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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Korashy

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Preface:

Hello Everyone,

I've lately been having the itch to knock out the achievements in the game and figured I make some AAR's to go along with them where interested people can follow and maybe give me some idea / get some ideas on their own.

I'm going to start this trip doing "Iron Crown" achievement, which requires a Lombard cultured ruler to basically hold a Kingdom or Empire title past 1300.

Along the way I'm hoping to also knock out:

Prester John: As a Catholic, have a border with Miaphysite Abyssinia
Saint Thomas's Dream: Rule an Indian Kingdom or Empire as a Christian and convert all its provinces
Seven Centuries: Play from 769 to 1453

along with some other minor achievements

Bookmarks (should read preface first if new):

01/01/757 - 01/08/790 King Desiderius
Chapter I: Re-Appropriation and the ADN
Chapter II: A Dream of Democracy
Chapter III: Justice of the Victor

01/08/790 - 12/14/811 King Adelchis 'the Hunter'

Chapter IV: The Cripples Peace
Chapter V: The Hunter's War
Chapter VI: A different kind of War

12/14/811 - 05/23/849 King Korashy 'the Good'
Chapter VII: Against Heathen, Heretic, and Infidel
Chapter VIII: Can you Spot the Bug?
Chapter IX: The Fires of Bavaria
Chapter X: Observing God
Chapter XI: The King and the Pope
Chapter XII: Family Matters

05/23/849 - 09/15/851 King Korashy II 'the Cruel'
Chapter XIII: The things you can do in two years

09/15/851 - 07/09/898 Kaiser Adelchis I 'the Just'
Chapter XIV: Hands to the Heavens
Chapter XV: Faith is mostly Politics
Chapter XVI: Chaos in the East
Chapter XVII: West vs East
Chapter XVIII: Jerusalem, you holiest of Cities!
Chapter XIX: The Heir of Rome
Chapter XX: The Kaiser's Vow

We'll start the game as King Desiderius of Lombardy (note: I thought I had to hold Lombardy and not any kingdom I choose, so I figured might as well do it as old Desi), who the Lombard cultured King of Lombardy (Italy). We start the game pretty old already at the ancient age of 52, with 5 adult daughters and an adolescent boy who is also our heir.

IC_1_zpsv3fq51qy.png


Not the best stats, Diplomacy is okay, but low for a Grey Eminence, Marshal is abhorrent, stewardship is decentish but nothing great, Intrigue is pretty good, learning bad (but who needs learning).

Traits are also not that great. Lustful is useless, I want to avoid more kids, Cruel is always bad, so is envious.

Usually I would have restarted this as traits and stats of both the ruler and the heir are random, but our heir Prince Adelchis actually has some decentish stats

IC_2_zpsz1aiyp8k.png


Prince Adelchis has some fairly high Diplomacy and Stewardship and traits Trusting (not good) and Honest (decent). With a Marshal education he will most likely turn out to be an acceptable ruler.

Besides our young prince we have 3 unmarried daughters to marry off.

Princess Dauferada is married off to the Strategos Lucio of Sardinia

IC_3_zpstcqls8ni.png


Note: This turned out pretty useless, if I was going to start over I would have married her off to someone in my realm probably for the + opinion.

Princess Anselperga is married to King Ciniod II of Pictland

IC_4_zpsyjqtifj8.png


Note: She's actually the best daughter that I got, I married her off for the Prestige, the alliance itself is useless as her Husband is too far to aid me.

Princess Gerberga is married to King Karl

IC_5_zpsmgd2d08k.png


Note: Her stats and traits are pretty bad, she's also lustful which means that she'll be popping out bastards soon enough. Take that Karl. (Karl is always hit or miss, I want the alliance in case he goes full on Charlemagne, while also gimping him statwise a little bit).

The other two daughters are already married to the Duke of Benevento and the King of Bavaria at game start.

I decide to try and become Exalted Among Men and also pick up the Hunting Focus for the extra health and Marshal, which are both desperately needed.

IC_6_zpsea4ebft8.png



REALM SETUP

Let's talk Realm and Demesne for a bit:

Personally we hold the Counties of:

Pavia (our Capital and the de jure Capital of Lombardy)
Cremona (inside of the de jure Duchy of Lombardy, in which our capital is also located)
Firenze (part of the duchy of Tuscany)

The game starts us of with 5 duke level vassals and a bunch of counts:

Duke of Fruili
This guy actually holds none of his de jure vassals and his 2 counties are in the de jure duchy of Carinthia, which doesn't yet exist nor can it be created at game start. This guy seriously hates our guts because of 4x desires control of X province opinion modifier which is -25 a piece. I could remedy this and make him love me by transfer vassalage, but I'm reluctant to do that as it would create a very powerful vassal (he will immediately revoke the capital county of his de jure if I transfer it, giving him 3 provinces and 3 vassals)

Duke of Tuscany:
Minor player really, he dislikes us because he wants Firenze, which is currently in our demesne.

Duke of Spoleto:
Also technically a minor player, he holds his de jure duchy + has Ancona as a vassal

Duke of Ivrea:
Minor player, holds his de jure minus Monferrato (for which he hates us) + Nice

Duke of Benevento:
Now this guy is a real problem, he's easily the most powerful of our vassals and much more powerful than me even. He holds all territory in his de jure Duchy + 7 vassals in the kingdom of Sicily (basically everything not controlled by the Byzantines). Luckily our daughter is married to this guy and he loves us (100 opinion) due to our alliance.

Situation: This is looking pretty grim, due to my 0 Marshal I can only raise a few hundred levies, which makes everyone of my dukes stronger than me, even the technically minor threats are problems.

We desperate need to increase our demesne, even though we won't get that many troops from it (-40% for low Marshal owner), so we start the game how every good CK2 game should start off: Assassination

IC_7_zpsvdy2qzdk.png


If we manage to succeed in our plot we will inherit the county of Lombardy, a 6 holding county in our de jure Duchy of Lombardia, besides the regular city and temple vassal it also comes with one extra baron, which is why we are desperate to get our hands on it.

Will our sinis.... righteous plot succeed? Will Desiderius live to see his son come of age? Is the Duke of Friuli hatching some kind of fiendish devilish plan? Find out in the next episode of Iron Crown (without vikings).
 
Last edited:

Korashy

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Chapter I: Re-Appropriation and the ADN

To answer the question of the Preface: Of course the Duke of Friuli is hatching a fiendish devilish plan. Namely a faction for Elective Succession (like this is some kind of democracy). Who does he want to elect anyways himself? Please, he can't even rule his de jure lands.

More importantly however, our righteous plot to um... re-appropriate some lands is progressing smoothly as our loyal minions are sending some nice Repomen to re-appropriate that land for us.

IC_8_zpsy1tr1bci.png


A month later our lawyer (spymaster) returns with all the proper forms filled out and a smooth re-appropriation, with no one off for the worst, well except Count Paldo, but he's dead anyways. Also our Son in Law King Karl is having some issue with pesky vassals. Maybe we can get together and complain about the Duke of Friuli and his foolish notions of democracy.

IC_9_zpsxecq4psh.png


I accept the Call to Arms, but have no intention of actually fighting. The game has only ran for a few months at this point and my low troop count is already making the fools claymoring for this democracy nonsense a threat. Gaining Lombardy quickly and without getting caught is a big boon at this point, but still only drops on hot stone.

IC_10_zpsalghj1ym.png


Carrying on with our successful re-appropriation campaign, we send our lawyer to Count Gaidoald of Brescia to let him know that we'll be needing his lands. Brescia is another county in the de jure Duchy of Lombardia and we still have 2 free demesne slots to fill. No choice at this point but to keep on re-appropriating.

IC_11_zpsmule4neh.png


What this doesn't actually show is that we encountered some difficulties during this re-appropriation, namely we were caught. We are now known murders which is very, very bad, as this -10 opinion modifier will surely only embolden the Duke of Friuli's Alliance for Democratic Nonsense.

Meanwhile our Son in Law King Karl actually surrendered to the rebel scum not even a year after the start of the war. I'm not entirely sure what happened, I'm assuming he was captured

Luckily we are still managing to keep the domestic ADN rebel scum in check, if only barely.

IC_12_zpsubw565et.png



Emboldened by the rebel victory against King Karl, the Duke of Friuli thought himself safe enough to openly "research" his claim to the Kingdom of Lombardy. Obviously we knew all along that the fiend was only using this democratic nonsense as a cover for his own vile aspirations (seriously, electing a leader? PAH!). Armed men are sent to fetch the vile Duke for my dungeon.

IC_13_zpso1jn1fn1.png


Note: Faction Strength of was getting out of hand at this point. The Elective faction had more than 100% at this point was probably only moments away from firing. When I saw I could arrest my nemesis I was first excited, but upon checking the chance a bit less so. 52% with 10% from that being from my Marshal is really chancy (sending the Marshal was already a big risk as he was increasing troop size before). At this point it's really all or nothing. If I manage to arrest him I will buy some time from the faction, if not outright kill it. If I fail he will rebel and the faction with him.

Since I was going to fight the faction either way and already sent my Marshal I just pressed the button and.......

IC_14_zpsstfvgkzp.png


Immediately wished I was Greek! Ha take that vile scum, try the democracy of my dungeons!

A few months later our Son in Law the King of Bavaria asked us to war!

IC_15_zps1pyyqsch.png


Again we accept in name only. We are too old for this, can barely hold a sword and traitorous forces of democracy are still at work. Capturing the ADN's head, while very pleasing, doesn't seem to have made the madmen come to their sense.

In defense of the best government (the one I run) a retinue of Pike and Archers is formed (Generic Defense retinue). Meanwhile this Son in Law is actually making his old man (in law) proud!

IC_16_zpsopfqq0yz.png



But just as righteous men are taking up the Pike and Bow in defense of their King, more trouble is stirring with the treacherous ADN and reports indicate that the Count Ursus of Padua has followed in his foolish brother's (the vile and despicable Duke of Friuli) footsteps and pushed his treason to far. Again a possible arrest, again the predicament: A successful arrest weakens the ADN, a blunder will surely lead to war.

IC_17_zps816c9kpa.png


I read somewhere that some guy around here said something about throwing dice, maybe if my learning was better I knew who or why. Anyways, let's throw dice!

IC_18_zpsyfcuvuoc.png


Ha join your treasonous and vile brother ADN scum! Another blow to the ADN, fools and madmen, all of them!

IC_19_zpsylnjvvee.png


DAMN YOU DUKE OF FRIULI!!!!! THERE WILL BE NO ELECTIONS!

Closing comments: I'm actually a bit upset by this. I was doing fairly well in suppressing the faction, but the Duke of Benevento (who again is easily the strongest man in the realm) was brought into the faction via event even though his opinion of me 100.
 

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Will you be forming the HRE? Also, I recommend marrying off a daughter to the Romans to get an alliance to fight off this faction.
 

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Will you be forming the HRE? Also, I recommend marrying off a daughter to the Romans to get an alliance to fight off this faction.

I tried to get a BYZ alliance, but they wouldn't have any of that. I'm not sure where this is going to go besides the achievement goals. This is the first time i've played a Catholic in years, so I'm having to change my usual tactics a lot.
 

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Chapter II: A Dream of Democracy

War it is then. Let's look at our resources and those of our enemies:

Our careful (and sometimes not so careful) maneuvering wasn't able to avoid a direct confrontation with the degenerate ADN, but it has delivered us into a much stronger position than before. We have gained 2 additional counties, bringing the royal demesne to 5 counties from which 3 are getting the capital duchy and one the capital county (25% and 50% respectively) bonus. We have also managed to eliminate two faction members through imprisonment.

Royal Righteous Defenders of the Realm (RRDR):

Troops:
Our total levies are a little under 1300 men (including vassal levies)
Note: Each of my counties is giving me a pitiful 220 men, with my capital providing 286. As a said 0 Marshal is brutal.

Cash:
Our war chest includes 264 ducats, and we are running a monthly deficit of around -1.7 ducats with levies raised.
Note: I was able to build this up due to the imprisonments delaying the faction and inheriting gold from the assassinated vassals. I also have another 210 ducats that I could ransom from the vile Duke of Friuli and his despicable brother the Count of Padua, but the plan is to avoid having to "draw" on these funds.

Alliances: No one useful is willing to and able to help. We are on our own.

Alliance of Democratic Nonsense (ADN):

Faction members:
Duke of Spoletto (Leader)
Duke of Benevento (My Son in Law who must have been taken hostage to betray his beloved father. Also the primary military muscle)
Count of Modena
Count of Orbito

Troops:
Around 2500 men

Alliances: None

Immediately we combine our demesne troops and march on the Count of Modena, catching out around 250 troops and delivering us our first (yet small victory)

IC_20_zps6faasepn.png



This cuts down the ADN's forces to a little over 2000 men. Still significantly more than we can field. To even the odds we hire the Saxon Band for 150 ducats and a monthly few of 10 ducats, bringing our troop count to 3174 men. Knowing that we cannot afford our German brethren for long, we immediately march for the ADN's main force which is close to completing their siege of our castle in Firenze.

IC_21_zpsofdq534b.png


At the last minute the Saxon commander suggested crossing the river into Pisa first before striking at the traitorous loons. Understanding nothing about military matters our King decided to follow what seemed to be prudent advice and early in January 772 the RRDR engaged the ADN main host in the hills of Firenze.

IC_22_zpsenn3ustq.png


Note: On paper this is looks like a wrapped case, we have 33% more troops, but the enemy has the hills defensive bonus and really anything can happen with non optimized troops.

Several days later the melee is joined

IC_23_zps5rnhwqln.png


Even though we had 33% more troops, we actually lost more than him at this point, and both of his flanks are winning decisively, while we have the upper hand in the center.
Note: This is looking pretty grim

IC_24_zpsvurr2vz0.png


Then comes a huge reversal. While my right flank broke, the left flank hit an affinity tactic (affinity tactics provide 300% combat bonus on top of tactic boni), while the center manager to turn it's earlier advantage into a route. The center and left flank then devastated the ADN's right flank, routing the entire army.

Note: It may not look like it in the screens, but I had actually written the battle of as a loss and was about to ransom my prisoners for more mercs when the reversal came about. Two of my commanders were also slain.

After the miracle of Firenze, the ADN retreated into the mountains of Bologna, where their entire army was finally destroyed.

Map of the Rebellion

IC_25_zpsmsu9s7ad.png


Democracy in Chains

IC_26_zps0nbivrbm.png


Note: This was a war were everything went right, I got a royalist event right of the bat (since my marshal was zero i only got like 36 troops so I didn't bother showing it), there were no vultures, for some reason the ADN didn't hire any mercenaries and I managed crush them in a very close decisive battle.

Aftermath:

IC_27_zpshbd71b5j.png


We ransom the count of Modena as we desperately need to replenish our coffers. The war has cost us over 200 ducats. We also cannot revoke any titles at this point, so we are releasing the Duke of Benevento who cannot afford his ransom. The rest of the ADN scum remains chained in our dungeon.

Note: I'm releasing him because he likes me a ton, also it gives me +15 (Merciful) opinion with all my vassals, and crucially it provides me with some guaranteed votes for an increase in Crown Authority which is desperately needed.

With order restored by the sword we turn our attention to finding a suitable match to the soon to be of age Prince Adelchis. Having seen the uselessness of allies, and recognizing that victory against the ADN was only possible by outmaneuvering and outsmarting our opponents the King of Lombardy let it be known that his son and heir, was to marry the most intelligent women to be found, in hopes that her genius may bless the our gentry.

When a messengers finally returned, having found the smartest women, the King cringed. A wench of lower noble blood, and suspected of adultery to boot!

IC_28_zpsxfkutmbo.png


The shame this match would bring upon his son is unimaginable, but this is not a democracy and the King is known as a harsh and stubborn man. A betrothal was proposed and accepted.

Another traitor is uncovered and RRDR men make the arrest in the night.

IC_29_zpsnog25dlg.png


The traitor, having learned his lesson is ransomed several days later.
Note: Having great luck with these arrests!

The question the King asked the potential bridges of his son and heir described his relationship with the Duke of Benevento, who though overtly loyal had betrayed us already and who's power needed to be broken. The solution to the King was thus: Create the Dukedom of Salerno, and grant it to the Duke of Benevento, who's second son, upon his death, will inherit the title, splitting the realm.

CK_30_zpslf2bd1up.png



On January 1st, 775 our son Prince Adelchis of Lombardy finally comes of age

IC_31_zpswupre0oq.png


Note: This was taken before the game updated his education stats into the mix, so his Marshal is actually not 3.

Finally:

IC_32_zpsafrt9ber.png


ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED:

AC_1_zpscavvrazy.png


Closing comments: I'm having a lot of detail because it's been a pretty challenging start (with 0 Marshal) and every little event was basically affecting the balance of power between me and faction. I would also like to note that this is primarily an achievement playthrough, so I will do "gamey" things such as using optimized retinues and marrying low borns for genetic traits. That being said, I hope you guys enjoyed the update. It's been fun playing something else than the pagan steamroller so far.
 
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achmedino

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I like the AAR so far, keep it up with the good work!

Also is there actually an event (or something of the sort) that makes vassals join factions like you mentioned?
 

Korashy

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I like the AAR so far, keep it up with the good work!

Also is there actually an event (or something of the sort) that makes vassals join factions like you mentioned?

Thanks, it's my first AAR so feedback is welcome :) There will be an update or two when I get off work.

As for faction question: Yes spymaster "scheme" option can force people into a faction (or lock them out) for a set period of time. I'm very much suspecting this is what happened here.
 

Korashy

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Chapter III: Justice of the Victor

King Desiderious of Lombardy two days after the marriage of his son.
- 775 Anno Domini

IC_33_zps0bcqfbrw.png


With the lords of the realm remaining in the capital after Prince Adelchis' marriage, King Desiderius requested the Crown Authority be increased, so as to mend the wounds of the civil war. His request was quickly granted, as lords and ladies clamored to show their loyalty to the crown, fearing their previous sympathy to the ADN may have chains placed on their necks.

Only minutes after the lords re-pledged their allegiance to the strengthened crown, the King decreed the revocation of the Duchy of Spoleto, and the Duchy of Friuli. The second revocation caused a minor uproar as the Duke of Frioli had not officially participated in rebellion (having been imprisoned before), but his majesty let it be known that he considered the vile ex-Duke a traitor to the realm and in the end no one was foolish enough to raise official objections.

IC_34_zpslawrt2ql.png


Note: This guy is currently 40 years old and has no children. Notice the seduction focus? He will sire almost 15 children before dying. Seduction focus is crazy out of whack.

Having tasted the glory of combat again, King Desiderius feels invigorated and decides to dedicate his live to the blade.

IC_35_zpse57tuxh2.png


With the lords of the realm firmly under his boot and worries over heaven beginning to creep in the old Kings mind, he decides to take upon himself the most holy of christian duties. That of bringing the cross to the heathen.

Unfortunately the heathen already seemed to have found Jesus.

IC_36_zpscpmp1asv.png


Note: This basically destroyed my entire plan for the early game. My idea was to aggressively push into the Balkans before the ERE can, and secure the crown of Croatia, and perhaps even Serbia, but this guy converted not only 2 years into the game and his heir is already Catholic as well. I also cannot get enough plot power to assassinate both him and his heir, so our holy crusade stopped before it even began.

Two years later, on January 7th, 777 a granddaughter is born Prince Adelchis and his wife.

IC_37_zpsz2r4dqu4.png


Later that year, the highborn lords of the ADN were ransomed, while those of minor import where send to the headsmen. And people called it justice. Our King also received a Hunting Dog, named Hunter which he will train most Diligently.

IC_38_zpsaturet4v.png


Note: Not really sure why this fired even though I switched from the Hunting Focus to the War Focus, but we'll take it. It's not shown here but a follow up decision to the dog give us the trait: Diligent.

Rumors from the east remark the Abbassid Caliphate in a state of Civil War against a heretic Muhammadian religion. The rumors are vague and our King has not the time to asked more learned man about these events.

IC_39_zpsmqkxrivy.png


Another granddaughter is born to our family, she seems a rather unremarkable child.

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In January 780 rumors reached the King that the Count Hilderic of Ravenna was found to be entertaining heretical thoughts. Furious the King demanded his immediate renunciation of his heresy.

IC_41_zpsh6uobk2e.png


Fearing further tendrils of heresy, the King invited the realms lords and ladies to the capital under the pretense of a minor tournament. During a competition loyal men were to search the lords and ladies rooms for any signs of heresy. The jovial tournament came to a disastrous conclusion when a spear Impaled prince Adelchis in the leg, leaving him limp and with a vicious wound.

IC_42_zpsaz3hdz8t.png


Note: Over 60 years old, a maimed heir, who's only children are two toddler daughters. Great...

Attempting to find the spear thrower and would be assassin of his beloved son, our King is resorting to harsher and harsher methods, making people question if it can truly be called Justice anymore.

IC_43_zpse3wzpl36.png


Having heard vague rumors of the implication of the ex (but still vile and despicable) Duke of Friuli in the spear event two years past, the King becomes increasingly more frustrated, and his rage filled outburst have become a stuff of legend in Pavia.

IC_44_zpstplch7ql.png


Several years later news reached his majesty that the majority of the population of Lombardy had embraced their Germanic heritage.

IC_45_zpsj7gtn8c5.png

Note: The king in one of his furious rages tore out his hair and decided to grow a mustache as well. (Barbershop DLC in case anyone is confused)

Another granddaughter was born to Prince Adelchis, but our majesty angry about the lack of a grandson ordered maid to have the girl strangled during one of his drunken and furious rages. When the King awoke, realizing what he had done, he had the maid declared possessed and executed.

IC_46_zpsip7rtb2c.png


Note: At this point I was starting to get really worried about the succession. The King is 68 years old, and Prince Adelchis is 27 and maimed. Both could essentially kick the bucket at any point now and gavelkind with 3 underage girls would be incredibly messy.

A little over a year later, in her grief over the death of her daughter Giso, Princess Ida gave birth to healthy baby boy.

IC_47_zps8eqkp813.png


Note: Well.... now I feel kind of bad.... but we have a Genius heir, lady luck is apparently not worried over a few casualties.

Four years later, on January 8th 790 Anno Domini, at the ancient age of 73 King Desiderius finally found peace, though some whisper that it was not Saint Peter who greeted the King upon his passing.

Several days after his fathers death Prince Adelchis ascends (limps) onto his fathers throne.

IC_48_zps5iewhtc8.png


Long live the King!

Closing Comments: Well that's it for King Desiderius. I had hoped to expand the realm a bit after winning the civil war, but with the Croatian conversion my plan was foiled, and I couldn't get a claim to save my life (over a decade claiming a province at 20% chance and nothing). Putting territorial expansion aside, I think we're in a good position for the future, as we managed to weaken our vassals by revoking ducal titles, increasing our demesne, and most crucially having the seed of a dynastic breeding program sprout. I hope you guys enjoyed the update.
 
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Korashy

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Chapter IV: The Cripples Peace

Achievement Unlocked:


AC_2_zpsln8aekn3.png

Note: Though we technically did not get married, we are playing a character who was not married at game start but is now married, which triggers the achievement for us. There are other achievements you can get on succession as well.

To celebrate his smooth ascension to the throne, King Adelchis hosted a summer fair in which both wine and women flew quite freely. Perhaps too freely...

IC_49_zpsmubwpkxe.png


IC_50_zpsxjgn3lnr.png


Further investigation found no evidence of adultery, though some doubt remained in the Kings mind.

While the summer fair was genuinely hosted as a celebration of succession, it also held a secondary purpose. News had reached the King that his vassal the Duke Liutprand of Ivrea thought the cripple to be a weak King and tried to fabricate a claim on the kingdom. He was quietly arrested and after a few days in the dungeon ransomed for a sum of 140 ducats.

IC_51_zpsp2zyffnz.png


Later in the year Queen Ida gave birth to another baby girl. (Note: whom i forgot to take a screenshot of, sorry!)

Achievement Unlocked:

AC_3_zpsibpr47wk.png


With the show of strength against the Duke of Ivrea, the realm entered a period of calm, in which King Adelchis would rule a stable and prosperous realm, while raising his family.

Crown Prince Korashy has begun sword practice, and is seen practicing against the house hold knights every day.

IC_52_zpstaoyupku.png


Picture of Europe

IC_53_zpsnkblpjtw.png


Note: That's Karloman's Middle Francia by the way. Karl lost a claim war after several factions.

In December 792 Princess Ansia, our first born daughter comes of age. She is married to a Greek bastard renowned for his brute strength. All children will be of the Alachisling dynasty.

IC_54_zpsdxtxm2my.png


Note: I matrimarried her because if our young son was to die to disease or assassination, we would play Ansia, and her having children not of our dynasty, would be a big problem.

Then in 795 after over a decade of bribing, threatening and a murder or two, one of Adelchis' fathers plans finally bore fruit:

IC_55_zpsr9kv67qz.png


Note: I think this claim actually took me almost 20 years. Krain is a county in the de jure Duchy of Carinthia, a 4 county Duchy which is currently split in half between us and Bavaria.

In the fall that year, investigating the rumors of a Great White Stag, our King sets out on an epic hunt, in which he actually manages to not only find but corner and slay the beast!

IC_56_zpsaqhxm0f2.png


Note: This was actually our first hunt. LUCKY!!!

Achievement Unlocked:

AC_4_zpsvfmeg7xk.png


King Adelchis 'the Hunter' of Lombardy

AC_57_zpst5lrywjy.png


After returning from his hunt the King celebrated the coming of age of his second daughter Ansa. Who was married to the Duke of Kent several weeks later.

AC_58_zpsdoguzval.png


After slaying the Great White Stag, King Adelchis continued to spend much of his time hunting, and spent months training his Hunting Dog Hunter most diligently.

AC_59_zps5vnijvqm.png


Note: I'm still running the Hunting focus for Health Bonus. The +2 from Focus and Hunting Dog are effectively cancelling out the -2 from maimed.

Between his hunting trips, King Adelchis is carefully forming his heir into masterful ruler.

AC_60_zps63r3ynhh.png


Later that year (797) the Crown Prince was betrothed to young Euphemia Pyrrogenes, the Daughter and Sister of Imperial Strategos.

AC_61_zpsfa7zxsk4.png


Note: Not even gamey as we are gaining 2 prestige!

The King uses the same tactic as his father, creating the Duchy of Apulia and granting it to the Duke of Salerno to again split the domain of the descendants of Duke of Benevento.

AC_62_zpsdphmbho6.png


Weeks later on September 7th, 799 King Adelchis presses his claim on Krain, declaring war on the King of Bavaria!

AC_63_zpshohe4s0x.png


TO WAR!

Closing Comments: I was really wanting to go to war a lot sooner, but I was hoping to get another claim, this time on Kaentern and take the whole Duchy in one swoop (if you look carefully at the map you may see why), but it just wasn't going to happen. Sorry if this update was a bit boring, really nothing much happened in the first decade of The Hunter's rule.
 
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Korashy

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Chapter V: The Hunter's War

With the declaration of war sent, and the realms levies raised, our King marches the armies of Lombardy to invest the Bavarian holdings in Krain. The Lombard host numbers over 5000 men without any mercenary companies! During the months of sieges Crown Prince Korashy is also further developing his traits and personality.

AC_64_zpstu2p7raw.png


In the fall that year (800) rumors of treason begin to surround Count Varbert of Parma, and the King sends his men to make the arrest. The count manages to escape via secret tunnel and has raised his flag in rebellion, rallying his men from the country side!

AC_65_zpsmgqaryyj.png


Realizing that perhaps he had spent too much time hunting in the hills and forests, the King decides to change invest more of his time in the Stewardship of the realm.

AC_66_zpsu270vcyi.png


Note: I changed to Stewardship hoping to get the event that lets you build a new castle for a significantly cheaper price, hoping that it would pop in my capital so that it would benefit from the +50% capital county troop bonus.

With the holdings of Krain under Lombard control, the King turned his host against the rebellious Count of Varbert who was quickly defeated in a battle and surrendered after his primary castle in Parma fell to a quick siege.

As punishment for open rebellion King Adelchis revoked the County of Parma, adding it to the royal demesne. The count was then ransomed for 70 ducats, retaining his holdings in Mantua.

AC_67_zpshwxenjjg.png


Note: I was actually hoping for the Count to rebel, so that I could revoke Parma. Parma is right next to most of the rest of my demesne and already had a lot of things built in it.

On April 4th 802, the realm celebrated the coming of age of Crown Prince Korashy Alachisling, to be quickly followed by his marriage to Euphemia.

AC_68_zpsqyczy4sy.png


Note: ..... Educated by a Brilliant Strategist with 16 Marshal and our heir becomes a tough soldier...... can't have everything I suppose.

A few months later, having laid defeated the rebellion in his realm, the King of Bavaria sent a host of 1000 men to recapture Krain. King Adelchis having bid his vassals levies to return to their lords, assembled a host of his personal levies and retinue to strike down the Bavarians. The center was entrusted to the Crown Prince, while the King would lead the right flank himself.

AC_69_zpsft9nntsm.png


The Bavarian host was engaged in Istria, and lead to quick and decisive Lombard victory.

AC_70_zpsqlotecr9.png


During the battle the King personally lead his men into the thick of battle, winning him valuable experience and glory!

AC_71_zpsxvkrlmuv.png


AC_72_zps91cn5byh.png


After the battle of Istria the King returned home for several weeks to spend time with his family, when he is cornered by his youngest daughter Gemma who questions him on faith and war.

AC_73_zpsrnbwocii.png


Taking the King Adelchis' talk about the pragmatics of politics to heart, young Gemma developed a cynical attitude to the faith.

Note: The answer is that the stupid Duke of Croatia had to convert to Catholicism, leaving us unable to holy war any heathens.

With the King of Bavaria, refusing surrender, King Adelchis finally lost his patience and ordered his host to deeper into Bavarian lands, to burn down villages and fields.

AC_74_zpsnfn1fnuj.png


Note: Regular too many traits event, just adding some flavor to it.

A few weeks after Lombard troops had pressed further into Bavaria, burning a few minor villages, the King of Bavaria finally sued for peace, surrendering the County of Krain to the Crown of Lombardy. The county was given to King Adelchis' Son in Law, Samuel Pterotos (the Husband to his first born daughter Ansia)

AC_75_zpsrj4bzkqo.png


During a battle against a raiding Saxon host, the King again finding himself in the midst of battle, with boiling blood, breaks formation and recklessly charges at the invaders. His father's legacy finally claiming the King as well.

AC_76_zpsqemnxeba.png


Note: We just went from Patient to Wroth (which are trait opposites) in less than 2 months...

No longer content with the state of the realm, King Adelchis uses influence garnered over several years to strengthen the Authority of the Crown over its vassals.

AC_77_zpszr7meaqo.png

AC_78_zpsmdak7v39.png


Then, 4 days later, with the lords and ladies of the realm still in the capital, a Son was born to Crown Prince Korashy, by his wife Princess Euphemia. The healthy boy was named after his father.

AC_79_zpsqvpw9rvl.png


Later that year the Kings renewed focus on internal matters of the realm saw new Lombard families settled in Firenze, turning it into a proper Lombard province.

AC_80_zpsq7tyl1es.png


But with one eye on the realm, the Kings other eye was set firmly south, where a rebellion has left the Sultanate of Africa in a most weakened state.

AC_81_zpsclixuc1r.png


The realms levies were called, ships levied and conscripted from the Republic of Genoa, and then several weeks later a host of 6000 men lead by King Adelchis the Hunter and Crown Prince Korashy sailed across the Mediterranean to wage holy war against the foul infidel.

Too weakened by their civil war and other Muslim states unable or unwilling to help, the Lombard sacked fortress after fortress until on January 17th 808 the Sultan was forced to surrender control over the entire Duchy of Tunis.

AC_82_zpsouawjj13.png


News of King Adelchis victory against the infidel spread like wildfire across the Christian world. For the first time in centuries the Cross was on the offensive, capturing a vital foothold in Africa that cut's the Mohammadian realm in two. Lords and Theologians all across the Christian world heaped praise upon the Lombards and courts all across Europe were abuzz with talk about further strikes against the infidel.

AC_83_zpsxxuwspj9.png


The Lombard realm April 12th, 808 Anno Domini

Closing Comments: TOUGH SOLDIER?! ARGH! I'm still upset by this :(. But, capturing Tunis is a pretty big deal, it's easily one of the best Duchies in the game, and I'm playing with the though of moving my capital there in the future (though there is no firm decision on that). The Muslim world is currently in complete disarray and hopefully we can take advantage of this in the future. I actually had to Holy War for Tunis twice, as shortly after landing for the first time my war was invalidated through a change in leadership in the Sultanate (-.-).
 

Korashy

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Chapter VI: A different kind of war

Weeks later King Adelchis returned to Pavia in triumph, the lower classes clamoring to catch sight of the victorious King and his son during a procession through the capital. This was not a time for Adelchis to rest on his laurels however, as traitorous elements had not been idle, and used the time of the Kings absence from the capital to scheme and move against the crown.

On the very day of his return the King called his council to discuss the numerous threats against the realm.

The Kings first concern was the fall of Count Hildeprand of Spoleto to a vile heresy and his plot to murder another lord of the realm. Adelchis sent a group of Knights, experienced veterans and zealots of the Tunis campaign to make the arrest. The Knights forced their way into the Counts chamber in the night, dragging the raving Heretic into the royal dungeons.

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After several days in the hands of the Kings trusted wardens (and a liberal application of knives, hot irons, and various other tools), the Count professed his new found awakening to the (right) Christian Faith. He was released, under the condition that a priest be placed in his court to sniff out any further elements of Heresy.

With the heretic threat being dealt a swift blow, the King focused his efforts on the biggest threat the realm faced. A faction composed of various lords and ladies, who only years before were firmly in Adelchis' grip.

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The King was keen to avoid civil war, but would also never surrender to the demands of traitorous scum, who would surely demand Democracy next. Nonsense!

To avoid civil war, King Adelchis set out on an ambitious campaign to reorganize the realm.

The Duchy of Friuli was granted to Count Munichis of Padua, a content man, who had proven his loyalty to the crown dozen times over so as to erase the stain his father (The Brother of the ex- and now dead but still vile and despicable Duke of Friuli) had made with his treason.

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The County of Firenze, held in the royal demesne for since Adelchis' fathers times was granted to a young Bastard who had served with distinction during the Tunis campaign. The freshly raised count was then transferred under the rule of Duke Adalbert of Tusacy (his de jure liege). A small gift of gold captured from the Muslim, insured the Duke's loyalty to the crown, and dealt a quick blow to the elements of treason.

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Note: I was keeping Firenze as long as I could, but I knew that eventually I would have to give it away. Keeping a county in the de jure of a Duke vassal is rarely worth the -25 opinion, especially early in the game. I was not going to grant it to the Duke, though.

But while strengthening the Duke of Tuscany in one move, the next saw the King grant (and create) the title "Duke of Pisa" to Count Alo of Pisa, who previously was under vassalage of the Duke of Tuscany, making the now Duke Alo a direct vassal of the King, instead of the Duke of Tuscany

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Note: The King giveth and the King taketh away! (and without tyranny!)

With only a few weeks back in the capital, the King dealt blow after blow to the faction, until the entire construct of treachery collapsed on itself. During the process the King heavily relied on the Genius of his Queen and Son and for the first time, decades later, saw wisdom in his fathers decisions. With newfound respect for his father, and the realization that without a firm hand the realm would certainly collapse to treason and heresy, King Adelchis realized newfound ambitions.

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To the Kings delight, another son was born to Crown Prince Korashy and Princess Euphemia, another healthy baby boy named Waimar.

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Meanwhile Italian families, displaced from other parts of the realm, settled in Brescia, turning the province into a predominately Italian community.

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With the faction dismantled and the reorganization of the realm completed, several lords and ladies, previously inclined to treason, gathered in the capital, in a voluntary re-pledging of allegiance, and thanking King Adelchis in his Just handling of the near civil war and immediate aftermath.

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The realm firmly in grip again, King Adelchis filled with zeal and righteous ambition returns to the shores of Africa, to bring war against the infidel once again. A few weeks after landing in the port of Gabes (County in the Duchy of Tunis), the Lombard host marches along the coast to wage holy war against the troops of the child Emir of Tripolitania.

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With his army crushed under Lombard boots and several of his castles having fallen, the child Emir had no choice but to surrender.

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Only a few years after his first victory against the infidel, King Adelchis again became the talk of the courts of Europe, having waged another successful campaign against the Muslim.

Having expanded the realm yet again, the King returned to the capital to another triumphant march. He spent the next several years raising his grandson Korashy, as well as the son of his firstborn daughter Ansia, Siconulf, who's Greek tendencies irritated the King.

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Then on December 14th 811, in the midst of planning his next campaign against the infidel, The Hunter finally found the sweet release of the pain he had felt ever since that fateful day the spear struck him. He died quietly in his sleep, a papal delegation proclaiming his Beautification for the Miraculous recoveries of the North African territories to Saint Peter's Church, and his staunch defense of the faith against heresies of all forms.

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The King was succeeded by his beloved son. HAIL KING KORASHY OF LOMBARDY!

Closing Comments: Well that's it for the almost two decade reign of King Adelchis. While the first decade was fairly uneventful, the second half of his reign saw a great strengthening of both realm and dynasty. Adelchis had a lot of luck, making it to 52 when he was crippled very early, having two genius children, and even slaying the famed white stag!
 
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Korashy

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Chapter VII: Against Heathen, Heretic, and Infidel

Shortly after ascending his fathers throne, King Korashy of Lombardy made his intentions known to return to the shores of Africa to continue his fathers holy work. His diplomatic advisers however raised strong objections based on on a likely Abbasid intervention.

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Note: Here is something you don't see that often, a Cultural Bond Alliance. This a unique alliance given to characters who conquer a realm in things like a decadence invasion that lets them call on all independent lords of their culture as allies for their lifetime. Really annoying!

Unwilling to get into a prolonged conflict with the Abbasid Caliphate shortly after donning the crown, King Korashy instead raised his brother in law Samuel to the Duchy of Carinthia, pressing his claim for the remainder of the duchy against the King of Bavaria, who was struggling against a heretic uprising.

But while the Kings host gathered, news reached him about his own uprising. A Sunni rebel army, lead by a militant Iman was trying to undo King Adelchis work!

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The host meant to fight the Bavarians was instead diverted to Genoa, where they boarded ships and set sail to the shores of Africa. King Korashy was frustrated that his return to Africa was to only to suppress an insignificant rebellion instead of further expanding the christian (and more importantly Lombard) realm. Amplifying the Kings annoyance was the development of his son Crown Prince Korashy (II) into a spoiled brat.

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Note: those traits....

The rebel host was engaged in December that year and quickly routed, it's leader being captured and swiftly executed.

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Upon returning to Lombardy, King Korashy spent the next several months campaigning against the Bavarians, who were unable to muster a force to battle. Slowly castle after castle fell to the Lombards, and the King dragged his son with him, in hopes of salvaging his personality.

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With the Bavarian surrender being a forgone conclusion at this point, King Korashy began laying out ambitious plans for the immediate future.

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The Bavarian surrender reached the King in the first month of the year 815, and only weeks later, taking advantage of a rebellion, King Korashy declared a holy war against the Slavic heathen of Varazdin.

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During the campaign, the King is also accompanied by his second son, Prince Waimar of Lombardy

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The rebelling heathen surrendered to the Lombards a little under a year after the beginning of the war,

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and on the day news of the surrender reached King Korashy (currently in the capital), a meeting of the High Coucil was called in which the King declared his intention of continuing his war against the heathen.

The council unanimously voted for war (though of course the vote was only ritual and couldn't have overturned the Kings decision)

High Council of Lombardy + Conflict zone

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Lombard troops quickly crossed into Serbia through Varazdin and began to invest the Serbian castles. The Serbs having already lost their capital against the heathen in Ohrid (note: that small pink OPM is winning a subjugation war against Serbia....) were unable to send any forces to lift the sieges.

With the campaign turning into a series of boring sieges the King returned to the capital to deal with administrating the realm and playing his vassals against one another (a lesson well learned from his father). Despite his earlier shortcomings, Crown Prince Korashy (II) worked most diligently alongside his father.

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On October 8th, 818 the King of Serbia surrendered the rest of the Duchy of Slavonia to the Crown of Lombardy.

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Then in January 820 a peculiar event was brought before his majesty. An old widow was accused of witchcraft and the peasantry demanded for her to be burned at the stake. King Korashy, having seen the heathen rituals first hand during his campaign judged this to be pure nonsense, and ordered the old woman released at once!

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Note: Besides the event that gives you ambitious and diligent, this event is one of the reasons the Stewardship focus is incredibly good early on. 50 cultural points is amazing at a time when you need to get legalism to 3 (to get primo) and need to raise Noble Customs and Majesty as well. I got this event a few times before (and after) but forgot to screenshot it. It's definitely one of the best events in the game.

In May 821 Crown Prince Korashy having recently come of age is married to Fuandrec verch Cawrdolli, a relative of the King of Pictland.

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Note: Because I'm an idiot I forgot to change the kids tutor to a Brilliant Strategist before he came of age and he ended up a Tough Soldier like his dad. Sigh...

After the conclusion of the Marriage, holy war is declared on the new King of Serbia over the Duchy of Rashka (Count of Ohrid managed to win the subjugation and became the new King). Concurrently the Catholic faith is beginning to take firm root in North Africa.

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Serbian surrender November 25th 823

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A year later, Lombard troops begin a holy war against the new King of Bavaria (a heretic who managed to win his rebellion against the previous King) over the Duchy of Austria, the war being decided during the Battle of Salzburg.

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During the decisive victory against the Bavarian heretics, King Korashy leading the right flank, was not only able to further his understanding of war, but also proofing his Bravery by fighting in the midst of the melee.

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The heretic King of Bavaria surrendered a few weeks after the battle of Salzbug. The Duchy of Austria was granted to the recently come of age Waimar, who fought at his fathers side during the conquest.

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Map of Lombard conquests under King Korashy 'The Good" of Lombardy, July 23rd 825 Anno Domini

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Closing comments: Lot's of expansion under King Korashy, though he's technically only tied with his father for conquered provinces (10 each) at the moment. Bavaria falling to heresy is very pleasing, as I was very careful not to engage the rebels or siege any of their stuff away during my de jure war over Kaentern. I didn't go into too much details in the wars because it was mostly a steam roll with me just sieging stuff down without really fighting any battles, or at least no interesting battles.
 

Korashy

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Chapter VIII: Can you Spot the Bug?

Immediately following his victory over the Bavarian heretic, King Korashy declared a holy war against the heathens of Bohemia, over the parts of Austria not controlled by his son Prince Waimar.

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The war was over in less than 6 months after a quick battle against a significantly smaller heathen army and quick siege of Znojmo.

The King then cast his eyes back onto the wider world, looking for further conquests.

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Note: Remember that Shia uprising from Chapter III? That would be Zeydid who managed to win the Kingdom of Mesopotamia during his original uprising and additionally captured the Kingdom of Syria in another war. Actual successful Shia, and against the Abbasid, what are the odds?!

A daughter was born to Crown Prince Korashy (II) and Fuandrec which follows a (non genius -.-) baby boy.

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With the Abbasid fighting a decadence revolt and having lost significant amounts of their land to the Shia, the King could finally resume the North Africa compaign, declaring holy war on on the Sultan of Africa over the Duchy of Kabylia. The Sultan unable to field a significant force surrendered quickly.

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6 months later, December 12th 828.

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Almost exactly a year later, while the King was suppressing a heretic revolt in Tripolitania, Queen Euphemia passed away in her sleep.

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The King grieved for his wife, but agreed to a marriage to Daughter of personal friend several weeks later

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Continuing his holy campaign the King declared war on the 3 counts who between themselves control the Duchy of Alger. Having spent over decade campaigning now, King Korashy managed to increase understanding in matters of war.

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Then in August 833, just as the King was finishing up his campaign in Alger, a large revolt takes place.

Note: Aww here we go, one of my most hated mechanics, Liberation revolts!

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The King, immediately sent instructions for the entire realms levies to raised and sent to reinforce his troops in Africa.

Two months later, more separatist infidel scum rise up (and this is why I hate these revolts).

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Another 3 months later, the Kings host of almost 12000 men marches on the vile traitors, but they multiply like rabbits.

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With Prince Waimar, who had accompanied his father on the entire North Africa campaign, and who was rumored to be his father's favorite son to succeed him, leading the center, and King Korashy leading the left flank, the rebellion was crushed in an awesome victory.

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Then during the next battle, in which 9000 Lombard veterans engaged the puny remnants of the infidel uprising, a giant hedgehog named Groogy appeared in the desert of Lemdiyya and used some kind of weird dark magic to have Prince Waimar teleported from his place in the center of the battle and pop up right in front of his father as he was swinging his blade against an infidel, killing him instantly. The giant hedgehog then disappeared, laughing maniacally, muttering about fixing something that should have been fixed years ago.

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Note: This was very, very, very upsetting. Prince Waimar had better stats than his Brother, and more importantly he already had a Genius son, so my plan was to switch to Ultimogeniture after the revolt, but Paradox said no.

Following his defeat of the infidel uprising, and grieving the loss of his favorite son, the King spent some time, walking through the forests of Lombardy, killing every hedgehog he came across. Upon his return he demanded (and was granted) and increase in Crown Authority. He also declare that from this day forth, all titles would be passed to the eldest child.

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He then had his grandson Korashy (III) son of the Crown Prince Korashy (II) assassinated

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Note: To be honest, I don't know why I did this. I think I was just mad (and a bit drunk) about my succession plans being ruined. So on succession to Korashy II we may play his daughter, which I'd actually be interested in doing, as I haven't played a female in years and I want to see how broken seduction focus is for females (with the +30 attraction).

Closing comments: Not much to say, some easy wars, an annoying rebellion, and an annoying hedgehog and some dumb decisions. The successful Shia is actually pretty cool. At this point the AAR is caught up to the game and I can continue playing (yey). Did anyone actually read all this?
 
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Korashy

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Chapter IX: The Fires of Bavaria

Having murdered his grandson in a fit of insanity, King Korashy 'The Good' of Lombardy spent several weeks repenting for his sins in a monastery. During one of his fervent prayer sessions an angel appeared, promising absolution of his sins should the King purge the Bavarian heretic in Gods holy name. Blazing with zeal and fervent thoughts of redemption, the King immediately called the realm's levies, and marched for Bavaria.

Note: Several weeks of fervent prayer in a dark room with little to nothing to eat will make people see weird stuff.

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While the realm's levies gathering in Steiermark (Duchy of Austria), King Korashy betrothed his granddaughter Theuderada to her cousin Duke Radgis of Austria (the son of Prince Waimar), both children were wards to the King and their marriage would unite the gentry of Crown Prince Korashy (II) and Prince Waimar.

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Before leaving for Steiermark to lead the realm's forces against the vile heretic, Queen Ingitrude approaches her husband and informs him of her pregnancy with their first child.

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King Korashy 'the Good' of Lombardy during the Heretic Purge of 835
-Unknown Painter

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Note: Actually became depressed shortly after Prince Waimar's death.

In March 836 the heretic army was caught and engaged in Dachau.

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The battle ended in a decisive Lombard victory. King Korashy ordered every captured heretic to be put to the sword. In the following days Lombard forces,lead by a militant sect of Priests, entered every village, city and hamlet in Bavaria, to capture and burn at the stake everyone suspected of having fallen to the vile Lollard heresy. Accounts from learned witnesses state that from high ground in the alps "the lowlands looked like a sea aflame".

While King Korashy was busy burning out the sickness from the holy church, Queen Ingitrude gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

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In May 836, with the Gates of Munich opened by hungry citizens, the Bavarian Duke (Note: for some reason the guy didn't take the King title during his revolt) had no choice but to surrender.

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With the Bavarian heartland firmly under control, King Korashy declared his claim to the Dukedom of Bavaria.

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Note: Here is where things get a little weird (again). Notice Tirol, which is currently held by the still Duke of Bavaria (I haven't usurped yet in this screen). This is the same guy that I just won the war against. Now watch what happens when I usurp.

IC_143_zps4u6t2upt.png


Note: Suddenly the guy I just fought a war against, and whose primary title I just usurped became my vassal. And since he's a heretic, I can immediately revoked his title without tyranny (which I of course do). I basically just got a free county! I also immediately declared a holy war against Innsbruck with whom I had no truce with to complete the purge of the Bavarian Heresy.

During the siege of Innsbruck news reached the King in his camp surrounding the city. The royal line was secure once again with the birth a healthy boy to Crown Prince Korashy (II) and his wife. The boy was called after his great grandfather Adelchis.

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Note: Adelchis is back baby! The Korashy's were getting confusing and I really enjoyed playing Adelchis, let's hope this one is just as great as his namesake. If you want me to name kids after you just let me know, but since this is very light roleplay, your name (or any suggested name) should kind of fit (so no Mr.CatsAreAwesomeHueHueHue"

Late in Fall 836 King Korashy is wounded during a sally of the defenders of Innsbruck.

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Note: We are now Stressed, Depressed, and Wounded. Poor me :(

A year later, with the Bavarian Purge completed and his wounds healed, King Korashy 'the Good' returned to his capital in Pavia to see his family. Sadly on the way he caught a cold.

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Note: So now we are Stressed, Depressed and Ill. I feel like the game is trying to kill me.

Two years later, the King celebrates the marriage of his daughter Princess Theuderada to Fara de Piemonte, a young bastard who served as the Kings emissary and regular chess opponent during the Bavarian Purge. All children will be of the royal gentry.

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Shortly after the wedding, the King still plagued by Illness again saw a holy angel in a feverish dream. Whether it was the same angel, the King could not tell, but his orders were clear. While the fires of Bavaria pleased the Lord, the infidels hold over Cyrenaica, once a stronghold of the true faith, did not. When the King awoke, he made preparations to make another Pilgrimage in the name of God. As offerings, he would bring fire and steel.

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During the campaign, the King's grandson Radgis spent much of his time with the Kings retinue, grizzled veterans of multiple campaigns, who over their years of fighting infidel and heretic had grown into fervent zealots. An attitude that slowly but surely sunk into Radgis, his eyes filled with zeal.

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The Sultan of Africa surrendered after a little over a year of sieges.

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His ultimate end, however, was brought upon him by the Duke of Alger, who declared his own holy war against the remnants of the African Sultanate.

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"And so I present to God, the Crown of Africa, the first infidel realm returned to the Holy Churches' bosom. Fear me Heathen, Fear me Infidel, Fear me Heretic, for my line will burn your gods to ashes".
- King Korashy 'the Good' of Lombardy, standing on the shores of Benghazi.

Closing Comments: King Korashy is a bit insane, but that's just the various mental and physical sicknesses speaking! Besides imaginary friends are perfectly normal. This one just tells us to burn the enemies of God! At this point I'm a bit in steamroll mode, but to be honest, I have little choice. With my capture of Tunis and the fall of Baghdad to the Shia, Jihads will trigger immediately at year 900, while I don't think Crusades will trigger (meaning I have to survive them without Holy Orders), and for that I need as many levies as I can possibly get my hands on.
 

Korashy

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Chapter X: Observing God

With the crown having been in a state of war for much of King Korashy's rule, the royal coffers were starting to deplete, and so the King proposed to have the nobility share the burden by providing a yearly tithe to the crown. The proposal was quickly accepted.

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Later that year, another angel appeared to the King, or was it the same? Regardless, the angel told the good King to sail his men to the delta of the Nile and crush a Miaphysite uprising with full prejudice. The King wasn't really sure why, but he obeyed.

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Note: They were close to enforcing their demands, and Miaphysite Egypt was the last thing I needed at that point.

Before:

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After:

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Map of the World November 16th, 841

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A year Later, young Adelchis begins his education under his grandfather King Korashy 'the Good'. The boy already has an incredible understanding of science and scripture, as well as court intrigue. (Note: that's some pretty good stats for his age and "only" Genius trait")

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Two months later another daughter is born to King Korashy and Queen Ingitrude. The girl is small and sickly. She is named after her maternal Grandmother Geila

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A month after that, our Granddaughter Theuderada, betrothed to Duke Radgis, returns from the residence of her Grey Eminence instructor (Note: as a Naive Appeaser... with 24 diplomacy... seriously?)

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Meanwhile, young Adelchis, having spent less than half a year with his grandfather has already vowed to become as great a bane to infidel and heretic as his grandfather, his eyes shining with zeal.

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To further his religious understanding, King Korashy 'the Good' dedicates his time between wars to studying the holy scripture (an angel told him to)

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Note: I thought this was the focus that let's you go on Pilgrimage, and I thought it would fit well with the current flow of the AAR, alas it's the wrong one :p

Shortly thereafter the King ordered the construction of an observatory, where he would try to glimpse gods truths.

IC_165_zpsl8wsgcbv.png


In fall that year, the King personally leads the van against a host of Saxon raiders. During the battle, the King was spotted feverishly slaying Heathen after Heathen, not stopping until he had broken through their line.

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Right before Christmas time that same year, the King's Observatory was finished.

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Achievement Unlocked:

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Two days before Christmas, celebrations were held in the palace, as Duke Radgis had come of age and married his cousin Theuderada

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Note: I forgot to switch tutors again, so he ended up a Skilled Tactician (lvl 3 Marshal) like his Grandpa.

Having spent a year with his grandfather now, young Adelchis has made many friends at court, and spends many nights listening to the teachings of his grandfather at the observatory. (Note: Seriously look at that learning, that's 7 base)

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In spring 844, (on orders of another (the same?) angel) King Korashy declared a holy war against the Muslim Caliph.

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Closing Comments: Well, not that much happened, mostly just doing some dynastic stuff, and waiting for - opinion modifier from "called levies" to run down so we can go back to war.
 

Korashy

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Chapter XI: The King and the Pope

While the realm's levies gathered in Pisa to take passage to Egypt to fight the infidel Muslim Caliph, King Korashy's Chancellor the Duke of Ivrea returns to the capital from Pavia, having managed to link a claim on the duchy to the Lombardian Crown (Note: didn't pay attention, wanted county claim, took duchy instead >.>)

IC_171_zpsaozvggdt.png


In November 844, the Lombard forces tried to begin their sieges of the Muslim holdings in Alexandria only to realize that an adventurer had beaten them to it, and he was protected by divine right. (Note: Oops, forgot that adventurer hosts aren't hostile to everyone, so I can't take this guys sieges, so much for our holy crusade for Alexandria >.>)

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With his holy mission grinding to a halt, and having spent some time thinking about the angel, or the angels? King Korashy 'the Good' is beginning to doubt his path.

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His Holiness, Pontiff Caelestius, recently having assumed his position as head of the Church has been following the Lombards exploits for decades from his previous position as Bishop of Orbitello. To show his support and blessing to the Kings holy mission the Pope sent significant funds.

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Note: I asked two previous popes for money, but they never granted it. Now this guys gives it to me out of the blue, didn't even have to ask. Nice guy!

3 months later:

IC_175_zpsi5l0fift.png


Note: Hurray for decadence! Abbasid defeat without ever having fought them in a battle. They've been a mess all game.

A messenger reaches the King in Benghazi that a heated night before leaving for Egypt is resulting in another child! It's good to be King!

IC_176_zpsabx8wxep.png


Planning further strikes against the weakened infidel, King Korashy 'the Good' proposes a marriage between Crown Prince Korashy (II)'s second daughter Menia and the soon to be of age King of Nubia. The resulting alliance gives the Lombards an allied Kingdom just south of Egypt, while providing the Nubians with a powerful ally as well.

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Kingdom of Nubia:

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Note: Our first ally who may actually be useful! (Once the king comes of age and marries Menia, of course).

In May 845, war is declared against The Serene Republic of Venice, and the Sultan of Egypt (holy war for Alexander 2.0)

The Merchants of Venice pounce on the unassembled Lombard levies via the sea, killing hundreds of men on their way to the rally point in the capital.

IC_179_zps1trzyqth.png


While their boldness caught the Lombards by surprise for a while, the Venezian army overstayed its welcome and was routed shortly after by an 8000 men strong Lombard host. The doge of Venice surrendered, and pledged fealty shortly thereafter.

IC_180_zps83anmt1d.png


Note: Since we only had a ducal and not a county claim, the merchant houses are still Italian. These guys will probably be a problem later, but for now I dont have time to deal with it. Egypt awaits!

Another daughter is born to King Korashy 'the Good' and Queen Ingitrude of Lombardy. She is named Adelchisa in honor of the Kings father King Adelchis 'the Hunter' of Lombardy.

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In January 846, the Lombard forces again march on Alexandria, this time to do battle with the newly independent Sultan of Egypt.

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Boldly the Egyptian Host stands against the Lombards

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Note: That's not a retreat order, but an order to move after the battle.

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With further Lombard forces reinforcing the battle, the melee is joined. King Korashy is close to breaking the Egyptian center, while both Lombard flanks are quickly gaining the upper hand.

The battle ends in a slaughter

IC_185_zpsgtstwlbt.png


During the sieges of Alexandria and the surrounding provinces, dozens of ancient scriptures are looted by the Kings forces, to be cataloged and studied by the King in search for answers about the mysterious Hedgehog that cost him his son.

IC_186_zpsnl8ri2ol.png


Young Adelchis, on campaign with his grandfather has been raised to be the Kings Squire. Having the boy with him provides great comfort to the King, who is remembering the time spent with his beloved son Waimar, of whom the boy reminds him a lot.

IC_187_zpsksqsiqk4.png


While awaiting the Sultans surrender any day now, news reaches the King that a large revolt is taking place in Bavaria. The populance, unhappy with the harsh methods of the Church in rooting out the remnants of the Lollard heresy are vying for independence!

IC_188_zpsgm3sszdy.png


With the entire realms armies in Egypt, the King feared for the worst, and took personal command of a third of the forces in Egypt, racing to Salzburg to put down the fires of rebellion before they spread as they did in Alger, leading to that fateful day in which the King slew his favorite son.

IC_189_zpsghtpurel.png


Luckily, the Kings forces were able to disburse, capture and execute the traitors before their treachery caught on.

With the Sultan's surrender, Crown Prince Korashy II was raised to Dukedom, as the Duke of Alexandria at the age of 41, speaking volumes about his estranged relationship with his father.

IC_190_zpspl0fczfd.png


The world April 15th, 847, after the Abbasid Caliphates Fall

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Note: Beautiful isn't it? I just wish the Byzantines would have taken more advantage of all the chaos, they are just sitting around doing nothing, while being able to field almost twice as many forces as anyone else (without the Varangian Guard). They have a war focused monster of a Basileus (stat wise), but he just sits around.

Upon his return the King was visited by a papal delegation, congratulating him on his capture of Alexandria. Then, the delegatio, however, began asking questions about the Kings scholarly activities, insinuating that the King may be falling to heresy. Furious the King had the delegation thrown out of Pavia.

IC_192_zpskuycfadu.png


In summer that year, disastrous news reached the King, his grandson, Duke Radgis, whom he had raised himself with careful hand, had fallen to heresy. The King wept, as he ordered the very same Knights that sparred with Duke Radgis when he was just a boy, to have him fetched in chains, so the King himself may remove the heretics head.

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Closing Comments: What's gonna happen to Radgis? Do we have to take his head? Is there a way to have him see the light? (Remember that he's a zealot -.-). Find out in the next update, which coincidentally, I will be writing now :D
 

Korashy

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Chapter XII: Family Matters

Hearing about his cousin and brother in law's fall to heresy, young Adelchis, already one of the most learned men in realm at the tender age of 10, proposes that with an intervention of the Chancellor and Court Chaplain, Duke Radgis may yet be returned to the fold, his "fall" covered up as mere rumor. If he could be reasoned with, quickly that is.

IC_194_zpsdec7fx0q.png


The King, heart broken by his grandsons betrayal was unable to resist his other grandsons request, and gave in to his urging. Duke Radgis would be given a single year to renounce his heresy, or the King would strike him down himself. (July 12th, 847).

After having sent the Chancellor and Court Chaplain to accompany young Adelchis to his cousin, the King retreated to his observatory, throwing himself into his studies, unable to think about what he would do if he now also had to slay Prince Waimar's only son.

IC_195_zpscly8clsk.png


Having spent almost an entire year observing the stars and pouring over tomes and scrolls captured in Alexandria, the King comes to the conclusion that Earth is round and revolves around the sun! Afraid that his knowledge may indeed lead down the path to heresy, the King decided to keep this knowledge to himself.

IC_196_zps8ly2gbql.png


With less than 20 days to spare, a repentant Duke Radgis arrives in Pavia to beg his Kings, his grandfathers, and his mentors forgiveness. Something King Korashy delightfully granted, on all three counts. (June 22nd, 848)

IC_197_zpskhb4fpqb.png


Note: He had an event that made him lose Zealous and gain Cynical, allowing me to convert him, and saving his life.

With his grandson returned to the Holy Church, and further the realm enjoying a spell of peace, the King finally finds some peace himself, beginning to be less stressed and accepting about Waimars death.

IC_198_zpsw0beizcv.png


During a visit to the Duke of Carinthia (the kings 71 year old brother in law), he noticed that Count of Aquileia and Istria, a descended of the vile and despicable Duke of Friuli was acting awefully unlombardlike and uncatholic.

IC_199_zpsrnbqeqzl.png


For the crime of being the descendant of the realms number one enemy

IC_200_zpsppi9gq12.png


the king ordered the boy assassinated. He is succeeded by a proper Lombard, Catholic of a different dynasty.

Two weeks later, having struck blows against the Infidel, Heathen, Heretic, and descendants of the vile and despicable Duke of Friuli, King Korashy 'the Good' of Lombardy, had finally fulfilled all goals a proper Lombard man should have, and passed peacefully in his sleep at the age of 63.

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Achievement Unlocked:

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The King is succeeded by his only son King Korashy II 'the Cruel' of Lombardy

IC_202_zpspvgqxyde.png


Note: He got that nickname as Duke of Alexandria about 3 weeks after I gave him the Duchy. What kind of disaster is this guy going to be?!

Closing Comments: This is a really short update. The AAR is caught up to the game again. I hope you enjoyed King Korashy I 'the Good's reign. It was long and prosperous, and has greatly expanded both realm and dynasty, against all odds (bugs).
 

Korashy

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Chapter XIII: The things you can do in two years

King Korashy II's first act as King was to secure the royal lineage with a betrothal of his son, Crown Prince Adelchis II, to a young Greek girl by the name of Thomais of house Kyminas.

IC_203_zpsa0zwcgv6.png


With his first decree, he raised his brother in law Fara to the Dukedom of Tunis (Note: I decided not to move my capital, just felt wrong).

IC_204_zpsnasdwjre.png


His next decree assured secular rule over the churches within the kingdom. Rumors say that the King was not entirely comfortable with such a move, but instructions for this decree were inside the will of the recently deceased King Korashy 'the Good'.

IC_205_zps0phgpeuc.png


Resistance to the Kings rule built quickly, as King Korashy II 'the Cruel' was never able to wield his influence properly.

IC_206_zpsynhyqyyh.png


The faction to lower the crowns Authority continued to grow, and King Korashy II made arrests of faction members where possible (a technique he had learned by studying the diaries of his great grandfather King Desiderius.

IC_207_zpsvlhkxxxj.png


Feeling evermore threatened by his own vassals, King Korashy II secures and alliance with the King of Middle Francia, via marriage of his daughter Princess Cotani to Prince Adalbald, primary heir to his fathers throne.

IC_208_zpsnasenyiu.png


During the next year an uneasy calm spreads over the realm, war civil war seems inevitable, with the King unwilling to give in to the factions demands, and the faction gaining ever more strength. King Korashy II chanced upon a minor victory with the death of the Duke of Bavaria, a major contributor of the factions military might. The King quickly took the the Bavarian Duke's heir, young Duke Unigild of Bavaria as his ward.

IC_209_zpsfv7drsm7.png


Alas King Korashy II's statesmanship was a far cry from that of his father or grandfather, and on June 26th, 851 the King surrendered to his vassals demands.

IC_210_zpsqyn9in02.png


Note: To be honest, I was planning on lowering crown authority anyways, but I stilled tried everything I could to avoid doing it via faction because it felt like a defeat. In the end I wasn't going to fight a civil war over it though.

Less than 3 months later, on September 15th, 851 King Korashy II ' the Cruel's clumsy reign ends with his death.

IC_211_zpshgasi5sj.png


He is succeeded by his 15 year old son, King Adelchis II of Lombardy. May God bless his reign.

Closing Comments: Well that was short. King Korashy II ruled a little over two years in which he gave in to a faction, something that would make his Grandfather King Desiderius turn in his grave. Now we are back to Adelchis. If you like Adelchis I, you will love Adelchis II.