• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

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


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

RhaegarTelcontarTargaryen

Major
23 Badges
Oct 30, 2015
759
524
www.last.fm
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Rome Gold
The Heirs of the King


Chapter index:
Prelude
Chapter I: The Heir of the King
Chapter II: The Will of God

Chapter III: The Sword of the Blessed Virgin



Welcome to my second AAR attempt. Let me remain a little bit mysterious for now, and see if you can guess what start date and which characters are appearing in this short prologue. The style will be mixed, with decent amount of pictures, as I like to mix narrative and history to create an interesting story. I will play with HIP mod, as well as my own personal submod. I will try to update once a week but I make no clear promises, since I am quite busy, but my love of CK2 and AAR's prevailed a bit and made me attempt another AAR.

P.S. In the end, if you wish to support me, you can donate on the link below. You are under no obligation to do so, this is entirely free project, and it is up to you to do it if you wish so. But if you do, it would be much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

RhaegarTelcontarTargaryen

Major
23 Badges
Oct 30, 2015
759
524
www.last.fm
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Rome Gold
Prelude


Two man were sitting in their saddles, mounted on their horses atop a small hill overlooking the town. Beneath them on the road people passed them by in columns hurrying towards the town. In the city, an even larger crowd of people was going to and fro. They looked on at the town and the people, watching as the people hurried. Some loaded crates, sacks, barrels of goods and even horses onto the ships. On the other side of the harbour, soldiers were coming of the ships, while men were unloading cargo from the newly arrived ships. Men upon men were walking towards town. Peasants armed with scythes, pitchforks or simply sharpened sticks. Other men with clubs, cudgel, poles and bows. Men dressed in finer clothes or liveries, worn over mail, hardened leather or other type of armour, armed with spears, pikes, war axes or swords. The city was bustling with activity, as soldiers, mercenaries, men at arms and peasants mingled with sailors, merchants, traders. Needles to say taverns and whorehouses were full and guards of the city had their hands full.The older of the two was quite old, his face wrinkled, his green eyes dark and his expression a joyless smirk. Had long hair, and bushy beard. Some of his hair was gone from the temples, but he still wore it long, although it was more grey than dark. The other was in his twenties, youthful and strong. His beard and hair were trimmed short and he had the same dark eyes. He turned towards the older men, his expression a mask, but his voice full of doubt. “Are you sure about it?”
“Yes, I am certain. Even through they tried to delay the spread of the news, it has been more than a month now. Your uncle is dead.”
“Do you wonder, was he given an entrance to the paradise, or is he screaming down in hell?”
“He is where god judged he deserves to be. And I will join him soon. My time comes now.”
“Don’t talk like that.”
“Why? Is it a lie, is it a sin? I am a man, and all men die. And I am old, very old. I won‘t live to see the end of this. But I am happy, happy for you, for your chance. Learn from my mistakes, don’t let it slip through your hands like I did. You are the last of us, the last living heir.”
“And us, what will become of us? You think god is going to cast us down into the fiery pits of hell, as traitors. Or are we going to earn our place among angels.”
“I guess I will find out soon enough. You are confident they will support you?”
“No, I am certainly not. Not all of them for sure. Some might, and probably will. Others will might us, most will stay hidden behind their walls and wait out to see who gains the upper hand. But I am their best option.”
“From what I heard, it seems not all of them think so. Don’t get too confident, or you will lose it.”
“No, they do not. But we might... persuade some of them.”
“A quick victory, that is what you need. The first one doesn’t have to be decisive one, but it will help you persuade some of them to join you.”
“Us. To join us, father.”
“I told you, I won’t live to see the end of it.”
The young one looked him with sadness in his eyes. He was a warlord, a commander, but he still loved his father. A man he didn’t even know for most of his life. “And so it begins.”
“No. It begun along time ago. Now it ends.”

***

The King sat on a makeshift throne, a large chair elevated upon some improvised platform made of crates and planks. He was going bald, his hair streaked with white, more grey than dark brown. He was sobbing into his own hands, his face as pale as death, and his eyes full of tears. He looked around as if not understanding what had just happened, as if searching for an exit, before collapsing into his own hands with grief again. He sobbed and cursed as he looked towards the treacherous sea. “Who is responsible for this. I will have his head.”
“Sire… none survived, not a single soul. They all perished. May the god have mercy on their souls.”
“All of them?”
“One man survived, but he was a lowly worker, a butcher or a cook. Not one of importance.”
“And, what did he say?”
“What we mostly knew already, my lord. It was dark, the water was cold. We are not sure what exactly happened, but the reports suggest that they had significant quantities of wine, mead and ale abroad. There was a strong thud and a large crack, and ship begun tilting to one side. Judging by what he said, they must have struck the rock, and ship begun taking water fast, tilting to one side, before it sunk. Those few who didn’t go down with it, drowned or froze.”
The old king stared blankly, his eyes red and filled with tears.

***

“He is dead your highness. Murdered. They killed him inside the church, of all places. We know who was behind the foul deed.”
“I know who is behind it. They never hid their enmity towards him. They must be punished. Such acts can not go unpunished, especially not when done in such a holy place.”
“They will be, my lord, and righteously so. At least the ones who live. Some of the men responsible for the execution escaped, but the conspirators behind the deed were largely caught. When the news spread, an angry mob of both noble and common origin gathered. They besieged their castle, breached parts of it and killed anyone they could laid their hands on.”
“That leaves only a small matter of leaving the entire county without an heir. He died childless.”
A woman, dressed in fine, elegant gown made of satin and silk interrupted.
“You could consider my brother, he would be... most grateful.”
“I am sure he would, just as the Emperor would look on it with favour and joy, I suppose.”
“You could give it to your brother.”
“No, that will never do. Every count, baron and duke in the realm would view it as a further attempt of the crown to grab all the power. But I can’t give it to Foulques either, it would make him too powerful, as it would any other.”
“There are members of the family’s junior branch.”
“Yes there are. All sworn to serve the Emperor. If I can’t give the lands to her brother, I can give it to them even less. But we are on the right path here. There are, of course those, whose descend from the old count, and who have his blood in their veins. And I am sure the Clever King would be most, unsatisfied, if all that power came into his hand.”
“But if he was to become the king, he would hold all the coast…”
“If he was to become the king, he would have to return those lands, or swear fealty to the crown and bend the knee, since those lands are rightfully ours.”
“I am sure the Emperor would agree with that.”
“The devil may take the Emperor, just as he did the last one. When that one died, he left a widow, but not an heir. The empire will not intervene, for now. Or so we hope.”

***

The king looked old. In the last few years he aged rapidly, and looked old even beyond his years. He was balding, but still wore a hair and beard long. They were more grey than brown, but his eyes were as bright, green and clever as they ever wear. But there was a deep sadness on his face, and in his eyes. “My lord, we received a message from her. She is to be expected soon to arrive. She currently resides on the coast in your cousin’s holdings. She will wait for a fair and clear sky to cross the sea.”
“It seems to me, that I have lost an alliance, but gained an heir.”

 
Last edited:

Nikolai

Basileus Romaion
71 Badges
Jun 17, 2001
19.739
1.818
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
Quite an intriguing start. :)
 

RhaegarTelcontarTargaryen

Major
23 Badges
Oct 30, 2015
759
524
www.last.fm
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Rome Gold
Chapter I: The Heir of the King

They say the family is everything. But when the family is large and dysfunctional, many obstacles and problems arise.


History do love to repeat itself, it seems. Six decades ago, the fate of Kingdom of England was at a crossroad. The old king, Edward the Confessor died without a legitimate heir. Various claimants fought for the throne, but between Edgar Atheling, King Svein of Denmark, Harald Hardråde of Norway and Halord Godwinson, William, Duke of Normandy emerged victorious. The story of Stamford Bridge and Hastings had become legend by now. But his rule was plagued by several unsuccessful rebellions and clashes with other claimants, from Edgard from House of Wessex to King Svein of Denmark, but William managed to defeat them all. But what William gained, now his youngest son stood to lose. Henry was crowned as King of England in 1100. Henry was a scholar, educated in Latin and arts, and in his marriage to Mathilda of Scotland he united the blood of old dynasties of Wessex and Normandie.


In his rule, Henry was ruthless, defeading his oldest brother Robert Curthose and imprisoning him for more than two decades. However, England once again stood at the brink of chaos and war. In 1120, William Adelin, the only legitimate son of Henry died in the White Ship disaster. Coincidence or fate, the disaster happened at the same place at Barfleur of the coast of Normandy, from where William begun his conquest of England some sixty years ago. Conquerors oldest son Robert, was overlooked even by his own father, and was granted Duchy of Normandy as a compensation, a fief he lost after his squabble with his brothers, first William Rufus and then Henry. After he returned from the First Crusade, Robert was defeated by Henry at Battle of Tinchebray in 1106, and spend the rest of his years as prisoner. Henry had many sons and daughters, but most of them were born out of the wedlock. Along with his only legitimate son and heir William, he lost another son and daughter when the White Ship sunk.


Through their mother, wife of William the Conqueror, both Robert and Henry had the blood of noble Flemish house de Flanders, whose members ruled the county of Flanders for centuries. However, in 1127 Karl Estridssen, count of Flanders, was killed by conspirators he angered with his just policies during the famine. Of all the places he was killed in a church. The conspirators were soon caught, tortured and killed. But that enabled King Louis of France, to give the county of Flanders to William Clito. William was the only legitimate son of Robert Curthose, making him the Grandson of William the Conqueror, and a natural heir to the throne of England. However, being the son of Robert, since his birth he was att odds with his uncle, and was dismissed as a possible heir. Shrewd politicians as he was, Henry at first married his daughter Matilda to Henrich, Emperor of the Romans* in an attempt to counter the French threat. The marriage was childless and Heinrich died in 1125. At that point Henry decided to appoint his legitimate daughter Matilda as his heir, and forced English nobility to swear fealty to her, and that they will accept her as his rightful heir. Matilda‘s second marriage was to Geoffrey the Handsome Plantagenet, an illegitimate son of Duc Foulques of Anjou. What Henry failed to take seriously enough into account, was the fact that there was another claimant to the throne of England, or two to be more precise. Theobald Count of Champagne, and his younger brother Stephen de Blois, were both grandsons of the Conqueror, through his daughter Princess Adele.


Thus the stage was set for a crisis that will shook the foundations of the Kingdom of England, maybe even more strongly than that of 1066. In an attempt to pacify both Robert and his son William, Henry released Robert from his captivity, after two decades, and sent him as gesture of peace and goodwill to his son William to Flanders.* William grew up with support many of Henry's enemies, including Robert de Belleme and King Louis of France, and was the point of two failed rebellions against Henry in 1118 and 1123.


The game start date was 2nd March 1127, the date when William Clito is appointed Duke of Flanders. Just for the sake of clarification, some of the titles that are duchies in game, are called counties, as they were historically, hence the County of Flanders, and not the Duchy.

*This is the point where AAR starts to diverge from history. In reality, William had trouble ruling the Flanders, and died in fight against pretender to the Flemish titles in 1128. This pretender, Thierry of Alsace, exists in-game, and was historically next ruler of Flanders after William died and a member of the Second Crusade. But in game he is landless. I wanted to try to trigger him to start an adventure for the title of Flanders but couldn't do it, so I give up. In our timeline, William died in 1128 and Robert Curthose lived as his brothers "guest", outliving his son and dying a prisoner in 1134, a year before his brother Henry died in 1135.

I also married Henry's daughter Matilda to Geoffrey the Handsome, their marriage historically came few years later, but I wanted to make it a bit more close to history, and also having Plantagenet dynasty around is kinda badass. Let's see what AI can do with them.

Oh and if it wasn't obvious so far, I am playing as William Clito, Duke of Flanders and a true heir to the Kingdom of England.:cool:

 
Last edited:

High King Peredain

First Lieutenant
30 Badges
Nov 17, 2017
225
49
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
So the Anarchy timeline. Something in the back of my mind told me as much when I read the first post; what I didn't know was which character you decided to play as.

I assumed it was a claimant...more like a bastard of Henry Beauclerc. But Clito himself? Now that will be interesting.
 

RhaegarTelcontarTargaryen

Major
23 Badges
Oct 30, 2015
759
524
www.last.fm
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Rome Gold
Quite an intriguing start. :)
Thank you, I wanted to start with a little bit of suspense.

So the Anarchy timeline. Something in the back of my mind told me as much when I read the first post; what I didn't know was which character you decided to play as.

I assumed it was a claimant...more like a bastard of Henry Beauclerc. But Clito himself? Now that will be interesting.
Thanks for joining in. I always found bloodlines and historical characters that have a good deal of "What if" around them. At first I was considering doing William 1066 start, but somehow that was too easy, this is a bit of a challenge I think.
 

Nikolai

Basileus Romaion
71 Badges
Jun 17, 2001
19.739
1.818
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
Clito? What kind of name is that? :p I know little of this time in history, so this will be interesting. :)
 

RhaegarTelcontarTargaryen

Major
23 Badges
Oct 30, 2015
759
524
www.last.fm
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Rome Gold
Chapter II: The Will of God

The huge, spacious tavern was emptied of its usual guests. Instead the cream of the nobility of Flandria took it as its quarters. Not nearly enough places for everyone, so lesser nobles had to look for other taverns, inns and places they could find, but the most important ones had their quarters here. The war council was held in the large room on the floor, that usually accommodated drunken guests of more dignified birth or the ones with purses and pockets filled with gold. William, the Young Comte de Flanders, sat at the table, looking down on some maps and ledgers presented at his request.

“William (note: William speaking to another William, Count of Yperen of the House of Flanders), how many men did we muster?”
“A bit over fifty five hundreds. Sir.”
“That much. Not even a full six thousand?”
“Maybe if we had another week or two, we could muster up a few from some of the more remote villiages and…”
“Time, Comte William, is one of the things we, sadly, do not have. Just like gold or men, it seems. I was promised a full seven thousand. It seems I can not get even that. Well, not the first promise that was given to me, only to be broken.”
“Sir, if you mean to imply…”
“I don’t mean anything, William. You are in charge of the recruitment and forces here. “ The older William begun to rose in protest, but the icy cold stare from the young count froze him in place midway through the motion.
”Sit down, no need to get all fussed and angry. I never believe in promises anyway. Five and a half thousand will do just as good as seven. Or so we should all pray. Make sure they are at least equipped, taken care of and well supplied.” He turned towards an old, balding man who sat on the opposite side of the table.


„Guillaume, I assume you have no good news for me? The church was paid off at least?“
„Yes, my lord. Our coffers are not empty, we could afford to hire a mercenary company.“
„And why would I do that, my dear comte?“
He looked at young William with a sense of confusion on his face. One comparable to a wild animal when it senses a trap and realizes there is no way out.
„Sir.. King.. Henry I mean.. we.. they.. outnumbered.. we lack numbers…“
His voice silently faded to a whisper, as he looked with confusion. Man, very old man, approached the table. He had a manner of a warrior around him, still wore armour and sword at his belt. But the years were plain to see for all on him, he walked on his own, but his steps were slow, his hair, beard and mustache white.. he still had a keen eye, and his mind was plainly not affected by his years, but his body certainly was.

“Three to one. My brother outnumbers us three to one, at least that is the rough estimate. If all the lords support Henry. If they all gather in time. If they all decide to fight. A lot of “ifs“ for us give up so easily, don’t you think? We should not concern ourselves with numbers“
”Just as you didn’t more than twenty years ago?” A huge man, standing at two meters of height spoke, as he approached the huge table. If look could kill, the stare that white bearded man gave him would take the last breath of his on the very spot.
“You insolent whoreson. I was fighting battles while you were still pissing yourself on your mother’s tit.”
“Yes, that you did. You also lost quite a few of them if I remember my history. No offence to you or your son, but it seems to me that being outnumbered in such a fashion means we are forced to defend from the very start, and hoping that some of the earls and barons will come to our cause is as futile as wishing there was fifty thousand of us more. Yes some of them might, but not all. Not nearly enough.”
William barely suppressed his laughter, before he stood up. “Silence. My honourable Baron Gerrard, we’re not here to argue, and I am not my father. But he is right, my father did command troops before any of us was even born. And he will do so again. He might not be able to lead the charge, but it seems to me he has enough wits left with him to command a detachment.” He turned towards Rayner, baron of Dendermonde. ”Are the ships ready, provisioned and loaded with our baggage?”
“Yes, Sir. Pardon me for asking, but do you plan to spend winter in England? Yet, why else spend so much money on so many provisions, there are enough to last us a year. It could be dangerous, to leave Flanders almost undefended, as your father could tell you from his own experience. Furthermore to winter in the middle enemy territory?”
“We are not leaving Flanders undefended, there is more than in enough garrison troops. No doubt that was what my father was thinking twenty years ago I am sure. My wife will act as a regent in my stead, while we are away. She is pregnant, and sadly I will have to leave her behind, she is no state to travel. She will manage enough, with your help, to keep the realm safe. Besides, what makes you think we will be outnumbered by the enemy.” He said with an amused smirk on his face.


“So, we will hire mercenaries then? Should I send a word?” The old senechal Guillaume spoke.
“But Henry will surely know we are coming. You can’t hide six thousand troops and hundred ships.” Old William broke in..
“He will know. And he might muster his troops. He might even wait for us at London, or Winchester, or probably some-place near Canterbury, that is the most convenient point for us to land. He will wait for us, and he will be in the wrong place. Because we’re not going to England.”
The silence was deafening. Everybody stared at William. His father Robert Curthose turned to him, with a sad smile on his lips. “So, Normandy then, our home. But why the ships, we…”
“We’re not going to Normandy either. We will need those ships, and badly. All of them. The pope has called for a crusade. We are going to Aegyptus.”

The shock on everyone’s face was almost comical. “The envoy you sent to pope two years ago.” Bishop Sayer spoke for the first time. “I thought you were requesting papal support to take England.”

Old Robert stared at his son in disbelief. “No, no. That is how I lost Normandy. You must not do it.”
“Our fate is in the hand of our lord, father. We shall have what god grants us. And why should he deny us what is our right, my right, if I help spread his light to the dark corners of the world, where the heathens still dwell? I desire not to offend you, but I am not you, and Flanders is not Normandy. Perhaps I have learned a thing or two from your mistake. We lack the numbers to attack Henry. We lack the funds to raise an army. We lack the Papal support, your father William had when he took England. We can obtain all of that, and much more on a crusade, but only if we win. You were there thirty years ago, you know it yourself. If I had the wealth of Badouin or prestige of Bohemond, we wouldn’t have to worry about numbers, every unemployed soldier, mercenary or knight would come to fight for us. Be it for the hope of heavenly salvation, or for more.. earthly reasons.”

He turned towards the table slowly looking at every person present in the room, staring them in the eye, be it count, baron, bishop, mayor, guardsman, soldier or servant alike. He slowly pulled his sword and drove his point into the wooden plank on the floor.
“DEUS VULT!”

 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

High King Peredain

First Lieutenant
30 Badges
Nov 17, 2017
225
49
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
An excellent diversion. One would have thought England was the target given the people involved and their history, but Egypt shall prove fun for wealth and prestige.

Clito is a clever lad. Can use those funds to invade England when things come to a head. Stephen and Maude will find a new challenger approaching!
 

RhaegarTelcontarTargaryen

Major
23 Badges
Oct 30, 2015
759
524
www.last.fm
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Rome Gold
Chapter III: The Sword of the Blessed Virgin

The Second Crusade, or the Norman Crusade, as it was later called was declared in September of the year of our Lord 1128. The army of William Clito, Count of Flanders was one of the frist to arrive in the holy land. Crusaders were not organized, and were largely left to their own devices on how they will arrive to Egypt. Neighbouring Kingdom of Jerusalem, although technically not a participant of the crusade, offered substantial help, by providing either harbours or land routs to various crusading armies on their way to Egypt. Jerusalem was formed after the first crusade, and was embroiled in wars with its neighboring Muslim states ever since. In the last few years, they were embroiled in wars upon their northern borders, around Edessa, Antioch and Cilicia, mostly against various Turkish rulers. The Great Seljuq Empire was crumbling, and many independent and semi-autonomous begs ruled various lands bordering the crusader states, united under Jerusalem‘s supremacy.

Egypt, or Misr as Saracens called it, was ruled by the al-Fatimi dynasty, descendants of Muhammad by his daughter Fatima. However, Saracens were not united. Fatimid caliphate, and their power base in Egypt, belonged to the Isma‘ili branch of Islam. Similar to the great schism that left Christianity divided, this divide left Muslims divided, and left Fatimids isolated in their fight against the crusaders. Furthermore the majority of population did not share the faith of their lords but were Sunni, and there was a large Coptic minority among the population. This left Fatimids isolated, and even though Crusaders were far from their lands, they had complete naval supremacy. This combined with the neighboring Kingdom of Jerusalem, enabled them to keep their supply routes open, and operate successfully in the hostile land under harsh conditions. Fatimid armies tried to isolate and overwhelm crusaders before they were able to form a bridgehead and unite their armies, as they were scattered each arriving with their own fleet, or travelling through the Roman Empire and Jerusalem to Egypt. However, William of Flanders and Onesto of Ravenna managed to unite their forces, along with few other lesser lords, and form a united army, along the coast in the thin strip of fertile lands of Nile delta. This left Fatimid armies isolated on the coast north of Nagev desert. Khalif al-Amir hoped to intercept and ambush crusaders as they came from the lands belonging to the Jerusalem, but William overruled his father’s advice to go first to Jerusalem, and landed his troops directly in the enemy territory close to the Nile river. Other crusaders soon followed, and that left Fatimid army outnumbered, stricken by lack of provision and disease, in the mostly arid and deserted land, stuck between crusader forces who came by land through Jerusalem, and the ones which landed along the coast.

The first fortress to fall was Damietta, or Dumyāṭ after a brief siege of few weeks.. Crusaders split their forces in two, one going from Damietta, towards Alexandria and taking cities, ports and fortresses along the coast, the other taking fortifications on Sinai. William was at the forefront, as he led the one that took Damietta, Rosetta and Alexandria, and then turned south, taking the route along the Nile river.

The next three years were mostly spend besieging strongholds, starving and thirsting out various Muslim garrisons left behind. Knowing that he is outnumbered two to one, and having two crusader armies operating in his lands, ready to join forces at first chance of large battle, left Khalif desperate. Fatimids tried to employ hit and run tactics, ambushing smaller crusader groups, raiding unprotected lands belonging to the Jerusalem, and hiding deep in the Nagev desert, but it meant little difference. By 1031 Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, Rosetta, Asyut and Kulzum were all under Crusader control and Count William was considered an undisputed leader of the Crusade. By the time the peace treaty was signed, he was considered a here of Christendom, a Lion of the East, whose fame matched, if not surpassed, that of Bohemond of Antioch, Baldwin of Jerusalem and Raymond of Tripoli. However, not everything was idyllic, neither for the Crusaders, nor for the William…
The Crusader States in 1131, not the independent, reduced the one county County of Edessa

Shortly before the crusade ended, and the Saracens accepted second humiliating defeat at the hands of Christian armies in three decades, William received news that the crusading army, that was operating in Sinai, has crossed into Egypt, with intention of facing him, and everyone who stood by his side in battle. Given the numerous members of the crusade, we can not be sure who sent warning to William, as by this time he was immensely popular and regarded as a champion of Christ. William was shocked at this news, especially given that one of the leaders of the second army was the pope himself. Pope Honorious the Second died in June 1129, in the first few months of the crusade, and was succeeded by Ioannes the ninth. Ioannes was a man of little skill in war or diplomacy, but was embroiled in numerous intrigues, through which he sought to increase the power of the papal state. As many popes before him, he was ever at odds with both the German Emperor, and the Norman lords of Sicily, Apulia and Calabria. Upon hearing this, William sent an envoy to the Pope, but intermediately begun preparations to leave the ongoing conquest of Cairo which was near it’s end at that point, and retreaded towards Alexandria, intending to board the ships and leave immediately.

We must now, take a look at the situation in Europe which led to this situation. Louis the Fat, the King of France, desired to retrieve control of the lands French crown once laid claim on, in Counties of Provence, Bearn and Barcelona. His first war against Count of Provance and Barcelona was victorious. In an effort to pay off his debts, he ordered expulsion of the Jews from all the France. But then Louis marched on Béarn, intent on wrestling control of it from the Crown of Aragon. This however, enraged the Pope, since the King of Aragon had promised his support to the Crusade and was the only King of Europe who embarked on a Crusade. Alfonso of Aragon, had to turn back his forces back, without ever laing his eyes upon the Egypt or the Holy Land. His troops were decimated in the battle fought for control of the pass in the Pyrenees mountains. Louis managed to take control of Béarn, but the pope was enraged, and it took all the diplomatic skill Louis could muster to avoid excommunication. However, at this point, citing Louis’s disastrous behaviour, and wishing to gain favour with the Pope, the King of England declared war on Louis.

Duke Richard de Claire, Earl of Deheubarth was one of the commanders of the crusader army, and a close ally of the Pope. Thus, as a subject of the King of England, he was at war with the King of France, and any of his subjects. Wanting to prevent the possibility of Egypt coming under direct control of William Clito, who as a Comte de Flanders was a subject of a King of France, as well as Louis gaining any prestige or glory from the Crusade, they agreed it was necessary to force William to return to Europe. As the second crusader army approached Cairo, and the diplomatic envoys were exchanged.

William learned of the situation in Europe from the envoys, and agreed terms with the Pope. At the same time, the peace with the Fatimids was concluded. William was granted the spoils of war, as the one who contributed most to the victory. He relinquished any personal claim or ambition to the titles in Egypt, and agreed to return to Europe. In exchange, he was celebrated as the greatest knight of Christendom, and given large share of the spoils of war. The Kingdom of Egypt was granted to the relative of William, who was also a distant relative of the King Henry of England, and as such acceptable to the Pope, but held no lands in Europe. Robert ‘the Holy’ of Egypt, was the second son of count William of Eu, and the younger brother to the current Count of Eu, Henry. Given that Henry already had two legitimate sons, and grandchildren as well, he was unlikely to inherit the county. Furthermore, Robert was 53 years old when he took the throne of Egypt.


What pope Ioannes didn’t not know, but what we can conclude from the writings and letters both William, and his father Robert Curthose wrote at the time, was that William did not have the slightest attention of holding the lands, or staying in Egypt in the first place. One might assume that this was the exact gambit that William had hoped for, coming from the crusade like a hero of the entire Christendom, dubbed “The Sword of the Blessed Virgin” by the pope himself. However, the Pope too, was a skilled manipulator. He made William swear an oath that he will not raise arms, lead troops or in any way help Louis the Fat, in his fight against the King of England. William promised, judging that after the war is over, he will be free to invade England, and take the throne. The promise only required him to stay out of the fight, for the duration of the current war against his liege lord, Louis of France. The agreement, actually did left a stain on Williams reputation, as some started believing that he was a coward, since he didn't participate in any great battle, only sieges, during the crusade, and he withdrew and submitted to the papal will at the first sign of conflict. In truth this is a matter of debate, given that for all we know, William never intended to stay long in Egypt, and only used Crusade to further his agenda in Europe.


The Pope is quite the wicked one...cruel, craven, envious, shy, zealous..

After the formalities were done, and William was granted a special sword by the pope, he turned to Pope Ioannes.
“You are aware, that your oath bounds me only while you are alive, may you live long, do not misinterpret my words, and for the duration of the current conflict, and that once that is settled, I am free to wage war on my uncle Henry?”
“Your uncle Henry?” The pope had a quizzical expression on his face. Both William, and his now very old and ailing father, Robert Curthose turned towards the Pope.
Ioannes smiled a wicked grin. “It doesn’t matter. You are right, the oath only bounds you for the duration of the current war. Louis must be given a stern lesson. But I thought you heard the news by now.” His grin grew even more wicked, if that was even possible. “Your uncle is dead. King Henry died, more than twelve months ago, few months after I left the Rome. King Stephen rules in England now.”








Well, there was this strange bug. When Stephen rose to the throne of England, his subject led one crusader army. The other one was led by me. I actually had to reload, because at one point one crusader army attacked and annihiliated the other. Its a definite bug, and it was caused by Stephen claiming the throne, deposing Mathilda, and declaring war of France, to claim the counties for which he inherited claims from his father. So I decided to somehow incorporate it into the game events.
Oh and yes, I never intended to claim the land in Egypt, I had the choice of course, but decided to let the pope decide, and since I was the one with highest score Pope decided to go with my benefactor.


P.S. In the end, if you wish to support me, you can donate on the link below. You are under no obligation to do so, this is entirely free project, and it is up to you to do it if you wish so. But if you do, it would be much appreciated.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: