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This is my first ever AAR. The game isn't Ironman because I can't stand for the autosaves everything (old laptop), AI aggressiveness is normal and lucky nations is historical in order to simulate Ironman. I hope you enjoy it.

So... After I posted this, I noticed the Gryf name doesn't have 2 f, well, this will be awkward from now on I guess, I wonder how many more mistakes I'll make.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 - Humble Beginnings
2 - Death of Wartislaw IX Gryf
3 - Paul Rahl the Regent
4 - The Lubeck Alliance of Trade
5 - A Bloodthirsty Savage
6 - Gods Favored Son
7 - Sir Hermann Miercke
8 - Sorrow Overtakes
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Wartislaw the IX wasn’t a young man anymore. With his first child at such an old age he and his council knew possibly there wasn’t much time to arrange the future of the realm before his departure. He and his people were known for being a German power on the Baltic but this wasn’t the time to sail anymore. The Scandinavian nations and the Hanseatic League stole their power and the old and expensive fleet would have to be dismantled in order to make saving towards the future. Almost the entire fleet was discontinued. By the council decree the ships were turned into firewood for the winter to come and the sailors willing would be enlisted in the army.
All this time Wartislaw kept his watchful eye on Pomerania Neighbors. During his entire reign he tried to convince Heinrich von Mecklenburg, onto uniting the Pomeranians once and for all in order to prevail against the modern Vikings. All his diplomatic attempts were denied with the same excuse: “I will not leave my people to be led by you, and be conquered and you die without and heir the Danes take your crown, or God forbid, fall to the hands of the Hohenzollerns”.
After the birth of Ota, the council rapidly sent ambassadors to Poland to secure an alliance of mutual benefit, with would prove easy to subdue the Polish noblemen as they lacked a head figure after the dead of their King by the Turks. The most important family in Poznan had agreed to marry Ota in exchange for the said alliance. With the eastern front secured by them, a more aggressive approach could be made by Wartislaw against Mecklenburg.

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In 1446 there was a wave of obscurantism caused by the advanced age of the King the fact that his heir couldn’t even spell out any word and the dismissal of the proud Pomeranian fleet. Former Sailors, traders and many town governors started to spread word that the nation has it was known would cease to exist and would be divided by the Hohenzollerns and the emperor or just flat out conquered by external forces such as a Polish backstab or a Nordic Incursion.

Not caring much about the recent unrest of his population, Wartislaw gathered his army, now boosted by a regiment of former sailors, trained in arms combat for almost two years, known has the Anchor Regiment and another regiment of mercenaries from the Poznan region and started his march towards Rostock to demand the keys of the city from Heinrich. Knowing of this, Heinrich quickly arranged an alliance with the Munster Bishop to try and dissuade the Pomeranians to a fight but it only delayed the inevitable. On the first of December, after the ultimatum had been declined, war was declared and an army of 7k strong, led by Wartislaw, was marching against 3k Militia.

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Even with a leader at the last minute, Mecklenburg didn’t hold out enough for Munster’s army to arrive. Wartislaw was able to march his troops all the way towards Rostock and began his siege. After a year later and without any sights of Munster, Rostock surrendered and negotiations began. Two weeks later the result of the war had been as follows.

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Concluded the war and with the massive boost to the treasury, Wartislaw looked over his neighbor to the east, no, not Poland, the Teutonic Order. They had a German land that the Hohenzollerns so desperately wanted, Neumark and a very rich and valuable city, Danzig, the gate to the Baltic trade. Of course not everything was that easy to process. Poland had interests in both those lands as well but Cechy diplomats had just arrived in Stettin with an alliance proposal. The council united with Wartislaw and decided that it would be suitable to have them by their side too. They played a careful balance of power. By now Poland was once again one of the most feared nations in Europe, the Jagiellon ruled over Poland and Lithuania with Moldavia and Mazovia being their vassal. On the other side, the only King in the HRE, a very powerful man with vast armies.
If Pomerania was to prosper, those lands had to be conquered. It was time for the Gryff house to take flight! The stage was set for a war on the Baltic.
 
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Even before the end of the year, Wartislaw declared war and set his army marching towards Neumark. The plan was simple, his army was to siege Neumark and then move towards Danzig while his brave allies on Bohemia would hold against the Hungarian and the Polish Lithuanian Union would destroy the armies of both the Orders.
On April 1448, just a few months at war, the Polish nobles started demanding compensations from Pomerania, they stated that the Teutonic Army was pillaging their lands at Poznan and it was all the fault of Wartislaw by not helping them and letting his army siege Neumark. The council reluctantly agreed that would be best to accept their demands rather possible have them turn sides. So a caravan was arranged to make a travel to Poland, filled with gold taken from Rostock. This would be a blow to Wartislaw treasury has he planned to use the money to keep financing his own army, but if it meant that the Polish would keep fighting the good fight, then it was only a small price to pay, for now.

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December 1448, Pomerania allies started engaging the Orders and Hungary on southwest Lithuania after months of stalling, retreats and advances.

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Good news reached the tent of Wartislaw, there had been an important victory on the grain fields of Bratslav, the Hungarian army was forced to retreat with only half their original numbers. Days after there was another messenger, with a pale look on his face, his hand trembled has he delivered the scroll to Wartislaw. The Orders managed to win the battle of Volhynia, forcing more than 15k Poles to flee. On the 14th of March 1449, Neumark surrendered and Wartislaw put his army on the move towards Danzig. On a letter to his wife it read: “I’ll soon move to the pearl of the Baltic. One day we shall make festivities in its halls”. That’s how much he admired and desired the city and all the wealth it would bring from the Baltic.
On the 17th November 1449, there was a decisive victory against the Hungarian on the region of Podlasie, near the border of Lithuanian and the Teutonic Order as the army moved quickly to try and break the siege of now Danzig and Marienburg, getting caught out by Lithuanian that soon would be reinforced by Polish and Bohemian troops. Both Orders were now practically without a standing army and the strongest nation on the Balkans was embarrassed.
13th March, Dazing surrenders. Pomeranian troops advance up the coast line and continue to lay siege to other cities.
26th of April, some of the Pomeranian nobility, tired of long sieges away from home, demanded to have increased pensions. Wartislaw, not wanting to deal with troublesome nobles, used some more the Mecklenburg treasure and paid them all. This would hurt the economy of Pomerania for a long time, until the Council would get more power and thus eliminating the constant need for the old feudal army system that most of the time would get rulers bankrupts and their nobles extremely powerful.

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After almost four years of intense warfare, Ochmeister Konrad von Erlichshausen was forced to sign a peace treaty where he would acknowledge Pomeranian sovereignty over Neumark and Danzig as well has making monetary compensations and giving up half his trade from the Baltic for five years.

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The war was devastating, not only for the loser but for the victor too. Polish-Lithuanian Union was severely damaged by constant battles and attrition and revolts started to sprout along the Russian minorities.
In order to celebrate victory, Bohemia offered a marriage. Wartislaw saw a great opportunity to solidify the alliance for years to come and promptly agreed to it and preparations started in Danzig has he had promised to his wife. Sadly, on the 26th of January 1452 Wartislaw died while travelling to Neumark to sign some treaties with the local nobility. His doctors said he caught a fever overnight and with his advanced age and tired from constant travelling and siege warfare, didn’t even make it to the dawn. There was a rumor spread by the knights that accompanied him, which the Polish noblemen of Poznan envenomed his dinner the night before when they met. However such rumors were never confirmed and it was probably just his advanced age. History will never know.

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His council took over the reins of Pomerania until Ota would be of age. Without a strong head figure like Wartislaw, the council was forced to make harsh treatments in Danzig and the festivities there would have to be moved back to the capital, Stettin. With much grieve, Ota’s mother committed suicide by throwing herself from the window of their castle at Stettin and frozen herself, or drowned, or even the impact would be sufficient enough. Her body would never be found.
On February first, with the recent events and the weakening of the House of Gryff, King Kazimiers shred the papers that united both nations. Nobles would continue to spread the rumors of a Polish plot in order to take the newly conquered lands.
 

volksmarschall

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Pomerania is such a great choice. Of course, when I turn lucky nations to "Random" (hey, some nations are lucky, no reason to prevent that - although I sometimes like to change it up from historical just to see what happens; and I've seen everything from Pomerania becoming the most powerful nation in the HRE to getting stomped on by the Teutons or by Brandenburg.

Needless to say, hoping that you experience what I've seen the AI accomplishment in the former, rather than the latter! And you are off to a pretty good start by the look of things.

Also, welcome to AAR-ing! Our first AAR usually is among the most special for obvious reasons! :)

Cheers!
 

bbqftw

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I love the politics in that area (though I played the more cliche choice of Brandenburg). There's a lot of short-term and long-term allies to choose from and you definitely need to tread carefully. If you continue to get power, especially if you vassal / annex Brandenburg, there's a good chance that Bohemia goes hostile on you, so better have a backup plan if that happens.
 

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Thanks for the comments guys! It's much appreciated.

As for the game, I've never played Pomerania before, actually, for a -long- time I used to call it Pomernia and I don't even know why... I did played one game as the Teutonic Order and formed Prussia but that was with 1.3. I really like the northern Germany area because we can make really strong nations there from minor powers, yet we do not get to be the number 1 world power right after 100 years. Well, at least I can't anyways.

I'm not planning on forming Prussia unless some random events make it "logical" for me to form it in order to make the AAR better or more plausible.

I do intend to vassalize Brandenburg and annex them. My diplomats have been working on improving relations with Austria as it feels like a natural ally for mid game. Atm though not really worried about making an alliance. If Poland attacks me as they seem to want it, the emperor will protect me anyways, as well as Bohemia. And by now Poland is really weak, they had like 7 war exhaustion, just like Lithuania and with war enthusiasm on low. Gelre made a coalition against me but since no one joined afterwards, I didn't bother to write about it. I'll probably leave the TO alone now, don't want to waste resources fighting them with Poland mad at me. I actually have no idea how the next 10-20 will play out.

Plan now it to annex Mecklenburg and lets see where the chips fall because Brandenburg is allied with Bohemia so attacking them is out of the question. Maybe Hansa but they've a big army, I'll have to wait until Denmark probably beats them or they getting in a massive war with German minors.

I just hope you're enjoying the stuff I come up with to justify the random events, wars, kings deaths and all.
 

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Facing many threats from outside the realm, the regency council had to act quickly. Pomerania would need a bigger army. They set hands towards that task and started recruiting men for three more regiments and a band of knights, eager to fight the Polish.
On the 29th April 1452, there was a wave of discontent among every class of the realm. Dissatisfaction towards the regency, the way they forced the youth into their army and still the fact that fishermen and sailors were unemployed. The rumors of Wartislaw assassination were now common talk throughout every hall of every noble castle. It was dark times for Pomerania.

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Even with so many problems at hand, the Pomeranian would be one step closer to unite as both the houses of Gryf and Mecklenburg would become one in the eyes of God. Festivities were arranged and on the 15th July 1452 there was the wedding at Rostock.
On the 21st of November, there was a breath of fresh air. The mighty Lithuania was now embroiled in inner conflicts, perhaps this would stop Poland from thinking about attacking the empire seeing that two months earlier a spy was caught in Danzig.

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1453 brought the complete assimilation of the conquered lands. The Prussian culture was now a very close part of the realm. The council learned from them, how they did business and the merchants, fishermen and sailors convinced them to invest once again on a fleet. The ambition was to make a merchant fleet powerful enough to rival the Hanseatic League and place Pomerania as the wealthiest nation in northern Germany.
During this time the Regency had tried to take power from the nobility in order to prevent more events like the ones during the war against the Teutonic Order. Some of the more important families started to manifest their discontent with that policy and gathered a group of supporters. Although no one ever truly revolted, for some time the regency had lost control of the country side.

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January 1455, given the difficulties that Lithuania was facing, the Polish diplomat at the Pomerania court offered to reinstate the alliance. In order to keep peace in the realm, the regency, led by Paul Rahl, an old artist promoted to Regent after the dead of the Queen, was forced to agree. For now it seemed Pomerania economy was increasing, with the nobility in order and the continued growth of the Prussian merchant class.

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By the end of the year, an alliance was secured with Saxe-Lauenburg, along with a royal marriage. The intention behind this was to gather strength against The Hansa military and economic power. In reaction of this, by late January an embargo was launched by the Hansa. The growing power in trade by Pomerania had been so much so that now it threatened them.
The policy played by the Hansa had terrible consequences to Pomerania. Smugglers were everywhere and that cut down the profit by a long margin. The time of economic prosper was getting to an end. Something would need to be done by the Regent if those times were to come back. Still, the Prussian merchants continued making their fleet bigger, it seemed that the only thing they could do to prevent this was to keep investing every gold coin in new ships.

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In 1456, Poland once again broke the alliance. In order to prevent more humiliations like this, Regent Paul declared Kazimierz I Jagiellon , King of Poland, Lithuania and lord of Mazovia and Moldavia guilty for the assassination of Pomerania beloved ruler, Wartislaw IX and all further negotiations with the Jagiellon dynasty to be ceased until the end of times. Only the royal marriage would remain as Wartislaw was Gods most loyal son and would never break such an oath.
By the end of the same year, Norway would join the Hansa with the embargo of Pomeranian ships. No one liked the sudden growth in power of the Gryf house.
February 1457, news arrived at Stettin that left Paul terrified and relieved at the same time. Lithuania had fallen to the rebels and amidst the chaos, Smolensk had broken free. Such a might nation once, was now almost nothing but a pile of rumble created by its very people.

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Facing imminent threat by the Lubeck Alliance of Trade, consisting of the Hanseatic League, Norway and Bremen, currently the countries embargoing Pomerania, the lord of Saxe-Lauenburg, Johann V Askanier accepted to become the Vassal of the Gryf. Being the weakest ally of Pomerania and sharing borders with the Hansa, it would become a prime target for the LAT in case of war, this way, better guaranteed the safety of his people at the cost of some revenue.

May 30th 1459, Ota III Gryf becomes of age and the Regency resumes their regular work as the most trustworthy council. Ota’s brother, Barnim, would become next in line of succession. It was a time for festivities. Would this new ruler bring prosperity to the realm?

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In order to stop the Bremen and Hansa growing power in northern Germany, and alliance was formed with the Christian VI von Oldenburg. There were now two main powers in the region fighting a cold war. This would probably be the biggest obstacle for the young Ota to overcome.
A few months later war broke out, Bohemia had declared on Thuringia and Ota, eager for battle, accepted and joined the war. There wouldn’t be anything to do however as Thuringia and its ally, Magdeburg was in a very weak state and the Bohemian armies would control the regions in no time.

Much like his father, Ota was a religious man and even with such a young age he decided to take all matters of tasks within the realm. When a monk starting making statements contrary to the catholic doctrine, he immediately declared him an heretic and trialed him for heresy. A month later, the monk was found guilty and burned at the stake. Such was the penalty for heresy.

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In 1460, a man distinguished himself from all others in politic, so much that the Council informed Ota about it. Wanting to prove himself by the eyes of God, the man was sent to Rome to serve Von Baltharsar, a cardinal loyal to Pomerania.

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By the end of the year, Thuringia accepted the terms for peace of Bohemia and ceded Wittenberg. It was time to celebrate Christmas and in peace. However the peace for peace was brief. War was declared on Oldenburg by Gelre and Ota, against the advices of the council, quickly accepted the request for aid. Bohemia also joined Pomerania. This was Ota’s chance to reduce the influence of Bremen on the region.
Ota succeeded at repelling Gelre and Bremen at the battle of Lauenburg even if the death count wasn’t so favorable.

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With enemy armies on the run, Ota set out to quickly follow them and caught Bremen forces at Hannover, the battle would be over in just a few days. Ota was starting to prove himself a very capable military leader, the Bishops army had been crushed in a decisive victory.

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After the Battle of Hannover, Ota continued to follow the remaining enemy forces that led him to the battle of Gelre were he once again crushed a demoralized army.

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By March 1463 the war was pretty much over, Bremen was forced to surrender, releasing Luneburg, paying compensations and forcing to give up half their trade rights to the region and annul the alliance with the Teutonic Order. It had been a crushing victory for Pomerania and without any options, Gelre proposed the most unexpected peace treaty, gladly welcomed by Ota.

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With so many spoils of war, Ota used them on the construction of a military building to the capital. With so many subjects already, it was important that the army was better prepared. By now Pomerania had one of the biggest merchant fleets of the Baltic Sea, making huge sums of gold yearly, despite the smuggler problem still prominent. After the war, Bremen was no longer with the Lubeck Alliance of Trade, the embargo had been lift.
 

volksmarschall

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No! No! No! Glory to van Egmond! :cool: (I only say this b/c I have Gelre/Netherlands game where I formed the Netherlands in the early 1500s with them in one of my casual GC games)! Ah well, your favorite minors can't win them all...

Although, I will say, I hate the Hansa so much whenever I play as a Northern minor in the HRE...I hope you give them their just deserts! Looks like you are getting run of the mill rulers though, and with that smuggler problem, you are evidently hurting economically, even if Gelre just boosted your finances with that peace offer.

Keep on keeping on!
 

GreatUberGeek

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Subscribed! Some bad events there, but you have made the most of it! :) Godspeed!
 

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After the war ended and the threat of Bremen dealt with, Brandenburg decided to join the Lubeck Alliance of Trade and embargoed Pomeranian merchants. The House of Gryf was almost surrounded by enemies but their southerner friend, the Podebrad made sure peace would be kept within the Empire. Months after the Brandenburg joined, it was the turn of the Knights to embargo them, it was clear that no one was liking Pomerania sudden rise to power like that.

Ota III early years reigning were very much focused on the idea of a centralized head of state, following the teaching of his councilor, Paul Rahl, he kept taking more and more power from the local nobility onto himself. This of course resulted in the majority of the nobles demanding the return of said powers. Indisposed towards negotiations, Ota dismissed them all from his court, even close friends. The nobles were shocked by such a harsh decision and some even started plotting the downfall of the Gryf. Others started making a journey towards Wien to have an audience with the Emperor about how Ota was abusing his powers as lord of Pomerania. Luckily, no one turned to Poland for help.

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By the third of November 1464 a scholar requested an audience with Ota. Bored and without nobles at his court hall, Ota agreed to see the old man. The man carried a heavy book in his arms, the cover had seen better days as it was scratched and even slightly burned. He only requested that Ota read it in his spare time and so he did. After a month he demanded to speak with the scholar again, impressed by the book he said he would grant patronage and that everyone in the realm should know about it, even if they weren’t able to read it. The book told the tales of his grandfather, Bernim the VI and the struggles with the Hansa and the Hohenzollerns. Inspired by it, he spent the rest of the year planning the downfall of the Hansa with his younger brother and his councilors. No one had seen Ota so enthusiastic like this after the war with Bremen and Gelre ended.

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On the 24th of May 1465, Bohemia declared war on Poland. After almost a month, the Bohemian ambassador at Stettin asked what was Ota’s stand on the war as he quickly shouted “Death to the murderers of my father!” and exited the room and prepared to march with his army towards Polish lands. Ota had an appetite for war and anything outside of it would just bore him.

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Within only a few months of Ota being away at war, the nobles that stayed home saw in this the chance to start taking back what was “theirs”. During this war, corruption elevated drastically and there was little the councilors could do without their Lord. They wrote him about some of the lords grabbing whatever they could from the peasants but he simply replayed that it was more important to avenge his father.
After a few days of replying, he fought the battle of Leczyca, against the Polish-Lithuanian army led by General Henrikas Gosevskis. It was a bloodbath for both sides but Pomeranians and Bohemians managed to stand their ground and buy time for the sieges to end.

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After knowing that Polish-Moldavian forces were laying waste to the countryside of Bohemia, he rushed to catch that army, but outnumbered Ota proved himself a great general, earning himself a very important victory in the war. An old sergeant of arms that served with his father before, fighting Mecklenburg, said that he was a young man with a brilliant mind for the battlefield but ten times more ruthless to his enemies. Ota was starting to make a name for himself, news of the battle even arrived at Lubeck with Statthalter Joseph Abendroth labeling Ota as a bloodthirsty savage that would meet his end soon with a sword in his chest. Months after that battle, Norway would lift the embargo, leaving the LAT, fearing to face such a combat avid foe.

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Months after there was the battle of Sandomierz, greatly outnumbered, Ota managed to stand his ground once again and push back the commonwealth army to Lithuania. The victory had been costly in lives and both sides were reaching their limits. Ota had been gravely wounded that day. His personal guard found him laying on the ground with several cuts on his chest and legs, his full plate armor wasn’t enough to stop so many blows. His horse was dead just a few meters away. Surrounding Ota’s body were half a dozen dead Lithuanians, most with a limb cut off and one without a head. Assumptions were made that was the work of his young and brave Lord. A few weeks after, his physicians were unable to seal the wounds that infected and lead to his premature death, Barnim that had been by his side since the start of the war promised that he would avenge him and their father and wouldn’t leave Poland without being victorious. His body was taken back to Stettin to bury him with his family. On his tombstone it reads: “I’ll avenge my father in the afterlife.” Ota died heirless, didn’t even married. His brother Bernim, however, had an illegitimate son with two years old, the council, fearing that he would also die in the war, made the young child the heir of Pomerania.

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By the end of July 1467 peace was made with Poland having to pay monetary compensations to the King of Bohemia. As much as Bernim would wish, he wasn’t even close to be the fighter his older brother was. He was calm, much more of a diplomat and didn’t strike and imposing figure. Pomerania had been left out in the cold with that peace. The army had been cut in half, much like the reserves. It would take years to rebuild, for now Pomerania was weak and at the mercy of the LAT. Bernim would have to be cautious if they were to prosper again.
 

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So this was played with the 1.5 patch. The first day I get spammed with messages with embargos ending, lol.

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Following the end of the war, Barnim wanted to consolidate his estates and friendships if he wanted to be prepared for the upcoming wars. Oldenburg was quickly made a vassal, providing some very welcomed income increase. Still Pomerania was in bad shape, their army needed to be brought back to their former glory.
The end of the war also brought a shift of the Lubeck Alliance of Trade. Brandenburg left and the Livonian Order joined. Although rather distant, their power on the Baltic could potentially disrupt the Danzig traders.
Kazimierz, still fearing the power growth of Bohemia and Pomerania, quickly allied the Hansa and Denmark, making the Baltic League to face off against the HRE to the west and the Russian principalities to the east. A few months after the league was formed, one of the most important merchants in Danzig defected to the Hansa with promises of even bigger riches. Unhappy with how much freedom of trade there was, and by how easy merchants could backstab their flags, Barnim tighten the trade laws, making Pomerania more similar to the merchant republics.

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On the third of May 1470, the Pomeranians would forever be united under one house. Bernim finished what his father had started and integrated Mecklenburg. Two great feasts were made in honor of his father Wartislaw, one in Rostock and another at Stettin to celebrate the union.
Since so many celebrations in the realm, some of the more greedy officials tried to use the distraction to fill their pockets. Word reached Barnim and he quickly fired them and banished them from Pomerania along with their families. Even though he wasn’t a fearsome leader in battle, when someone tried to steal from him he could react in the worst ways possible, in fact, the only reason they weren’t executed was because they were members of important noble families outside of Pomerania.

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August 1470 would turn out to be a year that would stay forever in the hearts and prayers of Pomeranian peasants. Their most gracious rules, Barnim XI, lord of the Pomeranians and rules of Danzig and Neumark would become Gods favorite child has the cardinals from the papacy would elect him controller of the Curia. There was no greater honor for any catholic in the world.

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With the renown of controlling the curia and some of the best diplomats in the HRE, Barnim became very famous, important and powerful ruler, capable of making others do what he pleased. He started even ambitioning being emperor although that would be just a mirage even in his wildest dreams.

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During this time, a polish noble of Poznan died without an heir and the brilliant diplomats backed by the cardinals of the curia declared that those lands should be given to the closest relative of them, even outside of Poland. The stubborn Kazimierz refused the cardinals proposal and kept the lands to himself. However, this gave Barnim a claim on Poznan because of the old marriage that his father had arranged before all the conflicts that the Jagiellon would bring with them.

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After Barnim XI being declared controller of the curia, he sought the most prestigious painter of the time to make a painting of him to capture his power and influence. This of course put Pomerania in debt, but with such a magnificent ruler, who would care about such trivialities?

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By late 1472 East Frisia allied Pomerania by fearing the Hansa expansion and the war of Denmark against Friesland. The alliance of course was consummated by a royal marriage between the two families.
Afterwards, and by continuous refusal of Kazimierz in giving Poznan, the cardinals and the Pope itself made the marriage between Pomerania and Poland null by failure to commit to the friendship by the house of Jagiellon in giving the rightful lands of the Gryf.
June 7th 1473, East Frisia became a vassal of the House Gryf. They were becoming a very powerful family within the Holy Roman Empire. Later that year Luneburg also became a vassal of Barnim XI.
During the great tournament of 74, a simple commoner managed to defeat all the nobles in jousting. All the noblemen cried out afterwards that he wasn’t worthy of even being in the tournament and that he should be disqualified and for a new tournament to be arranged with stricter rules. A month later, Barnim XI the pious, named Hermann Miercke, the winner, a knight of the Order of the Gryphon, giving him estates close to Stettin. Barnim developed a good friendship with this simple peasant which of course upset the entire nobility that started to declare him unworthy of being the suzerain of the Pomeranians. On the other hand, almost every commoner rejoiced in seeing him allow such an unthinkable thing, this started a division of the nobility within Pomerania. The traditionalists wanted the ancient noble families to govern the lands and not the aspiring commoners like Miercke, while the Gryfists supported the Gryf House and all their decisions.
Hermann Miercke soon became the general of the Pomeranian army as well as the second in command on the Order of the Gryphon and was eager to prove himself to Barnim on the battlefield.

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On the first days of January, Bohemia was forced to annul all treaties they had with Pomerania as the result of a war with the Hansa and Poland. A massive blow was struck to Barnim as he now saw himself without any big allies. Afterwards, Brandenburg was forced to annul the alliance with Bohemia. Barnim saw in this his opportunity to bring down the Hohenzollern to their knees in order to appear stronger to the outside nations now that he didn’t had Bohemia to back him in wars against the Hansa and Poland.
August 5th war was declared in order to subjugate the Hohenzollern. Sir Miercke marched the army to Berlin and quickly captured their exhausted army in a quick skirmish. Soon, all the Brandenburgian lands would be under siege.

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During this period there was also a boost in revenue. Many started to declare Barnim XI the second king of the empire, although he declined the title as only the emperor and the pope had the power to give such honors. Still many started to call him Barnim XI the pious ruler of the north.

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In 1476 the traditionalists sent a letter of Barnim, demanding their old privileges back, in many occasions these nobles demanded their powers back, even during the times of Wartislaw and Ota, every time they h ad been refused and this would be no different. Barnim wanted a centralized Pomerania in order to be able to survive against their growing enemies. Even Bohemia joined the list as months earlier they had been caught forging a claim at Neumark. They had become hostile, maybe by poisonous words from the Hansa or lies from the sieges of Brandenburg had spread, saying that Sir Hermann Miercke executed all the prisoners and was planning in not letting the cities surrender, rather he wanted them to starve to their deaths. It was unclear but now there were even more enemies and Barnim would need to act fast in order to secure another powerful ally.

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By late August the Hohenzollerns were forced to surrender and bend their knee to Barnim at Berlin.

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Later that year Saxe-Lauenburg would be annexed and the Hanseatic League would turn their true intentions by making a coalition against Pomerania. Barnim quickly answered the Hansa by allying himself with the Danish. The emperor however wasn’t too pleased as just an year earlier he fought a brutal war against them that ended with the Danish retreating but without giving compensations.
 

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During the summer of 78 there was an outbreak of influenza in Danzig. The entire nation was shocked to know of such misfortune but quickly the councilors of Barnim acted. They advised him that the best option was to just close the entire port and let them die. It was a dark year for Pomerania, not only almost all the money from the Baltic trade was lost but also hundreds, maybe thousands perished to the disease. Barnim declared national mourn over the ones that died and that everyone in the realm should pray for their souls and for salvation.

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The great regent, councilor and artist, Paul Rahl died at the 5th of September 1479 from natural causes. He served Pomerania the best he could. He was the tutor of both Ota and Barnim when their parents tragically died, helped uniting the Pomeranians while managing relations with both Poland and the Hansa. He was known and respected throughout the entirety of the Holy Roman Empire and his counseling would be sorely missed by Barnim the XI.

In 1482, the Danish publicly insulted Barnim, saying that he was just power hungry and didn’t care for the nobility. Being the diplomat that he was, he simply ignored the provocations from his allies (as he needed them) and told to all of his court that he was peacefully trying to unite northern Germany so that no more wars would have to be fought and all could prosper and live in peace. Furthermore he said that he had been chosen by God to bring peace to his lands and the bloody battles his brother fought made him see the beauty of live, that it had to be treasured and by having every noble claiming power and trying to take others power, peace would never be reached. Every diplomat on the court that day was so impressed by his pious words that they wrote to their master, saying how much of a benevolent ruler Barnim the IX was.

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The house von Egmond gave their lands to Barnim few weeks after his speech of peace, saying that they wanted to be a part of a united northern Germany. Now Pomerania was geographically divided in two and the desire to unite the two by land began.

During a long time, nothing really happened of important to Pomerania. It was a prosperous period of peace where Barnim tried to consolidate his lands. However in 1487 the traitorous Danish King Frederik I von Wittelsbach decided that it was time for their alliance to end, maybe he did not like how Barnim was uniting his vassals and forming a centralized north Germanic state or perhaps poisonous words from the Bourgogne or the Jagiellon. It was time for the Pomeranians to look elsewhere for more noble allies… Almost by the end of the year an alliance with Austria would be celebrated.

27th May 1488 would be forever in the memory of Barnim for the worst reasons. The first in line for the throne, Boguslaw, had died during a hunt. The entire nation wept the loss of a loved one. Barnim’s faith was shaken, how could his son died so tragically and at his prime? Granted he wasn’t a famous horseman or bowman but to see him taken away so soon was too much for him to bear. Barnim started to question the work of God but in time the entire matter faded from his mind as he tried his best to forget about it. He had been chosen by the cardinals of the curia itself, along with the pope he was the figure of Catholicism.
His second son was from another woman. Boguslaw mother had died giving birth to him, Barnim spent a long time mourning the loss of his wife. This woman was Danish in blood but it had been in Pomerania for more than ten years, still, after the alliance had been broke, Barnim had an hard time trusting his wife and always had her correspondence under watchful eyes.
The new heir’s name was also Boguslaw and was still very young, with only 5 years. Fearing another hunting accident, Barnim forbade him from ever hunting until he had made an heir and the penalty could even be the removal from the succession line.

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volksmarschall

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Well, at least you got a better heir out of the hunting accident! :p

Of course, I am never one for trying to deliberately kill off a bad ruler or heir, but when it happens through random events, I usually am not overcome with grief or sorrow...but then again, when a good heir bites the dust, I am not sorrowful, but more angry! Tis life! :(

Of course, sometimes I'm tempted when the offer to fall into the arms of a maid is available, and the heir, even with weak legitimacy, has amazing stats... the game theoretical that entails!
 

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Of course I was happy for that crappy heir to die :D but the ruler of the curia couldn't be like, "meeeeh!"

Little is worse than starting with Castile in 1444 with John II (1/1/2) and then Henry IV (0/0/0), especially if the latter lives for a long time! :confused: I always wish for an accidental death event or the pop up saying my heir has died naturally so I get back into the mood with at least a decent ruler forthcoming... but hey, it really didn't hurt them in the long run anyways, and it really won't stop anyone from doing it in game, it's just a nuisance to have to put up with poor rulers, especially when they ascend so young and rule forever!

Although, I'm sure your military will be happy with their next king!