Real-life DLC Idea: Wallachian Wars with Vlad the Impaler/Blessed and Cursed

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Akfiz

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Mount&Blade 1 had 2 real-life DLCs: Napoleonic Wars and Viking Conquest.

I suggest that when the time comes, a DLC similar to Viking Conquest should be made for Bannerlords but with the Eastern Europe of 1457 instead.

Why specifically 1457? Because then both Vlad the Impaler and Stephen the Great took the thrones of Wallachia and Moldavia with each others' help.

Stephen the Great and Vlad the Impaler were cousins and polar opposites. You probably know about Vlad the Impaler's dark tendencies, Stephen the Great on the other hand was the polar opposite. He was a faithful man and for every victory he would build a church in the name of God.

Like Vlad the Impaler, Stephen the Great was a military military genius, perhaps even more than his cousin as he ruled for 47 years and out of a total of 46 battles in his lifetime, he won 44, only against far superior nations such as Poland, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. He was a religious man and for every victory he would build a church in the name of God.

During his 47 years rule (1457 - 1504), Stephen the Great built 44 monasteries and churches, one for each victory, had a 44-2 win-lose ratio, while being outnumbered in many battles, his most famous victories being against Matthias Corvinus of Hungary at Baia, against the Tatars at Lipnic, against Suleiman of the Ottoman Empire at Vaslui, and against John Albert of Poland in Codrii Cosminului. With his only defeats being at Valea Alba against Mehmed II and his first siege of Chilia in 1462.

Stephen the Great's story isn't as popular because he didn't torture or impale people and in spite of his victories Moldavia was still a small state.

Given the contrast yet closeness between Vlad the Impaler and Stephen the Great, I suggest to name the DLC: Blessed and Cursed.

- With Vlad the Impaler being a dark sadistic torturer who would argue that cruelty is good as it gets the job done.
- While Stephen the Great a devout Christian who did not like war but did what he had to do to protect Moldavia.

In spite of this almost darkness vs light duality, they were relatives who helped each other on occasion and were both known for brilliant military victories. Vlad the Impaler was the better economist while Stephen the Great was the better diplomat.

1. Vlad III Basarab Tepes, most notably known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula, became renowned through Europe, not only for the devastating defeats he dealt to the Ottoman Empire but also for his legendary cruelty, which hundreds of years later would inspire the fictional character Dracula. It was said that during his reign you could leave your gold purse unattended in the market without fear that someone will try to steal it. His most notable victory was the Night Attack at Targoviste where 35.000 Wallachian troops (mainly light infantry and volunteers) infiltrated the Ottoman camp of 90.000-150.000 Ottoman troops. Vlad's goal was to assassinate the sultan, he failed and retreated, but in the aftermath of the battle the Wallachians suffered 5.000 casualties while the Ottomans 15.000.

Vlad the Impaler had 3 reigns: 1448, 1456-1462 and 1476. However, his 2nd reign is the most famous as this was the longest and when he had his infamous battles. In 1456, Stephen the Great helped Vlad the Impaler gain the throne of Wallachia, and in 1457 Vlad the Impaler helped Stephen the Great gain the throne of Moldavia. The reason I picked 1457 was that this is the first time when both of them becames rulers of Wallachia & Moldavia respectively.

While you probably know the legends behind Vlad the Impaler, the being a vampire part isn't true (obviously, although it would work well in a co-op nightmare supernatural horde mode where you fight vampires and he is the final boss), he impaled the Ottomans but there's so much more. He impaled the boyars who betrayed his father and older brother, and gave their lands to the peasants. The peasants in exchange, were to be trained and called to war when needed. He rid Wallachia of people who "pollute" land, thieves are impaled, beggars, homeless and the plague-infested are burned alive. In Vlad the Impaler's own words, they "depart earthly sufferings for a better afterlife". He further centralized his realm by building fortresses and expanding the capital. The city of Bucharest, that is now the capital of Romania, was founded by Vlad the Impaler, the previous capital was Targoviste. Vlad the Impaler undertook road construction to enhance domestic and international trade revenue. Gave subsidies to handymen to open their businesses and encouraged the middle class with partial tax exemption. Installed customs posts at the borders, forcing foreign merchants to pay taxes when traveling through or doing business in Wallachia, which greatly enriches the treasury.

Economist is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Vlad the Impaler, but being a cruel ruler doesn't exclude the possibility of being a smart one as well. The legend says that during Vlad the Impaler's reign you could leave a purse with gold unattended in the marketplace for everyone was to afraid to steal it. Kind of like Konrad Curze from Warhammer 40.000.

Vlad began his reign with many radical reforms. He weakened the Boyars (a privileged class of rich landowners) by introducing taxes; which Boyars previously never had to pay. Boyars that Vlad saw as corrupt or potential enemies were quickly executed. Boyar estates were then given to peasants. Many of the Boyars would be replaced by military Knights. The middleclass would have partial tax exemptions to inspire business growth.

Vlad reformed the military as well. While he began his reign with a mercenary army; he began introducing peasants into the military as well. Peasants would be given basic training and would resume their occupations until summoned for service. Vlad also constructed churches, castles, roads, and tolls.

Vlad's genocides were primarily against people that Vlad declared 'were polluting the land'. Criminals, thieves, adulterers and those committing premarital sex were publicly impaled and mutilated; in order to scare anyone else from committing crimes. Vlad considered the homeless and diseased to be a burden on society; and so attracted them with feasts, only burned them alive in the barns hosting the feast. Vlad justified these mass executions; saying that these people "depart their Earthly sufferings for a better afterlife."

One of the most infamous victims of Vlad's genocide was one of his mistresses; she lied about being pregnant, and Vlad retaliated by cutting her stomach open to confirm the lie.

Estimates for number of his victims ranges from 40,000 to 100,000. According to the German stories the number of victims he had killed was at least 80,000. In addition to the 80,000 victims mentioned he also had whole villages and fortresses destroyed and burned to the ground.
  • Vlad was a great tactician, always taking advantage of the surroundings to full extent, because he was always outnumbered by his enemies (especially the Ottomans, about 7 to 1 on average). He was also cunning and great at deceiving the enemy; and even known for going himself with a small contingent disguised as the enemy, slipping behind their lines and taking them out on several occasions, at times the Ottomans would kill fellow Ottomans because they would be unable to tell friend from foe. Vlad was in real life the gatekeeper of Europe. He stopped countless invasion attempts of the Ottoman Empire.
(This includes a full story of Vlad the Impaler)

"The beggars [I kill] depart their Earthly sufferings for a better afterlife" - Vlad the Impaler


2. Stephen III Musatin, as mentioned previously ruled for 47 years and won 44 out of 46 battles, the Pope named him "Champion of Christ", this goes to show how religious he was, since he was Orthodox but the Pope named him as such. He built a total of 44 churches, one for each battle he won with the help of God. He did not wish to be militaristic but was forced by the circumstances, arguing that he wishes to live in peace and prosperity with the neighbours that God gave him and telling the Sultan that if he already has so many money and riches, what is he doing in Moldavia? By 1476 Stephen the Great was already famous through Europe for his victories against the Ottomans, so he took that opportunity to ask all European nations (that includes western Europe like France, Germany and England too) for a new crusade against the Ottoman Empire. He sent a letter to each, but none replied as they were too busy fighting each other.

His most famous victories being against Matthias Corvinus of Hungary at Baia, against the Tatars at Lipnic, against Suleiman of the Ottoman Empire at Vaslui, and against John Albert of Poland in Codrii Cosminului. He also invaded Hungary and Poland and forced them to sue for peace by pillaging their land until they accept it, this speaks volumes considering how small Moldavia was compared to them. With his only defeats being at Valea Alba against Mehmed II and his first siege of Chilia in 1462. If Vlad the Impaler is Konrad Curze from Warhammer 40.000 then Stephen the Great is Sanguinius.

Stephen III gained experienced in fighting against the Ottomans due to his alliance with Vlad, and managed to implement similar scorched-earth tactics. Despite being outnumbered 3 to 1: Stephen III of Moldavia, The Great and the Holy, won at the Battle of Vaslui in 1475. He use light cavalry hit-and-run tactics to lure the Ottomans across a bridge into a a foggy valley. Stephen then used musical instruments to trick the Ottoman forces into moving westward; when his actual army ambushed the Ottomans from the east.

Stephen III also was hostile to Vlad's replacement Radu cel Frumos and managed to invade Wallacia and dethrone Radu multiple times in 1474: attempting to ascend Basarab Laiotă cel Bătrân to the throne. Radu's fate is difficult to confirm; but it is believed that he was killed by Stephen: either dying in battle or executed after being a POW.

"Moldavia doesn't belong to me, it doesn't belong to you, it doesn't belong to us, it belongs to our children's childrens forevermore" - Stephen the Great

The proposed world map:

fyYvFf9.jpg


Factions:
1. Wallachia
2. Moldavia
3. Ottoman Empire
4. Poland
5. Hungary
6. Tatars
7. Bosnia
8. Epirus
9. Quara

Notes:
- Poland, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire will be the biggest nations and the main players. But that's precisely the point, they were the dominant powers at the time.
- Wallachia and Moldavia will start as vassal states and soon declare independence if such mechanic is introduced or if not they start already independent.
- Year 1457 was chosen because a year ago Vlad the Impaler became ruler of Wallachia (with help from Stephen the Great) and Stephen the Great became ruler of Moldavia (with help from Vlad the Impaler).
- The Tatars while not as strong as Poland, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, would fight against Moldavia.
- Bosnia, Epirus and Quara are there for diversity and can have their own storylines. You can try a world conquest with them and would have more than 6 players on the world stage.

Storylines:
1. Wallachia - Vlad the Impaler
2. Moldavia - Stephen the Great
Similar to Mount&Blade With Fire and Sword's storylines, you are a mercenary working for them. The storylines I propose can be found below in the videos "Quick History: Vlad the Impaler" and "Quick History: Stephen the Great of Moldova feat. Vlad the Impaler". For a more in-depth look, check out: Battle of Targoviste (Part 1/2) and Battle of Vaslui, 1475 AD.
There will be a lot of wars and peace treaties with multiple nations, but also multiple civil wars with multiple pretenders. Wallachia and Moldavia were a "Game of Thrones", this is why Vlad the Impaler came to power 3 times and why it's a miracle that Stephen the Great ruled for 47 years in that unstable period, but he had his share of pretenders as well.
You can also choose to ignore the storylines and play Bannerlord's campaign the classical way.

Nightmare Mode:
Singleplayer or cooperative, a battle arena where you fight against waves and waves of supernatural forces, eventually facing a vampire Vlad the Impaler himself. To make things more interesting, you will be playing as the Ottomans. Yes I took inspiration from the Dracula: Untold movie.

You likely know Vlad the Impaler's story, here is Stephen the Great's story summary, you will find that he and Vlad the Impaler helped each other a few times: His uncle killed his father in 1451 and took his throne. Stephen the Great fled to Hungary and helped his cousin Vlad the Impaler to gain the throne of Wallachia in 1456. In return, Vlad the Impaler helped Stephen the Great take his father throne in 1457. In 1459, Stephen the Great became a Polish vassal, this infuriated King Matthias of Hungary. In 1462 he failed to besiege Chilia but succeded 3 years later.

In 1467 King Matthias of Hungary attacked Moldavia and was beaten badly by Stephen the Great. Then Stephen the Great advanced in Transylvania and started plundering it while defeating further attacks from Hungary. In 1469 King Matthias signed a peace treaty so he would stop. When Vlad the Impaler lost the throne of Wallachia to his younger brother, Radu the Handsome in 1462, Stephen the Great knew that a war with the Ottomans was imminent since he previously took Chilia. In 1470, Stephen the Great attacked Radu the Handsome in Wallachia. In response, the Ottoman Empire sent the Tatars to invade Moldavia but Stephen the Great defeated them at Lipnic and returned to Wallachia. In 1474, Stephen the Great finally defeated Radu the Handsome who fled to the Ottoman Empire and placed Laiota Basarab as ruler of Wallachia. But 2 years later Laiota Basarab switched sides (top 10 anime betrayals).

The same year Laiota Basarab switched sides, Mehmed II asked Stephen the Great to give up on Wallachia, give back Chilia and pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire. Stephen the Great refused and war was on. Mehmed II sent Suleiman Pasha and Laiota Basarab to deal with Stephen the Great. Who defeated them at the Battle of Vaslui in 1475. In 1476, Mehmed II came personally to fight Stephen the Great, he defeated Stephen the Great at the Battle of Valea Alba but was unable to take Moldavia’s capital, Suceava and eventually retreated.

In the same year, Stephen the Great invaded Wallachia from the east while his cousin Vlad the Impaler invaded Wallachia from the west. Laiota Basarab fled to the Ottoman Empire, Vlad the Impaler was again ruler of Wallachia, but 2 months later Laiota Basarab returned with an Ottoman army and Vlad the Impaler was killed in battle. The war lasted for 8 more years. In 1484, the Ottomans eventually managed to reconquer Chilia and Cetatea Alba and incorporate them into the Ottoman Empire, then signed a peace treaty with Stephen the Great where he would have to pay tribute and become an Ottoman vassal. In 1494, the Polish King John Albert planned a replacement of Stephen III with Sigismund, his younger brother.

The 13 years of peace ended. In 1497, the Polish army marched in Moldavia under the pretext to release of Chilia and Cetatea Alba from the Ottoman Empire. John Albert suddently attacked Moldavia’s capital, Suceava, but was unable to take and eventually retreated. On the way home, Stephen the Great attacked John Albert starting the Battle of Cosmin Forest heavly crippling the Polish army. In 1948, Stephen the Great sent armies to loot and plunder Poland. After defeating further attacks from Poland, in 1499, John Albert signed a peace treaty so Stephen the Great would stop, the Polish suzeranity over Moldavia ended.

In 1500, Stephen the Great stopped paying tribute to the Ottoman Empire again, and joined the Venetian - Ottoman war (1499 - 1503) together with Hungary, he defeated the Ottoman army again, but he could not recapture Chilia or Cetatea Alba. In 1502, the Tatars of the Great Horde invaded Moldavia but Stephen the Great defeated them with the support of the Crimean Tatars. The same year, he sent troops to support Hungary and since the truce with Poland expired recaptured Pocutia from Poland. In 1503, Hungary and Wallachia signed a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire and Stephen the Great again paid a yearly tribute to the Ottomans. He died in 1504 of poor health. On his deathbed, he had urged his son and co-ruler, Bogdan, to continue to pay the tribute to the Sultan.

Extra material:
Quick History: Vlad the Impaler:
I Am The Real Dracula (Vlad the Impaler):
Battle of Targoviste (Part 1/2) ⚔ Vlad the Impaler Rises:
Vlad The Impaler - How did he rise to power? (Part 1/2) DOCUMENTARY:
Quick History: Stephen the Great of Moldova feat. Vlad the Impaler:
Battle of Vaslui, 1475 AD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKFhubbLQd0
Moldavia during the reign of Stephen the Great (1457 - 1504): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kye0PRRXRUU

Title suggestions:
Blessed & Cursed -> Explain the relation between Vlad the Impaler and Stephen the Great.
Wallachian Wars/Wallachian Warriors -> Has a nice ring to it.
The Impaler -> Is clear cut and obvious.
The Saint and the Devil -> sounds a bit too melodramatic like it's a fantasy game.
Order of the Dragon -> the name of the order that Vlad the Impaler was part of.

Why I think this would be a good DLC?
- It tells otherwise untold stories. There are plenty of games about the main western events such as the War of the Roses or the 100 Years War, I don't think there is any game covering this, just like there wasn't any game covering the Deluge previously. I was not aware such a thing happened before playing With Fire and Sword and found it very interesting.
- The duality yet cooperation between Vlad the Impaler and Stephen the Great in their quest for independence would be interesting.
- You can skip Wallachia and Moldavia altogether and play as Poland, Hungary or the Ottoman Empire, trying to take out the 2 other great powers.
- Alternatively, you can play as 4 other smaller nations: the Tatars who would be similar to their With Fire and Sword counterparts except stronger because there are no firearms in 1457, the Bosniaks trapped between Hungary and the Ottomans and finally Epirus and Quara who would have to resist the Ottoman power.
- Various terrains: the dry lands of Anatolia, the Balkan mountains in Greece and Bulgaria, the swamps in Wallachia and Moldavia, the huge Carpathians, the Pannonian basin and the great plains of Poland.

I know it's early, but this suggestion is about a future DLC in a foreseeable future. Do you agree or disagree? Is there anything else that should be added or things that could be improved upon?
 
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