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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Skywalker_T-65

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Armenia

Hello Paradox community, I'm Skywalker. Total noob to the forums here, and I make my inaugural post my first ever AAR. Fun times!

Anyway, I've been reading AAR's and lurking ever since I got EU3 on that Humble sale a while back. I'll freely admit the only reason I haven't done an AAR until now was because I was trying to find a nation that hadn't been done much (if at all). I thought I had settled on Crete, then I got D&T and found Armenia. As something other than an OPM surrounded on all sides! Thus, I decided I'd go with Armenia...

*inner historian whispers in my ear*

Okay, technically its Cilician Armenia, formed from a Byzantine resettling of Armenians in the area. Really interesting history actually, the Byzantines just wanted to control population imbalances and Cilicia ended up with so many Armenians that when Armenia proper fell to the Seljuk Turks, Cilicia became where most Armenians fled. And from 1200 to about 1375 it was an independent Kingdom, enjoying remarkably close ties to the Crusader States (considering it was not Catholic). But, it finally fell in 1375 to the Mamluks, who lost it to the Timurids, who then lost it the Ottomans.

But, enough historical rambling for now (for now I am studying to be a history teacher, so I'll put random bits where I please :p ). Cilician Armenia starts as a Three Province Minor, nestled where Karaman/Ramazan would be in Vanilla DW. Its an Orthodox nation, surrounded on all sides by hostile Muslim neighbors. To make matters worse, we are Eastern Tech group. Can it survive and retake the Armenian Homeland? And reform the Kingdom of Armenia? Or will I be eaten up by some combination of the Ottomans and Mamluks (+allies)?

I don't know, but we'll find out

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RULES/SETTINGS:

1. No reloads. If I get dog-piled, I get dog-piled.
2. No save editing (not that I know how to do that)
3. No going above infamy limit
4. Stay Orthodox, as we Armenians are the first nation to have Christianity (and none of that Schismatic nonsense with their Pope) as our official religion!
5. No more than five vassals/PU's at a time...not that I expect to have that many. :p

Settings: Easy Difficulty, no inflation (I find it...tedious), historical lucky nations, normal everything else (unless I forgot to reset merchants/missionaries off of free from my practice runs, which is possible)

GOALS:

1. Survive and keep the Mamluks off my back.
2. Retake the Armenian Homeland
3. Retake the Holy Land.
4. Take as much territory as humanely possible (i.e. no World Conquest here)
5. Help other Orthodox nations when possible, as Brothers in the Faith.

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DISCLAIMER: I am an average player at best, so don't expect anything crazy here. It is on Easy without inflation for a reason. I'm not sure exactly what the style will be, though I am aiming for a somewhat lighthearted narrative approach.

And now, sit back and enjoy! I'm already working on the Prologue post.


*TABLE OF CONTENTS*

--House of Lusignan---​



--Gosdantin 'Constantine' III Lusignan, King of Cilicia 1344-1366

Chapter 1: Armenians without Armenia?

Chapter 2: Alliances can be a pain.

Chapter 3: WAR is in our blood!

Chapter 4: A LOtto Trouble.

Chapter 5: Why are we friends with the Georgians again?

--Regency Council--

Chapter 6: Regency of Musegh, Part 1

Chapter 7: Regency of Musegh, Part II

--House of Lusignan-Komnenos---



--Musegh I Lusignan-Komnenos, King of Cilicia and Armenia 1372-1392

Chapter 8: A LOtto Trouble Redux

Chapter 9: Armenia Ascendant

Chapter 10: Business as usual

Chapter 11: End of an Era

--David I Lusignan-Komnenos, King of Cilicia and Armenia, 1392-1406

Chapter 12: The Armenian-Mamluk War: Part 1

Chapter 13: The Armenian-Mamulk War: Part 2

Chapter 14: Recovery

Gagik III Lusignan-Komnenos, King of Cilicia and Armenia, 1406-?

Chapter 15: A new King, same old Armenia

Chapter 16: The Ottomans Strike Back
 
Last edited:

Skywalker_T-65

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Chapter 1: Armenians without Armenia?
Or the State of the Kingdom​


“We of Armenia have been forced from our homeland. Turkish, Mongol, and Persian heathens run through our former homes, the people we have been forced to leave behind at the mercy of their new overlords. We must never forget that, despite our own precarious situation. Cilicia is a home, but not a stable one,” King Gosdantin of Cilicia and Armenia said.

“Well said my Liege,” Avedis Kazanjian replied, “the people will be able to see your words as soon as the Royal Scribe has finished his work.”

Gosdantin merely sighed in response, "The people will see it, but will it help any? That I doubt Avedis. We are Armenians at heart, but very few of us have ever seen the homeland. Cilicia, for better or worse, is our home now."

Avedis nodded, "Indeed. I have prepared a map of our immediate surroundings, as you requested."



Gosdantin looked at the map, then at his Adviser, then back at the map...before putting a hand to his head and sighing yet again.

"Is something the matter?" Avedis asked obliviously.

"Avedis, this map is color-coded."

"Indeed. It makes it easier to tell nations apart!"

"And you circled Cilica with a crudely drawn black circle."

Avedis looked at the map again, "Ahh...I can see how that would be a problem sire."

Gosdantin shook his head. Avedis was good at his job with the merchants, but the man was terribly naive at times...like now. Cilicia was poor however, and he was the best they could get. So, the King reminded himself, he needed to give him some leeway. At least he knew enough to pull the job of a diplomat when needed.

"Wasn't there another map you were supposed to prepare?" Gosdantin asked.

"Yes sire!" Avedis replied, pulling out another map.



"The homeland my King."

"Who controls our home now?"

"The Chobanid Dynasty, such an ugly shade of purple too..."

For once, Gosdantin agreed wholeheartedly with his adviser. That, and it angered him to see anyone controlling Armenia. Hundreds of years may separate him from the old Kings of Armenia, but Gosdantin still believed he would return one day, and reclaim that throne.

Avedis seemed determined to bring bad news however.

"Sire, you need an heir," the man said, in a rare serious moment...that was promptly ruined, "people are starting to gossip."

"Oh?" the King raised an eyebrow.

"Well...there is talk in the streets about you being, ahem...unable to foster an heir."

Gosdantin snorted, "Nonsense!"

"Be that as it may, you do lack an heir."



"Bah, a Noble will take my place if I die early. I'm telling you Avedis, an heir will come when I am well and ready for one!"

And now both of the Cilican leaders were acting like children. This did not bode well for Armenia's future.

"Our monetary situation is shaky too," Avedis broke in to his King's 'rant', as money was his specialty.




"Work to fix that at once Avedis. Send a merchant to Kouban if you must."

"At once Sire."
 
Last edited:

Skywalker_T-65

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I hadn't intended to post this so soon, but I realized I probably won't have time during the week with my finals, so I figured I'd update now that I have the chance. Comments are always welcome by the way, lets me know if people like the style I chose. :D

[hr][/hr]

Chapter 2: Alliances can be a pain.
Though Royal Marriages are always good.​

January 10th, 1356
Tarsus, Cilicia, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia

Gosdantin and Avedis continued their walk through the Royal Palace in Tarsus. There were many things to talk about, and they had only begun to scratch the surfac...okay, to be honest not much happened in Armenia. The only thing left was a measure some Merchants had cooked up to limit the sale of Gin in an effort to combat drunkenness in the Armenian Court.


"I say pass it," Avedis was saying, "I like a good drink myself, but I can't do any work if my staff is passing out on top of each other!"

Gosdantin waved a hand dismissively, "Surely it isn't that bad Avedis."

"It is my King."

"Very well, I'll sign the papers. Anything else you have to let me know about before I return to my study?"

"Nothing at the moment sire."

Gosdantin nodded and dismissed his adviser. He continued to his study, the color-coded map under his arm. When he reached a desk, the King set the map out in front of him, and studied it. To the north was Karaman and the Eretnids, while the east had Dulkadir and Ak Koyunlu blocking access to the Chobanids and Armenia proper. West was hardly better...the Knights of St. John were the last surviving Crusader State and were in a bad spot with Mentese, Saruhan and the Ottomans all after their territory. To be fair, Cilicia was hardly better with the Mamluks bordering Mus to the south.

Even I have to wonder if we will survive... Gosdantin thought, putting the map away and heading to his chambers to get some rest.

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"Sire!!" Avedis ran up to Gosdantin as the latter ate his meal.

"Yes?" the King asked his adviser.

"We've been offered an alliance! Two to be precise!"

"And who is offering to support our armies?"

"Army sir..." Avedis corrected, before wilting under his lords glare, "Cyprus and Trebizond."



Gosdantin tapped his chin as he studied the messages. Trebizond wasn't a whole lot of help, isolated at the top of Anatolia. Though they did offer a potential middle ground to open relations with the Georgians. And Georgia was the most powerful Orthodox nation on this side of the Dardanelles. Cyprus was a no brainier. The Cypriots had always had good relations with the Cicilian Armenians, this was more a formality on their part.

"Let their diplomats know we accept the offers. And send one of our own to Georgia if possible."

"Georgia?" Avedis asked curiously.

Gosdantin nodded, "Georgia. Byzantium, Serbia, Bulgaria...all are more powerful and more attractive allies because of that, but the Ottomans have them stuck on the other side of the Dardanelles. Georgia is our best option on this side of those heathens."

"Makes sense sire," Avedis replied, even if it didn't...military matters eluded him, "I shall send a diplomat at once!"

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Sometime later, the diplomat reported back, frozen solid from his trek in the Caucasus mountains that the Georgians called home. Thus, his message was a bit garbled from shivering, though it was still legible. Unfortunately...



The Georgians, and by extension Trebizond, were at war with Ak Koyunlu. This did not bode well. At least they accepted the alliance. It was something right?



Well, so much for that theory.

"We have to accept," Gosdantin said as he read the Georgian script.

"We do?" Avedis asked.

His King nodded, "If we refuse, the Georgians will break our alliance. And it might permanently destroy our relations. Obviously, we don't want that."

"But our army is no match for Ak Koyunlu!"

"I thought you didn't care about the army?" Gosdantin asked with a raised brow.

"Err..." Avedis fidgeted.

"Precisely. Send a message to the Georgians that we accept their Call. I will personally lead the Army."

"Only because you're too cheap to hire a general..." Avedis muttered as his King left.

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As the King prepared his men, his loyal advisers continued to do their jobs. In this case, they were sending offers of marriage out to the various nations nearby. All behind Gosdantin's back of course, as they didn't want him to know about it considering his...dislike...of the rumors circulating in relation to his lack of an heir.

"I wonder when he'll notice his siblings and cousins are being married off?" Avedis mused.

"Who knows," Lukasz Kurowecki said with a bit of a Polish accent.

Why did we hire a Pole to monitor our fortification improvements again? Avedis thought, while saying, "And I don't even want to think of how he'll react when he finds out we sent Trebizond a royal marriage request for him."

Lukasz shuddered slightly at that, "Indeed."

Trebizond was quick at replying though. So too were Cyprus and Byzantium.



And while a Trebizondian princess agreeing to marry their King was welcome news, Karaman declaring war (since when were they allied to Ak Koyunlu?) was rather less so. The only thing that made sense was they were still mad about their 'homeland' being called Cilicia, its proper name, on every map but their own. To be fair, it was laughable they even considered Cilicia their home. The Armenians had been here far longer than these Turkish usurpers.

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Meanwhile in Adana...


Rather depressing when Cyprus is keeping up in army size and overtaking my 'navy'....

"The Karamanese are besieging Tarsus!!" Gosdantin yelled, as a battered messenger nodded wearily.

"I barely made it out before they closed the siege my Liege. The Pole's new defensive ideas are helping, but the garrison can't hold out forever."

Gosdantin sighed heavily, "How many?"

"How many?" the messenger repeated.

"Troops man, how many Turks surround our city?!" Gosdantin barked out...perhaps a bit harsher than was really needed. Not that he cared.

The messenger flinched, and replied quickly, "Three Regiments my King!"

Gosdantin let out a colorful string of curses. That was one thousand more men than the newly christened 'Army of Liberation' could possibly bring to bear right now. He needed more time to build up his forces. It really was up to that blasted Pole and his new fortifications to hold until that could be done. So the King set about raising a troop of the famous Armenian Calvary, to even the armies out and supplement his infantry. While he was doing so...



"Useful, but how the hell did they get past the Turks?" he mused, as the Cavalry finally got together from wherever they had been hiding. Now, they rode to Gondor Cilicia's aid!! Or, at least they would have, if Avedis hadn't misplaced his pen when Ak Koyunlu sent a message. End result?



"YOU ACCEPTED A WHITE PEACE RIGHT BEFORE WE ARRIVED TO BREAK THE SIEGE?!?!?" Gosdantin nearly broke his voice, as Avedis frowned.

"I could have sworn I told them no...odd..."

"You moron!"

"I resent that Sire!"

Gosdantin sighed and held his head, "Is there anything else you messed up that I need to know about Avedis?"

"You are now married to Zoe Kommenos, middle Princess of Trebizond!!" the boisterous Pole, Lukaz, shouted from the other side of the room...that he promptly ran from.

"WHAT?!"


[hr][/hr]

Experimenting away I am. I hope you all liked it. Not sure when I can update again, though I think Wednesday or Friday, depending on how my finals go.
 
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This looks very interesting, I look forward to the ahistorical adventures your Armenia Minor is going to have. Who knows, maybe one day you will reach Ararat again...
 

Skywalker_T-65

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Chapter 3: WAR is in our blood!
Warning: Concentrated WAR is bad for your health.

When we last met our intrepid Armenians, the one Pole in the entire country had just informed their King he was married to a Trebizondian princess. Needless to say, Gosdantin was more than a little annoyed with this. That was probably an understatement actually...if this were, say, the Golden Horde, Avedis would have just lost his head. As it was, he was currently sitting in a room with Lukasz, Zoe the new Queen, and Gosdantin.

The King was pacing and sending glares at his advisers...and was that a fearful look at Zoe? If it were any other situation, Avedis would be laughing. As it stood, he could quite clearly see the sword on his King's waist, and had no real desire to find out how good he was with it.

"So, Avedis and Lukasz...what made you think this would be a good idea?" Gosdantin finally asked, casual voice not making either man feel more comfortable.

"In Poland, nobles are not trusted to run the government," Lukasz made a valiant effort, "Avedis and I agreed we didn't want to test the nobles here."

Gosdantin merely raised an eyebrow, "SO you don't trust the Armenian nobles, and thus, married me behind my back? Correct?"

"Yes sir," Avedis muttered.

As the King continued to glare at his advisers, the Queen sighed and got to her feet.

"You do realize this was as much my choice as theirs right?"

"Well..." Gosdantin said, before stopping and looking away.

Zoe merely crossed her arms and waited him out. Turns out, she didn't have to wait long since a messenger came running in and defused the entire situation.


I got ridiculously lucky there.

Gosdantin sent a quiet prayer of thanks as he read the message, while Avedis and Lukasz stealthily left the room. Leaving the King and new Queen of Cilicia alone. Cue awkward silence.

"..."

"Well?" Zoe asked.

"I have to go prepare the army!" Gosdantin said, moving to leave the room...and tripping over his new wife's outstretched leg.

"Prepare the army for what?"

Gosdantin picked himself off the floor, "Invading Dulkadir of course! The Eretnids were their only allies, and now they aren't allied any more!"

Zoe shook her head, and wondered what she had been thinking. Her own father, the King of Trebizond, hated invading other nations. He only joined the Georgians so that the mountain men would still work with her nation. Needless to say, it wasn't a good thing that Gosdantin was going into warmonger mode, at least not from her point of view.

"Well, you aren't leaving yet," the Queen said, moving past Gosdantin and locking the door.

The King was many things. Somewhat childish at times, temperamental, far from the last one to jump in a fight...but he wasn't stupid.

"HELP ME!!!!!!"

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While the King and Queen were...indisposed, Avedis and Lukasz were left in charge by default. Thus, they were the ones to get a message from the docks of Cilicia. A dock that currently held the one-Cog Armenian Navy.



"While I can agree with the sentiment," Avedis said...

"I don't. Forts are enough," Lukasz, the resident fortification expert broke in.

"We don't have the money to build the navy and army at once. And our King did make clear he wants the Army first..." the Minister of Finance finished, with a sidelong glare at the resident Pole.

Lukasz either didn't notice or didn't care. Probably the latter. Either way though, the King had managed to get a message out himself, though none in the Armenian Court were inclined to figure out how he had managed to do so. Said message was simple enough though.



Armenia marches to WAR.

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Unsurprisingly, Dulkadir stood alone. The Eretnids had yet to recover from their beating at the hands of the Ottomans, and were losing ground to Candar. Karaman had yet to ally with Dulkadir like most of the NINW (Noble Islamic Nation Watch) had predicted them to, and were still bound by the Ak Koyunlu truce in any case. Thus, the orange nation was alone with its two regiment army against a four regiment Armenian force.

Yeah, Avedis and Lukasz saw no point in calling in the Cypriots for this. Gosdantin might have, but he hadn't been seen for some time. Either way, when the Armenian Army of Liberation (from now on shortened to the AAL) crossed the border, the Dulkadiri army put up a valiant stand. They were entirely cavalry...cavalry that charged the Armenian lines with abandon. The outnumbered Armenian cavalry, spread out to reinforce the lines was unable to catch the Dulkadiri troops as they charged through and towards Mus.


(Ignore Gosdantin being in charge. I did this without writing notes)

"After them men!!" Lukasz, commander of the Army while his King was otherwise occupied, yelled.

His horse spun around, joined by the remains of the AAL. Still outnumbering the Dulkadiri troops despite their uneven losses, the Armenians chased them towards the province of Mus. Despite lacking infantry, the Muslim soldiers still set up a siege...a siege that would be the doom of them. Lukasz new fortification systems kept them far from the walls of the provinces capital, allowing the returning AAL to batter them into the walls. The Dulkadiri army fought to the last man, but they never stood a chance, without room to maneuver.



With the breaking of that siege came news that the Catholics had declared another Crusade, though this time it was against the Hordes north of Georgia. This didn't really concern Cilicia very much, as Armenians were no Catholics. It might help the Georgians out though. In any case, the AAL moved back into Dulkadir, and set up its camps for the long siege ahead of them.

Lukasz watched all of this, shaking his head in bemusement at the Dulkadiri fortifications.

"Horrible, how do they expect that to stop an assault?" the Pole wondered, as a line of archers fired on anything that moved on the city walls.

And the walls didn't stop an assault, as Dulkadir fell to the Armenian troops and was annexed back into the fold.



As the Armenian troops set about securing the city, a messenger came through the ruined walls. Lukasz was hard at work designing various improvements to Urfa's walls, in the interest of keeping it more secure. So the messenger found him on top of a pile of rubble, drawings spread out in front of him. As for the message? Gosdantin had decided, despite bad blood, to try and ally with the Byzantines. The Romans didn't really get along with the Armenians, but they were the most powerful Orthodox nation (sans Serbia) and it could help to have them on the same side.



Sadly, they refused. Oddly though, the Knights of St. John guaranteed the independence of their Orthodox neighbors. Then again, Armenia had friendly relations with the Crusaders, and the Knights had been taking plenty of land lately. So it made some sense.

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As the victorious troops came back into Cilicia, Lukasz was pulled aside by a grinning Avedis. The Pole wondered what his colleague was so happy about, but quickly shut down those thoughts when handed a piece of paper.

"He didn't!!" Lukasz shouted.

"Oh he did! Finally!" Avedis replied.

"Finally is right, I was wondering how long it would take."

What were they talking about you may ask? Oh nothing much...other than Cilician Armenia finally having an heir to the throne.



Still grinning, both Lukasz and Avedis entered the Royal Palace. Sitting in the study, were both Gosdantin and Zoe, the latter holding the newborn heir in her arms. While Zoe smiled up at the pair, Gosdantin jumped up and started to bombard poor Lukasz with questions.

"Yes the Army is intact. Yes Urfa is ours once more. No, I did not get shot in the knee by an arrow...why?" the Pole asked at the end of the questions.

"No reason," Gosdantin assured his top military man, "now, time for you to meet my son."

Zoe moved slightly so Lukasz could see Musegh easier. The newborn heir did resemble his father, though he had a tuft of his mothers hair on his head. The grin returning to his face, the Pole turned back to his King.

"Well sir, it is about time," he said, still wearing the grin, "and thank you my Lady for locking him in that room."

Needless to say, both King and Queen turned brick red before Zoe coughed and said, "While I appreciate the sentiment, I didn't lock him in for that reason."

Lukasz looked confused, "But I heard him yell for help?"

Gosdantin glared, "Then why did you not help?"

Zoe's laughter broke the glare, as she said, "I shouldn't be surprised that the staff got that idea. No, my dear King is just difficult to sit down and talk with. So I had to lock him in to get to know him."

"And for me to know her," said King added.

"Little Musegh here came later," Zoe finished, smiling at her son.

Both Lukasz and Avedis had the grace to look uncomfortable, and apologized for the misunderstanding. Zoe told them it was no problem, while Gosdantin increased their workloads. All in all, things in Armenia were back to normal, if not looking for the better. Urfa was back in the fold, and the nation now had an heir. But, for all good things a bad thing must happen...

"Sir!!" a messenger came running into the room, breaking the moment.

"What is it?" Gosdantin asked.

"The Ottomans my King!!"




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To Be Continued
 

GulMacet

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Well, with such pressing issues, it is of course immediately obvious what you must do next: Rename Urfa to Orha, for proper Armenian...ness?
 

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I wish you luck against Ottos.
 

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Wouldn't it be awesome if the Timurids made their historic conquests and eventually became a menace to Armenia and everyone else in Anatolia? That would sure make for an interesting AAR. :)
 

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I wish you luck against Ottos.
Thanks!

Wouldn't it be awesome if the Timurids made their historic conquests and eventually became a menace to Armenia and everyone else in Anatolia? That would sure make for an interesting AAR. :)
I admit, it would be quite fun if the Timurids managed to pull that off. Be a nice mid-game boss, provided I don't get eaten by the Mamluks. Which could happen :p



And I'm aiming for a weekly update at this time. Might end up faster or slower, depends on my free time to play the game. Right now though, I am set to update on the 18th with the Ottoman War. Stupid me forgot battle screenshots though, so it will be smaller in that regard than the last post.
 

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Chapter 4: A LOtto Trouble
The Turks are Coming!!​

"Reconquest?!" Gosdantin said incredulously, as he read the Ottomans declaration of war.

We, the Ottoman Empire, lay claim to the province of Cilicia. It is part of our ancestral territories, and you will return it to us.

"They haven't even been here before have they?" Zoe questioned, as Armenian history wasn't her strong suit.

The King shook his head, "No they haven't. Avedis, fetch one of your maps, I'm sure you have an Ottoman one somewhere."

"At once Sire!"

Soon enough, the trader-turned-diplomat returned with an Ottoman map.


Note: Map taken after war.

"They claim most of Anatolia!!" Lukasz seemed surprised by that.

"Such is the way of the Turks," Gosdantin growled, "ever since the Seljuks, they have claimed this land. Prepare the Army...we won't take this sitting down."

"What of our allies?" Zoe asked, wondering if her father would come to their aid.

Avedis talked to the messenger, and came back with a stack of documents.



"Trebizond...Cyprus...Georgia...and the Knights of St. John," Avedis listed off, "you know, we may just have a chance of winning this."

"Of course we do!" the King boasted, before hugging his wife and heading out to marshal the Army of Liberation for the war ahead.

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While the allies of Armenia had come to their aid (Georgia and Trebizond even ended their war with Ak Koyunlu to help), the Ottomans stood alone. The NINW had expected the Mamluks to jump in like the opportunists they were, but the Egyptians seemed content with beating up the Jalayirids for now. So, as it stood, the AAL marched through the newly taken Knights territories and into the southernmost Ottoman domains.

The first target was Hamid province, while the Knights were besieging nearby Denizli. The AAL routed a small Ottoman force, before settling in for the siege. Gosdantin was keeping a close eye on the rest of the front however, knowing that the Ottomans wouldn't be beaten that easily...they had driven the Romans from their territories...even Nicaea, the city where they had launched their restoration from had fallen.

"Where is their army?" the Armenian mused, as a catapult launched a projectile at the city walls behind him.

As it turned out...the army was besieging the Knights holdings in Anatolia. While the Crusaders had taken over Denizli, they were dangerously close to losing one of their own provinces. Thus, as the Armenians continued their own siege, they watched as the Knights army departed for their own lands. Soon after, Hamid would fall. And soon after that a surprise came from Constantinople.



The Byzantines refused an Alliance, but were willing to guarantee Armenia much as the Knights had...probably because the AAL was running rampant through Ottoman territory. Such good news wouldn't last however...

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Armenian Army of Liberation, moving towards Bursa Province

"Why are we leaving Anatolia alone?" Lukasz asked, as he rode beside Gosdantin at the head of the army.

"I've received word that the Georgians and Knights are currently besieging the coastal provinces," the King replied, "we are going to lend our support."

Lukasz looked dubious, "What of the Ottomans? Their main army is in that area, and it outnumbers us heavily."

"The Knights army is nine regiments strong, the Georgians seven. With our support, we could crush the Ottomans."

The Pole still looked dubious, but held his tongue as Georgian banners became visible in the distance. The mountain men were besieging Bursa, and welcomed the Armenian support. The armies merged together, settling in for a long siege. Say what you will about the Turks, but even Lukasz was impressed with their fortifications. That would turn out to be the least of their problems however.

"Do you hear horsemen?" Gosdantin asked his military adviser.

Lukasz cupped his ear...listened...and nodded. Over the din of the siege, the sound of an approaching army could be heard. At first, it was assumed it was a detachment of Knights, coming to help take Bursa. Until, that is, they realized it was coming from the north not the south. That could only mean one thing...

"The Turks! Rally the men and form a line!" the King barked out, sending messengers to alert the Georgians.

For, in the distance, came a veritable swarm of Ottoman cavalry and infantry. Far too many to count, if not for the regimental banners...fifteen of them. Fifteen thousand Turks, against eleven thousand Georgians and Armenians. This was not going to be an easy fight...

And as the first wave of Turkish cavalry impacted the Georgian spearmen, this became even more obvious. The Georgians held fast, but the Ottomans weren't going to give up easily. As the first wave backed off, leaving broken men and horses behind, the second and third waves came in quick succession. Again and again, the Turk's cavalry battered the Georgian and Armenian lines, before backing off and letting new waves come to the fray.

Hundreds of men died in each assault, on both sides. But the Turks had more men, and knew the terrain better. The Georgians were used to fighting in the mountains of their homeland, not the deserts of Anatolia. And the last time Armenians had fought in Bursa was when it was still controlled by the Byzantine Romans. This advantage would be the killing blow in the First Battle of Bursa.

Days went by, both armies losing men and morale, but continuing to fight. Eventually however, the exhausted men at the front broke against a fresh Ottoman assault. Georgian and Armenian alike were routed, and fled to Anatolia province. The Turks chased them, and brought an end to the Army of Liberation. Gosdantin and Lukasz escaped with the Kings honor guard, but the Georgians were down for the count, and the new army being raised back in Cilicia lacked the experience for this fight.

It is believed, that this is the reason the Knights of St. John bowed out of the war entirely. Their army was no match for the battle-hardened Turks. Despite that however, the small Trebizond army lead by Zoe's father Alexios Komnenos continued to besiege the northern holdings of the Turks. This allowed Avedis the opportunity work out a decent peace deal with the Ottoman Sultan.



But not good enough for Gosdantin, who was determined to come out of this war with at least some territorial gains. Hamid remained under Armenian control, and the reformed Army was marching to aid Alexios, determined to avoid a repeat of the Battle of Bursa.



And at first, it would appear things were looking up again. The Ottoman army seemed content to defend Bursa, and was leaving the Armenian and Trebizondian forces alone aside from the occasional raid. Cypriot forces were doing their own raids up and down the coast, keeping the Turks busy. But, it would seem the Turkish Sultan had tired of this cat and mouse game. Armenian scouts began to report movements of the army that had destroyed the AAL. This was soon joined by Alexios and his men moving down from Bolu and into Angora.

"We have to retreat my son," Alexios said, referring to the recent marriage to Zoe, "the Turks are coming, and we lack the men to fight them."

"Nonsense!" Gosdantin replied, "I've fought them before, and they won't defeat me this time!"

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Some days later

Despite claims to the contrary, the Ottoman army smashed through the Greek and Armenian forces, pushing them back into Hamid and continuing the pursuit, much as they had done at Anatolia. With little choice in the matter, Gosdantin agreed to a humiliating treaty.



Armenia had come out of their first major war, defeated. The only silver lining was avoiding an assault on Cilicia itself, and that the Byzantines had decided to bring Armenia into their envelope. This did little to lift spirits back home however.

[hr][/hr]


Yeah, that war had been going well, until the AAL got wiped out with the Georgians, and the Knights bowed out. At that point, it was damage control more than anything else. Next update should be up in about a week.
 

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With how close it is to Christmas, I realized my 'weekly' update goal would of had me posting on Christmas Day. So I decided to post today, that way I don't miss my deadline.

Comments are always welcome, and here we go.

[hr][/hr]

Chapter 5: Why are we friends with the Georgians again?
Darn Hordes.​

Dramatis Personae

Armenia:
Gosdantin III Lusignan, King of Cilicia
Zoe Lusignan nee Komnenos, Queen of Cilicia
Avedis Kazanjian, Royal Treasurer/Diplomat (Level One Trade Tech Investor)
Lukasz Kurowecki, Minister of the Army (Level Three Fortification Expert)

Allies of Armenia:
Alexios III Komnenos, King of Trebizond

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With the somewhat depressing end to the First Ottoman War (none in Cilicia had any doubts it would be the only one), Armenia went into a phase of avoiding war with its neighbors. Byzantine and Knight guarantees, plus the triple alliance with Trebizond, Cyprus and Georgia aside, they weren't ready. At best, the territory they controlled could support ten thousand troops...the treasury couldn't do more than five without risking going into the negatives.

Thus, the court contented themselves with watching news from the other nations for now. Such as a very good reason that Cilicia was no longer a Roman vassal:



"If the Austrians will annex their own people, how would the Byzantines act towards us?" Avedis mused, reading the dispatch he had received (ironically, from a Roman messenger).

"Not well, my ancestors broke away for a reason," Zoe piped up, referring to Trebizond forming its own Empire some time before the Crusaders had sacked Constantinople.

Avedis nodded, "You have a point there."

You see, the Romans weren't generally viewed favorably in the Armenian court. Probably had something to do with not helping enough when the Turks overran Armenia-proper and reduced that great nation to the enclave in southern Anatolia they currently were. Trebizond was different, so their view of the split was generally more accepted.

A distraction soon arose in the form of the King slamming the door behind him, looking distinctly harried.

"Sir?" Avedis questioned.

"Don't let Lukasz in here," Gosdantin said, panting slightly.

"You mentioned me my Liege?" a Polish-accented voice said from the window.

Leaning in from said window was Lukasz, grinning devilishly.

"..."

"..."

"How did you get up there?" Zoe asked, when it became clear the other two weren't going to.

Lukasz shrugged, "I redesigned this Castle, there are few places I can't reach my Queen."

"And why is my husband so determined you shouldn't be here?"

"Well..."



"How was I supposed to know I insulted the Georgian ambassador? I assumed I was saying 'hello'," Gosdantin defended himself.

"You called his mother a dirt..." Lukasz began, before the King silenced him with a glare.

"I assume this has to do with the message I received from the Georgians?" Avedis spoke up, holding up another diplomatic message from the pile on his desk.



"...are you sure you didn't intentionally insult him dear?" Zoe asked dubiously.

"Positive," Gosdantin replied, "even if I hadn't had to hide here..."

"Which didn't work."

"I was coming to say goodbye before I rally the army. The Eretnids are still hurting from their last war and are allowing our troops to move through to help Georgia," he finished with a glare at the unrepentant Pole.

"Be careful," Zoe said, hugging the King.

"Don't worry dear, our army will be backing up your Fathers, so we won't be alone."

And with that, the King of Cilicia marched to yet another war. Little did he know that this would be his last...

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As they marched through territory still under assault from Byzantine forces, messages came from home. The riots that had arisen from the loss to the Ottomans had finally calmed down. Coincidentally, they had died down exactly when the missionaries in the newly renamed Orha Province had finished returning it to the Orthodox Christian fold.


(The Knights are doing amazingly well this game...)

This good news rose the Army's spirits as they rode through the Eretnid territory on their march to Georgia. The locals were unfriendly at best, but when they entered Giresun and Trebizond's territory began it changed significantly. Naturally, news had filtered down about Zoe's marriage to Gosdantin, and the Trebizondian people were coming out to see who their Princess had married. This lead to large groups of people cheering the Armenian Army on as it moved towards Georgia. Even a handful of stray units of Trebizond's army latched on so that they could join up with the main force already holding steady in Georgia.

Unfortunately, the good news couldn't last forever. As the Army crossed the border, news came from Avedis and it was not good.



Most of Ak Koyunlu's territory had fallen to the Mamluks.

"We're surrounded now my King. Lukasz is rallying the reserves and implementing more improvements to our fortifications, and the Navy is ready to evacuate Queen Zoe and Prince Musegh to Cyprus if need be. Please hurry and return."

As he read that message in the bitterly cold Georgian fall, Gosdantin frowned. It wasn't surprising that the Mamluks had expanded...but it was still far from a good thing.

"Come on men! We need to end this war quickly!!"

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Soon enough, banners became visible in the distance, many nations represented in their common goal of holding back the Horde. Byzantine, Georgian and Trebizond dominated, though Gosdantin thought he could pick out a few mercenary banners from nations such as Serbia. Standing at the head of the formation, and waiting to greet the approaching Armenians was the imposing form of Alexios Komnenos, the Commander of this mismatched Army.

"It is good to see you my son!" the Trebizondian called out, walking up and shaking hands with Gosdantin.

"It is good to see you too," Gosdantin agreed, "is this all we could muster?"

Alexios looked out at the twenty thousand troops and nodded, "With your regiments bolstering our forces to twenty regiments, yes. Palaiologos sent one regiment, the Georgians have gathered their entire army, and so have I."

"As have I," Gosdantin added, "the Horde?"

Alexios sighed, "Fourteen regiments besieging Abkhazia, and at least as many gathered around Grozny."

"Grozny? I thought that was their own territory?"

"It was, until rebels took control and asked for our governance."

"..."

"I didn't think it was a good idea either my son."

Before either man could discuss things further, a scout came up to Alexios with a message to deliver...the Horde had taken Abkhazia and was marching on the encampment. Battle had come to Georgia!!!



At first, the battle was going well for the Allies. The famed Mongol cavalry was being battered against the equally skilled Armenians, while Georgian and Byzantine spearmen kept the infantry busy. Alexios himself lead his own army on a flanking maneuver, aiming to push the Horde's troops into a trap. Unfortunately, despite suffering far more losses, a final charge of Mongol cavalry broke through the area where the Romans and Georgians met. Facing a potential surrounding of his army, Gosdantin took temporary command and ordered a withdrawal.



As the Allies fell back on Alania, Gosdantin watched from the rear as the Horde began a new siege. The Armenian cavalry had proven superior to the infamous Mongols in this battle, but it hadn't been enough to prevent the flaws of a multinational army from rearing its head...namely the difference in tactics between the Byzantines and Georgians. However...there may be a way to counter that...

"Alexios!!" the Armenian called out, riding up to his father-in-law's own horse.

"Yes my son?" the Trebizondian replied.

"I have a plan..."


(for the record I still have no idea how Trebizond got Grozny. I just assume it was rebels of some sort)

As the Trebizondian, Roman, and Georgian Armies consolidated around Alania, the Armenians continued on to the border of Kartli. The aim here was drawing the Horde into a trap. A successful one this time. Despite the losses suffered in the last battle, the Alliance could still muster twelve effective regiments. These men numbered the same as the Mongols chasing them, and the hope was that they could hold long enough for the Armenians to spring their trap.

And, at first, it looked like it would work. The two armies proved evenly matched under Alexios' command, neither giving any ground. The Armenians were coming in on the undefended flank of the Horde army, ready to smash them against the Allied walls. All was going according to plan when...



The Georgians signed a white-peace with the Golden Horde. Later historians would believe the beatings the Alliance Army had given the Horde gave them pause, and told them this wouldn't be an easy fight...especially if the Byzantines could bring the full force of their own Army to bear. At the time, Gosdantin just cursed up a storm, and was forced to sign his own white peace, with the ever-present threat of the Mamluks hovering over his homeland.

Alexios was understanding of this.

"Keep my daughter safe. That comes first my son...my friend. Palaiologos and I will continue to fight the Horde until Grozny is safe."

Gosdantin nodded, coughing slightly as he rallied his battered force and marched them back to Cilicia.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

When the King and his Army returned to Cilicia, the first thing he did was order an expansion of the Navy. The recent battles with the Horde and the Ottomans had made it quite clear Armenia couldn't stand up to the larger Islamic nations on its own. So he wanted a secure navy that could safely evacuate Zoe and his son to Cyprus if need be.



"Are you sure you're okay dear?" Zoe asked, worry showing quite plainly on her face.

Gosdantin coughed, something he had been doing ever since he had returned from the campaign in Georgia, "I'm fine, don't worry about me dear."

Zoe looked dubious, so the King put a hand on her cheek and looked in her brown eyes, "Don't worry. Even if I should die, you are in good hands. As much as they annoy me, Avedis and Lukasz know what they're doing. I wouldn't trust anyone else in command of my nation."

"Just...please be careful," the Queen said, "I don't want to lose you so soon. It hasn't even been ten years yet...our son is still so young."

Gosdantin grinned, even if it was painful to do so, "Oh don't worry, just because I trust those two doesn't mean I have any plans of dying yet."

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

Nonetheless, the King had to delegate more and more to his Court as he was getting sicker by the day. This lead to many problems in the outlying cities, such as a corrupt Bailiff.



Gosdantin was forced to order an execution, knowing that Armenia couldn't afford any problems with the Mamluks brutally cracking down on revolts in their new territory. Toss in the fall of Ak Koyunlu to Ottoman sponsored rebels, and things looked bleak. The Eretnids remained the only friendly Islamic nation in the area, and they came with the problem of blocking access to Trebizond.

And the problems didn't even end there, as the Knights new border with Armenia lead to some friction between the states.


(note: Yes, that says 1360. The screenshot is older than the 'story' timeline is at. But it provided nice material, so I used it here.)

It was the refusal of Gosdantin to capitalize on these issues that lead to the Eretnids being the first Islamic nation to open official ties with Armenia, beyond sending declarations of war. They were far from being willing to offer an alliance, but it was hoped in the future, they could be used as another ally against Ottoman aggression, and a buffer that would allow Cilicia to concentrate on reclaiming the Homeland.

Sadly, Gosdantin would not live to see that day. For on July 8th, 1366, the King who had secured the Quadruple Alliance, fought the Turks and Mongols, and reclaimed Urfa...passed away in his sleep.

Cilicia was now in mourning, as Queen Zoe tearfully assumed control of the functions of State, with Lukasz and Avedis continuing their own duties while tutoring young Musegh, who would now grow up without a father.




[hr][/hr]

Ten years in, and I already have my first King dead with the Mamluks cutting me off from all my allies aside from the Knights. I'm aiming for forming the rare Christian/Muslim alliance with the Eretnids, who really are quite surprisingly friendly to me, but for now its still the Quadruple Alliance of Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, and Trebizond that will bear most of the fighting.

Next update will be sometime after Christmas. Also, a question...does this writing style work? Just want to make sure if I should adjust things or not. And on that subject, does anyone have a favorite character? Want to make sure I'm developing people well enough and all.
 

Skywalker_T-65

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I'm trying a different tactic this time...smaller update, so I can split the Regency Years into two updates instead of one large one. Though, to be fair, not a whole lot happened during said years...

This will also be mixture of gameplay and narrative. Namely the first part of this update will be gameplay.
[hr][/hr]

The Regency of Musegh, Part 1

State of the World, 1366:



Not a whole lot going on in Europe, beyond Sweden not being OP here. They lost part of Finland to Portugal of all people, and part of Sweden itself is under Teutonic control. They also have their southern territory occupied by Norway and Denmark. Looks to me like they tried breaking out of Kalmar before they were ready. Sucks to be them.

Moving south, not much of importance aside from resurgent Byzantium, and a somehow still alive Granada. In Anatolia, the most important location for Armenia, the Knights have started to get back the Crusader Spirit, and have wiped out all the small Islamic nations (Karaman, Saruhan, Mentese) and are a ring around the Ottomans southern border. On the plus side, this means the Ottomans can't reach me without going through them. On the downside, it means the Byzantines have a reason to go to war with them once they've taken back Greece. And I'm still not sure how Grozny ended up in Trebizond's hands. Not to mention that's a problem since now I'll get dragged into Horde wars by both Georgia and Trebizond...fun...

Not to mention Armenia being surrounded by the Mamluks, who historically took over in the 1370's....

Moving on:



Yuan has collapsed, and I'm wondering which of the Chinese nations will come out on top. Looking like the Ming, but we'll see. On a more worrying note...the Timurids are well on their way to their historic conquests. This could be problematic if they get there before I'm ready, since I can't even fight the Ottomans or Mamluks right now, leave alone Timur. And India is still a soup of nations that would make the HRE envious.

Not much of interest in the rest of the world (since North America is empty...might have installed the Mod wrong, or that's the way it is by default. Not sure, but it will be interesting come the late 1400's and colonization by the Western Europeans). And now we'll move on to the story.

[hr][/hr]

Dramatis Personae

Armenia:
Zoe Lusignan (Komnenos), Queen of Cilicia
Musegh Lusignan, Prince of Cilicia
Avedis Kazanjian, Royal Treasurer/Diplomat
Lukasz Kurowecki, Minister of the Army
[hr][/hr]

"Musegh, you need to study this!!" Avedis called out tiredly, watching as the young heir sulked into the room.

"But I don't like studying trade, Uncle Avedis," the boy complained.

That brought a smile to the older man's face, "Neither did your father. But come on, tell me what the importance of these dispatches are."





"Hmm..." Musegh looked over the documents his 'Uncle' had given him with a keen eye.

Avedis watched this with some amount of interest. Musegh didn't like studying, but he seemed to have inherited his Mother's intelligence, as he was quite the prodigy. So it would be interesting to see his view on these seemingly random dispatches.

"The trade rights to Bourbonnais' iron is something we should keep an eye on here," the heir said tapping his chin, "if we have any resources other nations don't, they'll offer the same thing Genoa did. And the Hanseatic League has been looking to expand into the Venetian markets, and might be receptive to our merchants, if they can manage the trip."

The Treasurer nodded, and smiled, "Correct Musegh. Though unless someone wants our fish, we aren't going to be getting trade rights requests any time soon."

Musegh laughed at that, "Tell me about it Uncle Avedis. Anything else you need me for?"

"You still have things to study," the man replied, "we'll make a King out of you yet."

"Is this from Uncle Lukasz then?"



"Yes, he wanted your opinion on what we should do."

"But I don't make these decisions."

"True, but our Polish friend wants to test your military knowledge. So...do we listen to this Shipwright?"

"...hmmm....I say no."

"And why is that?"

"Because...I'm not sure Uncle Avedis. It just seems fishy to me."

The older man nodded again, "Good eye Musegh. I had Lukasz look this over, and it looks like our dear Shipwright is in competition with the Royal Shipwrights. And he would have good reason to sabotage them. You're young, but you have good instincts."

Musegh grinned at the praise, before actually starting his studies now that Avedis had gotten him fired up. The Diplomat/Trader smiled slightly at that, before leaving the young heir to his work. He had his own work to do, such as the dispatch sitting in his coat.



"My Queen, why did you order this?" Avedis asked, once he had reached the Royal Chambers.

Zoe was sitting in her chair, looking to the North as she usually did since Gosdantin had passed on. But she turned around at the sound of her friends voice.

"Karamanese refugees from the Knights," she answered tiredly, "too many of them were trying to convince our...your...people that Cilicia belonged to them."

"They are just as much your people now too my Queen, even if you aren't Armenian," the man replied."

Zoe smiled weakly, "Thank you Avedis. Now, is there something else you needed to tell me?"

"The Shipwright in Adana is stirring up some trouble, but nothing serious. I'll leave you to your thoughts," Avedis said, bowing slightly as he left the Queen alone.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

It turned out that the 'trouble' was very minor indeed. Not even a month later, it had run out of steam.



"I wonder what he hoped to achieve," Avedis muttered.

As he was thinking about that, Lukasz came running up to him. The Pole looked out of breath, which was odd considering his seemingly boundless energy. Avedis put that aside though, as another dispatch was put in his hands.



"The Navy isn't enough," Lukasz said as he panted, "and the Army isn't much use here."

Avedis nodded, "Indeed...we may just have to put up with this until the Navy has been reinforced further."

"I'm already on it," the Pole replied, a ghost of a grin on his face, "fortifications and strong ships aren't that much different. The Royal Shipwrights agree with me too!!"

"..."

And now part of Avedis wondered if the Shipwright had been correct...

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

"Musegh," Zoe called out, "where are you?!"

The Queen had been frantically searching the castle, looking for her wayward son. The boy didn't normally hide or go missing, not for several years at any rate. And she was extremely worried...she'd even recruited her younger son David into helping look for his brother. Neither of them had any luck as of yet though, and that seriously worried the former Princess of Trebizond.

"My Queen!!" Lukasz's distinct Polish accent echoed through the halls, "I found Musegh...hurry!!!"

If she hadn't been worried before, Zoe certainly was now. Few things shook the Pole, and he sounded terrified. Moving as fast as she could, Zoe came into the library and saw Musegh carefully laying on the table, breathing heavily.



"No...not him too..." the Queen said, worry laced through her tone.

"I found him in his chair my Queen," Lukasz said, as Avedis and David came running into the room, "I..don't know what afflicts him."

"Avedis...find a Medicus. I don't care how much money it costs," Zoe said, her voice low as she held a hand to Musegh's burning forehead.

The Treasurer/Diplomat nodded, and ran from the room. Memories of Gosdantin's last days flashing through his head as he looked for someone to tend to Musegh...

[hr][/hr]

Next update should be up soon, since I have the screenshots already. Let me know what you think!
 

blklizard

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This is definitely an interesting challenge. I usually see Armenia gone within two years of the game start since the Mamluks practically always target Armenia first. Thus, you are already getting quite lucky. I'm looking forward to see how you will fare with The Mamluk always looking to eat you up.

Seeing Sweden struggling is a rare situation for me. I usually see them taking a chunk of Norway early and becomes a medium power in the Baltic. In D&T, Granada is a vassal of Castille which explains why they still exist. After 1450 (I think), they get integrated into Castille through an event. The fact that the Ottomans haven't become a dominant power is interesting too. There might be a chance that Byzantium get a comeback thanks to that.

The situation is China will clear up soon. Once one of the Chinese nations gain most of China, the other Chinese nations will automatically be integrated and you get a single dominant Chinese nation controlling nearly all of China. They probably won't bother you but, in D&T, they are a lot more stable and will last until end of game if you don't bother them. As for Timurids, it's going to be tough for them to repeat history. The start you had just isn't too kind to the Timurids gaining the dominance they had in history. Most likely, Persia will start to take over the area. In India, Delhi will become the dominant power. They have a couple of personal unions that make them the uncontested dominant power in the area. Just give them enough time and they will become Hindustan.

You didn't make a mistake with your installation. North America is empty because the modders feel they don't have a correct way to represent the nations there.
 

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Lovely AAR. You're really in a tight spot.
 

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-blklizard: Yeah, I'm getting really lucky with the Mamluks spending more time beating up on their other neighbors than me. Here's hoping it keeps up. Sadly, things don't get better for the Swedes...they've lost even more territory now. China is still a mess though, since Yuan managed to retain some semblance of control, even if it lost most of its territory (its just a mess of large Chinese nations, instead of small ones). Glad you're enjoying the AAR!

-Gnorf: Very tight spot, since the Mamluks can eat me alive, allies or no allies, if they really wanted to. Glad you're enjoying it!



I'm planning on updating tomorrow, even if its a little early. I've played something like 20 years forward, so I have enough to work with even after the end of the Regency Years.
 

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Don't care if it's early, I want to read more! Really like your writing style.
 

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And here's the promised update. And its even shorter than the last one, since I forgot a couple screenshots...whoops. On the plus side, the next one should be up even quicker at least.
[hr][/hr]

Chapter 7: The Regency of Musegh, Part II​
And thus the cliffhanger is ruined​

Dramatis Personae

Armenia:
Zoe Lusignan (Komnenos), Queen of Cilicia
Musegh Lusignan, Prince of Cilicia
Avedis Kazanjian, Royal Treasurer/Diplomat
[hr][/hr]

Despite the fears of the Queen and her cabinet, Musegh survived his illness, even if it left him weaker than before. It also left him somewhat more introspective, studying more and devoting himself to learning how to run the Cilician government. His brother David was rarely away from his side, the two getting closer after the heirs near-death experience.

"Musegh, come here," the Prince's mother called out...sadly?

"What is it Mother?" Musegh asked, worried about what could make Zoe sound so sad.

"Your Uncle Lukasz...has passed on," the Queen answered, holding the message from Avedis.



"What?!" Musegh cried out, "how?!"

"He was working on a border fort when an Eretnid arrow..." Zoe trailed off, her eyes slightly red.

Few things got Musegh riled up these days...this however...

"I thought the Eretnids were friendly," he ground out, fists clenched at his sides.

Zoe nodded, "They were. Their new leader is eager to prove himself to the rest of the Islamic world however. I've already ordered their embassy torn down, but...we can't do more, not now."

"Because no one would recognize a declaration of war from you."

"Correct."

Musegh sighed sadly, "I will prepare for the funeral."

Zoe nodded again, watching her son walk off. She wasn't blind, and she knew that crazy Pole's death was going to hurt him. The Eretnids had gained his anger too, and somehow...the former Princess of Trebizond knew they would come to regret that.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

With Lukasz dead, his post as Minister of the Army was open. The Pole had claimed he wanted his son to succeed him, but the boy was even younger than David, and in no position to take the post anytime soon. So, Armenian agents were spread far and wide, looking for someone to replace the Pole. Turns out, they need only look to the nation right next door to Lukasz's old homeland...Lithuania.



Tomas Tiskevicius (somehow managing to have an even harder to pronounce last name than Lukasz) wasn't a fortification expert like the Pole, but he did have a knack for getting the most out of a nations manpower. This could prove useful if the Mamluks ever decided to invade, even if Armenia now lacked Lukasz fortification expertise.

In fact, one of the very first things the new Lithuanian Minister had done was find a very promising general amongst the younger population of Armenia.



"If I may be so bold my Queen," Tomas said, "we can't afford to waste this opportunity."

Zoe looked thoughtful. On the one hand, they ran the risk of annoying nobles. On the other hand, Avedis made a living off annoying the Armenian Nobility, so this wouldn't really change things much. With that in mind, Zoe nodded a yes.

Tomas grinned at that, and set out to inform the young man that he was now a General (the General) of Armenia.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

After recruiting the new General, not much happened in the remaining years of Musegh's regency. The Mamluks were too busy putting down revolts it seemed, as they refused to attack. The Ottomans seemed too worried about the resurgent Knights of St. John and Roman Empire on their borders to try fighting Armenia again. All in all, things were going surprisingly well, even if Cilicia was limited to its original territory (plus Orha) still.

The most interesting thing was a trade offer from Novgorod of all people.



"...someone does want our fish?" Avedis mused, as he read the dispatch.

"I'm somewhat surprised by that Uncle Avedis," an older Musegh replied.

"So am I...but I'm not complaining by any means either."

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

Soon enough though, Musegh was old enough to truly take the reigns of the Armenian throne. Zoe crowned her eldest son, and then stepped aside, after making sure his brother David was the new heir. She would help him as she could, but...it was his time now. Time for Musegh the First to show if he could carry Armenia through the tough times ahead.

All they could do was hope.


(for those wondering...David was already 10 or so when Musegh came to the throne. Unless our new King had a kid at age 6 or so...you can see why I made David his brother)

[hr][/hr]

Next chapter will be up within a few days, and is a big one. To give a hint...I get in not one, but two wars at once.
 
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