I'm playing as hungrey. As King Salamon, at first, I had one duchy (my brother, I think, then his son) rebel 3 times. All I could do was imprison hi, and slowly strip titles.
Now Salamon died, and his bright young (german) son, who was a duke in the HRE, became king at the tender age is 14. I had made my original heir a duke, and then he died, leaving his 3 year old daughter as duchess (and the HRE duke, inherited from his mother, salamon's second wife, kind of Hungary, with 2 lonely HRE counties). Another duke declared war on her and took her ducky, and there seems to be nothing I could do to intervene (crown power is still to low). this was the second time this guy had taken another vassal's land.
Well, said duke (now with 2 duchies) just rebelled. I am sure I'll put him down quickly enough. But then.. hey gets imprisoned. At best, I can revoke 1 of his titles (2 duchies and about 5 counties) without invoking anger from my other vassals.
I want my sister's duchy back! And the counties in them to! Since the rebel duke has direct control over most of them, even if I take the title of duke back, he will still be a duke from his other title, with many direct counties under his control. I presume when I revoke his duchy he doesn't loose any of those counties. Then, I'll imprison him, and he either rots in prison forever, or he escapes and rebels against me, again, and again.
Can't I punish people more without becoming a tyrant and invoking huge penalties? Because my king is german, I already have a foriegn kind penalty, and because I expanded into russia, many vassals already have unsteady loyalty. But I really want to break the cycle of rebellion. And I want to break up this guy's large holdings, and take back what belongs to my family!
If you have a particularly rebellious duke then you only need to take his duchies from him and he will become a count. Once you have that duchy you can give it to some friendly count (preferably within the de-jure territory of that duchy) and the ex-duke/now-count will become his vassal instead of yours. If for some reason he doesn't (maybe because of where his demense is located??), or if you want to keep the duchy title then simply transfer vassal. Then he will be somebody else's problem.
We just talked about it in another thread. There is a way to deal with the pesky superdukes. The way to do it is to use the "if any ruler rebels against his liege more than once for reasons other than independence, the liege may strip away ALL titles without penalty from the other vassals."
There are two ways to do this:
1. This require patch 1.05, go into the ambition screen, plot to revoke one of his titles, go to war with him over it. After defeating him in the war, imprison him and pray that he rebels instead of just go into the prison. Beat him down a second time and now you can revoke all his titles without penalty from the vassals.
2. If you don't have 1.05 for some reason or don't have the plot to revoke his holdings, first see if he is plotting something, if so, imprison him and spark a war. If he is not ploting, excommunicate, imprison and spark away. After beating him the first time, release him from prison, either wait for him to plot again or just excommunicate him once more, imprison and beat him down a second time. You are now free to take everything he owns. Alternatively, use your chancellor to fabricate a claim on his hold, and revoke said holding. Go to war with him and beat him down.
You are free to use a combination of these methods. As long as you have the ability to beat him down in a war, you have plenty of ways to make the life very miserable for the little pest. Remember, you are the king here, not some little upstart that found a way to work around the politcal system. Later when you get medium crown authority, you will see that your vassals have all kinds of ways to get around the "no intra-fighting" part of the crown law, so periodically you need to just buckle down and show the superdukes why they ain't king yet.
Here is something else for you to remember, when a war ends, the holdings that were sieged do not gain morale back instantly, this means if you are quick to start the second war, his holdings will not be back in full strength and you can crush him much more easily.