The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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  The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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GoTfan
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« Reply #50 on: July 15, 2019, 07:35:26 AM »

The Holy See implores that King John see reason upon this. The lands of Brittany are in any case at present held by Duchess Alix and her stepfather Guy of Thouars as a fief of France. Pride and a dead letter are no reason to hinder the care of a kingdom’s souls.

We had already agreed to the Papacy's terms before attempts to force another clause upon us.
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #51 on: July 15, 2019, 08:35:30 AM »

The matter of Brittany is no new clause, rather the King of France's rightful desire for clarification upon an existing concern. Nonetheless we strive to discover a solution favourable to all parties.
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NyIndy
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« Reply #52 on: July 15, 2019, 12:49:01 PM »

-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?

- For right now the Sultanate will look inward and rebuild our army. We will raise an additional 10,000 troops in 2 years. Potential campaigns in the future will be considered at a later date.

-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?

- My brothers will be kept under strong security although they will be treated and educated well in order to keep my claim on the throne strong.

-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?

- We have negotiated a truce with the Romans and Trebizondians to secure our borders and an alliance with the Ayyubids to cement our security as we rebuild
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GoTfan
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« Reply #53 on: July 15, 2019, 06:27:37 PM »

The matter of Brittany is no new clause, rather the King of France's rightful desire for clarification upon an existing concern. Nonetheless we strive to discover a solution favourable to all parties.

This was a clause inserted into a treaty that had already been agreed to. We have acted in good faith and will abide by the terms of the original treaty as agreed to by both parties. I had intended to invite my brother to return to his old post in any matter, so this is of no concern.

If this is found to be disagreeable, then it will have to be so. We have acted in good faith, and have been taken for fools.

We most certainly are not fools.

-John, King of England.
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2019, 06:48:37 AM »

THE MATTER OF ENGLAND, IRELAND, FRANCE AND BRITTANY

We hope that our latest proposals shall at last form the firm foundation of King John's lasting reconciliation to Holy Church.

THE MATTER OF THE EMPIRE

Having to our own satisfaction resolved the state of the disputants, we await confirmation from the Emperor and the King of Sicily.

THE MATTER OF RAYMOND OF SAINT-GILLES

We command Raymond, Sire de Saint-Gilles, lately Count of Toulouse, to set out for the relief of the Holy Land with such followers as choose to accompany him, and offer him every assistance for his journeying and establishment thither. We recommend that the Count's son Raymond VII of Saint-Gilles, nephew to the King of England, remain behind as Marquis of Provence under papal tutelage, the lands of Provence being under Papal and Imperial authority rather than that of the King of France, and the Empire still for the present lacking universally acknowledged leadership.

THE MATTER OF SPAIN

We bless the endeavour of the King of Castile against the paynim, award it the papal banner, and urge all good Christians that may to assist it. We have promising hopes already here of King Peter of Aragon, Otto of Brunswick pending his reconciliation to Holy Church, and King Valdemar of Denmark, and hope to see all these fulfilled, rather than any of these sovereigns becoming lured aside into warring with fellow Christians.

THE MATTER OF THE ALBIGENSES

We are fully persuaded of the valour and trustworthiness of Simon, Sire de Montfort and now Count of Toulouse by the King of France's word. We give him full authority and support to proceed in defence of Holy Church in the Languedoc, as a liegeman of France and beloved, faithful servant of the Papacy.

However, dark deeds have been committed by some who have profited from the name of Crusaders, all too many, to the sorrow of the Mother Church, high among the local clergy of the Languedoc. We thus dispatch a commission of enquiry under Cardinals Giovanni de' Conti and Giovanni di San Paolo with authority to judge and replace corrupt malefactors found in the Church of the Languedoc.

THE MATTER OF THE CHILDREN CALLING THEMSELVES CRUSADERS

These innocents are indeed divinely inspired, but must be led aright. The Jerusalem to which they have been called is of Heaven not of this Earth, and it may now be built anew in the Languedoc, where wars have left lands ravaged and empty. His Holiness calls upon the children and the preachers travelling with them to journey thence and receive instruction from Brothers Dominic de Guzman and Francis of Assisi in the contemplative holy life. By so doing their prayers alone shall help to free Jerusalem in due time.

Instructed and urged in Christ, by all the power spiritual and temporal in the Holy See, sunlight of the world, thus granted,

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles, Pontifex Maximus
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #55 on: July 17, 2019, 09:41:58 AM »

Quote
The ITALIAN LEAGUE

Agreed between the Papal States, the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Sicily

I We shall undertake mutual defence of blessed Italy against invaders without her, and intervention to curtail any wars that blemish her

II We shall practise trade to mutual advantage throughout our dominions

III A Venetian-Sicilian alliance at sea, blessed by the Papal banner, shall be permitted and enjoined to harry and profit upon any vessels of the Saracens, enslaving soulless heathens, enriching Christendom and thus laying a foundation for the relief of the Holy Land.

x Innocenzo

***

WARNINGS TO JOHN, KING OF ENGLAND, AND OTTO OF BRUNSWICK

I have been at great pains to reconcile you both to the Mother Church but have not as yet received final reassurance or confirmation from your ambassadors. If this continues to be the case, the excommunications and Interdict already in effect shall perforce for the time being remain so.

- Innocent III, Holy Father, etc
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« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2019, 10:04:46 AM »

Quote
The ITALIAN LEAGUE

Agreed between the Papal States, the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Sicily

I We shall undertake mutual defence of blessed Italy against invaders without her, and intervention to curtail any wars that blemish her

II We shall practise trade to mutual advantage throughout our dominions

III A Venetian-Sicilian alliance at sea, blessed by the Papal banner, shall be permitted and enjoined to harry and profit upon any vessels of the Saracens, enslaving soulless heathens, enriching Christendom and thus laying a foundation for the relief of the Holy Land.

x Innocenzo

x Frederick.
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« Reply #57 on: July 17, 2019, 02:44:21 PM »

Quote
The ITALIAN LEAGUE

Agreed between the Papal States, the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Sicily

I We shall undertake mutual defence of blessed Italy against invaders without her, and intervention to curtail any wars that blemish her

II We shall practise trade to mutual advantage throughout our dominions

III A Venetian-Sicilian alliance at sea, blessed by the Papal banner, shall be permitted and enjoined to harry and profit upon any vessels of the Saracens, enslaving soulless heathens, enriching Christendom and thus laying a foundation for the relief of the Holy Land.

x Innocenzo

***

WARNINGS TO JOHN, KING OF ENGLAND, AND OTTO OF BRUNSWICK

I have been at great pains to reconcile you both to the Mother Church but have not as yet received final reassurance or confirmation from your ambassadors. If this continues to be the case, the excommunications and Interdict already in effect shall perforce for the time being remain so.

- Innocent III, Holy Father, etc

x Doge Pietro Ziani
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Kalwejt
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« Reply #58 on: July 19, 2019, 07:24:14 AM »

Emperor Frederick wishes to apologize to the imperial electors on the circumstances of the attempt, undertaken jointly with Emperor Otto, to stop the deterioration of the Imperial unity by adopting a temporary measure of Co-Emperorship. Our intentions were noble, but the execution left much to be desired in failure to adequately seek advice and consent from the electors.

The Emperor wishes that the issue of the Holy Roman Imperial crown be decided in a fair and satystyfing manner as soon as possible, this time with all parties involved having their rightful say.
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Kalwejt
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« Reply #59 on: July 19, 2019, 08:56:01 AM »

1. Italy in general, and Sicily in particular, has been blessed with its extremely convenient geographic location, making it a natural route for the movement of people and goods. For this reason, We, Emperor Frederick, King of Sicily, decree measures to be undertook to expand the network of roads to make it easier for the traffic to access our ports. In the same vain, we order the steps to expand and improve our seaports, building of more ships to support commerce, as well as military vessels to protect our trade routes.

2. With the danger from the heathen Saracens looming over the Christedom, We must order the expandion and modernization of the royal army.
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Lumine
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« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2019, 09:10:56 PM »
« Edited: July 21, 2019, 09:22:48 PM by Lumine »

End of 1212 Update, Part I


Rise of the Papacy
Pope Innocent III drastically expands power
Papal influence growing in Italy against the Emperors
Backlash and rumor begins, Flanders and Brittany defy the Pope

THE PAPAL POWER – Skillfully exploiting the perceived blunders of the Welfs and the Hohenstaufens, Pope Innocent III has rapidly emerged as champion of order and stability within the Empire itself, as well as an increasingly powerful figure in the affairs of Italy itself. Beyond his known intervention on the Imperial conflict the Papacy – which has resulted in several electors abandoning the Welf or Hohenstaufen camp - has managed to close alliances with Sicily and Venice, as well as establishing a new League of St. Peter alongside Florence and a limited number of Italian cities and princes, a key development for any future conflict in the peninsula. Following this with active (if highly controversial) efforts to ensure a prodigious number of marriages for his extended family, the appointment of new allied Cardinals, thus far successful efforts to preach against the Patarenes and his intervention on separate matters pertaining Denmark, England and a new would-be Crusade in the Holy Land have all expanded papal influence and prestige, though at a key cost.

MARRIAGE CONTROVERSY – Indeed, this rapid growth of temporal power and influence has not been extent of backlash at all, to the point in which instances of defiance against the Pope or a rejection of his new policies have already started to take place. Whereas Italy and much of the Empire seem to have embraced his approach – even if to counter the perceived blunders of the Emperors -, regions under controversy such as England have started to solidify in support of their Kings, and the most troublesome aspect has been the push for papal marriages. Although some royal matches (such as the one with the Latin Empire) have proved well-received, the Pope’s push to marry his family into the Breton and Flemish nobility has seemingly backfired, the Breton nobility recognizing Eleanor as Duchess yet demanding a Breton consort, and the Flemish nobility – along with the Margrave of Namur – vetoing the Papal match before clarification of the political ramifications.

INTRIGUE IN ROME – This perceived backlash against the papal influence has also affected Rome and the College of Cardinals itself, many allegedly expressing in private their enormous reservations at Innocent’s apparent efforts to establish a dynasty of sorts as several Roman families also make a point of rejecting marriage overtures. A decision by the Pope to remain at the Vatican fortresses under heavy guard has proven unexpectedly controversial due to a rumor spread by an unknown source, claiming that Pope Innocent has actually been kidnapped and a devilish imposter put on his place as the rightful pontiff is – supposedly – subject to horrible torments and humiliation. Due to the lurid details of the rumor most have refused to believe it, but there are whispers already among the people of Rome due to not being able to see the Pope in public.

ITALIAN TRADE WAR? – A decision by the Papacy and the Kingdom of Sicily to significantly expand trade or banking – through different means – has seemingly yielded early benefits due to advantages enjoyed by each realm, but has immediately sparked a reaction from the vigilant trade cities of the Peninsula. Despite their long standing rivalry and mutual distrust both Pisa and Genoa have been privately critical of this move and their merchant classes have greatly resented the new competition, opening fears of a possible trade war should the Papal and Sicilian efforts continue. It is as of yet unknown if these whispers and distrust will amount to actual action, but merchants are understood to be also protesting the new competition in Ancona, Siena and even Venice.

The Albigensian Crusade
Montfort proclaimed Count, Papal Trials take place
Children’s Crusade directed to Aquitaine and Languedoc
Occitania refuses to yield to France and Papacy

PAPAL INTERVENTION – The significant controversy raised by the harsh methods of the Crusaders in Occitania brought about an immediate papal reaction, one which raised hopes of a less violent strategy within the war-torn region. Sending a delegation of Cardinals and some young and promising heads of religious orders, trials were immediately held regarding some of the more aggressive figures in the Crusade, Arnaud Amalric and Fulk of Toulouse chief among them. Protected by Montfort’s forces – the Crusader pledging himself to follow the papal commands – and despite the loud protests of other crusader leaders, Arnaud, Fulk and other figures were tried, sentenced and confined as being unworthy of their offices. This, combined with Montfort’s conscious decision to hand over heretics to the Inquisition as opposed to outright killing them brought some limited hopes among the local nobility and population that the situation might improve.

POLITICAL BACKLASH – This renewed hope for a less violent Crusade, however, was not to materialize. Whipped into an anti-Occitan and anti-English frenzy, the growing masses of children and peasant crusaders left Paris utterly convinced of the need to liberate and cleanse the heretic lands, and after a long trip descended on Aquitaine and Occitania with furious anger. Despite Papal efforts to provide for the new crusaders the region was further thrown into chaos as the bands of new crusaders started sacking towns and murdering their perceived enemies on sight, sparking immense backlash not only across all of Occitania but also in English Aquitaine, also targeted by the children and peasant bands. This was made worse by further Papal and French action, asserting the status of Occitania as a French vassal, trying to depose Count Raymond to give his Toulouse titles to Simon of Montfort, and by the invasion of Occitania itself by French troops later in the year.

CHAOS IN OCCITANIA – The collective result of these events has been remarkably chaotic. Most of the region and the Occitanian nobility has reacted with immense anger, denouncing the French King as having no rights on the region, restating their support for Raymond – who has outright refused to relinquish his title – and blaming France and the Papacy of bringing further misery and death into the region via the Children’s crusade. Both the limited French invasion and the new crusaders have drastically weakened the Occitanian position in the north, whereas in the south Montfort is hard pressed by large-scape uprisings which have retaken control over several rural areas. Tales from the region grow increasingly grim, with separate tales of cruelty and sadism coming from French, Occitanian, Crusader, Papal or peasant soldiers alike.

European Developments
Uncertainty in Brittany, Anglo-Papal conflict
Danish King invades Sweden, faces new enemies
Imperial Electors start to abandon current claimants

PEACE AT DOVER? – The historic arrangement that was to end the prolonged conflict between King John and Pope Innocent has on by itself been the cause of further diplomatic strife, particularly in terms of its implications for the Duchy of Brittany. With the Kingdom of England publically refusing to acknowledge French sovereignty over Brittany it remains unclear to the public whether the conflict is truly over, leading to confusion on whether John’s excommunication and interdiction still stands. On a positive note for the arrangement the controversial Archbishop Langton has been welcomed back into England, though he remains apparently suspicious of the King’s intentions. On a perhaps negative one, the eventual news of Eleanor’s release has brought on a significant reaction by the Breton nobility, the vast majority of which have proclaimed Eleanor as Duchess, rejected the papal match and no longer recognize Alix of Thouars as regent, placing her increasingly ailing father Guy – the pro-French regent – at a highly difficult position.

THE SCANDINAVIAN WAR – Having secured an advantageous deal with Emperor Otto as well as the release and reinstatement of his sister as Queen of France, King Valdemar of Denmark set his sight on the matter of territorial expansion, believing there was an opportunity to exploit in the kingdoms in the north. As a result, the Swedish and Norwegian courts were stunned when the Danish King suddenly made large demands - including several key provinces to be handed over to Denmark -whilst threatening both kings with the boy claimants Jon Sverker and Sigurd Ribbung, neither on a position to take up such rights or travel to Denmark. The outraged monarchs – Eric of Sweden having recently become Valdemar’s brother in law – immediately rejected such demands, Valdemar then ordering an invasion of Sweden. The Danish army met a substantial part of the Swedish forces at Boras, winning a strong but costly battle that has opened up the road for a more ambitious campaign.

IMPERIAL UNCERTAINTY – Following the continued rejection of the “Co-Emperor” scheme, the Welf reforms and some of the decisions taken by Otto and Frederick the situation within the Holy Roman Empire grows more and more confused, both claimants losing significant support among the electors. Although Otto retains his army at Ancona and is yet supported by Saxony, Brandenburg and the occupied Swabia he has lost much of Germany to princes and bishops angered at his reforms and behavior. And whereas Frederick is firmly in control of his Sicilian Kingdom and maintains allies such as Sienna the Bavarian, Bohemian and Austrian princes have left his camp in the belief they’re being abandoned, whilst steadfastly refusing to support Otto. With the situation evolving and both princes still retaining the potential to turn the situation around it is as of yet unknown what will happen to the Empire.
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Lumine
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« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2019, 09:14:39 PM »
« Edited: July 22, 2019, 09:45:13 AM by Lumine »

End of 1212 Update, Part II


War and Peace in the former Empire
Main contenders sign peace, will it last?
Latins score victories in the Peloponnese, but fall into civil war
David Komnenos defeated, rise of the Niceans?

THE UNEASY PEACE – Having experienced a near non-stop state of warfare since the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade it was to the surprise of many – and to the joy of merchants – that the main contenders for the old remnants of the Byzantine Empire choose to make peace with each other, if an arguably uneasy one. Treaty by treaty followed instead of prolonged warfare, Nicea ending its conflicts with Rum and the Latins; Bulgaria making peace with the Latins; and the Latins signing peace with Nicea and Bulgaria in a series of territorial arrangements and a new found emphasis on trade on a region which has seen enormous economic disruption. The signing of peace led to an initially calmer situation on the region – despite the lack of success for Tsar Boril to secure peace with his nephews -, which would nonetheless be broken soon.

NICEAN INVASION OF PAPHLAGONIA – Gaining vital room to maneuver on account of not having to fight a war on two fronts, the Niceans immediately set to work on a series of ambitious efforts to consolidate their position. Some, like an attempt to sway Rhodes into the Nicean camp were unsuccessful. Others, such as the attempt to introduce the Theme system show early signs of encouragement yet remain too early to judge. But by far the largest success experienced by the Empire was the decision to confront David Komnenos in Paphlagonia, Emperor Theodore taking a major gamble by personally leading a military expedition despite the limited size of the Nicean military. Managing to ambush the enemy forces in a successful battle of annihilation Theodore destroyed most of David’s forces and overrun Paphlagonia, though his enemy has not yet been captured.

VICTORY AND CONTROVERSY IN THE LATIN EMPIRE – Choosing to take a risk after signing peace with most of his enemies, Emperor Henry sent immediate reinforcements to the outstanding sieges in the Peloponnese, scoring a significant victory against the outnumbered, exhausted rebels. As fortress after fortress collapsed on its resistance the main Greek noblemen either died in battle or committed suicide, seemingly ending internal Greek resistance within the Empire. And although the signing of treaties with Bulgaria and Nicea proved to be controversial on account of territory ceded back to old rivals, the return of peace to the empire and the successful destruction of the pro-Byzantine rebels bolstered the Emperor’s standing at first. Alas, Henry’s internal decisions would prove to be of a tragic nature. Whereas the attempt to start full-scale efforts to preach the Catholic faith and convert the population were already controversial and badly received by the local orthodox population, it was the summoning of the Latin nobles and vassals to Constantinople that would end in true bloodshed.

THE LATIN CIVIL WAR? - Determined to centralize his authority, the Latin Emperor had commanded the creation of a new Imperial Army, the new force being partly assembled on the capital as the visiting barons were given drastically varied treatments. Those who submitted to imperial authority found themselves rewarded, whereas those who refused to swear allegiance or come to Constantinople were immediately branded as traitors. Soon the half-formed Imperial Army – having already murdered several noblemen in Constantinople – marched into the regions to subdue and eliminate rival barons, the effort immediately sparking a major crisis and the would-be victims raised armies of their own. Reports from the Latin countryside remain confusing, but with the Imperial Army not having had enough time to properly form only a few of the targeted nobles have met their demise, the rest rising in open rebellion as a handful of Orthodox fanatics rise against the Crown as well.

Islam and the Crusades
Almohad Caliph wins costly triumph against Castile
Egypt mobilizes, Cilician Armenia invades Antioch
Shah Mohammed rises in power

THE ALMOHAD CAMPAIGN – Choosing to confront the Christian coalition early on, the Almoravid Caliph began his campaign on a positive note by bolstering the ranks of his army and making a fast move into the Sierra Morena, hoping to force the hands of his enemies. Further empowered by the news of Abu Yaha’s sudden removal from power and execution at the hands of a relative - leaving the Baleares autonomous but closer to the Caliph -, Caliph Muhammad put the Castilians into an awkward position and forced them into the offensive as well, entering the Sierra Morena to confront the Caliph despite the Aragonese forces being in route. Planning the battle well the Caliph – leading his forces in person – successfully limited the Christian movements in the early phase of the campaign, winning several skirmishes but being denied a pitched battle until the King of Aragon joined the Christian camp.

BATTLE OF DESPEÑAPERROS -The main battle of the Almohad campaign was eventually fought at the Despeñaperros pass, a decisive and bloody encounter which prolonged itself for hours on account of the desperate Christian resistance. Despite holding far superior terrain the troop quality on the Christian side proved to superior, the Military Orders in particular making a concerted push to try and eliminate the Caliph to win the battle. Having almost broken through the Caliph’s personal guard after cutting down groups of fresh recruits the Almohads nonetheless held too many advantages, and after a desperate struggle finally won the day as Christian resistance crumbled. Despite the Castilian and Aragonese Kings having withdrew with some of their forces and the high casualties within the Almohad side the Caliph has won a resounding triumph, leaving Toledo in direct danger of invasion.

WAR IN THE NEAR EAST – Among the many decisions undertaken by Pope Innocent was the repeated mention of a new Crusade directed towards the Holy Land, part both of the Treaty of Dover and the planned destination of Raymond of Toulouse before his revolt. It was, to put it mildly, a cause for alarm within some of the Muslim realms in the Near East and particularly to the Ayyubid Sultan, merchants reporting of the Egyptian forces mobilizing into key points as the Sultan secured vital alliances with Rum and Khwarezm – the Shah warning Christendom against a Crusade – as well as a different arrangement with the Kingdom of Cilician Armenia. Now aligned with the Ayyubids, the Cilicians chose to press their claim on Antioch once again, restarting the War of the Antiochene Succession by invading the Principality, laying siege to Antioch and seizing most of the northern half of the Principality. Though initially successful Leo of Cilicia must face a difficult siege in Antioch, whose prince may well request the urgent support of previous allies in Jerusalem or Rum.

KHWAREZMIAN INFLUENCE RISING – Another ruler experiencing success in terms of its neighbors and the internal situation was the Shah of Khwarezm, who has managed to – at least temporarily – defuse conflict with now Emperor Kuchlug though the setting of the Syr Darya (or Jaxartes) as the border with the Qara Khitai and for the most part crush the Karakhanid rebellion by recapturing Samarkand with his armies and imprisoning Uthman as well. Though it remains to be seen what will happen to Samarkand and to future revolt, Mohammed has also been bolstered by the further decay of the Ghurids as four of its princes drift away almost decisively from their previous ruler, even if this mounting collapse may create problem of its own. Some degree of trouble has come from the east, however, as merchants and friendly tribes complain about the latest raid attempt by the Mongol Khan.

The Mongol Wars
Genghis Khan partly sacks Zhongdu, experiences mild defeat against Wanyan
Khitan revolt in Manchuria, Jin policy results in countless deaths
Mongol armies break-through in other fronts

THE KHITAN REVOLT – Hoping to secure an alliance with the Khitans, Genghis Khan wasted no time in sending his son Chagatai to parley with Liu-Ke, a Khitan prince and the most prominent survivor of the long vanquished Liao dynasty. Delivering an offer too advantageous to reject an alliance was negotiated, though soon after damaged by the Khan’s decision to make the news of the marriage of his daughter to Liu-Ke public. Whether on account of this announcement or out of a previously made decision Wanyan took immediate actions, ordering a controversial and bloody purge of allegedly disloyal officers whilst ordering the execution of the Liao noblemen. As the wedding took place and the Khitans became Mongol allies all of Manchuria exploded in chaos and blood, Khitan troops and Mongol raiders rising against the Jin, Jin armies hunting down the Khitans. Thus far the Khitan-Mongol alliance has seized control over much of Manchuria, but the Jin armies in the region remain numerous and strong.

THE SACK OF ZHONGDU – As Jin China faced the difficult task of fighting an internal war against the Khitans the Great Khan mobilized his armies on different directions, Genghis himself leading the main thrust towards the seemingly impregnable capital of Zhongdu. There Wanyan faced difficult challenges, successfully avoiding a coup when one of his generals publically disclosed a Mongol plot to depose him – and his rejection of it – but facing the rejection of possible allies and increased unpopularity as constant whispering and rumor within the population drastically weakened his personal standing. With Genghis and the other wings of his armies converging on the area Wanyan abandoned the capital with his forces, the Mongols swiftly entering the city. Following the Khan’s orders, the Mongol horde promptly started to sack and burn the enormous city down, killing thousands of civilians in a matter of hours.

REGIONAL CAMPAIGNS – Beyond Manchuria and the upcoming battle of Zhongdu the Great Khan also pursued military efforts on several additional fronts, hoping to drastically weaken Jin resistance. In the ones pursued against the Jin armies the Mongols found success for the most part, having an offensive into Southern Manchuria blunted but managing to score victories in the West under Jochi and under Emperor Shenzong, Xi Xia successfully expanding in the south though still on a limited basis. The result of those successes has had the effect of weakening the Jin military effort, though the large manpower capabilities of the empire remain very strong. A notoriously less successful campaign was pursued in the west through a raiding force, which found harsh resistance among the Turk tribes and was outright defeated in battle by Kuchlug, leading to new complaints about the Great Khan towards the Shah of Khwarezm.

JIN COUNTEROFFENSIVE – Damaging as the sack and burning of the capital would later turn out to be these events were part of Wanyan’s risky strategy, the Chinese ruler deploying his forces back to surround the Mongol armies now in the capital. This resulted in a series of large-scale engagements and a prolonged battle over the city, both massive armies dealing blow after blow to each other. Furious at the sack of the capital and aided by the element of surprise the Jin armies won their first surprise victory against the Great Khan, forcing a Mongol withdrawal after heavy casualties on both sides and liberating the highly damaged city. It was a complex situation to behold after the battle: by burning Zhongdu the Mongols had provided even stronger reasons to the Jin regions to resist at all costs, but had managed to withdraw in good order and remained a strong force. Wanyan, though having won the victory he so desperately needed was far from having won the war, and his once prosperous capital lay in ruins.
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« Reply #62 on: July 27, 2019, 10:01:44 PM »
« Edited: July 27, 2019, 11:08:21 PM by Lumine »

Turn II: 1213


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 (Dr. Novella)
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)
Kingdom of Castile: King Alfonso VIII Ivrea (Henry Wallace)
Albigensian Crusade: Count Simon of Montfort (Bacon King)

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: Low

-Following your commands the French forces have assembled and marched into Occitania to take part in the Albigensian Crusade, smashing their way across the territories at the border, occupying a substantial part of northern Occitania and seemingly swinging the balance in favor of the crusaders. Despite this early success the cost of fielding the army for a prolonged period is very high, and the invasion has been slow by the almost unyielding resistance of the Occitanian nobility to accept either French rule or having Montfort as their lord, supporting Raymond instead. With the treasury unable to fund several years of a Crusade without new sources of funding, how should the Crusade be fought this year?  

-Amidst much negotiations and the ongoing lack of clarify on the acceptance of the Treaty of Dover both the Flemish and Breton nobility have defied the Papacy and arguably France as well. In Brittany the nobility recognizes Eleanor as Duchess and appears to move away from the earlier pro-French position, your local regent Guy of Thouars – who is believed to be near death due to illness – losing control over the situation. And in Flanders, although the nobility and Philip of Namur has tentatively – but reluctantly - accepted the betrothal between Joan and your son Philip it has outright refused to marry Margaret to a relative of the Pope, suspending both marriages until there’s clarification on the future status of Joan’s territories. What will you do?

-Convinced of their divine cause in liberating the land from the “English heretics” a substantial group of the crusader peasants and children has invaded the north of Aquitaine and sacked several towns and feudal territories, angrily denouncing King John as an impious heretic. This has the potential to create a severe diplomatic incident as the lords of Aquitaine have already written in anger to John, and it could well open yet another front in the already bloody struggle for Occitania. Will you attempt to intervene with the situation in Aquitaine at all or observe how the peasant raids evolve?

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

-The controversy over your public feud with the Papacy and with Innocent III has led to significant confusion lately over the issue of the Treaty of Dover, which many are unsure on whether it has actually been accepted or whether the conflict continues. On the negative side, this means most of the Church in England feels forced to continue to acknowledge the interdiction and the excommunication. On the positive, the wrangling over the status of Brittany and the potential liberation of Eleanor have prevented further drops in popularity, though it remains to be seen whether that can be maintained. Will the Treaty of Dover be ratified in the end?

-Although efforts to repair the damage brought to London by the fire have indeed resulted in increased support for the Crown among many citizens of the capital, there is much internal turmoil to be resolved. On one side because prominent members of the nobility remain very much resentful towards the monarchy over the powers of the crown, leading to much talk of plots among prominent nobles and even a possible rebellion. On the other, because although inviting Langton back into England seemingly defused some tensions, after the issue of rights was raised Langton produced a document calling for the restoration of Henry I’s Charter of Liberties with expanded rights for the nobility, serfs and the Church, seen as a direct assault on your authority. What will do you?


-Letters from your vassals in Aquitaine have raised a dangerous issue, that of thousands of French peasants or children who, introducing themselves as crusaders against heretics, have invaded and sacked much of northern Aquitaine whilst proclaiming the English should be driven away. Your vassals request immediate military support to crush the peasant bands and restore order in the region, and angrily denounce French or Crusader priests for supposedly inciting the peasants to enter the region. Another complex choice awaits as well in Brittany itself, the nobility enthusiastically embracing the possible return of Eleanor and proclaiming her Duchess, a decision which could well lead to a conflict with France. What should be done?

Otto IV Welf:
-Popularity: Very Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Low

-The massive controversy over the proposed Co-Emperorship with Frederick of Sicily and the constant intervention of the Pope has drastically weakened your standing in the Empire while also costing Frederick the support of the German Electors, leaving much of the Empire uncertain and undecided as to whom to support for the Imperial Crown. Still standing in Ancona with your armies – the cost of which may become crippling if left standing too long – it is believed you retain the potential to turn the situation around if you can successfully rebuild a pro-Welf coalition or find a way to deal with Frederick and the Pope, though it is a difficult situation. What will you do?  

-The decision to promote a series of reforms and the formation of an imperial guard has been remarkably controversial, not only opposed by the Pope but also by the electors itself. Some see an opportunity on this opposition as revoking the reforms could well prevent further discontent with your efforts to secure the Imperial Crown, though at the cost of surrendering a more centralizing mentality for the sake of securing power first. Will you drop the proposed imperial reforms, propose modifications, or perhaps continue them to bolster your imperial powers?

-With the issue of your marriage and the continued betrothal to Beatrice of Swabia remaining unresolved, some wonder if you will indeed seek to marry the princess and find a way to persuade the Pope to grant a dispensation – perhaps even the end of the excommunication – on account of Beatrice’s potential prestige and influence boost should you marry her. Others, of course, wonder whether it might not be wiser to find a marriage elsewhere, perhaps even to secure a new alliance with another kingdom. What will you do?

Frederick II Hohenstaufen:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Medium

-Even though Sicily remains as loyal as ever, the events of the past few months have drastically eroded political support for the Hohenstaufens within the Holy Roman Empire, several of the German princes who backed your election returning to an undecided or neutral stance as they still refuse to support Otto. With the situation remaining complex many believe it is time to make a firm decision on the future of the imperial conflict and of your claim to the Empire, whether it is by seeking a final settlement, confronting Otto openly or winning over the princes. How will you deal with the struggle for the imperial crown?

-Efforts to expand the military and the bureaucracy – through a civil service – have met with encouraging early results, although they have also brought challenges of their own. Military expansion because, despite having kept feudal opposition at bay through the notion of a Crusade and the centralized nature of Sicilian rule the economic cost has been remarkably high, leading to the question of how to fund such a force if not used and disbanded within the next couple of years. Likewise, the expansion of a civil service has brought on promising “recruits”, but it has also opened the controversial question of who should be allowed in it. What should be done?

-An initial push to expand banking across the Kingdom of Sicily has resulted in a diplomatic crisis of its own, representatives from Genoa and Pisa, and prominent Venetian merchants, and Lombard and Templar bankers all openly protesting this competition and demanding the suspension of such measures, arguing banking privileges should remain with them. Thus the proposed banking measures have led to a dilemma in need of a solution, whether by taking the risk of alienating the competition by pushing forward for Sicilian banking – with the added economic benefits – or by preferring to keep better relationships with those competitors by calling off the measures. What should be done?

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

-Amidst the process of expansion of Papal power and influence it appears the situation in Rome is growing complicated, with signs of some trouble on the horizon. The College of Cardinals, though not outwardly hostile, is allegedly displeased with the growth of your power and particularly that of your family, a concern shared by enough prominent Roman families to have some courtiers fear a possible reaction in the future. This is also associated with growing unhappiness within the crowds of the city, many of them starting to believe the rumor of the Pope’s kidnapping and demanding to see the Pontiff themselves to have proof of your well-being. How will you handle this situation?

-The decision to encourage trade and banking and to attract merchants through low taxation has, just like with Sicily, brought over criticism from Genoa, Pisa and some in Venice, fearing the consolidation of Rome and Ostia as centers of trade that could give the trading cities unwelcomed competition. Although the Papacy has already started to experience the economic benefits of this early efforts on account of increased commercial activity the trading cities and their merchants have complained to the Cardinals, and expressed their view that many of these efforts should cease. Will you double down on the promotion of trade and banking and compete or find a way to defuse the situation?

-Although successfully securing several matches between members of your family and prominent royal houses has notoriously bolstered the prestige of the Conti family and strengthened the bond with states such as the Latin Empire, it has also resulted in an open act of defiance against the Papacy. The Flemish and Breton nobility have imposed an outright veto on the proposes matches of Margaret of Flanders and Eleanor Plantagenet, the Flemish nobles arguing in favor of other princes and the Breton ones calling for a Breton match for Eleanor, both believed to be concerned with becoming vassals of the Papacy and of the “Papal family”. How will you react to this defiance?

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

-Danish forces have been victorious on the first battle against the Swedish forces, but a seemingly complex war has just begun. The demands on Norway and Sweden have outraged both nations – Sweden in particular baffled due to a recent royal marriage –, the would-be claimants are young and located in their respective nations, and it is believed both kings could well unite to face Denmark on the field of battle. Still, you hold the advantage due to far superior training and experience, and could conceivably win a decisive victory depending on how events evolve. How should the war continue?

-The success of the war aside, it remains a fact that maintaining the army is a costly endeavor that poses a major problem for an already weakened treasury, opening up the question on how to pay for the war against Sweden and/or Norway. Some wonder if it might be possible to fund it through plunder or tributes, or via increased taxation, or by borrowing it from a wealthier neighbor or banker. Each alternative, of course, brings advantages and weaknesses, and finding a proper source for funding might prove decisive should the war in Scandinavia be a long one.

-Although you are currently focused on the Scandinavian conflict there are other wars which could well require your attention, some of their participants interested in Danish support. One of them is the continued Livonian Crusade, the Crusaders constantly writing to Denmark to obtain – thus far – limited financial and military support to secure their holdings in Livonia against the pagans. The other is the Crusade situation within the Iberian Peninsula and in Occitania itself, some Danish bishops wondering aloud if the Crown should not be focused on such religious wars as opposed to the Scandinavian conflict. Will you take action on those other wars?

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

-Although the battle itself proved challenging, your forces have prevailed against the coalition of Christian Kings and their misguided faith. Despite significant losses you retain a clear numerical superiority against the diminished forces of Castile and directly threaten the key city of Toledo itself, opening up the question of how the campaign should continue. Although it might be possible to declare victory on account of the battle, Castile and the other Kingdoms appear to retain the potential for further war in the future, although a direct attack on Toledo and across Castile itself could bring a more dangerous reaction from Christendom itself. What will you do?

-The sudden death of Abu Yahya has put a seemingly more loyal governor in the Balearic Islands and placed the island into more direct rule despite the significant autonomy still retained by the new governor, remaining somewhat unclear how closely the islands will be. A similar issue has arisen after the advance of your troops in Castile itself, many wondering how the new territories – assuming they’re successfully annexed – are to be governed and organized against what many assume could be significant Christian resistance to Almohad rule. How should the Balearic Islands be governed, and how should the new Iberian territories be organized?

-The latest campaign, while a source of increased prestige and power, has proved costly on account of the expenses associated with the large army placed on the field. As a result, and although the economy of the Caliphate has thus far managed to sustain the cost – though not for very long - some advisers urge you to find new sources of funding to properly support the army, or, conversely, to take advantage of the wealth of several vulnerable cities – including Toledo – that appear to have more than enough riches not only to fund the continuation of the way, but significantly expand the Almohad treasure itself. How will you approach the issue of resources and funding for your military campaigns?

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

-Despite displaying bravery and skill the Christian forces have been defeated at the Despeñaperros, putting Toledo and the Kingdom of Castile itself at immense risk from the forces of the Almohad Caliph. The Aragonese contingent remains strong despite the losses taken in the battle, though it may arguably require the mobilization of the remaining Aragonese forces to truly bolster the Castilians against the Almohads. The dilemma posed by some of your generals is that reinforcing your forces and committing to the defeat of the Caliph could significantly increase the chances of the Christian coalition to win, but it could leave Aragon itself vulnerable to attack. What will you do?

-Once again the Occitanian baron and Raymond of Toulouse himself write in haste from the war-ravaged Occitania, denouncing the actions of Simon of Montfort and particularly of the King of France and requesting urgent help once again before they are overrun by the invaders. Constantly describing the situation as a war instead of a crusade – Raymond and a large part of the nobility remaining catholic – they argue a successful French triumph would impose Philip Augustus’s “tyrannical rule” over Occitania and directly risk the power and influence of the Kingdom of Aragon. Still, it appears unlikely the Pope would condone an intervention. Will you take action regarding Occitania?

-Although the attempt to reconcile with the Queen was successful, Marie died in route back to the Kingdom of Aragon, her health compromised beyond repair by a sudden illness. This familiar tragedy further reduces the limited size of the Aragonese royal family, but it does leave you open for a new marriage and the possible benefits – either through dowry or alliance – of marriage with another royal or prominent family in Europe. Will you seek to remarry again? If so, with whom?

Alfonso VIII Ivrea:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Medium

-Despite the brave effort of the brave Christian knights defeat at the Despeñaperros has been certain, allowing the Almohad Caliph and his infidel forces to directly threaten Toledo, a city which the Kingdom may well not afford to lose given its significance, strategic position and due to the evident consequences in terms of the Reconquista. A large part of the Christian forces survived the Despeñaperros, though the forces remain far smaller than those of the Caliph and the collaboration of the separate Kings of your coalition may well prove decisive in order to survive the new ordeal. How will you fight back against the Caliph?

-Due to the numerical inferiority faced in the recent war several noblemen believe the support of Military Orders, the Papacy or even foreign Kings will be decisive to successful defeat the Caliph, though Christianity appears all too focused on the Albigensian Crusade as thousands of Christian warriors of different realms remain fighting there. Many wonder if Castile may not find a way to get those warriors to march South, or alternatively, to find new allies elsewhere in Italy, the Empire, or the quarreling Kings of France or England, the latter of which remain the closest despite issues arising from French expansion and your own claims on English Gascony. Will you seek new allies and reinforcements?

-The war against the Caliph aside, many at court remain concerned over your advancing age and the tenuous situation of the succession after the disastrous death of prince Ferdinand just a few months ago. His death has left young Henry (only nine years old) as your remaining male heir, the Crown otherwise going to your daughter Berengaria and, conceivably, to the young heir to the Kingdom of Leon. With the powerful and beloved Queen Eleanor – sister to King John of England – past childbearing age, what steps will you be taking – if any – regarding the matter of the succession to Castile?
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« Reply #63 on: July 27, 2019, 10:02:19 PM »

Player Crisis:
Simon of Montfort:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Medium

-The new restraint exercised by your command and by some of the papal dispositions was believed to have the potential to defuse tensions in the region, but the much protested treatment of Raymond of Toulouse, the French invasion and the pillaging of the peasant and children Crusader bands have all conspired to make the already tense situation explode in violence, a constant state of warfare taking place across the rural zones as your troops – somewhat discontent at the latest developments – continue to control several key fortresses and cities. Will you seek to find a way to defuse tensions, or commit to the defeat of the proud Occitanian nobility?

-Having rejected the French declaration that would have stripped him of his titles, Raymond of Toulouse continues to call him Count of Toulouse, fortifying himself at the city of Toulouse itself as either the Cathars or the rebelling Christian Occitanians prepare for war. Some urge you to lead a campaign into Toulouse itself to siege the city and force the rebel count to yield, though it is believed such an enterprise could prove costly and dangerous. Others point out to the French army, asserting that due to the loose structure of the feudal Crusading forces you may be far more successful at the head of Philip Augustus’s forces. How will you fight Raymond of Toulouse?

-Despite your holdings in France itself remaining reasonably prosperous you have maintained your rights to the Earldom of Leicester through your mother, a tempting prize within the Kingdom of England. King John, however, made a point of seizing the lands by taking personal possession of them six years ago, depriving you of the Earldom and its substantial resources. Though current efforts in Occitania keep you occupied some in your household believes a way should be found to regain control over Leicester from King John, though it remains unclear how he might be persuaded to yield it. Will you take action on this matter?

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

-The decision by the Papal States and by the Kingdom of Sicily to expand their own trade and/or banking and offer significant advantages to local merchants has resulted in countless complaints from the Venetian merchants to you, arguing these measures are a direct threat against the Venetian economy and the profits of its hardworking citizens. With Genoa and Pisa also hostile to these developments – though it remains unknown what they will do about the situation – there are those who urge action to force the hand of Frederick and of the Pope, though your recent alliance with them arguably offers a diplomatic road as well. Will you take action on this matter?

-After a series of controversial decisions the Latin Empire has erupted in civil war, a war which could soon spiral out of control if not handled in a proper manner. The revolts against Emperor Henry pose an interesting opportunity to the Most Serene Republic as advisers advocate either for backing the Emperor or funding the rebels – or even both – in return for further concessions and an enlargement of Venetian influence and authority, and it is believed the Venetian Podesta could well take action on his own if tempted enough. Will you intervene in any way in the civil war?

-Following the fall of the last Greek holdouts in the Peloponnese the remaining vulnerable realm in the Aegean Sea is Rhodes, which has recently rejected an overture from the Empire of Nicea. Heavily fortified and well-armed, Rhodes is nonetheless a very tempting target which could cement the strategic position of Venice in the Aegean Sea while providing a source of new trade and further revenue for the treasury. There are certainly plenty of noblemen and merchants who encourage an expedition against Rhodes or in another vulnerable target to expand the holdings of the Republic, though such operations could always be risky and/or expensive. Should expansion be pursued?

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

-The campaign in Paphlagonia has been a clear success thus far, the Komnenos army in Paphlagonia being destroyed in battle despite the escape of David, currently at-large in the now occupied region. This move has significantly weakened Trebizond and left it open to a possible – if risky - campaign as well, whilst attracting the negative attention of the Kingdom of Georgia. Considering the Komnenos as protégés of her, the powerful Queen Tamar has delivered a harsh warning towards Nicea warning that any further moves against Trebizond will bring a reaction, and demanding the safe return of David. What will you do regarding Trebizond? The current crisis in the Latin Empire is another factor that have to be taken in account given the general context.

-Although bold, initial efforts to attempt to reestablish the Theme System have met some encouraging success thus far, though at a high financial cost – which is hoped may be eventually offset by new gains – due to having to set up new bureaucrats, garrisons and officers and due to the general resistance of many to increased efforts regarding tax collection and the notion of paying more towards the crown. Whether these efforts will succeed or not will depend on several factors, though it is noted the Empire may well need some additional funds to successful push the project out of its infancy and into actual prosperity.

-Efforts to appeal to Genoa and Rhodes have thus far met with widely varied results, Genoa accepting your proposal and seemingly looking forward to a new partnership while Leo Gabalas rejects your overture by expressing a lack of interest at accepting any kind of suzerainty from Nicea. It is uncertain whether Gabalas is offering a firm rejection or may expect even larger concessions and grants in order to accept your authority, posing for an interesting situation in a key strategic spot in the Aegean Sea.

Henry I of Flanders:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Low

-The combination of the massacres at Constantinople and the raising of the highly controversial Imperial Army – continuously denounced by the barons as an act of tyranny – has led to a state of civil war across much of the Empire, several vassals rising in revolt against the death of their relatives or the march of the Imperial Army into their lands. The situation remains confusing and somewhat fluid as the rebels have not had time to coordinate thus far and choose a common leader, making for a very complex conflict to be faced. Among other balancing acts, the allegiance of your vassals in Thessalonica, Athens, Achaea and of Alexius Slav may prove decisive in the outcome.

-Though not yet fully formed due to the limited formation time before the start of the internal conflict the Imperial Army is proving to be not only a highly resisted initiative within the nobility, but an enormous drain of resources for a treasury not used to funding something as unusual as a permanent standing army. Although the substantial resources of the Empire softened part of the blow it appears clear the new army is rapidly consuming much of the treasury, raising a serious question as to whether it can be affordable or whether the crown can find new sources of income in order to pay for it. What will you do?

-A decision to preach the Catholic faith across the Empire has met with significant resistance by the Orthodox population and its leaders, with reports of militant priests rising in limited revolts – separate from the barons - as well. It appears clear any effort to preach and convert the imperial subjects into Catholicism will require significant support from the outside, be either through Military Orders or even with the support of Pope Innocent and his significant resources. How should the religious controversy be tackled in this complex moment?

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

-The decisions to expand the army, rebuild much of what was destroyed by the long war with the Latins and other substantial funding projects, while arguably popular or well received at the court, has proven immensely crippling to the already weakened Bulgarian economy, the newly raised forces being currently sustained at the cost of a massive drain on the treasury. The issue is serious enough for your financial officers to demand action, either by finding new sources of funding – even borrowing - or dropping some of the highly expensive projects lest the kingdom experience serious economic strife.

-Having secured what many saw as an advantageous peace – due to the return of lost territories – Bulgaria nonetheless faces two curious challenges (or opportunity) which could require action soon. One of them is the recent state of civil war within the Latin Empire, Emperor Henry being seemingly weakened by internal strife and opening up questions as to whether Bulgaria should attempt to profit from the situation or consider it as an additional reinforcement of the state of peace. The other is the relative lack of success at bringing your relatives on board, only Strez happily accepting your offer as Ivan and Alexius remain very hostile. What will you do?

-Interesting developments take place in terms of religion. First due to the decision to have peasants fed at shrines and churches, which while popular has led to initial riots as thousands of hungry peasants storm the temples to receive food at a high cost for the crown, an issue of some tension with the clergy. And second because of the successful synod of the bishops of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has discussed the issue of the Bogomils at length and determined their status as heretics, urging the crown to take action to eradicate this heresy from the land. While weakened, the Bogomils remain a significant minority and may pose a challenge in terms of short-term eradication. What will you do?

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

-Congratulations, your majesty! After a very difficult pregnancy you have given birth to a boy, the new heir to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The process has nonetheless been remarkably difficult and taxing on your health, opening up fears regarding your well-being. It will now be necessary to choose a name and make preparations for the future of the new heir, as well as account for the strain of the process and a possible threat to your health.

-An urgent missive arrives from Bohemond of Antioch, currently besieged at Antioch by the armies of Cilician Armenia in yet another revival of the War of the Antiochene Succession. Thus far Jerusalem – in the person of King Jean – has supported Antioch alongside the Military Orders against King Leo, but the twist of this latest invasion appears to be an alliance between the Ayyubids and Cilician Armenia which creates a major risk for anyone who intervenes in Bohemond’s behalf. Such is the issue to be faced, with Jean and the Templars urging an immediate intervention and others urging for calm in order to avoid a war with Egypt. What will you do?

-Some in the Kingdom have been a bit baffled at the lack of detail pertaining efforts to establish royal influence and authority in the highly-decentralized realm, leading to talk that any such intentions may well be more rhetoric than an actual effort. Although you have the advantage of apparent papal support and the now appearance of a male heir to the throne, it is also certain that the nobility could be preparing to oppose decentralization efforts, a cause in which they would receive the likely support of the Orders. Will you take specific steps towards reform?
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« Reply #64 on: July 27, 2019, 10:02:43 PM »
« Edited: July 28, 2019, 12:40:54 AM by Lumine »

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

-The expansion of trade with other Muslim realms as well as with the West has thus far strengthened the Ayyubid economy and thus far covered the cost of the new expenses you’ve engaged in, though the mobilization of troops remains a very costly affair (that could cause a significant drain if maintained for long) and the fleet-building program, while successful, is both in need of significant investment and facing the general lack of proper captains and/or experts to bolster both the building and the performance of the new Ayyubid fleet. Will you seek new ways to fund the fleet and/or find experts for it?

-Having successfully secured an alliance with Cilician Armenia – as well as efficient collaboration with either Christian figures or would-be rivals within the Sultanate – King Leo has now invaded Antioch, finding early successes and besieging his enemy Bohemond in Antioch itself. However, this conflict could threaten to expand on account of Bohemond’s ties to Rum and Jerusalem, nations which – so it is believe – have been called to intervene. Even if either ruler declines to do so it is always possible the Military Orders or another Christian realm could choose to do so, quite a complex situation. Will you set back and let the Antioch situation develop or take some kind of action?

-Thus far efforts to mobilize some degree of unity among several Muslim realms has been successful, alliances secured with Rum and with the Shah of Khwarezm despite the perceived reluctance of the Abbasid Caliph to fully support the Ayyubid efforts. Still, neither the brother of the Lionheart nor the rebel Occitanian have departed for the Holy Land and it remains unclear whether a Crusade in the Near East will happen at all, leading some to wonder if current mobilization and alliance efforts could not be used to expand elsewhere or should be disbanded in light of the apparent lack of a Crusader threat. What will you do?

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

-The bold Nicene invasion of Paphlagonia and the defeat of David Komnenos has led to an immediate reaction from the court at Trebizond, who have sent a messenger reminding you of successful collaboration in the past and requesting immediate reinforcement to fend off Theodore. Some see the potential in a limited intervention now that you have the support and friendship of the powerful Ayyubid Sultan, others warn Rum may not be in a state to fight a prolonged war so soon after the end of the last one. And, of course, there are also those who suggest the weakened Trebizond might well make a tempting target on its own, though at the risk of significant enraging the powerful Queen of Georgia, who has already made warnings to Nicea.

-Efforts to expand the army have successfully started recruitment and tentative training of recruits, though the formation of a standing army both worries many of your vassals and is proving to be a large drain on the treasury, already substantially depleted. It appears likely that should expansion of the army continue – at the cost of further distrust from some nobles – it will be necessary to find new sources of income in order to fund it, quite a dilemma to be solved. What will you do?

-An urgent message arrives from prince Bohemond of Antioch, currently besieged at Antioch itself by the latest invasion from King Leo of Cilician Armenia in the hopes of capturing the entire principality. In the past few years Rum has enjoyed a close working relationship with Antioch on account of Leo being a rival of yours, Rum soldiers having invaded Cilician Armenia in the past in order to gain ground and relieve the pressure from Antioch. And yet, despite Bohemond’s request for help and the potential for war against a vulnerable Leo the Cilicians appear to have the backing of your ally the Ayyubid Sultan, making for an awkward situation. Will you intervene?

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

-The costly defeat at Zhongdu has proven quite a dilemma as your forces retreat from the vicinity of the heavily damaged city, the ambush and battles themselves causing the loss of much of the plunder that was to be taken from the imperial capital. The decision to burn it may result in increased resistance by the angry Jin after the treatment of the city, though Wanyan remains weak and much of your personal army is strong still. How should the war be conducted on this year? Will you seek another battle with Wanyan to take revenge from the setback?

-Despite the events of Zhongdu, victory has been found at other different fronts, consolidating both the position of some of your generals as well as that of your Khitan and Tangut allies. Still, victory against the Jin generals and regions is still far away on account of their enormous territory, the potential of enemy reinforcements in the form of still possible alliances with the Song Dynasty or the Kingdom Goryeo, and more difficult still, the challenge of holding into large Chinese regions which a hostile or even revolting population. What will you do to ensure victory and/or peace at the new conquered regions?

-News arrive at your camp of a defeat suffered by Hachiun’s western expedition, meeting both with the hostility of the Turkmen and a successful response by Kuchlug, who defeated the expedition without managing to destroy the small Mongol force. The consequences of this raid may prove relevant as Kuchlug is believed to have directly complained to the powerful shah of Khwarezm, fresh from defeating a minor rebellion. Unlikely as intervention from Khwarezm appears, it appears the western front may well be one of significant developments. What will you do?

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

-The hordes of the Great Khan withdraw at a distance following the successful battles of Zhongdu, a much needed victory which has bolstered morale and prevented a disaster. Still, victory comes at a high price due to the sacking and burning of much of the capital, and your generals remain either concerned or outright angry at the latest defeats in other fronts and particularly at the large Khitan rebellion, the decision to attempt to execute the Liao having hurt the military on account of having to purge or face defections from Khitan troops. Having won a small window of opportunity by pushing Genghis back, will you attempt a counteroffensive against the Mongol invaders?

-Although some of your generals have publically and theatrically burned messages from the Mongol Khan attempting to obtain their support to dethrone and execute you, the issue of personal loyalty and legitimacy of your rule remains rather precarious and in need of urgent action. On one side because of the general discontent of the officers at the conduct of the war, thus far only contained by this successful ambush against the Great Khan. On the other because of the outrage of the survivors of Zhongdu at their capital being abandoned, opening up questions as to whether it will be rebuilt or whether they won’t turn into committed enemies of your rule. And finally, because of the survival of a few Liao or Khitan-born officers and bureaucrats, many of which fear a general purge. What will you do?

-Efforts to find new allies with the Kingdom of Goryeo and with the Song Dynasty in the south have been unsuccessful thus far, if in different manners. Although ambassadors have hinted an understanding may well be possible, they appear remarkably skeptical of any possible danger posed by the Mongol hordes to their own nations, the implication being that in order to obtain their support it may well be necessary to make large concessions in terms of territories or tribute just so an alliance can be secured. Are you willing to try again to secure those new friends?

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

-Victory at Samarkand has been secured, leading to the capture of prince Uthman and the collapse of the remaining Karakhanid holdings. This opens up an interesting question in terms of the treatment of these rebels, either due to the fate that is to be selected for Uthman and his fellow princes or even to the population of Samarkand, a city still remarkably hostile to your rule. It also opens up the question of the unity of your large, varied empire, much of which has only been recently conquered and remains a reason why several of your governors enjoy such a substantial level of autonomy. How will you react to the end of this revolt?

-Having settled the border at the Jaxartes river a possible conflict with Emperor Kuchlug has been successful defused, seemingly neutralizing a possible threat. And yet it appears the regions to your east are anything but peaceful, Kuchlug sending an urgent missive after an apparent raid by a so called “Great Khan”, who is allegedly finding success in a deathly struggle against the Jin dynasty in China. Many at court have dismissed Kuchlug’s complaint and desire for some reinforcements as an alarmist message and/or a possible trap, leading to the question on whether it is wise to intervene. Will you take any action at all?

-The collapse of the Ghurid Empire has further accelerated on account of Ghiyath’s sudden assassination right at the start of this year, a confusing situation which has led to rumours of a palace coup as his young son Baha al-Din Sam (III) has been crowned sultan in Ghor. In reaction, several of the Ghurid princes have further formalized their separation from the Empire and of their semi-independent rule over the regions of Ghazni, Delhi, Multan and Bengal. With the death of Ghiyath the issue of the imperial remnants appears open again, as it remains uncertain how will the new Sultan behave and how should the other princes be dealt with.
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F. Joe Haydn
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« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2019, 01:45:26 PM »

An address to be delivered at the pulpit of every Castilian Church, and to be read aloud publicly in Toledo by Archbishop Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada

We live in uncertain times. The Saracens have made a startling offensive into Castilian land, and Toledo itself is under grave threat. But let it be known, we shall never surrender that glorious city to the paynim. The Pope has blessed our cause with the Papal banner, and all of Castile is roused. Whether he be young or old, rich or poor, he who fights with us shall save his soul and do honor to God. It is thus that we call on each of you, in the name of God and of the King, to take up arms and serve with us against the Infidel. As warriors of God we shall fight, and God willing, we shall win.
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MASHED POTATOES. VOTE!
Kalwejt
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« Reply #66 on: July 30, 2019, 03:25:03 PM »

The Kingdom of Sicily sees the recent developments in the Iberia as the most serious threat the Christendom faced in many, many years. The Emperor-King offers his Castilian brother to send in his troops to aid the righteous struggle against the Saracen menace.
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GoTfan
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« Reply #67 on: July 30, 2019, 06:44:51 PM »

A decree by John, King of England

The Charter of Liberties is a document that protects the people. We are not lucky enough to all be born King and Queens. To this end, the crown will accept the Archbishop Langton's proposal to reinstate and expand the Charter of Liberties in order to make the crown accountable to the people of England, as well as to God.
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #68 on: July 31, 2019, 09:44:09 AM »

THE CRUSADE IN SPAIN

All worthy knights, just rulers, and godly Christian Kings are urged forthwith to ride to the aid of the King of Castile. The more blows struck in Spain, the greater the divine favour and the brighter the raiment of valiant souls.

THE MATTER OF ENGLAND

We consider our agreement with King John very close. The need of Spain is now great, the distraction of Brittany petty, to be delayed to a later composition including France and the Bretons themselves. Upon these terms we stand ready to adjust and ratify the Treaty of Dover.

THE DEFIANCE OF FLANDERS

The barons of Flanders spurn our blood and defy their natural lord of France in his choice of the lady Margaret's match. Those nobles involved in this rebellion are excommunicated, their rights transmitted to whichsoever among their heirs stays true to Holy Church and the Roman marriage. Should this defiance continue, an Interdict upon the county must be considered, and should the Flemish people suffer such a catastrophe, they will have their prideful and foolish nobility to blame.

Innocent III, Holy Father, etc
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Donerail
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« Reply #69 on: July 31, 2019, 10:54:56 PM »

Quote
Treaty between the Khwarazmian Empire and the Sultanate of Rum
The Parties to this Treaty have agreed as follows:
I. Each Party recognized that an attack directed against the territories of either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger.
II. For the purposes of this Treaty, an attack shall include either an armed attack or subversive activities directed by foreign powers which threaten either Party’s territorial integrity and political stability.
III. In order to secure this alliance, all taxes, tariffs, and other barriers to trade shall be removed. Merchants of one state shall be subject to no more than the regular rights of merchants under the laws of the other.
IV. This Treaty shall remain in force indefinitely. Either Party may terminate it one year after notice has been given to the other party.
x Shah Mohammed II
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NyIndy
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« Reply #70 on: July 31, 2019, 11:19:44 PM »

Quote
Treaty between the Khwarazmian Empire and the Sultanate of Rum
The Parties to this Treaty have agreed as follows:
I. Each Party recognized that an attack directed against the territories of either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger.
II. For the purposes of this Treaty, an attack shall include either an armed attack or subversive activities directed by foreign powers which threaten either Party’s territorial integrity and political stability.
III. In order to secure this alliance, all taxes, tariffs, and other barriers to trade shall be removed. Merchants of one state shall be subject to no more than the regular rights of merchants under the laws of the other.
IV. This Treaty shall remain in force indefinitely. Either Party may terminate it one year after notice has been given to the other party.
x Shah Mohammed II
Sultan Kaykaus I
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2019, 09:04:13 AM »

TREATY OF ANCONA

Whereby the terms of the Emperor Otto IV's reconciliation to Holy Church are agreed thus:

Quote
I The Emperor Otto shall enter Rome alone and on foot for a papal audience, be shriven clean and do penance at the hands of the Holy Father.

II The Emperor will yield up the Imperial crown, the German and the Italian kingdoms back into the Pope's hands. He shall receive them all back again upon all customary conditions, after a vow no longer to interfere in Italian affairs against the Pope's word.

III The Emperor Otto shall receive the ancient Tuscan lands and honours appertaining to the House of Welf, to hold in fief from the Holy See. King Frederick and his cousins, including the future Empress Beatrice, shall receive their ancestral rights in Swabia, to hold from the Emperor Otto.

IV The Emperor Otto shall pay to Holy Church a feudal relief worthy of empire.

V The Emperor Otto shall exchange with King Frederick the Kiss of Peace and marry his kinswoman Beatrice without delay.

VI The Emperor Otto shall pledge to depart speedily upon Crusade, first in Spain, and subsequently in the Holy Land.

VII The Emperor Otto shall support the declared intention his uncle of England to release the Pope's beloved daughter in Christ Eleanor, Duchess of Brittany, to her rightful domain, and allow her Breton vassals liberty of which crown, England or France, to pay homage, or whether to stand wholly independent.

VIII Agnes of the Palatinate shall be betrothed and in time married to the Pope's kinsman Rinaldo di Jenne.

IX The Emperor Otto shall lead his forces out of Italy in good order, bound for Spain, and without intimidation or politicking among the princes of northern Italy. In Spain the Emperor is to respect the rights of all existing Christian sovereigns, especially the Papacy's beloved son the King of Aragon.

X The Emperor Otto shall understand that if he agrees to all of these terms wholly and faithfully, we shall be as amiable as we have ever been, and the Papacy will support his reforms and rights as a sovereign under God.

XI The Emperor Otto will vow to respect the existing rights of the Electors and other princes and bishops, and to consult them upon great matters. This clause is advised by the Pope in good faith as the best way to achieving the reforms desired by the Emperor.

XII The Emperor will support the King of Denmark in godly and just wars against the heathen, but not against his fellow Christians of Scandinavia. Nor shall the Emperor grant aid, comfort or sympathy to the false Bishop of Bremen.

XIII The King of Sicily or his nominee will be rewarded for his part in assisting this peaceful state of affairs by becoming Papal Vicar in Lombardy.

x Innocenzo

***

Papal Bull, Fructas Fidelis

The Republic of Venice is immediately awarded absolute possession of the presently schismatic island of Rhodes. Additionally the Doge of Venice, in the person of his podesta if required, is endowed with Papal authority by proxy to mediate in the troubles between the Emperor Henry and his vassals, in the hope that a complete peace may soon be accomplished.

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles, Pontifex Maximus

***

The Holy Father's University at Rome

The Holy Father announces the foundation of a new university at the Vatican, under its Chancellor Cardinal Robert of Curzon. Any gifts in wealth or wisdom, silver or scholars by good Christian rulers will be eternally remembered. The institution is to flourish according to the precepts of similar seats of learning at Bologna and Paris, both remembered fondly by His Holiness.
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2019, 11:26:50 AM »

NEW PREFERMENTS TO THE CARDINALATE

From Italy

Raniero Capocci, of Viterbo, Cistercian abbot of Tre Fontane

From Aragon

Ferdinand, abbot of Montearagon

From England

Geoffrey Plantagenet, Archbishop of York

From Scotland

William de Malveisin, Bishop of St Andrews
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ASPN
Dr_Novella
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« Reply #73 on: August 01, 2019, 03:11:09 PM »

TREATY OF ANCONA

Whereby the terms of the Emperor Otto IV's reconciliation to Holy Church are agreed thus:

Quote
I The Emperor Otto shall enter Rome alone and on foot for a papal audience, be shriven clean and do penance at the hands of the Holy Father.

II The Emperor will yield up the Imperial crown, the German and the Italian kingdoms back into the Pope's hands. He shall receive them all back again upon all customary conditions, after a vow no longer to interfere in Italian affairs against the Pope's word.

III The Emperor Otto shall receive the ancient Tuscan lands and honours appertaining to the House of Welf, to hold in fief from the Holy See. King Frederick and his cousins, including the future Empress Beatrice, shall receive their ancestral rights in Swabia, to hold from the Emperor Otto.

IV The Emperor Otto shall pay to Holy Church a feudal relief worthy of empire.

V The Emperor Otto shall exchange with King Frederick the Kiss of Peace and marry his kinswoman Beatrice without delay.

VI The Emperor Otto shall pledge to depart speedily upon Crusade, first in Spain, and subsequently in the Holy Land.

VII The Emperor Otto shall support the declared intention his uncle of England to release the Pope's beloved daughter in Christ Eleanor, Duchess of Brittany, to her rightful domain, and allow her Breton vassals liberty of which crown, England or France, to pay homage, or whether to stand wholly independent.

VIII Agnes of the Palatinate shall be betrothed and in time married to the Pope's kinsman Rinaldo di Jenne.

IX The Emperor Otto shall lead his forces out of Italy in good order, bound for Spain, and without intimidation or politicking among the princes of northern Italy. In Spain the Emperor is to respect the rights of all existing Christian sovereigns, especially the Papacy's beloved son the King of Aragon.

X The Emperor Otto shall understand that if he agrees to all of these terms wholly and faithfully, we shall be as amiable as we have ever been, and the Papacy will support his reforms and rights as a sovereign under God.

XI The Emperor Otto will vow to respect the existing rights of the Electors and other princes and bishops, and to consult them upon great matters. This clause is advised by the Pope in good faith as the best way to achieving the reforms desired by the Emperor.

XII The Emperor will support the King of Denmark in godly and just wars against the heathen, but not against his fellow Christians of Scandinavia. Nor shall the Emperor grant aid, comfort or sympathy to the false Bishop of Bremen.

XIII The King of Sicily or his nominee will be rewarded for his part in assisting this peaceful state of affairs by becoming Papal Vicar in Lombardy.

x Innocenzo


x Otto IV
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2019, 07:41:39 AM »

NEW MISSION TO THE ALBIGENSES

His Holiness dispatches Master Conrad of Marburg to assist Brothers Francis and Dominic in the Languedoc, there to investigate alike the lies of the heretic Perfects, and the demonic possession sadly widespread among the Children of the Crusade gone astray. It is the hope of His Holiness that this use of a subject of the reconciled Emperor will be a further vouchsafe of our true and lasting friendship.
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