|A tiny island of doomed Jains in a sea of Catholics|
Things haven’t been going too badly. I still haven’t solved the succession situation, since I can’t get primogeniture because I don’t have late feudal administration. I feel like this is ridiculous since I’m pretty sure primogeniture was the standard form of succession for most of the middle ages in Europe. I can’t get the council to OK the law changes required because as I mentioned in my last post they all hate me. Probably because I’m a homosexual cannibal with only 2 diplomacy points.
So for the moment I’m stuck on gavelkind. I did not think this would be a problem for Amalrich and his lesbian wife Agatha since they would be lucky to produce any offspring at all. I selected family focus to ensure an heir, and was pleased when the couple did their duty and produced a third Amalrich. Now I figured that would be the end of it, but I was surprised when they then produced a daughter. And another. And another son. And another daughter. And she’s pregnant again. Despite both Amalrich and Agatha being gay, they are cranking out the kiddies at a fantastic rate. So I guess they’re actually bisexual? Or really super diligent about filling my court with mediocre German princelings. So at the moment the title of Kaiser will go to Amalrich, while everything else goes to Werner, the younger son. Not if I can help it. That kid is going to the church ASAP. Maybe I can raise him as an antipope at some point.
Now, I have managed to build up a tidy little demesne in the last while. As I said last time, the first priority was to build a private power base somewhere in the east so as to ensure I have the money and men to fight the inevitable rebellions. I did this by declaring a holy war to take Baghdad and the surrounding territories. The fact it is on the Silk Road means I’m getting an astounding bonus to income, and the levies aren’t too shabby either. I immediately set my chaplain to converting the populace to Christianity. During the war, Amalrich’s younger brother Mathias snuffed it from natural causes, leaving him the county of Messina in Sicily and Hamburg, as well as a couple of baronies. The war was quickly resolved, despite Egypt providing support to Baghdad. This left me almost up to my demesne limit.
As I mentioned, I only need the Duchies of Jerusalem, Antioch and one more county in Egypt to form the Roman Empire. My vassal the King of Antioch (who does not live in Antioch) was fighting for one of those counties and I helped him out. Shortly after he went for the second county, leaving the independent Duke of Antioch with one county. I expect he will usurp the duchy and take the last county shortly. If he doesn’t I’ll get my chancellor to work on him and vassalise him peacefully. Or just crush him. Whatever.
Gizeh in the Duchy of Alexandria was trickier. I’d actually nabbed 3 out of the 4 counties in that duchy during a revolt previously, so it was the last county I needed in Egypt. Egypt is quite strong in this game so I waited until there was another revolt and declared war. I had to win a couple of big battles and occupy much of the Nile Delta before I won this one county. But that only leaves the duchy of Jerusalem. More on that later.
My next priority was to deal with Enudaig and Cenræd. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Nobody seems to want to help to kill them, and they aren’t rebelling, yet. Spying on them yielded no results either. Enudaig was distracted, however, by a futile claim war on Francia. I think he expected me to… I don’t know, help him or something? Not a chance. Cenræd has a claim on the Empire, so he’s started a faction to install himself on the throne. It’s not that big, yet. A more pressing issue is the independence faction that includes the monarchs of Poland, England, Sweden and Mesopotamia. If that one fires, I’m absolutely ruined.
Luckily, fortune smiled upon me. Remember a while back I mentioned casually that a Jain secret society had infiltrated Western Europe and the Khans of Avaria were adherents of it? Well, it looks like the society finally managed to take over Avaria. Great job, Jainism! Enjoy getting holy warred back to the subcontinent! The King of Poland immediately declared war for the Avarian lands to the north of the Carpathians, while Amalrich moved to annex all Avarian land south of the Danube. Now I have four counties, a buttload of cities and bishoprics to buy off all of those angry vassals. *slow clap for the Khan of Avaria* I hope it was worth it, buddy.
As an aside, I’ve been very interested in how the new Monks & Mystics content has worked in this game. A quick glance at India reveals that Buddhism is long since eliminated and Hinduism is hanging on by a thread. The Jains are dominant in India, and their reach stretches as far as Persia. The other religion which has become quite OP is Kharijite Islam. Although it hasn’t taken over any countries yet, I know there is an extensive secret Kharijite society. This is the sect of Islam that Ganant and Butayna’s kids converted to back in the day… IT’S ALL CONNECTED.
So a big problem is going to be Jerusalem. The Emperor of the Franks very unkindly destroyed the Kingdom title at some point, so there’ll be no easy claimant installing. I’ll have to either forge a claim or try and inherit the whole Empire. Either way it’s going to be incredibly difficult. Especially since I forgot about this and married Amalrich’s daughter Klara to a French prince to get a non-aggression pact when I was worried about fighting multiple wars at once.
For Amalrich III, the firstborn son, I’ve got a slightly better match. He is marrying an African princess who (with a little bit of pruning of the family tree) could inherit the Kingdom. I’m going to wait and see who else is around before I pledge the others to anyone else.
While I’m working out what to do about Jerusalem, I have a couple of options. More holy warring – into Azerbaijan or deeper into Persia, or take on the Egyptians again and take Damietta or Cairo. I think I’ll avoid the Egyptians for now, at least until my realm is a bit more stable. The other option, however, is to invite a claimant to the Georgian throne to court and bring them back under the Empire’s bootheel *ahem* protection. Then in 10 years’ time I’ll see if there’s any more Avaria left to conquer. At this point I think buying vassal loyalty with land might work out a better deal than bringing another kingdom into the mix.
I’ll take a minute now to talk about Amalrich’s personal development. He’s turned into a bad dude. He was never really nice, but since he was cooped up in the Imperial Palace while camp fever ravaged the land he’s been a real horror. He ended up eating his sister, his court physician and also a random lowborn courtier. This earned him the nickname Amalrich “the Cruel”. As a result, I’m just role playing him now as the biggest bastard possible, even converting to Greek culture just to allow him to blind and castrate people who piss me off. He’s really not a nice guy.
I need to fix the Jerusalem problem, stat.