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Thread: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

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    Mmmm, Antares is tasty! Senior Member Alien Attack Champion Nightbringer's Avatar
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    Default Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    This is the main in context thread for Lords of the Danube, and represents Hungary's royal courtroom, wherever that may be.

    The royal court is currently in Varad, of which Myth (the King and owner of Varad) has kindly written up a description.

    Varad's fortress was a sturdy and practical structure with thick walls of grey stone, narrow windows and even narrower arrow slits, a massive gate hiding behind an iron portcullis and a main hall large enough to have fifty men feast around the table. The high table, where the ruling baron and his most trusted and closest men sit, could accommodate a party of eight.

    The kitchens, barracks, stables, blacksmith, fletcher, the armoury and the cellar were all protected by the walls of the inner keep and separate from the town proper. The main hall itself was plainly decorated, with shields hanged upon the stone walls, braziers to take the bite out of the air and a large fireplace where meat would roast when there was a feast to be had. Varad was no capital, and this was no palace, but the location was secure, sturdy and the roof did not leak, which was in itself a boon. Someone had remembered to hang tapestries and standards with Hungary's Royal Banner and the banners of the assembled nobility, though the coats of arms on the shields across the walls suggested that knights from all across Europe sat and served here in the past.
    Last edited by Nightbringer; 01-12-2012 at 19:34.
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  2. #2
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King and his household knights enter the main hall. His men sit at the long table, all of them still clad in mail. The Hungarian ruler sits himself on the high table and waits patiently for the nobility to answer his summons.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The Lord High Marshall and his retinue arrives at the hall. After bowing to the King, he seats himself with his military engineer aide seated to his right and a priest serving as his scribe seated to his left. The few knights accompanying him fade back to stand against the wall.

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    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King waves for a servant to bring wine and food.

    "Lord Vata, I am happy to see you are well. How go your affairs? What of the Venetians and Romans?"

    His Latin is fluent, as is expected from the King. Not all the nobles were happy to accept the language as Hungary's official one, but they all speak it. The blond, blue eyed man waves at the knghts lining themselves against he wall.

    "Please, share my hospitality. Let your men sit at the long table and remove the chill from their bones with some wine and a hot meal."
    Last edited by Myth; 01-14-2012 at 16:00.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    A party of knights enter the chamber bearing the coat of arms of the Junior King, Count of Zagreb. Bokeny himself is not among them. As they take their seats they glower at those already assembled. One of their number, whose armour is more ornate than the others, rises to address the chamber. He is an older man, large and has the bearing of a formidable warrior. His hair and thick beard are jet black and his face bears the scars of many battles.

    Those who are familiar with recent history know his family to be long standing and loyal vassals of the Count of Zagreb who fought on the side of Saul in the war of succession.


    Your majesty, lords of the realm, I greet you on behalf of the Junior King who is unable to attend at this time.

    My name is Istvan of Carniola, I bear the Junior King's seal and I am authorised to speak on his behalf. He bids you greeting and wishes you to know that he has, this campaign season, erected fortifications along the banks of the Sava, at the ford to the west of Zagreb, as insurance against the presence of two large Venetian armies which are encamped within their own territory on the other side of the river.

    Our forces are currently heavy in spear and with little in the way of missile troops. To rectify this we are currently recruiting and training crossbowmen and when they are ready we plan to move against a large force of Croatian rebels who currently hold the bridge on the Sava to the southeast of Zagreb, blocking our ability to defend against Venetian incursions and cutting off our communications with the rest of the Kingdom.

    Past that we have no specific military plans but would like to gauge the thoughts of the assembly on the prospect of a campaign to liberate the Dalmatian coast from the Venetians.

    In our assessment the current state of uneasy peace with Venice will not last long and we should be prepared to take pre-emptive action to secure our western front.

    He sits, awaiting the King's reply.

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    Last edited by phonicsmonkey; 01-22-2012 at 06:48.
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    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King's eyes narrow.

    "The Junior King must attend such meetings as is his duty before his King and his peers. As for Venice, the presence of these two large armies signifies hostile intent to all but the blind or daft. Bokeny should coordinate with the barons to ensure that our Western border is not breached and that Venice can be bled should they attack.

    For now I will write them and his Holiness the Pope, do not cross the river until I receive their answer and give you the order. There is also the matter of an elite army of Roman cavalry that is within striking distance of Constantinople, so there is more than one problem that requires swords to be resolved!"
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan stands once more.

    Your highness, you can be assured that any army which enters the County without permission will be bled to the grave itself, Venetian or otherwise.

    As to the other barons, there are none which are positioned to assist Zagreb - as you know we are isolated with Venetians to the west, Germans to the north, Romans to the south and nary but a thin strip of Hungarian land to connect us with the rest of the Kingdom.

    It would seem wise to consider addressing this issue before launching into wars against further-flung powers. Indeed it would seem to our mind that an expedition to reclaim Esztergom from the feeble Holy Roman Empire would serve our interests better than an attempt to expand either west or east against Venice or Rome, irksome as those powers might be. Defend Constantinople by all means but look at the map and see the logic in what we say - our Kingdom is a scattered group of Duchies, easily cut off and defeated singly.

    Something for your highness and the other nobles to consider. In particular, we would be interested to hear Demeter az Aba's views on Esztergom, lying as it does directly between our two Counties.

    A second step might be to seize Belgrade from the Romans. With the addition of those two great cities we would be a more defensible kingdom and with a better ability to make further plans in any direction.
    Last edited by phonicsmonkey; 01-22-2012 at 06:49.
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    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King clasps his hands, two massive gold rings on each index finger meeting before his face.

    "There is some merit in your words, yet the Holy Roman Empire is Catholic, whilst the mongrel Eastern Romans are not. I shall confer with Cardinal Levente az Oguz Nembol and send word to Roma at once. I also wish for more fronts to stay closed. Denmark is our ally, they keep the Germanii from growing too complacent. I shall have to consult the maps, though I give you permission to speak freely on matters of strategy and tactics."
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan once more.

    Sire, the Germans are excommunicated and cast out from the light of his Holiness. It would seem a good time to strike and gain favour in the eyes of the Pope and our fellows in faith.

    Mind you, their military forces are far greater than our own - but still only a fraction of the Byzantines. We should prefer a fight with Germany to the Greeks for that reason alone.
    Last edited by phonicsmonkey; 01-16-2012 at 13:11.
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    Wandering Metsuke Senior Member Zim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Demeter az Aba nembol enters the room, a squire in tow. Of average height but powerfully built, every line and scar on his face bear witness to his many years of campaigning. His hair has long since gone white but he moves with an easy stride, marked only from a slight bowleggedness from spending half his life in a saddal. Demeter bows to the King and nods towards Bokeny's representative.

    Foregive me, my King. I was delayed touring my province's outlying towns to fortify them against any possible Cuman raids.

    I do agree with the Junior King's representative that Esztergom should be aquired at some point, through means peaceful or not. However, my liege's caution is well advised, as I do not trust those large Italian armies near Zagreb, and with the Cumans so near might not immediately send the kind of assistance required if we were to try to take Esztergom from the Germans.
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    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan nods to Demeter before addressing the King once more.

    Sire, perhaps we might simplify our affairs somewhat by seeking peace with the Cumans. I note your noble aunt Judit is currently at Halych and could make them an offer - perhaps in exchange we could secure trade and a small sum in reparations for their warlike incursions?
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    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King nods.

    "I would not entrust my dog to them, let alone my aunt. But giving them a target to loot and plunder will make them temporary allies for sure. If we take the Holy Roman Empire's attention away, we can send these pagans to bring trouble to their northern provinces. If Denmark joins from Scandinavia the Germanii will be spread wider than a Genoese concubine. Once our barons secure more lands and can supply Hungary with sworn knights we can revisit our arrangement with the Cumans."
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King's scribe brings a handful of parchments with the seals still unbroken. The King raises an eyebrow and glances over the seals.

    "My Lords, do join me in the private dining hall. Let our good knights feast in peace without being burdened by politics."

    With this, he leads the gathered nobility to a much smaller room equipped with an ironically round table. Pitchers with wine and cider have already been served and a small fireplace spreads heat and yellow light across the tapestries and the thick carpet on the floor.

    "It appears I have received answers from Roma as well as from the rulers of our neighbors."

    He pauses whilst reading, only sipping some wine on occasion. King Pozsony then raises his blue eyes and starts talking while taking in the faces of his sworn barons and dukes.

    "First, good news form Roma. The Papal Legate assures us that we shall see no repercussions should we defend Hungary from Venetian aggression, but he warns us against campaigning aggressively against them. It appears the Kaiser for the Holy Roman Empire has the Republic of Venice by the throat and the Dodge is naught but a loyal vassal of his. Pope Pius XIV wishes for us to strike at the Germanii, and by weakening the Kaiser's position, this should also allow the Venetians to command their own fate."

    The Hungarian King pauses and rubs his chin, while contemplating a map of Europe that has been spread over the table.

    "The Eastern Roman Basileos, Savas the Cur, uses sweet words as a whore does her make up, but underneath it all he says that he will only agree to an alliance if we hand him Constantinopolis. The Cuman Khan, that unwashed goat-lover, is himself outraged that we liberated the Jewel of the East from his hordes and swears to wage war to the bitter end."

    The King shake his head and leans back.

    "Before any of you say a word - Constantinople will not be given to either side. Words are wind, and I will not weaken the Kingdom over a promise of Roman or Cuman friendship! Now, at last, Dodge Grigorio confirms the Pope's words - he has been sent to the border to prevent an invasion by our warriors. Sent by the Kaiser no less! He assures me that no aggression would be taken against us unless we attack him or the Holy Roma Empire."

    The King pauses and takes another sip of wine. He frowns at his own reflection in the cup for a moment, before continuing:

    "It is clear that the Holy Roman Empire has to fall. Esztergom has been Hungarian for hundreds of years and they cannot deny this. We will also win favour with Roma by attacking them. With enough support, even a Crusade might be called against them, which would scatter the Germanii like mutts.

    Whilst doing this, it will fall unto the Junior King to keep Zagreb safe from Venetian incursion. Currently his standing armies are insufficient however, and the rest of the nobility must aid in the defence of the eastern border, whilst others assault Esztergom and other Holy Roman Cities.

    I will ride towards Constantinopolis myself, and should I unite my current troops with the garrison I left there, I am certain I can repel any Eastern Roman aggression which will undoubtedly come. The Cumans are our problem however, they must be whipped and made to recoil in their lairs. Mikan can accommodate, as well as Demeter."
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan of Carniola is clearly troubled at the King's words.

    Your highness, I beg you to reconsider your chosen path. It seems clear that His Holiness wishes us to crusade against the Germans who hold our ancestral lands and the birthplace of great Istvan I, Ezstergom.

    We have seemed to come to an agreement that this is a sensible way forward but as you rightly point out we stand vulnerable to an attack from Venice in the west.

    Why then would you also pit us against the Basileos and his mighty armies? Are we truly prepared for war on all four fronts?

    I know that your highness feels pride in having liberated Constantinople from the Cuman hordes, but that great city is not part of our historic domain. Why, it is not even a Catholic city, populated as it is by heathen Greeks.

    Why not then gain a considerable security by trading it to the Basileos for peace, trade and alliance? In doing so we may even gain a route to peace with our Cuman foe - if it is Constantinople they desire let them fight the Basileos for it.

    That city is an expensive vanity we can ill afford - with the forces of the Greeks and the Cumans ranged against us it will barely pay the upkeep of the troops committed to defend it, and that is before considering the expense of defending our southern and northern borders against those two foes.

    I speak with the authority of Junior King Bokeny when I urge you to make peace with the Greeks and the Cumans in order to free our hand for a crusade against the Germans to restore our birthright and bring greater security to the Kingdom.
    Last edited by phonicsmonkey; 01-17-2012 at 23:28.
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    A small disturbance is heard in the back of the chamber as the guards open the rattling doors to admit Andras a Zad, Duke of Bulgaria.

    "My King, fellow nobles, I come in answer to the king's call." he nods, and moves to take his seat.

    After hearing the debate between the king and junior king, he rises to his feet.

    "I am afraid that I share the opinion of the Junior King in this matter. Peace, not war, is preferable in our relationship with the Greeks, as we derive much from them in trade. However, should war come, I am willing to assume the defence of Constantinople in the name of the King. Let me be responsible for the defence of our southern borders, and not one enemy shall pillage our lands."

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    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King nods and offers a chair to Andras.

    "Good of you to join us Andras. Indeed I wish not for war nor did the Basileos threatened war. He simply asked for Constantinople for free, as is customary for a Roman. We can manage without an alliance with them, so longs as they keep their troops off our cities. In earnest, even an alliance is a small price for the loss of Constantinople, or would you all say that the word of whatever current pretender thinks he is Emperor is as good as gold?"

    The King makes it obvious of what he thinks of the honour of the Eastern Romans.

    "As for the Cumans, even if we give them our daughters and wives they will still ask us to bear our own asses. They will receive naught but the sword and the gallows. Andras I can grant you with whatever dismounted knights and spearmen I command for the purpose of defending Constantinopole.


    But all this is the worst possible outcome for us. They day may yet be worn with the quill and the sword might still stay sheathed. I have written both the Roman Basileus and the Cuman Khan of how they would benefit from my proposal. The Roman at least, will show common sense I trust."
    Last edited by Myth; 01-18-2012 at 09:34.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Andras rises in response to the King's words.

    "I thank you, my King, for entrusting me with this task. If it is pleasing to you, I request permission to reside in Constantinople over the next few years to study at its school there along with ensuring the good order and safety of the city."
    Last edited by Ignoramus; 01-18-2012 at 10:17. Reason: Adding quotation marks.

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    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan looks concerned.

    Sire, in my experience an offer like the one the Basileos makes is often a test and its refusal may be used as cassus belli. I fear that by being willfully blind to the underlying threat we sleepwalk into a war with a great power who we cannot hope to match, while at the same time fighting wars on our other borders.

    I say again - Constantinople is not truly part of Hungary, has never been truly part of Hungary and will never be truly Hungarian. We have every reason to believe that our wisdom in returning to the Greeks their ancestral home, theirs since its foundation as ancient Byzantium, that we will be rewarded by peace and alliance on our long southern border. Indeed, were the HRE to agree to return Ezstergom to us in similar circumstances I believe we would be grateful enough to see them as friends.

    At any rate I would like to hear the views of the other nobles on this matter. I will not pursue the discussion with your highness now I have made my point and until others have had a chance to speak.
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Andras rises once more, and turns towards Istavan as he speaks.

    "While I agree with you concerning the risks of not returning the city of Constantinople, the greatest city of the world, back to the Greeks, I do not think it wise to surrender it now, nor for nothing. A simple return of the most heavily fortified city in Europe without proper recompense could well be construed as weakness by our neighbours. If we feel that we cannot retain it, we ought to ensure we negotiate a fitting exchange. I would argue that returning the city without a fight would just encourage the Greeks more. Bulgaria was once subject to their rule - if they could recover Constantinople from us by threats, then why would they not ask for Bulgaria too. For it would considerably strengthen their frontier, enabling them to hold almost the entire line of the Danube.

    But by all means, let us be vigilant. The Greeks are a proud people, but their reputation for treachery and craftiness runs deep throughout their history. Constantinople ought to be strengthened at the earliest opportunity."

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    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan once more, this time to Andras.

    Forgive me sir but I understood by the King's words that the Basileos had offered us an alliance in exchange for Constantinople. Hardly nothing.

    I'm sure his Highness could negotiate further concessions should we want to obtain a fitting price.

    For example, why not make a counter-offer of Constantinople for Belgrade and an alliance?
    Last edited by phonicsmonkey; 01-18-2012 at 12:30.
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    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King's scribe returns and bows to him. King Pozsony excuses himself and reads trough a handful of parchments, then quietly dictates to his scribe what must be answered.

    "More news then. The Cumans are rabid dogs and it seems they have forgotten the lessons of Constantinople and Targoviste. They issue a challenge not only to us, but to the whole of Christenodm.

    As such I have asked his Holiness the Pope to facilitate a formal Crusade in the North-East of Europe, which will serve a double purpose. The Holy Roman Empire will be severely weakened by the other Catholic nations passing trough their lands, and the Cumans will be torn asunder by the might of Europe's pious knights."

    The King turns his gaze towards the representative of the Junior King and takes off one of the heavy gold chains hanging around his neck.

    "Istvan, this is the Privy Seal, I entrust it to the Junior King as a sign of faith and good will. Guard it with thine life so that it may reach him upon your next meeting. "

    He then continues as he regards the map of Europe once more. "You must know that it will not be possible for us to befriend the forsaken Holy Roman Empire, as Rome's friendship is immeasurably more valuable. Bokeny will be reinforced with mine own troops as soon as I come into more funds, and he must hold the line for now. I have asked His Holiness if he would threaten Venice with excommunication, so there is hope yet.

    The Roman Basileos is insolent, short sighted and prideful. He does not fear us or any other of his neighbouring realms, and he mistakes diplomacy for weakness. While true that their armies are vast, they are not nearly as concentrated as our own, and the have wider borders to defend. We can still match them, man for man, here in Europe, and I have taken steps to ensure that their rich provinces in Asia Minor be contested.

    Lastly, I will scarcely give up Constantinople, a quite defensible city as our good Andras points out, for the favor of one of the many contenders and pretenders for the Easter Roman throne. Many generals, nobles, brothers, uncles and even a few shepherds have contested and rebelled for the throne, betting any sort of tangiable advantage on the stability of Savas is unwise.

    He offers me gold for Constantinople even as he makes veiled threats about his cavalry, yet he forgets that those with the power to simply take rarely try to bargain. Further more, the trade and taxes from Constantinople will outshine any chest of gold he might squeeze from his malnourished serfs. I will provide Andras with sufficient infantry to hold the city from either Roman or Cuman attempts, whilst we work on expanding our borders. Timidity is not the answer here!"
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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    Norse Uikikr Member Mithridate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The chambers door slams open and the Duke of Brasov marches in with long strides, a squire trailing behind with a saddle pack and his lords shield. "What folly is this? The Cumans are marching towards Bras, the German dogs bark in the west, the Venetians blow wind with the pope and you march blindly towards Constantinople. We are risking incursions from the west, enslavement from the east, civil war at home and extermination from the north! Tread carefully or we will be undone."

    The duke sits down in his allotted chair, his modest clothes still covered with dust from his forced ride. Closing his eyes for a moment and letting out a deep sigh. "Forgive me your Grace, Lords. But our people, MY charges are being put to the sword by the Cumans as they rape and plunder in their march towards Brasov. Without assistance, holding the city will be hard with my limited and mostly green troops.

    The way I see it we have two choices, march north and take down the Cumans or march South and take the Balkan while Constantinople burns. Venice is unlikely to move against us if we play our cards right and the HRE are busy at home with so many enemies all around pressing in." As he spoke the Squire pulled out a bronze goblet and a jar of wine out of the saddle pack, as the lord paused and waved him over he quickly filled the goblet whom the duke of Brasov quickly emptied in one greedy swoop. Handing back the goblet the lord spoke again.

    "If we divide our forces we risk everything, if we make a deal with either we can overwhelm the other quickly. When that is done we can move upon the other or look west as we please, the former would be likely to have relocated his troops to deal with his many enemies either way. The cumans are the easier target but the ERE are by far the richer prize and Constantinople the key to any lock".

    Waving the squire to bring another goblet of wine he winced "Constantinople is lost to us, but as we still hold it we can use it as a bargaining chip. I say we give it to the Cumans in return of a promise of peace, perhaps coupled with some gold and they will bother us no more. That way we can focus on the south and its rich lands, secure our position and make new plans while Constantinople will still be easily taken since the Cumans cant spare the men to hold the city and the north. Either way we need to decide or we shall fall divided to our enemies.

    Calling a crusade would greatly help to take the South, or North but its risky sending our armies south while we send a crusade north. Both at the same i say to take the lands before all of the west come marching over our lands. Better than having strong Venetian and German armies in our lands while we are focused elsewhere.

    I say we give Constantinople away to the Cumans! We need to make a decision, with a vote if we have to as I have no time for squabbling."
    Last edited by Mithridate; 01-18-2012 at 17:17.

  23. #23
    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan rises once more to speak on behalf of the Junior King Bokeny.

    Your highness, Lords, others have made arguments out of this chamber and I have received fresh word from my liege such that I can now say that the Junior King supports the King's actions in regard to Constantinople, for the time being. It is likely, as the King argues, that the Basileos Savas will die soon and his empire be focused internally on the succession.

    We now counsel that we hold Constantinople against Roman attack until the death of Savas, at which stage we can reconsider our course of action.

    In the meantime we should avoid as far as we can a war with Venice - has the King been in direct contact with the Doge to assess his position with regard to our Kingdom?

    We should also put on hold our plans for an expedition to seize Esztergom, painful as its occupation by the German swine might be, until Savas makes his intentions clear. This should not be too long - if he wishes to try to seize his lost capital he would be wise to do so at the soonest opportunity before we are able to garrison the city further.

    The Junior King believes it would be folly to launch into wars with both Roman Empires at once, at least until the progress of the Crusade through German lands is better known.

    The Junior King does not believe we should trade Constantinople to the Cumans as this would be a direct provocation to the Basileos. Imagine if the HRE were to hand Esztergom to our hated foe!
    Last edited by phonicsmonkey; 01-19-2012 at 00:09.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Addresses the King:

    "Your Grace, I must deal with the constant skirmishing with and raiding by the Cuman dogs along our Northeastern border. We have dealt them a major blow by capturing Constantinople and seizing control of the Bosphorus trade, and now is the time to follow up our gains with a strike into Cuman territory to the North. I myself volunteer to personally lead my forces with the Cuman fortress of Baia. Let us end the threat these pagan dogs pose to our realm once and for all."

  25. #25
    Norse Uikikr Member Mithridate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Quote Originally Posted by phonicsmonkey View Post
    Istvan rises once more to speak on behalf of the Junior King Bokeny.
    Your highness, Lords, others have made arguments out of this chamber and I have received fresh word from my liege such that I can now say that the Junior King supports the King's actions in regard to Constantinople, for the time being. It is likely, as the King argues, that the Basileos Savas will die soon and his empire be focused internally on the succession.

    We now counsel that we hold Constantinople against Roman attack until the death of Savas, at which stage we can reconsider our course of action.
    "Aye, he will die soon. But not before they have seized Constantinople whom is the very heart of their so called empire, better to give it away for favors than to lose it killing a few men with the weak garrison to launch our invasion when they fight internally. But if you feel confident you will be able to turn the two armies outside their walls, then by all means as it would be to our advantage. My objections comes from the doubt of holding the city against the current two stacks encamped outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by phonicsmonkey View Post
    [I]We should also put on hold our plans for an expedition to seize Esztergom, painful as its occupation by the German swine might be, until Savas makes his intentions clear. This should not be too long - if he wishes to try to seize his lost capital he would be wise to do so at the soonest opportunity before we are able to garrison the city further.

    The Junior King believes it would be folly to launch into wars with both Roman Empires at once, at least until the progress of the Crusade through German lands is better known.

    The Junior King does not believe we should trade Constantinople to the Cumans as this would be a direct provocation to the Basileos. Imagine if the HRE were to hand Esztergom to our hated foe!
    "I would be quite upset, and greatly angered. But surely that anger would make me lash out on my distrusted fellow generals and emperor with their weakness." The lord shows his bad habit of rubbing his nose before he continues.
    "War to the west would be most folly, no actions should be taken as long as Venice stands ready to retaliate with force. I do not fear the HRE but Venice stands strong without enemies or threats at home with all its forces bent on our destruction. Take away their safety or make them unwilling to do the HREs bidding and we can make our move."

    Quote Originally Posted by House Stark View Post
    Addresses the King:
    "Your Grace, I must deal with the constant skirmishing with and raiding by the Cuman dogs along our Northeastern border. We have dealt them a major blow by capturing Constantinople and seizing control of the Bosphorus trade, and now is the time to follow up our gains with a strike into Cuman territory to the North. I myself volunteer to personally lead my forces with the Cuman fortress of Baia. Let us end the threat these pagan dogs pose to our realm once and for all."
    "I will gladly support this action, and request you train me an army." Handing over a sealed letter to Vata a Kacsics nembol, he turns his attention to the king.

    "We may disagree on the course of action to the south, but the situation to the north is dire. The Cuman khan has a large army and probably a strong reserve, If there are more men within striking distance, i cannot." Pointing to the map, the position of the King and Vatas forces and the Khans "If you move your men to aid my defense, i will be able to train enough men to safely hold the city so you can move on south. I require one season more to train my men, and your permission to strike back into their lands. I wish to claim the castle for my own with your permission to better defend the north, that way most of our strength can move south.

    If the opportunity presents itself we can trap the Khan in our mountains, squash him between our three armies and capture their castle with ease to then turn undivided South." Reaching inside his Tunic the lord pulls out a leather parchment, there is another way as well however. The Cumans love for gold is well known, and with gold we can turn them away from our walls. I am currently negotiation for a suitable price, without your graces accent i can not make the deal however but the option is there. He asks for 750 gold now and another 500 each season for five seasons. This is a very low price to pay and the words of Cumans can be trusted, if care is taken. I can afford to pay this price but ask for reimbursement, if you accept Vatas should be able to march south as well. I am now confirming that this treaty will keep hungarian lands safe, not just my city.

    We need to hurry in making a decition"

  26. #26
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    The King stands up and puts his hands on his hips, his suit of mail gleaming below the tabard. He seems angered as his brow furrows. "I gave permission for men to speak freely on matters of strategy and tactics, not to turn insolent in my presence! You will speak plainly but also with as a reserved tone, and you shall address your peers and your liege with due respect!

    The matter is decided and I shall hear no further talk on how Constantinple is lost to us or to which wretched bunch of idiots we should first give it to as a present! As I said, the Cumans are considered vermin and no diplomacy may yet end our conflict with them. Anyone not directly charged with the defence of the Realm form other enemies may freely push the Cumans back and take any of their key settlements.

    The Holy Roman Empire is a war that must happen for several reasons, the foremost being that His Holiness the Pope has issued us to do so, and because their positions are weak near our border. I have indeed spoken with Dodge Giorgio of Venice but the Pope's suspicions have only been confirmed - he is a vassal to the German Kaiser and a puppet on strings for now. He will attack Zagreb if we make war on the Holy Roman Empire, otherwise he will camp at our border like a chained mastiff.

    The Eastern Romans are governed by an ancient grandfather who still dreams of the glory of his days of youth. I would say he bears his teeth at us if he had any teeth remaining. He talks a lot but I know the reality of his situation - the main part of his armies is in Asia Minor and the Levante, warring with a united Muslim front of the Kwarezmian Empire and the Fatamid Caliphate. His forces in Europe will be surveyed shortly, but from what I hear, the cavalry heavy army between Constantinople and Thessaloniki is the only real force to be reckoned with, the garrisons are pathetic. Should that one force be defeated we will be free to secure all Roman holdings this side of the Bosphorus, and when their Basileus passes they will have the customary squabble over the succession plus war on three fronts to deal with.

    My dealings with the Pope will take some time to bear fruit, but both the Crusade and Venice's excommunication in case of aggression against us might indeed be possible. For now however, I charge you thusly:

    Junior King Bokeny will be responsible for repelling the two Venetian armies as they will undoubtedly invade or attempt to do so, once we march on our former capital. Mikan, my vassal general and the vast army I have granted him, will rush to the west and assist Bokeny with the defensive effort.

    My lord Andras will be charged with the defence of Constantinople, for which he will be granted command over all the infantry and dismounted Knights that are in my service. I myself will take the cavalry across the Roman lands and hunt their elite army in hopes of neutering their strength in Europe.

    Everyone else must either attack the Cumans, the Holy Roman Empire or attempt to seize Eastern Roman Empire settlements but in such a way as to not fall prey to the cavalry army that is still unaccounted for."
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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  27. #27
    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Istvan bristles at the King's overbearing tone.

    Sire, I have already stated that any army which enters the County of Zagreb without permission will be destroyed, enemy or friend. There is no need for you to 'charge' us with the defence of our own lands.

    I will petition the Junior King for permission to allow Mikan to enter the County to assist with the defence against the Venetians, but he had better wait to receive a response before he enters.
    Last edited by phonicsmonkey; 01-22-2012 at 06:50.
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  28. #28
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    "I charge your liege as his own sovereign Istvan. The Golden Bull gives him the freedom to not follow me outside our borders but the defence of my Realm is still mandatory for all the nobles that I have granted lands and titles to. Bokeny has been entrusted to be Lord Privy Seal I expect more from him as Junior King than to squabble with mine own vassal. Mikan is a capable general and his armies are sufficient, you may ask him to lend you some men for a particular battle if such a thing becomes necessary, though he has a good head on his shoulders and I trust him with taking care of the details in a good manner."

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The rules of the game state that the nobles own their land because otherwise it would be very dull to play in a game where one guy acts all high and mighty and everyone else does his bidding. Historically however the King owned all the land that was not part of the Church's property and in turn gave it out to the nobles in return for allegiance and knights. They in turn split their lands in smaller portions, leaving some for their private estates and granting the rest to their knights in exchange for service and so that the knights may pay for their destriers, mail and weapons. The knights in turn leased the land to serfs who toiled and gave a large portion of the produced goods back to the knight or just paid him a tax in gold form the sales they made. The rest they used to feed themselves and make a living. However ultimately the King still owed all of the land in the Kingdom and could revoke titles, confiscate lands and promote new nobles on a whim. Doing this in a game will suck however, but this was the reality back then.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Andras a Zah rises to speak.

    "My king, forgive me for being the bearer of bad news, but a rider from Constantinople has just arrived informing me that there is a large Greek army of over 20,000 men just outside the city's suburbs. Furthermore, a Greek fleet has been spotted on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, along with the tents of another similarly sized host.

    It certainly seems that we are in for a war, my king."

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  30. #30
    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of the Danube Courtroom

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    However ultimately the King still owed all of the land in the Kingdom and could revoke titles, confiscate lands and promote new nobles on a whim.
    Unless somebody overthrows him and cuts off his head! I thought the whole backstory here was that the king has only barely been able to hold on to power by handing over political concessions to his rebellious barons. That's what the golden bull was about. you are acting like someone who thinks he can govern without having to build any consensus. Fine if you want to play it that way but don't expect everyone just to follow your orders blindly because your view of history (which by the way I disagree with) says they should.
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