• 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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Pilot00

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Just posting to let you know this AAR pretty much made me buy the game.

So thank you for this.
 

CzokletMuss

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Just posting to let you know this AAR pretty much made me buy the game.

So thank you for this.
Thank you very much! What is awesome about this is that I myself bought CK2 after reading the best CK2 AAR there is - In the Shadow of Certain, Painful Doom: Abyssinia , which also motivated me to start writing my own AARs.

So in a way the circle is now complete. :)

BTW chapter 22 is on its way, I finished editing and organizing the images today. And I'm really sad that I started the AAR before RoI - just imagine the possibilities with eastern part of the map expanded. But the thing I'm gonna miss the most while putting together next chapters are new portraits packs; they really add variety to the game.
 

Enlil

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Thank you very much! What is awesome about this is that I myself bought CK2 after reading the best CK2 AAR there is - In the Shadow of Certain, Painful Doom: Abyssinia , which also motivated me to start writing my own AARs.

So in a way the circle is now complete. :)

BTW chapter 22 is on its way, I finished editing and organizing the images today. And I'm really sad that I started the AAR before RoI - just imagine the possibilities with eastern part of the map expanded. But the thing I'm gonna miss the most while putting together next chapters are new portraits packs; they really add variety to the game.
I'm in suspense to see who will colonize the New World, that is unless it is the New World colonizing Europe. Who knows who may come over in EUIV, Incas, Sioux!
 

Pilot00

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Question: What is the date the Mayas arrive?

Regarding to the new world after you transfer a CK2 save:

It starts with most of NA under Aztec control with only what is modern day Canada having a few native American tribes left. The Inca also control the western Seaboard and south of SA with the Mayans having a presence in the Caribbean islands (nothing note worthy though). I assume after the save transfer the Aztecs will have their European holdings too.
 

CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 22
1380-1390
SCOURGE OF LOCUSTS



Timur the Lame, Iron Khan and Scourge of the East, has arrived.

For years imperial spies have been gathering the unnerving gossip and rumors about a rise in power of an especially cruel and ruthless horse-lord. This one however, according to captured Mongol raiders, was different. Being one of the last surviving followers of the Prophet his conquests had been undertaken not in the name of Tengri the Sky-Father or other Dark Powers but in the name of false god Allah. La ilaha illalah Muhammadun rasullah – this long-forgotten ominous blasphemy was once again heard in the East. But unlike many before him, Timur the Lame didn't call himself Sword of Islam for no reason, for wherever he went Death was always following in his footsteps. Whispers have been heard that besides the Shia fanatics, who considered him to be chosen by Allah, he had two terrifying weapons which enabled him to subjugate countless tribes of the East – his sharp intelligence and fear. For since the times of the invasion from the Far West the world have not seen such terror and devastation as those layed on the Earth by the Iron Khan. Burning down whole cities who dared to oppose him and building towers of skulls, each as higher then several men and constructed of thousands of severed heads of his enemies, he quickly became a symbol of despair for his enemies and a holy warrior for every surviving Shia. After he became a sole ruler of Transoxania it is said that he carried the black banner of war even further into the Far East, including the mythical realm of Hindustan. Hundreds of thousands of barbarians have perished and rivers run red from the blood of the worshippers of the Dark Gods, a massacre which Imperium had no interest in stopping, just like one does not stop neighbor from eradicating the pest plaguing his crops. But then the unthinkable happened – Sword of Islam decided to challenge the Great Khagan himself and to attack the Horde.
.
And so on 13th August 1380 Timur Lame, Iron Khan and Scourge of the East, arrived in Persia.


Surely no one could hope to defeat the Horde. Even the Imperium, blessed by God and chosen as the Shield of the Christendom, was barely able to stop the countless waves of barbarians pouring into the imperial lands. This was only achieved thanks to extraordinary bravery and discipline of Imperial Army and flawless strategy executed by the most skillful commanders including the Augustus and his predecessors. And even the Imperium was unable to resist the full fury of the Horde every time, as the disastrous Great War has proved. And so it was obvious for everyone in the Queen of Cities that so-called Sword of Islam was about to be broken and Timur's reign of terror was about to perish with him.

However, as the reports from Skrinion Ton Barbaron suggested, the titanic struggle in the East was a perfect occasion for the Imperium to reconquer what was lost to the barbarians. So-called khan of Bulgaria had to pay for what he have done. And so plans were put in motion and war for thema of Karvuna has been declared on Great Khan on 26th September 1380. But before the Imperial Army had a chance to march on Moesia another disturbing news reached the Great Palace. An independent horse-lord known as Alchi decided to seize the occasion and try to carve out a realm for himself from the holy body of the Imperium and on 31st October 1380 with a powerful host he has crossed limes in Syria.


Khagan distracted by the unexpected attack from the East was completely unprepared to defend his subject khan of Bulgaria. With most of his armies gathering in Tartaria and vast majority of horse-lords weeks or months of march from thema of Moesia he was simply unable to put up any serious resistance. And so soon the war was over – forced to accept humiliating defeat Great Khan has sent envoys to with terms of peace on 27th January 1381. Just a few months afterwards the bold Alchi and his host were wiped out by the Imperial Army and on 4th July 1381 captured Mongol was brought to Konstantinoupolis in chains. With the whole attention of the Horde now focused on Timur and his ghazis, victorious Augustus was free to act on the West. After the terrifying Fall of Germany and ongoing orgy of slaughter and misery to which good Christians were exposed it was of utmost importance to secure still surviving Christian kingdoms. There were only 5 of them – Aquitaine, Bohemia, Poland, remnants of kingdom of Sweden and pathetic realm of so-called “Holy Roman Empire”. And there was also treacherous Republic of Pisa, judged by the Throne as unworthy of protection. The most powerful of these realms was kingdom of Poland, relatively prosperous despite its borders being exposed not only to Aztecs and the horse-lords but also primitive pagan tribes of Lithuania and Prussia. Hardened in combat and raised in a harsh environment where West meets the East, warriors of the Polish king were known for their bravery. And so the kingdom of Poland was chosen and offered a rare blessing – a royal marriage with the House Angelos. Porphyrogenneta Martha, daughter of the Augustus, became a wife for prince Niezamysl of the House Spis on 1st June 1381.

As it soon turned out, the marriage ties with the blessed House Angelos were a much needed shield against the savages.


On 5th February 1382 the vile cannibals of the Cult of Huitzilopochtli forced the so-called kaiser of Germans to accept their terms - jaguar-warriors were victorious and even more Christian lands became their prey. Truly Our Lord Iesus Kristos must have found Germans unworthy of His love allowing such terrible atrocities as these unleashed by the Cult of the Dark God to be suffered by them.

Several months later the unexpected news reached the City – Iron Khan has won.

By 24th May 1382 innumerable armies of the Horde were either shattered or wiped out by the Shia zealots led by Scourge of the East. Combining the discipline of ghazis, the unholy warriors of Islam, Mongol tactics and sheer number of his troops Timur the Lame managed not only to defeat the Khagan but also to humiliate him. The whole khanate of Khiva was completely controlled by the new and ruthless ruler, who promptly initiated his reign of terror. Soon new towers constructed of skulls of his enemies started to rise across his realm – the Sword of Islam has fallen on necks of the worshippers of Tengri.

As Skrinion Ton Barbaron and Imperial Council suggested it was a perfect occasion for the Imperium.


For centuries the Imperium was resisting wave after wave of barbarous invaders using not only sword but above all diplomacy. Divide et impera – this was the rule thanks to which the Imperium was able to outmanouver all the external enemies of the Throne. And although the alliance with Iron Khan or the Horde was unthinkable there were other ways to achieve the goal – to set the barbarians against each other. On 31st December 1383 Khagan Bogorchu called by his slaves “the Great” was eliminated by the agents of the Skrinion Ton Barbaron. Although captured and subjected to terrible tortures they managed to accomplish their goal – with khagans death the truce between the Horde and Timur the Lame was void. Khal, son of Bogorchu, was a capable leader but the armies of horse-lords, traditionally expecting from the new khagan to earn their respect and loyalty, were in a complete disarray. Seeing his enemy greatly weakened, Iron Khan decided to strike – the invasion of Persia was declared on 14th January 1384. On the same day the Augustus announced new campaign, this time to restitute thema of Vidin.

But before more lands of the so-called khanate of Bulgaria were reconquered news from Arabia reached the city – Aghlab Aghlabid was dead.


Accursed emir Aghlab Aghlabid, the Liberator of Arabia and usurpatory mahdi of Shia finally died on 23rd November 1384 as a maimed cripple leaving his small realm in the hands of his son, Khaireddin Aghlabid. Believed to be the last independent Shia ruler other than subjects of Timur the Lame, it was only because of his ambition and determination that the vile Muslims were still surviving, forced to settle on the barren deserts of Arabian Peninsula from there they came. It was a common opinion in the City that House Aghlabid was about to end on the son of accursed emir – the Augustus wanted him in chains. But before that could happen the Imperial Army was victorious in another war.


On 4th December 1384 khagan Khal called by his subjects “the Dragon” for his ferocity on the battlefield was forced to ask for peace with the Imperium. Having to concentrate all his energy on fighting the armies of Timur he was ready to surrender thema of Vidin without hesitation. He swore a terrible revenge on the Augustus, House Angelos and whole Imperium to the Dark Gods and Tengri, Khan of the Heavens, promising fate worse than death for all members of the Imperial Family for what they have done to his “glorious father”. For this impertinence his envoys were blinded and sent back to the depths of Tartaria. The Imperium was triumphant and East ran with blood of the barbarians. It seemed that the peace was secured and – ironically – with the hands of the same barbarians that so frequently posed a threat to the citizens of Imperium.

And then came the news from Kingdom of Poland.


Savages from the Far West declared invasion of Germany - or rather these lands of the fallen realm which were within the borders of Kingdom of Poland - on 27th March 1386. Violating sanctity of Brotherhood's monasteries and churches their massive armies began marching on Polish lands, slowly but unstoppably like a black river. King Niezamysl Spis immediately called for help – and the Romans have answered. Soon the imperial mercenaries still gathered in Moesia were preparing to march to defend the good Christians of Poland. However it was obvious that it would take time before the themata of the Imperial Army were to cross the borders of Polish kingdom. It would be wise, the eunuchs of Skrinion Ton Barbaron were saying, to make a good use of already mobilized army passing nearby Mongol enclave of Bulgaria.

And the Augustus listened.


Khan Khal the Dragon died choking on his own blood on 30th January 1387, leaving the vacuum of power and his only son Ukhuna Csikid as his heir, thus ensuring the defeat of the Horde. With their leader suddenly removed from the scene, many of the horse-lords who above all else respected power simply ordered their armies to retreat, leaving the fight against Timur's fanatics to those of them whose petty chiefdoms lied in Mesopotamia. Without the iron hand of their supreme ruler, soon the mighty Horde fell into anarchy, with dozens of small scale wars between horse-lords. United, the Ilkhanate was a terrible foe – but with the death of khagan the gigantic barbaric realm was effectively decapitated and although still dangerous, the Mongols were much less of a threat.

Encouraged by this and seeing that the Republic of Pisa engaged in another trade war with Kingdom of Aquitaine, the Augustus decided that it was the time to strike. And so unexpectedly for Pisan merchants found themselves facing elite tagmata fighting for liberation of ancient Roman lands. With mercenaries gathering near the borders of Poland, kataphraktoi fighting with Pisans and themata being slowly moved to the kingdom of Poland as well the Imperium concentrated unprecedented amount of troops near western limes. It was well understood that it was possible only because of the titanic struggle in the East which enabled thousands of imperial soldiers to leave limes in Aegyptus, Armenia and Syria.

But before the power of the Horde was broken for the second time by the Sword of Islam, a worrying news arrived in the Queen of Cities.


Continuing his father's delusional mission to once again unite the whole peninsula under the banner of Prophet, Khaireddin Aghlabid managed to conquer few more of the petty Mongol war-chiefs and thus amassed enough land to proclaim himself as sultan of Arabia. Thus the son of Aghlab Aghlabid became the first Muslim to carry this title since the initial invasion of the Horde over 130 years ago. His unexpected success was a great concern for some of the eunuchs of the Skrinion Ton Barbaron – however, most of them judged that the war with Aztecs and titanic struggle in the East were much more important than the petty struggle between Shia and minor Mongol chiefdoms.

They were right.


On 25th November 1387 the invasion was over – Iron Khan won. After Khiva now the ancient realm of Persia fell to the legions of ghazis fanatically loyal to Timur the Great, as they called their absolute master. Sword of Islam once again has shattered the power of the Ilkhanate, in less than 10 years conquering enormous swathes of lands and slaughtering tens ouf thousands of Tengri worshippers. Leaving administration over the conquered realm to his slaves from Transoxania and mythical Hindustan he was hungry for more and soon declared another war on one of the independent Mongol high chiefs which was over by May of 1388 – terrifying Iron Khan was victorious once again.

Fear of Sword of Islam and his armies was spreading like a wild fire and it did not spare the City.

Many of the aristoi, especially those from eastern themata were worried about rapid advances of Timur the Lame – too rapid from their point of view. Not only the Imperial Council but also the Senate expressed great concern about rising power of the Scourge of the East. Some were even convinced that despite support from imperial spies informing him about the movements of the Horde and expensive gifts sooner or later the Iron Khan was going to turn his attention on the eastern limes and rich lands beyond them. The Augustus decided however that as long as there is a convergence of interests between Timur the Lame and the Throne, the citizens of the Imperium are going to be safe. And even if the Sword of Islam dared to raise a hand on the Romans, the Throne was sure that the Imperial Army would stop him just like it stopped Atilla the Hun, Samuel the Bulgar or countless others.

But death comes not only from outside the imperial limes.


On 9th August 1388 porphyrogennetos Markos Angelos, heir to the Throne, was found dead in his chamber in Great Palace having lost the long fight against the devastating illness. The unexpected loss of beloved son was a terrible blow for the Augustus, so powerful that some were wondering whether this really was an illness or yet another poison from the Far West. It was not an accident, they said, that at the same time many of the strategoi of the Imperial Army reported many administrative and logistic problems, ranging from minor to as big as whole grain depots found empty. Obviously House Doukas started to spread lies that it was not the Aztecs but the decision to expel the Jews responsible for the defeat in the Great War against the Horde that was hurting the Imperial Army which was unable to mobilize as quick as it should – lies which unfortunately found many eager to listen to them.

One thing was obvious to everyone however – the Aztec armies were ready.


Flooding the Kingdom of Poland with more than 100,000 warriors the savages quickly seized control over several of the counties near the borders. King Niezamysl sent envoys to Konstantinoupolis who begged for help – Poland couldn't wait any longer. The mourning Augustus knew that his daughter was still in Polish capital and perhaps this motivated him to order his tagmata to end the war with Pisans immediately, no matter the cost, and march to besieged Christian kingdom.

And so they did.


On 16th August, only one week after a tragic death of porphyrogennetos Markos Angelos, Pisan merchants surrendered completely and the Imperium regained control over ancient province of Gallia Narbonensis. Alas, the Augustus had no reasons to celebrate.


Death of Markos Angelos caused unexpected and potentially dangerous situation. According to rules of succession, his sons were the next in line to the Throne. However, his brothers as sons of the Augustus and porphyrogennetoi had equally strong claim to the Throne. Obviously, as long as Luis II Angelos was alive this issue was of no importance but knowing the history of his House the Augustus knew that in case of his death there were certain Great Houses that were more than eager to support claimants to the Throne hoping to regain their former position. Civil war would be disastrous for the Imperium, as well as regency what short reign of Leon VII Angelos proved - it could not be allowed to happen again.

And so the Augustus decided to change the laws of succession but before he was able to do so another tragedy fell upon the Imperial Family.


A glorious triumph was held at Hippodrome to celebrate victory over Pisa on 17th September 1388. Among those allowed to use the Emperor's Loge was young son of Markos, Leon Angelos. It took only a moment for a curious and fidgety child distracted by a glorious parade to accidentally fall over a barrier. The triumph was over and soon another funeral was held in Hagia Sophia. Many wondered whether this was sign from God, a warning for the Angeloi or maybe for the whole Imperium – a sign of things to come. To earn forgiveness from Iesus Kristos for whatever sins the citizens of the Imperium committed, the Augustus ordered the other son of Markos to become a monk and spend his life on prayer. These tragic event had a brighter side however – perhaps a terrible death of an innocent child saved the Imperium from a devastating war between claimants. But even porphyrogennetos Leon Angelos, now named an heir to the Throne, was said to be full of doubt about the future.

In the meantime, the Horde was suffering from the same fate which was spared for the Imperium.




An unprecedented civil war erupted within the Ilkhanate. One by one powerful factions of the horse-lords renounced their allegiance to the Horde, some supporting claimants to a position of Great Khan, some demanding independence from child-khagan. And so on 6th May 1389 the Bjarmian League formed led by high chief Arkhai, after which on 10th May 1389 followed high chief Jurchedei of Crimea supported by those who demanded right to choose their own khagan, not being bound by the blood of House Csikid. Finally on 25th May a powerful faction supporting horse-lord Todogen rose to fight with the young Great Khan. The Horde was falling apart and within weeks its vast realms were engulfed in flames of war. Obviously Timur the Lame made a good use of this occasion, declaring invasion of one of the supporters of high chief Todogen's claim.

And so when the news about death of Topiltzin reached Konstantinoupolis many hoped the same fate will wait the Aztec dominion.


It was commonly believed that death of the supreme leader of the savages from Far West on this special day was a sign from God. Just like Iesus Kristos by His birth on this Earth brought hope and light to His children and challenged Diabolos, death of Topiltzin called by his subjects “the Great” was expected to be a turning point in war. However, despite these expectations his son Nochechuatl, despite young age and lack of experience or abilities of his father, managed to suppress all signs of discontent among the lords of the savages. Unlike the barbaric Mongols the Aztec dominion was founded on a strict rules among which was a hereditary title of huetlatoani, a supreme ruler, and although small-scale rebellions or revolts were common they were quickly drowned in blood and the power of the invaders only grew during the decades, fueled by hate, ferocity and dark magic.

Few months after the ascension to power of Nochechuatl Acatl worshippers of the Dark Powers achieved first victory for their new leader.

 
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Poor little Leon, son of Markos. Truly, the protection of the Empire - and Christendom itself - requires horrible sacrifices, but I still wonder how the Lord will judge the Angeloid rulers, when they stand before him. It is undoubtedly the lesser of two evils, but it is still an evil...

In the short run, the Empire's strategy of weakening the Il-Khanate is paying off spectacularly. I just hope you're not replacing one existential threat with another. Perhaps history will remain true to its course and Timur's eventual successors will prove to be no match for the Lame one himself.

And the Aztecs... They only grow more terrifying. The bigger they get, the more numerous their armies... Can you even hope to seriously damage them at this point? Or even merely fight them to a draw? Sooner or later, that menace will be faced, either on the Empire's terms, or on the Aztecs'. I fear time is not on your side.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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I wonder if killing so much Khans was wise ... atleast without killing Timur as well :/ Anyway, let's see what you can do, but the situation in the west ( or should I say NorthWest, given that the Aztecs are already in Poland ? :p ) is definitely worrying ...
 

Paragonfilmgoat

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Truly the false prophets followers have rallied, God is using this Timur horse lord as divine punishment for the invasion of Moesia. The Aztecs are a fearsome threat to behold but a Roman does not show fear Romans are strong. These Romans are forged from the same iron as those who defeated the Celts, Carthaginians, Gauls, Britons, Bulgarians, Huns, and alike. Is it not the greeks, ancestors of the Romans who held the pass at Thermopile against the Persian horde? Truly the Aztecs are just another storm to be weathered. God is simply testing his faithful, giving the Augustus an opportunity to show his faith and christian values before the gathering storm like the jewish kings of the bible. A Gold smith must heat his gold to remove imperfections and so like wise the Lord tempers christianity removing the cathar and catholic heretical filth. Soon the aztec, the horde and all other barbarian filth will find a Roman boat a top their neck, chains on their limbs, and a bible o' so lovingly cradled in their hands.
 

CzokletMuss

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I'm in suspense to see who will colonize the New World, that is unless it is the New World colonizing Europe. Who knows who may come over in EUIV, Incas, Sioux!
Question: What is the date the Mayas arrive?
Regarding to the new world after you transfer a CK2 save:
It starts with most of NA under Aztec control with only what is modern day Canada having a few native American tribes left. The Inca also control the western Seaboard and south of SA with the Mayans having a presence in the Caribbean islands (nothing note worthy though). I assume after the save transfer the Aztecs will have their European holdings too.
You mean the Aztecs, right? According to wiki between 1250 and 1350.
And yeah, I've tested the converter once or twice so the New World is going to be a really... different place.
Can't wait!!!
Me too! :) Though I think I'll wait for "Wealth of Nations" DLC before I start the second part of this AAR.
Intresting as always! Could you really be able to defeat those Aztek stack of doom? Or was Pisa just an excuse to be late from there?
They were invading de jure Germany, so only 3-4 counties which were controlled by Poland. I could probably save the German holdings of Kingdom of Poland but are these few countries worth the blood of Roman soldiers? The Augustu did whatever he could to protect his Christian brothers and sisters - alas, the savages from the Far West were triumphant.
Poor little Leon, son of Markos. Truly, the protection of the Empire - and Christendom itself - requires horrible sacrifices, but I still wonder how the Lord will judge the Angeloid rulers, when they stand before him. It is undoubtedly the lesser of two evils, but it is still an evil...
How dare you! The Augustus would never commit such a horrific deed! Who's paying you for spreading such disgusting lies? House Doukas? Barbarians from the East? It doesn't matter - expect a visit from agents of Skrinion Ton Barbaron. The imperial interrogators have their ways of making scum like you sing like a bird. Your employers won't save you - your fate depends on the mercy of the Throne now.
In the short run, the Empire's strategy of weakening the Il-Khanate is paying off spectacularly. I just hope you're not replacing one existential threat with another. Perhaps history will remain true to its course and Timur's eventual successors will prove to be no match for the Lame one himself.
Historically Byzantium always prefered diplomacy and saw war as the ultimate way of securing the Empire - which by the way contributed to Latin stereotype of a treacherous and cowardly Greek. As you can see, well-placed dagger(s) can achieve much more than a great war. Let's just hope after Timur's death his realm collapse like it did IRL though to be honest I'm not expecting anything good to happen after playing in this save for so long.
And the Aztecs... They only grow more terrifying. The bigger they get, the more numerous their armies... Can you even hope to seriously damage them at this point? Or even merely fight them to a draw?
Well, here's the thing - I probably can win a war against them. But, first of all, my CBs are limited to duchy - their Invasion CB targets kingdom. Successful war - and by successful I mean spending 5-6k of gold for mercenaries and more or less 60,000-70,000 dead Roman soldiers - would give me a duchy. If they won, they gain five or six times as much land. Even with themata (levies), tagmata (retinues) and mercenaries combined I can field probably 160,000 troops - less than they have. But even if I won, the Horde AI will see that I'm terribly weakened and can attack me then, not to mention faction's power which grows relatively to mine as thousands of levies die fighting the savages. So basically it's a lose-lose situation - in best case scenario I gain small duchy of foreign culture and religion which contributes little to my income or manpower. In worst case scenario (failed defensive wars against Aztecs and Horde with Invasion CB + factions) I'm loosing two kingdoms and face a dangerous revolt - hell, I can even lost the Throne for some claimant and with AI in charge the Imperium is lost and Christendom with it...
Sooner or later, that menace will be faced, either on the Empire's terms, or on the Aztecs'. I fear time is not on your side.
And that worries me the most :(
I fear for the Holy Empire, for these Shi'ite heretics must be eliminated!
And they will be put to the sword, like a rabid dogs they are!
I fear you are replacing locusts by locusts !
And I can't wait to see the final confrontation against the Aztec lords !
Ahem, well, more on that in the next chapter. And yeah, I look forward to final showdown.
I wonder if killing so much Khans was wise ... atleast without killing Timur as well :/ Anyway, let's see what you can do, but the situation in the west ( or should I say NorthWest, given that the Aztecs are already in Poland ? :p ) is definitely worrying ...
So far he's useful - the Horde is collapsing and he's gaining their lands, which hopefully will lock both him and Ilkhanate in war for decades. But the time will come when he's going to outlive his usefulness, that's for sure. And yes, it's pretty horrifying when you think about it. Spain, France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, west Africa - all turned to ashes.
Truly the false prophets followers have rallied, God is using this Timur horse lord as divine punishment for the invasion of Moesia. The Aztecs are a fearsome threat to behold but a Roman does not show fear Romans are strong. These Romans are forged from the same iron as those who defeated the Celts, Carthaginians, Gauls, Britons, Bulgarians, Huns, and alike. Is it not the greeks, ancestors of the Romans who held the pass at Thermopile against the Persian horde? Truly the Aztecs are just another storm to be weathered. God is simply testing his faithful, giving the Augustus an opportunity to show his faith and christian values before the gathering storm like the jewish kings of the bible. A Gold smith must heat his gold to remove imperfections and so like wise the Lord tempers christianity removing the cathar and catholic heretical filth. Soon the aztec, the horde and all other barbarian filth will find a Roman boat a top their neck, chains on their limbs, and a bible o' so lovingly cradled in their hands.
Hear, hear! Well said - that's the spirit of a true Roman :)
2 Quick questions:
1. What is the Aztec's Crown Authority?
2. How is Aquitaine alive?
1. Last time I checked it was Medium but I don't know what it is know - I'll check it.
2. Story-wise, I'll explain in the next chapter. Game-wise, I have no idea. If I were playing as Aztecs, I would conquer it ASAP to have nice continous borders. But hell, why didn't they invade Scotland and Ireland? Who can understand those savages...

[size=+1]IMPORTANT[/size]
You probably remember that I decided to play the game to its end in 1444 on weekend before the RoI release. Better safe than sorry and all that. Well, it didn't work - the save got corrupted in 1441 for no apparent reason >_< So after considering what should I do with this and checking that indeed 2.04 version on Stea works I decided to use the backup save from 1390 year and continue to play from there. Why? Well, besides the fact that I can't load the game in 1441 and thus can't convert it to EU4 on 11th November 1444, the only reason why I rushed with playing it was that I feared that after RoI there are going to be problems with it. As it turns out, the save got corrupted anyways (I swear it, it only happens when I'm doing AAR - my previous one "Necronomicon in Byzantium" died because of the same reason...) so I think that all I can do now is to ignore what happened in this save after 1390 and just continue playing from the backup.

To ilustrate it - this is screenshot from original cloud-synchronized save from CK2 2.04 from 13th March:


And this is screenshot taken from backup Ironman local save from CK2 2.04 ("beta" on Steam) from 27th March (after RoI - you can see my saves from RoI); it's slightly later date in game because I wanted to check whether Ironman autosave still works - also Ruler Editor seems to not work anymore for some reason:


So to sum it up - I'm continuing my playthrough and AAR using Ironman local backup save (which is still working) using "beta" option on Steam. What does it mean?
1. It's still Ironman, so 100% legit playthrough;
2. I have no idea what's going to happen since the first timeline was thrashed by a corrupted save;
3. I'm playing now, after RoI release so expect new portraits to appear (I bought Turkic pack)

Sorry for all this mess, folks! If you have any questions about this please ask me but I have to say that if only I didn't make some backup copies of the save this AAR would be dead by now. Luckily I was smart enough to not put all eggs in one basket, so "This Is Madness" will continue until 1444 - hopefully this time without any crashe, bugs or currupted saves.
 

Enlil

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You mean the Aztecs, right? According to wiki between 1250 and 1350.
And yeah, I've tested the converter once or twice so the New World is going to be a really... different place.
I am SOOOOOOe excited

Me too! :) Though I think I'll wait for "Wealth of Nations" DLC before I start the second part of this AAR.
Heard it's going to be good

They were invading de jure Germany, so only 3-4 counties which were controlled by Poland. I could probably save the German holdings of Kingdom of Poland but are these few countries worth the blood of Roman soldiers? The Augustu did whatever he could to protect his Christian brothers and sisters - alas, the savages from the Far West were triumphant.
Nooooo! You must defeat the Zenoi!

How dare you! The Augustus would never commit such a horrific deed! Who's paying you for spreading such disgusting lies? House Doukas? Barbarians from the East? It doesn't matter - expect a visit from agents of Skrinion Ton Barbaron. The imperial interrogators have their ways of making scum like you sing like a bird. Your employers won't save you - your fate depends on the mercy of the Throne now.
Curse you Bishop of Rome!!!!

Historically Byzantium always prefered diplomacy and saw war as the ultimate way of securing the Empire - which by the way contributed to Latin stereotype of a treacherous and cowardly Greek. As you can see, well-placed dagger(s) can achieve much more than a great war. Let's just hope after Timur's death his realm collapse like it did IRL though to be honest I'm not expecting anything good to happen after playing in this save for so long.
Exitus Acta Probat! (The ends justifies the means)

Well, here's the thing - I probably can win a war against them. But, first of all, my CBs are limited to duchy - their Invasion CB targets kingdom. Successful war - and by successful I mean spending 5-6k of gold for mercenaries and more or less 60,000-70,000 dead Roman soldiers - would give me a duchy. If they won, they gain five or six times as much land. Even with themata (levies), tagmata (retinues) and mercenaries combined I can field probably 160,000 troops - less than they have. But even if I won, the Horde AI will see that I'm terribly weakened and can attack me then, not to mention faction's power which grows relatively to mine as thousands of levies die fighting the savages. So basically it's a lose-lose situation - in best case scenario I gain small duchy of foreign culture and religion which contributes little to my income or manpower. In worst case scenario (failed defensive wars against Aztecs and Horde with Invasion CB + factions) I'm loosing two kingdoms and face a dangerous revolt - hell, I can even lost the Throne for some claimant and with AI in charge the Imperium is lost and Christendom with it...
The Empire will never fall! An AI Roman Empire would fail within days!

And that worries me the most :(
I'm worried too

And they will be put to the sword, like a rabid dogs they are!
Death to the Infiedel

Hear, hear! Well said - that's the spirit of a true Roman :)
Salve amicum!

1. Last time I checked it was Medium but I don't know what it is know - I'll check it.
2. Story-wise, I'll explain in the next chapter. Game-wise, I have no idea. If I were playing as Aztecs, I would conquer it ASAP to have nice continous borders. But hell, why didn't they invade Scotland and Ireland? Who can understand those savages...
Can't wait

so "This Is Madness" will continue until 1444 - hopefully this time without any crashe, bugs or currupted saves.
Let's hope so
 

Nuka75

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I understand completely your fear about a war on a duchy CB against the Aztec .Truly, House Angelos is the only bearer of the Heavenly Mandate given by God and Iesus Kristos Themselves to your house. This divine mandate explain why the Roman Empire will crumble - and with it the foundation of Earth - should another house took the Throne of Saint Markos.
 

Nikephoros II

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Nice to see you've locked the two unstoppable Hordes in war with each other for the foreseeable future. However, it would be best to let them remain as such, because if one prevails over the other, the victor will emerge stronger than ever before. So, assassinating strong leaders is the way to go?