• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Alexander's Gates: A Sassanid fortification at Derbend that was later assigned to Alexander the Great in the 6th Century Alexander Romance. A great Heathen nation was trapped behind them, barred from invading through the Caucausus. The Khazars and Cumans both took the role over time, and the Kabaroi were part of the Khazar federation for awhile before the Magyar one.
Alfold: The land known as the Great Hungarian Plain and the Carpathian Basin now.
Duna: The Hungarian name for the Danube.
Erdely: The Hungarian name for Transylvania.
Gyula: War leader, the actual leader of the Magyars with control over military matters.
Hadak Ura: The Warlord, God of War. His weapons and armour are made of copper and his sacrifices are white stallions before battle.
Kabaroi: Three tribes who deserted the Khazars for the Magyars.
Kende: Sacral Prince, the nominal leader of the Magyars.
Isten: God, the creator of the world, head of the Hungarian Pantheon, lives in the Upper World
Manok: Elves or goblins, they live in forests and are known to trick men.
On-Ogur: Ten Arrows – the name of the confederation of Magyar tribes that came out of Steppe of Ukraine. Also possible root of the name ‘Hungarian’
Ordog: He created the world with Isten and then went to the Lower World. He created fleas, rats and dogs and takes the role of the devil.
Oriasok: Giants who live in the mountains. They have both good and bad qualities.
Revules: The meditative trance state Magyar Taltos could drop into at will.
Taltos: A Magyar Shaman, born with some oddity (extra fingers, a caul, neo natal teeth). They have a personal and direct communication with God during their pre-natal period and are brought up apart from others during their childhood. They drink the sacrifices they make.
Tatras: The mountain range that straddles the border of modern Slovakia and Poland
Turul: A falcon or hawk, the hereditary symbol of the Arpad dynasty and it’s progenitor according to myth.

AARPOSTS

1-13 January 867 CE
14 January - 16 February 867 CE
10 April - 11 October 867 CE
14 October - 5 December 867 CE
1 November 868 CE - 20 May 870 CE
21 September 871 CE - 17 December 871 CE
5 August 873 CE - 14 October 876 CE
25 May 877 CE - 1 July 878 CE
6 September 879 CE - 5 July 882 CE
 
Last edited:

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
1 JANUARY 867 CE.
KORSUN, UKRAINIAN STEPPE.


The falcon circled above the camp at Korsun as Gyula Almos marshalled the horde for the march into the land of the Alfold. His birth was predicted in the dream of Emese, his mother who was impregnated by the Turul, the falcon of Isten.

‘A river will flow from your womb, which will flow and spread to a new land’

The river is one of men and horses as the sun feebly shone through the cloud of winter onto the campaign ground and the companies formed up in preparation. At the head of the horde, the blood of the white stallion dripped into the dry, dead grass as Taltos Arpad Kaniv made the sacrifice to Haduk Ura. The blood dribbled down his hairless chin, before he brought his six fingered left hand up to wipe it clean. His eyes drifted skywards and spied the falcon amongst the swirling clouds.

‘Isten is watching us, Gyula. The sacrifice to Haduk Ura has been made and the signs, have again been good.’ Kaniv’s voice was reedy. ‘I will go now but we should not delay our march any longer lest the Turul deserts us.

Kende Arpad Almosfi looked to his father and then down at the dead horse, its throat gaping from the slit where the Taltos had extinguished its life under the influence of the revules in complete silence. He clambered into his saddle at the same time as Almos did and then turned his horse around from the sight of the sacrifice. As the pair of them put their horses to a canter seven other men in similar adornment fell in behind them and Almos turned in the saddle to regard his son. For several moments he maintained his gaze impassively before his lips split into a broad smile and he turned, glancing skyward briefly to spy the falcon. He looked back to the other men, who to a man nodded their assent. The goal was not unknown to them; they all understood why they were gathered there. Almos drew his sword and brought it above his head and pushed his horse to ride faster as he moved along the front of the companies of men who were waiting for him. His voice boomed out as he called just once before the bass-roar of the multitude he was addressing repeated it back to him.

‘We ride!’

13 JANUARY 867 CE
PERESECHEN, DUCHY OF MOLDAU, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA.


The Magyars were known for their sorcerers and the storm approaching under the towering clouds that were spilling off the steppe had the local levies murmuring amongst themselves in their pidgin Bulgarian. Prince Gavril had been watching it with his men and the levies had been called as the wind that blew off the steppe had increased, stinging their faces with its ferocity. Living on the frontier and remembering that his own people had once rode on the steppe as the Huns and the Avars had too made him wonder. Word had escaped the dry winter grass of Almos, Gyula of the Magyars, and bloodied stragglers on near dead horses spoke of him as the unifier of the seven tribes and leader of the Kabaroi from beyond the Black Sea and Alexander’s Gates.

The keening wind made him swear as he squinted out into the pale morning light and as he strained his ears, he heard it. The sound of hooves from far, far away and he could just make out a cloud of dust. The On-Ogur Magyar were coming...
 

c0d5579

Paternal Autocrat
70 Badges
May 13, 2008
1.529
1
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Age of Wonders
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Victoria 2
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Cities in Motion 2
*Scribbles and steals ideas about physical deformities for gods-touched*

I suspect that this will involve prolonged conflict with the Romans, sort of like the Khazars and Cumans as found, once the Bulgars are subdued and the Danube watershed is unified.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
The Hungarian belief system is actually fascinating compared to standard format Tengriism. The role of Taltos is definitely a strong one I think... Certainly no serious choices are to be made without speaking to one!
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
14 JANUARY 867 CE
PERESECHEN, DUCHY OF MOLDAU, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA.


The 17000 men of Gyula Almos bore down on the 700 levies of Bulgaria who had contested the field of Peresechen. The horde approached with a hail of arrow fire before breaking off into two circling contingents that wore down the Bulgarians before the Heavy Cavalry charged and shattered their lines. Almos spent little time inspecting the dead, a mere two days were given for those who cared to loot to do so before the Horde rode south on the 20th, having slaughtered Gavril’s Avars and Rus to a man... Gavril himself had fled southward the day before, abandoning his men and riding on to Tyrnovo to let Tsar Boris know of the invasion on the northern frontier.

Taltos Arpad made sure that the horde avoided the Carpathians as they marched southwards, the advice to avoid angering the Oriasok being taken seriously by Almos.

16 FEBRUARY 867 CE
TURNU, DUCHY OF WALLACHIA, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


Prince Dox was trying to move his men as fast as possible across the plain toward Tirgoviste, the muster of the armies of the Kingdom having being set in the Duchy of Pest since Baghatur Avar was not a trustworthy son of Tsar Boris. So the many armies of Bulgaria were sent Northwards in the hope of keeping one horse son rising at the chance given by another. However, the Magyars had swept through Peresechen after disembowelling Gavril’s levy and crossed the county of Belgorod without further opposition. Dox had no desire to be infront of the On-Ogur when they passed through Turnu but the sharp eyes of his Marshal had let him know that in all likelihood it would be the case that he would be testing his mettle against the Magyars next. He growled his commands at the levy, the mixture of Bulgars and Avars trying to move their horses faster across the hard ground.

16 FEBRUARY 867 CE
TURNU, DUCHY OF WALLACHIA, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


Gyula Almos and Kende Arpad rode at the head of the many men of the On-Ogur Magyar and the sound of horses nearly deafened them as the earth shook and the clouds roiled in the sky above. The Taltos had rode on ahead and drank the blood of another white stallion when the Bulgars under their red lion had been sighted once more by the Kabaroi in the vanguard. The Omens were good and the men rode well, the loot and blood on their blades from the 700 men of Peresechen keeping them in high spirits. Almos lead with the wind at his back and the sons of the steppe followed him. They fell on Dox, forcing him to abandon his soldiers as they rode the 700 men of Dox into the ground beneath their hooves. The escape of the Prince to the court of his brother Simeon was unfortunate but Almos had no desire to stop the river’s flow so early in the attack and allow the Lion to tame the Falcon.

The Kabaroi scouts reported that in Severin, the Khagan of Bulgaria had mustered 3300 men to his Lion Banner. These men were moving into the mountains to the north, the land of the Oriasok that the Taltos warned against disturbing with so many men. A council of war was called, with Kende Arpad and the leaders of the seven tribes resting as they made camp away from the killing ground. Almos spoke first, as was his right.

’As you have been told, brothers of mine, the Bulgarian Khagan has marshalled a force of over three thousand men under arms. They are moving to the land of the Oriasok however, and we will not reach them before they arrive there. Does the river change its course or do we heed the words of our taltos and take our chances with the Manok in the forests instead?’

The group of men weighed this in their minds but before any other could speak Arpad responded aloud.

’Rivers flow downhill father and change their course for no man. We will no doubt face them in the fullness of time. Let them struggle against the Oriasok in the mountains for they will want their blood price for passage of the high passes and paying it will hurt us more than them.’

A slow silence filled the room and none other spoke. Almos nodded to his son with a proud smile.

’Sage words my boy. Very well, we continue along the river and do not chase into the land of the Oriasok and diminish ourselves. Tell your men to be wary of the foxy ways of the Manok for we will be travelling through their treebound realm on the way to Alfold
 
Last edited:

c0d5579

Paternal Autocrat
70 Badges
May 13, 2008
1.529
1
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Age of Wonders
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Victoria 2
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Cities in Motion 2
So how is this different from consulting the Oracle at Delphi, or offering salutations to Ganesh, or casting the runes, or...?

This is a serious question, as it's something about which I know nothing.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
I tried to write a reply about 4 times here but couldn't succinctly explain why they click for me. I would just recommend going to the wikipedia page for them and reading around the subject. LD writes about the Old Ones and says it was coded in the Saga. I'm saying that these guys walked out of history and screamed it at me.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
10 APRIL 867 CE

CSANAD, DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


As the falcon circled high above the encampment that was blockading the keep, Almos had called the leaders of the On-Ogur to him. The grass of the Alfold swayed before the hooves of the On-Ogur’s horses as they surveyed the plain. They looked back at the mountains behind them and then they looked at the plain ahead and the deep wide river that cut it. The trees scattered on the hills behind them and the absence of further opposition since they had seen the Khagan’s troops enter the mountains of the Oriasok. Finally Almos spoke, his words measured.

’Arpad,Kende. I will send you northward to the next city, with your men and Ond and Kond to lead your flanks. This is the Alfold, the land promised by the Turul. We will take it. The Kabaroi will ride as rearguard between here and the mountains of the Oriasok to keep an eye out for the Bulgar Khagan. We will uproot these dirtscratchers and roam this land freely since it is ours to take.’

25 APRIL 867 CE

PEST, DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The detachment of men lead by Kende Arpad came to a halt outside the city walls of Pest and demanded to speak with the ruler of the land. The fluttering flags of the Red Lion of Bulgaria were joined by those of a more familiar heraldic schema, Arpad noted. Out, further back from the walls the blockade was strewn out in a roughly co-ordinated line that surrounded the town. The opposite side and the holding of Buda had fallen as well, allowing the strategic bluffs overlooking Pest to be occupied by Kond’s men and the countryside was thick with Ond’s outriders patrolling for both friendly messengers and hostile warriors.
Still, the Avar had more in common with Arpad than Khagan Boris as far as Arpad was concerned, though his people had lived under these strange skies where the mountains had sunk their teeth into the clouds before letting them go. Baghatur Avar came out of the city as Arpad’s gaze returned to earth from the clouds, walking on the dirt out to the group of men on horseback.

Kende Arpad Almosfi Turul, I heard of your coming from my son, Taltos Tuzniq. He told me what you want from me and why your men ride on my land.’

‘If you know what I want Baghatur Dengizikh Avar then what is your answer? Will you submit to our strength or will you try to fight a river?’

‘I have no love of the Bulgars but I have none for your kind either Magyar. May
Ordog take the On-Ogur and swallow them into the Lower World! Go from my lands or-‘

Arpad wheeled his stallion around and began to return to his lines with his men. He had no time for empty posturing with dirt-scratchers. Baghatur Avar had a dream that was not the one of Isten and he would die for it, it seemed.

30 AUGUST 867 CE

PEST, DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The summer had passed slowly, but the control of the countryside had not been challenged by the Avar. The flags were lowered as the sun rose and the gates opened. A company of men formed up incase a sally was forthcoming but a servant of Baghatur Avar was the only one who stepped out. His pidgin Magyar was enough that it was obvious the city had surrendered, with the Avar deserting his people through a hidden door in the night after spending months chewing on old leather boots. However in his haste as his people decided to capitulate against his wishes, he left behind his second son. Arpad saw the boy before he was taken strapped to a horse southward to his father Almos. The child was quiet, glancing around as though seeking to remember everything.

The keep at Csanad had fallen a few months prior and the Bulgarians had not sought the field against Almos or Arpad on the Alfold. A detachment of Kabaroi had rode to Szekelyfold in the mountains from there they could keep an eye on the passes but the Bulgarians seemed intent on mustering their full strength against Almos’ river before they sought his army out.

11 OCTOBER 867 CE

PEST, DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The man rode into the camp on a horse whose lips were flecked with foam such was the speed that he had rode there from Bihar. Csanad had been completely uprooted of Bulgarians and the river had split, with one tongue flowing west to Bihar under Gyula Almos and the other heading south to Bacs. The Kabaroi scouts in the passes had sighted the army and counted perhaps 5,000 heads. Whilst the work at Pest was unfinished, Almos wanted to face the Bulgarians with better odds and conserve the numbers of fighters at the same time. If the Bulgarian scouts were as good as the Kabaroi then the army of the Khagan might turn back or change their course.

Arpad listened to the message and then called Ond and Kond before sending them to gather their men. Then they rode East...
 
Last edited:

c0d5579

Paternal Autocrat
70 Badges
May 13, 2008
1.529
1
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Age of Wonders
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Victoria 2
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Cities in Motion 2
In ten months, from the game-start Magyar borders to the Budapest area? That's frighteningly fast. I suspect Constantinople's going "Let the heathens fight each other," or alternately "how can we destabilize the Bulgars further?"
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
Well the 'create Hungary' event strips you of all territories east of the Carpathians, so while I could have gone through Wallachia assaulting and assaulting fort after fort I'd not be preserving my 15k of event troops (the demesne levy only racks about 1k). Rather I just played a positional game that is enabled by the Carpathians being impassible on the map. I basically migrated through en-masse in doomstack fashion before setting a perimeter and using my demesne troops as spotters and siegers with my event troops doing the latter task too. 200 dudes can't advance a siege but they can stop it from reverting to 0.

As for the Romans... they must be tearing out their hair. More story to follow, since I can't help myself.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
14 OCTOBER 867 CE

DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The Khagan had changed course, the current messenger reported. Almos said that Arpad must now head south to Csanad in order to be able to reinforce both groups of the army since the Bulgarian khagan was playing a canny game. Obviously the outriders in the countryside had missed a Bulgar spy who had ridden south as soon as the siege had been lifted.

21 OCTOBER 867 CE

CSANAD, DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The Kabaroi reported the Bulgarian Khagan was marching towards Arpad’s company. Almos counselled him to wait and then the rivers would merge once more and wipe them from the face of the earth. His messenger recounted his words precisely to Arpad.

‘Look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the east.’

5 DECEMBER 867 CE

CSANAD, DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The field was strewn with the corpses of dead, the majority of them Bulgarian. Arpad’s aid had come as promised, the numerical superiority of the Magyars pushing a battle with a close victory to a crushing blow against the Bulgarians. The survivors had fled towards Pest. Ond and Kond were dispatched north to wipe them out because Gyula Almos had received an very special group of envoys from the Cuman Khagan Sokol Andjogli whilst Arpad had been in Pest. The beauty of the Cuman Khagan’s daughter, Cilan Andjogli was such that Arpad found his breath taken from his lips when he laid eyes on her for the first time. He brought her hand to his mouth when Almos brought her to him and as the sun set, the taltos came to them. Arpad looked to the man as his eyes rolled back into his skull whilst his teeth began to grind. In a hoarse voice quite unlike his normal one and with his fingers twitching spasmically, he spoke.

’The Falcon of the Steppe has found the land of its nest. The Falcon will live by the river. The river that flows from Almos will flow from Arpad and Cilan. It is ordained and it is so.’

The clouds above, that had threatened rain on the eve of battle cracked as thunder dropped to the earth at this moment and the rain began to fall onto the soil. Taltos Arpad collapsed to his knees and turned his face skyward as the rain fell down onto the small cluster of men and women who stood on the soil of the Alfold. At this Arpad took his new wife by the hand and led her to where his stallion, a black creature with wild eyes stood. He mounted his horse, pulling Cilan over the beast’s flanks and riding away to the sound of jubilant cheers as the rain began to fall cool and heavy over the earth to wash it clean of blood. That night, the horde celebrated their marriage in the camp at Csanad.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
1 NOVEMBER 868 CE

CSANAD, DUCHY OF PEST, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The campaign had worn on nearly two years now. Arpad had spent several months besieging the town of Heves, whilst the remnant of the first battle of Csanad had fled into the Oriasok mountains in Marmaros. Strange men from the South who spoke a language like that of the Vlachs and bearing an odd banner had marched to support them, but Almos fell on them like a wolf on a doe at Pest and they had fled. A couple of prisoners were taken and Arpad had heard from his father’s messengers that they were sellswords from ‘Italia’.

The strange lands name had no real bearing on Arpad, as he rode now at the head of his column. The remnants of Csanad had fled through the territory of the north, whose chief Almos sought no conflict with yet. They had besieged the castle at Pest that Baghatur Avar had built and now Magyars defended, so they were put to flight by Arpad, before he caught up with them at Csanad again, outnumbered 10 to one and starving. This was going to be the end of the dirt-scratchers on the Alfold, for they had been uprooted from the plains and now his father was tearing them out of the mountain passes.

The dishevelled levies of the Bulgarian Khagan did not even try to besiege Csanad keep and Arpad harried them until they formed into ranks, sending archers against their flanks and firing volleys before retreating. Feints and false thrusts kept the enemy unknowing of his intentions until his men with lance smashed through their weakened centre and put the field to flight. Arpad himself rode in the rearguard, ensuring he had a full control on matters before joining the final charge and getting his spear wet with Bulgar blood, the thunder of hooves almost drowned out by the pounding of his heart in his ears. The Alfold was a start, but Arpad knew he would not be satisfied with it.

3 SEPTEMBER 869 CE
TEMESVAR, FORMER DUCHY OF BACS, MAGYAR LANDS


The envoy looked like he had fallen on hard times. The Empire of Bulgaria had fallen on hard times, since the Alfold had been cloven from their lands, along with the Oriasok infested mountains and the forest to the river. It was here that Gyula Almos had decided to accept the surrender of the Red Lion, since they had no more men and no more sellswords for Arpad to slaughter. The red and white stripe flag fluttered in the breeze as the falcon circled the treaty ground, high above the trees. It had taken less than three years for the Magyars to carve half of the Bulgar Empire off and the Tsar was more than willing to accept his defeat at this point.

The Magyars on the steppe who had remained to guard the women and cattle were given the lands of Almos for he intended to keep the Alfold for himself. Arpad was given Pest for his services and Ond was given Heves. Marmaros went to Istvan, taltos Arpad’s brother and the Szekelyfold went to the leader of the Kabaroi, Liuntika.

The river of Almos however still had miles to flow. Across the water in the land known as Pannonia, there were many petty rulers whom Almos felt would profit from joining the confederation of the On-Ogur. So the ferrymen were pressed into service and the men of the steppe continued their conquests.

29 SEPTEMBER 869 CE

BALATON, DUCHY OF BALATON


Umberto of Rialto picked his way through the camp of these unwashed steppe barbarians with little regard for his surroundings, haughtily riding on his white stallion before he reached the greatest tent of them all. He narrowed his eyes a little at the smell of the place, for to his eyes these ‘Hunogur’ were as much the descendants of Attila. Umberto hoped however that he was going to be able to convince this barbarian warlord that playing the role of Scourge of God was not in his interests. The dusky skinned woman and swarthy warlord at whose side she sat could not have been two more unlike people in his eyes and at his side Umberto noted with disgust a man with six fingers on one hand, murmuring softly to him. Truly these people were an ungodly breed if they had such malformed people amongst those in positions of power.

A pale, drawn looking man was brought from some other location within the camp and the barbarian barked at him in his guttural dog’s tongue before he turned and addressed Umberto, the stutter making him irritating to the bishop’s sensibilities.

‘Explain again why you are here, f-f-f-father’

Umberto felt his mouth tighten a little in disgust before managing to speak.

’Tell this scruffy barbarian that his immortal soul is on the line. His pillaging and barbarity will ensure that he will be taken to hell and his soul will be feasted upon by the devil himself unless me mends his ways, becoming a pious Christian prince. He and his barbarians should leave this land of God-fearing people and return to the East from whence they came!’

The stutterer turned and repeated in broken, slow sentences with the warlord muttering the next word for him several times. Then he declaimed at length in his response before the inevitable agony of translation took place.

Kende Arpad Almosfi Turul bids you w-w-w-welcome to his camp. His god will p-p-protect him from your d-d-devil. However if you w-w-w-wish to sa-sa-sample his b-b-b-b-b-b-barbarity he will be p-pl-pleased to show you.’

Umberto glanced to the warlord who had leant forwards on his throne with a wicked grin on his lips. He felt his eyes widen a little before he turned and sought to flee, straight into the hands of two huge, swarthy barbarians who grabbed his arms and brought him down to the floor to lie on his back. Arpad got to his feet and walked over to this glittering ‘holy man’ before leaning down and spitting into his eye.

’Tie him by the hands then put that rope to the back of a horse and take him for a walk. See how fast he can run after you strip him of all this gold’

18 APRIL 870 CE

SZEKESFEHERVAR, DUCHY OF BALATON


Umberto had lost weight since he had last seen the Kende as he now thought of his tormentor. The last six months had truly been an exercise in hellish conditions, and when the besieging army of barbarians had moved further into Balaton he had been forced to run behind their horses. He had sent a request through his jailor that he be given a better treatment since he was after all a holy man. Now the Kende himself had come to see him. He grinned and nodded to him, made conciliatory sounds as he mocked his way of speaking.

Then he turned and spoke to the big man who had been pushing him around for six months who chuckled. They took him down to the river outside the encampment and gave him a shovel. The stutterer had been summoned to translate.
Kende Arpad says y-y-you should dig... until y-y-y-you cannot s-s-see out of the h-h-h-hole.

Umberto had no choice to dig, as he was surrounded by Magyar warriors all watching him in the event that he should try something foolish. He worked through the morning and into the afternoon, being given water whenever he asked for it, but no rest. Eventually he had dug a hole as tall as he was. The Kende looked at him with amusement before the men who had been guarding him began to fill in the hole, with Umberto still inside.

’No, please! I beg of you! I have money!’

Umberto let out a cry as he tried to clamber out of the pit, but two men reached over and threw him back down before another rapped his knuckles roughly with the flat of the shovel. He kept squirming but as the earth rose past his knees he found he couldn’t scrabble to the top fast enough as they kept pushing him down. Eventually Umberto was buried to the shoulders, bruised and bloodied from attempts to escape the hole. The Kende seemed satisfied with this punishment for his insolence and left him there. Three days later and after a night of rain, two of the Magyars came and dragged him out of the soil, uprooting him like a plant with laughter before they forced some bread and water into his mouth and took him back to his previous prison. Umberto felt weakened by his forced fast and imprisonment in the earth, felt sure that if he ever bothered the Kende again that they would not stop so his head poked out of the ground.

20 MAY 870 CE

SZEKESFEHERVAR, DUCHY OF BALATON


Umberto was disturbed from his sleep by two surly men and the stutterer bearing a sheet of paper and some ink.

‘S-s-s-send to your people, the p-p-price has been s-s-set by the g-g-g-Gyula Almos. You are going f-f-f-free if you can p-p-pay.’

They waited until he wrote the letter and then departed once more. A week later and he was on a mule, pointed westward.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
12 SEPTEMBER 871 CE

ABAUJ, CHIEFDOM OF UNGVAR, MAGYAR LANDS


The capture of the land of Ungvar had taken the On-Ogur only a year, the dirt scratchers breeding weak soldiers who had been unable to resist the horde. Now the falcon flew west once more and Almos decided that his was the sign of the last part of the great land-taking. The lands of the Steppe were deserted, since the rear guard of young men who had been left to guard the women and cattle had barely repelled the Pecheneg raiders half a year ago. Arpad thought it strange that he might never ride along the Black Sea again as his people streamed across the landscape and through the high passes, into Ungvar and the great Alfold,

The numbers of his people had prompted the Gyula to seek more flat lands from the people who called themselves Moravians, the most Westward of the Slavs. Their Khagan, Rostislav was old and so the river rose to flood the lowlands once more. The On-Ogur rode, two companies forcing themselves into the land along the ridgeline of the Tatra mountains to hold the Moravians at Trencin and one sweeping around, along the Duna before crossing at Sopron into Pozsony. In that movement the lands desired for the On-Ogur would be cut off and the uprooting of the Moravians from their ugly little castles and cities could be done properly.


26 SEPTEMBER 871 CE

GEMER, DUCHY OF NITRA, GREAT MORAVIA


The Kabar had ridden his horse the length of the Alfold to bring the news of the work of the Moravians. With the Bulgar king rushing to their aid, the Magyars were caught between two big foes. Arpad did not however worry himself as he looked northwards to the clouds that swirled and stacked behind the Tatras. Another messenger had arrived during the night with the news that his father’s plan had not been foolish in the slightest. The only problem was that it had failed. Sokol of the Cumans and the Khazars were fighting the Roman Basil for the Crimea and could not aid the war against Moravia.

The steppe would not ride at the back of the On-Ogur this day it seemed. Arpad retired to his tent to consider the next move of the coming war.

8 NOVEMBER 871 CE

TRENCIN, DUCHY OF NITRA, GREAT MORAVIA


The siege was progressing well and Arpad’s outriders had been combing the countryside, burning and looting when the local populace developed a case of insolence. The report that a thousand head had evaded the lines at Pozsony put an end to that however. They rode south to Nitra, desirous of combat against these weakling Moravians.

25 NOVEMBER 871 CE

NITRA, DUCHY OF NITRA, GREAT MORAVIA


The Moravians had been put to the sword but they had raised a company of 3000, the Kabaroi scouts had reported to Arpad. He immediately rode toward Pozsony, meeting a messenger halfway on the route informing him of his father having sought the field against the Moravians. Arpad put his spurs to his horse and told his men to redouble their efforts.

17 DECEMBER 871 CE

POZSONY, DUCHY OF ESTZERGOM, GREAT MORAVIA


Almos had played a hard game with the Moravians, who marched in formation and blocks of infantry. He had lead them through forests, woods and hills, working them back and forth in circles as he bought time and eroded their numbers with such ferocity that Arpad arrived to find his father destroying a column of 800 or so reinforcements, having already killed many of the 3000 head that had originally clashed with his own company. The arrival of a second Magyar company boxed a good number of Moravians in as Arpad swept across the field and cut off the retreat paths of the already tired and trampled foemen. The bloody mess left behind was estimated at a four to one loss and the original component of the Moravian assault being nearly completely wiped out.

All in all the Magyars had performed as foxily as Manok, thought Arpad. He had conferred briefly with his father. Kabaroi scouts had informed the Gyula of 4000 men massing in the Bulgarian lands, but Almos chose to use the Alfold to buy some time with space.
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.787
598
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
I was going to say that I thought pictures would make a good inclusion, but saw you got one in in the last update. I always like one to set the scene :p.

The early history of the Magyars really is a fascinating topic, got me looking into wikipedia.

Will be interesting to see where you go with this, I have my doubts that you will limit yourself to the historical Kingdom of Hungary :p.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
5 AUGUST 873 CE

BACS, CHIEFDOM OF TEMESVAR, MAGYAR LANDS


Arpad thought it odd that he was fighting the Bulgarians against the Duna in the closing hours of this war when the main campaign had been fought beneath the gaze of the snowy Tatras. The outriders of the On-Ogur had filled the Moravian countryside after the battle of Pozsony and ravaged the land, with the remnant of Rostislav’s men unable to decide how they would try and flank the horde and get at the Alfold. This game of cat and mouse had gone on for the entirety of 872 and the spring of 873 as the campaign proceeded to its natural end.

Meanwhile a tale of an adventurer meant that after besieging Temesvar, the Bulgar Khagan Boris fled to the south to defend the shores of the Black Sea. Now the business of the north had been concluded, with the patience of Almos for sending Arpad first one way and then the other having ran out. The company of Ond was sent to track down and destroy the Moravians in the vicinity of Znojmo once the Moravian countryside had been cleared.

The two companies of Almos and Arpad had then gone to support a warband sent to lift the siege when the Kabaroi reported the return of the Bulgarians. They had been pursued and finally brought to the field. Now Arpad was sweeping from one direction whilst Almos swept from the other and they drove whatever they found infront of them. When they met in the middle, the Bulgarian Khagan’s men would be dead again and the war would be ended, Arpad was sure.

23 AUGUST 873 CE

PEST, CHIEFDOM OF PEST, MAGYAR KINGDOM


The manpower from the Steppe had been added to the horde, and truly it was glorious. Arpad saw the swords and helmets glinting in the sun as the Alfold was churned beneath the feet of the horde as they rode and competed. The people of the On-Ogur were flourishing in this new land, but there were still places to seize. Arpad had spoken to Almos and talked of his interpreters stories of a sea called ‘Adriatic’. Wishing to see it, Arpad had declared the ‘Ride to the Sea’ for in his mind’s eye he saw a land of Magyars from foam-flecked sea to foam-flecked sea. Once more the On-Ogur rode and this time they went into the hills of the Balkans.


28 AUGUST 875 CE

ZENG, CHIEFDOM OF CROATIA, MAGYAR KINGDOM


The conquest of the land between the Alfold and the sea had been much the same as the conquest of Ungvar and Pecs, namely quick defeats by superior forces against inferior numbers followed by drawn out sieging of holdings. Whilst the invasion could be done in the manner where the surrender of the existing rulers could be taken, Arpad preferred to ensure that the local nobility was completely removed from the territories so that the people would have no rallying points against their rightful Magyar rulers.

1 AUGUST 876 CE

KRIVESCI, CHIEFDOM OF SLAVONIA, MAGYAR KINGDOM


The majority of the horde had camped just away from the main siege of Hum, the petty ruler of this latest realm occupying the land known as Bosnia, the last part in the mythical Croat Kingdom. Whilst Ond besieged the holdings in Hum however, there were reports of peasant uprisings in Usora and Zachlumia. Two disenchanted sets of dirt-scratchers decided they could defeat the full might of the On-Ogur. Arpad chuckled to himself as he and his men rode southward. Another battle meant another chance to make the enemy bleed for their foolishness.

14 OCTOBER 876 CE

SPALATHOS, DALMATIA, EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRE


The dirt-scratchers had fled south and were rode down by the On-Ogur, though a rebel managed to wound Gyula Almos he remained in the saddle and retired from the field with no issue. The city to the west of the field of battle had caught Arpad’s eye and he had taken outriders to it. The people within were afraid of the Magyars, as they should be however their rulers came from the city on horses. The man was fat and Arpad found himself loathing the man without him even addressing him. The interpreter was brought forth but he could not understand the language this man spoke. A run through of prisoners was ordered and a Croat was found.

‘Who is he and who is his king?’

The Croat blinked owlishly and Arpad repeated himself before he managed to turn to the man. He had his own interpreter who translated into his language and then he replied. Arpad shifted slightly on his horse but kept his calm as the process was reversed.

’He says he is Doux.. ah.. Chief Amphilochos of the Eastern Roman Empire, that he knows you are of the Hunogur and that his master the Basilious Basil Makedon has a message for your people.’

The Croat prisoner continued and Arpad forced himself to listen to this man’s primitive and idiom laden tongue as it butchered his own.

’We bid you to exercise caution when dealing with the Bulgarians for they are a cruel people who are unused to keeping oaths; this is the warning of Basil Makedon. You would be well advised to stand under Rome's leadership in facing them.’

Arpad looked at the Croat and then at the Doux.

’Tell him the On-Ogur fear no man and that none stand in our path once it is set.’

And with that he waited for the translation and then turned, riding off to rejoin the horde and return to lands of the Magyars. For all his talk, he was intensely perturbed by this people of calling themselves Romans. His wife Cilan had spoken of her father’s clashes with these people, of the mighty armies they had brought across the Black Sea to contest the lands around the Sea of Azov. Now he had met his first Roman and he was sure it would not be his last...
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.787
598
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
So the Romans have belatedly stretched out the hand, Byzantine history does include some quite impressive diplomatic dealings with various barbarian peoples - this doesn't seem quite so stellar :p. It will be interesting to see if you align with the Romans in the long run or attempt to contest the Balkans with them.
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
So the Romans have belatedly stretched out the hand, Byzantine history does include some quite impressive diplomatic dealings with various barbarian peoples - this doesn't seem quite so stellar :p. It will be interesting to see if you align with the Romans in the long run or attempt to contest the Balkans with them.
Basil fights a war against a faction for most of the first 15 years of this AAR. It ends up with them white peacing him. This is how I'm explaining it, especially when the overmap tells me Basil is either in Asia Minor or Italy (assuming the AI had him lead an army, which it usually does).
 

unmerged(174159)

Still Alive
2 Badges
Oct 18, 2009
4.525
7
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
25 MAY 877 CE

BEOGRAD, DUCHY OF RASHKA, KINGDOM OF BULGARIA


The raid had gone well, the Horde having ridden against the land that poked into the boundaries of the Magyar Kingdom. Arpad had overseen the siege and taken part in the looting of the keep at Beograd. It was there that taltos Arpad had been overtaken by a violent series of spasms when the chest had been taken out of the basement of the castle, where it looked like it had sat for generations. None of the people who had been captured had been able to tell them anything about the chest and so Arpad put it in his belongings. The taltos had been rendered incoherent for several hours by the object and began to steer clear of Arpad after the chest came into his possession.

2 MAY 878 CE

SPALATHOS, DALMATIA, EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRE


The horde had continued from Beograd into the petty chiefdom of Rashka before traversing the war-stripped land of Raugia before finally arriving at Spalathos. This time Arpad and his outriders did not parley with the Doux, since it was known that Basil Makedon had his hands full with his vassals. The city was old; indeed it was almost visibly weighted with history... and gold. The Italian, the stutterer had told Arpad that this city was once a home of an ancient Emperor of the Romans. He wondered if there might be a key to his chest here, the artefact and its strange greenish metal that shone even in darkness had been playing on his thoughts. He might not think about it for months at a time but he was always reminded of it somehow, by a word or something he saw...


1 JULY 878 CE

SPALATHOS, DALMATIA, EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRE


Arpad’s horse trampled the ornamental garden of the palace of Spalathos as the palace itself burnt and filled the evening sky with smoke and light. He had decided to take his prisoner, the wife of the Doux for a little walk and as he glanced behind, he saw that she had fallen and had been dragged face first for the last 200 yards or so. He let the horse come to a halt however since he had found his other prisoner once more and then dismounted it. The Doux had been let loose in the gardens which were surrounded by his men. The only other man present was a Croat who spoke Roman, an aged figure who handled his horse nervously and was unarmed. Arpad looked at the Doux in the light of the burning palace and then took his knife from his belt and cut the rope binding the bleeding wife to his stallion. Arpad turned and saw the shocked expression on the face of the aging Doux as the fire made his eyes glitter and the smoke made them water.

’Where is the key to my chest?’

The Croat repeated in his dry voice, coughing slightly with a scholarly intolerance for being outside. Arpad didn’t need a translation to understand that the Doux didn’t understand what he was going on about. The flames inside the building rose with a low rumble as the alcohol in the cellars exploded and the Doux glanced to the building. Arpad felt the heat on the side of his cheek as he considered the man for a moment before cuffing him across the face in disgust. He was just another dirt-scratcher playing in the ruins of other dirt-scratchers; for all his titles and Basilious. Arpad remounted his horse and began to ride, signalling for the Croat to follow him. Since the horde had carted away almost 5 pounds of gold and the Doux had no idea what the chest was or might contain, there was nothing here worth his time. He called to the guards on the wall as he went north toward the Alfold, the flames roaring into the night as he did so.

’WE RIDE!’
 
Last edited: