Long time I was thinking how to write this AAR. At first I was considering making it historical/narrative but then after reading many of others AARs (Saltborn: Crovan is my favorite) I decided to make a lighter version. This won't be a full immense narration, but rather vision of the game from a player. Of course I won't hesitate to present a tactical view of the current situation, some humorous moments that happen in Crusader Kings 2 and reasons why I'm acting this way and not the other.
As the title says I start as Duke of Toulouse Guilhem IV in year 1066, before the battle of Stamford Bridge. My Duke is young(19 years old) and is ready for action. In the southern France there are two major players - me and Duke of Aquitaine who controls area nearly twice big as mine and is probably the most powerful ruler in realm (except the King). I won't care much about the situation in the north. For now I must improve my demesne and get some gains from the fellow Occitan from Aquitaine. The most annoying thing is that my personal demesne consist of only two counties - Toulouse and Rouergue. Rest are in possession of my noble "friends" and vassals.
Under current law of succesion - gavelkind - my demesne will split up if I will have more than one son.
Bastards aren't paying me anything, because of non-existing feudal tax. This hurts and my income is really small. Choosing Duke of Toulouse I thought controlling such a large duchy will give me much more. For now I concentrate on other matters. I sent my councilmen to work. Steward will collect taxes from my only county, marshal will train troops and chaplain try to improve my relations with bishop vassal. I grant honorary titles to my vassals, so they will like me more and send more troops under my command. Chancellor goes for a trip to the county of Limousin and try to fabricate a claim for it. I'm not afraid of the pitiful Duke of Aquitaine. Let's bring this on. Spymaster is sent to build spy network in the capital county of my aquitanian neighboor - maybe he get some gold or find some useful info that I can use.
In the meantime I will do some hunting and festing. Have some fun men! My subjects need to know how decent person is their beloved Duke Guilhem! If it work maybe I will get some really good traits and prestige which I'm lacking at the very moment. My father was probably a busy man because I have plenty of siblings. It may be dangerous having so many people plotting on my life at my court, but they may prove useful. I will try to get some gains from the Duchy of Aquitaine which for now will be my primary enemy inside the realm.
As you can see Duchy of Aquitaine is nearly twice as big as mine and he is probably the most powerful ruler in France (except the King). Notice that the lands of Aquitaine are "blocking" me from the north, separating from other lands of France and thus making more difficult to get lands of smaller dukes.
As I said before Duke is without a wife. On the other hand the court of Aquitaine is full of worthy brides. Lets kill two birds with one stone. Guilhem IV of Toulouse marries Aines de Poitou, daughter of former Duke of Aquitaine Guilhem VII, and niece of current Duke Guilhem VIII. Everyone here calling themselves Guilhem is a bit odd. Now thanks to that, my son will get claims on Duchy of Aquitaine and Poitou, which will be enough to wage war against our neighboors. I marry one of my brothers to daughter of Count of Bourbon, and my son (after few years) is bethroted with daughter of Count of Auvergne.
After my first son is born I name him Guillame. I refuse the suggestion to name him Pons-Guilhem. What kind of name is that?
Soon it is obvious that Guillame will be a fine ruler. Tutored by his father he is gaining only positive traits. On the other hand his younger brother that is born later will gain the 'slow' trait.
It appears that my steward is most succesful man. He constantly brings me a lot of cash that will help mine small budget. Of course the bad news is that he dies, but his replacement is talented too and soon he brings extra collected tax. Unfortunately my chancellor is the opposite. For a few years he is not able to get a single claim for me...
I ordered a vote for large feudal taxes, so I'll get some more income from my vassals. The voting was a stalemate for a moment, and I needed only two more to get that law approved. Finaly I am able to install large feudal tax and then max levies having enough supporters.
Soon our good King Philippe I Capet is grown and he immediately call to arms against infidels on Sardinia. Duke Guilhem leaves his duchy and is leading the troops against the Muslims. French King isn't a type of man who cares. When his entire army, led by Count Centolh, is defeated by enormous force of Kabylia, he orders his army to leave his loyal subject and sails on the African Coast. Duke Guilhem is a bit more clever than Centolh. When he realises that the danger is real he flees back to his castle in Toulouse and gaining a craven trait. At least he is still alive...
made by FaceDancer