The Balkan Confederation

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The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:48 am

To The Minister of Foreign Matters, Florus of Athens;
To Chancellor Bernard Zrinski, of Varasd;
To Governor Primus Sisenna, of Constantinople;
To Czar Svetoslav, of Tyrnovo;

Your Graces, I am pleased to inform you of the consolidation of the villages on the eastern Adriatic, under the banner of the Calabrian Republic, into the Montenegrin Marches.  This has been a long time in the making, as our national interests have always kept our eyes keenly fixed to this strategic location.  From here the Grand Marshall Luca Russo will build a stronghold from which to launch attacks into the mountains to defeat the Bogomil heretics.  But that is a matter for military minds.  The intent of my letter is much less drastic, or more drastic, depending on your outlook.

I wish to propose a confederation.  The Balkan Confederation.  The Balkan League.  Call it what you will, and the details remain to be set, but the general consensus would be a "united front" against the origin of the Bogomil Heresy.  We all may enter in to individual skirmishes against them, but unless we work together this heresy may never be vanquished.  The Bogomils are subtle and sneaky by their very nature, and to defeat them requires patience and cunning.  

Join us to vanquish the Adherents to The Devil and we would be able to create a force never before conceived.

I eagerly await your reply.  Until then, I remain,

Your Brother in Christ Jesus Our Lord,

Margravio Mario Rossi
Durazzo, Marches of Montenegro
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Cybelos on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:15 am

I am curious, not that I disapprove, if your intent is merely the destruction of these heretics, why would you not first petition Rome for help.

-Minister Florus
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:33 am

Minister Florus, it is not 'merely' the graves of Bogomils I seek. What I wish is a Unified Balkan Peninsula against any and all threats which our varied nations may incur. We should all have each other's understanding that something which will effect one of us will eventually effect all of us. This may not be true of, say, Carthage and Rhodes, which is why this is a specific agreement between those parts of nations which exist in the Balkans proper. While the Marches are currently a small minority in the peninsula, our interest in the safety of the whole is large.

-Margravio Rossi
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Cybelos on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:52 am

I hope I am not misinterpreting your words but the confederation was defined to me as a "united front against the origin of the Bogomil Heresy". This is not just an alliance of words, correct? You do seek an army capable of destroying the bogomils?

If this is the case we would like to know how many men we would, all of us, be contributing, what is to be done with plundered goods, and the like. Standard issues such as this. We would like to know what we would be giving and what we could expect in turn.

-Minister Florus
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:20 pm

Margravio Rossi: "Shall we crush them with one fell swoop? Will this be an ongoing campaign? Florus, I am no prognosticator. I would assume treasure and spoils would go to the army which creates said treasure and spoils. At this point it would seem to me to be equitable, a 50-50 split between you and I. But why would we be hasty? Should we not wait to hear from out partners in Bythinia, Varasd, and Bulghar?"
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:34 pm

*A messenger arrived, bearing the standard of Varasd*

"My good Lords! Thank You for inviting us to such an important discussion, however, neither the King, nor the Prince, nor the Chancellor can join you to discuss this matter at this time. In matter of days, a Lord from Varasd should arrive, his name is Peter Orseolo. He is a Lord from Dalmatia, and he was tasked by the King himself to come here as an emissary."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:31 pm

Margravio Rossi nodded his head in understanding. "My thanks to you, Messenger, and to your King." He turned to his servant girls and said, "See that this man is rested and fed before he returns to his homelands."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Cybelos on Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:14 pm

Yes, I understand Margravio, but what of my other questions? How many men does this confederation seek of us? A fair question, I believe. If I am to agree to this I must firstly consult with military advisors, you understand..
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:25 pm

Margravio Rossi: "Minister, I am first proposing the formation of the group. After we see who among us will participate we can tackle the specifics. I would request of you no more than you can comfortably afford to lend. And the same would go for me, should you request my help, at some point in the future. This should be the general understanding of all nations here."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:01 pm

Not much later, another company arrived from Varasd. The servants told that Peter Orseolo, the Steward of Varasd, has arrived. When the doors opened, an old, rather fat man with a big beard walked into the room. He fancied himself in italian styled clothes, and was in a rather merry mood.

"Greetings, your Highnesses and Majesties!" - Count Orseolo bowed down, not too low, because of his big stomach. "I have come as fast as possible when I heard that there is an urgent meeting going on. As much as I know, this is about a coalition against the heretics on the Balkans... As you might know, my Lord, Zvonimir, is already fighting these "bogumils" in Transylvania. By the end of his campaign, his troops may be tired, and my King may want to rest as well, and focus on the inner happenings of his realm."

Peter Orseolo kept a bit of pause after saying this, and took a seat in which he sat down comfortably. He took down one of his golden rings, and started playing around with it, infront of himself, at the table.

"Even if he finds a commander who can lead his armies, how in this world could he possibly convince his men to keep fighting..?" - The Count asked the question for which he already knew the answer, yet he stared infront of himself, as if he'd asked an unanswerable riddle...



Peter Orseolo, the Steward of Varasd
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:25 am

The Margravio sat. "Good Count. I understand your insinuation but it is not my intention to be an employer. It is my intention to protect the interests of Calabria. Spending my country's good money on an army we can raise ourselves is foolish. I think you may have just denegraded your country's own impressive military by referring to them as mere mercenaries. Gold may be able to convince many men, sir, but this Coalition should exist upon more noble principles.
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:20 pm

"Mercenaries? Please, your Highness... God forbid! What I am saying is merely that the Kingdom of Varasd is already fighting the bogumils as we speak. The armies of my King have liberated almost half of Transylvania, and are advancing towards Kolozsvar, the main city of the province, as we speak.
Much blood has been shed, I am sure you have heard about how valiantly our troops have crossed the Danube at the Iron Gates.
" The Count kept a bit of a pause, and continued, the merriness and cheer from his face disappearing in an instant.
"We are very much aware of Calabrian interest as well. The Republic has just established a stronghold in Montenegro, and the bogumils threaten it severely."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:04 pm

Margravio Rossi: "Of course I have heard of the Battle at the Iron Gates. Impressive. But I ask you this: will your king never require assistance? Eventually there will come a time when we need to band together. Be that now or later. This Coalition is the groundwork for that very idea. A framework for peace. A bond of freindship between the nations of the Balkan Lands. Freinds give each other what they can, and when they can't give they at least support. What I am proposing is a willing ear, and the inclination to help.

If no one can help with our March Against the Bogomils then so be it. There is no animosity here. I would be willing to send for Grand Marshall Luca Russo so you can hear his plan to eradicate the Threat. That way, you wouldn't have to give or lend troops or money or aide; you'd just have a clear understanding of what's happening in your backyard."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:31 am

"OOoooh! Forgive me, and my messenger of a fool, your Highness! I was told that this meeting was purely to organise a single, devastating campaign against the heretics." Count Orseolo looked around, and chuckled a little. "A defensive alliance, is a wholly different matter. Naturally, we would be eager to hear about what you had in mind!"
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:30 am

Luca Russo joined the deliberations after a time, summoned by one of the servant girls.  The two Calabrian officials began eagerly unfolding the logisitics of their plan.  He and the Margravio were tying together a large scale military campaign with many missionaries summoned from throughout the land.  The effort was an attempt to have a huge show of force frighten the Bogomils into conversion.  Those who refused would be killed, and those who would choose conversion would be able to do so on the spot by the missionaries.  It was a risky proposition, combining a military operation with a religious operation, but the Margravio had been mulling the ramifications of failing the Papal Concordat.  He felt that this was the best way to incorporate both the "forgiveness" portion, and the "restoring order" portion.

Luca had with him a large map, which detailed the route of the campaign.  He unfurled it on the table before the party.  "Minister Florus.  I do not wish to be too forward with you, but I see no other way.  You must understand that The Calabrese will be conducting this campaign as it has been so ordered by His Holiness.  My only request of you would be to send word to Duke Thomas in Epirus.  Tell him to keep an eye on his northern borders in expectation of our troops and missionaries.  We mean no harm, to him or any Greek.  In fact, if we could just rest within the safety of your borders, we would be on our way back north after a time.

"Count, your king has been making good headway in the north.  We should expect to find many Bogomils fleeing his wrath.  They will only have respite should they decide to drown themselves in the Danube.  We will be ready to route them in the Serbian lands.

"We will also be sending a third party straight across to the Black Sea, in hopes of finding the origins of this whole nonsense."

Margravio Rossi: "Should any of you decide to add to our troop number with common folk or with knights, or add to our ranks of missionaries, we would be indebted to you.  I would like to consider this the first Act of the Balkan Confederation."

At that moment one of the messengers burst through the door, "Sire!  The Czar!  He is dead and the Bulghar Lands have descended into chaos!"

Margravio Rossi:  "Not that great of a loss.  Now, after you get a little rest, please deliver that message to the new king of Romaniium.  This concerns him, seeing that any Bogomil who would flee from us may very well end up in his lands."  He turned back to his companions at the table.  "Gentlemen, I'd like to hear your thoughts."

Map of Calabrian Campaign Against the Bogomils:
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Cybelos on Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:41 am

You must know, Your Grace, that Cybelosian armies march north already, in the coming days these lands that you plan to march through will be Greek once again, the Calabrian soldiers will be allowed to rest and gather supplies from the Macedonians, and they are to be treated as, and given the rights of guests. But your armies assistance in these areas, appreciated it is, however, it is not required.

However, I have written multiple of the Clan Leaders throughout the Cybelos, they would be able to send some 1000 men in all to the areas marked in Thrace to attack from the coasts, the main target being the stronghold of Varna, however all coastal villages would be targeted. A campaign of this size is unprecedented for simple coastal raids however and may push some remnants west, I would not write back to the clan leaders unless you could assure me that you are alright with this possibility.
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:44 am

"The idea is well thought of. I've just received letter that my King's campaign is going better than expected, and the Transylvanian lands will submit soon. With that as well, the hungarian tribes in Upper Hungaria have decided to willingly join the Kingdom.

With only the Siege of Kolozsvar left, my King may be able to lend a thousand or two light cavalry units to the cause, and they would patrol Wallachia, and North-Serbia.
"
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Cybelos on Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:13 am

Margrave Rossi,

I'm afraid that I write you with anguish, I am sorry to say that our Kingdom's advisors have counceled me to negate our offer of 1000 men, as these men are needed to help our Kingdom's interests in newly acquisitioned territories, I must also rescind our offer of allowing troops to supply themselves in Macedonia. I'm sure you, being quite the adept tactician understand our insistence on the defenses of our nation.

God be with you,
Minister Florus of Athens
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:51 pm


Zoltan Arpad

Count Peter Orseolo excused himself after receiving a letter, and left shortly afterwards. A tall, eastern looking man arrived after him, carrying the banner of Varasd, and the Hungarian Tribes. The heralds told it was Zoltan Arpad, chieftain of the Hungarians, and one of the most powerful vassals of King Zvonimir. He joined the conversation shortly after introducing himself, speaking broken greek.

"Greetings. I rode here with 2000 warriors, under my King's order. We're here to help against the bogomils but King Zvonimir said one term: supplies will be provided for our army."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:10 am

Margravio Rossi: "Well timed, my good man! It seems as of late our plans to route the Bogomils has been foiled; in the south at least. I feel I must leave those Macedonian hillsides for the Greeks to scour, as that land has been newly established within their borders.

"As far as this so-called "confederation" is concerned, I think we may have to reconvene at a later time. It seems as though our companions in Cybelos, Romaniium, and Bythnia are otherwise engaged. There will be further time for diplomacy, but as of right now, it's just you, Zoltar, and me."

Grand Marshall Luca Russo: "Ahem."

Margravio Rossi: "And Luca! Of course! The hour is getting late and I am in need of some more wine, no wonder I didn't see you." Mario clapped his hands together in a somewhat jovial fashion, and a half-naked servant girl giggled over to the table pouring wine into a chalice as she went.

Luca: "Yes. Well. Thank you. Now, we will need you to help us cover this western campaign," he said, pointing to that 'loop' portion of the map. "We will have 2000 trained troops alongside yours, as well as the one or two hundred missionaries. There will also be 4000 trained troops departing for the Black Sea, marching with the two or three hundred missionaires. With some luck we will be able to drive the Bogomils north into your king's sword, or south into Romaniium. But firstly, we must march into the Kosovo fields, where your journey, and mine, must part ways. You will be handsomely supplied and outfitted as you need."

Margravio Rossi: "But you can't have this one!" he said as he slapped the ass of the nearest servant girl.

Luca: "He'll have what he needs, Rossi." The Grand Marshall lightly rolled his eyes. The Margravio had an obvious affection for alcohol, but he was far from a lush. Luca just wished that he could control himself a little better during political meetings. "The last of the troops should be arriving from Bari in the morning. We leave upon the next day's sunrise."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:33 pm

"My men are ready to ride. Two things, though. First, no sieges for us. Two, my men are free to raid, and we get a fair share of plunder.

If this is agreed, we can march out any second.
"

Zoltan concluded, waiting for a reply, a bit impatient, as he already wanted to go back to his armies' camp, for he could not stand the though of sleeping in a cage built of stone walls.
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:43 pm

"No sieges?" Luca sighed.  "If you must.  May I offer this: all of the plunder is yours, if you do help us siege.  Your call."  He tried his hardest to make his face give the impression that he did not care.  After all, in negotiation, those who care least end up winning.  He had learned this lesson well watching his father and eldest brother at court.  "Regardless of your decision, this is the proximity of the combined Calabrian and Varasdian forces, marked in blue.  The sole responsibility of Calabria is marked in brown.  This is our path.  This is our mission.  And if God wills it, this is our Doom."

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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:27 am

Zoltan Arpad studies the plans for the campaign, and then nodded.

"Very well!" He spoke, with a clearly happy tone. "We shall drive them out from those lands, and they'll never want to return!"

Zoltan gave some short orders to his soldiers, who rushed out to the camp of the hungarians, in order to prepare them for the mission ahead.

"What comes next after this one is finished? "
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Kingdom of Calabria on Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:59 pm

Luca glanced over to Marco, the supposed diplomat. He had his shining moments, and he certainly knew how to throw a party. Tonight was neither. "His time will come," thought Luca.

As he turned back to Zoltan he remarked, "Well, sir, I appreciate your eagerness. It is this quality which may single handedly win this battle against the Bogomils. But, if I may, temper that eagerness with caution. As the Calabrian Contingent marches across the mountains they will be sending reports to me, as I will be making camp in the Kosovo Fields. Once we can get a better grasp on where the Bogomil stronghold is located I think we shall make a three pronged attack upon it. As of now there are only two brigades, the Calabrese Brigade and the Varasdian-Calabrese Brigade. The third, I should think, would consist of mercanaries from Azaq. But that will come later. One task at a time, my freind."
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Re: The Balkan Confederation

Post by Varasd on Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:32 am

"We've already beaten this bogumil scum in Erdély*, they'll remember us with fear this time. Surely you heard about the Firecage.**" Zoltan looked at the map of the campaign, and nodded with satisfaction. "I think that in the outer areas of their lands they will try to avoid fighting, and pull back into their mainlands. But the mainlands, they will defend with their last drop of blood.

I say that the more time we spend in the outskirts, the more of their soldiers will be concentrated in their mainlands. After feigning an attack on the borderlands, we should strike through their defenses when they least expect it, and let me and my men raid their mainlands!
"


*Erdély = the hungarian name for Transylvania
**The Firecage of Zvonimir was a military event in which the Varasdian army encircled a bogumil army in a valley, and killed them with a large forest fire
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