• 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

CrazyDerp

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Hello, fellow Paradox lovers, CrazyDerp here, about to start a new adventure into the unknown, exploring the depths of Russian culture on the go to our goal #1 -- uniting all Russian lands under a single banner! So sit down by the fire, if you wish, and let us all hear the songs and rhythms of our dark deep sky above the cold grasslands, stretching wide to all directions...

Starting date: 867 bookmark
Dynasty: Vyatich
Region: Russia, Tver
Mods: "CKII+"
Style: Random with bits of russian words




Table of contents:
Surrounded -- 860 - 867
Zhavoronok Bojanovich Vyatich:
1. An Omen
2. The Snake and The Lark
Not Broken -- 867 - 919
Dragan Zhavoronkovich I Tverskoy:
1. For I Am The Blood of Your Blood
2. You Were The Hunters, Now You're The Prey
3. The Power Vacuum
4. A New Kingdom
5. More Room for Expansion
6. The Witch
7. Upbringing and the Claimant
8. Downfall of the Family
9. Orvar the Dreadful
10. Those Twenty Years
11. Az Esm' Tsar, the Fire That Burns Hands
12. A New Flame
Path to Glory -- 919 - 958
Volodar Draganovich I Tverskoy:
1. Tearing Through Throats
2. The Two Capitals
3. The Northern Hold
4. Az Esm' Tsar, the Executioner and the Judge
5. The Two Kingdoms
6. The Livonian Chaos
7. Let Each Hold His Patrimony
8. A Flavourful Chapter -- Feudal Rus
9. The Time of Misfortunes
10. The One Among Many
11. The Deep Dark End
The Warrior of the Steppe -- 958 - 978
Briachislav Vladislavovich I Tverskoy:
1. The Outside Bet
2. Rurikids' Last Stand
3. The Snows of Finland
4. The Baltic Question
5. Divided We Stand
Legacy of Rome -- 978 - ...
Rogvolod (Ivan) Briachislavovich I Tverskoy:
 
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An Omen
The night was dark, but stars shined light from above and onto Volga's waters. A knife's blade flashed and the animal's breath stopped. Old man looked upon his Knyaz, his face grim and frozen.
-- My lord, have you not been visiting the kapishche too often lately? Of course, I am not the one to go against your wish, but goats are not of the innumerable kind...
-- It is fine, Bojan. It is just... For quite some time I've been feeling that something is about to change. This day we are just a mere Knyazhestvo, which has seen better times... Surrounded by Finns, Norsemen, Southerners -- we are yet not broken! Tver can lead all of Rus people, together. If it shall happen, let the gods give me a sign, for I have offered much in my quest to find the answer!
-- Let it be so, let it be, oh Great Knyaz... For Perun is the father of your kin and Dazhbog is its patron. Our warriors are strong, their will mighty. Tver will be led to victory by your hand and your hand only.
It began to rain outside. Loud thunder hit both men's ears, but they didn't tremble as others would. This was their sign, their time and destiny. Perun blesses his children.

13 Russia.png

It is the year 867 and the world is shattered. Muslim versus Christian, vassal versus his liege. Britain is broken, Byzantium, too. Carolingian Empire holds still, but for how much longer?.. Rus is a different story, though. Varyags invaded from the North, bringing their gods and culture with them, settling around Ladoga and Kiev. To the East lay Mordwin lands -- a realm of Finnish snowy forests, enemy to the Slavs. To the South many nomads roam the steppes, raiding and killing anything that stands in their way. But Rus holds on. And Tver -- with it. Surrounded, but not beaten, their brave men will defend the ancestral lands till the last drop of blood.

1 Vladislav, Dragan, Gradimir.png


Knyaz Zhavoronok of Tver is the ruler upon city's walls. He is not the most skilled of men, but some say that gods themselves favour him and his family in the upcoming clash against the invaders. His wife died some months earlier, leaving young Vladislav, Dragan, Knyaz's heir, and Gradimir all alone.

2 Council.png


The council of Tver is composed of Knyazhestvo's best thinkers and warriors, led, however, by a lowman and a dog's son, Chief Arvo, Knyaz's only contender and vassal, who keeps to his wild Finnish beliefs and refuses on accepting Ilmenian culture. This has to be dealt with.

3 The Realm.png


The realm of Tver in itself is a broad slab of plains, grasslands and forests, banded together by the Grand City itself, through which lays every village adventurer's way.

4 Army.png


Tverian army are one thousand brave souls, ready to take up their arms as soon as their Knyaz tells them to. Chief Arvo, however, not only doesn't contribute to the size of druzhina, but bullies and threatens his liege's men. Who would accept a dog's contribution anyway?

5 Religion.png


The system of kapishches and holy sites runs through the whole of Tverian lands. Slavic religion is present and powerful here, for the invaders' rotten beliefs haven't reached the sacred groves and lakes of it yet. They never will, anyway.

6 Seer.png


First of all, a new seer is recruited of one of the village priests, and sent immediately to Chief Arvo's camp in Uglich -- both to promote Slavism and provoke Uglich's ruler.

7 Most noble of rulers.png


Lack of Knyaz's understanding in economics and rulership in general takes a dire pay off his lands. It needs a quick improvement, to say the least, so all of the ruler's powers are dedicated solely to becoming the most noble of rulers around Rus.

8 Getting married.png


Secondly, Knyaz rises the question of marriage before himself and his children. Tver needs strong allies, who won't leave in times of danger.

9 Defensive Pact.png
12 Alliance.png


Severian Knyaz Tatimir Seversky gladly accepts his northern neighbour's offer of an everlasting peace and strong bonds of blood between the families. An alliance is forged.

10 Studying.png


Young Gradimir recieves some of his father's attention, too. He is given out to druzhina's top warriors, who will teach him swordweilding and commanding an army. Tver will need to stay strong in the future.

Now, with most things settled and done, Knyaz's eyes turn towards his enemies. It is time to take back what was stolen from them and their ancestors.

11 Desire.png


Volga -- A river, on which Tver stands
Knyaz -- A prince/king/chieftain in ancient Rus
Druzhina -- Knyaz's army
Kapishche -- An Old Slavic temple
Knyazhestvo -- A principality
Perun -- Slavic god of thunder
Dazhbog -- God of the Sun
Zhavoronok -- A lark (bird)
 
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The Snake and The Lark
The preparations for the coming fight with the enemy forces are in full swing and a messenger is sent to Tatimir of Severia. An alliance is expected and is formed. However, trouble seems to be brewing in the West...

A tall man approached his Knyaz and bowed to the ground, though hasitating for just a slight moment -- long enough to be noticed.
-- My Lord, what is it that you desire, what for did you call me in? -- Arvo of Uglich speaks with a strong foreign accent, which is not surprising, considering he is a dog of Mordwin blood.
-- Greetings to you, my loyal vassal. The theme which requires your attention here is that... -- Knyaz stopped, if he was thinking something through -- I've thought this through many times already, but seems like I have no other way, -- Zhavoronok Vyatich chugged onto his mead and stared at the visitor -- Arvo, my council is displeased, for you are anything, but a diplomat, and the people who swear loyalty to me have to obey you, not only skillles in what you do... but refusing to set aside your barbaric wildmen's beliefs, too! I have no choice, o loyal bannerman... You are fired from my council. My word shall be so.
-- But... but... My Knyaz!
-- Shut it, Arvo -- Zhavoronok's eyes flashed with anger of red -- I said what I said, now leave!
The master of Uglich rose from the ground and spit onto floor.
-- You know where to find me when needed, "great Knyaz" -- Mordwin turned to the door and marched towards the sunlight, only to hear in pursuit: "Next time I'll have you lick it off the ground, you fucking wildling!"

1 Fired.png


2 Joms.png


A bird arrived from the eastern reaches. As it seemed, Norse King Dyre was preparing a professionally-trained army of blood-stained warriors of Odin. Such thing, clearly could never be good.

The door slammed as the messenger ran in.
-- My sire, -- He bowed -- I bring you dire news!
-- What is it, speak up, boy! -- Knyaz Zhavoronok was clearly displeased with what he heard.
However, the newsbringer only panted and panted.
-- I... I must say that Knyaz Tatimir agreed to bond Severia and Tver together as allies.
-- That's great then! Let us celebrate, men! Bring your cups and women!
-- That is not all, my Lord, -- His voice faltered and dwindled -- Dyre the Stranger has invaded Severia. And we are bound to join that war.
Everything went silent. Knyaz stood there, as if shocked by lightning. Then his face became a true grimace of anger.
-- Call my druzhina, we are leaving as soon as possible... Tomorrow, when daylight breaks. Those fucking Varyags will have to pay the price!
There goes the war.

3 Oops.png

4 Called in.png


Several weeks passed and finally the two forces met at around Chernigov. Armed and dangerous, they were ready to start the battle. Hours later the atmosphere broke and the Varyag berserkers met with the Russian swords, two vikings for each Severo-Tverian soldier.
Only to leave Zhavoronok and Dyre face to face, their weapons drawn...

5 Wowser.png


Of course, Tverian Knyaz was no coward and rushed towards his enemy without a single doubt in his heart or mind. The dance of two warriors began.
An axe clashed with a sword, shields were bashed and eyes pierced through each one's enemy. They swirled around, as if moving to the music -- the chaotic calling of war, bloodcry of the attacker, yielding call of the defeated. Zhavoronok's mind was focused on one thing: "Let there be thunder, let them tremble, o gods". Only Perun knows how much time passed since the madness had began, both men fell to the ground, rose again, dodged and slashed. Until at the very last moment Knyaz's leg slipped. He fell to the ground and stared at the wide, deep, clean blue sky... Not a single cloud. "My gods favoured the enemy today," -- he thought lastly, as viking's blade bogged into his throat.

6 Beaten.png


The war was over. Zhavoronok dead and his army disbanded. Their shields were carried back home along with their bodies. The circle around Tver narrowed.

7 Oh no.png

8 Severian Affair.png
 

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For I Am The Blood of Your Blood
The flame was flickering on the woodlogs. It took some days, but together the men of Tver built a mound and erected a krada on it. Older Knyaz's body was washed and dressed, and people from all around the city gathered for his trizna, his final step on the journey of mortal life. They drank and danced, they sang and spoke, for it was the way their fathers and their fathers before did it. In the middle, among all, sat Dragan, the new ruler of Tverian lands, elected by the surviving muzhi of the city. His brother Vladislav didn't come to the funeral. Moreover, the rotten devil refused the invitation and declared himself a Knyaz of his own in Vyazma, by the right of firstborn. "For I am the blood of your blood," -- Dragan said -- "Let us not quarrel. You may be the elder, but muzhi spoke their word, so be my right hand, if you wish, but stay together with me". The flickering flame rose, guided by Dragan's hand. It all quieted down and he proclaimed: "Knyaz Zhavoronok was a father to everyone of you. When you needed help, he was there. When you felt sorrow, he was there. When you needed protection, it was him who guarded thy walls. The flames take him, but not our memory, so I say, Dragan, his son! Let him be remembered forever as Zhavoronok the Brave!". People shouted and cried as Knyaz lowered his hand onto krada, setting it ablaze. Let the fire take gods' son fast to their land...

1 Dragan.png


Dragan of Tver is a youngling, shaped serious and willful by his father's sudden death. Dragan's older brother, Vladislav, declared his independence and sat in Vyazma, pretender to the throne. Now all of Ilmeni looked at Dragan with a sole question: "Will he be the one to lead us to victory above all?".

2 Hunter.png


Hunting is Dragan's favourite hobby, a clear opportunity to meet the realm's people and find yourself new friends, all the while enjoying such a noble way of entertainment.

3 Brother VS brother.png


However, the most urgent of things for Knyaz was to reunite Vyazma with Tver, reunite his family back again. Diplomacy was of no help anymore, it didn't matter to Vladislav. And swords were drawn.

4 Battle Done.png


Both sides' last remaining soldiers clashed at around Vyazma itself. The outcome was a cheap victory for Dragan. However, the amount of men in Knyaz's druzhina didn't allow to siege down Vyazma itself, so it was ordered to wait by Tverian commanders.

5 Bad.png


Gradimir, neglected by both his father and brothers, grew up without even a basic knowledge of holding a weapon or commanding neither servants, nor soldiers. Such a bright young child in past, he is a mere shadow of his previous possible self now.

6 Concubines.png


While Knyaz is in search for a wife that would give him broad political benefits, perhaps, even an alliance, he takes three concubines from states all around, including a Norse woman from Holmgard -- a true expert in northerners' way of life and customs.

7 A Year.png
8 Won.png


A year passes and Vyazma falls at last. No more brother-to-brother fighting, no more bloodspilling. Tver is united again.

9 Dead Oldman.png
10 ))).png


Sbyslava, a daughter to the Vitebskian Knyaz, is at first offered to Dragan, but later his own proposal is rejected. In turn, she becomes a wife of Helgi, Rurik of Holmgard's firstborn son. What a shame for Dragan.

11 Khan.png


However, a better deal is stroken between the Khan of Khazaria and Vladislav, Knyaz's hateful brother. He is promised one of Khan's daughters and an alliance is secured between the Ilmeni and the Jewish steppe roamers.

12 Usurped.png


News come from Konugardr, where Norse King Dyre doesn't stop on his way of expanding the realm. Galich becomes a part of his domain, after Knyaz Vyacheslav's ambassadors, at first, and later troops' corpses were sent packing to Volhynia. Slavic idols were torn down and replaced with northern gods, horrendous as they are.

13 Big.png
14 Settled Hungars.png


Both Holmgard and Konugardr grow in size, while Magyar tribesmen settle in what they call "Hungary" in their twisted tongue.

15 Norse Invasion.png


Varyag travelers tell stories of a land far away, surrounded by seas, where sons of Scandinavia settle and fight. Angland, as they call it, is almost entirely under their control, from what Ilmenians can judge out of their words.

Tver's enemies grow in size, so Tver has to grow, too. What better target there is than the wildmen of the East? Perun will bring victory to his children, for he wishes to tear down deer hunters' pathetic idols and shrines, build kapishches over them and rule their skies, for thunder and lightning are his instrument and his power. Tverians set on the warpath once again...

16 Attack on Meshchera.png


Krada -- A funeral pyre
Trizna -- An old slavic obsequies
Muzhi -- "Men", male inhabitants of a land, possessing an abilty to vote
 
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You Were the Hunters, Now You're the Prey
Tver is at war again, driven by their holy desire of destroying esaterners' temples and their Knyaz's wild courage. The whole Ilmeni realm stands strong, ready to bash any resistance down.

1 Iceland.png


Along with the stories of certain "Angland" in the far East, Varyags bring news of a new realm of their own to the very North of the world. Truth or not, it is a fine tale, still.

2 Yay.png
4 Vyazma is back.png


The so-called "army" of the wildmen charges Dragan's forces in the fields of Vyazma. The antecedent are destroyed, toppled and slaughtered, driven back to their cold native land. Vyazma is swiftly regained, too. No mercy for the vanquished.

3 Khan.png
5 Yass.png

6 ARRRR.png


Khan Itakh threw a quick look at his host and chugged down some more wine.
-- Shall I say, my daughters' belief won't be much of an obstacle for such a relationship. After all, she doesn't need her mouth neither to speak of it, nor to speak at all!
Both men laughed and Dragan petted his guest on the shoulder.
-- Good one, my friend, good one! -- Knyaz proceeded -- Though I might ask you of something, -- He nodded to the interpreter -- Something more profound...
Khan drew his dagger out and stuck it into the table -- No. We are drawing the line here, for now. Peace? Don't question it. Marriage? Indeed. But an alliance?.. Too early to be talking about it as of now. I must say, we postpone it till a different date. Who knows what might happen? For now both our families need to learn to understand each other, -- He turned towards Dragan -- Right?..
Knyaz smiled and showed a sign to his servant, so that he brought a chest before him -- Of course. For now, let us exchange and prepare for your yonger one's wedding, shall we? -- He opened the casket -- Look, it's full of our best furs, some gold for the newly wed, jewelry for the bright young Ayten. So? Deal?
Itakh pulled the dagger from the table. "Deal," he said.

7 OK.png
8 Damn.png
9 Mozhaysk.png
10 Kolomna.png


After securing good relationships with the steppe riders' Khan, Dragan traversed through Tver's vast lands and to his army, only awaiting the orders. They met Meshcherians near Mozhaysk and brought death with them. However, when the Ilmeni pursuited the enemy, they were intercepted at around Solotcha: surprised and unredy, they took a loss and had to retreat to the foothold in the lands of Mozhaysk.

In under a year the city was sieged down, opening the way for reinforcements from homeland to pour into. Now it was the invaders' time to judge who lives and who dies. Men were slaughtered and women were raped, then brought back to Tver with the conquerors. Children were resettled to Tver, Vyazma and the surroundings, while all of elders were killed mercilessly -- thus the children wouldn't be taught their barbaric native tongue. The Kolomna skirmish only cemented Ilmenians' victory, as the remaining deer hunters ran away, hiding in the forests, to which Tverians were afraid to come -- for their darkness was home to Leshy, the protector of the wild, who they dared not anger.

11 Son.png


*In the meantime, in Tver*
A large procession stopped around the sacred lake. In its front were Vladislav and Ayten, together with her father. Then Bojan, priest of the kapishche of Tver shouted: "People of Tver! Gods look at us, for today we will dance and sing, play and tell our tales in the name of Knyaz's brother Vladislav and his new wife Ayten! She may look foreign, but may Mokosh, the great mother, give her a blessing to be a good wife and a good mother. For this, let the newlyweds drink!". The priest was given a bucket, into which he put a phallus, carved out of wood, a symbol of great fertility, then he deeped the bucket into the lake's waters and filled it to the brim. He gave it to young Ayten, who looked at her father with misery in her eyes. He looked back, as if saying: "Jahwe be with you, that is what barbaric humiliation you have to endure for the sake of your people". She drank it, then her new husband did. And people shouted, and people danced and sang, and the procession moved further to the festivities.

Some months later Ayten was already with a belly, like if the charm actually worked.

12 Ryazan.png


At the same time, far further East from Tver, its warriors finished off the last remaining forces on the opposing side.

13 Sieged.png


And the wildlings cried, for there came deep sorrow into their lives, brought by the Slavs.

14 Win.png


But there was no going back. The war was over and Tver stood victorious, stronger than before.

15 Tver.png

Dragan I on his departure from Ryazan: Let Khan Itakh celebrate with us! Bring more mead, bring more women! A grand festival awaits at Tver, where we bring all of the conquered goods and valuables! For our fathers' glory!
16 Khan.png


-- So, a deal? -- Dragan's smile, full of mead and honey, was as friendly as can be for a warrior.
Itakh smiled back to him -- I think, yes. After all, a child brings our families together now.
The drunk Knyaz lifted his goblet and proclaimed: "Surrounded, but not broken!"
"HUZZAH!" -- Was the answer.
 
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The Power Vacuum
The time passed by and it felt like everything was about to change. Knyaz Zhavoronok's early death brought his hardened son to rule, hateful of foreigners. Under his guidance Tver grew its teeth and claws: no one is to be playing around anymore. Slavs will fight to their deaths.
2 YASS.png
4 Lets wait.png


Three men sat simultaneously. It was the first time Dragan saw his nemesis, old Rurik of Holmgard, up close.
-- You want my son Alfr to take your daughter as a wife? -- The Varyag knew Slavic tongue and spoke it quite well.
-- Yes. Moreover, we propose an alliance, -- Dragan smiled -- Our peoples are not that different from each other, don't you think? I...
Rurik broke in hastily -- No, -- He cut it -- We are not interested in any sort of alliance with the Southerners.
Knyaz's face sullened as he continued -- Well... You are still fine with a pact of peace, right?
-- I suppose, -- The viking sat back again.
-- That does the trick then, we will be waiting till both of them come of age
-- Right.
Dragan looked curiously at his guest and asked -- Would you like to join me for a hunt?
-- There is nothing better than a good hunt! -- Rurik smiled
-- No! Five women at a time is better!
They both laughed.

3 Igor.png


Igor's fist met his rival's nose again.
-- Shut up, you fucking frog! Fight it, stop crying! -- He shouted.
-- Whoah, Igor... -- The Knyaz, who was just passing by, noticed his nephew, right in the middle of picking at a peasant's boy -- Stop it, will you?!
Igor left his beatbag alone and it didn't waste the chance of running away from the meanie.
-- I am sorry, uncle Dragan...
-- Next time you will be protecting this boy, got it? And not only him, but may as well be protecting his family, your family, maybe the entirety of Tver!
-- I... Understood.
-- That's a good boy, -- Knyaz smiled -- Always remember: your fists are there to be brawling with your enemy, not with the weaker ones.
-- Of course! -- The boy shined.
-- Now you can go play, -- Dragan petted him on the head and turned to leave.
-- Bye, uncle Dragan! -- Igor ran away as if nothing happened.

5 Ok.png


Most ambitions of the Tverian Knyaz have already been achieved. But not fully. His people were still cornered, lasting for help and gudance. He could only obey their wish, with a thought warming his heart: one day there will be a Kingdom for all the Slavs...

6 Radimichia.png


Such thought gave a number of claims for Dragan to use. Radimichia, to the West, was next to follow.

7 rekt.png
8 Done.png


The inexperienced and unwilling to fight 'boys' met with Tver's hardened veterans in the fields of Mstislavl. Velemir, Radimichi's Chief, was captured in the process and quickly gave in to invader's demands.

9 Win.png


A victory to remember.

10 Teaching.png


Zhavoronok, though a legitimate son of one of Dragan's concubines, is nowhere first in the line of succession, due to his uncle Vladislav's popularity among the Chiefs of the electing council. Thus, he is not brought up a fighter, but, rather, an obedient servant to his future liege.

11 Whole council.png


The meeting of the Tverian council was interrupted by an old man, carrying a bird in his hands.
-- My, my lord! The bird bring a message! Rurik of Holmgard is dead, his sons have divided the realm among themselves. And... -- His face became sinister -- What's more important, the weaker boy sits in Pskov...
Dragan stood up and looked over at his advisors.
-- Ladies and gentlemen! This is our time... Who votes on taking Smolensk, our rightful Slavic city, from the Northmen?
All seven hands were risen.
-- Good... -- The Knyaz smiled cunningly -- Very good...

12 Smaleskija.png
13 Darn.png


Led by Vyshata, most experienced of warriors from the Tverian older druzhina, the liberators quickly intercepted a Norse army, moving into Vyazma through Smolensk. Though outnumbered, they managed to beat the foe, only to meet them at Polotsk, already reinforced.

15 Yas.png


The finishing blow for the crumbling Pskovians, however, was the skirmish of Mstislavl. The result... An inevitable victory for Tver.

17 Let them tremble.png


People around the borders of the ever enlarging Knyazhestvo were threatened now. They joined together to appose those, who were previously brothers to them. It wasn't like that would be enough to stop Dragan anyway.

14 Teaching.png


Olga, Knyaz's older daughter, sets onto her path of education, too. She will be brought up as a woman and a mother has to be, according to most warriors' preferences.

18 HRE REKT.png


And Varyags, passing by Tver, tell what they have heard in the magnificent city of Constantinople: far away to the West, a certain Empire fell. Carol... Karel... That name was a bit too much for Slavs' simple tongues to reproduce, what talk about remembering it?.. Days kept going as usual in Tver.
 
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lucas7500

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Treachery, wars, bethrothals and the Karlings miserably failing......ah what a pleasing AAR!
 

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Verry nice. Will follow.
 

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A New Kingdom
While the Christian world crippled in the East, Tver prospered. It was no longer the small Duchy Dragan's father had remembered when he was still among the living. Pushed by the young Knyaz's immense greed, lust for revenge and power, the Slavic realm widened and spread its influence abroad. Previously only a small village, Tver experienced rapid growth, with hundreds of new inhabitants moving in: migrants from Vyazma and Uglich, Mordvins, resettled upon their lands being conquered, Varyags, running away from the horrors of Holmgard's ongoing civil war -- the capital was now a bustling city, perhaps, the largest among the cities of Slavs, its only contenders being Kiev and Holmgard itself.


1 Alliance.png


Though many acknowledged in truth that Severians and Ilmenians had their differences, all could agree that both peoples were of the same origin, shaped alike by the world around them. Of course, Tatimir, Chief of Severia, knew the same as the rest: the tribal feuding time was past, most tribes had already disappeared out of existence as Rus (A name carried by Varyags travelling to Byzantium via Volga, on which Tver stands, from the Greek language) swiftly became split between Severians, Ilmenians, Norsemen and Mordvins. Among these four groups only two were Slavic, and Tatimir decided to bring his people together with the Ilmeni of Dragan's realm, for Slavs only stand stronger united.

2 Hi there Murom.png


As a sign of trust between two Knyazes' nations, a joint attack at the Mordvins of Murom was orchestrated. When first dry leaves started falling to the ground, a united Slavs' army pressed into the enemy territory, burning the villages on the way, slaughtering and enslaving wildmen as if they were cattle.

5 Ok.png


The first encounter with the defenders plays well in favour of the attacking forces: 182 men for 385 -- outnumbering does its trick in the end!

3 Slain.png
4 Slain2.png


The greatest news for Dragan, however, is that he fought both Muromid brothers -- renown warriors among the Mordva people -- at the same time. Killing them both, too. That day there was no end to druzhina's praising of their leader. It was of a truly earned kind.

6 OK 2.png


Next, the battle of Vladimir happens. 36 lost Slavic souls versus the deer hunters' 152. As it seemed, Dragan was no near stopping. However, at the same time, unexpected happened.

7 Swallow it.png


-- What is this nonsense, I ask!? What is this, a joke!? -- Dragan's red-with-anger face turned towards the messenger, who brought Tatimir of Severia's letter to the Tverian Knyaz.
-- Knyaz Tatimir says, either we pay him respect and manage the situation out by silencing that noble he's talking about, or he backs out of the war.
-- What noble is that crooked old man talking about? I stationed no nobles at his court, so if that's some false rubbish who claims what's not true, than that's Tatimir's own problem!
One of the commanders stepped up to his liege -- My Knyaz, what if Tatimir is just testing you?
-- What'd you mean, "testing"? -- Dragan gave his tactics specialist a look.
-- He might just be testing, whether you have ruler's will and pride or not. I think it would be in our best interest to decline his accusations.
Dragan chugged some wine from his goblet and looked up at the advisors, surrounding him.
-- That's what will do: no matter whether this is false or not, I'm refusing. Tver's glorious sons don't need some rotten Southerner's help! Write him a letter that he will remember, got it?
-- Yes, my Lord! -- Responded the courtmen.

8 Broken Down.png


The result was a negative one.

9 Taken.png
10 Taken 2.png


It didn't truly matter anyway, as the last armies of the Muromids have been scattered and toppled, and sieges were successfully on both Vladimir and Murom itself.

11 Yass.png


The war was over and won by Dragan's men. Tver grew more, so much that changes had to be done.

12 TVER.png
13 YAY.png


Knyaz of Tver stood before his men in the yard of recently conquered Murom. His new vassals -- before him, on their knees.
I, -- He said -- The father of Slavs and the son of Zhavoronok I, Dragan Tverskoy, say my word: let all wildmen tremble, for I am their death and their owner, and so it shall be from now on. Your groves are mine, your women are mine, your deer are all mine! Shake like the leaves, you witches' sons, for I, Dragan I, claim all of Rus Slavic... and mine! All hail the Kingdom of Tver!
-- ALL HAIL! -- Shouted the crowd of warriors.
-- All hail the Kingdom of Slavs!
-- ALL HAIL! -- Shouted the crowd again.
That night the entirety of Murom was burned under Knyaz's instructions.

14 Rurik Rekt.png


And while news told that the battle between Rurik's sons was over, it was of no importance then. For a new power took its stand on the arena -- Dragan I's Kingdom of Tver.
 
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Long live the King of all the Slavs!
 

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More Room for Expansion
Though full stability hasn't yet been achieved, Tver prospers, its rivals perishing. But will it stay the same way for long now?

1 Big name yo.png


All of Knyazhestvo's combined lands exceed Konugardr's and Holmgard's, too. With Dragan's hands untied, the time comes to expand further in all directions. On the other hand, the pagan coalition, targeting Ilmenians, grows as well.

2 The Long.png


As most things have already been achieved by the Knyaz of Central Rus, he embarks on the journey to a date, marking twenty years from now -- all in the name of his father, who died so early, leaving Dragan behind, all alone...

3 Bye Pskov.png


A minor dispute over the succession of Smolensk, which was earlier conquered by the Tverian Guard, escalates into an actual conflict. The city is inherited by some false law into one of the young Rurikid's dominion. Council of Tver does not hesitate to decide upon declaring war.

4 Darn.png


Coincidence or not, a soldier leads peasants into a rebellion in the city of Mstislavl. People, driven to poverty by endless bloodshed, all the wars, waged on behalf of their Knyaz, refuse to send their children and brothers to fight yet again. Nobles escape the angered crowd with the help of royal guardsmen, but even at times war such crysis cannot be simply let go. Dragan himself rides towards the rebellious city. And certainly NOT to negotiate with the revolters.

5 Carol....png
6 Myak.png


-- My liege! -- A nameless messenger drove up to Dragan -- I beg your pardon!
The boy dismounted and bowed to the Knyaz.
-- What is it? -- The latter looked stressed -- Tell me.
-- I bring news which the travellers seem to carry in truth, that great Empire of the West has indeed fallen. The fools of the crucified god split themselves into Kingdoms of the same structure as our is. They are weak.
-- Well, that's a good story! -- Knyaz smiled -- Might want to invade them after I am done uniting our land, hah!

8 ....png
9 ....png


-- That is not the end of the story, my liege. One of them, named as a Norseman, was smarter than others -- on the cinder of the old rule he built his own -- an Empire for all of his German peoples. Karol... Carel... They might be gone, but their descendants have yet to perish. And they are nowhere near willing to do so.
-- Don't make such a fuss out of it, -- Dragan carried on -- We'll take them on when the time comes, for now lets focus on what we have. Anyway.

7 Yep.png


Upon Knyaz's arrival to Mstislavl, there was no talking, no negotiations. Only fighting. Rebels' leader conveniently moved to Smolensk along with his 'army'. There the pursuit ended for once.

10 HUH.png
11 SMOLENSK!!.png


After all of the rebellion's leaders were executed, Smolensk itself was freed from the Pskovians' hands and the war quickly ended. Mordovian vassals of Tver expanded eastward at the same time, dreaming of better life there, out of central authority's reach.

12 Education.png


Igor, one of Dragan's nephew's beter sons, is taught in the ways of intrigue, left alone with the Tverian spymaster. The boy seems to be of an intelligent, but cunning, kind.

13 Minsk Net.png


Another war goes doen for the control over the small county of Minsk. This time no revolt ties Ilmenis' hands and they are free to do as they like.

14 Instakill.png


People of Minsk, however, stand nowhere near Tver's guardians in experience and tactics' knowledge. The first battle decides their fate.

15 ALL THE POWER.png


To become an ingrown part of Dragan I's everenlarging Kingdom.
 
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The Rapid Change
The changes in Tver's government structure needed to be accompanied by things that would only cement Knyaz Dragan's authority, so his advisors were sent to of Knyazhestvo's ends with a message.

1 Great Kapishche of Tver.png


First, a temple, named 'Great Dragan's Kapishche' would be built of wood from Mordvins' holy forest groves. It would become the greatest temple there were in the Knyazhestvo, rising metres above the city's outskirts -- a whole complex of buildings and paths, surrounded by high walls and divided into two parts, filled with the best hand-made idols Tverian masters could make -- truly a testament of Rus' first Slavic king divine power, which is intended to make all unbelievers tremble from its view only.

2 Tverskoy.png


Next, Dragan's dynasty 'Vyatich' had to be remade in itself. As he spoke to his vassals, who gathered at around his throne, kneeling before their new high ruler: "I am no longer of mortal blood. My destiny is given by Perun himself and I am led to it by Jarilo, for this they will become the new sign on the green banner of my father's Vyatich family past -- a lightning, as bright as day! No longer will I be a simple Knyaz, like all you are! Bow before Dragan Tverskoy, the new Tsar of Tver!". And they bowed. Of course, they did...

3 Attack.png


More conquest, as Tsar Dragan thought, was never a bad thing. This time the council voted on the Mordvins of Mari to become the victim. Ilmenian armies rallied to the North-East.

4 Myau.png


Though 'rallying' probably wa not the word. As deerhunters couln't stand a chance against the trained Rus' men, the battle of Qazan turned a complete slaughter. 14 for 164, reported the heralds. And in the middle of it all, covered in blood, was Dragan himself.

5 Gorodezz.png
6 Gro.png


He beated Chief Azyren by his own hands, tied him and captured. He was the ultimate power, the one who dictates how the things are done. And Mordvins folded.

7 Huzzah.png
8 Double huzzah.png


Now people didn't even need to be fought for the Tsar to prove to them they were weaker. As such, Count of Luki swore fealty to his new liege, and was elevated to being a Knyaz instead, the whole Duchy of Pskov becoming his posession.

9 Yay.png


Next a messanger arrived from a small village of Moscow. They were one of the last resorts that Slavs had in the region, threatened by the Mordvins of Mera, who dared setle it, killed and raped Tver's rightful subjects. Well, ethnically, anyway. Dragan needed no more words to declare 'a liberation war' for Moskow and its surroundings.

10 Rekt.png
12 Rekt.png


Though High Boyar of Uglich died during the first encounter, he was one of the fifty brave souls, who gave their lives up to carry four hundred and sixty infidels with them...
Mordvins were broken and skattered all around, sent running to regroup deeper in the country's heart.

13 Rekt again.png


It didn't help them, however, as at that point the numbers simply weren't in their favour: for each Mordvin soldier there were five Ilmenians.

14 A Ruler.png


Zhavoronok, Tsar's firsborn son, shows interest in economics and trading. During the war, he is left with the kuptsi (Traders) and boyars to recieve better knowledge in those spheres.

15 Dead.png


And Ayten, Tsar's brother's wife, dies of desease. The court mourns, for she was, though a stranger, a woman of great nobility and kindness. People from all over the city of Tver flock to the royal palace, carrying their money and jewelry, to donate for Ayten's tomb's installation. It turns out to be most grand and beautiful. The folk dance and drink at her trizna as on nowhere else's...

11 Damn Son....png


It is all interrupted, however, by dire news. In the middle of the Tverian-Meran war, the Baltic Chief of Livinmaa decided to strike. Now the war was on both fronts.
 

lucas7500

Kadet
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Dec 20, 2013
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Show those baltics some slavic steel!