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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 8:31:13 AM
 1st Lieutenant

Joined: 4/11/2013
Posts: 238
Thousands of years before the coming of Christ, a religion was born. A tale of a family of gods, not perfect, but of a strength no mortal man could accomplish. Able to cast bolts of lightning from the sky, or turn the seas from calm to stormy if not properly appeased. Not omnipotent, but still quite capable of cursing or blessing their followers as they saw fit. Following the birth of Christianity, the religion of Greeks, long since adapted by the Romans and spread across much of the land, found itself on the back foot. Driven back by the more organized religion from the Levant. The opportunity of an afterlife in a blessed heaven a draw for so many peasants and poor that could not afford the sacrifices the old gods demanded, until finally it had mostly faded from memory.

Yet still, bastions of the old religion survived. Either in places like the the greek peninsulas where it took ages for any information to spread. With no roads or path other then sea to reach the distant villages. Others carried on the traditions in secret. Those with wealth and long memory deciding to hedge their bets and get in good with as many pantheons and gods as they could on their way to the afterlife. A strange mix of both the former and the latter existed in this world, on the northern coast of Sardinia. Taking ques from the truly ancient version of the religion, worshiping the figures of Zeus and Ares instead of Jupiter and Mars. The republic would find itself ruled at the time our story begins by Doge Valentino, whose family line believed themselves descended from the Heracleidae of old. The return of the Herakle's blood.

The lands of Sardinia.

Life for the first few decades was relatively easy on Sardinia. Under the protection of the Byzantine empire, there was no immediate danger. The Doge focusing on improving the strength of his nation, as well as converting the other patricians and counts on the island to hellenism. Within a decade or two, all rulers within the Theme followed the old gods once again. Temples to Poseidon, Zeus and Hermes were built upon the island to honour the gods that assisted in the function of the republic. Wealth flowed through the land, and the Doge would spend his time increasingly on pursuits of the flesh. Between his wife and his two concubines, he'd lay his seed wide and thick, birthing many children both male and female to lead on the next generation.

Unfortunately it was this pursuit of an ever larger family that would lead to Valentino's demise. For one day a christian nun came from the south, heading toward Corsica.Out tending his garden that day, Valentino would be approached by the nun, asking about a place to stay as a rest for her travels. Entranced by the woman's beauty Valentino would welcome her to his own court, and a few days later propositioned her to stay as one of his concubines. Of some surprise might be that she accepted, but Valentino was much to happy for the success and the latest addition to his household.

Skilled, and shrewd, what more could a man ask for for his third concubine.

Unfortunately only a week later the woman revealed her true purpose, an assassin.

Thinking quickly Valentino challenged her to the only thing on hand, a game of chess. Unfortunately the reason the chess set was on hand was because Valentino had been attempting to learn the game in his spare time, which wasn't very often. Needless to say, the match wasn't going very well for the Doge, and after the first moves he could tell he was doomed. So he tried the one thing he could think of. Channeling all the greed and deceit of when he had minted diluted coins in his own image, he tried to cheat.

Once again unfortunately, he actually had no personal skill in cheating, just working through associates to get things he wanted in an underhanded manner. As such he failed to cover his tracks well enough, and the next thing he knew, a dagger in the gut brought an end to his game.

The dogeship passed out of his families control, for now, but Valentino had been preparing for such an occasion. While his son might not have access to the same wealth his father had, he did still have the strongest singular holdings in the realm, and when he came of age there would be much to do for the young Cuicco. For now though he bides his time away on the families new prime holding in Cyprus, building cities to increase his power. The strongest castle, with the most numerous army. Soon it will be the Heracleidaes time to shine again.

Soon, they will return, and the dogeship won't slip past our fingers so easily next time.
Posted: Saturday, October 21, 2017 11:54:22 PM
 1st Lieutenant

Joined: 4/11/2013
Posts: 238
Alot of ground was covered in the last session, so I'm going to just give it out of character. To start I was stuck as a child in south Cyprus. Needless to say this was not exactly the best place to be.

Or was it.

Because I forgot that while the doge can't declare war on patricians to take their trade ports, other patricians are free to do so, and well, owning Cyprus, and the Sardinian Barony, I was the only patrician to own castles. This allowed me to raise in excess of 1000 men, when the other patricians could only raise 100 men at most, and the doge was only at 300.

The trade port situation at the session start, also I remembered to put my mapmod on.

Unfortunately I grew up into a bit of a wimp.

I had great learning stats, and ambitious, but I also had Frail and Cowardly, which wasn't exactly for the best. Still I immediatly joined the hermetic order because I had 20 learning and in the space of a decade nearly reached Maester before well, I got axed off, but ONTO THAT LATER.

I almost immediatly declared war to get the Arboria trade post. Though unfortunately I quickly came to learn the downside of not being doge. Namely the infection of orthodox and later catholism into my lands.

This would be a constant problem throughout the session, and I'm sure it'll remain one until I break free of the empire to avoid people converting my lands.

In revenge I decided to que this up. Doge Ciucco didn't survive long. Unfortunately his son inherited the dogeship and that required some help from Venice to deal with.

This happened, I was unfortunately wounded, and given my frail consitution already, I wasn't exactly in great shape at this point.

Also I didn't realize just how useful the 'theological' option can be for deciding your lifestyle. Getting free piety and potential for better traits? Yes please. Especially since I was going for Paragon of Virtue.

I actually ended up picking up both of these traits.

Unfortunately my attempts to take everyone's trade posts didn't go over well with the other houses, and indeed I endengered alot of ire from them. So I was unfortunately cut down early in my life by an assassin's...army of hired thugs but yeah.

History will forever remember Ciuccio as Prideful man. Though of note, he is actually the third Ciuccio of some importance in the last 20 years. One of the former doges had the same name, and a major rebel in Sicily did to.

My following leader actually had okay stats, and a fair bit of luck on his side. Almost immediately I started getting republic events that gave me 50 or 100 ducats each time, as well as through the business focus I managed to make a successful trade route, and get some money off a successful artisans workshop.

Eventually I managed to retake the dogeship, following the murder of well, three doges in rapid succession. Unfortunately though I would end up dead, not quite sure what got me admittedly. I just suddenly keeled over dead.

At least I reinherited the place.

Unfortunately though, I had to deal with the continued issues of Hellenic in a now Catholic Byzantine empire (a Catholic secret religion converted much of the people involved, though not much ground)

I tried to do a Hellenic secret cult, but well, it didn't work. At all. I converted a number of people to being sympathetic to pagans, and even a bit to Hellenic. Unfortunately I couldn't actually get any real ground and had to get out of the secret cult thing shortly after.

The session finally ended with me playing a board game against another guy and getting a fair bit of bonus martial out of it. In preparation for trying to get independence from the mess that is the Byzantine Emipre.

Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2017 6:08:04 PM
 1st Lieutenant

Joined: 4/11/2013
Posts: 238
Rushjob AAR go!

Who needs to be a doge anyways: Once again, during this session I deliberately lost the dogeship. Only for a little short bit, just long enough to grab a few rather key trade ports off the other patricians before realm peace got enforced. The most important was Calagiri as it connected my trade zones, giving me a 5 size trade region. I am planning to grab the sixth region soon when I lose the dogeship again this session. As it is my income is now rapidly closing in on Blaynes insane 46 ducats a month as I'm at 26-28 ducats a month this point.
Trails and Tribulations of a Hellenic: Once again I tried a secret cult, this time with the intent of having Hoonter's Duchess of Nikea on my side with it. It didn't go any better then last time so I think the only way Hellnisism is going to be brought to our land is if we do it by force of arms instead of secret cults. Also every time I lose the dogeship Sardinia flips to either Catholic or Orthodox. At the very least though both religions have been getting some morale authority issues, given the installation of an anti-pope in Rome, and just general failings in the Orthodox faith. Though at the very least the number of player allies in Hellenisim is growing.
Tribes are OP: My continued attempts to beat the natives out of the Canaries is proving near impossible. I go to war with them and they raise a 2,500 man tribal levy. Then when I go and raised 5,000 mercs, they spawn another 7,000 tribal levies and I just decide to give up again for now. ONE DAY THOUGH I WILL HAVE THOSE DAMN ISLANDS.
The Vulture of the Med: Sardinia has been slowly picking away at failing states in the med, whenever there's a war or a major civil war I've been picking up cities at least off people. Though as of the end of last session I'm working on picking off actual territories. I might be rather late to the party but I think the Sardinian money steamroller is starting to finally get some ground which once Byzanitine's Internal War Policy has been dealt with, will allow me to start gaining realm size relatively quick. As I'm making more then most super states despite only having 13 realm size.

My Estate is coming along slowly, these things take forever to build, but /man/ that is a really nice income on the vault and mansion. Really helping to boost my income.

I've also been rather lucky getting stuff like this, which has helped me build alot of things.

End of the session was here. I'm working on getting some parts of the Pillars of Hercules.
Posted: Saturday, November 04, 2017 6:49:22 AM
 1st Lieutenant

Joined: 4/11/2013
Posts: 238
I actually prefer the Rushjob AAR style. SO HERE IT GOES AGAIN.

The Pillars of Hercules:
The South Pillar (Abila Mons): Much of my time during this session was spent claiming the Pillars of Hercules for the Hellenic faith. Due to the weakness of the Islamic Kingdom in control of Tangiers. I had little difficulty taking the territory off of him. Tangiers actually provided none of the three potential pillars of Hercules, but it did give me the territory to start using my Hellenic County Conquest ability. The first target for this was against Ceuta, the Kingdom of Catalonia has been in quite dire straits since Hoonter left it, falling to internal rebellion until it was only a collection of small land holdings scattered around the Iberian and Morocco. On top of that Catalonia was at war with no less then 8 foreign powers simultaneously, including Gaul and Italy. As such I had no real worries about snagging the territory off them and with that both potential Southern Pillars, Jebel Musa and Monte Hacho. Between the two I'm more of the belief that Jebel Musa was the one, as such it's been named Abila Mons and the construction of a strong castle upon it's slopes has begun.

The North Pillar (Calpe Mons): Calpe Mons is much easier to figure out, namely, it's the Rock of Gibraltar. The issue more was taking control of it. After I had taken Ceuta the Rock was under control of a Umayyad rebellion, seeing the weakness I hoped to slip in and grab it before the rebellion could come to a conclusion. No such luck unfortunately, and almost immediatly after the war ended I died and lost the CB as I was no longer doge. I used this time to launch a war and claim one more trade post before the doge that had been elected instead of me (because I wanted him to) was murdered, and I became the doge again, not even a year after I lost the title. During this time the Byz Empire as a whole used my land claim to launch a Duchy CB on Seville, and in the process took control of Gibraltar as well. Lucky I had the 'Gain title from your lord' ambition already active at this point, and promptly hit that button so hard I nearly broke my mouse. Shortly there after I was rewarded Gibraltar and the Pillars had come under Hellenic control for the first time in centuries.

Island Hopping: Shortly after this war the Byzantine Empire was finally forced back into allowing Internal Wars. Taking advantage of this I promptly started working on a claim on the eastern Beleares Island, and declared the war as soon as I got it. It didn't take long to win this war as out of the Byzantine Emperor's extended vassals, I actually have one of the larger forcepools. Not anywhere near the lords on Anatolia proper, but I still can draft up 3,000+ men and enough boats to ferry many times that number. As of the wars end I am working on getting a claim in Sicily with which I may use as a starting ground for County Conquests.

Internal Affairs: Internally I managed to make a significant amount of improvements to my Family Estate, getting it up to the tier III mansion and soon to be the tier IV as well as boosting my Fortified Vault up to max rank. Between that and major improvements to my trade network, I've now managed to get my income up into 34 or more a month. With gained territory and the internal spread of Hellenism again to remove religious maluses, I've started to rapidly rise in income. My hope is that by the end of next session I'll be able to match up with Venice for income and start properly improving the capital. I just need to lose the dogeship one more time first to secure North Africa.

Now for some screens.

September 22nd 887, Doge Geraldo dies, and the Doge title passes out of the Hercladae line.

February 22nd 887, The unnamed Doge following Geraldo dies, and the title passes back into the Hercladae line as Galasso inherits.

The "Little Black Death." A massive smallpox infection struck the Mediterranean, turning much of Italy and Greece into desolate wastelands. Sardinia and Corsica are both hit but have so far weathered the storm with little damage.
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:02:48 AM
 1st Lieutenant

Joined: 4/11/2013
Posts: 238
Following in the steps of our Ancestors: This session, much of my time was spent trying to expand my holdings around the straits of Gibraltar. More specifically, I was trying to get myself a few dutchy titles as I was intending to eventually form a kingdom title of my own (before I realized you can't do that when not independent.) As a result this lead to me pushing into Southern Spain a bit to take form the Duchy of Seville title, and into Fez for a similar purpose, though in the end a holy war by the Byzantine Empire for most of Morocco (which was in the hands of the Malians) ended up taking the land before I could get it. Still, I now have control over much of the Moroccan coast, and next session if all goes well I should have control of much of the interior.

The Surprisingly Looty Hellenes: During the above conquests, an few invasions of dissenting byzantine members, and the subsequent title revocations of everyone I captured, I ended up getting a number of swords and other artifacts that I extracted from the muslims and non-hellenics. This is pretty useful as I've literally never gotten the event to make anything worthwhile.

We are currently experiencing Religious Difficulties: The Hercladae line had some difficulty this session. Following the conquest of Tangiers, the territory was handed off to one of my cousins. Who died and installed one of his kids, who happened to be muslim. To say the least this was quite worrying, a Sunni muslim in control of the Pillars of Herecles could not stand! It didn't help that he also was not exactly friendly to me for some time. I was prepared to assassinate him, and indeed, he even caught wind of a plot on his life (there was a solid 4 on him cause nobody liked him) and went into hiding at one point. Calling off the hit and instead extending the olive branch in the form of my councillor, he actually came around and eventually converted on his own. To bad a decade or two later he died and his land was inherited by his other cousin in Seville, though at least he's hellenic.

The Breaking of the Empire: James finally managed to take over the byzantine empire right toward the end of last session, and we ended up near instantly in a civil war so he wasn't able to break it down properly. Given the edits between sessions, I should end up both independent, and in control of a significant amount of the lands of ancient Carthage. Gaining Sicily, the rest of North Africa, and Malta. If the Abbasids end up falling apart, it'll be my goal to secure the rest of Algeria and Tunisia, but for now I am satisfied with what I'll control (I may also be bumping toward the realm size limit at this point.) Their are still numerous dangers though, to the west I hope to come to a peaceful resolution over southern Spain, as I don't have much interest in holding land north of Calpe Mons. The mainland holdings I'll have in Italy likely will be pushed out of my empire at some point for being more or less useless, and the Abbassisds could attack me in North Africa at any time.

The Arabs provided some useful artifacts.

I continue to get significant luck with republic events, with only a few negative ones, I fear this eventually turning on me but I'll take the windfall for now.

The end screen from last session.

Posted: Saturday, December 02, 2017 12:11:02 AM
 1st Lieutenant

Joined: 4/11/2013
Posts: 238
The Seville Wars: The Republic of Seville proved to be a rather difficult area to hold onto. First I had a war with Burgundy for the region, which I managed to beat off, then Aquitaine came for it, and as I was midway through beating them off too, then Burgundy came back for another round at which point I was also dealing with a large rebellion in Sicily at the time and ended up throwing my hands up and surrendered the war. Unfortunately I didn't realize Calpe Mons fell under Seville's dejure territory, so I lost the important northern half of the straits. Unfortunately I was not in much of a situation to go back and take it afterwards. The loss of the important site sent Doge Lealdo into a depression that he'd never recover from.

The Western Bastion: The above Seville Wars were the beginning of the 'deluge' in the south, which actually worked in my favour. Small lords across the land started declaring minor holy wars on me. Ranging from Burgundy coming back for a few rounds in North Africa, and in the East, Dragoon's Nephew started to launch an assault against my South Italy holdings. These times I was ready, and drove back the invaders time and again, managing at one point to get Hellenic MA up to around 58% with Holy War defenses alone. Eventually the deluge trailed off though after I stole everyones money more or less.

A New Doge: Doge Lealdo would eventually meet his end with his depression, dying in his sleep even as the night before he had spent his time reminiscing over the loss of Calpe Mons, and at the time the not very good chance of reclaiming it. Even victory after victory on other fronts had never pulled the man out of his funk, and while I was expecting the possibility, his death did catch me off guard given his relatively young age. It was possibly spurred by the repeated religious and vassal civil wars that had occured. His successor isn't to bad, but I was hoping to get some more children before Lealdo had died.

Robin of Arborea: This should be relatively self explanatory. I managed to get the Robin Hood event, it was quite entertaining. Doge Nestore decided to host an archery competition and then hire on Robin as a marshal. Putting him and his 24 martial in command of one of the flanks of the Carthaginian Army. Where he's seen some service fighting a few religious rebellions in the west.

The Reclamation: Nestore wouldn't allow Calpe Mons to remain in Catholic hands for long and right toward the end of last session I launched a war of Reclamation for the area. The early battles have been going my way against the Burgundian puppet state that is now in southern Spain.

Hellenism has been gaining ground on the map, thanks to all these holy wars and the like it's greatly helped Hellenic Moral Authority, with it at its max in the 50s, though its a bit further down now.

I really have to admit, I wish this spawned a one off 'special' unit that could be used. It'd be entertaining.

The upside of defending from holy wars, your vassals love you.

The Reclamation is looking up, I think I should have it finished early next session.
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 9:18:44 PM
 1st Lieutenant

Joined: 4/11/2013
Posts: 238
Broken Pike: One of the bigger, more important parts from last session, was that the Reclamation of Calpe Mons failed. It was going well, I was up to 78% warscore, and then Granada ended up calling up every single Holy Order the catholics had access to. The Carthaginian Hoplites fought bravely, and managed to nearly pull a victory out regardless. At one point I had reduced the Holy Orders to almost non-existant, unfortunately due to retreat mechanics they slipped past me at Gibraltar and re-linked up with the main army of Granada, which immediately boosted them up to nearly 100% morale and my army was driven back shortly later. I managed to lose it as just a white peace though, so I didn't end up going drastically into debt.

A New Direction: With Calpe Mons out of reach for now, the doge turned his attention to cleaning up Morocco. A series of short wars with the Byzantine Empire resulted in driving the ailing state out of its holdings in the Anti-Atlas. Soon after the Carthaginian Army marched into the jungles of Mali. The tribals there were no match for the battle hardened Hoplite formations of Carthage and were easily swept aside time and again with lopsided battle casualties. In some cases with Carthaginian forces inflicting ratios such as 122 Hoplites for 8238 Mali Tribals. It is only a matter of time now till the entirety of West Africa is in Carthaginian Hands. The only delay being the next thing.

A Capricious Council: This isn't to terribly surprising, I didn't realize it till I had become the doge, but the current Doge is a known kinslayer. To say the least this has made keeping friends significantly more difficult then I would have liked. Add onto that my Marshal is a possessed crazy South Moroccian that is also the strongest duke in my realm and you have a recipe for gridlock. Given the few times I wasn't the doge the AI promptly slammed every single council empowered option it could I've been getting stalled out in places. Namely finishing off Mali, as due to how tribal levies work, the glory hounds on my council see it as too weak to invade. My next doge should not have these kind of problems.

Return to the East: While Cyprus was lost during the Byzantine breakup due to a bit of a misinterpretation of the map, due to the Italian invasion of Greece, Crete ended up released, which I promptly invaded and took half of. Next session I plan to take the last half of the island off the Byzantine Empire, and then possibly see about the return of Cyprus to the hands of the Empire. Rhodes is also on the warpath to establish Island Dominance in the Med.

Now for some Bigger images

True Independent Realms Map, without Dragoon's cleaning up. As you can see, Byz is scattered across much of the Med at the moment.

Religion Mapmode. As you can see Hellenic (Darker Red) has spread to North Africa along the coast, also around North Italy and in scattered parts elsewhere. Most of this is thanks to a Morale Authority Increase from Holy Wars.

Trade Routes, as you can see I've got the western trade more or less locked down
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