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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

alphaomega66

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You are Greek? That's great, I may have later few questions to you concerning Greek grammar properly when using Byzantine terminology, if you would be so kind to help me with it :)

And yes, I lost them all - I was forced to switch to standard cavalry retinues. As you can easily guess, it didn't help me financially or in terms of military power...


Good shape? I dunno if 80% losses during defensive war is a good condition ;) Thank you very much!

Hope dies last, although concerning the sheer amount of destruction in Europe it may not take long before death takes it too.
The Cataphracts are all instantly gone now? I successfully inherited my Persian dad's Horse Archer retinues as an Ashkenazi and they did not dissipate.
 

Nikephoros II

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You are Greek? That's great, I may have later few questions to you concerning Greek grammar properly when using Byzantine terminology, if you would be so kind to help me with it
Would be glad to be of any help.
 
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Stuyvesant

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Grim business. A bad situation all round, but you finally managed to beat Pisa, the Mongols and the Shia Caliphate into submission. Only to have your own vassals rise up in rebellion. The game seems hell-bent on tearing down the Roman Empire, no matter how many enemies it will take.
 

gooy

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the only way i can think of switch culture is to give your heir to be educated by a greek. in times like these the foreigner penalty can hurt. other than that you could just strip all the greek dukes of their titles and replace them with dukes of your culture. but the second option will most likely result in a neverending civil war.

i think there should be a opinion boost like "your religion is on the verge of collapse" making all people of your religion less likely to wage war against each other.
 

CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 14
1335-1341
BLOOD OF THE FAITHFUL



Traitorous rebels decided to raise a hand against the Throne. For this crime against the laws of God and men there is only one sentence – death. But to bring justice to the rebelling provinces it sometimes takes months or years, precious time which should be spent on preparing for inevitable barbarian invasion, not wasted on spilling Romanoi blood. Alas the traitors decided otherwise. By declaring war on the Throne, faithless rebel leader Eustathia of Acre, committed unforgivable sin. What's even worse than condemnation of her soul to eternal torture in Hell – a proper punishment – she managed to gather huge support among aristoi. They weren't as numerous as those who betrayed the Empire during civil war of 1326-1328. But they were wealthy enough to gather huge bands of mercenaries and common sellswords, a true carrion for the vultures. The scale of the rebellion was greater than expected and thus basileus Luis decided to use this war as a display of power – he commanded to gather all tagmata and together with mercenaries and tens of themata to crush the traitors.


While the Imperial Army landed on the shores of Syria nearby Holy City of Antioch where the rebels were heading on 29th March 1336, they had only one order – to put all the rebels to the sword, no mercy to be shown. Soon a gigantic battle started on the fields of Gibelet and hills were washed with the blood of Romanoi. Such pointless loss while the Empire was facing threats from the Horde and the savages from the Far West was the worst blow against the Throne the rebels could have hoped to achieve. And so thousands of Romanoi died fighting against the bands of mercenaries and what little themata the rebels had.

Alas, it was not the only case of fratricidal fight among the Christians during these days.


King Theoderich making good use of the heretic unholy war declared by the leader of Cathars against the dying kingdom of Sweden decided to stab the last Norse realm in the back. The war was brutal and the victory of Germans swift – king Faste wisely decided to surrender contested lands hoping that this would allow him to concentrate all forces on the attacking heretics. It didn't make much difference to the commoners – again Christians were dying like dogs, whole villages burnt to the ground. To attack our brothers and sisters in True Faith during such dark times was pure madness – it was during these days when Bureau of Barbarians decided to advice the Emperor that king Theoderich may not be trusted.


Finally, after over two years of pointless struggle, the rebels were forced to surrender completely on 21st July 1337 and to submit to the Throne, waiting for the harsh judgment to be passed upon them for the atrocities they committed. They were all properly punished, their titles and lives taken from them, for there is no greater crime than to raise a hand on God's regent on Earth.


Triumphant basileus Luis seized the occasion – with aristoi either defeated or fearing the might of the Throne, he proclaimed himself supreme ruler of the Abyssinia on 30th July 1337. These lands south to the province of Aegyptus weren't important for most of the aristoi, but nearby border with the Shia and the fact that there were still good Christians living there created a perfect occasion for the Emperor to once again confirm his role as the sole Protector of Christendom. By assuming this title basileus Luis declared that there will be no peace with the Caliphate until it's destroyed and the Muslim threat is eliminated once and for all.

And if the Emperor stopped there, this declaration would soon be forgotten. But he was determined to fulfill his promise. Being born in Aragon, he understood the threat of the savages better than anyone – even in the times of prosperity while the interior of the Empire was safe, raids of the barbarians were constant and there was never peace on the imperial borders. Being brave ruler and skilled tactician he was, he knew that the barbarians will return sooner or later – they always did. For centuries the Empire was an invincible wall and a beacon of hope for the Christendom. Innumerable armies of heathens and pagans were trying to destroy Basileia Romaion. Huns, Ostrogoths, Persians, Slavs, Bulgars, Arabs, Turks and now Mongols and Aztecs, all of them like dark waves crushing into the mighty Walls of the City, trying to consume all that is good and holy – and so far none of them has succeeded. The Empire stood proudly against the endless hordes of barbarians for hundreds of years but it would not be possible for it to survive without God's grace and sacrifice of its citizens – the blood of the martyrs was the price that had to be paid for this. And the Empire was paying it for centuries and so were the Enemies of God. Basileus Luis decided that it was time to show the savages the true might of the Romanoi, that it was time to not only defend but to strike.


And truly the time was right. The Horde invasion forces was defeated, although barely, and Ilkhanate was facing several revolts in what was once Russia and Persia. Republic of Pisa and Caliphate alike recently tasted imperial sword and for the time being they pose no threat to the Empire. And with the forces of savages from the Far West concentrated in the north, where they were drowning Christian uprisings in blood and where the last free Norse lords were desperately fighting for survival, their supreme ruler Tlacaeleltzin was not prepared to defend his southern provinces. And truly nobody could even think about something such daring as the attack on the Aztec realm. But being the author of Aragonese Offensive and the bold attack on Pisans, the Emperor had no doubts about his plan – the God was on his side.

The holy war was declared on 12th September 1337. The people of the City were cheering when tagmata were leaving Konstantinoupolis


The enemies of the Throne and House Doukas among quickly pointed out that the decision to attack the savages was a mistake – as soon as the news of the imperial armies assembling in Greece to reconquer the province of Africa reached khagan Menggei, the barbarians put aside their differences and submitted to the will of their overlord. Treated like a god by his subjects khagan gained absolute authority over his subjects. According to imperial spies, the Horde immediately started preparing for war – without a doubt worshippers of Tengri were hoping that if the Imperial Army was to be defeated by the Aztecs, the Empire will finally fall when they launch the attack. And khagan Menggei was patient – called by his slaves the Great, he was a dangerous foe and he knew that Basileia Romaion may not survive the war on two fronts. For the time being though, all he needed to do was to wait.


Just like the invading forces of the great strategos Flavius Belisarius in over 600 years ago during the war against the Vandals, the Imperial Army arrived in Africa in 15th January 1338 and immediately laid siege to Aztec strongholds. The small army of the defenders were wiped out effortlessly by tagmata while the combined forces of the Brotherhood, mercenaries and soldiers from several themata were reconquering Tunis. Soon the North Africa was under complete control of the Imperial Army.

Then the savages arrived.


Over 40,000 strong, the army of the invaders from the Far West was gigantic and even the forces this size consisted of slightly more than one fifth of the forces of Aztec realm. With most of their leaders and armies in the North, it was believed that the war chiefs in command of the army sent to defend the Africa were going to be mediocre. The reports of the imperial spies were correct but even the Bureau of the Barbarians didn't expect one thing – that Tlacaeleltzin Acatl, the Enemy of the Free Man of Europe, will join his army.

The titanic battle on the fields of Ariana began on 31st May 1338.


The presence of their supreme lord alone more than doubled the ferocity with which the savages fought. It was as if two forces of nature itself collided in battle, soldiers of Iesus Kristos facing the locust of worshippers of the Dark Gods. No mercy was given and none was expected – there was only death. Savages were fighting like a beasts they were and many of the troops from themata faced with such horror began to panic. For the peasants from Syria and Armenia their warriors were like a daemons, with their strange feathered armor's and heads of the weird animals on their helmets. In the bloodthirsty frenzy some of them were devouring the corpses of fallen Christians on the battlefield and for ever killed savage several new appeared like an endless horde from the depths of Hell.


The darkest moment of the battle came when the cannibalistic cultists of Huitzilopochtli overcome the elite guards of the Brotherhood's grandmaster Bernardo di Pisa and his head was ripped from his lifeless body covered in the bloodied banner of the order. Grandmaster Bernardo being the second leader of the Brotherhood after Leon Angelos, Hero of the Empire, wasn't as great a man as son of Saint Markos nor his predecessor, grandmaster Adolf von Zähringen but his death was a terrible blow to the morale. It was then when one of the Brotherhood's monks-knights, Damianos of the House Botaneiates, led what was left of the right flank to a desperate attack. And – miraculously - the charge completely crushed the savages. They say that the God's angels were among the charging monks and that archangel Gabriel himself appeared on the battlefield to take the banner of the Brotherhood from the hands of heathens. Devastating charge turned to be decisive – with his left flank destroyed and a serious risk of being captured, Tlacaeleltzin Acatl, the Enemy of the Free Man of Europe, was forced to retreat leaving his troops behind.

Soon the battle was over.


With every captured savage put to the sword, more than 40,000 Aztecs were slaughtered on the fields of Ariana. Although victorious, Imperial Army suffered heavy losses and almost 20,000 Romanoi were killed by the savages. When the news reached the Great Palace on 7th June 1338, the City was celebrating – it was proved that the terrifying savages weren't invincible. From this day basileus Luis was known as “the Pious”, for even despite the fact that the war was not over the sole fact of Aztec defeat was an astonishing achievement. For his valor and courage on the battlefield, Damianos of the House Botaneiates was chosen by the Emperor as the new grandmaster of the Brotherhood. Alas, he died from his wounds and so the new grandmaster was chosen from the survivors of the battle of Ariana, Nikephoros of Megara.


By the 26th June 1338 the invading forces were able to resume the siege. The counter-attack of the savages was badly coordinated and soon thousands more of them were sent to Hell were they came from. Furious Tlacaeleltzin Acatl knew that by the time his vast armies were to be transported from the North to Africa the war was going to be over. Being cunning and ruthless man, he knew that he could not won this time – he decided to minimalize his losses and concentrate on Scandinavia first and then, in time, have his vengeance.


On 22nd November 1338 the savages accepted the terms of peace – basileus Luis was victorious. Celebrations were hold in every city of the Empire, with holy masses and processions with icons of the saints. The Aztecs were beaten. It was unthinkable but it happened – it was as if hope returned to the hearts of men. Emissaries from the Christian kingdoms arrived in Konstantinoupolis to congratulate the Emperor his victory.


But by defeating the invaders from the Far West, basileus Luis the Pious became not only a symbol – he became a target. Tlacaeleltzin Acatl sweared to see the Empire in ruin and it was obvious that from now on the Aztecs, having tasted the imperial sword, will never stop until Basileia Romaion is defeated. It became obvious to everyone of them that Europe will never be fully controlled with the Empire protecting the Christendom.


And the power of the Enemy can not be underestimated. With West and North under their control and the unknown lands in the Far West as their power base, they were the single greatest threat to the Free Men of Europe. Until they are not defeated, no Christian is safe – and one can't forget that even the mighty Aztecs are just puppets in the war waged by Diabolos and the Dark Gods against God's children.

But no daemon can resist the power of Cross – not even Tengri the Sky-Father.


On 24th August 1341 khagan Menggei the Cursed died – a powerful foe of the Empire defeated by death with his soul taken for Judgment and eternal torture in Hell. But what was even more important was that the mighty Horde with its vast and innumerable armies were now left in the hands of a child.


His heir, Inalchi Toluid, was barely 2 years old when his father died. According to imperial spies, the succession crisis was imminent – barbarians respected only power and what chance does a child stand against the ruthless and ambitious horse-lords? The Emperor was celebrating – finally, after all these years full of suffering and horror, the Enemies were not going to launch another attack for at least few years.


Seizing the occasion, together with king Theoderich of Bavaria another Christian offensive was launched against the heathens few weeks after the death of khagan. And again the soldiers of God were triumphant. It seemed that finally long-awaited peace was secured for Basileia Romaion, even if only for a while and for the terrible price of tens of thousands lives.

Truly the the martyr's grave was the Empire's keystone.

 
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CzokletMuss

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The Cataphracts are all instantly gone now? I successfully inherited my Persian dad's Horse Archer retinues as an Ashkenazi and they did not dissipate.
Not instantly but they are gone for good :(
Would be glad to be of any help.
Awesome, I'll PM you sometime next week probably :)
Grim business. A bad situation all round, but you finally managed to beat Pisa, the Mongols and the Shia Caliphate into submission. Only to have your own vassals rise up in rebellion. The game seems hell-bent on tearing down the Roman Empire, no matter how many enemies it will take.
Yup. It's almost just like in "In the Shadow of Certain, Painful Doom" where One-Natured God was doing whatever he could to destroy the Zagwes. But here there's no joking around - the heathens outnumber the Empire and with such unruly vassals one lost claimant war means AI in charge of everything. Which will inevitably lead to disaster.
The horrors of Aztec and Mongol carnage are nothing compared to this.
Lol. But IMO they really aren't that bad.
You really should manage your vassals better. That continuous independent faction must be frustrating. You are Byzantium! Just revoke all duchy titles and re-arrange them so everybody will have maxium opinion of you all the time. Micro also smaller vassals under duchies so you don't need to care about them.
First of all, de jure vassals of the same religion and culture don't join independence faction - alas, Luis is Castillan. Second of all, putting counties under duchies means more powerful vassals and less levies and money for me and I need as many levies as I can get. I'm using excommunication and spymaster to fight the factions but in case you didn't notice, typical 10 years in this game looks like this: Mongol attack, peasant uprising, Shia attack, liberation revolt, civil war, Mongol attack etc. so I can't really micro everything perfectly.

the only way i can think of switch culture is to give your heir to be educated by a greek. in times like these the foreigner penalty can hurt. other than that you could just strip all the greek dukes of their titles and replace them with dukes of your culture. but the second option will most likely result in a neverending civil war.
i think there should be a opinion boost like "your religion is on the verge of collapse" making all people of your religion less likely to wage war against each other.
Yes, this is a good idea and the only option I have - the Emperor must be Greek, cultural retinues are a massive asset for the Empire, not to mention fewer factions, better relations with vassals and these tasty decisions...
And yes, I would love to see "+50 barbarians at the gates" or "+100 it's the end times, God help us" :)
 

Nikephoros II

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Your strategic situation is rather curious. You seem to be rather overstretched, especially in the south. It is also strange for me to see the Ilkhanate get so big. In my playthrough, it stretched quite a lot until the first Khagan died and his imbecile child heir inherited. The Golden Horde then filled the void, until they tried to invade Taurica. Then the glorious Basileus Basileios Argyros III defeated them.
 
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CzokletMuss

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I blame the +75 defending against infidels bonus; every time there is a revolt in Ilkhanate, no matter how tiny, all vassals get +75 relations bonus which virtually destroys all the factions for the time of uprising/revolt/liberation. And since they happen all the time in the realm so big, khagans have +75 bonus almost constantly. Oh, and remember that both Tengri and Aztec have reformed which means their realms are much more united than usually (demand conversion, revoke infidel title and so on).
 
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mike the knight

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Htray vomr back! If only you could destory European heretics to bolster youur forces ....
 

CzokletMuss

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mike the knight

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CzokletMuss

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Stuyvesant

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Offensive war against the Aztecs - won! Very good, and such a historically important place as Carthage, no less! I do hope this is a sign of things to come, although it sounds like you got lucky: the right set of circumstances, the Aztecs distracted in the North, the Mongols distracted by having a 2-year-old ruler. And even then, you lost 20,000 troops in that giant battle. I have a feeling the Aztecs can easier afford the 40,000 they lost, than you can the 20,000 you lost.

But still! You took the offensive and it paid off. Oh, and you crushed another civil war in singularly bloody fashion. And there's hope that the Mongols will be distracted (or, even better, fall apart a bit) while little Inalchi learns how to talk and use the potty. :)
 

alphaomega66

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Use your chancellor to encourage the Aztecs in Libya and the Ilkhans in Medina to revolt. Then take them out.
 

CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 15
1341-1348
VENOMOUS SNAKES



Even with the Empire safe for at least a couple of years, there could be no peace in crumbling Europe.


Despite the fact that the powerful Ilkhanate has just entered the period of regency in the name of the young khagan Inalchi Toluid, the Horde was hungry for blood. The horse-lords decided to punish the few still independent Tengri realms in what was once known as Rus and so on 8th December 1342 invasion began. Chief Feodor the Cruel was not to be sympathized with – he betrayed the Cross legacy of his ancestors long ago, being a loyal servant to his Mongol overlords and only recently gained independence. The time has come for him to pay with blood for his arrogance.

In the same time in once proud kingdom of Sweden yet another hopeless uprising against the Aztec rule have risen, led by a noble Norseman known as Sigtrygg on 1st January 1343. The Swedes knew they couldn't possibly won but they choose the glorious death in combat than life in misery and chains serving their Aztec rulers. The whole Church was praying for their souls.

Nobody however expected what was about to happen in Arabia.


Like a poisonous snake hidden under the rock, the powerful Shia rebellion led by Aghlab the Liberator have risen against another small barbaric state independent from the Horde – and the Shia have won. Thus on 26th August 1343 the cursed Muslims have founded their new home on the ashes of Arabia, the last realm ruled by Shia with the exception of shrinking Caliphate. They couldn't hope to survive there for long – even such pathetic remnant of their once great sultanates being so close to the Horde was surely to be consumed by the barbarians yet again. As it turned out, Aghlab Aghlabid has chosen the time for the revolt perfectly.


On 15th October 1343 during the great nerge the Mongol lords assembled for the hunt unexpectedly decided that they need a new khagan, for the barbarians have no respect for the law or tradition and only through strength one can rule over the Horde. Being just a child young Inalchi could not hope for controlling his subjects and so, just like his ancestor khagan Belgutei, he had to face an open rebellion of enormous scale. Imperial spies brought news about gigantic forces of tens of thousands of barbarians marching on the capital of the Ilkhanate, a terrible power which this time luckily was to cause mayhem and havoc not among the good Christians but the worshippers of Dark Gods. Enormous realm united only be Sky-Father Tengri and and iron fist of a khagan was falling apart – tens of enslaved nations rose against their supreme ruler led by the same war chiefs who so many times commanded them in battles against Christians. Basileus Luis decided to make a good use of this unexpected civil war and to finally bring justice to several high chiefs of the Mongols who were responsible for constant raids in Palestine. The Imperial Army was assembled once again but this time the barbarians didn't stand a chance.


Another blessing was received by the House Angelos on 19th December 1344, when porphyrogenneta Theodora was born, which finally put an end to the disgusting rumors about bastard of the Emperor which was supposedly born few years before from a young mistress working in the Great Palace. This awful lies were finally silenced and the Imperial Family was celebrating.

But the flames of war consumed not only the gigantic realm of the Horde.


Central Europe was in a state of constant warfare for over 100 years – even before the Aztecs arrived the German heretics were fighting among each other, Catholics and Cathars dying by thousands. But when the invaders from the Far West arrived everything changed, for the savages were not interested in theological debates between the heretics – all they wanted was their blood. On 31th December 1344 leader of a terrifying Cult of Huitzilopochtli, the same cannibalistic daemon-warriors who beheaded the grandmaster of the Brotherhood on the fields of Ariana, declared war against the Cathars.


It seemed that so hard earned peace was slowly coming to an end – various revolts and peasants uprisings were erupting in all corners of the Empire. Just like the orders from the Queen of Cities dictated, the revolts were mercilessly put down, peasants drowned in their all blood for to disobey the Throne was equal to help the Enemies of the Basileia Romaion – and the only punishment for such treason was death.


Some were saying that the unrest in provinces was caused by the desperate conditions of the commoners – decimated by wars, hunger and disease and overtaxed, peasants have nothing to loose when demanding tax relief. Of course, such opinions were wrong – they have much to loose, above all their lives. And they lost them, punished for their crime against the Throne. Without taxation, the Empire could not hope to finance the Imperial Army and together with ancient fortresses and walls it was the only thing standing between the citizens of Basileia Romaion and barbarians. As campaign against Tengri in Palestine and war with the Aztecs proved, the tagmata was a force to be reckoned with – horse-lords paid dearly for their raids on Christians.


Surprisingly, the German heretics put up an unexpectedly heavy resistance against the terrifying Aztec Cult – during one of the battles Cathars managed even to isolate and slain the leader of the cultists on 18th August 1345 according to imperial spies. Of course, it didn't change anything, for the savages were many and the Cult was a powerful and wealthy force. Led now by Zayar Zirid, another traitor of his kin like so many nobles in Europe, they were determined to wipe out the Germans for this impudence – for the worshippers of Huitzilopochtli death is its own reward.

But not all hope is lost.


On 11th January 1346 Luis Angelos, son of the Emperor and heir to the Throne, reached the age of 16. Just like his father he wasn't born in the Purple Chamber of Great Palace but in a distant Aragon, something many of the aristoi considered to be inappropriate. But after the recent victories of basileus Luis nobody dared to question the rule of Aragonese branch of House Angelos.


Few weeks later a great wedding was held in Konstantinoupolis. By marrying princess Brunhilde, an alliance with House von Zähringen was rebuilt. Once again mighty Basileia Romaion and Bavarians were going to fight together like brothers and sisters in Christ.

Alas, before the Empire managed to honor the alliance it was already to late.


Torn apart by a civil war, powerful realm was bleeding, divided between the loyalists and servants of the traitorous duchess Cothilda of Tyrol. This terrible act was nothing more but a fratricide – and could there be anything worse than spilling the blood of Christians while barbarians were circling like vultures, seeking any weakness? Even in the times of peace this was a terrible sin, even more so in during these dark times. Alas, before the Imperial Army was mobilized the war was over – king Theoderich the Noble was forced to accept the terms of the traitors on 5th May 1346. Many feared that good Christians of Germany were so weakened that soon even they are going to become another pray of the savages.

But basileus and king Theoderich had different plans.


Together with Bavarian forces, Imperial Army marched on cursed Republic of Pisa – the reconquest of thema of Ancona was declared on 5th September the same year. Soon the Pisans were forced to face the righteous anger of the brave soldiers of the Empire and fury of the German knights – a power they could not oppose.


Pisans surrendered on 10th October 1347 – the ancient lands of Basileia Romaion were reclaimed and once against the common folk could rejoice for once again they were under the benevolent rule of the Throne. With Pisan armies destroyed, the Empire trade routes were now secured and at last there was peace in Italia.


To celebrate this victory, the Emperor ordered a great triumph to be hold in the City. Thousands of captives and vast riches were shown to the people of Konstantinoupolis. Basileus Luis was victorious. Once called “the Aragonese” by his enemies and after the war against the Aztecs known as the Pious, he faced no opposition. True, many still considered his simple but effective political and military moves unrefined but they were born in Aragon, a land constantly suffering from raids of the savages, not within the Walls of the City. And most importantly, they were effective – although the price was high and thousands of Emperor's subjects paid with their lives for it, both the Aragonese Offensive against the Mongols during Second Great War and bold campaign for Africa were a great success. After decades of desperate defensive wars, the Empire was once again expanding, even if slowly. It seemed that nothing could stop basileus Luis. But peace, even so fragile, was to be found only inside the borders of Basileia Romaion. Terrible atrocities against the Christians, desperate uprisings in the North, cannibalism, deadly diseases from the Far West and famine were common, with both Christian nobles and pagan chiefs fighting among each other for what was left of Europe.

And the daemon of war never respected borders between kingdoms.


On the beginning of year 1348 a disturbing news reached the City – barbarians were preparing to attack Basileia Romaion. Although consumed by a terrible civil war, the Horde was always a dangerous enemy, but this time the threat was much more personal. Buri Guyugid, grandson of khagan Menggei Toluid called the Great by his subjects, was gathering a vast army hoping to carve out his dominion from the living body of the Empire. Residing in Kerak de Moab, an enormous fortress built by the Catholic crusaders decades ago, he was gathering the adventurers from all over the Mongol realm, making good use of strife of the still ongoing civil war. Thousands of bloodthirsty horse-lords were arriving every week and with only a Dead Sea separating Kerak de Moab from the Holy City of Hierusalem, the threat was very real, even more so considering that Buri Guyugid was a cunning leader and a true fanatic. After reading the reports of Skrinion ton Barbaron, the Emperor decided that he must be stopped.


Before his intestines were removed from his wretched body, they say that the mad eunuch was laughing, saying that Sky-Father Tengri is coming for all the servants of the Cross and that a Great Darkness will soon descend upon the Earth.

His remains were burned and threw into Bosphorus.

 
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DennisRoos

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You can never have it easy, can you? For the first time in centuries you're doing well and expanding, and then you get assassinated, probably sparking another civil war, while your enemies look on hungrily. Adventurers coming from the east, Aztecs attacking Central Europe, even the Shia are returning in Arabia. Your heir is also Castilian, so still that annoying foreigner penalty and no cataphracts. How close are you to reforming the Roman Empire? You seem to have most of the needed territory. Do you still need provinces in the Holy Land, or is there another reason you won't reform. The +15 Augustus bonus to relations is very helpful. Could we see a religion map in a coming update? I'm interested in seeing what heresies have overtaken Europe and how successful the Aztecs and Mongols are at converting.
 

CzokletMuss

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Offensive war against the Aztecs - won! Very good, and such a historically important place as Carthage, no less! I do hope this is a sign of things to come, although it sounds like you got lucky: the right set of circumstances, the Aztecs distracted in the North, the Mongols distracted by having a 2-year-old ruler. And even then, you lost 20,000 troops in that giant battle. I have a feeling the Aztecs can easier afford the 40,000 they lost, than you can the 20,000 you lost.

But still! You took the offensive and it paid off. Oh, and you crushed another civil war in singularly bloody fashion. And there's hope that the Mongols will be distracted (or, even better, fall apart a bit) while little Inalchi learns how to talk and use the potty. :)
Thanks! Exactly - the main strategic challenge to me is that Basileia Romaion is between two giant realms, so even victorious but bloody war with one of them may cause invasion from the other barbarians and if you add some revolts and factions to this... well, it ain't good, it ain't good at all.
And just like you predicted, Mongols are distracted - check out the last chapter to find out more :)
Use your chancellor to encourage the Aztecs in Libya and the Ilkhans in Medina to revolt. Then take them out.
Good idea, will use it.
You can never have it easy, can you? For the first time in centuries you're doing well and expanding, and then you get assassinated, probably sparking another civil war, while your enemies look on hungrily. Adventurers coming from the east, Aztecs attacking Central Europe, even the Shia are returning in Arabia. Your heir is also Castilian, so still that annoying foreigner penalty and no cataphracts.
It never ends - the Days of Judgement have come. And yes, not only I'm getting foreigner penalty but also both of the Aragonese rulers aren't Burn in Purple, so that's another opinion boost lost, not to mention the cathaphracts of course.
How close are you to reforming the Roman Empire? You seem to have most of the needed territory. Do you still need provinces in the Holy Land, or is there another reason you won't reform. The +15 Augustus bonus to relations is very helpful. Could we see a religion map in a coming update? I'm interested in seeing what heresies have overtaken Europe and how successful the Aztecs and Mongols are at converting.
Quite close actually - more on that in the upcoming chapters. And here's the religion map you asked for but let me warn you - you won't like it (warning - it was taken slightly later than in 1348):
 
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