Children of the Fatherland: 1077-1086 session summary

The Immortals were an interesting idea that didn’t work out that well; only Blayne was able to retain interest and post regularly.

Little of interest happened in Antioch this session; I was only able to play three-fourths of it, as my Internet dropped due to a storm, and wasn’t repaired until Monday. The major development was the alliance between Foelsgaard (Persia) and von Rundstedt (Russia), whereby vR pledged himself as a vassal to the Seljuks, instantly becoming the heir under their elective law; Foelsgaard dispatched an assassin; and when the dust of the inheritance had settled, Foelsgaard received the Kingdom of Persia title as a reward for his efforts. Naturally I, as the vanguard of Christianity against the menace of the infidel hordes, was a bit disquieted; but there was little I could do. I therefore dispatched my brother and sister as fosterlings to far distant, Western lands, in the hope of ensuring that the Komnenus bloodline would survive even in the worst extremity, and watched the East with great attentiveness. Fortunately, the no-force-vassalisation rule prevented Foelsgaard from usefully declaring war on me right away; without claims to my lands, he could have gained little from such a war. Instead he attacked and subdued the independent emirate of Jerusalem, possibly bringing him into future conflict with Egypt – FrozenWall has stated that he regards this as his sphere of interest. He was however having his own problems with Crusaders, and did not immediately interfere. The Levant looks set to become a battleground for the three Powers neighbouring it, which can hardly surprise anyone. “When is there no war in these lands?”

I did manage to snap up the city of Tripoli, formerly a vassal of Egypt, while FrozenWall was busy elsewhere; but compared to the gain of Kingdom titles this looks rather weak.

In the absence of interesting things to relate about Antioch, I turn instead to the Immortals, since there has not been a proper list of them. There are currently 14, not all of whom are fully active – that is, several haven’t been heard from for a while. As a possible point of interest, there are actually 16 Immortal slots, to go well with 12 players; so there do exist opportunities to join, even now.

I begin with those Immortals who reside in Antioch, starting in fact with my Chancellor:

Jakobos

Iakobos is a friend both of Iohannes Komnenos, currently acting as Regent for the young Holder of Military Authority by Right of Inheritance Arkadios (or ‘Strategos’, in the Greek; a compact language, well suited to an old civilisation), and of Strong Bektar, my Marshal. You’ll observe that he is somewhat prone to chasing the ladies, and in fact this is what knits the three men together in friendship. Realising that they must either fight or else come to a sensible arrangement, they chose the latter, and have a finely-tuned system of staying out of each others’ way, and of passing paramours around when they tire of them. (Or in other words, I always choose the ‘become friends’ option in the event “Tensions over women are causing strain”.) A somewhat hedonistic court is Antioch in these closing years of the Regency, with the threat of Persian invasion always present and the distant Emperor unlikely to send much aid; even at the highest levels, “Eat, drink and be merry” is always a solution when tomorrow one might die. Next is my Marshal, the Immortal Bektar:

Bektar

Not, at this time, the greatest warrior ever; he has had little chance to practice, since the aforementioned Emperor has been requisitioning our sole regiment since the previous session. But I trust he will improve, like fine wine. Finally, Leonidas the Jew, another friend of Iohannes, although he has been unable to trade on the relationship to get an office, as he no doubt would wish:

Leonidas

Again, there is a bit of room for improvement here; but then again, who save Christ can say otherwise?

I turn now to the enemy, those Immortals who unrighteously serve the infidel in Egypt:

Leviathan

Observe that here I do not use my naming convention of putting the poster in parens, since the poster and Immortal names are the same. The Immortal Leviathan and the Immortal Saad are friends, but this has not saved Saad from a (no doubt temporary) exile:

Saad

This is because Saad is at odds with – has become a rival of – the King of Egypt, Muhammad al-Awwad of the Fatimids. He’ll still be edited back to the Egyptian court unless he wants to go elsewhere, though. Such useful men do not remain in exile for long!

So far I’ve organised them by their court of residence; we come now to Immortals far away from Antioch, where the details of what lord they serve are of less interest. Thus I organise them instead by what we’ve heard from them, in their own words.

The Immortal Laidech, late of Ireland, a monk by desire but a courtier by need. He advises the far-distant Prince of Gwynedd.

Laidech

The Immortal Maciej, a Pole, a double agent in the service – perhaps! – of the Emirs of Seville.

Maciej

The Immortal Rasputin, a man of as-yet unspecified powers, serving the Tsars.

Rasputin

And then, those who have thus far been silent, and of whom little is therefore known. Some have posted in this thread without writing AARs; others are maintaining full radio silence. This last, I note, is pleasing neither to Allah, the Spirit of Man of the Stars, or the God of Hosts.

Radulf

Kazmir

Jakopo

Ismael

I note in passing that if this Immortal’s first AAR does not open with “Call me Ismael”, I shall be most disappointed.

Zackary

Heinrich

For those of you who do not read Ederon, these are the powers of Immortals:

  • Immortals begin the game with all stats at 5 except Fertility, which is -10.
  • Immortals have two additional statistics not maintained by the game engine, named Prestige Power and Piety Power. They begin at 10 and 0 respectively. These are the amounts they add every Mifkad to the prestige and piety of their host.
  • When an Immortal leaves a court, he subtracts 3 times his prestige and piety powers from the court he leaves, provided he has been there for at least two Mifkads.
  • Immortal birthdates will be edited so that they are always 20 years old at the beginning of a session.
  • All Immortal moves or uses of power are to be made by PM to the GM, and must be in his inbox by Wednesday midnight his time, or they will be applied the following week, or ignored completely, as seems reasonable to the GM. An Immortal who is granted a title and becomes the vassal of a player is still considered to be attached to that player’s court; however, if the Immortal later leaves, he takes his lands with him. If the Immortal’s character becomes disloyal enough to DOW the player, this is not considered leaving his court, but also won’t be edited back due to the potential for abuse.
  • Immortals may write AARs and get the usual rewards, which they can give to players if they like. Additionally, the following AAR reward is only available to Immortals: “Increase a single stat of one character by one.” Prestige and Piety power may also be increased by this use; they increase by 5. Further, Immortals are an exception to the usual limitation on increasing education; they may do so once per century.
  • Immortals may duel each other by invoking the ritual phrase “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!” In a duel, either character can survive without harm, be hurt (add ‘Seriously Wounded’ to the ingame character), or be killed. The chances of each are determined by their stats according to a method to be published later.
  • An Immortal who is killed (either through ingame events or by a duel) will be resurrected at the next edit time (with such traits as wounds wiped out, but with the loss of one point from a random statistic), and meanwhile cannot move and does not give any prestige; however, he may still write AARs. Example timeline:
      [list]

    • Wednesday 14th: Jakalo PMs me to duel Blayne.
    • Thursday 15th: Editing time. I resolve the duel, and Jakalo wins; Blayne is killed. Jakalo’s court receives Immortal prestige; Blayne’s does not.
    • Saturday 17th: Game session. Kazmir is killed by an assassin.
    • Wednesday 21st: Deadline for Immortal orders. Kazmir and Blayne, being dead, can do nothing, although they can still write AARs.
    • Thursday 22nd: Edit time. Kazmir and Blayne are restored to life, with slightly reduced stats. Their courts receive prestige.
    • Notice that Kazmir’s death is more temporary than Blayne’s; he gives prestige both weeks. This is to avoid keeping track of who was killed in a duel and who was killed ingame: Just edit everyone back to life at the same time.
  • Immortals can go into hiding by moving to the court of a non-player character, who does not get prestige. (This is not considered leaving the host court.) In this case they cannot be dueled. However, they also cannot give their AAR rewards to players, and they must come out of hiding after a week.

Finally, for comic relief, I thought I might share the reason why Byzantium was in its usual state of quasi-meltdown:

EmperorDukas

Happily, his son has now inherited and looks to be a much better Emperor.

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