An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Damn Sicily better not be let off the hook for this. I hope Odysseus will avenge the upcoming humiliating loss somewhere down the line. It also looks like this marks the official end of Lotharingia. I hope lotharingia and al andalus are enjoying themselves in the great shipyard in the sky. Rest easy my friend :,(

Here's the newest version of the map with Lotaringia part of the Triunes
 

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To think I'd get to see a surviving Lotharingia/Burgundy in this timeline. Reminds me of the time where Al-Andalus as a state was also lost as well. That's a big F for me :(
Hopefully we see Lotharingia become the fourth kingdom within the United Kingdom. Quadrunes maybe?

The Romans simply can't catch a break, can't they? The government is basically crippled and their inaction has still led to a coalition war out of all places, with Spain, Aragon, UK, and Arles coming to dash any hopes of a Roman Italy. It's pretty fair to say that Northern Italy is basically screwed but hopefully the Romans actually retain....Rome after this?

Sicily's betrayal will not go unnoticed though and I'm sure that Odysseus in the future will find a way to payback the Despotate in some fashion, perhaps sooner than later.
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I hope lotharingia and al andalus are enjoying themselves in the great shipyard in the sky. Rest easy my friend :,(
As long as their cultures survive in some fashion towards modern times, I can make peace that they might not be states anymore. If Spain in An Age of Miracles is considerably less zealous than their OTL Trastamara/Habsburg counterparts then that's already a huge plus, to be honest.
 
To think I'd get to see a surviving Lotharingia/Burgundy in this timeline. Reminds me of the time where Al-Andalus as a state was also lost as well. That's a big F for me :(
Hopefully we see Lotharingia become the fourth kingdom within the United Kingdom. Quadrunes maybe?

The Romans simply can't catch a break, can't they? The government is basically crippled and their inaction has still led to a coalition war out of all places, with Spain, Aragon, UK, and Arles coming to dash any hopes of a Roman Italy. It's pretty fair to say that Northern Italy is basically screwed but hopefully the Romans actually retain....Rome after this?

Sicily's betrayal will not go unnoticed though and I'm sure that Odysseus in the future will find a way to payback the Despotate in some fashion, perhaps sooner than later.
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As long as their cultures survive in some fashion towards modern times, I can make peace that they might not be states anymore. If Spain in An Age of Miracles is considerably less zealous than their OTL Trastamara/Habsburg counterparts then that's already a huge plus, to be honest.
I still have hope that the former Andalusian colony in Brazil could become a sort of spiritual successor to Al Andalus. I believe spain is allowing a substantial amount of muslims settle there
 
I still have hope that the former Andalusian colony in Brazil could become a sort of spiritual successor to Al Andalus. I believe spain is allowing a substantial amount of muslims settle there
For sure, we'll see if the Andalusi will form their own communities in Brazil, although if they generally have some free movement in Spain, then that's also a positive. As long as the previous Marinid/Hayyanist loyalists in Al-Andalus were purged before they were annexed, then it's possible that they can survive and prosper unscathed. A Spain that has both Christians and Muslims against the Hayyanist Marinids and the Orthodox Romans is a lot more interesting than OTL, I got to say.
 
This is all the Empire damn fault. They only needed to use diplomacy to settle this.

Now because of their own incompetente they will loose all above Rome and even that city may end up in Sicilian hands in order to keep it.
 
This will make the OTL Italian Wars look like child's play.

As always, Henri II sits pretty. The guy doesn't make mistakes or ever have anything bad happen to him or his county that sets them back for the long term. He's Iskander on steroids.
 
This will make the OTL Italian Wars look like child's play.

As always, Henri II sits pretty. The guy doesn't make mistakes or ever have anything bad happen to him or his county that sets them back for the long term. He's Iskander on steroids.
Yeah, Henri II seems to have everything going his way almost to the point of absurdity.
 
Written in furious reaction at news of Roman debacles at Spanish hands in Island Asia, it demands in extremely bloodthirsty prose a massive Roman naval assault on Spain in reprisal. In lurid tones, it describes vicious slaughter on the maritime districts of Spain as ‘just recompense for their crimes’. At the end it suggests keeping a North African port such as Ceuta or Tangiers for observation and subsidizing the Marinids so that whenever the Spanish do something contrary to Roman interests the Romans can just ferry over a Marinid army in reprisal.
The author of that note would not be hard-pressed to find friends in this thread. Why, with rants like these, one might even wonder if they were directly inspired by this thread.

Northern Italy: Is the situation that big of a deal as others are making it out to be? The bulk of the territory in contention here hasn't been held by Rhomaion in a long time. Liguria and Tuscany are garrisoned by the Sicilians, with whom the Spanish have a military agreement with. Conflict between two signatories of a future pact is unlikely and the Sicilians will not relinquish their posts that easily unless they are guaranteed material gains (essentially holding Constantinople hostage to their demands). The most immediate target will be the Dukes of Lombardy and with both of them exhausted, this show of force is intended to assert dominance and secure what they view as inviolable territory. With no Roman forces in Italy and not much of an appetite for another war, there most likely won't be another showdown and Rhomaion will lose definitely lose their claims on the Veneto, Lombardy and possibly Tuscany (except Livorno and Elba). I wonder if the Carthagininans are in on the deal with the Siculo-Spanish agreement considering their common plight against the corsairs. If so, they would definitely want a permanent appointment as Despot of Liguria with the same autonomy and privileges their tenure over Carthage entails.
 
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The Romans really aren't the good guys in all of this. They're acting the bully, and shouldn't be surprised other nations are teaming up to knock them down.

Obviously the German invasion was nasty; but the brutality in response was just as bad if not worse. And they remain arrogant and antagonistic.

I'm not hoping Rome gets wrecked or anything, with any luck this war will be quick. But the Romans brought this on themselves in many ways.
 
The Romans really aren't the good guys in all of this. They're acting the bully, and shouldn't be surprised other nations are teaming up to knock them down.

Obviously the German invasion was nasty; but the brutality in response was just as bad if not worse. And they remain arrogant and antagonistic.

I'm not hoping Rome gets wrecked or anything, with any luck this war will be quick. But the Romans brought this on themselves in many ways.
Europe as a whole seems to be a lot more vicious than OTL due to the interfaith conflict between the Romans and the Latins and the deep distaste for one another. With dehumanization and hatred at an all time high on both sides, no wonder that the warhawks are just so willing to massacre every Latin out of existence. I'm just glad that D3 lacked the ambition to use poison gas against the Latins and the Arabs because these wars could've ended SOOOO much worse than they already are.

What's tragic is that the central government is so paralyzed that they can't exactly stop these allegations from screwing Rhomania over, even though they don't share the same zealotry and lack of reason as the warhawks. This war is an obvious loss for Rhomania, but it'll be a harsh lesson that they should probably dial down on the aggressive expansion and the anti-Latin rhetoric so they don't get hit with another coalition again.
 
This is utterly insane - this reads like engineering the fall of the Empire and in some ways I'm expecting the Ottomans to join in and then Vijayanagar decides it wants the Romans out of SE Asia because reasons. I can appreciate the justifications that are being used, but this reads like the Spanish wrote the history book. Constantinople is hardly innocent of any crimes, but the idea that random publications are a provocation that justifies the Accord when there are no army movements, and the last diplomatic efforts that were being made by the Romans were "Maybe lets not fight each other because Henri II and the Triunes" is mad. It's like the previous 10 years only exists in terms of newspaper clippings.

The other thing is that I'm confused how the Romans went from having a diplomatic and fiscal apparatus that was able to leverage financiers from across Europe, handle the prickly nature of Vijayanagar, and flip Hungary in the German War is suddenly this incompetent. I appreciate that was discussed in an earlier update, but how did it go from that to "nothing happens" when apparently the government is filled with war-hawks that surely have an opinion and a strategy? Its somehow previously competent, suddenly aggressive and unsure how to .. push that aggression into a strategy? Throw in the economic crises that apparently didn't reign in ANYONE in Roman office (I mean, come on, nobody went "we can't pay the troops, maybe we can't go to war"). That is beyond belief. Throw in that during the war there were serious concerns about the Army, and heck, newspapers talking about how the army is awful and the generals are bad are the same people wanting to talk about those same armies and generals being sent to conquer. Apparently the Romans are a tinpot dictatorship all of a sudden.

Plus some of the others - Arles? Why didn't Arles step in when Roman leadership was a mess? They could have sent a letter, taken a side, and Northern Italy would have been secured for them with the Romans not being able to intervene. Apparently they just sat on their hands, which seems confusing if they're concerned about Northern Italy - like if the Ocean and Europe factions went neutral over the issue, then surely a simple intervention was not beyond the wit of Arles? Apparently they are diplomatically inactive for their own advantages, but only act in response to Constantinople?

Genuinely, the way this update reads, and frankly the arc from the end of the German War, reads like Europe flipped itself upside down because Roman Newspapers published mad screeds, and at the same time the entire Roman diplomatic apparatus took crazy pills. If that's the case then maybe D3 should want to be forgotten, because for a former bureaucrat to let those institutions just disintegrate is more of a disaster than the German War.

Legitimately, and this may be the lack of sleep talking, but I can't tell if this is going to be a minor conflict that essentially leaves Sicily as the nearest thing to a Rogue Despotate in all but name, and no Roman presence in Italy, to a war that could lead to a Roman Partition and a rollback of every gain made by D3, and heck, maybe even those made by Andreas Nikitas, with a full on Hungarian Restoration.

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I will say, I don't buy the argument that the Romans "deserve" this. In many ways the actions of apparently a cadre of utter crazy people who don't make sense to even me a guy who has openly pushed for an Alpine-Carpathian border are justification for a war. It feels like we've essentially seen D3 do everything, and the remaining Roman institutions have suffered a precipitous collapse which in itself feels like it's come out of nowhere, only for D3 to die and that collapse be laid bare. Which doesn't make sense with D3 as a character the entire time he's been in the story, at least to me - he's always been a bureaucrat and reformist, even if deeply anti-Latin.

The only thing that I can see that stops the Romans collapsing under this would be some sort of terrifying double act of Athena and Ody, perhaps assisted by Leo on the seas, not unless somehow this insane force barrelling down on the Romans decides to fall into infighting, or the mentions of issues for the Triunes in Britain a few updates back are signs of a turn for internal issues that stymie what is going on. The economy is fragile, the army is barely able to be paid, and we're on the back of essentially three defensive conflicts and onto the fourth. I get that perpetually defending itself was the Roman modus operandi but I don't know how the Empire doesn't fall into a civil war in the wake of this short of an upset that leaves the Romans with a minor victory of "not dying, and N.Italy is resolved".
 
Yeah, this level of Roman incompetence coming off a period of supposed reform does stretch my suspension of disbelief a tad.
 
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It's the question of how the heck did D3 allow this to spiral out of control? With such a iron grip on the state, you would expect the Emperor to keep any form of provocations out of public print and to pacify the warhawks by force with his currently weak position but he's surprisingly absent while all of these events are going down. He's either going senile (unlikely) or he does really believe in Roman supremacy over the Latins and think that they're just insects and barbarians who are not worth his time.
 
I don't think its too insane when you consider the mans failing health and how his attention is so stretched thin by all of these catastrophes happening at once. The man is a genius yes but he is at deaths door and he just can't juggle crisis after crisis like he used to. Here's to hoping Odysseus and Lady Athena are able to learn from their fathers mistakes
 
Lets note here that no one has gone to war with the empire. Spain and allies are intervening into north Italy at the moment, there aren't even any Greek troops there. Even if it did come out to all out war which it's not, good luck to the coalition threatening core imperial territory. What they would do reprise the German invasion of the Balkans only with Germany militarily gutted and Greek garrisons all the way up to Vienna? Yeah good luck with that. Even at sea the Spanish-Arletian-Triune fleet would be superior... as long as Triune can actually commit these sixty sail of the line and someone forgets the Lotharingian navy is still around and in the fight. It will cease fighting just because some Czech decided they should ally with the country that invaded them?
 
This is utterly insane - this reads like engineering the fall of the Empire and in some ways I'm expecting the Ottomans to join in and then Vijayanagar decides it wants the Romans out of SE Asia because reasons. I can appreciate the justifications that are being used, but this reads like the Spanish wrote the history book. Constantinople is hardly innocent of any crimes, but the idea that random publications are a provocation that justifies the Accord when there are no army movements, and the last diplomatic efforts that were being made by the Romans were "Maybe lets not fight each other because Henri II and the Triunes" is mad. It's like the previous 10 years only exists in terms of newspaper clippings.

The other thing is that I'm confused how the Romans went from having a diplomatic and fiscal apparatus that was able to leverage financiers from across Europe, handle the prickly nature of Vijayanagar, and flip Hungary in the German War is suddenly this incompetent. I appreciate that was discussed in an earlier update, but how did it go from that to "nothing happens" when apparently the government is filled with war-hawks that surely have an opinion and a strategy? Its somehow previously competent, suddenly aggressive and unsure how to .. push that aggression into a strategy? Throw in the economic crises that apparently didn't reign in ANYONE in Roman office (I mean, come on, nobody went "we can't pay the troops, maybe we can't go to war"). That is beyond belief. Throw in that during the war there were serious concerns about the Army, and heck, newspapers talking about how the army is awful and the generals are bad are the same people wanting to talk about those same armies and generals being sent to conquer. Apparently the Romans are a tinpot dictatorship all of a sudden.

Plus some of the others - Arles? Why didn't Arles step in when Roman leadership was a mess? They could have sent a letter, taken a side, and Northern Italy would have been secured for them with the Romans not being able to intervene. Apparently they just sat on their hands, which seems confusing if they're concerned about Northern Italy - like if the Ocean and Europe factions went neutral over the issue, then surely a simple intervention was not beyond the wit of Arles? Apparently they are diplomatically inactive for their own advantages, but only act in response to Constantinople?

Genuinely, the way this update reads, and frankly the arc from the end of the German War, reads like Europe flipped itself upside down because Roman Newspapers published mad screeds, and at the same time the entire Roman diplomatic apparatus took crazy pills. If that's the case then maybe D3 should want to be forgotten, because for a former bureaucrat to let those institutions just disintegrate is more of a disaster than the German War.

Legitimately, and this may be the lack of sleep talking, but I can't tell if this is going to be a minor conflict that essentially leaves Sicily as the nearest thing to a Rogue Despotate in all but name, and no Roman presence in Italy, to a war that could lead to a Roman Partition and a rollback of every gain made by D3, and heck, maybe even those made by Andreas Nikitas, with a full on Hungarian Restoration.

----

I will say, I don't buy the argument that the Romans "deserve" this. In many ways the actions of apparently a cadre of utter crazy people who don't make sense to even me a guy who has openly pushed for an Alpine-Carpathian border are justification for a war. It feels like we've essentially seen D3 do everything, and the remaining Roman institutions have suffered a precipitous collapse which in itself feels like it's come out of nowhere, only for D3 to die and that collapse be laid bare. Which doesn't make sense with D3 as a character the entire time he's been in the story, at least to me - he's always been a bureaucrat and reformist, even if deeply anti-Latin.

The only thing that I can see that stops the Romans collapsing under this would be some sort of terrifying double act of Athena and Ody, perhaps assisted by Leo on the seas, not unless somehow this insane force barrelling down on the Romans decides to fall into infighting, or the mentions of issues for the Triunes in Britain a few updates back are signs of a turn for internal issues that stymie what is going on. The economy is fragile, the army is barely able to be paid, and we're on the back of essentially three defensive conflicts and onto the fourth. I get that perpetually defending itself was the Roman modus operandi but I don't know how the Empire doesn't fall into a civil war in the wake of this short of an upset that leaves the Romans with a minor victory of "not dying, and N.Italy is resolved".

I completely agree.

Also, basing international relations on newspapers (in time when newspapers are not that well spread, this isn't an age of Hearst and his pushing for a Cuban war), that are "out of continuum" based on jingoistic posters on this timeline (which are just people reading alternate history and rooting for their favorite state, like for a sports team) is nonsense.

Triunes are absorbing the richest region in Europe and nobody cares? Romans occupies Rome and Genoa and then retreat its armies from peninsula and everyone flips out? This is ridiculous. The geopolitical fears of the Accord are somewhat based in reality, but basing their response on newspapers? Arles is afraid Roman armies in Italy but is not afraid and is willing to cooperate with a huge neighbor that has a long term goal to absorb them, which they tried several times? Even Rome annexing northern Italy is obviously much less of a threat then Henri to the north.

Romans are jingoistic because of some random newspaper articles but Accord starting a war based on that is normal?

It's starting to feel like Starks in ASOIAF, if the story is everybody constantly piling up on Romans it just loses dramatic effect. Especially when they usually pull out a victory in the end.

Why don't Russians invade as well, this is a nice opportunity to gain Crimea.
 
if People were always rational then ww1 would have never happened...and we must remember that the rising athenian power and the ALARM that inspired alarm in the Lacedaemonians that caused the Peloponnesian war...in other word the sudden arrival and projection of roman power in the west has upset not only the balance of power in the west but also upset the westerners perception of the romans(we attack,they defend) but hey that's my to cents on the issue.
 
Won't comment on the situation transpiring with general Roman geopolitics (which in general I agree has become a bit Flanderized), but with respect to some worries about Lotharingia being destroyed, I think some stuff mentioned earlier in the story precludes the nation being destroyed (or at least, conquered permanently). I was reading the compressed texts from the first half of the story yesterday, and the epitaph-esque entry on Andreas Niketas as transcribed from an in-universe history text following his death mentions this:
From Empire of Blood and Gold: A History of the Second Komnenid Dynasty
[...]
Of course, when one turns away from Andreas the strategos, the names vary considerably. To the Lotharingian school, he is Andreas the Mad, a barely sane ruler kept only in check by those of his brilliant advisors, of whom pride of place goes to Alexeia Komnena.
While this may have been retconned in the years interim (given that such events as the War of Wrath were mentioned that far back, I don't think this is the case), this implies at least that the idea of Lotharingia as a distinct entity survives to the present. While this doesn't preclude it being annexed for a few decades/centuries in the manner of Poland, given the sheer population and economic power of the state I can't really see it being held down in that way, or at least for very long.
 
Yeah I’m gonna agree with the majority about the insanity of this. Like this is actually fucking ridiculous. I think I even suggested something similar to what the bloody letter says but agreed with everyone else that it was actually really illogical after we really thought about it. Honest this logic reads less like reality and more like an EUIV after action report as a hand wave excuse for why there’s a coalition war. The only way I could see the Arletians ever siding with the Triunes over Rome is if Rome was literally marching an army at their capital. The Spanish just started everything out East because they paradoxically blamed Rome for the heir dying to the Triunes, who now they’re allied with which makes no sense. The Germans somehow think that the best way to show strength after Henri beating them to a pulp is to do exactly what he wants them to. Same with the majority of his former enemies. And now the Sicilians decide to backstab their 300 year old ally over a fucking newspaper article. That is actual insanity. This whole set up is the most illogical thing I’ve ever come across. You wanna keep the Romans from being a super power, that’s cool, I totally get that. But this is stupid. This is illogical. This is non sense. It really seems like you just keep having the Romans lose and suffer just to lose and suffer. Like they can never catch a break or get a good victory anymore.

Quite honestly the Romans losing anything that they’ve already taken in Italy would be insulting and wrong. This group of people wanna make it clear that north Italy is off the table, fine. But Tuscany and Genoa need to remain in Roman hands, and Sicily needs to be reigned in hard. Anything else is contrived bs. Oh and the Romans need to keep the Spanish out of the Far East and keep what they’ve already take. I’m gonna stop typing now cause I’m legitimately mad about this .
 
While this may have been retconned in the years interim (given that such events as the War of Wrath were mentioned that far back, I don't think this is the case), this implies at least that the idea of Lotharingia as a distinct entity survives to the present.
It's honestly much easier for Lotharingia to be a more distinct entity than Al-Andalus in this timeline since its territory was far larger and its large population have probably coalesced into an Lotharingian ethnic group distinct from the Germans or the French. It just sucks that they're not sovereign.

Given the unique structure of the United Kingdom, it's possible for the region to become another country with a title for Henri II to have like King of Lotharingia, hence my idea for the promotion of the Triple Monarchy to the Quadruple Monarchy (i.e. the Quadrunes). I swear if it becomes an extension of France then I'll be kinda disappointed.
Quite honestly the Romans losing anything that they’ve already taken in Italy would be insulting and wrong. This group of people wanna make it clear that north Italy is off the table, fine. But Tuscany and Genoa need to remain in Roman hands, and Sicily needs to be reigned in hard.
I'm not sure how the Romans are going to keep control of Tuscany and Genoa at this rate after their financial crisis and the cancellation of the naval fleets. It's the question of whether the government can mount a huge campaign like in Italy when they're so economically strained. Even Rome is a huge question mark given the odds that the Romans have to face against almost all of Western Europe.

The best outcome in my eyes is if the Romans cede control of the Northern Italian duchies alongside Tuscany and Genoa while being able to keep Rome and its surrounding territories, probably through a pretty harsh concession after a short war. Otherwise, they're going to lose almost all of their gains or even lose Italy altogether if Sicily/Apulia tries to leave Rhomania.
 
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