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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

KaiserWilhelmI

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Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.
-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy


The Palace of the Dragons, Constantinople

My time in this world is approaching it's end. These notes are meant for my son, and his son after him, so that my life shall never be forgotten. Future generations must know how everything truly transpired. Or maybe my son shall burn all that I have written here, who knows. I intend to write nonetheless. This will be my story, and no one shall silence me.

I was born a daughter of a Sultan, and my son shall be the Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans. How did this come to pass? Well, it is a long story, full of pain and suffering, but maybe a bit of love and joy as well.


.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................


Welcome to my AAR. I have wanted to try something new for a long time, and honestly I have no idea if anyone is even interested, but this is a free world and I'll write if I want to damn it!. A point of view story would probably fit better into CKII, but the time period of EUIV interests me more. I've always had an interest on "feminine power" (if that's even an expression) By that I mean female rulers, as in history they've always had to struggle in a world of men. And the Eastern Roman state was a world of men. There were three empresses regnant in the long Roman history, and, to be honest, their reign's were not very successful. Most famous was Irene of Athens, whose accession in 797 led to Pope Leo III proclaiming Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor. Because a woman cannot rule the Romans and so the throne was technically vacant.

But what if?

I'm going to alter history a bit, because by 1444 "Byzantium" was beyond salvation by any realistic means. If the Turkish would have failed to take the City, then the Venetians would have taken it. So lets say that the disastrous Fourth Crusade failed, but Rome still had to pay a heavy price for the support of the Italian republics of Venice and Genoa against the Turks, thus justifying the heavy Latin presence in Greece. (The emperor had to sell Crete for example) The Ottomans still breached into Europe, but Rome could afford to resist them more effectively.


Roman Empire in 1445, after decades of decline.

A prologue is to follow, where I'm going to tell the history of Rome after 1445, before we get to the mysterious character above, and her writings.

Welcome aboard!

Mods used are:
-Beyond Typus 11
-BT Addon: Byzantine resurgence
-BT Addon: Miscellanea
-Historical institution spread 2.0 (No Voltaire in Kongo)
-The wonderful unit packs of Xangelo7
-My personal mod that makes BYZ use the Iberian ship models from Golden Century

Lastly a disclaimer:
English is not my native language, so forgive me if all the the's and an's and a's are missing or in the wrong place, or if the sentence structure is funny. :D

17.9.2019
This AAR is now complete.
 
Last edited:

KaiserWilhelmI

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Content:

The Prologue
Prologue - The Era of the Four Brothers
Prologue - The Reign of the Dragon part one
Prologue - The Reign of the Dragon part two
Prologue - -The Reign of the Dragon part three
Prologue - The Descendants of the Dragon part one
Prologue - The Descendants of the Dragon part two

The brief history of house Palaiologos

Despoina Sophia, the self centered narrator of the tale.
Maria of Trebizond, her handmaid and closest friend
Nikolas Michelakis, A son of a merchant from Smyrna, friend and confidant of the previous two
Süleiman of House Osman, Sophia's little brother, son of the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II
Andreas Palaiologos, Despot of Epirus, Sophia's husband, heir to the throne
Constantine Porphyrogénnētos, the son of Sophia and Constantine Palaiologos-Doukas
Zoe Porphyrogennētē, the daughter of Sophia and Matthaios Palaiologos of Hungary

Empress Helene Palaiologos, The ruler of Rome
Megas Doux Petros Argyros, The empresses favorite general and lover, called the "night emperor"
Megas Logothetes Alexios Kantakouzenos, The Foreign minister
Alexandros Drakos, "the Demon of Mangana" Chamberlain of the despot and despoina, head of the secret court,
Mesazon Athanasius Choniates, the Chief Minister of Rome
Logotheres tou genikou Anatolius Angelos, Minister of Finance
Anastasia Angelos, the daughter of the former, lover of despot Andreas
Maria Tournikes, Great Mistress of the Court (senior lady-in-waiting) for Sophia and Andreas, the empresses relative.

Constantine Palaiologos, Despot of Morea, the empresses adopted son, heir to the throne
Melano Bagrationi, the daughter of the king of Georgia, wife of the former

Grigoris Aetidis, Guard officer, lover of Sophia
Mátyás Palaiologosz, Crown prince, and later king, of Hungary, lover of Sophia
Andreas 'Andre' Palaiologos-Doukas, A Roman warrior, lover of Sophia

Tale of Rome part Two

The Prologue for Part Two

Chapter α͵
Chapter β͵
Chapter γ͵
Chapter δ͵
Chapter ε͵
Chapter ϛ͵
Chapter ζ͵
Chapter η͵
Chapter θ͵

The brief history of house Komnenos
 
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Tom D.

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This look like it'll be a fun and interesting project, let's see how the Byzantines do in this alternate universe. Subbed!
 
Prologue I - The Reign of the Four Brothers

KaiserWilhelmI

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Prologue - The Era of the Four Brothers

In order to understand the circumstances in which the Roman empire finds itself today, one must go back to the fateful period of the last century of the sixth millennium*, corresponding to the 15th century of the Julian calendar. We shall begin from the year 6910 (1402). In that year yet another Turkic invader came from the east, as the hordes of Timur the Lame descended upon the unsuspecting Turks. The subsequent Ottoman civil war that followed allowed the Romans to reconquer much of Southern Macedonia, yet the empire was in a fragile position.

It was under the reign of John, the eight of his name, that the seeds of salvation were sown. He resisted the Turkish rule all his life, even defending Constantinople herself in 6930 (1422). Emperor John died in 6957 (1448) and was succeeded by his younger brother Constantine, the eleventh of his name. But true to the ancient Roman tradition, his brother Demetrios attempted to claim the throne for himself, the coup failed due to the intervention of their mother, Helena Dragases, the woman behind the throne. Demetrios was nonetheless confirmed as the heir to Rome, since emperor Constantine was without issue, and his wife had passed away before he took the throne.

The most important events of the thirteen year reign of Emperor Constantine XI were the Ottoman-Venetian war of 6959-6964 (1451-1455), and the subsequent Ottoman siege of Constantinople in 6965 (1456) During these conflicts the Ottomans inflicted heavy casualties on the Venetians, but the hubris of sultan Mehmed II got the better of him. The Romans had supported the Latins, and so after making peace with Venice, where he secured the city of Bodrum from the Knights of Rhodes, as well as monetary tribute from the Venetians, Mehmed proceeded to siege Constantinople whilst he sent another army to pillage Greece. At this point the emperors allies were gathering their forces under the the Hungarian banner and soon a combined army of Hungarians, Germans, Vlachs, Serbs and Croats marched to relieve the besieged city.

In Greece the Roman forces mounted an effective defense of the Peloponnese peninsula at the Hexamilion wall and tied down the Turkish forces whilst the allies pinned the sultan himself between the crusading army and the epic walls of Constantinople. Eventually Mehmed was able to escape and was forced to sue peace in 6969 (1460) The peace at Edirne, henceforth known again as Adrianople, saw the recovery of Northern Macedonia and Western Thracia. The loss of Kallipoli prevented the Turks from crossing into their remaining European holdings, and so the sultan had no means to send forces to suppress the Bulgarian revolt, that began in 6970 (1461)


The Roman Empire after the "flight of the Turks", The Bulgarian despotate became an important ally and a vassal of the Roman throne.

The Bulgar revolt received support from Rome, even though the war with the Turks had bankrupted the state. With the freedom of the Bulgar's the last remnant of the Turkish rule in Europe was removed. The land that had taken the Turks nearly a hundred years to conquer was thus liberated in only a decade. Emperor Constantine was hailed as a hero, savior of Rome and Father of the Fatherland. He entered Constantinople to hold a Triumph, the first in centuries. But he did not live to enjoy the fruits of his victories. The Emperor died in 6972 (1462). He was 57 years of age, and was succeeded by his younger brother Demetrios, who was 55, and had no sons. Thus he named his only remaining brother Thomas, aged 53 as his heir and as symbasileus (co-emperor)


Emperor Constantine XI 'Dragases' was the most celebrated figure of the era. In this later painting he is depicted in a semi-classical armor, comparing him with ancient heroes.

The two brothers ruled together, but they never saw eye to eye. Their elder brothers had carefully walked a balanced line between Latin and Turkish influence, sometimes paying tribute to the sultan, sometimes requesting help from Venice or Genoa, but the younger brothers were divided. Emperor Demetrios was staunchly anti-Western, and planned a military campaign to drive off the Venetians from the Greek isles, as their monopolies on trade were seriously hurting the Roman economy. His co-emperor on the other hand was an enemy of the Turks. It was Thomas Palaiologos, despot of Morea, who had kept the Turks from conquering all of Greece, with the help of Latin mercenaries. He favored friendly relations with the west.

The reign of Demetrios, came to an abrupt end only two years after his imperial coronation, before he could execute his plans against Venice. He died of food poisoning. It is not known if this was a simple accident, or was he poisoned by his brother with the help of the Venetians. In any case Thomas Palaiologos, the first of his name, ascended to the Imperial throne at the age of 55. His reign was one of peace and internal recovery. He had no interest in military expansion, as the fragile state of the economy simply couldn't support such affairs. Instead he worked to reform the ancient imperial bureaucracy, inherited from a huge multinational empire. Emperor Thomas streamlined the machines of state for the current, mainly Hellenic, empire. In short time he earned the nickname "Lawgiver". The old emperor would rule in peace for eight years and was succeeded by his 18 year old son Andreas.

The new emperor was the first Roman ruler in centuries to have the ability to rule his state without the constant fear of final doom and destruction, this he owned to his father and to his three uncles. From 6933 (1425) until 6980 (1472) the empire was carefully led by the sons of Manuel II. John VIII established the policy of staunch, yet careful, resistance to foreign rule. Constantine XI Dragases reconquered most of Greece, liberated Bulgaria and managed to drive the Turks out of Europe. Demetrios resisted the Latin influence in the Roman court and Thomas "the lawgiver" reformed the state, allowing his successor to focus on foreign affairs, and to reforming the armed forces.



The sudden recovery of the Empire of the Romans gave birth to the Palaiologan renaissance, as parallels were drawn between the heroic stand of the ancient Greek cities against the massive Persian empire and the current situation with the Ottoman Turks. The interest in the classical age of Greece and Rome began to grow.

*The dates used are from the Byzantine Roman calendar. Year one was the date of Creation and new year starts on 1 September.

@Tom D. Damn I was sure @stnylan would beat you to it. :D Welcome aboard.
 
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Nikolai

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Nice start. I love Byzantine AARs! :D
 

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Well I do apologise for being only the third person to make a post in this thread, other than yourself. Clearly I must be slowing down :p :D

I look forward to this greatly.

I wonder a little if we are - in part - to be treated to something a but like a cross between The Alexiad and De Administrando Imperio
 

guillec87

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subbed
 

SibCDC

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So are the dates based on the Christian estimation of when the world was created?
 

Tom D.

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KaiserWilhelmI

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Wow, this got more attention than I thought. :D

Well I do apologise for being only the third person to make a post in this thread, other than yourself. Clearly I must be slowing down :p :D

I look forward to this greatly.

I wonder a little if we are - in part - to be treated to something a but like a cross between The Alexiad and De Administrando Imperio
I do aim to include chapters that tell about Roman history as it unfolds, but the story itself is about survival, never giving up and walking trough every storm with your head held high. That being said you did gave me an idea for the history chapters, and I have to admit that I only know those works by reputation, though I did order the Alexiad from online as soon as I had read your comment, it should inspire me

So are the dates based on the Christian estimation of when the world was created?
Quite so, for example Jesus was born 5509 years after the creation of the world. The inventor of the calendar is not known. Another fun fact is that there's was also something called the "Byzantine time" in which 0:00:00 began at sunset, but i chose not to include it in my story.

Well I hope you were as much pleased to see my avatar instead of stnylan's :p.
Well of course! Though it doesn't really compare to the glorious German Imperial colours now does it? ;)

Nice start. I love Byzantine AARs! :D
And I really like your Sithrandir story, perhaps I should comment more. :D

I do like my Byzantine AARs. I'll be reading.
Thank you all and welcome aboard!



Next time it's time for a new Basileus autokrator and he's here to eat souvlaki and reform the military, and he's all out of souvlaki.
 
Prologue - The Reign of the Dragon part one

KaiserWilhelmI

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Prologue - The Reign of the Dragon part one

"Most God-fearing, absolute and mighty Lord, Emperor of the Romans art invisibly crowned by the King of kings, Christ, with a most ample blessing, seeing that He bestows upon thee entire authority over His people."
- The words spoken by the Ecumenical Patriarch at the coronations of the Roman emperors


Emperor Andreas Palaiologos depicted after his coronation

As emperor, Andreas was the first young ruler Rome had seen since the troubled reign of John V almost a hundred years ago. And at the age of twenty the emperor would embark on his first great enterprise, when he declared war on the Venetians, like his uncle, emperor Demetrios, had desired to do.



The Venetians enjoyed the benefits that the plight of the Romans had purchased them over the past century or so. Greece was surrounded by Venetian trading posts, castles and shipyards. the islands of Crete, Euboea and the Cyclades were entirely in their hands, as were the coasts of Epirus, the maritime town of Nafplio, the important trading post at Methoni and the ancient naval station of Nafpaktos, also known by its Italian name Lepanto. Venetians even minted their own "Roman" coins. As a result the economic power in the Aegean lay in the hands of the Venetians, and the Roman economy withered, unable to compete with the Latins. For example the Venetian quarter of Constantinople had a revenue almost five times greater than of the whole Roman empire and the crown was in deep debt due to the wars of Constantine XI, partially funded by Venice. In order to truly revitalize the state, it's economic dependency on the Latins had to be ended.


The Venetian "Stato da Màr"

The Roman Venetian war of 6982 - 6985 (1474 - 1477) was concluded victoriously, and saw the recovery of all Roman territories in the mainland, as well as the Cyclades islands, but the great island of Crete, dubbed "kingdom of Candia" by the Venetians, remained out of reach at this time. The Venetian naval superiority proved problematic, as the once glorious Roman navy was almost nonexistent and the Venetians had access to a certain form of Roman fire. The secret weapon was no longer utilized by the Romans themselves, as the means to produce the liquid had been lost with the empire's Asian provinces.

The peace treaty forced Venice to forgive the Roman debt, refrain from minting the Roman currency, and return the aforementioned territories to Emperor Andreas. The Venetian quarter in the capital was looted by the populace, but remained in Venetian hands after the war. The Roman economy was still fragile, but the Latin grip on it loosened, and the recovery could begin.



During the war Emperor Andreas realized that to control the empire's long coastline he needed a proper navy, and to defend the empires land borders he needed a powerful army, loyal to the state. The reformation of the military became his obsession. The loot from the Venetian war funded the construction of the Roman galley fleet, consisting of 20 ships armed, for the first time in Roman history, with cannons. A loan from Venice's chief rival Genoa allowed for the construction of three large warships, in time they were equipped with 30 cannons. The plans for the ships were also from Genoa, as were the chief shipbuilders. Emperor Andreas himself took an interest, he even helped to build the "Alexander the Great", the new flagship of the fleet. The emperor's example revitalized the naval industry, shipwrights returned to Constantinople. The great Basileus himself bending planks and sewing sails was a sight that none would soon forget.

The republic of Genoa benefited from the decline of Venetian power. Emperor Andreas had many Genovese in his court, and the emperor even visited the city of Genoa itself, after his three great ships had been completed and the cross of Saint George became one of the symbols of the Roman navy. The Genovese were eager to support the Romans against the Venetians, but the fact remained that the Genoan colony at Galata, opposite of Constantinople, collected almost 80 percent of the custom dues passing through the straits, and in many places the Genoan merchants had simply replaced the Venetians.

On the land the reforms were thorough. The past Roman armies of the Palaiologos dynasty had been over reliant on both Western and Eastern mercenaries. The cavalry arm was utterly dominated by the Latin knights, as the empire's cavalry breeding sites in Asia Minor had been lost to the Turks. Emperor Andreas wished to limit the Latin influence in the military, but he didn't wish to lose these capable warriors, as there was a severe lack of native cavalry. The new Latinkon guard regiment provided the empire with a powerful force of heavy shock cavalry, who were paid directly by the state, and overseen by native Roman officers, Serbs and Albanians were allowed to join the guard alongside Italian, German and French knights.

In addition the emperor created a new light cavalry arm, intended as scouts, raiders and skirmishers. These soldiers were recruited from the native population, as well as from amongst the Bulgars. The state provided them with a saber, mace or a lance to fight with and a helmet and shield for protection, any other armour they had to purchase themselves. They were paid by the state, but had to purchase their own horses, which took a big cut off their income, still many entered service in the light cavalry, as a successful career could mean an elevation to the Latinkon guard.

Infantry was less appreciated in the Roman world than cavalry, but the threat of the Turkish mounted warriors and the lack of sizable native cavalry forced the emperor to pay attention to anti-cavalry capabilities. The term "Hoplite" was reborn, and now referred to a formation of massed pikes, later called "Spanish square's" by the Latins, after their effective use by the Spaniards. These early Roman formations lacked firearms, but made great use of the Genoese crossbow, fired safely from behind the spear wall. The formations also included swordsmen and were protected by the Latinkon and the lighter supporting cavalry.



The soldiers were commonly protected by mail and plate armor in the eastern style, and typically armed with maces and hammers against armoured opponents, while many also used eastern style sabers and western longswords.



Emperor Andreas also decided to reform the Varangian guard, as much needed heavy infantry against the Turkish Janissaries. They became the imperial palace guard, and were armed with the iconic Dane axe, as well as swords and maces, and later with firearms. These guardsmen were recruited not only from Scandinavia, Russia and England, but also from the Balkans, Georgia and Crimea. Emperor Andreas formed them after the example of the Turkish Janissary corps. Conversion to Orthodox Christianity was required, and strict discipline was to be observed. Taking up a skill other than soldiering was forbidden as was marrying. They became the private army of the emperor, and took great pride in it. The Varangians were neither slaves nor freemen, but rather an extension of the emperors will.

The other guard regiment under Emperor Andreas were the Paramonai, the former palace guard, who now became the city guard of Constantinople. They were recruited only from the native population and their banner composed of the crescent moon and the eight pointed star, the ancient symbols of the city of Byzantion.

With this mighty force the emperor gazed across the Danube, into the Principality of Wallachia, the year was 6994 (1486) since the creation. The year of the Dragon.

Authors note:
This prologue is really becoming a story line of it's own, I initially envisioned maybe two to three chapters, but it might take some more time to get to the actual story. :p
 
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SibCDC

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The Emperor has set its sights on Wallachia, I hope he doesn't encounter any vampires in his future conquests.
 

Tom D.

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One Italian down, another ready to step in his place. But I'm sure the Genoans will be used for the time being and kicked out of the Empire when necessary.
 

stnylan

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A sweet revenge upon the treacherous Venetians.
 

TWR97

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I do so love Byzantine AARs, I'll be watching this one thoroughly.

Curious on the new Emperor's military skill though. He reminds me of another fictional Roman Emperor. His defeat of the Venetians makes him more noticable for me :D;).

I dare say Rome is in an Age of Miracles ;)
 

Crimson Lionheart

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Prologue - The Reign of the Dragon part two

KaiserWilhelmI

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The Emperor has set its sights on Wallachia, I hope he doesn't encounter any vampires in his future conquests.
Well I'm sure Vlad the Impaler is undead at this point.

One Italian down, another ready to step in his place. But I'm sure the Genoans will be used for the time being and kicked out of the Empire when necessary.
The Italian dominance over the Roman economy was one of the causes the empire eventually fell, removing it will not be easy.

A sweet revenge upon the treacherous Venetians.
Sweet indeed, but true revenge comes only when the Roman banners fly over Venice herself and the Lion of St.Mark is torn down.

I do so love Byzantine AARs, I'll be watching this one thoroughly.

Curious on the new Emperor's military skill though. He reminds me of another fictional Roman Emperor. His defeat of the Venetians makes him more noticable for me :D;).

I dare say Rome is in an Age of Miracles ;)
Thank you! I do know the Age of Miracles. I always found it a bit odd that Theodoros was able to conquer Anatolia simply because he didn't have epilepsy. :D

I humbly send thanks to the mighty Elysians, children of Rome.

Prologue - The Reign of the Dragon part two

“But we are strong, each in our purpose, and we are all more strong together.”
-Vlad III, prince of Wallachia

The principality of Wallachia had a long history of balancing between different powers that surrounded them. Prince Vlad II 'the Dragon' and his sons had long resisted both the Hungarians and the Ottoman Turks, but had also fought amongst themselves, and the two powers often helped to replace the ruling prince. Among the mightiest of these princes was the "son of the Dragon" Vlad III, also infamously known as the Impaler, who fought against both the Ottomans and the Hungarians, before the Romans drove the Turks away from Europe. His curious nickname comes from his horrendous way of impaling his enemies. A story has survived from the Hungarian invasion to topple Vlad from the throne.

The Hungarian army that entered Wallachia was huge, so Vlad adopted the scorched earth policy and retreated towards his capital at Tirgoviste. At one night, Vlad attacked the Hungarian camp with the intention of killing the general and other leaders of the army, but the Vlachs failed to find their tents. After this attack Vlad retreated yet again and the Hungarians entered Tigoviste, which they found deserted. What they discovered disgusted them.

Athenian historian Laonikos Chalkokondyles:
The Hungarian army entered into the area of the impalements, which was seventeen stades long and seven stades wide. There were large stakes there on which, as it was said, about twenty thousand men, women, and children had been spitted, quite a sight for the Magyars. Their general was seized with amazement and said that it was not possible to deprive of his country a man who had done such great deeds, who had such a diabolical understanding of how to govern his realm and its people. And he said that a man who had done such things was worth much. The rest of the Hungarians were dumbfounded when they saw the multitude of men on the stakes. There were infants too affixed to their mothers on the stakes, and birds had made their nests in their entrails.


Captured Hungarians were treated even more cruelly. They were impaled trough their rear end and the stake was put all the way trough, exiting from the mouth. Apparently they were still alive.


The Hungarians suffered from summer heat and great thirst, but all wells were full of bodies. They decided to retreat from Wallachia. Later the Hungarians did manage to capture the Impaler and replace him with his brother Radu, but the country stayed independent. Meanwhile Rome had replaced the Ottomans as the dominant power in the area, and at first the emperors had no interest in the small principality, but emperor Andreas didn't wish to see the country slide under Hungarian dominion, despite the Roman-Hungarian alliance. And so, as was said, the emperor and his army marched into Wallachia in 6994 (1486)

But this was not an army of conquest. Prince Mihail II, son of the Impaler, welcomed the Emperor into Tirgoviste with open arms, eager to escape from under the Hungarian thumb. Not much is known about what the two princes discussed behind closed doors guarded by the Varangians, but afterwards the two men declared eternal friendship between the two nations. Wallachia would pay homage to the Roman emperor in Constantinople, and guard the Roman border, in exchange Mihail II kept his title of prince, and did not have to pay tribute, or taxes. It was Mihail II Basarab who said. "That man is a dragon if there ever was one."

And so emperor Andreas 'the Dragon' conquered Wallachia, without a single loss, though it was later said that the only casualty of that campaign was the relationship between Rome and Hungary.

Serbia was another ally of Rome who watched carefully as Rome had first taken over Bulgaria, and now Wallachia. The Brankovic dynasty had been an ally of Rome since the days of emperor Manuel II, but now they began to plot with the Hapsburg king of Hungary. The emperor could not allow it, and began to plan a military campaign against the Serbs and their Bosnian allies, before the Hungarians could intervene. He got his chance in 7003 (1495) when the old despot of Serbia passed away and a powerful noble from a cadet branch of the ruling family, Petrija Kovacevic, asked for Roman assistance in claiming his rightful throne.

The emperor accepted.



The Dragon himself marched into Belgrade, the capital of the Serbs, and single-handedly ended the Brankovic dynasty after a short siege. The new despot, eternally grateful, submitted to Roman rule as the emperor's vassal, just like the Bulgars and the Vlachs had done before, in addition the important fortress town of Skopia was transferred to the Romans, to guard the frontier in case of Serbian treachery.

And thus it was that the Balkans had been secured. The old Hapsburg king of Hungary was a feeble man, who failed to take action against the Romans, he was ultimately succeeded by his only child, Catherine von Hapsburg, who had married a Palaiologoi prince. She and her husband would have to fight against the nobles in many occasions and it was the Roman arms that kept her on the throne.



Hungary shouldn't become a problem.

Authors note:
Ten points to whoever knows who really wrote that quote I attributed to Vlad III, and without google :p (The words were not spoken by the Impaler, but he was the inspiration of this novel.)
 
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TWR97

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An interesting set of events indeed. I guess there will be no friendship with Austria given you just snatched away the key to the balkans. Oh well they are pretenders :D