- +1 Yearly legitimacy
- +50% Chance of new heir
- +1 Yearly prestige
- +20% Fort defense
- −10% Idea cost
- +1 Diplomat
- +1 Diplomatic reputation
- +10% Morale of armies
- +20% Domestic trade power
- +20% Spy network construction
- +10% Goods produced modifier
Trebizond is a one province minor in the Anatolian region, and the primary nation of Pontic culture. It starts in 1444 surrounded by the Ottomans to the west, Aq Qoyunlu to the south, Imereti to the northeast and Samtskhe to the east.
Historically, Trebizond was a Greek kingdom carved out of the Byzantine Empire after it was shattered by the Fourth Crusade in 1204. Despite the rival Empire of Nicaea reforming Byzantium in 1261, Trebizond remained an independent kingdom and continued to press its own claim to the Imperial throne. Through clever diplomacy and royal marriages with its famously beautiful women, Trebizond managed to outlive the Empire. In 1461, however, Trebizond too fell to the advancing Ottomans.
Whether the player chooses to fulfil Trebizond's historical ambitions of a Komnenoi restoration in Byzantium, or pursue a different path, they will face a very difficult road ahead. Tiny, weak, and surrounded by powerful enemies, Trebizond is a supreme challenge for the player. If they are able to survive, however, Trebizond's unique defensive and diplomatic strengths make for an interesting and rewarding campaign.
As a country with Pontic primary culture, Trebizond is able to restore Byzantium if the latter is destroyed.
The Pontic Steppe
The ever immenent threat of the Ottomans as well as other potential regional powers like Qara Qoyunlu and the Timurids makes Trebizond a very dangerous place to be. One solution to this is to move onto the aptly named Pontic Steppe and build up from there. Begin by fabricating claims on Circassia and improving relations with potential allies (Muscovy is a good choice as it is Orthodox). Build up your fleet and army and once a claim has been fabricated, declare war on Circassia and fully annex it. Raise autonomy as Trebizond's army will not be powerful enough to suppress any rebellion. From here, begin eating the rest of the Caucasian states and improve relations with the Ottomans, hoping they will spare you (if not, give them Trabzon and hopefully they will leave you alone). From here, simply build up your powerbase on the Steppe/Caucasia/Persia until you reach 1000 development.
By going over force limit and taking on debt, it is possible to fully annex Imereti, Samtskhe and later Georgia within a few years. Between Samstkhe and Imereti, attack the weaker of the two, stackwipe them with your larger army and fully occupy them. If they get attacked while you're at war, you can vassalize them and engage your next target in a defensive war, calling in any allies you might have picked up (at this point, likely only Theodoro, if any.) Raise autonomy in all provinces and use estates to mitigate the high autonomy. It is a good idea to accept Georgian culture or even culture shift, as you will not be annexing any Greek provinces for a while. From here, attack opportunistically; prime candidates for expansion are Circassia, Gazikumukh, Shirvan, Aq Qoyunlu and Crimea, using your allies' armies wherever possible. With a large enough alliance network, you can guarantee your safety and spread yourself all through Caucasia, the Pontic Steppe, Ruthenia and finally, Anatolia.