• 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

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Chapter 8: Duke Tamim II "The Cruel" (1184-1217)

After inheriting the Duchy of Granada from his elder brother on November 7, 1184, Tamim had almost no levy and a realm full for Muslims to convert since he was a Catholic. The Almoravids, no doubt outraged that Tamim had found his way to ruling Granada declared their own holy war. Tamim didn't have the armies to fight them off, but then Castille & Navarra had almost immediately come to Granada's defense. These northern armies had successfully fended off the biggest threat to a recovering Granada, and Tamim's first decade was essentially devoted to rebuilding and peacefully converting Granada to Catholicism. Tamim II had arranged a marriage with Teresa de Bourbon, who was the daughter of King Archambout II of Aquitaine. Tamim had briefly considered swearing fealty to another lord, but Aquitaine was out of range and Tamim decided that independent Granada was best for his realm.


Finally in the mid-1190s, Granada had regenerated itself, and Duke Tamim II saw a prime oppertunity to expand his realm. The King of Aragon, Ramon-Berenguer IV, had become a Waldesian heretic and Tamim(like his grandfather the Emir Ali I) had long had his eyes on Murcia. Tamim had declared a holy war while other Iberian kingdoms were declaring their holy war for Barcelona. He had hired a holy order to help him take Murcia, and to contemporary chronicilers, it seemed like divine providence that Tamim took the Duchy of Murcia just months before Ramon-Berenguer IV had expired(which would have made Tamim's war invalid since his son was a just Catholic).





In some ways, Tamim II was very much in the mold of his conquering grandfather Ali I(of course the difference in religion would have likely appalled old Ali I). Not content to sit on his laurels, Tamim would declare another holy war when an Aragonese vassal who was a heretic was in revolt. It wasn't much of a contest, and the County of Cordoba would fall into Tamim's hands on October 18, 1196. Aragon's ability to stifle Granada had been diminished. Of course Tamim, who was also the Duke of Mallorca but didn't possess any land on the islands, saw what his next goal had to be.





Plans on additional conquest had to be put on hold however when the Pope declared the Crusade for Germany against the Holy Roman Emperor. Tamim II, as a faithful Catholic, had decided to join the Crusade, and had joined his fellow Catholics to liberate Germans from the foul yoke of the heretic Kaiser. Since Granada was not by any means among the more powerful of the Crusading realms, Tamim II had focused on assisting the Pope in battles against the Kaiser. His military prowess and ability to set up ambushes had helped turn the tide of war, and on December 28, 1203, there would be a new King of the Germans....the King of Scotland, Matad II. Catholics around Europe celebrated as Matad had liberated German lands from foul heresy. Deus Vult! was the cry of the lands.





After a successful Crusade, Tamim II finally mourned the loss of his son Barrel who was murdered on the orders of a lowborn wife of a Baron. He had other children so succession was not going to be a problem. He would have 3 daughters, who were married to the King of Croatia, the Duke of Benevento, and the Count of Surrey respectively. His surviving son, Tamim, had grown to be a decent lad of 10 by then(born November 25, 1193). Granada was also slowly becoming Catholic although they stuck with their native Andalusian culture. It would be around this time that Tamim II had begun hearing of a new way to improve his military, through having retinues. Tamim liked the idea of having a small band of knights loyal to him, and improving his military prowess(since Knights were the cultural warriors of Occitans). As the first decade of the 13th Century ended, Tamim finally saw a chance to press a claim against his cousin, King Boson(who was described by chroniclers as a drooling imbecile), and so Tamim became the owner of the County of Mallorca on November 4, 1211, and at least for the next 100 years, a Zirid would always own that island.

By the time that Duke Tamim II had drew his last breath on October 11, 1217, the Duchy of Granada was in the best shape it had been in about 75 years. His older brother, Frederi, had died only a few years before. His son, Tamim, was ready to rule. The duchy's priests would welcome the ascension of the newest Duke, Tamim III.



 

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A Catholic ruler? A Scottish Germany? Twists!
More twists coming. Tamim III's reign is what finally made me write this AAR. Also apparently if someone creates the kingdom, it's called Austrasia, and not by the now historical name[by 1066] of Lotharingia. [One of the Kaiser's vassals created the kingdom]
 

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Chapter 9: Duke Tamim III, triple duke, becomes.... (1217-1236)


Duke Tamim III was unusual for Zirid Dukes in that his greatest strength was in scheming even though he had a clerical education. Being Patient and Zealous where also two highly desirable traits in an ruler that wished to expand. Due to his father, Tamim II fabricating claims, Tamim III had weak claims on Denia(reconquest of that was high on any Zirid's list) and Caltrava. Unfortunately, Tamim III was not strong enough to conquer territory from France(due to them being a stronger realm) or Navarra(pesky alliance with Castille). At first, Tamim also had difficulty with being able to have a son(in fact he would sire a few bastards, which did not please his Norman English wife). But when he would have a son, he would be sure to institute primogenture, which he was freely able to do since Granada itself had no crown authority it had to answer to. But the Duchy of Granada was becoming big enough that Tamim could not hold all of the land, and soon his ambitions would turn to becoming king. His father also had similar thoughts, which was why he fabricated claims to gain more lands in Andalusia.



Tamim III also took any opportunity to expand his realm, and when Aquitaine was embroiled in even more civil wars, that was Tamim's cue to press his claims on the isle of Menorca. Really, taking the island was like taking candy from a baby, and so on April 25, 1225...Tamim III possessed all of the lands of the Duchy of Mallorca, and those would remain in Zirid hands for at least the next century. Tamim then pondered his next move as he was hungry to expand Granada's coastal holdings and opportunity had presented itself thanks to Granada's old hated rival, the Kingdom of Aragon.



The late 1220s saw Tamim III declare his first holy war...on the Holy Roman Empire for the Duchy of Provence. Just a week after the King of Aragon declared his own holy war for the same lands. Tamim III being a clever bastard decided that he'd just rush there first and steal Provence right from under the noses of those snotty Aragonese and their king, Ramon-Berenguer VI(Aragon was not known for their originality). And so Tamim had gathered his forces and sailed them there while the Aragonese had been content to merely walk their men from Barcelona. And since the Kaiser was busy with a revolt, Tamim III had his armies take all of Provence's holdings itself and picked off the survivors of a stack that the HRE sent to chase off Aragon, and then helped itself to every subholding of Venaissen, but not the top holding itself since that was the one holding that the King of Aragon managed to get. On March 6, 1228, the Kaiser surrended what Granada had taken, and thusly Granada would have some very lush land to deal with in 30 years.

After Granada regained its strength and Tamim III had delegated all of the titles that he had just won, he sat back for a few years while his treasury recovered from winning wars and building up holdings, but Forcalquier was still in revolt and since Tamim III had no peace timer with them, holy war was declared yet again. Aragon would finally win Venaissen(but just the top holding) on March 26, 1233. Tamim would make short work for the revolters and won himself more of the duchy of Provence on April 2, 1334. Sadly not enough to create the Duchy of Provence as Aragon was a headache he'd deal with later, and Pisa owning Nice was another pain that would have to be dealt with in the future. But just as that holy war had been won, a different matter would drive Granada to war yet again....the Crusade for Burgundy.



Tamim would operate command of his armies in the Crusade much like his earlier holy wars. He would gather his men, and sail them up to the lands he now owned. Tamim was also very motatived to not let some other ruler gain claims on the land that he had just conquered. Kaiser Gotthard II could still muster impressive armies, but Burgundy was sought after by quite a few rulers. Tamim had to use every thing at his disposal to drive the warscore up, and also to drive up what the Pope would see as his contribution to the Crusade. It was a bit of a painful affair for Tamim III to aggressively use up levies and contracted holy orders, but ultimately the Catholics prevailed again against the (un)Holy (not) Roman Empire. On what would become a national holiday for the Kingdom of Burgundy, Tamim III would become King Tamim I "the Great" of Burgundy on September 29, 1236. In a mere 20 years of his reign, Tamim had more than doubled the size of his realm, and his personal demesne was able to increase to 7. Of course, Tamim could not longer be a triple duke, and so becoming a double Duke(in addition to being King) would mean he had to give the Duchy of Mallorca away to his distant relative. But nevertheless, Tamim had managed to become the first Burgundian king in 200 years.



Notable rulers:
Kaiser Gotthard II of Holy Roman Empire:


King Ramon-Berenguer VI of Aragon



 

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Chapter 10: King Tamim "The Great" of Burgundy(Sept. 29, 1236-December 27, 1257)


Among historians, the resurrection of the Kingdom of Burgundy by Tamim I/Duke Tamim has been considered his greatest achievement. By this time, all of the Zirids in Tamim's court were faithful Catholics. And so King Tamim's goals now shifted to peacefully converting the lands that he now acquired which were rife with the foul Waldensian heresy. Building a warchest to wrestle Venaissin from the Kingdom of Aragon(Kings of Aragon were not pleased with having Avignon as not theirs among other things) was also a secondary goal, as was defending Upper Burgundy from a really displeased Holy Roman Emperor who really wanted the lands he lost back. A de jure war against Aragon was eventually called, but it eventually become a stalemate as Aragon could field an equal army to Burgundy, and the King of Aragon countered Tamim's assaulting strategy by concentrating his armies on Mallorca making an amphibious landing suicidal. Then the Holy Roman Emperor declared his own holy war to regain Upper Burgundy so Tamim had to settle for a white peace. With the help with the Order of St. John/Knights Hospitalier, the Kaiser was also forced into a white peace so the status quo would remain for the rest of Tamim's reign.



Chroniclers note that once Tamim had become king, he fell more in love with his Norman wife Aveis. Of course, his legitimized bastard Umar dying young of some fever at 16 had been tough on the king, but he would sire 3 daughters(one would marry the King of Denmark), and his other bastard son would be matrilinealy married to the Queen of Leon. His sole legitimate son, Tamim(born April 12, 1236) would inherit everything since agnatic primogenture was the rule of succession for the Kingdom of Burgundy. Burgundy also was a papal investiture kingdom, and Tamim felt he was too indebted to the Pope to seriously consider changing that even if it meant that the kingdom would not get the kind of church tax collection that Tamim would have liked. He instructed his son to consider free investiture when he would gain the kingdom though if it was for the good of the realm. There was a minor scandal in the late 1240s when King Tamim had finally relented on Aveis's wish to become chancellor, but some well-placed bribes softened the negative opinions that courtiers and lords had of the decision[Aveis was noted to have been the most competant Chancellor Tamim ever had though] Aveis's death in 1251 had hit King Tamim pretty hard, and chroniclers would note that he was never the same man after that, noting his consistent melancholy.



Towards the end of his life, King Tamim saw that there was yet another HRE revolt, and so he declared the holy war for Alsace. It would be a simple two-county war, and the conditions seemed favorable for victory, but before he would live to see one last conquest, King Tamim I died of depression on December 27, 1257, leaving his realm to his 21 year old son, who would become King Tamim II/Duke Tamim IV.

 
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Chapter 11: The Early Reign of King Tamim II[Duke Tamim IV] "The Great" of Burgundy(December 27, 1257-December 6, 1269)


This portion of the history of the Zirid dynasty is likely the one that every Burgundian schoolboy has heard many times. After his father's long 40 years as Granadan Duke(and just over 20 as Burgundy's king), the brilliant young Tamim II ascends to the throne, and almost immediately has to lead the Burgundian armies(with the help of the Teutonic Order) in order to reclaim Alsace for the Catholic church. The biggest and most decisive battle was the Battle of Ensisheim around April 27, 1258. The Holy Roman Emperor had tried to use its bigger armies to push Burgundy down, but Tamim II used better tactics to beat an army that was basically even in strength to his on paper. Of course Tamim II also was wise in how he conducted sieges, and that was how he ultimately won the holy war for Alsace, but modern cinema likes to play up the Battle in Ensisheim to show Tamim's early tactical brilliance and inspiring military leadership. The Ministry of Education for Burgundy also promotes that narrative as well.



Often the next scene in films after the triumphs in Alsace is some reflective scene that takes place in 1260 when King Tamim II and Queen Ada(who is almost always portrayed as German rather than Scottish as she actually was) learn from a courtier that the mighty Fatimids of Egypt have fallen. Usually some dialogue tries to explain the origins of the Zirids themselves where they first came into prominence in Northern Africa as vassals of the Fatimids but then in the mid-11th century, they acknowledge the Abbasids as the true Caliphs and thus turn away from Shia to Sunni. Of course, this is very familiar to any Burgundian schoolboy.

Naturally, Tamim II then decided to build a big warchest to fulfill a goal that his father had not been able to achieve, namely kicking Aragon out of Venaissin. An effort that ultimately proved fruitful as Venaissin became wholly Burgundian on February 8, 1266. But of course, this achievement would pale in comparison to Tamim II answering a Crusade of his own(that for the Kingdom of Austrasia). It is often remarked that the Zirids were Crusader Kings in every sense of the word, and of course some also remark upon the irony of that given their origins. Nevertheless, the Holy Roman Emperor, Alarich, would put up strong resistance, but Tamim II's methodical sieging & battling on his own terms would win out the day, although most films concentrate on the battles rather than the sieges since those are what the people wish to see. And so December 6, 1269 marked the day that Austrasia was taken from under the Kaiser and Tamim II would become a double king. This alone earned him "The Great" moniker, but as every Burgundian schoolboy knows, what was to come shows why Tamim II was canonized by the Pope.



 

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Chapter 12: The rest of King Tamim II's reign(December 6, 1269-February 25, 1303)


The success of the Austrasian Crusade in 1269 marked a turning point for Central Europe as the Holy Roman Emperor had been reduced to having Bavaria, meager holdings in Frisia, and Ghent + Brugge. As King Tamim II had undertaken the large task of dividing up his newly acquired lands as well as dealing with the former Queen of Austrasia, now just a double Duchess with a primary holding of Plzen under Tamim's thumb, he would have a son named after him that would be prepared to take the throne(born December 16, 1263). Tamim II would have another son, Gui, the very next year(born February 16, 1270). With Austrasia, Tamim II made the decision to keep the provinces he could within the duchy of Luxembourg, and gave away most of Austrasia to talented Occitan administators. He reasoned that this would help accelerate the religious conversion, since Pope Honorius II was not keen on seeing heretic counties that the king himself held.



Tamim II knew that he would eventually have to come to blows with the Holy Roman Emperor again. After seeing England unsuccessfully try to take Holland from the Kaiser, Tamim waited until he felt was the right moment to strike, and after a reletively quick campaign, the duchy of Holland was pried from the Kaiser on May 8, 1282. Within the next decade, Scotland would gain some Bavarian land and Poland would gain the last Bohemian lands that the Kaiser had control over. Very slowly, the HRE was being reduced to a heretical former empire.





The 1290s saw King Aldelbert I of France complete the takeback of the Duchy of Flanders from the HRE, and King Tamim II kicking out the Kaiser from the Duchy of Tyrol. By this time, Tamim II was taking steps to ready his son Tamim to take the throne. Tamim II was able to form the Kingdom of Frisia, but decided that he'd leave that presitgious act to his son. The turn of the century had brought another crusade, the 2nd Catholic Crusade for Jerusalem. Tamim being in his mid-60s decided to take the cross one more time, and had included his son on it to provide him some first-hand experience(of course the younger Tamim was carefully kept out of danger, but the two generations of Zirids were both now recognized Crusaders). Years of military experience had helped Tamim win battles and sieges(although Jerusalem itself was not a goal that he was intending to win). Finally, the Crusade was ended in Catholic victory on July 31, 1302, and Tamim II became king of a third kingdom. Much has been written of the two-time Crusade veteran that had won both, and the Burgundian Ministry of Education loves to talk of Tamim II, victor of Austrasia & Jerusalem. In dividing up the newly acquired lands of Jerusalem, Tamim also makes a fateful decision. His second son, Gui, would be made a mayor, and then a lord mayor in Tyrus, and be given the coastal provinces and duchy of Ascalon. And thusly, a new merchant republic was born. Gui would become the first Zirid doge. About six months later, on February 25, 1303, King Tamim II would die of natural causes, and it was left to the newly crowned King Tamim III to stablize the newly far-reaching realm.





Notable Rulers:
King Robert of Scotland:


King Aldebert I of France
 

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What's up, Burgundyalert nation, I'm your host, killer Andalusian, and let's get right into the afar.
 

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Chapter 13: King Tamim III "The Cruel" of Burgundy(1303-1321)


Although King Tamim III learned from one of the greatest Kings of Burgundy, and his talent for both war and administration were widely recognized, Tamim was severely lacking in people skills. Contemporary chroniclers would mock Tamim for one of the greediest kings in Europe, and certainly Tamim's legendarily hot temper was also widely written about. Of course, modern historians try to rehabilitate this Tamim's image a bit. He was left to reorganize the hierarchy after his father passed, and he had to put down revolts that his father & grandfather never really had to contend with. Tamim also had to do a balancing act with his younger brother, Gui, the Doge of Ascalon. In order to make tax collection and levies more efficient, he would up delegating more power to the Doge, but this also made the Doge that more powerful(and bribes were not that easy to get in the first five or six years of Tamim's reign). Sometimes Tamim would just leave the rebel vassals to rot in his prisons and sometimes he would also revoke titles from those who had especially made him angry.

Like his grandfather, Tamim had married a Norman Englishwoman. Catherine would bare him three children. Nicholaus(born March 18, 1284), a daughter Marta, and a younger son named Joan(born October 18, 1297). Tamim would finally add a fourth kingdom to his realm, the Kingdom of Frisia on June 9, 1310. Later on, Tamim would also create the Duchy of Lower Lorraine and grant it to his youngest son, Joan, so that he would also have an inheritance. This happened October 25, 1313.



Central Europe also saw the end of the Holy Roman Empire during these years, and the kingdoms of Germany & Scotland would wind up being inherited by one of the Bagrationis, thereby putting those kingdoms under the rule of an Orthodox ruler. Mamia's ascension would make Germany more unstable than it had been, but Tamim was usually too busy putting down revolts and then trying to build his own warchest to even bother to take advantage of this. On November 27, 1321, King Tamim III would breathe his last, and Nicholaus would be left to deal with a few underlying threats.



 

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No notable rulers besides Mamin?

At least Tamim III consolidated Burgundy.
Two more notable rulers in the 14th Century. Tanim III is where I really had trouble figuring out that vassal limit(and had to do faction whack-a-mole). Luckily Nicholaus I was where I started to at least not have to do faction whack-a-mole, but Nick I also had a relatively short reign.

This is the list of the upcoming rulers:
Nicholaus I
Guiraud
Nicholaus II [Andalusian cultured]
Uthman [Occitan cultured]
Suleyman [Andalusian cultured] [First Elected King]
 
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Chapter 14: King Nicholaus I: the stressed king(1321-1332)


Through the annuls of the Kingdom of Burgundy, rulers by the name of Nicholaus seemed cursed to be insignificant kings, neither good nor bad for the realm itself. After the death of King Tamim III in 1323, his 37 year old eldest son Nicholaus would inherit the crown, and the duty of further consolidating the realm. Nicholaus himself was basically average across the board as far as ability though. His father had dealt with the worst of the inefficiencies that his grandfather's conquests had caused, but Nicholaus had an uneasy relationship with his uncle Gui the Doge and his younger brother Joan(who was an exceptional diplomat if not an excellent Duke) Nicholaus would find himself tested when Gui successfully had enough manpower to back his claim on the title of Jerusalem. Nicholaus decided that the realm could not sustain a civil war over a distant land like Jerusalem and gave in. However, Gui would be King of Jerusalem....in the province of Luxemberg, and the merchant Republic in Jerusalem would be renamed the Republic of Galilee, and there would be a new Doge under King Nicholaus in all of de jure Jerusalem by the name of Umar.





Nicholaus would regain the crown of Jerusalem later on June 21, 1329 when Gui II(Gui I already being dead in the meantime) was defeated. Gui II would then just become Duke Gui of Murcia and order was restored to the realm. In other strange but good news, Nicholaus had finally heard the reports filtering in from far in the east that one of the hordes had become Orthodox Christian. Nicholaus would also see fit to press the claim of one of his vassals, the Count of Almansa, Muyadid(who was in his 70s). And so, he would declare war on a French rebel named Ebben for the County of Valencia. It seemed like Nicholaus would at least have this feather in his cap, but the workload of running the realm took its toll on the king that was universally described as kind-hearted by chroniclers, and so Nicholaus would die at age 48 on October 11, 1332.





Nicholaus would father five children, but only 1 son in Guiraud(born December 20, 1308). His daughters would marry a few influencial Byzantines(a son of an Emperor and a Doux of Cyprus) and one would marry a King of France named Jaufre. Guiraud had already shown great potential in administration and his military aptitude was also considered respectable. It seemed the realm would be in good hands.



 

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So there's an independent Zirid merchant republic based out of Jerusalem? I wonder if Guirand will bring them to heel.
No, they remained vassals for some reason. Kingdom of Jerusalem was just the province of Luxembourg in the brief time it became independent.
 
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Chapter 15: King Guiraud "The Great" of Burgundy(1332-1364)


As Guiraud, the newly crowned King of Burgundy, Austrasia, Jerusalem, & Frisia was winning the claim war for Valencia, he had heard from the papal legate that Silvester IV had declared a crusade for the far-away Kingdom of Baluchistan. Guiraud had barely heard of this mysterious land that he would have called Hindustan, but he figured that strengthening the faith was important even if there weren't targetting the Muslims in Egypt, Mesopotamia or Persia. Valencia formally became part of his realm on December 16, 1332, barely two months after he became king. Then Guiraud set his sights east. He would send over 10,000 men to Jerusalem, and after the journey through the deserts to the east of Jerusalem, 6,000 had made it to Baluchistan but this was not only Guiraud's crusade. Aragon and Hungary had joined the Crusade(and of course it would take them much longer to make the journey over land).



The first big battle of the Crusade was in Yeldar, and two Hindu commanders fell in that important battle. Notably Guiraud's uncle Joan, the Duke of Lower Lorraine, had distinguished himself at Yeldar. This was widely considered the beginning of Guiraud's reliance upon the talents of his uncle(and Joan would be trusted with vassals and more lands in time). Similarly the Battle of Band Jask against a larger Hindu army would also be another triumph for Joan & Burgundian commanders. At least one Pope later and nearly ten years of war, and Guiraud became known as "the Great" for a successful conquest of Baluchistan, even though Guiraud only halfheartedly fought in the Crusade itself.





By this time, Guiraud had been blessed with two sons and four daughters. Two of his daughters would marry Dukes, and his only illegitimate child would marry the King of Georgia. He'd have a son named after himself, Guiraud [born March 16, 1332] and another son named Nicholaus[born May 16, 1336] who was not blessed with intellect but would eventually compensate for that in being at least cunning. Guiraud would of course favor his namesake son and Nicholaus was treated as an afterthought(the fact that he allowed an Andalusian-cultured guardian for him speaks volumes). Guiraud himself had married quite well, as his wife was Gisele, the Duchess of Burgundy, who was an powerful vassal to the King of France.





After becoming the first feudal European Christian to have lands on the Indian Ocean, Guiraud had decided that he would try to conquer some weaker lands that were between Jerusalem & Baluchistan. He saw that the Abbasids had an isolated strip of land neighboring Jerusalem, and decided that he would take Amman for the realm. And so he declared a holy war on the Sunni Caliph himself, and personally fought in the battles for the desert province. The Battle of Sinjar in 1348 would prove to both be the decisive battle & one that chroniclers would consider as Guiraud's personal greatest moment as king.





In his later years, Guiraud would grant his eldest son the Duchy of Holland since he expected to be succeeded by him, but Duke Guiraud II of Holland would die of disease on March 16, 1357, dealing a striking blow to King Guiraud's future plans. Nicholaus would become his sole heir. Perhaps to ease his grief, King Guiraud had declared a Holy War for the province of Muscat, and on January 30, 1359, had become the ruler of that province. His last few remaining years were spent trying to build up a treasury for Nicholaus to inherit since Nicholaus was sorely lacking in the diplomatic arts, and Guiraud knew that this could portent contentious relations with the vassals of the realm. On September 2, 1364, Guiraud had passed away, leaving behind a strong realm for his 28 year old son to manage.