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


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Italianajt

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Don't let the AI get you down, you're managing very well despite so many short reigns. Terrific story.
Your armies are terrific too. Queen Alix disposed of 15000 men ! (green with envy...) And now a rogue Dr d'Arny... wow! :)
Thanks, that army is the largest yet. I believe that Alphonse II can field an even bigger one with the addition of mercenary units but I hope to never have to do that. No one wants that big of a war right now.

I just binged read your AAR today. It's amazing! :)
Thanks Koly! I just wish I could put the same emotions into the characters that you manage to do so well in your AAR.
 

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Also how good are your holdings? They seem to be good enough.
Sorry, never answered this. My holdings are okay. Mostly level three techs which is on par. I bring in about 30 gold per month seeing that most of my vassals are baronies (for the levies) and I had the 10% feudal tax for a long time. Whenever I get a large sum of money I reinvest into my holdings. Now, I seek to maintain 1000 gold in reserve at all times.
 

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Not trying to be a post-hog but...oh well.
Sneak peek of our next Regal Character: Alphonse Galimani II


Seriously, look at that family tree:
Patrilineally - Son of a King, Grandson of a King, Great Grandson of TWO Emperors
Matrilineally - Grandson of a King, Great Grandson of a King
This man was BORN to lead.
 

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Knowledge is an important resource and weapon. These words were spoken to me by my great friend and brother, King Alphonse Galimani, known as Alphonse ‘The Great’ to us worthy subjects but also known throughout Europe as Alphonse the Just. My brother was a cruel man when cruelty was called for. He effectively meted out his punishments in the most diligent of ways as well. But this cruelty was never unleashed on a poor soul unless they truly deserved it. My brother was the king Orleans and Germany needed. His father was struck low by bad humors, a nasty, disgustingly wet cough which took him quite suddenly. There my brother was, a child of seven with the weight of two crowns and a war upon his head in 1162 when he was elected to lead, our mother took over as Regent. How the nobles resented an Irish girl leading two great French kingdoms, yet they acquiesced.

Why do I write this history of the Galimani? My great king and brother always spoke of le sorte de Galimani, in fact Le Maison de Galimani lived their lives with this overshadowing spectre above their heads. King Alphonse spoke as though the Galimani had to be stronger and persevere since the Lord Himself seemed to have cursed their line. The passage of the Orlenais crown from father to son was a precarious thing and had only happened through his lineage, what I shall term the “Alphonsian Kings,” as they were descended from King Alphonse the Blind when he was elected King of Orleans at the end of the year 1150. With the Kingdom of Orleans so precarious, with the most noble Galimani in the realm chosen to lead after the passing of the former king, my brother gave me a simple enough task when we were alone out in the fields of Bethune one day.

You shall keep our knowledge, dear brother. You were born a bastard, but my brother. How I wish you were my true blood. Our mother’s infidelity was not through our own fault. But the sins of our mother must be atoned for. I now judge your bastard birth: Though low, you are noble in my eyes. To the world you are now Guilheim d’Arny. You will walk with the Galimani kings as their shadow, recording and keeping our knowledge, for it is great and vast. I fear for your safety from the rogues of France and the Empire though. Yet the knowledge you keep is important dear brother. You will be our scribe, our Keeper of Knowledge.

But the task was not simple. King Alphonse stipulated he would keep my progeny as best he could and would instruct all of his successors to do the same for their need of a great store of knowledge was too great to disregard when a new kinsman sat on the throne. Yet this protection came with a cost. He would make sure the d’Arny’s never held titles. For you are a bastard, and you must atone for our mother’s whoring ways. A cruel man, but, in its own way, his judgement was fair and deserved in his own mind.

The year was 1162 and Alphonse had inherited two kingdoms which were fighting a war for the bountiful County of Artois. Our mother successfully persecuted the war, which came to an end two years later. The county title was easily won as the count was in open revolt against his liege, the King of Frisia.


1164 furthermore saw the call to arms by His Holiness, Pope Gelasius II, for a third crusade for the lands of Jerusalem.

Our mother persuaded the council to forgo the crusade based on her research of past wrongs brought upon our realm by the hated kings of France whenever our levies were called to the Lord’s battlefield. Though the councilors sought to overrule her, my brother innocently heeded to her decision.

Matters progressed peacefully in Alphonse’s realm for two years until the eleven year old king was studying the kingdom’s ledgers and found that gold was unaccounted for. The boy king and his mother summoned Steward Ebbon into his presence while he was holding court and questioned the man about the inconsistencies with the numbers. The mayor’s knees and voice trembled, so it is told, when brought before the throne and he begged forgiveness for his sinful greediness. He implored the king to be just, that he had kept all of the missing gold safe for his town’s use when the need would arise and told him he would bring all of the missing gold back to his majesty. The boon was tremendous, more than anyone in the realm could believe had gone missing.


The new found wealth of the Galimani, a hallmark of the family if you were to read all accounts of their ancestors, was put to good use building up the chateaux and towns within the realm.

A noble wrote to me of an anecdote of my brother just before his coming of age. King Alphonse decided to put on a Royal Feast in 1169 for all of his vassals in order that he may begin to know them better. All the Dukes, Counts, Barons, Mayors, and Bishops of the realm came to Orleans for the raucous event. Musicians were hired and acrobats. Yet it was the lilithine body of Baron Valeran’s daughter which caught his eye. The king, at an age of ten and four, sought to establish his just authority upon the young girl and, by this noble’s account, had his way with the girl not quite out of earshot of the entire party. After the...activities... the girl’s father confronted the young king but rightly could say nothing. Just as the man began to question Alphonse’s actions he withered at the look he was given from his liege and humbly groveled away from his presence.


1171 saw Alphonse celebrate his coming of age by announcing that Orleans would finally join the Crusade for Jerusalem, still ongoing after seven years. He then married Duchess Katherijne of Gelre, a pure political move with the desire to drive a knife into the Kingdom of Frisia to further take land from the Dutch.


His ambition to fight the heathens in Jerusalem were squandered when Emperor Raymound summoned Alphonse to join his armies on the Island of Corsica where he was waging war against the Byzantines for the island’s holdings. My brother had to sit facing the old Greek foe as his armies laid siege to the Moslem’s holdings in the Holy Land.
After a year in Corsica the Emperor finally released my brother from his martial obligations and he took the first ship to Arsuf (which his armies had laid siege to) and joined his men, a crusader king like his grandfather before him.


He traveled in high spirits as Queen Katherijne (whom had joined him in Corsica for a time) had given him word that she was pregnant. He also felt at peace as he finally married off our mother to the Duke of Koln, sending away “our w-hore mother,” (as he was apt to comment whenever speaking of her) from his realm.

A year later he received news that his queen had borne a son, whom she had named Ogier, in honor of her deceased father-in-law. The child immediately became the heir to the Duchy of Gelre upon his birth, a fact my brother reveled in, so I’m told.


When questioning the men that fought with my brother in the Holy Land, they spoke of how, for a time, Alphonse saw his work as a holy calling from God. He became zealous with righteous condemnation for his Moslem foe and began praying to the Lord before every skirmish. Yet this zeal soon faded as the crusade and the battles wore on. After three years fighting and besieging the heathen lands, Alphonse brought his men back to Arsuf and sailed for our shores. His commanders spoke of how he grew tired of the lack of exigency from the knightly orders and kings for defeating the Moslems and had more important matters demanding his attention. Upon his arrival back in Orleans he set about reorganizing his cabinet with the brightest minds he could find within his kingdoms.


However my brother had not solely focused on his heathen enemy while in the Holy Land but had established claims to the rest of the Duchy of Flanders. 1176 saw the opening of hostilities between the independent young duke of Flanders as Alphonse lashed out to bring the Frisian lands into his realm.


While the battlefield had never been kind to the Galimani kings, Alphonse had learned a great deal in the Holy Lands and his bravery at the Battle of Poperinge became legend in every hovel, tavern, and court in the realm.


Two years later, Alphonse wrested the control of Yperen and Brugge away from Diederick Douweszoon and re-established the Duchy of Flanders as an Orleanais title. The inhabitants of Yperen were deeply grateful as they almost immediately took on the mores and habits of their new French nobles.[1]


Yet 1179 saw doubt begin to creep into the royal family as Queen Katherijne became pregnant again. Alphonse had visited her from time to time during the campaign but he swore he was riddled with doubt if the child was really his.

The handmaiden he eventually persuaded to discover the truth of the matter returned with no evidence (as she told me later on in her life) whereupon my brother employed even more servants to discover the truth. These servants as well returned with nothing suspicious to report. The King, ever vigilant against the evils of lust due to our mother, then confronted the queen directly whence she flatly denied every accusation he threw at her and stormed out of the room. Later in the year Alphonse Galimani was born.


No major events occurred in the two kingdoms for seven more years. Then, in 1186, after two decades and a year (and two Popes), Pope Lando II declared the Crusade for Jerusalem to be over and granted the Kingdom of Jerusalem to Hochmeister Gualtari of the Teutonic Order as ruler.


The year also saw my brother put forth his rightful claim on the County of Mainz against the Duke of Franconia for his German lands. While the duke was vastly outmatched, King Alphonse found the same cold death as had befell many of his ancestors.


The nobles elected Othon Galimani, a grandson to King Valeran II, as the next King of Orleans. But the German nobles, who were not of the Galimani dynasty, supported my nephew, King Ogier, as their liege. The two crowns had become separated for the first time.



Shortly after his coronation, I was summoned to King Othon’s chambers. He had in his hand a letter, well faded and abused with age. The king told me of its contents, a powerful missive imploring Othon to appeal to his sense of reason and to retain me in my former position that my brother had established for me. I was relieved when my liege accepted his predecessors argument. Whereupon I was asked to return at the end of the day with all I had gathered from my time with Alphonse.

I came back to him with writings from various bishops and mayors on stories of my brother as well as early writings which were included previously in this tome. King Othon was overjoyed and asked me to continue my work and accompany him from that point forward. He also began to consult with me on how best to keep the material I was accumulating.

The king soon had a messenger arrive from Julich who brought “good tidings” from Emperor Raymound. The letter informed King Othon the Emperor had decided to press the de jure claim for the County of Gent against the Frisian king. The king was grateful that his brother-in-law understood the Galimani’s as a better ally than a bitter enemy.


The next year Prince Gaucelin was born to our aging king, who was forty and nine, and his wife Peronelle. What happiness Peronelle had in life. A lowborn commoner first lucky enough to have married into the Galimani dynasty and now a queen of the realm and mother to a prince.


I was always near the king but it wasn’t until 1188 that I began to see that Othon saw me as more than just another servant in his employ. That year he asked me to become the guardian for Mathilde Galimani, the daughter of Baron Ogier Galimani of Montfort-l’Amaury.
At that time my first wife, Princess Sophie Nibelunging, daughter of Emperor Orson Nibelunging (how I had risen from being born a bastard to an Irish queen) had already given birth to my darling little Yolande who was two years old. I knew that Mathilde would be a terrific influence on my young daughter and, of course, I could not refuse such a gesture from my liege.

Later that year, after a series of trials between dukes and mayors, King Othon began to be looked upon as both a king with a great sense of justice and a truly ambitious man for his handling of the trials. No longer content to let the Council make his decisions, Othon began to judiciously prescribe judgements and proclaim decrees for the betterment of Orleans.

1189 was a year of great celebration as both wars ended in victories for the king. First the County of Gent became controlled by Othon and then, as the cold winds began to blow, Mainz was torn from the child Balduin’s grasp.


King Othon then received summons from Emperor Raymound to become the Imperial Steward, a position our king readily accepted. Under Othon’s direction the imperial coffers and storehouses began to overflow with gold and grain and a formal proclamation was issued by Emperor Raymound extolling House Galimani and King Othon for his efforts in implementing effective means for taxing the land that burdened no one but were fairly implemented.


Yet the ambition of King Othon became too much in the end. By 1194 my liege had drawn up claims on a small county held by the Mahmudid Sultan in the Duchy of Toulouse. The word Carcassonne became a word hushed in many a tavern as a curse in 1195. For you see, King Othon indeed commanded a grand army to press his claim in 1194. But the Moslems were not trivial foes. Othon had not been to the Holy Land and he was not prepared for the kind of ruthlessness they displayed on the field of battle.


With allies streaming to his banner and anchored by two papal boons, he lashed out at Badshah Siddray.[2] Yet it was a fool’s war. The Badshah had recovered fully from his conquest in 1183 and sent wave after wave of ten thousand strong armies against our own force. Our aged king was battered and beaten and immediately surrendered to Siddray under humiliating terms, and a tribute of 1154 gold coins. Our kingdom, it appeared, was ruined.




====================
Sarrazina looked up from the tablet balanced on her knees. “Jerrome,” or whomever he was, gave her a somewhat mirthful smile. “I am confused.”

“Mademoiselle, what could you be confused about?” the enigmatic man replied.

“Why are we reading this? This information has never been published before. Why are you sharing this with us?” What the hell is going on! she honestly wanted to scream as they drove through the countryside of Orleans. The limo was waiting for the three of them after they were brusquely lead out of the Vault. Their laborers were gone when they had exited the ruins and others had taken their place. In her quick estimation before being herded outside, it seemed they were preparing to reconstruct the roof of the Vault. That they were being treated this, humanely, was something Sarrazina was still trying to understand.
“These writings, they are a treasure of information on the Galimani’s. But it also contains the origin of your...organization. Why? Why have we not had one bullet apiece put into our heads and then tossed out into the countryside…or...or into the river?”

“Zina…” Perrigan said with an exasperated groan beside her.

“Why do I want you to read it?” Jerrome laughed out loud. “Mademoiselle, you must learn it,” his eyes focused and the mirth was gone from his face. “You must learn it all.”
-----------------------
[1] Quickest cultural change I ever saw. From Dutch to French in one year.
[2] Immediately requesting money from a pope after I declared my Holy War netted me 754 gold, he died a short time thereafter and I requested more money from the next pope, which gave me another 750 gold. Boo-yah!
 
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Baltasar

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Is gold still an issue for you? With that kind of empire, I had thought that you would have more problems spending it than getting it.
 

fabiolundiense

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My oh my, your rulers die young. But congratulations on successful expansion of your domain !
 

Italianajt

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Is gold still an issue for you? With that kind of empire, I had thought that you would have more problems spending it than getting it.
Gold is never an issue for the Galimani! I try to keep a 1000 amount reserve in case the Imperial Laws change and France decides to wage another war but I'm slowly creeping past them in Total and Actual Levies. Whenever I have a gold explosion (a la my thieving stewards) I immediately reinvest most of it back into the baronies.

My oh my, your rulers die young. But congratulations on successful expansion of your domain !
Just...you...wait. Glory awaits the Galimani.
 

Italianajt

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Sarrazina Chevalier had not bothered to read anything else on the tablet the rest of the drive to...wherever she was now. She did not think they had left the Loire Valley during the drive but the limousine kept driving until it was dark outside. Or, she believed it had been dark outside. Instead of reading the material forced upon her, she simply stared at d’Arny. The man met her gaze most of the way but would occasionally busy himself with his smartphone or looking at Perrigan, who barely lifted his own head from the tablet, engrossed in the material.
Perrigan O’Connell; she met the Irish fool at a museum in Rome three years ago. They had hit it off roughly as they both admired a Renaissance painting. Something about “curves both painted and in the flesh,” from Perrigan ended their brief admiration of the painting. Yet they both stumbled upon each other later that night as Sarrazina was just about to steal the priceless piece of art. His unoriginal quip about her curves, the same one he used earlier, nearly caused her to drop the painting. But there he was, in almost an identical black outfit as herself. Their unusual relationship kicked off from there. Sure, she had slept with him once or twice, but that was years ago. Now she strictly maintained their stance as friends and partners in their line of work.
She had not seen Perrigan for hours, maybe even a day. They kept her in her assigned quarters. She was lonely and a prisoner. The people who had brought them both here had given her a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator. She actually had windows to the outside world though. A broad meadow with no discernible features in her field of vision. The only outlet was the tablet. She had left it on, hoping to draw out the power but the damn thing wouldn’t die. Probably photovoltaic film which kept it charged. She was thinking of putting it under the mattress soon. Yet there it was in front of her.

Why do they want me to read it? Why share the knowledge of d’Arny? These questions nagged at her in her loneliness. Finally, the quest for knowledge proved too much for her. She brought up d’Arny’s writings and began to read again.
===========================
Othon Galimani was dead. Our kingdom was brought low. I had checked the treasure room and found the Galimani’s vast wealth greatly diminished. 250-odd gold and silver coins were left. They were all in the back of the vault, as if to beckon anyone who would call on them to come in and despair at the vast emptiness around them.
I was not summoned by King Ogier II for some time. My nephew, firstborn of my brother Alphonse, had taken several weeks to move his court from Nijmegen in Gelderland to Orleans. My nephew summoned me two days after his arrival. I had all the necessary documents prepared and requisitions waiting for my nephew to allow me to continue my travels, as my family and I were taken care of solely by the peculiar generosity of our lieges. Yet the meeting did not go exactly as I had planned. Ogier greeted me cordially enough upon my admittance to his private study where a small array of animal skins were laid out on the floor. He let me know they were all killed by his lance when he noticed I was studying the different animals. He then proceeded to recount how he found a half-burned letter in the fireplace with my name listed at the top and how it spoke of some sort of help to the crown. I later found out from my questioning of chateau servants that King Othon, in his despondency after the war with the Moslems, had tried to burn most of his scrolls and writings shouting out that “All was lost!”

My nephew told me I was summoned to given an accounting of my dealings with his father and King Othon as he always remembered that I was near at hand several years before his father’s death. I told my liege everything and requested that I continue my employ, as his father had wished. Thankfully, Ogier agreed.

Ogier set out at once to rebuild the Galimani’s wealth. His vassals all respected him, as he was the son of Alphonse II, so the taxes came in and for two years, peace and harvest were the only things which the king had to deal with. 1197 saw the birth of Ogier’s first daughter, Alix. Through my nephew’s marriage to the erratic Duchess Cotani de Saint-Gilles of Alemannia, the infant was already proclaimed the heir to her mother’s duchy. The duchy was of small consequence though, just a single county and barony situated in the Northern Foothills of the Alps. Ogier was preoccupied with reorganizing his council. Upon the passing of Othon, the Orleanais Council was dissolved and King Ogier’s choice of advisors in Germany left much to be desired. He began to replace all of his advisors with more suitable men to lead the two kingdoms.


King Ogier was blessed with another daughter in 1198. Yet he brought his queen to Orleans less and less. Mayor Frederick, my nephew’s Spymaster, soon brought troubling news from Schwaben that his wife had begun to exhibit behavior which was very erratic and bordered on lunacy. Queen Cotani had become something of a spectacle and my nephew visited her only at their secluded chateau in Gent. From these clandestine meetings (which Frederick disclosed to me when I supplied him with enough wine) Ogier’s only son, Roland, was born to him in 1206.

My nephew brought more holdings into our realm during his reign. He first pressed his de jure claim on Ostfriesland against King Waelram of Frisia in 1202.

This war was over a year later when the Dutch removed Waelram from his throne and the casus belli became invalid. Ogier then turned his expansionist gaze to Duke Balduin, who held the County of Bamberg and the Duchy of Franconia, both which should rightly have been ruled by Ogier as part of the German crown. He opened hostilities against Balduin in 1203 and defeated Balduin’s armies in 1205, usurping not just the county title but also the Duchy of Franconia. He bestowed the duchy to Alphonse Galimani, son of Eustachie Galimani - sister of King Ogier Galimani I, my nephew’s grandfather. His cousin already held the County of Mainz. My nephew hoped that his older cousin would be a terrific counterweight to the de Narbonne dukes ruling in Thuringia. However, Alphonse quickly became a paranoid and troubled man. Many reports coming in from frightened courtiers said the duke howled at the moon and wrote in symbols on the walls of his castle.

Troubling news from the Southern Coast reached us later the same year when Emperor Raymound called for a Holy War against our recent foe, Badshah Siddray Mahmudid. The Sultan’s armies were spilling out from Toulouse, looking to conquer more of the Emperor’s vassals.


Yet the Emperor’s fight was his alone as His Holiness Victor III refused to call a crusade to come to the Holy Empire’s aid. This led Emperor Raymound to install his own pope, curiously enough, in Deventer, under my nephew’s watchful eye in Gelre.


My nephew was a logical choice as a field commander for the empire and he was tasked with leading the Imperial armies into Toulouse. His writings to the council spoke of his increasing understanding of battlefield tactics in both leading the vast light infantry levies and fighting on the hilly terrain near the Pyrenees. Yet, predictably, it seems to me, Ogier’s success came crashing down around all of us in the kingdom. In 1207 my nephew returned to us born on a litter with a small retinue of knights around him. He slurred every word out of his mouth when drool was not dripping from it.


There was a period of mourning and concern, yet it was Ogier’s brother, Baron Alphonse of Le Puiset, who rose to the occasion and helped guide the council at this time. It was no wonder that upon Ogier’s passing at 34 years of age, the dukes of Orleans and Germany selected Alphonse to succeed his brother as our king.

Through his time helping to administer the realm, King Alphonse III had learned of my duties and, being a learned man himself, we quickly became close confidants. Yet I know, as I write this, that my days on this earth are numbered. I now have two beautiful daughters, Yolande a woman of twenty years and married to Roland Diederickzoon, grandson of the Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller; and my darling Agnes, only ten. I am wedded to my third wife (which I shall not deign to explain further) but I fear my seed has run out.

My nephew Alphonse has promised that his father’s vision was too great and that Agnes shall be wed matrilineally when she reaches legal age in 6 years to continue the d’Arny’s noble task. He was troubled that his father punished my line with no landed titles but said he would not go against his father’s wishes as things stood.

Alphonse III inherited a realm on the precipice of greatness, a greatness he fulfilled just this past month when he defeated Koenraad for the County of Ostfriesland and usurped the Frisian crown from the Dutch.

It is wondrous what my aging eyes have witnessed. My nephew now turns his eyes to Munster in an attempt usurp the county from the Duke Gerard of Koln.
….
I find it is becoming more difficult to keep track of my writings as I age. Recently, in 1210, King Alphonse III usurped the County of Munster for his own realm.
….

We are in ruin. My nephew has become a hated man in his own kingdoms. Wherever he turns, the peasants shower him with abuse. Bandits and smugglers run rampant throughout the countryside. I fear this will be my last installment as my body grows ever more frail. Yet I have left instructions with Agnes upon my passing to continue my legacy. The Galimani’s knowledge cannot falter, cannot be lost. But I haven’t recorded the reason for our realm’s woeful state.

In 1212 my nephew convinced many dukes and bishops in the Holy Roman Empire to unearth Duke Jean-Marc Galimani’s three hundred year old claim on France. Alphonse thought God was with the Galimani’s as the noblemen agreed to help him find evidence and update his patents of nobility to prove his rightful claim on the Kingdom of France.
Believing his forces to be superior, my nephew thought he could outmaneuver the French, whose king was imprisoned for dishonoring a direct vassal of Emperor Raymound’s. Yet Alphonse’s own levies, and he called upon every vassal to provide their share, were too spread out between the three kingdoms and the French were able to consolidate their forces.
Alphonse did not see the mounting problems. He won early battles across Maine and Chartres, but failed to adequately pursue the French forces after the battle of Vendome. While his armies laid siege to the Regal County in 1214, the Spoletian allies of the French rendezvoused with the depleted French army in Dijon and began their march on our lands. We were outnumbered two to one.

Alphonse sent word to bring in the best mercenaries his wealth could buy; 5000 Bulgarians and 3000 men from the Catalan Band were hired and marched to Vendome as fast as they could. The Battle of Bourges was devastating. Though my nephew had superior numbers, the French and Spoletian forces were more advanced on the battlefield and our forces were utterly destroyed in three separate engagements across the Duchy of Berry. Alphonse borrowed money from the Jews in Orleans before he finally sent word to King Richard Alachisling of his surrender. The French king accepted his surrender but demanded a tribute of 1500 gold coins, which has led to our present state of ruin.


……………………………….
I begin again my father’s writings. I am Agnes d’Arny, Keeper of Knowledge for the Great King Alphonse III and le Maison de Galimani. My cousin has kept me on after I showed him my father’s letter that he left me before he died. The king, who graciously saw me during our years of abject poverty and debt throughout our realm, simply nodded his approval of my duties for the Galimani’s and then showed me a betrothal contract with Luthard van Heinsberg, a legitimized bastard son of Count Hélie of La Marche. I remember that day very well. I am not as skilled using the pen as I am at working the intrigues of court but shall attempt to record what has happened until this year, 1221.

In 1216 Pope Victor III called for the Aquitanian Crusade against the Mahmudid heathens.

King Alphonse III was in no position to declare his immediate support of his own levies but persuaded his vassals to take up the Orleanais banner a year later. With these 6000 men, all from his vassals as the Kingdom was still deep in debt, the Orleanais banner marched upon the Moslems and arrived in Aquitaine, suffering under 30 years of Moslem rule, in 1218. They engaged Commander Agder in Rouen and soundly routed the Mahmudid army there. King Alphonse then ordered his army to adopt a strategy of besieging holdings while the larger Christian armies attacked the Moslem armies to deplete their numbers. By late 1218 King Alphonse had successfully paid off all debt he had incurred within the realm and was able to raise his own levies, which numbered about 3500 men.
Upon his arrival in Aquitaine he found Siddray Mahmudid focusing on the 10000 strong army of Pope Hyginus II. He then called upon the remaining Templars and Knights of Santiago to come to his aid, although they numbered only 900 men between the two Holy Orders. The Knights of Santiago came at once being led by Grandmaster Oliver Galimani, son of King Sigismond Galimani.[1] Throughout the next two years, the Orleanais armies fought various battles but mostly besieged the castles, towns, and mosques the Moslems had built in Aquitaine. By 1220 the last Moslem army was pushed back into Roselle by Alphonse’s army.

There, in Narbonne, Pope Hyginus II met with our great king and declared the Crusade over and granted all lands of Aquitaine to King Alphonse III as well as crowning him King of Aquitaine.[2]

King Alphonse III now held title to four kingdoms within the Holy Roman Empire. Due to his deep faith and zealous nature, he honored the papal coronation and declared his Aquitaine crown first among his kingdoms.[3]

Seeking to enlarge his understanding of faith, King Alphonse set off for Rome on a Holy Pilgrimage the next year. Though his council warned him not to due to the increase scourge of the Great Pox upon his body. For the second time in his life, our king played the part of the foolish jester.[4]

------------
[1] How about dem apples???
[2] See above note. Also, the counties granted: Toulouse, Foix, Carcassonne, Narbonne, Rouergue, and Melgueil.
[3] Why make Aquitaine the primary title? I considered this for a long time after I was granted the title. The laws of the HRE at this point in the game do not allow for vassal wars and I wanted to hold a primary non-titular title in case the law ever changes. I really don’t know if this will do anything to stave off the French but...hey, who knows? Also, I believed that my titular title was keeping me from some game mechanics, notably, as you can read, going on Pilgrimages. I believe the game looks at “titular” titles generally like people in revolt since those are also titular titles. Yet these limitations were not across the board as the Pope would grant me boons when I met the right conditions. Maybe I’m just capricious as well? Orleans is still there, just not a primary title.
[4] Agnes d’Arny is Cynical, don’t expect her to support any of the religious talk surrounding the Galimani kings.
 
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KingJerkera

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If I could pick a good analogy for this section it would be a cartoon cat after going through a maze of death only to find a large fish waiting at the end. Wow was that a strange go. Also I see you keep losing kingdoms through that ridiculous elective system I would try to find a way to consolidate your holdings. Also when will there be a world map? Because I have to admit I've been enjoying this a lot.
 

Italianajt

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@KingJerkera I see you missed my Atlas of 1162: Atlas of 1162. Yes, it's 60 years old from where the game is now but it's still about right.

I like my elective system, of course it would be a lot better if I didn't have all of these kingdoms but let's explore my other options:
Gavelkind - Not for a realm my size. Sure, my king's have not had a lot of children lately, but you never know when that'll come and bite me in the ass
Primogeniture - Sure, everything would go to the firstborn son, but what happens when I have no firstborn? All other male children would then become disgruntled pretenders to the thrones...it would get messy
Ultimogeniture - See above
Senority - With a dynasty my size I would never have any allies and assassinations would increase tremendously

So, really, elective system is what I'm sticking with. I've had a good run with keeping the past seven or so kings from one familial line (Alphonse I) and, in character, the Galimani's like the elective system as it should bring about the best...or something like that.

Plus, my EUIV conversion of this (SPOILER ALERT) will probably either continue the Elective Monarchy, or, if I can retain Frisia, possibly a Dutch Republic????
 
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@KingJerkera I see you missed my Atlas of 1162: Atlas of 1162[/URL]. Yes, it's 60 years old from where the game is now but it's still about right.

I like my elective system, of course it would be a lot better if I didn't have all of these kingdoms but let's explore my other options:
Gavelkind - Not for a realm my size. Sure, my king's have not had a lot of children lately, but you never know when that'll come and bite me in the ass
Primogeniture - Sure, everything would go to the firstborn son, but what happens when I have no firstborn? All other male children would then become disgruntled pretenders to the thrones...it would get messy
Ultimogeniture - See above
Senority - With a dynasty my size I would never have any allies and assassinations would increase tremendously

So, really, elective system is what I'm sticking with. I've had a good run with keeping the past seven or so kings from one familial line (Alphonse I) and, in character, the Galimani's like the elective system as it should bring about the best...or something like that.

Plus, my EUIV conversion of this (SPOILER ALERT) will probably either continue the Elective Monarchy, or, if I can retain Frisia, possibly a Dutch Republic????
Oops I forgot about that and had to go back and see that again. For the inheritance laws I admit that I'm just a big fan of Primogeniture because of the amount of control I have over my territory but, I would admit that attempting to go to that inheritance law would massively destabilize your realm right now. Also not a fan of losing territory cause some uppity groups of nobles decide that is what is best :p. It just kinda frustrates me for your situation to have gotten so far only to lose out on so much.
 

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Thanks. I guess I did take it as a criticism. While I would love to switch to Primogeniture I don't think it would be staying "in-character." It's been a nice long run here with the Alphonsian line of kings but I don't think it's going to stay in the family. I admit, I have a habit of creating kingdoms when I shouldn't. I really didn't need to create Germany and then usurp Frisia. Possibly some destruction in the future? I don't know.

At least the Galimani dynasty is expanding. They have been in the British Isles for hundreds of years, now in Germany, Frisia, Aquitaine, and have owned the County of Venaissin for a long time as well. Still...the Irish are getting a little too uppity and expansive in the continued gameplay. The Ilkhanate has arrived and are fighting the Persians. I soooo want to initiate a Holy War for Barcelona but the Mahmudids have 33000 ACTUAL levies. Eesshh.
 

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Enjoying quietly lurking through here... Enjoying it so much, in fact, that I nominated you for the Weekly AAR Showcase!

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...case-long-er-lasting-lombards.187634/page-277

Go strike a pose and soak in the adulation of the forumites.
Thank you very much @RedTemplar. I was literally thinking while signing onto the forum today that I'm getting a little burned out with this playthrough. But this definitely provides some much needed invigoration to keep the story going until the end.
 
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My name is Helie d’Arny, Baron of Castelnaudry, Lagrasse, and Montauban in the County of Toulouse, Keeper of Knowledge for House Galimani, as my mother was before me, and my grandfather before her. This manuscript, along with my other works made in an ancillary fashion, shall constitute my contribution to the Knowledge of the Galimani. My mother had but brief missives to contribute to our growing library before the insanity took her mind from us.
When I was but a child my father was granted the Barony of Lagrasse in King Alphonse the Great’s newly christened Kingdom of Aquitaine. Even as a young child I was granted the baronies of Castelnaudry and Monauban. During one of my mother’s more lucid periods while I was learning how to keep the records, she told me that I was given these southern baronies because the king needed someone he could trust. He felt that his father’s judgement of my grandfather had been served as well and commuted the sentence. Such peculiar things that I can only now begin to understand.

The year is 1255, even though it is the dead of winter, the taverns throughout the countryside and the nobles halls are filled with revelers. How did we get to this place? A most unusual position to be sure. But in it, one may find reasons as to why my family keeps this knowledge.
=============
The Summer of 1221 began with the death of King Alphonse the Great and the coronation of King Valeran, King of Aquitaine, Orleans, and Germany.

King Valeran graciously accepted my mother and I into his employ after she showed him grandfather’s writings as well as her own. After his coronation the king, who had just turned 16, wed Princess Gunhild of Danmark. Three years later, on the eve of the Mahmudid’s second invasion to reclaim the kingdom from Valeran, the king and queen welcomed their firstborn, Mélisende. The Moslem invasion is noteworthy only for the fact that it occurred. The Holy Roman Emperor Raymond Nibelunging was able to muster most of his vassal levies to defeat the heathens and send them back over the Pyrenees. Valeran told me some years later that he toyed with the idea of declaring a Holy War for Barcelona or Aragon before later events made it an unlikely course of action.

The Harvest of 1230 witnessed the revolt of King Richard Alachisling, the Wicked King, of France and his faction adherents who sought to have Prince Guillaume, his son, put onto the imperial throne.

As the revolt dragged on, King Valeran decided to press the Orleanais claim on Vendome, the French Regal County. Yet Valeran had waited too long and three months later the Emperor declared an end to the revolt.


Valeran was not a man of many a kind word. His friends consisted of his old comrades-in-arms and high-ranking mercenary captains. While our king is masterful with the sword, axe, lance, etc, he wields his tongue like a babe wields a noise-maker. This lead to numerous misunderstandings between vassals, especially those located within the Kingdom of Aquitaine. In 1224, Emperor Raymond Nibelunging transferred all de jure vassals of Aquitaine to King Valeran. Both as a matter to consolidate the vassals of the Holy Roman Empire but also to rid himself of some rather large malcontents. These malcontents continually beseeched King Valeran to name one of their own as heir-apparent to Aquitaine. His vassals lack of support regarding his chosen heir remains a contentious subject with the king to this day.

After peace came back to the realm following King Richard’s imprisonment, King Valeran sought to rebuild a great many chateaux in his realm. However, this plan was set aside in 1239 when the king’s wife confessed to one of her handmaiden’s that she had lain with another man. Valeran’s rage, much akin to his father’s, led him to imprison his wife on charges of treason.

Her lover, a kinsman of Valeran, Count Leon Galimani of Artois, was challenged to a duel by the king and accepted. I remember the night before everyone in the Council asking the king to not kill the man, for we all knew the outcome.


Even though Gunhild had borne him an heir, Oliver, who was five years old at the time, his retribution was swift and aimed to upset the royal family of Danmark. As I have stated, our king was not one to diplomatically resolve such issues. He personally went down to the dungeons and dragged Gunhild out of that wretched place and roughly released her in his courtyard in front of a waiting carriage. The scene is chilling today as it was then. There, our former queen (for the pope had granted King Valeran a divorce on grounds of infidelity) laid in the dirt as a commoner. A princess still, yes, but the court looked on as she wailed for kindness and forgiveness from our majesty. Even now I wonder why she acted so, for she had borne him two children and lived with him for almost two decades, she had to know he had neither kindness nor forgiveness in him.

The King remarried to the daughter of a Byzantine Doux, Theognosia, later that year. Their union was blessed from the beginning as Queen Theognosia gave birth to Roland in 1240. Such an event only spoke well for the future of Aquitaine and Orleans.
As peace reigned among the vassals of the Holy Roman Empire, King Valeran began to find himself troubled by news coming from the Bhreatish Isles. Once bound by a personal union, the Kingdom of Bhreatain Bheag had started to dominate politics on the islands to our north.[1]


The Anglo-Saxon Galimani’s had finally begun to rise to prominence after ruling as vassals in Wessex for hundreds of years. Now they had become dukes under King Séigíne “the Lawgiver” who also styled himself King of Portugal which his ancestor King Dalach held for all of 9 years in the early 1100’s before the Mahmudid’s reclaimed their Iberian lands. Yet when Count Gilbert Galimani of Maine died in 1232 without a direct heir, Maine was inherited by his cousin, Gilbert, the Duke of Powys. Thus, in 1241, King Valeran marched his levies to Chateau Beaumont and laid siege to his kinsman’s lands.

The war waged for 2 years with neither king gaining a distinct edge over the other. The Irish armies finally began to push Orleanais levies back from Maine when Emperor Godfrey Nibelunging IV declared his own war for Maine recognizing the county as a de jure vassal of his realm. The Imperial armies sailed straight for the Bhreatish homeland and began to besiege the Irish holdings one by one.

During this maelstrom the French again took part in a revolt against the Empire. A combined force of Bhreatish and French armies crushed all semblance of martial resistance from Valeran’s Orleanais holdings and he sued for peace with the Irish King.

With our coffers nearly exhausted and the French in revolt, Emperor Godfrey met personally with King Valeran and extended the position of Imperial Marshal to him in 1244. King Valeran immediately accepted such a prestigious position.


Valeran’s skills as a master of warfare were put to the test upon his assumption of his duties in Julich as the Mahmudid’s declared a second Holy War for the Duchy of Toulouse in 1245. The Empire now had to contend with two outright wars and an internal revolt simultaneously.

With the majority of the Imperial army still loyal to Godrey besieging land in the Isles, Valeran raised his own vassal levies to help combat the Moslem threat to his crown. The first great battle took place around the Castle of Toulouse as 13000 Imperial and Aquitainian levies destroyed an army of almost 9800 Mahmudid soldiers. The sheer weight of Imperial heavy infantry and knights overwhelmed the heathens.


Regretfully, our king was not granted a release from his duties in Julich and could not join the marching armies. If this had been corrected the defeat at the Second Battle of Toulouse later that year may have kept the two armies together. Yet the Imperial army had left the Aquitainian army in Toulouse leaving them to the brown devils.[2]


With his Aquitaine vassal levies severely depleted and the emperor refusing to release him to rebuild his own kingdom’s army to meet the Moslem threat, King Valeran faced new petitions from his southern dukes to name their own man as his heir apparent instead of Prince Oliver. The king asked for my help, me, a d’Arny, in deciding his options. I traveled to Julich to confer with my liege early in the Spring of 1246.

Valeran spoke at length about the obligations and responsibilities of maintaining three kingdoms. These words I have dutifully recorded in another place. We spoke into the night, Valeran and I, spoke about the Galimani’s and how to preserve the legacy of Galimanus, Oliver, Roland, Valeran I, and Alphonse the Great. We spoke on changing the succession laws to better suit the Alphosian line but we eventually settled on a better solution to appease the southern lords.

King Valeran personally traveled to Angoulême, to meet with Duke Guichard Taillefer in the Winter of 1246. There, in front of the young duke’s court, he placed the crown of Aquitaine upon his vassal’s head and said but a few words in barely an audible voice. It was a masterful stroke, the dukes had their king and Valeran kept his southern holdings while maintaining greater control over his realm.

Reduced in size, but not ambition, Valeran returned to Julich and bid me leave to inform Chancellor Katakylas (a Catcholic Greek who came to the Orleanais court with our queen) to press Duke Guy Galimani’s claim on the Duchy of Normandy as they were part of the imperial revolt. Once again, the war ended rather quickly upon the opening of hostilities as the revolt ended, but the claim had been pressed. In an attempt to consolidate his holdings Valeran next revoked the Duchy of Valois from Guy, who meekly accepted realizing that the Duchy of Normandy could be his or his heir’s in the future. One year later Emperor Godfrey usurped the County of Maine from King Séigíne, but kept the holding for himself.

Sadness reigned in 1248 as Queen Theognosia died due to a lingering illness. Oh how the court wept for their Greek queen. She had blessed Valeran with five children, three sons and two daughters, all with her olive skin and hauntingly handsome.

We should all remember that King Valeran was not known for diplomatic niceties. For his third wife he married the eldest cousin of his former wife Gunhild, Princess Benedikte Skjöldung of Danmark.


Chancellor Katakylas returned to court in 1249 with claims on the Anglo-Saxon realm of Essex. King Valeran decided among his council that he could only confront his Irish rival on their own lands and needed a foothold. The war commenced with conscripted merchant ships and vassal ships from the Mediterranean carrying our levies across the Straits of Dover. The Duke of Essex foolishly landed his entire army on the shores of Eu where half of my liege’s army destroyed their disorganized ranks. The war was over within a year.

We now come to more recent events: The Catholic Crusade for Andalusia. Pope Julius III is an enigmatic man and no one whom I have spoken to throughout the empire can understand why His Holiness declared a crusade for a major holding of the Mahmudid’s in 1250. Our king threw caution to the wind and immediately declared his support for the Holy Crusade. Perhaps he remembered his father’s tactics dealing with the Mahmudid’s? Yet the Orleanais levies were in disarray and the realm was hampered by a shrinking gold supply. We were prosperous, but successive wars had left the realm without a retinue (destroyed by the Mahmudid’s in Toulouse) and with reinforcements still being mustered throughout the king’s holdings.
Valeran called upon his vassals to provide his Holy Army as well as bringing in the Knights of Calatrava to help reclaim their lands.



While King Valeran was kept in Julich, again, as Emperor Godfrey IV sought to replenish his own levies while fighting the Byzantines, the king kept up regular correspondence through a series of riders to his commanders in the field. Though lacking the numbers of the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller, the Orleanais vassal levies besieged northern duke and county capitals, squeezing the supply of troops to the Badshah. Three years into the crusade and reports finally materialized that, shockingly, the Moslems had left their Sultanate’s capital undefended and bereft of levies. Valeran ordered Duke Arnault of Thuringia to march directly for Toledo with all possible haste and caution and bring an end to the crusade. His influence in helping to train and reinforce the Imperial levies did not go unmentioned throughout the empire and men who came through his training and drilling began to speak in wonder of the knowledge Valeran imparted. His fame grew throughout the Empire.

As men began to speak of the Galimani Dragon, news arrived from Duke Arnault carried by an exhausted cavalryman.

His Holiness was ever-grateful and crowned King Valeran, in sight of, and possibly in spite of, Emperor Godfrey (who never raised vassals for the crusade), King of Andalusia!




Next post: The distribution of titles (seriously, where else am I going to explain my distribution of over 90 titles?)​

-------------------
[1] I believe Bhreatain Bhreag means Great Little Britain in Gaelic but I know nothing about the Gaelic language. The kingdom is ruled by an Irish dynasty. But have no fear, there is also the Kingdom of Ireland...for some reason.
[2] I wanted to take this chance to say that I’m not a racist but understand I must speak “in character”
 
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Dayni

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Bhreatain Bheag is actually Little Britian in English. Just to translate.

Also, you collected 90 titles? I am impressed at that madness. Good luck trying to keep your army of new vassals from going too crazy.
 
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Italianajt

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Bhreatain Bheag is actually Little Britian in English. Just to translate.

Also, you collected 90 titles? I am impressed at that madness. Good luck trying to keep your army of new vassals from going too crazy.
THANK YOU! I knew it was "Britain" something. LOL. I think it's hilarious that even in dominance, the Irish still have an inferiority complex to the English.
 

Italianajt

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The Distribution of Titles of the Kingdoms of Orleans and Andalusia
1255

This Proclamation shall stand as the sole arbiter of my Decisions upon the Distribution of Titles and Holdings within my Great Realm.

To His Holiness Pope Julius III and for his successors I grant thee and God the Duchy of Murcia and the de jure Counties of Murcia and Almansa and all minor titles therein. May God keep the Galimani and the Holy See in His Grace forever. Let your new holdings be a deterrent to the Moslem warmongers.

For Holy Service and Martial Prowess I grant to Grandmaster Hafiz Abbasid and the rest of the Order of Calatrava their native holdings in the County of Calatrava.

So all True Believers may be safe from any Heathen Retaliation, I grant Grandmaster Ancel Galimani and the Knights Hospitaller the County of Plascenia and all holdings therewithin.

I, King Valeran Galimani, third of his name of the Kingdom of Orleans, first of his name of the Kingdom of Andalusia, declare myself Duke of Toledo and Count of Toledo and Count of Algeciras so that I may personally see the defense of Iberia and the Mediterranean from Gibraltar.

To my firstborn Son, Prince Oliver Galimani, Count of Essex, I grant the Duchy of Seville and the de jure Counties of Seville and Cadiz. Included for his disbursement: Barony of Arcos, Bishopric of Jerez, City of Medina Sidonia, City of San Jose del Valle, City of Ecjia, Barony of Alcala de Guadaria, Bishopric of Carmona, City of Moron, and Bishopric of Utrera.

To my second born Son, Prince Roland Galimani, I grant the Duchy of Badajoz and the de jure Counties of Badajoz and Caceres. Included for his disbursement: Bishopric of Jerez de los Caballeros, City of Merida, Barony of Zafra, Barony of Alburquerque, Bishopric of Guadalupe, and City of Trujillo.

To my third born Son, Prince Alphonse Galimani, I grant the Duchy of Granada and the de jure Counties of Granada and Almeira. Included for his disbursement: City of Baza, Bishopric of Motril, Barony of Pechina, Barony of Baeza, City of Elvira, City of Guadix, Bishopric of Jaen, Barony of Moclin.

To my fourth born Son, Prince Valeran Galimani, I grant the Duchy of Cordoba and the de jure Counties of Cordoba and La Mancha. Included for his disbursement: Barony of Andujar, Bishopric of Cabra, Bishopric of Cordoba, City of Lucena, Barony of Martos, City of Alarcon, Bishopric of La Roda, Barony of Quintanar del Rey.

To my vassal Helie d'Arny, Baron of Castelnaudry, Montauben, and Lagrasse, I grant the Duchy of Toulouse and the County of Toulouse. May his family ever keep their dutiful judgment.

To my kinsman Ogier Galimani, grandson of King Ogier of Orleans, I grant the County of Cuenca, a holding in the Duchy of Toledo, and all titles therewithin. He shall swear fealty to my person as his liege.

To my kinsman Amaury Galimani, I grant the County of Molina, a holding in the Duchy of Toledo, and all titles therewithin. He shall swear fealty to my person as his liege.

To my kinsman Gauecelin Galimani, I grant the County of Malaga, a holding in the Duchy of Granada, and all titles therewithin. He shall swear fealty to his liege, Prince Alphonse Galimani.

To my loyal courtier Aimery Baugulfson, [1] I grant the County of Alcantara, a holding of the Duchy of Badajoz, and all titles therewithin. He shall swear fealty to his liege, Prince Roland Galimani.

To my loyal courtier Himeros Lekapenos, [2] I grant the County of Aracena, a holding of the Duchy of Seville, and all titles therewithin. He shall swear fealty to his liege, Prince Oliver Galimani.

To Bishop Josselin de Grandpre, Bishop of Lepe, I grant the County of Niebla, a holding of the Duchy of Seville, and all titles therewithin. He shall swear fealty to his liege, Prince Oliver Galimani. May his successors remember the graciousness and piety of le Maison de Galimani.

The Kingdom of Andalusia
------------------------------
[1] Aimery is married matrilineally to Sophie d'Arny, a cousin of Helie d'Arny
[2] Himeros is married matrilineally to Melisendre Galimani, Princess of Orleans (Valeran's eldest daughter), and has a male heir (ta-da!)