The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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  The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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Lumine
LumineVonReuental
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« on: July 07, 2019, 01:03:36 AM »
« edited: September 29, 2019, 02:43:16 PM by Lumine »


The Cast:

In Western Europe:
Kingdom of France: King Philip II Capet (Windjammer)
Kingdom of England: King John I Plantagenet (GoTfan)
Holy Roman Empire (Welf): Emperor Otto IV Welf (NewTennesseanPolitician)
Holy Roman Empire (Hohenstaufen): King Frederick II Hohenstaufen (Kalwejt)
The Papacy: Pope Innocent III (Garlan Gunter)
Kingdom of Denmark: King Valdemar II Estridsen (JacksonHitchcock)
Republic of Venice: Doge Pietro Ziani (Gorguf)
Almohad Caliphate: Caliph Muhammad al-Nasir (Dereich)
Kingdom of Aragon: King Peter II Barcelona (S019)

In the former Empire:

Empire of Nicea: Emperor Theodore I Laskaris (YPestis)
Latin Empire: Emperor Henry I of Flanders (King Saul)
Bulgarian Empire: Tsar Boril I Asen (Devout Centrist)

In the Near East:

Kingdom of Jerusalem: Queen Maria I Montferrat (Sawx)
Ayyubid Sultanate: Sultan Al-Adil I (Kingpoleon)
Sultanate of Rum: Sultan Kaykaus I (NyIndy)

Across Asia:

Mongol Empire: Genghis Khan (Dkrol)
Jin Dynasty: Prince Wanyan (Ishan)
Khwarezmian Empire: Shah Mohammed II (SJoyce)
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Lumine
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2019, 01:17:11 AM »

Turn I: 1512


The Cast:

In Western Europe:
Kingdom of France: King Philip II Capet (Windjammer)
Kingdom of England: King John I Plantagenet (GoTfan)
Holy Roman Empire (Welf): Emperor Otto IV Welf (NewTennesseanPolitician)
Holy Roman Empire (Hohenstaufen): King Frederick II Hohenstaufen (Kalwejt)
The Papacy: Pope Innocent III (Garlan Gunter)
Kingdom of Denmark: King Valdemar II Estridsen (JacksonHitchcock)
Republic of Venice: Doge Pietro Ziani (Gorguf)
Almohad Caliphate: Caliph Muhammad al-Nasir (Dereich)
Kingdom of Aragon: King Peter II Barcelona (S019)

In the former Empire:

Empire of Nicea: Emperor Theodore I Laskaris (YPestis)
Latin Empire: Emperor Henry I of Flanders (King Saul)
Bulgarian Empire: Tsar Boril I Asen (Devout Centrist)

In the Near East:

Kingdom of Jerusalem: Queen Maria I Montferrat (Sawx)
Ayyubid Sultanate: Sultan Al-Adil I (Kingpoleon)
Sultanate of Rum: Sultan Kaykaus I (NyIndy)

Across Asia:

Mongol Empire: Genghis Khan (Dkrol)
Jin Dynasty: Prince Wanyan (Ishan)
Khwarezmian Empire: Shah Mohammed II (SJoyce)

Player Crisis:

Philip II Capet:
-Popularity: High
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: Medium

-It was nineteen years ago that you married Ingeborg of Denmark, a married you’ve tried to have annulled ever since while the Queen is locked up in the infamous Chaetau d’Etampes. This has been a constant source for drama due to the Queen’s popularity and the resolve of the Church not to declare the marriage void, even leading to a temporary excommunication. How will you attempt to solve this controversy?

-For the past three years the Albigensian Crusade has fought its way across Occitania and struck a difficult phase in light of the continued resistance of the Cathars, the unsuccessful attempts to capture Toulouse, lack of discipline from crusader forces and the enormous controversy raised by the harsh methods of Simon of Montfort. Intervention in favor of the Crusaders could swing the balance decisively for them, but at the risk of inviting the intervention of other foes and or leaving France itself vulnerable. Will you involve yourself on the Crusade?

-Ever since the marriage alliance closed with the Margrave of Namur you’ve held onto the young heiresses to Flanders, Hainaut and Artois – Joan and Margaret -, which gives you the unique opportunity to choosing husbands for both girls as they start to come of age. Intense negotiations and speculation has already taken place, but it will be up to you to choose consorts of them provided you can avoid the rejection and/or anger of the Margrave of Namur and the proud Flemish nobility. How will you handle this matter?

John I Plantagenet:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Medium
-Economy: High

-Several years of very public struggle with the Pope and a large part of the Church over your refusal to recognize Stephen Langton as the Archbishop of Canterbury have led to a major controversy in England.  On one hand, your Excommunication and the Papal Interdiction decreed by Innocent III have lasted over four years, forbidding the Sacraments – other than baptism and the confession of the dying – across the entire Kingdom and leading to general unpopularity, and on the other, the exile of rival churchmen and the limited capture of profits from the Church lands have bolstered the exhausted treasury. Nonetheless, facing the risk of the Pope pursuing even harsher measures, will you try to defuse the conflict?

-The Holy Roman Empire finds itself embroiled in the threat of civil war due to the conflict between Otto IV and Frederick II, a struggle in which the Pope finds himself directly involved and which may prove decisive in terms of future alliances. On one hand, Otto is your nephew and could prove a valuable bulwark against the French ambitions, but on the other Frederick appears to have firm papal support and not supporting him could further enrage Rome. Will you be taking sides on this conflict and/or support one of the claimants to the Imperial crown?

-Your niece Eleanor of Brittany, rightful Duchess of Brittany and heir to your late nephew Arthur’s claims on the English throne remains imprisoned after ten years of captivity in England, both perceived as a threat to your rule and having attempted escape before several times. A complicating factor has been the constant desire of the Breton nobility to recover the princess to become their Duchess, leading to thus far unsuccessful negotiations to secure her freedom in some manner. Will you seek a way to profit from this complex situation? Or should the current situation of Eleanor be altered in some manner?

Otto IV Welf:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Low (As Holy Roman Emperor)
-Economy: Medium

-The current struggle over control of the Imperial crown finds you in Ancona with a decent-sized army and quite a dilemma to solve. On one hand, there’s the perspective of attempting to invade the Kingdom of Sicily to drive the pretender Frederick out and possibly even attempt his capture; on the other, there’s the rising revolt of the German princes against your rule which has led to Frederick’s election (in absentia) as the King of the Romans. What will you do?

-Even since the last attempt to pressure the Pope into backing down you have been Excommunicated from the Church, a factor which has significantly hindered your efforts to consolidate power and secure your rule. Furthermore, though you find yourself betrothed to Beatrice of Swabia – a potential marriage that could boost your legitimacy and prestige -, the current degrees of consanguinity in canon law mean you’d require a Papal dispensation in order to marry or risk having the marriage invalidated or unrecognized by most. Will you seek a way to solve this matter? Or perhaps try to find a different bride?

-Despite the loss of several key princes you continue to control Swabia and your own lands in Brunswick, as well as enjoy the support of most of the west and north of the empire as well as certain Italian cities. Your advisers speculate on the merit of trying to bring the Lombard cities into the Welf camp or even regain the support of now pro-Hohenstaufen princes, whereas others argue in favor of seeking allies across the neighboring kingdoms, with your uncle John Plantagenet, even with Denmark despite the Pomeranian issue. How will you seek to expand your base of support and/or allies?

Frederick II Hohenstaufen:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Low (As Holy Roman Emperor)
-Economy: High

-Although the Kingdom of Sicily remains steadfastly loyal to you and your family and several German princes have joined forces to elect you “King of the Romans”, the struggle for imperial power against Otto places you in a complex situation. With the Welf Emperor standing in Ancona with an army and facing the prospect of an invasion some of your advisors recommend rallying the Kingdom into resistance or possibly taking shelter in the island of Sicily itself; others recommend bold action by travelling to Germany itself and rallying the anti-Welf princes into war or general revolt. How will you deal with your enemy?

-After the death of your mother and before reaching maturity you were the ward of Pope Innocent III, thus far your most crucial supporter after his falling out with Otto. Your relationship with the Church – which has recovered important privileges in Sicily during the regency – is bound to be of great importance not only to your status as King of Sicily and during the conflict for the imperial crown, but to your future rule as Holy Roman Emperor if you manage to succeed. Just how closely will you align yourself with Rome and Pope Innocent?

-Outside from the division between the many princes and cities of the Empire over who should be emperor – with a particularly mobile situation in Italy itself – there is also speculation between your advisors as to whether you will seek help from neighboring kingdoms or relevant rulers. With John Plantagenet being Otto’s uncle some look towards Philip Augustus as a valuable ally, others raise the issue of Venice or Pisa, others even Denmark, though a foreign intervention might also have its costs. Will you seek new friends and allies during this complex struggle?

Innocent III:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: High

-Ever since Otto went back on the promises he made to the Holy See during his struggles against Emperor Philip you have undertaken serious efforts to have the Emperor removed, excommunicating him and then successfully convincing several German princes to have your former ward Frederick crowned King of the Romans from a distance. Still, Otto has managed to fight back and settled in Ancona with an army, in what constitutes a crucial moment in the struggle for the Empire. There are still methods left to use that could further escalate the situation – such as Interdiction -, though the situation merits an important decision. How will you continue this struggle?

-Another monarch the Church has found itself facing is John Plantagenet, whose infamous refusal to accept Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury resulted in four years – and counting – of Excommunication and Papal Interdiction, with the resulting hit to the King’s prestige and substantial loss of revenue for the Church. Some wonder how will you resolve this issue against the King’s continued defiance, whether it is by some sort of compromise or negotiated solution or by doubling down on escalation, perhaps by taking advantage of Philip Augustus’s known ambitions towards Aquitaine and even England itself. What will you do?

-Though a military success thus far despite the failure to capture Toulouse, the efforts of Simon of Montfort and his crusaders in Occitania have sparked substantial debate and even outrage in light of alleged atrocities against Catholics as well. Indeed, noblemen from Occitania, Aragon and Southern France have protested the crusade, and there’s talk of foreign nations possibly involving themselves in what is already a confusing, bitter and costly affair. Will you try to reign in Montfort and his men to defuse the situation? Or double down in the fight against heresy and give the crusaders full powers and support to eradicate the Cathars?

Valdemar II Estridsen:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: Medium

-The treatment of your sister Ingeborg – Queen of Denmark – at the hands of King Philip of France remains a source for concern amongst your courtiers, frustration amongst the people, and anger in your family. Though she has enjoyed papal support thus far she was imprisoned and unable to have access to her family, leading to continued fears she may take her life out of despair or find her marriage annulled should Rome change its mind. At the risk of possibly enraging the powerful French king, will you be taking steps to protect your sister and/or find a way out of this dramatic marital conflict?

-For the past few years a constant struggle over the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen has taken place between you and your mortal enemy Valdemar of Denmark – illegitimate son of Canute V, and thus of royal blood -, seemingly ending last year as Valdemar lost papal support and the city of Stade remained on Danish hands. And yet Valdemar has found new friends in Saxony and the apparent support – at least by inaction – of emperor Otto IV, the rival bishop retaking control of Stade in a daring raid. With this open defiance having the potential to become a serious problem, what will you do?

-The stage is set for an important conflict across the Holy Roman Empire, and one in which Denmark’s battle-hardened forces could prove decisive in supporting either of the contenders for the imperial throne. Although some warn of the large financial costs that would be associated with intervention on the conflict others believe significant concessions could be extracted either from Otto or Frederick in return for your support, though with the associated danger of creating an enemy should the other challenger win. With issues such as the continued dominance over Pomerania and trade with the cities of Northern Germany at stake, will you be openly supporting the Welfs or the Hohenstaufens?

Pietro Ziani:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: Very High

-Since the establishment of the Latin Empire after the Fourth Crusade the Latins have found themselves in a constant state of warfare with several Byzantine successor states, quite a costly affair. Through the vast Venetian domains in the Aegean Sea and with the Venetian Podesta in Constantinople – Marino Dandolo – holding significant influence across the Empire and in Constantinople there are those who wonder how exactly should Venice handle such a level of influence with the Latins. Should Venice get involved in the wars against Nicea and others and bankroll the Latin Emperor? Should the Republic’s influence be expanded even further at the risk of angering said Emperor?

-Owing to the state of open competition and decentralization in the Eastern Mediterranean and with the Byzantines no longer there to block Venetian expansion some wonder if perhaps the Most Serene Republic should not expand even further against possible targets. In that sense, some have promoted the idea of invading Rhodes, still controlled by the independent Greek nobleman Leo Gabalas. Others have pointed out towards the Kingdom of Cyprus, a target which while controversial would cement Venetian control over the trade routes to the Crusader States and the Muslim realms themselves. And, of course, other targets for expansion could be found as well. Will you be pursuing this route?

-Although Venice remains independent from the Holy Roman Empire events in Italy most certainly concern you as Doge, particularly now that there is a serious struggle between would-be Emperors. Although neutrality certainly has its uses – as it avoids invoking the wrath of the victor should the wrong side be chosen -, there are also merits in placing the Republic’s considerable influence and assets behind Frederick or Otto, and possible gains to be made for Venice as well. Will you be taking sides on this civil war or approaching one of the contenders to negotiate?

Muhammad al-Nasir:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Medium

-Following your crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar with an unusually strong army and the successful capture of Salvatierra Castle the alarmed Christian kingdoms of the peninsula have started to gather their armies in Toledo with the Pope’s blessing, yet another crusade to be fought against. In the present scenario your armies certainly outnumber the forces the King of Castile is gathering, giving you the initiative in the coming campaign against the enemy forces. How will you fight this war? Will you seek a decisive battle against the new crusaders, or fight it through more indirect means?

-A relevant conquest for the Caliphate in recent years has been the Balearic Islands, the installation of Abu Yahya as your governor putting an end to years of Almoravid rule and a serious risk. And yet in the span of a few years Abu Yahya has all but become independent, formally claiming submission to the Caliphate whilst making virtually all decisions on his own as the islands come to resemble an independent state. Losing even formal control over the islands could pose a problem and a strategic dilemma, though it remains unclear how would direct control over the Baleares be re-established without the same problem repeating itself.

-Although you are present occupied with the current military challenges in the peninsula the situation in Northern Africa continues to be very complex, your power and influence losing strength in Tunis and Tripolitania despite having contained the raids of the Almoravid remnants and the Banu Ghaniya thus far. Though the designation of Abd Al-Wahid – your former Grand Vizier – as the governor of Ifriqiya with sweeping powers has prevented another Banu Ghaniya offensive in the region it is noticeable that his growing popularity and influence could pose a risk if he were to break from his thus far continued loyalty. How will you handle Al-Wahid?

Peter II Barcelona:
-Popularity: High
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Medium

-With the recent military offensive of the Almohads and the gathering of a large Muslim army the King of Castle has gathered a Christian army of his own in Toledo, combining forces from Portugal, Navarre, Leon and from the Military Orders. You have received a missive from King Alfonso VII himself, inviting you personally to join his coalition and thus battle the Almohad Caliph together. In doing so you could run serious risks against the large forces of the Caliph, but also gain prestige and influence within the kingdom and with the Pope should the infidels be defeated. Will you join Alfonso’s efforts?

-Over the past few years you have undertaken great efforts to divorce Queen Marie, a wife you have grown to dislike and who you cannot divorce due to the current support of Pope Innocent III for the Queen. So conflictive has the situation been that your son and heir James has been turned to Simon of Montfort and his crusaders in Occitania as a gesture of goodwill as the prince is to be someday married to Montfort’s daughter, a decision which may soon become a problem. Should anything happen to James or the situation with Marie not be resolved Aragon could find itself in a succession problem sooner rather than later, how will you deal with the situation?

-With Aragon holding great influence over Occitania and its nobility, the issue of the Albigensian Crusade has taken enormous importance over its implications and a possible intervention from Aragon. Your brother in law Raymond of Toulouse and the nobles of the area have begged you to intervene against Simon of Montfort and the crusaders, claiming you have a duty to intervene both to stop Montfort’s atrocities and as the liege of the Count of Toulouse. It is a remarkable dilemma. Intervention to save Raymond and the Occitanians could invoke the wrath of France or the Pope if Innocent does not withdraw support for the crusade. Non-intervention could pose the risk of Montfort growing too powerful. What will you do?
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Lumine
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2019, 01:25:49 AM »

Player Crisis:

Theodore I Laskaris:
-Popularity: High
-Legitimacy: Medium
-Economy: Medium

-A brilliant victory against the Rum early in the past year left their Sultan dead and Nicea seemingly safe from attacks from the east, but the more recent defeat at the hands of the Latin Empire has costed you significant territories and the initiative against the Latin Emperor. Though other pressing issues demand your attention the struggle against the Latin Empire is one that cannot be fully ignored, whether it is by seeking a temporary – possibly peaceful – solution or by seeking to weaken your enemy through other means. With some pointing towards Bulgaria and Epirus as ongoing enemies of the Latins that could be further approached with new proposals, some wonder if it may not be possible to obtain support elsewhere from new allies. To whom will you appeal for help and/or an alliance?

-The victory against Rum has also dealt a blow to the Komnenoi of Trebizond and their ambitions on your territory, leaving David Komnenos- brother of Alexios I – somewhat isolated on his dominions in Paphlagonia. Due to David’s apparent weakness many generals wonder if it might not be a good idea to take a gamble and invade his lands in the hope others will not intervene, although there are those who worry about the potential risks of trying to eliminate David even at this point. With the Sultan of Rum a potential figure to approach – or perhaps his unhappy brother? – how will you approach the issue of Paphlagonia?

-Although the high levels of population across Nicea allow for a decently-sized army and economy to be sustained, the strain of several years of warfare and chaos has substantially weakened the region and limited the amount of resources you can deploy. Ensuring the prosperity of the region and the access to further manpower and resources may well prove a matter of life and death when it comes to the long-term survival of your small Empire, but the dilemma appears to lack an easy solution. How will you address these shortcomings?

Henry I of Flanders:
-Popularity: High
-Legitimacy: Medium
-Economy: Medium

-A decisive victory against Nicea late in the past year significantly improved the situation of the Empire in Asia Minor, the post-war settlement ensuring substantial territories near the Sea of Marmara would be transferred to your domains. This victory, however, poses an interesting dilemma to be considered on where to focus future efforts. On one hand, the costly war against Bulgaria and Epirus has the Empire hard-pressed – though victorious so far – in Northern Greece itself, thus giving merit to the idea of focusing on driving both enemies back. On the other, there are those who wonder if the Empire might not benefit from further expansion into Asia Minor. Which road – whether these or another one – will you take?

-It has taken significant efforts to defeat the countless Byzantine revolts that have sparked across your territories, and it is only now that what seems like the final spots of internal resistance are on the verge of defeat. The Principality of Achaea has reported back that the sieges of Monemvasia and other Greek fortresses are on what appears to be the final stages, whilst also request urgent reinforcements to put an end to the local resistance. Still, even if ending Greek resistance in the Peloponnese is tempting there’s a question of whether the Empire can afford directing military resources towards the area. Will you take that risk?

-The powers of the crown have been reasonably expanded thus far in your reign, but the Latin Empire remains – much like Jerusalen and other realms – too decentralized for imperial authority to be fully effective. Whether it is the pride and reckless demeanor of several Latin barons, the growing influence of the Most Serene Republic of Venice or the ongoing controversy surrounding your favorable treatment of the local Greek population the issue of royal power remains very much open. How will you approach it?

Boril I Asen:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Medium

-For the past few years a constant state of warfare has existed between Bulgaria and the Latin Empire, though the times of Kaloyan and his stunning victory against the hapless first Latin Emperor seem far away. The last campaign resulted in failure after being outmaneuvered at the siege of Thessaloniki, though a significant part of the Bulgarian armies remains intact. The question now is how to continue the war or an eventual peace with the Latin Empire, whether by approaching the Latin Emperor, renewing alliances with Epirus and other states or preparing a new but risky campaign into the Empire. What should be done?

-Ever since you took the throne in the aftermath of Kaloyan’s mysterious death you’ve had to deal with the issue of your relatives, the three cousins that could pose a danger to our continued rule while you lack a male heir. Ivan Asen remains a guess of the Russian principalities, promoting trouble from a safe distance. Strez Asen has conquered much of Macedon and recently accepted you as his liege, though at the cost of the full autonomy of his territories. And Alexius Slav, having conquered territories of his own in Northern Greece is now one of the Latin Empire’s vassals, a dangerous weapon at the hands of Henry. What will you seek to do with them?

-Given the complex situation in what used to be the Byzantine Empire strong alliances will be needed in order for Bulgaria to remain stable and fend off any threats, though any choice of allies brings enemies of their own. Outside from the constant bickering between the Latins, Niceans and Epirotes there are also the fierce Khans of Cumania – the lands of your wife Tzelguba -, who already supported Kaloyan’s campaigns to great effect (after an appropriate payment); Stefan Nemanjic, the Grand Prince of Serbia, who feels betrayed after Strez abandoned him when he became your vassal, and of course, Andrew II of Hungary, with whom a positive relationship has been maintained thus far. Will you seek new friends among your old enemies, or among those who have yet to fully enter the fray?

Maria I Montferrat:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Low


-Although the Third Crusade ensured the continued survival of the Kingdom of Jerusalem your present domains are nowhere near the borders before the disaster of Hattin thirty years ago, the Kingdom itself limited to the coastline whilst Jerusalem itself is under Ayyubid control. Thus far Sultan Al-Adil has focused on fostering trade and maintaining a positive relationship with your Kingdom, though his continued neutrality and goodwill can certainly not be guaranteed after the latest crusader raid in Egypt. With the Ayyubid still posing an enormous challenge and a dangerous threat for the future, how will you approach your relationship with the Sultan?

-One of the greatest problems the Kingdom faces is the apparent lack of royal control over the Military Orders and much of the nobility, the past few decades of royal instability having a negative impact on the already limited powers of the Crown. The sort of infighting that took place before the Third Crusade is believed by many to have been one of the key causes for Saladin’s victory, and something the kingdom can simply not afford in the present circumstances. Although you can count on the valuable experience and support of your husband, bringing the nobility and the Grand Maesters into the crown’s control appears to be quite a challenge. Will you attempt to expand royal power?

-Ever since the crusaders took Jerusalen over a hundred years ago the kingdom has continuously struggled with the fact that the Christian population has never been the majority against the Muslims. The movement of Europeans into Jerusalem has not been a success thus far, both limiting the potential manpower pool in case of war and weakening the kingdom itself on account of internal divisions. Still, it would appear persuading more Christians to settle in the kingdom would be quite a challenge, particularly due to the threat posed by the Ayyubids. Should the crown attempt to promote immigration into the kingdom?

Al-Adil I:
-Popularity: High
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: High

-As always, the Kingdom of Jerusalem continues to pose a dilemma of no easy solution. Although the latest raid by the friends of King Consort Jean on Damietta has been most displeasing a new truce has been recently signed with Jerusalem, a kingdom you have been reluctant to antagonize or outright invade thus far out of concern for the problems associated with another crusade like the one your brother once faced. On the other hand, it is hard to say whether Jerusalem could be trusted as a long-term partner of sorts not only due to religious differences, but over their ambitions over lost territories. How will you approach the relationship with Jerusalem?

-Over the past few years you’ve devoted countless efforts to contain the ambitions of Saladin’s sons and prevent major challenges to your authority as Sultan. The last credible threat appears to be Az-Zahir Ghazi, Emir of Aleppo and Saladin’s son, who despite having formally recognized you as sultan remains a would-be rival as he continues to battle neighboring Christian princes. Although your son is more than well placed to succeed you it would be difficult to assume there wouldn’t be those willing to consider Az-Zahir, opening the question on how to deal with him for good. Should he be approached with an offer of sorts to bring him on board? Openly confronted? Perhaps undermined?

-An interesting question to be addressed is that of the relationship of your domains with other Muslim rulers, particularly with would be rivals. On one side there’s the still powerful Almohads, whose Northern African domains pose a tempting area for expansion should you go after an aggressive approach. On another there’s the weakened Rum in Asia Minor, both a possible target and a possible ally. And to your east there’s both the Caliph and the ever expanding Khwarezmian Empire, other realms it might be worth considering whether to approach or antagonize. What will you do?

Kaykaus I:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Medium
-Economy: Medium

-The crushing defeat at the hands of Theodore Laskaris has left the Sultanate substantially weakened, although the new peace appears to guarantee no further warfare, if only for the time being. Having lost your father and much of the professional army at the battle of Alasehir it will be an important task to determine how to rebuild the armies of Rum, and whether to seek an early campaign against a weaker enemy to restore trust and cement your still new rule over the Sultanate. How should the armies be rebuilt?

-Thanks to your efficiency during the succession struggle after the death of your father you managed to stop your brother Kayqubad from seizing the throne, imprisoning him and your other brother Kayferidun at a secure fortress in Anatolia. Their continued survival creates a strange dilemma for you, as although their deaths would leave your main family dangerously reduced and limit your possible heirs, their survival means the potential for their escape or for being used by those opposed to your rule. What will you do with your brothers now that you sit on the throne?

-It will be relevant for the Sultanate to find new allies or possible partners in the short term, particularly due to the danger posed by antagonizing a larger power. Thus far you have maintained an uneasy alliance with the Komnenoi of Trebizond and propped David’s forces in Paphlagonia, although the continuation of that relationship might run the risk of angering Theodore and the Empire of Nicea. There is also the Nicean themselves, a new partnership with them, while unlikely, having the potential to give you more room to maneuver and not worry about another threat. The Ayyubids are also to be taken into account, Al-Adil being at the same time a possible friend or enemy. Who will you approach?

Genghis Khan:
-Popularity: Very High
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: Medium

-During the latest campaign into Jin territory the Mongol armies – reaching almost 100,000 riders at this point – and your Xi Xia allies finally managed to breach the Great Wall and inflict serious defeats to the different Jin commanders, although the ability of the weakened Empire to rapidly raise large armies remains strong. As a result of the latest victories the road to the Jin capital of Zhongdu is seemingly open, although the tales that merchants and spies bring of the enemy capital suggest it would take a long siege to capture it. Will you march towards Zhongdu seeking a decisive battle for conquest against prince Wanyan or devote yourself to an invasion of other Jin regions?

-There’s talk amongst your generals that the Jin Empire could be weakened through internal strife, and several point towards the large groups of nomadic Khitans who currently reside across large parts of Manchuria. Once the ruling class of the Empire under the Liao Dynasty before being overthrown by the Jin less than ninety years ago, thus far the Khitans and the descendants of the Liao have fought loyally for Prince Wanyan and for the Jin Empire, but their defection could have a relevant impact on the war and on the ability of the Jin to regenerate their armies. Will you seek to drive a wedge among the Jin and the Khitans?

-Though the present war in China occupies your full attention, some courtiers continue to wonder about the realms west of their empire and their potential significance in the present situation. There’s, of course, the allied Xi Xia – also known as the Tanguts – and their new emperor Shenzong, raided into their submission as your allies in the current war against the Jin. There’s also the still vast Qara Khitai Empire, its throne recently captured by your persistent and resourceful enemy Kuchlug. There’s also the Khwarezmian Empire and Shah Mohammed, a ruler left stronger than ever after defeating his victories against the Ghurids and his installing of Kuchlug in Qara Khitai. How will you handle them and any future relationships?

Wanyan Yongji:
-Popularity: Very Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Very High

-Despite the best efforts of several of your commanders on the battlefield the Mongol hordes have done the unthinkable and breached the Great Wall, thus opening the road to the capital of Zhongdu. Many in the court have begun to panic and suggest the city should be abandoned to prevent being captured or encircled, thus refocusing the resistance against the Mongols on the many provinces of the Empire left untouched by war thus far. On the other hand, some of your generals believe the capital to be essentially impregnable, and a possible opportunity for a much needed victory against the Great Khan. What will you do?

-One of the biggest problems caused by the recent defeats against the Mongols has been the intensification of court intrigue and plotting, rumours pointing out towards some of your relatives and/or generals to be seriously considering rebellion should the war continue to be unsuccessful. And there are also those who point towards the Khitans in Manchuria and note their historical role as the ruling dynasty your ancestors overthrew, wondering if they and their Liao leaders could be really trusted. Facing this atmosphere of deceit and distrust, how will you navigate the present conflict?

-Although the undeniable ability of the Empire to raise large armies in very short time could be the salvation of your dynasty, the issue of alliances is one that has also gained prominence as a method of halting the Mongol advance. Some point towards Xi Xia – despite their alliance with the Mongols – as one alternative, to find a way to bring them into your camp. Others consider the Kingdom of Goryeo as a possible partner, assuming you can find way to sway them into joining the conflict. The unspoken alternative, the traditional enemies of the Song Dynasty in the south, also remains yet another option. But would the inevitably high price of such an alliance be worth it?

Mohammed II:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: High

-Your latest gamble against the Qara Khitai has resulted in the Naiman Khan Kuchlug’s elevation to Emperor, winning you a valuable ally in a complex border whilst also weakening
a formerly rival nation. But now that Kuchlug has triumphed, there’s the open question of the rewards that your empire should receive in return for this successful intervention. Though the new emperor does not appear particularly disposed to accept demands which are too high, what will you demand of Kuchlug? Lands in order to further expand your realm and guard the border? Tribute in order to replenish the treasury? Perhaps something else?

-During your campaigns with Kuchlug you have conquered most of the lands belonging to either to the Karakhanid princes or the vanquished former Qara Khitai dynasty, capturing key cities such as Samarkand, Tashkent or Fergana with the aid of Kuchlug and the Karakhanid prince Uthman. And yet a dangerous incident has taken place, reports of your governor asserting that the powerful city of Samarkand has revolted against your rule and executed the local garrison, a revolt which is claimed to be supported in secret by Uthman and his Karakhanid allies. With this revolt having the potential to cause major trouble due to the ongoing lack of unity within your empire and what appears to be the betrayal of an ally, how will you deal with this revolt?

-Ever since Muhammad of Ghor was assassinated six years ago the once mighty – and dangerous Ghurid Empire – has started to slowly disintegrate under the internal struggle for the succession. Nominally the Sultan despite the evident erosion of his power and seemingly inevitable break-up, Ghiyath al-Din Mahmud formally recognizes your authority despite an evident desire to break free as soon as possible. With the Ghurids in such an unstable state there is speculation on how will you deal with them, whether it is to try to re-unify it to rule it via Ghiyath, annex Ghiyath and his relatives’s territories yourself in a direct manner, or simply preserve the status quo as the empire conceivably collapses into smaller, independent realms. What will you do? 
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 01:10:09 PM »

Quote
Recognizing the dispute over the Holy Roman Imperial Crown is tearing the whole of Christedom apart, We, Frederick II Hohenstaufen and Otto IV Welf, have come to an agreement that would preserve the Empire.

Under said treaty, backed by the numerous precedents from the Roman era, We shall jointly rule the Empire as Co-Emperors, each being responsible for parts that are already controlled by each side, across established boundaries.

In times of external or internal crisis, we shall come to the aid of the other to ensure stability in our empires and the ability of our dynasties to continue to rule our respective holdings.

Our two empires will technological and military advancements and ideas to ensure no side is stronger than the other.

There shall be an agreement that if one Emperor is excommunicated in the future, the other emperor must request the Pope to lift the Excommunication to ensure religious stability within our realms.

Emperor Otto IV Welf will pay a huge sum of gold, to be determined at a later date, as compensation to Emperor Frederick for the territory of his supporters within Germany.

The two empires will remain defensive and offensive allies and will agree to aid one another in any future wars that may happen.

Tariffs between the Empires will be reduced 67% and both empires will have exclusive trading rights not available to any other nation.

x Hohenstaufen.
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 01:56:02 PM »

Quote
Recognizing the dispute over the Holy Roman Imperial Crown is tearing the whole of Christedom apart, We, Frederick II Hohenstaufen and Otto IV Welf, have come to an agreement that would preserve the Empire.

Under said treaty, backed by the numerous precedents from the Roman era, We shall jointly rule the Empire as Co-Emperors, each being responsible for parts that are already controlled by each side, across established boundaries.

In times of external or internal crisis, we shall come to the aid of the other to ensure stability in our empires and the ability of our dynasties to continue to rule our respective holdings.

Our two empires will technological and military advancements and ideas to ensure no side is stronger than the other.

There shall be an agreement that if one Emperor is excommunicated in the future, the other emperor must request the Pope to lift the Excommunication to ensure religious stability within our realms.

Emperor Otto IV Welf will pay a huge sum of gold, to be determined at a later date, as compensation to Emperor Frederick for the territory of his supporters within Germany.

The two empires will remain defensive and offensive allies and will agree to aid one another in any future wars that may happen.

Tariffs between the Empires will be reduced 67% and both empires will have exclusive trading rights not available to any other nation.

x Hohenstaufen.
xOtto.
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 02:14:08 PM »
« Edited: July 08, 2019, 02:24:18 PM by Kingpoleon »

The Treaty of Damascus
Quote
I. Whereby the Sultan of Rum, Kaykaus, does swear his eternal loyalty and friendship to the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Adil.
II. And the Sultan of Egypt does pledge his eternal friendship to the same.
III. All taxes, tariffs, and other barriers on trade are removed at once, in order to strengthen the economic ties and relations between these two countries.
IV. An alliance is hereby formed, uniting the forces of Rum and Egypt in defense and times of war.
x Al-Adil, Sultan of Egypt
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2019, 07:47:07 PM »

The Treaty of Damascus
Quote
I. Whereby the Sultan of Rum, Kaykaus, does swear his eternal loyalty and friendship to the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Adil.
II. And the Sultan of Egypt does pledge his eternal friendship to the same.
III. All taxes, tariffs, and other barriers on trade are removed at once, in order to strengthen the economic ties and relations between these two countries.
IV. An alliance is hereby formed, uniting the forces of Rum and Egypt in defense and times of war.
x Al-Adil, Sultan of Egypt
X Sultan Kaykaus I
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 04:08:35 AM »

While the Holy Father enthusiastically welcomes peace and amity between the Imperial Houses of Welf and Staufen to the great good of all Christendom, he regrets that he was not consulted as to the new treaty's precise terms, especially as his action is required both to lift the present Emperor's excommunication and to elevate the King of Sicily to imperial rank. Pope Innocent remains eager to negotiate precisely with both Imperial candidates in order to achieve an agreement he will gladly assist and ratify.

- Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles, Pontifex Maximus
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 06:36:39 AM »
« Edited: July 09, 2019, 07:58:48 AM by Garlan Gunter »

Pope Innocent names the following to the College of Cardinals -

From England, Robert of Curzon and Simon Langton.

From Italy, Giovanni Colonna.

Pope Innocent names Azzo, marquis of Este, as Gonfalonier of the Holy Church.
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2019, 07:57:13 AM »

We, the Co-Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of Sicily etc., etc., welcome His Holiness fatherly desire for Him and his two sons in Christ to have frank and productive discussion to resolve pressing problems. We want to assure the Holy Father there was no ill will in not bringing certain precise terms of the treaty between Us and Emperor Otto, merely a regrettable error in communication.

The Holy See and the Holy Roman Empire has been two fundamentals supporting Our Mother Holy Church, and it is inconceivable to remain being torn by what is essentially petty and easily solvable questions.

We would, however, like to humbly point out the agreement dealt with the lands that belongs to the Holy Roman Empire, thus having nothing to do with the Kingdom of Sicily. This is entirely diffrent issue.
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2019, 08:40:10 AM »

The Pope would never have suggested anything less, fair and royal son; Sicily, after all, remains a Papal fief now and for all time. But as for the Imperial title, it is elected - to rest upon a single person - along with the German kingdom by the princes of Germany, and this practice should not rashly be altered in any way without consulting the said bishop and prince electors.

At present the Papacy still sees the best solution as the separation of the German and Italian kingships, only the former bearing the Imperial rank.
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2019, 09:22:02 AM »

The Holy Roman Imperial throne had been in dispute, with both sides claiming their election as the only legitimate. This is an issue that can't be resolved rashly, so our dear cousin Otto and us decided to recognize each other as "Co-Emperors", based on numerous precedents from the ancient Roman era, in order to heal the division and work together to solve the fundamental problem with all caution and participation of all parties involved. The Holy Roman Empire itself had not been divided, both sides simply suspended their exclusive claims for the common good of the Christendom.
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2019, 09:37:26 AM »

Papal Bull, AUGUSTI FRATRI, 1200

The Holy Father calls upon the prince and bishops electors of the German empire to approve or reject the Imperial candidates' proposal for dual imperium.

The Pope will not allow the Empire to be carved out over the heads and rights of its electors both worldly and spiritual.

Glory be to Our Lord

Innocent III
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2019, 10:09:44 AM »

For many, many years the Holy See and the Holy Roman Empire formed two mighty pillars upon which rests the Christendom. One spiritual, and one temporal. We are convinced that if any emperor, king of prince would ever wanted to interfere within the realm of spiritual leadership that belongs exclusively to the Pope, it would be utterly unacceptable. However, the Holy Father's temporal powers are limited to the boundaries of the Papal States and any interference in the affairs of other realms shall be viewed as no diffrent than one secular prince interfering in the affairs of another. We bow lowly before the spiritual guidance of the Vicar of the Christ, but we shall not bow before another king.
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2019, 10:16:00 AM »

Emperor Otto agrees with his co-emperor. The Pope may hold influence in the realm of religion for he is the messenger of God but he is not the ruler of our personal holdings and thus shouldn't try to interfere in the politics and concerns of the Holy Roman Empire.
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2019, 10:31:26 AM »

The first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne, was crowned, like his successors, by the Pope. Those successors were elevated by the Electors of the Empire.

King Frederick and Emperor Otto are no pagan despots, to demand authority without the say of the electors beneath them or the Pope above. Nor is the Holy Father a mere Italian prince.

Unless the Imperial candidates come to heel on this matter, they will remain a desperate excommunicate at the head of a bandit army, and a young and untested princeling of the South; and the nobles and higher clergy of the Empire, as much as the Pope, will instruct them as much.
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2019, 10:37:36 AM »

Treaty of Schwerin
Quote
1. The territory will be De Jure territory of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany, while remaining De Facto a part of the Kingdom of Denmark for perpetuity.

2. The Holy Roman Empire will send financial aid to the Kingdom of Denmark for the next 5 years to aid them in their conquest of Scandinavia.
xOtto
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2019, 10:45:50 AM »

Quote
TREATY OF OSTIA, 1200

I The Republic of Venice and the Patrimony of St Peter, or Papal States, will support each other against any aggressor.

II Merchants from the Papal dominions will be granted passage upon Venetian craft and privileged access to the Republic's markets.

III Venetian merchants and pilgrims will be privileged at Rome and within the Papal dominions beyond those of any other nation.

IV Annibaldo Annibaldi, nephew to Pope Innocent III, shall be betrothed to a lady of the Ziani house.

V Venice shall support the Latin Empire of Constantinople, or 'Romania', by all means, both commercial, and martial at land and sea.


x Innocenzo
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2019, 11:38:35 AM »

Quote
I. Whereas the Shah of Khwarezm and Sultan of Egypt recognize the mutual and natural friendship between their nations,
II. Therefore it shall be established that neither tariff nor tax of any sort shall apply to trade between our two nations,
III. And furthermore guarantee the mutual defense against all powers which shall attack either friendly nation.
x Shah Mohammed II
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2019, 11:49:03 AM »

Quote
TREATY OF OSTIA, 1200

I The Republic of Venice and the Patrimony of St Peter, or Papal States, will support each other against any aggressor.

II Merchants from the Papal dominions will be granted passage upon Venetian craft and privileged access to the Republic's markets.

III Venetian merchants and pilgrims will be privileged at Rome and within the Papal dominions beyond those of any other nation.

IV Annibaldo Annibaldi, nephew to Pope Innocent III, shall be betrothed to a lady of the Ziani house.

V Venice shall support the Latin Empire of Constantinople, or 'Romania', by all means, both commercial, and martial at land and sea.


x Innocenzo

x Doge Pietro Ziani
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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2019, 12:38:09 PM »

Treaty of Constantinople
Quote
I. Whereas a state of war exists between the Bulgarian Empire and the Latin Empire
II. Whereas both parties seek an immediate end to hostilities
III. The Bulgarian Empire and the Latin Empire agree to the following:
     a. Hostilities between the two Empires and their bannermen shall henceforth cease
     b. The Latin Empire shall retain its territory that it held before the start of hostilities, including
         Constantinople, Edirne, and Thessaloniki
     c. The Bulgarian Empire shall retain its territory that it held before the start of hostilities, including
         Plovdiv (Phillipopolis), Sozopol, and its territories on the Aegean Sea.
IV. So swear both Sovereigns in felicity and harmony
X Tsar Boril I Asen, First of his name
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« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2019, 12:56:57 PM »

Treaty of Constantinople
Quote
I. Whereas a state of war exists between the Bulgarian Empire and the Latin Empire
II. Whereas both parties seek an immediate end to hostilities
III. The Bulgarian Empire and the Latin Empire agree to the following:
     a. Hostilities between the two Empires and their bannermen shall henceforth cease
     b. The Latin Empire shall retain its territory that it held before the start of hostilities, including
         Constantinople, Edirne, and Thessaloniki
     c. The Bulgarian Empire shall retain its territory that it held before the start of hostilities, including
         Plovdiv (Phillipopolis), Sozopol, and its territories on the Aegean Sea.
IV. So swear both Sovereigns in felicity and harmony
X Tsar Boril I Asen, First of his name

X Emperor Henry I Flanders of the Latin Empire.
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« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2019, 01:05:41 PM »

Quote
I. Whereas the Shah of Khwarezm and Sultan of Egypt recognize the mutual and natural friendship between their nations,
II. Therefore it shall be established that neither tariff nor tax of any sort shall apply to trade between our two nations,
III. And furthermore guarantee the mutual defense against all powers which shall attack either friendly nation.
x Shah Mohammed II
x Sultan Al-Adil
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« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2019, 04:01:08 PM »

Quote
Treaty of Nymphaion
I . Whereas a state of chronic conflict exists between the Roman Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate
II . Whereas both states now recognize the futility of continued bloodshed
III . The Roman Empire and Seljuk Sultanate agree to the following:
   A . The Roman Empire agrees for a period of 10 years to not directly or indirectly violate the borders of the Seljuk Sultanate and to recognize their present territorial holdings.
   B . The Seljuk Sultanate agrees for a period of 10 years to not directly or indirectly violate the borders of either the Roman Empire or the Roman state in Trebizond and to recognize their territorial holdings.
   C . Seljuk traders will be permitted to sell their wares and transport their goods freely in Smyrna, Nicaea, and Miletus.
xTheodore I Laskaris, in Christ, Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans
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« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2019, 06:18:35 PM »
« Edited: July 09, 2019, 06:23:53 PM by Garlan Gunter »

Count Stefano de’ Conti di Segni, firstborn son and heir of Count Riccardo di Poli e Guadagnolo, nephew of Pope Innocent III, is formally betrothed to the lady Elizabeth de Courtenay, niece of the Emperor Henry of Constantinople.
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