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Foreword

Hello!

I'm staring an AAR, set in an early XIII century, in the Westernmost Princedom of Rus' in times right before, during, and hopefully after the Mongol Invasion.

For this AAR I'll be using an absolutely awesome Historical Immersion Project mod, namely its SWMH, VIET Traits, ARKOpack and NRBT submodes. Project Balance and VIET Events and Immersion are turned off. The other mod I'm using is pfried's "Generational Inbreeding" , both submodes are on.

Thanks to HIP team and pfried for their work.

Two things I have to tell you first:

1) This is my first AAR ever, so I may be altering styles here and there, until I find a format that works.
2) English is not my native language, so if you find any mistakes, weird turns of speech, or general incomprehensibility - feel free to criticise.

I've started the game in a year 1215, as Prince Daniil Romanovich Rurikovich of Volhyn', the first year he become playable. For the sake of atmosphere I'm planning to use occasional Russian/Old Russian word here and there, definition of course will be provided.

That's all for now, onwards to the AAR itself, dear reader!

Table of Contents

Prologue (6738 of the World, 1229 A.D)

Chapter 1 - The True Prince (Years of the World 6714-6724 (1205-1215 AD)

Chapter 2 - The Game is on (Year of the World 6715 (1216 A.D.)
Chapter 3 - The Crown of Galich (Year of the World 6715 (1216 A.D)
Chapter 4 - Of Dreams Fulfilled and Lessons Learned (Years of the World 6715-6716 (1216-1217 A.D.)
The Princes​

1. Daniil Romanovich Rurikovich (2.01.1201 - )
Prince of Volyn' (1215 - ), Prince of Galich (1216 - )
 
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ekorovin

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Prologue (the year 6738 of the World, 1229 of Our Lord Jesus Christ)​

The wide field, turn into a swamp of muddy water by horses’ hooves was beginning to froze. The weather turned, rain stopped, and light snow was falling from the dark-grey twilight sky, covering the dead and dying men and beasts. The detachments of Mongol cavalry left the field to pursue remnants of Kypchak host, routed and devastated, but most Mongols returned to the fires of their camp, to dry and get warm and celebrate. The field was theirs, and so was the day.

4d29CYu.gif

But night descended on the field, and night belonged to scavengers. The first groups of peasants form the neighboring villagers and camp followers from both sides were already here, stripping the bodies, Mongol and Kypchak alike, of their worldly possessions. And here and there they were stripping the life off wounded warrior, strong enough to try to resist. Wounded too heavy to try were generally left alive. Wolves would come later.

Z9NpZUO.jpg

Petru reluctantly made his way through the field. 14 summers old, he was weak from fatigue and cold, but most of all, from hunger. He knew he has no chance in short and violent clashes over some valuable looted from dead body, that were constant between different groups of scavengers here and there on the field, so he tried to keep low profile, and walked far outskirt of battlefield.

Petru wasn’t experienced in this type of business. In fact, it was his first battlefield. He left his village, where, being the fourth son of rather poor family, he had nothing waiting for him. He wanted to go to the city of Yasi, capital of Moldova, to find work. He left his village after the harvest fair. He thought that great fortune awaited him in Yasi.

But of course, by the time he was anywhere near the city the Mongols arrived, making deep thrust in Moldovan territory, going straight for Yasi. Voivode Kozel, the first among Kypchak Catholic beys ruling over Moldova called his levies. So Catholic and Pagan Kypchaks, and few remaining Vlach Orthodox Boyars were calling theirs. Petru, eager for adventures, enlisted into the company of Boyar Antoniu Zimbrean. The company was totally unprepared for what was coming. The march to the rallying point saw half of company deserted, and other half slowly drinking themselves to death. They haven’t got enough weapons; Petru never even touched a sword. When they arrived to their destination, Kypchak bey commanding the force threw Zimbrean into a pit, disbanded his company, and enlisted few of them possessing any weapons to other companies. Now all of them were dead or dying on this field.

WfMArU7.png

Kozel, Voivode of Moldova

Petru’s fingers were freezing. He had mittens, tucked under the rope around his waist. But he thought they would make cutting fingers of dead bodies for rings to clumsy. He still couldn’t bring himself to cut any, though.

“Oi, brother”, he heard, in Valachian. The caller was lying, his legs under the weight of his horse. The arrow was stuck in horse’s eye. He clearly was a noble, clad in chain mail, and pointy Kypchak helmet with gold inscription was on his head. “Kypchak’s not my brother” – Petru replied, tying to gather enough hate, anger and spite to end this helpless man life. “I’m no Kypchak” – the man said – “no Latin, no Pagan, I’m Orthodox, brother, go look.” Clumsily, as like few of his fingers were broken, he went under the caller, and dug out the cross. Cautiously, Petru approached close enough to look. The man’s cross was wooden, but the figure of Christ was golden. The cross had additional beams, in Orthodox style. “Help me, brother, and you can have it, you can have my helmet, too. And my saddle.” Petru helped the man. He was a good guy, still.

After the horse’s body was removed from men’s legs, he was still reluctant to move. “My leg is broken”, he said, help me to stand up. Help me, and come with me, to Suchava, Boyar there is a relative of mine.” Suchava belonged to Russian prince of Galych, Petru knew, rich and powerful, and Orthodox. And if he helped Boyar’s relative…the fortune may still awaited him. Slowly he started to lift the man up. Then sudden cold pain struck his side. He fell, face up, and the gentle touch of falling snow was the last thing he ever felt.

The man in a inlaid helm stood up, the dagger dropped out of his grip. The fingers were broken, of course, but thankfully legs were not. He lied about that. He also lied about being a relative of a Boyar in Suchava. Alexander Rurikovich was the relative of Princes. He hid behind horse’s body. Slowly, using only one hand he started striping down his armor, in his noble gear he would never reach Galichian border alive. Sometime later a non-descript peasant, in a clothes too small, started slowly moving through the field, carefully avoiding attention of other scavangers.

62G67Ou.png

Moldova after the first Mongol Invasion

Alexander Rurikovich didn’t spare a thought about the boy he killed. He disliked corpse-robbers, and he detested stupid people in general. He had to warn Cousin about these Tartars. But he was thankful for the mittens.

dupIolW.png
 
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ekorovin

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Chapter 1​
The True Prince
Years of the World 6714-6724 (1205-1215 AD)

The prince always remembered the year of the World 6724 (1215 A.D).
It was a good year. He was a Prince in Volyn', and the bells of the Cathedral of Vladimir-Volynski were ringing happily. And Daniil was happy too. Finally, he was a Prince.
ZOegzCP.jpg
Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir-Volynski, modern view​

Of course he was a Prince since he was three, since his father, Roman Mstislavich with all of his druzhina, was cut down by Polish swords at Zavihost.

0QYWm3b.png
Prince Roman Mstislavich​

But what a princedom was it? It was not befitting a prince to be smuggled out of his capital, to flee his unruly boyars. It was not befitting a prince to make a deal, to offer his birthright, Galych, to Ugorian King, in exchange for his life a protection. His mother made it, of course, and his mother was no Prince. She may be the daughter of Emperor in Tsargrad, but Fryags took Tsargrad, and Latin heretics serve in St. Sophia. Fryags took Tsargrad, and Ugrs took Galich. Latins took St. Sophia, and Latins took St. Panteleimon. Was it befitting a Prince to betray his faith?

1gz13V7.jpg
St. Panteleimon Cathedral in Galych​

jCwb0oj.png

Andras II Arpad, King of Hungary​
Was it befitting a Prince to live as a hostage, in Krakov, in the castle of the very same prince, who killed his father? It wasn’t, and he wasn’t a prince at all. When was he a Prince for the first time? When Prince Leszek send him to Visegrad to strike a deal with Ugorian king, when he was put in Galich’s stol by Ugorian swords? No, for the prince who rules by the swords of the foreigners is no true prince.

WCQogV6.png
Leszek "the White" Piast, Prince of Poland, Prince of Krakov and Sandomir, defeated Roman in the battle of Zavihost, Roman was killed.​

Was it after Ugorian host withdrew, and boyars sent him and his mother in their steed? He was 10-years old then, he stuck a man with the sword, way too heavy for him, but they just laughed and overpower him. And the prince who is not supreme power in his princedom is no prince at all. King Andras of Ugorshina threw them out of his castle, and struck a deal with Galician boyars, and a sweet deal it was. his infant son, Kalman, gained Galich, and the Pope of course recognized him as a true King in Galich, but there should be no King in Galich, there should be a Prince. But he wasn’t a Prince then.



r72cp9b.png

Kalman Arpad, King in Galich*​


His mother and he went back to Krakov, and Leszek , envious of Ugorian success, sent a host to Galich.
Boyarin Vladislav Kormilichich, regent of false king Kaloman, met the Polish host with his Hungarian and Czech regiments. Poles were victorious, and there, near Tichoml’, 12 years old Daniil, fighting in the thick of Polish cavalry, for the first time was Prince in all trueness.


There was betrayal, of course. Leszek, Grand Prince of Poland, and Andras, King of Hungary, stuck a deal. The infant daughter of Leszek was betrothed to Andras’s son Kaloman, false king in Galych. But sometime in that parlay, after all important stuff, almost as an afterthought, kings decided to throw Daniil a bone, to put him on Princely stol of Volhyn. They thought he will be content with that, that he will forsake his birthright. They thought he was not a Prince.

They were mistaken, of course. He will take that bone they threw him, and he will sharpen it, and then, one day, he will bury it in the sockets of their eyes. For he was a Prince, noble and true, and for the first time of his life he had a Princedom.


The bells of Dormition cathedral in Vladimir-Volynskiy were ringing happily, for Volyn had a Prince. He was 14 years old
zlTm3Ke.png


Glossary and footnotes
In order of appearance:

Druzhina - retinue of the Prince or other aristocrat.

Boyarin (plural - Boyars) - landed aristocracy, the rank lower then Grand Prince and Prince. Princely ranks were reserved only for members of Rurikovich clan. By the time of our story there are literally thousands of Rurikovichs at large.

Ugorshina, Ugr, Ugorian - Hungary, Hungarian.

Tsargrad, literally Tsar-city, - Constantinople.

Fryags - Franks, in the context - crusaders in general.

Stol, prestol - throne (ironically enough, the word "stol" literally means "table", not a "chair", like would expect.

The game considers Kalman Arpad a Duke, but his title was a "King", granted him by Pope Innocentius III
 
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ekorovin

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As you can see, the first chapter deals with events preceding the actual gameplay.

Question - should I continue using Old Russian terms or you would be better off with normal English words for throne and Hungary?
 

Elm0__

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Nice history so far. :) You can use russian terms, it's ok for me. And more thing to mention: Leszek wasn't actually a King, but only High Duke of Poland. CK2 portraits him as king for simplicity and to avoid mess with other polish dukes during the Fragmentation of Poland.
 

ekorovin

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Nice history so far. You can use russian terms, it's ok for me. And more thing to mention: Leszek wasn't actually a King, but only High Duke of Poland. CK2 portraits him as king for simplicity and to avoid mess with other polish dukes during the Fragmentation of Poland.

Thanks! I've edited the post to reflect Leszek's title. Polish wiki calls him "książę", which is the same title as Russian "Knyaz'", so he goes as Prince now. Polish infighting will be adressed in the AAR and Konrad I Piast Mazowiecki will make an appearance.
As for terms, I'll give more thought to it, probably I'll use some Russian terms for the specifics, but would stick to modern/English words concerning geography.


This is really awesome, can't wait for the next update!
Thanks! It would probably come later today.
 

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Chapter 2

The game is on

Year of the World 6715 (1216 A.D.)

Chisday Olkusz couldn’t care less about this new prince. In fact, Chisday Olkusz couldn’t care less about lot of things, sanctity of Sabbath, separation of milk and meat, the succession of Patriarchs long dead. Chisday, tailor’s apprentice, was a smug 21-year old man with a haughty demeanour and a face of a man, possessing a secret.

lZGXlJ3.jpg
Typical wooden Synagogue of the region​

But Chisday truly possessed a one. The secret being, that the bald, a bit fat, but generally not outstanding Jewish tailor, named Mordecai, was arguably the most powerful, and non-arguably richest man in the Principality of Volyn’.


Three horsemen arrived to the courtyard of Mordecai the Tailor’s house. “Go away, we’re closed” – Chisday shouted, but the riders ignored him. They dismounted in the courtyard, and Chisday took a closer look at them. One was a tall man of average build, moving with a precision of a master swordsman, his gestures and poses of the man, who gotten use to command. The second was bearded man with bear-like constitution. The third was a boy on a verge of manhood. Although without armour, all three of them had a druzhina feel. The first was probably a grid’, the second was otrok, the boy was detskiy.

9cM2HvQ.jpg
XIII century druzhina

Chisday checked his hidden dagger, druzhina in the tailor’s house meant trouble, carefully he observed the commander for any hidden gestures, any signal. Suddenly, the bearded one grabbed him around the shoulders, threw him on the ground, scaring chickens, and kicked him in the hand, sending the dagger to fly out of his reach. He never saw the signal, because it came from a boy.

tV92wLh.png
Chisday later in life​
Disarmed and defeated, he was lifted back to his feet, the bearded man’s hand heavy around his shoulders, and let through the door into a tailor’s house. The door was already open, and tailor Mordecai bowed before the intruders. “Ah, the greatest Prince, to what this simple tailor owes the pleasure of Princely visitation?” he asked. “Oh, - the boy said – “I do not want to visit a tailor, we have plenty of those. I wanted to visit a Rahdonit.”


The following night Alexander Rurikovich set behind the long a robust wooden chair in a Prince’s palace, seemingly lost in thought. He was a prince in his own right, but his princely stol in Berestie was subordinate to Volyn’. When he heard about his cousin’s ascension, he had half a mind to raise banners and claim Volyn’ for himself.


It was a rich principality, sitting on crossroad of trade. From East, from Magometan strongholds on the Sea of Hwalynsk and in the mouth of Volga, the goods from Persia, India, and fabled Kitai went through Volyn’ westwards, towards Prague. In the opposite direction, the goods from Cesarstvo went to Magometans. That was the ancient way “From Khazars to Nemci” The other way went up Luga and then up Western Bug rivers led to Varyag Sea. Siting on Luga, Vladimir-Volynsky controlled both of them.

OhUeuqo.png
Early Medieval trade routes, bit of period, Volyn' lies on an orange one, southwest from Kiev​

But he decided to approach with caution, to visit his new sovereign first. Shrewd and careful was Price of Berestye, and some would call him craven, but not where they thought he’d here. They were mistaken usually, for Prince of Berestye had ears everywhere.


And when he met the boy, he knew he was right in his caution. Something about that boy told, that if Alexander wronged him, he would pay dearly. But something about this boy also whispered of future greatness, of victories and glory. And Alexander didn’t want to stay in the way of that. Nearly 100 years passed since the death of great Vladimir Monamakh, and Russians principalities was involved in petty squabbles since then, while Polovtsi and Litvins raded deeply into the Russian lands, and foreign kings set in ancestral halls of the House of Rurikovich.


And so this council gathered. Alexander set his eyes on the figures present. The Prince, the Rahdonit, Prince’s mother, Anna Angelos, and a man with a long black moustache, his wool hat on his knees. He smelled of goats and death, his people called him Uncle. And of course Alexander himself.

The only person of importance missing was the Archbishop, but if he and the Rahdonit were in the same room the fight would probably ensue. Not for the religious differences, but for the control over taverns.
The Archbishop was already briefed.

PXCA4rD.png

“And so, - the Prince said – what is to be decided? What shall we do to dethrone the false King?”

“Ah, - Rahdonit replied, he left his tailor’s disguise out of this room, no more scared and petty man, but rather a man of Imperial dignity, - young Kalman is set to dethrone himself, his Hungarian compatriots persuaded him to banish boyarin Vladislav Kormilchich, his former Regent”

“What of it? – Prince’s mother, Anna Angelos, cut off – my husband banished the bugger, he just keeps returning.”

The time wasn’t kind to Anna, her beauty faded, and where in the past was serenity and pace, befitting Emperor’s daughter, nervousness and constant worrying settled.

“This was late prince’s mistake, but that belongs to the past. Galichian boyars hold no love for Kalman. But Vladislav was their leader, and when they acknowledged Kalman, they did it only because Vladislav would be the regent. And all this banishment thing, that just reminded them why they didn’t like Prince’s father.”

“Moreover, – Alexander begun, after Rahdonit finished – “Kalman, or rather Tamas, his new Regent, begun to instill Ugrs in Boyars’ seats. Not one family was ousted, their lands confiscated for the Crown. He even instil some Ugr in Terebovl’”

FTKIwjl.png

“Terebovl’? – the Prince said – Princely stol? Now, our dear family, Cousin, would love to hear that. If foreign korolevich isn’t an affront enough for them, how would they look on some shoemaker from Pest ruling the Russian principality? They may even stop they squabbles for a minute and send some help to us.”

“That all is very well, but even in a better times Kalman’s military power was negligible, his father is a problem, - Rahdonit said – and even if all principalities send help, by the time they’d arrived, his father, King of Hungary, would burn Volyn’ to a crisp. We can’t stop him from crossing the Carpathians”

NTE8Wjs.jpg

Hungarian warriors

“Aye, - the Uncle said, - we can’t, but let him cross. Mountain clans got no love for this Madyars. Hutsuls will bloody his ranks, steal his sheep. His army would be eating grass by the time it reaches this side of the mountains. And when he would be on this side, the clans would descend into Hungary. I’m an old man myself, but my nephews would love to do some pillaging. Let him cross back if he doesn’t want to entertain his wife in his castle.” Uncle’s smile was terrifying, and not because of missing teeth.

qpDoVFJ.png

Hutsuls, fiercely independent, semi-nomadic mountain people of Carpathian Mountains, and their favourite battleaxe "bratka" ("little brother")

“And even as we speak, - Alexander said, - His Grace, the Archbishop is instructing his agents. Not a fortnight from now all kalikas and strannicas in Rus would be preaching about devout Orthodox prince devoid of his birthright by Papist infidels. And of the churches of Galich, desecrated by Latins. May be they even washed their boots in baptistery, that one always works well. Our ranks would swell with peasants in their rightful anger.”

The council was adjourned, and the Prince left his hall. He stood in a inner courtyard of the palace, and watched, as far to the East the sunrise begun to paint the sky in a colour of blood. And the Prince felt good.

Glossary​

Druzhina - I wanted to add, that the word "druzhina" comes from a word "drug" ("friend") and literally translates as "fellowship". The ties between Prince and his Druzhina were stronger, than usual "commander-subordinate" relationship.

Grid' - Officer rank in druzhina.

Otrok - private, common rank in druzhina.

Detskiy, plural "detskie" - youngest warriors, not yet initiated into druzhina.

Iz khazar v nemci - "From Khazars to Germans", ancient trading route.

Sea of Khavlynsk
- Caspian Sea

Cesarstvo - Holy Roman Empire

Varyag Sea - Baltic Sea

Polovtsi - Cumans.

Litvins - Lithuanians

Korolevich - King's son.

Kalikas
- usualy mentally or phisically handicapped persons, roaming the roads of Rus', preaching and living off charity. They were considered "touched by Holy Spirit", and thus could preach whatever they want. Even during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, some kalikas openly preached, that the Tsar is abomination of Evil, with no consequences.

Strannitsas - literally "female wanderers", nuns, roaming the roads of Rus', preaching etc. - see kalikas.
 
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ekorovin

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Chapter 3

The Crown of Galich​

I will go as voulonteer to the Great War.
If I don’t die in Carpathians, I’ll surely drown in Mazur
If the evil bullet from the walls of Peremyshl’ won’t get me,
Then I’ll be able to get my hands to enemy
If the God wants me to fight in Stohod, okay –
Well, I suppose it’s my fate to die in Galichia anyway.

WWI period folk song, horribly translated by me.​

Year of the World 6715 (1216 A.D.)

Chisday sat on the slop of low hill, overlooking the most of Russian princes’ camp. Over the grand multitude of tents and pavilions the styags flew. The highest bore the image of the false Messiah of Christians.

dvB1POi.jpg

The lower were princely styags of principalities – sword-weilding angel of Kiev, black eagle of Chernigov, gold-horned stag of Rostov, crowned falcon of Suzdal’, lion, holding cross of Vladimir, the swordsman of Ryazan’ and many more, unknown to Chisday. Prince Daniil’s hosts flew two banners, white cross on the red for Volyn’ and black jackdaw on white, for Galich. That of course could lead to confusion, but, thankfully, King Kalman’s regiments stuck to using red-and-white stripes of House Arpad.

e6QhIp7.jpg

As far as military campaigns go, this was uneventful.

Tamas, Regent of Galich, apparently possessed some shred of competence, for he swiftly took his army from indefensible Galich (city changed hands 6 times since 1205 A.D., and its fortifications were in ruins) and rushed north-west to impregnable fortress Peremyshl’, controlling the Carpathian passes.
He planned to wait for King Andras host to cross the mountains, regroup, and then counter-attack. This move, unfortunately, left all of principality undefended, and boyars and peasantry rose everywhere at once, butchering every person seen as Hungarian. That was nasty affair.

Some Hungarian gentry were still defending their new holdings, notably in the castle of Terebovl’. Chisday tried not to think about fates of Galichian Jews, their homes looted and razed and them killed or forced to flee, mistaken for Hungarians, out of religious zeal, or just for plunder. Chisday, attached to the force as Prince’s letter-writer formally, and as Rahdonit’s eyes and hears in reality, wasn’t pleased with his master’s role in all of this.

While the most of Volynian host encircled Peremyshl’, Chisday was attached to a light cavalry troop dispatched to Galich to stop looting and install martial law. While fortress of Peremyshl’ was nearly impregnable, it wasn’t prepared for siege, reserves of food were not made, and Tamas, not being King David’s peer in an art of war, let too many of his soldiers inside, believing that safety is in numbers. So after few botched sorties, fortress surrendered.

King Andras’s host arrived just then, wearied thin by continuous attacks by Hutsuls on its way through the mountains. They saw Peremyshl’ flying red and white stripes of Arpad.
By that time, outriders and light cavalry in Hungarian army were nearly non-existing, cut down by Hutsuls, or sent back to Hungary to deal with their brazen raids. So the Hungarians, possessing no intelligence, proceeded right to the gates of Peremyshl’ in a marching order, when suddenly they were met with a rain of arrows, and blood-red drop-like shields of Russian cavalry descended on their flanks. It wasn’t very much of a battle.

4ac6mCy.jpg

Even after a grievous defeat at Peremyshl’, King Andras still possessed a force to be reckoned with, but with a newly arrived army of Russian Principalities before him and a victorious host in an impregnable fortress of Peremyshl’ between him and home, Andras decided to cut his losses. The Genovese bankers, gladly financing his campaigns in Croatia, where he disturbed Venetian hegemony on Adriatics, wasn’t so generous in case of war against House of Rurikovich, esteemed trading partners and protectors of Genovese colonies in Crimea from nomadic tribes of the Steppe.

Leszek Piast called his levies and prepared to march for Berestye, with hole Principality of Volyn’ lying defenseless before him, but was disturbed by his brother Konrad, Prince of Mazovia, pressing his claim for Leszek’s titles. Before that Konrad took Agafia Rurikovich, from Rurikovichs of Smolensk, for a wife and priveleges of Mazovian merchants in Berestye and Vladimir-Volynski fairs were confirmed. “One could wonder how this coincidences happen” – Chizday said to himself.

AMUh5fr.jpg
Mazovian horse. Because I can/​

And so, the parley was held on a field near the town of Sambor.

Alexander Rurikovich was tired. Andras Arpad was a haggled hard, and that was annoying, since he had no levity. But the parley dragged for days. Prince of Berestye personally managed patrols encircling the Russian camp, to prevent any instances of secret correspondence from Ugorian king reaching this or that Prince. Separate settlements were not to be made, Prince Daniil was adamant in that. Alexander also played the role of the Regent. True Regent was of course Anna Angelos, Prince’s mother, but she was nowhere capable of the role. The plot was on the way to marry her to King of Serbia’s son, thus ensuring an alliance with Serbia, which may come handy in case of a new war with Hungary, but mainly it would remove her from Principality. The dignitaries began pouring into the pavilion. The next round of parley begun.

YnLjruG.jpg

The day was over, and the sounds of the camp were fading. The Prince was sitting in his tent, nowhere nearly most luxurious in the camp to confuse assassins and spies. The parley was finally over. In the final settlement, it was stated, that Kalman Arpad would renounce all titles held by him in Principality of Galich. House Arpad would send letters to its vassals ordering them to relinquish the titles, granted to them by “a traitor and a madman” former Regent Tamas. The scapegoat was found. Hungarians still holding against peasantry would be relieved by Volynian forces, if they promise to surrender the titles. Noble Hungarian families would receive onetime payment for their members killed during riots.

No word about Jews. Chisday would not like that. “We need a way to remove him without angering Mordecai, his master” – Prince thaught.

Russians would return Hungarian banners and prisoners taken in Peremyshl’. They would not, however, be held accountable for any damage inflicted by Hutsul raids into Hungarian territory. Price Daniil would be recognized as the only Prince of Volyn’ and Galich. This was a good settlement.

Prince looked in the object in his hands. Crown of Galich, taken in Peremyshl’. Boy-king never wear it, it was too big for him. For a minute, Prince thought of it. Russian Princes never wore crowns; they wore Jericho caps, intricately made, richly decorated helmets, embodying the military nature of their rule. “I have to order one made.” – Prince said to himself. But it would take months to get Jericho cap done.

HQYgQHN.png

And he held a crown in his hands. He looked around; to make sure he was alone. And, slowly, he put a crown upon his head.

Glossary

Styag - banner.
 

ekorovin

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OK, this one has no in-game screenshots, but we've already met all the characters, and the war was short and uneventful.
How do you like POVs? Who's your favourite?

On a unrelated note, if you google "Crown of Galich" in Russian, you'll get this Ukrainian beer of the same name. So cheers, I suppose.

cYCIzR6.jpg
 

ekorovin

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Chapter 4​
Of Dreams Fulfilled and Lessons Learned

Years of the World 6715-6716 (1216-1217 A.D.)

Chisday stood on wooden boards of the river ship, slowly drifting away from the embankment of the city of Passau. He didn’t want to look at it ever again. He hated this place. Of course, in the lands of Galich and Volyn’ his people were looked upon with hatred and disdain too, but at least the sheer amount of land in the Principalities allowed Jews to live in their villages, relatively undisturbed. Here everyone was pressed into claustrophobic walled neighborhoods. The only solace to be found, was that Christian standard of living wasn’t much higher here. The ship Chisday was on was a luxurious barge, suitable for a Duke. Or, in matter of fact, for a future Princess. Behind it, few very much non-luxurious transport boats followed. Despite the fact, that pleasure barge was probably the size of one-and a half of that boat, the latter sat much lower in the water of Danube.

That entire Passau affair started last winter.

The Prince was celebrating his name-day, and the formal end of the Regency. Since his namesake was the Old Testament prophet Daniel, the Prince invited Mordecai the Rahdonit, and, as his servant, Chisday was present. He knew Prince well enough to suspect that opportunity to convene with Mordecai was probably the only reason why Prince decided to celebrate Prophet Daniel’s day. Everyone that mattered in Two Principalities was present. The few that mattered most gathered before the feast. To Chisday’s amusement, he was among them, along with Mordecai, the Spymaster Alexander Rurikovich, Prince of Berestye, Prince’s mother, Anna Angelos and the Prince himself.

”There are few things that have to be decided” – Prince begun – first of all, Suchava situation, I may have found the solution.” Suchava was southernmost province of Principalities, and vastly different. The majority of population, including gentry, there was Vlach, not Russian.

During the recent War of Restoration, or Banishment of Ugrs, as it was popularly known, the Vlach Boyars raised their levies, but preferred not to send them North, having no desire to fight Fellow Orthodox for Hungarian Catholics. But they didn’t rise against Hungarians either. They even didn’t evict the Hungarian count there. And now this count was gathering support to return Kalman Arpad in Galich.

PLdudgM.jpg

Fortress in Suchava
“I propose, dear Mother, to elevate Suchava to Princely stol status. This Ugorian Count of theirs would seem like a poor alternative to a proper Orthodox Prince of House Rurikovich.”
“And who that prince might be?” – Alexander Rurikovich asked.
“Why, my brother Vasilko, of course. Anyway, I’m not going to send him there just now. He’s just a kid, and the place is a vipers’ nest.”

Vasilko was younger then Daniil by 2 years. But compared to his elder brother he was just a kid indeed.

“Mother, on your way to your husband in Serbia, make a stop in Suchava. Proclaim the place a Princely stol, hold lavish feast, visit every Boyar’s seat, fascinate them. Not every day they see Emperor’s daughter and Princes’ wife and mother. Baptise their children, befriend their wives. Try assess every Boyar, his military capabilities, his castle’s fortifications, how he feels about this Ugorian Count. Demonstratively ignore Count; I want him offended and furious. I want him to rebel now, while he has no support, and King Andras of Ugroshina not yet recovered after our last encounter.”

“Alexander, dear cousin, after that I want you to take a druzhina and one or two Hutsul clans and burn the sedition out of Suchava, hang a few people. Set that Count in a barrel and throw him in a river. No Hungarian family will claim that his blood is on us. After all this, Vasilko will take his stol as a ruler.“

“Of course, - Chisday thought, - they’ll love Vasilko. After Alexander they’ll love a bear for a Prince, and Vasilko is such nice boy.”

“With that settled, let us proceed to other things. First, the state of Princely armoury is horrible. With all this false Kings and other troubles any artisan with a shred of talent left for other Principalities and without iron supply of our own we will be forced to fight with a sticks. My druzhina need swords, and the best in existence, for I intend to use them for deeds immortal.”

“The best swords come from Passau in Cesarstvo, - Alexander said, - it is known. But they doesn’t come cheap. And our treasury is not in a best of states.”

XOZSIZQ.jpg

Passau swords, bearing the famous "running wolf" brand.

“Won’t Rahdonites give us a loan? Say, 100 Novgorodian[ grivnas? Gold, of course” – The Prince asked.

yRvnAn4.jpg

Novgorodian golden grivna, roughly 200 grams of gold.

“Far being it from me to doubt the Prince’s kudos, the recent war left our dealings in Galich in complete disarray.” – Mordecai replied. – “But that gives me an idea, which may very well lie beyond the realm of possibilities. A certain relation of ours, involved with the guilds of the glorious city of Passau, informs us, that one Guild master there is entertaining a deranged idea of marrying his daughter, endearing enough, from what I heard, into the aristocracy. Now of course, the laws of Holy Roman Empire prevent this little dream from fulfilment.”

“Oh, we always should strive to fulfil the dream of a fellow man", - the Prince replied.
“But who will marry this ghastly girl?” – Anna Angelos said, as though awaken from slumber.
“Well, not Vasilko, of course, he’ll have to marry some Vlach Boyar’s daughter, to strengthen our ties with Suchava, and possibly obtain a claim for the whole Moldova. And my dear cousin Alexander is already married. There’s no one else I can trust, so I’ll marry her.” – The Prince said.

“The Emperor’s grandson and some artisan’s whelp? I will not stand for that!” – Anna Angelos declared.

“Oh. But which Emperor’s, dear Mother? There’s way too much of those for my taste. There’s this fryag in Tsargrad, usurper and plunderer, of course. There is one in Nicaea, one in Trebizond plus Despot in Epiros, I wonder if we should count that one. And then there’s Bulgarian one, and German. Even Turk is calling himself Emperor now. If the fate of Tsargrad teaches us something, it’s the man with better swords can become an Emperor any given day. I’ll marry this girl. This discussion is over.”

There was a lot of preparation, of course. Chisday was tasked with the role of retrieving the bride and swords. And so he and his retinue left for Suchava, then to the port of Galaz on Danube in the Voivodship of Moldova, Vlach country conquered by nomadic Kypchaks, whose noble class lately converted to Catholicism. And then long and dull boat trip up Danube, to the city of Passau.

And now he was finally going home.

1uCgqjr.jpg

Route of the journey on a modern map, Passau is A, B - Galaz - the end of jorney by the river, C - Suchava, D - Galich.
 
Last edited:

ekorovin

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Prince, his putting on the crown was so awesome.
Yes, he's awesome, and makes me afraid if he's turning a bit Mary Sue. I'm kinda on a thin ice with Chisday, since I don't to be insensitive, concerning the tragic history of Galician Jews, but to ignore it altogether, when Galichia had a sizable Jewish community since XI century, would be wrong too. That said, it make writing for Alexander easiest.
 

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Yes, he's awesome, and makes me afraid if he's turning a bit Mary Sue. I'm kinda on a thin ice with Chisday, since I don't to be insensitive, concerning the tragic history of Galician Jews, but to ignore it altogether, when Galichia had a sizable Jewish community since XI century, would be wrong too. That said, it make writing for Alexander easiest.

Of course.
 

ekorovin

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I've played ahead for some time, and was getting a bit bored from this playthrough, but then things got interesting. I have a lot to write about, but let me show you this picture:
ewLptQW.jpg