• 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

Skritdlez

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Kill them all and to comment on your earlier post i'm feeling better. I had peunomia(Don't know how to spell it) and they had to give me meds but i'm better now.
 

Enlil

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Kill them all and to comment on your earlier post i'm feeling better. I had peunomia(Don't know how to spell it) and they had to give me meds but i'm better now.
Horrah!
 

Zqrfmb

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Those little ilkhanate blotches in timurid territory, they hurt my eyes. And they'll defend that tiny blotch in arabia with a couple hundred thousand troops... quick, dispatch imperial spies to convince the khagan that those isolated ilkhanate counties should be retaken!
 
Last edited:

Gauth

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Thank you very much! :) Also please report to the nearest doux palace for interrogation for spreading lies about Emperors, umh, "condition".
Gameplay-wise, not really - but the second son of Augustus, Markos Angelos, had better stats, so...
Ehm... Erm... I was talking about the court of the emperor of xenoi, of course! We all heard what a disgusting, degraded and vicious place it is! And the so-called 'emperor' of xenoi is certainly insane - he opposes the Imperium, the embodiment of everything that is good in this world, and believes that he can be equal to the Augustus! The nerve! The blasphemy!

Concerning the new chapter - another piece of excellent work. Unfortunately, the characters change too often and there is hardly any time to get used to their personalities, but a few of them are quite memorable - there was a colourful Varangian leader a bit earlier, and Demetrios is quite interesting. Not power-hungry, not stupid, completely a product of the world he lives in... but not nice, either.

This AAR is enough of a reason to become a fan of CKII; unfortunately, I fell in love with Paradox games long time ago, after reading one excellent Russian Mazovia AAR of the original CK back in 2005.

Outstanding work! Look forward to seeing the Imperium in EUIV! This game is, arguably, even more fascinating than CKII, and I don't say such things easily.
 

CzokletMuss

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Kill them all and to comment on your earlier post i'm feeling better. I had peunomia(Don't know how to spell it) and they had to give me meds but i'm better now.
Will do; that's good to hear :)
Those little ilkhanate blotches in timurid territory, they hurt my eyes. And they'll defend that tiny blotch in arabia with a couple hundred thousand troops... quick, dispatch imperial spies to convince the khagan that those isolated ilkhanate counties should be retaken!
Yeah, this is ugly - I think if there will be no other choice I'll just mod the converted game so that Timurids have these small counties and give some basetax or gold to the Ilkhanate instead. Pretty borders are important!
Ehm... Erm... I was talking about the court of the emperor of xenoi, of course! We all heard what a disgusting, degraded and vicious place it is! And the so-called 'emperor' of xenoi is certainly insane - he opposes the Imperium, the embodiment of everything that is good in this world, and believes that he can be equal to the Augustus! The nerve! The blasphemy!
Oh, right. In that case then, death to the false emperors!
Concerning the new chapter - another piece of excellent work. Unfortunately, the characters change too often and there is hardly any time to get used to their personalities, but a few of them are quite memorable - there was a colourful Varangian leader a bit earlier, and Demetrios is quite interesting. Not power-hungry, not stupid, completely a product of the world he lives in... but not nice, either.
Yeah, I know that - there's too much going on to concentrate on the characters who are by the way rather short-lived, the shorter the higher they are in the imperial administration. I'm glad you enjoy reading about Demetrios because his character is my attempt to give, well, one of the characters some spotlight considering that we are quickly approaching EU4 which even with mods is rather devoid of memorable people. And I'm glad you remembered "a colourful Varangian" ;) Though I have to admit that by introducing this huge and ever-changing cast I wanted to point out that while people come and go, the instutitions like the Council or the Throne - or the Imperium itself - still stand.
This AAR is enough of a reason to become a fan of CKII; unfortunately, I fell in love with Paradox games long time ago, after reading one excellent Russian Mazovia AAR of the original CK back in 2005. Outstanding work! Look forward to seeing the Imperium in EUIV! This game is, arguably, even more fascinating than CKII, and I don't say such things easily.
Thank you for these very kind words! I have to admit that I REALLY hope that 1.7 patch won't break glorious Purple Phoenix Arises mod by dorimi - there's so much flavor for the Imperium there that it would be a great shame. And since he's no longer maintaining the mod, hope is all I have really.

The next chapter is coming soon, folks! Be prepared.

 

Haldan

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How soon? When is soon? What is soon? Is soon in the near future? Is soon in the distant future? Is soon love? Then what is love? Baby don't hurt me? Baby don't hurt me? No more?
 

ParrotGuy

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Great as always! :D
Also, I saw that some council members had an ambition to become another councilor- I think that you should use it in the next council meeting :)
 

CzokletMuss

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Surprise! Today starts my new project:

[size=+2]Pro Fide, Lege et Rege
-
Crash Course Commonwealth History
[/size]


Pro Fide, Lege et Rege (Latin for "For Faith, Law and King") - an 18th-century motto of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and then of Poland. It superseded the earlier Si Deus Nobiscum quis contra nos (Latin for "If God is with us, then who is against us") and was featured on a variety of buildings, military decorations and equipment. Today the slogan is used as the title of the Polish scientific journal of the Institute of Genealogy.
You can subscribe to my new AAR and find more details about it here. There's nothing to read yet because we're still waiting for 1.7 patch and "Res Publica" release but as soon as they are avaible I'll start working on the first chapter. I hope you'll like it!

I can hardly wait!
Just a little more patience please :)
How soon? When is soon? What is soon? Is soon in the near future? Is soon in the distant future? Is soon love? Then what is love? Baby don't hurt me? Baby don't hurt me? No more?
So what is right and what is wrong? :p
Great as always! :D
Also, I saw that some council members had an ambition to become another councilor- I think that you should use it in the next council meeting :)
Thanks! Good that you noticed, there are a lot of tiny details in this AAR and sometimes I wonder whether anyone notices them at all :)
 

CzokletMuss

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Subject of today's meeting: the councillors will play musical chairs for new positions.
With daggers and poison.
This is going to seem quite ridiculous but... Does the Breton Band still hold land?
They are long gone BUT the norther part of de jure Germany is still of Breton culture, so you may say their legacy lives on :p
 

Enlil

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CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 32
1433-1435
STORM AND RAIN


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

Aegyptian themata were of the utmost importance for the Imperium.


Since the day it was conquered by Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus in the year 30, the rich and fertile lands of Aegyptus was the true breadbasket of the Imperium. It's role only grew when emperor Konstantinos the Great himself, after laying foundations to Konstantinoupolis – the Greatest City that Ever Was or Will Be – ordered that part of the aegyptian grain was to be transported directly to the Queen of Cities. This duty, expanded two centuries later by Ioustinianos the Great two centuries later in his edictum, mean that every day tens of ships were arriving in harbors of the City to feed its citizens. But not only grain was transported to Konstantinoupolis – a river of gold was flowing towards the City from the delta of Nile as well, for as the most wealthy province in the Imperium, Aegyptus provided a huge percentage of income of the imperial treasure. Aegyptian grain and taxes were of vital importance and so this rich land were heavily protected by the Imperial Army. It took decades of devastating war with the accursed fire-worshipping Persians to make it possible for the third party to even think about trying to conquer Aegyptus. Alas, so it happened – Muslim invasion which began in 639 and ended in 646 saw the end of the blessed Roman reign over this territory. This disastrous catastrophe only made the Imperium even more vulnerable and with great amount of money and resources lost to the enemy, it was barely able to defend itself from Muslim fanatics. The accursed worshippers of Allah united under the banner of jihad using the same resources could now spread like a disease in whole Africa and even dared to attempt to conquer Konstantinoupolis itself during the siege which began in 674 and lasted for four years. It was not before the blessed reign of Basileus Augustus Autokrator Saint Markos II Angelos Isapostolos, Patron Saint of the Imperium Romanum, Protector of the Christendom and God's Regent on Earth, that Aegyptus was liberated from the tyranny of Islam. And although the vast territorial gains achieved during the rule of the House Angelos with Iesus Kristos guidance made aegyptian taxes and grain less important than before, it was still one of the jewels of the Imperium. To lose Aegyptus with its holy city of Alexandria to the Muslim vermin again was unthinkable – under no circumstances it could be allowed to happen, no matter the price. But perhaps even more important was its strategic location. Without Aegyptus, the access to lands of former kingdom of Abyssinia would be lost completely – all themata south of Aegyptus would be cut off from the Imperium. To make things worse, if the Shia snakes were to gain control over delta of Nile, the whole trade with Hindustan would have to pass through their hands. The consequences of this alone would be disastrous for the imperial treasury and with vast armies of fanatic ghazis of Menggei, son of Timur, joining the jihad on 5th November 1433 this possibility seemed to be disturbingly real.

Augustus understood perfectly what was at stake.


While the brave Roman soldiers were mobilized in every corner of the Imperium and dromonoi of the Imperial Navy were preparing to transport themata to the rally points, Augustus decided to ask the Senate to issue a new senatus consultum. Special war taxes were to be collected and although normally aristoi were less than enthusiastic with sharing their wealth with the imperial treasury, this time every Romaioi understood that this war required additional effort. Having in mind still fresh memories from the disastrous African campaign, senators without needless debates passed the senatus consultum which was quickly approved by Augustus on 13th November 1433. But war taxes included every citizen of the Imperium, not only the aristoi. Snd while the themata of the Imperial Army were marching for war, doiketai - tax collectors - were dispatched to render unto Emperor the things that are Emperor's. Their harsh methods of collecting the tax made them very unpopular and often – especially in themata suffering from disease, poverty or natural disasters – doiketai were killed by the enraged mob. This tragedy happened even to the sakallarios Porphyrios himself but it didn't stop the tax collectors from executing their duty. Justice was swiftly delivered to all guilty of disrespecting the imperial law – willingly or under torture, poor and rich were giving their contribution to the war in coin. Soon the coffers of the Great Palace were overflowing with gold and strategos Demetrios Komnenos was able to hire the mercenary auxilia.


The mobilization was completed by the end of the year but not without problems. Themata fighting with rebels led by despotes Kyrillos Palaiologos in Italy and those stationed in thema of Tunisia were to be transported to Aegyptus as soon as possible. The successful offensive against the traitors had to be abandoned, for the much more dangerous enemy was in the East. However, before it could be done the armies from the western provinces had to deal with a powerful German revolt. Demanding the restitution of the long-gone kingdom of Bavaria, former soldiers of the Imperial Army together with local population were a threat to be reckoned with – it was obvious that they must've been supported by the enemies of the Imperium, be it treacherous Pisans or Menggei himself. Facing not only regular soldiers from themata but also some of the elite tagmata units, the leader of the Germans known as Johann somehow managed to deliver a painful blow to the Imperial Army during battle of Gorz on 19th December 1433. It was obvious that he will be dealt with swiftly but that would require precious time during which multiple themata were stuck in northern Italy.


By the end of January 1434 first themata were deployed in Hierusalem. Mongol forces were scattered and disorganized and it was obvious that it would take time for Menggei to unite all of them under his banner – after all, most of his war-chiefs joined jihad more than a year ago on their own initiative. However, the full offensive was ill-advised – as it was decided by megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos, the Imperial Army divided into two main army groups was to engage the enemy only alongside the coast and to wait with further movements until the arrival of reinforcements from Konstantinoupolis and Italia. Soldiers from Abyssinia were meanwhile ordered to protect the southern themata by guarding the strait, so that the enemy couldn't cross the gulf of Aden and attack these most remote and isolated of imperial province.


First battles ended in decisive victory for the Imperium – both battle of Tyrus on 5th February and battle of Bevoir on 19th March 1434 saw not a single barbarian spared. What was worrying however was that according to the reports of imperial spies, more and more horse-lords were emerging from the depths of the East, leading hosts of their savage brethren with them counting sometimes tens of thousands of Mongol warriors. After finally surpressing the German revolt and after putting Johann to the sword, megas domestikos Demetrios ordered western army to be deployed in Nile delta – a perfect place to defend the coast and to ensure that the imperial forces would have tactical advantage over the enemy.


And although the scattered Mongol bands pillaging the delta were quickly get ridden of, reports were alarming. It seemed that slowly but steadily khagan Menggei was putting his subjects in order and there was not a single horse-lord who would have ignore whatever was demanding of him by the Menggei's messengers. Soon scattered bands began to organize themselves and by the end of April most of the mugahidun forces counted at least 8,000-9,000 men. Before the first fortnight of May a strong army formed in Sinai more than 35,000 strong and marched against the imperial forces deployed in Aegyptus proper.


But little did Roman strategoi leading the forces concentrated in Serapeum know that the Shia offensive on Nile delta was but a part of a coordinated offensive. Along the whole Hierusalem limes suddenly powerful Mongol hordes emerged from the EAst, threatening the themata of the Imperial Army concentrated on the coast between city of Acre and holy Antiocheia. Strategoi understood the threat but despite numerous reports from the imperial spies and demands of domestikos Stavros were completely determined not to defy the orders given to them previously by megas domestikos. Being completely loyal to the Imperium and established chain of command, they were unswerving in their resolution, for to disobey direct orders was treason and as all military officers learned the hard way during past few years, the Throne had no mercy for traitors. As soon as the news reached Cyprus from where kouropalates Demetrios Komnenos was issuing orders, he requested both armies to immediately regroup near Acre to face the invaders with their forces combined.

Alas, it was too late.



The Shia mugahidun attacked almost simultaneously – on 20th May began the battle of Serapeum and on 23rd May battle of Zweitina. When orders from megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos reached the imperial themata located near Acre, they marched to intercept Mongol horde which was believed to be ordered to join forces already fighting in Zweitina. The calls for reinforcements from Aegyptus were not answered – it would take too long before Roman soldiers from Hierusalem could reach their brothers fighting in the delta. It was not before long when various reports started to form a terrible image - kouropalates Demetrios realized that this simultaneous offensive was just a ruse. The real target was not Acre or even the Holy City of Hierusalem – it was Nile delta where khagan Menggei sent over 70,000 of his ghazis.


Battle of Serapeum ended in Roman defeat on 5th June 1434 – despite heavy losses, the Mongol assault through the swamps of the delta was successful. What little was left of Western themata were forced to retreat – with barely 16,000 men left and more than 32,000 casualties the strategoi requested once again reinforcements. Megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos, knowing what the plan of the enemy was, agreed immediately and 24,000 strong themata from Cyprus were sent to Aegyptus. In province of Hierusalem, battle of Haifa ended few days later. Despite being planned to be sacrificed to create a diversion, Mongol barbarians not only survived the battle - although suffering much heavier losses than Romaioi - but managed to force the imperial forces to retreat.


Meanwhile in Sinai, unopposed Menggei's ghazis were making gains, having already taken control over several castles. Burning cities and villages to the ground, Shia took thousands of Roman citizens as captives and sent them in chains to the East to sell them into slavery. Panic was spreading like a wild fire and soon tens of hundreds of aristoi with their families were fleeing to the coast, hoping to get on board on one of the ships and leave their lives behind them. It is said that fortunes were made during these days, for many of the captains demanded extraordinary high prices from the refugees willing to be transported by them. The poor could not hope to be rescued and soon riots were erupting in every port in Aegyptus and Syria, with hundreds killed by the enraged mob. Even those lucky enough to be wealthy had to wait sometimes for days, hoping that gold, gems and jewelry carried by them was going to satisfy the greed of merchants, sailors and fishermen. To make things worse, hordes of Mongol savages were flooding into the Imperium through the abandoned limes every day.


By the end of July the Imperial Army completely lost initiative in the war. Battle of Shirbin which ended on 29th June 1434 saw imperial forces in Aegyptus shattered. In the meantime soldiers of two now united armies in Zweitina in northern Hierusalem were trying to mount a defense against Shia scum but to no avail. Having suffered more than 86,000 man in just 9 months was a disaster and there were many who were ready to accuse megas domestikos of causing it by decimating the ranks of imperial officers during years before the jihad. Seeing the devastation brought upon the Imperial Army by barbarians, kouropalates Demetrios Komnenos ordered complete evacuation from the East – all imperial forces were to regroup on Cyprus, leaving Aegyptus and Hierusalem with virtually no protection against bloodthirsty mugahidun. It was obvious that if the war was to be won, a huge risk had to be taken.

But desperate times call for desperate measures.


At the beginning of the war, megas domestikos ordered to hire ten thousand of mercenary auxilia. But by the time the sell-swords could be deployed in the East, the Imperial Army has suffered casualties so great that even 10,000 Latins wouldn't change the fate of the war. Therefore kouropalates Demetrios Komnenos decided to ask for Emperor's permission to hire the greatest mercenary army ever to be assembled. Augustus in his great wisdom agreed and soon more than 55,000 fresh troops were ready to be send to Cyprus – but Demetrios knew it was not enough. In this desperate time, determined to not allow Aegyptus to be conquered by Shia snakes, he decided to sent any and all tagmata units to the East as well. The elite forces of the Imperium, the very best and finest soldiers and fearsome kataphraktoi – all of them were to join the struggle against the enemy. For decades more than half of tagmata were stationed near Konstantinoupolis to protect the City and the Throne from its enemies, be it rebels or barbarians – they were a formidable force which, just like the Walls of the Queen of Cities, guaranteed safety of the Emperor. Now they were leaving, embarking the same dromonoi which were used to transport themata to the eastern battlefield, leaving the protection of the whole City to Varangians alone.

The fate of jihad was now in the hands of the most mortiferous force in the Imperium.


While 20,000 of tagmata and over 55,000 mercenaries were on their way to Aegyptus, the reorganization of the imperial forces on Cyprus was still in progress. In just few weeks megas domestikos was able to restitute discipline among the soldiers. Harsh punishments and public executions of strategoi responsible for the disastrous defeats caused the morale to recover quickly. Refined in the fire of imperial justice, the forces assembled on Cyprus were soon ready for counter-offensive. Meanwhile the whole coast was in flames and during the night soldiers could see the fire of the burning villages. Menggei, son of Timur, decided not to attack the cities and castles of Hierusalem however – his whole attention was dedicated to Aegyptus which he must have already considered his prize.

Finally, in the middle of September 1434, the Imperium struck back.




Simultaneous deployment of Roman troops in Aegyptus and Hierusalem was a complete success. Mercenary auxilia effortlessly destroyed almost 10,000 strong Mongol horde on the marshes of Sais on 24th October, while giving time for the main forces and tagmata to disembark. In Hierusalem, during the battle of Acre on 1st November almost equally strong Shia army was completely wiped out – filled with righteous fury and religious zeal, themata led by domestikos Stavros wanted revenge on the barbarians. Seeing the quick progress of the Romaioi, Menggei sent most of his ghazis to the north to stop the themata while the rest of Shia mugahidun were to regain control over Nile delta.


Tens of thousands of Mongol scum who dared to enter to Aegyptus were completely destroyed by tagmata and sell-sword auxilia on the fields of Saramsah and Athribis, were on 1st December 1434 almost 19,000 barbarians were wiped out to the last of them. But where horse-lords failed the disciplined ghazis were successful. More than 60,000 best warriors from Persia, Mesopotamia and Arabia clashed with the Imperial Army during the second battle of Acre on 9th December – and this time the heathens were victorious. With over 16,000 dead Romaioi and 7,000 slained barbarians, the bloody battle ended in Roman defeat – remaining forces led by domestikos Stavros had no other choice but to retreat. And although Shia were dying by the thousands in Aegyptus, it seemed that from the eastern desert for every Mongol killed by brave Roman soldiers ten emerged to take his place. With every able-bodied man already fighting in the East and almost no reserves left, the Imperium soon found itself in a devastating war of attrition with the followers of the false Prophet - war which Romaioi could not hope to win.

And then came the news.


Khagan Menggei, son of Timur, Monster of the East, has arrived in Sinai in January 1435 – and he was not alone. At his side was riding his son and heir, Mongke Timurid, ambitious beyond his years and more than eager to show his prowess on the field of battle. With their arrival in El-Arish where huge army of Shia vermin were besieging few castles still not willing to surrender to the invaders, a beam of hope for the Imperium suddenly appeared. If Timur's son and grandson were to be killed, it would t change the fate of the war. Succession crisis and civil war would without a doubt force most of the i]mugahidun[/i] to abandon jihad – and then, with only small forces of caliph Sadiq and his subordinates left, the Imperium would easily triumph.

But Menggei Timurid was not a fool. Never letting his arrogance or overconfidence get the better of him, he made sure he was well-protected. With more than 70,000 troops in El-Arish alone and tens of thousands more in Sinai and Hierusalem he felt safe, thinking that only a madman would attack him. Even the presence of elite kataphraktoi was of no concern to him according to the imperial spies, since the mountainous terrain of Arish was the best protection against heavy cavalry a man can ask for. Knowing all this, megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos had to face a terrible dilemma. With dwindling numbers and more and more cities and castles conquered by accursed Shia every week, the Imperial Army even with tagmata and mercenary auxilia could not hope for victory. On the other hand, to attack well-entrenched enemy with excellent morale, numerical superiority and favorable terrain was to risk everything. If it was to be defeated, the strength of tagmata would be broken for a long time, perhaps even for years – and with the ever-present threat of xenoi invasion to lose the battle could seal the fate of the Imperium for the next decades. Even if the Imperial Army was to be victorious, the casualties would be staggering and it was very likely that both Menggei and his son would survive the battle – but the choice had to be made. Such a momentous decision could not be taken even by megas domestikos himself and so kouropalates Demetrios left Cyprus to arrive in Konstantinoupolis several days later. There, after few days of fasting and prayer, Augustus Alexios Angelos announced his decision to Demetrios and people of the City during a great mass in basilica of Hagia Sophia – in his wisdom, he decided to render unto God the things that are God's.

Saint Markos Isapostolos protect us.

 
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Enlil

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"Tömör khaany magtakhad! Allakh magtagtun! Yegipyet Rom unaj , ene ni bolno! Jikhadyn! Jikhadyn!" - Mongol Jihadists

I know the Empire can pull through! Egypt must not fall!
 

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Can I make a suggestion concerning formatting?

It is probably a good idea to break the text into smaller paragraphs - it is hard to read walls of text like, for example, the one at the beginning of this update.

As far as I know, the basic rule of thumb for online text formatting is to have paragraphs 3-4 sentences long, 5-6 at most. The longer they get, the less readable the text becomes.

I understand that large paragraphs probably serve imitate a ponderous historical work, but our eyes cry for mercy, sometimes literally.
 

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There, after few days of fasting and prayer, Augustus Alexios Angelos announced his decision to Demetrios and people of the City during a great mass in basilica of Hagia Sophia – in his wisdom, he decided to render unto God the things that are God's.

Saint Markos Isapostolos protect us.
Indeed. This is truly an endeavor for an... inspired ruler. A lesser mind might think it the decision of a madman.
 

Enlil

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Can I make a suggestion concerning formatting?

It is probably a good idea to break the text into smaller paragraphs - it is hard to read walls of text like, for example, the one at the beginning of this update.

As far as I know, the basic rule of thumb for online text formatting is to have paragraphs 3-4 sentences long, 5-6 at most. The longer they get, the less readable the text becomes.

I understand that large paragraphs probably serve imitate a ponderous historical work, but our eyes cry for mercy, sometimes literally.
In English, we refer to these as monoliths, not because of their size, but because they are large slabs of stone erected in coordination with astrological events in honor of pagan gods.