An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Has St Helena had any country claim it yet? I imagine either the Triunes or Spanish would at least plant a flag there if they got the chance
Considering it’s OTL name sake I’d really like for that Island in particular to end up in Roman hands. For those who don’t know Saint Helena was Constantine the Greats mother. It would be a fun little historical fact.

Plus since the Roman view of Latins is going to be at an all time low following the fiasco out in Island Asia, they probably wouldn’t mind a naval outpost in the southern Atlantic Ocean from which they can track Latin naval traffic and harass Latin naval trade in the event of a war.
 
Considering it’s OTL name sake I’d really like for that Island in particular to end up in Roman hands. For those who don’t know Saint Helena was Constantine the Greats mother. It would be a fun little historical fact.

Plus since the Roman view of Latins is going to be at an all time low following the fiasco out in Island Asia, they probably wouldn’t mind a naval outpost in the southern Atlantic Ocean from which they can track Latin naval traffic and harass Latin naval trade in the event of a war.
That would be really cool but it would really serve no purpose as little to no Rhoman ships would be sailing in those waters. Although i cant see the Triunes or Spain caring too much if the Rhomans own that rock it could be easy pickings for advantageous captain to seize for their respective empire with little to no repercussion from Rhome. It would be neat if the Rhomans where able to hang onto it somehow if only to bring a lil more purple into the world
 
I wonder what would happen to Romania-in-the-west in the long run. Will it remain under an odd state of Mexican protection due to the Mexican-Roman alliance or will it be consumed in an alt-Seven-Years'-War?
 
That would be really cool but it would really serve no purpose as little to no Rhoman ships would be sailing in those waters. Although i cant see the Triunes or Spain caring too much if the Rhomans own that rock it could be easy pickings for advantageous captain to seize for their respective empire with little to no repercussion from Rhome. It would be neat if the Rhomans where able to hang onto it somehow if only to bring a lil more purple into the world
True but it could also bring a bit more trade with it if it exists. That said I know it’s a bit impractical to start a colony there, and only suggest it because of the OTL name. A cool nod to its name sake in our timeline while providing the rare Roman traders a place to stop if they want to trade in Western Africa. It would absolutely be easy pickings though, you’re right. I see it being one of those places an empire keeps despite being taken in a war because of its insignificance. At the peace table it’s little more than a foot note.
 
Current doesn’t work that way. The roaring forties are great from getting from South Africa to west Australia fast, but they just go in that direction. If the Romans wanted to bypass India, they’d be forgoing the traditional trade routes that facilitated commerce between Egypt and India for centuries. They could take the South Equatorial current, which would take them from Java to about Zanzibar but then have to bump their way up the east African coast. It’d be a long haul in an environment that is not healthy for Romans.
Sad times. Damn "Environment" and "Currents" :p

I can't recall if its been in any recent updates, but I'm intrigued to find out more about what is happening in East Africa. Feels like its the one part of the Indian Ocean we've heard little about :)
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Sad times. Damn "Environment" and "Currents" :p

I can't recall if its been in any recent updates, but I'm intrigued to find out more about what is happening in East Africa. Feels like its the one part of the Indian Ocean we've heard little about :)
As far as I recall East Africa is the stomping grounds of Ethiopia and Oman by way of semi-vassalage and tribute and Madagascar and the surrounding islands unclaimed and a spawning place of pirates.
 
As far as I recall East Africa is the stomping grounds of Ethiopia and Oman by way of semi-vassalage and tribute and Madagascar and the surrounding islands unclaimed and a spawning place of pirates.
I still think there should be a Greek Cape colony for strategic reasons, even a small initial effort would have disproportionate effects a few generations down the road, how many were the initial Boer colonists? But I could live with an Ethiopian one... I suppose should be content with Greek Australia. :angel:
 
I still think there should be a Greek Cape colony for strategic reasons, even a small initial effort would have disproportionate effects a few generations down the road, how many were the initial Boer colonists? But I could live with an Ethiopian one... I suppose should be content with Greek Australia. :angel:
The initial colonization was small, when Cape Town was just a waystation. It quickly grew by a mixture of being a penal colony for the Dutch Easy Indies and via the importation of slaves from Java and Madagascar (I think. Might have been Malaya or Mozambique. Started with an M.) but most of the initial nexus of colonization came from Huguenots. Following the violence perpetrated against those protestants in France they became refugees the VOC offered land in South Africa to to get them out of the Netherlands.

This was in the late 17th century and wikipedia's telling me that "By 1754, the population of the settlement on the Cape had reached 5,510 Europeans and 6,729 slaves." from an initial population of perhaps 360 in 1658 and 3,157 in 1731 but none of these values have citations so I wouldn't trust them.

The point is colonization would require a significant push to establish a self-sufficient population in the Cape which historically was provided by Huguenot refugees. Before then, colonization required forcibly sending convicts and slaves to keep up. The same was true for Durban on the east coast, which after its foundation in the early 19th century imported large quantities of Indian migrant workers from British India to make its economy viable via plantation agriculture (addition to Zulu and Xhosa trade). Many of them stayed there after their terms of indenture ended and many Indian merchants (called 'arabs' funnily enough, since they were Indian Muslims) also came to facilitate trade between the indentures and India who wanted goods from home. This took the rest of the century to really establish Durban as a viable city. It's a trend in South Africa that it needed large population transfers to found its settlements, often by force (see Boers for later examples as well).
 
I still think there should be a Greek Cape colony for strategic reasons, even a small initial effort would have disproportionate effects a few generations down the road, how many were the initial Boer colonists? But I could live with an Ethiopian one... I suppose should be content with Greek Australia. :angel:
The cape is already taken by the Triunes
 
The cape is already taken by the Triunes
South Africa has a coastline close 3,000 km and a land area around 1.2 million square km. That the Triunes planted a few hundred or a few thousand people in part of it hardly means they control the whole place. The Triunes are in Cape Town, someone else can just as easily colonize the Durban area, with a third in East London and someone else in Port Elizabeth. Overall you could well have up to 5 separate colonies developing, each one centered in one of the modern major ports, given the distances between them.
 
South Africa has a coastline close 3,000 km and a land area around 1.2 million square km. That the Triunes planted a few hundred or a few thousand people in part of it hardly means they control the whole place. The Triunes are in Cape Town, someone else can just as easily colonize the Durban area, with a third in East London and someone else in Port Elizabeth. Overall you could well have up to 5 separate colonies developing, each one centered in one of the modern major ports, given the distances between them.
Fair point. I can totally see Ethiopia getting up in there since they have a lot of trade with Kongo
 
I'd like to see a glorious cavalry charge by the Romans during the war with the turks, personally.
The Polish will be there with the Romans, you'll see a truly godlike cavalry charge. Forgot to say but say F to the turks when the thundering hooves of the winged hussars and elite cataphractarii is heard as they get surrounded.
 
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I still think there should be a Greek Cape colony for strategic reasons, even a small initial effort would have disproportionate effects a few generations down the road, how many were the initial Boer colonists? But I could live with an Ethiopian one... I suppose should be content with Greek Australia. :angel:
No reason Australia can't be colonized by multiple countries of course. OTL Perth seems like a perfect spot for a Greek colony, especially if/when things settle down in Island Asia.
 
I feel like post East Asian War, three things will have become apparent to the Romans after the smoke clears.

1. Latins are bad, irrational neighbors (From a Roman point of view at least). It’s time to clean up the neighborhood past the line as much as possible.

2. Live together or die alone. The days of a “Wild West” Island Asia is over. The Roman government will be making sure that the Ship Lords understand that at least in times of war there’s going to be a central authority they will listen to or else. Civil policy I expect to continue as is.

3. The Roman government will see the necessity of some sort of significant South African presence as a first line of defense. Wether it be a settler colony in Durban or East London, a collection of bribed Pirate vassals on Madagascar, or something else. Maybe all three. But they need something down there as a first line of defense or a the very least a warning.
 
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St Helena: Nobody’s made a claim to it yet, although somebody did drop off some livestock that have multiplied and ships of various nationalities swing by and use it a resupply point. (This seems to have been fairly common ITTL. Establishing proper colonies are expensive and often difficult; I think Spain tried 4-5 times to colonize Florida before one managed to stick.)

Romans aren’t going to be getting it; it’s really not in a good position for the Romans to assert power there. And because of its use as a resupply point for ships going to and from the east, no hostile Latin power would tolerate a Roman presence there. The Caribbean colonies can survive by being in a not-obvious corner, but St Helena doesn’t have that, and an Atlantic power is much better placed to take and hold it.

Basically, any Roman holdings in the Atlantic exist on the sufferance of actual Atlantic powers.

I wonder what would happen to Romania-in-the-west in the long run. Will it remain under an odd state of Mexican protection due to the Mexican-Roman alliance or will it be consumed in an alt-Seven-Years'-War?
I’m picturing as a sort of Danish West Indies. It gets repeatedly overrun by enemies of the metropole, but always handed back at the peace treaty.

Sad times. Damn "Environment" and "Currents"

I can't recall if its been in any recent updates, but I'm intrigued to find out more about what is happening in East Africa. Feels like its the one part of the Indian Ocean we've heard little about
Check out the ‘Fringes of Empire’ threadmark.

Cavalry charge: Haven’t worked out yet precisely, but the flat plains of Mesopotamia (get away from the irrigation ditches though) are a good place for a cavalry charge.

The Cape: The Cape in pre gold and diamond days make less sense for a Roman outpost than for Latins who have to sail by it regularly. But it’s not nearly as vulnerable as a Roman Atlantic outpost and makes more sense.

And that said, I have an idea for a Roman Durban being attacked by some Latin force that then gets pile-drived from the rear by Rhomania’s alt-Zulu allies. Time to wash the spears.
 
Lords of Spice and Sea: In the Shadow of the Volcano
Lords of Spice and Sea: In the Shadow of the Volcano

Pereira’s goal is to destroy the Pahang fleet before it returns to harbor to shelter during the rainy season, but the Roman fleet slips past him mostly unscathed. The one exception is a sloop that gets separated from the main fleet and is sighted by the Spanish and pursued. Hopelessly outmatched, the Roman sloop only manages to escape by jettisoning a good portion of her stores, including many of her guns. A day after slipping away from the Spanish, at dawn it is surprised by a small Acehnese squadron and quickly captured.

Despite the failure, Pereira has good reason to be proud of his accomplishments. At this time in 1635, the Romans had seven fourth-raters and twelve fifth-raters in all of their eastern holdings. In contrast, the Spanish only had two fourth-raters and four fifth-raters. Now, the Spanish have sixteen heavy warships in the east (8 from the expedition, the six already in the east, and the two prizes from Semarang) while the Romans are at seventeen. In addition the Spanish have the advantage of generally heavier ships and particularly a unified command. Now this analysis does not factor in lighter warships and armed merchantmen, still a major component of naval warfare in the east, but it is clear the Spanish position is vastly strengthened from its pre-expedition level.

Alexandros Mavrokordatos and his Doux, Michael Angelos, set to work with all haste to prepare for the next confrontation with the Spanish. Of the three easternmost Katepanates, Pahang is the best initially prepared to face the Spanish, unsurprisingly considering the proximity of Malacca. The largest of the Roman warships in the east, a sixty-gunner, is in the Pahang fleet, supported by two fifty-gunners, a pair of 44s, and a 40. Furthermore, Pahang has a larger number of ‘heavy fregatai’ mounting more than 30 guns. They can’t stand up to a Spanish battle-line ship but they still have their uses.

In addition, Mavrokordatos and Angelos have access to a number of larger merchantmen, many built of teak, provided by alarmed Ship Lords. They aren’t as good as purpose-built warships, but their sheer size and teak construction makes them more formidable than the typical armed merchantman. Angelos plans to pair each of these with a heavy fregata; the duo should be able to handle a Spanish fifty-gunner if they work together.

The Spanish third-raters are a different matter; pitting merchantmen and light warships against them isn’t war, but murder. Angelos has some ideas for how to deal with them though. One is an up-gunning of his regular warships, replacing some of their lighter pieces with heavier artillery, although only so much can be done without the weight compromising seaworthiness. The other is to outfit smaller vessels as fireships. The Doux is a bit doubtful that the fireships will successfully destroy any of the third-raters, but he hopes at least to use them to tangle up the third-raters in dodging them. That will give him an opportunity to crush the smaller Spanish ships (of the 456 big-ship Spanish guns at Semarang, 218 were on the three third-rates) and three ships, no matter how powerful, are far too few to dominate the seas of Island Asia.

As the rains fade in 1637, making combat operations possible again, it is clear though that even with all their efforts, Pahang alone does not have the number of ships needed to take on Pereira. Both Deblitzenos in Pyrgos and Laskaris in Taprobane are infuriatingly deaf to Mavrokordatos’ admittedly-not-very-diplomatic requests for aid, citing concerns in their own districts. In addition, further plans to build more ships and buttress existing merchantmen runs into shortage issues, particularly of teak. The best teak comes from Ayutthaya, which currently has a Spanish national as prime minister and is playing host to a Spanish military mission. The next best is Pegu, but to get there from Pahang requires either sailing by Malacca or sailing the long way around Sumatra, which takes one past Sunda. At this time, neither is ideal.

More helpful are the actions of New Constantinople, where Katepano Motzilos is overseeing similar work to that being done in Pahang. However he is operating from a smaller resource base, made much worse by the losses at Semarang. One item he brings to the table are even more and even larger merchantmen, great spice haulers that are designed to run heavily armed because of the profitability of their cargo. However these are currently equipped with a slew of light cannons, since that was all that was necessary up to now. Bigger weaponry would’ve taken up space that could be taken by profitable spices. Yet if they can be refitted with heavy armaments, the biggest of these could hurl a broadside equal to that of a fourth-rate.

The issue is that the ships are in New Constantinople while the heavy guns are in Pahang. Because of the tin deposits, most Roman artillery in the east is manufactured around Pekan. First, Angelos needs to get to New Constantinople, which is an issue because Pereira gets the drop on him and blockades Pekan harbor before he has the chance to get the Pahang fleet out and away.

For three weeks Angelos prays for a good storm to scatter the blockaders or at least provide cover for a breakout, but the weather fails to oblige. So finally, when presented with a clear day but a good seaward breeze, he sails out, his vanguard comprised of fireships. None of them manage to hit any targets, but they knock Pereira back far enough for the Pahang fleet to get out to sea. The Spanish pursue but now a squall brews up, covering the Romans as they make their escape. Pereira tries to get directions from a passing Lotharingian merchantman but the captain’s local mistress had just run off with a Spanish merchant, reportedly after criticizing his equipment. As a salve to his wounded pride, the Lotharingian deliberately sends the Spanish the wrong way, telling him the Romans sailed north around Borneo rather than south.

Angelos arrives in New Constantinople on June 8, where he assumes command of the combined Roman fleet with Katepano Motzilos’ approval. He brings along a cargo of artillery to refit the large merchantmen and the city is immediately filled with the noises of the dockyards. Pereira arrives on June 26.

Most of the fleet remains on station outside New Constantinople, but smaller detachments sally out to raid and harry the rest of the Despotate, seizing ships and burning spice plantations. What cannot be carried away by the Spanish is destroyed. Yet despite the massive financial losses caused by the depredations, Angelos refuses to budge. He is reluctant to commit to an all-out battle with the Spanish fleet yet since he is hoping for more regular warships from either Taprobane or Pyrgos, underestimating the fixations of both on their own issues.

Pereira has to break off the blockade on July 16 due to supply issues. Ternate and Tidore don’t have the provisions necessary to support such a large fleet, while he is unwilling to risk breaking up the fleet into smaller sections and risk defeat in detail. So instead he withdraws back to Banten to resupply, taking the opportunity to cruise along the Mataramese territories of the former Semarang Sultanate, a show of power to impress Maharaja Sanjaya.

That does not alleviate the Romans’ problems in New Constantinople. Even in peacetime, New Constantinople had to import foodstuffs, the strain made far worse by the presence of their own large fleet. Now most food comes from Mataram, the regular reliable supply allowing the city’s population to increase 50% in the last half-decade. But Sanjaya is now being difficult.

Sanjaya was very unimpressed by the Roman showing at the battle of Semarang. The shrewd monarch knows the difference between armed merchantmen and proper warships, but for his own reasons plays dumb and criticizes the Romans for losing a battle where they had numerical superiority. And speaking of numerical superiority, he is furious about Adiwerna; he has been humiliated entirely due to his Roman-provided weapons being woefully inferior to the Spanish muskets given to the Sundanese. Besides, their alliance was against Semarang, now destroyed, the death blow being delivered entirely by himself, he adds.

On July 20, some reinforcements finally arrive from Pyrgos. While Katepano Deblitzenos is still not willing to pull his ships out of Korea, where the fighting is in full force (the battle of Haeju Bay is still in the future), some scattered victories over Sulu raiders give him the breathing room to send some of his remaining troops. Naval-wise they are unimpressive, a sloop and three medium armed merchantmen. But they carry 900 top-notch samurai, skilled in wielding both of their signature blades as well as the flintlock, commanded by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Tokugawa is a veteran of Roman service, a key architect in the Visayas campaigns, rewarded for valor and martial prowess with the title of Kyr and both the Order of the Dragon and the Order of the Iron Gates.

Grateful for at least some more forces, even if he hoped for more, Angelos knows that no more reinforcements are coming. With the supply issues growing ever more serious, particularly with those hungry samurai, he must put out to sea. The Romans set out for Surabaya, a formerly Semarang city that was taken by a joint Roman-Mataramese effort, so Angelos hopes for a good reception from Sanjaya. The Maharaja makes no trouble about provisioning the fleet and supplying a rice shipment for New Constantinople at the normal prices, which is promising, although he insists on cash up front.

Once restocked, Angelos promptly puts back out to sea despite reports, albeit unconfirmed, that Pereira has put out from Banten and is headed east himself. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, Angelos is concerned about being blockaded in a Mataramese port; the Doux does not want to presume on Sanjaya’s hospitality too much. (Sanjaya had asked for some flintlocks but Angelos, who needed all the weapons he could get, had been forced to refuse, visibly irritating the monarch.)

Secondly, Sanjaya did supply some important intelligence. The Raja of Gelgel, the most powerful of the Balinese monarchs, has been in talks with the Spanish and is willing to provide an army of up to 6000 men. If Pereira gets that army, he would have a very good chance of seizing and keeping New Constantinople herself. So Angelos sails toward Bali, hoping that his battle line will convince Gelgel to stand down, and if that fails, he can encourage the other Balinese Rajas against Gelgel and make him keep his army at home.

On September 7, the Roman fleet is northeast of Bali, currently rounding the island in a clockwise motion, with Mount Agung, the highest point in Bali, standing majestically over the scene. The volcano is smoking a little from its summit. Then Roman lookouts sight sails to the west, lots of them. It is the Spanish fleet in full force.

Doux Angelos does not want battle here. His preferred battle site would be somewhere off Ambon, where the Romans know the waters well, and preferably after the Spanish have been worn down by blockade duty. Here the Spanish are fresh, recently resupplied from Sunda, and the Romans are not familiar with Balinese waters. Neither are the Spanish to be fair, but Angelos wants every possible advantage on his side before tangling with those third-raters. Furthermore it would be nice to give tropical parasites a few more months to chew on the European-timbered Spanish vessels.

However they are being watched. The Balinese on the slopes of Mount Agung can see the whole array, and what they see will be reported to all of Bali, including the various Rajas. The Romans have the advantage in number of hulls. There is more to naval combat than hulls, but still if Angelos retreats it will look to the Balinese as if he is fleeing in the face of a foe he outnumbers, and there goes any chance of intimidating the Raja of Gelgel or encouraging his local rivals to challenge him. And then there is Sanjaya of Mataram. Gelgel has offered 6000 men to Pereira; Mataram can offer ten times that. If he gets word that an enlarged Roman fleet, far greater than what he was used to seeing in their joint operations, flees at contact with a numerically inferior force, his questioning of the value of his alliance may lead to outright rupture, which cannot be allowed to happen.

Furthermore there is the matter that Pereira’s fleet is faster than his. Angelos’ fleet has many heavy merchantmen, with firepower he desperately needs but at the cost of a slow speed. Without a convenient squall Angelos may be forced to accept battle whether he likes it or not. And if he must fight, Bali may work as an anvil to hold the third-raters in place for a fiery hammer.

Doux Angelos accepts battle.

The battle-line breaks down as follows, with Spanish numbers first and Roman second:

Third-raters: 3 to 0.
Fourth-raters: 6 (2 Roman prizes from Semarang) to 3 (Roman flagship is by far the biggest in this category).
Fifth-raters: 4 to 5 (slight average per-ship size and firepower advantage to the Romans).
Sixth-raters: 3 to 13 (10 of the Roman are of the heavy variety).
Seventh-raters: 3 to 3.
Armed merchantmen: 6 to 14 (massive average per-ship size and firepower to the Romans in this category).
Fireships: 0 to 6.
Total: 25 to 44.

Both fleets sight each other in the early morning (the Spanish coming out of the west sighted the Romans at the same time as the lookouts spotted them), but it is not until just after noon when the first cannon shots ring out. Both form into a line-of-battle (one of the earliest known examples of this tactic), exchanging long-range fire, with neither side scoring significant damage shooting at range. However by 3 PM the Spanish and Roman vans are almost abreast of each other, the extra Roman ships tailing behind the main engagement.

Both fleets have been proceeding southeast, but now the wind shifts to the southwest and Angelos pivots to sail directly south. Pereira pivots to match the Romans’ course to avoid his T being crossed, the range between the two sides shortening in the process. A Roman cannonball snaps the mizzenmast of one of the Spanish fourth-raters, which starts to lumber behind where two Roman merchantmen and heavy fregatai begin maneuvering to gang up on it. It is the first serious blow to either side.

The Spanish are now starting to pull ahead of the Roman line, which Pereira doesn’t want. With the winds blowing southwest, he can’t tack east to cross the Roman T, so pulling ahead doesn’t do anything. He starts to shorten sail to slow his speed.

Now Angelos strikes. Both commanders have placed their most powerful warships in the head of the line. Pereira knows his third-raters are the most powerful ships in the eastern seas, but individually they can be overwhelmed by superior numbers. Keeping them together though makes them nearly invincible. Angelos keeps his big ships together in front because he wants them to block the Spanish view of his fireships.

At a signal from Angelos, the Roman van and center pivot hard to the west, sailing to break the Spanish line and snarl them up in a melee. Meanwhile the rear, which has been lagging behind the battle, is to tack southwest and sail around to the west of the Spanish line, the two Roman forces hitting the Spanish from both sides. The double assault should make up for the average smaller size and firepower of the Roman ships.

The issue is those third-raters, as a close-range slugging match with those leviathans would be murderous. As Angelos pivots, he lets fly all of his fireships, hurling them straight at the Spanish trio. He needs to knock those ships away from the battle, and right now with the winds blowing southwest toward Bali where Mount Agung now looms overhead, the third-raters lack sea room. Now is the best chance to destroy them outright, so Angelos does not hold back. Pereira can’t stand and face the fireships; it’s far too big of a risk to his ace cards. Instead he flies southwest, pursued by the fireships.

The Romans and Spanish pile into what one participant calls ‘an absolute holocaust’. Now it is just a straight slugging match, both sides pounding each other. Cannonballs smash wood into splinters the size of a man’s thigh that impale sailors. Japanese musketeers reap a frightful slaughter of Spanish officers, while Tokugawa Ieyasu leads a boarding party and personally kills the captain of a Spanish fourth-rater. To the side of the slaughter, the Roman and Spanish fifth-raters Aghios Stefanos and Santo Estevao have a private duel that leaves both vessels as shattered hulks with two-thirds of their combined crews dead or wounded.

The wind has been steadily slackening, which slows the Roman rearguard trying to come up, but finally they pile into the fray, and while the fighting is very tough and costly, gradually the combined attacks from both sides start to overwhelm the Spanish. Four Spanish ships in the rear strike their colors in a twenty-minute period, one of which is one of the Roman 50-gunner prizes from Semarang. The Spanish center and van are still fighting furiously, both sides enveloped in a great cloud of powder, as the wind has stilled.

Meanwhile Pereira has managed to shake off the fireships, helped by the slackening wind which slowed their approach, although one of the warships got singed and lost a sail before the assailant could be shoved away. Now he has been trying to work his way back into the battle, making pitiful progress with the limp breeze. But then the wind picks up, reversing course as the evening draws on, and now the Flor de la Mars are flying with the wind, plowing into the melee with a vengeance.

Angelos’ flag is the 60-gunner Nikephoros Ouranos, which has been pounding a Spanish 50-gunner to pieces and would’ve forced it to strike if given five more minutes. Instead the sixty-gunner is pounded for ten minutes by three 72-gunners, the sole target for their fury. The ship is raked repeatedly, with three-quarters of her crew killed or wounded. The body of Doux Michael Angelos is never found. Most of his red coat is discovered after the battle; the garment had been a dark blue that morning.

The Spanish third-raters proceed down the line, an unstoppable force of destruction; the smaller and battered Roman vessels still locked in combat with other foes are absolutely no match for them. Only those who can disengage in time and flee manage to escape, although the same wind that drove on the Spaniards also facilitate their flight. The rest fall. When the sun sets behind the smoking Mt Agung, it sets on a very bloody, but Spanish victory.

The greatest victors are the sharks of the region, who swarm the area drawn by the rivers of blood scumming the surface of the water. At least a third of the combined Spanish-Roman forces that fought in the battle of Agung were killed or wounded in the fray.

The Roman fleet that limps into New Constantinople is a sadly reduced force. All of its original fourth-raters are gone, although somehow the prize crew for the Roman 50-gunner captured at Semarang and recaptured at Agung makes it to New Constantinople. Of its five fifth-raters, two are gone and the surviving three are shot up horribly. Of the heavy armed merchantmen, which were in the rear and thus had more opportunity to flee, things look better with 9 of the 14 escaping, alongside 9 of the 13 sixth-raters. So the Roman fleet, while badly punished, is not toothless, although it needs weeks of yard work to even think of putting out to sea again. One of those who will be putting out to sea again is Tokugawa Ieyasu, who managed to get on one of the escaping ships.

Pereira though has little reason to cheer. He took a number of prizes which he wanted to get back to Banten as soon as possible to be patched up, but on course back to Banten a storm brew up and battered the fleet, sinking many of the half-wrecked ships from the battle. When he gets to Sundanese territory, his fleet is actually down a fourth-rate and fifth-rate, although up a sixth-rate (one of the Roman heavies) and a big armed merchantmen. Manpower-wise his losses are staggering. Between all factors, close to 40% of the Spanish who sailed out with him from Lisbon are dead. Also he knows the Roman fleet was not destroyed, so he needs to keep his concentrated, especially since he is painfully aware that while Pahang and New Constantinople have been mauled, Pyrgos and particular Taprobane have hardly entered the lists. He needs more men to refill those lost at Agung, and he still needs armies that can siege and take Roman fortresses. The victory at Agung has not solved his problems.

In addition the battle plus the retirement back to Banten to secure his prizes (which were mostly all lost) and the needed repairs has thrown the entire Gelgel operation out of joints. There is no longer enough time to go back to Bali and load those troops before the monsoon, meaning major operations against New Constantinople are not possible until next year. And the wheels of diplomacy will be turning.

Yet Agung has certainly made life harder for the Romans of Pahang and New Constantinople. The fighting between Christians will continue, but the course of the war shall be decided not by them, but by three Hindu monarchs.
 
Wow this has to be one of my favorite updates yet! The suspense in that battle had me at the edge of my seat!

Also here's an updated version of the map to reflect Matrams gobbling up of sulu
 

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Excellent writing as always! You've really made the era of "wooden ships and iron men" come alive.

Glad to see that Sanjaya is still on board with the Romans, although I can't blame him for looking around in anger and disgust after the lack of modern guns to help him take central Java. That's a pretty human reaction.
 
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