The lay of the land
I am pleased to be the chronicler engaged to put into writing the events pertaining to the rule of our most Holy Emperor Henry.
In the year of our Lord, 1102, the mighty Holy Roman Empire spans some 14 regions from Saxony in the north to Provence in the south and from Bohemia in the east to Flanders in the west. All is ruled by the chivalrous emperor Heinrich who has, through his sons, expanded the borders of the realm for the past two decades. These years have also seen a great reformation of the agricultural system, which will, God willing, pave the way to a prosperous future. In addition, a great effort has been put towards expanding the mines in the empire, with the Austrian silver mines worth a particular mention as they have become a source of great wealth
Hostilities against the Papal state have not been pursued during this period, although the state of war has not been revoked. It is widely thought, in learned circles, that the emperor has been in contact with the most holy Pope Gregory concerning the current situation, but little is certain. Something which is known, on the other hand, is that the Polish continues to honour our alliance and have directed their forces towards the Baltic coast in an attempt to further spread the word of God.
On the other side of our glorious empire, the lands of the French have been split by the activities of the British. The ceasefire in place is tenuous at best and rumour has it that further campaigns are being planned. As the area around Île de France holds considerable wealth the French have the means to field a large quantity of troops.
On our southern borders the Venetians and the Milanese have renewed their hostilities and declared open war. Although there has been only skirmishes for the past decade, I have been informed that the Doge Domenico of Venice has assembled an army in the city of Bologna, which will be ready to march come spring.
On the northern border our Viking friends have undertaken long exploratory voyages with their speedy long-ships, plying up and down the Baltic Sea and journeying far to the west around the British Isles. Perhaps they too are anxious to expand their borders?
With the multitude of conflicts brewing around Europe the Emperor, in his wisdom, has ordered the building of new facilities to hold an expanded army, as well as starting the recruitment of suitable soldiers.
Thus securing the borders of our prosperous union of duchies, kingdoms and cities our Emperor continues to safeguard the interests of the Holy Roman Empire and all his subjects.
May the peace last for ever!