Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by EparkosTonTrapezous, Jun 22, 2019.
Ivaylo crosses the border again and raids through Paleothrake throughout February and March. On 18 February the Bulgarians skirt Adrianople, but receive no response. The raiders investigate and find the city occupied by a skeleton garrison, as Konstantinos XII had taken most of the city’s soldiers during the civil war. Ivaylo storms the city and installs his own garrison before moving on. News of the capture of Adrianople spreads across Thrake with the wave of refugees that floods south as Bulgarian raiders burn their homes. Nikephoros assembles the smoldering remains of the Paleothrakion and Optimatoi armies and marches north to drive off the Bulgarians with an army of 6,000 men and 2,000 horse. Ivaylo withdraws from Adrianople as Nikephoros approaches and flees back across the mountains into Bulgaria. Nikephoros curses him under his breath and marches back south, as it was too early in the campaign season to sustain an army for very long. He retires to Konstantinopolis silently fuming and upon his arrival in the capital orders the beginning of the construction of a Theodosianesque wall around Galata, named the Nikephorian Walls to prevent Ivaylo from sacking the lucrative and unfortified town. The Eparkates of Konstantinopolis and Galata are fused into the Eparkate of Konstantinopolis.
Nikephoros raises a second army of 11,000 foot and 3,000 horse and marches north, certain that Ivaylo would attempt to raid again. He sets up camp outside Adrianople on 3 May.
Meanwhile, back in Tarnovo, Ivaylo succumbs to an infected wound from that winter’s raiding. His son Alejsi takes the throne on the same day of Ivaylo’s death and leads an army of 16,000 mounted archers over the Haemus. Nikephoros receives reports of the Bulgarian’s progress, but dismisses them as he believes that Alejsi is gunning for him.
On the night of 29 May, Alejsi’s army accidently stumbles across Nikephoros’ camp. The brief night battle results in heavy Bulgarian casualties, as a group of cavalry had wandered into the center of the camp and were slaughtered, leading Alejsi to fall back to a hill outside the town. At dawn, Nikephoros forms his men up into a column and charges up the hill, attempting to storm the Bulgarian camp before the Slavs awake. However, Alejsi had been unable to sleep and saw the oncoming force, and was able to rouse a large part of his army and ride out. The Romans storm the camp and slaughter the unprepared Bulgarians, but as they finish Alejsi’s cavalry begin to circle around the camp, firing into the densely packed troops. The Romans surge out and attempt to strike at the cavalry, but the Bulgarians roll away and continue firing, forcing the Romans to fall back. After several hours of this Nikephoros sends out a messenger asking for peace. The two rulers ride out alone into the space between the lines and negotiate for peace. In the end Nikephoros agrees to not challenge raids in Europe for a year. The two armies draw off and march in opposite directions.
Nikephoros retires to the inner chambers of the palace and begins planning for the next year’s campaigns. Supposedly, sometime in August he finds a book on the old manipular legions of the Republic, and begins to compare pilum to powder.
The walls of Galata are finished.
What exactly does this means?
As long as Alejsi doesn't launch a major invasion or lay siege to a major city Nikephoros won't campaign against his or his vassals' raids. And believe me, as the guy who's sitting in Nikephoros' head, he's already started thinking about how he's going to exterminate the House of Ivaylo.
Comparing Pila to Powder?
Volley fire tactics?
What's Medieval Greek for
"First Rank, Fire!"?
Anyway, if the Turks or Bulgarians try something funny, I'm betting the Rhomanoi get the last laugh.
How long before the Emperor has another bright historical idea and (re)introduces pikes?
Πρώτη τάξη, Φωτιά! and 1318, respectively.
1303 is a very quiet year, so quiet that there's no need to split it up into seasons.
Alejsi is challenged in Bulgaria by Boris of Silistra, one of Ivaylo's fellow rebels, who essentially says that Alejsi had spat on the memory of the revolution by agreeing to become a hereditary Tsar instead of an elected one. This means nothing, but Boris is able to raise a small army and march on Tarnovo. Unlike Ivaylo, he is annihilated and the uprising ends within three weeks of its beginning.
Back in Rome, Nikephoros continues working on his military reforms. In May, Sofiya's sixth pregnancy ends in a miscarriage and Nikephoros accepts that they can't have any more children. As a result he adopts one of his matriarchal nephews (Manouel) whom had been orphaned in the chaos of 1301 as his son.
Alejsi crosses the Haemus for the winter raiding season in Late January with 9,000 horse archers. Nikephoros raises 4,000 New Model Soldiers from the Optimatoi and marches to challenge the Tsar. The two armies encounter each other outside of the small city of Saranta in Paleothrake on 3 March.
Nikephoros’ men dig in between two small lakes, the various trenches aligning with the ranks. Alejsi splits his army in half, sending 4,000 cavalry to swing around the Roman flank. The rest of the Bulgarian army charges at the Roman forces, and as they come into range the Romans open up with volley fire, scything down the oncoming cavalry as they come within deadly range. Alejsi himself is hit, knocked from his saddle by an arquebus round to the shoulder. His standard-bearer is killed and his banner falls, leading to a Bulgarian route. As the cavalry fall back the dust plumes from the encircling force come into the view and the Romans reverse positions, facing towards the oncoming force. The Bulgarians reach the front line but are cut to shreds by spears and axes. The Bulgarians route again, leaving 7,000 dead. Tsar Alejsi is captured and thrown in the Skholai.
Mesut’s son Orhan approaches Nikephoros and asks to negotiate a truce. The various ghazis that had been exiled from the reconquered land had set up shop in the central plateau. Their initial presence was rather quiet, but after Mesut’s capture they had begun to agitate against Orhan’s regency. The young prince wanted to secure peace on the frontier before he attacked the militants. Nikephoros agreed, and the Treaty of Smyrna of 1304 was signed on 29 June, giving the Romans the small strip of coastal land between Trapezous and Paphlagonia and beginning a ten-year truce between the two states.
Nikephoros’ new treasurer, a Latin convert named Glenn of Frei, stumbles upon Alexios’ old hoard of rhomanisma and recommends that the numismatic reform be completed by the creation of a new silver and copper coins to keep the value of the rhomanisma above the hyperpyron. And so in August the argyronisma silver coin, valued at 10 to the rhomanisma and weighing 4 grams, and the chalkonisma copper coin, valued at 10 to the argyronisma and weighing 2 grams. All previously issued coins are declared null and worthless, but the government would reimburse anyone who turned over their old coins with their value in the new coins. Surprisingly, it goes off fairly well, with approximately 2/3 of all previous coins taken in by the treasury.
Ghazan dies childless in Tabriz on 11 August, leading to a succession crisis in the Ilkhanate between his brothers Oljaitu-Nikolya and Timur. In the chaos Mesut and Alexios both escape, fleeing to the Cathedral of Tabriz. The Bishop is Gregorios Khoniades, Alexios’ former tutor, and he arranges for their passage back to Anatolia.
Alexios arrives back in the Empire in Trapezous and rides west, the Trapezuntine and Paphlagonian armies joining him along the way. Nikephoros is dethroned in a palace coup on 8 November, but is allowed to live on in the capital, minus an eye, as a sebastos. Alexios VI resumes his reign on 13 November, with Theodore III as his junior emperor.
Sorry for not posting last night, as my internet was down.
Melt down the old coins into new on the slowly-slowly to increase the money supply without triggering hyperinflation. Use the internally worthless old currency as trade coins with foreign powers based on their weight in precious metal? Not very honest, but this is the Middle Ages.
The relevant bits of the world on 1 January 1305
Duke Guy II of Athens, Princess Isabella of Achaea, Count Riccardo of Cephalonia and Triarchs Pietri and Maria della Carceri of Euboea all swear fealty to Charles II of Naples, as Caterine had been killed in the Civil War of 1301. The Latins had taken Nikephoros’ dethronement as a sign of another round of civil wars rather than the return of the Pale Death of the Skythians.
Alexios raises 8,000 Mounted Infantry and marches west to reannex the Latin territories, believing that the peaceable Charles II would be unwilling to fight a foreign war whilst his treasury was wrapped up in construction in Italy.
Manouel Tarkhaneiotes and 4,000 New Model Infantry embark for the Kimmerikon, intending to finish off the collapsing Despotate of Theodoro. Manouel lands in Khersonesos on 19 May and immediately marches inland. A small Gothic force meets him outside of Doros on 27 May, but is cut down by volley fire. Doros falls on 30 May, and the Principality of Theodoro is annexed into the Empire. Manouel then enters into negotiations with Djoga Khan, the ruler of the Crimean Horde, for control of the Gothic villages in Mongolian lands.
Alexios and his army cross the border into Athens. Guy is able to raise about 200 knights and 1,000 infantry, and plans a last stand at Plataea. The two armies meet on 12 July, and the Latins are annihilated. Alexios breaks his army into smaller units and these fan out across the duchy, laying siege to the small baronies. By the end of August the entirety of the territory had been reconquered. However, word of the invasion had already spread across the surviving Frankokratia. The army regroups in Athens in early September, then splits back up again into three parts. One sails for Nauplion, which falls after a week’s siege, one marches south towards the Achaean border, and the third march north-west towards Antirion, on the Epirote border. A fleet of twenty ships leaves Thessalonika and begins to circumnavigate the Morea, bound for Antirion.
Djoga Khan agrees to cede the Gothic villages to the Empire in exchange for retaining their taxes for the duration of his reign. One of the Papioi kills him two weeks later.
The fleet wrecks off of Modon in October, effectively ending the campaign for that year.
Exact words, Djoga my friend, exact words.
So this week I am counseling at my local church camp, but I'm going on vacation next week. So I figured that since 1306-1316 is chaotic af I should just do context and world events this week and work on the TL next week.
Great job .. Have a great week
have a great week and god bless
I think you misinterpreted me. I just meant that today's update will be, say, something about the Ilkhanate Civil War of 1305-1308 instead of 1306.
also great story
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