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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Narvait

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This is the first AAR I am about to make. For my starting character I chose very specific and controversary person in Livonian and Latvian history. Kaupo of Turaida:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caupo_of_Turaida

He betrayed his old religion, his tribesmen and fought on Christian German crusaders side. Couple of quotes from English wiki:
- He became an ardent Christian and friend of Albert of Buxhoeveden, Bishop of Riga, who took him 1203-1204 all the way to Rome
- The Pope was impressed by the converted pagan chief and presented him a Bible
- His tribe rebelled against him and Caupo helped to conquer and destroy his own former Castle of Turaida in 1212. The castle was rebuilt two years later as a stone castle that is well preserved even today.
- He did not have any male heirs as his son Bertold had been killed 1210 in the Battle of Ümera against Estonians. He left his inheritance to the church, but the Lieven family later claimed female-line descent from him. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieven)
- Latvian legends, however, are unequivocal: there he is named "Kaupo the accursed, the scourge of the Livs,... Kaupo who has sold his soul to the foreign bishops."

In game 1204 start he is the Chief of Livland, vassal of German High Chief Vinno of Livonia. His son Bertold is alive and he has bastard son Geraldus that can be legitimized.

39 years old Flamboyant Schemer, Slothful and Gluttonous. On positive side he is brave and cynical. His stats are... em.. betraying him?

Some of Rules:
1. Never conquer or rule anything outside Livonia (d_livonia, d_curonia, c_latgale)
2. Survive, only Kaupo himself is forbidden to change his religion, nobody is forbidden to change the culture
3. Turaida dynasty is ok to rule something outside Livonia, as long as main character stays home

With foreign liege, Mongols coming around the corner, in Baltics where in South there are pagans and to the East Rurikid Grand Princes - what can go wrong?
 
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Thanks!
-----------
PART 0 - THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT 1204


It is year of our Lord 1204. Baltics went through dramatic changes when Baltic crusade was called, and under Grand Master Vinno von Rohrbach The Livonian Brothers of the Sword conquered local Latvian and Estonian tribes. On newly acquired land Vinno reorganized order into Great Chiefdom of Livonia and made himself the first Duke or Great Chief.

Main regional players besides newly created Catholic Great Chiefdom were the following:
1. To the North East Bjarmia (later Novgorod) was ruled by Orthodox Grand Prince Mikhalko of Stepanovich dynasty. The only non-Rurikid Russian Prince in the region.
2. To the East Polotsk, Vitebsk, Smolensk, Chernigov, Vladimir and other Russian Principalities were ruled by different Orthodox Rurikids. You don't want to mess up with this gang.
3. To the South Palemonaitis dynasty of Lithuania (Great Chiefdom of Zhemaitija) had baptised Orthodox. But Baltic Romuva pagans were still going strong with Suvalkijas in Yatwingia and Konopacki dynasty in Pruthenia.
4. Further South our potential allies Catholic Poland ruled by Wladislaw III Piast.
5. To the North pagan Estonians still ruled their lands under Parn dynasty. Unfortunately original name of their High Chief is not preserved by history books. Only Latin version of his name Altocumulus (High Cloud?) is known.
6. To the West Holy Roman Empire (our main source of marriages and alliances) was powerful under Kaiser Philipp von Hohenstauhen.

Internally all power was in Vinno von Rohrbach hands, however he had 3 vassals - Prince Bishop of Riga, Estonian pagan chief of Osel Dergun of Kask dynasty and our hero Catholic Livonian chief Kaupo Turaida.

Kaupo was baptised as a young boy. He travelled to Rome with abbot Teoderich. Kaupo was impressed by cultural level of West Europe, it was completely new world with castles, palaces and cathedrals. He was met by Pope who presented Kaupo with Bible and 100 pieces of gold. After Kaupo returned home he was loyal friend to German crusaders, helped them in battles, mediated diplomacy. For his service Kaupo was granted Chiefdom of Livland.

He was so impressed by German culture that he named both his sons Bertold and Geraldus. Bertold turned out acceptable in martial and stewardship arts, but Geraldus shall change his guardian to study diplomacy at the only Grey Eminence in Livonian realm.


Kaupo enjoyed staying in his castle or Wooden Hillfort, eating rich meals (gluttonous) and doing nothing (slothful). He understood his position was strong in Livland Chiefdom protected by Vinno's army. His own army of brave 552 Livonian farmers was no match neither threat to anyone nearby. However have you noticed who is the heir to Great Chief Vinno?
 

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PART 1 KAUPO

Kaupo was driving home to his Turaida hillfort after meeting High Chief Vinno. Horses were running, road was long, dusty and bumpy. Invited German masters had started to improve infrastructure in Livonia but there was still a long way. Kaupo jumped in his coach, again.

Discussion with Vinno was difficult, he stubbornly rejected Kaupo's idea of swearing fealty to Holy Roman Empire. But it was dangerous world full of threats from Orthodox and pagan neighbors. Maybe it was time for Vinno to meet the Lord, maybe it was time Kaupo took over the High Chiefdom and lead it according the Lord's will into peace and prosperity.

In his castle after lovely dinner, long sleep and tasty breakfast Kaupo summoned the spymaster. Young German Manfred von Seswegen was asked to find a way for Vinno to reach Paradise soon. Turaida Chief himself would also spy on Vinno.
Kaupo raised and went out of the castle. To his beloved place just outside the walls with the wonderful view on river Gauja.



It was one of those days, one of those rare days when he felt need for activity. He called his son Bertold and agreed with him that a couple of well brought up German ladies would fit their castle just well. They summoned Chancellor Hoimulemb and requested him to find suitable wives. Noble Christian ladies from strong families. What a life, what a well lived life, Kaupo was happy. He now could choose real noble lady from one of those fancy castles he had seen in German lands. A nice change compared to dirty lustful Estonian peasants.
"If they dont want to come, tell them we spend our days literally doing nothing here. Tell them we eat well here in Turaida. For me there is always a meat. We eat an egg every day! She should come just if only for local Livonian grey peas with bacon as prepared by our great cook! Mm, grey peas!"

Wifes got chosen, engagements sent out.


After a couple of days bad news were received from the spymaster. It was impossible, Vinno's German court was afraid to loose their leader and stay alone in foreign pagan lands. Different methods were tried.
- Kaupo got his courtier married to high intrigue girl from Bohemia, but she turned out illegible for spymaster position.
- Kaupo got his own intrigue courtier girl married into Vinno's court, but she would not help with the plot.

Odds were low, money was low, bribing would only help to add two low intrigue big mouths into plot and he just could not afford that risk. Plus Kaupo got lazy, maybe it was God's will that Vinno lives.

Better news were received in love front. Two noble weddings were celebrated weeks later.

This is Bertold's wife from later years, she was not pregnant before marriage.

Pope called Crusade for Jerusalem and Kaupo sent a nice letter telling him what a great hero for Christians Pope was and that Kaupo would for sure join the war against infidels. That Kaupo's five hundred fivty and two boys were ready to march all the way South. Not a single soldier actually left Livland.

Bastard son Geroldus became a Grey Eminence and was promptly legitimized, made chancellor and married.


With all three Turaida puikas (boys) married, alliances were looking good.


Old castle needed many improvements, Kaupo borrowed money from Jews to fasten the process. He thought he could expell infidels later, but no such option was available. In Turaida trade settlement was upgraded according Western standards.

Beginning of year 1207 did not promise danger. In February Turaida received a caravan from far away lands and Kaupo was granted soldier Aghlab. Soon however it was proven otherwise. On 24st of March Estonian pagans declared war on good Christians for Laanemaa. It was rumoured that former Laanemaa Chief with his army left for Estonia Chiefdom after his land was conquered by Germans. Now with the help of still free Northern Estonians he would fight back for his lands. Livland raised levies under command of Chief's son Bertold and attached their army to liege's. Heathens should be put back on their place. War was going terrible, Estonian forces were beating bigger Livonian armies in still paganic lands with help of their Suomunesko partisans.


Kaupo felt sick, his idea of developed Catholic Livonia was fading away. Laanemaa was about to be occupied by Estonians. Turaida Chief went to bed and never woke up.




_____________
...and a bonus preview on the next episode, 6 months later:
 

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PART 2 BERTOLD


Bertold was cruel, brave, zealous and humble. His father had insisted on stewardship education and humble Bertold studied it with excellence becoming Midas touched. However his natural abilities in martial meant he was just as good on battle field as in matters of rulership.
Bertold saw himself as one of the Lord's knights, as a defender of Catholic faith in Baltic lands. Therefore when North Estonian pagans attacked on Laanemaa he requested father to let him lead Livland's army in person.
He received the news from Turaida about his father's death when resting after a heavy battle, an uneasy defeat for Christians. Bertold immediately visited High Chief Vinno's tent to confirm that father's policies shall be continued and Livland would support Livonia against heathens.


A month later Bertold received great news from home. His wife Elisabeth was with a child. It was another sign from the Lord that Bertold was doing the right thing. His lovely wife was a nice soul, she was maybe too trusting and sometimes greedy but her virtues in patience and gregarious made her excellent life compagnion for knightly Bertold.


War went wrong. September saw defeat in Dorpat. December saw defeat in Livland in battle near Turaida castle. And in January.. In January brave Bertold was captured in the battle. He was trying to help a small crusader unit retreat, but was ambushed by bigger heathen force. Legends say it was former ruler of Laanemaa himself who caught Bertold.


IN PRISON BERTOLD WAS ALLOWED TO SEND AND RECEIVE LETTERS - 1

==Regent Geraldus to Chief Bertold of Livland, his most beloved brother.==

In your absence I have taken running of the castle in my hands. I rule it as you would have. Concerning your ransom please understand it is under honour of true Christian to engage in discussions with heathen.
With Lord's will and helping we shall win the war and liberate you.
Farewell.


//Regency went into hands of his bastard brother. Like Bertold Geraldus was also zealous and cruel. He was craven but also a proud person who worked diligently towards his ambitious goals. He wanted to rule Livland. Geraldus hated Bertold and would not even try to ransom brother from prison. (X needs to be approved by your regent..)//

==Chieftess Elisabeth to Chief Bertold of Livland, her worshipful husband==



Praise the Lord dear Bertold for your heir was born. I named him Ihavald as per your wish. I hope heathens treat you well.
I tried to spoke with Geraldus about your ransom, but you know his Christian views. I wish and hope the war ends soon and you return home. We miss you.
Farewell.


//After month in prison Ihavald is born//


Extracts from chancellor Geraldus Turaida Journal on Political Situation in Livonia and neighboring countries 1208-1210

October 1208. "...Pruthenian Great Chief Budo the Lion has conquered other pagans in Yatwingia and is now attacking Zemaitija, our Orthodox brothers in Christ."

December 1208. "Praise the Lord for Rurikid Grand Prince Vsevolod III from Chernigov has joined the war against Estonian heathens. The war which has taken many good Christian lives"


May 1209. "..Black day for Christians, received Pope's letter that Crusade for Jerusalem failed.."

May 1210. "Pruthenia conquered Zemaitija province and is now bordering Terra Mariana. But The old pagan Prussian Lion got maimed in battle and with the help of Our Lord the Prussian expansion is stopped for now."

_____________________________________________________________________

IN PRISON BERTOLD WAS ALLOWED TO SEND AND RECEIVE LETTERS - 2

==Chief Bertold to Chieftess Elisabeth, his sweetest and most amiable wife, to his dear son Ihavald--his greeting and blessing.==



My dearest wife, I pray the Lord for the day we meet again. I am good, heathens treat me with bread and water. I could eat any food just for the hope to see you again and to see the most precious gift you gave me with Lord's bless my son Ihavald.
Please take good care of our son. Make him a good Christian and ruler.
Farewell.



==Regent Manfred to Chief Bertold, his noble lord.==

With Lord’s bless Your dearest brother Geraldus has decided to join the Knights Hospitaller. He sends his regards.


I am now assigned your regent and I believe we can solve the issue with your ransom. Please approve 20 pieces of gold as a gift to me for necessary expenses and I will arrange a convoy to Estonian High Chief to agree on ransom terms.
Farewell.



//Manfred von Seswegen spymaster of Livland becomes new regent. He gets bribed to ask for Bertold's ransom. But when Manfred asks it is realized exactly 20 golds used for bribe is now lacking for ransom.. October 1211.//


==Chief Bertold to Regent Manfred, his friend.==

Please make sure to minimize our expenses and find a way to earn more money... (advices on rulership follows from Midas touched Bertold). I hope our treasury is able to collect 70 ducats soon and I can return to Turaida to you my friend Manfred, to my beloved wife Elisabeth and yound Ihavald.
Farewell.


 

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Since there is this picture limit per page, some first impresssions.

1. Crazy, crazy beginning of the game.
Got only play Kaupo for 3 years, established alliances, set up for a good game and he excuses me to meet his Lord.
Take up on Bertold who has a bit better stats, 6 months later he is captured in battle. Spend next 5 years in regency. Aged 27 he goes to Heaven.
Young Ihavald gets up rule as 4 years old and the first year 1212 you will see in next update...

2. In game I can't help but root for independent Romuva pagans to the South and Suomunesko pagans to the North :) Since my boyhood those guys and their simple heroic warlords were my heroes, rather than "divide et impera" crusaders and their naive supporters like Kaupo.

3. I am quite happy that it did not work like my first try (where I did not make screenshots and therefore abandoned the game to start over after couple of hours). In the first try there was a willing coonspirator with 200% plot power to kill Vinno and Kaupo became Great Chief of Livonia instantly. I am happy it did not happen here, because of more historical realism. Would make me think real hard how German crusaders who establish their secular duchy in Livonia would give up the whole power to even if loyal local chief.

4. This is my only second game. First was paganic Romuva from c_latgale to Wendish Emperor (Old Gods start). It seemed too simple. Also I am not very familiar with Catholic mechanisms, so there might be things and opportunities/threats that I miss out when compared to reformed Romuva. Also since it is only the second game there can be non-Catholic stuff I am doing wrong as well :)

5. In the end sorry for my English. It is my second language. First being Latvian.

ps, year 2012 really scared the s**t out of me. Trust me, when you have only eligible heir 4 years old, whole council conspiring to kill him and then when you have no money, no allies your liege comes up with an excellent idea.
 
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PART 2.1 IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1212

June 2012 saw Chief Bertold passing away in the dungeons of Estonian pagans.

July 2012 saw 4 years old Chief Ihavald taking up rule and going into hiding from court intrigues. Whole council except for Marshall conspired against boy. Turaida dynasty was in danger since little Ihavald was the only eligible heir. Livland renewed its participation in war against Estonian High Chief.

October 2012 saw Estonian conquest of Laanemaa ending. High Chief Vinno of Livonia won. His Chernigov ally saved young Livonian Christian state. On side note regent Manfred was stealing from treasury.

November 2012 saw this:




I mean really??? My grandfather Kaupo helped you to conquer and create the High Chiefdom of Livonia. My father Bertold lead Livland's troops to hold our land against North Estonians and died in dungeouns of heathens. I renewed Livland's support in the war.
And for all this?! WTF? This is the gratitude. Like seriously? This was my only title you ******!

I guess AI does it since Livland is de jure capital of d_livonia.... bastards...
 

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PART 3 IHAVALD - THE BOYHOOD



Childhood was uneasy but it formed his personality. Ihavald's rule started with hiding. He was the only Turaida eligible to hold landed title.



Uncle Geraldus joined Hospitallers earlier and now plotted young Valdo's death. Ihavald's girl cousin was a year older. Council backed the plot. From left to right - Chancellor, Steward, Court Chaplain, random guy in hood, Spymaster. Manfred was Spymaster and Regent and Ihavald hated him for two attempted murderies. Mother hid young chief in her appartments and never let out.



Only several years later Valdo (that is how German mother called him) was told that good uncle Vinno, the same smiling uncle with always full pockets of carrots, apples or sweets for little Valdo, actually went after their castle and lands the very first year of Ihavald's rule. And it was only a miracle that saved Livland. 618 Turaida soldiers were summoned to protect their Chief's title against ~2,000 Livonians. They won the first battle against similar sized forces from Latgale. In meantime Livonian main force (1,300) was merged together and arrived in Livland. Ihavald's men started to besiege Latgale, Vinno's army besieged Livland. After 2 months it appeared as we were winning the war (warscore 20+) and White Peace Treaty including Truce period was signed. It was a major luck. If Vinno forces went into Latgale after our soldiers instead of sieging Livland... War forever changed how Ihavald and Turaida dynasty felt against their former German partners. After all that Kaupo and Bertold had done to strengthen the High Chiefdom of Livonia.



Ihavald was only 5 when he noticed the regent on balcony. Little chief charged Manfred, but the bastard survived. After charge Ihavald met Manfred, looked into his eyes and said: "Please don't kill me! Or grow some eyes on back of your head...". Manfred agreed that murdery was not a Christian thing to do. However he still could/would not request others end backing plot.

Elisabeth, mother of Valdo, took the guardianship. Her skills were not great but she could be trusted and wished the best for son. When Valdo showed signs of shy, she locked him in room without dinner. When few years later son became humble, mother made Valdo proud. She let him play with spiders and become brave.




Polotsk attacked Livonia for Latgale. All Rurikids ganged up to help their Polotsk kinsman. When Rurikid armies besieged Livland young chief was promptly evacuated to Saaremaa island where population was still Suomenusko, religious views were more relaxed and fighting infidels was not the best idea. Saaremaa refugee period formed Ihavald's thoughts about religion and he lost his zeal.
War was quickly over with Latgale lost to Polotsk and Valdo returned to Turaida.
Guardian was changed one more time when Ihavald studied intrigue with Bohumila, but it was promptly stopped when mother noticed Valdo became shy again. Few years later it was decided Ihavald should show himself to future subjects, so he stopped hiding, otherwise his prestige suffered too much.



It came as a major surprise. King of Rus Konstantin The Just betrothed his daughter to young chief of Livland, vassal of Livonia. It was very prestigious betrothal to Ihavald, but for Rus it could be explained only by king having 4 daughters and long term interests in Baltic region. "Dear Volodja" wrote Konstantin, "you are like a son to me. Please accept my friendship in all your foreign affairs in Baltics."



With his boyhood reaching end, it was decided Ihavald would only be safe if trained in the arts of intrigue. The plot to kill him was still there and Ihavald was still the only living Turaida man, the last man of the dynasty. For this goal he was given to Magnus Duvzare Spymaster of Kurland. No dissappointments there. "Danke, Magnus!" young chief returned to Turaida castle on the 16th birthday. He was ready to rule.
Childhood was uneasy but it formed his personality.
 

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Political Situation in Europe and Livonia - 1224



To give better picture on what is going on in this world, a political map is presented.

The World Map
WE sit in the East Baltics in Livonia.
To the South (1) we have Baltic pagan tribes. Strongest tribe is Pruthenians. Their leader Sergonis is doing his best to unite Romuvans.
To the East (2) we have Orthodox Russian Rurikids. King Konstantin The Just (Ihavald's father in law) has created Kingdom of Rus and slowly consolidates power.
To the Far East (MONGOLS) we have Ilkhanate Mongols with 86k armies. They are far. Hope they stay far long enough. We have not a slightest chance against them.

and some curious events:
Hungarian King (4.) has adopted Bogomilist heresy of Orthodox. Not sure how and why :) His people are still Catholic.
King of Jerusalem Guy (5.) the brave crusader has adopted Valdensian heresy.

The Livonian Map
Two main events happened before 1204-1224. First, we lost Latgale to Polotsk. Second, High Chief Vinno died and his three sons divided demesne, a chiefdom each.

1. Latgale. Originally part of the High Chiefdom of Livonia (1204), it got lost to Polotsk Rurikid branch (1216). But it appears they bit off more than could chew. Rebellious Romuva pagans regained independence in Uprising. Even more they conquered Polotsk itself. Now one Lettigalian Romuva chief Visheiv sits in Polotsk, but in Latgale yet another uprising succeeded under chief Talivaldis. Latgale was the second richest province in Livonia, with temple, city and castle.
2. Dorpat. The family castle of von Rohrbachs and capital of High Chiefdom. Vinno's oldest son quick Wido inherited Dorpat and High Chief title.
3. Riga. Bishopric of Riga is the richest land in Livonia. It has 2 cities, temple (capital) and barony.
4. Kurland. Second son Siegmund inherited Kurland. It has only tribal lands.
6. Laanemaa. Youngest son Georg inherited Laanemaa. It also has only tribal lands.
7. Osel (Saaremaa island). It is ruled by still Suomenusko chief Vilimeel Kask. It has temple.
8. Livland. Ihavald, grandson of Kaupo, rules it from Turaida.

Catholic religion has spread to lands of Riga Bishopric and capital Dorpat. High Chief of former enemies Estonians is now Catholic. Orthodox Zemaitians to the South are now subjects of Romuva high chiefs.
 

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Sorry for short update. Procrastinating Ihavald's main story.

Btw, if any Estonian by any chance is reading this. Can you tell me what if anything following names mean in Estonian: Ihavald, Ilmalemb, Lättelemb?
 

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Estonian here. These names all are made up of two parts - Iha-vald, Ilma-lemb, Lätte-lemb.

Ihavald: Iha means "lust". And "vald" has no surviving meaning as a name today, but since it was adopted from old germanic word "wald". There are a lot of meanings to that word. So it could be "Controller of lust"(He is very lusty or the opposite), "Wielder of Lust"(Seducer?), "Possessed by Lust".

Ilmalemb: Only known possible meaning to "lemb" is that it had something to do with love and care. "Ilma" means, whether "the world" or "the weather" or "worldly". So he could be "World lover" or if made more epic "Protector of the World".

Lättelemb: "Läte" means "beginning, start". So he could be the "Protector of Beginnings". There is also a meaning for this word in swedish. There it means "sound". So he could be "The lover of music".

Interesting fact. You know, during the Baltic Crusades, Estonian tribes united under one ruler to fight the crusaders and their leader was Lembitu. According to some historians "Lembitu" might very well mean "Merciless".
 
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I will re-post Ihavald The Impaler story as it was destroyed by forum move and add 2 more pieces (update on regional politics and Ilmalemb's regency).
 

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PART 4 IHAVALD THE IMPALER



After rain the view was beautiful. Sun suddenly appeared. Raindrops on wet leafs shined bright. It all smelled rain and summer. Ihavald's favorite window in the castle, here he was waiting for dad. Later it was hiding place from plotters. Ihavald enjoyed the view. He was looking at trees and through the trees. Mind was wandering freely like hussy river Gauja. This time he expected someone. Spymaster Otto Babenberger arrived.
"Valdo, mein herr!" he greated his lord.
"Did she die?" Ihavald was still looking through window, his head in thoughts.
"She did, mein herr" spymaster confirmed.
"Did it even remotely look like a choking accident?" asked Chief.
"Well, em..."
"Useless, your poison is useless. First rule, it should always look like accident. Let's go and try balcony again" Ihavald slowly turned against his visitor,"last time I tried, I realized one important detail - your shoes should be as dirty or clean as the floor to avoid unnecessary complications"
"Yes, mein herr. I am taking this frau upstairs"
Ihavald turned back to window - "Practice, you never reach excellence without it"

// Livonian peasant mythology has a story, one of a maiden Liis who was invited to work in Impaler's Castle. Ihavald would take her up to balcony. On its way Ida would notice he had goat legs, and when the Impaler tried to take her honor by force, she would jump of the balcony. Liis is a synonime now for a chaste virgin.//



But in the beggining of his rule young Ihavald seeked for revenge on everyone. Starting local regent who would not ransom his dad and would try to kill baby Valdo twice, following with his uncle Geraldus who was openly plotting for his death (pic above) and all von Rohrenbachs family who betrayed Turaidas trying to revoke Castle when Ihavald could not protect.
Manfred fled and escaped inprisonment, bloody bastard. Geraldus continued to plot murdery, his assassination was not possible to organize due to unknown locations of his order (47% plot power, no willing conspirators and no place to send spymaster, triggered no event in years). Ihavald was still young, he locked into his side in Castle and would spend days looking through window.

Revenges had to wait. First few years saw critical Romuva revolt in Kurland (93% negative score) which could be oppressed only by joined Crusader forces. Marriage to Russian Princess Ulyana, castle upgrade. Ihavald became known in whole Livonia for marriage with Russian princess (exalted among men).

When Vilimeel of Saaremaa revolted for lower tribe organization Ihavald noticed opportunity and declared Holy War for Osel. He raised tribal army (-500 prestige), but... war ended inconclusively. It was all waste!



Chief slowly but surely went deeper and deeper to the dark side. Living under constant threat for life made Ihavald paranoid, later stressed. He could trust nobody, became deceitful. Name "Ihavald" meant lust controller, he would control his emotions. In the end Turaida Chief learned that fear is the best weapon to keep enemies in check. He shall strike terror into the hearts of foes. Ihavald became The Impaler.



New Impaler took on an ambition to become Spymaster of Livonia. He worked hard on intrigue skills and schemed around Dorpat castle. Eventually although without much enthusiasm High Chief submitted to his requests and granted Ihavald spymaster position.



TO THE DUNGEON! Ihavald started a terror where his hands could reach and being Spymaster of Livonia his hands reached far enough. He would spy, spread gossips and terrorise his neighbors and liege. Impaler knew a bunch of thugs who were happy to help with kidnapping and murdery. "Who is the High Chief of Livonia?" yelled his prisoner Vinno II outraged by his vassal's actions. "To the dungeon!" replied Ihavald slowly, "I will visit you later.. to discuss"



With Turaida castle surrounded by black legends of Impaler's dark works, it caught the eye of Livonian Chaplain who after careful analysis of Ihavald's misdeeds came to decision. Turaida chief was surely a dangerous heretic. Even if heretic Vald The Impaler used his persuasion skills on craven liege to hold on to the Spymaster position. Paper was paper, but there were more swords in Livland and even more so in Russia.
Catholic church however saw the opportunity and would preach local peasantry that Impaler is the punishment from God for holding to their pagan beliefs. Livland people converted in mass. Even Ihavald's wife denounced Orthodox faith and otherwise stubborn Suomenusko chief of Osel became Catholic.



Council (1) was useless bunch of sloths, fools, halfwits and traitors. Marshall could not clearly tell the difference between light and heavy infantry. Diplomat would anger the most peacefull soul after 3 minutes friendly chat. It was only expected that stupid man was killed during his mission in Laanemaa (2). Unfortunately replacement was even worse (3). It was maybe expected that Impaler's court did not have many men alive, I meant to say available.
Spymaster had some skill, but was a common guest in "discussion room" where Ihavald The Impaler would "friendly" request him to abandon the plot on his lord's life. After "discussion" Spymaster would be thankful for being alive and love his liege (4). But in no time would join the plot again.
Same could be told about Ihavald's wife. She was angered by succession law changes and joined the plot. After Ulyana received the "discussion room" treatment she would stop the plot (5) but alienate from husband completely.
Discussions with his wife, spymaster and few other courtiers continued through the whole period of Ihavald's rule. They would fall on their knees and ask for fogiveness, they would be eternally grateful, but then.. join the plot gain.



Dorpad, tavern "The Merry Goat". Urmas and Thomas after long working week in the city are taking a beer or two.
Urmas: Do you know the story about our old liege?
Thomas: What story?
Urmas: He had an affair with Impaler's wife
Thomas (spit the beer): No kidding? Aahahaaa.. Should have learned to fly instead.
Urmas and Thomas were laughing hard when older man arrived to their table and whispered: look at the rat! It is watching you!
Thomas: it is just a rat man, relax!
Old man whispering: you don't know, do you. Rats, beetles, worms and crows are all spies of The Impaler. Be careful with what you say!
Thomas shaked, the rat was watching him. He felt like going home.

// Livonian peasant mythology has a story, about old lord of Dorpat castle. He would take inappropriate look at Impaler's wife. Next day when he walked out on the balcony strong wind started to blow. Ihavald arrived flying on his large black wings, he would grab the poor Wido, take him up the skies, and drop to the ground evilishly laughing. Wido's son would have faced the same destiny.//

Before his death Wido would offer money to Ihavald to "forgive and forget". The Impaler took the money. Wido felt of the balcony. To each his own. His heir would not last much longer. Vinno II died just before his 16th birthday. "Little High Chief Vinno II of Livonia had not yet learned how to fly". High Chiefdom was taken over by his younger brother.
Ulyana gave birth to Wido's girl, who was quickly betrothed to Polish king and sent out of sight.



Ihavald's son Ulo and his cousin's son Kaomeel came of age. Impaler's son of course was a dissapointment. He grew up into laughing stock of a man, brilliant strategist but craven with no valid skills. Ulo was married away to Georgian countess, his kids would be guaranteed counts somewhere in Caucasus. Instead the fool became celibate or maybe wife made him. Probably she was shocked when he finally arrived from Livonia useless and ugly.
Kaomeel was not brilliant, with 0 martial skill he should be kept far, far away from anything sharp or dangerous. His stewardship, intrigue, learning would wish for better. But he was diplomat and in 2 months he did what previous failed for 20 years. He proved the obvious thing that Livonian person Ihavald has as much rights to Laanemaa as any living Rohrbach. Now it was waiting for right moment.



The moment came next year when Siegmund Rohrbach from Kurland declared war on Livonia on High Chief Sigismund. It did not really matter to Ihavald which Sigmund gonna rule the High Chiefdom. Instead he declared was on his liege on Laanemaa. Year later Lithuanian pagans arrived for Riga Bishopric.
Sigismund collapsed. TO THE DUNGEONS! He signed capitulation. Laanemaa was given to Ihavald, with it 145 pieces of gold as ransom payment. Unfortunately though Lithuanian pagans took developed Riga bishopric with its two cities, temple and barony.



The Impaler got sick. He called family around. Morons, halfwits, bunch of useless bastards, The Impaler's eyes moved from one to another. Maybe Ilmalemb, he looked like his whore mother, but had some sense. Hell, why not? "Ilmalemb, he is younger than you but already smarter than most of you. May God bless our Turaida dynasty!" Ihavald closed his eyes. Promise of darkness and eternal peace. Smile. Impaler's last smile.

 

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Political map Baltics 1246



High Chiefdom of Livonia had only survived on paper. As political entity it had failed. Ihavald The Impaler had destroyed The High Chiefdom from the inside, Romuva pagans conquered parts of it from outside. Treasury was emptied, levies depleted, civil war between two Rohrbach branches ongoing.
Later historians would speculate that it was Ihavald’s task from his father-in-law Russian king Konstantin The Just to destroy Catholic base in Baltics and open it for the Orthodox rulers.

Military political events for Livland and Livonia 1224-1246

1224 Major Romuva revolution in Kurland. Occupied Kurland, Riga and even Dorpat. Crusader Orders were called from all Europe. On 1228 revolt was suppressed.
1228 Vilimeel of Osel revolts against Livonia. Ihavald The Impaler declares Holy War on Osel. Vilimeel signs White Peace with Livonian High Chief. Holy War ends automatically.
1231 Golden Horde arrives. It acts far in the East.
1231 Pruthenians under Sergonis attack Riga Bishopric. After initial success they get beaten by Catholic Crusaders.
1235 Ihavald The Impaler goes on Holy War against Latgale. White Peace is signed on 1237 when Sergonis' men arrive to help their Romuva brothers.
1238 Pruthenians conquer Latgale.
1244 Lithuanian Kingdom is formed. Sergonis proves worthy son of his legendary father Budo The Lion. Lithuania is the only pagan kingdom in XIII century Europe. (so much for alternative history I guess)
1244 Siegmund of Kurland claims Livonia, fights against existing Livonian High Chief, his nephew Sigismund. War ends as White Peace 1248.
1244 Ihavald The Impaler attacks High Chief Sigismund for rights to Laanemaa lands. Laanemaa and 145 gols pieces are granted to Ihavald on 1246.
1245 Lithuanians conquer Riga Bishopric (Zemgale). War ends 1246.
 

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PART 5 ILMALEMB REGENCY



„You have to bury him in the Christian graveyard!” insisted young Chief Ilmalemb.
„I told you, your father was heretic, probably even a deamon,” bishop Ohevald crossed.
„He was not even excommunicated! You can’t do that!” yelled the boy.
„I can’t help you, son. God bless you!” bishop finished conversation.
„Praised be the Lord,” replied Ilmalemb and took his hat „I am riding to Pskov then.”
„Wait, wait, son,” Pskov was Orthodox, with Riga Bishopric falling to pagans, loosing Livland to Orthodox would be a disaster, „Maybe we can arrange a Catholic funeral, let’s discuss”.

----
The Impaler got buried in Christian Cemetery. It was a quiet ceremony, his casket was kept closed during the whole process. In the future when it was opened during archeological research, casket was found empty.
2 weeks after Ihavald’s death High Chiefdom of Livonia had to give up Riga Bishopric (Zemgale lands) to Lithuanian King Sergonis.



Next year able Chancellor Kaomeel managed to prove that ancient Osel (Saaremaa) Chief was great grandfather of Kaupo and therefore Turaida dynasty had every right to those lands. In a quick war within less than a year Osel was conquered.



Livonia was weak. It only could raise 240 levies and had less than 40 gold ducats in treasury. Latgalian Chief decided to use opportunity and declared war on Kurland. Ilmalemb decided to push his newly created claim for Dorpat.
Within a year Dorpat castle fell to Livland. High Chief Sigismund surroundered. Old Livonia dissolved.



Latgalian troops changed its focus to conquer Tartu (former Dorpat) from young chief. Ilmalemb ignored the threat for now, he invited local nobles and clergy to Turaida, where he proclaimed New Livonia. His slothful and content brother of Laanemaa swore fealty. Von Rohrbach of Kurland chose to stay independent. Ilmalemb was only 15, when he became High Chief. Name Ilmalemb means „world protector”. He gave promise to protect Catholic Livonia and its people till the last breath.



Generals were invited from Catholic Europe and under their command Livonian troops left Turaida to meet Latgalian-Yatwingian alliance. Ilmalemb became of age and turned out skilled tactician. He personally lead the troops. Ilmalemb learned quick in combat and became brilliant strategist. It was his skills that let Livonia win the decisive battle near Tartu and Ilmalemb earned „a great deal of respect”. Songs would be sung of this day.



Ilmalemb married genius daughter of Russian count Anna Ingvarovna. She was genius and perfect from every angle. Except marriage did not provide alliance. But he needed strong allies. First, he improved relations with Catholic Church. Jews were expelled from Livonia and abolution requested from Pope. Second, sisters were coming of age and new marriages were planned.

War with Latgale was still ongoing with small scale battles, when Lithuania declared war on Kurland and within a year Kurland’s Chief swore fealty to Sergonis. Kurland was lost. Ilmalemb would only watch.. for now. He had just started the rule.

 

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PART 6 ILMALEMB THE HOLY. BUILDING UUS LIIVIMAA



„Ilmusha, we are having a baby!“ It was Anna, his great Russian wife. A great moment. Days and months waiting for happy day. It was daughter. Ilmalemb got sad, he remembered the old lady at the market place. She would laugh devilishly, curse Turaidas and would say that even if great ruler his line would go extinct. "Son of Impaler, you shall see all men of demonic line shall die!". Ilmalemb was worried, he wanted son. Thankfully Anna got pregnant again soon, but nine months later. Yet another daughter.Was the old lady right?
There were also good news. Ilmalemb’s sister got married to Polish Piast king Milosz The Young. Important alliance for Baltic region.



Meeting in the castle Turaida was great. Hunting and dinner. Polish king agreed that Romuva heathens should be taught a lesson and Catholic Curonian lands were to be returned into Livonia. He promised Polish hand in the war. Lithuania was busy warrying Polotsk and its Rurikid alliance, which meant a perfect moment to get back what was ours. Terra Mariana should be reborn.
Ilmalemb had promissed Pope an assistance in his Crusade for Jerusalem, but that could wait. Opportunity was on the Livonian doorstep to do something for the church right here in Baltics.



Even being busy fighting Rurikids Lithuanian king Sergonis managed to summon forces and arrived to Kurland. The decisive battle was fought in Grobina where 5500 Livonians met 5700 Romuva fighters. In the darkest moment when Ilmalemb’s center was broken and the battle could go into any direction Polish forces arrived and crushed the opposition.
After Grobina battle whole war became formality and ended year 1259. Terra Mariana reincorporated Curonian lands. Ilmalemb earned nickname The Holy for renewing Catholic borders in Baltics.



War against Lithuanians went so well that Ilmalemb decided to thank God by personally participating in the crusade. All levies were raised and embarked into ships. In home tribal matters were gradually centralized and organized. Ilmalemb could afford to leave Livonia in hands of allmighty. He waved goodbye to wife and set course to the Holy Land.
Livonian regiment took part in several big fights in Holy Land, including battle of Beirut (total forces on battle field 20k), battle of Pella (10k) . Ilmalemb The Holy personally led Duchy's army and realised his talent to inspire men. There were many more exhaustive battles, desert heat, sand, and cold nights. A messenger brought a note from home.



King Sergonis could rise again after the defeat in holy war. He had managed to grab Polotsk Principality and was looking North. 10,000 loyal Romuvans were at his service. Livonian levies were down to 4,000. It was only by God’s miracle and help that always followed The Holy that two Crusader Orders in the middle of the Crusade (!) were not employed yet. With their joined effort heathens were beaten and Zemgale saved. Sergonis was forced to pay large war retributions that would help rebuild Livonia further.


For his fights in name of the Lord Ilmalemb got blessed with another child. His eyes turned sad again. It was the third daughter. Was this a curse for father’s misdeeds? Was Impaler’s paternal line to go extinct? But it was God's will and Impaler accepted it. His zeal was strong, the old lady was not God, prophecies were given by dark forces. Lord would give him a son. Eventually. But for now Sweddish Prince accepted matrilineal marriage and was adopted into Turaida family like Ilmalemb's own son.



Livonian nobles picked their favorite for successor - great baron Kahru Turaida from Bauska - quick war leader with great overall attributes. A worthy future leader for High Chiefdom. Not for Ilmalemb. He wanted own son.



Livonia became highly centralized. Following years promissed favorable and stable political situation. His uncle Rodislav ruled in Rus and was the true king of the East. There was a truce with Lithuania for 10 years. Estonians to the North were now Catholic and allies. The right moment. Ilmalemb decided it was time to implement feudal rulership and become a proper Duke.


Levies went down from ~7800 (4000 in picture is after war and crusade) to 1400. Monthly income decreased but not that significantly.
 

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PART 7 ILMALEMB THE HOLY. PROTECTING MAARJA’S LAND



Duke Ilmalemb had difficult task on his shoulders. He was to take Livonia through the reforms that promissed stability, wealth and development. But that would come later. Today Livonia was weak and it was Lithuanian pagans again and again raising their spears and axes to march North.




Sergonis raised his levies and sent them to Zemgale (year 1270). Situation got dramatic with Selpils and Riga lost. Local Livonian men were not enough to stop the menace. Help was called and it was answered. Crusader Orders arrived into Livonia and stopped Lithuanians in battle of Selpils. It was dramatic battle where 2 heavily armored military orders met Lithuanian pagan army. Crusaders won with 1,500 casualties, Lithuanians lost 5,000. From Rome arrived messenger with 200 gold pieces from Pope. Prusas, young Prince of Lithuania got captured and ransomed. War was over next year 1271, Lithuania was forced to pay large amounts of money. It was financially beneficient war. Crusaders fought for free. With ransoms, contributions and Pope’s help treasury went up from 214 to 961 gold pieces.





Being God’s man Ilmalemb spent the money to build the very first bishopric Atsela in Liivimaa. Upgraded Turaida castle. He thanked the Lord for victory in the war by uptaking piligrimage to the Holy Land. Ilmalemb studied holy scriptures under supervision of monks and returned home as renowned scholar full of ideas for further development of Livonia.





With external threats terminated and Christian duty completed it was time to settle internal matters. Rumours about adventorous Baeivi arrived but in the end turned out to be just that - rumours. Lithuania attacked Rurikids again.
Where was I? Internal matters. There were lands ruled by Ilmalemb directly (Saaremaa, Liivimaa, Tartu) and lands ruled by other nobles (Kurland, Zemgale, Laanemaa). Leopold of Kurland was found to be corrupt and Livonian chancellor prepared documents for title revokation, which was promptly executed.

In a series of personal losses Ilmalemb’s mother went to the heaven. Grand Mayor Ankad of Zemgale, good friend to Ilmalemb also died. In unbelievable way corrupt Leopold assumed his title. Of course, this meant revokation. This time civil war had to be fought (1280-1281). Thankfully Russian – Lithuanian infightings continued (with Konstantin II of Rus attacking for Polotsk) and Livonian internal matters stayed internal. Unfortunately Ilmalemb could not rule acquired Zemgale himself, it had to be first turned into proper county. Zemgale was granted to baron Kahru.





Reforms never stopped in Terra Mariana. Primogeniture succession, high centralization, a ceremony to create Duchy of Curonia. Ilmalemb The Holy became the Great Duke of Livonia and Curonia. Turaida dynasty got itself land in Norrland, Sweden where Sweddish Prince inherited county of Angermanland.

Russian king conquered Polotsk and with it Latgale, the last missing piece of original Terra Mariana. The Great Duchy had to forget the last missing piece – Latgale. There was no way small Livonia could fight off Latgale from its Eastern Christian neighbor Rus. Even Rurikid battles with Horde and revolts in Rus would not harm Konstantin II enough. In next few years even Golden Horde became Orthodox. Terra Mariana shall never be complete without Latgale!
 

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Hmm, it gets really slow with all those images.
 

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PART 8 ILMALEMB THE HOLY. THE HEIR



Ilmalemb was not the only son of The Impaler. Oldest brother Ulo became celibate knight. But youngest Vihavald ruled Laanemaa province. Unlike Ilmalemb it seemed Impaler’s curse did not work on him. Vihavald had a son. Urmas. Boy did really well, young ambitious brilliant strategist, he would be great leader for Livonia and continue uncle’s work.
Vihavald would not marry his son. „Too young,” he said. Even worse he mentioned about marrying Urmas to some courtier? Ilmalemb had to interact. Laanemaa County was revoked from Vihavald, he fled to North Estonia with son. But Urmas kindly accepted uncle’s invitation and returned. He got married to Russian genius Viacheslava.
Ilmalemb. He still wanted his own son. The curse had to be broken. He divorced old wife: „It is for Livonia, for the Church, you must understand me!” The Holy married Piast girl, Princess of Poland.
Vihavald died. Urmas got sick and passed to God aged 18. Piast Princess was taken by Lord few days after. The curse? Now Ilmalemb was the last man of Impaler’s line. Would it end there? Baron Kahru of Zemgale, only vassal of Great Duchy, again became the heir. (pic 194).
Somebody would brake, but not the spirit of Ilmalemb. God did not leave his loyal servant. The most influential man on the Earth His Majesty Kaiser of the HRE granted hand of Princess. It was more than just marriage, it was powerful alliance.



War horns, swords, sweat. Lithuanians went North again. Both Kaiser Viktor and Bohemian King Vratislav answered the call. But neither arrived. Crusader Orders fought elsewhere. Livonia was left alone.
In the heroic battle of Ventava Duchy’s army (6109) under command of Duke Ilmalemb beat larger Lithuanian forces (7623). Both sides lost ~3000 men. Lithuanians were pursued into Zemaitija, but it turned into disaster. Trap. In the swamps of Saule 2077 good Christians laid their heads, only 315 heathens died. A tragic defeat that opened Zemgale wide open. In the next battle of Cruczeburch remaining 1081 man were slaughtered.
Ilmalemb learned from failure and became better heavy infantry commander.



No more laughs, nor merry talks in good Christian houses in Zemgale. In Turaida they waited, for Kaiser, for Crusaders, for anyone. Ilmalemb ordered Chancellor to preparē documents for surrender.
Prince Petr, Peteri The Great, Savior of Livonia, Soldier of Christ. Many words were used by Livonian historians to describe the heroic Bohemian Prince Petr Premyslid who arrived with over 5,000 men and beat Lithuanians in battle of Bauska. In the darkest hour help arrived unexpected.
Next year Crusader Order arrived to finish it up. Several Lithuanian nobles were captured and ransomed. King Auctune gave up. Zemgale saved.
Following year Livonia was attacked by Pruthenians, this time Crusaders were available and war was short. Livonia saved. Again.



Obsession. With the curse, with the heir. Ilmalemb no more pursued Theology. Between state and taxes matters he now spent a time with wife. She got pregnant again. Ilmalemb got claim on Latgale. Girl was born! Girl! Again! Girl, hahahahaaa. He became madman. In state matters Duke kept his calm, but in castle... alone.. was not a pleasant view.



Wife got pregnant again. Girl! One more girl!? And a boy. Twins!! The curse was broken but at what price? The clubfooted sickly Lattelemb. Do you think Ilmalemb noticed the clubfoot? No, he was happy in his 67 years God gave him son and heir! Happy in his own way... (see above).
Ilmalemb had to make one last step, he had to ensure smooth rule for son. So, he revoked the last vassal, Kahru of Zemgale. Civil war ensured.In the battle field Kahru got captured. For 145 gold pieces lunatic Ilmalemb let him go. It was a terrible mistake.
Lithuania declared the war on Kahru. Kuronian peasants used the situation to revolt. Mercenaries had to be called to deal with the madness. Curonian revolt got suppressed. Lithuania did not engage in actual battles. Kahru surrendered. Realm was stabilized, but at the expense of Treasury. It went down from 500 to 73.

.............
Ilmalemb’s very last years were symbolic. Two more daughters (Tuuli and Salmi) were born. Lithuania attacked again. This time Duke called all his allies – Kaiser, Swedes, Bohemians, Galich. Pagans sieged Kurland but that was it – HRE army arrived and dealt with Lithuania. Pope sent his last 200 regards. Auctune surrendered again. Treasury was re-filled.
Ilmalemb The Holy spent all his adult years fighting heathens and building Livonia and now could take a rest. Great Duchy was centralized, all power belonged to Duke (no count level vassals). Dynasty got land (county) in Sweden. Feodalism was successfully implemented and levies size returned to pre-Feudal levels. Treasury was full, solid 829 gold pieces. Long live Duke Lattelemb!

 

Narvait

Lt. General
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Jan 13, 2015
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  • Crusader Kings II
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The first century is over.
Since I played this game in semi-observer mode I hope it is interesting to see how events played out around the world. My actions influenced ck2 world rather minimally. Only by stopping Lithuanian Northern expansion, marrying here and there and calling allies to war.
And then it will be followed in few days by clubfooted kid Lattelemb update.