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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

PSDuckie

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With RoI coming out tomorrow, I thought I'd start an AAR once it comes out. This will be that AAR.

A few ground rules:
  • I will be playing with a mod of my own design that adds the "Abyssal" religion (coded as a Catholic heresy). More information on that will be in the Prologue. I will not be using any other mods.
  • I will be starting an Old Gods start as an Abyssal Count in an area that would normally be Catholic.
  • My ruler and heirs may never convert from Abyssal. Ever.
  • My goal for this AAR is to spread Abyssal across as much of the map as I can. Taking territory is only a means to an end.
  • I will not be converting to EU4, even if I survive to the end of the game.
  • Finally, I will not be using Ironman mode. That said, I will not savescum.

Chapter list:

Prologue (2006)

The Reign of Earl Damien I (867-869)
Chapter I (867-869)

The Reign of King Damien I (869-881)
Chapter II (869-872)
Chapter III (872-877)
Chapter IV (878-880)
Chapter V (880-881)
 
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PSDuckie

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I honestly haven't decided yet, just as I haven't decided where to start.

I also forgot to put something else in my first post: save-editing. I will be save-editing to change certain character names unless there is a better way to do so. I will not be changing any kind of statistics whatsoever.
 

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Prologue

June 6, 2006
Somewhere in the midwest United States


It was Damien del Dia's sixteenth birthday, and he had just gotten his learner's permit. Granted, he had gotten some driving practice in private parking lots, but now he was ready to practice driving on public roads. Damien's father was working at the Nine Helps Mental Hospital, and it was almost the end of his shift. With his mother in the passenger seat, Damien set out for the hospital, excited to use his new learner's permit to pick his father up from work.

However, that was not to be. When Damien reached the parking lot at Nine Helps, he drove too quickly into the parking space he had chosen. The family car crashed head-on into a well cap. Damien's mother was shaken, but Damien himself was not so lucky.


Hell

Damien woke up. He knew that he had been in a car accident, but he was definitely not in the car anymore. Had he been thrown from the car? No, he was wearing his seatbelt when the crash happened. Suddenly, he heard a deep voice call to him.

"Damien del Dia...welcome to hell."

"No...this can't be..." Damien was a practicing Catholic; he couldn't be in hell! He just couldn't!

"It can be and it is." The voice was getting closer; Damien started to pray, hoping that it wasn't who he thought it was.

But it was who he thought it was. It was the Devil himself.

"I've been waiting for you to come here, Damien del Dia. Your father is one of my greatest agents in this time."

"My father would never work for you!"

"Oh, but he does! Your family has been on my side for over a thousand years. I'd like to make you a deal, Damien del Dia."

"No, Satan. I will never deal with you."

"Fine, then. I guess I'll have to torment you in hell for all eternity. Or until you see things your family's way."

Three hours later

The torment had broken Damien. "What is it you want?"

"I will send you back in time to 867. There, you will build a kingdom in my name!"

"Me...a king! I like that idea!"

"Then go. Take up your family's ancestral name...Damien del Diablo."
 

Hyena Dandy

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Oooh, I always like a little horror with my AARs. Subbed!
 

Hyena Dandy

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My pleasure!
 

PSDuckie

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The Reign of Earl Damien I
Chapter I


January 1, 867
Dunasead, Desmond


The next thing he knew, Damien was in the year 867 in the southwest of what, in his time, was Ireland. But he didn’t know what the political situation was in 867; he hadn’t paid much attention in history class at school. He looked at the nearby castle, wishing that it would be his. The castle drawbridge lowered, and a beautiful young woman walked across.



“I have been waiting for you, my Earl. My name is Aliisza. Come inside and I’ll explain things.”
Damien followed Aliisza into the castle. She told him that his coming was foretold by the Devil and that she was to help him. And with that, Damien del Diablo’s quest for evil began…

Damien’s first task was to banish the Catholic landholders from his realm.



He gave the bishopric to the one person that shared his goals – Aliisza – and kept the city for himself. He also named Aliisza his spymaster; she was the only council member that was serving willingly. The others were Catholics forced to serve under threat of death.



Damien sent his chancellor to fabricate a claim on the neighboring county of Ormond. According to the chancellor, he could attack immediately if he wanted, but then he would have the entire island attacking him. This was not what Damien wanted.



Damien had the rest of his council focus on the interior of his domain: his marshal trained his troops, his steward collected taxes, and Aliisza tried to find any plots against her liege.

January 3, 868

One of Damien’s subjects told him that he would be a better spymaster than Aliisza.



Damien needed a court chaplain, and he thought Aliisza would be perfect for that job. So, knowing that it would make Aliisza upset, he granted the man’s request. However, when Damien asked Aliisza to remain on the council as court chaplain, she refused! He gave her the title of High Almoner, hoping that she would change her mind. But she didn’t.

July 12, 868

This was a bad day for the forces of evil. Their leader, Damien del Diablo, lost one of the Seven Deadly Sins.



August 3, 868

Upset with his chancellor’s lack of progress in claiming Ormond for the Abyssal forces, Damien decided to invade his other neighbor to the north, the county of Thomond – and anyone who tried to stop him would receive their eternal reward in the fires of Hell.



Damien immediately “borrowed” 300 gold from Jewish moneylenders, and then banished them for failing to show proper respect to the Devil.

Sure enough, when the Abyssal troops moved into Thomond, the neighboring counties raised their own levies. Damien used the gold he had “borrowed” to hire mercenaries that either did not know or did not care that they were doing the Devil’s bidding, and sent them to the front lines.

While Damien was sieging Thomond, the Catholic forces had decided to cut the head off the Abyssal snake by sieging Damien’s own castle! Damien couldn’t abandon the siege of Thomond, and right before the castle fell, Aliisza had a son, who she named after her liege.

Luckily, Aliisza and her newborn son were able to escape the fallen castle, and Abyssal forces quickly moved to retake it. The Abyssal and Catholic armies clashed outside the walls of Damien’s castle, and as the Abyssal forces celebrated their victory, Damien got news from Ormond. His chancellor finally had that claim he was supposed to get two years earlier! Damien made a mental note to punish the chancellor for his tardiness.







With the victory in Thomond, will Damien be able to keep taking land?
 
Last edited:

Hyena Dandy

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This is really interesting. I like what you're doing with it. If I can make a small suggestion, perhaps you could try to provide some context around the events. It's very barebones, as it stands, which is fine. Bones can be as bare as you like, but with all the horror potential, perhaps you could put some fluff about it in?
 

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Well, just look around the forums and see what people are doing. Look for the type of thing you want in tone. I think that the great thing about CK2 is that as events wear on, you start getting more and more invested in characters. I'm liking what you've done, though. But anyone who knows me knows I'm a pushy critic, so if you think any of my advice is not what you want, feel free to push back.
 

PSDuckie

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Finally, I found some time to write another Abyssal chapter!

The Reign of King Damien I
Chapter II


November 9, 869


With Thomond safely in Abyssal hands, Damien decided that he should no longer be referred to as “Earl.” Instead, he should be known as “King!”



The newly-crowned King granted Thomond’s bishopric to one of his loyal followers, and made that man his Court Chaplain, a position that had until that time been vacant.



Damien immediately set his new Chaplain to the task of converting his lands to the Abyssal ways, and set his own sights on the neighboring provinces. He would stop at nothing to claim them as his own, and his royal decree that the Abyssal Church would provide him with as many forces as it could showed that!

As part of his “stop-at-nothing” strategy, Damien hired mercenaries that he could not afford for an attack on Ormond.




Needless to say, the attack failed when Damien ran out of gold and the mercenaries left. Worse, while Damien was on the battlefield, two disturbing things happened. First, he received a foreboding message…



And second, he took an arrow not in the knee, but just below. According to some of the more seasoned combatants, if the arrow had hit just a bit higher, Damien would have never been able to fight again. As it was, it would leave a scar, but it would heal.

(Chronicler’s note: I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a Skyrim joke, even though Skyrim didn’t exist in 2006!)



Surprisingly, Ormond accepted a white peace, even though they had clearly won the war. But Damien swore that he would one day rule that land.



December 29, 870

The Spymaster that had been appointed back in 868 had since been fired for poor performance, and Aliisza had been given the job back. Once again, he claimed to Damien that he would make a better Spymaster than Aliisza. This time, Damien told him that he was still fired, and that if he asked again, he would get a free trip to the dungeons. As the man left, Damien wondered if he had done the right thing in giving him a second chance. Aliisza told Damien that if the man had indeed learned his lesson, then the answer was yes.

May 5, 871

Two people got married in the Catholic tradition. This was highly illegal in the Abyssal realm. To make matters worse, one of them was Damien’s Chancellor! Damien ordered both newlyweds captured and imprisoned, but using the Chancellor’s knowledge of Damien’s own escape routes, they escaped from the Abyssal realm.



June 9, 871

Aliisza was once again pregnant. Damien took the news the same as he had taken the news of her last pregnancy: with sheer enjoyment.

July 3, 871

After the marriage debacle, the Chancellor’s position had been empty for almost two months. Damien finally announced the replacement Chancellor: out of all of the poorly-qualified candidates, Damien picked the least poorly-qualified.

(Chronicler’s note: Yes, I think a 10 is poorly qualified. His skill raised to 11 after I picked him but before I took the picture.)



December 7, 871

Damien had almost forgotten about the message he had received during the disastrous war for Ormond. Almost, but not quite. So he was not surprised when Lorcán, the man that he had been warned about, declared war on him.




The question was, who would win? The evil forces of the Abyssal, or the righteous Lorcán’s Host?

It wasn’t even a question. The war was over within a month. Lorcán’s 1,800-man-strong force completely overpowered the Abyssal forces, which were still weakened from Ormond. Lorcán took Thomond for his own, but left Damien his stronghold of Desmond.

Shortly after the loss of Thomond, Aliisza gave birth to a baby daughter, whom she named after herself.

Will Damien recover from these losses and triumph over his newest enemy?
 
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volksmarschall

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Nice AAR with a good blend of gameplay pics and narrative elements - I suppose this is the new direction that traditional narratives have taken.

Cheers!
 

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The Reign of King Damien I – Chapter III

May 22, 872


One of the Abyssal priests decided he would help himself to some of the King’s money. Unfortunately for the priest, he got caught.



November 10, 872

Aliisza had been ill for the past few months, and on this day the illness took her to her eternal reward in Hell. King Damien was devastated. The woman that had been by his side for more than five years – the woman that was the mother of his children – was dead.

Night of November 16, 872

As Damien slept, he was contacted in his dreams by the Devil.
“I understand that Aliisza has returned to me. I will be sending a new demoness in her place. Expect her tomorrow.”

November 17, 872

Damien was taking care of various kingly duties when a servant told him that a young woman was at the gates asking to see him. Remembering what had happened the previous night, he immediately rushed to the gates to find that she was almost as beautiful as Aliisza.
“My name is Sláíne, and it is an honor to serve you, my king.”

January 3, 873

Damien’s council had been incomplete for two months. On this day, the King finally put an end to that, appointing new councilors to replace those that had died.



Damien immediately set his Court Chaplain to rooting out the remaining Catholics in his realm.

July 22, 873

On this day, Sláíne announced to her king that she was pregnant with his child.




July 26, 873

Damien’s Chancellor, a Catholic that had been forced to serve, approached Sláíne and attempted to convert her to Catholicism. Normally this act would have earned him a slow, painful death, but he was more useful to Damien alive. Sláíne, of course, let her king know what was going on, and Damien gave his Chancellor two choices. Either he could convert to the Abyssal faith immediately or Damien and Sláíne would torture him to death. He chose to convert.



December 17, 873

One of Damien’s courtiers envied him and wanted to either become part of the council or hold Thomond if it was ever retaken. Damien told the courtier that he might think about it.



February 23, 874

Sláíne gave birth to a son, whom she named Donncuan.

October 14, 874

While Abyssal Bishops had a lot of freedoms, kidnapping the King’s daughter was not one of them. For this crime, the King’s Court Chaplain lost his head.



April 8, 876

Damien walked into Sláíne’s private chambers, seething with rage. “Why did YOU start a plot to kill MY heir?” Sláíne replied that she thought Donncuan would be a better heir, which only made Damien angrier. “You may have been sent by the Devil himself, but you do NOT decide the affairs of MY kingdom! SLÁÍNE, YOU ARE FIRED!!!” With that, Damien drew his sword and drove it directly through Sláíne, leaving her dead.




Night of April 10, 876

Once again, Damien was contacted in his dreams by the Devil.
“You did well in destroying Sláíne. She may have been one of my demonesses, but you are my Chosen. Remember that. I will send one more, but now that you have Abyssal women, this will be the last.”

April 11, 876

Once again, a beautiful woman appeared at the gates. This time her name was Áine. Damien knew exactly what to do.

September 3, 876

Damien started to instruct his son and heir in the ways of the Abyssal on this day.



October 14, 876

Damien Jr.’s instruction was going well, as he picked up one of the Seven Deadly Sins.



February 13, 877

King Damien would be a father yet again, as Áine was pregnant with his child.




June 27, 877

Damien ordered that the first ever Abyssal Summer Fair be held in Desmond as a way to spread the Abyssal faith.



During the Abyssal Summer Fair

An Abyssal priest preached about how the so-called “sins” of the Catholic Church were really virtues, and how at the end of the world, faithful Abyssal would receive their eternal reward in Hell.



After the Abyssal Summer Fair

While shutting down an illegal Catholic sermon, one of Damien’s Abyssal enforcers overheard one of the Catholics talking about how “all animals were God’s creatures.” After the King heard this, he decided to kill some, simply to spite the Catholics.



While King Damien and the hunting party were away, Áine gave birth to a baby boy.



During the Grand Hunt

Damien and his hunting party managed to kill an entire drove of hares. Not wanting the meat to go to waste, he took it back to prepare for stew.



The Grand Hunt was now over. What would happen to Damien next?
 
Last edited:

volksmarschall

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