Prologue: Nothing to see here

alscon

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Prologue - Nothing to see here

Welcome! You've made your way here, enjoyed the short stop at my torture chamber – wonderful place, isn't it – and now you are here. In the future centre of civilization! Oh, don't be overwhelmed. No need to be, actually. As for now...

ZkWIEo3.jpg

Strassburg isn't exactly the City of the World's Desire. But just you wait! Give us a few centuries, and we'll be there.

Well, not as the capital of an empire, of course. We'll leave that in the hands of beloved Charlemagne's descendants. They are certainly perfectly suited for that. Can't imagine a reason why they wouldn't be. But every ruler is only as good as the advice whispered into his ears, isn't he? And this advice – it will come from us, from House Etichonen!

Speaking of which – I haven't introduced myself. I am Count Eberhard, from this proud dynasty. Even though I'm not it's head... we'll get to that later. Describing myself in two words? Well, obviously I am a 'genius visionary'! After all, I've already built countless things, including the torture chamber! It's a magnificent place, full of happy memories.

in5qvW3.jpg

… don't listen to the slanderers who call me that.
(I'm a wrathful sadist, they say! Though they can't help but admire my architectural knowledge, at least.)

To achieve my goal, I will need to make good use of my resources. Gain strength within Lotharingia, build a strong base, then I can think further. Or at least my successors can. Because right now, the best way to strengthen the house would be for me... to die.

Qzvog1R.jpg

You see, my neighbour Liutfried of Sundgau is my heir. He'll probably have to continue my work. If he hasn't made a dumb mistake before! A 'treacherous absolver' – more slander, I'm sure!

...

...

...

mfBXhCm.jpg

… actually, there's a lot of work ahead. I'll talk to him, I'm sure he'll listen to my wonderful plan, perfectly suited to make us the foremost dynasty of the world.

eVfssrv.jpg




And this here is my beloved liege.

obxniO6.jpg

… okay, 'beloved' is not the right word. It may be better if we stay out of each other's way. But he's a Karling and thus the rightful ruler! And as, for whatever obscure reason, everybody seems to hate me, we'll have to employ whatever measures necessary to keep him on his throne.


Kriemhild!

Yes, my liege?

Can you just... drop to a knee, first? Proper etiquette, my girl.

YWLrE4f.jpg

I can stretch people (though they don't like it), but not compress them. With my new spymaster, I've thought about it. Sometimes. Well, instead of compression I could always cut off her feet and part of her legs.

She wouldn't like it though. (And perhaps not survive, too.) Angering my spymaster – one of the few people who don't hate me, to boot – may not be a wise decision, though. Even if Liutfried would inherit my titles, I do like living. Most people do. She's competent enough, so I can live with her being taller than me.

7hFA3KF.jpg

She and Alois are literally the only ones with a positive opinion of me. Guess that being a 'treacherous villain' means you have a bad reputation.

I heard whispers that Lothaire's wife Teutberga is barren – is that true?

Considering that you hear it from me, my liege, I have no reason to doubt that...

Oh right. Anything else I need to know from court?

I haven't even returned snooping yet.

Silly me. If you think too much of the future, it starts being now. Don't you agree?

If you say so, my lord.

Either way. It would be safer for us if Lothaire had more children - one never knows how quickly the four of them can disappear! So find contacts in his court, and get rid of Teutberga for me.

Vyi6owy.jpg


Wha... the queen? I don't think you'll find many people willing to aid you, my liege.

Why not? She's just some stubborn pig. Doesn't even like her husband. Bet it's mutual, considering she's barren.

Don't you have no children too, my lord?

Different matter entirely! I never married!​

Suddenly, putting her on the stretcher becomes an appealing prospect after all.

Forgive me, Your Grace!

Very well.​
After all, I need her.
So, what's the problem?

My lord, well, how to put it... people can't understand your brilliance. Nobody wants to work with you. And besides... some are terrified of the queen.

Terrified? Ha! They should fear me!

They do, my lord. Just less than her.

RRlJ664.jpg


Hm. Someone else then. Count Meginhard. He's with Liutfried in his silly little independence faction. Without him, Liutfried won't do anything dumb. Hopefully.”

As you wish, my liege.”

19A3NyB.jpg

If he's a righteous antagonist, then it's surely also righteous to make him disappear, isn't it?

Well, it doesn't look like I can do much for Lothaire right now. Save for maybe getting rid of one pest for him, though it will take time. Then again, loathe as I am to admit it, Kriemhild had a point.

Not hers, of course. I had no children for 52 years, I won't start getting any now! Not when my brilliant plan would be endangered by it! No, Liutfried will inherit my lands. Still, there are benefits to having a wife. Politically and... *ahem* domestically.

Well, I had my chancellor prepare a list of possible brides. And there are some great prospects available!

I mean, just look at Adriana! An enrapturing beauty, and a personality comparable to mine! An excellent match!

jThS5Zd.jpg

… if I was at least thirty years younger. And without my plan. Sweet Adriana, I am sorry. As an official reason, you are just some lowborn Vlach Orthodox, so our marriage will never take place. Also, it is rumoured she's a lesbian....


I could also go for a complementary personality. Judith would be perfect for that. Virtuous, smart... A perfect wife for any noble!

r4DrEia.jpg

If she wasn't lowborn, that is. Oh, and I can't imagine coping with all that nagging when I go torture someone again. We'd hardly stand each other.


Well, if good matches aren't a good idea, then how about Elaiodora? Few people can listen to her lisping, she's incompetent, and she's a 'callous antagonist'!

0CNOi48.jpg

Add to that that she's both a Greek Orthodox and lowborn, and she's not exactly wife material. Perhaps she could scare away petitioning peasants though...


Then again, I think I'll make another choice. Euphrosyne. Another lowborn Greek Orthodox, but what can I say? I like the exotic, and there aren't as many noblewomen available as I'd like. More importantly, she's sociable, knows her place, and is barren.

zuN45Yb.jpg

No chance for my plan to go wrong if I can't have any children.


And so, now that all is ready to go, it is time to put it into action. Centuries from now, people will talk about Count Eberhard, the man whose incredible vision made possible what they see today!






* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


So... with the release of CK III and my plans to take my Gothic beast-hunters to Stellaris on the shelf for now, I had an itch to write another AAR. The tone of it will be more light-hearted this time, as we'll see how Eberhard's plan is put into motion. As he said, my goal is to do whatever I can to always keep a Karling liege (I know - for many, that's evil in itself, so it's good that Eberhard's a treacherous villain), and be on his council whenever possible. He may become nothing but a powerless puppet, or he can cross my plans – who knows?

Either way, not having much knowledge of CK III at first will definitely help in making things more interesting at the start, though that may be counter-balanced a bit by being a CK II veteran. Besides, there are likely bugs which will perhaps interfere with the plans. So far, I haven't even unpaused yet.

What I can say with certainty is that I'm happy to have picked Eberhard (well-placed in the centre of Karling Europe) instead of an Irishman. For nostalgia's sake, I started CK III with the ua Cheinnselaig dynasty. And thanks to Tanistry, it turned into just the same glorious mess as my first CK II game, barely holding together the kingdom of Ireland. This time, I may not have gotten a Swedish idiot as king, but I have learned to avoid Tanistry like the plague for now. Hopefully the Etichonen are going to have some colourful characters in the course of this story. (For the Karlings, that's par of the course, so I have complete faith that they do not disappoint.)

While the intro is screenshot-heavy, the number in the actual chapters will likely be reduced in the future. Though I'll take it slow at first - for one so that Eberhard won't simply vanish having done nothing (which he'll likely do compared to his successors – at least I hope!), secondly to get used to CK III's way of things.

Like any other authAAR, comments are very much appreciated! Nothing better than some feedback to know if you are on the right path or should make some tweaks, write some boring stuff or have caused at least a small chuckle. Keeps an authAAr going too, so comment away on any AAR you follow! ;)
 
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Nikolai

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As he said, my goal is to do whatever I can to always keep a Karling liege (I know - for many, that's evil in itself, so it's good that Eberhard's a treacherous villain), and be on his council whenever possible. He may become nothing but a powerless puppet, or he can cross my plans – who knows?
Well, what can I say. That is clearly a unique goal. :D
 
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stnylan

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Well someone has to have hobbies.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Another AAR trying to inject light into the sick world of ck3. Good, good.
 
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Twighlight Array 17

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Very unique premise for an AAR, trying to rule from behind the scenes as a slimy adviser. My only piece of advice would be to include quotation marks and say who is talking during the dialogue segments, otherwise it will be hard to follow who's saying what.
 
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HistoryDude

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This sounds great... and it's not like the Karlings will have any actual power.

Also, why are there so many lowborn Greek Orthodox women in your court? Was there a mass exodus of Greeks or something?
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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This sounds great... and it's not like the Karlings will have any actual power.

Also, why are there so many lowborn Greek Orthodox women in your court? Was there a mass exodus of Greeks or something?

Maybe there is some sort of type that moves to different courts in the same vague area. In my game there's not just Norwegians in the realm but holding land. To be fair, there was a large viking presence in Ireland in the 11th century but where they keep coming from is anyone's guess.
 
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alscon

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Well, what can I say. That is clearly a unique goal. :D
I had plenty of fun in CK II with campaigns in which I saw my dynasty as the sword of the papacy and conquered vast swathes of land, mostly from heathens, while appointing counts from prominent families.
That inspired me to keep a dynasty in charge instead. And the Karlings are best placed for that simply due to their numbers, even though I am fairly sure I will have to cleanse the throne of vile pretenders many times ;).

Well someone has to have hobbies.
And one shouldn't judge anyone for his hobbies.

Another AAR trying to inject light into the sick world of ck3. Good, good.
I don't know if "keep a Karling on the throne" would qualify as bringing light into the CK world, though :p.

Very unique premise for an AAR, trying to rule from behind the scenes as a slimy adviser. My only piece of advice would be to include quotation marks and say who is talking during the dialogue segments, otherwise it will be hard to follow who's saying what.
Who says "slimy"? Only vile slanderers! And who knows, the house may perhaps someday bring forth a virtuous person (even if it's hard to believe with this charming start) who does this all out of a sense of duty?

It was a conscious decision to experiment with a format like that, but I can see that it may be confusing. I'll strike some middle ground next time to see if it works better :).

For some reason I like the sense of humor! Also in my saves I am more of a Paladin than I am in real life...
Good to read :). And isn't it often a change between extremes - one time a paladin, then a satanistic incestuous impaler?

I love the first entry. Will follow along.
Glad to have you on board.

This sounds great... and it's not like the Karlings will have any actual power.

Also, why are there so many lowborn Greek Orthodox women in your court? Was there a mass exodus of Greeks or something?
That depends. If my plan works, then yes. But there are plenty of obstacles in the way (succession comes to mind, even if it's useful in Eberhard's case). And Karlings are unpredictable. I fully expect having to replace a king who inherited while being some exotic-cultured Jew and preventing the realm to fall apart :p.


Maybe there is some sort of type that moves to different courts in the same vague area. In my game there's not just Norwegians in the realm but holding land. To be fair, there was a large viking presence in Ireland in the 11th century but where they keep coming from is anyone's guess.

A good theory (which could be true if the Greeks are pushed out of Greece, courtesy of the wanderer system), but not before unpausing.

Sadly, no mass exodus :p. The actual answer is that well... there aren't. I just picked some random marriageable women with fitting traits to present as possible brides for Eberhard, and only while writing the prologue noticed that they are almost all Orthodox. (As if the names Elaiodora and Euphrosyne didn't give it away already :rolleyes:.) I might have had to look closer. Perhaps I'll regret it later after Eberhard's wife murders him (nobody likes him, so that wouldn't really surprise me.)


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As for general update frequency, I'm aiming for once a week. We'll see how it all falls into place (or not) once I unpause ;).
 
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alscon

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Ch.1 – Expected Scandal

Today is a great day. I got married. But that's just one of the reasons why it's a good day. Do I love Euphrosyne? Hah! Good joke. She may wish for many children, but I don't. Which is why I married her in the first place – and for the extra tax I could draw out of the peasantry.

8m5WOdD.jpg

Marriage does have plenty of advantages. Even if you don't intend to actually spend time with your wife. And can't even communicate.

Others would view that as complications, for me it's just another asset.

But no, there are different reasons. I found out that not everyone hates me! Alois and Kriemhild aren't just the exception, they are the rule! Nobility is overrated. Either that, or peasants are masochistic.

AtkoLAJ.jpg

Also, have you noticed my nice helmet? Well, I'm wearing it because I am Lothaire's marshal. Impressive, isn't it?









MqDD1Q2.jpg

That wretched king doesn't seem to think it is. “Vile vassal”. Well, I'm going to show him what a “vile vassal” is!

AnqxZZK.jpg

They say that Lothaire fired me because of Haesteinn of Montaigu's invasion. Said he needed someone he could trust with the defence of the realm, and not one who scares away the peasants.

What a failure of a pretext! The peasants love me! And even if I do scare them – better they are scared of me than of the vikings!

Lothaire reacted shocked, and didn't look back. I do believe he fears me now. For good reason, at least.

And my plan? Well, perhaps we can strengthen House Karling by culling the tree...

After all, that fool only has bastards. So King Louis of Italy stands to inherit. And he'll surely prove able to fend off some upstart raiders.

Even if he doesn't – Haesteinn doesn't target my lands, but rather Lotharingia, which Strassburg isn't a part of. Still, may Lothaire find his end quickly! I can't control a kingdom from behind the scenes if there is no longer one.


p5jRkI7.jpg









The plot advanced nicely. Though I do have to admit that my progress so far looks more like the work of a petty spurned lover instead of that of a vengeful murderer.

We've cut holes into his clothes. Lothaire hasn't been seen in public in any different way than seated for some time now, fearing critical clothing failure. I'm sure that's caused a few giggles at court.

Yteu2kS.jpg

We've spread rumours. The king's been exposed as plenty of unsavoury things. Satanist, cannibal, murderer, deviant, having strange fetishes, and never looking through a certain window of his castle. (Don't ask me, that last one seems to be very important.)

ZpiFVxs.jpg

I don't know how true that is, but my utterly incompetent chancellor is definitely a cannibal. I was wondering where cut off body parts vanished to before I found out. One of my jailers blackmailed him – probably after he saw him licking a finger which wasn't his.

I always thought we fed it to the pigs. Not entirely wrong, my assumption.

Y4sz1kb.jpg

Luckily, there's no need for a chancellor with actual skill.

We've also gained a valuable ally. Queen Teutberga! Those terrified people may have been right to fear her after all. Then again, I am sure you can figure out why she joined my scheme.

Lothaire had taken a lover! A shocking affair!

...only it didn't surprise anyone, really. Those bastards didn't just materialize out of thin air. The queen was not amused, though. As soon as Waldrada was actually exposed, she joined my plot.

She may be a kindred soul after all. And I wanted to get rid of a potential ally! Though I still have to question her intellect. Did she really only notice after the birth of the fifth bastard that her husband had been unfaithful?

The only problem is that someone has been talking. Was it one of the rumours? Anyway, Lothaire knows someone's out to get him. Teutberga suggested another way in.

Which was just her way of saying that she'd like a quite hefty bribe. Woman, if you want new jewellery, ask your husband! What do you mean, you hate him? Well, he can't just neglect his queen publicly. He's busy fighting the vikings? As if! The fool just hides around in his castle, sitting around, leaving leadership in the field to people who aren't me!

vukQgfV.jpg

He'd better be there, too. Haesteinn could do us all a favour and split his skull with an axe. It's not like the vikings haven't got all the momentum on their side, having crushed his army in Montbéliard (despite a clear numerical disadvantage) and in Veldenz. Utterly defeated him while he saw assassins in every shadow of his dark castle.

W6WXeb4.jpg



Unlike Lothaire, that got Liutfried killed. That could have been terrible news, he had no children. But no – it isn't the end of our dynasty. I could marry someone fertile after all. But I do like my current... uhhh... arrangement.

33hodrs.jpg

So it's good that his brother Hupold, another distant relative of mine and Count of Lille, inherited his lands. Even if he lacks strength of character, it's not a bad development. As long as he at least is getting an heir.

HEzJ5Cc.jpg





“My liege, I come bearing news.”

“Is that fool of a king finally dead?”

“No...” Kriemhild manages to look both disappointed and relieved at the same time.

“Then what is it?”

“He's declared himself head of house Cardaillac.”

“That doesn't make him less of a Karling.” I wonder what she wants to say.

“His new house motto is 'Love is Prosperity'.”

Si5IdOu.jpg

With that, I burst out laughing. What did the man want to do? Cuddle Haesteinn's army to death? Kiss the crops for them to grow? Hug stones for them to spontaneously form buildings? Convince the viking to go home after an impromptu orgy during which he leaves his wife at the invader's disposal?

The man's wife is complicit in a plot to murder him, for Heaven's sake! That motto is so deeply ironic, it's just...

'Love is Prosperity'.





It took a while for me to get a hold of myself. Kriemhild is still there.

“Anything else? Another good joke?”

“I... am afraid not.”

“That depends on your sense of humour. Out with it, girl.”

“Haesteinn stormed Nancy. Lothaire was taken prisoner, then surrendered.”

I6fPxo4.jpg

Not the punchline I expected. Still, I couldn't help but imagine him, sitting on his throne as if he's taken root, while the battle rages in the castle. Then, Haesteinn marching into the throne room, with Lothaire still seated. The viking pulling the resisting king away... only for him to reveal the king's holey clothes.

Ahhhh... to be a barbarian for once, just enjoying the sight of a 'civilized' king like that... wouldn't that be great? What wouldn't I give to have seen Lothaire's face in that moment, probably with Haesteinn and his men starting to laugh.

Still, uhhh, let's get back on track. He's still my liege after all, and just lost most of his lands. So, aren't we off to a good start? I wanted to protect House Karling, guide them to ever greater heights. And what happened?

The king fired me from the council. He decided that he prefers 'Cardaillac' to 'Karling'. He lost the majority of his kingdom to some viking warlord. And to top it all, I am plotting to murder him.

There's a lot of work ahead.
 
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Nikolai

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Haha, glorious. Off to a great start indeed.
 
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stnylan

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Love is Prosperity indeed .... on the midden heap.

You know, I am getting a distinct Blackadderly whiff to this.
 
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HistoryDude

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Well, things look to be going... badly, to say the least.

What is this? A Karling embracing rule by love? He'll get himself killed! Unless it's Ministry of Love-style love...
 
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alscon

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Haha, glorious. Off to a great start indeed.
Isn't it? Well, at least only one of Eberhard's two potential heirs got killed, so not everything went wrong - that can actually be an advantage.

Love is Prosperity indeed .... on the midden heap.

You know, I am getting a distinct Blackadderly whiff to this.
To defend Lothaire here, at least he didn't go for a motto glorifying his martial prowess. Doesn't change that you are right.

Well, things look to be going... badly, to say the least.

What is this? A Karling embracing rule by love? He'll get himself killed! Unless it's Ministry of Love-style love...
Yeah, but there's always a bright spot. At least Strassburg is untouched and grows.

If he won't, it's not for lack of trying! As for the ministry-style, Lothaire is too much of a joke to try to achieve that.
 
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Ch.2 - Change of Plans

alscon

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Ch.2 – Change of Plans


You know how it is. You get stabbed in the right place (or places), then try to flee. But it drains your strength. You are noticed. And then, when you finally collapse from exhaustion, the vultures that are circling come down...

Well, I hope you don't know that feeling. Not personally. I don't. Caused it, sure. But well, long story short:

One Norseman never comes alone. Old saying. It took Hrörekr of Holland merely a few months to prepare. And then...

I could say that he invades, but no. He's devading. Is that even a word? It should be. Hrörekr is seeking his freedom from Lothaire.

cL004sv.jpg

I would have joined, if not for my plan. After all, the king is a useless fool with nothing but five bastards and a crushing defeat to his name.


'Love is Prosperity'.


...


...


I need to act.



Luckily, there are more descendants of Charlemagne who can take the helm of Lotharingia – even if they aren't named Lothaire (perhaps we could change the name then). Sadly, Charles the Bald of West Francia is busy in England and is in no state to help me enforce his claim.

v1oRjw7.jpg

But in every darkness, there's a light to shine the way. That's way I tell my involuntary guests in the torture chamber. It's true! With most of Lothaire's vassals deserting the man, he comes back grovelling at my door.

Fyozjup.jpg

Isn't it great to read that letter? That painful admission of weakness? That recognition against every fibre of his being? What a treat.



I start acting as any decent steward would. Immediately abusing the office and embezzling from the treasury. What else is that office for?

ZxjsKoB.jpg

Remember: Don't give people you don't trust access to the treasury.


Unsurprisingly, Lothaire and most of his bastards are again captured in his capital, this time after resisting less than a year. He's also nearly run out of funds. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

Either way, Holland, Guelders, Bern and Zutphen are free. Lothaire can count himself lucky that he's got a few vassals left. How long will that last, I wonder?

eD1O9MK.jpg

With my new, fully legitimate source of funds, I can reinforce my efforts to improve Strassburg. I also make perfectly clear to everyone that my word is law. It is MY domain!





8qBgWaB.jpg


Sadly, I can't extort the peasants even more than I do. Even these masochists can only take so much. I'd need a vassal of my own if I want to bleed him dry. Ugh. Well, then let's keep blackmailing people.



Speaking of which, Kriemhild is busy securing these opportunities. I do wonder if she's made any progress. And, speak of the devil, there she is!

“My lord, urgent news from Bar!”

“Have you uncovered something juicier this time?”

“That depends on your definition of 'juicy', my liege.”

I'm starting to rub off on her. Great. “Better than a penniless non-believer, at least.”

wr7QN1B.jpg

Lothaire already tried and failed to fend off one evil adventurer. He's likely to have more luck with this one.

“It certainly is.”

“Then out with it! Perhaps the Dauphin has an affair with the queen... I can already hear the gold filling my coffers!”

“Very different, Your Grace. It is about Lothaire.”

“Perfect! Is he dead yet?”

“A part of him.”

Have I changed her so much? “That's juicy, all right! Has Teutberga lost her patience and castrated him?”

Kriemhild is stunned for a moment, probably imagining the scene. That does suffice as an answer, both for my question and my thoughts about changing her.
“N-n-no... His crown.”

“His crown? Did she take his hair as a trophy?”

“It died figuratively. Lothaire is no longer your king, my lord.”​

That is something juicy. Turns out that a man who loses a whole lot of his kingdom while being holed up in his castle, worrying about holes, wholly unfaithful, with a holey treasury, is in quite the unholy mess.

Apparently I'm not the only one who has no respect at all for him. After the rebels effortlessly crushed him, we don't even need to raise our troops as his kingdom falls apart. Lotharingia is no more.

LQWXaS6.jpg

While that is mostly good, it brings a multitude of problems.


For one, my additional income is gone. A shame.


Secondly, I can no longer enjoy his squirming. I guess I could visit, but I don't think he'd give me a warm welcome (if he welcomes me at all).


Thirdly (and most importantly!): Where's my Karling liege?



I can at least change that last part. And while they say that you can't choose your family (and usually also your liege), now I can pick a liege! There are two candidates (three actually, but let's just forget about Bavaria. I mean, he doesn't even control Bavaria and will probably go the way of Lotharingia):

King Karlmann of East Francia.

VVmTxD0.jpg


And King Charles the Bald of West Francia.

10F5pGf.jpg

East or West? Let's take a better look at our options.

Karlmann offers a culture close to mine. He's also my de jure liege, I suppose. He's also an excellent leader of men, completely unlike Lothaire. His personality is acceptable – a zealous ravener should be able to deal with vikings, at least – , and he even still bears the name of Karling! Overall, a good choice.

Charles? He's a stubborn theologian, fighting for his allies in England. Irrational quarreller sounds like something people may use to describe me (although I'm perfectly rational, thank you very much). He may have founded a cadet branch – Karling-Montereau – but at least it still has “Karling” in its name. (Either I haven't looked or I've forgotten – anyway, their motto can't be as ridiculous as “Love is Prosperity”!) His strength is comparable to Karlmann's. And of course, I've backed him for Lothaire's now vacant throne.

Looks like Karlmann may be the winning choice. But! My heir Hupold is Charles' vassal's vassal! If I were to swear fealty to Karlmann, then through Hupold's inheritance, my lands would fall to Charles anyway. So I did the right thing.

MmffsrO.jpg

Yes, my liege, I think so too.
 
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Cora Giantkiller

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I love this character.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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And so Holland begins the otl dance between France and the hre. Wonder if they'll mange to break free and form their own huge and rich personal estate like otl?
 
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stnylan

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Oh my goodness, that was a hoot!

I don't rate Charles' chances now I must say.
 
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HistoryDude

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Wow, Lothaire was ridiculously incompetent...

Well, West Francia is our new liege... good, good. Very good... now we can become the power behind the throne in all of France... Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
 
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