The year is 1205, the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade
Western crusaders have betrayed their Byzantine allies. Originally called to take the pressure off the failing Empire and give her a much needed respite, the Latin Knights have instead turned on Constantinople and brutally sacked the city. Greece and the entire western remnant of the empire falls to these foreign invaders. Under this immense pressure the Byzantine empire fragments completely, leaving behind numerous succeesor states dotting asia-minor. All the while, powerful forces await on the bounderies. The Sultanate of Rum's star rises as the heirs of Rome fall from grace.
This is a time of peril and uncertainty. With the old roman lands divided more than ever before, the people look to you for guidance. They look to you for leadership and to lead them to a new age. Three rulers. Three destinies. The only question you must answer is: Who will you be?
The First Crusader Kings II Challenge
Hosted at the Arena of totalwar.org
This will be a challenge open to any member of this site, member or moderator, who owns Crusader Kings II. The challenge is this: Take one of the successor states, or direct rivals of, the Byzantine empire and claim your rightful place as the legacy of Rome. For this scenario we will be using the January 1st, 1205 start date, and will focus on only factions from Asia minor. Our map looks like this:
In order to declare yourself the ultimate victor, and truly take your rightful place as the successor of the old glories, you must reach the de jure extent of the old eastern Empire which are shown below.
Doing this will cement your legacy for all time, and even though your enemies may curse your name, they will never doubt your place in history.
But why take part in such a challenge? I love this game quite a bit and Paradox has been going a fun route with their DLC. So far, everything has either been nonessential or purely cosmetic. So i got thinking one day while waiting for a hotfix, you know, i bet some people have passed on all this DLC.
The 1205 scenario is one i've been looking at since the game has launched, and have failed at many times as i attempted to do exactly what I described. So i wondered if Orgahs could out do me. And to sweeten the pot, I decided i'd buy all the currently released DLC for the one who did it the best.
1. Only a start date of January 1st, 1205 can be used.
2. Usable factions: Latin Empire, Byzantine Empire, Sultanate of Rum
3. No mods allowed! The only modding you are permitted to do is modding the ability to play as the Sultanate of Rum
4. No custom characters from the ruler designer. Let's keep it historically plausible.
5. You are permitted to try as many times as you wish.
6. This challenge will be open from the time of this posting until May 20th, 00:00 GMT. The winner will be judged on a number of factors detailed below.
7. No cheating! No console commands may be used other than fow commands, which I do not consider to be cheating. This is supposed to be fun more than anything.
8. Participants will be required to submit a final save game state as well as screenshots as proof of their deed.
9. Participants will be required to recap key events in their rise to power for their fellow members in the style of an AAR. Said AAR does not have to be extravagant! However, this is about fun, and what's more fun than showing off how you rebuilt Rome in a weekend? You are highly encouraged to share the your exploits in this thread. Be they victories, or defeats!
10. Participants must use the newest patched state of the game: 1.05.
10.1 Hotfix version doesn't matter, but in order for me to load your saves to check your games, you need the newest patch.
How to win
Players will have their final entry judged on a number of factors.
*Completion - You are tasked with claiming all the de jure counties as they are shown in the above screenshot.
*Time - Your speed is important. A player who unites the old empire in two hundred years is more impressive than one who did it in three hundred.
*Players will be ranked on an ongoing "scoreboard" with the highest three participants obtaining a prize from myself at the end of the challenge. The prizes available are detailed below.
*Players may submit multiple entries but only "their best" will be considered for prize distribution. They may pick which entry they wish to be in the running, and change their minds any time before the deadline.
*In the event no one achieves the final goal of a full ressurection of the empire players will be judged on who got the closest.
First Prize: All currently purchasable DLC for Crusader Kings II. This includes the entire soundtrack bundle, Mongol Portraits, Historical Coat of Arms, and the Ruler Designer DLC.
Second Prize: A choice between the complete soundtrack bundle or the Ruler Designer DLC
Third Prize: Your choice of any one of the following: One CKII song pack, Mongol Portraits, Historical Coat of Arms.
Decide your destiny. Who will you be?
The Latin Empire:
You are Henri van Vlaandeen and you rule your newly forged empire from Constantinople. The lure of the ancient city was too much for you and your men to resist, and rather than defend the failing glory of Rome, you siezed it for yourself. You control all the former lands of the the old empire west of the Aegean with the exception of the Despot of Epirus, who has risen up as independant in defiance of you.
Already you and your men are facing problems. You lack any lawful claim to the lands you rule. You are a foreigner in every way you can think. You are a bastion of catholicism in a land of orthodoxy. Your vassals range from Frankish counts to german dukes, and their former leiges are eager to ursurp their vassal's newly won titles from you. Your military is exhausted from the long march from Central europe, and while you can gather a sizable host, you are surrounded by your betters.
And to those you must contend with who question your right to rule..? To the dungeon with those traitors! Each and every one! All that matters is the right of conquest. In the old tradition of Caeser himself: might shall make right. You will reforge the legacy of the Empire into a new image - the image of the european knight.
The Byzantine Empire:
Betrayal! Thieves! Destroyers and usurpers curse them!
You are Theodoros Laskaris, Emperor of Nicea and the Aegean islands. You are the lawful heir to the legacy of the Roman empire, ruling your nation in exile after the betrayal of the Latin crusaders stole the jewel of Constantinople from you. As the lawful leader of the failing empire, it is no one's right but your own to see the old glories restored. With a centuries old decline and your power weaker than it's ever been, however, that goal looks more like a dream with each passing day...
Your military is strong but you are surrounded by enemies abroad and restless vassals from within. Your nobles are furious at the lost of the ancient city, and many have taken to openly questioning your authority. But all is not lost. You have many lawful claims on your rivals. If you could solidify your power at home you could quickly expand and steal away many lands from the other powers in the region. But after your defeat and exile, can you really expect the other powers to simply allow that to happen?
Only someone chiseled from the same stuff as the Emperors of old could ever hope to push the Latin usurpers out of greece while keeping the Sultanate of Rum at bay.. Is that you?
The Sultanate of Rum*
You are Kaykhusraw the Seljuk, amused that the follies of your enemies has turned into a boon for you. Having struggled with the failing Byzantines for almost a century now, the Sultanate of Rum has only ever gotten more powerful while her enemies grown weaker. Now, the fabled crusaders of the west having betrayed their allies, your age old enemy is the weakest she's ever been.
Boasting the greatest army of asia-minor, your court at home is largely in order. Only your brother dares to challenge your authority but his supporters are few and far between. You have many claims which fall upon both your enemies in Nicea and those in Egypt. This is your time, the time of the Seljuk dynasty to once and for all see this battle to it's conclusion. The old glories of Rome can never be restored by those who claim to carry on its honor. They are too weak and not at all worthy of such an honor.
The legacy of Rome deserves a stronger successor! A successor who will surpass its ancient glories and build a new future, not one who will attempt to emulate what simply cannot be again. But even now your enemies plot to block your rise to power. Calling you infidel and heathen - you will face many challenges as you seek to build this new future, not the least of which may be another crusade. Do you have the strength to overcome? Your vision of the future demands you do no less.
*I want to apologize to our Turk fans out there. I couldn't find a coat of arms for the Sultanate so I used one provided by the game.