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Kapt Torbjorn

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Kapt Torbjorn

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Part 2 - Chapter 1 - The War of the Eagles


The death of King István struck the people of Transylvania hard, and was accentuated by the fact that his successor, Mihály, was not even born in Transylvania, and held more land in Lithuania then in the country he ruled. Mihály was loyal enough to Transylvania, but he was a foreigner, and many believed that he being crowned was an affront to the struggles that Transylvania had been through in order to bring it to greatness. The nobles were unhappy as well, as what respect would this king have for the Liberum Veto, coming from a country that did not have such a thing?

Plots began to take form. Count Néka Andechs was one of the more feverent of schemers, and set about planning for the assassination of King Mihály. He was an overly ambitious man, born into one of the richest families in Transylvania. He ruled over most of the province of Budjak with an iron fist, quelling rebellions by executing rebel family members, and collecting taxes by the tips of his men’s swords. Count Néka wanted the crown for himself, as if there had been no relative of István found, he would have been king of Transylvania. The count’s region had never seen too much trouble, which was why his governance went along smoothly. His father had been the ruler over the province of Budjak previously, when the land was still rife with nationalism, and revolts came like clockwork every few months. The area had been largely pacified by Néka’s father, and the son had inherited a juicy plot of land on the Black Sea, which he used to fund his illusions of grandeur with tournaments and other frivolities. Naturally, such things attracted guests, and he became one of the better liked members of the Transylvanian nobility, simply because his purse strings were never too tight; which was why his plot was a worrying problem for the king. If Count Néka could keep his plotting from becoming wide-spread knowledge, the king would be prevented from moving against him; as such a move would be seen as an unjust attack on a Transylvanian noble by the commoners.

IuwJB.jpg

I.Count Néka Andechs of Transylvania, 1453

King Mihály was a new king, who didn’t understand such complexities in the Transylvanian political game. He was born in Lithuania, a country whose king kept power through his strength, and political scheming was largely set aside due to the enemies that surrounded the country. Mihály decided to ignore the advice of those few nobles that stood beside him, and moved against Count Néka immediately. Assassins were sent to Néka’s fortress of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi during one of his numerous feasts, which the Count was using to gain support for his claim to the throne. The assassins failed, as one of them was caught trying to poison the food and bludgeoned to death by the head cook, and the other tripped and fell on his way to stab the count, and was arrested by the guards. He was interrogated for hours, and eventually revealed his mission to all the nobility present. Nobles who were hesitant before now pledged their support to the count, for if a king would send assassins against his own nobility for simply speaking ill words of him, what else would he be willing to do?

The plotting came to a head on December of 1453, as Count Néka, at the head of an army comprised of the house troops of nearly half of Transylvania’s nobility, and supplemented by the peasant levies of his lands, marched on the capital city of Kolozsvár. The assault was brief, as the garrison was overwhelmed from within by members of the town militia sympathetic to the count’s claims. Brother fought brother as the men loyal to the king retreated to the city’s keep. There, the Count was informed that King Mihály was preparing his troops for their last stand, so Néka ordered his men to storm the fortress and promised a full lifetime’s salary to the man that brought him the king’s head. The defenders put on a valiant display, thwarting the first two attempts to break into the keep, but the third met a group of weakened and bloodied men, who could no longer stand against the house troops of Transylvania’s nobility. The Count’s troops flooded into the keep, and one of Néka’s captains, a brute of a man named Ugrin, spotted the king on one of the keep’s walls. His men followed with him, and there they slew King Mihály…or so they thought.

VPw3f.jpg

II. The Storming of Kolozsvár Keep, December, 1454
qyjAD.png

III. The Supposed Assassination of King Mihály of Transylvania, December, 1453

The civil war should have ended there. With Mihály dead, Count Néka proclaimed himself King of Transylvania, and rewarded those that had followed him with vast quantities of land, taken from nobles that had not. Except there was a problem, and that was that King Mihály was still alive, and was off in northern Transylvanian fighting against Hungarian rebels there. The Count’s men had killed his twin brother, Lord Mátyás Plater of Lithuania. The final act was set; Count Néka held the capital, and the support of the majority of Transylvania’s nobility, but King Mihály had control of Transylvania’s army; the same army that had ripped apart the armies of every nation it had stood against, and the same army that King István had led during the crusade. Mihály knew he had to move fast, and set the army on a force march back to the capital. The army arrived in April of 1454 to see the city that still showed signs of the battle fought. The walls were spotted with catapult marks and scorches in parts, and the gate was in disrepair. The assault was ordered immediately, before Néka and his men could prepare any more extensive defenses to the city, or draw upon reinforcement from his supporters. Even still, only around half the army assaulted, the others have deserted en route to the capital, or simply refused to attack their countrymen.

The pages that detail the battle for Kolozsvár were unfortunately lost when the library was moved in 1793, aside from a single page which detailed (rather gruesomely) Count Néka’s execution by Mihály. What we do know is that King Mihály managed to force his way into the city, and cut off Count Néka’s retreat to the city’s keep. Néka ordered what was left of his men to make their last stand at the Citadel of Tarten, but the men refused, and instead laid down their arms and surrendered to the king. The king’s men stormed into the citadel and disarmed the count and his remaining loyal men, dragging them outside in front of the king. Néka’s coup for the throne had failed, but the effects of the War of the Eagles would play a centre role over the next few decades.

jkWeD.jpg

IV. The Execution of Count Néka Andechs and his noble supporters, May, 1454





I. Portrait of Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. More information can be found here.
II. Picture of the Siege of Antioch, during the First Crusade. More information can be found here.
III. Picture of the Assassination of John ‘the Fearless’, Duke of Burgundy, 1419. More information can be found here.
IV. Drawing of the Execution of Guy Fawkes. More information can be found here.
 
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Enewald

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A short but bloody civil war.
Too bad you gained nothing from the Genoans.

Where could you potentially expand?
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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A short but bloody civil war.
Too bad you gained nothing from the Genoans.

Where could you potentially expand?
Well, Serbia and Bosnia are no longer vassals of the Ottomans, so they're sitting ducks surrounded by Transylvania and its vassals. That and the Turks are still too powerful for my liking.

Once you take Besserabia from the Lithuanians, will you form Romania?
Or is the decision unavailable to Transylvania?
Unavailable to Transylvania. It's Hungarian cultured, so only Moldavia and Wallachia can form Romania.
 

JDMS

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Good work. That civil war seemed tough. :)
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Good work. That civil war seemed tough. :)

:D

And look what I found; it seems I introduced Mr Neka in a previous chapter as well:

aCUjo.jpg
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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signed up - are your long term plans to shore up the balkans or to expand into central europe?

The Balkans for now. Any real expansion into central Europe would mean fighting the Austrians, which would be very bad news indeed.
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Part 2 - Chapter 2 – Conflict in the East
This Chapter's Mood Music

There was a growing suspicion that the position of Transylvania’s king was a cursed position. Each king since Stibor had died in a most gruesome of manner. Janos Durazzo took a pike to the stomach and spilled his guts all across the plains of Erz, during battle with the Bohemians. István’s wound re-opened and he bled to death in the bed of the royal chamber, and Mihály inherited the throne, complete with a civil war. His early reign was bleak, with death and violence a frequent part of Transylvanian life during the time. A plague swept across the province of Budjak, narrowly contained within the province by Transylvanian soldiers who halted all persons exiting the region. Trade ground to a halt, as no merchants wanted to travel to the port cities to embark to other countries. Bulgarian rebels sprouted like weeds across the southern parts of the kingdom. It was a dark time.

Times such as those always seemed to give king’s more power, however. In late 1454, Mihály passed an law dictating that the king alone was the supreme commander of the military forces, mitigating the effects of the Liberum Veto somewhat (decision: Pass Militia Act). Mihály’s other policies were starting to show promise as well, where his brutal efficiency in the craft of governance shone. He was not terribly smart in managing the economy of the kingdom, but what he lacked in skill he made up for in brutality. The regions recently conquered from the Turks had been fully integrated into the Ottoman empire, and held sympathetic views towards the Turkish sultanate. They were Islamic in religion as well, though that would quickly change.

Hell bent on bringing the kingdom united under one faith, a detachment of the King’s guard arrived in Silistria and Bulgaria in December of 1454, and set about burning the mosques of Islam, and slaughtering the few Muslims that had decided to remain within Transylvania, rather than flee back to other Turkish lands. The ‘conversions’ were successful, as people accepted Christ, more through fear than through love; but such minor details were trivial to Mihály; one kingdom, united in faith!

g91Zq.jpg

The Slaughter of Bulgarian Muslims, December, 1454

King Mihály wasn’t solely concentrated on internal affairs though. In truth, the internal workings of Transylvania interested him little; his stated purpose was to expand the borders, and make the world fear the name of Transylvania. It was an ambitious goal, but he was an ambitious man. The Kingdom of Napoli to the west of Transylvania had fallen upon hard times. Their ruler had been excommunicated by his Holiness the Pope, and Napoli had found itself at war with the remainder of the Italian states, and a very powerful Castille. Mihály was largely undeterred by such things, and offered the Neapolitans an alliance, which they graciously accepted. It was a fruitless alliance, but Mihály was only interested in having the large powers of the region favourable towards Transylvania, so that he may concentrate on the heathens on his eastern border.

The conflict in the north was coming to a head. Lithuania, seeking to press its claims to the former lands of the Teutonic Order, had declared war on the Holy Roman Emperor, Bohemia, in 1453. Drawing upon the vast manpower reserves and armies that it could field, Bohemia crushed the Lithuanians repeatedly in the Battle of Vilna and the Battle of Mogilyov. Lithuania would still stubbornly refuse to sign peace with the Bohemians until mid 1459, as their main host, the Lithuanian 1st Army, was still intact and lead by their king in northern Lithuania.

0PEGb.jpg

The Bohemian Domination of Lithuania, October, 1458

At some point in early 1459, Poland entered the war against Lithuania. Naples, who was allied to Lithuania, answered the call to arms, and Transylvania found itself with a legitimate casus belli against Poland, who held only a narrow strip of land, a beaten shell compared to its former glory. The swords and axes of Transylvania were sharpened once more, and the army set out for Carpathia. Transylvania declared war against the Polish on April 24th of 1459, allies on both sides dishonouring their calls; Naples for the Transylvanian alliance, and Bohemia for the Polish side.

It is a quick war, with the force disposition incredibly one sided. Poland could field an army of around 6,000, while the Transylvanian alliance's side had a total standing force of well over 100,000. The Polish army is caught in Bessarabia and engaged by King Mihaly and the Army de Stiboricz. The Polish retreated in inglorious defeat, and were destroyed entirely near the Transylvanian capital, a scene eerily reminiscent of Transylvania’s previous war against Poland, where their 1st army was routed and hunted down like cattle.

V8Zd8.jpg

I.A Transylvanian Noble surveys the carnage after the Battle of Bessarabia, July, 1459

The Bohemians and Lithuanians finally settled for a peace in the same month that the Polish forces were destroyed. It was a crippling peace for Lithuania, as Bohemia gained the provinces of Estland, Kiev, Podlasia, and Samogita; but it would spell the downfall for Bohemia, as their reputation with the rest of Europe quickly took a nose dive, and shouts ran out to halt the beast’s expansion (Casus Belli gained: Dishonourable Scum). It was not the end of Lithuania’s troubles, however, as the Horde, smelling blood and easy conquest in the wind, moved their armies into the plump Lithuanian lands that had been ravaged by the Bohemian armies. Could the Horde triumph again, or would the Lithuanians rally to their tattered banners?

The Polish fortresses surrendered within the same week, Ruthenia falling on the 4th of October, and Krakow on the 6th. Peace was signed on the 7th, and Poland finally accepted Transylvanian overlordship.

UGZQA.png

The Treaty of Krakow, October 7th, 1459

6HPPN.jpg

II.The King of Poland kneels to his cousin, King Mihály Plater, October 24th, 1459

Poland was still technically at war with Lithuania during this time, however they were sheltered between the lands of Austria and Transylvania, who turned back any Lithuanian forces that would seek to attack the Polish capital. Very few actually tried, as every Lithuanian man or boy who could hold a sword was pressed into service against the invading Tartars.

Naples offered an alliance again to Transylvania, which was accepted by King Mihály, simply because he wanted a legitimate excuse to take on some of the Italian city states attacking Naples. Unfortunately, all of them had too long a list of allies, or were guaranteed by countries far too powerful for Transylvania to take on, such as France or Castille. There was one tiny state that was bereft of allies though, and that was Crete. Transylvania’s pitifully small navy set out, and the Transylvanian 2nd and 3rd Banatian Regiments landed on Crete in the middle of April, 1460. The Neopolitans signed peace with their enemies shortly after, agreeing to cede Modena to the Genoans. Crete fell on the 24th of September, and accepted the treaty of Budjak shortly afterwards.

PcFkn.png

The Treaty of Budjak, September 26th, 1460

le4dS.gif

The Map of Eastern Europe, September, 1460




I.Painting of the aftermath of the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. More information can be found here.
II.Painting of the Teuton’s Grandmaster paying homage to the King of Poland. More information can be found here.
 
Last edited:

JDMS

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Great work. You have a pretty solid power base now. :)
 

Enewald

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Maybe you should take Lithuanias southern holdings?
Podolia-Bessarabia?
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Next chapter is actually dealing with the after effects of the War of the Eagles (the civil war). Quite a nasty bit of business.
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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We shall have to seeeee! Tbh, the Bohemians aren't really all that strong. They occupy a lot of territory, but they only have like 2 core provinces sitting right next to Austria haha.

edit: Also if anyone finds a stretched page (horizontal) in the AAR let me know and I'll fix it. One of my pet peeves.
 
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Kapt Torbjorn

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Part 2 – Chapter 3 – Loyalty is a Rare Commodity
This Chapter's Mood Music


The War of the Eagles had technically ended in mid 1454 with the assassination of Count Néka and the members of nobility that had attacked the capital of Kolozsvár, but war had always been a fickle game, and rarely did a war ever stop when it was said to have. In the British Isles during the Age of Vikings, the countries and vassal states there would be at each other’s throats at the drop of a hat; but even after peace was signed opposing factions would still raid the other’s lands, or attack their merchant ships, or steal their cattle. It was an era of strife and constant warfare, and it was much the same in Transylvania during this time. Warfare had become such a common part of Transylvania, that mercenaries from all across Europe that would previously have traveled from conflict to conflict, selling their blades to the highest bidder, were actually buying property in Transylvania and becoming permanent residents; as why should they arduously travel across Europe, if they always inevitably ended up in Transylvania?

There was no war, during this specific time in Transylvania’s history, however, but there were battles and skirmishes none the less; only this time it was the Transylvanian nobility that found itself on the receiving end of the King’s sword. Historians endlessly argue about what the conflict should be called, some adamantly claiming that it was still a part of the War of the Eagles, stating that it was simply a continuation of that conflict. Others refuse to call it anything but the Transylvanian War of Loyalty, and still others named it The Great Nobility Purge. The name was but a minor detail, only a major concern in the modern day to students of history who have a moment of utter horror when they receive their exam and it asks questions about the Transylvanian War of Loyalty when they had only studied the War of the Eagles in their textbook. It was however a major concern to those living in Transylvania during this time, as it would be a conflict that would shake the very core of the nation, and set the first stones in the foundation of an empire.

The lull in between the execution of Count Néka and the rekindling of the civil war was a necessity for King Mihály; as he had needed the time to ensure that he knew the names of the nobility that had supported the Count’s attempted coup. He had entered into his position as monarch unaware of the complexities of Transylvanian internal politics, and had thus made a number of disastrous mistakes during the buildup to the civil war. Transylvania was during the time a country still set in the old ways of honour and chivalry, a mostly forgotten remnant of the age when knights were the supreme rulers of the battlefield and the country, and the monarch only ruled with the support of the nobility. With these old ties, came the old codes; and if Mihály had known this at the lead up to the civil war, he could have simply challenged Count Néka to a duel; if the king had won the civil war may never has sparked. But he had gained a rapid education on Transylvanian politics during his reign, and now that his spies and informers (another necessity of Transylvanian politics it seemed) had gathered him the information he needed, he was ready to start his purge.

To declare them traitors outright would be another disaster, as the nobility would pull their men-at-arms to them and fortify themselves within their fortresses or cities. It would spark a second civil war, and it would be a long and bloody affair of taking back the lands from the nobles that would surely oppose him. So, Mihaly needed a trap, to lure the nobility away from their feudal armies and to the ‘safety’ of the capital. A grand feast was planned, to celebrate the victory over Poland, and its acceptance of Transylvanian overlordship. Invitations were sent to the members of the nobility that had stood against him, sprouting flowery words and congratulations for their assistance.

ZJbTG.gif

A copy of one of the summons to the feast, recovered from the Library of Banat after the fire of 1791
Transcript:
Dear Count Emeric,
You have been summoned to join our glorious King, Mihály I Plater at the grand feast being held in –passage missing– January 14th, Year of –passage missing-
The feast is in honour of –passage missing- of Transylvania’s brave soldiers over the Kingdom of Poland.

The trap was set, and as some of Transylvania’s leading nobility finished filing into the chamber, eyes drawn to the long tables over-flowing with all manners of food, both foreign and domestic, the doors to the grand chamber was shut, the handles chained together and locked tight. From the side door filed out 40 members of the King’s personal guard – men who had sworn oaths of loyalty to the King alone, until the day they die or he chose to release them. They were his oath men, and they would do anything he asked.

The food was abandoned as members of nobility cried out in anger, demanding to know what the meaning of this was. The King calmly stood, and addressed the nobility gathered before him. His speech had been written out on paper, and had somehow miraculously survived to the present, though the original was lost in the fire, it had been laboriously copied down, as well as with a recount of the events that had unfolded within the room; it seemed the king had brought his clerk along to write down what was going on, perhaps as a sort of morbid trophy of his accomplishment.

Dukes, Counts, Earls, Barons, Knights, and assembled Lords of Transylvania,
As all of you well know, I am not of Transylvanian birth. I am a foreigner, a predator in the night who has stolen the crown of Transylvania away from its people (the room was now dead silent as all eyes were fixed upon the King). My position of monarch of this Kingdom is unlawful, unjust, and breaks every deep rooted tradition this Kingdom has held dear. Upon hearing news of my death, the people would dance in the streets, and cheer those who had done the dead, propelling them to Heroes of the State. At least, that was what you had thought, no? That if you stood against me when I took this crown that you would be proclaimed as heroes and that God would favour you for eternity (there was minor rustling and shouts as the nobility now understood what was happening, though most remained silent through sheer shock).

You were wrong. Most of you who stand here in this room with me are treasonous pigs, who turned against your King, cast aside your sense, and betrayed all your oaths (there was a huge ruckus at near the doors, as the nobility realized that the only way out without having to charge through the King’s guard had been sealed shut; but some of the more dense of the nobles still believed that perhaps this was a reconciliation punctuated with a hint of terror and menace). You are oathbreakers, men who have cast aside the sole code that bounds us to one another. You are no longer men; you are animals, you were animals, waiting for the scent of weakness to pounce. Well, you had pounced all right, you had pounced right into the path of a bull in its prime, full of blood rage (the mass had become very subdued now, though the few that had swords had drawn them – King Mihály laughed).

Sometimes a herd will grow too large for its own good, and cause devastation to the more civilized creatures on this earth. In situations such as those, a culling is needed (the room was in chaos now, as men desperately tried to open the door, banging at it and hacking with swords, even though another 30 men of the King’s guard stood on the other side on the off chance the door was breached). Your ambition has grown too large for this Kingdom to support, and for the good of us all, your deaths will ensure Transylvania is a Kingdom of loyalty and honour; a Kingdom of strength and power. Goodbye, and may the devil feast upon your souls (King Mihály exited the room, and the King’s Guard set about the messy business of slaughtering some of Transylvania’s richest and most powerful men).

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I. The Slaughter of Transylvania’s Nobility, January, 1461

The country reeled from the shock of this event, but even still Mihály did not cease his pursuit of justice. A small few of the nobles had remained on their lands, and as word reached them of what had happened, they knew they would be next. So, instead of allowing themselves to be trapped within their forts and starved to death by the King’s army that was surely en route, the few nobles that remained gathered their forces and prepared to make their last stand. On the plains of Bulgaria the two armies met, the old fighting for its life against the new. The battle lasted for 3 days, and at the end the King held a total victory.

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II. The Battle of Bulgaria / The Nobility’s Last Stand, February, 1461

The majority of Transylvania’s old nobility had been massacred, and the land was now starting to feel the burden of such a tumultuous event. With no nobles to oversee the villages and cities, lawlessness reigned supreme, and many turned to banditry in order to provide for their families. King Mihály needed nobles to oversee those lands, and he needed them fast. He could not bring in nobles from other countries, as their loyalty would be in question, which was what had been the driving force of the recent events. He needed men who were bound to him, and so July of 1461, he raised 200 men to various titles of nobility, all men from his household troops. But he made them swear an additional oath, an oath on behalf of their children, that they would serve the Plater line with undying loyalty, as would their offspring. It would be an oath that would play a pivotal part in Tranyslvania’s dark and foreboding future.

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Members of the Royal Guard are raised to nobility, July, 1461




I.Painting of the Assassination of the Bishop of Liege More information can be found here.
II.Painting of the Battle of Herrings More information can be found here.
 
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