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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Nuka75

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The Yamato dynasty says hi.
For really long lived, the Bagrationi dynasty of Georgia deserves mention, as does the Hồng Bàng dynasty of Vietnam (~2500 years). I could include a few more, but only counted the millenarian ones (or really close to that).

What do I want to prove? Not all the dynasties fall 'all the time'. In fact, they can reach hundreds or thousands of years with some effort and luck.
How much longer can the Angeloi last if God is on their side (and the human player, don't forget the true mastermind)? I would be disappointed if they last less than a millennium; as the "chosen by God" under "divine protection" it's the least that you should expect. After all, the change of dynasty would make the increasingly fanatical "policies" of the Angeloi unjustified that go against what the new testament actually says anyway and as a fraud if someone else actually manages to expel the Xenoi from Europe (task that they have failed to accomplish so far).


On a more mechanical note: While I don't have EUIV and don't intend to get it any time soon, AFAIK the cultural conversion in colonial territories is incredibly easy. Won't the AI simply convert most of Europe in Aztecs after a few years?.
Indeed, but maybe the conversion in CK2 is already going forward. A look at the cultural map of Europe in CK2 would be interesting already. Remember that some dynasties overwhelmed by the Xenoi adopted already their dark Gods practice. It is only a matter of time before they loose their culture to the one of the Everhungry Flesh-eaters. In fact, the Church under the wise guidance of the Angeloi should already think of what would be done to the old europeans who fall to the dark gods (that is, If the Angeloi manage to free some territories from the Aztec rule). Are they still human or creatures without soul, like the Xenoi beasts are?
 

siempie78

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Indeed, but maybe the conversion in CK2 is already going forward. A look at the cultural map of Europe in CK2 would be interesting already. Remember that some dynasties overwhelmed by the Xenoi adopted already their dark Gods practice. It is only a matter of time before they loose their culture to the one of the Everhungry Flesh-eaters. In fact, the Church under the wise guidance of the Angeloi should already think of what would be done to the old europeans who fall to the dark gods (that is, If the Angeloi manage to free some territories from the Aztec rule). Are they still human or creatures without soul, like the Xenoi beasts are?
Perhaps, if they repent, some leniency might be shown. (A sub-Romanoi status for three generations and quasi-slave labour? It beats being burned at the stake ;p)
 

Arcangelus

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Indeed, but maybe the conversion in CK2 is already going forward. A look at the cultural map of Europe in CK2 would be interesting already
Erm... There is one already:
Good point.

As promised, I present to you the first of the several maps depicting Europe at the end of my CK2 playthrough - the culture map:

And a religious one, for good measure:
Europe in 1444:



I bet you didn't quite expect THIS, now did you? ;)
 

Enlil

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Will you post political/religious/culture maps at the beginning of the EUIV section so we can see how the conversion went?
 

CzokletMuss

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Will you post political/religious/culture maps at the beginning of the EUIV section so we can see how the conversion went?
Yes.

I'm finishing the chapter guys, a little more patience please :) It's almost 10:00 PM in Warsaw so I may miss my weekend deadline in GMT+1 - bur for those of you who are in other timezones, the chapters is still coming during Sunday.
 

CzokletMuss

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CHAPTER 35
1440-1443
WAR WITHOUT END

Alexios I Angelos the Wise, sacred Emperor of the Imperium Romanum, basileus basileon by the Grace of God, king of kings and rulers of rulers, Caesar Augustus of the Romaioi and all Men, Autokrator of the Holy Church and Protector of the Christendom, was dead.


His long reign on the Throne has ended when, just like his father before him, he was murdered by the agents of the Enemy. There was no doubt who was to be blamed for this hideous act – the vile xenoi were behind this. Their supreme leader Cacamatzin Acatl was the one who ordered the failed assassination attempt on Augustus' life on 1st October 1439, for which he paid a terrible price. Although many of the agentes in rebus died while infiltrating his enormous fortress Tecpan-Palli, the justice has been served and Cacamatzin was sent straight to Hell to meet the daemons whom he served all his life. But even the sight of his mutilated, eviscerated corpse wasn't enough to change mind of his son Nochehuatl Acatl.

As the new supreme lord of the xenoi beasts, he not only brutally suppressed any and all signs of discontent and soon every Aztec tlacateccatl was forced to bend the knee before their new master who above all else desired revenge. The Great Palace was being cleansed from every stain of xenoi corruption and only ashes were left of the Aztec agents, burned alive for their treason. Konstantinoupolis was not yet safe however and so Augustus left the City to make a pilgrimage to holy city of Alexandreia. There, accompanied by several tagmata and his closest and most trusted advisors, it seemed that the Emperor will be safe from any harm.

But one shall never underestimate the malice of Diabolos.

The hand of the Enemy reaches far and corrupts everything it touches. When on 19th March 1440 the Emperor was hunting in the Nile Valley the forces of Darkness struck. This time there were no xenoi assassins who would storm through the guards to attack the Augustus - brute force was substituted with something much more subtle and treacherous. While Alexios I Angelos was inspecting a new hunting eagle, the imperial falconer suddenly attacked him. Megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos, who alone was with the Emperor at this moment, swiftly killed the traitor in one clean cut of his sword – but the poisoned obsidian blade managed to reach Alexios' heart. By the time the Varangians arrived with imperial physicians it was already too late – the Emperor gave up the ghost, dying in arms of his most loyal servant.

The feathers and claws of imperial aquila were stained with blood of Angeloi.


Alexios the Wise was dead but the Throne could not remain empty. His son and heir became the new Emperor - porphyrogennetos Markos Angelos, Third of His Name. For the first time since the rule of Saint Markos himself the Caesar Augustus of the Romaioi and all Men was to bear this sacred name – and it was not chosen accidentally. When Saint Markos was born, his father decided to name him after one of the greatest Emperors in history - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus.

Although pagan, he was without a doubt blessed with the most noble spirit among the Five Good Emperors. He spent decades protecting the Imperium from Parthians, Persians and Germanic tribes. Despite earthquakes, droughts, famine, terrible Plague of Galen and other calamities which have befallen on the Imperium, he carried his duties as the Emperor unfazed, determined to work tirelessly for the betterment of his people. Although he cherished peace above all and proved to be skilled administrator, revaluing the denarius and reforming the legal system, he was forced to spent almost all his rule as a general and soldier, defending the imperial limes from barbarians. His noble spirit had to face one harsh trial after another and even his children weren't spared from this fate, for although he fathered thirteen of them, only one son and four daughters were to outlive him.

But Marcus Aurelius didn't allow this to become an obstacle in fulfilling his duties. Finding solace in philosophy he wrote Te eis heauton or Meditations, one of the greatest achievements of ancient ethics and a literary monument to a government of service and duty. Even devoid of Light of Iesus Kristos, Marcus Aurelius above all – as scholars teach us - gave proof of his learning not by mere words but by his blameless character and temperate way of life. Truly he was one of the Virtuous Pagans, the noblest of all men who by the force of character has achieved goodness for its own sake and not for any reward and never betrayed what he believed in – a true exemplar for every Emperor after him. With his death the Pax Romana came to an end and the Age of Decline has began.

During the centuries which passed between his death and enthronement of Saint Markos there were maybe a couple of Emperors who achieved similar excellence in an art of government and none has surpassed him – save for Saint Markos himself. And now, almost 200 years after his death, his descendant became the Emperor and was to rule the Imperium under the same name as the venerated Isapostolos. Once again Markos was to lead and protect the Romaioi from the forces of Darkness and xenoi corruption.

The wheel of history has come full circle.


Many perceived the events surrounding enthronement of Markos III Angelos as ominous. For the first time in decades Romaioi managed to kill the leader of the savages from the Far West and, alas, the xenoi retaliated with full force. Their vast domain was stronger than ever before and even the death of their lord Cacamatzin didn't change this. And although many were focusing on the symbolism of the ascension of second Markos Angelos to the Throne, the shadows casted by the Enemy were deep.

The Imperium was badly bloodied after the recent wars against the mugahidun led by Timur's son. The Horde was once again united and it was only a matter of time before the Mongol hordes would be unleashed upon the Imperium. The Romaioi were surrounded by enemies and only Christian Kings could answer the call to arms – but they too were weakened. Schemes of the nobility, uprisings of Catholic heretics and spreading cults of the Dark Gods were eroding their rule and after loosing tens of thousands of soldiers fighting alongside the Imperium against the power of Timurids, both the Kingdom of Aquitaine and Kingdom of Poland were more likely to ask for help than to deliver it.

Especially important for the Imperium was the fate of the Kingdom of Poland. The only remaining true ally of the Romaioi, the Polish realm was suffering from constant raids, be it performed by xenoi, Lithuanian slavers or Mongol bands. If the Kingdom was to fall, the Aztec savages could venture into the East unopposed, consuming Khanate of Lithuania and perhaps even the whole Horde – and then there may not be a force in the world which could stop them.

Both king Jacek the Great and blessed Augustus Alexios understood this well. That's why the Last Alliance was sealed with blood – Polish princess Magdalena became wife of Markos Angelos and in return porphyrogenetissa Zoe Angelos was to marry prince Szczesny, heir to the Polish crown. Binded closely by the holy ties of marriage, the Imperium and Kingdom of Poland were all that stood between the Christendom and innumerable slaves of the Dark Powers.

And even the smallest of the rabid savage beasts was not to be underestimated.


On 17th May 1440 Arpad Drugeth, khan of Hungary, was celebrating – he was victorious. The false Christian Aguchu Koshki, one of the few remaining independent Mongol war-lords, was defeated and more than a half of his lands became part of the growing Hungarian khanate. His desperate pleas for help were met only with silence, his envoys to Konstantinoupolis executed by Augustus Alexios, who saw through his ruse. For Aguchu Koshki was not a Christian – he was a Mongol barbarian, more than happy to manipulate the Throne so that the soldiers of the Imperial Army would bleed to protect him and his “Christian” subjects from their fate.

His lies didn't help him though: the Imperium had no interest in helping this small war-lord. Quite the contrary – growing khanate of Hungary was to become a buffer between the Imperium and the Horde. Surely khagan Temuge would rather subjugate his former subject before attacking Romaioi – demise of Aguchu Koshki could only bought more time for the Imperium to prepare for the inevitable.

Polish king envisioned a different fate for the barbarians however.


On 3rd November 1440 king Jacek the Great declared holy war against the Hungarians. Emperor Markos III was livid, for he wasn't consulted about this by his father-in-law. Having buried his father and completed the purge of the xenoi agents within the Great Palace and those closest to him with the help of megas domestikos and black tagma Athanatoi, he had different plans in mind and unexpected move of Polish king was an unnecessary distraction. In his wisdom Markos III decided to support king Jacek however – if defeated, the Kingdom of Poland could collapse in yet another pointless infighting between the nobles. One would expect king Jacek, who personally led his men in two Polish civil wars, to know better. Despite that, the Imperium answered the call to arms – the Last Alliance had to continue for the sake of whole Christendom.

Soon after several themata were sent north to help Polish knights destroy armies of the Hungarian khanate, a disturbing news reached the City – son of Timur invaded the Horde.



Yedi, son of Menggei son of Timur, died on 1st October 1440. Death of his heir meant that after khagan Menggei it was small Oronartai, son of Yedi, who was to become the leader of all Shia tribes. It was obvious that in such case the power of Timurids would crumble and the whole realm would be consumed by a long war between the various mugahidun factions supporting claimants of their chosing, for the barbarians respected only power. Little boy, as the history has proved, wasn't fit to rule over the Mongol tribes and it was only a matter of time before young Oronartai would be killed – especially concerning that there was a powerful claimant to the title of khagan.

Bilge was the last of Timur's sons to still be alive. Being imprisoned by Menggei for more than twenty years, he was said to remain healthy and strong – and unlike his brother, Bilge was blessed with a towering intellect. Who can imagine the horrors man of his capabilities could unleash upon the good Christians if he was one day to become the khagan? It was in best interest of the Imperium and Menggei to get rid of him once and for all. However, ruthless khagan didn't want to kill his own brother – he knew that Timur's blood is the only thing which could ensure loyalty to small Oronartai when he was gone. Thus he decided to banish Bilge from the realm – he was to wander the endless steppes of the East for the rest of his life.

His lone journey through the wasteland didn't last for long however. He was quickly found by Mongol band loyal to the Horde and brought to khagan Temuge himself. Menggei was furious – his own brother, blood of his blood, was to be used by the Tengri-worshipping Horde as a tool to eliminate the Shia tribes and thus secure the Horde's rule over the steppes forever. He decided to correct his own mistake, this time without mercy clouding his judgement.

And so on 16th November the same mugahidun who successfully defended the Khiva from the worshippers of Tengri were marching to once again clash with the endless armies of the Horde.

Month later Emperor Markos III Angelos declared war against the hated xenoi.


As it turned out, not all of the Aztec war-chiefs remained loyal to their new master. Few of them disobeyed the orders from Tecpan-Palli and Nochehuatl had no other option but to destroy them, for all xenoi despise and hate weakness. This combined with several uprisings and rebellions gave the Imperium a chance to reclaim its ancient lands and to have the righteous revenge for the blood of the Angeloi spilled by Aztec blade.

A quick and brilliant campaign in northern Italia by the tagmata and auxilia led by megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos himself saw a complete victory of the Romaioi – by the end of April 1441 the whole Aquileia was controlled by the Imperium once more. But it was only the beginning: soon the xenoi armies started to flood through the imperial limes. Emperor Markos III in his wisdom decided that the themata still fighting the forces of the khanate were much more needed in Italia. He ordered to sent envoys to king Jacek to ask him to fulfill his obligations as an ally and together with themata send an army to fight the western savages.

The message never reached the Polish king.


Jacek the Great died on 1st May 1441 while leading his knights in Hungary. His unexpected death left the Kingdom vulnerable.

The Polish nobility was much more powerful than Roman aristoi or even dynatoi, every powerful lord ruling his own fiefdom like a king – a necessity when a local forces have to hold their ground against Mongol or xenoi raiders. The weakness of the Crown was the strength of the nobles and every king had to rely to a great degree on the noble Houses – without their support, he could face an open rebellion. The Polish people were pride and stubborn and held their traditional freedoms and privileges in great esteem.

It takes a skilled ruler to unite them, one who can combine fairness and justice with the harsh realities of the world we live in. King Jacek the Great was one of these men – honorable and kind but when necessary determined to achieve his goal. Now when the Crown has passed to his son, the trust of Polish nobles had to be earned again, an uneasy task even for an experienced ruler – and king Szczesny Spis was just seventeen years old. On the stability of his rule depended the fate of the Alliance between the Imperium and Kingdom of Poland, perhaps even the fate of the Kingdom itself.

The Emperor Markos III knew what had to be done.




It was divine providence which made porphyrogenetissa Zoe Angelos to reach age of sixteen on 11th May 1441, mere ten days after the death of king Jacek. Being of legal age, porphyrogenetissa was able to finally marry king Szczesny to whom she was betrothed almost all her life. Emperor's sister received the best possible education and shared with her brother a sharp mind. Well versed in the art of diplomacy and wise above her age, she reminded many of basilissa Martha Angelos – truly there could be better wife a Christian King could dream of.

And so on 29th May 1441 in sacred Hagia Sophia porphyrogenetissa Zoe married king Szczesny, thus bringing Great House Angelos and House Spis even closer.


Combined forces of Imperial Army and Polish knights managed to almost completely wipe out the xenoi armies gathered nearby Aquileia during the battle of Graz on 29th May 1441. Nochehuatl, securing his position by spilling the blood of his unloyal servant, sent one of his most trusted slaves to push the Romaioi from the northern Italia. Hazarasp Anushirvanzade was a cruel but skilled warrior, with great experience in fighting in mountainous terrain. Despite being worshipper of false god Allah, after he was wronged by the khagan Menggei he decided to turn to the xenoi, sacrificing his freedom for the possibility to satisfy his lust for blood. His defeat marked his demise however, for Nochehuatl didn't tolerate failures – the treacherous Persian was sacrificed to the Dark Gods on the Aztec altar, far away from his homeland. Such is the fate of all those who are corrupted by xenoi influence and only Light of Iesus Kristos and His chosen can shelter one from the Darkness.

Those who are devoid of the divine protection and benevolent guidance of the Angeloi become an easy pray for the Ruinous Powers – just like Pisans.


Collaborating with xenoi filth for decades, the greed of the Pisan merchants became the cause of their downfall. Acquiring slaves, spices and other goods for their masters, trading with no hesitation with Christians and barbarians alike, the Pisans with every passing year were becoming more and more corrupted. The cults of the Dark Gods were running rampant and no man can count the hideous blasphemies committed by them, not to mention numerous betrayals committed by them against the Imperium. Merchants or mercenaries, one by one Pisans were being consumed by their vices, be it lust, pride, ambition and above all else greed.

It was only fitting that they were to be punished for their transgressions.

On 7th June 1441 Alighiero di Orange, former vassal of the Republic who claimed to be rightfully elected as German kaiser, once again declared war against his former masters. Once again Pisans and Germans were to fight in a bloody conflict - a clear sign of divine intervention, for whoever was to lose the war, the Imperium would win. The mere sight of armies consisting of heretics, cultists and traitors marching against each other fills a heart of loyal Roman citizen with joy.


Soon after the victory of combined Roman and Polish forces over the western savages the allied armies could once again focus on the war with the Hungarian khanate and just a few months later on 3rd November 1441 khan Arpad was forced to surrender. King Szczesny has won the war started by his father, which together with marriage with porphyrogenetissa Zoe greatly strengthened his position. Having finally ended the unnecessary war, emperor Markos III Angelos expected him to concentrate all his efforts on fighting the xenoi alongside the Imperial Army.

But young king Szczesny has planned something completely different.

On 28th May 1442 he unexpectedly announced yet another campaign which was not agreed upon with the Emperor, but this time not against the Mongol barbarians – king Szczesny declared war against the heretic Teutonic Knights. Unlike their vile Templar brethren, the Teutonic Knights didn't manage to carve out their own petty kingdom from collapsing realm of German kaiser; unlike Knights of Calatrava they didn't actively participate in the fight against the true Christians. When the world around them was being consumed by chaos, the Teutonic Knights remained hidden, using what little influence they had left to gather resources and man in their monasteries-fortresses. There, separated from the madness of the world falling into pieces around them, they continued to practice their blasphemous Catholic heresy.

But the world has changed greatly in the last 200 years and there was no safe heaven on this earth which could protect one from xenoi threat. Slowly pushed away from Aztec domain, the Teutonic Knights were dying out, their numbers dwindling and in 1441 only one of their monastery-fortress was still standing – Heinrichau. After two centuries of ruthless conquest this last stronghold was all that was left of their heresy. Save for the heretics from the British Isles, these pathetic remnants of the Teutonic Order were probably the last Catholics alive – and finally they were to meet their fate like so many before them.

Emperor Markos III, although reluctant, agreed to help his brother-in-law accomplish this pious deed. But while the themata were marching north to once again answer the call from Kingdom of Poland, the Enemy was ready to turn his full attention to the Imperium.




Nochehuatl not only removed all opposition to his rule but in an unprecedented move declared himself the “Emperor of Hispania” on 15th September 1442. The peninsula was an arena of frequent uprisings and revolts, always drowned in blood of those rising against their Aztec masters. The old kingdoms were ashes, Aragon among them. By declaring himself the “Emperor” of this desolated land dotted with ruins, Nochehuatl probably wanted to emphasize that he will be watching his “Hispania” closely and with great interest.

But who can see through xenoi machinations? Even the eunuchs of the Scrinium Barbarorum were puzzled by this decision. Some of the imperial agentes in rebus were bringing unnerving reports. There were rumors, they said, whispers in the Aztec domain about some kind of a conflict across the Great Sea. This coup, rebellion or maybe even civil war was said to make Nochehuatl issue this unexpected declaration – something which nobody in an unbroken chain of his ancestors and supreme lords of the xenoi has done. These rumors couldn't be verified however, for whatever lies in the Far West is shrouded in mystery.

Whatever was the true cause of this unexplainable decision, it was obvious that after wiping out all who dared to oppose him Nochehuatl Acatl was now ready to concentrate on the war with the Imperium. Only mere months needed to move the innumerable xenoi armies to the East were separating the Imperial Army from facing the full might of the Enemy.

Time was of the essence.




The Teutonic Knights, despite being hopelessly outnumbered, decided to meet the combined Polish and Roman army in the field on 24th December 1442. There was no hope for victory, no ally to answer to their call, no friend to help them – only soul-crushing certainty of a painful death and eternal torture in Hell, for such is the fate of all heretics. Despite all of this, Catholics decided that they want to die with swords in their hands, a futile attempt to regain some dignity after decades spent behind the walls of their fortresses. Teutons wanted a warriors' death – and Christian soldiers were happy to deliver.

All of them were massacred on the fields of Heinrichau.

Not a single knight survived the battle. Hochmeister Viktor was spared the honorable death – he was executed personally by megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos. He was the last Teutonic Knight and with his death the plague of Catholic heresy was removed from Europe once and for all. What little was left of the heretics was contained to British Isles, were they desperately clinged to their blasphemies facing almost certain annihilation from the hands of xenoi. The war ended on 12th February 1443 - truly the faithful were triumphant on this day and another leap was made to finally end the schism. Iesus Kristos blessing was with His soldiers while the filth was removed from His Church, for as it is written in the Holy Bible: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire”.

And so the corpses of heretics were burned to remove their stain from this world.


Still, the flames of war were just being ignited and many, many more were to be consumed by them. While tagmata led by megas domestikos were on their way from Heinrichau after victorious battle, the Enemy attacked. Imperial themata and auxilia left in northern Italia were a formidable force and it seemed that they can easily destroy the less numerous xenoi forces.

It was a trap.

The small Aztec forces were just a bait and after the battle in the mountain passages of Sacile began, the xenoi reinforcements out of nowhere joined the battle. It was a complete disaster – more than 35,000 Romaioi were ruthlessly slaughtered in the ambush. Megas domestikos Demetrios Komnenos sent orders to cease any offensive until he arrives with reinforcements. But the messenger must have been captured by Aztec scouts because the orders never reached themata

According to the later conducted investigation, doux Andronikos was eager to rehabilitate himself afer the disastrous battle of Sacile and he also feared that he could be deemed traitor due to his heavy-handed tactics. Most of the experienced officers of the Imperial Army were either dead or wounded and unable to serve in the field after the recent wars against the Timurids and purges conducted within the officer corps. Likewise, the battle-hardened veterans after the disastrous invasion of Aegyptus were substituted with inexperienced and badly trained soldiers from a compulsory enlistment brave Romaioi citizens whose great piety and dedication was more than enough to compensate for the lack of experience.

In the end, doux Andronikos once again fell victim to the xenoi ruse – more than 30,000 soldiers were butchered on the fields Pettau on 17th April 1443. This battle was nothing more than a senseless waste of Roman life which could've easily been avoided but a small obstacle on the road to victory – the blood of the martyrs is washing the unclean from impurity. The Romaioi fighting in the Imperial Army are paying a heavy price with their own blood to keep all of us safe. No means are unjustified in the struggle against the forces of Diabolos, no sacrifice to big to ensure the survival of the Imperium. Many are the dangers brought by the Darkness – one has to stay always vigil in face of the xenoi threat, the Mongol raiders, the blasphemous cultists, the heretics and traitors. Only the Light of Iesus Kristos and His venerated servant Saint Markos keep the daemons dwelling in the dark at bay.

Only the Angeloi protect.

 
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CzokletMuss

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And since I failed to relase both chapters during the weekend :)sigh:), a little bonus:



Next chapter coming out tomorrow (I hope) and after that - the grand finale!
 
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KaiserWilhelmI

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I love how Mali is completely indifferent about everything that is happening, their border with the Xenoi must be like the border between North- and South Korea.
 

scelestus13

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I love how Mali is completely indifferent about everything that is happening, their border with the Xenoi must be like the border between North- and South Korea.
I just glanced at the map. Wow, Mali really is just chilling down in west africa while the world burns. Must be nice to be them.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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How is Mali, Scotland, and Ireland still alive? It seriously baffles me. The only I could even begin to think for Scotland and Ireland is if the two aid each other. As for Mali... I got nothing.
 

DKM

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"GASP" The Angeloi have acknowledged the German Kaiser Pretenders as true ROMAN EMPEROR'S! HELP!!!! The Xenoi have used their Demon tricks to befuddle the Emperor's mind!
 

Specialist290

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Damn, I actually felt really bad for the Teutons. I know they are heretics but surely such valiant warriors fighting for a hopeless cause could find refuge in the Imperium? After all, are you not in the same position as they are? :p
Bah! Had they truly been worthy of deliverance, they would have repented of their heresy and thrown themselves before the mercy of the wise and just Angeloi. Do not confuse the desperation of those who have hardened their hearts against the truth with the righteous and selfless valor that inflames the heart of every true Roman soldier.

But seriously, CzokletMuss, nice to see a new update as we enter the home stretch of the first part of this AAR. Let's hope those initial defeats are quickly reversed, and that the xenoi can be battered back beyond the Basilea's borders once again.
 

CzokletMuss

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When I read that article, I said to myself " CzookletMuss must have taken inspiration of that for St Markos :D "
But well if you didn't read it it makes your story even more awesome
Well, thank you very much. It's a shame I didn't stumble upon this earlier but I'll be the first to admit that I'm not that original - this AAR is dotted with pop-culture references and even though it's build on IMHO pretty decent foundation of knowledge about Byzantium, it surely isn't completely unique. One doesn't have to look far to see that this is true :) Although in case of Warhammer 40k it's more of a similiarity of the setting than pure inspiration - after all, I started this AAR precisely because I realized how grimdark Europe has become.
Dear CzokletMuss,
This AAR is very much like Qarth. The gothic almost 40k style is really awesome. Now, go home and get us the next chapter. St. Markos demands it!
Sincerely,
a fan.
PS- death to the xenoi!
You are too kind, citizen - but I thank you in the name of the Emperor, long may he reign. Death to xenoi scum!

CzokletMuss, I was afraid. Very afraid of what I was living, specially after reading this AAR. The year is 1256 of our lord, and Basilea Rhomaion is under the orders of the glorious Palailogos dynasty. I had luck and a lot of the lost territory has returned to roman hands...


But when the aztec menace arrived to european shores the foundations of Hagia Sophia trembled. This was the first time I faced the mighty power of the Sunset Invasion.

(...)

Yep. I was afraid of having a Crumbling Europe for myself. Luckily the miracles happened. I want to thank you again, but this time because you made me imagine all these stories when I play CK2, making it a lot more fun.

This is a little gift for you, and excuse my errors. I told you before, I'm not a native english speaker, but I guess you will get the point. And I should have taken more screenshot, but I had this idea after that amazing victory at Tangiers. I hope you like it. I'm waiting for the next chapter!

PS: By the way, it was Ironman + PB & VIET events. Amazing game I'm playing right now. And yes, I'm catholic, but the pope is my b*tch, which is more fun than Orthodox Byzantine Empire, hahaha.
Truly a glorious tale, worthy of recognition in the history archives of the Great Pandidakterion. I'm honored that the story of the Angelid Imperium may inspire brave Christians in all dimensions to fight against the savages. It's clear that the victorious battle of Tangiers turned the tide of the invasion - a chance which the Imperium never got. In 1256 in your timeline Basileia Romaion was probably more powerful than the Imperium in 1443 - I envy you that you had the opportunity to repel the xenoi[/]i. If only House Doukas didn't let the Imperium decay perhaps Saint Markos would have accomplished even more... I salute your basilissa even though she is a filthy heretic - may Konstantia and her offspring guard the Romans from all evil!

Your English is alright - I myself make a lot of silly mistakes but it's not that important in the end. It really makes me happy that you found some inspiration here, not only because role-playing CK2 is really a lot of fun but also because it was one of the AARs on this forum which inspired me to buy "Crusader Kings II" and to start writing. So remember, if you have fun with your game and story you can always share it on the forum - perhaps there will be more people who would find it interesting? ;)

Take care and may Saint Markos protect you!

Oh mighty Emperor,

The Empire lays out very clear guidelines on the dealings with non-Christians, but I wonder if that leaves us a problem. You see it's the Jews. While they might be foolish, and borderline heretical for following the outdated words of our lord, their service is invaluable to the Imperium. So what do we do my liege?
Expel them !
But wouldn't that enrich Pisa ? ( where in the world would they go ? :p )
Pisa seems to be the best of a hell of a lot of bad choices for them :(
אתם אולי חושבים שאנחנו חלשים, אבל אנחנו נילחם! נילחם למען החופש שלנו, למען הבית שלנו, למען האמונה שלנו!
(You may think us weak, but we will fight! Fight for our freedom, for our home, for our faith!)
Those of the Jews who remain loyal to the Throne and prove themselves useful have nothing to fear - if they convert to the True Faith. The rest of them however... There aren't many of them left in Europe but one should never forget that they were the ones who killed Our Lord. They are guilty of deicide - the greatest possible sin. Great is the love and mercy of Iesus Kristos but it's a duty of every good Christian to keep in mind what their fathers have done. The Jews are not to be trusted. They are destined to be fugitives and wanderers upon the earth until the Second Coming of Our Lord and the End of the World. Then, on the Day of Judgment, their fate shall be decided by God.

BTW I continue to be amazed every time some not-so-common language pops out in this thread - just how well educated are you guys? :) Truly paradoxplaza forum is a unique place

"Imperial_Palace_Terra2.jpg"
I swear, the moment the Tau turn up, I'm defecting. Or are the Aztecs an early version of the Tau???

View attachment 114883
The gods of aztec approach!
Who knows what secrets are hidden in the Far West? One can only pray that the Dark Powers to which all xenoi are slaves will be defeated by servants of Kristos. Although if they turn out to be C'tan... this story may take an unexpected turn. For worse.

After a while of absence, due to a lot of work, I can't refrain my pleasure to come back to this AAR. I pray now daily to Saint Markos and the army of Saints Martyrs that surround him like a heavenly swarm of angels. I especially pray to Saint Zenebios, eaten alive by xenoi's slaves when he refused to deny Iesus Kristos (on this icon you can see Pisans mercenaries, corrupted by Aztec gold, practicing dark arts of Xenoi an holy Zenebios, cutting him and eating him alive) :



For there are many martyrs born on the ashes of defeat brought forth by the treason of Leontios and Ioannes (curses on their name).

May Saint Markos protect the empire and everything that is pure and good on this scorched earth.

Death to the swarm ! Death to Xenoi !
The terrible fate of Saint Zenobios shall never be forgotten. The Pisans have many crimes to answer for and I can promise you this, citizen - one day the Imperium shall have its revenge!

Swarm? That's something new :)

I wonder if this will continue into Victoria II. It would be interesting to see the exploits of the Angeloi and "friends" into the XXth Century.
What makes you think that they will remain in the throne for so long. Dynasties rise and fall all the time...
Bah! The Angeloi are the eternal rulers of the throne of the Roman Empire!
Seems strange coming from you ....
Are you trying to be freed from the Athanathoi ?
The Yamato dynasty says hi.
For really long lived, the Bagrationi dynasty of Georgia deserves mention, as does the Hồng Bàng dynasty of Vietnam (~2500 years). I could include a few more, but only counted the millenarian ones (or really close to that).

What do I want to prove? Not all the dynasties fall 'all the time'. In fact, they can reach hundreds or thousands of years with some effort and luck.
How much longer can the Angeloi last if God is on their side (and the human player, don't forget the true mastermind)? I would be disappointed if they last less than a millennium; as the "chosen by God" under "divine protection" it's the least that you should expect. After all, the change of dynasty would make the increasingly fanatical "policies" of the Angeloi unjustified that go against what the new testament actually says anyway and as a fraud if someone else actually manages to expel the Xenoi from Europe (task that they have failed to accomplish so far).
I was thinking of European dynasties, because not many stood the test of time. (I of course give credit to the Bagrationi's, I first learned of them when studying about Prince Pyotr Bagration, hero of the Napoleonic wars.)
Asian dynasties are really different than European, like in Japan, where the Emperor descends from the line of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, and therefore cannot be replaced by any other family. But in Japan they had the Shoguns, who were kind of monarchs in their own right. (In fact one Chinese Emperor once sent a letter to the Shogun, addressing him as "King of Japan")
Finally the Vietnamese Hồng Bàng dynasty, most things we know about them are based on archaeological findings and legends, which may not be entirely true.
Don't forget that we do have the Capetians of France, who lasted for 800 years from Hugh Capet all the way up to the French Revolution in an almost-unbroken line (depending on whether you count Henry V and VI of England). The main line did die off a couple of times, but pretty much all of them were male-line descendants of ol' Hugh himself.
Rurikids with their run from 862 to 1610 aren't bad, bonus points for surviving Mongol invasion.
It would be great if I can convert to Victoria II but a lot can change before the EU4 part is completed - I don't even know whether my exported save will be compatible with "Art of War", not to mention whatever version of the unofficial EU4->V2 converter will be there in 6-9 months (?).

Concerning the Angeloi - putting the story aside, I'll do whatever I can to keep them on the Throne, in which the custom NI of the Imperium, decisions from Purple Phoenix Arise and royal marragies should help immensely. HOWEVER, the great thing about all AARs is that they aren't predictable - who knows what madness Random Number God has prepared for the Angeloi to face? If, despite all my efforts, somehow the Angeloi will be deposed (in a revolution?) I won't use the console or reload, I'll just let the story develop naturally - barring some silliness like ruler dying on 1st December, heir on 2nd December and game creating some random dynasty to take over on 3rd December.

The Great House Angelos is strong and blessed by God - may the Angeloi protect the Imperium for a thousand years! I don't know whether they'll manage to beat House Yamato or House Rurikid (unlikely considering that even with Victoria II and HOI conversion we have c. 1444-1950 -> 500 years), but I'll do whatever I can to keep the unbroken line of descendants of Saint Markos himself on the Throne.

On a more mechanical note: While I don't have EUIV and don't intend to get it any time soon, AFAIK the cultural conversion in colonial territories is incredibly easy. Won't the AI simply convert most of Europe in Aztecs after a few years?.
Indeed, but maybe the conversion in CK2 is already going forward. A look at the cultural map of Europe in CK2 would be interesting already. Remember that some dynasties overwhelmed by the Xenoi adopted already their dark Gods practice. It is only a matter of time before they loose their culture to the one of the Everhungry Flesh-eaters.
From the cultural maps, I'd say that it will be quite easy ....
Erm... There is one already:
And a religious one, for good measure.
Oh must have missed it, thx!
So, not all hope is lost given that Nahua stays still in minority. Maybe there is hope.
This is a good question, I'll have to check this. I'm not sure however how eager the AI is to convert culture in its provinces - remember that this is the better (more basetax) half of Europe we're talking about. It'll cost hundreds of DIP points to convert everyone. So far - as you can see on the cultural map - the xenoi are a minority compared to the vast number of their slaves and traitors of the Christendom. One shall never underestimate the power of the Dark Gods - their corruptive influence is disastrous and in the long run the Darkness may complete consume Europe.

But as long as the Imperium stands, there is hope.
In fact, the Church under the wise guidance of the Angeloi should already think of what would be done to the old europeans who fall to the dark gods (that is, If the Angeloi manage to free some territories from the Aztec rule). Are they still human or creatures without soul, like the Xenoi beasts are?
Perhaps, if they repent, some leniency might be shown. (A sub-Romanoi status for three generations and quasi-slave labour? It beats being burned at the stake ;p)
This is a matter for EU4 but considering the canons of the Holy Synod I think it can safely be said that:
1. Traitors of Kristos who started to worship Aztec daemons are still humans - they are traitors however and shall be dealt with accordingly.
2. The fate of their children and children of their children however, especially the offspring of the horrifying inbreeding between men and xenoi beasts, remains a mystery. Without a doubt the Holy Church will have to find answers to these questions sooner or later.
The Timurids are going to have so many revolts...
Hey, at least they won't have the terrible 1/1/1 ruler at the start of EU4! But yes, they will have big problems with stability - not that I can complain about it.
 

ekorovin

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I think by that time either any dynasty would take the name Angeloi once in power, or the Imperial ministry of Truth will proclaim that Empire was always ruled by "dynasty name here" and Angeloi never existed.
 

McGrey

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Well, it's the roman empire we're talking about so if all fails, the Angeloi can always revive the roman tradition of adoption, where the adopted is seen as equal to a blood relative. It was even done for emperors, even great ones like Trajan, Hadrian or Marcus Aurelius where adopted. Surly the one and true roman empire can always fall back on the mos maiores.