Lords of the Earth

Campaign Nineteen

Turn 76

Anno Domini 1276 - 1280


Turn 77 Orders Due By:  Friday, August 8th 2008



To liven up the wars, players from other campaigns wrote orders for the unplayed positions that were fighting.


After Kas was unable to continue processing, Thomas took over and managed to get things done up to Germany in Europe, and then Colin stepped back in to finish the turn.


Rulebook Version… In [ Wiki | PDF ]


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Recommended Order Form… [ Excel ]


Contacting & Paying the Referee

Players sending funds by mail should make all paper style checks payable to Thomas Harlan and send them to his address, which is:


Thomas Harlan

1270 Fir Street South

Salem, OR 97302


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Zero and Negative Credit: Consequences


        If you haven’t paid for your turn, you don’t get your stat sheet.


Rule Changes and Clarifications


Main Differences with the V6 Rules


§         Cities cost more to build and to expand. See Table 5-7.

§         Units have different GP and NFP costs and some now require Industrial Capacity in addition. Please review your new build chart carefully.

§         Projects (almost always) cost 50gp/25nfp per level – and this now covers regional settlement/colonization as well.

§         Optional Units are in play. Including Elephants for Civilized nations.


Regarding Optional Units: Elephants and Chariots: The evil referee has made some annoying rulings on these unit types:


Chariots: You can build them but they are virtually useless as a weapons system at this point.  They will give a minimum combat value (say .25 per point) and will be the first units destroyed in combat.  They will also not regroup.  The cost will remain the same, so if you really must have these white elephants in your arsenal then you’re making a lot of money, which means you’ve gotten really big, which means I may have to blow you up.


Elephants: Speaking of white elephants.  Only Empires located on the India and mainland SE Asia map (in the game currently they are Maghala, Chola, and Sri Vajaya) may build elephant units (and then only el units).  The elephants indigenous to central and south Africa were never domesticated and the elephants of northern Africa (these are the ones Hannibal had) went extinct centuries ago (damn Romans and their entertainments). Further, el units used outside the aforementioned map will die off at a variable rate until either their owning army returns to the India map or they all die off.  So the Maghadans will just have to use regular troops for their big upcoming Persian expedition (oops, sorry Sam).  Finally, elephants used within the India map are not necessarily as effective as they would be outside the map as horses on the subcontinent are more likely to have been trained to tolerate ole jumbo.


Yes, I know, I’m a sunofabitch.


Interactions between the Hemispheres: at this point only the Seafaring cultures may sail between the Hemispheres.  Once people hit Renaissance, then they may attempt to do so as well.  So the New World players should stop trying to get to Europe and Non Seafaring Old World players should do likewise.


The Adepts of the Free Spirit

        The Adepts of the Free Spirit, were active in Europe roughly from the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries. In VERY simplistic terms, this was a millenarian movement that was found among the both high ecclesiastics as well as the poor itinerant laity. The Adepts essentially viewed the Papacy as the Beast / Antichrist, etc. [1]   So the bad news is, The Pope has a heresy to deal with, the good news is that this is NOT the Reformation!  So how this will work is as follow:


1) Regions/Cities experiencing Adept activity will be marked on the map with a red cross.  Papal holdings in those regions and cities will garner income at one level less than their normal one.  Cathedrals will generate income as if they were Monasteries; Monasteries as Abbeys; Abbeys as Churches; and Churches won’t give squat.  The control web will be intact and the actual holding will not be affected (see below for an important exception to this) they will just generate income at the lower level.  The Holy City of Rome will never have Adept activity and therefore, will be unaffected.

2) Papal actions (and secular actions in support of the Papacy) in areas or cities affected by heresy will have a sharply decreased chance of success.  It’s hard to raise money to build that new monastery when some gits are screaming that you’re the Whore of Babylon and the new structure is just another sign of the Mark of the Beast.

3) The heresy will spread on its own accord at an irregular rate.  Some turns it will spread one region/city in all directions, some turns it won’t spread at all.  All-non RC regions will be unaffected by any of this.

4) Each city or region where the adepts are active will have a secret Charisma value that will be determined anew every time a leader attempts to suppress it.  To attempt to suppress the Adepts in a given region or city a Papal leader must attempt an opposed CHA check (using the Preach action) against the CHA value of the Adept infested region or city.  If the leader gets a higher success effect than the region/city, the heresy in that place is successfully suppressed (N.B. it can return however).  If the leader gains a critical success against the Adepts, the heresy has been decisively crushed in that region or city and it will not recur there except under very rare circumstances.  Regions / cities where the Adepts have been suppressed will be marked with a white cross.  Regions / cities where they have been decisively crushed will be marked with a black cross. In the event of a tie, there is no effect.  If the Adept gains a higher success effect than the leader, the heresy either spreads or gains a bonus against all subsequent attempts to suppress it, (depending on where it is).  If the Adepts get a critical success, the heresy spreads two regions instead of one (and in this case a region or city that was decisively suppressed can be re-infested).

5) In most cases, secular leaders can also attempt to rid a given area of the adepts in the same way as Papal leaders.  However (and read this well), if the Adepts get a critical success in the CHA check, the local heresy then explodes into a revolt against the secular and Papal authority, all church holdings in the region or city are destroyed, the ref generates a player position for the rebels and you all have a major headache on your hands as new religion is born. 


In Comparison

        This Turn in Lords Zero was not quite as exciting.


Japan & the Pacific Rim


The Empire of Nippon

Taira Fujita, Daimyo of Kwanto, Shogun of Japan.

Diplomacy     No effect

         Great industry marked the Japanese islands, with every town and village building new mills or repairing bridges, cleaning up the streets or sanctifying rebuilt temples. An enormous number of merchant ships put to sea, but not to ply the sea-road to China or the south, but to carry the fruits of home industry here and there along the jagged coast.

        In the capital, there was much ado over a new Imperial prince and the accession of Lord Haru to the right hand of the Shogun. Aunt Midon – whose marriage to a savage tribal clan-lord in Sikhote had lately been arranged – marked the arrival of winter by hanging herself. Admiral Nakata was dispatched to the north as well, to explore the strange seas there, and count seals amongst the ice floes.

        Lord Raido was also abroad on the waves, recovering the fleet abandoned in the Kuriles some years previously.


The Moluccas Seahold

Tekalameme, Lord of the Spice Islands

Diplomacy     None

        Life in the islands remained indolent, save for in the cafes where the arguments about the processes of the natural world were gaining vehemence … old Prince Surya (would Tekalameme never die?) fell afoul of a dispute over the provenance of butterflies with Lord Ratawai (who was a physionogomist) and they each slew each other in a wildly illegal duel.

        Admiral Samrawi – tiring of the disputes occupying his fellows – sailed west to attack the tribesmen of Tengah in southern Borneo, subduing them after a year-long campaign.


Maree Bundjalung Hegemony

Burnu, Prince of Maree

Diplomacy None

        Returning south to Wollongong with his vast fleet of war canoes, the prince was delighted to learn his return had inspired his wife to bear him a new son. The great cycle was completed by the accompanying death of chief I’wai.


China – War of the Six (Idle) Swords


Xi-Xia Khanate

Li Dimeng, Khan of Under-Sky


        “More slaves!” Growled the Khan, staring out across the vastness of the steppe. A mile in every direction, the gently rolling hills teemed with lines of men digging, hauling, rolling towering stone monoliths into place… the crack of overseer’s whips punctuated the constant noise. A trickle of litters wound away from the vast site, carrying to dead to a sinkhole two miles away – a gaping maw in the high grass that promised to be filled by the dreadful cost of the Khan’s great work. “We need more slaves.”

        His son, Li Tuanhao, nodded sharply before turning away, motioning for his lieutenants and banner-men to accompany him. Within days the host of the Xi-Xia was a-horse and cantering east, a long dust-trail smudging the sky behind them. Jungaria awaited, and slaves – glory – uncountable loot was in the offing!

        Tuanhao’s army (accompanied by the Uigurs and the Keraits) crossed into Beshbalik in the late summer and immediately encountered resistance from the new Jungarian garrison, as well as the army of archers and slingers dispatched from Karakocho to “repel the barbarians”. Though he had been ordered by his father to only raid the Jungarian lands, when Tuanhao’s scouts reported his forces outnumbered the “farmers” by more than four-to-one he decided to crush their resistance once and for all…

        He then ordered his vast army to simply overwhelm each border fortress in turn – which was not exactly brilliant, but his army was large enough, and the Jungarians few enough – for the defenses to be crushed and the two Jungarian generals sent fleeing back to Karakocho in dismay. (Both Yong Zhong and Xianping, as it happened, did not survive to report their failure to the lord of the Jungarians, for both contracted measles on the road and died).

        Having won a handy victory, Tuanhao then proceeded to raid the wild-men of Tanu, Oriot and Telmen before turning south for more lucrative targets. Yumen was attacked, though it had acceded to Xi-Xia demands previously and a puppet ruler installed. The Xi-Xia armies then proceded to ravage Tsinghai, Tarim, Tunhwhang, Suzhou, Yumen itself, and to annoy the natives of Lob Nor.

        Again, long columns of slaves were dragged north to black-walled Xingqing to perish building the monument to Li Dimeng’s madness.


The Kingdom of Shan’si (Shan)

Xoing Feng, King of Shan’si, Watcher of the Northern Marches

Diplomacy     None

        Still stunned by their defeat by the Wang faction in the south, Xoing Feng kept his battered armies home, brooding in his capital at Tai’yuan. The disgraced general Manchu Cao languished as well, feeling his king’s displeasure as a inescapable garrote… he finally took his own life in 1277. Prince Xiong Lo also died under peculiar circumstances, having made inappropriate comments about the king’s mood in his nephew’s hearing.


The Kingdom of Honan (Wang)

Cao Dao Wang, King of Honan

Diplomacy     None

        Like the rest of the Six Swords, the Wang blade remained sheathed as unexpected peace (the peace of exhaustion it seemed) prevailed in the Middle Kingdom. Cao Dao Wang was blessed with a son, however, which cheered him up to no end.


The Kingdom of Hupei (Wei)

Cao Man Li, King of Hupei

Diplomacy     None

        Man Li remained holed up in Chiang’ling, expecting the Wangists to attack at any moment… his fear paralyzed the government and the Wei did not even manage to raise a new army, as the young men of the kingdom had already been mustered – and then slaughtered.


The Kingdom of Kwangsi (Kwong)

Wu Juan III, Prince of Kwangsi

Diplomacy Noneach

        Despite the urgings of Lin Yao (called the Bold), the new prince of the south did not attack either south (against Sri Vijaya, or north, against Hupei) for fear of being pincered once more.


Southeast Asia & India


The Empire of Sri Vijaya

Khavirhan III, Maharaja of the Khemer People, Prince of Champa, Lord Protector of Java

Diplomacy None

        “How could this have happened,” muttered Khavirhan, pacing along a quiet path amid towering black-stemmed bamboo. “How could the despicable and weak Kwong defeat my invincible armies? It is inconceivable!” Still, the ruin of Sri Vijayan plans for dominion over all China weighed heavy on the Maharaja and he (and his fleets and armies) stayed home, licking their wounds.


The Maghadan Empire

Vinay, Rajah of Bengal

Diplomacy     Edrosia (t)

        The glory of the Bengal shone bright – Navlakhi in Jats expanded, a new squadron was put under construction at Tamralipti for the fleet and Rajah Gunaratna emulated the fabled Ashoka by constructing a phalanx of armored war-chariots, pulled by elephants, which promised to crush all enemies under their spiked, iron-shod wheels. The Rajah also snickered at the troubles suffered by the Cholans to the south, for their civil war was in full swing…

        The Builder’s engineers were still busy, laying down a highway from Sahis, through Sukkur and into Sind in the far west. Also in the west, lord Kabir managed to convince the emir of Edrosia to pay tribute to the great kingdom. Closer to home, Prince Vinay was attempting to get his wife Gwoktari pregnant and General Sahen was dispatched to Rajput to destroy the rebellious city of Kanauj. Missionary work also continued in Sikkim and Sukkur.

        Sahen’s campaign against noble Kanauj ran into serious trouble as soon as his force of 50,000 archers and engineers came within sight of the towering walls. Never had the Bengalese seen such a mighty city, or one so well defended! Indeed, King Harshavardhana – upon seeing the attackers – rode out at the head of his own army of 20,000 men, including a mercenary troop of heavy Persian horse. Sahen paused, seeing his enemies far better armored than his slingers and archers, but Harshavardhana’s cavalry was swift to press him! Luckily, he could call upon the Bengali garrison of Rajput province and that let him match the Kanauj in fighting men … though he stood a disadvantage in weight, due to those damnable Persian clibanari!

        And indeed, even once the air was filled with Maghadan arrows, the heavy horse tore through the skirmishers and crashed into Sahen’s flank, scattering his lightly armed men. Harshavardhana’s knights then waded in, swinging huge two-handed swords, and the Bengali force scattered for the hills. The attempt to subdue Kanauj had failed… and now Harshavardhana pressed his claim to the surrounding province.

        General Sahen, smarting from his defeat, refused to allow the Kanauj an easy victory. He took command of the network of forts and garrisons throughout the province, rallied the local landowners (who were more favorable to the Maghadan king than Kanauj) and waged a fierce war of resistance against the city-men. Now it was Harshavardhana who (after nearly three years of fighting) fell back in defeat to his city, leaving the surrounding countryside a ruin.

        But while Sahen was busy fighting in Rajput, his king Gunaratna had fallen ill back in Bihar and then, after a struggle with vomiting and fever, had died in 1278. Prince Divakar, who had been campaigning in the west, died the same year. This left Vinay has the new King, but he was not in Bihar with the army … but off south in Nadavaria with his wife Gwoktari and their new baby. This left General Yakub, a Turk, and the younger princes Ranjan and Mehul in the capital with … well, with everything that might lead them astray!

        Indeed, Prince Ranjan conspired with Yakub to seize the throne – they approached the captains of the mighty host encamped outside the city, only to find that Prince Mehul had learned of their plans and opposed them. The younger prince (only seventeen) spoke eloquently against them, and being well loved by the older captains, ordered Ranjan’s seizure… Yakub escaped in the confusion, but was then betrayed by a prostitute. Both traitors were executed. Vinay, meanwhile, had hurried up from the south and arrived to find his youngest brother in firm control of the capital, the army and the royal household.

        Vinay’s heart sank – he was sure Mehul would have him arrested and beheaded… but instead the young prince, mindful of his dharma, welcomed his brother as a king, and turned over all power to the rightful ruler. Vinay was then greatly plagued by his advisors (including the practical Empress Gwoktari) who urged that the new king, his power now secured, should blind or mutilate his brother to protect himself.

        “I cannot do this,” Vinay finally announced. “I owe my life and throne to Mehul’s filial love and his obedience to dharma. I cannot do less, and remain rightful king in this world.”

        In this way, a great calamity was avoided.

        Though who can say what the future holds?


The Kingdom of Chola

Kalan Pallava, King of the Cholas and Pandyas, Lord of Thanjavur

Kopperunchinga II, Lord of Kadava, Regent-Minister

Diplomacy     None

        Faced with a brawl at knife-length with the Pandyans, Manthan wasted no time in dispatching thugee to murder his rival and also set General Ranjeet on the road to Kollam with the better part of the remaining Cholan army. Orders were also dispatched to Lord Chandrahas (who was stuck up in Gujerat in the far north) to rally the garrison of Vatsa, return to Chola proper to be reinforced and then attack down the western coast of the sub-continent.

        Ranjeet marched south from Tanjore directly into Pandya, hoping that Jaiswal would – at least – have been wounded by the thugee attack. In this he was disappointed, for the stranglers had failed to find their mark, but then the Pandyan king rashly took the field against the numerically superior Cholans.

        “Hunting season!” Bellowed Ranjeet, ordering his men forward… (Read Pandya, next, and then return).

        While the Cholan armies were mopping up the rebellious Cholan provinces in the west, Manthan had acquired some kind of bilious fever and fell terribly ill in 1279. Having no children himself – not even, in fact, being married – the only royal heirs of any kind to hand were the rebel Jaisawal’s children. With Manthan incapacitated by his sickness, the chief of the Cholan ministers – the Kadavan lord Kopperunchinga II – arranged the marriage of his daughter Taiu to the prince Kalan (captive son of Jaisawal) – and elevated the boy as Manthan’s heir.

        The king died in 1280, leaving only Kopperunchinga in control of the capital. When news of the new dynastic ‘arrangement’ reached the Cholan generals in Anhivarta (where Kayal had just surrendered to them) Chnadrahas immediately declared his opposition to the Kadavan ‘usurpation!’ This got him a sword in the back – Ranjeet was already allied with the Kadavan faction back home – and a second civil war was deftly avoided.

        The provinces of Pawar, Jihjohti, Maldives, Seylan, Surashtra as well as the city of Kalanjara in Vatsa took the opportunity to revolt from both Cholan and Pandya control.


Empire of the PandyaN

        Jaisawal commanded only 34,000 men against the 52,000 Cholans led by Ranjeet; but his position was superior in friendly ground and bolstered by many fortifications. Sadly, the king of the south was a very poor general and he wasted all the advantages he might have leveraged for victory. Ranjeet’s attack clove through the Pandyan defenses, scattering Jaisawal’s army and driving the Pandyan king back into Kollam in a panic.

        General Ranjeet laid siege to the city, though he was wary of testing the defenses too strenuously before Lord Chandrahas arrived from the north with the rest of the Cholan army.

        Meanwhile, up Gujarat-way, the Pandyan viceroy in Anhivarta (Prince Gaurav) had realized the rest of troops available to him were stationed in Jihjohti – hundreds of miles away – so he had abandoned his position at Kayal and ridden across the Ghats to Jihjohti, packed up the garrison there and then marched back. He arrived back in Anhivarta in time to learn that the Cholan general Chandrahas had attacked into Surashtra, subdued the fortifications there, had garrisoned Somantha and was now crossing the western Ghats into Anhivarta proper.

        Prince Gaurav, seeing that his Pandyans outnumbered the Cholans by almost two to one, sought a pitched battle on the road directly north of Kayal. Chandrahas, a markedly better commander, postured with his Afghani cavalry to entice the Pandyan infantry out of their positions and then let his kshatriyas get into the thick of it with the Pandyan spearmen.

        A long see-saw struggle ensued, with both sides battering away at one another, before the Pandyans tired and fell back in good order to the city. Kayal sat directly athwart the road south – so Chandrahas could not bypass them without abandoning the north to Gaurav. However, this is exactly what the Cholans did as soon as the opportunity presented itself.

        Chandrahas had his orders – and he knew the real prize was not a collection of dusty towns in the north, but Kollam itself in the far south. And little did he know it, but Prince Gaurav had suffered a minor wound in the course of the battle, which soon festered and he died within the month.

        Chandrahas and his Cholans marched south with all speed, soon reaching friendly territory in Nasik and then a well-supplied roadway south to Tanjore. Upon reaching the capital and receiving reinforcements, Chandrahas met with King Manthan – “My lord, should I still subdue the Malabar coast?”

        Instead, he was ordered to directly reinforce General Ranjeet at Kollam and capture the city. With his men, the Cholan besiegers numbered 53,000 to the 16,000-odd Panydans. Ranjeet had been laying his plan of attack for months while he waited; now the elephants advanced, the drums rolled and mangonels began hurling massive blocks of stone against the walls of Kollam. Within the city, King Jaisawal was eager to take the battlements himself – “I’ll hew them down by the thousand,” he boasted to his generals, who had been trying to get the king to stay safely within the palace. “By the ten thousand!”

        Sadly for Jaisawal’s dreams of glory the Cholan attack was expertly executed – the gates assaulted in unison and breached, the walls toppled, his men fleeing in terror from the rampaging elephants. The rebel king was dragged howling from his palace and dragged off in chains; his generals executed.

        Following this victory, Ranjeet and Chandrahas pressed up the western coast – “liberating” Chera, Malabar and then Anhivarta. The cities in each of these provinces were besieged, for the Cholan governors knew they’d be in for the long drop if captured, and captured by the end of 1280.


Central Asia


The Kingdom of Jungaria

Al Harrat, Lord of Karakocho.

Diplomacy     None

        While Al-Harrat was busy ordering his governors to fortify the cities of the realm against the threat of the Xi-Xsia, a severe outbreak of the measles slew or drove out the inhabitants of Xinjiang in the east, leaving the town desolate. The Lord of the north also assumed the eastern barbarians would raid into his lands once more, so dozens of forts were hurriedly raised along the border, and the notable captains Yong Zhong and Xianping were dispatched with 12,000 men to drive off any interlopers.


Golden Samarkand

Al Abdi ibn Abdi, Emir of Samarkand

Diplomacy     None

        Confusion continued to reign in Samarkand, where the Emir was still off in the far south (and isolated in Bandar) while his mother and wife attempted to control the restive nobility of the city, and secure the loyalty of the widely dispersed military. Word eventually reached the capital that General Achmed in Und had fallen ill in 1277 and died, leaving his army leaderless, while basher Jamal (who had commanded the squadron at North Port, now effectively besieged by the Orthodox tribesmen in Kul’sary) had been killed in an ambush near the town.

        This perilous situation resulted in a plot by Achmed’s replacement, lord Achimedes, against the emir’s wife and mother – though the attempt to storm the palace was repelled and Achimedes seized and executed. In his place, the emiress Amia elevated her nephew Qutb ud-Dīn Muhammad as Captain of the City Guard. He was a vigorous fellow who ran out the rest of the traitors and secured Samarkand, at least, for the emir.

        This did nothing for Northport, which now surrendered to the Orthodox, or for the army in Und, which elected its own captain – Mirza – to command them. Luckily for the Golden realm, Mirza remained loyal… for now.

        The garrisons of Kash and Hazarajat were not so lucky, as local uprisings drove out the Samarkhandi governors and returned those regions to independence.


The Khazar Khanate

Bihar, Kagan of Khazar and Saksiny

Diplomacy None

        While Valeria’s regime was still new in the minds of the Khazars (who were a little uneasy about how Lord God the Father would take a woman representing his authority on earth), she did mollify many of her detractors by swiftly appointing her son Bihar as heir. Efforts to establish a system of allegiances and loyalties based on land-ownership (and appointed by the Kaganess, rather than being passed from family head to family head) continued as well. The borders of Saksiny and Nogai were fortified, for this was a dangerous and cruel world filled with uncertainty.

        Valeria also summoned lord Diogenes home to tutor her son, and generally aid in administration of the realm. This proved a wise decision, for the Kaganess took ill in 1279 and died in the late fall. Prince Bihar, then, became kagan of the tribes and while he was an astute young fellow, Diogenes proved a worthy counselor in his first year of rule.

        The kaganess’ passing relieved many troubled hearts and a great monument was raised over her tomb at Itil in her honor.


The Near East


The Abassid Caliphate

Al-Hakim (Boulos), The Sword of the Faith (Sayf al-Din), Caliph al Ummah.

Diplomacy None

        Furious with his failure to crush the Hamadids and reach the Mediterranean with victorious armies four years previous, Alik ordered a fresh muster of troops the length and breadth of the Emirate. He expected that the Hamadids would counter-attack… but they were distracted by their own internal problems and did not. Which was surely the blessing of Allah, for an outbreak of the pox in Baghdad and the provincial capitals caused the deaths of many great nobles and princes – including Regent Alik himself, general Fu’ad and lord Hadi.

        Indeed, amid so much unexpected death, the Caliph Boulos (otherwise the ‘protected’ prisoner of the Protector, found himself the actual ruler of the Emirate. Though an opportunity for trouble presented itself, General Dhakir (commanding the Buyid army in Baghdad) submitted himself to the Caliph, offering his loyalty and that of the troops. Following this, Boulos took the name Al-Hakim and reinstated the true Caliphate, which had languished for the last century or so.


The Hamadid Sultanate

Faruq al-Motresh, Sultan of Damascus and Protector of the Holy Places

Diplomacy None

        The fortunes of the Syrians, which had begun to sour with the death of Selahadine continued to decline with the lamentable passing of Prince Azeddin (who had proved, during the war against the Buyids four years past, an able successor to the famous Kurdish general). Lord Aumara, who had managed the delicate relationship with the Cappdocians, also died. Even the promotion of the Sultan’s son Iskender did not rectify these losses.

        All of this allowed the Orthodox monks in Cappadocia to regain some of the local congregations. An underground movement also began to percolate through Aleppo province, with secret churches being constructed by the Greeks.


The Emirate of Aden

Usayd ibn Ishaq, Emir of Aden and S’ana.

Diplomacy Qatar (c),

        Screened from the trouble with the Christians by the might of the Fatamids and Hamadids, the Adeni emirate was allowed to prosper astride the lucrative trade routes to India. Usayd was proving a wise ruler, whose capital at Abha in Yemen flourished, while a new town – Hafun – was founded on the coast of Berbera to provide supplies, water and warehouses for the trade flowing along the east African coast.

        The strength of his realm was also shown by the Emir’s acquisition of a troop of African war-elephants, including a set mounted with archer howdahs. Very impressive and shiny! Missionary work in Danakil, on the Coptic shore, continued with mild success. What did not meet with success was the Emir’s attempts to sire another son upon Dalia ul-Kier, his wife from Hijaz. Though she became pregnant, the birthing went foully wrong, killing both child and mother.

        This ill-omen was then reinforced by the failure of lord Farid’s expedition into the interior – he was given a cold welcome by the Dahy, and then murdered by the Al’Bayad. A small fleet of dhows sent to visit the pearl merchants of Qatar fared better, but the Qatari sheikh was not overly impressed by Uday and his ramshackle boats.

        Just a bit to the south and east, Prince Qayd ibn Faruk had marched north along the southern coast of Araby with the bulk of the emir’s army, including the shiny new elephants, to subdue the obstreperous tribesmen of Muscat – unfortunately the local bandits were mounted on camels and the smell of the noxious creatures panicked the elephants sufficiently that Qayd was forced to retreat to Zufar with the Muscati tribesmen hooting and hollering in his wake, and making rude gestures in his general direction. Despondent at this failure, Qayd then drank himself to death in Raysut on illegal imported Indian beer.


Eastern Europe


Roman Trebizond

Basil I, Proconsul of the East.

Diplomacy     None

        Basil was trying to set his own affairs in order by repairing the damage done in the recent war against the Syrians, and was thankful the Moslems had stayed home, when his “ally”, the Eastern Emperor decided to slip a greased stiletto into the Proconsul’s back – first, by sending secret emissaries to General Leitrieus in Cilicia, where the frontier army was suborned and Leitrieus was married to Princess Maria Alexa, the daughter of Emperor Ion, thus securing a claim to the Imperial Purple for himself. The second blow fell with an attack on Basil himself – the Proconsul was wounded by a pair of Cypriots who had obtained an audience under pretense of delivering the island (loyal to Theophanos) to the Proconsul’s rule.

        Then news came that Lord Markos in Cappadocia had been ambushed and murdered in the high passes by “Syrian” raiders. Sure now that war was coming – and not from the east, as he’d expected, Basil appointed his cousin Mikael Stophos as pro-tem commander of the Proconsular army in Smyrna. And not a moment too soon…


The Eastern Roman Empire

Theophanos Konstantinos, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Diplomacy     None

        “The treachery of the proconsul cannot be allowed to stand!” Theophanos barked, startling his generals. “Muster as many men as can be put under arms, raise an army of barbaroi to assist us and let us head east!” Within days the fleets and armies of the Empire were moving against their erstwhile allies, the Trebizondi.

        At home, one of Theophano’s concubines gave birth to a son, Gorgos, but as the Emperor was distracted by the war, the boy was not acknowledged – making his, and his mother’s, status precarious.

        In the east, the Empire led off the campaign against the Proconsulate by shipping General Heraclitus into the port of Phasis, in Abasigia. By September of 1277 the forces there had mustered 50,000 cataphracts and Heraclitus attacked into Pontus. As the Proconsul had not stationed an army there, the Imperial attack was unopposed and Heraclitus marched west with all speed after leaving a garrison. The town of Trapezas, well defended behind high walls, remained in Proconsular hands.

        Heraclitus’ army now invaded Galatia and – at last – the Proconsular army responded, having marched up from Smyrna under the command of Mikael Stophos. Heraclitus, faced with over twice his number, retired hastily to the east. Stophos now seeing the size of the Imperial force realized it could only be a feint and retreated himself, back into Bithnia. A greater invasion must be coming, he theorized, from Constantinople itself.

        Now the Proconsular army was trapped between two foes – Heraclitus edged carefully into Galatia and then to Paphlagonia, where he encamped east of Nicomedia. Stophos remained in Bithnia, waiting for the main Imperial army to cross the Hellespont. And Theophanos bided his time – another year he waited – while his fleet plied the straits, and all his devices converged… for the turncoat Leitrieus had marched himself, up from Cilicia in the south and into Lydia. Stophos now had no choice but to abandon his position in Bithnia covering the crossings, and deal with the traitor now threatening the Proconsular capital.

        Leitrieus expected the Proconsular army to already be engaged against either Heraclitus, or the Emperor’s army, in the north – so he was unpleasantly surprised to find his vanguard suddenly engaged in battle against Stophos’ entire army at Konolirikon. Worse, outnumbered two to one, the Proconsular forces smashed the turncoat legion and sent Leitrieus fleeing back into hostile Isauria, where he cowered in a shepherd’s hut the remainder of the turn.

        His sacrifice was not in vain, however, for Emperor Theophanes and the main army now crossed into Paphlagonia unopposed and joined up with Heraclitus and his cataphracts. Now combined, the entire mass moved south into Bithnia, supported by the drungarios Marcus Bonophanes and the fleet. The Proconsular army now swung north to meet them, though Stophos was hard-pressed to think of any way to stop them as now he was outnumbered… regardless he took up positions athwart the highway from Troy and stood ready for battle.

        Theophanos obliged the rebels, commanding Heraclitus and John Tzimisces to “crush the devils and wring out their souls” forthwith. Thus, a massive battle erupted at Opisikion, between 203,000 Imperial troops and 100,000 Proconsular… total slaughter followed. Stophos’ men were veterans, flush with victory, fighting on their home ground – and outnumbered. Tzimisces and Heraclitus were canny generals, and Theophanes had the wit to stand aside and let them command unhindered.

        But it was not enough to force the river. Heavy losses were suffered by both sides, Heraclitus was badly wounded and the Imperials fell back in good order, leaving Stophos and an exhausted army on the far bank. Indeed, so fierce had the fighting been, the Proconsular forces retired to their camp an exhausted rabble, barely able to hold lance or blade aloft. When Stophos took an accounting of his men some days later, he found that more than half had been slain or were so direly wounded they would not survive the fortnight.

        Tzimisces rallied the Imperials, set Heraclitus (cursing and struggling) off to Constantinople in a litter, and dispatched scouts to find the nearest ford or bridge… this time they were unopposed in the crossing. Stophos had retreated to Smyrna, where his men were recuperating. Tzimisces now placed the city under siege, and awaited the arrival of the fleet.

        While the Imperial army had been fighting its way south, drungarios Bonophanes had captured Troy by a stratagem and secured the city. Though Nicomedia, Sinop and Trapezas remained in Proconsular hands – there were neither fleets nor armies in those towns to threaten him. Thus, he sailed south to blockade Smyrna. His arrival spelled doom for Basil and his loyalists – their only chance was to fight their way out to the east, taking refuge in Phyrgia or other lands… Stophos and his cavalry sortied from the city abruptly, taking Tzimisces’ patrols by surprise. Before the main army could react, the Proconsular army had slipped away to the east, into the mountains.

        Theophanos was furious, but Smyrna itself soon surrendered, which leavened his temper somewhat.


The Principality of Muscovy

Giacomeo Igor di Pasquale, Boyar of Muscovy, Tsar of Russia

Diplomacy     None

        So quiet and peaceful were the northern forests that the state funerals for the elderly Princess Olga, her brother Prince Igor and Lord Ivan were the talk of the social circuit. This was so boring that Princess Anna took up gambling and consorting with grooms and other neer’do’wells – a disastrous course that led to bankruptcy and the necessity of Tsar Giacomeo to bail her out, at great expense to the privy purse.


The Kingdom of Poland

Dansk I, King of Poland

Diplomacy     None

        The ennui afflicting the Russians, however, had nothing on the Poles – who did not even have the levity of a funeral to brighten their days. Instead, they considered the beet and the cabbage and found whatever entertainment there they could.


The Duchy of Estonia

Juku Enellson, Duke of Estonia

Diplomacy None

        Great Aunt Annely died, saving the Estonians from the Polish plague, which slew its victims through sheer unmitigated boredom.


Western Europe


Deutsches Reich

Michael Govner, Emperor of the Germans, King of Saxony

Diplomacy     None

        The wealth and power of the German state was unmatched in 1276. Duke Kurnik commanded the richest, most powerful state in Europe – even his French rivals acknowledged him, and Pope Honorius III was abroad in the German states, pleading his case to the German people in person, for the loss of Germany to the Free Adepts would have been a grievous blow to the Church.

        Part and parcel of this robust economy was the growth of the cities of Retion, Bremen, Lubeck, Dresden, Ulm, Vienna, Hydrothia, Posen, Gotha and Magdeburg. Too, the shipyards of the north toiled ceaselessly, building more fishing boats to ply the northern seas, catching kippers, herring, cod and sardines in vast quantities. Germany hungered, Germany thirsted!

        Only two weights pressed upon Kurnik’s mind – the presence of the infidel Moslems upon Christian Sicily (and his general’s failures to dislodge them) and the constant tumult in the streets as the Free Adept preachers were in continual argument with the representatives of the Roman Church. The Adepts had found a keen target in the German prelates – their houses were large and richly appointed, their carriages ornamented with gold, their bellies fat with the largess of the hard-working people who tithed piously to the Church.

        Pope Honorius knew this too, for he went abroad in the land in a penitent’s cloak and homespun robes. But the bishops, cardinals and arch-bishops who turned out to meet him in Frieburg, Munich and Prague were clothed in samite, silk and ermine. The Duke saw the division as clearly as any man in the street, and his heart was greatly troubled.



        To resolve this, Kurnik summoned a great conclave of the church, Pope Honorius, the princes of his own house (of which there were now no less than six) and his advisors in Constance to debate a solution. [2]  To nip the spreading influence of the Free Adepts in the bud, the Duke proposed:


W        To eliminate the practice of simony throughout Germany, wherein Church positions could be purchased by the wealthy.

W        To ban the practice of indulgences, which allowed those of means to avoid penitence for their sins.

W        To remove the authority of the Roman Chuch to appoint and depose bishops in German lands; setting that authority to the Duke or his agents.


        Other points of great common debate about the theology of the Roman Church – the veneration of Mary, the concept of Purgatory and the reliance upon the intervention of the saints – Kurnik chose to ignore, saying they were a matter for the theologians and not the root cause of the popular unrest. By this approach, the Duke hoped to make the Conclave’s deliberations one of civil legislation, rather than theology.

        For his part Honorius saw the need to change – though the prospect of giving up control over the bishopric in Germany stuck hard in his throat, knowing as he did that as Germany went, so would go France and England and the rest of the great Catholic powers. The debate opened fiercely between both parties, and quickly descended into an outright legislative brawl.

        To Kurnik’s surprise, his own sons and nephews were soon split between the two camps; and even within the representatives of the Church, not all agreed with either Kurnik or Honorius. Indeed, the debate revealed a deep split in conceptual thought between those desiring an “Imperial” church drawing its power and direction from Rome, and a “Pastoral” church concentrating upon the concerns of each parish and penitent.

        Beyond even the point at hand loomed the issue of Jerusalem and the intermittent and popular war against the Moslems. All agreed that the Saracens should be driven from the Holy Places, but no one could agree on how that was to be affected.

        After six months of argument, Kurnik and his adherents (now commonly termed the Pastoral Church) prevailed on the matters of simony and indulgences, but were forced to compromise over the bishophric. The edicts of Constance were then duly written up, distributed to those in the conclave and everyone went their separate ways.

        Kurnik, however, had the last word – though the edicts had been drafted in Church Latin, the duke had them swiftly translated into the common German and posted on every church door within his domain, where even the meanest peddler could read and understand, translating as needed for their fellows.

        Honorious was furious, though as he still traveled in the Duke’s lands, he held his tongue. The common people were vastly amused, seeing that the edifice of the Church was at last bending, and Kurnik (a dour man with little need for public adoration) was toasted in a thousand beer halls and gardens.

        The Free Adepts, meantime, who had kept a very close watch upon the proceedings (having more than one believer within the ranks of those attending), now pressed their case even more strongly, having won two concessions from the Church by proxy, now they prepared to win all.

        Civil peace, however, prevailed throughout Bohemia and Germany until the fateful year of 1279. In the spring, after a hard winter, Duke Kurnik took ill and died after several weeks of a terrible hacking cough. His son and heir, Prince Volken, who had remained at his father’s side also contracted the same ague, and followed his revered sire to heaven in early summer. During the short period of Volken’s rule, the German Church had begun pressing their case to reverse the edict of Constance, and when Volken died – and the succession fell into dispute between the Six Princes – they found a ready ally in Guntar (the son of the late Aaron, and cousin of Kurnik) who put his claim forward. This confused matters that were already tense between the young Prince Caleb (Volken’s youngest son) and Prince Michael (Kurnik’s surviving offspring and Caleb’s uncle), who was in turn acting as a proxy for Princess Mathilde, who was not only of legendary beauty, but also a very shrewd political operator.

        Volken’s other sons – Nicomedius and Wilhelm – expressed their support for Caleb, but the angry words in Brunswick were swiftly translated into open fighting between Guntar and Caleb’s factions, with Michael and Mathilde biding their time.

        While the capital was paralyzed by daily scuffles between gangs of bravos and hire-swords employed by each camp; Caleb attempted to issue a call for a conclave of the great lords of the land to secure his patrimony. This, however, served only as a signal for the great generals – Arnim, Goldbull and Dirken to march on Brunswick with their armies, eyes on the Dukedom for themselves.

        Control of the Royal Army at Brunswick now became paramount. Mathilde and Michael launched a preemptive attack on Guntar’s faction – which had taken up the Church of St. Blaise as their command post – with a mob of Free Adepts fanatics stiffened by some hundred of their own knights. Guntar and his clerics were taken entirely by surprise, and the church was swiftly an inferno consuming the Prince and his supporters. Emboldened by this, the Free Adept mob ran wild in the city, smashing clerical windows, dragging priests into the streets by their hair, and generally running amuck. Prince Caleb and his supporters attempted to restore order and became involved in a pitched battle in and around the Altstadtmarkt.

        While their enemies were so ensnared, Mathilde and Michael’s knights seized the palace. Prince Caleb and his brothers, forced back from the market district, found themselves without an escape route. Michael’s crossbow men wreaked a great slaughter on the partisans of the three Princes, killing Wilhelm (the youngest) and wounding both Caleb and Nicomedius. Both were then captured by Mathilde’s agents as they attempted to escape the city.

        Having crushed their immediate enemies in Brunswick, Michael now turned his attention upon the Royal Army, paying an enormous donative to secure the loyalty of the troops. Despite this, however, he was unable to win them away from Prince Borivoj, who had taken command of the assembled knights during the fighting in the city. For a moment, Michael’s dreams of seizing the Duchy teetered at the abyss… and then Mathilde stepped in.

        Seeking an embassy “to end the chaos”, the beautiful Mathilde won a private audience with Prince Borivoj, her uncle (and a man of coarse desires). Within the hour, Borivoj staggered out from his tent, shirt staining red with blood. He collapsed on the gravel, causing his attendants and guards to spring to their feet.

        Mathilde emerged from the tent, her gown torn, her breast gleaming with sweat and rivulets of blood.

        “Do not defy me,” she commanded, piercing the assembled men with a steely gaze. “This shall be your fate as well, if you do not offer loyalty to my brother!” Three heads rolled from a canvas sack in her hands – the princes Caleb, Nicomedius and Wilhelm.

        By morning, the Royal Army was secure in Michael’s hands.


1. Empress Mathilde of Germany


        Far to the south, meantime, the Generals Goldbull and Arnim had marched over the Alps from Carinthia and into Bavaria. There they found a Ducal army formerly commanded by Dirken (who had died in the course of events). Having heard all manner of horrific stories from the north, these men joined Goldbull who had been elected the commander of the “Loyalists”.

        Determined to save the Duchy from the ursupation of Michael and Mathilde, they pressed on northward into Franconia.

        Michael and the Royal Army were waiting in Thuringia, ready for battle. The generals were eager to test their blades against the “callow youth”, and a full-scale battle erupted at Altenburg between 362,000 Loyalist knights, men-at-arms and archers – and 282,000 men-at-arms and guardsmen of the Royalist, or Michaeline, cause. Luckily for King Michael, the size of the enemy army was so vast that Goldbull, Dirken and Sumava (who had joined the Loyalists during their march) quickly lost control of their detachments. Michael’s men had only to hold their ground against the confused flurry of cavalry charges – which they did – to win the day.

        The Loyalists fell back to Bohemia, and the supplies at Prague, and winter closed in. Michael and his victorious army retired to Brunswick, already planning for the following year’s campaign.

        The dispute between the two factions, however, was only the beginning of the trouble… the Magyar lords of Alfold and Bakony took this opportunity to abandon the Duchy, as did the provinces of Alsace, Bavaria, Holland, Thuringia and the city of Trieste in Slovenia. A great deal of this confusion was caused by the common perception that Michael and Mathilde were actually Free Adepts – and that all right thinking Catholics should stand against them! Against this, however, the Loyalist generals did not control a Govnerite heir … and had no claim to the Ducal throne at all.

        Michael ended the turn controlling Saxony (Brunswick), Wesphalia (Magdeburg), Lorraine (Saarbrucken), Holland, Friesland (Bremen), Holstien (Lubeck), Pomern (Retion) as well as the cities of Gotha (in Thuringia) and Trier (in Alsace).


The Duchy of Bohemia

Goldbull XII, Duke of Prague

Diplomacy     None

        Goldbull and his confederates control Bohemia (Prague), Moravia (Brno), Silesia (Posen), Franconia (Bamberg), Swabia (Frieburg), Munich in Bavaria, Carinthia (Hydrothia), and Slovenia.


The Roman Catholic Church

Honorius III, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ

Diplomacy     None

        Upon departing Constance and the Conclave, a troubled and weary Honorius proceeded to tour the countryside in Swabia, and spend more time in Freiburg itself, attempting to drive out the Free Adepts active there. He was successful in the Swabian countryside, but failed miserably to sway the townsmen – who pointedly (protected by Kurnik’s government) repudiated the Pontiff’s appeal. Cardinal Conti, active in Burgundy, had far greater success – driving the heretics from Basel and from the countryside.

        Back in Italy, Cardinal Marcus (himself a German, and one of the Govnerite princes) had raised a new banda of Swiss infantrymen to supplement the garrison of Rome – and soon received news from the south, calling for him to reinforce the Veronian forces in Calabria, who were being pressed by the Fatamids… Efforts by Pantaleon to exact a tithe from the English failed, but succeeded upon the more devout Poles.


The Veronian Empire

Domitian I, Emperor of Italy

Diplomacy     None

        Having repeatedly failed to dislodge the Muslims from Sicily, the Italian knights now kept to their camps, sulking. Luckily for their martial prowess, the Fatamid generals on the island were now itching to have a go at them instead!


Le Royaume de France

Antoinne I, King of the Franks

Diplomacy     None     

        Throwing off the shackles of lethargy, Antoinne set himself to work with a will!  The city walls for Massalia, La Croix, Dijon, Bordeaux, Basel, Chalons, Aachen, Flushing, Bruges, and Paris were all either built or increased.  The walls of fortresses in Provence, Aquitaine, Gascony, Hainaut and Ile de France were also increased as well and a new fortress/port complex was raised in Languedoc.  Throughout the sundry ports of the kingdom, shipwrights, riggers, coopers and sail-makers were hard at work laying keels and building hulls.  Admiral Francois then spent the next two and a half years moving from port to port (successfully evading the Muslims in the Gades in the process) shuttling this vast armada to Caen; where he died of exhaustion soon after making landfall.  Another group of ships under Gascone set sail for the southern seas and were never seen again.  Le Roi also ordered the raising of a sizable contingent of heavy war chariots, a move that had his generals shaking their heads at the adoption of such an obsolescent weapon system.  Finally, Bordeaux grew to a size 9; Flushing to a size 8; and Massalia to a size 7.


The El Reino De Navarre

Marco Aroca II, King of Navarre

Diplomacy     None

        Stymied (for now) on land, Marco ordered Capitan Diego to attempt to raid the Balearics.  Unfortunately the plan was scotched due to lack of transports set aside for the purpose (light warship units have zero cargo capacity).  Which was just as well as the great 600-plus ship Muslim armada prowling in the Gades would have gushed Diego’s squadron fairly easily.  In other events, attempts to foment Christianity upon the heathens in the Azores went well, as did missionary work in the Balearics and (shockingly) Morocco itself!  Closer to home, a whole passle o’ cities continued to grow:  Zaragoza to size 6; Leon, Cordoba, Vyonnes and Burgos all to size 5; La Vega to size 3; and Punta Delgada to size 2.  Finally, an AO operation against the government was a failure.


Northern Europe


The Kingdom of Wessex

Sebbi Cearlson, King of the Angles and Saxons

Diplomacy:    None

         Several cities grew in size.  Edinburgh and Falmouth to size 8; Sutton to size 6; Port de Saxon and York to size 5 and Aberaw to size 2.  Missionary work among the Irish continued at the usual glacial pace.  The naval activities of the French in the Channel were noted with some interest and some trepidation.


The Kingdom of the Svear

Svenstorn Eriksson, King of the Swedes

Diplomacy     None

        Things up north remained pretty quiet.  The road between Norway and Hordaland was completed.  Roads between Norbotten and Livo-Joki via LorharJavi were also built, but they were built last turn but hey, we thought we’d mention it again. Visby and Oslo grew to size 3.  Finally Erik croaked in 1278 and was succeeded with little fanfare.


The Norse Kingdom of Iceland

Sven Erikson, King of the Norse, Dragon King of the Isles

Diplomacy     None

        Sven dedicated a great new Basilica to the myriad Saints of Christendom just off the main agora in Reykjavik.  And a fine, gothic structure it is too.  Several cities within the kingdom also had some walls added and the wilds of Malecite were put under the plow.

        Though the Dragon King considered himself far removed from the religious turmoil in Europe proper, the ideas of the Free Adepts and other reformers in Germany and France had flown wide on the winds of trade – an odd seed landed in Stonehaven, in the Highlands, and found there a young man of monastic bent; Peytr Hamilton who had lately taken to meditating in a cave on a rocky hill outside the confines of the burgh itself.

        Hamilton experienced an event wherein he believed the Virgin Mary spoke to him directly, bidding him rescue the faithful in the highlands and glens from the grip of a corrupt and worldly Church. Thus inspired, the boy collected a circle of confidantes and began speaking against the Church in secret meetings throughout the Highlands. Within two years, this led to a series of attacks on Church property and the destruction of several clerical houses.


North Afriqa


The Maghreb Emirate

Umhad ibn Aslar, Emir of Morroco

Diplomacy:    None

        An attempt on the life of the Emir was foiled by his ever vigilant bodyguards, who managed to shred the assassin before he even had a chance to draw his bodkin (or something like that).  More worrying was news from the Balearics where a hidden Christian community had been discovered, apparently thriving quite nicely, Thank You, among the islanders.  Downright shocking was the uncovering of a tiny pustule of Trinitarian believers within Morocco itself!  The Emir was not pleased.

        Umhad was even more distressed at the death of his son, Prince Fahd in late 1278.


Al Fatamid Caliphate Al Qaira

Fayed ibn Mutadi, Fatamid Caliph of Egypt

Diplomacy     Fah! For wimps!

        An attempt on the life of Abdul-Bari in Palermoi failed, but then he died at the end of 1276 so it kinda worked out.  Despite this inconvenience, Fayed was determined to put paid to the Italians (and their Papal lackeys).  A great fleet of over 800 warships and transports set out from the various ports of the Caliphate. Aboard were over 44,000 troops under the command of general Baybers.  Disdaining the Straits of Messina, Baybars decided to outflank the Christians, landing his troops on the shores of Campania in March of 1277.  The region was quickly secured and the city of Naples was put under siege. 

        Caught on the hop, the Venetian-Papal host in Calabria was reasonably quick to respond, dispatching their 24,000 troops north.  The two armies clashed near the village of Anzio where the Christians managed to inflict a check upon the invaders (but not a decisive one).  Baybars pulled his troops back and was able to evacuate the region.

        Despite this setback, Baybers did not give up.  Sailing to Palermo, he combined his veterans with the Fatamid army in Sicily (whose inactivity due to the death of Abduli-Bari had been a decisive factor in the earlier failure) and attempted to roar across the straits of Messina and take Calabria in a coup de main.  The gambit was initially successful but the Christian host reacted again and the fight was on, this time near Salerno, where this time the Christians were defeated and pulled back into Campania.  Baybers then set siege to Reggio.

        The Muslims had barely begun to set these plans into motion when the Main Venetian army, under the Emperor himself arrived in Campania.  No way was Valdemar going to allow the current situation to stand and stormed into Calabria at the head of over 69,000 troops.  Again battle was joined, the combined Papal Vanetian host versus Bayber’s 56,000 troops outside the walls of Reggio itself.  The fortune s of battle again tipped, this time in favor of the Christians and Baybers, reluctantly broke the siege and retreated to Sicily.

        Unfortunately, one of the victims of the battle was the Emperor, Valdemar IV and his brother, Domitian was quick to take advantage of this.  Gaining the support of the troops and generals on the scene (Domitian had fought quite well in at Reggio and had earned the regard of the troops to some extent).  Proclaiming himself Emperor, he left a small force to watch the Straits and marched back to Venice, where Valdemar’s remaining male offspring were executed.


West Afriqa


The Kingdom of Ghana

Kwazi III, Lord of Kumbi-Saleh

Diplomacy Bilma Oasis (nt)

        Kwazi remained fairly busy, expanding a whole bunch of cities:  Bourem, Banju, Goundam, Niamey, Shenge, and Conakry each grew to size 8 and Dendi to size 9.  Shattering events afflicted the King’s personal life as a nasty and pernicious form of anemia carried off young Prince Ikuseghan and Kwazi’s two new children over a three year period.


The Kingdom of Togo

Tseke, King of Togo and Akan

Diplomacy Fernando Po (c), Kongo (>c), Whydah, in Benin (f)

        A new city, Eban, was raised on the coastal road in Marampa.  Further south, Teke was put under cultivation.  Lagos, Ikare, and Baluba each grew to size 2 and Mabolo to size 3.  In Kongo, Togoan and Rozwi emissaries continue to try to influence the local potentate.


The Kingdom of Kanem-Bornu

Ju I, King of Kanem and Bornu

Diplomacy Sokoro (a)

        Ju finally managed to conduct a census and also took advantage of the spate of peace to have the wilds of Sokoro put under cultivation.  An attempt to station troops at the Oases of Bilma and Ghat-al-Barkat was stymied by the fact that the local sheiks were either in the process of becoming Ghanan flunkies or already Ghanan flunkies.  The K-B general at the sharp end of all of this wisely decided that potentially antagonizing the 800 lb- gorilla-in-the-room that IS the Ghana state would not be wise and prudently withdrew.


South Afriqa


The Kingdom of Nyasa

Shaka II, Chief of the Nyasa

Diplomacy Ankolye (nt)

         Shaka continued to dispatch troops to the north to gather slaves for his ever-growing patrimony.  Not being burdened by the tuskers of last turn, the raiders did somewhat better.  Elsewhere, Prince Mthelthwasogoya was dispatched to sail up and down the coast of the Kingdom, making charts of the various bays, inlets and coasts.  This he did and returned to Nacala in late 1280, where he croaked shortly thereafter.  Closer to home, Luba was put under cultivation; Nampala in Makura was renamed Makukraal and work was started on a road between it and the Rozwi city of Nampula in Melela. 


The Kingdom of Rozwi

Shaka III Northron, King of Rozwi, Lord of Zimbabwe

Diplomacy Kongo (c)

         Shaka’s diplomatic endeavors were rather lackluster.  The Kongoese where so offended by the puerile whining of the delegates from both Togo and Rozwi (the latter died in mid-wheedle) that they renounced all ties with either nation.  As for Shaka’s attempted diplomatic blitz on his southern neighbor, well, see below.  Finally an attempt to domesticate the huge African Elephant for military purposes was a complete failure.


The Kingdom of Vaal

Ngorongoro I, King of Vaal and Mapungubwe

Diplomacy No effect

         A new port, Port Nandi was built in Merintha on Madagascar.  Elsewhere on the island, diplomatic efforts among the Hindi tribes of Betismarsaka were unavailing.

        In the capital, things got rather interesting as yet another large embassy from Rozwi showed up, but with more ominous motives.  Seems that the diplomatic marriage of last turn between the two nations was merely the first move in a diplomatic gambit to annex outright the entire country and attach it as a satellite to the Greater German Reich, er, I mean, the Kingdom of Rozwi.  Shaka II was shocked!  Shocked I tell you!  So much so that he keeled over on the spot.  Of the remaining members of the Vaal Royal Family there was the King’s brother, off on Madagascar as well as the last two of Shaka’s sisters  The latter were still in the kraal but were rather indifferent to the whole state of affairs being both elderly and rather taken with their new nephew, Malendela.

        In the midst of all this, general Ngorongoro stepped forward to put these upstart northerners in their place!  He claimed that Shaka had stipulated that he was king in the event of his death and the absence of Prince Keseke.  Consequently, their claims had no merit and were, in fact, laughable.  Chagrined, the northerners left, their plan in ruins...

        Or was it?  Just because Ngorongoro claimed to be the rightful successor didn’t mean that the rest of the country felt that way.  Soon, such disapproval was expressed as the Kingdom was wracked by revolt!  In the end, Betismarsaka, Hova Merina, Merintha, Sakalava, Lesotho, Swazi, Transkei and Cape all became independent (although the towns in Merintha, Cape and Transkei remain loyal).  If Shaka Northron hadn’t planned to annex his southern neighbor outright, he had certainly thrown the Kingdom into chaos.


North America  Cav Count: 35


The Tlingit People

Aak'wtaatseen, Chief of the Tlingit, Lord of the Far North.

Diplomacy None

         Aak’wtaatseen continued to put efforts into restoring the public works of Ahwahnee to their pre-pox glory.



Obsidian Coyote V, Ruler of California

Diplomacy None

        A mess of cities were increased in size: Mokelumne Hill and San Francisco to size 8; Kettenpom and Berkeley to size 10; Tula’ree and and Eureka to size 9.  A new port city, Morongo was raised in the wastes of Moapa.  Finally, money was sent to the Michigameans.


The Anasazi Nation

Desert Fox, Chief of the Anasazi, Lord of the Chaco

Diplomacy None

        No orders.


The Mississippian Empire

Kahailo, the Great Beaver of the Snake

Diplomacy None

                Slowly, painfully, the Michigameans continued to shake off the effects of the Great Pandemic.  Kaskinapo was resettled to its old level of (2/6), whilst Chickasaw was repopulated to a (1/2).


The Natchez Confederacy

Red Bird, Great Sun of the Natchez

Diplomacy None

        No orders.


Mesoamerica                   Cav Count: 85


The Toltec Hegemony of Chichen Itza

Yahatul, Grand Hegemon of the Maya

Diplomacy     None

        At Yahatul’s command, a myriad of new ports were built among the various Caribbean holdings of the Hegemony.  They were: Ullapal in Calusa; Ipallya in Colon; Malu in Arawak; Taipa in Ciguayo; Yillnarat in Taino; and Lapiz in Carib.


South America


The Mighty Incan Empire

Coya-Inca, The Sun Queen, Regent for...

Tupac, Emperor of the Incas

Diplomacy Pucara (ea), Choco (nt), Chimu (a)

        The jungles of Vladivaria were resettled to their pre-pestilence level.  There was a brief upset when the Emperor Jiqamo died of the pox in 1278, but his stern-willed wife quickly stepped in as regent and only Nazca repudiated alliegence.


The Kingdom of Shokleng

Chalez the Wise, King of Shokleng

Diplomacy None

         Quaroi was resettled to its old (2/2) level.  Chalez named his brother Alberto Heir and then proceeded to sire three male children over a five year period, much to Alberto’s distaste and to the potential detriment of dynastic politics.


The Mapuche Empire

Peltuish, Emperor of the Mapuche

Diplomacy None

        Like everybody else, Peltuish continued to lead his people in their recovery from the pox.  Chechete was resettled to a (1/9) and that was about it.



[1]  Those who wish to read up on the Adepts can start with Norman Cohn’s The Pursuit of the Millennium which was the first major work to examine the group in any detail.

[2]  You want bold? This is bold – throw the dice on a Reform Religion while a full-scale heresy is in the brewing…