59. 1550 Update

Idhrendur

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1550 Update

Between 1500 and 1550, the borders of the Empire did not change greatly.

More of England had been conquered.
59-1.png

The Persian plan was being applied to north central Asia.
59-2.png

And there were some colonies in the Americas.
59-3.png


Despite the stable borders of the Empire, its influence was greatly felt in Scandinavia, where Norway had regained most of its traditional borders and Norrland had made strides towards uniting Sweden.
59-4.png

The Empire's influence was also felt in the Germanies, which had become a very dynamic and chaotic region in the aftermath of the Peace of Westphalia.
59-5.png


Orthodox Christianity dominated the Old World, though a few newly-formed nations insisted on heresy.
59-6.png

The Empire itself was becoming much more homogeneous, but still had a strong variety of cultures represented in the west.
59-7.png

The Empire maintained friendly relationships with many nations.
59-8.png

This was the known world in 1550.
59-9.png

This was the portion controlled by the Empire.
59-10.png
 
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horngeek

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Ooooh, India.

Actually, out of interest, do you plan to release some of those vassals eventually? It's sounding a bit like it from the narration- almost like you're building other nations up rather than just expanding.
 

blitzthedragon

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I see that the Romans have colonized Hispaniola. I hope that they spared the natives there, unlike Columbus in OTL. Actually, describing Roman colonial policy towards the natives might be an interesting worldbuilding exercise...unless it involves genocide, which is against forum rules.
 

Idhrendur

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Ooooh, India.

Actually, out of interest, do you plan to release some of those vassals eventually? It's sounding a bit like it from the narration- almost like you're building other nations up rather than just expanding.

I'm more-or-less aiming for this, but generally only expanding according to missions (that I added) that ask me to regain various regions. Beyond that, I am indeed doing a lot of nation building. Or destroying. In any case, the Emperors are convinced it's their job to decide who rules where.

I see that the Romans have colonized Hispaniola. I hope that they spared the natives there, unlike Columbus in OTL. Actually, describing Roman colonial policy towards the natives might be an interesting worldbuilding exercise...unless it involves genocide, which is against forum rules.

I'll have to think of how to incorporate that into an update. Thanks for the idea!



Also, the 2014 Q1 ACAs! are underway. You should go vote for your favorite AARs to have updated in the last few months.
 
60. The Holy

Idhrendur

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The Holy

Before launching the war for Portugal, Konstantios took advantage of his steadily improving government to convince people to found new colonies.
60-1.png

Despite having a great many powerful allies, León faced the Empire alone. Before the end of the year, they had been completely defeated. They were forced to give up their eastern provinces in exchange for peace.
60-2.png

During the war, Konstantios' third son Markos got into a fight with his father. Konstantios wished Marcos to help govern one of the colonies, but Markos wished to work as an artist. Konstantios threatened to disown him, and Markos left Constantinople during the night. Konstantios mourned the loss, and was distressed that the fight had been so disruptive to relationships in the Empire.
60-3.png

Months later, Konstantios had word of Markos in Île-de-France. He traveled there himself to reconcile himself to his son. When he arrived at the art academy, he found Markos had created a magnificent statue, the likes of which had not been created for over a thousand years. Father and son were reconciled, and Konstantios' praise inspired others to excel where they might.
60-4.png

Konstantios had not changed too much, though. He declared war on the Golden Horde, ostensibly to help his allies, but really to continue punishing them for claiming to be an Empire. While their armies were no match for the Legions, their large wooded territory took a long time to occupy. But they were defeated, and forced to release most of their lands, and give up nearly all of their claims to far away lands they once owned.
60-5.png

With this defeat, the Golden Horde's cultural hegemony over much of Europe and Asia was broken. Where once many had striven to emphasize the parts of their culture most similar to the Golden Horde, now they strove to emphasize the parts that were different. Even in the lands they still held, the people distinguished themselves from their leaders.
60-6.png

After this war, Konstantios sought to make founding colonies even more promising: the first thousand people to found a new city would be granted titles of nobility to go with the lands they claimed in the area.
60-7.png

Before Konstantios could resume efforts in Portugal, Norway again asked for assistance. This time in a war of aggression against Denmark. Konstantios was pleased to see Denmark taken down yet further, so he agreed to help.
60-8.png

The Legions did the bulk of the fighting, but there was nothing to negotiate for that the Empire wanted. One by one Denmark's allies were removed from the war. Finally, Norway forced them to surrender. Most impressive was how Norway forced Denmark to release Holstein, as Norway had conquered Holstein in the war. The small nation moved south as a result of the war, to Norway's benefit and Denmark's loss.
60-9.png

While that war was being fought, Konstantios began another war against Castelo Branco. Castelo Branco had pounced upon the weakened León and completely conquered them. This opportunism might have served them well, if they had not been in lands the Empire sought to recover.
60-10.png

They fell within a year, and while they were yet too strong to completely absorb, they were left destitute.
60-11.png

Now, the Empire was governed by administrators assigned by the Emperor. But during the middle ages, local nobles had gained much power, until the Empire could be compared to the feudal kingdoms of the rest of Europe. These nobles would often petition the Emperor when they had a specific desire, and it was a reality that the ones nearer to Constantinople had the ability to petition the Emperor more. Konstantios felt overwhelmed and distracted by these requests, so he streamlined the process. He would assign a regional Kyvernítis (governor) to handle local needs. For petitions that could not be addressed by the Kyvernítis, the nobles could pick a representative who would meet at a regular Oloméleia tis Vouli (Session of Parliament) in Constantinople. Konstatios promised to call a Oloméleia at least once every three years, and if he did not, he would sacrifice the tax income owed to Constantinople. 1562 was truly a monumental year for the Empire.
60-12.png

Three years later, Konstantios XI died in bed. He would be known as 'The Holy' for his efforts in protecting the faith. On 17 December 1565, Ioannes VII took the throne.
60-13.png

Theodoros, his much more skilled younger brother, was declared Heir the same day.
60-14.png
 
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blitzthedragon

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Huh, the first emperor in a long, long time to not be named either Konstantios or Konstantinos.
 

Arakhor

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1565 and you've only just reached Ioannes VII? You Byzantines really need to use more names for your heirs. :)
 

Idhrendur

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Huh, the first emperor in a long, long time to not be named either Konstantios or Konstantinos.

True that. I liked those names in CK2, and while EU3 can do it's own naming, I made it biased towards existing names.

1565 and you've only just reached Ioannes VII? You Byzantines really need to use more names for your heirs. :)

I think it's getting better. Slowly.
 
61. The Reign in Spain

Idhrendur

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The Reign in Spain

Ioannes VII became Emperor as 1565 drew to a close. He was not a skilled leader. In fact, fighting was all that he was good at. He had some awareness of his lack of ability, but his pride made him insist he was just as good as his father. So he wasted little time in starting wars with non-orthodox nations.
61-1.png

And of course, he led the legions himself.
61-2.png

While the strength of the Legions was enough to win the wars, Ioannes did not show the restraint his father did in victory. Instead of just converting the rulers of a heretic nation, he would also seize as much territory as he could from within the old Imperial borders.
61-3.png

While many of these wars were minor…
61-4.png

…others dragged in many allies, even what had just been Imperial allies.
61-5.png

During the midst of this war, dissidents began circulating broadsheets denouncing Ioannes. He did not respond well to this, and the bodies of the guilty parties (or those thought to be the guilty parties) were displayed as a warning.
61-6.png

Later, Theodoros, who was ruling as Ioannes regent, died of a disease.
61-7.png

Ioannes was too distracted to appoint a new heir. Or even a new regent.
61-8.png

Finally, Vouli declared an infant cousin to be the heir.
61-9.png

This proved to be wise, as Ioannes died on campaign in 1574. Most of his nine year reign had been spent at war. The regency period for Konstantinos was expected to be a peaceful period.
61-10.png

Local nobles were able to take advantage of the Vouli-dominated regency to increase their own power.
61-11.png

And not much happened for many years. Infrastructure was built, technology advanced, colonies were founded, traders opened new markets. And then in 1585, Khiva asked for help in a war against Sibir. Muscowy had occupied nearly all of Sibir, so Boules agreed to help in a war they knew the legions would not have to fight.
61-12.png

When Muscowy asked for help in a war, they were more worried, but could not refuse.
61-13.png

In the midst of the war, Konstantinos XVIII came into his own.
61-14.png

He wasted no time in siring a son.
61-15.png

He waited until the Golden Horde had been quite devastated before making a peace with them.
61-16.png

But he was rather more kind to Smolensk.
61-17.png

After the war, he looked to the low countries, which Friesland had united. He sent them his blessing to proclaim themselves the kingdom of the Netherlands. They likely would have done so on their own, but the Emperors loved to insist it was their right to create kingdoms.

Konstantinos then looked to Iberia, where the goal of reclaiming Portugal had long been neglected. Castelo Branco stood no chance against the Empire, but their friends' assistance was an annoyance to Konstantinos.
61-18.png

When Castelo Branco fell, the dream of regaining Iberia was complete.
61-19.png
 
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Arakhor

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Well done to the eighteenth ruler of his name. :)

Who is "Boules"? As I'm sure you know, the Ancient Greek boule (plural: boulai) was a city council, but you seem to be using "Boules" as a person's name.
 

blitzthedragon

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Hurrah! Yet another prodigal son returns to the Empire's warm embrace!
 

Blackoberst

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Maybe he means βουλή (vouli) which is the parliament... Anyway... goooo Rome!!!
 

Mithfir

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I caught up once more, great progress so far! I really liked the Peace of Westphalia event. It sure has an ominous and cool atmosphere when a strong leader utters the famous words: "From now on...".
 

Idhrendur

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Well done to the eighteenth ruler of his name. :)
Well, there is a lot of repetition that can happen in twelve and a half centuries. I actually looked it up in the ledger - Konstantinos XI was the first I played in CK2 (the one I started with, in fact), and Konstantinos XVIII is the first in the EU3 era. I guess the games RNG is being more interesting than I had been with names.

Hurrah! Yet another prodigal son returns to the Empire's warm embrace!
It feels so good to have all of Iberia.

Who is "Boules"? As I'm sure you know, the Ancient Greek boule (plural: boulai) was a city council, but you seem to be using "Boules" as a person's name.
Maybe he means βουλή (vouli) which is the parliament... Anyway... goooo Rome!!!
This is why people like me shouldn't be allowed to transliterate what they see on Greece's government webpage. I'll be fixing it in the existing post and in future posts. And maybe just start calling it parliament.

I caught up once more, great progress so far! I really liked the Peace of Westphalia event. It sure has an ominous and cool atmosphere when a strong leader utters the famous words: "From now on...".
Thanks! I don't think my writing quite captures what was in my head, but that'd be hard to do anyways. I mean, to many of them, it must have been like the end of world. It was certainly more harsh to them than even Napoleon's actions in our world!
 
62. Solomon's Gold

Idhrendur

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Solomon's Gold

Iberia was fully returned to Imperial control. The members of Vouli then suggested that Konstantinos might impose a little more order on the upper Nile regions.
62-1.png

Konstantinos agreed to the value in that, but insisted that he would remember his grandfather's goals and must fight a few more minor wars in Europe.

The first of these was against Volhynia. Konstantinos was unusually harsh with them. “I am also King of Kiev,” he explained. “I must also look to their interests.” Soon enough, the Volhynian lands were transferred to Kiev control.
62-2.png

62-3.png

Konstantinos then made war on Tirol. As frequently happened, the war became larger than had been hoped. But many of these opponents wanted cutting down to size.
62-4.png

A foolish overextension led to V. Legio being trapped and massacred in Schwaben. Konstantinos did not react well to this news.
62-5.png

Most of the other belligerents received a peace appropriate to their status, but Konstantios forced the most humiliating defeat he could on Bavaria for the slaughter of V. Legio.
62-6.png

The Pope's lands were cut down to size purely on principal.
62-7.png

In the following peace, Konstantinos focused on promoting the burgeoning artistic renaissance sweeping the Empire. He attracted the most skilled court artist he could.
62-8.png

And also promulgated the ideal of being a patron for artists. The Empire found itself becoming culturally renowned, not simply powerful.
62-9.png

Knowing how to fight better than how to negotiate, Konstantinos sought to bring order to the upper Nile by forcing Atbar to become an Imperial vassal. XX Legio stormed the city of Al Damar and forced their acquiescence within a month of war being declared.
62-10.png

Vouli was well pleased. They asked Konstantinos to send explorers east. As they explained, they had found evidence of the place Solomon's riches had been taken, and an Imperial expedition might uncover not just riches, but knowledge lost for millennia.
62-11.png

Iason Argyros was commissioned to lead a group from the Eastern Fleet stationed at the northern end of the Red Sea. His first expedition found the isles. And found them to not be what the rumors had promised. Still, the proof that there was yet much land to be colonized galvanized many people to seek their legacy abroad.
62-12.png

Meanwhile, Vouli complained of an insufficient supply of skilled artists. They requested an art academy to be established in Galicia. Konstantinos complied.
62-13.png

Eventually, bored with peace, Konstantios declared war on Lubusz. The goal, as always, to bring them to the faith. IV. Legio crushed them in no time flat, and prepared to move on to 'Greater Poland'.

Swabia and Denmark chose to defend Greater Poland, but this did not worry Konstantinos.
62-14.png

Denmark was forced to the true confession, saving an additional war. Greater Poland was a vassal of Swabia, so the best peace was one that released them from that protection.
62-15.png

As 1599 drew to a close, Khiva asked the Empire for their help in a war. Konstantinos agreed, as it seemed clear that drawing the Empire into the war was purely to intimidate Chagatai. There was no need to send the Legions.
62-16.png
 
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Nikolai

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Indeed. I foresee a sudden need for legions.;)
 

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I don't recall EVER subscribing to this thread yet it's in my subscriptions folder???

Anyways, what mod are you using?
 

Idhrendur

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Sorry for the long delay, everyone. Life, you know?

Famous last words...

Indeed. I foresee a sudden need for legions.;)

There's always a need for legions (perhaps the whole point of this AAR is that need). But not for that fight, I think.

I don't recall EVER subscribing to this thread yet it's in my subscriptions folder???

Anyways, what mod are you using?

It's a converted CK2 game, with a whole lotta special bits and pieces I've modded in. Very custom.
 
63. 1600 Update

Idhrendur

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1650 Update

From 1550 to 1600, the Empire had not expanded too far in Europe. Portugal and more of Britannia had been returned to the Empire, but that was all.
63-1.png

The continuing wars of religion had brought nearly all nations back into the Orthodox fold. The forms of Orthodoxy became quite diverse, of course, but the church was in communion with itself. Sadly, Norway's rulers had strangely turned to Protestantism. Fortunately, the only significant population of Protestants were in the capital.

Northern Ireland had been captured by Mali, after an ill-fated war started by Scotland. The fabled Imperial expedition had apparently not formed a great Christian kingdom in Timbuktu. Or perhaps it had, and the Zikri nations around it had destroyed it and taken its secrets for their own. How else would a region that had so long been isolated be so strong as to stand against a Christian kingdom?
63-2.png

Meanwhile, there had been great expansion in the Americas.

The wave of colonization owed much to the memory of when the Greek city-states had colonized the Mediterranean. The colonists would find a suitable location and build a small city. They would manufacture or import modern goods, and trade those to the locals for food. As the cities grew, goods would be traded for land, used to create farms and plantations. Later colonists or sometimes natives would work those farms. Sometimes the natives would race to establish their own farms and plantations, seeing the riches they could gain by emulating the Imperial settlers. Soon they would be attending Mass, speaking Greek (at least while trading and working, if not at home), and living in cities of their own.

Or at least that's what the colonists envisioned. Where they expected savages scrabbling in the dirt, they instead found rich cultures. There were, of course, a large variety of such cultures. Some centered around fishing, others farming. A few even roamed constantly, surviving on hunting, gathering, and short-term farming. If they lacked anything, it was a political organization. And perhaps a few technologies. Not that those technologies were needed for their lifestyles. Perhaps that was why the locals had yet to invent them.

In general, the colonists were able to establish villages. And they did trade with the locals. But the locals had a far greater influence than the colonists would have expected. For instance, Greek style clothing did not fit well in tropical climates. Most colonists adopted local clothing styles. Those that did tended to suffer for their stubbornness. And while the truism that pagans were just waiting to be introduced to Christianity* was demonstrated (at least among the locals that had the most contact with the colonists), their beliefs also influenced the practices of the local churches. Several more branches of Orthodox Christianity were forming.

Over time, the cultures of the colonists and the locals syncretized into something new. Some of the locals moved into the growing cities, becoming skilled craftsmen and traders. Some colonists moved out of the cities, adopting local lifestyles. But the trend over time was for the cities to grow, and for cash crops to be grown more and more.

However, a few locations did not experience this peaceful syncretism. On Triada in particular violence would break out frequently. It was never clear how it started, as frequently the city of Elladikos was completely destroyed. But always more colonists would come to rebuild and to trade. Other locations had more limited outbreaks of violence, the locals and the colonists eventually finding a new way of life and culture together.
63-3.png

In North America, contact had been made with some organized groups, the Cherokee confederation and the Aztecs. There were some basic diplomatic agreements in place, but still they were too far from Constantinople for much to be known of them. The Incas in South America had been contacted, but even less was known of them. Scotland had begun colonizing North America, and England had worked to acquire a few new territories as well.
63-4.png

In eastern Africa, Adal had expanded along the coasts, even beginning to take control of the south-western coastal regions.
63-5.png

In Hindustan, three great Kingdoms had coalesced.
63-6.png

However, most of the region was no longer Hindu, long Muslim rule having taken its toll.
63-7.png

The Spice Islands consisted of a variety of Kingdoms, some great, some small.
63-8.png

Muscowy worked to civilize the nomads of the steppes.
63-9.png

Meanwhile, Central Europe remained a mess. Though 'Lesser' Poland was quickly becoming a Power.
63-10.png

The Empire maintained many friendly relationships.
63-11.png

And became ever more homogeneous (mostly via the expansion of its borders in the Americas).
63-12.png

This was the known world in 1600.
63-13.png


* A belief owing to the Il-Khanate and Golden Horde both converting to Christianity so rapidly after their first direct contact with the Empire.
 
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