Yep. And their sons Will sure as hell carry on their legacies with the help of their very inteligente mothers
That they will.

Okay guys, I’m going to give you a choice. I’m going on holiday once again tomorrow (sorry, I do get about a bit...), and I have the next two chapters ready to go. One is the next and final part of this crusade, and the other deals with the aftermath of today’s chapter in England and Burgundy. You can have ONE of them before I leave, but only one... which would you rather see first?

I’ll see what you’re all saying around 9am GMT, then post whichever one is winning then.
 
That they will.

Okay guys, I’m going to give you a choice. I’m going on holiday once again tomorrow (sorry, I do get about a bit...), and I have the next two chapters ready to go. One is the next and final part of this crusade, and the other deals with the aftermath of today’s chapter in England and Burgundy. You can have ONE of them before I leave, but only one... which would you rather see first?

I’ll see what you’re all saying around 9am GMT, then post whichever one is winning then.
I chose the aftermath of England and Burgundy, gotta see the reactions and how the states are holding up!

And when you will be back?
 
Chapter Fifty-Three: Back Home
Chapter Fifty-Three: Back Home

News of the deaths of both King Edmund I of England and Prince Philip IV of Burgundy shocked the crusaders, and that news soon filtered back across Europe to their homes. Neither ruler had a son who had reached the age of majority yet - Edmund’s heir Edward, King of Scots had just reached his seventeenth birthday and Philip’s heir Lionel was four weeks short of turning sixteen when the news of their fathers’ deaths broke. Edward succeeded Edmund as King Edward V of England, bringing about the personal union between England and Scotland that English kings had been dreaming about since the days of King Edward I. It was a monumental occasion, but one that was steeped in tragedy with Edmund’s death.

Since Edward V was only seventeen, he would need a regent for the next four years. His mother Charlotte of Lancaster was quick to take this role, although she did devolve some responsibilities. She made James Mortimer, Duke of Gloucester the regent of Scotland, since he had already essentially been in that position as the Lord-Lieutenant of Scotland and head of the Council of Scotland [1], while Charlotte filled the role of the regent for England. Charlotte rapidly organised Edward’s coronation as king, and he was crowned King Edward V of England on Christmas Day 1507 in Westminster.

The death of King Edmund was not the only tragedy to haunt England in the early 1500s - by the time of his death, the first generation of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville’s descendants had all died. Elizabeth, Dowager Queen of Brittany - the mother of both Edmund, Duke of Suffolk and Arthur of Brittany, and step-mother of Richard I, King of Brittany - died of what was believed to be a stroke in February 1504, and her sister Margaret (whose granddaughter Eleanor was now the Queen of Scots in her own right) died just three months later from fever. Edmund, Duke of Rutland was the final one to die, in March 1506, and his death was in particularly tragic circumstances. He and his wife Joanna had chartered a ship to take them from Exeter to Bruges, where they intended to spend some time with their beloved widowed daughter-in-law Emma of Burgundy and her children Joanna and Lionel. But a storm had come seemingly out of nowhere as the ship was approaching Bruges, and in the stormy weather Rutland’s ship sank. There was only one survivor, a young English squire who was a part of Rutland’s retinue called William Lovelace, who miraculously managed to swim the rest of the distance to Bruges.

Bruges, 7th March 1506

Standing in the port with her retinue, Emma had watched the storm from a distance, and watched with misery, knowing exactly what it meant for her guests. She closed her eyes and sighed. But then someone shouted out - “Look!” Emma turned round to see one of her knights pointing into the choppy sea nearby, and she was astounded to see someone in it.
Someone swimming through the storm, swimming into port, where the water was calmer.
“By God,” Emma whispered, temporarily lost for words. Then she snapped out of her shock, and began ordering commands to her men. “Get a boat out to the port entrace and rescue that man!”
Emma’s men had quickly repurposed some local man’s fishing boat and sailed out to pick the man up. After a few hours of luxurious comfort to recover from his ordeal, Emma received word that the man was happy to see her.
Emma opened the door to his quarters. “Good afternoon, sir.” She said.
“Good afternoon, my lady.” The man, whose name she now knew to be Sir William Lovelace, replied. “I thank you for your kindness and hospitality.”
“But of course.” Emma replied and sat down opposite him. “Though I would appreciate your telling me of what happened.”
“I was a part of the Duke of Rutland’s retinue,” Sir William began with a deep breath. “From Exeter, the skies were clear. We believed the journey over would be safe. Alas, we were mistaken. Just after our captain called out port, we were set upon by that vicious storm. It is only by the grace of God that I have survived.”
“Indeed.” Emma said. Then she asked, with hope in her voice, “Were there any other survivors?”
William shook his head. “Not that I know of, my lady. The Duke and Duchess of Rutland were in death as they were in life - together, side by side, where they naturally belonged.”
Emma closed her eyes, feeling tears well in her eyes. “As they should have been; never have I seen two people so destined to be with each other than them. At least now they can see their dear Lionel again.”


Edmund, Duke of Rutland’s death meant that the vast array of estates he had built up over his lifetime had to be divided between his children. He granted land to each of his daughters, in order Joanna, Cecily and Emma, in order to provide for them if their husbands were to die. He also provided funds for his third son Edmund, now the Bishop of Dublin, to build a new church in his memory, and granted some lands to his grandson Lionel II, Count of Ponthieu, but Edmund I had forbidden him from granting the full Duchy of Rutland to a man whose loyalties lay with a foreign monarch. So instead, Edmund’s second son Thomas, Earl of Devon became Duke of Rutland, and the Duchy of Cork went to Edmund’s fourth son Edward.

Just as Edmund’s death left England in the hands of a minor, the death of Philip IV left Burgundy in the hands of his fifteen-year-old son Lionel, now Prince Lionel I, and so he would also need a regent until he was twenty-one. A regency council was established in Burgundy, headed by his mother Kunigunde of Austria, but also with John II, Duke of Cleves and Philip, Lord of Ravenstein as strong voices. Kunigunde now wrote to Charlotte of Lancaster and asked for her to send Blanche of York to Burgundy so she could marry Prince Lionel as soon as possible, and Charlotte agreed. Blanche arrived in Burgundy in March 1508, and Lionel and Blanche were married in Bruges on 12th April 1508. Lionel found his bride “rather pretty”, according to his chamberlain’s journals, and Blanche likewise thought the prince was a fine figure. Until such a time that Lionel and Blanche had a son, Lionel’s heir was his younger brother Sebastian, who was betrothed to Helen of the Palatinate. Kunigunde took advantage of the regency to secure her children’s marriages, and also had Helen travel to Burgundy to be wedded to Sebastian in 1509, when Sebastian was thirteen and Helen was sixteen. Likewise, Lionel and Sebastian’s older sister Anne left for Savoy, where she married Duke Charles II on 21st January 1509, starting an alliance between Burgundy and Savoy that would have a major impact on European history.

[1] - when Edward became King of Scots, Edmund I technically became regent, but devolved power to Gloucester as Lord-Lieutenant.
 
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@Zestinobambino ! Amazing work as always! Knew that Charlotte and Kunigunde would step up!

RIP Elizabeth, Margaret and Edmund of York. Fitting that Edmund's survival meant that he was the Last of Richard the Founder's children to reunite with his family in heaven.

Btw with Elizabeth i think You meant she was the STEPmother of Richard I of Britanny
 
And i Hope William Lovelace can recover from this ordeal and make a name For himself. As he said, it was by the grace of God he survived. May he make His mark in history with his second chance
 
Fitting that Edmund's survival meant that he was the Last of Richard the Founder's children to reunite with his family in heaven.
I had to do it. Couldn't resist.
Btw with Elizabeth i think You meant she was the STEPmother of Richard I of Britanny
Ah yes, oops. It's his brother Arthur that Elizabeth's the mother of.
And i Hope William Lovelace can recover from this ordeal and make a name For himself. As he said, it was by the grace of God he survived. May he make His mark in history with his second chance
He's either blessed or incredibly lucky. Hopefully he uses it well.
 
Heres a question, hows protestantism/lutheranism going to look in this tl? With all the crusades theres gotta be a lot of catholic fervour around so people might not be as receptive to luther as they were, but the church does still have its problems
 
Heres a question, hows protestantism/lutheranism going to look in this tl? With all the crusades theres gotta be a lot of catholic fervour around so people might not be as receptive to luther as they were, but the church does still have its problems
Good question. You're right, but the trend throughout the 1500s was towards centralisation, generally, and Lutheranism gave the monarchs a good way to reduce papal power in their domains.

One way or another, it's going to be an interesting-looking Reformation.
 
Chapter Fifty-Four: Promises Of Sultans And Shahs New
Chapter Fifty-Four: Promises Of Sultans And Shahs

The Battle of Amyntaio did a lot to dent crusader morale, having lost two of their foremost commanders in Philip IV and Edmund. It also reinvigorated the Ottoman pushback attempt, leading to Bayezid and Herzeksade pushing the crusaders back to Albania. But by then, Gjon Kastrioti had embedded his reputation as King of Albania, and the Ottomans could not force their way back into Albania. As winter set in, the two armies formed their camps along the Albanian border, and disease started to spread across the camps. A contingent of Neapolitan soldiers under Alfonso, Duke of Bisceglie were particularly badly affected by a bout of dysentery, and Bisceglie himself narrowly survived. By March 1508, it was time for the war to begin again. Andreas Palaiologos and his brother Manuel had both survived the war so far, and once the crusade began again they were quick to try and make gains. They attacked an Ottoman camp at Zhirovnica on 10th March, followed by Gostivar on 24th March, allowing the route to Skopje to open up.

Back in 1501, a new Islamic empire had emerged even further east of the Ottoman Empire - the Safavid Empire, led by Shah Ismail I. This empire had begun its rise to power after Ismail defeated the Shirvanshah Farrukh Yassar, then took control of the city of Tabriz in July 1501, where he declared himself Shah of Iran. By 1508, Ismail’s conquests had put him at the head of an almighty empire, containing the whole of Iran, southern Dagestan, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Khorasan and Eastern Anatolia, as well as having the Georgian kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti as his vassals [1]. His empire, centred on the capital city of Tabriz, soon became a powerful rival to the Ottomans - and a potential ally to the crusaders. Around the same time that Andreas and Manuel took Gostivar, an envoy from the Safavid Empire landed in Naples, shortly after the natural death of King Federico and the accession of his son Ferdinand as King Ferdinand III of Naples. The envoy spoke to Ferdinand about a crusader-Safavid alliance to divide the lands of the Ottoman Empire between the two, and suggested that the crusaders take the Balkans, Constantinople and all of Anatolia west of (and including) the city of Ankara, while the Mamluks would take control of Anatolia east of Ankara.

Meanwhile, Bayezid - who knew it was only a matter of time until the Mamluks attempted to begin an alliance with the Christians to attack his lands from two angles - began to consider making an offer to Andreas in the hopes of obtaining peace before the Mamluks could invade. While in Gostivar, Andreas received Bayezid’s first offer - Bayezid offered to restore Andreas’s father Thomas’s lands as Despot of the Morea, as a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire. However, Andreas had lost too many men to the Ottomans for the Morea to be enough. While Andreas didn’t accept Bayezid’s offer, Bayezid did manage to get Gjon to stop furthering the support of the crusaade and recall all the Albanian soldiers from the war. He did so with a simple promise - offering Albania the independence and recognition it had fought so hard for, free from Ottoman oversight and supervision. Gjon gladly accepted the offer, and he made 9th May (the day in 1508 that he formally accepted Bayezid’s offer) a holiday in the new Catholic nation of Albania.

As the war went on, popular discontent against Bayezid II began to bubble away. He was a sultan who had ceded a vast array of territories away to the Christians - first Bosnia and Syrmia in the Raven’s Crusade and now Albania. When it became known that he had made an offer to give Andreas the Morea, that discontent among some officials grew even larger, and Bayezid’s son Selim, the governor of Trabzon, became a focal point for this discontent. Selim had proved himself a very capable soldier, but his father had shown his lack of interest in Selim by not allowing him a position in the army against the crusade, instead tasking him with continuing to govern Trabzon. In comparison, Bayezid had put Constantinople itself in the hands of his son Ahmet, so that if Bayezid died in the war, Ahmet could succeed him as Sultan with ease. In Trabzon, Selim began to raise an army to march on Constantinople in order to overthrow Ahmet and secure the Empire for himself. Once news that his sons were going to war reached Bayezid in July 1508, he made the decision to send 1,500 of his men back to Constantinople to reinforce Ahmet’s defence - a hard decision to make, since it weakened his own position, and Bayezid now tried once more to make peace with Andreas Palaiologos with a new offer.

Again, Bayezid offered to give Andreas the Morea, but this time he offered much more. He also offered him the surrounding regions of Attica, Euboea, Boeotia, Phocis and the islands of the Saronic Gulf. These lands, as well as the Morea, would be combined into the independent Kingdom of Greece, with Andreas as its king. The offer was tempting, but Andreas believed he could win back more than that, especially with offers of support from the Safavids and civil war breaking out between Ahmet and Selim. But he was swiftly proven wrong - Bayezid crushed Janos I of Hungary’s attempt on Skopje on 23rd June 1508, proving that the Ottoman army was still a force to be reckoned with, and greatly damaged the Hungarian army. As well as that, the civil war between Ahmet and Selim turned into a short affair - Ahmet mobilised Constantinople’s population against Selim and defeated his army on 19th July 1508. Selim was captured by Ahmet, as was his concubine Hafsa Hatun and their sons Orhan, Musa and Korkud. However, Ahmet had a fourth son, the fourteen-year-old Suleiman, who managed to escape Trabzon before Ahmet’s men could capture him. Suleiman was later captured by the Knights Hospitaller, who imprisoned him for some years on the island of Rhodes. With Selim defeated and captured, Ahmet sent men back west to support his father and once again, the Ottomans and the Christians reached a stalemate. With both armies dwindling from battles and continual outbreaks of disease, Manuel Palaiologos advised that his brother should attempt to negotiate a deal with Bayezid.

Kastoria, 22nd August 1508

“Are you mad?!” Andreas demanded, slamming the table beneath him. “This is our moment of glory, and you would have me make peace with our enemy!”
“Our moment of glory has passed. That door for a swift victory has been closed on us, brother.” Manuel said. “Sehzade Selim is defeated, and Ahmet has reinforced his father once again. For the time being, we cannot count on organising anything with the Shah. Who knows if we can even trust the man? We lost our chance, and now we are throwing men at a wall of steel they cannot break now.”
Andreas pointed an accusing finger at Manuel, his eyes burning with rage. “This was all some bloody Turkish conspiracy, wasn’t it?” He murmured angrily. “You win my trust, then tell me to surrender just when I am about!”
“Surrender?” Manuel repeated and scoffed. “By God, Andreas, do you not see how ridiculous you sound? If it were not for me you would be rotting in a ditch in the ground. I have fought for our family this whole crusade. Do not tell me now that you condemn my advice, the moment I suggest we do anything other than send Christ’s warriors to an early death at the hands of the Turks, or dying from the diseases ravaging us! Our line has moved by inches in the last month - why waste the lives of more men who need not die?”
Andreas scoffed and turned away from his brother for a moment. Manuel paused, a silence filling the room. “Think about it, brother. Get what land you can from the Sultan before we all perish.”


As much as he hated to admit it, Andreas’s brother was right. There was no chance to take Constantinople this time, but he could potentially gain his old family lands and more if he negotiated. He therefore offered to meet Bayezid in Thessaloniki, once a target for his campaign, and negotiate a peace between the two. They managed to come to an arrangement similar to that which Bayezid previously offered Andreas, with a few concessions from each side:
  • Andreas was to be made King of Hellas (also called Greece), with a kingdom consisting of the Morea, Attica, Euboea, Boeotia, Phocis and the Saronic Islands. The capital of this kingdom would be Athens.
  • The Kingdom of Hellas was not to be the successor of the Byzantine Empire, and so regnal numbers would be reset [2].
  • Although it was independent from the Ottoman Empire, Hellas would have to pay a small amount of annual tribute to the Ottomans.
  • In order to offset the costs of the crusade, the Ottoman Empire was also set to send approximately 2,000 ducats to Hungary and Naples, the large organisers of the crusade, a year for ten years.
  • Greece was expected to ally with the Ottoman Empire against the Mamluks and Safavids if it came to it.
The Treaty of Thessaloniki, signed by Andreas and Bayezid on 19th October 1508, brought the Albanian Crusade to an end. It had succeeded in a way that it wasn’t fully supposed to - Albania was free, as expected, and the Palaiologi were back in power. But it was not as they expected; Andreas had power not as the Emperor of Byzantium, but as the King of Hellas. The treaty had also forced Andreas to resign his claims to the Eastern Roman Empire, but only time would tell whether he truly would or not.

On 28th October 1508, Andreas rode victoriously into Athens, where he was crowned King Andreas I of Greece, and in one of his first acts he converted the Parthenon, on top of the ancient and impressive Athenian Acropolis, from a mosque into a church. This was to be the focal point of Andreas’s legacy as king - the reconversion of his lands to Christianity. He was joined by the Russian prince Yuri Ivanovich, who had fought well in the crusade and, as an Orthodox prince, had a reasonable understanding of Greek. It was on Yuri’s advice that Andreas chose to switch from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, as that was the main religion of the Greek Christians. From all over the Ottoman-ruled Greek world, Christians flocked towards the new kingdom to take their religion back up, and Andreas welcomed the population boom with open arms. Although he had technically resigned his claims on Byzantium, Andreas did still claim the traditional Greek royal titles of basileus and autokrator, to the annoyance of the Sultans.

In 1512, Sultan Bayezid II passed away. He was succeeded, as expected, by his favoured son Ahmet as Sultan Ahmet I. Ahmet began with a vicious purge of his enemies - Selim and his children, who had been held captive since 1508, were executed, and his concubine Hafsa was taken and added to Ahmet’s own harem instead. Ahmet’s reign was set to be difficult, facing growing threats from both the Safavids and the Mamluks, and the possibility of yet more crusades from the west.

1508.png

Southeastern Europe after the Albanian Crusade. Key: dark purple - Bosnia. Yellow - Syrmia. Red - Wallachia. Pink - Albania. Green - Ottoman Empire. Blue - Kingdom of Hellas.

[1] - this is slightly faster than the Safavid Empire’s OTL expansion: it was at this state in 1510. I’ve imagined that having the Ottomans busy with the crusade has allowed Ismail to speed his conquests up a bit.
[2] - while this isn’t anything major for Andreas, who would be Andreas I either way, it does mean that his successor will be Constantine I instead of Constantine XII.
 
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@Zestinobambino ! Amazing work as always!

Andreas at Last has land! That's a very good first step! Constantinople ever SO close!

And YES! Selim the Stern and Suleiman the MAGNIFICENT are not to be! More Future opprtuniotes For Andreas and his family
 
Oh! And suggestion that For the moment Andreas creates His son Constantine as Prince of Hellas as the title of the Crowns Prince of the Kingdom of greece until they can take back constantinople
 
@Zestinobambino ! Amazing work as always!

Andreas at Last has land! That's a very good first step! Constantinople ever SO close!

And YES! Selim the Stern and Suleiman the MAGNIFICENT are not to be! More Future opprtuniotes For Andreas and his family
Thank you! I couldn't bear to kill Suleiman off though, so we'll see what becomes of him...
Oh! And suggestion that For the moment Andreas creates His son Constantine as Prince of Hellas as the title of the Crowns Prince of the Kingdom of greece until they can take back constantinople
I like it! I would like ideally for Andreas to insist on the Greek name of Hellas, since I just think that sounds cooler!
 
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