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Crusade Challenge. Life and death decisions of the Crusades. Call to the Crusade.

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Crusade Challenge

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Crusade challenge

Crusade Challenge

Life and death decisions of the Crusades


Call to the crusade

Call to the Crusade

  • It is 1095. Pope Urban II has received an urgent letter from Constantinople asking for military aid. Urban, has just completed a speech to a crowd of people at Clermont France. Which statement best describes what he has offered to the crowd?

1. Any Christian who leaves on this journey will be granted salvation.

2. Any Christian who leaves on this journey will not receive wealth and titles.

3. Christians are forbidden to go on a crusade since it is against God’s will to kill people.


Gathering an army

Gathering an army!

  • Choice 1: Many people want to be the first to enter Jerusalem so they want to go on the journey right away. You must decide to follow Peter the Hermit (a powerful speaker and loved by his followers) or wait one year to gather soldiers for the march ahead.

1. Follow Peter and his army of 30,000 men

2. Wait one year and collect troops and supplies.


Becoming a vassal

Becoming a vassal!

  • You realize just how serious this Crusade has become when you see the greatest nobles in France leading large armies Eastward. You quickly pledge your loyalty and sword to the nobles and in return they promise you land and wealth in the Holy Land.

  • +15 wealth

Journey to Constantinople


Following the hermit

Following the Hermit!

  • Choice 2: Many of the people in Peter’s army are lowly peasants and once they ran out of food they began to attack towns to get food. Many of the people who were targeted were of the Jewish faith. You yourself are low on supplies. Do you…

1. Spend the little gold you have to buy food and water.

2. Attack the Jews and other non-Christians and take what

you want in the name of God.


Buying your food constantinople

Buying your food… Constantinople

  • You have decided to be noble and buy your food. This is a costly decision and many wonder why you did it. However, you feel, as a Christian knight that you must hold yourself to a higher standard. You witness many atrocities as you travel with this peasant army.

  • -10 wealth points, +5 spiritual points

Journey to Constantinople


Stealing your food constantinople

Stealing your food… Constantinople

  • You come across a Jewish village and begin to feel your stomach grumble. Very quickly you witness peasants scream “Deus Vult” and kill innocent Jewish townsfolk. You get caught up in the frenzy and feel that this may be “God’s Will.” Soon your belly is full, your pockets carry a little more gold, but innocent blood is on your hands.

  • +5 wealth points, -15 spiritual points

Journey to Constantinople


You finally arrive constantinople

You finally arrive… Constantinople!

  • Choice 3: The Greek Orthodox Emperor, Alexis, is shocked to see such a rag tag army arrive at his gates. Many of the peasants are stealing and looting the city to get supplies. The emperor decides to give Peter ships and some weapons so he can start the Crusade in Asia Minor. Do you…

Join Peter and lead the army into

Asia Minor (Palestine).

2. Wait in Constantinople.


Waiting a bit constantinople

Waiting a bit… Constantinople!

  • Peter is outraged with you and declares that you lack the proper faith to move on and conquer Jerusalem in the name of God.

  • Before long, news arrives that the peasant army was crushed, but Peter survived. As you begin to decide how you will get home a real army arrives headed by some of the greatest nobles in Europe.

  • You decide to stay with the nobles and head towards Jerusalem.

  • +5 leadership

A Real Army Arrives


Asia minor

Asia Minor!

  • Choice 4: Your army of 25,000 men have arrived on the shores of Palestine. As you march towards Jerusalem you realize the heat and an army of Muslims in the distance. You hear the cries of “Deus Vult” rise and you see Peter encouraging his men to fight. Do you…

1. Help Peter lead the charge against this Muslim army.

2. Run, hide, and get back to Constantinople.


The great slaughter

The great slaughter!

  • You realize really quickly that an army of peasants is no match for a real army of trained warriors. The Muslim archers make quick work of the Peasant Army. After the battle, as you lie slowly dying on the battlefield, you watch the Muslim soldiers strip the peasants of their cloth’s and allow them to bake in the hot desert sun. There are no rewards for you…


A real army the first crusade

A real army… the First Crusade

  • You made the right choice. Peter’s army was wiped out and were humiliated after the battle. However, Peter and some of the peasants did survive and have met up with you. As you waited, arguing over what to do next, you see another army on the horizon. The banners of Christian knights fly high in the air. You decide its best to leave the fighting to the professionals.

  • +10 leadership points

Onward to Nicaea


The great city constantinople

The Great City… Constantinople

  • Choice 2: You arrive at the great city and you are shocked at its size, splendor, and grand architecture. The emperor has already sent Peter’s army ahead and they were completely slaughtered. He does not trust you nor do the French nobles trust the emperor. A small group of nobles want to take the city for themselves and forget about Jerusalem. The city is filled with treasure. However, you were sent by the Pope to capture Jerusalem. In order to get the aide of the emperor you must agree to pay homage to him and become his vassal. He will bestow upon you treasure and food. Do you…

1. Pay homage to the emperor, become his vassal,

and continue to Nicaea.

2. Wait for the other nobles to leave and sack the city .


Pay homage constantinople

Pay Homage… Constantinople

  • You agree to become the vassal to the emperor Alexis. Many of the knights are not happy but you do receive quite a bit of treasure. Some of the knights grumble that the moment they make it to the Holy Land they will not give what they fought for back to the Byzantine emperor. For now… you take the food and treasure and make your way to Nicaea…and war!

  • +10 wealth, +5 leadership points

Onward to Nicaea


Sacking the city constantinople

SACKING the CITY… Constantinople

  • You have taken the city and now rule as the leader of Constantinople. The Pope quickly excommunicates you and you realize that you do not have enough men to protect the city from future attacks. The First Crusade ends as a failure and within a few years you lose your power to invaders.

  • You die without honor and never even saw the Holy Land.

  • +30 Wealth points, -30 leadership points -50 spiritual points


The first battle nicaea

The First Battle… Nicaea

  • Choice 5: As you arrive at the city you are awestruck by the size of the walls and large towers. You quickly build siege towers and battering rams. As you try to knock your way into the city the Turks put forth a great defense. Soon, King Arslan (the guy who killed Peter’s peasant army) arrives with a great force to break your siege. Do you…

1. Break formation and have your knights charge independently into the

Turkish lines to wipe out their archers and cavalry.

2. Stay in a rigid formation and complete the pig-sticking procedure by charging into the Turkish lines.


Defeat nicaea

Defeat… Nicaea

  • You broke your formation and had your knights independently charge the faster and lighter Muslim warriors. They “picked” apart your heavy armored knights. Your army suffered heavy losses and the spirit of the Crusaders were lost due to your poor choice of combat strategy.


Victory nicaea

Victory… Nicaea

  • A great choice my lord! Your knights kept their formation and slaughtered the less armored Muslim warriors. King Arslan has retreated and has come to fear your name. Everyone is in high spirits as you won the first major battle of the Crusade. Now you must break into the city of Nicaea!

  • +15 leadership points

To the SIEGE


Breaking in nicaea

Breaking in… Nicaea

  • You are still having trouble breaking into the city of Nicaea. However, the Byzantine Emperor Alexis has arrived and has helped by cutting off supplies into the city. The city defenders realize they have lost and now surrender to Alexis. This does not sit well with many of the Crusaders who wanted to kill everyone in the city. However, since you became the emperors vassal you must listen to him. Alexis does not want blood shed and agrees to allow the Muslims to go peacefully. Many of the Crusaders are angry about this decision.

  • - 5 wealth

Onward toward Antioch


Onward toward antioch

Onward… Toward Antioch

  • Choice 6: The Crusader army decides to split into two groups so they can travel faster and more efficiently. You traveled with the first group led by the great warrior Bohemond. As you travel through a narrow pass through mountains King Arslan surprises your force of 30,000 men. The Turks surround your army screaming out of the mountain with swords in hand. The Turks are calling out “Allahu Akbar” (Allah be praised) and you realize quickly that King Arslan has more than 350,000 troops at his command. Your knights look to you to lead them you decide to…

1. Run away and scream all the way back to Nicaea

2. Call for a charge and try your luck to break the Turkish army.

3. Hold your ground. Form a tight square formation and wait for reinforcements.


Defeat toward antioch

Defeat… Toward Antioch

  • Run away? You just allowed the Muslims to easily kill every one of your poor soldiers who had the unfortunate luck of being one of your men.


A fierce battle toward antioch

A Fierce Battle… Toward Antioch

  • Your men lead a courageous charge towards the Muslims. Blood and bodies fall everywhere. The battle is intense and, without reinforcements and without the ability to protect your rear flanks, your army is consumed by the many Turks. Bohemond however, chose to form a tight square formation and was able to fight off the Turks and rescue you in the process.

  • -10 leadership points… But you are still alive!

Onward to Antioch


A fierce battle toward antioch1

A Fierce Battle… Toward Antioch

  • Your men lead a courageous charge towards the Muslims. Blood and bodies fall everywhere. The battle is intense many Christians are slaughtered but your men are holding the line while women, priests, and even children pick up weapons to fill in the gaps where dead soldiers lie.

  • For eight hours the attack continues and your men are still holding, but barely…. But wait luck has it the second army has arrived and now it is the Muslims who are trapped. The two armies now pursue and kill every Muslim they can get their hands on. For a day and a night the Crusaders chased down and massacred Arslan’s army. Taking for themselves much gold, silver, horses, oxen, sheep, and many other things.

  • +25 leadership points and +10 wealth points

Onward to Antioch


The anatolian nightmare toward antioch

The Anatolian Nightmare… Toward Antioch

  • Choice 7: Before you and the Crusaders stretches a waterless wasteland of 500 miles. Your supplies are low, it is mid-July, and it is boiling hot. The temperature during the day often exceeds 110 degrees. As you travel across this harsh terrain you see Crusaders eating their horses, falcons, and even their hunting dogs to survive. Babies and infants are left on the side of the road while the old and weak are abandoned in the remorseless desert. At times your men feed on patches of sugarcane. Finally, September has come and the army comes across the river. Some of the men drink so much and so fast that they die!

  • After all of this, some of the knights are feeling a bit crazed and are now looking for loot and plunder. They want to attack cities that have no importance to the mission. Do you…

1. Help the knights attack and lay siege to nearby cities for loot and treasure.

2. Continue the journey toward Antioch.


A profitable choice toward antioch

A profitable choice… Toward Antioch

  • Success! By leading your men to nearby cities such as St. Paul you have realized there is a great fortune to be made. You defeat and chase away a Turkish garrison. The Christians of the city rejoice and shower you and your men with gifts and food.

  • You gain +35 wealth points

Arrival at Antioch


A spiritual decision toward antioch

A spiritual decision… Toward Antioch

  • You decide that Jerusalem is more important and show your faith and conviction to your men. You learn quickly that the cities around you were weak and many even held great treasure. Some of your men give you sneers, but many more look to you as a pious leader who is doing God’s work.

  • +25 spiritual, -5 wealth points

Arrival at Antioch


Arrival antioch

Arrival… Antioch

  • The walls around Antioch stretch for 25 miles and contain over 400 watchtowers. The city is well supplied. The commander of the city has already kicked out all the Christians in the city and has decided to dangle a bishop from a cage as a taunt to you and your men. The Crusaders begin to catapult firebombs, large rocks, and even dead animals over the walls, but none of these actions have any real effect.

  • Another problem is that you heard there are spies in your camp telling the Muslims everything that you are planning to do.

  • Also you have learned that Stephen of Blois, a powerful noble, has packed his bags and left to go back to France.

  • Do you…

1. Leave the Crusade and go home.

2. Capture the spies and make a example of them.

3. Look for a weak spot within the walls.


A long sad march home

A long sad march home…

  • You will live, like Stephen did, to regret this decision. On your way home you bumped into Alexis’s army and told him that Antioch was lost. He regrettably sent his reinforcements home leaving the Crusader army on its own. Later, you learned that the Crusaders did eventually break into Antioch and made their way to Jerusalem. You go down in history as a coward instead of as a hero.

  • -50 leadership points and -50 spiritual points


Eww but effective antioch

Eww, but effective… Antioch

  • You and Bohemond round up many of the Muslim spies. A disgusting idea pops into the heads of the Crusaders. First they chop the heads of the Muslims and begin to roast their bodies on spits. The Muslims inside the city watch in horror. And you soon learn about a Muslim tower guard who fears what may happen to him and decides he wants to make a deal with you…

  • +15 leadership, -10 spiritual points

Lets make a deal!


A spy within antioch

A Spy within… Antioch

  • As you and your advisors search the walls you learn that Bohemond has captured and killed the spies in your camp. You meet a tower guard who converted to Islam but is not happy with his commander. He decides, after seeing what Bohemond did to the spies, that he would like to make a deal with you…

  • +5 leadership, +5 spiritual

Lets make a deal!


Making a deal antioch

Making a deal… Antioch

  • Choice 9: The Muslim Firouz, a tower guard who converted to Islam tells you that he is willing to let you in, if you spare his life and his families. Plus, he wants a cash reward. Can you trust this man? Some of your men do not trust him because he is a Muslim. They think he is telling you lies to trap you and your men. Do you…

1. Agree to give him money and sneak into the city, possibly

putting yourself at risk of being captured.

2. Decide not to trust Firouz and continue the siege as planned.


Breaking in antioch

Breaking in… Antioch

  • You, Bohemond, and 60 men climb a rope and enter the city. You begin to hack apart every Turk you come across. The author Gesta Francorum reports

    • “All the streets of the city on every side were full of corpses, so that no one could endure to be there because of the stench, nor could anyone walk along the narrow paths of the city except over the corpses of the dead.”

  • As gruesome as the battle may have been as the end of the day it was Bohemond’s and your flag that flies over the cities towers.

  • +20 leadership, -5 spiritual points, -5 wealth points

The Besiegers Are Besieged


Breaking in antioch1

Breaking in… Antioch

  • While you decide not to trust Fizouz, Bohemond and 60 men climb a rope and enter the city. You begin to hack apart every Turk you come across. The author Gesta Francorum reports

    • “All the streets of the city on every side were full of corpses, so that no one could endure to be there because of the stench, nor could anyone walk along the narrow paths of the city except over the corpses of the dead.”

  • As gruesome as the battle may have been as the end of the day it was Bohemond’s flag (not yours) that flies over the cities towers.

  • -15 leadership

The Besiegers Are Besieged


Defending antioch

Defending… Antioch

  • Luckily, you are now behind the walls of this great city. Another Turkish army has arrived under Kerbogha, the Emir of Mosul. Had he arrived 24 hours earlier the Crusader army would have been crushed. Now you are behind the protection of Antioch's walls but are surrounded by the strongest Muslim army you will face on this adventure. You are low on food and supplies. You have around 30,000 half crazed Crusaders. As you contemplate your next move a peasant has made his way to you and the other leaders of the Crusade. He has urgent news…

Peter Bartholomew


Peter the crazy antioch

Peter the Crazy???… Antioch

  • Choice 10: Peter Bartholomew (not the Hermit), a peasant that does not have a great reputation, claims he has had a vision from God. He knows where the Holy Lance lies and if found this relic that pierced the side of Jesus as he was on the cross will grant the Crusaders victory over the Muslim army. Is Peter a madman? Do you have the time to dig for relics as an army prepares to break down your walls? The nobles are in a heated argument over what to do… Do you…

1. Agree to dig for the relic in hope of a miracle.

2. Decide to find supplies and prepare your defenses for the next attack.


Miracle antioch

Miracle… Antioch

  • You and your men have spent the morning digging up a floor of a church looking for the Holy Lance. As you dig you begin to hear shouts outside and the beginning of catapults hitting the walls of the city. You begin to worry that you made a horrible mistake until you see Peter jump into the pit and pulls out a length of iron from the rubble. He quickly claims this to be the Holy Lance and the Crusaders fall to their knees to pray. Suddenly, the Crusaders are filled with joy. The Bishop Adhemar orders a three day fast (easy enough since you have no food) in preparation for battle with the Turks.

  • + 10 leadership points, +20 spiritual points

To Battle?


Miracle antioch1

Miracle… Antioch

  • As you and your men decide to leave the others to dig for the Holy Lance you scavenge the city for any food. You find small stores of food but nothing to make a major difference. Suddenly, you hear the shouts of Crusaders calling out “Dues Vult!” You run into a church to see Peter holding a lance high into the air and others praying on their knees. Did he truly find the Lance?

  • +5 leadership points, -15 spiritual points

To Battle?


A grand battle antioch

A Grand Battle… Antioch

  • Choice 11: After three days of fasting, Bohemond decides he wants to leave the safety of the city and meet the larger Muslim army on the battlefield. With the Holy Lance at your side many Crusaders believe they cannot lose this battle. Do you risk leaving the safety of the walls to fight a much larger army? Do you believe that this truly is the Lance? Can you possibly wait for Emperor Alexis to arrive with reinforcements? Do you…

1. Wait inside and hope for reinforcements.

2. Leave the city and meet the Muslim army in battle.


Victory but not for you antioch

Victory…but not for you… Antioch

  • Believing that you will die, you stay inside the castle while 30,000 plus Crusaders leave the city and meet an army roughly 4 times the size of your own. In what may be the greatest victory for the Crusaders, the knights fought as if each one was worth 10 Muslim warriors. Soon some of the Muslim nobles flee from the battle with their men and the Crusaders standing among the bodies of the fallen have the Holy Lance and their eyes set on Jerusalem with no army to stop them. Many Crusaders seem to think you lack the faith for this final journey.

  • -5 leadership points, -15 spiritual points

To Jerusalem


Victory antioch

Victory… Antioch

  • Believing (or not) that this is the Holy Lance, you and the 30,000 plus Crusaders leave the city and meet an army roughly 4 times the size of your own. In what may be the greatest victory for the Crusaders, the knights fought as if each one was worth 10 Muslim warriors. Soon some of the Muslim nobles flee from the battle with their men and the Crusaders standing among the bodies of the fallen have the Holy Lance and their eyes set on Jerusalem with no army to stop them.

  • +10 leadership points, +25 spiritual points

To Jerusalem


Plague chaos and famine jerusalem

Plague, Chaos, and Famine… Jerusalem

  • Choice 12:It is now July 1089. A strange and gruesome disease has now hit many of the Crusaders. The diseased show strange black swellings that ooze blood and pus … the smell is unbearable. After five agonizing days many of them die. Now with food shortages low you have a tough decision to make. Some have hinted that they should hunt some Turks and eat them. At first many are disgusted and horrified. However, your belly grumbles. Do you…

1. Make due with the food that you have by eating leather boots and belts.

2. Find and kill Turks… and eat them.


Going hungry jerusalem

Going hungry…Jerusalem

  • Your men are going hungry, some have even starved to death… some have even died while riding their horse and traveled a few miles before you even knew it. With the hunger, the disease has hit harder… however, enough men have died that you can now continue your march towards Jerusalem with the rest of the army.

  • -5 leadership points, +10 spiritual points

To Jerusalem


Bellies full jerusalem

To Jerusalem

Bellies full… Jerusalem

  • Survival leads to sacrifices. Have you lost what has made you a man? However, you have fed your army and the disease seems to have passed. The weak have died and now it is time to make your way towards Jerusalem.

  • +10 leadership points, -10 spiritual points


To siege or not to siege jerusalem

To Siege or not to Siege… Jerusalem

  • Choice 13: As you and your men pour over maps trying to figure out how to attack the city, a city whose walls are fifty feet high you are interrupted. A strange hermit who has lived in the hills near Jerusalem come s to deliver you message. He tells you that if you attack the wall tomorrow that on the ninth hour the Lord will deliver the city into your hands. None of your siege weapons have been constructed, but many feel that this hermit is a Prophet from God. Do you…

1. Assault the city walls and take the city by force.

2. Continue to plan and not follow the Christian horde that wants to attack the city wall.


Attack did you make a good choice jerusalem

ATTACK… did you make a good choice…Jerusalem

  • Thousands of Crusaders fling themselves at the outer wall of the city. The Christians fight savagely and against all odds have actually reached the parapets of the wall. Wave after wave of Christians crash themselves into the walls. They have hollow cheeks, burning eyes, ragged beards and wild hair. However, the Muslim archers from the walls unleash a torrent of arrows and the Christians fall in a heap of dead bodies. Many of the Christians are angry that you stayed behind and that you lack true faith, but your men are grateful for not throwing their lives away.

  • +20 leadership points, -5 spiritual points

To Jerusalem


Attack did you make a good choice jerusalem1

ATTACK… did you make a good choice…Jerusalem

  • Thousands of Crusaders fling themselves at the outer wall of the city. The Christians fight savagely and against all odds have actually reached the parapets of the wall. Wave after wave of Christians crash themselves into the walls. They have hollow cheeks, burning eyes, ragged beards and wild hair. However, the Muslim archers from the walls unleash a torrent of arrows and the Christians fall in a heap of dead bodies. Many of the Christians are angry that some knights stayed behind and that they lost only because they lacked true faith but the men left or who survived are grateful for your courage and faith and claim that they will follow your orders.

  • -10 leadership points, +25 spiritual points

To Jerusalem


Parade jerusalem

Parade?... Jerusalem

  • Choice 14: One of the knights, Tancred, had discovered a large pile of wood in a cave while he was…sick. With this you can now build proper siege equipment. Furthermore, a priest claims that he had a vision of Bishop Adhemar. He claims that if the Crusaders free themselves of all the filth of the world, put sin around them, and walk barefoot around the city, at the end of nine days the city will be in Christian hands. If you do not then your misery will increase 100 fold. Do you…

1. Take part in the crazy parade and then assault the walls on the 9th day

2. Watch from afar and prepare your final attack.


Before the battle antioch

Before the Battle… Antioch

  • You join the parade and sing hymns as you walk around the city barefoot. Some of the Christians are naked and all are walking on sharp rocks and rubble. No one seems to care except for the Muslims who mock you at every turn. You feel an increased inner strength for the final battle.

  • +30 spiritual points

To the siege of Jerusalem


Before the battle antioch1

Before the Battle… Antioch

  • You watch your fellow Christians parade around the city. Some of the Christians are naked and all are walking on sharp rocks and rubble. No one seems to care except for the Muslims who mock them at every turn. You feel like you have made an error by not joining your Christian brothers in the parade.

  • -15 spiritual points

To the siege of Jerusalem


Victory jerusalem

Victory... Jerusalem

  • On July 15th the Crusaders launch the final attack of the First Crusade. Battering rams smash into the walls and the Muslims respond by throwing bombs to start fires. Smoke fills the sky and through the thick clouds the Muslims see a figure of Jesus that adorns the siege tower of Godfrey of Bouillon. Before the Muslims can react, the Crusaders leap from the tower to the wall. From there the Crusaders begin to massacre the Muslim army… and continue to massacre even the people of Jerusalem. After so much carnage and violence the Crusaders decide to hold Mass… and thank God. DEUS VULT!

  • + 10 leadership, +10 spiritual points, +30 wealth points


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