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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

tnick0225

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THE REFORGING OF BURGUNDY

Chronicles of the Little House of de Forez







List of Rulers thus far:

Count of Forez-Lyon:

Count Artau de Forez of Forez-Lyon (pre 1066 - 1076)


Dukes of Dauphine:

Duke Artau I de Forez (1074 - 1091)
Duke Miquel I de Forez of Dauphine (April 11, 1091 - August 23, 1125)
Duke Nicolau I de Forez of Dauphine (August 23, 1125 - 26 September 1132)


Kings & Queens of Burgundy:

King Nicolau I de Forez (September 26, 1132 - December 25, 1147)
Queen Constanza I de Forez, Kaizerin of the Holy Roman Empire (December 25, 1147 - December 29, 1182)
King Miquel I de Forez (December 29, 1182 - September 6, 1194)
*died while imprisoned by Kaiser Reginar II Gerulfing
King Miquel II "the Great" de Forez (September 6, 1194 - November 19, 1242)
King Miquel III de Forez (November 19, 1242 - August 22, 1252)
King Miquel IV "the Just" de Forez (August 22, 1252 - October 26, 1282)
King Savarics I de Forez (October 26, 1282 - June 28, 1298)
King Simoun I "the Just" de Forez (June 28, 1298 - December 8, 1316)
King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (December 8, 1316 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


Other Realms Also Ruled by the de Forez family:

Emperors of the Byzantine Empire:

Nikarete I Komnenos (August 8, 1200 - September 3, 1208)
*****Husband is Prince Avaredo de Forez (brother of King Miquel II)
Emperor Averado I de Forez (September 3, 1208 - September 19, 1271)
Emperor Averado II "the Blind" de Forez (September 19, 1271 - July 3, 1281)
Basileus Kallistos I de Forez (July 3, 1281 - June 23, 1299)
Empress Stephania I de Forez (June 23, 1299 - May 2, 1310)
Basileus Anthemios I de Forez (May 2, 1310 - January 15, 1336)
Emperor Leontios II "the Fat" de Forez (January 15, 1336 - June 23, 1354)
Basileus Sabah I de Forez (June 23, 1354 - April 21, 1359)
Basileus Bernat I de Forez (April 21, 1359 - )


England:

King Miquel I de Forez (April 9, 1176 - September 6, 1194)
King Miquel II "the Great" de Forez (6 September, 1194 - November 19, 1242)
King Miquel III de Forez (November 19, 1242 - August 22, 1252)
King Miquel IV "the Just" de Forez (August 22, 1252 - October 26, 1282)
King Savarics I de Forez (October 26, 1282 - June 28, 1298)
King Simoun I "the Just" de Forez (June 28, 1298 - December 8, 1316)
King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (December 8, 1316 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


Norway:

King Miquel I de Forez (April 9, 1176 - April 18, 1187)
King Eginolf I de Forez (April 18, 1187 - April 29, 1241)
King Markward I de Forez (April 29, 1241 - December 16, 1294)
King Engelbrecht I de Forez (December 16, 1294 - May 4, 1305)
King Markward II de Forez (May 4, 1305 - April 4, 1351)
King Engelbrecht II de Forez (April 4, 1351 - April 15, 1364)
King Philip I de Forez (April 15, 1364 - )


Lotharingia:

Kaiserin Constanza I of Burgundy (March 9, 1182 - December 29, 1182)
King Miquel I de Forez (December 29, 1182 - September 6, 1194)
King Miquel II "the Great" de Forez (September 6, 1194 - November 19, 1242)
King Miquel III de Forez (November 19, 1242 - August 22, 1252)
King Miquel IV "the Just" de Forez (August 22, 1252 - October 26, 1282)
King Savarics I de Forez (October 26, 1282 - June 28, 1298)
King Simoun I de Forez (June 28, 1298 - December 8, 1316)
King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (December 8, 1316 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1359)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


Kingdom of Jerusalem:

King Miquel II "the Great" de Forez (August 12, 1230 - November 19, 1242)
King Miquel III de Forez (November 19, 1242 - August 22, 1252)
King Miquel IV "the Just" de Forez (August 22, 1252 - October 26, 1282)
King Savarics I de Forez (October 26, 1282 - June 28, 1298)
King Simoun I "the Just" de Forez (June 28, 1298 - December 8, 1316)
King Nicolau II de Forez (December 8, 1316 - December 12, 1316)
King Miquel IV "the Great de Forez (December 12, 1316 - June 24, 1335)
*****his regnal number is technically the IV of that name for Jerusalem, the previous Miquel would have been Miquel III
King Guilhem I de Forez (June 24, 1335 - October 6, 1351)
*****died in prison
Queen Alais de Forez (October 6, 1351 - )


Scotland:

King Artau I de Forez (March 6, 1242 - October 6, 1247)
*****would die during an open Rebellion trying to end de Forez rule
Queen Gyda I de Forez (October 6, 1247 - June 13, 1251)
King Miquel III de Forez of Burgundy (June 13, 1251 - August 22, 1252)
King Miquel IV "the Just" de Forez (August 22, 1252 - October 26, 1282)
King Savarics I de Forez (October 26, 1282 - June 28, 1298)
King Simoun I "the Just" de Forez (June 28, 1298 - December 8, 1316)
King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (December 8, 1316 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


France:

King Miquel IV "the Just" de Forez (January 18, 1235 - October 26, 1282)
*****{Started his reign in France as King Miquel I de Forez}
King Savarics I de Forez (October 26, 1282 - June 28, 1298)
King Simoun I de Forez (June 28, 1298 - December 8, 1316)
King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (December 8, 1316 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


Mauretania:

King Miquel IV "the Just" de Forez (September 25, 1273 - October 26, 1282)
King Savarics I de Forez (October 26, 1282 - June 28, 1298)
King Simoun I "the Just" de Forez (June 28, 1298 - December 8, 1316)
King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (December 8, 1316 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


Brittany:

King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (February 14, 1333 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


Croatia:

King Simoun I de Forez (August 13, 1347 - )


Nubia

King Nicolau II "the Holy" de Forez (June 30, 1359 - December 12, 1359)
King Miquel V de Forez (December 12, 1359 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


Bohemia

King Miquel V de Forez (September 15, 1364 - May 28, 1369)
King Nicolau III de Forez (May 28, 1369 - )


The Chronicles of Little House de Forez's Chapters:
Chapter 1: In the Beginning...
Chapter 2: The Early Years of Dauphine
Chapter 3: The Expansion - Part 1
Chapter 4: The Expansion - Part 2
Chapter 5: Fulfilling a Father's Dreams
Chapter 6: Consolidating Burgundy & A Few Major Wars
Chapter 7: The Queen and Her Kaiser
Chapter 8: The Sad King
Chapter 9: A Man Who Would Try And Emulate the Mighty Dauphin
Chapter 10: The Settling of Old Scores
Chapter 11: The Build Up to War
Chapter 12: Breaking Free From the Kaiser
Chapter 13: After Independence
Chapter 14: Jerusalem
Chapter 15: The Final Years of the Mighty Dauphin
Chapter 16: The King of Stress
Chapter 17: The Craven King
Chapter 18: Reunion With Aquitane
Chapter 19: The Mauretanian Adventure
Chapter 20: Tranquility and Hostility
Chapter 21: From Justness to Madness
Chapter 22: Discontent Towards the Occult King
Chapter 23: When the Occult Is No Longer a Blanket of Protection
Chapter 24: Coronation of Simoun & News From the East
Chapter 25: Seven Years of Treason
Chapter 26: A Bishop's Plan
Chapter 27: An Iberian Curse
Chapter 28: The Holy Virtues of Nicolau II
Chapter 29: The Start of the Staden-de Forez Feud
Chapter 30: The Feud: To Lower Imperial Authority
Chapter 31: The Feud: The Kaiser's Try At Vengeance
Chapter 32: The Feud: Minor Hostilities
Chapter 33: The Feud: The Burgundian Offensive - Part I
Chapter 34: The End of the Reconquista and the Sacking of Croatia
Chapter 35: The Last Years of the Holy Dauphin
Chapter 36: The Short Reign of Miquel V


Thats the County of Forez coat of Arms above, kind of wish it was the family's in game as well, nothing better then a pissed off looking dolphin. The ruler's list will be added too as I continue, and to just let you know how the breakdown of Chapters via Rulers works its like this:

Chapter 1 & 2: Duke Artau
Chapters 3 & 4: Duke Miquel I
Chapters 5 & 6: King Nicolau I
Chapter 7: Queen Constanza (Kaizerin of the Holy Roman Empire)
Chapter 8: King Miquel I
Chapters 9 - 15: King Miquel II "the Great"
Chapter 16: King Miquel III
Chapter 17 - 21: King Miquel IV "the Just"
Chapter 22 & 23: King Savarics I
Chapter 24 - 27: King Simoun I "the Just"
Chapter 28 - 35: King Nicolau II "the Holy"
Chapter 36: King Miquel V

So as you can see King Miquel the Great takes up the largest chunk of space thus far, as so far he truly has been the greatest Burgundian King. Just go check his prestige and Piety points in the later chapters of his reign :p More updates to follow soon.

Oh and just to mention it my goals are really to well like the title says Reforge Burgundy. Once that's accomplished well I suppose I'll have to unleash the de Forez's on the rest of Europe...so see what happens I'm already enjoying this play-through more then my previous Weimar one.
 
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tnick0225

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In The Beginning....

There was a little known family situated along the border of France, a dangerous location to be sure, but full of possibilities. For the de Forez family ruled to minor provincial counties, really backwaters of the Holy Roman Empire. They have no Duke above them and their only loyalty lies to the Kaiser in hopes that he protects their sovereignty from the land of House Capet.

On this cold day in mid-september of the year of our Lord and Savior One Thousand Sixty-six Count Artau of Forez-Lyon sits in his castle brooding over his brother and sister knowing full well that his privy council of not so significant men would soon be encouraging advantageous marriages. But who can a count marry his family members too? There are very few options, none really to be fully sufficient at this current time.



And so the Count decides to bide his time and wait, for there is not a whole lot to do and all rulers need to save their money to build improvements to their respective castles and towns. In fact this is exactly what Artau does, starting with reinforcing his walls and would eventually expand by building a small village to encourage the provincial citizens to congregate where it was safely fortified. But all too soon a war would break out against the Kaiser as the nearby Duke of Savoy would try in a futile attempt to gain independence.

Its during this war that Count Artau's loyal Baron de Brindas of Brindas would die on the battlefields of Savoy, leaving behind a pregnant wife, and letting the Count inherit his Barony, for there was no way to know that the child that would be born six months later would turn out to be a young baby boy.

The year 1070 would prove a bit more eventful as a daughter named Estefania would be born, and Artau's sister Ida would be sent to Holland to finally marry Duke Dirk V. With a marriage alliance finally forged Artau would succumb back to his normal introverted self and remain locked away in his castle quietly plotting how to turn his fledgling family into a dynasty not even the Karlings could imagine. During these times of deep thought he would notice Aines de Poitou his Steward's wife for the first time. Her quiet charm and intelligence intrigued him to know end and woke up a lust in him that he had never really experienced in his life. And one fine day he decided to make good on his desires.



A wonderful time later Aines would happily become fat with a child and eventually give birth to a son for the dear Count. But Artau being a silent and sullen man, always fearing the wrath of his wife, and the clergy, only formally recognizes the baby Guiraud and refuses to legitimize the boy. For Artau was afraid the bastard created through his fleshly desires could potentially rip his fledgling family apart.

Truth be told Artau felt horrible for having a child with another woman and sought solace and redemption in his wife's bedchamber. Its said it was a lustful and loud night that one, for it started with cries of depression from the wife who had felt spurned, but Artau though quiet and never outgoing had a gift for sweet words for women and soon those cries of sadness and despair turned into cries of pleasure. For it was that night that Artau would sire yet another son whose name would become Miquel.

Sadly Artau's adventures with women, and feeling the shame and scorn at having committed adultery stressed the poor simple man to no end. I think we all can agree that the women-folk can cause much unneeded stress and angst on any man:



When Miquel is born on November 10, 1071, Artau's council members met in an unannounced session fearing the potential succession crisis in the future. Its said that it was a unanimous decision that Gavelkind succession was too risky and that the separation of Forez-Lyon would come at much o great an expense. So it was decided to authorize a drastic decision and change the succession to Elective, and invest Guillard de Forez his oldest child as heir apparent.

With these matters of state accomplished Artau would return to his wife's chambers and once more possess her with an intense desire and very athletic round of lovemaking. Unfortunately it was not meant to be, for she became ill while pregnant and passed away delivering the young unborn child and herself into the arms of the Lord on the 27 of January 1073.

Artau was even more shocked by this news and even more distraught then when he had impregnated the Lady Aines. But his good councilman though not intelligent knew all Artau needed was the warm embrace of a younger more intelligent woman to take his mind off those inner demons he so loved to fight and after finding the right candidate they sent for her to come to Forez-Lyon to wed the lonely widower Artau.



At the wedding ceremony even worse news comes out, as the Count's brother was walking the halls of the Castle slightly drunken he caught sight of the young heir bent over a bench and the other half of that picture is too humiliating to write in this glorious text, for it seems that the young man of only 14 enjoys the flesh of men much more then the softness of a woman. These events would not reach the ear of the Count for a few days however, as the Count was much to busy practicing his exercises in his new young fresh wife's bedchamber, conceiving a daughter daughter named Berenguie who would later be born on the 18 of November 1075.

Another few months would pass by uneventfully, as the Steward traversed the counties collecting money and storing it trying to save enough money for his Count to petition the Holy Roman Emperor for the rights of Duchy of Dauphine.

But these plans would be temporarily pushed aside for a few more months as news from our Court Chaplain fresh from Rome brought Earth shaking news. The King of Poland had petitioned the Pope to excommunicate Kaiser Heinrich and the Pope agreed naming the Kaiser an apostate and enemy of the church! Even requesting all good Catholics to raise their arms in defense of the Holy Church against this unholy vicar of Satan.



This of course sends the Empire spiraling down into complete and total Civil War, after countless Dukes declare for Independence as well as seeking the deposition of the apostate. This Civil War would only be a test to the loyal of the Empire, and as a lesson when things go haywire, a good ruler a powerful ruler knows when to sit and wait and see his opportunities and judge when to strike. But Artau decides to be loyal, he gambles with the roll of a dice deciding to gain the good-graces of the Kaiser instead of the Pope, for the Kaiser was his only protection and therefore should be appeased at every possible turn.

The Civil War due to the Kaiser's excommunication started on May 21, 1076, and would last many years. But it gave the Count the time to save a few more sheckles and pay the price to be annointed Duke. For on the 29th of November in the year One Thousand Seventy-Six, Count Artau, would forever be known as Duke Artau I de Forez of Dauphine.
 
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tnick0225

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The Early Years of the Duchy of Dauphine




The goal of Artau's to become a Duke was finally realized that freezing December day. He was proud to have finally built something more for his sire's then that which his father before him had built. For no longer would they be known as a Count but a Duke of the Holy Roman Empire. But many things were left behind during Artau's march towards this goal. It is said that he was a craven as only six days after the onset of hostilities in the Civil War Artau is said to have told his Marshal that he would much rather sit in his warm comforting Castle instead of marching off to war. A Count with ambitions to be Duke should never be Craven and hide behind his walls, yet this is what Artau had done seeking the comfort of his young wife's embrace over that of steel and blood.



On the same day as his appointment as sovereign of the Duchy of Dauphine, he would finally lash out the ultimate punishment to eldest son, the disgusting homosexual who had ruined his wedding night by making rumors of his fleshly sins with the stable boy run rampant through the castle like a wild fire. For on this day Artau would pass down his decision to throw his support behind his second son Miquel and nominate him as his heir apparent and successor.

Its said Miquel was an amazingly precocious young man. Very quick to learn and mastered Italian, Latin, French and even German from a young age. Perhaps this is why he was considered one of the greatest statesmen the Empire had seen thus far. But those are stories for a day in the future, for shortly after Miquel's nomination is when it was decided that these family chronicles of the de Forez should be written. For it was decided amongst the clergy and seconded by the Pope himself that it seemed the Creator had bestowed a certain destiny upon this quaint little family.



Time would once more stroll on with little happening within the upstart duchy. Plus Artau was finally convinced by an imperial courier to be a man and lead his troops out to battle, such was his duties as the Kaiser's Duke. While our quiet Duke marched in war he finally realized that he felt as much at home on the battlefield as he did in his wife's bed. In fact he was heard saying that now that he was becoming an older man he'd almost rather hear the clash of steal over that of the moans and cries of pleasure from his wife and that of his lover Aines. Needless to say in the 1082 shortly before some horrible events would befall the Kaiser, Duke Artau proved himself on the battlefield for the first time.



One month after that battle, the Kaiser would unfortunately grant the little Republic of Ancona independence on March 30, 1082. It would be the first of a few small states that would be granted freedom. Though these would prove to short lived freedoms, nonetheless it was still a major setback to the Kaiser's power.

The Civil Wars would ever so slowly wrap up as White Peaces were signed and cease fire instituted across Imperial Lands. And on the 27 of February 1083 the Kingdom of Lotharingia would be created. A year later would see many more additions to the de Forez family. For Artau's return from the battlefields would create a bit of a baby boom. His wife gives birth to a little boy named Artau, and a month later in June a grandson Raimon would be born as well. It seems his son the homosexual figured out how to enjoy his duties in the marital bed for he's sired several little ones.

Another few years would pass uneventfully. There was a lot of clamoring around the Barony of Brindas and the capital of the Duchy as Artau slowly spent money on building projects, increasing the size and might of his small army. And all the while his Steward slowly stashed away bits of gold here and there, knowing full well that soon very very soon his aging Duke would finally set his eyes on the County of Vienne to finally wrap the third and final de Jure County into his Duchy.

The only major Imperial news that occurs during this time is the founding of the Kingdom of Bohemia on Sepetmber 27, 1086. The remainder of the year would be quiet, very quiet, although a good spy could have seen what was really happening. There was a build up of men and armor. Messengers entering and leaving the castle in haste, bringing word in from allies, and mercenary commanders.

It would come to pass on January 6, 1087, that Duke Artau would finally declare war on the Duchy of Provence for his god-given right to acquire the County of Vienne and restore the Dauphine to its complete de Jure status. Several months into this war while Artau was out fighting, he sent word that his bastard would be sent to Abyssinia to marry in a matrilineal marriage to Princess Falashina. This was decided for everyone feared the eventual wrath of the bastard being recognized but not legitimized when the good Duke finally passes to meet the Creator.



The remainder of the war would be little of note. Some sieges and a few minor pitched battles, but the armies of Provencal were smashed beyond repair. And seeing this the sovereign of Provence Duke Bertran II sued for peace on February 1, 1088. Formally surrendering the County of Vienne to the Duchy of Dauphine.



Duke Artau I de Forez was content with this victory. More then happy with its outcome, and had no more desires to press his will upon the world. He was beginning to age rapidly, as all the stress that had revolved around his infatuation with women had finally caught up with him. The constant nagging and bickering amongst his wife and lover ate away at his fragile soul.

It would be on April 11, 1091, that the good Duke Artau I de Forez would finally succumb to extremely severe stress. And finally venture into the warm embrace of our Lord and Savior.
 

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Expansion of Dauphine

The third son of Duke Artau I de Forez ascended the Duchal throne of Dauphine on April 11, 1091. He was as mentioned previously a quick and highly intelligent young man. But due to this he was never very patient, always looking for a way to take advantage of those weaker landowners in the surrounding Counties. His one claim to fame that catapulted this young man onto the international stage was his great skill at diplomacy. Its said he was a quick witted and knew of ways to convince any man to lay his arms down and embrace whatever the young Duke Miquel I de Forez wished.

The Kaiser saw this amazing strength in Miquel, and offered him the Chancellorship of the Holy Roman Empire on August 1, 1094. This was Miquel's one and only desire at the time. He felt that being Chancellor would give him unfettered access to the Kaiser and therefore allow him to press his will upon all the neighbors of Dauphine, this was but one outcome of his rise, another it is said would be to set the stage for events that occured two generations down the line that were direct results of the connections and favors he developed and fostered with House Salian and several other Kings from far off lands.



His duties as Chancellor kept him extremely busy though and he ended up spending little time at the castle. In fact the only things of note that really happened the better part of a decade since his ascension were his wife's two pregnancies resulting in one daughter Almodis and a son Nicolau de Forez who was born on November 13, 1098.

With a secure male heir successfully sired Duke Miquel I de Forez sent word to his privy council while on imperial duties, that it was time to press the claim of Berengere on Geneve. Unfortunately this first war of Dauphinian aggression would only last long enough to raise the levies as Berengere would die before the march could begin. So orders were once more sent out that Guiraud the Duke's nephew had an enforceable claim on the County of Geneve, and that it must be pressed to save face. And so it would be on March 5, 1099 that the Second Dauphinian War for Geneve would begin. It would prove to be yet another war of little significance for Count Aymon of Geneve would sue for peace on April 11, 1099, surrendering his County and delivering it into the hands of Guiraud de Forez.



The ensuing peace would last the better part of three years as Miquel decided it best to allow the peasantry to rest in between wars. But on January 9, 1102, the would declare the Dauphinian War for Raimon's Claim on Bourgogne. Raimon was yet another nephew of Miquel's, the product of a matrilineal marriage between his sister and that of a Bourgogne, and so young Raimon inherited the claim on the County and Miquel sought to grab the County from Duke Kuno II of Upper Burgundy. The war once again went fairly smoothly as Bourgogne was captured early on in the war and Duke Kuno II had no steel in his heart. For on February 12, 1103 just a hair over a year after our armies marched to war, the craven Duke of Upper Burgundy surrendered and sued for peace, giving the contested County of Bourgogne over into Raimon de Forez's hands.





And so peace would once more begin in the realm. As Duke Miquel's duties as Chancellor occupied even more of his mind as he was sent to Orbetello to fabricate claims on the Papal County for the Kaiser. During this time his wife would give birth to another daughter named Matilda, and unfortunate news from Africa comes bearing tidings that the Caliphate has succeeded in its Jihad for Abyssinia. And even more unfortunate news that Miquel's wife died from at the hands of an assassin. Some say it was Miquel's doing, for there were rumors that she tried to kill their son Nicolau, as she seemed to always eye the Count of Bourgogne Raimon, and secretly favored him as successor to the Duchy.

So Miquel would remarry to a young woman named Yolande who would give birth to another son named Otton on April 2, 1110. Three weeks later though Miquel would return from his Italian adventures, bearing news that the Dauphinian forces once more must gather, for the Kaiser is declaring war on the Pope himself over the County of Orbetello.

Little record remains of this sinful war. But doubtless to say the Kaiser was successful even though the Pope threw several large armies of mercenaries at the wicked Kaiser. Such was the Holy Father's punishment for daring to excommunicate Heinrich in his earlier years. And so completes the tales of the first wars of conquest of Duke Miquel de Forez. More or less rounding out his first 20 years as Duke. It was these 20 years though that would prove to be the calm before the storm, as the Duke had plans to spill the blood of every man holding land within the boundaries of Old Burgundy.
 

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Expansion of Dauphine: Part II

On July 18, 1115, Duke Miquel decided it was time to finally press his son Nicolaus's claim on the County of Savoie. You may ask what went on in the intervening years since we left the Dauphinian Duke, but nothing much really just two sons were born by the names of Lois and Ricard. In fact another third son Artau would be born just a month before Count Humbart of Savoie surrendered on June 4, 1116. It seems that Miquel's new wife is quite fertile, and is bound and determined to create as many de Forez spawn as humanly possible.



After the victory Miquel celebrates for a bit and returns to his duties as Chancellor. It would seem his only loves in life are fabricating claims for the Kaiser, making babies, and grabbing land from his neighbors and installing his family as counts. In fact his own Chancellor, would fabricate a claim on the Count of Valais, a Prince-Bishopric bordering the County of Savoie in August of 1116. This of course creates yet another Dauphinian Claimant War, and once more the knights of the Dauphin ride off to battle. And sure enough as Miquel's luck has stayed true he would be victorious as Prince-Bishop Arnold of Valais would surrender the province on October 4, 1118.



Without missing a beat a year later Miquel begins the Dauphinian War for Audoin's Claim on Saluzzo, which results two years later in Countess Adelia Aleramicci surrendering her tiny County into the welcoming arms of yet another de Forez progeny.



This would seem to be the last of the military conquests of Duke Miquel I de Forez, for he had no were left to send his family. So he returned to his work as Chancellor while giving orders to his own Chancellor to go to and began fabricating claims on every single County within the Duchy of Provence. For his sights it would seem were intent upon restoring Old Burgundy. But these plans would eventually become undone, for the still somewhat youthful and vibrant Duke came down with Syphilis after giving a bar wench in Denmark a good go. No one would have expected Miquel of such frolics, for that was the theater of his father the Hedonistic Artau. But it seems our Duke had learned from his father's blatant transgressions and decided to keep his libido bottled up until he was in far away lands.

There have always been rumors however that this may have been a Scandinavian attempt to destroy the Kaiser's most successful Chancellor as well. For they all knew he was on his way to steal their lands, so perhaps an attractive yet deadly bio weapon was placed conveniently in our Duke's presence knowing that his judgment would be more then clouded from the ale and the fact that he'd been away from his wife for several years. Be it as it may this would be our sickly Duke's demise.

But first he would see his plans to gain claims on all the Counties of Provence through. For on the 2 of May 1124 the final claim was received and all the forces of the mighty Dauphin were called to muster in Lyon, along with a regiment of mercenaries to serve as the reserves. And on the 27 of May 1124 the Dauphinian Claims War for Provence, Forcalquier, and Venaissin would begin. It would be Dauphine's most challenging war yet, even the main castle of Vienne would be besieged and captured for a short time. But sadly Miquel would not live to see the finality of his plans and would succumb to syphilis on August 23, 1125.

 

Tapscott

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Good bunch of updates. I cant wait for the next update!
 

Saithis

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Nice start, Miquel de Forez has created a good base for his children, but will they be able to realize the dream of a Burgundian Kingdom? I'm looking forward to their hopeful success.
 

tnick0225

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Nice start, Miquel de Forez has created a good base for his children, but will they be able to realize the dream of a Burgundian Kingdom? I'm looking forward to their hopeful success.
Good bunch of updates. I cant wait for the next update!
Well thank you both kindly, will be updating later this afternoon most of which will be concerning Miquel's son Nicolau. And not to intentionally throw a tease out there, but there are some pretty odd things begin to take shape during Nicolau's life. So looking forward to sharing those events with all you soon!
 

tnick0225

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Fulfilling a Father's Dreams

It was at the worst possible moment that Duke Miquel passed away, in the middle of a heated war with the Provencal Duke. It was only by sheer luck and the grace of the Heavenly Father, that the lords of Dauphine chose Miquel's son Nicolau as his successor. Though ambitious is not quite the right word to use for Nicolau, he was some would say hell-bent on fulfilling his father's desires for unifying Burgundian lands. It was these desires of Miquel, the unfulfilled ambitions of the mighty Dauphin, that Nicolau would harness and use to propel himself to the highest peaks of European nobility.

For, now in this history, though we must go back to the Dauphinian-Provencal War. As was mentioned earlier it was a hard fought battle and at the death of Duke Miquel the War was still to be decided. However, Duke Nicolau would change his tactics slightly, and after a quick audit of treasury funds he would hire a second mercenary group a smaller one of only 1500 men, and send the larger group that had previously waited in reserves to siege the Capital of Provence. During this time as both Provence and Venaissin were nearly completely occupied by Dauphine forces the Court Chaplain appeared on besieging army's encampment delivering the grave and politically frustrating news that Pope Felix IV had called a Crusade for Jerusalem and was requesting all Christian faithful to join the call.

Duke Nicolau is said to have laughed at this request. He was a pious man, but much as his forebears before him put little thought to what the Bishop of Rome desired. Although he did something neither Miquel or Artau would have done. He told his Chaplain to ride for Rome and swear our allegiance in the Crusade, promising to join and commit troops in return for a Papal Bull at some point in the future naming Nicolau King.

Just two short wintry months after the Crusade had been called Duke Bertran III of Provence rode out from his Castle under a white peace banner. Surrendering the counties of Provence, Forcaquier, and Venaissin, thereby giving the new Dauphin the Duchy of Provence only seven months after his ascension as Duke.



Duke Nicolau I de Forez of Dauphine-Provence would return home to his castle after this grand victory, and host a large festival in honor of his dead father and of the defeat of Bertran. And he would set about a campaign of renovations to the Castles in the Counties of Lyon and Forez as they were his families ancient fiefs and therefore always the first to be invested in. Another year passed of consolidating his hold on his conquest and that of his father's expansions when word that King Snowid I of Poland led a successful Crusade for Jerusalem seizing the Holy Land on Christmas Eve of 1127. However it must be stated for posterity that the Polish grasp on the land of our Lord would be very short-lived.

Five years later, the armies of the Dauphin would be mustered again, this time for a short war with the little Count of Bern. This would be the Second Dauphinian Claim War in less then a year, for the first one was mysteriously ended, some say by the Kaiser's intervention on the matter. But the second war would only last fifteen months, as Duke Berthold IV of Alsace would surrender his one and only holding to Duke Nicolau on the 26 of September 1132.



Many of us lovers of history have sat and wondered about the coincidence of this conquest. For it was the final land grab before the Founding of Burgundy. In fact the Pope himself sent a Legate to over see the Coronation ceremonies of Nicolau, and since he did not want to waste the opportunity he chose Bern as the place to hold the celebration, on the night of Berthold's surrender. However, this is not the reason this topic is spoken of in wonderment in learned circles. Its the fact that Burgundy ceased to exist on September 5, 1032, and since the armies of the Dauphin were too busy besieging Bern there were no morning cries on that sad centennial anniversary. It is seen as a sign from Providence, a destiny, a promise from God himself that Burgundy should be created and ruled by the de Forez family. No one can deny the claim that the return of the Burgundian crown just 100 years and a few weeks after it disappeared from history is a sign that God has given his blessing to this upstart family.

From Count to Duke to King in three generations. One step after another, and now a crown rests upon a de Forez head.



 

tnick0225

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Consolidating Burgundy & a Few Major Wars


To give a closer look at the volatile situation that faced King Nicolau I de Forez shortly after his coronation, we focus on the former French Duchy of Toulouse, as it is a close neighbor of Southeastern Burgundy and had been captured by the Emir of Cordoba roughly twenty to thirty years prior. At this time during the campaign in Bern, the French Capets had declared a Holy War against the Cordobans and requested the assistance of the Kaiser in their war of reclamation. The Kaiser adhered to this and marched the Imperial armies off to southern France in what would become one of the bloodiest most hard fought wars of century, and would lay claim to many lives and shatter ruling families across all of Central Europe. But once again the de Forez's would stand united and receive little more then a few scrapes and bruises from Muslim hands.

In fact shortly after the Coronation of Nicolau, he would turn his levies south as well, not to march home to the warm embrace of his loving wife and the gleeful smiles of his rambunctious daughters, but to the steal of the Muslim front lines. For the Kaiser was in trouble and the united effort of France and the HRE was slowly seeming to falter, as a united Iberian effort of independent Emirs aided by the Sultan of Mauretania were liberating occupied city after occupied city and even ever so slowly marching their lines towards Provence.

Nicolau had to act and would act tactfully. He marched his men from County to County, not waiting to fight the main body of soldiers in pitched battle but to lead them headlong into mountainous terrain for the main body of Imperial forces to catch them and dispose them. The tactic would prove successful and the Kaiser and French King would gain the upper hand once more as King Nicolau awaited all Islamic forces that disembarked from their ships at Provence with sharpened steel.

With the maneuvers over the Kaiser would lead the main forces back into Toulouse to lay siege once more. But the Emir of Cordoba would have none of it and sent an army of the best Cordoba had left over the Pyrenees mountains to engage the Kaiser in one final last ditch effort. And on that sad day that all of Europe would stand still, Kaiser Gebhard would be killed, skewered by a spear on New Years Day 1136. The war would rage on another several years but with less heart on both sides, it almost seemed as if the Emir of Cordoba had achieved his one and only goal which was to kill the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. But years would continue to pass and the new Kaiser would continue to fight finally pushing his way into Cordoba itself, seiging and raping and pillaging as he went. Finally later in the year 1139 after a few other events that will be noted below, the war was over and France had finally regained Toulouse.

As a side note as the war was winding down in 1139, King Nicolau would be named the Court Chaplain of the Holy Roman Empire and a province Lyon would also become fully part of the Occitan Culture.



Another year would pass after these events and the return of the Kaiser in time for him to plan a Grand Tournament in honor of the successful Holy War. But it would be canceled as the Queen of Lotharingia would declare independence and throw the Holy Realm into another period of Civil War.

King Nicolau though was just as good at seeing certain advantages and making the best of them as his forebears. As the Queen was the wife of the Duke of Upper Burgundy, a Duchy that consisted of one little final territory at this point known as the County of Neuchatel. Its said there were many misgivings at the Council meeting when Nicolau demanded levies be raised, in fact the Chancellor cautioned against it stating that the Queen of Lotharingia was not one to provoke especially when the Kingdom is brand new. However Nicolau would remind them of the destiny that the de Forez family had, and with that rallied them around his banner and sent to call up the levies and on December 21, 1140 would mark the beginning of yet another territorial war.

This war known as the Burgundian-Upper Burgundian War for Neuchatel would be short lived, for the Queen of Lotharingia was so tied down by Imperial forces that she could not redirect any resources to her besieged husband's aid. And in the final months of the siege on Neuchatel, King Nicolau recieves word from his wife the Queen Consort of Burgundy that she had secured a Matrilineal marriage between their daughter Constanza and Prince Ludwig Salian, who just so happens to be the leading Nominee for the Imperial Throne as well as the heir to the duchies of Lombardia and Savoy (at this time the Duchy of Savoy only consisted of Piedmont). She would also be here in pronounced the heir-apparent of Burgundy.



With the surrender of Neuchatel on September 10, 1141, King Nicolau would march his troops to Bourgogne and elevate his kinsman the Count of Bourgogne, to become Duke Pau de Forez of Upper Burgundy.

Three years later there would be the conclusion to another minor war, as our great sovereign would force the Duchess Augusta of Lower Lorraine to surrender the County of Montferrato, once again another minor county within the Burgundian de jure borders brought back into our king's loving embrace.



A year after that victory the new Kaiser would break any working relationship he had with the Capet Family, by declaring war for the County of Chalons which is technically a de jure County of our dear lord Nicolau. When our King heard word of this his anger was second to none. He could not believe the Kaiser would think it possible to take land that belonged to the de Forez family, even if that same land technically was under control of the French King. But this time it would be his advisers who lent the good word to wait and bide his time to be patient as Miquel had been to wait for his moment to come.



King Nicolau would wait and wait, but only one year. Long enough to wait for Imperial forces to be fully gathered and beating the main Capet lines back. Then, our dear King could no longer wait, for he wanted to deal a blow that would grab the attention of the Kaiser and embarrass the French King so much that no sovereign would ever dare to question the might of the Dauphins.

And so began the Burgundian-French War for Dijon (the Current French Capital). King Nicolau had decided that grabbing the French Capital would deal a fatal blow to French power and also bring attention to the fact that the de Forez's were here on the European stage to stay.

The war would not last as long as some may think. For the Kaiser made peace gaining Chalons in January of 1147 and only eight months later King Pierre I would surrender his Capital Dijon to King Nicolau I de Forez. There was little of note that occurred during this war as the bulk of it was fought between Imperial forces and French forces while Nicolau's levies attacked their goals with a vigor and duty that not even the Greek besiegers of Troy had.



It was after this September victory that Nicolau would finally return to Forez-Lyon in the Duchy of Dauphine. He had been gone from home so much he had forgotten the comfort of seeing the golden Dauphin of the ancestral de Forez homelands. It made him reminisce to his days as a child running through the Castle. Unfortunately this victory over France would spur no celebrations no feasts for King Nicolau I de Forez would die in his sleep and not awake for the Christmas day festivities. Instead he would be prepared for his funeral while his daughter Constanza would be prepped for her own Coronation as Queen of Burgundy with the future Kaiser sitting by her side. For it was this woman the fruit of Nicolau's loins and that of her Salian husband that held the potential to completely change the entire face of Europe.

Here ends the reign of the First King on December 25, 1147.
 

Saithis

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Nicolau's reign seems to have been a successful one. Burgundy is quite the large Kingdom now, but the Emperor still holds sway over him...someone needs to fix this!
 

Faeelin

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To be honest, I'm a bit surprised you didn't join the Lotharingians in a bid for independence.
 

tnick0225

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To be honest, I'm a bit surprised you didn't join the Lotharingians in a bid for independence.
Yeah definitely did think about it, only things that were problematic about joining in on the independence band wagon were, I really dislike the Lotharingians...I think I forgot to mention my daughters have claims this will play out later on. Personally I'm big enough to handle my own but still small enough that not having the protection of the Kaiser could be horrible, I mean the Capets aren't exactly pleased with me at the moment :)

Then there is the fact that Constanza is married to the heir of the Empire, and matrilineally at that, I still don't understand how I pulled that one off, but it happened anyway, so at the moment a war of independence would more or less be pointless, because chances are when Constanza dies Burgundy will fall into the hands of the Empire again due to her son's inheritances. Also I suppose you could say I just like the Salians at the moment more then the evil Queen of Lotharingia.

So I will be throwing up another update soon about the wonderful Queen's reign, and well there are some things that may explain better why I've held off on the independence bandwagon.

Glad you are all enjoying!!!
 

tnick0225

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The Queen and Her Kaiser


It has been said throughout time that behind every great man lays a greater woman. This can be proven in the rise and greatness of the future Kaiser Ludwig V Salian who would soon become known as the Great. Sadly however, he would also be the final Salian to sit on the Imperial Throne as it seems his mothers decision to marry him to the young Constanza may have angered the Prince-Electors of the empire. Those are all stories that can be saved for another day however, for this is a chronicle of the de Forez's and all things Salian are not to be under our purview.

Six months after the coronation of Queen Constanza I de Forez the Kaiser Heinrich "the Chaste" Salian would die and his son our Queen's husband Ludwig would be crowned on the 16 of June 1148, and the Queen would forever be known as the Kaizerin of the Holy Roman Empire.



Their marriage was far from the love that we read of in the fairy tells and children stories. It was as was the case with all marriages of high-born a political one, and little love actually comes forth from them. But it was Constanza love for power and her hunger for greatness that would propel her to use her womanly charms to convince Ludwig to implant a son in her womb. For little Miquel de Forez, Prince of Burgundy, and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire would be born on October 23, 1149.

It should be noted that during the Queen's pregnancy a minor war over Aargau was taking place. But would be ended with the successful surrender on March 28, 1150.



A few more years later another minor war for Chalons occurs, nothing of note once again just a minor war involving a minor siege, however it should be remembered that it was the Holy Roman Empires war for this county against the French that allowed King Nicolau I to sieze Dijon from French arms as well.



After the claiming of Chalons, nothing of note occurs in the Kingdom of Burgundy for quite some time. As the Queen was away laying in the Kaiser's bedchambers traveling across the empire, as well as raising her child Miquel. Two more daughters would be born as well during this time. Brunhilde and Alisia. As well as word coming from Rome that a Crusade had been called to re-take Jerusalem after the Polish King had so famously failed to keep it from the Caliph's hands. Alas sad news would return that this Crusade had failed yet again. It seems that Christendom felt more comfortable fighting its wars in Europe then in the Holy Land under the banners of the Pope.

Also during this time the young Miquel had been growing, and the Kaiser had unfortunately chosen the man that would teach the child, and well Miquel de Forez would become Italian and end up being married off to the Duchess of Norfolk in far away England. This would seem an odd choice of marriages, but long ago 100 years when Duke William the Bastard set sail from Normandy to conquer England he had been repelled, but not from the Godwins but from the mighty Norwegian forces who would end up conquering Albion. This backtrack may sound like it has little to do with the de Forez family but on January 28, 1165 Kaiser Ludwig the Great would usurp the thrones of England and Norway, making the Queen and Kaiser's oldest son Miquel, Prince of Burgundy (and heir apparent), Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, and Prince and Heir of Norway and England.



Soon after the Kaiser's usurpation of Norway and England he would move his Capital far to the North to Oslo, and try and rule the Empire from Scandinavia. This would prove to be a large mistake, as shortly after his move to Norway the Dukes of the realm would rise up in open revolt, some claiming independence others wishing to see the Kaiser's head roll.



While this is taking place and the Civil War is starting the Queen returned to Burgundy with the joyous news that her young son Miquel had created a child with the Duchess of Norfolk and named that son Miquel as well. As it was said in previous chapters, Duke Miquel I was a legend in Burgundy so it is only right that many of his descendants assume the same name.

By the year 1171 several Duchies had gained independence such as the likes of York, and Cornwall, and Meissen. There were others of course but those were the biggest surprises, especially that of Meissen as they had always seemed to be very dedicated vassals, till now. Finally on April 9, 1176 Constanza's husband Ludwig "the Great" would die of natural causes allowing Miquel de Forez to become the King of England and Norway. However the Prince-Electors of the Empire decided that this man who would hold many different Kingdoms in his life would be too big a threat should he be elected as Kaiser. So they threw their lots in with the Gerulfing dynasty, and would earn the forever undying scorn and hatred of all de Forez members. For the family who's destiny seemed directed by the lord our creator should not be forgotten.



This scorn and hatred would even be dealt out by Queen Constanza who on April 28, 1176, would march for Lotharingia to claim the Lotharingian Crown. Her dutiful son Miquel King of England and Norway would join her in the war and it would last a long six years. One of the longest Wars that Burgundy had directly involved itself in to date. But none the less, the might of the Dauphins would prove to pull through once more and Lord would smile his face upon the de Forez family as Queen Kaizerin Constanza I de Forez would officially claim the Lotharingian Crown on March 9, 1182.



However like so many de Forez's who win an great victory it would seem she would not be able to enjoy it. For the Queen was old, and child birth had taken its toll on her frail body over the years. She had traveled all over Europe and seen and built many great things, but having two crowns seemed to not be her destiny. For she would die on December 29, 1182, almost exactly 35 years after her coronation. But she left the realm and the Crowns of Burgundy-Lotharingia to her son King Miquel I, who would for a time lay claim to four different Kingdoms.
 

Bballman23

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Whoa, how did the Kaiser get his hands on England and Norway? Very interesting developments, I like your style and how you include a good bit of detail and the like without taking up too many posts to do so. I'm a little unsettled by the last line, though -- losing kingdoms shouldn't be allowed!
 

tnick0225

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Well seems like a had a pic that may have helped explain it a little...(but Ludwig's momma was the Princess of Norway and England)<{see below for clarification on this}. Honestly can't remember if there was a war he started to grab up the lands or not I sure don't remember that happening all I really remember is a message saying the Kaiser usurped Norway and England, which made me say "No shit!" lol both were primogeniture so little Miquel will become King four times over.

Only problem is the Crown of Lotharingia currently has no lands as after the Queens war she got the crown but no land, they all reverted back to individual duchies with fealty only to the Kaiser....none to happy about that I might add. And losing kingdoms yeah I really hate seeing a crown go sit on someone's head especially when it used to be on my head. But there will be some pondering in Miquel's court later on after he gains the crown and it'll be decided that perhaps passing one crown on to another de Forez would be better.

But for a while we have a Burgundian Kingdom of Norway and England which makes me laugh in an evil way :p

And thank you for the compliments bball....I try to focus on more main events and when things happen outside the realm touch on them a tad if it affects my people. Updates will slow down now is the AAR has finally caught up to where I'm presently at in game. So I need to sit down and finish out Miquel's reign and see what kind of interesting things occur....all I'm going to say at the moment is think about the de Forez family holding inheritable claims on both the HRE and ERE :)

Sorry I misspoke about how the Kaiser grabbed Norway and England...one of the first pictures on the update "The Queen and Her Kaiser" that shows the Kaiser's profile, his grandmother, the wife of Kaiser Gebhard who died at the hands of the Cordobans was the princess of England and Norway: Princess Kristina.
 
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tnick0225

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The Sad King


King Miquel I de Forez was crowned King of Burgundy and Lotharingia at Westminster shortly after his mother's death. The beginning of his reign over the de Forez ancestral homelands would change this aging king for the worst. He would inherit his mother's war to finally grab the title of Duchy of Savoy a title that had escaped the family since their journey had begun...as well as dealing with a revolt from the Duchess Beatrix I of Orkney who was fighting at the time for the Crown of Norway.

All the while this was happening, the King was dealing with the Papal hatred and Imperial hatred. For King Miquel of England had been excommunicated a few years before his mother had died. Its a wonder the Princes of Burgundy even viewed him a possible successor to the Queen. But soon with enough gold to bribe the Pope, as it turns out the Pope was short of cash, and truly only wanted to strengthen the papal treasury after so many embarassing losses in Jerusalem, that the Pope would finally allow King Miquel to return to the embrace of God.



However shortly before the lifting of the excommunication, the King granted his Norse holdings to his kinsman Eginolf de Forez elevating him to be named Duke Eginolf I of Ostlander. He also completely turned his back on his English holdings, deciding it best to hold the duchies of Provence and Dauphine instead. So he granted his son Miquel the duchy of Kent shortly after the anointing of Eginolf in Oslo.

But back to the crisis at hand. The War to defend his Norwegian crown was going very poorly in fact he was on a knife's edge of facing defeat to the duchess of Orkney. The tide would finally turn for the new King though, when Burgundian forces would capture the Duke of Jamtland who was also the Duchess's husband. The morale of her army splintered at that moment and retreated paving the way for Miquel's Scandinavian Generals to begin laying their sieges and setting sail to lay the final touches to the sieges of the Orkney castles.

On January 20 1184 the Duke of Savoy and Count of Geneve would surrender both Geneve and Savoy back to Burgundian hands. And on this occasion King Miquel would celebrate. Enjoying his victory he made a mistake, he entrusted the newly acquired duchy to a distant kinsman who was also serving as his Chancellor to become the Duke of Savoy. This elevation would ultimately create a schism in the de Forez family that would play out for many years to come.

But more sad news that would lead to even more frustration for the King, for his youngest son Atenolfo would die of pnuemonia on October 16, 1184. Its said that the King left the Orkneys like a mad man at the word of this event. In fact even worse was the fit he threw and nearly killed his Court Chaplain when he found out that no one had thought to wait for him to arrive to hold the memorial services. And finally to complete the embarassment Miquel's wife the Duchess of Norfolk had buried their child at Westminster instead of having him carried to the land that the de Forez family had built.

Luckily even through all the setbacks the King's generals still held the siege lines and forced Duchess Beatrix to surrender after many many years of war.



Upon returning to the Capital, King Miquel decided to sit and relax. He gave up caring about the family destiny, the family goals. He was beginning to become content even so much so that he got tired of dealing with running a shrinking Norwegian realm, so he sent his Chancellor Berengue to Oslo, with the simple declaration that from that day forward Eginold I de Forez would be called King of Norway, 18 April 1187.



Another two years would pass with very little of note occurring. And really nothing did not even any building for this Miquel would most definitely not live up to the accomplishments of his namesake. On the 25 of January of 1189, our sad excuse for a King would finally do something of note and of his own accord. He sent word to the Yorkish Duke that their time to fall into Burgundian hands had come. And so began the Burgundian Claim on York War. This War was a short lived one, as should have been expected, as a tiny Duchy cannot withstand the might of even the most incapable Dauphin.

But this Dauphin would do something incredibly odd after the surrender of the Yorkish duchy on January 21, 1191. For King Miquel would decide to return the duchy back over to the old Duke he had fought in return for the man's fealty. Although looking back on this many of us scratch our heads and ask the point of this futile war if you give back the lands of the one you defeated. But for a while and really throughout the last years of Miquel's reign it would seem the Duke of York had become a friend of the King and his most loyal subject some would even claim.

A few more things of note would happen before our King's sad demise. For he would imprison Duke Ricard I de Forez of Upper Burgundy for being traitorous many years ago, and also Medium Crown Authority had finally been approved in Burgundy after being on the ballot for many many years.

On March 10, 1192, Queen Alix I of France had been fighting multiple wars after she had been excommunicated, and was in a severely weakened state. In fact two de jure Burgundian Counties would eventually writhe free of French Hegemony during these wars. But do to her troubles the Privy Council of Burgundy took it upon themselves to declare a war for the County of Macon since the King was all too busy drinking and playing with the tavern wenches. And unfortunately the few times Miquel would actually take part in this war it would have a detrimental affect. Like sending a regiment of mercenaries off to fight a far superior French Main Body that wasn't even a threat to the soldiers of Burgundy.

During this war there was one odd development that was dreamed up by Duke Berengue as he was returning from the Greek Courts. For he found a Byzantine Princess who was the twin of the Empress and current Heir to the Byzantine throne. And so there would be a new Imperial wedding for the De Forez's as they would join hands with the Komnenos and Byzantines.



That would be the final good thing to come out of Miquel's reign. If you can even call it a good thing. At that time many people were somewhat afraid of what could happen if the King's Daughter-in-law usurps the Byzantine Throne and turns her gaze on the land that should be her husbands and childrens. What would happen to the land of the Dauphins if it came to that, being traded and becoming the battleground between Empires.

Those ideas and thoughts would be turned to dust as the horrifying news reached the citizens of Burgundy that while on his way to visit his favorite wench in the town below his castle a group of Imperial soldiers aided by the steady hand of Duke Berengue of Savoy kidnapped the King, and brought him before the Kaiser where he was imprisoned in the Kaiser's dungeon.

King Miquel I de Forez would die in that distant dungeon after cries and pleas of mercy went ignored. The argument of trading one empire for another would begin to make traction as all eyes would turn to Miquel's son who had married the Byzantine princess. But his time was not now, perhaps in the future, for on the death of this First King by the name of Miquel de Forez, another hopefully more fortunate Miquel would take the throne as King Miquel II de Forez, King of England-Burgundy-Lotharingia.

 

tnick0225

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A Man Who Would Try and Emulate the Mighty Dauphin


King Miquel II de Forez would recieve the Three-tiered Crown of Burgundy-Lotharingia-England in his ducal capital of Kent, crowned by the Archbishop of Cantebury on the 6 of September 1194. We already saw the shame and anguish his father had brought upon the realm. Giving away Norway, and effectively upsetting the distant relatives ruling in their ducal castles. His father's reign had pushed matters to the edge of the sword and with an ever growing family snagging up every hand hold of power they could find it is no wonder how things had descended into Chaos.

Not only were the vassals of the burgeoning realm getting angry but there was the French campaign that was beginning to look dire, as Queen Alix slowly turned her attention to Burgundian forces to through them out of her nation. However, as it would be she decided to relent for some odd notion got into the French Queen that surrendering would be the proper gift to the new King Miquel...and perhaps this would bear the fruits of good will, maybe Queen Alix facing European scorn wanted one good friend on her border. So she gave away the county of Macon on the 18th of September of 1194, just a few short weeks after the second King Miquel's coronation.



All these things would happen before the King would even land in Marseille on his way to the de Forez capital in Forez-Lyon. He would meet with his newly appointed Royal Privy Council at a palace in Marseille. During this session rumors ran wild amongst the councillors assistants and retainers. For no one but the few men who followed the new King from Kent truly knew what to expect, and everyone feared the eventual collision of wills when Miquel and his rivals of Savoy and Upper Lorraine met.

This Miquel though was a wroth man, and decietful, and some said fairly diligent in his rule. When you mix those personalities together you get a deadly snake who will wait and wait and wait, for the most opportune of times to strike. For on this day after setting foot on Burgundian soil for the first time in his life, King Miquel II de Forez would scoop up a bit of beach sand, and in the Norse ways he was raised to embrace would look North, and smell the fear of his rivals that still head under the cloak of France. For there remained but one lone count left belonging to France that laid within the de jure borders of Burgundy and that was the Count of Auxerre, he held another minor county of little note as well.

The King would bring this county up at the Privy Council session and his courtiers would let in a successive sigh figuring minutes after a successful war they would once again be on the march to spill more blood, for the Count of Auxerre had also been diligent and gained independence on the back of the excommunication wars that Queen Alix had faced. But Miquel would surprise them, and order a group of armed guards his special guards from Kent accompany the Chancellor to Auxerre and deliver a simple message,

"Bend your knee, or forever will you walk on your knees," is what some sources say was said that day. Whatever was truly delivered in the message it was enough to make the pitiful Count Alphonse who thought he had accomplished something grand by freeing himself from France, come crawling back to a knew King, this one a Norse King of Burgundy. Other sources say the Count Alphonse of Auxerre was slightly manic or possessed and really didn't realize what he was doing, but needless to say, he swore fealty to King Miquel II on October 7, 1194.



After word of the Count's bent knee, the King made a royal procession to the County of Dijon not even stopping in Forez-Lyon yet. There he proceeded on to the Count of Dijon Miquel de Forez. Once there, our blessed King was blessed with the right to recreate the title of the Duchy of Burgundy finally liberated from French rule and returned to its rightful hands. However some would think the King would keep the duchy of his kingdom's namesake, but instead he would turn the Ducal diadem over to the 12 year old Count, making the young boy Duke Miquel II de Forez of Burgundy (yes I know confusing; King Miquel II of Burgundy anointing Duke Miquel II of Burgundy). The King felt this elevation of the young man would earn the child's eternal gratitude throughout his life, but unfortunately some children just yearn for everything including the crown atop their gracious king's head.

Finally, King Miquel II de Forez would be able to make his way to the Capital of Forez-Lyon. For the first time he would sit within the walls that Artau built, and Duke Miquel the Mighty Dauphin had reinforced, and Nicolau had painted a royal hue, and the halls that Constanza filled with womanly charms, the same halls his sad excuse for a father had pissed in during his drunken nights. And it was on this first night in these halls with his wife the future Duchess of Somerset that he would feel at home for the first time in his life. Finally embracing the lands he had really only heard whispered and spoken of by the occassional courtier who would show up in his court in Kent. And the King our gracious lord of Burgundy would finally relax and make two more little daughters over the next few years.

On top of all that sweetness more rumors were coming from Savoy of revolt, and hatred brewing within House de Forez. For some said that the Latin Occitan Dukes of House de Forez highly mistrusted this Norse pretender. In fact it was during this time that the second Spymaster of our king's would succumb to death within the lands of Savoy. And for the second time this death would come from the de Millau family who had proven to be steadfast to the men who would call themselves the Dauphins.

The only other developments during the beginning of Miquel's reign before the years of Vengeance and plots against any family member that stood in his way. One event was the successful Crusade orchestrated by Sweden seizing Jerusalem for Christendom once again:



And then a minor war ridding the world of Romilda Wigeriche the daughter of the Queen of Lotharingia who had tried to withhold the Crown from Queen Constanza. She would end up surrendering Sundgau on the 25 of September 1198 which would allow our King to create the Duchy of Alsace and place the Ducal Diadem on yet another de Forez this time creating Duke Jacme of Alsace. Then without even turning back around for home the King declared war for Nordgau which quickly surrendered giving its land over to Duke Jacme as well.

In four short years King Miquel II de Forez looked to be building and strengthening the weakened state his father had left. However there was the internal strife that was only starting to boil to the top. In fact it would soon be the time to strike out at the heart of his family's discord. And it was time for Miquel to start laying out the punishments to those whose father's had betrayed the trust of his.
 

tnick0225

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The Settling of Old Scores


So it would begin, years of payback. The years when the bloodlust of the Norwegian King of Burgundy would punish and bring the realm to their knees in unity. He would not tolerate rebellious vassals, and he would charge head long towards any of the surviving sons of those who had betrayed his father. Its hard to imagine how King Miquel II de Forez could have felt so strongly for his father sad King. But its been said time and time again that his father had once been a kind and generous sole till the trappings of de Forez power fell upon his head. And therefore it was honorable to the family and the memory of the Mighty Dauphin and his daughter the Graceful Dauphin Constanza that Miquel would tear through his current rulers with an iron fist.

One such was the unfortunate Duke Hermann I de Forez of Upper Lorraine and Savoy. For his father, the former Chancellor Berengue had talked the Kaiser into the imprisonment of the deceased King. And so upon the discovery that Duke Hermann was plotting to acquire the Crown of Lotharingia, our King ordered his retinue of Norsemen to march to the ducal seat, and seize this confused Duke so that the Court could reeducate him on why Unity in realm was needed most. This moment could not have come sooner for as the guards were on there way to arrest the Duke the king would receive the Savoyard Chancellor stating that the good Duke felt he could wear the Crown much more comfortably and that it was therefore his birthright.

At this suggestion and knowing the Duke would easily be arrested King Miquel merely laughed and laughed and laughed some more. Then his face turned to stone, "Your Duke who would be King will Only be King of my Dungeon...and his only ornament he shall wear will be the Irons I bound him in, and the ring of blood about his head as my Marshal carves a Crown of blood for him". Yes there are many witnesses that said our dearest King claimed that and sadly someone in the Chancellor's retinue dared to laugh at this proclamation. In which the King coolly stepped from his Throne and unsheathed his sword as his guards plucked the giggling man from the crowd, and Miquel without missing a beat lopped the man's head off, and picked the bloody mess up for all to see, "And you shall return this to Hermann's little son and show him the fate that awaits him if he so dares to treat us as his father's before him."



The world would take a momentary break at this point. The realm had by now all heard the gossip of the King's tirade. No one dared to call him a tyrant or mad though, they all were just simply dumbfounded that a King could act in such a gruesome way. But during the lull in Miquel's bloodlust the Kaiser had decided to attack the Pope once again and even marched some men of Burgundy on to sack the Holy City. This unfortunately only added to Miquel's hatred of this supposed Reginar the Great.



During this Holy Roman Empire War trying to claim some land of the Pope's, came an emissary from Constantinople, with the proclamation that King Miquel II de Forez's little brother, his dearest of brothers Avaredo de Forez had been crowned Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire alongside his wife Nikarete I Komnenos. Making our King's nephew Avaredo the heir to the splintering chaos of the Imperium.

A year and a half would pass with nothing significant occurring besides yet another daughter being born to the King. Who at this point had had a whole lot of daughters. However the King on January 23, 1202, would recieve word from England that Duke Torfinn I of Beford was willing to bend the knee and swear his ever lasting fealty to the King. This would essentially be the final piece of the puzzle to uniting England back to its once proud self the only remaining County that had still stayed beyond the King's grasp was that of Lincoln which unfortunately at the time also belonged to the Duke of Thuringia and Franconia.



Once more there would be another year of nothing and relative peace in the realm vacant of plots and ambitions. For our King as of late was trying his mightiest to impregnate his wife with a son, for as of right now Emperor Avaredo the King's brother was the current heir to Burgundy.

But on February 8, 1203, King Miquel would finally receive the news that would finally reawaken that bloodlust. For the Pope Romanus II had issued letters of Excommunication forever damning the Kaiser as an apostate. Endless Council meetings would begin, along with the occasional assistant having to be carried out of the room bleeding. Rumor has it the King enjoyed pummeling things when he was getting angry and well its not a good day to be a courtier when your King is desiring the feel of flesh and bone on his fists.

Five months later, our King would finally have his son...and at this point it is obvious what his name will be for he would be named once more after the Mighty Dauphin...Little Miquel de Forez was born on the 1st of July in the year 1203.



A plot to Acquire the Holy Roman Empire was set in motion by the King but the only traction it received was some sad excuse of a Duke. So it never really came to fruition. However that was when the child Miquel had appointed and raised from the halls of nothingness, decided to betray him. The young man wasn't even a threat, he had loved his King dearly, but repaid him with Greed. For the Duke of Burgundy also named Miquel the II decided that as Steward he had free access to the King's money and could spend it in whatever ways necessary. Well all young men with lots of gold are usually found at night in the warm embrace of some tavern whore. So wouldn't you know who was discovered one night.



Now here in lies a case of contrasts. King Miquel II enjoys punishing his traitorous vassals and giving their heirs a sweet gift to remember why they should always be obedient. But the Kaiser on the other hand well when he discovered easily enough, that the Dauphin was plotting to steal the Imperial Crown, what would Reginar do? Invite the wayward bloody King to dinner.



Sadly the feast would be canceled as the Kaiser was called away for Mallorca to take part in another holy war. King Miquel marched with him to see him off from the ports in Provence laughing to himself quite loudly as the ships set sail. For his faithful Spymaster was the only Burgundian marching with the Kaiser for this war.

It would come to pass as the King awaited word, that his mother the Duchess of Somerset and Hereford had died. This was a problem for the Heir of the HRE, Kaiser Reginar's son, was married to the countess of Shrewsbury, and if the Countess acquired the Duchy of Hereford well it'd be in the direct hands of a Gerulfing successor then, which could not be tolerated by any de Forez. King Miquel would sail for England then, to set his traps even more. Upon his arrival Kent, he would be met by his brother Catone, who needless to say was still very angry that he had no lands, no title and no respect from his older and younger brothers.

But this day Catone would receive his dues for being patient and never allowing anyone to take advantage of his claims, for on the 25 of October of 1205, Prince Catone de Forez would become Duke Catone I de Forez of Hereford, and a distant relative of the King's Aleramo de Forez would be proclaimed Duke Aleramo I of Norfolk. After the celebrations the Dauphin would set sail once more for Burgundy, but on his way back he would stop in Mallorca to view the siege or such was his excuse to the Kaiser when asked. His real reason was to inform his Spymaster to hurry up with the mission at hand. And hurry up he did, for on that cold January night of 1206 the Spymaster would miss his target but permanently maim him anyways. It would make the aging Kaiser Reginar II bedridden for the remainder of his days. For a few months later he would succumb to the wounds and in his death one more Score and act of Retribution against the man who had imprisoned his father had succeeded.



It was not a fast death the King had wished upon his liege, but a slow agonizing death. And that slow agonizing death would be the exact sort of wound that Reginar II's passing would leave on the Holy Roman Empire. As now the Kaiser on his way from the Countess of Shrewsbury's quaint castle was a homosexual, amongst other horrible and distasteful traits. And the Empire would arise in open flagrant rebellion, a civil war that would once more rock the nations of Central Europe, and leave the King of Burgandy-England-Lotharingia with a decision.

Fight for Independence? Or Claim the Imperial Throne?
 

Tapscott

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thats a tough question... be a free king, or a mighty emporer? I'd go with the Imperial Throne and claim the whole Christendom! (except that I hate all the hundreds of monthly messages)