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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Stuyvesant

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Hey! Playing with toy soldiers clearly paid off with your brilliant victory in Anatolia! Personally, I would have liked to see the converted, blinded, ancient Doukas on the throne of the Sultanate of Anatolia, but I imagine that such a handicapped ruler would not have made for a stable reign. Nice job co-opting the lower-ranking Greek nobility by making them convert. I didn't know you could do that, but it sounds pretty plausible.

Marital strife really becomes a headache when there's a multitude of spouses to juggle. On the bright side, now that your current wives are trying to run away, you can marry a new batch (even if the bellydancers have sadly left already).
 

tnick0225

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Part 2.8 - Abbasid

@Stuybesant: I guess the toy soldiers did help! I honestly didn't think it would work elevating the Greeks and asking them to convert. The first one I raised up I thought I'd check and see if it was possible and he said yes to conversion. So did it with the rest.

Ashraf needs to locate the bellydancers so he can marry a few though!

I'm going to speed things up in this update, apologies for any whiplash that occurs. And probably on Sunday we will wrap this round up and take a look at the current world and find out who we will be visiting next!

I'm actually looking forward to a change, there's a lot of interesting places and scenarios going on so hopefully we end up somewhere interesting. So with all that said let us return to Ashraf "the Ill-Ruler" Abbasid.

~~~~~
Part 2.8 - Abbasid​



We have that annoying little Orthodox Uprising to deal with. And I really mean annoying. Seems like these Orthodox peasants rise up every three to five years now. I'm sure it will get even worse with the addition of Anatolia into the Caliphate.

But, hey it gives Ashraf something to do and more potential prisoners/victims of the rack. So off to war he goes, and it goes well for him he manages to pick up the patient trait, which is odd as he never struck me to be a patient kind of guy.


Meanwhile one of our Wali's decides to ask for clemency for Prince Akab. Which I respond no too, definitely not about to release one of my family members just because some little vassal requests it. In fact I send the Wali to Baghdad Correctional as well.

After that, the newly crowned Sultan Pashalis of Selinus of Anatolia (lots of "of"s in that title there) comes to the realization that he can have MANY wives. I know he's wondering why he didn't convert earlier, I mean what could be better than four wives?

Well none, is the answer I'd give you, one wife is bad enough, I can't imagine having three others running around the house finding nitpicky things to complain about.

But anyway Paschalis requests a marriage with one of my courtiers and I say sure, because Ashraf's court is getting pretty big so sending a woman away is a good thing.

The final battle of the Orthodox Uprising is gearing up at Trapezous, wonder if that's where Trapezoid get's its name from? Hmm...


Ashraf really did learn a thing or two from the toy soldiers, and put the lessons to good use on the battlefield. Patient trait and now 100 prestige. He's turning into quite the tyrannical warrior.


The battle of Trapezous ends the Uprising, giving me a momentary break from the annoyance of Orthodox Priests.

Next up on Ashraf's plate, is a vassal who is unhappy with our Chief Qadi and petitions me to remove him in favor of one of his vassals. Normally I would say no to this and send the complainer to Baghdad Correctional but I decide to play nice for a change and go with a new Qadi. Besides the old one did allow a divorce which I'm still a little unhappy about.

I click on the decadence screen and notice that one of my relatives is causing decadence to go up, so I try to send him to Baghdad Correctional but the Sheikh escapes on a camel.


Now I have a wonderful rebellion to deal with again.

While the Caliphal armies are mustering another toy soldier tournament begins in Baghdad and Ashraf once again attends. This one will once again raise Ashraf's martial abilities by 2 points and lead him into fulfilling the ambition of increasing the Martial Skillset.

The rebellion of Sheikh Murad is a shortlived one. In fact after one battle the Sheikh has had enough. He surrenders and willingly allows my camel riders to escort him to Baghdad Correctional to join the rest of the Abbasid Family.


In celebration of the war, Ashraf welcomes a new son into the world named Ummaya, and also ends up mourning the death of his wife Tourandokht (not to be confused with the Spymaster/Step-mother Touran).

Oh yeah as a note, I've decided not to post screenshots of these mundane news items just so we can speed things up a little bit.

After the funeral of Tourandokht and the scouring of the region for a suitable replacement wifey, the vassals decide to rise up in rebellion once again. This time to install the recently incarcerated Sheikh Murad as Caliph/Badshah.


Now I know I could execute Murad, and end this war right here and now. But I don't, I'd rather save the guy for a rainy day to play with when there's nothing else to do. Plus this rebellion means more future tenants at Baghdad Correctional, and to be honest that is a very very good thing.

Seeing that I'm in the midst of another war the Orthodox Priests once again decide to declare war.


So two wars, very minor though. During these two wars the conversion of the Anatolian Orthodox peasants seems to be going smoothly as a few provinces convert.

Two battles take place, one against the faction that wants my prisoner Sheikh of Dhofar as Caliph and the other against the Orthodox rabble.

I win both battles easily and both parties decide to sue for peace and request room and board at Baghdad Correctional.


At this rate our prison system has got to be experiencing overcrowding. Probably time to build another cell block.

My wife Zahida then asks our new Chief Qadi for a divorce. I say "NO!", and apparently she decides an angry Ashraf is a bad Ashraf and withdraws her petition of separation. So I guess our new Qadi is doing what I need him to do.

Our Spymaster/Step-Mother Touran informs Ashraf of an Emir plotting to usurp the Sultanate of Mesopotamia. I don't get too worried about this and write his name down on our naughty list. BCF is a too crowded for me to arrest him at the moment so he will get a few years of freedom.

However, a Greek Wali, is not so lucky. He gets accused of heresy and given a room at Baghdad Correctional.

Sadly news from Anatolia comes in that Sultan Pashalis of Selinus has died and his son Theodosios has inherited. Theodosios is 33 years old and has no children so hopefully he starts marrying some young lustful Sunni Muslim women so there isn't a big old inheritance issue over there in newly acquired Sultanate. Heaven forbid it erupts in a Civil War and the ERE is able to pick a few rebellious Emirates off.

What did I decide to have Ashraf do after he improved his Martial ability? Well naturally increase his Intrigue.

I get an event about gossipers as a result. I can imagine with all these wives and the wives of my prisoners bustling about that gossip was running rampant in Baghdad.


Here I was hoping for something juicier. Instead I get news about some milk maid having the blacksmiths baby? The hell is that? I was hoping it would have been something about one of my wives banging the UPS dude or something.

But no just some milk maid trying to get a new cow-bell for free.

This of course fulfills that ambition thankfully, and I move on to improve Ashraf's Learning abilities.

Ashraf's son Ashraf then comes of age. Our first boy turning 16 and since he is our heir and oldest and probably our best bet at passing the torch I can't send him off to the prison. So I allow him to kick up his heels at home while I try and figure out what on earth to do with the kid.


I see an opportunity for Ashraf's son Ashraf. It comes in the form of the ERE. Sultan Theodosios of Anatolia wasn't wasting anytime with letting the Greeks know who the new kid on the block was. For our Anatolian Sultan had declared a Holy War for Nikaea. If he proves victorious this will give Anatolia and thus the Caliphate land right on Constantinople's doorstep. Which means we may very well see the destruction of the ERE eventually, unless the Seljuks screw things up for us in the future.

The Emperor is busy defending against my vassal, which means the ERE can't defend the few lands it still has that are causing purple cancerous looking tumors on our otherwise pretty Abbasid borders.

And Ashraf's son Ashraf needs land. So I declare my own Holy War. This for the Duchy of Edessa.


A month into the War for Edessa my second son Najib comes of age. I think about letting him kick up his heels as well, when I notice he's slow or whatever that bad trait is with his face and the "?". I didn't investigate what that meant but it sealed his fate. I immediately send him to Baghdad Correctional, just because his deformity irritated the hell out of me.


I also send with him another relative Emir Zeyd. Apparently the new cell block at the BCF has been completed, because they're accepting new prisoners again.

And a third man in a row gets sent there just for requesting Zeyd's release.

After imprisoning three people in rapid succession, a writer comes to court wanting to write a book of the Cruel Caliphs of Baghdad. I give him patronage knowing that this book probably wouldn't be meant for children. Probably will contain a lot of passages about random executions, torturing techniques of little girls, the ten steps on how to kill your wife without being caught, you know the usual everyday stuff.


This also gives Ashraf the Proud trait which I think is slightly more suiting then the previous Patient trait he picked up a little while ago.

With the 10 Steps on How to Kill Your Wife Without Being Caught in mind, Ashraf gets to kill his wife!


Only he does get caught. He wants everyone in Baghdad to know and executes her publicly for treason. Oh and to top it all off it is poetic justice in a way, Zahida, had requested a divorce a few years back. Well she got what she wanted, release from Ashraf's Harem, just not the way she had planned it though.

Meanwhile, Ashraf's men occupied a Byzantine holding and captured Kale Makedon. A relative to the once proud ruling dynasty of the Emperor. Kale was a little girl, 1 years old the day she was captured and brought to Baghdad Correctional. Ashraf took one look at the little baby and new this was his chance to emerge from the shadow of his father Najib and become the meanest most cruel Caliph in history.

Yes, Ashraf had a plan for this 1 year old girl and it wasn't the rack either.


Yep...

I executed her.

Following up the execution of baby Kale, another faction breaks out, obviously baby killing isn't favorable amongst the populace. They are wanting to install Prince Akab who is a prisoner at the BCF.

This time I don't want to play around with these traitors. So I say really how about we install a corpse as Caliph.


No more rebellion there.

Emperor Lazaros has seen enough. He knows he can't contend with Ashraf the baby killer. Only Greek that ever could have would have been Thomas, the Emperor who had a castration fetish, and he was long gone.

Plus, Lazaros had the Sultan of Anatolia to deal with so he bowed out and sued for peace of which Ashraf happily accepted.



Which brings us to our stopping point for the day. Time left at this point is 1 year and 4 months.

Next update will complete our round of Abbasid fun and introduce us to our next playground. I'm going to miss evil Ashraf though...
 

Stuyvesant

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Wow. Infanticide (or toddlercide) just to prove you're more evil than your dad. Tsk. Tsk. Not only does it make Ashraf terribly evil, it also proves he has a bit of an inadequacy issue regarding his father. I guess being a grown-up who likes to play with toy soldiers doesn't help. :p

Now, the other executions: can't find any fault with that. I haven't experienced this yet myself, but I imagine that quelling a revolt by executing the already-imprisoned figurehead is very satisfying. "How about we install a corpse as Caliph", can't think of a better reply than that. And killing the wife for trying to kill a son: that's just classic justice (eye-for-an-eye Old Testament-y, but you can't get more classic than the OT, right?). Plus, more room for Ashraf to try to add those belly dancers to his harem! The clock's ticking on your reign, I think that restocking his harem should be your top priority at this point.
 

verdas

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Honestly, you seem to have done a pretty good job stabilizing the Abbasids, rampant imprisonments and executions aside. It'll be really interesting to see if they manage to continue as a powerhouse without you, or if they collapse soon after.
 

tnick0225

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@mike the knight: He is isn't he!

~~~~~​
@Stuyvesant: Ashraf does appear to have a daddy issue. But maybe that's because his dad died while he was still young. True can't get anymore classic then the Old Testament! As far as wives I think I've been replacing them. I just didn't write it down or screen shot it, because having four wives and having had to remarry a few times just makes it all hard to keep track off. And have the screenshots in an update would be pregnancies, births, and marriages :) lol. Does make me sad that I couldn't find one Egyptian Belly-dancer to marry though.

~~~~~​
@verdas: I'm surprised I managed to stabilize it even to lower decadence as much as I have. A lot of it is due to your advice at the beginning of this round. So I'm deeply grateful for that :) I am interested in seeing what the AI does with the Caliphate when I leave. I imagine it will splinter of Anatolia and the Fatimids ally in a cause against the Abbasids though. So should be an interesting dynamic to watch from afar.
 

TSSL

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You know, for such an unpleasant, cruel, intimidating guy, Ashraf really doesn't have all that bad traits. He's proud now, I guess, and, uh, craven, and, ooh, he's arbitrary, obviously dealing with a serious villain here!
 

tnick0225

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Part 2.9 - Abbasid

You know, for such an unpleasant, cruel, intimidating guy, Ashraf really doesn't have all that bad traits. He's proud now, I guess, and, uh, craven, and, ooh, he's arbitrary, obviously dealing with a serious villain here!
You're right he does have fairly nice traits. I haven't exactly been roleplaying him all that well. If I had been probably wouldn't have seen an invasion or anything of that sort of thing, so it would have been a rather boring time in the world of the Abbasid.

***As a note if there is any realm you want some more info on let me know with a comment and I will get it for you. If it's wanting to know who is King of a certain area or a History screen of the rulers feel free to ask and I will get it and post it.

~~~~~
Part 2.9 - Abbasid​



We begin this last leg of our journey with Ashraf handing the Emirate of Edessa to his oldest son Ashraf who unless the AI screws things up shall inherit the title of Caliph/Badshah of the Abbasids as well as the Sultanate of Mesopotamia and Emirates of Baghdad and Oman.

With that little bit of administrative duties finished, Ashraf gets to go on a quest to find some hermit so that he can learn new important eye opening things.


As he off to find the old hermit a plot he hatched against a distant decadent relative comes to fruition. He had tried to have this relative arrested, but the man escaped, so murder was the only option.

And yes we once again get the nifty cow turd bomb.


After completing the learning ability ambition there's not much left to do but watch the months pass away into oblivion looking at the pretty green of the Abbasid Caliphate. But, Paradox is not one to let a ruler of a large realm fall asleep. For, the Orthodox Priests decide to start the 5th Orthodox Uprising.


Not wanting to raise my levies just to kill a revolt I look to the North and notice a little independent county ruled over by a random Sunni greek woman who is apparently the mom of one of my Doukas Sheikhs and wife of the blind Doukas Emir. I ponder this for a moment and press the young man's claim on her county. Might as well bring it within our realm. Conquering it also will give Ashraf a border with Georgia to Holy War at a later time. Hopefully before the Persian Shiite Caliphate of the Mortezids takes it over.


Both wars end rather quickly. The Orthodox Uprising ends after two battles and the war for that little Sheikhdom comes to an end after one battle and one siege.


With the end of the war only a few months remain, and those end rather uneventfully.

Our 50 year adventure in Baghdad has now come to an end. We started with Emir Ashraf the Cruel the deposed Caliph of the Abbasids, our position looked rather horrible and our decadence was gigantic. The AI dropped the Caliphate and Badshah titles in Aarif's lap though and it was a cakewalk from there. Aarif however didn't get to enjoy our stay. He was killed in battle.

His son Najib came around and all he did was kill a 10 year old girl on the rack and slaughtered rebels left and right. He did build Baghdad Correctional which is quite the resort and favored venue of Abbasid family reunions.

Ashraf still a young man when now that we are taking our leave, he is 37 currently. He conquered Anatolia, brought some stability to the Caliphate, and well continued on his father's practice of filling the rooms of Baghdad Correctional with decadent family members. All in all I would say we were mildly successful here. We didn't accomplish a whole lot, no painting of the map or creating an independent Sultanate, but we did manage to drop Abbasid decadence to 41% which means they may avoid a decadence invasion for another generation or two.

Unless the AI releases everyone and burns Baghdad Correctional to the ground.

The one thing I regret is not targeting the Shia Caliphate of the Mortezids over in Persia. That has proven to be the biggest and most world changing mistake/decision so far.

The Mortezids as of right now prior to the Seljuk invasion are the largest most powerful blob on the map. I think they even outnumber the Abbasids in total levies by a few thousand. In fact they also claim the Turkestan Sultanate as well as some other Sultanate I believe Persia, and they are knocking at the doors of the Rus. Hopefully the Seljuks will splinter them. If not Eastern Europe won't be conquered by a horde but rather by the Muslims.

But enough of that, we are leaving now, and will take a brief but comprehensive look around the world, and unveil our next great adventure.

~~~~~

Our first look is the Abbasids, but you can see what I was saying about the Mortezid Shia Caliphate in Persia. Its a monster!!!

I'm impressed that Abyssinia is still around though. For a while it was looking kind of bad for them. They've had a long string of evil Debra's like evil enough they'd make Ashraf blush. Nubia revolted and broke free for a while, but now with a Queen Qwara or something like that on the Abyssinian throne they're starting to reclaim their old lands. Down there on the Horn of Africa that purplish spot Harer, there's a reason that is independent. The independent Ibadi Emir of Sana'a invaded it during a Solomonid crisis and conquered it. Then one of my Emirs conquered Sana'a. The Miaphysite populace of Harer were unhappy with their Ibadi overlords and overthrew them, thus they are independent. I'm actually kind of sad about that, I was liking the idea of an independent Ibadi state.

Up to the North we have the Byzantines ruled over by a fresh new Dynasty. Things are looking bleak for them when we see Anatolia. But, I dare say they're going to be looking at Bulgaria, and Croatia and the splintered lands of Poland-Hungary for conquest. If they do this they'll probably survive. And there are plenty of lands in that neighborhood to crush. Also hard to tell on this particular screenshot but it kind of looks as if Venice is independent. I'll have to look into that, seems like they were an ERE vassal for a while.


Not much to say about North and West Africa. Mali is the same pretty much. The Tulunids from Egypt are currently fighting the Rahhalid Sultanate over a little insignificant county of Gabes. The Tulunids currently have the Abbasids involved in this war, I just didn't mention it because I wasn't about to march men over there for a single county.

The Rahhalids replaced the Ummayads in this part of the world. And they haven't been a good job of holding onto their lands. Makes me wonder if their may be an Ummayad resurgence sometime in the future.


Venturing a hair to the North we find Iberia.

The Christian Kingdoms of Navarra and Asturias have well made the best of the Rahhalid instability. I've never seen them do this good at a TOG start (albeit I haven't done very many ToG starts). So I'm rather impressed. Navarra is going through a civil war however, that is why Valencia and few other minor counties are independent at the moment. Hopefully they manage to quit the fighting before the Muslims realize they can turn the table.

Looking at that makes me wonder if the big battle for Spain should we make it to EUIV will be between Navarra and Asturias instead of Castille and Aragon. Nice little alt-history possibility there.


Continuing North we hit our old play-ground of the British Isles. England has well erupted in succession issues. There is a reason for this. First, Heahbert Stawell the first King of England united the realm which was quite the accomplishment for the guy. However, he had no kids. Not a one. Thus it fell to one of his brothers or nephews named Winstan. Winstan was already old, and died after a little while without male issue. This passed the crown to another Stawell a boy if I remember right, I can't remember his name so I'll come back to this on our next update.

Through it all even with big England next door, Wales is still alive and hasn't shrunk! To early to say mission accomplished but I didn't think it'd still be holding the status quo! However the AI has made a mess of the Elective system.

It ignored my attempt to install Karadeg grandson of Ricat on the throne and instead handed the title to King Glenn. Who ruled pretty much the entire time we were in the lands of the Abbasids. King Glenn bless his heart sent his boys off to the Holy Orders instead of naming them heirs. This decision I suppose made sense since Glenn was a Crusader. So who did he make King of Wales?


King Marzhin (I pronounce it "Martian" I know that's got to be super wrong). Where the hell does Marzhin come in?

I open up the family tree of the Cerneus and find it to be a huge mess with lots and lots of people.


Oh okay so he is the great grandson of Duke Klaoda, making him the great-great grandson of Duke Dumnarth (the first guy we played in this random craziness).

That family definitely is spreading the King title throughout the branches.

Almost forgot to include Glenn's portrait.


Like I said Glenn ruled for most of this Abbasid turn.

I would post the other side of the Cerneu family tree but not much to note there besides some random Welf popping up in the family tree.

So moving on to our favorite Holy Breton Empire.


As you can see the Breton Emperors have been doing good we even have Bernez II Karling now. I have to admit everytime I see a name like that followed by Karling I about fall out of my chair.

The Empire seems to be doing alright for itself though. They've shattered Great Moravia, which at one time was doing great and now appears to be on its final days. The Polish-Hungarian Union well it isn't working out well for the Piasts. We'll see more of that in a few minutes.

But Denmark they stole the crown of Pommerania and well are currently the most powerful Norse Kingdom in the world at this time. Wonder if Bernez II will try to slap them around a little bit.

While pondering this area I clicked on the History tab of the Empire and found something peculiar.


A German did take the throne for a few months anyway. Kaiser Emmelrick von Oberbayern, he apparently comes from a Cadet Dynasty started by Karlmann's lustful ways. But Bernez took the throne back after four or five months, and demoted Kaiser Emmelrich to Baron.

Then checking out the Italian Kingdom wondering who's ruling down there I get a nice little surprise.


The de Bourgognes are Kings of Italy and have been for a little while now. Wonder if they'll continue to follow the lead of their Breton overlord?


Doesn't seem like a whole lot has changed in Scandinavia. Norse Sweden is faring alright though. Gardariki is also doing well, but that may change with the Persians knocking on their doorstep. One interesting thing regarding Gardariki is that the Rurikids lost it for a little while. It bounced hands between Slavs and Suomensko before landing back in Rurikovic care.

I have a thing for Dynasty changes they get me excited if you haven't noticed.

Only other thing to mention here is that the Kingdom of Perm is doing well also. Think its the first time I've seen Perm show up so I may check in on them periodically.


This stop will end our tour just a few hairs south of our last one. Gives us a better look at Perm and the Northern Frontier of the Mortezid Caliphate.

Also the ugliness caused by the Polish-Hungarian Union. A bit of a lesson, apparently the Tengri aren't welcoming of their new Slavic King. Wonder how that will all turn out.

Meanwhile Bulgaria has been stable, well kind of. Everytime I look they're stable, sometimes a duchy revolts but nothing major. So I look at their history tab only to find out Bulgaria has probably been the most brutal Kingdom to be King in.


The story of that King Simeon II "the Great" Balgarsko would probably make for an interesting AAR all in and of itself. He gets overthrown three weeks in by some cousin or distant relative named Slavac who also get's overthrown basically 6 weeks later by Viselav. I'm sure that will go down in Bulgarian History as the year of the Four Kings.

But thirteen years and four Kings later, Simeon the Great retook the crown he barely got used to. He deserves the title the Great just for that perseverance.

I close the window, and I look at the monstrosity that resulted in the Polish-Hungarian Union and pray pray to god I don't land there.

I close my eyes and hit the random button a few times.

When I open them, and click play I get this...


Count Tvrdoslav Mihaljevic of Varazdin, sandwiched between the Orthodox ERE and the Catholic HRE, the angry Tengriist that are revolting over the rule of the Slavic House of Piast in Poland. Looks like shit just got real.
 
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tnick0225

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@mike the knight: It is even worse than before! This time I don't even have the opportunity of reclaiming a lofty title. I'm a product of a cadet branch of the Trpimirovics and my one little county is de jure part of Slovakia which is held by the ERE. So not sure if I'll survive this one!

@TheKaspa: It will definitely be merrier then. I don't have very high hopes or even what my goal should be. I suppose I could swear fealty to the ERE or something...but that just doesn't sound fun so I think I'm going to try and swing it by being independent, and see how nasty things get :)
 

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Part 3.0 - Varazdin and Szekesfehervar

Part 3.0 - Varazdin and Szekesfehervar​



So the surprise I managed to run into when seeing our next stop is in this random County of Varazdin was rather unwelcome. But first who is Count Tvrdoslav? He's the product of a lowborn baron marrying a Trpimirovic, so in way you could say he's the patriarch of a Cadet branch of said dynasty.


So due to our small insignificant dynasty we have the great joy of having zero alliances. This is bad.

We're surrounded by enemies. We have angry Tengriist all around us, the evil declining Byzantine Empire as well, and the ever aggressive Holy Roman Empire. Not to mention some of the little holdings still owned by Great Moravia, a state that has been shattered by the Breton Emperors.

We have only one son as well which means when he comes of age, still a good decade down the road, we can only make one alliance so his marriage will have to be planned strategically.

Making matters worse my wife is already in her 40s so there won't be anymore children being born which puts in an even worse spot as far as alliances are concerned. Talk about being placed between a rock and a hard place.

I could swear allegiance to the ERE becoming a vassal. It would make sense as my sole County of Varazdin is de jure part of the the Duchy of Slovakia (think that's the duchy anyway) which is part of the ERE. But then I'd be a Catholic Count in an Orthodox Empire and that probably wouldn't go all that well for us.

I could swear allegiance to Great Moravia but, they're falling apart. I could also join the HRE but the Breton emperors are an evil bunch that I really don't want to get involved with.

So, I guess we're going to fly solo on this one and see how far it gets us.

I start plotting to kill my old wifey, because the Pope doesn't want to give me a divorce.

Unfortunately not enough plot power for that, its up to 90% so maybe we'll manage to accomplish that murder soon.

I then look at my council and realize my Chaplain is an amazing 0. I spend some gold to bring in a Holy Man, because we will be needing one for possible Tengri Conversions. Luckily said Holy Man is a 14 in learning. Which means we can move the former Chaplain into the Marshal position, as our former marshal was only a three and our former chaplain is a 7 in Martial.



Now a little better look at what we have to deal with.


Luckily the Tengri chiefs aren't pleased with their Piast-Slavic Overlord and are rebelling so we got to Varazdin in perfect time, may even be able to pick a county or two off.

So I take a loan out from the Jews. Might as well, and I need mercenaries because my measly 300 men won't do any good. I then click on the neighboring chief of Szekesfehervar (that's going to be a tough one to spell everytime. And declare my first Holy War.


Things start off well, have one minor battle where said Chief throughs a whole 160 men at your 1800. They scatter rather quickly and the sieges commence.

While sitting there watching my men siege, I notice out of the corner of my eye that Italy has went from gray to that off white color. Curious I wander on over and discover that King Errard de Bourgogne of Italy has become independent without a Civil War. Interesting to see that happen. I guess our Breton Emperor wasn't feeling up to the fight.


Out sieges go fast, the first one ended, and almost immediately the second one did as well giving us a 100% warscore and ability to enforce our just demands.



Not even a year into this we've already doubled our lands. Already successful and still not really any goal in mind but sheer survival.

Noticing that the revolt is still going on I decide instead of disbanding our mercenaries I would push further north and declare another Holy War.


If I win this I will hold 50% of the Duchy of Pecs, meaning I can usurp the title from the Tengri Chief that currently holds it, giving Tvrdoslav a higher title. This is a good goal I think.

Thus the war begins with a few minor skirmishes, but nothing big or notable.


Our sieges begin in earnest once again. And I go back to pondering what exactly I should be trying to achieve with this cadet branch.

Which is when the map changes and my siege ends, apparently the Tengri came to the realization that a new guy was in town and that they didn't want to play Civil War any more.


So much for usurping the duchy.

I ponder my next moves. I can't go up against the united Poland-Hungary, I'd get slaughtered for trying. I can't go up against the Byzzies, I really can't do a dang thing now.

But that's alright, because Paradox knows how to throw a wrench in any down time.


Figured that would be coming thankfully I managed to claim a second County so it won't end my game.

I try to put up a fight against the Makedon Duchess of Slavonia. But it is rather futile.

I do manage to succeed in a few instances. I capture three men a Bishop a Mayor and some random Courtier. Guess I have a thing of capturing Greeks in this game.

But, the Duchess of Slavonia, doesn't let these minor victories ruin her day. Nope, she knows what she is doing and will show me why the saying, "You may have won the battle, but not the war," is oh so very true.

Her allies show up a large 9,000 stack of Greek troops, smelling the fear of my little Croatian Army. I make such a much more delicious target than the Anatolian Muslims. More like a fine desert I suppose, or a snack before dinner is made.

Regardless they smash me, and smash me good. I go from having 1800 some odd men to 0 in a matter of seconds.

And then all my lands are sieged.

Nothing I can do but sit and look at the destruction and tuck my tail between my legs and run away.

Thus, I surrender to the Duchess of Slavonia. No point letting this war carry on to the ending we all know is coming.


For a two years I managed to enjoy being a two County Count. Now I'm back to one. All in a matter of three years. This is obviously going to be quite the entertaining 50 years.

My attempt to assassinate the wife hasn't done me any favors. One of two plotters decided he had enough. And informed our friendly neighborhood Tengri peasant rabble of how their holy Christian Count wishes to murder his own dearly beloved.

Perhaps this will score points with our local pagans though, the uncivilized populace may very well look up to a man that does such things.

Seeing as how this is going nowhere fast I decide to let Tvrdoslav go on a pilgrimage to Rome.


I was hoping such a pilgrimage would help persuade the Pope into allowing my divorce, but the Holy Father apparently heard of my dishonorable plot to kill my dearly beloved and threw me out of St. Peters immediately. Tvrdoslav returns to his County of which I will not spell, in shame and well anger.

While sitting there staring at the screen I notice Poland-Hungary is going through another tough time, and just as quickly as I notice that Transylvania changes color. Could this be a new Tengri revolt???

Nope. Instead it was this rather obscure man...


A Manichean...in Transylvania???

The hell is going on?

Well we have a new player in our neighborhood, hopefully we can find common cause against the Tengri locals. I wouldn't mind splitting Hungary between us.

Meanwhile my Chancellor has been hard at work over in Nitra buttering up the only other independent Catholic Count in our neighborhood. He has a daughter that is only a few years older than Tvrdoslav's only son Dragan. I sent the Chancellor there to improve relations hoping it would persuade said Count into a betrothal.

I chose him because he's close, he's Catholic, and would make a swell Ally.

After the relation improvement I request the betrothal that he said no to a few years ago.


Thank god he said yes!

In another 8 to 10 years we may have our first alliance. Maybe things aren't looking so bad after all. Then again, I don't think things could get much worse.
 
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mike the knight

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Stuyvesant

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Bit of a rollercoaster ride to begin with: up and down, very quickly. Given that it happened in 3 years time, I suspect that the 8 to 10 years until the kiddos can be hitched, will be very eventful. And probably not in the good way - well, not good for you, the player - probably very entertaining for us, the readers. :)

It sure is a great step down from the mighty Abbasids to the now-exiled-in-Szekesfehervar count of Varazdin. But maybe this Manichean 'Conqueror' dude can help you cover yourself in glory.
 

tnick0225

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Part 3.1 - Szekesfehervar

@mike the knight: Claiming that second county is what saved me...probably would have been game over already if I hadn't of done that!

@Stuyvesant: It was a roller coaster ride that last one. I don't think this update will be so much up and down, more like boredom because there's nothing I can do.

@WingedLion14: Haha so very true!

~~~~~
Part 3.1 - Szekesfehervar​



A betrothal with my neighbor set up nicely, finally. What else should I do though? I can't go conquering right now, so I sit and let Paradox make the decisions for me for a bit. I'm sure there'll be something to make life a little more entertaining in Szekesfehervar.

The peasants petition me to pay for their fairs. Apparently the Tengri populace enjoys fairs, I really wish my Chaplain would hurry up and convert these heathens.


My Chancellor fabricates a claim for the County of Pecs, the capital region of the Duchy I'd like to usurp, I don't really need a claim on it, a simple Holy War would work out fine to capture it, but its a good option to just press a claim for it so that no other Tengri or Slavic nations join in on the war.


I go look my prisoners and think for a little bit. I'm not an Abbasid anymore trying to imprison anyone and everyone in the realm so getting rid of some of these guys would be useful.

So I begin ransoming some of the Greeks that I've been housing in the dungeons to get some extra cash.


Boredom continues to set in and I notice Rus has trasformed back into Gardiki or however it is spelled. I go look at the history files again there, and notice that at one time for a short period they had a Shia ruler.


The Rurikids went Shia???

Apparently the Muslim Proselytizers are fairly good, as this won't be the last instance of a major realm's ruler deciding to follow Allah.

While looking at the map I get the Hedge Knights in my little County. I'm nice to them and give them money for medicine and such. No point being mean to these guys and it helps fill in the time while I think about my next moves.

I continue to look around the world and much to my surprise Anatolia has gained independence from Ashraf's Abbasid Empire.


I guess I shouldn't say to my surprise, I did predict this outcome. It's an interesting one as well. It lessens Ashraf's power a bit, and also gives us a pretty new independent Sultanate, I also notice Ashraf moved the capital out of Baghdad which is curious. He is still Caliph though, guess the AI just thinks the Caliphs need to rule out of Syria.

Tvrdoslav has a run in with a priest then.


Not sure what exactly the priest would ruin. But making an example to the Tengri populace is probably a great idea so that's what we will do.

Which is when I get an announcement that the Pope has died and we now have Pope Nicholas II of the d'Eu dynasty...he's also a Frankish Pope. I did notice with the advent of SoA that the Pope's come and go rather fast, lots of old guys, which is better than the way it used to work. In fact there was a string in the history file of a three years with three Pope's so longevity in that office is no more.

Apparently making Tvrdoslav go to church all the time has paid off, and the Tengri's in our one and only County have decided to all convert to Catholocism finally.


This is a good thing, very good thing. I am surprised however that I haven't been Holy Warred by Poland-Hungary yet. So I go over and look and that is when it dawns on me that my fears may have been overstated. Poland-Hungary is gavelkind succession, meaning when their old King Nanbor dies Poland will go to one son and Hungary to the other.

I'm sure they will start a war to reunify the crowns should such a thing happen which means their lands will be ripe for war. So with that in mind I relax a little and decide to continue my wait.

During my wait, I go on a grand hunt. Which was rather uneventful save having one of my courtiers kill the White Hart for me.

After the successful hunt, I notice something remarkably fishy about the ERE. And apparently Anatolia is back within the grasp of Ashraf. I thought they had officially gained independence but apparently I was wrong.


What in the hell???

They've gone Sunni?

Remember I said the Muslims have good proselytizers?

Apparently they are excellent top tier guys. And a Sunni Emperor, I can't imagine that will be of any help towards overall stability in the Eastern Roman Empire.

Seeing them go Sunni, and also immediately after seeing the vassals of the ERE erupt in a massive fire of rebellion, I become stressed.


I can completely understand how this would make a guy stressed.

But there is one upside to this new situation. Duchess Kyra Makedon of Slavonia has joined the rebellion giving me a chance to attack her and reclaim Varazdin.


I call forth the levies, and a mercenary unit and march them to my former castle to take it by force.

Everything starts out great. In fact for a few minutes I think I may very well reclaim the land.


Unfortunately the war comes to an inconclusively as the Byzantine rebels succeed in their war by installing Emperor Antonios Manikophagos upon the throne. So long to Sunni ERE, at least for the moment...

I send the mercenaries home, pissed I spent gold on something that proved not to work out. I really wanted to reclaim our former territory. That would have been a sweet beautiful victory for us. But no such luck here.

While I lick my damaged pride a little I once again letting the time slip away.

Which is when this pop up happens:


The King of Asturias has decided to proclaim his Kingdom Leon instead. I found this interesting I had no idea this was an actual event in game. So long to Asturias and hello to Leon.

I get curious and go over and look at Iberia and get a nice surprise it has changed a little bit!


We now have Leon, Galicia, Castille, and Navarra. Only one we're missing is Aragon, and Portugal, doubt Portugal will form it never really does. And their capitals are for some bizarre reason lined up all nice and neat in almost a straight line.

The AI has done remarkable work down there.

While pondering the beauty of the AI's Iberian borders I am notified Tvrdoslav's son Dragan has come of age, and it is time to marry him to the Count of Nitra's daughter.


That's just how much time has passed in this update. See how far we go in the future when there's nothing to do?

At least we have an alliance now and may be able to accomplish a few things.

During the intervening down time which I spend wondering if I'll ever be able to accomplish anything I am told my wife wants a present to make her happy. See she has hated me ever since my co-conspirator announced to the Tengris that I wanted her assassinated. So it has been an icy cold marriage lately. But she is super old! So instead of spending my money on her I keep it for myself and go spend it on some of the local newly converted prostitutes in the village.

In the year 981 a year after my son got married, he also produces a baby boy, which he names after me, Tvrdoslav.


Following the birth of Trvdoslav the younger, I send men out and about our little county to take a census of all the sheep and cows and also to ensure that the Tengris are actually converted to Catholicism.

I get another notification the Nicholas II has died and a new pope named Vigilius II has been elected. He is the second Pope from the Supponidi Dynasty in fact his cousin was Pope Callixtus II "the Great" who ruled from 930 to 943, I think he may have been the Pope that led the successful Crusade for Aquitaine. I'm sure Vigilius II won't last long on St. Peter's throne though, due him being 60 years old already.

I then notice that the ERE has once more erupted in a large nasty civil war. And seeing that I have an ally now I decide to declare war for Varazdin yet again.


I call my son's father-in-law for help and the bastard says "Nope!".

Great.

Why did ally with him again? He's proving useless already. So once again we're going it alone in this war. Wonder if it will work out better than the last time.

My levies, bolstered by the usual Mercenary regiment quickly siege several holdings, pushing our warscore up towards 60%


Things then come to a standstill. Duchess Kyra is not wanting to budge and I wonder why? Oh well time to go siege her capital.

As my men are the move, Pope Vigilius II sends me a message.


He wishes to one up his cousin Callixtus the Great by conquering Jerusalem in a Crusade. I laugh about this. I set the Abbasids up to where such a silly attempt would well not work out.

I highly doubt Christendom can rip Jerusalem from Ashraf's fingers. I would join in the Crusade, but I know it is futile and its not like I could even be successful at such a thing anyways being a little Count and all.

So I continue pestering Duchess Kyra. I'm hoping I can enforce demands soon.

But I fear Paradox has other plans for our little Count Tvrdoslav.
 

mike the knight

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tnick0225

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@mike the knight: It did surprise me, but they didn't stay Muslim very long. The Shia Rurikid was overthrown and think they're ruled by the Slavs again, and the Sunni Emperor of the Byzantines was overthrown so they're back to Orthodox at the moment so things seem to be returning to normal for now.

@Avindian: Thank you! Glad you are enjoying this one as well!

@TheKaspa: I hope there will be victories in the future...but it isn't looking all too promising, but we can hope!