..or, how my one bad king shattered my domain, ended my ascension to hegemony, and destroyed the catholic church. Sorry, no screen shots. But I think CK veterans will enjoy this story because by now I think we've all "been there".
So playing as Castile, and things are going great. Had unified all the crowns of Spain, taken Sicily and thrown the Muslims out of Iberia. Thinking to myself, that it was almost time to strike at France, if they would ever have a mediocre king (they had an amazing run of good luck). Had had myself a loyal anti-Pope for a few generations, so I was rolling in money. Had done enough improvement to my dominion that it was becoming strong economically.
But it was not meant to be. Because my Caligula, my Commodus rose to the throne. Marco III Marquez Jimena, better known to history as King Marco "the cruel" rose to the throne, despite any ability to govern. King of Castile, Leon, Asturias, Aragon, Portugal, and other places too numerous to mention.
He took pleasure in torturing and executing noble prisoners. He was fighting against rebellions nearly constantly, draining the coffers and preventing him from having the ability to wage a long war for fear of having rebellions take place in Spain as he marched. he was slothful, he was hated. He was a tyrant.
All of these things could have been forgiven however, if he hadn't run so afoul of the church.
You see, the Papal schism had been going on for some time, and the authority of the church had been drained. The whole of Germany had gone heretic, and the Emperor now brought his power to the defense of heresy. The Cathar heresy had spread throughout Italy, and even into Iberia itself.
Marco III decided to end the schism with a massive all-or-nothing invasion of the Papal states to place his man on St. Peter's throne. This, he hoped, would give him a grateful ally in Rome, restore the church to a position of power, and enable him to finally get the authorization he needed to invade France.
The invasion was expensive in men and in gold, but the old Pope was toppled. Marco III celebrated his triumph by torturing some prisoners.
But the expensive triumph was short-lived; within a couple of months it would all unravel. The puppet Pope on whom Marco III had counted on died unexpected at the young age of 30, and a new unloyal holy father came to power. Marco the cruel's reputation had been so tarnished during the invasion and due to the very public assassination of the deposed Pope, that it didn't take long for the King's vassals to petition the new Pope for excommunication. This was granted when the King's own MOTHER, the Duchess of Aragon, requested it.
Iberia erupted into rebellion after rebellion. Every vassal who had nursed a grudge gleefully took up arms against the King, and one by one the more loyal ones were swayed to their side. Marco was defeated time and again, and his coffers were now drained. The only ones willing to fight in his name were the mercenaries, and they wouldn't do so for much longer since the money was drying up.
Marco was eventually compelled to give up the crown of Castile to his child son, Alfonso IX. The crown laws for each of his kingdoms has been set to "autonomous vassals", and he clings to weak power in Sicily and western Iberia. For the sake of the dynasty, his young son must now seek to assassinate his own father, or pray that he meets with an untimely end.
Will try playing as the boy-King Alfonso IX now, to help deliver the only salvation that the entire kingdom agrees must come, the death of King Marco the Cruel.
Thought I'd share this tale with you all. I know you can probably relate, and if not, your Caligula is coming.