• 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

Enlil

WTWSMS - Lead Designer
62 Badges
Oct 8, 2013
3.919
457
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado

it2Greek

Private
2 Badges
Feb 28, 2014
22
0
  • Crusader Kings II
It shall be posted at exactly midnight, everywhere in the world.
...
Which is when we will make our escape attempt! Quick, brother, before we are transferred (Ported to Eu4)
 

Leandor

Dominus of Dorlaen
63 Badges
Dec 5, 2013
374
260
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
Hey CzokletMuss, have you thought in editing some provinces tax base and manpower? Because, if we think about the main provinces of the Imperium in regions like Greece and Anatolia, we can find out that are very... poor. They were historically poor because the state of constant war, plagues, and people that fled to western europe. But this time is different. The empire has protected this lands with its great power, and thousands of refugees have come from the lands of Hispania, Galia and other fallen provinces of the empire. Constantinople, in EU4, has no more than 9 tax base, and even with the Restored Theme System it just rise to 14 (Paris, a land that in a crumbling europe should be no more than... a pile of bones, maybe just a minor city, will have 16 tax base (I guess, I don't remember, but it was the biggest city at the start date). Thinking in that and a lot of more factors, Greece and Anatolia should be crowded of people by this time (And Konstantinoupolis. It must be the biggest city of the world, or one of the 3 biggest, thinking that one of them could be Tenochtitlan and... Rome? (But Italy has a good tax base and manpower, do not touch it xD). So, after all this, its difficult to think that Epirus and Albany will have only 2 and 1 tax base, when probably they should be populated with christian refugees of all kind.

Oh, and another thing. Maybe you should add an university to Constantinople. I mean, in real history, a lot of knowlege fled from the libraries of the Byzantine Empire to Italy, and, thanks to a damned thing called the Corpus Iuris Civilis born the first university (Bologna). I guess that in this world the remaining european knowledge are being protected and studied in the city of Constantine, right?
 

viola

General
61 Badges
Oct 24, 2010
2.139
2.305
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Darkest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
CzokletMuss has not finished the AAR within September...
This can only mean that he's been captured by the servants of the Ruinous Powers Aztec Gods, perhaps even corrupted through their dark sorcery!
This is a crushing blow for the Imperium, one that will lead to the most dire of consequences.


A corrupt AAR writer. Loyal forumites crippled by disorder and turmoil. Renegades, Aztecs, a thread that knows only war.
Only one solution remains for the thread, a solution with which we are all too familiar...

But we are left with no other choice, and it is time that we perform our duty:

In fealty to the God-Emperor (our undying lord) and by the grace of the Golden Throne.

I declare EXTERMINATUS upon this AAR.

I hereby sign the death warrant of an entire thread, and consign a million forumites' souls to oblivion.
May Imperial justice account in all balance. The Emperor protects.

[video=youtube;h67JpMyrOVE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h67JpMyrOVE[/video]​


(:)p))​
[HR][/HR]
Hey CzokletMuss, have you thought in editing some provinces tax base and manpower? Because, if we think about the main provinces of the Imperium in regions like Greece and Anatolia, we can find out that are very... poor. They were historically poor because the state of constant war, plagues, and people that fled to western europe. But this time is different. The empire has protected this lands with its great power, and thousands of refugees have come from the lands of Hispania, Galia and other fallen provinces of the empire. Constantinople, in EU4, has no more than 9 tax base, and even with the Restored Theme System it just rise to 14 (Paris, a land that in a crumbling europe should be no more than... a pile of bones, maybe just a minor city, will have 16 tax base (I guess, I don't remember, but it was the biggest city at the start date). Thinking in that and a lot of more factors, Greece and Anatolia should be crowded of people by this time (And Konstantinoupolis. It must be the biggest city of the world, or one of the 3 biggest, thinking that one of them could be Tenochtitlan and... Rome? (But Italy has a good tax base and manpower, do not touch it xD). So, after all this, its difficult to think that Epirus and Albany will have only 2 and 1 tax base, when probably they should be populated with christian refugees of all kind.

Oh, and another thing. Maybe you should add an university to Constantinople. I mean, in real history, a lot of knowlege fled from the libraries of the Byzantine Empire to Italy, and, thanks to a damned thing called the Corpus Iuris Civilis born the first university (Bologna). I guess that in this world the remaining european knowledge are being protected and studied in the city of Constantine, right?
This would be a good idea, make some modifications to represent the differences of this timeline (but don't make Western Europe too poor either, the Aztecs have probably built their own cities and colonies by now).
 

Zqrfmb

Colonel
61 Badges
May 13, 2013
966
471
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Surviving Mars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Victoria 2
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
Constantinople should have its restored theme system BT if it's stuck at its piddly 9 without any decision to rectify that (haven't ever transferred up a roman empire to try it), but a lot of Asia Minor is 4-7 BT, which isn't very poor for how dense it is. Plus, it'd be very tedious to edit all that. As for major cities in Europe like Paris, the Imperium may believe the old cities lost and destroyed, but in reality I would bet that the Aztec colonials are probably making good use of those wealthy provinces and cities.
 

Enlil

WTWSMS - Lead Designer
62 Badges
Oct 8, 2013
3.919
457
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
In honor of your work, Enlil, Prince of Heretics and Divine Emperor of Men has dedicated his 3000th post to this illustrious AAR, may fate grant a swift release of the final chapter.
 

CzokletMuss

The Emprah
73 Badges
Apr 20, 2012
3.389
2.349
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
Salve, citizens.

I wanted to release it finally today... but since I reached 13 pages (!) and I'm still not done I guess you'll have to wait. For comparison, normal chapter takes less than 7-8 pages, so I believe it's worth waiting for :) A shame I couldn't make in September or even today (1st of October is a nice date). Oh well. At worst you should get it on the same day I was planning to release my little surprise.

I would prefer the discussion about modding save converter take place in a EU4 AAR thread when it's opened; I read all your comments and I'll respond to them as is tradition, that is after the chapter I'm working on is finished. But if you have some suggestions concerning the subtitle for "This Is Madness 2" please keep them coming!

The Angeloi protect!


 

TheAnguishedOne

Field Marshal
38 Badges
May 2, 2014
4.646
810
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
Wow, looks like the finale will be long. I can be patient for such a masterpiece. Besides, if you take till Friday, then it will be a birthday gift for me. heheh. My vote is still for Greenfire 7K.
 

scelestus13

Lt. General
32 Badges
Jan 19, 2013
1.510
63
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
the Imperium may believe the old cities lost and destroyed, but in reality I would bet that the Aztec colonials are probably making good use of those wealthy provinces and cities.
Heresy! You seem to believe the Xenoi can bring wealth to Europe!
 

McGrey

Colonel
74 Badges
Dec 7, 2012
1.029
432
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • BATTLETECH
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Crusader Kings III
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Prison Architect
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
That sounds like a really grand finale! I need popcorn!
 

Zqrfmb

Colonel
61 Badges
May 13, 2013
966
471
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Surviving Mars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Victoria 2
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
Heresy! You seem to believe the Xenoi can bring wealth to Europe!
I believe they can exploit the wealth already in Europe, and if they can survive off the vile potato and tomato, they can certainly sustain it. The only way they bring wealth into Europe is if you measure wealth in potatoes, (as opposed to the much more moral turnips) and if you do you're a Pisan.

Edit: I also vote for Greekfire 7k.
 

CzokletMuss

The Emprah
73 Badges
Apr 20, 2012
3.389
2.349
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
EPILOGUE
1444
VAE VICTIS



On 11th day of November in the year of Our Lord 1444 the illustrious Imperial Council of the Imperium Romanum have assembled to advise sacred Emperor Markos III Angelos, 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.

Subject of the 6th Imperial Council assembly:
- war with xenoi;
- report of Scrinium Barbarorum concerning: conquest of Jylland by Khanate of Lithuania;
- report of Scrinium Barbarorum concerning: war between German kaiser and Republic of Pisa;
- report of Scrinium Barbarorum concerning: death of king Bozydar of Aquitaine;
- report of agentes in rebus concerning: heretic king of Hibernia.


Present members of the Imperial Council:

- Maximos Komnenos, Magistros of Imperium Romanum and doux of thema of Armenia
- Demetrios Komnenos, Strategos and Megas Domestikos of Imperium Romanum, kouropalates protospatharios and doux of themata of Paphlagonia and Armeniakon
- Nikodemos Konstantopoulos, Sakellarios of Imperium Romanum and doux of the Imperial City of Adrianopolis
- Kallinikos Batatzes, Mystikos of Imperium Romanum and doux of thema of Achaia

with captain Jon the Norse of the Varangian Guard and strategos Ioannes of Sicilia as a guests.

Minutes made by vestes Konstantinos, eunuch of the Great Palace



DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Conquered?
IOANNES OF SICILIA: Yes, my lord megas domestikos.
: Demetrios angrily taps his fingers on the table:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Continue.
IOANNES OF SICILIA: Kyrios. When agentes in rebus brought news of the fall of castra Kairwan to domestikos Spyridon, he decided to hasten the landing operation. As soon as the army was deployed, he quickly moved to engage the xenoi.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Ignoring my direct order.
IOANNES OF SICILIA: M-my lord, I-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The xenoi are alerted to our presence. Domestikos Spyridon landed too close to their positions.
IOANNES OF SICILIA: He felt surprise was wiser-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: He is as clumsy as he is stupid.
: Demetrios angrily starts writing down something on a sheet of paper:


NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: So... what are we going to do with this? We still have reinforcements in thema of Sicilia, don't we? :looks at mystikos Kallinikos:
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: War is not something I'm well-versed in, my friend. Perhaps captain Jon would be able to answer this question.
JON THE NORSE: With all due respect kyrios, I'm not here to advise this Council.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: But the Council wants your answer – what can we do to stop the xenoi advancement in Africa?
JON THE NORSE: …
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Captain?
Captain Jon looks briefly at Demetrios who's still writing before answering:
JON THE NORSE: The filthy xenoi beasts have almost the whole coast under their control. We don't have enough men to attack them directly, especially in the mountains. Premature attack of domestikos Spyridon is unfortunate, but perhaps if we gather forces from both thema of Sicilia and eastern themata, he would be able to-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: No. : Demetrios finishes writing and seals the letter with wax seal using his signet: Domestikos Spyridon ruined our chances of destroying the main xenoi forces in Africa before more of them arrive. He has failed me for the last time. Strategos Ioannes.
IOANNES OF SICILIA: Yes, my lord.
: Demetrios hands strategos Ioannes the letter:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You'll get back to Africa as soon as possible. Once you're there, you will gather what's left of Spyridon's army and you will regroup in Sicilia. Make sure to land your troops far from Aztec spies and deploy the fleet so that nothing gets off Tunisia.
IOANNES OF SICILIA: Yes, my lord. And what about domestikos Spyr-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You will execute him for treason - his recklessness endangered the whole African campaign. You are in command now, domestikos Ioannes.
IOANNES OF SICILIA: T-thank you, my lord megas domestikos. I assure you that-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You have your orders. Leave us now.
IOANNES OF SICILIA: Kyrios.
:Visibly shaken by his unexpected promotion and orders given to him, Ioannes of Sicilia leaves the Council Chamber:



NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: What a senseless waste of human life.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Spyridon ignored my order and put the whole campaign at risk.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: Oh no, my lord megas domestikos, I'm not talking about the accursed traitor, long may he suffer. I'm more concerned about our brave soldiers led by this fool straight into xenoi trap– although I'm more familiar with the way of a coin than a sword, I imagine that the casualties are going to be staggering.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Truly it is a great tragedy when lions are led by a sheep.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: Hear, hear. Shame it has come to this.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Do you have any observations about the way this war is being waged you would wish to share with this Council, sakellarios Nikodemos Konstantinopoulos?
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: I wouldn't dare to advice those who are much more experienced in the art of war than I am, my lord megas domestikos.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Good.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: However, I have to admit that I don't really understand why we're at war with the Westerners at this very moment. Wouldn't it have been wiser to postpone the attack until the Imperial Army is ready? I mean, we sent brave Romaioi to fight and bleed alongside our Polish allies against Catholic knights and Magyars but what exactly have we gained? Surely we-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The matters concerning our military strategy should not be of your concern – as you said yourself, it's better to leave this to those experienced in war. Strong Kingdom of Poland safe from any threat is in the best interest of the Imperium.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: But surely the Westerners-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The soulless xenoi beasts killed blessed Emperor Alexios the Wise – requiem aeternam dona ei Domine.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Et lux perpetua luceat nostra Imperator.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Amen. They murdered the Emperor. They raised their hand against God's Regent on Earth. Are we supposed to sit idly while the Aztec savages commit the greatest sacrilege?
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: No, but-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: This discussion is pointless. It was decided by Autokrator Markos III Angelos - long may he reign - that the war was to be declared.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: With all due respect kyrios, but weren't you the one who argued that it would be wiser to wait?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The Emperor has decided. There is nothing more to be said about this issue. With Saint Markos blessing we will prevail and we will have our revenge. The Aztec bridgehead in northern Italia will be destroyed and their forces will be wiped out.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Please forgive me, my lord megas domestikos, but what about the reports of our agentes in rebus concerning xenoi movement near the northernmost limes?


DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: What about them?
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Do we have enough troops stationed there? If I remember correctly, only 10,000 strong forces remain in-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: It will suffice.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: But my lord, the xenoi are said to have an army twice as-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I said that it will suffice. We have strong positions and advantageous terrain plus we can quickly reinforce our soldiers with Italian themata.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: Surely the additional troops would-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I need them in Africa to salvage what Spyridon so easily destroyed. Without them we wouldn't be able to regain initiative. And if it comes to this, I'll leave the City to lead our men in Italia against xenoi personally.
: Demetrios stops talking as if he was expecting something but he's met only with silence; members of the Council avoid eye contact with him:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Hmm.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: My lord?
: Demetrios taps his fingers on the table:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: We've wasted enough time on needless bickering. Kallinikos.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Kyrios?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Present the reports of Scrinium Barbarorum to the Council.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Scrinium Barbarorum and my agentes in rebus, my lord megas domestikos.
: Demetrios gazes at him coldly:
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Ahem. With pleasure, kyrios.


KALLINIKOS BATATZES: As you know, the war between Germans and Pisans ended on 3rd October last year. Blinded by his ambition, kaiser wanted to expand his realm into lands under control of the Republic of Pisa, namely-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: We all know that.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Forgive me, megas domestikos. The war ended inconclusively with both sides weakened by the conflict. According to estimates of my people from Scrinium Barbarorum, both Germans and Pisan merchants lost at least 50,000 soldiers during the war, not to mention the losses among the peasantry and destroyed building or burned fields. Obviously the income from trade also diminished, so I think it's safe to say that at least for some time both sides pose no threat to our interests. But it get's better – my agentes in rebus tell me that mere two weeks ago, on 28th October the merchants attacked German realm. As we speak thousands of Pisans and their mercenaries are marching towards the German capital of Salzburg.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: Greed must have blinded the merchants. Why did they attack?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Irrelevant. Conclusion, mystikos.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Kyrios. I believe this may be the best time to strike either at the Republic of Pisa or the so-called German Reich. They are both exhausted and since their forces are basically equal, neither side can achieve a victory. Just like kaiser and his subjects, merchants and their sell-swords are to weak to attack the enemy's position but to strong to be decisively pushed back. The war can go on for years, slowly bleeding them out and there is no hope for a quick victory. I believe that this is a unique-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Thank you, mystikos. Next.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: With all due respect, this issue deserves to be-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I will present this matter to the Emperor. Next.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Of course... My agents brought also unexpected news concerning Hibernia.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: News from the Heretic Isles?
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Indeed. And a very pleasant ones. My lords, I believe we're about to witness the long-awaited downfall of the false bishop of Rome. Several months ago heretic king of Hibernia allegedly has introduced a new law according to which all bishops in his realm are to be appointed by him only and not by the so-called “Supreme Pontiff” of the Catholics. Mind you that this is the first time since the Great Dying and the arrival of the xenoi that one of the heretic kings has so openly rejected authority of the false bishop.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: What about Caledonia?
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: The king beyond the Hadrian's Wall is at war with Hibernia and he's still loyal to the Prince of Heretics. After all, Hibernia was created as an independent realm in a civil war not so long ago. Remember, my lords, that our knowledge about the matters of Heretic Isles is limited – we're separated from this distant lands not only by xenoi beasts but also by the Pisans and-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Enough. Whatever is going on there should not be of any concern for this Council for doesn't impact on the Imperium in the slightest. Next.
:Kallinikos looks at Demetrios visibly irritated
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: As you wish... megas domestikos. Khan of Lithuania won the war against xenoi.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: :surprised: He did?
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Oh yes. His armies completely crushed what little opposition they were met with in Jly... Jlja... Jilland.
JON THE NORSE: It's Jylland, my lord.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Thank you, these barbaric words are hard to pronounce for a Roman. One of the few independent xenoi chieftain has been destroyed and the Khanate is now in complete control of the peninsula and the isles. Growing power of the Lithuanian khan is concerning but there is more to that I'm afraid.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: Concerning? Why should we be concerned when barbaroi fight xenoi?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I assume that the supreme lord of the Aztecs wouldn't allow for his former subject to be conquered by a splinter of the Horde – unless it was in his interest.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: A keen insight into this matter, my lord megas domestikos. I fear that this is exactly what happened. Some kind of a deal between xenoi and khan had to be made.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: Westerners cooperating with the Mongols? :crosses himself: Saint Markos preserve us!
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: The consequences of such pact – if it was made – are most disturbing indeed. It's obvious that there are only three targets against which such treaty could be signed, be it the Horde, Kingdom of Poland or the Imperium itself. However, the blessing of Iesus Kristos has befallen us all – the khan has died.


KALLINIKOS BATATZES: The accursed barbarian died on 18th September, according to my agents. His death will surely plunge the whole khanate into chaos and infighting.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: Excuse me, illustrious mystikos, but what makes you so sure about this? Kingdom of Aquitaine still stands despite death of king Bozydar the Old.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Aquitaine is a Christian realm ruled by Christian kings like Bozydar the Old and now his son Boguchwal of the House Govin. This is one of the few kingdoms which survived so long despite sharing long border with the xenoi and you think that death of a king would change this? No. But Mongols are different. They are vile, primitive barbarians living in packs and tribes like feral wolfs and only the sheer power and strength of their leader can unite them. With khan Afanasiy gone the whole Lithuanian realm built by him could collapse and what's more importantly, it's doubtful that whatever pact he made with xenoi is going to bind them now.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Unless he promised something to them in exchange for help in keeping his pathetic realm together after his death.
NIKODEMOS KONSTANTOPOULOS: What could he possibly offer which Westerners already don't have?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Distraction. Just look at the map – if the Khanate attacks Kingdom of Poland while we're fighting the soulless beasts, we may not be able to help our allies. Or their attack may be just a ruse to make us spread our soldiers so that xenoi may strike where we don't expect them. : Demetrios taps his fingers on the table: This is most worrying. Coordinated attack of our enemies would be devastating. I shall present this matter to the Emperor. Thank you, mystikos.
KALLINIKOS BATATZES: Kyrios.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: This leaves us only one thing to discuss during this meeting. : Demetrios points at captain Jon: Your presence here.


JON THE NORSE: Mine, my lord megas domestikos?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Yes. What are you doing here, Varangian?
JON THE NORSE: Kyrios, I was ordered by the Emperor himself to attend to this Council meeting and-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I know why are you here, I'm asking what are you supposed to be doing here, Norse.
:Captain Jon looks straight in Demetrios' eyes:
JON THE NORSE: I'm merely following order given to me, my lord.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Which is?
JON THE NORSE: I'm afraid I can't tell you, megas domestikos. The Emperor-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The Emperor sent captain of the Varangian Guard to attend to the Council meeting – for what? So that you can tell blessed Autokrator, long may he reign, what happened here?
JON THE NORSE: I can't answer for any of these questions, kyrios.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You can't or you don't want to?
JON THE NORSE: …
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Interesting. : Demetrios taps his fingers on the table: Very interesting.
:All members of the Council seem to be confused – all but Maximos Komnenos who has a smug smile on his face:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Why are you smiling?
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: Excuse my, my lord megas domestikos. :shows his teeth: I was thinking about something else.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: No, you weren't. : Demetrios rises from his ebony chair and slowly walks to Maximos: I wonder what could have brought a smile to your face, my dear uncle. You see, when I ordered you to be arrested in this very chamber eleven years ago I hoped that I won't have to look at your face ever again. Alas, the blessed Alexios I the Wise in a great display of mercy decided to spare you. : Demetrios stops behind his uncle Maximos chair and leans over slightly: It's hard to describe my disappointment when after returning to the City from Italia yesterday I find out that you are once again sitting in this chair - a decision which I advised the Emperor not to take.
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: The blessed Autokrator of the Imperium Romanum has decided that I should be given a position-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: And yet the Emperor decided that you should be reinstituted as a member of this Council. : Demetrios starts to walk slowly toward the window: Once again, against my best judgment. So imagine my curiosity when the only person who seems to not be interested in anything we discussed and haven't said a single word today is the same person who appears to be knowledgeable about the assignment of captain Jon here. : Demetrios looks at the City: Tell me what you know.
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: You may be megas domestikos but you are not the Emperor! You can't-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: : Demetrios rapidly turns away from the window: What did you just said?
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: You have no right to-
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Most interesting... Tell me what you know. : Demetrios starts to walk slowly toward Maximos' chair gazing at him: Tell me or I'll make you tell... uncle.
:Maximos looks straight in Demetrios' eyes:
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: I'm the Head of the House Komnenos and the member of the Imperial Council. I'm not afraid of you.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Oh I know that, I can see it in your eyes. : Demetrios puts his hands on the table and leans towards his uncle leaving just a dozen or so inches between his face and face of Maximos: Believe me, I know fear - what it smells like, how does it taste. And I don't see it in you. Which makes me wonder what it could possibly be that makes a coward like you to oppose me.
:All members of the Council seem save for captain Jon seem to be nervous; Maximos Komnenos starts to sweat and shake a little:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Mmm, yes. You can feel it now, don't you? Blood pushed pulsing through your veins by a racing heart. A dizziness clouding your perception. Cold fist tightening its grip around your stomach. And every breath seems to be too shallow, like you were choking. But you're not. :Council members are visibly disturbed; Maximos looks at Demetrios with widened eyes: You are drowning, Maximos – and I'm at the bottom, waiting for you. : Demetrios smiles coldly: Now, you will tell me what you know.
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: :Maximos opens his mouth and breathes quickly:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Tell me, uncle. : Demetrios suddenly grabs Maximos' face: Tell me. Now.
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: T-the... t-the...
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Go on.
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: T-the E-em... t-the Emper-
:the double-wing door to the Council Chamber flies open loudly:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: :releases Maximos and turns toward the door furious: Who dares to disturb the Council meeting?!
:Eunuch of the Sacred Palace enters the room:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You! What is the meaning of-
EUNUCH: All hail His Imperial Majesty!

[video=youtube_share;ojlbD4p09pA]


:All members of the Council together with captain Jon quickly get up from their chairs and fall on their knees while the Emperor escorted by Varangians and eunuchs enters the Chamber:
EUNUCH: Sacred Emperor Markos III Angelos, 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!
MAXIMOS KOMNENOS: :raises his head: Y-your Majesty! Your arrival here brings immense joy to the hearts of your loyal servants. Truly, what have we done to earn such a great honor to bask in the glory of-
:Emperor rises his hand slightly and Maximos immediately becomes silent and bows even lower:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: We wish to speak with megas domestikos of our Imperial Army. Captain.
JON THE NORSE: :still kneeling: My Emperor.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Leave us.
JON THE NORSE: It will be done, Your Majesty.
:Captain rises from his knees and orders Varangians to escort members of the Council away. Everyone leaves the room except for the Emperor himself and Demetrios Komnenos kneeling before him. The double-wing door to the Chamber can be heard being closed loudly. Silence fills the room.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Demetrios Komnenos.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: What is thy bidding, my Emperor?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Rise. :Markos II Angelos sits in Demetrios ebony chair and shows the chair on his left: Sit. We have much to discuss.
: Demetrios takes his place at the table:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Your Imperial Highness, during this meeting of your Council it was decided that-
:Emperor rises his hand and Demetrios becomes silent:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I've heard a most disturbing rumor concerning your recent actions here in Konstantinoupolis. It is said that you ventured into the Forbidden Section of Bibliotheke of Great Pandidakterion – twice. The second time without my permission or order but rather during your own private investigation of some sort, looking for what is restricted to my eyes only. Is this true?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: My Emperor, I-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You may dispense with the pleasantries, Demetrios. I expect clear answer. Have you read the last chapters of “The Chronicle of the House Angelos” written by a Stoudios' monk?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Yes.
:Markos III Angelos grins:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Wonderful. :claps his hands: Captain!
:Captain Jon enters the Council Chamber and drops to one knee:
JON THE NORSE: My Emperor.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Bring it.
:Captain Jon bows and leaves the room:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Your Highness? I may explain every-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Don't, Demetrios. Not today. Today is a day of joy – I want to celebrate it, not listen to your lies.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: :confused: Lies? My Emperor, I never-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Not another word – oh look, here they are.
:Eunuchs enter the Council Chamber carrying a small encrusted chest made of wood as well as the golden tableware, among which is a tall silver pot and two silver cups. They set the table and leave without saying a word.:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Ahh. Can you feel this fine scent?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Your Majesty, I beg your forgiveness-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Silence. You will drink with me. :Markos II Angelos reaches for the silver pot and pours black liquid into his cup: Allow me.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Your Highness! I-
:Markos III Angelos pours black drink into Demetrios' cup:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Now drink.
:Markos III Angelos drinks from his cup; resigned and confused Demetrios follow in his footsteps after a moment of hesitation:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: :coughs:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Mmm. :smiles: What say you, Demetrios? Do you enjoy drink served to you by your Emperor?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Yes, Your Imperial High-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I wasn't asking when I said to skip the pleasantries.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Yes... Markos.
:Markos III Angelos grins:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: How do you like it?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: It's bitter. And sharp, hot. Very hot. :grimacing: Painful. But also... sweet.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Magnificent, isn't it? Aren't you interested what it is, Demetrios?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: What is it?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: They call it xocolatl, which means “bitter water”. A true delicacy beyond the Great Ocean. :Markos III Angelos looks with satisfaction how Demetrios turns pale: You see, the painful sensation comes from a plant called chilli – the xenoi add it to the drink to build this unique flavor.


DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: B-but this... this is heresy! Saint Markos himself ordered every Roman citizen who possesses any plant from the Far West to be punished severely. I ordered dozens to be executed for this heinous crime but this – this is not just some western plant, this is Aztec poison, the worst-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: It's not a poison, Demetrios. Or have you truly started to believe in the stories we tell?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Wh-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: It has always puzzled me how come such a towering intellect like yours be blinded by superstition. You said you have read “The Chronicle”. Why?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: To protect the Imperium from its enemies one has to be familiar with them – and there is no greater threat than heresy.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: To read tomes hidden in the Forbidden Section is heresy as well, Demetrios.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: My lord, if you find my guilty of acting against the interest of the Imperium, I shall gladly accept punishment.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Guilty? Ha! Oh Demetrios, Demetrios. :looks at his empty cup of xocolatl: If you read it than you must know why Saint Markos decided to ban exotic plants from the Far West.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: To purge the xenoi seed from the face of the earth so that it may not spread and corrupt Rom-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Wrong. To avoid another Great Plague – a necessary precaution xenoi themselves didn't think of. And they paid for it dearly.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I don't understand.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: The Plague came for them eventually. The Far West suffered from disease as much as Europe did. The Angel of Death reaped a plentiful harvest during the years of Great Dying.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: H-how could you know what happened beyond the Sea?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I asked.


EMPEROR MARKOS III: There is a prisoner in dungeons of the Palace, a former Aztec priestess of some sort. She's not a pureblood xenos however. She's suffering from some form of the Plague but her endurance is extraordinary – even the most creative tortures couldn't make her talk. So I just asked her personally. What she knows about the enemy is fascinating and it surpasses everything I've found in the books of Pandidakterion. :smiles: Isn't this telling? We spend the last two centuries killing the savages but we never bothered to learn more about them or their motivations, their culture, their gods. Instead we treat them like some kind of a divine punishment, an incomprehensible dark force which we ought to destroy, not try to understand. Do you follow me, Demetrios?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: What you say-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Is exactly what Saint Markos would've wanted us to do. To think. To use reason, not let us judgment be clouded by hate. :gets up and starts walking in the Council Chamber: Do you know why this Imperium has survived for a thousand years? Not because of the bravery of its soldiers or virtue of its emperors. Not because of its walls and ships, not because of it's riches. They were realms as powerful or as rich as the Imperium once was – and they are all gone. :looks through the window: What's the difference than?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The divine grace of Iesus Kristos and His protection-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Adaptability. Creativity. Flexibility. The ability to embrace the ever-changing world. When the West fell to barbarians we survived. When the Persians started a war spanning for generations in the end we were victorious. When the Muslims emerged from the deserts and seized our lands, we survived. The Bulgars, the Slavs, the Turks, the Latins – all powerful, all threatening and all gone. And we're still here because unlike them we adapted. We changed with this world every time. Saint Markos inherited a collapsing realm full of bickering dynatoi and surrounded by enemies, yet he managed to restore the Imperium to its former glory. When the Horde arrived, he faced them and he was victorious. When the Years Without Summer came, the Imperium survived as a state while all these Lating kingdoms fell apart. And when the Sunset Invasion began, he was able to protect his people from the western savages. During the greatest, most drastic changes which happened in Europe known to man he was able to adapt while all others failed to do so – and paid for it with their lives. It's the only reason we're here today. Which makes one ask a question: what is going to happen if we lose this ability? Hmm?
: Demetrios sits in his chair speechless with opened mouth:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: What happens when you can't adapt to the new world you're forced to live in? :grins: You die, Demetrios. And only the silent monuments of your former greatness are there to carry the memory of your people. :suddenly smile vanishes from his face superseded by determination: I will not allow this to happen.
:Markos III Angelos walks to his chair and sits:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You were a boy when Serikoi arrived at our shores. Do you remember it?


DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I... I'm afraid not. I was nine years old. I heard only rumors.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Rumors, yes. Mere shadows of truth mixed with lies, exaggeration and superstition. When admiral Zheng He arrived we didn't know he was emissary of Sinae. We feared the worst: another wave of invaders, this time from the East. The Treasure Fleet dwarfed our whole navy and it was just a small expedition sent by Emperor of Serikoi. Luckily Son of Heaven didn't want war – we exchanged gifts and the Serikoi soon departed in peace, leaving us with a terrifying knowledge that the world is a much bigger and much more dangerous place we ever dared to imagine. We learned these days that there in the Far East lies a godless realm of a titanic size ruled by a man commanding hundreds of thousands of warriors and hundreds of ships. Even my father understood this. He ordered Scrinium Barbarorum to prepare a report including all the knowledge about Sinae gathered through the ages by scholars of Pandidakterion. Do you know what happened to it?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: No.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: It was never written. Instead of facing whatever horrors may lie beyond the seas we just decided to close our eyes and ignore it – like small children fearing the dark. I wasn't surprised when I learned about this. After all, it happened during the reign of my father. Except... :smiles sadly: It wasn't the first time we learned about Serikoi.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: It wasn't?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Have you ever heard of Marco Polo?


DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I don't recall this name.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I would be surprised if you do. Treasure Fleet arrived at our shores in year 1414. But more than a hundred years before that, in the year 1301, a merchant from Imperial City of Venice arrived in the Sacred Palace to tell a tale about his journey to the Far East. Leon VII himself was listening to the story of a young Italian traveler, I read about this. Demetrios.
: Demetrios looks the Emperor in the eyes:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: My point is we knew that the Serikoi are out there. We could prepare for the contact with them – but we didn't. We've chosen comfort of ignorance, the false security of blind faith. :shakes his head: No more, Demetrios. No more. :leans back in his chair:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: …
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You're a soldier. A killer. I doubt you had much time to dedicate to learn something from the archives of the Palace.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I was protecting your Imperium, my Emperor.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Mhm. Do you know that the income from taxes is in decline for the past hundred and fifty years? And we raised them numerous times during this period.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I didn't know that.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Mhm. Do you suspect why? You should, Demetrios. :leans toward Demetrios: The answer is war. Imperial census from the past two centuries show it clearly – the population is dwindling. How many men are dying every year to protect the Imperium? How many thousands? Dead man can't take a wife. Dead man can't sire children. Dead man can't protect his family nor he can work and pay taxes. You think were these hundreds of harlots and dancers come to Konstantinoupolis from? Their husbands cadavers lie somewhere along imperial limes, killed by xenoi or Mongols – it makes no difference in the end. Every single one of your soldiers, enlisted or not, is a corpse who just doesn't know it yet – the walking dead, all of them. You think why we're forced to buy slaves from Pisans and Mongols to work in our mines?
: Demetrios looks shocked:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Don't pretend you didn't know, Demetrios. Everybody knows that. Why would we let Pisa to exist so long if we didn't need it? And we do need it, more than these greedy merchants could suspect. But if we do not change...
:Markos III Angelos points at the window:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: There is a world out there unknown to us and what we do know about it freezes the blood in one's veins. We know there is a land in the Far West inhabited for centuries by countless xenoi, all ruled by one man, all bowing before the same daemons and all united in their desire to destroy us. We know there are Serikoi in the East whose realm is vast and wealthy, their power great and their armies innumerable. We can no longer ignore that. We can't risk another Sunset Invasion – we must go out there and destroy any and all potential threats before they arrive at our limes. This is our only chance.
:Markos III Angelos clenches his fist and raises it before his face:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Exploration. Expansion. Exploitation. And, if necessary... :hits the table with his fist: Extermination. This is the only way for us to survive, Demetrios. For too long we've been desperately clinging to tradition and ancient borders, allowing barbarians to push us away while they feast on this world. I won't allow this Imperium which has stood for a thousand years to be destroyed – and this is what's going to happen if we won't do what's necessary. Drastic changes are needed. :leans back in his chair: Saint Markos understood this better than anyone. It's about time to follow in his footsteps. We're trapped in a grave dug out by our own vices. And among them...:points at the encrusted chest: The greatest of them all.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: What's in the chest?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Everything.
:Markos II Angelos gets up and walks to the chest lying at the table between him and Demetrios. He takes a key hidden somewhere within his purple silk robe and opens the chest:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Behold, Demetrios, for this is something none of the living have seen until this day.
:Markos III Angelos puts his hands into the chest:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Many are relics in Konstantinoupolis but few could rival this. :raises his hands above his head: The skull of Saint Markos.
: Demetrios immediately drops on his knees:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Saint Markos protect us!
:The skull seems to be really old; empty eye sockets look down at Demetrios kneeling before the Emperor:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: But how could it be?! Isapostolos was buried in-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I ordered to open his grave. For too long his sacred bones were hidden among those of a lesser emperors. I shall build a reliquary worthy of my ancestor so that the memory of what he did will never perish. Too much have we forgotten from his teachings. But if he was to be with us like he once did... :turns the skull to face him: He would rule the minds and hearts of man again. The mortal emperors will come and go but his reign shall be eternal just like his line will be. I shall built a throne of gold for him to sit upon, wearing the most magnificent embroidered imperial loros and a crown encrusted with jewels and gems of unmatched beauty. The greatest reliquary of all time in the greatest church ever built. What place is better suited to be his throne room and palace for eternity than Hagia Sophia here in Konstantinoupolis, the greatest city that ever was or will be? And every man who will enter the Church shall know that he is the Imperium and that Angeloi are his children and that everyone should follow them for we are God's chosen.
: Demetrios kneels before Saint Markos skull and listens in awe:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: :looking at the skull: And only sometimes I wonder... Given the choice - whether to rule a corrupt and failing Imperium or to challenge the Fates for another throw against his destiny – what would he do today?
: Demetrios looks at the Emperor in confusion:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: But does one truly have a choice? One can only match, move by move, the machinations of fate... And thus defy the tyrannous stars...
:Markos III Angelos looks at the skull in silence for a moment; he kisses it and gently puts it back in the chest:


EMPEROR MARKOS III: The truth is we're dying, Demetrios. :closes the chest: Sit. : Demetrios gets up from his knees and sits in the chair: Two hundred years of constant war. Two hundred years! :sits back in his chair: And with every year tens of thousands are being killed. Millions were never even born, unconceived children of the dead soldiers and dead citizens. And meanwhile the barbarians are mating like wild animals, multiplying like cockroaches. Every soul should be most precious to us. And what are we doing? We're murdering ourselves. How many were falsely accused of some imaginary heresy, Demetrios? Of alleged treason? How many precious books were burned? As if the burden of tradition and stench of decay weren't enough, you started the mindless purge to cleanse the Army from the stain of corruption?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I was merely following my orders.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: This is a lie and you know it. But you are right – you're not the only one to blame. It was my father who started this... madness. Every time I start to think about how many innocent, loyal Romaioi were “purged” because of the persecutions he initiated... :hits the table with his fist: What happened was to good for him.
: Demetrios looks at Emperor with cold gaze and blank expression; he suddenly sounds completely in control and there is no trace left of his nervousness or confusion:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: May he rest in peace.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You've gone too far, Demetrios. This has to end.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: We, my Emperor.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Excuse me?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: We have gone too far. Or have you forgotten what orders you were giving me? They were not that different from your father's. Some of them were quite... daring.


EMPEROR MARKOS III: What I did, I did for the good of the Imperium.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: And how convenient it is to be the one who defines what the good of the Imperium is.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: What have you said?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You didn't oppose when the fire consuming the forest burned down the trees you didn't want to see grow.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Mmm, I know this spark in your eyes, this monotone voice. No more masks, Demetrios?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I won't allow you do this.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Do what?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: To make me your scapegoat for all that happened. I did what I did because someone had to. We can't afford using half-measures. Sometimes one has to fight fire with fire. Your father understood this better than you do.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: My father was a possessed tyrant and a murderous malefactor not worthy to sit on the Throne. A heartless monster who defiled the legacy of Saint Markos and my House.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: How lucky we are that he's dead than.
EMPEROR MARKOS II: Careful, Demetrios.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: It takes a single word, my Emperor: patricide. It would be a terrible tragedy if anyone hear it though, wouldn't it?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Are you threatening me? I was the thought but you were the sword.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The sword is just a tool. Steel is pure – it's the mind which can be corrupted. I serve the Imperium with whole my soul.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Are you?
:Markos II Angelos leans toward Demetrios:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: The right hand of the two emperors. The liberator of Aegyptus. The first of the Komnenoi. Megas domestikos of the Imperial Army. You've became a powerful man, Demetrios – and power corrupts.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You are suggesting that I want the Throne for myself.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Are you surprised? History teaches that unchecked ambition could have devastating consequences. And you wouldn't be the first to try this either – haven't your ancestor Isaakios I Komnenos seized the power for himself when he got the chance? It was Saint Markos who put an end to this and today to even think about this is a blasphemy – a deed I know only too well you're capable of.
: Demetrios looks at the Emperor coldly:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: So this is why you wanted to speak with me. I'll have you know that this is something you could not do.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Oh really? And why is that so? Is it because of the position you have achieved during the years of your service? Or maybe because of how close you were to the Imperial Family – you, the man who privileged with teaching me, the heir to the Throne? You should be smarter than that, Demetrios. :smiles coldly: You of all men should remember what happened to parakoimomenos Leontios Doukas.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I remember this perfectly.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Good.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I remember also that your father ordered me to destroy his House, which I did. He also ordered me to make sure that no Roman family, dynatoi or not, would never threaten the Throne. And so I did.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Mhm, you're referring to these Athanatoi of yours. Brilliant idea, I'll give you that – orphans changed into dedicated enforcers of Emperor's will. Unquestionable loyalty, best training and equipment, fearsome appearance with all these black cloaks and horses... nameless executors of the imperial law coming for traitors at night. Impressive, I must admit this.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Theatricality and deception are powerful agents.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: For too long you and this personal tagma of yours were allowed to do as you see fit. The reign of terror has ended. It's over, Demetrios.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: It's never over. Fear ensures loyalty, fear keeps the noble Houses in line. If you try to remove it, the whole Imperium could collapse because of your delusions. : Demetrios leans toward the Emperor: And this is something I won't allow you to do.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You won't allow me?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You need me and the Athanatoi. I won't be your scapegoat. You won't remove me from the Council.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Remove from the Council? :laughs loudly: Oh Demetrios, Demetrios... Arrogance truly has blinded you. I don't want you to resign from your position, my megas domestikos, oh no. :grins: I want you dead.


: Demetrios stares at the Emperor for a while and then suddenly gets up and reaches for his sword – but there is none:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: :grins: Shame no weapons can be brought to the Council meetings, isn't it?
: Demetrios freezes:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Sit.
: Demetrios doesn't move:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I said sit – or I'll have every single Komnenos burned.
:after a short while Demetrios sits:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You need me.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I don't need you, not anymore. You were a necessary evil, a monster who fights other monsters. You got your hands dirty to keep the other pure. You were a man the Imperium needed but not the one it deserves. And now... now you've outlived your usefulness.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You won't keep the Houses in check without me.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Only because you have beaten them into submission? No. Terror is not the only way – wise ruler uses not only a stick but also a carrot. The Houses all bow before me in fear. :grins: Imagine how eager they were when I shared with them my desire to stop House Komnenos from growing too high – especially when I promised them your head.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: The Houses...? My uncle. He must be-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Maximos, just like captain of my Guard, were just a distractions. They served their role well.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I don't believe you. I would know if you made any agreement with the Houses, you couldn't have hid that from me.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Oh I could – a great deal of things can be hidden from one who travels far away. And what's a better bait for soldier than bloodshed?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: But... the war. You used the war with xenoi as a distraction?!
EMPEROR MARKOS III: How unfortunate you couldn't command the army from Konstantinoupolis. :grins: Their eagerness to help surprised me, I must say. You've killed so many of their sons and daughters, Demetrios.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I did it for the Imperium!
EMPEROR MARKOS III: And the Imperium is thankful for this.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You are a fool to trust the Houses. They will betray you, you can't-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Oh they surely will try. You see, I agreed to revive the Senate so that the Houses could have a say in matters concerning the whole Imperium – a reform which greatly pleased them.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: This is a mistake. The Houses-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: The Houses took the bait. I wonder how soon will they realize that their prize is a trap. A golden cage for my little birds... :grins: I will give them luxuries beyond their imagination and honors they desire so much and in return I will relieve them of their duties. They will all gather in the City, where they will dedicate all their energy to plot and scheme against each other, dancing like a little puppets before their master, unaware of the consequences of the transaction they just made. And the best of it all is that they will be happy they made this deal... No, the Houses won't be a concern ever again.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: So this is the price for my head.
EMPEROR MARKOS III: That was the plan. But when I learned... :stares at Demetrios steely-eyed: When I learned you were the one who arrested my mother in this very Chamber fourteen years ago... this became personal.
: Demetrios pales momentarily:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Empress Ambrosia w-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Don't say her name! You arrested her and you arrested my brother! You tortured them! You... you did this. And then you brought me to the Hippodrome.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: W-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I will never forget this day. The whole Hippodrome filled with people, the axes of Varangians shining in the sun, the flags of all the Houses fluttering on the wind... And there they were, in the middle – dozens of stakes, one by one like soldiers during a triumph... And to every one of them people were tied standing on the pile of wood. Heretics, I was told. Enemies of the Imperium. And then I saw them.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: I didn't-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: They were closest to our loge, he took care of that. He gave a sign and slaves set the wood on fire... The screams were so loud... and they sound like these were animals not people dying... I didn't want to look – but he made me. :gnashes his teeth: He made me look, Demetrios... And the stench – by God, the stench... Reek of burning flesh and hair... I can still smell it, even after all these years.
: Demetrios is completely pale:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: My Emperor... I was just following orders, your-
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You killed them.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Your father ordered me! And I killed him! For you!
EMPEROR MARKOS III: No. You did this for yourself.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: It wasn't my fault! You can't let your feelings cloud your judgment!
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You dare? :Markos II Angelos raises from his chair: YOU DARE?! I waited for this moment for years! I could kill you long ago but I didn't, for the sake of the Imperium! But now I no longer need you and neither does the Imperium. Now, Demetrios, it is time.
:Markos III Angelos takes a tiny glass bottle somewhere from under his purple silk robe and puts it on the table:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: You will drink this. Justice is balance – death for death.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: And... and if I refuse?
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Than I will take everyone you hold dear and I'll make them suffer. I will hunt down all Komnenoi and I will turn their lives into nightmare before they meet their end in flames. And then I will kill you.

:For a moment silence fills the room. Demetrios looks at the tiny bottle with no emotion on his face while Markos III Angelos gloats, his eyes widened and breath fast. After a while seeming to be an eternity Demetrios reaches for the bottle and quickly empties it. He immediately starts to cough; he falls on his chair and drops the bottle which shatters into a million pieces.

DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: :coughs:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Wise choice, my old teacher.
: Demetrios starts to bleed from his mouth and reaches for a napkin lying on the table next to his xocolatl cup:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Here, let me.
:Markos III Angelos walks to Demetrios, takes the napkin, and with a wide smile starts to wipes off the blood from his face:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Family... :coughs: my...
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Shh, it's alright now. They are safe. :grins: Thanks to you.
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Glrhg... arh..
EMPEROR MARKOS III: What are you saying, my friend?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: :coughs: Leave...
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Leave you? Oh no, I couldn't do this. :tosses the napkin away: I want to see you meeting the Angel of Death, Demetrios. Which reminds me....
:Markos III Angelos takes Demetrios' chair and slowly moves it to the window:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Konstantinoupolis, the heart of the Imperium you've devoted your life to. Magnificent, isn't it? I always loved the view. The shadows are getting longer – dusk is upon us and the night is coming. But not all light is gone – look!
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: Glrhg... Ahrr...
:Markos III Angelos points at one of the buildings:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: The palace of :megas domestikos: – your palace. Yours and your family's. Can you see it now?
: Demetrios' eyes widen in terror when he notices the smoke and flames coming from a distant palace:
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You... :coughs: you promised...
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I promised you justice. Death for death, Demetrios – and you owe me more than one life.
: Demetrios looks at Emperor with hatred:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I lost my family in flames and now you lose yours, my Varangians took care of this. The deed is done. :turns to Demetrios: I shall built a better Imperium than the one you served.
: Demetrios tries to say something but his speech is unintelligible; Emperor bends towards him:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I can't hear you, could you repeat?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: You... are yours.... :coughs: yours father... son...
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Am I? :grins: Aren't we all Angeloi?
DEMETRIOS KOMNENOS: See you.. :coughs: see you... in Hell!
: Demetrios spits with blood in Markos' face; the Emperor opens his eyes and grins:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Ah yes, Hell – eternity of torture and suffering ordered by God. A most terrible perspective. :leans toward Demetrios and whispers into his ear: I'll share with you my greatest secret, my good servant: I don't think there is a God. And if he is, He must hate us all.
:Markos III Angelos straightens up:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: I will leave you now. There are many things which require my attention. Goodbye, Demetrios.
: Dying Demetrios looks at the Emperor completely horrified while he starts walking toward the door to the Council Chamber and suddenly stops right in front of them:
EMPEROR MARKOS III: Oh, I think I should let you know: your son isn't dead. Quite the contrary actually, I'll make sure that he lives a long life. I expect him to serve me as good as you did. His fate like the fate of the Imperium is now in my hands - but don't worry, he is safe. After all... :turns to Demetrios and smiles: The Angeloi protect.




 
Last edited:
  • 1
  • 1Like
Reactions:

CzokletMuss

The Emprah
73 Badges
Apr 20, 2012
3.389
2.349
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
[size=+3]Something Ends, Something Begins[/size]


And here it is at alst, the final chapter of „This Is Madness: Story of the Crumbling Europe”. Wow. It's been almost a year since it started at the end of November 2013. Ten months, forty four updates, dozens of hours. Frankly, I didn't expect it to become so popular and in my wildest dreams I didn't expect that this AAR will one day be among the top „Crusader Kings II” AARs counting by number of comments and views, next to the legendary „In The Shadow of Certain, Painful Doom”. „This Is Madness” was not only featured in Weekly AAR Showcase (8 December 2013) but was also nominated to WritAAR of the Week (18 May 2014), CKII Q1 2014 AARland Choice Award (1 June 2014) and Best Character Writer of the Week (25 June 2014) awards. It was even noticed by the „Crusader Kings II” team itself:


And honestly, I don't think it deserves it.

I enjoyed writing this AAR immensely but when I look back at some of the first chapters, I can't help but to notice how poorly written they are comparing to the last few updates. My English skills have improved considerably during this year but it's no excuse for bad writing. I'll do my best to apply myself more in the future so that I can avoid some silly mistakes.

But it doesn't matter.

Even if I was writing perfectly, it wouldn't make a difference if it wasn't for you. I always tried to write primarily for myself because – in my opinion – one can write best if he's having fun while doing so. However, it should be obvious to everyone that even the most confident writer would eventually lose heart if what he devoted so much energy and thought to was meet only with silence. I don't consider myself to be a writer with a captail „W” but I think this rule applies to me and everyone writing AARs as well. Without your kind words, your support, your feedback and your presence I seriously doubt „This Is Madness” would ever be finished, not to mention transforming into an interactive mega campaign. In a way, this is as much my accomplishment as yours – the readers.

Thank you.

What makes every Paradox AAR unique is both its unpredictability and interactivity. You don't know what's going to happen but neither do I and, unlike in case of traditional written stories, you can directly tell me what you think about it. I think this is what really causes all AARs on this forum to be so fun and interesting to write and (hopefully) to read.

But enough of this jabbering – the story of „This Is Madness” continues and surely this is not the last time we meet, so allow me to just say thank you one more time and see you soon in another thread.

CzokletMuss[/b]




 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Attalus

Consul of Divergences
64 Badges
Jul 7, 2011
6.317
1.396
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III
Oh dear god, there are many monsters in the Imperium .... Demetrios had to be removed, for sure and I can't say I don't like the emperor and his shift towards innovation, as he said : The Angeloi protect ! ;)
 

DKM

General
54 Badges
Sep 29, 2013
2.482
509
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • King Arthur II
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • For the Motherland
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Magicka 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • War of the Roses
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings Complete
Holy Guacamole! Somehow, you managed to make a chapter darker than any you've done yet!
 

TheAnguishedOne

Field Marshal
38 Badges
May 2, 2014
4.646
810
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
I love the new Emperor. That was just incredible. An amazing conclusion to the first part. Bravo.
 

Enlil

WTWSMS - Lead Designer
62 Badges
Oct 8, 2013
3.919
457
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
I cannot even speak. I cannot. The words will not come that can describe its beauty.

The Prince of Heretics shall look forward to the next section.
 

Nikolai

Basileus Romaion
71 Badges
Jun 17, 2001
19.746
1.822
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
That. Chapter. Was. Glorious. :eek:
 

Zqrfmb

Colonel
61 Badges
May 13, 2013
966
471
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Dungeonland
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Surviving Mars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Victoria 2
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
It seems it takes a Markos to reform the empire. You nailed his traits very well. Wonderful storytelling all over, and I wish you the best of luck in EU4. May Iebbediah Kermannos always watch down on the imperium from space.
 
Last edited: