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Nikolai

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Mmmmm.... Look at that lovely cathar blue...
 

SirkTheMonkey

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One and a half years? Surely it hasn't been that long.
Checks the first post's timestamp.
Well I'll be damned.
 

hjarg

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No One Can Stop the Norman Invasion

Joscelin came to power in June 1349. By September, last holding of Ilkhanate in Tabaristan fell. Now, there was nothing much left but Emirate of Khorasan. In September, Sayer declared war on them, claiming Khiva. By January 1350, the province was in Norman hands.

Then Sayer realized he could have taken the title of Emir before that. Well, better late then never. In January, he claimed the title of Khorasan and thus, splitted the last remaining realm into two. After another successful assassination, all was ready for the final attack.

Sayers personal armies, with bit over 90 000 troops, were in the area. Basically, that meant that poor Mongols had no chance whatsoever. In March 1350, Sayer declared war on Chief Husun of Balkh and Chief Yedi of Turkmen. Both enemies tried their best to strike back- one recruiting mercenaries of 14 000 soldiers, another of 12 000 soldiers. Final desperate attempt to stop the Norman onslaught.

sicily665.jpg

Norman armies in their final warpath

In April, in battle of Takht-i-Sangin, the forces of Balkh were destroyed. The holdings followed soon after and in the end of April, Balkh was Norman. One out, one to go.

30 000 Normans reached Turkmen in the beginning of May. In Battle of Abiward, they broke the Mongol resistance. In 9th June 1350, it was all over. Chief Yedi was forced to give up his lands and he fled back where Mongols once came from, telling stories of terrible Normans and how further incursions to the West would be bad idea.

That was that. With the fall of Turkmen, Normans were in total control of the known world. From Mali to Iceland, from Portugal to Khiva, from Finnmark to source of the Nile. And on top of this Empire, dwarfing the original Roman Empire, was Joscelin de Hauteville, direct descendant of Robert Guiscard, fifth child of minor landholder in Normandy. No one could have guess that one day, Hautevilles will rule everything.

ck2_map_47.jpg

Map of the known world

ck2_map_51.jpg

Vassal view map of the known world

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4izSNXGk2dI/Ufaz8qvsXbI/AAAAAAAAEGs/lMwTN-rzrHA/w393-h617-no/sicily666.jpg[/img}
[I]... and take that, Captets![/I]

Then, Joscelin sat down and cried, for there was no more lands to conquer.
 

hjarg

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You know, i have been playing Paradox games since EU1, back in year 2001. Now it is 2013. I've played all of EU-s, HOI-s, Vickis, CK-s and other titles. This is the first time i have taken over the world. Ever. Feels mighty special :)

And to be honest, i didn't even dream of world conquest. When i begun the game, my goals were Italy, Africa and Holy Land. Rest of it just kinda happened. Now, let us all give a big round of applause to Turquetil who converted to Cathar and made it all possible- else i couldn't have taken Catholic Europe. Of Adelise, who stabbed Byzantine Emperors as long as she was elected one (didn't take that long actually)- else i couldn't have taken Orthodox Byzantium. And special round of applause to Mongols who took all the Orthodox rulers in Russia, converted to Catholicism and apart from few relapses into Cathar, remained a loyal Holy War target. Special thanks to Paradox who implemented the ability to join a Holy War after i've taken Sicily though! :)

Now, i'm not all done yet. There is another episode coming- "Short History of de Hautevilles". I think you have figured out by now that this is a short history of de Hautevilles.

But still, it would be a good time to say: Thank you, all readers! Thank you for commenting and encouraging me to write on. Thanks for the support and sometimes, thanks for pushing me to write. It had been quite a heck 1,5 years and though it's not Robert Jordan style book, de Hautevilles make already quite a read. Thanks for being with be through this journey! :)
And at least one thing is pretty darn certain- no one can stop the Norman invasion.

Nikolai- not totally blue yes. But look at this lovely shade of purple!

SirkTheMonkey - heh, yes. Started writing it back when the game was released. Patch 1.01 and no expansions or anything. Never thought it would last that long :)
 

hjarg

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Short History of de Hautevilles

Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia from 1057-1074

Robert de Hauteville is a curious fellow. He was 5th son of a minor holder in Normandy. Meaning he had a hard life coming- no inheritance, no power, nothing. Destined to be forgotten in the annals of history. That was not how Robert wanted things to end though. Yes, of course, he was a highway robber and a mercenary. But he ended up as a Duke of Apulia. In 1068, he begun his final war and in one battle, outside Taormina, he destroyed the Muslim forces and captured the Sheikh. The Counties of Palermo and Syracuse fell in just one battle. He also moved his capital to Palermo and since that time, Palermo has been the home of Normans.

sicily004.jpg

Duke Robert and his wife

Bohemond I, Duke of Apulia from 1074-1090, King of Sicily from 1090-1115

Bohemond conquered the rest of Sicily, including the Island of Malta. He did not expand the realm further. Instead, he pacified Sicily, begun the process of Normanizing the province and converted the entire island to Catholic. By the time he died, Sicily was firmly under Norman hands, Palermo had 4 castles and other castles scattered around the island were also in progress of getting upgrades.

sicily026.jpg

Old Bohemond and young Bohemond

Robert, King of Sicily from 1115-1126

Robert begun Norman expansion to South, in the shores of Africa. He attacked and took Tunesia and parts of Tripolitania. He died during the siege of Leptis Magna. Also, he took Genoa and expanded Norman lands to further north.

sicily032.jpg

King Robert

Asclettin the Great, King of Sicily from 1126-1161

Asclettin was first (and lot of people think the greatest) of great rulers of Hautevilles. He raised the Sicily, medium powered Kingdom in Mediterranean, to heights unimagined. From 1332-1338, he fought off attacks of the Shia Caliphate, the strongest nation in that time. Then, he did something totally unexpected- he took the war home to Caliph. From to 1143-1145, he fought against Caliphate in the Holy Land and as a result, Catholics gained first Duchy in Jerusalem. Jerusalem itself was conquered in war lasting from 1156-1157. He also started the first war between Holy Roman Empire and the Normans. He died in battle against the Germans in 1161.

sicily046.jpg

Young Asclettin

sicily072.jpg

The most glorious moment of Asclettin

ck2_map_3.jpg

... And the conquests of Asclettin

Bohemond II, King of Sicily from 1161-1163

Bohemond, son of Asclettin, was a sick man. He ruled for two years and then, died of disease. Still, he managed to win the war against Holy Roman Empire.

sicily100.jpg

Bohemind on his deathbed

Bohemond III, King of Sicily from 1163-1192. Bohemond I, Emperor of the Hauteville Empire from 1192-1193

Bohemond further advanced Norman territories. During his time, Normans advanced further into Italy, took most of the African coast and managed to win more land in Jerusalem. In 1192, after becoming King with four titles, Bohemond declared himself an Emperor of the Hauteville Empire. His conquest were far and wide, but even with creation of Empire and ending of the Muslim threat, most people thought he did not live over the shadow of his grandfather, King Asclettin. Bohemond died at the age of 48, in battle with rebels in Sevilla.

sicily101.jpg

Prince Bohemond, future King Bohemond III and Emperor Bohemond I

sicily172.jpg

Conquests of Bohemond

Bohemond II, Emperor of the Hauteville Empire from 1193-1197

Bohemond II started his rule with great bravado. He finished the conquest of Sevilla, he conquered Cyrenaica and took Lombardy from Holy Roman Empire. In 1194, when Normans landed their troops in Cyrenaica, Bohemond was wounded in battle of Cyrene. He lost his right arm and at the age of 38, he died of that wound, leaving his 15-year old son Turquetil as the Emperor

sicily171.jpg

Emperor Bohemond II

Turquetil I, Emperor of the Hauteville Empire from 1197-1244

Turquetil I was a good ruler, he expanded the realm through conquest quite a lot. But that is not what his is mainly remembered. In 1200, he denounced the Catholic religion and converted to Catharism. That meant that Normans did not have to worry about the Pope anymore, but they were also alone in the world- Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics all hated the Cathars.

Normans were strong enough to outlive all that though and by the time Turquetil had finished, Normans owned most of the Mediterranean area, including the city of Byzantion. Additionally, Turquetil started his gains on Iberia.

sicily182.jpg

The Young Emperor

sicilia002.jpg

The Fateful Decision

sicily311.jpg

And the Empire when Bohemond died

Robert Guiscard I, Emperor of the Hauteville Empire from 1244-1245

Son of Turquetil, he became the Count of Byzantion. There, he found a hobby- visiting every whorehouse in the city (and there was plenty). In addition to pleasures, he also found an unwelcome addition. He picked up syphilis and just a year after ruling, he the disease got him. His daughter, Adelise, became the first female ruler of the Empire.

sicily309.jpg

Robert Guiscard did not really live up to the name of his ancestor

Adelise I, Empress of the Hauteville Empire from 1245-1285, Basilissa of the Byzantine Empire 1285, Augusta of the Roman Empire from 1285-1304

After Basileus Ioannikos instituted elective monarchy in Byzantine Empire, he and his son Ignatios died in mysterious accident. As a result, Adelise was crowned as a new Basilissa of the Empire. One month later, she kicked the Pope out of Trapani. Thus, she had enough power to re-create the Roman Empire. After nearly a thousand years, the eagle banner was rising once again in Italy. Normans had reached the point where their power was unmatched.

sicily455.jpg

This is, without doubt, the greatest achievement of Adelise ever

Another great achievement of Adelise was Battle of Kairy. Fought in December 1275, Normans met the grand force of the Golden Horde in battle. First, the Normans destroyed Mongol vanguard, over 40 000 soldiers strong. Then, they engaged Mongol Horde. It was still the biggest battle Normans had ever fought in. 160 000 Normans versus 100 000 Mongols. Mongols were defeated and in the following battles, the Horde was destroyed.

sicily418.jpg

Though this falls pretty close

In addition, Adelise conquered far and wide. She took England, chunks of France, was the first Hauteville ruler to cross the Alps and basically, when she died, Normans were ruling over half of the known world.

sicily316.jpg

And this is Adelise, when she was still young and pretty

sicily517.jpg

And this is Roman Empire when Adelise finally passed away, old and wrinkled

Sayer I, Augustus of the Roman Empire from 1304-1349

Adelise conquered half of the known world. Her grandson Sayer took the other half. Sayer destroyed the Holy Roman Empire and took down both Golden Horde and Ilkhanate. It was a bloody rule, with constant wars and wars on a larger scale then Normans ever fought. Sayer did not hesitate from murder when it was needed and he had ordered death of well over 30 Khagans. By the time Sayer himself was assassinated, the Normans controlled all but five provinces of the known world.

sicily513.jpg

Sayer when he still was a king

sicily564.jpg

Sayer bringing down the most hated enemy of the Normans

ck2_map_44.jpg

... and the map when the crazed conqueror died

Joscelin I, Augustus of the Roman Empire from 1349-?

Joscelin the Ender, as they called him. During his time, Normans conquered the last of the known provinces and by 1350, Normans were the rulers of the entire known world.

sicily661.jpg

Joscelin, the Ender

ck2_map_47.jpg

Joscelin finished the job
 

hjarg

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And this is it! Thank you all for reading and sorry for me spamming here! :) Wrote the final chapter today, then thought i'd post it later, then though that what the heck, let's get it all done!

Thank you for reading once again! :)
 

Nikolai

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Thank YOU for making this AAR! :) It's been an enjoyable ride!
 

esemesas

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*thunderous applause*

And it didn't even take you 200 years... WOW.
 

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It's all over.
It's been fun following the story and I hope your next AAR, if there is one, goes just as well.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Quite a ride there hjarg.

The answer to your question 'Can anyone stop the Norman Invasion?' is a resounding no.

You had a number of milestones along the way. The conquest of Sicily and the making it the engine of the norman war machine. Asclettin's conquest of Jerusalem. Turquetil's conversion to Catharism was perhaps the most important since you gained a free CB on the catholic rulers of Europe. Noteworthy is how few rulers you actually had. By and large your rulers were long lived and talented. You had very few vassal revolts. Battles won thanks to high military talent and numbers of personal troops. Your armies suffered few defeats.

A thoroughly enjoyable AAR to read and I suspect to play.
 

grumphie

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this was an really epic AAR. congrats on the wc, and eagerly awaiting your next aar.

would you mind uploading the save so i can convert it to euIV later on and i can examine how exactly your realm works?
 

hjarg

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Nikolai - Thanks! Glad to hear it!

esemesas - *bows* Still, one tiny thing- from 1066 to 1350 is 284 years, so with little less then 300 years!

Last_Revanant - Thanks, thanks! As for next AAR, look for EUIV section soon! ;)

SirkTheMonkey- Well, i doubt i'll get the world conquest next time though. :)

Athalcor - Thanks a lot! :)

Chief Ragusa - Indeed. When i begun in, i never thought i'd invade the entire world. And yes, you were right- Turquetil set the foundation with gaining holy war CB-s into all Europe. And it's all good genes and upbringing- Hautevilles are actually easy enough to breed into greatness :) And glad you enjoyed it- as for play, it grew a bit stale in towards the end, but if was fun ride!

grumphie- Thanks, thanks! And next one coming soon :)
Save: here you go: https://www.dropbox.com/s/coum58xr5qtcsor/viimane.ck2
Hope it works.
 

Avindian

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A world conquest in CKII -- very nice! I can't wait for your next one!
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Well, congratulations on a job well done ;)

I guess that the pivotal point in the whole game was the Cathar conversion by Turquetil. It ultimately allowed the Blitzkrieg that Sayer did, just for a example ( that and fact #2 in influence on the game, GH going catholic :p ). I'm pretty sure it would had been atleast far more complicated to conquer Europe without the Holy war CB ( the only real alternative would be to get a heir with a claim on HRE, push it, try to sort out the messed laws the HRE normally has and glob the European kingdoms via pushing weak claims of peripheral members of the family especially brewed for that ... something that does not add well with the already old animosy between the Hauteville and the HRE titulars ). OFC that Sicily was already a major player at that point, but the Cathar conversion allowed Sicily to push to Europe, while a catholic Sicily would probably push against the islamic ( and Tengri, while they would last ) powers ... it would most likely be a very diferent game.

Anyway, your work here is done and the standing ovation is well deserved ;)
 

DensleyBlair

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I don't think anything remains for me to say aside from: bloody hell! That was one fun ride, and this has been an AAR that I have thorough enjoyed. Cogratulations hjarg, much kudos and many contrafibularities, etc. etc.

I'm looking forward to your next work very much – and hopefully I'll actually be there for the ending then!