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PerfNES I: Ultima Ratio Regum

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Perfectionist, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    PerfNES I: Ultima Ratio Regum

    The deadline for Turn 5 orders is Friday February 10 at 1600 EST, 2100 GMT

    Hello. This is a NES, set in an alternate version of the sixteenth century. In this world, Offa's achievement was not undone by succession problems, and England was united by the Mercians. Now, seven hundred years later, the world is barely recognizable: England is at the center of the northern European world, the Romans still dominate the Balkans, Normans rule Egypt, Muslims rule Spain, and Mongol-descended khanates are threatening to overrun China and India.


    Players: Anyone can join, and should. I only ask that you send orders on time.

    Stories: Contribute enormously to the atmosphere of the NES, and so would be greatly be appreciated. If you feel like writing some, knock yourself out. I'll probably give bonuses for good stories and such.

    Orders: should be clear and possess some semblance of organization. In particular, you should make sure it's absolutely clear what you're spending money on. I don't mind length, as long as it's sensible length; don't spend hundreds of words describing exactly what color your servants' livery should be. If you're doing anything particularly subtle and clever it's probably a good idea to include a bit of justification and mention of what you hope to accomplish; that way when it all goes pear-shaped I'll have a better idea of what your government should do.
    It's important to bear in mind that in all states there are actors other than the government with their own agendas. Their importance varies from state to state, but in all cases trying to act without keeping their interests in mind will probably not go well. If you're doing anything particularly controversial it might be a good idea to check with the mod beforehand, to see if you'll be lynched for doing it.

    NPCs (Non-Player Countries): Any polity that isn't taken by a player will be essentially played by the mod. I intend for my NPCs to be rather tougher than the usual pushovers, so keep that in mind; being surrounded by NPCs will probably not be a recipe for a ballooning empire.

    Updates: Orders will be due on Friday nights, and hopefully I'll be able to finish the update over the following weekend. Each update will cover a period of three years.

    Map: Is Symphonic-style map, though I'll probably post a Northern-style version as well, since it's no trouble. Only capital cities are shown on the map, because sifting through the city map is a nightmare. A few countries don't have capitals; this is usually because the political center of the polity is mobile.

    An important random thing to keep in mind is this: in all but the most lopsided of conflicts, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO MILITARILY ENFORCE YOUR WILL. In almost every case, you will not be able to decisively beat an enemy and dispose of his possessions at leisure, so don't even try. The mod intensely dislikes highlander wars.


    Nation Name
    Factions (Strength/Confidence):
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt):
    Army Description:
    Navy Description:
    Nation Background:

    Heirs: For states with some form of hereditary succession - which is to say nearly all of them - here will be listed your heirs with their ages. You get to decide, in most cases, on your initial ruler, and to name everyone in your family, but I keep track of births and genders and deaths and such.

    Government: This is a descriptive stat describing your governmental form. Most governments are monarchies of one variety or another, though there are a few modifiers. Something to bear in mind is that essentially every government, even an autocratic monarchy, is dependent to a greater or lesser degree on elite support. Think about this before you act; antagonizing the people who make your government tick is a very bad idea

    Culture: A brief description of the major cultural groups, religions,and foreign influences in your state. This is not directly player-controlled, but you can indirectly influence it, and it is of course extremely important to keep your cultural makeup in mind when making decisions.

    Factions: Lifted straight from Birdjag's NESes, because I think they're a good idea. Confidence goes from 1 (not at all confident) to 5 (very confident); strength likewise goes from 1 (not very strong) to 5 (tread carefully). It is unlikely that you will get anything major done without at least some support from your factions, and if you offend them all you are unlikely to last long. Politicking will be necessary

    Economy: You get four numbers: your revenue, your expenses, the amount of money in your treasury, and your debt.

    Revenue - Your revenue is, oddly enough, the total money reaching your central treasury. Consequently it will, all other things being equal, be lower in decentralized states, as more money in spent at local levels, and higher in centralized ones. There are lots of things you could try to increase revenue, but the easiest is probably raising taxes. Bear in mind that unilateral massive tax raises are likely to be extremely unpopular; states with a parliament may have to negotiate revenue increases, and everyone should try to gain at least some factional support. Now, it is important to note that this stat enumerates only your ordinary revenue; that is, the revenue known ahead of time and that arrives every year at a more or less constant level. You additionally have access to various potential sources of extraordinary revenue; money arriving on a more or less one-off basis. Depending on the state, this could be nearly anything: forced loans, tax grants from parliament, sale of confiscated estates, grants from the church, etc. Ask the mod what you have in mind, and I'll tell you how much you can expect to get from it. Again, suddenly and without warning seizing and selling off the property of your nobles would be extremely unpopular, so keep your factions in mind. You'll mostly spend your money on soldiers, I imagine, but you are by no means limited to that. You could spend it on fortifications, public-works, patronizing artists, and anything else you can think of. So long as it makes sense in 1500 AD, of course.

    Expenses: Your expenses are the total amount of money it would take to pay everyone who needs to paid, and run everything that needs to be run. The largest single component for nearly everyone is the cost of the military; other components are the cost of administration, maintenance on government property, interest on the debt, and so on. Your expenses will then go up if you hire soldiers or administrators or otherwise expand the number of things your government needs to pay for. The only real way of making it go down is by reducing the number of things you need to pay for; demobilizing soldiers will be the most common method, I expect. Now, expenses are not automatically deducted from revenue. You could, if you think you really need the money, decide not to pay some of your expenses; depending on how you do it, this might not even have catastrophic consequences. It would certainly be best to explicitly say who you're not paying. Anything you have left after paying your expenses is completely discretionary: you could put it in the treasury, hire soldiers, patronize the church, buy cannons, and nearly anything else you can think of.

    Treasury: Your treasury is how much money you have just lying about for a rainy day. It doesn't earn interest, and it doesn't directly benefit you in way other than by looking shiny and making you feel safe.

    Debt: Your debt is the amount of money you owe various non-statted creditors. You pay interest on the debt, which goes into your expenses, and can pay it down with any spare money you happen to have lying around. The precise in-world mechanism of state credit varies from state to state, but from an out-of-world standpoint it all works pretty much the same way; you tell the mod how much you want to borrow, he tells you if you can, and the interest gets added to your expenses. Different states have different levels of access to credit, and different borrowing costs, depending on the sophistication of their financial markets. Some states might not have access to credit at all, or at least not easy access; the Dhahabis aren't big on usurers, for instance.

    All economic stats are denoted in taris, which are this world's versions of florins, and have more or less the same value. The tari was a large Sicilian coin in the twelfth century. It was popular, spread around by Sicilian merchants, and now the tari – or rather the copies that everyone makes – is pretty much the standard coin for western Europe and the Mediterranean. Asian states obviously use other currencies, but for the sake the mod's sanity will use taris in the stats. For a sense of how much money a tari is, consider that a soldier might cost a few taris a month, a cannon might cost a thousand or two, and a really major fortification might cost a million taris.

    It is very important to remember that war is EXPENSIVE. It is unlikely that you will be able to get much done with just your ordinary revenue. Extraordinary revenue and debt mechanisms are there for a reason; use them, or you'll probably be killed by someone who did.
    Military: Your military, in both terrestrial and aquatic flavors. It comes in discrete Companies or Ships, and is described in...the military descriptions. The descriptions aren't directly player controlled, but you can alter them by reform efforts and the like. What you can't do is issue minute tactical directions to your men; you're the sovereign, not a drill sergeant, and I don't want everybody trying to make tercios on the first turn, as I know you all want to do.

    The Companies displayed in your stats are just your standing, professional troops. Nearly every state also has levies from various sources available to a greater or lesser degree. Ask me for how many such levies you can likely raise. Bear in mind that your levies are, if not always of a lower quality than your professionals, generally less flexible; they typically won't like being used to garrison frontiers or launch unprofitable invasions of poor places. On the upside, levies don't cost anything to raise or maintain, though you will still have to organize logistics for them. Now, the military numbers do include garrison troops, or at least garrison troops organized by the center. If you've ruthlessly crushed all your nobles and cities and an enemy invades where you haven't put any troops, there won't really be anything to oppose them.

    Standing military units have some upfront cost to raise, this being a combination of outfitting, signing bonuses, construction cost of ships, and so on. They additionally cost upkeep to maintain; this is by far more expensive. It costs a lot more to pay a guy for three years than to persuade him to signup and give him a pike. Keep this in mind. Military upkeep is automatically calculated and added to your expenses. In order to maintain your army's fighting efficiency on campaign, it's an excellent idea to allocate additional funds for their support, above and beyond the standard upkeep, for logistics, wastage replacement, and so on. If you don't do this, and send an army into a difficult situation, do not expect it to fight at anything close to peak efficiency. Likely logistics costs depend on the situation and number of soldiers; ask the mod if you want to be sure. Military upkeep per company varies from state to state, depending on availability of labor, the cost of equipment, the proportion of cavalry, and so on.

    1 Company = 15,000 taris
    1 Ship = 15,000 taris

    1 Company is roughly 250 soldiers.

    Prestige: Is shamelessly stolen from Dachs, because I think it's an extremely good idea. Prestige doesn't have much effect on the game world, but the player with the highest prestige at the end of the NES gets to be the Winner. There are plenty of ways to gain prestige. Generally speaking, doing things that are popular, successful, or kingly - or that at least look like they are – gains you prestige, and doing things that are unpopular, or unsuccessful loses you prestige. There is no faster way of losing prestige than trying to do something wildly inappropriate for the setting, so do please ask before you try to build the Suez Canal or conquer China with five thousand men.

    Description: Is a short description of your state's background. There isn't a written timeline for this NES, but a lot of information on the ~700 years of divergence is in the descriptions, so you should at the very least read yours.
  2. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    Spoiler first stats post :
    Longphort League
    Capital: N/A
    Ruler: Ombudsman Mac****rig (52)/NPC
    Heirs: N/A
    Government: Loose League of Oligarchic City-States
    Culture: Hiberno-Norse, with strong English influences; Irish minority in the interior, Danish and Icelandic Nordic populations overseas; Monastic Catholic; mostly League Norse speaking, with a native-Irish speaking minority
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Dyflin (5/4), Cork (2/3), Vedraford (3/2), Visby (4/4), Hlymreck (2/2), Leaguebank (2/5)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 525,000 – 175,000 (650,000/0)
    Army: 5 Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary pikemen; supplemented by longphort forces of widely varying composition and quality
    Navy: 0 Ships
    Navy Description: Advanced caravels and square rigged sailing ships; some purpose-built warships, but mostly converted merchantmen
    Nation Background: The scattered and disparate Viking longphorts in Ireland were united by the Danish pirate Oleg Ragnarsson, who led an agglomeration of continental raiding bands to Ireland in the ninth century in pursuit of greater conquests, but never truly integrated into his Kingdom of Dublin. A longphort revolt against royal centralization efforts in the late tenth century led to the overthrow of the Kingdom and establishment in its place of a loose confederation of Hiberno-Norse polities. Held together by the need for mutual defense against the Irish and fear of English aggrandizement, the League followed a fairly nondescript course for the succeeding centuries. That course changed dramatically in the late fourteenth century, when a combination of the plague virtually bypassing Ireland, continental competitors being ruined by the Eighty Years War, and fortuitous innovations in the longphorts' financial and shipbuilding sectors allowed the League to rapidly attain a virtual monopoly on the north Atlantic carry trade and become the single most important source of credit to all of northern Europe. Suddenly transformed almost overnight into a commercial powerhouse, the League began to accept associate members, and the thing-banks became some of the greatest merchant enterprises in Europe. Still not a military power, the League was able, when it could agree on collective action, to have great influence on European affairs anyway. League financial backing was perhaps the single most important factor leading to the Danish revival. In return for a limitless supply of cheap credit, the Danes acknowledged the entry of Visby and Bornholm into the League, and granted significant commercial concessions to League merchants. The League, or more precisely the merchants of Dublin, thus gained a virtual monopoly on Baltic trade, and the Dublin-Visby axis was formed that has dominated League affairs since. The League has spent the last half-century protecting and expanding their commercial predominance. While some among the lesser longports grow resentful of Dublin's dominance of League affairs, the League still closes ranks at any threat to their general interests.

    English Empire
    Capital: London
    Ruler: Emperor Leofric III (60, married)/spryllino
    Heirs: Cwenthrith (34, married), Elffled (31, married), Leofric (29, married), Edith (26, married), Cenwulf (23, unmarried)
    Government: Semi-Parliamentary Centralized Bureaucratic Monarchy
    Culture: English; Celtic minorities in Wales and Scotland, Bretons in Brittany, Anglo-Franks on the continent, small Gascon and Lotharingian populations in the south and east; entirely Monastic Catholic; mostly English or Anglo-Frankish speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Brittany (3/4), Monastic church (5/4), Royal bureaucracy (2/4), Insular gentry (2/2), Burghers (3/5),
    Revenue – Cost (Treasury/Debt): 3,020,000 – 6,515,000 (6,000,000/0)
    Army: 158 Companies
    Army Description: Combined arms force of pike infantry and archers; fairly minimal gunpowder presence; large but slightly outdated siege train; small light cavalry arm; solely dependent on mercenary forces recruited by commission; generally high quality, the pool of officers is perhaps a bit thin
    Navy: 10 Ships
    Navy Description: Cogs adapted from mercantile designs; the Imperial-owned fleet is very neglected and undermanned, and is pretty badly decayed; supplemented in wartime by civilian ship levy
    Prestige: 2
    Nation Background: The House of Offa, rulers of Mercia, united the English kingdoms, after a fashion, by the mid ninth century. By the early tenth, the Celtic fringe had been largely suppressed, and the English emperors, in need of further expansion to secure their hold on power, turned to the continent. English intervention in Neustrian affairs sent the Dissolution Wars into their most intense phase, but turned out well for the English, as they carved out the great Ealdordom of Neustria. Having reached the limits of expansion, the emperors found themselves having difficulty keeping their sub-kingdoms in line. From the later tenth century through to the early thirteenth, the empire almost fell apart entirely on several occasions, and the English emperors spent most of their time putting down revolts. By the thirteenth century, though, the loose early empire had become a state more powerful and efficient than anything seen in northern Europe since Charlemagne. The increasingly assertive continental policy pursued by the emperors, with their newly stable power-base, destabilized the European structure. A series of minor conquests, revolts and wars culminated in 1331 when Gascony and an alliance of lesser Frankish states acted to prevent the accession of the English emperor to the Breton crown, in the opening salvo of the Eighty Years War. The successful campaign to drive the Gascons out of Brittany morphed into an attempt to eliminate the Gascon threat for good, and then, under the great soldier-emperor Cenwulf, into a drive for oecumenical empire that seemed, by Cenwulf's annus mirabilis of 1394, to be on the brink of success. The continental war dominated and warped English politics for generations, and when it ended in failure and the loss of nearly all the hard-won gains England moved seamlessly into a long and complicated civil war between, broadly speaking, parliamentary and aristocratic factions. Since the settlement at the end of the civil war, England has reemerged as a force in continental politics, but the emperors have stayed their hand in several instances, fearful of provoking another coalition against them. As the Frankish territories grow in population and prosperity, the old balance between England and continent grows precarious.

    Kingdom of Denmark
    Capital: Copenhagen
    Ruler: King Erik (42, married)/Owen Glyndwr
    Heirs: Magnus (18, unmarried), son (12, unmarried), daughter (8, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Administrative Semi-Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Danish; Monastic Catholic, with a large Roman Catholic minority in Pomerania and Prussia; German, Slavic and Ost Dansk minorities, though with numerous Nordic elements, in the Pomeranian coast; mostly Scandinavian Norse speaking
    Political Factions (Strength/Confidence): Nye mænd (3/4), Gamle mænd (2/1), Vendland cities (2/4), Monastic church (3/3), Norge (2/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,725,000 – 4,640,000 (1,400,000/0)
    Army: 123 Companies, 49 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Relies primarily on sword-using melee infantry with crossbow support and a minimal gunpowder wing; small light cavalry arm; fairly large, if not especially modern, naval-borne siege train
    Navy: 19 Ships
    Navy Description: Fairly modern purpose-built galleys and outdated converted merchant cogs, plus a couple of advanced League-style sailing ships
    Prestige: 4
    Nation Background: In the middle tenth century the Skallagrimning kings at Jelling conquered a kingdom encompassing all Jutland and Skane; by the end of the century they added Norway, and began to look further afield for the raiding opportunities the monarchy required. Shut out of the west by the English, the Danes turned east, first going to Sweden. Converted by English monks in the middle of their campaigns in Sweden, the Danish conquest quickly acquired pronounced religious overtones, and even before Sweden had been fully brought into submission Danish attacks on the pagans around the Baltic began to intensify. The Wendish Crusade inaugurated the long crusading age in the Baltic, and for two hundred years Danish-led multi-national armies conquered the polities of the Baltic littoral one by one. The empire peaked in the first half of the thirteenth century, when the Danes controlled the entirety of the Baltic coast and their network of clients and vassals stretched into Russia nearly to Tver; the long decline began shortly afterwards. The Danes turned inwards after the end of the crusades, and the empire withered as the magnates squabbled. In the fourteenth century, the retreat from empire turned into a rout, as military defeats snowballed and general revolts broke out all over the empire. The Baltic empire was all but gone by the turn of the last century, when the Norwegian magnate Hakon Magnusson seized the Danish crown, ruthlessly suppressed all threats to royal supremacy, and perhaps most crucially forged an alliance with the Longphort League. Secure at home, Hakon focused on restoring the Danish position in the Baltic, and the years since have seen a dramatic revival of Danish fortunes: the Poles beaten in two long, bloody wars, the Lithuanians split and the Order of Canute brought, however tenuously, into the Danish alliance system. The government established by Hakon remains efficient and powerful, and with strife in Sweden growing the Danish revival may yet have further to run.

    Kingdom of Sweden
    Capital: Stockholm
    Ruler: King Karl II (57, married)/ZeletDude
    Heirs: Daughter (30, married), daughter (28, married), son (21, unmarried), son (19, unmarried)
    Government: Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Swedish, with massive Danish influences, Lapps in the north; entirely Monastic Catholic; Scandinavian Norse speaking
    Political Factions (Strength/Confidence): Merchantry (2/1), Högre frälse (4/4), Lägre frälse (2/3), Monastic Church (2/1), Västergötland (2/3)
    Revenue - Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,005,000 – 955,000 (50,000/138,000)
    Army: 15 Companies, 8 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Heavy cavalry and pike infantry maintained by the magnates, plus peasant spear and crossbow militias
    Navy: 14 Ships
    Navy Description: Modified merchantmen of generally low quality, and some purpose-built galleys of generally higher quality
    Prestige: 0
    Nation Background: Neglected and cut out of power by the eastwards facing Danish empire, the Swedish territorial magnates revolted during one of the myriad Danish civil wars in the fourteenth century. Initially, there was no central authority, in the country, there being no tradition of one. The newly independent lords tried an uneasy coexistence that rapidly, naturally, broke down into a struggle for supremacy. After a bloody series of wars, the lords of Stockholm emerged victorious. The seeking legitimacy for their fragile government, the new Swedish kings turned outwards, to foreign conquest. Initially they enjoyed some success, in Friland at least, but had no such luck in Skane. Alas for the kings, the Swedes were no happier to support unsuccessful Swedish imperialism than they had been Danish. A renewed struggle for control broke out in the middle thirteenth century. The kings were forced to grant significant concessions to the great magnates in order to restore their authority. By the time the dust settled after the unsuccessful drive for empire, the Danes were back. Repeated renewed attacks on Skane were unsuccessful, and in the years since, Sweden has seemed to be slowly decaying, her kings paralyzed by squabbling nobles, her mercantile economy gradually being devoured by Danish and League competitors, and Denmark always gaining in power.

    Kingdom of Lotharingia
    Capital: Aachen
    Ruler: King Albrecht III (61, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Wilhelm (35, married), Sophia (34, married), Konrad (29, married)
    Government: Decentralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Lotharingian Frankish; Provencal minority in the south, Frisian in the north, and minor Saxon and Alemannic German populations in the east; Monastic Catholic with minor Roman Catholic elements in the far south
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal court (3/5), Burgundy (4/2), Rudolfings (3/1), Monastic Church (3/4), Alemannics (4/3), Saxony (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,290,000 – 1,195,000 (175,000/0)
    Army: 31 Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary pikemen in the standing force; relies mostly on elite heavy cavalry and additional mercenaries, plus large number of foot levies organized by local government and consequently of widely varying equipment and quality; generally well-equipped
    Prestige: 2
    Nation Background: Lotharingia survived the Dissolution Wars better than any Carolingian domain save Italy. Since emerging from the chaos of the tenth century, Lotharingia's fortunes have been uneven: periods of near hegemony in trans-Alpine Europe alternating with periods of extreme decentralization and feudal strife. It was by exploiting such strife between the great dukes and the Burgundian dynasty of Lotharingian kings that England was able to reduce Lotharingia, in the Eighty Years War, to near total servitude. In the aftermath of the collapse of English power, a new dynasty, the Welfs, claimed the crown of Lotharingia and by a combination of conquest and amicitia brought most of the old Lotharingian territories back under control. This reinvigorated Lotharingia, however, retains many of the problems that doomed the previous dynasty; indeed, faction among the elites may be even more prevalent. Chivvying those elites into united action is a tall order for the Welfs.

    Principality of Frisia
    Capital: Brussel
    Ruler: Forst Ygo II (80, married)/Lord_Iggy
    Heirs: Klaes (59, married), Heigo (56, married), Mette (54, married)
    Government: Decentralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Friso-Norman, with major English and Danish influences; small but influential Lotharingian minorities in the southeast; wholly Monastic Catholic; mostly Frisian speaking, with some Lotharingian, Saxon and Danish
    Political Factions (Strength/Confidence): Lotharingian nobility (2/2), Klaaifrysk (4/3), Eastenfrysk (3/3), Aldfrysk (2/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 880,000 – 835,000 (135,000/0)
    Army: 15 Companies
    Army Description: Combined arms infantry organized roughly on English lines; recruited from relatively independent mercenary companies; supplemented by urban militias and feudal levy cavalry
    Navy: 13 Ships
    Navy Description: Royally owned modified merchant cogs; supplemented by an informal levy from private interests
    Prestige: 3
    Nation Background: Frisia traces its origins to the grant of the march of Dorestad to the Danish pirate Ivar in the ninth century. Ivar's successors detached the province from the Carolingian power structure and by a combination of intermarriage and conquest expanded their rule over most of the Frisian territories. The principality pursued a determinedly north facing policy, and so was spared the worst of the tenth century chaos and became an important mercantile power. Alas, central power was eroded by conflicts between eastern and western Frisians, and as the principality fell apart in the eleventh century, it was conquered by the ascendant Lotharingians. Most of Frisia spent the next quarter millenium as an exceptionally troublesome duchy of Lotharingia, seemingly always either in revolt against central authority, or at war with their neighbours in the name of central authority. When the Eighty Years War came to Lotharingia the Frisians, naturally, revolted. This time, though, with English backing, they were ultimately successful, and formed a new principality that became one of the strongest supporters of Cenwulf's imperial project. With the collapse of English power and the reconstitution of Lotharingia in the early fifteenth century, Frisia found itself isolated. Two Lotharingian invasions were barely defeated. A third, in the middle of the century, was momentarily successful, but Frisia's freedom was again secured by English help, and since that last war, Frisia has moved firmly into the English orbit. Thus protected from Lotharingian aggression, the principality has of late prospered.

    Kingdom of Gascony
    Capital: Bordeu
    Ruler: King William (31, married)/Agent 89
    Heirs: Daughter (10, unmarried), daughter (8, unmarried), daughter (7, unmarried), son (5, unmarried), son (3, unmarried), son (1, unmarried); Roger (25, married), Eleanor (21, unmarried)
    Government: Feudal semi-Bureaucratic Monarchy
    Culture: Gasco-Norman, with minor Provencal and Lotharingian minorities and major English influences; almost entirely monastic Catholic; tiny Muslim minority in the extreme southwest; mostly Gascon speaking, with some Provencal and and Lotharingian
    Political Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal bureaucracy (2/4), Monastic Church (3/3), Maritimers (3/1), Inlanders (4/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,200,000 – 4,715,000 (0/4,300,000)
    Army: 79 Companies, 14 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary heavy and medium cavalry, and pike and crossbowmen; supplemented by archer and spearmen feudal levies;
    Navy: 5 Ships, 20 Levy Ships
    Navy Description: Neglected and outdated modified merchant cogs; supplemented by a levy of civilian ships of much higher quality
    Prestige: 2
    Nation Background: In the late ninth century, a band of Vikings established a raiding base at the mouth of the Garonne and stubbornly resisted efforts by the Aquitainian marchio to expel them. As Carolingian power collapsed, William of Aquitaine changed tack and reached an accommodation with the Garonne Vikings. The Garonne base rapidly evolved into a more normal post-Carolingian state, and Norman soldiers played a prominent role in Aquitaine's successes in the early tenth century, most notably so in the conquest of Gascony. Unfortunately for Aquitaine, the conquest of Gascony merely whet the Norman appetite, and not long afterwards they abandoned Aquitaine, to its ruin. In the ensuing power vacuum in southern Gaul the Gascon state separated into competing small fiefdoms. By the beginning of the eleventh century, however, the Kings of Gascony had suppressed most of the Norman splinters and established a relatively secure, if not particularly large, power base. In the ensuing centuries, the legendarily energetic Gascons quickly rose to dominate southern Gaul, while Gascon expats in the Mediterranean conquered a great domain in Sicily. By the early thirteenth century, Gascony ruled, in one form or another, virtually all of Gaul south of England and west of Lotharingia. At the peak of their glory, the Gascons were reunited with their long-sundered cousins in the Mediterranean, as fortuitous dynastic ties brought the Sicilian Roger to the Gascon throne. Unfortunately for Gascony, the benefits of Roger's regnum Normanorum accrued solely to Sicily, as Gascon resources were sent south to fight Italians and Romans, and Gascon administration was neglected. Even before the regnum Normanorum fell apart, control over the great kingdom acquired in the previous centuries was waning. It was partially a desire to reverse the decline that led Sancho IX to make the most ruinous decision in Gascon history, when he intervened in Brittany and inadvertently ignited the Eighty Years War. Gascony was methodically destroyed by overwhelming English power, was shired, and spent nearly half a century as a mere province of the English empire. The English civil war following Cenwulf's death allowed the Gascon leadership to first reduce English influence, and finally to expel it entirely. Thanks to English influence, the revived Gascon state is far more centralized than its predecessors, and has recovered many of the lost territories while managing thus far to avoid a renewed confrontation with England.

    Emirate of Liyun
    Capital: Liyun
    Ruler: Emir Sayf al-Mu'id (49, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (25, married), daughter (23, married), son (8, unmarried), several additional illegitimate children
    Government: Decentralized Monarchy
    Culture: Liyunese Andalusian, with fairly large Mozarabic population in the north; mostly Rushdite Islamic, with a small but visible Monastic Christian minority; almost entirely Andalusian Arabic speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Malikate of Tulaytulah (1/2), Mustaribs (2/4), Divan (1/4), Liyunese gentry (3/4), Rushdite jurists (2/5)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 2,360,000 – 1,960,000 (0/345,000)
    Army: 35 Companies
    Army Description: Large numbers of spear and bow infantry used largely for garrison duty; heavy cavalry and pike infantry form the field force; generally experienced and disciplined, but somewhat underequipped and manned; supplemented when necessary by urban militias of very middling quality, and relatively small numbers of levy cavalry drawn from the gentry
    Navy: 10 Ships
    Navy Description: Large modified merchant cogs; somewhat behind the times, but improving; the private shipowners have better resources, but generally particularly resent military service
    Nation Background: The Banu Abbad seized control of Liyun during the breakdown of Cordoba into regional kingdoms. Allying with residual Christian elites in northern Spain, the Emirs of Liyun created a particularly stable and efficient power base, at least by the standards of the taifas, but nevertheless quickly fell into the orbit of the empire of the Banu Zannun of Tulaytulah. After the Zanata crushed the Zannun on the Wadi al-Kabir, Liyun escaped conquest by the new Berber threat and gradually assumed control over the old Zannun power structures in the north of Andalusia. Secure in the north by the late twelfth century, the Liyunese expanded into broader Andalusian power struggles. A Liyunese engineered alliance brought down Isbiliya in the the mid thirteenth century and Liyun replaced Isbiliya as the greatest of the Andalusian kingdoms. Under Sayf al-Daula in the late fourteenth century Liyunese power reached its peak, and the emirate seemed on the brink of resurrecting the Caliphate. Alas for Liyun, their pressure forced Malaqah to turn to the Muwahhidun. Fanatical Berber armies inflicted a series of devastating defeats upon the Liyunese army, and Liyun was forced to abandon the south and east and fall back in defense of the heartland. Since the Muwahhidun invasion, scarcely a year has passed without a campaign on the border, but since the initial Berber surge was blunted the balance has shifted slowly but surely towards the northerners. The Liyunese may yet have a chance to unite Andalusia, but the decades of war have sapped the state's resources, and they may no longer have the strength to seize it.

    Emirate of al-Isbunah
    Capital: al-Isbunah
    Ruler: Emir Muhammad (41, married)/Kentharu
    Heirs: Abu Talib (15, unmarried), Jamilah (12, unmarried), son (7, unmarried) many additional children by concubines
    Government: Oligarchic Mercantile Monarchy; de facto Republic
    Culture: Cordoban Andalusian with a large Jewish minority; mostly Rushdite Islamic, along with the aforementioned Jews; mostly Andalusian Arabic speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal court (1/2), Jews (2/3), Isbunah Merchantry (5/4), Urban artisans (3/2), Rural gentry (1/3), Company of the Canaries (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 940,000 – 935,000 (750,000/50,000)
    Army: 11 Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary Andalusian pikemen and League archers; supplemented by levy spear infantry drawn from the urban classes and cavalry from the gentry
    Navy: 26 Ships
    Navy Description: Modified League-style galleons contracted by the state from private operators and supplemented by a more general levy of such ships; the ships are consequently modern and very high quality, the crews rather less so
    Nation Background: al-Isbunah was the center of a minor taifa after Cordoba fell. That kingdom quickly fell to Tulaytulah, ending the independent existence of the city for some centuries. Under the rule of Tulaytulah and the Zanata al-Isbunah declined in importance as administrative functions were removed to Yaburah and trade along the Tadjoh dried up. The city and its hinterland thus passed the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in comparative obscurity. Al-Isbunah's fortunes reversed in the fourteenth century, when the merchants of the city began forming a close association with the Longphort League that would dominate their later history. Buoyed by the rising tide of Atlantic trade, al-Isbunah prospered, and became once again the administrative center of the region. The increasing wealth and sophistication of the area reached a denouement during the Muwahhidun invasion, when the governors of the province took advantage of Liyunese distraction to sever ties with Liyun and establish an independent emirate. al-Isbunah has since survived as a militarily weak state between greater powers by maintaining a scrupulous neutrality and being more valuable independent than conquered. Meanwhile, the merchants of al-Isbunah have reduced the emirs to the status of powerless figureheads, and tied the state ever closer to the Atlantic maritime economy.

    Dominions of al-Muwahhidun
    Capital: Malaqah
    Ruler: Amir al-Mu'minin Abu Yusuf (55, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (30, married), daughter (28, married), son (24, married)
    Government: Theocratic Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Increasingly syncretic Zenaga Berber among the Muwahhidun core; Cordoban Andalusian in Andalusia; various Berber strains dominate in the Maghreb, but with significant Andalusian and Arabic presences as well; overwhelmingly Islamic, with the Muwahhidun version of Dhahabi Islam predominating, but particularly in Andalusia there are large numbers of Rushdites; Berber and Andalusian speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Dhahabi clergy (3/3), Andalusians (1/1), Maghrebi Berbers (4/3), Corsairs (2/4), Askaris (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,600,000 – 985,000 (1,200,000/0)
    Army: 15 Companies, 36 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Heavy cavalry levied from the Berbers, spear and bow infantry levied from the Andalusians, and Dhahabi militias of varying types; but increasingly reliant in Andalusia on mercenary infantry and askari heavy cavalry
    Navy: 10 Ships
    Navy Description: Standard state operated war galleys, supplemented by galiots outfitted by private interests; the fleet proper is in advanced state of decay, and the corsairs do most of the fighting
    Prestige: 5
    Nation Background: The fragmented polities of North Africa that followed Fatimid rule were conquered starting in the late eleventh century by the first great Berber empire, that of the Zanata, who even crossed to Andalusia in the wake of Cordoba's collapse into regionalism and briefly controlled most of the peninsula. Following the inevitable rapid decline of the Zanata, power in North Africa passed to Arabic tribal confederations, Andalusian imperialists, and Sicilians. Berber alienation and the penetration of North Africa by Rushdite Islam created fertile ground for Dhahabi teachings when that school arrived in the early fourteenth century. In the 1360s,Yaqub al-Mansur established himself as the leader of the most prominent group of Moroccan pseudo-Dhahabis, politicized and militarized his sect, and began a revolt against Malaqan rule. By the first decade of the next century, his Muwahhidun controlled most of North Africa. When Malaqah turned to the Muwahhidun in desperation for aid against Liyun, Berber armies crossed to Andalusia, drove back the Liyunese in concert with Malaqah...and then killed the Emir of Malaqah, destroyed his kingdom, and conquered half of Andalusia. Since that peak, the Muwahhidun have been declining, losing territory to Liyun, Saraqusta and Sicily, suffering revolts and increasing discontent among the Maghrebi Berbers, and seeing their support base in Andalusia steadily erode. The Muwahhidun increasingly seem a relic of a bygone era, and drastic action may be necessary to ensure their survival.
  3. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    Spoiler second stats post :
    Emirate of Saraqusta
    Capital: Saraqusta
    Ruler: Emir Khalid (27, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (7, unmarried), son (2, unmarried), daughter (1, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Administrative Monarchy
    Culture: Provenco-Andalusian syncretic; mostly Rushdite Islamic, but with large Roman Catholic and much smaller Sicilian Catholic populations; Andalusian Arabic speaking, but with a large Provencal minority
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Divan (4/3), Merchantry (1/2), Christians (3/3), Askaris (3/3), Saraqusta (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,465,000 – 1,045,000 (2,150,000/0)
    Army: 5 Companies
    Army Description: Combined arms formations of mercenary pike, shot, and crossbow infantry, with a large Askari heavy cavalry arm and a smaller group of high quality light bowmen; very high standards of discipline and equipment throughout; small, but modern and advanced siege train
    Navy: 10 Ships
    Navy Description: Small, fast galleys constructed and operated by the state, plus a few sailing ships under contract from Barcelonan merchants; fairly high level of seamanship, but not particularly disciplined, and mostly useful for skirmishing with Muwahhidun corsairs
    Prestige: 0
    Nation Background: Deeming the Ebro valley strategically irrelevant in the face of the Muwahhidun threat to Liyun itself, the Liyunese abandoned its defense to the locals; these not unreasonably sought an accommodation with the oncoming Berbers, which allowed them to preserve a certain independence under the new regime. The Muwahhidun tended afterwards to leave their northeastern province largely to itself, but maintained an army there to defend against Provencal expansionism and occasionally menace Liyun's eastern flank. Suspicion in the Muwahhidun court of the stubbornly liberal and independent minded northeasters soured the local elites' views of the center, and in 1478 court intrigue and the accurate suspicion that he had 'gone native' brought about the recall of Sayf al-Din, commander of the Saraqusta army and the most successful Muwahhidun general for half a century. Convinced that returning to Malaqah would mean his execution, Sayf al-Din chose instead to revolt against Muwahhidun rule. With Liyunese and, more significantly, Sicilian aid, he beat back the Muwahhidun counter stroke and extracted their recognition of his new state. Driven by fear of Liyunese or Provencal aggression, the Saraqustan administration tore down the existing governmental structures and with astonishing rapidity erected an admirably efficient fiscal-military apparatus, and drove back an opportunistic Provencal attack. Sayf al-Din is dead, but with a remarkably united populace and modern army the state he created does not lack for opportunities.

    Duchy of Swabia
    Capital: Augsburg
    Ruler: Duke Frederick IV (45, married)/yui108
    Heirs: Son (22, married), daughter (18, unmarried), son (15, unmarried)
    Government: Administrative Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Alemannic German with strong Lotharingian influences; Lotharingian and minor Slavic minorities; Monastic Catholic, with Roman Catholic pockets, mostly in the Alps; mostly Alemannic German speaking, with pockets of Slavs, Lotharingians and Italians.
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal bureaucracy (2/4), Alpine communes (3/3), Alemannia Inferior (3/3), Bavaria (3/3), Begleiter (3/5)
    Revenue - Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,555,000 – 2,700,000 (386,000/3,495,000)
    Army: 30 Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary pike and crossbow formations, with a fairly large gunpowder arm and a small, though excellent, heavy cavalry wing; excellent leadership throughout
    Prestige: 3
    Nation Background: Swabia was a Lotharingian creation in the fourteenth century, carved out of the Bavarian march and administered by a cadet branch of the Burgundian dynasty. With the rest of Lotharingia, Swabia fell under English influence during the Eighty Years War; unlike the rest, it refused to follow the Welfs when they rose to the Lotharingian throne after the English defeat. A succession of competent Dukes first fought the Welfs to a standstill, then created a powerful, efficient state apparatus, and then, by a combination of skillful opportunism and extreme good fortune, expanded Swabian power throughout most of the old Kingdom of Bavaria. Swabia does not lack for further opportunities, but its opponents now are far more formidable than any it has yet faced.

    Italian Empire
    Capital: Rome
    Ruler: Emperor Carolus VI (65, married)/LittleBoots
    Heirs: Daughter (38, married), son (35, married), son (29, married)
    Government: Decentralized Monarchy
    Culture: Lombard Italian, with South Italians in southern Italy, Greeks and Slavics in Dalmatia and Epirus, Slavs and Hungarians in Carinthia; almost entirely Roman Catholic in Italy proper, with Eastern Orthodox minorities in Dalmatia and Epirus, as well as a small but growing Gaborite minority in Carinthia
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Catholic Church (3/3), Imperial Court (2/4), Partito Ambrosiano (4/1), Partito di Napoli (4/3), Carinthia (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 3,090,000 – 9,165,000 (0/5,500,000)
    Army: 106 Companies, 45 Levy Companies
    Army Description: The Imperial forces are high quality, well-led pike and crossbow mercenary infantry plus a small heavy cavalry arm; the municipal contributions are varied, but are generally either militia or mercenary infantry of almost uniformly low quality
    Navy: 47 Ships, 19 Levy Ships
    Navy Description: Mostly slightly outdated galleys with slave oarsmen, plus some modified cogs; neglected of late, and generally of a fairly low quality; municipal contributions again vary considerably, but are generally galleys with a few galleasses
    Prestige: 3
    Nation Background: The Carolingian Kingdom of Italy was eventually seized, after the end of Carolingian rule and an exciting contest, by the Dukes of Spoleto, who conquered the Catepanate and the Lombard Duchies, reduced the Papacy to servitude, and initiated the Norman conquest of Sicily. Secure in Italy, the Emperors turned abroad, to Provence, and the Balkans, and above all to Sicily. The eventual triumph over Sicily in the fourteenth century brought Italy to the peak of its power; the rising clout of the cities, Roman resurgence, and Sicilian unrest brought it down. Following the crushing Italian defeat at Novara, central power was gradually dissipated to the municipalities, who were not at all inclined to spend more treasure maintaining the more distant imperial possessions; Sicily broke free once again, influence in Hungary was almost entirely lost, and Balkan possessions came under Roman attack. Italy is now effectively ruled by a confederation of squabbling municipal governments, and without reform it is likely that they will allow Italy to be surpassed by new powers.

    Kingdom of Provence
    Capital: Ais
    Ruler: King ? (49, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (23, married), son (21, married), son (16, unmarried), daughter (14, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Provencal, with major Italian influences; almost wholly Roman Catholic, but a small Muslim minority in the south and Monastic in the north and west; mostly Provencal speaking, with small Italian and Gascon areas in the east and west
    Political Factions (Strength/Confidence): Liyon (3/4), Catalunya (1/1), Catholic Church (3/3), Merchantry (4/2), Gentry (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 2,340,000 – 2,185,000 (0/315,000)
    Army: 10 Companies
    Army Description: Largely reliant on generally excellent mercenary crossbowmen and noble heavy cavalry; supplemented by urban infantry militias
    Navy: 30 Ships
    Navy Description: Standard galleys contracted from merchant families
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: A direct Carolingian successor state, Provence acquired the territories of the old Spanish March in the early eleventh century. Distracted by the defense of those territories, Provence played little role in broader European politics in the post-Carolingian world. Falling slowly under Italian control in the twelfth century, Provence for the next two centuries saw its territory gradually lost to Gascons and Andalusians, while its resources were deployed into the seemingly eternal Italian struggle with Sicily. Italian-instigated Provencal interference in Lotharingia provoked an English invasion during the Eighty Years War, and the Italian response to that invasion led to the English victory at Novara. That crushing Italian defeat replaced Italian domination with English; the death of Cenwulf and collapse of English power shortly in the south afterwards ended even that. Its rulers truly independent for the first time in centuries, Provence entered a golden age. The merchants of Catalonia and Marseilles brought great prosperity to the kingdom, Liyon was taken from Lotharingia, the decaying Muwahhidun pushed back, and a great cultural flowering took place. But the crushing defeat of Provencal arms at the hands of Saraqusta brought a rude end to the military success, and Provence's economic position is increasingly threatened by the Sicilian hegemony. Decisive action may required to prevent Provence falling again under foreign domination.

    Principality of Sicily
    Capital: Palermo
    Ruler: Prince Aimeric II (31, married)/Thlayli
    Heirs: Maria (7, unmarried), Roger (4, unmarried), Catarina (2, unmarried); Ricard (57, unmarried), Hugo (53, married)
    Government: Centralized Administrative Monarchy
    Culture: Sicilian Norman; Berber and Arab minorities in Ifriqiya; mostly Sicilian Catholic, with a very large Muslim minority and much smaller Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox minorities; mishmash of Arab, Berber, Italian and Sicilian dialects, but most people speak at least some Sicilian
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Admiralty of the Baleares (5/3), Admiralty of Tarabulus (1/1), Sardigna (3/2), Maghrebi Arabs (2/2), Sicilian Merchantry (4/2), Tunisian gentry (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 4,825,000 – 6,995,000 (0/2,920,000)
    Army: 78 Companies, 43 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Mostly reliant on mercenary pike and crossbow infantry and Sicilian levy swordsmen, with a very small gunpowder wing; supplemented by skirmishers raised from Africa; very few cavalry; the Admiralties maintain a body of professional, high-quality light infantry, largely used as marines; reasonably large and modern siege train
    Navy: 43 Ships, 2 Levy Ships
    Navy Description: Some fast, modern, purpose-built, state-operated galleys with free oarsmen, and some converted merchant galleys; the Baleares operates some mid-sized galiots, and there are a couple of large sailing-ships around; the core is uniformly extremely well-captained, crewed and outfitted, but standards are much lower in the fleet at large; supplemented by contracted galleys from merchant families
    Prestige: 5
    Nation Background: Sicily was conquered from its Arab rulers starting in the late tenth century by northern adventurers acting under the auspices of the Italian crown. These mercenaries carved out fiefs of their own, and, while technically subject to the Italian emperor, mostly managed their own affairs. By the mid eleventh century, the Gascon lords of Palermo attained ascendancy over the whole of the island and established a brilliant syncretic state. The unprecedented power of the Norman Duchy of Sicily upset the balance, and so there ensued the long contest between Dukes and Emperors, as the Italians sought to bring Sicily back into line. Sicilian diplomacy and naval power stymied Italian efforts for decade after decade, and all the while Sicily's power waxed, as Ifriqiya and Sardinia were conquered and Sicilian merchants rose to dominate Mediterranean commerce. By the early thirteenth century Sicily had become sufficiently powerful as to no longer really fear Italy; and then Roger III inherited the Kingdom of Gascony. This so-called regnum normanorum saw the peak of Sicilian glory: Egypt conquered, at least after a fashion, Italy and Rome humbled, and Sicily utterly dominant in the Mediterranean; it also saw the beginning of the decline. In subsequent decades Sicilian resources were frittered away, the dominant Sicilian commercial position gradually eroded, and the Maghrebi possession were largely lost to Berbers and Andalusia. Things finally came to a head in the mid-fourteenth century, when, in the midst of a civil war in Sicily and a revolt in Ifriqiya, Italy invaded and, after nearly four hundred years, finally destroyed the Duchy of Sicily, leaving only splinters in Tunis and Sardinia. For fifty years, Sicily was ruled from Rome, but Italian mismanagement and intolerance comprehensively alienated the population. After Italy was thrown into disarray by her defeat at Novara, the Norman Counts of Tunis launched an invasion of Sicily which triggered a general revolt on the island. After a decade of fruitless war, the Italian Emperor was forced to recognize an independent Sicily. In the years since, Sicily has been making up for lost time, expanding in all directions and acquiring a virtual stranglehold on commerce in the western Mediterranean. The Muwahhidun have been pushed back in Africa, the Romans defeated by the matchless Sicilian fleet, and Italy has been too preoccupied with internal affairs to intervene. But the success has brought new power groups into the state and destabilized old ones, and the state will have to adapt if it is to continue successfully.

    Thuringian League
    Capital: Erfurt
    Ruler: Chair Stanislaus /NPC
    Heirs: N/A
    Government: Feudal Aristocratic Federal League
    Culture: Saxon German; mostly Monastic, very small Roman Catholic minority; mostly Low German speaking, with small minorities of west Slavic speakers
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Monastic Church (3/3), Free Towns (4/3), Free Counties (2/3), League Bureaucracy (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 230,000 – 160,000 (450,000/0)
    Army: 5 Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary pikemen, supplemented by infantry militias and noble heavy cavalry
    Nation Background: The original Thuringian League was a purely Lotharingian creation in the thirteenth century, the innumerable cities and petty lords of central Germany bullied into a league with the Lotharingian king as its head. As Lotharingia began to withdraw from German affairs in the late thirteenth century, the Federation broke free from Lotharingian domination, and coerced or convinced many of the feuding German and Slavic statelets to join. For a brief time, it appeared possible that the federal Thuringian state could become a really major player in European affairs. Naturally, this suited Lotharingia and the revived Poland not at all, and their combined efforts served to break the effective government of the League. Most Thuringian members withdrew, and in those that remained League institutions became irrelevant. They remained as such until the mid fifteenth century, when, by a combination of the capable leadership and, more importantly, Lotharingian money, the old Thuringian institutions underwent a dramatic revival. The revived federal state is not particularly unified or powerful, and is under the watchful eye of the Lotharingians, but with capable leadership could conceivably prosper.

    County of Lusatia
    Capital: Chemnitz
    Ruler: Count Stanislaus (36, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (14, unmarried), daughter (11, unmarried), son (10, unmarried), son (8, unmarried), son (2, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: West Slavics and Saxon Germans; mostly Roman Catholic, with a fairly large monastic minority; Polish and Low German speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Merchantry (1/3), Catholic Church (3/2), Royal Court (4/4), Slavic Nobility (2/4), German Nobility (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 830,000 – 650,000 (900,000/0)
    Army: 15 Companies
    Army Description: Heavy cavalry and feudal levy infantry still comprise a lot of the army, but lately they rely mostly on polearm, crossbow and gunpowder mercenary formations
    Nation Background: The Lusatian Slavs were conquered by Poland in the early eleventh century, and were for a long time not particularly happy with this fact. Although the Polish suppressed them, they were never trusted under a single administrator and were kept under close royal supervision. Partially as a consequence, when central authority collapsed the Lusations broke into a plethora of competing statelets, and barely recognized even the nominal authority of the Polish crown. After Casimir reunited the Polish heartland, Poland attacked Lusatia, and systematically destroyed the existing polities. The Lusatians, organized now into a single county, played an important part in the Polish attacks to the southwest following the conquest of Bohemia. When the Poles abandoned their ambitions in the south to attack Denmark, the Counts of Lusatia were left on their own to hold the gains in the southwest; against all expectations, they managed to not only hold, but expand still further into the German statelets. Spared much participation in the Pomeranian and Pomerelian Wars, Lusatia's prosperity became a critical resource for the Polish crown, particularly after the Bohemian revolt. Without the regional and personal divisions that proved fatal in Bohemia, Lusatia met the increased taxation demands with little incident. As the century progressed, the Lusatians became increasingly conscious of the asymmetry of the relationship, and consequently took a firmer stance with the Polish center. Although still technically a part of the Polish state, Lusatia now has its own army and taxation, and little stake in central politics, and should it decide to break away, there seems little chance that Poland could prevent it.

    Duchy of Polabia
    Capital: Schwerin
    Ruler: Duke ? (52, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (29, married), daughter (25, married), daughter (16, unmarried)
    Government: Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Polabian Slavic with a large Saxon population; mostly Roman Catholic with a large monastic minority; Polish and Low German speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Merchantry (2/2), Catholic Church (3/2), Royal Court (3/4), Nobility (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 510,000 – 610,000 (185,000/100,000)
    Army: 17 Companies, 18 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary pikemen, supplemented by levies of noble heavy and light cavalry and peasant archers
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: Unlike the other West Slavs, the Abodrite confederacy of Polabian Slavs joined Poland willingly in the tenth century, and consequently always had something of a special administrative status. As central authority weakened, the Polabians were the first to pursue an independent policy. During the period of Polish decentralization, the Polabians pursued a notably energetic and outward-looking, though not very successful, policy. When Casimir of Stettin set about reuniting Poland, the Polabians were his first and greatest obstacle, and were only subdued by the guarantee of continued special status. In the renewed Polish state, the Duchy of Polabia alone maintained a degree of regional autonomy. In the late fourteenth century, being on the front lines of the Polish drive north and west, the Polabians received many of the spoils of that war. Alas, when Polish fortunes turned, Polabia bore the brunt. The long war with Denmark saw Polabia repeatedly despoiled, and the power of the Dukes greatly diminished. And as the Polish center became more preoccupied with events in the heartland, the Polabians were forced to rely ever more on their own means. By default they became increasingly independent of Poland, since Poland no longer cared to issue directions, though the Polabian Dukes felt themselves incapable of maintaining their position without Polish backing. By the end of the century, they were in the somewhat unusual position of being devoted vassals of a king that no longer wanted the attention.

    Republic of Bohemia
    Capital: Kutna Hora
    Ruler: Stevard ?/NPC
    Heirs: N/A
    Government: Decentralized Aristocratic Republic
    Culture: Czech with heavy Polish influences; small German population in the south west; Roman Catholic, with a small but growing Gaborite minority
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Germans (1/3), Gaborites (1/2), Western Nobility (3/4), Catholic Church (3/4), Eastern Nobility (3/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 2,215,000 – 1,890,000 (660,000/0)
    Army: 50 Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary pikemen, crossbowmen and light cavalry, supplemented by noble heavy cavalry and light infantry levies
    Nation Background: Carved out of the wreck of Great Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia was long closely connected to Poland in the north, as an ally initially, and then later, after Poland outgrew Bohemia, as a client and later still as a directly subordinate duchy. As central power waned in Poland in the thirteenth century, the Dukes of Bohemia charted an increasingly assertive and independent course that culminated in the Bohemian victory over the Bavarian alliance that established Bohemia as, briefly the hegemon of southern Germany. The arrangement was never really accepted by the Germans, though, and strife between the Bohemian overlords and their subjects, as well as Bavaria proper's increasing power, sapped Bohemian strength. The Polish revival brought a final end to the hegemony in the early fourteenth century, and shortly afterwards Polish dynastic claims caused a conflict that led to the conquest of Bohemia by the Poles in the mid fourteenth century. Bohemia remained a part of the Polish kingdom until the fifteenth century. In the aftermath of the Pomerelian War, the constant Polish need of money provoked a revolt of the Bohemian aristocracy. After the failure of reconciliation attempts, the Bohemians, unable to agree on a monarch, established a republican confederacy, drove back Polish royalist armies, and expanded into the southwest. Bohemia has lately stalled, unable to take Prague and unwilling to leave it be, while threats grow internally and on the other borders, but the government and army remain, for now, united and organized.

    Kingdom of Poland
    Capital: Poznan
    Ruler: King ? (44, married)/alex994
    Heirs: Son (21, married), daughter (17, unmarried), daughter (14, unmarried), son (12, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Feudal Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Polish, with Polabian Slavic and Bohemian minorities; Roman Catholic; mostly Polish speaking, with some Saxon, Danish, and Volynian Slavic
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal Court (2/4), Burghers (3/2), Szlachta (3/2), Mozny (4/3), Army of Bohemia (3/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 2,310,000 – 3,505,000 (15,000/0)
    Army: 98 Companies, 31 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Core of professional heavy cavalry, polearm infantry and archers in the Army of Bohemia; most other forces are noble-raised feudal levies of much lower quality, and are primarily heavy cavalry and light infantry
    Navy: 8 Ships
    Navy Description: Light rivergoing galleys
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: The earliest Polish state was formed in the 940s in the Warta basin by Siemowitz. Aligning closely with Bohemia to the south, this Siemowitz quickly conquered the immediately surrounding tribes, and then turned towards East Frankia, where the Polabian Slavs were driving back the distracted Germans. The union with the Abodrite confederacy, achieved in the late tenth century, cemented Poland's status as the dominant power in central Europe, and the other western Slavics were brought under Polish overlordship early in the eleventh century. A succession of uninspired kings, coupled with the growing power of regional interests and Danish incursions from Pomerania, sapped central strength throughout the later twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. This led ultimately to the 1223 Statute of Gniezo, that established an elected monarchy and federal structure in the kingdom, and that led to the virtual end of Poland as a state for nearly a century. In the early fourteenth century, the princes of Stettin parlayed victories over the Danes into a dominant position in Polish politics, and then used that position to seize the throne, repeal the Statute, and crush the ensuing massive reactionary rebellion. As its primary competitors either retrenched, as in Lotharingia, or entered general crisis, as was the case for the Danes, the reinvigorated Polish monarchy launched expansionist campaigns in every direction, and by the turn of the century attained an utterly dominant position in central Europe. The fifteenth century proved far less congenial: defeats against the Lithuanians, the Volynians, and above all in the long, grinding Pomeranian and Pomerelian Wars had a catastrophic impact on royal resources. The weakened monarchy proved unwilling and unable to hold the outlying territories, and desperate attempts to raise revenue triggered a wave of revolts, most notably in Bohemia. The Polish monarchy now faces an increasingly intransigent nobility as it tries to maintain its position against growing foreign threats.
  4. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    Spoiler third stats post :
    Kingdom of Hungary
    Capital: Esztergom
    Ruler: King Stephen V (54, married)/North King
    Heirs: Katharina (30, married), Andrew (28, married), Bela (26, married), Mathilda (23, married)
    Government: Theocratic Decentralized Monarchy
    Culture: Magyar; Gaborite, with numerous underground Roman Catholic and much smaller Eastern Orthodox populations; mostly Magyar speaking, with small Italian and Slavic minorities
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Gaborite Synod (5/4), Catholics (1/1), Hungarian Nobility (2/3), Katonak (4/4), Pannonian Cities (3/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,700,000 – 2,200,000 (0/750,000)
    Army: 44 Companies, 39 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Pikemen, archers, and some arquebusiers from the katonak, plus mercenary heavy infantry and light cavalry
    Prestige: 3
    Nation Background: The first Magyar kingdom, formed in the tenth century, was for two hundred years a great power in eastern Europe, easily dominating the northern Balkans and contesting with Lotharingia and Italy for the old Carolingian eastern marches. In the late twelfth century, that Kingdom of Hungary was drawn into a long struggle with the ascendant Roman Empire of the Doukids over Croatia and Transylvania. The Hungarian monarchy, incapable of matching the enormous resources of the Roman state, was gradually ground down, until Roman forces killed the last king and sacked Buda, and the local dukes split from what was left of central authority. The successor principalities, devastated by Roman attempts to secure control and then by the Mongol invasion, spent the fourteenth century as little more than pawns in the Italian-Roman contest in Pannonia, until in 1445 the Duke of Esztergom embraced the heretical sect founded by Gabor Bethlen around the turn of the century. Distracted as they were, neither Rome nor Italy took note of Esztergom's steadily increasing power until it was too late. Esztergom defeated half-hearted Italian and more serious Roman attempts to restore the balance. Riding the wave of prestige after those victories, disciplined and devoted Gaborite militia swept over the Pannonian plain and declared a restored Kingdom of Hungary. Hungary's momentum has since stalled in the face of Roman and Italian opposition, and the Gaborite movement has proved difficult to export, but either obstacle could yet be overcome.

    Roman Empire
    Capital: Constantinople
    Ruler: Emperor Ioannes X (51, married)/Kraznaya
    Heirs: Daughter (29, married), son (27, married), son (20, married), daughter (17, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Administrative Semi-Theocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Greek; Turkish majority in Anatolia, significant Slavic, Albanian, Vlach and Bulgarian populations in the northern Balkans; almost entirely Orthodox everywhere but the Anatolian interior, where the population is mostly Muslim; tiny but growing Gaborite minority in the far north; mostly Byzantine Greek speaking, but with various Slavic, Vlach, and Bulgarian dialects prominent in the northern Balkans, and Turkish dominating in Anatolia
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Anatolian Grandees (1/1), Orthodox Church (4/3), Allagia (2/3), Syntrophiai (3/2), Imperial Bureaucracy (4/5)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 5,835,000 – 8,380,000 (1,400,000/0)
    Army: 154 Companies, 69 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Spear and pike conscript infantry drawn mainly from state landholdings in Greece and the lower Balkans; pike, sword and crossbow mercenary infantry recruited in the upper Balkans; levy infantry organized by the grandees in the Balkans; relatively small corps of noble heavy cavalry; growing, relatively modern naval-borne siege-train
    Navy: 29 Ships, 5 Levy Ships
    Navy Description: State owned and operated war galleys
    Prestige: 2
    Nation Background: The ninth century Roman resurgence came to a screeching halt in the tenth, as the imperial attempts to hold Italy led to a military catastrophe that snowballed into a political crisis. After half a century that saw a dozen emperors come and go and vast tracts of land lost on all fronts, order was restored by the Doukid soldier emperors, who instigated a series of political and military reforms that, though initially painful, led to the general renaissance of the late eleventh and twelfth centuries. Those centuries saw Rome reclaim all the land lost in the tenth century, and then far more. Conquests in the Balkans culminated with the destruction of Hungary, while in the east Roman territory stretched nearly into Palestine. By the mid thirteenth century, Roman planners were realistically contemplating the conquest of the decaying Usfurids. At that moment, the Roman golden age was cut dramatically short, like so many others, by the Mongols. The subsequent obliteration of the Roman military and loss of all the Asiatic possessions put the Romans on the back foot for a century. The situation did not really materially alter until the rise of the Smyrna-based Kantakouzenids in the early fifteenth century. Under the Kantakouzenid dynasty, pressure on the Artuklu Sultanate increased tremendously, and as that sultanate collapsed in the middle of the century Roman forces overran most of Anatolia in little more than a decade. But while the Great Reconquest capped two hundred years of effort, new threats are rising on all the Roman borders. Preserving the recent gains may prove challenging.

    Emirate of the Banu Ghaniya
    Capital: Barneeq
    Ruler: Emir ? (41, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (14, married), Daughter (11, married), son (5, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Tribal Monarchy
    Culture: Arabic, with various Berber tribal minorities; Ismaili Shiite with large Sunni minority
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Banu Ghaniya (4/3), Banu Zayd (2/3), Ismaili Jurists (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 675,000 – 600,000 (140,000/0)
    Army: 12 Companies, 41 Levy Companies [+43 Companies]
    Army Description: Mostly reliant on light cavalry provided by the various tribes, with a small force of mercenary infantry
    Navy: 3 Ships
    Navy Description: Poorly crewed galiots
    Nation Background: After the fall of the Fatimids and the end of the brief Zanata overlordship, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania spent the next few centuries passing under the rule of various tribal confederations, most of them clients of their western or eastern neighbours. As Sicilian power waxed, the territories fell gradually into their orbit, and were administered for a time practically as Sicilian provinces. The fall of Sicily, and Egypt's disinclination to focus on the west when more profitable enterprises beckoned, threw Libya into turmoil, as the Sicilian-backed incumbent elites lost power and various alternative power blocks struggled to succeed them. The Banu Ghaniya emerged as the eventual victors in Cyrenaica in the early fifteenth century. Their emirate was initially energetic and powerful, by Libyan standards, and overran Tripolitania shortly afterwards, but the reemergence of Sicilian and Egyptian interest in Libya had a deleterious effect on their fortunes. The Banu Ghaniya have seen Christian efforts systematically undermine their authority, and Sicilians and Egyptians nibble at the frontiers. The emir in Barneeq now has some areas less power than Egyptian merchants, but it is still possible that the Christians could be thrown out.

    Kingdom of Egypt
    Capital: Alexandria
    Ruler: Queen Lucrezia III (30, married)/Masada
    Heirs: Giuvanni (9, unmarried), son (8, unmarried), daughter (4, unmarried), son (2, unmarried)
    Government: Administrative Monarchy
    Culture: Egyptian Norman ruling class and in most of the Delta; most of the populace outside the Delta, is Egyptian Arabic; Sicilian Catholic among the Normans and upper classes, Hanafi Islam prevalent especially among the lower classes and in Upper Egypt, and Coptics forming the balance; the Egyptian dialect of Sicilian is the language of government, but the majority speaks Arabic, with a few Coptic pockets
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Admiralty of the Mediterranean Sea (4/2), Admiralty of the Red Sea (2/5), Delta Merchants (4/2), Coptic Church (2/1), Upper Egyptian Barons (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 4,180,000 – 6,195,000 (405,000/3,685,000)
    Army: 40 Companies
    Army Description: Mixed pikes and crossbow mercenary companies generally recruited from Italy or Sicily, with a smallish light cavalry arm; supplemented by poorly armed peasant conscripts and feudal levies from Upper Egypt; the Admiralty of the Mediterranean maintains a core of professional light infantry that primarily provides marines
    Navy: 59 Ships, 13 Levy Ships
    Navy Description: Large, modern, purpose-built, state-operated galleys with good crews and officers and free oarsmen; supplemented when necessary by state-owned galleys operated by merchants
    Prestige: 3
    Nation Background: After the Fatimid Caliphate was destroyed by Turkish invaders, Egypt passed through a succession of short-lived Turkish dynasties until a native revolt overthrew the last and established the Arabic Usfurid dynasty. This ruled Egypt, initially with some distinction, for the better part of a century and a half. By the thirteenth century, however, Usfurid rule was weakening, as their slave soldiers became an increasingly active force in internal politics and Sicilian ascendancy in the eastern Mediterranean diminished the value of the traditional Italian alliance. The disastrous Usfurid response to a Sicilian raid in force on Alexandria precipitated the collapse of the Usfurid state. Egypt descended into warlordism. The Normans, finding themselves in a vacuum, first shored up their control in Alexandria and then, slowly and with only nominal central backing, began to conquer the various Egpytian splinters. It took three generations, but eventually the Norman Admiralty of Egypt secured the whole of Egypt. Always practically independent of Sicily, the Italian conquest of Sicily severed the few ties there were, and Egypt struck out on its own. After a few initial scuffles over the authority of the newly royal admirals, a fairly harmonious administration was developed and Egypt gradually began asserting itself in foreign affairs. The prime direction of expansion was to the north, where Egypt turned the inherited commercial position in Crete into political control, persuaded the orphaned Cypriots to accept Egyptian lordship, and fought and won a succession of naval scuffles with Rome. The reestablishment of Sicily complicated matters for the Egyptian crown, but the two Norman states have been mostly allied for the last century, cooperating against Rome and Italy, and the potential flashpoints have been avoided. The last half of the fifteenth century saw the beginning of a change of direction for Egypt. Her focus began to turn away from the Mediterranean towards the Red Sea and beyond. Egyptian presence in Ethiopia and Yemen has been growing steadily, and there is potential for great gain in the Indian Ocean, but at the same time the old positions in the Mediterranean are coming under increasing threat from the resurgent Romans.

    Chobanid Empire
    Capital: Antakya
    Ruler: Sultan Taqi al-Din Husayn (59, married)/taillesskangaru
    Heirs: Murat (39, married), Ismail (34, married)
    Government: Centralized Administrative Monarchy
    Culture: Syrian Turk with reasonably large Arabic and Turkmen minorities, and smaller Kurdish and Armenian minorities; mostly Hanafi Sunni, with some Orthodox and Oriental Christians and Hanbali Muslims, and a sizable Jewish population; mostly Artuklu Turkish-speaking, with various other Turkish languages scattered about, a large Arabic-speaking population and smaller Kurdish and Armenian populations
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Turkmen (4/4), Divan (4/3), Al Bahrayn (2/3), Merchantry (3/3), Imperial Bureaucracy (4/4), Kurds (1/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 5,765,000 – 7,040,000 (3,980,000/0)
    Army: 141 Companies, 47 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Relies mostly on professional combined arms pike, crossbow and arquebus formations; the mounted wing is mostly Turkmen light cavalry; well-disciplined throughout, excellent leadership, very large and advanced siege train, and excellent engineers; particularly effective logistic system
    Navy: 15 Ships
    Navy Description: Purpose built state-owned galleys; middling crews, but fairly good officers; supplemented by a levy of private galleys
    Prestige: 5
    Nation Background: The Turco-Mongol Chobanids have been a presence in Syria since Amir Choban, founder of the dynasty, was given responsibility for the administration of Antioch by Temur in the immediate aftermath of the Mongol conquest. They were for generations loyal servants of greater powers, but when the Artuklu sultanate collapsed under Roman and Persian pressure, the Chobanids at last struck out on their own, first securing their Syrian hinterland, and then rapidly suppressing the warring splinters of the sultanate. Having in that process constructed an admirably efficient state apparatus and disciplined army, the Chobanids have since brought the Roman reconquest in Anatolia to a dead stop and driven the Persians out of Mesopotamia. Persia seems to be weakening with every year, and the Romans face many other threats, so it is conceivable that the Chobanids could leapfrog both and become the Middle Eastern great power.

    Kingdom of Georgia
    Capital: Tblisi
    Ruler: King Constantine III (40, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Constantine (17, unmarried), son (13, unmarried)
    Government: Feudal Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Kakheti Georgian with minor Turkish and Armenian and stronger Greek influences, excepting a Greek majority in Pontos, a Turkish and Persian majority in Shirvan, and an Alan majority in the north Caucasus; mostly Eastern Orthodox Christian, but with significant Islamic populations in Shirvan and much smaller populations among the Alans
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Aznauri (3/3), Eristavi (3/2), Mdabiuri (2/3), Greeks (2/2), Osi (1/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,105,000– 1,060,000 (500,000/0)
    Army: 20 Companies, 39 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Well armed but indifferently disciplined and organized heavy and light cavalry levied from the nobility; better organized spear infantry and bowmen from the mdabiuri; and excellent light and archer cavalry from the Alans.
    Navy: 5 Ships
    Navy Description: Small, low quality galleys with poor crews and enslaved oarsmen; supplemented by much higher quality sailing ships contracted from Pontic merchants
    Nation Background: Georgia has survived the centuries by managing always to be on the winning side: first backing the Doukids in their campaigns in Anatolia and beyond, and then switching allegiance to the Mongols of Temur shortly before Ctesiphon, and receiving Pontos for her trouble. The late fourteenth and early fifteenth century saw Georgia in the unfamiliar position of possessing local supremacy, which she used to conquer Shirvan and subjugate many of the tribes north of the Caucasus. The situation is no longer so congenial: the resurgent Romans covet Pontos, the Persians Shirvan, and the Horde looms menacingly to the north. But Georgia has been here before, and survival is the great Bagrationi talent.

    Ardabilid Empire
    Capital: Qazvin
    Ruler: Shahanshah Ismail III (41, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (6, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Aristocratic Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Persian, with a large Turkish minority and Pashtuns in the east; Dhahabite Islamic, with some small, underground Sunni populations; mostly Persian-speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Dhahabi Clergy (5/4), Merchantry (1/1), Khorasan (2/2), Fars (4/4), Tabaristan (3/3), Ghulams (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,725,000 – 950,000 (600,000/0)
    Army: 10 Companies, 412 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Ghulam heavy cavalry and horse archers form the core, with Dhahabi spear and archer militias providing the balance
    Navy: 10 Ships
    Navy Description: Small, fast galleys; supplemented by large number of corsair galleys, and dhows
    Prestige: -1
    Nation Background: Persia was dominated for centuries by Turks and Mongols. The revival of native Persian power began with the extreme fundamentalist and anti-Mongol teachings of ibn al-Dhahabi in the thirteenth century. His followers were suppressed by the Temurid Khans, but survived in odd corners, most notably around Ardabil. There opportunistic local Persian elites allied with the sect and raised a rebellion against the Khans. The emirate thus founded was the first crack in Temurid power, and first fought off the Khanate's attacks and then, as the vast Turco-Mongol edifice crumbled, expanded into Iran. The Ardabilids dominated the immediate post-Mongol world, as fanatical Dhahabite soldiers overran much of the old Temurid domain and the Artuklu Sultanate only just held the line in Mesopotamia. The collapse of the Artuklu Sultanate under Persian and Roman pressure marked their high-water mark; since then, concerns have mounted for the Ardabilid Shahs. The once feared army has been repeatedly defeated, regionalism is on the rise, the Dhahabites are growing dissatisfied with the Shahs, and ground has been lost in every direction.

    Principality of Friland
    Capital: Torvo
    Ruler: Prince Mathias Østergård (57, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Eli (36, married), Magdalone (33, married), Lykke (31, married)
    Government: Decentralized Parliamentary Monarchy
    Culture: Danish with heavy Finnish influences; Finnish population in most of the interior; almost entirely monastic Catholic, with a small Orthodox minority; the dominant language is a Danish dialect with many Finnish loanwords, while the Finns of the interior speak Finnish
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Birkarls (2/2), Herredmænd (4/3), Artisans (1/2), Frimænd (4/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 435,000 – 480,000 (155,000/0)
    Army: 6 Companies, 20 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Swordsmen, spearmen and archers levied from the freemen, plus a small permanent force of mercenary pikemen
    Navy: 5 Ships
    Navy Description: Small, maneuverable galleys raised from coastal districts and manned by levies
    Nation Background: The settlement-cum-conquest of the Finns had, after the initial assault on the Tavasts, little to do with the broader Baltic Crusades, being instead largely propelled by individual Danish adventurers acting independently of the crown. This resulted in the curious development of the territory compared to the rest of the Danish empire. The frontier culture that developed made practically a cult of the freeman, and never looked kindly on interference from abroad; on this point the Danish monarchs, concerned with the far richer and more populated areas of their empire, were happy to oblige. Thus never a particularly integral part of the Danish empire, the freelanders broke away entirely relatively early in the decline of the empire, though the precise date varied in different parts of the country. Initially the country possessed virtually nothing in the way of government; this made it an easy target for the vengeful Novgorodians, who conquered the land in the mid fourteenth century. The freelanders proved no more willing to do the Prince of Novgorod's bidding than they had been to do the King of Denmark's, and after a few years of chronically rebellious rule from Novgorod succeeded in throwing out the Russian presence. This time, the freelanders established a monarchy, but with its power carefully checked by the assembly of freemen. Small and generally disinterested in adventurism, Friland has since made little mark on broader affairs, only defending itself from the occasional Swedish or Novgorodian attack, but Friland is feeling increasing pressure to align more closely with Denmark, which would surely provoke an attack from Novgorod.

    Principality of Veliky Novgorod
    Capital: Veliky Novgorod
    Ruler: Prince Vasili II Shuisky (48, widowed)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (24, married), daughter (20, married)
    Government: Decentralized Mercantile Semi-Parliamentary Monarchy
    Culture: Russian with residual Danish influences, and Sami and Ugric peoples in the hinterland; Novgorodian Orthodox, with paganism still prevalent among the Ugrics of the empire; mostly Novgorodian Slavic speaking, with Sami, Ugric and minimal Baltic minorities
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): League Skristofa (2/3), Novgorod veche (3/3), Archbishop of Novgorod (3/4), Baskaci (3/2), Pskov (1/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 705,000 – 500,000 (150,000/0)
    Army: 15 Companies
    Army Description: Danish and League mercenary heavy infantry; noble heavy cavalry, and light infantry and archers levied from the Russian domains; and skirmishers levied from the tributary tribes and organized by the baskaci
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: As the great prize of the early conflicts between Chernigov and Kiev, Novgorod played the contenders against each other to its own gain for a time. But at the end of the eleventh century Novgorod badly overplayed its hand, and the loss of its independence was prevented only by opportunistic Danish support. This episode inaugurated a long alliance between Novgorod and Denmark. The alliance was initially beneficial to Novgorod, as, safeguarded by Danish military might, it could focus on growing and exploiting its vast northern empire, but as Danish power increased Novgorod grew to resemble a client more than an ally. In the early fourteenth century, the merchants and aristocracy of Novgorod revolted against the Danish-backed ruling prince and installed in his place the fabulously wealthy fur-trader Yaroslav Kalita. The Danes, preoccupied with their internal struggles, could do nothing to maintain their position, and accepted Kalita's elevation in exchange for commercial guarantees. The Yaroslavovichi, freed from the Danish alliance, pursued an aggressive strategy towards their western neighbors while using diplomacy and money to try to keep their eastern borders pacified. While initially successful, Novgorod fell on hard times later in the century, as the Order pushed them back in Estonia and the Finnish Danes successfully revolted. Meanwhile, Nizhny Novgorod's power was growing in the old principality of Chernigov. Novgorod was forced, in the fifteenth century, to spend ever increasing amounts of blood and treasure securing its empire and fighting to maintain its position in the upper Volga. Novgorod appeared to be gradually losing the struggle for dominance when the appearance of the Horde gave Nizhny Novgorod better things to worry about, although Novgorod's relief was tempered by the worrying implications of the contemporary Danish revival. For the moment, Novgorod seems secure, but the contest with Nizhny Novgorod has only been placed on hold, not resolved, and some sort of conflict with Denmark seems inevitable.

    Order of Saint Knut
    Capital: Lyndanisse
    Ruler: Grand Abbot ? (52)/NPC
    Heirs: N/A
    Government: Theocratic Bureaucratic Monastic Order
    Culture: Danish and Ost Danskere in the Order itself and in the cities and garrison towns; Chuds, Balts and Russians in the countryside; officially Monastic Catholic, but pagan and Orthodox practices survive in the countryside; Danish is the language of the Order, but the populace mostly speaks Ugric or Baltic dialects.
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Natives (3/3), Merchants (2/3), Mark Captains (4/3), Home Captains (2/4), Mission Captains (1/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 520,000 – 445,000 (400,000/0)
    Army: 80 Companies
    Army Description: Sword, polearm and crossbow infantry in the garrisons, with a core of heavy cavalry providing the striking force; supplemented by comparatively small numbers of native levies, mostly poorly armed archers and skirmishers; excellent standard of discipline and equipment; large body of extremely efficient military engineers
    Navy: 5 Ships
    Navy Description: Baltic galleys crewed by the brothers; fairly low quality and mostly used for anti-piracy patrols
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: Several militant monastic orders appeared during the Baltic Crusades. During the period of Danish greatness, they were generally not very important, as the Danish state handled administration and the orders had a habit of interfering in the orderly running of the Danish empire. As the Danish empire waned, however, the center delegated more and more authority to the regional powers in the empire, the orders prominent among them. By and large, this did not go very well for the monastics; they were incapable of navigating the difficult political situation in the dying Danish empire and were mostly destroyed during the great pagan revival in the fourteenth century. The Canutians alone survived as a unified force, initially simply by virtue of their center being in the comparatively stable areas around Lyndanisse. Faced with growing turmoil and pagan and Russian aggression, Erik of Jamt, master of the Order in the mid fourteenth century, took drastic action. The Order was remade as a strictly military, rigidly disciplined, and entirely Danish body. Seeing itself as the sole defender of Christianity and Danish influence on the far shores of the Baltic, the completely militarized order managed, after a century of nearly continuous warfare, to subjugate the Chuds, drive back the Russians and Balts, and establish control over a wide swathe of the old Danish empire. The Order has recently come under increasing criticism from Ramsey for perceived shortcomings, and the reappearance of Denmark as a force in the east has complicated relations with that kingdom, but for now, at least, the Order seems finally secure.
  5. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    Spoiler fourth stats post :
    Principality of Lithuania
    Capital: Minskas
    Ruler: Prince Algirdas (67, married)/flyingchicken
    Heirs: Liudas (41, married), Ingrida (40, married), Gediminas (29, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Lithuanian ruling class; mostly Lithuanian in the northwest, mostly Volynian elsewhere, with a good-sized Ost Danish minority concentrated in the west and various other Slavic and residual Baltic minorities scattered about elsewhere; Paganism dominates among the Lithuanians, though there is a fairly large Monastic minority, while the Slavs are mostly Kievan Orthodox and the Ost Danes are Monastic; mostly Lithuanian and Volynian speaking, with Ost Dansk and other Slavic languages prevalent in places
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Smolensk (2/3), Lithuanian Nobility (4/5), Volynian Nobility (2/3), Orthodox Church (2/2), Hurzurai (4/5), Ost Danskere (2/2), Monastic Church (2/1)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,980,000 – 1,920,000 (230,000/0)
    Army: 59 Companies, 55 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Mostly reliant on excellent cavalry drawn from the nobility and their retainers; heavy lancers and horse archers form the bulk, with a smaller light cavalry wing; infantry is mostly lightly armored spearmen and archers, though with a core of heavy swordsmen and crossbowmen, often drawn from the Ost Danes
    Navy: 5 Ships
    Navy Description: Basic modified merchant cogs
    Prestige: 7
    Nation Background: Denmark's intervention in the Lithuanian civil war secured both Algirdas' defeat, as Danish troops swung the military balance against him, and his survival, as large sections of the Lithuanian nobility followed him into exile, unwilling to follow a Danish puppet. Fleeing east after his defeat at Kaunas, Algirdas established an exile court at Minsk, fought off Zygimantas' attack, and declared himself prince of Lithuania. Algirdas managed to outcompete Zygimantas and gain the loyalty of most of the broader Lithuanian empire. In the near two decades since, Algirdas has tried to keep the empire together, with middling success, while always staying focused on Zygimantas.

    Principality of Polotsk
    Capital: Polotsk
    Ruler: Prince Andrei (44, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (21, unmarried), son (19, unmarried), son (14, unmarried), daughter (12, unmarried), daughter (11, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Volynian Slavic with heavy Lithuanian influences; a largish Ost Dansk population and a smaller Lithuanian one concentrated in the western half, and a Russian minority in the northeast; mostly Novgorodian Orthodox, with Monastic Catholicism among the Ost Danes and some paganism among the Lithuanians;
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Ost Danskere (2/3), Lithuanians (2/3), Boyar Council (4/4), Orthodox Church (2/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 520,000 – 475,000 (235,000/0)
    Army: 15 Companies
    Army Description: Reliant on heavy cavalry and horse archers drawn from the service nobility, plus archers and light spear infantry militias, and heavy pike infantry from the Ost Danes
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: Polotsk was formed as an appanage of Kiev in the eleventh century, and conquered by Danes pushing up the Dvina in the twelfth. A native principality was reestablished in the late thirteenth century, and turned east towards Russia. Unlike the other Russian principalities, Polotsk remained outside the Mongol system and, free from Mongol domination, did well for a time, conquering Smolensk and establishing quite a credible dominion in western Russia by the early fourteenth century. The sudden fall of the Horde in the middle of the century kicked off a chaotic scramble for position in post-Mongol Russia, and Polotsk came out of it severely weakened, defeated by Novgorod and losing Smolensk to revolt. While Polotsk was focused on eastern affairs, Lithuania in the west was rapidly gaining in power, and Polotsk came under increasing Lithuanian pressure starting from the late fourteenth century, culminating in the conquest of the principality by Lithuanian arms in 1396. Polotsk spent the next eighty years as a component of the Lithuanian empire, permitted more autonomy than most but strictly subordinated to the Lithuanian Duke. When the Lithuanian civil war broke out, Polotsk supported Zygimantas. When it became clear that Zygimantas had neither the intention nor the means of contributing to the city's defense, the native boyars expelled the Lithuanian administration, elected one of their own as prince, and resisted Algirdas' seige on their own. Polotsk has since established a small but moderately powerful principality along the Dvina, while being heavily courted by both sides in the Lithuanian struggle. Should that struggle ever end in victory for one contestant or the other, it seems clear that their first action would be to attempt to reclaim Polotsk.

    Metropolitanate of Kiev
    Capital: Kiev
    Ruler: Metropolitan Isidore (71)/NPC
    Heirs: N/A
    Government: Centralized Theocratic Bishopric
    Culture: Volynian Slavic; Kievan Orthodox; almost wholly Volynian speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Kievan mob (3/4), Boyars (2/3), Monks (2/3), Priesthood (4/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 445,000 – 395,000 (220,000/0)
    Army: 10 Companies
    Army Description: Small force of mercenary pike and crossbowmen, plus heavy infantry and heavy cavalry levied from the nobility, and light infantry from the urban classes and the peasantry
    Nation Background: Kiev was the center of the first united Rus state around the turn of the eleventh century, and the center of the Orthodox Church in Russia. The territory of Kiev was split early in the eleventh century into principalities at Chernigov, controlling the northeast, and Kiev, controlling the southwest. The political center of the latter rapidly removed to Volynia, and Kiev itself declined as the principalities fought over it. It remained, however, the center of the Orthodox Church, even after the Chernigov church broke away. After the Mongol invasion broke Chernigov and weakened Volynia, their ability and willingness to exert power in Kiev declined still further, and the Metropolitans assumed gradually increasing authority for civil administration in the city and its hinterland. After the fall of the Horde, the Metropolitans operated as an independent power in the region, before being conquered by the pagan Lithuanians in the 1420s. While the Lithuanians successfully pacified a series of Metropolitans, the Russians who filled the lower ranks of Church administration were never particularly inclined to accept pagan rule, and a low level of rebellious activity and conspiracy was normal for Kiev. The Lithuanian civil war gave new impetus to these efforts. In 1480 the young Metropolitan Isidore arrived from Constantinople and immediately, to no small shock on the part of the Romans, repudiated the agreements with the Lithuanians, joined forces with the disaffected Russians, and raised a civic militia. With covert Volynian backing, Isidore resisted a halfhearted counterstrike from Algirdas, and has since established a fairly effective theocratic government over a wide area of Kiev's hinterland. Without luck, however, the Kievan Metropolitanate may prove shortlived; Volynia cannot be trusted, and should Lithuania be reunited the winner will doubtless come against Kiev sooner or later.

    Principality of Volynia
    Capital: Vladimir-in-Volynia
    Ruler: Prince ? (56, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (34, married), son (31, married), son (29, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Federal Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Volynian Slavic, with some Poles in the northwest, Vlachs in the south, Tatars on the lower left bank of the Dneister; largely Kievan Orthodox, with a small Catholic and Orthodox minority; mostly Volynian speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Tatars (3/2), Valakhii (3/2), Orthodox Church (3/4), Radhanites (2/4), Boyars (4/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 935,000 – 850,000 (335,000/0)
    Army: 20 Companies
    Army Description: Chiefly reliant on heavy cavalry levied from the service nobility and peasant archers, plus Tatar light cavalry and horse archers and some fairly high quality Vlach heavy infantry
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: Volynia was a possession of the Princes of Kiev after Kievan Rus split in the eleventh century. It quickly became one of the three most important principalities of the rota system. Changing Mediterranean trade patterns in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries increased the commercial prosperity of Volynia and the power of the Volynian princes increased accordingly. As the prosperity of Kiev declined, the seat of the Grand Principality removed in the middle of the twelfth century to Volynia. The principality turned gradually away from eastern affairs and the struggle with Chernigov in the later twelfth century, as ties with Byzantium strengthened and Volynia became entangled in the Byzantine wars with Hungary. In contrast to Chernigov, the Volynian rota system continued to function quite well into the thirteenth century, due to the proportionally greater power of the Grand Prince, and the state consequently maintained a high degree of unity throughout that time. When the Mongol army appeared on Volynia's borders, the Grand Prince , having witnessed the annihilation of the rota principality of Pereyaslavl, submitted to the Mongol khan, and Volynian arms formed an integral part of the Mongol invasion of European Byzantium. Having entered the Mongol empire by submission, rather than conquest as with the other Russian principalities, the Grand Princes of Volynia were favored by the Mongol khans. They thus turned away from European affairs, and were granted successively greater authority over the eastern principalities, until it appeared that the old dream of reuniting Russia was within reach. However, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, Volynia, unwisely assuming tacit Mongol approval, made a dramatic power play in the north east. The furious Horde response to this transgression broke the power of the Grand Princes and virtually depopulated large areas of Volynia, and the various ex-rota principalities went their separate ways. Once its economy recovered, which took the better part of a century, Volynia began a political revival. Prince Mikhail inherited Galicia in the early fifteenth century, granting the revival further impetus. Volynia lost out to Lithuana in the east, but had better luck in the south, subjugating the northern Vlach polities and reaching an understanding with the Tatar confederations of the western steppe. Expansion stalled in the later half of the century, as the Horde arrived on the steppe, and Volynia became increasingly involved with Byzantine affairs. The composite Volynian state is somewhat unwieldy, and conflicting regional interests are beginning to take a toll, but for the moment, at least, the authority of the Princes in Vladimir is not seriously questioned.

    Principality of Tver
    Capital: Tver
    Ruler: Prince Vasily III (60, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (37, married), daughter (35, married), daughter (33, married), daughter (29, married), son (26, married)
    Government: Centralized Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Russian; Novgorodian Orthodox; almost entirely Novgorodian Slavic speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Boyar Council (3/4), D'iaks (3/5), Namestniki (1/3), Orthodox Church (2/2), Lithuanian Servicemen (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 820,000 – 615,000 (330,000/0)
    Army: 19 Companies
    Army Description: Heavy and ranged cavalry drawn from the servicemen, and professional pikemen and bowmen recruited from peasants and the urban classes, plus a very small body of arquebusiers; fairly good siege engineers and a modern and powerful, at least by Russian standards, siege train
    Nation Background: Tver was formed relatively late in the lifetime of the Grand Principality of Chernigov, and as as a minor appanage, rather than as a part of the rota. Capable leadership brought prosperity and power to the principality, but its Princes lacked dynastic legitimacy and so never ascended to the highest position of the state, even as the orderly rota began to break down in the thirteenth century. As a consequence, the Princes of Tver were forced to work outside the established forms, becoming willing accomplices of first Novgorod and then the Mongols. With Novgorodian silver, they bought a high position in the Mongol order of things, and for a time at last had a virtual monopoly on the Grand Principality. However, their position was always dependent exclusively on Mongol backing rather than on the strength of their patrimony or dynastic legitimacy. When the Horde collapsed in the 1360s, Tver for a time soldiered on, but following Grand Prince Daniil's death in 1376, Tver lost its hold on Vladimir, lost out in the interminable dynastic struggles over the succession, and by the middle of the next century were effectively a non-factor in Russian politics, as the Novgorods struggled for influence over the upper Volga principalities. As Nizhny Novgorod gained the upper hand in that struggle, Tver fell gradually into its orbit, and by 1470s was virtually a domain of the Grand Principality. At the end of the decade, however, two occurrences rapidly changed Tver's status: the throne passed to the brilliant and ambitious Vasily Ivanovich, and the attack of the Horde precipitated a crisis in Nizhny Novgorod's politics. Vasily first exploited the Grand Prince's desperate need for troops to extract numerous concessions, then used Novgorodian silver to forge an alliance with the Princes of Yaroslavl and Moscow, and finally explicitly rejected the authority and legitimacy of the Grand Prince and, with Yaroslavl and Moscow, defeated Nizhny Novgorod's counterstrike. Since then, Tver has developed a great deal of influence in Yaroslavl and Moscow, and increasingly established itself as an independent player along the upper Volga. Tver remains less powerful than the Novgorods, but Vasily is still alive and energetic, and while Nizhny must keep an eye always on the Horde, and Veliky must watch the Danes, Tver remains largely free of entanglements.

    Principality of Yaroslavl
    Capital: Yaroslavl
    Ruler: Prince ? (46, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (24, married), son (8, unmarried), son (4, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Russian; Novgorodian Orthodox; almost entirely Novgorodian Slavic speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Boyar Council (4/3), Orthodox Church (3/4), Royal Court (2/5), Volosteli (2/2), Namestniki (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 320,000 – 295,000 (170,000/0)
    Army: 10 Companies
    Army Description: Heavy cavalry and mounted bowmen drawn from the servicemen, plus low quality levy spear and bow infantry
    Nation Background: Yaroslavl was a rota principality in Chernigov, albeit low on the ladder, and was one of the last such principalities to remain in the system. In the early days of the Mongol dominion, Yaroslavl, having escaped a sack, did well, and its princes contested with Tver for the Grand Principality. Tver, of course, won that contest, but Yaroslavl's power remained intact, and it became a center for discontent with Tver's rule. When Mongol rule ended, it was Yaroslavl that organized the coalition that broke Tver's hold on the Grand Principality, and Yaroslavl that replaced Tver. However, without Mongol backing, the Grand Principality became little more than a prestige position. The struggle for real power was between its constituent principalities, and there Yaroslavl lost out. Sacked by Nizhny Novgorod in 1389, Yaroslavl declined precipitously, as power shifted south and east. As Nizhny Novgorod's power waxed, Yaroslavl fell under its influence. For most of the century, the Princes of Yaroslavl ineffectually attempted to navigate between the Novgorods and secure some independence. In the 1470s, Yaroslavl fell under the influence of Vasili of Tver, and allied with him managed to throw off Nizhny Novgorod's influence. However, Yaroslavl's renewed independence is precarious, dependent on the delicate balance between the Novgorods and Tver.

    Principality of Moscow
    Capital: Moscow
    Ruler: Prince ? (37, married)/Tyo
    Heirs: Son (15, unmarried), son (12, unmarried), daughter (10, unmarried), son (8, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Russian; Novgorodian Orthodox; almost entirely Novgorodian Slavic speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Boyar Council (4/3), Orthodox Church (3/4), Royal Court (2/5), Volosteli (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 505,000 – 470,000 (115,000/0)
    Army: 16 Companies, 23 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Heavy cavalry and mounted bowmen drawn from the servicemen, plus low quality levy spear and bow infantry
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: Moscow is a young principality. The city was founded only after the Mongol attack, and, until the Prince of Suzdal in the late fourteenth century established it as an appanage for one of his sons, had a wholly unremarkable history. Suzdal fell upon hard times shortly afterwards, and was conquered by Nizhny Novgorod, and, while Moscow remained titularly independent, thereafter its princes by and large meekly did the bidding of the Grand Prince. In the 1470s that changed, however, as the weak Prince was overthrown by a boyar conspiracy (engineered, some muttered darkly, by Vasili of Tver). His replacement promptly refused Novgorod's demands for troops, and then turned to Tver for aid against the Grand Prince's reprisal. With Novgorod defeated by the alliance of Moscow, Yaroslavl and Tver, Moscow, although comparatively weak, has taken an aggressive stance towards the Grand Principality and, alliance and Novgorod's propaganda notwithstanding, carefully maintained its independence from Tver's influence.

    Grand Principality of Nizhny Novgorod
    Capital: Nizhny Novgorod
    Ruler: Grand Prince ? (58, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (35, married), son (31, married), daughter (30, married), son (27, unmarried)
    Government: Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Russian with significant Tatar influences and a large Tatar minority on the steppe; Novgorodian Orthodox, with some Turkic paganism and Islam among the Tatars; Novgorodian Slavic and Tatar speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Khanate of Samara (1/4), Boyar Council (4/2), Zemskii Sobor (4/3), Appanages (3/2), Orthodox Church (4/2), Tatar Servicemen (3/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 940,000 – 790,000 (70,000/0)
    Army: 16 Companies, 86 Levy Companies
    Army Description: The permanent force consists of heavy cavalry drawn from the pomest'e system, and is consequently generally well-armed, though somewhat indifferently disciplined; the vast majority of the wartime force consists of additional heavy cavalry and horse archers drawn from the servicemen and levy infantry from the votchina; the former are of varying, but generally fairly high, quality; the latter are poorly led, and disciplined, and not particularly well armed
    Nation Background: In the early eleventh century, the possessions of the Prince of Kiev came to be split into two principalities, with, broadly speaking, the territories northeast of the Dneiper falling to the Prince of Chernigov. Despite much rhetoric on the subject, and many attempts by one party or the other reunite the Rus, the split proved permanent. During the twelfth century, the center of the Chernigov principality shifted north and east, culminating in the shift of the seat of the Prince to Vladimir in the middle of the century. The rota system broke down, regionalism consequently increased, and by the middle of the thirteenth century, the Grand Principality of Vladimir had virtually ceased to exist as a unitary polity. It was saved, strangely enough, by the Mongols, who saw the Principality as the best means of maintaining order among their Russian conquests, and consequently provided significant backing to the Grand Prince's authority. When, after a century of Mongol rule, the Horde collapsed in the 1360s, Vladimir was thrown into flux. A succession of princes fought over the Grand Principality, and with both the rota system and the Horde gone, the search for an alternate source of legitimacy became paramount. Nizhny Novgorod, always among the closest of the Russian states to the steppe, sought an accommodation with a series of Horde successor states. None proved especially long lasting, but they legitimized Novgorod's claim of the Grand Principality, and provided military support. With Tatar military support, Nizhny Novgorod overcame and conquered its immediate rivals and turned to the west. There it engaged in a protracted struggle for influence over the Upper Volga with Veliky Novgorod, in which the new gradually gained the upper hand over the old. The appearance of the Horde on the Steppe in the 1460s, however, provoked a crisis in the state's leadership; they had based their claims to legitimacy on Tatar support, and now here was an honest-to-goodness horde. Relations between the two powers broke down in the 1470s, as Tokhta, continuing his attempt to reinstate the Mongol order, demanded tribute from Novgorod and turned his army towards the Khanate of Samara, once Novgorod's benefactor, now virtual client. Novgorod was victorious, barely, in the ensuring war, but in the aftermath saw its influence in the Upper Volga collapse and Veliky Novgorod clamp down on Nizhny's inroads in the north. Since then, Novgorod has stagnated under the ineffectual rule of Vladimir II, as central power has declined and the appanage principalities, once almost removed, have asserted themselves. But Nizhny Novgorod is still powerful, and with the right leadership still has the inside track to dominate Russia.

    Tokhta Horde
    Capital: Samarkand
    Ruler: Uzbeg Khan (25, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (4, unmarried), son (1, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Autocratic Khanate
    Culture: Mishmash of various Turkic, Mongol, and a few residual Iranian elements; officially Hanafi Islamic, but plenty of pagans, Orthodox Christians and some Buddhists among the populace; lingua franca is Jochid Turkish, but most people speak various other Turkic dialects
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Qarachi Begs (2/4), Beglerbeglik of Transoxiana (2/4), Beglerbeglik of Dasht-i Kimek (4/4), Merchantry (3/4), Khanate of Crimea (3/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 2,530,000 – 1,980,000 (1,100,000/0)
    Army: 43 Companies, 98 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Relies mostly on a very large body of cavalry, with heavy, light and ranged all well-represented; some professional heavy infantry in Transoxiana, mainly employed in garrison duty, plus urban infantry levies when required
    Prestige: 2
    Nation Background: The vast Mongol conquests of the thirteenth century were divided into subordinate hordes. Persia and Mesopotamia went to Temur's descendants, Russia to Guyuk's, and Central Asia to Jochi. Jochi's was the shortest-lived, falling into chaos around the end of the thirteenth century, and eventually divided between the Dasht-i Kimek of Guyuk and the Temurids. The Golden Horde was next. Devastated by plague, impoverished by the shift of trade routes away from the Black Sea, and under pressure from the Temurids, the Golden Horde spiraled into civil war in the 1360s, and by the end of the decade had ceased to exist as any sort of unified entity. In its place on the Russian steppe were a shifting patchwork of lesser Tatar khanates, none powerful enough to compel the others to submit. Central Asia then passed completely under the Temurids, who were themselves increasingly dominated by their Turkish servants, and were overthrown entirely by the Artuklu shortly thereafter. The Temurid pretenders fled to Central Asia, where without Persian resources they proved incapable of maintaining control, while the Artuklu, preoccupied with the Ardabilids, never attempted to expand into Central Asia. As in Russia, a variety of small, feuding post-Mongol kingdoms appeared in Central Asia. Half a dozen short-lived empires came and went in the space of little more than half a century. That situation persisted until the 1440s, when the brilliant young Mongol general Tokhta overthrew the last of the Temurids, who by that time ruled little more than Samarkand itself. Tokhta then ruthlessly refashioned the Temurid army and in less than twenty years systematically conquered the other kingdoms of Central Asia. Having secured a sizable power base, Tokhta's first inclination was to claim the Temurid mantle and march against Persia. Against the Ardabilids, however, he had little success. Checked in the south, he instead turned west and north, onto the steppe. There he had found more success, and by the late 1470s had conquered most of the splinter khanates, save Samara, under the protection of Nizhny Novgorod. When Tokhta came for Samara, it precipitated a war with the Russians, and he was fought to a standstill. After being stymied by Novgorod, Tokhta, now in his seventies, abandoned expansionism, having mostly reached the limits of expansion anyway, and turned to erecting a proper state to govern his vast empire. The peace imposed by Tokhta brought prosperity back to a vast swathe of territory. The trade routes across the steppe and through the Central Asian emporia revived, and buoyed by trade revenues Tokhta suppressed local interests and created a fairly unitary state. Tokhta, by then in his eighties, died in 1495; his grandson and chosen successor Mamai has so far proved a capable administrator of his grandfather's state, but has not yet been tested by external conflict, and it remains to be seen whether he can hold his vast domains together in the long run.

    Kingdom of Makuria
    Capital: Dongola
    Ruler: Great King David (25, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Brother (23, unmarried), nephew (7, unmarried), nephew (4, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Nubian with fairly strong Arabic and Ethiopian influences and a largish Arabic minority; populace is almost entirely Coptic, with a small Islamic minority and a small but fairly prominent Sicilian Catholic population; mostly Dongolawi Nubian speaking, with some Arabic and Semitic languages.
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Eparch of el-Abwab (2/2), Eparch of Alwa (5/5), Eparch of the Beja (4/2), Coptic Church (5/5), Normans (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 540,000-425,000 (150,000/0)
    Army: 10 Companies
    Army Description: Archers and spearmen levied from the Nile valley, plus a fairly large wing of high quality light cavalry and camelry levied from the desert Arabs
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: The Nubian kingdoms of Makuria and Alwa dominated the Middle Nile for a millennium after the fall of Kush. Peaceable relations between Makuria and the Muslims of Egypt lapsed during the Egyptian instability in the tenth century. While at first the Makurians held the advantage, the Usfurids reversed matters later in the century. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Makuria's military power was sapped by pressure from the Usfurids, Arabs from the western desert, and Beja and Arabs from the eastern, while internal discord rose and civil wars became endemic. When the Normans arrived south of Aswan near the end of the thirteenth century, Nobadia had broken free from Dongola, and Makuria itself had been nearly overrun by desert Arabs. However, with the assistance of the Normans of Upper Egypt, Makuria managed at last to stabilize the domestic situation, and then a succession of competent kings in the fourteenth century used Norman backing to retake part of Nobadia and first suppress and then subjugate the Beja. Alwa, meanwhile, came under attack from desert Arabs and the Funj, migrating from the south. Devastated by these attackers, the weakened kingdom of Alwa turned to outsiders for protection, first to the ascendant Zamara and then, after Makuria conquered el-Adwab and Zamara disinterest in restoring Alwan power became apparent, to Makuria. Makuria won the ensuing war and incorporated Alwa into its state, thus unifying Nubia for the first time the heyday of Kush. In the decades since, however, Makuria's luck has turned: succession squabbles have returned, regionalism and Norman influence are on the rise, the conversion of the royal house to Sicilian Christianity – itself a result of a civil war – has sapped central authority, and Alwa's economic recovery has tilted the balance away from Makuria proper.
  6. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    Spoiler fifth stats post :
    Empire of Ethiopia
    Capital: N/A (wandering capital)
    Ruler: Negusa Nagast Asnaf Sagad (47, married)/The Strategos
    Heirs: Son (23, unmarried), son (20, unmarried), daughter (13, unmarried), daughter (9, unmarried)
    Government: Autocratic Theocratic Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: The Amhara are the predominant ethnic group, but there are of course many others; Tigray, Shewa, Somalis and Agaws are the most prominent; mostly Coptic Orthodox, with some fairly significant Islamic populations in the east; Amharic speaking, with various other Ethiopian Semitic languages also prevalent; Ge'ez acts as a common tongue of administration and the church
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Falasha (2/2), Bitwoded (3/3), Makwanent (3/3), Coptic Church (4/5), Chewa (3/4), Bahir Negash (1/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 715,000 – 705,000 (475,000/0)
    Army: 24 Companies, 129 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Primarily reliant on light cavalry, archers and spearmen, with some camelry and a very small heavy cavalry wing
    Navy: 0 Ships
    Navy Description: Dhows leased from mercantile interests, and of very questionable quality
    Prestige: 3
    Nation Background: After the decline of Aksum in the ninth and tenth centuries, largely a result of Islamic control of the Red Sea and Nile, the Christian territories of Ethiopia entered a prolonged political dark age. In the twelfth century, some semblance of unity was restored by the lords of Tigray, who established a loose hegemony over much of the old Aksumite empire. Omnipresent Muslim pressure weakened Tigray's control, and in the late thirteenth century an invasion from Temurid-ruled South Arabia devastated coastal Ethiopia and destroyed the kingdom of Tigray. Thereafter the political center of Ethiopia removed south. By the middle of the fourteenth century, the Amharic Zamara dynasty established a power base around Lake Tana and claimed the imperial title. The dynasty's power reached a peak by 1400, when they controlled all of old Aksum, and east as far as Ifat and south to Shoa. Early in the fifteenth century defeat at the hands of Makuria – backed by Egyptian interests – and raids from Islamic nomads in the south and east provoked a military crisis that the contemporary Zamara emperors were wholly incapable of managing, and without effective military leadership the dynasty's control over the provinces dwindled. Things reached a nadir by the 1440s, when it appeared possible that central control could again cease entirely. Fortunately for the Zamara, the emperor Yaqob, who descended from Amba Geshen to the throne in 1444, provided, at long last, capable military leadership, combined with a genius for administration. Yaqob repelled the nomadic raiders, began the process of bringing the provinces back under control, and revived the Ethiopian church and turned it into the greatest instrument for the extension of Zamara power yet devised. His successors, more or less capable men, continued those processes and defeated the Islamic powers in the Horn of Africa. By 1500, if perhaps still less prosperous, the empire had at least equaled the first Zamara peak in terms of geographical extent. However, while more or less secure in Ethiopia proper, the Zamara emperors are increasingly being drawn into conflict with the Egyptians and the Sultanate of Zabid, who are both far more more dangerous than the enemies Ethiopia has so far faced.

    Sharifate of Mecca
    Capital: Mecca
    Ruler: Sharif ? (31, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (12, unmarried), son (8, unmarried), daughter (5, unmarried), son (1, unmarried)
    Government: Theocratic Decentralized Monarchy
    Culture: Hejazi Arab with Turkish influences and a small Turkic minority; entirely Hanafi Islamic; Arabic speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Ashraf (3/4), Jurists (3/3), Bedouin (2/3), Merchantry (2/3), Mamluks (2/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 215,000 – 190,000 (150,000/0)
    Army: 5 Companies
    Army Description: Light and medium cavalry, mostly supplied by allied tribes, plus some fairly low quality spear infantry
    Navy: 0 Ships
    Navy Description: Conscripted merchant dhows and the odd galley
    Nation Background: The Sharifs of Mecca have been in charge of the defense and administration of Mecca and Medina, in one form or another, since the Fatimids, but for most of that period were just one player in regional politics. The broader Hejaz has generally been dominated by or another of the greater regional powers, who used the Sharifs to maintain control, but generally also established their own administration. The Salur Sultanate imposed a governor after evicting the Fatimids, and after they fell the Usfurids backed client rulers for a while. After the fall of the Usfurids, their clients in the Hejaz struggled to maintain control against Sharifal uprising and Yemeni incursions. The Temurids conquered the Hejaz a generation after the rest of the Middle East, and Turko-Mongol governors ruled the area for a century. That century saw the low ebb of Sharifal fortunes, as the Temurids tried as far as possible to ignore and undermine the existing forms in the Hejaz. But as the Temurids became more entangled in Persia and Central Asia, their control over the Hejaz weakened. The Artuklu who replaced them were not at all inclined to spend resources on adventures in the far south, and the Hejaz was left to its own devices. In the vacuum that followed, the Sharifal title became the most desirable of prizes, and a hodgepodge of Bedouin sheikhs, leftover Turkish elites, and urban oligarchs struggled to control it. The Najahids, a Bedouin dynasty of Yemeni origin, eventually emerged victorious from said struggle. With a firm grasp on the Sharifal title, the Najahids gradually extended their authority throughout the Hejaz, establishing a theocratic, dynastic state, backed by slave soldiers and customs from Mecca and Jiddah. Of late the Najahids are, against their will, being gradually drawn into Red Sea power politics: the growing contest between Zabid and Egypt threatens Hejazi customs revenues, while Zabid in particular is gaining influence with the less integrated portions of the state.

    Sultanate of Zabid
    Capital: Zabid
    Ruler: Sultan ? (51, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (29, married), son (26, married), son (24, married)
    Government: Centralized Autocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Turkish ruling class over a mostly Arab populace; Hanafi Sunni among the Turks, with a Zaidi Shiite majority; mostly South Arabian-speaking, while the Turks and the administration speak a dialect of Artuklu Turkish
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Bureaucracy (3/5), Zaidi Imamate (3/4), Aden Merchantry (4/2), Highlander Beyliks (2/2), Siyassaries (4/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 2,445,000 – 2,205,000 (100,000/250,000)
    Army: 33 Companies, 72 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Combined arms infantry formations, populated mostly by African slaves and staffed by royal officials; generally well-disciplined and armed, but with somewhat indifferent leadership; supplemented by levy light cavalry of middling quality, primarily drawn from the highlanders
    Navy: 14 Ships, 7 Levy Ships
    Navy Description: Galleys; typically slightly smaller and faster than the Mediterranean state of the art, with a generally extremely high standard among the officer corps; supplemented in wartime by private-outfitted galleys and civilian ship levies
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: The Zaidi imams established themselves in Yemen in the tenth century. The Zaidi imamate established a unified state in the highlands that prospered for a time, and in the eleventh century overcame the competing Sunni polities of the lowlands to unite the country. The Zaidis were increasingly drawn into conflict with the Sunni states to their north, however, and a combination of external pressure and native Sunni revolt broke the military power of the imamate in the early twelfth century, whereupon Yemen splintered. Various native dynasties, some Sunni and some Zaidi, competed for local preeminence throughout the remained of the century. In the late thirteenth century, the Temurid khans dispatched an army of Syrian Turks to South Arabia, where they conquered the local emirates, reunited the territory into a Temurid province and suppressed the Zaidis. When the Temurids were overthrown, a general Zaidi revolt broke out in Yemen, and the country again broke into several polities: largely Turkish dynasties, descendants of the Temurid army, ruled in the west, and largely Shiite Arab polities in the east, following one or the other of the competing Zaidi imams. By the second quarter of the fifteenth century, the Turks of Zabid had gained control of the lowlands, and turned to the Arabs of the highlands. Under the long-lived Sultan Osman, the Zabidis over the course of the next thirty years ruthlessly destroyed the emirates of the interior, forcibly reunited the Zaidi imamate, and turned said imamate into a tool of their state. With the Shiites somewhat pacified by this sop to their sensibilities, Osman, his ascendancy totally secure, eliminated most remaining checks on his power and folded most of the remaining regional elements into the central administration. His successors have not been as efficient or ruthless as Osman, but, backed by his formidable state apparatus and buoyed by the revival of the eastern trade, have asserted themselves in foreign affairs and actively contested Egypt's growing influence in the Gulf of Aden.

    Ibadi Imamate of Oman
    Capital: Masqat
    Ruler: Imam ? (34, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (16, unmarried), daughter (12, unmarried), son (9, unmarried), son (7, unmarried)
    Government: Theocratic Decentralized Monarchy
    Culture: Omani Arab with minor Persian influences; mostly Ibadi Muslim, with a Sunni minority in the southwest; Arabic speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Ibadi Jurists (5/4), Muscat Merchantry (3/2), Dhofar (2/2), Muluks (4/1), Jalan (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 900,000 – 820,000 (390,000/0)
    Army: 15 Companies
    Army Description: Archers and spearmen levied from the highland tribes, plus some Bedouin light cavalry
    Navy: 10 Ships
    Navy Description: Large, private-operated sambuks contracted to the state
    Nation Background: Coastal Oman passed under foreign control several times in tenth and eleventh centuries, but the Ibadi imams in the interior remained independent. As Salur control weakened they swept from the west over the coastal plain and inaugurated a golden age of Omani piety and prosperity. Alas, success eventually proved to be the undoing of the imamate; dynasticism undermined the legitimacy of the imamate, while tensions between the divergent political traditions of the coast and the interior sapped the unity of the body politic. In the early fourteenth century, tribal reaction to Nabahani control of the imamate led to the final dissolution of imamate political control, and inaugurated the age of the muluks, when tribal kings dominated the Omani political landscape. The idea of Omani unity, however, nurtured by Ibadi jurists, began to revive in the fifteenth century, and with it revived the political fortunes of the imamate. Throughout the century the imams, by a combination of main force and adroit diplomacy, gradually subdued the muluks. With the 1470 conquest of Dhofar the process was completed, bringing the imamate renewed control of the whole of Oman. Stability has brought a modicum of prosperity to Oman, as its merchants have taken a role in the general revival of Indian trade, but the accumulation of wealth in the coastal region could threaten the control of the imams, with their powerbase in the interior.

    Khanate of Delhi
    Capital: Delhi
    Ruler: Khan Altai (Sarvashura) (47, married)/das
    Heirs: Daughter (20, unmarried), son (17, unmarried), daughter (14, unmarried), son (12, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Indo-Turkic ruling class; Gujarati, Rajasthani and various other north Indian cultures in the populace at large, plus Afghans and Turks in the west; officially Yenogretic Buddhist, but with a Hindu majority and a very large Muslim minority in the populace at large; speaks various north Indian languages, with Dehvali as a lingua franca
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Moguls (4/5), Zamindars (3/4), Mansabdars (4/4), Rajputs (2/4), Gujarati Merchantry (2/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 16,240,000 – 13,160,000 (10,840,000/0)
    Army: 126 Companies, 125 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Relies heavily on heavy cavalry, drawn mostly from the Moguls, Rajputs, and the western provinces; additionally deploys very large numbers of light spearmen and archers, from the zamindars and recruited as mercenaries, but these are mostly so poorly armed and disciplined as to be of extremely dubious value for anything other than garrison duty; small corps of elephants, and large siege train,
    Prestige: 3
    Nation Background: The Turks and Afghans of the Sultanate of Balkh, a Salur splinter state, irrupted onto the Indo-Gangetic plain in the twelfth century, and quickly overran many of the native kingdoms. The riches of India fueled Balkh's wars with the other Salur successors in Central Asia and Persia, and although the Baghdad Sultanate checked their expansion into Persia, by the middle of the thirteenth century Balkh ruled a great swathe of territory north of the Oxus. Unfortunately, that put them squarely in the crosshairs of Temur and the Mongol Khaganate. Four years of Mongol attacks saw Balkh's forces in Transoxiana destroyed, Balkh itself wiped off the map, and the Sultan fled into India; determined to eliminate Balkh forever, Temur pursued, and in a titanic battle outside Kannauj, the Mongols overwhelmed the remnants of Balkh and its Indian allies. With India at his feet, but believing that subjugating the subcontinent totally would be prohibitively expensive, Temur contented himself with devastating the plain. He then took most of his men west, on the path that led ultimately to Ctesiphon, leaving a few Turkish garrisons in the western cities, including the dusty little market town of Dilli. These garrisons maintained ties with the greater empire to the west, and carved out zones of Mongol control, while in the meantime, the battered Indians tried to pick up the pieces. Scarcely, however, had some semblance of normalcy returned to the Ganges before a second Turco-Mongol invasion arrived, authorized by the Temurid Khan in Persia. This time they were in India to stay, and starting from the old garrison strongholds systematically marched across the Gangetic plain. With such a formidable new powerbase, the leaders of the invasion reevaluated their loyalties, and established an independent khanate in north India, based out of Delhi. The early and middle fourteenth century were something of a golden age for the Khanate of Delhi, which by then controlled the entirety of northern India. Religious strife, resulting from the Khan's conversion to Buddhism in the middle of the century, sapped the unity of the state; far more damaging were the grand designs of Kebek Khan. His massive building projects, and vastly expensive campaigns of conquest in the south, virtually destroyed the fiscal basis of the state, while he personally managed the difficult trick of simultaneously alienating practically every elite faction. He was accordingly assassinated in 1387, but the damage had been done. Civil war broke out almost immediately upon his death, and central authority collapsed entirely by the turn of the century. For the next half century or so, within the bounds of the Khanate, innumerable regional elites and petty tyrants vied for the supremacy, while ever more border regions broke off entirely. The chaos came to an end at last in the 1440s, when the Afghan Ghazan, having obtained a sizable powerbase in the Indus valley, converted to Buddhism and thereby secured the loyalty of the Moguls of Delhi. With the center thus secured, Ghazan began a series of successful campaigns to bring the rebellious provinces back under control. His successors reconquered Gujarat and Gondwana and captured Bengal's western provinces. The Khanate's forces have been stalled at the walls of Patna for nearly twenty years, and the problem of managing such a vast domain is once again beginning to rear its head.

    Sultanate of Bengal
    Capital: N/A
    Ruler: Sultan Muhammad ibn Shams (32, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (4, unmarried); brother (26, married), brother (23, married)
    Government: Extremely Decentralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Indo-Turkic ruling class over a mostly Bengali population; officially Muslim, but with a Hindu majority population; mostly Bengali-speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Merchantry (2/2), Islamic Jurists (4/2), Zamindars (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 870,000 – 1,390,000 (320,000/0)
    Army: 22 Companies, 44 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Relies mostly on heavy infantry, longbowmen, and peasant skirmishers; a very small heavy cavalry wing
    Nation Background: Muslim soldiers fleeing Kebek's forced conversions established the breakaway state of Bengal in the late fourteenth century. After Kebek's death and the subsequent splintering of the Khanate, the Bengalis pushed west. Strengthened by continual Muslim defections, the Bengalis conquests developed something of the character of a crusade. When Ghazan converted to Buddhism, the Bengalis launched a great campaign to destroy the apostate; it failed, and the reunited Khanate has since driven the Bengalis far east. The massive fortifications of Patna have stalled the Khanate for a generation, and the Bengalis have used the time to reform and rearm their military. The holy war against the Buddhists is not lost yet.

    Sultanate of Bijapur
    Capital: Pune
    Ruler: Sultan ? (25, married)/NPC
    Heirs: No children yet; sister (23, married), brother (22, married), brother (20, unmarried), sister (18, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Kannadiga and Maratha, with various other smaller Indian groups represented; Mulim rulers over a Hindu population; mostly Marathi speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal court (4/3), Zamindars (3/3), Brahmins (3/2), Rajputs (4/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 5,885,000 – 5,185,000 (2,000,000/0)
    Army: 60 Companies
    Army Description: Reliant on heavy cavalry, increasingly drawn from the Rajputs, and the usual masses of light infantry
    Nation Background: With support from the center unavailable in the aftermath of Kemek's assassination, Mohammed Hasan Ala-ud-din, commander of the Khanate's armies in the south, renounced Buddhism, seized the administration of the southern provinces, and tried to complete the conquest of the Deccan. With severely limited resources, however, he failed, and his defeat at the hands of the Pandyans led to the loss of much territory. His successors, however, maintained the sultanate, managed to more or less hold the line against the Pandyans, and established a brilliant court in Bijapur. In 1478, however, the half-century stalemate was broken by the crushing Pandyan victory at Talikota, in which Bijapur's army was destroyed and the Sultan killed. In the aftermath of Talikota, the Pandyans overran more than half of the sultanate, including the capital itself, before the rump Bijapuri state managed to stabilize the situation, thanks largely to dissension in the Pandyan ranks. Bijapur has recovered, as much as possible, since then, but it is now just a fraction of former glory, and one way or another it seems likely that its days are numbered.

    Second Pandyan Empire
    Capital: Madurai
    Ruler: Raja ?(53, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Son (29, married), daughter (25, married), son (20, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Tamil, with large Telugu, Kannada and Malayam populations; mostly Hindu, with some Muslim populations in the ports and the north
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Malabar (3/2), Coromandel (2/1), Viceroy of the Andhra (5/1), Kakatiya (3/3), Nayaks (3/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 6,295,000 – 6,100,000 (700,000/0)
    Army: 85 Companies
    Army Description: Reliant on heavy cavalry and heavy spear infantry, plus some fairly effective archers, and the usual large numbers of fairly ineffective light infantry; large wing of elephants
    Nation Background: After the decline of the first Pandyan empire, that had defeated the Chola and dominated the Deccan for near three hundred years, the ruling dynasty were left, by the late twelfth century, with just a tiny rump state around Madurai. In the fourteenth century, their fortunes turned, and they began to rise once more to prominence in Deccan politics. Their current domination of southern India is largely a result of the Khanate's invasion at the end of the fourteenth century. The Pandyans, at the extreme south, were out of the line of fire, and their chief competitors were severely weakened or destroyed by the northerners. When the threat became acute, the Pandyans led the alliance of southern states that opposed the Khanate; when the military threat subsided after Ala-ud-din's defeat, the Pandyans maintained the alliance and turned it into a vehicle for Pandyan domination. The bloody conquest of the independent-minded cities of the southern Coromandel and Malabar Coasts eliminated the last unaligned polities in the south, and the Pandyans focused entirely on the Bijapur Sultanate. The defeat of Bijapur at Talikota brought the Pandyans undisputed mastery of the south, but also ushered in an age of internal unrest; with the Muslim threat gone, the never-completely-integrated elites of the former Tamil polities questioned the need for Pandyan domination. The Pandyans have quelled the worst of the revolts, but dissent lingers, and it remains to be seen if the state will survive in its present form.

    Kingdom of Jaffna
    Capital: Jaffna
    Ruler: Raja Kankilli (44, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (21, married), daughter (19, married), son (14, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Tamil ruling class over a mostly Sinhalese population; Hindu ruling class over a mostly Buddhist population; Tamil and Sinhala speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Kotte (3/3), Royal Court (3/3), Trincomalee (2/3), Viceroy of Ruhuna (3/2), Anuradhapura (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 2,790,000 – 2,720,000 (540,000/0)
    Army: 45 Companies
    Army Description: Professional spearmen and archers, plus large numbers of levy light infantry
    Navy: 16 Ships
    Navy Description: Large, state-owned sambuks
    Nation Background: The Kingdom of Jaffna was founded by refugees from the breakup of the Pandyan empire in the twelfth century. For a brief period in the thirteenth century it was hegemonic on the island, but was quickly defeated by an alliance of opponents, and reduced to near irrelevance. In the late fourteenth century, it was reinvigorated by a second wave of Tamil refugees, this time fleeing the Khanate's conquest of the Deccan, and reemerged as one of the three great kingdoms on the islands. In the first half of the fifteenth century, with significant Pandyan backing, Jaffna gradually overwhelmed its competitors and around 1450 established control over the whole of the island. In the last half century, unrest between the Tamil rulers and the native Sinhalese has been growing, and scuffles with Pandyans over the relative status of the Jaffnan monarch have broken out.

    Khaganate of Mongolia
    Capital: Khanbaliq
    Ruler: Khatun Mandukhai (60, married)/Azale
    Heirs: Bunyashiri (35, married), Bumbutai (31, married), Erdeni (28, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Oirat Mongol, with an overwhelming Chinese majority south of the steppe; Yenogretic Buddhist, with the majority of Chinese still following Confucianism, and a few residual pagan elements on the steppe
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Viceroy of the Right (3/4), Kurultai (3/3), Viceroy of the Left (1/2), Chinese Bureaucracy (4/3), Chinese Gentry (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 12,435,000 – 11,235,000 (1,900,000/0)
    Army: 184 Companies, 25 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Relies on Mongol cavalry, heavy, light and horse archers; supplemented by Chinese levy light infantry and a small body of professional Chinese heavy infantry
    Navy: 55 Ships
    Navy Description: Small, maneuverable war junks, with fairly poor crews
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: Northern China was overrun by the Mongols in the thirteenth century. As the Great Khans lost effective control over the broader empire in the fourteenth century, they turned to finished the job in China, and restarted the campaigns against the south. While successful in general, the rate of conquest slowed to a crawl as the Mongols closed in on Guangzhou. The cost of the continued war sapped the fiscal stability of the state; more damagingly, the pastoralists on the steppe gradually converted to Buddhism, and became ever more disenchanted with the Sinicized khans. Late in the fourteenth century, a rebellion broke out among the Oirats who watched the far western border. This rapidly snowballed into a general nomadic revolt, and when Kulug Khan mounted an expedition to suppress them, his army was destroyed and he himself killed. The khanate descended into near anarchy, Chinese rebellions broke out everywhere, and the Nanhai seized the opportunity to go over to the offensive. The khanate rapidly lost most of its territory, and only the conflict with the Haishu and the later rebellion of the Guangzhou Society prevented the Nanhai from completely destroying Mongol rule. However, prevented the Nanhai were, and given breathing space the Khans managed to get the situation in the North China Plain more or less under control. Meanwhile, on the steppe the Oirat leader Mongke stilled the chaos by brute force and claimed the Khaganate in the early fifteenth century. He and his successors ruthlessly eradicated faction and imposed a Buddhism-based unity on the steppe. In 1453, Anda Khan led a Mongol army south and seized the throne in northern China. With the military power of the steppe behind them, the Mongol khagans have reversed some of the territorial losses of the last century, but the unrest provoked by their determination to impose a new order on China has made for difficult going.

    Nanhai Dynasty
    Capital: Chongqing
    Ruler: Emperor ? (61, married)/ChiefDesigner
    Heirs: Son (39, married), daughter (36, married), son (41, married), daughter (28, married), son (24, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Bureaucratic Aristocratic Monarchy (currently in an extreme state of disarray)
    Culture: Mostly Chinese, with some Zhuang in the south; mostly Confucian
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal Court (3/4), Bureaucracy (2/1), Fujian (1/2), Qi Jiguang (5/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 5,785,000 – 15,495,000 (250,000/13,290,000)
    Army: 108 Companies, 63 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Professional heavy and medium infantry; very few cavalry of any sort
    Navy: 7 Ships
    Navy Description: Rivergoing war junks
    Prestige: 1
    Nation Background: Song control of northern China collapsed under the Mongol onslaught of the thirteenth century, and the Chinese fell back south of the Yellow River. Then the Mongol invasion suddenly stopped, as the Great Khan needed every available man for the conquest of Central Asia. But with the immediate threat gone, the Song faced massive internal unrest, that culminated ultimately in their overthrow and replacement in the extreme south by the Guangzhou-based Nanhai dynasty. Under Nanhai control, China turned overseas, and with state backing the Chinese mercantile presence in South East Asia exploded. The idyll ended when the Nanhai were forced to turn their full attention to their northern border, as the Mongol conquest of south China neared completion. The Nanhai managed, at great cost, to stop the Mongols, and as the Mongols imploded in the aftermath of Kulug's death the Nanhai conquered huge amounts of northern territory. This kindled their long dormant aspiration to unify China again, and the focus of the dynasty shifted out of the south and to conquest in the north and east. Great success was achieved initially, but the botched contact with the revolutionaries of the east led to the establishment of the rival Haishu Dynasty. The stalemated conflict with the Haishu slowed the conquests from the Mongols in the north, and the revolt of the Guangzhou Society brought conquests to a halt entirely. In the last sixty years, the Nanhai have gained virtually no ground; although more powerful than both of its native competitors, the loose alliance between the two has served to frustrate attempts to finish off either. In the meantime, the Mongol revival has introduced a dangerous new player in the struggle for China, to which the Nanhai have lost ground on the Yellow River. The Nanhai position has not been so precarious for more than a century.
  7. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    Spoiler last stats post :
    Haishu Empire
    Capital: Hangzhou
    Ruler: Emperor Li Qilai (50, married)/Espoir
    Heirs: Daughter (25, unmarried), son (23, married), son (21, unmarried), daughter (15, unmarried)
    Government: Decentralized Bureaucratic Monarchy (currently in some disarray)
    Culture: Chinese; mostly Confucian, with some Buddhists
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Royal court (3/3), Merchantry (2/1), Naval administration (3/2), Army administration (4/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 7,705,000 – 9,695,000 (350,000/0)
    Army: 90 Companies, 135 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary heavy and medium infantry; a large body of high quality archers, often Japanese; and a small body of excellent mercenary light cavalry recruited from the Jurchen; plus a small wing of arquebusiers
    Navy: 96 Ships, 39 Levy Ships
    Navy Description: Large, advanced junks with excellent crews
    Prestige: 6
    Nation Background: The Nanhai were not the only Chinese to take advantage of Mongol disarray after the death of Kulug Khan. Rebel movements and secret anti-Mongol societies had been pervasive in eastern China for some decades; as the Mongol state devolved into anarchy, these all came out into the open. A loose union of rebel movements developed under the leadership of Li Hongzhang, drove the Mongols out of a broad section of the coast, and marched inland. Eventually, Li's rebels marching west met Nanhai forces marching east. To Li's amazement, however, at the negotiations between the two factions the Nanhai Emperor treated him and his cohort almost as rebels against Nanhai authority, commanded that they immediately disband and turn control of the east over to Nanhai officials, and threatened to have them executed en masse if this were not done immediately. When the Nanhai attempted to follow through on this last threat, Li and his party were forced to fight their way out. Returning to Hangzhou, the thoroughly disenchant Li proclaimed the Haishu Dynasty and initiated military operations against the Nanhai on the Yangtze. Its origins as a confederation of rebels handicapped the early government of the Haishu, in the last decades of the century it rounded into form and began taking a more aggressive line against the Nanhai. The Haishu are still perhaps outclassed by the Nanhai, but they are becoming richer and stronger all the time, and while the Nanhai are forced to divide their attention the Haishu, at least for the moment, can focus entirely on their western enemy.

    Republic of Guangzhou
    Capital: Guangzhou
    Ruler: Grand Master Gong Li (63)/Birdjaguar
    Heirs: N/A
    Government: Decentralized Plutocratic Republic
    Culture: Yue Chinese with Viet and Hmong minorities in the southwest and Hlai on Hainan; mostly Confucian, with a large Buddhist minority; mostly Yue speaking, with Viet and Hlai minorities
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Guangzhou Society (5/5), Jiaozhi (2/2), Hainan (2/3), Rural gentry (2/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 7,220,000 – 11,555,000 (3,830,000/1,500,000)
    Army: 161 Companies, 40 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary heavy infantry and archers, urban-guild provided medium and light infantry; small wing of arquebusiers; excellent siege engineers
    Navy: 57 Ships
    Navy Description: Large, advanced, modern junks with excellent captains and crews; supplemented by a levy of private Society junks
    Prestige: 2
    Nation Background: After the loss of the north and the subsequent change of dynasty in the south, the Nanhai emperors lavishly patronized and encouraged Chinese trade with the south. By the mid fourteenth century, huge amounts of wealth had accrued to the merchants of the south. The later fourteenth century saw a change of emphasis in the Imperial court; under the pressure of the renewed Mongol conquest, trade took a backseat to rural defense, and the Imperial court was ever more dominated by agricultural and noble interests. This process accelerated early in the fifteenth century as the reconquest of the north began, and to pay for that reconquest taxation on the merchantry increased tremendously. It was at about this time that a group of southern merchants pooled their declining resources and formed the guild that became the Guangzhou Society. By the second quarter of the century, the Society counted most of the country's trading interests among its members, and was a forceful advocate for a liberal tax and customs regime. In this it was consistently opposed by northern aristocrats and military officers that populated the Imperial court, and the conflict between the two groups gradually became pervasive. In 1436, a cabal of generals persuaded the Emperor to order the dissolution of the Society; the Society responded with allegations of treason against high-ranking members of the cabal, and the situation escalated until finally the Emperor ordered the arrest of the leaders of the Society and confiscation of their property. When the Imperial troops sent to do the job were resisted by civic militias, the enraged Emperor issued a proclamation declaring foreign trade illegal, and ordered that the ships and warehouses of the Society in general be burned. Faced with the prospect of their utter ruin, the Society had almost no choice but to revolt. Mercenaries fought the overstretched Nanhai army to a stop, and Society agents secured the loyalty of large sections of the hinterland. In the decades since, the Society has resisted every Nanhai attempt at reconquest, while its membership have become fabulously wealthy off their now near total domination of the southeast Asian trade routes.

    Jurchen Confederacy
    Capital: N/A
    Ruler: Khan ? (45, married) /NPC
    Heirs: Son (23, married), son (21, married), daughter (16, married)
    Government: Decentralized Tribal Confederacy
    Culture: Jurchen, with strong Mongol influences; mostly pagan, with a large and growing Buddhist minority; Jurchen and Mongol speaking
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Nayan (4/4), Ula (3/2), Odoli (3/4)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 1,750,000 – 1,450,000 (1,600,000/0)
    Army: 20 Companies, 59 Levy Companies
    Army Description: Heavy and light tribal cavalry; practically no infantry
    Nation Background: Mongol control of the Jurchen tribes ended during the revolt of Oirats, and was succeeded for a time by tribal anarchy. Eventually a loose confederacy was established. With the Mongol revival, the Jurchen have fallen increasingly under Mongol domination, and the confederacy is now practically a client of the Khaganate.

    Kingdom of Hubaekje
    Capital: Sogyong
    Ruler: King ? (43, married)/NPC
    Heirs: Daughter (19, unmarried), daughter (17, unmarried), son (11, unmarried), son (8, unmarried), daughter (6, unmarried)
    Government: Centralized Aristocratic Monarchy
    Culture: Korean with heavy Chinese and lesser Mongol influences; Confucian-influenced shamanism, with a small but growing Buddhist minority
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Bureaucracy (4/4), Nobility (3/2), Royal family (2/5), Marcher generals (3/3)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 4,695,000 – 4,545,000 (1,500,000/0)
    Army: 65 Companies
    Army Description: Heavy spearmen, excellent archers and some heavy cavalry
    Navy: 15 Ships
    Navy Description: Mostly Chinese-style junks, plus some galleys; fairly effective naval artillery
    Nation Background: The division of Korea following the collapse of Silla in the tenth century persisted until the Mongols destroyed the northern kingdoms and forced the southern kingdom of Hubaekje to accept vassalization. As Mongol interest in the northeast declined, they gradually delegated the administration of northern Korea to their clients in the south. In the late fourteenth century, Hubaekje, having extracted the last bit of advantage from the association, at last renounced its loyalty to the Mongols, and expelled the scant remaining Mongol presence in the north of the peninsula. The kingdom has since focused on internal reforms, and pursued a largely isolationist policy, thus far avoiding entanglement in Chinese affairs and fighting only the odd border war with the Jurchen.

    Yamato Empire
    Capital: Kyoto
    Ruler: Emperor ? (35, married)/Adrogans
    Heirs: Son (14, unmarried), daughter (12, unmarried), son (8, unmarried), son (7, unmarried), daughter (5, unmarried)
    Government: Aristocratic Feudal Monarchy
    Culture: Japanese with Chinese influences; mostly native Japanese religion, with Buddhist influences and a small Yenogretic minority; almost entirely Japanese speaking.
    Factions (Strength/Confidence): Imperial court (4/4), Akechi clan (3/3), Hojo clan (2/3), Oda clan (5/2)
    Revenue – Expenses (Treasury/Debt): 3,950,000 – 3,885,000 (500,000/0)
    Army: 60 Companies
    Army Description: Mercenary heavy spear infantry, archers and heavy cavalry, supplemented by samurai levies and large numbers of peasant light infantry
    Navy: 15 Ships
    Navy Description:
    Nation Background: Imperial authority in Japan decayed during the tenth and eleventh centuries, culminating in the establishment of the Taira shogunate in the early twelfth century and the reduction of the Emperor to the status of a figurehead. The Taira shoguns tried, without great success, to resist the feudalization of the empire, and were themselves overthrown by the Tachibana in the thirteenth century. The Tachibana Shogunate was a period of internecine strife between the samurai clans and inefficient government. In the late fourteenth century, the Tachibana Shogunate was overthrown by the brilliant daimyo warlord Nitta Yoshisada, who briefly dominated Japan's affairs sheer force of arms. Alas, at the peak of his powers Yoshisada was killed leading an invasion of Korea, and the ensuing collapse of his domain led to a power vacuum. Into the opportunity thus presented stepped the imperial family, for the first time in centuries taking an active role in Japan's politics. While the daimyo struggled amongst themselves for the vacant shogunate, the emperor gradually gathered allies and resources, and finally defeated the greatest of the daimyo and reestablished direct imperial rule over Japan. But while the Yamato emperors again rule Japan, they have discovered that forcing the clans to do their bidding is no easy task.
  8. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow

    I would like everyone who reserved a country to please post confirming that they're playing.

    Open wars

    War of Valencia (1500-1505): Saraqusta, Sicily v. Muwahhidun, Isbunah
    Saxon War (1500-1504): Lotharingia v. Saxony
    War of Lithuanian Succession (1500-1508): Duke's Lithuania, Order, Volynia v. Polostk, Prince's Lithuania, Poland
    Third War of Patna (1500-1505): Delhi v. Bengal
    Pearl River War (1500-1502/1503-5): Guangzhou v. Nanhai
    Upper Volga War (1500-1509): Veliky Novgorod v. Tver, Yaroslavl, Moscow
    War of Poitou (1503-): England v. Gascony
    Messinan War (1503-1509): Italy v. Sicily, Hungary, Swabia
    Second Cycladic War (1503-1509): Egypt, Italy v. Rome
    Yellow River War (1503-5): Nanhai v. Mongols
    Second War of Barcelona (1505-1510): Provence v. Saraqusta
    Second Maghrib War (1505-): Sicily v. Muwahhidun
    Bothnian War: Sweden v. Friland (1506-)
    Second War for Liyon (1506-1509): Lotharingia v. Provence
    War of Two Emperors (1506-): Nanhai v. Guangzhou, Haishu
    War of Tarabulus (1507-): Banu Ghaniya v. Sicily
    Carinthian War (1509-): Hungary v. Italy
    War of the Bandit Sultan (1505-): Delhi v. Bengal
    Yehe Rebellion (1511-): Yehe Clan, Mongols, Hubaekje v. Jurchen
    Samaran War (1506-): Tokhta Horde v. Nizhny Novgorod
    Great Anatolian War (1503-): Chobanids, Ghazis v. Romans
    War for Massawa (150:cool:: Zabid v. Ethiopia, Egypt
    Second Pomerelian War (1509-): Poland, Lithuania, Polabia v. Denmark
    Great Persian War (1506-): Ardabilids v. Tokhta, Chobanids


    Polotsk-Prince's Lithuania

    Update 1: 1500-1502
    Update 2: 1503-1505
    Update 3: 1506-1508
    Update 4: 1509-1512

    World Map, AD 1500 (NES start)
    World Map, AD 1503 (Turn 1)
    World Map, AD 1506 (Turn 2)
    World Map, AD 1509 (Turn 3)
    Spoiler current world map :
  9. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

    Feb 23, 2005

    Confirming Egypt.
  10. Kentharu

    Kentharu Zebra Commander

    Apr 16, 2005
    Place with things
    Emir of al-Isbunah here

  11. Matt0088

    Matt0088 Deity

    Jan 11, 2008
    Poland! :D
  12. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

    Jun 9, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Confirming as Denmark.
  13. Kraznaya

    Kraznaya Princeps

    Sep 28, 2005
    Land of the Successor
    Posting to confirm the presence of HRH Amir Faisal ibn Sayf ad-Din of Saragossa.
  14. Azale

    Azale Deity

    Jun 29, 2002
    The Khaganate of Mongolia is present.
  15. bombshoo

    bombshoo Never mind...

    Jan 7, 2003
    Confirming Provence.
  16. Ninja Dude

    Ninja Dude Sorry, I wasn't listening...

    May 11, 2008
    The Order is here.
  17. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

    Oct 31, 2005
    Lotharingia is here!
  18. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

    Jan 15, 2006
    Get Back
    Veliky Novgorod, they check in but they don't check out.
  19. Insane_Panda

    Insane_Panda Deity

    Aug 9, 2004
    Southern California
  20. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Jun 2, 2005
    In the desert
    His Most Serene Highness Aimeric II, Prince of Sicily, Count of Tunis, Protector of the Balaeres, Duke of Sardinia, and Lord of Malta, Sovereign Custodian of the Catholic Faith, is present.

    It's nice to have someone carrying the torch of the fancy Latin NES title.

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