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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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ScribleScrable

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A couple weeks ago, a good friend and I jointly played a CK2 game wherein we switched off playing 50 year turns using new randomly chosen leaders at the beginning of every new turn (Go check out A Random Game - A Gameplay Mega-Campaign AAR by tnick0225 for an example of how this works). What ensued was a wacky, insanely fun time that only a paradox game could inspire. Since then, we have played the same sort of game several more times, but have adjusted the rules to make the games more goal-oriented and the turn lengths a bit more random.

I've had such a good time playing this style of game that I wanted to bring it to the forums as an AAR in order to showcase it and receive any constructive criticism that you guys might have. With that said, onward to the rules!

Rules:

I will be using the Old Gods scenario with the ROI expansion.

The updates will be gameplay based, but every 50 years or so I will attempt to do an history book type overview of the world at large.

Each and every new turn will begin with two steps.

1. Reach into a hat and select, at random, the game mode for this turn.
2. Use the random leader button to select my location and character.

Now, at this point you're probably asking yourself what exactly is this game mode that he's referring to in step one. Well a game mode is a set of specific house rules that will determine the goals and play style of a turn. I put a list of the 22 game modes that I've come up with and a brief intro to each at the bottom of this post.

Then, I will play each turn for minimum of 20 years. After, I'm twenty years into a turn every time my characters dies, I will roll a die to determine whether or not to continue. The odds for continuing are as follows:

If my character dies between years 21-30 of the turn, a 2+ must be rolled to continue.
If my character dies between years 31-40 of the turn, a 3+ must be rolled to continue.
If my character dies between years 41-50, a 4+ must be rolled.
Death between years 51-60, needs a 5+.
And between years 61-70 a 6 is required.

Additionally, no turn can last longer than 100 years even if the character remains alive.

After each turn ends, I will repeat the process by randomly selecting another game mode and character until time runs out.

And that's it! Alright, now are you ready to start this thing? No?! Too late my hand's already in the hat.....

First Round:

Game mode = Bolivar

And who is our wannabe El Libertador?


Interesting. Very Interesting.

Game Modes:
1. Standard Random - Normal gameplay with a randomly selected leader
2. Pretty Borders - the goal of this turn is to fix any chaotic and illogical borders the AI may have created
3. Complete Historic - attempt to right paradox's wrongs and put our timeline back on its proper course
4. Heresy - start the game by researching culture then switch to the first available heresy. Create a viable heretical state or die trying.
5. Religion Restore - start the turn as one of the weaker religions remaining in the game, then attempt to bring it back
6. Culture Restore - start the turn as on of the weaker culture remaining in the game, then attempt to bring it back
7. Circular expansion - when expanding, attempt to expand in as circular a manner as possible from your capital, regardless of any and all other factors.
8. Player's choice - the player gets to choose where he will be playing this turn
9. Friend's (popular) choice - Normally, a friend would get to choose the starting location. In this case, I'll let the readers decide where to go next.
10. City state - the player may directly control only the duchy in which he starts. All conquests must immediately be given to vassals and then given independence as soon as is convenient.
11. Dynasty Restore - play as a down on its luck, but historically great dynasty then return it to its previous glory.
12. Democracy! - switch to elective as soon as possible, then play with goal being to create as many merchant republics as possible
13. Industrial Revolution - Conquest is for Barbarians! Focus instead on tech advancement and money production. All gold will go towards building new holdings and upgrading the existing ones.
14. Pirates! - start on an island, win independence, then raid your neighbors from high seas!
15. Ultimate Role Play - all decisions in game will be made based on the characters traits, past history, and in game events, even if they make no sense from the game's point of view.
16. Bolivar - Liberate oppressed natives from foreign kings, conquerors, and religions.
17. Asleep at the wheel - the player does nothing for this turn. Absolutely nothing. Turn the clock on and watch the world burn.
18. Promised land - create a land for the Jews. Invite as many Ashkenazi and Sephardic jews to your court as possible, then land them (the holy land is preferred if possible).
19. Too Cool for School - this one is fairly complicated and I will give an in-depth description of it, if and when this choice is selected.
20. Domination - start the turn as one of the stronger nations on the map and then blob your way to glory!
21. Habsburg - Use diplomacy and intrigue to expand. Better make sure to have a large family...
22. Louis XIV - select a random character under the age of 8, and play this turn until his death. Can he equal the glory of Louis XIV or will he die the pawn of a power hungry regent before his reign even begins?

I'm always looking for more fun house rules and goals, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

Table of Contents
 
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Dayni

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That start... This is going to be interesting.

I'm definitely watching. This kind of a game seems like mad craic.

I also have a weird suggestion for a mode:
Religious Right of Way: You are only allowed to attack other religions. (And yes, heresies count under this. Self Defense is allowed from your own, but no attacking.) Any and all requests from church members must be accepted. Watch your faith either rise or smash into the ground!!

I know, kinda dumb, but that's can be fixed (or dumped.)
 

tnick0225

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Sounds like a mix of mine, with some of Catknight's blended in, with your special addition into the mix! Definitely sounds like an interesting and chaotic world will rise from this set-up.

Looking forward to how things turn out. I do like your house rules, those may make things entertaining in a weird never before thought of kind of way. And playing as the Solomonids first, should have ample opportunity to do some liberating and or conquering :)
 

ScribleScrable

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Dayni - It's not dumb at all, and I really like the idea. There were plenty of pious rulers that probably lived by this philosophy, and it would probably play similar to a landed holy order. I'll go ahead and it to the hat.

tnick0225 - That's exactly what it is. It actually started by following the rules from your AAR, then incorporating Catknight's rolling system, and then a few drinks and good hardy debates firmed up the rest of it.

As far as the Solomids go, I really don't know what to expect. This may be the only region of the map I've never played before (well that and Mali), so I'm going in blind and excited. However, what I do know is that the Coptic church has found themselves a champion.
 

TheDeaconBosco

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What would happen if you were to play a member of an invading horde with the liberator stipulation, I wonder?
 

ScribleScrable

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Chapter 1 - The Reign of Anbasa Wesem Solomonid "The Coptic Sword" - Abyssinia (867 - 878)​


Game Mode = Bolivar

There are two specific rules that must followed for this turn.

1. Every holding taken outside of my rulers de jure territory must be given a leader of the natives' culture and religion.
2. All conquest must be liberation oriented.

Goals:

Here is the situation:



As you can see, Abyssinia is a tiny kingdom surrounded by even tinier neighbors. We're technologically backward and have a small army, but Abyssinia is till the largest nation south of Egypt. Unfortunately, the powerful duchy of Axum is held by Anbasa's less talented and less scrupulous brother and heir, so Anbasa willl really need to watch his back.



Seeing as Anbasa holds the throne of Abyssinia, he has de-jure claims on most of his neighbors plus the ability to holy war the Jews in Semien and the Sunnis that have begun encroaching on his future territory in the horn of Africa.

Therefore, Anbasa has several immediate opportunities for growth at first, and then liberation. My goals for this turn will be three-fold. First, I'm going to try and solidify my power base in the Miaphysite regions of Abyssinia.

Second, I'll move against the Muslims in the horn of Africa. Those lands are rightfully Ethopian Miaphysite and the Sunni Bedouins have no place there!

Finally, if all goes well, I'll push towards Alexandria. The Coptic pope and good Christians in Egypt have been forced to appease their infidel conquerors for far too long. It is time to throw off their unholy yoke and trust in the Lord. With his blessing, the faithful Copts will be liberated!

Gameplay:

Right off the bat, I give Anbasa's brother, Dil Na'od, a bishropic that he desires in the hopes that this will keep him loyal to me for the short term. Anbasa and Dil are each others heirs, so I plan on moving against him sometime in the future. However, Anbasa doesn't have any children, so I won't risking taking out Dil until the Solomonid line of succession is a bit more secure.

Then, I marry off Anbasa to a good, faithful lowborn gal named Mandera. Hopefully, she provides many good sons for our King.



Next, since Anbasa is a holy warrior, its time for him to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or Antioch, or AXUM??! To see the Ark of the Covenenant?!!! Dreams of carrying the Ark before my holy warriors while Indiana Jones theme music blares race through my head as a click this exciting new option.

So Anbasa packs his things and leaves his spymaster in charge while he prepares to walk two provinces over to Axum....



....and keeps on going to the coast. Apparently, Anbasa isn't all that great with directions, so when he reached a port and asked for a boat to Aksum he absolutely no clue why everyone kept laughing and pointing. Once he finally found a boat to take him to Aksum, the laughter continued but he spent the whole in prayer and decided not to notice.



Finally, he arrived in fabled Aksum. Everything looked and sounded so familiar and comfortable that he felt the blessing of God come down upon him. From this day forth, his sword would always be at the service of the Miaphysite church.

Upon returning home from what I can only assume to be another boat ride, Anbasa's chancellor was there to tell him that he trumped up a claim on the neighboring Nubian province of Kassala. If I'm going to liberate Alexandria from the Muslims down the road, I'll need to pass through Nubia to get there.

At this point, I decide its time to stop messing around with wives and pilgrimages, and get down to the business at hand. I declare war on the petty kingdom of Gojjam for my de-jure claim on Matamma.

Its a quick and easy war. My superior numbers and commanders enable me to rout the Gojjamens, and then I settle in to siege their capital. The surrender relatively quickly.

More interesting, however, was that Anbasa's wife is now pregnant, and when that happened is beyond me. Between going on pilgrimage and then jumping straight into a war, Anbasa has been spending very little time at home.



But Anbasa is a faithful husband that trusts his wife implicitly. When a courtier threw herself at him during his journey home, he simply told her that the Coptic sword had very little time for his wife, and absolutely no time for wenches.

Unfortunately, at this point Anbasa's brother Dil and Duke Merkourios of Wag (the only duchy in Abyssinia not controlled by Solomonids) decided start a faction to put Dil on the throne. The situation was dicey at first, because their combined strength outnumbered mine, but Paradox must have been looking out for me.

Only a week later, Merkourios passed away due to illness and Anbasa inherited his duchy.



Mandera gave birth to a daughter named Sela about this time as well, so I was ready for Dil to make his move. Even with the Anbasa's newly inherited duchy, Dil possessed about 91% of his brother's strength. In my experience, this is normally enough for the AI to go to war, but Dil must be smarter than he looks because he never did. I suppose he's prepared to wait me out until he can strike in a moment of weakness.

And I'm prepared not to give him the chance.

I started recruiting people from Dil's court interested in a little intrigue, but mostly just waited. Then waited some more, and then some more again.

While I waited, I held a fair and a hunt, but then something happened that caused me to forget all about Dil's tardiness.



Demonspawn?! I had a feeling that Mandera was messing around behind Anbasa's back, but consorting with demons was definitely a little more than I expected. Well, I guess I deserved it; that's what you get for not doing a background check.

Anyways, with all the evil signs that his daughter Sela was now displaying, even Anbasa was getting a little creeped out, so he decided to talk it over with his Patriarch. I mean this is why Abyssinia has a patriarch, right?



Our good old buddy, the Patriarch, tells Anbasa that the whole thing is in his imagination. Sela appears to be a perfectly normal, and her love of torturing puppies was surely just a fad.

Anbasa is relieved, and feels better right away. His sense of well being disappears only days later, when the Patriarch dies falls sick directly after examining Sela. He would perish the following month.



Also, a strange woman named Beautrix appears about this time. She is Sela's nanny, except no one remembers where she came from, or even hiring her.

Finally, it was this strange chain of events that finally convinces Dil to revolt. The would-be usurper claims that Anbasa's heir, Sela, is the Antichrist and that Mandera is the devil's whore. It's on this basis that Dil decides to claim the throne.

Anbasa has a sinking feeling in his soul that his brother is right, but even if Sela is demonspawn....well she's his demonspawn, darn it!

With the long awaited revolt finally on, I call up the troops and make for Axum. Dil makes a mistake and I catch his army while it's separated. His army is soundly defeated. After a couple mop up operations, I settle down and start sieging Dil's castle, and when that falls, the holy city of Aksum, where Anbasa went on his roundabout pilgrimage.

Around about the time of the beginning of the revolt, Mandera had become pregnant for a second time and while Anbasa was out on campaign she gave birth to another daughter named Berhane. She's probably Anbasa's, but I fear for her future safety with her older sister running starting plagues and what not.

Also, I find out that Anbasa's steward has been stealing from the royal treasury. He's forced to pay back the money he owes, but I allow him to stay on as steward.

Finally, Dil gives in, and I have him executed for his completely unfounded accusations toward Anbasa's daughter. On an unrelated note, Anbasa inherits the duchy of Axum and the 800 or so gold that Dil left behind.



I'm not sure whether it was the murder of his brother, or his wife running around with the devil, or the fact that his daughter could be pure evil, but poor Anbasa becomes stressed. This event has startling good timing.

However, my fortune would quickly turn. While I was poking around my neighbors, trying to decide what my next move would be, I noticed that both of the Dukes directly to my south would agree to become my vassals. They were both Ethopian Miaphysites in my de-jure territory, so I wasted no time inviting them to my kingdom. They accepted, and Abyssinia doubled inside without a single drop of blood shed.

I welcomed my two new Dukes into the fold with a massive feast, and then a war of conquest.

It was time to retake the horn of Africa from the hated infidels, so I declared a holy war for the duchy of Afar. Happy to be away from his familial troubles, Anbasa lead his men to one victory after another. In response, the Muslim nations of East Africa had banded together, but were unable to combine their forces. The Abyssinians divided and conquered their armies, then began sieging their holdings.

Anbasa was in such a good mood that he returned home to visit his family....



When this happened...



and then this....

Nine months later, Mandera gave birth to a boy whom she named Degna Djan. I think we can safely say that Anbasa isn't the father, but there has been no word thus far on whether or not Degna is demon spawn like his sister.

The African Sunnis in the duchy Afar surrendered a few months following the birth of Anbasa's new heir. To celebrate his first liberation, Anbasa decided that a grand tournament would held.

It really was a very boring affair; not a single competitor was maimed or killed. However, Anbasa proved himself to be a coward during the tournament when his bowels turned to water during the proceedings. Perhaps because the other competitors couldn't stand the smell, Anbasa would end up finishing in second place. Only his chancellor proved capable of defeating him.

By this time, Anbasa had been stressed for a relatively long time, so I was beginning to grow concerned about how much longer he could last. I went ahead a decided to use the claim on Kassala that I had picked up years before.

The Kassalans were a single province and weren't capable of putting much resistance. Their 300 or so men turned and ran, and then they surrendered after a few sieges. Unfortunately, at about this same time, a Sunni uprising occurred in one of the recently conquered eastern provinces.

So I started marching the army across the country to deal with them when Anbasa fell ill.



The Sunni revolt would be defeated, but only days after his final victory, Anbasa succumbed to his illness.



Anbasa reigned for 11 solid years, and established Abyssinia as a regional power, but for perhaps the first time I'm looking forward to a regency.

Baby Djan (who probably wasn't even Anbasa's child) has to last 14 years without his demonic older sister murdering him. Is it terrible that I'm kinda of rooting for crazy little Sela to take him out?
 
Last edited:

ScribleScrable

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Derahan: It is a bit complicated, isn't it? I hope it makes a bit more sense after the first update.

TheDeaconBosco: In that case, I would either move on to the next random choice (if I didn't think the game had potential), or more likely, I would play as a kinder, gentler mongol horde that was only invading to save the common folk from the evil Caliphate. All the poor, formerly subjugated peoples would be given their own kingdoms back....but would still be subject to their Mongol benefactors of course!
 

ngppgn

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Cool AAR.i hope you keepplaying these Abyssinian, if only for the fact that this is the first AAR performing a demonspawn

Two quick notes on game modes:

1 - just in case,make sure you follow the rulesfor interactives AARs in case you get to use mode 9. I have recently seen a good potential AAR get closed due to an illicit votation, so I think the advise is not out of`place. I apologise if it sounds intrusive or something,though

2- How deas this bolivarian policy work? will you grant independence to every land outside your first de jure kingdom? or will you hold the foreign land until you for the kindom of the area (say, e.g. k_egypt) and then grant it independence?

Hope little Sela keeps doing her evilthing.A shame she didn't appear under a"total roleplaying" mode, that could have been awesome!
 

tnick0225

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1 - just in case,make sure you follow the rulesfor interactives AARs in case you get to use mode 9. I have recently seen a good potential AAR get closed due to an illicit votation, so I think the advise is not out of`place. I apologise if it sounds intrusive or something,though

Where you referencing this AAR When the World Stopped Making Sense? I ask because it got shut down for more reasons than being interactive. A lot of it having to do with a mod that hasn't been released, and most of the posts should have been put in the mod section rather than AARland. Although I too sad that it was shut down as it was quite the interesting mod. Hopefully he'll post that stuff in the mod section and get permission to start an actual AAR using it. But you do make a good point, if we vote on anything or if this has any kind of interactivity ScribleScrable will definitely have to shoot a message to Avindian to make sure everything is kosher.


But ScribleScrable I must say that is an interesting start! A demon spawn baby and an heir that is probably not yours! I honestly have never had either of those two things ever ever happen to me in CKII and seeing it happen was hilarious. I am very interested in what happens to this new King Denga II Djan, maybe his peasant father or some noble will magically appear and say, "Denga Djan, I am your father."

I haven't played an Abyssinia since pre-TOG though so no idea what its like anymore, but I do like the changes they have made. I always enjoy the Abyssinian AARs and have had a weird fascination with Ethiopia and the Solomonids history ever since I met my wife who is from Ethiopia.

Anyway I digress, it was a great opening update, even if the demon child and the fake Solomonid were removed, the simple fact that you had to take a boat to Axum had me rolling!!! :rofl:
 

ScribleScrable

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As far as the popular vote goes, if I pick that option I do plan on contacting one of the Mods (probably Avindian) for permission to have a vote. Several AARs have been able to do small votes in the past with permission, so I don't foresee a problem. However, if I am turned down, I was thinking of going with whomever PMs me a choice first. That way there wouldn't be excessive activity on this thread and I think that wouldn't be considered interactive.

ngppgn: Yeah, I saw enlil's AAR get shut down as well which really is a shame. However, the rules are in place for a very good reason, but he has what looks to be a fantastic mod and I hope he gets the chance to finish his AAR once he gets everything straightened out.

As far as the Bolivar rules go, every title I take outside of the kingdom of Abyssinia will be granted to a ruler of the native culture and religion. In addition, I force myself to create or usurp every title as soon as its available, and then parcel them out in the same manner. The only exception to this is when I create titles on the same tier as my highest title. If I don't want to immediately grant them independence, then I hold the title until I can create another even higher title.

Often, this results in my empire having a very large number of powerful, unhappy vassals if I choose not to grant them independence. It's manageable with a very strong and experienced leader, but the moment he dies you need to watch out. In summary, I usually balance the decision to release my foreign vassals between game factors and my own roleplaying.

Derahan: Thank goodness! That makes me feel a hundred times better about what I'm doing here.

tnick0225: That would be fantastic! I've got my fingers crossed for little Denga to be another child of the devil himself. Mandera's already got together with him once so I can just picture two demonspawn duking it out for Solomon's throne. It would be insane and I've just made popcorn!

I've personally never much experience with Ethopia beyond a little bit of research I did on Haile Selassie and Ras Tafarianism. Like I said early, I've never played this region before but the early returns are definitely good!
 

ekorovin

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That was good. I'm rooting for the Demon Queen of Ethiopia. What's our next destination?
 

ScribleScrable

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Chapter 2 - The Reign of King Degna II Djan "The Illegitmate" (878-882)


A Child King:

I now understand what it must feel like to be Tommen Baratheon/Lannister.



He's just a nice, cute kid, but for some reason or another, everyone despises little Degna for the sins of his mother. Its not his fault that his mother has a healthy, albeit slightly twisted sexual appetite, right?

This whole mess causes me sigh, and mutter something about how ungrateful my worthless vassals are, and how I hope little princess of evil, Sela, has a little chat with them when she grows up.

But besides from a Regency (I actually ended up with a solid regent for once!), life was good for the Abyssinian kingdom.



With Anbasa's death, several truces expired so I could finish absorbing Gojjam and the remaining two Muslim emirates into my kingdom.

There was just the problem of all those unhappy vassals....Ah, screw it. I declared war on Gojjam.

There was a very forgettable battle, and then a quick siege.



And then the war was mercifully ended.



It was a time of celebration. That is, it was a time of celebration until Queen Mother Mandera gave Degna a surprise baby brother.



To paraphrase Eddard Stark, it was in that moment that all the smiles died.

It had been hardly a year since Anbasa's death, and rumors of infidelity had swirled around Mandera for years, but a bastard child was definite proof that something evil was going on in the palace.

However, little Degna was unconcerned. The situation was becoming increasingly dire for him, but Degna was a three year old and couldn't be bothered.

So I interpreted this as being a great time to go to war with the Sheikhdom of Zeila. The Sheikh of Zeila was the last remaining Bedouin leader in de-jure Abyssinia, and with a victory the Reconquista of Abyssinia would be nearly complete.

Yet as the war began, little Degna was completely unaware of the "liberation" occurring down in the horn of Africa. He was too busy terrorizing the cooking staff, making a few new friends, stealing cookies, and was definitely developing into a proper young hooligan King.



As far as the war went, the Emir of Berbera had seen the writing on the wall for his little nation, and joined on the side of Zeila. He decided, then, to call up his army, march right up to the larger Abyssinian force, then turn right around and run in the opposite direction. It was the only reasonable course of action.

Undeterred by the Berberan Emir's antics, I finished up sieging Zeila, and the war was completed.



Yet another uneventful takeover...I guess I should've be grateful, but things were going entirely too smoothly for me at this point. I went ahead a declared war on the kooky Emir of Berbera. He must have shared Anbasa's problem with direction, and promptly marched his army away again. Too bad, there's an end to the map over there...

I pulled my army together once more, and cornered the cowardly Berberan army. There was a mighty battle which I won, and then forgot take a screenshot of.



I show you this screenshot, because I won a siege (YAY!) and because Konugardr has changed into Kiev with a ruler that's picked up the nickname "The Stranger". Yeah, that's pretty much it.

While the sieges continued, I browsed the earth to see what else was going. Khazaria had seized control of the steppes. The crowns of Italy and Bavaria had been united under the Italian control, and now Italy had launched an attack on Lotharingia. If successful, Italy would be strong enough to unite all the Karling crowns.

Oh, and the Halfdan had just formed the Kingdom of England! He must've inherited Ivar's lands, and then run roughshod over Mercia. I'm always pretty excited when something new happens in my games. He's currently getting slapped around by some Scots, but it's pretty cool.

Yeah, so the war was going great, Degna was growing up, and, like I was saying earlier, things were really starting to run quite smoothly.....



Uhhhhh.......



MWHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!! AND DARKNESS FALLS!!!

Our little Demonspawn has become Queen.

Note: Degna died 15 years into my turn with Abyssinia, so I'll be continuing as Sela.
 
Last edited:

ScribleScrable

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That was good. I'm rooting for the Demon Queen of Ethiopia. What's our next destination?

Anbasa and Degna both died before I'd spent 20 years with Solomonids, so next turn I get to BE the Demon Queen of Ethopia!

I've seen the demonspawn event chain before but I've never actually gotten to play as the antichrist before. Awesome!
 

Dayni

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.....When the Demonspawn event happened, I just knew this was going to be interesting. Then the father died, and a bastard took over.

And with this, the anarchy can now truly begin!

635.gif


Besides the demon of Abyssinia taking over, it's been going well so far (except for two monarchs dead, it always sucks to get multiple health traits). Now for what may be an abyssal reign for Queen Sela, Demon Queen of Africa!
 

ScribleScrable

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.....When the Demonspawn event happened, I just knew this was going to be interesting. Then the father died, and a bastard took over.

And with this, the anarchy can now truly begin!

635.gif


Besides the demon of Abyssinia taking over, it's been going well so far (except for two monarchs dead, it always sucks to get multiple health traits). Now for what may be an abyssal reign for Queen Sela, Demon Queen of Africa!

All hail Queen Sela! All hail the Demon Queen! There shall be anarchy that she runs! The streets shall run red with blood of the establishment! Liberation for all!

Lol yeah, its been real fun so far. I've never had this sort of family drama happen before.

Props on the amazingly creepy gif by the way :laugh:
 

tnick0225

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I so wish a chain of events like this would occur in one of my games :) Closest thing I've had to it was a King banging his son's wife and throwing said son in the dungeon lol.

Queen Sela, witch Queen of Abyssinia, this shall be promising. I must say however, that their mommy is rather loose lol. Never had a female character that was getting knocked up with bastards left and right. That's just sheer insanity right there.

Although Sela is the perfect person for this Liberation rule of a game you have I think. Definitely looking forward to what Sela does!