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Jun 24, 2013
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Knights of Honor
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
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  • For The Glory
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Welcome, Paradox Forum

This is, as far as I'm concerned, the first AAR that plans to span from England in the 11th century to the USA in the 20th century. I've already done several mega campaigns (Not AARs), so I know the converters that are available to me are usable.

As of right now, I've decided to play as the Count of Norfolk. Playing as anything of a higher status would be too easy for me. As a count in a fairly small duchy, I will have room to expand and improve.

There will be lots of images showing the going-ons in the game. I will write it in a Role-Play History-Book hybrid style, in present tense (he invades, she gives birth, etc...). I will play as though I am the character: Evil ruler = evil choices. Idiot ruler = idiot choices.

DLCs I will use
I own most DLCs for each paradox game. Some, I don't use because I don't consider them very entertaining.

-Sword of Islam
-Legacy of Rome
-The Republic
-The Old Gods
-Sons of Abraham
-Horse Lords

-Conquest of Paradise
-Wealth of Nations
-Res Publica
-Art of War
-El Dorado
-Common Sense
-The Cossacks

-A House Divided
-Heart of Darkness

I never play paradox games without mods, so why should my AAR be any different? In Crusader Kings II, I will use a combination of mods that add a little flavor and challenge. Some changes include more devastating diseases, younger education and adulthood ages, more AI actions, and slower cultural conversions.

In Europa, Victoria, and beyond, I will add mods (custom or otherwise) that fit with the current world status. Mods that add flavor to a world that has already been in play for half a millennium or more. I also have a custom mod that extends the EU4 end date to 1836, as well as adding new technology and events.

Crusader Kings II (1066 - 1444) (COMPLETED)
Europa Universalis IV (1444 - 1836) (COMPLETED)
Victoria II (1836 - 1936)(COMPLETED)
Darkest Hour (1936 - ~1945)

By the end of this AAR I would like to have done the following
-Become King of England
-Unite the Islands of Britain
-Colonize North America
-Lead the USA to independence
-Spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific

And, who knows, maybe we'll annex Mexico and Canada :) (51st and 52nd states????)

Mild interactivity approved by Mr.C
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Table of Contents:

Duke Ralf de Gael (ruled from 1066 to 1079)
- 1066 - Introduction
- 1066 to 1073 - Love and Paranoia
- 1073 to 1079 - Love and Paranoia Part 2

Duke Ralf II de Gael (ruled from 1079 to 1099)
- 1079 to 1084 - A First Victory
- 1084 to 1091 - Bad Heir Day
- 1091 to 1097 - The First English Civil War

Duke Ralf III de Gael (ruled from 1099 to 1149)
- 1097 to 1107 - The Turbulent Years
- 1107 to 1112 - Reunion
- 1112 to 1122 - The Quiet Years
- 1122 to 1132 - Drinking Problems
- 1132 - Summaries of Attalus and The Anguished One
- 1132 to 1136 - The War for Northampton
- 1136 to 1146 - The Buildup to War
- 1146 to 1149 - The Transformation of Loup

Intermission (1149) - A Quick Update on the Situation

Duke Attalus de Gael (ruled from 1149 to 1168)
- 1149 to 1159 - New Rulers
- 1159 to 1168 - King Loup

King Breselueu de Gael (ruled from 1168 to 1202)
- 1168 to 1176 - The Tyrant Kings
- 1176 - A Quick Update on the Family
- 1176 to 1184 - The Foreign King
- 1184 to 1194 - The Welsh Wars
- 1194 to 1202 - The Pilgrim King

King Æthelstan II de Gael (ruled from 1202 to 1220)
- 1202 to 1211 - The 4th Crusade
- 1211 to 1216 - Ireland
- 1216 - A Brief Overview of House de Gael
- 1216 to 1220 - Ireland Part 2

King Æthelstan III de Gael (ruled from 1220 to 1255)
- 1220 to 1231 - The Peaceful Decade
- 1231 to 1239 - Enemy to the North
- 1239 to 1247 - A Feeble Adversary
- 1247 to 1255 - King of Two

Intermission (1255) - Half-Time

Emperor Æthelstan IV de Gael (ruled from 1255 to 1274)
- 1255 to 1265 - Empire and Council
- 1265 to 1274 - The Fall of Scotland

Emperor Ælfweard de Gael (ruled from 1274 to 1277)
- 1274 to 1283 - God's Great Pox and the Devil's Revenge

Emperor Cynewulf de Gael (ruled from 1277 to 1283)
- 1274 to 1283 - God's Great Pox and the Devil's Revenge

Emperor Ecgberht de Gael (ruled from 1283 to 1312)
- 1283 to 1300 - End of a Century
- 1300 to 1308 - Crusade for Sicily
- 1308 to 1315 - The Black Death

Emperor Loup II de Gael (ruled from 1312 to 1361)
-1315 to 1324 - Union of Britannia
-1324 to 1332 - The Emperor of Love
-1332 to 1361 - Northern Conquests

Emperor Densley Blair II de Gael (ruled from 1361 to 1371)
-1361 to 1371 - The Reign of Densley

Intermission (1371) - Three Quarters

Emperor Loup III de Gael (ruled from 1371 to 1415)
-1371 to 1386 - Anger of the Vassals
-1386 to 1397 - The de Gael King
-1397 to 1415 - An Empire of Five

Emperor Eadric de Gael (ruled from 1415 to 1432)
-1415 to 1430 - The Chaotic World

Emperor Saxon de Gael (ruling from 1432 and into EU4)
-1430 to 1441 - The Britannic Civil War
-1441 to 1444 - Epilogue

List of all names in rotation:
Every time a child is born, I will randomly pick a name for the child from this list (a program will, not me :)).

Dom Martin,
the number 9,
densley blair,
andre Massena,
Kon 11,
Scipion Barca,
Must Love cats,
Duke of Awesome

Abbreviation of names is for my own convenience.
If your name is not on this list, and you feel it should be, comment and let me know. It could be missing because I forgot to add it!
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Introduction - September, 1066

In England, at the very northern most county of East Anglia, lies Thetford Castle. The castle is comprised of ditchs and banks surounding the main building. Around the castle is the market town of Thetford, where people throughout the county come to trade their goods. Thetford is the county capital of Norfolk, controlled and owned by the Earl Ralf de Gael. Ralf is by no means a brave man, and he is known to run away from both mice and men. But he is a very zealous Christian, content with his lot in life, and able to deal out justice where necessary. Unfortunately for him and his family, Ralf is also of Breton decent.


His eldest son and heir, also named Ralf, is the opposite in most cases; he is brave and a skilled tactician, with the reputation as one of the strongest men in East Anglia. Neither he nor his father is married, his mother having died when he was very young.


The land of Norfolk is part of the greater Duchy of East Anglia, ruled by Duke Gyrth of Godwin. The Duke does not like Ralf because of his foreign origins and his weak reputation.


While all seems calm in Norfolk, the Kingdom of England is in turbulent times. Both King Harald of Norway and William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, are invading England, each laying claim to the crown.



The counties of York and Middlesex, the capital of the Kingdom of England, are already playing host to invading armies of more than 10 thousand men each. In the current circumstance, it seems unlikely that Harold will be able to hold on to his seat as King of England for much longer.



As England appears to be in for some dark years of battle, Ralf de Gael has little to worry about other than pleasing his liege.

There is nothing to suggest that the descendants of Ralf de Gael would one day lead troops in desperate battle for independence.

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Chapter 1 - 1066 to 1073: Love and Paranoia

Ralf's first order of business is a search for a new wife. He finds one.

In mid October, Ralf is married to a princess of Norge, Maria, ironically the daughter of the invading King Harald Hårdråde. Maria, while sometimes nonsensical, has a good understanding of ruling that could help Ralf in ruling Norfolk. The wedding is a big celebration to which the entire county of Norfolk, and many prestigious people outside of it, are invited. A rumor spreads that Ralf only married her to show his support for the foreign king and his opposition to the current king.


Meanwhile, the Chancellor of Norfolk, Rumon, is sent to the court of Duke Gyrth to attempt to improve relations between the liege and vassal. Ralf is heard admitting his confidence that Rumon, who has a silver tongue, could persuade the Pope that the sky is red. The spymaster, Deroch, is sent to the neighboring province of Northampton to begin building a spy network.


Northampton is not currently under any Duke and so is ripe for the picking. The only thing needed is a good claim, and lower crown authority. On New Years Eve, news reaches Norfolk that King Harold's army has been defeated by the army of Normandy, though the Norman army lost thousands of its own troops.



In February of 1067, the Norman invasion officially ends, as the French declare their support for King Harold. France itself is now at war with Norge. It appears all is not lost for England.


Later that year, Ralf announces to his court that Maria is pregnant. By now, armies of Norge have taken control of several castles in Northern England, with little resistance.



In April of 1068, Ralf's first daughter is born. However, Maria dies in childbirth, leaving him wife-less once again. In her memory, he names the baby Maria.


The next month, the King's messenger arrives at the castle bringing very good news. Duke Gyrth had died without a son, so the Duchy is inherited by King Harold himself, who decided to grant the title to Ralf. However, the King chooses to keep the county of Suffolk in his demesne. In fact, the only thing that comes with the new Duchy is the title. The count of Essex, Earl Tostig, is now a vassal of King Harold directly, not Ralf. Chancellor Rumon is reassigned to King Harold's court to improve relations.



With his new title of Duke, Ralf has the honor and responsibility of voting for the next King of England. Wanting to please his liege, his throws his vote towards Prince Eadmund, son of King Harold. However, in quiet quarters, he can be heard mocking his King. Apparently he is unhappy at getting what he considers to be an insult... A single county duchy!


As the year progress, it looks worse and worse for England. Then, news arrives that King Harald of Norge died in battle against none other than William the Bastard. Without a legitimate claim, the war ends inconclusively.


At the turn of the year 1069, vikings from Sweden land in Norfolk and begin pillaging villages. A force of 800 men is mustered to meet them. After several skirmishes, the vikings retreat, having lost nearly hundred men while Ralf's forces lost about 20 men.


In a move that seems ironic to those who know Ralf best, he marries Princess Gunhild, daughter of King Harold. Gunhild is a very intelligent young woman, although Ralf's motives for marrying her are of yet unknown.


Later that year, in a move that many say is his attempt at improving his abysmal reputation as a leader, Ralf orders construction of a miniature army out of wood. Why do people laugh? However, his servants tasked with the construction made the mistake of storing the army in the shed outside that castle used to store firewood. Before long, the entire army is reduced to ashes after being mistaken for kindling.


In early 1070, to improve the economy of Norfolk, Ralf institutes a tax on Feudal vassals. Although this upsets some in his court, it should help the income of the county as a whole.


In October, Count Tostig of Essex declares war against his own liege, demanding that the Kingdom of England be inherited by the oldest member of a dynasty. Duke Eadwin, after some convincing, joins the civil war on Tostig's side. Not eager to help the King he secretly loathes, Duke Ralf sits back to watch.


In 1071, Duke Ralf discovers that his wife is pregnant. Later that year, Gunhild gives birth to a boy. Ralf names him Catguethen.



Then, troubling times hit Ralf. In February of 1072, Ralf is riding his steed with the Duke of York. As the Duke of York is looking away, two men grab Ralf and attempt to drag him into the cover of the nearby forest. The Duke and several guards close at hand quickly apprehend the kidnappers, whom Ralf orders to be severely punished.


Convinced that his life is in danger, Ralf begins seeing evil figures in the shadows, constantly having the food tasted for poison, and accusing anyone who makes a sudden movement of having a hidden blade. Before long, the entire castle is talking about Ralf's paranoia.


In a few short weeks, Ralf thinks he has found the culprit. He quickly starts plotting the death of his neighbor, Waltheof of Northampton. He manages to convince several people, including the Spymaster and Chancellor of Northampton. The stress, it seems, is getting to Ralf, for if Waltheof dies, the County of Northampton will go to King Harold, which will put it even further from his grasps.


How will this new, paranoia driven, stress-filled Duke rule East Anglia?

-This chapter is technically split in two parts. If I were to make it one part, it would be much too long, with waaay too many screenshots.
-No matter what Count I play as, I always seem to get handed a duchy within a few years!
-Second part will be posted tomorrow.
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Sounds like a promising mega campaign. Good luck conquering England, and eventually Britannia. Are you determined to stay Catholic?
Sounds like a promising mega campaign. Good luck conquering England, and eventually Britannia. Are you determined to stay Catholic?
Depends on my character.

The prospect of expanding my demesne in my current situation doesn't make me happy :)
Chapter 1.5 - 1073 to 1079: Love and Paranoia Part 2

At the end of 1072, Duke Ralf, sometimes called Ralf the Lustful, announces his wife is again pregnant.


In the beginning of 1073, Ralf, now aged 62, becomes depressed. Unable to kill his rival, seeing plots and assassins everywhere, it appears the stress is too much for him and he now spends hours of the waking hour sitting in his room in the shadows.


In July, Gunhild gives birth to a girl, whom she names Cecilia. This does nothing to improve Ralf's mood.


In 1074, Ralf finally cheers up, with the help of his wife. He no longer spends hours in his room, and he even plays with his youngest daughter, Cecilia.


By the end of the year, however, Ralf's stress starts increasing again, as his wife tells him she is yet again pregnant. Ralf was attending a feast hosted by the Duke of York for the past few weeks. Doubt turns to suspicion, suspicion turns to paranoia, and Ralf hires one of his maids to investigate.



In January of 1075, the English civil war ends in victory for King Harold. Tostig, after a fierce war, is imprisoned. The Kingdom is whole once again. At the same time, the maid hired to investigate Gunhild returns, saying that she has found nothing suspicious. Still unsure, Ralf asks more of his servants to investigate. After another month of investigating, the servants return empty handed.



The son he did not believe to be his is born in July of 1075. He is named Guoletec.


After a quiet year in Norfolk, rumors reach Ralf in 1077 that there is a plot to kill Gunhild. Without hesitation, he sends her into hiding with one of his distant relatives.


With his wife safe, and no more rumors of assassins against him or her, the stress starts to slowly vanish. He begins taking part in church proceedings once more, and going out for rides on his steed with the local leaders. Before long, Ralf brings his wife out of hiding.


In June of 1078, less than a year after withdrawing his wife from hiding, more rumors begin spreading, this time of an assassin aimed at his eldest daughter Maria. She, however, is currently in Toulouse being tutored by the Bishop of Corfe on the order of King Harold, and she cannot be sent into hiding.



In November, construction begins on new castle Fortifications in Norfolk. And in 1079, it is completed. A few months later, in June, Gunhild is again pregnant. This time, Ralf has no doubts about who the father is.


On the 11th of September, year 1079, Duke Ralf I dies at the age of 68 in his sleep, having not seen the birth of his next child, or the death of his rival. The Duchy of East Anglia, comprising only the county of Norfolk, is handed to his son Ralf II.


With East Anglia in such a weak position, can Ralf II do anything to help his new Duchy realize its true potential?
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Duke Ralf II has his work cut out for himself. He needs more power... Does his liege like him?
Chapter 2 - 1079 to 1084: A First Victory

In mid September, of the year 1079, Ralf II is found eating breakfast in the halls of Normandy. He has been a courtier in the service of Duke William the Bastard for the past 20 years, waiting for his chance to rule East Anglia, but wanting to stay out of the messy politics that England was involved in. On that September morning, a messenger brings word of his father's death, and his inheritance of the Duchy of East Anglia. Of course, he was originally excited at the prospect of ruling the Duchy because it was a sizable amount of land. At the moment, the county of Norfolk makes up the entire Duchy. Nevertheless, the new Duke of East Anglia, Duke Ralf II, arranges the move to his new home.

Within a month, he is settling down in Thetford Castle. Despite his age of 39, he never married. As ruler of East Anglia, this will have to be fixed. At the moment, his heir is his brother Harduin, who was a courtier alongside Ralf in Normandy. Although Harduin is his only brother from the same mother, Ralf does not like the idea of his brother ruling East Anglia, for Harduin can sometimes be very cruel to those he is put in charge of.


Ralf, on the other hand, is very like his father in style of ruling. He is just, kind, and patient. However, unlike his father, he is also brave. While he lived in Normandy, he was a Commander, leading Norman troops into battle. With luck, and a little buttering up, King Harold will appoint him Commander of England.


Soon after settling in, Ralf sends a message to Duke William of Normandy, requesting his daughter's hand in marriage. The daughter's name is Agathe and Ralf remembers her as being quite a talented steward. William, who treated Ralf like a son in all cases but this, accepts, and Agathe is there within a week.



In November, Ralf meets with Duke Morcar of York, who was a close friend of Ralf I. Morcar, who is a talented diplomat, asks Ralf to throw East Anglia's vote to him. This would put Morcar as the heir to the throne of England. In exchange, Morcar promises to decrease the crown authority. Ralf accepts, overjoyed that the near future could hold the possibility of expanding East Anglia's borders.


As the year turns to 1080, King Harold officially offers Ralf the position of Commander. Ralf, of course, accepts.


In December of 1080, Duke William, the Bastard of Normandy, father-in-law of Ralf, passes away at the age of 53. The new Duke of Normandy is Robert II, Son of William and brother-in-law of Ralf. He is known as Robert the Ugly, due to his grisly appearance from Great Pox and his hair lip.


In April of 1081, King Harold declares war on Scotland over the county of Cumberland, which was once ruled by the English. King Harold musters together an army of 10 thousand, including nearly 200 from Norfolk.



In June, six months after his father's death, Robert II of Normandy passes away from his Great Pox. His only son, a 5 year old boy, is made Duchy of Normandy.


In August, England strikes the first blow against Scotland, reducing the Scottish army of 6 thousand to a measly 500.



In November, Chancellor Rumon, who has been Chancellor of East Anglia for over 20 years, is sent to the King's court to improve the cold relations between Harold and Ralf.


In April of 1082, Maria, Ralf's half sister, comes of age, She is a very intelligent woman and Ralf, who has no love for the children that his father sired with women that were not his mother, marries her off to a Polish Duke.


In June, the King of Scotland surrenders to England, ceding the county of Cumberland. It is given to one of the King's favorite courtiers who becomes a direct vassal under the King. The Duke of York, however, thinks the vassal should serve him, at the very least. For the moment, he holds his tongue.


In 1083, Ralf's brother Harduin dies. He is buried in Normandy, where he spent the majority of his life. Ralf's new heir is his half brother Catguethen, a strong, gregarious young lad. Ralf likes Catguethen, the only half sibling he feels any affection for.


Good news reaches Norfolk. Due to both old age and a hard knock on the head in the last war, King Harold is considered throughout England to be barking mad, and his regent is none other than Duke Morcar of York. Morcar's first order "on behalf of the king" is to lower the crown authority. Immediately thereafter, Morcar declares war on the Count of Cumberland.



Having stockpiled money for just such an occasion, East Anglia is ready for war. Duke Ralf II declares war on the Count of Suffolk, Harold, and raises the army of Norfolk. He also hires a Lithuanian band of Mercenaries on their way out of England after the Scottish-English war. In August, the army led by the Mercenary Commander Svitrigaila, enters Suffolk and engages the enemy army of just over a thousand.



It is a victory, East Anglia losing barely 200 troops to the enemy's thousand. The rest of the enemies, the fools, flee towards Norfolk. Half of the Mercenary army is sent to deal with them while the rest lay siege to the Castle of Suffolk, Ipswich.


The enemies in Norfolk are taken care of. Then, in a twist that shows the current state of the King's mind, King Harold personally requests that Guiharan, half brother of Ralf, be tutored by Earl Harold, Count of Suffolk. Insulted, Ralf refuses.


In July of 1084, the defenders of Ipswich surrender. The war for Suffolk is over, and East Anglia is victorious.



Three cheers for the new two province Duchy! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!


(Just thought I'd show a comparison between our GRAND EMPIRE and the other pathetic states of Europe)
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Hey, you've got more than one province. Progress! I see France and the HRE are somewhat stable.
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Oh, I missed this by a day! Well, at least now I'm here as promised, subscribing and eager to read the upcomming chapters! ;)
Oh, I missed this by a day! Well, at least now I'm here as promised, subscribing and eager to read the upcomming chapters! ;)
Oh, jeez... Sorry, forgot to post a link on the original post. I was pretty excited to get start!
So much about this endears me to it. I'm sure your history will make Churchill proud.

Will follow along when I can. :)
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Looks interesting good fortune to you!
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