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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DukeWilleo1630

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Under the Scarlet Stefan

I'm pleased to announce my very first AAR as the Kingdom of Serbia in the Third Crusade campaign. I'm using 1.05 and have some modifications to trait and CoA graphics, but that's it. I'm playing on Normal/Normal.

I'll be trying to write this from the point of view of various people in my court. When necessary, I might have an "excerpt" from a made up historical document or something.

Warning: The family name is Nemanjic, but I'll be using Stefan, the name of my first ruler, as the title that they all go by since that seems to be accurate. I'll try to get as much Serbian flavouring into this as I can. Don't expect too much though. I don't know that much about Serbia.

My first update should be in the next 2 days.
 

unmerged(48100)

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I'll be watching. May I propose some house rules not to take much, as you otherwise will spread like cancer over the map?
 

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Good luck with your first AAR
 

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Always good to see someone new become a writAAR. I will look forward to it!
 

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CSK said:
I'll be watching. May I propose some house rules not to take much, as you otherwise will spread like cancer over the map?
I'll try to make things believable. As in, no marriage inheretance of germany and stuff like that. I plan to expand outwards until the balkans is mine of course.

Unfortunately I have a test at 8:00 in the morning tommorow, so no first post of story today, It shall be tommorow after test.
 

DukeWilleo1630

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Part One: Saint Stefan the Grand Zupan

Castle Nemanjic, 1185:
“Mama! Mama! Stefan did it again!” Ana heard one of her children scream from the anterior room. It sounded like Vukan, the oldest of her three children. “It seems my three little angels have transformed into demons once again Pietra,” Ana said with a sigh to her maidservant, “Let’s go see what all the raucous is about.” Pietra let out a small chuckle and hobbled after Ana. She was an old woman, older than Ana herself. She had looked after Ana as a child, and now helped with the raising of her three children. Never a looker, but always sweet, she knew how to be stern with unruly children. “To think the future of the Serbs lies with those three, we’re doomed I say!” Ana could not help but chuckle with Pietra after that remark.

As Ana entered the room, she noticed her three children arrayed across the room. Vukan, the oldest, was standing next to the entranceway. Tears were in his eyes and his little fists were clenched in rage while his head was bowed. He was of modest build, not week though not strong. To his right stood her youngest child, Stefan, with a smirk on his face. Although he was named after his father, he had inherited very few of the same traits. Stefan the younger was always in trouble. Whether it was stealing from the kitchen or picking fights, Stefan seemed to do one of the two every few hours. He was the strongest of the three children, with a hearty build. Ever since the age of 5 he had been receiving training from the captain of the Grand Zupans guard. And, the middle child, Rastko, stood on the right of Vukan. He was a plump boy of a truly happy spirit. Never the one to instigate trouble, and always the one to try and resolve it between his two brothers, Rastko had been receiving training from the Patriarch of Serbia himself.

Ana walked up to Vukan and bent down to dry his tears. “There there, Vukan. What is the problem now?” Ana said. Vukan replied, “Well, Stefan and I were playing swords, and he tricked me into thinking Rastko was about to hit me from behind and then he whacked me on the head! It’s just not fair mama.” At this Stefan ran over and pushed Vukan out of the way. He then said, “That’s not true mama! Vukan is just mad about losing the duel. I beat him fair and square! He was so mad he called me a dirty turk too!” Stefan said this with a smile, thinking it would surely get him out of trouble. But, as he was gloating over his story, Vukan let out a roar and tackled him. The two boys began to roll on the ground, pulling each other’s hair and landing punches to the stomach. After a few moments of belated resignation, Ana clapped her hands and shouted, “Enough my little infidels! If you do not stop, I’ll tell your father about this, and he would be VERY upset mind you!”

This put a quick stop to the fight and both boys quickly rose up and stood erect in front of Ana and Pietra. “Now boys,” she said, “you really should know better! With how you carry on, you’d think you were mortal enemies! Don’t you love your brother?” Both boys replied, “Yes ma’am.” Ana continued, “I don’t care what happened. You were playing swords and rowdy play is expected. But, to get so angry at your brothers over it? The shame!” Ana paced around the room. “If you truly wish to grow up to be wise and just rulers of the Serbian people, you must put aside your differences and rule as one. You are brother three, my angels. Together you can accomplish anything. But, apart, you shall fall to the forces arrayed against us.” Ana walked over and sat on a red silken couch. She gestured her three boys over and hugged them all. “If you want to live up to all that your father has accomplished, you must be wise, just, and you must work together. Isn’t that right Pietra?” Pietra replied, “Aye, that be right ma lady! Stefan Nemanjic be a mighty man and ruler. What he has done for us Serbs!”

With that the eyes of her boys lit up with curiosity and wonder. Rastko said, “Ooohh, Pietra, tell us the story of our father again! Please!!” The other boys agreed and begin to jump up and down in anticipation. Ana rose from her seat and said, “Yes, Pietra, I think that would be good right now. Please take care of these little devils for a while. I must go take care of some business.” “Yes, ma lady,” was Pietra’s reply. As she led the boys to a large table and took a recently written and illustrated book about the life of Stefan Nemanjic off the bookshelf, Ana quietly left the room. Important matters of the house awaited her, and she briskly began to walk towards the grand hall. And, after the work, she would gather her children and meet her husband and liege for dinner.
 
Last edited:

DukeWilleo1630

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Part One: Saint Stefan the Grand Zupan Continued


Excerpts from the Chronicle of Stefan Nemanjic:

All praise upon the almighty and the true church which follows the divine law handed upon him so mighty in Constantinople. In the 1133 year of our lord, a son of the great Slavic peoples was born. His name was Nemanjic. Nemanjic was born into a world of chaos, a world of pain. It was a world where the great Serbian people were cheated and betrayed by their friends. It was a world where other peoples would gloat their dominance over the Serbians. The Hungarian and Byzantines both considered the Serbian land as a vassal state. It was into this world that Nemanjic was born to a noble Serbian family, although one in exile. His father was the Serb Zupan Zavida. And his father was a noble in exile of the great house of Vojislavljević. Nemanjic, who was baptized a roman catholic, lived a humble life as a child. He lived in a modest house, of solid stone. His clothes were of simple cotton, and his food was of simple stock. Yes, Nemanjic had a simple childhood. Some say, even as an old man, he took more comfort in those simpler things of life than the pleasures of regal life.

As he grew older, Nemanjic became a skilled huntsman. He was renowned throughout Serbia for his skill in capturing falcons. He also became known for his prowess with the sword. His martial abilities were unmatched by his friends!

After long and arduous years serving his relatives in their courts, Nemanjic was finally given his own land by the Byzantine Emperor, and gained the title of Zupan in the year of our lord 1162. He was a wise and just ruler, and he soon became a man of great prominence. He was a great benefactor. Throughout his life, he built many a church, and was known by many as Father Symeon. In 1166, great treachery was brought upon Nemanjic by his Byzantine lords and Serbian brothers. His brothers captured him and imprisoned him in a cave to die. But, hallelujah!, Saint George himself helped Zupan Nemanjic escape, and he led his land in an open revolt against his brothers and the Byzantine empire. In 1168, victory was his. Nemanjic took the title of Grand Zupan of all the lands of Rascia, or lower Serbia. He took the first name of Stefan upon himself as the title of lordship over all Serbians.

After gaining his title and land, he has spent his days arduously defending the Orthodox faith against the Bogomils and Catholics. He conquered Nis, and he established his control over the Doclea! He spent his days repelling the forces of the Hungarians, Bulgarians, and Greeks. Grand Zupan Stefan Nemanjic, the true defender of the Serbs! He has begun the unification of Serbia that must be done. May god bless his every act!
 

stnylan

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Ahh, brotherly love. Nothing beats it! ;)

Good scene setting.
 

unmerged(48100)

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Although I still have hope, I doubt Vulkan and Stefan will ever be able to love each other. Should they decide to fight as they do now, the future of Serbia will be in struggles. Enemies outside and inside a realm never are good, especially in such a situation Serbia is in.
 
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Nice scene setting. Looking forward to reading the rest!
 

unmerged(34863)

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names

Just a short comment abouth the names . The name of Grand Zupan was Stefan NEMANJA . I am not sure how was it in the past, but today "Nemanja" is a given name, not a family name. Then, the word "Nemanjic" is like a genetive form, refering to the house, i.e. family of Nemanja. Therefore, sons of Nemanja got the family name "Nemanjic". Nemanjic dynasty was actualy established by Nemanja's son, Stefan Prvovencani (the first crowned) Nemanjic, the first Serbian King.

Here you have some more examples in creating family names (if you need for the story):

Nemanja -> Nemanjic
Lazar -> Lazarevic
Petar -> Petrovic
Stefan -> Stefanovic
Milos -> Milosevic
Ognjen -> Ognjenovic
Milan -> Milanovic
Milovan -> Milovanovic
Branko -> Brankovic
Gojko -> Gojkovic
Bogdan -> Bogdanovic
Boris -> Borislavljevic
Vukasin -> Vukasinovic
Zivko -> Zivkovic
Mladen -> Mladenovic
Dejan -> Dejanovic
Vladimir -> Vladimirovic

etc. ....
 

DukeWilleo1630

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Yea, I just wikied it before I started writing and read about the different stuff. After Stefan Nemanja, all hiers took the name Stefan and tradition so that's how I'm going to call them, ie Stefan Vukan. I decided to have the title Grand Zupan instead of Prince, and Zupan instead of Count.

Next update shall be soon, with actual gameplay!! :)
 

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Nice introduction
 
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igorvragovic said:
Prvovencani (the first crowned) Nemanjic,
Sounds more like the first married to me :)
I'm supposing it comes from "ovencani" then?

Good explanation from where the family names come (mine is from Marin -> Marinovic), but I'm wondering about yours then (vrag-> Vragovic... vrag meaning the devil :D )

I was wondering about the usage of the title of "Zupan" as well. I didn't know Serbs used it also.
 

unmerged(34863)

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Shuma said:
Sounds more like the first married to me :)
I'm supposing it comes from "ovencani" then?

Good explanation from where the family names come (mine is from Marin -> Marinovic), but I'm wondering about yours then (vrag-> Vragovic... vrag meaning the devil :D )

I was wondering about the usage of the title of "Zupan" as well. I didn't know Serbs used it also.
I also have no idea where does my family name come from as my grandfather was Hugarian !?!

Concerning the title "zupan", I think that it is better to use titles "KNEZ" or "KNJAZ" for lower landlords, and "VOJVODA" instead of marshal. Also, I think that in the middle age we did not have the title "prince", but "KRALJEVIC" (like famous Kraljevic Marko), meaning "small kralj" or "the son of the kralj" where "kralj" stands for the "king". Finally, aristocracy in general is called "VLASTELA" and "an aristocrat" or better to say "landlord" is called "VLASTELIN" (derived from the word "vlast" meaning "the ruling power" - interstingly, the name "Vlastimir" (and similarly "Vladimir") means "the ruler of the world", with the archaic "mir"="world").
 

DukeWilleo1630

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Part One: Saint Stefan the Grand Zupan Continued

Castle Nemanjic, 1188:

Stefan was tired. Extremely tired. It was his fifty-third birthday, and it felt as if the continuous struggles of the past were finally catching up to him. He sat on his simple oaken throne in the grand hall while court members and foreign dignitaries poured into the room to greet him. Of the many guests, he saw a Bulgarian, Greek, Bosnian, Croatian, and Hungarian diplomat. He also saw a dignitary for the Patriarch and many important Serbian noble family members. This was a special day for all. It was a day of remembrance for his friends, but a day of wolves for his enemies. He knew they would all be curious as to his vitality. He also knew they would be checking out his sons to see if they looked like capable rulers. Stefan understood the precarious situation of his small Serbian state. He knew his neighbors were just waiting to pounce upon his kingdom once his carcass turned cold. That was the sad truth about the land of the South Slavs. It was a place of a constant struggle of power between the Byzantines, Hungarians, Bulgarians, and, yes, the Serbians.

Stefan saw the chancellor, Katrina, walk to his side. She whispered into Stefan’s ear, “Look at all the people who have come to honor you my lord. Surely they’re all here just to pay respects to you.” Katrina let a small smirk appear on her lips after that. She was a distant niece of Stefan, and he trusted her completely in the role of chancellor. She was one of his subjects that Stefan put much faith in. The other subject Stefan trusted, Ljutomisl Konstantin, had just entered the room. He surveyed the surrounding crowd, then started to make his way to Stefan. Ljutomisl was an exceptional soldier from common birth. Stefan met Ljutomisl on his last military campaign where he fought the forces of the Byzantine Empire with Hungary. During the siege of Zeta, the Byzantines launched a night raid on Stefan’s camp. It was a complete surprise, and many high ranking military officials in Stefan’s army were killed. In the middle of the fight, though, a mere sergeant began to rally the Serbian forces as chaos was everywhere. His name was Ljutomisl. Ljutomisl was able to rally a sizeable force under his command that subsequently pushed the Greeks out of the camp. For his heroic actions, Stefan made Ljutomisl his marshal. Stefan knew he could trust Ljutomisl, for he had no ties with the petty noble families that plagued the stability of his reign.



“My lord, congratulations on your fifty-third birthday, and may your reign last for another fifty!” Ljutomisl said as he bowed before Stefan and gave a nod to Katrina. This got a chuckle out of Stefan. “Now now,” He said, “I will be lucky to reign another five let alone fifty! I thank you kindly my good marshal.” This made Ljutomisl bow even deeper as his cheeks flushed with color. “You do me to much honor, my lord,” he said. Stefan rose from his chair slowly. The creaks and cracks while rising made him grimace in pain. He put his hands on his marshals’ shoulders and said, “Certainly not Ljutomisl. You serve me well. Now, if you would be so kind, take charge of security for this event. I feel safer knowing my heirs lives are in your hands.” Ljutomisl quickly rose and stood erect in front of Stefan. With a look of pride on his face, he saluted his liege and briskly walked to the guard room. Once he had entered, you could hear him yelling at the guards to be on full attention for this event. “What a find Ljutomisl is, eh my lord?” Katrina said with a grin. Stefan smiled back and replied, “Most definitely. He is a man of great skill and loyalty.” With that, Stefan’s attention was drawn back to the entranceway, for his two vassals, Ivan of Naissus and Aleksii of Ragusa, had just entered the room.



As the two men entered the room, they took a quick glance at Stefan. They did not immediately come to greet him though. Stefan did not expect that they would. Instead, Aleksii walked over to the Croatian diplomat while Ivan walked to the Byzantine dignitary. Both started to discuss something in whispered voices with these foreigners. Stefan could not help but grimace. “The nerve of those two my lord. They do not even take the time to greet their liege before they start plotting with your enemies,” said Katrina. Stefan retook his seat, and turned to his chancellor. In a low voice, he said, “They probably believe me to be a senile old man who won’t notice. Or, maybe, they do this on purpose. They believe themselves strong enough to bring this issue out in the open. They have chosen their side Katrina, and your assumptions earlier this year are correct. They plan to rebel against me, or rebel against my heir.” Stefan let out a snort and smiled at his chancellor. “Lucky for us, I’m not as senile as they believe. I also have you, my trusty chancellor, and Ljutomisl at my side,” said Stefan, “Do not worry, our plan will soon commence to dispose of these vermin within my domain. Lower Serbia shall be unified under one family, and then the rest of Serbia shall be freed.” Katrina gave a short half bow to Stefan, and said, “Most certainly my lord, I must go mingle with our guests for a while.” With that, Katrina walked off into the crowd in front of the throne. She ran into a Hungarian diplomat almost immediately and began to talk. Yes, Stefan had complete faith in Katrina. He also had faith in his plan to unify Serbia.

“Father!” Stefan heard from behind him. He could tell immediately that it was his three sons. Stefan stood up and walked behind the throne where he saw Ana, his wife, and his three sons waiting. Old age was starting to take away Ana’s beauty, but Stefan still remembered the Ana of young. He gave her a big hug and whispered into her ear, “How is my love doing today? I hope you’ve had a better time then me.” Ana returned the hug tightly and gave Stefan a kiss on his cheek before replying, “I’m fine my dear. The house has been like a kicked anthill today, with the preparing of the feast and all. I’m sorry you’re not having a good time Stefan.” Stefan released his wife with a sigh and turned to his sons. All three of them, Vukan, Stefan, and Rastko, were in their finest clothes. They had been spending the day socializing with all of the young men that came from foreign lands and the Serbian countryside. Earlier that day, many martial games were held between the young men and boys. Vukan and Rastko did well, but Stefan was the Tournament champion for the young boys division. He had a laurel crown on his head and was beaming from ear to ear. Vukan was the oldest and looked almost ready to take a position in the court, and Rastko was not too far behind in age. Stefan, the youngest of the three, was not even close to being a man yet, but he had already proven his martial prowess. His three boys were the joy and hope of Stefan’s life. He knew they would be able to rule the Serbian lands well.

Stefan could not help but smile as he greeted his boys, “How are my heirs doing today? I hear you won the tournament Stefan, good work!” Stefan the younger grew an even wider grin and began to jump up and down. “I did father! I’m the best of my age in martial skills!” Stefan the younger said. Stefan clapped him in the back. He said, “I’m very proud of you all boys, and I know you can succeed in defeating our enemies. Some of those enemies are out in that hall right now.” Stefan lost his smile and took a stern look to his boys. He said slowly and quietly, “Boys, I’m an old man. And I don’t know how long I have left on this earth. When I die, it will be up to you to work together in defeating our enemies. Are you three ready for that responsibility?” All three of them nodded their heads vigorously. Stefan could tell all three of them were motivated and completely devoted to the cause of the Nemanjic dynasty. Stefan let the smile back on his face and said, “Now, I must go back to the throne. It is time to start this ceremony. Let it end quickly so we can head to the feast!”
 

unmerged(51164)

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Nov 30, 2005
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King Stefan seems to be surrounded by possible enemies. How likely is it that his children are actually going to listen to him and work together? :p

I'll be following this.
 

stnylan

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A well put together scene. So, a few plots are in the works. Excellent.
 

unmerged(48100)

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Aug 30, 2005
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They would be able to rule the lands of Serbia well, yes. But I somehow doubt they will work together. And I don't think one could rule it on his own.

And another question that popped up in my mind, Stefan (the elder) trusts his chancellor, but is she trustworthy? I don't know, but I wouldn't have too much faith in her. Yes, she'll do her work good, I believe that as well, but maybe she'll do it too good.