TheAnguishedOne

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Absolute Crown Law is excellent news for the HRE upon conversion. Full power for the Kaiser.
The Black, eh? Always fun to get an insane ruler who actually gets the Necronomicon. Reinhard II might be mad, but I love when a Crusade is called for a very random location. Onward, to India!
 

dragoon9105

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Insane? Pah he will save us all just you wait :p

Chapter 38: Into the East
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Reinhard would find difficulty gathering support for the Crusade. Volunteers to journey to far away Hindustan were few and far between. The Kaiser however had passed laws prior giving him the right to demand a significant levy and when the Lords of Austria refused to support him he made full use of his right, raiding over Fifty Thousand to Augment the Templar and Teutonic Knight Vanguard.

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The Walk to and through the Persian Desert was long and hard. Years of marching thinned the Crusaders as disease famine and drought struck one after another. Many prospective crusaders turned back but Reinhard was undeterred, the hardship only refined his determination. Talk of Desertion began to spread and might have ended the crusade if not for Reinhard's loyal commanders refusing to betray their kaiser.
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Reinhard acted swiftly, rounding up the Ringleaders throughout his camps. In a public Display Reinhard the Black had the traitors burned by the stake in full view of his army. Such was the fate of any who defied the Kaiser's will. Reinhard would not suffer from the same mistakes Alexander made invading india. He would make entirely new ones.​

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Finally the crusaders arrived in India, though to no warm welcome. The Muhammids had given the Indians forewarning and several great hosts awaited the Germans, determined to drive them back into the Sunset. The Indian numbers were so great that they outnumbered the Initial wave of Crusaders and won several battles in the north.

Reinhard refused to accept failure and resorted to new tactics to augment his armies in faraway Hindustan, Slave soldiers, burning entire villages to draw out enemy armies and of course, dark and foul magics to call down curses upon enemy commanders and their families to cause chaos in enemy ranks. The Goal of saving Europe, became every more distant with each atrocity.​

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When the Northern Campaigns ended the Empire stood with only a fraction of its original force. The Indians however had lost nearly as man and the weakness of the local warlords caused instability in the region. The Raja of Kosala seized this opportunity to sign a peace with the Kaiser and turn his armies on the northern princes. The German army was free to march to its true goal.
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Again the crusade nearly came to an end after yet another Battle. The Imperial commanders quickly had adopted to Indian war elephants making use of Breton Longbows with pitch covered arrows to panic them. The Kaiser had not and during a routine cavalry charge he became dismounted from his horse. By the time the fighting managed to free the Kaiser and his personal guard he had been heavily wounded. When one of his wounds became infected the few doctors the Kaiser had with him decided they must take the Reinhard's hand to save his life.​

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While the Kaiser ailed at Gujarat his armies continued south shattering yet another Indian army along the coastline. Finally the Kaiser's goal, the Fortress of Thana where he claimed the Necromancer dwelled had been reached. Concerned for thier emperor's health the doctors at Gujarat attempted to stall and delay word from reaching the Kaiser. Unfortunately they were not effective and the Kaiser found out and despite his worsening health rode for Thana.​

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The Kaiser led a frontal assault on the Fortress. Though quickly it became apparent this necromancer did not reside in Thana at least any longer. As the city fell Imperial soldiers discovered a laboratory filled with the dead, sick and dying. The Kaiser himself however took yet another wound in the siege and as he heard that the necromancer had escaped he attempted to get out of bed only to be stopped from doing so by his closest commanders. He died that night.​

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Word was slow returning to Osterreich. Ursula in the Kaiser's absence continued to rule the Empire effectively and cleanly. With the military gone and the entire core of the Emperors loyalists dead or in faraway India it had grown more and more difficult to resist the growing factions within the Empire.​

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When Ursula finally passed young Waldemar was left in charge of an Ailing empire, with no army, no council and no respect among the electorate. Though the realm still held under the promises that the Reinhard could return. Venetian merchants heard before any others in the Empire. The Imperial envoy from Thana had been weylaid by strange men in black robes, the bodies were found multilated and arranged as some sort of sacrificed to some dark god.​

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The Kaiser's ancient tome was gone back to the sands of time. The Kaiser was dead, the army was in Far away Hindustan, and now Waldemar was alone, in a court of wolves.​

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Waldemar was no fool however. His first act as Kaiser was to bind himself to the Anniona Queen of Germany who was still young and Unmarried. Then the Kaiser toured Italy, buying the love of the Italian city states with his silver tounge or his gold. Meanwhile the Teutonic Order had seized leadership of the Crusade and quickly drew terms with the Indian Princes to legitimize their gains.​

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The Teutonic Order had secured a large amount of territory in India. using the vast gold and influence they had accrued over centuries they quickly set about rebuilding fortifications along their borders and forcibly converting, bribing or coercing the locals into bowing to their will. The Crusaders in India settled in the major cities, the same cities they had put to the torch mere months prior. This new Teutonic state owed loyalty to the Empire only in name.​

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With word of a successful crusade and Final confirmation from the Tueton that the Kaiser had indeed died, the final blow was struck. The Lords of Austria already outraged at having their rights trampled on by Honeyed worded Kaisers, Insane Monarchs and Inbred Monstrosities had enough. A formal letter of Independence was sent to Wien, and Rebel armies quickly became to close in on the state still loyal to Waldemar. The Empire was once more at war.​

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TheAnguishedOne

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Reinhard II will be remembered for establishing the Teutonic Order in India... I don't care if they're loyal to you anymore, I just love the idea of a Christian Holy Order prospering in India.
Waldemar is already facing opposition, but he is proving wise by making allies and keeping as many allies as possible on his side.
What is this laboratory found in India?
 

dragoon9105

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How else could Europe have been threatened by a great plague, certainty not by rats. :p

Chapter 39: End of an Era
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Yet again the French and Bolgars had revolted against their Kaiser. This time however the Viceroy of Sicily and several Italian city states had joined the rebels in hopes of breaking free of the Empire. A standard plan was put into affect. Suppress the Balkans first, Then Italy and meet the french in the German forests​

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As if rebels weren't enough a Cousin of the Kaiser had gathered support in Scotland for a conquest of England. The Scottish were more than willing to run the Holy Roman empire out of the British Isles and unofficially sent men and supplies to help young alfgeir in his war.​

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With the suppression of the Balkans going as planned opportunists from across Europe flocked to Waldemar's banner as well as Loyalist regiments from Italy and France all arrived in Austria. Underfed, under supplied and under trained this rabble was of little use and Waldemar quickly assigned his Marshal and master of horse to train this new army for the expected bloodbath in Italy.​

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Meanwhile the Knights of Leopold and the French were maneuvering around the Elbe waiting for a proper moment to strike one another. The Rebels initially had superiority in numbers which faded when the Balkan garrisons joined with the rebuilt Knights of Leopold. Now the French waited for their Burgundian allies to travel north and assist before risking themselves against German cavalry.​

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In Italy the new army had finally been trained and marched south. The Sicilians had expected to enjoy a relative peaceful war compared to the expected bloodbaths in the North. While camped in the mountains the Loyalist regiments fell upon their camps in northern Italy and caught them completely off guard.​

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In germany the war had turned hot. The Problems in the Italian front had forced the Burgundians to turn south lest the soft Italian states fold and fund the Kaiser's efforts in the North. The French, now left alone attempted to escape but were headed off at Erfurt and butchered by the famed Anniona Cavalry.​

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With the war settling down the Loyal king-elector of Serbia swore a renewed vow to the Kaiser, officially marking the incorporation of Kingdom of Bulgaria into the Imperial administration.
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Of course without the French the Rebel alliance fell apart at the seams. The Italians were the first to fold and for the most part were spared. The French and Burgundians however were given no quarter. The Viceroyalties were revoked and the previous holders publicly executed. The Lesser French states, now headless began to squabble among eachother, over leadership of the region.​

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With the war over, an aging Italian Merchant by the name of Marco Polo returned to Venice with strange tales of Cathay and his Travels with the Mongolians. Marco had been sent as part of an Imperial Trade mission to the Mongolian Emperor in China in hopes of expanding the Kaiser's influence in Asia. For the Most part this was successful and Marco brought back several maps of the east and his works were Published by Waldemar's administration and distributed to scholars throughout Europa.​

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Something else however had come from the East. A Great plague had begun to spread over southern Europe like Wildifre. The Wartorn Italian countryside was the first to fall as Thousands fell victim to its dark grasp. The Kaiser had attempted to Quarantine the afflicted Italian ports but the action came too late. The Plague had spread to Spain, and Up through France. It was only a matter of time before the Peasants in Wein would fall to this curse as well.​

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Panic Ensued, Religious fanatics took to the streets proclaiming tales of the End times and quoted the book of revelations. Meanwhile scholars debated, fiercely whether the Plague was man made, sent by god or a simple natural occurrence.​

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The Templars, whom had access to much of the Knowledge of Reinhard the Black claimed they discovered the truth behind the plague, that the Necromancer the Kaiser hunted had indeed managed to escape and enact his evil Plan after being taken in by the Song Dynasty in southern China. A group of Radical Templar claimed that the Old world was lost and stole a large portion of the Templar treasury as well as taking massive private donations from merchant families to construct a great fleet in Ireland. These Templar fled the Old world, setting sail for the Land of the Fearsome and godless Aztecs who had menaced the Empire decades ago. Afflicted ships were sent back but many still suspected that there still may have been Templar ships carrying the plague with them into this new world.​


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With some of the Greatest Minds having fled to foreign lands, afflicted by the Plague or escaped to the Mountains or Colder areas up north. The Greatest Empire in the world undefeated by threats both foreign and domestic was brought to its knees, by famine, disease and death.​

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TheAnguishedOne

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Another Holy Order flees for parts unknown, this time to escape disease. The Plague is doing a good job of weakening the HRE; hopefully the next few years are peaceful.

The Marco Polo event has fired though. We're nearing the end of this portion.
 

dragoon9105

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Peaceful.. right well, Maybe if the Coin of fate on the next few emperors deems them to be sane...

Chapter 40: As the ashes fall
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The Black death had come and gone. Europe, had survived a torrent of plague not seen before in history. The most affected regions had been the Byzantine Empire, Southern Italy, Spain and France. Meanwhile the Scandinavians had for the most part avoided the blow and the Polish had almost completely avoided any ill effects entirely.

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Affairs in the capital had returned to Normal. A group of Austrian Scholars had discovered something peculiar, that the plague had been concentrated in cities with large amounts of rat infestations. A large feline breeding program was started in the capital and other cities in the empire, though the plague had begun to fade long before it was ever put into effect. The Great lords of europe, secluded away from the general populace for the most part survived the reckoning and for the Kaiser and his family life seemed to improve, a sad irony.​

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In Spain however the ruling Anniona nobility reacted to the plague differently and took after the example of thier Kinsmen in austria. Likely to afraid to risk plague bearing envoys being brought into their castles they preferred to intermarry and the Spanish nobility had begun to be plagued by all manner of other deformity as the Anniona blood turned more and more pure.​

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In the Empire all manner of religious fanatics had begun to flock to Wien. in particular Jains had become more widely popular than expected, living cleaner lives and often secluding themselves from the disease infested slums and markets they rarely if ever became sick some Austrians saw this as a message that perhaps the Jains had gods favor and converted. When Jainist monks had begun to practice openly in Public the Kaiser had them rounded up and 'requested' they find a new place to worship in.​

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As the years passed Waldemar's reign had turned quiet. As the specter of disease left the empire a period of rebuilding had begun. Though Waldemar himself would not live long to see the Empire rise from the ashes once more.​

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Waldemar's second son, now Kaiser had taken to a different age old family tradition, Not of greatness but of sin. Waldemar the second was wild beast of a Kaiser and many had begun to suspect his mind was not his own in how he performed his acts.​

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Wasting no time Waldemar the second used his position to court his recently widowed sister Isentrude. Waldemar himself was unmarried and many suspected Waldemar wished to emulate his great grandfather Christopher's own reign. He traveled to Bohemia and approached Isentrude who was still greiving over her lost husband.
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The Empire needed a guiding light, an Inspiring leader to bring it out of the dark times. Instead it received Waldemar the second, a man determined to bend the Empire, His dynasty and his family to his will.​
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TheAnguishedOne

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Brave and shy... you'd think those would be mutual exclusive, but that's not important. Having a strong Kaiser is always good, especially if you can get that gene to continue in your heir. This family is really making a habit out of incest though. Every thought of converting to Zoroastrianism? :p
 

dragoon9105

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Well, to be fair, different circumstances each time, and the AI had been going at it much worse then me, Spain for example had been spitting inbred kids out all on thier own, and Waldemar might not be exactly in control of his actions...

Also only a handful of rulers left so i'm gonna hold off on a world update till the end.

Chapter 41: Voices in my Head
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The Kaiser's moods seemed to come and go, almost at random. Not long after the Bohemian incident he quickly returned to wien and demanded silent of the event under penalty of being declared a heretic and being burnt at the stake. Waldemar quickly married instead into the Spanish royalty and resumed running the realm. Though just as memory of the Kaiser's.. episode had begun to fade the Waldemar the Imperial court had seen years before appeared yet again.

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This time Waldemar's incident did not end after just one indulgence. When Kaiserine sisenamda discovered the incident and denounced her husband she suffered an unfortunate accident after fleeing the Imperial court.​

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With each episode the fragile web of alliances and relations that held the Empire grew weaker. Waldemar seemed to come and go, as if there were two Kaisers in Wien, not one. When Bendicta had become with Child many had expected the Kaiser to marry her but he could not even recall being with his neice at all despite several witnesses claiming contrary.​

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The Kaiser's word at the end of the day however was law. Bendicta who was not very mentally stable to begin with took her own life rather than suffer the Embarrasment and the incident seemed to trigger another one of Waldemar's moods, this time he preyed on Benedicta's sister not a week after Benedicta's burial.​

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The Empress Dowager had grown worried for her sons mental health. Richenza arranged a return of the Kaiser's firstborn Waldemar who previously had inherited the Kingdom of Cordoba when the deformed Guttier passed from illness. Being reunited with his son for the first time in years helped, though only temporarily.​

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Something was wrong. As the Kaiser returned to his moods a strange sickness had seemed to fall on Austria as a whole. A plague that did not kill the bodies of those it afflicted, but thier minds instead. Though the cause was unknown, until Heilwig bore the Kaiser a son.​

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Young Michael had been the final straw. Upon his baptism it was said that the church filled with smoke and foul voices shook the city. The young lad died in the event and the trauma of being on such hallowed ground had revealed the true enemy.​

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Satan himself had seized control of Waldemar, commanding the leader of the Christian world as a mere puppet for his schemes. Worse stil his power over the Kaiser had only grown in time and the true Waldemar faded with each passing day as the demon's grip on Austria tightened.​

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The Demon's power aged the Kaiser, and driven him mad, and wild. When not being directly controlled he had slowly given into base aggression, pleasure and sin. No better than a common animal.​

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It was through the Brave efforts of the Knights of Saint John did the Kaiser's illness finally be brought to heel. Grandmaster Rodrigo of the Hospitalliers led a small contingent into the shroud under Wien and held an exorcism for the kaiser using relics from the holy land to expell the devil.​

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Though the effort ultimately was in Vain. The Hospitalliers had saved Austria perhaps but not Waldemar, his soul all but devoured by the shadow. The ruler of Austria, Emperor of Rome and leader of the christian world had become an empty shell, devoid of any desire to live, eat or even breath. Waldemar passed quietly and it would be up to Waldemar of Cordoba to set things right lest the empire continue its course towards collapse.​

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TheAnguishedOne

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Ah, the possessed trait. Doesn't really do much in game, but it's great for an AAR. At least he didn't do too much damage to the HRE. Hopefully Waldemar III will remain sane.
 

LumberKing

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This is a great AAR, keep up the good work!
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 42: Spain is the Emperor
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Known widely as the Spanish Succession, Waldemar III was raised in Cordoba and was as a whole more Spanish than Austrian. The New kaiser could barely even speak german which made relations in the Empire difficult. Worse still Waldermar's father had passed during such a time that Waldermar III was gravely ill himself.
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This Kaiser at least, despite being foreign was a welcome change from the cursed reign of Waldemar II. Waldermar the third devoted much of his life to prayer and religion as was Spanish tradition, though with such a shift away from the previous attitude towards the faith and Holy Father had weakened the Anniona hold on the Papacy, and Europe as a whole.

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While a fragile and unstable rule was the order of the day, Waldemar reasserted the law reforms of his ancestors, re instituting absolute control over the electorate though without the skill and talent of previous imperial diplomats the laws quickly became unpopular, especially in the more Latin cultured areas of the Empire who expected a latin emperor to more heavily favor them over the Germans.​

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Just as quickly as Waldemar's reign begun, it ended shortly after, for only a short decade and a half did Waldemar rule Austria, long enough for his hair to grey and for his accent to begin to fade, but not long enough to truly stabilize the empire for his son.​

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Gundemar would suffer many of the problems of his father's reign. Though more familiar with the German court Gundemar also was by in large considered Spanish and a foreigner to the electorate and Empire at large. Gundemar had since an early age had been brutally scarred and still suffered from bouts of infection that made his health a constant variable.​

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The Kaiser continued his fathers reforms, further centralizing power in the Monarch. The Electorate however grew more and more dissatisfied with thier remaining rights slowly evaporating to the Kaiser.​

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Scandal would soon rock the Empire once again. At first the Emperor's firstborn, Princess Elduara had asked to join the faith and become a nun. The Kaiser accepted of course unwilling to deny his daughter.​

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It quickly became apparent however that Princess Elduara had not become a nun out of devotion but out of fear of the age old Anniona affliction of the flesh. Elduara in short order broke her vows and eloped with a count who had visited her in her secluded nunnery and fathered a bastard with her.​

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As Gundemar's reforms wound more and more tightly around the electorate concessions were forced to be made. Gundemar's heir was still but a child and the Electorate was unwilling to suffer through another regency, despite the success of Gisela and Christopher's regencies. The Electorate reclaimed its voting powers in the Empire and the slow slide into irrelevance had been reversed.​

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When the Kaiser died not long after the Electorate made full use of thier new powers and Elected the Archduke of Austria to the Throne, an Anniona long detached from the original bloodline. Would Welf be a breath of fresh air? or would the rumors that only pure blooded Kaisers could hold the empire together be proven true.​
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Several short reigns, but they still managed to pass important laws so the Kaiser would have power. Now we have to see how Welf does.
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 43: Endgame
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Upon the night Welf's coronation a great comet was seen in the sky. The Lords of Austria took this as a sign their course had been just and Welf's reign would be a refreshing reprieve from the corrupted main bloodline of house Anniona.​

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Emperor Welf was not much of an administrator, or politician, a Viceroy since an early age Welf had honed his skills for warfare first and foremost and was an able speaker and warrior. Though the stress of Ruling had caught the new Kaiser quite off guard and Welf has struggled at first to win the respect his kinsman had earned over generations.​

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The Templar were the most influential force in court politics of the Empire. Templar scholars and monks had dominated the empire's academia since the days of the plague. Welf previously had taken large sums of money from Templar bankers to fund his own private ambitions and now that Welf was a Kaiser the Templar order offered his son full membership in exchange for forgiveness of his debt.​

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However the Celtic and French were once again disgruntled with the Empire. Despite assurances of weaker laws and lower taxes the opposite had happened and once again they rose in revolution. Welf however had no will to give war and the French and Celtic lords broke with the Empire peacefully. Suprised at this sudden benevolence from the Germans the lords of Spain, France and Britain had begun to name Welf, 'The Gentle' for staying his hand. The King of Germany ever the opportunist used this opportunity to break away from the Empire as well, A betrayal that would be remembered for centuries.​

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The Lords of France quickly fell into infighting, Without a proper leader to unify them each of the French lords declared themselves the rightful king of France. The Duke of Flanders and Duke of Champagne being the Strongest amoung them. Meanwhile the Chaos in the west had stirred opportunists in the east.​

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Sensing weakness the Muhammid Caliph declared one last great conquest against the Holy land. A last ditch effort to reclaim any shread of legitimacy the shia faith still had in the eyes of prospective converts and the Caliph's vassals.​

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The Turnout would be the greatest in History. Over a Hundred Thousand Muslim warriors, prepared to sacrifice everything to reclaim the place of Mohammad's ascension into heaven. Thinking the Muslim invaders disorganized and weak Welf first attempted to land and Liberate the Templar Fortress of Montfort to use as a base to conduct his campaign in the holy land from.

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The Landing was a disaster, The Muslims quickly reacted to the Imperial Expeditionary force and drove them back to the sea. Humiliated the Kaiser had no choice but to return to Austria and raise another levy, though upon his return he was met with an ultimatum that would change history.​

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The Coalition of Electors it seems never had any faith in Welf and mearly wished to depose the more powerful Anniona's from office. The Electorate demanded a broad sweep of reforms to undo nearly a millennia of centralization and conquest. Welf, with no army, and no influence had no choice but to agree to thier terms on all counts.​

There would be Seven Electors Within the Empire at all times Bohemia, Sicily, Bulgaria, Wallachia and Serbia. The Italian Electorate Position would be Dispensed to the Holy Father and the Austrian Electorate vote would be given to the Powerful duke of Carinthia.

All States of the Empire would be formally allowed to conduct thier own diplomacy and wage their own wars provided they could prove the legitimacy of these wars.

In exchange the Member states would give the Kaiser a pittance of Levies and Tax income. Each time a Kaiser died a New Kaiser would be elected by the Seven Electors from one of the sovereign princes of the Empire.

For Enacting these Reforms the Electorate would temporarily give full access to the Imperial Army to conduct the defense of Jerusalem. Afterwards the Knights Hospitallier afterwards to better contain the Kaiser's control, the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitallier and Knights Teutonic would be released from thier vows and allowed to continue thier operations as sovereign states.

Welf had no real choice in the matter and the Edict of Vienna was passed unanimously by the new electorate.

With the Reforms passed, there was still a war to win.​

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The Muslims in Jerusalem had grown overconfident. With the war going so well nearly half their number returned to thier homes while the Muhammids Sultan brought great cannons to seige the crusader forts along the coastline. The Suprised of a second Anniona Invasion force caught the Jihadists completely off guard.​

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With the Force at Beirut routed and Destroyed another Anniona landing force made port in Acre, and rode to save Jerusalem from Jihadist occupation. When the Fires dimmed and the blood of the crusaders finally dried the Kaiser had been found victorious and the Muhammid Sultan knew the the grim uphill battle he would face against an entrenched army of Knights.

The Caliph decided to cut his losses and look Inwards before his own people could once again attempt to Usurp his dynasty. The Day had been one, No more would the Vast legions of the East threaten the Empire.​


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A Small victory in the grand Scheme of things however, Kaiser Welf had succeeded in defending a stretch of desert, and lost an Empire in the process. A Failure that ultimately broke Welf, allowing the door to once again open for Adalhard, Gundemar's Firstborn and rightful Heir to the Throne

An Anniona Holy Father and the always Loyal King of Bohemia bided their time, and when Welf died, a broken and defeated man, Adalhard was brought out of Hiding, and named Kaiser by two of the Seven Electors. The Remaining Five had all nominated different candidates, and by sheer Luck Adalhard had won his throne back without blood.​

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House Anniona would not go quietly into the Night. Adalhard swore upon the Sword of Freidrich and the Crown of Mathias he would restore to the Empire of his forefathers. His followers and Loyal vassals took up the chant, one that would echo across the next four centuries, the motto of Austria's revenge.

Imperium Romanum Sacrum

Heiliges Römisches Reich

Anniona Universalis

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Last edited:

HIMDogson

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Ladies gentlemen, come see yet another example of nobility screwing up an empire! Actually, it's good that you did that; otherwise the rest of the campaign would be boring.
 

Crushric

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So then. Does this mean it's time for the conversion?
 

TheAnguishedOne

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This is why you never release some vassals. You give an inch, then suddenly everyone wants to be 'equals'. The Kaiser rules all! Really though, can't wait for a world update and see what you've got in mind for the conversion.
 

dragoon9105

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Indeed, its time for conversion, I'll probably drop the Post Game Wrapup tonight. Steam gave me a nice surprise in the form of a new mod I set up right before the end so thats nice.