Although I might post at some point a rather detailed AAR-like report (no promises) I'd like to show you the current state of my playthrough in 592 A.D:
close-up of the region I've been playing at:
Up until now, I played as what became the united Celtic empire of Eire. The Faith is reformed by now, the realm is feudalizing, Sasana and Pictland exist as vasall kingdoms. I guess I created quite the unstoppable monster, if I'd continue to play them, so I switched rulers.
My greatest joy in CK2 is to create interesting narratives and just continuing to tell myself this story (of a somewhat implausible Celtic world conquest) felt rather boring to me. So now I'll play as a Manichean count in southern Gaul.
As you can see, Gaul itself has somewhat disintegrated. The Visigothic kingdom is merely a remnant of its former size, having fractured into many warmongering duchies in Gaul due to pressure from Soissons, revolting Manicheans the unreformed Celtic kingdom of Gallaecia (how cool is that?) and frequent sea-raids by the Celtic empire.
Soissons itself just recently broke into two (and now three, if you count the current revolt) after a successful tyranny-revolt against "Verutius II 'the Tormentor'" who had ruled Soissons for 40 years from 541-583. During his reign, Soissons incorporated Burgundy and vasallized the former Visigothic Manicheans and even ventured into northern Hispania. His rule was marked indeed by great terror and saw many revolts. When his former tributiaries - the Franks - turned on him, the tide turned as well and Maxima Sequanorum broke free, effectively cutting Soisson's main-territory in two. Its belongings in southern Gaul are dominated by the duchy of Narbonensis which is still ruled by a Manichean duke. I'll play now as the Manichean count of Narbo Martius and we'll see, whether this infirm Soissons will be able to stop the growing tendency to anarchy in Gaul ... when I'll try to enhance it.
Also interesting to see is the comeback which the Western Roman Empire had just twenty years ago. From 476 till the 560's they sat quite in Dalmatia, but suddenly began a reconquest which already saw Annoria and Raetia Noricum re-incorporated. I hope they go for Italy next.
The east looks rather boring to me. The Sassanids keep getting bigger and bigger, the ERE survived the first decades of religious unrest and by now Nicene-christianity rules unchallenged. I'd really like some imperial decay mechanic for those two realms ... To the fear east we see the Tuyuhun Khaganate but I doubt they'l spice things up by invading the Sassanids.
India is getting hindu-nized.
One of the greatest features in this mod (in my opinion), namely the great religious variety through various christian / indian sects and many new religions, is slowly disappearing. Should have bumped religious revolt strength even more, I guess (2x right now). And I'd like to see more migratory invasions. The great CB notwithstanding, the AI rarely makes use of it, since on paper those realms they could invade look always stronger than they do and I guess AI reasoning prohibits invading them in this case. But this is just nitpicking.
I really like WtWsmS and I hope you keep developing it. It's great and a true pleasure to play
Franks are not ruled by a frankish king anymore, since the Merovings died out. In a gruesome war against the Saxons high Chief Witta of Lower Saxony successfully besieged Cuning's Theuderic's place of rule, captured his four son's and offered all of them (!) to the gods in 533. Hope came and was quickly vanquished, when the just born Gunthar died in 549 just days after he was born. Since then, house Yffing of the Angle's rules the Franks. And although all vasall's of Cynning Lübbe still adhere to Frankish culture, he saw no revolt up until now.
Playing as Celtic Duke in Northern Scotland, just doing my own thing, reforming the Celtic faith, uniting Great Britain etc etc. I have the Jade Dragon DLC and always put China Diplo Range on everyone because Chinese artifact collecting is usually an interesting side goal. Anyway, the Jurchen Invasion of China event goes off and they eventually take control of China. Now, I go and check the Emperor to see if anything changed, and I swear, something seems wrong... But I can't seem to put my finger on what...
The Sassannians full-annexed the Byzantines in my 600 start gae. Don't know how that happened, but there may be an event or special causus belli I don't know of (I'm new to the mod). I went from bordering Heraclius as Excharch of Africa (I dclared independence as Magister of Hispania) to bordering Super Persia that owned even the Baleares. Been quite busy elsewhere, and now I see the Byzantines again. But its not the old Byzies, no.
Its the Zoroastrian theocracy of the Eastern Roman Empire. They also own completely random counties in the middle of Iran.
Well, as ludicrous as it looks, it really like this approach to alternate history ;-) A Zoroastrian Byzantine Empire. Wow. Is only the ruler Persian or are his vasalls too? Or is the byzantine aristrocacy still there?
Started in year 600 with a custom character, Teophilos, a greek imperial functionary sent to Ravenna to try reorganize the army and the economy in the Exarchate of Ravenna. The Longobards have been successfully kept at bay, not thanks to the (weak) military forces of the Exarchate but thanks to the fact the Longobard Kings were so poor at managing their domains that revolts and rebellions eventually led to the collapse of their kingdom. Teophilos took the chance to push into the south, waging wars against the Duchy of Beneventum to take their fiefs one by one and restore imperial authority in southern Italy. As his power and influence grew, so did his opposers who attempted to seize power and establish in Italy their own Kingdom. Thanks to the support of his friend the Prefect of the Illyricum, Teophilus managed to defeat rebels and traitors and further consolidate his power. Even the Pope, in many occassions, attempted to force the Exarch to change the succession laws from Primogeniture to Gavelkind. The Pope was then defeated and imprisoned and, for many years, nobody dared to challenged Exarch Teophilos again.
Upon his death, southern Italy was already unified, while usurpers in the north had proclaimed both the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Annonaria, the first ruled by a roman general, while the latter ruled by a Longobard leader. After the death of Teophilos, his son Leontios took over and continued his father's campaign to reunify Italy and fully restore the legacy of General Belisarios and Narses over the peninsula. In 655, central and southern Italy (with the exception of Sicily, for now) are firmly under control of the Exarchate of Italia. Leontius, just like his father, is loyal to the Emperor and the Empire. But with his power and influence growing, with peace slowly returning to Italy after a century of sackings, raiding, pillaging and destruction, will Leontious and his successors resist temptations, or will they attempt to carve their own kingdom in post-roman Italy? Who knows.. maybe one day Leontious will even attempt to crown himself Augustus. Only time will tell.