44. War in the East

Idhrendur

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War in the East

In addition to all the other changes, Konstantios instituted administrative reforms in the Imperial government. Officials would be appointed by their merits, and would have clearly delineated areas of responsibility. This would allow for better administration with less political infighting.

44-1.png


However, the initial crop of officials were all from territories directly controlled by Konstantios. This was not unnoticed by the other rulers.

44-2.png


Greagorios Monomakos raised 6000 men in revolt in the province of Judea, protesting this centralization of power. At the same time, the Timurids declared a new war.

44-3.png

44-4.png


While the various nobles visited Constantinople to take part in the reforms, Konstantios was able to identify many who had the potential to be masterful advisers. He hired three: Matthaios Iagaris, a skilled artist who would make the various public works more beautiful, thus improving the stability of the Empire; Philemon Melissinos, a military officer who would help spread the best practices all over the Empire; and Thomas Psellos, a former overseer of peasants, who could identify ways of increasing the taxes.

As the new agents of the Empire began their duties throughout the land, they were inclined to use old Greek names for the cities and territories. Over time, these names would become the ones used most frequently by the commoners.

44-5.png


With Konstantios taking a more direct role in trade, he put in place policies that gave advantages to Imperial traders in the Black Sea.

44-6.png


By October, the Scholai Palatinae had sufficiently reorganized from the military reforms. Two armies were dispatched to put down the Judean rebellion, while the rest moved into Timurid territory.

44-7.png


Meanwhile, Konstantios commissioned a tapestry to show the glory of the returned Empire. Many graduates of the University of Van were determined to take part in its creation. There were so many skilled graduates that Konstantios also commissioned an epic telling of the Empire's past glory and a series of paintings.

44-8.png


By 1409, the rebels had been defeated and nearly the entire Timurid border was besieged. Only then did small Timurid forces begin to appear. The battle of Azerbaijan demonstrated the superiority of Roman Cataphracts to Timurid archers and cavalry swarms.

44-9.png


Throughout the year, there were numerous Roman victories in Azerbaijan and Murgan, and a Timurid army was beaten and pursued from Al Jawf to east of the Persian Gulf. More and more territory fell under Imperial control.

December of 1409 saw a Timurid push towards the center of the war front. Battles raged in Hamadan, Iraq-I-Arab, and Basra.

44-10.png


It was apparent that the Timurids would not easily give up. So Konstantios sent settlers to restore long-abandoned villages in Qarabagh and Shirvan, which had once been part of Imperial Armenia. Settlers were also sent to Alania. While not historically part of the Empire, the Caucasus Mountains made for a defensible border. More settlers were readied to travel to Murgan (the last Armenian province under Timurid control). They would travel as soon as the capital city was under Imperial control.

44-11.png


1410 saw the Timurid attack succeed. But they considered it a Pyrrhic victory. Even as the Scholai Palatinae retreated, the Timurid armies withdrew to recover.

Meanwhile, the Empire had stabilized from Konstantios' reforms. Konstantios had his agents seek out all local advances in military equipment, training, tactics, and logistics. These advances were shared all over.

44-12.png


They were sorely needed. While the armies in the south held, the armies near Armenia and Persia began losing more battles. That the Timurids never pressed the advantage was scant comfort. And then in May, there was a disaster. Imperial armies in Gilan grew confused as they routed, and fled deeper into Timurid territory. By the time they realized their mistake, there was no hope of turning back before they reached Ajam. And one of the withdrawing Timurid armies was likewise marching for Ajam.

44-13.png


Before they could arrive, the Timurids decided that they had had enough, and sent a messenger to concede defeat. Konstantios had to decide: accept the surrender and save his men? Or refuse the surrender and finish resettling the Timurid provinces.

44-14.png
 
Last edited:

Emeny

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Fighting the Timurids on their own terms? How very bold! It seems you've started overextending yourself a bit, though.

Your men will probably be fine. It's well over a months travel time to Ajam, so just send some reinforcements to cover their next retreat. Intimidation is key! You may also want to adopt a more defensive policy until your able to drain their manpower or destroy a few armies. Pushing to capture more territory doesnt hurt a horde very much at all.

Good luck!
 

unmerged(728560)

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Well, before the Empire fell, there were plans to conquer Arabia, Western Persia, Scotland, Ireland, and Axum. After that, the plan was to continue pushing eastward, even up to India. Many Romans considered the Germans to unruly and barbaric to ever truly be ruled by civilized man.
 

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Settlements, if you ask me. But better stomp up some new legions asap just in case.
 
45. The Three Themas

Idhrendur

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The Three Themas

Konstantios had been faced with a dilemma: he could accept a Timurid surrender and prevent a certain devastating loss of soldiers, or he could keep fighting and resettle some strategic Timurid provinces, bringing them into the Imperial fold.
45-1.png


Konstantios knew he needed the support of the military to hold the Empire together. As well, a time of peace could be put to use strengthening the Empire, while the Timurids' multitudinous wars would only cause them to weaken. On June 18, 1410, he accepted the surrender.

With the end of the war, Konstantios had his agents focus on making the Empire more productive.
45-2.png


Meanwhile, the armies of the Empire were moved about, garrisoning the various regions. The most elite soldiers were sent to Constantinople, to join the more limited Scholai Palatinae. The other armies were renamed for the region they garrisoned.
45-3.png


During this peace, Heraklios Doukas, heir to the throne, decided to go hunting. The day passed and the dogs found no scent. As the sun was sinking in the west, they finally found a boar. In the deepening shadows, Heraklios missed the thrust with his boar spear, and before anyone could react, the boar had dealt him a fatal wound. That they killed the boar shortly thereafter was scant comfort.

Konstantios did not seem to react when he touched his son's body and felt the chill of death. Whether it was fear of looking weak, the attempt to stay strong for the sake of the Empire, or something else that led him to not show his grief was unknown. The rumors were known: that he was cold, that he was uncaring, that he had preferred one of his other children to be his heir. He was not viewed quite the same thereafter.
45-4.png


Konstantios continued to build the cultural standing of Constantinople, recruiting artists from northern Italy. Their triptych honoring the life of Heraklios mollified the rumors surrounding his death a little.
45-5.png


By July of 1411, the armies of the Empire had finally recovered. Thema Ægyptus, Thema Africa, and Thema Gallia were positioned across from England. It was time to reclaim Mercia.
45-6.png


During the Eastern War, England had reconquered Oxford, and were at war to reclaim London, which would push the de Normandie family out of Britain.
45-7.png


As well, they had formed alliances with several other kingdoms. So the Empire faced a larger coalition in this war.

45-8.png


Soon enough, England had reclaimed London. The three Themas moved to attack the Anglo-Saxon army. The two battles of Kent completely shattered the English Royal Army. Scouts had seen the English Third Army in Oxford, so the three Themas sought it out. It was crushed in the battles of Oxfordshire and Wessex. The three Themas began besieging the whole of England.
45-9.png


Meanwhile, Thema Croatia hounded the Hungarian army until it was completely surrendered. Thema Dacia joined them to break the Danish siege of Moravia. But a Danish force sought them out instead.
45-10.png


The Empire won the resulting battle, but Danish reinforcements prevented the pursuit that would have been preferred. When the Danish armies marched to the west, the Themas again moved to break the siege of Moravia.

Hungary was the first coalition member to ask for peace. Konstantios had no reason to refuse.
45-11.png


In Krain, Austrian nationalists fought the Danish besiegers.

In Moravia, the Themas smashed the Danish besiegers. They moved to lift the siege of Sudety.
45-12.png


That was swiftly done, and they moved to drive back Danish excursions in Austria and Lombardia.

In August 1412, Lyon was forced to surrender. They agreed to break their alliances, and their leaders would follow the Bishop of Aquitaine rather than the Pope.
45-13.png


England resisted until July 1413, when they finally acquiesced and released most of English Mercia to the Empire.
45-14.png


That accomplished, Konstantios accepted the offer of peace from Denmark.
45-15.png


Two other events of significance took place during the war:
A settlement on Madeira found that sugar cane grew well there.
45-16.png


Konstantios sired a new heir on his wife.
45-17.png
 
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Idhrendur

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I've posted this one a little early, as I'm going to be busy tomorrow helping my gf move.

And I'm doing the replies after the post to avoid spoilers.

Good update. He must resettle Timurids provinces, if you ask me.

Legions come and go, Roman settlements prevail.

Fighting the Timurids on their own terms? How very bold! It seems you've started overextending yourself a bit, though.

Your men will probably be fine. It's well over a months travel time to Ajam, so just send some reinforcements to cover their next retreat. Intimidation is key! You may also want to adopt a more defensive policy until your able to drain their manpower or destroy a few armies. Pushing to capture more territory doesnt hurt a horde very much at all.

Good luck!

Settlements, if you ask me. But better stomp up some new legions asap just in case.

If I hadn't played ahead at this point, I would likely have done this. But I was losing the momentum of the war. Certainly battles were more difficult.

I'm not sure if it was the all cav stacks (I've never done that before), the lack of generals (which for once I can afford with no worries), or just things bogging down. In any case, a break from that war just gives me the opportunity to be more ready for the next one.


As long as there's life, there's hope. Save your men today and crush the Timurids tomorrow I say!

The lone dissenting voice! I felt a little less guilty for ending the war.

What are you going to do when you re-unite the entire empire? I'm doing a Papal States game where I resurrected the Empire and I couldn't resist conquering Germany (which Prussia formed).

Well, before the Empire fell, there were plans to conquer Arabia, Western Persia, Scotland, Ireland, and Axum. After that, the plan was to continue pushing eastward, even up to India. Many Romans considered the Germans to unruly and barbaric to ever truly be ruled by civilized man.

I suspect the Romans' opinion of the Germans hasn't much changed. I'm not entirely sure what they will do. I try to roleplay what happens, so events kinda determine things. If the Emperor has a high MIL when the Empire is restored, he might remind the people that in addition to being Roman, they're Greek, and seek to redo Alexsander's conquests. During the hiatus, I spent quite some time tracing the probable patterns of settlement in Persia. Trade is another consideration. Finding a good sea route to India, the west Empire maybe even looking for a shortcut. Who knows?

Oh hey part 2! I really liked the first part of this Megacampaign and was wondering when I would see this pop up again!

Thanks! Glad to have you back!
 
46. The Scottish Play

Idhrendur

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The Scottish Play

The Empire had a goal: to reclaim Mercia. The war with England had brought half of it into the imperial fold. Of the remaining three provinces, Scotland held two and England held one.
46-1.png

While the Themas reorganized in the wake of the victory over England, adventurous groups sought to reestablish a hold on the trade routes to central Africa. They left to form a settlement in Tuat.

After the war with the Empire, England was devastated. Its armies had been completely smashed, its fleets sunk, and the garrisons in it's forts disheartened. Scotland had recognized the opportunity and declared war.
46-2.png

Emperor Konstantios IV, lacking the diplomatic skills to recognize that a Scottish victory that took Lincoln could save the Empire a war (and a full truce) in recovering Mercia, declared war on Scotland when the Themas were back in position in November 1413.
46-3.png

Gondar backed Scotland in the war. Thema Levant moved to punish them for this choice. Meanwhile Themas Ægyptus, Africa and Thrakes struck from imperial Mercia to besiege southern Scotland.
46-4.png

This plan was interrupted by the arrival of a Scottish army in Lancashire and a second Scottish army in Yorkshire.
46-5.png

When the first Scottish army attacked Thema Ægyptus in Marches, Thema Africa moved to support them. Thema Thrakes was forced to hold by themselves in Derby. The Themas won both battles, but were weakened enough that pursuing the retreating Scots would have been foolish.
46-6.png

Indeed, as soon as their retreat was completed, the Scottish armies sought battle again. Again the Themas won. This time, they pursued the isolated Scottish force to Marches, where it was completely scattered.
46-7.png

When the other Scottish army put Oxfordshire to siege, the Themas went on the attack. There mere march of them convinced the Scottish army to siege London instead. So the Themas again sought to besiege southern Scotland. Themas Aragón, Andalucía, and Croatia joined the assault on south Scotland.
46-8.png

Scotland eventually signed a peace treaty with England so they could focus on the war with the Empire. They combined their forces into a host of 24,000 men and attacked Thema Africa in Marches. The other Themas sent detachments to help. The Themas won, but at incredible loss of life.
46-9.png

After a months of sieges, the Scottish again forced battle, this time in Gloucester. Again the Themas won, again at great cost. This time, however, they pursued the disheartened Scottish forces. And in Oxfordshire, they scattered them beyond hope of recovery.
46-10.png

In the midst of the Scottish war, the Timurids again attacked Roman lands. The Themas that were not yet fighting moved to the Levant. More settlers soon began moving to Qarabagh.
Southern Scotland fully passed to Roman control, but the Scottish were not yet willing to surrender. The Themas began to besiege Ireland.
46-11.png

In due time, Gondar agreed to a harsh peace. Chief Iyâsû Solomonid of Ethiopia had developed a close relationship with the Empire. His brother had even married one of Konstantios' daughters. Konstantios thought it best that Ethiopians be ruled by Ethiopians, as they had been for recorded history. So when Gondar gave up control of Shoa, Konstantios planned to gave it to Ethiopia.
46-12.png

With no more allies, Scotland was amenable to peace.
46-13.png
 
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47. War! What is it good for?

Idhrendur

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I'm a day late, but there have been no comments on the last two posts, so I'm guessing no-one minds.



War! What is it good for?

The Empire had won its war against Scotland. Lincoln was the only province in Mercia under any others' control.

47-1.png

There was a peace treaty with England until 1423, so Konstantios focused on the East. The Timurids had attacked again, but were far weaker this time. Nearly all their northern territory was occupied; Sanaa and Qara Koyunlu had declared independence.

47-2.png

And large swathes of land were controlled by rebels seeking independence.

47-3.png

The Themas did their best to leave the rebels be. 'The enemy of our enemy is our friend' they would say. So they began to occupy northern Mesopotamia and western Persia. The villages of Qarabagh were soon settled with Imperial citizens, and the Empire began to administrate the province. More settlers sought homes in the hills of Azerbaijan. And once that was settled, in western Persia. Hamadan, Luristan, and Khuzestan soon were Imperial provinces.

A disease sweeping through the court killed the seven year old Konstantios. Again the Empire was bereft of an heir. In Shoa, a temple was built in his honor.

47-4.png

And soon, yet another Konstantios was born.

Qara Koyunlu could not resist attacking the Empire. They were swiftly overrun.

47-5.png

During this time, relationships grew warm between Ethiopia and the Empire. Chief Iyâsû even swore an oath of vassalage to Emperor Konstantios. Konstantios in turn sent advisers to Massawa to teach Iyâsû how better to govern. When Ethiopia had recovered from the changes, a second set of advisers was sent. And then a third. Ethiopia became the most rapidly-advancing nation south of the Sahara.

47-6.png

The time of truce between the Empire and England had long passed. Nearly all Timurid land was under Imperial military control, and the Themas had been moved back into position. Konstanios declared a new war against England. Scotland, Denmark, and a host of others joined the defense of England.

47-7.png

Shortly thereafter, Léon took advantage of the distracted Empire and declared war over Andalucía. Konstantios decided to pursue the war against England and its coalition first. But Léon had built a fleet of large ships, and prevented the Imperial fleets from leaving the Mediterranean. The fleets dropped off the Themas in Occitania, and the Themas marched to war.

47-8.png

By July of 1427, Denmark had realized there was nothing for them to gain from the war. Hungary, having just lost an ally, agreed to peace as well.

47-9.png

While the wars went surprisingly well, an ill-advised attack on Léonese forces led to an Imperial defeat. Thema Ægyptus and Thema Occitania were split from each other. The Léonese army pursued Thema Occitania, and before any help could come, massacred them all at Alicante.

47-10.png

And yet the wars continued. Konstantios used the continuing wars as an excuse to increase the power of his agents throughout the Empire. This led to some amount of confusion and uncertainty, and the agents proved their worth by quickly resolving this uncertainty.

47-11.png

It was not until February 1429 that Crimea surrendered. But that was two more Themas that could join the other wars.

47-12.png

Unfortunately, even the new Imperial fleet could not break past the Léonese ships by force.

47-13.png

Subterfuge, careful sailing at night, and a few naval races did see two more Themas delivered to Britannia.

47-14.png

The war in Iberia had long been won before a peace was signed. Konstantios was determined to punish all those who had attacked the Empire. Léon was forced to release Badajoz and Toledo as buffer states and their treasury was looted.

47-15.png

When the Empire made peace with England, not only was the last Mercian province finally taken from them, they were diplomatically isolated as much as possible.

47-16.png

Scotland was forced to give up much of their overseas territory, abandon any claims in Imperial Brittainia, and to be diplomatically isolated.

47-17.png

The nobles who had urged the conquest of Merica found many of their second sons made part of the Imperial bureaucracy in Mercia. Other nobles noted this, and urged the reconquest of Helvetia.

47-18.png
 
Last edited:

Nikolai

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Why not take Spanish land? :) Too high BB?
 

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Glorious Rome marches on! Glad to see this continue.
 

Idhrendur

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Why not take Spanish land? :) Too high BB?

I'm trying to be mission driven, and also yes, BB is becoming a problem.

Glorious Rome marches on! Glad to see this continue.

Thanks!

A national epic about Heraclonas. More of a tragedy I guess.

I had to look him up. The RNG has a sense of humor, I guess.

Good try, Timurid AI. Good try.

In a couple of test games where I was debugging some events, I controlled the Timmies. They actually did well here, all things considered.

Great chapter and Idhrendur, everyone cares about your updates :)

Thanks! It's a little difficult when you don't get feedback, is all. It reminded me to comment on the AARs I read, so that's good!
 
48. The End of an Era

Idhrendur

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The End of an Era

By January 1433, Konstantios was ready for a campaign in the Alps. He began by declaring war on Upper Burgundy for Schwyz. The usual assortment joined in defense.

48-1.png

The Empire fought in Wales, in the Netherlands, in Smolensk, and in the Alps. Denmark's alpine provinces were captured, and Konstantios took advantage of the opportunity to take control of the ones in Helvetia.

48-2.png

As other belligerents fell, the Swiss in Zurich revolted from Austria, forming an independent duchy. Konstantios was pleased to have an easier war ahead.

48-3.png

In March of 1436, the fortress of Schwyz fell after a long and bitter three year siege. Upper Burgundy had long been clamoring for peace, and now it was given them.

48-4.png

With nothing more to fight for in this war, Konstantios made peace with Smolensk, in such a way that the Pope would be further weakened.

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By October, he was again prepared for war.

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The constant wars had not allowed Konstantios to focus on ruling the Empire. The aristocrats took advantage of the opportunity to ensure that family influence was important for securing a position in the growing Imperial Bureaucracy.

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The war was initially fought in northern Italy and in Croatia. But the Themas swept away all attackers. Bavaria inexplicably offered a white peace before they saw much action. Denmark soon followed suit. And while Hungary did not offer a peace, they accepted one.

In August, Konstantios finally held a coming of age party for his son. The party was the talk of Christendom, all other courts emulating the clothing, the dances, the foods in the feast.

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During the party, Konstantios declared that he would give Moravia a gentle peace. Surely they did not consider it gentle, but they remained independent. Of course, it was not Konstantios being magnanimous, but him recognizing that his reputation was becoming quite dark. Annexing Moravia was sure to stir up too much trouble.

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Schwyz was not so fortunate. It was a vassal of Bavaria, and Konstantios knew it would be a great deal of trouble to start a new war with a better casus belli.

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In February 1438, Bern fell to Thema Lombardia, and Nürnburg was annexed.

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Konstantios forced a few minor states to convert to orthodox Christianity before he accepted a peace from Greater Poland. The war was finished.

In 1440, there had been enough graduates from Imperial universities that Konstantios could start establishing secular courthouses throughout the Empire. Control of legal matters could be slowly wrested away from the church and local nobles.

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While Konstantios prepared for the next war, Prince Konstantios went hunting. Though he was an expert horseman, he was found beside his horse, his neck broken. Again, the heir to the Empire had died before his time.*

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Konstantios suffered a deep grief at the loss of a third son. When he recovered, he was a much more cynical man, brimming with anger. He took this anger out on Tirol.

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When St Gallen fell, Tirol was quick to surrender. But knowing there was a long truce with Moravia, Konstantios purposefully drug out the war, so to force many lesser states to stop worshiping the Pope.

While Konstantios took out his rage on those who would dare defend Tirol, his brother was able to convince the court to name a niece as heir. This was not ideal, but did ensure a Doukas would remain on the throne.

When the truce with Moravia was passed, Konstantios again attacked. Moravia was soon overcome, though the nations that came to its defense fought for much longer.

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The brighter of the noble families saw the opportunity in becoming Imperial administrators. They pushed for the institution of Imperial administration in Timurid lands.

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Meanwhile Konstantios felt that he had accomplished enough for one life. When he went to sleep, he never woke back up.



*He was 9 7 6. Argh!
 
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