The Eye of the Hurricane<Amric>
How to Write For Events
I’ve been doing some thinking lately about the events that commonly happen in EUII and how one writes for them to incorporate them into your story. I mean, really, how many times can you say dryly “A comet appears and panics the populace, -1 stability”? What is the fun in that? I am going to try and suggest ways to ‘spice’ up that event, and others so that you can possibly get ideas of your own to use in your own stories.
Take that comet or meteor event as a prime example. Depending on your religion, and let us start with Christian religions, shall we? You could suggest that it foretells a defeat for your kingdom’s forces if you are in the midst of a war. Or it could suggest that diplomatic moves have failed badly, causing some concern as to whether the nation will be plunged into war.
Or even the possibility of prognosticators predicting a draught or crop failures. Or a signal of the death of a king, or the birth of a bastard. There really is no limit as to what you can suggest for WHY the populace panics over the sight of a comet. In the times of EUII, people are very superstitious. Witch hunts during this time were rampant. Almost as much as hunting down heretics. It made the Salem Witch Trials seem like a cake walk in comparison!
With such superstition comes the ability to have them believe whatever you wish to explain the -1 stability hit you take.
For pagans, much of the above is also true. But you can add the fear of the people into being forced to convert to Christianity since they are undoubtedly surrounded by Christians who are eager to bring them into the fold of Christ. This also is true for those near Islamic nations as well. A fear of such, heralded by the appearance of a comet would be very believable.
Let us turn our attention to a good event. One where you get ‘x’ amount of ducats as a gift to the state. This one can be easily explained by someone buying a title from your king. Or a noble trying to gain favor by bribing the crown for some sort of rights, such as the right to toll people using a river on his lands. Or a foreign power giving you money to help you withstand the tyranny of another nation. Or the merchants guild, eager to curry favor with your monarch in return for lower taxes. Or even, for the sake of fun, finding an ancient treasure hoard and getting to keep the money discovered.
Let’s take another. Rush of colonists. How can you explain this? Especially if you are an innovative nation that is tolerant of religions? Perhaps you could suggest that newly discovered lands in another part of the world have caused people to be eager to make their own fortunes. Or if your nation is intolerant of other religions, they are eager to leave to a colony in the hopes of living a life free of pressure to convert to the state religion. Or the fact that the new colony is near pagans or another religion and they are eager to try and convert them to your state religion.
Or even, as the British did in real life, a penal colony such as Australia, or the French with the north eastern coast of South America. Or to escape from crop failures, like the Irish potato famine that caused so many Irish in real life to leave for America in hopes of a better life.
Or even perhaps they come from an are devastated from war and they just want a chance to start over in a place that isn’t associated with death and destruction. Or perhaps they are wanting to live in a place that has better weather? The limit is only your imagination!
How about Rush of Merchants, yes?
There are ways to explain it. One is that the merchants you are sending have been failing in whichever CoT you have been sending them and the merchants guilds are recruiting and eager to send more to that CoT to try and wrest control of it away from another nation. Or perhaps your merchants are doing fairly well at a CoT and the merchants guilds are eager to try and gain a monopoly there. Or even that they want to expand their holdings by moving into another CoT and trying to dominate it as well.
Or perhaps you have a new item to sell on the world markets and a new merchants guild that wishes to start operations. Say you have taken over a province that produces wine, something you have never had before. It is VERY reasonable that a new merchants guild, the Winemaker’s Guild, would want to have representation.
Wave of Obscurantism Happens to Us. What could this mean? Perhaps there is a question of theology that is being debated between religious scholars. This happened on more than one occasion in real life, so this is very possible. Or perhaps you are a catholic nation bordering a Protestant one. Some Protestant doctrine is trying to filter into your nation and you have to fight it off. Not complete heresy, just an interpretation that needs to be stamped out BEFORE it goes into full blown heresy. This could also be vice versa…or Shiite versus Sunni Muslim issues as well. Theological debate was a heated issue on more than one occasion and it more than once caused a theologian to lose his head in the end. This can also happen in pagan nations where a new type of theology is trying to be established, or a point of contention rears it’s ugly head.
A Plague Happened to Us. What kind of plague? The black plague? Smallpox? Measles? What? It doesn’t always have to be the black plague. It could be any number of diseases. Many were deadly back then due to the fact of no real medicine to combat them. Just look at what happened to Constantinople on more than one occasion. Smallpox devastated it more than once. Even scarred an Emperor and supposedly caused him to be permanently impotent!
Or instead of a plague, I used a storm to create the amount of death and destruction, like in my Cyprus story where Eric gets onshore at Tampico and has to ride out a hurricane. There had been a plague there and it had trashed my amount of population rather badly. I never explained it was a plague. The hurricane was a plot device, but it served it’s purpose.
Enthusiasm for the Army/Navy. This is a nice event, usually, except if it happens right off the bat when you start your game and you don’t have the resources to use them. Why is there enthusiasm for the army? Or navy? Perhaps it has become known that you are about to recruit and the pay is pretty good. Considering military men made a MUCH better living than the standard serf, this is not a real surprise. Even the possibility of death will not discourage people from being eager to join the military.
Perhaps it is due to a recent naval victory, or an army victory. Whether it is against another nation, or perhaps rebels. Or the fact that someone saw a troop of men or a small flotilla of ships go by and wanted to get in on the action. Or a wave of patriotism sweeps the area. Or a noble decides that he might have some fun playing soldier or sailor and recruits his own troops/ships<and sailors> to join with the national army/navy. Or a large group of men decide to join as the prospects in their area are slim and the military is a good move for those who like eating at least once a day.
A noble allies with a Foreign Power. Why did that noble do that? Is he, or she, wanting to improve his or her station in life? Did the enemy promise them primo lands and an even better title? Did the government tick him or her off and they want to get back at the monarchy by attempting to foment trouble? Is that noble insane? Is that noble just greedy for money due to large debts and allying with the enemy gets him or her money to pay off their debts? Are they linked in some other fashion, such as a marriage in some way?
Temporary Insanity of Monarch. What caused the insanity? Again, using Eric from Cyprus, it was the death of his beloved and the unborn child that unhinged him. It wasn’t until later as the king that it fully manifested itself. Perhaps a bout of illness has caused your monarch to lose his wits? Or he has become a drunkard and starts doing foolish things that cause people be BELIEVE he is insane. Or the family has intermarried too closely over the decades and it finally caught up to them in the insanity of the king. Or perhaps a bit of food poisoning that causes him to think someone is trying to kill him. Therefore he begins to become paranoid and peering into the shadows for the next attempt on his life. Desperate to find his assailants he begins pogroms to eliminate his suspected enemies.
Perhaps a crisis of faith caused him to do things that could be considered insane. Or because you are short of money he begins disbanding large numbers of troops or ships to save cash and because your nation is surrounded by enemies or potential enemies this could be considered an insane act.
Birth of an heir. Now this one SEEMS easy. But what if this occurs TWICE or MORE during one king’s life? How many heirs does one monarch need? He only has one true heir. The rest are bargaining chips for arranged marriages for the betterment of the kingdom. You could use a second event of this nature to portray an important birthday event for the true heir. Or that the first, original heir has died at some point and this new baby is now the new heir to the throne. Or just for fun, especially if stability is low at that point, the king legitimizes a bastard to inherit the throne. Which is better than having no actual heir to the throne at all and increases stability because the people now know that the monarchy is still going to be in the family hands. Sometimes even a bastard is better than an unknown coming to the throne.
Heresy happened to Us. Usually this means a province has spontaneously converted to a religion other than the state religion. So WHY did this province do this? Explain how it happened of course. There are numerous reasons why this could occur. If it is near a nation of a different religion/sect of yours, such as a catholic nation next to a protestant one and your province converts to protestant perhaps people have been coming across the border to convince your subjects that being a protestant is better than being a catholic!
Or perhaps the inquisition has been through there recently and burned witches or suspected heretics. People who were important or loved by numerous people. They convert to a different religion due to the intolerance and cruelty of the inquisition. Let your imagination run wild!
‘X’ province converts to the state religion. Either you sent a missionary and he succeeded before he was supposed to, or it was completely spontaneous. It happens. Explain it. Either due to the brutal oppression of the heresy or other religion or perhaps due to the kindness of your nation in the treatment of their former enemies who are now subjects to your crown. Perhaps a very eloquent priest/bishop has gone through the province and convinced people of his greatness. Perhaps a saint performed a miracle, or someone important was healed. All reasonable things that could cause a province to convert eagerly to the state religion.
Saint performs a miracle happened to Us! Explain the miracle, whatever it might be. The story has gotten around and that is why your stability has increased. For extra points, try to find a historical one that could have performed the deed in that place, at that time! The miracle doesn’t even have to be earth shattering. Remember, the people are a superstitious lot! Something small, but difficult to explain to people of that time could easily be construed as a miracle.
A drought happened to Us. What caused the drought? Was it a lack of rain over an extended period of time? Perhaps rival nobles have dammed up water ways to use for their own selfish purposes, disrupting the normal flow of water and creating the problem. Or even a rival NATION diverting precious water for its own use. Look at the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In modern day times, Turkey has the headwaters for those rivers. It totally controls what amount of water Iraq and Syria are going to get. Something similar can be portrayed for your purposes as well!
An Earthquake Happened to Us. Depending on where it happens you can portray the suffering that it has caused the inhabitants of that province. The loss of homes and businesses. The sheer loss of life. Families torn asunder due to some surviving while other family members do not. The loss of income from that province due to the destruction and the money that has to be poured in to repair the damages. Things of that nature.
A Good Harvest happened to Us. Don’t use corn unless you are an American nation or have discovered the Americas. Until then, Europe had no corn. Or tomatoes. Or potatoes. But you can describe the harvest if you wish. Or the fact that people aren’t going to starve that winter due to the bumper crop of wheat or whatever that you now have. Perhaps a nice harvest festival could be in order!
Piracy happened to Us. Whether it is Rhodian pirates, or ones from the Baltic, they are a problem. Try running a campaign against them in your story. You aren’t going to succeed. They will return. I had ships constantly patrolling all along the Asia Minor Coast and the Aegean and even OWNED Rhodes and I STILL got that event. But you can very much portray trying to root them out, even if it is only temporary!
A border raid happened to Us. Whether it happened to you, or you did to another nation, you are either going to lose people and tax value, or gain it. You can portray the raid against you or the one you perpetrated on an enemy nation. Even what items were taken to lower the value of your province or enhance it if you did the raiding!
This is by no means a complete list of events that happen in EUII. I am certain I missed a few. But it SHOULD give you an idea on how to portray them in a manner that is not cut and dried. Keeping your story fresh and interesting!