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Chapter 1: Šventaragis' Start


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Feb 8, 2016
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Hello everyone! Welcome to my first AAR. Any feedback would be great!

These first bits of the campaign were played before I decided to take screenshots, and also before the first DLC came out. So I had to reload save files to get these pictures. TLDR, some of these might look weird or messed up. This is my first ever AAR, so let me know if you want to see more.

Chapter One: Šventaragis' Start

1066, a year that shook Europe to its foundations. From Manzikert in the east to Hastings in the west, empires, kingdoms, and dynasties were changing. That year also saw the foundations laid for the rise of another empire. This time on the shores of the Baltic, and that is where our story begins.

Lithuania’s ruler that year was High Chief Šventaragis of House Palemonaitis. Accounts of the time paint him as a shrewd diplomat and cunning warrior, who would do anything for his people and kin. But those tales also say that, though he loved his own dearly, once his rage was fueled there was no one on Earth who could extinguish it. These tales also tell of a phrase spoken behind the Chief’s back at that time. “Šventaragis could meet the gods themselves yet would not back down from them”. Šventaragis knew of these sayings, but let them slide, for he loved his people and would do anything for them. They were his family too, just as his own kin, and he knew these sayings were in good fun.
High Chief Šventaragis.png

At the start of the 1070’s is where Šventaragis began to make history. He secured an alliance with Milzas, chief of the Prussians, and Milzas’ 10,000 strong force of veteran warriors. With the west secure Šventaragis could focus his efforts south and east, on the emerging Russian Principalities. Tales of the Rus’ wealth, sponsored by the Eastern Roman Empire and their preachers, had reached Lithuania and the capital at Kernave. And Šventaragis’ mind was made, that wealth would be taken for Lithuania’s own.

The Rus, like the Lithuanians had been pagan once upon a time, but those days were gone. Once unified under the Rurikid dynasty they hungered for power. And none was more powerful than the church of the Byzantines. So, a deal was struck, trade and gold for conversion to this new faith, Christianity. Ever since, the Rus had craved Lithuanian land for their own. Allowing them to boast of having conquered “the last pagans of Europe”. And giving them legitimacy in the other Christian kingdoms’ eyes.
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Surrounding Russia North.png

The word was sent out to the strongest warriors of Lithuania’s day, and a force of 6,000 men marched south. For glory and gold. The neighboring Kingdom of Ruthenia was distracted with the strife of civil war, and that was Šventaragis’ first target. The cities of Kletsk, Slutsk, and Minsk were taken, with the Russian armies offering no resistance. Confident of his successes so far, Šventaragis marched further south, further from Lithuania, to capture one last prize. But it would be his last. The Ruthenian King, a descendant of the Rurikid Vikings, led his 8,000 strong army out to meet the Lithuanian looters. Though they fought fiercely, the agrarian woodsmen of Lithuania were crushed by the heavy knights of the Rus. And so Šventaragis and his remaining few followers limped back home, broken. With the High Chief’s blood calling for vengeance every step of the way. But as they reached Kernave, they were greeted not by the smiling faces of their families, but by fire and smoke.

In a diary recovered from the time, Lubartas, friend and marshal to the Chief, who accompanied the army into the Rus wrote of Šventaragis’ reaction to the destruction. “As we reached Kernave, Šventargis fell to the ground kneeling. His clothes and armor, already stained with the blood of the Rus, became muddied as he knelt knee-deep there. The smoke from the fires still raging stung his eyes, but that is not why he cried. He cried for his family and for his people. Once he was done with his mourning, Šventaragis got up and walked over to the remains of a house still standing and noticed a symbol etched into its side. The crest of Kukovaitis. For many moments there was silence from the Chief as he pondered this. That his own cousin would attack him and take what he held dear. He would have vengeance”.
Šventaragis' Uncle (other branch).png

Kukovaitis had sensed his cousin’s weakness and struck out on a raid of his own. Marching from the west while Šventaragis was distracted, they had burned Kernave to a crisp, taking any gold and prisoners with them. And though the Lithuanians would rebuild as best they could, Šventaragis never forgave Kukovaitis and he never forgot that day, or his promise of revenge.

The next decade would be spent rebuilding the once thriving city, and Šventaragis teaching his sons the ways of the world. For he could feel it in him, he didn’t have much time left and there was still his promise to keep. With the rebuilding, many would return to serve the old Chief on his council. There were Lubartas and Mindaugas, vassals loyal to the end. They had been with the army on the raid into Russia, as well as the return to Kernave. There was also Skirmantas, brother to the Chief. And then there was Evalda. A friend of Šventaragis since his childhood, he allowed her to tutor his heir, Skirmantas in his studies. Together they oversaw the rebuilding of Kernave, the rebuilding of the realm. They would need all the strength they could muster to challenge Kukovaitis.
Šventaragis Council (wife).png

Finally, in 1087, Šventaragis led his rebuilt army into his cousin’s domain of Samogitia, straight to the capital of Raseiniai. The city’s taking was an anticlimax though. Rather than a decisive end to the war with his cousin’s capture, as Šventaragis was hoping, Kukovaitis had already led much of his army away to the countryside. This game of cat-and-mouse between the two opposing armies would take years. But Šventaragis did not have years, in 1089 at the age of 65 he passed away inside the army’s encampment. It would be up to his son, Skirmantas, now the new Chief, to finish the job. And to keep his father’s promise.
King Skirmantas (young).png
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  • 1Like
I'm into a 1066 pagan start; should be a good challenge.
I'm into a 1066 pagan start; should be a good challenge.
That's what I was thinking when I tried this. Lithuania's surrounded by enemies on all sides, so should be fun.

Any thoughts on the writing style?
This looks interesting! A fresh, unique start, and I like the writing style. Looking forward to more of this.
Chapter 2: Skirmantas' Sword
AN: There are less screenshots this time. I hope that's okay. Also if you want to see more homemade maps let me know. I plan to upload one chapter each week regularly, but since next week I have finals I decided to upload this chapter now while I have time. I hope you like it!

Chapter 2: Skirmantas' Sword
In 1089 Skirmantas, son of Šventaragis, first of his name took the throne. In 1089 Everything would change. At the beginning of his reign Lithuania was nothing more than a poor, rural duchy. With Kernave being its only major city, and even then “village” was a much more apt description. When comparing to other great cities of the time, Constantinople, Rome, or Baghdad there was no contest. But, by the end of his rule in 1128 Skirmantas had cemented his name, his dynasty, and his people. And had ensured that they would not remain a footnote in the annals of history.

Despite this long-lasting impact, it was arguably Skirmantas’ first act as Chief that defined his reign the most. The constant warfare of this period, not only in the Baltic but throughout the known world as well, has left very little in terms of recorded history. However, one incident we can piece together gives a rare glimpse into how Skirmantas’ first act of his regin.

As the news spread through the camp of Šventaragis’ death, Skirmantas rushed to the nearest soldier telling him to gather those of the council, vassals, and his father’s friends who had gone with the army on campaign. As that was being done, Skirmantas rushed to the inside of his father’s tent, shooing out everyone else. We do not know what he did in there, but multiple witnesses from the crowd that had gathered outside say they heard the roars, moans, and cries of Skirmantas’ grief. Once he finished, Skirmantas stepped outside and looked each in attendance in the eye. His brothers, his father’s friends, and now his vassals. As he passed each person there, he said only one phrase. “Šventaragis was honored by your support, and as am I. Now, let’s deal with the dogs of Samogitia”. And as he repeated it, the crowd began to believe it. Until it became a hymn, a chant throughout the crowd. After repeating it once more, Skirmantas grabbed his sword and marched North, towards Kukovaitis’ last known position.

The crowd followed him North, leaving most of their belongings behind. The chant being sung every step of the way. Before Samogita’s army saw the Lithuanians, they must have heard them. But Kukovaitis’ army was scared. With their capital taken and supplies dwindling, many believed the gods had turned against them in this conflict. The Lithuanian chant was the final straw. Believing the mass of voices to be spirits. And seeing the horde of Lithuanians once they came into view, many deserted leaving Kukovaitis with just a few dozen followers. The Lithuanians charged. And the last few of Samogitia were slain. The War of Revenge was over. Skirmantas was now Chief of both halves of the Palemonaitis dynasty.

With himself firmly established, Skirmantas now could focus on his own goals. Šventaragis was a diplomat, but also a skilled warrior. Only going on the occasional raid, and only warring if it was absolutely necessary. Skirmantas had no such qualms. His bravery had won him fame during the War of Revenge and now he put it to his own use. Skirmantas struck out at the largest powers around him, eager to prove himself, to show his worth as Chief. The Rus were his first target. Though they had bested his father, they would not best him. With Ruthenia in a civil war over succession, he carved a path to Minsk, taking it for his own. Then marched North, seizing Polotsk as well, before turning his eye on one more problem. The Courlanders and Livonians had raided the Lithuanian people for years. But now, with the strength of Samogitia and Lithuania, as well as an army, behind him Skirmantas would end that practice once and for all.

Over the span of 30 years Skirmantas had fought Lithuania’s way to the top. All the while, seeking his next challenge. This constant pillaging had given every county, Kernave in particular, a boon is wealth. Lithuania was no longer a poor duchy of the North. Instead, it was a rich Kingdom, with Kernave being it largest, richest city. Warriors, merchants, and travellers flocked to Kernave with petitions, proposals, and opportunities for the King. But Skirmantas was almost always away, at the head of an army.
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(Lithuania and its ally Prussia during Skirmantas' reign)
But though Skirmantas warred like a demon he was still human. As he neared his mid-50’s he returned to Kernave and let the dozens of hardened warriors he’d fought with do the commanding. With the wealth from his conquests many buildings were constructed, further turning Kernave from hamlet to city. This break from commanding also allowed Skirmantas to sire many children. But as he neared the 40th year of his reign, Skirmantas finally found peace.
King Skirmantas.png

(King Skirmantas and his realm)​

This peace however, left the Kingdom of Lithuania in the hands of his 3-year-old son Vingoldas. Vingoldas would find himself, a mere child (and of a concubine), having to deal with his landed family, scheming vassals, and the unruly populace of his father’s conquests. His father’s lands were divided up. And though Vingoldas remained King, his realm was divided amongst his brothers, as well as the rest of Kukovaitis’ ilk. To navigate this world would require wit, require cunning, require a dagger.
3 Characters.png

(Vingoldas as a child)​
  • 1Like
Lithuania isn't doing badly.

Although the Christians are, as ever, a zealous threat.
Lithuania isn't doing badly.

Although the Christians are, as ever, a zealous threat.
Yes indeed. Although Lithuania is expanding, one bad war could leave them open.

Thanks for the comments everyone!
This is a good story so far, pagans in 1066 are always interesting.

Keep up the good work!
This is a good story so far, pagans in 1066 are always interesting.

Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm now done with finals, so should have more time to write.
  • 1Like
Chapter 3: Vingoldas' Vengence
Chapter 3: Vingoldas’ Vengeance
The King was dead. And as the cry went out from every herald’s lips many mourned and more still rejoiced. Vingoldas, as the eldest, would take his father’s place.

Skirmantas had cemented Lithuania as a power in the North. But this power came at a price for his successor. As had happened on Sventaragis’ death, the land of the ruler was divided amongst his sons. But Lithuania had been smaller then, poorer then. For Vingoldas this was not the case. Wherever Skirmantas had conquered the land was kept by him. But now the land had been divided, letting vassal and peasant alike sense the weakness or regency. There was even talk that one of Kukovaitis’ successors might try and break free.

One man would step up and help guide the King. Having no land of his own and having just recently entered the court after hearing of the wealth of Kernave, Jogaila would educate the young King. Skilled in the ways of intrigue, Jogaila had himself appointed Spymaster to protect Vingoldas. And as Vingoldas grew, Jogaila groomed him.

Even the gift he gave the King, a young kitten with white fur, further pushed Vingoldas to his full potential. Snow’s escapades revealed many things to the boy and provided a much-needed break from the rigors of ruling.

But it was not all good, however. In his 14th year Vingoldas faced the first threat to his rule. Vassals that had chafed under the rule of a child-king, and Jogaila’s stringent protections, finally snapped. They sent the King an ultimatum: independence or war.

Led by the Chief Kukovaitis of Gardinas, Jogaila chose war. Vingoldas urged his regent to accept the demand, wanting to avoid the bloodshed that had plagued his father and grandfather. But Jogaila, firm in his beliefs of a united Lithuanian realm, would not budge. A passage translated from Vingoldas’ diary explores this further:

“Kernave received news of Kukovaitis’ revolt this afternoon. So many have joined him. And I am just a child, perhaps they are right to challenge me. I have no skill with a sword like my brothers or father. The only thing that gives me hope are the words of Jogaila. He says that the only way to succeed in life is through hardship. Whether through others’ or my own it matters not. The Gods, in exchange for favor, demand this. And so, balance is kept. If I back down now, I will only delay the hardships I have to face. For, Jogaila says, if Kukovaitis wins Lithuania will be left fractured. Leaving us open to invasion from the Rus and oppression under their yoke. Jogaila is a wise teacher and a good man. I will believe him, for my sake and for his. Nothing and no one will stand in my way. If there must be hardship to please the Gods, better it be on my enemies than the Lithuanian people. I will push hardship onto them if need be, all to save my own.”

In this way Jogaila grew Vingoldas. Stoking his ambition and his penchant for secrets. And in-time Vingoldas was turned from boy to man, Kukovaitis was crushed, and the King could finally begin his rule in full.

A few months later, Kukovaitis escaped the dungeons and retreated to his holdings, Anxious to avoid the new King’s wrath. Vingoldas did not care, he’d already beaten Kukovaitis once. And no vassals were eager to try another revolt again. Vingoldas had other projects to attend to.

A prisoner he was far more interested in was Glande, a disgraced Prussian noble. Glande had been exiled from Prussia for sticking to his pagan beliefs after their Catholic conversion. And had come to the only Vidilist nation left, Lithuania. The Prussians, due to this and their conversion, broke the ancestral alliance between the two countries. But many in the Lithuanian court, not realizing the full extent of Prussian zeal, urged the King to imprison Glande with hopes of repairing relations. Vingoldas did so, but when the Prussians did not renew their bonds, he had other ideas for his new prisoner.

Around this time too, Vingoldas would begin to test out his skills at intrigue. Their was no lost love between him and his current Queen, Rebekka. But a divorce over simple marital discourse would have been unheard of in those days. Jogaila, ever eager to groom his pupil, suggested a more secretive method.

But though the King’s scheme was a perfect success, it seemed the Gods demanded blood for this heinous act. They had allowed Vingoldas to carry out his murder, but for this balance had to be kept.

To get his mind off of these deaths Vingoldas decided to attend a feast with a few of his vassals. While making the plans for Rebekka’s murder and Glande’s torture, Vingoldas had neglected the court. Jogaila, his closest friend took up the governance of the realm. This feast would be a good idea to reacquaint himself with his subjects. Many a friend was made that day.

The wine and mead flowed freely, with Chief Kukovaitis, wanting to make up for the earlier revolt, attending to his liege’s every need.

However, the abundance of alcohol dampened the young King’s senses. Leading to a slight mishap.

As Jogaila governed the day-to-day mechanisms of the realm, Vingoldas built relationships with his vassals. Snow, the kitten given to him as a child, even helped.

Vingoldas traveled to feast after feast, visited town after town, all in an effort to build allies among his people. A web of connections, favors, and knowledge that could come in useful for his own plans. Kukovaitis, eager to please was the gracious host of many feasts.

Vingoldas was now well established in his own realm. Now it was time to look outwards, to rival powers. To Christian powers. Vingoldas would leave his mark.


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Chapter 4: Vingoldas' Victories
Chapter 4: Vingoldas' Victories
Amidst all his feasting Vingoldas remained busy, both with his schemes and with…other things. In December his first-born, named after Skirmantas, came into this world. And even as a babe, his complexion was purer than any of his peers.

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Vingoldas hosted his own feasts as well. But to keep everyone fed was quite a challenge. Thankfully, the King was cunning enough to solve these problems. For the right amount of gold, anything could be done.

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It was around this time that the King lost one of his few friends. Snow, gifted to hum so long ago by Jogaila, had breathed his last. The cat had gifted Vingoldas many secrets over the years, and had helped Vingoldas keep his head amongst the stresses of court. But now the cat had one last gift to give.

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In his grief Vingoldas summoned Kukovaitis and the two men went for a night of drinking. Drowning the past and their woes in tankards of ale. That was where Vingolas first met her. Roze the Barmaid. Boldened by alcohol, and by Kukovaitis’ urgings, Vingoldas made his move.

Roze the barmaid (was introduced by revolt vassal).png

The two’s friendship was instant, as well as the romance that followed. Soon, another thing followed as well.

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Vingoldas, a master of schemes, knew he would have to keep this secret as well. But even for a man of his talents, not everything was easy.

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He would need help. Jogaila, at the King’s word, sent messengers out. Letting everyone know that Vingoldas needed cunning minds at his court. And many answered.


But the vassals grumbled at this, letting foreigners and strangers come to advise the King. What could they do, that the vassals couldn’t do just as well? Karijotas, son of Kukovaitis, and Vidmantas both struggled for the King’s ear. Finally, something snapped.

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As his court increased and his vassals quarreled, Vingoldas’ power grew and grew.

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Jogaila, for his years of excellent service, for his tutelage of the King, and for being a great friend was given the newly conquered lands of the Rus to manage as his own.

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Meanwhile, the love between Roze and Vingoldas grew. With the two of them as thick as thieves. And even thicker in the secrets they shared with one another.

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Vingoldas spent nearly every night with his beloved, and it was good that he did too, for disaster almost struck.

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Though Vingoldas was not a military man (and quite overweight from all his feasting), the fires of love spurred him to action. He charged at the assassin, subduing him and saving Roze. And their love grew even more, until they were inseparable.

becoming soulmates with Roze.png

Vingoldas related the whole tale to his one, true friend Jogaila at a magnificent feast. The three of them, Roze, Vingoldas, and Jogaila were as friendly as they could be. And no one thought anything else, or never said so out loud. To them, it was just the King and his friends, nothing more.

becoming friends with Jogaila.png

Together, these three hatched many plans. Together, they prepared for Lithuania’s rise, and its greatest conquest yet. But first there was one smaller issue to deal with. Prussia.

Prussia had remained true to their recent conversion, adopting Catholicism and its ways. And even despite a few civil wars, they were strong, and had strong allies among the Christian Kingdoms. They had even inherited some land from Lithuania after the untimely death of a vassal. But the dagger would solve Vingoldas’ problems, it always had.

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Around this time Vingoldas also began his true scheme. The Piasts of Poland had guided Lithuania’s southern neighbor for generations, taking it from strength-to-strength. But without a strong dynasty to lead them, the Polish would fall.

murdering Piasts .png

But intrigue alone wouldn’t conquer Prussia or Poland. Troops were needed, ones willing to defend their homeland and faith from the encroaching Christians. In 1162, after a hard-fought victory over Prussia, Vingoldas proclaimed the creation of a new warrior lodge. These warriors were only loyal to the Gods and would protect Lithuania from foreign influence. They were given the best equipment and training. They were chosen.

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People whispered around the Baltic whenever an unexplained death occurred amongst the nobles. There was never any trace of who did it, but everyone knew. Vingoldas was famous beyond Lithuania’s own borders in that regard. Even within Lithuania he was known for his guile. One incident in particular made sure of this.

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Vingoldas was a cunning, crafty King. Anyone that stood in his way would have to sleep with both eyes open during the darkest hours of night. And as his reputation grew, Vingoldas’ skill grew in turn.

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This skill was only truly admired by four people, Jogaila, Roze, Audra, and Vingoldas’ heir Skirmantas. The boy was an adult now, and had, at least, tried to emulate his father’s tendency for planning and knowledge.

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But the celebrations for this momentous day were cut short. The Queen was dead, along with the baby she had been carrying.

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As Jogaila had told him all those years ago, for success the Gods demand balance. And though Vingoldas’ heart had always remained with Roze, he and the Queen did not hate each other. She hadn’t even known about his affair. Vingoldas grew more secluded in grief: plotting, planning. He would have to find another wife. But Roze had a husband...

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At last. With Roze’s husband dead, Vingoldas could be with the one he truly loved.

eloping with Roze.png

But once again the King needed to be taught the lesson of balance. That for every act, the Gods demand a price. It was the one lesson Jogaila had never fully instilled in Vingoldas, and now Jogaila was no more.

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Audra, the spy sent for long ago, would have to take up the slack. She would take Jogaila’s place as spymaster and head of schemes. There was still much plotting to do.

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Despite Jogaila’s death, Vingoldas pressed forward with his plan. His ambitions would be realized. Poland would fall.

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One-by-one Piast’s sons fell. One-by-one Poland’s allies fell. Until, finally, a plan decades in the making was launched.

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Poland, despite the loss of most of its royal family, was still a formidable opponent. For 12 long years they fought a back-and-forth. Lithuania had more men, but Poland’s army was of higher quality. For every county Lithuania seized, the Poles would seize one back. But eventually they surrendered. Lithuania was now a Kingdom of two peoples.

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The land was divided amongst Vingoldas’ many sons. It did not matter from which of his three wives they came from, or whether they came from a concubine, they each got land of their own. The local Polish nobility fought this at every turn, rebelling at every opportunity. And it was during one of these rebellions that disaster struck twice.

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The Gods had granted Vingoldas success, but at what cost? The cost was the lesson Vingoldas was never able to learn, balance. In 1191, at the age of 66, Vingoldas died a broken man. He had achieved, arguably, even greater heights than his father, and had done this despite his lack of skill in military matters. But where Skirmantas had left his realm stable, prosperous, and had died in peace, Vingoldas had left Lithuania divided, war-torn, and had died depressed. His sons would have to settle this now.

  • 2Like
I sense trouble ahead...
As Lithuania expands, it becomes harder to keep the realm together. Skirmantas II must try his best.
Vingoldas did well. He didn't achieve all of his goals, but nobody can have it all.
A schemer should always avoid being struck unexpectedly. And Vingoldas was definitely a schemer. All these setbacks were too much for him to bear.

In any case, it was an eventful reign with lots of personal drama, and at least Lithuania proper didn't suffer much after the initial succession. With this succession though, lots of trouble awaits.
Vingoldas did well. He didn't achieve all of his goals, but nobody can have it all.
He didn't achieve them all. But he certainly left an impact.
A schemer should always avoid being struck unexpectedly. And Vingoldas was definitely a schemer. All these setbacks were too much for him to bear.

In any case, it was an eventful reign with lots of personal drama, and at least Lithuania proper didn't suffer much after the initial succession. With this succession though, lots of trouble awaits.
Schemes may have helped Vingoldas succeed, but it also left him alone and paranoid.

The realm has been split into three, but Skirmantas II has his share of success as well.
Chapter 5: Skirmantas II's Successes
Chapter 5: Skirmantas II's Successes
Skirmantas the Second was now King. But though Vingoldas had achieved much during his lifetime, Skirmantas was King of a lesser realm. As word of Vingoldas’ death spread, Skirmantas’ brothers set out to claim their own lands. Vingoldas had hoped to stop this by giving each of his sons land in Poland, but still the vultures circled. Ambition proved greater than family loyalty. War was declared.

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Skirmantas was a pious and diligent man. He was as cunning as his father, but not as prone to secrecy. Skirmantas was a scholar. And though he only had one leg, he still practiced with the sword, keeping his skills sharp. Much of his reign is known to us through the King’s own journal. He wrote about his triumphs and failures, of disputes petty and grand, and of issues foreign and local.

Evidence suggests he started journaling during the war with his brothers, perhaps to make sense of it all. The violence, the hatred between brothers.


But though many of House Palemonaitis rebelled against Lithuania, many also stayed true to Skirmantas and the legacy of his forebears. Though no one was alive who fought in Šventaragis’ war in Samogitia, they still remembered the tales of bloodshed. Šventaragis had started Lithuania on its current path of unification. And Lithuania would stay united, whether through peace or through force.

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And bloody this war was. Though Skirmantas could no longer charge into battle, he was still able to help. His wisdom in medical matters saved many lives in the coming battles and forged many friendships.

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His medical knowledge was even sought by his own Court Physician, Antavas. And Skirmantas obliged, eager to increase his own knowledge. And if it helped his own physician succeed, all the better.

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Though he had no tactical expertise, his medical wisdom saved many lives during the countless battles. Eventually, Poland had to submit. And the Rus not long after.

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To thank the gods for these victories, and to forgive him for attacking his own brothers, Skirmantas set out on a Pilgrimage. His journey would leave him changed. It ignited a spark within him. Lithuania was surrounded by large, organized religions. To survive, Vidilism would have to adapt. But such a change would take time.


And even the Catholics within the realm were enemies. Poland was rich, but also unruly. It would have to be governed with a tight grip to prevent it from slipping away.

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The Prussians were also subjugated, finally putting an end to their sovereign state. The holy site of Chelmno, defiled by the Catholics, was now under Lithuanian control.

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Skirmantas continued his quest for knowledge, becoming a master with herbs and poultices. And even learning of inventions from afar that could help him in his pursuit.

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All of this served Skirmantas well. And in 1208 he created a new, stronger Vidilism. One that would stand against the Christians to the East, West, and South. And one that would be beholden to the dynasty that created it: the Palemonaitis.

The gods had tasked Skirmantas with creating a new faith, and he had taken every precaution to make it pleasing in their sight. He and his descendants would uphold this connection. The gods had granted their family success, and to ignore this was to insult the gods.

To help with this, the many witches and shamans of Lithuania’s wilderness would no longer be shunned. They had a special connection with the gods through their magic, and Skirmantas had communed with them much to become a master herbalist. They were a part of Lithuania’s heritage, and would be treated as such.

Finally, as an ode to his late father, bastards would be considered equal. Vingoldas had had many kids during his affair with Roze and had given them land all the same. If you were a Palemonaitis you were a Palemonaitis, there would be no differences between legitimate and illegitimate children. All faithful Vidilists were equal in the gods’ sight.


Lithuania was reformed. Lithuania was united. Lithuania was adapting.


It was good that Lithuania was growing in strength, for far to the East a threat was growing.


This was the beginning of a new era for Lithuania. They were stronger than they had ever been before. But that was only now. For this reign, for this King.

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Skirmantas had worked hard to unite the three kingdoms: Lithuania, Poland, and White Russia under one crown, but had failed. The treasury, once full to the brim, had been bled dry by mercenaries and by Skirmantas’ many wars in Pomerania.

The ever-present question of succession was in Skirmantas’ mind. But it wouldn’t be a worry for much longer.

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(I was 3 provinces away from forming the empire. Oh well.)

Time would tell whether Lithuania could recover.
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Chapter 5.5: The State of the World & Extra Screenshots
Chapter 5.5: The State of the World & Extra Screenshots
Hello everybody! Since we’ve passed the 1200 year-mark I decided to make an update chapter showing the general situation of the world outside Lithuania. This also has some screenshots from last chapter that wouldn’t fit in with the story, so I’m including them here. I hope you like this.

First up, we have an interesting situation on the Isles of Britannia, an Insular Wales:

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Many foreign civil wars are happening throughout Europe, from France to the Middle East:


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Lithuania isn’t the only pagan doing well. Perm dominates the harsh lands of Siberia:


India is divided between multiple entities, with no one really dominating:


And in Iberia the Catholics have won the Reconquista, although a few Muslim holdouts remain. France, meanwhile, owns the eastern coast:


And here are the religion and culture map modes:



Now for some Lithuania-focused screenshots. I couldn’t really fit these into the story, but I thought they were interesting enough to show all of you.

We start off with some classic name-placement:

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There’s also this random Catholic poet who really liked Skirmantas II for some reason:

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This next screenshot I found funny for two reasons. First, Grandmaster Vizgirdas’ hunched over look with that helmet makes him look too small for his armor. Which reminded me of a baby or toddler wrapped in blankets.

Secondly, he is the leader of a Vidilist holy order, but doesn’t follow Vidilism. I thought this was impossible:

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The final screenshot I have is of Skirmantas II getting blackmailed for cannibalism. This is the only event I got for cannibalism, if it hadn’t popped up, I never would have known about it. Skirmantas II hides his secrets very well. Nothing ever came of this blackmail or the cannibalism, it just happened. And this wasn’t a fabricated secret either. Whenever I executed a prisoner, I had the option of eating them:


That’s all I have. If you liked this type of chapter, let me know. I’ll do this again at 1300 (if I get that far). If you want that, let me know. Thanks for reading!