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DavidMK

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This is a WTWSMS mod using a custom (borderline cheating but I intend for him to be legendary) character to start. I'll be starting just after Romulus has been 'retired' by the Italian Ostrogoths with the goal of restoring the Western Empire. I'll be using the current patch and every DLC except Sunset Invasion and Conclave (The later because I don't own it, feel free to gift it to me on Steam. :p) The introduction will outline the backstory with later posts being from a 3rd person perspective. I'll largely gloss over the administration side of this beyond the introduction but may cover some points for flavor during extended peacetime, I may also change to a more administrative theme if I'm happy with my borders (or just waiting for the threat level to decay). For the most part, each update will cover the campaigns my Emperors/Empresses wage to reclaim the Roman provinces from the barbarian hordes and opportunistic traitors.

Senatui Populusque Romanus



 
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Roman Restoration


Aeneas at his ascension.
Aeneas Was only 14 when the war started, the Ostrogothic horde overrunning the Roman garrisons of northern Italia. Taken under the wing of a Legionary officer as an orphan (he'd been found in an alley over a dead body after defending some rotten bread he'd found in the trash) and given his name, he was a natural solder already despite his age. With the outbreak of war he'd tried to join the Roman Army but had been refused by his foster father due to his age. He'd reluctantly accepted this after being promised a fight if Dalmatia itself was invaded. When Romulus Augustus was deposed and northern Italia surrendered he was more outraged than most at being cheated out of a fight in addition to the Roman defeat.

It was during his 15th year that he was finally allowed to join the Roman Army and began his training. Quickly proving himself worthy of his name, he completed his training at the top of his class, was commissioned an officer and named 2nd to the City's garrison commander all before his 16th birthday. As unusual as this was, the sorry state of the Roman Army and his skill saw his position go unchallenged.

It was on his 16th birthday that things changed. As he feasted with his fellow officers in celebration of his birth, word came that a pro-Ostrogothic coup had resulted in the deposition of Emperor Julius Nepos and that he was on his way to Dalmatia to establish a new seat of power after being granted safe passage out of Italia. Thrown into a fit of rage by the news, he descended into a raving but persuasive rant about the state of the 'Empire' and the Emperor's unfitness to rule. When the Emperor finally arrived at port, he found the Captain of the Guard, Annius, his 2nd, Aeneas, the City Guard, a large contingent of the local garrison and a mob of civilians clearly in favor of the military forces waiting for him at the docks. Unsure of what was happening, he sent his Captain of the Guard, Carinus, to investigate. For the following 20 minutes he and Aeneas engaged in a heated debate until finally Carinus, unswayed but unable to ignore the mob becoming unruly or the forces arrayed against him concided the issue and returned to the Emperor. His advice was to surrender or sail to Constantinople forfeiting the crown in either case. Unwilling to abandon his homeland, he agreed to surrender provided he was allowed to retire in peace which Aeneas agreed to.


State of the Empire on Aeneas' ascension.

After marching to the Imperial Palace and setting his affairs in order, he summoned the Imperial Court and laid out a series of reforms he planned to implement. Mostly martial in nature, these proposed reforms sought to increase conscription, improve pay for soldiers and overhaul training. Where his reforms deviated from this theme was on the matter of faith. After giving a speech decrying the state of the Empire and blaming Christian authorities in Italia for conspiring with the Ostrogoths, he revealed himself to be a Hellenist and proclaimed it the state religion expressing hopes the Olympians would show the Empire favor after blaspheming for so long. While the murmurs were loud and widespread, none of the courtiers proved willing to challenge Aeneas openly and so the proclamation was settled and Aeneas concluded his reform announcements by taking the genus Martinus in honor of his patron god, Mars.

With his position as Emperor accepted by the Imperial Court and his reforms proposed, he set about finalizing his administration. Starting with a group oath to the Western Empire by the Imperial Court, he announced the creation of a Cabinet to advise him and deal with the more mundane tasks of governance. He created 5 ministries to oversee the administration of the Empire:
Ministry of State - Led by the Magister Officium, this ministry would be tasked with mediating disputes between the nobles of the Empire as well as accepting and sending ambassadors.
Ministry of War - Led by the Magister Militum, this ministry would be tasked with coordinating the armies and navies of the Empire and had the power (shared with the Emperor) to appoint command officers.
Ministry of Coinage and Trade - Led by the Questor, this ministry would be tasked with coining currency, combating counteracting and managing trade.
Ministry of Intelligence - Led by the Frumentarius, this ministry would be tasked with espionage and counter espionage.
Ministry of Faith - Led by the Diviner, this ministry would be the political arm of the Faith.​
To these positions he named, on condition that they swear an oath of loyalty to him personally and acknowledge the divinity of the Olympians, the following to these positions:


Carinus was called forward for he had, as Captain of the Guard to Emperor Julius, Carinus had been part of every negotiation, every treaty and every war. When he failed to step forward a murmur spread across the throne room. The 'insult' was resolved in short order when courtiers close to Carinus got word to Aeneas that he had remained with Julius as his bodyguard and so was not present at court. Aeneas waved over an aid and gave him instructions to find Carinus and order him to Court to be confirmed in his position. Included in this order was the promise of a land grant and generalship if he submitted.


Annius was called forward, an obvious choice for the position. He calmly walked to the throne, bowed and made his oaths. Upon rising, he was formally released from his position as Captain of the City Guard so as not to interfere with his new duties. Wishing to provide him with a powerbase close to the capital, he was given command of the County of Culmen.


Martinus was called forward. As quartermaster of the City Guard, he was an obvious choice. He came to the throne almost at a run and gladly gave his oaths proclaiming to be, like Aeneas, a devotee of Mars. He was also released from the City Guard, given a commission as a general in the Roman Army and tasked with the defence of Parentium on the border with Italy (the name the Ostrogoths gave to Italia).​


Trajan was called forward. A respected officer with a keen eye for detail, he was a fine choice. He calmly walked up to the throne, gave his oaths matter of factly without bowing and then turned and walked away. Aeneas waved over yet another aid and instructed him to tell Trajan that he was now a general and was ordered to march to Emona to join Martinus in his defence of the border.


Aeneas rose, informed the court that his choice for Diviner was known to be absent (left unsaid was that he was the Emperor's foster family's diviner), and walked briskly out of the throne room to reunite with his wife who was undoubtedly confused by the chaotic power shifts of the day. If there was any doubt as to Aeneas's goals, the decidedly martial makeup of the Cabinet put them to rest.


Messalina, beloved wife of Aeneas.
 
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As Life Starts, It Ends


The long awaited word had finally arrived. While Aeneas loved his wife, he'd been committed to securing the Empire with an heir and had taken several concubines to aid him in the task. At last 1 such concubine had served her purpose and produced a male heir. Indeed she had the good graces to offer a spare.

"Fine looking boys," remarked Messalina as she stood by her husband and the milkmaid nursing the newborns. "I regret I could only offer you a daughter."

"Only," asked Aeneas as he looked up at his wife and smiled. "She is a beauty to match yourself and I suspect you will give me many sons in the coming years."

"Yes but not heirs."

"Maybe but they will be sons all the same. Leaders of men and brothers to an emperor." Aeneas looked over to the milkmaid and gazed lovingly upon his sons.


Crown Prince Aeneas


Pince Victorinus

***



"So we are ready then," Aeneas said has he looked upon his generals.

"Yes," said Annius, "the Senate's rebellion, as hopeless as it is, has tied up the Italian Army. The army has mobilized and there are no reports of abnormal troop movements on the border. Our initial invitation should go unopposed though I suspect a fight once we pass the borderlands."

"Good, good. Then if there is nothing else..." After a short pause Aeneas resumed, "Then give the order to move out."



***


The scout had just returned and after giving him a moment to catch his breath, Anaea started debriefing him, "So, are the reports true?"

"Yes, Emperor. The Senatorial forces have been routed and the Senate has recognized the legitimacy of Ostrogothic rule. The Italian Army has marched north at a forced march and beaten us to the border."

"Have we received any word from my forces guarding the border," asked Martinius.

"Yes, I can at least report that the enemy hasn't invaded. They seem to be taking a defensive stance. I saw makeshift wooden forts being built along the border and my fellow scouts, those who went behind enemy lines I mean, report that the local towns and cities have been reinforced and are bringing in food and water in preparation for siges."

Aeneas interrupted, "What of the army itself? Do they look to hold the cities or will they meet us on the field?"


"Apologies, Emperor. I only scouted the borderlands. From what my fellows have reported, it looks like they're going to hold the cities. As I said, the garrisons have been reinforced and resupplied."

"They would do such things even if they planned a field battle in case we won the day and routed their army. If I was them, I'd hold the army back to lessen the chance of our scouts finding them then march south once my own scouts reported our army crossing the border."

Aeneas turned to see who had spoken and was surprised to find Annius on his horse behind him. "I thought you were overseeing the march. How long have you been there?"

"The march is orderly, no need for me to micromanage the situation and I've only overheard that last exchange."

Martinius smiled at his fellow Minister, "No keeping you away from these meetings. Personally I try to avoid the bureaucratic nonsense."

Everyone had a good chuckle before Annius continued, "It's not as if I like it, I prefer swinging my sword to talking but such issues must be dealt with seriously. If we march into Italia expecting our enemy to hide behind a wall, what happens when our camp is set upon at night or we're ambushed marching thru a steep ravine? I'd rather assume a field battle and end up camping outside city walls, wouldn't you?"

Martinus nodded and Aeneas looked on. Then he spoke up, "Dubble the night watch and once we have crossed the border, send out scouts and skirmishers to find and harass any armies they might find in the open field. If the Ostrogoths do plan on a proper battle, we'll be ready."

"Yes, my Emperor," said Annius before riding off to issue the orders.

Aeneas turned to the scout, "Find a fresh horse and replenish your rations, then I want you back to the business at hand."

"Yes, my Emperor. Nobody will get past me, at least not without me reporting it."

"Good man, now go." The scout nodded and rode off.

***
After weeks of skirmishing, the Ostrogoths had finally given battle outside the walls of Aquila attempting to relive the sige. After hours of hard fighting the Romans had gained the upperhand but the Ostrogoths were nothing if not disciplined and refused to be routed. Indeed they were now attempting to reverse the tide of battle and had launched an all out attack on the Roman center overrunning the screening force and smashing into the infantry lines. Though the Romans tried to hold, their lines were starting to buckle under the strain. Aeneas knew what he had to do, "2 riders, to me!"

"You! Go to Annius and tell him he is to hold at all costs. If he can disengage his cavalry without compromising his position, he is to do so and have them swing around and take the enemy in the flank."

As the 1st rider rode off with the orders, Anaes turned to the 2nd, "You are to go to Carinus and tell him NOT to pursue the enemy. I know he's tempted after so much blood but it's critical that he hold."

Nodding the 2nd rider rode off and Aeneas turned to his signal officer, "Signal our infinity to slowly fall back. Also signal our reserves to be on standby incase the retreat turns into a route."

"Yes, my Emperor."

Aeneas knew the Ostrogoths were desperate for victory. Losing Aquilia would be a critical blow, the Romans had a clear advantage at the moment and 1 of their flanks were already in full retreat. The Romen center 'collapsing' would be something they couldn't afford to ignore even if they smelled a trap and so they would press the attack oblivious to what the Roman flanks were doing. If Annius' cavalry could relieve the pressure on his infantry, both flanks could, once the Ostrogoths had pushed back the Roman center, swing around and annihilate the Ostrogothic center and end the battle in a single decisive maneuver. True the Ostrogothic reserves...

"My Emperor!"

Aeneas jumped at being removed from his thoughts so suddenly. He turned and saw a tired looking rider, desperation in his eyes. "Yes?"

"Annius..."

"Yes?"

"Annius is..."

"Spit it out man, events are moving far too fast for you to be stuttering!"

Annius is... is..." The rider gulped and composed himself as Aeneas looked on in growing frustration.

"Annius is... What?!"

Anniusisdead," the rider spit out quickly.


After a moment the rider spoke up, "My Emperor?" Silence.

"His 2nd has assumed command. The line..."

Aeneas looked on, nervously.

"The line is holding, my Emperor.

A great weight was lifted at the news and setting aside his grief, Aeneas issued his orders, "I've sent critical orders to Annius. As they are addressed to him, there's a chance they won't be carried out. I want you to ride back and if that is the case, tell your commander the orders stand."

"Yes, my Emperor."

"Well don't just sit their, go!"

"Yes... Sorry," and the rider rode off at a full gallop.

***
The battle was won , the county secured and Aeneas sat before his generals in the hall of Aquila's citadel. "Before we conclude this war council, I have 1 last thing to deal with. As you all know, we lost Minister Annius some weeks ago trying to win this city." Mummers spread across the small gathering. "I couldn't deal with the issue during the heat of battle and didn't want to deal with it before his funeral. Now that the battle has been won and his body cremated, we can't go on with his position left unfilled. To that end..."


Aeneas called forward General Marcellinus, named him Magister Militum and once the necessary oaths were given issued orders to move out and concluded the meeting.

 
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New update tonight or tomorrow morning.
 

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Also, what mods are you using in general? All of them, I mean. Faces not looking orange and hideous? Interface? Traits?
I started the game with Hirelings! (for a wife/concubines with great genetic traits and good advisers) and Age Customizer so I could start strong. Past that initial startup, When the World Stopped Making Sense plus related submods, otherwise I'm mod free.
 
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I started the game with Hirelings! (for a wife/concubines with great genetic traits and good advisers) and Age Customizer so I could start strong. Past that initial startup, When the World Stopped Making Sense plus related submods, otherwise I'm mod free.

Related submods?
 

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I started the game with Hirelings! (for a wife/concubines with great genetic traits and good advisers) and Age Customizer so I could start strong. Past that initial startup, When the World Stopped Making Sense plus related submods, otherwise I'm mod free.
Steam says that Hirelings no longer exists. Mind tossing a .rar on dropbox so I can snag it?
 

DavidMK

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What version are you using?
Honestly, I've no idea. I've been procrastinating on this ARR and as such havn't played CK2. It's entirely possible that it's been updated since my last play thru.
 

Widowmaker94

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Honestly, I've no idea. I've been procrastinating on this ARR and as such havn't played CK2. It's entirely possible that it's been updated since my last play thru.
Could you upload to dropbox? I don't mean to sound like a shit, but it IS a nice mod. One that I was subscribed to on Steam but never got the chance to use.

Gods, I apologize for asking. *Feels like she's upsetting you*
 

DavidMK

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Veni, Vidi, Vici
"War..." Aeneas shook his head. Glorious it my be but bloody too. It had already claimed a minister and his chief general to boot, thank the gods he'd produced an heir. And now, staring out on the field from the city walls he could see his dead warriors laying in the field outside. No matter how quick he worked to retrieve the bodies, the crows and vultures still came and feasted. Human scavengers too though his men discouraged the worst of it. And in the city... The Ostrogoths had been truly outmatched and the stink of their bloating corpses and his presence in the city showed the results.

"Yes, my Emperor," the man beside him said gloomily. Aeneas looked over, the man was looking back, a low ranking officer, he didn't know the man's name. The officer continued, "The poets and songwriters make a big deal of it. By the gods victory is all they claim it to be but the poems and song never tell of the cost. How can they, they don't do the fighting. And defeat... Last stands aren't nearly as much fun as they like to claim, they, " the officer pointed down at the street below where men worked piling up the bodies of the Ostrogothic defenders, "can attest to that." The officer shaked his head, a look bordering on pity on his face.

"Indeed. But it is a cost that must be paid, solder... What is your name?"

"Gaius, my Emperor," Gaius answered, a look of pleased shock on his face at such a question by the Emperor himself.

Aeneas nodded, "Well Gaius, it's nice to see a legionary that can temper their therst for glory with realism. Less likely to get yourself killed."

Gaius nodded in understanding, "A good soldier knows the importance of living to fight another day. Seeking a 'glorious' death in battle or not retreating when the fight is clearly lost is how wars get lost." Gaius looked thoughtful for a moment, "It's how solders don't return to their families, too."

Aeneas looked back to the field outside the city walls, "War..."

***
Aeneas looked at the men around him, locking eyes with each before moving on to the next. After looking at Martinus he continued, "So we are all in agreement?"

As everyone nodded in agreement, Marcellinus spoke, "Small risk of the Ostrogoths attacking our rear considering how thoroughly we've routed them. Making the killing blow is the right move." There was murmuring of agreement as Marcellinus continued, "That said, our bypassing of tragets won't go unnoticed. The Ostrogoths will know our intent and our primary targets will likely flee the city. We should send out detachments to cut off their lines of retreat."

Aeneas shook his head, "In later campaigns that would make sense. As it stands we lack the forces to pursue that strategy safely. We aren't the Empire we once were and the Ostrogoths still have fight in them. If we split our forces, we would have to do so in a way that wouldn't leave the main force vulnerable. This would leave the screening forces easy targets if the Italian Army found them. By the gods, the bodyguards for the royal family could probably defeat any screening force they encountered. I'm not going to throw away lives on a mission that likely will fail." Marcellinus looked rebellious. "I'm sorry, I am in total agreement in principle but we simply lask the manpower to pull it off without risking the war. This is final."

"Yes, my Emperor."

"If that is all, you have your orders."

"Yes, my Emperor," the gathered ministers chorused.



***



The army had gathered outside the walls of Ravenna, former capital of the Empire before the Ostrogoths came. Aeneas could see the banners on the walls, Italia of course but also the noble houses that had sent their levies to aid in the defence of the capital, even the royal banners could be seen. "It would seem that your fears were misplaced," remarked Aeneas.

Marcellinus nodded. "Brave or stupid, I can't tell. Either way, the royals didn't flee, at least not the principles, I doubt the children and queen remain."

"Agreed. The walls also look weak, your doing, Trajan?"

Trajan looked over to Aeneas, a sly grin on his face. "Indeed. My sappers have weakened the walls."

"Yet they still stand," Marcellinus remarked.

"Indeed. The walls were well built but it was only a diversion." Trajan paused for dramatic effect before continuing, "Our way into the city is a group of traitors I've bought who will open the gates for us. As the sappers weaken the walls, the barbarians redeploy their forces to defend any breaches. As important as this city is, they will no doubt be ready to use the ruble to contain any force that tried to enter the breach. Once the barbarians have redeployed a sufficient number of their forces, the traitors will set a fire to the city's stables. Not only will this draw away more forces from the gates to fight the fire but the smoke will be our signal. We advance of the gates, the traitors kill the guards and open said gates and we're in the city before the barbarians know what's happening."

Aeneas nodded in approval, "Clever."

"Thank you, my Emperor."

***
Aeneas swung his sword and another Ostrogothic warrior fell. Trajan's plan had worked brilliantly and the Romans had entered the city thru 3 different gates secured by the men he'd bought. To their credit the Ostrogoths had been quick to react but with 3 unopposed breaches, the Romans were able to flood the city with men before the Ostrogoths could mount a meaningful response. Even still the Romans found their advanced into the city slowed to a crawl. The Ostrogoths hadn't committed all of their forces to the walls and had been able to set up roadblocks while the Ostrogoths on the walls, once the Romans advanced beyond the gatehouses, rained arrows and rocks down on the Romans below. The Romans fought hard to push past the roadblocks and harder still trying to take the walls beyond the gatehouses. The walls between the 3 gates they'd taken had fallen quickly but the Ostrogoths on the remaining wall proved an unmoving wall themselves. Another swing and another Ostrogothic warrior fell. His sword arm was growing tired and the ground beneath him, slippery with blood and gore, didn't help matters. He reflexively flinched as an arrow flew by just missing his exposed head head, his helmet had been lost in the fight, where and when was a mystery. An Ostrogothic warrior rushed him, swung wildly and grunted as the swing was parried and Aeneas' hilt into found itself shoved into the warrior's gut. The sword came down and the warrior's head came off. Suddenly the Roman line surged forward as the roadblock ahead fell and the Ostrogoths warriors defending it fled.

A cheer went up and after a moment rumors started flying. Some said that the Italian king had been killed, others that the man leading the city's defence was in chains. The truth proved to be in the middle. After a few minutes Aeneas had made his way forward to find an ornately armored warrior, obviously an officer, in chains. He ordered the officer taken into a nearby building and, save for a single guard, ordered everyone to leave. The officer refused to speak Latin to frustrate his questioning but by chance the guard he'd ordered to remain soplex the language and translated the officer's defiant words. Realizing he could be understood, the officer switched to Latin and the interrogation truly began.

"Your name."

"Prince Onoulphun."

Aeneas stood silent for a moment, taken aback, could it be? "You lead the defence of this city?"

"Indeed, this city and the kingdom it leads."

More questions followed, while Onoulphun proved uncooperative regarding state secrets, he did reveal that, save himself, the royal family had fled the city and that his father, the king, had gone to take command of the Italian Army. He claimed to not know where the rest of his family was hiding or the exact location of the Italian Army. Lies to be sure but with him hostage and the capital taken it didn't matter. The war was soon to be won. More questions followed, the answers hit and miss until after a few hours Aeneas ordered Onoulphun placed under house arrest, to be held at the palace.


With the fall of Ravenna, the local lords quickly surrendered. A week later an envoy from the king arrived in the city with terms, Italy would remain independent however Dalmatian (the Ostrogoths would refuse to recognize Roman authority) seizure of northern Italia would be recognized and Italia would offer a payment of tribute in reparations for the war which the Romans were made to understand consisted of the entirety of the Italian treasury as it stood. The terms were agreed to and Revena was proclaimed capital of Rome once more.



***


Alas the fighting was not truly ended. As Aeneas worked to removed the upstart Ostrogoths from the nobility, some resisted. Most were local lords but 1 was of wealth and power and took command of the rebel forces.


Aeneas moved quickly to remobilize the army he'd disbanded after he thought he'd claimed victory. Most, well on their way home and dispersed, didn't return while the rebels used the delay to consolidate their own forces.

***
Aeneas sighed, he'd just heard Trajan give an annoying true commentary on the state of affairs he was currently dealing with. "All true. But what to do about it, simply complaining won't resolve the issue."

Marcellinus answered, "What we do is kill the bastards." Murmurs of agreement, among them Aeneas, were offered as response. "Reports indicate that, few as they our, our forces far surpass the rebels. Even if this proves false, our forces have proven themselves superior in battle."

"And it's not as if we have much choice in the matter," said Carinus. "As Minister Trajan has told us, the rebels move on targets weakened by our recent conquest and filled with bitter Ostrogoths. If we delay, even for a short time, we're liable to have rebel forces rampaging across Dalmatia, the only part of our Empire untouched by war and so the strong point of our economy and primary source of recruits."

Aeneas sighed again, "Very well, issue the order. I'd hoped we'd have more men but it can't be helped."


The battle proved a decisive victory for the Romans. The rebels had been killed to the man, with them most of the rebel leaders. Alas the leader of the rebellion had remained at home to recruit a 2nd army to march on Rvena.


The decision to not wait for the army to return to full strength proved wise and the Romans were on the march for the rebel stronghold before a 2nd army could be raised.


The remaining rebels were dealt with in short order.



***
With the war finally, truly won, Aeneas set about establishing a new Roman administration in the newly reconquered lands. He gathered his court as he'd done after sizing the throne and began calling forward those he wished to elevate.


Marcellinus was called forward. Promoted in the field, he lacked a power base and so this was rectified by naming him Doux of Liguria. He fell to his knees in gratitude and offered the necessary oaths. Several other ministers looked on excitedly in expectation promotion themselves now that the Empire held more meaningful lands to hand out.


Such hopes were dashed when Aeneus called not a minister but a mere general, Joannes. He was named Komes of Aquila. It was quickly made clear that this lower title was a mere technicality as additional titles were named. He gave the necessary oaths then asked confused, "Why withhold the title of Doux, my Emperor? I mean no disrespect and am honored by what you have given but..."

Aeneus smiled and finished, "But what I have given is the authority of doux. I understand your confusion. If I gave you official dominion over Aquila as a whole, you would claim authority over Parentium and Emona, titles currently held by 2 ministers. I, as I'm sure you can understand, wouldn't want them to have split loyalties. These lands and the title of doux will come to you or your heirs as the case may be when this is no longer an issue."

"As you command, my Emperor."


Julius was called forward to great murmuring. Aeneus called for order then spoke to Julius directly, "I took your title not out of malus but for the sake of the Empire and the results have confirmed the rightness of my actions. You did not resist when I did this, you have kept to your own affairs and taken up business, you are, as your genus suggests, nephew by marriage to the Eastern Emperor and have, by your own accord, taken the Olympians as your gods. For your loyalty and in recognition of your legacy, I name you Doux of Andautonia and bid you return home in well deserved glory."

Julius gave the necessary oaths then said, "Thank you, my Emperor. I thank you for your justice."


The Western Roman Empire in 483.
 
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DavidMK

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Rome is strong, I think Aeneus has 1 more campaign left in him after the next update. The threat level will be too much of an issue after that I think. Still, the Empire is in a good place.
 
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DavidMK

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I should have another update up sometime in the morning.
 
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Nikolai

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A good AAR with an unusual theme, I approve! :) Are you planning to remain an Olympian, or will other religions like Manikeism(is it in the mod?) or Christianity win sway? It appears to me from my time studying history that the Olympian gods were a lost cause at this point in history.
 

DavidMK

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Let Slip, The Dogs Of War


Aeneas was troubled, his Frumentarius, Minister Trajan, had just informed him of a most grave plot. An Ostrogoth nobleman had managed to win the honor of being named a senator, the better to integrate into the new Roman world they had conquered. As a senator, he had managed to avoid the purges despite his holdings falling under Aeneus' rule. Taking advantage of the legal protections his position gave him and angered both at the humiliation of his people and Aeneas chosen faith, he began gathering support to assassinate him. "How did you come to this knowledge?"

"An emissary, the barbarian wasn't foolish to come himself, approached the Cabinet as we were adjourning from a budget meeting this morning. I cannot say where the others are though your passing over so many when you restructured the administration left bad blood. For my part, I remain true."

"I thank you for the warning, order his arrest and 'explain' the importance of testifying in support of this action to your fellow ministers."

"Yes, my Emperor."

***
"... In light of this damning evidence and the testimony of those you attempted to drag into you treason, I sentence you to the Imperial Jails. Your life is forfeit and your existence, if it continues, will be at my whim.
"Take him away!"

And so it was that Senator Sigerik saw his power and ambition ended. Aeneas was pleased this issue had been resolved before it truly began and resolved to offer a tribute of diamonds to Trajan for his service in the matter. Gold simply didn't match the value of what he'd done.



***


"The reports are accurate," asked Aeneus.

"Yes, my Emperor," answered Carinus. "It would seem that the new Italian king wishes to undo the losses of his predecessor. Obviously he doesn't wish to challenge us directly as we're not at war but his armies have mobilized and marched north via Burgandy. If Trajan's people are right and I suspect they are," Trajan nodded at the off handed compliment, "then the entire Italian Army, aside from garrison forces, is north of the Alps."

Marcellinus spoke up, "Then events have moved faster than even you expected them to, my Emperor. I know you wanted to let the army recover before finishing the liberation of Italia but we can't pass up this opportunity."

"So you feel the army, depleted by our past conquest, can fight and win?"

"I don't blame you for your skepticism but with the Italian Army out of the way, yes. We don't need to be even at 1/2 strength to fight mere garrisons. It should also be noted that most of the cities of central and southern Italia are still Roman, they may well throw open the gates and greet us as liberators. Personally I suspect nationalism will trump sectarianism, many of the locals follow the True Gods even if the ruling class has embraced Christianity and they wouldn't want to deal with a siege and civil unrest at the same time."

***
Aeneus looked across the table at Marcellinus, "It would seem that the Italians maintained a field army in Italia after all."

Marcellinus nodded, "Indeed but only a small force and mostly conscripts pulled from their farms at word of our mobilization. They're not a threat, even if they were crack solders which they're not, we have the numbers."

Carinus nodded in agreement, "They won't cross the border with our army ready to pounce on them."

Aeneus shook his head, "and when our army marches off? We can't very well sit on our hands and the Italians, a much smaller force in their homeland, will have little trouble staying ahead of us if we try to give chase."

Carinus replied, "The Italian capital isn't a long march from the border. If we make a beeline for it, the Italians will be forced to give battle or at least shadow our force. Allowing an attack to go unchallenged isn't something they can afford. We march there, pull the Italian Army away from our own lands and seize the greatest prize in the war all in 1 fell swoop."

After the nods and murmurs of approval settled down, Aeneus spoke up, "So I take it we're in agreement?" The ministers nodded, "Then give the order, Marcellinus."

"Yes, my Emperor."



***
The strategy worked wonderfully. Every town and village the Roman Army marched thru met the greeted them with cheers and food. When they finally reached the Italian capital, the local Roman population, threatening to riot, urged the hopelessly outmatched garasson to throw open the gates which they did when Aeneus sent word that nobody would be harmed and the city left alone if they didn't resist.

The Italian Army, unable to challenge the Roman Army in battle, had camped several miles to the south. Expecting the Romans to turn north to secure their border, the Italians had hoped to move in and retake their capital once the Romans had moved on. This proved a fatal mistake. The bulk of the Italian Army was still north of the Alps attempting to compensate for their loss of northern Italia and with so much Roman territory between them and Italy, they had received no word of the renewed war from their desperate countrymen to the south. Without a need to defend Roman territory, the next logical target after the capital was Rome and the Italians had placed themselves right in the path of the invading Romans.



Unable to allow the loss of their capital to go unanswered and with the propaganda value of the Romans holding Rome, the outmatched Italian Army had no choice but to stand and fight. It was a slaughter, a full 1/3 of the Italian Army lay dead and the survivors were sent fleeing south leaving the road to Rome open.

***
"You're serious," Remarked Aeneus in shock.

Trajan had a sly grin on his face as he answered, "As a heart attack. The Romans have lost faith in their barbarian overlords and have risen up to put 1 of their own," Trajan paused thoughtfully, "actually 1 of our own on the Italian throne."

"Really?! Well I can't say I'm in support of this move, a major part of the reason we attacked so early was with the expectation that the local Romans would welcome us as liberators and not fight. We lose this if a proper Roman takes over. Even still, this means an end to organized Italian resistance." Aeneus paused thoughtfully for a moment then continued, "We can't allow the rebels to win or the Italians to stabilize. Fetch Marcellinus and be quick."

"Yes, my Emperor."

A few minutes later Trajan returned with Marcellinus. Aeneus immediately gave his orders trusting Trajan to have brought Marcellinus up to speed, "Order our forces to secure Rome and the surrounding countryside by force if the locals resist, we have no time for a siege. You understand the situation?"

"Yes, my Emperor."

"Good, then I also want to have your men ready to march east once Rome is secure. We need to keep the rebels in check so they don't win their fight and undermine our own efforts. You are NOT to brake them, only drive them from the field. They can't win but they're a useful distraction as long as the Italians have armies in the field. Dismissed."

"Yes, my Emperor," Trajan and Marcellinus chorused.


Alas, a new threat was brewing. A threat that would not be immediately noticed with Roman military efforts committed to the reconquest of Italy and keeping the main Italian Army in the dark. But they would be noticed and soon...

 
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DavidMK

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A good AAR with an unusual theme, I approve! :) Are you planning to remain an Olympian, or will other religions like Manikeism(is it in the mod?) or Christianity win sway? It appears to me from my time studying history that the Olympian gods were a lost cause at this point in history.
Actually that's not true. Hellenism, while a minor faith, is far from extinct. Parts of Greece, most of southern Italy and what will 1 day become Navarria are all still Hellenist plus the efforts of diviners, both my own and my vassals. And yes, I plan on staying Hellenist. I'm splitting the campaign into 2 or 3 posts due to it's size but I think I'll do something with the pope while I let my threat level decay. That will mostly be RP rather than gameplay as I don't know how to mod events (I welcome the help if anyone does) so don't expect many screenshots once I fish telling the story of Italy's liberation from the Ostrogoths.
 
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Rome Restored


Aeneas stood silent for a moment before responding to the news, "Fools. Fools! I've allowed them to live in peace and this is how they repay me? In the middle of our liberation of Italia they rise up?"

Trajan, who had just given his report, replied, "Traitors, my Emperor, and they will die a traitor's death."

"Inform Marcellinus that he is to march to Dalmatia and put down this revolt by any means necessary."

"Why not Julius? He is closer after all."

"Indeed but his armies are with us, he kept only garrisons for himself not expecting the war to come to Dalmatia. Now follow my orders."

"Yes, my Emperor, my apologies."



***


Marcellinus smiled and looked away from the battlefield to an aid, "The enemy routs. Shall we run them down?"

The aid replied, "We've killed most of their legionaries. A few, the bodyguard I think, looked to have escaped with their leader but the rebel 'army' as it now stands are peasant rabble. They're done, we should look to rooting them out of the territory they've managed to occupy."

"Agreed."

In less than a week the revolt had been put down, the rebel solders crucified and their leader put in chains to be brought back to Revana for judgment.



***
"Forward," yelled Marcellinus to his vengard, "This is the last force the Italians have left, the northern army finally coming south only to be slaughtered by the rebels. If we can catch them before they flee, this war is won. Now keep up the pace!" Marcellinus had returned to Italia to find that the main Italian army had discovered the Roman invasion and marched south while the army was busy dealing with the sectarian revolt in Dalmatia. Marching thru Burgundy and bypassing Roman held territory as they had on their way north, they had arrived in Italia only to be met by a larger rebel army that had discovered their intent and intercepted them. The loyalists were soundly defeated, the Italian king killed. Despite this, the loyalist nobles acknowledged the rule of their new child king and continued the fight. If the Romans could catch this last force and quickly follow up with a major victory against the rebels, the Italians would be finished.



***


The loyalist forces were finished off in short order and the Roman Army quickly turned around to march on the main rebel stronghold south of Ravenna.


The Romans took the stronghold in less than a day, capturing the rebel leader in the process and ending the rebellion. 3 days later, shortly after arriving back in Revena, an emissary from the Italian child king arrived at the Imperial Court.

"... and so his majesty is compelled to acknowledge your victory. He will, if you find it acceptable, offer you a tribute of whatever amount you demand, he will move his court to 1 of his Alpine holdings, he will recognize Roman seizure of Italy and he will refrain from hostile actions against Rome."

Aeneas considered what had been said for a moment then responded, "I find the terms offered, in a broad sense, acceptable. I must consult with my cabinet to work out the exact details by which we'll accept."

"Of course, your majesty. I await your final answer."

It took 2 days to agree on the tribute and on the subject of allowing the boy king to even retain a rump state. In the end the Italian terms were accepted largely as they'd been offered. With the peace won, Italia, save for some outlying territories held by the Vandals, was finally restored to the Empire in full. Aeneas now looked to reforming the administration as he always did after a conquest.
 
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