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Vaniver
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 4:19:22 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
Flanders: the most French of the Low Counties, where the Rhine reaches the ocean. Bruges has been inhabited for a long time; Roman fortifications were reinforced at the beginning of the Viking Age. The Count of Flanders was historically one of the twelve peers of France, eventually being mostly lost to other powers in the region.



Arthmael ("bear prince" ) of Flanders, however, is not particularly tied to it. An able commander and avid falconer, brave and patient, he is the largest landholder on the northern coast of West Francia, one of Charlemagne's companions. What distinguishes him most from the others of the Karling court is that he is a Breton rather than a Frank. While some laugh at his accent, none laugh at his bravery.



First order of business is finding a wife. Alitrudis, a commoner in Foix, is a genius; well worth the 200 prestige cost.



Almost immediately, I receive word that Duke Thuringus of Franconia is attempting to seduce her, making us rivals. I discover that you can declare a rivalry war, which ends with imprisoning them, and so I head out to defend my honor. By October, she's pregnant, and by the following January, their affair is exposed to the world, earning her the nickname "the Unfaithful." (3 out of our 8 children end up being his; thankfully, not Deui the genius.)



Already, Charlemagne is having trouble with his vassal limit; in order to consolidate his realm, he starts by putting counts under de jure duchies, and so Hermeneld of Boulogne becomes Arthmael's first non-baron vassal. With atrocious stats, he's mostly ignored; the main benefit is that, as a double count, I don't have to fight two wars with a truce in between to gain his land. (It is in my capital duchy, though, so it should clearly happen sometime. As he now has two sons, I'll likely wait for them to inherit separately, transfer them to my liege, and then county conquest them, and then the capital duchy will be all mine.)



In March, a goldsmith appears; I take out a loan from the Jews and ask the Venetians, who I had lent money to start up a trade post in Venezia, to pay me back, and am able to afford the best: One and all shall see the indisputable might of house Ivering! Of course, the goldsmith later returns begging for more cash that I don't have available, and so they're only quality 2 at the end. Still, 0.6 prestige a month from now until they get lost or stolen isn't bad, and neither is the vassal opinion. At basically the same time, I'm randomly handed a finger of St. John, which is also pretty great.





Eventually, the rivalry war ends and I get my ransom. Along the way, I pick up some other benefits.



Charlemagne kicks out the Jews, which clears my loan (woo) and also banishes my physician (oops). He's easily replaced.



We're playing with a mod that allows county conquests and kingdom subjugations in limited contexts; I believe I couldn't county-conquest Brittany because I didn't border it, and so had to laboriously fabricate a claim. But then I could county conquest the others, which I didn't realize until later.



Charlemagne becomes Emperor on April 7th, 781.



In 782, Duke Thuringus dies in Charlemagne's dungeons. Arthmael decides to forgive and forget, and becomes kind.



In February of 785, Charlemagne completes his conquest of Lombardy and becomes Holy Roman Emperor. In April, he conquers Saxony, and in August, he revokes much of it. By October, he's decided that handing it out is too much hassle, and puts his chancellor in charge.

While Arthmael was a competent warrior, only slightly behind Joseph of Aquitaine in martial skill, his diplomatic skill (9) was fair at best. Why he was made chancellor is unclear--likely the size of his realm made it seem important that he be on the council, and chancellor was the open position. It stressed him out and he took a favor from Joseph of Aquitaine in exchange for helping out with the necessary work. But on a day in October, a pile of titles appear in his lap for him to assign.


I knew greedy would pay off instead of taking charitable like a chump


As soon as he realizes that it's possible to assign them to himself, he immediately does with all seven titles, not even bothering to consider the best and second best candidates, later reassigning them to a Frankish genius and his infant son. (I sadly didn't take a screenshot of this.)

On September 4th, 787, Arthmael becomes King of Brittany, returning home in triumph. The Breton coast stretches (interrupted) from Leon to Oldenburg.

The session ends October 6th, 788. When people speak of the companions of Charlemagne, first are Arthmael 'the Fowler' of Brittany, Lothar 'the Lion' of Burgundy, and Joseph 'Ironsides' of Aquitaine, who by their efforts and Charlemagne's trust now control most of France west of the Alps. Following them closely are Berenguer-Ramon of Aragon and Luitprad 'the Bold' of Asturias, both valiant defenders of Christendom against the Umayyad menace (and both kings, like Arthmael).
Vaniver
Posted: Monday, October 16, 2017 1:42:47 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
While they had served him faithfully, and he had ruled them well, the loyalty of Karl's companions did not extend to their sons. Lothar the Lion, that pillar of virtue, died of cancer in 789; his son, Clovis, was well-liked by all, and was made Spymaster of the Holy Roman Empire by Charlemagne. But ambition poisoned his heart, and so he in turn poisoned his liege. On April 27th of 791. Charlemagne dies, his son KHANXLT inheriting. (Guess who we had running Karl.)

But Clovis's treachery was unknown to the Karlings, and he remained spymaster. This led to what some irreverently called the "Spring Cleaning of the Emperors"--in March of 792 KHANXLT died, then in May of 794 Pepin died, and in March of 795 Grifo died, and then in August of 796 Charles II died, with the title finally landing on the infant Charles III, son of Charles II and daughter of Cesaria Lotharing, daughter of Lothar the Lion and sister to Clovis 'the Impaler,' as he was now called.

During this time, the great families of the Holy Roman Empire eyed each other uneasily. They knew the stories of Alexander the Great, whose realm immediately fell to pieces as his generals squabbled over who would succeed him. None of them were the leader that Karl had been, and those who had been brothers-in-arms were reluctant to take up the posture of father and son, as befits liege and vassal. So the realms would be split, the six kingdoms held by Karl split up amongst themselves--much like the satrapies of Alexander's realm.

And so the caretakers of the infant Charles III set about their work, unbeknownst to him. Arthmael gained Austrasia, and Wolfgang Fenrir gained Bavaria. But before the work could be completed in full, they discovered that the legal cover for the work, the person of Charles III, Holy Roman Emperor, a two year old boy, was dead in his crib. The killer was unknown, and the title passed to the son of Grifo by Bertentildis, herself daughter of Duke Thomas the Spider of Provence, Frobert Morgannid.

The Karlings were now extinct, but the surviving paladins were the closest thing left to Karl himself. That some great grandson of Charles Martel still lived was hardly material. Arthmael privately collected the support of the other kings of the realm and then as a group they confronted the Emperor. He had no desire to plunge the realm into civil war, and so Arthmael took up the Emperorship on October 4th, 804, and shortly thereafter granted independence to the other realms.

The Empire was now known as the Breton Empire, or Impalaerezh Breizh in their own tongue. While it maintained its dignity, it was clearly no longer the Western half of the Roman Empire, and the secular ruler of most of Christendom.

Five years later, Arthmael dies of stress, at the age of 60. He outlived the other French paladins by twenty years, and the Spanish ones outlived him by yet another five years. His son Nougui, eventually known as 'the Hideous' because of the extreme steps necessary to cure his facial cancer, changes the laws of the Breton Empire to follow the Breton way, Tanistry. Shortly thereafter he is murdered by his wife, and his brother Haelcomarch becomes emperor.

Of course, much else of interest happened this session--Arthmael set forth, hoping to conquer all of Andalusia, and was turned back, a fortune wasted on mercenaries. A later attempt to seize just Navarra in a holy war succeeds, and ends with an Ivering merchant republic nestled in between the mountains and the sea.
Vaniver
Posted: Monday, October 23, 2017 3:47:36 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
[I'm sick of Celtic spelling; from now on, we're leaning on the Warhammer references and calling the empire Bretonnia. I mean, we've got the knights for it.]

While an eventful session, the events mostly took place outside of Bretonnian lands. Spain was briefly ruled by two homosexual kings (sadly, I don't think either of them took seduction focus in time to have an affair), and then collapsed under the weight of Muslim revolts. The Senyera de Indepen dynasty lost its last man, and by the rules of agnatic succession were reduced to irrelevance. (The last surviving member in 850 is the 48-year old queen of Nubia.) Catalonia is now much reduced, and in the hands of the de Pallars dynasty. Sultan Faruk of the horrendously decadent Umayyad dynasty controls Andalusia once more.

While I typically prefer the Hermetic Society, I keep inheriting as characters who have significant rank in the Dominican or Benedictine Order; Haelcomarch the Seducer, my starting char, had a mission to take the theology focus. While that mission is given to everyone in time, it seems particularly appropriate for him--"seriously, cut out the womanizing and read the Bible." He takes it seriously, and displeased with the quality of scholarship locally available, he sinks much of the Bretonnian treasury into acquiring books and the creation of an university in Nieuwpoort. With the recent conquest of Andalusia by Christian kingdoms, as well as Greek merchant republics facilitating trade, it is easy to acquire both classics and It's not the first in the world, but it is the first in Christian Europe, and is quickly followed by a second university at Brugge. What in our timeline was called the Carolignian Renaissance is alive and well in Bretonnia. (This session was apparently a good one for the creation of universities; in 825 there were 3, and in 850 there are 18. There is also a university in Oristano, the capital of the Sardinian republic, but besides that I don't think any are in played realms.)

Haelcomarch, Emperor of Bretonnia, murdered his wife (dull, syphilitic, and a lunatic; hardly a proper empress) and replaced her with Camila, the younger sister of King Joseph II Treffley 'the Tyrant' of Aquitaine, who was happy to flee her brother's court when her passage was paid, and then accept the marriage once in Brugge. As his sister, she had a claim to the throne, and one of Joseph's rebellious vassals decided to press it. The king's forces were outnumbered, 3k to 2k; Haelcomarch decided to join the war to enthrone his wife, adding about nine thousand troops to the field. Seeing the situation was hopeless, Joseph stepped down in favor of his sister.

Haelcomarch and Camila's son died of camp fever before his second birthday. After Haelcomarch's death, it looked like Aquitaine would be out of Ivering hands, and so the new Breton Emperor, who had an existing claim on the kingdom, decided to revoke the title, causing a civil war in which Camila was swiftly defeated. Now Alured's young son Treveur rules Aquitaine, though his rule is somewhat tenuous, with only a thousand troops sworn to him personally (and a realm size of only 43). Camila, duchess of both Poitier and Toulouse, plots her revenge from outside his realm.


Diplomatic, clever, and chatty--but not much of a doer.


Austrasia and Frisia were both given by Gavelkind succession to Iedechael 'the Just', Arthmael's clubfooted son. At the time, the family was confused when Iocilin was made prince-bishop instead of the erudite Iedechael, but he grew into the kingship. He ruled for nearly twenty years before he was felled by pneumonia, when both titles passed to his only legitimate son Iarnuocon, trusting and dull, who ruled for a decade before falling in battle. The titles passed to Nougui 'the Butcher,' son of Arthmael, Grand Mayor of Navarra. Shrewd, craven, cruel, cynical, arbitrary, and a drunkard, with a Dominican nun as a lover, Nougui is a disgrace kept on a tight leash. He can muster thirteen hundred men, and holds 65 baronies throughout his realm.


Unworthy in every way except for cunning.


France was revoked from Frobert Morgannid, one of the last holdovers from the Karling days, and then passed to Haelcomarch II 'the Fat,' king of both Brittany and France. An intricate webweaver, shrewd and patient, he holds the Ivering heartland in Flanders, personally capable of fielding three thousand men, and calls on the allegiance of 110 baronies.


Eating doesn't fill the hole inside, but it helps.


Last is Emperor Alured, who rules from Schwyz, inherited from his mother. Conversus of the Benedictine Order, he attracted controversy by consorting with a pagan witch who promised him eternal life. He can raise seventeen hundred levies, 121 baronies swear fealty to him, and the Breton Knights ride at his command, twelve hundred valiant cavalry whose primary charge has been keeping the coasts safe from Norsemen.


Alured is tired of your shit.


Which brings us to the economic and political organization of the realm. At the bottom are the peasantry, tied to the land and each other through the institutions of serfdom and frankpledge. In the former, the serf accepts protection in exchange for service and loyalty, becoming a form of human cattle; in the former, ten men are bound together by shared punishment if they fail to deliver an accused member of their group to court.

Above them are the freemen, clustered in towns; owning their bodies and perhaps their homes, they are laborers, artisans, and merchants.

Above them are the gentry, covering both the landed nobility and the landed clergy. Under the manorial system, a noble owns both the land of a manor and its inhabitants, entrusted by the crown with their protection and the duty of collecting taxes from them to pay upwards. A monastery or chartered town is little different in this regard than a baron; the title of abbot passes differently, and they are expected to use their time for different pursuits, but a bishop maintains the local order and may be called to war just as a duke. Across all the Ivering lands, approximately ten thousand fighting men can be called on by the Crowns, supplied by the gentry.

Above the gentry are the Iverings and the Crowns. The Breton way combines together the hereditary descent of power and the consent of the governed, such that the vassals of a title select from among Arthmael's descendants to choose their next ruler. While most of six kingdoms still follow the Frankish way of gavelkind, such relics of the past will fade in time. As the realm is too large to administer as a single unit, the crowns are split among the Iverings, and may pass freely from realm to realm, allowing boundaries to be a shifting tapestry instead of solid stone.

---

This session marks me growing from 'just above' the realmsize limit to being solidly above, with three independent realms making up a total dynastic realmsize of 274, almost the size of the current Byzantine empire (at 338). Also split in two is Dragoon at 175 and Clone at 112 (including KoM), followed in size by Golle (108), KoM (56), Sauron (55), Ziro (51), James (50), Blayne (36), and Ranger (14).
Vaniver
Posted: Monday, October 30, 2017 1:24:52 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
This session began with Bretonnia split into three independent realms--Brittany, Austrasia, and Aquitaine. But due to the vagaries of inheritance laws, the empire title was held by Austrasia, along with (more importantly) the loyalty of the twelve hundred Bretonnian knights. So I borrowed a friend's steam account and briefly played two realms, arranging things such that Brittany would inherit the empire. To not run afoul of the realm size limit, I had to split off the Duchess of Toulouse, Camila Bourque (who was played by a new player) and the king of Austrasia, and then Alured 'the Good' committed suicide in 860.


The state of the realm in 850.

The state of the realm in 879.


This completed, I form the Titular Empire of Francia and focus on playing Bretonnia for the rest of the session, leaving Austrasia and Aquitaine to their own devices. (I still want to obtain Brabant, somehow, and will likely attempt to shunt Orleans off to Austrasia. Navarra is not pictured but is still in Ivering hands, whereas Aquitaine fell prey to the Bourque dynasty.)




While the empire and the Bretonnian heartland of Couronne (formerly known as Flanders) are reunited, Haelcomarch II 'the Fat' is not exactly the best emperor. Shrewd and an intricate webweaver, his intrigue is his only good stat, and it isn't particularly useful for the current needs of Bretonnia. Depressed and a lunatic, he decides that the importance of horses to the Bretonnian military means that there should be a horse chancellor on the council. Four different times.



Lunacy of a different form takes root in Italy, where under the watch of the Lotharings a truly reprehensible Pope is crowned, and quickly replaced and tried posthumously.



The first Ivering ruler in the Hermetic Society, he doesn't do much besides participate in a Grand Debate (helpfully bumping him up to an elusive shadow) and build a laboratory.



In 869 Haelcomarch II finally dies of consumption, sadly immediately after he finished his laboratory, with Samuel inheriting. Similarly one-sided, Samuel's only good trait is Learning with 25 (though his Stewardship, at 10, isn't terrible). Shortly after inheriting, the court chaplin's mission to find an artifact turns up one of Arthmael's weapons, which is returned to a place of pride but is of purely historical interest. Samuel's also gay, and looking around my dynasty I discover that duchess Uriel Ivering of Brittany is married to her nephew Rumon Ivering, who is 16, attractive, and gay.


Out of all the focuses to switch from, I guess family is the most appropriate.


Let's work this out--Rumon's 4-ancestor (grandmother's grandfather) through Deui is Arthmael 'the Fowler' Ivering, progenitor of the dynasty, who is Samuel's 3-ancestor through Haelcomarch. So it's actually not all that close, genetically speaking; third cousins once removed.






I've been having so much fun with seduction that I didn't notice Samuel isn't married--so I find a genius bastard with impressive stats, and they get wed. Probably not good to have someone sneaking around with gay lovers when their spouse has 20 intrigue, but it likely won't end that horribly. I remember that Samuel isn't the only high-learning gay man in my dynasty, and on checking Austrasia discover that Arthmael has inherited.


An Ivering with nice stats! It's a shame he won't inherit the empire.



I had kept Rumon on as a lover, of course, and was trying to set up a polyamorous Ivering triad, but Arthmael was apparently too busy. (Pictured is him in 879, as he still reigns as an independent monarch, and actually has quite nice stats. He had Lover's Pox at the time, but not Great Pox.) After two tries, I gave up, and focused my attentions instead on the Silver Fox of Leon, Raimundo.





Well, I suppose that's one way to give your soul to Lucifer.


While on a date with Raimundo, Samuel succumbs to cancer at the age of 40. "A Chaste man, his honor was beyond refute." It will likely be a long time before Bretonnia become tolerant enough for a ballad of Samuel and Rumon to enter the tradition of courtly love, but perhaps not. (Rumon, sadly, dies at 22 of rabies, outliving his lover by only five years.)



Branoc 'the Fat' (apparently Bretonnian cooking is really good) is also one-sided; finally, it's Martial, but it's a measly 16, and he's dull. His wife, who was slow (what is the AI thinking) had just died of cancer, and in looking around for a new wife I discovered that Morgana the witch was available, and snapped her right up. Branoc rules for three years and then dies of stress at the age of 67.



He died at a very awkward time, though; notice how most of the titles pass to Guoletec, king of France, Frisia, Brittany, and Navarra. Hammelin gets a single barony and two empire titles.

Conveniently for me, a rehost happened shortly thereafter; I release Guoletec from prison, set him as Spymaster, and then play him after the rehost. With 500% plot power, Hammelin dies quickly, having ruled for only fourteen months, and the titles are reunited again.
Vaniver
Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 7:29:43 PM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
[I took few screenshots this week, and am not on the computer that has them anyway, so have a mostly text update.]

Five months into the session, Guoletec dies of his infection. Hammelin II takes the throne in 879, and rules through the rest of the session.

The first part of the session is spent in consolidation and prestige accumulation, imprisoning vassals who have plots in order to provoke them into rebellion, then revoking their titles. This leads to Holland and Normandy being under Ivering control (or eventual control, through matrilineal marriage). Hammelin finally obtains a claim on Kola, one of the few remaining one-holding counties (useful for creating merchant republics and potentially as a staging ground), and declares war. The holder, Asllat, manages to raise two tribal armies, leading to 6k defenders; I say "well, let's let that stew for a while" and check again later when the ticking warscore is down to 30%, and he's down to 2k troops, and I land and swiftly take it, ending the war in 887.

Eventually, Hammelin puts together enough prestige for a kingdom conquest. Here, perhaps, it makes sense to step outside of the frame for a bit and explain the situation--we're using a modded CB from a Game of Thrones-ish game in order to allow for kingdom-scale wars that don't immediately game over the recipient, like a great holy war on a primary title might. I, from observing it in action in Andalusia, assumed that it used de facto kingdoms instead of de jure kingdoms, and if the kingdom in question didn't exist, bumped up a title. So Scandinavia's narrow kingdom structure (the emperor only had some duchies, and the kingdoms didn't exist) looked like an exploitable weakness; do a kingdom subjugation for a small kingdom, get the emperor-level title, and then most of Scandinavia has been Christianized in one fell swoop.

I tested it, but made the mistake of not reading the code underneath the CB, which would have revealed that it's based around a game with many fewer kingdom titles. (Game of Thrones has, what, seven in Westeros? Whereas the historical map has seven in Spain.) It actually just granted all titles of the attacker's tier to the defender, and vassalized everything. Which was not the intended behavior.

In 893, the empire of Scandinavia passed out of Clone's hands, as his excellent character Bo dies in battle at age 33. Several years later, Hammelin declares war, ostensibly for Denmark, and the AI does its best to defend itself, but in 899 Scandinavia is briefly held by the Iverings, before we pause to edit the war results to be closer to intended.

In 900, the Pope decides that the Germanic occupation of Saxony demands a response from all of Christendom, and declares the First Crusade accordingly. Hammelin, pious Christian that he is, immediately joins. The Bretonnian Knights were still in Skane, as the Scandinavian war had recently ended, and so they quickly set to besieging Holstein. The Saxons, perhaps not realizing that the size of the army was deceptive, attack with a 2k stack, and the single flank of knights with a cavalry commander crushes them (eventually with reinforcements).

The emperor of Italy, owner of the Pope, forces him to excommunicate Hammelin 'the Lion', pious crusader. Shocked and dismayed, his faith in the Papacy eroded, he appoints the Bishop of Cologne as an antipope, and is eventually recognized as the primary contributor to the crusade, and in 902 gains all of Saxony, which is quickly handed over to dynasts.

A war to remove the false pope in Rome ends with the Italian assassination of the Pope in Cologne, and a war currently rages to end Marinus's claim to lead the faithful.
dragoon9105
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 12:00:09 AM
 Lieutenant General


Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,150
Actually, I didn't switch religion. Crusades triggered for some other reason
King of Men
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 5:38:46 AM
 Legatus legionis

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Joined: 11/23/2007
Posts: 8,482
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Quote:
The Saxons, perhaps not realizing that the size of the army was deceptive, attack with a 2k stack, and the single flank of knights with a cavalry commander crushes them (eventually with reinforcements).


Not my fault, I wasn't Doge at the time.

Read my blog.
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Vaniver
Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2017 6:31:21 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
I mostly missed the last session, and so the recap will be even more brief than usual. To make up for it, here's an animated map of the tech level at each startsave:


769 to 935, nearly two hundred years of growth.


The 769 start's regions begin as clear borders that soften with the gradual diffusion of tech and investment of rulers; the Scottish lowlands pull away from their neighbors, Shetland emerges from the ocean, Holstein, Stockholm, and León all become clearly visible. Venice and Sardinia, both home to merchant republics, brighten relative to their surroundings.

The top five: Constantinople with 48.7, Couronne with 48.1, Damascus with 45.2, León with 42.5, and Kaliopolis with 41.8.

I joined the last session just long enough to end a war and spend my tech points, accumulated across most of the sessions so far; Couronne's total tech jumps accordingly. At the endsaves, it had 15, 18.4, 22.8, 27.2, 30.6, 36.2, and 48.1. The gap with Constantinople, 13.2 at the beginning of the game, has narrowed down to a mere 0.6; perhaps not surprising for a province with three universities that has been reaping empire points for most of the game.

---

Hammelin the Lion lives to 68, finally succumbing to cancer in 912. His successor is Guodenou 'the Just', duke of Braunschweig and Brunswick; strong, just, and an able administrator, he dies of suspicious circumstances in 919. Next is Breseloc 'the Whisperer,' a paranoid master schemer; one suspects he had something to do with Guodenou's death. He commits suicide at age 64 in 929. Maelscoet, gluttonous, shy, and humble, is at least diligent and brave. A true Bretonnian, he's a cavalry leader (and, as has sadly become par for the course, has mediocre stats). He puts that command skill to good use and attempts to put his sister on the Byzantine throne, and promptly dies in battle in 931. His successor, Guithrit, takes to the throne at 23. Another unremarkable Ivering, he has decent learning and alright stewardship. His distant kinsman, Guercencor 'the Just' of Austrasia, is a genius crusader game master; sadly, his branch of the family has become culturally French, and thus would not perpetuate the Breton way of tanistry.
Vaniver
Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2017 10:00:55 PM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
"Did you hear?"

"No, what is it?" The other professor set down his book, looking up at his visitor.

"The emperor has funded a library at the hospital in Couronne. Good news for them, but bad news for us. Gurguist, the professor of medicine?"

"They poached him from us? That traitor!"

The first speaker nodded glumly, and they looked out the window for a moment. "We should offer an appointment to his student, Kyrillos. They've been feuding for a while, and it'll be ruinous if all of his students follow him."

"You know, if we were at Brugge we wouldn't have to deal with this."

"Well, I didn't make tenure at Brugge, and neither did you. So we deal with the problems of being at the third best university in Couronne, with access to the magnificent Imperial Laboratory."

---

The first order of business is usurping the title of Saxony to go with the land, and then making it independent. It does well for itself, taking Jutland over the course of the session.

In late 943, a gate to hell opens.








Note the option to sacrifice my son to the gate. I was pretty sure it wasn't going to work, but he also wasn't the greatest son (slow, gay, ambitious, and craven). If I'd been on primogeniture, it probably would have made sense.

Sessions seem to either have one emperor who lives for a long time, or many who die in rapid succession. This session, Guithrit the Hunter rules in his mediocre way, eventually becoming a magus of the Hermetic society. In May of 944 he funds a library at the hospital in Couronne; a month later he comes down with Smallpox. A naked midnight run during the full moon... helps, for some reason, and by September the disease is gone.

In 949, another gate to hell opens. (Damn skaven!)

This session, Couronne becomes tech capital, surpassing Constantinople. I leave early, and the AI wrecks a bunch of things, marrying me to a Khazar and spending about half of my levies participating in wars in the Steppe. Also, it apparently liked Guodenou much more than I did, and switched over to primogeniture--which we switched back by edit.
Vaniver
Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2017 11:36:49 PM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662


The session begins with interfering with the Scandinavian subjugation of Saxony; with Britain and The North both becoming involved, the Yinglings decide to settle on a white peace. Elsewhere, the Catholics take Egypt, with the title granted to the Lotharing dynasty. Catholicism remains dominant.



The year 970 begins. Guithrit has become a magus of the Hermetic Order, Couronne is the most advanced city in the world--why not top it off with a Grand Debate? The invitations are sent out.



A month later, in February of 970, the Black Death appears in eastern India. The debate continues uninterrupted, with guests arriving in March and Emperor Raoul of Italy winning in June.

In November of 972, India is completely consumed by the plague.

In October of 973, Italy is completely engulfed; I check my dynasty screen and see that there are currently 129 living Iverings.

In January of 974, the first Bretonnian holding--a castle in Zaragoza--has the plague. Gaul to the south is about half infected. In April, Navarra, a Bretonnian merchant republic for ages, gets the plague. Camp Fever and Mesales are currently running rampant in Bretonnia, and I decide to shut the gates now, before the plague is clearly present in my actual holdings. Throughout 974 and 975 it spreads through northwestern Europe.

During this time, I'm barely playing the game, just watching the epidemic screen as more and more of the map turns red. Who wants to fight a war while supply limits and levies are cratered, or marry dynasts whilst any new entrant to a court could bring the plague with them?

Sadly, my vassals can't agree on a single heir, and the empire of Bretonnia detaches from the kingdoms when Guithrit dies. His nearly ten thousand prestige goes to waste, but it's not like I was going to pull off a kingdom subjugation during the Black Death. Maelscoet, like nearly every Breton emperor so far, has a bizarre name and unimpressive stats. He's also pretty visibly not Breton (tho he's still Breton culture).


In November of 975, I am gifted a dog. Fitting the times, I decide to call it Lucifer.

In September of 976, Western Europe is completely ravaged.

The plague begins to recede; first in India, then in other places, having burned itself out. It's receding from my realm when I hear reports of the White Stag, and so I decide to go hunting for it. What's the worst that could happen?


May 978.


June 978.


August 978.


Maelscoet II survives, which is problematic; with only a single county to his name, he has almost more troops in retinues than in levies. Guihomarch, the king of France, is voted his successor, a rival is set as the spymaster, and some mysterious stranger decides it's time for Maelscoet to die.


He's too wily.


...but not wily enough. Prosthetic hand event included for the lulz.


Guihomarch investigates the role of cats with regards to an epidemic, and decides that they're healthy. One of them becomes his pet, and he's much more patient with it than it deserves.



He follows that scientific pursuit up with a truly impressive laboratory. It's sort of a shame that this isn't inheritable, as this is not the first emperor I've built a maxed-out lab with. Thankfully it doesn't scale with income.



In 980, there are 88 living Iverings, 11 of which are new since I checked seven years ago. Age, the plague, and other hazards have led to a 40% death rate.
dragoon9105
Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2017 11:52:10 PM
 Lieutenant General


Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,150
Such a Tragedy, Truly Maelscoet is with god.
Vaniver
Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 12:51:09 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
A mostly uneventful week, with few screenshots. The session in brief:

The Pope declares a crusade for Sweden, and the Catholic world answers the call, including Bodan 'the Hunter', emperor of Bretonnia since 1018. In 1039 the war ends, and to the surprise of many Bretonnia is granted the kingdom of Sweden, likely because of the deaths of many valiant Bretonnians at the hand of the Norse. The cities are handed out to lowborn Bretons, the pagan places of worship re-sanctified as Catholic bishoprics under the hand of Breton missionaries, and then castles are handed to Iverings without lands of their own, often second or third sons. The Kingdom of Sweden, as well as prime territory throughout the center, is given to Bodan's young son Hathuward, a brawny genius (who later turns out to be homosexual). A promising start to a bastion of Christianity in the Baltic, with three provinces quickly flipping to Catholicism.

The vengeful Norse declare war on Sweden, seeking to reclaim their prime territory, and Bodan springs to his son's defense, eventually beating back the Norse in a decisive battle where a flank of Breton knights manages to crush the Norse army, and their spirits. Peace reigns in Scandinavia until the Italians, depraved captors of the Pope, declare war on their fellow Catholics, usurping the kingdom of Sweden and then immediately surrendering it to the Norse, casting the kingdom back into Germanic control. While the kingdom title is lost, the dukes are still Ivering Catholics; many now have abandoned their Breton ways to follow the Norse ways of their new homeland, but their loyalty to the Fylkir remains a tenuous prospect.

As of 1053, the Ivering Dynasty is one of the largest and most prestigious, with many different branches. 582 members throughout all of history, 137 are still alive. By culture, almost half (58) are Breton, followed by Saxon (41), French (11), and Occitan (11), with a long tail of more exotic cultures; 6 Norse, 5 Franks, 3 Dutch, 2 Basque and Bohemians, and 1 Avar and Italian. This esteemed and ancient lineage, despite frequent intermarriage, remains genetically healthy; no living Iverings have the 'inbred' trait, unlike some other dynasties that could be mentioned. The current emperor, Anaoc II, has 5 out of 8 great-grandparents who were Iverings, and his recently deceased wife was also an Ivering--but the two shared no great grandparents, and not even any of Anaoc's great grandparents shared any great grandparents with any other!

The dynasty's organization has also changed somewhat. Where there were once many independent Ivering kings, there are now only a few; Anaoc II rules as Dual Emperor of Bretonnia and Francia and Quadruple King of Brittany, France, Frisia, and Navarra. Ermessinde 'the Bold' of Austrasia is the fifth to rule since Gurcencor 'the Just' was installed as king in 922, ascending to the throne as an infant in the first year of her life. Married to a von Borghest, the realm will pass into their dynasty unless decisive action is taken. Liemar II 'the Lewd' of Saxony is the fifth Ivering king of Saxony, a realm of stable transitions and long reigns. (The shortest was that of Liemar I, a mere ten years.) Then there are thirteen Ivering dukes, five of whom reign in Bretonnia, one in each of Austrasia and Saxony, two in Yngling Rike, and three independent (including the grandmaster of the Knights Templar, the third to hold that position), nine counts, four barons, and a bishop.
Vaniver
Posted: Saturday, January 20, 2018 6:29:44 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
The first session of Jade Dragon doesn't go particularly well for the Iverings. Some duchies in central France were putting me over the realm size limit, and so to maintain my coastal presence I granted them independence; the new Force Vassalization casus belli meant that Saxony was 99% of the way to bringing Anjou under their control before I intervened (and by then it was too late), and Orleans and Berry were both swallowed up by Burgundy, despite an attempt to protect them (which led to a battle in which I solidly trounced a fraction of the assisting Italian army, before being trounced by their full army once it was assembled). Italian suzerainty stretches as far north as Chartres. With a player in Gaul, that is also likely out of my dynastic hands for good. The only independent Ivering realms are Bretonnia (147), Austrasia (83, tributary), Saxony (30, about to be destroyed), (temporarily) the Knights of Calatrava (6), and Bjarmia (5).

A Great Holy War for Saxony comes when both Bohemia and Bretonnia were pressing competing claims for it, and results in Scandinavian control over the de jure holdings of the kingdom. The king continues to reign, his title only reflecting the rule of pieces of France and Austrasia. The realm has mostly resisted the false lure of the Germanic religion, with only two provinces flipping; Catholicism in Sweden has done better. The Ivering dukes are mostly dispossessed, but some of the counties are ruled by Austrasia, enclaves of civilization surrounded by barbarism.

Otherwise, it is a session of long Ivering reigns. Thomas Ivering, youngest son of one of the Ivering patricians, becomes Pope Victor III at 44. Despite having cancer, he shepherds the faithful for seventeen years, dying at 61. Interestingly, he had already had a legitimate child by a marriage early in life; his son Evrard is a bishop in Navarra. Arthmael III is set up as the independent king of Austrasia after Anaoc presses his own claim, and then rules for 22 years. Amusingly, like Arthmael II, he is also homosexual and highly skilled, which mostly goes to waste as he can't be a councilor. Anaoc is emperor at beginning and end of the session, having ruled for almost 30 years at only 58. His mediocre stats (highest the mostly useless diplomacy at 13, and that's with the family focus, and lowest is a 3) mean this is not exactly a triumph, but he has the distinction that 4 of the 8 living Ivering geniuses are his children.

His eldest, Oliuer II 'the Just' of Briezh, is married to his heir Tibourge, queen of Frisia. (Like most Ivering marriages, they share no great-grandparents, and their closest shared relative is probably much more distant--perhaps even Arthmael himself.) Next comes Berthildis, married to Sultan Khalil 'the Frail' of Gaul. That storied kingdom, first held by the Bourques then the Iverings, is now held by the Abbasids, who (with the exception of three elderly women) have entirely converted to Catholicism, making their descent from the uncle of Muhammad a historical curiosity. Aldrien, the fifth child and third genius, is Emperor of Italia through a matrilineal marriage to Carola Lotharing. Prostlon, the youngest at only 10, is not yet betrothed.
King of Men
Posted: Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:30:17 AM
 Legatus legionis

One Year Membership MedalTwo Year Membership Medal

Joined: 11/23/2007
Posts: 8,482
Location: Nowhere
Could you cross-post to Paradox, please? The peanuts drool for your mendacious propaganda and spurious, self-serving analysis!

Read my blog.
Norway Rome The Khanate Scotland Scotinavia Christendie the Serene Republic has always been at war with the Bretons False Empire Caliphate Persians Russians English Hungarians Oceanians Saracen Jackal! Death, death, death to the Frogs barbarians infidels necromancers vodka-drinking hegemonists Sassenach nomad menace Yellow Menace heathen Great Old One!
Vaniver
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018 4:53:15 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel


Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
With conversion looming, this was the last session of CKII. First, the session in brief:



The session begins with the Crusade for Georgia failing in early 1083. Georgia is currently held by the Quraishid Sultanate whose main base is Persia, and earned the sympathy of players by being Druze. Armies stopped by to gain the Crusader trait and then left, with the AI fighting the war for much longer than anyone wanted.



In late 1083, Anaoic II dies. Note the huge discrepancy in inheritances. I wanted this in order to get Frisia and Navarra back to Tanistry succession, but it was painful in that Couronne, my capital duchy, goes to whoever gets the Kingdom of France, and so it took most of the session to return my capital there (which was necessary to get Imperial Administration by the end of the game). I join the Duke of Berry's war against the king of Burgundy, but the war ends inconclusively with the king of Burgundy's death.

Estienne is set as my heir and eventually the titles are reunited when Tibourge dies of poor health. I join the Jihad against Hijaz as the rulers of Mecca and Medina are Catholic and we should keep it that way, but end up not having to send any armies, as the AI wins on its own. The importation of Han generals to Bretonnia leads to an ethnicly Han Ivering:


(Sadly, she doesn't grow up by the end of the session.)


Prostlon, the genius daughter mentioned in the last AAR, is captured by a rebelling vassal early in the session, who then refuses to ransom her. This means her entire adult life, nearly 20 years, is spent in prison; at age 35 she has still not yet married.



Estienne rules for much of the session, which includes a second coalition war for Italy in reaction to Italy's holy war against Venice. During the war Bretonnia participates in (and loses) a major battle, which leads to Estienne's suicide; his heir Gui has much better martial ability but is no longer allied to the Abbasid king of Gaulbbasids, as Gui, descending from the Saxon branch, is only a distant relation to Martin's mother. He doesn't rejoin the war by the time peace is forced, and the session ends shortly thereafter.

Next, let's consider the characters who will get imported into EU4:


Gui, Emperor of Bretonnia

Anaoc II of Frisia, heir to the Empire


Gui's excommunication (revenge from Italy for participating in the beginning of the coalition war) will mean a relations hit with all Catholic countries, and his diplomacy leaves something to be desired. But he'll likely have decent administrative skill, and at 24 will likely rule Bretonnia for some time. His heir (who, as he's older, is not likely to actually inherit) has a high military skill (and some command traits) that will make him a nice free general.



Gui is the 25th Ivering Emperor to take the throne, doing so nearly 300 years after Arthmael did so, and can trace his descent through 10 generations of fathers in between the two. Of the 24 deceased emperors, eight died at another's hand; one in battle, two from known murders, and five from suspicious circumstances (which typically meant Italy). Of particular note is Anaoc I, whose reign of less than a year came during the first anti-Italian coalition war. Two more died at their own hands, typically to cause the titles to reunite. Only two died of undifferentiated 'natural causes.'

A map of the Ivering realm would also likely show quite a bit of stability over those three hundred years. Arthmael assembled much of the Breton coast, from Brittany up to Flanders, before becoming Emperor, and was granted the title of Austrasia during the shattering of the Karling realms. An early alliance with the Iberian powers against Aquitaine eventually resulted in an Ivering being placed on the Aquitainian throne, only to be overthrown again by the Bourques, and then to pass through a succession of other dynasties (including the Iverings again) until finally becoming the Abbasid stronghold. Austrasia only dipped out of Ivering control a handful of times, but its borders fluctuated wildly, never quite becoming a powerful state in its own right but holding dominion over much of central Western Europe, only recently displaced by Burgundy. Saxony and Sweden were both won in Crusades and then lost to the Scandinavians, tho the king of Saxony is technically still an Ivering, and Austrasia holds some enclaves in Sweden still.
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