Byzantium, Enemy of Rome


Civ3 Cartographer
Jun 4, 2003
West Virginia
(a.k.a. Yet Another Byzantine Story)

The Byzantine tribe had existed for thousands of years, or so the stories said. To the Byzantine people it may
have well been only as little as a few decades, or as much as eternity itself. No one really bothered to keep
track of the time or day or year since life was an unchanging constant existence. For as long as anyone could
remember, they had walked across desolate plains and deserts. A few of the older men and women of the tribe
could vaguely remember crossing some body of water on makeshift rafts, but noted that even then things
weren't that different.

The only bright point in the dreary nomad lives of the Byzantines was when they would occasionally stop and
camp for a while. In those brief moments of rest, everyone would gather around the storytellers who would
recite various tales like the Legend of Constantine, or the history of the twin villages of Rome and Byzantium.
That was the only history these people had. According to the legend, the Byzantines had once lived in a small
village called Byzantium. Nearby was a similar village called Rome. The culture of the two villages became
intertwined until they were nearly identical. Thus they were often called the Twin Villages. But one day, a
man named Caesar took control in Rome and incited a war against Byzantium. The village was destroyed, but
a man named Constantine managed to lead most of the Byzantine people to safety. The people ran away from
Rome and never stopped running. Supposedly that was when the wandering began.

But all of that was literally ancient history, if it was even true. Today was a new day for the Byzantines,
however. The old leader of the tribe finally died, and an ambitious young man named Justinian took control.
Justinian was tired of the aimless wandering and declared that the tribe would settle down at the first fertile
valley they came across. It was time to stop running; it was time to build a new Byzantium and restore the
tribe to glory. Now the real history of the Byzantines would begin.


Justinian stood on a hill overlooking the sea. After months of walking across the desert he had finally found
his paradise. Here, he decided immediately, his people would build the new Byzantium. To the west was the
ocean - a sparkling blue sea teeming with fish. To the north were hills and mountains full of minerals. To
the east was desert, but it had a river cutting through it - bringing fertility to an otherwise desolate
terrain. And finally, to the south were fields upon fields of wheat.

"Well, what do you think?" asked Theodora, who was standing beside Justinian.

"I think the first building should go right there." Justinian replied pointing toward a random spot twenty
yards away.

Theodora could only smile at her husband's decisiveness. The ability to firmly make decisions was the
dominating trait in Justinian's personality. It was why the Byzantine people eagerly followed him, and it
was also why she loved him.

"I've changed my mind about what we should name the city, though" Justinian continued.

"The people will be so disappointed." Theodora said. "I do believe they had their hearts set on New Byzantium."

"Byzantium will be what we'll name the whole country." replied Justinian. "The city needs to be something
different. We should name it after the great leader who delivered us to where we are today - Constantine.
The name Constantinople has a certain quality to it, doesn't it? I'm sure the people will accept it just as
readily as the old name. Of course to name it, we have to build it. Let's get started right away."

With that said, Justinian turned around and walked back down the hill. Immediately he began giving orders
to the gathered mass of Byzantine people for the construction of the city.

It was on this day that Constantinople was founded.


Michael York

On Sabatical from Civ
Apr 22, 2002
That is one cool looking starting location. I applaud the decision to include the screen shot.


Civ3 Cartographer
Jun 4, 2003
West Virginia
I hate stories that don't include screenshots. I probably won't have many throughout the story, but there will be some just so the readers have an idea what the world looks like.


Civ3 Cartographer
Jun 4, 2003
West Virginia
In the early days of the country of New Byzantium, the people worked industriously until Constantinople was
completed. Regardless, events moved at a rather slow pace. Despite having homes now, life was still quite
difficult for the Byzantine people. Most struggled just to survive at first. After a few years, Justinian
was able to organize the people into doing more complex tasks than just surviving. He put together some of
the most able-bodied men and sent them out to work the fields of wheat. Others he ordered out into the
wilderness to see what lands lay beyond the horizon.

After a while, life became less difficult. There was plenty of wheat flowing in from the fields in the south
and east. Constantinople was guarded by men armed with stone weapons to protect the city from wild animals
and barbarians. The people were fed enough, and felt fairly secure. As a result, the population exploded.
Within a century, the citizens of Constantinople had doubled. Justinian, fearing that starvation would
result from this increase in population, ordered his chief science advisor, Geminus, to design a building
where excess grain could be stored. After much researching, Geminus was able to invent Pottery and used his
knowledge of it to have a granary constructed in Constantinople. The store of grain in the new granary was
quickly stretched to its limit as the population continued to grow. People began to complain that the
fledgling city of Constantinople had become too crowded. Many began to worry about starvation. Seeing no
other solution, Justinian ordered fully half of the population to pack up supplies, leave Constantinople,
and go settle a new city elsewhere.

The settlers were sad to leave their home city, but realized why it was necessary. An egotistical man named
Adrian was put in charge of the settler expedition. Strangely, he led the people northeast into the barren
desert. Many questioned Adrian's sanity for wanting to build a town in the desert. Those questions were
forgotten, though, when Adrian discovered a fertile flood plain oasis and ordered the new town to be built
there. He named the city Adrianople, after himself. Workers quickly went out and built a road connecting
Adrianople and Constantinople, and trade flourished between the two towns.

With the success of the so-called Adrianople settler expedition, Justinian made it a law that whenever the
population of Constantinople reached its limit, half of the citizens would go out and build a new city.
After many more years, the population again reached its limit, so they were organized into another group of
settlers. The man put in charge of this new expedition had an unfortunate sense of humor. This man led the
people southward and founded the town in a river valley by the sea. Controversy struck when it was announced
that the new city had been named Caesarea after the hated Caesar of the Romans from the legends. Justininian
simply laughed and said the leader of Caesarea could name his town whatever he wanted. So the name stayed
and people eventually grew to accept it.

And so went the fairly uneventful first 2000 years of New Byzantium.

Author's notes:
As you can probably tell from the pictures, I am basing this story directly off of a game of Civ3 I'm playing.
I prefer it when the stories are based off of an actual game of Civ. Further on, I may have to deviate some
and create events that didn't happen in case the game gets kinda slow and boring later. I probably won't
provide too many pictures since there's not all that much you need to see.
I intend for this story to become more character-driven later on. I'm just doing some summaries now for the
early years since there's not much going on yet that's worth writing about. Expect things to get more
interesting when we finally meet our nemesis, Rome.

This game takes place on a Huge Archipelago map, with only 60% water. So it'll still have some continents.
It's Monarch level, with as many civs as a normal Huge map allows. Conquests v1.13b, later upgrade to 1.15b.


Turning Right ...
Dec 5, 2003
Victoria, BC, CANADA!!!
Yes, this definitely sounds like a great story. Can't wait for more, with lots of Screenies . . .


Civ3 Cartographer
Jun 4, 2003
West Virginia
Sorry for no updates. I'm a horribly slow writer. I hope to add at least another part or two before the end of the month.
I just want you to know that no matter how long it takes me to update, I will not have given up on this story unless I specifically say so.


Civ3 Cartographer
Jun 4, 2003
West Virginia
The sun shined brightly upon the clear, warm waters of the Southern Sea. Dolphins could be seen gracefully
leaping out of the waters. Occasionally one might even see the tail of a whale off in the distance. The sky
was clear and the air was fresh: the very definition of a beautiful day. Cutting through this picture of
natural perfection was a small fleet of even smaller ships. Each of the small ships flew sails bearing the
dark, blood red insignia of the new Byzantine Imperial Fleet. The fleet had been hastily constructed in the
harbor of Caesarea and immediately sent out to see if any lands lied to the south. The crewmen on these
ships were nervous about their journey since they were sailing through dangerous, unknown waters. Then there
was the fact that none of them had any actual sailing experience. The reason for this was that these were,
in fact, the very first ships that had ever been built in the Empire of New Byzantium. No one in the entire
country had ever sailed before, except some of the very oldest ones who claimed to have once traveled on
rafts, but no one believed them anyway. So Justinian selected the most capable and ambitious men of Caesarea
and ordered them to be sailors. Thankfully, nearly all of the men had so far proven themselves to be mostly
competent at sailing. Now they sailed southeast toward a coastline of what they assumed was a new continent.
The dolphins just continued leaping since none of this concerned them.

Admiral Belisarius had been the commander of Caesarea's militia until now. Then suddenly one day he had
received a message from Emperor Justinian saying that he was clearly a man with ability and strong leadership
skills, and thus he was the most logical choice to take command of the new fleet. Belisarius accepted
immediately (as if he had a choice), seeing it as a promotion and a good way to put his skills to use. Those
skills being ordering people around and making quick decisions. Fortunately his orders made sense, and his
decisions usually proved to be the right ones. The subordinate sailors often saw Belisarius as a wise, but
overbearing father-figure rather than as their commanding officer.

Standing on the deck of the impressively-named flagship Imperator, Admiral Belisarius surveyed the coast of
the unknown continent before him. Finally seeing a good spot to land the ships, he gave a quick order for
all ships to dock at that spot, and for the crews to form into search parties. It was time to see what lay
in this new land.


A harsh wind blew in from the south across the empty plains, picking up loose dirt and blowing it into the
faces of any hapless travelers. There were only a few people in this vast expanse of flat terrain, and they
just happened to be a small group of five unhappy Byzantine sailors. This entourage also happened to be led
by Belisarius himself, who felt he should go with one of the search parties. The other four were just some
unremarkable low-ranking sailors. Currently they were walking to the East, searching for anything
interesting in this mysterious land. So far, after several days of travelling, all they had seen was dirt
and grass. Lots of it.

"Sir, I think we should head back to the ships." One of the sailors finally spoke up. "There's nothing out
here. We might as well stop wasting our time and energy."

"You know as well as I do that we need to survey the entire coastal area." Belisarius replied. "We can't
afford to ignore any lands we find. For all we know, we'll stumble across some resource deposit: maybe even
Iron. You can bet we'll be kicking ourselves later if we come within a few miles of a resource but we went
home just before finding it. So all of you be quiet! We'll go back only when I say so."

The group continued walking in silence for several hours. The sailors became increasingly frustrated with
the admiral's stubbornness, but knew better than to say anything now. The terrain they traversed didn't
change, and they found no resource deposits. Just more and more empty Plains.
Hours later, the sun sat low on the horizon signalling that dusk would soon arrive. The men were about to
get out their camping supplies when something in the distance caught their attention. There seemed to be
something moving to the northeast. A closer inspection revealed it to be a group of warriors armed with axes
of stone.

"Barbarians!" One of the sailors cried.

"Could it be the Etruscans?"

"This far south? Impossible." said Belisarius. "Look closely, they wear strange clothes dyed in pink.
The Etruscan tribes don't use dyes in the filthy rags they wear. I get the feeling these may be civilized
people. Let's greet them, but be ready to fight if they turn out to be unfriendly."

The admiral began walking toward the foreign warriors, with his sailors following nervously close behind.
As they approached, Belisarius called out to the warriors.

"Barbarians!" One of the warriors shouted, seeing the approaching Byzantines.

"Could it be the Saxons?"

"Fool, don't you know a barbarian when you see one? Look at them, do they look like Saxons to you?"

"Ahem, greetings." Belisarius interrupted, thinking how familiar this conversation sounded. "We are
travellers from the Empire of New Byzantium. We seek only friendship. I am Admiral Belisarius, and these
are my subordinated."

"Ah, so you speak with a civilized tongue." A man who appeared to be the leader of the warriors said.
"I greet you, travellers of New Byzantium. I am Richelieu, the leader of this little scouting party. We
come from France, a mighty nation that lies to the southeast. What business do you have in this land, if
you don't mind my asking?"

"We are merely a scouting party." Belisarius replied. "We came here from the north to see what lay in
these lands. It looks like it was quite worth the trip. Until now we had met no other civilized peoples:
only barbarians."

"None? You say you are from the north. Surely you have met the Zulus or the Carthaginians."

"Never heard of them. It sounds like you know many things that we do not. Would it be possible for your
country to send some emissaries to ours for an information exchange perhaps? I'm sure we can both profit
from it."

"Ah, you have asked just the right person." Richelieu said. "It just so happens that I know Her Highness
Joan d'Arc personally. I'm sure I can persuade her or her advisors to meet with your leaders."

"It sounds like we have a deal, then." said Belisarius, who then turned around and addressed his
subordinates. "Well men, we found something of interest all right. You can set up the camp now, and
we'll head back to the fleet first thing in the morning." He then turned his attention back to the French
men so he could tell them how to reach Constantinople.


And thus it was that the Byzantines and the French met each other and forged a trade relationship. The two
nations became allies soon after, and they remained as trading partners for a very long time to come.
The Byzantine fleet continued it's journey for many years, meeting several other civilized nations. In time,
the Byzantines came into contact with more than a half dozen foreign civilizations such as the Zulus,
Carthaginians, Celts, Iroquois, Arabs, Persians, and the Hittites. There was much trade, and peace reigned
between the nations. However, events inside New Byzantium weren't quite so peaceful as those outside....

Here is how the lands of the Byzantines looked at that time, around the year 1500 BC:

Author's Note: Told ya I'd have a new part before the end of the month. It's still January for a few more hours.
This addition was written in three parts at three different times, so I apologize if it may not seem entirely cohesive. I rushed it a bit at the end, so I don't know how good it is.

Also, I made it sound as if the French were on a different continent, but actually it's technically the same continent. The characters just don't know that yet.
The continent I started on is really odd. It's like several islands all connected by a few chokepoints. You'll see what I mean later.

Next time: I'll see if I'm any good at writing battle scenes!


Re-ese Mekwanint
Aug 29, 2002
Is this story dead or just sleeping?


Civ3 Cartographer
Jun 4, 2003
West Virginia

The thing is, I've actually started writing other things and don't much have the time for this story anymore. I was too busy to write this for a while, and by the time I had the leisure to try writing more of this I simply had lost interest and moved on to something else.

You may as well consider this story dead. I might start writing it again some day, but don't count on it.
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