Mali was an old and rich land. Wisely led by their Imams, they had grown powerful in western Africa. The legions were able to beat Mali’s armies in any battle, but had a hard time maintaining any sieges as the Malinese army would travel to where the Legions were not and put Imperial controlled regions to siege. It took two years for the Legions to find some semblance of order to the war. By 1752, the western parts of Mali were besieged by XVII. Legio, XVI Legio was bringing the Timbuktu region under control (with constant marching by the largest part of the Legion to defeat newly raised and organized Malinese forces), IX. Legio was clearing the Guinean region of forces and beginning the critical sieges, and XII. Legio (shipped over when it was apparent Mali was not an knockover) fended off Malinese raids and dreamed of marching on the Lake Tchad region.
The war was a draining one for the Legions. In order to better recruit replacement soldiers, Konstantios tied each cohort to a particular province from which recruiters could find replacement soldiers.
Finally in November of 1753, Mali agreed to release Kanem Bornu and to give up a swath of territory to the Empire. Missionaries were sent to the conquered territories, and Kanem Bornu was disavowed of any ideas of alliance that they held.
During this war, the North Andean people had expressed dissatisfaction with the neglect their region had faced. No doubt, the fact that the North Andeans a primarily local culture that integrated themselves into the Imperial system once given the chance played a role in their independent mindset. A corrupt governor did not help their dissatisfaction, even though they were repaid for their losses.
Konstantios, recognizing that it would be a long time (if ever a time) before the Empire could directly administer them to a degree that made their lands worthwhile, granted them a great measure of independence.
During the peace while the Legions recovered, Theodoros (who was heir to the Empire and had recently had a coming out party) died of a strange fever. While Konstantios made no overt moves, he was suspicious of this death.
To no-one’s surprise, Konstantios declared war on Kanem Bornu.
As did Songhai after them. With truces yet to expire in western Africa, Konstantios looked to eastern Africa. The old cursed land of Sennar was attacked so its land could be given to Ethiopia.
Eastern North America had changed significantly. The Huron had formed Canada and consolidated the north. The Cherokee had formed the United States of America and begun working to consolidate the plains. A few potential territorial disputes had been resolved by the Empire, with the lands under the temporary control of the Empire.
The Empire had advanced greatly in learning, with art and science flourishing throughout the Empire. Lonely Castile, holding only the Azores, had managed to import and apply nearly everything the Empire knew, though this was their only claim to any fame.
In the time span between 1700 and 1750, the Empire had extended yet more protection to the lower classes, though nearly everyone but the hereditary aristocrats had been shut out of the highest levels of influence and power. The merchants had given up direct influence in the government without too much fuss, as the Empire gave them more protection against outside traders. And the Imperial Corps of Engineers was proving ever useful to the Legions.
England, despite having been forced to abandon their homeland, had grown to be a power. The Kingdom was focused on their naval power, and on claiming as many colonies as they could. They controlled much of eastern South America, the New England region of North America, the North American south-west, and a strip of the Siberian coast. Their armies, while no match for the Legions, had proved well trained and equipped in the recent war, and their navy was the best in the world, giving even Konstantios pause.
Muscowy had long been spreading across the steppes, aided by the Empire, which had not wanted to manage those lands itself. After proclaiming itself the union of all Russians, it had reclaimed most of the traditional Russian heartland. Militaristic and aristocratic, who knew where it would turn next?
Konstantios, XII of his name, Basilious
Landholders, businessmen, plantation owners of the Empire, I remind you of St. Paul’s letter to Philemon:
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
As Philemon owed St Paul his very self, you owe the Empire (and thus Us) your prestige and wealth. As St. Paul did, I insist I that as Emperor, I could order you to do what you ought to do, but I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. I appeal to you for my long-suffering subjects, the slaves. Are they not sons of God, as you are? Were they not put into your power than they might learn their place in Christ? Therefore I implore you that you now treat them as dear brothers, rather than as slaves. I write this confidently to you, knowing you also would do more if I asked.
Konstantios, XII of his name, Basilious
Sealed orders to the Commanders, Centurions, and Legionaries of the Empire
My command went to the Empire to free the slaves, an iron-fisted command in a glove of velvet. It has been a year since the command was given.
Any slaveholder you can reach who has shown mercy, you shall show mercy. Remove them and their families from reprisal, and place them as officers or governors. For did not Christ insist that those who humbled themselves might be glorified?
As for those who have refused to give up their terrible ways: did not Christ warn that the last would be first and the first would be last? Therefore in such cases, make the slaves the owners and the owners the slaves. Make those who sell slaves to be sold as slaves, and those slaves being sold to gain the profit.
Once it is done, there shall be no new slaves. Those who seek to make new slaves will incur these punishments and more.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers: 2001.
The Greek word used here can refer to both male and female siblings.
A reference to Luke 14:7-11, and perhaps also Luke 14:12-14.
Konstantios XII inherited an Empire with an imperative to conquer all the way to the Rhine. This was very nearly done, but the Kingdom of Schwyz held some of those lands and was heavily influenced by the Netherlands.
Schwyz would accept nothing but full defeat. The Netherlands took much more fighting and besieging, but in the end, they gave up Breda and Limburg (the Imperial Corps of Engineers having better surveyed the regions of the Low Countries and redrawing the borders on the official Imperial maps).
X. Legio was sent to take England’s African holdings. Several other Legions were sent to the Americas, to fend of Peru and to take as much as they could from England. But they had to move cautiously, as the English fleet was even more mighty than the Imperial fleets, which lost two battles to the English.
Novgorod was left to Russia. At least until a Novgorod army was spotted marching through Lombardia. XII. Legio and XXIII. Legio soon outmaneuvered this small force, besting them in battle.
The English armies were harder to defeat, but VI. Legio eventually did the job.
XXII. Legio made a bold strike toward the Hawaiian islands, but an English fleet drove them away before they could land. Many transports were sunk, thousand of soldiers drowning at sea.
Once any English colonies that could be seized had been taken, Konstantios finally agreed to a peace with Peru. A peace that gave the Empire the few English lands in the Indian Ocean that had not already been taken.
Fortunately, Ethiopia could be bought off for 50 gold. A small price to keep the Empire’s ally in the Empire’s camp. Bavaria was forced to give up Pfalz, the very province that Konstantios had been planning to start a war over in the near future.
With this, the West Rhine was recovered. Parliament was disappointed when Konstanios declared that no more war would be made in Europe to recover ancient territories:
“We have regained our ancient lands. We do not wish any more German lands or subjects. The Germans have from ancient times been entirely ungovernable, and more recent history demonstrates no end to their chaos. It were best we leave them to their own devices.”
When the Imperial parliament asked Konstanios to capture Lothian from Scotland, he refused and refused to hear any new requests for years.
Baden gave up some land claims and much of their treasury. And eventually Adal was forced to release Swahili, give a little of the south African coast to the Empire, and give up their claims on other lands the Empire had taken previously.
There was a time of peace, but eventually Konstantinos Doukas, heir to the Empire, died in a hunting accident. Konstantios was not entirely convinced of the accidental nature of this death, remembering both the way that several recent emperors had died of ‘natural causes’ and of the way parliament had recently been denied. The resulting purges of the nobility were mercifully minor, and the effects less than rebellious, as their families’ new cadet branches eagerly joined the glory of the Imperial Court. But several who were almost certainly innocent had been caught up in the purge, and many nobles were uneasy about coming to the Emperor’s notice.
The young Theodoros was immediately declared heir, though he may have learned the wrong lessons from the events that led to his elevation.
When parliament was again allowed to suggest ideas, they asked for the annexation of Austria, and were again rejected and ignored. Konstantios spent nearly a decade focusing on building the Empire’s infrastructure and institutions. These years were peaceful and unsurprising. Until Konstantios XII wrote his most famous of letters.
 I’ve started doing test conversions to Vic2, and boy do some of those regions change in shape between the games. I’m adjusting EU3 a bit to match.
Konstantinos was enjoying an extended time of peace. He needed to enjoy it, for this peace would be there if he liked it or not. He was not foolish enough to continue waging war while his reputation suffered so. He used this time to tighten relationships in the court, keeping the nobles ever more engaged. If this meant excluding the rich, they could be trusted to find their own rewards.
During this time, Russia made war on the Golden Horde for the last of their territory. It did Konstantinos’ reputation no harm to send officers into the field, so he did so, eager to hear reports of the action.
As the reports came, he excitedly worked with the Scholai Palatinae to find ways improving the Legions’ abilities to wage war. They devised the idea of creating a specific corp of engineers, who would be specifically trained in how to create defenses…and how to destroy them. The Imperial Corps of Engineers was born.
Shortly after the Golden Horde successfully sued Konstantinos for peace, the Cherokee used the promise of a federal-style government to convince their territories to organize as a modern nation-state. The United States of America had come into existence.
In 1700, Emperor Konstantinos XIX gave greater restrictions on joint-stock companies and their operations. This increased the efficiency and competitiveness of Imperial companies, but at the cost of shutting out many new and small companies.
As the Imperial infantry proved the worth of their line tactics, the kataphractoi responded by adjusting their tactics and weaponry to incorporate pistols into their charges, although they mainly used sabers once the range was closed.
Bored of peace, Konstantinos declared war on all the states between Poland and Livonia, with the intention of giving their lands to Livonia. This led to more war than he expected as many allies joined in their defense.
The minor states were soon enough absorbed, and peace made with the other nations. Meanwhile the Huron reorganized themselves as Canada. And during the peace, Konstantinos fell ill again. Again, unlanded nobles were expelled from the court during his weakness. When he recovered, he did his best to show his strength by declaring war on Scotland. The Netherlands joined them, and paid for it by losing all lands and all claims west of the Rhine.
During the following peace, Konstantinos sent a herald to Muscowy, suggesting that Andrei V Abbaghai anoint himself King of the Russians. Andrei took this suggestion heartily, and was crowned within days.
To little surprise, Parliament asked for all of the territory west of the Rhine to be conquered. Konstantinos agreed to even this, though he recognized he needed to take some time to allow his reputation to recover if he did not wish for great instability within the Empire.
India, South-east Asia, and east Asia had changed even less. But Imperial explorers had discovered more of the eastern world in the south (in fact, they had mapped all the world’s oceans), and colonists were swarming to the new land of Australia.
The Empire had a stronger, more politically protected cabinet of advisers to the Emperor than in 1650. As well, power was more centralized, plutocrats more powerful (and more protected by the government of the Empire), peasants more free, and the legions were more defensive.
The continuation of building a glorious court continued during the regency. The daily positions by which a noble could gain glory by being near the Emperor and assisting him with daily tasks were quite frankly ridiculous. Never before nor after have otherwise pompous adults been positively eager to change diapers.
During the regency, there were advances in all areas of technology. Improvements in light ships required the classification of Heavy Frigates as opposed to Frigates (the regency worked to replace the existing pirate patrols with these most advanced ships). The Legions began to use mortars during engagements.
When the Inca reorganized their government and announced themselves as the Republic of Peru, the regency eagerly approved relations, and even established a betrothal between Konstantinos and a daughter of one of the noble families ruling the new republic.
His first act was to declare war on both Brabant and the Netherlands in order to recover the last of the Roman Netherlands. Many nations came to Brabant’s defense (a lost cause if ever there was one), but strangely no-one wanted to assist the Netherlands.
This proved to be the most difficult war in a generation, even to the point of XIV Legio being destroyed by Scottish forces in Britannia. Still, the tide of the war was with the Empire. Konstantinos’ betrothed was even safely brought to Constantinople during the war.
England only lost their claims on Florida.
And finally, Dauphine was fully annexed. Of course, parliament was not satisfied, and insisted that the last bit of Roman Britannia be brought under Imperial sway. But there was still a truce with Scotland. So during the peace, the Emperor’s cabinet administrated the Empire, and Konstantinos sired a son.
Polotsk was soon conquered and their lands split between Ukraine and Livonia.
The day the truce with Scotland was ended (in May on 1693), Konstantinos declared war. Bavaria joined Scotland, but this was offset by all of the Empire’s allies joining as well. Bavaria soon agreed to a white peace. Then in July of 1696, Scotland agreed to not only give up the last of Wales, but to give up many of their North American holdings. Much of this was later turned over to the Huron.
However, Konstantinos first reformed the legions, adding yet more infantry and artillery to each legion. In late 1699, the reforms were complete and Konstantinos declared war on Lorraine for Savoie. Of course, many German states rose to their defense, despite the inevitability of the war’s outcome
Infamy -1.00 per year.
12 Int/6 Cav/12 Art
Theodoros became Emperor at age eight. A regency council ruled for him, but was of marginal competence. Being a more distant cousin, Theodoros was also not considered completely legitimate as ruler. The regency council hired Nestor Boumbalis to counter this perception.
Meanwhile, Theodoros was sent to be raised at an estate just outside of Constantinople. The estate was little more than a hunting lodge, so it was refurbished to be a suitable palace for the young Emperor.
He began his reign by standardizing the weights and measures used throughout the Empire. No longer would traders have to learn multitudinous local measures, instead they could simply use the Imperial System. Failure to use the Imperial System with any trader would lead to a stiff fine and the potential loss of trade rights in the given town or city.
Baden was forced to sever a few alliances. Luxembourg was annexed. Livonia was forced to swear vassalage. Poland was forced to give up what few lands they had outside the region later known as the Polish Corridor, and to give up any claims to lands outside that region that they already had given up (these lands were shortly thereafter given to more appropriate powers to rule).
Also during the war, Theodoros began an interesting habit. He invited nobles in different provinces to join him at his new court at the Royal Palace where he had been raised. There he began holding elaborate court ceremonies, focused on his glory. Those nobles who most flattered him found themselves assigned to important positions or even assigned to Parliament. Those who did not found themselves marginalized. This may be thought the actions of a narcissist or megalomaniac, but in fact it was a scheme long planned by successive Emperors and passed down in secret until it could be achieved. To achieve more than a local power, a noble would have to attend court. But if a noble did so, they could not focus on their own lands. The Imperial Bureaucracy would then be able to ensure that legally and practically, the only allegiance in said lands was to the Empire. The nobles may yet have held their legal rights, but in practice, they were held tightly to Theodoros’ sway. Best of all, they were so focused on drawing near to his glory that they did not even notice the loss of their power.
Although they did not greatly like that a sufficient donation from a rich merchant would see his family invited to court, Theodoros was just deft enough to play these events in a way that left everyone feeling pleased: the nobles at their court experience, and the former merchants (now ‘unlanded nobles’) pleased to be at court. The unlanded nobles found further advancement easy, marrying children to the children of landed nobles in need of money to maintain the fashions Theodoros kept establishing and changing. It was an expensive endeavor being at court.
Shortly after this this time, Theodoros received word that Kexholm had given refuge and homage to the Pope. He was surprised that there was still a Pope, but he still took the ways of his ancestors and made war on the heretics.
In the end, all of the wooing of the nobles did little to preserve Theodoros’ life. If anything, the growing formal court only brought more of the typical danger his way. He died in 1669, only nineteen years old. Though short-lived, he was remembered for his glory and later for how he brought the political life of the Empire into orbit around himself. Thus his epitaph: the Sun King.
 I added a province-level decision. For the cost of a diplomat and 10 prestige, all accepted-culture cores (of non-existent nations) in the province are removed and I get 10 cultural tradition. To fire it, I have to be at peace, have at least two diplomats, and at least 50 prestige.
Murom had descended into complete chaos, so the Legions imposed peace and settlers arrived to establish order. And then word came that England had declared war on the Huron people. The Empire was not in contact with the Huron, but this non-peaceful interaction with a native American power was not acceptable. There was war with England, and with their allies.
But the Huron were able to seize the advantage of England’s distraction and seize the colony in Lenape. The Empire immediately made a formal declaration that the Huron were within their sphere of influence. Given the war, it was a gesture without much practical meaning, but it was a strong diplomatic opening.
In 1658, during this time of relative peace, Demetrios died, leaving his eight year old cousin Theodoros as heir. The resulting regency forced a change of relationship between Ukraine and the Empire. Ukraine’s parliament agreed the nation would be subservient to the Empire, but they brought forth a local as their ruling Duke. The regency council for the Empire agreed, not least because much Imperial effort had been spent expanding Ukraine’s borders instead of defending Imperial interests.