Macedon, Holy Kingdom of

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Foundation: 1663-1677 (T168-T175)Dead.gif
Capital: ???
Religion: Hussite Christian

By Rob Pierce, expanded by Martin Helsdon

Description

Macedon arose from the turmoil that surrounded the collapse of the Hussite Crusader State of Achaea. Simultaneous with the destruction of the Achaean army at the hands of the Syrians in 1663 (T168) was the reappearance of the long missing Achaean king Marco Girolamo (imprisoned by Wallachia as had been widely rumored). Marco quickly defeated the forces of Chancellor Pandrides and then died shortly thereafter. The succession fell to Gustav Thucidies who was left to rebuild a kingdom bereft of possesions in the Holy Land.

Gustav spent the next few years rounding out the border edges, particularly to the north. After a steady stream of reports of unrest had come out of Wallachia, Gustav decided to "restore order" there and tasked his armies to conquer the neighboring Hussite duchy (1673, T173). Denmark and Lybia quickly came to Wallachia's aid and in the end (1677, T175) the Macedonian populace was forced to pack up and move to India where they established the Crusader Kingdom of Outreamer.

The History:

Still to be written.

Newsfax Entries

1663-1664 T168
Kingdom of Macedon: The Acheans, smarting at the rumors that Tzetsas had conspired with the Wallachians to have Girolamo kidnapped and then to bungle the Crusade in the Holy Land so that the religious factions in the government would be discredited, ordered Grolingen, commanding the Crusader army, to attack Palmyra and take the Moslem city of Homs. At the same time, Tzetsas returned administration of the Levant to the Danish Empire and apologized for the 'oversight'.

Grolingen picked up his army in Levant and marched north through Jordan and Syria into Palmyra. There he found the land empy of peasants and the Syrian general Asuf Aram holed up in a very well defended Homs. Grolingen laid siege to the ancient city and prepared to spend the summer of 1663 hammering its walls down. Unforunately for the Crusaders, their previous victories had all come with the steady hand of the Knights Templar at the helm. Grolingen now commanded alone and, well, he really was not cut out for it. After four months of fruitless siege work, Grolingen stopped his active efforts to take the city, prefering to starve it into submission instead.

Unfortunately for him, after two months of making increasingly strident demands of the defenders, the southern horizon was suddenly darkened by the thick dustcloud raised by the advancing Syrian army. Grolingen was shocked! Why, it seemed that the Syrians had come out of fight at last. He was overjoyed. Now his men had a clear field to fight on and a target not shrouded with stone and battlements. Grolingen ordered his men from their camps and into battle formation. As he surveyed the Crusader lines, he suddenly became concerned. Where were the endless ranks of pikes, muskets and cannon? How had his men become drawn with fever, bad food and the strain of the siege? How had so many died? After hammering at the indomitable walls of Homs for six months, the Crusader army could only put 14,000 men into the field for battle.

The Syrians, on the other hand, had 65,000 men and the disaster for the Crusade was complete. With the S'aud and Dah'na cavalry forming a pair of giant horns, the Hussites could not even escape the trap. Their army was utterly annhilated and the Syrian host then split into two. Bilak and the Syrian regulars turned south down the road to Damascus, while the S'audi and Dah'na pushed north-west into Aleppo. With Grolingen's army destroyed and the Knights Templars off fighting in Spain, there was nothing to prevent the onrush of the Moslems. Aleppo, Cilicia, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Levant and Petra all fell once more under the sway of the Syrian lords. The Moslem population - nominally converted to Hussite by threat of arms - welcomed them with open arms and a thousand shouted prayers to Allah! In Baghdad, Omar wept with relief that the infidel had been driven from the land.

But the troubles of the Acheans were not over yet, no indeed. These odd rumors that the long missing King was held in durance vile at the behest of the Chancellor Pandrides continued, and then suddenly on a bright spring day the market-day chatter of the agora of Athens was interrupted by a shocked hush as none other than Marco Girolamo, the Missing King, climbed up upon the speaker's stone and called upon the free men of Athens, of Greece, to rise up and join him in ousting the tyrant Pandrides from his stolen throne! News of the return of the King spread like wildfire through the Achean provinces and all men soon were arguing with one another over wether this Girolamo was a fraud or the true King.

In Thessaloniki, the crisis was exacerbated by the nearly mortal wounding of the Chancellor Pandrides by a Girolamist supporter. The ruling clique also soon split, with Thucides Arava and his regiments abandoning the capital to join Girolamo in the countryside. Girolamo, well funded by enemies of Pandrides, now marched against Thessaloniki as open fighting broke out across the kingdom between the Girolamists and the Pandiridi. The 'rebel' army marched into Macedon, swollen by the angry folk of Attica and Thessaly, and Pandrides was carried into battle on a great wooden bed - his legs being paralyzed by the assassin's attack.

The battle of the ford of Ayinion pitted the 18,000 Girolamists against 10,000 Pandridi. King Marco carried the day, smashing the Pandridi and driving them from the field. The Chancellor was killed, crushed under his giant bed and his supporters fled to Bulgaria and Serbia. Thessaloniki surrendered within days, as some of the populace welcomed this King that they had not seen in long years. The victory feasting lasted for days, but at its end, the returned King succumbed to a gripping ague and died, leaving even more chaos in his passing. Since Avara Thucides had died in the battle at Ayinion, the mantle of leadership fell to his brother, Gustav, and that stalwart established a new Germanic dynasty in the Macedonian capital.

The Pandridi that had fled raised anew the banners of their rebellion, gaining control of Serbia, Bulgaria and Bosnia. All else pledged fealty to Gustav and his new regime.

1665-1666 T169
Kingdom of Macedon: The Macedonians regrouped and rebuilt.

1667-1668 T170
Kingdom of Macedon: The disgraced Prince Lothar spent the turn sailing around the Aegean with the new fleet, picking up garrisons. He ended the turn, still despondent, in Constantinople as its new governor. Gustav devoted all of his efforts to rolling back the new Wallachian influence on his northern border states. The Bulgarians, newly rich with donatives, allied themselves with his Kingdom. The Serbs, Bosnians and Croatians were brought directly to heel by General Hozolen and an army of 23,000 that the Macedonians sent against them.

Grand Duchy of Wallachia: The Wallachians were somewhat stymied by the sudden weight of their realm and Sigismund was unable to even get his head above water for '67-'68. The advances made in the south were rolled back by the Macedonians, but Sigismund was not unduly alarmed.

1669-1670 T171
Kingdom of Macedon: The Macedonians also minded their own business (and you might as well mind yours!) save for withdrawing their army that had been mucking about up on the Wallachian border.

1671-1672 T172
Kingdom of Macedon: The Macedonians shuffled their armies about. Prince Lothar was named interim admiral of the fleet - what there was of it. Things were quiet.. maybe too quiet. Several sponge divers near the Golden Horn have perished of a mysterious new malady. This disease was at first believed to be the plague, but only seems to strike those who dive in deeper waters. The victims' bodies are found covered with dark bruise-like markings, as if crushed by some giant hand.

1673-1674 T173
Kingdom of Macedon: King Gustav, having seen one too many reports about the popular unrest, open rebellion and general laxity of the Wallachians, ordered his generals to him. "This has got to stop," he proclaimed, "Hussite nations are supposed to be models of ruthless efficency and crushing might. These Wallachians are bumbling around like some kind of third world nation on hemp. It is time to … restore … order." And he smiled a big toothy smile. The fleet departed Heraclea the next day.

The Macedonian attack developed along three lines of advance. The fleet, under Lothar, swept out of the Golden Horn and sealed off Debrecen and the mouth of the Danube. At the same time, all Wallachian shipping passing the Sea of Marmara was stopped and seized. Considering that the Macedonians controlled all avenues of approach, they made a killing at this.

The wreckage of the fishing boat 'Lucky Dragon' washed ashore on the coast near Aegespotamae, on the estate of the former Duke of Heraklia. Despite calm weather, which had prevailed for several days, the timbers of the boat were shattered, as if by the grip of a giant hand. Reportedly, traces of gold were found on the wreckage, leading authorities to suspect that the vessel was involved in a smuggling opperation.

The Bulgarians, in turn, made a spoiling attack into Ludgorie, hoping to draw the Wallachian army across the river to deal with them. At the same time the main Macedonian army, under the direct command of Gustav (and supported by Jervis Hozolen) marched north out of Thrace and into Dobruja. Duke Lodmund, however, was not convinced of the danger of the Bulgarian attack and shifted his army into Ialomita to face the main attack. The Wallachian fleet, mostly designed for use on the Danube, was also committed to this defence. As a result, when Gustav's troops reached the great river, they found it held against them by a combined force. The Macedonian king was put out at this, but Hozolen immediately dispatched a messenger to find Lothar.

The Macedonian fleet sortied up the river and drove off the much smaller Wallachian force. Supported now by the fleet, the Macedonians crossed in force at Giurgiu on hundreds of boats as well as two great floating bridges. The Wallachians put up a tenacious defence on the far bank, but their 16,000 men could not contain the 38,000 Macedonians and once the defence ruptured, the Macedonian cavalry wreaked a hideous slaughter upon the fleeing Wallachians. Duke Lodmund was captured in the diaster and Lord Wosul and Cardinal Drakul were both killed.

Following the victory at Giurgiu, the Macedonians wasted no time in marching into Craiova - only to find the Bulgarians already encamped in the city and enjoying the fruits of their victory! Having already "restored order" in Ludgorie, Dobruja, Ialomita and Wallachia, the Macedonian command now split into separate columns and secured Moldavia, Banat, Alfold, Carpathia, Slovakia and Bakony. The Wallachs were left with a rump state comprised of Moravia, Bochnia, Galich, Illyria and Campania (yes, in Italy).

1675-1676 T174
Kingdom of Macedon: Gustav, seeking to ease the burden upon the peasants and small landholders in the newly conquered Wallachian lands, remitted the rural taxes, gaining him many friends in the countryside. "This overlord does not tax us until we must sell our daughters to brothels to make the land payment!" cried the farmers and greengrocers. "His troops are kind and pay for the food they take! They do not ride us down in the street or rape our daughters! Their justice is swift and certain and all men are treated equally!" they exclaimed. "Hail to the Prince of Attica!" Alas, such a golden time was not to last… Sir T_ of Kiev perished in late March of 1675, an apparent victim of Pernicious Anemia. As is typical of victims of the disease, Sir T_'s body seemed to be drained of every drop of blood.

Prince Lothar turned the fleet command over to General Koren, who then sailed off to tool around the Aegean and look for theTyrian pirates who were causing such trouble. Lothar then marched north to meet General Hozolen with a passel of reinforcements. This proved to be an excellent idea! Hozolen's army, meantime, had sauntered up to the Carpathians and then, when news reached them from Slovakia of the Danish attack, they hurried back south to meet up with Lothar at high speed.

Much later, after the fall of Thessaloniki, Gunter was killed on the road to Constantinople by Danish agents and his son, Lothar, became King of the Macedonians and Greeks.

Danish Empire: The Emperor, somewhat unwillingly, weighed his options and then issued orders to his eastern commanders - Ponziani, Kieseritsky and Stamma - to succor the Wallachian state. A hoary and ancient treaty had been dredged up by the Duchess and presented to the Emperor, signed by his own grandfather. He sighed, "ah, another cleanup job" but honor runs strong in the Paleologai line and he issued the proper writs and troop mobilization orders. After long thought on the matter, Romanos realised as well that he had some words to say upon the matter. Thus, while standing aboard the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet (the Ark of the Covenant) he declaimed:

"When the zealots took Greece for their own some years ago, I stayed my hand in sympathy for their Holy Crusade, and in earnest hope for its ultimate success. Even when the brave crusaders succumbed to the Mohammedeans on the harsh desert sands due to the corruption and utter incompetence of their leaders, I allowed the so-called zealots to persist, assuming that they at least would be true to themselves and their cause and rebuiltd for another strike against the infidel. But now I see that my faith has been misplaced, as they have plunged a dagger of treachery deep into the back of our longtime allies and Hussite brothers. Their ambition is for naught but their own power, and the purity of their former quest has been irrevocably stained by the blood of innocents. History's only comprable example of Hussite betrayal of Hussite was the former German state's attempted entry into Italy in concert with the Papacy, a crime for which the von Bayern pretenders paid the just and terrible price. The time has come for the usurpers of Macedon to reap their just rewards as well, and for the the long decieved people of Greece to once again be unified with the Danish throne."

As so began the Danish campaign both to free Wallachia from Macedonian rule, but to reclaim the territories lost to the Achean revolt all those years before. Romanos also declared the Thucides regime to be "criminal in the eyes of the Emperor" and apostate from the Hussite church as well. Following these statements, the Emperor took to the sea with the fleet and a large marine contingent and sailed for the Aegean.

At the same time the army of Germania, under the command of Ponziani, marched east through Bavaria and Austria and then south into Slovenia. There the Danes met a force of Lybians that had landed at Trieste and the combined army then moved inland into Croatia looking for the Macedonian army. Agents friendly to the Danish cause informed Ponziani and Rah'aman (the Lybian commander) that the Macedonians had fallen back to Craiova in Wallachia and met Prince Lothar and his men. The Danes then turned east and crossed the Danube into Banat. Scouts continued to report that the Macedonian army was still at Craiova trying to decide wether to defend against Kiseritsky's attack on the Russian border, or to turn and face Ponziani's advance.

The Danes were hot for battle and swept ahead into Wallachia. The Macedonians, meanwhile, had been furiously digging and met them in the mountains. The battle quickly sparked up at Petrosani in the Transylvanian Alps. 54,000 Danes and Lybians smashed into the 43,000 Macedonians in prepared positions. For the first two days, the struggle teetered on the balance, but by the third day the superior Danish numbers at last ground down the Macedonian defence and the southerners were forced to abandon Petrosani and fall back into Wallachia. The Danes poured through the pass and spilled down onto the hilly plain around Craiova.

During this struggle, the Danish fleet had swung around the Peloponnesus and into the Aegean. Though the Macedonian fleet was present, they were off of Rhodes at that time and the Danes slipped past to reach Macedon unmolested. Romanos landed his troops on the narrow plain to the east of the city of Thessaloniki - expecting the countryside to rise in his support - but the agents that had laid in wait for such a day had been expecting news of a sea battle first and were caught unawares. Thucides, however, was not, and attacked the Emperor's landing while the Danes were still piling out of their ships. The Macedonians, outnumbered two to one, were beaten off, but they inflicted heavy casualties on the Danes - particularly in the death of Admiral Larsen. Romanos now moved on Thessaloniki and prepared to assault the city. The Macedonian fleet, however, now arrived and attacked the Danish fleet as it lay at harborage at Kitros. A fierce sea battle ensued, and Romanos proved the victor, but more time had been lost and the Macedonians were now ensconced in Thessaloniki and had crushed the first popular revolt in the city.

Romanos, seeing that his long-laid plans of a massive popular revolt in his favor were not quite working out as he had intended, abandoned the putative siege of Thessaloniki and shifted his fleet and army to Larissa in Thessaly. That city did fall by treachery to Romanos' agents. Now he waited for Ponziani's army to fight its way down from the north and besiege Thessaloniki, whereupon the Emperor's fleet could blockade the city. A village on the north shore of the island of Lemnos was struck and destroyed by a violent storm. By some freak of the action of the waves, the docks, houses, and even the village church were all shattered as if by the blows of giant fists. The Danish regiment inthe area was sent to deal with looters drawn in search of scraps of gold that were reportedly discovered within the ruins of the church.

To the north, the Macedonians had abandoned Ialomita and Dobruja on one hand, and had fallen back through Ludgorie and Bulgaria behind a strong cavalry screen. Ponziani had first intended to cut back to the west and secure the Imperial Highway through Bosnia and Serbia, but then he learned from an Imperial Courier that the Emperor's sea attack on Thessaloniki had failed and he would have to take the city himself. So, he too drove south through Ludgorie and Bulgaria to march down out of the Macedonian hills to lay siege to the Achean capital.

General Hozolen and Prince Lothar had long since reached the city and had made strong efforts to fortify it. The Danes threw up siegeworks and their fleet, operating from Larissa, blockaded the sea approaches. Within the city, Hozolen and the Bashar Fadil' now commanded some 9,000 men. Without, the Danes and Lybians now gathered 27,000 troops. The siege was underway with alacrity as the Emperor desired to cut the heart out of his enemy as soon as possible. Thessaloniki was broken after a siege of three months of hard fighting. The cost was heavy to Denmark, however, as some 16,000 men were lost - as was the Emperor, Romanos, of a flux caught in the last weeks of the siege. With this, and the heavy losses sustained taking Thessaloniki, Ponziani elected to hold his position on the Hellene coast and to await further orders from the new Emperor, Basil.

Finally, to the north, Kiseritsky's expedition at Kiev had marched south (after a long delay) through the then-independent Pechneg and into Moldavia where they laid siege to Debrecen. This siege did not last long and the DEF continued south into Ialomita, which they found to be back in pro-Wallachian hands after its garrison was stripped by the Macedonians to defend Thessaloniki. They passed through Wallachia itself and then spent the end of 1676 fighting in the mountains of Bosnia, which they managed to secure for the Empire.

Back in Venice, the coronation of Prince Basil was a time of mourning and of anticipation. The eastern provinces would soon be regained by the Empire and a new golden age of Danish civilization would dawn! Amid all the ceremonies and what-not, no one but an assistant librarian noticed that the Dagger of Alexander had dissapeared from its accustomed place on the Emperor's mantlepiece. He thought nothing of it, however, presuming that it had been moved to the deep vaults under the Fortress of the Pearl.

1677-1678 T175
Kingdom of Georgia: Lucuan, seeing opportunity open before him, sent a large army west to assail the Macedonians. The Georgians, under the command of Luciano of Van, found the provinces of Bithnia and Lydia abandoned by the Hussites. The crossing to Constantinople, however, was held against them by a powerful Danish fleet and army. There would be no passage into Europe this day. General Luciano died while his army observed the Danish activities beyond the Sea of Marmara.

Kingdom of Macedon: Lothar, his back to the proverbial wall, acceded to the demands of his advisors and sent a series of messages both to Basil of Denmark and, oddly, to the Shah of the Persians. A short truce was declared soon afterwards and Lothar's agents immediately set to work in the countryside. Much of 1677 was spent in frenzied effort to uproot and relocate as many of the populace of Thrace, Bithnia, Lydia, Constantinople and Attica as possible. The Macedonian fleet, now watched carefully by the Danish armada, shuttled the Thucidean adherents from Greece proper and Anatolia to the great gathering at Constantinople.

Near the end of the year the Persian fleet arrived in all its stupendous size (almost eight hundred ships were assembled) and the Thucideans clambered aboard with every artifact, tool, book, weapon and other item of value that they possessed. The Danes watched warily as the rebellious Greeks took ship for eastern climes. "Well," said Ponziani, "at least we're rid of that lot - now let's finish cleaning up after the Wallachs..."

The Kings

  • Lothar Thucidies 1676-1677 (T164-T175)
  • Gustav Thucidies 1663-1676 (T168-T174)

The Players

  • T173-T175 (1673-1677) Colin Dunnigan
  • T170-T172 (1667-1672) Carmi Turchick
  • T169 (1665-1666) (open)
  • T168 (1663-1664) Martin Chandler

Last updated: 7 February 1998 (T192 - 1712)

© 1999 Robert P

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