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    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

Skritdlez

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I'm not sure how they get their taxes to the pope considering the money has to be run either through a continent whose national sport is blood sacrificing foreigners, or shipped around spain with no friendly ports anywhere.

The answer is obvious: The vile aztec gods are allergic to celtic hearts!
If he or someone else has taken Rome the pope is given lands in one of the other nations, I've had the pope take on of mine once when Muslim Sicily took them over.
 

Pilot00

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Do they land him consistently though? After I took over Rome, he was left like that for about a century until I console landed him somewhere in Scandinavia. When eventually they became Orthodox as well he was kicked out. Ironically the Scots are Catholic in my game as well (though I Do posses land in England Muahahahahaha) but he is 'residing in Rome'.
 

McGrey

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I saw him landed nearly always somewhere. I wonder, where he resides here...
 

CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 26
1410-1417
THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH

Basileus Leon VIII Angelos was murdered by the spies of caliph Sadiq Aghlabid on 12th August 1410. His son, porphyrogennetos Alexios, ascended to the Throne on the same day and was crowned as Augustus Alexios I Angelos.


His first act was to organize a bride show, for although he was 31 years old he still had no wife. Although his brother porphyrogennetos Maximos and sister porphyrogenetissa Ioulia respected the will of their father, it was no secret that there were certain factions who would prefer to see Ioulia Angelos on the Throne. If she were to rule one day, she would surely need a proper husband and a protector – and Great Houses were always eager to provide such “protection”. On 6th September 1410 the bride show was over and, despite hopes of some aristoi, Augustus decided that Ambrosia di Bar-le-Duc was to be his wife. Although from a minor House and Italian, her beauty and wit were so great that Alexios had no other choice but to surrender to her captivating charm. But there were other things which required attention of Augustus – the Fourth Great War fo Bulgaria was still wreaking havoc on the northern and eastern themata. And Tengri fanatics were not the only enemies which Alexios I had to face. Threat of xenoi invasion or another confrontation with Sword of Islam were still very real, even more after the death of Leon VIII Angelos.

But there was hope.


On 20th December 1410 great news reached the City – bloody and tyrannous rule of Timur the Damned after more than 40 years of suffering and misery was reaching its end. He who created a vast and powerful realm from nothing; he who subjugated warring clans of horse-lords and transformed them into terrible ghazis united in hate and fanaticism; he who was said to be mahdi, savior of Islam; he who with the help of dark arts slained grandmaster porhpyrogennetos Michael Angelos on the fields of Halbah; he who was the Conqueror of Syria, the Scourge of the East, the Iron Khan himself – was dying. Incapable of ruling for himself, it was said by the imperial spies that his wife and son were now in charge of gigantic realm and tens of thousands of militant Shia zealots. It seemed that, for time, the Imperium was safe from invasion from the East. But on the other side of the world the great evil was just as powerful as always. Xenoi. Everpresent threat to the remnants of Christian Europe and to the Imperium itself. Hundreds of thousands of terrifying savages and armies of cannibalistic cultists – it was a terrible force, easily capable of wiping out any opposition to the Aztec rule save for the Imperial Army. Malevolent huetlatoani Cacamatzin Acatl, ruling his subjects and slaves with an iron fist, was watching the struggle between the Horde and Romaioi, scheming and waiting – but for what and why, the imperial spies couldn't tell. Vast xenoi realm was almost impenetrable for agents of Scrinium Barbarorum, every Roman being killed or enslaved on sight. It was obvious however that if the new Augustus were to show any weakness, the invaders from the Far West wouldn't hesitate even for a moment to attack and destroy their greatest opponent – for truly the Imperium was the Shield of the Christendom.

And that's why on 13th January 1411 the Great War ended.


In his wisdom Augustus decided that it would be for the best to “surrender” to the horse-lord who claimed to be khan of Bulgaria, for it was going to ensure that internal chaos within the Horde won't end quickly. More and more horse-lords were rebelling against their khagan and if they would be forced to leave imperial lands, their armies instead of harassing themata and killing Romaioi would then turn against each other, further weakening the Horde. It was a brilliant plan but not without a flaw – it required for themata of Moesia, Vidin and Karvuna to be abandoned and given to the enemy. This, obviously, was a cause of great unrest among aristoi, especially those whose Houses were administrating them for the Throne. With a heavy heart and with fierce opposition from the aristoi Augustus decided to do this anyways, judging that in the long run divided and weakened Horde was worth the price. And the price was high and paid in Roman blood.


Once again barbarian locust was roaming freely on the ancient imperial lands. But just as it was predicted, returning armies quickly joined the struggle for power – soon more and more chiefdoms were declaring open rebellion against young khagan. “Khan” of Bulgaria was triumphant but his triumph did not last long. As soon as his armies retreated to his lands in what once was known as Rus, Augustus declared war – imperial reconquest of Moesia began on 13th June 1411 as elite tagmata, forces of the Brotherhood and mercenaries crushed few Mongol bands remaining in “khanate” and started sieging Roman cities and strongholds. This clever strategy, so heavily criticized by aristoi just a few months ago, proved to be fruitful – soon thema of Moesia was to be reclaimed and the Horde was bleeding more and more.

Unfortunately, there were complications.


For decades dominated by Suomenusko pagans, who managed to unite what they called Lithuania and Suomi under the rule of House Saranskid, the North was divided among dozens of small chiefdoms of both horse-lords and Romuva war-chiefs. Suomenusko realm were torn apart by a civil war and with hordes of xenoi on the other coast of Mare Sarmaticum where once was Kingdom of Sweden it seemed that doom is imminent. But from the ashes of pagan realm a new power have risen in the North. Countless bands of barbarians were united by Russian known as Afanasiy of Myadzel who, after years of struggle, on 19th June 1411 declared the kingdom of Lithuania to be reborn. Being once a common war-chief, with sword he achieved what few have managed to do before him – he carved out his own realm from the titanic body of the Horde. These were worrying news. Worshippers of the dark god Tengri, Romuva and Suomensku pagans, Lithuanian tribes, Mongol barbarians and surviving Russian traitors, all of them were now united and posed a direct threat to the Kingdom of Poland.


By the time war with “khanate” of Bulgaria ended with decisive imperial victory on 3rd November 1411, a new Lithuanian realm led by khan Afanasiy launched several campaigns against neighboring pagan chiefdoms. It was only a matter of time before Russian khan would strengthen his rule sufficiently to attack Polish allies of the Imperium. What was worse, war with “khanate” of Bulgaria and unexpected death of “khan” weakened it greatly – it was very possible that khanate of Lithuania would soon attack and conquer its eastern neighbor.

But whatever was going on in the North paled in comparison to the splendid news which reached Konstantinoupolis on 28th June 1411.


The Iron Khan was dead. It was hard to imagine a better news – on the same day the news arrived, a great mass was conducted in Hagia Sophia in which Augustus, Imperial Family, Great Houses and all the senators took part. It was only a start of celebrations which lasted for three whole days of wine, dance, song and smile. The City was filled with joy for many thought that with death of Sword of Islam his huge realm was destined to collapse under its own weight and fall apart. It was expected that with Witch-khan passing away, one of the greatest enemies of the Imperium was irreversibly crippled.

Alas, it was not the case.

Horkhudagh, son of Timur, became a new leader of powerful eastern state. Assuming the title of Khagan of Timurids, he was determined to not only make sure that his father's legacy will last but to expand the Shia realm. Despite young age he known as a just leader and skilled tactician – a dangerous combination. However, some of the imperial spies revealed that there were rumors surrounding a new ruler, who was allegedly deeply affected by his father's death. Some were even whispering that in fact it was his mother who was a true ruler of Shia, hidden in the shadows and manipulating her son to do as she wished. The truth remained unknown – what was certain was that if khagan Horkhudagh and Shia realm were to survive, the Imperium could be as endangered as it was before.


On 3rd March 1412 xenoi attacked Suomenusko pagans. Their leader, king Onni Saranskid, was nothing like his father Artis the Great, who managed to unite realms of Suomi and Lithuania. Weak rule of his son caused not only Lithuania to be conquered by khan Afanasiy, but also gave the incentive to the western savages to launch a full scale invasion. What was truly worrying was not the fate of northern pagans but the fact that if xenoi were to win – about which was no doubt – they would finally share a border with the Horde, thus circumventing Kingdom of Poland which like a solid wall separated invaders from the Far West and Mongol barbarians. This could be a prelude of Aztec incursion deep within the land known once as Rus – and if the savages were able to subjugate horse-lords of the East, their combined power may be sufficient to break the Imperium, therefore eliminating the only obstacle to their complete domination of Europe.

But, with Iesus Kristos' blessing, the God's Regent on Earth will stop the blasphemous plans of the heathens, no matter the cost.


In the gathering darkness birth of porhpyrogennetos Valerios on 11th September 1412 was a true beam of light. No matter what the future brings, it was sure that House Angelos would continue to serve the Imperium and to fulfill their sacred duty – to protect the Christendom. The citizens could sleep in peace knowing that the Throne keeps its eternal vigil. For unlike the barbarians surrounding the imperial limes, the Romaioi were chosen by One True God – and Our Lord in His love would never abandon His children. Even in the darkest moments, the True Faith was the fundament of Roman power, the pillar of the Imperium. It was God's love what helped Romaioi to endure, for whatever was going to happen every citizen of the Imperium knew that he was not alone – Iesus Kristos was always there for him. With the blessing of the Holy Spirit, House Angelos was to guide the Romaioi through the darkness to the salvation and eternal life – the Angeloi protect!

Followers of the false gods did not have this comfort.


On 21st April 1414 invasion of Arabia was over and what was started by Iron Khan was completed by his son – caliph Sadiq Aghlabid was defeated. Damned Shia snake and murderer of Leon VIII Angelos lost his father, his sultanate, his power and his right hand when, ordered to kneel before khagan Horkhudagh, he dared to refuse. Sons of Aghlab were utterly defeated and caliph Sadiq, grandson of Aghlab Aghlabid himself, was now nothing more than a slave to the will of Timur's son. And so justice was served - truly God works in mysterious ways.

But the most spectacular evidence of God's grace was about to be seen.


On 24th April 1413 the long and bloody conflict between young Temuge Csikid and powerful faction supporting claimant to the position of khagan has ended. Terrible war consumed hundreds of thousands men, women and children, whole cities were burned and looted and countless horse-lords perished in battles – and all of that for nothing, for neither the claimant neither khagan Temuge Csikid were victorious.

The Horde was split it half.


Separatists achieved their goal – more than half of the Horde was now united under new khagan: Toghoril Toluid became the lord of Tartaria. Giant realm carved out from the bleeding body of the Horde was now led by grandson of khagan Menggei Toluid, who was grandson of khagan Hulegu the Great, the founder of the House Toluid and first ruler of the Ilkhanate. House Toluid was long removed from power by the ambitious House Csikid but on this day, 24th April 1413, it has risen from the ashes. Enormous Horde was now divided between the two khagans – Csikid ruling over Ilkhanate and Toluid ruling over Tartaria.

But the true ruler of the steppe was khaos.

More and more horse-lords were rebelling, following the example of khanate of Lithuania and “khanate” of Bulgaria. Soon chiefdoms of Moldau, Tver, Galich, Kartli and numerous others raised armies against their overlords, who were focused not on surpressing the revolters but on annihilation of a rival khagan and his forces. It seemed that this hideous Beast which was the Horde was finally dying, being consumed by the same violence and ruthlessness which enabled Mongol barbarians to dominate the East.

But collapsing Horde not only finally stopped being a direct threat to the Imperium, at least for the time being – it also meant that North is for the taking.


On 26th July Aztec invasion of Suomi has ended with a predictable result – savages from the Far West won completely and northern pagans were no more. Xenoi were now in total control over Scandinavia and what was even worse, they not only had an easy access to lands of the Horde but there was nothing what could stop them. All they needed to conquer realm known once as Rus was to stretch their bloodied hands and take it. Neither what was left of Suomenusko nor khanate of Lithuania would be able to resist their attack if only they decided to do so. But, at least for a moment, it was unlikely – it would take time for all North dwellers to bend the neck before their new rulers and Aztecs, even despite their ruthlessness, were sure to have trouble with unruly subjects scattered in a frozen wasteland. Sueomenusko power was broken once and for all however – it was unthinkable that northern pagans would ever rise again. And so another realm fell prey to the invaders from the Far West.

But weakness of the Horde drawn attention of not only xenoi.


Like a predator smelling blood of its victim, Shia declared war against Ilkhanate. Although it was hard to believe in this, apparently it was caliph Sadiq who organized the campaign. With his master's blessing he hoped to seize what was left of Mongol chiefdoms on deserts of Arabia and thus secure the whole peninsula for followers of the Prophet. Whatever the reason, khagan Horkhudagh Timurid allowed him to do so and on 10th December 1413 the invasion of Arabia began. In the meantime khan Afanasiy was strengthening his rule in Lithuania after having united Mongols, Lithuanians and Russians under one banner. He showed no mercy for the unbelievers though – all those who refused to worship Tengri were to be persecuted and killed, including Romuva and Suomenusko pagans. In a truly barbaric display of hatred, the hunt for heathens began.

And when the terrible year 1413 was coming to an end it seemed that nothing could be more surprising than what this year brought. After all, the collapse of the Horde, the subjugation of Caliphate and conquest of Suomi were all events of great impact, compared only to the death of Iron Khan. Nobody could imagine more shaking, earth-shattering news.

It was a mistake soon to be corrected.


Out of nowhere on 12th February 1414 a gigantic fleet of more than 300 ships has appeared in the Arabian Sea. Each of this vessel was of a truly enormous size, resembling more of a wooden palace or castle than normal ships used for trade or fishing. Dwarfing not only imperial dromonoi but even the greatest Pisan or Venetian ships of old, on board of every sea-palace were tens of hundreds of warriors wearing strange clothes. Arriving in ports of Aden in thema of Sanaa, one of the sea-palaces, even greater than the rest of them, anchored near the imperial shore. Strange sailors speaking in Arabic demanded to see the ruler of this land and when during the audience the archbishop, who was also doux of Sanaa, asked them why they want to see him they responded that it was the wish of Admiral Zheng He, emissary of the Emperor Yung-lo, Son of Heaven.

When the news reached Konstantinoupolis, Augustus immediately ordered to mobilize the tagmata and to send the whole Imperial Council together with eunuchs of Scrinium Barbarorum to speak with the Admiral in his name. Although the Throne was trying to keep the arrival of the Fleet in secret, it was not long before wild rumors started to circle, especially after Imperial Council led by porhpyrogennetos Alexandros Angelos left the City with 10,000 strong themata, for the kataphraktoi were used only in the most important matters. Finally to put the end to the endless rumors Augustus had to announce that indeed the Fleet from the East has arrived. Panic broke out on the streets of the Capital. Many feared that just like xenoi almost 200 years ago the foreigners would start a massive invasion. Citizens of the City were terrified – they were abandoning their work to pray in the churches or spend their time on parties, fearing that the end is near. Many have committed suicide.

But Saint Markos Isapostolos, like always, was protecting the Imperium.


As it turned out when the member of the Council arrived in Sanaa few months later, the foreigners didn't seek war. Admiral Zheng He was bound by his orders as the court eunuch of the Son of Heaven – he was not bringing sword but gifts. The gigantic fleet with thousands of warriors and sailors came from a distant and realm of Sinae, which Ptolemy placed even further away to the east than mythical Hindustan. Serikos, inhabitants of this foreign land as Ptolemy described them, were all subjects of the Son of Heaven, Emperor of the Serikos, who was in command of a great state which armies and wealth was unimaginable and could rival only this of the Imperium itself or dominion of xenoi. Traveling through seas, the Treasure Fleet, as the foreigner called it, traveled to dozens of barbarian realms to establish trade contacts, force them to pay tribute or bringing them into submission. But the Imperium – called “Da Qin”, by the Serikos – was nothing like the small pagan kingdoms the Fleet has encountered so far. Admiral Zheng He was greatly impressed when the Imperial Council arrived in Sanaa with 10,000 tagmata. He offered gifts from distant Sinae – silk, jewels, gold and exotic animals who lived on the sea-palaces with the Serikos. In return he was given ivory, glass and rhinoceros horns together with 500 of best slaves in whole Aegyptus, including 100 young xenoi girls and 200 castrated xenoi boys. Admiral and members of the Imperial Council assured each other of no malevolence or ill intentions and with promise of friendship and peaceful trade between the Imperium and Sinae – called “Zhongguo” or “Shenzhou” by Serikos - the mighty Treasure Fleet soon departed.

Although the confrontation ended peacefully, the arrival of the Treasure Fleet was a truly momentous moment. In just a few months the world changed – suddenly it was much bigger and much more dangerous. Who's to say what horrors lie beyond the seas? Who's to say what blasphemous gods are being worshipped in a distant lands? How much more barbarians inhabit the world, how many of them capable of being a threat to the Imperium! If mythical Sinae was indeed as wealthy and mighty as Admiral said, than in the Far East lied a godless realm of a titanic size, with hundreds of thousands of warriors ready to rise a sword against the Holy Cross. The danger was obvious to everyone – when imperial envoys returned to the City, Augustus ordered Scrinium Barbarorum to prepare a report including all the knowledge about Sinae gathered through the ages. The arrival of the savages from the Far West brought unimaginable suffering and misery and plunged Europe into darkness lasting more than 150 years. If Serikos, subjects of a blasphemous “Son of Heaven”, were xenoi as well, the Imperium had to prepare – for there may be no peace between Children of God and soulless Servants of Darkness.


It was only on 8th May 1414 khagan Horkhudagh, son of Timur, suddenly died, when the attention of the citizens of the Imperium turned away from titanic Treasure Fleet from mythical Sinae. His unexpected death left the Shia realm in the hands of his son, Timur. But a child could not rule alone and yet again wife of Timur, mother of Horkhudagh, became a regent. But the rest of Timurids didn't like it – Horkhudagh had two brothers, Menggei and Bilge, and sister Khojin. With Khojin being a woman and Bilge being not much older than young khagan Timur, it was expected that Menggei was to become a ruler. Some of the ghazis however were fanatically loyal to the grandson and wife of Iron Khan – a civil war was more than possible, especially considering that already there were few war-chiefs in open rebellion against Horkhudagh. It would take only one spark to set the whole realm on fire.

And, thanks to God's grace, so it happened.


On 4th June 1414 khagan Timur, son of Horkhudagh, was found dead. His uncle Menggei became a new khagan – but some of his subjects dared to oppose him. A terrible civil war erupted which was about to last for several years. Seizing the occasion, Augustus declared war against revolting horse-lords and soon Imperial Army managed to liberate imperial themata. At long last the holy city of Antiocheia, conquered and sacked by Sword of Islam on 28th July 1393, was found oneself under the imperial rule when on 7th July 1416 Romaioi entered the city.


Another blessing from Iesus Kristos was received by House Angelos weeks later when on 12th August 1415 porphyrogennetos Markos Angelos was born in the Purple Chamber of the Great Palace. Sadly this moment of joy was soon to be eclipsed by treason of no one else but brother of Augustus himself. Porhpyrogennetos Maximos Angelos, son of Leon VIII, was found to be in secret studying heretic books, including “Summa Theologiae” written by Thomas Aquinas and blasphemous teachings of Francis of Assisi, animal-lover and friend of lepers, insane fool worshipping “Lady Poverty”. Maximos was found guilty of this heinous crime forbidden by the canons of the Holy Synod and imprisoned on 3rd January 1416 – truly, a great is the mercy of Augustus, for heretics deserve much harsher punishment.

Unlike Maximos, the uncle of Augustus, porphyrogennetos Alexandros Angelos, was a very pious and noble man. Serving God and the Imperium as grandmaster of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre and sakellarios of the Imperial Council. As the most trusted and loyal man to serve the Throne, Alexandros was the one who in the name of Augustus was conducting negotiations with Admiral Zheng He. After his return to the City, he could concentrate on what he best in – oikonomos. Being responsible for both the treasury of the Brotherhood and the Imperium, he took great care of collecting of taxes, forcing everyone to render unto Augustus the coin which is his due.

The greater was the horror of Alexios I Angelos when the news reached the City on 27th February 1417.

 
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CzokletMuss

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And here's the new chapter - sorry for the delay! To make up for it expect at least two new chapters this week.
 

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Yay, a new chapter! And great as always. What will the future bring for the Empires of Rome and Sinae? War against each other or cooperation against a common enemy in the hordes? And what else lies behind the borders of the known world. Might the mighty priest-king Johannes still be out there? We are curious!

On another note, I have a question about your conversion to EU IV: Do you convert the game as it is or do you use a bit of consol-magic or modding to split up bigger realms in smaller ones, for example the atztec empire in a meso-american, a spanish, a frankish-german and a scandianvian kingdom?
 

CzokletMuss

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Don't force yourself, this chapter was very good ;)
Thanks :)

Oh no! This distant China seems dangerous to the safety of the Empire!
Yes - but is Sinae really a threat? In EU4 if player knows what he's doing it definitely may be:



Yay, a new chapter! And great as always. What will the future bring for the Empires of Rome and Sinae? War against each other or cooperation against a common enemy in the hordes? And what else lies behind the borders of the known world. Might the mighty priest-king Johannes still be out there? We are curious!
Only time will tell :)
On another note, I have a question about your conversion to EU IV: Do you convert the game as it is or do you use a bit of consol-magic or modding to split up bigger realms in smaller ones, for example the atztec empire in a meso-american, a spanish, a frankish-german and a scandianvian kingdom?
All changes I will make (and I will make quite a lot of them) are aimed to make converted save as faithful to the CK2 as possible. Converter doesn't work very good and on top of that EU4 mechanics completely change the balance of power - for instance, low religious unity combined with lots of untolerated cultures means your country implodes in a few months. Xenoi which are really, really powerful in CK2 would be rather crippled in a vanilla conversion with overseas tax, production and manpower penalty. So to sum it up: yes, there will be a lot of changes (I'll list all of them before the EU4 part starts) but almost none of them will change anything in comparison to CK2 and all of them will be as minimalistic as possible, that is I'll change only what has to be changed, nothing more.
 

Pilot00

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I find the surprise of the Romans a bit....distressing. Not only they knew about China but at the height of it Power the ERE had extensive contact and trade with China. There were Chinese ambassadors and Chinese was a language the Roman court was familiar with. It seems the Ilkhanate's presence cut their ties for a couple of centuries.

Tartaria resurfaced also? The Tartars (or Turks, ironically as the Romans called them) were an Ally of the Romans used as a shield in these lands, after the right palm greasing of course. Perhaps they can be used as such again both against the mongol spawn and an emergent Chinese power?

If anything it would be a good time to expand the borders to the black sea me thinks.

EDIT: At first opportunity could you post a cultural map of europe? I would like to see what effect the Azzys have.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Hum, I find doubtful that the real position of Basileia about Sinae will be of such antagonism if Zheng He managed to mention that the Chinese of his time loved Mongols exactly as much as them ;)

And that map ... really not apropriate to a empire that goes down to Sanaa and whose sailors must sail more often to India than to Scotland ;) ( and also far ahead of time ... IIRC that map IRL is from around 1480 :p )

On the game proper, if it was not already played ages ago, I would say it was time to try to grab as much as possible out of the confusion of the east ...
 

Enlil

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I find the surprise of the Romans a bit....distressing. Not only they knew about China but at the height of it Power the ERE had extensive contact and trade with China. There were Chinese ambassadors and Chinese was a language the Roman court was familiar with. It seems the Ilkhanate's presence cut their ties for a couple of centuries.

Tartaria resurfaced also? The Tartars (or Turks, ironically as the Romans called them) were an Ally of the Romans used as a shield in these lands, after the right palm greasing of course. Perhaps they can be used as such again both against the mongol spawn and an emergent Chinese power?

If anything it would be a good time to expand the borders to the black sea me thinks.

EDIT: At first opportunity could you post a cultural map of europe? I would like to see what effect the Azzys have.
No doubt such trade was ended when a great Khanate rose, and any information relegated to nothing more than myth, seeing how every other nation is being burned by the Xenoi's fire. By this time people probably believe the steppes are infinite, seeing the manpower the foul horse-lords have at their disposal.
 

Zqrfmb

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Well, I guess the suspicion the trade fleet was regarded with is understandable, considering the recent centuries' experience with foreigners. The fleet itself is really an outlier in the otherwise unquestionable knowledge that anyone outside the borders of the empire except poland (and aquitaine, but they've managed to be irrelevant enough to remain beneath the notice of the aztecs) is hell-bent on killing you and your family while burning everything you own to the ground.
 

CzokletMuss

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I find the surprise of the Romans a bit....distressing. Not only they knew about China but at the height of it Power the ERE had extensive contact and trade with China. There were Chinese ambassadors and Chinese was a language the Roman court was familiar with. It seems the Ilkhanate's presence cut their ties for a couple of centuries.
While I was doing my small research (I advise everyone who didn't do it already to read wiki entry about Sino-Roman relations, very interesting! BTW if anyone knows about some blog/article/book avaible online in English or Spanish about this subject please do tell me :)) I find out that indeed, the trade relations between Rome and China were quite extensive. Though this being (very!) alternative history AAR with Aztecs capable of traversing the Atlantic with hundreds of thousands of troops (which btw can be compared only to D-Day) means that not everything what happened IRL happened in this world. Plus it's not only the matter of knowledge - the arrival of the Treasure Fleet is so completely out of context that it's IMHO easy to understand why Romaioi were shocked.
No doubt such trade was ended when a great Khanate rose, and any information relegated to nothing more than myth, seeing how every other nation is being burned by the Xenoi's fire. By this time people probably believe the steppes are infinite, seeing the manpower the foul horse-lords have at their disposal.
Pretty much what you said - world in "This Is Madness" is very different from our own. The Silk Road was blocked from at least the time when Ilkhanate arrived, that is before Saint Markos Isapostolos became basileus. In other words, it's almost 200 years of close to none contact with Far East.

To illustrate, extra screenshot from next part of "The Chronicle of the House Angelos", year 1228:



Yes, this is Saint Markos :) As you can see, Imperium is completely cut off.

Tartaria resurfaced also? The Tartars (or Turks, ironically as the Romans called them) were an Ally of the Romans used as a shield in these lands, after the right palm greasing of course. Perhaps they can be used as such again both against the mongol spawn and an emergent Chinese power?

If anything it would be a good time to expand the borders to the black sea me thinks.

EDIT: At first opportunity could you post a cultural map of europe? I would like to see what effect the Azzys have.
That's the plan :)

Yes but not only there - the mountain passages in Caucasus are a strategic position, taking them would force the Horde and Timurids to wage wars far away from imperial limes on the other side of Caspian Sea. Attacking the Timurids while they fight the Horde in EU4 would give at least several months for the themata before Timurids' forces arrive.

Yes, I will post it and some other things like this (tables).

Hum, I find doubtful that the real position of Basileia about Sinae will be of such antagonism if Zheng He managed to mention that the Chinese of his time loved Mongols exactly as much as them ;)
Well, I guess the suspicion the trade fleet was regarded with is understandable, considering the recent centuries' experience with foreigners. The fleet itself is really an outlier in the otherwise unquestionable knowledge that anyone outside the borders of the empire except poland (and aquitaine, but they've managed to be irrelevant enough to remain beneath the notice of the aztecs) is hell-bent on killing you and your family while burning everything you own to the ground.
Exactly what Zqrfmb said. To make a somewhat flawed but ilustrative comparison, it's kinda like the Imperium of Man meeting Tau - better safe than sorry :p

And that map ... really not apropriate to a empire that goes down to Sanaa and whose sailors must sail more often to India than to Scotland ;) ( and also far ahead of time ... IIRC that map IRL is from around 1480 :p )

On the game proper, if it was not already played ages ago, I would say it was time to try to grab as much as possible out of the confusion of the east ...
Well, this was the best looking map I found :) I know it doesn't fit very well but it's the best I found - if you know about something better please tell me and I'll change it.

Of course - though pure blobbing is ill-advised considering religious unity in EU4 and severly nerfed amount of levies which you get in CK2 2.0.4 from outside your dejure territory, not to mention problems with revolts due to wrong culture. But yes, now is the moment.
 

Enlil

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It disgusts me to see the realm of the blasphemous Kaiser in existence again, but wonderful to see Pisa.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Well, this was the best looking map I found :) I know it doesn't fit very well but it's the best I found - if you know about something better please tell me and I'll change it.
Ok, I admit that late medieval maps are not much better than those ( and islamic maps are normally even worse regarding accuracy ), but I think that in this time line and given the expected knowledge you have both about India ( due to have Arabia Felix ;) in hands ) and a vague knowledge about lands to the west of the Atlantic ( the Xenoi have came out of somewhere, after all :D ), a trunkated version of the Cantino planisphere ( that is, without Southern Africa ) would work well ... atleast India in there is well defined and has the bonus of a "here be dragons" space in the west for future usage :D

P.S. If Cantino map looks too clean and neat, you can also see Ryusch map of 1507 ;)
 
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DukeofKool11

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But, with Iesus Kristos' blessing, the God's Regent on Earth will stop the blasphemous plans of the heathens, no matter the cost.
*Proceeds to do absolutely nothing while the xenoi roflstomp Scandinavia* :rofl:

Can't wait for the next part!
 
Last edited:

GaiusC

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And that map ... really not apropriate to a empire that goes down to Sanaa and whose sailors must sail more often to India than to Scotland ;) ( and also far ahead of time ... IIRC that map IRL is from around 1480 :p )
That map is supposed to be a late 15th century reconstruction of Ptolemy's map - so highly inaccurate given the knowledge of the time, and even more inaccurate when it comes to which countries actually did exist in the East ;)



And since it's possibly my first post in this AAR, very fine work, congratulations!
 

Zqrfmb

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How exactly do you plan on dealing with the culture and religion issues post-conversion? You mentioned modding to keep everything from imploding seven ways till sunday, but what exactly are the specifics?
 

Ricardo Rolo

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That map is supposed to be a late 15th century reconstruction of Ptolemy's map - so highly inaccurate given the knowledge of the time, and even more inaccurate when it comes to which countries actually did exist in the East ;)
I know, but the issue is that in the context of the game, it is problematic to see someone still using that India ;) and Jerusalem as the center of the Universe ( this one because of the various events the player receives detailing the lands in the west in the same way the Zheng He event comes ). OFC if this was a AAR about some kingdom in western Europe, the map would be fitting enough, though ...