Author Topic: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play  (Read 1830 times)

Melityn

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Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« on: May 19, 2015, 12:59:35 AM »
Inspired by the great free game giveaway I've decided to do this.

I will play Crusader Kings 2, you will tell me what to do. I will post screenshots and narrate what happens.

For those of you who don't know, Crusader Kings 2 is a game set in the Medieval Ages. You play as one of the many rulers in Europe, the Middle East, India, or North Africa. 

I'll be starting as a count in whatever region you guys tell me to go for. If no counts are available (unlikely) then I'll choose a Duke.

This is the map in 769 AD
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And this is a better screenshot of a portion of the map, the entire thing doesn't fit on the screen at one time unfortunately.
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Now, a brief summary of the various regions.

It has been three centuries since the fall of the Roman Empire. Europe has been divided between various Germanic invaders of the Empire. Following the death of their father, Pepin, the Frankish realm has been divided between the brothers Karl and Karloman. But their division is an uneasy one, and may soon lead to war between them. To their north and east lie the Pagan Saxons, Slavs, and Avars, and to their south is the Lombard Kingdom in Italy. All are opportunities for expansion of the Frankish realm, and greatness waits for the one who can rekindle the light of Rome.

In Spain, the Visigothic conquerors have been conquered themselves by the Muslim Umayyad Dynasty. A small holdout, the Kingdom of Asturias, endures in the north. Will Asturias manage to fight off the Muslim invaders, or will the Umayyads manage to unite Spain under their flag?

Following the fall of Rome, Britannia was invaded by the Anglos and the Saxons. The few remaining Britons have fled to Wales, while the Picts remain in control of the north. England itself is now divided between several petty anglo-saxon kings. Will one of them manage to unite England, or will they fall to a new Germanic invasion from Scandinavia?

In Scandinavia the various Norse Jarls and Chieftains fight amongst themselves. While many seek to establish their own Kingdoms in Scandinavia, some look across the seas to find new lands to call their own. Soon no shoreline will be safe, some will head across the North Sea to England, others to the Slavic lands of the Rus, others still will seek their fortune in the Mediterranean.

In the East the last remnants of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, vies for dominance with the Abbasid Caliphate. Will the Muslims succeed in taking Constantinople from the last of the Romans, or will the Byzantines manage to reclaim their lost land and restore Roman rule to the world?"

The tribes of the steppes battle for supremacy, trying to forge a new empire to challenged the Huns of old. Will any of them succeed, or will they all fall to another horde coming from the East?

The Indian Kingdoms battle against each other to forge a new Empire following the destruction of the Gupta Empire. An ambitious Raja could unite India and lead an assault on the Muslim world, if the Muslim world does not move against India first.

So, in what region should I play?

I'll let people post for a few days and probably start on Friday or thereabouts.





MunkiLord

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2015, 01:07:15 AM »
I like starting in Spain. So I'm going to say somewhere close to where the Golden Horde will appear as I have yet to do that. I'm not as familiar with the modern day Russian areas though, so that general region is best I got.

Dammit, now I wanna play. There goes my day off.

ManofManyChars

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2015, 01:59:58 AM »
I recommend going all-in as one of the Merchant Princes of Italy. Crusader Kings is pretty popular, but so far there hasn't been any LP covering the unique mechanics involved in playing the game from the burghers' perspective. If not that, perhaps play as a Dharmic, Jewish, Zoroastrian, or Orthodox ruler to show off the unique religion mechanics. There are a lot of obscure religious activities you can get up to if you're playing as one of those four religions, and it can be a lot of fun to play with. Catholic and Muslim rulers are good for showing off the standard mechanics of the game, but I'd say it's overall more fun to try to become the Shaoshyant, mend the Great Schism, or restore the Kingdom of Israel and build the Third Temple, or else demonstrate how you can totally min-max your religious choices in India thanks to the unique way Dharmic religions work. So, for a short list of recommended starting rulers, try these:

-Sorkhab Bavandid (the only Duke-level Zoroastrian in 769 and the only one with a realistic chance of really getting a foothold before the nearby Caliphate starts eyeing your land)
-Manasseh II Bulanid (requires 867 start date, but playing as the lost Kingdom of Khazaria is pretty rad)
-The ruler of Semien (can't find his name, but he can be played 769, unlike Bulanid, and is pretty much the only playable Jewish ruler with any real power in that period)
-Ramagupta Gupta (claimant for the Gupta dynasty with a claim on his liege's kingdom, makes for an interesting game in India, and starts you off as Hindu, which is generally the best of the three Dharmic religions to begin with, so you can expand aggressively before having a descendant switch to one of the other two)
-Any Patrician (they're all pretty cool, find one in 769 and go nuts)
-Any Orthodox count (Orthodox, unlike the other "interesting" religions, has a lot of power and a lot of rulers that follow it, so, like the patricians, you have a lot of freedom in selecting someone to play)
"Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear."
-Ernest Hemingway

redofthewolves

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 12:29:42 AM »
I vote Scandinavia because I still have no idea how the tribe system works.

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2015, 06:36:13 PM »
And so we begin.
First, I'm using two mods, High Kings and Consuls, which changes the localization of some titles, and Decadence breakup, to prevent the Immortal Umayyad and Abbasid Empires from enduring and making the Muslim region static.
One rule I will be using for myself, I will not form any Empires, as things tend to get more boring once you hold an Empire.

I've decided to use a combination of all three of your suggestions. I'll be starting in Scandinavia, my goals will be
1. Expand into Russia
2. Become Jewish
3. Form a Merchant Republic

And with that, we begin.

(click to show/hide)
Here I am, Alfr af Vendel, chief of Gästrikland and Vestmannaland.
As you can see, we are a skilled diplomat, a decent steward, and we're pretty bad at everything else. Especially military matters.

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At least we're better than our son Eirikr. He's ok at fighting and is just bad everywhere else. Our first priority will be replacing him with a new and better heir. Failing that at least we need a spare in case he suffers an untimely death.

Our daughter, Alfsol, is less than a month old. Unfortunately, even if she developes into a fine woman who excels in all fields, she will never be able to inherit. As long as we have a tribal form of government we are locked in Agnatic Elective Gavelkind, meaning only men can inherit.
This succession law is also especially annoying as all vassals at the count level or above get to vote for the next ruler, luckily they must vote for a dynasty member, so we won't be losing our top title, but our land will get divided among all male children if we end up with more than one.

Those are all matters for the future of course, for now we hold a mere two counties and are subject to another.
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Here is our master, King Sigurdr 'Ring' of SviÞjod. His skills are so much better than ours. Its easy to see why he's boss. Though he has employed us as his chancellor. As a count level vassal we get to vote for his successor. However, as his only other living dynasty member is his two year old son, Ragnarr , we don't exactly have much of a choice. I am sure this boy will never amount to anything significant.

Our first goals should be to gain more land for ourselves so that we can successfully challenge our overlord. He not only directly controls more counties than us, but he also has two other count level vassals. Successfully challenging our overlords will be a long way off, probably a task for our heir. In the meantime we can try to cozy up to Sigurdr, Perhaps a betrothal between Ragarr and our daughter will bring us into his favor.

There aren't really many choices to be made yet. I'll post another update later today where I actually do things.

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2015, 04:11:27 AM »
A History of the Medieval Russian states is complex. Before one can understand the Russians of the later Middle Ages, one must understand their origins. Russia was not an organic creation, the tribes of the proto-russians feuded with each other until order was imposed by an outside force, a Viking invasion from Scandinavia. Much of the history of the ancient Scandinavians has been lost to the mists of history. What litle remains is recorded in saga, folktales, and the occasional runestone. It is known that the invaders came from Sweden, a group known as the line of Alfr, known mainly of through sagas. The Sagas of Alfr have remained popular throughout the ages, and his conflict with the devilish Tryggve has been a popular story for centuries. There has been some suggestion that this legendary Alfr was a contemporary of the equally legendary Ragnarr Lodbrok, based on a single fragment of the Ragnarsdrápa, in which the name Alfr is mentioned as a friend of Ragnarr. Until recently however, there was no evidence that this Alfr ever existed. In 1968 a runestone was discovered in Sweden that appears to have been dedicated to an Alfr by his son sometime in the 8th century. There has been much discussion in recent years as to whether the Alfr mentioned on this runestone is the Alfr of the Norse sagas.
- From The History of the Medieval Rus, by Alexei Baryshev, Moscow University, 1973.


A betrothal between the young Ragnarr, and our newborn daughter, Afsol, is quickly made. Following that marriages are arranged for both us and our son. Unfortunately there seems to have been a significant dearth of marriageable noblewomen in 8th century Scandinavia, Daughters of minor nobility were brought to court in order to find matches.
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We marry this woman, Rikissa. Her skill at stewardship and diplomacy are welcome. If she had been born into different circumstances she would have made a fine ruler in her own right. Unfortunately she will have to settle for being married to one.

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Our son is married to this woman, Gunnhildr. Once her skill at intrigue becomes known she is also quietly invited to serve as our Spymaster, a position which she accepts. (Note: That's probably the highest skill level I've even seen come from a randomly generated courtier)

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Ambition is good, you don't forge a dynasty to stand the test of time by sitting around all day.

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Rikissa quickly becomes pregnant, with luck the child will prove to be better than Eirikr and manage to inherit one day.

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While we busied our self with the propagation of the dynasty, our overlord began conquering nearby land.

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Sadly a child by Rikissa was not to be. She died before giving birth. It is unlikely that we will be able to find another wife of her caliber.

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She is replaced by Alfhidlr. With luck Alfhildr and Alfr will be able to grow old together.

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While King Sigurdr fights further north to bring Medelpad and other counties under control, we gather an army in Gästrikland in order to conquer the neighboring county of Helsingland. This is the one subjugation casus belli we get in this lifetime.

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In the midst of the war, Alfr begins to read of the Conquests of Alexander the Great. How he acquired books so far north, and in a language he could read will have to remain a mystery. Alfr dedicates himself to the study of strategy, hoping to make up for his deficiencies in that area.

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The conquest of Helsingland goes well, their leader is captured in battle and forced to surrender the county to Alfr.

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Soon after the battle Alfr' son Eirikr has a child which he names after his father. How sweet. I would say hopefully he grows into a fearsome viking warrior like his grandfather, but his grandfather isn't exactly a fearsome viking warrior. Perhaps this new Alfr will being martial prowess to the line.

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During his various wars of conquest, King Sigurdr is killed in battle. The realm is divided between his two young sons, the toddler, Ragnarr, and his newborn son, Randver.

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Young Randver was born a hunchback, a condition that will not endear him to others. A betrothal between Randver and our first daughter by Alfhildr is quickly made. Assuming everyone involved survives to adulthood, this will give us an alliance with both of the sons of Sigurdr.

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Alfr's studying of ancient texts have payed off. The sources of the texts he was studying remains a mystery.

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Our chancellor manages to fabricate a claim on Jarnberaland.

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We pounce and quickly add the land to our realm. The enemy army doesn't even attempt to engage us, instead fleeing into the mountains of Heidmark, leaving their own land undefended. The conquest is swift and the land Jarnberaland is soon under our control.

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There must be something in the water, first our wife Rikissa, then our son's wife Gunnhildr? And both of them were pregnant at the time too. It seems that competent women cannot survive in our realm. We'll have to find a new spymaster, those of her quality are few and far between.

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We swiftly find a replacement wife for our son. He is married to the former wife of King Sigurdr, mother of both Ragnarr and Randver. Once everyone has come of age, Eirikr will be the brother-in-law of both Ragnarr and Randver, as well as their step-father. Family reunions are going to be weird.

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Young Ragnarr managed to get embroiled in multiple wars. Fortunately the most dangerous opponent was merely attempting to take an island in the southern Baltic. The other two wars were both revolts, one a peasant revolt up north in Lappland, the other an attempt by some Finns, who had been subjugated by Ragnarrs father, to re obtain their independence. The Sjaellanders occupied some of our territory in the fighting. Fortunately the war ended soon afterwards.

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With Ragnarr's own forces exhausted we moved in to help, quickly putting an end to the Lappish revolt by capturing their leader in battle. We then crossed the Baltic to deal with the Finnic rebels.

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Our army made short work of the rebels. When Ragnarr's forces arrive at the rebel stronghold of Satakunta, they find the flags of Gästrikland flying, and our forces celebrating in the midst of the rebel fortress. With the fall of Satakunta the rebellion is quickly brought to a close.

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We return home from the war to find our wife pregnant...

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Earlier in the marriage, Alfhildr had rejected the advances of a different Tryggve, but it seems she was destined to fall for someone with that name. Tryggve of Medelpad will have to pay. So will Alfhildr.

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Alfhildr is imprisoned and divorced. Unfortunately we cannot take such direct action against Tryggve, but his treachery will not soon be forgotten...

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We replace Alfhildr with the priestess of Uppsala, the holiest place in the Norse faith. Considering her learning skill it is no wonder she was placed in charge of the most important temple in Scandinavia.

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We strike back at Tryggve by persuading our child ruler than Tryggve cannot be trusted. Fortunately the 12 year old Ragnarr is easily convinced.

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The child of Tryggve and Alfhildr is born. Tryggve refuses to acknowledge her as his child. We cannot simply abandon the child so we will look after her despite her parentage, that is if she survives childhood. She was born a sickly baby, and may yet die.

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The wife of Tryggve, Linda, comes to us with an invitation to a plot to kill Alfhildr. We quickly back out of the plot, but her action does bring her to our attention and gives Alfr an idea for a way to get back at Tryggve.

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Alfr's focus is changed from war to seduction, but before we can put the plot in motion, Tryggve attempts to have us killed by hired thugs.

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It was close, but Alfr survived, and emerged from the ordeal with a renewed desire to to get back at Tryggve. Its time to put the plan into motion.

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Alfr manages to seduce Tryggve's wife, Linda, and the two fall in love. Take that Tryggve.

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It seems that Tryggve is less astute than Alfr, as he fails to detect the adultery. There is a certain lack of satisfaction, but its probably better for Linda that Tryggve remains ignorant as to the true identity of the Snorri's father.

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Unfortunately Tryggve manages to come out ahead anyways. While our chancellor had been attempting to fabricate a claim on Herjadal, Tryggve swooped in and took it. The chancellor will continue their work, but now we'll have a stronger opponent to deal with.

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Ragnarr has come of age, and people have begun to call him "Lodbrok". Rather than taking his father's title of King, he calls himself a Jarl, saying that he will not call himself a king until he has united the lands of Eastern Scandinavia. Considering his martial prowess he may well be able to do it too.

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The feud with Tryggve continues, if he consents to meet Alfr in the Holmgang then perhaps this issue can be settled once and for all.
The rules of Holmgang
If someone speaks insults to another man (”You’re not the like of a man, and not a man in your chest!” – ”I’m a man like you!”), they shall meet where three roads meet. If he who has spoken comes and not the insulted one, then he shall be as he’s been called: no right to swear oaths, no right to bear witness, may it concern man or woman.

If the insulted one comes and not he who has spoken, then he shall cry ”Niðingr!” three times and make a mark in the ground, and he is worse who spoke what he dared not keep.

Now both meet fully armed: if the insulted one falls, the compensation is half a weregild; if he who has spoken falls, insults are the worst, the tongue the head’s bane, he shall lie in a field of no compensation.


And so Alfr has spoken, and it is up to Tryggve to show.

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Of course the coward refuses to meet Alfr. The feud shall continue.

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It is time to hold a Great Blot. A sacrifice to the Norse Gods followed by a great feast.

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In the midst of the planning for the Blot, the chancellor Sölvi bursts into the hall and tells Alfr that he has managed to forge documents that show that it is Alfr, not Tryggve, who is the rightful ruler of Herjadal. With this documents we need not fear an intervention by Ragnarr Lodbrok. Once the Great Blot has ended we shall gather the army and take Herjadal.

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Prisoners taken in the various wars we have fought on the behalf of Ragnarr shall be brought forth. Along with another prisoner...

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Alfhildr finally meets the punishment for her betrayal, as she is offered as a sacrifice to the Norse Gods.

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The Blot continues, now it is time for the feasting.

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The Blot is also used as an opportunity to see off our daughter, Alfsol, and celebrate her marriage to Ragnarr Lodbrok.

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The Blot ends, with the troops encouraged, it is now time to march north and take the fight to Tryggve.

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War is declared, citing our rightful claim to Herjadal. We also discover yet more good news, Tryggve has insulted Ragnarr in some way and been imprisoned. Perhaps our talk with Ragnarr all those years ago has finally born fruit.

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Tryggve's armies are no match and run rather than fight. It seems that the mountains of Heidmark are a popular place to hide from our forces.

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They can't run forever thought, and our forces manage to catch them in Herjadal and deliver us a victory. The war ends soon afterwards.

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Alfr's reputation has spread far. Perhaps he will be the subject of Saga's one day.

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And with that, Alfr dies. Unfortunately his rival Tryggve outlasted him, but it would seem that Alfr ultimately bested him. Eirikr assumes the role of chief, and the realm is divide between him and his brothers, Ingolfr and Ofeig. Eirkir holds onto  Gästrikland and Herdjadal. Vestmannaland and Jarnberaland go to Ofeig, while Helsingland goes to Ingolfr.

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News from the South, it seems that this Charles had managed to form a vast realm and has taken Italy from the Lombards. This man appears to be destined for great things.

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The murder of Eirikr's brother, Ofeig, is arranged. Through one death all his land will return to us, surely better than fighting a war for the land. Besides, he's the son of the disgraced Alfhildr. Hopefully no one will miss him.

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The plot goes off without a hitch and Vestmannaland and Jarnberaland are regained with a minimum of bloodshed. Unfortunately this puts us at our demesne limit. Regaining Helsingland from Ingolfr will have to wait.

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It is time to commission a runestone to commemorate our late father Alfr.

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Along with conquering the lands of Scandinavia, Ragnarr Lodbrok and his father Sigurdr before him had been raising the tribal authority of the realm, taking power out of the hands of the chiefs and putting them into the hands of the Jarl. Eirikr has had enough and is the leader of a faction that seeks a return to the older ways of doing things. Fortunately we have discovered some dirt on Trygvee and are able to blackmail him into joining us.

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The runestone is complete. May it stand for all time.

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While Ragnarr Lodbrok is distracted with a war we issue our demands. The fool refuses, believing he can fight us and his enemies at the same time.

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More news from the south. It would seem that this "Charlemagne" has formed an Empire, claiming the long abandoned Imperial Title. Rather than style his Empire after the Roman Empire however, Charlmagne has made it clear that this is a new Frankish Empire. Regardless, the act of declaring himself Emperor means that he is the successor to the Roman Empire. No word yet from the Byzantines as to the legitimacy of Charlemagne.

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As the war with Ragnarr rages, the Viking Age begins. Coastlines of the world, beware.
A new era has dawned. Once our position is secured, it will be time to look east, to Russia.

And that's where we end for today.

The Formation of Francia is troubling, as the Empire is usually pretty stable, making it hard to raid the coastlines of France due to the power held by the Emperor. I may have traded a more interesting Spain and Middle East for a static Western Europe.
As a sidenote however, I didn't even know there was an event for Charlemagne forming Francia, I knew there was one for if he formed the Holy Roman Empire, but in all past instances I've simply seen Francia get formed with no announcement.

Are there any suggestions or feedback on either the narration or on what I should do in the game?
Are there certain situations and events you want to know more about, or types of things you want to see in future screenshots?

MunkiLord

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2015, 11:24:03 AM »
I love the story telling! This is why CK2 is such a great game. Tryggve sounds like a dick. It's always more rewarding when you have a real rival.

French empire so early is a bit rough seeing as how it's right in the middle of damn near everything. I don't have any suggestions at the moment as I've avoided playing as tribal and never bothered with Russia before.  This is highly entertaining. Who needs Game of Thrones?!?!

Doctor Forums

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2015, 01:57:26 PM »
This is cool!

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2015, 03:27:38 PM »
Yeah, Tryggve was fun. Normally I would have just ignored him but I decided to milk that rivalry for all it was worth. Especially after he tried to kill me too.
At the very end of Alfr's life I actually managed to fabricate a claim on Tryggve's capital province, Medelpad, but because we were both helping Ragnarr with a war, I wasn't able to press the claim and I died before the war ended, so that claim was lost.
Looking back I now realize that you guys don't really have any idea what the family looks like because I cut almost all of the births because I had so many screenshots. I think I'll do a mini update to show how things look now.

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2015, 04:31:23 PM »
(click to show/hide)
Here's the family, focusing on Eirikr's side because the family is just a tiny bit too big to fit them all in one image.
Alfr is the son of Eirikr's first wife, Gunnhildr, Kjartan, Rognvaldr, and Gerðr are all half siblings to Ragnarr Lodbrok.
Alfr is married to the sister of the Grand Chief of Saxony and Ofeig is a product of that marriage. Kjartan is as of yet unmarried.

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These are the children of Alfr. Eirikr and Alfsol existed at the start of the game, but unlike a lot of beginning characters they actually have a mother. Mysteriously their mother did not start off as Alfr's wife, yet neither of them are bastards. We can only assume Alfr divorced her immediately after Alfsol was born.
Their mother is actually still alive and has plotted to kill the other children, though she was never able to amass any power. Alfsol is married to Ragnarr Lodbrok

Þordis, Gyrið, and Ofeig were all children of Alfhildr the Unfaithful.

Þordis is married to Ragnarr's brother, Randver. Randver no longer holds his own Jarldom, Vestergautland,  and is now a vassal or Ragnarr. He holds only the county of Nerike. He lost his Jarldom early on to the Danes, and Ragnarr was able to reconquer it from them.

Gyrið is married to the High Chief of Saxony.

Ingolfr is the child of Alfr's final wife, Hafrid, the Priestess of Uppsala.

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The state of the war. Tryggve and Eirikr together hold the majority of SviÞjod, we were also  joined by one of the subjugated Finnic rulers. The Danes are attempting to take advantage of the chaos by reconquering Vestergautland from Ragnarr.

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Finally I looked down at the Byzantine Empire and discovered that the situation leading to Charlemagne's claiming the title of Emperor was similar.
According to Frankish law women are unable to rule, historically the fact that the Byzantine Empire had a woman ruling in 800 allowed the Franks to justify the creation of the Holy Roman Empire, because according to their laws the Roman throne was vacant as a woman was not allowed to rule.
Instead of forming the Holy Roman Empire this time, Charlemagne formed Francia, though Medieval Europeans looked at the idea of Empire differently than we do today. For a Medieval European someone calling themself an Emperor meant they believed they were the successor to Rome.
That concludes this minor history lesson.

The next update will be on Monday, as I am busy this weekend.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 04:34:48 PM by Alayesh »

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2015, 12:40:02 AM »
The exact reasons for the Scandinavian migration into Russia are unknown. There are various theories, from a little ice age reducing the fertility of Scandinavia land, to an invitation from a Russian Princess. One popular story states that the Scandinavians were led into Russia by God, however there is no evidence to indicate that the conversion took place this early. What is known is that archaeological evidence points to a migration taking place sometime in the first half of the 9th century. The record is confirmed by the accounts of Byzantine chronicler, Georgios Monachos, who mentions a series of wars between new Norse migrants and the native Slavs. The current reigning theory as to the reason for the migration is known as the Danish Theory. The theory states that the Danish invasion of Sweden in the early 9th century caused an exodus of the native peoples into Russia. There is archaeological evidence pointing to a war in the area during the 9th century, and war between the Danes and the legendary Ragnarr Lodbrok is  commonly mentioned in the sagas.   
- From The History of the Medieval Rus, by Alexei Baryshev, Moscow University, 1973.

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The war to lower the power of Ragnarr over his chiefs continues. During the battle of Medelpad Eirikr led the charge against Ragnarrs forces. His experience doing so will lead to him becoming an Inspiring leader who will excel at leading the center flank during battle.

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Ragnarr's war with the Danes continues alongside his war with us. A large Dane army supported by an army from Saxony is besieging Ragnarr's south and western holdings in order to force him to cede Vestergautland.

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In the midst of the war the offspring of Alfhildr the Unfaithful and Tryggve comes of age. Of course a child born of intrigue would be a master of intrigue. Unfortunately she also hates me. Fortunately a gift of gold is enough to placate her, and she is given a position as my spymaster. She is my illegitimate step sibling after all. Family looks out for family, even if they share no blood.

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The war ends in victory. Ragnarr is forced to accept our demands and SviÞjod is whole once more. Aside from the lands besieged by the Danes that is. At this point its unlikely that Ragnarr will be able to raise a force to drive them out.

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Gunnhildr tells me that my eldest son, Aflr, seeks to kill my second son, Kjartan. I decide to turn a blind eye to the plot. One less child means less division of land upon Eirikr's death, and Kjartan is spectacularly bad at almost everything. Best that he never rules anything at all.

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The Danes win their war and take Vestergautland from Ragnarr.

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My father's old enemy, Tryggve, has finally died. His lands have been divided among his three sons. (One son appears to be dead here because I took this screenshot several years later. All his only his firstborn son died before him)

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It seems the feud between the line of Alfr and the line of Tryggve continues. Tryggve's corpse has barely had a chance to cool when his eldest son, Bo, challenged Eirkir to Holmgang. He possesses far more of a spine than his father at least.

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Naturally I accept. A victory in Holmgang could end this feud, once and for all.

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The line of Alfr is victories. Bo lies dead, and with that the gods have spoken. The line of Alfr is in the right, and the late Alfr stands vindicated. Any other attempts by the line of Tryggve to continue the feud shall be condemned.

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It may not be the wisest idea to make the man who just led a civil war against you your marshal. Ragnarr is either stupid or desperate. Eirikr accepts, for he has no further desire to oppose Ragnarr currently, and if he does in the future, the position of marshal will give him power to use against Ragnarr.

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News from the South, the Khagnate of Avaria has been conquered by a Bulgar.

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It would seem that Alfr succeeded with his plot. No the realm shall only be split into two pieces rather than three upon Eirkir's death. Eirkir makes a show of sadness and launches a half-hearted investigation to find the killer. Of course no one is ever found and the issue is forgotten within a year.

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The feud may be over, but the lands held by the line of Tryggve are still the best way for me to expand. Unfortunately I am still over my Demesne limit. Hopefully Ragnar will be able to create the Kingdom of Sweden and grant me a Jarldom before Eirikr dies.

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Gunnhildr is replaced as spymaster by the even more skill Frirek. To make up for the loss of her position, Gunnhildr is married to Frirek. Being the wife of the spymaster is almost as good as being the spymaster, right? Right?

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My chancellor is visiting the court of Ragnarr to help smooth over that whole rebellion thing. If he likes me enough, he might give me a Jarldom once he forms Sweden. Ragnarr has also abandoned his young pretense of styling himself as Jarl rather than King. The process of uniting eastern Scandinavia has proven harder than his youthful self imagined. He still seeks to gain enough recognition to form a Kingdom that will not break apart upon his death, but the main issue, having enough gold to bribe everyone important enough to recognize his line as the legitimate hereditary Kings of Sweden is proving difficult.

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Eirikr's youngest son, Rognvaldr, names his first born after Eirikr in an attempt to win his fathers favor. His father keeps Alfr has his heir. For now.

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Speaking of Alfr, Eirikr had been in charge of the education of Alfr's first son. He came out pretty well. He could be a bit better at talking to people, but aside from that he looks pretty good. A bit better than his father.

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After suffering difficulties in fighting the Danes, Ragnarr has decided to press into Finland instead. He's managed to subjugate vast portions of it. With luck these new lands will provide soldiers that can help in future wars with the Danes.

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Ragnarr continues to lack money. He ahs a decent pile of gold, but its not near enough to form Sweden, and gold is entering the treasury very slowly.

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Fortunately, Eirikr has plenty of gold. This fortune has arrived largely by accident. Several wealthy childless courtiers ended up in Eirikr's court and willed their fortunes to him upon their death, lacking any close family to give the money to. A large gift of gold to Ragnarr might allow him to form Sweden, allowing us to hold a Jarldom under him. Arrangements are made and a large gift of about 1/3rd of our treasury is sent to Ragnarr.

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Disaster strikes almost immediately however. During Ragnarr's wars to gather yet more land in Finland, he is struck in the head with a mace. While he still lives, he cannot be roused from bed, and the rulership of the realm has been turned over to a regent. Unfortunately that regent is not Eirikr.
Death cannot be far off for Ragnar, there is almost no chance of recovering from such a coma.

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Another disaster strikes almost immediately afterwards. As the marshal, Eirikr assumed comand of Ragnarr's armies to continue the war in Finland. While fighting Finnish allies to the south on the shores of Lake Peipus, the army is defeated and Eirikr is captured in battled.

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The Danes take advantage of the chaos and launch an invasion of Ragnarr's realm. Eirikr manages to arrange for his release in exchange for a significant donation from his fortune. Between the gifts to Ragnarr and the money spent paying for Eirikr's release, the fortune is now a mere shadow of its former self. 

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Rather than remaining chained to a sinking ship, it is time to break free from Ragnarr's realm and form a Jarldom by force. Eirkir joins with a Finnish chief. When the time comes they will combine their strength and fight for independence.

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Fortunately it does not come to bloodshed. Ragnarr's regent decides to let Eirikr and the Finnish chief go, rather than fighting them as well as the Danes and the continuing war with the Finns.

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Eirikr wastes no time in declaring himself King of Bergslagen. With people now acknowledging Eirikr as King, it is possible to noe have vassal chiefs.

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The new Kingdom of Bergslagen.

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Eirikr declares war on Ragnarr Lodbrok in order to take Helsingland, still under the control of Eirikir's brother, and Medelpad, still under the control of the line of Tryggve.

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A group of soldiers led by Ragnarr's eldest son were crossing Bergslagen territory in order to reach the Danes when war was declared. The Ragnarr's soldiers were ambushed by the local Bergslagen troops, and were neraly victorious until an army of Danes arrived and reinforced the Bergslagen soldiers. Ragnarr's son, Sigurdr, was captured. Holding Ragnarr's heir hostage gives us significant leverage, it will be much easier to win this war with him languishing in our prison.

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In the midst of the war, Eirikr decides to name his grandson Ofeig as heir, skipping over Ofeig's father, Alfr. Alfr will still inherit some land, but Ofeig will inherit all of Eirikr's primary lands.

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Before the war against Ragnarr can be won, the Dane's mange to force Ragnarr's regent to surrender. All of Ragnarr's land in Scandinavia is ceded to the Danes. The land held by Ragnarr is now merely the Jarldom of Finland. Unwilling to attempt to fight against the Danes, Eirikr lets Helsingland and Medelpad go. As the last independent Swedish realm left in Scandinavia and being surrounded by Danes, it is only a matter of time until Bergslagen must either swear fealty to the Danes, or be conquered.

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Rather than submit to the Danes. Eirikr decides to look to the east. The Danes hold land in the north Baltic and in Finland, thus, in order to escape them Eirikr's people must head inland. Due to being the meeting point of several major rivers, and being far away from the Danes, Severia is the chosen target.

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In the middle of winter a great host gathers. Due to the significant prestige Eirikr amassed throughout his life, due to success in battle both for and against Ragnarr, and for service as Ragnarr's marshal, and now as the last Swedish King, Eirikr is able to gather a great many Swedes to his banner. These are men who do not wish to be subjugated by the Danes, and who would rather travel with the last Swedish King to a new homeland. These men are added to the nearly two-thousand that Eirikr can normally call upon.
The army is split into two columns, so as to prevent the over foraging of the land leading to attrition.

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The first army arrived in October and quickly began to besiege Vitebsk. An allied Saxon army had already arrive and moved to meet the Norse army.

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The second Norse army arrived in December, and the two armies, together with the allied Saxon army, quickly took Vitebsk. Unfortunately too many men were concentrated in the area, and with winter greatly restricting the food supplies in the province, many starved.

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Over the course of the next year the Norse and Saxon armies took most of Serveria. However the Severian army managed to evade and retook the settlement of Orsha in November. The time needed to take the province kept them in one spot for too long however, and the Norse army led by Eirik caught them before they could leave. In a costly battle the Severians were defeated and Orsha was retaken.

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An army under the banner of the King of Poland arrived to reinforce the Severians several months later. The Norse/Saxon army and the Polish armies avoided confrontation, both sides being too evenly matched and unwilling to chance the battle. Finally the Severians were forced to surrender, and the Polish army left without fighting a battle. Rather than stay to restore the Severian rulers the Polish army was forced to return home to support the Polish King's successors when he died under suspicious circumstances soon after the Severian's surrender.

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With the murder of the Polish King and the surrender of the Severians, the conquest was complete. The court was moved to Mstislavl, and King Eirikr began to style himself as the King of Smolensk rather than the King of Bergslagen. The process of settling the Norse in the former Severian realm would be a long one. It would be a difficult task to get settlers pas the Danish realm and through the half dozen Slavic and Baltic realms between the old land and the new.

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Once the conquest was complete the new Norse ruler attempted to imprison the largest of the new Slavic vassals in order to revoke his territory. The arrest attempt failed however and the Slavs rose in revolt, forcing a civil war in the new realm. Alongside the noble rebellion was a peasant rebellion in Pronsk. The remnants of the conquering army were able to put down the noble revolt, due to the nobles barely being able to raise a force as their manpower was still decimated following the conquest.

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The noble rebellion was quickly put down, but the peasant revolt continued for a year as reinforcements were brought in from Bergslagen. Once the armies joined the peasants were quickly put down and Norse control over Severia was complete.

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Having secured the realm, King Eirikr then died. In his final months he came to be known as King Eirikr the Cruel, for his treatment of the newly conquered Slavs. As planned the crown passed over Eirikr's son, Aflr, and instead went to Alfr's first son, Ofeig.
The lands in Bergslagen went to Alfr, and the Jarldon of Vitebsk went to Alfr's brother, Rognvaldr.

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The date of Eirikr's death, and the end of this update.


There wasn't really a pressing need to escape from the Danes, the cultural event splitting the Norse into the Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes, hasn't happened yet. So the need to escape the Danes was mostly nonexistent, except for the fact that getting out of the Danmark might have been a pain.

The new Kingdom in Russia will also be fun, as we are surrounded by countries of a different religion who will not join us in wars against each other but will join each other in wars against us. Many of the rulers of these realms are related to each other and thus have alliances, they will all gang up on us if given the chance. Probably our best hope is to ally with the Tengri Magyars and Khazars and hope they will aid us against our Slavic neighbors. The other possibility is abandoning the Norse ways and joining the Slavic religion. That will also hopefully spare us from devastating revolts.

So here's the first choice of the game.
Do we remain Norse and hope that attempts to ally with the Magyars and Khazars are successful, and that they are enough to aid us against the Slavs?
or
Do we convert to the Slavic religion and gain our alliances through marrying into the families of nearby Slavic realms?

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2015, 04:24:44 PM »
The next update will be tomorrow, though someone should probably suggest whether I convert to the Slavic Religion or try to tough it out as the Norse Religion first.

MunkiLord

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2015, 01:54:29 PM »
Convert. Then murder.

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2015, 04:45:44 AM »
The first of the Russo-Norse rulers we have definitive proof of is King Ofeig. While no contemporary sources beyond Georgios Monachos survive, 10th, 11th, and 12th century Byzantine chroniclers all mention the new Norse state created by King Ofeig. Additionally, a Runestone supposedly dedicated by King Ofeig himself has been known of for centuries and currently resides in the National Art Museum in Kiev. In Russia, King Ofeig has become a legendary figure, and it is at times difficult to parse out exactly what he did. Even the Byzantine sources get caught up in reporting Ofeig's almost certainly legendary exploits. Among the many tales are Ofeig's pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he supposedly received God's blessing to create his Kingdom, and his many encounters with the Witch, Baba Yaga.   
- From The History of the Medieval Rus, by Alexei Baryshev, Moscow University, 1973.

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This is the first son of the new king Ofeig. As you can see this child is genius. He will make a good heir one day.

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This is the current family tree. Ofeig has four siblings and three children. Currently his second oldest brother Borkvard is the one favored to win the election. His sons are both too young to have any voters of their own yet.

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Ofeig wants to become the King of Ruthenia. He wants to unite the scattered realms of the area into an enduring Kingdom.

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Half of these lands must be controlled before he can gather enough support to crown himself. Currently Ofeig controls a mere four counties. The Kingdom of Ruthenia is a long ways off.

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The divided Kingdom of Eirikr. Ofeig wears the crown of Smolensk and rules from Mstislavl, just had Eirikr did before him. Rögnvaldr has taken ownership of his lands and declared himself King of Vitebsk.

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Uncle Rögnvaldr controls the other half of Eirikr's Kingdom, once Ofeig has consolidated his position, Rögnvaldr's lands will be a good place to begin expanding into.

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The old homeland of Bergslagen has gone to Ofeig's father, Alfr. He will have to stand alone against the Danes, the two new Russian Kingdoms will be too far away to lend aid.

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We begin the reign of Ofeig by attempting to follow the conversion directive. Unfortunately he is not seen as pious enough to do so. No one would actually take his conversion seriously at this point. Conversion will have to be a task for the future, until then we'll have to move carefully in this new land.

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Having tried and failed to convert to the Slavic faith, the true business of ruling now begins. Apointments must be handed out following the partition of Eirikr's Kingdom. The previous spymaster, Frirek, is the rival of Ofeig. Obviously we cannot have a man who hates us as spymaster. Fortunately Frirek's son is skilled at intrigue as well, and better yet he doesn't hate Ofeig. He is also the son of Gunnhildr, who was the illegitimate daughter of Alfhildr and Tryggve. She seems to have been no more faithful to Frirek than her mother was to Alfr.

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One the appointments are handed Ofeig finishes what Eirikr began, imprisoning and confiscating the lands of the last of the native nobility. These final nobles are too weak and surrender without a fight. Following the loss of their lands they flee into obscurity in the neighboring realms.

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An opportunity to expand soon arrives. Uncle Rögnvaldr is attempting to conquer the nearby realm of Kiev. While his forces are distracted with this war we will strike and take his land. Normally I'd be afraid that Kiev would take advantage of our distraction, but considering they're already under attack by Rögnvaldr there is little chance they will attempt a war with us as well.

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Ofeig's armies march over the Kievan county of Smolensk and attempts to catch Rögnvaldr's army in Vitebsk.

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Rögnvaldr's army avoids contact, allowing our forces to take Vitebsk. Instead Rögnvaldr attempts to besiege our capital, Mstislavl. Our forces manages to catch them before they can escape, and Rögnvaldr's forces are caught between our superior army and the walls of Mstislavl.

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Ofeig's experience in the battle on the plains of Mstislavl gives him insight into how to fight battles on flat terrain. This is especially useful because most of this region of Russia is flat.

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While campaigning Ofeig has been reading the old books of strategy that Alfr has passed down. Still no word on how Alfr acquired books about Alexander the Great that were written in old Norse.

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Defeat quickly comes to Rögnvaldr. With a war lasting just a bit over a year Ofeig has managed to reunite the Kingdom of Eirikr. Our eyes must now turn beyond this land to find new places to conquer.

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The chiefdom of Turov is small and lacks allies. They shall be the first foreign ruler to fall to Ofeig.

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Victory is swift, the forces of Turov don't even attempt to fight the Smolenskian army. They flee to Galich and disperse as Ofeig's army takes control.

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The next target is the divided lands of Kiev. Ofeig shall succeed where his uncle had failed. The Kievan's are severely weakened by their own wars, retaining just over 100 soldiers. Their only ally of consequence, Galich,  has fared little better.

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Galich is ruled by the brother of the ruler of Kiev. Rather than giving him the choice of going to his brothers aid, we decide to conquer his lands as well. All the lands ruled by the Dregovich dynasty will be added to Ofeig's domain in one fell swoop.

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Naturally our first target in the war is the county of Smolensk. As we are the Kingdom of Smolensk this county really should be a part of our domain.

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having taken Smolensk, the army moves on to Minsk. Reinforcements arrive in the form of soldiers from Bergslagen, not that reinforcements are really needed, but its better to be safe.

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Even more reinforcements. They are quickly sent to fight the poor Kievans and Galichans who are at this point outnumbered by about six to one.

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In the midst of the war a second genius child is born to King Ofeig. Unfortunately Ofeig's genius wife dies soon afterwards.

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Kiev is forced to surrender after a year of fighting. Once Kiev falls all attention is then focused on Galich.

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A few months later Galich surrenders as well.

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With Galich and Kiev subjugated, and enough gold to bribe the right people, Ofeig is able to unite his holdings into the Kingdom of Ruthenia. Upon his death the realm shall not be divided. Land will change hands within the realm, but everyone will swear fealty to the undisputed King.

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Long Live King Ofeig!

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Of course, being speakers of the Norse language, Ruthenia is not the proper name. Ofeig's new realm is named Könugardr.

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Soon afterwards Ofeig is married to the daughter of the King of Saxony. The alliance which helped Eirikr conquer Smolensk is reestablished.

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The rivalry between Frirek and Ofeig has simmered for a long while, but finally it has come to a boil. A serious of minor incidents have finally brought issues to a head. Ofeig challenges Frirek to Holmgang.

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But is robbed of satisfaction as Frirek refuses to meet him on the field.

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The nearby Magyar realm holds a city along the Dnieper bank, just below the meeting of the Dnieper and Desna rivers. It would make a fine site for the capital. War is declared on the Magyar realm.

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The Magyars are barely able to put up a fight. In less than year the county is taken. The capital is swiftly moved from Mstislavl to the new city, which is renamed Könugardr after the name of the new Kingdom.

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The firstborn son, Guðröðr, is given the Jarldom of Galich along with the counties of Terebovl and Turov. Hopefully the experiences he gains in ruling the Jarldom will make him an attractive candidate for the electors.

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The woman Alvör proves herself to be better at intrigue than the current spymaster. She is assigned the post. It seems that bastards run in the family. Alvör is the bastard child of Gunnhildr, the bastard child of Alhildr and Tryggve. The line started in betrayal and deceit, and has now provided the descendants of Alfr with three spymasters, and the fourth spymaster in recent years was the husband of Gunnhildr. It seems the line of Alfr and the line of Alfhildr are connected in some way.

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Alvör is married to the steward, in the hopes that her offspring will continue the line of spymasters. (I forgot to get a screenshot that actually shows Alvör's intrigue level, its 18)

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While the selection of the new spymaster was ongoing, the Magyar Kingdom dissolved. The successor states would prove to be easy pickings for the growing Kingdom of Könugardr.

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While the armies are mobilizing, Frirek petitions to be made spymaster. True he is better than Alvör, but he also hates Ofeig and would likely join every plot against him rather than reporting then. This is really just a transparent attempt to get close to Ofeig in order to murder him. I don't really know what Frirek was expecting to happen. Needless to say, we refuse.

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The armies of Könugardr easily bring Korsun and Pereyaslavl to their knees with the help of the Saxon and Bergslagen armies.

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With the exception of Khazaria, Könugardr is easily the biggest Kingdom in Russia and Tartaria.

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Ofeig is finally at a point where he can convert to the Slavic religion. Unfortunately he is unable to convince anyone to convert with him.

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Between the Byzantines and the Khazars it will be difficult to ever get ahold of a Black Sea port.

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Könugardr now expands to the north, attacking the Kingdom of Lithuania in order to seize control of Polotosk.

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After several months of maneuvering the Lithuania army is lured out of their forests to the west and onto the open plains of Polotosk.

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Outnumbered 2-1 and with Ofeig leading the Könugardran army on flat terrain, the Lithuanians are easily crushed. The Könugardran army is barely scathed while the Lithuanians lose nearly half of their force.

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The heir to the Kingdom of Lithuania is captured in a minor skirmish soon afterwards. With him in Ofeig's jail, the county of Polotsk conquered, and the Lithuanian army destroyed, the Lithuanians are forced to make peace and cede Polotsk to Ofeig.

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If anyone is worthy of being remembered, surely it is Ofeig.

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The runestone will speak of Ofeigs bravery.

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The founder of the Kingdom of Könugardr shall never be forgotten.

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Shortly following the creation of the runestone, Ofeig declares war on the neighboring realm of Yatvingia in order to add Pinsk to the domain.

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Its a shame the runestone was already raised, this probably would have made a good story.

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While on the campaign King Ofeig falls ill.

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The allied Saxons manage to captured the High Chief of Yatvingia, with him in the Saxon prison Ofeig is able to force him to acknowledge Ofeig's rule over Pinsk.

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While the war was won, Ofeig fails to recover from his disease. On the way back to Könugardr Ofeig succumbs to the illness and dies. The lords of the realm choose Ofeig's second son, Alfr, as the new King.

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Its a shame they couldn't have chosen Guðröðr. He would have made an excellent King. With his extensive lands and troops he can call upon he is also likely to make trouble for his brother Alfr.

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Alfr will merely be a decent King.

And here we end this post.
The year is now 840AD.

So it turned out that converting to the Slavic religion was not as urgent as I had thought. I was afraid of Kiev and Galich, but the weakness they experienced allowed them to be easily conquered. Everything that happened here was much easier than I expected.
Due to the inability of pagan religions to demand that people of other religions convert, I was unable to convert any of my heirs. We are back to being Norse and the urgency to convert has faded.

The next choice I have in store, do we attempt to press towards the Baltic or the Black Sea? To eventually form a merchant republic we will need coastal provinces. The Baltic will probably be easier, Lithuania has already proven to be weak, and they are the largest of the Baltic states, The others will be even easier to defeat. The Danes will prove to be little trouble as well, as they have split into two separate Kingdoms.

The Black Sea would be harder, as we will have to deal with the the Byzantines and the Khazars, neither of which are showing any signs of weakness yet.

Their is a third weirder option that might not work at all, that would be conquer our way through Pannonia and hope we can snag Croatia before the Byzantines do. Once there we would be able to establish a Republic on the Adriatic coast. Of course in taking that course of action we would probably lose Ruthenia due to the succession law of tribal Kingdoms. The law will create any Kingdoms that you hold at least 50% of and give it to a sibling upon succession, thus dividing large Kingdoms. There is almost no way I could hold Pannonia, Croatia, and Ruthenia at the same time.

The final obstacle to forming a merchant Republic will be the becoming Jewish part, as unreformed pagans cannot form republics, and by reforming the Norse or Slavic religions, or converting to Christianity or Islam we make it much harder to then become Jewish. The best way for a tribe to convert to another religion is to take a concubine of that religion and then convert through a decision that opens up, the problem with that plan is that currently there is one Jewish woman on the map, and she's in Ireland. We can hope more spawn and give us the chance to convert, or hope we somehow end up with another Jewish courtier and use them to educate children into Judaism. Basically whatever path is chosen we still have a lot of work ahead of us before we can form the Jewish Republic.

So the choice, do we go for the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, or the weird third option of the Adriatic Sea?
We worry about how to convert to Judaism later.

Melityn

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Re: Crusader Kings 2: Lets Play
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2015, 04:46:43 AM »
Between now and the next update I can also take screenshots of areas of the world you are curious about.