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coz1

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So what the hell am I doing? I’ve got a fairly successful AAR going on in EUIV called The Wars of the Roses (read it and read it now!) and one that I’ve rather let go with the Creek (yeah...we’re not going back to that. I’ve lost the screens anyway. Thank you for reading certainly.) So why am I starting a new AAR now? I must answer...I do not know.

While I am enjoying the narrative writing in WOTR (and I hope you are as well) I don’t mind saying that I was desiring of something a little lighter. Also...I have not played CK2 in quite some time. I miss it and now that I have all of the add-ons, I wanted to try another run. So I have thought to take page from two different forumites that I respect a great deal (both of which have works going in this area - @Bullfilter and his Blut und Schlacht (Blood and Battle): A Learner’s Saga and @iain_a_wilson and his Suenik Reloaded – you can really blame him...he pulled me back in the first place.)

I don’t know what this will be. It won’t be narrative. I just want to play the game and see what happens. Maybe it will be humorous. Maybe it will be educational (at least to me.) Maybe it will be fun. Maybe it will flame out quickly. I know not. I just want to try a little something different (again thank you @Ariel) and hopefully that gets my mind back to where it needs to be with the narrative work.

So...who are we here?

8tfDXub.png

I load up the game and find that I don’t really want to play as Charlemagne. But I do like the area, and am familiar with it, so this might work. God knows I love The Lion in Winter and so I immediately focus upon Aquitaine. Hmm. That looks interesting. Set it up and press play. Here we go.

Ironman is off because I like to edit if I need to. Plus, I really don’t know how to play THIS game because I really have not messed around with all of the DLCs. So this will be an education as suggested. And it’s not so poor of a start. I am introduced to Duke Hunoald of House Louping in the year of our Lord 769.

Hunoald is given the fine distinction of being a grey eminence, ambitious, envious, diligent and proud. All good qualities, more or less. That said, he is also unmarried at this date when he is 53 years of age. He does have a son. But son Waifar died not six months ago leaving me with an heir and grandson named Loup Louping. No one said that we were creative here in Aquitaine, though we are supposed to be the flower of the land and will one day create the very idea of courtly love. Little Loup is 1 by the way.

No matter because I feel healthy and ready to go. I have a very nice pony tail, a lovely van dyke beard and a rather pretty crown which I lord over my Counts. Of them, we should recount...there is of course my Steward called Abbon. Count of Poitou, he does not like me too much. Also...he’s not very good at his job. A zero score in stewardship, I wonder why I hired the man in the first place? Oh yes...he is a powerful vassal.

There is also Count Guillaume of Bordeaux who is my Chancellor. He likes me fine enough and while I might find another better at the work, let’s not piss off too many at the start. Finally there is Count Wulgrin of Perigord (I’m not trying to find the right accents) who likes me less than Guillaume but he is my spymaster. You roll with what you got!

JokRMaN.png

Except I cannot. That zero score from Abbon cannot stand. I need a new Steward as I look to it and even though he won’t like it (and he doesn’t) I decide to replace him with the Commander of Aquitaine...one Alberic. He is lowborn but he has a very nice steward score. Boom. Now we are cooking with gas!

uflZhS9.png

I also require a court physician so Duke Hunoald sends out word. He may need it after making Count Abbon mad. One never knows how such decisions may push back and we should be ready. Also...I am wondering if the Duke should get married again. He’s 53 but he’s not dead. He may wish for some companionship. But...it could create a problem when little Loup of Louping comes of age and takes over. Hmmm...what to do?

Finally...our man Duke Hunoald needs an ambition, especially because he is ambitious. Does he wish the entire Kingdom from Karl...we call him Karl even though he goes down to history as Charlemagne...Charles Martel...whatever he wants to call himself...he IS King of West Francia. And then there is his brother who owns land quite close...oh Karloman...Middle Francia and those lands look quite inviting.

Oh...I should also mention that Duke Hunoald has a cousin to the south named the Count of Dax. I don’t remember right now what his actual name is, but he may be one to watch.

There are of course others, but we are just starting here so let us see what happens, right? Get married again? What ambition does he desire? And perhaps most importantly, will Count Abbon (I nearly typed another word there as mistake...I will leave it to you to figure what that might be) come at me/Duke Hunoald?

An interesting start and I am intrigued as to what might happen. It may well flame out. It may well be very successful. I hope you are curious because I am. If nothing else, thank you for reading before hand and I hope to entertain. More later as I actually start the game in earnest. I’ve never really done this before, but I hope to write this AAR in real time. We shall see. ;)

iCpqdjT.png
 
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Nikolai

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Count Abbot? ;) Was that the word? Good luck with another AAR my friend!
 
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Bullfilter

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Aha! Thanks for the name drop at the start! :D My reading list (which I’m already not keeping on top of o_O) just got another AAR added to it.

Get married again?
I reckon so. Are there any other spare heirs, apart from Little Loup? Depending on your succession laws, would a potential new son become the heir apparent, given Waifar never actually inherited? And there’s the boost to governing stats to consider, I suppose.
And perhaps most importantly, will Count Abbon (I nearly typed another word there as mistake...I will leave it to you to figure what that might be) come at me/Duke Hunoald?
He had to go - the useless Count. How much does he hate you now? Quite a bit, I’m guessing. Here’s hoping his intrigue score renders him less of a threat than he might have been. Any point trying to mollify him with some minor appointment (s) or a small gift?
I’ve never really done this before, but I hope to write this AAR in real time.
This should be interesting. For a substantially gameplay AAR (which this seems to be shaping up as) I think this is the way to go, as it does a few things. The audience can offer contemporary advice and comment. And you force yourself to concentrate a little more on your gameplay than if you just race through with a ’normal’ (non-AAR) game. I think it also imbues the work with more of a feel of reporting ‘live events’ than an all-seeing historian reporting on events whose ultimate outcome you already know.

There is a bit of suspense for the writAAR as well, because you don’t know what will happen either. And it gives you incentive to play the next game session to find out what will happen and then write it up, but in smaller chunks, where you can remember more clearly what happened and why you did stuff. Which I think is more helpful in an AAR focusing more on gameplay, whereas with a principally narrative work you probably want a clear idea of the future story arc.

And you don’t need to strain to form the gameplay into some set narrative framework you may have had in mind - it’s a bit more free and easy in one sense, but requires more improvisation and inventiveness if you do still want to craft some narrative element out of what the game throws up. Of course, CK2 tends to be very good at providing the raw material.

Interested to see where you go with both the game and your approach to the AAR. Best of luck with it!
 
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Specialist290

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I've been meaning to sit down and actually read through your EU4 AAR for a while, coz, but in the meantime I won't miss this opportunity to get in on the ground floor with this one :)

I'm not hugely familiar with the 769 start, but I do know enough to know that you might want to watch Middle Francia and the Brothers Karling quite carefully, at least if you haven't changed any of the default game rules. Charle-not-yet-magne gets a few special story events to help nudge him along the path to his historical exploits.
 
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coz1

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Fb-fb:

Back to everyone's favorite AAR region.
Haha. Yes, I suppose so. Although I tend to spend more time in England than in France. But I am more familiar with it than other places. Thanks for jumping on board.

Count Abbot? ;) Was that the word? Good luck with another AAR my friend!
It was not a different spelling of Abbon. Rather a misspelling of Count. I very nearly left out the O. ;) Thanks for checking this out.

Aha! Thanks for the name drop at the start! :D My reading list (which I’m already not keeping on top of o_O) just got another AAR added to it.
Of course! Yours was an inspiration as I am going to be learning all about the various DLCs as I go along. Recall that all of my Wessex AARs were based on the vanilla game so this will be extra informational to me.

I reckon so. Are there any other spare heirs, apart from Little Loup? Depending on your succession laws, would a potential new son become the heir apparent, given Waifar never actually inherited? And there’s the boost to governing stats to consider, I suppose.
I'll have to check inheritance laws. Good point. See how long its been since I've played CK2? ;)

He had to go - the useless Count. How much does he hate you now? Quite a bit, I’m guessing. Here’s hoping his intrigue score renders him less of a threat than he might have been. Any point trying to mollify him with some minor appointment (s) or a small gift?
Abbon now has a big red fist by his name so I think that's bad. But I do have a claim on Poitou so if he presses, I could likely take him.

This should be interesting. For a substantially gameplay AAR (which this seems to be shaping up as) I think this is the way to go, as it does a few things. The audience can offer contemporary advice and comment. And you force yourself to concentrate a little more on your gameplay than if you just race through with a ’normal’ (non-AAR) game. I think it also imbues the work with more of a feel of reporting ‘live events’ than an all-seeing historian reporting on events whose ultimate outcome you already know.

There is a bit of suspense for the writAAR as well, because you don’t know what will happen either. And it gives you incentive to play the next game session to find out what will happen and then write it up, but in smaller chunks, where you can remember more clearly what happened and why you did stuff. Which I think is more helpful in an AAR focusing more on gameplay, whereas with a principally narrative work you probably want a clear idea of the future story arc.

And you don’t need to strain to form the gameplay into some set narrative framework you may have had in mind - it’s a bit more free and easy in one sense, but requires more improvisation and inventiveness if you do still want to craft some narrative element out of what the game throws up. Of course, CK2 tends to be very good at providing the raw material.

Interested to see where you go with both the game and your approach to the AAR. Best of luck with it!
Very much this. As I'm sure you know, narrative works require quite a lot of investment to both plan and write. While it is my favorite form, something like this is easier on the brain (hopefully) and indeed, we can learn together. I will never claim to be an expert player of any of these games so expect plenty of mistakes. And while I think I am hilariously funny, not everyone does, so hopefully the humor holds up as well.

I've been meaning to sit down and actually read through your EU4 AAR for a while, coz, but in the meantime I won't miss this opportunity to get in on the ground floor with this one :)
I would very much like to read your thoughts on WOTR but totally understand that it is a time investment and as I did in my Wessex stories, I have been moving pretty fast. Great to have you on board for this one!

I'm not hugely familiar with the 769 start, but I do know enough to know that you might want to watch Middle Francia and the Brothers Karling quite carefully, at least if you haven't changed any of the default game rules. Charle-not-yet-magne gets a few special story events to help nudge him along the path to his historical exploits.
That is good to know. I've never played this start date before in this area. I did not change any of the default settings (outside of turning Ironman off)...wait...I did alter one but now I don't remember what it was. Nothing that would impact relations with Francia or the brothers Karling though. Good call to watch my back...and front...with those fellows.


To all - As I've been home all week still recovering from an ague (again...not the dreaded plague this time) I've had some extra time but my writing has slowed to a crawl. Call it writer's block or some other, I decided to begin this as a lark really. Perhaps it will push me forward and unlock the brain for the more time/thought intensive WOTR. I hope to get in a little play time today so I may have an update of the first years of the game. Certainly do not expect me to update this nearly as often as I do WOTR. Yet another inspiration provided by the estimable @Bullfilter as he gave me some advice not long back - perhaps having this other game/AAR will slow me down somewhat with the narrative work. I mean...I don't have 137 AARs like him, but maybe having 2 will cause me to divert just a little bit of attention. ;)

Thanks for checking this out! As always, I appreciate it! :)
 
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coz1

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769: It Was a Very Good Year...or Was It?


So first of all, I should say that I am playing on the very slowest setting. I don’t want to miss nothin! But the messages!! So many! And I’m still trying to move around and check all of the settings/actions of my court, peoples, etc. It takes a minute. But the first thing I realize is...guess what? I, your humble Duke Hunoald of Aquitaine, am the Chancellor of West Francia. How about that?!

TMvecXY.png

As such, I decide that I should support the King. Karl’s a nice guy, after all. He seems to like me a little even though I apparently don’t care too much for him. But while I could choose the Kingdom as an ambition (and remember, Hunoald is ambitious) we decide that what he really wants is a friend.

But we get ahead of ourselves. The actual first thing I do is decide that, in fact, I do wish a wife. As said, Hunoald is not yet dead. Something warm to snuggle with at night. A partner in this effort when things both inside and outside of the Duchy can and likely will be perilous. So we go bride hunting.

I did check the inheritance laws and they are Agnatic-Cognatic and having another child may not be terrible. After all...next in line after little Loup is my cousin Count Loup of Dax. Indeed, we here in the Louping family are creative in our naming. How I got the name Hunoald is beyond me.

At any rate, as we look around we find that the King of Lombardy has quite a few unmarried daughters. And all of marriageable age and so too of child bearing age. Goody, goody. Sadly, they all have some issue or another. Such is dating in the 8th century. As I look through them all, I decide it is Princess Anselperga that really catches my fancy and so with a little wrangling, she and her Lombard ladies arrive at my court along with a lovely little bit of what we like to call “royal aid duty” or otherwise known as good, old fashioned coin in the amount of 30.2 gold/ducats/whatever.

vpDOvDN.png

It is still fairly early in the year and I must say also that our rangers discover an “erudite herbalist that resides in a hut in the outskirts of a nearby town” that goes by the name of Gisla. She is eager to become my personal physician and so we say...go for it, lady.

I don’t know if these two gals will like each other, but who cares? Stay in your lane. Instead, I begin to look at what my council is doing. They all have rather nondescript roles at the moment and so I start to send them out to do some actual work. Chancellor/Count Guillaume is sent to Vermandois to improve relations with good old Karl. I put my Marshal to training troops in Saintes. So too my new Steward to collect taxes. And finally my Chaplain to research cultural tech in Perigord. Not sure what yet to do with my Spymaster but we’ll get there.

How Duke Hunoald does all of this while he is in Koln working for the King is beyond me, but apparently I am quite good at my job. In February of 769, I am responsible for improving relations with them for my liege lord Karl. Does he appreciate it? I suppose we will find out. Instead, I look south to Duke Lope of Gascogne. He holds quite a bit of land to that border (and my cousin Count Loup is his vassal.) In the interest of making a friend, I start trying to sway him.

In the midst of this, and one assumes my lengthy travel schedule, there comes the book. It’s always the book. Why do I care about this book? It’s 769 and I can barely read. Yet...it is apparently entrancing and Hunoald gains the illumination trait. As he said, “It wants me to read it!”

So I do while the Kingdom begins to have some few issues. First of all, Duke Roding Roding of Flanders wants to fabricate a claim on West Francia and invites me to join his perfidious efforts. Of course I say no if for no other reason because he or his finds no creative efforts in their naming. We already have our own challenge with that. Or, I may just wave my hand to dismiss because I am so enthralled with this damn book. And then I am told that Duke Lope of Gascogne has founded the Independence faction within West Francia. Hmm. But this next page is fascinating…

Wait, what?

While I am nose deep in these pages, King Karl is starting to find some trouble. After a particularly enlightening passage with the book, Hunoald decides that he is done with trying to sway Duke Lope. He’ll never be a true friend so why bother? Instead, he decides to send a long and wordy letter to his father in law King Desiderius of Lombardy. Am I playing two sides? Perhaps.

YSn5YY0.png

This is around July of 769 and thankfully by August I get a letter back from King Desiderius. As he states within his words, “I am in absolute agreement – good relations are a necessity between rulers as wise as us.” He’s such a nice guy. I hope he’ll become a true friend. After all...I married his cynical daughter.

Anyway, when I can pull my eyes from this amazing book I am told that King Karl has started a war to vassalize little Broerec. It’s in Brittany. Small but mighty perhaps. Regardless, Karl really wants it. He doesn’t call me to action (assuming that I am still hard at work in Koln) but I do note that Duke Lope is called and begins to lead troops in Sticht. Not much happens until September and then a few more things occur that cause me to raise my eyes from these fascinating pages.

ST9lzZY.png

First of all, brother Karloman starts to war with the Umayyad Sultanate in Iberia. Curious. More to that, by December my hopeful buddy King Desiderius goes to war with Croatia. Yet the biggest thing is this…

I find this book gibberish but I cannot look away. I struggle with the chapters but the mystery of it engages me like no other thing. I feel that something is concealed in the chapters and I am determined to find out what it is. It took me several weeks of apparently not meeting with the Koln representatives, but that mystery was finally revealed to me. I’m not sure that Karl would appreciate this, but I spent several weeks deciphering the code and now that I have managed to break it, I’ve constructed a key to make the book easier to read. Thanks God!

Oh...now I am considered a mystic. Lost illumination.

Also...West Francia is having more trouble. Wait...what?

iR8L5Aa.png

So while I was diligently creating this elaborate and intricate code for this amazing book (who does Duke Hunoald think he is...Alan Turing?) it appears that a Bishop named Ricolf has started a revolt to increase Council power. I suppose I should support such a thing given that I am Chancellor and who wouldn’t want more power? But that bastard Duke Lope of Gascogne joins him too and now I hate him (finally sent my Spymaster to create a spy network of spies to spy on his lands.) I just wanted a friend and he was...well...he’s a jackass!

We’re now in two wars. This latest has diverted Karl from his first in Broerec but he has the numbers. And he hasn’t called me up yet. Thanks God because I’m not done reading this bloody book. Yet suddenly to the south of Aquitaine there is a force of nearly 700 looking hungry. And what is a loyal Duke to do? It’s now turning to January of 770 and...

Wait...what did that page just say? Let me get my decoder out...Fascinating!
 
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Bullfilter

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I like the light and humorous touch. :) Some nice little lines in there. 1300 years later and the world is still full of the same quantity and quality of jackasses that infested it in the 8th century! :D
 
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Nikolai

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Fb-fb:

I like the light and humorous touch. :) Some nice little lines in there. 1300 years later and the world is still full of the same quantity and quality of jackasses that infested it in the 8th century! :D
Plus ca change, right? As you well know, CK2 makes it easy to be light and humorous. While often deadly serious, one must simply laugh anyway.

Methinks Loup is getting just a mite distracted with that book :p
It's just one of those events that won't stop coming back up. I hope it doesn't lead to him getting possessed (which can happen) but it is rather funny that while all of this other stuff is happening around him, the event stream just won't stop.

Surely it will be for the best….eventually….in the end…maybe.
Right? One book event after another even as a civil war is beginning in West Francia. I suppose I should be proud of him for creating the key to the book, but it may be taking him away from his day job. ;)



To all - As can be seen, even though it was just one year if felt like a lot of stuff happened. Once I finally adjusted the message settings and things began to calm down, I could pay attention a little better. That said, I'm not sure what this civil war will bring. Hopefully Karloman doesn't take advantage of the situation, especially as he's doing his own thing in Iberia. I'm not much of a proactive player, at least at first. Let us pray that I have not already made a mistake. This beef with Lope of Gascogne seems to be heating up and I may have to do something about it. But since he's joined in on the rebellion, maybe Karl will do it for me. We shall see. Not sure when I'll get the chance for some more playtime, but I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for reading, all! :)
 
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770 – 772: The West Francian Civil War


Duke Hunoald of Aquitaine looks up from his book in the year of Our Lord 773 and drags a hand across his forehead…“Phew! If I thought 769 was busy, I had no idea! Thanks be to God that I have this trusty tome!”

In truth, our good Duke barely had time to do much reading these last two years. Also...he was not reminded to do so. I guess the event stream is over. Good thing, because as stated, quite a bit happens here. When we last left plucky Aquitaine, they were in the midst of two different wars. The most important was, of course, this fool headed and ill considered rebellion headed up by Bishop Ricolf from Koln. I thought I had done a good job up there, but apparently not.

More to that, let us not forget that my less than good buddy Duke Lope of Gascogne was drawn into this. Not sure why because I note that he is now called “the Wise.” Not so wise as that, pal. However, Lope does send his devilish minions north to put siege to Bordeaux. We are not pleased.

Lb8DMiV.png

Karl is up in Normandy assuming that he is pulling his soldiers around him as over three thousand rebels are taking it to Flanders. Since I guess I’m still in Koln trying to improve relations (again...thought I was good at this) perhaps I advise Karl to go there and put siege to the place in response. He does...eventually. It takes him some time.

But the thing that really upsets me is that my good buddy King Desiderius of Lombardy gets excommunicated by Pope Stephanus III. Why, man? He’s such a cool dude! But what can I do? We are at war and because I am a loyal servant of good King Karl...and his Chancellor remember...I must keep my eyes on this ongoing conflict. Karl’s not real happy when I tell him that Bishop Ricolf has taken Oudenaarde in Flanders. More to that...he’s really not happy when I must tell him that the area from Rouen to the Contentin Peninsula are now considered part of Middle Francia and not our realm.

AbgLHI9.png

How and why this happens, I could not tell you. What we know as Normandy had been part of the rebellion. Did they bug out after Karl marched through? Was Karloman just that much better and they decided to jump ship? Was it an event that I missed that caused it? I honestly don’t know. I just looked up one day and saw the change. Maybe I had my nose in that damn book again after all.

Truthfully, it matters not. There remains a war on and Duke Lope’s forces are making some headway in Bordeaux. By July of 700, it falls to his forces and they double down. Karl is still up in Koln and I start thinking he is just leaving us to our own devices. Around this time I get two events. One is apparently a criticism that stung. It must have been bad to create an event around it. Was it from Karl? I mean...what the hell did I do? I’m not responsible for this damn war. But while I think it was meant to hurt me, I decide to turn the other cheek. I may be patient after all.

The other is less personal but my new Steward Alberic (screw than Count Abbon, right?) has some interesting thoughts on how to improve the economy. On that one, I say go for it buddy! It’s a little cost to support his ideas, but it should do just the trick. We like coin.

It’s around this time...September of 770 by the way...that Duke Hunoald decides to really get proactive. He’s been insulted...by someone. We assume King Karl, but who knows? He is watching the south of his Duchy burning thanks to the “wise” actions of Duke Lope of Gascogne. And it may...may...have had something to do with the visit by my hopeful buddy King Desiderius of Lombardy. Yes, he is still excommunicated. Yes, I am supposed to still be in Vermandois doing some work...some thing. Yet no...I call in sick for the day and take the next courser back to Saintes because my Duchy needs me!

I have to say that the visit by Desiderius...Desi to me these days...was a real treat. He thought so too. In fact, as he left he made sure to tell me that he was “touched.” Aww! That is what I had hoped for. More to that, he was rather impressed because just as we were having some late nights with wine (there was no touching there!) I was calling up my levies. That’s right! I’m tired of just watching life go by before me. I’m going to act!

gpvy5o4.png

This aggression cannot stand! Besides...my Count in Bordeaux isn’t a huge fan of me. Also my Spymaster, by the way. Much good he’s doing against Duke Lope, but I am a man of my word. I cannot see my lands under such terrible peril (and I’ve already taken that sick day) so it is time to do something about this seeming never ending (or slow) war. To that end, and after another wonderful night with Desi (again...there was NO TOUCHING!) I instruct my commanders Enric, Raolf and Girvais to head south. We finally built an army of 858 strong men to take this war directly to Lope.

Just around the time that Lasauve in Bordeaux falls to Lope’s forces, mine are crossing over into the Duchy of Armagnac. I considered a direct confrontation, but rather decided to go right to the capital and put Auch under siege. Clearly I have made the right decision because I receive two excellent bits of news. At the first, King Karl has won a resounding victory against this idiot Bishop up north in Koln. That will pave the way for the King to siege down his lands. But the second is even better...guess what? My lovely wife Anselperga is pregnant!

See! I told you. I was just having wine with Desi. Then I retired for the night to my wife’s bedchamber. Doing my duty and she hers. I must say that I was a bit sad when I learned in December that my good pal Desi had died. He was only a few years younger than I am and they tell me it was from natural causes. I’m relieved at least that I could give him the news that he’d have another grandchild before it happened. Now I’m left with an 11 year old boy named Adelchis as King of Lombardy. I cannot sway that. I do have principles.

Instead, and because I have decided to go full on in supporting my King, I begin trying to sway Karl himself. Maybe he will be my friend. I am his Chancellor after all. He’s doing well and occupying all of Koln while I am giving some goo-goo eyes to my very attractive and pregnant wife...she really is even more beautiful right now. Not sure how I know, because I am supposedly following along with my Aquitaine army, but I’m certain that it is true. I do feel more lustful right now. Yet I must tamp that down at the moment because a rather huge moment occurs…

2kTNDpA.png

Karloman died! He was only 20! So young! One might assume that it had something to do with his war in Iberia, but I am told it was from natural causes. Not sure what those could be, but it does mean that my glorious King Karl inherits all of his lands. That’ll help. We do also inherit the war with the Umayyad Sultanate, but that will need to wait. Clearly my services are valued because immediately Karl transfers to me as vassals the Counts of Saumur and Vendome. Thanks my hopeful friend.

hx3b6s9.png

He likes me. He really likes me. Not so much to call me a friend just yet...but I think he really likes me. As such, I will be the very best vassal and help my King! So you know what I will do? Well, I will tell you. It takes a while, but as Lope continues to fully siege down Bordeaux, I finally take Auch by April of 771. He sends his forces north to do I don’t know what (because he’s scared of me, I am certain) so I then take my force and go to take back Bordeaux.

And it’s a good summer too. I watch as Lope has his guys going somewhere but as I get to Bordeaux to take it back, I get such great news...

3JkdBCz.png

My bride Anselperga has given me another son! He will inherit all...well except for Lusignan which will go to grandson Loup Louping...and we are so excited we decide to change up the naming a bit. I mean...I could have named him after me. But the Louping name is so entrenched within our family...I get creative. Or the game does. Either way, welcome to the world little Alias Louping!

Beaming with pride, I have my forces keep up the attack. Bordeaux falls back to us by September. A set back maybe when Lope has his guys take Tours. But I will take it all and he lets up. Silly Lope. I thought he was wise. Karl wins again versus the forces of Bishop Ricolf in October and by the start of 772, I have all of Bordeaux back. And within four months, I have taken Tours back as well.

Now a funny thing happens here...Karl has assembled his entire force and those of the evil Bishop have moved south to meet up with what is left of Lope’s army. At this point, the rebels are over 1,000 strong. I don’t have those numbers and don’t want to get into a fracas in which we lose and cause a poor war scoring. So I disband my force just after Tours falls back to us.

It seems only a matter of time that Karl will travel south and take on this army, but half way there, he turns and goes back to Koln. I’m getting a little nervous because this rebel force has decided to take it to Perigord and they hold it by August of 772. This Army of Otto (whoever he is) is disturbing and now they are concentrating on our lands. But I’m proud...

8aupzc7.png

Yes. That’s right. I get a moniker! Don’t know if it was because I was such a great support to the King during these awful times. Or, maybe because I decided to create for myself the title of Duke of Poitou to add to my belt. Either way, I think Karl likes me and I am very well respected. The Duchy creation was costly but I think worth it. It’s good to be the Duke...twice over. AND...it’s not too long after that when this foolish Bishop decides to give up on his quest.

By November of 772, King Karl wins. Somehow...someway...he has persevered. It may have had some little thing to do with my own tiny efforts...we here in Aquitaine believe it so. But regardless, it is now over. Bishop Ricolf is imprisoned. More importantly to me (and no little amount of schadenfreude) so too is Duke Lope of Gascogne. A more better place for such a jackass I cannot think.

As 773 dawns, our guy Duke Hunoald is flying high. He wasn’t so much a rival, but we didn’t like him anymore, so the imprisonment of Lope is vindication. And we know well that we played our part in this civil war victory. Karl is reluctant to say it...but we know. Plus, we’ve done well to sway him. Some little bit at least. We now have a son and an heir controlled by us and my wife seems to love me. And our demesne is increased.

So what do I, Duke Hunoald the Proud, decide to do? Since I’m not reading that book too much anymore...I think it’s time for that bastard Count Abbon to go!

ULaKQMj.png
 
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Hunoald is riding high, buoyed up by success both at home and on the field -- and what better way to celebrate than by murdering a tiresome annoyance? ;)

How and why this happens, I could not tell you. What we know as Normandy had been part of the rebellion. Did they bug out after Karl marched through? Was Karloman just that much better and they decided to jump ship? Was it an event that I missed that caused it? I honestly don’t know. I just looked up one day and saw the change. Maybe I had my nose in that damn book again after all.

Having been both victim and perpetrator myself multiple times, I suspect that what happened here is that Karloman declared war on the rebel faction to grab the territory in question. It's a sneaky way to take land off a strong neighbor that's too strong to fight directly, or that you don't want to fight directly for some other reason. (That said, you always run the risk that the revolt will end one way or another before you can enforce terms, leaving you high and dry with blood and treasure spent on an inconclusive war, but you pay your money and take your chances...)

Karloman died! He was only 20! So young! One might assume that it had something to do with his war in Iberia, but I am told it was from natural causes. Not sure what those could be, but it does mean that my glorious King Karl inherits all of his lands.

This is a consequence of one of those story events I mentioned earlier. I'm not going to spoil the details in case you ever get a hankering to play Karl himself in the near future, but the upshot is that Karloman is supposed to die early on so Karl can inherit a unified Frankish realm to set up the next step on his path to Imperial glory.
 
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Fb-fb:

Hunoald is riding high, buoyed up by success both at home and on the field -- and what better way to celebrate than by murdering a tiresome annoyance? ;)
Oh yes! :D

Having been both victim and perpetrator myself multiple times, I suspect that what happened here is that Karloman declared war on the rebel faction to grab the territory in question. It's a sneaky way to take land off a strong neighbor that's too strong to fight directly, or that you don't want to fight directly for some other reason. (That said, you always run the risk that the revolt will end one way or another before you can enforce terms, leaving you high and dry with blood and treasure spent on an inconclusive war, but you pay your money and take your chances...)
That makes sense. That said, I was watching and did not see any of Karloman's troops there. In fact, the whole time from the start of the rebellion to the switch, Karl or other West Francians were marching through that territory. It's a rather moot point now after Karloman's death, but it was weird.

This is a consequence of one of those story events I mentioned earlier. I'm not going to spoil the details in case you ever get a hankering to play Karl himself in the near future, but the upshot is that Karloman is supposed to die early on so Karl can inherit a unified Frankish realm to set up the next step on his path to Imperial glory.
Ah yes. This makes perfect sense. If nothing else, it certainly helped the war effort as immediately soldiers were called up from all of these lands to assist in defeating Bishop Ricolf and his.
 
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he’s really not happy when I must tell him that the area from Rouen to the Contentin Peninsula are now considered part of Middle Francia
Well explained later by @Specialist290 . And in the end, it didn’t matter, as you say.
Was it an event that I missed that caused it? I honestly don’t know. I just looked up one day and saw the change.
Seems like it was.
I do feel more lustful right now. Yet I must tamp that down at the moment because a rather huge moment occurs…
Apply that cold spoon and keep the codpiece attached, Hunoald. That’s a big ( and very useful) event.
My bride Anselperga has given me another son! He will inherit all...well except for Lusignan which will go to grandson Loup Louping
There you go, lands, a son, victory and then revenge! What more could a Duke want, other than a new title? Another son, of course. Time to put away the cold spoon and stop tamping. :p
I think it’s time for that bastard Count Abbon to go!
That too.
 
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The Duke is doing well. Hopefully, in time, we will follow the Kings of Aquitaine...

Karl has inherited Karloman's lands.

The parts with the Lombard king and the book were amusing...
 
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Fb-fb:

Well explained later by @Specialist290 . And in the end, it didn’t matter, as you say.

Seems like it was.

Apply that cold spoon and keep the codpiece attached, Hunoald. That’s a big ( and very useful) event.

There you go, lands, a son, victory and then revenge! What more could a Duke want, other than a new title? Another son, of course. Time to put away the cold spoon and stop tamping. :p

That too.
Be careful of that lessening of tamping. See the next update.

The Duke is doing well. Hopefully, in time, we will follow the Kings of Aquitaine...

Karl has inherited Karloman's lands.

The parts with the Lombard king and the book were amusing...
Hopefully...in time. Glad it was amusing. I try but as stated, my humor may not be others. ;)
 
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773 - 774: In Which We Get the Great Pox

Wait a minute...we get ahead of ourselves. I don’t want to bury the lede, but we have to get there first. When last we left our very proud and handsome (I noticed you threw handsome in there…) Duke Hunoald the Proud of Aquitaine and Poitou, he was feeling rather high on life and perhaps a little murderous. We don’t care for that little gutter snipe Count Abbon and put a plot into place. Yet we also must recall that there are other items to do. We cannot just sit around all day thinking about ways to kill the bastard. I mean...we could...and it might provide some good ideas and thus a better chance for it to succeed...but we must still rule.

So at first, we make certain to look once more at our succession laws. I should mention that when I first suggested it I said that we were Agnatic-Cognatic. I should have also mentioned that we are Gavelkind. Rather important and shows why I am not very good at playing this game. By that I mean that not only having another son but in creating that second title (at great cost, recall) I will now lose both Lusignon but so too the Duchy of Poitou when Hunoald passes from this mortal coil. Curses! Do I have to kill my grandson Loup now too??

But lest you think our proud Duke is consumed by evil plots, he also considers his other Counts. Our boy Wulgrin down in Perigord needs some loving. Thus he is now created the Master of the Hunt. He is my spymaster after all and that is half of his job, right? Also, we must remember that we remain at war. Two wars, actually. The first is with little Broenic up in Brittany. Yet that is only a tiny thing. The much larger conflict is with the Umayyad Sultanate in Iberia. And while things have been a bit quiet for the last few days, our partners in this have not been resting on their laurels. To wit…

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As you may see, my wife’s pals in Lombardy continue to fight the good fight. Well, not too good. Between January and February, they lose this rather large battle in Larida. Not great. Worse than that, you may also notice a creeping fog rising up in the south. Look closer...see? By March, I’m told I might shut the gates to this plague but dammit? I’m the Duke. I will decide. I’ve got things to do and people to kill so I can’t sit behind my walls and shut out the rest of the world! Especially when I learn that the dastardly Abbon is seeking to fabricate claims on the Duchy of Poitou!

I consider using that as pretext to imprison the S.O.B. but the plot, man...the plot! Plus, that risks armed conflict at a moment when this pox is continuing to travel north. So much so that my Chaplain is unable to do his duties while he’s shut his own gates in Thouars. What kind of man of God is he I ask? But no matter. I look around and find that Karl has bested that 300 army in Broenic and has over four thousand heading south. Problem there is...they will be marching right through my now plague infested land.

Now one must ask...did we do this on purpose or was it just happenstance? That being...did we invite Karl to march through our lands just when the pox hits Saintogne? Did we finally decide to shut our gates just as Karl was marching past the castle? Did we look down from our high walls with maybe a little bit of glee just as we see signs that King Karl is now incapacitated with the pox? I mean…

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...now I’m the Regent of West Francia. We’ll have to get to the actual makeup of the King’s Council in a moment, but we are at least first met with the brash and frankly jerky Marshal of West Francia, Duke Theodoric of Burgundy and Normandy. He knocks on the doors of the keep and asks for a few words. We stand on the other side, obviously fearful of this pox...NOT Theodoric...and listen. He asks that I support his votes on Council. He says that if I do, he’ll owe me a favor. It is tempting...but dammit, I am Regent! I’ll have my own say. So I say no. I may have made another mistake because he is pretty powerful…

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But I am regent as well as proud recall. If I’m going to rule in Karl’s stead, I’m going to rule in Karl’s stead. Also, I keep having these awful dreams. I cannot sleep because I’m tormented by horrible recurring nightmares of our people. The pleas for help and their hurtful words are beginning to get to me so I finally (and proudly) announce, “Open the gates!!!” Of course by now Duke Theodoric has marched on to the south and into the plague himself. It had nothing to do with that...I promise. I just wanted a little breath of fresh (cough, cough) air.

I’ve got regenting to do and so follow their march closely. The Francian force finally meet the Umayyads by July. It looks to be a bloody good show. Over 6,000 of our guys against little under 4K for them. I guess I should give you an idea of who we’re dealing with here…

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It’s a fairly long battle, I must say. Back and forth with many casualties on both sides. Mountainous terrain and fierce resistance from the locals make it tough. We get some reinforcement by the end of the month but by August of 773, we...wait what?!!

Did that just say that King Karl died?!

Umm...yes. Yes it did. Succumbed to the Pox in August 773. And now we are left with little King Pepin, aged only 4. He is the son of Karloman and while still a Karling, it seems as though a little light has gone out of the world. (However...I’m still Regent! Ha!)

Especially since the pox is now ravaging all through my lands. Why me? I’m starting to get a little stressed here and still have this huge battle to watch in Umayyad. Tapping my fingers between biting my fingernails, I watch until the end of the month when finally victory in Empurias is seen. The Umayyads are in shattered retreat and we all rejoice. Well..as best we can in our hazmat suits.

Yet it is here that I notice something strange. Little King Pepin is making rulings voted upon by the Council and apparently I voted too. I just didn’t receive a chance to do so as the player. Is this how it’s going to be as Regent? I thought I got to rule, dammit! It was a slight thing, but I’d like to have my say if I’m going to bear the burden. And on that, I suppose I should introduce to you the Council of West Francia…

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Chancellor Bernard, Prince-Bishop of Escuens

Steward Thuringus, Duke of Franconia

Chaplain Karloman

Spymaster Hnabi, Duke of Schwaben

Marshal Theodric, Duke of Burgundy

And me...the Regent.

Three Dukes and two priests. Surely I can deal with this. I swiftly send a gift to the Chaplain because I’m a God fearing man and also look to the new Chancellor as a possible ally. I need some support on Council and I know what his job entails. He’s a bit of a zealot but being the glory hound that I am, I need a weight against others of my ilk like Theodric and Hnabi. Thankfully at least that Thuringus is a pragmatist. I might be able to work with him later as well.

Yet we have little time to consider all of this because in October Count Abbon dies! Damn. I had forgotten about him entirely. Well...there was a lot going on. More to that, he’s gone and had a son. One very tiny baby named Raimond. There goes the plot, obviously. I did not even get a chance to attempt assassination. Booo!

No matter. I may be proud but that doesn’t mean that I won’t stoop to the lowest of all things...baby killer! Yes...that’s right. It doesn’t take a month before I begin a plot to kill little baby Raimond. He’s got to go!

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Oh shut up back there! Look...I’ve got to, right? I really don’t want to kill my grandson, but if I’m going to lose the Duchy of Poitou I am going to damn sure at least own Poitiers itself!

Now...where were we? Oh yes...the two bits that have caused me to be preoccupied. One the war – it keeps going. The other – the Council. And I don’t like what is going on here. Bishop Ricolf is released from prison in December. Then Duke Anselm of West Frisia and Brabant after that. I keep watch, but thankfully my now mortal enemy (my words, not the game) Duke Lope remains incarcerated.

Back to the war, we move over into 774 and see another large battle in Urgell. It lasts until March and along the way, the Sultan decided to make peace with Airmanagildo of Navarre. Our boy Airman (as he will henceforth be called should I have need to mention him again) becomes a King.

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The Francian force still has nearly 4K in Iberia and I am more than thankful because little Alias has been a bit under the weather for a minute. Thankfully my trusty physician Gisla has pulled him through and she gets a gift. I also send my spymaster to Poitiers to stir up some shit. We watch as the war continues and then in May, Gisla tells me that my dear Anselperga has consumption. She has seemed a bit weaker and weaker over these last weeks. Makes sense, I guess. I’m not the doctor...sorry, herbalist.

At any rate, the war rages on and King Airman decides to offer his services in the war. Wait a minute...didn’t he just make peace? No penalty? I guess it is different religions so all things are fair. I mean...sure, we’ll take the help. We’re doing pretty well too. War score is up to 77% and we’ve occupied a good part of the northeast. And then in June, another battle seals it giving us 100% war score. Nothing happens right away so it gives us a chance to move back to more personal matters.

It is this same month that I notice that Count Wulgrin is making some issue of some damn thing. My spymaster recall. He has started a faction for increased council power in Aquitaine. And he has about 89% of my strength. His opinion is at -8 so I send him a gift. It takes about a third of my treasury, but it gets him to +54. Not too bad so maybe that tactic will be useful for…

No. Sorry. Think about that later as a rebel uprising of 1,620 shows up in Sens under the guise of Ragno, a Fraticelli heretic. Great! I’m not too worried about that. What does trouble me is that a lot of action keeps going on in the West Francian Council and I am having nothing to say about it. First the creation of the Duchy of Upper Lorraine and then some Richard dude is granted said title. Apparently I abstained from that vote. By that I mean...I was never given the chance to vote. I guess they locked me out for a few minutes and then recorded it as abstaining. What the hell, guys? Am I not the Regent?!

Who knows who is really running things, but by August West Francia and Umayyad make peace. The only real gain is Navarre one supposes, but at least the war is over. I’ve got baby killing to do and a Council to regent. And once again on that front, I’m still abstaining. Am I missing something? Did a decision I made cause me to be mute? Is it something I am not choosing? What the hell?

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Could it be his mother? She is still Countess of Evreux after all. And she is still heir to Sens. Hmm. Might that be why there are rebels in that place? If I were writing a narrative, I would most certainly be using this. Good stuff! But I am not so…

Wait a minute...what is this? I am starting to violently cough. It’s not supposed to be like this. I am flying high. Regent and used to having my way...Gisla...can you give me a little bit more of that tincture? It’s good and helped both Alias and Anselperga. Surely it will help me because I have a lot to do.

Ahh...a little better and thanks God because an attempt is made on little baby Raimond in October. One of the maids is supposed to solve our little problem. Yes...it fails. And then...oh, the chest pains!

It passes, thanks be to God. I’m trying to check the odds with my plot (seems like I’ve picked up some supporters) and then...oh boy, am I fatigued! It is seemingly never ending but I’ve got Gisla. Yet she insists that I have consumption. Oh please...we’ve been here before. You can do it. She suggests a three day fast and I say sure. She knows. She’s cured my wife and son after all.

Ahh...but Count Wulgrin of Perigord is not yet done. He tells me later in November that he will try once more. That said, he tries the maid ploy again. I’m beginning to think my guy isn’t so great at his job. Why?

Well, because this happens…

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Who is to blame for this? Did my spymaster do me in? Was it my own hubris and murderous intent? Punished by God perhaps? Did my little three year old Alias make this happen? Or his mother Anselperga who becomes regent? They got over their colds. But not Duke Hunoald. Damn that Gisla! She was supposed to heal me! Damnable poxy Pox!!! That’s what done me!
 
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Specialist290

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Ah, poor Charle-never-got-the-chance-to-be-magne. In all honesty, I don't think I've ever seen him complete his story thread without player intervention, especially with so much of this game being left up to the whims of the inscrutable RNG.

And, might I add, poor Duke Hunoald as well! He had a decent run, but 58 isn't all that old even by the standards of the time, and having his realm split up between two underage heirs doesn't bode well for the survival of the dynasty. Fingers crossed that Alias manages to survive what will undoubtedly be a rather tumultuous minority.

As to the council vote shenanigans -- I'm afraid I won't be much help on figuring this one out, since it's been a good long while since I've played as anything other than an independent lord. Might be something in the message settings you can toggle to be informed when a council vote starts...
 
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HistoryDude

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Disease kills many people, including royalty. It doesn't discriminate...

The Regency was such a good opportunity to gain power, too...
 
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