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varetta

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Because if you attack the count your liege, the duke of Bavaria, will lead the war and he will be who will get the title instead of you?
 

CivandEUIII

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Ah, it all makes sense now :p
Anyway, to answer the question...
Is it that "your" wife owns Meissen now? I really must say, I have no idea.
 

alhoward

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The potential plot power percentage of his ambition is less than 100.
 

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You can only declare war on your peer? Duke of Messien implies he is under the Emperor and is peer with Barvaria, which Friedrich is a vassal of.

We have a winner! Of course, I'm only going to figure this out AFTER my Chancellor gets me the claim and I press it. :mad:

Sirce, you get the right to name the first child born when the game is played again. Congratulations!
 

Sakura_F

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This inspired me to play my own CK2 Hohenzollern campaign in CK2+. :p
 

DisgruntledLemming

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We have a winner! Of course, I'm only going to figure this out AFTER my Chancellor gets me the claim and I press it. :mad:

Sirce, you get the right to name the first child born when the game is played again. Congratulations!

Wait, did you ragereload? Or did you pass it off as a "misunderstanding with the Emperor"? :p
 

Avindian

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Wait, did you ragereload? Or did you pass it off as a "misunderstanding with the Emperor"? :p

I haven't decided how I'll address it in story yet. No ragereload, though (although plenty of cursing occurred at the time. :))
 

alhoward

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We have a winner! Of course, I'm only going to figure this out AFTER my Chancellor gets me the claim and I press it. :mad:

Sirce, you get the right to name the first child born when the game is played again. Congratulations!
Ah, its a claim fabrication. I thought you were just killing a swath of people off until there was nobody but Friedrich who could possibly inherit. I guess we have different playing styles. :)
 

Sirce

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Casimir for boy,

Cassandra for girl.

Thanks! I find a lot of people forget this, but you COULD... possibly get the title IF Messien revolted, but I don't know if thats allowed since demo is my only experience. Best you can do now is claim titles within Bavaria's realm and use that opportunity for advancement, or even usurpation of Bavaria itself!
 

Avindian

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Ah, its a claim fabrication. I thought you were just killing a swath of people off until there was nobody but Friedrich who could possibly inherit. I guess we have different playing styles. :)

I guess we do too. I have the worst luck with normal assassinations!

Casimir for boy,

Cassandra for girl.

Thanks! I find a lot of people forget this, but you COULD... possibly get the title IF Messien revolted, but I don't know if thats allowed since demo is my only experience. Best you can do now is claim titles within Bavaria's realm and use that opportunity for advancement, or even usurpation of Bavaria itself!

Bavaria is definitely my target, eventually.
 

Ringelnatz

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Subscribed! How could I not follow my hometown's rise to power.
 

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Avindian

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You're probably waiting for me to update, and I promise I will soon. But in the meantime, why not vote for the ACAs? (Hat tip to loki100 for the awesome image!)

 

Avindian

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Sorry for the brief absence from the AAR; lots of RL life stuff that had to get done. I'll update here this weekend, at least once.
 

Avindian

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I will definitely update tomorrow, but I needed to make one change to Chapter 2. I'd identified Fritz as the heir presumptive; in fact, Konrad is the older of the two. :eek:o I hope you'll forgive me, and if you don't, I'll just buy you off with a new update tomorrow :D
 

Avindian

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Chapter 3: The fate of a warrior

17 February 1197, Castle Nürnberg

Friedrich von Hohenzollern enjoyed being a Graf most of the time, but dealing with his family members was a part of his duties that he did not relish. Friedrich much preferred the simplicity of the battlefield: kill those who sought to kill you. He'd considered leaving the more mundane aspects of his title to his wife, but the truth was that he didn't know exactly what his wife would have done with even unofficial power. He'd already heard nasty rumors about his wife's involvement in the death of Dietpold, his close friend. Of course, he didn't believe the rumors, but the fact that they existed unsettled him. He stared at the ceiling, beseeching God to send him an answer to his prayers, then picked up the quill and began to sign his decrees. He authorized the betrothal between his half-brother Berthold and the daughter of a Thüringian noble.



Berthold was only a little younger than Friedrich, which was a little disturbing to some, but then again, the Graf von Nürnberg had hardly married close to his own age. He shrugged and grabbed the next decree: the education of his daughter.



Friedrich knew it was important to make a strong relationship with the new Kaiser. If he was going to someday usurp the Duchy of Bayern, he'd need at least the tacit approval of the Holy Roman Emperor. He'd miss his little girl, but he still had his sons to raise. Konrad wrote every so often; apparently, he was impressing his tutor with his gift for languages. That was important for his heir, Friedrich knew, but could not help but sigh that Konrad's swordplay was completely inadequate. Fritz hadn't shown military aptitude either, but the Graf felt much more confident about his son's ability to rule.

Friedrich reached for another sheaf of documents and finally noticed the nervous looking page waiting in front of his desk. Startled, the Graft dropped his papers. "What in God's name are you doing, lad?"

The page gulped. "It's bad news, my Lord."

"Just give it to me and get out."

The page gratefully threw the Papal bull on the Graf's desk and fled.



Friedrich's eyes widened. So, now we know who killed Heinrich VI. And I left my daughter with this unholy monster? It's too late to revoke my decree, I suppose, but I shall have to send somebody to look after her. Who knows what sorts of heretical ideas he's planting in her head!
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7 September 1197, a small tavern just outside of Meissen

Chancellor Engelbrecht, the Mayor of Fürth, idly fingered his ceremonial quill as he waited for the return of his agent. An excitable man under the very best of circumstances, he was downright anxious with his current assignment. It was an increasingly dangerous time to part of the Nürnberg court. The Marshal and Steward had both lost their jobs. When Engelbrecht had gone to the Graf with news that he'd successfully forged a claim on the Country of Meissen, Friedrich I had been elated.



He'd been most delighted, the Chancellor realized, by the prospect of a campaign he could actually win. Friedrich I had spent most of his brief reign fighting the Kaiser's enemies with every fiber of his being only to see the Kaiser surrender. A war against the Herzog von Meissen, however, would be entirely within the Graf von Nürnberg's control. When Marshal Folkhard tried to argue with the wisdom of engaging Meissen, he was summarily replaced by a soldier that Friedrich had been impressed with on the battlefield -- Gerlach von Hohenburg.





Gerlach was, in many ways, a typical soldier: willing to go to extraordinary lengths to bed every woman he saw, but much less energetic when it came to what he saw as "extraordinary duties." What impressed the Graf so much was Gerlach's unusual humility and drive to succeed -- traits which were rare in any man, much less a soldier. To compensate Folkhard, he was named Steward.



All of that was good news, except for one tiny fact: all of this war preparation was going to come to naught, unless Engelbrecht's agent could come through. The sound of commotion outside the tavern shook the Chancellor's melancholy. He grabbed a barmaid and asked her what was going on.

"They caught some spy, my Lord, poking around in the County Archives."

Engelbrecht winced. "I'm sure he'll not enjoy the reception he gets."

"No, he won't." The barmaid smiled in unusual ferocity for a woman so young.

"I'll be off, then. Thank you for your hospitality, miss."

The barmaid beamed, privately hoping for a nice tip. "Not at all, my Lord. I hope you come back soon!"

As he exited the tavern bearing the news he'd have to bear, he mumbled to himself, "I hope I can go anywhere after I show this to the Graf."


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27 December 1198, dungeons of Castle Nürnberg

Fritz skipped around the dungeons, looking for somebody to play with. Fritz knew, dimly, that he was something of a disappointment to his father. He tried so very hard to impress Papa, but he just couldn't fight that well. He was tougher than his brother, but not as tough as Papa. When he'd told his father as much, Friedrich simply patted his son on the head.



The Graf had been furious when Uncle Engelbrecht returned with the note that said that Nürnberg's war for Meissen was simply unacceptable to the Kaiser and Herzog Ludwig II. Fritz actually thought, for a moment, that his father would execute the Chancellor. Instead, he simply forced the Chancellor to return the money spent on pressing the claim. Fritz was awed by his father's obvious zeal for justice.



All of a sudden, Fritz heard a noise behind him. He squeezed his eyes shut, praying it wasn't a spider, then spun around with his knife out. When one eye popped open, he saw a very curious -- and very fat -- rat. Fritz smiled. "Hello, Mr. Rat! How are you today?"

The rat's response -- biting the young noble on the ankle -- was not what Fritz wanted to hear. Instead of getting angry, Fritz waited for the rat to let go, then threw his knife with extreme precision, splitting the rat in two. The noise drew his father into the dungeons (who knew where Fritz liked to play) and Fritz proudly showed his kill off. The Graf looked conflicted for a moment, but broke out in a wide grin.

"We'll make a soldier out of you yet, Fritz! Well done!"


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21 October 1199, Graf's chambers, Castle Nürnberg

Friedrich I was as pale as a ghost. The doctors were completely baffled by their liege's symptoms; Friedrich was normally so healthy that they'd little practice in looking after him.



Instead of spending time with his delightful newborn daughter, Wulfhilde, or trying to control his son's increasingly erratic behavior, Friedrich was stuck in bed.





Friedrich trembled and moaned. To the Graf, the only possible cause for this disease was God's wrath. How have I dishonored You, o Lord? Do You wish me to strike down Your enemies? Have I not raised my sons properly? Tell me how I can better please You and I shall obey! As Friedrich expected, there was no response. He looked up at his Chancellor, who looked with concern upon his master.

"Engelbrecht, what news from the Kaiser?"

The Chancellor weakly smiled. "He is well, and begged me to share his wishes and prayers for your swift recovery. He and his men are celebrating the infidel's decision to abandon their Holy War for Sicily."

"Good, good." Friedrich coughed a few times. "And my wife?"

"Also well. She's been spending a lot of time in Passau, comforting your friend's widow."

"That is very Christian of her, Engelbrecht. I approve. Did Cousin Burchard accompany her?"

"As you requested, my liege."

Friedrich nodded. "Good! You continue to be as efficient as I know you can be. I may have a new mission for you soon, so take a messenger with you when you go back to Wien."

"Very good, sire."

Friedrich didn't hear the reply as he drifted off to sleep.
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20 December 1199, Graf's chambers, Castle Nürnberg

Sophie von Hohenzollern smiled as she watched her husband practicing his military skills in the courtyard. His new devotion to expanding his realm pleased her greatly, although she knew not how he intended to do so. It was good to see him up and about, in any case.



She was especially glad about Friedrich's activity because her own plan to seize control of the County of Passau had failed so miserably.



If not for Burchard's skill, his agent would never escaped the commotion surrounding the attempted assassination of Count Berthold. Of course, Burchard had immediately eliminated his assassin, but the fact that she'd failed rankled her. She'd spent 150 gold thalers from the county's treasury to hire the assassin and gotten no return for her investment. She had Burchard stay behind and prepare another attack when she could get the money. In the meantime, her daughter and husband were her primary concern.
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10 April 1202, Kempten

Friedrich's plan was foolproof, and he was already enjoying the results. A new Marshal and Spymaster had worked with Chancellor Engelbrecht to fabricate a claim on the County of Kempten.





Burchard von Querfurt was one of the finest military minds in the entire Empire, and Friedrich felt no small wonder that Burchard was far cleverer than he. He'd assigned Burchard to train the next generation of Nürnberger soldiers, and turned to his oldest friend, Albrecht von Hohenburg, to serve as the new spymaster when Cousin Burchard died under suspicious circumstances. Why was he still in Passau anyway? That makes no sense.

With Herzog von Bayern's approval, the Graf von Nürnberg declared war on the Count of Kempten after only a few weeks of the new Marshal's efforts.



Thanks to the leadership of Gerlach, who served as primary field commander, Friedrich I won battle after battle, but couldn't help but feel frustrated that he himself was not participating in the fight. His wife was worried about his health, which was a woman's, he supposed, but he still felt like a coward. When the Siege of Kempten began, Friedrich couldn't take it any longer and rode out from Nürnberg to participate, dressed in the full regalia of the House of Hohenzollern. He intended to make this siege the greatest accomplishment of his career.

As Friedrich rode into camp, he took profound satisfaction at the sight of his engineers busily constructing siege towers. He dismounted and went to speak to one of them when a camp herald belatedly played his horn to announce the Graf's arrival. The sudden sound frightened Ragnarok, who ran off. Cursing, Friedrich left the siege in the hands of his engineers and marched off to find his horse. As the Graf entered the woods, something didn't feel right. It was much too quiet. He quietly unsheathed his sword.

There! Kempten's trickier than I thought. He's got a skirmish party of about fifteen men shadowing our camp.

Friedrich judged the distance to camp. It was too far to get there and warn them without a horse. He couldn't expect to engage fifteen men and come out on the winning end, but if he did nothing, they'd almost certainly come back with a bigger force. The Graf von Nürnberg was blessed with a moment of startling clarity.

He had to attack them as quickly as possible. The noise of the combat would summon help; all he had to do was last until help arrived. Secure in the knowledge that he was doing the right thing, he got as close as he could before attacking the party's leader. A quick sword thrust dispatched him. The other fourteen whipped their heads around to see a bald old man waving his sword and shouting. They chuckled and wondered who the lunatic was. Not wanting to waste resources, the best swordsman of the group engaged Friedrich in single combat. He died in less than a minute. Two more volunteers were likewise killed. The remaining eleven, deadly serious now that they'd been humiliated, surrounded the Graf von Nürnberg. One nearly skewered Friedrich in a single blow, but the veteran threw up his shield, deflecting most of the damage. The loud reverberating clang did what the other noises of battle did not: bring a squadron of knights from the Nürnberg camp into the battle. Half of the remaining soldiers from Kempten ran, leaving six behind. Friedrich smiled, gesturing for the remaining soldiers to attack.

Unfortunately, they didn't. Instead, the most heavily scarred held up his right hand. For a brief moment, Friedrich thought that he was surrendering. Unfortunately, he heard the distinctive of about a dozen crossbows going off at once.

How in the name of God did I miss those archers in the trees?

Friedrich felt a bolt tear through his chain mail and pierce his liver. A couple of knights went down around the same time, but the rest charged and overwhelmed the small raiding party and routed the archers.

That was cold comfort to the now dead Friedrich I von Hohenzollern, Graf von Nürnberg and Baron von Zollern.


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I hope you enjoyed the update (and that we gave Friedrich I a sufficiently epic end)! The next should come Monday, if not earlier.
 

Athalcor

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Epic! Though I am not sure that a war horse would run away when hearing a horn.
 

Gen. Marshall

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Friedrich.... Dead....? It can't be!

Now, it's up to the young Konrad to rule his father's county, or will a steward take his place? The house of Hohenzollern is too fragile for comfort right now, and it might be a good thing that Konrad doesn't enjoy combat as much as his father did.
 

Michaelangelo

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I didn't know you could marry owls. The name Hedwig makes me think of Harry Potter every time. :p

A worthy end to a great warrior. Hopefully Friedrich's heir will be just as capable and lead the Hohenzollern family to greatness. :)