An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Charcolt: Andreas III’s children (ages are of 1630) in order are:

Zeno of Volos (deceased, mother was unidentified woman from Volos).

Theodoros of Nineveh (age 7, mother is Anna of Amida, washerwoman who became then Kaisar Andreas’ mistress in the Army of Mesopotamia, currently married to the Kephale of Gallipoli)

Alexandros of Baghdad (age 6, mother is Maria of Agra)

Nikephoros of Trebizond (age 2, mother is Maria of Agra)

ImperatorAlexander: At this point no. The Andalusi have been pushed back into the mountains of Granada, the same terrain in which the Emirate of OTL lasted 200+ years, so they’re down but not out. The Spanish still have a lot of work ahead of them. I currently don’t have any plans for an Imperial title for Spain, although a successful completion of the Reconquista would make a good backdrop. There is an OTL precedent for a Spanish Emperor, as in 1077 Alfonso VI of Leon declared himself “Emperor of All Spain.”

You and HanEmpire are both correct. Andreas II married a descendant of an illegitimate daughter of Andreas Niketas. The Persian royal house is descended from Andreas Niketas’ eldest sister, but the Despots of Sicily are descended from another of Andreas’ sisters, Zoe, who was the one that was at the Black Day.

Frustrated Progressive: One of my main reasons for keeping Al-Andalus around was because I’d seen the argument that any pro-Byzantine TL is automatically Islamophobic and this was my way of disproving it. Now though I consider that argument to be stupid. Also, and this was the clincher, I didn’t have any ideas on how to progress with them, the same with Wu. So I’m tidying up bits. And I admit I have a soft spot for early modern Spain.

Emperor of Greater India: The Romans are indeed the only true Empire. But let the barbarians have their delusions of grandeur. They’re less likely to ruin the carpet that way…

JohnSmith: The Eternal War, plus all the other military escapades in the Middle East and North Africa in the past few decades, have been sucking up most Roman resources for decades now. None of the Latin powers with maritime interests have faced such a sustained resource-draining threat.

HanEmpire: This. Only the Romans have had the ‘pleasure’ of fighting a twenty-year war with an Empire capable of putting 100,000+ high-quality soldiers led by one of the top-ten commanders in human history.

In my defense I’m only following OTL medieval and early modern European noble tradition by having the marriage lines be so entangled. Andreas II Drakos’ wife was a Montefeltro who was descended from Andreas Niketas’ illegitimate daughter, plus his father was descended from Zoe, Andreas Niketas’ older sister who was at the Black Day.

The Merovingian: The throne is now held by the Drakos dynasty. The dynastic founder, Andreas II Drakos, was married to a woman from the Montefeltro family who was herself a descendant of Andreas Niketas via an illegitimate daughter. So the Second Komnenid and Drakos dynasties are related, but not very closely.

Bergioyn: I see what you did there.

RogueTraderEnthusiast: A real brazen attack might be enough to spark a serious direct Imperial effort. The key problem before was lack of resources; the Eternal War didn’t leave much to spare. With a breather in that regard the Romans’ options became much more varied.

Tax reform is on the way but I don’t want to give any details since I’d just be repeating myself once I got to the update in question. Unfortunately for the Romans history doesn’t tend to wait quietly…

Sir Omega: They’re not too happy about it, but they’ll tolerate other monarchs calling themselves Emperor. Having “Roman” in the title though is completely unacceptable. When speaking with the Wittelsbachs, the Romans just called them ‘Emperor’ and leave it at that. Just calling them ‘Emperor of the Germans’ would be taken as an insult so the Romans take diplomatic refuge in being vague.

Babyrage: The level of hurt the Triunes are feeling is more on the range of ‘pissing them off’ as opposed to actually impairing them.

Stark: Aragon is currently ruled by a cadet branch of the Spanish royal dynasty which gives them some protection on the grounds of ‘overthrowing your cousin is so gauche’ but the Aragonese are definitely a third-tier power at this point. A Spanish kingdom controlling all of Iberia minus Aragon would be around 10 million, still not in the category of the big three (HRE, Triunes, Romans) but much bigger than anyone else.

I’m planning on some point to have some updates dedicated solely to eastern affairs (one each for India, China & Japan, the Lands below the Winds?).

Andry2086: There are Greek dialects and regional accents, with Constantinople Greek being the official standard for all government business. I don’t know anything about OTL Greek dialects so I can’t speculate on the nature of TTL ones.

Mexican ITTL is a Nahautl-based language but with substantial loan words from Arletian and Castilian, plus a few Greek (mainly government/administrative terms). It is completely different from OTL but this Mexico is completely unlike OTL Mexico.
1630: Dreams and Promises
1630: Andreas returns to Constantinople before the winter, but then spends much of his time over in Chalcedon. Little of significance happens in the Queen of Cities over the spring and early summer, with the one exception of the festival commemorating the 1300th anniversary of Konstantinos Megas founding Constantinople. It is a lavish affair, with the entire guard tagmata marching down the Mese in a great parade, literally thousands of barrels of free wine, races in the hippodrome (the winner’s cup is 60,000 hyperpyra), and a fireworks display unparalleled in the city’s history since the fall of Venice.

One person who causes a bit of a stir during the festivities is Athena Siderina, daughter of the Eparch. Now fourteen years old, she is starting to catch the eyes of the menfolk around her, having definitely taken after her mother in looks. During a ball she and some others are speaking with Hektor Likardites, Strategos of the Helladic tagma, when he replies that women should have no say in political matters as they cannot stand up to cold steel. Athena promptly yanks the Strategos’ own dagger from the scabbard and slashes her left arm to show that women can, in fact, face cold steel. [1]

Meanwhile her father has long since finished his tax reform plan but it had been put on hold until Andreas finished his empire-wide tour. Andreas now orders Xiphilinos to look it over to see if he has any suggestions to make. Xiphilinos stalls, still fuming at this encroachment on his turf. Meanwhile there are many dynatoi making visits to Constantinople to protest against this new tax-level system.

The dynatoi are not the power they were five hundred years ago. They still possess significant wealth and land, with many retainers in their pay, but their dominance of the officer corps is no more. Many do serve in the army as officers, but there are more officers who come from the mesoi, the middle class. Plus the regular soldiers, recruited from the lower classes, know their pay comes from the Imperial government. Anybody getting in the way of that, particularly some rich twat who doesn’t want to pay taxes, is unlikely to end up well. That said, their protests are still annoying.

It is common for the Imperial family to not spend the summers in Constantinople. Even with the sewers, the Queen of Cities, which is now approaching 350,000 for the first time in close to a hundred years, can smell rather ripe in the summer. The Sweet Waters of Asia are a common place of retirement.

Andreas however elects to go hunting in the Haemos (OTL Balkan) Mountains prior to a planned tour of Bulgaria which had been left out of his circuit last year; according to reports the boars are out in force this year. It is a very successful expedition, with bear and boar both falling to the Emperor and Odysseus who accompanies him. One day they both fall from their horses, neither seriously injured, although it is recommended that Odysseus rest up for a few days which he does.

While he is recuperating, the Imperial hunting party is continuing the sport, with the Emperor taking down an impressively large stag with a single crossbow bolt to the animal’s heart. But on the return to the hunting lodge, the troop is caught in a torrential downpour, everyone soaked to the skin. While annoying it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

The next morning the Emperor is running a fever. Historians are unsure what exactly is Andreas’ ailment, but whatever it is it wastes no time. Andreas’ condition deteriorates rapidly, which is not helped by the lack of serious medical attention. Ironically the nearest source of aid is the Empress’ large new estate on the shores of the Black Sea.

The Empress is not at her estate but is up in Varna overseeing purchases of timber and the arrival of forty hired Saxon gamekeepers, but her personal physician races to her husband’s bedside. He is a native of Ikonion (and thus highly likely to have Turkish ancestors), a graduate of the University of Antioch’s School of Medicine, the most prestigious in the Empire and drawing international students from Paris to Samarkand.

But even that is not enough. Just before noon on July 4, he breathes his last. His final words are unknown to posterity as just before the end he orders everyone in the room to depart, save Maria of Agra. She is the only one present for the Emperor’s final moments, and the secret of whatever happened then she takes to her grave.

Andreas III Doukas Laskaris Komnenos Drakos was twenty five years old when he died and had reigned for just over four years.

Dyulino Pass, Bulgaria, the Afternoon of July 4, 1630:

Odysseus’ horse skidded to a halt, foam flying from her nostrils. He jumped down from his mount and ran toward the hut, not even thinking of securing his horse. Then he skidded to a halt when his eyes met those of Nikephoros Vatatzes. They were red and moist. Andreas’ bodyguard commander didn’t need to say anything. I’m too late.

Nikephoros led him into the lodge, a spartan wooden structure, hardly the hall of a great prince. Nikephoros and Odysseus walked down the main hallway, which did not take very long, until they reached the entrance to the west room, the largest in the structure. Two guards were stationed outside the door.

Odysseus opened his mouth, took a deep breath, and forced the words out. “How long?”

“Just over an hour.”

“Is there anyone in there?”

“Not right now. We saw you coming and thought you might want some time alone.”

Odysseus nodded jerkily. “Yes, thank you.” Nikephoros nodded towards the guards, they opened the door, and Odysseus stepped inside, the guards closing the door behind him.

Andreas was lying there in the bed, a rough wooden frame that hardly befitted a great monarch. He looked almost as if he was sleeping…perhaps this is all some misunderstanding…No, he was dead. A bit of deathly pallor was already starting to seep into his cousin’s cheeks.

“This isn’t fair,” he whispered through clenched teeth, his hands forming into fists. We had plans. Andreas had already starting drawing up plans for war with Persia to avenge Mashhadshar. Odysseus had been teaching the Persian prince Iskandar horsemanship and swordplay just as Andreas had taught him. It would have been a great adventure, possibly the greatest the world have ever seen…

And now dead. All of it. Dead. He looked at Andreas’s face and then away. No. No more. He turned and walked out of the room, down the hall, resisting the urge to run screaming away from this place. The guards knew enough to leave him alone.

He stepped out of the building into the compound, taking a deep breath. The cool clear air of the mountains flowed into his lungs. It helped; maybe if he just stood here and breathed, it would be better.

Then he saw her. Maria was wearing a kaffos-brown tunic and riding pants with a black belt, a bit of silver thread fringing her collar. She was fully-clothed but her outfit was a fairly tight fit. Her eyes were red with smears of eyeshadow down her cheeks.

Their eyes met as she rounded the corner of the building, the guards discreetly making themselves scarce. “Ody?” she asked. “Are you alright?”

He opened his mouth. Even with her ruined makeup, she was still so beautiful…Now we can be together.

He froze. That, THAT, is the first thing you think of! A part of his mind screamed at him. His body isn’t even cold yet and that’s all you can think of!

He opened his mouth again. No, I don’t want to hear it, you miserable, worthless piece of shit. That’s how you repay him?

“Ody?” Maria said, her voice full of concern. She’d walked to him, reaching out with her hand, and then lightly touched him.

It was barely even a touch, more of a caress of his upper arm, but a shock ran through all of his body. He looked at her and their eyes met. Her eyes looked at him, almost like they were looking through him. He looked away, his stomach shriveling. She knows. She can’t, how could she? Could she? Their eyes met again…

…And he ran. “Ody?!” she shouted after him as he crashed into the underbrush but he didn’t look back. He had to get away from there, from his cousin’s corpse that reproached him for his crime, from her. He had to be somewhere else, anywhere else, it didn’t matter where, so long as it wasn’t there. So he ran, plowing through the forest, he knew and care not how far from camp, heedless of anything in his path.

Until one low-hanging branch whacked him about the ankles and sent him face-planting on the ground. He picked himself up on his hands and feet, and promptly vomited, the acid flashing up his throat as he disgorged his breakfast, his body dry-heaving for good measure when the contents of his stomach were spent. He flopped onto his back on the ground, cognizant enough to avoid falling on the vomit. His chest heaved violently as he gulped in air. His hands were covered in sweat and his legs trembled.

“God’s armpit, that does stink!” a voice shouted.

Odysseus started, then staggered up to walk toward the voice. Just behind a couple of trees a man was sitting on a log. A few meters in front of him another tree, one that looked like it had been blasted by lightning, was lying on the ground. Poking out from underneath it was the remnants of some sort of animal trap.

The man looked at him. “Next time you do whatever it is you just did, do it downwind. The papal latrines smell better than that.”

“Sorry,” Odysseus replied, plunking down on the other end of the log from the man. He really needed a rest. He looked at the man, who was now looking at the trap and muttering to himself. The man was clad in a faded green shirt with a brown leather jacket with same color pants, completely devoid of finery. A bow box and quiver full of arrows leaned up against the log next to the man’s feet, while at his feet was a large leather knapsack. Odysseus could see a large skinning knife peeking out the top. The man was bald, with a craggy face partially covered in a cropped white beard. His hands were wrinkled and callous, but the shape of the calluses made Odysseus think that the man had commonly held a sword. Behind the man was a long barbed-head spear with a short crosspiece at the base of the blade. Considering that this was probably still imperial estate, he was a poacher, but right now Odysseus really didn’t care about that.

He sat there in silence, just watching the man who continued scowling at the tree, muttering to himself for a while until he stopped to pull some dried meat from his bag and gnawed on it furiously. “What’s the problem?” Odysseus asked, eager for something to distract him.

“There’s this boar that’s been really pissing me off lately, mucking around in my garden. So I’m trying to kill it. But then this stupid tree went and wrecked the trap I spent over a month building.”

Odysseus nodded. Admittedly he was having a really hard time caring about some stupid trap. But the boar made him thinking of hunting with Andreas, and then returning to the lodge where Maria served them both kaffos and she smiled at him…

“So what’s your problem?” the man asked.

“Huh, what?”

“What’s your problem, the one that caused you to come crashing through like a drunken elephant and then puke your guts out?”

“I…I don’t want to talk about it,” Odysseus muttered, staring at his feet.

“It’s a woman.”

Odysseus snapped his head to scowl at the man. “How did you know?!”

The man rolled his eyes. “I was your age once. It was always about a woman then. Now it’s just mostly.”

“I said I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Fine,” the man shrugged. “But if you go back to puking, give me some warning first. I want to save what’s left of my nose hair.” He went back to eating his dried meat, but much more sedately than before.

“There was this woman,” Odysseus said, startling himself when he started to speak. “But…” He trailed off.

“She was married to someone else.” Odysseus’ eyes squinted at the man. “I was your age once.”

“Yes. She was…married to…someone else.” Sort of.

“Well, that’s no biggy. Just kill the other guy.” Odysseus stared at him. “Not funny?” Odysseus shook his head no. “Well, I thought it was funny.” He took another bite.

There was silence for a moment and then Odysseus spoke again. “The…other guy died.” The man raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t have anything to do with it. But the first time I saw her afterwards I…” He paused, unsure if he could continue. I have to say it to someone, otherwise I’m going to explode. And better him than someone who’ll get word back to court. “I thought now we could be together.”

“Sounds perfectly understandable to me.”

“There’s more than that to it.”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “The other guy, he wasn’t some enemy or random person. He was something else, something closer.”

Odysseus nodded. “He was…” My Emperor? My cousin? That’s what he was by law and relation, but he was more than that. “He was my brother.”

The man winced. “Ah, now I understand. That is a problem.”

“Got any suggestions?”

“A couple.”


“Back in Patriarch times, it was the custom that if a man died without any heirs, his brother would sleep with his sister-in-law to impregnate her, the resulting son to be considered the son of the original husband, not his brother, so that his line could continue. That’s what the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis is about, although the priests like to forget that story is in there.”

“And what does that have to do with anything? We don’t follow that custom, thankfully.” Sleeping with Elizabeth…eww. He shuddered.

The man smirked. “Depends on the sister-in-law. Now did your brother have any dreams, ambitions?”

“Yes, he did.” We did.

“And do you still want her?”

“Yes.” Oh yes, absolutely. I’d give anything for her, just so long as I can look at her without feeling shame for what I’ve done.

The man was staring at him, the corner of his lip curling up. Odysseus knew he hadn’t said that, but he knew that the man knew he’d thought that.

“Well then there’s only one thing for it,” the man said.

“And that is?”

“Make your brother’s dreams and ambitions become reality. Take your brother’s place. Whatever legacy he wanted to create, you create it.”

“That’s not going to be easy.”

“That’s your problem, not mine,” the man said, standing up and gathering his belongings. “But it’s the only way to make up for what you’ve done.”

Odysseus nodded. “You’re right.” He paused. “Now what are you doing?”

“Going to plan B. See boar, stab boar.” And with that he walked off into the woods.

* * *

Odysseus found his trail rather easily, following it back to the encampment. About halfway there he met up with a pair of guards who were looking for him and they walked silently back, getting there shortly before sunset. Nikephoros looked rather relieved to see him but didn’t say anything about his mad dash. A few minutes later Odysseus found himself once again in the room alone with Andreas’ corpse.

It had been more fancifully dressed up but looked much the same as he had before Odysseus had thought that thought. He looked into his emperor’s, his cousin’s, his brother’s lifeless eyes. He couldn’t hear him but he still needed to say it out loud. “I swear by God and all his saints, by the Virgin Mary, and…and by the throne of Andreas Niketas I will finish what you’ve started.”

Odysseus was back in the courtyard as the sun was setting, a gust of wind fluttering his hair as he stepped outside. He sniffed. Was that roasted boar?

Then he saw her. He swallowed, his stomach fluttering as she approached. “Ody? I didn’t hurt you, did I? You’re not going to run away again, are you?”

“No, you didn’t, and I won’t.”

“Good. I’d hate to see anything happen to you. Are you alright?”

“No, not really. But I think I’m going to be.”

She smiled at him.

* * *

The whole Empire is shocked at the news. This isn’t how things were supposed to be. He was the new young Emperor, named after the Good Emperor himself, destined to bring back that golden age of prosperity and justice, when the mere name of the Romans could terrify foes across Eurasia.

But not anymore. Now the ruler of the Empire is the empty-headed Empress Helena II. Correction, the ruler of the Empire is whoever can control Helena II; she is not the type to actually rule anything. There are two contenders, her daughter-in-law Empress Elizabeth and her first cousin Eparch Sideros. This makes a lot of the Demetrian faction nervous. The Eparch’s closeness with Andreas III hadn’t been engineered by Demetrios; it had been the product of fortuitous circumstances. The Eparch doesn’t strike many as the type to engineer control over Helena II, Empress Elizabeth on the other hand…

Helena II herself is completely unaware of all this, both because of her stupidity and because her grief at the loss of her only son has blotted out all else. She has to be prevented from climbing into the coffin with her baby boy. In the unkind but appropriate words of an eminent historian of the period “on August 14 she does the first significant thing she ever did in her life. She died.”

[1] Eugenie de Montijo, future wife of Napoleon III, did this IOTL.
Oh shit, the Empire really can't catch a break can it? After getting kicked in the teeth by Iskandar and Africa this happens. I guess the only silver lining is that the time of troubles is called the time of troubles because it was worse than this upcoming succession war?
Who are the main contenders? I assume:
Empress Elizabeth - wife of Andreas III
Odysseus - presumed (unofficial) heir of Andreas III
The bastards - only children of Andreas III
All the foreign Drakoi and Komnenoi cadet branches.
Hah, he really was a red herring. Well, given his plans (another Persian war) it's maybe the best for the Empire that the cold took him.

It seems Odyseus wishes to follow his legacy but he and especially his father seem more reasonable than Andreas.

Since Elisabeth is a foreigner I don't give that much chance in the coming game of thrones. Factions in the court will support her but she shouldn't have much popular support, and in Constantinople this still counts a lot.
Who are the main contenders? I assume:
B444 did a post about the succession a while back, check it out.

It looks like Demetrios and Odysseus are the first in line that aren't Germans. Combined with Demetrios' tax reform plan I would guess that he would have the most popular support among the masses. It will fit into the theme of him being continuously promoted into positions he does not want.

I feel like Elizabeth will need backing from her brother to press her claim and that won't sit well with the Roman army. And seeing as B444 referred to this war as a proto WW1 I am hoping that most of the war will be fought outside the Empire, perhaps the UK and others will intervene to prevent the utterly terrifying (almost) union of Rhomania and uber Germany.
I'm putting my bet on Demetrios being crowned. Jahzara is in Constantinople, Elizabeth is not. The Germans are displeased and proceed to invade, all hell breaks loose in Europe.

For some reason I reckon that in the end Odysseus ends up Emperor, with Elizabeth as his wife and Maria dead. Mind as well pile up the heartbreak.
Damn if that doesn't change things. I can't help but wonder if all those "Saxon gamekeepers" Elizabeth hired weren't for some other purpose. It's a good thing at least that Andreas forbade her hiring German guards. On the other hand the last thing she'd want is to be seen as a German Usurper, just like that Empress from Aragon in the war of the five emperors. I think though that she'd be fairly palatable to the empire, she's lived there for a long time. It's a really interesting situation that the Empress herself has a claim to the throne.
Also poor Demetrios if he becomes emperor, the guy just can't stop getting promoted. At this rate Jahzara will make him god-Emperor of mankind.
The reunification with The Lecce-Komnenos' southern Italy is over with. I doubt anybody would want to push the situation and antagonize them.
Well, this IS going to be messy. Damn.

Lets hope Odysseus can be the Second Good Emperor they need. Or... ensures that someone who can be that good becomes Emperor. (Alliance with Jahazra?)
Yikes. I always got the impression the Drakoi, cool as their lineage was, were a temporary dynasty. Their era will be defined by three things: failing to live up their namesakes and predecessors, opening up Rhomania to European marriages and European politics, and interesting people dying too soon (that counts for the Ottomans as well).

Athena Sidera (Siderina?) is hardcore though. I'm sort of reverting to my original desire to have her end up on the throne with Napoleon as her consort. The house of Kalomeros Doukas Laskaris Komnenos Drakos Sideros. Try saying that in one breath. That would be a little ways down the road though.

The current contenders feel like the male Sideroi (who are weighed down by their divided claim, Odysseus' youth, and Demetrios' political enemies), the Germanoi (Elizabeth could seize power as Elisabet I, but I'm genuinely really attached to the idea of a temporary Theodoros V Germanos coming in from the Holy Roman Empire because), and Alexandros Drakos.

There are plenty of wild cards though. Maria could easily back the Sideroi until she can get her children in power, other Drakoi cousins and relations, more distant Komnenoi relations, that young Ottoman Khomeini boy, and of course Napoleon (though Helena I tried hard to squash that precedent). Depends on how long the war gets and how bad it gets. What an exciting mess!
I'm the only who is taking throne struggles in the Roman Empire in this TL as GoT?

"Non auro, sed ferro, recuperanda est patria"
I reckon that the Drakoi may not have the most favourable legacy, given that the steady progress of Helena I's domestic policies will be far outshone by the military debacles and the crisis that followed (especially if every foreign Prince will a blood relation jumps in).

Napoleon is quite a bit younger than when the French Revolution begun in OTL, so unless this succession war spans decades (I don't think there's been a protracted conflict in Europe so far like the 30 years war) I don't see Napoleon using this to rise to the Imperial throne. But then again, Chaos is a ladder.
So hopefully, the descendant of the Ottomans biggest boogey-man, can lead the Ottomans biggest enemy. All those who wanted redemption, this could be more, it could be a reckoning.

Also I don't see much support for a German former consort having much sway in court. But that is just my view.
Just a thought, isn’t Elizabeth under heavy suspicion of poisoning Andreas? He died at her estate under really unclear circumstances. Plus, there’s already rumours she poisoned Zeno. Even if she’s completely innocent I’m sure Jahazra will exploit it to the fullest effect.
Just a thought, isn’t Elizabeth under heavy suspicion of poisoning Andreas? He died at her estate under really unclear circumstances. Plus, there’s already rumours she poisoned Zeno. Even if she’s completely innocent I’m sure Jahazra will exploit it to the fullest effect.

I don't know much influence Jahazra has but would she able to imprison Elizabeth on suspicion of regicide? This will trigger her brother to intervene to A) Release her and B) Press her claim. Elizabeth can't be executed because she's the window of Andrea and also a great grand-daughter of Helena I.

Also B444, how are the Ethiopians feeling about Jahazra given that she was originally married to Demetrios because he was a famous name with no power? Eparch is powerful enough but he is now one of the main contenders for the Imperial throne.
I hope the next update comes soon! All this speculation is driving me nuts.

I can only pray that something preoccupies the Ottomans during this succession crisis because there's no way they're not going to take advantage.
Heavy narratives coming up, the next update might take a while.

I hope the Ottomans try something, they are not the 1000lbs Gorilla they were, 600lbs maybe. The returns they would receive would make even the most reckless of wall st. jockeys pale and vomit, I feel like it will be Ody that will be the true "Heir of Andreas". Making his brothers dreams his could be a powerful stimpack.