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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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I'm the Count of Agder and you're not

Hi. It's Christmas Day 1066. Christmas is this new cool thing we celebrate in Agder. It means we slaughter a reindeer and feast on it. That's pretty much how we celebrate every holiday, my zealousness and role as a martial cleric aside.

In other news, I've decided that the house of Agder needs to make something of itself, instead of just piddling along and then dying out.

I don't know how realistic this is, given that I'm already 27 and haven't done much with my life so far.

Here's me. Notice the lack of a wife, heirs, siblings, or even much of a court.

lodin.jpg


I've also heard that some people don't know where Agder is. This baffles me. Everyone I've ever met knows where Agder is. Then again, I've never actually been outside the county of Agder, so my sample size might not be all that representative.

map.jpg


Agder is the southern-most county in Norway. It's a slightly different color on the map.

This gives me a great idea for our slogan. After all, if I aspire to world domination, the first and most important thing I need is a slogan.

"Agder: It's a slightly different color on the map"

Armed with a slogan, let's take a tour of the county.

We earn 0.19 ducats per month and have 255 men under arms. Europe trembles, I'm sure. We also have a fairly empty court.

court.jpg


So, let's fix that.

court2.jpg


Well, that's about it for the court. We appear to be ruled by women. It's possible that Thorborg is a man, but I've never asked. I've known her (him?) for a while, and after a while, it's just one of those things you can't really ask someone. And seeing as how if s/he wasn't my Steward, I wouldn't even have one, I'll let discretion rule the day.

By the way, everyone in my court, myself included, appears to be more or less incompetent. I'd love to know what those brackets mean after my ratings. I want those ratings instead of the ones I have.

Oh, and I'm "zealous". Seized with the fervor of the Church. Good for me, I guess.
 
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unmerged(89828)

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Alright, down to the business of making something for myself.

First thing I need is a wife. Well, I need legitimate offspring. You never know when a rabbit will attack me in my sleep (I've been told that the level of difficulty for this little game of life is "hard" so there might be murderous nocturnal rabbits for all I know). If I die, this whole saga ends unless I have a male offspring.

So, while I normally would love to marry into a powerful family, ideally ones where succession could pass through the female, that will have to wait. Right now I need babies, and lots of them.

So, I take out my pocket guide to eligible women in Europe who are young sex-crazed maniacs. This is a very popular book I've been told. I'm looking for lustful women only.

So, what do we have...

Hmmm, a 16 year old Welsh woman who is lustful but unbelievably stupid. Pass.

Two Castilians, Juana and Jimena, both of whom are 18 years old and lustful. That sounds fun. But they're both stupid too, and since I'm a religious zealot looking for a wife, not a teenage boy in fantasyland, I'll have to pass on them too.

Seeing as I'm not the brightest tack in the drawer myself, I'd at least like my wife to be smart. Not only will it make my kids more likely to have good genes, but I need help around the County. You know, like maybe someone to run things, seeing as court is virtually empty and run by women anyway.

OK. Found one. She's not going to help our children be great generals or anything, but she's not as stupid as most other sex-crazed marriageable women out there. It's also kind of cool that she is "zealous" too. Shared personality characteristics will help us get along, and since I'm planning on her working in court as well, I need to get along with me and not be disloyal and steal my money or poison my pet reindeer or something.

She's also Catholic, which is good. She's German, which isn't as good as Norweigian, but hopefully the kids will identify their Norweigian heritage.

judith.jpg


So, off we go to Benno, the Bishop of Osnabrueck, to ask him if he wouldn't mind sending her to Agder.

In the meantime, having a steward has brought our monthly income up to 0.43 ducats. Wow. This is going to take a while, isn't it?
 
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unmerged(89828)

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OK, I asked Benno if I could marry Judith. Judith seems to working as his spy master. Good. I like women who work. I think I will adopt that as my personal motto. So now we have:

Agder: It's a slightly different color on the map
Lodin (that's me): I like women who work

Apparently, I also start trends. While I was sitting around waiting for Benno to get back to me, I received not one but two marriage proposals for MY spymaster, Snofrid.

I took another look at Snofrid, and to be honest, I'm not sure what the attraction is. But hey, they're both Counts, so it will be prestigious to marry her to either of them.

snofrid.jpg


Estmond is only a fraction as prestigious as Aslak. This is probably because Aslak is 75 and has had a lot of time to accomplish things. Snofrid is 18 and she is quite creeped out by the idea of marrying a 75 year old. I don't care. I was about to send her to him, but answered the wrong letter by mistake. So I accidentally sent her to Estmond of Derby.

This is romance, Medieval style.

Speaking of romance, I heard back from Benno. And he said no.

I'll try a Frenchwoman next.

marthe.jpg


Another zealous woman working as a spymaster. Let's see if this goes any better.
 
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unmerged(89828)

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Success! Touraine sent me a wife (I've forgotten her name as I write this, but I love her very much) and some gold too. Great success!

In other news, it turns out that Thorburg is a woman after all. I found this out because I tried to appoint her as Marshal of our "army". One of the lads approached me as I was trimming my pet reindeer's whiskers and said it was a bit odd to have a woman as Marshal.

I pretended it was just a joke, but ha, what a great way to find out if someone is a man or a woman! Appoint them to lead the army and see if they accept it. If they do, it's a man.

It's kind of like testing to see if someone is a witch. Submerge her in water until she drowns. If she sinks, she was a witch. If she floats, she wasn't a witch. It's never been wrong yet.

Meanwhile Marthe is my new Steward...but not pregnant. January is done. Now February. Now March. I hope I'm putting it in the right hole. I *think* I am, but since I was raised by monks, no one ever explained this to me. I don't want to ask Marthe, because that's kind of embarrassing after a few months.

Resolution: From now on, when I'm confused about something, I will ask right away.
 

unmerged(89828)

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To be honest, not that much goes on in Agder. I used to keep a diary but I think one diary entry a year ought to cover it.

1067: Boned wife. Turns out I was using the right hole all along, I just wasn't...well, never mind. The point is, I've figured it out now and I've made a son. He's called Jon. Some guy showed up in my court and offered to be Marshal. I know he's a man because no one said anything when I introduced him to the soldiers.

1068: Boned wife. No kids came out this time. Had too much swamp beer one night and experimented with other holes. No kids came out of there either. Marthe upset. Back to original hole. Still no pregnancy. Sad.

1069: Figured out the problem. She's been "spending a lot of time" with Marshal Sverre. I pretend to ignore it but when Marthe isn't looking I go out to the stables and kick the reindeer and pretend it's him.
 

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Clockworkorange said:
1067: Boned wife. Turns out I was using the right hole all along, I just wasn't...well, never mind. The point is, I've figured it out now and I've made a son.

1068: Boned wife. No kids came out this time. Had too much swamp beer one night and experimented with other holes. No kids came out of there either. Marthe upset. Back to original hole. Still no pregnancy. Sad.


Bloody BRILLIANT!!! :rofl:

This looks like it will be a fantastic AAR, glad I got in on the ground floor!
 

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I love the style and the humour! Keep it up! :)
 

unmerged(89828)

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April 20, 1070:

Today I fell in love with my wife Marthe, her ongoing affair with Marshal Sverre notwithstanding. This whole romantic situation is rather confusing and unfortunate. Normally I wouldn't want to fall in love, since producing more kids is my number one priority and to be honest, even illegitimate kids would help at this point. Right now the future my dynasty rides on the health of my 2-year old son, Jon. Jon is developing rather well, but still....

On the other hand, pushing Marthe away is risky. I can't have her hate me, because she's Steward of the County and all. She could start stealing. And with a county that earns 0.98 ducats per month, I can't really afford to be assassinating anyone. And I can hardly replace her. Look at my court!

love.jpg


Raganhild: A competent Chancellor. Other than little Jon, she is my reason for living. Not because I love her or anything (you can see her picture), but because she is competent and serving in my court. Why she is here, I don't know. I think she must know something I don't. Either that or the job market for competent Chancellors is pretty thin.

Sverre: Boning my wife.

Marthe: My wife. I'm too afraid to put a stop to their affair since it would mean no Marshal and no Steward.

Thora: Amazingly enough, it is literally true that my two-year old son would make a better Spy Master than Thora. No, this isn't a figure of speech. It is actually true. Jon is in fact twice as good. I went and got him from the monastery the other day and sat him in Thora's chair. Jon drooled for a while, proceeded to wet himself, beamed, applauded madly, and then started crying. The rest of the court agreed that this is a far better performance than we've seen out of Thora lately.

Unfortunately, the powers that be won't let me appoint Jon as spymaster, so back to the monastery with him.

Thus, with the odds stacked against me, I proclaim my true and undying love for Marthe.

Please, God, grant me more children.
 

unmerged(89828)

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1070: True love conquers all. Marthe has stopped boning Sverre. She even took him off her "friend's list" on MySpace and put me up instead! Ah, to be in love...

myspace.jpg


[MySpace is an Agderian invention. There's a large empty wall in my castle - okay, I don't really have a castle, but I do have a hut I call home, and a man's home is his castle - and everyone who lives there gets a part of the wall to call theirs. This is because we're not rich enough to have more than a one-room hut, so that's the only space we can call our own. Anyway, I used My Space for a drawing of Rudolph winning his twentieth consecutive "Reindeer of the Month" prize - it's a prestigious award determined by the Count of Agder himself. Marthe uses hers for a list of her friends. It used to just have Sverre's name and drawing on it. Now it has mine! Take that, Sverre!]

Meanwhile, the Duke of Orkney has decided that I am a rival. Rival for what? I have a country that doesn't even earn a ducat a month and where no one has ever built anything.

1071: (September) Marthe is expecting a child! About a year and a half after we fell in love, but no matter. I am thrilled. Even Sverre came by with a bottle of swamp beer to celebrate, and hardly flirted with Marthe at all.

And then I went boar hunting with my neighbour, Svein Aleksson of Sola, the Count of Rogaland. That's the area just northwest of Agder, and Svein is the son of Count Aslak, the creepy 75-year old who wanted to marry my old spymaster Snofrid, but I accidentally sent her to England by mistake. This is probably for the best now, since if Snofrid still hanging around in Rogaland, I'd have to see ever time Svein and I hung out, and I might start to feel guilty. Not to mention stupid, for sending away a perfectly good spymaster and having to replace her with Thora, because for some reason people won't accept a 2 (now 3) year old as spymaster.

Svein is a good man, and hasn't brought up the awkward business of his father and Snofrid at all.

Please let it be a healthy boy...
 
Last edited:

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unmerged(89828)

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Veldmaarschalk said:
Very enjoyable so far, you should also read May Our Reign Be Green and Golden: County of Agder by Jestor. Another great AAR about Agder :)

Oh, that's annoying. I thought I was being so original. I saw the "real men do it alphabetically" starting with Aarhus or something, and this was a couple down on the list. Oh well.

I'll press on. I'm starting to identify with these guys and I'd hate to restart, as much as I'm tempted by the idea of being the Count of Beirut in the 1187 scenario.

By the way, some game questions:

* What does a bishop do?
* Why does piety matter? I know negative piety gets the Pope mad at you and bad events, but what does good piety do?
* What do those numbers in parentheses mean after my ruler's ratings?
* How do I marry someone in my own court?
 

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Clockworkorange said:
* What does a bishop do?
Triggers events, such as pagans converting, schismatic or heathen courtiers being inquisitioned, etc. Lack of a bishop also triggers a "the pope sends you a bishop" event.
Clockworkorange said:
* Why does piety matter? I know negative piety gets the Pope mad at you and bad events, but what does good piety do?
Good piety increases the loyalty of bishop vassals, and most importantly reduces badboy after time.
Clockworkorange said:
* What do those numbers in parentheses mean after my ruler's ratings?
It shows your ruler's rating as modified by the appropriate advisor's rating in the appropriate stat.
Clockworkorange said:
* How do I marry someone in my own court?
They have to be in your dynasty (have the same last name) and be 16 years old, but after that you can just use the offer marriage button as normal.
 

unmerged(89828)

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1072

I modified my 1070 diary entry to actually show Marthe's MySpace. I'm so proud!

Guess what? Thora the incompetent Spy Master is stressed. No wonder. I'd be stressed too if my boss' 3-year old was demonstrably better at my job than me. Now she literally has zero value in her job.

Then in June, Marthe gave me another son. I am so in love. His name is Magnus. It only took a couple of days for some smartass in court to point out that Magnus would already make as good of a spymaster as Thora. Something really ought to be done about this, but I'm not sure what.

In July I went to check in on Jon, and learned, among other things, that he's now four. Happy birthday, son. It's so hard to keep track of these things when I have so much to do. Like...um...keeping this diary up to date.

My early optimism about his development is dissipating. His skills don't seem to be improving. Then again, he is only four. Just to be on the safe side, I'll see if I can make another one.

I also finally reached 100 gold! I start building a forestry. This is big news, since no one has ever built anything in Agder before, other than a thieves' guild. One of my advisors (a real one, not Thora) told me that amongst the benefits of the forestry is giving me a Pillage Effect +1 (Gold). I have absolutely no idea what this means.

All in all, a great year!
 
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unmerged(31881)

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Alas, i am not the Count of Agder. Nor do i even have a MySpace page. But i do have a subscription to a funny Norwegian AAR...
(Excellent start by the way.)