Beelz

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I will be playing Novgorod in Deus Vult, 1066 start date, no mods.

Ground Rule
-I roleplay to an extent. I have no intention of minmaxing my way to glory.



NO NEED TO RUS​
A NOVGOROD AAR

The realm of Novgorod was neither weak nor great, but rather that special kind of mediocre that is always overlooked. Though it lacked the riches of the West, its hardworking people and valiant soldiers would carry it to glory some day.

1startmap.jpg


Or so Prince Mstislav Rurikovich hoped. In truth, it was a poor nation far behind the powerful kingdoms and even some of its neighbors. The Duke himself was little better, as his skills were such that the only noteworthy thing about him was his uncanny resemblance of Stephen Fry.

2startcharactershot.jpg


But he did have powerful connections. As a son of the Rurikovich family his father was Prince of Kiev. His siblings resided in the courts of Kiev, and chances were good he would inherit something from one of them at some point.
Unfortunately, both Kiev and Novgorod practiced Salic Gavelkind, splitting the inheritance between the lord's sons. This complicated things.

3successionlaw.jpg


Sensing the inevitability of conflict with his family, Mstislav gathered his men and attacked the Sames tribe to the East. He claimed they were evil pagans who would stop at nothing to destroy Novgorod, but really everybody knew he was just building up his realm.

As the war began, Mstislav found an opportunity to enrich himself. A local noble had been taxing his serfs a little more harshly than was usually permitted, and so the Prince took the opportunity to cofiscate the nobleman's lands. It was a small step towards centralizing power in Mstislav's hands, but a step nonetheless.

4nobleland.jpg


Seeing Mstislav enriching himself, the Church decided to take its cut. Clergymen approached Mstislav demanding the right to collect a tax on coughing during sermons. Not wanting to anger the Church, Mstislav agreed to this silly idea.

5churchdemands.jpg


The battles had already been won, and Novgorod's proud armies were sitting around waiting for the barbarian's forts to give out. It was at this time that the foolish Finns decided to attack Novgorod's undefended border. To their surprise, the border wasn't undefended for long, and soon their only province was besieged.

With all the nobles commanding their little armies, Mstislav took advantage of their absence to rewrite the laws of the land. He adopted the European system of a single inheritance to the eldest son, ensuring his house would remain united beyond his death. This triggered some substantial complaint from the nobility, and so he also enacted Feudal law, giving more rights to the nobility and landowners. He also placated his disinherited sons with land.

6newlaws.jpg


In 1069 the barbarian tribes finally accepted defeat. Mstislav took one province from the Sames, as his army was already overstretched. Another province was gained from the Finns, signalling the end of the Finn tribes. These lands were distributed among the Rurikovich, and while some nobles commented that the Rurikoviches seemed to be the ones profiting most, they were happy enough with the new feudal laws that they did not push their luck.

71069borders.jpg
 
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Beelz

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Is there any interest in CK AARs anymore or should I just not bother?
 

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I can't, my machine chokes on Divine Wind. I can't imagine how it would handle CKII.
 

unmerged(63836)

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I can't, my machine chokes on Divine Wind. I can't imagine how it would handle CKII.

Try demo - CK2 works faster than Vicky2 for me, for example. You might be surprised.
 

Beelz

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I have. The game speed resembles what you'd get with a pound of treacle, a brick wall, and a catapult.
 

Malurous

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Subscribed in case you are going to bother. ;) Some people do still read CK AARs so I suppose some more should stumble upon this one eventually, however it is a relatively silent subforum by now so you shouldn't expect a huge following.

In any case, I found the start entertaining, it's well written and a nice light read.
 
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Seems like a fun little AAR so far!

I like the style because it nice a light - not too thick with the wordage - which can be great for relaxing which is all I feel like after a week of sickness! :p

Don't give up hope! Just keep on postin' away!
 

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@Malorous - If you're reading, I'll keep going. Love Children of the Sun :happy:.

Thanks, very happy to hear both of these things. :)
 

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Novgord had made a minor expansion, but Mstislav knew well that in its current state it was still the weakest of the Russian powers. As the eldest son of Izyaslav Rurikovich he had most claim to the throne of Kievan Rus'. The succession law requiring division of inheritance was an issue, but as the Princedom was all he really wanted it didn't affect much.

8successionorder.jpg


It was to this end that Mstislav began putting funds aside in preperation for a secret project. But before he could put his plans into action an event within his court demanded his attention.



The man in question, Alexandr Igorevich, had served loyally, and so was spared the shame of exile. However, he was punished for his clear disrespect towards his liege with the end of his career as chancellor.
In a shocking turn of events, Predlava herself was appointed as the new chancellor. True she lacked Alexandr's skills, but Mstislav was much surer of her loyalty.

10chancelloralexandr.jpg

11chancellorpredlava.jpg


Novgorod continued to prosper, as the rapid population growth showed.

12popboom.jpg


Economic growth was all well and good, but it was clear to all that Novgorod needed more land. To this end Mstislav ended the unpopular scutage tax, and in exchange increased the number of troops required for his host.



He would need these men sooner than expected, as the barbaric tribes to the north declared war soon after. All efforts are turned towards the war, but Mstislav himself is delayed by some tragic news. His wife had died in childbirth. The child had also died.
The Prince was in mourning for a scant few days before he remarried, this time to Agafia Ivanovich, a capable woman from the court of Pereyaslavl.

Shortly after the Prince's remarriage, Alexandr Igorevich resurfaced. His arrogance is his undoing, as the Prince caught him with Agafia and dragged him before the court. No mercy is shown this time, and he is forced to leave the realm. He was lucky to have survived at all.



Agafia, not knowing the previous history between Mstislav and Alexandr, interpreted this as an attack on her. She raised the point to her husband, and things quickly deteriorated.



Mstislav began to wonder about his choice of wife as she found herself another lover, this one even less cautious about getting caught. Another exile followed, and Agafia found herself under constant watch.



Despite all these rumors (or maybe because of them) Agafia had become increasingly more influential in the court of Novgorod. Her thirst for power was considerable, as she began negotiating with noblemen for rule of her own land.



In November the northern savages finally relented, and Novgorod gained a single province. This was gifted to young Rostislav, Mstislav's son.

 
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Malurous

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That Alexandr Igorevich guy sure had some nerve! :rofl: CK is awesome for often providing AAR fodder like that.
 

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That Alexandr Igorevich guy sure had some nerve! :rofl: CK is awesome for often providing AAR fodder like that.

I know, but this new wife isn't exactly helping things.

Count me in, it's good to see a gameplay/history book AAR for CK. And you've made a good start.

Glad to have you following.
 

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The new conquests, minor as they were, still stretched Novgorod's army to its limit. This did not bode well for Mstislav's plans to unite the Rurikovich lands, and so he grundingly spent some of his own money to expand the training grounds across his demesne.

In March 1072 he received news that a Hungarian noble by the name of Mihaly Alba considered himself a rival to Mstislav. Nobody in the court was quite sure what it was all about, but they made note of it anyway.




In February 1073 it became apparent that young Dmitry Rurikovich was fast becoming a skeptical and cynical young man. No doubt it would serve him well in future.



In March 1704 the 'project' came to fruition. Mstislav was before his court at the time, and so he performed an admirable act of grief.



Unfortunatley the land inherited from the late Prince was far from Novgorod. It also overstretched Mstislav's ability to manage a large demesne, which forced him to distribute land among his court.

The issue of the territories being seperated was one which Mstislav would not ignore. He surveyed the map and determined he would need to fight at least two wars if he wanted to unite his territories. The first would be against Minsk, governed by a distant tribal chieftain who could pose little threat.

Mobilizing his new Kievan army, whose number was more than twice that of the Novgorod host, Mstislav marched on the counties of Minsk, Jacwiez and Orsha.

The territories were occupied, but not without a fight. The barbarians were pests, constantly harassing the siege forces. After months of mopping up, the territories were finally integrated into Greater Novgorod.



With the Minsk Corridor almost secured, Mstislav turned his sights to Polotsk, which was ruled by his cousin Davyd Rurikovich. The first battle within the Rurikovich family was about to begin.
 

Malurous

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Strong progress and quite a "project" indeed to secure the inheritance! :eek:

Is it just me or could Novgorod be a bit hard to defend? It's mostly just a long snake. :D
 

Beelz

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Strong progress and quite a "project" indeed to secure the inheritance! :eek:

Is it just me or could Novgorod be a bit hard to defend? It's mostly just a long snake. :D

I didn't just get the best bit of the inheritance though, it also fractured Kiev and the handful of counties left are no threat.

And I have plans for widening that snake...
 

Beelz

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After some rest and recuperation the armies of Novgorod were remobilized and struck a hammer blow against Polotsk.

The war was little more than a formality, and Mstislav made good use of his leisure time.



In July 1077 the war ended with the vassalisation of the entire Polotsk area.



A period of quiet consolidation followed. Mstislav disbanded the host and returned home.

The peace didn't last long, and in September the people of Kiev came out in open revolt against their distant rulers. Mstislav found himself in a difficult position: unable to give in to their demands, but also unable to mantain control over such a distant territory.



The answer was simple: he gave Kiev to his bastard son. Koz'ma Rurikovich became Count of Kiev, despite the fact that all power in the newborn's county remained in Mstislav's hands.

After surrendering Kiev to his son Mstislav found himself with only Novgorod to call his own. He quickly launched an attack on his northern neighbors.

The war ended swiftly and yet more territory came under the rule of Novgorod.



In July 1080 Mstislav received news that the elderly courtier he had made Countess of Nyland and Tavasts had died, and with no heir her demesne had defaulted back to him.



The land was quickly given to another courtier, netting extra goodwill from the nobility at no cost to himself. He was enjoying his good fortune with a strong drink when he noticed a rather pretty servant.



This was followed by a conquest of a different kind as the armies of Novgorod descended on the tribes of the Baltic.



This was only one of the wars going on, as Mstislav took the opportunity to claim the Principality of Galich from his brother Yaropolk.



Mstislav continued to indulg himself while on campaign.



Despite his frequent adultery the church was quite happy with Mstislav, even commending him for treating his bastards fairly.



The war with Galich ends in Novorod's victory and the title of Prince of Galich falls to Mstislav. Yaropolk does not deal with this defeat very well, seemingly converting to Paganism!



A period of relative calm and peace followed these conquests, as for the first time Mstislav was satisfied with his realm's security.

Unsure how to deal with the peace, Marshal Rurik found himself at a loose end and began to show signs of stress.



In April 1084 Mstislav inherited the lands of another heir-less vassal. However this was not a joyous occasion, as the deceased Yevstafii Rurikovich had been one of Mstislav's two legitimate sons.

 

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Stress continued to take its toll on Rurik, who became increasingly discontent with the new peace. This led to him issuing Prince Mstislav an ultimatum. There was nobody in Novgorod who could replace him, and Mstislav was forced to accept the terms.



Mstislav enjoyed himself in peace much the same as in war.



A tragedy followed as Rostislav Rurikovich, Mstislav's last remaining heir, passed away. His titles were handed to one of his bastard brothers.



In January 1085 Marshal Rurik came asking for money again. This time there was little to spare, and he was turned away empty handed.



Mstislav's hands however were kept very full indeed.



Eventually Mstislav had to address the loss of his only legitimate heirs. As things stood, his death would result in all titles going to the pagan Yaropolk, most likely destroying the state he had worked so hard to build. Having a child with Agafia was out of the question, so Mstislav made arrangements to fix the problem.



She was replaced with Lady Arsinde of England, a woman who was far more open to the idea of reproduction. They got down to business as only a creepy middle-aged man and his sixten-year old bride can and Arsinde was soon expecting.



On July 1, 1086 the realm rejoiced at the birth of Vasilii Rurikovich, heir to the throne of Novgorod.



Mstislav celebrated in traditional style, by killing some pagans. This time he struck the tribes of Finland, Satakunta and Karelia.

Three wars were not enough to keep Mstislav from getting up to his old tricks, as Lady Arsinde soon learned.



With the integration of Karelia came religious strife: the tribes previously conquered had been Novgorod's immediate neighbors, and culturally they were pracically Rus' already. These people on the other hand, were far seperated from Novgorod and practiced strange and arcane customs. They did not adapt well to rule by Christians, and demanded the right to practice their own religion independent of Novgorod. A reasonable request.

Naturally, Mstislav refused.



The wars continued, with vast swathes of pagan land coming under Mstislav's rule. With Novgorod's rapid growth and recent advances in weapons technology the pagans never stood a chance. Mstislav found the war dull, barely worthy of his attention.

Until January 25th, 1088.

 

Malurous

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Eek, a cliffhanger! :D

But an assassin? That's hard to understand, what has Mstislav ever done that could make someone want to kill him?!? :rofl: