fabiolundiense

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Noble Lords and Ladies, Distinguished Readers,


until now, my meagre experience with CKII has had me starting a game with the means and rank of Duke, complete with vassals and enough gold to keep me in the lifestyle I wish to be accustomed to. Then I thought I needed a change, something to add even more spice to living in the high Middle Ages (I don’t yet feel quite up to starting an Old Gods game). Spice -- as in playing someone on the Endangered Species list. That is, a character with almost no family.

Since there are some exciting AAR’s now being played in Frankish lands, I thought it would be an honour to join their good company. A couple of hours of search turned up a few tempting names. Eventually, the House of Rohan caught my eye. An interesting historical family; not quite “up there” until the very late 15th century, so beyond the frame of CKII; the dynasty’s fabulous wealth can still be measured today in the buildings they have left behind -- the Hôtel de Rohan in Paris, taken over to house the French national archives in the early 1900’s; its sister Hôtel de Soubise nearby, one of the chicest mansions of the Renaissance period in the whole of Paris; and the baroque Palais de Rohan in Strasbourg, residence of the bishops-Cardinals de Rohan, now the Museum of Fine Arts.

In 1066 CKII, they are just one count with one holding, no vassals. But he does have two adult sons. Best of all, he is independent.

So, am I ready to find out how tough life was for the lower nobility? Start-up screen informs me: “Very Hard”, small dynasty, difficulty 80%. Let’s do it! The die are cast.



Introducing my character and goals


*Iocilin de Rohan, 56 year-old Count of Broërec, de jure part of the Duchy of Breizh-Bretagne-Brittany;

*Independent, single county start;

*Apart from Mediterranean Faces DLC, completely vanilla CKII;

*AAR writing style: a bizarre hodge-podge of game-play narrative and role-play ;

*Goals (for starters): survive until 1453, become a rich and powerful King, not just Petty King, never become a vassal of the Duke of Breizh, remain of Breton culture, Bretonize as largely as possible -- but I won’t give up the game if I evolve into a German-speaking baron in subjugated Italy, licking the crumbs off the floor of a ruin in the HRE ( :( ). Needless to say, no cheating !

Comments on my gameplay are most welcome.

The time is now 0900 hours, 15 September 1066.

I bid you a good reading.
 
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fabiolundiense

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I. 1. Getting Started



“I’m not sure you can do this.”

“Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”


Those are the two voices constantly arguing with each other in my head.

“Why shouldn’t I be able to do this?” I ask stupidly.

Because you are an independent count, the only one in the de jure Duchy of Breizh, surrounded by the Duke of Breizh himself and his vassals, who are just waiting to smash you into the ground for your single, miserable holding. You have no army, no prestige, no allies, zero technology growth, and forty pieces of gold, which is about one month’s salary for a decent band of mercenaries you can’t afford to hire anyway.





roh01a.jpg

My Precious





All right, I do have an army. A small one. Fourteen hundred men. About one fifth the size of the army the Duke of Breizh has at his disposal. Very few lords have an army smaller than mine. Oh, down in the Canary Islands. Theirs is puny.

Seriously, I think danger is imminent. I know the Duke is just a hair’s breadth away from declaring war on me. I need allies fast, ones who would fight for my cause. Which means I need to get married to people rich and powerful.

“Not just you, but your two sons as well.” Yes, I have two sons, Eozen and Menguy. Don’t ask me who their mother was.





roh01b.jpg





I look east. There’s William of Normandy, on the verge of invading England with his host of tens of thousands. But he has only one sister, she’s ugly, and anyway already married. The boy-King of France has no female relations.

Iberia? South of the Pyrenees, there are Infidels, four Christian kings, a couple of dukes. Three of the four Christian kings are brothers: Galicia, Leon, Castille. Not really sure they can stand each other. A couple of possible brides.

There’s also the king of Navarra. Two counties. “Is that all? How come he’s a king?” “He is rich and powerful.” One possible bride interest.

I don’t just need allies though. I need land. Unlanded nobles are not merely ridiculous, they are hounded off the face of the earth. I need to conquer more territory. That way, should worst come to worst, and Breizh deprive me of Broërec, I have somewhere to fall back on. Ideally, I should have allies who a) would defend me against Breton aggression, and b) help me conquer new territory.

I think I’ve found just the man.

His Grace the Duke of sunny Salerno is independent, rich, powerful, and has two marriageable daughters, one of them very marriageable indeed. In addition, his domain sits right next to lovely, little, wealthy Amalfi, whose army is much smaller than mine... when you combine mine with Salerno’s. A letter is despatched to Italy.





roh01c.jpg





Gaita di Salerno comes to Broërec to wed my younger son Menguy. The younger, because for Eozen, my first-born son and my heir, I look for someone a bit closer to home. Closer to Breton customs and tongue. All my fellow Bretons hate me. So I look north, across the Channel.

The Duke of Cornwall is Breton. So is the Earl of Norfolk! But they are vassals. No good for alliances. In Wales, however, there are independent Petty Kings. Like Gwynedd, for example, who has a very nice daughter going by the name of Denis (without a final 'e').

Eozen de Rohan and Denis, daughter of the Petty King of Powys in Wales, become man and wife.





roh01d.jpg





Last but not least, my scheming self. I humbly ask for the hand of Mentzia Gartzez, thirty-six if she’s a day, but sister of the King of Navarra and of the Count of Najeera. Request granted. I even manage to collect from the party guests.





roh01e.jpg
roh01f.jpg





“Are we done with the mating game yet?” “Stop whining, this man has gone from nobody to a nobody with respectable allies!”




roh01g.jpg





Not to mention the huge boost in prestige from marrying such noble ladies. But there’s time for a gesture of good will. The Earl of Norfolk was in search of a wife. For want of a sister, I offered him my most desirable courtier, Emma. He is, after all, a fellow Breton. Offer accepted.



*



Then, for the next ten years, I come to realise how calm things can be at the Court of a minor noble. I also discover that mere Counts cannot research technology, so what is my Council to do all day?

At least the Spymaster can study tech in nicer provinces than Broërec. As for my Chancellor, I pack him off to Amalfi, which I desire.

Count Iocilin and sons are able to enjoy wedded bliss to their heart’s content, without being disturbed by the intrigues that plague nobler houses. The Count and his new wife soon produce a daughter whom they christen Maria. But rather than just eat, drink, and watch the heather bushes grow, we take note of the turmoil with which Grander Folk seem so concerned.

Between 1066 and 1071:

-- Matilda Duchess of Tuscany breaks away from the HRE ; I keep a wary eye on things because of my ally in Italy, praying no harm comes to him ; right after the weddings in Broërec, the Chancellor is sent to fabricate a claim on Amalfi ;

-- also in the HRE, the Duke of Flanders breaks away, becoming independent (but for how long?) ; oh, and Kaiser Ordulf sets up his own puppet pope ;





roh01j.jpg

Outrageous !





-- William the Bastard invades and conquers England ! The king of Norway has a jab at it too ; the two end up dividing the spoils: Norway gets pieces of Scotland and the Duchy of Cornwall (two counties) ; Normandy becomes part of the Kingdom of England. One curious consequence is that France is cut off from the Channel and the North Sea, for those coastal lands belong to Breizh, England, Flanders, and the HRE ;





roh01h.jpg




-- Castille attacks the Infidel and succeeds in taking territory from them ;

-- still no attack from Breizh, but the Count of Kernev on Broërec’s west fabricates his own claim on my county.




roh01i.jpg

I knew this was going to happen




At home, and despite his fifty-six years, Monsieur de Rohan learns stuff.





roh01k.jpg

Cower, o mine enemy !





Between 1071 and 1076, things start to heat up.

William of Normandy goes to meet his Maker in 1071. I learn that the laws of succession in that realm have changed. England has become an elective monarchy. It’s going to be a bit trickier forging an alliance with England. The new king, for example, hails from the House of Godwin.

In 1072, rebellion erupts in Breizh. The Count of Kerven vs his liege lord the Duke. Good news: normally, my fellow Bretons will be exhausting themselves in combat, leaving themselves vulnerable to attack and conquest. Should I aim for gaining Breton land ? Nothing seems to be happening with Amalfi. Do I pull the Chancellor out, fabricate a claim elsewhere ?

I decide to keep him in Amalfi.

Rebellion breaks out in France next. South of the Pyrenees, the king of Léon murders his brother, king of Galicia, taking that crown for his own. But the Infidel continues losing land to Castille and to the extraordinarily brave Duke of Barcelona. Incidentally, a king of Aragon does exist (single county start, poor soul...).

In 1075, the Breton Duke surrenders to Bardulf de Cornouaille, henceforth Bardulf the Usurper. The ex-Duke’s wife, daughter and illegitimate son flee to a neutral, friendly Court... mine! Ha! Aren’t you glad I wasn’t your vassal? Then in 1076, Aquitaine breaks away from France. Leading to this strange configuration: France has no more coastal territory west of the Pyrenees ! Those are shared between Aquitaine, Broërec, Breizh, England and the HRE.

A break finally comes in 1077. We have a claim on Amalfi.





roh01l.jpg

At last, a second holding on the horizon





I declare war instantly on Amalfi. Trying not to swagger, I call my allies Gwynedd, Navarra, and Salerno to war. The last two honour their obligation. Gwynedd does not.





roh01m.jpg





Our men are rounded up. My Marshal has been awaiting this moment, training, training, training. We have swollen from 1400 to 1600 soldiers and horse. We sail from Broërec late June.

As we approach the Cape of Tunis, I see a flotilla of the Infidel straight ahead. Whither are these wretched souls bound ? Amalfi ! Wouldn’t you know, Moslem Malta and Mazar, a tiny speck on the western edge of Sicily, have also claimed Amalfi, and they are sending not 1600 but 5600 fighting men.

“Cursed Infidels!”

This is painful. Am I going to face an army four times greater than mine? I fail to notice that Salerno is calling to us, they have already begun the siege of Amalfi. My ships sail on gloomily.

Which is when I somehow get a notification from home: Baldurf the Usurper claims Broërec -- I am at war with the Duke of Breizh.

We are at the coast of Latium. I do not give the order to disembark. I have to go defend the one piece of land I own. Such a shame, I so wanted Amalfi ! I guess I can always make another claim on it. We turn around to sail back home.

I do make another call to arms. Our ally’s home territory is under siege? Sorry, can’t help, say Salerno and Navarra. What is Navarra doing anyway ? I look: they’ve parked in Barcelona, where they’ve decided to fight Infidels. Cursed in-laws!

But Gwynedd will help this time. 2700 defenders are already gathering in Gwynedd.





roh01o.jpg

Nice army, Your Grace





We reach home in January 1078. Broërec is under siege, 3000 attackers. More than double the number of brave Broërecians. But we have attrition. Of the 1600 that left under the banner of Rohan to conquer Amalfi, only 1300 return. Breizh’s army is almost three-fourths as big again as ours. It’s the end. We disembark in Roazhon and begin to lay siege.

Where’s Gwynedd? They’re at home, waiting. Sitting there. Not moving. Stupid AI.

“Good tidings, Monsieur!”

“Really? What?”

“Amalfi is ours! Amalfi has surrendered to us!”

I can’t believe it. Salerno held the siege for us, and won! I am now Count of Broërec and Grand Mayor of Amalfi.





roh01n.jpg





“Grand Mayor? Ppfff!” “Prince Mayor once the dust settles.”

I besiege Roazhon, the Duke besieges Broërec, Gwynedd sits on its backside. My home castle is occupied in August. Furthermore, I’m hopelessly in debt.





roh01r.jpg

My Precious....





Only then does Gwynedd budge. Suddenly there are ships. They’re heading for Breizh ! They sail around Léon. They stop.... No. They’re not. Yes, they are. They’re going to disembark right in Broërec, smack in the midst of battle, when their morale will be close to nil. They’re going to be crushed.

With a cry of desperation, I lift the siege of Roazhon. To Broërec !

We get there after the battle has begun. Gwynedd has recovered a bit of morale, but their 2700 have shrunk somehow and are taking a beating. We arrive just in time. I’m down to 1200 men. It’s enough to tip the balance ! We’re winning... almost there... Yes ! Victory is ours !

I can’t believe it.

We chase the Duke around the Breton countryside, to Kernev, Léon, then back to Broërec. Another battle, another victory! And a third to get some stragglers.





roh01p.jpg





We stay put, recovering, relieving my castle. Breizh has disappeared. But not for long. I find out they have boarded their own ships and taken off for Amalfi ! By February of 1079, they’re besieging my lovely Italian possession.

My home castle liberated, we return to laying siege Roazhon. The weeks fly by. Amalfi is close to collapse. I will not give up Amalfi ! But how do I save it ? I can’t sail there again, Gwynedd would certainly not follow.

Unless... is there any way I could make this war disappear ?

An edict is drawn up and published world-wide. I confer the title to Amalfi on Iocilin de Rohan, first-born son of my first-born son Eozen, almost nine years old (practically a man already).

It worked ! Change of sovereign, casus belli invalid ! The siege of Amalfi is instantaneously aborted !

I’m still laying siege to the Duke of Breizh in Roazhon. End of September, 1079, we occupy Roazhon. Where is the Duke of Breizh ? Heading back our way.

Which is when my Divine Maker summons me to eternal rest. Don’t give up ! You can do this ! I shout to my son and heir, hoping he can hear me.

Rule, Rohannia ! Please, God ?

But speaking of your first-born, how fareth thy small dynasty, you ask ? Stay tuned....




roh01q.jpg




*
 
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Asantahene

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Wow this is going to be very very hard. Love the style of writing-somehow irreverent but exciting at the same time-bravo. I'm in!
 

volksmarschall

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You have a very difficult challenge ahead for you, a bit more-so I think than with Sicily! ;)
 

fabiolundiense

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Wow this is going to be very very hard. Love the style of writing-somehow irreverent but exciting at the same time-bravo. I'm in!

Thank you, Asantahene. I'll try not to be too tongue-in-cheek. Difficult, but still having a whale of a time ! How long the honeymoon lasts is another thing entirely....


You have a very difficult challenge ahead for you, a bit more-so I think than with Sicily!

Hello, Volksmarschall, welcome back ! Definitely not like Sicily! In this game, one needs fighting men and tax income. I have very little of either. But still having fun !


Good luck!

Thank you, MiasmicMoose. I've had some luck so far. But something bad will be thrown my way eventually :rolleyes:
 

fabiolundiense

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II. 1. Groundwork For A Future





Before we get back to events in the reign of my character, a look at the dynasty.



roh02a.jpg



On the eve of the succession it had grown from three to eleven members. Eight children have been born: one to the old man, four to Eozen, the new Count of Broërec, three to second son Menguy. In all, four boys and four girls. Eozen’s three sons are legitimate, Menguy’s only son is not. The boy has been given a Spanish name -- Ferdinando. Has Menguy been fooling around with his father’s wife ? (All right, let’s not go there.)

The first thing I notice upon becoming Count Eozen is that my first-born son Iocilin is not my heir. What is this ? Iocilin is Prince Mayor of Amalfi, thanks to my father. Only then do I realise what’s happened: my son the Mayor is independent. That’s how come the Breton Duke’s casus belli became invalid. I had thought Amalfi had become my vassal. Wrong. I still get caught off guard by this gavelkind succession.

So in fact, I have lost Amalfi. I am still at single-county start status !

Sure, Amalfi is my ally. Because same dynasty. But I don’t own it. And I won’t own it in the future because the heir to Broërec is now Eozen’s second-born son, whose name is Ildut.

But now, back to the game. I am still at war with the Duke of Breizh.

With the help of Welsh ally Gwynedd, we have sieged up Roazhon. But then Gwynedd went back to Broërec. And just sits there. I do not have enough men to lay siege to the rest of Roazhon province, let alone anything else.

Where is the Duke ? He must be walking back from Amalfi ! The war drags on with nothing happening. So I have time to think. If I’m going to get ahead in this game, I have to become a duke ASAP, complete with loyal vassals. There’s no way I can conquer an independent duchy anywhere, even if all my allies jumped in to help. So I have to find a duchess for Ildut to marry.

Three years later, 1082, the Duke of Breizh shows up. Heavens above ! His army is devastated ! It must be attrition. I have no idea what route he took to keep him away so long, but who cares ? With Gwynedd eating me out of house and home in Broërec, I race off to engage the enemy single-handedly.

And defeat him, taking his vassal of Léon prisoner. Victory.

A Count is Somebody. Worth a handsome ransom.



roh02b.jpg


roh02c.jpg



By the way, one nice thing I discover in this game: debts aren’t inherited. At his death, Count Iocilin’s debt was cancelled. Eozen started with 14 gold, which has just grown to 84. Things are looking better already.

1082. The next generation will be coming of age. I spend the rest of the year playing match-maker.

-- Iudprost, my first-born : betrothed to a Prince of Denmark... with a matrilineal clause ! Because my daughter is fourth in line to my county, and I do not trust the AI to keep my three sons alive long enough to produce kids. This Danish Prince is illegitimate -- hence the agreement to a matrilineal marriage. I still get an alliance with Denmark.
-- Maria, the old man’s daughter, whose maternal uncle is King of Navarra : betrothed to a Greek nobleman, Ioannes Doukas, heir to the Duchy of Nikaea. A matrilineal marriage ! But no useful alliance.
-- Endellion, brother Menguy’s eldest girl : betrothed to Guillaume of the House d’Ivrea, heir to the County of Bourgogne in the HRE. No useful alliance. Normal marriage. Because if none of my own kids inherits, might as well abandon this game !
-- Iocilin, my first-born, Prince Mayor of Amalfi : his destiny is out of my hands. Doesn’t stop me caring about what happens.
-- Ildut, my second-born and my heir : only nine years old, but there’s a very nice tidbit his age : a certain Aeldgyth, heiress to the Duchy of Cornwall -- which is of Breton culture. The duchy, however, was annexed by the Norwegian king during William the Conqueror’s invasion of England. It is part of the Kingdom of Norge.

Over the next couple of years, all the betrothals are honoured.



roh02d.jpg


roh02e.jpg



1085 : During a routine check of the list of eligible ladies, what do I discover ? Lo and behold, the thirteen-year-old heiress has already become Duchess of Cornwall ! Her father the Duke was killed in battle against Norge. Will she accept a proposal for an ordinary marriage ? Might be a bit early to talk of marriage, the proposed groom is only twelve. But what if someone else gets in before me ?



roh02f.jpg



Things are looking really bright !

Meanwhile, I’ve busied myself with my own education, and also that of my brother’s illegitimate boy. I think the lad would have a good future serving Broërec. I call him Ferant, in order to get all Spanish thinking out of his brain.



roh02g.jpg



There is one very embarrassing moment. The Duke of Powys, my brother-in-law with whose inestimable help I defeated the Duke of Breizh, calls me to war. I cannot refuse such a good ally. (And I really can’t afford to lose 25 prestige.)



roh02h.jpg



I call up Broërec’s loyal fighting men to get ready to sail for Gwynedd -- but no. We can’t. My shipyard has been wrecked during the siege by Breizh. I don’t have enough ships to ferry my men to Gwynedd ! Pounding on the table and pulling my hair out won’t help. I can just imagine the disdainful looks my Welsh friends reserve for me.

Only three months later my shipyard is in working order, I have enough ships. But the Gwyneddian-Scottish war is over already. Scotland won.

No reason not to put these conscripts to work. Down in the Kingdom of Leon, the Duke of Portucale is attacking the Infidel. Why not try to earn some piety and prestige down there ?



roh02i.jpg



We spend a year helping with a siege before seeking battle ourselves. We find a small unprotected party. “Charge!” It’s an easy victory, but with an unexpected catch: a Shiekh ! I summon my ships to carry us home. In a few months we can bring fresh recruits.

But before we have time to get home, wait three months and come back, the war is over. Victory to the Duke of Portucale ! As for my prisoner, he unwillingly serves Broërec very well.



roh02j.jpg

Our gold reserve has suddenly doubled

roh02k.jpg



Back to the business of building a future.

My faithful Denis produces a son in the fall of 1087. He is named Hilaire. Then, in 1089, my son Ildut comes of age. The betrothal with Cornwall is honoured.



roh02l.jpg



Wedding bells never sounded sweeter. On top of everything else, Ildut’s tutors have done an outstanding job forging his character. Gregarious but temperate, kind, just, diligent and patient. Wow !

Eozen de Rohan is most pleased.

I have a Spymaster. He’s away in Constantinople studying their advanced technologies. Elsewhere in the world, there’s a lot of change / turmoil:

-- Matilda of Tuscany’s revolt is broken, most of her duchy is reattached to the HRE, she’s lucky to still hold the independent Duchy of Spoleto ;
-- Amalfi is unscathed, thank goodness ; my son Iocilin has set up the Patrician House of Rohan, ruling House in the Republic of Amalfi ; still unmarried...;
-- revolt tears through the ERE, with my sister Maria’s husband, the Doux of Nikaea, on the side of the rebels ; while her uncle, the King of Narrava, has ended up in the prisons of the Doge of Pisa, abdicating in favour of his infant son, which situation gives Maria a claim on the throne of Navarra (none of our concern) ;
-- France and Aquitaine have kissed and made up, forming a united kingdom once more ; war is on against England to reclaim Normandy, and it looks like France is winning ;
-- the Kaiser has come to his senses and deposed his anti-Pope.



roh02m.jpg



As if reinvigorated, Pope Hyginus II reacts in June, anno Domini 1090. That deposition seems to trigger one of the most challenging features of the game.



roh02n.jpg



“We shall to Jerusalem !” I declare to my subjects. Who knows ? Maybe I’ll get really lucky and end up as King of Jerusalem.


*​
 
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Asantahene

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Lots going on but your priority is to build your demesne. Set to it my lord!
 

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Hopefully you'll do as great as I'm doing in my Count of Broerec game. Though mine is different in the fact that I started in 769 as the Breizh family on Ironman.
 

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Lots going on but your priority is to build your demesne. Set to it my lord!

I'm trying ! :D



subbed

Hopefully you'll do as great as I'm doing in my Count of Broerec game. Though mine is different in the fact that I started in 769 as the Breizh family on Ironman.


Excellent, someone else trying out the Count of Broërec! Good luck! :)
I love playing CKII, but find that 8th century starting date a bit daunting. I hope you'll let us know with an AAR how you're playing that dynasty !


I didn't know you could banished captured enemy noblemen........for ALL their gold. I thought it only worked with beaten adventurers.

I didn't know either, Hootieleece. When the war ended I thought I was going to do an ordinary ransom. I think this is the first time I've gotten the banish option. I can't wait to do it again ! :rolleyes:
 

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Captured and held for only 70 gold?

shortchanged... :p
 

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II. 2. Fragile Foundations




Whatever delusions of grandeur I had when leaving for the First Crusade were soon deflated.

We arrived in the Holy Land, all 1800 of us, in January 1091. There weren’t that many Infidel armies around. Not any that I could attack by myself and survive, anyway. We could join other Crusaders in a siege, but where’s the glory in that ? It took a while before we found a province where we could start our own siege.



roh02o.jpg



Except that there was attrition. Attrition was very high in the Holy Land. Not to mention all the gold I was losing. By the end of the year I couldn’t even maintain the siege I had begun. The only thing to do was pack up and go home. Talk about humiliation.

On our way back to our ships, we did engage in one battle: we fought the remainder of an Infidel stack that had suffered defeat at the hands of some French Crusaders. My nephew Ferant was wounded in that skirmish. But the experience improved me.



roh02p.jpg



In the meantime, I took pains to increase the clan. I got Aouren, my brother’s second daughter, to wed the heir to the County of Domnonia. The idea was that, in the event of another war against the Duke of Breizh, Domnonia wouldn’t take arms against us.

Alured, my third son, had been betrothed to a certain Gudrun, daughter of a Scots Duke.



roh02q.jpg


roh02r.jpg



We sailed into Broërec harbour in June 1092. That little non-venture had cost me 100 gold. Shortly thereafter, Alured came of age and married his betrothed. I was immediately served with an invitation from the Scots Duke to fight the King of Scotland. In your dreams ! My boys were going nowhere.



roh02s.jpg



On the whole, 1092 was a disastrous year. Sure, my brother Menguy fathered a legitimate son (a third daughter, Deniele, was born some years previously). Sure, my son and heir Ildut, Duke of Cornwall, fathered a daughter: Rannoeu. Small recompense for what happened to his wife.



roh02t.jpg



In fine, my newborn granddaughter was now Duchess, my heir was nothing. Well, they did make him Regent of Cornwall.

Then, in December, our half-sister Maria, from my father Count Iocilin’s second marriage, died, as did the child still in her womb.

The years 1093 to 1095 wrought further damage on the family. Menguy’s eldest daughter, Endellion, returned to Court a childless widow, with a tendency to lunacy. And Ildut, my son and heir, went and remarried! Aargh! Why couldn’t he be celibate? The way things stood, I would be Countess of Broërec and Duchess of Cornwall upon Ildut’s death. But only if there were no more children. If he sired a son, all would be lost.

In the spirit of always expect the worst, I sent my Chancellor to neighbouring Kernev to fabricate a claim. Then, that summer, the First Crusade ended in victory for Christ. Etienne III, Comte de Champagne, became titular head of Jerusalem, whilst remaining a vassal of the King of France.



roh02u.jpg




*​


The Lord Chancellor, Hermann von Luxembourg (I had rescued him from obscurity in the HRE), was a brilliant fausseur. His work in Kernev accomplished, I sent him to start again in the province of Léon. By March 1097, I had two false claims to work with. Both, as it happened, were held by the same man, Edouarzh de Léon.



roh02v.jpg
roh02w.jpg



Broërec’s fighting force had by now recovered. Foregoing the claim on Léon, I immediately launched the invasion of Kernev.

I had forgotten that the Duke of Breizh could join the war in his vassal’s defense. Needless to say, the Duke rose to the occasion. Furthermore, Count Edouarzh was allied with the Duke of Connachta (Ireland). Irish ships prepared to invade Broërec! I sent panicky summons to arms to my allies the Scots Duke, the King of Denmark and the Duke of Gwynedd. All responded present!

In the end, the AI dealt a bad hand not to me but to the Duke of Breizh. Domnonia began a revolt against the Duke of Breizh ; peasants revolted against Count Edouarzh. The Connachtan ships arrived and parked off the coast of Kernev but no one ever disembarked !

In October 1099, Count Edouarzh conceded defeat. After twenty years’ rule, I had gained a second title.



roh02x.jpg



No doubt about it, I had excellent Councilmen. My Chancellor Luxembourg ; my Steward -- nephew Ferant, who was Midas Touched and worshiped the ground I trod on -- who brought in extra taxes ; my Spymasters Cadarvan, followed by recruit Mariano di Parma who were experts at tech espionage -- Constantinople, Warwick, even Connachta, and three other places, yielded much-desired science. So that in 1099, although Broërec could do zero research, I was able to make a cultural leap.



roh02y.jpg


roh02z.jpg



At the turn of the century, Ildut’s new wife conceived. They were blessed with a daughter, whom they named Arganteilin. In blissful ignorance of the consequences, I heaved a sigh of relief that he hadn’t begotten a son....



*​



A few minor occurrences in the known world between 1101 and 1107:



-- the Fatimid Sultan of Egypt called a Jihad and relieved France of Jerusalem ;
-- the Kaiser declared war on the old Duchess Mathilda and reconquered the Duchy of Spoleto ;
-- my son Iocilin, Prince Mayor of Amalfi, finally got married and begat an heiress ;
-- my son Hilaire came of age and married Judith of Godwin, eldest daughter of the Duke of East Anglia (no inheritance in view, unless by some accident the Duke’s only son should depart this world) ;



roh02za.jpg



-- I took on another “endangered species” in the person of the last surviving member of the House of Wessex, who accepted an invitation to Court and then wed my niece Deniele ;
-- the Duke of Breizh, for reasons known only to himself, revoked the title of Domnonia from Edouarzh de Penthièvre, taking it for himself, in consequence of which 24 refugees suddenly turned up in Broërec in May 1103 ! Practically the whole Court of Domnonia ! How was I supposed to feed so many hungry mouths ? Amongst the lot were the disgraced Count with the Countess -- who was none other than my niece Aouren. Fortunately, there were some good men in the lot, skillful with the sword ;
-- nephew and Steward Ferant, only 25 years old, died from injuries received during the Crusade ;
-- autumn 1107 : my wife Denis passed away.

The following year, Ildut’s first-born, Duchess Rannoeu of Cornwall, came of age. She was soon married to a worthy man -- worthy because he accepted the matrilineal clause. (I discovered later the guy was twenty years older than his bride.)



roh02zb.jpg



I myself still had a few good years in me (I was 63). A second marriage was called for.



roh02zc.jpg



The Earl of Urmhumhain (Ireland) consented to give me his spinster sister Astrid av Vedrafjord (descendants of Viking invaders ?). She’s bright and loves a good fight, even if she is a wee bit depressed. We got married in the spring. And that was the last thing Count Eozen did (except what he did during his honeymoon) on this earth that is worth remembering.



roh02zd.jpg


roh02ze.jpg



Wait, if I die now, my heir is WHO ?!


*​
 
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Asantahene

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Hahaha brilliant. Count Eozen did rather well. Has gained traction for his clan and given Ildut something to work on. Look forward to seeing how the young man does
 

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Well, I'd say that was a fair reign as he gave you a good foundation to work with.
 

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YES YES I LOVE

Thank you, a89a89. The tale continues below !

Hahaha brilliant. Count Eozen did rather well. Has gained traction for his clan and given Ildut something to work on. Look forward to seeing how the young man does

Thank you, Asantahene. This one has been so much fun so far because of all the twists in the Rohan’s history ;)

Well, I'd say that was a fair reign as he gave you a good foundation to work with.

Can’t complain, DKM. Things do get better....
 

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III. 1. Starting Over



August 1108. If I died now, I would continue playing as my second daughter ? What the **** ?

“Gavelkind succession, nitwit. Your eldest is already Duchess of Cornwall.”

For goodness’ sake. I completely forgot. Primogeniture is not applicable in Broërec. To get that, I need higher Crown Authority.

Once I’m (almost) over the shock of not becoming Duchess of Cornwall one day, I notice that I have not inherited the county of Kernev either. My younger brother Alured has become Count of Kernev ! In fine, I am back to square one: single-county ruler, no vassals. What has changed ? There are now two independent counties in the Breton peninsula; the Duchy of Breizh is comprised of the other four Breton counties: Léon, Domnonia, Roazhon and Naoned.



roh03a.jpg



I take stock of the situation. Kernev and I are allies (together with Amalfi) because we’re the same dynasty. We’re both still vulnerable to attack from the Duke of Breizh. If I’m going to get anywhere, I must conquer a Duchy. Alone, I don’t stand a hair of a chance. With my allies-through-marriage I might have luck. At the moment, I can count Denmark as an ally. Still, there are very few options for invasion. The county of Connachta (Ireland) is one. I send my Chancellor to fabricate a claim.



roh03c.jpg



There is, however, one noteworthy change. I have inherited from my mother Denis a claim on the Duchy of Gwynedd (Wales). Hmmm. Could be worth a shot. But Gwynedd has an army at least twice the size of mine. What to do, except get to work building up my fighting force and studying tech.



roh03b.jpg



Eight months later: surprise ! I discover that my late father and stepmother had not just fiddled their thumbs during their honeymoon.



roh03d.jpg



This child’s mother has a claim on the county of Urmhumhain (Ireland). I tuck that bit of information away at the back of my scheming mind.

As for my heiress Arganteilin, I look around for a desirable husband. There is one under my very nose: Guinhoiarn de Penthièvre, one of the refugees from Domnonia. He, like all his siblings, has a claim on that county. (He and his four siblings are children of my cousin Aouren.) In 1110, a betrothal is arranged.

Then, December of that same year, opportunity knocks. My cousin Llywelyn, Petty King (i.e. Duke) of Gwynedd and Duke of Powys, passes away, leaving his two titles to an infant son. Rebellion erupts. Gwynedd no longer has an army twice the size of mine. Since there is a Regency in place, I can press my claim on Gwynedd ! I waste no time in doing so.



roh03f.jpg



We disembark on Welsh soil in January 1111. Rebels are laying siege to Perfeddwlad. We join forces with them. Brother-ally Alured in Kernev arrives in February. Together we lay siege to Aberffraw. Gwynedd attacks us there, but is defeated. We’re so backward that it takes us forever to break down defenses. Bangor is finally occupied in November 1112. There’s another battle in May 1113, in Denbigh. A victory. Whereupon Gwynedd capitualtes !



roh03e.jpg
roh03i.jpg



Mission accomplished ! I have become an independent Duke (Petty King) !

“So you’ve gained one county. Good for you.”

True. What with the rebellion going on, the legitimate duchy was reduced to a single county: Gwynedd. The change of sovereign makes the rebellion vanish. Wales is at peace.

Back in Broërec, things aren’t so rosy. Prince Niels of Denmark, my sister’s husband, has passed away. Goodbye to my alliance with Denmark. At the same time, I lose my Steward.



roh03h.jpg



Well, he can be replaced. First order of administrative business: make Gwynedd my primary title. Which is when I discover that Gwynedd has the law of Primogeniture Succession. So now, my heiress is daughter Rannoeu, Duchess of Cornwall !

But do I want that after all ? As Gwynedd-Broërec, I am independent. Cornwall is a vassal of the King of Norge. If I become Duchess of Cornwall, will I become a vassal to the Norwegian king, or will Cornwall become independent ? I still can’t figure this out. I do know that I do not want to become a vassal of Norge. But I’ll deal with that later.

Anyway, I have definitely come up in the world. All of a sudden I’m noticed. An embassy arrives at Court. The Doge of Genoa, no less. He’s looking for a bride.



roh03j.jpg

By all means, Your Grace



People from my own Court are also looking for spouses. Ildegarde de Penthièvre, another of the refugees from Domnonia (one of my cousin’s daughters), is accepted by Monsieur le Comte de Blois. Her sister Arganteilin (not to be confused with my own daughter of same name) is wed to a Greek, the Count of Serdicca.

None of these grants me alliances. But I do gain an alliance, not through marriage but through election. My brother Hilaire is wed to Judith of Godwin, daughter of the Duke of East Anglia. In 1115, Judith’s father is elected King of England. Because he is my brother’s father-in-law, he is now my ally. Weird, but nice.

And to top it all off, my good Chancellor does good work in Connachta, finishing just in time to avoid getting stranded in the midst of a civil war.



roh03g.jpg



1116: I become a grand-dad. My daughter Rannoeu is delivered of a girl, Aeluit. In March, my heiress Arganteilin comes of age and weds Guinhoiarn de Penthièvre -- with matrilineal clause, needless to say. His military prowess is admirable, so I appoint him Lord Marshal.

1117: on the first day of February, Cornwall is in mourning.



roh03k.jpg



The newborn infant is another girl. My new ally England draws me into war against France, who is claiming the county of Maine in Normandy.

1118: my arch-enemy the Duke of Breizh arranges to get himself allied with France. He is drawn into the war on the side of the Capets, who by the way are losing the war against England. My Chancellor continues to do excellent work in Ireland.



roh03l.jpg



1119: after laying siege to Roazhon, I discreetly exit the Anglo-French war.

1120: that war ends in the summer, England is victorious. In November, daughter Arganteilin is safely delivered of a son, Edouarzh de Rohan, now second in line to Gwynedd-Broërec. To celebrate, I declare war on the Count of Domnonia, (re)claiming it for my son-in-law and Lord Marshal, Guihomart de Penthièvre who, should he became Count, will in due course pass the title on to his son, my heiress’ heir....



*

N.B. The couple formed by my heiress and her husband are related to each other, but not closely enough to run the risk of in-breeding, I hope. My heiress Arganteilin is a great-grand-daughter of Count Iocelin, my starting character in this game. Her husband is a great-grand-son of Menguy, brother of said starting character. Their common ancestor, the father of Iocelin and Menguy, goes back four generations.

In addition, with the birth of a grandson, the problem of Primogeniture Succession is solved. It is Agnatic-Cognatic Succession. My daughter the Duchess had no male offspring, whereas second daughter Arganteilin does. Consequently, Arganteilin becomes my legitmate heiress in virtue of having a son as her heir. (At least I think that’s how it works.)
 
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Asantahene

Field Marshal
23 Badges
Nov 13, 2013
2.854
265
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Goodness me-it's all happening! Complicated strands all over the place-can you pull them together?

Small point of order: it's the Breton county of Kernev not Kerven ;)