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An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

This is a great victory, but you know what would be cooler? A roman-persian army marching all the way to the pacific. Marching through china and ending in nanjing would be preferable, but going to Island Asia is probably the more realistic one.
That would definitely strain possibility. Even if they were marching through friendly territory that would be a stretch but through hostile territory with Emperor in tow? That would be asking for disaster that the Empire cannot afford.
 
Outnumbered 3 to 1, yes, but on ground prepared ahead of time and a battlefield of their choosing, restricted in space so that the entirety of Chandragupta's force is unable to deploy. The Roman/Ottoman force has had time to rest and recover, and thus has not effectively been constantly on campaign. The only reserves Chandragupta still had after the Roman counter charge were noted to be caught up in the retreat, and while yes, left unmolested routing troops can reform their lines and fight on, the Roman cavalry were specifically noted to have not allowed them any respite.

Combine that with excellent leadership, and a concentration of what are by this point, bar none the most experienced, well equipped and well trained soldiers on the planet, 3 to 1 odds are not nearly so decisive at that point. Odysseus and Iskandar did literally everything in the book that you should do to counter a numerical disadvantage short of building an actual fortress and their opponent was forced to give battle where he could not make use of his only real advantage.

I don't really see how this is unrealistic. This sort of number disparity is also not nearly so uncommon as you would seem to believe. The English in the Hundred Years War were intimately familiar with it, as were the classical Romans. The Swedes under the Caroleans made an art form of destroying much larger armies. The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth managed to win two battles known popularly as Polish Thermopylaes. These are just the examples I can pull from the top of my head. Numbers are only one part of the fight, and in this case likely worked against Chandragupta as the size of his army and relative lack of mobility forced him to take a battle on ground of the enemy's choosing.
I have no problem with the Romano-Persians winning, entrenched forces manage to hold off larger enemies constantly (Hell, that’s what sieges are all about). But that is different from completely and utterly routing an enemy army. When you’re facing an enemy three times your number and leave your fortifications, and face an enemy with reserves still active outside your defenses before they’re broken, somehow managing to destroy them is just stretching it.

You’re right, not all armies are equal, but there is nothing to imply the disparity between the two foes is this large. Not to mention the Persians aren’t elite soldiers. The majority of the army is going to be either replacement recruits or people with only a single campaign’s experience due to attrition, fighting against Ibrahim, and fighting in Punjab and is facing an enemy who isn’t exactly just a bunch of peasants waving guns around. Awadh has recent war experience as well, at the very least their soldiers should be comparable to the newer Persians that would make up a significant part of the Romano-Persian army.

As for the heavy cav not giving their enemies any respite, how? If the cavalry struck against the Awadhi right flank, then the center is unmolested and can strike against their rear. If they strike against the center, then the same is true of the right. If they strike against both, I highly doubt such a charge would be so destructive and unhinge the entire Awadhi line. Unless the Romans somehow managed to make tens out thousands of Awadhi panic with a force of a handful of thousands in both the center and right simultaneously, they would have left somebody capable of rallying their troops. Like maybe an unmolested reserve that could create an unbroken line to shore up their fleeing comrades. Besides, you can rally troops during active combat. William did it at Hastings, as I mentioned.

Finally, it’s stated the Chandragupta managed to extradite himself and a decent sized force from the carnage and that the Romans stretched their lines thin on multiple occasions. Why wouldn’t Chandragupta take advantage of that and smash into the Roman lines? If they’re concentrating on shooting a panicked mass, they’re not concentrating on the unmolested force that Chandragupta is explicitly stated to have. It’s just stupid that Chandragupta doesn’t try to somewhat salvage the situation by breaking down one wall of the cauldron when he could still bring numerical superiority against an exposed foe.

Huh? Even a cursory reading of the evidence shows that's not true.

The Romans spent the first two-thirds of the War of Roman Succession getting their teeth kicked in. Seriously, check out the updates from 1631. Blucher and von Mackensen beat the Romans like a drum in multiple battles in 1631-1632. The tide didn't really turn until the 1633 campaign and really didn't turn until Thessaloniki in 1634. Hell, the only reason Blucher and co even made it to Thessaloniki in the first place is because Michael Laskaris was out of position in the north. Meanwhile, in Syria, Ibrahim won several victories over a Romano-Egyptian force during the same time period. Times were bleak in 1631-1632.

The only fronts where the Romans weren't on the backfoot to start were northern Mesopotamia and Italy, both of which were tertiary fronts at best.

Also, the Romans clearly lost at Nineveh...twice. The Roman army's incessant need for validation for Alexios Gabras doesn't change the fact that dude dropped the ball. As much of a diplomatic screw up as Mashhadshar the only way it would have ever gotten that bad is because Roman arms failed on the battlefield in the first place.
Exaggeration on my part, but clearly the Romans are on a victory streak. Topping it off with such a lopsided victory just feels like authorial favoritism.
 
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I have no problem with the Romano-Persians winning, entrenched forces manage to hold off larger enemies constantly (Hell, that’s what sieges are all about). But that is different from completely and utterly routing an enemy army. When you’re facing an enemy three times your number and leave your fortifications, and face an enemy with reserves still active outside your defenses before they’re broken, somehow managing to destroy them is just stretching it.

You’re right, not all armies are equal, but there is nothing to imply the disparity between the two foes is this large. Not to mention the Persians aren’t elite soldiers. The majority of the army is going to be either replacement recruits or people with only a single campaign’s experience due to attrition, fighting against Ibrahim, and fighting in Punjab and is facing an enemy who isn’t exactly just a bunch of peasants waving guns around. Awadh has recent war experience as well, at the very least their soldiers should be comparable to the newer Persians that would make up a significant part of the Romano-Persian army.

As for the heavy cav not giving their enemies any respite, how? If the cavalry struck against the Awadhi right flank, then the center is unmolested and can strike against their rear. If they strike against the center, then the same is true of the right. If they strike against both, I highly doubt such a charge would be so destructive and unhinge the entire Awadhi line. Unless the Romans somehow managed to make tens out thousands of Awadhi panic with a force of a handful of thousands in both the center and right simultaneously, they would have left somebody capable of rallying their troops. Like maybe an unmolested reserve that could create an unbroken line to shore up their fleeing comrades. Besides, you can rally troops during active combat. William did it at Hastings, as I mentioned.

Finally, it’s stated the Chandragupta managed to extradite himself and a decent sized force from the carnage and that the Romans stretched their lines thin on multiple occasions. Why wouldn’t Chandragupta take advantage of that and smash into the Roman lines? If they’re concentrating on shooting a panicked mass, they’re not concentrating on the unmolested force that Chandragupta is explicitly stated to have. It’s just stupid that Chandragupta doesn’t try to somewhat salvage the situation by breaking down one wall of the cauldron when he could still bring numerical superiority against an exposed foe.


Exaggeration on my part, but clearly the Romans are on a victory streak. Topping it off with such a lopsided victory just feels like authorial favoritism.
The core of the Persian contingent is not at all fresh, unless I missed something major the majority of it has been fighting alongside Iskandar from the moment they left Mesopotamia and across the Persian plateau. With the several major battles and sieges that they have fought, there is no way they are anything other than hardened veterans.

In the description of the battle itself, it was said that Chandragupta did try to commit his reserves, but that they could not actually press home a charge without getting snarled in the traffic of their own routed forces. Cavalry charges in particular are all about momentum and attempting to charge through your own men is not going to end in any way except for disaster, as I do believe the French themselves found out the hard way when they tried to cut their way through their own infantry to reach the English, thus reaching English lines in disarray and got cut to pieces. So what I am getting at here is that whatever reserves were available to the Awadhi army, they were not able to intervene without trying to cut down their own men, which would be absolutely worse than useless if you could convince the reserve soldiers to do that in the first place in the heat of battle.

Certainly he could try to charge the other flank of the Roman army, but then that leaves himself with no protection on his own routed flank. It is a valid gamble if his back was to the wall, and could very well have shifted the course of the battle in his favor. But then what happens if he cannot break that flank? The Roman army is well disciplined and more than capable of reigning in their heavy cavalry to strike his reserves in this scenario in the rear. That is a move for a much more desperate situation than he finds himself facing in this battle. You can imagine what would have happened had he been encircled in that way.

Chandragupta likely knew this well enough, and decided that preserving the troops he had remaining was better than potentially turning defeat into unmitigated disaster. At least in this case he has a core of troops to rebuild his army around to try his luck again another time.

As for your idea of Chandragupta letting those Roman troops pass, then charge them in the rear; it was noted that the Roman and Persian cavalry were not charging in isolation, Sikh cavalry charged in immediately after them to exploit the breach and even troops from other parts of the line were committed to further exploit the breach. I don't think from the sound of it that there was any opportunity to charge that Roman cavalry in the rear. If he had waited that long, he very well could have found his reserves simply engaged by forces exploiting the breach, and then encircled by the cavalry.

Like I mentioned earlier, it could have worked, but its a hell of a risk for a battle where Chandragupta is (as far as he knows) not backed against a metaphorical wall. Most times it really is a much better idea to withdraw to preserve your army for another day.
 
I have no problem with the Romano-Persians winning, entrenched forces manage to hold off larger enemies constantly (Hell, that’s what sieges are all about). But that is different from completely and utterly routing an enemy army. When you’re facing an enemy three times your number and leave your fortifications, and face an enemy with reserves still active outside your defenses before they’re broken, somehow managing to destroy them is just stretching it.

You’re right, not all armies are equal, but there is nothing to imply the disparity between the two foes is this large. Not to mention the Persians aren’t elite soldiers. The majority of the army is going to be either replacement recruits or people with only a single campaign’s experience due to attrition, fighting against Ibrahim, and fighting in Punjab and is facing an enemy who isn’t exactly just a bunch of peasants waving guns around. Awadh has recent war experience as well, at the very least their soldiers should be comparable to the newer Persians that would make up a significant part of the Romano-Persian army.

As for the heavy cav not giving their enemies any respite, how? If the cavalry struck against the Awadhi right flank, then the center is unmolested and can strike against their rear. If they strike against the center, then the same is true of the right. If they strike against both, I highly doubt such a charge would be so destructive and unhinge the entire Awadhi line. Unless the Romans somehow managed to make tens out thousands of Awadhi panic with a force of a handful of thousands in both the center and right simultaneously, they would have left somebody capable of rallying their troops. Like maybe an unmolested reserve that could create an unbroken line to shore up their fleeing comrades. Besides, you can rally troops during active combat. William did it at Hastings, as I mentioned.

Finally, it’s stated the Chandragupta managed to extradite himself and a decent sized force from the carnage and that the Romans stretched their lines thin on multiple occasions. Why wouldn’t Chandragupta take advantage of that and smash into the Roman lines? If they’re concentrating on shooting a panicked mass, they’re not concentrating on the unmolested force that Chandragupta is explicitly stated to have. It’s just stupid that Chandragupta doesn’t try to somewhat salvage the situation by breaking down one wall of the cauldron when he could still bring numerical superiority against an exposed foe.


Exaggeration on my part, but clearly the Romans are on a victory streak. Topping it off with such a lopsided victory just feels like authorial favoritism.
Authorial favoritism from the timeline which regularly kicks in the teeth of its own "protagonists" and literally had them go through a generation of suffering prior to this war
 
It's interesting how the Romans oscillate from either being the best thing in the world to having their ass beat by everyone. There's rarely an in-between in this story.
 
It's no wonder people up to the current day praise Odysseus. It's funny that Chandragupta thinks of Ody and Iskander as young when their battle history would put many old men to shame. They've been a state of war or preparation for it their entire lives.

I think you mean Lord Howard. But from personal experience I say never underestimate the arrogance of old men when dealing with someone(s) younger than themselves.

Ody is a once-in-a-century general and Iskander looks to be just the same. Having them work together just creates epicness. Kind of like the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene working in tandem during the War of Spanish Succession

The pair were the direct inspiration for the military duo of Odysseus and Iskandar.

Yep, Awadh and Chandragupta just learned a hard lesson about facing battle hardened armies, even if they are a fraction of the size. I wonder if Odysseus will send some men to help free up those additional 7,000 Sikh men? Would help make up for this last battle and further weaken Awadh's frontier, actually a good opportunity for the Sikhs to commit more men and try to expand their own frontier since this is likely the best chance they will have in decades to do so.

Also, how many of those losses were from Triune Bengal?

Honestly didn’t give any thought to how many of the losses were specifically Bengali. I’d say proportionate to their contribution to the total force.

A great summation as to why heavy shock cavalry was so effective. Unlike in many video games you don't have to slaughter your opponent to the last man to win, you merely have to get him to break. And once the first batch of men break it is exceedingly hard to stop the flood.

Yeah, I wanted to make it absolutely clear why heavy cavalry is absolutely terrifying if you’re on the receiving end. Intellectually you may know you’re safe if you stand your ground, but how much weight does intellect have when something like that is coming at you?

I can't help but wonder what things are like in the White Palace right now. Odysseus has been gone for many years, but the stories keep coming in of one glorious victory after another. I'm sure there are some strong anti-Persian factions in the court who don't like this combined effort and might even be spreading doubt about all these "victories" from the long absent emperor.

They wouldn’t deny those victories; these are Roman victories after all. They’d just do the usual American or British thing when fighting in a coalition; pretend all the allies don’t exist or at least didn’t do any of the important bits.

Wow, what an immense victory, in such a fateful location as well. I wonder if the strength of Awadh has been broken here.


How does Venkata Raya have Gorkha soldiers at his disposal?

Also btw @Basileus444, the adjectival form for Awadh is Awadhi, so Awadhi troops for instance.

Mercenary soldiers. Venkata Raya discovered them when he was attacking Ibrahim and Ottoman India, liked what he saw, and made sure to get some.

Thanks for the info.

This is getting ridiculous. Roman and Persian soldiers, outnumbered some three to one, manage to not only attain a decisive victory, but do so at the cost of a mere 8,000 dead after literal years of campaigning with barely any defeats or mutinies? I’m not buying it. You’re telling me nobody in the Awadh army tried to rally their soldiers? That the entirety of the army on the frontline suddenly forgot how to count and literally see that they outnumber the enemy? That Chandragupta doesn’t take advantage of weakened Romano-Persian lines to break through (or that attacks already under way don’t do so)? That the Romano-Persians manage to create a cauldron around the Awadhi forces, who by your own admission still have a battle-ready force in the rear, the perfect area to mount a counterattack not clogged by soldiers, and get away with it?
I’m sorry, but this is straying from skilled leaders defeat peer opponents to my generals are better than Alexander and Hannibal and can’t lose. Seriously, this is a more lopsided victory than Austerlitz (a battle between roughly equal forces), as devastating as Guagamela (which only took place after the Persian army had been defeated twice already and Alexander had taken the Mediterranean coast, lowering morale and army troop quality), and even riskier than Cannae (where Hannibal was only outnumbered by about 10% or so).
I can accept that morale shattering would be a devastating effect, but not across the entire army simultaneously, let alone on the flank opposite of the problems. Besides, like I mentioned earlier, breaking morale doesn’t mean it stays broken. William the Conqueror managed to rally his men after they began to flee the field and came back to win a smashing victory at Hastings. And I think you’re severely overestimating the terror of heavy cavalry. They’ve been a known factor for literal millennia, I honestly don’t think Awadhi soldiers would suddenly forget that they exist and treat them as unknown monsters as soon as they show up. Not to mention that by this point gunpowder had significantly reduced their viability and the amount of armor they wore by this point OTL. I highly doubt the Romans have decided to ignore the fact that armor plating has decreasing yields when they were fighting for their lives a mere ten years earlier and needed every edge they could get. A single volley from the Awadhi would send more than a few cavalrymen tumbling to the ground, weakening any morale effect the charge may have.

If this victory is for story reasons and not necessarily what’s realistic, fine, but I am having a very hard time suspending my disbelief at the increasingly long string of Roman victories with only one real defeat in the last generation (and that one was diplomatic, not on the battlefield where the Romans apparently have the best soldiers and everybody else just has to let the Romans win).

Sigh.

Have Romans do poorly and get attacked. Have Romans do well and get attacked.

This isn’t fun anymore.

Broken morale can be restored. But it is not guaranteed, which is why I emphasized that the Romano-Persians made sure to keep up the attack at all costs to ensure no respite, so that the Awadhi couldn’t get a chance. And morale didn’t break simultaneously; I said nothing of the sort. Panic spread as formations crashed into each other and infected each other. The other flank, knowing that something was clearly going wrong elsewhere, even if they don’t know the details, would naturally get skittish.

Heavy cavalry is scary, period. Being aware of the concept helps some, but still standing up to heavy cavalry charges is hard, because it literally goes against eons of evolutionary instinct. Panic is infectious. And rational thought is hard in such circumstances. The fog of war is a thing, and even if an Awadhi soldier knows intellectually that they have numerical superiority across the battlefield as a whole, that counts for little if he thinks he’s outnumbered where he is at that moment.

Authorial favoritism from the timeline which regularly kicks in the teeth of its own "protagonists" and literally had them go through a generation of suffering prior to this war

And by far the most abuse I get is for not showing enough favoritism for the Romans.

It's interesting how the Romans oscillate from either being the best thing in the world to having their ass beat by everyone. There's rarely an in-between in this story.

Real life often has fluctuations with periods of triumph interspersed with periods of disaster. Just look at the OTL history of the Byzantine Empire.
 
Sigh.

Have Romans do poorly and get attacked. Have Romans do well and get attacked.

This isn’t fun anymore.

Broken morale can be restored. But it is not guaranteed, which is why I emphasized that the Romano-Persians made sure to keep up the attack at all costs to ensure no respite, so that the Awadhi couldn’t get a chance. And morale didn’t break simultaneously; I said nothing of the sort. Panic spread as formations crashed into each other and infected each other. The other flank, knowing that something was clearly going wrong elsewhere, even if they don’t know the details, would naturally get skittish.

Heavy cavalry is scary, period. Being aware of the concept helps some, but still standing up to heavy cavalry charges is hard, because it literally goes against eons of evolutionary instinct. Panic is infectious. And rational thought is hard in such circumstances. The fog of war is a thing, and even if an Awadhi soldier knows intellectually that they have numerical superiority across the battlefield as a whole, that counts for little if he thinks he’s outnumbered where he is at that moment.
The thing is tho, these amazing quite literally legendary victories are hard to believe. Even in real life, Battles like Cannae, Trafalgar, Plassey, Jena, Austerlitz, Gettysburg, Verdun, Kursk would be almost impossible to believe if they didn't happen in real life. Personally, a battle like Panipat is more believable to me than Plassey or Austerlitz.
 
East-1644: A Glittering Progression
East-1644: A Glittering Progression

The realm of Awadh is vast and densely populated, the inhabitants outnumbering the Romano-Persian invaders literally on a scale of a thousand-to-one. Were Awadh a cohesive united organized state, it could’ve worn down its assailants through sheer friction, even with a verdict like Panipat. However it is not.

Although a state centered on the city of Lucknow is not new, the great power Awadh that dominates northern India is extremely young. Through the military and political acumen of Kishan Das, it was formed in the chaos after Iskandar the Great’s invasion and subsequent Persian withdrawal. The earlier political setup was destroyed, but the Persians and Vijayanagari were unable to fill it. Enter Kishan Das.

Kishan Das successfully and peacefully bequeathed his realm to his son Chandragupta, but local grandees still dominate regional centers, and they remember their former independence which they’d held not that long ago. Kishan Das had kept them in check, and Chandragupta had seemed to have the military might to continue that legacy, until Panipat.

Now the fear of the center that kept the periphery in check is no more, and Chandragupta doesn’t have anything else to replace it, not even the reputation of past successes that his father could’ve deployed in such circumstances. As news of his great defeat spreads, the grandees start hatching plans and plots. Meanwhile the Romano-Persians relentlessly harry his army, picking off stragglers while it hemorrhages deserters. He is not helped by the fact that many of his best and loyal officers and notables are now dead, with the remainder resentful and muttering.

Three weeks after Panipat, Chandragupta tries to make a stand to stop the bleeding, forming his army for battle. Even now, he has a noticeable numerical advantage, although not nearly on the level of Panipat. The Romano-Persians form up for battle as well, advancing forward as if they don’t have a care in the world, the artillery of both sides trading fire. Just a few minutes into the duel, a Romano-Persian cannonball hits an Awadhi ammunition wagon, setting off a massive explosion that guts the Awadhi soldiers’ low morale. They break before the Romano-Persians make contact.

This battle, which barely merits the name and the casualties of which number in the low hundreds at most, marks the operative end of Chandragupta as a serious political player. He successfully flees, but his army effectively disbands itself. The Romano-Persians attack any cohesive units that remain, but scattered bands of deserters fleeing home are left alone provided they stay out of the Romano-Persians’ way.

The forces blocking the Sikhs have disintegrated with the news, so the remainder of the pledged Sikh forces link up with Odysseus and Iskandar who then march east. It is hardly a military march, but a grand progress. The grandees, once they realize that the duo have no interest in political control but only in provisions and plunder, are ecstatic. Yes, the invaders have to be bought off, and not cheaply, but in return for said payment they get their former independence without having to do any work themselves. Regional leaders throw off Chandragupta’s rule all across his realm.

The amount of plunder the Romano-Persians take is unknown, but absolutely massive. Gold, silver, gems, spices, silks, cottons-they add up to mountains, each. At the end, a Roman quartermaster estimates that the combined value of the take is comparable to three years of the Roman government’s annual budget, although he admits his calculations are extremely rough. But any poor Epirote or Kermanshah farmhand now probably has more wealth than his home village does.

It should be noted that much, probably the bulk, of the plunder does not end up in the Roman or Persian homelands of the soldiers but remains in India. Hauling such bulk around is tedious, particularly for common soldiers who don’t have easy access to pack animals or servants. Plus goods like cotton cloth aren’t useful for the kinds of economic exchange in which most soldiers wish to engage. It is much more convenient to exchange them for currency with the Indian merchants who are fastening themselves to the army for this very reason. The profit for the merchants is quite high, while the soldiers get the coin they want to spend on local ‘wine, women, and song’, which means said coin stays in the area.

Officers and more thoughtful soldiers would prefer to keep their plunder and return with it to their homelands, where it can fund a good retirement. But there is still the issue of hauling that around. Odysseus and Iskandar set up an arrangement for them, although the principal goal is to ensure that the monarchs’ cut also ends up invested back in their homelands. Even by the standards of Kings of Kings, these are sizeable amounts of money.

The wealthiest Indian merchants and bankers do business directly with the monarchs. They receive the plundered goods and in return give bills of exchange. The credit-worthiness of the guarantors of the bills is well-known to anyone involved in India trade and commerce, and so the bills of exchange can circulate like money. Roman and Persian soldiers who sign up for this system deposit their goods and gets bills of exchange for their value. They carry them with them and when they return home, they can go to any commercial center and find a merchant active in India trade who can use it in their business and exchange it for the local currency which is what they really want. (The setup works for both Roman and Persian soldiers, although the home-stage process is more convenient for Romans.)

Chandragupta is assassinated by one of his generals who takes control of Lucknow to rule as his own small state. Odysseus and Iskandar profess annoyance at the murder of a sovereign, but the general knows the proper response. Lucknow’s ‘gift’ is the biggest single installment to the Romano-Persians’ pile of plunder.

The city that is the reverse of Lucknow in that it doesn’t have to pay any gift is Varanasi. The city is sacred to Hindus and since Odysseus and Iskandar don’t want to alienate Hindus while they are literally surrounded by millions of them, they don’t demand any plunder. The city does provide provisions.

At Varanasi the pair also meet with envoys from Venkata Raya. He is most pleased by the news from northern India, since the duo have removed a major threat without him having to do much of anything and there is no sign that they intend to fill the new power vacuum. However the pair are continuing to march east and are approaching the Viceroyalty of Bengal, which means the Vijayanagari monarch has reason to be concerned again. He wants the Triune viceroyalty destroyed, but not for it to be replaced by a Roman Katepanate. Given its proximity to the sea, it is much more feasible for the Romans to establish a base here, as opposed to somewhere in the heart of northern India. If Venkata Raya wants a say in the future of Bengal, he needs to be heavily involved in the rearrangement.

In terms of prestige and plunder, the Romano-Persians have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams already, but Odysseus makes it clear he does not intend to stop until he washes his sword in the Bay of Bengal. Missives from Lord Howard expressing peaceful intentions are rejected with contempt, the Basileus responding with utter disdain. He points out the Viceroy’s aid to Chandragupta that included thousands of infantry at Panipat. And he lays into the Triunes for launching an unprovoked attack on the Romans even though they had never received any injury that would’ve remotely justified such a response. These are not the actions of a peaceful people, and their perfidy must be punished.

The Romano-Persians will invade Bengal from the west, while the Vijayanagara will provide troops and, more importantly, a fleet. Pereira takes personal command of the naval expedition and off the Mouths of the Ganges crushes the Triune fleet, the formerly-Spanish vessels proving to be just as dangerous to Triune ships as to Roman ones. After doing so, he lands a small Vijayanagara army in the area.

The sealifted army would to be too small to take on an undistracted Viceroyalty, but the Viceroyalty is quite distracted. Lord Howard marshals an army to defend the Viceroyalty but the vassal princes are noticeably reticent. When fighting against Awadh, they’d been willing to back Sutanuti as a lesser threat to their autonomy, but based on past behavior up the Ganges Odysseus and Iskandar do not seem to be a threat. As a result, the Triune army while comparable in size to the Romano-Persian, if not slightly bigger, is considerably more brittle. An afternoon is enough for the duo to demolish it.

With that, the Viceroyalty crumbles much as Awadh had. Both states had been built on the premise of force and are too young to have developed other means of support, and once that force is gone there are no other sources of legitimacy around which the state can cohere, and so they crumble. The various subject princes throw off their allegiances, with those in the path of the Romano-Persians making substantial ‘gifts’ to convince them to move on. Sutanuti itself puts up much more of a fight, requiring a siege to reduce it, the effort also needing naval support from Pereira to succeed.

When it falls the Viceroyalty of Sutanuti is at an end, Lord Howard surrendering his sword to Emperor Odysseus. The former Viceroy is treated as a prisoner-of-war of high rank, treated comfortably with the promise of release upon ransom. Other Triune officers are treated similarly. The rank-and-file of the Triune soldiery that are not native Indians however are sold off into slavery, bought up by merchants. Most end up as agricultural laborers on estates in the Deccan.

(This is not as shocking as might be expected; there are no such things as prisoner-of-war conventions ITTL, as at this time IOTL. And the ruling elites, while concerned greatly about officers, because they are fellow elites, would be much less bothered about the plight of the rabble that makes up the rank-and-file. And European nations of this time IOTL did often send prisoners-of-war off as forced labor in their colonies.)

Historians are unsure if Odysseus’s goal was just to destroy the Viceroyalty or also to replace it with a Roman Katepanate. He’d made no effort to secure administrative and technical aid from the Katepanate of Taprobane that would’ve been most useful if he’d wished to do the latter, but at the time he was absorbed in military matters and communications with Taprobane had been difficult before the defeat of the Viceroyalty anyway.

However while Odysseus found much local support in destroying the Viceroyalty, if he wished to replace it he would’ve faced universal opposition. The local princes have no desire to simply replace one overlord with another. Neither Vijayanagar nor the Sikhs want a major imperial player in Bengal; it is too much of a threat to their own interests. Finally Iskandar has gotten what he wanted from the Indian expedition, massive piles of prestige and plunder, but it really is time he got back to his domains and firmly established his authority. While no one has made a play for the throne, there are reports of local disturbances, with nomadic tribes and regional bosses causing trouble. Spending more time out here in an endeavor that truly would only serve Rhomania is not in his interest.

The soldiers also don’t think much of occupying Bengal. The countryside is hot, uncomfortable, and Romans, Persians, and Afghans all agree that it is disturbingly lacking in fruit. On a more serious note, disease breaks out among the soldiers shortly after the fall of Sutanuti, sickening many and killing some. To have come so far, endured so much, and won so much, and then to perish here like this is heartbreaking. The soldiers do not want to stay here. Like Alexandros’s world-conquering veterans, they have their limits.

Odysseus gives way, that is if he intended of even standing in the first place, contenting himself with the massive piles of prestige and plunder and washing the sword of Timur given him by his father in the Bay of Bengal. Incredibly, there are efforts by some to continue the expedition. Emissaries from the Toungoo Kingdom of the middle Irrawaddy arrive and propose a combined expedition against Mon Pegu, which had been allied with the Viceroyalty of Sutanuti.

While Odysseus is polite and gives some gifts to compensate the envoys for their troubles, it is extremely doubtful he seriously considers the proposal. It is time to return west.
 
They are returning west? That's anticlimactic,, but is probably the wisest action now. I wonder what would happen if they somehow gets the army to agree to march on MonPegu and then onwards.
 
They are returning west? That's anticlimactic,, but is probably the wisest action now. I wonder what would happen if they somehow gets the army to agree to march on MonPegu and then onwards.

As much as we would all love to see Odysseus win more victories marching across Asia eventually ending up as the first Emperor of the Tiě Dynasty of China he has no reason to go on.

Hopefully all this plunder Ody has will help fix the economic issues in the Empire while simultaneously hurting the Triunes.
 
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Hopefully all this plunder Ody has will help fix the economic issues in the Empire while simultaneously hurting the Triunes.
I imagine it would surely help. As long as it is spent wisely (and I have no reason to believe Athena would not) it could help blunt the worst effects of the current and future climate related crisis. Of course I imagine they could find that the money could disappear faster than they'd hope.
 

Arrix85

Donor
This was great (the destruction of the Bengal viceroyalty is way beyond what I expected), now I dread to see the horrible side of the roman victory in Mesopotamia.
 
As much as we would all love to see Odysseus win more victories marching across Asia eventually ending up as the first Emperor of the Tiě Dynasty of China he has no reason to go on.

Hopefully all this plunder Ody has will help fix the economic issues in the Empire while simultaneously hurting the Triunes.
Would they call it the Later Tieh? The Western Tieh? Because the Sideroi's Timurid relatives did set up shop there for a bit.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Damn, you know Venkata Raya has got to be utterly giddy, almost every serious threat on the subcontinent just got destroyed, the Sikhs and Persians will take decades to solidify the hold they have in northern India and aren't threats in the near term. This is going to allow Vijayanagara to focus more on internal consolidation, centralization, and improvement. With a bit of luck Vijayanagara can avoid the fate of OTL's Mughals, the fact their nation is more homogeneous in religion and has a firmer foundation is going to help massively here, and keep the southern cone independent.

The sheer wealth the two rulers just absconded with is also going to go a long ways to jumpstarting rebuilding, Rhomania is going to need to start building/upgrading Mosul and surrounding fortresses and Persia is going to rebuild it's army and bring their periphery fully to heel, I imagine Iskander the Younger might be managing smaller local armies for a long time yet.
 
I didn't expect the Awadhi/Bengal campaign to be this successful. I thought Triune Bengal and Awadh was going to live after Panipat but it seems that both powers are utterly thrashed with the submission of the Triunes and the death of Chandragupta.

As for the aftermath of the campaign, Triune presence in Asia has most likely evaporated with the fall of Triune Bengal, which is certainly not good for Henri and the Lotharingian merchants back home. While I don't think he will pull out of the war with Ottokar and the Ravens as a result of Bengal, it only makes his successes against the Holy Roman Empire even more important in securing the Rhine and Lotharingia for the Triple Monarchy. No doubt that the Romans and the Triunes will throw down in Asia sooner or later, because I don't think the Triunes will forget this humiliating defeat.

Vijayanagara is definitely the most powerful state in the subcontinent with the fall of Awadh. There is literally no contest as Northern India is practically shattered into many different pieces. I doubt Venkata will try to aggressively conquer the region even with this, but I fully expect him to fully solidify his dominance over what remains of Awadh, Bengal, Punjab, and the other states.

I imagine it would surely help. As long as it is spent wisely (and I have no reason to believe Athena would not) it could help blunt the worst effects of the current and future climate related crisis. Of course I imagine they could find that the money could disappear faster than they'd hope.
There was a lot of plunder, so the Roman soldiers will benefit, as will their families back home, but it's probably a short-term solution to their current predicament at best, even if it was a very positive one. Athena would have to implement far more radical economic reform in order to get the Roman economy back into good order, but that's hard considering the grueling effects of the Little Ice Age.

This was great (the destruction of the Bengal viceroyalty is way beyond what I expected), now I dread to see the horrible side of the roman victory in Mesopotamia.
I'm going to be very interested in how Odysseus and Iskander will react to the Great Crime. Both of them do not strike me as particularly sympathetic to the Arabs but they aren't callous monsters that will let complete extermination happen, but we shall see how the peace process goes for Rhomania and Persia.
 
With the loss of Bengal, what does that leave the English with? Theyll be an even more junior partner to the French.

How much loot exact will flow back West? Depending on the amount they’d better be careful with inflation, India is really rich.
 
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