• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    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

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Sterkarm

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This is the AAR thread for the CK portion of the game There Will Be War. The game is based around starting off as fairly weak realms, some moreso than others, with the goal of playing all the way through the Paradox franchise of games (CK-->EU-->Vicky-->HOI 2). For now though, we're just focusing on playing a good game of CK MP. Here we'll be writing all of our AARs for our numerous realms. The roster right now is fairly fluid, but this past session we had at the end:

Sterkarm-Duchy of Silesia
King of Men-Kingdom of Norway
Fasquardon-Kingdom of Georgia
FinnN-Duchy of Bavaria
Hyme-Duchy of Bohemia/Moravia
Burning Ego-Kingdom of Leon
Stahlgewitter2-Duchy of Provence (began as Duchy of Apulia, switched)

There are a few players that unfortunately could not make the first session and we're not sure what they will play just yet.

Lurken (GM)
binTravkin

We hope you enjoy each of our different stories and styles as well as their quality when combined as a whole.
 
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King of Men

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Dovrefjell, Norway
August 14th, 2206
Great Game timeline

"It is intolerable. It shall not stand."

Geir whispered the motto to himself. It had seemed a very reasonable one ten years before,when the Secret Hird had found him. Now, sitting on ancient Dovre mountain, watching the little bright sparks of the weapon satellites sweeping over Norway, he wasn't so sure. As a teenager he'd known all the ephemerae, had been able to pick outthe Chinese from the Norwegian, Greek from Spanish. But the numbers had multiplied beyond any human mind's ability to memorise, and in any case he'd been busy with the work. Always the work.

"Hi Geir. Thought I might find you out here."

He turned, half-smiling - he was always glad to see Anja, certainly, but he'd also wanted to be alone. Whether the Device worked or not, it was going to be the last time he saw the satellites. But Anja was irrepressible and impervious to hints, so he might as well resign himself to being jollied out of his mood, will he or no. She sat down beside him, taking his hand.

"Last night for satellites."

"Yes. If it works."

"Last night for us, at any rate. Though there'll be stars, I suppose."

"Not the same without you."

"No."

They sat in silence for a while, watching the trails, hundreds of them, outnumbering the fixed stars. Most were Chinese. The Norwegian Empire was not big enough to compete in every field. Space was important, certainly; but so was bio research, and grav-lasers, and suppressors. And quantum devices, of course. Especially quantum devices.

"Twelve hundred years. What do you think they'll be like?"

"You should know," Anja smiled. "You're the direct descendant."

Geir smiled back, half-hearted; he knew perfectly well that his direct descent
from Olav Yngling - real blood, generation after generation, in the male line, with no single law-Yngling or jumped-up stril soldier - was half the reason Anja slept with him, and at least two-thirds the reason the Secret Hird had recruited him. There were not many left of the pure blood these days, and the distinction meant less and less - except in the Secret Hird.

"Pfft. Well, anyway, I guess we'll find out tomorrow."

"If it works."

"Yes."

They sat again in pensive silence for a while. It wasn't really possible to test the Device, after all, not on any large scale. Certainly, they'd been able to send mice, and even humans, back in time a few hours, without any apparent harm. And in theory it should scale up just fine. But that was the same theory that showed the energy requirements going up quadratically with the time distance, which they'd confirmed in experiment; and when you multiplied the already vast energy needed for just a few minutes' jump by that, the only way to power the Device was to quite literally set off antimatter bombs under the mountain, and extract the energy from them. Which did have the advantage that if the Device didn't work, they'd never know about it. Although the rest of the world would. The bombs didn't quite amount to a Doomsday device; there was enough raw energy in them to crack the Earth open, but they had to be placed just so to be useful as power sources, and that limited their explosive effect. But certainly Dovre mountain would be spread over most of Norway as radioactive dust.

"I wonder..." Anja trailed off.

"Hmm?"

"If they'll know?"

"Who will?"

"The Chinese and whatnot. They'll be wiped out by the time-change. I wonder if they'll have time to realise?"

"One final Yngling backstab? Hah. I'd love to see their faces. But no, the effect should be instant - well, spread at lightspeed. Unless the Branch Theory is the right one, of course, and then they won't notice at all."

"I suppose. Maybe we should have made it public, just to watch them stew."

"Eh. They'd hardly let us get away with that. There's a reason we have a treaty forbidding this kind of thing. They'd launch the Imperial Nightingales two seconds after 'Quantum Device' was out of your mouth."

"Come now. This is the Chinese bureaucracy we're talking about. We'd have an hour, at least."

"Mmm, maybe. They're quick enough when they've got reason to be. Anyway, not our decision."

"No."

There was another silence; then Anja turned to him and pulled him down on top of her, and for a while an older magic than that of the Device ruled on the side of Dovre mountain.

But only for a while.
 

King of Men

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Mission objectives and information, 1066-1453

It is intolerable. It shall not stand.

1. Introduction.

a) In spite of recent advances in space and with computing devices, the overall parameters of the Protracted Struggle remain the same: Either side will attack as soon as it believes victory with acceptable casualties is achievable. 'Acceptable casualties' is a much higher number for the Ynglinga Hird than for the Comintern.

b) Projections made by the Overkommando Ynglinga Hird indicate that the Chinese presence in space will become self-sustaining, that is, independent of supplies from Earth, within fifty years; and that the Yngling Realm possesses insufficient resources to maintain a presence large enough to destroy or inflict unacceptable damage upon such settlement.

c) Therefore, in order to prevent the People's Republic of China from simply growing around the Yngling Realm and reducing it to irrelevance as a Power,
it has been decided to create a Quantum Device in violation of the provisions of the 2176 Treaty of Byzantium.

2. Objectives

a) Become advisors to the Kings of Norway in the formative years of the Realm.

b) Guide the Realm, and the Family, in order to achieve greater dominance, at an earlier stage, than was historically the case.

c) Ensure that the political development of the Realm includes strong privileges for the Yngling caste.

d) Avoid the regrettable miscegenation with strils which was unfortunately necessary for survival in our timeline.

3. Background information

a) Agents will be sent to destinations at 25-year intervals, starting in 1066. Due to the quantum nature of the Device, arrival times and locations cannot be controlled perfectly. Agents should attempt to locate their successors and predecessors, but must be prepared to operate alone if necessary.

b) Consensus among the scientists attached to the project indicates that our timeline, and history, will be entirely destroyed by the use of the Device. Agents should therefore be aware that an awe-inspiring responsibility rests on their shoulders: Should they fail to make the Kingdom of Norway into a major Power, there will be no second chance. In essence the Project is gambling all that our ancestors have achieved over the past millennium, in the hope of gaining the still larger prize of world domination. But agents must keep in mind that there will be no divine intervention to ensure that Norway succeeds. Failure is always a possibility, and it is here entirely unacceptable.

c) Agents should keep in mind that Norway, in 1066, does not enjoy any of the advantages it does in 2206. In particular, there is no strong Ynglinga Hird with a millennium of battle experience behind it. (Indeed, the single agent who lands in 1066 will, by himself, increase the size of the Family by 50%!) Caution is therefore indicated until a strong power base can be established. Hence the decision to avoid intervention at Stamford Bridge. Although acquiring the kingship of England at an early date would be desirable, the long-term effects of the survival of Harald Hardråde are too unpredictable. In particular, it is not clear how the privileges of the Yngling caste might be affected by the success of a powerful warrior king, and the inevitable distortions involved with subjugating England. Agents should keep this in mind, and exercise a similar caution.

4. Desired overall development

a) Domestic. The Yngling population must be enlarged by all means possible. In particular, fertility drugs should be given to wives of Olaf Yngling, and these wives eliminated at the first sign of barrenness. Moreover, other noble families should be absorbed or pushed aside. The custom of duels, which is fading as Christianity is introduced, must be strengthened at every opportunity; agents should keep in mind that they are much better trained, larger, and healthier than the average warrior of the early Middle Ages. Whenever possible, raids on neighbouring countries should be arranged, in order to maintain a large, experienced warrior caste who will find it in their own economic interest to be warlike. It will probably be necessary to maintain a public charade of piety within the Christian faith for diplomatic purposes, as that superstition is rampant throughout the period. Nonetheless, wherever possible, the older pagan superstition, which is much more suitable for our purposes, should be encouraged. Further, care must be taken to ensure that no Christian priest gains the ear of any Yngling King. The provisions of the New Testament, if taken seriously, would entirely destroy the Yngling caste. Fortunately, agents will be helped here by the historical fact that there is very little evidence of any Christian ruler ever actually taking those provisions to heart.

The desired end result is a strong, pure-blooded Yngling caste, descended in the male line from Olav Yngling or his brother Magnus, holding all the great offices, titles, and estates in the land. It is not necessary to give them in law the exclusive right to speak at Ting, as this will be achieved de facto merely through there being no competing noble dynasties within the Realm. Great care should be taken to indoctrinate this caste into its destiny of world domination, and - as soon as practical - to set up an education system similar to our current one, although necessarily of somewhat more limited scope. It is not necessary to have every Yngling understand tactics, logistics, hand-to-hand fighting, and basic rifle maintenance, to mention only a few of our subjects; rather, what is desired is a tradition of formal education for Ynglings, separate from both strils and the education of other noble families, which can later be developed into such a system as we have today. Note that until the Yngling population has reached a million or so, it will be necessary to keep the attrition in this education to natural levels, even though our current 5% death rate is far more desirable from a eugenic point of view.

b) Foreign. Complete domination of the Baltic and Finland. Iceland to be acquired as an outpost for reaching the Americas at a later date. The British Isles including the Channel coast of France conquered if possible. Targets of opportunity to be snatched in Russia, but no major campaigns in this area, as subjugating the strils there would distract valuable Yngling attention from more resource-rich areas. Germany to be conquered as far south as the Rhine if possible; however, great caution must be exercised here, as this area is politically fairly united and economically far richer than the Realm, and may come to dominate it politically if its indigenous noble families are permitted to retain power; we have no wish to be the flies that conquer the flypaper. No permanent conquests are to be made outside these territories, with the possible exception of Mediterranean islands suitable for naval bases, lest Yngling attention be split; again let it be noted that the primary objective for this period is to enlarge the Yngling population and its position in the internal politics of Norway. If it becomes necessary for diplomatic purposes to undertake large-scale campaigns in the Levant, Syria, or Africa ("Crusades"), any subjugated lands should be made self-governing as soon as possible, to await re-absorption in the second phase.

c) Economic and technological. Under no circumstances are up-time technologies to be introduced before the second stage. In particular, steam engines and gunpowder are to be avoided at all costs. The reasons for this are that the economic effects of steam engines will mainly benefit regions where coal is abundant, in particular, the north of England and the region around Bohemia. Until and unless these fall under Norwegian domination, allowing such benefits to occur would be highly counter-productive. Further, steam engines allow the rise of a merchant class, with riches independent of the land-based wealth of the warrior aristocracy; although unavoidable in the long run, this must be delayed until the Family is large enough to form a large proportion of this class and to dominate it politicall. As for gunpowder, it would be still more disastrous: Since it necessarily has a democratising effect on warfare, by making it simple for even untrained peasants to be warriors (see, for example, accounts of the fighting against Chinese militia prior to the Bitter Peace), it would undermine the entire social structure we are attempting to build. Until Yngling dominance is firmly established, victory in warfare must rest on a narrow caste of highly trained professional warriors; if peasant levies can defeat such a host, it will become impossible to establish our political privileges. A further point here is that gunpowder warfare favours economic resources and numbers, neither of which is a strength of Norway in this period.

5. Conclusion.

When in doubt, kill.
 
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FinnN

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The Duchy of Bavaria - Session 1 Part 1

OK, here we go with my first ever CK:DV after action report. I’m going to split these into two parts, one as myself discussing aims and reasoning, and the other as a fictional in-game historian. The ‘me’ ones will only cover what I think are the most important events in each session affecting my dynasty, the ‘alter-ego’ ones will cover the same events but also general trivia and gossip.

First of all let’s outline what my aims for the Duchy of Bavaria are. I like to play CK ‘in the spirit of things’ rather than going out and out for world conquest. In Bavaria’s case this means that I want to stay in existence as an entity (in other words always see Bavaria’s starting demesne as ‘home’) and keep the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) intact and working. That’s not to say that I’ll be within the empire throughout the game as true the medieval period my own dynasty comes first, but I want to show bias and loyalty to it where possible.

Let’s look at the position of Bavaria at the start of the 1066 scenario. It’s in a fairly safe location – the HRE is intact so if it ever comes into danger its liege is more than capable of defending it. Even this is unlikely though as all its borders are within the HRE. This cosy situation though is the biggest problem for Bavaria.

Right now being a vassal of the empire is my biggest asset, so anything that conflicts with that is out of the question. My best bet is to get the emperor to come to my aid, grab what I can before he declares peace and then let him finish the job. This means that expansion to anywhere but the East is out of the question at the moment. I’m not going to get involved with wars with other vassals until they rebel (which is probably still some time off). A war between France and the HRE would be a nightmare as it’d be likely to bog down for years thus preventing the HRE coming to my aid when I need it. Italy has some juicy targets, but the prestige values are too high for me to grab claims at the moment and it’s a bit of a cul-de-sac. Iberia is too far away for serious attacks at this point (although a friend there will be handy for any future attacks on France, and at one point I do indeed send an abortive expedition there to aid León), as is everywhere else.

So, what do I have to my East? Poland, Hungary and Croatia. Croatia is out as it would take me closer to the Byzantine Empire and future invasions. As it happens in this game the HRE is allied to Byzantium which means Croatia would be in serious trouble if I did attack at the right moment, but there’s no advantage for me. Hungary is too big and too close for me at the moment. Poland looks good, but has Bohemia in the way. Ah, Bohemia…

At the beginning Bohemia is part of the HRE, but kingship is so close that it’s a fair bet it’ll secede fairly quickly in any game. This immediately makes Bohemia a key target for me before the game even starts. A powerful Bohemia growing in any direction without co-operating with me is going to cut me off from expanding my control so I need to get ready immediately as in a fair fight I’d probably lose. So, I begin saving up my prestige and take all the prestige giving options in events (even if it’s not the best option otherwise) so that I can put a claim in on one of the Bohemian lands (Cheb as it’s the closest) as soon as possible. Although the extra province will be nice (I can give it to my successor) the real aim here is to either cut a deal with Bohemia about expansion or, if Bohemia attacks its neighbours prematurely, get Germany to cripple it sufficiently that we’re equal in power. I’m particularly keen to do this in this instance as I’ve seen Croatia attempt to talk Bohemia into partitioning Hungary on the forums. That’s a nightmare scenario I need to stop at all costs. Right now the HRE is rock solid and it can beat any of its neighbours in a fight, but that situation won’t last forever.

So, as quickly as I can I grab a claim to Cheb. As predicted Bohemia secedes from the HRE, crowns himself king and then attacks a neighbour – as it happens Poland. I have to be cautious here as if I attack too soon Bohemia has a chance to overwhelm me before the HRE intervenes. Bohemia is winning, and if I let that happen I run the danger of getting boxed in. Ideally at this point I want the Polish-Bohemian war to cease and cut a deal with Bohemia about expansion. Fortunately Bohemia makes a mistake – all Bohemian forces are mobilised and (unnecessarily) committed against the Poles presumably in an attempt to grab a quick victory. In this situation interest in blackmail dies and I go for a mugging. The moment the HRE is free from swatting a minor enemy I give a half-hearted warning to the Bohemians about Poland, then declare war without waiting for a response. I’ve (hopefully) kept my relations with HRE up by sending a fosterling so support is virtually guaranteed – and the emperor doesn’t disappoint. Bohemia is now in trouble – my forces are sieging several of his provinces, Poland is at his back and a torrent of HRE troops is on its way. Once I ensure that I have the upper hand I offer peace for Cheb knowing that the AI will finish the job, and get it. I can immediately disband my armies for a cheap victory and my heir (previously he was my marshal) gets Cheb. I was expecting Bohemia to make a compromise peace with the AI at that point, but instead it’s wiped off the map in a forced peace – its premature attack on Poland proving to be a fatal mistake. The reconstructed Duchy of Bohemia and Moravia once more is a member of the HRE. Quite where that leaves me with them diplomatically I’m not sure, but I hope that we can become loyal allies in protecting the HRE against internal and external enemies.

Overall, I’m pleased with my performance in the first session. I haven’t really extended my power much but I’ve removed my main strategic worry. The HRE is now at the point where problems will start to emerge though – plus the high prestige costs of grabbing claims means that shoring it up is going to be difficult by myself. My ruler is 65 and my heir is nowhere near as competent, so difficult choices are ahead – do I continue building up my provinces or is it time to cut a deal with a neighbour and begin expanding the boundaries of the HRE under our enlightened guidance – or maybe even independently in order to escape the chaos? Time will tell…

Part 2 to follow in the next few days from a more role-playingish perspective.

Have fun
Finn
 

The_Carbonater

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So KoM is on for a second run? Just love it:D
I'll be following this guys :)
 

hyme

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2nd run
 

BurningEGO

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Currently under edit.
 

fasquardon

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The Bagratuniad:

Real History:

A quick summation of my dynasty and the historical picture of my current and previous Kings so you can better appreciate how far things have diverged from real history already...

The Bagratuni:

An ancient dynasty of Armenian extraction, their true origins are shrouded in the mists of history, having tenuous genealogies drawn back as far as the 1st Century BC - the time of the Empire of Tigranes the Great - and legendary genealogies claiming even earlier origins. The dynasty had spread to Georgia in the early centuries of AD, taking up positions of minor nobility for the local kings, however, the _important_ Bagratids, arrived in the country in the turbulent years after the Arab conquest of Armenia, in the person of Vasak, son of Ashot III the Blind. From 772 AD, when Vasak arrived, to 1008 AD, when his descendant Bagrat III became King of Kings of the united Georgia, the Kartli like of the Bagratids rose on the strength of wise alliances and capable princes.

Having literally built the Kingdom of Georgia, the fate of the Bagratids would remain intertwined with that of Georgia until the Russian conquest in the 19th Century AD. Today they remain the acknowledged royal house of Georgia.

The Kings:

Bagrat IV 1027-1072:

Grandson of Bagrat III, Bagrat IV spent most of his reign either fighting the Byzantines over the inheritance of his adoptive Great-Grandfather, David of Tao, or fighting his own nobles for his very throne. The indecisive push-and-shove of the Byzantine-Georgian wars were only ended by the common threat posed by the Seljuk Turks, causing Bagrat and the Emperor Constantine to make peace in 1065, sealing the alliance the next year with a marriage between his daughter Maria and Prince Michael of Byzantium. The last years of his life would be dominated by the task of fighting off successive Turkish expeditions which tried, and ultimately failed, to force Georgia to submit to the Sultan.

Grigori II 1072-1089:

During his childhood, Grigori was used as the too of the rebellious noble Liparit, who crowned the boy king in 1054, subsequently making himself regent. While his father eventually prevailed, growing up as a tool of his father's enemies probably didn't do the boy any good... By the time he gained the throne in his own right, he had grown into a wavering and incompetant man, unable to give his Kingdom the leadership it so badly needed in the war against the Seljuks. For this reason, in 1089, he was deposed in a palace coup in favour of his son, whose great ability and energy secured a golden age for Georgia.

Sakartvelo:

Otherwise known as Georgia to us foreigners, this country is still in the process of being unified at this time (the last hold-outs would remain independant until the time of Tamar the Great r. 1184-1213, shortly before the Mongol invasions would shatter the Kingdom), and its nobles, despite mostly having the same last name, are still restive and prone to revolt. It is also one of the oldest Christian countries (Christianizing only somewhat behind Armenia). The culture has strong Persian and Greek influences, as, like Armenia to the South, the land treads a careful path between its two larger neigbours.

fasquardon
 

fasquardon

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I don't suppose we can save up our AAR awards? I'm just not sure what I want or need at this point...

EDIT: If the stability increase is official, I'll take that.

fasquardon
 
Last edited:

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Dovrefjell, Norway
December, 1066

Thick clouds hid the night sky; but Geir did not need to see the naked stars, with no manmade points of light drifting among them, to know that the Device had worked after all. The utter silence and darkness of a Norwegian winter night was enough, when he had come from a summer warm enough to lie out in. He gathered his furs more closely around himself; he'd been out in worse, certainly - in years when there were no proper storms, his school had arranged outings to the Arctic so the boys could learn to deal with weather - but it had been rather more pleasant to smell the summer grasses with a woman by his side.

He settled down to the long walk to the coast. Halfway down the mountain a thought struck him and he looked back. The blackness of Dovre faded seamlessly into the blackness of the night sky; but what made cold shivers go down Geir's back was that here was a Dovre under which Halkjell Yngling did not sleep. He felt dizzy as he finally grasped the sheer magnitude of what the Secret Hird had accomplished: The complete destruction of twelve hundred years of history, including their own. Oh, he'd known, of course; he'd been working on the Project for ten years, since he was fifteen. But he hadn't believed. Neither had anyone else in the Secret Hird, apparently, or they would have realised he was going back to a time before Halkjell Yngling, and destroying Norway's sleeping king under the mountain; all his achievements and glories, wiped out as though they never existed. Indeed, if you believed the math, they never had.

His stomach churned; it took a distinct effort of will to bring the nausea under control. Then the old habits of discipline reasserted themselves. It was useless to dwell on casualties; assess your new capabilities, reprioritise objectives if necessary, continue the struggle. The King under Dovre would never wake to aid Norway in its time of need; very well, he wouldn't. The trick was to make sure that he was never needed, then. Geir stood straight, turned around, and continued his trek to the coast.

On the third day it came to him: The Device had been kept under Dovre mountain, and had been built to rescue Norway from being outgrown and overshadowed by the Chinese. Surely that was an hour of need. So Halkjell had done his work after all; and if in the doing he destroyed all his other works... Why, that was only what a great King should do for his country. A phrase teased at Geir's mind, some half-forgotten motto from a story he'd read as a child: We are the Kings, who die for our people.

Which meant that Geir was the tip of the spear that Halkjell had thrown to save the Realm. The briefing had contained the words, 'awesome responsibility'; but not until now had Geir really believed, down in the guts where it counts. Perhaps no Yngling in history - in all those twelve hundred years that he was personally destroying merely by standing here, breathing air that would otherwise go unbreathed - had had such a backbreaking task.

And if so, what of that? Are we not Ynglings? Geir squared his shoulders and resumed his march. The smell of the sea was in the air.
 
Last edited:

The_Carbonater

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And so it begins....
 

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The forgotten greeks of Napoli
The Spartenos-Konstantin bloodline​


Prologue: It was a war that the Count of Napoli never had the chance to win, the city-state of Naples against the united army of the Apulian Duchy. The old Count demanded from his son to flee the city, to make it sure the Family survives, even if the city falls.

The young Sergios fled the city in the night, he was lucky, the besiegers didn't notice him. He had to leave, he had a childhood friend on Crete, so he decided to go there to ask for support. Two weeks it took till he arrived in Calabria, where he used the last remaining coins to gain a place on a Genevan ship to Crete.

When he arrived in Chandax, only sad news awaited him, his friend was dead since three years, killed by the muslims in the defense of anatolia.
...It seemed he has to move on, but then he met the sister of his old friend: Katrina Paraspondylos

They fell in love, and thus Sergios decided to stay in Crete.

After the death of the old Duke of Crete they married, and Sergios became the new Duke of Crete, however he feared that his enemies might attack his new homeland to capture ot kill him. He didn't want that his new family gets hurt, so he decided that he takes the name of the old Duke, and stay in the shadows of the events for a while.


Sergios Spartenos/Isaakos Paraspondylos: Duke of Crete, Count of Kaneia and Chandax

portraitks6.png


The Start: The years have gone like a rain in the desert, Isaakos had a big, happy family. Crete was not the richest, but was easy to defend. This was a great advantage, as the muslim heatherns took Constantinople and most of the former Byzantine Empire was in their grasp.
The feebleminded 'Emperor' in Thessalonika asked more and more taxes and soldiers, this made all the people soon rebellious. Isaakos was not like that, he thought if he is loyal, it will be rewarded...but that never happened.

People left to fight the war of the Emperor, but never came back.
After some time Isaakos felt the Emperor betrayed him, so he decided to find someone worthy of his loyalty.

After the recent events in Iberia a strong, united Kingdom of León stand against the muslims on the peninsula, he decided to pledge to him, and to reveal the secret of his family to the King: catholicism

Isaakos was secretly a papal supporter, just as all of the former Spartenos's were aswell, now that he had a catholic ruler it was not needed to hide this fact. To show his trust and loyalty to the King, he sent his youngest son to him as fosterling.


3 years later: Byzantium was in ruins, the last of the Imperial family fled to russia, and most of the Dukes declared their independence.
Turmoils in South Italy also made the Duke of Barcelona become opportunistic, and it soon was in war with Apulia. Of course the Kingdom supported his action to bring order to the neapolitans, and also declared war.

This created an opportunity for Isaakos, the ancestral lands of him, the city of Naples was in the hands of an excommunicated satanist, so it was not hard for him to claim the title for himself, even without saying his real family name.

(OOC: it was the first thing i did to claim the title when i joined, noone was at war with the owner then, and as i was the only one who had the legitimate claim on the lands when napoli fell to the armies he surrendered to me)

He gathered his family and the cretan army and sailed into the city.
The citizens there realized the similarity between the old Count and his son, and the city surrendered without bloodshed.


The Spartenos family reclaimed Naples!
portrait2mb6.png


It was this time, when Isaakos gave the count titles of crete to his first born son, and the Duchy of Crete had its new centrum in Naples.
It was also this time when the family of Paraspondylos became a new Dynasty: the one of Konstantin

This was the way how Sergios honored the old catholic greeks, the way to deny the rulership of the weak orthodox patriarch, and to show his support for an unified Church.
 
Last edited:

FinnN

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The Duchy of Bavaria - Session 2 Part 1

Well, a fairly uneventful session in the sense that nothing much immediate happened to me - but one with significant changes strategically. Again I succeeded in reaching my objectives, but two unforeseen problems have arisen.

First the successes - I intended to form an alliance with the Duchy of Bohemia, this has happened. I see co-operation with Bohemia as the linchpin of success in the HRE so I was very pleased when that happened.

Secondly I wanted a cheap and quick victory to take Foggia from its original owner - this worked out as expected, even before my troops made landfall on the Italian peninsula. Foggia is of no particular interest to me at the moment, primarily it gives me somewhere to send a landless son without stepping on anyone's toes. Perhaps in the future it'll form a bridgehead into Italy but I can't see myself competing with anyone there in the near future.

Finally this was all done within the lifetime of my original ruler who is now in extreme old age. This wasn't really in the plan, but it does open up a wide range of strategic and diplomatic opportunities by having the alliance with Bohemia in advance of his death.

So, there we have the successes - all pretty minor when compared against what everyone else is up to, but only two years went by so I can't really complain - now what about these new strategic threats?

Well, it isn't too hard to pick these out. León has spread across in a band across Northern Spain, Southern France, Burgundy, Italy and is in the process of carving out a piece of North Africa - with no powerful neighbours to put a break on his expansion. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking on at these conquests with some nervousness - and León must know this which if anything makes me more nervous! Still, nothing can be done about it for now. León is neither strong enough yet to take on the still large HRE head-to-head nor short of places to expand into to make it worth the huge expense that such a venture would cost so I should be safe for now.

The second is the appearance of a human player in Saxony. Saxony was the largest and also richest vassal of the HRE and also had the second largest personal desmense after the Emperor himself. Like Bohemia it didn't take long for it to declare independence. Unlike Bohemia it doesn't have a king title lying around for him to pick up so it's pledged to the (human) King of Norway. In the process though the HRE now has claims on all of Saxony's titles - which means even without any intervention by other players war is likely eventually. To make matters worse Saxony's personal desmense is conveniently neighbouring a chunk of the Emperor's personal desmense - precisely the sort of war that the AI is good at winning. Now, if by any chance Saxony came to be at war with the HRE and several other kingdoms at once then its chances of survival are slim indeed no matter what Norway does - at best it'd be utterly crippled for many years to come, risking the loss of vassals, the possibility of having his lands ruined by pillaging and the expense of maintaining the armies required to fight off the AI - never mind the time lost which could be better spent crusading or increasing his realm. So, whilst I was initially worried by Saxony's treason - I'm now more comfortable about the situation. The question is - what to do about it, if anything, or simply let events take their course?

I still intend to produce a more in-character set of AARs, but for now that's that!

Have fun
Finn
 

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A brief time-out for some discussion of strategy. The second post of the AAR outlines geographical objectives, which are fairly accurate, although control of the British Isles is probably going to be impossible against human opposition. That's ok, the Ynglings were always rather more ambitious than their resources would really support; hence the Bitter Peace and the whole necessity for the Device in the first place. So realistically, my objectives are to dominate the Baltic and have a strong position in northern Germany. The adherence of Saxony is a good start there, although I can hardly expect it to be permanent.

As for the domestic politics, CK doesn't really model it so I can make it up as I go along; I will try to let outside events like wars influence me, though. One good point about DV: It has a "challenge to duel" event between rivals in your court. I've decided that as a matter of RP I'm always going to allow the duel, representing the influence of my up-time Ynglings at court. This is a really nice feature; I had no idea when I wrote "the custom of duels (...) should be encouraged whenever possible" that the game would actually let me model that! A pleasant surprise, to be sure. Also I'll try to make sure that there is a maximum number of rivals in my court, by always selecting the "gain a rival" choice in events; again this is because my Ynglings are subtly working behind the scenes, educating people into a doctrine of conflict and violence, where everything is about dominance and power. Which probably contradicts their objective of making Norway a Great Power, but those are the instructions they were given, and their natural inclination as well. Again, their reach perhaps exceeds their grasp. All I can do is hope that these tensions at court won't interfere with success in war abroad.

My main long-term worry at the moment is Leon, which is expanding at a magnificent rate. It has spurred me into making conquests in Sweden. One thing about the new DV system that I'm a little ambivalent about is the force-vassalise option. It allows me to pick two strategically placed claims in Sweden, DOW the Dukes who have those lands, vassalise them, and be five or six provinces closer to a Usurp Title for the cost of only two claims. (Although, granted, those Dukes will hate me and defect at their earliest opportunity.) Make it three claims, and I could be King of Sweden in a single campaign. Which may be historically accurate; the civil wars in Norway are full of kings being hailed by local Tings who, reading between the lines, are rather worried about the 500 hirdsmenn in chainmail that the said king brought along, and you could argue that this is what happens when I force-vassalise a Swedish Duke. Get hailed by enough Tings and you were legally King of Sweden, no doubt about that. But I'm not so sure about the gameplay; it may make conquest a bit too easy. Anyway, we'll see.

The point is that my current ambition is to subdue Sweden, for which I'm finding those Saxon troops quite useful. Then I may need to worry about Bavaria bringing down the HRE on my head, which would be unfortunate, since Bavaria is one of the forces I'd like to mobilise against Leon. We shall see how the diplomacy goes.
 

BurningEGO

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The Lions of Leon will never surrender! ROAAAAR! :D
 

King of Men

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Bergen fjord, off Kvarven
January, 1067

It was customary for Ynglings coming to the capital of the Realm to break into song when they rounded Kvarven and the city proper came into sight for the first time; but Geir was in no mood for taking his cithar, new-tuned or not, in hand. He had expected it, of course, had consciously prepared himself not to see the vast, brooding industrial city he had grown up in, where the factories climbed far up mountainsides denuded of trees, and a population of three millions burrowed deep into the granite for space and protection against nuclear attack. But even so... it was so small! A few hundred houses, if you wanted to call them that - shacks, by any civilised standard. The west side of the bay showed occasional farms cutting into virgin forest. Even the contours of the sea were different, where a millennium of landfill had not taken place. By the time his hired fishing boat dumped him on the pitiful little wooden quay two hundred meters inland of where Bryggen should have been, Geir was deep in culture shock.

Håkon's Hall was two hundred years in the future, but a bigger-and-better log house stood in roughly the right location; Geir recognised a chief's dwelling from the briefings. There was even security, of sorts: Several heavily armed, bored-looking men stood about at the entrance to the hall. One of them challenged Geir politely: "Hail, stranger. What brings you here?" He spoke the harsh Norse with a different intonation from the fishermen, an upper-class dialect perhaps. Geir suppressed the urge to give the heart-to-fist salute and crisp "Geir Jonsson, Ynglinga Hird, reporting to Olaf Haraldson as ordered" that would have been his response to internal security in the uptime world. Instead he replied "I am Geir Jonsson. I've come to seek service with King Olaf."

The other man nodded in a not-unfriendly way. There were few other reasons for a man of the warrior class to come alone to a king's hall. "You're in luck then, the king is wintering here. You'll find him at the high table; I think he'll make a space for you." Geir blinked a little at this unexpected respect and helpfulness, then realised that he was at least half a foot taller than any of the other men, and more fit to boot. He consciously reined in his dominance projection a bit; these would be comrades-in-arms, of a sort, and it wouldn't do to offend them. Besides, he couldn't very well treat the king like a stril, to be overawed or killed. "Thank you," he nodded to the man as he passed.

The hall was dark, but with a heat that was welcome after the raw chill outside. Perhaps a hundred people, mostly men, sat on benches on either side of the long fire, drinking and talking; the thin beer wouldn't make anyone drunk at the pace they were going, but there was little else to do in winter. Or so they thought, at any rate; if Geir had anything to say about it, these lazy slugs would find themselves drilling morning and evening. But it would be some time yet before that was possible.

The king was easy enough to spot, that was the purpose of the high seat. "A stout man, well grown in limbs; and every one said a handsomer man could not be seen, nor of a nobler appearance. " Geir was not so impressed - or well-paid - as the saga writer had been, his standards being perhaps higher, and not running to scraggly, greasy beards. It didn't help that the king had clearly been hitting the beer rather more heavily than most of those around him, and was sitting a bit askew in his seat. He wasn't too drunk to sit up straight when Geir approached, though. A stranger was a novelty here, and any novelty welcome in the middle of winter.

"Ho. The gods send us tall men for guesting today," the king cried, clearly in a good mood. "Or are you a giant come down from the hills for our sheep?" This to Geir himself. "Whichever, be welcome at our hearth. What is your name?"

"I am Geir Jonsson; and I am no giant, but a man come to seek service of King Olaf."

"Hmm. These are peaceful times for Norway; but I can always use a strong man in my service. Still, you look as though you can eat for two; can you fight for as many?"

"Well, Sire King; name three men of your guards, and we shall wrestle, and see who is still standing at the end." Geir felt himself falling into the formal speech of saga in response to the King's jest, and damned the dizziness at the back of his mind. This was no time for culture shock, curse it. But this was altogether too much like being a player in a historical drama: He couldn't help but feel that nothing was quite real, that at any moment the director would scream "Cut!" and berate him for delivering such a stilted line. That was a dangerous frame of mind to get into when he was about to fight.

"That is bravely spoken," the king replied, "but come, no man shall say I am unfair. If you can fight for two, that is enough no matter how much you eat! Here : Ketil, Torvald, see if he can wrestle as well as he boasts." The two men named wasted no time, rising to their feet and charging at Geir without further ado. The rest of the hall began shouting, "Fight! Fight! Fight!" Geir could see he was going to be popular here, this was clearly the best entertainment anyone had had all day.

Ordinarily Geir would have met such clumsy attacks with crippling kicks to the kneecaps, but he had specified wrestling, and wasn't sure if such a move was allowed. Besides, these men no doubt had friends and relatives; best not to do anything too permanent, then. Anyway, the crowd clearly wanted a show, not a massacre. Instead he sprinted at the one on his left - Ketil, he decided - meeting his charge head-on - or almost. At the last moment he shifted right, grabbing the other man by the arms and using their combined angular momentum to fling them both around. Geir was the heavier, and had been expecting the move; thus he was able to keep his feet while redirecting Ketil's charge ninety degrees - straight into Torvald. They collided noisily. While they were still disoriented, Geir followed, grabbing Ketil's arm from behind, then turning and using the arm as a lever to throw the man over his back, to hit the rush-strewn floor with a resounding thud. Geir whirled to meet Torvald, but he needn't have worried - there were no Ynglings here, or such showy tactics would have seen him dead already. Torvald was still recovering from the collision with Ketil, and offered no resistance when Geir barged into him and inserted a foot behind his ankle for a trip.

Now there was silence in the room. If Geir had been fighting full force it would have taken three seconds rather than the ten it had actually lasted; but to the crowd, it was still a magically swift and deadly match. Geir turned to the king: "Nu, Sire, I did not say three for an empty boast. But you have said two will be enough. Is it well?"

The king took a moment to recover, but then he broke into a smile. "Enough, and well enough! Come forward then, Geir Jonson; you shall have service of me, and a gold ring besides. Such a fight I think I've rarely seen!"

Geir resumed his walk towards the high seat, feeling a little less disoriented with the familiar sensation of adrenaline pumping through his blood. Even so, he was rather disappointed in this man, the mythic King Olaf. Drunk already, with the sun still in the winter sky! As he came closer, he realised/remembered with a shock that the king was younger than himself. He'll be seventeen later this year, he thought, and almost fell over as the dizziness worsened. He, Geir Jonsson, was actually ten years older than King Olaf! And worse, he was about to swear fealty to the drunken little brat!

He knelt down before the king with some relief; his knees hadn't been entirely steady for the last few steps. King Olaf took Geir's hands in his own, and recited the oath of fealty in a loud clear voice, not slurred at all. Holds his beer well, at least, Geir thought, slightly contemptuous. Then he looked into the king's eyes, and froze. Nothing else about the boy was really king-like, or even Yngling-like. But the eyes... Somewhere in them, far in the back perhaps, a fire burned. Geir looked into that fire, and saw the nature of his race: The greed, the will to power, the unbridled violence. The arrogance that can brook no rival or equal. They were hidden, in Olaf; but they were there, perhaps more so than in any Yngling Geir had ever met. In most, the fire was banked, satisfied and dimmed by civilisation and the day-to-day dominance over strils that was any Yngling's birthright. But in the king, it burned furiously, raw with the untamed strength of an illiterate. It would need only a little encouragement to burst forth like a volcano, making cinders of all in its path. Geir smiled as he said the words of the oath, knowing what motto he would teach the king.

It is intolerable. It shall not stand.
 

FinnN

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The Treaty of Württemberg, 1088 (in the afternoon)

To the most Holy Father and Lord in Christ, the Lord Hildebrand, by divine providence Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman and Universal Church, his humble and devout sons Olaf Haraldsson Yngling, King of Norway and Duke of Jämtland, Count of Vestfold, Akarshus, of Oppland and of Viken, Otto von Nordheim, Duke of Bavaria, Count of Kempten and Oberbayern and also Magnus Billung, Duke of Saxony, Count of Kleve, Göttingen, Braunschweig and of Lüneburg and Borivoj Premyslid, Duke of Bohemia and Moracia, Count of Praha send all manner of filial reverence, with devout kisses of his blessed feet.

Let it be known by our Holy Father that today a treaty of fraternal peace was concluded between these four noble lords.

The Duke Magnus does pledge to return his loyalty to the Roman Emperor, King of Germany, of Burgundy and of Italy, on the conclusion of his wars with the Kingdom of Sweden and the Tribe of the Cumans in the service of the King of Norway. Until such time as this comes about neither he nor his liege, Olaf Haraldsson, King of Norway will make war against the Imperial lands, nor will they suffer any traitors to the Emperor to take protection for themselves against the interests of the Imperial realm nor in any other way take lands from the rule of the aforesaid Roman Emperor, Heinrich von Franken.

The Dukes Otto and Borivoj do pledge to honour the boundaries of Saxony and of Norway and to refrain from waging war on behalf of the Empire against these realms. Furthermore, the Dukes Otto and Borivoj do pledge to assist the King of Norway and the Duke of Saxony in defending their realms should they come into danger by whatever cause and to do so by any and all means at their disposal, provided such measures do not prejudice the defence of imperial territory.

May the Most High preserve you to his Holy Church in holiness and health and grant you length of days.

Given at the monastery of Württemberg in Germany on the afternoon of the first day of the month of November in the year of grace ten hundred and eighty-eight.
 
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