While searching for my villain’s motive, I uncovered some very remarkable ties to some very remarkable key figures in history, one of which was Mehmet II. It was as if I had announced a casting call and the pages of history provided the perfect characters. To avoid spoiling it, I can’t tell you how these characters support the story, but I can give you a brief synopsis of the characters and what they did.
|Mehmet II "The Conquerer"|
In 1451, at the young age of 19, Mehmet II ascended the throne and began his reign as the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. By the time young Mehmet took control, the Ottomans controlled almost all of the former Christian and Byzantine lands except Constantinople (present day Istanbul).
|Mehmet II atop his white steed prepares his troops for attack|
|Hagia Spohia (before conquest by Mehmet II)|
|Ottomans attack the walls of Constantinople|
The first wave of attackers (auxiliaries), was poorly trained and equipped, and was meant only to kill as many defenders as possible. The second assault, consisting largely of Anatolians, focused on a section of the walls in the northwest part of the city, which had been partially damaged by the cannon. The Ottoman attackers managed to break through, but were just as quickly pushed back out by the defenders. The Christians also managed for a time to hold off the third attack by the Sultan's elite Janissaries, but the Genoese general in charge of the land troops, Giovanni Giustiniani, was grievously wounded (succumbed to his wounds a few days later) during the attack, and his evacuation from the ramparts caused a panic in the ranks of the defenders.
|Mehmet II enters Constantinople atop his white steed|
|Constantinople fell to Ottomans under a crescent moon|
|Ottoman Army converges on Hagia Sophia|
|Hagia Sophia (modern day)|
With Constantinople beneath his belt, Mehmet II had acquired a great, rich city. The Capital allowed the Turks to establish a permanent supply base in Christian Europe. Further advances into Hungary and the principalities bordering the two kingdoms would have been difficult, if not impossible, without the harbors of Constantinople bringing in supplies and serving as a fortified center from which to administer the empire and strategy.