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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Alien Space Bat
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PROLOGUE

ROME WAS THE FIRST great city of the West. Upon the banks of the Tiber she has sat for longer than human memory. From her founding she has grown to greatness, the first great city not only in chronology, but also the First City in the sense that Rome was for a great time prince of all the known world.

She has been known by many names: Rome the Eternal, Rome the Capital, the Imperial City, the place where all roads lead. She has sprouted great philosophers and artists, generals and politicians, consuls, kings, popes, and emperors. She has hosted great legions and famous games, imposing defenses and mighty temples.

But our tale does not begin there. Instead, we go from a small outpost of her mighty empire--one as eternal as the city itself--and follow the roads, inevitably, to Rome. And although we may then leave, we shall always go back, returning to the First City of Italy, Europe, and all the world.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PROLOGUE: The City

PART I: The Emissaries

Page 1
1. The Embassy to the Governor of Britannia
2. The Journey to Mauretania and Valentianus' History
3. The Campaigns of Emperor Lotharius
Page 2
4. A Continuation of the Voyage to Mauretania
5. The Life of Gaius Servilius Valentianus
Page 3
6. The Arrival in Mauretania
7. Athanasi's History of Roman Africa
Page 4
-Interlude: A Discourse on the Rights and Responisbilities of Women
8. On Frederick Barbarossa
9. The Caravan to Mali
10. Entering the Desert
Page 5
11. The Berber City of Denna
12. Timbuktu
13. Negotiations
14. Return to Rome


PART II: The Emperor

Page 6
1. Wenceslaus' Annoucement
2. The First Dinner-Party
3. The Duel
Page 7
4. Arrival of the Electors
5. The Election
6. Coronation
Page 8
7. A Visit to Prague
8. The Council of Constance
9. The Marriage of Manlius Farus
Page 9
10. The Second Part of the Council of Constance
11. The Trial and Fate of Jan Hus


PART III: The Rebellion

Page 10
1. The Second Child of Manlius Farus
2. The First Meeting of the Iunii
Page 11
3. Planning, and a Discourse on the Legality of Rebellion
4. The April Plot
5. The Voyage from Rome and the Emperor's Guest
Page 12
6. The Arrival of Manlius Farus
7. The First Part of the Civil War
Page 13
8. The Battle of Ausciorum
9. The Journey to Sarracenum
Page 14
10. Return to Burdigala

EPILOGUE: The Consuls


--------

[This will be an AAR of my own scenario I've been working on for quite some time, with a much-changed world. I won't unveil everything yet, but the year I will begin with is still 1419, but everything is going to be completely different.]

Link to the scenario thread--in my sig
 
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AmbassadeBelgie

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Looks great, but yeah can we get the mod maybe??? :D:D

Th :rofl:
 

coz1

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Another Judas Maccabeus AAR to get hooked on. Sounds fun and a curious start. I'll keep watch. :)
 

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Alien Space Bat
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Well, the mod's not quite finished (though well along)... the part before 1419 is quite long, so I'll be working on the mod while the AAR is going on. But once it's finished, be assured I'll let you people play around with it too :)

[I just hope this doesn't end up like Kurek's Welsh AAR... I'd better keep quiet, don't want to jinx it. ;) ]
 

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Alien Space Bat
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[Meurt: Nope, sorry, unforgiveable. :D ]

PART ONE
The Emissaries

CHATPER ONE
The Embassy to the Governor of Britannia​

Londinium, Britannia
15 Januarius 1412


THE BARK HAD SAILED for three weeks from the port of Gades on the southern tip of Hispania. Typically for a British winter, it was raining--not particularly hard or windy, but a light drizzle that managed to make all the people on the bark quite miserable.

Gaius Servilius Valentianus was the most miserable of them all. A native of Africa province--Leptis Magna, to be exact--he had far less experience with bad weather. God forbid if there were to be a heavy storm--or even worse, snow--while he was around! As it was, he huddled in his cabin, praying that the roof wouldn't leak.

Manlius Farus was somewhat better. His homeland of Aquitania recieved its share of rain. Still, Farus didn't have to like it, and he didn't. He wasn't huddling like Valentianus, but he was wrapped like a dead Egyptian pharaoh in his cloak and tunic.

The crew of the bark, all of them Spaniards, liked the rain less than Farus, but they still had a job to do--guide the bark into port and, as soon as the passengers left, go straight back to Gades and civilized weather.

The bark quickly made its way up the Thames, and reached Londinium around noon. Manlius and Valentianus jumped off, threw the captain of the bark four ducates, the Venetian coin that had become the de facto currency of the Empire, and made their way off the dock as quickly as was feasable.

"Just like these Welsh," Farus growled. "Any civilized governor would have met us at the docks and led us to their office--safe and dry."

"That, Farus, is one of the things you'll have to get used to as an Imperial envoy," Valentianus replied. "I have been at this for thirty-five years. I have been everywhere from Sarmatia to Mauretania. Only the most grateful of them guided me in state. It's an unspoken rule, that the envoys are to be snubbed. Our reception in Valentia was pure gratitude for me--I ought to tell you the story of how I got the name Valentianus some time--and Corduba was a fluke."

"Well, the sooner we're away from the Welsh--"

"And stop calling them that! If you say that in front of the governor he's liable to have your head, Imperial envoy or no. And I'll stand by and not help you one bit. They are British."

"Sorry."

"I understand, Farus. You've probably never been north of the Loire before."

"I have been to Eboracum."

Valentianus laughed. "That must be where you picked it up! Never take an Englishman's word when a Briton is involved. And vice versa."

They continued in silence until they reached the White Tower, palace of the governor of Britannia. Farus looked over it--and laughed when he saw the riverside.

"There's a dock! A dock! We trudged all this way through streets full of pickpockets and horse--"

"Now, now, mind your tounge."

"Ah, pardon my Gallic. Now, why didn't we use that dock?"

"Well, if you keep on like you are, we probably will be using it. That is where the condemned go to the prison."

"Oh. Why don't they just execute them like any civilized place?"

"Because there's a backlog five years long of idiots like you who can't hold their tongue. Now, keep quiet and do exactly as I say. Out on the edge of the Empire like this, the governors style themselves as all but kings. And I, for one, wish I was in their place."

The two stopped at the large gate to the White Tower. "I am Gaius Servilius Valentianus, I assume that the governor gave orders--"

"Yes, you are to go right in, he has servants ready to dry you off and clean you up."

Valentianus turned to Farus as the two entered the palace. "There, you see? They aren't barbaric at all."
 
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Alien Space Bat
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The servants took less than an hour to clean all the grime and dirt of city streets from the two envoys. Within the very second that they had cleaned off, they were handed dry clothes and all but pushed into the governor's reception room.

For centuries it had been the general--but not by any means exclusive--policy of the Emperors to use native-born but loyal governors in favor of Romans or Italians. This gave every province a governor that they liked, but would still follow the Emperor's demands.

The British governor was one of those. He was a tall, frowning Welshman by the name of Owain ap Gruffydd of Glyndwr; Œnus Glendorus was his official Latin name. Owain looked quite pleased to see them, and all but jumped from his chair down to them.

"Welcome to Londinium" he said, in something resembling Latin but horribly mangled by his Welsh accent, "I hope your journey was pleasant."

Farus looked like he was about to say something but stopped himself as soon as he saw the look on Valentianus' face.

"Now," Owain said, "what is it the Emperor wishes with a humble governor of a humble province?"

"He wishes an increase in production around the Empire," Valentianus replied, "especially in certain goods. In your case... salt and wool, I believe."

"Wool? That's mostly in Anglia, to the north. And if you think that I have the power I'm supposed to have up there... then you, Valentianus, are far less wise and knowledgeable than the stories lead me to believe."

Farus stepped forward. "Only because you Welshmen--Britons, sorry--never use your authority. If you would only send a letter or courier telling the English governor--"

"I would have a war on my hands. And we Britons are not a warlike people."

Valentianus then spoke. "No, but Romans are. If I recall, there is a legion still stationed at Lindum just to the north of here, and no governor--not even an English one--would dare refuse an order backed by an Imperial legion. I have a writ from the Emperor, which the legion's Legate will give you in the case that the English refuse such an order, permitting you the use of that legion."

Owain nodded. "I know of that legion. Veterans of the Temurid wars, correct?"

"They were at Ancyra. In fact, I believe they were the ones who captured Temur."

"Well, that should serve my purposes quite well. Thank you, Gaius Servilius Valentianus... and what was his name again?"

"Manlius Farus."

"Yes. My thanks to you both. May God see you well on your travels."

"And may He grant you health, governor." The envoys bowed and left the room.

When they left, the rain had slowed (but not stopped) and they walked at a much easier pace back to the docks. "That wasn't too hard," Valentianus said, "was it, Farus? We would likely have done better without your little outburst, but I managed to salvage some decorum. And, I will admit, you spoke my thoughs perfectly."

Farus smiled. "Where are we to go to next, Valentianus?"

"Well, I was not to open each envelope until we finished our previous visit. Now, let me see..." Valentianus pulled out a small brown envelope and opened it. "It says... 'proceed to Mauretania, where you shall be met by a Berber interpreter, and then travel to the city of--'" Valentianus looked up, an expression approaching pure horror--"'to the city of Timbuktu, in Mali.'"

"Oh, no! Were you found with the Emperor's wife or something?"

"I assure you, I have committed no crime that I know of. Still, all the way to Mali... across vast deserts... even for an African like myself, that is some task, and nearly suicide!"

"Perhaps... the Emperor is thinking more in terms of capability? Who is more likely than you to succeed at the journey?"

"That is true. And I am bound by duty and by honor to do as my Emperor says. Let us find a place to sleep for the night, and tomorrow sail for Mauretania. There is nothing more that can be done here."
 
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Alien Space Bat
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CHAPTER TWO
The Journey to Mauretania and Valentianus' History​

The next morning they found a trading cog preparing to journey to a small Mauretanian port, from which it would be a short ride to Lixus, the Mauretanian capital.

At about noon on the day after they set off, huddled in their room to get out of one of the British Sea's violent and unpredictable storms, Valentianus turned to Farus. "You seem to know far less about the history of Rome than I would expect from a man such as you. Your family is one quite well known to me, and Fari tend to recieve good educations. Well, I should say that you have recieved a good knowlege of that part of the history taught to noble families; but there is another history."

"Oh, I'm not in the mood for secret histories and subversive facts."

"They are not subversive, merely little-known."

"Very well; tell me what I need to know."

Valentianus sat down. "Then this is the true history of the Second Roman Empire. As you know, Rome was sacked by the barbarian Vandals around Anno Domini 450. The Ostrogoths formed a kingdom in Italia; the Visigoths in Hispania; the Franks in Gallia (where they still reside); and so on. The Romans themselves huddled inside what remained of the proud city of Rome, and thought that, after being saved from invasion by men such as Cincinnatus and Marius, they would finally have no land to call their own.

"But this was not to say that there was no Roman Empire. For in the east, the Greeks--not yet schismatics--maintained the old capital of Constantinople. Despite a major defeat at Adrianopolis several decades earlier, they had recovered, and were soon to come under the rule of the emperor Flavius Justinianus. He, if I may say so, was then the greatest man since Augustus; a true Christian and a strong ruler. Among his lieutenants was a brave and skillful general by the name of Belisarius.

"Belisarius was a veteran of many wars, and in 535 he was freshly returned from conquests in Italy. Justinian sent him then to Sicily, which he quickly and effectively subdued; and from there, in 537 to Naples to conquer. Belisarius smashed the Gothic resistance, and by 540 had celebrated in the steets of Rome and Ravenna.

"But the success of this general was a threat to many in Constantinople. Indeed, Justinian himself feared that this man might return with his army and set himself up as Emperor of Rome, both east and west. So Belisarius was ordered back, Justinian ceased his conquests, and Italy returned to the barbarians. Only the southern part of the island remained theirs."

Farus shook his head. "All this I have been taught, and in greater detail, too."

"That, Farus shall change as the story moves on. For it is nearer to the time of Carolus Magnus that legends become truth."

"May I ask... Why did Belisarius not continue his conquests? He could have made himself King of Rome, and Italy returned to civilized men much sooner."

"Because he was the humble servant of his Emperor, as we all must be. Justinian had told him to return, and that he would do."

"I apologize for interrupting. Please, continue."

Valentianus stood up. "Rome remained in the hands of barbarians for a very long time. True, those barbarians turned Christian, but true Latins all but disappeared. Those in Rome began speaking that interesting blend of German and Latin we now call vulgar Italian.

"Another time of distress came with the advent of the Muslims. Vicious men, bearing long curved swords and fearsome battle cries, they burst out of their homeland and within a century, not only stripped the Byzantines of their best territory but had even reached Sicily and Mauretania as well.

"In 711 they crossed from Mauretania to Hispania. But when they reached France in 732, they struck another brave and zealous man: Carolus Martel, the Maior Domus under King Theuderic II of the Franks. Martel met them near the city of Turonensis. He smashed the Muslims--that is where he gained the name "Martel", the which signifies "hammer"--and killed their king, Raman. And here, not only were the Muslims stopped, but the family of Martel became quite presigious. And it was a descendant of Martel who was to become the famous Emperor Carolus Magnus. And that is where the true story begins."


------
Vocabulary and names for this update:
British Sea: English Channel
[Lucius Quinctius] Cincinnatus: A Roman dictator (c. 480 BC) who saved the city from an invasion by neighboring Italian tribes.
[Gaius] Marius: A consul who defeated an immense army of Germans, c. 100 BC
Turonensis: Tours
 
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coz1

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Still intrigued, that's for sure. Some good backstory added here. Where is your "home province" to start this AAR though? Rome itself? I'll wait and see more of the scenario unfold though if you wish to keep it quiet for the moment. Good stuff.
 

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First Lieutenant
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Judas Maccabeus said:
As you know, Rome fell to the barbarian Visigoths around Anno Domini 450. The Visigoths formed a kingdom in Italia; the Vandals in Hispania; the Franks in Gallia (where they still reside); and so on.
This is a great story and I love Roman history, but IIRC:

* the Ostrogoths invaded Italy and made Ravenna their capital (King Odoacar deposed the last Roman emperor Romulus Augustulus in 476 A.D.)
* the Visigoths settled in Acquitania (after sacking Rome in 410, though) and then moved on to conquer Spain
*The Vandals conquered North-Africa, and captured Carthage. They sailed from there to Rome to destroy it (under King Geiserick in 455 A.D.).

But don't let this little nitpicking interrupt your story! :D
 

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Alien Space Bat
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Well, the Vandals were important in Spain--see [V]Andalusia.

But hey, they're all barbarians. At least that's how Valentianus sees them. Yeah, that's right, that's it. That explains it, not my horrible excuse for a memory. ;)

EDIT: Okay, fixed the mistakes. Hey, they don't really affect the scenario any, at least.
 
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First Lieutenant
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Judas Maccabeus said:
Well, the Vandals were important in Spain--see [V]Andalusia.

But hey, they're all barbarians. At least that's how Valentianus sees them. Yeah, that's right, that's it. That explains it, not my horrible excuse for a memory. ;)

EDIT: Okay, fixed the mistakes. Hey, they don't really affect the scenario any, at least.
Well, the Vandals first settled in Spain for a while but then moved on to North-Africa. But I never realized they gave their name to (V)Andalusia ... or are you just kidding here? :D
 

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Alien Space Bat
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[coz: Well, once I actually release the scenario itself (which should be well before I reach 1419 in the AAR), I'm planning on letting my readers choose the country I play for the AAR. In fact, I intend to promote a high level of interactivity the entire time.
Meurt: "Vandalusia" is one theory... I've heard others, though.]

"On the 1st of April, 742, King Pepinus of the Franks had his first son, named Carolus. The child grew up as his father's dream--intelligent, brave, and charismatic; endowed with all the skills and willingness necessary for a great king. Pepinus died in 768, leaving the kingdom to Carolus and his other son, Carlomanus.

"Carlomanus died nine years later, and Carolus became king of all the Franks. Almost immediately, Carolus began expanding the Frankish kingdom. The still-pagan Saxons were his first target, and were absorbed during the 780s. Carolus baptized their leaders and smashed their sacred trees.

"Next, he campaigned in Spain. Although not quite able to take much territory, he badly injured the heathen Moors. This is where, as I am sure you know, the stories of Roland come from.

"The next campaign is the one which would bring him the most glory. For he fought the Goths in Italy, and granted our Holy Father the Pope much of the land he took. And in Rome, upon the mass of the Nativity in 800, as Carolus was saying prayers to the Lord, when Pope Leo III came in and crowned him with a title out of use for hundreds of years; as when Carolus rose, he was proclaimed Emperor of Rome.

"Carolus began to restore many of the institutions of the Empire. He restored the solidus and the denarius as currency; he appointed provincial governors; and he set up an Imperial capital at Aquis Villa, the place known in the French language as Aix-la-Chapelle after the great cathedral Carolus built there.

"As his life came nearer to the end, he feared the division of his empire. Here comes one of the secrets of Roman history--Carolus, it is believed, recieved a visitation from the ghost of Constantinus, who said to him:

"'Know that the Empire should never be divided; and that it is folly to give it to the weak. For if any have a claim to it they shall fight for it. If weak men fight for it then none shall have it; and Rome shall fall again to barbarism. What luck was there for Rome that I was one, when Rome was divided between Maxentius and I! And I took God into my heart, though born a pagan, and he gave me the power to achieve victory. How much more so would God favor one born Christian, if he is capable of the throne? Impart this to your heir: That he should allow only one man the throne. Any more shall cause civil war.'

"Carolus had only one surviving son, Ludovicus, and the succession passed smoothly. But Ludovicus had many sons, and forgot his father's words. Within three years of becoming Emperor he divided the thrones among his sons: Lotharius, Pepinus, Ludovicus, and Carolus. And the group of them, just as Constantinus had warned, fought among themselves for greater power; so great was the conflict that Pepinus died from the stress.

"The war continued unabated straight through to the death of Emperor Ludovicus in 840. It was then that Lotharius, remembering the words that Carolus Magnus had passed down in the family, prepared to restore the Roman Empire to unity."
 
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coz1

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Some more good history there. And that sounds like a good idea to let the readers choose the country - though Rome (Papal States) seems a natural.
 

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Alien Space Bat
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[Yes, Rome. But Rome isn't going to be the PAP tag... instead, I'm moving the "Papal States" to Tahiti (as Tahiti ;) ) and representing Rome with, of course, the ROM tag.]

CHAPTER THREE
The Campaigns of Emperor Lotharius​

"Ludovicus sent the Imperial insignia to Lotharius, fully intending his eldest son to be Emperor. Despite the jealousy of his brothers Ludovicus and Carolus, Lotharius claimed the entire empire as his own. He sent a letter to each of his brothers demanding that they pay homage to him in Aix-la-Chapelle. They, ignoring their Christian duty to their true liege lord, refused and met in Argentoratum near the Upper Rhine. There they swore a foul oath: 'With Lotharius we will never willingly treat'. It was, for all intents, a declaration of war.

"The two led their combined army north to attack Lotharius. The two met at a small town called Fontenay. Although Lotharius was very badly outnumbered, he still held hope, as he was a true Emperor with the will of God behind him. Upon the night before the battle, he, like Carolus Magnus, was met by Constantinus:

"'Fear not, for although the numbers stand against you, you shall be victorious. Remember the promise given to me: In the cross and in Jesus is victory. Hold dear to your heart the precepts of God, and he will give you prosperity. Look to the sky; when you see the birds of prey waiting, then you shall know that God is with you.'"

"Sounds all rather Biblical," Farus interjected.

"Yes, well, it's true. Now, may I continue?"

"I see no reason why you cannot."

"Thank you. And so, Lotharius came out onto the field, and commanded his priests to say prayers for victory; to God, and his Son, and to the Archangel Michael, and to all the angels and saints. And birds of prey came prepared to feast upon the bodies of those who were to die that day; and Lotharius ordered his men forward.

"Thus, upon the 25th of June, in 841, Lotharius fought the battle of Fontenay. There he crushed the power of the kings of France and Germany, and showed himself to be the proper Emperor. Carolus and Ludovicus, knowing that God was with him, fled to their kingdoms and prepared to fight, although courage left them.

"After that battle, Lotharius set as his standard the black eagle, forever to fly above the Empire as a symbol of the favor of God.

"Lotharius first followed Carolus through his lands; even into Aquitania, for so great was the cowardice of Carolus that he dared not face Lotharius under any circumstances. Finally, at Burdigala, with the ocean in front of him, Carolus knelt and wept, for he had no more land on which to run. He turned his army around, and, hoping that somehow the favor of God had left Lotharius, led a massive charge.

"But God still favored Lotharius, and, in September of 841, Carolus there was slain. Lotharius commanded that he be given the burial of a true Christian, and the patricians of France proclaimed Lotharius the true Emperor, and King of the Franks.

"Now Ludovicus came out of Germany; but not with an army. Instead, they met upon the banks of the river Saone, and Ludovicus knelt before Lotharius in homage; calling him the one true Emperor of Rome, and swearing an oath to the Cross that he would never again contest that claim. Ludovicus bade him rise, and retained him in the kingdom of the Germans.

"But the campaigns of Lotharius were far from over, and many enemies awaited him."
 

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Alien Space Bat
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Rolo Master said:
Judas can you post images of the game, please!?
I'm not quite to the game yet... rest assured, when I am, you will get the images you desire.

Actually, now that I think about it... I could drum up a pseudo-screenshot of Europe at different points in my alternate history (we split at the victory of Lothar at Fontenay; historically he was beaten and Charlemagne's empire was split permanently). Maybe once I'm finished with Lothar.
 
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