Welcome to the first developer diary about ‘The Iron Century’ this week. We will post a Developer Diary every day this week, show-casing some interesting starts and other minor things you might expect to see in the new bookmark.
King Otto of Germany: In many ways Otto is the protagonist of the bookmark. He has just been crowned King, and has quite the task ahead of himself in trying to put together the Holy Roman Empire and beat back the pagan encroaching from the east (Hungarians) and the north (Norse tribes). To the west, the vassal holding the Stem-Duchy of Lotharingia (Lorraine), Duke Giselbert, recently changed his allegiance to the young King Louis Karling of West Francia. Not to mention the tumultuous kingship of Italy, that will be needed to recreate the Holy Roman Empire.
Caliph al-Qaim: Only two years have passed since al-Qaim took up the position of Caliph after the death of his father, the legendary al-Mahdi who carved out a nation at the shores of North Africa. With the weak Abbasid Caliphate having been shattered these last decades, the Fatimids are trying to take on their rightful positions as overlords of the Muslim world, but not all their vassals are as fond of them as they might think. Only a few years after our start Abu Yazid would start a revolt that would plunge the newly founded Caliphate into a crisis that almost broke it apart. And in the east a new threat rises in the form of Al-Ikhshid, the newly appointed governor of Egypt who is ready to support the Abbasids.
King Æthelstan of England: As the first king of a truly collected England, Æthelstan is very much in the prime of his power. But only a year later, historically speaking, he had to fight the coalition of the Kingdoms of Dublin, Alba and Strathclyde in the Battle of Brunaburh. His victory secured the new frontiers in the north, but if he had lost? Who can say what would have happened with the Isles if that had happened.
Abu Tahir of the Jannabid Emirate: The Jannabids were notorious around our bookmark as they entered Mecca under false pretenses and slaughtered the pilgrims, and brought the Black Stone back to their capital and held it hostage for decades. They continued to raid the lands of the Abbasids and the Ikhshidids, until they eventually faltered and started to diminish in the latter half of the 10th century.
King Árpád Zoltan of Hungary: Not many years has passed since the Magyars descended from the steppes and into basin, pushing out the Bulgarians and anyone else who stood in their path. However, now they are one of the few pagans left in the area, surrounded by the Germans to the west, Bohemians to the north and the Bulgarian Empire to the south. Led by the Árpád dynasty, it is time to find their destiny, be it as the raiders and conquerors of Europe, or (as they did historically) become one of the defenders of Christianity.
King Hakon (the Good) of Norway: Young Hakon is 16 year old as he lands in Norway. Raised by King Æthelstan of England, he has now returned to his take up overlordship of his country. Not long ago his half-brother Erik Bloodaxe killed two of their other brothers and took control of the land, but he has recently been thrown out by the Norwegian Jarls. Still brooding in the north of Scotland with his army, he can still be seen as a threat to Hakon's rule, but he is not the most immediate one. As a Catholic, Hakon is certain to be in trouble as all his vassals follow the old ways, as does his pagan neighbors to the north and east.
We hope you guys are as excited to test out the new bookmark as we are for you to see it. Tomorrow we will talk about some interesting Christian characters you guys will be able to try out!