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NewbieOne

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The New Emperor

Meanwhile dies Eulalia Komnena, once considered a potential bride for my father or even for me, and possibly any of her children as potential marriage partners for a future Polish monarch. She was the last offspring of the elder Komnenos brother, as opposed to the younger from whom proceed the current Komnenoi, who are surnamed Piast due to his matrilineal marriage. She was also the last person surnamed Komnenos, there are none any more, although the Greek 'Piasts' are, in reality, patrilineal Komnenoi. She did not manage to get grey and was still rather pretty when she died at age 49.



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The idea had been to unite the Komnenos claim to the Polish crown, then enforce the claim, or, in other words, to produce a ruler of Poland, or heir of a ruler of Poland, with a Komnenos claim. That did not work out, as you can see, and we also opposed the idea of invading the Byzantine empire and causing a massive loss of life to impose a foreign-cultured ruler with a matrilineal claim inherited from a deposed dynasty that had not actually acceded to the throne in clearly legitimate circumstances, and did lose the throne in rather incriminating ones. It seems all to be irrelevant now unless perhaps those Greek Komnenos Piasts leave a female senior heir at some point, in which case it would be logical to forego other marriage opportunities.

On a different note, here are some current statistics (note the size difference):



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As you can see, things have changed. This is even more clearly so:



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Here is the bigger map (Holy Roman Empire are cousins, by the way):



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Look at my new vassal:



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I have a new capital, too:



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Well, it really is logical in terms of distance to places. Never mind it is a backwards Mongol province with a Muslim religious majority. But otherwise I would be facing large revolt risks from fiefs too far away.

Look also at the armies of my vassals, real, veritable doomstacks:



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Ioseph of Kiev (and Galich and Adrianopolis) has other 12K. The ruler of Cherson is sporting nearly a 16K contingent at the Azov Sea and the Duke of Abkhazia, out of four entire provinces for all I can recall, has over 14K. And look the Duke of Cyprus, eighteen thousand together:



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And he's not a particularly large fief holder, either.

This is going to be a difficult relationship, I guess:



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Although perhaps not an untenable one.

I transfer the loyalty of the City of Galata, finally, to the Komnenos Piasts. This is what they are going to get of Constantinople for now:



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For my brother, I recreate and hand down the Kingdom of Ruthenia (his is the red shield with a white eagle head, the Duchy of Lesser Poland, in which he holds no land but oversees one vassal, the Prince-Bishop):



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...And there goes my reputation for piety. Had I waited a while longer, I would have fulfilled my ambition to become known as the 'Holy', first ruler in my line to be so called.

I raise Marshal Manfred to Count in the feudal hierarchy. He is now the level his family had generally been, barring the junior who has recently usurped the Duchy of Courland. Fittingly for a Marshal, Manfred receives a county (namely the Lower Don) near the front lines:



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With a bit of a strange feeling, I white-peace out of my mother's holy war for Sarkel. I conclude that the lands are Tengri or so, they are not Christian, haven't really been before, we have had no quarrel with the High Chieftainess, so I don't want to fight that fight. (Look at the rebellions for Novgorod-Seversk, the last three counties of the 'Possessed Tengri Girl' or her descendant if she's not alive any more.)



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As Emperor, I can now vassalise dukes. The first one is the Duchess of Epirus:



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She is also the reason I have so far withheld the title of King of Greece from the Komnenos-Piasts. Having two titles that are her de iure lieges, I am probably all the more convincing. She seems to be the last independent in Greece, so after taking her oath, I will pass it all down.

The Duke of Cyprus did not wait, however. My elevation allowed him to go one tier up as well and he had the capital of a titular kingdom within his borders.



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Titular does mean he gets no ducal vassals from the get go.

As the Byzantine Emperor, I face a new deal of plotting:



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...As well as the old deal, from guess whom:



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She won't get that kingdom. The Kingdom of Bulgaria is meant for the Terters of Karvuna.

Meanwhile the Duchess of Epirus swears her loyalty. This means the last days for me as King of Greece:



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Speaking of which:



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And that one does get quite a lot of ducal vassals. Well, he is the dynastically senior-most of them all. I still can't believe I'm a half-Palaiologos myself (now, if you consider that my father was actually a half-Premyslid and Premyslid was the dynastic house of Vaclaw of Bohemia...).

My brother, on the other hand, is already proving to be a rather energetic King of Ruthenia:



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That is higher than I have my current new primary title (although it was High in Poland, which prevented land from falling outside in inheritance).
 
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NewbieOne

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I am not exactly sure what Duke Orestes did:



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So why not let him out.

Speaking of troublesome elements, I think I should stop reporting about Duchess Penka. How about we just take her for granted? (Now she's got my own brother excommunicated.)



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But there are more. For example the new Duke of Volhynia:



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Given that rebellion risks are probably going to skyrocket, unlike the treasury, I decide to disband as soon as I can:



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In retrospect, I should have tried to send all of those guys home. It may be the first time this is happening with a king of Poland. We used to be more meticulous about it.

Komi embraces the Union:



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Guess who. The displaced Palaiologos who would be the emperor now, had it not been for the rebellion by my mother's direct ancestor. He does not hate me. I grant him a high title. Anthypathos means proconsul.



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On the Hungarian front, for whatever reason, the army at the Dalmatian Coast gets put under the command of generals loyal to my vassal the Duke of Chernigov. Resulting in predictable deterioration of leadership for such a huge mass of people. That is unacceptable (although not as intensely so as my own military skills, or rather total lack of any).



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Demetrias also converts:



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So does the grand city of Novgorod:



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Meanwhile on the Hungarian front we need to evacuate onto ships for fear of attrition:



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Speaking of Hungary, things are not looking good for them:



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At first glance, this seems to be the end of Azov:



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(In reality, though, the High Chief's land were split between two de iure duchies. Which means he wouldn't go down in one holy war.)

And here is my current council:



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The Chaplain and the Marshal still go back to my father.

The vile side of politics is gaining among my vassals:



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At any rate, I need a queen for these realms. I had pretty pretty much known already: that will be Ide d'Avesnes, an Orthodox Frankish lady, actually (and what a stellar diplomat; traditionally in my family, she's much smarter than I am):



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I need to send a legacy to... the Duke of Calabria. It goes well. Even though his father seems to have died in battle against my forces during that rebellion against my own then-boy son.



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Speaking of Dukes and of certain strange family configurations, the Duchess of Nyitra is a kinswoman and now she's rising against Hungary:



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There is no Royal Aid Duty and there has not been any for as long as my direct line have been kings [OOC: not a time in this AAR]:



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This guy is an heir somewhere in Russia. I guess we can marry him matrilineally into a cadet branch to facilitate unification:



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On the other hand, there is a larger catch in that region: the 'Handsome' Duke of Vitebsk, so far inaccessible. The land had been ruled by an offshot of the legitimate branch of the Bohemian house of Premyslid, to which, as far as I can recall, that Alan-raised young girl belonged whom I told you about a while ago:



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Life is actually becoming somewhat boring as Emperor, even though it can't be said that nothing's going on.

On the Hungarian front, there erupts a massive rebellion by everybody, forces go up in arms and attrition hits our besieging armies, which, also, suddenly have nothing to do any more in the newly revolted province.



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The inroads of my dukes into Mesopotamia are neverending... unless this is the real end:



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Let's look at other people. Here are the wars they are fighting:



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The Kings of Jerusalem are the van Nassau dynasty. Formerly the Kaisers, later the independent kings of Jerusalem, now vassals of the new Welf emperors. The Bohemian-Jerusalemite war over Litomerzice results from the conquest of Bohemia, county by county, by the van Nassau Kaisers prior to their deposition. They kept them as kings of Jerusalem.

Queen Peronelle of Ruthenia, as you can guess, is my brother's wife. She's the Duchess of Benevento by her primary title, and I have no idea whatever she's doing fighting a de iure war over Provence as the attacker. I guess she has a lot of titles. Those will eventually pass under the liegeance of this empire.

As you can see, there are some feudal wars in Poland and Russia and the Duke of Karvuna has a rebellion on his hands too.

Captain Adalbert of the Hanseatic Navy seems to have become a landed ruler, as there is a baron rebelling against him. Wonder how that came to be.

Look at my state diplomacy!



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Not. She. Again.



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And I didn't even know it was possible to forge claims to entire kingdoms.

A while later things look decidedly bad for the King of Hungary. He probably won't capitulate any time soon due to the artificially low war score but...



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Also, I need to make some adjustments to avoid rebellions when the honeymoon ends and people all of a sudden start hating me for having some direct vassals that they think should be their vassals:



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There are going to be a lot of adjustments with this one:



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But I will give it all to him. Note the Mongol name (Sokhatai) on the Count's wife. That's not really unusual for my nobles.

My authority doesn't look as great in the Empire as it wherever Polish law applied when I was a king:



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The kingdom shields are, in order: Rus, Armenia, Poland, Bulgaria. I want to keep Poland and will look to hand out the rest if possible without making a really stupid decision.

No more Scottish plots, please. I want to have nothing to do with Scottish plots.



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While I had a respectful and positive relationship with Nonna, I seem to fall in love with Ide.



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[OOC: In reality, I didn't like Nonna, I only changed my mind later, either when she died in-game or when writing up the screenshots.]

I notice she's still not in full communion with the Catholic Church. I talk to her about it:



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This seems to be a loving marriage, probably the most so in the history of the current royal branch of the Piast house. Likely more so than Wieslaw and Berta Orsini. Definitely more so than my father and my mother, who had a difficult relationship. Here, it's like we completely get along and the feelings couldn't be any warmer or the comfort any greater. This is something strange to me.



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Speaking of the Piast Kings, here's the guy I think should be the king right now. He's there in Hungary as the ruler of the barony of Tabanya. Spent some time in the Polish court before. It's a mystery. I must ask the lawyers. Again.



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As of 20 September 1443, the King of Hungary eventually capitulates:



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I go on a hunt to learn any martial skill but it ends poorly:



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Some of my face is saved by collective effort, though:



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The cause of the Union keeps spreading and Naxos joins in:



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The religious make-up of this part of the world looks like this:



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For some reason, the so called King of Georgia, Mikhail II Palaiologos, doesn't seem to hate me:



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I wonder what makes specifically him think I'm such a good ruler. Well, not stellar maybe, but apparently he thinks I'm sort of good. Also, he too seems to have a Mongol, Turkish or otherwise exotic wife.
 
Last edited:

NewbieOne

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...So I talk to him about joining the Union, and he does:



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And Ralph inherits Lorraine from prison.



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Alania seems to want to expand too:



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My territory seems to be expanding without my participation, with so many vassals bent on it.

Paphlagonia converts, which is of more interest to me:



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Suddenly, it seems we have a full jihading empire of Mongols upon us by a new caliph (no wonder they want Mesopotamia back):



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...Oh, no, wait, I got it wrong! Whatever is left of Mesopotamia for the Ilkhanate becomes the target of a Muslim-against-Muslim jihad. Now that's bad for them.

And I don't know what happens but...:



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And one more province converts. Epieros, actually. That's the Duchy of Epirus, right after joining in as a vassal.



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My Chancellor is doing a great job, apparently:



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And my wife is expecting again:



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But unlike my wife, my subjects in my capital do not like me at all, it seems:



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Can't I just go back to Cracow?

On 18 March 1445, my long-time old Spymaster Atenolfo dies. He has managed to survived long in the position.



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Others will probably be following.

And once again I don't know what happens but...



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The new King of Greece manages pretty well on his own. In fact, he's expanding in a way I don't particularly approve of:



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(Freeing oppressed Christians is one thing, restoring old kingdoms is another, but that is just not right. Sarkel had never been Christian.) Abyssinia, in turn, seems to need me.

WHAT? A baron? Come on, Tesfaye...



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Now that was a quick war, it began and ended while my wife was pregnant:



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On the other hand, the Duke of Akbhazia, my favourite for the Kingdom of Georgia, who really should hold it as he is the a Bagrationi heir, needs assistance in his war against the... current King of Georgia being the aforementioned Mikhail II Palaiologos, the competing heir to the Byzantine Empire (with a better dynastic claim than mine, admittedly):



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I subside him because there isn't much more I could do, I guess. But I'll look into it.

I mentioned the Mongols, right? Well, while the Ilkhanate seem to jihading, the Timurids content themselves with a kingdom-level Invasion against a one-county Duke or some such.



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The other news from Rus is that Zaozerye converts:



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Since it didn't really work out with the hunting attempts, I decide to turn to falconry.



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Helps my diplomacy, you see.
 

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Actual Bagrationi Restoration

(Check here.)

More conversions:



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I have a nephew to marry out, it seems. That's the future Duke of Alsace, son of my sister Helene:



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Instead of arranging a matrilineal marriage in the Piast house, I find him a good girl somewhere.



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More news arrives about the cause of the Union:



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And it seems there's a new King of Georgia:



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Christopher doesn't put an end to the war inherited from the father. I have no choice but to replace him:



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This will cost me some in the eyes of my vassals (taking the duchies away went down well, as it was within the Byzantine area and heredity isn't as strong there as it is in Poland):

He accepts and I feel sorry for him:



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He did me no wrong. And he should be the Emperor now. Well, the Komnenoi maybe should. That would be King Miroslaw 'Piast' of Greece. Whatever.

I acquire his vassals, some of them Palaiologos princes. I at least try to get them back in communion with the Holy Father:



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Politically, their loyalty will be transferred to King Miroslaw.

There is a change of banners now and the Bagrationi fly the Georgian one as I give the Kingdom of Georgia back to them:



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My great-grandather Wieslaw would be proud.

Remember Duke Orestes I let out of prison a while ago? He embraces the Union too:



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Chud converts. That's in Rus.



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That Caliph was Alim, this Caliph is Alam:



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Means I have two Caliphs on my hands and this one has just got himself Medium Crown Authority in Egypt. Supposedly applies to Ralph as Duke of Aswan. Oh really?

Waitasec, a Bulgarian Orthodox Piast? How did that...



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Probably a result of the failed diplomatic vassalisation experiment with Vidin.

I become widely recognised as a Falconer now:



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[OOC: Means his diplomacy gets up to almost 20. One thing he's good at.]

And what a bombardment of conversion news! Vitebsk in Lithuania (the 'Handsome' duke):



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Euboia in Greece (the island off the Attican coast):



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And Amida in Mesopotamia. One good thing that comes out of it.



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What?



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Just about how many Caliphs are there? Looks like I have three Caliphs and two jihads in my neighbourhood. Great.

Here's a Mongol Caliph of the Shi'ites:



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[OOC: The new Caliphs popped up with Patch 1.06].
 
Last edited:

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A Caliph under a Caliph

Azov is brought to my attention again. I thought it had already been annexed back when he was still the Duke of Abkhazia?



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Ah, right, the High Chief had land in two separate de iure duchies. While a holy war is targetted at a duchy, it only transfers land (counties) and not the ducal title. I guess the petty Mongol ruler was still hanging out somewhere as a High Chief. The new king of Georgia arrogated the title to the land he'd already held. My ancestors had long waiting periods in some wars until the opponent finally was at peace with everybody.

[OOC: This is about the technical restriction in the game that you can't usurp a duchy from someone who is currently in any sort of war. This makes usurpation from certain big folks almost impossible as they're always at war with a neighbour or a rebelling vassal.]

As King of Rus, I go on and confiscate another ducal title from the same guy: Pereyeslavl.



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I hand it over to my brother the King of Ruthenia:



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[OOC: Due to having started back in Patch 1.04, this game had Kingdom of Rus as a huge de iure of about 57 or so counties with the new Kingdom of Ruthenia from 1.06 as a titular kingdom based in Kiev as the scripted capital (basically the new kingdom made it into the game per se but the addition didn't equip it with its base de iure counties, unlike when two already existing de iure kingdoms or duchies shift borders a little. So new de iure kingdoms added in a patch seem to work like titular kingdoms, i.e. de iure kingdoms out of which all land had drifted, with the effect of making them titular, where even their scripted capital is de iure part of a different kingdom. So in my game, Mszczuj as King of Rus was the big de iure king, while his brother Przybor was sort of like a king of Cyprus, Nubia, Trinacria etc. As you can see, his capital is in the de iure Kingdom of Bulgaria, his primary ducal title is Lesser Poland, and his royal title is based in Kiev. But when his son inherits both his and his wife's lands, it's going to be a reasonable kingdom.]

Apparently the Duke of Chernigov has made it with his holy war just before the Timurids could succeed with their invasion:



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Too late!

Nawoja, my daughter, comes of age in Feb 1447.



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More of the Greek provinces join the Union. Now Thessalonike and Chalkidiki in the north of Greece (Thessaly, sort of):



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The bad news on the religious side of things is that the Fratticelli heresy is gaining ground again and right in the venerable province of Sandomierz in Poland proper!



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It's the same heresy which changed the Kingdom of Denmark forever, toppling the last Ylving Kings and Queens, resulting in the current King-Bishops who have a tendency to get excommunicated all the time.

[OOC: I once made an attempt to install an Ylving claimant but all I could do was make him a single-province King-Bishop, not even a proper king, not to mention the lack of a land base to compete with the deposed king-bishop. No chance to normalise it. Hope this gets solved in a future patch if not already by now.]

On 12 August 1447 dies my Alan chancellor of the Alp family and unpronounceable first name. Rest in peace, good sir. I think this is the end of the long line of Alan chancellors, ward guardians and tutors who have served the Polish crown for probably around a hundred years. So not that long really, I guess, but it feels long because so much has happened in the world.



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Marshal Manfred has outlived them all:



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Looks like spending all your life on the front and in battles is the best recipe for longevity.

Rhodos converts too:



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[OOC: Historically, around that time, Rhodes was the seat of the Knights of St. John off the shore of Asia Minor and sometimes on it (like one or two castles if they managed to hold them for some time). They held out early 16th century. In this game Rum doesn't really exist. It has two de iure provinces that aren't held by the Sultan, who probably holds a barony somewhere in Persia.]

I spared the High Chieftainess of Sarkel. Miroslaw of Greece does not:



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Oh, and look at this:



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A caliph as a caliph's vassal. So this one is the new Sunni caliph [OOC: he's listed as the head of the Sunni religion, while the imperial-tier caliph is not]. He's the vassal of the old Sunni Caliph (now Ma'anid Empire) who has long gone Yazidi (a heresy in Sunnism). I guess they have sorted it out among themselves somehow.

Kuma converts. I think it's somewhere on the peripheries of Rus but don't quote me.



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Looks like my vassals and their vassals have finally learnt how to handle their matters with the Pope on their own:



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There is some hoping I won't have to bail them out any more again.

Also, Korinthos converts (or Corynth, in a normal man's speech):



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Sarkel is no more:



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But why is a count reporting that if he's not my council member and the war was won by a king?

And I seem to have more kinsmen than I can remember. I don't remember that guy's face.

Another mysterious count from my family reports that Ruthenia (i.e. Przybor) has finished with the Pereyeslavl Mongols.



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I guess the sole county of Pronsk in the de iure duchy or Ryazan is the last of the large blob once held by the 'Possessed Tengri Girl'. Did I say 'blob'? I gotta watch my language.
 

NewbieOne

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Sigh. You might think I'm some big Emperor of the East sitting there on a golden throne in an ivory tower or something like that. Not really. I'm sitting in a backwards province full of rebels, without three holding slots. Exactly one province away from here is the proper capital of Miroslaw of Greece who does whatever he wants, including things I don't want. I'm not exactly on current terms with the news in every remote corner of the empire. My job is mostly keeping the whole thing together. Sometimes I think I'm basically the diplomat in chief here (without prejudice to my Chancellor, who's somewhat more skilled). Obviously, I represent the empire and am the embodiment of the traditions of it and its history. And I still manage the feudal hierarchy. At least the top of it. But I'm actually powerless in some things.

I'm quite powerless in human things too, sometimes. Not even only in matters of religion or against natural powers. Ralph dies in prison. He would have made a fine duke and, I guess, a great guy to talk with, if he only had been willing to accept the sovereignty of the crown above him. His ancestors had not 'earned' it in any way, they were appointed caretakers and in few generations. Some vassals lose the larger perspective just because their dad was the duke in some place.



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It would seem that the new Duke of Aswan is also the Duke of Upper Lorraine, right? Therefore closer to my capital at Cracow in distance and with less revolt risk. Well, that would have been true a decade ago. Now my capital is no longer in Cracow, Aswan is closer to my new capital at Crimea than Lorraine is, and Aswan gets a separate duke anyway. So the net result is that the Duchy of Upper Lorrain has shifted from the Western to the Eastern Empire.



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Eric actually got Aswan. And I was so sure he wouldn't.



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As you know, the Kaisers of the West are my cousins. Now the King of France also wants a dynastic marriage. That would make him an ally, which the Kaisers are not but we're related closely enough that this shouldn't be a problem.



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If any more Mongols come from the steps of Asia, they will meet a different Europe. And not only Europe.

Not all of my family members are big-time Imperials. For example, I have a nephew here who needs my help finding a bride. I match him up with a young baroness, as he's landless:



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Generally, my vassals do more than enough warfare. Hower, I declare maybe that one last war for the one final Christian county still in Tengri Mongol hands in Rus (Pronsk):



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I need to recreate the Duchy from scratch because it goes in abeyance as the last High Chief loses all of his land.



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And then I need to bail out Tesfaye:



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Abyssinia is a patchwork probably worse than before the Caliph conquered them on the break of 13th and 14th century. I am beginning to have doubts about the sensibility of our intervention there about one hundred years ago.



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At least they're free to practice the Christian faith. Under the Caliph, there might have been more peace but probably much less freedom.

I remember writing about my hopes not to have to bail my vassals out of excommunications any more. Those were vain hopes. It's my brother again:



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I suspect intrigue. He's probably not a saint but an overall decent Catholic in comparison to some.

As of 26 July 1449, Marshal Manfred is no longer with us. He was already grey when I was a lad and he tried to teach me basic combat skills.



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This means the last of my father's collaborators is no longer with us. As well as the last of the men who remembered Old King Wladyslaw, who was the last man who remembered the beginning of the wars, having been 20 at the time the first wars took place not far from my current capital, which was then Mongol land, bordering on Genoese possessions, with the Ilkhanate spanning as far as Azov. The Golden Horde doesn't even exist any more. At least in Europe. Nobody knows what's going on in the steppes.

In fact, I myself feel some of the tendencies popular among my family and other aristocrats. Ironically, I do identify with the Mongols. We have basically lived in the saddle, campaigned in far-off lands, living a nomadic life, producing women who knew how to fire a bow from the top of a galloping horse. I guess this is the result, even though I am not even a warrior myself. The military works the best when I make sure it gets the funds and the backup, for which Manfred had always been grateful. However, in the end, I'm still Polish. There is no question, no doubt about that, for all the foreign habits I may have acquired. And I am the King of Poland.



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We have long learnt that sending large doomstacks over to Abyssinia is pointless. We send down a sizeable contingent that's small in modern European terms, and it starts the long work.



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I expect years to pass before that one is over. If ever.

The better news is that Nikaia joins the Union:



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On 16 February 1450 my daughter Dobrawa is born. We name her after the mother of the first Christian King of Poland. Ironically, she was Bohemian.



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I thought Sarkel was already a matter of the past but for some reason it keeps dragging on:



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Meanwhile Syrj converts:



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As I become more and more detached from matters in the wide empire, my attention goes to courtiers. I invest myself in the relationships and try to be a good ruler:



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I wasn't even a poor warrior but simply a non-warrior, simply put, but maybe I'll still be remembered for some other type of service to my people.

Unexpectedly, the situation in Abyssinia calms down a bit:



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A big fat duke goes to jail, which, I guess, is bound to produce a tangible effect in the local scale.

I call for a tournament:



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Oh, and Duke Walter wants to become the Holy Roman Emperor. Yeah, right... On the other hand, barring the obvious lack of probability of it ever happening, he's literally one of the wisest people in the world [23 Learning] and reputed for being Just. It wouldn't be bad for the people.
 

NewbieOne

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A Bit of Everything

I went hunting and I actually managed not to botch it this time! I don't know how I did it but it actually was a success and I actually learnt something! [His Martial stat has increased, which means it's a positive score now.]



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I find a legendary animal and can't get myself to kill it.



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It's good to hear Orsha converts:



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Although, admittedly, I'm a little caught up in worldly diversions right now. I guess I needed some entertainment. This time, however, no luck hunting.



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From all the failed hunting attempts, I've acquired more vigour and discipline. [He finally got his Diligent trait. His Diplomacy is great, his Stewardship is passable and his Learning puts him on par with the lower echelon of bishops. Kind, Just and Diligent is probably not a bad way to go down in history, although I'm worried by the fact he's leading any troops anywhere.]



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The tournament ends badly. Such shambles hasn't been seen in a long time.



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At least I know that somebody from the Alp family is still alive.

The winner is an aging Bulgarian poet from Urfa with an exotic wife.



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At least the third place went to someone from my family. The young guy is a duke and son of the King of Cyprus. Patrilineally, he's a normal Komnenos but at least he identifies with my house. Some solace can be found in this fact.



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Also, my wife is pregnant again.



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And I have to bail my brother out of excommunication. Again.



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We know who did, don't we? This time and the previous time. And many other times many other things. The imperial patience has finally dried.



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And I'd never have thought I would, but I ask myself into the war in Abyssinia. Somebody's got to clean up the mess. I actually do it in person. [He was leading troups in Hayya.]



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My little son Dalimir is afraid of the dark. You see, I'm a parent. It somehow passed quickly with my first son and heir. Maybe because... Well, Nonna was an amazing parent for an alcoholic. Another proof it was stress and not lust for wine.



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Dalimir, of course, is the son of Ide. He becomes more trusting as a result. I hope it won't be his downfall. But better to be a good, trusting person and fall than to be a paranoid maniac who suspects everybody of villainy. It's good my son understands not everybody is out to get him. In time, I will need to teach him that some people actually are.



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And Herakleia converts.



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There hasn't been too much conversion news lately.

The Caliph, the old one I mean, well, you know what I mean: the Egypt-ruling Turban-wearing Ma'anid guy, has climbed up to High Crown Authority. Wonder what he's meaning to do with it.



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The heresy reaches Makuria, the capital of the old Christian Kingdom of Nubia that Wieslaw and Wladyslaw couldn't manage to restore.



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And I have a new daughter. We named her Aldona. I have no idea why my wife came up with a Lithuanian name.



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[OOC: Probably because it was in the database as a Polish name after the Lithuanian wife of Casimir the Great. In this game Casimir didn't happen but Wieslaw was his counterpart (first son of the same father). Lithuania was conquered by Vaclav of Bohemia and the Teutonic Order.]

And there's a massive upheaval in the troubled duchy of Pomeralia. Looks like the rebels captured the Duke and forced him to abdicate in favour of an underaged cousin. And I could do nothing about it. Bah.



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NewbieOne

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Byzantion, the capital of emperors that has not seen an emperor in a long time (it has been in the domain of the deposed Palaiologoi who lost the title but not the actual possession of the capital), enters into union with the Holy Father:



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I so hope I can bring the Patriarch onboard. I actually like him and he actually likes me. No complaints. Wish he could be convinced. [OOC: Probably set not to switch religion but I'm not sure.]

So does Rostov, one of the older princely seats of Rus:



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I receive notice about some count usurping the Duchy of Kartli from the King of Georgia...



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...and suddenly it dawns upon me it's Cristopher, the young ex-King of Georgia and his forgotten war. [OOC: That's kinda unfair, how come he was able to usurp a title while being at war? He's not the only AI character I've seen do it and human players can't.] I have an idea...

And it works!



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I could have ended that war earlier. I guess I didn't want to submit him to his adversary after all, probably fearing some cruel retribution or something. Anyway, it didn't happen.

And I believe I said something a while ago about not receiving so much conversion news any more? Well...



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(The heresy in Makuria apparently lasted only a couple of months, a brief spell. We've always had good chaplains. Many of them converts themselves, actually. The old one, who was with my father when he died, was a man he had himself converted.)



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One province back from heresy, two provinces back to union with the Holy Father, and one probably converted from paganism, I think, judging by the Mongol-sounding name, but it might have been Sunni or Shi'ia.

I eventually get myself to hand the crown of Bulgaria to Aleksii Terter. After all, his fathers wore it. He remains the vassal of Byzantium but that's like it had been before.



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I have five kings as vassals now, including the Patriarch.

Oh, and look how Aleksii repays me:



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Mszczuj, Imp. Aug. etc. to Aleksii of Bulgaria

LoL sRsLy?


And with that:



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[Fittingly over the map of Abyssinia.]
 
Last edited:

NewbieOne

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Thank you for your attention. It was good to have you guys onboard. I hope you enjoyed the story and the writing, although there was less of it during some stages and probably wasn't always of the best quality. I'm quite satisfied with how it turned from an almost history book into a gameplay comic. That's how I intended it. The long narratives came out wishy-washy and I wrote them because I wanted to keep up with the other guys who wrote nicely. However, in some cases I really felt the need to shed some light on a character, develop on it, for example it was very hard to bury Berta Orsini without a good story.

On a more personal note, I actually have been to Trebisond and the deep forest in the mountains off the coast. I've seen the Haghia Sophia cathedral on the cliff overlooking the Black Sea turned into a mosque. I've also been to fields that had been Ani, the historical mediaeval capital of the Kingdom of Armenia, the count of which pops up somewhere in the game. I've also been to Edessa, the once stronghold of Baudouin de Bouillon, the first King of Jerusalem (brother of Godefroy, who ruled but didn't take the title out of respect), which finally was reconquered by a vassal of my king a decade or two before the end of the game.

In fact, I went to Orvieto while writing the AAR. I just had to see the city and I had the occasion to do so. It was a curious experience on that angle, especially as I didn't tell anybody why I really needed to go there. ;)

Finally, I do see how the initial fight for an independent Poland ruled by an indigenous ruler from the only dynasty that felt right, has led to a Kingdom of Poland being one of the royal titles held by the Emperor of Byzantium... one ruling an empire that shouldn't really be his, although he inherited it peacefully and the better heirs rejected that peaceful opportunity (nobody of the Komnenos-Piasts wanted to marry Leontia Palaiologos, the obvious heir of the Byzantine Empire itself, which must have been so humiliating; obviously, the blunder of the Komnenoi heirs didn't make him bypass the senior Palaiologoi in terms of dynastic rights).

And a fight for a Poland self-ruled and able to use its own resources to its own advantage, eat the fruit of its labour in peace, led to a Poland fielding thousands after thousands to die, with few male nobles of the higher houses to die a natural death, with a maimed cripple after a maimed cripple, some of them 18 year old dukes, sometimes one after another. I had to watch it. I guess there did eventually come prosperity and peace. And to many other nations... which, however, did not end up being fully independent, sovereign nations like before--as much as my kings never forced a foreign culture (i.e. their own) on the other peoples. Even the Komnenos-Piasts were kept Greek and the Solomonid Piasts Ethiopian on purpose. And I guess I did quite a lot of restoration.

But during the writing of the AAR I had a lot of thoughts about holy wars, desire for expansion, justification of wars and conquests. Some things have changed in my mind irreversibly. Didn't expect the thing to have such an impact on me! It was just a tale to be told, something curious and something funny, maybe a little of a show. Well, it definitely wasn't funny at some points. There were moments I just didn't want to write. And moments when I felt bad. They're reflected in the thoughts of some of my rulers, notably Sulislaw, the one before last, but probably every single one of them, not excluding the first. Oh, and it's so strange to seem him described, 'ruled for 18 years,' when he really wore the crown for only 4 months, all of which incapacitated from a wound he took to his head in the final battle.

Anyway, this is over. I might still post some map screenshots or screenshots of character profiles if you're interested in anyone or anything. Don't hesitate to drop me a line. I still have the final save, so it's not a problem to load it and take a picture of something.

Like I said before, I need to choose a new location or character for the next AAR. That will be affected by what type of game I want to play. And what type of game I want to play will be affected by the impressions you share about this AAR, telling me what was good and what was bad, what you'd like to see more of, what less.

Once again: thank you for staying with me!

EDIT: And my most sincere apologies for the apparent abandonment of this AAR months ago, especially after I said I had completed the actual game back in August. The reasons were basically real life related but also one aspect of the problem was that I relied heavily on pictures in my narration of the tale and being limited to 20 per hour meant I sometimes had literally to time the posting of prewritten instalments. It was hard to get fewer than 20 meaningful screenshots per session and I didn't really feel like condensing them into one file (although I've done that a couple of times but no more after purchasing the subscription with ImageShacks). To my justification or a simple excuse, I've been working about 16 hours a day the last months, trying to fishing my Ph.D. (which is criminal law, lol, not history) while needing to work professionally for a living, so you can guess it wasn't easy. Anyway, I hope you can forgive me for the disappointment and still enjoy the tale of Sulislaw and Mszczuj (and Leontia and Nonna).
 
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Avindian

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Congratulations on finishing your first (of hopefully many) AARs! One thing I'd like to mention is that you might be better off slowing down the pace of updates, giving your readers time to comment and to absorb what you've had before. It makes it difficult to keep up, even for a compulsive forumite like me. :)

Keep up the good work!
 

DensleyBlair

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I woke up this morning to see that you had finished this. I've never commented on your fantastic AAR before, but I'd just like to say congratulations on finishing :) I look forward to any more of your work.
 

NewbieOne

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Hey, guys. Thank you so much. And yes, it seems I made that compulsive final dash. You see, it was because I felt that having finished the game already in August and even said so in the forums, I felt I just had to finish it the sooner the better. Which, naturally, gave the readers less time to digest the news. So, in fact, I wish I had waited. Let's say, one week. Two weeks. This is actually the reason I kept rather openly fishing for compliments, I mean, coments. ;) But it does look like from the last of Wladyslaw's reign it's basically fast forward to the end of the game. For the record, I didn't identify so much with the rulers that followed, Sulislaw and Mszczuj. I think the critical point with Sulislaw was the disappointment that the future kings would not have the blood of Ibolya, while it would also have been disappointing somewhat for Sambor to inherit (but I had a ready solution: his potential reign was supposed to be penitential and entirely spent abroad fighting for the freedom of opressed Christians somewhere after somewhere until he died, which would happen shortly anyway as he was old). I think the quality also dropped at that point. So... I believe I should've simply written the AAR as I went instead of playing way forward and then writing up screenshots. Can you think about a way to limit the damage somehow?

I'm definitely going to start a new AAR some time soon. I've been choosing the character these last days. In fact, having another AAR underway was another reason why I wanted to finish this one. But I dropped that other one because while the character was interesting, I couldn't play it the way I wanted. Kitboqa was fun while it lasted (and the goal of it was fun in the first place, as it was supposed to be way cheekier than this AAR was in its cheekiest moments) but I just couldn't keep pretending like he wasn't responsible for what the Ilkhanate did (being the marshal of the Ilkhanate as news popped up about the slaughter of Baghdad and the Tower of Heads) or an invader in the lands that very much had their living previous holders. It was kinda psychologically too much for me. Right now in a way I want to leave the East alone for a while and go to the British isles or somewhere. I could probably handle another Poland AAR from a different place in history (and a different place in the feudal ladder perhaps) but I'm a little afraid it could take a similar crusading route and be repetitive for it (for example I could pick King Przemysl I, the king of one year, on whose death this AAR started but in the game the kingdom looks like it's whole and cohesive at that point, which it wasn't). I will need to wait some time, let emotions settle, think once again if I don't want to touch Kitboqa after all, then maybe go for one of the princes in Wales or some good guy in French history or one of the cooler guys in the old HRE, like the Ezzonen. Feeling for the underdog as a rule, I was also drawn to Arthur of Brittany but from the point I picked him up, he'd just simply inherit England as the heir (unless I were to go in in 1199 at the peak of PJ's Short Reign penalty, which could make some sense, I guess). Another idea was taking up one of the dukes in Silesia in the 1337 start and try to come back to the Polish fold despite everything. But historically the kings of Poland forswore Silesia in exchange for being left alone in general, while Silesian princes had supported the foreign Bohemian pretender (Vaclav of Bohemia and his heirs, namely), so the historical footing could be somewhat dubious. Trebisond itself was a candidate but I think I've had enough of Trebisond for a while. ;)

The other idea I had was going for mini AARs, say, pick a ruler and write until he dies. Reload if he slips on a piece of soap and dies or something unclimatic but generally carry on until he dies and forget playing out his heirs and their further expansion. (I'm not really interested in this aspect of the game right now, as you can probably imagine.) I'd have a couple of candidates here, beginning with Saint Louis IX of France, maybe Casimir the Just of the 1187 start (titular Duke of Sandomierz and later "King"), maybe Konradin v. Hohenstauff (heirs would be interesting but playing a massive empire not really), a couple of specific guys in the Crusader States. But I did have this idea of going through 'Lifes of Saints', basically picking out the saints out of playable characters and trying to roleplay them. Only their lifetimes, beginning with the moment they become playable unless there was a significant inheritance that couldn't happen in the game. What do you think? But I'm still thinking about trying to find a way to ease it on the reader with the last stream of updates. I really lost touch there.
 

DensleyBlair

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NewbieOne said:
But I did have this idea of going through 'Lifes of Saints', basically picking out the saints out of playable characters and trying to roleplay them...

This sounds really interesting - I'd definitely be up for it, should you wish to pursue it further :)
 

loki100

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all sounds interesting. I'm having great fun with CK at the moment dipping in and dipping out, picking a character or place that interests me and playing till the situation changes. In a way far more fun than a 1066-1453 Empire creation.

One other idea is to play around the Divine Comedy, I did something tangentially linked to that in CK1 but it would take a lot of organising.
 

NewbieOne

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This sounds really interesting - I'd definitely be up for it, should you wish to pursue it further :)

all sounds interesting. I'm having great fun with CK at the moment dipping in and dipping out, picking a character or place that interests me and playing till the situation changes. In a way far more fun than a 1066-1453 Empire creation.

One other idea is to play around the Divine Comedy, I did something tangentially linked to that in CK1 but it would take a lot of organising.

Thank you, it currently seems to be the most likely choice.

Great AAR!
I enjoyed both your writing and playing style.
Looking forward to the next one :)

Thank you! :) As soon as I can, I'm starting a new one.