Wendish Empire - deleted title from CK2 and early CK3

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Basileus_PL

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Apr 3, 2015
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Hi Everyone,

I would like to propose restoration of Wendish Empire, title from early days of CK 3, as well as CK 2. From my perspective spliting this empire into Baltic Empire and Western-Slavia was unnecessary move, with complications in 1066 start date.

obraz_2024-03-31_225331518.png

Wendish Empire during early days of CK 3

First of all, why in my oppinion Wendish Empire was best solution? It wasn't neither true Slavic neither Baltic, so in some sens it's fitting well to idea of imperial universal rule, a supreme monarch by God(s) will. Term "Wends" was used to describe group of western Slavic tribes, but at the same time it has obvious connections with ancient Venedians (or Vistula Venedi) - tribe which according to Jordanes might be considered as Slav forefathers, but some modern scholars consider them as Baltic people or even tribe from other Indo-European branch of peoples, slavicised in later ages. Of course we are lacking proper name for this fictional empire, but using such unclear ethnonym as a basis for this title might be a right choice. If you dislike it, okay - it could be Baltic Empire, in this situation title might be also considered as conected to the region of Baltic Sea, not Baltic peoples - which are not Slavs like Poles, Sorbs or Pomeranians.

In 1066 West-Slavia as an empire is joke - it require only kingdoms of Poland and Galicia-Vohlynia to form. Galicia-Vohlynia should be de-iure part of Rus, it was inhabited by East Slavs (mainly), Galicia-Vohlynia is without any doubts one of Kievan Rus successors, and this land wasn't realy tied to polish crown before late Medieval period. There were conflicts between Poland and Kievan Rus for Cherven Castles, but it's only one duchy in whole kingdom which - as I mentioned - had not strong ties with Poland, at least not before latest Piasts. In 867 de iure shape of this empire is better, but I am not sure if Great Moravia shouldn't be part of Carpathia instead for balance reasons. Also, we already have decision event in game to unite West Slavs into one de iure kingdom - there is no need for separate title here and therefore West-Slavia makes little sense.

Wendish Empire was comparitable in size to HRE and Rus. It was never too easy to form (Carpathia, shame on you), and during few tousand hours spent in CK 2 I noticed that AI created Wendish Empire one or two times - so overall it was quite historical accurate right? This area was divided between few local political centres of power, influenced by various cultures and it's neighbours. It was never unified and really not aligned with any of medieval empires, at least not before HRE absorbed or vasalized large part of western Slavs (Czechia, Pomerania, etc.).

That's my subjective opinion, overall I feel that whole region might need some attention with revising de iure teritories of kingdoms (I think we are missing Pruthenia - old Prussia, Bohemia as a kingdom in 867 really needs buff or event to consume duchy of Moravia).

But because Wendish Empire is the easiest to reconsider - because it really never existed even as any identity - it might be again a proper reward for player who will manage to unite this unclaimed land between HRE(Germania in 867) and Rus into one realm.
 
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It was called Wendish Empire in CK2 and CK3 very first few patches, then it was renamed "Southern Baltic Empire" and finaly divided in one hotfix before Royal Court launch if I am correct.
 
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You mean to tell me you don't like a hyphenated Empire of West-Slavia that doesn't have all Western Slavs in it but has Eastern Slavs for whatever reason? I mean, it's almost an upgrade over the intermediary South Baltic Empire we got for a bit, that had parts of it that were closer to three different seas than they were to the Baltic.

Yeah, me neither. Wendish Empire was actually pretty neat for precisely the reason that you said, i.e. that it had a link for both the Baltic People and the Western Slavs (albeit stronger for the Slavs). It also didn't have weird geographic naming like Southern Baltic or something that looks anachronistic for the time period covered like West-Slavia.

They should have just kept Wendish Empire as it was and then gave Baltic People 1. another kingdom in Prussia and 2. a decision to form their own Baltic Empire with Lithuania and Prussia (and Estonia if you control it) if you so wish. It wouldn't even be the only two-kingdom empire even without Estonia.

Speaking of Estonia, leaving it in Scandinavia by default also made sense as Estonians are culturally way closer to Fins (who are in Scandinavia) but in both start dates were culturally similar to the vikings and shared a penchant for maritime raiding across the Batlic. Admittedly lack of land border to rest of Scandinavia looked a bit silly on the map, but maybe Scandinavia could get an option to incorporate the Ingria area via a decision as well.
 
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It was called Wendish Empire in CK2 and CK3 very first few patches, then it was renamed "Southern Baltic Empire" and finaly divided in one hotfix before Royal Court launch if I am correct.
West-Slavia was added in the first or second post-RC patch in order to give the player an imperial when they took the Unite the West Slavs decision.
 
IMO all empires but historical ones should not be de jure empires at all but something you got to create via custom decisions or the decision to found a new empire.
No idea why you were downvoted so hard, because you're absolutely right, and eventually it's likely how it's going to work as the existing empires on the map will get expanded on.
The entire meaning of "de jure" is that it's supposed to be a political entity with an established right to exist, generally for historical reasons (though I guess legendary could also work, like for Britannia). If it's just part of the map so that every kingdom corresponds to a de jure empire, then it probably needs a rework at some point. The fact that we can write something like that:
Wendish Empire was comparitable in size to HRE and Rus.
just shows how nonsensical those formable de jure empires are. There's no way a "wendish empire" (or any ahistorical empire) should be comparable to the HRE. Empires is just not something that medieval "states" tended to naturally evolve towards. There should be a whole process covering the emergence of different kinds of empires (more or less centralized and more or less administrative) dynamically. It shouldn't be a reward for holding multiple kingdoms. In fact, historically, holders of multiple kingdoms almost never formed empire-like titles during CK's time frame.
 
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).

That's my subjective opinion, overall I feel that whole region might need some attention with revising de iure teritories of kingdoms (I think we are missing Pruthenia - old Prussia, Bohemia as a kingdom in 867 really needs buff or event to consume duchy of Moravia).

But because Wendish Empire is the easiest to reconsider - because it really never existed even as any identity - it might be again a proper reward for player who will manage to unite this unclaimed land between HRE(Germania in 867) and Rus into one realm.
Prussia being part of Lithunia makes future teutons and lithuanians fight it out
Why have an event for moravia to be absorbed into bohemia rather than organic fall from 867?
 
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The entire meaning of "de jure" is that it's supposed to be a political entity with an established right to exist, generally for historical reasons (though I guess legendary could also work, like for Britannia). If it's just part of the map so that every kingdom corresponds to a de jure empire, then it probably needs a rework at some point. The fact that we can write something like that:
Okay, but which empires have an "established right to exist"? Do we use the criteria of "must have existed continuously long enough for de jure drift to have incorporated its kingdoms?" Do we use "existed in any form prior to the start date?". If so, should the North Sea Empire be de jure in 1066? After all, it certainly existed, was treated as a peer political entity to other empires of its time, and had a longer and more recent continuous existence than the HRE in 867. Do we use "existed in some form before the end of 1453?" - if so, does Scandinavia (Kalmar Union, formed 1400) count? Or less controversially, the empire of Mali (founded 1226). And then how seriously do we take dubious claims like "Imperator Totius Hispaniae"? Reasonably we don't since it was made by kings who were nowhere near actually controlling all of Spain, though they were clearly trying to claim a legal - one might even say de jure - right to rule the entire peninsula, and not long after the end of the game period, they did have such a degree of dominance over Iberia (and a hundred years after that, legitimately the entire peninsula). Do we only consider claims to the Roman Empire? If so, why? That's an extremely Christian thing to care about when large portions of the map are not Christian. Not to mention several empires distant from Europe existed prior to 867 with no connection to Rome (several Persian Empires, a Tibetan empire that fell shortly before the start, and at least two northern Indian empires). What empires, other than Persia and Byzantium have a solid "established right to exist" in 867? Probably Tibet. Maybe Rajastan and Bengal as there had certainly been great empires established previously in northern India and there would be another within the time period covered by CK3, though it's been several hundred years. Do Rashidun, Umayyad, and Abbasid Caliphates give a valid precedent for a de jure empire of Arabia? Even if they were never great at continuously holding it, there was certainly an enduring idea that these lands were supposed to be held together by a single ruler.

And why should the declaration of an empire be more special than that of a kingdom? After all, to the Catholics, wasn't kingly right to rule also granted by the Pope? So why should any rando just be able to declare a kingdom just because he has some patch of land? Conversely, why does a Buddhist care what some man in a funny hat thousands of miles away thinks is a "legitimate kingdom"? For that matter, who is going around declaring certain tracts of land to be duchies? Even if we accept that CK mechanics demand everything have a duchy so that can be fudged, the question is just punted back to kingdoms (eg. there was no historical Kingdom of Mordvinia). The "only historical empires" position logically also applies downwards to every formable title in the game and at every turn one winds up asking what exactly constitutes "historical".

Indeed, as your start date suggests, you might be aware that CK2 once took a much narrower view of permissible empires and gradually expanded out from a handful of more strictly defined empires that fit the initial Christians-only gameplay and eventually added several more empires for things like unifications that happened after 1453, and then just covered the whole map in empire-tier titles. And CK2 itself added many of these instant-de jure kinds of decisions without rolling back the empire titles. It seems quite unlikely Paradox will reverse the decision to cover the map in empires.

just shows how nonsensical those formable de jure empires are. There's no way a "wendish empire" (or any ahistorical empire) should be comparable to the HRE.
First off, why shouldn't it be? The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a geographically similar construct, exerted considerable geopolitical power for a few hundred years, albeit after the period of CK3, and was not subject to simply being pushed around by the HRE. (Not that the Wendish Empire in game was actually comparable to the HRE - it's actually significantly smaller in 1066, while in 867 the Baltic + West Slavic Empires are largely tribal though at that date they have a similar number of counties (West-Slavia loses about half of its 867 counties to various integrations into the HRE in the 1066 start), and in both starts, they're much less developed and mostly pagan). Second off, that it was so large was a somewhat useful hindrance to the AI consolidating enough land actually form it. If anything, these tiny, rinky-dink empires are worse because basically any jagoff who can scrape together two crowns can proclaim himself an emperor of something. In CK2, this was a serious problem with the empire of Carpathia - the king of Hungary was always like two holy wars from being able to call himself emperor.
 
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I will concede one thing - there's a case that there are too many empires on the map. The four "most historical" empires - HRE, ERE, Persia, and Tibet absolutely dwarf most of the other empires (and other near-historical empires round out the largest empires list, with Francia, Arabia, Scandinavia, and Rajastan all being quite large), while the less-historical empires are mostly much smaller. Several of these titles should be consolidated because as it stands, forming some of them is absolutely piss easy. Volga-Ural and Siberia? Slam them together to make an empire with a normal number of counties. Ajuraan and Abyssinia? What are 22 counties doing separate with their own empire? Consolidate the former into the latter.

Or at the very least bring back a lot of the special formation requirements for anything under 75 counties and/or four de jure kingdoms. Let's say that if the empire is under 75 counties de jure, you must have at least 75 counties in your realm anyways, and for each kingdom under four in the empire's de jure territory, you must either completely control or hold the title of that many kingdoms outside of the de jure empire.

This is however about gameplay, not that empires must meet a certain criteria of historicity. Several empires are simply too easy to form and I do think it should be harder to hit that rank.
 
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Okay, but which empires have an "established right to exist"? Do we use the criteria of "must have existed continuously long enough for de jure drift to have incorporated its kingdoms?" Do we use "existed in any form prior to the start date?". If so, should the North Sea Empire be de jure in 1066? After all, it certainly existed, was treated as a peer political entity to other empires of its time,
How so?
and had a longer and more recent continuous existence than the HRE in 867
the hre still existed officially in 867. North sea also lasted little more than Cnut's life
. Do we use "existed in some form before the end of 1453?" - if so, does Scandinavia (Kalmar Union, formed 1400) count?
Therea a difference between holding many king titles and being an emperor, especially when it wasnt a full political union but the election of the same candidates
Or less controversially, the empire of Mali (founded 1226). And then how seriously do we take dubious claims like "Imperator Yotius Hispaniae"? Reasonably we don't since it was made by kings who were nowhere near actually controlling all of Spain, though they were clearly trying to claim a legal - one might even say de jure - right to rule the entire peninsula,
Having all the taifa kings give payments is one way of claiming rule over the whole penisula
and not long after the end of the game period, they did have such a degree of dominance over Iberia (and a hundred years after that, legitimately the entire peninsula). Do we only consider claims to the Roman Empire? If so, why? That's an extremely Christian thing to care about when large portions of the map are not Christian
because the game is called crusader kings and is based on feudal christian mediveal and early modern behaviours, and the core gameplay should be improved for the main playerbase, christian Europe starts
. Not to mention several empires distant from Europe existed prior to 867 with no connection to Rome (several Persian Empires, a Tibetan empire that fell shortly before the start, and at least two northern Indian empires). What empires, other than Persia and Byzantium have a solid "established right to exist" in 867? Probably Tibet. Maybe Rajastan and Bengal as there had certainly been great empires
Why empires and not larger de jure kingdoms?
established previously in northern India and there would be another within the time period covered by CK3, though it's been several hundred years. Do Rashidun, Umayyad, and Abbasid Caliphates give a valid precedent for a de jure empire of Arabia? Even if they were never great at continuously holding it, there was certainly an enduring idea that these lands were supposed to be held together by a single ruler.
Having non dejure helps make the berbers and persians break free of dar al islam
And why should the declaration of an empire be more special than that of a kingdom? After all, to the Catholics, wasn't kingly right to rule also granted by the Pope?
because the concept of empire to mediveal people was far more than just the modern definition. The prophecy of the 4 kingdoms, the translatio imperii, etc etc
So why should any rando just be able to declare a kingdom just because he has some patch of land?
With legitimacy mechanics, we might see non papal kingdoms being harder to hold in future
Conversely, why does a Buddhist care what some man in a funny hat thousands of miles away thinks is a "legitimate kingdom"?
same reason a buddhist uses the count duke king emperor format and has no independent barons
For that matter, who is going around declaring certain tracts of land to be duchies? Even if we accept that CK mechanics demand everything have a duchy so that can be fudged, the question is just punted back to kingdoms (eg. there was no historical Kingdom of Mordvinia). The "only historical empires" position logically also applies downwards to every formable title in the game and at every turn one winds up asking what exactly constitutes "historical".
more titular titles less de jure would be good
Indeed, as your start date suggests, you might be aware that CK2 once took a much narrower view of permissible empires and gradually expanded out from a handful of more strictly defined empires that fit the initial Christians-only gameplay and eventually added several more empires for things like unifications that happened after 1453, and then just covered the whole map in empire-tier titles. And CK2 itself added many of these instant-de jure kinds of decisions without rolling back the empire titles. It seems quite unlikely Paradox will reverse the decision to cover the map in empires.


First off, why shouldn't it be? The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a geographically similar construct, exerted considerable geopolitical power for a few hundred years, albeit after the period of CK3, and was not subject to simply being pushed around by the HRE. (Not that the Wendish Empire in game was actually comparable to the HRE - it's actually significantly smaller in 1066, while in 867 the Baltic + West Slavic Empires are largely tribal though at that date they have a similar number of counties (West-Slavia loses about half of its 867 counties to various integrations into the HRE in the 1066 start), and in both starts, they're much less developed and mostly pagan). Second off, that it was so large was a somewhat useful hindrance to the AI consolidating enough land actually form it. If anything, these tiny, rinky-dink empires are worse because basically any jagoff who can scrape together two crowns can proclaim himself an emperor of something. In CK2, this was a serious problem with the empire of Carpathia - the king of Hungary was always like two holy wars from being able to call himself emperor.
 
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Empire names like the Angevin empire and North Sea Empire are names given by historians to large realms that held comparable power to an empire, even if they weren’t structurally an empire. Most rulers in Catholic Europe would not try claim the imperial title, because they reserved that for the HRE.

In game, upgrades to titles are given to characters who held comparable power to someone with the higher title. The count of Flanders is upgraded to a duke in game. The Anglo Saxon earls are given the Duke titles in game. Peppin the hobbit ruled all of Gaul, which is comparable to an imperial realm.

Even though the East Slavic kingdom got transferred to West Slavia, it really should have stayed a part of the empire of Rus. Outside of Italy, all European empire in game should be comparable in size to the HRE.
 
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because the concept of empire to mediveal people was far more than just the modern definition. The prophecy of the 4 kingdoms, the translatio imperii, etc etc
Christian centric, dubious relevance
because the game is called crusader kings and is based on feudal christian mediveal and early modern behaviours, and the core gameplay should be improved for the main playerbase, christian Europe starts
The title even as of CK2 was established by Paradox to be an artifact, not unlike Europa Universalis, which is not in fact a game about Europe.

With legitimacy mechanics, we might see non papal kingdoms being harder to hold in future
A.) why at all? B.) why the Pope? If someone else speaks for my gods and says they ordain my right to rule, why should it be any less legitimate than a man with a forged document saying he can hand out Rome.
Having non dejure helps make the berbers and persians break free of dar al islam
You mean the Berbers and Persians who are already in different de jure empires?
Why empires and not larger de jure kingdoms?
I'm not sure what you think this addresses and in context, it seems like a suggestion that empire titles like Persia and Tibet be just really big kingdoms.
Therea a difference between holding many king titles and being an emperor, especially when it wasnt a full political union but the election of the same candidates
Arguably the same could be said of Charlemagne's HRE (even with a different mode of succession), which did not in any meaningful sense survive his death any more than Cnut's empire. It's also worth noting that CK3 does not consider the HRE to be de jure in 867.

Now, one legitimate concession I will make to the "only certain empires" or "empire is an extremely special thing to proclaim" position is that a Catholic or Orthodox ruler should probably not have an easy time claiming to be an emperor so long as there is an existing empire of their religion because their religions absolutely do care about this kind of thing. But this really shouldn't affect anyone in a position that does not place any particular value on Christian authority or Roman lineage.
 
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It would be good if Catholic had a mechanism to treat HRE as the only empire in the world.
I think there probably be some prestige attached to titles, maybe similar in concept to legitimacy. The HRE and Byzantine empires would have a higher title prestige than other empires, initially.
 
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It would be good if Catholic had a mechanism to treat HRE as the only empire in the world.
Eh, Catholics would generally still call the Byzantine emperor an emperor (though some certainly did dismiss him as "the king in Greece" or similar)
I think there probably be some prestige attached to titles, maybe similar in concept to legitimacy. The HRE and Byzantine empires would have a higher title prestige than other empires, initiall.
They're certainly two of the three most valuable empires by county count (Tibet is also in the top three). And this does give me an idea - perhaps there should be a concept of title prestige, much like there's a concept of dynasty prestige. Titles that have existed longer, claim some particular religious or mythical legacy, or have had particularly illustrious rulers could carry more weight and even have particular traditions attached to them (or become attached), like certain hard to change laws or name biases (eg. Lotharingia and the name Lothar).
 
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I've always kept the Wendish Empire in my mod (I never added the West-Slavic one) and added a Baltic Empire also. That said, I agree that empire sizes are fairly inconsistent and that isn't really ideal. As pointed out, Tibet is a huge empire but it's an historically sound example and shouldn't be arbitrarily broken up.
 
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