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Tufto

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Ok, I need a little help here, people.

Does anybody know how I can change the colour of different countries? Only the three major powers in Iberia all have the same colour, including me, and it's driving me crazy.

Thanks.

EDIT: Figured it out, never mind.

EDIT: Ok, it seems that I haven't. Help needed :D
 
Last edited:

Tufto

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PART TWO:

A Knife in the Dark.

Chapter Three.

He knows...

He must know...

I ran so visibly from the King's chambers. Someone must've seen. And if someone saw me, they'd tell Henrique, and then he'd know...

So he must know.

Oh God, what have I done?

And what will my friends do?

Demetrios would kill me.
Maria would run away from me.
Romanos would ruin me.
Hovhannes would disown me.

They will all hate me.

I have to end this. I have to correct what I did wrong.

But I can't! I can't bring the king to life again!

I only did it for the state... to make things healthy again... but he won't understand that! He is the King! Regicide is abhorrent to him, he will kill me... and nobody will be left for Maria...

That cannot happen.

So what can I do?

If I run, he will catch me.
If I hide, he will find me.
If I die, he will destroy me.

So what options are there left...?


Akakide Bagratuni looked at the little table by his bed.

He moved it away.

There, behind it, lay a dagger.

What had to be done, had to be done...

THE END
OF PART TWO.


Yes, I know Part Two was very short. There is a reason.

loki100- Thanks!
 

Tufto

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PART THREE:

The Red-Eyed Prince.

Chapter One.

Dramatis Personae
Affonso, King of Georgia.
Romanos, Chancellor of the Kingdom of Georgia.
Demetrios, Spymaster of the Kingdom of Georgia.
Akakide, great-uncle of King Affonso and Marshal in the Kingdom of Georgia.
Maria, wife of Akakide.
Saba, a peasant.




Georgia, 1107.

At long, long last, things were beginning to return to normal in Georgia.

The last few years had been catastrophic for the little kingdom. David's madness and Henrique's megalomania had brought the kingdom to the brink of an hopeless war with the Turks twice.

When Henrique had been found dead in his bed, a knife through his heart, Demetrios had been quick to act. The cover story was that Henrique had killed himself- one that worked perfectly.

He had then ensured that Affonso came to the throne with no protests from the nobles. This had been vital; Demetrios became Regent, and was now the sole ruler of the kingdom.

The knowledge that there was a murderer at loose in the court had caused great consternation at first. But two years later, there had been no more deaths. The stability of the kingdom was improving, the harvest had been prosperous, the disease had mostly passed, and Affonso was turning into a fine lad, one who would hopefully be more than capable to take over from Demetrios.

He had a habit of asking rather odd questions, though. Just yesterday, he had asked about why the peasants couldn't become knights. He'd had the social system explained to him many times, but he still couldn't grasp it. It was a little odd.

But there were other things occupying Demetrios' mind.

Romanos and he had been snooping around in Navarra. They had finally made some headway, discovering that the King had a private estate near the town of Pamplona. But he had been distracted from this about a year ago, by some interesting news.

The Tribe of Itil, to the northeast of the Kingdom, had declared war.

Why they did it, Demetrios doubted he would ever know. Their armies were outnumbered and unskilled. It was madness.

Yet despite this, they had still tried to attack some of the northern colonies on the Caspian Sea. Which could not go by ignored.

Now, Demetrios watched from a little window in his room as his armies marched to war.

Akakide had sprung into life, regaining a little of his old self at the chance of a battle. The mobilisation and deployment of the troops had been delayed somewhat- A small expedition had been sent through the Alan lands, but there was no need for a full scale invasion at that time.

Now, the main force was on its way.

Three thousand troops marched along the road, having gathered at the palace. There were peasants eager for glory, hardened old campaigners from the Azeri Wars, looters and idealists, mercenaries and patriots.

All would face the mud and slaughter that awaited them.

Demetrios had been in a war himself, long ago. He never told anyone about his early life- with good reason, too. But the one thing that was known was that he had fought against the Turks as a boy, and fought hard, too.

He could still hear the screams at night.

He hoped to God that fate would be kind these soldiers...

 
Last edited:

Tufto

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PART THREE:

The Red-Eyed Prince.

Chapter Two.

Demetrios was not the only one watching the soldiers march to war.

Affonso Bagratuni, King of Georgia, was watching from his window too.

He was a quiet, book-loving boy, whose seventh birthday had passed only two weeks ago. Long black hair lay around his ears, in contrast to the strange red eyes which always seemed to look right through you, rather than at you.

Affonso, as he watched the soldiers, did not notice the same things Demetrios noticed. He did not notice the glory they seemed to inspire, nor did he notice enthusiasm which emanated from each one of them.

He noticed instead the cruel pleasure the knights took from their superior position. He noticed the greed and hypocrisy of the monks who travelled with the army. He noticed the malice of the looters, the carelessness of the mercenaries, the insanity of the idealists and the obsession of the patriots.

In a nutshell, he saw them for what they really were.

When he was four, and had been travelling from Oporto to Navarra with his father, bandits had attacked their party. He had escaped, but had been separated from his father in foreign Castile, alone and lost.

He had been found by some farmers. They did not know who he was, nor did they believe him when he told them.

But they were kind to him. They weren't full of fawning admiration, just simple, gruff charity for a little lost child.

Then his father had found him, and had the King of Castile put all of the peasants to death for lack of respect for the red-eyed prince.

Affonso had been totally quiet when he heard of this. But that was when he realised that the world was not fair. That there were bad people who were in power, and good people who were oppressed.

Some would just give up then. Others would just accept it.

Not Affonso.

He would change things. He would put the good in power and expel the bad from his presence. He would change his future realm into one of peace, kindness and prosperity.

He was nothing like his father. But he had inherited two traits from him.

The first was a bright, trustworthy smile.

The second was that nothing in this hateful wretch of a world would stop him from achieving his goal...



Thank you everyone for being so supportive of this AAR, it means a lot.
 

wolfcity

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The second was that nothing in this hateful wretch of a world would stop him from achieving his goal...

This was the same guy that got stopped by a knife to the heart right :p
 

Alfredian

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He noticed instead the cruel pleasure the knights took from their superior position. He noticed the greed and hypocrisy of the monks who travelled with the army. He noticed the malice of the looters, the carelessness of the mercenaries, the insanity of the idealists and the obsession of the patriots.

I really liked this bit a a counterpoint to Demetrios' view in the part before. Nicely done.
 

unmerged(135995)

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Great update!

Let's hope, for the sake of the world, that Affredo will not notice the 'insanity' in his own idealism! Although I wonder if his dreams will not be smashed on the anvil and hammer of practical reality.
 

Tufto

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And we have an update! again, sorry it's so late.

PART THREE:

The Red-Eyed Prince.

Chapter Three.

"Come, Akakide! Let us ride into battle!"

Saba the Peasant heard those words, knowing whose voice it was. That idiotic aristocrat, Romanos, asking the nutcase of a general, Akakide, to charge once more at the enemy in a futile attempt to break through their lines.

Saba was caked in the mud of the battlefield and the blood of his enemies. He had come on this campaign with the promise of money, plunder, and the chance to slay some pagan hordes. He had been promised the chance to fight for glory, honour, and lots and lots of shiny things.

But all he had met with was suffering. The blood-spattered steel and roars of the heathens had begun to stick in his heart. This was not the walkover that the Generals had informed the men about.

The Tribe of Itil were just northern barbarians, with no way of knowing how to fight properly, or what the word "tactics" meant. But when the powerful Kingdom of the Cumans had joined the fray, things took a turn for the worse.

Georgia could easily have defeated both of them if it had committed its full force to the fight, the Generals had said. But they could not- there was now a threat of war with the Turks. Some diplomatic furore had arisen, something to do with a forged note and the old Greek king of the East.

But Saba was just a peasant. He knew little of what was happening in the rest of the world.

How could he learn about the precarious diplomatic position of Georgia when he was fighting for his life, charging through a field towards enemy lines? How could he know about the total collapse of the East Roman Empire when he was being assaulted by some sword-wielding madman?

Why would he care about Georgia's position as the last great Christian power of the east as he was impaled upon a spear?

He was just another loss. Just another peasant. Just another man with a family to feed as the war became bogged down in the Volgan esturaries.




Far, far away, it made the young King of Georgia sick to his stomach. He kept getting reports of more death and suffering towards his people. Dozens more died every day in a pointless war over worthless northern lands.

No more. He would have to do something now.

Demetrios must be stopped.




loki100- Yeh, aren't that many of those. Most are either evil or incompetent.

wolfcity- Exactly, which is where his whole plan falls down.

Alfredian- Thanks!

ZwolscheStudent- Thanks, and Affonso is a bit of a dreamer. But he is very determined, and also quite clever, so he does have a chance. That being said, his family does have a tendency to get stabbed in the heart a lot.
 

loki100

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as ever great stuff, really like the way the schemes of the great and powerful come down to the sufferings of the poor & powerless ... but the King had better stop Demetrios soon or there will be no realm left?
 

Tufto

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as ever great stuff, really like the way the schemes of the great and powerful come down to the sufferings of the poor & powerless ... but the King had better stop Demetrios soon or there will be no realm left?

It probably won't come to that, but there won't be much of one. It'll just be another little duchy/county in the east.
 

Tufto

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PART THREE:

The Red-Eyed Prince.

Chapter Four.

Navarra, 1109.

There is a place in the mountains where nobody goes.

The local Basques called it the Devil's Peak. The story went that a great prince had once angered a demon, who had responded by killing many of the local people. The prince won a great battle against the demon, and had him exiled to the mountain, where he would prey on the souls of those who came near him.

The few people who had strayed near the mountain had been killed, their bodies found the next day with horrific wounds. The mountain was clearly some ancient, cursed den of evil- it had to be avoided by everyone at all costs.

It was also a testament to how fast folklore could spring up- it had been only a few years since the disappearances had started.

The truth was far more mundane than the legend. There was a small log cabin hidden behind the mountain, where twenty men and women lived.

They had been ordered to hide out here, in a place which nobody would ever find them. If anyone strayed near, they were to be killed. Any supplies they needed were delivered to them at night, in secret.

They were all Georgian, and had all been fanatical loyalists to King David. They would obey his orders without question.

Their purpose in this place was to plan something.

A murder, and a coup.

When David had died, they had begun preparations to leave their dwelling. But then another person had come to the house, the night before they would have left.

She spoke to them for half an hour, no more. By the end, they were as loyal to her as they had been to David.

Their purpose remained the same. They were to plan a murder, and a coup, in the same place as before.

And at last, they were ready to begin.

Davit's work would be completed. The king would not have been killed in vain...
 
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Tufto

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PART THREE:

The Red-Eyed Prince.

Chapter Five.


Affonso had tried so hard. He really had. He had ordered, pleaded, wept and begged Demetrios to end the war. The sight of the child's tear-stained face shouting with fury had plucked even the cold Greek's heartstrings.

For Demetrios himself wished the damned war was over. Too many men had died. Too many had suffered.

Lying in his bed, he thought of all those who had died fighting the accursed pagans. Romanos had lost a finger, his brother-in-law Konstantinos Kommenos, had lost his arm, and countless peasants had lost their lives.

But, at last, some progress had been made. Akakide had broken through the Cuman lines. It looked as though the war would soon be over.

Demetrios felt a twinge of guilt when he thought of his friend. The Greek had been lonely, and Maria had been the only person who seemed to understand...

He shook the thought from his head. There were more important things to worry about now.

Firstly, the new Sultan of the Seljuks was furious with Georgia. The full story of the forged note had come out into the open, leaving the Turks enraged.

But things were not the same in Turkey any more. Rebels were swarming across Mesopotamia, and the realm was beginning to split apart.

Georgia had managed to capitalise this as well- the new Count of Trebizond had placed himself under Georgian protection, fearing an attack from the Seljuks.

Secondly, some obscure Azeri emirate had declared war. This didn't concern Demetrios much.

And then there was David.

Who had killed him? What had he been doing in Navarra? Demetrios had no answers to either of these questions.

He sighed. He'd hoped he would have been able to do some good to the kingdom, to make it prosperous and great once more. Instead, the corruption still wafted through the air. Georgia may never have been more wealthy, but the streets were filled with the wicked and the damned.

Demetrios rolled over, looking at the woman on his right. Akakide must never know.
 
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Tufto

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PART THREE:

The Red-Eyed Prince.

Chapter Six.

War was no place for boys.

For Romanos was barely out of boyhood. A fresh-faced youth, in his early twenties, he had seen more blood in the last year than he ever had before.

The death had started off shocking. He had been frightened, awed, angry and sad all at once as he saw more men cut down by pagan blades.

But more than that, there was another emotion. A kind of excitement.

All his life, Romanos had been locked away in palaces, isolated from the real world. He had been born in Thessalonika, and had moved home a dozen times. He'd become a master at diplomacy, readily integrating himself with any court and becoming the life and soul of the party.

But he had grown so bored with it all.

The endless, mindless chatter, the hypocrisy, the lies. It had worn him out.

He was, on the face of it, a mild-mannered, calm man. But deep down, lay a side to him that nobody knew.

A lust for blood. For action, adventure, excitement. But it was more than that. It was a lust for power. For dominion over others. For the ability to make even the mighty tremble.

It was this feeling which he kept deep down. But when the roar of battle confronted him...

He was now in a tent, at the end of a long and bloody battle. Akakide had directed the battle brilliantly- the day had been won. The two of them now lay back in their tents, drinking together.

Akakide's madness only ever let up in conflict. He could remain sane afterwards, too, but only if you didn't bring up anything to do with home. Then, he would merely go quiet and begin to jabber.

Romanos had been careful to avoid such topics. The two sat there, drinking and talking about the battle.

And then Akakide stopped.

Romanos knew not what he'd said, but Akakide suddenly grew quiet and started his crazed mumbling.

Romanos sighed. This kept on and on happening. He couldn't stop it. He just kept mumbling. "The blood...", he'd say. "The blood... why won't the blood come out..."

Romanos froze.

It had been Akakide all along...
 

Tufto

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PART THREE:

The Red-Eyed Prince.

Chapter Seven.

Central Anatolia. 1067.

The house was just a little shack, made of straw and mud. The family who lived inside it had lost their home to the Turks, and this was the best they could do.

The land was poor. The war had been harsh on this land. Little remained of the prosperous fields that had once been here.

The family had lived a semi-nomadic existence- though not of their own volition. Everywhere they'd tried to settle, they'd been forced out of their home by the war- either their home had been destroyed or they'd been unable to produce enough food on what was left of their ravaged land.

Inside the shack, a birth had just taken place. The mother was not smiling. Her malnourished face was thin and harrowed. She was close to death.

The father tried to smile at her, weakly, but found it difficult. He knew too that his wife was close to death.

He squeezed her hand. Her pain would be over soon. A small mercy.

The baby in her arms was not smiling either, but neither did he cry. He just slept, peacefully.

The people above him would name him Giorgos. But in only a few days, he would have a different one.

For the people above him would not raise him. They would not teach him how to laugh, how to cry.

In only a few days they would both be dead.

And that child would have a new name- Demetrios...


A longer update shall be coming soon.