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Thread: Dominus Regni Poloniae, 8 Feb 1296

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    Dominus Regni Poloniae, 8 Feb 1296 (Restoration of the independent Polish Kingdom)

    [TECHNICAL NOTE: There are about 1300 pictures in this AAR on 7 pages, so sorry for the loading times. I recommend that you give the page some time to finish loading and avoid resizing. Please do not be discouraged! The positive is that every page from 1 to 7 is 1/7th of the AAR's storyline; once you've loaded it, it will keep you occupied for long. Perhaps saving pages 1-6 offline can make it easier. Click on any of the pictures in this AAR to see the full-sized version of it, you will then be able to see all the details and read all of the text easily (full-sized screenshots are 1920x1080, this makes for some large maps). Enjoy and thank you for coming!

    Dominus Regni Poloniae (COMPLETED)

    (Duke Wladyslaw the 'Elbow-High' of Greater Poland, starting 8 Feb 1296, House of Piast)


    This will be a different type of AAR. I won't really be writing an in-character narrative or any other flowing piece (unless I do so anyway). I am definitely not going for poetry here. If anything, expect weary, cormudgeonly comments and grim, hard reality. Incidentally, this is part of my imagination of Wladyslaw's personality. And yes, he was really that tall. No more than 1.60 cm or not much more. I suppose people picked on him. I suppose he showed them.

    This said, our starting character is Prince and later King Wladyslaw Piast of Poland, surnamed the Elbow-High, who united the country after long decades of fracturing. Under the testament of Prince Boleslaw the Wrymouth, on the latter's decease in 1138, the Kingdom of Poland, of which the now-deceased holder never managed to become crowned king despite how jealously it guarded its status as a kingdom, was to be ruled in chief by the eldest living member of the dynasty (not dynastically senior), while the junior ones (due to age, not dynastic senority) were to rule in their own right but under the senior ruler's paramount rule in their fiefs. The senior's title was "princeps regni poloniae", the Prince of the Kingdom of Poland (and Duke of Cracow in his capacity as the senior ruler). This system quickly crumbled. Almost immediately after the father's demise, the sons began to quarrel with no small participation of the dowager Princess. Long story short, the eldest son (Wladyslaw II the Exile) was exiled, which he seemed to have amply deserved, and once broken the principle of seniority never fully recovered. The senioral demesne went back and forth among various brothers and cousins, by force or by treaty or by last will or by election by their subordinates. The situation wasn't altogether hopeless, regardless of what fans of centralised authority would perhaps like to claim. However, it wasn't a bed of roses, either. (History of the broader period.) Ultimately, briefly in 1295 one of the princes, Przemysl II, managed to have the royal crown put on his temples (as you would say in Polish) but died shortly thereafter. His daughter was wed by Waclav (II) (Wenzel) of Bohemia, who had already been encroaching on his kingdom. Prince and Duke Wladyslaw, initially not a particularly important person but eventually a strong contender, was on the run. According to a legend, he survived a search by Waclav's men because of a spider that cast its web on the entrance to the cave wherein Wladyslaw was hiding. The men decided this was evidence enough that nobody could have entered recently and so they left.

    Eventually, Wladyslaw, after roaming Europe, including Rome and Hungary, made a come back and finally regained the Kingdom, albeit as a Prince, in 1306, after a war surprisingly ended by the heirless death of the new Waclav (III), son of Wladyslaw's enemy, back in Bohemia, before he could come in with reinforcements to aid his supporters. Wladyslaw finally received the royal crown in 1321.

    The situation bears some similarity to the Hundred Years War and indeed the repercussions, historically, lasted for quite a long time, forcing the Polish kings to pay off contenders of the House of Luxembourg (eventually holders of the HRE crown, to complicate things), who had married into and inherited the Bohemian Premyslid dynasty. If Poland had anything like binding dynastic succession laws could be up to debate and the application of them even more convoluted, contentious, possibly hopeless. Wladyslaw definitely did not have dynastic seniority in the House of Piast. Direct male line descendants through Wladyslaw the Exile, the eldest son of Boleslaw Wrymouth, had populated the plentiful thrones of Silesia abundantly, resulting in many tiny duchies (represented in the game as counties, baronies perhaps, and perhaps some not even that). These eventually became vassals of Bohemia. While Waclav initially had no real claim on anything, his position by marrying the daughter of king Premysl and being crowned by the very authoritative Archbishop Jakub Swinka of Gniezno was not bad at all. The problem was that Poland was used to the rule of Piasts and only Piasts, its collective "natural lords". Waclav was not one of them. He was a germanised Bohemian, ambitious neighbour from the South, who had already played foul by what the game would represent as forging claims, essentially, albeit only really on some of the territory of the demesne, by far not the kingdom itself... which he eventually got, anyway.

    This was perhaps a national struggle, although this view shouldn't be simplified. Different nations, in the ethnical or even simply biological sense, fought on different sides (including Piast princes), even though it can't really be disputed that Wladyslaus was a Polish hardliner. As was Archbishop Swinka actually.

    In my game, I am trying to replay what Wladyslaw did, given the means provided by the game. Historically, during much of the period from 1296 to 1306. Since I am not really that interested in his struggle at the stage when he was competing with other local Piast rulers, I decided to start on the day of death of Premysl II, which is 8 February 1296.

    For same reason, Wladyslaw doesn't have a claim on the Kingdom Poland (historically, basically any adult male Piast could have it, it would basically be the matter of relative strength compared to the other ones). However, he has alliances with other dukes as fellow members of House Piast, and he has a ducal claim on some land within the Teutonic Order, Poland's historical enemy at the time, and already a bitter one. He can also immediately start a plot to acquire the kingdom of Poland, which I'm going to do. Vaclaw is likely to find out but I'm not going to care because this much was plenty obvious to everybody.

    The game mechanics are likely to delay me because I will need to take into account the doomstack factor: basically, Waclav can easily join his levies into a huge doomstack, while I can't do that with my allies, even should they choose me over him. Which is not a given because they might actually like him more than me. Basing on a preliminary attempt, I am not likely to accomplish much within 10 years. Tough luck. So let us start:



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    In the next post I will discuss the strategy I decide to take before unpausing.

    Initially, I can tell you that I will generally not be doing the following:
    - assassination (unless perhaps a reciprocal attempt);
    - forging claims (unless with a clear proviso that using the game's "Forge Claim" function represents tasking the chancellor with expounding the legal grounds to justify Wladyslaw's claim on this or that, which he should really have – not a random total fake by inventing an ancestor that never existed etc.);
    – thinly disguised wars for territorial gain, offensive holy wars (unless I really need to neutralise a threatening pagan or Muslim power, which is not impossible) — this wasn't really in Poland's style;
    – betraying, or turning against co-dynasts for selfish reasons (at this point in time Wladyslaw is really thinking about uniting the Kingdom, not about petty feuds);
    – talking much to Waclav – I have no use, really, and I mean business (you will see).

    Before we jump in, there is one more thing I would have you know: while Poland had knights and lords and some form of feudalism, it was different from what you had in the West. It was possible to speak of a nation. In a way, it was a nation concentrated around its princes, the Piasts. The knights were the descendants, genetically or just in tradition, of the first princes' druzhyna, the bodyguard host (not like it wasn't enough to inspire some new bona fide appreciation in the German Emperor, as evidenced by the gallant treatment of Boleslaus the Brave by Otto III, may both of them be long remembered), essentially three thousand scary dudes on horses with heavy armour and probably quite a lot of gold on them too. The divide between a peasant and a knight was there but it wasn't unsurmountable and both of them were Poles and subjects of the prince. The lords (like that guy Swenzo of Slupsk in the screenshot, who definitely wasn't anything like a French count or English earl) were a different story, essentially knights but with ambitions and not rarely a proud genealogy (interestingly, their descendants eventually dropped to normal nobility and didn't create the modern pretend-aristocracy with Western-style titles obtained from foreign monarchs). Some things looked like in the Carolingian kingdom. Some looked like in a tribal country. Some looked like in the West. Some, maybe, like in the East (definitely had more in common with the Rurikovich family than, say, the Plantagenets did). But, all together, things were different there. You can expect this to show in my game. We won't be doing it French-style[1].

    [1] This is a reference to the French model of feudalism and social order. A good example is what William the Conqueror carried over to England with more luck than the French kings had in France.

    [Please don't mind the ImageShacks credit lines. I know they interfere with the text but kudos to ImageShacks for hosting some 1300 pictures for this AAR without fuss about bandwidth or hotlinking or anything like that for what's like $2 a month. And yes, I keep up the subscription so that the files will stay.]
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    Last edited by NewbieOne; 21-11-2012 at 21:14.

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    Before we unpause

    Situational map:



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    As you can see (details my vary per each start, my game crashed while taking screenshots and it seemed slightly different next game), I'm poor and my piety is low. My prestige is poor too. This is about accurate.

    The Hochmeister's income is 254.72. Even Vaclaw is at 231.45! (Although, somehow, in a previous start Vaclaw was above 300 and above the Hochmeister.) I am at 169.45 (and this is about the same as before the crash). I could probably intercept the Teutonic Knights' armies before they joined up into one big stack, if I hurried but this could be suicidal in the long run anyway (at least I wouldn't be facing similar consequences as in real life for attacking an order). I can't really do a thing to Vaclaw right now, unfortunately.

    First thing in the morning:



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    Just for the record, after the crash my starting plot power was 116% but still nobody was willing to join it from the get go.

    Some cousins like me better than their supposed liege, the King of Bohemia:



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    Some don't (and I can't blame them, Wladyslaw wasn't exactly easy to get along with in his younger years, even the composition of his lands varied wildly throughout his lifetime):



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    This is actually pretty random but this randomness of the game actually reflects the reality of the period. Things just were like that.

    My council is not spectacular but not bad by any means. It probably makes no sense to sit back and save money for upgrades. It seems my best asset right now are my levies. I should likely do something with them, although I am reluctant to face the risks of tackling the Hochmeister, and I have no interest in attacking Lithuania, other than whatever quarrel my Masovian cousins may have with it. But they'll need to bring it up first.

    Let's get some alliances. I should have a brother. There he is. Siemowit Piast. He is in line to inherit one of my duchies. Oh gavelkind. I don't even have a son but I already have two different heirs (if not more) to my lands. Same reason I need to do so much work uniting Poland right now! Since Siemowit isn't really an inheritor, nor do I have much to give him (my demesne is already small, 4/11), his marriage is primarily going to be an alliance. Do I get him to marry a Capet princess of France? Or do I set him up with a countess so he can get something of his "own" to rule? (I do love my brother after all.) Or wait...



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    Do you see anything interesting in this picture? Hint: look again, more closely, think again.
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    Last edited by NewbieOne; 15-04-2012 at 17:59.

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    Before we unpause (cont'd)

    Ladies and gentlemen, please rise! Princess Ryksa Elzbieta of Poland, daughter of the King who died today. The Piast King.



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    Aged 9, she is the only child of Przemysl II and the one through whom Vaclaw claimed the Kingdom of Poland historically. Here she is 9 years old. Just what is she doing at the court of a minor Silesian duke (here represented as a count due to game mechanics)? Vaclaw is unmarried as of the start of the game. And his only son, aged 6, is also.

    Marrying my younger brother to her would seem to be undercutting the branch I sit on. And it would preclude gaining an alliance from the outside. But can I really allow her to be married to someone else? A lowborn courtier from outside our dynasty? Or, worse, somebody from Vaclaw's house? Poor girl. Only 9. To betroth her to someone who could be her dad (over 30) and is effectively her far-removed uncle? Life is tough. Sorry, you will understand when you grow up. We need to make a stand. We need to hold the line first. This isn't making me happy either. Carry on, duty calls.

    (I don't know what will come out of this. I may be able to push a claim of their descendant's one day, perhaps putting him on the throne of Poland and making him my liege. This is good too. I am way beyond my personal ambition. If I need to bend my knee to a nephew at the end of my days, then so be it. Hope I live to see the day.)

    This is done.



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    There is one more thing left to do before unpausing:



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    In case you wonder, Chancellor is in Silesia because I need the Duke's support in whatever comes, he is the overlord of the three other Silesian princes. Chaplain is in Rome. Marshal is working on the levies. Steward is working on the tech, not taxes. Spymaster is discovering plots in my capital.
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 15-04-2012 at 18:01.

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    Now it's time to get Chelmno back:



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    Managed to sprint them before they could gather up. There was no time for our armies to gather up before crossing the border, either. The intercepted Teutonic Knights' armies couldn't bring together a large enough force. Smaller forces were defeated individually, albeint depleting my men, while the Silesian cousin worked on the sieges:



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    Defenders were ready to betray their current masters in favour of my attacking troops. They did so at least three times (although only one screenshot):



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    [I almost typed "wonder if that had anything to do with being in my de iure kingdom". Except they didn't know that, so to say, because in the game, Wladyslaw didn't even have a claim, much less any form of recognition as a claimant to the Kingdom of Poland.]

    But it was a tough siege, disease took its toll on my men.



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    Meanwhile Vaclaw wanted to appoint me his chancellor. No way:



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    And I had to decline. Normally, I don't even reply.

    My Prince got wounded, he is no young lad any more and there is still so much work to do (he will recover soon, though, both from this wound and from another illness):



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    The subjects also struggled with the cost of the war, for example this bishop:



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    "Of course, my loyal bishop. You need but to ask. I don't have much, myself, but you can share in what I have."

    Vaclaw unilaterally appointed me High Almoner of Bohemia:



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    Charity work is clean. At least it doesn't imply I help take care of his armies or their horses. Or his table.

    The Hochmeister peaced out:



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    No need to drag this on more than necessary. I almost regret DoWing him anyway.

    Here's the current situation up North:



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    The Teutonic Knights are fighting an internal war. The Hochmeister is not the historical one (Siegfried v. Feuchtwangen) that I had declared war on. And some rebels are trying to install yet another one. The Lithuanians have lost the war against Waclav and they are in trouble with Novogrod. They won't be threatening Poland any time soon. Waclav pushed a holy war for Masovia despite my Masovian cousin's ducal claim and grabbed a county from the Lithuanians, belonging to my cousin's de iure duchy. He actually gave it to his nominee, a guy who knows from where, forget my cousin. My cousin promptly DoW-ed the new guy. Right now, 5409 of my cousin's men are sieging and there is no opposition in sight. And my cousin currently likes more than he does Waclav.

    Meanwhile, a woman from the court of my uncooperative nephew is plotting to kill my son and she won't end her plot when I ask nicely. Nor can I imprison her because my nephew (who would otherwise be my heir) is independent. He is really playing with fire. Regretfully, I may have to deal with him at some point. I have to live knowing my infant son is in danger and I can't do anything about it. Anything moral at least. I'm not going to assassinate her, although I was tempted.

    Right now I'm soon going to have enough gold to start doing something with it. I don't have many options. I could invest in upgrading my existing holdings or erect a new barony to increase my recruitment and income potential. This would take time to pay back. Or I could send gifts to my cousins to tip the scales a bit, since nobody wants to join my plot despite its stated power. If they liked me more, with their support, perhaps I could topple Waclav? Unlikely, though, since he would just join his armies together and defeat the smaller individual hosts of my cousins. I may have to wait until he starts handing out demesne counties and attack those of his nominees that come to hold lands I have a claim on. It would, however, pain me so much to have to fight against my compatriots drafted into the defence armies! I wish I could just tackle Waclav head on but this isn't happening yet. I might try and lure a good chancellor or steward with gifts for the meantime.
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 15-04-2012 at 18:10.

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    hey thats my birthday!
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    always interesting to see a slightly later start, and the chaos of the Baltic offers up lots of threats, such as the dispute between your nephew and your son, and opportunities .... should be interesting

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    I've already said no way! (He keeps spamming.)

    Now it seems Waclav the King of Bohemia has given his demesne counties in the Kingdom of Poland to a guy he brought from Bohemia. Including one county in my own de iure duchy of Greater Poland, the cradle of Polish statehood. Since the Kingdom of Poland has Low or Minimal Crown Authority, I can deal with this immediately. This is not actually a challenging war, as will show in a minute.



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    Also, my chancellor is hard at work at the court of Duke Henry the Fat of Silesia, incidentally, the head of my dynasty, as happy as he seems to be associating with Bohemia. However, as we said before, things weren't so simple in Poland. Primogeniture didn't always obtain among brothers and dynastic seniority between cousins was all but a foreign concept. Still, I don't like the fact that Waclav is married to his daughter and has a son with her. At least not the heir. And at least that daughter of Henry the Fat has plenty of brothers, who all take precedence before her.



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    I will soon need to relocate my chancellor to other duties, since the time is short. Waclav is already about 10 years younger than I am, as it stands. It's time to gain supporters for our efforts.

    Meanwhile the Bohemian-appointed Duke of Lesser Poland has three provinces and quite some men but can't match what I have. In fact, while I move from a finished siege to lift his siege of my province of Sandomierz, my cousin of Masovia gets him first. I can go back to sieging, essentially, although I only need one more. Since it's obvious nothing will change in the defender's favour, he wants peace:



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    Also, as you can see, Waclav is constantly at war somewhere, moving his big scary stacks around. I wonder if I shouldn't be putting money aside for mercenaries instead of building baronies for economic base.

    Meanwhile the marriage we spoke about a while ago is taking place:



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    I realise that it will be difficult to pass the claim already as it is, and I wish the groom were my eldest son instead. Unfortunately, the latter isn't even 10 years old at the time. Still, the Princess wouldn't be thirty when he came of age. But who would have known, who would have though... and their guardians wouldn't have accepted to marry her to a much younger man. Get an heir, my younger brother. As long as he isn't an imbecile, I will make sure my own sons understand the needs of the situation.

    A neighbour is talking about some roses:



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    And I have my own claimant to the throne of Bohemia. The King's own elder bastard brother or so (the current Duke of Moravia of the Opavan Premyslid dynasty has a similar origin):



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    I'd prefer not to ravage Bohemia in the course of installing of a prince not chosen by its people. But if I have no other way to free Poland? What if, in the ensuing events, Jan Premyslid also receives the Polish crown?

    Now I don't have an immediate claim on Cracow or lordship over the bishop of Sacz, which we will address later. The Archbishop (Gniezno) is in my de iure duchy but a direct vassal of our so called king instead of me. I would have to go to war against Waclav to fix the situation and I'm not going to. The rest of the lands of Poland are in the hands of my cousins, except for Lubusz, which is currently held by somebody from the "Holy" Roman Empire and I can't even dream to DoW the Kaiser. So it's time to move the plot forward. Except that nothing has changed in several years as it is, nobody will join it. I might be able to persuade the Archbishop but this is partly due to the fact he won't be fully happy with any secular ruler anyway.

    At least I can afford mercenaries but difficulties are twofold: 1) Waclav will always have more guys, he may only be temporarily unable to concentrate them, 2) the provinces are low on supply, making big armies impractical. Could perhaps turn #2 to my advantage but #1 is always going to be a problem. Even with mercenaries. Maybe if I save a lot of gold and hire two bands of 4500 each? But sieges would still take long and I'd need to survive all of Waclav's re-raising, which can become tough, very tough. But I can't sit here waiting while I'm getting old and my sons are up to take one duchy each. Henry (the Duke of Silesia, head of our dynasty) is already incapacitated or close to it and our Masovian cousin can't do that much. We need a king (a real one) and fast. Fast means within my lifetime.

    EDIT: Out-of-character comment: This is actually very hard to do. Nobody will accept the plot and just like in real history, the pivotal person seems to be the Archbishop of Gniezno, Jakub Swinka (not a lowborn in real life, actually, his father was a nobleman). The Piast cousins seem harder to convince than in real life. Open war is impossible to work (tried that as an experiment, Waclav has like 3 times the army and battle losses outweigh smart management). Meanwhile the power of the plot wanes and the archbishop is already advanced in years.
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 15-04-2012 at 18:21.

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    [You can disregard this post. I keep for 'meta' reasons. It explains something about the difficulties in the game I played.]

    OOC (out-of-character) Note: Hey, guys. To let you know what's going on, I've been forced to reload. I had an off-shot of this game where Vaclaw II turned Fratticelli, got Holy-Warred by everybody around him for most of the duchies, including those held by my Catholic cousins, who were still replaced totally. When Vaclaw lost all land in Bohemia, which was all land he had anyway, he automatically took my county of Chelmno, which I had taken from the Teutonic Knights a while ago. Also, it broke my plot to acquire the crown of the Kingdom of Poland, even though Vaclaw still held both royal crowns. I could choose the plot to institute elective monarchy, but that was broken too a while later. I also DoWed the new Fratticelli bishop in my de iure duchy that Vaclaw appointed. Vaclaw died, replaced by his very short-lived Vaclaw II. I had nothing to do with the death, I only noticed when some young face wanted to appoint me chancellor. Turned out it was Vaclaw III's son, and Vaclaw III had actually worn the crown at the point of his death. The youngling was actually a half-Piast, through a daughter of Henry the Fat, formerly the Duke of Silesia and head of our Piast dynasty. So in a way that kid had more dynastic seniority in the house of Piast than my duke Vladyslaw, even though he was of a different dynasty actually. I was inclined to accept the Chancellor appointment and let that kid rule but he was Bohemian anyway, no longer even King of Bohemia, as that too was usurped of him, so essentially a Bohemian import holding 1 county on his own and 1 more through a vassal duke, in the Kingdom of Poland, while I had all the rest that hadn't been grabbed by the HRE (Lubusz, Lower Silesia) or Sweden (Masovia) or Hungary (Upper Silesia, Opole, Cieszyn). I was too weak to oppose those nasty Hungarians. The best I could do was probably become the ancestor of all dukes in the rump kingdom except for one (Bohemian import by Waclav II, the one I took Kalisz from), and maybe hope to regain counties or duchies one by one, e.g. during some rebellion of the new appointments against their lieges, if I could outrace their liege and avoid their white-peacing out of the conflict. There would be no way to usurp the king, plot the crown out of his hands, nothing. Maybe a lucky succession through a brotherless daughter. Maybe the Elective Monarchy plot would once again become available, in which case one of my current Duke's sons or grandsons could feasibly win the election at some point. Or maybe I could marry the kid to my daughter to give his own kid another share of the right blood, in which case changing the culture to Polish would likely occur at some point. Needless to say, I could also very easily go independent but that would make all the duke-tier gavelkind successors go their separate ways and fall prey of the neighbours. I would achieve worse fragmentation than the one I was patching up. In fact, a Premyslid king with a Piast mother and Piast grandmother (and especially Polish culture on top of that) would be better than that, by far. Perhaps I could "fabricate" claims to everything to make up for the fact that the game didn't give the right claims to the Piast princes even though their fathers, brothers, uncles etc. etc. had been dukes virtually all over the place.
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 21-11-2012 at 20:57.

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    A time of relative peace. It's time to build some baronies, upgrade the castle villages and towns... or save money for mercenaries? But the problem with the mercenaries is that you need income to support them. You will always scrounge the initial fee somehow. Income basis is what you really need. But I also need to gather the lands of the Kingdom of Poland. "Fabricate Claims", bah! My brother sat on the royal throne there as did my father before him, kings without crown, custodians for the better times. And his father and the father of his father all the way back to Boleslaw, who chipped his sword on the gates of Kiev and almost became the Emperor back in the day. Can it be difficult to get a recognised claim in such circumstances? What does that Bohemian courtier have on the Duchy of Cracow, the seniormost ducal title in Poland? Even less than Waclav who put him there. Go, my chancellor:



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    But come back soon, we can't be doing this forever and waiting.



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    My son, the young prince, is becoming proud. I fear for him. Pride and wroth are not alien to our house. They have been the downfall of many in it. I can't but recall myself in my younger years. Was I that much different?

    Speaking of the little princelings my children, we need to endear the lord Archbishop to the cause of our house. He had crowned Waclav when he had seen enough of our house infighting. Now he sees that wasn't the best choice. We have all made mistakes. I've had my share too. [In real life, Wladyslaw was expelled from Greater Poland because of ill rule. He was every bit a small-time Piast princeling like every one of them when he was young. It was his middle and later age that brought him to the courts of Europe as a landless vagabond with the right blood to rule Poland, though certainly not the only one, not even the most senior of them. The Archbishop, son of a Polish knight, wanted unity and national preservation in the face of the influx of foreign settlers. According to a legend, he complained about foreigners right as he had just crowned Vaclaw.]

    Go, princess, to the court of the archbishop:



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    It will take a lot of diplomacy, perhaps one more child, some gifts, maybe a bishopric out of our lands, but we will convince him. Eventually.

    Meanwhile Waclav is holding a tournament:



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    I shouldn't even reply. I don't want to talk to Waclav. I can't attack him openly but I don't want any shade of affirmation of him as my supposed liege. But would people understand?

    I will go. I need to. I will hail him as the King of Bohemia if I need to. He is a king, after all, and in that his dignity is higher than mine. There is no shame in acknowledging a king for what he is. A foreign one. I will careful avoid any notion of vassalage, while giving him all the respect a host, and a king, is due. There will be no warming up and no sweet talking though. I am not a traitor that weasels up before backstabbing. Prestige, bah. From the perspective of my age it suddenly doesn't look so attractive as when I was a twentyish young ambitious Piastling.



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    Prestige... More like the opposite of it. The event has made me realise how old I am. There is no shame in losing a tournament if I rebuild the kingdom of my ancestors... before I die. The time really is short.

    The archbishop... agreed. This is madness. One prince and one bishop against all. And we are old men. We shall set out to correct the mistakes of our youth... and go down meaningfully.



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    Wladyslaw of Poland heir to Waclav of Bohemia King knightly greeting.

    I am too old to insult you, King of Bohemia. It would do no good and spare no evil. There are times I wish we had met in different circumstances for you clearly have the markings of a capable ruler. I must still bid you vacate this home of my ancestors in which I would abide you as a guest but not its lord. Your house is noble and equal to ours but it is not the house of Poland. Peace be to you and your ancestors. I shall do my duty to mine.




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    He replied:



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    How many corrupted souls, Waclav? Just I and the Archbishop. Two old men.

    Rightfully yours, Waclav? And shameful attempts? It took you a long while before you even got around to marrying a Piast princess to give a semblance of legitimacy to your foreign rule imposed by force. You are Bohemian and that is fine. Your are a Premyslid and that is even better for it is a worthy line of rulers. But you are not a Piast and this kingdom is not yours. Defend what you think is yours. It pains me that some of my cousins will join you in that.



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    We have to pull it off. Somehow.

    We will ago around our lands to avoid unnecessary battles, and concentrate. They can siege the castles, we will lock up until the armies come back, while the attackers suffer from attrition and are tied up there. Let's execute a two-prong strike from the lands of my cousins the more or unless unwilling vassals of the Bohemian king. Unfortunately, we cannot help the Archbishop's men. Even if we make it, there will be but a handful to save and the war may become lost through our delay. The archbishop's troops will mostly provide diversion and they will pay a heavy toll in blood. Meanwhile down in Bohemia there should be Bavarian troops pressing the claim for Domazlice with their swords.



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    And on to the next big stack. In the fighting, my duke takes an evil blow to his head. He is incapacitated and his days are numbered. Even more numbered than they already were. A regent has been appointed.

    'My lords. Every single one of you received your spurs and your castles and courts from me or from my father or my brothers or our ancestors the Piast princes. I stand by what they did. Now I need you to stand by what I did as I barely see you straight. There will be no glory in this war, although there may be plenty of dying. What is ahead of you is lack-lustre siege duty. I need you to Cracow, gentlemen.'



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    The war is taking its toll in lives. It is also taking its toll on the duke. The time is really, really short. Will we make it before he dies? The Archbishop has done his most important part. It would be a pity not to see him see a restored Polish kingdom in a Polish hand but the rest can be done by his successor. The Prince, in turn, must live. He has to. He is the lifeblood of this rebellion. If he dies, it dies with him.



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    Just a little more. Poor, dwindling army, poor bloody infantry, there is no glorious field of battle fore you. Just a little more of your lives, and this is so much to ask but it is all for Poland. The crown, Henry the Fat can have it if he wants. My brave soldiers, you die so fast. If any noble fails to show you respect once you, some of you, get back home, I will personally make him pull the plough, as my own ancestor Piast did before he was made prince.



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    Meanwhile the Teutonic Knights have barely outwaited the truce. They wanted Chelmno back, which I took from them fifteen years ago. Ironically, they are no friends of Vaclaw and had we not fought, they might have joined the plot. But to ally oneself with the treacherous Knights? What a fate for a Polish prince! See their numbers? The six thousand are less than a half of their army. The greater part is in Chelmno, which has already fallen. [Ironically, in real life history, two years before, in 1308-1309, Vaclaw did not have the troops to oppose the encroachments of the Teutonic Knights who had previously joined the defence against Brandenburg (who had killed Premysl II back on 8 February 1296). The Knights changed sides and murdered Polish burghers in Gdansk. Pomerelia was lost. Wladyslaw had no troops to deal with the situation, he could not help. Chelmno constantly changed hands.]

    I don't know how we will deal with the Teutonic Knights after this. But it is only after this that we will deal with them. We will hide in forests if need be. We cannot afford any more delays in the war against Waclav. We must push for the Kingdom of Poland now. There is no choice. We can only continue sieging and hoping. Suddenly...:



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    Captain Iliya, featured here, lost so many men. Soldiers of Poland died aplenty but so did the mercenaries. Probably a half of them.

    What right to I have to send men to fight for me and have only half of them return, or less? And for what? For gold? On your knees, all of you!

    'Arise, sir whatever your mother called you in lands afar in a language I scarcely understand. I don't care who your parents were, it is enough that I am a prince, as good as any. I shall see to it that you have a home here and no longer need to shed your blood for strangers for coin.'

    [Wladyslaw did not exactly knight mercenaries (probably because he probably couldn't afford any) but it was during his rule that the Latin term for "knight made of serf" was coined.]

    I've done it, grandpa. I sit on your throne, brother. I can die in peace:



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    It will likely be this year or the next. But the rift has been sealed. The long line of the Piast kings has been restored (Konrad I was the grandfather and Leszek II a brother, Boleslaw V an uncle, the Henryks were close relatives of the current Duke of Silesia, Henry the Fat, the dynastically senior descendant of the house):



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    Go in peace, Waclav, I shall not chase you. For all the men that died, I wish we could for once be neighbours.

    The current situation has made the Knights reconsider their war for Chelmno and they have withdrawn from hostilities (you can see their numbers now). It is for the better for them, as now I have all of Poland's levies to take it back to them. They will be my son's worry, as well as a Bohemia with a claim.

    What do I do now? Hold a ground tournament to show the spirit of the kingdom? Give a large feast to cement the loyalty of the Piast cousins and celebrate? How about I go to the cemetery to weep for the fallen? I should take a sack full of spurs with me. Many of them were lads who would not live to their knighting. And I don't care one bit if they were millers' sons. We were there, through blood and mud, and Piast himself was a wheelwright.

    [In real life, Wladyslaw lived on to 1333, formally taking the crown in 1320, although not from Archbishop Jakub, who had died in 1314. Wladyslaw drove back the Teutonic Knights and showed that it was not impossible to defeat them. His son turned to diplomacy and construction and put the devastated country in good repair before dying as the last King of Poland of the Piast dynasty, although the house persisted in its most senior and most tragic Silesian line way until 1685 as all but forgotten mediate HRE vassals through the Kingdom of Bohemia. The Bohemian claim remained a source of trouble for Polish kings for a long time (also in the form of pincers with Teutonic Knights threatening the opposite side), although, ironically, after the Hussite wars the son of a Polish king, from the new Jagiellonian dynasty, sat on the throne in Praha, replacing the extinct Luxemburgians, who were heirs of the Premyslids (through women) and claimed the Polish crown. Kazimierz was also the "peasant king", the last one who both cared and could do anything meaningful to help them. Subsequent kings were hostages of the nobility.]
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 15-04-2012 at 18:29.

  10. #10
    Mǎlum incarnatum Emperor_krk's Avatar
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    Nice read. Are you Polish, or just interested in our history?
    There's only one problem here: the screenshots are very difficult to read, due to them being resized most probably. Could you do something about that?
    Could/might/should have, for hell's sake.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor_krk View Post
    Nice read. Are you Polish, or just interested in our history?
    Thank you! Both are true.

    There's only one problem here: the screenshots are very difficult to read, due to them being resized most probably. Could you do something about that?
    They're 1920*1080 and are not properly resized by the forum engine, they are just displayed with a fast on-the-fly browser resize. Being JPG's with 80% quality probably isn't helping the situation. I'll go through the posts and see if I can get thumbnails to appear like in the first post, and I'll add direct links to pictures too.

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    Cleaning the House, Marrying the Heir

    After regaining the kingdom, there are some things we need to do from the get go. First, there are some rebels accosting Boleslaw the Duke of Silesia, son and successor of Duke Henry the Fat.



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    And I need some more crown authority. At least enough to revoke the title from that foreign duke in Cracow while I'm still alive and can take the backlash so that my son doesn't have to:



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    My son will also be able to push it a bit higher in the tenth year of his reign, to put an end between the in-fighting that had cost our house its sovereignty.

    Speaking of my son, it's time to find him a wife. Do I want a pretty one or a good girl or someone with land or someone with claims?

    Let's take a look:



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    Two duchesses and two countesses are single and available. Unfortunately, while at war, we didn't have the time for this and we missed a couple of them. They are now sixteen, ruling and married. But they are far away. And nobody knows if they would have accepted my son back then, when I was a duke at war with a double king. Just look at the Countess of Gemer! What a sweet girl! Quick of mind, diligent, humble at that, and so kind. Just a little bit shy, which I guess can be a somewhat endearing and gives her a weakness some people could love her for. My son could fall in love with her. But can I afford this? The county would pass to their children and into our realm, the duke of Nyitra would have a ducal claim, backed by the whole power of Hungary and they would, essentially, have every right to press it. And there would be rebellions all the time as there is no direct connection to our lands. I guess we could quietly allow the rebels to take over and secede back to Nyitra but one doesn't inherit land to give it up next decade.

    Who else is there?



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    Maybe Ellijnore or that bastard girl Anastasia? Fifteen, brave and probably more military skill than my marshal! And more than I can currently muster out of my old body and troubled mind. Eh! She is technically an "ambitious bastard". I wonder what people called me when I was young. I'm sure I would like her. I guess she could channel the pride and wroth of my son with that ambition. What a serious face. I can imagine a bastard's like isn't easy.

    Whom else do we have?



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    By the Golden Horde Khan's smelly beard! That lass Berta Orsini is too good to exist. She's better than my entire council except maybe for the chaplain. I've always had a good one. Anyway, I digress. She isn't even ugly.

    Let's take a look at Duchess Freja, though:



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    What's with that claim on Denmark? Let's take a look:



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    I had a good intuition. It looks like that's Queen Freja to you! She has a claim on the Kingdom and on the Duchy of Skane, its principal vassal:



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    Everything is clear now. The bishop went independent, that guy Christian usurped the kingdom. He still sits on one county and has no dukes or counts as vassals other than Freja. This would be an easy job.

    She also has a claim on the Duchy of Estonia:



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    While there is only one way really she Denmark could have gained it and that was is holy war contest, which is not what Poland looks favourably at, we could use that claim to weaken the Teutonic Knights. We would also be freeing the local populace from their oppressive rule. Look what they did in Chelmno. If I can free any poor people from their yoke, I am ready any time. Oh well, except I won't live to see it. Anyway.

    There is a problem, however. If I married my son to the deposed queen, and their son inherited the claim, it would not be entirely right by the laws of Denmark. The crown is elective. Freja was crowned, she has the right to take the crown back even if she loses the next election following the death of the usurper. But her children's rights wouldn't be so good. Just the injustice done to her and her blood in their veins. And they would be of house Piast and Polish foreigners. I could marry her to my eldest son and let him go to her court, keeping the children Danish, but then I'd have a Danish king and this is not what I fought against Waclav for! Plus, the usurper is the head of their dynasty:



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    If it weren't for the elective law, he would be the king now. But he's still a usurper! He took the crown by force! And his current heir is a German count from Swabia who happens to hold the title of the Duke of Slesvik, making him eligible to be elected King of Denmark (as de iure vassal of it), even though he is not even its de facto vassal (he is under the HRE). I wonder what the Danish people would say. I'm pretty sure they would prefer a Piast prince or princess from Poland, child of their rightfully elected queen. On the other hand, if that Slesvik guy actually ascended to the throne of Denmark, he would probably bring Slesvik back to the fold! I can't imagine the Kaiser having enough authority to prevent the title from passing outside his realm! This could be good. Certainly good for Denmark, possibly good for me. But I wouldn't sacrifice a young queen to see it happen. Decisions, decisions.

    It would be ideal if she pressed her claim herself and called us to war. This would put the entitled holder on the throne, violating no law, nor stretching any beyond its limits. And then an election would take place according to the law. Either the future king of Poland would be chosen, or one of his siblings, giving us a permanent, reliable ally. Or perhaps a vassal would win, maybe someone from the current dynasty. I guess I really don't want to bring war to a country to avenge a previoous election. The burghers and peasants and even the knights did nothing to deserve that.

    Also, since she has a claim on Skane, we could take it back from the greedy bishop. Poland has enough manpower to see it done. Except I wonder if we wouldn't be becoming like Vaclaw in doing all this. Using technical claims or relying on past coronations (Vaclaw was crowned too, by the same Archbishop Jakub who operated the plot with me) to meddle with foreign kingdoms, while obviously gaining power and displacing the local dynasty. Just like our own house Piast lost its kingdom.

    As far as her personality goes, she is honest, content and diligent. Can you blame a wife for being this? While this is not the shining repertoire of Berta Orsini, she is nothing to be complained about.

    There is one more woman, Dobronega of Chernigov:



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    This woman has no positive trait. Not a single virtue to her, only vices. Gluttonous, proud and wroth. Incidentally, proud and wroth is what my son is as well (find me a Piast that isn't! well, I am not, at least not right now, but I've lived a long life and things had been different before). I guess they would understand each other. And gluttony can take various forms. She doesn't need to turn into a pig. But whom am I kidding. She is more likely than not to become the big bad ugly woman in my son's life. I wouldn't do that to him. But in doing it, we would be driving three duchies and four counties away from the Golden Horde! The Christian populace there would surely appreciate no longer having savage pagan overlords. Or would they? Also, look at the big picture:

    [

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    If we take land away from the Golden Horde, we weaken the rebels. There will be fewer dukes to ally against the Khan. Right now, they are mostly related to each other, all of the House Rurikovich, from which several mothers of our kings and princes proceed. We take one away, they have less power together. But at least those four counties would immediately become free! Well, immediately upon passing out of the Golden Horde's hands and into our realm. Truth be told, they should rather go to a Rurikovich prince, who should marry that duchess. That would be the natural turn of events. Maybe I should leave them all alone there. I would certainly prefer to leave this particular woman alone. But she's only a child yet. Maybe she will get better when she's older.

    Decisions, decisions. I could leave it up to my son, but if I gave him a duchy to emancipate him, the advisors would botch it. They can't handle a simple betrothal for anything in the world and what if the one or the other woman is half a year older than my son and finds a different husband in the meantime? Besides, I'm pretty sure all those people would be somewhat prejudiced against a single county duke (and it's not like I can give him much more), I could get him much better if I leveraged my own negotiating power. Those idiotic advisors could even convince him to marry some imbecile courtier who knows from what backyard. No, I have to do it myself.

    Decisions, decisions. I need to sleep on this. Except I don't know if I will even wake up. I was a fine diplomat at the height of my skill. One of the best even. Nor was I that bad at intrigue, either. Probably would have made a semi-decent spymaster. Likely better than the one I had. But this stuff is difficult. I almost feel like it's above my paygrade! I don't want to bring misfortune and war to Denmark. I don't want to intervene in the natural fate of House Rurikovich. But if I simply get my son a pretty queen, it will only bring him comfort. If I get him an able one, it will only help things in the small scale and get me some smart grandchildren to rule our nation, but it won't help our safety from the outside. It won't help against our enemies. But if we go out and fight in foreign lands, we will gain more enemies and the new threats will be hard to predict.
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 21-04-2012 at 23:16.
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  13. #13
    I would say Berta Orsini. But I don't have the game and probably misunderstand all the game's mechanics.

    Great AAR!

  14. #14
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    Seconded on Orsini. While you get no alliance, her stats will help boost Wielislaw's own. The only other candidate I think is plausible is Queen Freja, as while you may not gain and hold the Kingdom of Denmark for long, at the very least you would gain lands in Denmark and Livonia, which should last longer. You just need to make sure the HRE doesn't get to Denmark first.
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    berta orsini. unless of course she can involve you into some wars back at her home.

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    Out of Character: Hi, guys. Thanks for your involvement, much appreciated. I had indeed decided that Berta Orsini was the best candidate out of them all. However, do you remember Princess Ryksa Elzbieta, whom I married to my now-king's brother? They now hhave a daughter and won't have any son since his health is poor, so I'm inclined to marry Wiesław (the heir) to her, as she is the only descendant of the last king of Poland that ruled before Waclav Premyslid of Bohemia came over (i.e. Przemysl II). I've actually had her married to Wieslaw, then as king, following Freia's death, in one of my experimental reloads. This provides little in-game bonus but makes sense roleplaying-wise and adds flavour, so I might go this way. I'm currently having a run in which they're betrothed (she's several years younger). I might have just one more run marrying him to Berta and see which run I like better, given how many times I've experimented and reloaded already by now, without committing.
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    well from a dynastical point of view marrying the princess who is the descendent of the polish king makes sense. but i don't know if the bonus is meaningful enough. after all you already managed to get the crown.
    i haven't played ck2 yet but i'm curious if it takes genetics into consideration. after all intensive inbreeding would most likely produce retard-offspring

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    Quote Originally Posted by gooy View Post
    well from a dynastical point of view marrying the princess who is the descendent of the polish king makes sense. but i don't know if the bonus is meaningful enough. after all you already managed to get the crown.
    i haven't played ck2 yet but i'm curious if it takes genetics into consideration. after all intensive inbreeding would most likely produce retard-offspring
    It doesn't give any direct bonuses in the game, it is purely a roleplaying thing, although the girl was close enough related to the holder of the Duchy of Finland to be an elected heir for a brief period of time. She didn't inherit the claim to the kingdom of Poland. In fact, she is only somewhat dynastically senior than my king (descended from an elder brother back in the time, while my king was descendend from the youngest but succession was seniority at the time) but the head of our dynasty is still the Duke of Silesia anyway. She and my heir are first cousins, while my heir has both parents from my dynasty and I'm not sure but I think my king too had a mother from the same dynasty as the father. So this looks a bit risky but I think it isn't much worse than any other marriage within the top tier of vassals of any kingdom in the game (where there is more interrelation via women), but I'd be afraid to marry their kid (in turn) to yet another princess from our dynasty. That could be a notch too far.
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    Finishing the job

    There is one thing I still need to do. At least one major one. I need to get Cracow and all of Lesser Poland back to the Polish fold. While Waclav has been vanquished and expelled from this kingdom, his appointee, Pelhrim of Cheb, still sits in the royal halls of Cracow, the former capital of the kingdom. For some reason, I don't seem to have a claim that the public would recognise, and I don't want or have time to engage in the more underhanded methods of fixing the papers. I will simply have to take the titles without a claim, much as my brother and my grandfather before me were lords there and overlords of the rest of the kingdom. I need to increase right away my royal authority in this kingdom the crown of which has only just found its place on my weary head. And I need the approval of my vassals for this, all of whom are my cousins and most of whom are actually dynastically senior to me, even if this has never been absolutely conclusive in Poland. Mieszko II had ruled for over 30 years while his elder brother lived, after all. I could do some house of lords packing, so to say, but this would reduce the number of votes I currently hold in my own hand, while the new vassals would be untested. Since I'll need to open my coffers, much as I dislike this course of action, I will at least keep the land, although my sons will be inheriting shortly anyway. It would be more noble to give land than to give money. Still, my younger brother is also a prince of Poland, a prince of the house of Piast like any other, similarly entitled to rule, so I shall give him a duchy. Not a big one, because I need to keep a power base for my new rule, but still a duchy. As a bonus, Przybor will not get a second duchy which he doesn't need and I'm sure Wiesław doesn't need him to have it either. I would not be letting him have any other land than some minimum honest inheritance for the sake of his own children, as he is a cruel kid. Some grow out of this, some don't. I won't live to see which is the case with this here prince. Go, brother, and rule in Sandomierz, at least in your old age.



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    He (Siemowit) will vote with me. As will the Duke of Silesia, the one with the most dynastic seniority of us all. I now need to settle the matter with Trojden of Masovia:



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    ...and with Leszek, son of my elder brother, from Kuyavia, where our relatively unimportant branch of the dynasty began.



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    There goes the money. And I could have been closer to erecting a new barony instead or at least something useful, like a castle village or town somewhere.

    I will also release that Bohemian mayor I have in my prison. There is no fault for a man in following the orders of his king. And Waclav is his rightful king. Go, good burgher, I mean you no ill will. I understand.

    Meanwhile I need to set my son up with a bride:



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    My son is about to lose prestige for marrying the best bride there is in Europe. Well worth taking the hit.

    She has a claim on Orvieto but doesn't seem to be a sister... what? She's the current count's aunt! She's 16, he's 43 and she's his aunt. And I thought my own family was strange:



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    As much as I'd like to see Count Romano's face upon reading the word "aunt", we must carefully dance around the subject. It's a good thing I learnt something while touring the courts of Europe for the better part of my life. This is going to be much exertion, I can't hold a pen straight now.

    Wladyslaw of Poland (still) King to Lord Romano the Court of Orvieto and Marshal of the Holy See knightly greeting.

    May you live in harmony and contentment. My time left on this earth being short ere I answer the call of the king of kings to whom all our titles we ultimately owe, there is one matter to which I must see afore I take leave of this plane, said matter being to make sure that my kingdom has a worthy queen, the wife of my son, to whom you may as well need to address your response. Be not bound by the wish of a dying man, yet find it in you to consider the need of a kingdom newly emerged from foreign rule into the hand of a native prince of a house always faithful to the predecessors of His Holiness your liege, to whom I shall ask you to pass my regards. Therefore I request that you make no obstacle should the lady Berta be willing, neither imploring her to acquiesce. You shall have the gratitude of a dying king for what it's worth. If you both agree, please make sure she does not go through Bohemia for obvious reasons. The see is not safe, either, as the Hochmeister is not my friend and his brethren are capable of any mischief. For that matter, I doubt it would be a good idea to tempt the Kaiser. Hungary seems to be the only route and the king there should be friendly enough. Let her not pass through Cracow unless a royal army is there. I remain your friend and wish you well.


    And one more:

    Wladyslaw of Poland King to Lady Berta of Orvieto greeting.

    Dear young lady, if you will hear a word from an old new king. As you undoubtedly know, the Kingdom of Poland has been restored, and as smart as you are, you probably also know that my son is soon going to need to fill my place, and, may this not shock you and if you forgive that I hasten so much the crux of the matter (but I am a tired, wounded man and cannot write long), I could not find a more worthy queen in all of Europe (and beyond) for him than I see would see in you. As a man and a person, he is no match for your wit but I have brought him up well for as long as I could before the Archbishop took over, and he will be a good king. He will live up to the name of his ancestors, although he may do so in a new way. He will know to respect you and to treat you well, and, while short of temper, he is not a cruel man, a promising diplomat and not a total stranger to learning. He needs time to discover his full potential, which has not bloomed as early and splendidly as yours and while it possibly never will, he will still find a lot in him and perhaps so will you. Should you incline to respond favourably, please go by sea to the Dalmatian coast and then ride through Hungary, you are smart enough not to need to explain the obvious here. You will still need to pass through Lesser Poland, which is soon likely to become a zone of war, but my best knights will make sure that nothing out of order happens. The Duke of Silesia, my cousin, is close enough as well. Please do not take any unnecessary risks. I leave it up to your judgement whether it will be safer to travel in a large official retinue or make haste without attracting attention, which, if you pardon a lame joke, might be rather difficult in your rather radiant case. I might still be alive when you make it, so we might enjoy a conversation in person, by the fire, but this is far from certain (I will try). At any rate, do not concern yourself with this, I have led a fulfilling life and I have achieved my dream, which is more than most monarchs have done. And I almost forgot to mention but do not be concerned with all this dying man's wish thing. Those are superstitions and I need an eager or at least willing heart from you if you decide to embark on this adventure, and you certainly will need it. If you do not, which is perfectly understandable and you need not feel bad about it, I shall still wish you a long and fulfilling life, like the one I've had. Be well, I must take my rest now.


    This has exhausted me more than I had thought...

    A reply came within 5 days. It was positive.

    Wieslaw, Wieslaw, you're going to have a wife worth living for, one worth aspiring to her approval. This is one of the greatest things a man, a ruler, can have on this earth. Don't waste the chance. I honestly can't imagine you not falling in love with her but even if you somehow manage to, your relationship is at least going to be a beneficial one to this kingdom on all levels, since I can't imagine any enmity or resentment, much less treason or open opposition there. Don't waste the chance. Secure at least her friendship, which I believe she will give readily, and you're going to be a lucky man. We're going to talk tomorrow.

    Also, good news, the lords have approved Limited Crown Authority Law:



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    And Vaclaw is busy at war with the Kaiser over Plzen. I do not rejoice with his disaster. In fact, I wish I could help him, and I would do so readily if I had the means. Keeping the Kaiser and his cronies away has always been a leitmotif for me, and all the more so for my yesterday's co-conspirator, Archbishop Jakub. He actually crowned Waclav hoping to help achieve this, abandoning in his favour our hopelessly quarrelling dynasty without a man with vision. Looks like he later saw that vision in me. Still, my mind sometimes wonders and I can't help asking myself whether united, Poland and Bohemia, couldn't stand against the Kaiser with more likelihood, perhaps with some help from the outside? What of us when we become separated? I suppose I will never know. But it does not please me at all what is happening down south in Bohemia, as much as it does mean that I can take the risk of having to deal with a rebellion. I can handle the Hochmeister if he strikes alone.

    Pelhrim gives up the Duchy (along with overlordship of Sacz and the ducal claim on the county of Sandomierz, from which the name of my brother's titular duchy proceeds):



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    But not so the county, the actual land of Cracow itself (including the royal hall):



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    That means a siege. This probably means I won't live to see the end of it. But one man can't do it all. Meanwhile Wieslaw has come of age:



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    Scholarly Theologian... Guess that's what you get for being the bishop's ward.

    And we confirmed the betrothal and went on with the wedding, before the siege of Cracow began:



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    At least I got to talk to Berta in person. What a sweet girl, and a true genius. She is more capable than almost my entire council and yet so shy about it. I hope it doesn't go to her head later, with age. I've seen such things happen. If it doesn't, my son will have a better wife and queen in her than most men can dream. And she's still a live person, like anybody, with flesh and blood. We did not collect any taxes from the populace to pay for the wedding.

    My son wanted to become chancellor. While I don't appreciate a royal son competing courtiers out of their positions, the experience (of being the chancellor, not of landing the job) will be useful and he does have the skill anyway:



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    I find the lack of military skill in the modern generations of my dynasty disturbing. Myself included. While books are not life and actual bloody warfare, Berta knows more about this stuff in theory than my marshal and I together (and probably Wieslaw for a third). But there is no shame in being a chancellor and a good diplomat. At least he will be responsible. Maybe his own son will come out more martial. It is somewhat sad that I won't see my grandchildren. But that's not enough to take away my good cheer. I am pleased.



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    Last edited by NewbieOne; 21-04-2012 at 23:43.
    CK2 Succession Survival Guide
    CK2 Book of Tips (46 and counting)
    CK2 suggestions of fixes and improvements (63 and counting)

    CK2 AARs:
    Dominus Regni Poloniae (8 Feb 1296 Duchy of Greater Poland, finished)
    Lives of the Saints (Various times and places, single-character games)
    Land's End (A tale from Tintagel)
    CEO, EMEA (Guess what)

  20. #20
    Field Marshal
    Crusader Kings IIEU3 CompleteDivine WindHeir to the Throne

    Join Date
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    Reign of Wiesław

    I am Wiesław, the new king, and it's up to me to continue these pages. News of my father's decease and my intended accession reached me at the siege camp at Cracow. I firmly maintain that the Silesian branch has dynastic seniority and I'm certainly not the oldest member of my house (har har) as per Boleslaw III's last will, not like it can be conclusively determined whether he had the right to do it or not. And I'm a theologian as my father certainly must have complained about on the previous pages (though it's not like I dislike women or anything). But somebody has to rule here. I shall need to bury my father, although the circumstances will not likely allow me the proper time for mourning. Somehow, I'm sure my father would have me keep watching the siege and restoring the kingdom rather than sitting at a chapel. He was not exactly mournful himself when he was dying, either. I can't afford to delay coronation, while on the other hand a hasted one could undermine the prestige of Poland and myself. If this were a major rebellion or war with a neighbour, we could have a battlefield coronation but I really shouldn't be having it a camp where I'm sieging a lone count. We'll have to come up with something. Also, they want me to state a personal purpose for my reign, at least the closest years of it. I want to become a paragon of virtue:



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    During the prolonged siege, my wife became pregnant in November and gave birth to our daughter Wojsława. Meanwhile another princess, my sister Eufrozyna came of age. She's a theologian like me but for all this knowledge she isn't exactly a model virtuous character. At least she's Humble about it.

    Now I've got Pelhrim of Cheb in my prison. He is an impaler and enjoys torturing his enemies. The only enemies he may have had here can only have been the Polish people. I'm taking "his" land back right away. I won't have an impaler of Polish people hold the very (previous) capital of the kingdom as a fief:



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    But I'm going to release him from prison immediately:



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    His son is actually a much better person but I just cannot be bound by a usurper's grant, especially when it concerns the capital of my dynasty! It's time to put the capital back in Cracow:



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    After installing the Archbishop as my Chancellor and my wife as the Spymaster (actually, this is the least of her talents but according to some people I just can't have her as my steward or anything), it's time for a feast:



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    Now all of my vassals have been invited:



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    One arrogant burgher, the mayor of something somewhere, has decided he won't be attending. I would understand if he were Bohemian, but his name actually sounds Polish!



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    Meanwhile our neighbour Waclav has decided to grant yet another Lithuanian county to the Teutonic Order. Aukshtatys this time (which is the very cradle of Lithuanian statehood). The Teutonic Knights are getting more and more land and becoming stronger and stronger. I really don't like this. Anyway, my guests have arrived and it's time to greet them:



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    Another idiotic arrogant mayor decided he was better than an honest servant, so much that he slit his throat for spilling some wine on his clothes. And he thought he was doing the most normal thing in the world and wouldn't be punished. He was wrong. I'm throwing him in jail and I don't care that people will consider me Cruel. I don't see the Just(ice) in silencing the scandal with money. Those arrogant "powers that be" will learn that you don't oppress my people. If they don't like it, they can complain all they want about it... to the jail warden.



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    This going to cost me. My Kuyavian and Masovian cousins could actually rise in rebellion for this. For a stupid mayor who decided to kill an honest servant and went to jail for it. As Piasts, themselves princes of peasant extraction (or eponym was a wheelwright), they should know better. Anyway, there goes my money:



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    Also, I now stand no chance to become a paragon of virtue for this:



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    Another burgher trying to test my patience. He's whining about the food. Like he can afford better. Actually, I'm not sure he can't. Those peddlers can get quite rich they say. His name suggests he's Bohemian. Wonder if he isn't just being motivated by a personal grudge. I'll let it slide. It's not like I'll slit a guy's throat for complaining about my food.



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    Still, everybody agreed the feast was great:



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    Who's the last on the list? Oh darn, shouldn't have invited him. He's another guy on my revocation list. He has a castle in Cracow, where he was put by Waclav. He's also an Imbecile. Let me just wait out the last scandal, thepublic opinion is a little too sensitive right now.



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    The lesson has been learnt, Mr Mayor, hasn't it?



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    It's not like I'm cruel or something.

    Now it's time for something for the peasants:



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    It seems I've run into economic trouble. I need my Genius wife Berta to pull me out of it. I hadn't noticed anything was wrong with the coffers...



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    According to the people, I'm now Content with the way things are. I may be sitting here waiting while troops resupply, so this looks like I lack greater ambitions. Or whatever else it is. I can't deny I'm not nearly as smart as my wife is. And I'm quite... Content with that. So I guess they have a point.



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    I guess things are getting boring. My sister Eufrozyna wants to marry a ruler but the only real one who's single is a toddler King of Serbia, whole 4 years old. And, worse still, he's Orthodox as would their children be. No way, sister, we need to wait.

    We also had a Possessed woman, Bohemian wife of somebody from our Silesian branch, trying to kill somebody. She evaded my guards and escaped to the court of Duke Mikulas of Moravia. I don't envy him one bit.

    Our diplomacy is working fine, though:



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    And I can now look at the case of our familiar Baron Ojir of Brzesko:



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    You've got to be kidding me. At least he makes no fuss:



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    But my cousin Duke Leszek, incidentally, the son of my father's elder brother, does. Since simple gifts won't work this time, I've got to part with land. But, truth be told, Sieradzko-Leczyckie is very intimately tied to our Kuyavian branch, from which I proceed (and a thoroughly junior one, incidentally), so I probably should give it to him anyway.



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    I'll build some new baronies for the royal demesne to compensate. Oh, and my wife is happy about bringing up all the princesses. I don't mind if they end up Italian. A mother's got some rights. Especially with her daughters. You can't deny a woman that.

    In my brother's part of the woods, being the Duchy of Pomerelia, my brother is involving himself in HRE elections (favouring a son of the current Kaiser, so nothing original here), while my wife has been able to confirm that a count from there wants elections to happen in their duchy. And he won't budge about it:



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    He has evaded my guards and fled—-to the court of my brother's, no less:



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    No wonder, our secret services apparently aren't as good as our diplomacy and our would be arrestees are more likely to flee than not. Wonder why. My wife is pretty good at this stuff. Maybe something's not working on a different end.



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    But I got him anyway:



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    My dear count, you forgot that my authority does reach the court of my brother. And you don't say no to your king, even when he's asking kindly. Especially asking you to end some silly plot of yours. Got it? You can go now.



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    Last edited by NewbieOne; 29-04-2012 at 19:20.
    CK2 Succession Survival Guide
    CK2 Book of Tips (46 and counting)
    CK2 suggestions of fixes and improvements (63 and counting)

    CK2 AARs:
    Dominus Regni Poloniae (8 Feb 1296 Duchy of Greater Poland, finished)
    Lives of the Saints (Various times and places, single-character games)
    Land's End (A tale from Tintagel)
    CEO, EMEA (Guess what)

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