• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

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


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CzokletMuss

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Enlil

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Yes, it's from some event This is a faithful depiction of depravity in which bishop of Rome lives, always scheming against the Throne and the True Faith.
Disgusting to see him live in opulence while the poor faithful die in Rituals from the Americas!
 

CzokletMuss

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Disgusting to see him live in opulence while the poor faithful die in Rituals from the Americas!
Exactly - damned heretics...

EDIT: Also, some answers for concerns about EU4 converter from the new dev diary thread:

Doomdark, what about EU4 save converter compatibility? Will the old saves still be converted and work in EU4 after RoI release?
You will not be able to load pre 2.1 saves in v2.1 (and thus will not be able to convert them to EU4.) However, you can load them in the 2.0 branch in Steam and convert them from there.
 
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CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 18
1353-1367
YEARS OF GREAT ABUNDANCE

And so on 29th May 1353 the Latins have acknowledged what was always the truth – that despite the turmoil of the Dark Ages the light of Rome has never extinguished. After centuries of struggle against the innumerable hordes of barbarians the Romanoi were still facing the forces of darkness with proud, honor and blessing of Our Lord Iesus Kristos.


For the citizens of the Imperium these were the obvious truths and in the eyes of the common men and aristoi the declaration issued on 29th May 1353 by basileus Luis II Angelos was just a statement of mere facts. For the Latins however this was a turning point. Descendants of the same barbarians who overwhelmed western provinces of the Imperium almost a thousand years ago finally accepted that the Throne had rightful authority over much of Europe. Our brothers and sisters in Iesus Kristos couldn't ignore the fact that the majority of Christendom was protected by imperial limes and sword of the Imperial Army. No longer the centuries-old claims of the Throne were going to be ignored. With popular and still very young basileus augustus Luis II the Imperium was now ready to began imperial reconquest of the old provinces.

But before this divine task could be started the ancient enemy had finally be destroyed.


To celebrate the Renovatio Imperii Act, as the declaration issued by basileus Luis II together with the plenipotents of Christian kings became to be known, Augustus ordered his Army to march on Aden and destroy the accursed Shia Caliphate once and for all. The elite combined forces of tagmata, Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre and some of the Abyssinian themata crushed the infidels without mercy. Mere two months after the war has been declared on 30th June 1353 the Imperial Army was triumphant. With all his subjects captured or killed and all of his holdings in the hands of the Romanoi, the last Shia Caliph Suhail Zaiaid known as “the Wicked” was forced to surrender on 23rd August 1353. After centuries of bloody struggle the Muslims have finally lost. With the Sunni Caliphate destroyed decades ago by the Ibadi heretics both of the two heads of the Beast of Islam were cut off. The legacy of the Prophet was turned into ashes, last of his descendants hiding from their Aztec or Mongol overlords hunting them down like a mad dogs. The ummah, community of the faithful, was headless and its broken body was bleeding from too many wounds to ever recover. Centuries of suffering by the hands of the Muslims were over and at last Romanoi had their revenge for Yarmouk, Manzikert, siege of the City and innumerable other atrocities committed by the infidel snakes.

The false god Allah was finally defeated by the power of Our Lord Iesus Kristos, the Crescent smashed by the Holy Cross. The True Faith was victorious.

To celebrate this glorious victory, the Augustus issued a new act whereby all the Muslims still living within the imperial limes were to be expropriated or, if they dare to disobey the will of the Throne, become slaves just like the ones captured by the Imperial Army in Aden, which lands were donated to the Holy Church. Many rebelled against the imperial edictum or decided to escape into the desert controlled by the Tengri, hoping to reach the last Shia realm led by Aghlab Aghlabid. Soon the Muslim eunuchs became very popular among the aristoi from provinces of Aegyptus, Nubia and Abyssinia while many of the young girls from Shia families were given to the Army to serve as dancers or actresses.

And so the justice has been served. With additional resources gained thanks to the expropriation of the Muslims, treasure of the Imperium could easily afford the first campaign to restitute ancient limes of Rome.


The Imperial Reconquest of Susa was declared by the Augustus on 23rd September 1353. Pisans were to pay dearly for ignoring the invitation to Konstantinoupolis and their crimes against Romanoi. With sack of Pisa on 18th February 1354 their resistance was totally broken, their armies shattered. Before the war was over however it took almost half a year and during this time on 30th June savages from the Far West finally managed to force what was left of the kingdom of Sweden to surrender. Terrifying Aztec warriors were victorious – the invasion of Germany has concluded. Sweden, having lost even more land to the savages, consisted mostly of a dozen fortresses in forests of Lithuania. Norse were dying and they knew it but they swore to die with a sword in their hands. But then the good news reached the City - finally the Republic was forced to accept defeat. On 23th November 1354 the first campaign of Imperial Reconquest ended with a complete success - Imperium was triumphant as the ancient lands were reclaimed from treacherous Pisans.


Several months later, on 5th May 1355 another civil war erupted in realm of king Theodorich. Ambitious duke Eginolf of Carinthia decided to attack his liege, hoping to press his claim on the crown of Bavaria. The response of the Augustus was swift. Imperial Army marched on the traitors to stabilize the realm and bring back order. Small forces of power-hungry duke Eginolf were no match for the might of tagmata and after just a six months Second Imperial Conquest was over. With the Imperium in total control of rebelling duchy, basileus Lusi II decided to offer king Theodorich help in protecting the Christians leaving in what Germans called Carinthia. The envoys of the king brought the answer to the City on 10th November 1355.


King Theodorich the Noble as the leader of the good Christians of Germany and a head of the House von Zähringen decided to accept imperial offer and cede the lands of Carinthia for the Imperium, so that the security and prosperity of the population could be secured. Once again the Queen of Cities was celebrating and Luis II Angelos popularity among both the aristoi and hoi polloi was at its heighest. The province of Illyricum has been reclaimed and the land connection to the imperial holdings in Italia has been restored.

And thus the order has returned to the troubled lands of Germany. For more than a year both king Theodorich realm and the Imperium were reaping the benefits of peace. Countryside was being slowly repopulated, walls were being repaired, merchant ships and caravans became a common sight in Illyricum, through which a new trade route connecting Germany with the City through Venice has been established.

But in these dark times such fragile peace could not last long.


On 20th October 1357 Cathar heretics declared war on good Christians of Germany, hoping to carve out duchy of Swabia from the rebuilding realm. It was as if a pleasant dream suddenly ended, with uprisings and revolts raising their ugly heads in the southern provinces of the Imperium and heretic Teutonic Order attacking refugees from the kingdom of Norway near the Aztec-Germany border. To make sure that nor Aztec savages nor the new Great Khan think that Imperium doesn't have the will to protect itself, the Augustus declared Third Imperial Reconquest on the Republic of Pisa few days later on 26th October 1357. Just like the last time Pisans were overwhelmed by the superior forces of the Imperial Army, their cities burned and mercenaries fighting for their case executed. And just like the last time Pisans were utterly defeated – the Doge had no other choice but to accept the rightful demands of the Throne. On 3rd March 1359 the duchy of Lombardy has been reclaimed and renamed to its proper name of Galia Cisalpina.

But the Augustus did not stop there.


Seeing in how dire situation good Christians of Sweden are, glorious basileus Luis II Angelos decided to help Norse in their struggle for survival. In his wisdom he obviously didn't want an open conflict with the savages from the Far West. But, as the eunuchs from Skrinion Ton Barbaron suggested, the Imperial Army didn't have to set a foot in distant North. And so the idea of what was later called Albrikts Host was created. Forced to flee from the land of his fathers during the first Aztec invasion, young Norse aristos Albrikt Slatte found a save heaven within the limes of the Imperium, where he joined the Brotherhood. Hoping for years that he may aid his brothers and sisters fighting for their freedom, he became one of the high commanders within the Brotherhood. Finally, his days has come – financed from the treasury of his Order and with support from the Throne he gathered an impressive army of volunteers and mercenaries, all wanting to help him rebuild the kingdom of Sweden.

Albrikt Slatte surrounded by his army and cheering crowd left Konstantinoupolis on 13 April 1359 and few months later left the limes of the Imperium, hoping to get through Germany and Poland and to reach his fellow Norsemen in Lithuania.

He was never seen again nor any of the imperial spies has ever found him or his host.


Despite the ill-fated Norse expedition, the Augustus was determined to strengthen the Basileia Romaion. On 16th June 1361 afer months of negotiations with the aristoi, the Synkletos – the Imperial Senate – finally passed senatus consultum which enabled basileus Luis II to raise taxes for every thema. Although its authority was slowly eroding through the centuries, the Senate remained an important place for all the Great Houses where they can openly oppose their basileus. After Renovatio Imperii Act many of the ancient institutions were more frequently referred to then before and the Synkletos wasn't an exception. But rising power of the Imperial Senate had its price, for aristoi by accepting its authority had to obey laws made during the assemblies of the senators in the Great Palace. With new sources of income secured for the Imperium, the Augustus could think about increasing reserves in the treasury – every hyperpyron could buy more swords and more men during the inevitable war with the barbarians.


Love between Iulia Balsamon and Luis II Angelos was blooming – and it was fruitful. After the birth of their first son Markos on 16th June 1351 more blessings from God were received by the Imperial Family. And so on 26th September 1353 young Leon was borned, followed by his brothers: Michael borned on 16th June 1355, Alexandros on 26th July 1357 and Leon on 16th 1361. And finally their sister, sweet Martha who was borned on 26th May 1362. The line of the House Angelos was secured – but not only beautiful Iulia Balsamon was bearing children. Sister of the Augustus, porphyrogenneta Martha Angelos gave birth to her son Theophilos on 24th February on 1356. With the birth of every child from the blessed marriage of Luis Angelos and Iulia Balsamon, she and her son were being moved further down the line of inheritance. This must have made her crazy, for together with her husband she was trying to murder the sons of the Augustus in a disgusting plot against the Throne. For this crime both Martha Angelos and her husband were sentenced to prison in the dungeons of the Great Palace, the same which they were hoping to gain through betrayal and poison for their son. Despite the possibility of asking for mercy, Martha Angelos remained unrepentant in her sin and, several months after her husband, she died on 24th December 1362. Being too proud to beg for mercy, she did ask for the last confession when she felt death creeping in to her cell. She was buried on 25th December 1362 with all the honors porphyrogenneta deserves.

Two months later the Shia attacked.


Nasir Zaiaid, son of the accursed Caliph Anthinos the Mad, declared war for Hierusalem on the Imperium on 25th February 1363. In the desperate attempt to avenge the Shia ummah, the last army of Muslims formed, once again ready to bring fire and sword to the good Christians. Many of his warriors were those who fled the Imperium after the expropriation of the Shia was declared, willing to die fighting rather than rot on the desert, being hunted down by the worshippers of Tengri the Sky-Father. Simultaneously, the treacherous Shia still hiding within imperial limes have risen in Farama, hoping to support the invading army led by Nasir Zaiaid and willing to die fighting for his cause.

And so the Imperial Army fulfilled their wish.


His band of infidel lowlifes, cutthroats and bandits was crushed completely by tagmata on the fields near the Holy City on 1st October 1363 and the Shia uprising followed. Nasir Zaiaid has lost – he was forced to surrender on 8th October 1363. With his supporters slaughtered and him captured by the Imperial Army, his fate was in the hands of the Augustus. The Senate demanded to end his miserable life for the crime he committed against the Imperium – but basileus Luis II had other plans. Not wanting to create a martyr, a symbol for the Shia to rally around, he decided to spare his life and instead convert the last son of the last Caliph to the True Faith.

After several months spent in the dungeons of the Great Palace, Nasir Zaiaid emerged from the darkness as a reborn man and during a holy mass in Hagia Sophia was baptized by the Patriarch of Konstantinoupolis. The victory of Our Lord Iesus Kristos and His Regent on Earth was absolute – Nasir Zaiaid became a Christian. To make sure he was not going to sire any children, the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre was to take care of him. Hard work for the rest of his life as the Brotherhood's monk was going to be his atonement for all the lives of the good Christians he took and innumerable other sins
he committed. The Imperium was triumphant – with the last true leader of the Shia forced to kneel before the Throne and the Cross, the legacy of the false Prophet was truly destroyed.

And then came the news from Germany.


On 23rd April 1364accursed kaiser of the Cathars Magnus II Ezzonen died. With his death the pathetic title which he held should wither and die too, just like his ever shrinking realm. And then the treason of king Theodorich was revealed. Powerful king of Germany demanded the crown and title of the kaiser for himself and the few and powerless Cathars couldn't refuse. And so on 23th April 1364 in Nassau Theodorich 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.

This terrible treachery was a real blow to the Augustus. His close ally with whom the Romanoi fought against the Pisans so many times declared that his status as a kaiser is equal to this of the basileus Luis II Angelos. A pure lunacy, without a doubt – how could anyone dare to compare Imperium Romanum and the legitimate power of the Throne to this pathetic excuse for a state? Created by a accursed bishop of Rome against the laws of God and men on 25th December 800, this blasphemous title was in the hands of Charlemagne and descendants of this barbaric Frank for centuries until it finally collapsed facing the Aztec threat. What kaiser Theodorich did was not only a treason against God's Regent on Earth but also a mortal sin against Our Lord Iesus Kristos who in His infinite wisdom decided that it was Romanoi who were to protect his Holy Church.

There is only one Imperium Romanum – it was decided that the treachery of Theodorich must be punished. But this disgusting treason was noticed not only in Konstantinoupolis.


On 17th May 1364 the invasion of Frisia has finally ended – the terrifying cannibalistic warriors of Cult of Huitzilopochtli were victorious. The last remnants of the kingdom of Norway led by king Harald VI the Wise were defeated and devoured by the savages – the kingdom was no more. It was obvious that with tensions between Germany and Imperium the next move of the Aztecs was going to be the destruction of the English refugees. But before they managed to execute their plan the unexpected happened – the Catholics attacked. Knights of the heretic Teutonic Order were still fighting for survival and with the rage of a bleeding cornered animal they decided to attack the terrible cultists on 8th February 1365. Having nothing to lose, they were said to fight like a daemons, every fallen Teuton taking ten or more savages with him. But their fall was inevitable for there were but a few heretics still breathing in what once was France and invaders from the Far West commanded over innumerable armies.

Luckily for the good Christians, the savages were far from unity.


On 21th May 1365 Ifni Nasrid, descendant of a once mighty Ibadi dynasty which ruled Spain for decades, declared war on Tlacaeleltzin Acatl. Even so many years after the Invasion his House was still in power and even with their strength greatly reduced he was one of the few subjects of Aztec leader who could disagree with him and keep their heart within their chest. Old Ibadi renegade refused the revocation of some of his titles and lands and so the civil war erupted among the worshippers of the Dark God.

But he was not the only one who rebelled.


High Chief Zolin Acatl, son of Tizocin and grandson of Zolin the Fat, decided to rise against his supreme leader and cousin hoping to gain independence from the vast Aztec realm. And so another civil war began on 23th May 1365. The savages were distracted and forced to fight against each other – the Augustus saw a perfect occasion for the Imperium to strike. The war was declared the next day and soon the Imperial Army for the first time in years was marching against the Aztecs.


Unlike so many previous conflict, this time the war didn't exactly a heavy price in blood from the Romanoi. Small armies loyal to Ifni Nasrid were destroyed almost effortlessly, all the savages put to the sword. In time whole province was completely under control of the Imperium and rebelling Aztec traitor was forced to accept the terms dictated by the Throne. On 6th June 1367 the war was over and the Imperium was victorious but not without a sacrifice from some of its soldiers.


Several months before the war concluded, grandmaster Imram who was leading the Brotherhood forces in Cyrenaica unexpectedly died after a short period of illness. What surprised everyone was that for his successor the knight-monks of the Brotherhood decided to choose Nasir Zaiaid, the son of a Mad Caliph. The same man who just a several years earlier was thought to be the last hope of the Shia was now a dedicated and pious warrior of the Cross. His ascendancy to the position of grandmaster was widely seen as the ultimate proof of a total defeat of the Crescent. Few surviving followers of the Prophet could only despair when their champion and leader became a glowing symbol of the might of Kristos.

The victory couldn't be more absolute.


After centuries the long lost province of Cyrenaica has been reclaimed from the savages and the Roman rule was restored. A great triumph was to be held in Konstantinoupolis after the Imperial Army returns from freshly reconquered lands. This glorious victory not only secured the Aegyptus from the Aztecs but also gave hope that one day the whole province of Africa was going to return to the Imperium, with ancient limes restored.

But before this could happen there was another reason for a great celebration in the City.


On 16th June 1367 porphyrogennetos[/s] Markos Angelos reached the age of 16. As the rightful heir to the Throne named after his glorious ancestor and savior of the Imperium Saint Markos, he was believed to excel even his own father. Generous, diligent and with a kind heart and passionately devoted to the True Faith, even at the age of 16 he was more than skillful in the arts of diplomacy and rhetoric. The Augustus and his beautiful wife Iulia Balsamon were proud of their firstborn as was the whole City. Borned and raised in Konstantinoupolis, Markos was a true Roman, which owed to great extent to his loving mother who dedicated a lot of time and energy to his upbringing. The aristoi were satisfied knowing that the time of Aragonese on the Throne was going to end and that “one of them” was going to one day become basileus. After long 14 years of prosperity the Imperium was at the height of its power, its limes not threatened by anyone. Flourishing in peace was not only the economy and trade but also culture and since the Renovatio Imperii Act more and more artists were referring to the ancient days of glory of Rome. It was without a doubt the most prosperous and peaceful period for the Imperium and its citizens since the rule of Saint Markos.

But even after the longest and brightest day the darkness of the night is bound to come.

 
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Nikolai

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That is surely an impressive turn of events! Progress! :D Also, good way to write the Scandinavian host into the story.:)
 

Stuyvesant

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The Empire is getting stronger, your heir is Greek-cultured, you've destroyed the Shia (and not just converted their last Caliph, you made him the head of your religious order - nice way to rub it in ;)), the Aztecs are squabbling... Things were looking very good, until the Mongols decided to spoil your party. Here's hoping that the years of expansion and peace have given you enough troops and money to slaughter the infidel tide coming from the East. And hopefully, the Aztec civil war will last long enough that you can fully concentrate on the Mongols first.

As always, you provide a very entertaining writeup of the events that unfold. I agree with Nikolai that you did an excellent job of incorporating that Norse host into your story. It seemed plausible - shame they never achieved anything.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Well, in spite of all the issues you had before, Rome is actually in a good shape ... even including the Tengri Great Holy War. BTW you are already in the time period the Timurids might appear, so, with some luck, you might have some help dealing with the Tengri menace. But the future of the Empire ( and of your dynasty ) seems solid: a good diplo heir ( and greek, to boot ), the southern flank of the Empire cleared, the sidelines of your house conveniently trashed their chances by moving too soon ... It would only be better if the tengri High priest is near of your borders enough for you to endthis war before the Great Khan can move ;)
 

Enlil

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Don't die now! If you fail, the Mad Kaiser will be unstopped in his "Holy" "Roman" "Empire"

A time ruled by heresy and madness, but the people will be FABULOUS
 
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gooy

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the future looks bright. hopefully nothing happens to your first born!
 

it2Greek

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From todays perspective Byzantines were definetly Middle-Easterns, or Orientals how you like it. Oh irony!
I disagree firmly with that. The Byzantine Empire was the surviving half of the Roman Empire, with it's capital set in Constantinople, a province/city bordering Greece (And, admittedly, Turkey). Associated strongly with the Orthodox Church, the Empire is more seen as Eastern European than anything.
 

unmerged(271387)

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I disagree firmly with that. The Byzantine Empire was the surviving half of the Roman Empire, with it's capital set in Constantinople, a province/city bordering Greece (And, admittedly, Turkey). Associated strongly with the Orthodox Church, the Empire is more seen as Eastern European than anything.
But still,it was influenced greatly by oriental elements.
 

CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 19
1367-1371
PRIDE BEFORE DESTRUCTION



On 22th September 1367 the accursed High Priest Achigh declared Third Great War for Bulgaria, inviting all worshippers of Tengri to participate in scouring of the Imperium. No longer divided between the warring horse-lords, the Horde was united and strong, ready to set the world on fire yet again. But as it turned out, Great Khan wasn't interested in direct conflict with the Throne, still being occupied cleansing his vast realm from the remnants of opposition against his rule. When by the end of year 1367 Bureau of Barbarians could report that there is a very small chance that the surpreme leader of the barbarians was going to join the Great War, the Augustus was more than pleased. As it seemed, the Imperium was about to face not a mighty and united force but rather dozens of unorganised Mongol bands. It didn't mean that basileus Luis II ignored the threat – he ordered to mobilize all units from eastern and northern themata. This force, composed of soldiers from Syria, Armenia, Hierusalem and provinces between the City and Venice together with elite tagmata, Latin mercenaries and army of the Brotherhood was judged to be sufficient to stop the invaders.


By the end of July 1368 the hordes of barbarians from Persia, Transoxania, Hungary and what once was Russia have arrived. Imperial limes were broken but with Imperial Army deployed in strategic localizations the Mongols were lured deeper inside the Imperium so that Romanoi could flank and destroy them. Once again border provinces of the Imperium were in flames but with most of the cities and strongholds secured and population safe within the walls. Disorganized barbaric bands were acting each of its own, with war chiefs leading their armies completely without respect to movements of other horse-lords. Only the forces of the Enemy which entered the provinces of Dacia and Moesia seemed to operate in some kind of organized manner. Therefore the Augustus ordered to assembly a powerful force of almost 30,000 troops to march north to stop the barbaric hordes from crossing the Dniestr.

Nobody expected what was about to happened.


Although the Imperial Army together with Latin mercenaries was a formidable force and easily defeated whatever small bands of Mongols it could find, a gigantic army unexpectedly emerged from the depths of the Ilkhanate. This time these were no simple barbarians – led by the horse-lords from Tartaria tens of thousands of Tengri worshippers were formed into a disciplined force, a true army. And so more than 70,000 of ferocious barbarians clashed with Romanoi on the fields of Vicina. Despite their bravery and superior positions, the Imperial Army was simply overwhelmed by the Horde. On 30th September the titanic battle of Vicina was over – the Imperium was defeated. More than 20,000 men were butchered by the barbarians and not even a single mercenary has survived the terrifying struggle.


The limes has fallen. The survivors were already retreating when the news of this disastrous battle reached the City. The Augustus ordered to assembly tagmata and forces of the Brotherhood and march to meet the forces of the enemy which managed to cross the river. After regrouping with the remnants of the first army sent to protect the limes of Dniestr, more than 40,000 Romanoi were preparing to meet the barbarians on the fields of Karvuna.


The plan of the battle was simple – Romanoi were to feign retreat of the center and then flank the enemy, thus encircling barbarians. The right flank of the Imperial Army was led by Tiberios of the House Angelos, a distant cousin of the Imperial Family and a brave knight-monk of the Brotherhood who's unconventional maneuvers were admired by many. On the left flank was doux Manuel Jimena of Aragon, skilled tactician and a brave leader, who even despite losing his left leg on the battlefield years ago was a great commander, his soldiers motivated by his inspirational speeches and harsh punishments for failure. Morale was high even despite the recent disastrous battle of Vicina and even themata were eager to fight with the Mongols.

And so on 29th December 1368 the battle of Valchidol began.


In the beginning the Imperial Army was gaining advantage – both flanks were resisting the enemy charge while the center was weakening the barbarians with rains of arrows. Finally the order to fake retreat was given – forces Tiberios Angelos and Manuel Jimena started moving. But then unexpectedly it turned out that the armies which pushed through the Dniestr limes didn't march deep into the province of Wallachia – they were marching on Konstantinoupolis and joined the main army of the enemy. It must've been noticed by the imperial spies, no doubt about this. And so indeed it was treason – weeks later the bribed eunuchs from Bureau of Barbarians were eviscerated after a short investigation, their remnants burned for betraying the Throne and the True Faith.

But it didn't help the Imperial Army on the fields of Valchidol.


Even after the arrival of a 10,000 themata reinforcements, the Mongol bands approaching from Karvuna were endless. Thousands of barbarians were dying but worshippers of Tengri did not care about death. Against disciplined, well-organized Imperial Army stood an innumerable horde, with every horse-lord and his banner fighting on their own, frequently charging over their own in a furious attempt to get closer to Romanoi. With superior tactics the Imperial Army was inflicting heavy casualties on the Enemy but in the war of attrition the Horde simply could not be defeated.


It was a slaughter – more than 33,000 of Romanoi were left dead on the fields of Valchidol by the retreating Imperial Army. And even though the barbarians paid a heavy price in blood for this, the number of casualties was horrifying. For not only common skoutatoi from imperial themata lost their lives in this titanic struggle – many among the knight-monks of the Brotherhood were overcome by the Mongol locust while they were protecting the withdrawing Romanoi as the rearguard. Many have lost their lives on this dark day but their sacrifice wasn't in vain for almost half of the assemblied imperial forces managed to survive the battle and its aftermath.

It wasn't over yet, however.


Now between the surviving army and the City were hordes of the barbarians, pillaging and burning the countryside. Konstantinoupolis itself was suddenly in danger of being attacked. With colossal losses reaching more than 50,000 men a good chunk of the Imperial Army was destroyed, including Latin mercenaries and forces of the Brotherhood – and the war has just began. Therefore the Augustus ordered the army to regroup near the City. Orders were sent to Aragon, Italia and Africa – all themata were to be mobilized, even if it meant exposing the limes to desert nomads. Tiberios Angelos and doux Manuel Jimena, wounded by a poisoned Mongol arrow, had to push trough the barbaric hordes and reach the Queen of Cities immediately, being the only army powerful enough to protect it.

They failed.


Without any other option but to cut their way through, Romanoi attacked worshippers of the Dark Gods nearby monastery of Aulaeitichius on 5th May 1369. Alas once again the treason of accursed eunuchs from Skrinion Ton Barbaron showed its devastating potential for yet another Mongol army unexpectedly arrived on the battlefield. It was an utter defeat. From the powerful armies assembled to protect the northern limes which only 6 months earlier counted more than 90,000 souls was reduced to a mere 6,000. More than a half of tagmata was destroyed, whole companies of mercenaries were eradicated and tens of thousands of themata soldiers were simply wiped out.

When the remnants of the Imperial Army arrived in the City, its citizens welcomed them in a horrible silence and even the August was said to be terrified by such unexpected turn of events. Immediately new mercenaries were hired to protect Konstantinoupolis, now in real danger of attack, and even all of the Varangians were mobilized – an unprecedented decision. With more of themata arriving with every dromon, soon the beyond the Walls of the City the assemblied forces surpassed 37,000 men.

But even in such a dire situation there was a beam of hope.


On 26th September 1369 porphyrogennetos Leon Angelos has reached the age of 16. Skilled in the arts of diplomacy just like his brother thanks to education provided by his mother Iulia Balsamon he was destined to become a great man. But the greatest blessing from Our Lord Iesus Kristos was about to come for even in a deepest darkness He is watching over His children. On 11th November 1369 Tlacaeleltzin Acatl, the supreme leader of the savages from the Far West and Enemy of the Christendom, died unexpectedly. With his death the Aztecs were sure to be consumed by even more internal struggle, hopefully long enough so that they won't pose a direct threat to good Christians.

Meanwhile the Imperium was flooded by endless hordes of barbarians. Whole cities were pillaged, whole villages burned to the ground. Tens of thousands of Romanoi were crucified or taken slaves, the women suffering much worse fate. During the day the sky was dark from the ashes of a dying countryside, every night lightened up by the flames of burning churches. The barbarians didn't spare even monasteries, butchering and raping, defiling the holy icons. Good Christians were suffering from plague and famine, bands of robbers appeared on the ancient roads and even the seas were no longer safe. Law and order were no existent on the lands occupied by the Mongols, slaughtering everyone.

But not only northern limes were under attack.


Desperately trying to stop the invaders in mountains of Armenia, the eastern themata plagued by disease, constant raids and falling apart military logistics suffered a terrible defeat in the passage of Perre on 18th November 1369. What was left of Imperial Army was reduced to forces gathered nearby the City with every man above the age of 13 in every themata conscripted to protect the Imperium. Thousands of hyperpyrra were spent by the Throne to hire mercenaries from all the corners of the Europe but it was obvious that before the counter-offensive could be possible Basileia Romaion was going to be exposed to the barbarians for months.


Finally, on 26th April 1370 after a holy mass in Hagia Sophia the Imperial Army assemblied before the Walls of the City marched against the Mongol locust. And this time, with a God's grace, Romanoi were victorious.


First battles with the Enemy were fought on the fields of Kula and Kaliakra, small villages in what once was known as Bulgaria before the Imperium crushed the Slav hordes and ended their reign of terror. But the crucial moment of the counter-offensive was about to come.


On 26th September 1370 the Imperial Army clashed with the barbarians on the fields of Targoviste. With superior numbers and discipline the Tengri worshippers didn't stand a chance. Almost 30,000 Mongols were butchered this day like the animals they are – those fallen on the battlefields of Valchidol and Vicina were finally avenged.


It seemed that the Imperium has regained the initiative. It became certain when thanks to Our Lord the Augustus himself was cured from a terrible disease of smallpox on 2nd November 1370, having been suffering the terrible consequences of famine and plague just like his own people.


To thank God for His mercy and the recent victories of the Imperial Army, eradicating the Mongol scourge from the imperial lands, the Augusts decided that his son, porphyrogennetos Michael Angelos, was to take vows and became one of the Brotherhood knight-monks. Having suffered heavy losses and being asked by the basileus Luis II himself, the Brotherhood accepted young Michael into its ranks on as soon as he reached the age of 16, that is on 16th June 1371. And so he joined the Brotherhood just like porphyrogennetos Leon Angelos years ago. To the surprise of many he was promptly elected as the new grandmaster – the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre without a doubt was hoping to receive more blessings from God by having son of the Augustus as a leader of the Order.

Soon the barbarians were forced to retreat beyond the northern limes and the European provinces of the Imperium were safe again. But the power of the Horde should never be underestimated.



 

unmerged(271387)

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Oh God.
And to whom does Bulgaria now belong?
To the Ilkhanate? Because that means the Khan can invade you,since he doesn't have a truce with you.
 

Stuyvesant

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Oh lord, that was a horrible war. You lost, your armies were wrecked, your treasury must've taken an enormous hit... (although I notice Luis has 25k gold in one of the last screenshots - the Empire might've been bled dry, but the Emperor seems to be doing just fine ;))

videonfan already asked about who gained Bulgaria. My follow-up question is: is Bulgaria physically connected to the rest of the Il-Khanate, or is it an enclave surrounded by Roman territory? If the latter, perhaps it can revolt away from the horrible Mongols, with or without encouragement from Constantinople?
 

unmerged(271387)

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Well if the Il - Khanate gained it and there was been no de jure shit,it is not connected but it is really close to the main body of the Il Khanate.
 

Yvanoff

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Well if the Il - Khanate gained it and there was been no de jure shit,it is not connected but it is really close to the main body of the Il Khanate.
what do you mean, de jure shift ? there aren't de jure shift because the ilkhanate is a tribal title

anyway, that's sad times for the Emmpire. But your power is recognized in your realm, while the pagans only know strength - soon there will be a civil war and you'll be able to retake bulgaria and make them pay the deads of christian on the fields of Vicina and Valchidol !