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


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

dublish

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Wait, wait, wait. A von Hohenstaufen with a power base in Italy?! But that just seems all wrong! Next you'll say you're getting all cozy with the Pope! :(
 

jordarkelf

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Good trick! You just pledge yourself to the ducal title... I guess there's no way you'll become Duke of Swabia now though :(
 

Laur

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Given that Friedrich Barbarossa razed Milan a few times, I find the Hohenstaufens being heirs to the Duchy of Lombardia quite ironic.
Will Baudolino be making an appearance?
 

Murmurandus

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Well look at that, so many cunning plans and they are in fact succeeding so far... :eek::D
 

Farquharson

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AllmyJames: Yes I like the look of Lombardy. I've never really done much in this region before which makes it interesting. Incidentally I don't have any special goals for this game (seeking the Imperial Crown for example). I've come to the conclusion that by far the best way to play CK is just to go with the flow, and best of all to write up the story in an AAR as you do so. Of course the title does anticipate a crown of some sort, but I'm not fussy which - Italy maybe, who knows?

stnylan: Yes far too long - especially since I actually finished an AAR... :eek:o But I have a good feeling about this one.

coz1: Thanks, great to have you reading! I'll try to keep this one going for a change. ;)

Tommy4ever: Well I hope so, but as I say, I'm just taking things as they come. I certainly didn't expect to be moving into Italy so soon. :cool:

Deamon: As soon as I saw the Duke of Lombardia I could imagine him as this aging Godfather type. The sad thing is, he probably won't be with us for long... :(

dublish: Cozy with the Pope? :eek: I don't think so. But you know what they say - keep your friends close and your enemies closer. And note how I'm getting there - by stomping on a Bishop. :D

The_Guiscard: As I said, the saddest thing about Azzo is that he'll be pegging out pretty soon - may his memory live on! And btw, you've got the accent better than I did. I think I'll rewrite it a bit.

jordarkelf: Yes, we're now officially departing from Real History. That's when the story gets interesting!

Laur: What Friedrich Barbarossa lacked was a power base in Northern Italy. Perhaps my Hohenstaufens will be able to do the job properly... :p

Murmurandus: Yes, I'm almost embarrased to be doing so well up to this point. I've resolved to play carefully but not do any reloads. That means I live with my mistakes then have the fun of writing them up after!

OK well I've played a few more years but haven't written anything up yet. Next update might be tomorrow.
 

The Kingmaker

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Looking good so far. Guess I'll be following this too. :)

I must warn you to be especially wary of any Hohenstaufen daughters named Frederica, though... ;)
 

Jestor

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I love playing in Italy.

I love a Farq AAR even more.

Great to have you back! :)
 

J. Passepartout

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It occurs to me that this father figure, our dear Duke, may be able to help with the other inheritence as well, if they can get those concrete shoes back out of the lake. Not much concrete laying around ever since the Romans forgot to tell everyone how to make it.

And old man Trent is just counting time until his land is famous for something, and obviously bored doing it.
 

Farquharson

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AlexanderPrimus: No Fredericas, so far no - I have a Katharina and an Emma.

Jestor: Thanks. For me, I think this is the first time I've been in Italy, so early in the game anyway. Should be interesting.

J.Passepartout: Well Il Padrino might be able to help, but he's getting a bit old for that sort of thing these days. I think it will be up to Friedrich to come up with a Cunning Plan.

And now, the next update.
 

Farquharson

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Chapter 4 (1073-78)

Friends and Foes

Although Friedrich von Hohenstaufen had been chosen by his liege Duke Azzo "Il Padrino" d'Este as "Da One", he was still a humble Count, and his income was now more meagre than ever. Not only did Il Padrino seem to require far more duty than could be accounted for by his legitimate expenses, even what was left to Count Friedrich seemed to disappear inexplicably from time to time.


But Friedrich was too forgiving to hold these lapses against his wife, with whom he was still very much in love. He didn't care nearly so much about cash as about kids, and Marta provided him with plenty of these. By 1074 they had seven children, five of whom were sons, and all in perfect health. At times it could seem like a full-time job just deciding what to do with them all, but Friedrich was delighted with his swelling dynasty.

As if there weren't enough children around, Friedrich even accepted more as fosterlings. In 1074 Arnold von Tirol, five-year-old son of Albert Count of Tirol, arrived at the court.


Arnold didn't seem to fit in well, which was undesrtandable since he was the only child around who wasn't a von Hohenstaufen. Rather annoyingly, he kept whingeing about how his own family were much nicer, and how his Dad had told him he was going to be Duke of Tyrol one day. Apparently Count Albert had his beady eyes on this title as well. Friedrich soon discovered that he intended to get hold of it at Friedrich's expense.


Meanwhile Arnold stayed around in Friedrich's court, making a nuisance of himself. When he was with the other children he would wind them up by strutting about saying "Just call me Sire". Little Guntram, Friedrich and Marta's fourth son, was only two years old and didn't really understand. However when he started to talk his first words were "Just call me Sire" - it seemed like a good omen.


Apart from the annoying presence of Arnold von Tirol, all was peace and contentment in Friedrich's court. Then one day in May 1075 Friedrich woke with a terrible cough and a high fever. Marta flew into a panic, convinced that her beloved was at death's door. Messengers were quickly sent to find the miracle-worker who had had such success with little Gebhard the Green. They managed to find her and bring her back to Count Friedrich, but alas, although her fees hadn't gone up, her success rate had gone down slightly.


By August the Count's coughing was much worse - it could ony be one thing…


Everyone blamed Arnold von Tirol for this tragedy, accusing him of coughing in the Count's presence and giving him his germs. Arnold responded by going around the court coughing at everyone he could find. Most of the other children just ignored him, but Adolf was not one to take such things lying down. He vowed to kill Arnold some day. Arnold just laughed and coughed on him some more.


For months Count Friedrich coughed and coughed, but still clung to life. It was tragic to see a young man like him laid so low. His liege, Il Padrino, was particularly upset. He himself was now 69 years old but still fighting fit. He did have troubles of his own however. His son Fulco, whom he had made Count of Grisons, had now turned against him and the two refused to speak to each other.

Count Fulco couldn't wait for his father to kick the bucket and in January 1076 he approached Friedrich with a proposition - his aged father would have an unfortunate "accident" falling down the stairs, and Friedrich would inherit the Duchy, on condition that Fulco would get all the Duke's gold. Friedrich assured Fulco that it sounded like an excellent plan and that he was looking forward to becoming Duke very soon. Then he went and told Il Padrino all about it.


The truth was that Friedrich had taken a great liking to Il Padrino, and although the old man's death would mean wealth and power for himself, he still dreaded the news that would surely come some day soon, of Il Padrino's passing. Il Padrino was not the vengeful sort at least not when it came to close family, and Fulco was allowed to live, but he had the use of fewer of his fingers for the rest of his life.

In May of that year lustful old Father Otto passed away, to nobody's great regret, except that Friedrich no longer had a Marshal. However, the Pope soon sent another Bishop along to fill the post, this time zealous Father Giselbert von Tirol. He wasn't as good a Marshal as Otto had been, and another von Tirol in the court was hardly what Friedrich wanted, but beggars couldn't be choosers. And this time word got back to the Pope that his Bishops kept being put in the army, so he sent another one - the even more zealous Father Andreas von Glarus, distant relative of Chancellor Kunigunde. At last Friedrich could appoint a Diocese Bishop.

Father Andreas's first task was to kneel in an icy mountain stream for a week to pray for Count Friedrich's health. Nobody checked whether he actually stayed in the stream the whole time, but before long the miracle-worker was back on one of her regular visits. This time her fees were exorbitant but with Father Andreas's prayers to help along, Friedrich was confident of a result and coughed up - literally as well as figuratively.


Hardly had Friedrich been restored to health than Marta fell ill. Once again the blame for this was placed firmly on Arnold von Tirol, court trouble-maker extraordinaire. Arnold just sneered and said he hoped it was pneumonia again and maybe she would stop producing so many smelly little Hohenstaufens now.

In January of 1077 Friedrich and Marta were invited to Milan for a great banquet in honour of Il Padrino's 70th birthday. All his family and vassals were there, with the exception of course of Fulco the Few-fingered as he was now known. The old man still looked in good health, but as Friedrich was leaving, his liege drew him aside.


Il Padrino: Arra you ready, my boy?

Friedrich: Ready for what, Sire?

Il Padrino: Amma gonna say dis only da once, son. Amma notta gonna lasta long now. You besta be ready - OK?

Friedrich, a tear springing to his eye: But Il Padrino, don't talk like that! You're looking great.

Il Padrino: It donta show, son - butta my time - itta come soon.

Friedrich: I'm going to miss you, Sire - we all are.

Il Padrino: Maybe, maybe. Notta Fulco I donta think, eh? Ha, ha!

Friedrich: I can deal with Fulco, Sire, don't worry.

Il Padrino: Nah, donta worry aboutta Fulco. He wonta give you no trouble. But - justa one thing, Friedrich…

Friedrich: What's that Sire?

Il Padrino: Justa donta letta me down, OK? You arra Da One.

Friedrich: No sire, I won't.

And so Friedrich and Marta return to St.Gallen in a sobre mood, wondering if they would ever see Il Padrino alive again.

A month later the King held a grand tournament for all his nobles and Friedrich went along, despite the fact that he thought the King was a prat. Many people now saw him as arbitrary, cowardly and vengeful. Apparently his lasting memory of Friedrich was as the one who had taken the title of his vassal the Bishop of Chur. The fact that he had stood up against the rebel Duke of Swabia meant nothing to Heinrich. Instead he taunted the Count and tried to make him look foolish in front of his nobles. Friedrich told him to go and boil his head, that he wasn't fit to be King of Germany, and that one day the Hohenstaufens would sit on the throne. Incredibly, King Heinrich was too much of a coward to say anything in reply.


The consequences of this encounter were not to be felt yet, for Friedrich's allegiance was not directly to Heinrich. However, the day that Friedrich became Duke of Lombardia and had to swear allegiance to the King, there was bound to be trouble.

Meanwhile there was more trouble from small and obnoxious Arnold von Tirol that summer. By spreading malicious gossip behind their backs he had managed to turn Gebhard and Adolf, the two eldest of Friedrich's sons, into bitter enemies. He had also tried to find an ally in Ludwig, Friedrich's third son, but Ludwig had told him to get lost. Arnold coughed on him for good measure.

In December Il Padrino's 71st birthday was approaching and Friedrich and Marta were wondering what sort of a gift he would like when suddenly a messenger arrived from Milan with the tragic news they had feared for so long - Il Padrino was no more.

Wrapped in furs, the grief-stricken couple made the perilous journey over the Alpine passes in the middle of winter to attend the great man's funeral, and for Friedrich to assume the mantle of power in his place.


Friedrich was now Friedrich I of Lombardia, or as his new subjects chose to call him, "Friedrich Da One".
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Friedrich Da one? Daone? Done? Dun dun? :D

Better to subscribe later than earlier than never.
 

stnylan

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Frederick the Dun One! :)
 
Aug 3, 2008
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Excellent AAR! :) Now that Azzo is gone, I fear for its continued excellence, though. This AAR sure needs more Italian courtiers and noblemen! Ah, sorry, I mean of course: Dis-a AAR sure needs mora Italian courtiers anda noblemen-a!
 

coz1

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I wonder...is he going to start using that outrageous accent? ;)
 

Tommy4ever

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Federico Il Primo!

You should change the succession law asap.
Does he not keep his own succession law when he inherits another realm?

Anyway now with Lombardia there is surely nothing that stand in the way of Hohenstaufen world domination :D
 

jordarkelf

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Not if you rise a rank, then your laws get reset to whatever you inherited.

At least it should -- since laws are tag based, and rising in rank means changing tag.