Nicholas I of Rome Edit

Nicholas I, styled at the time of his death as Nikolai, the First of His Name, Basileus of the Orthodox Roman Empire, Tsar of all the Russias, King of Greece, Duke of Thracia and Antioch, was a Byzantine Emperor and Russian Tsar who ruled from 1128 to 1155.

Early Life Edit

Nicholas I was born Nikolai Rurikid in 1085, as the youngest son to Tsar Yaroslav Rurikid with his wife, Basileia Markia Makedon. As a child he was raised predominantly by his father in Kiev. As part of his father's plan to unite the two Orthodox Empires, an unusual law of Ultimogeniture was implemented in the Russian Empire.

Ultimogeniture stated that Yaroslav's inheritor would be his youngest living son, as opposed to his oldest. Since Nicholas was the oldest son of Markia, which used Primogeniture succession, this would make him heir to both the Russian and Eastern Roman Empires. Markia's rule was ended in 1091, however, after a civil war installed her sister Parthena "the Holy" on the throne.

Early Rule Edit

Nikolai became Tsar of Russia, as well as King of Rus and Ruthenia, after his father's death on June 6 1097. Ruling in Kiev, he continued expanding Russian territory further East into the Volga watershed and converting Russian territories to Orthodox Christianity.

Conquering the Eastern Roman Empire Edit

After his mother Markia died in _______, Nikolai inherited the Duchy of Thrace. Additionally, he claimed the death of Markia made him the rightful Roman Basileus, a claim which the active Emperor Pavlos I rebuffed. In ________ Nikolai declared war against Pavlos to press his claim for the Eastern Roman Empire.

The armies of Ruthenia and Wallachia quickly marched to Constantinople and began laying siege to the city. As the Byzantine troops landed in Thrace to attempt their own siege, the army of Rus arrived and swiftly defeated the Romans. The collective Russian armies quickly took Constantinople, and Pavlos surrendered.

Emperor of the Orthodox Roman Empire Edit

Coronation and Realignment Edit

Nikolai was coronated Nicholas I, Basileus of the Roman Empire, on July 28, 1128, by Ecumenical Patriarch _____. To appease the major Byzantine Dukes, who were upset at being ruled by a Russian and the first non-Makedon Emperor in 261 years; and to make his new Empire easier to rule, Nicholas created several new kingdoms that could act with great autonomy, but still be sworn to him.

The new kingdoms included Alania, Anatolia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, and Sicily. Greece was given to Nicholas himself, as the official Crown Lands of the new Empire, and Nicholas moved his capital to Constantinople. Croatia was given to Pavlos, as an acknowledgement of the former Emperor's importance to the Empire. The rest of the Kingdoms were given to the most powerful Duke within their borders.

Additionally, Nicholas maintained the Kingdoms of Rus, Ruthenia, Serbia, Trebizond, Wallachia. Rus was granted to Nicholas' oldest son, Rostislav Rurikid, marking the first time the Tsar of Russia was not King of Rus. Ruthenia was granted to Nicholas' second oldest son, Iziaslav Rurikid, making him the most powerful of the Kings, and separating Ruthenia from the primary Rurikid line. Despot _____ of Serbia was allowed to retain his de facto position, but had his title changed to "King" in order to create a new title of Despot. Trebizond was embroiled in a civil war against King ____ for _____'s claim to the throne, and Nicholas pledged the greater Empire would not become involved with the domestic war. ______ was allowed to retain his position as King of Wallachia, and was re-affirmed by Nicholas as one of the most important Kings when he was given the honorary position of ______.

Nicholas created the honorary title of "Despot" shortly after taking power in Constantinople. Despot denoted the Emperor's heir-apparent who would wield considerable power and be treated as a de facto Junior Emperor. "Sebastokrator" was redefined to denote the most powerful of all the Kings, and was bestowed to Iziaslav, who ruled as a de facto second Tsar in Russia. "Cesar" was redefined to denote the most powerful King within the traditional Roman borders, and was bestowed to Pavlos to further reaffirm his importance to the Empire.

The realignment was met with approval from the Byzantine Vassals, as it allowed most regions to be ruled semi-autonomously by local Lords.