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RedPhalanx

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Freedom is Relative: A Croatian MegaCampaign

Freedom is Relative: A Croatian MegaCampaign

backuppppmr7.png

I've been a longtime fan of CK and all of Paradox's work, but I've had a hard time completing a campaign due to lack of motivation. Hopefully, by putting it down, and playing out actions in an AAR will give me the incentive I need to complete a full game, and carry it on to EU3 and beyond. As I'm writing this, the CKtoEU3 and EU3toRicky converters are not yet finished; but I have faith they will be by the time I need them. I'll be focusing on the Balkans, and starting out as Croatia, in 1066.

Petar Kresimir (1059-1077)

Matija (1077-1105)

Momchil Part 1 (1105-1117)
Momchil Part 2 (1117-1152)

Draskin (1152-1162)

Dobroslav (1162-1183)

Georgi (1183-1228)

Adelfo (1228-1248)

Evtimii Part 1 (1248-1250)
Evtimii Part 2 (1250-1260)

Dragshan (1260-1288)

Andrija Part 1 (1288-1300)
Andrija Part 2 (1300-1303)
Andrija Part 3 (1303-1312)
Andrija Part 4 (May 15, 1312)

Aleksander (1312-1336)

Litovoi (1336-1349)

Aldimir (1349-1352)

Ognen (1352-1365)

Mirko (1365-1395)

Epiloge (1395-1420)

What to expect

1. Early "Yugoslavism" - No reason to stay in Croatia, expansion is fun!
2. Peace and War Streaks - Don't expect me to sit on my hands with a 16+ Martial Monarch with claims on the Serbian Throne
3. Weekly updates, at least - If I get lazy, feel free to motivate me with PM's. I could use the encouragement.
4. Continuation into EU3 and beyond - Hence the term "MegaCampaign"

What NOT to expect

1. World Conquest - It would make it too dull in EU3
2. Outright Cheating - I'll stay at Normal/Normal and only use DIE to fix bugs. BYZANTINE = bad.
3. News on everything - I once saw a Muslim Scotland. I can never look at the British Isles again.
4. Tons of fancy images - They'll be screenshots, but I'm no photoshop expert.
5. Detailed Croatian History - I'm from Texas, and I would probably offend some real Croatians if i tried to fake my way through their history.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(63836)

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Dec 25, 2006
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Whooa anoher megacampaign. :D Good luck - you will need patience of 'Bold and Beautiful' director ;) From what you have written it sounds most interesting.
Looking forward for an update. :)
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Let's see how it goes...
 

RedPhalanx

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thrashing mad said:
Whooa anoher megacampaign. :D Good luck - you will need patience of 'Bold and Beautiful' director ;) From what you have written it sounds most interesting.
Looking forward for an update. :)

Thanks! Your Megacampaign was the one that inspired me. :D
I'm going to post the first "mini-update" in an hour or so. I probably will update every king/major war, rather than a set number of years.
 

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Well good luck with this enterprise !
 

RedPhalanx

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King Petar Krešimir the Great, King of Croatia

King Petar Krešimir the Great, King of Croatia
Reigned: 1059-1077

The Realms of the King, as of 1066​


The King Himself, Petar Krešimir Trpimirovic

In 1066, Croatia was at peace, and King Petar Krešimir, while powerful and respected among his peers, was less than happy with the situation. His wife, unable to bear him a son, had left his nephew Stjepan his only heir. Petar despised Stjepan as nothing more than a religious fanatic, who could hardly be trusted to run a monastery, let alone a Kingdom. Stjepan had twice tried to convince him to invade Belgrade, held by Prince Matthaios, a vassal of the Byzantine Empire. A diplomatic crisis had nearly developed when he raised an army and prepared to launch an attack on the city; only thwarted at the last minute.

The King's wife, Miroslava, however, died shortly after Christmas in 1066, leaving Petar open to marry a younger woman who could bear him a son. The Duke of Serbia, seeing this as a chance to gain some control of Croatia, sent his Spy Mistress, the seductive Jelena, offering an Alliance. Enchanted by her beauty and age (not yet 21), he quickly married her, causing a diplomatic crisis and furthered the wedge between Petar and Stjepan, because Jelena was raised in the Orthodox Rite.

The plan worked, as Serbia was able to absorb Ragusa without any opposition from Croatia. Petar, however, had succeeded in HIS mission; Jelena was pregnant, and gave birth to a son, Matija. It was at this time that Jelena became more concerned with her son than the wills of the Duke of Serbia; she wanted her son to inherit the throne to both nations, and set to work on a trap to remove Stjepan from the picture. She eventually was successful, and now Croatia had a clear Heir Apparent, if a rather young one.


The Young Heir Apparent, Matija Trpimirovic


Jelena bore another son two years later, and the Duke of Serbia was furious to hear the the King of Croatia had declared a claim on the County of Ragusa. Jelena, in fact, had pressed Petar to make the claim, knowing the Duke would be unable to protect it. Croatia formally offered the Duke to become his vassal on September 1st, 1069, and he flatly refused. When the Duke died in 1071, the offer was once again made, and once again refused.


The refusal to summit to the King of Croatia only worsened relations

Jelena began exerting further influence on her husband, eventually leading to war with the County of Ragusa in June 1072. Ragusa itself fell within three months, and on February 9th 1073, the Duke of Serbia relinquished all claims on Ragusa. The war was, in Petar's own words, "Quick and painless". Petar returned home a hero, and had crushed the dignity of the Duke of Serbia.


The Battle of Ragusa was the only major battle, a rout by the Croatians

Shortly after returning home, Petar received some bad news. The Pope had issued a Papal Bull, demanding that Lay Investiture be eliminated within the Kingdom of Croatia. The King boldly refused this further impressment of Papal Control (having caved in 1059 and 1060), and he was excommunicated shortly after. This wrecked havoc on the internal affairs of Croatia, but Petar was able to hold the country together, mainly though the diplomatic prowess of Donal O'Niel, an Irish Catholic who arrived in the country shortly after the war ended. Due to the excommunication of King Petar, the Pope's crusade to Jerusalem was all but completely ignored.

King Petar died in his sleep on June 17, 1077. He was 57 years old. Loved by his country as one of the greatest kings of Croatia, but distrusted by most of the Catholic world, He is commonly remember in Croatia as King Petar the Great.


Matija inherits the throne. He is only 9 years old at the time.


(Notes: Historically, Petar died without any heirs in 1074. He was also not excommunicated. With an ahistorical heir, expect to see a different style of play with King Matija. Please forgive some of my poor formating. EDIT: Minor changes, fixed typos)
 
Last edited:

unmerged(60369)

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wow, a megacampaign with the by far coolest country around, i wish you good luck in your quest for croatian world domination, ill be watching :)
 

RedPhalanx

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King Matija Trpimirovic the Just
Regency of Jelena of Serbia: 1077-1084

King of Croatia: 1077-1105
King of Serbia: 1099-1105
croatiamap1077pn8.jpg

Croatian territory at the beginning of King Matija's reign

Matija may have inherited the throne, but his mother, Jelena of Serbia, "ran the show". As regent, she dictated everything from his court, to who bathed the 9 year old king. One of her first moves was to "convince" the Count of Usora to remain loyal to the new king. She increased church donations; not out of piety, but rather, not wanting to repeat the problems her late husband had after he was excommunicated. She also granted her younger son, Stracimir, the County of Rama, but continued to run the county as regent.

king1077oe2.jpg

The Young King

regent1077xa7.jpg

The Young King's Mother, Regent of the Throne

Relations with the Duchy of Serbia have not improved since the war. Now claiming Zeta as well, the only thing that prevented another war was the lack of any intelligent commanders. This did not stop Jelena from trying to weaken Serbia; offers of vassalage where made to the disloyal Countess of Hum. She refused, but Jelena then offered an Alliance to the King of Bohemia. With the Bohemians supporting them, war was declared on May 28, 1079.

This second war was radically different from the one just six years earlier. Ambushed in Ragusa before his reinforcements could arrive, the inept Marshall, Donal O'Neill blundered and barely escaped with what remained of his army. His reinforcements failed to lift the siege and oce Ragusa fell, the Serbians pressed the attack, forcing back the rest of the King's army at Split.

battlelost1079sl9.jpg

The loss of the Battle of Rasuga

However, the Duke of Slavonia mobilized his forces and, moving through Bosnia, liberated Ragusa. The Serbian army was trapped in Split, but unabated, pushed along the coast to Zadar. The result was disastrous for the Serbian Army.

battlemap1080lr9.jpg

By moving through Bosnia, the Serbian army did not notice the Duke until he had them surrounded.

battle1080wm5.jpg

The Serbian army, out of supplies, was crushed by the weary Croatian army. The rest of the Serbians scattered

What remained of the Serbian army scattered after the battle and, ignoring the Pope's call for peace, the Duke of Slavonia pressed into Serbia. Crushing what remained of the Serbian army, Zeta was conquered and became part of the demesne of King Matija, now 12 years old. The Duke of Slavonia, however, requested that Zeta be given to him. As a compromise, large amounts of money taken from Serbia was given to the Duke, although he was less than happy about this.

In the south, the Byzantine Empire was beset on all sides; The Muslim Turks in the south where slowly pressing westward, and in the north, Pagan tribes where pressing southward. Constantinople fell in 1081, with the Emperor fleeing westward to the new capital. The Imperial Crusade had liberated most of Egypt from the Fatimids even while at home more and more of the german states disobeyed the Emperor. In Croatia, however, there was a time of relative calm. When King Matija turned 16, Jelena's influence began to fade. The Byzantine Empire collapsed further, with the Prince of Belgrade breaking from the Empire and swearing loyalty to Matijai in 1084.

King Matija was very much like his father. He took his time making decisions, and was not about to submit to any foreign power. Choosing to use diplomatic means, Croatia stayed out of the troublesome wars that where ravaging the Byzantine Empire and out of the Crusades. Jelena passed away in 1085, with very little mourning. By now, Matija had assumed complete control of the reigns of the country, and was viewed by others as a stabilizing force in the Balkans.

balklandmap1085fj7.jpg

The status of the Balkans, 1085

In 1086, he married Marthe Capet, daughter of the French King Philippe. The marriage was political, meant to improve Croatia's relations with France, and Matija, although attracted to her, found her to be "no brighter than a small candle". The marriage suited him, however, because he did not want his wife interfering in the affairs of his children, as his mother had done. Marthe bore him a daughter and, in 1088, Momchil, heir apparent to the Throne of Croatia, was born. King Matija raised the child himself, completely neglecting his second son, Dimitar.

heriapparent1088rc3.jpg

The Heir, Momchil Trpimirovic


Hungary was eager to ally with Croatia, allowing it to devote more troops eastward, where it was subjugating and converting the pagans of Cuman and Bolgar. King Matija continued trying to stabilize the region with diplomatic means; often driving his country nearly bankrupt with lavish spending on everything from donations to the Hospitaliar Order, to an advanced road network along the coast. The diplomatic efforts worked, however, as there was little uproar when a claim on the County of Istria was made in 1094. In 1097, he made official the claim his mother had told him as a child; he was the rightful Duke of Serbia. The claim was mostly political, and he did not intend to follow through the claim with military force. The Duchy of Serbia, however, faced a crisis as much of the nobility felt that swearing allegiance to the Croatian King would protect the nation from the Turks, who had devastated the Byzantine Empire, pushing as far west as the Peloponnesos. When the Duke of Croatia died in 1098, the nobles pressured the new Duke to accept an offer of vassalage. In order to solidify his rule over the Duchy of Serbia, in 1099, King Matija declared himself "King of Serbia", in a lavish and expensive ceremony.

croatiamap1099do1.jpg

Lands of the Croatian-Serbian Kingdom

king1099fg4.jpg

Matija Trpimirovic, King of Croatia and Serbia

By 1099 the Byzantine Empire was nothing more than a group of feuding states in Greece and Bulgaria, united due to opposition of the Turks rather than loyalty to the Emperor. In contrast, in 1099, the Croatian-Serbian Kingdom was united in the firm, yet just and wise grip of Matija Trpimirovic. Yet there where some lingering problems. Naissus in eastern Serbia was still under Byzantine rule, and in the northwest, the Holy Roman Empire was becoming concerned with the consolidation of power in the Western Balkans. Most of the Islamic states had carved out portions of the Byzantine Empire, putting many Orthodox Christians under Muslim rulers. There where calls for King Matija to intervene, calls he had a hard time ignoring. His requests for the Byzantine Emperor to relinquish control of Naissus fell upon deaf ears.

In 1104, Momchil left Croatia abruptly, and it was revealed later that he had married Dulcia de Barcelona, Countess of Tarragona. King Matija nearly disinherited the young heir, only changing his mind when advised that it was not wise to harm relations with the Navarrian Kingdom; after Naples had fallen, few nations where willing to stand up to the Muslims. Shortly after, at the urging of his advisers, nobles, and the Duke of Serbia, King Matija declared war on the Byzantine Empire, intending to unite Naissus into Serbia proper.

While leading a charge of Knights into battle, however, the King was heavily wounded, and, while victorious in that battle, he succumbed to his wounds on August 30, 1105. He was 38 years old. Momchil Trpimirovic was declared King, even though he was still in Navarra. With the King dead and his heir on the other side of the Mediterranean, things do not bode well for the Croatian-Serbian Kingdom.

(Note: Barely got this to fit in one post. Next update will surely come in parts. It also should take me longer. EDIT: Fixed some typos, rewrote some things)
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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Ouch! Now you had your kingdom in the good way, your heir goes to foreign lands to... marry?

Let's see...
 

RedPhalanx

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Kurt_Steiner said:
Ouch! Now you had your kingdom in the good way, your heir goes to foreign lands to... marry?

Let's see...

Momchil is.....wierd.

I'm not going to say anything than whats already happened. Having traveled to Navarra in his early teens, he must have developed a crush on the older Dulcia (shes 32 in 1105). He HATES Muslims, for no other reason that the Pope doesn't care if you conquer then. Croatia will probably see 3x as many wars under him as it has the earlier 40 years.

Almost forgot, I made (with the power of MSPaint) a (nearly) complete map of Europe in 1100. Enjoy

EDIT: Probably forgot to mention that the Countess Dulcia is the Navarrian King's daughter.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(60841)

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Seljuks look meaty as always. Just caught on to this, looks like the next King will be different? And unfortunately long-lived.
 

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King Momchil Trpimirovic the Liberator, Defender of Constantinople
King of Croatia: 1105-1152
King of Serbia: 1105-1152
King of Bulgaria: 1132-1152
battlemap1105ih2.jpg

The situation in Croatia, in 1105

king1105oj0.jpg

Momchil Trpimirovic, one of the greatest Croatian generals of all time​

Momchil Trpimirovic was, first and foremost, a General. Having pressured his father to let him travel to study the art of war in Navarra at the age of 11, he quickly found himself in the employ of Dulcia de Barcelona, Countess of Tarragona, the King's daughter. Quickly developing a crush for the older woman (she was nearly twice his age), he dreaded returning home 4 years later. After turning 16 in Croatia, he gathered many of his loyal guards, and as many mercenaries as he could find, and sailed back to Navarra. Approaching the King shortly before a battle with the Shiekdom of Almansa, he offered an exchange; the King's daughter's hand in marriage, in exchange for his service in the coming battle. King Ramon agreed, and, in a manner that would have impressed Rodrigo de Vivar, throughly trounced the Muslim army.

Upon hearing of his father's death, Momchil sailed back without his wife, and began to assess the situation. Most of the Croatian vassals had not yet mobilized. The Duke of Serbia had seized Athens, but was trapped. A much larger army was defending Naissus. Rather than request the Croatian counties and duchies to mobilize, he traveled their with his army and mobilized them himself, circumventing the traditional process. The Duke's army was beaten and fled westward, even as the bulk of the Croatian army, under Momchil, seized Naissus. On July 8th 1106, King Momchil and Emperor Eusebois faced each other in the Battle of Atheniai. Defeating the Byzantine Army, they where perused southward as the Duke of Serbia guarded northern Greece. By 1107, the Byzantine Armies where beaten, but not destroyed. The Emperor offered a peace settlement; they relinquished control of Naissus, and abandoned their claims on Ragusa. In exchange, most of the Croatian coffers where emptied. Momchil was prepared to decline, but advised to take the offer because some of the nobles, angered at his mobilizing of their armies, wanted to place his brother in power instead. With most of his late father's goals accomplished, he sent for his wife.

battle1106hw2.jpg

The Battle of Atheniai dealt a severe blow to the Byzantine Army; ending their plans at any sort of conquest.

peace1107gx9.jpg

The peace offer Momchil reluctantly accepted

After reforming the army and building his support at home, Momchil could stand the Muslims no more and declared war against the Fatimids on February 17, 1114. He was quickly able to capture their lands around Strymon, and defeated the Sheik of Cairo, who was sent to defend the area. After suffering several defeats, what remained of the Fatimid army fled in early 1115, and peace was eventually settled. The captured lands where given to the King's son, Draskin, ruled in regency for a time by the King.

balkans1114el7.jpg

The Situation before the war

battle1115me6.jpg

King Momchil wore down the Fatimids each battle; eventually forcing them to flee

heir1112sn3.jpg

The Heir, who would rule most of the land taken

croatiamap1116ty5.jpg

The Situation after the war

News of the Croatian victory spread through Europe like wildfire; money poured in from backers who wanted the Muslims repelled. Coupled with the Navarrian conquest of Moorish Portugal in 1116, it looked about time for the Christian nations of Europe to get some revenge.

spain1117fa2.jpg

The Iberian Peninsula in 1117
 

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In 1120, Croatia attacked Venice, now under control of an Arabian Muslim. That same year, the Duke of Slavonia inherited the Duchys of Krain and Istria. By the time the King returned home, he had learned the Scottish and English and Castillians had all declared war on Navarra. Rather dieing that giving up his kingdom, a noose made of the finest silk was prepared. When all was said and done, the crown of Navarra passed to Alfonso Jimenez, who was, in King Momchil's words "A spoiled inbred idiot who should have been killed shortly after birth."

spain1122ij6.jpg

The Iberian Peninsula in 1122

However, Castille was beating back the Moors, and, when the Byzantines declared war against the Seljuk Turks in 1022, Croatia joined in. Heading first to Chalkidike, the Croatians received little resistance. From there, the King headed east, seizing Muslim lands west of Constantinople. He sieged the city in July, but was forced to withdraw with Turkish landings to the west. The second siege began in October. Unbeknownst to the King, his wife had returned to Tarragona, then under attack by the Kingdom of Zirid. Unfortunately, she passed away during to voyage, and the county was lost. The City of Constantinople was liberated on January 10, 1124. A large Turkish army appear within a few weeks, and what remained of the Christian population was evacuated. After seeing the citizens to safety and merging the two major Croatian Armies, the full force of Croatia descended upon the Turks. Reserves poured into the Croatian camp daily, and King Momchil won a glorious, if bloody victory.

battle1124vk8.jpg

One of the most important battles in Croatian history, the battle shocked both the Muslim and Christian world.

Beating back numerous assaults, the Croatian Army crossed the Bosporus in November 1124. The attack, however, was disastrous, and by the time he was able to return, Constantinople was once again under siege. The second Battle of Constantinople was to begin in May 1125. Shockingly, however, the Seljuk army accepted the peace proposal; they where paid a small sum and promptly left to cross the Bosporus.
battle1125wa9.jpg

King Momchil later said he would have commanded his infantry from the front and lead the charge into the Turkish lines. One can only imagine what would have happened had he fallen that day.

Momchil never remarried, but conceived a bastard, Prohor, in 1126. He instituted harsh religious rules on Constantinople, but they worked, making a majority of the region into the Catholic Faith. Unfortunately, Croatian success in the east was matched with Muslim success in the west and north. Poland was fighting a long war with Azerbaijan, and much of Iberia has fallen to the resurgent Moors. Even southern France faces threats from across the Mediterranean.

By 1130, however, the situation had improved slightly, allowing King Momchil the opportunity he needed to conquer the rest of Bulgaria. His first move was conquer the independent Count of Serverin, giving him an excuse to the nobles and the Byzantine Empire to mobilize the army. He issued an ultimatum on October 3, 1130; surrender Bulgaria to him, or he would take it. The Byzantines refused, and the Croatian Army pressed north, seizing the entirety of Bulgaria. Then moving south, he thoroughly dispatched a much smaller Byzantine army in Ochrid.

battle1131ts2.jpg

The Byzantines where, by this time, no match for Croatia.

The bulk of the Byzantine force intercepted him as he moved south, but was repulsed, although with severe Croatian casualties. Eventually, he wore down the Byzantines until they surrendered; early the next year. Satisfied with his conquests, he traveled to Constantinople where, on May 21, 1132, in front of nearly the entire Croatian Army, declared himself King of Bulgaria and Defender of the Balkans. The Golden Age of Croatia had begun.

balkans1132dx4.jpg

Greater Croatia, encompassed Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Constantinople, and Southern Wallachia

While seemingly powerful, King Momchil was beset on all sides by his many vassals. The King was not a diplomat by any means, and his large coffers kept him afloat for the next 10 years. By now, Iberia was divided nearly in half, Christian and Muslim. The Byzantines where slowly starting to retake lands from the Turks, and Hungary had taken over most of Azerbaijan. The Duke of Bosnia's rebelling in 1133 was quickly crushed, and a period of relative calm settled over Croatia.

Croatia remained mostly isolationist for the next two decades. Talk of intervention in increasingly Moorish Spain was heard, but dismissed. Having ensured his place in History as a brilliant strategist, Momchil spent his latter years as an instructor at the Constantine School of Military Arts. His works on engagements with Muslims where required learning for any aspiring Croatian general well into the 1400's.

spain1143ss5.jpg

Iberia, in 1143, mostly controlled by the Emir of Granada

King Momchil died on June 15, 1152, at the age of 64. One of the greatest generals of Croatian history, he will be remembered as King Momchil Trpimirovic the Liberator, Defender of Constantinople.

inheritance1152tm1.jpg

The King is Dead. Long Live the King!
 

RedPhalanx

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Here is a 1150 version of the World Map.

I'd appreciate some comments or advice. Next update should take about the same time.
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
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An impressive reign, I like his backstory, its an interesting one. Youve succeeded in most ofyour goals in the Balkans, I'd be careful about getting too big from here on out, maybe if you take an entire Kingdom beyond the Balkans you could set it up as Kingdom for one of your younger sons? Your screenshots seem to indicate few heirs on the ground though. Good job so far, if anything you might want to space the updates a little bit. Keep up the good work.
 

unmerged(60369)

Sergeant
Aug 29, 2006
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nice progress

what are the plans for future expansion?
i think your ultimate goal for CK should be to expand your northern border along the Danube river, and take more lands in northern italy
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
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I'm impressed with the success of this king. Things looked awry prior to his rise to power. But he overcame everything.

What a pity about Spain.

About future plans... perhaps conquering the rest of the northern Adriatic coast would be a beginning... what about an empire in Central Europe?
 

RedPhalanx

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JimboIX- I doubt there will be any more serious Balkan conquests for at least another century. In the west, however...



rob nikada!- Venice will likely go independent soon. Italian conquests will likely be if and only if the Muslims conquer the area. Expansion into Hungary is unlikely.



Kurt_Steiner- The new king will have a claim on part of Spain, from his mother. So...don't give up on Iberia just yet!

EDIT: Don't want to spoil things for you, but the next king gets schizophrenia!
 
Last edited:

Olaus Petrus

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Interesting AAR. You have had great success this far.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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RedPhalanx said:
Kurt_Steiner- The new king will have a claim on part of Spain, from his mother. So...don't give up on Iberia just yet!

Oh yeah... :D Let's hope we have a catalano-croat king :D