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  1. #1
    Second Lieutenant BigDork's Avatar
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    God's Kingdom

    God's Kingdom Part 1 - Birth of The Kingdom


    Godefroy de Boulogne was the second son of the Count of Boulogne, born in 1060. He was a Frankish knight who's loyalty to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV was without question. In 1076 he was named Lord of Bouillon and 11 years later he became Duke of Lower Lorraine. When Pope Urban II called for the liberation of the Holy Lands from the Muslims in 1095, Godefroy was one of the first to answer the call. Godefroy sold his lands to the Bishop of Liege and raised an army of thousands of fighting men. With his brothers by his side Godefroy joined other nobles to form a massive army of Christians traveling towards Jerusalem.

    Godefroy and other Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land

    Setting out from Constantinople the Crusader army slowly made their way towards Jerusalem winning victories in Nicaea, Dorylaeum, and Antioch as they went. Finally in June 1099 Jerusalem was in sight. The Christian army surrounded the city and began a siege. However due to lack of supplies and water the besiegers were fairing worse than the Muslims inside the walls. On the night of 14 July 1099 siege towers made from the wood of Genoese ships was pushed up to the walls and on the morning of the 15 July the battle was on. Godefroy was one of the very first men on the walls. He fought bravely and before the day was out the city was in the hands of the Crusaders.

    Christian soldiers seizing the walls of Jerusalem from Muslim defenders

    Following the liberation of the city, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was established. Godefroy refused to be named king in the city where Christ had died. Instead he took the title Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri. Godefroy was ruler of an infant kingdom surrounded by hostile infidels who all wanted to reclaim Jerusalem for themselves. The only aid he had was his brother to the north in the Crusader duchy of Edessa. As a proven and talented knight who was also a competent diplomat Godefroy believed that God had led him to this point and with God by his side, Jerusalem would prosper.
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    Good luck with this, Jerusalem is a tough country. I like the style thus far and I'm looking forward to seeing what Godefroy can accomplish in his reign.
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    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
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    As Saithis said goodluck with them, I hear that part of the world is a headache at best during that time period. But that should make it funner to play and even funner to read!!!

    So best of luck will follow to see how you overcome the challenges that will face Jerusalem

  4. #4
    Second Lieutenant BigDork's Avatar
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    God's Kingdom Part 2 - The Kingdom Grows

    You wouldn't believe how many ceremonies and celebrations were necessary to create a new kingdom. With them past I was able to get down to business. But in order to get down to business I needed a queen to get down with. There are two ways to go about finding a queen. You can marry for an alliance or you can marry a talented woman who'll help give you talented heirs. In my case, I needed to find a powerful kingdom to ally with.

    Constance left a lot to be desired. She was gluttonous and slothful and with the exception of her diplomatic skills she wasn't all that talented. None of that mattered though, she brought with her an alliance with France. Sometimes a king is forced to make sacrifices for the good of his kingdom.


    Word reached me that Constance was on her way to Jerusalem and I needed an excuse to be out of the castle as much as possible. I decided it was a good time to expand my control and conquer more of the Holy Land. Sheikh Murad proved to be a good target. I had an easy claim on Tyrus and he didn't have any allies. A declaration of war was sent and I prepared for my first war as ruler of Jerusalem.


    The court was chaos. Advisers and messengers flowed in and out at all hours as preparations were made for war. Levies had to be raised, supplies prepared, and a million administrative tasks accomplished prior to me marching on Tyrus. There is far too much paperwork involved with being a king. I hate paperwork.

    As I signed my name on yet another document a messenger arrived from Rome with news. The Pope wanted to remind all Christian rulers that the Holy Lands weren't completely freed yet. I sent the messenger away asking him to inform the Pope that I was already working on that in Tyrus but appreciated him reminding everyone else. Hearing that the rest of the Christian world was coming to assist me in fighting off the Muslims made me very happy. I was in such a good mood I went and gave my queen a proper goodbye.



    The first battle was fought and won and the surviving Muslims fled back towards Tyrus. I had enough levies to deal with Tyrus but to take on all the Muslim nations fighting in the Crusade I needed more men. The Knights Hospitaller were sworn to protect and defend the Holy Lands and were my vassal. At first they were reluctant to join in the war since there wasn't really any defense going on. I took the Grand Marshal and argued that the best defense is a strong offense. With my wise words and several casks of wine drunk, I convinced The Knights to join in my cause.


    I had been able to go say a proper goodbye to Constance before marching off to war. Nine months later that goodbye paid off with a proper heir, Leon. Finally I had a son to succeed me someday hopefully a very long time from now. Prior to his birth Jerusalem would have gone to my brother in Edessa. He and I didn't see eye to eye and I would almost rather the Muslims take Jerusalem back rather than see my brother on the throne. The Bible says to honor thy mother and father... nothing about putting up with a pain in the ass sibling.


    Many said that Jerusalem was protected by God himself. I certainly hoped so. God is a much better ally than the King of France. That legend only continued to grow when in September 1100 Beylerbey Duqaq I was captured in battle by the King of Denmark and the Crusade came to an end. King Erik wasn't too happy that the fine print on the declaration of war he signed said all lands captured would be given to me. I wasn't even sure King Erik could read to be honest. After a few attempts at explaining things to him King Erik relented and the 3 counties of Oultrejordain came under my rule.



    For a long year my men surrounded Tyre and waited out the defenders. Slowly over time the morale inside the city went lower and lower as food and water began to run out. To further lower morale one of my commanders got the idea of flinging the heads of slain Muslims into the city.

    Throwing heads of Muslims over the walls of Tyre

    The defenders were unable to take it anymore after days of heads raining down upon them. Hungry, tired, and defeated Sheikh Murad opened the gates and surrendered the city to my army. Tyrus was mine!


    Knowing that Constance was waiting for me back in Jerusalem I felt a strong sense of duty to keep fighting to free the Holy Land from the infidels. Sheikh Musa was ruler of Beirut but not for long. Like Murad he had no allies and was sitting on lands I had a claim on. I ordered my levies to stand down so they could reform at full strength and sent a declaration of war.


    I knew I was in a vulnerable position. All around me were mighty and strong Muslim kingdoms. As I prepared for war against Beirut I worried that my neighbors might seize the moment and declare war on me. In an attempt to improve my chances of survival I ordered my chancellor to the court of the Shia Caliphate. His job was to tell how friendly and wonderful of a neighbor I was. It was in the Caliphate's best interest to let Jerusalem survive. From all reports it actually worked.


    After the birth of Leon things became even more tense between my brothers and I. With my son alive they were nothing more than pretenders to Jerusalem. The stronger and more prosperous my kingdom became the more they coveted it as their own. Knowing this I had instructed my spymaster to watch out for plots against my son's life. It was no surprise when my spymaster discovered that both of my brothers were plotting the murder of Leon. I was surprised however to see that four of my vassal bishops were going along with my brother's plot. These holy men need some further instruction on the word of God.



    My war with Beirut was an uneventful one that mostly consisted of a long siege that took almost a year and a half to complete. With Beirut under my control I dispatched my chancellor to Archa to discover some documents that prove Archa rightfully belongs to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. As I waited for the claim to come opportunity struck. Baalbek declared independence from Damascus. Knowing that in order to make Baalbek mine I would need to move faster than the Bey of Damascus I quickly dispatched an insult laden declaration of war pushing the Duke of Tripoli's claim. I prepared for my largest war yet.


    Author's Note - I have been fabricating claims instead of pressing Holy Wars in an attempt to not get dog-piled on by all my Sunni neighbors.

  5. #5
    Second Lieutenant BigDork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Good luck with this, Jerusalem is a tough country. I like the style thus far and I'm looking forward to seeing what Godefroy can accomplish in his reign.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by tnick0225 View Post
    As Saithis said goodluck with them, I hear that part of the world is a headache at best during that time period. But that should make it funner to play and even funner to read!!!

    So best of luck will follow to see how you overcome the challenges that will face Jerusalem
    It's certainly a headache. There was more than once I had to stop playing for a while out of frustration. Though in the end it's been a fun challenge.

  6. #6
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    God's Kingdom Part 3 - Murder, Murder, Murder

    The war for Baalbek started out poorly. While I was not officially at war with Damascus their forces were still hostile to mine. As I rushed to combine my levies into an effective fighting force some were caught by Muslim forces and routed. Damascus had an available pool of levies far larger than my own and if I hoped to win I would need some help. Always willing to take kill infidels, the Knights Hospitaller were the perfect help.


    Several months after joining the war things have turned around for me. The Grandmarshal marched his men straight at the Damascian army and sent them scattering. After chasing down fleeing Muslims, killing all he could find, he surrounded the castle in Baalbek and set in for a siege. I am glad that The Knights were a vassal because without them I am certain I would not survive.


    As time passed The Knights grew tired of the siege. Besieging infidels isn't nearly as fun as stabbing them. They began to build siege towers and ladders and prepared to storm the walls. Yes some would die but it's better to die in battle rather than dying of thirst outside the walls. Seeing that an assault was imminent on his castle the Sheikh crawled back to the Bey of Damascus begging forgiveness and asking for his protection.


    The Knights Hospitaller were wroth. They signed up to kill Muslims and defend (by attacking) the Holy Land. With Baalbek out of our grasp for now I was able to calm down the Grandmarshal by pointing out that I have a claim on Archa that my chancellor had found. Satisfied that they would still get their battles The Knights marched north singing hymns to the glory of God.


    The Knights marched into Archa looking for battle and the Muslim defenders did their best to give one. Their best wasn't enough though. Experienced, well trained, and driven with their belief in God it would take a far larger army to defeat the Knights Hospitaller in battle. The army of Archa did their best to defend their homes but they were beaten and after they routed they were chased down and slaughtered. Only after did The Knights set up for their siege.


    I was so distracted by war and keeping the Grandmarshal focused that I totally forgot about the threat to my son's life. Thankfully I was reminded by my spymaster that things were dire. I attempted to reason with Eustache, get him to end his plotting but he refused. Outraged at the attempt on Leon's life and feeling like I had no other choice I order my spymaster to begin preparations for my brother's death.

    I found support for my plot in an unlikely place, my bastard half-brother and Eustache's spymaster. The spymaster is the one person who keeps you safe from the dark underside of politics. For his own spymaster to be willing to see him dead, Eustache must have upset Hugues in some way. Feeling fortunate that I at least have a half-brother that is willing to aid me, I enact the plot.




    As word reached me that my brother was dead I reflected on the happy times we had together as children. At first I felt guilt for what I'd done. But as I reflected on the past I kept thinking about how he is the one who plotted to murder my son. All for his own personal gain. The more I thought about it the angrier I got. Before long I had whipped myself up into a fury I'd never before experienced. With Eustache dead my nephew Aubry took over as ruler of Boulogne. I would do to Eustache what he plotted to do to me. I know that even in Hell where he was burning he would know that I had gotten my revenge.

    Again it was my half-brother Hugues who came to my aid. He was even more willing to help me this time as he was in killing Eustache. I am unsure what he hopes to gain from helping me or what wrongs he suffered but I am not about to turn down his assistance.




    When Aubry died I felt better but still not placated. The only way to truly right the wrongs that were done to me is to finish the job I started. Agnes was the last living child of Eustache. With her death Eustache's branch of the family tree will be no more and also Boulogne will fall to me. Hugues was eager to help me in removing Agnes from this world. It is a harsh and unjust world and she would truly be better off in Heaven.




    I spent the next week in penance, asking God to forgive me for committing murder. The bloodline was tainted and possibly influenced by the Devil himself but murder is still a sin. A sin unless you're killing infidels, that's okay. As 1106 began we had killed enough infidels for Archa to fall to my forces. The victory is proof that God has not yet spurned me.


    After the war for Archa a quiet time set in over Jerusalem. I was forced to spend less time with my soldiers and more time with my wife and children. I was also forced to do paperwork. I'd rather face 1,000 Muslim warriors rather than 100 pieces of parchment. As I focused more on the internal workings of my kingdom I realized that the Duke of Galilee was in possession of a county that rightfully fell under my Duchy of Jerusalem. When I confronted him with this news he threw insults in my face and stormed from my palace telling me he'd see me on the battlefield. That didn't happen quite as I had hoped but at least I can get away from the paperwork for a bit.


    As I discuss the war with my marshal I realize that things are bleak. Galilee can raise more levies than I can. Many of the counties left in the kingdom are newly conquered and not well built up. I tried talking the Grandmarshal into joining me in war but he refused. The Knights are more than willing to kill Muslims but refuse to lift a finger against their Christian brothers. As unhappy as I am to hear it I have to respect their views and sworn oaths.

    As I scramble to find more men my army is attacked in Acre. The armies were nearly even but the Duke of Galilee was leading him forces himself. His experience and capability as a commander were evident as they defeated my forces. With my army smashed and fleeing I suddenly realize that the Kingdom of Jerusalem's greatest challenge to date comes not from Muslim invaders but from within.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    God's Kingdom Part 4 - The Enemy Within

    Things were looking bleak. I was having doubts and wondering if I had overstepped my bounds when I attempted to seize Acre from the Duke of Galilee. Needing all the soldiers I could get I ordered the levies raised in my newest holding, my ancestral lands of Boulgone. 412 men answered the call to arms and set sail for Jerusalem.


    Not only did I raise every possible levy I could but I decided that it was time to dip into the treasury and hire some help. Thankfully these are rich lands and I had the gold around to hire the Swiss Band to come to my assistance. Quickly I was able to turn the table on the Duke of Galilee but kept the Swiss Band under my employment. I wanted to end this war as fast as I could. Every day I was at war was another day I was vulnerable to one of my neighbors swooping in and seizing the opportunity. The Battle of Sarafand was the last major battle of the war. Galilee's army was shattered and those who fled were hunted down and killed.


    One month after the Battle of Sarafand the Duke of Galilee capitulated to my demands. With no army left to fight for him and his lands under siege by my armies he knew there was nothing he could do. I added Acre to my personal demesne, increasing the amount of gold I had coming in and the number of men I could raise. I also had a nice seaside county I could escape to when Constance got to nagging me too much.


    To rub salt in the wound that was me kicking his arse for Acre I demand that Tancred hand over Irbid to me as well. Beaten and broken of spirit Duke Tancred acquiesced. Once Tancred was a great knight. We marched together from Constantinople and together set up the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Over the years though things have changed. The years as my vassal have strained our relationship. Perhaps it is I who have changed. But as the saying goes, it's good to be the king.


    Duke Raimond was something of a legend. He was a deeply religious man. Prior to joining the Crusade he was Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne, and Margrave of Provence. All of that changed when after Pope Urban II called for the liberation of the Holy Land. Raimond was the first to join and was the oldest and richest of the nobility who marched for Jerusalem. He was fearless in battle and fought Moors in Iberia prior to going on the Crusade. He was even heard saying that he wished to die in the Holy Land. Unfortunately his wish is about to be granted.

    Raimond of Toulouse taking the oath to liberate Jerusalem

    One night Duke Raimond went to sleep and did not wake up. He had lapsed into a coma and would never wake again. Upon his death Tripoli would pass on to his son in France. I had fought too hard to let any of my kingdom pass to my father-in-law's kingdom. Hoping to avoid the complications of flat-out revoking his lands I sent in my chancellor to find Duke Raimond's will. The will where he leaves Tripoli and the county of Tortosa to his liege. My chancellor was able to write in the part about Tortosa but forgot to add the part about the duchy. I was running out of time so I did what had to be done and revoked the Duchy of Tripoli from Raimond. The other nobles of Jerusalem saw it as me punishing a dying man. They did not understand that I was doing it to keep our kingdom together. They had no problems with me taking Tortosa since the will said it was mine.



    Still upset over my rearrangement of his titles a couple years back Duke Tancred attempted a plot to regain control of Acre. I've come to love the seaside county. It's a wonderful refuge from my wife and kids and I am loathe to give it up. Tired of going back and forth with Tancred I send my guards to seize him. Knowing he was beat and had no hope of resistance he went into my dungeon with dignity and honorably. Not that it did him much good, he never saw the sun again.


    Count Galdeamar opted for the other approach and chose resistance. Galdemar didn't understand that Hebron was part of my duchy and I wished to control it. I had promised that I would find him a castle somewhere else to control but he just wouldn't cooperate. He wasn't stupid enough to think he stood a chance at winning against me but the stubborn fool revolted anyway.


    After getting a claim on Tortosa I dispatched my chancellor to Antioch. The county/duchy was ruled by a child and was in danger of falling into Muslim hands. It was really in Duke Fraunk's best interest that I have a claim on his lands. He's a child so he wouldn't understand that I'm not coming to Antioch as a conqueror. I would be there to save him from the infidels.


    Children have always been a mystery to me. I think that is part of why I waited so long to have them. When Leon turned 6 though I took it upon myself to prepare him for his future role as King of Jerusalem. I am a great warrior and my son will be as well. He was being taught his letters and numbers. He was being shown how to properly act around others of rank. But the most important thing I taught him was how to use a sword. His abilities with the sword will determine how long he will someday rule.


    In June of 1114 an opportunity arose that was too good to pass up. The Shia Caliphate was embroiled in a civil war and their available manpower was low. I planned on liberating Darum and Ascalon and bringing more glory for God's Kingdom.
    Last edited by BigDork; 10-06-2012 at 19:26.

  9. #9
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    Just finished reading up to the current point for this AAR. What I've read thus far is quite an amazing story being written. With a Barbarians at the Gate scenario here, I am quite surprised with the exploits and control that this King already has. I'm quite interested in seeing what happens once Godefroy dies, and his son takes over. I wish you luck in your endeavors as you fight to control the Holy Land and defeat the hostile neighbors!

  10. #10
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    God's Kingdom Part 5 - Setbacks And Gains

    The Knights Hospitaller would never forgive me if I excluded them from a chance to kill infidels. They eagerly accepted my invitation to join me in the war against the Shia. I wouldn't have been able to press this war for Ascalon without them. The 6,500 soldiers of The Knights are what I hoped would give me the numerical advantage I needed.


    Knowing that I needed all the help I could get I asked my father-in-law to assist me in liberating more of the Holy Land. The main reason I married his slothful, gluttonous daughter after all was to have the assistance of the French when I needed it. So when the time came and I needed the assistance of the French army, my father-in-law spurned me. His rejection was a complete slap in my face. I swore then and there I would make him pay.



    The war started out well. A combined army of Jerusalem's levies and the Knights Hospitaller numbered nearly 10,000 men. As they marched out the Patriarch of Jerusalem blessed the army as they left the gates of Jerusalem. Spirits were high as the army approached Ascalon and there was still no sign of the Shia army. Ascalon and the surrounding holdings were besieged and quickly brought down by my forces. As the army moved on from Ascalon and marched towards Darum I felt like God was with us and soon I would rule over more of Holy Lands

    Godefroy leading his army towards Ascalon

    As my army marched towards Darum a small army of Shia soldiers was spotted. The Shia Caliph decided to ignore the ongoing civil war and move his army to engage mine. Seeing a smaller army the Grandmarshal ordered the attack. He didn't see that it was a trap until it was too late. The smaller army was bait and he had fallen for it. Soon a large army of Muslims descended on my army. Outnumbered and fighting on unfamiliar ground we were pressed. We fought hard and bravely but in the end there was no hope of victory and I ordered the retreat.


    With my army in tatters and many dead Christians left in Darum I saw no hope of victory. Thankfully the Caliph saw the wisdom in calling the war a draw. He had unruly vassals he had to deal with still. I was disheartened to concede defeat but I had no choice. I was also left wondering if God had turned his back on me. I have always found victory in the past. This defeat has left me questioning. Perhaps some repentance and prayer would put be back in His grace.


    Upon returning to Jerusalem I locked myself away in my chapel and prayed. I asked God how I could redeem myself. The answer was to look north to Tripoli. The Duchess of Armenia Minor was fighting two wars and was vulnerable. After the defeat in Ascalon I needed a victory to prove to all and especially myself that Jerusalem was still God's Kingdom.


    Victory came a year later. Armenia was unable to even field an army to resist my invasion. Without the help of The Knights I did not have enough men to storm the walls so I was forced to sit in siege and wait. This was the victory I needed. God is still with me. My vassals knew it, I sure hope that the infidels all around me knew it, and most importantly I knew it.


    Upon returning triumphant to Jerusalem there were celebrations to be had. Not only was Tripoli now fully apart of the kingdom but my son and heir Leon has become a man. And what a man he is! He was virtuous and brave with the skills to be a great king someday. He was betrothed to a wonderful child who will soon make an excellent wife and future queen. Things continued to look up for Jerusalem. More proof that God was with us.


    More glory for Christendom. A new holy order was created to help fight the infidel hordes. Much to my surprise the Knights Templar asked if they could build a castle in Acre. I did not hesitate in giving my permission for the construction of Athlith. The coming of the Knights Templar meant more men of Christ to fight the Muslims. Their presence in my kingdom should help me when I need it. Besides, having two bloodthirsty militant orders nearby could only be a good thing, right?




    A few months later I learn that maybe I have been mislead and made a mistake. After building their castle in Acre the Grandmaster of the Knights Templar had requested permission to build in Jaffa as well. I had given them a place to call home on my lands and am a good Christian but I can only give so much. Unhappy with being rebuffed, the Grandmaster sent his chancellor to fabricate claims on my lands and titles. I would make the ungrateful bastard pay somehow.


    As 1119 began I was able to throw another large celebration in Jerusalem. Leon's bride, Mathilde Gozewijnsdochter has come of age. As part of the marriage celebration I made a royal decree that from now on she will only be referred to as Matty. I respected her Dutch heritage but was unable to say her surname no matter how many times I tried. Matty was almost perfect. Her traits and abilities would help Leon as king and hopefully be passed down to their children.


    As a gift to the new royal couple I gave Prince Leon the county of Tortosa. There he could gain experience in governing and also get out of my court. The last thing I wanted was a happily married couple around to remind me about how miserable my own marriage was.


    I had sworn payback for the French king refusing to aid me in my war for Ascalon. I was not one to ignore a slight or an insult. Seeing Leon and Matty so happy made me realize what I did not have, a happy marriage. One night after several cups of wine I called my spymaster in and told him of a plot... I could murder Constance. Not only would I get revenge on the King of France but then I would be free to marry again. This time I would marry someone beautiful and talented instead of a shrill, annoying, lazy woman. My spymaster told me he would see it done and quietly the plot grew. One spring evening in May of 1120 Constance was found dead beneath the castle walls. It was suspicious that she had fallen to her death but no proof could be found that it was murder. I was free from suspicion and free of Constance.



    Things continued to look up for the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
    Last edited by BigDork; 11-06-2012 at 13:51.

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    God's Kingdom Part 6 - Slipping Away

    Things were going pretty well in Jerusalem. My son was married and working on getting me a grandson. With the exception of the setback in Ascalon I've been able to expand my borders and liberate much of the Holy Land. After the conquest of Tripoli things became quite and routine. That peace was shattered when Beylerbey Duqaq II declares holy war for my westernmost holdings. I had fought off his father 20 years before during the First Crusade and would do the same again.


    No war against the Muslims was complete without my trusty allies the Knights Hospitaller. As always they quickly answered my call to arms and brought thousands of Christian soldiers into the fight. I had hoped that the Knights Templar would also join me in war but they had already committed themselves elsewhere. I am not worried though, the combined power of my levies and the Hospitallers should be enough.


    We met up in Irbid and as a single host took the war to Damascus. I may not have started this war but I would not sit back and wait to be attacked. We moved on the main strength of Duqaq II as it was gathering in Az Zarqa. They attempted to flee but realized that they could not escape us. The landscape favored the heavy knights of the Hospitallers. As our armies neared the knights set their lances and charged. A mighty sight and one I hoped to never be on the receiving end of. The infidels never stood a chance. Quickly they broke and ran and we gave pursuit.



    Me and my men became heroes to the rest of the Christian world. We were bravely fighting off Muslim hordes who were attempting to wrest back the Holy Land in the name of Allah. Out of obligation, guilt or admiration some even offered to join me in my war. I appreciated the gesture but I sending men to fight with me would carry more weight than empty words of support.


    After a year and a half of war and Duqaq II was on the ropes. The Knights Hospitaller had been besieging Damascus for nearly a year and the county was starving. Inside my borders my men were fighting off the last of the invaders in Irbid and Tiberias. Upon their defeat and the fall of his seat of power Duqaq II admitted he was beaten and offered to pay me reparations. Gladly I accept his generous offer.



    I do not leave it there though. With Damascus' armies smashed and the kingdom weak I saw a perfect opportunity to expand my borders and get revenge on Duqaq for daring to wage war on me. Two decades ago I tried to capture Baalbek and failed when the war ended inconclusively. The second time I would not be thwarted.


    I pressed the Duke of Tripoli's claim on Baalbek because I did not want all of the Sunni rulers to join together in the defense of Damascus. While my army was strong there were limits to that power. I was not yet ready to take on the entire Muslim world. Initially the war went well for me. With Duqaq unable to muster a serious fighting force my army combined with the Hospitallers was able to defeat the meager resistance and begin besieging Muslim castles, starting with Baalbek and Damascus. Much to my dismay Duqaq II was able to sneak a messenger out through my siege lines and to the Sultan of Rum. Seeing an ally in danger Rum raised its levies and joined in war against me.


    Wanting to end the war as quickly as possible I split my army up into smaller elements so that we could siege multiple counties at once. I personally led the army that was besieging Al Murfaq. Al Murfaq was deemed a quieter area for me to be in. At the age of 64 I was not the fighter I once was and my advisers thought it best that I avoid serious battle. I was still a very competent commander though and my expertise and leadership would prove vital to help with the siege.

    It was a hot July night and I was having troubles sleeping. I had finally fallen asleep when I was suddenly awoken by the sounds of battle. The Muslims were upon us! They had thought us lulled by months of boredom and attempted to sally forth. With no time to put on my armor I grabbed my sword and rushed toward the sounds of battle. In the dark it was hard to tell friend from foe. As I ran past a tent a Muslim warrior sprung out and nearly impaled me upon his sword. I took a grazing cut on my ribs but was able to twist away before serious harm could be done. Seeing me still alive the warrior came at me and back and forth we went. He was young and full of strength. I was an old man and wounded, every second losing more blood and energy. I was sorely pressed and as I went to block my opponent's sword I miscalculated his swing and felt a sharp pain as my arm was severed just below my elbow. I stared at my sword and forearm on the ground and the stump that was left. In shock I blacked out, forgetting about my foe and the battle around me.

    Muslim defenders sallying forth from Al Murfaq


    I awoke days later in my tent. I was alive but would never hold a sword again. I had been fighting in battles for almost 50 years. I have fought for the Roman Emperor, for my family, and for my God. My fighting days were done. I may have been maimed for life but I was still able to rule.

    When my second son Errard had come of age I bestowed our ancestral home of Boulogne on him. Upon hearing that I had been wounded in battle and seeing that I was fully involved with a war against Damascus he had the audacity to declare his independence from my kingdom. I would teach the ungrateful child a lesson.


    Unable to spare any men of my own to send to France I instead turn to a band of Bulgarian mercenaries. I had plenty of coin to pay them with and once they arrived in Jerusalem I was able to put them aboard my ships and send them Errard's coast.


    As they arrived in Boulogne they discovered something very worrisome. France had taken advantage of Errard's declaration of independence and King Phillip II pressed a claim on the county. If I cannot convince Errard to rejoin my kingdom either through diplomacy or force then Boulogne will pass from my country for good. If it is lost there is little I could do to get it back. I do not have the strength to take on France and also keep my kingdom together at the same time.


    Finally as 1125 began an army from Rum made their appearance. Seeing that Damascus was occupied by my forces they set in to liberate it from my men. Not wanting to allow Duqaq to have his capital back I sent in the Knights Hospitaller. With zeal and fervor the Knights attacked the Muslims and killed them to a man.


    With their hopes of salvation from Rum destroyed Damascus had no choice but to surrender. Baalbek was mine.


    My excitement and joy at the conquest of Baalbek was short-lived as reports came in that a large French army was approaching Boulogne. There was no way that the Bulgarians would be able to stop the French from attacking Boulogne. I consulted my marshal and we decided that it was a lost cause. I did not have enough levies to fight off the French and my treasury was not full enough to support the number of mercenaries I would need. My arrogant, disgrace of a son had cost us our family lands. I sent him a letter telling him to never return for if he did I would imprison him. He would never see the light of day again.


    Following the loss of Boulogne things began to go downhill. The kingdom had peace within and without but it felt like Jerusalem was weakening. My health was failing and I found myself lapsing into dark moods. Many of the honorable and talented men who accompanied me on crusade to liberate Jerusalem had passed on and less capable men had taken their place.


    My son Leon proved to be more and more of a disappointment. Once a bright and promising young man, years of ruling in Tortosa changed him. He became slothful and arbitrary and as the years past his abilities atrophied.


    The more I pressed him to be more and tried to prepare him to succeed me the more stressed he became. Finally the stress became too much and just days before his 34th birthday he passed away. Suddenly I found the fate of a kingdom I spent half of my life building up about to fall upon the shoulders of a 12 year old boy.


    I was an old man when Leonard became my heir. I prayed every night that God would give me the strength to wake up the next morning. I spent my days teaching all I could and preparing my grandson to take over as King of Jerusalem. God was good to me and I was able to see Leonard become a man. Once he came of age and I saw the capable man he was I felt that I had fulfilled everything I could. One December night in 1138 I forgot to pray for the strength to wake up and I never did.
    Last edited by BigDork; 10-06-2012 at 22:53.

  12. #12
    Second Lieutenant BigDork's Avatar
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    God's Kingdom Part 6 - Initiation

    Jerusalem mourned the passing of grandfather for a week. There was a special mass held to aid his journey to Heaven and the whole city came out to witness his funeral procession. King Godefroy was a great king and I had big shoes to fill.

    I was crowned one week after we laid Godefroy to rest. All the powerful from the entire kingdom were present to pay homage to me and all the nobles swore fealty. I wasted no time after my coronation, raising my authority and instituting new taxes. My council was appointed and my councilors were given assignments I felt would prepare the way for my visions of the future. I had big plans for my kingdom.

    Coronation of King Leonard I

    Quickly those plans were dashed. Duqaq II, who went ahead and formed the Sultanate of Syria at some point, and seeing a young, inexperienced man on the throne of Jerusalem he decided to test me. He is in for a shock though. I was educated by my grandfather and know how to fight. I may not have had a chance to prove myself on the battlefield but that does not mean I am not prepared to fight and defeat Duqaq.


    My levies were raised and an army over 8,000 strong went on the attack. Their goal was to besiege Sultan Duqaq's capital in Damascus, dealing an early blow and proving that Jerusalem would not be easily beat. Unfortunately things did not go as planned. In the confusion and rush to get to Damascus the army left without its commander. Soon after arriving in Damascus they were attacked by a numerically inferior Syrian force. A relief force was dispatched and rushed as fast as they could but they would be too late. Without strong leadership my army was out-maneuvered and easily defeated.

    [IMG]http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/3127/ck2111jul39.jpg/IMG]

    The survivors of the battle fled and instead of giving pursuit the Syrian forces marched off the opposite direction. Thinking the infidels gone my small army went back to begin the siege of Duqaq's castle. Soon though the Syrian army was coming back. They had just moved into a neighboring county to meet up with another Syrian force. The combined army marched back towards Damascus. Grandfather had told me never to exclude the Knights Hospitaller from a war against Muslims. Their sole reason to live was to kill infidels. I didn't even have to say please. They instantly hopped on their horses and marched towards Damascus to meet the Syrian forces.


    The war was a close thing. I was fighting alone but several Muslim leaders pledged their support to Duqaq. Even with all of my levies raised and the Hospitallers in support I was in trouble. Needing soldiers more than I needed gold I looked to the Company of the Hat. My treasury took a big loss when I hired the mercenaries but losing Oultrejordain was not an option. Not only would I hate to lose the counties but it would show the Muslims I was weak and before long all of the Holy Land would be gone.


    Almost a year into the war things are looking grim. My initial push into Syria was thwarted and the Muslims have invaded into my lands. My men fight to defend their homes but in battle after battle they are defeated. I'm low on gold and couldn't afford to hire more mercenaries. I couldn't help but think that if my grandfather was still alive he would find a way to turn this around. Unfortunately he was gone and if I didn't figure something out soon I would be too.


    With things at their worst I finally got lucky. Duqaq made a huge tactical blunder. He split up his forces in order to besiege two of my counties. As a combined force the Syrian army would have been hard to beat. Split up and weak I stood a chance. The tides of war were about to change.


    On the heels of the first meaningful success of the war my brother and heir Philippe comes of age. Like all the men of our family he was a gifted warrior and military leader. His help was needed in my current war. My only hope was that before long I could have a son of my own as my heir. I love my brother but want a son to follow me as king.


    The real heroes of the war were the Knights Hospitaller. Without their skill in battle or their enthusiasm to kill Muslims in defense of the Holy Land I surely would have lost. From Maan, to Syria, and back into my borders the Knights were where they were needed most. The Syrians were never given any rest and learned to truly fear Hospitallers for there was no escape. They could try to rout from battle but they were just chased down and slaughtered.




    Grandfather was a great knight who never shied from battle. Growing up I heard countless stories of him riding into battle, dueling with swordsmen, and taking city walls. I was raised knowing that I was expected to lead men into battle, not just send them. For three years the war carried on and I fought in many battles and skirmishes. Never was I even wounded. I was King of Jerusalem and I had God's protection... or so I thought. I was in an intense melee and never saw the foe who struck me down. All I remember is intense pain and my leg giving out. Seeing their king go down my men threw themselves at the infidels and fought them back, away from where I lay. To my credit I never lost consciousness. I did however lose my leg.
    God's Kingdom - A CKII AAR (Dead and unfinished. )

  13. #13
    First Lieutenant Pelarys's Avatar
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    I enjoy reading this and Jerusalem is an interesting location, keep it up.

  14. #14
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    God's Kingdom Part 7 - Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye

    As soon as I could sit a saddle I was leading my men again. The war was a struggle already and I did not want my army to be further demoralized thinking me near death. It was near Monreal that I returned to battle. I could barely stand but as long as I was on my horse I could fight. With my brothers commanding the flanks we attacked the infidel army from behind as they besieged the city.


    The Syrians hardly put up a fight and quickly broke and ran. I proved to all around me that I was still quite capable of wielding a sword as I left many corpses on the field. Seeing me fight hard encouraged and motivated my men and the Muslims did not stand a chance. As I conferred with my marshal after the battle a small group of officers rode up to me with a Muslim prisoner in tow. There was much to celebrate, not only did we have a victory but we had captured the Sultan's second son. I ordered him to be escorted back to my dungeon where he would rot for now. His capture was a serious blow to the Sultan and I wanted to relish in this victory for a while.


    My injury had changed me. Before I was bold and impatient in all matters... ruling my kingdom, planning for war, and fighting in battle. Now, I've learned to slow down some and not rush into situations. I see the advantage of holding back and waiting for a situation to develop. Waiting and getting more information before making decisions. I've found patience.


    While I was patient I was not going to be inactive. Following the victory in Monreal I ordered my army north to break the siege in Safed and to disperse the Syrian army there. The plan was that following the battle in Safed we'd march on to capture Damascus. With his capital under our control Sultan Duqaq would hopefully be willing to admit defeat.


    The two armies came together in a crash of steel on the steel of swords, steel of the wood of shields, and steel on the flesh of foes. For months we'd pursued the Syrian army across the countryside. When we could catch up we would set upon and scatter them. As the sun was high overhead on a hot July day, it felt like the battle was being fought within Hell itself. In one moment I was in my own personal Hell. A Muslim arrow came out of nowhere felling my horse. One second I'm riding in pursuit of a Syrian rider and the next I'm falling to the ground. Unable to put weight on my leg I laid there as my bodyguards formed a ring around me. Seeing me fall and seeing that only a few men protected me the infidels rushed with a mighty cry to their God. Suddenly a Muslim warrior stood above me. I swung my sword at his leg but he deflected it with his weapon, sending it flying from my hand. Time slowed to nothing as I watched the spear head driving down towards my chest. For a brief moment I saw as it plunged into my chest and then it all went away.



    King Leonard I has ascended to Heaven. Long live King Philippe I! May God protect and watch over him.
    God's Kingdom - A CKII AAR (Dead and unfinished. )

  15. #15
    Second Lieutenant BigDork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelarys View Post
    I enjoy reading this and Jerusalem is an interesting location, keep it up.
    Thanks! I'm having a lot of fun with the location. I feel like I'm always one Holy War away from disaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Awesomeguy32 View Post
    Just finished reading up to the current point for this AAR. What I've read thus far is quite an amazing story being written. With a Barbarians at the Gate scenario here, I am quite surprised with the exploits and control that this King already has. I'm quite interested in seeing what happens once Godefroy dies, and his son takes over. I wish you luck in your endeavors as you fight to control the Holy Land and defeat the hostile neighbors!
    They're at the gates and knocking loudly. You got to see what happened when his eldest son took over. Stay tuned for his second son.
    God's Kingdom - A CKII AAR (Dead and unfinished. )

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    Second Lieutenant BigDork's Avatar
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    I'm sure this is a bit of a bug but I found it amusing. Upon the death of Leonard I had this message pop up...



    Apparently it was very suspicious I took a sword in the chest while in battle. At they were wise enough to know it wasn't a natural death.
    God's Kingdom - A CKII AAR (Dead and unfinished. )

  17. #17
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    Princess Denise's new name is Captain Obvious maybe she fears that it wasn't a muslim that killed you on the battlefield but instead perhaps one of your own captains drove the sword into your chest........King Philippe II perhaps???

  18. #18
    Second Lieutenant BigDork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnick0225 View Post
    Princess Denise's new name is Captain Obvious
    ***Removed funny smiley as it was linking to a site flagged as non-reliable*** //BjornB

    Quote Originally Posted by tnick0225 View Post
    ...maybe she fears that it wasn't a muslim that killed you on the battlefield but instead perhaps one of your own captains drove the sword into your chest........King Philippe II perhaps???
    You never know. Maybe Philippe really wanted his brother out of the way before Leonard could have any kids.

    ---------
    Lots of screenshots taken. A big update to come.
    God's Kingdom - A CKII AAR (Dead and unfinished. )

  19. #19
    Great read so far!

    Always felt like when i played Jerusalem, or carved out a nice chunk of land through Crusade, that I was in a precarious position.

    Have the Muslim states started to unify or are they all still separate?
    "The Italian Coastal Divisions were never rated highly, but preformed even worse than we expected"
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  20. #20
    Great read! I was very tempted to a Jerusalem AAR myself and I can see it is a lot of fun.

    Bad luck with Leonard. looking forward to see how Phillipe handles matters.
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