The Sultan Moe, Caliph of Edessa, finds himself in dire straits in 1324. The Byzantine marched armies into Ankara, Iconium and Tarsus. Of the Sultan’s original provinces this leaves only the city of Edessa and the coastal province of Armenia still in his hands. Fortunately, to this were added the minor provinces of Trezibond (on the black sea) and Antioch, but these do not replace either the income nor the recruitment capacity of the lost provinces.
The fleet escaped from Tarsus into the Eastern Mediteranean before the Byzantines arrived. A grim battle occurred in Iconium between Byzantine cavalry advancing from Smyrna and a collection of Roum infantry and horse archers. The Turks were wiped out in the battle, but at great cost to the Emporer who was left with only a light cavalry out of his original force. His major field army is now in Tarsus.
Having lost Tarsus, the only recruitment occurred in Edessa, which now shelters ten horse archers within its walls. These are Roum’s only real strike force for the coming year, with small forces in Trezibond, Antioch and a siege engine in Armenia.
The Venetian sealed an alliance with Roum. This was our only diplomatic success, and is small beer when compared to the implications of Byzantium’s declaration of war.
On the wider front, England expands in Saxon territory, cementing its hold on Bremen. Poland and Lithuania prepare to turn north and take on the expansionist Teutonic Order, who appears about to knock Novogorod out of the game. The Horde also continues to take Novgorod provinves. The Byzantine appears unthreatened by any other, and is massing his forces to crush Roum. The Mamlukes remained quiet, and the Hafsids remain leaderless.
A very grim situation indeed.
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