Hello, and welcome to my first AAR. I have decided to do something unique (to the best of my knowledge) and do an AAR that follows one character's world conquest. This differs from the excellent stories of a resurgent Rome in Empire: Total War and the 1450 resurgent Eastern Roman Empire AARs I have read and was inspired by. The difference is I will (hopefully) complete one entire campaign from start to finish. The trick? I will follow not a man but a God.
I have chosen to make the God that I follow an Assyrian God for one major reason, I really want to make an AAR around 1200 BCE that follows the Assyrians and if this is a popular one I will have a prelude and who's to say not sequels?
By making the main character a God it allows the character to go through many plotlines that just aren't available to your normal generals. The normal generals will still be there however, they will be supporting roles not the main driver.
I've not played Rome in nearly 3 years. I've beaten Julii twice, Bruti once, conquered Rome on Independent Greeks, almost beat it as Seleucids, and got pretty far in Germans. So I'm looking for a real challenge. Because I'm honestly probably playing a game above my skill level any advice will be taken in character in the form of an adviser or character talking to the main character.
Game: Rome: Total War.
Modifications: Because I haven't played in 3ish years I edited game data to allow Seleucid Empire to be playable without playing the Romans.
Cheats: I will post the full map for the purpose of the storyline. I might also list all characters in the game to help tell the story.
Populations of cities will be read as males of recruitable age or roughly 1/3rd of actual population. That will explain why that town of 233 can give me 160 soldiers.
I will not adopt into the family except if extinction looks likely. This will help keep the number of family members more manageable. I will, however, promote the man of the hour into the family.
I promise not to use the lame tactic of sallying out just to allow my towers to shoot down the enemy then retreating.
Spoiler Alert, click show to read:
And so the story begins,
The story I am about to relate is not one for the skeptic. Thousands of years ago before my lord's Empire came about there was the legend of Nergal, the Immortal. Before Alexander united the world, before Xerxes and his Persian forefathers divided it between good and evil lived a time long forgotten. This was a time when the peoples of the world were plentiful. The harvests were large. And the women were abound.
In the distant land of Assyria deep in the heart of what would become our Empire the waters changed the men there. Where once men's lives came and went in a matter of decades they grew longer. Time was not counted in hours or days but in the movements of the stars.
In time a true Immortal came. No, it was not Nergal. It was Anu, destined to be master of the ancient world. Sumerian legend speaks of Anu and his kin dividing the world up among themselves. They each gathered wealth unfathomable and women. The women poured like the wine the Gods drank.
The debauchery claimed their souls but not that of Nergal. A shy God and one not quick to anger he attempted peace. He attempted to console Anu and the others. Why should they torture a being who's lives were too short to comprehend? The response was why should we care for a being who's lives were too short to comprehend?
After many years Nergal was cast out of the halls of ancient Sumeria into the wilderness. Anu grew tired of the whining and would not suffer the indignity of a boy who was more interested in the arts than women and conquest.
The land outside of paradise was harsh. Behind him the laughs of Babylon could be heard as he traveled to the mountains. Food was scarce in these godless lands and water was impure but yet he traveled. A god, even a weak one is not an easy thing to kill.
After fifty nights of travel he collapsed. There, in the dusty road he was found by the Assyrians. They taught this eternal boy the ways of the warrior in exchange for his knowledge of cities, roads, and laws. He filled them with tales of the riches to the south and they filled him with what honor was and what honor was lost.
For many years they tutored each other. Nergal's thirst for vengance growing with each passing season as the Assyrians quest for riches turned their eyes southward. It was that Nergal finally led the Assyrians southward and over threw his great father Anu.
The war lasted many generations. Babylon fell, Egypt fell, the wild people of the sea fled in terror. Nergal's thirst for vengeance grew and remained unfulfilled. He was the master of the world but a world where all feared and none loved him.
Nergal spent many a sleepless night as Anu and the other Gods fled his armies. The boy had died in the harsh landscape that day. Now, now there was nothing but a monster. The fires he brought would tarnish his name for millennium. No, it must not continue.
He visited his father, the great Anu on the island of Greece. There, the elder God himself had his back to the wall within his last palace. “Father, what have I done?” Nergal cried out as he fell to his knees with hot tears streaming down his cheek.
His father, Anu knew that many a watchful eye were upon him. “You are still a boy. A man would have killed me.” Anu struck Nergal down that day. “May you only rule in hell.”
Dazed Nergal could only lay there as his father sealed the chamber doors behind them. There he would remain until my lord's ancestor found him...
My lord did not find him dead upon the floor of some palace in Crete. Far to the contrary, Nergal escaped. We do not know how nor in the end does it matter. He did not make it far before being taken prisoner. From prisoner to slave to gladiator and back again his life was truly what Anu wished he would rule- hell.
Nergal's body stood in the center of the arena, his arms bound in front as the crowd cheered for their God of War. Nearly one thousand years had passed since that fateful day. His muscles were that of a man in their prime. His hair kept long black like the Assyrians who had taught him so much. In front of him stood an armored man with a large round hoplite shield and a spear.
Through a razor thin eye slot the gladiator looked upon the God of War. There the Immortal stood silent, with his arms bound by a chain his shirt off and no armor nor a weapon upon him.
In the crowd above the owner, Saiyat jeered at the hoplite gladiator, “He can't even move his arms!” Next to him stood the King of the Selecid Empire, Antiochus.
“Not much of a show if you ask me.” The elder statesman murmured to Saiyat.
“There's a reason we have to handicap this one. They call him the Assyrian. All he's been is a pain in the ass. He doesn't seem to understand the concept of first blood!” Saiyat threw down a goblet he had rested on the nearby railing towards the hoplite. “Get your ass in gear!”
“You have money on the hoplite yes?” Antiochus asked.
Saiyat gave his King a weary glance, “I learned my lesson last time. The Assyrian has fifty pounds of Gold by me.”
Antiochus stroked his gray beard slowly studying the Assyrian. “Why do they call him the God of War? I always thought Ares of being armed.”
Before Saiyat could answer the hoplite took two steps forward and thrust with his spear towards the Assyrian. Nergal crossed his arms at the incoming spear taking a disciplined step backward as the chain locked around the shaft of the spear. With a quick pull the weapon left the grasp of the hoplite. Nergal rolled it behind his back and in the time it took for the hoplite to realize what was happening the blade had entered his shoulder cutting major arteries and sliding deep into the man's chest cavity. With not a cry the man collapsed dead.
There was hushed silence then expressions of discontent by everyone in the arena but Saiyat. “They call him the God of War because he always wins.”
Antiochus raised an approving eyebrow at the slave in the arena below. “How much?”
“I made enough to finance a year, wait you mean for the slave? He's not for sale.”
The King of the heir to Alexander's Empire took a step towards the games master and rested a hand upon his shoulder, “Bring him to court, I wish to discuss our aggressors to the south.”
And so Nergal was brought before the court of King Antiochus in the city that bore his name. In the King's palace the slave was brought forward. A collar was attached to his neck with chains held onto by six strong men. He was paraded before the throne where the elder Antiochus sat. Beside the King sat his son and a score of men stood along the walls, their eyes scanning the Assyrian.
Behind the king stood his favorite body guard, a man who had saved his life once in battle against the Egyptians. He looked with disdain towards Nergal. Beside the King was his heir Aristarchus. Aristarchus, though the faction heir was widely rumored to be more interested in vice of all kinds than that of leadership. It was rumored that he had an exotic slave from beyond the Indus river valley to warm his bed chambers while his wife cried next door.
Aristarchus turned to his father, “Father, who or what is this... thing?”
The King smiled at his son before answering, “I promised you an expensive toy my son, a gift that you could not find. What kind is worthy for that of a prince?” He asked aloud to the men in the chamber.
“One with a bit more curves and softer skin, father.” The prince sighed, “The slave have a name?”
“My name is Nergal.” The Assyrian spoke loudly and clearly. Though he had not spoken a word the entire trip nor in many years. “I am the Assyrian King.”
Aristarchus leaned back in his chair slightly whispering to his father, “Who are the Assyrians?”
The King waved off the comment, “We welcome you to court. You have many years of training and they say you are unbeatable. We have many enemies though our armies are strong.”
Nergal laughed cutting the King off, “Strong? You have rabble, from my tours I have seen your men practicing in the squares. Where's your professional armies? Where's your warriors trained in the art of killing? You have farmers and potters picking up sticks and poking the enemy with them. How you claim any relation to the great King Alexander is beyond me.”
Aristarchus spoke up, “This is your King.” he looked insulted that some gladiator would speak down to the great Seleucid Empire.
“My king fell years ago. I am an Assyrian. I burned Babylon. If you want my help you will need a professional army not farmers who dream of being hoplites and men who throw sticks they found laying around their house.”
The King and his heir exchanged glances, “And you can train them?” The former asked.
The Assyrian nodded with a sly grin, “I can in time create an army that could rival the Egyptians. But first, your Empire must be strengthened. Worry not of the enemy yet. Instead build roads to connect your forces. No amount of warriors can safe guard your nation when they can't get to the battle in time.”
“Then you will help?” The King asked.
The Assyrian nodded, “Remove this collar, I am the last of the Assyrians, not a dog.”