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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

Mithfir

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In the EU4 country history file for your country if you mod your first character's birthdate into their unit you can set their actual age.
1417.11.4 = {
monarch = {
name = "Bernhard I"
dynasty = "von Nordheim"
adm = 6
dip = 3
mil = 4
birth_date = 1417.2.14
}
}

1417.11.4 = {
monarch = {
name = "Bernhard I"
dynasty = "von Nordheim"
adm = 6
dip = 3
mil = 4
}
}
Hmm yeah, adding a birth date did the trick. I wonder if I should add a death date as well...

Haha that is true I suppose! I'd post it out of sheer meanness :p just kidding, as I said I think it will be really interesting seeing your Francia in EUIV I imagine it will be able to be a colonial behemoth!!!
I'd like to colonize North America as it's a historical period I'm somewhat familiar with. Would make interesting historical material for my EU4 report.

Chapter 35

The Angevin Revolt (1208-1210)

One big drawback of marrying purely for land is that you potentially lose control over the education and marriage of your possible heirs, which may lead to future revolts... Richard II was my "spare" turned into heir, so I lost control over Richard III until I got to play as him. Everything has a price. It's another sort of challenge to limit mindless blobbing, I guess. Now that I'm more experienced playing CK2, I would do things slightly differently were I to replay this campaign.


Richard III in declining health

While Richard III continued his campaign against the Republic of Genoa, one of his vassals, Alar, the duke of Brittany, also had plans of his own. The duke declared war against King Alan of Scotland to reclaim the county of Rennes. This campaign would take many years to see it successful. Now that England entered the fray, the emperor didn’t take any chances. An army was raised to bolster the Paladins’ regiment. At the same time, rumours spread concerning Richard III. To be more precise, rumours concerning his health. While the emperor wasn’t elderly yet, for Middle Ages’ standards, he was already old, since he was now in his late 40s. Worse, Richard III’s health effectively declined as the rumours said. A weakened emperor attracted the vultures in search of a fresh carcass to devour. Ambitious and scheming nobles quickened their nefarious plans to usurp the emperor’s throne before the marriage between Richard IV and Zoltànà was sealed. An alliance with Hungary would make the Anscarids the most powerful force in Europe...

Vassals saw this as an opportunity to get rid of Richard by appointing Gaucelin, his uncle, as emperor. Disloyal vassals possibly thought Gaucelin in his advanced age would be easy to manipulate or perhaps their intentions were purely malicious towards Richard. Should the emperor succeed in his ambitious plan to integrate Hungary into the realm with a marriage between his son and their eldest princess, Francia would easily trample over the rest of the known world. Such a scenario sounded terrifying, but it was also an idea shared by Denmark. After all, King Nàndor still had unmarried daughters and the first one who could give birth to a son would be crowned heir to Hungary, according to the male preference succession law.


Battle of Cuixà

Still, Richard III fought on. The Paladins swiftly attack Genoa at the battle of Vabres, where they gained a crushing victory. With a large army at his disposal, the Peers proceeded to get rid of the English invaders. Led by Bérenger Premyslid, the imperial army marched south, where they engaged the English at the battle of Cuixà.


Victory with a small bonus

At the battle of Cuixà, Francia defeated England decisively. Afterwards, a pursuit was launched to decimate the remaining English troops. It was there that King Osulf was slain in personal combat. With their king dead, the English soon followed their monarch into death. Now, Genoa stood alone against the empire. With no options left, the republic ceded Empuries to Richard III, ending the Frankish invasion. Proud in victory, the emperor married his third son Guichard to Theodora Doukas, duchess of Armenia, concluding a new alliance between Francia and Armenia.


+16,000 jackals/vultures!

Despite his victory, the emperor’s health remained poor. Ultimately, the time to strike against Richard III felt opportune. As such, an ultimatum was sent to the emperor, demanding he relinquished the crown to his uncle Gaucelin. However, the disloyal nobles greatly underestimated Richard III: not only did he refuse, but he also challenged them to rebel against him. Should they persevere, they would receive no quarters from the emperor’s wrath. In October 1209, Anjou, Berry, Gascogne, Flanders, Toulouse and Holland went into open revolt, triggering the Angevin revolt against the emperor.


The Angevin Revolt of 1208

“This is another test sent to me by the Heavens. Both grandfather and father faced revolts when they sat on the throne I now rest upon. The only way forward is to win, there is no other alternative. They must have felt the same back then. Everything is going according to the Divine Will.”
- Richard III "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia​


The north

Jackals and vultures, eager to partake in the coming blood bath, joined Bertrand in his mad quest to depose the emperor. Unimpressed, Richard III requested aid from the smaller kingdom of Aragon. Felipe IV was happy to pay his honour debt to his kinsman. The situation became tense for the imperial family; much was at stake in this war. Empress Cecilie, who was known to suffer violent mood swings, became more and more irascible as her husband now orchestrated the coordination of his troops’ movement. She never forgot that in a moment of weakness, her husband slept in another warm bed. To add more salt to the injury, his mistress Giedre was a few years older than him! It didn’t help either that Foulques, Richard’s bastard, looked very similar to his father... Still, the capital proved relatively safe for the time being, but the main rebel army gathered in Anjou, mere weeks away from Paris. It would take time to gather the imperial armies from across the remaining loyal provinces. Meanwhile, the Paladins were returning from their campaign in Iberia.


The south

A first skirmish was fought in Toulouse at Lavaur, where the small imperial forces were joined with the knights. They managed to defeat the rebels, although the southern territories were mostly hostile. On the northern front, the main rebel army led by Bertrand attempted to rush the divided imperials, but were unable to force a decisive encounter. Bertrand’s army was now stuck between the north-eastern imperial forces and the loyal Breton army. By November, Bertrand decided to camp in Évreux, where he watched how Richard III would move his pawns. Eventually, André gathered the northern army under his command and prepared to move against Bertrand.

On the far western front, the rebels were much weaker in Andalusia. A small skirmish happened between the Angevins and the imperials at Almansa. Duke Emich managed to scatter the rebels, where they hopelessly fled to Almeria, only to be slaughtered in an ambush by Angelbert de Cholet. Andalusia was practically won back.


Battlefield overview

December 1209 marked the end of the stalemate at Lavaur with the timely arrival of the Paladins. With the rebels swiftly beaten, Bérenger de Crepon gathered the remaining southern levies and now marched north through Limousin, hoping to join the main imperial army. At the same time, André pressed on; at the battle of Évreux, the rebel rear guard was massacred by the loyal Peer. While the emperor held a slight numerical advantage with his current forces, he chose to send reinforcements from Poland, along with a sealed letter containing some earth bits.

“The rebellion lasted long enough. I ordered my commanders to administrate the earthly punishment: all who oppose the empire will return to the earth, to die face in the mud, dirty as a beggar, shamed like a disloyal dog, forgotten like a false memory.”
- Richard III "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia​


André vs Archambaut

The instructions were clear: the Peers were not to stop until every single last rebel laid face against dirt. For the time being, André moved the host to Maine. As of January 1210, there were two significant Angevin armies in the north: the main host led by Bertrand and a secondary force commanded by his vassal Count Archambaut of Bourbon. A skeleton force from Berry roamed the north-east, but proved to be more of a nuisance than a real threat. Seeking to destroy the 2nd army, André pursued Archambaut’s meager forces all the way to Anjou, the main rebel stronghold. Astonishingly, Bertrand preferred to sack Maine instead of coming to the aid of his vassal at the battle of Saumur. Without any surprise, Archambaut was defeated against the larger imperial army. Worse, he was imprisoned and escorted back to Paris. Further south, the Paladins entered Thouars, getting ever closer to Anjou.

The jaws of defeat were rapidly closing in on Bertrand, who now commanded the only rebel army able to challenge Richard III. Maine was now under his control, though it would only remain so briefly. Polish reinforcements confronted Berry’s pitiful army at the battle of Beauvais, where Hamelin d’Ivrea, duke of Berry, endured a humiliating debacle. Following Berry’s defeat, the Paladins proceeded to liberate Maine from the Angevins. Bertrand had long retreated to Chartres, although this temporary respite would soon be over: Richard’s armies were now coming for him.


Now, to crush your hopes and dreams...

In the summer of 1210, the last decisive engagement of the Angevin revolt took place. The battle of Dreux saw the imperial army move first against Bertrand, soon followed by the heavy cavalry who flanked the rebels. Richard’s superior numbers and trained cavalry core once more proved their superiority. The last rebel army was nearly slaughtered in a bloody melee. Following a pursuit, Bertrand was finally captured. The rebellion ended in victory for the emperor.


The revolt ends

“I must say, running the empire sounds even more bothersome than I ever expected. It is no surprise that Lord Father is trading his health for the crown’s burden. With the rebellion over, perhaps the library will be calmer now.”
- Richard IV d'Ivrea, Dauphin of Francia

The Dauphin possessed the personality of a very nonchalant man, which is why the emperor insisted that the future Richard IV would remain at his side whenever he was working. While the young man eventually grasped some political experience, he never got rid of his lack of focus, at least, focusing on matters of the empire, because Richard IV’s true love would always remain the occult sciences. When the rebel leaders were brought to Paris to face imperial justice, both Richards were present. The traitors were put to prison for the rest of their lives, never to be free again. The emperor taught an important lesson to his heir, a lesson that he kept repeating for each of his entries in the Will of the Anscarids: “never let your guard down.” Pride was the Dauphin’s weakness, a trait recognized by Richard IV himself. Smart as he may be, the young prince would inherit an immense empire and receive a kingdom as dot from Hungary. Such gifts risked making the Dauphin indulgent and lax. There were still a few years before Richard IV and Zoltànà would be married, but the emperor’s declining health forced him to interest his son in politics posthaste.

“I may have the frail body of an old man. I may be weaker than a boy. However, I do not need to show my valour with a sword. My opponents lived by the sword and it is by the sword that they failed in their enterprise. We remain firmly on the throne, as dictated by God Himself. For there to be another Richard on the throne, I must steer my son in the right direction. Everything is going according to the Divine Will.”
- Richard III "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia
 

Idhrendur

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Merely thrown in the dungeons until the damp kills them? They should be stripped of their titles, their legacy brought to naught!
 

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Merely thrown in the dungeons until the damp kills them? They should be stripped of their titles, their legacy brought to naught!
It's always a delicate matter... If a really strong vassal can be lifted from a strong title's burden, sure! On the other hand, having a couple vassals rot in prison for decades mean peace of mind too. Richard III is infirm, which is usually soon followed by incapable and regency... When Richard IV takes over, he'll have a couple vassals in jail, so no faction forming. If I had to replay this campaign, I would have made all my vassals my own culture slowly over time. I'll know for next time (pesky independence factions!).

Also, whenever a duke has more than 1 duchy title, there's usually plots to see it granted to another guy, and now my strongest vassal cannot fight back against it!
 

tnick0225

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Great update! And that is a nice pop up to get in battle saying you killed the English King. Wonder if Richard III can hold onto life long enough for his son to come of age though...
 

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Great update! And that is a nice pop up to get in battle saying you killed the English King. Wonder if Richard III can hold onto life long enough for his son to come of age though...
He'll be married to Zoltànà in the next chapter, so don't worry about Richard IV. Fun fact, Richard is my middle name :)
 

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Interlude

Why hello! I apologize for the lack of constant updates, as I've been very busy with my programming classes. With the holidays here, I have more free time to continue reporting this campaign. I didn't give up on it, no sir! Although, I did stop playing my Wessex game because it wasn't fun anymore. This is where I roughly ended.



That's right, I managed to weasel my way up to the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire. It was quite a difficult game at first: Alfred died naturally after he had his first child, and then my ungrateful uncle Aethelred revoked one of my counties, but I did manage to usurp the petty kingdom of Wessex from my cousin. However, the Norse were very strong and they forced me to beg fealty to West Francia... Oh well, that's roughly how it went, not really worth AAR material.

So currently, I'm playing an Ironman Yngling campaign! (Started as Harald Fairhair). I've been caught in a unlucky loop of short-lived Fylkirs. My protagonist's father died naturally at 24 and this event popped a few years before his death.



A demon child? Bah! Rubbish! And then, I died naturally at 24 after my 2nd daughter was born... This is where I'm currently at with the "demon" child.



She's possessed... perhaps the witch was right in the end? At least, my current newborn heir is a genius! Hurray! But then, the Golden Horde declared war on me... That's where I'm at in my Ironman. Now, to see if I can repel their horse archers with my heavy infantry. Oh yes, the next chapter is almost ready. I'm not quite inspired with the historical quotes yet and that's just what's missing from my next chapter. I'll get to it later in the day. I got some Mongols to repel in the meantime!
 

Mithfir

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Chapter 36

An Imperial Marriage (1210-1215)

This chapter is shorter, since I go to war against weaker countries. Richard IV does get married to Princess Zoltáná, which marks a very important event in the d'Ivrea family and the history of Europe...

Following the conclusion of the Angevin revolt, the emperor now firmly re-asserted his authority inside the empire. One of the main instigators of the revolt, Duke Ebles II, was stripped of one of his titles, namely the Duchy of Bourbon, and was forced to grant it to a fellow vassal. Ironically, a distant relative of Ebles possessed the same first name and was elevated as the new duke of Bourbon.


The wedding between Richard IV and Zoltáná

With the emperor’s failing health, the inevitable succession loomed in the distance. The wedding day approached quickly for the young Dauphin and the Hungarian heiress. Richard IV became more and more impatient and requested a title be granted to him from the emperor. Richard III tactfully reminded his son that one day he would inherit the whole empire, so waiting a few more weeks would be nothing in the long run. As such, in August 1212, the long awaited wedding ceremony was celebrated between the future Richard IV and Zoltáná. Much hope was put on the young couple. As a wedding gift, Richard IV was given the County of Nevers so that he may gain some limited experience to govern a small estate while he wait for his inevitable inheritance from his father. Possibly, the elder Richard might have wanted to stir his son from his studies and give him a firm nudge towards politics.

“Warring against the Cumans brought us more troubles than rewards. With a possible invasion threat from the distant East and without a son to preserve our power, it appears that the future of our family could be jeopardized. Unless we secure as many alliances as we can from our neighbours. The twin western empires and the northern kingdom remain our only course of action. My daughters will secure our future.”
- Nándor Árpád “the Accursed”, King of Hungary​

On a side-note, King Nándor of Hungary sired a bastard son during this time, but he refused to legitimize him. Most probably, he wanted to keep his eldest daughter, or at least one of his six daughters, as the heiress to the kingdom of Hungary. This would mean that he might have given his full blessing to have the kingdom pass into the empire of Francia held by the d’Ivrea family. Courted by Francia, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark, King Nándor played his cards well between the competing powers. For one thing, his eldest daughter Zoltáná was betrothed to the future Richard IV, while his second daughter Dorottya would be engaged to a Danish prince, Harald Andersen. Only the Holy Roman Empire was unable to conclude a favourable marriage with Hungary. Regardless of who would eventually inherit Hungary, the future of the eastern kingdom became brighter, since either Francia or Denmark would provide the necessary buffer to repel any potential foreign invasions. Also, Harald Andersen was at the time the heir to the powerful kingdom of Denmark... According to the male preference succession law, the first daughter who would give birth to a son would become the next queen of Hungary.

Speaking of which, the personal journal of Zoltáná is a remarkable contemporary source. This valuable treasure had been in the possession of the d’Ivrea imperial family ever since the Middle Ages and I have been honoured to consult it. This document dressed a complete portrait of the late reign of Richard III and Richard IV. From the early entries of Zoltáná, she clearly desired her husband greatly, even if her feelings weren’t quite reciprocated. Richard IV eventually returned her feelings later in his reign thankfully for her.

“I understand quite well why Lord Father sent me away to the west: marrying a proud prince of Francia serves all a political purpose, even if my dear husband also thought of it only a loveless union of power. Still, he cares for me as I do for him. If only he could love me as much as I love him...”
- Zoltáná Árpád, Princess of Hungary​


Curiously, the Ilkhanate was Turkish and Muslim right from the start

History would give reason to Nándor, as the Mongol Hordes were mere years away from entering Asia Minor. By 1215, rumours of a great Khan uniting the warrior steppes tribes reached Western Europe. Nándor’s own conflicts with the Cuman tribes allowed his spies to confirm those rumours. The various Cuman nomadic tribes already came into contact with the Taftan Ilkhanate and the Golden Horde. From the few sources I could glean information from, those contacts were quite hostile. Emperor François III himself would marry a bastard daughter of a Mongol High Chief from the Golden Horde; an unconventional marriage for the time, but a very happy union for both parties.

With the marriage celebrated between Francia and Hungary, Richard also sought another alliance for his daughter Denise, who just turned 16. The emperor chose the Byzantine duke of Thracesia, Kyriakos II, to be his next son-in-law. The alliance was negotiated, but before the young couple could even meet each other, Denise fell ill en route to Greece and eventually died soon after. Empress Cecilie fell once again into one of her violent mood swings… Regardless, the imperial family remained united despite the sad news regarding Denise’s death.

Richard’s own bastard son, Foulques, soon turned 16 as well. To protect him from the agitated empress, he married him off to the cadet branch of Galicia. Namely, Violante Jimena welcomed her new husband gladly.


My vassal doing the dirty job for me

On the other hand, the cadet branch of Scotland faced ill fortune. King Hughes II had to deal with a rebellion against his kinswoman Duchess Agnes of the Isles. Both belligerents sought the emperor’s aid, but Richard chose neutrality. Indeed, a vassal of the empire, Duke Alar of Brittany, boldly took advantage of Scotland’s weakness to reclaim the lost province of Rennes, which had passed in the hands of the cadet branch through foreign inheritance. The distant kinsmen of Richard were slipping dangerously on precarious slopes. The Anscarid’s favourite playground remained Iberia for the time being.


Iberian Peninsula 1214

So it was that the emperor continued the aggressive expansionist policy of his predecessors in Iberia by declaring war against Duke Rodrigo of Toledo. Without any surprise, Francia easily incorporated Toledo into the growing empire. The d’Ivrea family always wanted to paint the whole peninsula blue, which was by now the imperial colour of choice. My personal assertions remain that the successive emperors wanted to secure the trade routes between Francia Occidentalis and the core territories in Aquitaine. I humbly remind the reader that Iberia during this time period remained a turbulent zone of incessant wars.


One step closer to a blue Iberia

The following month, the empire attacked Genoa to claim the rightful territories of Calatrava from Doge Manfredo III. By November, the Paladins were already on the move and they sacked the very province of Calatrava. Genoa suffered multiple setbacks previously and their lifeblood, money, was in short supply. A piecemeal force was dispatched to Granada, which was swiftly crushed at the battle of Huelma.

“A merchant without gold is the same as a sinner without sin. Either way, I am doing the civilized world a great service in emptying both merchants and sinners dry. Everything is going according to the Divine Will.”
- Richard III "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia

However, Genoa remained a tenacious adversary. Calling in favours, Manfredo III managed to gather a sizeable mercenary corps. The professional army quickly moved to Provence, putting the entire province under siege. Far from impressed, Richard sent the Paladins along with the 1st imperial army to Iberia. The 2nd imperial army was ordered to guard the core territories of the empire.



Battle of Largentière

Manfredo III’s plan comprised 2 objectives: to divert Francia’s army in Granada and to invade the core territories from the east. Richard was no dupe, for he laid his pawns where they would hurt Genoa the hardest: right in the heart of their trade center. At the battle of Largentière, the Franks’ centre was quickly pierced by the mercenaries. Thankfully, reinforcements reached the battlefield just in time to buffer the remaining flanks.


A little bonus

"Leading men in the heat of battle is a task for the Peers. Stirring the hearts of men, inspiring them and governing the restored empire of the West is our duty, dictated by the Heavens themselves. Everything is going according to the Divine Will."
- Richard III "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia

With the mercenaries on the run, the 2nd imperial army moved to Nice. Back in Francia Occidentalis, the 1st army left La Mancha and moved to Granada to repel the united Genoese remnants. Ultimately, the 2nd army reached Genoa to deliver the coup de grâce. Meanwhile, at the battle of Huelma, Manfredo III was killed in combat. Following the skirmishes on the outskirts of Genoa, the Republic had no choice but to relinquish Calatrava to the emperor. So, in November 1215, the war ended with Richard III as the victor.




Genoa is defeated again
 

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Yeah, show the Doges the what-for! Put them in the doge house!

... God, I suck at puns.
I like to send them crawling back to their manor in shame.

Great to see this back!
Thanks! I'll do my best to update more regularly now that I'm more used to my new schedule. Got much to catch up on...
 

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I was worried that this project was cancelled! Great to you are back!
 

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I was worried that this project was cancelled! Great to you are back!
No no, I put it on hold while I was learning C#, Visual Basic, Javascript and PHP... Far from done, but now I'm slowly getting the hang of it. I'll do my best to write another chapter before I start my classes again next week.
 

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Great AAR, Mithfir! I like how you split each update into your voice, your characters voice, and the historians voice. Nice touch. :) Keep up the good work!
 

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Great AAR, Mithfir! I like how you split each update into your voice, your characters voice, and the historians voice. Nice touch. :) Keep up the good work!
Ah thanks for the kind words! This is a reflection of my medieval history classes that I took. I also have some ideas for a novel, though I'm not quite there yet. I'm still sorting out my screenshots for the next chapter as I would like to condense it. Still busy with my classes and homework, sorry for the lack of updates.
 

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Ah thanks for the kind words! This is a reflection of my medieval history classes that I took. I also have some ideas for a novel, though I'm not quite there yet. I'm still sorting out my screenshots for the next chapter as I would like to condense it. Still busy with my classes and homework, sorry for the lack of updates.
It's quite understandable.
 

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It's quite understandable.
I really should do a little bit everyday just to keep up with this AAR. I also got a few AARs to catch up to, including yours in the EU3 section!

Chapter 37
The Last Years of Richard III (1215-1220)​

Phew, this has been way too long since I updated this AAR. I actually had some free time to week-end, but this week will be busy, as always. The game keeps changing and my screenshots now feel archaic. I do hope my writing didn't become mechanical relating all these events. To be honest, I'm not really satisfied with this chapter, but since it has been in limbo for so long, I might as well get it over with and start anew with the successive chapters. Or, at least, attempt to. Ah well, moving on!

The last years of the reign of Richard III marked another expansion period for the empire. Frail as he might have been during his late years, the emperor lost none of his fervor. For one thing, the Iberian Peninsula proved once again to be full of ample opportunities to seize territories from weak rulers. Most notably, the new English king, Arnold the Cruel, was unable to consolidate his precarious holdings in northern Iberia. Without any surprise, Richard III declared war against him to seize the province of Plasencia.


Inserts evil laugh

Also, the Holy Roman Empire faced a large revolt; several vassals sent an ultimatum to Kaiser Karl III, demanding he loosened his grip on his subjects. He refused, which led to a civil war. This opened the possibility of expanding the borders of the empire eastward, towards Burgundy and Poland. As such, Richard III launched an invasion to claim Forez, Vienne and Yperen from the revolting German lords. Yperen was the first province to surrender, humbly begging to end the massacre. Duchess Irmele of Baden followed with the loss of Vienne to the emperor. Forez’s annexation closed the hostilities against the Germans’ minor lords. The emperor was not done, however.

“The Lord granted me more time to read as my body forbids me to lift my sword anymore. The achievements of my ancestors against the Salians impressed me. Now, it is my turn to write a few boastful words of my own against their successors. Everything is going according to the Divine Will.”
- Richard III "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia​


Invasion of Burgundy

Francia’s biggest enemy remained the Kaiser himself and the large rebellion blazing throughout the Holy Roman Empire proved too irresistible. Richard III ordered his forces to continue the march east. Their target was the wealthy province of Lyon. While the Paladins continued the subjugation of the English meager forces in Iberia, the main imperial levies were emptied and sent to Burgundy. Only the eastern forces remained untouched in Poland. Until November 1217, Richard’s forces were unopposed, freely storming Burgundy and Iberia. Finally, Karl III counter-attacked; a large army intended to reclaim the occupied territories. The Germans forced a pitched battle near Saint-Imier. Sensing the unavoidable conflict, reinforcements were requested from Savoy and they soon joined the fray. Following the decisive Frankish victory, Karl III relinquished Lyon to Francia. To celebrate his recent victories, the emperor named his heir, the future Richard IV, as the new duke of Dauphiné.


The Ilkhanate arrives in Persia

In May 1216 marked the beginning of the Mongol invasion of the Arab states. Indeed, the infant Padishah Tutus the Conqueror, leader of the Taftan Khaganate, entered the ancient realm of Persia, unleashing the first great Mongol invasion of the 13th century. The Golden Horde would soon follow years later, finally closed by the Timurid invasion in the 14th century. While the Golden Horde remained Tengri pagans and later converted to Orthodox Christianity before they brought about the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in the late 14th century, the Ilkhanate had converted to Sunni Islam before their invasion of Persia. Emissaries and militant imams made contact with the growing barbarian empire, hoping they could prevent an invasion by converting the barbarian hordes. Unfortunately for them, while they did manage to convert the Ilkhanate, they never removed their lust for conquest. Francia was safe for the time being, although they would clash with the Timurids near the end of the Middle Ages.

“From what the Ilkhanate Mongols learned about the realms beyond Asia Minor from the Persians, tales of a twin Frankish empire who ruled the far western coasts of the continent were relished by the nomadic warriors. Some attempts were made to goad Francia and the Holy Roman Empire to war against the Saracens, but no official alliances were ever made. Most probably, the fact that the Ilkhanate was also Muslim like the Saracens made them suspicious in the eyes of the Franks. Jerusalem remained in Christian hands for the time being.”
- Zoltáná Arpád, cited in the Two Richards, Princess of Hungary​

During the 14th century, a great work written by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, the Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh, was produced by the Ilkhanate. This massive written chronicle contains 3 volumes, depicting historical events of Europe, Middle East and China. The most extensive part consists of the history of the Turkish and Mongol people, coupled with genealogies, legends and histories. The volumes also served to establish Mongol legacy to the world. Since history is written by the victors, it served as a tool to justify Mongol hegemony during the great Mongol Invasions. I did not have the chance to consult the original manuscript, though a very old copy exists in the University of Paris, a copy I studied thoroughly. According to Mongol history, Rashid was executed once he was accused and found guilty of poisoning the Khan of the Ilkhanate. In any case, Rashid was said to have been a very wealthy and prolific author.


The Basileus has a bad day

In Asia Minor, the Muslims were preparing for war against their natural enemy, the Byzantine Empire. A great Sunni Jihad was launched to reclaim Mesopotamia from the Greeks. Basileus Theodoros II prepared his troops to fend off the coming storm. Still, the Greeks were no match against the Saracens; Caliph Uluç’s victory was complete in late 1219. Afterwards, the Byzantines entered a slow but steady decline that would climax with the arrival of the Golden Horde decades later.


“Dear Richard spurned me the other day; why must he pretend he doesn’t love me? I know he does, I just know it. His eyes are full of warmth and pride when he stares into mine. I bore him four daughters and I know he is proud of our family. Why must he be so stubborn, just like his father the emperor? ”
- Zoltáná Arpád, Princess of Hungary

Back in Western Europe, the emperor married his half-brother Gelduin to Countess Zoe of Paphlagonia. Richard’s youngest son, Hughes, was wed off to Duchess Ros of Lothian, a Scottish ruler. Also, Plasencia was finally incorporated into the growing empire. With the Holy Roman Empire still plagued with civil war, Richard ordered the Paladins to invade Bohemia. This would be the emperor’s last political act. Indeed, in autumn 1219, Richard III’s health worsened. So weak was the emperor in his state that he remained bedridden until his death. The Dauphin Richard assumed reign of the empire as regent.


King of Hungary and his daughters

“Lord Father is not long for this world. Courtiers are now looking at me with high expectation; even my dear Zoltáná seems to expect something of me. Was it because I didn’t return her affections the other day? I have so much to think about… So much to do, so much to plan and still I must bring a son before her father the king of Hungary. He seems to enjoy this competition a little too much between dear Zoltáná and Dorottya.”
- Richard IV d'Ivrea, Dauphin of Francia


Union of Denmark and Hungary

The Hungarian succession question resurfaced once more when Dorottya, the 2nd princess, gave birth to a boy, Abel Haraldsen. Her husband Harald was to be the next king of Denmark, the strongest power in the north. In this act, she usurped her sister’s position as heiress of Hungary. During this time, Richard IV and Zoltáná were blessed with 4 daughters, but no son. According to the Agnatic-Cognatic succession law, it put Dorottya first in the line of succession. Of course, Zoltáná could still give birth to a son before the old king died, but nothing remained certain. This long awaited son, the future Ogier the Confessor, would eventually be born to the imperial couple, but the dispute succession was far from settled. King Nándor had played his cards well: Hungary would join with either Denmark or Francia through the next queen.



Farewell Richard

Finally, in November 1220, Richard III passed away, mourned by his court and family. Through his actions, the empire greatly increased its borders, but he also left an unclear future concerning Hungary. This delicate matter would have to be settled by his son and grandson. The quotation below were his last words written in the Will of the Anscarids, where he encouraged his son to believe in himself and in the spirit of their family.

"Remember Richard, all things change and we change with them. Everything is going according to the Divine Will. You must believe in the path laid out before you. The Will has the answers."
- Richard III "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia​

Hey wait, I lost the crown of Poland! Curse you Elective! So, this is it for Richard III, my smartest landed heir ever. Next up is his synopsis, followed by Richard IV's story. That's 4 stories complete and 9 to go! I'm also learning how to play the Muslims with the new update about the decadence system. I think I'm getting the hang of it. I still have to try out the Indian nobles, though their mechanics look awfully similar to the Christians. I'd like to try out the d'Ivreas again in the 867 start as well. This game doesn't stop to take away all my free time!
 

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Seeing the return of this AAR is an excellent birthday gift! I hope you export this to EU4, honestly.
 

Mithfir

Major
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Seeing the return of this AAR is an excellent birthday gift! I hope you export this to EU4, honestly.
I have to finish this long campaign first! I may be well in over my head to write another 400 years... All in due time!

Very glad to see this AAR returning! Looking forward to seeing how Richard IV's reign changes the empire. Hopefully Hungary can be snagged.
Welcome aboard and thanks! Indeed, Hungary is coveted by Francia and Denmark for the time being...
 

Idhrendur

Keeper of the Converters
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New DLCs can be so distracting, huh? I've got a second Byzantine game starting from the Old Gods start going. I'll be curious to take that one through EU4.

And I need to post the next update for my AAR sometime...