I know I haven’t written here for a while, but I haven’t had much to report. Texting until 5:30 AM is enjoyable, but (at least earlier this week) it means sleeping until 1:30 PM, which, like every time I sleep past about 10:30 AM, makes me feel like I’m wasting the day. Today I only was texting until about 5 AM, and got the 5 hours of sleep I was desiring. With 2 cups of coffee, and writing 1849 words for my Crusader Kings 2 after-action report of Orkney beginning in 769, I feel like I’ve had a reasonably productive day.
Playing Windward, a recently released game on Steam where you control a sailing ship and can do quests, trade between towns, or hunt pirates (or, I suppose, possibly turn pirate yourself), has put me into a maritime mood, and made me want to write something involving boats, ships, and large bodies of water. It would be difficult to integrate that into my ongoing game as the Duchy of Chariton in the CK2 After the End mod, considering, with the exception of the Missouri River and a few other minor rivers in the region, there aren’t many major bodies of water in the lands known as Northern Missouri. Orkney, by virtue of being some islands off the coast of Britain in the North Sea, has slightly better odds, but I’ve decided to consider starting yet another idea.
For a while, I’ve considered writing an “after-action report” involving Sardinia, Corsica, and/or the Balearic islands, in the Western Mediterranean. At one point I actually did start one for the original Crusader Kings involving Sardinia, but that fell by the wayside due to computer issues, loss of interest, or other reasons after about 20 years of gameplay. I also tried starting one for Corsica at one point, but, again, that didn’t happen. I’ve tried playing games in Sardinia and the Balearic islands, at least, in Crusader Kings 2, but I have yet to actually start an after-action report. I thought it might be interesting to write a “narrative”, much like my Master of Magic project, where I write it more like a historical fiction novel and less like a history written by a monk.
According to my historical research, the Balearic islands were colonized by the Phoenicians before they were taken over by the Romans. The Vandals took the Balearic islands shortly before the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and the Eastern Roman Empire took the Balearic Islands back in the 530s (around the same time that Sardinia and the province of Africa was taken from the Vandals). After Carthage fell to the Umayyad Caliphate in 698, the Byzantines effectively lost the Western Mediterranean, and in 707 (per Wikipedia) the islands submitted to the generous terms of a Muslim fleet, which rendered them, in name, both Byzantine and Umayyad.
This is the last thing written in the Wikipedia article before mentioning that they were sacked by Vikings in a 859-862 raid. As I’ve been thinking lately, Crusader Kings 2, as I suspect of most video games, doesn’t handle multiple overlords very well. There are other historical examples of lords that had to choose which liege lord to obey, but in Crusader Kings 2, in the 769 bookmark, the Balearic Islands, like Sardinia, is Catholic and considered part of the Byzantine Empire, ruled by an Iconoclast emperor (considered a heresy of the Orthodox church). If I’m not completely mistaken, the distinction between Catholic and Orthodox didn’t really happen until the Great Schism in 1054, but it would vastly complicate things to add that in, and there were probably differences in practice before that point anyway, if I remember what I’ve read correctly.
In general, in Crusader Kings, I seem to be fascinated by alternate history, obscure rulers that didn’t historically exist, and, in general, playing as obscure, weak rulers and changing history. For example (though I haven’t done it for a while), playing as a Welsh ruler and becoming King of Wales, or uniting Ireland. Where’s the fun in playing as the Byzantine Emperor or Sunni caliph when you can play as the lord of a desolate bunch of rocks in the North Sea?
Anyway, as for my nascent Balearic game, I haven’t had much happen in the first 4 years. I’m not really sure how I’d write the whole “being de facto independent”, considering that isn’t really an option in the game (and no rebellion for independence yet), but I’ve already thought I may have to make some stuff up about the Byzantine navy and government, so what’s a little bit more fabrication? They do, after all, call it “historical fiction”.