The rise of the Hohenzollerns, 1192-1399: A mega campaign beginning CK2 AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Brian Shanahan

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You guys are all thinking about this way too hard. I'll give you a small hint: long time readers of my AARs should already know who it is. ;)

Noooooooooo! You have found my one weakness! My short term residence here.

In that case I'm going with something completely left-field: Druss the Legend!

I know it's wrong but I might get bonus points for being gloriously so.

Edit: And of course I answer after R-Rolo wins the prize.
 

DisgruntledLemming

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Oops. One update behind. >.>

Also, awesome plug-in with Descent into Madness, I approve.
 
Last edited:

Avindian

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Oh man! I just thought that that would be too easy :D.

I generally prefer the "too easy" question in AAR contests.

To be honest, I also thought it was too easy, but after seeing Avindian answer to your Frederick the great guess, I was 100% sure that it was the answer ;)

Anyway, PM with names sent. And on the game proper, you are definitely in a bad spot until the HRE SoD get to help you, as your lands are hemmed between the remaining Bavaria and Bohemia (Any other major revolters ? I assume that good ol'Italy should be also in the party ;) ). By the last pic I assume you are doing the only sensible thing, that is to get what troops you can gather and bug out ...

Good advice all, but I've never been one to take good advice. :D

Noooooooooo! You have found my one weakness! My short term residence here.

In that case I'm going with something completely left-field: Druss the Legend!

I know it's wrong but I might get bonus points for being gloriously so.

Edit: And of course I answer after R-Rolo wins the prize.

No worries. BTW, out of curiosity, are you the actual Brian Shanahan that is the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins? I expect you aren't, but that would be pretty awesome if you were. :D

Oops. One update behind. >.>

Also, awesome plug-in with Descent into Madness, I approve.

Thanks! I promised we weren't done with Death yet. ;) I'm not sure what role he'll play going forward, but I do like the idea of him serving as the "guy predicting the future" and such. He's the only guy I'll import, though. Maybe.

Next update should be up tomorrow or Wednesday!
 

Caezaire

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No worries. BTW, out of curiosity, are you the actual Brian Shanahan that is the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins? I expect you aren't, but that would be pretty awesome if you were. :D

Except during the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters!
 

Avindian

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Funnyman320

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This is pretty awesome! Oddly enough I started in the 1081 bookmark as the Von Babenburgs who happen to be the counts of nurnburg as well. Anyways tough luck with the CA getting raised ridiculously high that really sucks. Here's adding another name to the list of people eagerly awaiting an update!
 

Brian Shanahan

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No worries. BTW, out of curiosity, are you the actual Brian Shanahan that is the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins? I expect you aren't, but that would be pretty awesome if you were. :D

No I am the Brian Shanahan that made a five minute substitute appearance for Pallasgreen GAA in the Limerick Senior/Intermediate County Football League against Ballysteen last year. You probably missed it. For my troubles I was elected club PRO this year.

If I were that Brian Shanahan the commute for training would be a female dog.:p
 

DisgruntledLemming

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Yeah, I don't think Brian Shanahan, the Briant Shanahan anyways, lives in Limerick. :p
 

Avindian

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This is pretty awesome! Oddly enough I started in the 1081 bookmark as the Von Babenburgs who happen to be the counts of nurnburg as well. Anyways tough luck with the CA getting raised ridiculously high that really sucks. Here's adding another name to the list of people eagerly awaiting an update!

Glad to have you along!

No I am the Brian Shanahan that made a five minute substitute appearance for Pallasgreen GAA in the Limerick Senior/Intermediate County Football League against Ballysteen last year. You probably missed it. For my troubles I was elected club PRO this year.

If I were that Brian Shanahan the commute for training would be a female dog.:p

Yeah, I don't think Brian Shanahan, the Briant Shanahan anyways, lives in Limerick. :p

Touche, gentlemen. :)

I'm working on a new update now; should be up soon!
 

Avindian

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Chapter 19: The dangers of medieval realpolitik

26 January 1324, a camp outside Leiningen

Xavier von Hohenzollern took one last long look at the maps provided by the local scouts before preparing to break camp. The first map showed Bavarian positions as of late 1322, after the defeat of Straubing, in which a Bavarian army caught a small skirmish force.

thewaragainstbavaria.jpg


Xavier had a very problematic situation. The original fight against the Wittelsbach, no matter how glorious the outcome, had all but evaporated the goodwill of his nobles. He would have to serve the Kaiser using no more than his personal retinue and the soldiers he could raise from his own estates. He even abandoned the secret society which sought to lower Crown Authority to prove his loyalty; in time of crisis, anything which would delay victory could be seen as treason.

What the Graf found most troubling were the reports from Passau, where Bohemian soldiers had begun to sack the city and the county's other holdings. While the Kaiser had lifted the Bohemian siege, Bavarian forces had marched west to attack Ulm. This action forced Xavier to abandon his siege of Leiningen, as the most current map showed.

warupdate1324t.jpg


First, Xavier would attack the small force in Furstenberg, which besieged the Barony of Zollern. Second, he'd disrupt the small Bavarian force heading for Kempten and ultimately Ulm. There was no time to worry about political questions.

He had another war to win.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 July 1234, Vodi

Maximillian von Hohenzollern, the new Count of Vodi, sat down at his writing desk. His wife, Ragnhild, was in the other room visiting with some guests. Max, on the other hand, was composing a letter to his father. He dipped his pen in some ink and began to write.

Dear Father,

Things here are well. While I wish that I could have remained in Nürnberg to aid you against the hated Wittelsbachs, I understand why you sent me away. My children will be able to claim this county as their own, and when I inherit our patrimony from you (many years from now, I hope!), we will be that much stronger.


Max put down his quill for a moment to grab a huge hunk of sausage from the plate sitting next to him. He quickly wolfed it down, drank deep from his flagon of mead (a delicacy of his wife's he'd developed a taste for), and looked at himself in the mirror.

maxgrowsup.jpg


Max winked at the handsome creature in the mirror. The Count of Vodi lusted after three things in equal measure: power, women, and food. In battle, he was brave and strong -- he'd once demonstrated his prowess by carrying a great sword with one hand. Yet, although he was a man of many vices, he was able to control them. His father, Xavier, had taught him about discipline and patience. Max took what he could when he could, but if he had to do without, he could. He picked up the pen again.

maxisambitious.jpg


Congratulations are in order, I hear, for Arnulf of Ortenburg. While I wish I could serve as your Marshal, I am much too far away. I hope Cousin Gottfried isn't too upset about losing his position, but I trust in your judgment. Another few bits of sausage and a slice of cheese gave him the strength to finish his letter. Above all, I know that the Kaiser's glorious defeat of the Bohemian rebellion will mean that your own war against Bavaria will conclude any day now; I am sure of it. Give my love to mother and my brothers!

Max


bohemiacapitulates.jpg


No sooner did Max put down his pen than he bellowed to his wife, "I'm famished, woman! Where is my dinner?"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6 January 1325, Nürnberg

Xavier read his son's letter with slight distaste -- there were plenty of grease stains on the paper, not to mention a huge circle from a flagon of mead -- but hoped the best for Max. He'd recently heard that Max was named Marshal of Vodi, which would give his son the needed experience in combat he would need to rule someday.

maxinvodi.jpg


Xavier beamed at his nephew Thietmar, the son of Burkhard. While Klaus's boy Simon was growing up to be a fine lad in his own right, the last thing Xavier wanted was to leave the realm to Klaus if something happened to Max or Max's brothers. Simon would be useful, of that Xavier was certain, but he would never rule.

Xavier had achieved only one victory during the war -- the Battle of Fürstenberg, where he'd defeated a 500 man scouting force -- but the Kaiser, free to attack Bayern without distraction, had won the war and seized Schwaben from the Wittelsbachs. When war for Bayern began again, his hated enemies would be that much weaker.

peacereturnstothehresor.jpg


Since Xavier had contributed little on the battlefield, he chose to honor the Kaiser in another way -- giving the prestigious castle of Caesarea, in the Holy Land, to him.

transferringabaron.jpg


Administering such a far away vassal had been incredibly difficult, and the Baroness was often extremely irritating. In one fell swoop, he'd gotten rid of a potential problem and ingratiated himself to Kaiser Udo. He was overseeing a new city in Salzburg's construction and, overall, settling down to a few years of peace. He'd earned them.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
13 June 1326, Mühldorf, Salzburg

Sigmund von Hohenzollern was one of the rarest of medieval lords: the kind who was nearly universally loved.

sigmundcomesofage.jpg


He was a brilliant scholar, charitable, and kind to all. He shared a love of food with his elder brother, but not quite to the excess of Max. Sigmund's wife was a French princess, and meant a new alliance for the Hohenzollerns, which pleased his father. It was rare that Sigmund pleased his father; his charity had drained the comital coffers more than once, and his complete ineptitude at any sort of subtlety nearly cost Xavier his spymaster. Sigmund had decided to accompany one of Xavier's agents on a mission to raise support for a claim on Bayern.

mynewgoalinlife.jpg


Unfortunately, instead of helping the agent, Sigmund blurted out the details of Xavier's plan to a street urchin who'd actually turned out to be one of Herzog Ludwig's agents. He'd even hinted to one of the diplomats in Ludwig's court that he might talk his father out of his "nefarious goal" if Ludwig would agree to cede the County of Kempten to the Hohenzollerns. Fortunately for all parties concerned, Xavier's spymaster was a little smarter than that and successfully prevented Sigmund from ruining the Graf's carefully designed plan. To get Sigmund out of the way, Xavier gave Sigmund the new city of Mühldorf.

sigmundthemayor.jpg


Let Sigmund be loved as much as wanted to be somewhere else; Xavier wanted nothing to distract him from gaining enough support to seize the ducal crown from the Wittelsbachs.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
24 January 1329, Nürnberg

Xavier von Hohenzollern had used his peace to expand his personal holdings, but never forgot his ultimate goal. His nephew Simon proved an indispensable tool in this quest.

simontheultimatespy.jpg


Simon was the perfect spy. He was an absolute coward, a sadist, a master of deceit, and so painfully shy it took a sizable bribe to find Simon a wife. He was also patient -- his one virtue. He was the brightest Spymaster any Hohenzollern had ever had; that Simon hated his father Klaus made him even more palatable to Xavier. It was Simon's idea to marry Christine, Xavier's daughter, to the lowborn Almerich of Fosdinovo. Xavier considered it an insult, until he found how powerful Almerich was. He was Ludwig III's closest friend, among many other talents. Simon had already secured the Herzog von Schwaben and the Mayor of Ilchester to his uncle's plan. It was also Simon's idea to marry Adelaide, Xavier's other daughter, to the King of Norway. The Hohenzollerns could count the Kaiser, the King of France, and the King of Norway among their most trusted friends.

With such powerful friends and talented kin, Xavier's sense of pride in himself and his dynasty was restored.

xavierisproudagain.jpg


When the new Kaiser, Emich II, took over from Udo the Monk on 21 February 1328, it was no surprise that he'd stop and visit his uncle in Nürnberg. As a further demonstration of the Kaiser's love and loyalty, Xavier was named Seneschal of the Holy Roman Empire, a great honor.

xavierisseneschal.jpg


Xavier looked about his castle with tremendous satisfaction. He'd brought order, stability, and prestige to the Hohenzollerns. He'd never lost a war (a claim his late father could not make) and had bested the Wittelsbachs at every turn. As he reflected on his accomplishments, a court herald blew the trumpets to announce the arrival of an important visitor who wished to remain nameless. Xavier shrugged, but like a good host, ordered the cooks to prepare a feast and awaited his guest in the drawing room.

When Ludwig III von Wittelsbach, Herzog von Bayern entered the drawing room, it took all of Xavier's mental discipline not to draw Gotteszorn and kill his nemesis where he stood. He feigned civility instead, a lesson he'd learned from his son Sigmund.

"Your Grace. What an unexpected pleasure!" Ludwig knew how the game was played, and exchanged polite courtesies for a few minutes with his host. Yet the entire time, an odd smile danced along his face. After about ten minutes, Xavier decided it would no longer be rude to ask his guest why he was hear. Ludwig's response was even more confusing.

"I bring news from your liege, Graf Xavier."

Xavier raised an eyebrow. "And what would the Kaiser ask of me? You are a strange messenger, Ludwig, and far too important to waste on me."

Ludwig's grin turned very nasty and Xavier's blood ran cold. "Why, Xavier, I don't think I mentioned the Kaiser's name. I believe I said 'your liege.'"

The moment Xavier picked up Ludwig's document, he knew what it said without reading it. As his left hand gripped the document tightly, his right hand drifted to his sword.

independencelost.jpg


Xavier's teeth ground against one another. His grip on Gotteszorn was so tight his knuckles turned white. If the Kaiser had been there at that moment, Xavier would have skewered him. A number of scenarios ran through the Graf's mind. Calling for Simon to kill Ludwig and the Kaiser at the same moment, blaming each one for the other's murder. Declaring war on Bayern right then and there. Running through the idiot Ludwig with his father's sword. Decapitating Ludwig with his father's sword. Disemboweling Ludwig with his father's sword. Castrating Ludwig with his father's sword. All of those sounded appealing, yet Xavier did none of them.

Instead, he called for Chancellor Luitpold to review the transfer of vassalage, but even if there were a problem, Xavier would still honor the contract.

At least, until it no longer suited him to honor it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two more updates before I play again! I hope you enjoyed this update; you'll get another one this weekend.
 

Michaelangelo

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Let me get this straight: the new Kaiser just made you a vassal of the Wittelsbachs, right after you gained independence from them and then fought a war alongside the old Kaiser to force them back into the Empire? I swear everyone is mad in the Empire. :rolleyes:
 

Avindian

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Let me get this straight: the new Kaiser just made you a vassal of the Wittelsbachs, right after you gained independence from them and then fought a war alongside the old Kaiser to force them back into the Empire? I swear everyone is mad in the Empire. :rolleyes:

I won't say you're wrong. I nearly lost it when I saw what the new Kaiser did. It still drives me nuts.
 

Athalcor

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Well, of course, my dear Lord, yeah, you helped the Empire to crush the rebellion, yeah, you granted us one of your fiefs...whatever. I would shatter my PC if I saw that.

Also, at first I could not distinguish Simon and Sigmund of one another :D.
 

Gen. Marshall

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It's an outrage! That being said - defeating the Wittelsbachs will be easier this time than before they were weakened by all the wars.
Nice to see that Maximilian is turning out to be such an... interesting character. I'm sure his rule will be mighty fun! (Where's Vodi, BTW?)
 

crimson_king

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

You are the Seneschal of the Holy Roman Empire! Congratulations!

Also, I'm transferring your vassal contract. Auf weidersehen!

Great read so far, by the way.
 

Avindian

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Well, of course, my dear Lord, yeah, you helped the Empire to crush the rebellion, yeah, you granted us one of your fiefs...whatever. I would shatter my PC if I saw that.

Also, at first I could not distinguish Simon and Sigmund of one another :D.

I nearly did. Then again, my PC is my livelihood (in more ways than one) and I'd immediately have regretted it. Flesh heals, computers don't. (Yet.)

It's an outrage! That being said - defeating the Wittelsbachs will be easier this time than before they were weakened by all the wars.
Nice to see that Maximilian is turning out to be such an... interesting character. I'm sure his rule will be mighty fun! (Where's Vodi, BTW?)

I'll be honest, I'm not sure where Vodi is. I don't have CKII on my laptop (which would probably explode if asked to run it), and when I tried to Google it, I kept getting the "Voices of Detroit Initiative." It's on Earth, and probably in Europe. That's what I've got for now. :)

So I will take it my new character has not been born yet?

You are correct; these chapters were finished a while ago. There's two more updates before I'll play again.

You are the Seneschal of the Holy Roman Empire! Congratulations!

Also, I'm transferring your vassal contract. Auf weidersehen!

Great read so far, by the way.

Thanks!
 

BogMod

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I do think the Kaiser hasn't had enough leeches applied to his head lately...
 

Avindian

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I do think the Kaiser hasn't had enough leeches applied to his head lately...

He's young yet; we'll let it slide this one time. :)
 

Brian Shanahan

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I'll be honest, I'm not sure where Vodi is. I don't have CKII on my laptop (which would probably explode if asked to run it), and when I tried to Google it, I kept getting the "Voices of Detroit Initiative." It's on Earth, and probably in Europe. That's what I've got for now. :)

The Glory Estonia! AAR
seems to indicate that it is de jure Estonian (see about half way down post 2). So I'm guessing it's somewhere between Russia and Finland.