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Thread: The Crusader Mafia: a Neapolitan AAR

  1. #1
    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    Cool The Crusader Mafia: a Neapolitan AAR

    What You Need to Know About This AAR
    What is the country?
    I am playing the County of Napoli.
    I need to know the version, betas, and all that grot.
    Good for you.
    And?
    The game is Crusader Kings 1.04a, no betas, 1066 scenario. Fog of War is off. The writing style will be log-ish, with occasional outbursts of dialog. I took some screenies but cannot post them at the moment.

    The Crusader Mafia
    Part 1, in which it is revealed counts are at the bottom of the feudal food chain.


    Observe: the continent of Europe. Look closer. See the little county of Naples. Even closer, and you will see the Count of Naples, Sergio Spartenos. He is a vassal of some dude in Byzantium. You need not worry about the Byzantines, all they do is blunder about stealing sieges. Our Count, Sergio, is 41 years old, and is rated at 7/5/4/6. He is a Greek Orthodox Christian. Currently, he is observing his realm.
    Count Sergio Spartenos: How come our realm seems to be nothing but a hill fort and some grass?
    Advisor: Because you haven't spent any money on improvements.
    Count Sergio: Then build some!
    Advisor: We don't have enough money.
    This was the fundamental Neapolitan problem. They had no money, little prestige, and some piety, but piety wasn't good for much anyhow. Sergio had a son, also named Sergio. This Sergio becomes the County's marshal, even though he is only 17. A marriage is arranged between him and a Foteine Spartenos, who is made spy mistress.

    Now, the County of Naples wasn't likely to get far with just one province. Military expansion was a neccessity. There were two independent one-province duchies next to Naples, but Sergio didn't have enough prestige to claim their titles. Sergio Jr. didn't help in this regard, as he kept on demanding land.

    On July 1, 1067, Neapolitans awoke to find they had discovered light crossbows.

    Meanwhile, the Muslims were fighting the Muslims, and the Christians too. This didn't matter terribly much until Sergio discovered something.
    Count Sergio Spartenos: Hey! The Kingdom of Zirid has 666 men in one of their regiments! That's the satanic number! They're EEEEEEVIL! To arms! But they might be too strong, let's just declare war on Malta instead.

    And on August 29, 1068, it was done. Zirid joined the fight on the side of the Maltese, and Apulia and the Byzantines joined on the side of Naples. Sergio immediately shipped out to Malta along with the Neapolitan army. They wipe out the Maltese defenders, but at considerable loss. Around 600 Neapolitans start a siege. Meanwhile, Zirid is under attack from Cyrenaica, Genoa, and zillions of others, but they refuse to make a return to status quo peace with the Neapolitans. On April 3, an Apulian army headed by Robert de Hauteville lands on Malta.
    Duke Robert de Hautville: When dis city falls, de flag of Apulia best be over it... or....
    Count Sergio Spartenos: Or else what?
    Duke Robert: .....Sergio sleeps with the fishes.
    So when the fortress on Malta fell, it became an Apulian island. Thus stymied, Count Sergio's dwindling army moved to Mahdia, where Genoans were besieging the Ziridian fortress. Unfortunately, Sergio was unable to steal the siege. On May 27, a pretty wench caught Count Sergio's attention.
    Pretty Wench: Hi.
    Count Sergio: I'm restraining the passion. Guards, put her in chains and throw her in the dungeon!
    Pretty Wench: Are you sure that's what the event choice text implies?
    To give his tired army a morale boost, Sergio shipped them to Salerno, where a 47-man Zirid "army" was "besieging" the local fortress. By this time, paying the army has left Napoli with -7 gold, so the army is disbanded and peace is sought. Unfortunately, Neapolitan diplomats can't find Zirid's capital. Eventually, they stumble upon it in Nubia. On March 7, 1070, peace is agreed to with Zirid.

  2. #2
    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    County of Napoli is proving to be a rather difficult country to play. Any ideas?
    Everybody knows, you only live a day, but it's brilliant anyway
    FINISHED: Keep on Rockin' in the Free World, an AAR of the USA.
    Pretty stale: The Crusader Mafia: A Neapolitan AAR. Winner: AARland Reader's Choice Awards Q4, CK comedy.
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  3. #3
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    Good opening, I like the writing a lot. There's no way I'd ever lock up a pretty wench, though.

    My main advice for playing a county is "don't" just because it's such a bitter uphill struggle of stolen sieges and insufficient resources. I think the best tactic is to take advantage of succession by marriage to inherit other people's lands, but I don't have the patience to play a county so take it for what it is.
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  4. #4
    Somewhere in time DoS's Avatar
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    I liked the start, especially the humorous stile of your writing, don't feel yourself pressured to build a huge empire fast. A county is hard everyone knows that, so I'm just looking forward to your next update (Neapolitanian stile) !
    Well some say life will beat you down
    Break your heart, steal your crown
    So I've started out, for God knows where
    I guess I'll know when I get there

    I'm learning to fly, around the clouds,
    But what goes up must come down

  5. #5
    In the cooler - to stay... Northern Viking's Avatar

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    I agree with the others...
    It is a really good start of your AAR!

    Perhaps just me... But that Sergio Sr. doesn't seem to be the smartest guy around! Eh...
    *Imitates a fat Count, sitting at a huge table and fill himself with food, all greased in*
    - Eh... Why does people hate me...?
    - I... I guess it's because your highness only think about food and devils!
    - Oh... Really... Hey, hand me the ham over there...
    - It's... It's Boar, your highness... From the Byzantine Emperror!
    - WHAT! That Devil... Let's gather the Army and kill him!

    Nah... I think it's nice...
    You take the events and mix 'em with the story, so they at the same time describe the person! And in that way you get some more... Realistic leaders, instead of the *Shinnning Knight on a white horse-type a guy*

  6. #6
    Lt. General von Loch Ness's Avatar
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    lol, funny stuff
    The writing style will be log-ish, with occasional outbursts of dialog.
    this sounded scary, but what you're actually writing is more, so dont underestimate it

  7. #7
    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    I've got the notes up to 1074 now. I was in such a rut that I had to cheat my way out, but I am at least now count of Salerno also. But I feel a bit insincere now.... I'm not sure I want to continue. I would edit some of the blatant cheating out of the savefile, but I don't know how. Your opinions would be appreciated.
    Everybody knows, you only live a day, but it's brilliant anyway
    FINISHED: Keep on Rockin' in the Free World, an AAR of the USA.
    Pretty stale: The Crusader Mafia: A Neapolitan AAR. Winner: AARland Reader's Choice Awards Q4, CK comedy.
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  8. #8
    Lt. General von Loch Ness's Avatar
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    got any earlier save?

  9. #9
    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by von Loch Ness
    got any earlier save?
    Yeah, but then things would be the same as before: no action, no real chance of expansion, and not a terribly fun game.
    Everybody knows, you only live a day, but it's brilliant anyway
    FINISHED: Keep on Rockin' in the Free World, an AAR of the USA.
    Pretty stale: The Crusader Mafia: A Neapolitan AAR. Winner: AARland Reader's Choice Awards Q4, CK comedy.
    I own one sixth of Henry v. Keiper's soul, 600 kenneththegreat points, 5 Pimp Shizzle Points,
    <--- a Phoenix cookie, and three anonymous4401 dollars.
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    I say carry on. As long as it isn't a game winning cheat, it can't be all that bad.

  11. #11
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    The Crusader Mafia
    Part 2- In which it is revealed that Byzantium is not always smart enough to disband its army


    The Great Maltese War was a very frustrating one. Not only did it not accomplish anything, it also left Sergio and his county very poor indeed. Luckily, the nobles had discovered "divine rights" and thus didn't notice their taxes increasing by 5 percent.

    In October 1070, an ACT OF GOD (tm) gave Sergio 1000 points of prestige, and he used it to claim the title Count of Salerno. Let us never speak of this again.

    On January 15, 1071, Sergio had a brilliant idea.
    Count Sergio Spartenos: Hey! What if we planted the county gardens in the shape of the Napoli coat of arms?
    County Gardener: It could be done, sire. We would need flowers of two different colors.
    Unfortunately, the colors got reversed. So someone had the bright idea of switching the plants in the spring. Thus was born the Two Field System.
    OOC: I sorta had a hard time justifying this historical discovery in "trial and error terms. I hope you like my approach.

    On March 4, 1071, Sergio declared war on the Count of Salerno, whose name Neapolitan historians have sadly (SADLY!) forgotten. Of course, Byzantium insisted on joining the war too. Fortunately for Naples, an ACT OF GOD caused the Byzantines to leave the war before getting involved in organized siege-stealing the way the Mafioso Apulian duke did. (1) Interestingly, the Byzantines left something like 2,500 men attriting all over Napoli instead of disbanding them like a logical country.

    After an initial defeat, Sergio set up his siege in Napoli with exactly 300 men. They started dying from alcohol overdose or something at a rate of about 10 a month. This got old really fast.

    This lasted about a year. Then some unexpected news. Sergio and his wife Belkonia were expecting a child! This was odd for two reasons. First, Sergio was a province away from the capital at this time. Second, Sergio could not recall getting married. (2)
    Messenger: Wonderful news! Belkonia is expecting a child!
    Count Sergio Spartenos: Who's Belkonia?
    Messenger: Er.... your wife.
    Count Sergio Spartenos: Can you tell her to get rid of those Byzantines?

    Another year passed, and the siege of Salerno was still going nowhere fast. On March 5, 1073, Sergio Jr.'s wife had a stillborn child. Sergio Sr. wasn't terribly interested, he just wanted the stupid siege to finish up.

    On August 16, Belkonia had her son, named Theodoros.

    But still, the siege was not succeeding. Then, on November 6, an ACT OF GOD caused the walls to tumble down (3), like those in Jericho in biblical times. The Count of Salerno gave up his title. Napoli was now two provinces rich!

    Footnotes
    (1) This was me loading a save as Byzantium.
    (2) I think the AI did this while I was busy in Byzantium. But at the time, I was thinking "What?"
    (3) This is an exxageration. I just forced the AI to accept the annexation.


    Right, that was indeed cheating, but I think it'll make things a bit easier.... It's just the massive prestige would tempt me to do more title-grabbing. What part of the save file do I edit to get rid of that?

  12. #12
    Lt. General von Loch Ness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_shy_kid
    Yeah, but then things would be the same as before: no action, no real chance of expansion, and not a terribly fun game.
    if the game and the AAR are more interesting, it's all justified in the name of story-telling

  13. #13
    Somewhere in time DoS's Avatar
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    Your writing is hilarious, I liked especially the explantion on how the two field system was invented and the Sergio & Belkonia & Byzantines conversation ! I don't care the little cheating for now, you are the writer of history after all ...
    Well some say life will beat you down
    Break your heart, steal your crown
    So I've started out, for God knows where
    I guess I'll know when I get there

    I'm learning to fly, around the clouds,
    But what goes up must come down

  14. #14
    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    I just played to 1079, so an update is coming.... as far as YOU know.

    The Byzantine AI seems to have zero scutage tax. Is this what the AI does to ensure perpetual loyalty? I'm sorta bored of having them join every war I start.....

    Also, screenies. Would I be able to limbo under the 250k size limit with a normal screenshot?
    Everybody knows, you only live a day, but it's brilliant anyway
    FINISHED: Keep on Rockin' in the Free World, an AAR of the USA.
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    <--- a Phoenix cookie, and three anonymous4401 dollars.
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    Sometimes They Come Back Paranoid Tsar's Avatar
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    I thought the two field system started when they began using baseball stadiums for football too (those huge dirt patches aren't THAT distracting).

    This is really entertaining, so I say cheat away. If you want to lose that tempting prestige you could just kill off the current ruler to reset it or make some crazy claim that there's no way you'll ever cash in (principality on the other side of Europe, maybe?).

    For a screenshot just save it as a GIF or JPEG and you'll be fine. Looking forward to more "acts of God" and general Byzantine idiocy.
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    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    Thank you for your kind words.... now.....
    The Crusader Mafia
    Part 3- In which Sergio climbs a notch on the feudal ladder

    Part 3 of our tale begins with the unfortunate death of Sergio Sr. and Belkonia's son, Theodoros, on February 28 1074. Let us not dwell on the topic of dead babies; it is far from uplifting unless you are some sort of sadist.
    Fortunately, on April 30th Belkonia is expecting again. Interestingly, Sergios has now reached his fifties. Let us not dwell on that either.
    For some reason, Sergio had to choose the education path of Helena Spartenos, the child of Sergio Jr. and his wife Foteine. He does this. No one cares.
    On September 13, 1074, Foteine died in childbirth. The baby she was attempting to expel from her uterus died also. (OOC: This update has to start off glum doesn't it? In other news, the body count of this AAR is rising.) She was succeeded by two sons and two daughters, none of which were crazed inbreds despite the fact both she and her husband had the same last name.

    On January 30, 1075, Belkonia, the wife of Sergio Sr. if you're keeping track at home, gave birth to a son. He was named Romanos.

    On February 23, the following conversation took place in the county capital, now in Salerno:
    Count Sergio Spartenos: One of the court's youths seems to have taken an interest in wild parties.
    Advisor: I recommend having him whacked.
    Count Sergio Spartenos: He's my son and heir.
    Advisor: Fine, have him go run horses hard through the woods or something.

    On April 15, 1075, Count Sergio proclaimed himself to be Prince of Campania. This left him with a lot less gold, as it cost lots of money to repaint all the signs in the principality, but it demonstrated that Napoli now meant business. Also, it bumped Sergio a notch or so up the feudal food chain.

    On August 30, Helena Spartenos came down with some kind of incurable disease. Now keep in mind that this was the Middle Ages, so a broken toenail could qualify as a serious illness. But still.

    On September 5th of the next year, Sergio approved the construction of a training ground in Salerno in front of the local fort. It cost a good deal of gold (1), but promised faster recruitment of fod- er, brave soldiers for the Campanian army.

    On December 24th, 1076, Alexandros, the grandson of Sergio Sr., was shipped off with the army to gain a martial education.

    On April 9th 1077, Issakios, the other grandson of Sergio Sr., began his court education.

    On September 5th 1077, the Training Grounds in Salerno was completed. Sergio stopped by for a visit.
    Prince Sergio Spartenos: It looks great! So how... how does it work?
    Military official: Allow me to show you. Grab this shield. *motions to soldier* Alexis!
    *soldier fires arrow into center of shield*
    Prince Sergio Spartenos (startled): Whoa....
    Military official: That's what this training ground does.
    A month later, Sergio and Belkonia were expecting another child. Belkonia was heard to say "How does he do that?"

    In early 1078 (2) the Duchy of Calabria broke off from Apulia with two provinces. Sergio was interested, but didn't do anything drastic.

    On June 11th of that year, the architects of Napoli learned how to construct Romanesque vaults. They would have called them Roman vaults but the Pope filed a lawsuit.

    On August 3, 1078, Sergio's new daughter Anna was born. Unfortunately for Sergio, he couldn't show baby pictures to the court because she was represented by a silohuette.

    On November 12th, Salerno discovered annual sailing, but nobody realized it for about a year.

    On Christmas Day 1078, towns in Salerno had grown so much that the International Monetary Fund recognized the province as 'Rich." This was the second highest prosperity level a province could acheive, the highest being "Rich & Creamy."

    Nothing much happened until March 1st 1079, when Sergio claimed the title Count of Capua. If you haven't been paying attention, Capua is the independent county to the northeast of Napoli.

    He waited until May 1st to actually declare war on the current Count of Capua, a certain Richard of Aversa. The only fly in the ointment(3) was that Capua was allied to the County of Vas. Sergio stopped worrying about this when he couldn't find Vas on a map. Besides, they didn't join the war.

    The start of hostilities prompted an orgy of war-declarations upon Capua from Byzantium and its sundry vassals. Sergio hoped to beat them to Capua, which he did, and by June 2nd had defeated the Capuan army and begun a siege.

    His 800 men were soon augmented by numerous Byzantines from Sicily. Luckily, the Emperor was not among them, and the men simply provided a helpful extra push to take the fortress.

    When this occured on August 26, 1079, Sergio gained the title Count of Capua and 66 gold. It was a great military victory, giving Campania three provinces.

    Footnotes
    (1)This is one of my CK pet peeves. It's hard to write "I paid 100 gold for such-and-such." 100 gold what? Kumquats?
    (2)I don't recall the exact date.
    (3)Funny expression isn't it?

  17. #17
    Somewhere in time DoS's Avatar
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    Thanks, I needed the humorous fix to start my day ! Btw. congrats on your extension of Sergios domain.
    Well some say life will beat you down
    Break your heart, steal your crown
    So I've started out, for God knows where
    I guess I'll know when I get there

    I'm learning to fly, around the clouds,
    But what goes up must come down

  18. #18
    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    Hi again. I just played some more, but I'm going on vacation without a computer soon, so don't expect terribly much.

    The Crusader Mafia
    Part 4- In which not much happens, really

    Our update starts with the beginning of a forestry construction in Napoli on December 1st, 1079. The specified terrain there is "plains" but nobody's complaining.
    On January 11th, 1080, the dirt-poor, worthless peasants in Capua discover a "technology."
    Capuan Peasant: Hey look! I can use this chunk of wood to plow my field!
    Capuan Peasant 2: A WOOD PLOUGH!
    Capuan Peasant: w00t.
    Isn't that swell?
    Do you remember Romanos? The son of Sergio Sr. and Belkonia? Well on March 16th, he began his court education.
    On December 1st, 1080, the geographically perplexing forestry in Napoli was finished.
    A conversation in Salerno, February 1081:
    Prince Sergio Spartenos: Hmm, I have some prestige. Which title should I illegaly grab? Think.... think.....
    Advisor: I'll flip a coin, my liege. *flips coin* Grab the title of Consenza.
    Prince Sergio Spartenos: *is confused*
    But in any case, the title of Consenza was claimed for Sergio Sr. Its current holder was the Duke of Calabria, if you haven't been paying attention or are keeping track at home. Sergio didn't start any wars yet, though, because the manpower levels of the two fiefs were roughly equal, but Campania's manpower seemed likely to grow some more. Plus, Calabria was allied to the notorious mobsters in Apulia.
    In other news, Capua became prosperous, due to the May 5th Peasant Ox-Cart Grand Prix.
    On June 14, 1081, the current steward of Campania acheived prestige in his position, having served for a long time. Sergio promoted him from the category of "Somewhat Trusted Lieutenant (1)" to "Almost Trusted Lieutenant." The much-desired "Trusted Lieutenant" category was, however, only awarded posthumously.
    A few months later, a Napoli noble wrote the area's first chronicle. Titled "I'm a Neapolitan Noble, get me out of here!" it was a major hit. Many other nobles wrote chronicles, and it served to further distract the nobles and other citizens from their taxation rates.
    On January 5th, 1082, construction officially began on a fishing wharf in Salerno.
    On June 14, 1082, some soldiers learned how to use terrain for offense in Napoli.
    In unrelated news, in August of that year a plague of moneylenders descended upon the innocent populace of Napoli. They soon put up lots of advertisements proclaiming "Get a loan from us. We're not crooks. Honestly." The clergy were upset, so Sergio had to raise church donations. Despite this, the fact that a bunch of moneylenders had flocked to Napoli at utter random hurt his piety somewhat.
    On January 5th, 1083, the Salerno fishing wharf was finished, complete with Ruby's Diner at the end (2). Twenty-five days later, construction began on a tile factory in Capua.
    On April 22nd, 1083, those soldiers in Napoli stumbled upon another advance.
    Neapolitan Soldier: I can't decide whether to wear chainmail or leather today.
    Neapolitan Soldier 2: How about both?
    Thus was born "chained leather."
    On July 8th, young Romanos began to protect and help the poor.
    Person: I scoff at you, you mangy rat! Your mother was a hamster and your father reeked of elderberries! Go crawl back under a rock where you came from!
    Poor Person: I paid for a five-minute argument, not verbal abuse!
    Romanos Spartenos: Cut it out, you! Here, poor person, have some loose change.
    Poor Person: Thanks, little chap.
    Thus, the August edition of Who's Who in Southern Italian Feudal Courts listed Romanos as "merciful."
    On August 9th, 1083, Neapolitan soldiers discovered "defensive terrain." I'm thinking these guys like terrain. Maybe they're related to Tolkien's Dwarves or something.
    On September 22nd of that year, the inhabitants of Salerno learned about "ascetism." That would be great, aside from the fact nobody knew what ascetism was. (3)
    On January 30, 1084, the Capuan Tile Factory was finished. As is this update.

    Footnotes
    (1)That word is tough to spell. Seriously.
    (2)This joke may not make sense to people outside Southern California. I don't know where else Ruby's Diners are, but they always seem to be on the ends of piers.
    (3)Whenever a province gains this advance, I am thinking "What is ascetism?" I never remember.

  19. #19
    Postmodern poseur Shy Kid's Avatar
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    Okay, guys! You have to have SOMETHING to say! ... grumble.....

    In other news, I am now offering a limited run of five (5) cameos in further updates. Get them while they're fresh, but don't forget to read the fine print.
    Fine print:
    To obtain cameo, PM the_shy_kid with a suitable set of qualifications, and suitable means of payment. Suitable means include services to the_shy_kid, South African krugerrands, suitcases of unmarked bills, a Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 with less than 5,000 miles on it, and immortal souls. the_shy_kid reserves the right to withold cameo for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
    -Unpronoucable or difficult to spell screen name.
    -Lack of suitable game situation for your appearance.
    -Verifiable devil worship.
    -Lack of proof you have even read AAR.
    Once the_shy_kid has recieved payment for cameo, he reserves the right to knock off cameoed character in AAR. Naturally, he uses this power only for good. In addition, your cameo may not appear immediately. This is because I lack a situation where I can easily work you in. I will remember this, and your cameo will appear eventually. Offer not valid in Mongolia. Offer expires December 30, 2004.
    Last edited by the_shy_kid; 28-12-2004 at 08:07.
    Everybody knows, you only live a day, but it's brilliant anyway
    FINISHED: Keep on Rockin' in the Free World, an AAR of the USA.
    Pretty stale: The Crusader Mafia: A Neapolitan AAR. Winner: AARland Reader's Choice Awards Q4, CK comedy.
    I own one sixth of Henry v. Keiper's soul, 600 kenneththegreat points, 5 Pimp Shizzle Points,
    <--- a Phoenix cookie, and three anonymous4401 dollars.
    Index of "Interesting" OT Threads for your erudition. Not updated, but you'll just have to live with that.

  20. #20
    Somewhere in time DoS's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Victoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: RomeMount & Blade: Warband
    500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Chemnitz, Germany
    Posts
    928
    "I'm a Neapolitan noble get me out of here" Good to know that even the middle ages where plagued by some third quality nobles bugging their fellow men. Nice update, don't know what Ruby's Dinner is, but the joke pulled none the less. Keep it up!

    Edit: Riddle solved
    Last edited by DoS; 28-12-2004 at 13:50.
    Well some say life will beat you down
    Break your heart, steal your crown
    So I've started out, for God knows where
    I guess I'll know when I get there

    I'm learning to fly, around the clouds,
    But what goes up must come down

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