• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    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.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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First Lieutenant
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Welcome to my greatest project yet, a total paradox history of Sweden. I will be chronocling the fortunes of this (hopefully) great country through 800+ years of history using the different converters that are available between the various games. This is an opportune time for such a project since we now have CK 1.05 and the imminent Victoria 1.04 at hand. I hope you enjoy this AAR written in a historical style and feel free to comment and suggest.

anyway, first off Crusader Kings! :D
 

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The reigns of Erik I and Inge I.

The Book of Years

Erik I Stenkilsätten (1066-1076)

Erik 1st ruled for only ten years. At the beginning of his reign new laws of the realm were instituted which spelled doom for his chances. As the kingdom made the move from elective succession to semisalic primogeniture and from ecclestiastical to royal prerogative, as regards church positions. These reforms, although unsettling in themselves, were not the primary concern for the kings vassals, the main reason was the institution of royal supremacy as regards worldly rule. The rights of the counts to make laws in their own counties were to precious to them to tolerate their loss and so the vassals of the new king rebelled. After a series of revolts the king was finally killed during the battle of Kolmården in Östergötland. As far as his achievements he will be best remembered for his quest to centralize the kingdom and gather as much power as possible in his own hands. In this he succeded, as his vassals rebelled he took their lands and thus gaind for his own demesne the counties of Dalarna, Uppland Närke, Västmanland, Värmland, Södermanland and Finnveden. This in addition to his ancestral lands of Västergötland. The kingdom as a whole was weakened however since the duchy of Östergötland broke free upon his death and took the counties of Småland and Kalmar with them.

Inge I Stenkilsätten (1076-1139)

Nicknamed the Castlemaker king Inge ruled for an incredible 62 years! He ascended the throne at the tender age of eight having lost his father in battle. His reign got off to an auspicious start as the county of Kalmar, under the Kalmar family re-entered the fold at the start of his teens. King Inge was a wise ruler and saw the need for peace, he spent most of his reign constructing small castles at strategic points throughout the realm. Since these were built in stone and could house a large garrison as well as offer protection for the local villagers the stability and prestige of the kingdom was much strengthened. Politically he achieved his aims of stability through a combination of reforms and wars. In his early years he revoked the centralizations of his father and instituted a policy of feudal contracts with his vassals, this meant that he could now concentrate on expanding the kingdom. In his thirties he conquered most of the north in two successive wars against the pagans, leaving only Lappland in their hands. He then spent decades making the administration of the realm more efficient through the creation of the royal post system. He also parcelled out land to his sons, making his heir prince Erik the duke of Bergslagen and count of Värmland. Towards the very end of his reign a sharp and brutal war with Kol, the duke of Östergötland, brought the lost provinces back under swedish control. King Inge the 1st died peacefully in bed at the ripe old age of 70, leaving behind a prosperous and strong kingdom.
 

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The reigns of Erik II and Gustav I

Erik II Stenkilsätten (1139-1150)

Erik the second was a pious king, during his relatively short reign he only fought one war but it was a highly successful one, he conquered the counties of Skåne and Halland. With the incorporation of the rich province of Skåne the King set about constructing churches across the entire realm, from Dalarna in the north to Finnveden in the south. Hundreds of churches were built and the power of the pagan priests was finally broken in both Värmland and Uppland. When he died people called him Erik the Holy King.

Gustav I Stenkilsätten (1150-1165)
King Gustav I was not a great warrior but he was a good administrator. Above all else however, he was a zealot. In his early reign a very important event shook the entire Christian world. The fall of Rome to the muslims of the Emirate of Mallorca was a watershed in the young kings life. From that moment Gustav spent his entire reign planning a crusade to liberate the holy see from heathen hands. In AD 1163 the Pope, from his exile in Kraków, called to arms, proclaiming a crusade to free the city of Rome. That spring King Gustav raised his standards and marched at the head of an army of 10 000 men to Italy. After disembarking at Lübeck the army marched across central europe and through the Brenner pass in late august 1163. Everywhere they went the local nobles supplied them with food and lodgings. In September they reached the city of Venice where they were forced to halt for several weeks since the Doge of Venice refused them passage on his ships for fear of endangering his trade relations with the muslims of the levant. In October the army finally embarked for Ancona after the Pope had threatened the Doge with excommunication.

On October the 14th the army landed in muslim lands and a mass was held on the beachfront a scant bowshot from the walls of Ancona itself. As the nobles debated the course of action that day their decision was made for them, in the afternoon a great host of the muslims appeared and gave battle. King Gustav beat back the forces of the scheik of Palermo, but only with great loss, some two thousand men were slain on the crusaders’ side. After this costly victory the Swedes wasted no more time but instead swiftly crossed the Appenines. On November the 2nd the eternal city was sighted but it was too late. All through their march across the mountains the army had been pursued by a great force of the scheik of Bologna, scholars have estimated this force to have been at least 15 000 strong. Since the crusaders had reached their destination they had no choice but to fight or go home. Gustav chose the former and in a bloody battle his forces were annihilated and only 500 survived to be sold into slavery.

The king however, fled. After the failure of his crusade the Emir of Mallorca sent three successive armies to invade Sweden. Each time Gustav met them in Skåne where the countryside was looted and the population starved. After beating back two armies of 10 000 each the third army proved to be too much. In 1165 king Gustav I the crusader was slain at the battle of Lund while leading his men in a desperate charge to break the muslim lines. At the time of his death the kingdom was in dire peril and suffering heavily uder the forced levies of the aristocracy. Still, worse was yet to come…
 

Jestor

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Fascinating start. Be interesting to see where this goes... or even if you survive through CK :D
 

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Thanks! :) I've made it as far as 1247 and I hope to make it all the way. The mongols worry me though...
 

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The reign of Torgils I Stenkilsätten

Torgils I Stenkilsätten (1165-1179)

Torgils the Mad, or Torgils the Heretic, ruled the country for 14 years. During his reign the kingdom lost about a third of its counties, and an even greater portion of its wealth. Torgils’ reign did not come to a promising start. When he rose to the throne his father had just been killed in battle and now the Mallorcan muslims, having marched straight through Skåne, were besieging Kalmar. When the city fell Torgils, who was only thirteen years old, decided to seek peace with the Emir at any cost. Luckily for him a rebellion had flared in southern Spain and so the Emir settled for the county of Kalmar and an enormous sum of 372 000 ducats. Torgils was now only a year into his reign and already the stress was beginning to show, he tended to wander the halls of the royal keep, muttering to himself when he thought no-one could see him.

At this point the kingdom was in a shambles, the southern counties were burned and masses of beggars drifted from village to village trying to find enough food to eat. The northern counties had fared better but there too the economy was destroyed. Most of the young men had been pressed into service for a lost cause, and now there was a severe labour shortage. The counts had lost as well and now they started to question the use of such a kingdom that merely brought them misery, things were going from bad to worse…

In the spring of 1167 the king of Norway declared war upon the kingdom of Sweden, and pressed most of his vassals’ regiments into the war. King Torgils tried to muster an army to defend the realm, but none was to be had. In a pitiful attempt to stop the invader the Kings army met the Norwegians at Mora in Dalarna. Outnumbered four to one the levied peasants soon broke and fled, leaving the entire country defenceless. In the peace that followed Sweden lost its vassal in the duchy of Bergslagen, including the counties of Värmland and Dal, but more importantly the rich province of Västergötland was lost. From now on the kingdom would be ruled from Uppland and Stockholm.

After this something within the young king snapped. In his last official act he denounced the holy roman church and decided upon his own version of Christianity, from the accounts of those who knew him afterwards he was said to espouse a faith in which salvation was dependent upon meditation and penance instead of the sacraments. With this heinous act the Counts gained the excuse they needed to rebel. As the king became crazed and branded a heretic he slowly slid into full blown madness, over the years developing a schizophrenia were he was said to have long conversations with his dead father and Jesus, debating the merits of gardening over quilting! For the next decade the country was leaderless and the counties of Finland, Gotland and Öland broke free of the kings supremacy. Since the king was neither capable nor interested in running the country his ypunger brother Håkan took on more and more duties until finally, when king Torgils started riding about the streets of Stockholm in his nightgown, chastising the burghers for not wearing floppier hats, he had him locked away in dungeon and assumed the kingship formally, much to the relief of the people and the court. Torgils died a year later in his cell, only 27 years old.
 

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Apr 25, 2004
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The reign of Håkan I Stenkilsätten

Håkan I Stenkilsätten (1179-1221)

When king Håkan assumed his throne he took over a kingdom in disarray. His brother had lost a great part of the kingdom and mismanaged the remainder so the task ahead was a daunting one. At the end of his reign the country was stronger than ever though. For many years after his ascension king Håkan merely saved and built, always focusing on expanding the economy by establishing fisheries, forestries and sawmills, as well as new tilefactories and even inviting moneylenders to establish themselves in the different counties. This coincided with a renewal of agricultural practices as the new technique of stripe-ploughing spread across the land. The preceding years of neglect had left much of the countryside barren and as the economy expanded it did so at a faster rate than the population, as a consequence the peasants took to herding as a fast a convenient way to use the land, large herds of goats began appearing in the middle counties around the large lakes of Sweden.

After this initial period of rebuilding the economy the king began to expand his power. This was not done the way his ancestor Erik the 1st had done it, by taking power from the nobles. Rather the king used his new funds to construct massive keeps to establish supply centers and focal points for royal power. And thus, after 20 years, the king finally set about expanding the kingdom through the judicious use of his family’s many claims to the neighbouring counties and fiefs. First he fought a protracted war with the erstwhile vassal of Öland which ended in that county’s rejoining the kingdom. Next he fought his first war against the Norwegians, with the aim of retaking Västergötland. This aim he failed to achieve, but instead retook both Värmland and Dal from his rival, the unlucky king Åle of Norway.

The third war was the most fortunate one. During the preceding hundred years the Knytling dynasty in Denmark had failed miserably and the kingdom of Denmark was no more. Instead the greatest power to replace it was the duchy of Sjaelland, a title to which king Håkan held a claim. When the duke of Sjaelland was defeated in a pitched battle outside of Copenhagen he yielded his titles as count and duke of Sjaelland. This resulted in Håkan taking over as liege over the counts of Lübeck, Slesvig, Mecklenmburg and Rügen! A truly great feat for any king. After this astounding success the kingdom of Sweden was established as the supreme power around the Baltic Sea and the long term policy of the kingdom of owning all land surrounding it was established.

Over the next decade, the 1210’s, the king fought two more wars against the Norwegians, resulting in the conquest of Hdemark, Herjedalen and Akershus, all against the poor king Åle. Finally the great king took the cross, like his father before him, to free Valencia from the heathens. Like his father he failed miserably, he died on campaign in Spain, surrounded by his army in a fight to the death against the forces of the scheik of Toledo. After this the crusade ebbed out and peace was concluded with the fractious muslims. Håkan the 1st ruled for 42 years. During that time Sweden became a prosperous and powerful kingdom on the shores of the Baltic, and the king’s levy counted more than 80 000 souls! When he died he was named king Håkan the great.
 

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Apr 25, 2004
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Format & such

For those following this AAR (all two people) I've decided to inform on how I intend to do this. Every day until march 23rd I'll play a session equivalent to ca 25 years of Crusader Kings, or 40 years of EU2. Every day I will then write and post about the previous days session. In the two weeks remaining until I start a more intense workperiod I hope to reach the 18th century. Expect updates in the evenings CET. Next update will be saturday evening.

If any of you are interested in this AAR I'd be grateful to hear from you, even if it's only to critisize me for something you think I could do better. It helps to know someone is interested. I'll even let you guys order a weekly special extra update.

For this week vote for one of the following alternatives:

A: A battle sequence

B: An eyewitness account

C: A report on the political conditions in the rest of Europe

I'll count the votes on sunday night and you'll have it in the week that follows.
 
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The reign of Magnus I Stenkilsätten

Magnus I Stenkilsätten (1221-1247)

Magnus the 1st was known as the warrior king, during his 26 years as king he waged no less than eight campaigns. While this in itself was not an exceptional amount the short intervals were, he waged as many wars as both his father and his son, but in only half the time. First he waged a two year war in Pommerania, conquering the coast between the mouths of the rivers Wísla and Oder. Then he turned east to wage three consecutive campaigns against the pagans in Finland, with one year of peace between each. At the end of the finnish wars most of Finland had been conquered and the duchy of Finland was created for his son who would thus be given the opportunity to learn how to govern.

The final war was that against the Norwegians. It took three years and used up as many armies, but in the end Norwegian power was broken and would not rise again. The ancestral home of the Stenkil dynasty, the county of Västergötland, was reconquered and the county of Viken as well. The king, who was an capable warrior then proved less of an administrator. Even though he spent the remainder of his reign in peace he didn’t know what to do with the economy, instead he simply amassed a huge amount of money in the royal coffers, dreaming about a campaign to free the holy land from heathen hands. He never got to realise his dream as he died in the spring of 1247, as king of a realm at peace.
 

cuchulain

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hey cool aar, quick updates that are to the point - the best in my opinion. i vote for C - political conditions. the aar's more interesting than some, as you seem to have disasters and then rebuild, do you think this'll be a regular pattern? :rolleyes:
 

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I like this style to, I has given me a good idea's.

I vote for option C to.
 

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Apr 25, 2004
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@ cuchulain - Yes, it would seem to have become a regular pattern, I can't really seem to gain any real ground. Thanks for the encouragement, I'll keep 'em coming!

@ veldmaarschalk - Thanks! I'll keep updating and hopefully we can both learn from each others AAR's
 
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The reign of Sverker I Stenkilsätten (1247-1285)

Sverker I Stenkilsätten (1247-1285)

Sverker was the only son of king Magnus the first. He was at the time of his ascension already 35 years old and had ruled the duchy of Finland for more than a decade. Thus he was well prepared for his task. To posterity Sverker the first is known as Sverker the Steadfast, the reason for this being his demonstrably remarkable resilience.

When he first assumed the kingship he inherited a veteran army, a huge cash reserve and a quest to quell the heathens. And that is just what he tired to do. Since the time of king Torgils the mad the county of Kalmar had been in the hands of the muslims under the Emir of Mallorca. This is what he now sought to rectify as he declared war, bringing the more than 120 000 man strong Emirate upon him. The count itself was quickly subdued and the king then gathered a host in Skåne, expecting to repel the invading mallorcans. What happened was instead that the polish based kingdom of the Fatimids, exiled from Egypt by the crusades of the previous century, declared war on his vassal, the duke of Pommerania. Of course king Sverker saw no alternative but to coming to his vassals aid, and he raised a second army to wage the war against the Fatimid kingdom. As that war dragged on, and wave upon wave of mallorcans landed in Skåne, both the manpower and the finances of the kingdom were drained. On top of that the war against the Fatimids was going badly. When the fatimid king Wladyslaw offered peace Sverker took it, losing all of Pommerania. Now able to focus he defeated the Emirate by outlasting them. Sending armies from Spain to Scandinavia proved too costly for the mallorcans to bear. A peace was signed in which the Swedish suzerainity of Kalmar was confirmed.

Having used up his fathers wealth and gaining one impoverished province at the cost of three would probably have broken a lesser man, but not king Sverker. After rebuilding his finances he set out to compensate the loss of Pommerania by conquering Prussia from the pagan tribe of Sambians instead. This conquest was completed in only three months and Sverkers fortunes were restored. Meanwhile his inept vassal, the duke of Sjaelland, had lost the county of Sjaelland to the Fatimids. Now the king had lost control of the sound, and with it the control of the Baltic. Still he was not discouraged.

Since the Emirate of Mallorca had lost the county of Kalmar they had managed to embroil themselves in a war with the Kingdom of Norway, and they were now conquering that land at a frightening speed. To prevent all the spoils from going to his rival the Emir, king Sverker declared war on Norway himself. After a short but brutal war, both the counties of Medelpad and Trondelag were conquered. The mallorcans refused to be stopped though, chasing the Norwegian king from province to province. The counties of Agder, Rogaland and Herjedalen all fell, and finally the Norwegians were chased out of Scandinavia when even Lappland was conquered, this time by the tenacious Fatimids.

Sverker now saw himself surrounded by strong muslim kingdoms on three sides, to the north, south and west. To solve the equation he decided to forge an alliance with the powerful kingdom of Germany. This intimidated both his muslim rivals so that he could deal with them one at a time. This was put on hold when the Pope once again called a crusade to liberate the eternal city of Rome. Sverker saw this as an opportunity to avenge his great-grandfather and gain everlasting glory. Since he was not a great warrior himself he decided to send his marshal AbuBakr, a renegade from the fatimid court, instead. “To fight the heathens, send a heathen” he is supposed to have said. This crusade fared much better and the great marshal returned from Italy having conquered four counties, including Rome, and set up the new vassal duchy of Benveneto in place of the scheikdoms he found.

Sverkers next job was to build up the land. He built many castles and palaces, as well as larger and more magnificent churches. Economically he benefited his realm by introducing pigholding in many provinces and building smithies in the provinces of Svealand. His troubles were not yet over though. In 1267 his vassal, the count of Werle, declared his allegiance to the king to be void and instead pledged allegiance to the king of Germany. Now faced with a war with the powerful Germans king Sverker quickly seized his errant vassals lands and gifted them to the more reliable count of Mecklemburg, making him the new duke of Pommerania, a title still held within the realm. Just as this was done the news reached the court of the treachery of the duke of Benveneto, he had used the strained situation to his advantage and declared himself independent as well. Weary of war king Sverker let him go, citing the costs of waging war so far away as his reason.

The war with the Germans never really took of, the reason for this being that king Ernst of Germany had looked himself in an interminable war with the Mongols of the Golden Horde, sending thousands of young men to die every year. After a couple of years the war ended with a white peace and the kingdom of Sweden settled in for a long period of peace and prosperity.

Though Sverker fought no more wars he still had the satisfaction of seeing his rivals founder. The emirate of Mallorca slowly disintegrated over the next decade as the French nobles rallied and retook their lands at the same time as the Emir lost control over his overseas vassals, leaving isolated and weak scheikdoms on Swedens borders. The Germans were slowly being ground down in a never ending war on the Russian steppes, constantly outmanouvered by the Mongol horse archers. The Fatimids had mired themselves in a quagmire of feuding Hungarian counts and dukes and had lost control over their vassals in Norrland.

Privately the king was also a resilient man, he survived five wives and only suffered at the loss of the last one. Gormflaeth daughter of the count of Ulaid was only 17 when she married the then 63 year old king Sverker. Despite their enormous difference in age they apparently loved each other dearly. Gormflaeth bore Sverker two children, princess Beata and prince Styrbjörn. Beata was the light of their life and she was the only one who’s company the king tolerated when his young wife died in labour, pregnant with their third child. At this final setback the Kings will broke. He took ill and over the next few years he withdrew himself from public life, sitting in a chair on the terrace of his new palace and watching the sun set every day. In his 72nd year his illness worsened into pneumonia and he died that winter, he was 73 years old, having ruled for 38 years.
 

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Apr 25, 2004
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Right. With two votes I make it to be the political conditions in the rest of Europe that interest you. I'll write the post in the coming week
 

Veldmaarschalk

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Lord Orpon said:
Right. With two votes I make it to be the political conditions in the rest of Europe that interest you. I'll write the post in the coming week

It is always sad, to put so much effort into somethinga nd then hardly get response.

A small tip, from me, would be to include some pictures or screenshots in your posts, most AAR readers seem to like that.
 

cuchulain

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post a screenshot? sounds like youve got a messed up map

still looking good
 

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Apr 25, 2004
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The reigns of Albrikt I and Bengt I Stenkilsätten

Albrikt I Stenkilsätten (1285-1294)

Albrikt was the grandson of king Sverker and the son of the late prince Arne. He was a lustful and indulgent king and had as many as 9 legitimate children and 3 bastards. He was not a very pious man and hence his reputation suffered. When he assumed the throne he turned out to be woefully unprepared. On top of this the middle counties were suffering under an epidemic of dysentery, reducing his income.

In an effort to consolidate his realm and gain prestige king Albrikt parcelled out his old duchy of Finland to his legitimate sons, giving the ducal title to his eldest, prince Bengt. He then decided to rid himself of the aggravating sheikdoms to his north, declaring war upon the sheikdom of Lappland first. The campaign was swift and merciless and Lappland was soon conquered and made a county under his bastard son Johan.

Next came the war against the sheikdom of Herjedalen, while it went as smoothly as can be expected, the war against their liege, the kingdom of the Fatimids, did not. Over the next eight years the king fought a bloody see-saw war against the Muslims in Prussia and Pommerania, finally losing both. The loss of Prussia was compensated in an opportunistic war against the bishopric of Memel, which saw the annexation of four counties in Livland. Added to the kings misfortunes was the fact that the deceitful duke of Pommerania, being in fact the count of Werle, Mecklmburg and Lübeck, declared himself independent and then pledged allegiance to the king of Germany. Since Albrikt was already hard pressed he was forced to concede his claims and let them go. Twice he was forced to repel fatimid invasions in Skåne and in the end he was severely wounded and finally died from the illness he contracted as a result of said wound. He had spent eight of his nine years at war, and four of those on campaign himself. He left the kingdom in considerably worse shape than he found it, with only half as much money and an unresolved war with the Fatimids, for his son Bengt.

Bengt I Stenkilsätten (1294-1299)

The reign of Bengt the 1st followed in much the same vein as that of his father, only it was shorter. During his short reign the counties in Livland were lost to the great Khan of the Golden Horde and only Stettin and Marienburg now remained as Swedish possessions on the far side of the Baltic. Bengt was wounded whilst battling the fatimid armies in Slupsk, he died a year later as a result of it.


Political conditions report will follow later tonight, as well as the new voting alternatives.
 

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Apr 25, 2004
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Europe and the Middle East in 1300

Right. This'll be OOC since I'm tired and it's late.

Sweden

This is just after the Duchy of Norrland has defected, that's the yellow mass to the north.

Spain

The light orange parts in southern Spain are what's left of the Emirate of Mallorca. They used to cover half the peninsula. Their purple successors is the Emirate of Toledo.

Britain

The british isles are divided into three major components. The red kingdom of England, blue kingdom of Scotland and purple vassals of Toledo.

The Middle East

The only major muslim power in the Middle east is the white Emirate of Azerbaijan.

Germany

The German kingdom is still going strong, they are now locked in an epic war with the Golden Horde that's been going on for ca 50 years.

The Golden Horde

This is the monstrosity that is the Golden Horde. They appeared ca 1250 and have since taken almost the entirety of european Russia, the Ukraine and most of the Baltics. The fight against the Germans is being fought in eastern Poland around Brest-Litovsk.

That's the situation in 1300. It'll change drastically over the next decade. As you'll see tomorrow.
 

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This week's vote

For this week I'll use the same options as before, except I'll change option C which was what won this time.

A; A battle report

B; An eyewitness account

C; A description of the economy

Vote by posting in this thread. I'll count 'em come Sunday.