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Mithridates_VI

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Hello everybody! This is going to be my first AAR, so there is chance that is could be failure but let's not hope that.

Style of this AAR is going to be (hopefully) influenced by style of Tommy4Ever's AAR: Freedom is a noble thing - A Scottish Megacampaign, Part One (You can check it too). So my plan is to make one update per ruler.

I will be playing as Dyre "The Stranger" in the 867 start.


Introduction: Kiev is city which was powerhouse in Eastern Europe during Middle Ages. Legend says that three brothers, Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv, founded the Kiev. Over the years power of Kiev grew. Growing power gave also more power to Ruler of Kiev. Mid-9th century this power was given to man called Dyre.


 
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Mithridates_VI

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Dyre "the Stranger" Pontian
Lived: 845-913
Ruler of Kiev: 860-913
King of Kiev: 887-913
6d5fbd65-581c-4eaa-89e1-7a78482bc4ea_zpsb756476a.png

Dyre was semi-legendary Ruler of Kiev and he has been considered as founder of Pontian Dynasty. There has been a lot of debate about his past and origin. Modern historians are somehow agreeing that he was real character and he really was Ruler of Kiev. Even though his past and origin is still debated, most historians think that he was not more than normal pagan ruler.
Most information about Dyre can be found in Chronicle of Kiev. However all information of chronicle about Dyre is not considered to be entirely true, especially the legend of his origins. According to the chronicle Dyre was "Stranger" who came from the south and his ancestors were Greeks living in Crimea but evidence about these claims are missing. Dyre got power in Kiev after nobles of Kiev decided to choose him to be the best man to rule Kiev. That was the beginning to the rule of Pontian dynasty.


After getting the rule in Kiev, Dyre started increase its power by conquering neighboring tribes. Power of Kiev was too overwhelming to neighbouring tribes and they fell under the rule of Kiev. Dyre improved organization of Kiev and ,because of him, Kiev started to become powerhouse in Eastern Europe.
After stabilizing the realm enough Dyre took his best warriors and started journey to Western Europe in about 874. His journey has been also big debate to modern historians. What was the purpose of this journey? Where did he travel? It is though that during his journey he traveled all the way to Ireland. No one knows what he did in Ireland, even chronicle describes that he got some kind illumination in there, but what is known is that he brought back to Kiev gold, people and goods. Some say that he was raiding there and it has been good explanation.

kapina1_zpsf9853342.png

Yaropolk, Chief of Roslalv, the leader of revolt
During his journey, Dyre had no concerns about tribal chiefs who he had subjugated. He believed that nobles of Kiev would been able to handle them. This was mistake because chiefs of Northern Kiev were planning to start war against oppression of Kiev. They saw that during the Dyre's journey was chance to strike. Three tribal chiefs declared war of independence. Armies of Kiev were needed to against rebelling chiefs. Beginning of the war both sides had equal number of soldiers but after one month Dyre came back from his journey. Army of rebelling chiefs was no match for army of Dyre. Rebellion was crushed and rebelling chiefs were jailed. After rebellion Dyre made unexpected decision; he decided to be baptized by monk who was one of the people which Dyre took with him to Kiev after the journey. Still it isn't sure why he made that decision but maybe living in christian land made him impressed somehow. Also the fact that pagan chiefs were rebelling against him can be the reason why he started to be cynical against paganism and pagan vassals. Nonetheless, Dyre's decision was the beginning of conversion of Kiev. All nobles were required to be baptized; only one of the rebelling chiefs were allowed to stay in power after taking baptizing, however, other two were banished.

Conversion also turned a new page to foreign policy. Kiev had been isolated realm but now diplomacy with other chrisitian realms was starting. Relations with Byzantium started to improve and marriage between Dyre's son and Emperor Basil I's daughter were signed.
In 880 Dyre declared war against Jewish state of Azov which was successor state of Khazaria. Kiev won this war and conquered Central Crimea. This conquest gave Kiev better position in Black Sea.
After war against Azov wars against pagans continued. To secure his succes in these wars, Dyre wanted to stabilize his realm better and so he decided that Bishop of Kiev had to crown him to be King of Kiev. Dyre thought that would raise his authority and help Kiev in long run.

taistelu3_zpsb587d59e.png

Raiders of Kiev sailing in the Mediterranean sea
Kiev was also known as transit route to many raiders from north. Dyre decided to use raiders to his advantage and took command of raiders which included warriors of Slavic, Finnic and Norse pagans. He commanded raiders to loot Muslim lands in Africa and Iberia. These raids against Muslims were made many times during the years of Dyre's reign because raids were good way to bring more wealth to Kiev.
Dyre2_zps8ee603af.png
During the war against Finnic pagans of Mari Dyre passed away. He had ruled Kiev half century and old age had weakened his health. He died peacefully in 913 and the throne of Kiev was handed over to his son, Halfdan. Future of Kiev was now in his hands.

34aa977e-9651-4088-86cc-3f8ca68fda72_zps457ebc61.png

Realm of Kiev during the death of Dyre.
 
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Jokolytic

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Subbed, go for the Rus or Roman Empire!
 

Tommy4ever

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Yay! You started it :). Interesting starting position - I've never taken on the challenge of the Rus warlords but Kiev already looks an imposing regional power. I know its a long way away, but whenever you play as an Eastern power thoughts of the hordes in the 13th and 14th centuries must be playing on your mind. Those will be some good set piece occasions for your AAR!
 

Mithridates_VI

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Subbed, go for the Rus or Roman Empire!
Let's see what will happen :) And welcome to you too!

Looks like Dyre has already solidified quite a bit of Ruthenian land under his control. Certainly a strong foundation for his son Halfdan to build upon.
Yeah. I first was little worry how the playing with tribe will work out but it worked out really well.

Yay! You started it :). Interesting starting position - I've never taken on the challenge of the Rus warlords but Kiev already looks an imposing regional power. I know its a long way away, but whenever you play as an Eastern power thoughts of the hordes in the 13th and 14th centuries must be playing on your mind. Those will be some good set piece occasions for your AAR!
Yeah, I did :blush: Those Mongols will (hopefully) give some nice twists and turns.
 

Mithridates_VI

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Halfdan "the Apostle" Pontian
Lived: 864-926
Ruler of Kiev: 913-926
King of Kiev: 913-926​
hun1_zps130ee10b.png

Halfdan, second King of Kiev, was not known as good warrior as his father but still he was respected commander. In his youth, Halfdan followed his father to raids but later on decided not participate in them anymore. Halfdan was known as zealous christian who didn't tolerate pagans. Because of this, religious conversion became more intense, and in response pagan revolts increased in Kingdom.

teloitus_zpsa08a4782.png

Beheading of Pagan rebel leader
After inheriting the throne, Halfdan needed to travel to northeast to command army which was besieging Ryazan. Dyre had commanded the army but after passing away the army was needing new King to command. New King managed to conguer Ryazan and it helped him to get respect of Kievan nobles and chiefs.

Soon after Halfdan won the war against Finnic pagans, he became infirm. He withdrew to live in his hillfort. Some nobles of Kiev started to bring up idea that King was too weak to rule and the threat of mutiny appeared. Still Halfdan was able to calm down nobles diplomatically and risk of revolt subsided.


cb08bd1b-5bc9-4bf5-8387-be3993e22804_zps75fe967e.png

Battle of Galich
Pagan King of Poland had had hostile opinion towards neighbour King of Kiev and soon or later there would be war between them. War broke out in spring 922 when Polish army attacked against Kiev in Vladimir Volynsky. Halfdan raised his and his vassals' armies and gave the command of armies to his generals. Halfdan himself withdrew from the command and stayed in Kiev. However his only son and his heir, Roman, joined to lead the armies. Polish army advanced from Vladimir Volynsky to Galich where they faced the Kievan army. The battle was won by Kiev and son of King of Poland was captured which was big blow to Polish morale. It started to be clear that Kiev was winning the war but only after the army of Byzantine, ally of Kiev who had joined the war, arrived the King of Poland surrendered.

Halfdan2_zps181ddfbc.png
After the war Halfdan's health worsened and his ability to rule weakened. Finally in early 926 he passed away and his reign of thirteen years ended. His kingdom was transferred to his son, Roman, and new era of Kiev was beginning.

e17ccbfa-a5af-4a55-ae9f-5dd1a851dbc1_zpsf9d20805.png

Realm of Kiev during the death of Halfdan.
 
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Specialist290

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Well, I wouldn't call Halfdan's reign exceptional, but at least he held the kingdom together after his father's death and through an era of religious turmoil, which is more than some can boast. Let's hope Roman can do his father and grandfather proud.
 

blklizard

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I like what I read so far. Kiev seems to be growing steadily at the moment while Halfdan's reign, despite being a short one, contributed to the stability of Kiev for future rulers with his decisiveness in religious conversions.
 

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Kiev is becoming a mighty Kingdom. I'm liking your images, but would suggest that you resize them slightly in future updates as some are quite big (the portrait in the first update being a good example). Other than that, this is shaping up to be a very fine AAR! :)
 

Mithridates_VI

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Well, I wouldn't call Halfdan's reign exceptional, but at least he held the kingdom together after his father's death and through an era of religious turmoil, which is more than some can boast. Let's hope Roman can do his father and grandfather proud.

Yeah Halfdan's reign wasn't quite impressive than his father's.

I like what I read so far. Kiev seems to be growing steadily at the moment while Halfdan's reign, despite being a short one, contributed to the stability of Kiev for future rulers with his decisiveness in religious conversions.

Nice to hear that you have liked it. And yeah, it is always good to aim to stability :)

Kiev is becoming a mighty Kingdom. I'm liking your images, but would suggest that you resize them slightly in future updates as some are quite big (the portrait in the first update being a good example). Other than that, this is shaping up to be a very fine AAR! :)

Ok, I made those big pictures a little bit smaller. I'm glad that you think that my AAR is shaping up to be fine AAR.
 

Mithridates_VI

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Roman "the Magnanimous" Pontian
Lived: 896-951
Ruler of Kiev: 926-951
King of Kievan Pontus (former Kiev): 926-951​
alex_zps8835f03e.png

Roman ruled over Kiev for 25 years after succeeding his father. He was known as mighty military commander but also as diligent scholar. It is said that Roman had great interest to ancient history, especially military history, and thanks to her mother, who was from royal family of Byzantine, he was able to study a lot of historical documents in his youth in Byzantine. It is thought that it was during the reign of Roman when idea, that ruler dynasty of Kiev, Pontian Dynasty, was descendant to Historical Rulers of Pontus, was created. Also during his reign Kingdom of Kiev was started to be referred to as Kievan Pontus.

The interest of military history didn't remain only to studying: Roman was very keen to conquer more territory from the north. Roman dreamed to get access to the Baltic Sea and after coming to the throne he declared war against Baltic tribes but before that Roman went to pilgrimage to Rome for religious and political reasons. After coming from Rome, Roman raised armies and marched against Baltics.

TaisteluCK2_zpscf1f72fc.png

Kievan troops waiting for the attack of Curonian troops.
Baltic tribes tried to unite but they were still unable to beat Kiev which was militarily much stronger. The most powerful Baltic Tribe, Curonia, was able to give tougher resistance but when Kievan army was able to beat its main army in Latgale, also Curonia had to accept peace.

Long campaign had burdened Kievan army but Roman decided to continue because he wanted to get to the Baltic Sea. However plan to continue the campaign in Baltic was stopped when Kiev heard about coming threat of Norse invaders.

Viiikinkit_zps7a68c027.png

Viking invasion.
Norse warriors had decide attack against Kiev because Roman, who was not as permissive as his predecessors to allow Norse's traditional travelling along the rivers of Kiev, had decided to collect payment from the Norse people for traveling through his Kingdom. This "customs duty" had angered Norse people and they decided to force Kiev to allow free passage again. This viking invasion was later on described as very large scale invasion. Viking army was estimated to have almost one half more soldiers as Kiev, even though size is probably exaggerated.

Vikings, commanded by viking called Styrkar, made fast attack to Southern Kiev which completely surprised Kiev. After Kievan army marched against attackers, second army of vikings appeared in Northern Kiev. Vikings raided a lot of land and villages of Kiev which started the wrath towards Norse in people of Kiev. Kievan army was able to defeat first viking army and after that moved towards second army. It was also, after couple of battles, completely destroyed by Kievan army. Vikings tryed to bring more men but that wasn't enough to change the course of the war. Men of Norse needed to retreat back to home.

After successful defending against Norse, Roman decided to continue plan to get access to the Baltic Sea.The war was declared against Norse Kingdom of Denmark which had earlier conquered some coastal area in Baltic. Kievan army was able to besiege easily the norse forts and villages in Baltic because Denmark was already busy fighting in the British Isles. Kievan army stayed in besieged area to secure it from Danish counter attacks.

Roman2_zps0db2e0b6.png
War against Denmark continued longer than had been expected because Danish King was not willing to give up his holdings in Baltic. Roman's life dream was not fulfilled in his lifetime when King suddenly died a natural death at age 55 before the end of the war in 951. Even though Roman had spent a lot of time of his reign in military campaigns he was able to get time for personal life and had seven children with his wife and also unknown number of bastards. After the death of Roman, his oldest son, Mithridatir inherited the throne of Kiev.

8678047c-96a4-46e2-87d8-4648f0922279_zps5766e18d.png

Realm of Kievan Pontus during the death of Roman.
 
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blklizard

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Conflict with the Norse was inevitable. The expansion continues with seemingly few that could stand in your nation's way. You're becoming quite blobby at this rate.
 

Specialist290

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A Kievan realm that claims ties to ancient Pontus is an interesting variation. Sounds like in the future they might be aiming to make the Black Sea into a Ruthenian lake.

I'm actually a bit surprised the Cumans haven't come knocking yet, though maybe Kievan Pontus's strength in arms is scaring them just a bit.
 

Mithridates_VI

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Conflict with the Norse was inevitable. The expansion continues with seemingly few that could stand in your nation's way. You're becoming quite blobby at this rate.

Yeah it maybe going to be blobby even though expansions will be (hopefully) more slow in future.

A Kievan realm that claims ties to ancient Pontus is an interesting variation. Sounds like in the future they might be aiming to make the Black Sea into a Ruthenian lake.

I'm actually a bit surprised the Cumans haven't come knocking yet, though maybe Kievan Pontus's strength in arms is scaring them just a bit.

Maybe one reason why Cumans haven't come is that there isn't Cumans anymore :D That yellowish thing is Turkestan which is powerhouse of east and they have been busy to conquer other steppe people.

The Black Sea into a Ruthenian lake is a nice idea but one big problem is Byzantine Empire which is much more powerful than Kievan Pontus and also then there is the fact that they are very nice allies when needing to help. But let's see what will happen.
 

Mithridates_VI

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Mithridatir Pontian
Lived: 820-991
Ruler of Kiev: 951-991
King of Kievan Pontus: 951-991​
pol4_zps3c3dc7f3.png

Mithridatir succeeded his father at the time of internally peaceful and stable era of Kiev. Continuing his father's legacy, his reign was contained mostly a lot of warfare against foreign enemies . Governing of realm was difficult when Mithridatir was needed in warfare and therefore during the reign of Mithridatir part of the duties were given to some of the vassals. Notably new High Chiefdoms were founded to rule some areas and because of that King's direct control to all vassal chiefdoms decreased.

During his father's reign, Mithridatir had followed his father in his military campaigns and had proved to be a great warrior. Mithridatir's military skills improved significantly during the war in Baltic and he started to become as good as his father.

taistelu9_zps6d03212a.png

Kievan troops fighting against Danes.
At the beginning of his reign, Mithridatir carried out his father's dream to get Kievan border next to the Baltic Sea. He was able to finish the war against Denmark which had already lasted couple of years. After his father's sudden death Danes had been able to chase invading Kievan soldiers off from Danish lands in Baltic but it was only a brief success because soon Kievan troops invaded it again. Finally King of Denmark realized that he wasn't able to get Baltic land back and therefore he surrendered.

Long period of wars was ended and Mithridatir wasn't keen to continue waging more wars. Mithridatir started improving relations with Kingdom of Georgia and signed alliance with them. The alliance was sealed with the marriage between Mithridatir's sister and Georgian King's son and heir.

Short time of peace ended when Byzantine Empire request the assistance against Tengri pagans of Belgrade in 957. Mithridatir joined the war even though he wasn't really eager to send armies against powerful Tengri Kingdom of Hungary which was supporting Belgrade but nevertheless he finally decided to send armies to support. However soon Mithridatir was forced to withdraw because great Khan of Yabguid from the east had started invasion against Kiev.

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Yabguid Khanate on the eve of the war.
Mithridatir raised whole Kievan army and started advance towards eastern border. Kievan ambassadors were sent to Byzantine Empire and Georgia and they were called to help against Yabguid Khanate. Two Kievan armies, one of which was personally commanded by Mithridatir , advanced to Yabguid territory. However Khan's army was able to send their army against one of the advancing Kievan armies. Kievan army needed to retreat back after the Khan's army was able beat it in Battle of Sugrov. Army, which were under the command of Mithridatir, marched against this enemy army and Kievan troops defeated them in Second Battle of Sugrov.

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Mithridatir and Kievan troops chased after retreating Khan and his army and second time Khan was defeated in Sarkel. During this time Georgian forces were started invading against Yabguid. Army of Kiev advanced more and more to Yabguid territory and finally Khan was forced to surrender in 960. War had been devastating to Yabguid Khanate and shortly after the war Yabguid Khanate collapsed and Yabguid dynasty lost its power.

Pagan Kingdom of Sweden had some christian population in Baltic lands. These christians were not eager to serve the pagan rulers and decided start religious revolt against Swedish king. Mithridatir, who had just made peace with the Khan, saw and took advantage this chaos and declared war against Sweden. The reason why he wanted to go, once again, to war in Baltic region is not known. Historians have considered that the reason was both a religious and a political: Mithridatir wanted help Christian people and same time wanted get more power in the Baltic.


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Anglo-Saxon invaders.
Swedes were easily beaten but new threat had emerged, Anglo-Saxon invaders. Only a little is known about this Anglo-Saxon invasion which started in 964. What is known is that invasion forces attacked from the Black Sea to the Crimea and Mithridatir had to march his armies to south to face invaders. Invasion forces were beaten after two years of war.

After Anglo-Saxon invasion Mithridatir saw an opportunity to strike against Yabguid which was suffering from devastating civil war. Kievan armies were able to snatch easy victory and finally peace was back in Kievan Pontus.

Mithridatir started plan to construct better fortification because of the threat of foreign enemies and this was seen as more and more new stone hillforts were built. His son, Diomedes was put in charge to finish the construction of fortifications when Mithridatir was needed in commanding armies. Georgia was begging help against Abbasids.

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Mithridatir joined war and moved his armies towards Georgia. Mithridatir was able to win many battles against Abbasids. However, Caliph had too many men to handle and finally Kievan forces were beaten. Mihridatir had to retreat back to Kiev and Georgia was left alone to fight. Georgia was able to prolong the war because Abbasids had same time internal problems but none the less Georgia was beaten.


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After defeat Mithridatir decided to give up warfare. He returned to Kiev and continued already started construction works. He also spent a lot of his time in grand hunts and with his family. Mithridatir's last years were difficult for him: Mithridatir was wounded badly when fighting against revolting peasants in 986, his wife, who had been very close and very important to him, died three years later which was very big sorrow to Mithridatir. Mithridatir's health deteriorated and in 991 he passed away leaving his realm to his son, Diomedes.


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Realm of Kiev during the death of Mithridatir.
 
Last edited:

blklizard

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Kiev finally discovers a power she cannot defeat but, luckily, she was unscathed. Are there any internal problems plaguing the new ruler? Seeing such a large territory under his control, I wouldn't be surprised if many vassals are plotting against him.
 

Mithridates_VI

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Kiev finally discovers a power she cannot defeat but, luckily, she was unscathed. Are there any internal problems plaguing the new ruler? Seeing such a large territory under his control, I wouldn't be surprised if many vassals are plotting against him.

I must say that thanks to the foreign invaders there has been very few internal problems because the reason that then you get opinion bonus when defending against foreigners/infidels.
I can reveal that many vassals are in fact plotting against him but it is different thing if that results in something yet.