• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(169228)

Back from the dead
4 Badges
Sep 26, 2009
1.749
2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
Well, at least Jordan doubled the size of his county ;). That Richard is indeed one of the most useless characters I've ever seen in the game.
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.788
601
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
Richard, the Simple
Lived: 1062-1099
Head of House of Graziano: 1082-1099
Count of Acre: 1082-1099



Richard, the Simple was the third Count of Acre (a County just 7 years old when he inherited it). Throughout his rule Richard would be effectively dominated by the Venetians faction at court whilst he lived in blissful ignorance about the world around him. Yet for all his problems Richard provided the House of Graziano with exactly what it needed: stability after a tumultuous birth to the House; an heir at a time when the House looked likely to die out and security from overly zealous foreign incursions at a time when Egypt was still strong and much of court was hungry for blood.

For the most part of Richard’s reign the sole aim of the Venetians was stability – simply put a stable city would encourage trade to a greater extent and fill Italy’s greatest maritime power’s coffers with more gold. So the Venetians looked to end the vigorous politicking around the court. The government was brought under near total Venetian dominance whilst the Hospitallers were kept supportive as the Acre government set up a yearly tribute for the Order. However the Norman faction remained restless and angry. During Jordan’s reign the Normans had been satisfied by the acquisition of a strip of landing connecting Acre to Tiberias yet the Venetians seemed very unreceptive to idea of gaining further lands for settlement. Thus Acre was filling up with angry young men eager for battle but denied it by a supposedly impious (merchants were usually disdained by the Church) and generally hated government.



Then in the Summer of 1086 a strange force arrived in Palestine at the head of a fleet of longboats – the Second Crusade had arrived. The First Crusade was universally regarded as a failure as only the Italo-Normans answered the call and they found themselves unable to capture anything but Acre. Yet from the mid 1080s the new Pope had been itching for a second attempt on Jerusalem and this time he made sure to send preachers out far and wide to drum up support. Unlike the First the Second Crusade received rather widespread support and would not be fought in a single campaign but over the course of several increments that lasted until the early 12th century.



Count Omm of Trondheim arrived at the city of Acre with 4,000 Norwegian warriors in June 1086 as the first force of the new Crusade. City officials greeted the Viking warlord amiably but offended him by refusing to allow anymore than a dozen Norwegians the chance to enter Acre at any one time (the Venetians rightfully feared that the army could cause serious trouble). Omm informed the city officials that he intended to march on Jerusalem and retake it for Christ in the name of King Olaf of Norway. Omm requested advice, military aid and the promise of supplies. The Venetians replied to Omm by warning him that Egypt would surely be too powerful for his small army and giving him the chance to settle with his army in the lands ruled by Acre (the city would be effectively impregnable if the Norwegian army agreed to stay). Omm, however, insisted on marching on the Holy City so the Venetians decided to use this to their advantage. The government encouraged most of the more adventurous knights to join Omm on his march and gave him military advice and the promise of supplies to be delivered by sea. The Venetians informed Omm that in order to capture Jerusalem he would need a much shorter supply line and would therefore have to capture the port of Jaffa (much closer to Jerusalem that Acre and the most viable launch pad for an attack on Jerusalem). From Jaffa he could then strike directly at the Holy City.

Omm took this advice and began to march South towards Jaffa, his 4,000 Norwegians were joined by 500 Norman knights (removing the most destructive part of the Norman faction). The Norwegian army lacked any heavy cavalry in the Norman fashion, instead relying on elite foot soldiers, so the knights who joined it greatly increased the Crusade’s viability. This force carefully proceeded down the Palestinian shore until it was met by the Egyptian army near Jaffa.

At the Battle of Jaffa the Marshal of Egypt, Mohammed Ahmed, had at least 12,000 men whilst Omm of Trondheim had just 4,500.



The Viking army was unlike anything the Egyptians had ever encountered before – Omm himself was a fearsome warrior who waded into the Muslim ranks with his mighty battleaxe where he would be accompanied by other elite Nordic soldiers in the fits of crazed rages. However for all his fighting ability Omm was a poor general, the Norwegians may have been incredible soldiers in hand to hand combat but their greatest weapon was in fact the Norman knights who were left without effective command (Omm was too busy in battle himself) and were left to ineffectually attack the Egyptian cavalry and any isolated infantry formations.

Mohammed Ahmed was able to utterly outwit the Norwegians, they may have been unbeatable in close combat but their leader refused to respond to the Muslim army’s marches. The Battle was brought to its effective end when the Egyptians sprung a trap on the Norman cavalry which ended into its total decimation, the Norwegians continued to fight for another hour before Omm called a retreat. The Egyptians had lost at least 5,000 men but Omm had just 2,000 left and almost no knights.

Omm the limped back to Acre with but a small army left. Again the Venetians suggested that he surrender but Omm was determined to achieve something in the Levant and so boarded his ships and sailed Northward to the port city of Beirut.



Disembarking near the city Omm was able to storm it far before the Egyptians could respond – thus leaving Norway with a port in the Levant. Mohammed Ahmed arrived at Beirut perhaps a month after its fall but decided that an attack would be needlessly bloody and decided to instead accept Omm’s rule.



Omm’s rule in Beirut would be extremely short and very unpopular. Most of his army left after the city was secure leaving him with just a few hundred warriors with whom he oppressed the people of Beirut shutting down Mosques, pillaging their homes and charging exorbitant taxes. In 1091 (after just 4 years in control of the city) a local elder named Sirkan Elesbaam led a revolt against the Viking that led to the execution of Omm and the deaths of most of the remaining Norwegians. The few who survived fled to Acre where they requested assistance.

With a new, independent and totally unprotected, city up for grabs and a readymade casus belli prepared by the Norwegians the Venetians government seemed eager to act. Indeed this was a move that would further their economic influence (Beirut was a significant port on the region) and satisfy those who demanded more lands (the Normans). In 1092 a large expedition was sent to Beirut.

The city stood little chance of survival as Acre’s troops besieged the city from land and the Venetian fleet blocked supplies by sea. After only a few weeks the city surrendered and the Latin army took its prize – this usual looting and pillaging then ensued.

With that the Count of Acre was again the only Latin state in the East however this would change as the 2nd wave of the Second Crusade arrived in 1093.

This wave consisted of Spanish and Bohemian troops and together the armies could muster some 40,000 men making it one of the largest military expeditions of the century. Instead of arriving in Palestine the Crusade attacked Egypt (believing that without its main source of wealth and strength the Kingdom of Egypt would be defenceless in Palestine). What was supposed to be a quick victory quickly became a war of attrition as after early successes in which the Crusaders conquered as far as Cairo the Egyptians counterattacked in strength.

However the Crusade armies were still powerful enough to secure victory and when peace was reached in 1096 they gained Alexandria and much of Northern Egypt.



By the time Richard passed away in 1099 tensions had already reached boiling point between the Roman Empire and the Fatimids of Egypt. The Romans had recently ended their elective Imperial Monarchy in favour of placing an Imperial dynasty upon the throne – the Lambons. The House of Lambon was in fact Armenian. These great Armenians had greatly benefitted from the Roman victories over the Turks and by the time they came to the throne the dominated the Eastern border of the Empire. However under the watch of the Elective Monarchy the Romans had lost lands in Syria to the Egyptians (who had preyed on disloyal Roman vassals around Tripoli). The new Imperial dynasty had looked to ensure its popularity by winning these lands back. Yet Egypt had failed to realise the severity of the new situation – without Alexandria they had no hope of defeating Rome in battle and that was where this dispute was headed.

Meanwhile back in Acre Richard died in 1099 at just 37 he was still a young man, yet few would grieve for long as his successor arose as an incredible Monarchy. The 16 year old son of Richard would later be idolised by the House of Graziano and praised as William II, the Great.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Looks like only Williams can achieve something. Starting with William the bastard. :p
 

unmerged(169228)

Back from the dead
4 Badges
Sep 26, 2009
1.749
2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
'When in doubt, choose a William to lead the nation.'
- Norman saying -​

Wonder what that William chap is capable of.
 

unmerged(195775)

Second Lieutenant
Feb 18, 2010
126
0
Wow those have got to be the worst stats I have ever seen for a character. I am surprised you were able do so well with that king. I hope Crusaders keep doing a Omm and more or less give you free land. I am most suripised by the fact that Ricard was a able to have a kid period. Though William looks promising though, especially with a title like 'the great' :p
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.788
601
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
William II, the Great (Part 1)
Lived: 1084-1131
Head of House of Graziano: 1099-1131
Count of Acre: 1099-1102
Duke of Jerusalem and Galilee: 1102-1120
Duke of Jaffa-Ascalon: 1114-1120
Duke of Oultrejordan: 1118-1120
King of Jerusalem: 1120-1131



William II was a truly outstanding figure – the ultimate Medieval Lord. After taking over the, still rather poor and weak, County of Acre at just 15 he led his small state’s armies almost immediately to the Gates of Jerusalem which he subsequently forced open, becoming the city’s first Christian ruler in 5 centuries. William then went on to become the first Graziano to be a King, leaving behind a powerful dynasty and a secure Holy Land.

Just a few months into William’s rule the war that had been building up for years and would define the 12th century began when the Egyptians launched a large scale pre-emptive strike towards Antioch. The Egyptians realised that in a protracted war the superior manpower available to the Romans would likely lead to their defeat. So a whole 2/3s of the entire Egyptian army was sent to seize Antioch and put the Romans on the back foot. The Roman-Egyptian War began on January 3rd 1100.



But the attack would end in disaster for the Egyptians as the highly talented tacticians, Alexius Komnenos Prince of Antioch, organised one of Rome’s greatest victories since the rise of Islam. Alexius was badly outnumbered (he had perhaps 10,000 men and was faced with at least 25,000). The Romans withdrew back, allowing the Egyptian army to make its way across the Orontes. Alexius then had the bridge, across which the Egyptians were bringing their supplies, destroyed whilst Roman warships then sailed into the river. This left the Egyptians trapped between Alexius and the Roman fleet. Alexius then took up a defensive position and waited. After a few days without supplies the Egyptians sought decisive battle and were totally destroyed. With no route to escape those who were not killed were captured and Egypt was effectively crippled.

By this stage the Pope was making his last push for the Second Crusade and encouraged Crusaders to join up with the Roman Army in their war with the Muslims. Few significant groups took up this opportunity but 5,000 men arrived from Poland to assist the Roman war effort.

Meanwhile following the Victory on the Orontes the Romans waited until they could secure significant reinforcements and then invaded Egypt. The Egyptians desperately looked to hold their own at Baalbek (North of the Sea of Galilee) but faced another horrific defeat. The Egyptian army then fled to Damascus. The largest and wealthiest city in the entire Levant then fell in September 1100. Virtually the entire Egyptian army was now destroyed. It had taken just 9 months to bring Egypt to its knees.

It was at this stage that the now 16 year old William Graziano chose to make his move. Rallying all the factions in Acre around his banner the young Count marched on Jerusalem the Golden with 2,000 men. In comparison Richard Guiscard had failed with 6 times that number. Even the city governor of Jerusalem could muster more men and faced the young Graziano in the Battle of Jerusalem in October 1100.



The Christian knights in their shimmering armour rode down and crushed the governor’s army. The Egyptians then rushed back inside the city. However here Count William II was presented with a problem. Jerusalem was one of the world’s most formidable fortresses; he had no siege weapons, few men and little knowledge of how to conduct a siege whilst within the city the much of the local Muslim population was joining up in defence of the most important city on earth. Indeed by January, when William’s army was starting to grow restless, many started to fear that should the Muslims come out from the walls they could defeat the army of Acre.

Yet William found his vindication in a Roman Army that marched to his aid in March 1101. Following the Fall of Damascus the Romans had largely settled for what they had gained. They had little desire to take the economically worthless lands of Palestine when it would risk both conflicts with the Latins and the loss of Syria. However the prospect of a friendly Christian ruler in Jerusalem acting as a buffer for the Roman Empire’s Southern flank convinced the Emperor to send General Tacitus with 8,000 men (including the 1,000 Poles who still remained in the East) to help the Latins take Jerusalem.



With Roman expertise and manpower William launched his assault on the city of April 2nd. By the end of the day Jerusalem had been reconquered by the armies of Christ following 463 years of Muslim rule. William had wanted to unleash his army upon the citizens of the city – as was the tradition for Latin Crusaders – but General Tacitus forbade him from doing so and went so far as to call William a barbarian for even considering it. For all their barbarous actions Latins were loath to admit that they had not truly evolved their society from the Dark Ages. William’s shame at Jerusalem would encourage him to treat the Muslims in his realm better than contemporary Latin Lords which in turn played a major role in the transfer of the chivalric ideal from the Islamic world to the Latin world.

Following his glorious victory at Jerusalem William convinced General Tacitus to accompany him on one last campaign, the pair moved to take the greatest fortress city of the region – Tyre. The Siege of Tyre was to last from May to December 1101 and only ended thanks to a heavy blockade of the cities’ port by both Venetian and Roman ships. Following the fall of the city of Tyre the Romans made peace with the Egyptians and whilst William did not officially make peace with Egypt no military engagements continued.

That was until June 1102 when King Roger of Sicily (the man who had first granted the Grazianos Acre) returned to Palestine, for the first time since his father’s death all those decades before, with around 10,000 Norman soldiers.

William was rather reluctant to continue the war – Jerusalem had fallen and he ruled over the last major economic centre of Palestine in Tyre. But after Roger promised to hand over any conquests to him William once again raised his armies. The campaign was short and rather bloodless as the Sicilian army marched to take the fortresses of Jaffa and then Ascalon. After a small battle near Ascalon (in which the Sicilian army was clearly victorious) King Roger fell ill and had to return to Acre. Without the King’s drive the Second Crusade finally came to an end when William made peace with Egypt under the agreement that all the lands he currently held would remain under his rule.

After his recovery King Roger went to adore at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – something he had hoped to see on the First Crusade 3 decades before – and following his worship he declared William to be William II Graziano Duke of Jerusalem and Galilee (cementing William’s role as the representative of the King of Sicily in the East). In spite of the allure of Jerusalem William kept his capital in Acre.



The Near East was now a rather different place.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
And so the Duchy was born.
Quite a lot of lucky conquests for you. :eek:
 

JDMS

Hypothetical Hegemon
54 Badges
Dec 12, 2009
2.083
0
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Iron Cross
  • Legio
  • Majesty 2
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Victoria 2
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Rise of Prussia
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • For The Glory
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • East India Company Collection
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
Great work. William is definitely the ruler Acre needs.
 

sjones25

Colonel
55 Badges
Jun 2, 2009
913
1
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Prison Architect
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Gettysburg
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Semper Fi
Wow, I'm surprised by what you've been able to do with a tiny Christian county stranded in the middle of Egyptian lands.
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.788
601
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
Can I just take a moment to brag about my successes in the last war :D

At Jerusalem I had less than 1,000 men and barely survived the battle with the force there. So with a few hundred men a seiged Jerusalem then 10,000 Romans arrived and I got the city. I used the same tactic to take Tyre, Jaffa and Ascalon. :D

At this stage Acre (my most important city) was suffering from some disease so with a petty number of soldiers I conquered Palestine.

Anyway update is now in progress. Expect it later today. ;)
 

Hastu Neon

Lt. General
48 Badges
Nov 29, 2002
1.353
3
45
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
You are lucky there. I generally perform the opposite: declare war, commence bloody fightings, start sieges ... and then someone comes and steal the title! :mad:

I really appreciate your style.
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.788
601
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
William II, the Great (Part 2)
Lived: 1084-1131
Head of House of Graziano: 1099-1131
Count of Acre: 1099-1102
Duke of Jerusalem and Galilee: 1102-1120
Duke of Jaffa-Ascalon: 1114-1120
Duke of Oultrejordan: 1118-1120
King of Jerusalem: 1120-1131



In the aftermath of his victorious Crusade William II was suddenly shunted into a position of worldwide fame and prestige. As the guardian of Jerusalem he held immense power. For many years the Knights Hospitaller had been the primary martial force in Acre yet the Pope held little influence over them. So, in order to increase the power of the Papacy in William’s lands, the Pope founded the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon in 1103 – the Order would be better known as the Templar Order. The Order was given control of the Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa Mosque (which they called the Temple of Solomon for the Mosque was built atop the site of the Temple) and the responsibility for protecting all of the Holy Land’s sacred sites. Whilst the Hospitallers were responsible for the protection of pilgrims the Templar protected the sites of pilgrimage. However the Pope was not happy with merely sending the new Order to protect the Holy sites, he wanted their guaranteed independence in the Holy Land from secular influences and so William was forced to give Jaffa to the Knights – William did so on the condition that the Knights would remain as his vassal.

In the year 1113 William took the port of Darum from a rebellious sheik.



In the year 1114 King Roger I of Sicily died. The man had been a fine King – twice going on Crusade, finishing the conquest of Sicily and transforming the Italo-Normans from a group of adventurers and mercenaries into a nation. On his death bed his Kingdom was one of Europe’s strongest.



Sadly in the aftermath of Roger’s death his Kingdom fractured. In Sicily Roger’s eldest son – Richard – was crowned King however Richard’s parentage was in doubt and many accused him of being a bastard. Those opposed to Richard supported Roger’s second son (who they claimed was his eldest legitimate son) – Henry. Henry drew his support from the Italian mainland. In this backdrop of Civil War William Graziano declared his independence from Sicily however Richard refused to allow this and declared war, this brought a third party into the conflict.



It appears to be the case that Richard sent almost his entire army over to the Italian mainland in order to fight his brother and had no fear that William would interfere in this battle. He would be badly mistaken. In the Autumn of 1114 William arrived from across the sea with a large army at the gates of Palermo (the capital of the Kingdom). William chose to quickly besiege the great fortress and its lacklustre defence was soon beaten. With his capital in enemy hands Richard made peace with William. In return for peace William’s independence was recognised and Richard granted William the title Duke of Jaffa-Ascalon.

In the year 1116 Sambor Piast, the very man who led the Poles who fought in the recent Second Crusade, agreed to switch his allegiance from the King of Poland to the Duchy of Jerusalem thus bringing the County of Safed into William’s realm.

Yet this would be quickly followed by another major war as the new King of Egypt – Adil Fatimid – invaded Acre’s realm with the goal of reclaiming Jerusalem in 1117.

This would be the conflict in which the Templars made their name as following a harsh defeat to King Adil at Negev (South of Jaffa) Duke William withdrew to Darum. Near the city William elected to standfast. The Christian army consisted of around 500 Hospitallers, 1,000 Norman knights, 2,000 Templars and 4,000 levies. That gave them a total force of 7,500 men whilst Adil brought 12,000 to the field.



At the Battle of Darum the Christians came under a barrage of missiles as Adil unleashed the classic tactic of pounding the more heavily armoured army with arrows. William tried desperately to hold back his men from charging but a handful of unruly knights charged and soon much of his knight core had joined them. If William allowed his knights to charge out to their deaths not just the battle but all of Palestine would surely be lost, so Richard gathered what men he had around them (mostly Templars) and charged out. Several successful charges turned a potential disaster into a complete victory as the Templars fought like men possessed and spurred the Latins on to a mighty triumph. Adil would never recover from defeat at Darum.

With the initiative back in the hands of the Christians William struck back into the Egyptian lands and successfully forced the Egyptians out of Palestine. With the threat of an invasion of the Hedjaz looming Adil agreed to surrender in 1118.

]

William was now one of the strongest powers in the entire East yet he was still not recognised as a King. For the next two years he would continuously petition the Pope to grant him a crown – something his Holiness finally granted in 1120 as he made William II Graziano King William I King of Jerusalem.



In 1121 William’s eldest son – Maertyn – became Duke of Holland. Now William’s son ruled over a distant and much wealthier realm than his father.



Dirk van Holland, the last Duke of that House, had only one son and three daughters. Lodewijk died in 1110 from a hunting accident in which a boar mauled him – he later died of his injuries. However before his death he left two sons. Henrik, the elder, died at the age of 20 in 1120 after a bout of pneumonia. Meanwhile the younger, Coenrad, died in 1106 at the age of just 2. Whilst the murder of the babe was never traced back to Acre there are strong indications that William had something to do with Coenrad’s death, the child was found throttled in the castle. Whatever the reasons for Coenrad’s death this left Dirk without an heir from his own dynasty. Instead the succession passed through Juliana, Dirk’s eldest daughter, who was the first wife of William Graziano. Juliana died within a few months of the birth of her only child but that child – Maertyn – survived. In 1121 Maertyn, at the age of 18, became Duke of Holland and left Outremer forever.

The rest of William’s rule passed by peacefully but upon his death the nation was left in crisis. William had managed to have 14 children by 3 different wives but out of them only 3 had been sons and only two survived unto adulthood. Maertyn, the eldest and the legal successor, was Duke of Holland but had no desire to return to Outremer to take over the economically worthless Kingdom. As Maertyn explained in his writings ‘’each of my Counties can match all of Jerusalem in their output’’. This left only Demetrius, Duke of Jaffa-Ascalon, as a male Graziano to become King yet Demetrius too had no wish to take on the heavy burden of Kingship. So in order to decide the future of the Kingdom Maertyn travelled to Rome to meet with the potential’s Kings of Jerusalem in a discussion chaired by the Pope.

Maertyn had decided that he would take the Kingdom’s healthy treasury as well as a manor in Acre and the title Head of the House of Graziano. Maertyn was also eager to give the Kingship to one of the existing nobles of Palestine.



With Demetrius ruling himself out of the succession that left Robert Shaheen – Duke of Jerusalem and the poorest of the claimants with nought but the town of Hebron, Sambor Piast – Duke of Galilee and Henry de Normandie Duke of Oultrejordan who ruled the most land also the land of least value.

Sambor Piast had a good reputation, having fought during the Second Crusade and been strong in rule over Safed. However he had close ties to Poland (being 12th in line to the Polish throne and a cousin of the King) and was therefore ruled out for fear of Poland gaining too much influence in the Kingdom.

Henry de Normandie was the bastard scion of William the Bastard who famously conquered England in 1066. His father had then become Duke of Kent however when the Normans were thrown back out of England by the Greystocs in 1093 Henry’s father was forced to flee to Palermo. Then Henry himself came unto Outremer during the Second Crusade, earned the respect of William and became Duke for Oultrejordan. Maertyn was unsure of Henry, in childhood he had known the Norman and always been afraid of him.

Finally Robert Shaheen was a man whose life mirrored that of the Grazianos. He was born in Sicily to virtually nothing and soon travelled to Outremer where he made a name for himself as a great knight. After the victory over Egypt in 1118 he was made Duke of Jerusalem and granted the County of Hebron.

Maertyn opted to grant the title King of Jerusalem to Robert Shaheen which completed the knight’s incredible rise from rags to riches and glory.

The story of the House of Graziano would continue from a new location.
 
Last edited:

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Ha, so you switched to Holland.
Very clever, I applaud. :D

How did you manage to do that in game terms?
Elective law?
 

unmerged(195775)

Second Lieutenant
Feb 18, 2010
126
0
Wow that was unexpected. Why did you leave the holy land and why did you put a non-Graziano on the throne. Hopefully you can quickly form a powerful country in netherlands to combat the German and French threats. William sure was good king though. Hopefully you will be keeping Jerusalem as a ally.
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.788
601
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
It seems that I went over my photobucket bandwidth limit again. I've now setup yet another account, must be 5 or 6 I've had now :p, and I've uplaoded the pics from the last update onto that to make sure that it is viewable.

For the other they seem to be moving between being visible and not. If I remember correctly everything goes back to normal in about one month.

Sorry for any inconvience.

@ Enewald: When William got really old I switched the succession to elective and gave all my lands in Palestine to Robert Shaheen. I then loaded up as Maertyn and F12 killed William. Then loaded back up as Robert Shaheen and changed the succession back to Semi-Salic Primogeniture. Then went back to Maertyn.


@ DJMagnus: I left Jerusalem as I felt that I'd already done Jerusalem in my D'Albon AAR (the Jerusalem section is in the middle). Playing as a Crusader state is pretty easy and boring anyway. After you get strong enough it pretty much consists of waiting for reputation to fall before beating up on the Muslims a bit more. Holland is much more interesting :D. I will start as the vassal of a resurgent German Kingdom. When Maertyn first inherited Holland it was indepdence, when I took over it was the Emperor's vassal.
 

JDMS

Hypothetical Hegemon
54 Badges
Dec 12, 2009
2.083
0
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Iron Cross
  • Legio
  • Majesty 2
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Victoria 2
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Rise of Prussia
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • For The Glory
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • East India Company Collection
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
Nice. So now we move to Holland.
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.788
601
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
Maertyn, the Spider
Lived: 1103-1154
Head of House of Graziano: 1131-1154
Duke of Holland: 1121-1154
Duke of Mecklenburg: 1133-1154
Duke of Modena: 1144-1154
Duke of Flanders and Valois: 1145-1154



Maertyn is remembered for two key facets of his personality. Firstly he was most certainly a Dutch man; he spoke the language, adopted the culture and had a Dutch name. Secondly he was a brilliant, manipulative Medieval Machiavelli who took Holland unto greatness. Yet, quite remarkably, he was a fanatical loyalist to the Emperor Giselbert von Franken. Maertyn elevated the House of Graziano in a manner his father could only ever dream of.



When Giselbert had come to the Imperial throne in 1124 he inherited a nation utterly destroyed by his predecessors. Within a short period of his ascension he faced a coalition of the Duchies of Lower Lorraine, Saxony and Swabia – he defeated them all. Following this victory the Princes of Germany began a rush to swear loyalty to their new liege. Maertyn, like Giselbert, was a young ruler and the two quickly became close friends, Maertyn being amongst the first to rejoin the Emperor would spend the rest of his life supporting his friend. It is notable that Giselbert moved the Imperial court from his ancestral homeland in Franken to Aachen, the seat of Charlemagne’s Empire.



After a decade of peace and prosperity Maertyn took on the responsibility and the wealth of the House of Graziano and began to expand his realm by any means necessary. In 1133 he obtained permission from Giselbert to launch a campaign against the Wendish Tribe of Mecklenburg. The Wends were quickly beaten and Maertyn gained both their rich land and the title Duke of Mecklenburg. This left Maertyn as a powerful force on both the Baltic and the North Seas, it also marked the end of the independent history of the Wends who would never rule themselves again. In 1136 Maertyn send his armies to help the Emperor defeat a rebellion in the Rhineland, his reward for taking part in the operation was the largest of the Rhenish cities – Mainz. Then Giselbert gave his loyal attack dog the mission of re-establishing Imperial power South of the Alps. For all his popularity in Germany few Italians had chosen to recognise the Emperor’s power (preferring to hold up the Pope’s). However Maertyn, after dozens of trips to Italy, managed to convince first the Count of Modena and then the Bishop of Parma to swear allegiance to him. Maertyn was made Duke of Modena by the Emperor for his troubles.

Yet Maertyn’s true triumph would not come until 1145. For many years Maertyn had maintained a dispute with the de Flandre family – the rich Dukes of Flanders. The Dutch Graziano had been eager to get his revenge against the de Flandre clan for their constant insults and their mercantile warfare waged against Holland. So in 1145 Maertyn launched a great surprise attack, this in turn sparked off the largest multinational conflict of the 12th century.



The portion of the conflict participated in by the House of Graziano was very small, the armies of Flanders were totally unprepared and by the time the first levies were forming the Grazianos were already in Paris (the 2nd city of the Duchy of Flanders after Brugge). Indeed the Grazianos had made peace with both the Duchy of Flanders and the Kingdom of France by the end of 1145. But the wider conflict continued.

As the war effort in France floundered following Maertyn’s withdrawal the Germans started to retreat towards the Rhine and both the Bohemians and a coalition of Italian states (the Lombard League) attacked the Empire, hoping to bring the great edifice down.

By 1147 the Empire was in dire straits – attacks upon Bohemia had led to deadlock; the war in Italy was turning into a bloodbath whilst the French King was but miles from Aachen. Emperor Giselbert would lead out some 30,000 men against a similarly sized French army to save his Empire.



The large knightly core of the French army seemed to give them the advantage as early charged badly shook the German lines. However Giselbert was able to keep his men disciplined and repulsed all efforts of the French cavalry to break through. Pressure from his knights, and perhaps a hot headed desire to achieve a quick victory, eventually forced the French King – Philip of Toulouse – into a full blown assault on the Germans with everything he had.



The French charged towards their doom. Their cavalry was shattered, their infantry rooted and the cream of their nobility slaughtered. The King barely escaped with his life. From Aachen onwards the war would quickly accelerate towards Giselbert’s victory as the Bohemians, Italians and French all fell before the German sword.



The Empire now stood more powerful than it had been for well over a century. However the Grazianos were now clearly a mighty force, second only to the Imperial family in wealth, power and influence. There were many who talked about the Grazianos as the next Imperial family.



In the new Flemish and French lands captured by Maertyn the House of Flandre still held great sway as de Flandre Counts sat throughout the new conquests. So between 1448 and 1450 these rulers were removed through a system of murders, the revocation of titles and the defeat of a rebellion. This period is known as ‘’the Purge of Flanders’’ as many as 100 members of the de Flandre clan were killed leaving the family virtually extinct.



In the year 1150 another great House became extinct as the House of Capet was inherited by Maertyn’s grandson Otto Graziano. The once proud family ruled France between 987 and 1093 before they were overthrown by the rebellion led by the de Toulouse family (who now ruled the Kingdom). Since then the House had clung on as the Counts of Vermandois, never once swearing fealty to the new Kings in Toulouse. The last Capet, Charles, had just one child and that was a daughter named Eve who married Maertyn’s son Dietrich (she would act as the chancellor of three different heads of the House of Graziano, continuing into her mid-70s). The child of these two was named Otto Graziano. Otto then inherited the rather unimportant County of Vermandois alongside the much more valuable Capet claim to the French throne.



Back in Outremer, in the Year 1147, the Fatimid armies under the leadership of the popular Kurdish General Saladin retook Jerusalem for Islam. In truth the achievement had been easy. Robert Shaheen (now in his 60s) was in the midst of a civil war with his eldest son Serlo. Serlo controlled the wealthy Northern territories of Acre, Tiberias, Tyre and Beirut whilst Robert had to make do with the much poorer South. Serlo had actually allied himself to Saladin and in return for his help in defeating his father he had offered to turn a blind eye to the capture of Jerusalem for Islam and the Fatamid Caliph. It seems Serlo utterly misjudged the situation as in 1148 the Pope called for a Third Crusade to restore Jerusalem to the Christians and removed Serlo from the throne of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

In the year 1152 the great Emperor Giselbert died. He would be succeeded by his seemingly talented son Meinhard. Yet Meinhard would be faced with disaster almost immediately as the Empire once again exploded into a state of civil war. Maertyn seemed to be rather unsure of what direction to take, he still felt some loyalty to Meinhard due to his friendship with his father yet it was clear that Meinhard was leading the Empire to utter destruction. Maertyn would be saved from having to make a decision as the Spider passed away in 1154. The 51 year old had ruled Holland for 33 years and had been Head of the House of Graziano for 23. Now the House would pass onto his son, Dietrich Graziano. A man who would later be known as Dietrich, Hammerhand.
 
Last edited: