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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Shellshocked

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I would just like to start off by saying this AAR was approved by Myth.

If you would like to read the first part of the AAR please pop over to: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...ign(may-be-pic-heavy)&p=16156774#post16156774

For a quick summary of the first part of the AAR, as the Salian dynasty I slowly rose from count to Emperor of the HRE and converted northern France and Poland to a Germanic culture. Russia became Muslim along with Spain, and the Norse reformed and conquered the British Isles. I would recommend reading at least the final update of Part I.

So finally now that that's out of the way. Hello! Welcome to the AAR, as stated in the title this AAR is "mildly interactive" what this means is occasionally you, the audience, will be presented with a few specifics options you may choose between and cast a vote. There will be a set time period to vote so make sure you're in that time period. Also, you may state in your voting post why you are choosing a certain option in an effort to persuade other players but please to not rebut or debate options with other players in thread as it spirals quickly out of control. If you would like to recast your vote, and it is still within in the time frame please signify in bold that you are revoting and what you voted for initially, this way I can properly tally the votes.

Now to begin!

Chapter One: A Changed World

The Treaty of Genoa sent tidal waves across European politics. The decentralization and weakening of the Holy Roman Empire led to uprisings of oppressed people who felt they no longer needed overlords to protect them, leading to a major balkanization of the world.


Russia specifically experienced large scale turmoil. Without a powerful German threat a strong Islamic Russian Kingdom, Muscovy, was able to rise up,throw off mongol overlordship and reinstate the Seversky family that formerly ruled Rus before the arrival of the Il-Khanate as Monarchs. While isolated from any potential Muslims allies Muscovy has nigh unlimited room for expansion and could become a major power.


In the Near East and the lands of the Greeks, Byzantium has successfully weathered the crisis of revolts and emerged fairly intact. Mesopotamia has been joined in a personal union with Byzantium proper, while its Italian possessions and Serbia have been granted independence and allied to the Empire. Even without its Italian lands and Serbia, Byzantium still fields the largest army known to Europe and brings in the most income.


The British Isles are in a state of constant tension. England was reconquered some time ago by Italian Crusaders, its population has embraced Christ but is still very Norse and would likely not mind a return to Norse overlordship. Skotland by contrast remains Norse in culture and religion and is eager to absorb England. Scandinavia ambitiously monitors both nations and seeks to reclaim the Isles in their entirety.


The Italian peninsula is also in a constant state of cold war. Italia, a confederation of the former Italian states that united under the Treaty of Genoa to resist Byzantium, is ludicrously wealthy and populated. Italiam, by contrast is poorer and underpopulated, but has the force of Byzantium behind it while still remaining a mid tier power on its lonesome. Venice is an odd man out. conquered hundreds of years ago by the Holy Roman Empire, it is Germanic in culture and a part of the Empire, it seeks to avoid Italian wars and expand inland.


Iberia is in a completely opposite situation. After centuries of back and forth, the Muslims of Al-Andalus have emerged near victorious and need only to annex Navarra to assure complete domination of the peninsula.


The Holy Roman Empire itself is relatively stable, if fractured. Four major German powers currently vy for influence and power over the lesser states. 1: Luxembourg, the domain of the Salian dynasty and the thus far rulers of the Empire, known for great wealth and disciplined soldiers the major challenge for the dynasty will be expanding while surrounded on all sides. They do possess some advantages however, such as owning Aachen which after centuries as the Imperial capital boasts a massive population near the equal of Constantinople and one of the best universities in Europe. 2: Frankreich, the strongest of the "Frankish" or French/Germanic Kingdoms is known mostly for its recently risen status and large population. The ambitious von Valence rulers of Frankreich will likely seek to absorb the other Frankish Kingdoms of Normandy and Paris before expanding south into Muslim held Occitania. 3: Marienburg, a large Prussian realm in the East with its capital at Danzig. Known for a highly disciplined army and large income from Baltic Sea tolls(although not necessarily a large treasury as it is a spendthrift Kingdom). Marienburg seeks to absorb the other Prussian states of Mazovia and Silesia as well as securing the Emperor-ship. 4: Ostmark, a stout stable Kingdom known for its tough citizens and ability to endure hardship. It has many a time served as the defensive frontier of the Empire against the Greeks and has taken this defensive tradition to heart.


The ethnic make-up of the Holy Roman Empire is, complex. Many different German dialects exist and intermingle but generally major ethnic groups can be pinpointed and have their areas delineated. Frankish dominates the former French realms of Frankreich, the Free City of Paris, Normandy, and Brittany. It is a mixture of primarily German grammar and pronunciation with some lending of French vocabulary. Rheinlaender the variety of German endorsed by the Salian dynasty is prominent along the Rheinland(of course) as well as in Burgundy, Switzerland, and Provence. Hanoverian is most concentrated in North Central Germany and up through the Jutland peninsula. Dutch rules the Low Countries as centuries of encouragement of Germanic over Romance languages led to its domination of Flemish. Hessen is only prominent in Hesse proper but enjoys some influence do to it being the dialect of the powerful city of Frankfurt. Bavarian is only spoken in Bavaria, but universally so lending it some weight as a dialect. Austrian is the dialect of Ostmark as well as Venice and Southern Bohemia. Saxon is spoken in all of Saxony, most of Luneburg, and a majority of Bohemia. Pomeranian is the tongue of Mecklenburg and of Pomerania, it is likely the "weakest" dialect. Prussian holds sway over a massive territory, including the rising Kingdom of Marienburg as well as the former Polish realms. Its large range is likely due to the ability of it to incorporate new speakers from newly settling German populations.


Luxembourg, the realm of the Emperor, is currently ruled by Emperor Widukind I. Having led the Emperor personally through a massive Norse invasion and raised during the greatest invasion of the Empire in history he is a tough, iron hearted man, but also one who wishes to see the Empire expanded and made greater. He is bitter over being forced to accept the Treaty of Genoa and views all other electors with distrust. Widukind is very old however, and will soon pass on. His son, Ludwig, is a wondrous prodigy who the peasants speak of with near reverence, his reign will likely be a prosperous one. Many other realms are ruled by the Salian dynasty, mostly through land granted to far off relatives after its conquest. The most important of these is Bohemia, which is ruled by a man even older than Widukind and would be a prime target to inherit.


Widukind spends time immediately after the implementation of the Treaty of Genoa wheeling and dealing. Signing alliances and arranging important marriages with the Empire's powerful players. After nearly a year of this he has yielded notable results. His primary success is the securing of an alliance with Italia, with Italian support Widukind can run roughshod over the Empire and with German support, the Italian peninsula may be reclaimed from the Greeks. Other notable events include a marriage with Bohemia and the cultivation of Tyrol for potential vassalage.


Tyrol, small and unlikely to foster its own ambitions, is granted an electorate right by Widukind in the hopes that it will help support Salian claims to the Empire.


Seeking Secure access to the Sea as well as revenge, Widukind bribes bards learned men and notable men of middling power to support his lordship over Breda, it will take some time but once complete it is likely he may take the county as his own.


Later in the year, a curious event happens, Frankreich, one of the greatest supporters of the Treaty of Genoa offers Widukind an alliance. It appears the von Valence family is fond of Realpolitik, luckily for them, Widukind shares this perspective, he views access to the Sea and the destruction of Holland as a better near term goal than opposing the Franks. Thus the alliance is accepted.


Soon after, the King of Bohemia dies! Widukind is the selected heir to Bohemia. However, Salian relatives in Silesia dispute this claim, and say that Bohemia is rightfully theirs. The answer of course, may be decided by war.


The war for Bohemia does not appear to be shaping up to be a challenge. Because of this, Widukind has his forces remain in Luxembourg and has his allies and Bohemian forces do the fighting.


Mid way through the war, Widukind passes away peacefully in his sleep. His reign was long and stable, his legacy is positive yet stern. Ludwig ascends the throne to the cheers of the common people and is immediately elected Emperor with three votes, Luxembourg, Tyrol and surprisingly, Frankreich.


Soon after Ludwig's ascension, he is informed by his chancellor that his father's covert work in Breda has succeeded, he could declare war for the province but he chooses to wait for the Bohemian war to come to a close.


Although Ludwig is beloved by the common people, this is one entity that despises him. The Church, this is due to a number of criticisms he made against the Papacy after reaching majority. As the Papacy lost Rome and all major fiefs it owned, one of Ludwig's ancestors was forced to cede familial land in Saxony to the Papacy. Ludwig viewed this as unjust and sought to regain the land. Because of this he is hated by the Church hierarchy. In order to deal with this and solidify his rule. Ludwig raises himself as the final ecclesiastical authority of his realm.


Two months later, Silesia surrenders and Bohemia joins Luxembourg in a personal union.


Overall the early years immediately after the Treaty of Genoa have progressed splendidly, perhaps the conspirators were right and the Empire need not be solidified immediately, after all, what could go wrong?


oh......
 
Last edited:

Shellshocked

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guillec87

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an interesting start! I do hope you can form a newly centralized Germany though
 

MrL567

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Following. Also, did you give any of the convert nations with generic NI's unique NI's?
 

Shellshocked

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Chapter Two: Beset on All Sides

Chapter Two: Beset on All Sides

Ludwig agrees to assist Egypt against Byzantium, however it is mostly a symbolic move. He lacks a port and the ships to ferry troops to Egypt leaving Egypt mostly to its own devices.


Adding to the hopeless situation is that even with two of the most powerful states in the Empire and countless weaker states the Greeks are not really outnumbered severely and could likely win a defensive war.


Apparently, solidarity is not a trait known to the German people as Jerusalem declares war on Egypt during its time of need.


Sick of his troops sitting uselessly in Luxembourg, Ludwig declares war on Holland and brings in his allies. Within a month the Dutch armies are scattered and Holland is besieged.


After about a year, Breda and Antwerp fall to Salian forces, Ludwig brings his armies home and allows his allies to continue the occupation of Holland.


While waiting for Utrecht to be taken, Ludwig is informed by his advisers that recent military conflicts have lent new knowledge and expertise to the Luxembourgish army. Ludwig is advised to build concentrated weapons centers called armories to better organize his troops and recruit new soldiers.


Strides are made in the trading sector as new and innovative practices allow more efficient and bustling markets and ports.


After another year, Holland is fully occupied and forced to agree to cede both Breda and Antwerpen. Ludwig immediately sets about incorporating them into his realm in the hope that one day Antwerpen may be used as a base for a future Salian fleet.


Another crisis strikes the very next month as Iberian Muslims and their Aquitanian vassals invade Provence. Eager for a war where his troops may actually defend the Empire Ludwig rushes to Provence's defense.


A minor diplomatic victory is made soon after. Byzantium is convinced to cease its war against Egypt without any territorial gains. The price is fairly high however, nearly half the massive Salian treasury is emptied and paid to the Greeks who will likely use it to fight other wars of aggression.


A few months later, Ludwig finally reaches Aquitaine and personally leads a coalition army against the Muslim forces in Toulouse. The battle is a stunning victory, Ludwig personally decapitates the ruthless Muslim despot of Christian Aquitaine and sends the Iberian Sultan cowering back to his realm in fear.


After the battle of Toulouse the armies of Ludwig and his Christian allies spread out and begin to occupy Aquitaine, no Muslim forces appear to remain to resist them.


While on campaign Ludwig devises the concept of localized Imperial Edicts. These edicts would set a focus or specialty of the Salian realm and allow it to diversify its abilities. Unfortunately their large cost dictates that edicts will have to be implemented piecemeal and over vast swathes of time. Soon after Ludwig proclaims that he will announce the first edict the Reichsrat announces that it will take responsibility of what edicts to implement as long as Luxembourg remains the ruling state of the Empire. Ludwig grumbles, but as they are in line with the Treaty of Genoa, can do nothing but allow the Reichsrat to choose edicts, he only takes solace in that he is allowed to present the options they may choose between.


Three years later, Aquitaine is fully occupied by Imperial forces and its catholic inhabitants rejoice at the prospect of being freed from Muslim rule.
Without a ruler, and with a populace that fully supports its occupations the Muslim ruling elite is forced to flee Aquitaine and the independent Kingdom of Occitania is proclaimed.


The Empire now possess a fair buffer between it and the large Muslim realm of Al-Andalus. The security of Provence and Frankreich for now is assured, but it is unknown how long Occitania will be able to survive on its lonesome.


With the Empire secure and at peace Ludwig brings to the Reichsrat three proposals for Imperial Edicts to choose between. These programs will be permanent and vastly effect the future development of the Empire so the Reichsrat is advised to choose wisely.

The first proposal is the Bill for the Establishment of a Dedicated Diplomatic Corps. It is mainly supported by the wealthy and stable trading states that do not seek expansion within or without the Empire, only more coin. It does still ring true for Luxembourg though, our conquests of Breda and Antwerpen have angered the other Imperial states and by dedicating ourselves to the discipline of diplomacy we could ease this tension as well as secure strong friends and allies against any possible coalitions. It's also possible that with enough diplomatic guile we could eventually rule the Empire not with an Iron Fist, but with a gloved hand.


The second proposal is for increased funding to the University of Aachen and increased grants to the learned men of the Kingdom. It is supported, obviously, by the learned men of the Kingdom as well as intellectuals with some minor support from wealthy burghers who feel new technologies and more innovation may lead to higher profits. It will primarily benefit Luxembourg in the near time by increasing our standing among our peers as it would increase our reputation as a land of skilled artists and knowledgeable men. In the long term, its benefits could be massive, provided all that learning and science don't destabilize the Kingdom.


The final proposal is personally endorsed by the Emperor himself. The Edict for the Fortification of the Countryside supports increased funding for defensive measures around the Kingdom as well as a more thoroughly drilled army and a stronger, more sensible officer corps chosen based on merit instead of birth. It has strong support among the middling levels of the army as well as the frontier provinces who fear they may one day come under threat. It will however anger some nobles that they may no longer easily gain powerful positions in the army through nepotism alone. Nonetheless it will likely massively increase the competence of the army and will be a must have if the Holy Roman Empire continues to be assaulted by external threats.


Out of character for a moment. If you've yet to figure it out by now the role of the Reichsrat is to be played by you, the readers of this AAR. Even though the rules of voting were gone over in the introduction to the first chapter I'd like to reiterate a few. Each vote will have a set time limit please make sure you are within the time limit before voting. You are free to get into character of a haughty German lord or to explain why you chose the choice you did in order to convince others of your choice but please do not rebut or argue with others, this is primarily a dialogue between you and the AAR not each other. If you wish to change your vote, be it due to someone else's strong argument or just a reconsideration please underline that you are changing your vote and what your former vote was so I can tally the votes properly. Only one vote per person(baring revotes). Finally, try not to metagame, you are free to consider in universe how a proposal may effect the realm but do not pick your votes based on your knowledge of the mechanical statistics of the national ideas that you know due to seeing them in game. I would also like to remind you all that the ideas we pick will effect the future cultural climate of Luxembourg and therefore are very influential and important.

Voting begins as soon as this post is made and ends Friday, April 11th at 4:00pm Eastern Standard Time. Thanks for participating and happy voting!
 
Last edited:

Shellshocked

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Following. Also, did you give any of the convert nations with generic NI's unique NI's?
Al-Andalus is operating on a slightly altered version of vanilla Spain's NIs, Luxembourg has a fully unique set of NIs, Marienburg was given Prussian ideas, Ostmark has a weaker watered down version of Austrian NIS, Italia is running the regular but stunning italian NIs, and Egypt and Jerusalem both have Jerusalem Ideas.

Also thanks for reading and commenting.
 

Enewald

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Diplomatic ideas!
We need more professional diplomats to reunite the empire of the Salians!
 

Tharatriel

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Reichsrat listen to me! I, count Johann II. Salian von Saarbrücken Vote for Defensive ideas.Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark since the Treaty of Genoa there is only war. There is no peace amongst the world, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.
 

Pelican Sam

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I just finished your Crusader AAR that you're continuing this from, so I'm glad to be getting in on the ground floor of this one. Best of luck!

I, following the lead of the great and venerable Enewald, also vote for Diplomatic ideas!
 

Mikkel Glahder

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In an official letter to the kaiser and reichsrat, from the mayor of Köln:

Your grace, our walls in Köln's suburbs are crumbling and barely hold. We vote for defensive ideas here in Köln. Since the realms defence must come first, not attacking others.

Sincerly, mayor Gerhard of the city of Köln.
 

JanBDim

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A strange world. Your priority should always be to revoke the treaty of Genoa and to reunite the empire! Diplomacy seems to be the best tool to accomplish this. As the previous Salians left you a potentially huge empire already, big expansion wars won't be necessary.

In short, diplomacy for me!

Once you eventually core Antwerpen, they should bring in lots of cash. Is Antwerpen your capital trade node? If so you should try and capture as many of its provinces as possible and watch as the money pours in :)
 

it2Greek

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To the most wise and Venerable Kaiser Ludwig,
I, Bishop von Karl, speaking as head of the Council of Scholars, of the University of Aachen, do humbly beseach you to invest in the academic future (Innovative)of the Empire! Only a strong, literate, and intelligent basis of our nation can ensure our victory over those who oppose the Empire!
 

Ninjaeatingtaco

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in a letter to the kaiser from the King of Francereich
i vote that we strengthen our defenses you don't want what all the work your family through to be gone due to a bunch of good for nothing arabs due you?
Your freind king of Francereich
 

JKNUBZ

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In the humble opinion of your loyal subject, my Kaiser, one should pick a diplo idea group first unless there is an extremely compelling reason to do otherwise :)
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Diplomacy! Also, subscribing finally :D I also find it interesting that, of all possible nations, it's up to Luxembourg to set the world straight.