileus preferred peace. For now. So we close this chapter with the Basileus still focused on the south.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​
Author’s Notes:

OOC : Are the images okay? I sometimes can’t see them.
 
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