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Thread: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

  1. #1

    Icon1 The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Hello and welcome to a new AAR project:

    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    MAARC LXII 1st Place

    This is the story of the Kimmerios Bosporos, the Cimmerian greek kingdom at the northern shores of the pontus euxeinos, the Black Sea. Surrounded by barbarians to the north and competing hellenic kingdoms to the south, the arkhons of Cimmeria aim to steer their realm through uncertain times. Through inner conflict and civil war, through exhausting campaigns and military expeditions, follow the rulers of Cimmeria on their journey through the time of the diadochi and the rise of Rome.

    Table of Contents


    Important Characters (contains spoilers)

    Apollonios, the Traitor, Arkhon Pantikapaionos - b. 280 BC, d. 234 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Biographia: Apollonios was born in Hellas, son of a noble family in Larisa. As a fourteen year old boy, in 266 BC, he came to Cimmeria to wed Bilistiche, daughter of then-king Pairisades. Later, he participated in the king's campaigns in the west, and led the cavalry charge in the streets of Histria, 253 BC. After Pairisades returned to Pantikapaion and decided not to continue his military expeditions, Apollonios became the leader of the army and Pairisades' most important general.

    His growing influence amongst the military, and his relationship with Hippostratos in Paniardis, ultimately led to the coup d'etat Apollonios started in 240 BC. Hippostratos' and his men eliminated most of the ruling family, and even assassinated the king in Pantikapaion. A civil war broke out between Apollonios and his hellen supporters, and Spartakos, the former king's son. The war lasted six years and even though Apollonios had the momentum in the beginning, his fainting support from the clans in the north finally led to his influence crumbling. In the end, Apollonios was defeated in the Siege of Pantikapaion and died by the hand of Apintas, Pairisades' grand-son, 234 BC.

    Bellikos, Skythian Noble - b. 256 BC, d. 237 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Biographia: Bellikos was a noble-born skythian from the steppes north of Paniardis. His father was one of the elders who first fought, then later surrendered and swore allegiance to Arkhon Pairisades. After Hippostratos and Apollonios had staged their rebellion, Bellikos and his companions where able to gather the clans behind them and oppose the rebels. They defeated Hippostratos and his family and brought Paniardis back into the realm of Spartakos.

    Bellikos support was instrumental in shifting the power of balance during the civil war in Spartakos' favor. After Paniardis had rejoined his realm, Spartakos was able to keep his adversary contained and in defense. Even though the civil war dragged on for six years, Spartakos was eventually able to defeat Apollonios and re-take the sole rule of Cimmeria.

    Bellikos himself was assassinated before he could see the end of the war. In an attempt to regain momentum in the war, Apollonios had sent murderers to the clans in Paniardis and had Bellikos killed, 237 BC.

    Hegesippos, Arkhon kai Basileus - b. 235 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Coming soon...

    Hippostratos, Governor of Paniardis - b. 299 BC, d. 239 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Biographia: Hippostratos came to Cimmeria with his family when he was still a young kid. Not much is known about his early years, but rumors say that he despised his new home and never really coped with his family's move to Pantikapaion. Eventually, Hippostratos started his military career and became a general in the early years of Pairisades reign. Much to Hippostratos' displeasure, he was later assigned overseer of the clans in the east, 258 BC. As an administrator in Paniardis, he proved to be an excellent governor and even though he never developed good relationships with the clans, he was able to maintain the peace and to keep their support.

    When Apollonios, another Cimmerian of Hellenic origin, rise to power began, Hippostratos and him developed a close relationship. It was due to Hippostratos' support that Apollonios was able to stage his coup. Hippostratos, however, despite being an experienced supervisor, underestimated the support that Pairisades' family had within the clans of the east. His garrison was overthrown by local tribes and he was killed in battle, 239 BC.

    Menandros, Strategos - b. 225 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Coming soon...

    Pairisades, Arkhon kai Basileus - b. 306 BC, d. 240 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Biographia: Pairisades was one of the great kings of Cimmeria and during his reign, he lifted the city-state of Pantikapaion to one of the major powers in eastern europe. In 272 BC, he started his military campaigns that lasted almost twenty years and which increased Cimmerian territory significantly. His first move was to conquer Chersonesos (272 BC). After some skirmishes with local barbarian raiders (269 BC), he continued to build up a strong Cimmerian military. Later, he marched towards Olbia where he started to lay siege in 263 BC. The city fell, and the king turned back east, where he conquered Paniardis in 259 BC. The next milestone of his campaign, and possibly the toughest, was his expedition against Skythiapolis. The harsh conditions in the skythian winter decimated his army and Pairisades' own health never really recovered from that experience. Nevertheless, Pairisades still emerged victorious and the skythian clans were pacified in 257 BC. The army continued to march southwards along the coast and conquered Histria, 253 BC, the last waypoint of Pairisades' campaigns.

    The king then returned back to Pantikapaion, where he remained for the rest of his peaceful reign. In these years, he focused on strengthening Cimmeria's economy and on increasing the country's trade network. More ports where build along the coast, and he also cared greatly about education (schools in Cimmeria, 248 BC). Military responsibility was given to Apollonios, who he had treated as a foster-son and who had been campaigning with him in Histria. This ultimately led to Pairisades' own demise when Apollonios rebelled in 240 BC. Pairisades was murdered in Pantikapaion, along with his son-in-law Moschion.

    Samion, Queen of Cimmeria - b. 277 BC, d. 204 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Biographia: Queen Samion was born as a bosporian noble woman in Chersonesos. She was personally chosen by Arkhon Pairisades to be the future wife of the king's first-born son, Spartakos (262 BC). Despite the nagging nature of her mother, Samion and Spartakos developed a good and strong relationship. Some say that Spartakos' resolve highly relied on his wife's support and she was certainly the reason why he was strongly supported by the people. She was known to be a wise woman, calm and collected in most situations, and with a good influence on the king's decision-making. In fact, her influence might have been vital for Spartakos to emerge victorious from Cimmeria's civil war.

    Samion, however, was unable to give Spartakos any children. During the plague of Chersonesos (228 BC - 225 BC), Samion was known to contribute a lot to deal with this crisis. In the course of her participation in fighting the disease, she was eventually infected and fell ill as well. Due to excellent care by Cimmeria's best physicians and her strong physique, she was able to fight off the disease and was cured (226 BC).

    In the following twenty years, Samion became more and more involved in administrative tasks and played a major role in ruling the country. She held several advisory roles in trade and economy, and played a major part in establishing a trade route between Pantikapaion and the far east (via Marakanda and Sogdiana). Samion was also involved with the cult of Argimpasa-Aphrodite and held several ceremonial positions. Throughout her life, Samion was always loved and revered by the common people, with some tales even making her a manifestation of the goddess herself.

    Samion died in 204 BC, shortly after Spartakos' death in 205 BC.

    Spartakos, Arkhon kai Basileus - b. 278 BC, d. 205 BC
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Biographia: Spartakos was the oldest son of arkhon Pairisades and he first appeared on the historical stage during his father's campaign in Skythia (258 BC). Spartakos, and his brother Leukon, accompanied their father during his military conquest and participated in the dramatic winter siege of Skythiapolis (257 BC). It is said that Spartakos' health suffered greatly from the harsh conditions during the siege and that it took many years for him to recover.

    Still, he managed to remain part of Cimmeria's army. In 253 BC, he personally led the cavalry charge during the siege of Histria. After the conquest of Histria, Pairisades' military campaign came to an end and Spartakos joined his father in Pantikapaion. In the following years, Apollonios began his rise to power and in 242 BC, Pairisades sent his son Spartakos to urge Apollonios to seize his provocations against the Hayasdan (Armenian border). Spartakos remained part of Apollonios army, even after the latter had returned to Cimmeria.

    By immense luck, Spartakos was able to escape his assassins during the coup d'etat of Apollonios (240 BC). Spartakos fled to Chersonesos, where we was joined by fellow supporters of the Leukonid dynasty. A difficult and tiring civil war followed that lasted for six years and devastated the country. Due to major support by Samion, Spartakos' wife, and his companions, Spartakos was able to finally get the upper hand. In 234 BC, Spartakos' laid siege on Pantikapaion and was able to defeat Apollonios in battle, hence uniting the land under his rule.

    A few years later, Spartakos decided to intervene in the Nikaian conflict (231 BC) that brought Cimmeria the short occupation of both Nikaia (230 BC) and Tylis (229 BC). Ultimately, however, it did more damage than it did good: Both provinces where later lost, and the king only barely escaped his adversary, Diophantus of Pontus, during the siege of Nikaia. Even worse, the Hayasdan later initiated the First Armenian War (228 BC - 222 BC).

    After the Plague of Chersonesos (228 BC - 225 BC), Spartakos changes his course entirely. He became a much more benevolent ruler that many attributed to his queen, Samion, and peace became his primary focus. He was able to negotiate peace with both Pontus and Hayasdan, but was not able to bring the clans of Paniardis back into his realm. The next twenty years saw the longest period of peace in Cimmeria's history, Spartakos' greatest achievement. During the later years of his reign, his devotion to Agrimpasa-Aphrodite brought the cult much power and influence, much to the discontent of the younger intellectual elite. Spartakos and his wife were revered by the common people, however. This love and respect was often attributed more towards Samion than Spartakos himself, and many of Spartakos' critics had doubts that he would have reached similar significance without the support by his queen.

    Spartakos died in 205 BC, in the age of 73, in his capital Pantikapaion.

    Other Characters
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Apatourios, half-brother of king Hegesippos, governor of Pantikapaion and regent during the Second Armenian War
    Eurybia, High-priestess of Argimpasa Aphrodite in Pantikapaion
    Leukon, King of Cimmeria from 205 BC to 204 BC, brother of Spartakos and Hegesippos' father
    Moschion
    , Cimmerian noble who died protecting king Pairisades from his assassins
    Myrsine, Menandros' wife
    Perdiccas, Myrsine's father and governor of Olbia


    Wars and Events

    272 BC - 260 BC Cimmerian expansion in the bosporos
    268 BC - 243 BC War of Hellas (Epeiros and the Greek Cities defeat Macedon)
    240 BC - 234 BC Cimmerian Civil War (Spartakos defeat Apollonios the Traitor)
    230 BC - 229 BC Nikaian Conflict
    228 BC - 225 BC Plague of Chersonesos
    228 BC - 222 BC First Armenian War
    205 BC - Second Armenian War

    Significant Battles and Sieges

    This tab contains significant battles and sieges of Cimmeria's history. These will be added as the campaign progresses.

    272 BC, Battle of Chersonesos: Kimmerios Bosporos (Arkhon kai Basileus Pairisades) defeat Skythian Rebels (Rukhsaspa)
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    272 BC, Battle of Chersonesos
    Kimmerios Bosporos, 10600 men
    Commander: Arkhon kai Basileus Pairisades
    defeat (Clear Victory)
    Skythian Rebels, 12600 men
    Commanders: Rukhsaspa, Epainetos

    Description: The first battle in Pairisades' campaign to unify Cimmeria and the Bosporos under his rule was the battle of Chersonesos. Pantikapaion's arkhon marched towards the city, when he was attacked by the joint forces of the city's governor, Epainetos, and of the sauromatae horse lord Rukhsaspa. Pairisades was attacked in difficult terrain and managed to use that for his own advantage: He divided his opponents' forces and was able to defeat Epainetos and his garrison forces first, then later moved towards Rukhsaspa.
    The battle against Epainetos took place in a thick forest, and it turned out to be intense. Both forces collided without hesitation. Key to Pairisades' success was his strong infantry line of five hoplite regiments, as well as multiple cavalry charges of which he led several himself.

    After the city garrison was defeated, Pairisades turned against Ruksaspa's force, mostly mounted archers and skirmishers, who had been waiting in the open. The following skirmish lasted the whole day and left both forces absolutely exhausted. In the end, Pairisades was able to outmaneuver his opponent and trap this adversary between his cavalry and his infantry forces.



    234 BC, Siege of Pantikapaion: Kimmerios Bosporos (Leukonids) (Arkhon kai Basileus Spartakos) defeat Kimmerios Bosporos (Seperatists) (Apollonios)
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    234 BC, Siege of Pantikapaion
    Kimmerios Bosporos (Leukonids), 9380 men
    Commander: Arkhon kai Basileus Spartakos
    defeat (Clear Victory)
    Kimmerios Bosporos (Seperatists), 2760 men
    Commander: Apollonios

    Description: The siege of Pantikapaion in 234 BC marked the conclusion of the Cimmerian civil war and the end of Apollonios' failed rebellion. After six years of civil war, Spartakos finally moved his troops towards his former capital and began his siege. While the battle itself was not memorable, its impact on Cimmeria's history was still very signficant. Not only was Spartakos able to unify his kingdom under his sole banner again, but he was also able to eliminate his adversary during the battle. Apollonios was slain by Apintas and his rebellion was brought to an end.



    227 BC, Battle of Tylis: Kimmerios Bosporos (Arkhon Pantikapaion Leukon) defeat Pontus (Holophernes Herakleotes)
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    227 BC, Battle of Tylis
    Kimmerios Bosporos, 9400 men
    Commander: Arkhon Pantikapaionos Leukon
    defeat (Close Victory)
    Pontus, 4100 men
    Commanders: Holophernes Herakleotes, Mithares Herakleotes


    Description: The battle of Tylis was one of the toughest battles in Cimmeria's military history up until 227 BC. Leukon, the king's brother, marched his forces towards Tylis in hopes of conquering the undefended city easily. Another Pontic army was hiding in the woods surrounding the city, however, and ambushed the Cimmerian forces.

    A tough battle followed where the Cimmerian forces, even though outnumbering the opposing forces 2:1, were forced to give up their infantry line and to skirmish instead. The army of Pontus was far superior in quality, especially due to its heavy cavalry that wreaked havoc among the Skythian levies that built the backbone of Leukon's army. But Cimmeria's light troops and archer regiments eventually prevailed due to their endurance and agility.

    In the end, Leukon was able to gather his remaining forces and eventually triumphed over the exhausted pontic troops. After a truly long battle, the Pontic commander was slain and the rest of his army routed the battlefield.


    Arkhons of Cimmeria

    272 BC - 240 BC Pairisades (Leukonides)
    240 BC - 234 BC Apollonios (Hellen), Ursurper in Pantikapaion
    240 BC - 205 BC Spartakos (Leukonides)
    205 BC - 204 BC Leukon (Leukonides)
    204 BC - Hegesippos (Leukonides)


    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Information
    This AAR will feature the hellenic Bosporian kingdom in Cimmeria and it's destiny in the post-diadochi time of the third and second century BC. This is not necessarily a historical AAR, as the focus will be on dynastic topics and individual characters. I will try to steer the faction's undertakings in a way that matches with its characters. In the very beginning, this was planned as a short AAR but over time it has evolved and there will some more chapters to come. As this is a campaign-driven narrative, I have to see where the campaign is going and where it is taking me, or us.

    Some other hard facts:
    - Game settings are VH (campaign) and M (battles), EB2 2.06a.
    - No re-loading after lost battles or RNG fails (spies).
    - I will use console commands, however, when it serves story-telling purposes. I will not spoil anything but I have certain things in mind that may unfold at some point (or may not).
    - I do not really plan world conquest or anything with this one. In fact, I plan on this being a short but dense campaign, that will not stretch on forever.
    - When referencing battles within the text, all numbers are scaled up by a factor of 10. That means, a typical full stack on normal unit size would have around 15k soldiers (1.5k in-game).

    This AAR focuses, of course, on the events happening around the Black Sea, but later chapters will also contain a small update on the world in general.
    I hope you enjoy this AAR. Feel free to leave comments and/or suggestions about this playthrough.

    Cheers, Zeion
    Last edited by Zeion; June 26, 2016 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Interludum II

  2. #2

    Icon1 Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    Part 1: Unification of Cimmeria


    "At the northern edge of Hellenic civilization, the colonies of the Bosporos have grown and flourished. It was my family, the Leukonids, who have manned this spearhead of greek people and who have defended the land against barbaric riders and merchants alike. It was my family, who made sure greek traders, not barbaric hagglers, held the economic reign over the Black Sea.

    Now, with the Sarmatian and Skythian riders pushing further south, and with our Hellenic brethren at their throats, our time has come. The time to expand Cimmerian rule over the Bosporos and the shores of the pontos euxeinos. "
    - Archon Pairisades, personal letter, 272 BC

    In 272 BC, the situation for the Bosporic kingdom of Cimmeria was more dire than arkhon Pairisades seemed to admit in a recovered letter to an unknown recipient. Surrounded by barbarian tribes, the old colony of Pantikapaion was indeed threatened. The old trade routes with the greek homeland had run dry and needed to be renewed. And the rich farmlands of the Bosporos, even though ever fertile, had seen a poor harvest this year.


    Culturally, however, Pantikapaion was an example of multi-culturism. Even though the major part of the population was Hellenic, it held citizens of the steppes people, eastern settlers, nomads and even slavic tribes folk. This mixture of cultures and people led to problems, of course, but it was one of the driving factors in establishing a diverse and thriving society.


    Pairisades, an aspiring general and ambitious leader, was determined to decisevely take the chance in these uncertain times and bring glory and further wealth to his realm.


    arkhon Pairisades, 272 BC

    Pairisades followed the traditions of his family as a true dynast. Not only was he king of the city-state Pantikapaion, but he made sure that all major positions within the administrative body of his kingdom were composed of his family members. His intentions, however, were focused on the welfare of his country, not of his family. In fact, he was known as a benevolent ruler and a brave soldier alike. Pairisades' uncle Ariphanes, governor of Pantikapaion in the king's absence, and his son Diodoros, belong to the king's closest advisors and companions. In 272 BC, however, a new face entered the stage: With Hippostratos, a Hellen of noble blood, who married Kallisto, the king's cousin, new influence was brought to a court that was formerly purely controlled by members of the Leukonid dynasty.


    Bosporian Nobles, 272 BC

    Determined to expand his rule over the northern parts of the Black Sea, Pairisades mustered a great army of more than ten thousand men. It was a major expedition for the small Cimmerian kingdom, and many people argued that Pairisades perhaps overextended his ambitions. But the king was determined. Not only to put whole Cimmeria under his and his family's rule. But also to bring further wealth to all greek settlers and to all of his subordinates.


    Pairisades' expedition in Cimmeria, 272 BC


    ¤ Battle of Chersonesos ¤


    In early autumn 272 BC, Pairisades' army was engaged by rebel forces near Chersonesos. The arkhon of Cimmeria was accompanied by his cousin Diodoros and fielded a sizable army. The backbone were five hoplite regiments, supported by archers, slingers and two regiments of elite skirmishers. Pairisades was opposed by two armies of the enemy: the garrison force of Chersonesos, sallying out to defeat the approaching aggressors, and the army of Rukhsaspa, a sarmatian horse lord who had challenged the Hellenic rule on the Cimmerian peninsula throughout the last years and who had now allied with the city of Chersonesos.

    The battle took place deep Cimmerian forests and stretched over several days. In his success, Pairisides was aided by his enemies' indecisiveness and by their lack of collaboration. He was able to divide his opponents' forces, first eliminating the city's garrison in a bloody skirmish within the woods. Key to success was the strong hoplite line of Pairisides who pinned down the enemy and enabled the traditional hammer-and-anvil tactic.


    Pairisades leading the cavalry charge with his companion bodyguards.

    The king led most of the cavalry charges himself and his bloodied bodyguards inflicted many casualties on the enemy. After most of the men from Chersonesos were killed in battle or routed, Pairisades turned his soldiers against Rukhsaspa who was waiting outside the forest with his regiments of mounted horse archers. The following engagement was a long and tiring sequence of individual skirmishes, where Pairisades tried to lure his opponent into the woods, cornering him where ever he could. In the end, the Cimmerian king prevailed and achieved a clear victory.



    Therefore, Chersonesos fell into the hands of the Bosporian kingdom. Pairiades had indeed pushed his ambition to the very limits: his troops were payed out and released, leaving only a bare garrison of his most experienced troops. A time of recovery was necessary to gain back financial and economical strength.

    Nevertheless, Pairisides had reached his goal: The unification of Cimmeria under his rule.


    arkhon Pairisades celebrating his victory at Chersonesos



    Regions of the Black Sea, 272 BC (Opaque areas show contested terretories)


    Timeline

    272 BC Pairisades mobilizes his army to take control of the Cimmerian peninsula. Kallisto, cousin of the king, marries a young man from Hellas, Hippostratos.

    271 BC The Bosporians defeat Sauromatae rebels under the command of Rukhsaspa and conquer Chersonesos. A period of restoration and recovery begins, where the focus is on economic development.


    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Gameplay remarks:


    This is really exciting. Finally a serious EB campaign again and I'm frakking thrilled. Cimmeria seems to be a quite interesting factions with many options available. So far I really like the troop composition and the art style. I was hoping to put a little bit mroe content into this first update, but my time is a tad limited right now and that first battle took ages.


    The bosporian empire certainly makes up for a really nice scenario. Normally, Baktria is my favorite faction and I really see some paralells here: greek realms at the edge of the hellenistic world, dealing with so-called barbarians and their cultural influences. Chances for merging of cultures, realities of cultural differences and struggle - so interesting.


    I'm really looking forward to how this campaign will play out.
    Last edited by Zeion; January 13, 2016 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Typos, Grammar

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Very nice, I appreciate the structure in this post, the colour mapping of the FM tree and the timeline below. Looking forward to reading more of this campaign, hail Basileus!

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Thanks. Next update is in the works.
    A little question: Any way to enable editing on my end?
    My posting permissions say: You may not edit your posts. Thats a bummer.

    Cheers

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    Part 2: Pacification

    After Pairisades had conquered Chersonesos, a phase of restoration and development begun. The region around Chersonesos was pacified, and Diodoros, the king's cousin, was installed not only as governor, but also as eirenarchos, warden of peace. Greek settlers and indigenous Skythians alike appreciated the administation of the Greek royalty. Farmland was expanded and temples were errected. Under the Pairisades' rule, the cult of Demeter-Kore reached new heights of power. Due to the countries reliance on farming and agriculture, Demeter's priests gained more and more influence.


    Regional pacification of Chersonesos, 270 BC.

    Governor Diodoros was cut out in a very different way than his king. A somewhat toady and weak character, he never shared the arkhon's ambition for glory and wealth. Some sources even say that he was appointed only as governor by sweet-talking into the king's ears, and not due to his actual abilities, but this is doubtful. It is questionable if Pairisades would have been susceptible to sycophants, but it cannot be outruled. Nevertheless, Diodoros proved to be a somewhat capable men. Well-read and interested in science, his passion in medicine was renown and a famous physician from the lands of Hellas would later become part of his retinue.


    Determined to bring peace and unification of Cimmeria, Pairisades had to hunt down another rebel in winter 269 BC. Desakenthos, a Skythian warlord was raiding the trade routes near Pantikapaion and caused unrest amongst the settlers. Pairisades went forth and beat Desakenthos in open battle.


    In 266 BC, Pairisades completed the establishment of a arkhe tyrranou in Chersonesos and thus brought the region under his rule entirely. After a cold winter, he then crossed the strait of Kerch and set up camp in the very east of his terretory. Preferring the rough circumstances of military camps over peace and otiosity of the cities, the king gladly set out with his army and companions to make further plans, to oversee the development of the land and to manage his diplomatic affairs.




    ¤ Diplomacy ¤

    "My liege, I am pleased to announce successful negotiations with our Greek brethren in asia and hellas. Our old trade routes with Athens and Pergamon have been reinstated, and an alliance was forged with the Getai as you have ordered. This should secure our western border and help us in your plans to secure our position as kingdom of the Bosporus. Our friends in Greece eagerly await our boats, loaded with wheat and grain, olives and salt..."
    - Letter of Antibion, royal diplomat, 270 BC.


    Diplomatic negotiations close to Makedonian borders, 270 BC

    In these years of Pairisades' reign, he had sent his most trusted diplomat and old childhood friend of his, Antibion, to a mission to Greece. His orders: to re-establish the old trade rights that once brought wealth and goods to Cimmeria. For all we know, Antibion was quite successful at that. He was able to organize a diplomatic meeting between several Hellenistic and even Thrakian factions and successfully negotiated multiple important treaties.

    Later in 269 BC, he continued his diplomatic mission to the southern border of the Black Sea. In the king's name, he was later able to forge an alliance with the Pontic kingdom of asia minor. A major success for the diplomatic efforts of the Bosporian kingdom.


    Temple of Demeter-Kore in Pantikapaion

    But the king did not only rely on his friend's mission to negotiate his diplomatic ambitions. An invitation was given to a group of representatives of the northern tribes, the Sauromatae, and Pairisades greeted them with hospitality. It is not known whether or not the king was honest in his friendship with the northern nomads. From all we know, however, Pairisades was an honest man, a true soldier, whose virtues were those of a fighter, those of a general. Therefore, we can at least assume that his intentions were righteous, even though he might not have liked the necessity of an alliance with the sarmatian tribes.


    The king's uncle, Aripharnes, governor of Pantikapaion.

    Almost seven years after Pairisades had set out to bring whole Cimmeria under his and his dynasty's rule, he was able to look back at a successful campaign. The land was pacified, the economy restored and wealth was growing. Pairisades was looking into the bright future of his reign.


    Arkhon Pairisades, king of Cimmeria, 265 BC.


    The Black Sea, 265 BC.

    Timeline

    271 BC Pairisades oversees a phase of development and restoration. New farmland is developed and temples are errected. The arkhon slimmed down his army, relying on his most experienced troops only, thereby reducing the upkeep of his forces.

    270 BC Antibion, royal Bosporian diplomat, negotiates trade rights with Pergamon and the Greek city states. Regional pacification has succeeded in Chersonesos and Diodoros is instated as governor and warden of peace. Democharis, son of Diodoros, marries Kothais.

    269 BC Pairisades defeats the last remaining Skythian warlord in Cimmeria in open battle. Antibion forges an alliance with the Getai tribes.

    268 BC Herois, first daughter of Democharis and Kothais, is born.

    267 BC Marketplace is build in Chersonesos. Alliances are forged with the greek city states and the Sauromatae.


    Under greek rule, trading places and emprions are established in Chersonesos.

    266 BC A proper Bosporian tyrannis is established in Chersonesos. Bilistiche, daughter of Diodoros, marries Apollonios.

    265 BC The construction of a port begins in Chersonesos.
    Last edited by Zeion; January 13, 2016 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Typos, Grammar

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Good stuff, please keep it going.

    Just two things:
    - while the map you're using is very nice inddeed,it's actually from EB I and thus has some inaccuracies, such as missing the Skythiapolis province and the borders on the northwestern shore are a bit off
    - the Sauromates are not of Skythian stock, in fact they were the bane of the latter, having largely pushed them on the paeninsula and the region around Olbia by the time the game starts

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Well written with cool info graphic! Waiting for more...

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    Part 3: The Hydra

    "I was born many years ago, in a small fishing village near Histria. In a land you sometimes call Mikra Skythia. My father was a fisherman, and his father before him. So I was bound to become a fisherman too. Sail the waters of the Black Sea, start a family. Give birth to more fishermen. But I chose differently. When the macedonians were longing for more warriors and fighters, I answered their call. It was a great war, they say, the War of Hellas. Makedonia, once the ruler of all of Greece, was fighting the league of greek city states and the kings of Epeiros. I'm a veteran of many battles, and killed many men. I'm not proud of it. Sometimes I think I should have become a fisherman instead.


    The great war of Greece between about 267BC and 245BC was a bloody and decisive conflict.

    Makedonia, of course, lost the war and my regiment needed a new assignment. So next I fought for the kingdom of Pergamon. Proud men from asia minor, good soldiers. I was there, when we defended the gates of Byzantion. The siege took almost two years. Two years of bloodshed and cruelty on both sides. Eventually, the egyptian king Ptolemy conquered the city. Only a few of us managed to escape. Me, Perdikkas, and Epiphes. It pains me to think about all the other comrades who died in the wars of hellas. [...]"

    "[...] After Byzantion fell, I decided to go home. Home to my fishing village. Almost twenty years had passed since I left the village as a young buy and I returned as an old man. Much older indeed than I really was. It was the year 241 BC. A king from Cimmeria, a king named Pairisades, had conquered my homeland. And when I entered the city gates of Histria, I saw them: greeks. Hellenic settlers and traders, priests and soldiers. I saw statues of Zeus, Aphrodite, and Demeter. I heard greek tongues speaking, saw greek clothes and tasted greek wine. Pairisades had made Histria a greek colony, fully integrating the city and the surrounding province into his bosporian kingdom.

    Once, I had left my home for Greece. And when I returned home, Greece was already there as well.
    "
    - Memories of Hylaios, Histria, ca. 233 BC.


    The world in 246 BC in the final stages of the War of Hellas.


    ¤ Pairisades' Legacy ¤

    In the years following the unification of Cimmeria, Pairisades continued to be restless and driven. Within ten years time, he expanded his kingdom from the cimmerian peninsula to the northern lands of skythia, and to the western shores of the Black Sea. During the course of his conquest, he proved multiple times that he was not only a great tactician but also a great leader.


    Arkhon Pairisades, 248 BC.

    In 265 BC, Pairisades left Pantikapaion with his army and would not return until more than ten years later. His first goal was Olbia. He layed siege but the impetuous skythians ruling the city sallied out and found their demise. Pairisades strategy during his campaign remained the same throughout most of his battles, and we shall discuss it in more detail by looking at one of his later battles.


    Battle of Olbia

    Olbia fell without much resistance. The region became part of Pairisades core kingdom by installing a tyrant ruler. Pairisades also left one of his cousins, Xanthippos, in the city as governor. Later that year, the king turned east to the clans of Paniardis. Another clear defeat of the skythian warlords followed.


    The cimmerian cavalry circles in on the enemy, Paniardis.


    Battle of Paniardis

    Pairisades decided to grant the local skythian clans their independence and incorporated the land as an allied clan. Even though it shows the king generosity and his qualities as a ruler, it was also the king's first mistake that would cost him dearly later in his life. Nevertheless, shortly after his victory at Paniardis, Pairisades and his sons Spartakos and Leukon turned west again and marched towards Skythiapolis. The campaign in the north proved to be Pairisades' most difficult one. The harsh winter in the north, freezing nights and supply shortages made the siege of Skythiapolis a difficult endeavour. The men suffered from hunger and Pairisades himself got a strong fever in the month of November. Urged by his sons, he finally launched a surprise night attack on the barbarian camp and decisively defeated the garrison.


    Night attack on Skythiapolis


    Battle of Skythiapolis

    The campaign, however, left its mark on the king. For the rest of his life, he suffered from ill-health and it was probably the reason, why the king eventually decelerated his conquests. But in 257 BC, after he had conquered Skythiapolis and allied with the local clans again, Pairisades turned against the last of his targets: Histria. The prospering city in skythia mikra was a long goal of Pairisades' and now it was time to take it.


    ¤ The Fall of Histria ¤

    In the battle of Histria, Pairisades had to deploy siege engines and rams for the first time. After the walls had been breached, a long and exhausting battle in the streets of the city followed. The cimmerians lost many men, but were eventually able to overwhelm the defenders.


    Pairisades' hoplites prepare their attack on Histria.


    Thick battle in the streets of Histria. The city's garrison commander is pinned down with cimmerian hoplites.


    Battle of Histria

    During his campaign, Pairisades heavily relied on two components of his army: his heavy skirmishers, the peltastai logades, and the sauroma drunabaratae, sauromatic archers from the northern steppes. Both elements enabled him to dominate the skirmishing phase of each battle, hence eliminating many foes before the actual battle really began. By also fielding several hoplite regiments, Pairisades' core army was well protected.


    Finally, his royal companions and bodyguards were also a force to be reckoned with. The bosporian aristocracy participated in all major battles and shared the thick of battle with their soldiers.


    ¤ Summary of Pairisades' Reign ¤

    In the history of the greek kingdom of Cimmeria, Pairisades' reign can be characterized as the time of expansion, domination and prosperity. In the thirty years of his reign, Cimmeria conquered all its surrounding regions, expanded its realm and became one of the richest factions of antiquity.


    Cimmerian realm in 272 BC (left) and 243 BC (right). Opaque areas show client clans.

    Politically, Pairisades tried to pursuit progressive strategies. While he installed local tyrannys in Chersonesos and Olbia, the skythians in the north remained independent and became allied clans. This strategy brought Pairisades many friends and supported from the native people. A time of peace and prosperity followed: new farmland was constructed, new temples errected, new settlements and ports founded.

    Greeks and natives merged together: Pairisades army relied heavily on skythian soldiers. In temples, people worshipped cults of greek and native gods combined. Traders from all the shores of the Black Sea came together to bring wealth into the lands of Cimmeria.

    Even though Pairisades was loved by his people, and respected for his military prowess, he was not without opposition. Not from foreign kingdoms or empires, not from the people he subjugated, but from his own family, Pairisades faced his
    strongest opposition. The last years of his life, Pairisades resided in his capital, Pantikapaion. Too weak to go campaigning, still haunted by the disease he picked up in Skythiapolis, he prefered to simply govern and rule from the safety of his prime city.



    ¤ Family Affairs ¤

    During Pairisades' reign, the royal family held all major positions of power within the realm. Original members of the family, Leukonids by blood, over time mixed with hellenic royals who came from Greece and native nobles that were married to daughters of the family. Consequently, over time, three major parties originated within the family:

    The Pairisadi, consisting of Arkhon Pairisades and his sons. Three sons were born to Pairisades, of which all three came of age during the king's reign: Spartakos, his oldest son, a pessimistic but otherwise promising man. Then there was Leukon, a somewhat dull and, historically, insignificant character during that time. Finally Moschion, a bosporian noble who married the king's daughter Koulia. Moschion, born in 276BC, later became the governor of the cimmerian capital. He was known to be langorous and pessimistic, but had a sharp mind.

    Then there was the Diodori, the family wing of Diodoros. Diodoros was the eldest son of Aripharnes, the king's uncle. During the king's campaigns, Diodoros was a strong supporter of the king's policy and operated as the king's successor and representative, even though it clearly seems as if he primarily longed for his personal well-being. Diodoros' three sons all became important people in the cimmerian history of that period of time. His oldest, Democharis, fought alongside the king on his campaigns and fought many brave battles. Even though he was said to be somewhat dull, his bravery and zeal was well-known. Then there was Xanthippos, who became governor of Chersonesos, a role suited for his sharp character but weak physique. Diodoros daughter, Bilistiche, married a hellen noble called Apollonios. This hellenic noble later became Pairisades' foster-son and accompanied the king during his late campaigns. Of strong physique, charismatic and sharp, Apollonios was destined to play an important role in Cimmerias history.

    The third wing within the bosporian royal family was the family of Hippostratos. Married to Kallisto, the king's older sister, he later became supervisor of the allied clans in the north. Hippostratos and his sons later became strong opposers of the king.

    The first incident in the inner politics of Cimmeria was Histria. Pairisades had first made the prosperous city at the Black Sea an independent client state. A situation, that the more conservative and less-modern minds of the royal family could not accept. Hippostratos and his hellen offsprings were first among them. The king, willing to keep the balance of power within the family, finally gave in. Histria was integrated in the core realm and was later governed by a local tyranny.


    ¤ Rise of Apollonios ¤


    Apollonios, 245 BC.

    At the same time, Apollonios, Diodoros' son-in-law, rise began. He was cimmerias most promising general and he led several small campaigns against local rebels and barbarian raiders. By 245BC, he had gained enough experience and influence to start to oppose the aging king. Apollonios had never openly contested the king's policies, so we may reason his opposition with the support of Hippostratos. Apollonios, a hellen on his own, was perhaps pulled on Hippostratos' side to accelerate his rise to power.

    It is true that Pairisades' successor in 245BC was still his older brother Diodoros and it was unclear, who might become the next ruler once the old king died. It is not unlikely, that Apollonios became impatient and was probably influenced by
    Hippostratos. This finally led to the next crisis in Pairisades' rule. With the aging and ill king residing in Pantikapaion, the strong and eager Apollonios saw his chance. He wanted to provoke a war with the Hayasdan and marched deep into their terretory.


    Apollonios led his army deep into hayasdan terretory.

    Only by the urges of the king himself, and of his closest companions, Apollonios finally retreated and broke off from his plans to siege Kutatisi. The relations with the Hayasdan, however, were certainly damaged. Nevertheless, this crisis was the first indication that Apollonios was willing to openly oppose the king. Pairisades, who had once ruled undisputed, was contested for the first time. The chapter of Cimmerias calm rise to power and prosperity was declining.


    ¤ Timeline ¤

    264 BC

    - The First Punic War over sicily begins.
    - Pairisades begins his next campaign and leaves Pantikapaion. He will not return until more than ten years later.

    263 BC
    - Siege of Olbia. A clear victory by Pairisades and his army.
    - Aripharnes, the king's uncle, dies in Pantikapaion.

    262 BC
    - Spartakos, the oldest son of Pairisades, comes of age.

    260 BC
    - Koulia, daughter of Pairisades, marries Moschion, a bosporian noble.
    - Leukon, Pairisades second son, comes of age.
    - Siege of Paniardes. Another clear victory of Pairisades. After the battle, he makes peace with the local clans and rules the land with their support.

    257 BC
    - Siege of Skythiapolis. Spartakos and Leukon both suffer from the conditions. The king's health detoriates. Finally, the city is conquered in an all-out attack at night.

    253 BC
    - Siege of Histria. After a decisive battle in the streets of Histria, Pairisades once again emerges as the victor. Spartakos, his oldest son, and Apollonios, lead the charge.

    249 BC
    - The king suffers from ill health and cannot continue campaigning. He returns back to Pantikapaion.
    - Apollonios becomes the potential successor. His military victories make him more and more influential.

    246 BC
    - Apollonios defeats another rebel warband and is known as a great tactician.
    - The kingdom of Pergamon is destroyed. The ptolemaic egyptians conquer their last settlement, Byzantion, and now control asia minor.

    245 BC
    - The kingdom of Makedonia is destroyed. The War of Hellas is over. Epeiros and the league of greek city states control Greece.
    - Histria becomes integrated part of the cimmerian kingdom.
    - Apollonions begins his campaign against the Hayasdan.

    243 BC
    - The seleucids are defeated at all fronts: They merely hold some core regions in Persia and Mesopotamia, but Ariana is lost to the Parthians, Syria to the Ptolemies, and Media to the Hayasdan.



    ¤ The World in 243 BC ¤


    Sicily in 243 BC. Epeiros and Rome begin their war.


    Syria in 243 BC. Ptolemaic egypt dominates the levant.


    The world in 243 BC.
    Chronicles of Cimmeria - A Kimmerios Bosporos AAR (EB2)
    The Age of Peace - A TW: Warhammer Empire AAR
    Blood Red Eagle - The Sons of Lodbrok Invasion of Northumbrialand [complete]
    Machines - A Sci-Fi Short Story [complete]

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    A great AAR! I loved the use of opaque red to determine allied dependencies on that summary of your first FL's reign

    Ah, but Basileu! Certainly some of the advisers of pairisades must have shook their heads when he allowed klepidava, a permanent settlement to fall under the sway of the steppe barbaroi! Great as his rule had been... Already, I'm sure there are many advisers who feel favorably to making war on these expansionistic peoples, who call themselves sauromatae.

    It's very rare to see the ptolemies and pahlava beating the AS so thoroughly!

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    Part 4: Blade, Spear, and Crown

    240 BC, Apollonios' army camp, Pitius
    It had been long months. Long months, out here in the camp. Spartakos was feeling fatigue and longed for a rest, but his king's orders, his father's orders, were clear: Stay in camp with Apollonios and make sure, no further trespasses, in a literal sense, were made. Almost one year ago, he had been sent to Apollonios with orders of his father, Arkhon Pairisades, to make sure the warmongering general would pull himself together. Spartakos had been skeptical - but he was put right.

    Apollonios, who had worried the king by trespassing into Hayasdan terretory, turned his army back north. Now, this army was camping just north of Pitius, a small settlement at the northern shore of the Black Sea. For eight months, the army was stationed in this camp, and Spartakos grew weary of it. He felt weak, as if the rough weather was creeping into his bones. Weak and pessimistic he was, about his future. He was the king's firstborn son, of course, but he was sharp enough to understand that he would not be the next king. Apollonios had taken command of the cimmerian army, and Pairisades had openly mentioned him as his foster-son.

    But Spartakos had made peace with this situation. It had not been easy, but he accepted the fact and he also knew himself well enough to know: He was not cut out to be king. He was in his late thirties, a man's best age, but was suffering from his health and lack of confidence. He had seen many battles, true, but he had never commanded a battle himself. It was not his
    way. Instead, Spartakos had decided, would he focus on reaping other rewards: Find a suitable place as governor, perhaps in the rich cities of Olbia or Histria, far away from Pantikapaion and the constant reminder of his faded chance of being king.

    Later that day, Spartakos was called into Apollonions' tent. The general was surrounded by his companions. As Spartakos entered the tent, he realized how much he envied the man. Not so much for his prospect of becoming king, and certainly not for his command of the army, but for his vigor and strength. Apollonios was indeed a great leader, and Spartakos despised
    him for that. After entering the tent, a quick conversation followed about supplies, scouting parties and guard schedules.

    Something had seemed odd about it for Spartakos, and on the way back to his tent, he felt peculiar. Apollonios had never included him in these plans, and never before had he been assigned to one of the scouting parties who observe the supply lines back to the capital.

    He decided to be cautious.
    ¤ ¤ ¤


    240 BC, Skythian camp, Paniardis
    The sun was setting over the skythian planes as Bellikos strolled through the tents of the camp. He took a deep breath, cold and clear air was filling his lungs. Not long ago, he had become a warrior of his clan. He was now riding with the men of his clan, patrolling the region and watching out for the ever-present threat of the Sauromatae. Not that he particularily enjoyed this honor. He much preffered the safety of the tent to the horrors and dangers of battle. But he was a noble born, a high rider, and his father was Tylisios, elder of his clan. And as such, he already commanded a small banner of men. So he did what he had to do.

    Bellikos wanted power. He was not a great warrior, not even a charismatic leader. But he desperately wanted to find a way to earn his place among the powerful of his people. Earlier, his father had mentioned some news from Paniardis. Hippostratos, the greek supervisor of the region, was apparently up to something. Rumors said that he was planning to oppose the Arkhon in Pantikapaion.

    Rebellion?

    Bellikos thought about it. He knew that most clans were loyal to Pairisades. The cimmerian conqueror had earned the love of the people by granting them their - relative - independence. Bellikos laughed. Politics. If Hippostratos were planning to go into open rebellion, then he was clearly relying on some sort of support. But from whom?

    In the evening, Bellikos sat by the fire with his fellow riders. The discussion came to Hippostratos and the rumors about his rebellion. Patiently, Bellikos observed his men and fellow fighters. They were all frank and upright about their opinion: They loved their king, Pairisades, they still felt like they owed him and his family. They had always accepted Hippostratos as their governor as long as they felt that old greek geezer was serving their true ruler. But should Hippostratos openly oppose Pairisades... they all seemed willing to fight for their true king.

    This was when Bellikos jumped into the conversation. Just as his comrades, he praised Pairisades and his reign. He emphasized the just rule they had experienced and stressed the fact that they needed to remain loyal to their true king. The men, young and old alike, nodded. One of them, an experienced warrior who had lost two fingers, first fighting against Pairisades, and then an eye when fighting for the Arkhon, jokingly suggested Bellikos should rally the skythian clans behind him to fight Hippostratos should it become necessary. Everyone applauded and they all raised their weapons in the air.

    Bellikos raised his hands in modesty. But inside, he smiled.

    ¤ ¤ ¤

    240 BC, cimmerian scouting party, Maeotis
    Spartakos was cursing. By the gods, he thought, I wish this campaign was over. From the slope, he could see the blue water of the Black Sea, calm and soothing. But he was not in the mood. He turned back around and tried to make his way back up the hillside. He fell behind the scouting party while relieving himself and had somehow lost the trail. It was getting dark and Spartakos was looking forward to the warmth of his tent and a strong wine by the fire.

    Where was his bloody horse?

    On all fours, he finally reached the edge of the slope. Fortunately, he was only wearing a light armor and carried no weapons - it would have made things only more difficult. To the right, he saw a large boulder and thought to identify the silhouette of his horse. He almost called out, but then he saw four armed soldiers patrolling the area. Surprised, he pushed himself back behind the edge. Who were they?

    He started to make out their voices. It was his scouting party - and they were apparently searching for someone. Was it his instinct? His intuitive mind being faster than his consciousness? In any case, Spartakos remained hidden behind the edge. And after a while, he realized that those soliders, his scouting party, was looking for him. They were cursing themselves, wondering where he went. And through their shouting and cursing, he realized what this whole incursion was about: They had orders to kill him.

    Fear and horror drove into his bones and left him stone cold. Carefully and slowly, he slid back down the slope and then he ran. He ran until his legs gave up below his body and he collapsed into the grass. This could only mean one thing: rebellion. He had to warn his father, his brothers. He was still three days away from Pantikapaion, maybe four, and did not even have a horse.

    Zeus, he thought, as he clenches his hands into his burning legs. I will never make it to Pantikapaion.

    But the gods have their own way sometimes. And in that moment, when Spartakos' aching body was lying in the skythian grass, the gods favoured him.

    ¤ ¤ ¤



    240 BC, Pantikapaion
    There was a whole mixture of feelings convering in Moschions mind. He felt proud, but also afraid and insecure. To see his aging king, Arkhon Pairisades, the man who had led Cimmeria to glory and fame, revealed in all his weakness. The Arkhon had become old. Old and fragile. He still wielded his mind like a sharp blade and ruled his vast land wisely, but at the same time, all his wars and conquests had taken their toll: his body was becoming weak.

    Pairisades made some notes on a scruff of paper. So slowly, that Moschion had to look away. Outside, through the palace's window, he could see the gray sky and the rain pouring down. Then, suddenly, he could hear banging in the hallway. Men were shouting and screaming. Terrified, Moschion turned around, drawing his blade instinctively. Pairisades merely looked up from his notes and did not seem frightened.

    A guard fell dead into the room, through the gaping double-winged door of the king's chambers. Half a dozen soldiers entered the room, their swords and spears red in blood. Greek blood on greek spears. Moschion was frozen. The attackers looked around the room and then decisively moved towards the king. Brave, but stupid, as Moschion was, he stepped between the attackers and the king.

    Moschion was still too surprised to find words. Everything happened too fast. The attackers circled in on him while he was tumbling backwards, still desperately trying to bar them from reaching the king. Pairisades, who had now stood up from his table, was calmly awaiting his fate.

    The assassins' spears were thrusted into his king's chest. Then darkness fell on him and it was the last thing he saw.

    ¤ ¤ ¤

    240 BC, Chersonesos
    The horror was still visible on Spartakos' face. His dark eyes glared into the void, still recovering from what he had learned. Leukon stood by the fire and watched his brother staring into the darkness. He looked awful. As if he had went through hell - which was probably true. But he was also proud. Proud that his brother had escaped his assassins and had made his way back to safety.

    Safety, Leukon thought, was not exactly true, however.

    Within a single night, Apollonios and his accomplices had brought terror and havoc to Cimmeria. And his work had been thorough. Arkhon Pairisades, great king of Cimmeria and Leukon's father, had been killed. Along with Leukon's younger brother-in-law, Moschion. His uncle, Diodoros, and his whole family: eradicated. Only Democharis, who had been far north, building watchtowers at the northern border, and whow as protected only by his loyal bodyguards, survived this coup d'etat.

    Cimmeria was divided. To the west, the lands still true to Pairisades' family and his sons. To the east, the realm of Apollonios the Ursurper.

    "Brother...", Leukon slowly began. "We should have seen this coming!"

    Spartakos shook his head. Slowly, he turned around and scratched his thick black beard.
    "Who knows these things in advance? How should we have...", then he broke. Instead, he came closer and put his arm on Leukon's shoulder."We will survive this, somehow. I will make sure of it."

    Leukon wanted to believe this, but he was afraid. They had lost much of their terretory, and even their capital. Apollonios had the stronger army, the stronger position. How were they supposed to even stand the slightest chance? Leukon would not know. But he tried to trust his older brother, like he always had.

    ¤ ¤ ¤


    240 BC, Chersonesos
    Spartakos had not seen his wife in more than a year. Samion was far beyond her youth, but still had a radiant aura of striking beauty around her. She had not given him any children, which had caused grief in his heart. He had never really forgiven her about it, but at the same time he adored her too much to find solace in the bed of another woman.

    In any case, Spatakos was disappointed to see his wife accompanied by her mother, Eurelia. As much as he loved his wife, he despised her mother even more.

    "And what now? Will you now finally take action to protect your wife, my daughter? Or are you still too scared?" Eurelia was blunt and offensive as usual.
    "I knew it was a foolish idea to give her to someone like you!"

    Her snide remarks had haunted him for years now and they had always intimidated him. But something had changed. Something was different since his return from Maeotis, after his lonely three-day hike back to Cimmeria. He felt stronger. No longer would he let her terrorize him.

    "Enough!" He spoke sternly. "I am king now. Dare you ever speak to me like that again. Guards, escort the queen's mother into the garden." With a wave of his arm he ordered his guards to take Eurelia away. A rush of excitement went through his body - a chunk of relieve in these dark times.

    Samion looked at him. There was comprehension in her eyes, but also judgement. Nevertheless, he took her husband in heir slender arms. After a long embrace, she began to speak carefully.

    "What will happen now?" Hesitantly, she looked him in the eyes.
    "I do not know, my love." Spartakos lowered his gaze. "I will find a way for us. I will make sure you are safe." The two of them kissed, and they knew, that fate would part them again once more.

    And so the two brothers, Spartakos and Leukon, moved out and set camp close to Chersonesos. They set out to defend their father's legacy, their legacy.
    The civil war of Cimmeria had begun.


    Cimmerian Civil War

    The cimmerian civil war was the consequence of the interrelations within the royal family, as well as the cultural and civil conditions at the time. Inspired by his own success, and most probably spurred on by Hippostratos, Apollonios managed to stage a coup d'etat within the cimmerian kingdom. Not only did he go into open rebellion, he also made sure that most other members of the royal family were neutralized. Arkhon Pairisades died in Pantikapaion, along with his son-in-law Moschion. The king's brother Diodoros and his sons were eliminated as well. Only the king's sons, Spartakos and Leukon, evaded the scheme. Astonishingly enough, Spartakos, who had been with Apollonios in the field, escaped his murderers and managed to flee to relative safety in Chersonesos, where he met with his brother Leukon.


    Cimmerian civil war, 240 BC. In red, the provinces who stayed loyal with Spartakos and Leukon.
    In orange, all regions controlled by Apollonios.

    The cities Chersonesos, Olbia, and Histria, however, stayed loyal to the murdered king's sons. Apollonios gathered his forces in Pantikapaion to prepare his assault on the remaining provinces. Spartakos, who was accepted new Arkhon of Cimmeria (or what was left of it), and his brother Leukon tried to deploy an army on their own and prepared themselves to defend their remaining land. War was inevitable.
    Chronicles of Cimmeria - A Kimmerios Bosporos AAR (EB2)
    The Age of Peace - A TW: Warhammer Empire AAR
    Blood Red Eagle - The Sons of Lodbrok Invasion of Northumbrialand [complete]
    Machines - A Sci-Fi Short Story [complete]

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    A very great AAR! I really like how each description of events were concise yet still able to paint a full picture! Looking forward on the Civil War and how you would emulate it in-game.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    Part 5: An Unexpected Friend


    240 BC, Paniardis
    It was early morning and the chilling wind from the north filled his lungs with cold, fresh air. In the east, behind his back, the sun was slowly rising over the skythian steppes. Bellikos felt the adrenalin rushing through his body, the excitement in his extremities. He had prepared this moment for several weeks now. For once in his life, he thought, had everything happened in his favour.

    Hippostratos, who had been the cimmerian governor within the lands of his clans, had openly rebelled against his king. Their king, Arkhon Pairisades. Pairisades, however, was loved by the tribes in Paniardis and Hippostratos over-estimated his power over the clans. Bellikos knew how to use this to his advantage. Even though he was not a great warrior, not even a great leader, his father was one of the elders. And therefore, people would follow him.

    In the weeks before Hippostratos' rebellion, Bellikos had slowly but steadily manipulated the clans. A few conversations here, a few favors there. And they had followed him. Listened to him. Maybe it was his lack of power, his lack of strength that made the other elders follow him. He was not enough of a threat to be feared. But he did not care. He was chosen to be their leader, to lead the opposition against the greek rebels.

    He had to admit it. His rise to power was less due to his own brilliance, or his own charisma, rather than his people's desire to oppose Hippostratos, and to put someone of the elders' families in the front seat of this opposition. It had not required much effort from his side, much to his satisfaction. He had merely navigated the whole procedure like a boat is steered on a powerful stream, carrying him into his future.


    Bellikos with his rider companions.

    "Men!" Bellikos heard his First Rider yell. "Time to kill those treacherous rebels!" Baiotis voice was loud and powerful. Traits that his own voice was still lacking. They were friends since their young years, but even though Baiotis had always been the better warrior, he still always stood in Bellikos' shadow. Bellikos' family was superior. This was enough.

    Bellikos felt the mane of his brown horse. The fur was thick and wild. Suddenly, a rush of fear was flowing through his body. What if he died? What if he was pierced by a spear? He turned his head and looked to Baiotis, whose face was showing optimism and bravery. Bellikos admired him. Then, however, he tossed these thoughts aside. This was his hour. He had rallied the clans behind him. They were fighting in his name!

    Then the charge began.


    Hippostratos and his guards prepare for the defense.

    Their arrows were a hailstorm, their charge came like a squall. They were flailing at the their enemy and left no one alive. Bellikos, in the midst of battle with his companions, however, primarily made sure he would survive the assault. Baiotis was in a true battle rage and Bellikos had trouble keeping up.

    Everything happened too fast.

    The greeks, obviously not prepared for this massive offensive, desperately tried to organize themselves. But to no prevail. Their ranks were breached, their men butchered in the onslaught. Bellikos thrust his spear to the sides whenever he saw the bright leather armor of greek soldiers beneath him, but he could not tell whether or not he struck a man.


    Battle of Paniardis

    Bellikos followed his comrads through battle. Was he leading the charge? He was not able to tell. They rolled over their enemy like a gust, and he was being pushed forward. Driven by fate, pulled along by the force he had unleashed. Only two hours later, all enemies had been slain. It was a massacre. Hippostratos was amongst his sons when he was killed in battle. Brave as a true hellen.

    After the battle, Bellikos felt empty. When the men saluted him and praised his victory, he did not really fathom the true consequences of the events. He merely felt relieve to be alive. As he wiped the warm blood of a slain man, foe, or perhaps friend, off his face, Baiotis put his hands on Bellikos' shoulders and grinned deeply. For the first time this day, Bellikos felt his muscles relaxed. Slowly he realized they had succeeded. The greeks were defeated.
    ¤ ¤ ¤

    240 BC, Chersonesos
    This year's summer was coming to an end. Spartakos could feel the cold wind in his face. He pulled the thick woolen cape closer around his shoulders. He looked up in the sky - grey, cold clouds were hovering above the city. He felt miserable. Below him, in the plains, his army was making camp. His army, or what little menpower he was able to raise. Apollonios was in control of most of Cimmeria's forces. The situation was dire.

    "Let's just hope winter comes soon. The cold will drive Apollonios' will to fight out of his bones. If we are lucky." Slowly the king turned around. King, he thought to himself. And for how long still?
    His brother, almost as desperate as himself, was sitting by a wooden table and was slurping his wine. Not out of enthusiasm, not even out of desperation. A simple absent act while gazing into the void.

    Suddenly, two guards came up the footpath that led to the king's tent.
    "Hail, basileus!" A surge of confidence wafted into the room as the two greeted their king with strong and positive voices.
    "A message from the north."
    One of them, Spartakos knew him bei the name of Agathoklos, was holding a scroll in his hands.

    "From where?" The king lifted one of his eyebrows. "Where in the north?"
    "Paniardis, my king."
    "Paniardis?"
    "Indeed." Slightly puzzled, Spartakos took the scroll from his guard's hand.

    Spartakos' muscles eased. Euphoria propagated through his body, so much, that he had to read the message again. It was the first good news since he had arrived in Chersonesos. The first good news since the civil war had begun.

    "What is it?" Leukon, who could see the relief and allevation on his brother's face grew impatient.

    "A message from Paniardis. Hippostratos." He turned around to face his brother.
    "He is dead. Killed by the clans. They have rallied behind a man called Bellikos. And they swear their allegiance to us and for the fight against Apollonios."

    Leukon slammed his cup back on the table and jumped off his chair. He was as astonished as Spartakos himself.
    "So then there is hope!" Spartakos held his fist in the air. "Zeus, by your might." Then he closed his eyes. Was it possible to overcome Apollonios and his rebellion? Was it possible that the gods indeed granted him to reign over Cimmeria, be the Arkhon of Kimmerios?

    "Agathoklos." The king's voice was decisive. "Send a message back to the tribes. We appreciate their allegiance." The guard nodded and saluted immediately. "And send word to Olbia. Perdikkas needs to be informed!"

    Slowly, Leukon came closer. "What are your plans now, brother?"
    "I'm not sure. But this will surely catch Apollonios by surprise. We might even be able to strike soon."
    Leukon looked away, looked up into the gray sky.
    "Maybe."
    ¤ ¤ ¤

    Paniardis' Allegiance

    The revolt in Paniardis was a surprising event in Cimmeria's civil war. Neither party had anticipated the rebellion of the clans, and their allegiance to Spartakos and his brother must have been a heavy hit to Apollonios and his war strategy. He was now in the defense. Where it had been east against west before, with Apollonios holding more men and terretory than his adversary, the ursurper was now encircled and had lost the momentum.


    Map of Cimmeria in 240 BC.

    He still fielded the stronger army and was still in control of Cimmeria's capital, Pantikapaion, but with the eastern clans on his side, Spartakos had suddenly become much stronger than anticipated. And so the winter came and brought and end to the year 240 BC. The cimmerian civil war was at a stalemate.
    Chronicles of Cimmeria - A Kimmerios Bosporos AAR (EB2)
    The Age of Peace - A TW: Warhammer Empire AAR
    Blood Red Eagle - The Sons of Lodbrok Invasion of Northumbrialand [complete]
    Machines - A Sci-Fi Short Story [complete]

  13. #13
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

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    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Great AAR! The historical details (like the use of the 'Archon' title) and the different cultures as well as the effective use of maps, quotes, screenshots, dialogue and action make this an AAR to watch. Having encouraged you to enter your Machines story in the Monthly Creative Writing Competition, I'd like to encourage you to consider entering this AAR in the Monthly AAR Competition.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    Part 6: Veil of the Gods

    "Fortune favours the bold." - Vergil

    237 BC, Cimmeria
    Samion's horse was a beautiful brown mare from the skythian steppes. She was strong, and elegant in her canter. The queen could already see the fiery glow from the army's camp on the horizon, illuminating the cold autumn night. For two days had she been on the road, she and her two guards, on their way from Chersonesos, to meet the king, her husband.

    She had not seen Spartakos since the beginning of summer, after a series of skirmishes that had brought the king back to Chersonesos, his new capital. It had been a short visit, but a good one. Throughout all the years, through all the struggles and challenges, they had held together. A strong bound. Even the years of civil war, where Spartakos had been out campaigning and had only rarely seen his wife, their love had not suffered. She missed him when he was gone, but also knew of the importance of his missions.

    Three days ago, however, she had received news that had urged her to see him immediately. She knew Spartakos. And she knew what that message might do to him. And so the queen had rallied her most trusted guards, had her horse saddled set out to meet the arkhon in the wilds of Cimmeria, their land.


    Bellikos was dead. Murdered. Assassinated by the other clan lords who were most likely supported by Apollonios. Apollonios, what pain had he caused the royal family. To the lands of Cimmeria. She knew that the assassination of Bellikos would be tough for Spartakos to digest. His client ruler in Paniardis had been a strong ally during the civil war. With him gone, the balance of power could easily shift in their enemies' favour.

    Almost there, she thought. Her bones ached and the wind was chilly, but the only thing she could think about was to see her king.

    "Samion!" Spartakos was surprised, and a small faint of happiness appeared on his face. "What in Zeus' name are you doing here?" He embraced her and gave her a loving kiss. The guards, uncomfortable with the intimacy of the situation, turned around and left the king's tent without waiting for further orders.

    "I had to see you." A pause. "Bellikos." The king evaded her eyes and looked into the corner of his tent, where dark shadows where lurking like the ever-present threat of Apollonios. His face was wrinkled. The war had taken its toll. Years of fighting and skirmishing without conclusion, without an end in sight, had left the king scarred. She was trying to make him look at her, but then eventually gave up. She went to a table and poured herself some wine.

    "I know he was an important ally. Apollonios knew it."
    The king turned around and a mixture of anger and frustration was visible on his face. He came closer.
    "This war has cost us so much already. Look at the land. Where once trade and prosperity were flourishing, it is now just about war. War."
    "I know, my king." She held the palm of her hand gently against his cheeks. "That is why you must bring an end to this."
    Surprised, Spartakos looked at her.
    "What do you..."
    "Spartakos, do not let Apollonios dictate the course of this war. He thinks he has achieved a major victory. Show him he is wrong. You must strike now, where he thinks himself as the stronger one."
    The king nodded and grumbled, while picking up a cup of wine on his own.

    "A bold plan, my queen." A smirky smile was showing on his face, but then vanished as rapidly as it had appeared. The king, once hopeful to prevail in this war, seemed broken. "But I'm not sure."
    The queen came closer and then faltered. She knew her king was not easily convinced of bold plans. She decided to let the idea sink in.

    She believed in her plan, however. She was no strategist, no military expert. But one thing seemed clear to her: Apollonios, who must have clearly appreciated the news from Paniardis, had not moved out of Pantikapaion. He was sitting tightly in the old cimmerian capital, in their capital, and seemed to avoid a direct confrontation. That alone told her: He was weaker than he wanted them to know. Despite the neutralization of an important ally such as Bellikos.

    It was time to strike indeed.


    Three day later, they marched. Spartakos led the army with his guards across the Boristhenis. Their destination: Skythiapolis. Spartakos' face was grim and determined. Samion had convinced him: Now was the time to strike. If he could defeat Apollonios' allies in the north, rally the clans behind him, just like his father did once, then there was a chance for him to prevail in this war.

    ¤ ¤ ¤

    236 BC, Skythiapolis
    Spartakos' wiped the blood off his blade. The battle was over. If it even was a real battle. It had been more of a skirmish, little resistance had been thrown in their way. Apollonios' power was indeed dwindling, particularily with the clans in the north. This was good news, and now, with Skythiapolis back into his realm, the civil war was coming to an end. Finally. But Spartakos did not feel much relief. This war would not be over until Apollonios was defeated, broken and shattered in Cimmeria's soil. It was still a long way to go.

    "Could this really be happening?" Leukon approached his brother. Just like his king, Leukon had aged significantly during the course of this war. Like Spartakos, he had been out campaigning most of the time, participating in little skirmishes and taunting maneuvers without ever gaining a true advantage. Until now.


    "I can't believe this war could be over soon."
    "True. This is the first time I can see an end. Apollonios' power is dwindling. Despite his efforts to weaken us."
    Spartakos made a movement with his hand southwards, towards Pantikapaion, the old capital.
    "This is where we must go now."
    Leukon only nodded. "One more battle."
    "One more."

    ¤ ¤ ¤

    234 BC, Pantikapaion
    The walls of Pantikapaion stood tall and strong. Never, in more than four hundred years, had the city been sieged. And now, greek soldiers were putting their equipment in place, preparing the assault on the city. There had been no resistance on the field, no attempt to break the siege. Apollonios was sitting tight behind his walls. This is it, Spartakos thought. The end draws near.

    "Men. Today, we can bring an end to this war. Long enough has this strife between brethren brought dispair and trouble to this land. Long enough have we fought our former friends, former family even. But no more!"
    The men were saluting their king. Samion, who had followed the expedition with her retinue, was watching her husband. She felt proud.
    "Apollonios might hide behind these walls. He might think we won't be able to get to him. That he can terrorize this country for even longer. That he can continue to contest my rule. But I say: We will teach him that we rule these lands. That we protect these lands, ensure its wealth and its peace. And that there can only be one king in Cimmeria: Me!"

    Samion felt a shiver through her body, the adrenaline rushing through her blood. Spartakos, her husband, her lover, her king. Finally, it seemed, had he found his courage. His pride! And then it started: The attack. Encouraged by the army's musicians, the men pushed forward.


    Siege towers were pushed forward, where Spartakos' soldiers eventually reached the wall. The battle was bloody and intense, and many men left their lives on the walls of Pantikapaion. After hours of fighting, Spartakos' men had secured the gates. The king, along with his companions and the royal guard, entered the city, where the fighting continued.



    At last, after six years of civil war, Spartakos met his adversary on the streets of his old capital: Apollonios.
    "Get me his head!" The king yelled. He directed his horse towards his nemesis, dishing out attacks with his sword left and right. He had entered a warrior's rage. Leukon, who fought alongside his brother, tried to keep up. Men screamed, yelled for their lives, holding wounds and blooded limps.

    Finally, Spartakos' blade met Apollonios'. Swords clashed and screeched as they exchanged blows. Spartakos was zealous in his attacks, but Apollonios was a great fighter. Spartakos' attacks were easily defended, and the insurgent general even started to attack on his own. Spartakos, exhausted and winded, lost ground. In a left-ward move, Apollonios was able to ram his shield into Spartakos' flank, leaving the king breathless. The king faltered. He saw the sharp blade of his opponent coming at him, aiming at ending his peciliuar reign.

    Favored by the gods? Was this it then? Spartakos asked to himself. But then Apollonios' eyes turned upward and his face squirmed in pain. A blade jutting from his side, Apollonios collapsed from the back of his horse. It had been Apintas, the king's young nephew, who had slain the rebel leader. Spartakos had problems grasping the full consequence of this moment. He heard battle noise around him, men shouting, steel clashing. Exhausted and tired he sunk from his horse and collapsed next to his adversary. Six years he had longed for this moment, when he alone would be Arkhon of Cimmeria, undisputed, uncontested.

    After an eternity, it seems, his guards picked him up.
    "Spartakos, King!" One of his men shouted. The remaining troops of Apollonios who had witnessed the death of their leader, were already routing from the battlefield. The civil war was over.
    ¤ ¤ ¤

    Conclusion of the Civil War

    Cimmeria's civil war had been long and exhaustive for both Apollonios and Spartakos, but most of all for the land and its people. After Apollonios' coup, Cimmeria had seen several years of a stalemate, where both war parties engaged each other in small skirmishes, draining the land of its wealth, and its people from their fortitude. Four years later, Sparakos' boldly made the right decision and struck first: he defeated Apollonios' allies in Skythiapolis, hence cornering his opponent in the province of Pantikapaion.


    This opened the path for a final conclusion of this war. Spartakos, now more decisive and optimistic, went on to attack his opponent's stronghold in Pantikapaion. It was a bloody battle, and even though Spartakos lost many men that day, he emerged as the victor from this conflict. Apollonios was struck down by Apintas, a young noble and son of Moschion, who once gave his life defending Pairisades.

    And so it came, that Spartakos finally united Cimmeria under one crown. The gods' way is veiled before our eyes and only they know what Spartakos' fate had been. A man, not truly meant to be a leader, was lifted on the throne of the bosporos. Encouraged by his wife, supported by his companions, was a man who's virtues were few and who's vices were many. A stern ruler, but without compassion.

    In the year 234 BC, the Cimmeria's civil war was concluded and Spartakos became its sole ruler. For the better or worse, only the gods would know. But as we will see, the civil war was only the first of multiple crises that Cimmeria had to endure under Spartakos' rule.
    Chronicles of Cimmeria - A Kimmerios Bosporos AAR (EB2)
    The Age of Peace - A TW: Warhammer Empire AAR
    Blood Red Eagle - The Sons of Lodbrok Invasion of Northumbrialand [complete]
    Machines - A Sci-Fi Short Story [complete]

  15. #15
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Really enjoying this! Cimmeria/Bosporus have always been one of my favourite factions - mostly in Roma Surrectum II. Really liking the good mix of pictures, screenshots and narrative too, and very much looking forward to more of this. +rep.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Great work mate! + rep too. Quite detailed!
    Then, as throngs of his enemies bore down upon him and one of his followers said, "They are making at thee, O King," "Who else, pray," said Antigonus, "should be their mark? But Demetrius will come to my aid." This was his hope to the last, and to the last he kept watching eagerly for his son; then a whole cloud of javelins were let fly at him and he fell.

    -Plutarch, life of Demetrius.

    Arche Aiakidae-Epeiros EB2 AAR

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Excelent read, keep it going!

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Hello everyone.

    I'm glad to hear that you guys are enjoying this. I think I'm still sort of trying to find myself style-wise and this AAR is probably still going to evolve in certain ways. In my save game, I'm currently at a point where a completely new chapter in Cimmeria's history is starting. So I'll have lots of writing to do to catch up before I can continue playing. Also, it is now a good time to include some biographies in the "Important Characters" spoiler tab in the opening post. I started to upload some first biographies - make sure to check them out: Link to OP. More will follow soon.

    In any case, I thought it might also be a good time to give an "OOC perspective" and to leave some remarks:

    The Civil War
    Right from the start, I had the idea to include a civil war at some point - and when I reviewed the situation in the ruling family in 240 BC, I thought it might be a good time. Pairisades, who was an aging king, sitting tightly in his capital and who was - judging from his traits - getting weaker and weaker physically, only had quite unimpressive sons (selfish, pessimistic, etc) and heirs. Apollonios, on the other hand, was a good general, had good traits etc. so with this "hellen vs. bosporian" idea in my mind, the stage for a civil war was set.

    It also conincided with the Seleucids demise, so I decided to use AS as the opposing faction in the war. I changed their color, gifted some cities to them and declared war. Getting rid of all the family members who died in the initial coup was quite cumbersome - too bad the kill_character command does not work anymore.

    In any case, the civil war was all set up and I was looking forward to how it would play out. Then, something interesting happened: Paniardis rebelled against the new owners and re-joined my realm (this inspired the chapter about Bellikos' rebellion). A somewhat stalemate emerged from this situation, with some skirmishes taking place all over Cimmeria. The war then ended in 234 BC with me taking their last settlement.

    Of course, the story of Spartakos and his curious reign is not over. Despite not being a very capable men, he continues to deploy a whole bunch of guardian angels over his shoulders. Make sure to check this thread for upcoming updates!

    Hope you continue to enjoy this as much as I enjoy creating this!
    Cheers, Z
    Chronicles of Cimmeria - A Kimmerios Bosporos AAR (EB2)
    The Age of Peace - A TW: Warhammer Empire AAR
    Blood Red Eagle - The Sons of Lodbrok Invasion of Northumbrialand [complete]
    Machines - A Sci-Fi Short Story [complete]

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    The Chronicles of Cimmeria



    Part 7: Dark Horizon


    "I shall seize fate by the throat."
    - Ludwig van Beethoven


    233 BC, Chersonesos
    She looked through the window of her spacious chamber, high above the houses of Chersonesos. In the distance, she could see the dark waters of the sea. Thick clouds were hanging in the sky. A fresh breeze wafted around her, and through the thin layer of her silk robe. A thunder storm, perhaps?

    Samion went back to the table and took another sip of her wine. Spartakos had left hours ago, but she seemed to still feel his presence. Spartakos, Arkhon kai Basileus. More than one year had passed since the civil war that had cost so much and brought so little. But Spartakos, her husband, had eventually emerged victorious and had becom e king.

    And it had changed him.

    Despite the struggles that they had been through, despite the support she had always shown to him, his success had alienated them from another. Spartakos, perhaps filled with pride, had seen her less and less. He spent most of his time in Pantikapaion, re-installing the old capital as administative core of Cimmeria. She had asked him to take her with him, to be by his side, but the king had declined. Spartakos had bound her to Chersonesos.

    She could feel the echo of the piercing pain in he chest. Was it children? The absence of children had always been a glooming shadow over their marriage, but they had always held together, not allowing this shadow to seperate them. Not anymore, it seemed.

    With the heavy bronze cup in her hand, she turned back to the window, back to the sea. It was late summer, and the nights were getting colder. Lightning flashed through the thick clouds in the distance. She shivered slightly, and wrapped her slender arms around her. A thunder storm, perhaps.

    ¤ ¤ ¤


    232 BC, Pantikapaion
    "Arkhon Spartakos!" The guard entered the throne room with brisk pace. Reluctantly, the king turned around. The young, dark-haired beauty in his arms turned her head away in playful boredom.
    "What is it?"
    "A diplomat, my king. From the lands across the sea - Nikaia."
    "I know where Nikaia is, soldier." Spartakos snarled harshly. "What does he want?"
    "He would not say, my king. He said he was sent by his governor, the former lord of Nikaia."

    Spartakos raised his eyebrow and finally let go of the girl. Absently, he pushed her off his lap and went on to pour himself more wine.
    "Bring him in then."

    The guard left as briskly as he had entere and Spartakos gulped the red liquid in his cup.
    "Let us see what this messanger wants." The king turned to his brother, who was busy to caress his own concubine.
    "Ey, Leukon!" His brother sighed and pushed the girl away.
    "Yes, yes, the visitor." Leukon had problems to lift himself up. The day had been long and the wine had been heavy.
    "You, get out." Spartakos commanded, and the two girls grabbed their clothes and tried to quickly disappear.

    Looking at the bare arse of one of the girls, Leukon grinned and turned his head to Spartakos. "I wonder what the queen thinks of your pleasures here in Pantikapaion."
    "It is none of her business. And none of yours, either." The king spoke sternly and waved his hand to brush off that thought. He gulped more of his wine. "I've fought long enough for this crown." He tipped the gold on his head. "Now I deserve to enjoy it."

    But inside, Spartakos felt empty, frustrated. What was the sense in all this? He had endured six years of civil war, had ruled peacefully since then - and still was he lingering in his father's shadow, his father's legacy. Son of the great Pairisades. Shall Hades have his soul, Spartakos thought. Was his father mocking him from the dead? As the living probably did? As Samion most likely did?

    Samion. He took another deep sip of his wine. He had loved her, listened to her and respected her. But now - she had always been an authority for him, perhaps too much. He could not look at her without thinking she might still think little of him, see him as a weak and fragile man, who could not grow out of his father's shadow. Weak and fragile - was that him?

    The door swung open and a fat man dressed in a blue robe entered the hall. He seemed to have problems carrying his weight - or that of the gold around his neck and on his arms. Slowly, and with an adequate amount of drama, he bowed before the king of Cimmeria.
    "My name is Epiphes, my king. Epiphes of Nikaia." Spartakos waved him to come closer, while trying to look much less interested as he really was.
    "I come in the name of Agathos, patron of Peramon, and magistrate of Nikaia."
    "What do you want, Epiphes?" The king leaned back in his armchair and observed his visitor. Despite his obesity, and his sweaty forehead, the man still had an aura of charisma about him, an aura of power and wealth. He then continued to speak.
    "My king, Nikaia is in danger. Withy our knowledge and wisdom, you already know that Nikaia fell into the hands of the pontic kingdom. Now, our precious city is ruled by wildlings from the east, by false greeks."
    Spartakos nodded. Of course, he was informed about the pontic advance and how the rulers of Cappadocia had expanded their territory into Bithynia. He looked at Leukon. But his dull brother was just staring at the fat messenger and probably still thought more of the breasts of those young girls rather than what was happening in this moment.

    "Yes," the king slowly said. "And what of it?"
    "My master has sent me to ask for your aid, my king. Your kingdom is strong, united. You are strong. And now, your hellenic brethren south of the euxeinos are in need of your help."

    Of course, Spartakos enjoyed the way the messenger talked. He craved for the respect and the acknowledgement, and he was easy prey for an experienced and skilled diplomat such as Epiphes. Epiphes then, either by unfathomable sharpness of his mind, or by pure chance, chose the right words. Words that put things into motion that would lead Cimmeria to it's next struggle.


    Bithynia in winter 231 BC.

    "And even though your friendship is precious, and even though we know it is a lot to ask, I still must do it. Because there is also something for you to gain, Arkhon of Cimmeria. Your kingdom is meant for so much more than to rule the empty north! You can lift your kingdom from the small confines that your father contained it in, from the confines of the skythian steppes. Lift your kingdom from the petty rule of the north, and claim reign over lands south of the sea." Epiphes made a small pause, then continued. "With Nikaia as your ally, as an independent ally by your side, you can defeat the wildlings in the east and lead your kingdom to glory and prosperity."

    But Spartakos had not been listening anymore. He was already convinced. It was again time for war.

    ¤ ¤ ¤


    Political situation around the black sea, 231 BC. In yellow, the ptolemaic holdings
    in asia minor. In purple, the regions in control of the pontic kingdom.
    Finally red and cyan show Cimmeria and Armenia respectively.


    The Nikaian Conflict

    The changes and developments in asia minor over the last fifty years had been severe. Ptolemaic egypt had conquered most part of the southern lands and Bithynia was in pontic hands, much to the disapproval of the original greek rulers of these once mighty city states. The kingdom of Pergamon was destroyed a generation ago, but it's former pride and glory continued to exist in the wealthy and influential families. With the region now under heavy influence from cultural immigration from Egypt, Persia and even Parthia, a new conflict was on the horizon. The hellenic kingdom of Pontus, under the rule of Diophantos, was a highly multi-cultural entity and this left its mark on the administation of the cities in its realm.

    In Nikaia, this led to much discontent and dissatisfaction. Members of the hellenic aristocracy were trying to gather support among the other hellenic states around the hellespont in order to initiate an uprising against their pontic rulers. Cimmeria, under the keen but dangerous king Spartakos, was pulled into this conflict by forging an alliance with the nikaian resistance. Potentially supported by ptolemaic intelligence and coin, they were preparing their move against the pontic kingdom.

    In other parts of the world, more wars were lingering on the horizon. Carthage and Massylia were facing open conflict, and in central Europa, a
    strengthened Rome seeked to tackle the barbarian threats to its north.


    The world in 232 BC.
    Last edited by Zeion; December 18, 2015 at 05:23 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Chronicles of Cimmeria (Bosporos AAR)

    Good quality.
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