• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    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

Greenskyguy

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Interesting update!
 

Mithfir

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The AI really should execute imprisoned claimants, but I remained intrigued nonetheless.

Your British Isles sure are interesting, East Anglia in northern Scotland and Kent in Connacht.
My cadet branch up there managed to claim their independence from England! Will they be able to keep it?

Interesting update!
The war for Poland continues...
 

Mithfir

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Never a dull moment for the Anscarids! It's one of the disadvantages of setting up family on foreign thrones; they always get embroiled in some war and force you to save them! :angry:
Indeed, except this time, it helped weaken a potential future rival and gave one crown to my dynasty.
 

Red John

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Boy, that took a while to read in one sitting. Fantastic AAR, I can't wait to see Richard III ascend to the throne, and I'm honestly surprised the current king wasn't deposed of immediately.

(God help Europe, you're becoming the Karlings in the 867 start..)
 

Mithfir

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Boy, that took a while to read in one sitting. Fantastic AAR, I can't wait to see Richard III ascend to the throne, and I'm honestly surprised the current king wasn't deposed of immediately.

(God help Europe, you're becoming the Karlings in the 867 start..)
Jeez, you read it all in one go? o_O

I am touched friend! My Word document is almost at 100 pages! Believe me, I have the best intentions for Europe, oh yes I do...
 

Mithfir

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Chapter 32​

The War for Poland part 2 (1201-1202)​

I would have liked to merge this chapter with the previous, but it might have been too long. I preferred to keep the Galician war separate from Poland not to confuse readers. This will be a shorter chapter, but an essential one.


Yes I was involved!

The Galician Succession War ended in a victory for the d’Ivrea dynasty. Not only Violante d’Ivrea gained a crown, but King Osulf of England received a harsh blow. With the western border strengthened, Richard II hurried to help his son consolidate the blossoming, albeit hostile, eastern parts of the empire. Before he could do so, dissidents had to be taken care of. While Duke Gausebert was the leader of the rebel faction, Duke Judikael of Badajoz proved an easier target to get rid of. One day that Judikael inspected the ramparts of his castle, he took an unexpected dive to the ground when the wooden floor gave way. No evidence could trace the accident to the emperor, although he wrote in the Will that while he grieved for Judikael, he would find the strength to carry on, before mentioning his favourite quote: “One less wild horse in the herd”. I will leave the reader to speculate whether the emperor was involved in the accident or not.


Incapable usually soon follows...

Still, Richard II passed his 60th birthday. Old age began to take its toll as the emperor clearly didn’t possess his youthful spring anymore. Forced to walk with a stick, he nonetheless conserved his political aplomb. This would only increase the theatrical effect when he visited Duke Gausebert soon after Judikael’s death. As it happened, the crippled emperor was unexpectedly welcomed by Gausebert and harshly reprimanded. Richard angrily told Gausebert that if he didn’t want to end up like his father Guilhèm IX, he’d better respect his fealty oath and stop his conspiracy plans with Count Robert of Mantua (Richard’s half-brother). Or else, he would be given an imperial escort to Paris’ dungeons by the Durendal and his Peers. Gausebert wisely heeded Richard’s recommendation. Satisfied, the emperor could now focus on the renewed Poland campaign, for his son desperately needed help. Unfortunately, the emperor drained much strength in his confrontation with Gausebert. When he returned to Paris, Richard II fell gravely ill, and his health kept deteriorating...

“The Aquitanians would gladly see the empire invaded by the Holy Roman Empire had I not intervened to stop their petty revolt. Ever must I remain prudent, ever must I rein my anger to unleash it on my idiotic southern subjects. I must protect my son, no matter the cost. The empire’s future lies in the east.”
- Richard II "the Great" d'Ivrea, Emperor of Francia​


The Poland situation in 1201

By June 1201, Richard III was hopelessly outnumbered in Upper Silesia, the new Polish capital. It would take three months for the Paladins, once again under the leadership of Orson de Qula, to reach the distant kingdom. A secondary army remained camped in Krakow, the old capital, observing how the conflict would unfold.


Orson saves the day

As expected, Richard III was unable to contain the rebels. Despite a heroic stand on the outskirts of Upper Silesia, his army was badly beaten and forced to retreat south in Bohemia. In October, the Paladins engaged Count Boleslaw’s army at the battle of Jicin, sealing an important victory. Immediately after, Orson marched east towards Krakow to crush the secondary army led by Duke Przemyslaw II of Greater Poland.


A 3rd child between Richard II and Cecilia

On the 2nd of November 1201, Mathilde is born to Francia.


Curses!

In December, Orson reached the duke’s army, triggering the battle of Pultusk. Orson triumphed once more, but the situation was far from won. Sensing Richard III’s delicate situation, a new player joined the war for Poland: King Anders II of Denmark. A strong power in the north-east, Denmark aimed to install prince Zbyszko, youngest son of King Sulislaw I, who died in 1142. The prince aged 68, but he remained a popular noble in Eastern Europe.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccgqNjWiXjU

That's just to give you an idea how strong Denmark is at this point. They expanded deep into Sweden, Poland and Lithuania.

“The hounds caught the scent of blood. The Danish wolves are coming. This is a test sent by the Divine Providence! Let them come! Everything is going according to the Divine Will!”
- Richard III d'Ivrea, King of Poland

With the rebels’ armies defeated, the Paladins promptly moved to Obole, the Count’s stronghold. Denmark closed in fast for the kill: several armies now entered eastern Poland. According to Polish sources, no less than 30,000 men invaded, outnumbering the Anscarids 3 to 1. Still, the belligerents fought. Nothing was set in stone yet.

As the war for Poland looked grim, so did the imperial court. Richard II never recovered from his last visit to Gausebert. Already in weak health, the old emperor was plagued with a severe fever that lasted for weeks. On the 14th of June 1202, Richard II “the Great” left the mortal coil, leaguing the imperial crown and all the empire’s new challenges to his son. As he warned Richard III, winning Poland was merely the beginning: his greatest challenge now lay in front of him.


You know, you weren't so bad in the end Richard II

This is it for Richard II. That's 3 stories complete and 10 to go. Now to wrap up his synopsis before moving on to Richard III.

With Paradox announcing the converter for EU4, I am strongly leaning forward continuing this AAR beyond the year 1444. I'm still a beginner concerning Europa Universalis, but I should be able to increase my skills by the time I reach 1444 with this AAR. Hopefully, the story will remain interesting during the EU4 era. This also means that I'll put my Alfred game on hold. I'm not very far anyway and I'd prefer to continue this AAR instead of creating a new one. Playing from 867 to 1453 will be a colossal story to write up as well. I'll keep going, because where I currently am, things are heating up...
 

Red John

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With Paradox announcing the converter for EU4, I am strongly leaning forward continuing this AAR beyond the year 1444. I'm still a beginner concerning Europa Universalis, but I should be able to increase my skills by the time I reach 1444 with this AAR. Hopefully, the story will remain interesting during the EU4 era. This also means that I'll put my Alfred game on hold. I'm not very far anyway and I'd prefer to continue this AAR instead of creating a new one. Playing from 867 to 1453 will be a colossal story to write up as well. I'll keep going, because where I currently am, things are heating up...[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
The crowns of France and Poland are united, just like what happened historically!


On the topic of continuing on to EU4, it sounds fantastic. If you do decide to continue, I'd advise you to try and limit your expansion. (Assuming another ruler expands as quickly as the "Just" did. If you quickly gobble up most of Europe, by the time you reach 1444 you'll be unstoppable.)

Regardless of what you do, I'd suggest cleaning up the borders beforehand. Converted games get really messy.
 

Idhrendur

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Oh, goodness, that's some intense fighting in Poland. And I am always in favor of conversion games, though I might urge you to convert to EU3 instead. :rofl:

No, not really. EU4 is going to be awesome, and it looks like they're doing all the right things with their converter.
 

Greenskyguy

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Great update!
 

Mithfir

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The crowns of France and Poland are united, just like what happened historically!


On the topic of continuing on to EU4, it sounds fantastic. If you do decide to continue, I'd advise you to try and limit your expansion. (Assuming another ruler expands as quickly as the "Just" did. If you quickly gobble up most of Europe, by the time you reach 1444 you'll be unstoppable.)

Regardless of what you do, I'd suggest cleaning up the borders beforehand. Converted games get really messy.
Wouldn't messy borders make a more interesting AAR though? Currently, I'm being extra careful because the Holy Roman Empire is very strong at this point. Richard I sure spanked them one too many times, so they elected a competent Kaiser. I'll have to see how my 1444 save is like in EU4.

Oh, goodness, that's some intense fighting in Poland. And I am always in favor of conversion games, though I might urge you to convert to EU3 instead. :rofl:

No, not really. EU4 is going to be awesome, and it looks like they're doing all the right things with their converter.
Denmark is my newest adversary... As if the Holy Roman Empire wasn't enough to keep in check! One thing I wonder is how the converter will change all my vassals. Could make an interesting story if someone threw a spanner in my imperial well oiled machine.

Great update!
Thanks!
 

Red John

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Wouldn't messy borders make a more interesting AAR though? Currently, I'm being extra careful because the Holy Roman Empire is very strong at this point. Richard I sure spanked them one too many times, so they elected a competent Kaiser. I'll have to see how my 1444 save is like in EU4.
I guess it'd make it more interesting. A bit hard to justify, since sometimes it just gets silly.
(I really, really hope that the HRE gets absolute crown authority.)
 

Mithfir

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I guess it'd make it more interesting. A bit hard to justify, since sometimes it just gets silly.
(I really, really hope that the HRE gets absolute crown authority.)
So that they get revolts more often? I approve!
 

Mithfir

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Synopsis​

Richard II "the Great"​


Young, middle and old Richard II

Attributed quotes:

“One less wild horse in the herd.”
“Hard work conquers all.”


Also known as:

The Great
The Prudent


Being the second son of Richard the 1st, the empire placed much hope upon Richard’s brother André, the eldest child of the emperor. In order to insure a peaceful succession to André at the time of his death, Richard I sent his second son away to Poland to marry Duchess Anastazja of Upper Silesia. While a fruitful marriage, it soon proved unhappy, as Richard preferred to participate in court intrigue. His second marriage to Cecilia Salian proved a happier, if shorter, union later in his life. When his older brother André died without a male heir, the imperial succession then passed to Richard’s line. By then, Richard sired two sons and two daughters.


Differences between Richard's wives

According to the Will of the Anscarids, Richard II acquired this love of secrets and schemes while he was climbing Melun’s main tower. He would have overheard his father discussing military strategies with his fellow Peers during one of the various campaigns undertook by the elder emperor. The father strictly forbade him to climb towers again, but the young man conserved his new discovered love for intrigue. This would serve Richard well during his reign; several dukes died in mysterious circumstances during Richard II’s reign and some of them were directly linked to the emperor’s love for intrigue.

Greatly underestimated by his father, the expectations towards the second son were low. As such, the relationship between father and brothers left the young Richard with an inferiority complex. Determined to make his father proud, while also loathing his elder brother, Richard II diligently worked to have his existence validated positively by his peers. Thanks to his competent administration of Upper Silesia, many savings were accumulated into his personal fortune (and quickly spent to remove his excommunication stigma).

Richard II gained the crown at the respected age of 41. The new emperor would proudly tackle the new challenge with determination and courage. Despite having acquired a solid administrative experience during the regency of his wife, the new emperor faced a considerable challenge to govern such a large empire. For one, his new subjects regarded him as suspicious because Richard plotted to see his brother killed. While André died a natural death, the cloud of suspicion never fully left Richard regarding the Dauphin’s death. Two conspiracies aimed to see the emperor dead, but none succeeded.


Merely one week after he was crowned in Reims, Queen Aldonza of Aragon appealed to the Pope to have Richard excommunicated. Conscious of the importance of maintaining the clergy on his good side, the emperor quickly left for Rome. One key trait that shaped Richard’s personality was demonstrated during his visit to Pope Eugene III. He was willing to bend, but refused to break. Such an attitude set him aside from his father and eldest son, the future Richard III. When he returned from his pilgrimage to Rome, Richard was a changed man. He grew more and more pious, even going as far as undergoing fasts and limiting his interactions with female courtiers. He also greatly restrained his choleric temper, no doubt inherited from his flamboyant father. It’s worth noting that the emperor never saw his wife Anastazja again when he was crowned emperor. Perhaps his unhappy marriage discouraged Richard to pursue romantic affairs with the other sex, at least, until his second marriage with Cecilia. Oddly enough, Cecilia gave birth to 3 children in quick succession, which is quite a feat, since Richard II was a workaholic and nearly asexual early in his reign.

Politically, Richard knew he had to remain prudent. With the powerful Holy Roman Empire as a neighbour, the Great focused on administrating the budding empire competently. However, the Iberian Peninsula remained a constant source of strife and chaos. The weakness of Iberia’s rulers tempted the emperor enough to seize some territories from them. Richard II prudently expanded the western borders by incorporating Granada, Évora, Almeria, Asturias and Murcia into Francia Occidentalis. In return, Algeciras and Malaga were lost to the Holy Roman Empire due to vassal inheritances.

During the campaign for Murcia, Toulouse and Aquitaine went into open revolt. The rebels wanted to install Gaucelin, Richard’s youngest brother, as emperor. Undaunted, Richard II swiftly crushed the rebellion, imprisoned Duke Uc II and Duke Guilhèm IX and revoked the duchies of Aquitaine and Toulouse. Soon afterwards, the Republic of Flanders, a vassal of the empire of Francia, was born to counter the greedy Italian Republics in the Mediterranean.


Direct dynasty branch

When Richard III became the duke of Silesia, he soon pushed his claim for the Polish crown. Richard II quickly came to help his son. With Poland’s crown shining on his head, Richard III marked the birth of Francia Orientalis, thanks to the efforts of his father’s army. The victory would prove short-lived, as Poland would soon revolt against Richard III.

The Great also participated in the Galician Succession War, spearheaded by his niece Violante “Ironside”, duchess and queen of Aragon. Following the crowning of Violante Bouchardez d’Ivrea as Queen of Galicia, the emperor then turned his attention once again to Poland. In declining health, plagued with illness, Richard II died at the respected age of 62. His eldest son Richard III then received the imperial crown in the year 1202.

A man of average skills who managed to accomplish great deeds, such is how Richard II is remembered. He bore a shining resemblance to Pippin the Short’s life; a successful and competent ruler, but overshadowed by both his flamboyant father and cunning son. Perhaps it’s because Richard II managed to overcome his shortcomings that he earned the epithet “the Great”, since even an average man can accomplish great things with determination and hard work.

Political map of 1202​

I'll be honest, when I first realized that Richard II would be my successor, I was quite discouraged. He had average stats and I was quite sure that I would face an enormous revolt. It went a lot better than I expected. Richard II had very average stats, but he had good traits. I then saw him in a different light. Perhaps traits do count more in the end and it proved a fair challenge to expand the empire under him. I underestimated him; thanks to that, I remained prudent during his reign and it paid off in the long run. While I lost the duchy of Aragon with André's death, I gained Silesia in return. Playing a lower stats character isn't that bad in the end and can make a good story. Breeding geniuses can only go so far and I've never been lucky in the breeding department either. One of my future protagonists do get the Quick trait at least.

My father told me once that we're not born with a talent: we forge it through work. Perhaps he is right. Richard II sure makes a fine point to back it up.


Did you notice Denmark in the north-east? And the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle East? They sure expanded quickly... All right, next chapter is Richard III!
 

Red John

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So that they get revolts more often? I approve!
Yeah..

Until they become one huge state in EU4 with unique national ideas.

Great recap of Richard II "the Flamboyant". I wonder how different it would've been had he killed his brother and gained the kinslayer trait. Quite a stroke of luck.
 

Greenskyguy

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Richard II has an inspiring story.
 

Mithfir

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Yeah..

Until they become one huge state in EU4 with unique national ideas.

Great recap of Richard II "the Flamboyant". I wonder how different it would've been had he killed his brother and gained the kinslayer trait. Quite a stroke of luck.
He might have had a shorter rule with the diplomacy penalty... I do have a lot of kinsmen in my court usually. It's one of those reversals of fortune that turned out for the best. I might have lost Aragon, but I instead gained a new playground in the east. And it's actually Richard I who was flamboyant. Richard II restrained his passions to keep his head clear, focused and on his shoulders. ;)

Richard II has an inspiring story.
I remembered Christoper Lee in the Lords of the Rings commentaries when he discussed Sam's character. Based on my not so trusty memory, he said that to him, he was the true hero because he was an ordinary man who courageously assisted Frodo in his quest. Imagine, a Hobbit gardener crossing half the world into the heart of evil to get rid of a super evil artifact who corrupted kings? That takes quite a lot of guts! I guess people enjoy a good story where the underdog manages to come over the top despite his shortcomings, like in plenty of American comedy movies.

And so, Richard II was an average man who left the empire in a better state than he inherited it, which is a sign of a successful ruler. :)
 

Lord Durham

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Thus passes Richard II, an ordinary man driven to extraordinary heights. I enjoyed this line from the previous post: “One less wild horse in the herd”. Obviously culling the herd is a necessary Kingly pastime. Denmark and the HRE are real beasts. They could prove formidable, eh?