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Thread: Courting the Red Lion

  1. #1
    Jokern's Avatar Mowbray of Nottingham
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    Default Courting the Red Lion

    Cilicia, the western frontier of the former Armenian Empire during the reign of Tigranes the Great. A plain filled with rich soil surrounded by the Taurus Mountains, it was the perfect land for any people to thrive and live in. A highly contested border region since the Muslim invasions, it had finally been settled by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk Turks. Here they had carved out a new homeland, free from the oppressors in Constantinople and Isfahan under the Rubenid dynasty. They had welcomed the Crusaders and had allowed them to pass into the Levant, and the Christian Armenians had earned great respect from the leaders and soldiers of the Princes' Crusade.

    As Tancred de Hauteville and his party drew close to the capital of Tarsus, he fondly remembered his brief time in the principality before the hellish march and battles in the Holy Land. The Lord of the Mountains, as the Prince of Cilicia styled himself, had been a gracious host and had provided much needed supplies to the Crusaders. Especially in comparison to the scheming Romans, as Tancred bitterly remembered. He quickly let it slide as he approached the capital.

    His goal was simple enough. His lord and cousin Bohemond desired Cyprus and an alliance against the hostile emirates to the East. Cilicia desired, as far as Tancred could tell, allies against the Romans to the West and the Seljuks in the East. Surely they could come to an agreement on amicable terms, he thought to himself.

    Arriving at the royal court, Tancred presents himself as the Co-Regent of the Principality of Antioch
    the Lord of Alexandrette, requesting an audience with Prince Constantine.

  2. #2
    Gandalfus's Avatar le Roi de fer
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    Default Re: Courting the Red Lion

    Tancred, being known to the Lord of Cilicia, is duly admitted into his halls. A small banquet had been prepared, and Bohemond’s nephew is ushered forward and invited to take a seat beside the grey-headed Armenian Prince. Constantine had grown thin and delicate, a once powerful man approaching the pale twilight of his years on earth. Nonetheless, he remained jovial, flippantly waving a hand as the Norman approached.

    “Welcome to my halls, Tancred of Antioch. Eat and drink your fill, and then we shall talk of business.”


  3. #3
    Jokern's Avatar Mowbray of Nottingham
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    Default Re: Courting the Red Lion

    Tancred bows to show his respect and gratefully sits down besides his host. He had ridden for a long time in harsh, dry weather and welcomed the wine to quench his thirst. He raised his cup to toast Prince Constantine.

    "I thank you for this gracious welcome, my lord, our journey here has been long and arduous. As soon as our army had liberated Jerusalem I made my way back to Antioch, yet it did not last long before my duty brought me here to your halls. My men and I appreciate the respite, and Antioch will always welcome the men of Cilicia as our friends."

    With the formal thanks done, Tancred moved to the main topic.

    "With the Holy City liberated and finally in Christian hands, we must look to our borders to secure the Levant from all outside threats. Antioch has always seen the brave Armenians as our brothers, for our struggle has been tied together these last few years. Not only do the Muslims from the East and South threaten our borders, but the Emperor in Constantinople as well. Surrounded by enemies, our best option is to join hands as allies."

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