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


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v0.1
Compatible with: WtWSMS 0.9.13

Checksum: OWDZ

DOWNLOAD LINK IN ATTACHMENT

To install, download the zip file and extract the contents to your mod folder. When starting the game make sure "WtWSMS Age of Faith" is selected in mods as well as "When the World Stopped Making Sense".

----

As a long time player of the WtWSMS mod, I grew interested in having an opportunity to play out the fall/weakening of the Sasanian and Byzantine Empires and the spread of Islam with historical characters.

In progress for sometime now, I'm able to announce my work-in-progress submod to bring a 7th century start to WtWSMS. I'm excited for this submod to be able to draw upon the rich history and mechanics already present in the main mod.

In coming posts, I'll post previews of various regions as I work to get this ready for its first release.
 

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Britain and Ireland Preview

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Britain and Ireland Preview



Modern Scotland is split between Pictish and Briton kingdoms, most notably that of Pictland and Strathclyde. Garnait II of Pictland rules over a large part of the Pictish lands but there are still a few independent subkingdoms ripe for conquest (Circind, Fib and pagan Cait).



While a one province Briton kingdom of Rheged clings on, most of northern England is under the rule of Eadwine of Deira and Bernicia. His state is more fragile than it appears with his sons due to each inherit one of his titles.



Historically Eadwine would be killed in battle against Penda of Mercia and Cadwallon II of Gwynedd. Upon his death the Northumbrian lands would be reclaimed by the House Ingving, whose princes are currently in exile in Pictland.



In the midlands, we have the Kingdom of Mercia, which the aforementioned Penda has elevated to great heights. Following the Battle of Cirencester, Penda expanded his dominion over the petty kingdom of Hwicce.



To the west are the Briton kingdoms of modern Wales.



Further south we have the kingdoms of East Anglia and Kent. These petty kings converted to Christianity around the turn of the century as part of the Gregorian mission to convert the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms carried out by Augustine of Cantebury.

Cynegils rules over the petty kingdom of Wessex. While that kingdom would eventually unite the lands of England, currently it is still a minor pagan power.



Ireland is fully split up into a collection of one province minors.



The house of Uí Néill starts in a strong position as a dynasty that can boast no less than 3 independent rulers.





Culturally, the Anglo-Saxons have started to make some headway and have begun pushing the remaining Britons to the west of Great Britain.



Most are Insular christians with a mix of Germanic and Chalcedonian Christianity in southern England. Upper Pictland has the last vestiges of Celtic paganism.

 
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Frankish Preview

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Hi All,

Here's a look at the Frankish realm. Sorry for the delay here, had the dreaded thing happen of my harddrive acting up and while I had the screenshots, thought it inauspicious to post them while I had still been waiting to extract the mod.

Frankish Preview



Dagobert I has a strong start ruling over the triple crowns of Austrasia, Neustria and Burgundy. He has only one direct heir (future Sigebert III), but his wife is currently pregnant with his 2nd son (future Clovis II). I've used a bit of scripting here so for now, it'll always be Clovis that his wife gives 'birth' to. Historically, Dagobert would be the last Merovingian king to wield any real royal power with his sons (and descendants) increasingly under the thumb of the mayors of the palace.



Dagobert's one living sibling resides in England, married to the King of Kent.



The Frankish realm consists of a wide array of vassals.



Brabant is ruled by Pepin von Landen of the Pippinids with his neighbor, Ansegisel Arnulfing, ruling in Luxembourg.





Historically, the descendants of Pepin's daughter Begga and Ansegisel would eventually forge the Carolingian dynasty.



Further south around Burgundy, the influential Waltriche family hold sway in the duchy of Transjurania. A minor branch of the family also rules around Guines representing the holdings of Saint Waldebert.



By marriage the Waltriche are connected to the minor Etichonid house, the ancestors of many historical dynasties including the Hapsburgs.




Other influential families include the Faronids in Vexin and the Gundoinids in Alsace.




Out east, Bavaria is ruled by the Agilolfings, a dynasty with close ties to several Lombard houses. Bamberg is also ruled by a minor scion of the house who would later raise arms in rebellion against Sigebert III, alongside Radulf of Thuringia.




Just outside the Frankish lands, a certain Samo rules as King of the Wends. To reflect the ephemeral existence of his kingdom, his multicultural vassals are all represented as tributaries.




On the western outskirts, Iudicael of House Breizh rules over most of Brittany.



Culturally, the Frankish realm is primarily divided among a Frankish and Romano-Gallic population with Germanic peoples making up its eastern half.



Virtually all follow the Chalcedonian faith, with a smattering of Arian holdouts in the former Burgundian lands and the Germanic faith present in border provinces.

 
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Will we be able to play the last Persian-Roman war? Will there be events for Islam?

I'd love to take Phokas to victory against Heraclius, for instance.:p
Currently not planned as have been focused on period immediately following, on the threshold of Islam expanding out of Arabia. But who knows where this will go. :)
 
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Merovingian Pretenders

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Merovingian Pretenders

I forgot to include details about these two fellows in my post on the Franks.

Merovech and Childebert were the sons of Theuderic II, king of Burgundy (and briefly of Austrasia between when he took it from his brother and before he died of dysentery).



Both young boys were known to have been squirreled away for safe keeping after their father's death in 613. While it isn't known precisely how they lived out their remaining days, I've stuck with WtWSMS interpretation that has them dying in their 50s.

Both have been made monks (to keep them out of normal inheritance) but under a devious vassal, they could become dangerous pretenders.
 
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Iberia Preview

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Iberia Preview

Most of Iberia is ruled by the Visigothic kingdom. By 624, the Byzantine Empire had lost all Iberian lands bar the Balearic Islands. A couple small pagan tribes also eke out their final days up north.



Visigothica is ruled by Sisinand, a relatively new king. Governor of Septimania, he successfully usurped the Visigothic crown with the assistance of Dagobert I.



As an usurper, he runs the risk that his fledgling dynasty will be overthrown by his powerful vassals.



Note with Visigothic vassals, I've taken some artistic liberties. Most are historical personages placed near and around where they lived/hailed from. A few are individuals accounted from records but with no specifics on where they ruled.

In the northeast there is Chindasuinth, a future king of the Visigoths. His neighbor is Athanagild, a character from vanilla CK2, whose lineage boasts many former Visigothic kings and would eventually boast a king of Asturias.





Further south we have Chintila, another future king, as well as Fandila (historical duke, unknown residence)



Adulfo, ruling the recently conquered Canatabria, and Wenedar, in mighty Lusitania, have same historical provenance as Fandila.



Lastly, modern Galicia is ruled by two fictional dukes, Ofila and Dogilano representing the remaining Suebi presence.



Most provinces are Chalcedonian, with a smattering still following the Arian heresy. There's also lingering pagan presence (celtic and vasconic) in the modern Basque region.



Culturally, Iberia is a mix between the 600 date files of WtWSMS and the culture makeup of vanilla 769.

 
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North Africa preview

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North Africa preview

Shorter preview for this region as unfortunately, known historical sources are generally silent on historical personalities. To that end, I won't spend much time on specific characters but rather the overall setup.



Some of the key political changes made since the WtWSMS 600 start:
  • Altava and Ouarsenis start off a little stronger at the expense of Byzantine Africa.
  • Gaetulia and Mauri have several title claimant dynasty members of vassals to hopefully keep those states internally divided.
  • Most dramatic change can be seen in the former lands of the Garamantes. Their state was severly weakened by the start of the 7th century, purportedly due to an insufficient supply of potable water. While down on their luck, two Garamantian states do exist, the Chalcedonian dukes of Great Swarti and Murzuk. The rest of their former kingdom has been overrun by Berber tribes.
The Exarchate of Africa is ruled by Gregorios Herakleidon, a distant cousin of the Byzantine Emperor.



His sister, Gregoria (a family of unique names) is married to Konstantinos, heir to the Empire.





The Exarchate rules over most of the Byzantine posessions in North Africa, including the Balearics, Corsica and Sardinia. Note, none of his vassals are historical but they do reflect mostly historical administrative divisions and will prevent Exarchate from landing a slew of one province counts at game start.



One area not under the Exarch's authority is Tangiers. It stands as an independent duchy; the last vestige of Byzantine Spania. While, its ruler is also fictional, he is worthy of highlighting as the sole playable Romano-Hispanic character in this start.



Religiously, the 633 start sees a lot less diversity. Most provinces are Central African with a few Kemetic provinces in the outer Garamantian lands. Chalcedonian rules the coast line with a handful of heretical provinces.



In an attempt to simulate the impact of Berber confederacies during this period, I've drawn upon a dialogue had between Karlingid and Elvain held years ago (see here) to merge the berbers into a few key cultures (though there they were discussing splitting vanilla's monolithic Berber culture). Sanhaja in northern Morocco and the western part of Byzantine Africa. Masmuda in southern Morocco (largely concurrent with the Masmuda kingdom) and then that large tan area (without a label) is the Zenata.

I've also modified the families ruling those regions to match with the new cultural setup; all are ruled by same ruling dynasties found in WtWSMS but most recent branches have the new merged cultures. That includes the formerly African Romance kingdoms of Algeria as I though it a bridge too far that they would still be able to re-form the Roman Empire/raise legions in 633.



As an aside, West Africa remains largely unchanged, I've simply added living characters to the dynasties. I relocated a few as well for better placement (e.g. Gao dynasty now in Tadmekka which has Gao province, rather than Bambuk).

 
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VYNLT

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Looks interesting so far, though I wonder how you're gonna handle the lack of the theme system at the start. The Byzantines only started adopting it like 10 years later and even more years later is when the system became dominant.
 
Italy Preview

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Italy Preview

In 633, Italy is divided up among the Lombards and the Empire.



Arian King Ariaold rules from Lombardia and is married to Gundeberga, sole remaining member of House Klephing; a houuse that provided several Lombard kings.







Ariaold is the suzerain of a multitude of small duchies in northern Italy and two substantial vassals, Florentia and Spoleto, in the south. Benevento exists as an independent Lombard state just beyond Spoleto.





Among historical personalities, Aripert and Rothari rule duchies in the north. Aripert is a member of the Bavarae dynasty, an off-shot of the Agilolfings of Bavaria. Rothari would eventually rule as a Lombard king.





In north east Italy, Duke Grasulf II heads the Gausian dynasty, the initial founders of the Lombard kingdom.







Two Gausians reside in the court of Benevento. Historically, they would go on to usurp the duchy and Grimoald would eventually rule the entire Lombard kingdom.



Byzantine holdings in Italy are split between the Exarchate of Ravenna (mainland Italy) and province of Sicily. At this time the Exarchate is held by Sahak (Isaac), an Armenian.



Culturally, Italy is mostly a mix of Lombard and Roman provinces. Southern Italy is still mostly Greek.



The Chalcedonian faith faces stiff competition from the Arian Lombards and the schismatic Aquileian patriarchy.

 
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Wow. This is looking fantastic. :)

How close are you to a playable alpha? Do you have events planned for Islam ala 633 Rise of Islam? With their Rashidun invasion scripts letting Islam expand fairly rapidly.
Hard to say exactly, recent heatwave delayed me longer than I would like, but I can say most of the historical characters that I want to add before an initial alpha release are in place. Mostly right now, I'm working on putting in some placeholder characters so that all of the major states don't start off with player/AI needing to create a ton of vassals. Main work then concentrating on finishing up Persia, Scandinavia and Russia.

Looks interesting so far, though I wonder how you're gonna handle the lack of the theme system at the start. The Byzantines only started adopting it like 10 years later and even more years later is when the system became dominant.
Right now, I've indeed not changed much there. Asia is gone in line with Justinian's dissolution of the diocese of Asia, so a couple duchies there. Most of the rest though is still under same kingdom level titles in WtWSMS. I do have placeholder character rules a few duchies to represent the quaestura exercitus which could eventually be start of the Karabisianoi. I'm also thinking themes will be some decisions for reorganisation based on Slavic/Islamic encroachment but will need to look for a balance between strict accuracy and over-fiddly mechanics (aka constantly evolving borders).
 
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Widowmaker94

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Hard to say exactly, recent heatwave delayed me longer than I would like, but I can say most of the historical characters that I want to add before an initial alpha release are in place. Mostly right now, I'm working on putting in some placeholder characters so that all of the major states don't start off with player/AI needing to create a ton of vassals. Main work then concentrating on finishing up Persia, Scandinavia and Russia.
Thanks. I was mostly just asking because a friend of mine died recently and I wanted a distraction from that. :D

That said, even aside from my mood, this is all looking VERY good. And I really REALLY like it. This time period is genuinely interesting to me, and I hope Khalid ibn al-Walid gets suitably OP martial stats. :D

Right now, I've indeed not changed much there. Asia is gone in line with Justinian's dissolution of the diocese of Asia, so a couple duchies there. Most of the rest though is still under same kingdom level titles in WtWSMS. I do have placeholder character rules a few duchies to represent the quaestura exercitus which could eventually be start of the Karabisianoi. I'm also thinking themes will be some decisions for reorganisation based on Slavic/Islamic encroachment but will need to look for a balance between strict accuracy and over-fiddly mechanics (aka constantly evolving borders).
Could you maybe end up having the theme system be formed by decision? Or, rather, duchy viceroyalties can either be done naturally through normal means of acquisition of that law, or you can make it done by decision if you lose Egypt and Syria to the Arabs as the Byzantines.

I'm sure there's lots of possibilities for neat events and decisions in this time period.
 
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Garbon

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Byzantine Empire Preview



As of thie 633 start, the Byzantine Empire remains formidable with Egypt and Levant still under its control.

The Byzantine Empire starts ruled by Herakleios, who overthrew the tyrannical Emperor Phokas in 610.



Though Egypt and much of the Levant were lost to the Persians during the early years of his reign, Herakleios was a skilled warrior and managed to beat the Sasanians back with peace terms agreed to in 629.

We've already encountered his cousin, Gregorios, in Africa, appointed as an exarch. Herakleios's only brother, Theodoros, protects the eastern bulwark of the Byzantine Empire as comes Orientis.





Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria, serves as both spirtual and temporal governor of Egypt.





The Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum and Diocese of Pontus round out the Empire's larger vassals. Fictional placeholders as rulers for now, as I've yet to find any record of historical appointees.

The Diocese of Asia was dissolved by Justinian and never reinstated, so its former lands are now represented by a few duchy level vassals. The collection of titles under Sycthia Minor serve to represent the quaestura exercitus.



The western provinces of the Byzantine Empire have been overrun by Slavic tribes. While deprecated in the main mod, I decided it made sense to re-use the sklav culture as an intermediate state between the monolithic slavic culture and later cultures, Croatian and Serbian.



The legendary Porga regins the Sklav ruler of Senj, with Unknown Archon in Rashka.



The remaining Byzantine presence in the Illyrian coast is represented by barony level holdings.



As an aside, House Phokas was not entirely vanquished when the old regime fell and a few members live on scattered across the Byzantine Empire.



Cultural map:



Religious map:

 
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The Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum and Diocese of Pontus round out the Empire's larger vassals. Fictional placeholders as rulers for now, as I've yet to find any record of historical appointees.
For Illyricum, I think your best bet is Leo 17 from Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire vol. III, p. 770. He was possibly a prefect of Illyricum c. 620/630.
 
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DarkKayder

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Question, are we sure the Byzantine exclaves in Spain had been taken over by the Visigoths by this point?