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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Hello there, fellow Paradox gamers, and welcome to Czech Fight for Freedom AAR as The Eagle of Prague - name given to the rulers of Premyslid dynasty. This AAR will be hardly focusing on world politics in general and politics of the HRE especially.

Starting date: 1066 bookmark
Dynasty: Premyslid
Region: Tschechische Reichsland of the Holy Roman Empire, Praha
Mods: "CK2+", "Dynasty bloodline traits only"
Style: Randomly report-like with elements of narrative


500px-Coat_of_arms_of_the_Czech_Republic.svg.png

1) 1066 - 1080 -- Century Eleven (Vratislav II):
1. Beginning of a Journey
2. War and Peace
3. Rebellious Vassals
4. A Global Conflict
5. All Things Come to an End
2) 1080 - 1092 -- Rise of the Holy Romans (Bretislav II):
1. Royal Shine & Royal Blood
2. The Flemish Affair
3. The Time of Peace
4. Family Life
3) 1092 - 1120 -- Bloodshed (Matous I):
1. A Promising Child
2. Young Eagle Rising
3. A Changing Epoch
4. Two Kingdoms
5. The Holy Wars
6. The Eyeless Lion
7. Dead Kings
8. In the African Soil He Lays
4) 1120 - 1148 -- One Empire, One Dynasty (Slavomir I):
1. The German Struggle
2. The Empire on Fire
3. The Hupoldinger Unification
4. Of Lovers and Little Ones
5. The English Affair
6. A Cold Atmosphere
7. The Great French Revolutions
5) 1148 - 1162 -- Half-Blood Weak Heart (Budziwuj I):
1. Eastern Colours
2. Crusader Cralj
3. A Coffin Coronation
6) 1162 - 1236 -- A Global Reformation (Diepold I):
1. Heretical Thinking
2. Heresiarch of All Romans
3. No Longer Youngling
4. Death to the Horde!
5. The Crumbling Papacy
6. Special Material - HRE in 1192
7. In The African Sands He Stays
8. A Changing World
9. Khan of Khans and The Inbred Empress
10. A Road to Hell
11. The Great War
12. Attacking a Blindman
13. The End of Story
7) 1236 - 1249 -- The Great Chessboard (Svatobor I):
1. First Days
2. A Short-Lived Victory
8) 1249 - 1259 -- Downfall (Bores I):
1. The Civil Wars
2. The Declining Empire
9) 1259 - 1293 -- Forge of Empires (Mojmir I):
1. High Crown Authority
2. Bohemian Menace
3. Hungarian Flesh
4. Snake Provocation
5. Death of A Legend
10) 1293 - 1320 -- World Cycle (Havel I):
1. The Unstoppable War Machine
2. 192 Years of Hupoldingerism
3. Rise and Fall of Empires
4. German Ways of the British Scholars
5. Black Death
11) 1320 - 1358 -- Czech Fight For Freedom (Tobias I):
1. The Deadlands
2. All The Way From Beginning Again
3. Rise of The Eagle
4. First Steps
5. Horrors of Nationalism
6. Empress Attacked
7. Bavarian Corpses
8. Armenian Affairs
9. Final Adventure
12) 1358 - 1377 -- "The Great" (Gerhard I):
1. Everybody Dies
2. Kievan Campaign
3. Filthy Love
4. Winner, Husband, Conqueror
5. The Eagle and The Bull
6. Fourty-One
13) 1377 - 1427 -- Iron Fist (Vladislava I):
1. Bloodbath
2. Warrior Lady
3. French Bohemia Secured
4. Road to War
5. Germany`s Fall Is France`s Rise
6. General Affairs
7. The Bowing Basileus
8. Turmoil in Paris
9. The Girl Gets Nothing!
10. Queen of Bavaria
11. The Verdun Meat Grinder
12. The End of Arpads
13. To The Everlasting Sleep...
13) 1427 - 1444 -- Dark Age's End (Svatobor I):
1.
"The Cagemaster"
2. Bloodspilling in Francia
3. The Last Days
14) Epilogue: Crimson Rose
 
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Beginning of a Journey

It is the year 1066 of Christ`s Birth. Centuries have passed since the conquests of Charles the Great. In Europe, France and the Holy Roman Empire are facing each other off in a quest for total domination, on the Iberian Peninsula, the age-old question of christian versus muslim and Arab versus Iberian remains unanswered, lands of the vikings and Rus look weak, with individual houses and families striving for dominance, while Byzantium is preparing itself for the Seljuk invasion of their homeland. Overall, everything in the known world seems unstable and dangerous.

5IMbfQ6.png


But in the castle of Prague all was silent and peaceful. The fortress and its rightful owner Vratislav II of house Premyslid will definitely see it changed, however, only Christ knows, for good or bad of their people...

Character1.png


This is Vratislav, holder of Prague and all the rightful Czech lands, Duke of Bohemia and a simple man, loving his wife and many healthy children she beared for him. He is a good leader on the field of battle, just and diligent as a ruler, but sometimes quite wroth of a master to his subjects. Or family...

Wife1.png


Vratislav`s wife Swietoslawa - not the best of wives, but definitely a very worthy one politically. Being a sister to the polish king, she secures the Czecho-Polish alliance, keeping her husband`s demesne safe from the threats both on the inside and the outside. Leaving politics aside, however, she is a kind and caring mother to her children, who loves her stable way of life and praises god as the only thing that keeps her together at all times.

Ambition.png


With so many children able to inherit his throne, rather wealthy and honoured by his neighbours, the only thing ambitious Duke of Bohemia cares for is power.

Focus.png


Of course, such an affair requires Vratislav to be intriguous - one of the things he was always lacking out on in his life and wanted to improve on.

Council.png


Czech advisors are prominent and skilled men, ready to serve their Duke without any questions or doubts. Well, most of them...

Laws.png


At last, the laws of the Duchy of Bohemia, heavily focusing on the provision of levies to the Duke, and securing the Seniority way of succession with Vratislav`s brother Konrad being the heir. It was a subject for change though, as most of the people who were close to the Duke himself knew, that he had much more love for his own children, rather than for his younger sibling...
 
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Since I am also playing CK2+, but I am new one (both to CK2 and to CK2+) I will be following this.
I`m not at all new to CK2, been playing it since 2012, however, if we take CK2 for you and writing AARs for me, we`re on the same grounds. :р
 
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War and Peace

Bohemia is surrounded by both friends and enemies and there is little fighting for Vratislav to do. Instead, he gets much deeper into organising his realm.

The Realm (2-1).png


Tschechische Reichsland in 1066 was one of the richest lands in the Holy Roman Empire, but also distabilized neighbouring regions greatly, as its population, though undoubtedly catholic christian, was not German, but rebellious Czech.

Expansion (2-2).png


Firstly, Vratislav, preoccupied with his realm`s expansion, sends an emissary to the petty Duke of Austria, who, of all De Jure Austrian lands, controlled only Osterreich, its heartland and as such was an easy target for his Czech neighbour.

The trait (2-4).png


Duke`s efforts and prayers to become the greatestschemer of the realm are payed off well, as in no time he lies into the face of his wife, without it ever getting noticed.

News from The East (2-3).png


Terrible news reach Bohemia, along with the rest of christian world, in a manner of days. Byzantine Empire has folded under the Seljuk pressure and lost most of its Eastern provinces to the Turks of the Ruman sultanate.

The Crusade (2-6).png
The Fail (2-7).png


In response, pope Alexander II, leader of christendom, declares a Crusade for Jerusalem -- a swift failure on the catholics` side, with the pope himself getting imprisoned after he led the troops into a lost battle. Vratislav and all of his family, just like all of Bohemia and all of Empire - are in mourn.

Moravia (2-8).png
Moravia2 (2-9).png


In the early days of 1071 Vratislav II is crowned Duke of Moravia and a Grand Duke of all Czech people in Prague. The celebration lasts three days and it seems like now the Grand Duchy will be as stable as ever, but Vratislav has some other ideas on his mind...

Socializer (2-11).png
Ambition (2-10).png


An ambition adopted by the Duke is quickly achieved, as Vratislav visits so many festivals all over the Empire in his attempts to find new friends and forge alliances, that other Dukes and Counts started calling him "The Swiftmouth".

Ambition2 (2-12).png


After the coronation, with each day Vratislav grew more and more impatient, since his chancellor has already spent long months, if not years in his search, but still couldn't find a claim on Osterreich. For the moment, the only thing the Duke wishes for is someone`s blood.

Nephew (2-13).png


In August 1071 Vratislav recieves a letter from his younger brother, count of Brunn and heir to the Grand Duchy of Bohemia-Moravia. The message is an invitation for Vratislav to visit Svatobor, Grand Duke`s nephew at his party, where Konrad of Brunn will be celebrating his son`s coming of age. All that reminds Vratislav of one thing. Count of Brunn is his heir, but not his son. This had to be changed, and Grand Duke does not hesitate in doing so.

Primogeniture (2-14).png


Count of Brunn stormed the palace, rushing through one chamber after the other, until he reached the throne room. As the door was opened with a half-kick, he yelled at his older sibling:
-- Brother, what do you want to say by that?! - he threw Grand Duke Vratislav`s "Of changing times" edict to the ground.
Vratislav looked calmly upon his younger brother, stood up from his throne and came closer to the red-with-anger young man.
-- I want to say that my son will inherit all of my lands, and as such, it would probably be more beneficial for you not to shout, but to come to him and swear fealty as to your future liege, unless you want to get into serious trouble in some fifteen years or so - he smiled.
Count of Brunn looked with disgust deep into the eyes of his Duke. Then he sighed, came closer to the smaller throne, on which the future leader of all Czech people sat, and kneeled before him, kissing thirteen-year-old`s hand.
-- I pardon you, uncle Konrad, but this will be the first and the last time I do that for you. Don`t make the same mistake again.
- You will regret this, Your Highness.
- We`ll see about that. Now get out of my castle.
Konrad Premyslid stood up and walked towards the exit, all the while staring at his older brother with a mix of anger and fear.
///
Grand Duke and his son stood on the balcony of castle of Prague. Sun was close to setting, colouring the sky into light-red and orange tones.
-- Someday, son, all of this will belong to you...
-- That`s not really promising, dad.
They both laughed and Vratislav petted his heir onto the shoulder, as they returned inside.

Heir (2-15).png
 
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Rebellious Vassals

After changing succession law in his very Duchy for his son's good, Vratislav II started looking ever more greedily onto the lands of Austria, which didn`t have many troops or allies. However, the situation in Bohemia itself at the same time was turning much more turbulent and unstable, as most of the vassal counts the Grand Duke had were his relatives, mainly brothers, shocked by the change of law and developing dire schemes in their county capitals' castles.

Claim (3-1).png


Some early morning in Prague, Vratislav`s chancellor Tobias brought good news at last. The ancient claim onto Austrian lands through his liege`s Bavarian roots, dating back to king Tasillo III himself, was finally found.

Call (3-2).png
Wedding (3-4).png


Vratislav`s daughter Judita, upon coming of age, immediately gets married off to Heinrich, heir to the Duchy of Bavaria, making his father a good ally to help out in the Austrian affair.

Request (3-5).png
Duel (3-6).png


While waiting for his daughter`s wedding preparations to be done, Grand Duke decides on solving one more problem - the existence of his old German rival - Duke Lothar-Udo II of Brandenburg. Vratislav is given the permission and in a matter of days he and his enemy are standing in a duel arena.

Strike (3-7).png
Kill (3-8).png


Through the sound of the rain and the beating of his own heart, Vratislav of Bohemia still manages to notice his enemy`s moves. Parry - strike, parry - strike. This is how it works. Me or him. Him or me. Suddenly Vratislav`s eyes get focused onto Lothar`s side - there`s an opening in his defense.
- Strike! - he shouts to himself as his blade deepens into the german`s flesh.
The sword gets out and the blood - with it. Lothar falls to the ground.
- Mercy! Mercy, at last! - his enemy is yielding.
- Sorry, I don`t leave threats so they get me later.
Bohemian dagger inside a German heart.

Victory (3-9).png


Days after the duel, all of the Duke`s family, his wife, too, still talk about how they`ve never seen him as happy as at the moment. But at the very same time, a long road from Prague, in the castle of a small german town, a young boy was crying over his father`s body in a wooden coffin before him. The boy, his face red, stood up and wiped the tears off himself.
- I will seek revenge in your name, father.

France (3-3) 13 jan  1072.png


On the thirteenth of January, 1072 rebellious vassals stormed the french capital of Paris, killing the king. Thus, the ancient reign of house Capet over France has ended.

Rebellion (3-10).png


Later in Spring Vratislav`s operation of vassal containment ends badly. His brother Ota declares a revolt against Duke`s tyranny, calling the ever-more-angry Konrad alongside with him. Both of them together posed a real threat to their liege, as the army numbers on both sides were dangerously close.

Battle (3-11).png


Slightly outnumbering the enemy, Vratislav`s forces manage to win not only the entire battle, but the entire war, as both of the Duke`s brothers are captured in the aftermath.

Bnished Brother (3-14).png


Konrad and Ota stood on their knees before their liege. Vratislav overlooked them, then the advisors, the family and, finally, the crowd which filled the throne room.
- For tratory and betrayal, that both of you commited, you shall be punished. Ota, for you are young and empulsive, you shall pay me all the money your county gathers in a year, but under your command, as the count of Olmutz.
Ota looked into the eyes of his brother happily, almost crying because of such a relief.
- However, in case of Konrad, this was not the first time something like that happened. This kind of thing cannot turn into a habit, and that`s why the punishment will be dire. I could take the county of Znajm off of you, but I won`t do that. I could take the county of Brunn off of you, but I won`t do that. Instead, I will take them both and banish you from my realm.
As the last heavy word sank into the mind of the crowd, they all stood silent before the kneeled men and their Duke.
///
A small figure of a man in black on a donkey was visible on the horizon, through they grey colours of a rainy evening. He was on the road to Germany.

Heir (3-12).png


Not long after that, the celebration of prince Bretislav`s coming of age was held. What was previously a happy, smart and energetic child now favoured only stuffing himself with food and getting into girls` chambers. "Is that how the future ruler of my lands gonna be?" thought Vratislav to himself, and cursed, again, and again...

New Ambition (3-15).png


One of many new ambitions the Bohemian Duke had was to become the best fighter in the realm, able to protect not only himself, but his family and his people, too, if any new rebellions or revolts strike.

New Wedding (3-17).png


The future ill-ruler of Bohemia gets married with the smartest girl around - Eufemia of Salzburg, but the celebrations don`t even start, as the whole Bohemian Duchy is shocked with the news...


War (3-16).png


The long-anticipated war for the control over Austria is finally declared by Vratislav II on the eighteenth of March, 1075.
 
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A Global Conflict
Even in the very beginning of the war austrians were severely outnumbered, had worse commanders and generally lacked any kind of fighting expirience. Bohemians, however, lacked only one thing - money, as such, for them the biggest problem would be a war long enough for their supplies to perish and coffers to drain.

Ez Win (4-1).png


However, it all came down to just one battle between the two. The battle of Salzburg will be forever known in Bohemian history as Vratislav II`s greatest military achievement, his previously unseen quality of battle management resulting in a finishing blow for the Austrian forces with their leader getting imprisoned. The war ended in two weeks since it`s start.

Unification (4-2).png
Conquered (4-5).png


Vratislav`s appetite was immence, so he didn`t stop just on Austria. His next victim was Johann of Salzburg, father of his firstborn son`s wife. Just like in Austrian case, the war was swift and clean, the result being that Salzburg rejoined its Austrian motherland.

Chamber (4-3).png


Closing onto his fifties, the Duke of Bohemia-Moravia-Austria was a powerful and popular man. But the one thing he truly lacked was love. With so many break-ups he and his wife had, he wanted something young, free and beutiful to belong to him. Something he found in Richeza the courtier.

Rejected (4-4).png
Stress (4-6).png


However, as it seemed, Richeza did not feel the same, and deepened her liege into stress even more.

Poland (4-7).png


News, far from good ones, reached the court of Prague in the first days of January, 1076. As it seemed, Russian forces suffered a crushing defeat versus Polish intevention. With almost a half of old Rus in Polish hands, Polska arose as a third contender in Europe, after France and Germany and the future of Russian culture, alongside with the Eastern Orthodox religion of Russian people, was under threat.

Daughter (4-8).png


Celebrations were held soon after that, as another one of Vratislav`s daughters, Ludmila, came of age. Being even worse than her older brother Bretislav, she, just like her other siblings, joined the line of Premyslid darkened legacy. Duke of Bohemia felt himself even worse.

Magda (4-9).png
Magda2 (4-10).png


Long time passed since the necklace affair Vratislav had, but, unfortunately, he forgot to let his victim out of the cage. "How worse could my life get at this point?" he thought.

NewKing (4-11).png
Tribute (4-12).png


The rebellions in France don`t stop, as yet another royal dynasty changes. Seeing this as an opportunity, Heinrich IV of the Holy Roman Empire declares war on France, in order to make them his tributary vassal - as humiliating, as it could get for a Kingdom the size and prestige of France.

TheBattle (4-13).png


The battle of Vernandois, however, shows that frenchmen are not to be played with, even though Kaiser has twenty thousand more troops than they do. In the end, though, it all comes down to broot force. Again. German army, full seventy thousand of infantry and cavalry, stomps onto the french in the battles of Hainaut and Gent. Both fights see germans victorious. Since there is no point in losing more men to the enemy, Henri II declares the war to be lost for his people.

Won (4-14).png


Thus, European domination is ensured by the German nation. At least for now...
 
Last edited:

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All Things Come to an End
(5-1) The Great Revolt (Last days of 1076).png


In the last days of 1076 came the inevitable, as more than a half of France`s dukes refused acknowledging Henri II`s rule and payment to the all-hated germans. The revolt was led by a young, but promising Simon Valois, not the best of commanders, but a great diplomat and schemer.

(5-2) The New Pope.png
(5-3) The Support.png


After winning the Franco-German war, Heinrich IV The Young felt himself as the sole hegemon of Europe, though, there was one thing he still did not control - the Catholic Curia of Rome. After Jakob of Ravenna was installed his Anti-Pope, all around the Empire, Heinrich's vassals were asked for support of such a reform. Vratislav, being full of hatred towards germans and the emperor himself, chose to support the true pope.

(5-4) Bourgogne.png


Simon Valois won the war agaainst Henri II in France, installing the ill-ruler`s brother, yet again, another Simon, crowned Simon I de Bourgogne in Notre-dame-de-Paris. As all kind of paiment to germans was cancelled, Heinrich IV was outraged.

(5-5) Coronation.png
(5-6) Coronation2 (15 march 1078).png


While the conflict with the pope still was in open fires, Heinrich desperately needed himself to be coronated. Without caring a slightest bit, he simply rushed into Rome, supported by imperial guard, with his Anti-Pope. The whole of Europe was watching as the undisputably most powerful man in the Western World broke his alignment to church in the craziest way possible. All of his vassals, Vratislav being among them, were obliged to witness the ceremony.

(5-7) Son.png


Later, yet another one of Vratislav`s sons aged 16. More competent than the others, Boleslav, however, was only the second in the line of succession.

(5-8) Byzantium.png


The previously falling Byzantine Empire started getting stronger, winning their first war against Rum. A start of Reconquista, or simply a minor drawback on the side of the Turks?

(5-9) Son2.png


Borivoj, another one of Vratislav`s sons comes of age. Just slightly better than the actual heir, he remains a mediocre one in general.

(5-10) Knights.png


Vratislav, the Duke of Bohemia-Moravia-Austria is lying in his bed. His nephew, who he educated and treated better than his own children, comes to him.
- Uncle, I ask... no, I beg you!
- What is it, dear child?
- I must go where God takes me. I want to join the Holy Knights. That is what I`ve come to ask you of.
- You know, Svatobor, I have never had a son better than you.
He touches the young man`s forehead four times, baptizing him.
- Now go and make me proud.
Svatobor kisses his sworn father`s hand and bursts into tears. Vratislav is dead.

(5-11) TheEnd.png
 
Last edited:

SuperBearNut

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Love this AAR, please keep em coming! And i would said that even if i wasn't 100% biased because you are playing Bohemia!

BTW if I remember correctly, you can make that map screenshot by pressing F10. You can then find it in ~\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\Screenshots
 

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Love this AAR, please keep em coming! And i would said that even if i wasn't 100% biased because you are playing Bohemia!

BTW if I remember correctly, you can make that map screenshot by pressing F10. You can then find it in ~\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\Screenshots
Big thanks on my side for this reply, since I haven't seen that many of those coming. Yet... :) If talking about that screenshot - Groogy the developer himself told me how to make those, but the problem is that because I'm playing with CK2+, instead of the normal \Screenshots directory they are being saved somewhere else. Don't know where yet. :e
 

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Big thanks on my side for this reply, since I haven't seen that many of those coming. Yet... :) If talking about that screenshot - Groogy the developer himself told me how to make those, but the problem is that because I'm playing with CK2+, instead of the normal \Screenshots directory they are being saved somewhere else. Don't know where yet. :e
Then it should be in ~\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\CK2plus\Screenshots (some mods create their own folder)
 

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Royal Shine & Royal Blood
(5-11) TheEnd.png


As the Grand Duke of Bohemia-Moravia-Austria dies, his firstborn son is crowned Bretislav II, ruler of all Bohemians. Having only his younger brothers as pretenders to the throne, he quickly starts organising the realm to his liking.

(6-1) Ruler.png


Bretislav, raised in luxury and royal lush brought by immence wealth of his father, cares much more for feasts and celebrations, rather than for war or any other kind of bloodshed. Guarded by a priest since a young age, he is a good learner and diplomat, though his abilities in scheming or administrating are quite poor. Just and patient, sometimes he becomes enraged from any minor detail missed by those, surrounding him, be it his courtiers or even vassals. He is greatly influenced by his German wife, technically the one person who gets into the control of the Duchy and makes decision for her husband.

(6-16) Wife.png


Eufemia, De Facto, the ruler of her spouse`s realm is a schemer, learner, but also a lady of arms, having a good understanding of how armies and supplies actually work. She strongly believes in God as her supporter, is a diligent and honest person, although rather shy, all thanks to her proper catholic upbringing in her native lands - the Archbishopric of Salzburg. While her husband is deeply in love with her, until the point where such a relationship could be called a mad admiration, she, however, shows no interest in him, as in her eyes he is a spineless person, neither ruler, nor man, but simply her mating partner who provides her with offspring to bear.

(6-3) Ambition.png


Bretislav`s first ambition as he ascends onto the throne would be to take care of his legacy, on which his consort insists. Rejoiced over such a request, the Duke starts visiting Eufemia`s separate bed chamber more often.

(6-4) AntiPope.png


On the very next day after the coronation, Bretislav is visited by a messenger from Leiningen. The missive carried by the latter contains Heinrich IV`s codolences to the new Duke for the death of his father, but focuses mainly on the question of Papacy. Happy with the idea of pleasing or, maybe, even befriending the emperor himself, German-loving Bretislav agrees to swear to the Anti-Pope as to his new religious head.

(6-5) Marriage.png


The Duke`s brother gets married with a scottish woman. Bretislav not only attends the feast, arranged for such a celebration, but easily becomes the most popular person at the party. High nobility loves him, thus raising his prestige.

(6-6) Coronation.png
(6-7) Coronation2.png


Later Bretislav is asked by the Grand Duke Konrad to attend the upcoming Luxembourgian coronation. The Bohemian Prinz gladly accepts.

View attachment 149539

The feast is such a grand success that it even brings both dukes to the negotiation table not as businessmen, but as friends, agreeing on a marriage between the two families in the upcoming year, when Konrad`s daughter would come of age.

(6-10) War vs Seljuks.png
(6-9) War General.png


As the year is nearing its end, another crysis breaks out in Anatolia. Massive Seljuk Empire declares war onto the byzantines, who are protected by the hungarians. Together, the members of the christian league have more troops than the muslims, however, the latter possess a strategic advantage. What is to come out of such a dire situation?

(6-11) New Alliance (Age 17 and 3).png
(6-12) New Alliance2 (Age 15 and 4).png


Bretislav feels no pressure from the starting conflict, continuing his visits all around the empire. Under his wife`s careful guidence, even more betrothals are arranged, making the royal houses of France and Germany future allies of Premyslids.

(6-13) Brother.png
(6-14) Marriage.png


Vladislav, a brother of Duke`s, comes of age. In terms of skills, he lacks pretty much everything, aside from charisma, which makes him a great negotiator. His birthday is celebrated the same date his older brother Borivoj offcially secures the Czecho-Luxumbourgian alliance.

- Honey, do you think this is the right decision, the one you are about to make?
- It is certain at the moment, that it`s either me or the Pope. No other way around. No diplщmacy, no tricks. Blood will be shed.
Heinrich`s wife sighed and continued feeding their little son Wilhelm.
- If that`s what my husband has to do to ensure his offspring`s greatness under a peaceful sky, it shall be done.
///
The Holy Army stood before Pope Sisinnius II, while the sun rose high above the clouds, marking the beginning of a new, a very dark day in Europe`s history.
- We are no cowards! We are no fools! We are the men of God! We are his sword and fire! And as Christ himself shows us the way, we shall cleanse the Earth Kingdom of German menace and their king`s heresy! Forward, men, to glory!
- Huzzah! - shouted the crowd.

(6-15) Tribute.png


The war between the holiest christian and the greatest heretic of Europe has started.
 
Last edited:

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The Flemish Affair
The year 1081 of Christ`s birth was to become an eventful one. At least, that was the idea behind Kaiser Heinrich IV`s plans for the non-distant future.

(7-1) Pregga.png


As the war was raging in Italy, the residents of castle of Prague were happy: their Duchess finally got herself a belly, signaling that the dynasty`s heir was to be delivered in the upcoming months.

(7-2) Battle.png


The first German-Papal encounter is the battle of Orvieto. Having four times as many troops as the Pope does, germans easily crush their enemy.

(7-3) Battle2.png


The second one happens on the fields of Siena. The battle is tough, but German professional knights decide who`s the winner in the end.

(7-4) Arrangement.png


During one of Bretislav`s many visits to his fellow dukes of Italy, he is approached by the young Grand Duke of Tuscany, with a request for his father and Bretislav`s mother to get married. Seeing a remarriage of his old lady as one kind of an atrocity, Bohemian Prinz refuses.

(7-5) Win.png


As it was understandable from the very beginning of the problem featuring Papacy being an obstacle on the Emperor`s way to the domination of Europe, eventually, there was only one victor. More and more people started turning their backs onto Sisinnius II and embraced the Anti-Pope Damasus III`s lade-back version of christianity, which allowed praying in German as in a second language after Latin.

Kaiser`s wife Bertha looked at her husband again, sighed and touched him by his shoulder. Heinrich was staring into the fireplace, his eyes almost of a madman.
- Honey, you know... I think... all that affair around the pope has been a bit too much pressure for you lately. Your children... they haven`t seen their father in months. I feel like all this power is changing you, making you someone different, someone I don`t know.
- Yes, indeed, it is true. I`m changing. I. Am. The most powerful man in this world, - He looked deep into her eyes - And I will make all of France mine, just like I made you years ago.
- How dare you even! After you took my innocence from me, by force! After I left everything to be with you! - She slaps Heinrich, but his fist returnes the pain she inflicted onto him a thousand times more. The world darkens. Her baby is crying.

(7-6) The Conflict.png


Once again, Heinrich IV the Young, widely known as the Mad, challenges his neighbour, french king Simon I for the control over french lands.

(7-7) Heir.png
(7-8) Fulfilled.png


However, even such dire news do not spoil the mood of Bretislav, Duke of Bohemia. His wife finally gave birth to a son, a little boy, she decided to call Matous. The child is an energetic and lively one, however, there was a lot of blood and Eufemia started feeling worse, even while having her dearest gift from God in her hands.

(7-10) Fulfilled2.png
(7-9) Ambition.png


The succession is secured and Bretislav, after playing with his newborn son, as a child with a toy, returns to his consort and continues his luxuruious life. Since Eufemia almost never leaves the chamber anymore, the Duke quickly falls under charisma and wisdom of his vassal count Otakar. Bretislav is greatly influenced by the old man, following all of his decisions and adopting all of his ideas.

(7-12) Dead Wife.png
(7-11) Ambition2.png


Around a month passes until that moment when Euphemia`s coffin is slowly sliding into the whole in the ground. Bretislav doesn`t leave his room for several days, and when he does, he is as ambitious as ever. He wants to find himself a new true love, the one he lost to the childbirth wounds, caused by Matous.

(7-13) A Young Being.png


In his search for a mistress, Duke of Bohemia visits a feast at Brandenburg, where Duke Heinrich, whose father is told to have been slain by an unknown Czech noble, introduces Bretislav to Baron Torgils - the exotic guest from Denmark. Beside him stands Christina, the most beautiful woman Bretislav has ever seen. As his lips touch the light young being`s hand, he already knows what they will discuss with her father. A betrothal is arranged later that evening.

(7-14) Battle.png


At the same time the war in the West becomes a major conflict, starting of with the battle of Verdun.

(7-15) Battle2.png


It is at first lost by the germans, who had two times less troops than the french.

(7-16) Battle3.png


However, as more and more reinforcements are pouring in from the North and East, Kaiser strikes at his enemy once again, this time arising victorious.

(7-17) Battle4.png


A couple of days later, the remains of the french main forces are finished off in the battles of Hainaut and Troyes.

(7-18) Finish.png


First of October, 1082 King Simon of France declares his loss against Germany. Yet again. The same moment his nemesis Heinrich IV is crowned King of All Flemish in the central cathedral of Brugge.

(7-19) Flanders.png


How could it possibly get worse for the frenchmen at this point?..
 
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The Time of Peace
After the war against France, a long truce was signed. In time of peace there was little contest for Germany, which was set on a path of making all of its neighbours tributaries to Kaiser.

(8-1) Polish.png


In the East Poland did not hesitate to use their spare time for conquering the Cuman lands, splitting the khanate itself in two.

(8-2) Gardening.png


For Bretislav, however, peaceful life continued, as he rode around the Empire, visiting feasts of all kinds, not forgetting, though, of his beloved one, Christina, who waited for him in Denmark, each time throwing herself into his hands, as if it was their first meeting in years. It was during one of their conversations, actually, when she told him he was sometimes too aggressive and impulsive, advising him to create a small garden and take care of it in a meditative manner.

(8-3) Robbery.png


Sometimes it didn`t end well, like that one time when Duke returned home from an especially long journey and found out that he had been robbed.

(8-5) Danes.png


Heinrich IV declares war on King Knud of Denmark, in an attempt to make him tributary as fast as possible. Just a little military experiment on the germans` side.

(8-6) Revolt.png


Ota, the younger one of Bretislav`s troublesome uncles, declares a revolt against his liege, backed by his faction, but it is put down swiftly, only by the power of the Duke`s diplomacy.

(8-7) Kingdom.png


The wealth, amassed by Bretislav, was immence. He fully used all of it to buy the title of a King from the Emperor. Not a Grand Duke, but an autonomous King, Vratislav`s son made the whole Czech nation proud, all the while establishing himself as a legal high power over his vassals.

(8-8) Death.png
(8-9) Marriage.png


A sudden death of Borivoj`s wife, Princess of Luxembourg, who brought him two children and was a securing point in the Czecho-Luxembourgian alliance treaty, raises suspicion. Not only does the widower insist on choosing his new wife himself, but it also appears they know each other and he already has a strong passion towards her...

(8-10) Konrad`s daughter.png


Perchta, daughter of Konrad, the older one of Bretislav`s uncles, comes of age. Just as expected from someone like her father, she is a terrible and corrupt woman, whose skills are dire in pretty much everything, aside from diplomacy.

(8-11) New Anti-Pope.png


The year 1085 of Christ`s birth first Anti-Pope of Holy Roman Empire, Damasus III, later in his life already legitimized as "The second Pope of Verona", dies of old age. Whole of German nation mourns and prays for his holy soul.

(8-12) Seduction.png


Although Bretislav is almost married for the second time in his life, he cannot resist the ladies of high nobility. Thus, he decides to waste no time and digs into the art of seduction.

(8-13) Alliance.png


Polish Prince Kazimierz finally comes of age later the same year, and marries Ludmila, Bohemian King`s sister. This way the old alliance with Poland is revived for the czech once again.

(8-14) Heritage.png


Arnulf, a lapdog of french King Simon`s, inherits his mother`s realm - the province of Hainaut, where a lot of important battles took place during the Franko-German wars. Kaiser Heinrich is, of course, outraged. Could this be yet another point for the call to the battlefield between the two nations?

(8-15) Win.png


In two years since its start the war with the Danes is over, as they join the Holy Roman Empire on tributary terms. Shortly after them the Duchy of Obotritia and the County of Lubec follow.

- My lady, could I invite you for a dance? - Bretislav`s manners are perfect after all these years of visiting all sorts of courts around the Empire.
- Yes, my Lord - She answers quietly.
They spin in circles, without ever noticing how everyone in the room is staring at them.
- What a beautiful dance!
- What a great pair!
- Now kiss! - Shouts the crowd as they get as fast as possible.
A sudden stop and his lips on hers. The perfect wedding.

(8-17) Woman.png
(8-16) Marriage.png


While being very promising as a child, Christina grew into a beautiful young woman, an amitious and charitable, rather strong for her age, friendly towards others and patient when needed, young lady with no fear in her heart. Being deeply in love with her husband, she is to bring him many healthy active children, to which she has a special liking.

(8-18) Win.png


In the first days of February unexpected news came from the East. For the first time in many years, the Seljuks were on their knees. Before not just a conqueror, but a liberator.

(8-19) The Man.png


Shahanshah, a great warrior, just and brave leader, freed his people from the oppression of the turks, creating the Kingdom of Armenia. On top of all, he was a paulician heretic, not orthodox, nor muslim. So what could that large heretical kingdom mean for the future of Byzantium? Future of the turks? The Middle East itself?

(8-20) Armenia.png
 
Last edited:

Slayen

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I'm going to be honest, if this were my game, I'd have consoled over to play as Shahanshah in a heart beat. King King of Kings. What is not to love about that.
 
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CrazyDerp

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I'm going to be honest, if this were my game, I'd have consoled over to play as Shahanshah in a heart beat. King King of Kings. What is not to love about that.
First of all, thank you very much for replying to this thread, since that is what I wait for every day and night, that's what keeps the updates coming - connection to the readers. C: Uhh, back to the King of Kings! I'd love to play as him, too, you know, but... As you'll get to know from today's update, not everything goes for Shahanshah just as well as for his prosperous kingdom...
 

CrazyDerp

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Family Life
As tensions rise both abroad and at home, there is nothing more for the Premyslids to do, rather than prepare themselves for the worst, while enjoying those happy moments they share with friends and family.

(9-1) Flattery.png


Even Perchta, the rotten daughter of Konrad the Betrayer, finds herself love in the Luxembourgian court. Bretislav, in whose eyes Prinz Konrad immediately fell after the made choice, decides that he doesn`t want to live next to Perchta anyway and lets her leave for the foreign land.

(9-2) Azerb.png


Shahanshah, the feared King of Kings of the Middle East, decides to expand his realm onto the muslim domain of Azerbaijan. No other islamic state dares helping out the doomed Satrap of Kesranid.

(9-3) Chamber.png
(9-4) Chamber.png


The first days of young love are long gone and, as such, Bretislav stops viewing his young wife as his angel and flower. There is just too little in her that would remind him of Eufemia... However, in the King`s court there is such a woman that does so. Zdislava is Bretislav`s cousin, but that doesn`t stop him. Such a powerful, intelligent, genius of a woman, is next to him almost all day, everyday. The King cannot resist her. However, once again, it is proved that a woman can resist him.

(9-5) Seduction.png
(9-6) Betrayal.png


For several months the spineless Prinz is trying to make her his. At last, Zdislava recognizes him as a nice lift to power, letting Bretislav bed her. Christina is left neglected for the whole time.

(9-7) Ambition.png


Feeling fine with most of internal matters, all what the King wants is to be exalted.

(9-8) Azerb.png


Armenian Kingdom adds the Satrapy of Azerbaijan to its fertile lands. However, terrible news strike.

(9-17) Armenia.png


The King of Kings, Shahanshah dies in the very last battle against the muslims. All of Armenia is shocked, as the great warrior leaves no children behind, passing his title to another dynasty. Though, as if that was not enough for the people of the Eastern Realm, their young King Artashes dies of an illness the following year, once again empowering a different family. Ivane I, new ruler of all paulicians, however, is not like the previous one. He looks after Shahanshah the Great in his deeds, and shows that to his many enemies by winning a holy war against the Byzantine Emperor, who has two times more troops than Ivane does. Is it the birth of a new great warrior that we`re witnessing?

(9-9) Bastard.png


Bretislav`s secondborn son is not of the long dead Eufemia, nor of Christina. He is of the King`s lover Zdislava, which immerses the Danish lady into depression.

(9-10) Coronation.png


The official Bohemian coronation is to be held, though, not many foreign lords answered the invitation letters, since most of them perticipate in a small war against the Baltic infidels of the North.

(9-11) Bastard V2.png
(9-12) Child.png


Christina is crying almost silently, sitting alone in the darkness. The King comes closer and touches her shoulder.
- Honey, we`ll pull through, you know it.
- I know what?
- We will have our own child at last.
- Do you love me, Bretislav?
- Yes, I do.
- Then visit me tonight, - She says, looking up at him
- I shall do so, - He smiles
In a couple of months Christina is as happy as ever, bearing her and her husband`s future child in her belly.

(9-12) Coronation (7 Nov 1090).png


As of seventh of November, 1090 Bretislav is officially known as Bretislav II of Bohemian Kingdom.

(9-13) New Child.png


Christina finally gives birth to her and Bretislav`s first son, named Slavomir.

(9-14) Ultra Marriage.png


A long-awaited marriage lets house Premyslid to marry into the emperor`s family.

(9-15) Ambition.png


With so many children and so little spare time, Bretislav focuses mainly on his family: his children, wife and lover.

Being only thirty-four years old, he catches a cold on his way home from a visit to his old friend Heinrich of Brandenburg and dies a week after, leaving Eufemia`s son, young Matous, the King of All Bohemians.

(9-16) The End.png
 

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A Promising Child
(9-16) The End.png


With his father`s death, Matous becomes the Bohemian Prinz. Being only ten-years-old, he faces the same problem as the previous King, but in a darker manner - as Eufemia`s son ascends onto the throne, his vassals already have a topic or two to debate. And a revolt or two to plan.

(10-1) A sister.png


Of course, since Zdislava was Matous` father`s lover, sometimes even recognized as a second wife, they were acquainted, but a strong bond between the two started forming only when she gave birth to the young King`s new sister.

(10-2) Kiss.png
(10-3) Trait.png


While his actual mother was long dead of childbirth wounds, and the second mother, Christina, returned to her native land of Denmark, Zdislava became one for all of her beloved one`s children. It was rather difficult with Matous at times, as he entered that point in his life, where he was no longer interested in games and reading, but delved deeper into the world of girls and parties.

(10-4) Hainaut (22 june 1094).png


On the twenty-second of June, 1094, the long-awaited war for the county of Hainaut is declared by Heinrich IV of Holy Roman Empire.

(10-5) First battle.png


Just like in many Franko-German wars before, the enemies are tied up on the fields of Vermandois, while a minor French army, incoming from Reims, smashes the German reinforcements.

(10-6) Regent.png


As Matous is still just a child, he is not allowed to participate in the war. There are some years until his coming of age, and because of that he decides that Zdislava, the closest of all people to him, would serve better as a Regent.

(10-8) Rebellion.png
(10-7) Claim.png


Count of Osterreich dares rebelling against his liege and, to his own surprise, faces the Child King himself leading the troops into battle.

(10-9) Battles (Liege, Vermandois, Forez).png


Numerous fights between the German and French forces happen on the border between the struggling nations. The battle of Forez is a grand success for the Lombard Army, which wins against an Occitan army two times bigger than them. The Vermandois Scramble ends with as a decisive victory going to the Emperor, too. The biggest trouble for the French forces, however, strikes later...

(10-10) Simon II.png


Simon, along with his knights, is rushing onto the enemy from the side. The sound of metal clashing and bones breaking is a good one for his cavalry squad. The fighting drags on for minutes, before the King gets knocked out of his saddle. Most of the guardmen are slain, and the danish surround him. Suddenly, a tall old man appears before him.
- I yeild! I yeild! God, have mercy on my soul! - Simon is almost crying of disgust with himself.
- There are no prisoners for the danes, son, - King Knud bends over, reaching the frenchman`s ear - Do you have your last words?
- Tell my wife I loved her. And my son... I want him to make our family proud.
- Is that so? We`ll see about it. Go to hell, frog-eater, - Knud`s axe swipes through the air.
Simon`s bloodied head is put on a pike.

(10-11) Uncontested.png
(10-12) Win.png


After their king`s death, the french fold and German troops pour with no contest into the enemy land, looting and pillaging everything they see. Young Simon II signs a peace teaty with, ironically, Heinrich IV the Young in 1095 of Christ`s birth.

(10-13) Valois Pretender.png


In the North-East of France a revolt for the installation of Count Henri, the dead King`s brother, as the rightful leader of all french, takes place. Yet again, ironically, the revolt leader is of the same dynasty that brought Simon I to throne ascension in the first place - Valois.

(10-14) Revolt Crushed.png
(10-15) Revolt Crushed2.png


Back in Bohemia Matous shows his vassals he is no child to be played around with, winning two wars against rebelling counts in a raw. Both army officers and simple soldiers praise him for his bravery and understanding of military tactics. No other vassal dares revolting against their liege the same year, as counts of Osterreich and Hradec are stripped off their titles and banished from the realm.

(10-16) New Shahanshah.png
(10-17) Winning.png


As it seems, the people of Armenia are under some kind of muslim curse, their greatest leaders, all as one, dying in battle. Although King Mamigon is young, he decides to finish what his father started, bringing Georgia onto its knees. Will the new Shahanshah grow out of this promising child? Only time can tell.

(10-18) Future.png


The future of France, on the other hand, looks bleak. Duke of Breizh declares war for lands, almost the same size as his, while Simon II doesn`t have the troops needed to deal with neither the bretons, nor rebels.

What awaits the young King and his people in the future? What awaits Matous? What awaits Mamigon?