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dragoon9105
Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 5:50:31 AM
 Major General


Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 1,656


A Lengthy Prelude

So It is now once again time for me to try my hand at not being horribly maimed and surviving an Ederon Multiplayer game. This is my Third attempt at continuous survival until 1945, and hopefully not the last. The First attempt, as the Great Empire of Tyria, went down in through a massive diplomatic Error on my part, Attempt Number 2 ended when the monster I helped to create turned on me and consumed me alive. Now were back, and this time, I think its time for a little less talking, and a little more fightin' so to speak.

The rest of this Prelude will be mostly gameplay chatter and Theory, the Narrative Portion proper will be in subsequent updates (With little Gameplay tidbits and commentary after).



We are starting with Willem Skirstag, Though I'm a bit indecisive on the Surname, the character will be remaining the same. He a Norse count of Kiev, effectively replacing Dyre the stranger completly and holds all 3 of Dyre's starting counties. I went with a heavy martial focus, becuase I'm in Pagan country and were going to need to make several key moves to secure my borders. However, the Key in this build is Paranoid, which means that even in a hostile court like Willem has, Player and AI plot success has a rather significant Malus, and I've done some extensive testing in this regard.

After all, your not crazy if they really are out to get you, and after my Showing in Croatia Game 1, and my assistance in Enabling the English Empire in 12 Years, I think people are going to take me a bit more seriously this time around, so it never hurts to be safe.

The rest of course is stacking as much martial as I can possibly get, as well as another little trick for this starting zone. I took Holy Warrior, and Inspiring Leader both fairly powerful, and Holy Warrior especially helps me win battles. Now those savvy with the combat system know, that I'd actually be far more powerful if I took zealous to unlock the religious fervor tactic, which effectively would allow me to negate anything the Defensive Pagans around me could possibly do. Unfortunately, Zealous is to great a cost as I want to be able to switch out of Paganism. That and I don't want to burden King of men too much. Willem here wins most battles I fight with minimal losses, and If I roll a good siege commander I'm effectively golden on the warfront. Because of this I opted for Duelist, becuase while the other lifestyle traits are more powerful, The Personal combat bonus means Willem can lead armies without constant risk of death.



Now for our Surroundings. This is of course, a Screenshot taken before my character was moved from Prussia so Dyre still has his territories. I am surrounded by my most hated enemy, defensive Pagans. I despise Baltic and Slavic pagans for one reason, that infuriating 80% defense on home religion provinces bonus that is frankly only there becuase they are boring as hell to play compared to the real pagans. We do however have a valuable asset in our fight against arbitrary combat bonuses, and thats Willem, the Slav Slayer, who has enough martial and is a powerful enough commander that he shreds apart armies so long as he fights at a 2/3 ratio. He also can beat Rebels that outnumber him 2/1.

The main AI to watch here is the Magyars, They start with 10k Event troops and are at war with Bulgaria, our second major AI. Khazaria is also, very very important to the balance of this region. What usually happens is the Magyars will win their war, and then turn and beat on the Khazars, going down to roughly 6k troops, still too strong for our blood. This does mean however that If I cant even break the Magyars with my insane martial and a small Merc stack, No other player can either, So I can safely tuck myself under them if another player attacks me, my threat grows too large, or I come into a large amount of gold to fabricate claims on the Crimea and Ruthenian vassals of Old man Arpad.

The Khazar's are our likely target for prepared Invasion, with Bulgaria a close second. Now I can win against Bulgaria but its dangerous and I'm fairly sure will miff the Greek and Romanian Players quite a bit. Our immediate AI 'Friends' are the Dukes of Turov, Chernigov and Smolensk. They aren't particularly worth taking at this stage in the game outside of the prestige and that fact that If I don't, someone else will. There are far more valuable golden geese to chase however.



To the North is Rurik, and I love Rurik, want to know why? Hes Germanic, So that means no 80% Defensive Bonus. He gets a levy bonus sure, But he is also an AI, and he likes to war everything that moves. Sooner or later those event troops disappear, and hes Open for a good old fashioned surprise subjugation war. A War, that if we Win, effectively makes us the master of Russia. There is one small sticking point however, a Player in Tver. So depending on how I'm feeling and what might be in the air, the North might just not be worth it.




To the west we've got the Prussians, Poles and Bohemians. Now, the Polish player has done a good and also a horribly stupid thing here, He started as a vassal of the Moravians. Now this is good if you were planning on say, Mass Subjugation War all of Poland and Lithuania since you have a boss taking the heat. However, that boss is also a huge liability, becuase everyone's friend the Magyars are still here and they almost certainly will declare war on them at some point effectively ripping the kingdom in half when they do. Moravia's pagan vassals do no favors either as they love to revolt away and refuse to provide much if the Moravians are attacked, Like say a prepared invasion from Scandinavia or one of the other Norse players with designs on that valuable Kingdom of Bohemia.




To the south we have the populous mess that is the former Byzantine Empire. Now I'd like to think that the Rus Raid on Byzantium is what killed the Empire in this alternate timeline, so naturally they'd all be a bit miffed at me for participating, but the Lion cares not for the opinion of sheep, and there are many weak rulers here waiting to be county conquested into the ground or raided into oblivion. Unfortunately were going to have to pick one or the other, as I need to stay under realm size 50 to prepare invasion and get a potentially bigger prize. Once thats done however, the shattered remnants of the Byzantine Empire are fair game.



Out final target zone is the Levant, yes you heard me correctly, The Levant. The Abbasid Empire is also dead, and that means the various dukes are all fighting each other for some semblance of power. Now becuase they are weak, and becuase ole Willem is a capable commander, I can Land my prepared Invasion anywhere here and win, Egypt for example can only raise 3k on a good day while a prepared Invasion/Mercs/Levies give me almost 10. You can see where this is going, I have my pick of the liter here if I choose to bother, and its very tempting to say no to a free Kingdom of Persia or Egypt, since having these regions locked down means the ability to convert to more powerful religions to play the marriage game and to convert into Eu4 with. Coptic being the better long game choice for Eu4, and Messallian being better for Crusader Kings.

Of course another option exists, to go even FURTHER east and find the Graveyard of Empires. A Land so harsh they say they worship the sun itself, a Pagan religion so mediocre most people have forgotten it even exists and yet, allows one to remain unreformed through the use of Ultimogeniture, Have a lovely 20% Heavy infantry bonus and of course, Tribal invasion with the right culture. Perhaps if the other options don't seem appealing enough we may yet praise the Sun.

We could also go far West, abandon Russia entirely and Invade France, Asturias or Britain, and start over there, but I think you can guess from the Title of the AAR that doesn't seem very likely Tongue

No matter what we decide naturally, there will be plenty of Blood and Plunder. Round is already in the chamber, Just gotta pull the trigger.
dragoon9105
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 7:23:33 PM
 Major General


Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 1,656


Blood for the Fields (867-872)


Baldr Hrothgarson had spent the entirety of his Life at war. Exiled from his home for his failure to slay the Troll Grendl Baldr found himself south in Miklagard seizing the wealth of the create city of the Cross Bearers with Rurik and Dyre. Success had come at a Price that day, and Dyre, a fateful friend had died, leaving Baldr to sail north and land in Konugardr where Baldr had decided to settle.

The People were foreign, but they respected wealth, and strength, but Baldr knew he would never have been content with such small parcels of land and gathered his men and marched North, into the great forests in the north to find more wealth.



This Chief Pergrubrius was weak, and had no children or allies and yet expected to be able to surrender to Baldr without ceding his hands. Baldr had other ideas for such a weakling, His lands had men waiting to fight in real war, not wallow away in some forest, so Perbrubrius was arrested, and Baldr had him set upon by a bear while his Sworn Swords were made to watch.



This brought the fear into them, But also their men and gold, and thats all Baldr cared about in the end. More Men meant more potential to subjugate these foreigners around him. It was not enough to settle, Baldr would rule these weaklings.



Next was a Chief who dared to lay claims to the lands dividing Yatviagi and Konugardr, he didn't last long either, and would later die, embarrassed and hidden away behind his high walls only for his lands to fall one by one to Baldr's own companions.



Baldr was not a fool however, and the old Man of Arpad to the south had died, leaving his ambitious son to conquer the lands of Avaria, though he too had a hunger for war and instead of settling marched north to subjugate the lands surrounding Konugardr. Soon Baldr would be next for these Horsemen and so action was taken, temporary action but action nonetheless.



The King of Moravia was weak, but he was a King of the Cross Bearing faith of the south and this could mean the difference between life and death should the Horsemen march North. That was a means to an end of course, and there was still more conquests to be done.

Now as Baldr looked upon his Men he knew he would be telling them where to march to war once more. There would be no Peace for Baldr or his men until all his enemies were dead, and their blood feeding the crops of his new home.



And when this was done and all his enemies slain before him, would Baldr name himself King, and his Throne would be made from the Bones of those who would deny him such a claim.



867




872




Session 1 is Over, It only lasted a short 5 Years due to technical difficulties regarding the Starting Save and Mod, but already we see quite a few developments.

To Start with, I've managed to Triple my Realm size through the Subjugation Wars against Yatviagi and Lesser Poland. I also Conquered Plock and Cherson for the Glory of Odin effectively putting me in First Place. I am however no longer independent for fear of Galich who is actively cheating by declaring Subjugation wars for free on all his neighbors without the ambition. Typical Cheating Paradox AI Rolleyes, Naturally of course, I was terrified, but I have a plan to deal with them.

Elsewhere Most people have formed their initial duchies and have begun to gather gold, prestige and children to expand. South Spain I believe expanded but he was absent from both screenshots. South Italy expanded into Italy only to be thrown out by a mob of peasants, And Athens attempted to conquer someone only to be beaten off by a superior commander. Egypt however has also expanded a bit putting him in second place at least for the moment, though that can change at the drop of a hat.

England, France, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Anatolia, Georgia, North Africa all did not appear. We still never found someone for North Germany. If you're interested in filling any of these spots, by all means we could use the players.

Otherwise not much to talk about, Once people have the time to actually enact their real opening plays (Myself Included) There will probably be a far different looking map.

dragoon9105
Posted: Sunday, June 04, 2017 4:21:03 PM
 Major General


Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 1,656



War, Conquest, Victory (872-897)



The smell of coming battle had filled the air. An Eerie Silence had Gripped both sides as armies slowly marched into place. It was cold autumn and Baldr knew well enough that his invasion had caused his foes to miss their harvest.

He was after all invading the Kingdom of Bulgaria and Kingdom of Galich intending to bring all the peoples of his new homeland firmly under his own control. With him were token forces from the Avars and the Duchy of Athens who Baldr has promised lands in exchange for their financial support.

It had been a long road so far, filled with battle and this one in particular would be just another in a series to annihilate the Bulgarian army, and allow him to seize control of the Kingdom. Now it would be joined yet again, Baldr looked to his men, he wasn't one for speeches or the dramatic, only for the battle. "Lets go Kill them!" he yelled, and soon it was joined.






King Vladimir of Bulgaria had just about given up hope. Even with half of greece Joining him in the defense of his country the Invasion of the Magyars and now the Norsemen after them had broken his country, his family and the Bulgaria Empire he had strived for. Again and again the Norsemen seemed to be without Number, and those traitors in Athens had come to their aid each time.

Vladimir knew well enough whispers spread in his camps, that if Athens had sided with the Norsemen that Perhaps there was more to it. Those were the words of ignorant peasants and unread mercenaries however, House Lazuli was honoring no claim to Rome or Conquest but his own ambitions, likely so he could sit at the table and take an undeserved Chunk of Land he had no business desiring in the first place.

The Norsemen however were far worse, The stories of Baldr, and how he would become so long in the fury of battle he would actually devour entire soldiers whole was just one tall tale of a man whos reputation of a barbarian conqueror was growing. This was no Atila the Hun, angered over a marriage turned false, this was a man who's only desire in the world was to bring war to all he could and now he had turned south.

Vladimir could see the tale playing out before his eyes as the armies clash in front of him. Outnumbered four to one the Bulgarian lines folded quickly, as they had before. This time these was no escape however, they were on the Crimean Peninsula, here the Norsemen would hunt them down one by one until Vladimir and any generals he had brought with him north were dead or captured.

By the time the battle was settling ahead of him, three horsemen had arrived in the poorly guarded camp and dismounted. One was but a child, a boy of twelve, the New Duke of Athens, whose father had died of disease after making his deal with the devil. The Second was a burly Avar man, not the Leader, but the general sent as his leader was but an even younger boy. The Third was Baldr, clad in Mail and furs, with streaks of blood or dye having been run through them.

The Conqueror dismounted and spoke "Your coming with us 'King Bulgar'

King Vladimir spoke the only words he could "I Surrender"

Then the monster of a man frowned, "Your coming with us, 'King Bulgar', But only your head".

His Bulgarian was terrible, but that wasn't the concerning part of his words. From fear or reflex Vladimir drew his sword, he wasn't a fighter but he would die standing if it came to it. The Norseman raised his own weapon, a hefty axe stained with blood and notched on the back of the blade.

Vladimir stabbed out, trying to catch the Norseman off guard but he simply stepped to the rise, Rose his axe and brought it down before Vladimir could pull away. Then he laughed, a hearty laugh that sounded almost monstrous given Vladimir's new situation. Then the Axe came again and found the King's neck.

The King of the Bulgars fell, his crown rolling onto the packed grass. Baldr set his axe down and picked it up, brushed the grass from it and put it on, laughing. "It will do"




After the battles of Kheron, Moldavia and Vidin the Bulgarians had folded to Baldr, and the Galich had folded before that. Victory had been bittersweet however. Having such great lands under his control but a court filled with foreigners did not make for a stable rule, and this meant the wars needed to stop.

Battle had changed Baldr however, no more was killing simply for loot and conquest, he had becoming addicted to the rush and fury of taking another man's life. Now trapped in court, Baldr had begun to grow restless, and had blacked out and attacked courtiers in a blind rage several times. Something needed to be done, more war, more conquest more killing.

That was the only answer, truly, as another incident and Baldr feared that his next outburst could harm his only son, or his three daughters, which would make all of this effort for naught if none remained to inherit what Baldr had fought so hard to conquer.



In the Following years, the Hunger for Killing had consumed Baldr to such an extent that it was said the gods themselves punished him and struck him with leprosy. Such an act of the divines however drew Baldr only further into darkness. Years after his great conquest Baldr would continue to stalk his own court, and don a mask to hide his corrupted and decayed features.



Even children werent safe from his hunger, and from the Great Conqueror's neck and clothes hung a collection of skulls from his various kills.

For House Hrothgar However, this man was still it's founder was still responsible for making them the most powerful force in the World, feared from Ireland to Cathay for Baldr's skill in battle and his Brutality in victory. While for the Moment Baldr stilled lived, when the great Beast of the Black Sea would pass, it would be up to his only son Jorn to continue his Legacy of conquest, reform and establish a true dynasty, or to perhaps fail and lose everything his father had fallen so far to achieve.





Since people were Curious I'm going to use this gameplay bit to describe how exactly I became King and hit the Realm size Limit in Session 2. I'll add pictures in post to help explain it but at the time of writing this the deadline for the AAR is in two hours and I wanna make sure I finish.

I started with Kiev as I described in the first part, with the ability to go basically everywhere.

First things first, I declared war on the count of Cherson, and this was for the most part is irrelevant, mostly to snag some land so I don't have to take it from Khazaria later.

Simultaneously I also declared a Subjugation war on the duke of Yatviagi, who has no children in the TOG start.

This means when I win the war, and with 23 martial I will win it, I can imprison the new 'count' of Yatagai, and execute him. Thus getting both his counties and the troops within for free.

Next I take the Ambition to become King of Ruthenia and pick off low hanging fruit, the High Chief of Lesser Poland just lost a war so He was a good target. I continued to do this until I hit 49 Realm size or the session was about to end, The Session was ending first so I swore fealty to Great Moravia incase I couldn't make the session or Galich would declare a Subjugation war on me (Which would effectively game over me)

Coming out of some player diplomacy this session I secured some financial aid from Blayne and Yami who both wanted a cut of the Bulgarian Job.

Simply Put, What I did was use the prestige and gold i accrued from warring my neighbors to declare an invasion of Bulgaria on the King of Bulgaria. Then, fueled by event troop and mercenaries I declared a Subjugation war on the STILL DUKE ruler of Galich as well as the King of Bulgaria.

Because the Duke of Galich is still a duke, Subjugation war takes his top tier title since we are equivalent, effectively meaning I Drink his Milkshake, steal all his vassals and leave him as an overdemense limit count. Sometimes I get lucky and I also steal his event troops, but that didn't happen this time.

Once Galich was locked down and Bulgaria had been beaten a few times, I enforced 100% on Galich, and formed the Kingdom of Ruthenia, mostly becuase I was showboating at this point, I coulda done this all as a Duke.

I assaulted every county in Bulgaria that was NOT in the Kingdom of Bulgaria. Tribal Invasion and Prepared invasion have the same victory condition, giving ALL occupied land to the invader in addition to the Kingdom in question. So by 100% occupying a Kingdom even if you declared for like, 4 counties, can net you the ENTIRE kingdom, very powerful.

Once we won, and winning is easy when your living off assault gold and loans from your allies I enforced peace, took all the land and dolled it out as best I could.

From there I moved my capital to Moldau, and changed culture to Avar, which enables the Atlantic special ability to declare Tribal Invasions. Now at this stage in the game Tribal invasion is worse than prepared invasion, but I just used prepare invasion and dont have the event troops anyway. It also means rulers of the same religion can come in, just like Prepared Invasion, but without event troops its harder to deal with.

However Khazaria has no rulers of the same religion that can come in, they are all alone. So I conquered them with it, and took even MORE land most of it I had to spit out.

All of this leaves us with the player Empire I posted at the top of the gameplay section here. The Empire I formed before dolling out the land and declaring war on Khazaria you can see below.



Something Interesting I would like to note, was this was actually plan B. The Primary plan and the plan I proposed to my faithful allies involved dealing with our opponents one at a time.

This mostly consisted of declaring the prepared war on Bulgaria, assaulting the holdings i talked about, ect. Then once I enforce peace on Bulgaria I pause. Reasonable after all, I just won a major war.

Then I lower all troops, leave mercs if I've got the gold at least for the moment.

Then declare Subjugation on Galich while i'm still a duke. Raise ALL troops which includes the entire Kingdom of Bulgaria's levy (Around 8-9k) Walk into Galich and assault him down for the win.

The problem I discovered with this plan was that while it was more reliable, the fact that over demesne limit combined with troop maintenance can put me upwards of 900 Ducats in debt meant I'd be exposed to be warred by any tom dick or harry with a merc stack, and if my faithful allies or some other play found this was their only chance to deal with the Monster of the east, They'd have plenty of time to do it before I got myself back in the black.

dragoon9105
Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2017 4:08:26 PM
 Major General


Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 1,656



Religion Shopping (897-919)



The Chronicle of Baldr's conversion is a long and confusing tale, and not all true. There are many stories, none official that tell the tale of how Baldr the butcher decided to abandon the old ways and adopt a faith of abraham. This is just but one tale.

Baldr, in a brief moment of self awareness sent out word that he would convert to the faith that could cure his afflictions, both of the mind and body.

Years would pass, but eventually those with ambition in their hearts and an inclination towards the spirit began to arrive in Crimea to spin tales of salvation, and the afterlife.

First was the followers of the Greatest, from the Faraway province of Hispania joined by a delegation from the Nile.

They spoke of Salvation if only Baldr and his people praised Allah, their god almighty. They spoke of the great conquests that had been achieved by their righteous prophet as well as the laws of inheritance and governance they would share.

Baldr asked these people "What is the price for such a god"

The Delegation returned with an answer, that the People of the Rus would abandon both Drink and Pork, that they must praise Allah through the day, and that they must fast when ramadan appears.

Baldr grew displeased, and sent the delegation away, stating "Drink is the Pride of the Rus" and no more beyond that.

Next came the Christians, with their cross and prayer.

The Christians promised brotherhood, and companionship and salvation to almighty heaven if Baldr would convert. He could keep both pork and drink, and all that was required was to bow to the authority of the faith.

Baldr asked "Where should I pledge such loyalty"

Then the Christians had come into conflict, for there was many places he could bow. The Italians demanded the Pope be the one he bend the knee, The Greeks, their Patriarch in constantinople and soon neither could agree on anything. This displeased Baldr who sent the Christians away, if they could not agree on worship, why should he embrace their squabbles?

Next came the Messallian delegation, a priesthood of both men and women. Like their fellow followers of the Cross the Messalians preached salvation for only prayer. They stated that Baldr had a demiturge of great power within himself and that only through intense prayer could it be driven out, and aid his afflictions.

How the messalians proposed he do such a thing became the problem, for they proposed that Baldr should marry and lay with his own daughters. Baldr loved all his children deeply but not in such a way that he would bring more children through them. The Messalians too were sent away.

Next came the Jews of the Khazars. The Jews however claimed that God had been the one to inflict such injuries onto Baldr for his sin, and that it would be a way to test his faith should he convert. Baldr then asked by what authority they could make such claims. The Jewish delegation spun a tale of great cities being destroyed and holy kingdoms of the past. Baldr asked where is such land now, and the jews could only respond that it was lost, to the Romans and to the Mohammedans after that.

Baldr told the Jews "If you do not have any true how, then your god clearly does not love you, and so he will not help me, Begone"

With that all the religions around Baldr had been dismissed but one, a humble Delegation from the east with shifted eyes and strange furs. They spoke and said they were from beyond the horse peoples to the east, from great Cathay. They spoke tales of a great Emperor beyond the Horizon who had conquered the known world.

Baldr asked what faith these strange men followed and they informed him it was one of christ, but of two christs. The weak christ that the Christians of the West and adorned their crosses was said to be separate from Christ the God, a great warrior that protected his faithful and would lead them during the end times.

The followers of Nestor did not speak further of their own virtues, only of the plight of those who came before. The Muslims were stated to be liars, that their great religion was not stable, and that Baldr's many daughters had no worth beyond cattle. They stayed the Christians of the West could no agree on a doctrine becuase their souls believed it false. That the Messalians to the North were heretics who simply wished to engage in their carnal desires. This left the Jews, who the Nestorians did not need to say much, only that for such a vengeful god, it had done quite little to Baldr when he conquered their people and scattered them yet again.

Baldr was impressed but skeptical, asking for proof of this great eastern emperor. The Nestorians obliged with a artistic depiction of the heavenly person, adorned with script Baldr had not yet seen. Then the Nestorians had given Baldr a gift, spices and medicines from the east that calmed his mind and eased his pains, and so Baldr agreed to convert, as all the other religions preached faith and the Nestorians brought substance.




Baldr would baptise all of the Rus in the proceeding months, bringing them into the Fold of Christ. The Miracle Baldr had been hoping for would come shortly, though it would not be what he expected, though deep down he had hoped for it.



Baldr would die in battle but a year later, against some rebellious Slavics who refused to see the word of Christ, he was cured of his ailments, and now resides among the angels in heaven, his mind at ease.


[center]


Not really much to say here, I converted to Nestorianism this last session and thats basically it.

I have some reasons for it though so I suppose that'll do for this segment.

Because Confusion is no longer the Head of the Norse brotherhood, the Religion and it's loyalties have shattered and any hopes of reformation now lie with me or King of Men, I am fairly far away and King of Men so far has not been successful. The Advent of the Crusades and thus holy orders arriving enmasse for the Catholics makes this an even larger hill to climb, as staying pagan has now become a massive liability.

The Muslims would love to have me, as they are short on friends. I do not like Decadence very much however, or Open succession, so unfortunately the Muslim faiths would not be possible

Another possibility was Zunist but the Saffarids being successful in Persia has made that plan too difficult to continue with.

Now there are also the Messalians to the North, and while tempting (its a far better religion than nestorianism in ck2) I would actually in fact like my provinces to be mostly nestorian so that I may easily convert back in Eu4.

So why Nestorianism? simply put, Third Rome's orthodoxy buffs, of which Nestorianism also benefits from. In my opinion this is a good default religion to sit with unless I go catholic, as the moral authority should remain fairly low, and so the provinces I convert will flip back to whatever I choose in a timely manner.

Or I invade the middle east and take my holy sites, but thats again, up in the air.
dragoon9105
Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 5:00:26 PM
 Major General


Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 1,656



Return Policy (919-938)



Once the Reign of Baldr the Butcher had come to a close it was revealed that mostly everyone who converted to Nestorian did so more out of fear of their ever falling apart warlord than actual devotion. This included Baldr's own son, who once again began to openly worship the old gods in open, though the Nestorians for the most part were allowed to go about their business.




Sensing Opportunity the Irish, Italians and Germans and the Normans all sent their prospective missionaries and this time the Orthodox and Muslims didn't much bother. Jorn himself was fairly tolerate but not particularly inclined to zealotry. He was far more inclined in the conquest of the remainder of the Rus as well as the Baltic tribes and so allowed the missionaries to work in his land without much thought.




Meanwhile Jorn's conquests spoke for themselves, topping his father through the subjugation of the Rus, whos Nordic Ruler's had given way to Slavs. At the same time as the surrender of rus news of a new discovery of Vinland far to the west arrived and so Jorn took credit for both achievements even though one had absolutely relation to the other. Shortly after the conquest of the Rus the Christians eventually regained their hold upon house Hrothgar and Jorn converted



As an Act of Tribute to the Faith Jorn relinquished almost all of his conquests to the newly Christianized Stienn the Frog and thus bringing an entire christianization of all the Rus. Beyond that Jorn sent his own missionaries to his close ally the Khan of Great Moravia who at the insistence of his friend converted to the Catholic faith, thus delivering Pannonia and Bohemia to the Catholic faith not through force of arms, but by the words of a friend.




So another Sunday, another session writeup. This session involved me learning, the Hard way that secret religious cults are terrible forever and should be exterminated with fire and sword. I was forcibly converted back to Germanic, and finally after converting back to Catholic and fixing my succession law I was converted to Slavic, only to again convert back (And i'm now trying to fix the succession laws again)

Otherwise I had a boring session, I helped out my Northern Neighbor by Subjugating Rurik's Grandkids and raising him up to a Kingdom. I got started on a Cadet Dynasty in Prussia, and started to Land the Knight's Hospitallier to serve as a buffer against the Muslims in Anatolia. Not much going on really.




So since I dont have much to talk about at the Moment, lets talk Score.

As you can see, I'm in the lead, by a fair amount followed by the Nubia Player, Firehound. This mostly speaks for itself, We both have very strong and expansive Empires at this point and being Pagan i've had access to some special CB's that have allowed me to Boost my score for an initial kick. Now this lead can indeed fade over time if I dont keep expanding but do remember, as the game goes no there will be less easy AI, and the game will either shift into a developathon or the Real big dynastic wars will start which can of course disrupt this status quo quite a bit.

Now this is why I proposed the achievement and Victory card system, since as you can see, the Third most successful player in my Opinion has been Mark(Italy), and hes not on the list at all. In fact according to score the 3rd player is James, which is fair, he just recently became King of England and handed off the land to Hadogei. Next is Yami one of the players I uplifted and who has lost to one crusade and alongside me, beaten another. Both these players are very weak compared to Italy however and really the only thing Italy will be able to do is go crusading in Spain and North africa to farm up another prestige and piety to catch up.

Last is Zabuzak who while under Khan had dismantled much of Karlingdom and now has been sitting in a state of civil war under Ai control, naturally becuase of all the Coups whats happening in Bavaria is something I like to call Score Incest. Because these overthrows are primarily occurring between family members Zabu gets the score from the wars no matter what as well as all the prestige from the battles and so forth. Now it hasn't benefited Bavaria THAT much but you'll note nobody else is on this list, so there is indeed an effect and it can be quite significant.

Now my moves forward here are fairly predictable, I'll keep crusading the baltic for free score and dynasty land as well as Anatolia, while making more friends. The lack of any really solid threats in Central Europe (The North German Slot is a revolving door) Means I have effectively become 'the Commonwealth' as far as my diplomatic position, so its of value to me to be friends with as many people as possible as the Commonwealth Issue is well known, If I'm attacked/Betrayed by some power on one side of me, the others simply wont care. Since the Size limits rather correctly keep me from Blobbing out of control (Without Size Limits I'd have all of Bulgaria, Hungary, My Current Lands, most of the Baltic and now Russia) I cant murder my neighbors, so its best to get alone.

For Firehound his moves are also fairly obvious, Finish up in Egypt, and then work his way towards Jerusalem and Arabia where he will no doubt come into conflict with Emperor of Mordor. An Alliance with AI Persia helps Firehound quite a bit here but any sort of Muslim civil war would likely draw in myself eager for some free crusader land or Greece/Italy who have a vested interest in keeping their underbellies Mohammed Free.

Jame's Ireland is in a far more interesting and awkward position than either me or Firehound. By Uplifting Hadogei he has effectively make a player more powerful than himself. I'm of course no stranger to this patented play, It got me killed last game. Hes not of course without Options however. Ireland-Scotland is an ok base to move elsewhere but if James wants to be successful he needs to leave the British Isles and get to Scandinavia, which is controlled by a Player now, or Land somewhere in Germany/Spain. Its also possible he flips into a republic which would give him an abundance of soft power, especially with Irish sea being the best Trade Zone in the game in Ck2.

Yami, Is in an awkward spot. Hes Hungary and surrounded by Mark in the West, Greece in the South, Myself in the North and Bavaria where the rest of us arent. Now were all lovey dovey here in the Balkans for the Moment, but If Yami wants to not fall out of the top 5 in Score hes going to either need to move on Poland, which would jeopardize our friendship, Greece, which would make the gateway to Europe weaker, or Italy, who while not a score leader, is still the de-facto leader of Central Europe at the moment. Classic Hungary dilemma, everyone around you is just as strong if not stronger than you and unfortunately, they all have friends.

Last in the Top 5 is Zabuzak who truly has most of Central Europe open to him. I say this of course assuming that there is no Mark-Yami conspiracy to remove Bavaria from the map, but basically Bavaria has free reign to crusade his way into Hungary for PVP and eat away at Pommerania/Saxony/Denmark/Germany for all eternity basically. Right now of course hes in a fairly weak position and his army if fairly weak, but this is something that can change fairly quickly especially if the Western Europeans or Muslims make a deal with the devil and enable Germany to truly rise.


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