Fourth Pantocratorian Crusade

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The Fourth Pantocratorian Crusade was the last true Pantocratorian Crusade. By 1703, Pantocratoria was a technological laggard. Its isolation from Europe had meant that its shipbuilding and navigation techniques were decades, even centuries, behind their time. This had led to the Empire's ignomonious defeat in the First War of Insolence, which seriously damaged Pantocratorian national confidence. It was considered a public shame that the Empire which had once been the cradle of civilisation was now so very backwards, and many modernist movements began to spring up, becoming a voice of dissent against the government through the newly formed Pantocratorian Imperial Parliament as Emperor Manuel the Fat declined into hopeless decadence. This provoked a reactionary backlash in favour of the way things had always been, led primarily by the Knights of the Order of the Pantocrator. Despite criticisms that the Pantocratorian Crusade was now an historical anachronism at best from the modernist camp, the Grandmaster of the Order of the Pantocrator demanded that the regent for the young Emperor Manuel V, Empress Dowager Maria, call the Fourth Pantocratorian Crusade, which she dutifully did on the 29th of May, 1703.

The Crusader army consisted primarily of two thousand Knights of the Order of the Pantocrator, who would fight on horseback as heavy cavalry if the opportunity presented itself, and just over one thousand men at arms. The sailors of the Crusader fleet were also to be the army's gunners. The ships which composed the Crusader fleet were deliberately old fashioned - the Knights of the Order of the Pantocrator argued that it had been the judgment of God against newer ship designs which had seen the destruction of the Pantocratorian navy in the War of Insolence. Modern navigation and sailing techniques were totally shunned, even forbidden - such godless sciences, it was argued, could not guide a Crusade - only the hand of God would see them to Constantinople.

Naturally their total lack of proper navigation saw them scatter and end up in all sorts of places other than their end destination. The Knights of the Order of the Pantocrator became objects of ridicule on their own ships. The ships of the fleet encountered all sorts of other activity in the Atlantic - mostly French and Spanish ships on their way back and forth between Europe and their colonies in the Americas. With their knightly passengers now discredited, ship captains, sailors, and soldiers began trading goods and ideas with the French and Spanish in particular, adopting their navigation techniques, and promising vast sums of money for modern maps and the like. Naturally, the Europeans sent ships following after these odd, old fashioned people, investigating prospects for trade in particular. The period which followed saw a flourishing of trade of goods and ideas between Pantocratoria and Europe, and increased support for the modernist factions.

Previous Crusade:
Third Pantocratorian Crusade
The Pantocratorian Crusades
Next Crusade:
The Rebellion of the Fifth Pantocratorian Crusade