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morningSIDEr

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I look forward to the next update containing an overview of Robert's reign, so exciting and filled with accomplishment it was.

Jokes aside, a pity he passed away so quickly but a quick look at Adelise's stats suggests that it is perhaps instead a pity he survived for longer than a day upon the throne! Hopefully Adelise can enjoy a reign as impressive as her stats suggest.
 

cyrileom

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If only she were attractive... Then she would have a stable realm for her entire lifespan. +30 relations during the short reign malus, and when the attractive bonus disappears at around 50, she'll already have long reign bonus.
 

grumphie

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only annoying thing of losing emperor itchy itchy: you just wasted truckloads of money on gifts, and now need to again gift every annoyed vassel a gift. so far the rich treasury of turquetil.
 

hjarg

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Adelise Begins her Rule

Bribes-bribes-bribes


Or to be more precise, over 3000 gold in bribes went to the greedy Dukes and Doges. Some rulers really benefitted from early death of Robert, for now they could once again enter their demands, threaten with civil war and go home richers. In some cases, much richer. Doge Mukhtar I, a Maghreb ruler in Hauteville Empire that had won the last elections of Fez, was especially greedy, arrogant bastard. He got over 700 gold from both Robert and Adelise and he had still nerve to complain that the new Emperors are cheapskates. Adelise swore revenge.. but first was time to end the war

Medieval-Jewish-moneylenders.jpg

Mukhtar I getting yet another bag of money...

The End of Holy War for Spoleto

Savoie, a Holy Roman province right next to Hauteville borders was under siege by the rebels. They already had captured two holdings and besieging the next one. Adelise saw the chance and soon, Normans arrived in the province, beat the rebels and by June 1245, the province was properly Norman.

Meanwhile, Adelise was at war with most of the Europe. As it is becoming normal for Normans fighting the Holy Roman Empire. Besides the Kaiser, she was at war with Danish, Polish and Castillian Kingdoms, Duchies of Aragon and Holland and even more ironic- some rules who fought hard against Kaiser Otto in their war for independence and won, joined the war as well. Of large catholic rulers, only Norway and Hungary stayed away.

sicily317.jpg

At war with most of the Europe- again..

That is not actually as scary as it looks. Holy Roman Empire was still busy fighting amongst themselves, other rulers were too busy with their own lands to send large armies against Normans. Still, by the middle of summer 1245, over 10 000 soldiers, were busy sieging Spoleto. Most of them were English, but there were also some Polish and even German troops.

Battle of Assissi

In August 1245, Adelise quickly reinforced her armies, making a total number of Normans 23 000. The troops gathered in Palermo, with armies arriving from Africa, South Italy and of course, main troops of Sicily. For about a century, it had been tradition that Hautevilles don’t lead their armies, but they are leading the troops of Monreale, their main holding. And you don’t break the tradition just because the ruler is a woman.

So, when Adelise rode forward, in her shining armour, leading the biggest levy the in the world, there were chuckles and laughter and snide remarks about women. Not from personal levies, for they had seen Adelise fight, knew she was tutored by the best- and her grandfather and she could wield the pike and blade with skill equal that to a man. But other soldiers had heard rumours, but dismissed them- who had ever heard of a woman who could fight. There was growing grumbling and discontent.

396px-Joan_of_arc_miniature_graded.jpg

Portrait of Adelise in her full equipment

Adelise solved it easily- she moved towards the largest group of men openly defying her, picked two stronger-looking and knightly ones and challenged them to a duel. The men sniggered at first, but realizing she was serious, tried to back off. Adelise used it to her advantage and soon, the soldiers were laughing stock- heh, afraid to fight a woman, are we now!

Long story short, the double-duel was fought, on horseback and with pikes. The first one, Norman from Tripolitania, was an easy target, and as soon as the horses met, poor fellow splintered his pike on the shield of the Empress, while he was unable to hold his balance. For the second one, an Apulian Norman, Adelise decided to show some real skill- instead aiming for the shield, the aimed for his helmet. A target much harder to hit- and she hit it. Poor fellow flew off his saddle, his body and bride crumpled in a dust and splinter of a pike blinding him from his left eye. After that, there was no-one to question military prowess of Adelise.

6a00d8341c98c253ef01538df37aed970b.jpg

The opponent meeting the sharp end of Adelise's pike

Norman forces set sail soon after that and met the forces of allies in battle outside the city of Assisi. Outnumbering the enemy 2:1, there was no question of the outcome. Adelise herself lead the first Norman cavalry charge against the enemy, and it the Normans from Monreale that broke the enemy line, divided them, trampled over the survivors and won the battle- Norman style!

sicily318.jpg

The battle of Assissi. I totally forgot to take screenshot of the result, but it's not that hard to imagine...

After the English were defeated, the Norman army sailed a bit north, to take the provinces of Carinthia. The assaults were successful and by October 1246, Kaiser Otto gave up. Normans now controlled county of Spoleto. First thing Adelise did was split it into two, Spoleto and Aprutium. She declared these two the new Duchy of Spoleto, and Papal lands were now called Duchy of Latinum, a title she created, awarded it to Duke Rolland II, added County of Orvieto to the mix and hoped that Count Adelard of Spoleto and Aprutium would someday usurp the title of Spoleto and make things right in Italy. As for Germans, they are almost gone...

sicily319.jpg

Middle Italy looks so refreshingly green
 

hjarg

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Here we go. Adventures of Empress Adelise have begun! Other info- i've upgraded to 1.08, modded game files to make the game playable (too lazy to mod in the Mali though, so the southern provinces will stay empty). And the shields are a bit messed up, but well, hope you live with it!

Chief Ragusa - i'm only glad Robert lived for as long as he lived. It would have messed up the succession if he had kicked the bucket earlier.

As for stats, allow me to present 4 other Kings under my rule (yes, sceenshot made a bit later and i got Galicia back)

sicily320.jpg


As you can see, all are pretty amazing, except for Egypt, who is (by Hauteville standards) mediocre. Rest are still amazing- even without geniuses or quick ones. To put it simply- de Hautevilles go on a very special breeding program. If a child cannot get his/her primary stat above 19, no marriage. Unless he has one of the positive traits- strong, quick, genius or attractive. If the child gets negative trait, then his stats must be really good to be allowed to breed. If a boy is genius, i'll find him a good wife- with at least quick, genius or strong. If it's girl, she has to settle with someone from the court. All the children are educated with 20+ stats people, so they grow up good. Basically, Walter is normal, Adelise is exceptional!

DensleyBlair - proud and lustful. Though both are not that bad, especially lustful. That's what you get when the child gets raised by your truly- no negatives pass!

morningSIDEr - heh, that would be good- though i could squeeze in 5 pages of him being count of Byzantion! :D As for Adelise- start good enough?

cyrileom - here i thought attractive was useless and didn't breed that. Thanks for tip!

grumphie - oh yes, it really hurts... all these cartloads of money i could spend somewhere more useful.
 

DensleyBlair

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I never count Proud as a negative trait - maybe more of an 'annoyance' ;)

Another great update - long live the Empress! (Although I do feel a bit sorry for those two she duelled...)
 

cyrileom

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It really helps when you have an attractive vampire. Vampire (mod) trait gives +50. Females never got angry until the vampire aged and the bonus wore off.
 

Nikolai

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That sure is some grand stats!:eek:
 

morningSIDEr

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morningSIDEr - heh, that would be good- though i could squeeze in 5 pages of him being count of Byzantion! :D As for Adelise- start good enough?

More than good enough! I'm not in the least bit surprised she is skilled in the art of warfare. Her greedy vassals who dared demand bribes from her should be worried though, Mukhtar I especially.
 

cyrileom

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If you're playing 1.08, women can now be modded to lead armies... Though I don't know if it works for female lieges.
 

unmerged(58610)

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You're going to have to come up with a method of persuasion to deter English and Polish troops. The kaiser has been welcomed. Time to pick on somebody else - some revolting German Duchy? Relieve Mukhtar of all the gold he's extorted. Replace him him with a good de Hauteville Doge.
 

hjarg

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Aragon and Castile

Administrative affairs


After the war, Adelise did some house-cleaning of vassals. During times of previous rulers, some of the vassals of vassals had arguments with their lieges and as result, they became direct vassals of the Emperor, worsening relations between Empire and his vassals. Adelise did get rid most of them. For example, Count Anquetuil of Syrte was given back to Duke Randolf III of Tripolitania, Doge Walter of Modena got back the city of Noceto, Duke Rolland II of Spoleto got back his Barony of Tivoli. and so on. Overall, number of personal vassals of Adelise decreased a bit, but those who remained were bigger, stronger and liked her a bit more.

The other administrative affair was Doge Mukhtar I. Despite receiving generous bribes from both Robert I and Adelise, he still had the nerve to establish the Independence faction in the Empire. Adelise decided that the best way to counter that threat is... knife in the dark. So, she begun plotting. To her surprise, most of the court of Mukhtar shared her views on the man and finding co-conspirators was no trouble at all. Soon, Elise from Fez sent out word that she had sabotaged carriage of Mukhtar- and soon, the carriage, carrying the Doge, was sent over the cliff. The whole world knew Adelise had done it, but at best, it increased her prestige as a strong ruler. Mukhtar was not missed and one of the co-conspirators and son of the Doge before Mukhtar, Raymond II, rose to throne. With much better attitude towards Adelise.

sicily321.jpg

The sad end of Mukhtar

Finally, Adelise recruited first standing units, or retinues. They were a mix between heavy cavalry, light cavalry, heavy infantry and archers, with some pikeman added to the mix. They were the personal troops of Empress, her loyal guard. First 20 units started their recruitment slowly.

Holy War for Aragon

With the stability restored within realm, it was time to look outside. Duchess Aragonata II, daugher of Aragonata from whom Turquetil grabbed Duchy of Barcelona, was ruling over Aragon, most of Navarra, one county from Castille and one down south in Murcia. Aragon had been independent since Aragonata fought her independence from Queen Eulalia of Castile in about 30 years ago. Turquetil had other targets, so both Castile and Aragon were left alone. But not anymore.

First to fall was Aragon. In January 1247, Adelise declared war on Aragonata II, claiming Duchy of Aragon. Sicilian Normans gathered in Palermo, making an army of over 30 000 soldiers, while smaller Iberian vassals went to siege Murcia, a province so alone and undefended from the rest of Aragon lands.

sicily322.jpg

Normans swarming defenseless Aragon

In Iberia, Norman army was split into two, 18 000 and 12 000. Bigger army defeated the Aragonese troops outside Lleida. There is nothing to write about, 18 000 vs 3500 soldiers. Aragonese were annihilated and from there, it was siege and assault, siege and assault. In December 1247, the war ended with Norman victory- and Aragonata was forced to give up her titles of Duchess of Aragon, leaving her a 4-province ruler, Duchess of Navarre.

sicily323.jpg

... and Aragonata giving up

Meanwhile, Adelise had once again usurped the title of Kingdom of Galicia and also usurped title of Duchy of Thrace- and gave the latter one to her uncle, Turquetil I of Thrace.

Holy War for Castile

Next target was logically Castile. The war was declared in January 1249- but Eulalia I, Queen of Castile was a different breed then Aragona. At first, Adelise thought to use only her personal retinue, almost 10 000 men at the time, for the war. But the Queen knew Normans would take her next, so she made preparations. She had contacts with all three Holy Orders and when Normans arrived near her borders, they found out that enemy had gathered an army of Templars and Hospitallers, while the Teutons stayed to protect the northern borders of the Kingdom.

Adelise quickly reinforced her 10 000 men, so when Castilian army crossed the border and attacked Normans outside Calatayud, the 16 000 of enemies were already facing 19 000 Normans. As soon as the enemy attacked, another army of 17 000 Normans started their march to reinforce the main army. In the end, it was 37 000 Normans against 16 000 Castilians- and Normans were superior. Their knights fought the Templar and Hospitaller knights, defeating them, crushing them, proving the superiority of Norman warfare- and then, slaughtered everyone else. Over 15 000 Castilians and their allies were lost in the field and the shock of defeat was so high that the enemy was half-won.

sicily324.jpg

Castlians swarming the Normans- only to be in for a surprise. Check the addition to the war score! Whoa!

Norman mass, in hot pursuit of remaining Castilians, marched to Soria, defeated the remnants, assaulted the province and in December 1249, Queen Eulalia I gave up, leaving her ancestral lands, moving to England to get away from evil Normans. Normans, on the other hand, created the Duchy of Castile and celebrated their newly found conquests.

Death of Kaiser

Kaiser Otto V died at November 1249. He had ruled for mere 8 years. Just enough time to get the realm back in order, defeat all the rebels (apart from some small ones who remained independent). Since Otto had no male heirs, Leopold III von Nordheim, his nephew and grandson of Kaiser Leopold II, took the throne.

As soon as the new Kaiser was coronated, he met with resistance. Count Peranuded de Foix, ruling in province of Castelo Branco- and a Cathar count, no less, started plotting. He soon recruited King Renauld I of France (the France won by war by King Mathieu, Renaulds father) and King Bretislav IV of Bohemia to his cause and together, they started war of independence against the new Kaiser. Of course, France was considerably weakened and Bohemians still exhausted from the last war, so the Kaiser had the upper edge.

sicily325.jpg

The new Kaiser and the leader of Independence faction
 

hjarg

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Battle of Calatayud nested be the best warscore i've ever had from a battle. Yay for Holy Orders!

DensleyBlair - agreed, proud and lustful are mostly useful traits :) As for the men- they got what was coming to them!

cyrileom- heh, that means no revolts ever. Hmm, have to start looking for attractive ones then. Hmm, or it is mostly useful when coming to power, later when then negative modifier turns to positive, it's free love from all the vassals anyways :)

Nikolai - half or more of the Dukes under me have the same, all the tutors i have for children have 20+ stats etc etc. Normal Norman brilliance!

cyrileom- hmm, wonder if i can make it a Cathar trait. They had the idea that man and woman were equals. What do rest of you think- woman in armies and high positions or not?

Chief Ragusa - best persuasive methods are either kick their ass or conquer them :p As for Mukhtar- he has been dealt with!
 

DensleyBlair

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I hadn't noticed before, but it's interesting that the Kaiser is a von Nordheim - they have the HRE in my game as well :)
 

morningSIDEr

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Good that Mukhtar was put in his place, his place seemingly being at the bottom of a steep cliff. Good too that the Norman hold on Iberia is being ever strengthened, some nice gains made there. Now with a new Kaiser on the throne it seems about time for Adelise to give Leopold a gift to celebrate his new position. A deceleration of war seems a suitable gift.
 

unmerged(58610)

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You sure put Mukhtar in his place. And a nice job in Iberia. Only the Duchy of Navarre is left, other than the lands controlled by the Kaiser. Guess you'll be helping Navarre take its provinces off the Empire, whilst taking the remaining Imperial territory in Iberia. The Hauteville terrirtory in Byzantion has been expanded to the entire Despotate and another Turquetil rules - what are his stats?
 

hjarg

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Norman invasion of Normandy

A Bit of History

Tancred de Hauteville was something of a special man. Not because of his conquest, or writings, or discoveries. No, all because of his loins. He sired 16 children- a feat even for that time. Of course, his wife Fresenende, who actually had to carry all the 16 babies, deserves a special mention. She lived to age of 51 and about 15 of them, she spent pregnant. Quite a feat.

There was a problem though- all these 16 children needed food, they needed weapons, retinues and all such. Small village of Hauteville sur Mer in Norman province of Mortain that was the home of de Hautevilles was clearly not enough to provide for all of them. So, when coming to age, the Hauteville boys scattered.

That was over 200 years ago when Robert Guiscard and his brothers Drogo, Selro, William and others went to the wide world to find their fortune. And they did find their fortune... over 2000 kilometers from their home. In Southern Italy, where conflict between Byzantines, Langobards, Pope and Muslims make certain that there would always be good demand for mercenaries. And Normans definitely knew how to fight.

The best guess is that no-one, not even the Normans themselves, expected what would come of it. They just wanted some gold, lands and glory and getting away from the Hauteville sur Mer that offered them none. Perhaps, if they stayed, they would have been dignitaries in Norman England, but they chose to leave and carve their own fortune.

From mercenaries to Barons, to Counts, to Dukes. Soon Hautevilles were in control of Southern Italy, a rich and pleasant land. Robert Guiscard himself led the Normans in a war for Palermo, capturing the crown jewel of Hauteville Empire from the hands of Muslims. Most of Hautevilles moved south, to get their share of family glory. Hauteville sur Mer was still around, but slowly, Hautevilles of the North had died out.

447px-1000-1100%2C_Norman._-_033_-_Costumes_of_All_Nations_%281882%29.JPG

From Mercenaries to Kings- the Hauteville ascension

But in south, they prospered. From Dukes to Kings, liberators of the Holy Land, enders of the Muslim threat, great conquerors that made the whole world tremble and finally Emperors who owned land from Iberia to Syria, great in their power. Hautevilles had reached as high as a man (or a woman) could climb and they were not about to stop.

The Present

Rebellion of King Renauld I of France added possibilities. Though Renauld controlled only half of France, other being held by Arnauld (still held in the dungeons of Kaiser), the usual plan of moving up from the south and creating Kingdom of Aquitane in the process was ruled out. But Renauld held something special- a province from Normany, Mortain. Home of Hautevilles.

That big was the power of Hautevilles that when the decision to make invasion of Normandy was made, Adelise didn’t even bother to raise her levies. The war would be fought with her retinues plus backup from King Tancred II from Portugal, totalling about 15 000 soldiers, plus navies from around Iberia to transport the troops safely.

War was declared in January 1250. The sieges were uneventful, for Renauld I was too busy fighting the Kaiser to pay attention to the Normans. So, without any resistance, some assaults and lot of time spent sieging the province, Normans took back their homeland.

sicily326.jpg

Norman invasion

Peace was signed in March 1251, with Hautevilles gaining province of Mortain, along with Hauteville sur Mer.

sicily327.jpg

... and the new ruler of Mortain, William de Hauteville. de Hautevilles are back in town!

Crusade for Italy

In the same time, Pope decided it would be fine time to kick Normans out of Italy. Thinking that most of Norman forces were around North, he was in for a real surprise when the next morning, Normans came knocking on his door. Trapani fell, as it is traditional already and Pope was forced to give up, making the war last a little over a month.

sicily328.jpg

And the Pope just keeps on trying!
 

hjarg

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Homecoming for Normans!

grumphie- yea, that would be nice. Still, don't use much of vassal troops anyway.
DensleyBlair- the buggers tend to get power. They are strong, they can hold their own and well, it seems like Germans like them :)
morningSIDEr - well, at least he got what's coming to him. As for gift- next time! This time i thought i'd use the chance to snatch me something nice and nostalgic
Chief Ragusa - eventually, i'll get the whole Iberia. As for Turquetil's stats- not that good. 3-16-5-23-6. Nothing special, but then again, i don't want to get them too good. And the poor lad wasnt tutored by yours truly!
 

morningSIDEr

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And the Pope just keeps on trying!

His perseverance has to be admired. Not his intelligence, but his perseverance certainly.

A very pleasant update this, finally the de Hautevilles have returned home! With a few thousands troops, a battering ram and a couple of siege towers.