A New Alexiad: Tarkhaneiotes Triumphant

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Hello, all.
As you can tell by the title, this is not my first attempt at this TL. The first three all fell apart due to my inability to schedule and critical research failure. I'm going to try it again, but I don't know when I'll be able to start writing again, hopefully it'll be before 7 July. For now, I'm just going to put up a map of the world in 1295, when the story starts.

POD is 1269, with Mikhael Tarkhaneiotes the Elder returning from his diplomatic mission to Sarai with the recipe for gunpowder.



The Relative Bits of the World on 16 August 1295.png

Note: The stripey bits in Anatolia are the semi-independent beyliks of al-Rum

Red Beylik - Kandarids under Suleyman Pasha
Blue Beylik - Menteshe under Mesut the Great
Yellow-tan Beylik - Karamanids under Guneri Karaman

Philanthropeni-Tarkhaneioti Land Ownership.png

This is a map of the Tarkhaneioti family's lands in 1295, in blue.
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Relevant Background:

In 1295, the empire is split by the Arsenite schism. When Ioannes IV was overthrown by Mikhael VIII, Patriarch Arsenios I was also unseated, replaced by Patriarch Iosep I. A dispute arose between the supporters of the two over who was the legitimate Patriarch. Arsenios was supported in Anatolia and the Aegean Islands, as well as among the Armanj tribes. The Palaiologi were strongly Iosepist, while the Tarkhaneioti and Philanthropeni were both fanatically Arsenite.

In this timeline, a result of Mikhael Tarkhaneiotes' lengthened stay in Sarai, during which he was given the recipe for gunpowder, was the fall from grace and execution of Targhan, a future advisor of Ilkhan Mahmud Ghazan. As a result, when ad-Din Kayqubad bin Faramuz fled into the Ilkhanate in 1285 he was summarily executed. This left Mesud II, 45 but heirless and dying of cancer as the last living Seljuk. He has willed the title of Sultan of Rum (with the permission of Mahmud Ghazan) to Guneri Karaman, leader of the Karamanids. However, Mesut of Menteshe (Already nicknamed 'the Great' after leading an island-hopping raid as far as Euboia) and Suleyman Pasha both claim Seljuk ancestry and thus the throne. The three beys are already at each other's throat, and as soon as Mesud kicks the bucket there will be full-blown war.

Gunduz Alp, the younger brother of Osman, has formed a confederation of Christian Turks in Bithynia (The plum-purple territory between the Kandarids and the Romans.)

Ioannes II, Basileus ton Trapezous, converts to Catholicism in 1293 at the behest of Pope Nicholaus IV. After a collective "Huh?" from the entirety of Christendom and three failed coups before the end of 1294, Ioannes is left unpopular, paranoid and fanatical, but in power.

Ioannes Tarkhaneiotes, Alexios' uncle, is the strategos of the Optimatoi and leader of the Arsenites.

Aegean Islands:
Megas Doux Nikephoros Tarkhaneiotes, Mikhael's eldest son and estranged brother of Alexios, had by 1292 annexed the Duchy of Naxos. He used the islands as a power base to construct an additional 20 ships to supplement the flagging Roman navy of 45. He then used the fleet to harass the port cities of the Frankokratia, and, more importantly, to harass the Venetian supply lines to Canea and Candia, allowing Alexios Kallergis to seize the entirety of Crete and expel the Venetians, creating the Cretan vassal state seen on the map.

Ioannes I Doukas, the Depotate of Thessalia, grew estranged from his sons Konstantinos and Theodoros over the 1280s (much of the divide was intentionally caused by the Tarkhaneioti) and named his son-in-law Andronikos Tarkhaneiotes as a third co-ruler in his will of 1289. When the resulting civil conflict ended in 1291, Andronikos had triumphed with the support of the nobility. Andronikos then retroceded himself into the Empire, conquering Salona and Bodonitssa as well.

Meanwhile in the Morea, the Principality of Achaea wars against the Kantakouzeni whilst the Duchy of Athens struggles to hold Argos and Nauplia against Nikephoros' incursions. In Euboia, the Ventio-Triarch alliance has begun to push back the Romans.

Mikhael Glabas Tarkhaneiotes, Alexios' first cousin once removed, struggles to hold back the Serbs as they storm over the Roman border. In 1294, Glabas was barely able to prevent Milutin from taking Berat, the last surviving fortress on the Via Egnatia, the major and lightly defended road to Konstantinopolis. With no other choice, he makes a tenuous alliance with Konstantin Guli, a local Armanj warlord and his son Nikolaos' father-in-law.

Ivan Asen, the dethroned Tsar of Bulgaria, has arrived in Galata after his ninth attempt to retake his throne since 1278.

I'll see you in a couple weeks. 'Till then, I'm banishing myself to Perateia.
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All right, I've reconsidered.

After spending several days working on my first update, I've realised that if I try and write this in narrative form I will fall behind quickly, so I'm going to do this as a timeline instead. Updates coming (hopefully) daily.
The Civil War of 1295-96


August 1295:

Karman, a minor Turkish warlord, crosses the frontier with 8,000 cavalry and lays siege to Magnesia, a fortified town a day west of Alexios Tarkhaneiotes’ camp at Tralleis. Magnesia is extremely strategically important as not only is it the only fortified town on the Maeandar River, it is the capital of the province of Lykia and contains one of three functioning mints in the empire. Alexios marches west with 4,000 foot and 2,000 cavalry on 16 August, but Karman breaches the walls and slaughters the town, including Alexios’ wife and son. The Romans arrive outside whilst the Turks are sacking the city, and the Turks in turn are cut down before they can form up. Karman and his two sons are captured, and Alexios has all three executed by having molten silver poured into their eyes and ears before chopping off their limbs and leaving them to die of exposure in the town. This was extremely out of character for Alexios, who was famous for his mercy to prisoners.

The Roman troops hail Alexios as emperor, and the grieving man marches west, beginning the Byzantine Civil War of 1295-96.

He arrives at Ephesos Nova on 29 August, to find that Theodore Palaiologos, who had happened to be in the city at the time, had expelled all civilians in preparation for a siege, leaving only 3,000 Genoese mercenaries in the city. Alexios dispatches messengers to his relatives asking for aid, one of which sails for Nikephoros’ fleet, who are anchored off Kos. The rebels dig in for a siege.

September 1295:

A Genoese fleet arrives from Phokaia on 7 September, 15 ships in all. They bombard the rebels with ballista fire, but after a brief cannonade the ships withdraw outside of range.

On 12 September, Nikephoros’ fleet of 65 ships arrives outside the city. The Genoese attempt to flee, but only 2 escape, 9 are sunk, and 4 are captured. Seeing that escape is impossible, the mercenaries surrender and turn Palaiologos over to Tarkhaneiotes. The mercenaries are disarmed and put on the captured ships, whence they sail for Corse.

The rebels march north, taking the unguarded city of Smyrna on 21 September.

October 1295:

Alexios’ messengers arrive in Nikaia, where his uncle Ioannes raises the flag of rebellion.

News of the rebellion arrives in Konstantinopolis, and Andronikos II dispatches Mikhael IX and Ioannes Akropolites to put down Alexios and Ioannes, respectively.

Isaakios Libadarios, the governor of Neokastra, fortifies Pitane, a small town on a peninsula jutting out into the Aegean directly across from Lesbos. He garrisons it with 7,000 men, knowing that Alexios can’t move north while such a large force sits in his rear. Alexios arrives outside the city on 18 October, his army now swollen to 11,000 men by volunteers and Turkish auxiliaries. Seeing that he can’t take the city easily, he begins building siege works while twenty ships blockade the port. The other forty sail north in an attempt to blockade the Straits.

November 1295:

The siege settles in for the winter as the campaign season draws to the close. In the north, Akropolites defects to Ioannes Tarkhaneiotes, bringing rebel strength in the north to 8,000. Mikhael IX winters in Abydos.

December 1295:

Libadarios hires a group of soldiers to assassinate Tarkhaneiotes. They surprise him late at night in his tent, but he talks them down.

The rebel fleet attacks a group of 30 mercenary ships off of Imbros, sinking 16 mercenaries and 7 rebels. 9 mercenary ships are captured, 4 of which were scuttled.

Andronikos II sends for Mikhael Glabas, the Domestikos of the West.

January 1296:

1,000 Turkish raiders attack the siege works outside of Pitane, but are driven off with few losses.

February 1296:

Mikhael IX and 10,000 men attack the Ioanni at Prusa on 6 February. The battle is a Loyalist victory with 3,000 Rebels and 2,000 Loyalists dead, but the rebels are able to withdraw in good order and retreat into Gunduzid land.

Pitane runs out of food and surrenders on 11 February. Alexios advances north, and Adrymittion falls after light resistance on 26 February.

March 1296:

Mikhael IX swings back to attack Alexios.

Tarkhaneiotes spends the month at Adrymittion, gathering men and supplies.

April 1296:

The Rebels march north into the Troas, while Mikhael IX attempts to make contact. The two forces meet on 9 April on opposite sides of the Skamanderos River. The two armies pursue each other north on opposite banks, archers firing all the while. On 14 April the two groups reach the sea. Mikhael crosses first, and in the resultant Battle of Dardanella the Loyalists are routed, with 6,000 dead, while the Rebels lose only 2,000. Mikhael attempts to kill Alexios personally, but is killed by one of his bodyguards, a Greco-Venetian defecter named Spyridon Psaramarkos.

The rebels cross into Europe on 17 April, Nikephoros’ fleet routing a Genoese fleet of 48.

May 1296:

The rebels lay siege to Konstantinopolis, where Andronikos retreats into solitude.

June 1296:

Mikhael Glabas arrives from the west with 14,000 men. At the Battle of Tzanoupolis on 6 June, Alexios defeats Mikhael with both sides losing roughly 4,000 men. In the aftermath Mikhael agrees to withdraw west, as he has no interest in the civil war and only wishes to return to his defense of Makedonia. As Andronikos watches the army pull back he tonsures himself and orders the gates to be opened. Alexios enters in triumph on 7 June, and is crowned in the 9th as Alexios VI.
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June-December 1296


June 1296:

Alexios is crowned as Alexios VI on 9 June in the Hagia Sophia. During the celebrations, the residents of the Genoese corner storm the Venetian quarter and slaughter the populace, including Enrico Malabranca. Alexios orders the execution of the lowborn Genoese, and the imprisonment of the aristocrats pending Venetian justice. A ship leaves the city on 14 June bound for Modon.

Meanwhile, the new administration begins going through the treasury and begins to panic. The Roman treasury has about 750,000 hyperpyron in it, and has a net loss of 300,000 hyperpyron per year. Alexios and his advisors begin to scramble to find a way to stop the hemorrhaging. On 22 June, Alexios issues the Chrysobull of 1296, reducing the number of salaried offices in the court from 90 to 40, cutting an estimated 20,000 hyperpyron in expenses. The Chrysobull also creates 285 minor prestige offices, which are rented to members of the aristocracy in exchange for a position of honor in the court. The Chrysobull offices, as they are called, bring in 15,000 hyperpyron per year.

Alexios gathers an army of 7,000 men and marches south on 29 June, not wishing to give the Turks a reprieve from his campaigning, as well as pursuing rumors of a lake in the hills near the headwaters of the Hermos River that was said to be entirely yellow because of the massive gold deposits. He is also aware of the legitimacy that would be bestowed upon him by a successful campaign.

July 1296:

A ship arrives in Konstantinopolis from Napoli on 17 July, carrying Caterine d’Courtenay, titular Latin Empress. She was betrothed to the late Mikhael IX, and was supposed to marry him upon arrival, but news of the emperor’s death had yet to reach Italy. Upon learning of Mikhael’s death she attempts to leave, but Megas Logothete Manouel Planoudes convinces her to marry Alexios instead. The marriage would bring Akhaia, Athenon, and the Greek Palatinate into the theory. In theory, at least.

In the south, Alexios crosses the border into Karasid lands, but no army arrives to challenge him. He sacks Karasib, the Karasid capital, on 18 July, and resumes his march south 15,000 hyperpyron’s worth of goods the richer. As he moves south, he notices a disquieting lack of resistance along the frontier. He swings east into the Hermos Valley, taking Sipylum after the Greek population throws open the gates on 28 June. He leaves the next day, sending 2,000 men up the Hermos under the command of his lieutenant Sebastianos Kourkouas, while the emperor himself marches south with the rest of the army, arriving in Smyrna on 31 July.

In Sivas, Mesud II dies on 23 July, sending al-Rum into a three-way civil war. On 26 July, a Menteshed army of 12,000 encounters a coalition of 19,000 Germiyaned, Ottoman, and Karasid forces at Sultananou while attempting to cross into Canikid lands. The Mentesheds crush the allies, killing most of the Ottoman and Karasid men and about half of the Germiyaned force.

August 1296:

16 Venetian ships depart Modon for Konstantinopolis on 4 August, intending to bring onboard the prisoners from the Italian riots in June. When they pass Phokaia on the 13th, 22 Genoese ships depart the port and begin following them north. Venice and Genoa were embroiled in the War of Curzola, and any major movement of ships was cause for aggression.

Kourkouas and his men march west, obliterating the small Turkish militias that try to oppose them. On 10 August, they find the lake. Sebastianos raises a small fortress and mine on the site, naming it Chrysafilimni. He leaves a garrison of 200 men in the fortress and impresses captured Turkish civilians into service digging up gold. The rest of the army swivels south, and marches back into the Hermos valley before crossing the Timolos hills into the Maeandar valley, arriving at Magnesia on 27 August.

Alexios marched south from Smyrna on 5 August, pushing south along the coast to Didyma. The city’s Turkish garrison surrenders in exchange for safe passage into the Plateau. On 21 August a small group of men are packed onto a group of fishing boats and shuttled across the Bay of Mylasa to Alikarnassos. They demand that the Menteshed garrison surrender, but the Turks refuse to open the gates. After they refuse, the Romans storm the walls after nightfall and slaughter the Mentesheds. Alexios and the main army withdraw north to Magnesia, linking up with Kourkouas on 29 August.

Meanwhile, the Menteshed army arrives outside of Eflani and lays siege to the Canikid capital on 12 August. On 17 August, 28,000 Canikids reaches the city and attempts to relieve it, resulting in the Battle of Ovacik. The battle is fought across a series of creeks and small rivers, resulting in a narrow Menteshed victory with 9,000 dead, while the Canikids lose 16,000. Mesud the Great is forced to retreat and falls back to Zongalik. There, another coalition of the Hamedids, Gunduzids and a few Goths attacked the demoralized Mentesheds, nearly overrunning their camp before a Canikid army stumbles upon the camp and attacks. The coalition and Canikids savage each other while the Mentesheds flee west, into the empire.

September 1296:

Alexios leaves Lykia and marches north.

The Mentesheds stumble across the border, where their 9,000 demoralized survivors are trapped in a valley by the 8,000 akriti of the Optimatoi. Mesut the Great surrenders, and is imprisoned and taken to Konstantinopolis while his men are held in the valley.

In the west, Mikhael Glabas defeats an invading horde of Serbians at the Battle of Ohrid on 15 September. The Serbs are baited into a charge across an open plain at the Roman line, charging past an ambuscade.4,000 Armanj cavalry spring from the bush and tear into the Serbian flank while the infantry advance in a phalanx, trapping them against the lake. 30,000 of the 35,000 invaders are killed, whilst only 2,000 Romans fall.

October 1296:

The two fleets arrive off Konstantinopolis on the 6th. Both commanders demand that the prisoners from the June Riots be turned over to them. The head of the Genoese fleet, Benedetto Zaccaria (Lord of Phokaia, Caffa and Galata) is desperate, as his son and only heir Paleologo is one of the prisoners. On the 8th, Nikephoros sends a messenger to Zaccaria, agreeing to return Paleologo in exchange for Galata. Zaccaria agrees, giving the Romans a day to occupy Galata before turning over the prisoners. Nikephoros does so, but then turns the captives over to the Venetians under Ruggeiro Malabranca, in exchange for a ransom of 10,000 hyperpyron. Zaccaria attacks the Venetian fleet but is outrun; he turns on Galata. The Genoese land in the city and their marines storm the town. However, the Eparkos’ men swarm the city and kill most of the marines, and the few ships that sail into the Golden Horn are captured before they enter the Marmara. Zaccaria is captured alive, and forced to sign away Caffa, Planoudes estimating that the Genoese will care less about that city than Phocaea, before being killed. His body is shipped back to Phocaea while 17 Roman ships under Giocomo Ciurini sail for the Crimea.

In the south, Alexios continues his march north. When news of the Capture of Marmara reach him on the 27th, he takes ship from Adrymittion and sails for Konstantinopolis. Kourkouas camps at Adrymittion in preparation for next year’s campaign into Karasid and Germiyaned lands.

Mikhael Glabas and his army of 12,000 march up the Axios Valley and cross the border into Serbia, camping at the head of the Morava River. Stefan Milutin raises an army of 15,000 and marches to defend his kingdom. However, the passes between Ras and the Morava before he can cross, and he winters at his capital.

November 1296:

Alexios arrives in Konstantinopolis on the 12th, and upon being appraised of the situation ‘flips his lid’. He is outraged by Nikephoros and Manouel acting without his approval the coming of war without his knowledge, and his unbeknowing betrothal to Caterine I. All three, knowing of Alexios’ penchant for brief flashes of fury and rash decisions, had fled the capital, Nikephoros to Imbros, Caterine to the Genoese settlement at Amastris and Manouel to Burgas. On the 14th he calms down and sends request for them to return. On the 22nd, Alexios VI and Caterine I are married in the Hagia Sophia, creating a personal union between the Latin and Roman Empires. The far-off County of Namen in Flanders is also once again under the dominion of Rome. The County is a center of the wool trade and brings much revenue to the Empire. That and the capture of Galata brings an economic reprieve to Rome, as even with a halved tariff rate for the port customs fees is estimated to bring in 130,000 hyperpyron per year, which leaves the Empire in debt, but not as catastrophically as in 1295. The treasury is now losing only about 135,000 hyperpyron per year.

Alexios meets with Mesut the Great, and in exchange for safe passage back to the Menteshe the Turks cede the land north of the Gulf of Kolpos (Gulf of Gokova) to the Romans.

In the Crimea, the Roman fleet arrives off of Caffa and demands that the garrison surrender, presenting a copy of Zaccaria’s statement. The commander refuses, but the four cannon-armed ships in the fleet shoot the masts off every other ship in the harbor in a show of force. The garrison mutinies in the face of this unknown weapon, and Caffa falls on the 13th. Ciurini goes through the port records and rejoices, for the port’s customs duties were approximately 70,000 hyperpyron in 1295.

December 1296:

Caterine becomes pregnant in either late December or early January. Demetrios Metaxes, the protovestarios, ferments a plan to resurrect the treasury. In the north, a small band of Goths, exiles from Theodoro, approach Ciurini and offer fealty in exchange for land outside the city. Over the following weeks more tribes, nearly 5,000 in all, ask for the same.
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The Council of the Brilliantly Insane - Map of 1 January 1297


As mentioned before, one of Alexios’ bodyguards was a Kerkyran half Roman-half Italian man named Spyridon Psaramarkos. Psaramarkos was also a close friend of Alexios, and was appointed Epinkernes in June 1296. He was allowed to sit in the council chamber as a bodyguard. He was also kept a daily journal, through which we know of the ‘Council of the Brilliantly Insane’, as he called it.

Protovestarios (Treasurer): Demetrios Metaxes

Megas Doux: Giocomo Ciurini

Protostrator: Nikephoros Tarkhaneiotes

Megas Logothete: Manouel Planoudes

Megas Papias (Think head of CIA): Khizr the Vainakh

Kanikleios (Chief Advisor): Konstantinos Akropolites

Deeseon (Petition-taker): Thomas Kantakouzenos

A Map of the World on 1 January 1297:
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Patriarch Ioannes XII dies and is replaced by Ioannes Tarkhaneiotes as Arsenios II. The Genoese recognize the Roman ownership of Kaffa and Galata.


On the island of Gavdos, off the southern coast of Crete, Turkish prisoners of war are used to grow opium for sale. Mikhael Glabas sacks the Serbian capital and concludes a peace, gaining control of the entirety of the Axios River. Riccardo Orsini swears fealty to Caterine.


The Ottoman and Germiyaned beyliks are annexed during the summer by Nikephoros Tarkhaneiotes and Georgios Mouzalon, respectively, and by fall the Turks have been driven over the border. The new land is resettled by Crimean Goths fleeing from a Mongolian invasion of Theodoros. Leo Sgouros invades Akhaia and kills Florent d’Hainaut in battle, but is driven back by the Venetians. Alexios spends his summer campaigning in Lykia.


Caterine gives birth to a son, named Theodoros in an appeal to Anatolian nostalgia for the Laskarids. The County of Namur is raided by Edward Longshanks during his invasion of Flanders. The first opium crop is harvested and sold to Pisan merchants on the condition that they are not sold in the empire.

1 January 1298

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Do you prefer the month-by-month or seasonal presentation of the TL?

Edit: I'm going to be taking a break for the weekend, but 1298 will come out on Sunday night.
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I prefer the monthly, but seasonal is alright. Monthly makes it easier to know better when things are going on. Seasonal makes it a bit more harder to pinpoint.




Arsenios II issues a bull stating that a) the land of heretical monasteries is to be forfeited to the state, by force if necessary, and b) Iosepism is officially a heresy. There are protests from various bishops both Arsenite and Iosepist, and the implementation of the bull is stalled until a Church Council can be summoned.

Ivan III marries his youngest daughter, the 15-year old Sofiya to the 31-year old Nikephoros on the 23rd of February. After the wedding, Ivan asks Alexios to back him in a tenth attempt to invade Bulgaria, to which he is told, essentially, “Your peasants dislike you so much that a friggin’ DUNGRAKER overthrew you, and then beat you nine more times. Give up already, for ffs.” Ivan storms off in a huff, but assembles 3,000 loyalists outside of Konstantinopolis on 12 March, preparing to march against Ivaylo one more time. Of his four sons, Andronikos and Konstantinos stay behind whilst Mikhael and Isaakios accompany their father. They cross the border into Bulgaria on the last day of winter, March 21.


Ivaylo slaughters the Asenites two day’s north of the border, with no survivors. Ivan and his two sons are both cut down.

Alexios himself leaves Konstantinopolis at the head of an army of 8,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry on the 7th of April. He is informed by Demetrios Metaxes that this the most that the Empire can raise, as there are already 24,000 men in the field. When Alexios asks him why, even with the recovering budget the Romans cannot afford to militarize Metaxes tells him that it is because the various provincial governors have been using their pronoia and military budgets to build private armies. Alexios had been aware of this, as he himself had used the same system to come to power, but had been unaware that it had so seriously damaged government. He is seriously perturbed, and resolves to address it when he returns from that season’s campaigns.

He marches east, towards Paphlagonia, determined to cow the Gunduzids and…dissuade…them from thoughts of rebellion, as well as to exploit the absence of the Canikid army.

Mikhael Glabas’ daughter Anna dies of an infected cut on the 29th of April. A bereaved Mikhael retires to Mount Athos, taking the monastic name of Theophilos. A messenger is sent to Konstantinopolis asking for a new appointment as governor. In the interim Mikhael’s popular and charismatic adopted son Nikolaos becomes de facto governor.


Alexios crosses the frontier into Canikid lands in late May, accompanied by 5,000 Gunduzid auxiliaries. He drives off a small warband that had laid siege to the bordertown of Klaudiopolis, then swings north and marches into the mountains of Paphlagonia, where the populace is still mostly Roman. In early June he enters the Amnias Valley by storming the small fortress town of Safranbolu, executing the garrison and renaming it Theodoropolis. Alexios then races across the valley, garrison after garrison surrendering in exchange for safe passage to the frontier. The town of Pompiopolis’ garrison attempts to resist, but the walls are shot to pieces within a day, 8 June. From there he marches further east, arriving at the fortress of Boybat at the eastern end of the valley. Boybat is perched on a 2,500 foot tall cliff face overlooking the passes into Pontos. Alexios sets down for a siege, sending messengers up into the hills and nearby towns to bring men for a great meeting. On 24 June, under the walls of Boybat, Alexios meets with local leader and explains that he had previously conquered Karia, but when the Turks had come the next year they had exterminated the Roman population (which was false). The Emperor invites the local leaders to join his men in fortifying the Pontic hills to the south, and over the course of the summer the passes into the Amnias Valley are fortified.

Boybat falls in mid-July, and Alexios renames the fortress Alexiopolis. The imperial army then marches north and lays siege to Sinope. Iskandar Parwana, the city’s governor, sends a messenger to Ioannes the Catholic of Trapezous begging for help. Parwana offers to submit to Ioannes’ rule if the Trapezuntines will relieve the city. And so on 3 August 4,000 Trapezuntine sarasi and 13,000 light cavalry leave Trapezous and march west. They arrive outside the town on 7 September and set up a camp a mile away from the siege works. A small group of Paphlagonian volunteers slip across the lines in the dead of night, and form a small unit amongst the Trapezuntine auxiliaries. When the two armies break camp the next morning, Alexios rides out into the space between the lines and exhorts the Trapezuntines to join their Roman brethren and overthrow the heretical Ioannes. As soon as he finishes his speech the Paphlagonians push their way through the lines and hail Alexios as Emperor of Rome and Trapezous. Slowly, the other units hail Alexios as emperor, and the Trapezuntine commander flees in panic.

Parwana sends a messenger to Alexios asking for a peaceful settlement, but the Emperor refuses on the basis of Skala Angizei ton Toicho, or “Until the Ladder Touches the Wall.” The Imperial cannonade open up, blasting through the walls before nightfall. Alexios holds off a final push on the walls until the next day, appearing to give the garrison an opportunity to escape. About 2,000 garrison soldiers attempt to slip out of the city, but as soon as they clear the walls they are slaughtered by vengeful Paphlagonian soldiers. Alexios then storms the city in a night battle, slaughtering the 8,000 Turks, both soldiers and civilians, in the city. After the walls are repaired on the 22nd of September, the combined army, totaling 16,000 foot and 17,000 horse, marches east.


Alexios’ army pushes into Trapezuntine land and easily sweeps through the Autokratia, as fortresses throw open their gates to the man who wishes to destroy the heretic king. On 26 October his army arrives outside of Trapezous to find its defenses abandoned. Ioannes II and his guards had fled weeks previously, escaping to Persia. Alexios is crowned as “Emperor of all Romans” in Trapezous on 28 October. He dismisses all but 5,000 horse and camps in the city.

In Bulgaria, Ivaylo forms an army of 5,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry and crosses the border, raiding the Thrakion countryside. When Eparkos Akropolites attempts to drive him off, Ivaylo retreats into the Haemus before sweeping back down once he is gone.




Ivaylo’s army of raiders attacks Adrianopolis, but is driven off. Still, the panicked governor sends a messenger to Akropolites begging for help, which starts a chain of messages that reaches Alexios at Trapezous on the 29th of January. He leaves the city less than two hours later, leading the 5,000 cavalry from the previous year’s campaign. They ride hard for a month before arriving in Konstantinopolis on the 7th of March. Upon being informed of the unnecessariness of his ride Alexios pitches another fit and spends several days sulking in the palace before emerging. From there he, Planoudes and Metaxes begin working on further economic reforms targeting the pronoia.


As the magnates of the empire gather in Konstantinopolis for the Easter celebrations they are politely asked to hand in their praktia for audit. Those few (~90%) who didn’t have it on them were allowed to send a courier to grab it and bring it to the capital. Giorgios Mouzalon does so, but switches places with his servant, races for the provinces, and raises his flag in rebellion on 2 May. He marches north with little opposition, but arrives at Nikomedia on 25 May, at which point Ciurini napathas the entire force and the rebel scum die in a fiery inferno for their trouble. The few nobles who had been considering resisting all meekly submit. Metaxes begins going through the praktikai.

Shortly after Easter, the church council is convened. Due to the lack of Iosepite bishops, as their ships had all suffered “accidents” whilst sailing for the city. The heretical monastery bill is passed, and imperial agents begin fanning out across the empire.

Nikephoros conquers the Karasids, boots the ruling class into al-Rum and annexes the territory.


Alexios’ third and fourth children, Sabbas and Maria, are born on 4 July.

Two things:
Sorry for the short update, I finished a two-nighter at 10:00 AM yesterday, and didn't wake up until 5:30.
Also, concerning Caterine and Alexios having twins, I found in a book on the Latin Empire that Caterine's first OTL children were twins, I figured that it'd work here too.

P.S. Mehmet the Great and the Mentesheds won the civil war.
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