• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

General_BT

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It seems that Byzantium and Byzantine themed AARs have been the rage of late in the CK Forums... and right now there is one I would like to single out for special recognition. The Morea, A Paleologid AAR has every right to the title of epic, from its long storyline and cast of memorable characters to crusaderknight's engaging and brilliant writing style, all showcased while he guides the new state of Morea from a Byzantine protectorate to an empire in its own right. I have to admit some of my favorite scenes from The Morea have inspired me and my own work, and there is not enough I can say about the story's addictiveness. :) So, in light of this, I would like to take a moment and nominate crusaderknight for induction into the Tempus Society for his excellent work!

Congratulations, crusaderknight, take a bow!
 
Last edited:

General_BT

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Addendum: Only THREE guesses as to who killed Enguerrand and why? Aw... I'm disappointed. I'd hope more conspiracy theorists would come to the fore! :)


I'll have replies for people tomorrow, as well as a few hints... what's happened is truly devious...
 

unmerged(84977)

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mehtar and the crusader bloke look like theyre connected. but that could be a cunning trick by u :p

considering this is like a 5+ way interest/plan thing going on right now with the 3 different emperors, their followers, and random nobles.. could be anyone thats doing the assassinating. Maybe even our spaniard friend has waded in.

to me, doing the assasinations, painting it out to be french in origin, force emperors to fight each other, force drogo to put his relative on the throne of Romanion, thinking its another puppet for him (turns out its not thanks to the mum), drogo gets knocked off/dies of old age during the conflict and viola we have all of romanion united - pretty complicated, unlikely and looking pretty far into the future but hey :p
 

Enewald

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The attack was made by evil moorish peasants or by the germans of toledo wanting to make the iberian peninsula out of balance.
Or the turks to cause amoc among the romanoi.
Or the french for the same reason.
 

The Kingmaker

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Congrats to CK! It's about time. ;)

And BT... another great update. I'll have to give some thought to who the murderer is...
 

Ksim3000

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Okay, here's my take on WHO killed Enguerrand!

Well, it's not hard to tell really. By 1189, the Reptilian Empire was already looking at Earth as a potential conquest. Problem is, the Byzantines were already gobbling up half the planet and by the time 1989 came around, most of Earth's resources would be used to fuel a Byzantine led world thus making Earth sparse on the resources the Byzantines want.

So, the Reptilians need to stop this from happening. Of course, remember at this time, there's a "cold war" going on with the Moom people. Yes, the "Moom" people. And it is speculated that Enguerrand is really one of the dreaded future breeders for the Moom people. So hence, the Reptilians in disguse as Drogo Capet, Mehtar Lainez, etc, bump him off. Hence, problem solved! The Moom people's future breeders cannot breed anymore and thus, without Enguerrand, the Reptilians have a hold on Earth.

Still, what to do about the Byzantines? Why, kill Thomas, disguse a Reptilian as him and gradually lead the Byzantine Empire down the path to destruction! That way, ALL of Earth's resources are saved and the Reptilians can thus CONQUER THE PLANET AND ALL OF HUMANITY! MWAHAHAHA!

*Ahem*

Okay, I'll put away the tin foil hat theory and come make to a more reasonable approach.

First of all, we have to look at who or why would anyone feel the need to bump off Enguerrand for? From what I can tell, he would be fifth in line to inherit the purple and before him, obviously there's Thomas, Alexios, Heraklios and Manuel to bypass. The only thing Enguerrand really has of value is his Exchartate in Hispania.

So either it would have to be possibly Thomas, Drogo, Manuel, Rodrigo or Alienor with any interest in Enguerrand's territory. Even still, this could be an attack on getting rid of slowly the successors to the purple, perhaps? Maybe next, Manuel will get bumped off? So on that theory, I'd be guessing Thomas.

I'd guess Alienor if she somehow wanted to take control of Enguerrand's territory or perhaps sees him as a rival. Drogo I don't feel would have any interest unless to provoke a conflict. Thomas to also provoke a conflict too I'd wager.

To be frutifully honest, I'm just clutching straws here. I'm sure we'll find out in all good time. ;)
 

crusaderknight

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General_BT said:
It seems that Byzantium and Byzantine themed AARs have been the rage of late in the CK Forums... and right now there is one I would like to single out for special recognition. The Morea, A Paleologid AAR has every right to the title of epic, from its long storyline and cast of memorable characters to crusaderknight's engaging and brilliant writing style, all showcased while he guides the new state of Morea from a Byzantine protectorate to an empire in its own right. I have to admit some of my favorite scenes from The Morea have inspired me and my own work, and there is not enough I can say about the story's addictiveness. :) So, in light of this, I would like to take a moment and nominate crusaderknight for induction into the Tempus Society for his excellent work!

Congratulations, crusaderknight, take a bow!
*bows thrice*

I thank you, General_BT, and all the members of the Tempus Society, for this honour! I am humbled to be included amongst the ranks of the Tempus Society. Truly humbled.

The Morea has come a long way since the beginning, both as a country and as an AAR. When it began, I was only 17, and I had little real skill in writing, with nothing published and my longest "book" that I had ever written spanning an epic 53 pages! As it stands thus far, The Morea is over 250 pages long in MS Word! That's 5 times as long as my record "book"! Honestly, when I began this story, I had no clue it would grow so much! Nor did I have a clue that I would grow so much, either. My writing skills have definitely improved in the little over two years I have been writing The Morea, but I know I still have a long way to go.

But it would be wrong of me to take all the credit for my skills. There are many people to whom I owe much. First and foremost is my God, my LORD and Saviour, the One Who made me what I am. Without Him, I am nothing. And ofcourse, my family. They have always encouraged me in my writings. Indeed, my mother has faithfully read all three of my AARs, and I am honoured that she would do so! Then there are the authors who have been my inspirations. They are too many to name, but perhaps the greatest among them are Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Conn Iggulden, and Steven Pressfield. Nor should I forget to mention the authors here in AARland who have helped to inspire me: Veldmaarschalk, canonized, AlexanderPrimus, and many others. And last but not least, my readAARs: stnylan, Chief Ragusa, Olaus Petrus, General_BT, RGB, Snugglie, canonized, AlexanderPrimus, Hayes, phargle, Andreios II, VILenin, Chilperic, SeanB, Fanzun, Jazzy-Divine, Prussian_King, Lodin, DKG, Shadow Dragon, mark-hasforth, Llywelyn, Belgian Fuhrer, billy bob, east_emnet, Quirinus308, Rensslaer, anonymous4401, the byzantine, EvilSanta, and last but certainly not least... Veldmaarschalk-who left the very first comment ever on my AAR! All of you, whether you've been regular commentAARs from the start, joined up later, or whether you've only left a single comment, you've all done something to support me in writing this AAR, and that is deeply appreciated. And even to my lurkAARs, those silent readers of my work. Even you are appreciated. It feels so good to post an update, and sometimes within a few hours actually see the number of views increase by over 100! I don't know exactly how many lurkAARs are out there reading my work, but you are all appreciated as well!

And so, without further gilding the lily, and with no more ado, I am pleased to join the ranks of the Tempus Society! Thankyou all very much!
 

canonized

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Excellent speech , sir ! :D and welcome ! Today we toast in honour of you so we hope your well wishers will come visit you and your sponsor in congratulating you on your achievements !
 

General_BT

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canonized - I'm surprised I haven't heard your opinion of Sophie and Rodrigo's falling out... don't worry though... Rodrigo still has quite a bit of screen time left!

crusaderknight - It was an easy decision to make on my part... your AAR deserved all the plaudits and laurels that have come its way in its two years of existence! :)

Ksim3000 - LOL @ the Reptilians idea! To be truthful, the straws you're clutching are a little close... you've got the participants, just not their roles right...

AlexanderPrimus - Awww, no guess?

Enewald - The Germans in Toledo is a very interesting guess, but no... its not the Germans. On the subject of the Moors, though, I'm going to post an interim this week that will show what's happened to alot of the Moors that have fled the Romanoi invasion... they didn't all just roll over and take the baptism...

Carach - Well, for this to be a plot to place Alexios on all the thrones, that would mean Alienor is far more devious than anyone else present. Which is a possibility, considering she is more capable than Basiliea or Hajnal... I will let slip that Alexios is key to the assassin (or assassin's) goals... I won't say how he's key though. ;)

Dimmimar - An orchestrated attack? I think we're closer to something here...

The_Guiscard - I was wondering if you'd caught up so quickly! :) Well, Serlo was easy, you've done such a good job characterizing him, and it screamed 'Charleton Heston as El Cid.' He's got quite a role to come in the drama that's going to play out... the de Hautevilles in general have quite a role...

Servius Magnus - Well, little Alexios might not be able to do much right now, but he certainly does have a set of lungs! We'll see if he lives long enough to use them for oratory as you suspect...

4th Dimension - Thank you for all that information! :) I've been considering starting a second, lesser history book AAR in EU3/IN to cover a Paleologid Byz game I had, where the Serbian Empire hadn't fell (indeed, it grew to cover from Albania to southern Hungary, and from Nis over to Slovenia). In the game it was the longtime ally of my resurgent Byzantine Empire, and a western bulwark that kept Venice wary while I took islands from the Venetian Empire. So in that timeline, at least, Stefan Dusan's empire did last!

The_Archduke - Some very intriguing and complex theories here... you hit far closer to the nail than you realize, though there's at least one part that's incorrect. Combined with some of the other theories being tossed around, and you've got the answer. :)

Fulcrumvale - Another good deduction - while the lands would go to Alexios, Alexios is a two year old, and its likely he couldn't hold them. However, our favorite Spaniard has a different role in this sordid affair than being the instigator of what is about to come...



Next update will be started tonight... no timeline yet on when it will be completed...
 

Alfred Packer

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I haven't commented in a while...time slips away :(

But great work as always...Basil III will be missed and as for the killer...

I wonder if Sophie (or her faction)...it's the option I'd least expect, so why not?
 

General_BT

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This week for the interim, I decided to do something a little different, and highlight one part of the world that will vastly change as a result of some of the events so far in Rome AARisen…


January 23rd, 1190

Timbuktu


Abu Bakr Taifun sheathed his sword and sighed. Beads of sweat dripped from his brow, stinging in his eyes as the smell of death and decay surrounded him. Taifun wiped his eyes, then looked out once again on the sea of carnage. War was never a pleasant sight, and Taifun was far more used to scholarly debate and argument amongst learned men than the battlefield. Yet, here he now stood, in the central square of the fabled city of Timbuktu, surrounded by the bodies of both the Faithful and Unbelievers.

“This would not have been possible without your help.”

Taifun looked up, and smiled.

Rows of gleaming white teeth stood starkly against coal black skin, an image that might have frightened many other men. To many of the Moors who had not followed Abu Bakr south such an image was a reminder of the deadly Roman Nubiatakoi that stood firm at Seville and looted through Fez. Not Abu Bakr. While Sulayman Kejerid was a huge black wall of a man, the Moorish Prince knew beneath that harsh, forbidding exterior there was the heart and mind of a scholar, much like himself.

“Of course, saddiq,” Taifun bowed as much as his tired body would let him, only to have a huge black paw force him back upright. Sulayman’s laughter seemed to peel off of the adobe and mud-daub buildings of Timbuktu.

“That is not necessary, saddiq,” Sulayman said, “get up, its unseemly for a prince to bow like that!”

“Princes bow to Sultans,” Abu Bakr retorted with a smile. He was secretly grateful – he wasn’t sure if he would’ve been able to bow properly.


Sulyaman Kejerid

“Not princes who gained the Sultan his crown,” Sulayman said simply, putting a hand on Abu Bakr’s shoulder. Taifun remembered a day only a few months before, when he and his court-in-exile had arrived in this strange land, when he was leery of even such a touch from the locals.

The destruction of Fez and the Murabatid Kingdom had not meant the end of the Taifun family line. While some, such as the Sultan’s youngest son Talil had broken haditha and taken to the faith of the infidel and now served their new masters, Abu Bakr refused. The Prophet had stressed, again and again, to knowingly abandon the Faith meant certain death and damnation. So now, Abu Bakr, eldest son and heir to late Sultan Ishaq of the Murabatid Empire, now found himself the leader of one of many wandering bands of the Faithful, determined to find a new place, a new life, away from the hated Romans.

It had been a harrowing journey south, along one of the many trade routes that crisscrossed the vast Sahara. The Moors had come south in bands – groups of ten, twenty, and Abu Bakr’s band of loyal courtiers, twenty-six strong, was no different. Yet they had no idea the political storm they were fleeing didn’t compare to the maelstrom they were slowly trekking towards.

The Murabatids were aware of the kingdoms that lay in the Sahel, the grasslands just south of the mighty Sahara. It was from here the Moors were able to obtain gold, ivory and salt, the sinews of their trade empire that turned, ever so briefly, into a military one. Yet a hundred years before, the Moorish general Abu Bakr, at the behest of the last Almohad Caliph, had marched south across the trackless wastes and conquered the Sahelian kingdom of Ghana. Yet this tenuous trans-Saharan foothold did not last… and unbelievers – pagans who worshiped their kings and the mighty Niger River, had poured into what had been the rich lands of kings.

Eager to make a home in this hostile lands, the tiny Moorish bands slowly collected, and under Abu Bakr’s leadership, they joined forces with the lone of the petty kings who had heard the word of the Prophet and believed.

Sulayman Kejerid, the self-proclaimed Sultan of Djenne.

“You had the wisdom to make the alliance with Gao,” Abu Bakr heard himself say, watching as his bedraggled veterans, alongside Sulayman’s men, began stripping the dead of their useful belongings.

“It was your men of science and steel that stiffened by armies,” Sulayman replied. He patted Abu Bakr on the shoulder once more, before looking the Moor over. “You have much blood on you, but you are not wounded.” He smiled. “You claim to be a scholar, Abu Bakr, but you are a warrior without peer in this realm.”

The Moorish Prince couldn’t help but give a tired smile. Ten years before, in Fez, Abu Bakr had been a minor scholar, in addition to being the eldest son of the Sultan. His opinions on haditha were gaining ground in Islamic Spain, and he’d even penned a minor treatise on astronomy. However, with the fall of the kingdom, he was forced to become what his father, and grandfather had been – warriors.

Abu Bakr’s force were a ragged bunch by Moorish standards – 3,000 men altogether. But their discipline, and more importantly their Damascus steel blades, were something the unbeliever kings from the southern forests could not match. Added to Sulayman’s political acumen, the force had, in the space of three years, become a political avalanche. City after city fell before their combined forces, in the name of the One True God and Muhammad His Prophet. Now, with the collapse of Timbuktu, the power of the Sossosso kings had been completely broken.

“There is a position, some of your men say, that Sultans from the north have in their courts,” Sulayman continued. “A position for someone that is both wise and strong, as well as trustworthy – something you’ve shown yourself to be in greater degrees than I have ever seen before. So, Abu Bakr, wanderer from afar, would you consent to be my Grand Vizier?”

==========*==========

Excerpt from Judith Mallory’s Abridged History of the Sahelian Empires – Ghana to Mali..


The steady arrival of Moorish refugees from the Roman onslaughts of 1186 and 1187 truly mark a turning point in the history of West Africa. On their arrival, West Africa was a land torn by war – the collapse of the Ghana Empire had left the rich lands split amongst rival kings, the fiercest being the Sossosso invaders from the east and south. The alliance of convenience between the Moors and the one king with which they shared a common faith blossomed into something much more. Sulayman Kejerid’s triumph in 1190 A.D. unified the core of what, over the next hundred and fifty years, would become the second most powerful native African empire. The Moorish refugees brought with them the height of Murabatid science, and most importantly, the knowledge of how to manufacture superior arms and armor. Married to the brilliance and ruthlessness of Sulayman Kejerid, the two turned into an unbeatable military machine. Over the centuries the Moors married into and blended with the local populations, so by the time we read of the great Mansa Musa’s hajj to Mecca in 1324, the new empire, long christened Mali by this point, was a realm with a sophisticated bureaucracy, powerful military, and rich and expansive trade network.

The core of the reason for the expansion of this empire to its ultimate size in the 15th century lay in the solid military foundation laid by Prince Abu Bakr of the Moors and Sultan Sulayman. The Moors, despite their defeat, had learned much from their contact and warfare against the resurgent Roman Empire, and brought with them many lessons. First of which was the organization of the entire kingdom into districts, each headed by a ton-ta-jon-ta-ni-woro, literally “slave who carries a bow and quiver.” These slaves were in fact highly placed noblemen, whose task was to place the bow and quiver, symbols of the military might of the Empire, against its enemies. As the empire grew, additional districts were added, until eventually they numbered sixteen altogether. (1)
Supplementing this force of heavy cavalry were numerous lighter cavalry units, recruited from tribal nobility. Called the sofa, these units often were unarmored, and equipped with shortspears, bows and javelins.

With this organization, the Malian Empire was able to effectively bring its formidable resources to bear. While the Empire regularly called upon massive civilian levies, to the point chronicler Sunni Ali in 1356 said the Mansa’s armies were as numerous as the sands of the desert (2), the true core of the army was the Mandekalu horseman, a rider often armored in a chain hauberk and armed with lance, sword, and bow. The Mandekalu were organized into standing units of five hundred, called a horom, each commanded by a farima, literally “brave man,” who functioned as a colonel of the force. At the height of Imperial power in the 1430s, Peter Dobson has estimated that the Mansa in D’jenne could field as many as sixty of these horom, scattered about the empire.(3)

Yet this powerful military could not be supported without a formidable trade network, and as Ghana before, the powerful Mali Caliphate could call upon European desires for gold, ivory, and other trade goods to fund its coffers. Plentiful gold fields are evidenced by Imperial edicts banning any individual from possessing any gold other than coins minted by the Imperial government. Clair Townsend argues, with considerable evidence, that this was an anti-inflationary measure, to ensure the central government held a tight rein on the plentiful gold supply.(4) Money was so plentiful that supposedly when Mansa Musa stopped in Alexandria and was received by the Roman Emperor Andronikos II, the Malian Emperor made a gift of a solid golden sword and scepter to his Roman counterpart, seriously impressing the normally unflappable Andronikos. (5)

Yet another story is the process by which the Empire spread from the Sahel into the forests to the south…

==========*==========​

(1) Dr. Peter Dobson claims that there are in fact 18 districts, but his findings are highly disputed. See Dobson, The Military Organization of Mali, 173-179.
(2) Sunni Ali, Pilgrimage to Gao.
(3) Dobson, The Military Organization of Mali, 155.
(4) See Townsend, Clair, Gold, Salt and Sweat: Trans-Saharan Trade in the Age of Mali, 344.
(5) Sunni Ali, Pilgrimage.


==========*==========

The Great Mosque of D’jenne, built by Sultan Sulayman I in 1194 A.D.

So thus ends the interim on one of the most interesting aspects of the future Rome AARisen world in IN. The powerful state of Mali originally came from a need to counterbalance the successor states in the West – then a larger question of where exactly the Moors who refused to convert went? For those interested, the information I presented on this fictional Malian military is heavily based on information about the real military of medieval Mali…

And yes… those are all fake sources. :-D
 
Last edited:

The Kingmaker

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unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
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Wow, that's really cool. Mali spreading everybloodywhere.

I am definitely looking forward to more historical happenings like these...and maps...I love maps.
 

Ksim3000

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Interesting that Andronikos II was probably alive and ruling the Empire around the 1300s then. Looks like he won't be appearing anytime too soon! Even still, I look forward to reading more about him. We've had a full blown war Emperor, a scholarly Emperor, a plotting Emperor, a chivalrious Emperor. Now we need a cruel and downright mean one!

Also it was interesting to read about the Malinese Empire. Did you set it up like that in the game or did it happen automatically?

Still, as usual, looking forward to even more updates!
 

Nikolai

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Egyptian Empire, Lombardy, Spanish Empire of Ioannis Komnenos. Wow.:D It seems Byz still owns southern Italy at the turn of the century at least.
 

Enewald

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Many komnenoi emperors at the same time is not good. :eek:o

In my game the al-murabitids conqured whole iberian, southern france up to loire, nurthumbrian and york, and also whole northern germany.
The crusade against them is allready 80 years old. No success to get santiago into christian hands. :p
 

unmerged(59737)

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That gave us another excellent hint at future Byzantine fragmentation.

Also, the Caliphate of Mali is going to have all sorts of fascinating effects on European exploration and expansion, especially if it survives for more than a few hundred years before its fragmentation kicks in.