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hjarg

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Quest for Albion

Kicking the Pope Out of Italy (again)


The Pope had crawled back into Italy. Kaiser Leopold had granted His Holiness the county of Urbino and once again, the Pope was ruling an entire county, instead of ruling under mercy of Normans in Trapani. Of course, this will not do- plus, there is a nice county available. So, in January 1266, Adelise declared war against the Pope.

Her armies were still resting in Ireland, so she did something she hadn’t done for a while- used her local levies. Over 23 000 soldiers in total were still waiting for her command in Sicily and Calabria, sailing to the Italy and 6000 were still left to siege Trapani. Basically, Normans sailed to Italy, kicked the Pope, assaulted Urbino and by April the war was over. Pope was kicked back to Trapani and Urbino was given to Doge of Ancona.

sicily385.jpg

The Papal holdings in Italy... now Norman holdings in Italy

Landing in England

When Normans attacked England back in 1066, they assembled a huge fleet and sailed across the Channel. Now, there was no such need for it. Instead of attacking from the south, Normans attacked from the north, near the scottish border. Using local transportation to cross the strait between Ireland and Scotland and then marching across the scottish lands seemed like a more prudent cause.

Oh yes, and by the way, we’re attacking England. Why? The simple answer would be “because it’s there”, but people suspect it is more complicated then that. Normans already took Normandy and are obviously planning to become sole Norman (or ex-Norman) rulers in the world. So, in April 1266, exactly 200 years after William the Conqueror had crossed the English channel and beat the usurper Harold in battle of Hastings, it was time for Normans once again invade England- this time, their northernmost holdings- the Duchy of Northumberland.

sicily386.jpg

The Normans marched from Ireland to England, with some English army approaching

By the end of May, Norman forces were in place- 2 armies sieging Cumberland and Northumberland while the third stayed as reserves. English mobilized their forces quickly, but their number were thinned when Normans kicked their butt in Ireland, so they only managed to get 12 000 soldiers under their flag. Obviously, it was not enough, but it did not stop English from bravely attacking the Norman army in Northumberland. In a battle of Lindisfarne, September 1266, they assaulted bravely the Norman troops- just as it was a good proper Norman way. So did they Normans, and they met in the middle of the field, causing the most intensive battle Normans had had for ages.

sicily387.jpg

With this battle, the fate of England was decided. Shame it wasn't in Hastings

In the end, the Normans.. khm, the proper Normans won. Still, English lost 8000, while Normans 3000, so the battle was pretty even. But with that, the war was over and in November 1266, King Nicholas III gave up his first Duchy to the Normans.

War for Tripoli

Meanwhile, in September 1266, Radolf de Hauteville, councillor of the Empire, managed to gain a claim that shows that ancestors of Doux David of had given themselves to the Norman protection from the Byzantine Empire, making Tripoli vassals of the Norman Empire. Of course, doux David refused to ackowledge the Norman rights and as a result, Adelise declared war on him. By the way, the whole thing took over 2000 gold to set up...

Anyways, 18 000 soldiers from Jerusalem crossed the border of Duchy of Tripoli (independent from Byzantines, by the way) and sieged the county of Tripoli. Armies of Tripoli were too afraid to counter them, so with assaults, they made the province theirs and in January 1267, Doux David gave up Tripoli.

sicily388.jpg


Holy War for Lancaster

Meanwhile, intrigues in England had created perfect opportunity for Normans. Duke Michael I of Lancaster saw the opportunity- after all, King Nicholas III troops were defeated by Normans and the crown was defenceless. Isabella de Normandie, the daughter of King Nicholas I and aunt of the current King Nicholas III, was married to the Mathgamain Ua Cheinniselaig, son of King Gilla-Colum the great and was nephew of current King of Ireland, Halkjell II. Basically, this meant that when Michael could manage to get Isabella to the throne of England, the children would be Irish Ua Cheinniselaigs, so of course Halkjell was also interested in backing them up. Soon, all England was involved in rebellion against Nicolas III and tried to get Isabella to the throne. Lead by Duke of Lancaster, backed up amongst others, Duke Randolf II of Northumberland.

sicily389.jpg

The intrigue of England: two conspirator-Dukes and potential queen and her husband

Not a wise thing to do, that rebellion. Not when there are Norman troops present. Adelise was quick to use the opportunity. Duchy of Lancaster was mostly owned by Duke Michael I of Lancaster, but Randolf of Northumberland also had a province in the Duchy. Both got declarations of war from Adelise in January 1267. There is actually not much to write about the war. Both Northumberland and Lancaster were busy fighting the King, so when Norman armies entered their lands, they were unprepared, taken in by surprise and were not able to mount serious defence. One by one, their provinces fell, their subjects were killed, their lands were looted and they became more desperate.

sicily390.jpg

Rebels are besieging loyalist lands, Normans are besieging rebel lands, loyalists are besieging Norman lands. That's English confusion for you...

Randolph, Duke of Northumberland, was the first to give up- in July 1267, he gave up the county of Westmoreland. Soon, he will lose his title as a Duke as well, leaving him just a count of Lothian. What a fall- from one of the most powerful rules in England to a lowly count in Scotland. His fall was of course not as high as was Michael’s. In the beginning of the year, Duke of Lancaster fancied him a great intriguer, maker of Kings. World, of at least England, was his oyster. When he too gave up, month after Randolph, he had nothing left. Rest of his days will be spent as a courtier in county of Wiltshire, drinking and remembering his days of glory. He turned to be a bitter man.

As for Normans, they had wedged themselves to England. Northumberland and Lancaster were under English control and the rest of the Albion would soon to follow... Two new Duchies were granted to proper de Hauteville Dukes, not merchants. Adelise was planning to keep England as a Kingdom, not something personally under her command.

sicily391.jpg

Normans getting into England

Personal Matters

In June 1266, Adelise have birth to her 4th son. Megistos Kantakouzenos. A greek, an orthodox and fourth in line to the succession pool of Hauteville Empire. What will that bring to the Empire remains to be seen...

sicily384.jpg

The devil's spawn- first son of Adelise and Nikolaos
 

hjarg

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You know, the thing i really love about CK II is that you just discover things like Duke of Lancaster did and when you look at them, you'll see a whole story behind it- getting Irish to the English throne and all that.

DensleyBlair - thanks! And not just lovely, but profitable addon, with all the republics!

Chief Ragusa - for one thing, i have more resources to spare then English! So no worries, Ireland will be mine! Mwahahahahaaa! As for English- as you can see, not one, but 2 duchies, 7 provinces total. As for Egyptian situation- 2 medium strength Kings instead of one strong king, plus extra prestige for having 2 kings as vassals? I'm not sure why would i help out! And Pope is also taken care of. Byzantienes have been played too- as for Germans, i hope the Kaiser soon kicks the bucket again.

fox2, cyrileom - yea, Irish will not become that bad of a problem. If needed, i can get over 10 000 troops there in a month or so- and only taking soldiers from my vassals too.

Last_Revanant - delighted to have you aboard. Welcome, and that must have been quite a long read by this time. Here's the requested update :)
 

unmerged(58610)

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Two duchies for the price of one. England is reeling, but there is still a long way to go. Scotland, from the Isle of Man to the Orkneys, is a mess. Still independent counties and duchies make for easy Norman acquisition.
Only 2 counties left to gain in Italy before you can create the Kingdom of Italy.

These are only fill in the gaps between finishing off Ireland, Iberia and France. The usual game with the Kaiser can't be too far off.Which rich duchy will the Kaiser lose this time?

Megistos is Greek and Orthodox. That'll have to change before he can take his palce as a Cathar d'Hauteville ruler.
 

BogMod

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The AI is pretty cunning sometimes.
 

DensleyBlair

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Scotland's a mess - why not DoW each sovereignty at the same time for a bit of excitement? :)
 

Nikolai

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hjarg

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Interlude: Changes to the Empire

Adelise smiled lightly when Selova and Mabel entered council chambers for the first time. Both were already old and wizened, but their nervousness still showed. A bit uneasy, stiff positions, their hands shaking. Adelise thought back a long time ago, when her grandfather took her to the council for the first time. She was about 10 or so then, and she also felt nervous, for there were stern men who helped his grandfather guide the fate of the Empire. To her surprise, it turned out that council meetings had plenty of laughter, jokes, wine and of course- more importantly- candy! She spent half time listening to the men, received some pats in her head and ate candy until her stomach hurt. After that, she couldn’t wait for the next council meeting.

Now she had seen plenty, as and Empress-in-training, and as an Empress. She always made sure to keep the light attitude her grandfather used to keep and she always ensured there will be enough candy in her meetings. For the moment though, the amount of candy needed was extraordinary, for this was the expanded council. Normal council plus all the vassals of the Empress, coming from all corners of the world. All Kings- Jerusalem, Egypt, Nubia, Portugal, Galicia, Croatia and Aquitaine. Dukes and Doges from Ireland to Greece. Few counts as well- totalling about 70 persons. Getting them all to Palermo was a mess that needed a year of planning.

To the moment though- Selova was the first to regain her composure. She sat down at the table, made a funny remark that eased the atmosphere and proceeded to check the papers. As for Mabel- the garments that came with the job did not make her life easier. The fancy hat kept falling back on her eyes and the heavy garments hindered her movements. Adelise knew that she only received it this morning too, so no wonder. Still, Mabel was one of the most prominent experts of Cathar faith. She had dedicated her whole life to think about the faith and some of her writings in how to interpret the Holy Book had changed the faith. As for Selova- she knew her ways in courts, intrigues that pop up, people that could cause trouble and also knew how to get rid of them. Both were excellent additions to the council.

sicily392.jpg

Mabel, the new Court Chaplain and Selova, the spymistress

Only problem is that they were female. Then again- time had come ripe for changes like this. Cathar faith was much more lenient on woman then Catholic and for over 60 years, Cathars have been around in Europe, growing slowly to become the most dominant one. In Mediterranean area, it already was.

Now there was time to make some changes- for example, female councillors. Adelise was a bit nervous, but other councillors accepted them without grumbling. After all, it was idea of Radolf, the Chancellor, back up by her husband and steward Nikolaos and blessed by Bohemond, previous Court Chaplain, who was getting old and wanted to retire.

The rest of the Empire accepted as well. Without problems. Well, no-one would be stupid enough to say something to Spymaster’s face. But rather, the new idea was adopted quickly in the various courts throughout Hauteville Empire.

But this council was not special for only these reasons. If you call all your vassals from your vast Empire to the Capital, there will be something more important then the female councillors. Adelise took a deep breath and stood up. The room fell silent.

paris-eleanor-2.jpg

Adelise addressing the council

She begun to speak: “When my grand-grand-grand-grandfather Bohemond made the Empire, we were still small. We held Jerusalem, we held Africa and some lands in Italy, but that was about it. Since then, we have grown. Italy is ours, Iberia is ours, Egypt is ours to the south, Croatia is ours, Greece is on his way to becoming ours, we own half of France, most of Ireland and have advanced into England. “

She paused for a bit, trying to think if she’d forgotten anything. It was actually kinda hard getting to rule all the lands you own when you even have trouble remembering what you were supposed to own. But no-one of the audience started screaming that hey! you forgot my lands! so she guessed it was ok. Audience was quite quiet, only small whispers, for they were all expecting her to continue.

... and continue she did: “I am currently queen of Sicily, Africa, Italy, Mauretania, Aragon and would be queen of Ireland as well if we cared enough to usurp the title from the fellow there”

Chuckles in audience, as she moved on: “That is way too much for one person to handle. I have only one head, but these are 6 crowns in total and I’m not a six-headed monster, no matter what the Pope tries to tell you!”

More chuckles and: “So, I and my council and even some fellow Kings and Dukes have come up with a plan. We split the Empire into two- areas to be ruled by Kings and areas directly under the control of the Empire.”

Adelise noticed some confusion in the audience, so she picked up the pace and tried to clarify: “In reality, we are not changing pretty much anything. The current borders will stand. Well, we will conquer more borders, but within the Empire, we are changing nothing. Kings of Jerusalem, Egypt, Nubia, Croatia, Portugal, Galicia and Aquitaine will keep their current borders while other lands, including Kingdoms of Sicily, Italy, Africa, Mauretania, Andalusia, Aragon, Ireland and Greece, of these titles i had 5 yesterday. As of today, I will have none! For now, i’m officially denouncing these titles, keeping only the title of Empress of de Hauteville Empire!”

sicily395.jpg

The Kingdoms are destroyed...

Now, there was a road some of the vassals who hoped themselves to be Kings of these areas, but otherwise, everyone took it real well.

She continued: “As of now, there are two possible territorial situations in the Empire: for example, i’m to be called the Sovereign of King Silvester I of Jerusalem or Sovereign of King Tancred II of Portugal. When we are talking about the Empire territories, I will be called just Sovereign of for example Italy of Sovereign of Andalucia.”

The discontent of some vassals was obvious. But then again, they were not that numerous, plus they knew as well that Adelise personally commanded about 45 000 soldiers in her personal army and another 25 000 in Palermo, so it would not be wise to say anything out loud.

Adelise knew as well that there would be complications and other problems waiting for her, but it was time. She planned something similar when she was just a young girl, ascending to the throne for the first time. Now, she had reached 40, she had been ruling for over 20 years and her position was strong enough. Loved by her vassals (mostly), adored by her troops, she was as strong as any of her predecessors. Well on her way to become truly legendary ruler.

She smiled as she continued. She knew that now she will be adding some honey to the pot.

“As for another concern is succession laws.” she continued. Now, that got her vassals total attention.

“The law that eldest son can inherit is not quite right,” she continued. “Sometimes, the eldest son is not the best choice. Instead, I want you all to be ruled by the best possible ruler- be it my firstborn son, my second son, my grandson or some other Hauteville! So, as of this moment, i declare Hauteville Empire to be elective!”

sicily394.jpg

... and the law is elective. Only 1 elector though...

Now, that got the audience in a roll. There was much discussing, cheering, loud voices. Everyone seemed happy for a reason, not really caring about the fact that there was just one person who could actually nominate the successors- Empress herself.

Adelise beckoned someone from behind the curtains and a child of almost 10 years run to her. He shared much of the same characteristics as Adelise, and most of the vassals already knew him. Prince Simon, second child of Adelise and deceased Walter. Already known quite a lot for his brilliance, diligence and keen sense of justice. Prince run to his mother, and stood next to her.

Adelise took his hand and stood forward: “And here is your future Emperor, Prince Simon. Take a good look at him, for one day, he will be Emperor Simon I!”

sicily393.jpg

Future Emperor Simon I, second son of Adelise

The crowd cheered.

With that, the meeting was over. It was more of a solo performance of Adelise then a true meeting, but the changes to the Empire were big and quite permanent. The vassals seemed to grumble a little bit, but overall accepted the changes. So, all was good.

Adelise sighed from relief. She remembered her own coronations- as an Empress, then grand tour to her kingdoms, where she had to be coronated as their rightful queen, the the duchies. It was a pain and she did not care for her followers to go through it again- especially when the Empire was growing all the time.
 

hjarg

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Pretty big changes for the Empire this time. Helps to keep the Empire better together though.

Chief Ragusa - England will fall eventually. And i don't need everything to destroy the kingdom, i only need half of the provinces to claim the title and blitz the survivors! As for Italy- i just destroyed Kingdom of Italy. But i have 2 provinces left that are not Norman in Italy. Scotland i will do :p As for Kaiser- i'm thinking Valencia this time. As for Megistos- being raised by Norman cathar will help that!

BogMod- yes and no. AI is pretty cunning, but it was not pretty cunning to do that with bloodthirsty Normans in the next province... :p

DensleyBlair, Nikolai- Scotland coming in the next update!
 

DensleyBlair

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A savvy move, making yourself the only elector whilst not holding too many titles. Well played.

Though, Scotland is still rather fractured - good to know it'll soon be 'healed' ;)
 
Last edited:

SirkTheMonkey

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I've been reading for a while and I figured I should stop lurking here. It's been a fun story even if the threat has been winding down recently.
Do empires have de jure shift? I'm left wondering if the elective plan could go horribly wrong if various Kingdoms and Duchies start being accepted as legally part of the Hauteville Empire and they start voting for their own interests.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Sovereign Adelise has quite a ring to it. Destroying titles is a cunning plan come together - makes way for new ones. There is someoen who will not be amused by the changes and tghat's Adelise's first son. Valencia is a good choice, better grab it as a prelude to secure all Iberia for the Empire.

I see where you're going with England. Usurping the Irish throne would now make sense, too. Adelise's crowning glory would be a plot to place her on the throne as Empress of Byzantium.
 

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im back following again, that are some nice addtiions and changes. i'd have kept sicily though. no desires X penalty for the kingdom of your capital and anything of a powerbase against realms like aquataine is always welcome.
 

hjarg

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The Scotland is a Mess

How Big a Mess, You Ask?


The Scotland was a total mess. Fighting was all over the lands, with armies marching back and forth, killing honest Scots and not so honest Scots alike. To put it simple: there was a good change to add Normans to the equation and Adelise was not above getting yet another King title to her collection.

Queen Mabille of Wales and Scotland was in a pinch. Her vassals at Scotland had risen against her power. Duke Ingram of Albany and Duke Eric I of Moray were fighting against Mabille, trying to get Ingram as the new King of Scotland. Basically, half of Scotland was against her, half was for her and Earls of Clydesdale and Carrick were independent.

As for Duke Aubrey for the Isles, he was English, of de Crepon family, who had joined William the Conqueror as he took England. His ancestor was granted the title back in 1150 and now he decided to take his chance and declare independence on King Nicholas of England, who had recently been on the weak size because of the Normans kicking the English butt. So, Aubrey was not above using his chance to gain his independence.

sicily396.jpg

That is quite a mess...

Add Normans to the Fray

So, in September 1276, Adelise had declarations of war to be delivered to every involved party with the exception of Queen Mabille of Wales and Scotland (with whom she still had truce) and King Nicholas of England (truce and he still holds county of Lothian). Basically, Adelise declared Holy War on parts of Albany, the Isles, parts of Moray and on provinces of Clydesdale and Carrick.

As the Norman troops approached Scotland, Queen Mabille and her Scots reacted quickly. Dukes of Albany and Moray gave up, preferring losing to Queen the losing all their holdings. Instead of rebellious Dukes, Normans now faced more or less unified Wales and decided to screw that and deal with three other targets.

So, that left Clydesdale, Carrick and the Isles. Carrick was first to fall and by December 1276, first province in Scotland was Norman. Clydesdale was next- in February, Normans had the lands of both of independent counts. They were formed as Duchy of Galloway, usurped from Duke of Moray.

Argyll, the capital of the Isles, fell in about the same time. As Normans moved to Innse Gall, the second province, they saw 4000-soldier strong English army assaulting the province. It was surprising that Nicholas even managed to still have some soldiers left, not alone to send them to the Isles, but sometimes, life is full of surprises. As they heard of Normans approaching, they have up the assault though and fled, leaving Normans in command of the siege.

sicily397.jpg

The most exiting spot in the war. Almost catching English assaulting the province

Meanwhile, two armies sieging Carrick and Clydesdale had joined their forces and sailed to Isle of Man, assaulting the castles there. Overall, by April 1278, the war was won and Isles became yet another land under the Norman crown.

Holy War for Moray

The rest of Scotland was now more or less safely ruled under Queen Mabille of Wales. But the main problem for the Scots was that the truce was about to expire. Norman troops gathered their strength and rested for about half a year and in September 1268, when the truce expired, they declared war on Queen of Wales, claiming Duchy of Moray their own.

There is actually pretty much nothing to write about the war. Norman hammer hit the Scots when they were still gathering their troops and smacked them in the head hard. Scots really had no chance against an overwhelming power like that- 45 000 Normans marching across their borders. In March 1279, Queen Mabille gave up, ceding Duchy of Moray to Adelise.

sicily399.jpg

Queen Mabille giving up

With that, Norman Scottish conquests were actually enough to grab the title of King of Scotland. Prince Silvester of Jerusalem, fifth son of the previous King of Jerusalem, was picked as a worthy candidate. So, poor Silvester left his cozy home in the warm lands of Palestine and moved to Highlands, where he will rule as both Duke of Moray and King of Scotland. Long live Silvester I!

sicily398.jpg

King Silvester eyeing his new holdings
 

hjarg

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Another day, another steamroll! At least, one additional King title for de Hautevilles.

DensleyBlair - Not so well actually. More on that below :p As for Scotland- looking a bit better, i hope?

SirkTheMonkey - Welcome! Always glad to see lurker turned to commenter :) As for your question: no, it could not go horribly wrong. It just went! Actually, very bad planning on my part: i should not have destroyed the King titles while declaring elective. The result is this:

sicily400.jpg


It seems like without King titles to buffer things, all who is someone in the Empire get to say on the next Emperor. Still, now Simon runs strong, so it's not that bad. I'll see how it turns out.

Chief Ragusa - Well, first son gets Croatia- not a bad deal as well. As for Iberia, i think i'll grab Valencia and then try to get France instead. HRE will be completely landlocked and surrounded by Hautevilles in Iberia anyways. Ireland- no need. Would not help to get me the kingdom. Will not stop me from calling Adelise Sovereign of Ireland though :) As for Byzantium- that is the ultimate goal. Will take a while for that to happen though- but then it's the Norman New Rome time! :)

grumphie- glad to have you back! :) As for Sicily- thought it to be easier to let it all go. I'll see how it works out though...
 

DensleyBlair

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Stupid Dukes - so fickle! Surely, they would see life under Norman suzerainty as enlightened and prosperous? :)

Good to see Scotland looking ever more green.
 

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What are the mongols up to...?
 

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Killing themselves, and probably going through bouts of instability. What's the update on Catholic Moral Authority and the spread of heresy in Catholic ruled lands?
 

unmerged(58610)

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First son gets Croatia and the second gets the Empire. Sorry, but I don't call that a good deal. Scotland looks a lot better now it's Norman.
There's a France to Go after . .. again? France just doesn't stay around very long. It's like its in its own Bermuda Triangle!
 

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Scotland does look much cleaner and greener. I knew elective would go wrong; I tried it once in a game I played Holland->Frisia and things did not go as expected, especially when everyone else decided that the strange Dutchman should be made Emperor.
 

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You know all, today is a special date: a year ago today i started writing this AAR :)
So far, we have 211 years played, 90 episodes, 10 rulers, almost Norman Mediterranean and Europe going Cathar fast.

Just wanted to say thank you all for reading, commenting, lurking and advising! Hope this was as enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write.




DensleyBlair - Heh, almost correct! They see life under Norman suzerainty as enlightened and prosperous, but know full well that that will happen under different Dukes. Not their fault they were not born Hautevilles :p

BogMod- Quiet. Golden Horde is fighting Norway for their parts of Rus while Il-Khanate is fighting remnants of the Caliphate. Plus they both seem to have some internal strifes.

cyrileom - Catholics have their authority around 80% (Cathars have 100%). There are some neighboring provinces that have converted to Cathar, but not much.

Chief Ragusa - Croatia is much better then nothing though :) And more like French parts of the HRE. Hmm, or should i just invide Germany or Burgundy. Mmmm, choices, choices...

SirkTheMonkey - Well, it not go totally wrong. Most rulers support Adelise's decision. Good diplomacy plus good relations with vassals help out a bit. Too late to change it now anyways- i'll see how it works out.