Jane's Paradox Writing Stuff

Yeah so, this is a centralized thread for my "Greekmerica" EU4 game and I might use it for all future 4X stuff too. It's....well I won't lie it's essentially a second personal thread, but I like having all of this stuff in one place better. It's easier to search for and I find it fun to read (which is why I write it).

This particular game of EU4 runs on The Third Oddyssey mod, which you can get a brief overview of here. A longer description is behind those ParadoxPlaza links but you'd need an account to view them, and you need the game to have an account.

Generally I don't do full AARs, instead I try to do sort of, in-universe encyclopedia entries, framed as being written long after the events they're about (which doesn't always work out if something ends up happening that contradicts what I say but hey). 

I've written three of these for "Greekmerica" (actual name: The Elysian Empire) so far, and may write more. I also wanna put together a historical timeline and world map when I'm done with the campaign.

Some general notes about Elysia:

-Elysians are Byzantine-descended but, per in-game flavor events, don't speak Byzantine Greek (nor what we'd recognize as modern greek) instead speaking what is called Elysian, which itself has a number of sub dialects.
-Because The Elysian Greeks got there first, the continents are called north and south Elysia, rather than north and south America.
-"Barbaroi" can mean two things, it's both a term for all Native Elysians (see the prior entry) and specifically, a caste within Elysian society consisting of Hellenized natives. "Barbaroi" with a capital B refers to the latter, and "barbaroi" with a lowercase B to the former, though the former also tend to simply be called, well, Native Elysians.
-Albanians fled to North Elysia not long after the Byzantines and form a large minority in several parts of North Elysia
-Likewise, a splinter kingdom that exists in OTL Mexico called Spartania was formed not long after the initial landing. They have a different style of government and are much more militaristic. Despite being the same religion and same general culture, Spartania and Elysia don't get along very well.
-The official state religion of Elysia is Elysian Orthodox Christianity, distinct from old-world Orthodoxy by recognizing The Elysian Patriarch in New Constantinople (OTL Delaware) as the head of the faith, rather than the Ecumenical Patriarch in old Constantinople. Several areas have their own regional patriarch (a list of whom is below), as is true of Old World Orthodoxy both in this timeline and OTL.
-Speaking of, the EOC has spread to several Native Elysian nations. These, presumably, have their own patriarchs as well, though they're not marked on the map as ours are.



(note 1: regencies are called by an heir who is a minor. That there have been three in a row as of the time of this writing is coincidental, but apt, given what I know of Byzantine history. The actual regents are my own invention, though usually I pick from the advisors I have in-game.)

(note 2: Elysian Emperors are, or are at least supposed to be, numbered in-continuity with prior emperors of Byzantium, who in turn are numbered in continuity with prior emperors of Rome. This reflects the in-universe Elysian belief that they are the rightful rulers of Rome, and that New Constantinople [Neo Konstantinopolis in Elysian] is the rightful current seat of the empire.)

(note 3: In general I try to anglicanize the emperors' names, as Wikipedia does, but in some cases (eg. Andronikos) there either isn't an English version, or if there is, I don't know it)
  • Historical Roman & Byzantine Emperors, Augustus Caesar - Manuel II (27BC - 1425AD)
  • John VIII (1425 - 1445) [historical]
  • Consantine XI (1445 - 1456) [historical]
  • Justinian III (1456 - 1473) [might be the same person as Thomas Palaiologos]
  • Manuel III (1473 - 1516)
  • John IX (1516 - 1531)
  • Interregnum: Regency by Head of The Senate Isaakios Diasorenos (1531 - 1535) [for Manuel IV]
  • Manuel IV (1535 - 1575) [briefly disputed by Basil Laskaris 1535 - 1534]
  • Interregnum: Regency by Senator Artavasdos Romanos (1575 - 1583) [for Constantine XII]
  • Constantine XII (1583 - 1617)
  • Interregnum: Regency by General Konstas Akropolites (1617 - 1631) [for Andronikos V]
  • Andronikos V (1631 - 1652) [disputed by Leo Monomakos, 1631]
  • Interregnum: Regency by General Theodosios Kaukedenos (1652 - 1666) [for Leo VII]
  • Leo VII (1666 - 1672)
  • Tiverios IV (1672 - 1698)
  • Sophia (1698 - 1723)
  • Interregnum: Regency by General Konstas Botaneiates (1723 - 1725) [for Constantine XIII]
  • Constantine XIII (1725 - 1739)
  • Interregnum: Regency by Head of the Senate Hekuran Faqemiri (1739 - 1743) [for Constantine XIV]
  • Constantine XIV (1743 - 1752)
  • Theodora II (1752 - 1798)
  • Leontias II (1798 - 1821) [Game End]

Patriarchal Seats:

(note: city name, then province name.)

(note 2: any references to patriarchs by name are my own invention. The game just calls the reigning EP "The Patriarch", and the others aren't interacted with at all. Incidentally my personal running assumption has been that the Patriarchs of New Constantinople are *not* numbered in continuity with the old, since it's a new city.)

Controlled By Us:

  • The Ecumenical Patriarch (Neo Konstantinopoli, Elysia Province) [OTL Delaware]
  • The Patriarch of Illion (Santee, Illion Province) [OTL South Carolina]
  • The Patriarch of Borea (Hochelega, Tibes Province) [OTL New Brunswick, Canada]
  • The Patriarch of Amaroy (Eerie, Amaroy Province) [OTL Northwest Pennsylvania]
  • The Patriarch of The Islands (Avana, Avana Province) [OTL Havana, Cuba]
  • The Patriarch of Caddo (Chitimacha, Neo Antioch Province) [OTL Louisiana]
  • The Patriarch of Lakonia (Neo Sparta, Laconya Province) [OTL Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico]
Controlled by Spartania:

  • The Patriarch at Acapulco (Acapulco, Acapulco Province) [OTL Mexico]
Controlled by The Huron Federation:

  • The Patriarch of The Huron (Moose Cree, Mosoni Province) [OTL Canada]

"Articles" on various things. Note that in most cases, the contents of these articles are myself building what I see as plausible narratives from the (relatively small amount of) information the game gives:



  • by the way! If you have any questions about Elysia itself, or how I'm coming up with all this, do ask! Because I like writing about it :>
  • Anyone know if it's possible to get your hands on Wikipedia's warbox template for use in places that aren't uh, wikipedia?

    I want to make one for the war I'm having right now.
  • image

    The First Elysio-Spartan War
    took place from 1635 to 1638, consisting of The Elysian Empire and its vassal state The Mescalero Nation against The Kingdom of Spartania. Undeniably a war of aggression, the war had its roots in a long history of anti-Spartan sentiment in Elysia; amongst the noble class who tended to look down their noses as a group they saw as barbaric, amongst traders who resented the Spartanians' extremely strict trading laws that prevented them from fully reaping the benefits of the gold that lay in the former Aztec heartlands now controlled by Spartania, and amongst the military and, notably, Emperor Andronikos V, who their claims of superiority and "defending the continent" did not sit well with. 

    More pragmatically though, Andronikos wished to break the Spartan economic stranglehold over Azteca, and was not shy about delivering speeches--some of which survive today--to the senate about the necessity thereof. One of these speeches contains Andronikos' famous "armful of gold" promise. That every soldier who participated in the conquest of a Spartan city would receive all the Aztec gold they could carry as part of their payment.

    The Spartans proved more or less entirely unready to combat an invasion of their own territory. Theories as to why have long been debated, but it's been suggested that the Spartan war machine was simply so finely tuned for aggression that defensive measures--such as forts--were often neglected entirely. Indeed, both firsthand accounts and archaeological evidence point to a serious lack of Spartan defensive measures outside of the heartland in the Lakonian Peninsula. Even those fell to steady, persistent sieging.

    While the final outcome of the war certainly could've been worse--the outbreak of the French War of Reclamation necessitated Elysian attention in Europe--the end result was still that a large swathe of Lakonian coastline, including the trading city of Chichen Itza, was ceded to Elysia, as well as Cuetlaxtlan farther inland, with two frontier provinces turned over to The Mescalero. 

    The Spartan Vasilias, or Dictator-King, Nikolaos, was disgraced, and assassinated by his own guards a few months after the end of the war in 1638, leaving his son Prince Moctezuma to assume the throne.

    The war also proved an important testing ground for the Elysian Grand Fleet, the Nautikos Basileus. The successive work of Grand Admirals Syroupolous and Choniates would lay the groundwork for naval tactics for much of the rest of the century.
  • image

    Andronikos Phocas, or later in life, Andronikos Alexios Dasoda-Hae Phocas, Akolouthos Romanoi was an Elysian general, one of the individuals responsible for the founding of The Andronikan Trading Company, and in general, an important Elysian figure throughout the rulership of not one but two emperors, Andronikos V (who he was personal friends and shared a name with), and Leo VII, who saw him as something of a mentor figure.

    Phocas was born a commoner in the Elysian port city of Dydimo Fylakes. Naturally burly, he was, by his own account, drawn to military service at a very young age at the behest of a town guardsman, who often found him picking fights with other children. Phocas would enroll in the frontier guard at the age of just 15, being sent to the Halikhosian frontier in pretense as a standard bearer for the small fortress of Potami Brankon. In practice, he often found himself fighting alongside the other akritai, who were often lacking in able bodies and had the misfortune of having to frequently repel both native raids and incursions from Portuguese settlers from further south. In just two years, his competence and assistance in defense planning saw him promoted to commander of the fort.

    From there, it's known that he was eventually transferred to Karankawa, the sole border fortification of the Mescalero Nation, an Elysian vassal state. He would eventually gain the trust of several influential Mescalero war leaders, and was largely responsible for modernizing the Nation's military. By the outbreak of the first Elysio-Spartan War, he'd already acquired quite the reputation, and was enlisted to lead one of the four major battalions that would, the theory went, push from the Mescalero border down into Spartan Mexico. 

    Despite a lack of experience leading troops "on the offense", Phocas' level head and adaptability are credited--along with Spartania's lack of preparation for the invasion--with winning the war relatively swiftly. In addition, it was in Spartan Mexico that Phocas met his emperor in person, and the two are recorded as having fought together a number of times throughout the campaign, including during the siege of Chichen Itza in Lakonia proper. Post-war, he was granted the honorary title of Akolouthos, (usually translated as "Commander in Chief" or similar but meaning more literally something like "acolyte", the title dates back to the 11th century though its connotations changed wildly over time) along with a sizable pension. Phocas would both oversee extensive military reforms and continue to serve under several campaigns under both Andronikos V and Andronikos V's son Leo VII until retiring after the Elysio-Sioux War. 

    He was able to essentially handpick his successor, a minor member of the imperial household named Thomas Komnenon, and it was through his actions that the Akolouthos title became associated with the official head of the Elysian military (though in practice as with many things, the titleholders' actual control over the military tended to vary by the whims of both the Emperor and senate).

    Phocas was what might today be identified as a nationalist. He saw that several European nations, including Spain, Elysia's chief rival on the continent, had begun to colonize Oceania and areas thereabout. While colonization efforts in the area were not anything new per se (indeed the Mamluk Sultanate had been doing so for nearly a century already), he felt that if Elysia did not seize the opportunity to take a piece of the many resource-rich Asian islands for themselves, they would be at a disadvantage. Thus, he convinced Emperor Leo VII to allow him and a group of merchants to establish colonies in what were then coming to be known as The Philippines, financing much of the cost out of his own pockets.

    The Emperor agreed, and Andronikos spent the last decade and a half of his life as the first chair of the Andronikan Trading Company (which he always insisted was named after the late emperor, and not himself). He died wealthy, though far from home, in Butuan, sometime in late 1682. 
  • if anyone has any questions do feel free to ask .3.
  • Splat Charger Specialist
    *holds up atlatl*

  • Splat Charger Specialist
    But seriously, how are the Mexica?
  • (it should be noted that in this timeline the Nahuatl religion has effectively ceased to exist in a broadly organized manner. There are no remaining nahuatl provinces in the game, and every nation that had it as a state religion has since been subsumed by either Spartania, ourselves, or one and then the other).

    EDIT: or to answer the post you ninja'd me with; Gone.


    Central America is currently split between us, The Spartans, and two of our vassal nations, the Yokuts, and The Mescalero Nation.

    There are plenty of Mexica (or, more correctly, members of ethnic groups that, in our timeline would eventually become part of The Aztec Empire, but here did not), but they do not have a nation of their own.

    The only exception is The Tarascan Enclave within Spartania (which is just barely visible here, they're a similar shade of red). They are Elysian Orthodox, and I recently released them in a war, so they are a new development.
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    (Constantine XI, First Elysian Emperor)

    The Regnal Name of The Emperor
    varied in the method that it was chosen (or not chosen, as in the case of Prince Tiverios Andronikon Komnenon succeeding his brother Leo VII as Tiverios IV) over time. Similarly, The Emperor's Formal Title & Styling varied in how it was composed and presented. 

    As many a historian--past and present--will point out, the emperors of Elysia were actually not usually referred to as "emperor" (Imperator) at all, and certainly not in informal speech. Rather, the two titles that an average Elysian would've referred to their monarch by were Autokrator ("Self-Ruler", or autocrat), and, most especially, Basileus (which can donate almost any kind of sovereign monarch). The Imperator title was used only in one of the few consistently-used formal titles of the emperor--Imperator Romaion--"Emperor of Rome".

    The most common full styling was a holdover from the last days of the Byzantine Empire, and was "[Emperor's Name], In Christ, Autocrat (Autokrator) of The Romans". Later in the empire's existence, another styling--"Emperor, In Christ, of Rome & Elysia"--became more common. Sometimes this was even styled as simply "Emperor In Christ of Elysia", usually when corresponding with European powers (who still tended to at least nominally refer to the head of The Holy Roman Empire as the "Roman Emperor").

    There are a few recorded uses of lesser-known titles. These include "Despot of Halikhosia" by Constantine XII, and the related later usage of "Autokrator of Halikhosia", "Autokrator of Arika-Kopikon", and "Autokrator of Butuan" by Leon VII and Tiverios IV, in decrees sent or relating to those colonies. In addition at least one instance of "Despot of Asia" is recorded, and is likely related to the latter of these colonial titles.

    Regarding the choice of regnal name, tradition varied. Usually, an emperor picked a name that a particularly respected ancestor, prior emperor, or saint had used. Thus for example, Constantine XII naming himself after his great-great-grandfather Constantine XI. Other times, as with the coronations of Andronikos V and Tiverios IV, they would simply use their baptismal given names.
  • The Independence Wars were a series of connected conflicts, primarily The Liberation of Brazil and the related Liberation of Terra Australis, wherein several colony nations, large and small, revolted against their (usually European) rulers, with Elysian financial and military support. 

    The reasons for Elysian involvement were fairly straightforward. After the dissolution of the Elysio-French alliance with French Emperor Louix XVIII, Tiverios IV felt that Elysia lacked strong allies (and indeed lacked any allies other than the small gaggle of native nations that were essentially puppet states), and freeing colonial states provided fairly strong allies, that, at least in the case of the to-be Kingdom of Brazil, were nearby and could be relied upon in the case of an invasion (something that the Elysian Empire was chronically culturally paranoid about).

    Brazil was a natural first choice, as the wildly unpopular Duarte I of Portugal had inspired a number of mid- to large-scale rebellions already, genuine revolution required Elysian help, which was gladly given. It did not take much for the fairly weak Portugese presence to be kicked off the continent, and Brazil was made a constitutional monarchy with one of the revolution's leaders--Pedro da Camara--being named king, and another, Duarte de Baganca, his first Chancellor.

    Terra Australis was freed next, ridding itself of the overlordship of the decaying Mamlukean Sultanate--again with significant Elysian assistance--and declaring itself the Emirate of Australia, a state that would not take long to rise to a prominent position within Oceanic politics. 

    These wars, and the related Fourth Elysio-Spartan War, are generally considered to be the crowning achievements of the reign of Tivarios IV.

  • image
    (Empress Sophia, in her "non-formal" regalwear. Sophia was unusually fond of this style of dress, rarely used by prior emperors, and it may have contributed to her "monarch of the people" image.)

    The reign of Empress Sophia was an interesting time of transition in the empire. Crowned when she was already in her late 30s, the woman then known as Princess Sophia-Irene Komnenos Palailogos-Bartatzes was actually the younger sister of reigning emperor Tiverios IV. Tiverios, it is now believed, was infertile, and as such died childless. He also failed to appoint an heir, as was prior tradition when an emperor did not yet have any eligible children (if he did, he was usually expected to appoint one of them. Though not always the oldest).

    The question of who would succeed him was a tricky one, as there had never been a formal procedure for what would happen in the event of a succession without issue. Two main factions appeared, one--who would eventually succeed--supporting the ascension of Tiverios' younger sister Sophia, and another who supported his young (just 16 at the time) nephew Prince Leo Andronikos. Leo had the support of the clergy, but, Sophia's faction consisted of enough high-ranking millitary members (including Tiverios' akolouthos, Leontias Mouzalon) and senators that she was able to, after a few weeks of dispute, secure the throne for herself.

    Sophia's reign was markedly different from the prior Elysian monarchs' right from the very beginning. A tradition had developed over time wherein the Elysian Basileus (or Basilissa in this case) would be crowned twice. Once by the Ecumenical Patriarch and again by the head of the Senate. Traditionally, the Patriarch's crown was received first. Sophia however, elected to be crowned by the Senate first (historians vary as to why she did this. Many think it was a simple matter of repaying Head Senator Skandros Armenos for his support), causing no small amount of controversy at the time, with a handful of political opponents in the clergy even denouncing her as an agent of evil, The Whore of Babylon, or other such attacks.

    Sophia's reign saw the ideals of the enlightenment reach elysian shores, and for the first time, contact with the old world was not limited to occasional military alliances of opportunity. Instead, Sophia opened the borders (The Migrants' Act of 1711), making Elysia a sort of refuge for a number of different European groups. These included the ousted French protestants, a number of Orthodox Greek families from Old Byzantium in the Ottoman Empire, and more.

    Of course by today's standards these migrations were small, as only the wealthy could generally afford such travel, but it was enough to begin a genuine two-way exchange of ideas, the likes of which had not generally been seen with prior emperors. Sophia also traveled abroad, and with her visit to Paris and the court of Charles X, became the first Elysian Emperor to set foot in Europe in three centuries. She also became the first to ever visit the court of an acting Holy Roman Emperor, and this action is generally considered to be the beginning of the end of the former hardline stance Elysian, and before that, Byzantine, monarchs had about being the only true Emperors of Rome (though as with many things, this would vary in practice).

    Of course, not everything could always be sunshine and roses, not for the Elysians and certainly not for their neighbors. The Kingdom of Spartania continued to dwindle under Sophia's reign, and the Fourth Elysio-Spartan war saw them lose even more of their territory both to Elysia itself and her various vassal states in the native nations. A series of wars now being carried out more in the name of an ancient grudge than any real desire or need for new territory or resources.

    Even farther south, the Elysian colonial subjects in Halikhosia and Arika-Kopikon were beginning to wonder why their Brazilian neighbors had been freed from their distant colonial overlords with Elysian help, but they--as colonial subjects--were still denied proper representation within the empire. 

    The independence movement in these colonies would fester and change over the years and decades, but in 1713, it gained a name and a face. Theodosious Phouskarnaski, a ship captain and former admiral in the Halikhosian navy, published a treatise called The Right of Self-Rule, in it, he--and allegedly, a group of supporters named simply The Public--outlined the hows and whys of Halikhosian freedom. Change was sweeping the empire from every direction.

    (The "Golden, Bloody Banner", a flag often used in numerous minor variations by supporters of Halikhosian independence. The origins of a pentagon, specifically, as a symbol for liberty in elysia are not well-documented, but it may be intended as a stylization of a home.)
  • kill living beings
    emirate of australia = pretty good
  • I honestly had no idea what to make of that. Apparently it happens rather often now since The Mamluks are now allowed to take colonial ideas, which you need to settle any colonial land in the first place (for a long time the only AI nations that were able to take them were a handful that did historically and also The Papal States).
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    (flag of the Laconyan Orthodox Republic, which today occupies most of the former Exarchate's territory)

    The Exarchate of Lacon
    , or "Lakonia", was a small Elysian client state established in central elysia in 1734. It is historically notable as its foundation marked the effective end of The Kingdom of Spartania. The Fifth Elysio-Spartan War had brought it about, and in the ensuing decades, Acapulco (Akopolis, to the Elysians) would eventually fall as well.

    Lakonia is notable for a few reasons. Firstly, the efforts of its two rulers (Exarchs Adam-Manuel and Theodosius Komnenon, both junior members of the imperial family) to improve the lives of its populace. Adam-Manuel considered himself an "enlightened despot", and may in fact have been the first ruler to use the term (there is some competing evidence that Charles X of France may have been first). His efforts to redevelop Lakonia in general, and especially the capitol city of Xochnocho, helped cement Elysian hegemony in the region, making the populace more receptive to their eventual integration into the empire proper.

  • The Reserve Republic of The Barbaroi, or just "Barbaroia", was the second and last Elysian vassal state created in the latter half of the 18th century. Barbaroia was conceived as a way to allow conquered native elysians in former Wichita League and Choctaw territories a degree of self-governance. The Republic's constitution was modeled on that of the Kingdom of France, where upheaval decades earlier had stripped the position of King of much of its power.

    [still working on this one & dont have a good place to put the draft]
  • Game's done.

    A COOL MAP and maybe some more writins are forthcoming
  • Elysianverse North America, 1821

  • You are the end result of a “would you push the button” prompt where the prompt was “you have unlimited godlike powers but you appear to all and sundry to be an impetuous child” – Zero, 2022
    It's a cool map!
  • “I'm surprised. Those clothes… but, aren't you…?”
    The Tlingit are doing well. What are relations like with them?
  • They live halfway across the continent so we don't talk much

    (invading the Ottoman Empire though, that's sensible)

    it's also less than it looks like. They just have a few coastal provinces settled and the game colors the un-ownable interior because they have the entire coastline.

    would anyone want to see one of Greekmerica's Europe and Asia?
  • “I'm surprised. Those clothes… but, aren't you…?”
    I would!
  • I may still do it later but I got sidetracked with this CK2 game (which is now what this thread will be about)
  • The hunched, disheveled figure on the ground finally roused from his slumber. He was filthy, his tattered clothes caked in the dust of the floor of the shack he slept on. "What?!" He demanded angrily. "What do you want?! Can you not leave an old man in peace?"

    Lukacs frowned. This was the Old Wise Man he'd heard so much about? The one that his liege sent him to record the words of? Nonetheless, he had a job to do. Some delicacy would be required.

    A stiff drink later and the old man was marginally more personable. He turned over the small leather pendant hanging from his neck. "So you want to learn about the old days." 

    He scoffed. "I should let the stories die with me." Then, in a sudden flash of outrageous fury, he leapt to his feet and smashed his cup against the wall, shattering the ceramic vessel into a thousand pieces. "We have abandoned our ancestors! Our homelands! Our..." Gone as quickly as it came, he sat back down, kneading his temples with his cracked, bronze hands.

    "No. I will tell you, if only in the hope that the stories might live on."

    He inhaled, and closed his eyes tight, as though envisioning the events long-past. 

    "We were lead from the east-" he began "by a man called Arpad."

    -Fictionalized Account of Lukacs The Scribe's encounter with The Old Man. From "Our Fathers" by Oszkar a'Szekhenfervar
  • List of Császárs of Panszlavia & Kings Retroactively Considered Such
    • Árpád (871 - 917)
    • Linütika (917 - 920) [disputed by Árpád Tarkatzusfi]
    • Boldizsár (920 - 939) [disputed by Árpád Tarkatzusfi until 921]
    • Mihály (939 - 949)
    • Samuel (949 - 964) [disputed by Kristof Szilveszterfi, King of Wallachia until 953]
    • Ernõ (964 - )
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    (extent under Boldiszar, 922 AD)

    Panszlavia or The Panszlav Empire is the name applied to the kingdom founded by Arpad The Victorious following the Hungarian invasion of Bulgaria, and subsequent conquests thereafter until his death. The state was usually (but not always) capitoled in Arpadvaros, near the German border, and ruled by a descendant or descendants of Arpad. It should be noted that "Panszlavia" was not adopted as a name by rulers of this state until the end of the 13th century, the term is retroactively applied by most historians to refer to the patchwork system of kingdoms that directly preceded the formal reorganization of the Kingdom of Hungary as The Panszlav Empire as well.

    Panszlav rulers titled themselves in various ways, usually in an attempt to assert their rule over their nominal subjects. Titles that are attested to include simply "King of Hungary", "High King", "King & Kende-Gyula", and "Császár", which would eventually become the standard. It's generally believed that rulers were elected from amongst the members of the ruling family, thus, being the eldest in line for the throne did not necessarily guarantee that one would inherit it, and indeed as soon as Arpad himself died, it's known that the reign of his immediate successor Linutika was disputed by a cousin named Arpad Tarkatzusfi.

    As early as the reign of King Boldizsár it is recorded (by contemporary chronicler Simon Pazdek) that the Panszlav monarch ruled not just over his own Hungarian people but also "Moravians, Croats, Serbs, Avars, Vlachs, Russians, and a small amount of Greeks", and that religiously his people were split between Christians, followers of the old Tengri faith, and Slavic pagans, as such, cultural and religious conflicts defined much of the early lifespan of the empire.
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    The Northern Wars is the name given to a series of related conflicts involving The Panszlav Empire and several nearby nations, lasting from 941 to 953. What began as, in the mind of then-emperor Mihaly, a simple excursion into the tribal Polish lands to the north of the empire, soon spiraled into a massive, slogging campaign that would span much of Eastern Europe, and would see Panszlavia attacked extensively all along its northern border.

    It began with a planned invasion of Silesia, a Polish principality. However, Mihaly greatly underestimated both the number and tenacity of the Poles, and his armies found themselves fought bitterly every step of the way. Temporary forts were erected to protect the soldiers from diseases, and torn down the moment they were left, at least two incidents of camp arson (that is, Polish soldiers setting fire to the Panszlav troops' tents while they slept) are known, as are a handful of terror tactics such as public executions.

    Three years into the campaign, it became evident that help was required. So, Mihaly called upon his brother in law, Alderic of Burgundy & Italy. Alderic responded, but the Burgundian troops were ambushed en route. By the time they finally reached Poland, they were down to just 1,000 in number. Hardly enough to be of any use. Fighting continued on both sides of the Polish-Panszlav border for another four years until finally, what seemed to be a break occurred. The Polish city of Cieszyn (which had until this point managed to avoid being captured) was left weakly-defended while the Polish faced another invasion--this one from Pomerania. However, not long after Mihaly captured the city, the Polish soldiers returned, encircling the city and cutting off the Panszlav's supplies.

    They were permitted to leave only if they surrendered, which they were forced to. Upon returning home--with less than 500 soldiers of his initial force of almost 4,000 remaining--Mihaly received news that peasant rebellions had broken out down south, and that while on campaign, the Prince of Chernigov (who was an ally of the Poles), had invaded and conquered Peresechen. Disgraced and depressed, Mihaly is believed to have thrown himself from his castle's highest tower that evening. In an ironic twist of fate, his Polish counterpart Siemowit II would die less than a week later, plunging the Polish tribes into chaos.

    Chaos of its own followed in the wake of Mihaly's suicide, though, for the Panszlavs, as there were no known adult members of House Arpadok who were qualified to reign. Thus, two competing claimants came to the throne.

    One was Kristof Szilveszterfi, the King of Wallachia and one of Mihaly's vassals. He was well-liked and a strong military ruler, but tradition had held that an Arpadok should hold the crown, which lead to his only real competition for the throne, Samuel Arpadfi Arpadok.

    Samuel was only a distant descendant of Arpad The Victorious, but nonetheless his bloodline was valid. His problems were twofold, one was that he was not particularly qualified for the position. Having been given a knight's education and expected to at most, rule a small duchy in the south of the empire. Another was that Samuel had spent the last decade of his life in prison. Mihaly had locked him up in a dungeon in Arpadavros for treason (Samuel was a supporter of the failed rebellion by his father, Arpad Ördögfi) along with his older siblings, both of whom were now several years dead.

    The nobility, nonetheless, favored someone they thought they could control, and Samuel found himself with the full backing--more or less--of the Panszlav heartland. He was able to take full credit when the rebellions plaguing the empire finally died down, and still fairly young (just 33), he had plenty of time to build a greater legacy than his unusual circumstance might dictate.
  • Monarchs of Occitania, Post-Independence from the Kingdom of France

    • Aines The Fowler (1092 - 1120), as Duchess of Aquitaine-Gascogne-Poitou from 1068-1092
    • Raimond Bloodlungs (1120 - 1122), died of tuberculosis
    • Pons-Raimond The Liquor-Lover (1122 - 
  • image
    (Statue depicting Sergius, in Ros Comain, Ireland)

    Sergius V, born Donn Mac Gilla-Ruad ua Cheinnselag, sometimes "The Warrior Pope", "The Irish Pope", or "Sergius The Usurper" was the 167th Pope of The Catholic Church, following his installation and the deposition of his predecessor Silvester V. Sergius' method of ascension, and his tenure in the papal office, remain among the most controversial in Catholic history, and to this day the legitimacy of his pontificate is disputed (Sergius has in fact been removed from and re-added to the official list of popes a number of times over the centuries since his death).

    Among all popes, Sergius is notable for having some of the least amount of actual experience in the clergy. Under his birth name, he was made The Bishop of Agen by Occitan monarch Pons-Raimond I. This particular bishopric had a history of being given out essentially as a reward for the most devoted servants of the kingdom. Of Sergius' predecessors in the office, just one, Bishop Gausbert, had even been a native-born Occitan. Prior to this, Sergius had in fact been an Irish mercenary captain, brought to Occitania by Pons-Raimond to train his armies, which had been left in a state of poor organization by the sudden death of his father King Raimond.

    By all accounts Sergius faithfully served the kingdom in this capacity for many years, but it's unknown as to why Pons-Raimond chose him specifically to dispute the ascension of Silvester V (who was at the time also being disputed by the Holy Roman Emperor's anti-Pope Nicolas III), it may simply have been that Pons-Raimond thought Sergius would be easy to control. 

    In ecclesiastical matters he was right, Sergius never openly questioned Pons-Raimond's right to appoint his own bishops, nor any other theological matters, but politically Sergius would prove to be far more independent than anyone might have expected, and repeatedly defended the sovereignty of the Papal States both against his former liege and against the Kaiser of Holy Rome.
  • Norse Sicilywank

    an artistic interpretation of Sigurdr I landing on the shore of Orvieto by the painter Herman Aksel, 1890

    Sigurdr of Sallern, also Sigurd The Victorious, was a viking conquerer who lived in the 9th and 10th centuries, he is most notable for being the last Jarl of Sallern and the first High King of Langbarthaland.

    Sigurdr is sometimes described as the last true viking to have ruled Langbarthaland, while he was the first king to take the title the groundwork for his realm had been laid two decades earlier by his father Haesteinn of Nantes (and aided by his late elder brother Ragnarr). Haesteinn had invaded the Aghlabid-controlled Isle of Sicily, initially as part of a raid, but for reasons that can only be guessed at, Haesteinn ended up settling in the area, making the port town of Monreale his capitol. Both Haesteinn and later Ragnarr would eventually come to rule the majority of the island (Syracuse and its surrounding land, on the islands southeastern tip, were governed by a Byzantine Exarchate who Haesteinn and his descendants largely peacefully coexisted with, due to their mutual rivals in the Aghlabid Muslims and later the various Italian catholic counts).

    It wasn't until Sigurdr's reign though that expansion onto the mainland began in earnest. Sigurdr, unlike his elder brother, had been born in Sicily, and it is recorded that he desired to rule over as much of the Italian peninsula as he possibly could. Over several years Sigurdr's expansion campaigns attracted the attention of Norsemen from all over Europe, and it's known that warriors came from as far abroad as Garthiriki (in modern-day Russia) to fight for him, lured by promises of gold and land parcels. 

    The major accomplishment of Sigurdr's reign was undeniably his invasion of southern Italy. Launched against the Carolingian King Louis II and with the support of a massive number of foreign carls, Sigurdr was able to overwhelm the Italian king's defenses, and cleanly snapped up the southern half of Italy, as well as Corsica and half of Sardinia.

    Sigurdr would continue to raid frequently into his mid-30s, but after a few weeks of complaining to his physician of strange pains throughout his body, he died. Records kept by his physician of his symptoms have lead later historians to believe that what took his life may have been cancer, but this is difficult to prove for obvious reasons. Sigurdr passed into legend as the most successful of the early Langbarthalander kings, and was succeeded by the preferred of his twin eldest sons, Haesteinn The Younger.

    map of Sigurdr I's conquests, c. 906 AD
  • Sigurdr II (also Sayaghmand Sharyar, see below) was the third King of Langbarthaland. Succeeding two generations of viking raiders--his father Haesteinn The Younger, and grandfather Sigurdr I--Sigurdr might've been expected to do the same and in fact for quite a long time he did, for the first decade of his reign Sigurdr II was every bit the plunderer and conquerer that would be expected of someone of his pedigree. At some point, it is known that Sigurdr converted to Sunni Islam, but the details of when and why are scarce.

    Contemporary sources offer two suggestions. One is that Hrane Hrafn, a vassal of Sigurdr's and responsible for conquering a wide swath of Tunisia (for which he earned the nickname "Afriskurling") introduced him to the faith, as it's known that Hrane had converted not long after taking his position as Jarl, perhaps as simply a method of easing the transition for the largely muslim berber populace. Another less likely theory credits the influence of a concubine of Sigurdr's, an Egyptian named Fatima. This is considered less likely chiefly because most sources which claim it as fact (such as the French historian Guy de Sally) tend to treat it as damning.

    Sigurdr's conversion disrupted his previously uncontested reign and further fractured a Langbarthaland that was already chafing under cultural divisions. Now, two sets of Norse nobility--some Sunni Muslim, others still pagan--ruled over a mixed populace who were, depending on the region, Lombard, Italian, Greek, or Berber, and largely practiced various forms of Christianity. Not helping matters was his personal correspondence with the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, and his adoption of a Muslim name (Sharyar) in this and other communications with Islamic states (sometimes compounded as "Sayaghmand Sharyar", Sayaghmand being a rough transliteration of 'Sigurdr'). Sigurdr faced numerous rebellions, from his still pagan-relatives (the "two Ragnarrs", his brother Ragnarr The Bold and his uncle Ragnarr Sigurdrsson), and from christian peasant rebels, mostly lead by the Italian folk hero-to-be Libero d'Orvieto.

    It is perhaps no surprise given the political climate that Sigurdr II was assassinated, though the culprit was never caught (and perhaps never meant to be, given the king's unpopularity). His death split the realm in two, Langbarthaland itself being claimed by his brother Ragnarr The Bold, with most of the remainder of the realm falling to his young son Geirr, who was proclaimed King of Afriskur by an unlikely alliance of several pagan jarls who didn't support King Ragnarr, and the muslim vassals in North Africa. 

    Division of King Sigurdr II's realms upon his death, with various tributaries labeled, colored by who they supported.
  • image

    The Muslim Reunification of Sicily is the name given to a war fought by the Langbarthalander King Sigurdr III, lasting from 956 until 960. The war is significant for several reasons, foremost that it reunited Langbarthaland after over a decade of being split in twain under the reign of the juvenile King Geirr in Afriskur, and his Catholic opposition King Ragnarr in Langbarthaland itself.

    The four-year campaign was grueling by the standards Langbarthalanders on both sides were used to, and by its end, both sides had thoroughly exhausted themselves. Sigurdr emerged victorious though, his rival Ragnarr having died in an army tent during a siege. Ragnarr's successor Haesteinn II was acknowledged as a King of Langbarthaland, but his title was stripped and given to Sigurdr, the child himself being demoted to Duke of Apulia (only a year later he would die in an accident eerily mirroring the death of Sigurdr II), and the reunification of the kingdoms complete. Also notable is that for their aiding the Catholic Langbarthalanders, the Papal State would be a target of conquest by Sigurdr III just a few years later.
  • Emperors of Al-Shamal (and predecessor states). Rulers disputed for a majority of or their entire reign are in italics, followed in brackets by the name(s) of their contender(s).

    • Haesteinn I 'af Nantes' (882-883)
    • Ragnarr (883-886)
    • Sigurdr I 'Sigraði' (886-907)
    • Haesteinn II (907-923)
    • Sigurdr II (923-941) 
    • Geirr (941-952) [as King of Afriskur only, disputed by Ragnarr II of Langbarthaland]
    • Sigurdr III 'af Járni' (952-990) [as King of Afriskur only until 960, disputed by Ragnarr II]
    • Múhameð I 'Lögfræðingur' (990-1017)
    • Sigurdr IV (1017-1026)
    • Múhameð II (1026-1027)
    • Isak I 'Sigurvegari' (1027-1076)
    • Sigurdr V (1076-1084)
    • Isak II 'Glæsilega' (1084-1125)
    • Múhameð III 'ljónið' (1125-1151) [disputed by Prince Sigurdr Isaksson, 1131-1133]
    • Sigurdr VI (1151-1171) [comatose and unable to rule from 1168-1171]
      • Regency by Empress Dowager Beata Thjolfi  (1168)
      • Regency by Arnfast Hrafnsson Gute (1168-1170)
      • Regency by Prince Isak Rauði Sigurdrsson (1170-1171)
    • Isak III 'Rauði' (1171-1207)
    • Isak IV (1207-
    Notes about this regnal order: the first monarchs of Stallern and later Langbarthaland did not consider themselves rulers of Al-Shamal (and indeed until Sigurdr II were pagan), these numbers are applied retroactively. The first ruler to claim the title "Sultan of Al-Shamal" (in Arabic) was Sigurdr III, and his son Múhameð was the first to use it extensively.

    Aistabdil of Serkland [Turkey]
    • Sveinn Sarish-Valdemaring (1103-1105)
    • Sverker Sarish-Valdemaring (1105-1140)
    • Kettil I Kuladah (1140-1154)
    • Geirr Kuladah (1154-1172)
    • no holder (1172-1174)
    • Kettil II Kuladah (1174-1178)
    • Klas Sarish-Valdemaring (1178-1199)
    • Skuli Hviti (1199-1209) [also Aistabdil of Norðurströnd]
    • Geirr af Perre (1209-
    Aistabdil of Vestisafriskur [Morocco]
    • Berkan Mankudid (1103-1142)
    • Agecher ibn Aggur Idrisid (1142-1144)
    • Amaz'uz' ibn Mu'izz Idrisid (1144-1196)
    • Ibiza I ibn Bagay Mankudid (1196-1203)
    • Ibiza II ibn Ibiza Bagay Mankudid (1203-
    Aistabdil of Miklagard [Greece]
    • Sigtrygg Smithr (1114-1140)
    • Kol Smithr (1140)
    • Haesteinn Smithr (1140-1142)
    • Hysing Kalavring (1142-1153)
    • no holder (1153-1154)
    • Sverker 'Eitt Augað' Hávi (1154-1176)
    • Dyre Hávi (1176-1185)
    • Loukas Hephaistos (1185-1188)
    • Chrysanthos Hephaistos (1188-1205)
    • Sturla Hexavoulis (1205-1209)
    • Eirikr Kalvaring (1209-
    Aistabdil of North Italy
    • Godefroy de Champagne (1131-1138)
    • Obizzino di Carolingio (1138-1159)
    • no holder (1159-1161)
    • Tibaldo de Garamontibus (1161-1177)
    • Adrien I de Champagne (1177-1187)
    • Adrien II de Champagne (1187-

    Aistabdil of East Afriskur [Central North Africa]
    • Folki Karthagr (1131-1133)
    • Frothi Hrafn (1133-1190)
    • Ragnarr Hrafn (1190-1204)
    • Arnbjorn Karthagr (1204-
    Aistabdil of Tarragona [Aragon]
    • Rothgario I Puigcerda (1133-1135)
    • Kolbjorn 'The Old' af Osona (1135-1172)
    • Eduardo Puigcerda (1172-1191)
    • Rothgario II Puigcerda (1191-1208)
    • Eilif Puigcerda (1208-
    Aistabdil of Norðurströnd [Armenia]

    • Skuli Hviti (1178-1209) [also Aistabdil of Serkland starting in 1190]
    • Bo Hviti (1209-
    Aistabdil of Tvoefjoelland [Occitania]

    • Isak II Haesteining (1183-1208) [later Isak IV of Al-Shamal]
    • Ivomai Smila (1208-
    Aistabdil of South Armenia 

    • Isa Isa (1179-1206)
    • title abolished
  • Grand Mayors of The Republic of Ben Vynt

    • Vagn I Sterki (898-912)
    • Karl Vaeni (912-22)
    • Emund Sterki (922-923)
    • Ingolfr Sterki (923-965)
    • Alfr Sterki (965-966)
    • Olafr Sterki (966-981) 
    • Kettilmund Thjolfi 'The Rude' (981-989)
    • Roegnvaldr Storr I (989-991)
    • Roegnvaldr Storr II (991-999)
    • Bertil Sterki (999)
    • Sigbjoern Thynning (999-1003)
    • Gnupa Thynning (1003-1021)
    • Hrafn I Sterki (1021-1036)
    • Hrothulfr Thjolfi (1036-1047)
    • Hakon Sterki (1047-1060)
    • Grimr Vaeni (1060-1067)
    • Vagn II Thjolfi (1067-1082)
    • Hrafn II Thjolfi (1082-1099)
    • Sverker I Thjolfi (1099-1102)
    • Refil I Vaeni (1102-1100)
    • Totil Thjolfi (1100-1125)
    • Hakon II Thynning (1125-1130)
    • Frederik Sterki (1130-42)
    • Botulfr Thynning (1130-1147)
    • Refil II Thynning (1147-1154)
    • Ale Thjolfi (1154-1155)
    • Sverker II Thjolfi (1155-1168)
    • Sigtrygg Sterki (1168-1171)
    • Thorsteinn Vaeni (1171-1173)
    • Sveinn Vaeni (1173-1176)
    • Thordr Thynning (1176-1194)
    • Olafr Thjolfi (1194)
    • Dag Vaeni (1194-
    Pale Blue - Germanic Pagan
    Green - Muslim (Sunni)
    Purple - Christian (Greek Creed)
  • image
    Detail of a coin struck during the reign of Emperor Múhameð.

    imagemap dated to the early years of the reign of Múhameð Lögfræðingur

    The reign of Múhameð Lögfræðingur (lit. Muhameth The Lawgiver. Arabic: Muhammad Kanuni) was an interesting time of transition for Langbarthaland, or, as it was increasingly coming to be known, Al-Shamal.

    The name "Al-Shamal" is believed to be a derivative of the Arabic term "shamali", meaning roughly "northern men". Al-Shamal, thus, is the land of northern men. Increasingly, Shamalians found themselves divided into two camps. The nobility spoke two languages, a mix of Old Norse with some influences from Arabic and to a lesser extent Italian and Lombard, appropriately called Shamali, as their everyday language, and spoke Arabic proper as a liturgical langauge. The peasantry tended to speak only Shamali, and at that a "vulgar" version with heavier Italian influence. The gap between these groups was still an improvement on the previous situation of multiple groups of nobles ruling over multiple groups of peasants, which lead to the unsteady mish-mash that had caused Langbarthaland to fracture a half century prior.

    Múhameð was perhaps the first ruler of his nation to not be raised with one foot still firmly planted in the old viking ways. By the time Múhameð was receiving his education as a young prince, these ways were already dying out. His father Sigurdr III had put an official end to the practice of monarch-sponsored raiding, and with the general decline of Germanic Paganism across europe (though practitioners still comprised a minority within both Al-Shamal itself and in their home kingdoms in the nordic countries) there was seen as less of a reason for these raids in the first place. Furthermore, as a devout Muslim with no direct connection to the faith of his ancestors, Múhameð was not shy about making Islamic law state law. Sometimes as a matter of faith and others as a matter of convenience, and, not rarely, both.

    Coin restriking for instance was a common practice throughout Múhameð reign. This had both a spiritual purpose--many older coins depicted images of the men who issued them, something approaching idolatry from a Muslim perspective--and a very practical one, since re-striking the coins allowed Múhameð to assert his authority over the original strikers, who were often various yarels--vassal dukes--or other pagan or christian lords.

    Múhameð's reign also saw an end to the power of the Sterki clan (see "The Republic of Ben Vynt") and a massive building surge in the Shamali capitol of Hastanhem.
  • image
    a fictionalized depiction of Grand Mayor Bertil Sterki

    The Republic of Ben Vynt
    (Benvento in Italian) was a vassal state of The Kingdom of Langbarthaland, and the Empire of Al-Shamal that succeeded it.

    Ben Vynt was founded in the year 898, initially an administrative zone exempted from many of the usual taxes that the early Langbarthalander kings levied upon their vassals, over the following decades it grew into a full-fledged maritime republic, competing with (and eventually supplanting) Genoa and Venice. While officially, no yarel of the emperor's was any more or less important than any other, the Grand Mayor of Ben Vynt often had the distinction of being the de facto second most powerful man in Al-Shamal. This lead to no small amount of friction during the tenures of Ingolfr, Alfr, and Olafr Sterki, three pagan siblings who successively led the republic under the reign of muslim convert Sigurdr III, and the Sterki Clan puppets Kettilmund Thjolfi and father and son Roegnvaldr Storr I and II. This situation would only be resolved fully by Sigurdr's successor Múhameð I, who saw the brief reign and unexpected death of the younger Storr's successor Bertil Sterki (old Olafr's eldest son) as an opportunity to install his own puppet--Sigbjoern Thynning--in the power vacuum. Sigbjoern was a devout muslim (unlike his pagan or pagan-sympathetic predecessors) and while there would be Sterki mayors in the future, none would hold the same monopoly the first trio of Sterki siblings had.

    The Emperor's control over Ben Vynt would wax and wane still of course, at various peaks of power, the Vyntians were closer to an independent state than a vassal, and in their weakest years, were closer to a simple extension of the Emperor's treasury.
  • image
    this tapestry, Persian in origin, may depict Emperor Isaac I

    Isaac I (or Isaac The Conqueror, Shamali: Isak Sigurvegari, Arabic: Ishaq al Fatih) was the 5th (11th by the reckoning presented in the Tarikh Shamal) Emperor of Al-Shamal, whose reign was notable for the substantial additions made to the empire's territory over the course of it.

    Isaac was in fact never intended to inherit the throne at all. His elder brother, Muhameth II, died mere months after ascending the throne, without issue and without even so much as being married. In the absence of a strong figure this may have lead to a succession crisis, but Isaac was quick to seize the opportunity. Allying himself with the Baghdadi Caliph Faruk The Magnificent, he was quickly able to secure the throne against any possible pretenders, and was crowned in short order.

    Isaac had been given a military education--expecting the eldest son to inherit and the second eldest to be his loyal, right-hand commander had become something of a custom--and was an avowed student of the great military tacticians of history. Isaac held his distant ancestor Haesteinn I in great esteem, and ancient conquerors like Alexander The Great and Julius Caesar in equally high regard. He longed to join their ranks, and to that end much of his reign was devoted to a wide-reaching expansion program through which he hoped to, on the practical side of things, tighten Al-Shamal's grip over trade in the Mediterranean, and as far as more lofty goals, rival the Roman Empire itself.

    Indeed, it is with Isaac that we see the seeds of a future cultural fixation amongst Shamali leadership. The desire to create a sort of Islamized Rome, and become a successor to that state itself.

    While he would not conquer the Papacy (and thus Rome itself) during his reign--the shaky agreements his father had signed with then-Pope Urban II shielding Rome from Shamali conquest in exchange for a substantial monetary tribute were still in effect--he proved more than capable of conquering the so-called second Rome. Constantinople--or Miklagard as the Shamali still called it--fell not a decade into his reign. While later historians contribute this mostly to the repeated waves of rebellion and unrest within a fractured Byzantium weakening the empire's defenses to a significant degree, Isaac was certainly able to spin it as an achievement in his day. A runestone discovered just outside the city in the 1880s commemorates his victory over the "decadents" within. By the end of Isaac's reign, similar runestones had been raised in areas as disparate as Greece and Morocco. Isaac is also credited with the creation of the Imperial Guard, a core of trained mercenary soldiers maintained out of the Emperor's own pocket to ensure loyalty, an idea he may have cribbed from the Greeks.

    Isaac's accomplishments were not purely military either. While the norse-descended runes used upon runestones worked well enough for that purpose, they were clumsy and time-consuming to write out on paper, Isaac thus tasked a number of scholars in Haesteinheim with coming up with a system that could write the Shamali language with ease. The result was Ritnahningissaks, literally "Isaac's Writing", a heavily modified version of Arabic script adapted to the peculiarities of the Shamali language. Ritahningissaks saw adoption during Isaac's own reign, and within two generations would become the standard throughout the empire.
  • The Isaacian Wars (Shamali: baráttan á Ísak, Arabic: nidalat 'iishaq, literally "the struggles of Isaac" in both cases) is the term given to a series of defensive wars fought by Shamali Emperor Isaac II.

    Isaac came to the throne at a difficult time. The last legitimate male of his dynasty after the ravages of the black death had killed off his father and both of his older siblings, Isaac ascended at the age of just eight after the death of his father Sigurdr V. This period began almost immediately upon his ascention, with the rebellion of the Berber yarels in Morocco, and would continue until almost 1095 with a series of rebellions and incursions. A brief timeline is below.

    • Emperor Sigurdr V dies of the plague, Isaac II is crowned emperor.
    • The Marrakeshi yarels, led by Yeften Idrisid, rebel against the imperial crown.
    • Yeften Idrisid declares himself Sultan of Marrakesh (King of Vestisafriskur) 
    • Carolingian Italy under King Julien the Large launches invasion of northern Langbarthaland
    • The invasion of Langbarthaland from Italy is repelled.
    • Binyamin ibn Haroun and his host invade Langbarthaland, starting with the isle of Sicily
    • A number of small rebellions in Serkland* and Miklagard** by various Greek yarels. All are put down in short order.
    • Yeften Idrisid dies, his "title" is inherited by his son Mahtar.
    • Caliph Idris II of Arabia invades Serkland 
    • Binyamin ibn Haroun is defeated. He is spared by Emperor Isaac in exchange for his services as a diplomat and war leader.
    • Mahtar Idrisid is defeated and dies from a Shamali arrow, returning Vestisafriskur to Shamali control.
    • Idris II dies of an illness, his young son Ali III inherits his title.
    • The Arabic invasion of Serkland is repelled, bringing the Isaacian Wars to an end.
  • The Aistabdil (literally "substitute") System was an administrative effort within Al-Shamal to make the increasingly sprawling empire easier to govern. Begun by Isaac II, this process appointed "grand yarels" (the term "Aistabdil" is a later invention, traditionally attributed to Muhammeth IV) to govern large swathes of the empire in the Emperor's stead, often entire constituent kingdoms (the Aistabdil of Serkland for example governed the entirety of Anatolia), in return, these positions were not hereditary. Reverting to the Emperor upon their holder's death. This idea too may have been inherited from the Greeks (certainly it would not be unusual), and given it came at a period of increased Greek influence on the empire in the wake of the Shamali conquest of Byzantium (Isaac II had begun adding "Emperor of Rome" to his long list of titles a few years prior), it would not be unusual.
  • image
    Detail of a page from volume 33. This page largely consists of praise for Muhammeth's court physician Hrafn Gute, who he here claims cured him of a "horrid, wretching sickness" with an herbal concoction.

    The Diaries of Múhameð Rithöfundurinn
    refers to a series of journals kept by Shamali Emperor Muhammeth III, known by the epithet Muhammeth The Writer. Muhammeth was, unusually for his era, a prolific journalist, usually jotting down at least a few sentences per day, sometimes much more (the longest entry is over thirty pages in length). The Diaries provide a rare firsthand look inside the mind of a medieval monarch. Muhammeth's writing style was breezy and surprisingly informal for someone of his stature, it's likely that he never intended them to be kept after his death, and it's unknown who among his successors preserved them, as their existence is not testified for before the mid 1800s, while this has lead some to conclude they are a forgery, recent studies conclude that they are almost certainly genuine. 

    A handful of the journals are missing (Muhammeth numbered the volumes, well over a hundred of them, and about a dozen remain unaccounted for), but for the most part they provide a stunning amount of detail on Muhammeth's everyday life and work, as well as his opinions on a number of contemporary figures including his chancellor, the Christian yarel of Rome Faste Sterki, the Egyptian-born general and Islamic convert Suhail Borg, the second aistabdil of Serkland, Sverker Swaynesson, Muhammeth's own brothers Princes Faste, Sigurdr, Isaac The Lame, Sharjaer, and Haakon, and many others.
  • image
    Arnfast Gute as depicted in a German edition of Gute The Good. 1810.

    Arnfast Hrafnsson Gute
    was a chancellor for Shamali Emepror Sigurdr VI, and, for a brief two-year period, acting regent for the comatose emperor and de facto ruler of Al-Shamal. Factual historical information on Gute is hard to come by, his "reign" was fairly short, and little is known of the man's life beyond his rule as regent. Arnfast may have been peasant-born (though this is disputed), and there is some indication that his father Hrafn Gute was a fruit vendor in Venice sometime in the early 1100s, although other records from the period list a "Hrafn Gjut" as being an assistant to Grand Mayor Totil Thjolfi, whatever his parentage, he was certainly not of noble blood by the definitions of the time.

    Gute's regency lasted just two years, but in the late 1700s he was made the character of an early comedic novel, the anonymously-authored Gute The Good, a satire of Shamali noble traditions, in which he was portrayed as, simultaneously, an overeager patriot who willingly gave too much of himself to his country, and an early adopter of enlightenment-era philosophies. Gute, thus, found himself imprinted into Shamali popular culture into perpetuity, despite his relatively minor historical status. Gute (and characters influenced by his depiction in Gute The Good) remains a popular stock character for historical dramas and comedies to this day. 
  • image
    maps made for Isaac III (Isaac The Red, or Isak Rauði) as a gift from Loukas I of Miklagard, for the Emperor's 48th birthday. Isaac was a cartography enthusiast, and in fact had the original maps framed, the frames decorated with the Arabic word nitaqati (literally: "my domains").
  • SICILYWANK is on hold for the time being 

    coming sometime tonight: RUTUVITARWANK
  • The Federation of Rutuvitar

    Out of Universe Info:

    Rutuvitar is a custom nation that I spawned when I had a random new world turned on in Europa Universalis 4. The game generated a rare 'fantasy continent' (so: no attempt at being realistic) internally called The Worldwall. The Worldwall is a bar-shaped continent consisting of an inner ridge of mountains and a variety of terrain flanking either side (with a few passages through said mountains to make travel from one side to the other possible), that stretches from the north to south poles. Making a single sea passage (flagged on the map as The Devil's Gate) the only possible route by which one can circumnavigate the globe. Two other fairly large continents generated too, making this setup one of the largest Random New Worlds I've ever seen, purely geographically speaking.

    The Worldwall, which consists of three subcontinents: Frink, Xaltiptec, and Betuck, from north to south.

    Now despite the geographical wonder here, the game didn't generate any of the interesting countries it can--when the "Fantasy Elements" option is set to "frquent" it can generate anything from an upside-down India ruled by a Hindu empire to a Chinese republic to massive Aztec- or Inca-cultured empires that stretch entire continents--so I decided to make one on my own using the nation designer.

    Enter Rutuvitar (the name, out of universe, means nothing, it was the name of the randomly-generated province that I picked as the capitol and I liked it enough to keep it, dubbing the people the Rutuvese). A nation I made by picking a couple random provinces bordering some other countries. To make things interesting, I gave them the Fetishist religion, normally only found in Africa in the earlier game starts.

    I decided that my endgoal would be to own the entirety of the worldwall, from pole to pole. Obviously being just a regular native american kingdom--who start out with pretty bad tech levels, much to my chagrin--would not cut it here. So I picked the fantasy "High American" tech group, which is almost 1:1 identical to the Western tech group that Western Europe starts with, and gave myself a bunch of stupidly powerful national ideas (including two free colonists to start with and +10 Discipline as the capstone, which if you're not familiar with the game mechanics just trust me in saying that it's a good deal).

    In other words, I gave the Rutuvese gunpowder. Currently I'm about 200 years into the game and the Europeans have started to colonize in earnest. I'm trying to get the colonies to declare independence from their overlords, but it's slow-going. I'm not sure if I'll accomplish my goal, but time will tell.
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    the flag of the Rutuvese Federation since 1890

    Heads of State of Rutuvitar:

    Ronpa Dynasty
    • Atoc Sopa I (1444-1452)
    • Kantuta [Queen, Regent for Anquimarca] (1452-1459)
    • Anquimarca (1452-1482)
    • Cavillaca [Queen, Regent for Atoc Sopa II] (1482-1486)
    • Atoc Sopa II (1486-1509)
    • Nina [Queen, Regent for Orco Varanca] (1509-1511)
    • Orco Varanca (1511-1538)
    • Maiara [Queen, Regent for Johan] (1538-1541)
    • Johan (1541-1561)
    • Cayo Topa I (1561-1570)
    Sira Dynasty
    • Orco Varanca II (1570-1599)
    • Cayo Topa II (1599-1600)
    Ninancoro Dynasty
    • Tupac (1600-


    Rutuvitar consists of the Rutuvese themselves and 17 other federated nations, alphabetically, these are:
    • Abopombero
    • Athadisqopan
    • Ayamarqo
    • Bengausee
    • Bodenabe'
    • Bolurimac
    • Brislychaux
    • Fernanpa
    • Limaru
    • Mecazin
    • Pocabes
    • Pochipahu
    • Tippekappee
    • Teongouten
    • Tocanti
    • Washois
    • Wayansas

    Demographics: A majority of Rutuvese today (about 65%) self-identify as a member of one of the 18 federated nations, or one of the 74 smaller tribes of Rutuvitar. Others identify as English (split into the categories of "Christian English" and "Heathen (non-Christian) English" on many demographic surveys), Portugese (split likewise), African-Rutivese, Duksaxwaki (from any of the nations of the continent to Rutuvitar's immediate east), and the remaining minority are split into many different European, African, or Asian groups.
  • Emperors of The Holy Columbian Confederacy of The American Nation

    First Era

    House Royall:

    • Leonidas I
    • Jason
    • Leonidas II
    • Leonidas III
    • Ulixes I
    House Yelverton:

    • Algernon I
    • Algernon II
    • Pompey

    Second Era

    • Samuel (Brief Royall Restoration)
    House Venable:

    • Baldwin I
    • Baldwin II
    • Ulixes II
    • Leonidas IV
    • Baldwin III
    • Leonidas V
    • Baldwin IV
    • Davis 
    Third Era

    • Leonidas VI [competing with Wade]

    Littlepage Dynasty:

    • Wade [competing with Leonidas VI]
    • Algernon III
    Fourth Era

    Latimer Dynasty:

    • Huey (2668-2693)
    • 'Blessed' Omar I (2693-2730)
    • John Kephas I (2730-2745)
    • Leonidas VII (2745-2758)
    • John Kephas II (2758-2777)
    • Omar II (2777-2789)
    • John Kephas III (2789-2820) 'John the Just'
    • Leonidas VIII (2820-2836) 'Leonidas The Graverobber' or 'Leonidas The Hunchback'
    • Leonidas IX (2836-2849) 'Leonidas The Confessor
    • Leonidas X (2849-2876) 'Young King Leo', 'Leonidas The Frog'
    • Omar III (2876- )

    (artistic depiction of Omar I. An inaccuracy should be noted, in that it's known from contemporary accounts that most of the Latimer dynasty were dark-skinned. This painting is believed to date to some 100-130 years after his reign.)

    Omar I was the 22nd Emperor of Holy Columbia, one of the major post-cataclysm American successor states. He was the second from his dynasty (House Latimer, allegedly descended from a humble wheelwright). His reign was impressively long for his era, post-cataclysm historians now agree he reigned from about 2693 to 2730, over 30 years. Omar's reign was eventful too, he notably increased the size of the empire--uniting almost all of the former American South east of the Mississippi under his rule, as well as expanding northward, retaking Washington DC, and expanding even further south into the Caribbean, as well as establishing the Imperial Bank. The biggest break Omar took from his predecessors though--including his own father, the only previous Latimer emperor, Huey--was to end 300 years of isolationist foreign policy. Much of this, especially for the first two centuries after the cataclysm (in the period now known as the American Dark Ages) was by necessity. But by the time of the Latimers immediate predecessors, the short-lived Littlepage dynasty, it had hardened into foolhardiness. It is believed that Omar's father was in fact able to secure his controversial election as Emperor in part by promising an end to this policy.

    During Omar's reign, the flow of trade goods re-opened in earnest. It was not impossible for imperial citizens living in Cuba to own products created in Ontario, Columbia's northernmost ally, and vice-versa. This of course, had its limits. The lands west of the Mississippi (or, in the Confederate North, the Appalachians) were widely considered to be filled with heathens (many forms of old-world cultists, such as Rusters, Atomicists, and Americanists, as well as the Voudoun-practicing Kingdom of Louisiane) and heretics (Revelationist and Charismatic christians, whose disorganized and fervent practices often scared the comparatively straight-laced Evangelical Protestant empire, and Catholics, who were considered to be under the thumb of the Anti-Christ, that is, the Pope). Communication with the west was sporadic, and trade even rarer at this time.

    Omar was also a devout Christian, a member of what was the time the dominant (and legally official) faith of the empire, that of Evangelical Council Christianity, going so far as to name his firstborn John Kephas, after two of Christ's most devout disciples. It is thus perhaps fitting that his greatest failure as a monarch was what is now known as the Second Westphalian Controversy.


    While the "reformation" that the monk, Garvey Backus, had started would fizzle within just a few years, it was the start of ongoing religious strife within the Empire, especially between more hardline traditionalist Ecumenicals and various schismatic sects. It has remained a black mark on his reputation as a sovereign. 

    It's been speculated that had he lived longer, he might've had more chances to correct this wrong, but Omar passed away only a few months after the council, succeeded by his eldest son, John Kephas I.

    (The Empire at the end of Omar I's reign)
  • John-Kephas II (John II Kephas in some renderings, this stylistic incongruity is consistent with all doubly-named Columbian emperors) was Emperor of The Holy Columbian Confederacy from 2758 to 2777, noted for his destruction of the Men In Black, the last remaining large Americanist religious order, and his further expansion into the Caribbean, especially against Hector The Dragon, the petty king of Camaguey, an area he turned over to before then minor vassal (and also his lover), Bathsheba Mulray.

    The months that most defined the reign of John-Kephas though, were the final few. It is now suspected that John may have been suffering from some illness, but these final few months were plagued by irrational behavior, including most infamously, the imprisonment of the Ecumenical Council President, Darius Alberta, who languished in the imperial dungeons for almost a year, before being freed by John's successor.
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    The Peachtree Rebellion was a revolt against the rule of Columbian emperor Omar II. While the immediate cause of the uprising was Omar's attempt to jail the Duke of Peachtree, Maurice I, for plotting against him. While historians do now agree that it's probable that Maurice had been conspiring to overthrow the emperor (Omar II was not a terribly popular ruler in his own right, and his reign came on the heels of the tyrannical last months of John-Kephas II. The Latimer dynasty's popularity was at an all-time low), it's also likely that Omar simply wanted to curtail the influence of what was at the time probably his most powerful vassal aside from the Republic of Grand Strand. 

    The initial phase of the rebellion was, somewhat notoriously, short-lived. Maurice was captured mere weeks into the campaign, and made an example of, being the only known example of a Columbian prisoner of war being burnt at the stake. 

    (state of the war upon Peachtree's dissolution into Greater Peachtree and Birmingham)

    In a sense, this backfired. The nobles in power behind Maurice's two successors (the 11 year old Darnell of Peachtree and his younger brother, the 8 year old Tom of Birmingham), feared the same fate would befall them, and thus saw no reason to surrender. Despite this, the rebellion barely made it to the one-year mark, simply being vastly outnumbered. Almost all of the responsible nobles were jailed or executed. Only Darnell and Tom themselves being spared due to their young age.
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