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New Nation, History In The Works


Margrave
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'm attempting to chronicle an alternative history of events, and I'd like some assistance. Stand back gents, this'll be a rather wild ride.

First, my justification for doing this: I roleplay, and I want to roleplay an Aristocratic, Norman/Varangian/Roman state. Why? Because I can and its a challenge. That being said, I'm being a stickler for history, and so I've looked through history, trying to justify having a Norman/Varangian country in the Peleponnese/Crete. Here is what I have so far:

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Guiscard, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Manzikert, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Tarchaneiotes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangian_Guard

Now, in the real version of history, Robert Guiscard invades the Byzantine Empire, with the intent of reinforcing his son Bohemund I (later to be a great crusader) in Thessaly. Unfortunately, after taking Durrazo, he dies of a fever, along with five hundred other Knights. The Normans Byzantine holdings are re-taken, and Bohemund goes back to Sicily.

In my version, however, Guiscard and Bohemund invade the Empire earlier, shortly before the Battle of Manzikert. Joseph Tarchaneiotes (Who commanded fully half of the Empire's force in the Manzikert area...and who managed to disappear, he and the entire army, into the depths of history), commanding the majority of the Varangian Guard (Rather than a more mixed bag as in actual history), is recalled back to Greece, to stave off the Norman invasion. Guiscard lands at the Peloponnese this time, and fights his way across the Peninsula, this time with a larger force, the additional soldiery being Knights from Norman territories. Guiscard meets Tarchaneiotes and the majority of the Varangian's at Corinth. Now, here's where I'm undecided:

(note: Everything after this point is things I'd like to re-write/edit/change/have suggestions given on.)

Sometime before the battle, news reaches both camps of the disaster at Manzikert, only this time the devastation is even greater, Anatolia falls swiftly into the hands of the Seljuk's, and the reasons for continuing to struggle with each other become far less clear. It is at this point that either Guiscard or Bohemund convince Tarchaneiotes to join them, and they manage to secure the Peloponnese from Corinth to Crete. Guiscard still dies in 1085/86, the victim of a fever, as he moves to secure new territory for this alliance of Normans and Varangians. the Sicilian and Italian territories are seized by Bohemund's brothers, leaving Bohemund the major Leader for the Norman side of things in Corinth, the new capital. Tarchaneiotes dies a rather suspicious death (perhaps), and Bohemund seizes power, using the the ports at Crete and the Peninsula as a launching off point for the forces of the First Crusade, leading them and eventually becoming Prince of Antioch. Somehow, he or one of his children MUST return to Corinth to hold the fragile nation (Elyon or Strigia/Strigata will be the name) together. I have an idea to make him slightly younger/marry Anna Commenus, thus securing his right to rule the Byzantine territories he takes over, and with the backing of the Papacy and his Christan Crusader allies in the Holy Land, secure for himself quite a territory.

Now, this is the general idea; the problems, however, are this: What happens, to the families, the territories, and the nation from 1085 on? Being as I'm going to roleplay them in the present day, I need an explanation...if they remained a soveriegn country all throughout, or if they went through periods of being conquered...regardless, the Guiscard line, the Christian religion, and the Western Race has to survive, even with touch-ups and changes. Although their Crusading State's territory might expand, it's final, modern-day size has to be limited to Corinth, the Peninsula, and Crete itself. In the modern day, it is something of an Aristocracy run by rulers representing the major factions.

That's the general idea; hopefully some of you can help out.

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OOC: I'm now making a play for all of Greece/the Eastern half of the old UK territory. As such, I'm expanding the story alittle bit.

IC:

Tarchaneiotes, leading a rebellious Varangian faction, joins forces with Guiscard's invasion forces, expanding their northern territory until all of Greece was under their sway. Guiscard, proclaiming himself "King Of The Greeks", establishes civilian governance in the secured provinces in the Peloponnese, as well as Crete, investing in the Garrisons there as a means of protection against the possibility of invaders. For a period of several years, Guiscard expands the Greek territory, invests in its growth and defense, eventually dying in 1085 of the fever. A massive inheritance struggle in the Guiscard clan leaves Bohemund I the lone Guiscard over all of Greece...establishing himself as a "Defender of the Faith", he answered the desperate cry of the Byzantine Emperor in 1089, as Turkish forces pressed Constantinople itself. Arriving as the Armies of the Turks were pressing the exhausted Byzantine forces against the walls of the city, Bohemund raised the "Flag Of The Cross" over his armies in tribute to Constantine, inspiring the Orthodox and Catholic forces to push the Turks back. The Emperor, dying of his wounds on the field of battle, named Bohemund Guiscard I the new Emperor, at last surrendering the Throne of the Romans to the Norman conquering forces.

1094: Still claiming the title of "Emperor Of The Romans and The Greeks", Bohemund joined the Crusades with the intent of expanding into Anatolia and establishing a christian foot-hold there. Pushed back by a major Turkish army at Caesaria, he announced a focus on the Levant instead, and used his ports and his fleet to provide transportation to the Holy Land. Crete in particular would serve as a major launching area for the entirety of the Crusades. Bohemund, having taken Antioch for himself and provided for the Crusaders to take Jerusalem, ruled the territory until his death in 1134, an old man still vital well into his twilight years.

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