TheAnguishedOne

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I had just said that the Umayyads were shaping up to be rivals for later, and then they get Crusaded. Regardless, I'm surprised you released Africa, Egypt, and Jerusalem as independent kingdoms. Giselbert II is shaping up to be an eventful ruler. His love of astrology has put him at odds with his faith, but his actions (publishing his findings) could be seen as the HRE being a center for new thinking in the world. It could be the beginning of a renaissance for technology and understanding of the world.
 

dragoon9105

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Dont worry the Ummayyads are fine, The only thing that was hurt was their pride, Oh and their Manpower, That REALLY got hurt. Also probably all the civilians in Aquitaine. Judging on how the real crusades went, I don't think things have been working out to well for them.

Chapter 13: The Abyss Stares Back
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Apparently this was floating around the internet, Probably appropriate.

Giselbert found his sanctuary, in sin. Specifically the sin of Lust. The Kaiser had fallen from grace, unmarried and the Bachelor of Europe he turned down all offers for a new Kaiserin. Meanwhile the Kaiser's own appetite grew. He started with the attractive women of the court, and those interested in his advances.

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The Emperor grew less concerned with the say of the Church, and of his own vassals and bold began to invite courtiers to a private estate outside Vienna. Where he'd treat ladies to an Imperial Night, with an Imperial offer.​

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Now Giselbert was the seducer, and it Had been so easy, and rewarding. He felt like he was young again, and Important in a world that had turned on him for a false faith following false Ideals. However, Giselbert was still the Emperor, and his Mistresses could not always hold thier tongues with such gossip.​

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Silvana Lothering's father, the Ser Ewin had found out his daughter's affair with the Emperor. The Scandal became the only thing talked about within the court, but then another Mistress had come forward, and another. Giselbert, did not care, and openly confirmed their claims, and claimed some of their Children.​

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The Emperor grew more bold, Not satisfied with Courtiers he would turn to already married women, The Queen of Bohemia and a distance cousin was his next target. Giselbert had begun to document his 'adventures' much has he had his findings of the Cosmos. For common decency, the Details will be spared.​

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The kaiser claims in his writings that even old women began to seek his 'services' and companionship, but at the time he was disinterested.​

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The Queen of Bohemia however, was his interest and on a trip to Prague the Emperor and Queen had met in private, Nine months later a Child was born, the King of Bohemia was furious. Demanded Answers from the Kaiser in full view of the court. The Kaiser had confirmed his accusations, challenged the King of Bohemia to a knightly duel, and sent him back to Bohemia with a grievous wound. The new King of Bohemia was only an infant, An infant born mysteriously a year after the Kaiser had visited Prague. Though some report the Emperor having sent his brother to personally raise the Young King years later.​

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Meanwhile a New Military order of Europe, Formed from wealthy Knights from France and Italy named 'The Knights Templar" had appeared in Europe. They quickly used their vast wealth and connections to set up bases throughout europe. Notably building several new fortresses in Jerusalem to better defend the Holy Land.​

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Meanwhile the Emperor had begun to lower his 'standards'. Even women he had previously rejected were fair game.

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And the Imperial harem still grew. The Emperor had practically constructed a Brothel for himself. A silver tongue, Imperial Gold and Giselbert's personality attracted many would be concubines into his web. But Gisebert's ambition, and his hunger only grew.

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Not content with corrupting his own soul. The Emperor made an effort to steer his children on what he saw as the correct path. This was the final straw for the Church who had openly denounced these practices, but ultimately could do nothing. Giselbert, while having fallen under the specter of Lust still had the Imperial Army, and with the army, the Kaiser was untouchable.​

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So untouchable in fact that the Kaiser had set his eyes on the Byzantine Empress. Eufemia the Basilissa had been married to the Byzantine Emperor for Political reasons. Before that She had been raised in Osterreich along with her Cousin, the future Kaiser Giselbert. Now the Emperor had wrote her a letter and the response was a bit more forward than he expected but he journeyed to Byzantium nonetheless, in secret.​

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The Kaiser was nearly captured in the escape, Though nothing was done, until the Empress had begun to show signs she was with Child.

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The Kaiser arranged a rescue for his Lover and Eufemia managed to escape the Byzantine court before any harm could come to her, or her child. However the Byzantine Emperor did not back down, he called the Varingian guard and declared war on Austria with intent to drag Eufemia and Giselbert to Constaninople in chains.
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Of course, other events were also Conspiring. The Kaiser had noticed his own sister spending inordinate amounts of time staying in court, instead of with her Husband, the sickly crown prince. Prince Martin had a poor physical disposition ever since taking a severe wound during the crusade. His health increasingly worsened and Princess Hildeburg had offered to take care of the Prince. The Kaiser disinterested in the many marriage proposals for his sister married her to his son not long after though they had born no children and Martin's health grew worse until he was bedridden. Now Hildeberg had been spending less time caring for her sick husband.. and more time eyeing her brother the Kaiser.

Of Course the Kaiser had fallen, His mind addled by his own lust, The Kaiser's account it was the Princess but there is large evidence to the contrary, the End result was something that would besmirch the Anniona name for nearly a century. The Kaiser had clearly lost his mind, and his obsession became addiction. An addiction that would drive him to do terrible things.​

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Terrible, Terrible, Things.

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And So Kaiser becomes Krazy and Loses his Mind. Enjoy the Update. I'm going to go throw up.​

 
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TheAnguishedOne

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A Kaiser that, upset that the Church mocks his findings, embraces lust and eventually incest... sounds like he'll be remembered as a controversial ruler. Still, this is CK2. Incest was part of Way of Life's promotion. :D
 

Andrzej I

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Our krazy Kaiser doesn't happen to have any daughters now in danger, given his broadening standards, yes?

Anyways, hurrah for the Annionas, Habsburgs 2.0
 
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dragoon9105

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Actually Gisebert has all sons. The only daughters had fathers too oblivious to put two and two together. Two of those daughters happen to be Princess Hildeberg's.

Chapter 14: Moving On
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While Giselbert was on his Sexual adventures in Byzantium the Umayaad Caliph was back with a Vengeance. While most of Africa had now been christianized the Kingdom of Egypt still had muslims clinging desperately to Islamic Tradition. When more harsh conversion methods were implemented the Umayyads had officially declared that Egypt should be retaken now that the Empire had abandoned its protection and called for all Sunni's to take up the cause as well.

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In the North Giselbert didn't much heed current events and led his soldiers against the Byzantines. Word arrived informing him that Eufemia had born him a healthy baby boy. The Kaiser saw this as a good omen and led his troops headlong into Bulgaria to meet the Greeks head on.​

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Outnumbered two to one the Greeks fought valiantly, fought bravely, and died. Shattered and defeated The Kaiser's armies enclosed Constantinople and the Emperor surrendered rather than see his city sacked. The Emperor was dragged back to Osterreich in Chains, Tortured, humiliated and given a public execution, leaving the only child remaining that was truly of his blood on the throne.​

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With her cousin victorious Eufemia became a permanent fixture in the Anniona court of Debauchery. Once she was well she gathered anything she wished of note from City of Men's desire and left to be by the Kaiser's side, even if that meant leaving one of her children alone amidst the Byzantine lords.

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Eufemia quickly became a dominant member of the Emperor's harem, alongside princess Hidleburg. Though their hedonism would not last for long, as Giselbert was called to respond to the Egyptian Crisis, and finally gathered the army and left for the south. If he had denied such a request he ran the risk of losing the Loyalty of the Army, the only thing preventing a Papal inquisition from arresting him and burning him and cousin, sister and various concubines at the stake.

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Egypt had hung on by a mere thread. The Umayyads had siezed the area north of Cairo and crushed the Native Egyptian garrisons. The Intervention of Jerusalem and Africa only delayed the conflict and all seemed to be lost.​

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The Kaiser had the power to stop the Umayyad advance, but he was disinterested, and upon arriving in the Levant went missing. Only to be found with some number of his retinue in Jerusalem. Nothing is confirmed as to what happened in the holy land but It was known the King of Jerusalem was married to another of the Kaiser's sisters so its best not to think too hard about it. Leaderless his armies had botched the landing at Tukkot and was forced back into the sea. The Kaiser had to be dragged back to the field.​

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However the Kaiser still could not be satsified, He had attempted to seduce the wife of one of his generals. However For the first time in his life, The Kaiser was denied
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The Shock perhaps had been too much because the Emperor shortly took ill and died. Leaving the Young Ludorf to be crowned Kaiser in the Deserts near Alexandria.​

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Not wasting any time the New Kaiser had rallied the Imperial Army and marched on Tobruk, a vital supply point for the Fleet. The Umayyads quickly responded and moved to defend the region. This time however the Empire was ready to fight till the end.​

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With the Sunni army broken, Tobruk had now opened the way for Imperial reinforcements from Italy to land in Egypt without having to trek across the Desert. Nonetheless the city had to be retaken and the Umayyad, perhaps too recklessly moved to attempt to deny the young Kaiser access to the full might of his empire​

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Outside Mersa Mursa the Sunni army had attempted to ambush the advancing Imperial force. These soldiers however had received new supplies from Imperial fleet, and had reinforcements from Tobruk and egypt itself already en route. The Battle quickly turned into yet another slaughter.​

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Defeated in the East, Unrest began to spread back in Spain. The Umayyad dynasty had sent thousands of young men to die in the Levant for no gain. Now the Empire had humiliated them once again on the field, and faith in the Caliph had begun to plummet to an all time low.​

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With problems brewing at home. the Umayyads had no choice but to abandon their 'holy conquest' and return home to suppress the growing Revolt. The King of Egypt, who had resisted for years accepted terms to cease the violence against Sunni's within Egypt without pause and the Umayyads had gone home.​

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After years of Slaughter, Counter Attacks, Invasions and Interventions. Egypt was at last, safe.
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Ludolf gets to begin his reign by saving a kingdom from Jihad; not a bad way to start the act of healing ties with the Church. How many recognized siblings does he have? Any products from his aunts? I imagine he'll face a few claimant wars during his life.
 

dragoon9105

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Oh, he will, He will. And hes got over a dozen siblings. Around 9 recognized I think. Both of his nieces (His dead brother's daughters) are really his sisters. So this is going to becoming a very messy family tree, very quickly. Nothing like some bad genetics to stir the pot though otherwise it'd be a really boring 300 years.
 
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ML8991

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Impressive stuff. Amazed ge sired so many in only a few years.

But well done in your crusade, and all the best for what is coming up next.
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 15: When Brothers War
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Ludolf had quite a heap of work ahead of him. The Realm as a whole had to be reorganized, The Church and the military as well. Though for the moment at least the Failed Jihad the Kaiser had time to collect his thoughts and rest. One of the few he would get in the coming years.

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Ludolf had been the victim of his Father's debauchery since a young age. Now the New Kaiser had made an effort to begin setting this right and resist the corruption of the flesh his father had struck upon him. When the Kaiser arrived in Osterreich he had all the brothels closed down, and several of his father's mistresses humiliated and paraded naked through the streets.​

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Next his Aunt and the former Byzantine Empress were forced to swear vows to the Catholic Church and be henceforth exiled to a nunnery in Tirol for the rest of their days. Under penalty of imprisonment, Princess Hildeberg accepted, but the Eufemia quickly escaped the Nunnery and fled to the side of one of her incestuous spawn.​

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For his actions in the holy land, and Cleansing of the Empire Ludorf was named "The Holy" for his deeds. He would aspire to become worthy of the title and confided more and more in prayer.​

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Crown prince Albert however wasn't as well behaved and was often caught torturing small animals late in the afternoon around the capital. The Kaiser had tried to deter the behavior but his prayers went unanswered and Albert continued, unhindered.​

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There were those in the Empire, that saw Ludorf not as a redeemer but as a pawn of the Church. Several of the Giselbert's Bastards had no issue with thier father's regime, After all if the Kaiser had been more conservative they would have never been born, and if they had, likely would have been cast to the winds as most bastards were. The Russian, Prince Putiata was hot headed and refused to wait for an ample opportunity to seize the Empire from Ludorf, He gathered nearly twenty thousand loyal men to fight for his claim in nearby Ruthenia.​

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When the Prince had felt his army had grown enough he invaded. However the Lords of Panniona sided instead with the Kaiser and Pautiata was forced to siege each fort on the way to Osterreich to advance, quickly becoming bogged down in the Carpathians.​

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Ludorf had gathered his own supporters from Germany and Italy, While The Electorates of Austria, Bulgaria and Serbia had declared neutrality in the conflict. Imperial Generals devised a "Long Stroke" plan, that would involve meeting the Princes' army head on and reinforcing from the Pannionian basin with another army of equal number.​

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Alerted by rebel spies the Prince quickly mounted a counter attack and attempted to shatter the first army that was en route. The Rebel generals more skilled but without the Kaiser's gold the Rebel soldiers were under supplied and Ill equipped. In Comparison the German and Italian garrisons had the finest gear and training in Europe. Italian Pikes quickly turned Hills into spiked fortresses and the Assaulting rebel armies were forced to retreat after taking heavy losses.​

l6SRdqI.png

With the Rebel army routed the second army arrived from the south, A hammer to strike the Carpathian Anvil. The Rebels quickly were overwhelmed and Putiata's generals rather than giving a valiant final stand captured their leader and turned him over to the Kaiser in exchange for their freedom.​

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The Kaiser' being a Just and king ruler allowed them to take vows and serve the rest of their days defending the holy land in exchange for being spared the Headsman's axe. Putiata however would not be spared, The Prince was brought back to Osterreich where Ludorf had him formally executed. Though he had made sure he had a Papal Bull waiting so that none would dare name him Kinslayer for the act.​

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The War while not particularly long had distracted the Empire away from the Western Front. As if like clockwork, mere days after the Austrians returned home to fight in the East, the Muslims had crossed the Pyrenees and now once again threatened the west.​

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Dammit France, You had one job!

 
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TheAnguishedOne

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He's the Holy? How fitting. Clearly the Pope is eager to have a decent Emperor after the last one. Ludolf handled the first (likely not final) claimant war well, though I was surprised he executed his brother. Also, Albert is cruel? That's not a good sign for the future...
 

dragoon9105

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Ludorf is more of the, Purge it with fire type of zealot, instead of the Pray for redemption type. Of course because of his father's adventures he has had to purge, lock away or send away large portions of his immediate family, though its hard to catch em all. In fact Lutdorf is the only legitimate child of the Kaiser left the rest are all legitimized bastards or have an unknown/assumed father.
 
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Paratek

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Well then....that was certainly a wide swing of personality going from Giselbert to Ludolf....I have had several games outright ended from having too many siblings, so here's to hoping you survive the next couple of decades.
 

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Chapter 16: Take it Back!
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With Aquitaine in Muslim hands it did not take very long for a Papal response. Pope Silvester once again called the faithful to rome and announced yet another Invasion to retake France from the Umayyad and bring safety to the Christians of Western Europe. The Umayyad, weakened from their own civil strife and unrest scrambled to put up a defense in time.

THALWFd.png

For the Record I have no idea how the Fratecelli Papacy formed​

Meanwhile, Kaiser Giselbert's followers had organized themselves into a new movement, to reform the church and it's laws. Called the Fratcelli they were quick to denounce Pope Silvester and the Empire and declares that all of Giselbert's followers should rise up and attempt to Seize Italy as a base to expand their vile domain.​
If perhaps the Emperor's bastard siblings had not spent their strength against the empire already this new movement would have caught on, However the new Fratecelli church found gathering followers difficult and was unable to raise any force to oppose the empire. Meanwhile Imperial agents and Inquisitors were sent out to find the heretics and eliminate them before they became a problem.

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Aquitaine had been retaken in this time. Named 'The Short Crusade' it lasted little over a year. An adventurer, knight and claimate to the Throne of Aquitaine Andre D'hauteville won the day and ran the Moorish armies out of Aquitaine before any French or Germans could arrive on the scene. Andre however owed loyalty to the Knights Hospitallier and managed to refuse the Crown. The Kaiser however was unwilling to give the Knights such a Kingdom or influence. The Kaiser invited he victorious hero to Osterreich and crowned him King of Aquitaine in full view the the Imperial Court. Andre, dared not refuse.​

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Years would pass, and while Europe was once again at peace it quickly became apparent to many that Pope Silvester was maddening with every day. Either through some curse of Satan or his own aging mind the Clergy grew worried and uneasy as their elected leader was slowly twisted into a cruel and sadistic man.​

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The Holy Father had even went as far as to openly investigate and attempt to burn the company Kaiser Ludorf kept in his court. Openly accused the Emperor of Heresy and demanded the expulsion or immediate execution of the Jew's, Cathars and Orthodox men and women in the Austrian court. Needless to say this did not go over well with the Kaiser and Silvester III would never be invited back to the Imperial Capital.​

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Meanwhile in the South, The Byzantines and Imperials quickly came into conflict over the contested borders in Bulgaria. When both sides refused to acknowledge each others claims it quickly came to blows. Armies marching through southern Serbia soon became commonplace.
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The Byzantines quickly folded and regrouped, ceding more ports in Italy to the Kaiser in hopes to appease him. The Kaiser accepted the hasty peace, thinking nothing of it at the time, however there were darker forces at work.​

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The Austrian inquisition had risen to prominence during Ludolf's reign. They quickly set up bases and offices throughout Italy and Germany and hunted down Heretics, deviants or dissidents within the Empire. Witch hunts had become commonplace and many smaller towns grew uneasy under the harsh regime. Some argue it was too severe but once the Inquisition had been established none were brave enough to openly criticism their actions. Especially so long as the Pope and Kaiser adamantly supported their efforts.​

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Ludorf was not content to fight sin at just at home. He looked abroad to France where another corrupt regime had taken hold. Seeing only one option Ludorf crossed the Rhine and named his Second Cousin Amelberga the True queen of France. His intent was clear, France would bow to the Kaiser or be broken trying to resist.

Though such a bold move had drawn a response, after years of rebuilding the Greeks under cover of night seized several forts along the Greek-German Border in Bulgaria and moved to seize the garrisons in Serbia. Word was slow but eventually reached Ludorf in distant France. The Byzantines were back.​

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Next episode is probably going to be a world Update. BTW​
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Installing a relative as the Queen of France... excellent way to have the kingdom join the HRE, if not at least be on good terms. The Byzantine Empire seems very stupid in your game, never learning from their lesson. Looking forward to the world update. I'm curious how the HRE's economy is fairing, which nations have prospered, how religions are doing, etc.
 

ML8991

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Anguished couldn't have summated the common feeling better, so i go what he said.
Congrats on the crusades, and gl with France.
 

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Good luck in France, and I am excited to see the new world update.(Basically what the other two said)
 

dragoon9105

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To be fair, the French and Byzantines at the same time caught me quite off guard

Intermission # 2 Imperial Integrity
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We will once again begin to Britannia. Ireland Dispanded from a combination of the Scottish and Irish dukes dejure warring for their lands. The French have instead taken the Irish's place in England and have seized a few counties around the Island. Northumberland has shattered and Scotland quickly had filled the power gap in the North. Now we get to the Big Winner Britanny! who has managed to be the only power beside scotland to actually grow in this time. Most of England is ruled by Celts now as well.

09sPPnP.png
Next up are our Germanic Brothers in the North. Or well Catholic brothers in the North. Finland is still holding out but Scandinavia has fully Christianized now. Sweden is held by an Anniona (The Same line that won the crusade as far as i know) They have gone native, the Norse have once again been kicked out of Norway and its ruled by the Saxons who are slowly converting the kingdom. Poland is also looking north with Hungry eyes after seizing swathes of Denmark and Finland

3iIh7GQ.jpg

Eastern Europe hasn't changed much. The Byzantines conquered most of Crimea Georgia and Alania. the Bejovics have held onto Russia, Lithuania and Poland and are now encroaching on Rus proper. They have been fairly quiet all game, I suppose they dont want a repeat event after last time when the Empire butchered most of thier adult male population in the Carapthians a few hundred years ago.​

wyZNOxT.jpg

Moving onto the Middle east its basically what you'd expect. Static. Though the Byzantines have been wounded, badly.The Muhammadids are really scary, probably the second strongest empire on the map. Arabia's borders by the way are not my doing, The Von Frankens did that all on thier own after giving them the red sea coast. I'm so proud, nothing warms my heart like pretty borders

The Byzantines are still hanging on though, mostly becuase they colonized Crimea and Georgia which now provides the bulk of their manpower along with Greece. Somehow they have managed to hang onto Antioch so power to them. Because of their scary neighbor and general tenacity on staying alive once i get the borders i want i'll probably leave them alone. Even if they lose greece seeing the Byzantines escape to the Steppe would be hilarious, Third Rome Indeed.​

XfUd7jP.png


Onto the Fun stuff, First up is culture. So, German has pretty much assimilated the Slavics and Avars of the Balkans. My success in france has also saved the Germans from extinction there as well but Saxony is still very much french.​

Speaking of French, It had taken hold of Europe like a cancer and even is starting to devour their brother culture in occitannia Though i firmly put a stop to that mess by complete accident. The Lombards have been all but exterminated now as well. Its all naturally flipped to Italian and it looks like it will be staying that way since the Electors i appoint in Italy are almost exclusively Italian. They have never revolted against me, I feel no reason to exterminate them, same with the Bohemians who have been loyal servants of the empire, when they arent being bullied into factions anyway.

Though unfortunately the Bedouins have basically Hemogonized the levant and German is quickly spreading throughout North Africa. The King of Egypt went native though we have egyptian at least! If any of those converter mods that split german culture have been updated please lemme know I think i'll be needing one.​

i6EjQC3.png

Religion map time, so There is not a single Fratecelli province, no seriously not a single, one so I guess the Frat boy pope declaring a crusade at me is just going to be free opinion with my vassals whenever the mood takes him. Otherwise, Catholic Hemegony, ect ect. Looks like the Hindus are winning in India as well.​

0OCERmJ.jpg
The Relevant Dynasty map right now. So we dont have our hemegony over europe anymore, The Hetties kicked out my cousins in france and the Umayyad did the same to aquiatine. Though now Aquiatine is my Vassal so, Umad? Ummayads? :cool:

On a more serious note though, They also just seem to refuse to die. This dynasty has killed decadence revolt after revolt, fought invasions against most of Europe and won, been beaten down to the brink over and over and they keep coming back for more.​

LR0qjTp.png

And now Independent Realms. So our great powers are.

#1 The HRE, Strongest Military power by far, Were not the richest though. We do have the most score though so i'll take it!
# 2 Mesopotamia (Muhammadids) My Evil Twin, Second strongest in sheer military might and by far the richest thanks to the silk road. Honestly im just glad they haven't spread into india yet.
#3. Spain (Ummayyads) Like a punching bag they keep coming back. By far the most powerful realm in western europe, capable of taking on all of AI western Europe and winning.
#4. The Byzantine Empire: Down but not out summarrizes thier story this campaign. Lose Anatolia and Georgia? Escape to Russia. Being Byzantium and getting all their bonuses obviously helps.
#5. Russia (Bejovics): So i'm going to Group Poland-Lithuania and Ruthenia together as the same Power bloc, Ruthenia' isn't the strongest kid on the bloc but he has loads of friends.
#6. So now were into the Merry go round Majors, The most secure of which is France.. for now. Nothing much to say, its France, its blue, it blobs. :p
#7 Afrika: Technically part of my Bloc by being Anniona but they can punch, hard. They also can take on the Ummayyads shot for shot and have done a good job of making the Desert bloom.
#8 Deccan Empire: Not the Deccan empire but i cant spell their actual dynasty name if my life depended on it. They are pretty strong but really seem to be the sick man of the East right now.​
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Ugh, the British Isles are a mess. If things keep up, France and Scotland will be the only powers in the region; not good for your EU4 era. Mesopotamia is quite impressive, a clear sign that you need to advance your own economy so you'll be able to compete with them down the line. I'm rooting for Poland to keep expanding into Scandinavia. Unexpected, unique, and it would make for an interesting major power.