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Thread: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Welcome to The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR


    Saxony to East Francia to Germany.
    Lead Character: Otto I of Saxony

    Well now, what's this then? I'LL TELL YOU. I'm about to go head first into a massive game of CK2 and later to convert to EUIV. The purpose? Fun! Well.. fun and seeing a full 1000 years of human history rewritten. Sounds pretty cool right?

    I've wanted to do this ever since i played EUIII yeaaars ago but i've never been able to. Either the conversions were a pain or I just didn't have time.. and nothing's changed! Joking of course. With the release of EUIV, the community has been gifted a rare thing: A save game converter which can convert games nearly perfectly, whether they are modded or not! Where as before the conversion process was pretty painful and almost always required a bit of modding to clean up the import result, it's now as easy as pushing a button. For an on the go soccer mom like me, that's a must.

    An AAR spanning over 1000 years, two games and one unoriginal title, this is going to take quite a long time to complete.. and it's also possible we'll lose along the way! Our precious dynasty could die out. We could get overthrown. An insane ruler could cause a tantrum spiral.. the possibilities are endless. But no matter what happens i'm sure we'll find some fun along the way.



    Da House Rules:


    General

    1. No Save scum

    CK2 (playing with Project Balance)

    2. No courtier claim exploits
    3. Roleplaying your character (No backstabbing unless you have traits to justify it, for example)
    4. No exploiting the AI's willingness for alliances if it doesn't make regional logic. (marrying into the Byzantines as the Timurids...)
    5. De Jure drift is OFF for kingdom level entities.
    6. No destroying titles. Ever.
    7. If the player wins a crusade the main character must do one of two things.
    a. Leave their primary titles behind to rule in the Levant
    b. Grant the crusader kingdom to a sibling.

    EUIV (playing with vanilla)

    7. Inflation is ON.

    Since I am still learning EUIV this section is a bit blank. The main settings will be keeping inflation on and lucky nations at its default.

    Should be a really fun experience! I've already played a little bit and I am loving the concept of a super long game, with goals changing as the game evolves... But first off... just who the heck are we?



    Well to start us off, we'll be this guy.


    Say hello to Otto of Saxony, historically this guy lived the good life under Autonomous Vassals doing whatever he wanted within his realm. His dynasty would also go on to become the "successors" of the Karlings in Germany. This guy's grandson? He became Holy Roman Emperor. We won't be doing that. But we will be succeeding the Karlings.. just a bit more forceful than happened historically..

    Speaking of his realm, it's a pretty good chunk of East Francia.





    We're one of the most powerful vassals of Ludwig the German and the other vassals of our good king are relatively weak.

    We're in a pretty good spot to contest the rule of East Francia, but with the unification between EF and Bavaria an inevitability, as well as the dynastic power plays that are common in the Karling House, i doubt it will be simple to usurp that title. We've also got a significant border with pagans in almost every direction. If East Francia gets raided from the north it's our people who are going to suffer. We've got barbarians at the gates, an aging king on the throne and a famous character as our leading role.

    The hall is rented. The orchestra engaged.. Let's see if we can dance...





    A basic outline of my CK2 gameplan:

    Early Game objectives (CK2):

    1. Avoid imprisonment while we build our power
    2. Drive the Karlings from East Francia and obtain the throne for our dynasty.
    3. See all major Karling bases of power in central Europe destroyed. (Lotharingia and Bavaria, primarily.)



    Updates every Sunday and Wednesday.

    first update in a couple days.
    Last edited by Monk; 08-17-2013 at 07:24.

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    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Looking forward to reading it. The man is heavy-boned, so that might be an issue.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    The Turbulent History of the First Founding


    The Rise of Saxony during the reign of:

    Otto I 'The Pious' of Saxony
    Reigned c. Jan 1. 867 - November 16. 906


    The strongest vassal of the weakest Karling king is a poor way to begin your tale, but that's where we start. Otto I of Saxony. Not particularly skilled in combat. Not particularly smart. And not particularly inclined to do much of anything when push came to shove, being a slothful bastard and all. Barbarians to the north and east making expansion difficult. An aging king to the south leaving him to his own rule, and the dynastic power plays of the Karlings playing out beyond his borders. Why should he even bother..? An ambitious wife that's why.

    Well, that, and the reality that on the borders of East Francia, the now fragmented tribes of the slavs could very well unite one day. A united slavic kingdom could be incredibly dangerous to the small duchy and his people. Otto elected to push forward and make the Elbe his new border, and by extension, the border of Eastern Francia. Ludwig the German was busy campaigning in the south, but gave the Duke the freedom to campaign as he pleased.




    A brief campaign into Anhalt smashed local resistance, seeing the local chief swear fealty to Otto by right of conquest. The campaign stalled after the capture of the county, and unfortunately, the push to Altmark failed due to lack of proper planning and supplies. Otto I nonetheless returned to his capital at Luneberg and simply proclaimed victory. He turned his attentions back to governing his demesne and growing his power locally through ruthless campaigns of consolidation among his vassals.




    Returning home the conquering hero gave the ruler the leverage he needed to contest the rights to the counties of hamburg and Bremen from local rulers. After a brief internal struggle in the Duchy of Saxony, both counties were added to his growing demesne, their local lords displaced. While the actions generally upset local barons, many were quick to point out Otto acted well within the confines of the law. Both sides would be given a chance to vent when, with the ink barely dry on the declarations of peace, King Frirek of Jylland broke free from the central lords in Denmark and proclaimed himself King of Holstein.






    His claim was a bold one. One Otto gladly tested.







    King Frirek fights bravely but cannot hope to succeed outnumbered as he is by such a vast amount. His forces are scattered and Holstein falls within weeks. Successful wars of conquest in the east and the north, as well as consolidations internally, easily place Saxony as the strongest internal vassal of Eastern Francia, and what's more, Otto's legacy is ensured when only a year after returning from his wars his first child is born. A daughter he will later name.. Ida.




    The arrival of his first child only causes the Duke to become emboldened. Before, his conquests were driven by desire for a natural border between Saxony and the lands to the east, but after he captured Holstein, smashed internal dissenters and captured Anhalt, Otto desired a greater prize. His ambition grew with each successful campaign, each successful battle. When he marched his men into Lubeck in the winter of 876 and crushed local resistance at the Battle of Ratzeburg.. the other vassals of the realm had to take note. Ludwig the German was so impressed by the stories from Ratzeburg, stories exaggerated more and more with each year, that he proclaimed Otto I marshal that very year. It was a posting which the Saxon duke excelled at, it seemed he was placed on this earth singularly to wage war.




    Saxony was quickly becoming powerful.. perhaps even powerful enough to challenge the far off, aging king in the south. No direct vassal in central europe could claim as much land as Otto I, and certainly none could claim his skill at war. In just 11 short years he had laid low his rivals along the Elbe and secured his northern and eastern borders. None dare raid the shores of Saxony, for they knew what awaited them: a battle hardened generation of Saxon troops. But power breeds ambition, and ambition is only multiplied when combined with sufficient skill. In the North Otto had united a powerful realm with a mighty host to call his own. And in the south? The Karling successors of Charlemagne struggled to restore glory to their fragmented lands..




    One such war would come shortly after the Battle of Ratzeburg. East Francia was embroiled in a war against Lotharingia for the right to rule in Burgundy. Ludwig The German, downright ancient at this point in his life, still had the strength to marshal forth in one great campaign into the lowland countries. Unfortunately.. many of his troops would never return. East Francia was crushed in Gelre and the following campaign proved disastrous.




    Having lost the throne of burgundy and nearly 3/4 of its standing army, East Francia was weak and had no choice but to rely on its stalwart vassals for defense. The King's demesne had been emptied for the campaign, and the King's persenal retinues were all but destroyed.. and so it was that East Francia put its faith in Otto of Saxony, who had kept the majority of his troops out of the fighting. Otto would betray that trust.




    Otto launched a general insurrection the very next year, dividing the already weakened kingdom into North and South. Saxony and its vassals loyal to Otto making up the Northern forces, and the Karling King and his supporters in the south. One only great battle would be needed to decide the fate of the coming struggle..






    East Francia forces were utterly decimated on the fields at Corvey, the already decimated ranks of the levies for the southern king were reduced even further. Saxony declared full independence the following year with little further resistance from the south.




    Just a few short years after the birth of his first Son, Otto II, the Duke of Saxony had declared full independence and thrown off the protection of his Karling masters in the south. With his new found freedom Otto began laying great plans to ensure this new found freedom would not be short lived. Succession was all but secured with one son and two daughters. His armed forces were some of the most experienced in Europe.. and great wealth promised access to many mercenaries.. but there was one thing Otto had not accounted for in his great plans. The fury of the Norsemen.


    The Saxon warlord had forgotten about the great and powerful fiefdoms of the north, which were quickly being solidified. Norway and Sweden were two of the greatest kindgoms to be forged from those fires, and barely ten years after his great declaration.. his ability would be tested. A huge Norse invasion force landed in Holstein, spilling forth over five thousand warriors intent on claiming Saxony for their own. It would be the first step into Fancia. The first step to a European Danelaw.. Otto was desperate. He drew up his defense around his capital, hired as many mercenaries as he could and waited for the Norse attack.. but just as he was preparing for his world to come crashing down, a message arrived...


    The King of Bohemia, impressed by the legendary skill of the Saxon warrior, offered his aid in crushing this invasion. Otto accepted! Together they marched forward on the field of battle and met the Norse at Itzehoe.. and what a battle it was. Even with a numbers advantage, Bohemian forces were delayed by poor weather crossing the Elbe. A mis-communication saw Otto's forces launch their attack prematurely while the Bohemians were still on the march.. and it nearly lead to a disaster! On the fourth day of combat the allies at last joined together and pressed their assault, defeating the Norse invaders and sending them back into the cold north.


    This was the start of the long winter for Saxony.. for the next twenty years, Otto would fend off invasion after invasion. War after war. Norway. Sweden. The various petty kingdoms of Denmark. Each one would attempt to invade the newly formed Duchy. Each time Otto would route them. Each time, the day was won by the great Saxon warlord.. and many times.. the margin of victory was razor thin. But through it all, Otto perservered. As he struggled in the North, the South was overrun at last. His overthrow and declaration of independence from the Karlings had sent East Francia into a spiral she never recovered from. Seizing the chance, in 892, Otto declared himself "King of the Germans."


    After this Otto was quick to consolidate his power by ruthlessly confiscating every title upon which he had a claim. Two counties were added to his growing demesene, which was fast becoming very wealthy from the tribute he exacted from defeated invaders.


    Unfortunately... the next great test would be the strong yet. The Swedish King had been preparing an invasion for years, targeted to topple this newly formed Kingdom of Germany. When it finally came nearly 7,000 men came with their king.. far too much for Otto. Otto was forced to turn to taking out loans to pay for a huge mercenary force to counter this invasion. He would spent the next 10 years of his life repaying that loan.. but his kingdom would stand.









    Otto was hailed a true hero in the aftermath of the assault on Germany by the Swedish king. Having successfully defeated the strongest Norse realm, and in a prepared invasion no less! Otto and his son fought many smaller defensive actions over the next decade.. but none would truly match the scale of the great invasions of the past. One such defensive action was the Battle of Haldensleben. A young King in Denmark wanted to test his mettle against the famed Saxon defenders. His forces were crushed and utterly routed.. It was an easy victory! And one that Otto planned to celebrate with good drink with his son, the newly come of age prince Otto II.. but when he went to find his son after the chaos of the battle died away.. he found his son among the dead being counted.



    Stabbed from behind.. and the man responsible? One of the priests who had been sent to bless the saxon warriors before the battle!




    Before the old man passed he revealed the conspiracy.. Ida Ludolfinger, second in line to the throne, had conspired with the nobles to assassinate Otto's only son to pave the way for her rise. Enraged, Otto tracked down every conspirator and ensured they were thrown into prison for their crimes! But when it came time to enact judgement upon Ida, the King could not bear himself to go through with it. Already he had lost a son.. could he really put his daughter to the sword?





    Otto turned to denial and the expansion of his kingdom instead. The powers of the south were shifting and if he would see his legacy survive at all, he knew he had to complete his work.. soon.



    The Karlings had lost their hold in France and Burgundy. Lotharingia was a single generation from losing the Karling dynasty from power.. would his own realm be the same? He rearranged the marriages with his daughters to ensure matrilineal ties.. and then? The poor king passed, exhausted from his earthly work. Or.. did he? Perhaps the Kinslayer had claimed another, ready to accept the denial she had forced her father into. History shall never know the truth.












    Come back Wednesday for the reign of Ida the Kinslayer.



    This was a crazy first reign. I nearly lost like 6 times in the first twenty years alone! This is likely the hardest start i've had since i played Harold Godwinson in the 1066 start and defeated both invasion forces. Absolutely crazy and would recommend for anyone looking for a fun Old Gods Catholic start. There's a few things i omitted here.. like a few bastards running around that my vassals actually believe are their children. Oops!

    The biggest surprise was my of a daughter Ida. She kills her own brother and gets caught, kinslayer trait and all! I would have executed her (tyrant be damned) but Otto's other daughter is a bit worse than Ida is. Otto was in love with his queen so it didn't make sense to divorce/kill her for another one.. so I had to let Ida get away with her deed. Her reign should be fun.

    Forming Germany was always gonna be the easy part.. the hard part was the Norse attack when I broke away. I decided to break early from East Francia.. which was a huge mistake and put me into debt for over a decade. If i had been playing vanilla i'd have lost. Easy. Playing Project Balance though i had access to the loan mechanic which, again, very nearly bankrupted me. Still it gave me the chance to win. Otto paid off all his debts just before Ida poisoned him i mean died of old age.
    Last edited by Monk; 08-19-2013 at 08:21.

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    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Ahahahahahah XD

    Long live Ida, Regina Germanorum! Now that was a former NPC with balls :P

    Keep 'em coming Monk

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    The Bad Doctor Senior Member Chaotix's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Nice job so far!

    Posting to let you know I'm watching...
    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer: The Gameroom

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Changing the Fates of Kingdoms and Men




    The History of the Kingdom of Germany during the Reign of:
    Ida 'the Kinslayer' Ludolfinger, daughter of Otto I 'the Pious' of Saxony.

    Reigned c. November 17. 906 - April 11. 937

    With her conspiracy complete, Ida Ludolfinger seized power in 906 after the untimely passing of her father that year. Though she was never truly implicated in his death, many historians argue that the first Queen in Germany's history had a less than peaceful ascension to the throne. This believe is largely based around the sudden, violent political upheavals that followed her rise to the fledgling kingdom's leadership, as well as the already proven kinslaying of Otto II.

    Sieghard Karling rallied a large banner of support for himself as the true leader of Germany in 907, shortly after Ida had taken power. Though he was married to Ida and already King in his own right, he was simply a figurehead with no real say in the rule of the realm. Every noble at court knew who truly had the power in their marriage. When Seighard learned of a growing resentment to the new ruler.. he quietly poured funds into the faction from the background hoping to ignite a spark. Just a year later, simmering tensions turned white hot.




    The marriage between Ida and a member of the Karling dynasty had been an olive branch on her Father's part. A way to tie his dynasty to the former overlords and make peace with his one time enemies, the Karlings, who were quickly consolidating power again in the South. It was meant to be a way to keep Germany free of their grandiose ambitions. Of course.. the Old King never accounted for his daughter's ambition, nor her willingness to murder her own kin. When Ida came to power, Otto's olive branch had inadvertently put a Karling on the throne, one who was apparently quite difficult to control.

    Duke Humburt of Holstein and numerous counts from the Duchy of Brunswick backed the rebellion. Humburg hoped to sweep down into Germany's capital and sack the numerous holdings before Ida could muster a response. He had hoped to forcibly put his claimant on the throne in a quickwar... He and his troops met a well prepared army as they crossed the Elbe. The battle was a disaster for rebel forces.




    Rebel forces were thrown back in assault after assault on the capital until the Duke of Holstein was finally forced to sign a treaty of peace. He and his claimant, King Seighard, were thrown into the darkest dungeons beneath Ida's fortress in Luneburg. Ida had passed her first test as ruler, organizing the defenses and putting down the deadly revolt, but she would get little time to consolidate her power. Only a month after the internal conflict had seen a fourth of her levywasted on a petty power play, a huge invasion force from nearby Greater Poland arrived.. intent on claiming the county of Brandenburg.






    It wasn't until almost 6 months later that constant marching and campaigning paid off, where the invaders were cornered in the wilderness of Stettin. Fighting uphill, hungry and tired, the brave German soldiers utterly routed their foe at great cost to their own host. Greater Poland's invasion force was picked apart as their invasion turned into a disgraceful route. The soldiers who returned home were once more celebrated heroes of the new Kingdom, and Ida? The very same Kinslayer who had been the most hated woman in Europe? She was seen as Germany's savior. Who else could turn back both a Karling plot and a heathen invasion at the same time! Germany had a new Queen, and she wasn't going anywhere. The only question now in the aftermath of the wars was what to do with the imprisoned King?




    It was obvious that the man could no longer be trusted. In June of 908, Ida and her traitorous husband were divorced with the Pope's blessing.




    Ida would have to choose a new King. One who had no claim to her throne. One whom she could trust, but more importantly, one whom she could politically control. A young landless noble, Wigerich Von Tecklenburg, adviser to the Queen's Steward was the perfect candidate. He was a nobody. Had no claims of his own, and was weak enough to accept direction no matter what that would be.




    Unfortunately.. Karling intervention was not so easily thwarted in Germany's affairs.




    To the south the thrones of Bavaria and Italy were once more united beneath Jacques the Fat. who was eyeing the north greedily with plans for expansion. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your perspective.. Germany's ruler was no longer Otto the Pious. The first great King of Germany likely would have instigated a war with Italy, bringing in allies and sending both realms into a terrible spiral of violence. Ida was far more pragmatic. She soothed the Frankish lords of Italy with many diplomatic meetings. Her chancellor worked overtime, convincing Jacques of the value Germany could offer the southern powers. After all, it was Germany who stood as the vanguard between the terrible Norsemen and Europe. It was Germany who had turned back northern aggression every single time it had came down from the icy waters of the Baltic. Having German soldiers on your side was a very, very good thing, or so the diplomats claimed!

    Their efforts paid off. In 910, it was made official as Ida's first daughter, Ida the Younger, would become betrothed to Prince Helie. It would be a new occasion for both Kingdoms and usher in a new era of peace for central Europe, surely! With the newly cemented alliance making her nobles and diplomats rejoice, Ida pressed the borders of her Kingdom further. She claimed the island of Rugen, Mercilessly crushed Sorb resistance in the east, and forcibly incorporated the province of Werle into her growing realm. The ability of the Queen's soldiers seemed to match that of her diplomats..






    Just as her armies were returning home from their numerous victories abroad, news of a terrible tragedy made its way north. The great King of Italy, Jacques 'The Fat' was killed in a most terrible carriage accident. Many suspected foul play as the driver of the carriage was found dead just a week later! The King had many enemies... but which had acted..?




    The resulting chaos of having a one year old infant betrothed matralineally to a foreign princess was prolonged, bloody, and ultimately decisive conflict which tore the kingdom of Italy into pieces..




    After three years of intense factional infighting, Aquitaine seized control of the throne of Bavaria. Four years after that, Bavaria obtained independence.

    Through the turmoil of the next seven years of fighting in the south, Bavaria, Aquitaine and Italy are all lost to the Karling throne. Only years later do the Karlings manage to claw their way back into power in Bavaria. By 920, a dynasty that had ruled all of West and central europe was now confined solely to the Kingdoms of Lotharingia and Bavaria, with France, Italy and Germany being the strongest of the successor states to arise out of the Karling collapse. In a way it's quite fitting that it was Ida of Germany who was pulling the strings of the conspiracy that toppled Italy's attempts to stop the decline... who better to engineer their fall than the daughter of the first man to successfully break away from their centralized rule?

    Ida's meddling in foreign politics would not end there. Historians also claim her to be responsible for the death of the Bohemian king, Svatopluk II, in 917. Just as the south was engulfed in flames. It cannot not be a coincidence that the Bohemian King should die so soon after the German army invaded the duchy of Messien.. A war the Germans won handily after their forces smashed the greif stricken armies of Bohemia on the field of battle in early 918, claiming the duchy and adding it to their growing realm.





    For the next two decades the reign of Ida the Kingslayer passed with relative peacefulness. Raiders from the north would at times attack Germany, but her valiant defenders would always rise to her aid. Ida ruthlessly consolidated her power in the peace her grand schemes had won her. Her web of intrigue and intelligence so horrifyingly efficient that few vassals could make any attempt to further their power while she reigned. Her network of spies subverted numerous attempts to remove her from power. Dozens of civil wars were averted solely by her cunning, and after the initial civil strife that marked her rise, never again did the vassals manage to raise their banner against the throne. It was said that not even the lowliest of commons could sit down for dinner without the Queen of Germany knowing exactly what sat upon their plates that evening...

    But despite how great her knowledge of internal politics was, her attempts to meddle in foreign politics had made her a few enemies..




    In 931, at the end of her long reign, Ida's first born daughter was murdered in the Duchy of Tuscany. The Queen had married her daughter, Ida the Younger, to the son of a powerful noble in one of Italy's many political factions. For twenty years, since the death of Jaqcues, factions and their politics had dominated the Italian court. Ida had tied her dynasty to one of the many ruling families there hoping to gain greater leverage in the constant bids for the throne of Italy. It had paid off in many respects. Her daughter was granted the great honor of becoming spymaster, giving the young woman.. and by proxy her mother.. immense power inside Italy. All that ended when Basilio di Cascina, jealous of the German born spymaster, had her murdered so that he could take her place on the ruling council..

    The act didn't go without punishment..






    It was the last great act of the old Queen, and it was one which in part helped further define her reign. Ida's legacy was one of intrigue. Assassination and shadowy deals became the norm of court politics in Germany during the 30 years in which she ruled. She fell ill in 937 and died, leaving behind Prince Christopher, her only son, to succeed her as King.




    Come back Sunday for the reign of King Christopher I





    Thus passes Ida the Kinslayer, most memorable NPC to be cpu generated in a long time. I will miss her.

    Ida allowed me to do some pretty great things. Assassinating kings almost at will to invade a weakened neighbor. The domino effect that happened when she killed the king of Italy? That was amazing, it really put the nail in the coffin for Karling dominance. I don't think they will ever have as much power as they did previously.

    Next reign will be a make or break moment for the Kingdom. Christopher's traits SUCK but he's a badass commander. Every vassal absolutely hates his guts and a civil war is brewing in Germany. Tensions are high after Ida's highly effective murder-spree and ruthless revocation. She consolidated up to her demesne limit which was 5. Wish it was higher, but that's the price of having an idiot king for the sake of controlling him like a puppet.

    The European successor states have almost completely thrown out the Karlings. Two realms remain under their control but I wonder for how much longer. France is the most powerful Christian kingdom as of right now. They can topple anyone if they wanted to. My Germany is still one of the outlier powers, mostly thanks to low opinion from vassals, and having a large part of my realm not catholic.

    Oh and i almost forgot. Current map:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    the piece in denmark isnt mine. It's actually an independent county who is also grey
    Last edited by Monk; 08-22-2013 at 07:06.

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    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Nice scheming ^^

    BTW noob question: how do you get the "find character" menu? :P
    There used to be a button, but it was taken over by the religious scroll XD

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    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    It was moved to the lower row of buttons. It's next to the 'Find province' button
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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  9. #9
    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Tyranny Reigns in the North




    The History of the Kingdom of Germany during the Reign of:
    Christopher I 'the Cruel' Ludolfinger, Son of Ida I 'the Kinslayer' of Germany.

    Reigned c. April 12. 937 - April 3. 957

    Ida had risen to power through the killing of her own brother. She had ruthlessly subverted the vassals' power and, at every turn, ensured that her dynasty would last at the expense of others fortunes. But even as harsh and as cruel as she, Ida knew when to smile. She knew well how to navigate the treacherous waters of the court. Who to smile at, who to lean on, who to support.. it was second nature to the now passed Queen. Her son, Christopher I, would unfortunately inherit none of that..


    He had a temper and was prone to fits of rage. He was cruel, sadistic. He lied openly in court. He coveted the possessions of his more powerful vassals. He was a coward, a dishonorable fighter, and arbitrary. He was well and truly a bastard with no redeeming qualities what-so-ever, and upon his accession to the throne in 937, he would find himself surrounded by enemies both internal and external. Ida's constant intrigues likely did not help, but being totally opposed to compromise and threatening to (have your guards) beat anyone who opposed your rule.. or worse? The vassals were quick to denounce their new king and demand anyone to take his place!

    Such plots, however, would have to wait..


    Ten months after his rise to power the Norse returned, invading from Denmark and laying siege to the county of Holstein. They smashed local resistance and began pillaging the north of Germany at will. With no other alternative, the vassals pleaded for aid against this northern aggression.. a plea that the King of Germany was all too happy to answer. Christopher arrived two weeks later at the head of a huge mercenary contingent and routed the Danes at the Battle of Starigard, utterly crushing their offensive and relieving the northern vassals, most notably the Dukes of Meckleburg and Holstein.


    Christopher could not have asked for a better PR moment. The hated and untested king rallying his 'few personal retinues' and singlehandedly crushing the Norse attack on Holstein. Whatever factional support had been growing for Agatha to take over was resoundingly silenced at Starigard. Of course, the King's own personal involvement in the battle was largely exaggerated, it nonetheless secured his position on the throne for the immediate future.

    Returning to Luneburg, Christopher surveyed his realm for the first time.


    Germany was still a land divided in faith. Much of her western lands were still beneath the sway of Pagan Gods, despite the best efforts of his court chaplain. Christopher ordered the efforts to convert the populace redoubled, and at times, even sent his martial out into the troubled zones to 'quell dissent'. It isn't known exactly how many died in the coming years due to Christopher's harsh view of the pagans within his realm, but no over the next twenty years two major rebellions would break out as the Slavic peoples attempted to protect their ancient faith. It's estimated no fewer than six thousand were killed in that time period, as each rebellion was, as history records, brutally suppressed.


    940. 3 years into Christopher's reign and a new threat rises from the King of Norway. Germany,the gatekeepers of Christendom in the North, are now under direct threat from the most powerful Nordic Kingdom yet to rise. Bound by treaties with both Sweden and the few remaining Norselaw states in the British Isles, the King of Norway launches a deadly assault on Germany. The Goal is Holstein. The coveted prize that countless Norse warlords before him had attempted to claim, but this time, The Norse are supremely confident. Through her levies and allies, Norway commands a host near on 11,000 men. Christopher rallies his forces and sends out he call for mercenaries, but his own forces are meager in comparison. It is believed that at this time, Germany can only manage a quarter of the number that the Norse call down upon them. The situation looks grim for Christopher.

    Until.. hope arrives.


    The Capets of France, most powerful of the Karling Successors, hear of Germany's plight and send aid. 4,000 men arrive under the command of the Duke of Brabant. With his position reinforced by his western allies, Christopher attacks the Norse position in Holstein..


    The battle is a disaster...


    Although initially winning the field, the German/French army comes under assault from a combined Norse army, led by both the Kings of Sweden and Norway. The fight is swift. Brutal. French forces are destroyed almost to a man by an encircling action, while the Germans hardly fair better. Christopher escapes the battle with his life and 1300 battered and bloodied troops. With little hope for victory, the King of Germany leads his men south. South. Ever south. Holstein is abandoned to the Norse as Christopher picks up as many reinforcements as he can and continues his long march of defeat. The King doesn't stop his march until he crosses the border into Bavaria and sets up camp in the mountains near Nurnberg. All of Germany appeared to be forfeit..

    The Norse press south, splitting their army into three contingents with the largest perusing King Christopher. 5,000 Norse corner 1300 Germans and somewhere around 2500 mercenaries near Roth.. With little thought of anything save victory they attacked!


    It would lead to one of the greatest military victories of the Dark Ages. Outnumbered, demoralized and on foreign soil the King of Germany leads his men in a devastating counter attack through the center of the lines. Much of Christopher's reign is colored with bias, but every account agrees, as the Norse closed in it was the efforts of the Mercenaries, not the King himself, who punched through the center of the enemy line. Taken completely off-guard by the savage counter attack, Norse lines of communication descended into chaos. The Battle of Roth sees nearly 5,000 enemy troops wiped out. In the coming months of campaigning, German forces are revitalized by their incredible victory, besting the Norse in engagement after engagement...


    But in the North there an be no peace. Not for long.


    A huge army beneath the King of Greater Poland invades from the west barely six months after the terrible battles of Holstein and Roth. King Christopher, barely able to rally a defense, calls for aid from any who will hear him. By now he is well and truly desperate, and only by the support of the Capets in France will he survive the coming storm. French troops arrive to bolster the German defense.. but still, it is barely enough.


    German forces take the brunt of the assault. In the fields near Lubusz a full three thousand German soldiers are killed or otherwise captured, with the King's own host being utterly shattered by the advance of the Polish vanguard. If not for the arrival of French troops, who pin down and defeat the encroaching Poles, there is little doubt as to who would have been the victor of this war. In the aftermath of the war Germany finds itself as a shell of its former self. Thousands of its men are now dead after three devastating wars in five years. King Christopher returns to his capital in shame. Having been saved twice by foreign intervention his frustration builds to a boiling point, unable to handle courtly life.. he is said to have withdrawn from internal affairs.

    It is said that after five years of war, the allied forces had taken many prisoners. One by one, they are each visited upon by the King. One by one, terrible, new tortures are devised in the dungeons beneath the capital. Screams were claimed to have been heard by the peasants at all hours of the night, but such stories are almost impossible to verify..

    For five years the King remains secluded from his people, inflicting the most grotesque tortures the imagination can conjure upon those who were unfortunate enough to reside in his dungeon. As rumors spread through Europe of the increasing barbarity of his actions, King Christopher is condemned a tyrant by his vassals. His cruel nature held up as an example of everything a ruler should not be.


    As if to give evidence to the rumors of his low character, when Christopher finally returns to court, he announces a campaign against the independent Duchy of Koln. It was lawfully apart of the German Kingdom, but it was ruled by the Capet dynasty. A brother of the King of France had broken away from the kingdom and now ruled a small duchy on his own. With no loyalty to the family that had offered him aid twice, Christopher attacks the small duchy and adds it to his realm. The act infuriates the French and even the Karling controlled Bavaria, who were both increasingly hostile to northern Germany.


    The King of Germany would attempt to smooth over relations with Bavaria by marrying his daughter to the newly crowned teenage ruler of Bavaria. But tensions continued to run high regardless of the move.


    Demonstrating he had no diea when to quit, King Christopher mounts a second offensive, this time against the weakened kingdom of Bohemia. When his vassals utterly refuse to fund the campaign, the King turns once more to foreign mercenaries to wage his war..




    Brutal subjugation is all that awaits the vanquished. Fortunately for them, they will not be directly ruled by the King, but rather one of his vassals. The peasants no doubt count their blessings upon that day..


    The stories of the King's cruelty and sadistic nature only grow more wild. The rumors aren't helped by the very real death of Count Widukind in 950, who was allegedly tortured to death in the dungeons of his liege. Whereas before only the enemies of an unfortunately dungsbody could expect this treatment, now even the vassals of the King of Germany are being hauled into the dungeons.. There is true panic among the German nobles.

    Finally the Pope can take no more. After numerous reports of the barbarity perpetuated by the King of Germany, the betrayal of allies, the countless accounts of murdering vassals.. King Christopher of Germany is declared Excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 954. The already tight grip the King had placed upon his realm is forced to get even tighter as his vassals are nearly in open revolt after the declaration. Numerous attempts to overthrow the king fail in the coming years. A brutal civil war breaks out in 955 which decimates the available levies for the kingdom. The King's own retinue is destroyed attempting to break the siege of his capital, but somehow he is able to keep control of his Kingdom..


    But to the powerful Bavaria in the south, this cannot continue. Along their northern border the Kingdom of Germany was tearing itself apart beneath the Tyrant King Christopher. Vassals in open revolt in never ending cycle. Stories of torture, murder and betrayal as being common place. in 956, the King of Bavaria had heard enough. He crossed the border with over 12,000 men intent on deposing the current king and installing his successor, Otto Ludoflinger.



    The embattled German King empties his war chests one last time in a desperate attempt to keep power. Mercenaries from all across Europe flock to the banner of the Tyrant King as the Bavarian army advances in the south. Christopher smashes resistance near Jena, which only swells his confidence for the next battle. In truth, Christopher had met a much smaller advanced force who were scouting for the main push, which was still near Meissen.


    The first of December is the first marked record of this battle, though some sources have it occurring as late as Christmas Day. The two sides were drawn up on the slopes of a steep hill. Christopher's advisers spoke of caution, but the King would not hear of it. He pushed his soldiers forward against the well prepared Bavarian lines, attempting to crush his enemies in one fell swoop and once and for all secure his right as King of Germany. The fighting is said to have been the bloodiest the medieval German armies had ever witnessed. The Battle of Altenburg lasted for three days.

    On the first day the German attack hit the Bavarian lines hard, and the professional core of mercenaries under the command of the Tyrant King nearly broke through. But the Bavarians rallied, well entrenched on the hill their counter-attack forced a stalemate, as night fell, neither side had gained ground. The second day saw the first snowfall of the region. Period historians tell of the dead covered in a light frost as the battle was joined. Once again the Tyrant King attacked, but this time his forces were easily repulsed and with heavy casualties. The King's own marshal was slain as he attempted to lead the left flank, causing a panic to spread through the lines.. The King's forces were only saved by the fall of dusk, allowing them to regroup as night fell.

    Again, the king's advisers cautioned he withdraw but Christopher would have none of it, threatening to outright banish anyone who demanded he succumb to cowardice in the face of this moment. The dawn of the third day was marked with a vicious snowstorm.. and this time, the Bavarians attacked. Without the skill of his marshal to aid him, the Tyrant King was unable to rally a counter-attack. His forces were completely destroyed.


    Over 10,000 men died at Altenburg.. and it would be the final act of the King of Germany.


    Defeated and deposed by a foreign power, the reign of Christopher 'the Cruel', Tyrant of Germany, ends in 957.

    Come back Wednesday for the Reign of Otto II







    This was definitely one of those "nothing ever goes right" reigns, but that's what I get for letting the AI educate my heir. The worst character traits i've ever seen. Guaranteed -50 to -70 relations just from traits alone. How this guy ever survived longer than a few years is likely testament to how well I've kept the vassal's strength divided. All it would have taken is one super duke...

    If i didn't have a high intrigue ruler preceding this guy he wouldn't have lasted a day. I still managed to get a few provinces and I've got around 150 years before the Crusade Era starts up. Plenty of time to rebuild..
    Last edited by Monk; 08-26-2013 at 02:21.

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  10. #10
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Hang in there Monk! Make them taste the Teutonic Terror muahahhaha :D

    Though really, more than anything I always educate personally the closest heirs. Only if my stats are terrible, do I send them to the best character I can find in my whole realm...
    Even if they won't end up being superstars, you at least have better chances for traits like Just or Kind, which can be so vital. Compared to the alternative that is :P
    Last edited by Arjos; 08-27-2013 at 05:48.

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES DEADLINES




    Gods Among Men




    The History of the Kingdom of Germany during the Reign of:
    Otto II 'The Wise' Ludolfinger, Son of Christopher I 'the Cruel' of Germany.

    Reigned c. April 13. 957 - July 1. 999

    A beaten Germany. A deposed King. A demoralized and weary group of vassals who were tired of living in constant fear of the Monarch.. that is where we find ourselves in 957 in this long tale of Germany. The Tyrant King was stripped of all titles, and many in the realm demanded his immediate death! But his son, Otto II, who came to power upon his overthrow, refused to carry out such an order. They demanded his exile, and yet again, Otto refused!




    He would not send his own father into exile or death.. for he was everything his father was not. He was king. Brave. Humble. A true zealot. He was everything the Kingdom of Germany would need, but above all, he was a brilliant politician. He knew that in order to save his father from the justice he so rightly deserved, a new enemy would need to take its place. And that new enemy was a familiar one: The Capets.

    Decades ago the Karlings of West Francia had seized the Duchy of Thuringen in a powerplay against the successors of Ludwig the German. The duchy had remained beneath control of the monarch long after West Francia had ceased to exist and a more centralized French kingdom was coming into being beneath the Capet dynasty. The lands had rightly belonged to East Francia, and thus, rightly to Germany as her successor.. but the Capets had steadfastly refused to relinquish their hold on those lands. Christopher had gone to war over similar issues, despite the fact that the Capets had rode to his defense numerous times! But the terrible defeat at Altenburg had changed that. The vassals had seen a terrible defeat heaped upon Germany's honor that day when only 8,000 Germans, noble and commoner alike, had lost their lives on those hills.

    Otto II sent out the call. new training grounds were constructed. New barracks built, jousting lists put together for the knights to train anew. Germany would win back her honor and reclaim land rightfully belonging to her. All of her enemies would know that never again would a foreign power depose a German King!




    In 961 the war came, and it was a brutal one. Ironically enough the bulk of the forces would come from Bavaria, who was eager to support their supposed puppet king on the German throne. The Karlings had believed they had achieved a great moral victory in the Bavarian-German Excommunication war. Otto seemed controllable enough, and afterall, to weaken the Capets would only strengthen their hand in the region. Why not support the war? In the long-term, this strategy would horribly backfire.. but in the short term, it worked incredibly well. The French were bested on the field by the allied forces and Thuringen once more controlled by the Kingdom of Germany.

    Otto II moved quickly in the aftermath of the war. While many in the region welcomed Otto II as a ruler, after all, he took the place of an Excommunicated Tyrant, Otto II could not shake the feeling his legitimacy was in doubt. He grew worried, with each passing year, that history would look upon him as an upstart. As the dust cleared, the King of Germany signed an alliance with King Aldebert of Lotharingia, wedding his daughter Alearde and securing the troublesome western border of the Kingdom.






    The power of Lotharingia had been faltering in recent years. As the stars of France, Germany and Bavaria rose, Lotharingia and Italy shrank in their shadows. By now, the kingdom was little more than a minor buffer state, completely unable to control the Dutch low countries and dealing with increasing internal politics. The alliance may have looked like a fool's gambit.. but the real intention was a claim on the weakened kingdom's throne. A claim born to a son, through his new wife.

    With his western borders relatively secured, or at least, in a state of controlled chaos, Otto II turned his attentions to the East, there a powerful new warlord had overthrown the Catholic rulers of Bohemia and instituted his rule by might alone.




    Bogumil the Bewitched, once loyal vassal to the ruling house of Bohemia, had converted to the Slavic paganism and waged incessant war upon his liege for over a decade. After years of bloodshed and countless betrayals, he had finally usurped the crown of Bohemia and declared his own Kingdom. With the kingdom broken, the few surviving member sof the Royal Bohemian family fled to the eastern borders of Germany.. there, they established small counties free of Bogumil's rule.




    But with Bogumil's power growing practically daily.. Otto II knew that these small counties would only add to the warlord's growing prestige and plunder. He could not allow them to retain their freedom with the rise of such a dangerous enemy. When the offer of peaceful vassalization was refused, Otto decided to take matters into his own hands.






    The heir to Bohemia would now serve as Otto II's trusted vassal, safe beneath the protection of the rebuilding German Kingdom.

    The King of Lotharingia dies, suddenly sparking an intense struggle for the throne as the new child king and his council of regents attempt to hold the realm together.. surprisingly, as Otto II reviews the situation it is revealed that through a long forgotten marriage a generation before, he has has a claim on the throne of the fledgling kingdom! This makes his marriage to his wife incredibly inconvenient, as that was her only true purpose. But an invasion of Lotharingia will be difficult. The people of the kingdom are Frankish, whether they'd accept foreign rule is a difficult question to answer..




    Otto begins unraveling the puzzle in 965 by claiming the duchy of Gelre, another independent duchy that has broken away from Lotharingia as the kingdom spirals apart, trying desperately to keep hold of its lands. It's an important first step in establishing a greater foothold in the region. If Lotharingia is to be secured this will be the first step. However.. he's not the only one..




    The Bavarian King has pressed Otto's sister's claim to Gelre and orders the King of Germany to stand down. Queen Agatha's claim is thought to be stronger than Otto's, but in reality, it is a moment that had been building since the defeat at Altenburg when Otto II was placed on the throne. The King of Bavaria demanded that Otto relinquish his claim, allowing his troops to secure Agatha's reign as Duchess. As he so loved to do, Otto refused.


    The battle of Steenderen followed which would turn out to be the greatest battle seen since Altenburg. While the war in Thuringen had seen greater numbers of men, few battles in the 7 years of Otto's reign could match the brutality displayed on the fields between Bavarian and German forces. Despite great loss, the Germans win the day and completely route the encroaching Bavarian army. Crushing their claims on Gelre, the King of Bavaria is now forced to contend with very chilling reality: His northern border is not as secure as he had believed.

    Expansion to the West, East and South. Allies in Lotharingia, a powerful and growing army, and the defeat of an old enemy who had forced indignities on Germany.. Otto had silenced any doubt as to whether or not he would repeat his father's mistake. The vassals rejoiced beneath the rule of their king, even as the powers of the crown were expanded and more authority given to the king. A heroic military record and the restoration of Germany's honor was enough to justify almost anything for Otto II..




    Well, not everything, i suppose. Still with the power of Germany growing more and more of the smaller states who surrounded the kingdom were finding themselves slipping into the rule of the German King. Whether it was through force, political intrigue or simple assassination Otto II had expanded the borders of the kingdom to include 10 new counties in almost 10 years of rule. Not since the first founding of the Kingdom had such expansion been possible, truly, Germany must be entering a Golden Age beneath their powerful and wise King.




    Unfortunately.. courtly life can be such a scandal at times.




    The King's lustful adventures win him a bastard, born to his lover.. the poor man is actually married to the King's lover is duped into thinking it belongs to him. Widespread knowledge of the affair is thus kept under wraps.. for now. Even as news that Germany's rebuilt armies are now the second most powerful Catholic nation in the world, the King's courtly life is abuzz with rumors of a secret mistress.






    And with how proud the King is about things, it's really not long until news gets out...




    To no one's surprise, Otto proves to be as stubborn about his love life as he is in his political one. He will not end the love affair with his mistress.. so his wife turns to other means...




    Plotting to kill the King's lover! The Royal spy master discovers the plot a year later, and when he learns of it, the King is furious! The Queen is thrown into the dungeons the very next day as guards arrest her at the royal palace.



    And soon.. a divorce follows.




    The King is now free to see his mistress without the intervention of his scheming wife.. but what of his mistress' husband?




    He doesn't last long... He is found dead soon after. This tale of death, betrayal, love and murder would have a twisted and happy end for some. With the Queen imprisoned and divorced and his Mistress' husband dead, the King marries his Mistress... and they lived happily ever after.





    Of course, there is a price for defeating your father's greatest enemy, sealing your dynasty's legitimacy, marrying the woman you love and crushing all opposition. It leaves one with little else to do in life.




    But there was still one final test that Otto would see done. One final obstacle that would set him apart from those who came before. When Otto I broke away from the old Kingdom of East Francia, Lotharingia was a constant threat. A power to behold. It was the very reason that Saxony was able to split from East Francia and forge its own destiny. Today the kingdom was a broken shell of its former self, barely able to contain its core territories and vassals, much less control the coast or the now independent Kingdom of Burgundy. Lotharingia would do well beneath the rule of his dynasty. Of the great and powerful German Kingdom, only they could restore the Kingdom to what it had been before..




    In truth, the small kingdom simply could not withstand the ascendant power of the successor to East Francia.








    The battles that followed completely crushed all centralized resistance to the German occupation. The Kingdom of Lotharingia took its last breath, Three Hoorahs for Germany!

    The conquests of Otto II came to a halt as the King surveyed his realm. The long standing western rival of Germany had now been subjugated, well and fully. His kingdom stretched from Poland in the east to France in the west, no other King of his dynasty could say the same but whats more, Otto II brought peace to a troubled kingdom on the edge of a collapse. Another ruler in his father's style and the story of the Kingdom of Germany would have ended, pure and simple.




    Germany was now on the edge, not of collapse, but of claiming dominion as the most powerful Kingdom in Europe. The union of Germany and Lotharingia had seen to that, and with the growing power of the German kings, who could stop them? Bavaria seemed determined to try. Positioning itself at odds with German expansion at almost every turn.. and growing more powerful right along side Germany. The two kingdoms were locked in a powerful struggle for who would be the greatest King in Europe, with neither side seeming to want to give the other the satisfaction.


    But for the next 13 years.. peace would reign in central Europe. Otto II turned his focus to domestic projects as he rebuilt and strengthened his army to even greater levels than before. New taxes were levies on the nobles and clergy bringing in more gold for even greater military spending. By the time of his death almost two decades after his claim on Lotharingia, Otto would leave the Kingdom of Germany in an immensely better state than that in which he found it...

    As the turn of the century approached, Otto II grew ever weaker. Resigning more and more duties to his first born son, Leopold I. Finally on Nov 10 in the year 999, Otto II died peacefully. Many doomsayers would claim this was a sign of the coming end of the world: God had called his greatest champion home early. In reality, it was simply another chapter of the bloody history of Germany coming to an end.











    Come back Sunday for the reign of Leopold I












    Sorry this one was a day late. Got pretty sick yesterday so I'm at home recovering today, gave me plenty of time to put this together.

    A few things about the world:



    Anglo-Saxons have held fast in England. Scotland is still full of Scots, and Ireland has formed all of which under their proper cultures. The Norse at one time ruled half the isles but a combination of stubborn anglo-saxon vassals (most notably the Dukes of Mercia, those guys were badass) and alliances with Scotland and France helped ensure that the Danelaw ended around 50 years before Otto II's death.



    The Seljuks are on the Rise. They invaded the steppes and just took over Turkestan. They are sitting quietly for now but you can feel the tension building.


    Bohemia has gone through three kings in 20 years of all different dynasties and faiths. From Bogumil to a Catholic to a Slavic pagan again. I took the change to dig into them when I could, and I could even usurp the Bohemian crown if I wanted, but that will be a job for Leopold I think. Conquering Bohemia and giving it to its rightful heir would be some good justice for that dynasty, who has essentially lost it all.

    The Byzantines are pretty static too. They have been fighting the Bulgarians for almost a hundred years over various things. At one point it looked like the Bulgarians were going to occupy half of greece, but then they got invaded by Hungary and white peaced while the Byzantines had their 500th civil war for that year.

    Rurik's heirs have failed and Russia as we know it will be absent from this world's history. The western Russian Steppes are a mess with tribal bounderies and disputes. It will likely take the GH coming through to unite them once and for all.


    The Abbasids have more bark than bite. Someone has been assassinating every strong Caliph for around 50 years preventing them from going above a 30k levy. Can't possibly imagine who that is...
    Last edited by Monk; 09-01-2013 at 22:59.

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    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Loved the mistress/ambition story ^^

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    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    You make me actually want to play the game instead of modding it.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjos View Post
    Loved the mistress/ambition story ^^
    CK2 brings out the worst kind of feudal thinking in me. Otto's wife outlived her usefulness once Otto got a claim on Lotharingia. Suddenly I didn't have to wait another generation to press the claim on the Kingdom. I had planned to make it Leopold's first true test of skill, turns out the subjugation of Lotharingia only added to Otto II's growing legend. With the Mistress event firing? Her fate was pretty much sealed. Killing her seemed out of the question as Otto's traits didn't really align with it, but imprisonment? Especially after the plot was revealed, made a ton of sense.

    As someone who definitely roleplays their characters and gets into the spirit of the game, there was no reason not to imprison her. I think she's still in the dungeons. Poor soul. If she's still alive Leopold will probably give her a pardon..

    Quote Originally Posted by rickinator9
    You make me actually want to play the game instead of modding it.
    I take that as a very big compliment. Thank you.
    Last edited by Monk; 08-31-2013 at 00:45.

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  15. #15
    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    I think Bogumil actually found another way to Bohemia. He's from Mazovia, so he's a pole. He could have simply holy warred it.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickinator9 View Post
    I think Bogumil actually found another way to Bohemia. He's from Mazovia, so he's a pole. He could have simply holy warred it.
    Very possible! I missed his rise to power so I wasn't entirely sure where he came from, only that he was rather scary. In the first 10 years of Otto's rule when my levies were destroyed and i was relying completely on mercenaries, Bogumil and his 6,000 strong pagan levy cast a very long shadow on my eastern borders. He never amounted to be much of a threat to Germany, which was of great relief to me. Eventually he'd get crushed by Galich a few times and lose a succession war for the throne.

    Bohemia was a pretty powerful force in the late 800s-early 900s but as we near on the first millennial Bohemia is a shell of its former self. I am thinking about usurping the crown and giving it to one of Leopold's sons, or maybe the 'rightful' ruler of Bohemia, the guy i subjugated who is one of the last of the heirs of Great Moravia. Eastern Europe lacks a strong centralized King.. it makes me nervous, and me blobbing into Slavic territory is going to be more trouble than its worth i feel.

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    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    I would give it to a kinsman so you have backup for an inevitable catastrophe.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Last of the Karlings: The Bavarian Wars




    The History of the Kingdom of Germany during the Reign of:
    Leopold I Ludolfinger, Son of Otto II 'the Wise' of Germany.

    Reigned c. July 1. 999 - September 19. 1014

    The passing of Otto II was not a celebrated time. Following his father, Christopher the Cruel, Otto had restored legitimacy to the throne of Germany. He had brought stability beyond the Rhine by subjugating the Frankish lords of Lotharingia, and he had exacted revenge upon Bavaria for the indignities they had forced upon the German nobles. To call him wise, just, fair, it was a small statement that did not capture his true ability.. Leopold knew that to follow in Otto's footsteps would not be easy, the shadows of great men are easy to disappear into.

    And his first claim was a bold one..




    Bohemia had a long history entwined with the German Kings. At times the kingdom had been a friend, at others an enemy. Ever since the first reign of Bogumil the Bewitched, the kingdom had spiraled into a series of civil wars, each more brutal than the last. Through the subjugation of breakaway counties and duchies, Germany now held half of the lawful territory of Bohemia.. and Leopold used this fact to press his rightful claim as the true ruler of Bohemia. The claim came backed by an army of 10,000 German soldiers and the King himself leading the army. When the Bohemian nobles saw the arrayed strength against them, their unity broke. Bogumil II, who had only recently regained his father's throne, was unable to keep his subjects in line as Leopold pressed his borders.






    Piece by piece, Leopold defeated count and duke alike as he united Bohemia in a ruthless march east..








    Not even a year after his campaign had started, Leopold had conquered all of the land lawfully recognized as Bohemia. Neighboring Kings were absolutely stunned by the speed at which he had subjugated the once mighty kingdom and laid low the successor of Bogumil.. In truth, Bohemia was a sick beast before the arrival of German troops. Decades of civil war had reduced its standing levy to almost nothing. What it needed was a strong King to see it returned to its old glory.

    But Leopold knew well that as long as the heir of Bogumil lived such peace and glory could never be obtained. On the eve of celebrations, the King ordered the heir to the once fearsome warlord removed as a threat to his lawful rule.






    The assassins struck without warning and left no trace of who had hired them. With the greatest threat to his rule in Bohemia silenced, Leopold declared his mighty conquest done! A grand tournament was held in the capital the very next month with all of the realm's greatest knights attending. All were invited to watch the display of arms for Germany's conquering heroes returned.




    It was a grand age for Germany. After 150 years of struggle, Germany was at peace. Great summer fairs, tournaments, and hunts were undertaken yearly beneath Leopold's reign, no other King had so generously given back to his subjects before Leopold, and his image of being a true ruler of the people spread far and wide. As the celebrations in Germany continued, the King decided that he would not wait until his death to pass on the Kingship of his newly acquired realm. The third son of the King was chosen to lead Bohemia in his father's name. Prince Anselm, soon to be King Anselm, was by all accounts the greatest general in the German realm at this time. Who better to oversee Bohemia's rise to glory once more?






    Five years of peace and prosperity for Germany, nobles and commoners alike celebrating their magnanimous ruler without end.. but Leopold's peace was ensured through terrible actions. In the year 1005 one such action would go down in history as the defenitive end of the power of the Karlings..




    Bavaria was the last stronghold of Karling power left in Europe. Although it was true that some of the dynasty held minor tittles around the continent, Bavaria was the last Kingly title left in the family. The King of Bavaria had a claim to the German throne, gained through a marriage to his father and a German princess of a previous generation. It was a claim that could prove disastrous if Leopold's rule was ever internally contested. Germany and Bavaria had been at odds for centuries. Growing ever more powerful along side one another. When Leopold learned of the potential threat, he set in motion a series of events that would alter Europe's destiny..




    First it was the King's son..


    [


    The Bavarian King had only one son, and through the succession laws of Bavaria, the title could only pass to a male heir. With the death of the King's son, orchestrated by Leopold's conspiracy, it was not long before the assassins met with the King himself.




    His death was swift.. a new family ascended to power in Bavaria with his passing putting to an end over two centuries of Karling rule in Europe.




    But that wasn't the end of Leopold's schemes. There was still the potential for Bavaria to prove a powerful threat to his reign in the North, and to that end, Leopold petitioned the Pope to Excommunicate the new ruler of the south..







    Yet another indignity to heap upon the Bavarian throne, the excommunication was a cause of tremendous embarrassment for the southern Bavarian nobles. It was a just reward for their King's actions against Leopold's grandfather, and a supremely satisfying moment for the good King. It would also prove to be the first step into a new ambition for the German king. For years, Bavaria had been blocking German expansion toward the Dutch coast. With the Karling family in shambles, the new King of Bavaria disgraced and his chancellor and spymaster ruthlessly bullying and fabricating claims in Bavaria's coastal provinces, it was only a matter of time until the King of the North claimed the coast for his own.

    Leopold's attentions would be temporarily averted to aid his son put down a minor rebellion on Bohemia, but his plans would not be stopped..




    Not even by the apparent possession of his son.. wait.. what?




    That severely complicated matters.. Leopold II is discovered to be utterly possessed by some terrible spirit! Either that, or suffering from bouts of continued insanity. It is a terrible stain to the royal family's honor, and no exorcism ever proves successful. Leopold II claims he can hear the voice of Jesus Christ until the day his father dies.

    Leopold's plans, however, cannot be undone now. He launches his first war against the Bavarian Kings in the south, declaring the German-Bavarian excommunication war to remove his counter-part from the throne.



    Bavarian forces launch a quick strike into Bohemia, Germany's tireless ally, attempting to capture the son of the German king and force a white peace. However, Germany's forces sweep down from the north, arriving just in time to throw back the Bavarian invaders. The attack proves Bavaria's undoing and utterly breaks their army at at the battle of Pisek. In disgrace, the Bavarian King is forced to adjudicate to Konrad II von Babenberg.




    With Bavaria severely weakened.. Leopold declares war again. No truce exists between he and Konrad and the devious German King uses the legal loophole to force his claim on the county of Oversticht.






    Again German forces clash with their southern neighbors in a terrible battle. This second encounter is not so clear cut as the first, with the Bavarians led by Konrad II and occupying a very good defensive position. But Leopold, at the head of his own army of 16,000, will not be denied. His knights smash into the Bavarian left with such ferocity it is thought that Konrad II himself is slain in the first wave. Without their king to lead them, the line collapses within the first week of fighting...



    Leopold returns home a hero twice over. Not only has he completely instituted his family's rule in Bohemia, but he has also crushed Germany's greatest rival numerous times on the field of battle. With his fame and prestige soaring to new heights, Leopold seizes the chance to consolidate his rule in Lotharingia. The Kingdom's succession laws are elective, and though many of the electors support his family's claim to the throne, Leopold will not risk seeing such a prize slip away from his dynasty..






    The change infuriates the Frankish vassals of Lotharingia, setting the seeds for future discontent and rebellion. But before he can quell the voices of insurrection through his infamous use of assassins, the King's attention turns north. The King of Denmark has accepted Catholicism and turned away from his pagan faith!




    The old King is beset on all sides by enemies as he struggles to keep his crown, battling both a Swedish invasion of Skane and a prepared invasion of central Denmark from a renowned adventurer. Leopold acts quickly by offering his aid to the Norse king. His proposal is accepted almost immediately and when the scouts return, they report the situation is most dire..




    King Jedvard is besieged in his capital, desperately fighting off the adventurer's forces.. and he's losing. It will only be a few months until the King is forced to surrender at this rate. Leopold has no time to waste, he rallies as many men to him as he can and undertakes the march north with 10,000 strong.




    At the battle of Ringsted King Leopold smashes the invasion forces and relieves Jedvard's besieged troops. The arrival of German knights at the head of the vast army is met with resounding cheers from the weary Norse defenders. Leopold and Jedvard are said to have forged a powerful friendship in the days that followed, the two men sign an alliance with the betrothal of the Norse King's second daughter to Leopold's fourth son on the eve after the great victory of Ringsted.

    With the alliance formally announced, Leopold marches his knights into Skane to force back the Swedish forces while Jedvard consolidates his strength at his capital.




    The Swedes had expected a broken and defeated Danish army to oppose them. What they find is a powerful force with almost all of its strength intact bearing down on them. Outnumbered a full 2 to 1 the Swedish invasion is easily broken at the battle of Varberg.




    With his victory complete in the North Leopold returns home in a long victory march through Denmark. He and his men celebrated as heroes and eternal friends of the Knytling dynasty for their intervention at the darkest hour. Denmark was now free to practice their new found religion, and Germany would forever have a friend to the North.

    But for Leopold there would be no rest. Just as the king crossed the border back into German held Holstein, news reached the king of a powerful alliance of Dukes who were in open rebellion! Led by the duke of Pomerania, the former Frankish electors of Lotharingia and the Pomerania nobles were in open revolt over the increasing power of the Monarchy.




    But the King had one stroke of fortune. The vassals had not expected he and his army to return so soon and were still gathering their forces. The battle hardened loyalists, fresh off their campaign in Denmark, smashed into the Pomeranian forces before they could link up with the Lotharingian vassals.. the result was disastrous for the rebels.




    It was the end of the resistance. Without the power of the Duke of Pomerania to bolster their numbers, the Lotharingian vassals were picked apart in numerous skirmishes by he encroaching loyalist forces.

    The two most powerful instigators of the revolt were executed...






    With the revolt crushed Leopold finally returned home after years spent on campaign. It would prove to be the last year of his life. The old king would die just a year later at the age of 52.. leaving a possessed and possibly insane son to take his place as King of Germany...










    Come back Wednesday for King Leopold II and the Reign of Blood.
    Last edited by Monk; 09-02-2013 at 00:59.

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    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Are you a professional writer? You sure know how to write a good narrative.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Will Leopold II's chronicler be sacrificed to Satan for this delay?
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickinator9 View Post
    Will Leopold II's chronicler be sacrificed to Satan for this delay?
    A double feature is planned for Sunday.

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    Member Member Ishmael's Avatar
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    Just saw this Monk, and I'm loving your writing style. You've got me itching to try out CKII again for the first time in a while. Should also be interesting once you reach the swap-over, since I've never played any of the EU games, and your AAR looks like it will be a nice way to check out the game.

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    The Reign of Blood




    The History of the Kingdom of Germany during the Reign of:
    Leopold II 'the Impaler', Son of Leopold I of Germany.

    Reigned c. January 4. 1014 - August 5. 1041


    Monarchies are incredibly dependent on the ability of one man or woman, above all else, to organize and focus their realm into the direction they wish. Beneath the Ludolfinger dynasty many great men and women had asserted their will over the Northern German lands, growing an ever powerful state down through the ages that seemed to march forward without relent.. but placing the trust of an entire realm onto the shoulders of one person turns kingdoms into frail beasts. For what should happen if a madman were to seize power..? Two generations ago Germany found out when Christopher the Cruel seized the throne. Rumors of torturing subjects to death were only the start of the depravities reported to have taken place beneath his reign. It was only through dedicated and brilliant administration that the throne of Germany regained its legitimacy beneath Otto II and Leopold I. Germany was now poised to strike at the other Karling successor kingdoms and claim its rightful place as the greatest of them all... Until the old king, Leopold I died, and his son, Leopold II, Leopold the Mad, proclaimed himself King of the Germans.




    Leopold was first born of the great man from whom he shares a name.. but the two had very little in common. In his early twenties local priests declared the heir to the throne utterly possessed by some evil spirit, but the young man swore that it was not an evil entity, it was the lord Jesus Christ himself who spoke to him! Today, scholars agree he was likely suffering a severe case of schizophrenia which induced terrible hallucinations, both auditory and visual. The court Chaplain attempted no less than five exorcisms upon the King's son with no change in the man's behavior. Some documents claim Leopold I was planning to have his son murdered, or otherwise banished and disqualified from succession, before his sudden death in 1019, although many dispute that due to Leopold never having shown that type of cruelty to his own blood. Regardless.. his accession ignited a firestorm in the northern kingdom, one that would rage for decades.

    The nobles launched an insurrection quickly after Leopold II's coronation. They attempted to seize on the supposed weakness of the king and reclaim lost privileges for the vassals that previous kings of Germany had taken..




    They would find their new King to be skilled in the art of war. Blessed by an almost supernatural understanding of fighting and combat, Leopold II crushed the rebels in campaign after campaign, mercilessly putting down their treasonous rebellion and imprisoning their ring leaders.





    Two bloody battles taking place within Lotharingia saw the utter destruction of rebel forces and Leopold proclaiming himself the rightful heir to his father. All who opposed him and his heavenly mission on earth were to be rooted out and destroyed. It is said that among the prisoners, Leopold inflicted terrible punishments of the mind and flesh.. rumors circulated quickly in the aftermath of the civil war of dozens of rebel troops and rulers being tortured in the deepest, darkest dungeons of the German King. The worst part of that is that the rumors never truly did justice to the terrible acts he inflicted upon the vanquished. All knew, from the lowliest peasant to the royal Council. Germany had a new Tyrant King.




    Rumors of barbarity would only cause a second rebellion, this time in the southern part of Lotharingia proper. But this too would be defeated.. the defeated dukes rumored to only serve as fodder for sadistic and grueling experiments, conducted by the King himself..




    It wasn't long before the King had a new name..






    Leopold the Impaler.




    The cruelty of their king forced the vassals to band together in a desperate bid to see him stopped. 1022 marks the beginning of a new era for Germany's history with the rise of factional politics. The counts and dukes of Germany now contend with a possessed, insane tyrant who is rumored to be killing men by the hundreds in his dungeons. Stories, each more exaggerated than the last, travel through Germany and all of Europe itself before long, each telling of the terrible and gruesome death that await any who would oppose the Tyrant King, Leopold the Impaler. Unable to stand against his growing myth on their own, the vassals banded together in a desperate bid to strike back at their King.


    Continuous civil war would be the result of the rise of the factions. For the next forty years, Germany would be torn apart again and again by the vassals attempting to expel or limit the powers of the second Tyrant King...





    Lotharingia would take the brunt of the civil strife. Still groaning from their subjugation the Frankish lords of the Kingdom found Leopold's depravities even harder to stomach than their German counterparts. In an attempt to take advantage of the fighting the King of England declared a war for Liege, invading the Rhineland and attempting to restore a bit of order there, but once more, Leopold would prevail.








    Broken and defeated, the English armies were thrown out of Liege after three bloody and incredibly brutal battles, wherein a full 10,000 men of the English standing levies were killed outright. It must have seemed a terrible nightmare for Europe. With a madman sitting on the throne of the most powerful Kingdom on the continent, only prevented from striking against them by the continuous civil war that raged in his land. His power held at bay only by the unthinkable actions of brother fighting brother, family fighting family. The unity of the German peoples was slowly being erased as terrible feuds between dynasties began to form. Men and women rising to power only to see their greatest friends slain by those who should have been their partners at court.

    Another civil war erupts in 1030 as the duke of Brandenburg unites his demesne with the duchy of Holstein, he challenges Leopold II for control of the realm with a fabricated claim on Germany! He expects all of the vassals to rise up to help, but he finds little support among the imprisoned and the dead.





    His rebellion is brutally crushed, and the duke himself thrown into the dungeon along with the other traitors who came before.

    Leopold by now has an impressive collection of would be usurpers, and it is said he takes perverse pleasure in torturing their bodies and minds day and night. But there would be another consequence of the 1030 rebellion that the Duke of Brandenburg could not had foreseen. Although his rebellion is ended, the fighting had been prolonged. In the north, Germany's ally had called for aid. Denmark was about to be overrun. Desperate and hoping to unleash the Tyrant King against the enemies of all Christendom, the Queen of Denmark calls for Leopold to intervene.. but Leopold is fighting the Civil war, unable to answer the call..




    The only Catholic kingdom in the north is swept away by the powerful Swedish King. Denmark, pledged ally of Germany, is no more. It is said that upon this moment Leopold succumbed to a terrible rage, laying the blame for Denmark's fall solely on the vassals who had fought his reign for so long. In the end, he laid the final damnation upon Catholicism itself. In his own court murder, death and betrayal were rampant, and in the north? The noble Kings and Queens of Denmark had been overrun. There was only one reason such terrible things could come to pass.. and the answer wasn't that he was crazy.




    Leopold threw off the protection of the Pope, just as Otto I had defied the Karlings, and declared Catholicism to be the beast that was eating Germany alive. He likened the Pope and his supportors to vipers who turned good men and women against one another to keep control of their amassed power. Only those who would embrace the new way of thinking, the Cathar heresy, could ever truly be free of the poisonous intrigues that had torn his kingdom apart.




    ...And in Leopold's dungeon, he found a great many converts. The desperate. The wounded. The maimed. The numerous vassals who he had tortured for years on, desperate to agree to anything for their freedom. This was how the Cathar heresy was born, at the edge of a sword.

    Leopold II would spend the next 6 years brutally persecuting Catholics within the borders of his Kingdom, hounding them to no end and forcibly converting every nobleman he could. If any refused the punishment was always the same. You might think the punishment was death but that would be incorrect.

    The punishment was imprisonment in the dungeons of Leopold II, the Impaler. The second Tyrant King finally died in 1041. In his wake he would leave behind a broken Germany, divided by faith, feuds and family. The storm clouds hung over the ascent of Leopold III, the first man to know the title of Heretic King of Germany after his father had formally broke away from the Pope...




    The Long Nightmare




    The History of the Kingdom of Germany during the Reign of:
    Leopold III 'the Heretic King', Son of Leopold II 'the Cruel, the Mad, the Impaler, etc' of Germany.

    Reigned c. January 4. 1041 - August 5. 1051


    The conversion of Germany's peoples to a new religion was not so easily done, and many had no agreed to undertake such a radical position. There were a great many who opposed Leopold II's bold and ruthless claims. The Ludolfinger dynasty itself is one great example. Around half of the living members of the dynasty outright refused the Tyrant King's demand, and suffered greatly for it, largely at the hands of Leopold II's first son, who like his father, also took the name of the Great king who had overseen Germany's first great golden age. Leopold III, most often identified with the moniker 'The Heretic King'.

    Leopold III was his father's most fervent supporter. A drunken zealot who embraced the new heresies his father had forced upon the people deeper than anyone else. Leopold saw any who opposed the new truths that his father had introduced as directly challenging the German throne, and that was not something that could ever be tolerated. Whereas his father's reign was of rivers running red with blood, Leopold III sought to continue the work and the example that the Impaler had set. It is perhaps even more disturbing, since it is widely known that Leopold III suffered from no madness or ailment.. he was of sound mind as he happily continued the atrocities his father started.






    More and more the brutal suppression tactics of Leopold III resistance, another insurrection followed his rise to power, with nearly half of the Frankish lords of Lotharingia throwing their lot in with the rebels.. but still it wasn't enough. Still the loyalist forces prevailed and sawto the utter destruction of the vanquished.

    But Europe had seen enough.




    King Nikalous of Bavaria launches an invasion intent on reclaiming Thuringia from the Heretic German king and his Cathar vassals. The people are still Catholic, and thus he intends to liberate them. He calls on all Christians to do the same! But support is slow to muster.. despite decades of internal civil war, the reputation of the fierce German knights was well respected on the battlefield. Stories of their legendary defense of the Danish King were still fondly told around the campfires of Europe. The Bavarian King would find little aid in his personal crusade..




    His assault on the north is an utter disaster, and one he pays for with his life..




    Demoralized and facing a dangerous enemy, the beleaguered Bavarian troops are massacred in battle after battle. The King of Burgundy answers Bavaria's call for aid in their attack on the North, and even Bohemia betrays Leopold III and sides with the Catholic forces. A deep embarrassment for the Kingdom of Germany! Leopold vents his anger against his enemies...









    All of Europe stands in utter disbelief. All of Central Europe is aflame with war in an attempt to bring down the Heretical King of Germany, the man who visits terrible punishments on his foes, the man who has slaughtered and brutally suppressed Catholicism in the name of his mad father... and the Allies of Europe are utterly beaten. The forces of Bohemia are routed, Bavaria's king is slain and her soldiers crushed, and Burgundy is defeated after a failed invasion of Lotharingia. Leopold III's power is frightening. The Allied defeat at the battles of Leningen, Brixey and Asperg stirred the French into action.

    Already Cathar forces had brought down three Karling successor states. Would the Capets, masters of Western Europe be next? The French Queen would not wait to find out.. she would invade Lotharingia three years after the last battle of the Bavarian Crusades, as history would later know the conflict.




    A three pronged invasion force laid siege to settlements all along Upper Lorraine attempting to bait the German army into action. But Leopold was wary, he did not rush into the conflict, knowing well the famed mobility of the French army. For two years he allowed the French to waste their strength in long, bloody sieges against his Frankish vassals. As his vassals struggled for their lives defending their castles and cities in some of the most ruthless warfare to see the region, Leopold camped along the Rhine gathering strength. His inaction would continue to sow the seeds of discontent among the vassals of Lotharingia, who fought and died while their supposed King sat idly by..


    It wasn't until two years later when Leopold made his attack, the Battle of Vaudemont.




    A crushing military defeat that saw the strength of Cathar Germany broken. A full 15,000 men under the command of Leopold III himself met the French in the Upper Lorraine, although meeting initial success on the first two days of the engagements, German forces were outflanked on the third day of the battle to terrible results. Battlefield reports from Vaudemont speak of betrayal in the ranks of the Germans. Men refusing to fight their brothers of the faith, or outright switching side in the middle of battle. Such reports are largely considered sensationalist by modern scholars. Leopold III led his men into Lorraine supremely desperate for a victory. The contract was nearly up on many of the mercenaries he had employed. His own levies were tired having spent two years on campaign already, which isn't even mentioning the losses he'd suffered from the previous conflict. He needed a victory and he needed it at Vaudemont. What he got was the destruction of his full standing armed levy and retinues..

    In the aftermath of Vaudemont the Kingdom of France would claim dominion of Upper Lorraine. Their victory would be a powerful light of hope for the rest of Christendom. Cathar Germany had been dealt a terrible blow. But the heresy was spreading. Despite the victory for Catholic forces, the Cathar philosophies were taking room in Germany.




    More and more people are being swayed by the alternative to Catholicism. Whether by the brutal tactics of Germany's rulers, or by the simple desire for a new way of thinking is unfortunately lost to history.. What is known, however, is that after Vaudemont Leopold III shrinks from the public eye and is increasingly despondent after his terrible defeat at the hands of the Capets. His was a dynasty that had held Europe in its palm just a half century ago. How could it come to this? Defeated and laid low by the Capets. Germany was a shell of its former self. Two kings who had taken her down a dark road of heresy and defying all of Europe had spent almost all the coin and men in the realm. Leopold, crushed by the gravity of his defeat, would die just four years later..

    His successor was his son.. unsurprisingly named Leopold IV. Although unlike his father and grandfather.. the new king was not Cathar. He was a catholic, which gave a shield against further religious wars from his fellow Kings.

    Could this be the end of the nightmare for Germany?












    Comeback bext week for the Reign of Leopold IV





    Well that could have gone better. 50 years of civil war and force converting to Cathar. House rules baby, gotta roleplay. No reason to convert right back to Catholicism if you're an insane possessed man who believes Cathar is the way to go because Jesus told you to do it!

    I think i had about 8 civil wars. The fact that I am not dead yet is astounding, but.. it's not looking good. I have a bad feeling about Leopold IV. I feel like the realm is about to heavily fracture from the religious tension. He isn't Cathar and most of my vassals are now. Oops..

    I feel a tantrum spiral coming on

    If i can somehow survive this, Germany will come out of it way stronger. Converting to a heresy and surviving is just about one of the hardest things you can do in CK2. Plus it's just a really fun thing to do.

    Also really sorry about missing the Wednesday update! Hope the double feature makes up for it a little






    Quote Originally Posted by rickinator9 View Post
    Are you a professional writer? You sure know how to write a good narrative.
    I dabbled with writing in college but never committed myself to it. I think you do me too much credit, but thank you. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael
    Just saw this Monk, and I'm loving your writing style. You've got me itching to try out CKII again for the first time in a while. Should also be interesting once you reach the swap-over, since I've never played any of the EU games, and your AAR looks like it will be a nice way to check out the game.
    I am wondering if I can even survive to get there at this rate. CK2 is a fickle game, doubly so when you roleplay your characters. Ii can force you into some really bad choices. If i get to EUIV i am looking forward to the change. Thank you for the compliments, nice to know people like this idea!
    Last edited by Monk; 09-10-2013 at 02:27.

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    The Time of Troubles




    The History of the Kingdom of Germany during the Reign of:
    Leopold IV, Son of Leopold III of Germany.

    Reigned c. January 4. 1051 - August 29. 1062


    A faithful son in a house of traitors was Leopold IV. Coming to power after the death of his father, Leopold III, the young king was a return to the old way of thinking, of catholicism. AS a Prince, his was one of the few voices of opposition that had gone without being silenced by the reign of terror inflicted upon Germany by his father and grandfather. Now, he was King of a house divided, not only by faith, but by increasing cultural tensions between the Germans and the people they ruled. It also did not help that he was not the most qualified man to lead his people. He was greedy and a coward..




    The only son of the late Heretic King, Leopold IV had won no great victories, fought no great battles of his own, and won no true honor for himself. He would find himself unprepared for the terrible state the realm had fallen into.


    The Frankish lords of Lotharingia, never having truly accepted German rule, were further incensed toward hostility by Leopold III's inaction during the French sieges of Upper Lorraine. That Germany would lose that campaign, and the war, only deepened resentment for the Throne of the German Kings in Lotharingia...

    Less than a year into his reign another bloody revolt breaks out in Lotharingia, this time inspired by the Dutch duke of Gelre and his allies along the lowlands.




    To add an insult to the continued troubles, while the German army campaigns against the treasonous rebels in the west, Bavaria declares a war for Thuringia. Rather than risk losing his entire standing forces, Leopold IV relents, unable to oppose the now much more powerful (and completely full strength) Bavarian army. The duchy of Thuringia is lost to the southern kingdom once more..




    It has been over a half century of internal strife in the Kingdom of Germany, with now three generations of kings desperately trying to keep the hard won conquest of Lotharingia under Germany Authority, but it is finally too much.




    With the central German lords demanding the restoration of old titles and rights and the coastal vassals constantly pressing for the rights of cities against the rights of the castles, the lords of Lotharingia and their constant incitement of the tensions in other regions cannot continue. Leopold IV grants the kingdom to Duchess Denise de Cerdanya and relinquishes all claims and demands of the Kingdom, releasing it and its lords fully from vasslhood.

    1054 marks the end of decades of German rule in the Rhinelands.




    It was an act of desperation. With Germany's strength dwindling with each passing year her rivals had already seized on multiple chances to eat away at the powerful Kingdom. While perhaps a hard thing to do, it's likely the very best thing Leopold could have done for his besieged realm. Without giving up Lotharingia his forces would have continued to be tied down, fighting a losing cause for a realm and a people who were ever more hostile to their rule.




    Almost overnight, factional strength in the capital dips to an all time low. Leopold had not made any friends with this choice, but now with his focus back on Germany, he could properly deal with his enemies..




    Of course, now many of his old enemies were fighting among themselves! Lotharingia delves into a brutal civil war that would render the now independent kingdom completely impotent in the coming decades. Independent from its German masters at last, Lotharingia only exists by the grace and mercy of her neighbors. In his capital, Leopold is finally able to focus on consolidating his kingdom and rebuilding what was lost.. and there is much work to do. Over 50 years of internal war has left Germany decimated, both militarily and financially.

    The Kingdom finds itself severely short on men, money and the ability to wage war. Most of the great German heroes born out of Leopold I's battles are dead, one way or another. The old Alliances that had ensured Germany's safety are dead, with them many members f the ruling dynasty.. through intrigue or otherwise. The Germany of Leopold IV is a much different place from the one it had been at the turn of the first century. For many, it must have been a terribly dark time for the German nobility. It was a time of great betrayals, where a word said at court could spark a civil war in an instant, and where the faith of the people was severely divided.

    It was during this time of great hardship that Germany would finally reach its breaking point. Prince Peter, uncle to Leopold IV and leader of the Cathar wing of the Ludolfinger family launches an invasion of Europe, gathering to him a great many adventurers, mercenaries and nobles. At the same time, a Cathar insurgency springs up in the King's demesne as a counteraction to continued attempts by the current King to turn back the tide of heresy.




    as Germany redies itself to fight on two fronts.. a third opens..




    Greater Poland declares an invasion of Brandenburg just as Leopold is marshaling his forces to deal with both the heretics and his traitor of an uncle.. whats even worse is the Polish forces are backed by the powerful state of Galich which has completely united all of the Slavic tribes of the western steppes. With such a great power beneath their command, Galich can summon a levy estimated at 20,000 men, making them the strongest kingdom in the East
    by far
    . Leopold IV has no choice but to delve into the money lenders once more and take out a huge loan on Germany's behalf. He rallies to him every sellsword and man still loyal to his cause and marches out to battle..




    First was the great betrayer and his traitorous bunch of mercenaries. Leopold met the forces of the would be usurper and intended to crush his uncle in a quick battle, but it quickly degenerated into a brutal clash in the mountains of southern Germany. The Battle of Brauwiler marks a turning point in Germany's history. Where once her greatest enemies had been foreign kings and plots designed to weaken the ruling dynasty, now, the greatest threat came from within the ranks of the ruling family's own. 14,000 men on both sides are killed in two weeks of prolonged and bloody engagements in the mountains around Koln. It's only after great sacrifice, and the loss of over 4 thousand men that loyalist forces prevail and crush the efforts of the traitor. Unfortunately, by now, the strength of Greater Poland and Galich has rallied...

    Leopold marches back to his capital with great haste, smashing the Cathar rebels, but beyond his position on the Elbe, all he can see are fires. With only 7,000 men to his cause and the contract on his sellswords running out quickly.. the King must surrender. His forces return to the capital in disgrace as Brandenburg is captured by the slavic pagans..

    A new power has arisen in the east, one who makes the tale of Bogumil the Bewitched look like a fairy tale.




    High Chief Siemomsysl has allied with the powerful King of Galich of the steppes. Striking out at both other pagans and western christians alike, Siemomsysl has the ability and the political alliances to one day unite the East, just as the German Kings had always feared might happen. With his defeat in 1058 Leopold returns to his capital to rebuild. Though facing defeat in the east, he had triumphed at home and in the west and was facing less of a unified threat from his nobles since the defeat and imprisonment of his Uncle. Perhaps the long night for Germany was at last over, but with the growing power of the Slavic Pagans now threatening his borders Leopold knew he had to rebuild the strength of Germany quickly...

    For four years he sits idle. Rebuilding. Plotting. Hoping that an opportunity to win a grand victory would present itself. That is what he needed, or so he reasoned. One grand victory to unite his people again... and against the right people. An internal dispute would not do it. Not even a fight against the southern kingdom of Bavaria would, despite the score that would need to be settled there. It would have to be in the east. It would have to be to retake Brandenburg. Too many territories had been lost under his reign. All of Lotharingia. The Duchy of Thuringia, and now the county of Brandenburg? The line had to be drawn!

    April 18, 1061. The Polish army is away campaigning against rebellious elements of the Galich tribal system leading their western borders vulnerable to attack.. this was his chance. This was the time. Leopold marshals his forces and marches east with everything he has. 6,000 men. A pitiful levy in comparison to the near three times that Germany could summon 60 years ago, but Leopold has the right on his side. That is more than enough! He fights for lost territory. For lost honor. For the restoration of Germany's rightful place as master of central Europe!






    But his ambition outweighs his ability. The King had never been a great warrior, and in the chaos of the battle at Havelberg, the King and his retinue are separated from his army.. fighting desperately in all directions, chronicles tell of a heroic last stand at the top of a ridge. Surrounded by the enemy and with no way out, the German knights dismount and stand their ground. History records that in his final campaign, the well known craven of a man, Leopold IV, issues one last order to his retinues. "Hold for reinforcements."

    Leopold is killed at Havelberg. His heroic last stand igniting a fire in Germany's heart as news of his last stand reaches out beyond his own borders. His work undone. His war unfinished. Leopold's last act manages to erase his numerous failures in the minds of many Germans. To die for honor is to die a good death...

    His young daughter is left to lead the Kingdom in the absence of the now deceased ruler...




    And already the hounds are circling the wounded beast, waiting to strike. Germany is on the breaking point. Engaged in brutal fighting abroad and a young child on the throne... can it survive its most trying crisis?





    Come back next week for the reign of Serhilda I
    Last edited by Monk; 09-12-2013 at 07:33.

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  25. #25
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Argh! GL for the coming years, still 350 years for the porting: Germany must not fall! :P

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  26. #26
    Member Member Ishmael's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Unfortunately you're still half a dozen Paradox titles short of 'sign the Molotov-Ribentrob pact with Russia Galicia,' which would have helped with the Poles. Can we at least hope you finally managed to draw a ruler with half-decent diplomacy?

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  27. #27
    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    Unfortunately you're still half a dozen Paradox titles short of 'sign the Molotov-Ribentrob pact with Russia Galicia,' which would have helped with the Poles. Can we at least hope you finally managed to draw a ruler with half-decent diplomacy?
    It's always darkest just before the dawn.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by Monk; 09-12-2013 at 14:46.

  28. #28
    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Perhaps more daggers is what Germany needs. A slit throat can be as useful as a levy.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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  29. #29
    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Quick preemptive to say Sunday's edition will be delayed with my deepest apologies.

    I've been prepping for a big move to a new place and it's hitting this Sunday. I will be without internet at least until Tuesday of next week which means no updates for a time. As long as things go smoothly I should hit the Wednesday update without issue. If not, I'll be posting an update asap.



    I would also like to take the chance to say your comments are what keep me going. This is great fun and all but knowing that other people like it too keep me on the track to stay in the game. We've seen 200 years rewritten, 600 more to go.
    Last edited by Monk; 09-14-2013 at 04:53.

  30. #30
    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Long March: A CKII -> EUIV AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    Quick preemptive to say Sunday's edition will be delayed with my deepest apologies.

    I've been prepping for a big move to a new place and it's hitting this Sunday. I will be without internet at least until Tuesday of next week which means no updates for a time. As long as things go smoothly I should hit the Wednesday update without issue. If not, I'll be posting an update asap.
    Don't worry. In this case, Quality > Quantity. It is fun to read an AAR where nothing is truly perfect and the player isn't steamrolling the AI all the time.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

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