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Attalus

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The letters will be introduced, but playing multiple characters... I don't know.

In other news, the first chapter is almost ready and I learned how to edit the saves, so the possibility of making your characters generals and admirals in game is now within reach :)
[video=youtube;P3ALwKeSEYs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3ALwKeSEYs[/video]
 

sceluk

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The letters will be introduced, but playing multiple characters... I don't know.

In other news, the first chapter is almost ready and I learned how to edit the saves, so the possibility of making your characters generals and admirals in game is now within reach :)
Awesome. Any news on the pyromaniac orthodox nuns? heh.
 

Blogman66

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If only you could change the missionaries sprites in game to look like nuns flying over the province being converted, spreading death and fire to all the non-believers..
 

v1989

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Awesome. Any news on the pyromaniac orthodox nuns? heh.
I have got a better idea. Harlots. 13 harlots, who decided to resign their old ways and live as Mary Magadalene. After harsh military training, they started long journey. Harlots fight off all the way to Lisbon while resisting the temptations and heretics.
 

eliaspays

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Awesome! Can you make Arman II Eliasian an admiral?
 

Attalus

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If we are gonna make characters generals and admirals we need rules.
-I'd be for introducing relatives instead of senators for one could end killed and not know it until the next Senate Session unless the glorious emperor informs the player
-We'd be voting for the characters. The emperor could say the needs of the Imperium ( like 2 generals and 1 admiral) and then the factions propose candidates for each available post
 

CzokletMuss

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If only you could change the missionaries sprites in game to look like nuns flying over the province being converted, spreading death and fire to all the non-believers..
I'm afraid this is impossible :p
I have got a better idea. Harlots. 13 harlots, who decided to resign their old ways and live as Mary Magadalene. After harsh military training, they started long journey. Harlots fight off all the way to Lisbon while resisting the temptations and heretics.
So like a militant, zealous, fanatic... sorority of some sort? ;)
Awesome! Can you make Arman II Eliasian an admiral?
[video=youtube_share;CsD0HYw6WFI]http://youtu.be/CsD0HYw6WFI[/video]

Jokes aside yes, I can put in the game any character I want.
If we are gonna make characters generals and admirals we need rules.
-I'd be for introducing relatives instead of senators for one could end killed and not know it until the next Senate Session unless the glorious emperor informs the player
-We'd be voting for the characters. The emperor could say the needs of the Imperium ( like 2 generals and 1 admiral) and then the factions propose candidates for each available post
There will be rules of course and I appreciate your ideas concerning them but please: if you have any suggestions, make them so that I can use them. In this case, actual rules would be nice if you want me to implement them.
 

Attalus

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I'm afraid this is impossible :p

So like a militant, zealous, fanatic... sorority of some sort? ;)

[video=youtube_share;CsD0HYw6WFI]http://youtu.be/CsD0HYw6WFI[/video]

Jokes aside yes, I can put in the game any character I want.


There will be rules of course and I appreciate your ideas concerning them but please: if you have any suggestions, make them so that I can use them. In this case, actual rules would be nice if you want me to implement them.
I'm sorry, I don't really understand you'd want me to write proper rules instead of suggestions ?
 

CzokletMuss

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I'm sorry, I don't really understand you'd want me to write proper rules instead of suggestions ?
Suggestion as a proposed rules, not just an idea -yes, that would be great. And much easier to discuss :)
 

TheAnguishedOne

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drucchi

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How about something along these lines.

The appointment of generals and admirals:
The senate has the power to appoint generals and admirals.
Generals and admirals are appointed for a period of Z. (Z either = life or x year terms, x=the amount of time until next session)
The appointment of generals are voted on in the same manner as elections for head of a Deme.
Senators can either announce their own candidacy for general/admiral, or they can put a qualified relative/minion/friend/servant/whatever up for the post.
Senators from the Red Demes gain some minor bonus to being a general and minor negatives to being admirals, opposite for members of the blues, whites and unaffiliated have no modifiers.
If a senator from a deme gains such an office that deme gains Y amount of power, and the senator gains some privilege.
If a relative/minion/friend/servant/whatever gains the post, he will gain stronger bonusses to his skills, but the deme that elects him will gain less influence and the senator that put him up gains no privilege.

how does that sound?
 

Attalus

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My proposal :

Generals and admirals :
I.Only the Emperor can ask the Senate for a candidature for a post of General/Admiral.

II. The Senators are not able to become Generals and Admirals (differentiation of military and internal power should be the rule. Belisarios, Basileios and many others anyone ? :p ).
The candidats for the posts are proposed by the Faction Leader with the support of his allies.
The vote takes place at the same time that the faction vote.

III. The stats for each are randomly defined ( no god-like character because he comes from the Red Demes).
However the Red Demes General gain a +1 in shock but a Red Admiral loses -1 in fire.
Same for the Blues who gain a +1 in fire for Admirals but lose -1 shock.
Whites and unaffiliated characters do not gain or lose powers

IV. A faction gaining a general gains +20 influence
If a general/admiral loses more than 5 battles or a major one (with an influence of more than 4% in the warscore), the faction where he came from gain a penalty (-10 influence)

Any luck we get the update tonight ?
 

ParrotGuy

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My proposal :

Generals and admirals :
I.Only the Emperor can ask the Senate for a candidature for a post of General/Admiral.

II. The Senators are not able to become Generals and Admirals (differentiation of military and internal power should be the rule. Belisarios, Basileios and many others anyone ? :p ).
The candidats for the posts are proposed by the Faction Leader with the support of his allies.
The vote takes place at the same time that the faction vote.

III. The stats for each are randomly defined ( no god-like character because he comes from the Red Demes).
However the Red Demes General gain a +1 in shock but a Red Admiral loses -1 in fire.
Same for the Blues who gain a +1 in fire for Admirals but lose -1 shock.
Whites and unaffiliated characters do not gain or lose powers

IV. A faction gaining a general gains +20 influence
If a general/admiral loses more than 5 battles or a major one (with an influence of more than 4% in the warscore), the faction where he came from gain a penalty (-10 influence)

Any luck we get the update tonight ?
I think that the second part of IV is a little too tedious, as Czoklet will have to check every battle.
Other than that- yay! A way to gein relevance! :p
 

Attalus

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I think that the second part of IV is a little too tedious, as Czoklet will have to check every battle.
Other than that- yay! A way to gein relevance! :p
Well it was to make them a random factor.
Imagine you elect a general and promise to the Emperor that he will be a great strategos. Then it is discovered that he is an incompetent who deserves the Empire more than he serves it. Wouldn't his faction take the burden ?
 

CzokletMuss

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Any luck we get the update tonight ?
No ETA, it'll be released when ready. It's almost done though.

I will comment on your ideas later because, you know, I'm actually writing the chapter right now :)
 

Pilot00

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How about making the Generals and admirals into player characters like the senators too: I can see this as feasible since it will only add one two-four new people in here with the ability to post for a limited period of time (as long as they are generals doh). They wont be interfering in the senate floor since they will most of the time be dispatched to their mission (I.E. are prohibited from posting to the senate) and will be allowed to post in intervals as if to not disturb the proceedings (I.E.) the emperor (Mr Muss) will post something akin to: All military staff are allowed to post thoughts, correspondence to their faction/allies/masters (they must have some kind of faction ties I believe), whatever for x hours.
 

CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 1
1450-1465
AQUILA CRUENTA

”For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. (…) And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”
- Exodus 12: 12, 30

"When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. This is because they acted adversely to Allah and His Messenger; and whoever acts adversely to Allah and His Messenger-- then surely Allah is severe in punishment."
- Quran (8:12-13)

[video=youtube_share;a-ox70P3LZw]http://youtu.be/a-ox70P3LZw[/video]​

Demetrios Komnenos, kouropalates protospatharios of the Sacred Palace and megas domestikos of the Imperium Romanum, was dead.

Assassinated by the soulless xenoi in the very heart of Konstantinoupolis, his demise sent ripples of fear through the whole Imperium – for truly no man can feel safe if even the most noble of Romans are vulnerable to obsidian blades of the invaders. Death of Demetrios Komnenos, who served for years as the right hand of the sacred Emperor Markos III Angelos and his father before him, caused great discord within the Imperial Army. Many of those domestikoi who were following every order given to them by megas domestikos were afraid retribution from officers unjustly persecuted during the Purge after the fall of Aegyptus. The leader and creator of the feared Athanatoi was gone and it is said that few dozens of members of the Black Tagma were murdered in the days after his death, be it by the enraged mob or by officers of the Imperial Army. Harsh measures with which domestikoi tried to reinstate discipline in few cases provoked mutinies, that – before they were ruthlessly suppressed – caused even more bloodshed.

And then, like a rabid dog lured by the sweet smell of rotting wound, the Horde attacked.

The war lasted for almost 4 years. Tens of thousands of Roman soldiers perished in the struggle and although countless Mongol armies were wiped out, for every slained barbarian two more took his place. Rivers run red with blood of the Romans and savages alike but the Angel of Death has only begun to reap his harvest. The flames of war burst from the ashes of the old world across the whole Europe. Bickering among power-hungry German lords of the Reich quickly changed into an open conflict. Vile Catholic heretics dwelling in ruins of Britannia turned against each other, ready to fight for the domination over Hibernia. But the worst were the news from one of the few remaining Christian Kingdoms: Aquitaine was invaded by the Republic of Pisa. Greedy merchants carefully chose the right moment to attack – they knew that alone they stood no chance against the might of the Imperial Army and that only a clever scheme can give them victory. King Boguchwal Golovin sent envoys to beg the Throne for help against the treacherous Pisans but he got none for there were, alas, not a single tagma which could be withdrawn from imperial limes, barely holding off the fierce onslaught of the Mongol invaders.

And so the Kingdom of Aquitaine was sacrificed so that the Imperium may live.

In the end, the Imperial Army prevailed and the barbarians were stopped – but the Imperium paid a terrible price for this pyrrhic victory. More than 50,000 Roman soldiers were dead or maimed, leaving the sole defender of the Cross vulnerable against its innumerable enemies. The Horde seized several northern themata, thus taking complete control over Sea of Azov and completely cutting of thema of Cherson from the Imperium, with its two remaining cities – Theodosia and Cherson – completely dependent on the goods transported to them by sea. Desolation laid by the Horde was unimaginable and every Mongol tribe was like a swarm of lucusts, devouring everything on their way. Countless villages were looted and burned, whole livestock taken away or killed together with its owners, and in the ashes wailing mothers were burying their sons. Such great was the suffering of the faithful. Decimated yet again, the Imperial Army was on the verge of collapse – but the fight was far from over.


Conquest of Hungary

Autokrator Markos III Angelos, instead of allowing them to rest, ordered his tagmata to march against the Hungarian khanate. In his wisdom he knew that it was only a matter of time before the Horde would descend upon the chiefdom like a vulture, thus gaining the perfect position to attack the Imperium once more. For the imperial limes, stretching for thousands of leagues, were crumbling after centuries of constant warfare but their most vulnerable parts were in Pannonia and Dacia. Because Hungarian raiders were of little concern in comparison to the might of the Horde or sons of Timur, the northern limes were neglected – this was the gate through which Mongol savages could enter the Imperium and perhaps even reach Konstantinoupolis itself. And so the judgment has been passed on Hungarian tribes and their sentence was death. Like their Mongol brethren, the lightly-armed raiders stood no chance against the Imperial Army, battered as it was, but they didn't have their numbers. Soon the last Hungarian stronghold fell to the Romans and so on 9th July 1450 – barely 18 months after the Mongol invasion ended - the war was over. However, even with Dacia firmly under imperial control the frontier was far from being secured. And here once again blessed Markos III Angelos proved that he's worthy of his most noble ancestor.


Tagma ton Moldavon

Like Saint Markos himself centuries ago, blessed Basileus Basileon was willing to go to the great lengths to protect Christendom and Imperium, and like Iesus Kristos he was ready to bear his cross for the salvation of Romaioi and all Men. Such great was his dedication to this most sacred goal that the Emperor – despite repulsion – decided that in order to secure the Imperium a pact has to be made with loathsome barbarians. Khanate of Moldau, one of the few remaining Mongol chiefdoms independent from the Horde, lied just outside limes Moesiae, the ancient fortifications built between the shores of the Black Sea and Danube by emperor Trajan over a thousand years ago. Ruled by chief Agachu the Cruel, the Moldau tribe allegedly baptized on his order in year 1431 during a failed attempt to conquer this land for the Imperium – a campaign initiated by parakoimomenos Leontios Doukas shortly before he was charged with high treason and burned. Before the Imperial Army could launch another attack on Agachu and his tribe, a disastrous jihad for Aegyptus was called by Menggei, son of Timur in the following year.

This time however not soldiers but envoys were sent to Moldau.

In his great mercy, Autokrator make Agachu the Cruel an offer he couldn't refuse – to serve the Imperium or to be destroyed. Mongol was clever enough to not risk the Emperor's wrath and he agreed. And so barbarian chief fell on his face before the His Imperial Majesty with all his tribesmen and all of them were baptized and all of the wooden idols of Tengri in Moldau were burned together with those who opposed the baptism. Just like Varangian prince Vladimir swore allegiance to emperor Basileios II the Bulgar-slayer almost 500 years ago, the Moldavian khan became a servant of the Throne. A pact was made according to which his tribe was to govern the lands beyond Danube where they lived in the name of His Imperial Majesty. In return for sparing their lives and allowing the barbarians to join the Holy Church, blessed Augustus ordered them to protect the limes Moesiae from the Horde and to provide the Imperium with soldiers. And just like Tagma ton Varangon centuries ago, Tagma ton Moldavon was created and Moldavoi joined Varangians in their eternal service.

How merciful is Autokrator, how far-reaching his plans, how quick is his thought! For despite the critical condition of the Imperial Army he was able to conquer without drawing a single sword. Having subjugated the Moldavoi with nothing more but his God-given authority, the sacred Emperor turned his attention to the next step in long journey planned long in advance – the German Reich.


Mines of Tirol

On 22nd June 1452 what little forces the Imperial Army could muster led by Komitas Kyrillos – strategos from thema Armeniakon promoted to the rank of domestikos during Mongol invasion - crossed the border with Kingdom of Bavaria. The accursed Bavarians were once allies of the Imperium but when the Reich was on its knees they betrayed the Throne. On 23th April 1363 king Thoeodrich von Zähringen was crowned kaiser by the patriarch of Germany and declared that as of this moment the legacy of Charles the Great has been restored and that the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans has risen once again. But by doing so they turned away from God and they lost His blessing. In the following years the House von Zähringen was destroyed and, after decades of decline, on 30th December 1424 the crown passed to one of the Pisans. Duke Alighiero di Orange was ruling over duchies of Bavaria and Provence in the name of the Republic but he had no love for his Pisan masters. Although content with his position within the oligarchy, he didn't protest when few surviving German lords asked him to be their kaiser. His secession completely changed the balance of power in the region – German realm once again could hope to defend itself from Aztec raids and Pisa, having lost almost half of its territory, was more vulnerable than ever. But the true source of his power lied in the mountains of Tyrol, from which gold and silver were being mined and minted, thus allowing the Reich to hire mercenaries.

And now, as the blessed Emperor decided in his wisdom, the Imperium needed these mines for the very same reason.


Bavarian homage

The small Bavarian forces were no match for the tagmata led by domestikos Kyrillos and soon they were crushed. Rafaello di Orange, son of rebellious duke Alighiero, was forced to bend the knee before domestikos – but unlike his father he was not a kaiser. German princes elected among themselves Fabrizio Greyers of Nürnberg as their king several years ago – however, instead of defending the Reich as was his sworn duty, the accursed kaiser together with prince of Tirol invaded Bavaria, hoping to bite off a piece of the realm like dogs fighting for scraps from the table. And then again blessed Autokrator surprised everyone, be it Roman, Christian or barbarian. Instead of incorporating the whole Bavaria to the Imperium, His Imperial Majesty ordered domestikos to secure Tyrolian mines and to sent Bavarian prince under escort to Konstantinoupolis, so that he could take oath of allegiance to the Emperor. And so on 1st October 1453 son of kaiser fell on his face before the sacred Autokrator and took his place among the servants of the Imperium. Meanwhile several tagmata led by domestikos[/s] Kyrillos were defending the now imperial land from the vile Germans and after dozens of small skirmishes the main forces of the kaiser faced the Imperial Army on the hills nearby Salzburg, where on 23rd November they suffered an utter defeat. German king had no choice but to beg for peace.

And in his mercy the Emperor gave it to him.


Kaiser's treachery

Despite advice of the Imperial Council, blessed Autokrator wisely decided not to pursue a total victory, for the destruction of the Reich was not his goal, at least for now – God's Regent on Earth ambition was much greater. Then the true malice and German treachery became known to all men, because the accursed kaiser Fabricio von Greyerz decided to ask none other but khagan Temuge Csikid for help.


Master of the Horde was glad to oblige to his petition and declared that von Greyerz' „clan” is now under the protection of „Tengri the Sky-Father and Umay the Earth-Mother”. How low have they fallen to beg the barbarians and their daemons for help against the Protector of the Christendom! Truly by turning to the Dark Gods like Pisans before them, the Germans condemned themselves for eternal torture in Hell and for a terrible punishment in this world. May the Saint Markos helps his blessed descendant and namesake, the sacred Emperor Markos III Angelos, bring the kaiser to imperial justice! For the arrogance of German king knows no bounds.


With his judgment surely clouded by the corrupting influence of the Dark Powers he promised to worship, kaiser Fabricio von Greyerz dared to demand return of the „unlawful territory occupied by traitor di Orange” to the Reich. This bold claim, accompanied by the insults of Tyrolian envoys – for which they were punished accordingly – caused many to wonder why the tagmata haven't received orders to destroy the Germans once and for all. Obviously His Imperial Majesty had good reasons to do so, although hidden – for the time being – from everyone's eyes. The Imperial Army was greatly weakened by the invasion of the Horde and during the war with the Reich it became obvious that with the depleted reserves it would take years before the Imperium would be fully able to defend itself – a terrible secret of which the Enemy surely already knew. And so when the call for help came from duchy of Navarra – the last remnant of Aragon – the Imperial Council itself urged the sacred Emperor to postpone the retribution on the soulless xenoi for their innumerable crimes and wait. The blessed Autokrator weighed the fate of Navarra against the fate of whole Christendom and, with heavy heart, he judged the small duchy to not be worthy the risk. Thousands of Christians joined millions of their brothers and sisters killed or enslaved by invaders from the Far West during decades – such is the terrible burden of the cross which every Emperor has to carry.

But no sacrifice is too big to ensure the survival of the Imperium Romanum, for it's all that stands between the Christendom and hordes of barbarians.


Renovation of limes

Blessed Augustus Markos III Angelos knew this all to well. Seeing that despite his best efforts the Imperium was still not ready to achieve his secret goal, he concentrated his attention on securing the imperial borders. Ancient limites were in a critical condition by centuries of negligence and constant warfare – the resources were always needed elsewhere and the living wall of the Roman soldiers was so much easily damaged by the invaders. It was in year 1456 when sacred Emperor decreed a complete renovation of the imperial limites, something which hasn't been done since the times of Saint Markos himself. The Imperial Treasury was heavily burdened with this monumental task and in the end the revenues from taxes proved to be insufficient – and so the Throne was forced to take great loans in order to complete the project. Thousands of slaves died of exhaustion, be it working in the mines, transporting the stone or rebuilding the limites. Finally the work was done – the limes has been restored and all Romaioi were safer than ever before, hidden behind the lines of powerful fortifications encompassing the whole Imperium.


Burning steppe

Seeing that the Emperor's have spared no effort to rebuild and expand the limites, barbarians assumed he had no intention of attacking them. Khagan Temuge Csikid, overconfident after what he deemed was a victory over the Imperial Army, decided to turn his attention to the East, where dwelled one of the few tribes still not subjugated to the Horde. In the following year Menggei, son of Timur, declared war against the same tribe – such is the treachery and discord among the Mongols that instead of working together they enslave and kill each other. The barbarians in their ignorance didn't realize that the renovation of the limites was a ruse, a brilliant stratagem of His Imperial Majesty, and that by bringing war to the East they were his unwitting pawns.

A great outrage was caused in the City when the news that Scrinium Barbarorum discovered agents of the Republic in Italia spread among the citizens. Some of the aristoi called for war against greedy merchants whose corrupting influence clearly was clearly growing in the western provinces. Blessed Augustus decided however to ignore Pisan schemes, which caused great consternation in Konstantinoupolis, for at that time nobody knew what was the plan of His Imperial Majesty. Months were passing quickly and it seemed that – at least for a time – the Angel of Death left the good Christians to reap his harvest in the eastern steppes.

It was in this moment when the Emperor decided that the board is set.


Jewel of the Imperium

On 27th May 1458 all themata across the Imperium were mobilized. The Imperial Army stationed in eastern provinces was on the move and thousands of brave Roman soldier were marching to the south or boarding the imperial dromonoi, all carrying the same long-awaited order – to liberate Aegyptus.

When on 5th October 1433 Menggei, son of Timur, crossed the limes with over 100,000 mugahidun he was sure that the war would end quickly – but the Imperial Army proved him wrong. It took two years and hundreds of thousands of dead before the Aegyptus has finally fallen to the Shia scourge. For the second time Muslim hordes have crossed Nile. For the second time fanatic mugahidun have set their dirty feet in the land of Moses and Desert Fathers. For the second time followers of the false Prophet have desecrated the holy city of Alexandreia with their foul presence – but not for long.

On 22nd October 1438, when Timur's son was facing the might of the Horde, the Imperial Army was deployed on the barren shores of Aegyptus from dromonoi and immediately began the assault. Thousands perished but in the end brave Romaioi soldiers, filled with pious zeal and righteous anger, overwhelmed small numbers of defenders. By the end of the year holy Alexandreia was once again firmly under Roman control and, knowing that he can't face the enemy on both fronts, Menggei agreed to concede defeat. In a little more than two months thema of Alexandreia was liberated. Every follower of the false Prophet found by the victorious Romaioi in the province was either put to the sword or taken as a slave.

The campaign was successful in every account – Roman citizens were safe and the land route to the south has been reestablished. For this achievement, Demetrios Komnenos was honored with the title of megas domestikos, once again becoming the commander-in-chief of the whole Imperial Army. But even after such spectacular success the majority of Aegyptus was still under Shia control and the suffering of the Romaioi living under Menggei's yoke could only be matched by the catastrophic effects the loss of aegyptian taxes and grain had on the imperial economy.

The Emperor was determined to put an end to this once and for all.


In just a few months whole Aegyptus was under Roman control with small garrison forces left by Menggei under siege in scattered fortresses. Soon the castles were taken and city after city the Aegyptus was being liberated from the cruel Mongol yoke. The Roman citizens rejoiced, for once again they were under the protection of the Angeloi...

6th November 1458
Cairo


Dozens of candles are lit before the icon of Saint Markos and small crucifix in a cramped room. Before the tiny altar stands grey-haired man and a young woman, both holding prayer ropes in their hands, who are looking with fear in their eyes on the heavy wooden doors. Fire and columns of smokes are visible out of the tiny window behind them.

*loud banging*
VOICE: Open door! Open door!
*Old man looks the woman in the eyes*
OLD MAN: We have to, my dear.
*He turns to the door and takes a deep breath*
WOMAN: Please, don't.
OLD MAN: It's all right, my dear, it's all right.
VOICE: Open door in name of Emperor's!
WOMAN: Father!
*He approaches the door and takes the wooden bar out of the bar brackets*
OLD MAN: It's opened, you can-
*The door opens suddenly and two men enter the room, each of them carrying a weapon; the taller one has a spear and the bearded one is wearing a blood-stained armor and carries a short war axe*
TALL MAN: Kristianoi?
*old man smiles*
OLD MAN: Yes! Yes, we're Christians! Salve soldiers!
*both intruders start to look around in the room as if they were looking for something*
OLD MAN: Come here, sweetheart! *old man hugs his daughter, who still seems to be scared* Me and my daughter were worried that you may be Mongols. We were praying for your victory and lo and behold, Saint Markos has given us-
BEARDED MAN: Nic tu nie ma. Do jasnej cholery! Domenico, spytaj ich gdzie trzymają złoto.
*old man looks disoriented*
OLD MAN: I don't understand. Are you thirsty?
*tall man approaches and starts talking with heavy Pisan accent*
TALL MAN: Gold. You have a gold?
OLD MAN: Gold? W-we don't have gold, the accursed Mongols took everything. *frightened, old man looks at the bearded man* We had to pay jizyah, we don't have anything of value.
BEARDED MAN: Co powiedział?
TALL MAN: Mówić ze zlota nie ma.
*angered, bearded man kicks the table; the woman screams*
OLD MAN: Please, we don't have anything. Please, my lord...
TALL MAN: Mówi ze-
BEARDED MAN: Wiem co mówi. *spits on the floor* Rzymiany pieprzone, nie ma nawet co – ejże, a to? *points at the holy icon of Saint Markos*
OLD MAN: Please my lord, we are Christians, we don't want to-
TALL MAN: This. *points at the holy icon* Gold?
OLD MAN: What?
*bearded man walks to the holy icon but old man bars his way*
WOMAN: Father!
OLD MAN: It's all right, Zoe. *although he's shaking, he looks the bearded man in his eyes* This is a holy icon – if you are a Christian I beg you for all that is sacred to leave it alone.
BEARDED MAN: Odważnyś, Greku.
OLD MAN: On the holy wounds of Kristos, I beg you. Please, my lord. *with wide-opened eyes he looks at the tall man* If you need anything, we can-
*Suddenly the bearded man slashes his axe in the face of the old man, who collapses on the altar spilling blood everywhere. The woman, grabbed by the tall mercenary, starts shouting*
WOMAN: NOOO! FATHER! FATHER! *she
*The bearded man takes a step over a still bleeding body and takes the bloodied icon from the floor*
WOMAN: *crying and wailing* Oh God, oh God!
*The bearded man tries to pry open the silver-plated frame with a knife but suddenly looks at his companion with anger*
BEARDED MAN: Na co czekasz, uciszże zdzirę.
*The tall man nods and hits the woman in the stomach with a wooden pole of his spear. She collapses on the floor and when she tries to gets up he kicks her in the teeth*
WOMAN: *in pain* Ugh!
TALL MAN: You like scream?! I make you scream! *he throws away his spear and starts to rip off the woman's dress while she's struggling with him*
BEARDED MAN: Ha! *he takes of the silver-coated frame of the icon and throws it into the puddle of still warm blood* Wreszcie. *he looks at the silver frame and grins*
*Woman starts shouting*
The sudden attack of the Imperial Army was completely unexpected for the barbarians, who were all deceived by the Emperor. Having assumed that the Romaioi are erecting the limites fortresses to hide beyond their walls, they realized finally how gullible they were.

But it was too late for them.


With local forces crushed swiftly, the armies of ghazis arriving from the eastern steppe were destroyed one by one by tagmata led by Komitas Kyrillos, nominated to the position of domestikos of the East. His mastery of using terrain to his advantage allowed him to almost effortlessly beat armies send by furious Menggei Timurid, who was still leading his troops against the Uzbek tribe. For between his main forces in Mesopotamia and Aegyptus lied Arabian Desert, a true wasteland impassable for any army. And so to attack Roman armies in Sinai and beyond, mugahidun had to pass through the hills and mountains nearby Damascus, where clever domestikos Kyrillos set a trap for them. Seeing how great were the losses and how numerous were the failures of his generals, Menggei Timurid was said to be astonished by how quickly the Imperial Army rebuilt itself after the disastrous invasion of the Horde.

And thus he was deceived for a second time.

For the vast majority of the forces amassed in Aegyptus were not Roman soldiers but gigantic auxilia counting tens of thousands of mercenaries from the whole Europe. The Emperor in his wisdom knew that the Imperial Army is still far too weak to face the Mongol hordes – seeing that he didn't have enough steel to wage a war, he decided to use gold. And so the numerous rabble of greedy sell-sword appeared to the Mongols, suffering constant defeats due to clever tactics of domestikos of the East, as the well-trained and disciplined soldiers of tagmata – truly the greatest of deceptions! Sacred Autokrator knew however that every sword has two edges and that the mercenaries could easily turn against the Imperium as they once did. That's why the domestikoi were ordered to show no mercy to deserters and mutineers...

18th December 1458
Great Market of Cairo


The last screams of the mercenaries are drowned out by the crackling noise of the burning tree. Several dozens of human torches light up the whole market, including the ruined buildings and the huge mob of city dwellers, who watch in silence the horrible spectacle separated from the burning stakes by rows of Roman soldiers. Two imperial officers stand on a wooden platform in the middle of the Great Market, one of them covering his nose with a handkerchief and looking as if he was about to vomit, the other wearing red cape on his armor and looking straight at the flames, unfazed.

STRATEGOS IOANNES: For the love of Theotokos! he wrinkles his nose* The stench is unbearable.
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: Mhm.
*strategos looks at Kyrillos*
STRATEGOS IOANNES: With all due respect, domestikos of the East, was it really necessary?
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: They killed citizens of the Imperium and disobeyed the will of the Emperor. They must've been punished.
STRATEGOS IOANNES: Punishment, yes. Those responsible for the sack of Cairo should be flogged or worse. But this... he looks at corpses of mercenaries engulfed in flames* You sentenced their leaders to death, my lord. And not only Pisan scum but sell-swords from Christian Kingdoms as well.
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: The free companies broke their contract by sacking Cairo.
STRATEGOS IOANNES: But my domestikos, wasn't this... excessive?
* Komitas Kyrillos turns around, deep scars on his face and missing right ear clearly visible in the red glow*
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: Excessive?
STRATEGOS IOANNES: T-the, uhm... The Latins are not going to like it, sir. When they hear what we've done, they might-
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: Latins care only for gold. *he turns away and looks at the burning stakes* They won't lift a finger.
STRATEGOS IOANNES: I'm just merely trying to point out that we need them if we want to won the war. And this... punishment will surely cause an unrest within their ranks.
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: Why?
*strategos Iaonnes looks at domestikos Kyrillos surprised*
STRATEGOS IOANNES: Kyrios?
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: Why do we want to win the war? Why are we fighting the sons of Timur, strategos?
STRATEGOS IOANNES: To liberate Aegyptus. Sir.
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: What for?
STRATEGOS IOANNES: To free Romaioi from Shia yoke. To protect them in the name of the Emperor.
*Komitas Kyrillos looks at strategos Ioannes*
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: And you want me to ignore the calamities they suffered from the hands of mercenaries I command?
STRATEGOS IOANNES: N-no, n-not at all, I-
*Kyrillos looks at the charred bodies sizzling in the flames*
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: Justice is balance. The Latins took the lives of Romans and burned the city. I paid them back in their own coin.
STRATEGOS IOANNES: With all due respect, the invasion of Aegyptus succeeded mainly because the mercenaries betrayed us. Megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos used to say that sometimes even the innocent must be sacrificed for the common good of the Imperium.
*Strategos Ioannes looks at domestikos Kyrillos unsure whether he didn't cross the line by speaking so boldly to his superior and for a moment only the hissing fire can be heard*
KOMITAS KYRILLOS: Sometimes, yes. *he looks at the broken silver-coated frame of the holy icon stained with blood he was holding in his hand* But not today.
Such were the mistakes of the barbarians: first, that they assumed that Romans would defend themselves when they attacked and second, that the Imperial Army was strong when it was weak. Truly great is the wisdom of the sacred Emperor! And so by the end of 1459 it was clear that the Imperial Army has gained an upper hand and that – with Saint Markos blessing – perhaps the whole Aegyptus could be liberated in one decisive war. And then, on 16th December 1459, the news from the west reached the City.


Pisan greed

The Republic invaded Kingdom of Aquitaine hoping to gain control over even more Christian lands; despite the imperial protection promised to all Christian Kings, the opportunistic merchants assumed that the Imperial Army – still fighting endless hordes of mugahidun - would not be able to intervene. To make things worse for the Imperium, a powerful Mongol uprising erupted in province of Armenia, threatening to spill into nearby themata. But they made a great mistake in their calculations, for they ignored the other Christian Kingdom – Poland.


The news barely reached him and the brave king Szczesny of Spis decided not only to answer to the call of arms but to personally lead the Polish army against Pisan sellswords. The sacred Emperor allowed both Christian Kings to mover their armies through the imperial territory and to provide them with anything they need but the soldiers themselves. In a letter to king Szczesny he advised his beloved brother-in-law to be most cautious while dealing with forces of the Republic – it is well known that cunning merchants didn't hesitate to use xenoi poison on bolts of their crossbows and that they ruthlessness could only be rivaled by their greed and hate of all that is holy. His Imperial Majesty with heavy heart was determined however to complete this great work which was the liberation of Aegyptus before ordering the imperial strategoi to board dromonoi and sail to the west.

And so began the Pisan war.


During the next two years the Christians were bravely fighting against the enemies of the Faith and while the Romanoi were facing Menggei's ghazis, the knights of Poland and Aquitaine were fighting with Pisan mercenaries. Alas, after many victories even such skilled warrior like king Szczesny of Spis finally made a mistake and it was all the Pisans needed. On the fields of Lyonnais he attacked the forces of the merchants but, leading the charge against enemy's positions, the king with his cavalry fell into the pits dug by the treacherous Pisans on the battlefield, covered by grass and filled with wooden spikes. The charge was stopped and then the crossbowmen hidden in the forest started to shoot at horses of the knights who didn't fell into the trap. Although the king managed to survive, he was forced to retreat and more than 3000 of his best knights – trapped in the pits and without their horses - died on that day, hacked into pieces by Pisan mercenaries. It was 17th January 1461

Meanwhile domestikos of the East was successfully defending the liberated Aegyptus from Timurid armies, beating one after another until the hills of Sinai and Damascus were red from the blood of the slained. Such great was his success that Komitas Kyrillos started to think about crushing the rebels in the north and taking Damascus itself. Before he could sent a letter to Konstantinoupolis to ask the Emperor for approval of his bold plans – for the sacred Augustus has forbidden to divert any soldiers from Aegyptus and Syria to deal with the uprising – a messenger arrived in Hierusalem, carrying the most terrible news...


Night, 19th October 1461
Great Palace, Konstantinoupolis

The sacred Emperor Markos III Angelos walks through a long corridor of the Palace accompanied by two Varangians when suddenly a dart flies out of the shadows, stinging one of the guardsman in the neck. He immediately collapses on the marble floor, shaking; before the other one can unsheathe his sword, he shares the fate of his companion and drops dead on the floor. The unfazed Emperor turns to face the darkness from which the projectile flew out.

EMPEROR MARKOS III: Show yourself, xenos.
*From the darkness emerges a man wearing a black monk's habit, his face hidden under the hood.*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You dare to raise a hand on God's Regent on Earth?
*Assassin slowly walks towards the Emperor in complete silence.*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Strike me than. *he shows his hands to the assassin* I am unarmed.
*Assassin unsheathes a dagger while walking toward the Emperor.*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Tepozmacuahueque ahmo neximalitztli? *he rises his eyebrow* You are not xenos. Guards!
*Assassin suddenly starts running and, when he's a few steps from the Emperor, he swings his blade and slashes him. The dagger goes straight for the heart but suddenly the Emperor twists his body, moving away from the blade in an attempt to dodge the attack. He almost succeeds as the blade cuts through his arm; the assassin momentarily regains balance and turns around, rising the blade to strike again – but suddenly he freezes.*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You are not xenos.
*Assassin starts shaking and lowers his blade*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: They use obsidian, not steel. And they poison their blades.
*The dagger falls out of his hand as the assassin falls on his left knee*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: But they are not the only ones.
*He grins as he shows his left hand to the assassin – a small needle extends now from Emperor's signet ring. A single drop of blood drips out of the needle. The assassin collapses on the floor.*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Now... the Emperor kicks away the assassin's dagger before walking closer to him* You will tell me who sent you.
*A distant shouting can be heard, as well as the sound of many heavy boots running up the stairs. The Emperor crouches down near the dying assassin.*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: The blade wasn't poisoned, as you can see. Your masters have betrayed you. Tell me who they are and you'll have your vengeance.
*Convulsing assassin tries to say something but only an unintelligible gibberish can be heard.*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Shh, don't fight with it, you don't have much time. *he takes off the assassin's hood revealing a Latin – or perhaps Roman – face and leans toward the assassin* Whisper is all I need.
*Several Varangians in full armor and with unsheathed swords burst into the corridor.*
VARANGIAN CAPTAIN: There! Protect the Emperor!
*The Varangians run toward the Emperor and form a circle around him, while the Varangian captain grabs the Emperor's arm.*
VARANGIAN CAPTAIN: Your Majesty, the-
*Emperor shakes off his hand and get's up
EMPEROR MARKOS III: He's dead. Close the Sacred Palace – I want everyone who's here right now to stay within its walls until you find the traitor. Don't let-
The Emperor falls on his right knee, his face contorted in pain. A dark stain grows on his purple robe where the assassin's dagger cut through the silk, revealing a thin coat covered with gold scales beneath it.
VARANGIAN CAPTAIN: Your Majesty, you are bleeding. Allow me to take you to escort you to safety and call the physician first.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: No. I want the Palace closed right now. Go.
VARANGIAN CAPTAIN: As you wish, sacred Autokrator. *He turns to other Varangians.* Escort His Imperial Highness to the Sacrum Cubiculum and close the doors, do not allow anyone to enter until I return. *He points at two of the guardsman* You will go to check whether Her Imperial Highness is safe and you go with me.
*Varangian captain turns around and heads toward the exist of the corridor*
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Captain.
*Varangian captain immediately turns around and bows*
VARANGIAN CAPTAIN: Yes, Your Majesty?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: When you are done, find the one responsible for the first night watch. He must be blind if he didn't notice this man getting into the Sacred Palace. *Drops of blood drip from his wound on the marble floor* Remove his eyes - he won't be needing them anymore.
*Varangian captain bows even deeper*
VARANGIAN CAPTAIN: It will be done, Your Majesty.
* Varangian captain nods to the guardsmen*
VARANGIAN: Your Highness, we have to move along.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Let's go than. *turns around towards the corpse of assassin laying on the floor* Take his dagger. There's someone I want to take a close look at it.
*The stain of dark purple engulfs the double-headed eagle embroidered on Emperor's robe.*

Xenoi invasion

The failed assassination attempt on His Most Sacred Imperial Majesty took place on 11th October 1461 and on the same day the mighty armies of xenoi were already on their way, marching towards the City to destroy the Imperium and to plunge the Christendom in eternal darkness. Like wildfire, panic was spreading through the Imperium – not a single xenos has been sighted nearby the imperial limites but the whispers of their arrival and the fact that sacred Autokrator was attacked in Konstantinoupolis itself were alone sufficient to cause many to flee or to take their lives. Although wounded, the blessed Autokrator hasn't lost the power of thought and neither his wise judgment nor vast knowledge of affairs of the state were damaged in the slightest. The Emperor realized momentarily in how disastrous situation the Imperium found itself, for the Imperial Army was suddenly facing two of the mightiest enemies of the Cross, with the third hiding in their shadows. It was not possible to win one war without sacrificing the victory in another. The blessed Augustus knew this and in his wisdom he decided that before making any decision – of which every would condemn hundreds of thousands to terrible fate – the first push of the xenoi forces had to be stopped at all cost.

For even before their slave dared to raise his hand at His Imperial Majesty, the pawns were already in motion – a powerful fleet was spotted on the shores of the Great Ocean by the subjects of king Boguchwal of Aquitaine and it was clear that the soulless beasts intended to launch an unexpected attack into the very heart of the imperial lands. No matter what was their goal, be it Roma or thema of Sicilia or even Konstantinoupolis, they must've been destroyed before they could reach their target, because almost all imperial forces were concentrated in Aegyptus, leaving Italia and western provinces vulnerable and helpless. And so the sacred Emperor sent a messenger to megas droungarios Isaakios Theophilos, ordering him to gather any and all dromonoi of the Imperial Navy and to face the enemy near the Pillars of Hercules.

And so the whole Imperial Navy left the shores of Aegyptus and Syria and traversed the waters of Mesogeios Thalassa – called by the ancients Mare Nostrum - to face the invaders where the Great Ocean begins...

22nd May 1462
Gulf of Almeria


Waves break on the hulls of dozens of imperial dromonoi, each of them with tens of Roman soldiers in full armor standing on deck and dozens of chained oarsmen below it. White sails and red ensigns with imperial double-headed eagle slowly flutter on the wind as the sailors arming small ballistas and preparing quivers full of arrows and javelin bags. At the stern of the largest dromon of the fleet three figures stand before the entrance to the captain's berth covered by a huge red tent, two of them pointing at something in the distance and the third one, who's wearing blue cloak on his armor, stand behind them.

NAVARCHOS SIMEON: There's another one! Good God, just look at the size of these things, they are enormous!
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: Holy Theotokos...
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: And there, another one! This must be the sixteenth!
*the man standing behind them ends his prayer, crosses himself, kisses a small golden cross he wars on a necklace and approaches the officers of the Imperial Navy*
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Report, navarchos.
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: There are sixteen warships of immense size like the one we spotted yesterday, sir.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: And the rest?
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: Thrice as numerous, sir. The small ones must be barges they use to carry the warriors. My lord megas droungarios, there may be even 30,000 xenoi aboard these ships and that's not counting the sailors.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Hmm.
*megas droungarios leans on the wooden railing, his blue cloak barely moved by the wind*
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: What do you think Aniketos?
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: We have a little more than 9,000 soldiers, including the sailors. Even if we armed the oarsmen, together with slaves our men are still outnumbered. We can't risk boarding – we should keep firing at them and avoid contact with the enemy.
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: But they will try to board us, won't they droungarios?
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: Yes. And if they do so, we will surely lose. Megas droungarios, we must-
*megas droungarios Isaakios Theophilos raises his hand and silences droungarios Aniketos*
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: We are not retreating.
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: Than we will die.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: If such is the will of God.
*in a moment of silence only breaking waves and creaking hull of the dromon can be heard*
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: My lord, what are your orders?
*megas droungarios Isaakios looks at the clouds in silence*
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: With all due respect, megas droungarios, I think-
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: The wind is getting weaker. *he turns around* I don't see any oars on their ships and their sails soon will be useless. This gives us one advantage – maneuverability.
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: They still outnumber us.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Mhm. But not for long. *looks at navarchos* Flags.
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: Yes, sir! *turns to the signaller* PREPARE THE FLAGS!
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: Your orders, my lord megas droungarios?
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: You will take 30 dromonoi and you will attack the ships on which the xenoi transport their soldiers. Rain flaiming arrows on them until you burn their sails and they are immobilized, than continue firing at them until they are all dead. Don't let them board, you hear me?
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: What if they board? What then?
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: You will order a dromon which crew suffered greatest casualties to ram into them.
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: My lord! This-
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: You will ram into their ships and sink them. Shoot the westerners with javelins while they are in the water. Leave none alive.
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: We will lose the dromonoi.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: We will lose them anyway if they win the battle.
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: What about the crew? The oarsmen?
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Use only the dromonoi with heavy losses. As for the slaves, I don't care how many will die if you manage to sink xenoi ships.
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: It shall be done, my lord megas droungarios.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Destroy them all, Aniketos, or the army carried by their ships will land in our lands and lay waste to whole cities. And don't spare your whip on the slaves – you must move quickly. Go now.
DROUNGARIOS ANIKETOS: Aye aye, sir.
*droungarios Aniketos turns around and together with his guards heads to his boat*
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: The signal flags are prepared, sir.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Good. Drums.
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: DRUMS!
*beating of the war drums momentarily drowns out quiet sound of the wind*
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Oars.
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: OARS OUT!
*hundreds of wooden oars are extended out of the dromon, clear of the water and ready for pulling*
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: As soon as droungarios leaves us, give the signal to the fleet – crescent formation and follow. Take us to nearby these rocks, I want the battle to take place on shallow waters.
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: Aye, sir.
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: Don't tire the oarsmen too much, we're going to need their strength. I'm going to pray now before the battle starts.
*megas droungarios turns around and heads inside the tent*
NAVARCHOS SIMEON: For victory, my lord?
ISAAKIOS THEOPHILOS: No. *he looks at navarchos Simeon* For mercy.

The mighty fleet of the Enemy was completely destroyed and the Imperial Navy was victorious. May no man ever forget the glorious deed of megas droungarios Isaakios Theophilos, for during the battle more xenoi died from the hands of Romans than there are stars on the sky. At least 27,000 of the invaders must've been killed or drowned – a huge army which, if unleashed upon the defenseless Roman cities, would take lives of innumerable citizens. But even despite such glorious victory the Imperial Navy suffered heavy losses and many thousands of sailors and soldiers died on that day too. Almost half of the imperial dromonoi were sunk and the remaining ships were badly damaged and in a dire need of repairs. Seeing all this, as soon as he sent a messenger to the Sacred Palace with news of his victory, megas droungarios ordered all his men to sail to thema nautikon Baleares, where was the nearest port of the Imperial Navy.

Alas, by the time the messenger reached Konstantinoupolis the situation changed dramatically.


While the battered Imperial Navy was slowly sailing to Baleares, another xenoi fleet passed the Pillars of Hercules and entered the Mesogeios Thalassa – and then another. And another. As it turned out, the mighty fleet destroyed by megas droungarious was just a scouting force sent by the xenoi to secure the safe passage through the Pillars. Huge warships with red sails, vastly outnumbering damaged dromonoi of the Imperial Navy, showed up on the shores of imperial themata. According to the information gathered by agentes in rebus, the immense ships were carrying army at least 50,000 strong. This was the force which the Imperial Army could not hope to match while still being engaged in the East – and these were just the warriors which invaders sent by the sea.

The sacred Emperor, perhaps wounded by these terrifying news more than the obsidian blade, decided in his wisdom that to face xenoi would mean to lose Aegyptus and perhaps even Syria and the whole East. And because of that, just like his father before him, he decided to do the unthinkable.


Fulfilling the sacrosanct duty of the Angeloi – to protect the Imperium and Christendom at all costs – blessed Basileus Basileon[ Markos III Angelos was forced to send envoys to ask for peace. There were no negotiations between Romans and abhorrent xenoi when on 25th December 1462 imperial protomandator with his attendants met the soulless beasts in Carthage. Speaking unimaginable blasphemies through Roman captives and slaves who served them as translators, the worshippers of the Dark Powers demanded from the Augustus great concessions and threatened that if he wouldn't agree to them they would take them anyway, by fire and sword.

And the Autokrator agreed.


For the reasons unknown, Westerners demanded only a handful of themata for themselves, including thema nautikon Baleares and thema of Tirol, so recently taken away from treacherous Germans, instead forcing the Throne to cede huge territories to the thrice-damned Republic of Pisa. That's how the greedy merchants – may the burn in Hell forever for the calamities they brought upon the good Christians – gained themata of Corsica and Sardinia and Nikaia and whole Languedoc. Like vultures feasting on the prey of the true predator the accursed Republic grew, cutting off the Imperium from Kingdom of Aquitaine. Soon the war waged by merchants against proud Christian Kings ended and it ended with the victory of the Aztec slaves. Themata controlled now by the xenoi were barely populated but a huge number of Roman citizens found themselves under a Pisan yoke – truly uncountable are the crimes of the merchants. One day they shall answer before God for the misery they've brought to the faithful and – with Iesus Kristos' blessing – before this day arrives, the Imperium shall have it revenge.

But while the flames of war were put down in the West, the Angel of Death was still reaping his harvest in the East.


Finally, after almost 6 years of a devastating struggle, son of Timur realized that he must ask for peace. Harsh were the terms proposed to khagan Menggei and yet the scales of justice were far from being balanced, such great was the suffering of Romaioi brought upon them by Timur and his descendants. But in the end the lord of barbarians accepted them and the war was finally over on 20th February 1464.


Dead silence has fallen on the tormented land, settling on the battlefields like mist, encompassing rotting bodies of Mongols and Romaioi alike. There were no more horns or drums of war to be heard, no armies marching to clash against each other and only ragged banners were being moved by the sultry east wind. Aegyptus was freed from Shia oppression and the liberated province once again became part of the Imperium, as it was for centuries. A glorious triumph was organized in the Queen of Cities for Komitas Kyrillos, honored with the rank of megas domestikos for his great deeds on the battlefield. But there was no joy in the hearts of men which wasn't tainted.


The Imperium paid a heavy price for the victory. Aegyptus was liberated and under imperial control but the Republic was stronger than ever and the soulless xenoi seized several strategically important themata. Aquitaine lost the war – badly beaten, having lost almost half of its territory in the last 25 years and now without a land connection with the Imperium it seems that the Christian Kingdom was truly doomed. Both the Imperial Army and Imperial Navy suffered heavy losses and although the sacred Emperor ordered to built dozens of new dromonoi it was obvious that they wouldn't save the Imperium from the might of the xenoi fleet. Although Roman blood was preserved to great extent thanks to the widespread use of auxilia, the mercenaries were not to be trusted and only their lust for gold kept them on the imperial side. The citizens were burdened with increased taxation in order to pay for the long war against the Shia – the economy was suffering greatly from the exhausting war effort. Even His Imperial Majesty himself didn't remain unaffected by the struggle and although Iesus Kristos, Theotokos and Saint Markos with all the saints protected blessed Autokrator from the worst, many feared another attempt on his life.

One thing remained certain however – even in the gathering darkness the flame of Faith in the hearts of the Angeloi, chosen by Our Lord to protect His Church, burned as bright as always.

Saint Markos preserve us.

 
Last edited:

CzokletMuss

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You have read this in 2 minutes? :eek:hmy:
 

Attalus

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You have read this in 2 minutes? :p
He is the prince of heretics after all.
Reading such a chapter was easy for someone possessing black magic ! :p

Edit :
Just finished reading and it's amazing :)
You managed to not lose too much territories in the West while reclaiming Aegyptus from the Timurids. The Senate is rejoicing ;)
Could we have a translation of the Polish mercenaries ? (I assume it's Polish :p )
 
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