West we go! There’s nothing very interesting between us and Iberia, but once we get across the Straight of Gibraltar, hoo boy!
Aquitaine is the most powerful nation in Europe at the moment, what with the Holy Roman Empire looking like this:
So uh, hey. I just noticed something odd…
Well that’s nice. Now we have a tiny little province in the middle of the Seljuk horde.
You can say that again! Please don’t, by the way.
I hate you and everything you stand for.
How did I not notice this?
I need to pay better attention…
Well, okay. That makes things much easier! Let’s start our westward march, and get ready to fight Aquitaine!
That’s… good to hear. How’s that moving west thing going?
I figured it would be. The Kalmen Caliphate totally dominates Africa, the Middle East and Greece. Nothing can stop us now.
Well, nothing but jealous wives.
Aren’t dynastic politics fun?
I know, that’s why I used it!
Word has reached me that, somewhere in Europe, a man claiming right to the throne of Byzantium is mustering forces. You should prepare to fight off a potentially massive force. He will also have access to the newly-formed Knights Templar.
How are you going to deal with all these new and sudden threats, Aksir?
Sure yeah. Let’s go with that.
Please don’t tell me you’re diving in…
God damn it, Aksil! That is not what I meant!!
Good job. Important information gathered.
Please don’t speak.
I can see that.
At least you improved your Intrigue. Which, granted, may have had something to do with this?
When did you get the Varangian Guard on your side?
Oh yeah. It’s easy to forget that one. Especially in moments of utter crisis.
What are you going to do?
Good plan. But I might have a better one…
See that? That’s Rome. The brown stuff is Lotharingia, formerly Italy, formerly the Byzantine Empire. They are Orthodox, so they probably won’t join the Crusade for Jerusalem.
And that green? That’s us. Right on Rome’s borders. Raise a few fleet levies and ship a massive army into Italy and sack Vatican City! That’ll show ’em!
Calm down, calm down! Maybe Lotharingia has changed rulers? I haven’t been paying attention, so maybe they are Catholic after all. But that’s not a problem. We got this, you and me!
See? It’s all good!