Hi there. Only after I'd started playing my KoJ campaign on H/H and making notes for the AAR, did I realise there are already a bunch on here already, but I hope you'll bear with me as I attempt my first.
The narrative is based on diary excerpts starting at the beginning of the campaign and ending who knows where. Pictures will follow as I get myself organised. For now, I hope you enjoy part 1.
Part 1. Days of Darkness
Excerpts from the personal diary of King Baldwin
What is Jerusalem but a fragile idea? One that burns brightly in the mind; it is a beacon to one and to all. I am told it is mine to rule, but I say it is only mine to protect. But how do we protect an idea? With our principles: Honour, strength and righteousness. May God guide my hand, and failing that, give me the strength to guide those I serve.
These are dark times and I fear for Jerusalemís safety in the future. To the north, our friends of Antioch block the Turks from our lands, a noble barrier to protect us from destruction. To the south, all is darkness. Our position is precarious; one wrong step and have no doubt, Jerusalem will fall. The bravery of a few is all that stands in the way of death and ruin for all. We must be strong, but most of all, we must be decisive!
Guy is eager to help me; but I fear his eagerness to do battle will only antagonise the Saracens. I have ordered him south, to the desert beyond Ascalon. I have ordered the construction of a line of watchtowers. When the attack comes, it will be from here and I must be able to see what comes against us. In the meantime, my spy, Walter, has moved to our western border with Dumyat. I fear the Saracen garrison there will be the first to move against us, so he will serve to warn us for now.
I will need more soldiers in the coming years, but the gears that are grinding into action will not move without the grease of a robust economy. The lands here are rich and bountiful but have been poorly exploited. The economic campaign we must wage will be hard, but must come before military might. A storm unlike any that has ever been witnessed marches on our lands and our roots must be strong if we are to weather it. I have ordered construction of Merchant Wharves at Jerusalem and Tripoli; I hope that this will pave the way for trade with our European cousins.
Sybilla, my dearest sister, is my greatest ally. She has taken to the sea to procure trade agreements. These will clear the way for economic growth. Already word reaches us that she has agreements from the Byzantines. She is a wonder; she knows my mind like no other, to the extent I need not worry about her actions. All that she does is for the good of the people of Jerusalem. I pray that she will find happiness along her road.