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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Ricardo Rolo

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Too bad you couldn't put a Hohenzollern in the French throne. That would be ... interesting , to say the least :p

On the broader picture, IMHO you are in a good position to get the reigns of HRE in the EU III part of the megacampaign with a so small Austria and Bohemia out of the picture ... or you can go Germany. It will be surely a nice dilemma you will have to face :D
 

Avindian

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Since I got EU 3 for free and didn't try it yet since it looks so difficult, I have a question concerning the conversion: Will you be playing as Bavaria in EU or will you play as Nürnberg? Or will this converter remodel history in a way that it resembles the European map of CK2 in EU3?

From what I gather of the converter, probably Bavaria.

It will indeed be Bavaria.

Too bad you couldn't put a Hohenzollern in the French throne. That would be ... interesting , to say the least :p

On the broader picture, IMHO you are in a good position to get the reigns of HRE in the EU III part of the megacampaign with a so small Austria and Bohemia out of the picture ... or you can go Germany. It will be surely a nice dilemma you will have to face :D

I think you're right, but I haven't started playing EU3 yet so I can't be sure. I just booted up the save to make sure the countries converted reasonably.

Update coming later tonight!
 

Avindian

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Chapter 26: The challenges of finding history

11 February 2013, Universität von Hohenzollern, Nürnberg

Viktor sat sulkily in the campus cafe, stirring his coffee but not really drinking it. Viktor Arkadeyevich Sokolov had only been a student in Nürnberg for a few weeks, but already regretted his decision to leave Voronezh and come west. He'd been obsessed with the early history of Bavaria in school, reading David Zimmerman's brilliant work on Friedrich II. The Russian student smiled at the memories of his utter captivation with the Hohenzollerns. Viktor had even gone to the trouble of learning a fairly obscure language like English simply to fully appreciate Zimmerman's books. When it was time to go to university, he knew exactly where he had to go -- Nürnberg. While München was still Bavaria's largest city, Nürnberg was still the capital and its university attracted students from all over the world.

Yet his professor's assignment made Viktor question his earlier passion. Medieval Bavarian History was an elective for students, and not a terribly popular one at that. His class only had five students, counting himself, and he was the only foreigner. Viktor's German was very good, but the professor spoke very quickly and hardly ever paused to explain himself if something was not quite clear. None of the students really liked their teacher, but he was the foremost authority on the medieval Hohenzollerns. That made the course mandatory for Viktor. That it was technically a graduate course and Viktor a college junior made things all the more difficult. [1] What Sokolov liked least of the course was his end of term paper -- a biographical essay of Reinhard I. Even among historians, Reinhard I was not well known or remembered. His life passed all too quickly, and the events of later years tended to dwarf those of their predecessor. Each student had been given a Bavarian to study, and Viktor ended up with the unlucky assignment of Reinhard I. Only the student stuck with Konrad I could appreciate the Russian's position.

He glanced up at the clock. He wanted to get a couple more hours in at the library before they closed. Viktor studied the reasonably good portrait of Reinhard in the biographical dictionary he was flipping through.

dukereinhardi.jpg


According to Viktor's notes, Reinhard von Hohenzollern, First of His Name, Herzog von Bayern und Schwaben, Graf von Nürnberg, Salzburg, Passau, and Ulm, was the only Herzog who was also a twin. Reasonably bright in many areas, Reinhard continued the family tradition of strong warriors taking the throne. He was an exceptional leader and strategist, and even his occasional enviousness never really detracted from that. He was more popular than his father had ever been, although some individuals still disliked him, among them the Graf von Fürstenberg, Ludwig von Wittelsbach. Reinhard was 22 when he took the throne and, at the time, the youngest Herzog in Bavarian history. Through various family connections, he had weak claims to Brunswick and a couple of minor Baronies.

That was all Viktor had: hardly enough for a 20 to 25 page term paper. Internet searches invariably led him to Reinhard II, who was much more controversial, and who technically had a longer reign (although much of that was a regency). The few books on medieval Bavaria tended to give Reinhard no more than a page, if that. Although Viktor had been to the library a dozen times since receiving the assignment, he'd only now been contacted by the head librarian, who'd tracked down a reference to Reinhard I in the memoirs of Prince Orderic of Sicily, Reinhard's Chancellor. Viktor was aware of Orderic, and had included him along with the portraits of the other members of Reinhard's court.

thecourtofreinhard.jpg


Viktor still laughed when he thought that the one noble who hated Reinhard (more for his family than out of any personal vendetta against Reinhard specifically), was the Marshal and second most powerful man in the council. Sokolov threw out his half-finished cup of coffee and gathered up his coat to go across the street to the library. He was greeted by one of the student librarians, but within moments found himself speaking with the university's chief librarian. Karl Adler was surprisingly young for his position -- he was about 42 years old and had been a librarian there since he graduated with his bachelor's degree in 1993. Over the years he'd picked up a master's degree and doctorate as well. He was warm, friendly, and popular with the students, but he'd been especially kind to Viktor and the other international students.

"Ah, Viktor! A pleasure to see you, as always."

Viktor always shied just a bit from Karl's smile and enthusiasm. "Thank you, Dr. Adler, and it is good to see you as well. Do you have that book for me?"

Karl's smile dimmed for a few moments. "I'm afraid not. There was an accident in the rare book room. Orderic's memoirs are still intact, but the room itself is unavailable due to a power outage. I did find this, though." Dr. Adler handed over a copy of Memoirs of the Wittelsbachs.

Viktor was puzzled. "Why would this help?"

"Marshal Ludwig. He had some... choice words about Reinhard's abilities as a leader. I'll give you some time to look it over; come by the office when you're finished if you have any questions."

Excitedly, Viktor thanked Karl then cracked open the book. He quickly found the section on Marshal Ludwig and found his analysis of Reinhard every bit as controversial as Dr. Adler had led him to believe.

That swine Reinhard. Oh, I know I should be "Your Grace"-ing this and that, but in my own journal, can I not express myself as a man and not as a toady? Who cares if the puffed-up fool reads it? The Hohenzollerns are and always have been cowards. They own München only through trickery and deceit. That much is obvious to anybody brighter than a Hohenzollern.

Even worse is Reinhard's arrogance. He spends most of his days raving about his family -- the bravery of his sniveling brother or his newest spawn's beautiful eyes -- and has yet to ask me even once about strategy. He's leaving for North Africa tomorrow, to serve in the Kaiser's own army! What sort of coward abandons his men? No Wittelsbach ever has, and that's a fact.

Viktor noticed that the book's author included helpful portraits of Leopold and Johanna.

xavierthebraveagain.jpg


johannaisborn.jpg


He was puzzled by the author's omission of other Hohenzollern facts that Viktor himself knew -- the death of Gebhard in April 1372 or the birth of his nephew Reinhard, the future Reinhard II. After reading a few more expletive filled pages, Viktor made for Dr. Adler's office to return the book. Instead inspiration struck. North Africa! Reinhard I had, in fact, spent most of his years as Herzog in Algeria, fighting for the Kaiser. Orderic might have only been Chancellor, but he was still the real power in Bavaria. Viktor looked up the records of the Kaiser -- pausing only to note that it was Siegfried von Hohenzollern who'd received the city of Freyung, not Sigmund as another book had said -- and found even more fascinating reading.

The man in charge of the operations in Algeria was the Herzog von Bayern, Reinhard I. Incredibly young for such a prestigious command, nonetheless the siege of Algiers was conducted very well indeed. His Grace spent a lot of time with the sappers, even digging a mine or two himself to inspire the men. He was a wealthy man, although humble. In fact, his personal fortune exceeded 500 thalers; while His Grace certainly sought to amass wealth, he wanted it for his realm and his subjects, not for himself, the mark of a good ruler.

A quick check of his notes again showed that 500 thalers had been spent digging a new moat in Nürnberg and a larger barracks in Waging. This account seemed to be more accurate than Ludwig's, if the writing was less interesting. The Herzog's great feast in Lemdiyya, near Algiers, took a full six pages to describe. The author is a bit of a gourmand, it seems, thought Viktor as he continued to read.

In February 1373, with Bavaria's Herzog fighting over a thousand miles away, Marshal Ludwig was given an important charge. Herzog Reinhard had supported a new ruler for Lombardy for some time; although it was Herzog Theodorich who'd actually benefit, His Grace wanted somebody near his vulnerable county of Monferrato who was, if not an ally, at least not a threat. It was left to Marshal Ludwig to prepare the plans for the war.

Here, Viktor saw a copy of the declaration of war and a map of the Empire during the war.

reinhardswar.jpg


thebattlegrounddefined.jpg


Viktor couldn't believe his eyes. Ludwig himself wasn't even originally part of the war! He'd only begun commanding a flank in spring 1373, two weeks after the war began. He was inferior to both Sune and Diether as commanders, too, as one contemporary account noted. Viktor knew that the bluster he'd seen in the Marshal's account wasn't arrogance, but insecurity. Reinhard was considered a hero by most of his contemporaries, but Ludwig's abilities had decayed considerably by the time he'd gotten a command. Meanwhile, Reinhard found himself even more powerful when his mother died in September of 1373 and he acquired the County of Vodi. Ludwig himself died two months later of pneumonia; his son, Diether, was named Marshal. Orderic and Gerlinde had a second son, Erich, which gave them one more son than Reinhard. As a warrior, Reinhard had little time to be a proper husband. The final report on Reinhard came from the pen of Konrad, Mayor of Dürmberg and Spymaster of Bayern. Konrad was named Maximillian II's regent.

The world lost a great man when those infidel Moslems slew the noble Reinhard I. He hardly even knew his own son. Little Max was born with a club foot, which may have saved his life; Reinhard did not insist his son serve as a warrior the same way that Maximillian I had insisted Reinhard serve. It was Reinhard who built the magnificent cathedral that still stands on the Baltic today. They even named it after him.

With those words, Viktor's eyes widened. His mother was a Baltic German, and had taken him once to the Sobor Reingarda, but he'd never made the connection before. [2] Finally, Viktor had a reason to be enthusiastic about his project! As he ran off to tell Dr. Adler, Viktor hardly noticed when two more portrait paintings slipped out of his book -- one of Reinhard's dramatic death and another of the child Max's coronation. [3]

reinhardisdead.jpg


[1] I'm not sure how standard American notions of school rank are -- a junior is a third year undergraduate.
[2] Собор Райнгарда would be the spelling in Cyrillic. The Russian language doesn't have a proper "h" in it, like in English "house" or "hat". It does have a hard "kh", but it's not really the same. Foreign "h"s are invariably transliterated as г, or "g". This made seeing Troy in Russia quite amusing when the actor would yell "Gektorrrrrrrrrr! Gektorrrrrrrrr!" with a ridiculously long trill for the "r".
[3] Use your imagination and imagine an epic scene of Reinhard's decapitation or something. :)

A bit short, I know, but so was Reinhard I's reign. We've got two more gameplay chapters left (although I suspect one will be broken into two parts) then an epilogue/game wrap-up post. Next update should be Saturday. I plan on including a map of Europe and as good a family tree as I can muster -- are there any other requests?
 

Athalcor

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I want to see that helpful portrait of Leopold!
 

Avindian

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Caezaire

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A disapointing reign for Reinhard. I'm assuming the new Johanna is not my character but the next person who suggested it?
 

SirkTheMonkey

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Looks like Max II is going to have a brief reign. I wonder if it's going to be assassination, rolled by ambitious vassals, or some sort of childhood illness.
 

Brian Shanahan

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[1] I'm not sure how standard American notions of school rank are -- a junior is a third year undergraduate.

In Ireland a 3rd year undergrad would be varsity in most universities (some unis are four year terms), though usually the only commonly used term for a year is "fresher" for freshman.
 

Avindian

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A disapointing reign for Reinhard. I'm assuming the new Johanna is not my character but the next person who suggested it?

Nope, somebody else liked the name -- Giulu.

Does my characters marriage bring the Hohenzollern to Sicily?

Sadly, no. Orderic isn't close enough in the line of succession. He's a Prince, not the Prince.

Looks like Max II is going to have a brief reign. I wonder if it's going to be assassination, rolled by ambitious vassals, or some sort of childhood illness.

Any and all are possible. (Did you mean ruled by ambitious vassals? I mean, rolling him down a hill would probably kill him, so mission accomplished, I guess. ;))

In Ireland a 3rd year undergrad would be varsity in most universities (some unis are four year terms), though usually the only commonly used term for a year is "fresher" for freshman.

Good to know! My favorite system of class ranks is at the USMA (US Military Academy), which has plebes, yearlings, cows, and firsties. :)

Oh, did not got that :D.

No worries.
 

SirkTheMonkey

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(Did you mean ruled by ambitious vassals? I mean, rolling him down a hill would probably kill him, so mission accomplished, I guess. ;))
Haha, no I meant what I said. When Australian PM Rudd got ousted by his deputy having the majority of the ruling party's support, the local media described it as him being 'rolled'. The term stuck in my mind since there's that plot to try and force your liege to hand power to someone else without a fight. Although rolling someone down a hill (or a staircase) would be a fun result of an assassination plot.
 

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Haha, no I meant what I said. When Australian PM Rudd got ousted by his deputy having the majority of the ruling party's support, the local media described it as him being 'rolled'. The term stuck in my mind since there's that plot to try and force your liege to hand power to someone else without a fight. Although rolling someone down a hill (or a staircase) would be a fun result of an assassination plot.

Ah, in the political sense. Got it. :)
 

Avindian

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Chapter 27, part 1: An unusual regent

13 September 1375, Nürnberg

The regency council met for 36 hours straight, with only a couple hours off for a short dinner. Their task was a difficult one -- they'd have to work with this regent for perhaps ten years. Maximillian II, Herzog von Bayern und Schwaben, only turned six in early 1375. There were not many qualified candidates for regent, but the choice was not a difficult one; justifying it was. Konrad, Mayor of Dürmberg, had been Spymaster of Bayern for a long time, and was one of the smartest men in the entire kingdom. He was hard working, particularly in his garden, and showed the proper humility for a man of his station. He displayed the social skill that any child would be lucky to learn, while at the same time maintaining a healthy skepticism for sycophants and a willingness to work in the muck if needed. He was, in short, a genius. There was only tiny problem.

He was completely insane.

sanitypurelyoptional.jpg


Konrad wasn't a danger to himself or others -- if he had been, he would never have been named regent -- but he did have very, very strange ideas about a whole variety of topics and wasn't afraid to express them in public. That made him something of an embarrassment. For example, when the Kaiser asked for his vote on crown authority, Konrad replied "I can't wait until EU3 when I can freely ignore you!"

votenotomoreauthority.jpg


When a courtier gently asked Konrad what an EU3 was, Konrad's response was even more upsetting: "It's a game, you bloody fool! We're all trapped in a game! Can't you see that?!" When nobody else could, Konrad stormed off to his chambers in a foul mood. Upon his arrival, he found Max dealing very harshly with one of his little friends. In addition to being his regent, Konrad was also his teacher. Konrad, recognizing that his insanity might persist in another ruler, sent Xavier, Max's younger brother, to the Dowager Duchess Emelenine.

"Max! What are you doing?"

Max's fist and his companion's face were both drenched in blood. "Regent! I want this boy executed! He made fun of the fact that every male child looks exactly the same!"

"That's just Clausewitz."

"Who is Clausewitz? Is that the cook? Is it time for dinner?"

Konrad sighed. "No, it is not time for dinner. Look, stop punching him. Wroth is a terrible trait and your vassals will suffer an opinion penalty."

Max was completely confused. "Trait? Opinion penalty?"

Konrad snapped his fingers and said, "Max, be patient!" And all of a sudden, Max was much more patient. With that crisis averted, Konrad turned his attention to Siegfried von Hohenzollern.

Siegfried, for whatever reason, had planned to kill Beatrix von Hohenzollern. Nobody exactly knew who Beatrix was, except for Siegfried, but a decision to kill a member of the preeminent family in Bayern was simply unacceptable. 42%... we'd better do it!

rebellionofsiegfried.jpg


So, since this Paradox, of course it's guaranteed to fail... I'd better go raise the armies.

1 October 1337, Schloss von Hohenzollern

Konrad shouted at the builders. "Why are you spending so much time on those blasted walls?! Gunpowder will arrive in a few years and then these stupid castles will be worthless!" The workers just ignored him and kept working, so Konrad turned his attention to the matters of the day.

The rebellion itself had proved little challenge.

thebattleground.jpg


With Max's mother, the Countess of Schwyz, helping, the rebellion collapsed in a matter of months. Unfortunately, the enemy castles took rather longer to defeat. Still, just under two years later, the ex-Graf von Niederbayern found himself in prison and Max had a new title.

revoltiscrushed.jpg


niederbayernbelongstome.jpg


As Konrad grumbled about "stupid 1.091 demense limit", the County of Vodi was given to Bernhard von Hohenzollern, a cousin. Two more titles changed hands too -- the Bishop of Bernhard received the new temple in Vodi, immediately christened the "Church of Reinhard", while Konrad himself received the City of Erlangen after Thietmar's treachery with the old Graf von Niederbayern was uncovered.

thietmararrested.jpg


Along the way, while Konrad was getting new titles and putting down rebellions, he also married off Grimhild, Max's older sister. She married an English Prince named Adam Beaumont and became his spymaster.

grimhildcomesofage.jpg


Although Konrad would have loved to keep Grimhild behind, the truth was that he was a little concerned about her own blossoming skills as a spymaster. It is always to keep one's rivals away, if possible. After all, Konrad had some plans of his own.

18 October 1378, Rome

Pope Zachary II was fairly young for a Pope. The fact his hair wasn't even grey made him a veritable heartthrob. Still, he was troubled by his legacy; he'd accomplished nothing noteworthy during his brief reign as Pope. He wanted to be remembered, as all men do, but he, unlike them, had the power to do something.

"Cardinal? Let's hold a Crusade. Those are always crowd pleasers."

The Cardinal, busily studying a manuscript, was used to these non sequiturs and merely nodded. "Where to, Your Holiness?"

"Um... Anatolia. I don't like these non-Christians so close to Constantinople."

"Very good, sir. Who shall I ask for?"

Zachary thought for a moment. "Who has been the most loyal noble in the realm?"

The Cardinal pursed his lips. "Probably the Duke of Bavaria."

"Is he willing?"

"He's been bothering us."

"Then let him do it."

"Um... well, there are one or two problems."

The Pope was not used to having his orders questions, but nonetheless was a fair man and listened intently. "Go on."

"He just turned 8."

"Lots of young nobles these days. How is his regent?"

"Well, he's a genius, but also completely insane."

"Who isn't, these days?"

"And a thief..."

konradisathief.jpg


"Well, that's kind of far down on the table of the Ten Commandments, isn't it?"

"And a murderer..."

eatthatluitpold.jpg


"That is one of the important ones. Why did he kill him?"

"The victim was plotting to steal a Duchy from the young Maximillian II."

luitpoldyouscoundrel.jpg


Zachary shrugged. "Seems justified to me."

The Cardinal rose an eyebrow in disapproval, but shrugged his shoulders. "You're the Pope."

"Don't I know it!"

"I'll tell him we appreciate his interest and that you give your blessing."

crusadeforanatolia.jpg


28 November 1380, Nürnberg

Leopold von Hohenzollern did not spend his 16th birthday the same way many others do.

leopoldcomesofage.jpg


While his friends enjoyed their first cup of wine, their first woman, or both, Leopold was hatching his first scheme. When he was growing up, Leopold spent a lot of time with Chancellor Orderic, but not because he liked the Sicilian, but because he desperately wanted to find a way to improve his standing. Orderic died at the young age of 28, and the new Chancellor, Lutbert, Baron von Zollern, didn't much like Leopold. Leopold decided to just ask Konrad, Max's regent, for a title. Konrad said no.

leopoldgetsnotitle.jpg


Then Lutbert died.

anewandimprovedcouncil.jpg


The new Chancellor, Folkmar von Rostock, was very absent minded, and thanks to some clever forgeries and some cash, Leopold was able to forge a more direct claim on Schwaben. At least, he thought he had. It turned out his new claim was discovered immediately when his young nephew, Reinhard, caught Leopold trying to sneak the claim back into the archives.

yourottenbastard.jpg


And so, before he even turned 17, Leopold von Hohenzollern was arrested and banished from Bayern permanently. He became the Chancellor for King Roger de Hauteville of Sicily.

laterleo.jpg


8 April 1384, Nürnberg

The last few years of Konrad's regency were fairly dull. The most noteworthy event was the twins Sybil and Xavier coming of age.

sybilandxavier.jpg


Although Sybil wasn't very bright, and thus had a difficult time finding a husband -- she ended up marrying a minor Baron -- Xavier's military prowess and position in the line of succession earned him a Plantagenet; one of the daughters of the King of England. The wedding was one of the biggest in years, and the final one that Konrad officiated over, as he died in 1383. For the last few months of Maximillian II's minority, Folkmar von Rostock was his regent. When Maximillian took the throne, he had an army fighting off yet another attempt by some minor nobility to take the position of Kaiser. Yet, for the most part, his realm was stable.

thenewduke.jpg


However, that was no guarantee it would remain stable.

We'll have another short update this weekend -- probably Sunday -- then another large update next week. By the end of next week, this AAR should be complete!
 

Michaelangelo

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For example, when the Kaiser asked for his vote on crown authority, Konrad replied "I can't wait until EU3 when I can freely ignore you!"
...
Max's fist and his companion's face were both drenched in blood. "Regent! I want this boy executed! He made fun of the fact that every male child looks exactly the same!"
:rofl:
Being able to see beyond the electronic world is clearly off-putting for those without the gift. :p
 

SirkTheMonkey

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That was a fun trip into madness. A regent who saw beyond the electronic veil and a surprisingly pragmatic Pope. I worry that Max II is ill in that final shot.
 

Avindian

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:rofl:
Being able to see beyond the electronic world is clearly off-putting for those without the gift. :p

Sometimes it is for those who do...

That was a fun trip into madness. A regent who saw beyond the electronic veil and a surprisingly pragmatic Pope. I worry that Max II is ill in that final shot.

Glad you liked it!
 

Vrael_1492

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This mad regent is absolutely hilarious! Well played :)
 

Avindian

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