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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Corinth

Zaganos Pasha was not a fan of the land referred to as Morea. It was a generally inhospitable dump with little more than farms and rocks and irritable Greeks. But it was an inhospitable dump that was in the way of Ottoman progress, so it had to go. The Knights of St. John had long ago proved themselves to be a threat to the Ottoman State, and now was simply the time of reckoning.

Sitting in his desk, Zaganos looked over the papers again. His various generals stood around him, waiting for orders. "Keep our horsemen near the city. Harrass them and make certain they do not attempt a sally. Mahmut, I take it your Teber can guard the boats while they make their journey?"

Mahmut laughed. "It will give my boys something to do besides dig."

Zaganos frowned. His own infantry would be left to dig the elaborate trench system that the Empire so loved. It worked well and it saved plenty of lives, so he was not going to argue the point. For now, all they could do was hold. He had two units of Trebuchets and two of Mortars at his disposal, which would not be enough to crack open the walls quickly. And even if they could, he lacked the Heavy troops that comprised the backbone of the Ottoman Army. He was certain his troops could hold the line. But take Isthmia and Corinth? Not without the grace of Allah.

Within a day, the marvel of Ottoman siege was showing. Long lines of trenches surrounded Fort Isthmia and work on the fortified Ottoman barracks that would sit between the city and the fort was underway. The Ottomans were the best siege engineers in the world, and it was plain to see why. Their camp, even among the irregulars, was more organized and orderly than almost any Western power. Their latrines placed away from their water sources, and a system of trenches that they had invented that had then spread to the world. While the rest of the men dug, some watched over the latest of Ottoman daring. The 40 longships and 80 galleys were being dragged over the Isthmus, towards the Gulf of Corinth.

The famed siege equipment of the Ottomans had, for the most part, not arrived yet. What siege equipment they did have was being prepared to begin pounding away at Fort Isthmia from the safety of bunkers. Forty Trebuchets and forty Mortars were dug in and by the end of the day they would be prepared to bring thunder against the Knights of St. John. With 20 Scorpions, prepared to defend the trenches against assault.

OOB: Trenches dug around Isthmia. 3 units of Spahi and 3 units of Akinci harassing Corinth to prevent a sally. 3,000 Light Polearms defending the ships making the journey across. 2,000 Medium polearms and 2,000 light crossbows surrounding Isthmia in trenches with 20 scorpions. 2,000 troops working on battlements. 40 trebuchets and 40 mortars preparing to assault Isthmia.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Palermo, Sicily

"I didn't know you could do that with a chestnut," van Hoensbroek commented dryly as he read through the pamhlet. "Linking Sforza with the excesses of the Borja papacy is particularly useful, though. And I imagine these will sell well with the more depraved parts of the public, giving that printer more income on top of the subsidies I have already paid him."

He spoke with the admiring tone of a businessman who has recognized superior talent in the skill of a partner. His page, Ferdinando, nodded. "There are others here, my lord. As you requested, Ciancimo has produced a variety of pamphlets with different arguments for the various audiences."

Van Hoensbroek put down the pornographic account on his table, reaching across to pick up one other the other pamphlets. A quick glance had him nodding ambiguously. "It will do. I had hoped for something more, but this will at least get the idea of a threat out there. Putting an accused poisoner in the bedroom of the King, one who can control a regency... Eh well, perhaps the theme can be revisited later by someone with more talent."

"The Signore did also say he was going to hire one of the students at the University to write in Latin about the reasons to not become close to Rome," the servant added. "He also intends to republish some material against the Republic and in favor of the Papacy. Those will be suitable for circulation within the court, as opposed to just the trash for the common masses."

"Quite good. And I want you to ask him to find a copy of 'Against the Latins' by that Turkish pretender, Gennadio or whatever his name was. I will pay extra for a copy to be printed in Greek characters and for proofs to be sent to a printer in Messinia or Syracuse." Van Hoensbroek smiled thinly. "We will let the schismatics still infesting these islands be of use for once. They should be stirred to reject any closer ties to Rome on the basis of sympathy for their countrymen in Constantinople and their injured religious feelings. The potential for them to cause trouble over the prospect of a Roman bride should weigh on the costs this projected marriage will impose."

"I will do so, my lord." Ferdinando paused for a moment before he continued. "Is there anything else you require for today?"

The consul shook his head. "Not so. I have not yet received an invitation to court to discuss the idea of a match with the Emperor's daughter. So I am going to be calling on the Bishop of Palermo shortly, and the Spanish ambassador this evening. We all have our reasons to oppose this misalliance, and coordinating our efforts will raise the price to go through with it. In the worst case..." Van Hoensbroek clucked. "Well, I just have to keep at it. For the moment I can only take spoiling action."

"As my lord puts it," Ferdinando replied. "Shall I be off to Ciancimo's then?"

Van Hoensbroek waved his servant off as he pulled out another pamphlet for review. "That will be all. I should be gone once you return, so you can wait until tomorrow to report back." With that he launched into the next libelous screed, and paid no attention as his servant left to fill his charge.

OOC: Enthusiasm... seriously flagging. Meh.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:38 am 
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Morea



If the besieged city of Corinth and its fortress at Isthmia were fruit to be plucked, they were peaches. Peaches which had stripped away their own sweet and juicy flesh, leaving only the painfully hard pits in the center, upon which they had mounted cannon, and placed hundreds of arbalastiers and harquebusiers.

The ottomans thought themselves the masters of offensive siegecraft. This claim would be debated of course by the Romans, who invented siegecraft... but no one in the world had achieved the mastery of defensive siegecraft of the Knights of St. John.

Isthmia
As the trenches were being dug and the fortress invested cannon bellowed their discontent, safe inside 7 meter thick stone gun galleries built into the fortress, targeting the Ottoman guns and trebuchets, while arbalastiers wound back their steel prods and sent wave after wave of goose feathered quarrels raining down on the men building the trenches. The trenches could not be dug in a single day as a continuous line, but instead, started in parallel zig-zags moving from out of range, into range, protecting the men as they dug. It saved time, but the trenches could not in that short a time be connected. The men assigned to invest the upland approaches to the fortress were relatively protected from the rain of arrows, but the elevation of he ridge the fortress was built upon gave much better range to the bowmen within the fortification, and allowed them to overlook somewhat the trenches, and have a better angle of attack with their arbalests. As a result, they took the worst of the pounding after they came into range near the end of the first day, but still far far fewer than they would if completely unprotected.

Corinth

The Harquebusier on the walls were well out of range of any of their enemies, who were careful to keep out of both cannon and small arms range, even the arbalastiers who had better range were--despite their frustration born from seeing showers of quarrels and cannon from the fort not a few miles away--simply idle. But never, not once, they they abandon their posts. They began taking short naps in shifts, to make sure that they were prepared if and when an assault came. All they could do was sit and wait. There was no need to leave the city to forage. They could hold out in a siege for over a year if necessary, and had stripped the province completely bare, leaving the Ottomans with nothing if their supply lines--by the grace of God--could be cut.

Time Spanned: 1 Hour
Extraordinary Culverin vs Ottoman Artillery
Accuracy: 35%, 6 total volleys fired.
2 Trebuchet destroyed, 1 mortar destroyed

500 Arbalests vs Light Crossbow
Accuracy 60%, Attack 8 vs Defense 16.
240 volleys fired
300 casualties


OOB:
Isthmia
500 heavy arbalest
Attack 9, Accuracy 90%, RoF:4 Base range 100/200/300
Actual range due to elevation and craftsmanship against soldiers on the ridge:140/240/340
Against soldiers at lower elevation: 340/440/540
500 heavy cavalry
1000 heavy shield
1000 heavy poleaxe
20 Extraordinary culverin
Accuracy: 55%
Range: 540, against those in lowlands: 740

Corinth
1000 medium harquebus
1000 light harquebus
1000 medium polearm
1000 light pike
500 heavy arbalest
1000 heavy poleaxe
20 lesser culverin

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- Theodosius Dobzhansky

There is no word harsh enough for this. No verbal edge sharp and cold enough to set forth the flaying needed. English is to young and the elder languages of the earth beyond me. ~Frigid

The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Meanwhile, back in Florence...



Leonardo da Vinci paced back and forth in his workshop, thinking about how to modify the Ornithopter that was suspended before him. It was Brunelleschi who had invented the mechanism, figuring out how to use a foot powered crank connected to a system of pulleys to wind twisted sinew and provide the actual power necessary to achieve flight. The range on the originals was short, but it has been he, Leonardo, who figured out how to use clockwork mechanisms to recover some of the energy with clockwork mechanisms to re-twist the mechanism and require less input from the pilot. It was he who designed the mechanisms that would permit them to carry auto-reloading crossbows, and to be rigged to carry small bombs. Now, he was working on improving the flight control to permit greater maneuverability. He kept a number of caged birds in an aviary, and watched them flutter around. Then, when one landed, it adjusted its feathers, tilting the feathers on the tail and wings, shaking off before settling into a resting position.

He looked at it, smiled an then spoke

"Eureka!"

"Hey, Vincenzo" he called to his servant "Could you please bring parchment, quill and ink to my drawing table?"

...

Palermo, Sicily

Nicollo sat down with the latest set of broadsheets, trying to draw up an enemies list.

"Alright, they all came from the same printer, the type setting is all the same. Should I have him killed?" he said to in particular. "No, that wont do. News would get out, and we all know where that would lead... No. We need to stamp this out at the ultimate source, but who?" He looked at them again. The pornographic account positively stank of Austrians. Who but austrians could be simultaneously so prude and up-tight, but also so licentious? He could see it in his head. Condemning the human body and sexuality with the one hand, and pleasuring himself with the other. Actually... Yes. Yes that would work marvelously.

He penned several manuscripts for broadsheets over the next hour, to be sent to different printers. One would bear his name, Nicollo Machiavelli, attache to Ludovico Sforza. It would simply contain copies of the documents certifying Caterina's virginity from the bishop of Palermo, and the archbishop of Florence, and a general denunciation of all those who would make libelous accusations against the character of such a virtuous young woman.

The second would once again respond to the accusation of poisoning and wild tales regarding the pope, but do so along a different tact.

This so-called accusation of poisoning is just a rumor, and we all know how common rumors are. For example, it has been rumored that Pope Sixtus and the Emperor Maximillian have been engaged in a homosexual liason, and that Ridder Jan van Hoensbroek enjoys having carnal relations with goats. Clearly these are mere rumor, as there is no evidence to support any of them, just as there is no evidence to support the base rumor that Caterina Sforza has ever poisoned anyone. Or, for that matter, been involved in scandalous escapades with Pope Alexander. Alexander, he added, preferred liasons with courtesans and even he would not violate the virtue of a lady of noble birth.

The last set of such broadsheets had been received with the general clamor of "prove it" by the population. This would play to that general sentiment, and nullify the idea of a threat, or for that matter impurity in their minds.

The Sicilians he had learned, were a practical people. They were not the unwashed masses that existed in Austria. These people bathed, purified their water through boiling, had better sanitation than Rome or Florence. They had a mind-set that wanted to see results. So he gave them practical results. He wrote another set of broadsheets, in Latin and Italian, laying out the benefits of a closer alliance with Rome.

A secure flank. Military assistance against the Pirate Beys of northern Africa. Expansion of trade routes into the eastern Mediterranean. Protection from aggression by Spain. Unification of all italian speaking peoples. The financial backing of the Medici. What had Sixtus done for them lately? What had the Austrians done? Spain, who coveted their land and homes? What advantages could be gained by allying with them? An alliance with Rome, a close relationship with houses of Rienzus, Medici, and Sforza, had many material gains to recommend it. The best the Austrians could offer was a daughter who was too young to wed. There were no tangible benefits to such an alliance. The Austrians have no Navy, and are just as likely to withdraw from a betrothal if they find a more politically advantageous suitor on the mainland. One of King Artus's sons, or perhaps the son of the newly crowned Edward of England?

Then there was the one to circulate in court. Honestly, there was no need. The King's primary advisers all seemed to legitimately like the girl. She had managed to impress the Duke of Sardinia with her knowledge of alchemy, the Duke of Duke of Messina with her skill at chess (and it was rumored, in a fencing match). She seemed to fit right inside the court, like she belonged there. Swaying the people close to the king personally was more effective than thinly veiled propaganda. But of course, the choice was not theirs. It may have been, if the king were not of the age of majority. But he was. It was his choice to make. He seemed to enjoy her company, but was playing matters close to the chest. There were rumors of an inbound embassy from the Ottomans, of all people. So perhaps he was simply cultivating multiple options?

_________________
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
- Theodosius Dobzhansky

There is no word harsh enough for this. No verbal edge sharp and cold enough to set forth the flaying needed. English is to young and the elder languages of the earth beyond me. ~Frigid

The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:56 am 
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Roman Galleon Chiron
Ionian Sea, near Ithaca

Lucius Rienzus looked over the chart in silence for what had to be five minutes, glancing every so often at the list that lay next to it. He did not raise one eye nor speak one word to the Aviator who stood stiffly at attention before him, not until Sextus Caecilius thought that he might collapse from the strain of having to remain at attention on a rolling ship.

"You're certain of this, Aviator?"

"Absolutely certain, Dominus," said Sextus Caecilius. "The weather in Morea is good, and the skirmish was visible from miles about. The Turcians dug in under fire from the walls, and have begun moving up their siege engines."

"Did you get an approximate count of their numbers?" asked the Gonfalonieri.

"Our orders were not to approach within scorpion-shot, but I would guess their numbers at many thousands. Ten perhaps. They did not have any cannons that I could see."

"Could they be concealing them?" asked Marcus Orsinius Archiepiscopus, whose Cognomen was a heriditary, and not ecclesiastical one. As commander of the First Legion, embarked aboard, he had every right to be at this conference, but it was an open secret that he and Lucius Rienzus were unusually hostile to one another, even accounting for the rivalry between the Rienzus and Orsinius clans.

This, perhaps, accounted for Rienzus' answer. "Conceal grand bombards?" asked the Princeps facetiously. "One would have better luck hiding Noah's Ark!"

"Perhaps the Turcians aren't as stupid as you estimate then?" retaliated Orsinius. "They have been spied upon by our Ornithopteri for days. And they have many men who can wield a shovel."

"I have never estimed the Turcians to be stupid," said Rienzus. "But one does not bury guns one intends to use. Their artillery must be with their Ianizari Corps."

"But where are the Ianizari?" asked the Gonfalonieri

"By last report, somewhere near Naupactus," said Rienzus, pointing on a map. They appear to be marching along the north shore of the Corinthian Gulf."

Orsinius clearly did not understand. "Why would they do such a thing?"

Rienzus, this time, did not mock his enemy. "They plan to strike across the gulf using their ships. Land somewhere along the northern shore of Morea and assault Patras, pinning the Hospitaliers from two sides."

"Are we certain of this? What if they simply board their ships and row for Italia?"

"And leave ten thousand soldiers behind to fight the Hospitaliers to no purpose?" asked the Gonfalonieri. "Without heavy artillery, they cannot breach the walls of Corinth. That army in the Megarid isn't an assault force, it's a holding force. The Turcians may want to invade Italia, but they're hardly likely to do so with only half their army, and leave the rest to be shot to pieces by the Hospitaliers.

Rienzus said nothing, staring at the map in silence, but when he finally did speak, it was with a soft smirk.

"Quirites," he said, "I scarcely believe it, but the Turcians appear to be doing something I've never seen before."

"What's that?"

"They're doing precisely what they said they were going to do."

"We don't know that," insisted Orsinius.

"No we do not, but this fleet and army cannot sit forever in Crete in the vain fear that the Turcians are about to descend upon it. The Turcians have committed themselves heavily to an assault on Morea. It would take weeks for them to pull stakes and move on Crete. I see no further benefit to our army consuming supplies and treasure uselessly on that damnable Greek island if the Turks actually do not intend to move against it. We have need of those forces elsewhere."

"Then what do you command, Dominus?" ventured Sextus Caecilius. It was not his place to ask, and he knew it, but as always, he trusted to luck and dash to see him through choppy skies.

And so it proved, for Rienzus barely lifted an eyebrow at the interjection. "We return the fleet to Crete, and embark the remainder of the army. It has no further purpose there."

"Princeps," snapped Orsinius. "I object wholeheartedly to this running in circles chasing phantoms. We never should have come out here if all we were going to do was - "

"That is enough Marcus Orsinius!" shot Rienzus back. "The Senate and People of Rome have empowered me to safeguard Crete and our other Imperial possessions from the Turcian threat, and we have done just that. We will return to Crete and embark our army for other duties, and leave the Turcians to pay the butcher's bill for Morea if that is what they wish."

"And what will the Turcians think of our weakness?"

"Weakness?" asked Rienzus. "I think they will see it for what it is, a gesture of confidence and strength. Weakness would have been to never come out here in the first place, and sit instead in the Lateran Palace fucking whores all day, as was your intended response, I believe! We have shown them that we are prepared to defend Crete. We are not however prepared to sit idly by and waste our time and money while the Turcians fight someone else."

Marcus Orsinius' reply died in his throat, and Rienzus did not give him a chance to compose another. "Inform the fleet to come about. We sail for Candia, and embark as quickly as possible."

"This close to the mainland, word might reach the Turcians that we are doing this," ventured the Gonfalonieri

"Let it," said Rienzus. "They'll be happy to see us go. And too busy to care besides."

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:00 pm 
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Palermo, Sicily

Ferdinando paused before his employer as the older man considered the pamphlets he had brought in. He braced himself for anger, or outrage, but instead found himself perplexed by the ambassador's full-throated laughter. The page paused before inquiring tepidly. "Ah, my lord?"

"Whoever prepared these made a serious mistake," van Hoensbroek said lightly. "Any educated person will toss them aside as soon as they get to the part about 'Emperor Maximilian.' Those who do not will face the caricature of the Holy Father and some of them will be outraged. Anyone who legitimately supports Pope Sixtus, certainly. And that also provides us an opportunity to denounce the author for blasphemy as this Kingdom still recognizes the Spanish Papacy, at least for now. The more devout priests are already denouncing it, and I shall see if the Bishop of Palermo will be willing to call for it to be banned. His job security depends on Sixtus remaining the recognized Pope, for the promises of Borgia are worth nothing to anyone with any degree of sense."

"I see, Signore." Ferdinando nodded in recognition. "And you had me visit Ciancimo to rush out an answer to this assault on the Holy Father?"

"Oh, that." Van Hoensbroek smiled slyly. "No, that was simply to insure that a copy of the other pamphlet reached the writer we had contracted for the Court brief. And as expected, he has worked it into his draft very effectively. I have it here..."

On the Late Arrogant Proposal of the Romans wrote:
Illustrious Signores,

There can now be no doubt as to the aims of the Roman Republic toward our Kingdom. It is an open secret in the court that a member of the Roman delegation was responsible for the late infamous broadsheet proclaiming a desire to see our islands unified with Rome. They see Sicily as no more an equal than they do Milan, Genoa, Pisa, Naples, Sienna and the other ancient and prosperous states which they have swallowed into their maw. That they propose for the time being to grant us a status as inferior vassals like that of Florence and Venice is simply a recognition that they cannot hope to achieve their aims by military might and must instead use politics and treachery to have their way.

But let us look further at what benefits the Romans would claim to bring before us. The unification of 'Italian speaking' peoples? This is as if Sicily were merely another part of some imagined whole, instead of a prosperous, stable, and independent kingdom. They denigrate our distinct native tongue and would impose upon us a demand to answer to a foreign capital in a foreign language. Nothing could be more insulting than to suggest that the wealthiest kingdom in Europe, who leads the world in art and science, should gain anything by being diluted as one subject people of another city. Does antiquarian pride dim the senses of the Roman people, so that they think our own standing and achievements pale beside their stature? This is how we must get used to being addressed, as inferiors, as needing Roman leadership as if we were children. The heirs of Good King William have built a state grand enough to stand on its own, with customs and traditions that are should be defended rather than abandoned to upstarts from the Lazio.

They also claim that union with Rome will bring security against Spain and the Moors. We might as well throw ourselves before a lion for fear that there may be wolves in the hills. Surely, Sicily would not have to fear conquest by another foreign power, were we to submit ourselves to a foreign power. And where neither Spain nor the Moors have made aggressions against our Kingdom, here we have the Romans admitting that they view Sicily as rightfully a part of their imperium. The threat comes from Rome, and may be answered with our ships and men, the finest arsenal in all of Europe, and the wonders of our Academies. The same answer will suffice for Spain or the Mohammedans, and we may freely ally ourselves with Rome if our interests converge. And we may freely ally ourselves with Spain, or Hungary, or the Emperor, or the Knights of Rhodes if we require allies to assist in war against Rome or the Turk or the Beys of Africa. To enter into an inferior relationship with Rome it to tie our hands and to subordinate ourselves to their vision.

We may see what Florence and Venice have achieved by their subjugation to Roman will. Their soldiers and treasure are spent in Greece, holding down the city of Constantinople against the Turk to no advantage of their own. Venice has been stripped and broken of its holdings, reduced to a third-rate power, and placed under the watchful eye of Roman officials. They have no independence, no freedom of maneuver, and their interests are disregarded in favor of the glory of Rome and its corrupt Senate. In a similar position the Kingdom of Sicily may be gradually stripped of its holdings, turned into Roman provinces, and sent a Roman senator or praetor to watch over our conduct. Sicilian soldiers will die in Greece or Anatolia or the Balkans or beyond the Alps in pursuit of wars we did not choose and have no interest in fighting. If we dare refuse, we will be considered as rebels and the Romans will slaughter our people and destroy their city in the barbarous conduct that made them infamous in antiquity. We shall report to a Roman Senate in Latin, our merchants will be constrained to stay away from markets that Roman is at war with, our science and art and treasure will be leeched away to aggrandize the Whore of Babylon who squats in the Lateran Palace.

There is no threat of Roman conquest to bring this sorry picture to fruition. But who can doubt that if His Majesty, our fine King, should die an untimely death that a Roman-born wife will lead us into subjugation? Treachery may accomplish what no army ever could. It is best to stay wary of these plots and to avoid the tangled snares of foreign kingdoms, especially those who have admitted their desire to see our island enslaved to them. Let the King marry the fine daughter of an illustrious Duke of our own kingdom, a cousin of his famous and accomplished dynasty. Let him marry, even, one of the daughters of the Moorish princes who have abandoned folly and accepted the truth of Christ, thereby strengthening our kingdom. If an outside bride must be accepted, let her bring prestige and a dowry from some far-off state and no more binding ties. May God grant that the Queen-to-be never be a vehicle for plots against our state, but let caution wisely guide the selection.

I humbly beseech the excellent gentlemen of the Court to remember the glory of the dynasty of the Great Count Ruggiero, who so ably championed the true Papacy. Let not deception and lies of the Roman usurpers conceal the truth of duty to God and to the Kingdom. Our independence must not be bartered away for a pretty face that hides a viper of Roman arrogance.


"Short, and to the point," Ferdinando said after reviewing it. "And the Roman arrogance is their worst trait. It will resonate well and God willing, may shake those pro-Romans among the court."

"I should hope it would have an effect on the King, but he still has not been willing to meet with me." Van Hoensbroek shrugged. "So be it. There are others to be met with, and if the King's advisers are so blinkered as to expect they can lead Sicily into union with Rome without consequences, they may be valuable. But on the chance I am called for, I cannot leave Palermo, and so there is a task to entrust you with."

Ferdinand straightened up and set the parchment aside. "My lord?"

"I want you to go to Syracuse in my stead and meet with a merchant acquaintance of mine, Alexius Syrakotes. He is a leader among the Greek community there and will be helpful in mobilizing them against the idea of closer ties to Rome." Van Hoensbroek shook his head. "With any luck the proof copy of that anti-Roman pamphlet from the pretender Patriarch will have already arrived and you can set that to print. If not, it should arrive soon. Distributing that, and taking any advantage of organizing the Greeks against Rome will be your task from me. I'll be sending along a letter of introduction and authorization that you have access to my line of credit from Alexius; cooperate with that shrewd old man as much as possible."

Ferdinando could tell he was being entrusted with a significant role, and bowed. "Of course, my lord. When do I leave?"

Van Hoensbroek paused for a moment before he came to a decision. "I will write and seal the letter this evening. You can leave in the morning, and I will sent further instructions as needed. Do you have any questions?"

"Not on my assignment, my lord." Though, now that he thought about it, something did come up. "But, if I should see the chance for gain to your mercantile interests, do I have authority to take it?"

"You're acting as my agent. You can work with Alexius to secure trade deals as well as political advantage." Van Hoensbroek draped an arm around him. "We'll make a proper merchant out of you, yet..."


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Morea

Facing the fire of Isthmia, the turks began building wooden covers above the trenches as they built them. The process slowed the building of the trenches considerably. But the Ottomans had time, or at the very least wanted to be prepared if the Romans came calling on them. The men continued to dig with a patience and deliberation that was wondrous to behold. The Turks were as certain that they would take this fort as most people were certain that the sun would rise each morning. It was just a matter of patience and diligence.

Across the way, the Ottoman fleet continued it's great march across land, their eventual goal apparently to surround the city of Corinth. Three thousand men watched carefully for any attempt to assault the ship while the ship's crews kept at the difficult labor of carrying heavy galleys and longships across the isthmus into the Gulf of Corinth.

At Corinth, a day of sitting and waiting was suddenly livened a great deal as a small group of horsemen, no more than a dozen, began to approach the city, a white flag that diplomats usually carried when coming to discuss terms, approached the Greek city.

Hellas

The Janissaries came to a stop once again, this time near the town of Itea. They were about two days away from their destination, three or four if the weather turned foul and slowed the passage of the artillery. But the artillery would be important in the taking of the fort they had to strike against. If they could strike quickly enough, the whole of Morea may fall. The Janissaries would be the heroes of the Empire once again, and morale was running high. Still, word of the Romans had reached them. With the Romans so near, there was come concern in the air. Would they move to defend the Knights of St. John? If they did so, the fighting would be much more difficult.

Since the breaking of Byzantine power at the battle of Manzikert, the only concern of the Ottoman Empire had been if Italy reunified. When it did, the Ottomans grew worried. When they did so with the title of being Romans, there had been what some would have called a panic. The Romans would always have an eye in the East, to rebuild what they had lost. This would mean their conquest of the Greeks would face opposition. That opposition had materialized at the Siege of Constantinople, and matters had been tense ever since.

Still, the Ottomans would not be denied. They continued to march on, seemingly unafraid of the great Roman threat that always loomed.

Palermo, Sicily

Weeks of whispers and Christian plotting were suddenly thrown on their head as half a dozen Ottoman vessels appeared on the horizon. Almost brazenly, the Ottoman's approached the harbor, flying the flags to signify that royalty was aboard, and that they were here for peaceful purposes. The collection of Ottoman ships, many of them heavily armed, one could see, entered the harbor with the usual quiet power that the Ottomans so proudly displayed to others and came to berth. The armed vessels carefully surrounding and protecting the royal vessel, which was only truly differentiated from any other ottoman vessel by the royal flag that was swaying in the breeze.

After several minutes, a group of three men came from the Ottoman vessel and stepped onto Palermo, then dashed off for the Imperial Court, to deliver a message of greeting and a request for the gracious and powerful King of Sicily to meet with the Esteemed Daughter of the Emperor of the Ottomans, who was here to open negotiations of marriage, and see her escorted to the castle.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:25 am 
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Candia, Crete

There was a great deal of grumbling as the men filed aboard ship, for they were Romans, and Romans did not enjoy sea voyages, particularly long ones, as this promised to be. They had endured the trip to Crete, and were now being asked to endure one away from it. Of course when a Roman soldier was asked to do a thing, the request was not optional, and so endure it they would regardless, swearing and cursing all mariners and whoever's idea it had been to sail halfway round the world in the first place. If they weren't going to fight the Turk in Crete, they preferred to fight someone else, anyone else, rather than sail back and forth to no purpose.

It took time to load two Roman legions and two allied legions on ships, even in a harbor as large as Candia's, which gave the troops plenty of time to grouse concerning their orders. But grousing could be borne, and was universal even if it could not be. The Centurions and Legates knew better than to over-react to it, and work was the best cure for a bored or complaining soldier.

Loading of the men, their supplies and weapons, went on through the night and into the next day, accelerated by Quaestors who knew only that the army was needed elsewhere than Crete, and that their dual report would depend on their ability to organize such a thing. By noon on the second day, every ship had cleared the harbor, vanishing off to the north and then the west, as the combined Roman fleet and army made for greener pastures, the news of the developments in Sicily arriving to stoke the fires of speculation as to just what the Princeps had in mind for them.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Isthmia, Morea

In the fortress of Isthmia, the defense still worked tirelessly. The arbalastiers started working in shifts in order to give themselves time to rest, use the bathroom, eat etc Even though the turks were building wooden roofing over their trenches, they were still building them, leaving themselves exposed, though with some extra cover that they otherwise did not have.

The cannon however, kept going. The crews were larger than the total number of men needed to fire the guns for exactly this reason. They kept firing at the artillery that threatened to tear down their walls like their lives depended on it... which indeed they did. However, the turks were not completely daft, and moved their artillery out of range until the trenchwork was completed. They must not have counted on the Hospitalier using the most advanced cannon to defend their fortifications. Once the artillery were moved however, and very much outside their own range and unable to attack the walls if they wanted to, the artillery were trained on the soldiers digging the trenches.

Code:

Extraordinary Culverin vs Any and All Trench Diggers.  Apportion the casualty numbers as you wish among said troops
Accuracy 45%
Total Time Spanned: 11 hours
66 volleys fired
300 casualties

500 Arbalests vs Light Crossbow.
 2 hour of firing time total (they are taking shifts, and your troops are only in range for part of the time)
60% Accuracy, Attack 8 vs Defense 17
240 volleys fired
500 Casualties

I am assuming this is the next day, from dawn until dusk, as you concluded your previous post on the dusk of the first day, and no sane general would make his men do this shit at night.



Corinth, Morea

The harquebusiers guarding Corinth's main gate noticed the men coming in under a flag of truce, and trained their guns on them. It never hurt anyone to be cautious right? More fortresses were captured by trickery than assault or siege, afterall.

"You can stay right there!" one of them called out, cupping his hands over his mouth to be understood better over distance. "Our Lord will parlay with you from the walls, you are denied entry!" and he sent a runner to bring Sir Dubois. 15 minutes later, a man clad in a full suit of gothic armor and bearing a shield with the quartered coats of arms of Corinth and the Knights of St. John appeared on the battlements overlooking the gate.

"I am Sir Gautier Dubois, Knight Commander of Morea, Lord of Corinth. State your business, and know that if I find your proposed terms insulting to my dignity, I will give my men the command to unleash hell and send you to its gates!"

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