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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Chapter I Dark ages

Gamov_Andrew

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Prologue

This ARR is devoted to the history of Meryavid dynasty (Meri). From pitty count Opolye nearby Moscow to huge and strong Kingdome (I hope, game in process). I plan to play up to the end and futher convert my save to EU IV. Who knows? May I be successful! It is my first ARR and it is my first game in CK III. So... Let's start!



Chapter I. Dark ages



.... It was a cold autumn 929 AD in the Meryavid lands. High Chieftain of small suomenko tribe resides in his fort Timerovo. Kezhevat is a leader of Meri House, power vassal in Gardariki kingdome. The Meri House was fonded in 733 by legendary chieftain Surt. His grandfather Kezhevat and father Surt conquered many lands. During a set of fierce wars with Khazar Kaganate they defended independance. Surt decided voluntary to become a vassal of the Gardariki Kingdome in order to protect against Khazar Kaganate. Kezhevat himself has subjugated Moskva, Tver, Orsh, Vologda. In January 959 Chieftain Kezhevar was dead. His 40-years old son Orm inherited the throne. After brief war with his brother he reunited the tribe. It is worth to emphasize that situation of brief "kinsman war" was regulary repeated from inheritance to inheritance. Unfortunately Orm ruled only 7 years... Due to the wounds, received in his father's battles, he was suddenly dead.



23 June 966. Single son of Orm named Tyuekezhut ascended to the throne. It was a clever young man with a quite pretty face and gentle manners. He was an outstanding scheme plotter. He organized a plot against his liege, seduced his wife and aster the liege's assassination he married her. Foreign policy of the Opolye duchy was also agressive. Tyuekezhut invaded Bjarmaland Kingdome (far north-east), conquered neighboring steppe lands (Vladimir, Murom, Nishny Novgorod). The goal was obvious - reinforce the duchy to protect against Khazar Kaganate.



Being vassal of Gardagiki was becoming wearisome for Tyuekezhut. There were no any assistance in wars and defence. Vassalage seriously bounded developmnet and cultural promotion. Tyuekezhut didn't want to burden a risk of title deprivation. So in 1004 he pretended the title of King of Vladimir kingdome. Resistance was very low and Tyuekezhu has become the King of Vladimir, one of the biggest north-east suomenko kingdome. He had an ambition to reform Suomenko faith and embrace feodal system. But just 3 years later he was died of natural causes. His son King Kvedor ascended to the throne. Kvedor was a well-known knight who fighted all his life. But after 6 years he was murdered by his rival Relif (it was an old private conflict between them). Inside his own courtyard the King was pierced with Relif's sword. Dark ages,...wild manners...



1020 - King Tikshayka was surrounded by enemies. Power vassals wanted to pretend the throne, decrease absolute power and steal the treasury. However, the King has destroyed all enemies by a set of plot schemes. After all he managed to prison the strongest vassal dukes. He was very successful on the international scene.


In the course of baltic wars our armies showed strength and manevor skills. The wars didn't bring holdings or lands but it allowed to gain huge battlefield experience. Besides the baltic direction King Tikshayka conquered lands of the so-called "white russia". Pitty slovenian countIes and duchies were easly incorporated into the Vladimir Kingdome. Holy suomenko holdings were conqered on the Karelian isthmus. It brought us closer to the refornmation of Suomenlo faith. After that Tikshayka has done Ukonusko Pilgrimage to our holy place Kakisalmi. It was important because our strong neighbour - Lithuania attempted to embrace the Catholic faith. Besides the fact, that huge civil war didn't give a chance for convertion to Christianity, it was a very dangerous precedent.

Terrible retribution

King Tikshayka has crossed the door to the world of spirits at 60 years of age. He was toughly ruling more than 40 years. He was a perpertrator of many bloody crimes including kinslayer. Absolute power of the King angried many vassals and court members. After his death "the dam has burst".



1063 - The Great King died and his son Vladimir inherited the throne. He promtly decided to arrest High Chieftain Suni who was a leader of strong rival faction. Civil war has started... Despite a set of victoriuos battles Vladimir was assasinated. The throne passed to his daughter Ashava. Merely 0 years old, she had to rely on the Council, his mother and grandfather's heads of armies. From battle to battle the force of rebels evolved slowly. But! A new dangerous and merciless enemy has appeared.... Bubon plague. Huge turmoil has comed. The Kingdome descended into chaos. Dozens of court members, vassals, knights and even mother of pitty Ashava were died. There was no any remedy for "Black Death"



Finally Ashava was infected by Bubonic Plague.... Father was murdered, mother was died of plague, despicable traitors fighting with roal forces. If Ashava is died, leader of the rebels High Chieftain Suni will come to power. His forces are almost defeated but death of the little girl can open the way to the desired throne.

.To be continued
 
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HistoryDude

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Good start. Let's hope that Vladimir can rise!

Will we get information on some of the beliefs of the new Suomenusko religion once it's reformed?
 

Gamov_Andrew

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Good start. Let's hope that Vladimir can rise!

Will we get information on some of the beliefs of the new Suomenusko religion once it's reformed?
Vladimir is dead.... Of couse, but there is far from that. Conditions of the pagan reformation are quite tough. I also not fully decide to reform Suomenko or convert into Christianity.
 

HistoryDude

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Vladimir is dead.... Of couse, but there is far from that. Conditions of the pagan reformation are quite tough. I also not fully decide to reform Suomenko or convert into Christianity.

Meant the kingdom, lol.
 
Chapter II. World in 1066

Gamov_Andrew

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Chapter II. World in 1066

1066 AD is an important date for every Crusader Kings III players. One of two start points is a critical period in the history of Europe. So I have decided to make a brief overview of the World (in my game session). The following regions are mentioned: Iberia and Italian peninsula, England&France, Byzantium, Scandinavia and Easten Europe. I briefly describe political and religious situation and mention some history details.

"Iderian peninsula"


Iberian peninsula belongs to muslim clans and feodals. There are some viking's duchies on the noth side of Iberia, however they are small and weak. Castilian, andalusian and basque population are divided between numerous duchies and islamic emirates. These states are too disunited so Spain is waiting for his Hero. [If it is possible, I will continue playing as Barcelona for a time].



There is no any trace of "reconquista", but it's worth to note an absence of strong united muslim power. So hypothetical Holy war for Iberia initiated by the Pope may be successful. However, Catholicism has to crush firstly heresy and pagan faiths in the southern part of France.

Italy



Italy is not so fragmented as Iberian region. Papacy is an dominant power headed by the Pope himself. Meanwhile, southern Italy and Sicily still belongs to Bizantium. Except Papacy there are three forces: Republic of Venece, Tuscany and Lombardy. They regularly fight each other but unite against muslim northern african clans. Consolidation of the Christian Europe may indeed came from Italy.

Byzantine Empire



Byzantine Empire is still super power of the Middle Ages. Despite internal uprisings, civil wars and political cryses the Empire dominates Asia Minor. Successfully opposing muslim emirates, slovenian pagans and catholic feodals Byzantine Emperors are influential leaders. Earlier conflict between the Empire and Khazar Kaganate seriously helped chieftains of Meri in his raids and wars with steppe lords. 1066 is not really a good time for the Empire (loss of posessions in Caucasus, Balkan region, Bulgaria) - "Empire Stricks Back" is still possible.

Western Europe: "political/religious turmoil"



Europe is expectedly passing through a stage of political and religious chaos. There are no any united strong Kingdome: countless duchies, counts, baronies. Half of France is Asatru (heritage of earlier viking's conquest); another part is heretic (Waldensian and Insular). I think that Iberia is a key to the future of Europe. If muslim emirates can consolidate islamic iberian duchies, they can easly invade Europe. But Muslim Worid is also in decay....



No one can not predict how it turns out. European states are disunited and can't declare a crusade in the foreseeable future. As on the east, as on the south. It is a good new for Vladimir Kingdome.

Scandinavia



Sweden and Lithuania are dominated on the Baltic region. Two leading pagan kingdomes still successfully resist catholic religion, but their polical instability is very dangerous. These countries block Vladimir's access to the sea, but in the middle ages it is not so actual. Sampi is the second srtong suomenko Kingdome after Vladimir. Occupying north of Scandinavia, Sampi is a strong player in the region. Finland, Estonia and Bjarmaland are ruled by the members of Meri House. I suppose that we should orginize a partition of Sampi or put Meri on the throne of the "Northern Lights kingdome". Another strategic goal may be subjugation of the Baltic territory. We may supplant Lithuania from the region in order to establish our presence on the Baltic Sea.
 
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Cora Giantkiller

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There are _alarming_ levels of border gore in Western Europe. That photo is almost NSFW.
 
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The Russian lands sure are popular this year. Will keep an eye on this one, good stuff.

There are _alarming_ levels of border gore in Western Europe. That photo is almost NSFW.

I quite like it in a way. Nice to guard against stable blobs forming too early, especially if this is going to be a megacampaign. Nothing worse than gettign to EU and everything already looking like a game of Risk.
 
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Chapter III. Achava: prophecy

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Achava: prophecy



Clouds are floating across the sky over the temple in the Holy Suomenko Place. Weather is pleasant and calmn. Death has taken all her rivals, grandfather's champions, deceiful vassals and faithful court members. Someone died in prison, someone fell in battles, someone died of the plague. Achava survived and grew in safe over the following decades. Treatment was successful (medical miracle, indeed!), but Ahchava's face was disfigured. She payed high price to Ukko!



Fortunately, the Kingdome was not disintegrated. There were few of military conflicts with Volsckay Bulgaria, Lithuania and some steppe states, when Achava was a child. Raid of huge lithuanian band leaded by the Lithuania's King himself is especially remembered. In 1071 more than 7500 raiders pillaged and looted our lands and hoildings. Roal army was soon mobilized and went to meet the enemy. The battle of Gnezdovo was bloody and victorous, raiders have losed more than 3000 troops.Our knight Syrka wounded the rival King Vladislav.



Another huge battle took place five years later in 1078. Ordinary border conflict turned into real war between the Kingdome and Volshkay Bolgaria. Thanks to military assistance provided King of Estonia, the battle was victorious. He was a former our vasal of Karelia who successfully invaded Estonia and became an independant ruler. He was a member of Meri House. True to the house loyalty, the Estonia king provided substantial military assistance in the following war. It is for that reason that the Council didn't recapture Estonia. However Karelis was recaptured later because of danger of its conquest by new rival... new formed Kingdome of Finland.



Technological and cultural underdevelopment forced the Council to accelerate the process of religious reformation in order to obtain feudal order. Firstly, Achava decided to establish the Holy Suomenko Order in 1089. Next year Achava became a Defender of Ukko, strengthening the defence of our baltic Holy places.



However, it's needed to conquer three Holy places. Two of them were occupaied without problem (Karelia and part of Estonia). However, Bjarmaland kingdome has swallowed Finno-Ugric territories and consequently the Kingdome of Findland has been formed. Unification all holy places into one dominiom may lead to a huge war on the North.
 
Chapter IV.End of Dark Ages

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Chapter IV. End of Dark Ages

Kingdome of Vladimir experienced dramatic changes at the turn of the XII century. Great territorial expansion in the second half of XI century came to mean savage 5-years civil war. The House was going to die, only miraculous healing of Achava saved the Kingdome. There were a set of military conflicts after the civil war that have shaped the future of Vladimir Kingdome. First of all, campaign of Holy place conquest was started in 1080 in order to create conditions for the faith reformation. Another huge conflict is interference in the Lithuanian civil war.



Lithunia tried embrace the Christianity that leaded to massive uprisings and disorder in the 1020-s. The King has been forced to abdicate the throne and Lithuania has come back to pagan faith. High Chieftain of Prussia decided to push his claim on the Kingdom of Lithuania in 1092 that inevitably leaded to the civil war. His claim to the throne were supported by power vassals of Kingdom of Lithuania.



Queen of Vladimir Kingdom took decision to provide military assistance to the Kingdom of Lithuania in 1096. One part of our forces marched from Timerovo to Lithuania; another part arrived by ships from Finland after successful campaign for Holy Suomenko place. We have lost the first battle that took place in Lechbar in 10 May 1099. But the second battle was successive. The battle of Panemune was fought in 12 September 1100 and marked a turning point in the course of civil war. Rebels leaded by Hihg Chieftain of Prussia was crushed.



Next battle occured on 03 January 1101 north of Yatvyagi. Almost 14000 ally soldiers fought against the enemy army 11000 strong. The battled lasted for 5 days ended with the victory of Ally armies and te loss of many rebelion troops. One of rival high chieftains was slain during the Battle of Yatvyg.



In the folowing years our armies sieged many castles and pillaged a lot of cities and countrysides. There were a great amount of minor battles and skirmishes that have completed the victory. The contested Title remained with King Pukuveras and all rebelling vasssals were imprisoned.



The war lasted from 24 Jun 1092 to 26 Jun 1102 claimed many lives and decimated the kingdom's populance. Kingdom of Lithuania remained our main ally, strongest pagan political entity in the Baltic region.

Ukonusko Reformation



The aim of another war was conquest of the last holy place needed for the faith's reformation. The war with Saami lasted 5 years and happened in the far north. On the first stage of the war our armies suffered defeat. However later owing to skilled manevras we were able to occupy a number of important Saami holdings without meeting any real resistance. Collecting three holy suomenko places in the framework of Vladimir Kingdom, Achava decided to reform the faith on 6th of July 1102. She established Spirital Head of Faith. A spiritual head of faith is a title given to a prominent clergy member (High Ukonusko Shaman). A spiritual head of faith can declared Undirected great holy wars. These will be led by the head of faith.


Reforming soumenko will make it an organaized faith. For Vladimir to keep expanding and developing it is highly needed to leave old pagan ways and adopt contemporary method of governance. So Achava issued a decree of the Adoption of Feudal ways on 5th august of 1102. Feodalism amd his principels have to lead the Kingdom to prosperity and strong.Almost entire Europe has adopted feodalism expect for Lithuania and Findland. Even khazar tribes embraced new type of governance.



Turn of the century, the Kingdom of Vladimir is an backward realm. As CK3 writed on Twitter: "Suomenusko is a tough religion to play. Isolated in the barren and undeveloped North they face threats from the Orthodox to the south and the Norse to the west" (c). Being locked into forest north-east corner of Europe, Vladimir Kingdome has lack of technology and culture. But now.... A New Era has come.
 

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DensleyBlair

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Good stuff reforming the faith. Hopefully a stabilising influence and a solid base for further development.

I like the maps you’ve given us, btw. Very clean, very useful.
 

HistoryDude

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Thanks for the world overview!

Vladimir looks to be doing well. Also, nice job reforming the faith.

That Finland might yet prove problematic...
 

Gamov_Andrew

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Good stuff reforming the faith. Hopefully a stabilising influence and a solid base for further development.

I like the maps you’ve given us, btw. Very clean, very useful.
I a cartographer ) I'm planning to make also battefield maps. In the next chapter you'll see description of power vassals with some cartograthic materials
 

Gamov_Andrew

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Thanks for the world overview!

Vladimir looks to be doing well. Also, nice job reforming the faith.

That Finland might yet prove problematic...
I think in the same way (Finland), while there is a royal marriage between the kingdoms.
 
Ashava’s Death

Gamov_Andrew

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Ashava’s Death

(c) Gilles Ketting
Death took all….. mother, father, beloved sons and husband. With the death of Eskild, life finally has lost its meaning. Lifetime of misery and murders must come to an end. Horribly disfigured because of the severe treatment of Bourbon plague, she spent her last years unable to show her face in public. Death of her beloved husband, who was murdered saving her from assasination, has done an irreparable harm to her mental health. Her life is devoid of meaning or purpose or hope. Ukko took many who were dear to her.











Ashava decides to leave life. One dark night she climb the high watch tower in order to fall into the Void.
“Queen! Don’t do it, mother!” Liva is standing screaming and near the window.
“Please, no, please!” Her voice is sounding loud in the ringing void of the Dark night.
Choice has been made and there is no way back. Ashava take a step forward ….. and his body flews to the ground.

Her funeral was held three days later in Norse way. Burning drakar near Kemerovo symbolises the Queen’s strength, power and greatness. Reformation of faith, embarrassment of feudalism, great conquest and prosperity of Vladimir Kingdom. Her 16-years old third son Tikshayka ascends to the throne. Devoid of any abilities and talents Tikshayka is watching the fire….
(c) Florian Aupetit
 

HistoryDude

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Well, suicide is never a great option.