Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sins of the Crusade Pilot

Some Background, the reason I chose 1092 is because if there is anything going to be done that will alter the course of history of the crusades its going to happen about 4 years prior to it. Nothing happens in a vacuum and to move armies, economies, and dynasties, characters will need to have a lot of accomplishments and familiarity within the world.

It is also a Schelling point in history. There are a lot of interesting things that happened in 1091 that makes for the reason why the Crusades happened. If the players want to alter history and try to prevent the crusades this is an opportunity, if they want to ride along side it, this also is an opportunity to amass one's own wealth and power. There are less events at 1092 vs 1091 making 91 give more context on what can happen next. 

1090 and earlier
  • Re-conciliatory measures towards Rome
  • Seljuq Aegean Campaign
1091
  • All remaining Byzantine Anatolian Holdings (except Pontus) was lost
  • Pecheneg Invasion, Battle of Levounion (80k vs 60k)
    • Probably really just 40,000 - there is a tendency to exaggerate. 
  • Theodore Gabras, tried to steal back his son. 
  • Constantine Humbertopolous and Ariebes conspiracy
  • Another Conspiracy, with religious slant (all I can remember he had to burn someone to death). 
And many more conspiracies

Cast

Xenophon - A Greek Privateer Captain, out for revenge and riches. played by  +Il Pella 
Konrad - A German Courtier who can stand toe to toe with Byzatnine courtiers, despite his handicap. played by +Kalalification 
Cato - An Italian "eccentric" Genius, famous around Constatinople as an honest Napolitan Merchant. Played by +Wilton Heath 
Tertius - A Soldier and veteran of the Byzantine and Seljuq Wars. In the past 10 years, with all the wars going on and the fronts that need defending he find himself off in another long shot mission. +Thunder Clonch 

Game Summary

  1. Everyone begins from the disgraced house of Humbertopolous - which we called Umbertos for short (because we are really not used to the long names). Umbertos is in disfavor in participating in a conspiracy, one that actually targeted the empror's mother and he was an unwitting pawn. Disgraced he has been taken out of command of his frankish army, but so valuable that he is maintained on. He someone how got into a strange scheme, an unusal idea - hire some varangian (despite Kiev being vassals of the Seljuq empire) and restore the honor of the varngian guards since the Battle of Dyrrachium when they are all lost.
  2. He holds a little get together in Feb 2, hoping that he can convince people of the idea. His party is interrupted by Tatikios, the Emperor's right hand man, who lectures Umbertos on the folly of raising mercenaries after having escaped punishment for conspiracy. The first to come to Umbertos aid is the Xenophon, who answers Tatikios' naval concerns on how long and how fast such a trip make. 
    1. Second was Tertius, his greek heavy armsman. He points out how this is nothing compared to all the campaigns he's fought and he's been in them all, and they were all long shots. 
    2. Konrad, his german steward, begins to explain the risk and all the key problems and how they can overcome it. He stresses the importance of getting the project done and working now. 
    3. Cato, joins in when everyones attention has been peeked by the clarity of the plan in action. He offers his expertise of the area and that of his family. His brother says he will be able to send letters of introduction for all their contacts in all the routes to accommodate them. 
    4. Impressed Tatikios grudgingly assesses the plan, and even offers to let them air it to the emperor. They decide in a week, and are given the permission to get all their numbers together for their plan. 
  3.  Their presentation of the emperor was quite simple and straight forward, there was nothing for the emperor to grant other than the leverage of his name in the bargaining. His administrators would handle the rest (it was probably Isaac working with the team after to get all the seals and letters of introduction stamped and signed). Since Umberto will wager his family's estates for this, it was all on them if they failed. 
    1. The audience with Alexius was successful, and he even went over the details and offered Tatikios to join them. They politely refused. 
  4. They took two weeks to prep and set sail. Along the straight along abydos, they chanced upon Seljuq ships headed to new captured port territories in the north. They manage to talk their way out of being mistaken as an enemy thanks to the captains savvy.
  5. They sail to Athens where they manage to meet the ship building families and vett them for plans to meet them in Taranto, hopefully in 60 days time. It was March 8 when they left Athens.  
    1. They had an encounter with many captains in athens, and got to meet personally with them in amicable terms. 
    2. They had an interesting encounter with a particular working girl, who was impressed by them. 
  6. They sailed as fast as they can to Nikopolis, particularly Preveza where they got caught up in a storm. The captain was very skilled, but he was no Thor to master the heavens. They were thrown off course, but manage to find their bearings. They lost a week. 
  7. They were not the only one thrown off course by the storm.  They encounter very light galleys, of 30 oars and a sail. Three of them drifting until they spotted them. They had white sales and moved desperately at them - they were headed down wind while the party was headed upwind. 
    1. Battle was savage, a crew of 64 vs 90 raiders. 30 were taken out when they rammed them straight on. 60+ were left, those who could swim to wait along till the fight ended. 
    2. Despite their level of preparedness they took a massive beating. 30 were wounded and 12 died of their wounds after the battle. out of the 60+ 40 wounded, and 20 of that died of their wounds. (GURPS Mass combat)
    3. they are headed to Nikopolis when we ended. 
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