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Emerging out of the dark ages following the disastrous downfall of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages has become known as a period characterized for its conflict, nobility, and romance. Welcome to Domesday.
The fledgling Kingdom of England faces tenuous years ahead, with the death of Saint Edward the Confessor at the start of this year. With no direct heir to succeed him, England's traditional rivals from Scandinavia seek to capitalize on the apparent state of disorganization, prompting King Harold Hadrada of Norway to assemble his invading force.
Meanwhile, the progeny of the Norman Duchy expands their own sphere of influence, having one of the most powerful navies in western Europe. Robert Guiscard, the Duke of Apulia has solidified control over all of southern Italy save for a few forts left under Byzantine control in Taranto, while also expanding south into the Fatimid vassal of Sicily. This year, Salerno forces under Geoffery attacks the Byzantine fort at Bari, while Richard Dregnot of Capua pushes north.
The remnants of the Umayyad Caliphate in Iberia, known as "Taifas", maintain a persistent nature of war against the northern Christian kingdoms for total authority over the peninsula. In the midst of this chess-game between Christians and Muslims alike, the Taifa of Seville has risen as the most powerful of these Arabic kingdoms, with Emir Abbad II al-Mu'tadid of the Abbasid dynasty expanding his realm across much of Andalusia in hopes of reforming the once great caliphate. To the south, the Almoravids continue to fight for control over the region of the western Sahel against the stagnating Ghana Empire, while the Fatimids to the east have found themselves on the verge of an ethnic civil war.
On the opposite side of the world, the Chanyuan Treaty between the Song dynasty and the northern Liao Empire would initiate a period of peace where the Emperors would recognize themselves as 'equals', while in southern Asia, the rise of the Ghaznavid Empire in the past century would mark the second stage of Islamic invasions in India.
An entirely different world continues to develop in isolation from Eurasia, in the region of Mesoamerica. The autocratic states of Tula and Chichen are mere shadows of the former glory from the Mayan Golden Age, and since the Collapse they have continued to hold together the status quo of the region for the time being. The Toltec Empire faces rivalry among the Mixtec People while the Chichen Federation is more a loose alliance held together by the common tenets of the Nahuatl faith.
- Toltec Empire: While direct sources are uncommon in measuring an effective timescale, what constituted the society of the Toltec state was largely built in a caste system that favored artisans and merchants that left much of the farmers, the main constituents of the economy due to agriculture being so significant, to be commoners with basic rights and privileges. The bottom of the caste consisted primarily of slaves, many of which were born outside of the core territories of the kingdom, and would only be further emphasized by tlatoani Matlacxochitl’s expansion across the Yucatan peninsula in the 10th century. The history of the Toltecs is primarily told through oral tradition and a myriad of codices written hundreds of years after the original events unfolded. Although human sacrifice was prominent, very few sources remain of its occurrence. Much of what is known was gathered by the historian Sacxahual, who would write, “In the great bounty on the day of the deer, the people of the eternal kingdom would chant and stomp, shaking the ground beneath them as those that spoke strange tongues and stood voiceless that dared [to defy the Toltecs] were marched across the valley. Their bodies, painted in the likeness of the Sun, would be dusted in the ashes and remnants of their tribes, for their brethren were to be killed a thousand times over. Children and commoners alike would stone the heathens as punishment for those that failed to witness the greatness of the Quetzalcoatal. After their bodies became mangled [for their bones cracked], they would be laid atop the Pyramid of the Sun, their life gifted to the feathered serpent, who would smile in an honest gesture.” In terms of warfare, much of what constituted later religious and state-controlled conflict in the Mexican valley would form under the Toltecs during the reign of Tlacomihua sometime in the mid-8th century, whose reputation for constructing the “great serpent” would set the base-work for warfare by the Toltec Empire in later centuries. This elevation of warfare would be designed in regards to emphasizing worship towards Huītzilōpōchtli, the god of war, who would appear after the immolation of Cē Ācatl Topiltzin, who at the time was regarded as the incarnation of Quetzalcoatal. By the reign of Huehmac as emperor of the Toltecs, the state over which he ruled had grown decentralized, as although his rule was seen as just, many attempts at removing power from him were beginning to be made, and in a time of indifference, various warlords would challenge his rule. While sources differ on the specific outcome of Huehmac, the legendary events surrounding the Toltec collapse are depicted to have begun sometime in the 1060s with the independence of Xihulta.
- In Mesoamerican chronology, the independence of Xihulta is said to have begun with the birth of Nechitlxacuā around the year 1030. At the time, external territories of the Toltec Empire were ruled by a warrior class led by the fat-king Chiunemaltli, who had been appointed by the previous Tlatoani, Tlilcoatzin. Mythology would believe that upon Nechitlxacuā’s entrance into the world, he would be named after an ancient, lost god meant to represent righteousness. It's said that at the age of ten, Nechitlxacuā would wander away from his village in the region of Xalisco in pursuit of a heavenly light that moved along the hillside. Without realizing it, Nechitlxacuā would find himself far away from his village, and given his youth, was unable to find his way home, only for him to incidentally go further north all the way to the bank of the river known as Ameca. By nightfall, it is said the moon would appear in the darkest shades of red, and in fear, Nechitlxacuā would hide in a cave to be sheltered away from the wild animals that hunted during the witching hour. Armed with but a small stone, he would make his way through this cave, where Nechitlxacuā would discover a number of ancient drawings that seemed to depict the world’s history, and as he continued his descent into the cave, would come across a small home-like settlement where he would see an elderly man, who’s arms featured writing and patterns he could not transcribe, or even describe for a matter. Due to this elderly man’s stash of various weapons standing opposite of Nechitlxacuā, he would find himself in a fight-or-flight situation, where he would ultimately clutch his stone, and with a slow creep, find himself right behind this man that bore a robe of strange fabric. Scared, but still in fear, he would bring up the stone, but just as he were about to strike, the elderly man would speak with a low, calm voice, “Huh-” the elderly man would turn to stop the stone’s strike, grabbing the arm of the boy and sweeping his leg to push him to the ground. “Who are you, boy?” this elderly man would ask, but Nechitlxacuā would stay silent as he squirmed and protested. Eventually, the man would let go of the boy, scoffing at him before going into a fit of terrible coughing. He would sit down as the boy would stand up, “Are you lost?”, Nechitlxacuā nodding to the old soul that sat before him. “Well, night has fallen. If you’re hungry…” the old man would point to a line of string farther into the cave that held a number of fish before kneeling in front of the boy, “My name is Xi'chitlāchquet, son of Quocuilhuitcuhcuil, former sorcerer of Tollan...”, and as he looked at the boy’s confusion, he would chuckle. “Do you wish to hear a story?”, and with Nechitlxacuā’s nod of approval, the story would be told. It is said that through this tale, Xi'chitlāchquet would grant Nechitlxacuā the ‘knowledge of the gods’, as well as later teaching Nechitlxacuā in his own sorcery in exchange for ending the reign of the ‘artisans’, in reference to the Toltecs, as Xi'chitlāchquet would explain his story, stating that his tribe originally re-populated the city of Teotihuacan following it's collapse only to be enslaved by the Toltecs during the reign of Xihuiquenitzin. Xi'chitlāchquet would persist that the sorcery he inflicted was to liberate his fellow family, a nod to the Toltec uprising that occurred following the death of tlatoani Tlilcoatzin dated in 1046. However, he would be forced to flee after many of his fellow rebelling natives would face death at the hand of the reigning Huehmac and his army of thousands. Following these revelations, which is said to have lasted ‘many moons’, Xi'chitlāchquet would eventually perish, and from his death Nechitlxacuā would finally emerge from the cave, returning to his village by the following morning. In legendary status, Nechitlxacuā’s return would be marked with him having grown since his youth, signified through his skin being colored in similar patterns to Xi'chitlāchquet, but still relatively unknown to every other person. So upon his arrival, he drew a crowd of onlookers as they watched him drag what seemed to be thousands of jaguar skins that would end up being offered to the regent of Xalisco, Chiunemaltli. It was even said that Nechitlxacuā may have even killed those jaguars within that same night’s time. Chiunemaltli would scoff at him, stating that many of their pelts had gone missing, and in real-time, Nechitlxacuā could not kill any jaguar. Nechitlxacuā would disagree, proclaiming profoundly that he could “slay the sun” if he wished for the ‘gods feared man’, which only drew further laughter and an increasing tone of hostility. This would be silenced when Nechitlxacuā would turn to the Sun, and after muttering a hymn, his hand would match that of an object that would block the sun’s eternal shine from the sky, which would be immediately accepted and subsequently praised, with the people of the region all bowing to the feet of Nechitlxacuā, however, he could not bring himself to initiate war, for as he promised Xi'chitlāchquet that he would avenge him, he idealized that a peace could be brokered. That night, it is said that the celebration held by Chiunemaltli in Nechitlxacuā’s honor would be large in capacity. It would be then that Nechitlxacuā would be seduced by the wife of Chiunemaltli, Tlitia, who is said to have been one of the most beautiful women in the Toltec state. Following intercourse, Nechitlxacuā would tell Tlitia about his life and his time with Xi'chitlāchquet, but during this conversation, Nechitlxacuā would reveal that he hadn’t seen any of his immediate family upon his return, with Tlitia confirming his suspicions by explaining to him that, not long after his disappearance, a giant-jaguar known as Quetztlachxōuhtl would collect a number of natives and march them to Tollan, with his mother and brother likely having been a part of that group, which would explain why he hadn’t seen them since his arrival. Tlitia would ask for forgiveness from Nechitlxacuā, who would accept on the condition that if Nechitlxacuā were to slay Chiunemaltli, she would marry him instead. While Tlitia would try to stop him from doing something bold, Nechitlxacuā would openly challenge Chiunemaltli’s rule as king the following day, and would openly confess his love for Tlitia likewise. Angered, Chiunemaltli would call on the giant-jaguar Quetztlachxōuhtl to decide his fate of rule in ritual combat, who would accept with a grin that showed teeth refined to that of a sword. The agreement made would indicate that if Nechitlxacuā were to emerge victorious, the Toltec insurrection in the region would end, for Chiunemaltli would be forced to decree Nechitlxacuā as tlatoani of Xalisco, although this would require him slaying Quetztlachxōuhtl, who's said to have wielded not one but two maces that bore thousands of engravings meant to symbolize the amount of people he led to Tollan. Quetztlachxōuhtl did not speak, only laughing at this young boy who dared to usurp the seat of power, as although Chiunemaltli had been appointed by Huehmac, Quetztlachxōuhtl held the ruling power over the warrior class, and as such, was the true ruler of the region. In the case of ritual combat, the many jaguars of the atleptl would surround both warriors using their spears to close the circle slowly, however, the spears wouldn’t be drawn by the time the fight had ended, as with agility only comparable to that of a wild mountain lion, Nechitlxacuā would slash Quetztlachxōuhtl's throat before plunging his blade through the thin cotton armor the giant wore. Quetztlachxōuhtl would fall to his knees, gasping for breath as he drowned in his own blood. Nechitlxacuā would decapitate the giant, and from his death, would speak profusely about his resolve to not only free his many brothers and sisters from oppression, but additionally stating that Quetztlachxōuhtl’s death was 'the first of his revenge against those that dare conflate themselves to that of a god'. This proclamation would see Chiunemaltli renouncing the agreement and instead commanding the army to attack Nechitlxacuā, however, the army would instead turn on Chiunemaltli, as not only did they fear the sword of Nechitlxacuā, but instead would see Chiunemaltli for the puppet that he was. Following this, Chiunemaltli would be slain and his head piked, with Nechitlxacuā declaring himself as the 'tlatoani' of Xihulta. This ordeal would be relayed to Emperor Huehmac through a messenger of Nechitlxacuā, which is said to have upset Huehmac so much that he would snap the messenger’s neck with his own bare hands and make preparations for the oncoming war.
- Hungary: During a stroll in Budapest King Solomon stops at a local tavern where he orders Goulash. A few days later the king starts to feel ill and starts vomiting and having diarrhea, the doctor concludes that he has a Blood Demon and decides to drain his blood to force the demon out. His 26 year old Nephew Géza is crowned King Géza I of Hungary the week later. The King offers the Byzantine Emperor an alliance between the two nations and hopes to solidify the relationship by Attila taking the hand of Anna Doukaina(Byzantine Response Needed). The King also reaches out to the Papal States to get himself coronated by the pope himself(Papal Response needed). The Domonkus Church is drawn up for Budapest with the Architect being the Council of Archbishops. A gathering of landowners who possess more than 75m2 of land which meet in Budapest yearly and elect a Messenger-In-Chief which relay the agendas to the King. We also ask the Pope in Rome to grant Hungary a Cardinal.(Papal Response Needed)
- Imperium Romanum diplomacy: The Empire likes the idea of alliance, but Hungary shall not cross the Danube river from this moment if they want alliance.
- Mod notes:
- Cannot make full alliance with Byzantium, only improved relations
- Anna's name is actually Theodora (b.1059)
- King Solomon's nephew is named Bretislau, who is six years old
- Papacy: The pope wants to remain neutral in Hungary's politics for the time being, but will crown the king at a later date. They aren't appointing new cardinals at this time
- Hakia (Eastern Pueblo Site) Hakia (meaning river or stream) was established c. 1050, though there is dispute over whether or not it was established by the people of the Mogollon culture, or by the Ancestral Puebloans. Timing and archaeological evidence favors the latter, albeit this conclusion is problematic as other sites associated with the Ancestral Puebloans are located further north. The consensus, reconciling archaeological evidence and oral tradition, is that Hakia was established by a people whose future descendants include the Eastern Puebloans. However, the reasons behind their migration (which predated similar migrations in the 13th-14th centuries) remain an enigma. At the time of Hakia's establishment, the region was already inhabited by Uto-Aztecan-speaking peoples. It is believed that the northern arrivals, who probably spoke a Tanoan language related to Piro or Tampiro, eventually assimilated into the local population (hence why the region's inhabitants speak Itepoan, a Uto-Aztecan language of the Cahitan branch). By the 11th century, the Indians of the Rio Grande Basin were village-dwelling agriculturalists, relying on runoff diversion to water their crops. However, they continued to supplement their diet with hunting and gathering until the 13th century. According to oral tradition, Hakia was founded by High Chief Teekatamakari (Itepoan for 'Gift from the Sky'). It is unclear whether or not 'Teekatamakari' was a personal name, or if it was merely a title. It has been suggested by some scholars that 'Teekatamakari' is a calque or transliteration (which was then retroactively-assigned the folk etymology) of an original Tanoan name/title. At the time of its foundation, Hakia 'proper' consisted of no more than two dozen rooms - indicating no more than 100 inhabitants. Other structures include kivas, granaries, and channels for runoff diversion. A recent analysis of contemporaneous structures indicates that about a total of 500 people lived in the immediate vicinity of Hakia at the time of its foundation.
- Teekatamakari, whose name means 'Gift from Heaven' in Itepoan, is considered to be the founder of Hakia. According to oral tradition, Teekatamakari was visited by a 'holy woman' (Maala Yo'oriwa - literally 'Holy Mother'), who instructed him to compel his people into worshipping the Sun and Earth exclusively. While Itepoan religion retains the concept of 'kachina', their role as intercessors is emphasized. Religious scholars believe that this shift to solar worship represents an early Mesoamerican cultural exchange. It is also believed that the figure of Maala Yo'oriwa is a 'personalization' (de-divinization) of the Spider Mother, who in other Puebloan religious traditions, is associated with the Earth Goddess. Teekatamakari's beliefs eventually got him and his followers expelled from his community. Hence, they began their trek south to the modern-day El Paso-Juarez area. Oral history recounts a conflict between the new arrivals and already-established tribes in the area, as seen in the story of the Challenger. The story took place during a drought. Facing added competition to already limited land and game, the 'Challenger' (his personal name is unknown) visited Teekatamakari and demanded him to a duel: if he lost, his people will migrate elsewhere; if he won, the Challenger's tribe instead do so. Teekatamakari won the duel, though instead of expelling the Challenger's tribe, he manifested a fat bull and fed them. Humiliated, the Challenger plotted to kill Teekatamakari - though before doing so, he is killed by his daughter, Seewa, as shown in the following lines: Lo! A lone maiden approaches our village / It is the Challenger's daughter! / What is your name? / I am Seewa, I present to you my father's head / Why did you kill your father? / His head is filled with pride / His foolishness is a danger to my people! / I am impressed with your resolve! / May our union mark future peace and camity between our peoples!
- Sweden: During a dinner party at the castle in Stockholm where King Stenkil and heir apparent erik meets with the various vassal states that are under their control,the king and his son are violently murdered by a group of angry vassals. This puts his second son Eric as the new king taking the name of Eric I of Sweden.Eric begins his reign by touring the entirety of the country whilst also demanding tht the kingdom of Jämtland join sweden as a vassal or face war (MOD RESPONSE). The king sends diplomatic envoys to both Norway and Denmark to improve relation with them.
- Jamtland refuses to capitulate.
- County of Barcelona: On the sunny shores of the Western Mediterranean, Ramon Berenguer I Comte de Barcelona, Girona, and Osona can be found taking a mid-afternoon stroll to contemplate his actions in the coming months. The recent death of his dear friend and ally Ermengol III of Urgell has created trouble to the north. Hoping to ensure the stability of the region, the elder statesman sends the 12-year-old Ermengol IV of Urgell an offer of vassalage to House Barcelona in exchange for a guarantee of his power as count in Urgell. He offers to aid in the enforcement of the House of Urgell’s authorities until such time as the young count comes of age in an effort to prevent the erosion of countly power and potential for war between Urgell and Cerdanya given their historical animosity. (Mod Response Please) After penning his letter and dispatching it with utmost haste he returns to his efforts to consolidate his chaotic realm. Though wealthy, the Counties of Barcelona, Girona, and Osona are by no means organized. Their population is split between the newly feudalized lands held by Ramon, his internal vassals, and their vassals and the historic Aloers, subsistence free-hold farmers. Ramon’s efforts to centralize these farmers to his’ and his vassals’ benefit began years ago with the Usages of Barcelona, a legal framework to govern Catalonia by a mixture of Roman and Gothic law. In an effort to continue that process he dispatches several dozen men of his retinue to congregate groups of these Aloers into small fiefs or villas. Ramon foresees a countryside dotted with semi-self-sufficient farming communities, each a few hours ride apart, and each capable of supporting several Cavallers Vilàs, non-noble cavalrymen equipped with darts, a lance, and some manner of light or moderate armor. These fiefs, of perhaps 50 to 150 inhabitants create a patchwork of neat towns in the countryside around the principal cities of the counties. Ramon then summons his eldest son, Pere-Ramon, and instructs him to travel to Cerdanya to collect tribute, impress on Count Ramon I of Cerdanya the importance of peace to Count Ramon Berenguer, and to negotiate a marriage between Guillem Ramon, the son of Ramon I of Cerdanya, and Sancha, Pere-Ramon’s half-sister. (Mod Response Please) Meanwhile, Count Ramon Berenguer contemplates his options. His treasury remains flush with gold, tribute from his vassals in Catalonia and the Muslims to the south. He determines to attempt to make amends with Pope Alexander II, and drafts plans for a series of monastic schools to be paid for through the granting of new lands and the purse of House Barcelona. The crown-jewel of this ambitious project is a monastery-school on the outskirts of Barcelona proper on Montjuic. The complex will enjoy privileges over the mountain and some of the surrounding lands. Meanwhile, a portion of the funds are set aside to develop a modest retinue to enforce the tributary and vassalage systems that provide House Barcelona with its internal control over affairs. The regiment is to number roughly 500 men, including existing retinues, and will consist of hired men-at-arms from abroad, direct vassals, and Aloers contracted by the count. This powerful mounted force will serve as the core of future armies, as well as the metaphorical fist of House Barcelona in enforcing its rule. As year approaches its end, Comte Ramon Berenguer sends letters to all of the major Catalan Counties, from Pallars Jussa in the west to Empires in the East he requests their presence at a convention to be held at Cardona in the spring of next year. (Mod Response, Please).
- Urgell does not agree to vassalage.
- Marriage is accepted.
- They agree to meet in a council for the time being.
- Kingdom of Alba: In this year, Máel Coluim the Third (otherwise known as Cenn Mór), Rí Alban of Alba, hears of the death of the King of the Sasainn without a heir, and the apparent claiming of the Kingship by the House of Godwin, led by Harold, the brother of his sworn brother Tostig, and by both the Diùc of the Normans, William, and the Rí of Nirribhidh (Norway), Harald Hardrada. He strongly suspects that they will soon begin fighting over it directly, and begins preparing his forces for raids upon Northumbria, which are par for the course when the Sasannach are weak, even when the Earl is Cenn Mór's sworn brother. However, apart from this he has no real plan's to interfere in the war, as he has ties both to Norway through his wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, a nephew of Harald Hardrada (despite the falling out between her father Finn Árnasson and Hardrada), and to the Godwin's through his friendship with Tostig (he has no particular ties to the Normans). However, later that year, in a shocking turn of events, Tostig arrives in the court of the Albannach in Fothair Tabhaicht, having been driven from England by a rebellion against him in Northumbria, and requests the aid of his sworn brother in retaking his Earldom, apparently with plans to fight alongside Harald Hardrada. Although he makes no move to directly support him, reluctant to face the wrath of a potential winner he sided against, Canmore makes no effort to stop Tostig recruiting mercenaries, and assists Tostig in rallying a significant number of Alban's too his cause, whom number around 2,500 men. However, he makes no moves to directly assist Tostig otherwise, only willing to provide direct aid if Hardrada's initial invasion proves successful. (This is where the continuation based on events in England Starts). However, a shocking turn of events occurs, as these Mercenary forces return incredibly early, and with very few loses. In fact, they come back with more men then they started with, as they are accompanied by a number of Norwegian warriors (about 1,900, per the RNG I requested in the Discord server). This shocks and horrifies Máel Coluim, as the Mercenaries are both hungry for pay (never having received it after the death of Hardrada and the resulting calling off of the invasion), angry at Coluim for encouraging them to sign up to fight in a war which they did not benefit from, and are now accompanied by a number of Norwegian warriors who also desire the same thing, but do not have any ties to Scotland beyond that provided by Laomann Mac Ara. Needless to say, having a bunch of unpaid, angry mercenaries, especially mercenaries who are allied with a number of foreigners, hanging around his lands demanding money from him is not a state of affairs that he can tolerate, quickly realizing that allowing them to extort him would massively harm his legitimacy and make him seem weak in the eyes of the Clans, Nobles, and anyone else with ambitions against him, and that refusing to pay them is likely to end even more poorly for him. With the additional fact of him being pretty much forced to violate his oath of blood brotherhood with Tostig Godwinson (even if Tostig escaped before any action was taken) by the threat of an invasion by England making him seem very dishonorable (and weak) to his vassals he knows he can not afford this blow to his standing, pride, and honor, and seeks a alternate solution. Well doing so, he thinks about the nearby Kingdom of Strathclyde, which he has had conflicts with for years, and which although it is not so now, was previously subject to the Rí Alban, with Alba still maintaining a claim on the region. Realizing that he will need to give these warriors SOMETHING to stave off violence (or potentially even deposition of him), but still knowing he very much needs to appear strong before his subjects, he comes up with an idea, which would both personally strengthen him, revitalize his reputation for strength and strong leadership, and allow him to give these men what they demand without becoming known as a weak king that can be easily controlled with the threat of violence. He frantically rushes to the war room (still in his sleepwear), much to the confusion of his wife and courtiers, and demands his military strategists attend him, staying up the whole night planning his grand endeavor to solve two issues with one plan, throughout the whole night. On the next day, he gathers the people in the court to make an announcement. Although he can not pay the Mercenaries for services they have not provided him, as he did not hire them to fight England, he CAN offer them a chance to gain what they want regardless, in a way that would benefit both of them, and allow them to provide an actual service to the Kingdom of Alba that would justify their demands and provide a source for them. Specifically, he outlines a plan for invading the nearby Kingdom of Strathclyde, a long time rival of Alba that we also have a strong claim on, promising them land and loot as a reward if they fight for him, and saying this is how they shall be paid for this service. This was pretty much what the majority of them desired (especially the Norwegians, many of whom had been hoping to gain land in England, but also some of the Albans), and this satisfies the majority of the mercenaries (both the Alban's and Norwegians), who pledge their service to the upcoming war in exchange for these rewards, especially since many of them where disappointed by the lack of a fight in England. Although Mac Ara initially opposes this, he quickly realizes that the majority of the men serving with him have been swayed by this offer and that even those personally loyal to him are unlikely to go through with his plan now that they do not have the backing of the Norwegians, and so he changes his tune and says that he accepts the offer on behalf of the men serving with him, deciding to take what he can get and re evaluate his plans, putting aside his grand ambitions for now in order to avoid compromising the power that he HAS gained from this (and that which he has the potential to gain through this service).
- Polotsk: Kniaz Vseslav Bryachislavich of Polotsk (1039) reign enters its 22 year. Having assumed control over the principality of Polotsk at the tender age of 5 upon the death of his father, the young Kniaz was placed under a regency first held by his mother who unfortunately was murdered shortly after by his ambitious uncles who then moved to have him removed, with one uncle in particular arguing for his death, there were rumors that some cooperation with Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev who long feared the attempts of Vseslav's father Bryachislav to claim the title of Grand kniaz of Kiev (as the senior rurikid branch), had occured. Vseslav was spared an early death however when one of his uncles Roman taking pity on him and stealing him away to the Lithuanians who had become a tributary of Polotsk for some time now. The Lithuanians chief Aras took a liking to Vseslav and took the young boy under his wing teaching him how to ride a horse and how to pray to the gods (slavic and balt). Within a year, however, following the treachery of some of the new regents Roman was murdered with the rest of his uncles quickly moving against each other and against the young child. The men of Roman flee to Aras swearing fealty to the young kniaz to avenge their lord. Sensing an opportunity to gain some influence inthe court of Polotsk and to curry favor and protection against Kievan and Varangian raiders swears to aid young Kniaz as well and promises to retake Polotsk for him now aided by Rus warriors. Aras provides 1,000 men while 1,500 men. The combined forces manage to retake the Stronghold of Polotsk with many of the conspirators having already killed one another. The remaining nobles who betrayed his family are swiftly executed and afterward feeding their bodies to his dogs giving them a taste for human blood. Over the years Vseslav gained a reputation for mastery of arms and for his sympathies towards paganism often consorting with his Lithuanian allies and consulting more in his pagan subjects then his christian lord aiding them against raids from other tribes and carrying out raids against Kiev and the other Yaroslavich brothers culminating in the aborted siege of Pskov in 1065 due to the early set on winter. Throughout the years his dogs would grow in numbers joining him on campaign with many a man being mauled by the vicious hounds giving the fearsome Kniaz the visage of a werewolf as the howls of his men and dogs vicious assault the ears of his enemies. Mustering 3,000 of his own men and 1,000 Balts with the promise of plunder Vseslav the Seer launches a series of raids into Kievan lands during the raiding season in the summer while Kiev is preoccupied with the Cumans. To gain some plunder and supplies to weaken the forces of the unpopular Iziazslav (son of Yaroslav present Grand Kinaz of Kiev) to destabilize his forces. This is done upon the advise of Aras who hoping to avoid a winter campaign in the northern lands of Novgorod and to winter in the safety of Polotsk. The Polotsk Raids into Kievan lands are carried out swiftly and Savagely with the Polotsk horsemen and blood hounds fleeing before the Kievan forces can respond (algo needed).
- Papal States: Anslem of Baggio, known at this point as Pope Alexander, suddenly awoke from a nap in the Lateran Palace. He had felt like angels were whispering in his ear at night. But work must now be done! Yes, work for the good of all Christendom, and for the good of the Chair of Peter. Much of Italy and Rome has been under the power of the Holy Roman Emperor, but the people of Italy see their true guide from the Papal seat, even on a purely spiritual level. The widespread movement for religious reforms and full independence of the Church from the Empire continues to see support from the upper levels of the clergy. Support was secured first from the dowager Empress Agnes for allowing Anslem to be elected without imperial recognition, and after the recent Antipope was defeated at Parma. Now that the Emperor Henry has reached majority, the Pope sends emissaries to Aachen to bestow his blessing, and offer prayers for the Roman Emperor's speedy recovery in his illness. In time, the de-jure proclamations of historical Popes, to have ultimate authority over the Emperor, should prevail. At Rome, the Cardinal Hildebrand of Sovana retains de-facto power over recent reform movement, and personally masterminds the gradual transition from temporal domination to councilism. The "Conclave" held in the election of Alexander II will remain the standard practice from now on, using a system of Cardinals appointed directly by the previous successors of Peter. In concern for the East, the Greek churches loyal to the Ecumenical Patriarch are still living in heresy outside the Church, and officially excommunicated. Pope Alexander continues to reach out to Patriarch John Xiphilinos, demanding that he recants the filolique heresy and become restored to the Church (Byzantine Response). The growing power of the Normans in southern Italy becomes a great concern for Alexander, but he hopes their power can be directed against the pagan forces instead of harming Rome. The Pope grants dispensation for Robert Guiscard to annex Greek and Muslim lands in Italy in exchange for an alliance with the Papal States (Mod response). The Pope asks for Count Ramon of Barcelona to do public penance in the Church in order to receive a papal pardon for his adultery (Barcelona response). In light of the current attack from Capua led by the overly-ambitious Norman Duke Richard Cognat, the Pope rallies together alliances from the Tuscan villages to form a strong defense near the Aurelian walls of Rome.
- Robert Guiscard consents to an alliance under the terms the Papal States offered.
- House Barcelona: Ramon Berenguer sends a counter offer to the pope, offering to expand his contributions to the church across Catalonia in penance for his sins.
- The Pope will accept this.
- Imperium Romanum diplomacy: The Empire can't believe the Pope wants both Roman Empire to be Catholic and Robert Guiscard to be his ally. The Pope will have to choose one.
- A Norwegian man named Jon Jonsson travels to Rome and challenges the Pope himself to a duel, after he presents evidence that Alexander II slept with his wife. The clergy of course don't seem to take the threat seriously, but soon talk begins to spread around Rome of the loud papal critic, perhaps prompting the Pope to respond....
- Papacy: Pope Alexander seems to not wish to lend any credit to these rumors, and attempts to ignore it. However, Cardinal Hildebrand insists that it should set a good example for the impending clergy reforms, that such accusations of lust on the Holy Father should not be taken lightly. Thus, Pope Alexander sends a harald to Magnus, saying that he will meet the man to settle this dispute in trial by combat, with his second nominated as the Tuscan knight Theobold of Lucca.
- Having not expected to get this far, Jon Jonsson nervously accepts. Upon hearing of his opponent's equipment and wealth compared to him, he calls the contest unfair unless the clergy donates armor, a sword, and a sum of money to outfit himself. He argues that if the church doesn't meet this demand, they acknowledge they are openly rigging the contest to ensure the Pope wins, and are very unchristian in their greed.
- After some consulting with the Roman Curia, the Pope agrees to donate some money for Jon Magnus to outfit himself
- The duel occurs at dawn the next morning, in front of an assembled mob. Theobold of Lucca proves to be a much more experienced fighter, but while distracted Jonsson manages to disarm him by sheer luck. After a brief wrestle, Theobold is slashed in the shoulder and surrenders. Theobold of Lucca suffers 34 health loss (moderate injury) and gains five experience, while Jonsson loses 12 health and gains eight experience.
- After the results of the trial, it is suggested that Jonsson be granted a castle (preferably the nearby town of Ariccia) as recompense for the Pope's crimes against him.
- The Pope allows Jon Magnus to become Lord of this castle.
- Fatimid Caliphate: it's the year 458 A.H with Abū Tamīm Ma‘ad al-Mustanṣir bi-llāh the current ruler of the Ismaili Shia caliphate of the Fatimid dynasty. The Caliph Ma'ad Ruling the holy sites such as Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina and defending their sacred sites, while also the ancient cities such as Alexandria and the Capital of Cairo. The great Caliphate alltough having lost some lands in previous years and decades these losses seem to be reversable and even able to revert these loses and greaten the influence of the caliphate and islam troughout the world. The white flag of peace and prosperity waving over the caliphate, which is a signal to the Jews, copts and maltese christians that their safety and their rights will be protected. This even with growing tension between the Turkish mercanaries and the African Berber and Sudanese troops, the turkish mercanaries demanding more pay and resources. This being even harder to do as recent droughts and agricultural failure, causing the debts and the rising demands of the turks to get out of control. The mereanaries not only demanding high amounts of money they are also demanding the end of shia muslim rule back to sunni islamic rule. This not helped by the close by Abasid sunni dynasty near Bagdad and the Morocan sunni berbers to the west.
- Pagan Empire: This period is considered the height of the Pagan Empire under King Anawrahta. Having conquered the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma and the Shan Plateaus in the 1050s, this marks the rise of Pagan as an empire in the region. The conquest of Thaton in Lower Burma brings Pagan manpower for the kingdom’s agricultural and religious needs, and King Anawrahta had also brought the unity between the Burmese, Pyu and Mon. After the conquest of Thaton the kingdom finds itself adopting Therevada Buddhism as the state religion after multiple economic reforms by King Anawrahta. The conquest also allowed Pagan to establish diplomatic relations with Ceylon, which in turn had allowed the country to embrace Therevada Buddhism from there. All in all the country is in a period of prosperity and growth; and this has led Anawrahta to turn his eyes on further conquest to expand the territories of the country.
- Kingdom of England: Now in the days of 1066 it was very clear that Edward the Confessor was sick and would soon die. His reign has lasted for 25 years, much of which were spent in peace. Some thirty years ago, King Cnut died. His domain stretched from Scandinavia to the British Isles. His death threw the nations of the North Sea into chaos, as his sons fought bloody wars, both in Scandinavia and in England. Harthacnut reigned England in name, though his brother Harold remained in England while the former fought abroad. For too long did he fight, and Harold “Harefoot” grew impatient. With support of the English nobility - including Earl Godwin of Wessex - Harold Harefoot declared himself King of England. He and his allies fervently defended the realm from his step-brothers Ælfred and Edward, each vying for the throne. Ælfred invaded from Normandy, but he was betrayed and captured by Earl Godwin. To make him unable to hold the throne of England, Harold “Harefoot” had Ælfred’s eyes burned out by hot irons. The wounds proved fatal and Edward fled back to Normandy. Realizing he could not trust his brother to act honorably, Harthacnut entered into an agreement with King Harald of Norway: if one dies, the other shall inherit the throne. Suddenly, in 1040, Harold Harefoot died and Harthacnut returned to power unopposed. He, too, was not long for this word. Realizing that the end was near, Harthacnut named his step-brother Edward his heir. Those involved in the death of Ælfred - namely Earl Godwin - were banished. After many long years of war, the Kingdom of England was finally at peace. Edward was a holy man, righteous and just. The time he did not spend in communion with God, he spent ensuring Godwin would never again come to power. His fears were realized in the 1050s, when Earl Godwin died and his sons came to power. England nearly erupted into civil war once again before Edward was forced to allow Harold Godwinson the Earldom of Wessex while Tostig became Earl of Northumbria. This generation of Godwins more than earned their keep, and indeed became favored by King Edward. As peace resumed and the years rolled on, King Edward became old and grey, with no heir. In 1065, the thanes in Northumbria revolted, expelling Tostig Godwinson. Harold refused to aid his brother and Edward was forced to acquiesce to the thanes’ demands. Shortly thereafter, Edward suffered a series of strokes. Word spread across the North Sea that Edward the Confessor was dying. Shortly before his death in January 1066, he named Harold Godwinson his heir… but there were complications. The 1038 agreement between Harthacnut and Harold Godwinson went into effect, by law naming Harald Hardrada the rightful king of England. Tostig Godwinson, who has at this point fled to Scotland, was he who convinced Harald to make the bid for power in the first place. In Normandy, Duke William the Bastard, who argues that Edward had named him his successor many years prior and that Harold Godwinson had sworn to defend his claim to the crown, prepares an invasion. Harold Godwinson expects this, and gathers an army to defend against an incoming naval invasion. The forces hold fast at the Isle of Wight, waiting for the Normans to cross. The army is intended to be a mobile one, and his positioning at the Isle of Wight is meant to intimidate the Normans. If trouble should arise, Harold will be able to quickly leave and respond wherever he is needed. Around September, a small team is sent across the channel to set fire to William's fleet or otherwise goad him into attacking. In the meantime, Tostig advises Harald's armies to wait until William crosses the English channel, though if an invasion does not happen by the end of September, the Normans will likely have to arrive sometime in October. Nobody is interested in a staring contest. Should this happen, the invasion will follow its OTL course, but Harold Godwinson will attempt to muster the Thanes to deal with Harald rather than march himself. In doing so, he remains focused on Normandy's impending invasion.The team manages to land near Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and entered the city under cover of night. There are roughly eight men, who manage to destroy a large portion of William the Bastard’s fleet. This newly-constructed and expensive fleet was consumed by this raging inferno. A bad storm washes ashore early the next morning and between the rains and lack of room to spread, the fires peter out. The smoke is visible from England. A heavy fog rolls in from the south ahead of the storm, carrying with it the scent of smoke. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that William of Normandy spent the day inconsolable, destroying many inanimate objects (and possibly some animate) objects in a rage. News of the fire of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme reaches Harold Godwinson and there is much rejoicing. The men who burned the Norman fleet become famous and the subject of many tavern songs. Each become housecarls in Harold Godwinson’s retinue. With William the Bastard’s invasion delayed, Harold Godwinson can now focus on Harald Hardrada’s army. Word begins to spread that Harald Hardrada has died. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states in a blunt and often-quoted in literature and vernacular: "Hé hlútorlice ācwolen" or “He simply died.” There was still the matter of Norwegians in English borders. Harold Godwinson offers the leaderless army the chance to return to Norway and swear never to set foot on England again. Harold Godwinson offers the same deal to the Scottish forces, yet he also requests that Tostig Godwinson be handed over to English forces. Smelling blood in the water, however, Tostig had fled the country for Denmark once he’d heard the rumors. (I will need an algo if these offers are rejected.) Regardless of if a battle happens or not, Harold returns to Winchester in the fall, allowing his armies to return home to collect the autumn harvest. Having been crowned in the recently-completed Westminster Abbey, Harold has pleased the religious nobles of England, who proclaim the miraculous defense of England is nothing short of divine providence. The king spends a considerable amount of time at Westminster Abbey or at the nearby Westminster Palace. A portion of the harvest is set aside in anticipation of any attempt by William the Bastard to invade. Each day, however, England grows stronger and each day increases the odds against William’s favor. With Harold Godwinson consolidating the realm and the loyalty of his vassals, the island of Britain will become an impregnable castle surrounded by the world’s largest moat. The Normanization of English culture, which had begun under Edward the Confessor, continues under Harold Godwinson, who invites housecarls and specialists from Normandy, hoping to achieve something of a “brain drain” in Normandy, further robbing William the Bastard of competent men. Chief among them are architects, who advise Harold Godwinson to adopt the Carolingian doctrine of castles and crank the castle dial up to “holy fuck.” Plans for fortresses are drafted daily and work begins on a series of fortifications along the East Anglian coast named Clavering Castle. A castle built on the earthworks of an older castle in Hastings also begins, keeping militias at work through the winter, ready to scramble to the defense of England at moment’s notice. King Svend II is sent a proposition: Harold Godwinson's son Godwine Haroldson to be wed to Sigrid Svendsdottir, forming an alliance between England and Denmark. Harold Godwinson is said to have launched a yuletide feast on Christmas Day to celebrate a wonderful year. After indulging a little too much, as it to be expected on the holiday, Harold retires to his chambers and lays his head down. As he begins to drift to sleep, he hears the prancing of eight hooves on the roof of Westminster Palace! He tears open the shudders and throws up the sashes. Standing in his garden is St. Nicholas, the 4th-century holy man himself! “And what do you want for Christmas?” he belly-shouts. “Alright you jolly bastard, let’s see if you can go for two. I want William the Bastard dead,” says Harold. The saint releases a deep, guttural laughter and flees into the blackness of night. Of course, this is but a dream, but that night on the cusp of a new year, Harold Godwinson slept well, confident in England’s future. One might say ... he slept like a king.
- - Bayeaux tapestry depiction of Halley’s Comet flies by to signify the end of turn.
- RNG: 80. The Strike force succeeds in starting a fire destroying much of William's fleet putting back a crossing until next year.
- Alba Diplomacy: The Scottish Mercenary forces who had been fighting for the Norwegians agree to the terms offered by Harold, and the vast majority of them return to Scotland, under the leadership of Laomann mac Ara, the warrior who had been designated as the overall commander of the Scottish Mercenary contingent serving with the Norwegian forces. However, he states that he does not have the authority to speak for his King, as Cenn Mór had never been directly involved with the Norwegian's (although he had turned a blind eye to Tostig recruiting them and certainly had helped him do so in several cases). However, he does agree to carry the request for Tostig to his King. When Cenn Mór receives word of this not long after he agrees to the terms, but by then Tostig has already fled Scotland, and so it has no real effect. Laomann also makes an offer to many of the Norwegian soldiers who do not wish to return to Norway for one reason or another, to come back to Alba with him, recruiting around 1,900 of them (based on the RNG I requested on Discord)
- - Bayeaux tapestry depiction of Halley’s Comet flies by to signify the end of turn.
- Taifa of Toledo: in the year 1066 following the death of Ferdinand I of Castile and the collapse of the Castilian Crown into 3 realms, much opportunity begins to brew. Emir Al-Mamun spends much of his time either reading, taking part in sparring matches, or planning for what's next to come within the years ahead in the Alcazar of the capital. The fall of the Ummayad Caliphate of Cordoba was not too long in the past. Its ripple effects still lay way across most of Al-Andalus and the Mozarabic people. Al-Mamun now with a set goal in mind aims in the coming years of his reign to capture the capital of the lands who once were their overlord; The Islamic City of Cordoba. Beyond the ambitions of the lord, Al-Mamun marries a young Aliya al-Ashan at the age of 20. Coming from a Merchant Mozarabic family in Alzira. Later in the winter, she conceived a son, Omar Al-Rasheed. With Valencia's urban area still bustling under the rule of Al-Mamun, he takes a visit in September to the port. Seeing the beauty of the sea was mesmerizing to the lord. It was something that would inspire him to invest more so with the taxes provided by the people of Valencia to be spent on expansion of the port and a better sustainable navy with 8 ships ordered to be built, 4 of which were galleys with the others being longships. To better connect the Taifa across her lands, investments are put into better roads after a long meeting with fellow lords at the Alcazar. Al-Sayrata of Albacete, a long trusted Mozarabic noblemen approves of the plan seeing that much is needed to be done to bring the Taifa together as well as allowing it to prosper from such infrastructure improvements. Rudrighiz of Tomelloso though has many questions of his own wondering if this should ignore the much needed focus on military might. As the highest ranking member of the army, he felt entitled to critique this focus. From just a small discussion, a feud brews between the two before the Emir eases the tensions between the men by approving of both focuses. The military is as much important as the infrastructural integrity. Therefore over the next decade or so, roads connecting the cities to the countrysides will be renovated and Al-Mamun will see to its completion if Allah wills it. Meanwhile a heavy focus on cavalry and military will be left in the hands of Rudrighiz. Alfonso, the royal relative to the ruling family of Castile is offered residency in the Alcazar as a key of long lasting friendship with the northern neighbor. Urwlandu of Almadén, a long life friend of the Emir as well as an advisor is appointed to Vizier seeing him as worthy of such a role in helping bring the Taifa to new heights. This was arranged during a small banquet in the Alcazar with Sancho and the many other lords of the court present. Urwlandu had just entered a marriage with Aamani el-Jabara. It was a grand celebration and truly a momentous early winter occasion. (WIP)
- Duchy of Apulia and Calabria: The Duke Robert Guiscard decides to allow his alliance with Rome to settle temporarily before any further expeditions to finish controlling southern Italy. He dissuades Geoffrey of Taranto from attempting to cross the Adriatic telling the count to reinforce the defences of Taranto, shoring up the walls and widening outer defences in the form of ditches. The Duke remains in Melfi and contact with his barons. Robert Guiscard's wife Sikelgaita gives birth to Gersent.
- Icelandic Commonwealth: The Discovery of Vinland soon spread to all of Iceland that a new land in the west was discovered.
With this news many would flock to the colonies for new lives and riches.The Colony of Vinland was soon declared with the Capital being Eriksönia, name after Leif Erikson. The Colony of Helluland and the Colony of Markland were also establish, though they were less populated. Thanks to the rise of immigration to the colonies, conflict with the natives rises and Iceland begun developing military presence would rises increasing the population. The existence of Vinland would soon spread to Scandinavia with rumors of a new land being discover and settled.
- Your colonies in the west number in the dozens of population at most.
- Northen Song dynasty: with the new year appears to begin in China, emperor Yingzong remains reigning with the power brought to him to bestow his will as the son of heaven, with Song's economy thriving, the emperor would take account into the posts of these affairs, but none of the less he have constracted a grave illness later on the 5th month of the year, with his capabilities limited he have given the sole permission to Wang Anshi, as he saw his perfect intelligence by accounts of officials during his civilian examinations to be quite good, after bestowing the grand permission, Wang Anshi begins implementing series of reforms that would be mostly limited to agricultural sectors by the emperor permittance, he begins irrigation projects on the Low land reachings of the Southren Hui river, as well as for the wet and fertile lands near the Lake Tai on the Yangtze River delta, with such projects being taken in place with much of the tools be mostly stone or thick wood imported from overseas trade, as well as to preserve the erosion of the rocks and metal structures and iron and steel bolts, these structures would be covered with rags and the white of the egg spread over these structures with venigar, and to complete the reaching of the water through small canals, and the farming sections, and for the rice farming structures a moderate water level be put to preserve complete growth of the crops. Yingzong have gathered his expert scholars headed by Sima Guang for their order to add a fine preachments for the history of the Han Chinese discoveries of the so called "lesser Luiqi" more information would be brought from Suí Shū to complete the planned grand scholar book of Han Shî. Despite Yingzong deteriorating health he have sought to stop the lurking Tanguts into his territory, with much of raids must be stopped, and them being massacred in their own lands of the Ordeau plateau, Yingzong orders an assembly of a great army in the region, with Chong E appointed with a 130,000 strong force, as much of our garrisons on the Qing prefecture been surrounded by the Tanguts and destructed bringing ruins into the region, with Yingzong seeing the perfect effects on the event of Lower Xia Dei rebellion in 1043, and for how the loyal garrison used fire Lancers and incidary bombs and fired gunpowder attached mules, he brings into these factors into account while he mobilizes 2,000 men specializing in the early gunpowder warfare, with Yingzong prompting to send the great army as fast as possible into the front, he sends arround ~200,000 mules for infantry to mount on to rush into the front, and also for supply carriage, for the cavalry reinforcements be attached with the great army making 90,000 cavalry men out of the great 130,000 strong army, with Yingzong's full trust on Chong E to defeat the Raiders and force land loss upon them (Algo needed)
- Norway: This year the country prepares for war, but then King Harald unexpectedly falls ill and dies. The planned invasion is delayed as the new king Magnus gets his affairs in order. A marriage proposal and alliance is offered to Sweden via the marriage of Harald's daughter Maria to the Swedish monarch. Olaf III is crowned as co-monarch, de facto ruler of Viken, in contract to Magnus' domain in the Uplands, Trøndelag, and beyond. One of Norway's preeminent commanders, who had prepared for a war in the British Isles, is Eystein Orre, who decides to instead make a name for himself campaigning in the no man's land of Norrland. A fort named Johannaborg (OTL Tärnaby) is settled as a place of refuge for Orre's party. The use of skis for messengers becomes popularized in the far north, especially in crossing through the mountain pass to Norrland and beyond. A "knight" named Jón Loftsson, according to one source, married a sapmi woman of renown at the site that winter, establishing an informal pact of cooperation with one local gathering of natives. Others seeking adventure after the British war does not materialize look to northern Germany. A large group of soldiers travel to aid in the conquest of the Wends in exchange for plunder and fame. Seeing this, Magnus sends a proposal to the Duke of Saxony asking for a marriage alliance and an exchanging of gifts.
- Seljuk Empire: This year, Alp Arslan convened an assembly of the states declaring his son, Malik Shah I, as his heir and successor before all the representatives of the states within the Seljuk domain. Nizam al-Mulk in his capacity as vizier continues his efforts to consolidate the rule of Alp Arslan through various approaches all with the aim of increasing stability within the Empire. One of Nizam’s many projects is to create employment opportunities for the Turkmens who had begun migrating into Persia as their nomadic lifestyle is not beneficial to the stability of the state. To further establish Seljuk power, Nizam continues to appoint Seljuk princes to govern portions of the territory allotted to them by the state which is revocable and non-inheritable. Nizam also invests resources into the construction of a citadel fort in the capital of Isfahan as well as sous/bazaars to encourage traders. Alp Arslan, in the meantime, devotes the resources of his realm to the construction of a fort from which he intended to govern from within the Zagros Mountains. The roads leading to it are described as being similar to the curls of a bride intricate and unwinding like spools of twine. At one point, Alp Arslan decides to traverse his realm in leisure and happens across a person referring to themselves as a magos who offers him a taste of a plant that she had cultivated. “Taste this concoction my lord and you shall see the extent of my powers unless you are too scared.” says the Magos to which Alp Arslan replies “I fear no man whether he be armed with words, plants, or steel.”. Alp Arslan fearlessly ingests the concoction and is enveloped in a vision filled with wonder as vibrant colors fill the world and a man clad in robes appears to him showing him it is his destiny to rule the world. When Alp Arslan recovers from this vision he immediately dives into his work fervently believing that his future will be to bring Islam to new lands and territories not yet under the yoke of Islam. He also orders the construction of a room known only as of the Rainbow room within his fort so that he may relive the experience with the concoction from the magi as well as sit in contemplation of his Empire. While his liege was experiencing a vision quest, Nizam focused his efforts on creating a network of intrigue across the berth of the Empire to suit the need for internal security and trust with the network slowly becoming adept at subterfuge tactics and methods. By the year’s end, a mysterious visitor makes a visit to Alp in his fort and is given access to its premises for unknown reasons. It is said that the figure is clad in a cloak that obscured his face and the shape of his body. When later asked about this mysterious visitor, Alp Arslan could only reply, “For the Emperor.”.
- Imperium Romanum: The Empire gets ready in case the war in Southern Italy gets serious. The Empire also sends diplomats to Venice, Duklja, Georgia, and Aleppo for alliance (mod and Venice response needed) The Roman Empire sent 5,000 troops to invade Hamamshen. (ALGO needed)
- Croatia refuses, but Aleppo and Georgia accept. The King of Georgia offers his daughter Maria of Alania to marry prince Michael Doukas
- Imperium Romanum: The Empire accepts the marriage alliance.
- Denmark: King Sweyn II Estridsson enters his 19th year as the King of Denmark. His reign began at the battle of Lyrskov Heath, when upon his victory there the Danish nobles had him crowned in 1043. However at the time Denmark's throne had been claimed in 1042 by Magnus I of Norway, the result was several campaigns between the kings which lasted until 1045 when Magnus' uncle Harald Hardrada returned from exile, and joined forces with Sweyn against the nephew. Upon his death in 1047, Magnus said on his deathbed that his kingdom should be divided in two, Harald would have Norway, and Sweyn would have Denmark. When he heard the news of death of Magnus, Sweyn said "Now so help me God, I shall never yield Denmark". Sweyn had kept Denmark despite Harald's attempt to raid it in the last few years. Then the news came from his advisor. Those words are repeated today, as the now almost 50 year old Sweyn hears of Harald's death, and the ascension of his son Magnus II, he hopes that second of that name is not like the first, but if he is, "Now so help me God, I shall never yield Denmark". Denmark accepts the Swedish king's proposition of improved relations between our two kingdoms, as there is no need for a war with Sweden. King Sweyn hears of English king Harold's marriage proposal. Sweyn believes that an alliance between Denmark and England will be benificial, as the kingdom needs strong ties in Europe.He therefore agrees to the proposition, his now legitimised daughter Sigrid will marry Godwin Haroldson. However, upon her arrival to England, whenever that may happen. Sigrid's household staff must be composed of either entirely or half of Danes. In addition to the betrothal agreement, Sweyn sends soldiers to bring Tostig Godwinson to custody.
- Duchy of Saxony: Ordulf, the Duke of Saxony, continues his crusade against the Welds that began several years earlier. Meanwhile, various Saxon noblemen are growing increasingly discontented with the current Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV. Henry has begun to demand various imperial domains in Saxony, including the Rammelsburg silver mines. He had also erected several castles nearby, and the Swabian ministeriales he had put in charge of them frequently plundered the Saxons for fun. The Saxon nobility, including Otto von Nordheim and Ordulf the Duke's own son and heir make demands to the Holy Roman Emperor, demanding he withdraw his irritatingly constant presence from the Saxon heartland, grant them more independence, or else they threaten to revolt. (Mod Response).
- Emperor Henry IV repudiates this absurd demand, and firmly holds to his demesne in Saxony that is rightfully his. Now he has reached majority, the Emperor will not stand for backroom puppets any longer
The English wait and wait for an impending, almost treacherous, invasion from the Kingdom of Norway, but with no Nordic-flagged ships sailing across the horizon, members of the aristocracy propose a proper invasion to solidify England's dominance in opposition to such a great evil.
William the Bastard, the Duke of Normandy is significantly frustrated with the sabotage of his ships, forcing him to delay his invasion of England for several months. He requests some naval support from his cousins in Italy, and amasses an even larger fleet to prepare for his landing in Kent around April this year.
The Caterbury Cathedral catches fire quite spontaneously, burning down entirely. Some say it was a Norman that instigated it, but others perpetuate the Danish as the being the prime suspects. Who is the imposter?
The unexpected death of King Solomon has thrown Hungary into a state of civil war. The immediate magnates of the kingdom proclaims Bretislau, the six-year-old Bohemian prince, to succeed the king through his mother who is the late king's sister. This is also heavily supported by Bretislau's father, King Vretislau of Bohemia, who has dubbed the child as "the second Attila". The majority of nobles from the Carpathian region instead rally around Geza, the first cousin of the late king, to fight against Bretislau, being that Geza has de-facto control over the military.
Under King Philip I, the Kingdom of France enjoys a period of prosperity. Good for them.
As tensions reach a breaking point in the Fatimid Empire, the province of Palestine cedes under the authority of Nasir al-Dawla ibn Hamdan, a former military general with his power rested in the Turkish peoples of the state, and who'se allegiance to the Abbasid dynasty of Baghdad would give him regional popularity among the Sunni majority. This ultimately leaves much of the Caliph's power to be rested in the Nubian troops, which although represent a visible minority among total ranks, remain loyal to their monarch. In the Spring of 1067, Nasir al-Dawla ibn Hamdan would lead an attack on the city of Jerusalem in an attempt to expand his sphere of influence and formally abolish the Fatimids in Cairo.
Emperor Constantine X dies, leaving his children Michael and Constantine in minority. His widow, the Empress Eudocia, remarries to the Cappadocian general Romanus Diogones, who is thereby proclaimed as Emperor Romanus IV
- Papal States: Pope Alexander II continues to preside over the ongoing clerical reforms spearheaded by Cardinal Hildebrand. The Pope sends delegates all across the Holy Roman Empire and France, with strict instructions to organized local Synods that will act on behalf of a higher synod in Rome. It is imperative that the Church should act as one voice and one message, so that no apostacy or error may occur, and to accomplish this there must be a stricter level of organization. In particular, these Synods will have the power to investigate allegations of Simony and financial corruption. At home, the Pope sends orders for enforcing peace between religious or ethnic factions in Italy, as it is God's will that people should live in peace under the Church. In light of the aborted pogrom two years ago, the Jews of Rome are protected by Papal decree, so that they should see no persecution. In the more farther, distant lands of Christendom, it is further necessary to spread the Gospel of Christ to other nations that have not yet heard, as Christ said "Behold, I am with you always, even to the ends of the Earth". The Bishop Aldabert of Hamburg is instructed to direct the evangelization of Christianity to the Wends, working with the efforts of Saxony and Norway. He also sends Adam of Bremen as an envoy to Norway itself, to help eliminate the remaining centers of paganism in Scandinavia. Pope Alexander also wishes to see the Muslims finally expelled out of Europe at the earliest possible opportunity. He calls for the County of Apulia and asks them to fight against the Muslims in Sicily, and he asks the County of Barcelona to continue their war against Zaragossa.
- County of Barcelona: While Comte Ramon Berenguer agrees with the Pope's sentiment he is hesitant to launch an offensive war after so recently achieving a peace agreement with Zaragossa. He expresses his willingness to undertake such a task should the Pope be able to aid in the effort and is also willing to assist in the re-conquest of Sicily.
Ghaznavid:After the king ordered the Ghaznavids to go north, the economy was right back up to shape, and ready for more troops. They had just beaten the kimeks, took east of the selijug empire, and made Kimek a puppet state of the empire, allowing them to go north once more. The people gave up all of their money to allsent ow the king to send his people north, and set up new towns, and restore their once great empire. They were getting richer by the buttload, and had already up a trade route with Rostov, and were doing great financially and politically. By 1070, they will send their eyes to Kashmir, and take it for themselves... The battles:
Kimek: 1567 Ghaznavid: 2904
Overall winner: Ghaznavid
Seljuq: 2300 Ghaznavid: 3019
Overall winner: Ghaznavid
Ghaznavid will annex east Seljuq
Kimek has to agree to become a puppet state of (Ghaznavid)
Ghaznavid Seljuq Kimek
Not how algos work. Person.
- Seljuk Empire:The diplomatic movements of the Byzantines in the west have raised many concerns for Alp Arslan who views Aleppo’s decision to align itself with the Byzantines. Due to Aleppo’s decision to align itself with the Byzantines, envoys are dispatched to the Uqaylids demanding they reaffirm their allegiance to the Seljuks following their prior break with the Seljuk’s (Mod Response). Nizam al-Mulk presses on with his effort to promote economic growth by investing in souks/bazaars as well as offering employment to the Turkomen nomads to safeguard trade routes through the Empire. Nizam also takes charge of expeditions sent to Estakhr and Fars to pacify revolting local tribes who are given lenient treatment so as to demonstrate the power of the Sultan. In an effort to keep the Abbasids docile and friendly, Nizam sends gifts from across the world to the Abbasids who govern/reign in Baghdad. Inspired by his vision from last year, Alp Arslan orders a painting made of the vision he saw that is to be hanged within his fort. Nizam continues with his numerous projects to establish institutions of learning throughout the Empire in major population centers and encouraging scholars from across the Islamic world to participate in the debates held by Nizam in Isfahan. The incursion by the Ghaznavid’s into Seljuk territory prompts Alp Arslan to call the Sipahi and Ghilman to war with the Ghulam forces serving as the core to this army which is to be comprised of 30k to be marched to locate and engage Ghaznavid forces. The Sipahi forces will engage the Ghaznavid cavalry in hit and run tactics in the hopes of wearing them down. Ghulam forces will be held in reserve for the majority of the battle only being committed when necessary to hold or push the enemy (Algo Needed). Turkish tribes in the meantime are permitted to continue launching raiding parties into the west beyond Seljuk territory in the hope that they will soften the enemy positions there.
- Mosul agrees to ally with the Seljuks
- Hungary: Against his cousin Bretislau Géza raises 35.000 troops and leads them himself up to the enemy capital. We attack the pretender capital with 25.000 men while the rest defend the Bohemia border (Algo needed). Meanwhile, Géza offers to marry the Bohemian King's daughter Judith to end the fighting(Mod response needed). Domonkus Church continues to get funding. We place St. Stephen’s body inside the Domonkus church. In Debrecen a young man by the name of Matyas finishes priest school and writes his magnum opus “The Disease in Heresy” in which he writes how Jesus healed specific diseases and what exactly was healed and also what happened to the people who he healed after their appearance in the Bible. He takes up a local appointment to Deacon of Debrecen Church of Younglings. After saving up a small sum of money Matyas travels to Rome where he applies to study in the Vatican under a wise tutor so he can preserve the Hungarian Catholic faith.(Papal Response Needed)
- Matyas can study in Rome
- Kingdom of Alba: With preparations now complete, his soldiers gathered (both the Mercenaries he is directing towards Srathclyde (about 4,400, 1,900 of them Norwegian's and the rest Alban's, in addition to the 3,500 or so regular Alban warriors he has gathered up for this campaign), and his plans prepared, Cenn Mór orders the official beginning of the invasion of Strathclyde, in order to subjugate it and return it to Alban authority, after many months of preparation. The campaign begins in September, just as the harvest season is beginning. This is quite unusual, as normally soldiers would not want to be away from home during this time period, but Cenn Mór was prepared and choose this time for a very specific reason. With the promises he made to the mercenaries who had been demanding payment from him being payment in the form of loot and land in Strathclyde at this campaigns conclusion, and due to their nature as mercenaries, he has a large much more professional force with him, which does not need to be home for the harvest season. They do, however, require food and drink and a good logistics train, like all armies. However, Cenn Mór is well aware of how expensive it could potentially get to feed and supply them, and thus although he is doing so to a certain extent, he is focusing far more of this on the Alban soldiers he recruited, with the plan being for the Gaelo-Norse Mercenaries to live off the land in large part so not as many supplies are required to feed them, allowing him to focus more on arming and supplying his main soldiers. This is why he has chosen to attack in September, as harvest is being gathered, as it will allow this far more effectively and ensure their is an abundance of food available to the men for foraging and raiding. Although this could be somewhat more of a problem for the non mercenary warriors he has recruited, Malcom uses many of the extra funds from not needing to supply the mercenaries to the same extent to pay them for their time off and ensure their families stay fed during this period, ensuring they are able too keep campaigning, and the fact he has only called forth a portion of the warriors he can summon ensures there are still many hands available for the harvest season, so Alban's will not starve during this campaign. He begins the campaign splitting his forces into two, with his Alban army quickly invading and capturing the western costal area of the kingdom, well the Norwegian and Alban Mercenary forces led by Laomann Mac Ara initially follow with them before continuing further too raid throughout the kingdom's southern regions, torching villages, sacking towns, and taking a large number of captives and booty, with many of the captives being enslaved, as was common at the time. This ruins a large portion of Strathclyde's harvest and Strathclyde struggles to respond to the highly mobile mercenaries, many of whom are Norwegians quite used to raiding people, in large part due to the fact that although they where expecting Alba to attack them, they where not prepared for it occurring so quickly when it did. All of this is done with the goal of ruining Strathclyde's ability to withstand a siege before they can respond and forcing them to confront us in open battle, which does eventually occur. Soon after Strathclyde's forces are finally gathered they begin marching to confront the invading forces, eventually confronting the Alban and Norwegian forces at the Battle of Srath Bhlàthain (Strathblane). During the battle, the Strathclydean's, numbering around 4,000, who had been led there in pursuit of Norwegian raiders who had attacked their camps and been threatening the area around Govan (and sacked Srath Bhlàthain), the capital of the Country and stronghold of the resisiting forces, are lead into a trap in the Kilpatrick Hills. Well pursuing the Norwegian forces they manage to chase them down to an area inside a narrow region of the hills, where the Alban army is waiting. Quickly closing off the ways in and out of the area, the remainder of the mercenary forces soon swoop down to fight the Strathclydeans well the main Alban army, which had been preparing for this, soon appears and blocks off the rest of the way out, with steep hills to either side of the army and the Alban forces blocking the only way out. Although the Strathclydeans knew their where Alban forces in the region and where expecting their presence, they did not realize that the majority of the Alban army had left the coastal area sometime ago and left a skeleton crew to give the appearance of continued activity, and had been moving through Alba to reach this region in preparation for this ambush. Surrounded on all sides and cut off from supplies, and exhausted after a long while of chasing the Norwegians, the battle occurs with a strong numerical, tactical, and equipment advantage for the Alban forces (ALGORITHM NEEDED) (Continuation starts here after Algo recived). These tactics are incredibly successful, and the Alban forces make very good use of their advantages to crush the Starthclyde forces, killing over 923 men and forcing the rest to flee in defeat, turning the battle into a complete Rout after the enemy commander is slain alongside the entirety of his retinue. Those prisoners which are taken are promptly killed, as the army does not need extra mouths to feed during this campaign and their is no point trying to ransom them when the intention of this entire invasion has been the conquest of Strathclyde, and thus we would not be ransoming people back. However, as the battle is nearing its ending, Cenn Mór is hit on the head with a rock thrown by a desperate Strathclydean peasant, and is knocked unconscious with much internal bleeding, dying but a few hours latter. However, by this time, the battle is won, so it does not effect the course of it. The Alban forces who where not members of Laomann Mac Ara's mercenary forces are driven mad by anger and viciously sack and burn the surrounding villages as punishment, something the charismatic and ambitious Laomann quickly takes advantage of, screaming that it is every loyal Alban's duty to finish the campaign and punish the Cumbrians for the evil and impudence that drove them to murder their rightful king, quickly seizing command over the majority of the Alban forces, both the Gaelic and Norwegian Mercenaries (who he already commanded) and the majority of the forces rallied by Malcom previously, vowing to punish them and leading the army to quickly march towards Govan, the capital of Strathclyde, and attack it's 400 man garrison with the entirety of his forces, giving an ultimatum to the commander of the forces there to either give up the "King" of Starthclyde and surrender too the justice of the rightful owners of these lands, the Alban's, or be destroyed, promising they shall be spared only if they surrender (MOD RESPONSE NEEDED). However, if they refuse, the gates are quickly assaulted by well prepared, well armed, well fed, and EXATREMELY angry Alban and Norwegian forces, who fight with the objective of avenging their king upon the people of this wretched city and finishing his dying dream of bringing Strathclyde back under Alban hegemony, resulting in very high morale compared to how it would normally look, heavily outnumbering the 400 Cumbrians present in the city with their 7779 men. (ALGORITHM NEEDED). Although normally far more men would be present to defend the capital of the kingdom, the smashing of Cumbric forces at the battle of Srath Bhlàthain and their total rout at the hands of Alban forces resulted in the Cumbric armies scattering as they fled the battle into a number of smaller forces, and although they are doing their best to re organize to face us again, they are unable to do so in time to stop this attack, and at best will arrive not that long after it is already over. Meanwhile, in the Alban court at Fothair Tabhaicht, the court recives news of the death of Cenn Mór in battle. The Queen, Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, quickly takes up the role of Queen Regent well they're son, Donnchad, is a minor, as he is only 6 years old. Although she governs as well as she can given the circumstances, many of the kingdom's most powerful nobles smell blood in the water and begin doing their best to win the Queen Regents hand, hoping it will give them the influence to rule the kingdom themselves and gain influence over the young king. Although Ingibiorg is able to fend off these advances for now, it increasingly limits her power, as these power hungry men seize more and more power at court well the army is away and the king is young.
- Strathclyde wants to negotiate an amicable relation with Scotland and thus surrenders
- Duchy of Saxony: The Duke of Saxony, Ordulf offers his son and heir Magnus's (b. 1045) hand in marriage to a female relative of the King of Norway's, or, alternatively, the King's sons could marry the Duke's daughters. (Norwegian Response). The war against the Wends seems to be going well, with a new influx of crusaders from Norway and missionaries from the Papal States. The German expedition launches a raid on the major Wendish temple of Rethra (Mod Response to see how this went). However, relations with the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, are not going so well. Various minor revolts and uprising begin around the Saxon area, and discontent grows and grows further. An attempt on the Emperor's life, possibly organized by the troublesome Saxon nobleman, Otto von Nordheim, is carried out (Mod Response to see how this went).
- Mod response: RMG:76 The assassination fails with the assassain predictably unable to get near the Emperor in spite of his best efforts.
- Duchy of Saxony: With the failure to assassinate the Holy Roman Emperor, various Saxon noblemen decide to try a different approach. A group of them unexpectedly drop in on the Emperor at the nearby Imperial Palace of Gostar later in the year, while simultaneously giving their troops orders to mobilize. The Saxon noblemen threateningly demand of Henry that he grants them more independence and withdraw from Saxony... or else. (Mod Response). Meanwhile, the Wendish crusade continues and the Bishop Aldabert of Hamburg is welcomed, with the crusaders planning to install him as the new archbishop of Wendland once it is fully Christianized.
- Emperor Henry IV prepares his military for inevitable revolt of Saxony.
- Duchy of Saxony: The nobles of Saxony send out messages to various other Prince-Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, requesting that they do not intervene on the Emperor's side in the conflict that the Emperor has stubborn-headedly decided to be "inevitable".
- Kingdom of Leinster: King Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó celebrates the birth of his sons, Paddy Murphy, Shaun Murphy and Diarmait Murphy. The fact he now has heirs gives Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó confidence to go and achieve his goal of unifying Ireland under 1 banner, and the first target would be the Kingdom of Dublin. First taxes and Tariffs were raised, and new taxes introduced on many goods. These new taxes allowed the king to afford Mercenaries from Normandy, he would hire 100 cavalry and 100 archers, as well as 130 Norman Infantry form the backbone of his formation, has also called up 2000 peasant levies. Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó rallied his men near the border of the Kingdom of Dublin, and marched in, raiding villages across the border to gain more provisions and to force the King of Dublin to meet him in battle. Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó Also instructed his vassal lords to call up more men to defend their various boroughs in case the main army was defeated or the Dubliners attempted a surprise attack. In the hopes that the King of Dublin would move to meet him in battle, Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó set up his army near a small forest, he hid his main forces inside the forest and set up his Norman Infantry and 100 of his Vassal levies. The plan was to retreat these men in order to entise the Dubliner army to follow them into the forest, eventually the Dubliners would be led into a small clearing inside the forest, at which point the diversion army would stop and form a shield wall. As soon as the Enemy had engaged the diversion force the rest of the forces, split evenly on the left and right of the clearing, and had been instructed to lye in wait until the enemy were engaged, were to engage as well, with the Archers firing a volley before a Cavalry charge broke out of the forest to cause choas and break up their lines, this cav charge would be followed by the remaining infantry who would smash into the flanks of the now confused and un-organised enemy. Archers were to then climb the tress and provide support to the Infantry as the Cavalry hunted down any attempting to flee, and engaged the rear of the enemy whenever the opportunity presented itself.
- Kingdom of Sweden: This year is a year of happiness for Sweden,as king Eric II marries princess Maria of Norway in a lavish ceremony in Stockholm where most of the vassals attend.nine months later queen maria gives birth to a son who they name Knut.Knut is first n line to suceed his father followed by his uncle Carl.Meanwhile the king sentences the conspirators and murderers who killed his father and brother to exile to Polosk under a secret agreement made with polotsk. in other news the king offers to split Jämtland between them and norway in a dual invasion(NORWAY RESPONSE NEEDED) The king begins to modernize and expand the army while also modernizing the infrastructure of the country.
- Papacy: The Pope offers to send a priest as Bishop of Uppsala, to help encourage the people of Sweden to tear down the pagan temples in the kingdom
- County of Barcelona: The Consell Comtal (countly council) is held early in the year in Cardona. Comte Ramon Berenguer makes the journey with his sons and his third wife, Almodis de la Marca. During the week of feasting and festivities preceding the start of the Consell Comtal, Ramon Berenguer attempts to build support for institutionalizing this council as a yearly event to ensure the peace in Catalonia. To this end he seeks to define the borders of the Catalan Counties and prevent the encroachment of Islamic and Christian threats. (Mod Response) After several days of deliberation the council begins to dissolve with various counts returning to their homes. Count Ramon Berenguer asks the counts of Urgell, Cerdanya, and the two Pallars to remain one additional day to discuss a proposal. In keeping with Papal mandate, Ramon Berenguer offers to establish Barcelona-funded monastic schools in the realms of Counts of Urgell, Cerdanya, and the two Pallars. He further calls upon all four counts to join him in this righteous cause, providing their own funds to the construction. (Mod Responses, Please) Following the conclusion of proceedings at the Consell Comtal, Comte Ramon Berenguer travels quickly back to Barcelona where he coordinated the deployment of his personal retinue towards consolidating his control over the countryside. He personally directs his forces to organize Aloers into his envisioned patchwork of Villas and farming communities wherein he then deputizes the most eldest fit male of the most prominent of the consolidated families as Vegueres Vilàs. He requires of them the general administration of the villa, the enforcement of his laws, and their service in war. Later in the year, news of the Pope’s request for resumed hostilities with the Muslims arrives in Barcelona. Count Ramon Bereguer is hesitant to throw himself and his people into such a conflict. To determine the level of support from amongst his vassals and allies he calls for another Consell Comtal in the late autumn to discuss this matter. (Mod Response for levels of support) He then writes to King Philip I of France, congratulating him on such a bountiful harvest and asking his support in an expedition to reclaim the lands of the Taifa of Zaragossa for Christendom at the behest of the Pope. He offers to provide the king with a hefty sum in gold for the service of his considerable army, and to become an ally of the king. (Mod Response)
- The other Catalan counties agree to support the Papal mandate
- The Counts agree to meet in autumn
- King Philip accepts the alliance
- County of Barcelona (Continued): Seeing the widespread support for war and a chance to expand the lands of House Barcelona, Count Ramon Berenguer begins assembling his forces as the year comes to an end. He marshals a substantial cavalry force comprised of Cavallers Vilàs and Jinetes, supported by a crack force of more heavily armored knights and a large infantry host to boot. With an alliance agreed with King Philip and payment secured, the French are called into the war which will begin with a spring campaign next year. The war-goal for House Barcelona is to secure the Marquisat de Lleida i Tortosa, further economic concessions, and potentially control over Zaragossa.
- Duchy of Apulia and Calabria: Robert of Guiscard taking up the suggestion of the Pope to keep up the conquest of Sicily. Robert calls his banners, assembles mercenaries and sails to Sicily and joins with his brother Roger of Sicily at Troina. He leaves Geoffrey to defend Taranto and the general region. In Troina, Robert and Roger combine hosts giving them some 3,000 horsemen and they ride to Palerno via the coast. Assuming no field battles, several hundred local are impressed as labourers for the week. The Normans procceed to lay siege to Palerno, Robert starts off by ordering the impressed labourers to dig two kilometers of ditches with diagnonal walls two meters wide and deep with spikes at the bottom within four hundred meters of the walls of Palerno. Behind that they place sharpened stakes lashed to a central beam creating an anti cavalry obstacle. After that the next day they proceed to dig another two kilometers of ditches and place anti cavalry obstacles. Robert proceeds to improve the perimeter defences by first digging another ditch with stakes at the bottom over the next few days. Once this is complete, the labourers are released. After that the Normans proceed to dig a much larger ditch three meters deep with perpindicular sides and 4 meters wide. An earthen rampart is built using the dirt from the larger ditch and a palisade of wooden logs is made to protect Norman fighters in the event of a Muslim sortie. Sentries are left at the palisade around the clock to watch for any sortie. At the mouth of the Oreto river, the Normans build their camp where the bulk of the army sleeps and build similar defences, all sanitation is done into the mouth of the river downstream of where water is drawn, food is brought in via the river and via foraging parties. The defences are expanded and reguarly maintained with a system of locals doing two days a week work on the siege defences established. Norman vessels anchor themselves at the mouth of the Oreto river and intercept incoming and outgoing ships. The Normans proceed to lay siege waiting for Palerno to starve.
- Northen Song dynasty: Emperor Yingzong died in 1067, caused by an illness that contracted in 1066. He is succeeded by his son Zhao Xu who took the throne name Emperor Shenzong, after the battle of the Ordeaus a whole bloodbath battle have occured and seeped out a large amount of troops, arround 200,000 lay dead trop the totaling armies, Chong E only winning due to superior number, he have tought of retreating already, but the occupation of the Ordeau plateau have used alot of his manpower and supplies, with him being already inside of Tanguts territory he starts to sack arround villages and towns, as seeing emperor Yizong have retreating, Chong E tought that his raiding force was gone, as Chong E would still continue to sack out the regions of the Southren Tanguts land, with a manpower of arround ~40,000 men he wanted to keep the morality of his men steady, and keeping the reminder that the will of the emperor must be fulfilled, and for his attempt Chong E routes to Ningxia and sends a delegate of emperor Yizong to force him to pay a tribute into the Song emperor, and to cease the raids (mod response).
- The Yizong Emperor seeks to negotiate with Chong E to improve diplomatic relations, primarily by ending the raids
- Hakia: The Hakians expand north. They encounter nomads, who, despite occupying a fertile floodplain, engage in little agriculture. An envoy is sent to one of the tribes they encounter. Teekatamakari begins training all Hakian men and boys in the art of war: some are trained in the use of clubs and cudgels; a few others are trained in archery, using sinewed bows. To address the lack of sinew, Teekatamakari arranges a deal with the nearby Jumano tribes. In exchange for produce, they will provide a steady supply of buffalo products including meat, hides, and sinew. Teekatamakari notes the similarity of his native tongue to that of the Jumano Indians, and ponders if there is perhaps a kinship between them. He sends a group to his hometown to deliver a message: he and his followers are alive and well, and the town he established, Hakia, is open to all. The communal elders (many of whom cast him out for his heresy) laugh, a few of the laymen, however, are interested. Teekatamakari's parents and sister decide to make the trek south to reunite with him; his brother, now the head of his own kiva, stays.
- Norway: A man named Haakon Haraldsson arrives in Norway from Orkney claiming to be an illegitimate son of Harald Hardrada with the blessing of Harald’s companions from the island, and he performs an ordeal by fire which seems to confirm this, leading to his half-brothers allowing him to be crowned as king alongside them. It is proposed to the Papacy that suffragan dioceses be created in Norway, namely a bishop at Bjørgvin (recently founded) for the west, and one at Oslo in the east (Papal response). Giovanni di Giovanni (formerly Jon Jonsson) arrives in his new castle and finds its pretty derelict, but he is without the funds to improve it. He decides to go on a quest in search of a bride and travels around Rome in search of adventure. He discovers the powerful Counts of Tusculum are less than friendly to him after he seized control of a property that they once owned (prior to it falling into papal possession). The offers from Sweden and Saxony are accepted.
- Kingdom of England: When the Norman fleet burned last year, an air of relief rose as William the Bastard was undoubtedly forced to halt his invasion plans. The fighting men in southern England were able to go home in peace, collect the year’s harvest, and see their families once more. As the winter goes on and reports of the Norman fleet growing once more begin to flood into England, it is clear that war is inevitable. King Harold Godwinson spends the winter expanding his household staff and sending letters to his vassals to prepare their bannermen. The winter is spent stockpiling food and supplies, gathering weapons and bannermen, and sending messages of good tidings to the vassals of England. Fortifications that were built last year are repaired, reinforced, and finally manned as the spring thaw grows ever closer. Harold Godwinson is noted to have seen a cardinal earlier in the year than is usual. The crimson bird, which usually heralds the end of winter, was captured by the king, who kept it in his court for the remainder of the year to remind him of the inevitability of war. Many of the men who flocked to his banner last year again join his forces in the south of England. Though the army is positioned at the Isle of Wight ahead of the invasion, they are a mobile army prepared to ride across Britain if necessary. In our time line, many of those who join Harold Godwinson in 1067 died in the Battle of Stanford Bridge, were unavailable to fight under Harold’s banner due to shifting allegiances, or any myriad of reasons. Those who are itching for a fight against Norway are instead pointed south, where their bloodlust can surely be satiated for now. These include archers, horsemen, and even more men capable of holding a shield wall. Sure enough, another staring contest across the English Channel ensues. Repairing a fleet was costly for William the Bastard, let alone the expense of raising the fleet in the first place and keeping it moored for an entire year. Sometime in April, the Norman fleet lands in Kent. Though they are carrying out a naval invasion, they do not command the seas. Not even England rules the waves… yet. That award goes to God himself! Because Harold Godwinson is already in southern England, he is able to arrive in Kent with roughly 15,000 fresh men in very short order. In OTL, William the Bastard had more than a week’s time to erect wooden fortifications from which they could raid the region. Harold’s fast response denies the Normans the chance to fortify their position. The English king splits his forces into two armies: an army led by himself (10,000 men) that approaches from the north to cut the Normans off from the road to London and Cambridge. His brother Gyrth commands a smaller army 5,000 strong and march west to sweep along the shore. These armies remain close to one another, meeting at the Norman landing position (Dover? Folkestone? Not many places to land here). He attempts to take the Normans by surprise, possibly while they are still leaving their ships. If this is the case, the Normans will be fighting directly at the shores against two approaching shield walls. They will have few fortifications in which they can take cover. Kent is a region rich in hills and cliffs; the Normans have chosen a very poor spot to land. If William is indeed taken by surprise, his forces will be vulnerable to English archers from the north and west as the shield wall advances. “Ut! Ut!” (Out! Out!) the English armies chant as they engage the Normans. Because Harold Godwinson has not had to fight the costly Battle of Stamford Bridge and had more time to prepare, the English infantry are joined by roughly 2,000 cavalry (split between the two armies and included in the 15,000 figure) which are held in reserve at the beginning of the battle. As the armies advance and push the Normans towards the sea with ferocity, Harold’s horsemen will ride in from the northeast and Gyrth’s from the west. In OTL, William the Conqueror is said to have fallen off his horse early in the battle and rumors of his death spread through the Norman ranks. This was not taken advantage of. If this happens in ATL, this moment of weakness and confusion is when the cavalry are sent in. The battle is a massive one - both armies are perhaps the largest armies ever to have fought on English soil. (Algo needed)
- Toltec Empire: Although a formal term was not used by the primary constituents of the Toltec state, the term Tōllān, meaning "Among the reeds" or in a figurative sense, "place where people are thick as reeds", is the primary name associated with the Toltec Empire throughout most of Mesoamerican chronology. Originally, the city of Teotihuacan is cited as the first city to be known by this name, but as an epithet, the term has been applied to any great capital city or metropolis. As a likely result, the Toltec Empire would adopt the name Tōllān for their capital, likely as an attempt to further strengthen their claim to descending from the Teotihuacanos, however, other cities would adopt the term over time as well, such as the city of Cholōllān, which at the time was positioned as the secondary seat of power in the Toltec state. While the initial rise of the Toltecs is up for conjecture, oral tradition later gathered would detail the construction of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon by the ancestral Teotihuacanos, whom were romanticized as the direct descendents of the feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl. The Teotihuacanos were fierce in their expansion, brutally sacking various city-states and establishing an empire unparalleled at the time. Founded under the banner of the black sun, the Teotihuacanos would conquer Lake Texcoco, constructing the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon in an expression of both their wealth and power. Atop the pyramids, daily sacrificial offerings would be performed to Tlaloc, the supreme god of rain and fertility, for his all knowledge and residual grasp on the universe would make him favorable to the Teotihuacanos that would bind an agreement where, if broken, would lead to the Teotihuacanos ultimate demise. The agreement would state that Tlaloc would be worshipped in exchange for the “power of God”, which is said to have appeared in the form of natural disasters for the enemies of Teotihuacanos in aid to fight their wars. Sources would concur that a great flood would wash away the Kingdom of Xochicalco while a drought would savage the State of Cacaxtla. This agreement would last nearly two centuries, but just as people were flawed and times changed, the ancestral Teotihuacanos would press for power and authority independent of their gods in an invasion of the Yucatan peninsula, and what followed was famine, a drought that lasted many moons, and a disease that would wipe out many commoners that would set the base-work for the rising Chichimeca Empire. This would culminate in the Teotihuacanos being forced to abandon their once great city, which at the time was referred to as Tōllān. It is believed by many scholars that the Toltec Empire was heavily influenced by the ancient Teotihuacanos, likewise adopting many aspects of their culture during their initial rise to power. However, following the immolation of Quetzalcoatl, the Toltec Empire would reach its zenith under tlatoani Matlacxochitl, who would lead the armies of the state in an invasion of the Yucatan that would continue up until the death of his grandson, the sixteenth tlatoani Matlaccoatzin, in 1025. By the reign of Huehmac, the Toltec state appeared to be in similar conditions to that of the mythology surrounding the ancient Teotihuacanos and their downfall. For example, tradition would dictate Huehmac’s rule to be more akin to that of a secular monarch, and as such was seen in disagreement with the gods, culminating in the empire’s demise, although a more likely scenario would describe Huehmac as a standard ruler whose power was up-ended by internal uprising spawned by a number of rising religious cults at the time in states like Patzcuaro and Xaltepec.
- Pagan Empire: The past fifteen to ten years have seen Pagan's transition into an empire, having expanded their territories and influence across the region. Contributing to this achievement are the Four Great Paladins and the Shwe Hpyin Brothers, elite generals who have experienced war and fought with blood, sweat and tears. The Pagan Empire now has the boundaries expanded to Thaton of Lower Burma and the Tenasserim coast, and received tribute from the Shan States although with minimal control. To conclude the expansion, Nyaung-U Hpi, a member of the Four Great Paladins is tasked to command an army of 10,000 (raised by the kyundaw system, which require local chiefs to supply men in need of war) to invade Manipur. (Algo Needed) Moreover, the Pateikkaya Kingdom (located in the eastern region of the Chin Hills) is demanded to pay tribute and fall under Pagan suzerainty (Mod Response). Anawrahta seek to upgrade the peninsular ports on the Tenasserim coast, i.e. Mergui and Dawei, which were transit points between the Indian Ocean and China, and facilitated growing cultural exchange with the external world: Mons of Lower Burma, India and Ceylon. Therevada Buddhism continued to be spreaded after being received from the conquest of Thaton as it have been for the past years. As relations with Ceylon have been improving, Pagan was made a center of Theravada learning by inviting scholars from the Mon lands, Ceylon as well as from India.
- the Pateikkaya Kingdom seeing the agressive foreign policy that was conducted by Anawrahta refuses the demand
Some of the algorithm requests that were late will be completed and posted sometime today EST.
After capturing the city of Jerusalem and sacking the Levantine coast, general Nasir al-Dawla ibn Hamdan would turn to the east for support, asking for Seljuk support in their plight against the tyrants of Egypt. They would find support from the Jarrahids, a powerful Arab dynasty who'se power rested greatly in the Transjordan region and supplied Nasir al-Dawla's campaign. On the flip side, Caliph Al-Mustansir of the Fatimid Empire would find himself with rising casualties and discontent over his realm as continued losses against the state of Palestine would further emphasize their state of decline, with some Mamluke aristocrats in the capital even making an attempt on his life at the Citadel of Cairo, of which he would survive with minimal injuries.
With a rebellion ongoing from the Saxon lands, some nobles of the Empire want to put an end to this insubordination once and for all and support Egbert II, Margrave of Messien for the title of Duke of Saxony, in support of the Emperor Henry. A few nobles support the incumbent Saxon Duke however, most prominently the Duke Otto of Bavaria.
An earthquake in southern Palestine causes devastation for Arabian trade routes for Egypt, further exasparating their internal disorder. About 20,000 people are killed by the earthquake
Grand Prince Iziaslav of Kiev faces a devastating defeat by the Cumanians, immediately after being served is defeat to the Prince of Polotsk. The common people of Kiev begin to raise a revolt to depose the current Grand Prince.
- Polotsk: Hearing of the deposition of Grand Kniaz Iziaslav by the people of Kiev. Kniaz Vseslav musters his men and allies raising 3,000 men and leaving 1,000 to defend Polotsk. With his men Vseslav marches on Kiev and sets up camp outside the city walls accompanied by his warhounds and his Druzhina (warriors) and requests the city's boyars, and the Veche (popular assembly) recognize him as the new Kniaz of Kiev, (Mod response). To bolster his numbers Vseslav sends out envoys to recruit mercenaries from Hungary, and the Baltic region hoping to attract some new varangians into his ranks (Hungarian and Mod response required). At home Trade with the Balts, Poles and Hungarians grows with cities like Polotsk and Minsk growing as centres of trade. Kniaz Vseslav welcomes the exiled Dane lords and the mercenaries offering them land, and wealth in exchange for a fealty of loyalty to him and his house. Vseslav Enters the golden gates of Kiev as the new Grand Kniaz of Kiev, he thanks Kniaz Sviatoslav for his support and promisies to come to the new aid of his new found allies by coming to their aid against the Cumans. The new warriors from Scandinavia are brought into Vseslav's forces. Seeing the importance of the Veche to his own legitimacy Vseslav commits to calling the veche often to consult on affairs of the state .
- Opinions are heavily divided in the Veche on the situation at Kiev, but Prince Sviatoslav of Chernigov spearheads a coalition of Boyars in the assembly to expulse Iziaslav out of the city, and accept Vseslav as Grand Prince. Several hundred Varangians and Danes head to Polotsk.
- Margrave of Austria: Ernest the Brave, Margrave of Austria had and the general noble class of Austria had been long discontent with the Bavarian domination of their lands and especially their occupation of the Austrian March (Lower Austria modern day) and so Ernest would send small contingents of knights (Numbering 500 heavy knights per group) to clear out the region of its Bavarian garrison, which was predicted to be small as most were most likely at the Hungarian border at the edge of the march. These contingents would be put under the command of their regional earls and counts in order to increase cooperation between units to improve their efficiantcy in combat. If these forces were to run into a larger army they would form a larger battalion and attempt to face the foe dead on, unless it was forested, in which cavalry tends to fail, in that case they would attempt to lure the army into open ground using hit and run raids. (Mod response)
- Duke Otto of Bavaria demands that Ernest stop these raids, and requests support of the Bavarian vassals in fighting against the Emperor in support of Saxony
- Hungary: As we continue to fight the Bohemians with 39.000 (Algo needed) a Military leader rises among the ranks as a veteran of the last year and is credited with killing 100 Bohemians, his name is Stephen Göran and he is trying to make a name for himself like his brother Matyas is in the Vatican. Stephen is made General of the Army and fights along King Géza. Stephen also marries the King’s sister Helena. The King once more offered to take the hand of Judith of Bohemia to end the war(Mod Response Needed). The Domonkus Church starts to take better form. Matyas Göran is still learning in the Vatican to be able to preserve the Hungarian Catholic religions. The King responds to the mercenary request by saying “I would love to help my friend in the Baltic but after the Rebellion will be crushed we can not give up troops”.
- Embroiled in the course of the war, the Duke of Bohemia refuses to concede just yet.
- Hungary extra: As a effort to finish the war 5.000 men are raised and lead by Stephen Göran to capture the Bohemian Capital of Prague in the hopes of using the time when the Bohemians are in Hungary to take the Capital.(mod response needed)
- Tiwanaku: The great Tiwanaku Empire enjoys continued prosperity and stability from its broad and diverse lands. Qari Qapac presides over this stability, having taken the throne 4 years ago following the death of Urpi Qari at the hands of sickness. An alliance with some elements of the Atacama is explored as an option, with runners sent to engage in talks, and the yearly m'ita is allocated, among the normal agricultural maitinence.to begin transporting stone up to the city of Tiwakanu to begin construction of a new, bigger temple to honor the gods who have blessed the peoples with bountiful harvests and prosperity.
- Kingdom of Sweden:Preparations for next years dual invasion of jämtland continues with the king visiting the troops and the queen helping to improve the healtcare of the nation to decrease war casulties.Later this year,the queen gives birth to a duagther who they name Aurora.The crown prince celebrates his first birthday this year which is attened by all of the kings vassals. In the county of Blekinge,the aging Duke adolphus dies without an heir prompting the king to appoint his brother Olaf as the new duke of Bleknge,this is welcomed by the belkinge people but also strengthens the kings influence ovr his vassals.
- Kingdom of Denmark: Sweyn dismisses the rumours that Danes had any part in the burning of Canterbury Cathedral, Denmark wishes only to strengthen ties with the House of Godwinson. The days of viking raiding and pillaging are over but there are still Danes who wish to fight. 300 Danish warriors sail east to become mercenaries to whatever kingdom hires them. Most of them sail to Polotsk. Also this year, a hundred Danish nobles, thought to be hungry for power and possibly rebellious in the future are preemptively banished from Denmark, because of a new law reform by Sweyn. Many of them are also sent eastwards to kingdoms like Polotsk and others.
- Kingdom of Alba: With the surrender of Starthclyde seccured and the king deposed, the kingdom is officially annexed into Alba, once again becoming a part of Alba. Although the land of those who surrendered early is spared, much of that owned by Briton nobles who heavily resisted the invasion is seized and re distributed among the Norwegian and Albannach mercenary forces who fought with the kingdom, as was promised to them as their payment, along with to many of the common soldiers. This makes the army very personally loyal to Laomann Mac Ara, who has rewarded them heavily (even when he did not need to), avenged the death of their king, fought alongside them, and who is extremely charismatic . This gives him a large, personally loyal army, and a strong base of power, and with such in his hands and a very young king on the throne, Laomann's old ambitions of taking the Kingship for himself, put aside in the hopes of building at least some power base for himself after Máel Coluim successfully re directed his armies attentions towards Strathclyde, resurface, as he realizes he now has a massive chance. Taking those men most loyal to him, around 3,000 in all (mostly the Norwegian's and those Albans who had fought with him for longest), he marches to Fothair Tabhaicht and presents himself as the triumphant general retturning from a successful war. He then throws his own hat into the ring in the competition for Ingibiorg's hand, and with his own influence and charisma, and the implied threat of the army behind him, he quickly wins her hand, marrying her quickly after, making him her third husband. Althoguh there is some evidence that Laomann had another wife before this, he is believed too have set her aside in order to marry Ingibiorg. However, with King Donnchad still technically king, his ambitions are still impeded. Although he has no desire too kill him, worrying it would make him out too be tyrannical even if he is only suspected, and knowing it would seriously alienate his new wife, and thus ruin attempts to father a heir latter on, he instead invokes an ancient law related to Gaelic Kingship, including in Scotland: The law that individuals are ineligible for kingship if they are blemished. Knowing he can use this to his advantage, he arranges an accident for his king where he ends up gaining a major scar (which his wife does not know he is responsible for). Doing his best to treat it, Donnchad survives, however he is heavily scarred. Laomann then uses this ancient law to say Donnchad is no longer eligable for kingship, and thus seizes the kingship for himself, being crowned as King Laomann I soon after. Although this would have likely been opposed under normal circumstances, the presence of so many nobles in Fothair Tabhaicht at the time who had been vying for Ingibiorg's hand and jockying for influence until this point allows him to take many hostages, and this in combination with his large backing from the Norwegian and Alban warriors who fought with him keeps most quiet. Although it is recorded that a battle occurred at some point during this year in response to this seizure of power, it is not recorded who exactly the rebeling nobles where or where the battle occured. What is known, however, is that a number of those who supported it found their lands seized and re distributed to loyal clans and nobles and (especially) Laomann's staunchest supporters among former Norwegian and Alban Mercenaries, with several latter highly influential clans and Noble Houses, such as Clan Rindal, Clan Bogh, and Clan Ross, have their origins in Norwegian mercenaries granted land seized from these rebels around this time period. Although many consider this to be the origin of the Gaelo-Norse period of Alban history, most historians place this era as begining with the reign of Laomann's son, Kenneth, and not to have fully come into its own as an era until the reign of his grandson, Eagar. Nonetheless, this period would be highly influential in the development of latter Alban culture and government, as Laomann begins appointing many of those loyal to him in high positions at court and in general, including a large number of the Norwegians who served with him, who would play a large part in influencing the way the country would develop in the future, including culturally. A number of the settled clans of Norwegian ancestry would also continue their mercenary and raiding traditions to a certain extent, something which would go on latter to highly influence Alban governance and form the group collectively known as the An Fánaíal, the Wanderer's, who would become highly influential in raiding, traiding, and mercenary work latter, and heavily influene the future of the surrounding region and the British Isles.
- Papal States: The clerical reforms of the Catholic Church continue to be organized by Cardinal Hildebrand and Pope Alexander. The local Synods across the Roman Empire and Francia, especially around northern Italy, are gradually placed under more centralized control by the seat in Rome. Further Bishop seats on the fringes of Christendom require more direct arbitration. New Bishops are appointed, including Svein Seljia of Bjørgvin, Asgaut of Oslo, and Aethelric Selsey of Jamtland (Sweden and Norway). The Counts of Tusculum, the previous de-facto rulers of Rome for many years, have been the greatest obstacle to the reform movement so far. They have been steadily falling out of power since the decree of Pope Nicholas in 1059, and in most recent years have fallen into further disaster with the incident involving Giovanni di Giovanni Molto. After Giovanni seized some of their property in Latium, the Pope managed to intervene, ultimately assuming the property for the Church. The Holy Father chuckles that he has once again crossed paths with this man, and gives him a blessing and some gold in the hopes that he will find his awaited bride. With that incident finished, the centralization of the Synods is expected to be completed next year, and then the clerical reforms may begin in earnest. The Pope entertains a visit from la Grande Countess Matilda of Tuscany this year, on behalf of her stepfather Geoffery the Bearded. Missionaries are sent out to the fringes of northern and eastern Europe for further evangelization.
- Shewa: Sultan Muhia begins to push northeast to the coast to involve himself in ocean going trade. The irrigation problem that’s affected Ethiopia for the last few century’s begins to be worked on in the region. Christians and Muslims alike are encouraged to convert the surrounding tribes to the south and east. Horses from Arabia begin to replace the native horses in the Sultans Guard. Roads begin to be constructed around the plateau for easier movement in the core territory. A collection of books begins to be brought from various merchants.
- Seljuk Empire: Alp Arslan issues a summons to all the iqtas’ and their Ghilman/Seljuk Prince overseers to mobilize their forces for his planned invasion eastwards into the Fatimid lands after hearing of their internal strife. A force of 40k under Alp Arslan and Nizam al-Mulk is marched through Uqaylid lands with the intent of laying siege to Aleppo and conquering the region controlled by the Mirdasids (Algo Needed). Malik Shah I is left to act as regent for the duration of this campaign and is assigned to resuming the directives of Nizam al-Mulk. The projects of Nizam al-Mulk are continued in his absence with institutions of learning continuing to be promoted and funded through state funds. Some remaining troops within the Empire are tasked with protecting trade routes that go throughout the Seljuk Empire to ensure the flow of trade despite the ongoing conflict in the West. The roaming Turkish tribes are directed westwards by Seljuk officials in the hopes that they’ll be able to support the military actions of Seljuk and weaken enemy forces. On the march west, Alp Arslan separates from the main force for a brief period of time to practice his horse archery skills and happens to come across the pride of lions resulting in him killing one. Alp personally skins the lion and wears its pelt as a show of pride to demonstrate his bravery.
- County of Barcelona: In keeping with the Papal Mandate and with widespread support from amongst the Catalan Counts and from France, Comte Ramon Berenguer issues a call to arms. He raises 12,000 men from the Counties of Barcelona, Girona, and Osona, and asks his vassals in Besalú and Empúries to contribute their forces. He then calls his allies in Urgell and Cerdanya, as well as King Philip I of France to his aid. As these forces slowly trickle in, the army swells from 12,000 to 22,000 with large contingents of cavalry, knights, and peasant levies. The final totals stand at 6,000 French knights, 4,000 Iberian knights, 4,000 Cavallers Vilàs, and 8,000 peasant levies armed with bows, spears, and light armor. Appointing Gausfred II of Roussillon as his second, Comte Ramon Berenguer takes his forces west intent on capturing the Marquisat de Lleida i Tortosa (Algo Needed) The army brings with it a number of France and Iberia’s finest artillerists with plans to construct powerful traction trebuchets to lay waste to the defenses of Lleida, the first target. Ramon Berenguer is careful to keep a clear head about himself, and insists on his sub-commanders remaining in formation. The army marches from Solsona down into the plains below. Parties of light cavalry Jinete-mounted cavallers vilàs scour the countryside, scouting for the main host and preventing sneak attacks on the flanks. These light cavalry formations are tasked with finding and harassing larger enemy forces and then reporting back to the main host. Additionally, should they uncover any small enemy forces they are ordered to engage them ruthlessly. Comte Ramon Berenguer travels in the center of the column, with him his son Pere Ramon is tasked as his father’s aid for the campaign. In attendance as well are members of the Catalan Aristocracy and several French nobles, particularly from the south.
- County of Barcelona (Continued): Having decisively defeated the Taifa of Saragossa on the field of battle, including the total destruction of the Saragossa Army, the decimation of the Saragossan nobility, and the capture of Taifa King Ahmad al-Muqtadir, Ramon Berenguer faces a choice. Knowing that it will be a challenge to administer the whole of Saragossa, but unwilling to allow Navarre, Aragon, or Castile control over the province he determines that he must come to dominate the region personally. Marching to Saragossa proper he uses his captive to force entry to the city. From there he orders treasury of Taifa King Ahmad al-Muqtadir looted and dispersed in part to his vassals and allies. He then assumes the titles King of Saragossa and Marquis of Lleida and Tortosa. With his vassals and allies satiated he turns to pacifying the region. He sends out men to gather and expel the Muslim noble families, granting them the choice to convert and swear fealty or be exiled from all Iberia. Those who resist are executed and their wealth seized, those who are exiled are likewise stripped of wealth, and those that choose to remain are allowed to retain their wealth and lands. King Ramon Bereguer takes personally for himself several dozen castles which he then distributes to those men of low rank who have demonstrated the utmost loyalty and courage in his service, ensuring the loyalty of the region. He then lowers taxes on the peasantry, and while he writes to the Pope of his plans to fully convert the region he expresses his concern that he may require more support of the papacy in defending Christendom.
- The Banu Hud re-organizes their military under Yusuf Al-Muzzafer further south, to attempt to further resist the Catalans. Some limited support is also given to them from Sancho II Castile, as they had been Castille's tributary
- Kingdom of England: King Harold Godwinson wakes up in a cold sweat this New Year's Day. He is no stranger to war; under Edward the Confessor he oversaw a war in Wales where he saw men die horrible deaths. The smell of blood, shit, and piss combining in a putrid orgy of odor that stung the eyes, filled the mouth with every breath, and lingered in his mustache for days after were all too familiar. The Battle of Dover was a different kind of stench: that which would remain on his very soul for all eternity. The foreign cries of the Normans in their unfamiliar tongues betrayed the notion that both armies were full of men of God. Where was their God as Harold's shield walls advanced until there was no room to advance, and the Norman armies were pushed off the cliffs of Dover, staining the chalk rock walls red with blood? Where was He as a tempest of arrows descended on William the Bastard's army? Where was the Lord Almighty when a cleaving blow from a heavy housecarl's sword split the duke's head? He was on the side of England that day, and Harold Godwinson lived to see what that meant. It meant ocean waves lapping at piles of bleached bones at the bottom of the Cliffs of Dover since April last year, as they would for years to come. It meant his mind would torment his every dream so long as he had a mind. Harold Godwinson rests his head in his hands for a moment and rises. On this day, he pays his housecarls for their service last year. Throughout the year he awakens from such a horrid dream many times only to deal with some ramification of the actual event that very day. This year begins the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Canterbury, which the king blames on the Normans. He himself punishes the extrajudicial killings of several Danes this year who met their fate at the hands of revenge seekers. His dreams, haunted by the prowess of Norman archers and the glimmer of an arrowhead narrowly missing his head, give rise to the adoption of an early longbow across England. Langbogamenn they are called: "Longbowmen." The English captured what ships they could from the Normans and have begun building their own fleet. The construction of castles in Dover and Sussex continues despite the fact that William's heirs have little claim to the English throne. That which does not kill the crown simply makes it stronger. English explorers scout out the Isle of Mann and the coast of Ireland. These places are known to England; Harold Godwinson himself spent his exile in Leinster in what seemed like an eternity ago when his father Godwin was an enemy of Edward the Confessor. (More to come)
- Alban Diplomacy: Laomann Mac Ara, the new king of Alba, sends a diplomat to open relations with his Southern Neighbor, seeking to re open trade after the recent power change.
- Pagan Empire: Having heard that Pateikkaya refused to accept the tributary relationship to Pagan, an outraged Anawrahta orders Nga Htwe Yu to commands an army of 15,000 to invade Pateikkaya as to assert hegemony. (Algo Needed) Meanwhile Nyaung-U Hpi shall continue with the conquest of Manipur with the remaining troops left, to completely finish what he started. (Algo Needed) Efforts to gradually adopt Therevada Buddhism continues as Pagan had almost become the main Therevada stronghold. Also, the upgrade of infrastructure on the Tenasserim coasts along with the development of security of these ports and the nations' boundaries especially alongside the 43 forts bordering the Shan Hills established in 1061 are implemented.
- Imperium Romanum: Last year of the Empire was a disaster with their emperor dying. They spent the year for the feunaral and coronation. This year, Roman Empire was ready for another attack against the Hammashen. The Hemshins were attacked by 10,000 Roman soldiers. (ALGO NEEDED) The Emperor supports Bretislau, but also made it clear that the Roman Empire will stay neutral.
- Toltec Empire: Following Nechitlxacuā’s indifference to the Toltec emperor Huehmac’s rule, Huehmac would instigate a series of raids meant to reinforce Toltec suzerainty in the region of Xalisco. The band of warriors that would lead these attacks numbered nearly one-hundred men, led by the warrior-king Itzpilchica under the guidance of his advisor, the sorcerer Tli'zahmoc. According to legend, Tli'zahmoc was a patron of the sun deity Tonatiuh, however, his beliefs would influence his guidance in a way that would later be detrimental to the Toltecs. Following Nechitlxacuā’s slaying of Chiunemaltli, the state of Xilotepec would align themselves with the rebellious state of Xihulta after their own subsequent internal uprising led by the hero Coszxōcoatl, who according the legend, would use the power of the storm-god Tlaloc to presumptively strike lighting down from the sky onto the King of Xilotepec, Oquetne. Without proper guides through the terrain, Itzpilchica would find refuge in Tli'zahmoc’s faith to the chagrin of his warrior brethren, and while they were under collective belief that they knew exactly where they were, Itzpilchica and Tli'zahmoc would arrive outside the city of Etzatlan around spring, which at the time was ruled by a Toltec artisan known as the Lanmichicuā. Under the belief that the city of Etzatlan was actually Xihulta, Itzpilchica would launch a raid on the city at night in a raid stylized after great legends like Natlalihuitl. After taking down the guards that resided on watch, Itzpilchica would lead his men into the city alongside Tli'zahmoc, who would proclaim profoundly, “Let It Burn! Let Xihulta Burn!”, and so it did. Nothing was spared: not the women, not the children, not even the riches the city had built its power on since the Toltec conquest. In the storming of the palace, it is said that the many royal women were raped and their children thrown from the top of these structures, with Lanmichicuā himself being bludgeoned to death by Itzpilchica. The animals would eat fondly for the following months, which was just in Itzpilchica’s mind as he would proudly pike the remaining head-piece of Lanmichicuā, who he still thought was actually Nechitlxacuā. This siege would go rather un-noticed, as it was believed by Huehmac that Itzpilchica had dealt with Xihulta and was promptly occupying their gains. After the arrival of refugees from the city of Etzatlan in Xihulta, Nechitlxacuā would formally request the former king Lanmichicuā’s children, which were all royalty in the Toltec court, to give up their royalty status to serve by his side in their personal journey for redemption and their plight for freedom. Out of the five, two would accept, being Caeteote, the son of Lanmichicuā, and his cousin, the beautiful Xilonen. Nechitlxacuā would make a vow to the peoples that he would liberate the city, and with additional help from Caeteote and Xilonen, would devise a plan of attack to re-capture the city. So by the coming of the Autumn period, Nechitlxacuā would launch a raid on the city in similar fashion to Tli'zahmoc’s original plan, and after infiltrating the city’s defenses, would only leave bodies for the Toltecs to discover years later. It was from the city’s recapture that Caeteote would be appointed ruler by Nechitlxacuā, although Caeteote would give Nechitlxacuā a sword used by former patriarchs of Etzatlan as a sign of good will. It’s often surmised that Etzatlan was a formal vassal of Xihulta, and with Heuhmac’s presumed unawareness of the events unfolded, Nechitlxacuā would begin devising a plan to attack the city of Tollan as formal revenge for their attempted attack on his homeland.
- The Kingdom of Arles : In the southernmost part of France, Leader of The Duchy of Arles, William II, Goes out for some hunting. while out, his son accidentally shoots him with his bow, his son is crowned Rudolph II, With The Nation in chaos, they needed some helps they asked the pope for some help (Papal Response needed),we would prepare to mobilise for the upcoming turns.
- Mod note: Your nation is a County not a Duchy. He technically doesn't have any sons historically, but I'll let this slide
- Taifa of Toledo: Omar Al-Rasheed is now three years of age and doing well. As the next-in-line to be emir, he is well taken care of in the Alcazar as in the coming years he will learn how to rule. Rudrighiz with the approval of Uwrlandu and Al-Mamun himself, order the creation of a new elite unit of infantry pikemen known as the Mozarab Alramahs. With Al-Mamun's oversight, these forces work well in the open arid terrain excluding the fact that the bowmen and cavalry units are in need of focus. Al-Mamun takes that venture by the horns and focuses as well on the development of a strong cavalry that could one day surpass their forefathers. The Arab Horse which had bred well in Andalusia would become well fit for this new cavalry core and formation known as The Riahs. The Riahs coming from the literal word of wind. Its design to prioritize shock and speed. The Mozarab Alramah pikemen and bowmen to prioritize power. Together, this force will be ready to defend and expand the Emir's domain by his will. Meanwhile the gradual infrastructure improvements have done everything they promised to. The lands are becoming better connected than prior and a main pathway from Valencia to Toledo exists. The hub of Toledo continues to receive greater traffic than before. With wars in the north, more merchants settle in the capital seeking either refuge or safe means of conducting sales. As a result, the urban population expands. Encouragement of conversions to Islam only grow as usual.
- Duchy of Apulia and Calabria: Contuine siege.
From the great reaches of the Caucasian mountains, a Turkish warlord known as Mehmed Sukhan would have dreams that paralleled him to ancient historical conquerors, and it was from those dreams that he would find solace in forming his own empire. Styling himself as "Roman", Sukhan would travel across much of the region, gathering local support and expanding his army into the tens of thousands over this year-long travel. Although suspect to the Seljuk Empire, he would come across charismatically eccentric to the aristocrats he would meet on his travels. By the autumn of 1069, with Sukhan leading an army that numbered high, he would sack the Byzantine city of Vaspurakan in a matter so brutal that its said not even the children or the youth were spared, and from this would begin his formal campaign against the Byzantines with this attack seen as a formal declaration of war.
In the wake of the sudden military coup in Scotland by Laomann Mac Ara, having no legitimate claim but asserting his position on an obscure ancient custom, a popular revolt occurs in Inverness on behalf of supporting Donald and Malcom, the two remaining younger sons of Malcom III, for the Scottish throne. It is unclear how much support this has outside of local peasants and the Lord of Inverness, or even if the two young princes are even involved.
The Kievan Boyars succeed in supporting Vseslav of Polotsk as the Grand Prince of Kiev, as much of the military is under the direct influence of Prince Sviatoslav of Chernigov. Sviatoslav works at being a power behind the throne, and will use his influence to bolster Vseslav's reputation in Kiev. Meanwhile, Iziaslav fled to Poland under the protection of Duke Boleslaw II, who prepared an army of his own to march back to Kiev.
The War of Three Sanchos ends in favor of Castile, which annexes parts of Aragon and Navarre. Sancho II goes on to conflict with his brothers in the Jimenez dynasty, in an ambitious push to unite much of northern Spain.
Even after repulsing the Norman invasion, the House of Godwin still has a tenuous standing among the other Saxon nobles in England, after their dubious succession from Edward the Confessor. A coalition of nobles from Northumbria and Yorkshire offer to form an alliance with the King, solidifying his claim to the throne in exchange for leniency on their lands.
The County of Provence falls into chaos with the unexpected death of Count William II. His infant son Rudolf has been selected as Count, but the former count's brother William also claims this title, having formally been co-ruler of Provence. Also the local Count of Toulouse, William IV, asserts his independence from this dynasty as well.
King Abbad II al-Mu'tadid of Seville dies this year, being succeeded by his son, Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad, who would appoint one of his father’s former advisors, Muhammad ibn Ammar, as Grand Vizier. Although it isn’t known outside of the Seville court, sources would later describe the relationship between Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad and Muhammad ibn Ammar, who held a nine-year age difference, as possibly being homosexuals, although not many sources of their relationship remain in record. Either way, King Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad would build an army that was large in size in an effort to fulfill his father’s dying wish: to conquer Cordoba, and re-form their once great Empire. Meanwhile in the east, the Fatimids would see their capital of Cairo being sacked by Turkish forces led by Nasir al-Dawla and the Jarrahids. After successfully capturing it, Nasir al-Dawla would discover that the Caliph, Al-Mustansir, had actually fled westward to Alexandria prior to the attack on the city, leading Nasir al-Dawla to publicly humiliate the Fatimid Caliph and proclaim himself as the true “King of Aegypt.”
In the region of Vietnam, the Lý dynasty army would go on to attack Champa sometime this year in an effort to begin southward expansion, While initial success would be seen, the capturing of King Rudravarman III would become a pivotal moment in the region's history, likely resulting in the adoption of the military term "Nam tiến", or 'southward expansion'.
The Battle of Dover Field which was actually done a couple of years ago ends in a decisive victory for England, who drives the Norman invaders off the British Isles. The English had enough military strength surplus from the aborted Norwegian invasion to overwhelm the Norman knights in direct combat. One Saxon clubber tore off the helmet of Duke William, and a stray arrow lodged in his neck. The rest of the forces fled with their leader killed. William's oldest son Robert is appointed the new Duke of Normandy, struggling to share power between his younger brothers. He is much more determined to focus on Norman expansion on the continent than dealing with the Viking realm anytime in the near future. This should have been reported quite a bit ago but had been delayed until now.
- Margrave of Austria: Seeing the inactive resistance put up by the Bavarians, Ernest the Brave decides that this, when Bavaria is at its most vunrable due to their inactive resistance to raiding in the Austrian Marches, is the time to strike and win Austria not only the Austrian Marches back but its own independence from the Bavarians. Ernest unites his brigades of knightes with some local footmen raised from both Austria and the Marches. With a year to prepare this army numbers 10,000 strong, their own problem being lack of expirience. Ernest moves his men from the Austrian Marches (Which had been under de facto occupation by the Austrians since 1068) into Bavaria. A decisive battle must be fought to win Austria her land and freedom. To try and draw out the Bavarians into a decisive battle the large settlement of Regensburg is raided, causing mass destruction and death. The Austrians await to see if the Bavarians take the bait. (Mod responce needed)
- Duchy of Saxony: Ordulf, the Duke of Saxony, and his fellow Saxon noblemen, having gathered a large army consisting mainly of discontented Saxon peasantry, and with the support from Otto, the Duke of Bavaria, march on the Emperor's castle. They offer terms of peace, but if the Emperor refuses these, they will besiege him (Mod Response to see how this goes).
- Kingdom of Alba: As Laomann continues solidifying his position, and establishing himself firmly in the capital, a revolt erupts in the highlands, centered around the lordship of Inbhir Nis and the surrounding area, primarily led and supported by the MacGriogair clan and some local allies. Although they are outnumbered heavily, they hope that by rising up (and declaring their intention to support the re instilation of Malcom's sons to the throne) and winning a victory of some kind (even if a pyrrhic one) they will inspire the other Highland clans to rise up, and therefore give them the strength to fight a war with an actual chance of winning. They manage to muster around 700 men but most of them are hardened warriors, quickly seizing control of the surrounding region, hoping to quickly fortify it before Laomann can really bring his forces to bear, and therefore ensure that they can hold out long enough that it inspires the surrounding lords to join them in their revolt. However, they severely underestimated both the response time of the army Laomann commands, as his Norwegian Soldiers have mostly not settled in yet, and thus represent a very mobile force at his command he can deploy much faster than traditional Alban forces. In addition to this, many of those that they expected to rise up with them have relatives currently as de facto hostages in Fothair Tabhaicht (as I discussed last turn) and are thus unwilling to revolt, even if they otherwise would be. As a result of this, the MacGriogair's find themselves preparing to defend against a far larger, better armed, and more experienced force, and grimly dig in. When Laomann hears word of this revolt beggining, he does not go himself, as he is still consolidating his position and establishing the frameworks of a working kingdom with himself at the helm, and he knows he has not yet fathered a heir, and thus has not consolidated his position or his dynasty yet, something he very much sees as his main priority. Thus, he dispatches the 4,000 "mercenaries" still at his command who have not settled north to suprress the revolt and ensure the loyalty of the Highlands to Laomann, led by one of his most trusted men from when he fought in Strathclyde, Bogh Ingvarsson, one of the Norwegians who had joined with him previously. They move fast and the rebels ultimatly do not have the time to fortify themselves properly, leading to the battle by the Abhainn Nis (river Ness) being one that the rebels are not properly ready for, and they face a much better armed, more experienced, and better prepared enemy, who they have not had enough time to prepare for. They become aware of the army coming long before it arrives, and thus prepare a ambush near the river, but Ingvarsson is prepared for this possiibility, and they quickly find themselves fighting a pretty evenly matched battle where they are massively outnumbered. (Algo Needed). In other news, Laomann continues consolidating his hold in Fothair Tabhaicht, begining to appoint many of his followers, Gael and Norse, to fill governmental positions and winning control over the Gaelic nobles at his court. He also begins to grant land in Strathclyde to his supporters, including a large amount of Gael's, often giving those who have sworn loyalty to him and performed well in his service land grants in the region, and encouraging them to settle themselves and their retinues in these lands, in order to begin the process of Gaelicizing the still essentially Brythonic Strathclyde region. Most of these land grants go to either men in his service who had helped him take power, such as his soldiers who fought in the Strathclyde campaign who are still at court, or to third or fourth sons of prominent noblemen who have no chance of inheriting but have performed services for him, most often those who's family he seeks to gain influence with, a process that is sucessful at reducing much of the grumbling about his seizure of power. Although not a huge amount of this is done this year, as it is only the begininng, this process of granting land in Starthclyde to Gaelic and Norwegian lords who mostly rule over Brythonic peasants and bring in settlers with them will be a long term trend of the kingdom continued under his son and grandson, as a way to win favor with those who support them and to establish a firm control over the previously independent and still very culturally different Kingdom. He also grants land to a number of smaller scale people who do not have much wealth or power of their own who are loyal to or have fought for him. Most of these people would quickly find that they need quite a bit of help establishing themselves in and managing these lands, often swearing fealty to a more prominent and powerful lord in the region. Laomann also continues attempting to father a heir, and by the end of the year Queen Ingibiorg is pregnant, although it is not known if this is a boy or a girl, with Laomann hoping it is a son, as a heir would majorly solidify his position and help him begin building a dynasty that can last long term. This pregnancy begins in October, so this child is expected to be born sometime next year. Laomann also makes sure to keep all three of Malcom's previous sons under heavy watch, and to begin actively involving himself in their lives, in order to ensure they cannot be spirited away by anyone else and used as an icon of rebellion, and to ensure that they are loyal to him in the future, beginning to try to position himself as a father figure after the death of Malcom. However, he also shows his much harder side, and although it pains him, orders one finger removed from each of them, in order to ensure his invoking of the "Blemish Law" applies to them as well, making it harder to use them to threaten his succession in the future, even if it is technically possible. Finally, in order to ensure peace on his border well he secures himself in Alba, Laomann sends a representative to the Court of Harold Godwinson, seeking to re-establish relations with his southern neighbor and ensure the peace made between Harold and his predecessor continues (England response needed). In an effort to ensure this is successful, Laomann does his best to reign in the Alban raiders who frequently launch raids over the English border, although he still has them respond harshly to raids on their lands. Of course, not all follow this dictate, and many in fact continue to launch raids as is par for the course, but the number of raids is significantly lessened, which will hopefully ensure better relations. As a result, some of these men will begin to raid nearbye Ireland instead, but this is not common.
- Kiev-Polotsk: Hearing word of the mustering of troops in Poland, Vseslav sends word to his Baltic allies in Lithuania requesting that they muster an army of Balts to carry out raids into Polish territory once they begin invade Kiev to restore Iziaslav to the throne of Kiev, offering them plunder and payment for their services, Efforts to hire Pecheneg horse archer mercenaries from the remnants of the Pechenengs are made to shore up the ranged forces of the Rus (mod response). Envoys are sent to Chernigov requesting the support of his new ally Prince Sviatoslav against the former prince his brother, proposing a betrothal between Vseslav and a member of Sviatoslav's family to strengthen their new found alliance, he furthermore promises reforms to strengthen the power of the boyars who supported him and to consult with the boyars and veche on all matters of states. He also promises action soon against the Cumanians and that Sviatoslav will be one of those who most profits from the spoils of war. Vseslav proposes that between Kiev, Chernigov, Polotsk, and the other princes muster 15,000 men to defend against any incursions by Poland and potential retribution from Iziaslav (Mod Response). Efforts to restore the declining trade routes over the Varangian rivers are made by setting up new garrisons along the trade routes, efforts to improve roads between Kiev, and Polotsk. Orders for new armor, and weapons are made to the armories. Vseslav sends envoys to Hungary, and Byzantium Sweden, Denmark reaffrirming friendship with them. A secret envoy is also dispatched to Poland requesting that Boleslaw II not interfere and keep Iziaslaw in exile offering to pay for his upkeep and extending an hand of Friendship to Krakow (mod response). However should diplomacy fail Vseslav makes an effort to fortify his western frontier specificly he orders t oconstruction of new earthwork fortifications as garrisons and fortifying the Polotsk stronghold Minsk and efforts to consolidate the defensive works around Halych are made in western Kievan lands to protect against a Polih incursion.
- The responses from the nobles and Pecheneng mercenaries is only able to raise 10,000 troops
- Imperium Romanum dip: We agree that a freindship is needed.
- Sweden: After trying to neogitiate a deal about Jämtland with Norway for two years,the king decides to do it alone,he rallias 10,000 troops and marches them to the jämtlander border issuing a final ultimatum about submission.If accepted the jämtlander duke will keep his vassals and his throne,if not he will be invaded by the might swedish army.Meanwhile in The duchy of Halland,the young duke alex is revealed as a non beliver and is deposed by his vassals who installs a well renoved pagan leader known as Blot Sweyn.This however is not appreachiated by the king,who begins planning on a way to remove Blot-Sweyn.
- Norway: We accept and join the Swedish army in invading Jamtland and also send 10,000 soldiers.
- Papal States: The Pope decides he must step in to intervene in certain regional politics, to prevent further chaos from happening. The Pope declares that William Betrand is the legitimate Count of Provence, and that the supporters of Rudolf are acting in treason. Although it is conceivable William had the superior claim anyway, Pope Alexander's motive in this matter was clear, knowing that William was an avid supporter of the Papacy's power over the Emperor. The Emperor Henry IV verbally objects to meddling within his vassals, but is unable to commit a response to it at this time. In Northern Europe, the Christianization of Scandinavia takes full force. Pope Alexander requests to King Eric of Sweden that he takes the initiative to remove all his pagan vassals, and to shut down the temple of Uppsala permanently. With the centralization process of the Catholic Church mostly underway, Cardinal Hildebrand moves forward with the clerical reforms, to extinguish the ongoing issues of sodomy and adultery among Catholic priests. From now on, all unmarried priests will take a vow of celibacy upon assuming holy orders, while married priests may remain united with their spouse. Any claim of a priest acting in violation of his vows, or committing acts of simony or sodomy, or engaging in sorcery, will be investigated by an ecclesiastical tribunal organized by the Bishop, or the next higher authority where applicable. People who had become victims of an apostate priest, in appealing to the case of the Saint Demetrius in the Third Epistle of John, will be placed under direct protection of the church as sanctuary from threats of reprisal. This trial will be conducted alternatively with legal proceedings and trials by ordeal. If the priest is found guilty, he will be stripped of his orders and be excommunicated. This also comes with broad, sweeping reforms related to sexual purity within the church, re-inforcing earlier edicts that forbid sodomy, adultery, beastiality, polygamy, concubinage, and incest to the seventh degree. All princes of Europe will be compelled to adhere to these edicts or face discipline. The ability to enforce these laws, however, will take some time. In the far east, the Pope wants to ensure that the Christian rulers of the Kievan Rus adopt these reforms as well and do not fall into heresy. The Pope sends the learned Preist Stanislaus of Szczepanów as emissary to Kiev. He asks the Princes to organize the local synods that will properly administrate the Bishops of Russia, and that they should abandon the filioque heresy of the Greeks (Polotsk Response please).
- House Barcelona: Seeing the Banu Hud re-organizing to the south and realizing that it will be impossible for House Barcelona to rule all of the newly conquered lands, King Ramon Bereguer sends a series of messengers to his potential Christian rivals seeking to develop an amenable peace. Having heard news of Castile’s annoyance, He offers to continue a payment of gold to Castile proportional to the Chrisitanization of the region for their cooperation in repelling Islam. (Mod Response) Then the King himself travels with his son Pere-Ramon to negotiate with King Sancho Ramírez of Aragon. King Ramon Bereguer offers the sale of a large tract of land, to be organized as the County of Huesca, to Sancho under the condition of a mutual defense agreement and the marriage of Sancho’s firstborn son, Pero, to Agnes of Barcelona, Ramon’s daughter, when both are of age. (Mod Response) In both cases he appeals to the Sanchos’ faith, reminding them of the papal mandate that drove this reconquest and seeking to build trust and goodwill through the presentation of generous gifts suited to each monarch. King Ramon then returns to Cardona to attend the Consell Comtal. He addresses concerns of inequitable distribution of wealth from the recent invasion and provides rights to several castles to his loyal vassals and allies. The council then discusses the impacts of the War of the Three Sanchos and how it will shift the balance of power in the north before dissolving for the year. With that business settled, King Ramon oversees the organization of his new territories. He grants lands to his vassals, installs new local nobles, and invests heavily in repairing damaged infrastructure, farms, and roads. With the liberation of Lleida, Tarragona, Tortosa, and Zaragoza the tax base for the new king has expanded dramatically, and with it the challenges of administering his realm. He appoints several dozen lower-nobles to high positions within the new lands, while granting tracts of seized land to the older families to prevent them from becoming disgruntled with the changes. The new king begins plans for a series of well fortified castles running from Barcelona to Zaragoza and Tortosa.
- Sancho Ramirez considers this deal very acceptable. Sancho II of Castile will accept the deal as well, with considerable compensation.
- Pagan Empire: As both Manipur and Pateikkaya campaigns have resulted in resounding success for Pagan and severe casualties for the oppositions, Anawrahta requests both nations to surrender and fall under Pagan suzerainty. Both countries will receive vassal relationship to Pagan and their current leaders will remain as the head of their respective states. They have to pay tribute to the Pagan court each year. (Mod Response). This year, Vijayabahu I of Ceylon asked Anawrahta for aid against the Chola invaders (happened IRL). In return, Anawrahta sent ships of supplies in aid of our fellow Buddhist ally. News of Dai Viet’s victory against Champa interests Anawrahta. He sends gifts of local products to the Lý court and asks Emperor Lý Nhật Tôn to make better relations. (Mod Response). The reason behind this is to counter Hindu influence in the region in general and Khmer influence in the region in particular. Moreover, despite following a different branch of Buddhism, Dai Viet is still a Buddhist country and have expressed hostility towards another Hindu country - Champa.
- This embassy to Vietnam is accepted
- Both states agree to pay tribute
- Hungary: The King continues to press on the Bohemians both in Budapest and in Prague(Algo Needed). Stephen and Helena have a son they name Béla in honor of the late King. Matyas returns from the Vatican from his studies and finds himself in an amazing opportunity, he is offered the position of Deacon in the newly constructed Domonkus Church, he accepts and is known to take any and all to theological debate after mass. He writes his second book “The New Circles” in which describes his visions of a New Circle circle of hell in which brutal and bad monarchs will experience over and over a life as a peasant under their rule for eternity. The King gives the Bohemian Duke one last chance to end this war with a Marriage between Judith and Géza(Mod Response Needed). Stephen Göran is granted the title Duke of Göran with a pension and a mansion along with being granted the House of Göran which also includes his Brother Matyas.
- Seljuk Empire: Nasir al-Dawla’s ascension to the throne of Egypt is recognized by Sultan Alp Arslan and Seljuk envoys are sent bearing gifts to show the Seljuks’ friendliness to Sunni leadership in Egypt (Mod Response). The charisma of Mehmed Sukhan has given him a favorable impression in the Seljuk court so much so that nobles and princes request that the Sultans lend aid to his endeavor. Sultan Alp Arslan refuses them for now preferring to invest the resources of the Seljuk state into the recently acquired territory of Aleppo at the behest of Nizam al-Mulk. The former lands of the Mirdasid Emirate are turned into an additional iqta with Malik Shah I being assigned as the Seljuk Prince to the territory. Alp Arslan’s decision to turn Aleppo over to his son displeases his generals who had hoped to receive some land for themselves. Malik Shah’s first objective as Prince of Aleppo is to oversee the restoration and improvement of the Citadel of Aleppo to establish himself in the region. The walls of Aleppo are also being rebuilt under the direction of Malik Shah to repair the damage inflicted by the Seljuk siege of the city. Economically, efforts are taken to prioritize souks to promote trade with troops being devoted to secure them and tax incentives offered to merchants. Sensing an opportunity to remove trouble Turkish groups that have refused to acclimate to life in the Seljuk Empire, Nizam al-Mulk undertakes efforts wherever possible to urge them to travel and fight for Mehmed Sukhan by supplying them with resources to travel as far as Mehmed is located if they agree.
- Tiwanaku Empire: Continued prosperity, stability, and growth is bestowed upon the great Tiwanaku Empire. The temple to the gods in the city of Tiwanaku continues construction, and talks with the Atacama peoples are still in motion as well. The yearly m'ita is allocated, among the normal agricultural maitinence.to continue transporting stone up to the city of Tiwakanu to continue construction of a new, bigger temple to honor the gods who have blessed the peoples with bountiful harvests and prosperity.
- Imperium Romanum: Roman Empire gathers 30,000 troops and also asks Georgia to send troops. With the troops, The Roman Empire attacked Mehmed Sukhan. (ALGO and Mod response needed) Because the new Emperor wanted more Greek culture, he decided to bring back Panhellenic Games, but get rid of honoring the Greek gods part. This year, they had the first Olympic game. They created this sports called "football", also known as soccer in some regions and put that as one of the sports. The Eastern Roman Empire sent diplomacy to Seljuk, telling them to leave Aleppo immediately. (Seljuk response needed)
- Seljuk Empire: Sultan Alp Arslan refuses to withdraw from the territory of Aleppo stating that it is not the role of the Byzantines to be intervening on Muslim affairs especially one by which the Abbasid Caliph supports.
- Galicia: King García II enters his third full year as ruler, following his ascension in December of 1065. With the death of his tutor and bishop of Santiago de Compostela, Cresconius, in 1066 the stability of the Galician realm was already in question. García, who was not particularly impressive as the third son of Ferdinand and Sancha, finds himself suddenly facing a threat from within and without. Internally, Gudesteus - the nephew of Cresconius and successor to the see at Santiago de Compostela - is assassinated during the Lenten season. The assassin proved to be hired by none other than a Galician count, Froila Arias, which casts a great deal of confusion among the Galician nobility. Meanwhile, the southern counties of Portucale and Coimbra (governed by Nuno Mendes and Sisnando Davides, respectively) enter into an alliance. Turning to the external arena, Sancho II of Castile declares war on King García II of Galicia, which compounds the domestic crises in the south and in Compostela. If there was ever a time for decisive action, it was now - but García was convinced by his inner circle of allies in Galicia to not seek justice for the murder of Gudesteus (owing to purported uncertainty that Froila Arias ordered the assassination). This injustice led many counts and other nobles outside of García's inner circle to begin to doubt their king. Nowhere was this felt more intensely than in the south, where the annual tributes from the taifas of Badajoz and Seville are confiscated and divided between Davides, the notable Mozarabic warrior, and Mendes, the Portucalense noble. Nuno Mendes and Sisnando Davides begin to prepare their own rebel forces with the tribute acquired from the taifas, but do not attack this year. García, sensing the hesitation of his southern vassals, reaches out to his brother, Alfonso VI of León, for an alliance (Mod Response) and sends the bulk of his forces to the east to fight the oncoming Castilians while they are still in León (Algo/Update).
- Alfonso accepts this alliance against Sancho's ambitions
- Kingdom of England: Early in the year, King Harold addresses the matter of Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury and Winchester, who had been excommunicated for holding the office. Papal relations were less than superb in those days between England and the papacy, though the OTL sources we have of this were written in the time of William the Bastard. It is likely that relations were far less strained than the OTL Norman sources tend to imply. Indeed, Edward the Confessor himself was a devout and pious man. Whatever alienation took place between England and the church in this time was largely due to the actions of Stigand. Indeed, it was the Archbishop of York who crowned Harold Godwinson king of England. The actions of Stigand were fatal; William the Bastard used the excommunication of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Winchester as reason to petition for papal backing. Though the Pope was on the side of the Normans, God was not. The gonfalon carried by William’s forces into battle was pried out of the dead hands of its bearer in the days following the Battle of Dover Fields. It has been cleaned and is ready for delivery back to the papal states. Harold and his entourage travels to Rome, filling Stigand with dread over what the Pope tells Harold to do. In a panic, he backs Edgar Ætheling for the throne. Edgar is the last known viable candidate for the House of Wessex and was chosen by many members of the Witenegamot. The House of Wessex had fallen out of favor with the northern Thanes and the House of Godwin had earned its admiration across all of England. Harold arrives in Rome to return all artifacts brought to England in the attempted Norman conquest. He makes no offers to the Pope regarding the dual positions of Stigand and instead offers an indulgence for Stigand's immortal soul. While he is gone, Stigand attempts to rally a number of Thanes against Harold. He is successful to a minor degree; the Godwinsons in England fight a short battle and are able to arrest Stigand. Harold returns to Stigand in chains. The papal legate he traveled with are sent back (much to their irritation) to report the situation in England. Harold has yet to give the position to another bishop and leaves the duty to the Pope. Having secured his place against a minor insurrection without even being there, Harold reminds the Thanes in Northumbria and Yorkshire that the shores of England are once again secure and that they already have an oath of allegiance to the crown. To renegotiate the terms of their allegiance is treason. Harold Godwinson has a history of giving the Thanes what they want, most notably when he convinced Edward the Confessor to exile Harold's brother Tostig. Speaking of the prince in exile, we must now turn our attention to his recent ventures. Despite Danish authorities attempting to arrest him, Harold managed to escape on a westbound ship to Normandy. He is reported to have been living in the attic of a tavern and was able to evade Danish authorities by scaling a building. He is said to have been missing a few fingers, which may have been bitten off in a bar fight. Harold has no clue where his brother is, only that he may return at any point. He begins the construction of several castles in Mercia to intimidate the nearby population not to support Tostig or Edgar. Construction of castles in Northumbria also begins, partially to serve the effect of intimidating local thanes and partially to discourage Alban attacks. The reassurance that England will not invade their lands, however, is reiterated.