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Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

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MesserTod

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Post Wed May 21, 2014 3:38 pm

Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

Did you think I had forgotten about this? No, I was simply waiting and preparing.

Since now that I've shown you the simple bits of CKII, I can try something more fun.

What I'm going to do here is pretty much blatantly ripped off of an already-existing Youtube series by Arumba called Quantum Leap. The rules of a Quantum Leap game are simple: you start as a random character, play as you would normally, but when your character dies (or game over's), you stop, save, reset, and reload as another random character, effectively leaving your work in the hands of the AI while you go somewhere else.

Now, Arumba tweaked the rules as he went along, adding in rules like "No vassal counts," "nobody underage," and "nobody over 50" but I think that's losing out on a lot of fun. Also he stopped the series about halfway through the game, as he is wont to do. I, on the other hand, will try my hardest to play through to the end.

Hopefully by the end of this, I'll end up with a map that's more or less as chaotic as the world from the 15th century, but quite a bit different. Also, I'll be able to show you all the fun events from the later end of the game, like the hordes, and maybe a rare event or something.

In addition, I'll try my hand at keeping an up-to-date Table of Contents here for neatness' sake and to see if it helps cut down on the image spam that kind of becomes a problem the longer something goes.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. Raja Muhammad of Banu Sama Raj

<Intermission 1>

2. Duke Otto Ludolfinger of Saxony


3. Countess Pernette de Manresa of Auvergne


4. Duke Payen de Ponthieu of Normandy


5. Thakur Anavota Nanduri of Bidar


6. Count Folco Spinola of Ancona


7. Raja Akadeva III of Chawda Raj


Anyway, since this kind of thing is reliant on not having full context of a situation, I'm going to drop in on the first character without further ado.
Last edited by MesserTod on Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:01 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Post Wed May 21, 2014 6:29 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

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I am Raja Muhammad of Banu Sama Raj. I'm a Sunni ruler on the border between the true faith and the barbarous Indian faiths of the east. I am told that I am a temperate and charitable man, never taking more than I need and giving freely to those who are more needy than I. My father, however, good as he was, constantly lamented that I was unfit to rule in this land, as I was too deceitful for my own good and I shied away from conflict. He would warn me that as a Muslim faithful on the border of my religion, I would have to be stalwart and ready to strike at any moment against the infidels, but the infidels seem far too powerful now and I do not wish to die quite yet.

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The only ally in faith I have is to my south, the Habbari Sultanate. To my north and east are Hindi infidels, the Shahi Shahdom and the Pratihara Kingdom, respectively. As much as my late father would have me prepare to push north and defend my Islamic brethren, I see no possible way that can happen, as we are simply too small.

The problems don't end there. In my father's haste to prepare me for rule, he neglected to marry me to a suitable wife. When I came to power, I attempted to rectify that, and saw that there were simply no women available who could offer an alliance. The Habbari ruler is as barren as I am, it seems. I married a courtier who seemed to know her way around handling money and left it at that.

Speaking of barrenness, because of my chaste lifestyle, I have no heir to the throne. Looking over the laws of the land, I learned that if I were to die, my spymaster would inherit, which in and of itself is a frightening proposition, even without the fact that he's not of my blood.

So in order to fix this minor possible heart attack, I opted to change the council out.

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Not everybody likes me, and not everybody's competent, but it's a shade better than having my most powerful schemer in line to inherit, and not to mention absolutely nobody liked me before. The Court Imam, however, is irreplacable; the laws forbid it.

I call in my new spymaster to see what I can accomplish under the table, but I'm faced with an ancient roadblock: nobody likes me enough to help me bloody any blades. As all my vassals have no children, I am first in line to inherit as their liege, and this includes several thakurs (counts) whose land would be quite nice to have. However, nothing can be done yet.

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My military isn't in much better condition. 800 men is not a lot, by any standards, and I will have to work on getting recruitment up, or be sure to save up for mercenaries.

More pressing matters await, however. My military is incredibly weak, and I border two nations of the Hindi faith, a religion notorious for their warmongering and expansion. As weak as I am, I make one of the most delectable targets around, so I must fix that immediately.

Many options come to mind, one of which being my fathers' advice: expand with the help of mercenaries. However, I cannot fathom ever going toe-to-toe with my much more powerful neighbors, so I opt for the more diplomatic solutions: I swear fealty to the Habbari Sultanate.

As the courtier rides out with my proposal, I look to the next issue: inheritance. Once the sultan accepts, he will immediately be first in line to inherit my land upon death, and the only way I can fix that is to have a child, preferably a male. As odd as that is, I make that my next big goal: to have a son.

Soon my courtier returned with the sultan's approval, and with my land safe in Habbari hands, I set out on a hajj to Mecca, as is customary in my religion. As I set out by boat, I catch wind of the vessel I chose to ferry me to Mecca secretly dealing in slaves, and plotting to sell the their "cargo" at the next stop. Overwhelmed with fear and rage, I gather my bodyguards and stage a mutiny, overthrowing the slavers without even harming myself, and sail the vessel myself towards its destination. Once in Mecca, I pay to hear the pious tales of an old man (+1 stewardship), and inform the local population of a well filled with filthy and unsafe water. I perform the necessary ritual and the locals praise me for my humble nature (+1 health as well). On my way back home, I lend monetary aid to a local village that's fallen on hard times, and as I pass through the gates to my domain, I feel as if I have become a better, more enlightened person.

As I return, I call my spymaster back and ask him what I should plan on doing, when I'm able. He tells me that of my vassals, three thakurs are displeased with me. And of those three, two are on my council, as marshal and chancellor. So in light of that information, the most logical route would be to revoke the thikana (county) of the third thakur, Thakur Shahabuddin of Karur. I mark it as top priority, but leave it aside, as I cannot raise enough support to go through with the plot.

The year drags on, and in May I notice that my liege has raised his levies for war. Delving deeper into the matters, I learn that the war is against our most powerful Hindi neighbor, the Pratiharans.

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My marshal tells me what he can about the conflict, and I decide that the cause is hopeless. My liege has waged holy war on the Pratiharans, and currently they are outnumbered 5300 to 2100. My liege is well and truly fucked, it seems.

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In these dire times, he opts to make me his steward, and sends me to Masara, a province on his eastern border, to study economic technology. Immediately after I set out, my wife comes to me and tells me she's pregnant. Hopefully it will be a boy, and I can rest better knowing the succession is safe.

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In December, word reaches me that the target of my stalled plot has died of a pneumonic attack, and the Thikana of Karur has become mine. This puts me neatly at my demesne limit, and I let my other vassals be. If they die, they die, and I can reap the spoils or hand them back out as I see fit.

The year rolls over, and I finally send my council to work. The chancellor goes to Uch to try to improve relations with the people there, and the rest of the council is moved to Karor, a much more profitable and better-manned province where I've moved the capital to. The Marshal is sent out to raise troops, the steward to enforce taxes, the spymaster to comb the city for plots against me, and the imam to perform charity and make the locals more tolerant of their liege.

My wife gives birth, sadly to a daughter. Even sadder, however, is her death at the hands of a subsequent illness in July.

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I still need an heir, so I remarry again to a competent steward, hoping for better luck.

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Soon after my marriage, I am given an offer to study law under the greatest fuqaha in the realm, which I take up heartily. Thankfully the studies will readily come in handy, as my spymaster gives me word that my marshal has his own court hard at work fabricating a claim on my new capital.

This, of course, cannot stand, and my new studies have given me the knowledge necessary to deal with the danger, as such a trespass is easily punishable by imprisonment. I order the marshal to increase the security in the capital, and I give the order directly to the guardsmen that he must be imprisoned for crimes against his liege.

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However, when they bring the marshal forward to me, I instantly recognize him as a fraud. Thakur Mahmud has left a co-conspirator to take the fall for him, while he rushes home to prepare for war.

I appoint a new marshal and immediately order the levies to be raised, and to rally to Multan, north of Uch, to strike. I have a clear advantage, 1232 men to his 580, so I am not overly worried, but Mahmud rallies his men to Karur to siege. A direct assault would necessitate a river crossing, which would weaken my men. Instead I opt to attack him from the south, marching through Uch before turning north to Karur.

Coincidentally, my new marriage has lessened my ability to govern properly, as my new wife is simply not as good at handling land as my previous one. I find a man who has proven himself to be a capable steward in and of himself and give him Karur, by far the least profitable of my personal holdings, and that just happens to be the thikana under siege.

As my men turn towards Karur, however, scouts inform me that Mahmud's men march west towards Multan. Sadly, they were able to outrun us, and so we accept the situation and drive towards Multan over the river.

As expected, we are able to rout the single flank of men, and as they retreat into Karur we follow them, wiping them out entirely. We then turn towards Uch to siege it and finish the war.

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A horror awaits us, however, as the Pratiharan army waits just to the south of us, finishing up a siege of their own.

I order the men to hold, and hope that the Pratiharans move to the south or west. However, luck is not kind to me, as the army immediately begins to march north as soon as the thikana falls in January. Unable to retreat safely, I order my men to disband, and hope the Pratiharans' siege will help me strong-arm Mahmud into surrendering.

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However, the Pratiharan army suddenly turns east, towards their own land. Apparently the war ended soon after my order to disband, with my liege quite solidly on the losing end of the bargain. I curse my shortsightedness and order a reraise, marching my men immediately towards Uch without even rallying to regroup. They make it safely and settle in for their siege.

The year drags on, and in October news reaches me of rebel flags being raised off the northern border of my land. Courtiers are sent to scout and report back that the Pratiharans face a civil war. Factions in their north, south, and east are fighting for independence, and their northernmost faction borders us. I secretly wish them luck, as if they win then I will have a nice, hopefully weak target to attack and expand into.

In January of 870, news also reaches me of a more religious upheaval in the west.

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The shia schismatics have somehow gained enough strength to dare to proclaim a caliphate for themselves, rivaling the rightful Sunni caliphate. I am aghast by this news, but I can do nothing as I have more pressing matters to attend to with my own religious enemies to the east. The caliph will just have to sort this all out on his own.

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In time, Uch falls, and Thakur Mahmud accepts his defeat, as well as his imprisonment.

While mulling over my opitions, I decide I want to revoke his title and land, and give it to someone who'd be more happy to serve me. Mahmud is clearly unhappy with me, and while he made a good marshal I would rather the land be under someone more appreciative of my work.

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Sadly, this is not to be, as the laws of the Habbari Sultanate forbid revocation of titles. My options become limited to tyrannical actions: execution or banishment, or options that keep him in power: ransoming or unconditional freedom. Of the more acceptable options, ransoming the thakur nets me a decent amount of money, but freeing him will make me be seen more positively in the eyes of the people.

In the end, I decide to ransom him, as the money can be spent improving the capital. He remains Thakur of Uch, but he will not get the title of Marshal back.

With the ransom money, I commission an upgrade to the castle fortifications and militia training ground, giving us better protection against sieges and a greater ability to raise a levy.

In the summer, I see skirmishes between the Pratiharans and their revolt off to the east. Sadly the revolutionaries seem to be on the losing end of the war, as the Pratiharans completely destroyed the armies that patrolled my border.

September turns to October, and my new wife is pregnant. Again, I hope for a boy, as that would cement the inheritance, but I'll just have to wait to see what exactly is growing in my wife.

The year ends, and I take another look at my council. My unlanded steward could be better, and Thakur Mahmud has actually warmed up to me a little, so I give him back a seat on the council, this time as the Steward. The unlanded Marshal stays, however, as his skills far outweigh the skills of the best landed man.

And so I wait, hoping for a son to continue my dynasty and an opening to expand so I don't have to live under the boot of the Habbari forever.

Perhaps hoping on the Hindi revolt isn't the right course of action. I am a vassal of the sultan, perhaps I should be looking within his lands...
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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:03 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

Yes, I assure myself, looking into the kingdom is the right course of action. However, I soon learn that would be much harder than anticipated. Of the rajas in Habbari, I am right in the middle in terms of military force, and in order to get any real foothold in the kingdom I would need more power.

And this is how April finds me, sitting on my ass waiting for something to happen. This "something" was my liege issuing me an order to raise my troops for his new war against the Pratiharan revolutionaries, who were now definitely losing their war.

But, just as soon as my men were raised, they were ordered to stand down. Not a day after my liege declared his war the revolutionaries caved in and accepted the Pratiharan terms of surrender, leaving my liege the choice of either giving up on his war or attacking the Pratiharans, who outnumbered them two to one. Thankfully the Maharaja of Habbari knows when to retreat from a terrible decision.

May comes and my wife gives birth to a daughter, which saddens me, since daughters still cannot inherit under the laws of the kingdom. I'll have to try harder for a son, it seems.

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Interestingly, my liege has decided that I am to be the court poet. This means very little for me, as no actual work must be done, and nobody expects me to actually write any poetry. I begin to wonder why my liege is giving out honorary titles...

The next month, my spymaster dies of an illness. It's sad, but not incredibly horrible. I'm easily able to replace him with Thakur Pheru of Karur, and I send him to work at the capital, rooting out discontent. However, the death of my spymaster also left me inheriting a mosque in one of my thikanas. I ponder keeping it and reaping the pious benefits of owning a mosque, but since I am unable to hold that much land effectively, I hand it out to a random courtier. Interestingly, instead of the inheritance going to me, it instead appears to go to my liege upon the new imam's death. I make a mental note of this and carry on.

In september, I receive a notice that my liege is requesting my service... as his steward? This confuses me, as I have been the Maharaja's steward for four years. I brush it off and hope my liege hasn't taken leave of his senses. I continue my work on the economy in the capital.

As the year rolls over, I discover I have some funds. I spend these upgrading the militia training grounds in Kafrikot, bolstering its already impressive levy.

In the dead of spring a messenger bursts into my court and comes running to me, claiming to have news of a changing of lands. The flags of our neighbors in the northwest have changed, and the messenger brings fears from my vassals that the Samanids have beaten back the Shahi. I send a team of my own to investigate, and they bring me confirmation.

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The Samanid Shahdom has now found us.

Even worse, the Samanids seem to be fleeing from something. They are expanding south, and have struck a wall with our mutual neighbors, the Saffarids. The two powers nearly equal, the Samanids have preyed on the Shahi, stealing a good chunk of their land from under their noses. Silently I pray thanks to god, as I would be in an incredibly precarious position had I not sworn fealty. The Samanids would not have hesitated to attack me were I not under the protection of an equal ruler, if only in name.

I sense a need for a greater grasp of military tactics, and my need grows more urgent by the day. Eventually I am blackmailing and strong-arming people into teaching me the secrets of military command. They, of course, do not like it, but I benefit greatly from it all.

The year turns to 873, and another command is issued to raise the levy. This time, my liege has declared a war on another Pratiharan revolt, one in the south of Pratihara, one that does not border us, and one that is tentatively winning their revolt. I have my marshal check the numbers, and he tells me that my liege outnumbers the revolt almost five to one, with their numbers at almost 600 and ours at 2700. I briefly consider lending my liege my personal forces, but decide against it. This land is not long for Habbari hands even if the war is victorious.

September rolls by, and another request to become steward is given. This time I investigate, and I learn to my shock and ire that my liege has been secretly employing other stewards behind my back and not sending me termination notices. I am absolutely livid, but I accept my liege's offer, on the condition that he keeps me employed. I later reflect that this might have hindered my feudal relations with him, but upon even further reflection, I decided that I didn't care.

Money continues to flow in, and I continue commissioning upgrades, this time to the barracks in my capital. My wife also tells me she's pregnant again, and once again I pray for a son. My liege pressures me to do my job correctly, and in my efforts to become a better steward, I begin to experience chronic stress.

In April of 874 the inevitable happens, the Pratiharans declare a holy war upon my liege. Unlike last time, these numbers spell defeat for us, with the Pratiharans sporting 5000 men to our 4000. However, when news comes of the enemy treading on our land, the numbers become slightly less drastic.

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Somehow the Pratiharans lost a thousand men on their way to our lands, and make camp in Mansura, sieging the holding there. My liege's army sits in Bhakkar, unwilling to cross the river to be caught off-guard by an attack. The armies stare each other down, until Mansura breaks.

The Pratiharans move south to Sonda, apparently unwilling to cross the river as well. My liege responds by moving his own men to Mansura to take it back. He makes quick work of the reconquest, and the staredown becomes more and more intense.

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Suddenly both armies rush in towards one another, with the Pratiharans having only a 200 men advantage. A river runs between the counties, albeit a much smaller one than before, and the ironic outcome being that the quicker army will cross first, attacking at a disadvantage.

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My liege, unfortunately, is quicker on the draw. The two armies clash at the riverside, with my liege's men still partly in the water. They fight bravely against the odds...

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But are ultimately thwarted. Some flank fell, and the Pratiharans push forward, driving the men into the river.

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By the end, a tenth of the original force escapes, and the Pratiharans resume their siege uncontested.

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They will not have to wait for long. Soon after the new year my liege surrenders, signing away his capital raja, along with most of his personal holdings. The Maharaja of Habbari has been broken. It will not be long before the other vultures begin to take their pick of his remaining lands. Already, whispers abound of a Saffarid attack from the west. I, however, have found solace in a small silver lining to the cloud hanging over the kingdom.

I have a new neighbor.
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Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:53 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

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Do you see that small brownish state under the Shahi Shahdom? That's the newly-formed Marzpanate of Dipalpur, two ex-Shahi counties that will never be riper for the pickings. I immediately declare a holy war and move my men in for the long siege.

However, It wasn't THAT long. Dipalpur fell on the turn of the year, and my army moved towards the second province. Everything seemed to be going well.

But it wasn't all good news. As I was celebrating the imminent victories in the north, my liege sent word that the Saffarids had begun an invasion for his capital duchy.

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Needless to say, my liege faced quite the challenge. I sent him the men I was obligated to, but I also had to send him word that the majority of my forces were tied up in the war in the north. I'm sure he'll understand.

In April Dipalpur surrenders, and I give the two counties out to a promising courtier and my marshal, relieving him of duty and replacing him with a Dampati who has been vying for the position as of recently. In all honesty, the change was welcome, as my now ex-marshal will be put to much better use as a commander on the field than a trainer behind the walls.

My wife gives birth to yet another daughter in September. I fear for my future and my luck, and worry that some devil has cursed me...

My mind becomes uneasy, and I need some release. I call the men to arms once more and march towards the Shahi Shahdom, looking to end our long and bloody relationship. After a recent struggle against a single-county vassal, they are weakened beyond belief, with 200 men to our 1800. I declare a holy war for their capital duchy, looking for land and release. If I win, they will be reduced to a single, measly county, and I will be all the stronger.

Perhaps this will be the thing to revitalize me and free me from this recent curse.

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My war goes quietly, as expected. The Shahi were already in a war with the Pratiharans over some land... The land I'm not interested in. Soon after my men arrive, they surrender their one county to the Pratiharans and turn what attention they can to my war for the remainder of their land. Of course, it won't be enough.

However, my liege has had worse luck. The Saffarids move in and take an awkward swath of land from my liege, effectively dividing his land with a range of mountains. Interestingly enough, this division almost entirely separated my lands from my liege's, were it not for one stray county to my south.

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But eventually my war comes through, and the Shahi shahdom is no more. I formally usurp the Shahi's last title, the Raj of Gandhara, and turn towards the single solitary county in the north, Kasmira.

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While my men siege down the enemy, I take count of my situation. My liege is INCREDIBLY weak after their last loss, and their collapse is now an inevitability. One of the neighboring kings will swoop in and cannibalize the remains of the Habbari shahdom.

Currently their numbers are:
Pratihara: Hindi, 7000 men
Samanid: Sunni, 5,000 men
Saffarids: Sunni, 10,000 men!!!


But as I'm busy with this military census, my liege has ideas of his own. He declares his own war for Kasmira, and his army pulls in alongside mine.

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And my liege promptly takes over the siege. When Kasmira falls, it will go to him, not me.

But there is hope, If I can time this correctly, I can pull the rug out from under the king and enforce a surrender before he can, once he finishes the siege.

The year turns, spring is beginning to show its head from the mild Indian winter, and I lie awake at night waiting for news. Early one morning my scouts return with news from the front, the flags of Kasmira are being lowered, perhaps readying to signal for a parlay. I waste no time in riding to the castle of Kasmira, and I find that the nobility are indeed willing to talk. I run in, hoping that I'm not too late.

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My fears are evaporated; my liege has slept in today, and I am in full control of the proceedings. I negotiate the surrender and revel in my victory, sending my scouts to inform my liege of the war's end.

I have no doubts that he will be irate at my ploy, but every bit of land counts now. I have run out of valid targets, and my expansion has been halted by the walls of Pratihara and the Samanid. I may be strong, but they could fell me with hardly a sweat.

But I have a plan to ensure my survival. It begins with attacking the only person I could take in a fight:

The Maharaja of Habbari, my liege.
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Post Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:34 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

My marshal is called up to outline the situation in a secret meeting. He tells me that we are in a very advantageous situation. We have 1917 men in total, while our liege has a little bit more than half, somewhere around 1000. Not only is our position as comfortable as ever, but we also have some time to build up comerades before our liege gets back to full strength.

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To this end, I declare my raj's goal of independence, inviting other dukes to join me.

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As the strongest in the realm, with almost 150% of my liege's strength even at full power, I have no qualms about my ability to handle the war, but I wait and hope for some help in the form of the weakest raja, who himself boasts a bit more than half the maharaja's power.

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Sadly that isn't in the stars. My liege sends me a heavily worded letter and I find myself incapable of refusing. Beaten and humiliated, I rescind my formal ambitions, but look for a more direct approach.

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Simply declaring war on my liege will be a slightly riskier situation, as I won't have the ability to band the other rajas of the realm underneath me, but it accomplishes the same end goal of breaking the chains of vassalization and freeing me from the horrid heel of-wait a second, what is this?

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Goddammit I forgot that I entrusted one of my children to the maharaja not a year ago. If I sign the declaration of war, she would be killed, and the sin would be on my soul for forcing my liege's hand. I spend the rest of the morning and several after in a rage. I literally had no more options, the maharaja had me by my man-eggs and was twisting them tighter and tighter by the day. I was under his foot well and good now...

But I had at least one aspect of my life that I could control: My job. I angrily resigned from my liege's council, and refused his offer to rejoin at a higher wage. I returned to my personal holdings, the capital of my demesne, and stewed.

November comes, and the maharaja organizes a tiger hunt, inviting everybody in the realm to join. I use his summons to clean the shit off my ass and send it back.

But February of 882 brings happier news. The Maharaja of Habbari has passed away, leaving the land in the hands of his underage son. Naturally, a regent is set in place, opening up many opportunities for many very nasty things, but most of all it gives me the opportunity to wage war.

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I double check with my marshal and vizier, confirming that if I wanted to, I had full access to direct war. But I don't quite yet. Instead I reopen the bid for independence, inviting the other two rajas to help again. I let a few months pass, my wife comes to me pregnant again, I pray for a son again, and June arrives with no response from my liege or the other dukes.

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I decide waiting is underrated and send my demands.

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Of course my liege declines, and I declare my revolt officially open. The troops are raised and ordered to march south toward the border.

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But plans had to be changed. Habbari had sent half their forces through the mountains and into Kafirkot, marching them towards my capital, Karor, apparently willing to accept a river crossing to deal with the 200 men marching southward.

I reroute the men, ordering them to rally at the capital to face Habbari's men.

Thankfully reinforcements arrived just before the men were about to break, and we were able to turn the tide of the battle and win. After the men had all been collected and organized, I marched them southwards once again to take care of the other half of Habbari's men.

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What I wasn't counting on, however, was the furor of the common men, who spontaneously came to Habbari's defense. Their numbers were unknown at the time, but as I and my men reached the border, our scouts spotted an army of about 1400 strong marching towards us. We take them at the border and easily beat them back.

The plan was to eliminate the army altogether and then march towards the Habbari capital, which was two months' march south of the border, but just as the Habbari army was finally pinned down and eliminated, a courier waving a white flag came running up.

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Surprisingly my former liege was willing to give in without even going through a proper siege. I considered denying him the luxury of peace, but in the end he would give me what I wanted, freedom. And so I accepted.

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The flags of the Banu Sama Raj flew alone once more. But alas, it is not to be like this forever, as we are not in a very good position, despite being much stronger than the last time our flags flew as such.

We are stronger than the Habbari Maharaja, that much has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, and in fact my vizier tells me that my men call for us to take up the mantle of the Maharaja of Punjab, a great and noble title indeed; but I still pale in comparison to my other neighbors. Pratihara and Samanid both have more than double the men I can raise at any one time, but the Saffarids can raise oh so much more.

While the others make due with their thousands, the Saffarid Shahdom can raise more then 10,000 men, and so they become my next target. Not of conquest, but of subservience.

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Happily Shah Ya'qab accepts our fealty, and we rest quite nicely in the bosom of their Shahdom. Again, we are the most powerful vassal in the realm, but there are more vassals than before, and the liege holds much more power than Habbari did. Now we are safe from encroachment, and can look inwards to expand...

Or we could if the laws allowed it. The Shah has apparently tightened the laws so much that vassals are disallowed from infighting, and so my options become limited to our ex-liege.

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Leaving out the fact that we have no casus belli, expansion seems to be taking a rather interesting turn, as the other rajas turn on Habbari, raising their own flags in rebellion.

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Sooner rather than later, the flags are replaced with a new standard, that of Baluchistan. The once powerful Maharaja of Habbari has been reduced to a two Marzpanate minor, prime fodder for their many neighbors.

I, however, look towards Baluchistan, and send my Grand Vizier to fabricate claims. I assume Habbari is not long for this world, and I want a target I know I can count on existing in five years.

A lot of time has passed in this interim, and I find that it's already 886. I prepare to celebrate my new position with my lover, and by the end I find myself more appreciative of the female sex, but also strangely ill. She swears she's clean, but I doubt nonetheless.

The doubt is erased as the illness passes. But you know what doesn't pass? My raging erection. I spend the next couple of years sleeping around with a few people, some of them my wife. I also inherit the Marzpanate of Nandana while impregnating my wife for the sixth or seventh time. It surprises me that I've lost count, but I take it in stride.

The new year comes and I find that my treasury has a surplus, and nowhere for the money to go, so I order some improvements to all of my personal holdings, from Karor to Nandana. Every marzpanate under my demesne gets a shiny new building.

And in March my wife gives birth again. The midwife is there, she's pushing, blah blah blah, out comes the daught- Oh hey, what's that?

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By the grace of Mohammad, it's a dangly part!!

I HAVE A SON, THE SUCCESSION IS SAFE!!!

After twenty long, hard years, I finally have a son I can legally entrust my raja to. Allah be praised, the curse is lifted.

I raise my son high into the air to celebrate, and he pees in my face while my wife screams at me to be careful. I don't care that my robes are soiled, I am happier than I have ever been!

Soon after, however, I look in the mirror to find a solitary grey hair. Suddenly I am reminded of my coming birthday... My 50th birthday.

My mortality comes into focus, as I realize that I have lived over half of my life, in 20 years I will most likely be dead.

The beginning of the end has arrived.
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Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:18 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

My second daughter has a birthday as well, and I send her off to the Samanids to secure an alliance, just in case.

As stressed as I am about my age, I cannot complain, for the money continues to flow, and even build up! I order my steward to funnel the treasury into upgrades for my holdings, and to continue doing so until further notice. He takes to his job happily.

April of 889 brought a slight scare in the form of a very sizable Buddhist uprising in my lands. For the first time I was reminded that my realm was not entirely unified, I still held Buddhist and Hindi lands. I called up my Court Imam and asked him to do something that the Imam hasn't done in a very long while: spread the word of our God. He leaves and promises not to return until all lands under the Banu Sama banner are united under Allah.

The uprising, however, would have been quite an issue.

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Of course, it would have been if we didn't have the Saffarids protecting us. The rebellion is easily crushed by my liege.

And more good news comes in, my steward tells me that Karor, our capital, is as upgraded as we can feasibly get it. It would take some architectural advancements to accommodate any more. I thank him for his work and ask him to continue for the other marzpanates.

In July of 890, my liege makes the decision to join Habbari against the Pratiharans' encroachment on their easternmost marzpanate. They fight long and hard for two years, but in the end the Pratiharans proved stronger.

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Habbari is reduced to less than a shell of what it once was. Hope is no more than a distant memory for them, now.

I wondered at my ability to just walk over and take Habbari's last marzpanate, when I received word that a raja from inside the Saffarid Sultanate is vying to have the raja of Ghandhara stripped from me and granted to another ruler. This would surely be a messy war, and so I sent him a letter asking him to stop. I didn't think it would do much, but when I received his timid reply pleading for my forgiveness, I was stunned. I was so strong that I could force other rajas into abandoning their ambitions simply by the inherent threat of my army.

I will not lie, it was a good feeling to have.

March of 893 brought with it my heir's sixth birthday, and the beginning of his formal education. My liege sent offer after offer, pleading to let me educate my heir with one of his chosen, to educate him in the style of the Saffarids and the people of their homeland. But I declined every one, and educated him myself, to turn him into as capable a ruler as I could.

October brought a change of flags outside my borders, as the Pratiharans deal with another revolt. I considered attacking to expand, but even their revolt outnumbers me two to one.

The year passes, and the revolt becomes beaten down by their ruler, and I thought again about attacking, but decided against it.

After four more years of rebellion, I wished that I had attacked, as the time was ripe then. But alas, mistakes were made, and the revolt fell without me getting anything. In addition worrying news sprang from the west.

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The old Shia sect had come out of hiding and have even named a person for their caliphate. I wished my brothers luck in dealing with this heresy, but I conserved my troops to deal with my own front against the Hindi.

899 arrives, the turn of the century, and my second daughter dies. It is always a sad thing to outlive your children, but again I was reminded of my age. At 62, I could fall any day. I thought about my preparations and decided that I had laid a good enough groundwork for my heir, all I needed to do was wait.

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The turn of the century brought with it the fall of Baluchistan. Divided in two over several wars, some lands went to my liege, others to Pratihara. The map now more accurately depicts the intense border frictions with the Hindi, as the ownership of lands can change in a very quick time.

But my lands stood firm, as I outlived even countries.

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In May, the border friction in the North reached a head, as the Samanids call for a conquest of a single marzpanate, which escalated predictably.

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But unpredictably, the Pratiharans strike as well, declaring a holy war. The numbers were already murky, with my liege barely having a 400-man advantage over the Samanids, but the Hindi army brought another variable into the mix, leading to confusion and chaos.

My liege decided to march southwards, and took the Pratiharan army in its piecemeal state. Thankfully this tactic worked, and the Pratiharan army was thrown into disarray for the time being.

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Unfortunately, the Samanids marched south as well, and attacked my liege once his army was weakened. They quickly mop up my liege's men and begin their sieges.

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In the interim, my heir comes of age. He's not as good a steward as I had hoped he'd be, but he will do. I marry him off to a young woman of low birth and I give him the Marzpanate of Nandana to rule while he waits for his rajas. The succession is finally legally safe and valid.

Four more years pass, and my liege finally surrenders the single marzpanate to the Samanids to focus his whole attention on the Pratiharans, who are after an entire raja. A month later my Grand Vizier dies, leaving me to inherit his marzpanate, and in the end I gain a personal holding and my liege loses one. Overall a net positive.

In November my steward returns, awash with news that he can do no more to any of my holdings, including our new one. We are as fortified as we can get without some major technological advances.

And in June of 907 I took another look at the situation. My liege is successfully fighting back the Pratiharans, and the Hindi army is a fraction of what it could be. I think again on my impending end and decide that if I'm going out, I'll go out as a true Muslim should: fighting the enemies of my religion.

I declare a holy war for the raja of Lahore, and call up my troops, 2849 of them versus the 1900 the Pratiharans have occupying my liege's attention.

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I settle in for a siege and hope...

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And then reports come in from the southern edge of our lands and I nearly soil myself. 8600 men appearing out of thin air rallying to join the Pratiharans. I ask my marshal what could have happened, and he merely shrugged. "The men say they fly a strange flag, bright blue with twin blades," he says, "The men whisper that it is the colors of the Followers of Arjuna, a sect of warriors holy to the Hindi people."

I did not need to listen to his next bit of advice, I had already thought of it. In order to fight something that big we would need extra manpower. I order him to hire two mercenary companies and have them rally to our location. In total, the mercenaries added an extra 5000 men. Not enough by far to ensure victory, but enough to make defeat wait for some months.

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Those months pass by, and the Followers wait patiently as I throw wave after wave of men at the castles hoping to occupy the raja completely before they advance. However, my hopes are dashed again and again, first as the Followers advance as we occupy half of the land, and again as my treasury spends its last few coins.

I think on my earlier dreams of dying valiantly in battle, but realize that this is not how it should be. If I died here, my son would inherit an impossible war alongside two unpaid mercenary armies. There would be no honor there, even against infidels.

I send a messenger to the advancing army with an offer for peace.

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They agreed to forget the entire war happened. I slink back home and wait for the end.

But first I finish the studies of Islamic Law that I had been undergoing for what feels like my entire life. I finally pass the last exam, and take my place among the Faqih of the Muslim world, a paragon of knowledge.

I know in my heart that it is not to last. And one evening near the end of 911, I lay myself down to rest, weary from the day

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And pass from this world, weary from my life...

And we pass from the Raja of Banu Sama as well, leaving it quite a different place. Originally it was an independent, 6-Marzpanate raja, and we have turned it into a 13-marzpanate, double raja under the Sultanate of Saffarid. We ruled for 44 years and 11 months, and our Raja Muhammad lived to the incredibly ripe age of 74.

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If you recall from our first post, Muhammad began as a craven man, who was charitable, deceitful, and temperate, but little else.

During our rule, he became a Hajjaj (after undergoing a hajj to Mecca in the very beginning) and a Faqih, a professional of Islamic Law. He had five daughters over the course of 20 years before siring two sons, and he also became humble, lustful, and cruel, making him quite the "interesting" man. All in all, I claim this jump as a success, and hopefully the Banu Sama dynasty will find a way to survive as we jump away to a bright new place.
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Post Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:40 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

So this will be the first Intermission.

I plan on having these once every 100 50 in-game years, and they will be a combination of history lesson and check-in to see how our old jumps are faring under the AI.

But since we're not that far in, I'll limit this first one to a history lesson.

I understand that I said "The Raja of Banu Sama" often during this turn, but that is not entirely true. While the name was Banu Sama in the game, the actual raja was the Raja of Multan, part of present-day Pakistan. A cursory investigation of several articles on Wikipedia and elsewhere lead to the game's depiction of Banu Sama as the remnants of the Muslim conquest of Multan in the early 700s, and the relevant fraction of the great Umayyad empire it was under. As far as history goes, it seems the state of Multan, in the game under Banu Sama rule, remained independent before being destabilized by Ghaznavid attacks in the late 900s.

In terms of whether or not we beat history on this one, I'm not entirely sure. Staying independent would have been a risk, and it's unsure whether it would work out or not, but the only real way to tell is to see if the Banu Sama dynasty still holds lands in our next Intermission for the new millennium. If they do, then we did good, and hopefully they will stay stable enough to be around for a good, long time.

Interesting note on Habbari, though: They also remained independent until 1024, when they were annexed into the Ghaznavid lands. However, they barely exist by now, so at the very least we've done one over on the history books: We've eliminated a historical power in the Pakistani region.

However, I will not go into the histories of the Saffarids, Samanids, or Pratiharans, as that would be a bit much. The history lesson ends here, as I give you a sneak peek at where we're heading next

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A proper introduction will of course come later.
Last edited by MesserTod on Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:38 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

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I am Duke Otto of Saxony, and as of late my old bones have become restless. I'm in a very peculiar situation, a duke of land that should rightfully be under East Francia that is instead a vassal of West Francia.

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Even our borders look horrendous, the deep blue of my liege's French colors clashing with the steel grey of the Germanic people. Somewhere in me I resent this, and I want to be free of this foreign French rule and lead my people to great things, but alas such ambitions are best left to the younger generation. My heir will hopefully understand his predicament and act wisely.

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But this is not the time for that thinking. My liege is at war with many people, and an army with a flag unknown and uncared about is sieging one of my vassals, while the much more pressing army of Svíþjóð sieged my northernmost county, one they aim to keep should they win the war. I dislike this, knowing that my liege can not or will not do anything about my inevitable loss, and so my bones now ache for something they should have had long ago: conquest.

We sit on the northern precipice of Christianity, with the Norse heathens to the north and the Slavic heathens to the west. the Norse are large and powerful, which is why they're stealing my land from my liege, but the Slavic people are small and scattered into tribes. The smallest of my neighbors are also quite weakened, with 600 and 100 men apiece, and so as I rise today I call on my marshal to send out notices that we shall wage a holy war on Dolomici, the weaker of the two.

In addition I move to enact a new tax on my vassals. I need the money for this war, and thus far they have been exempt from tax. Thankfully they accept the meager tax and pay up.

However, my war plans hit a couple of snags. First of all, my troops attract the attention of the army sieging my vassal. They leave long enough to break their siege, but I am left with a tough call. My men cannot battle the 900 siegers, the numbers are simply too close for me to allow, but if I disband them I leave my vassal open to siege again, which could be equally disastrous in the long run. I opt to disband my army for now, and hope that my vassal can hold.

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The second snag came when Pomeranian reinforcements were sighted in Dolomici. Their numbers were staggering, 1500 against my 900. If I wanted to win, I would have to rely on mercenaries, a desperate and expensive option.

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In May the sieging army moved to my capital, and met my liege's forces. I raised up my men to help, and the battle raged on for months.

In the end, we were victorious, but it doesn't help us, only our liege.

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By August, Svíþjóð finished their siege of Bremen and took the place of the last army at the neck of my vassal, obliterating the forces of my only ally in my war against Dolomici along their way. This time, they had double the troops of the previous army and were more than ready to fight.

Sadly, they wouldn't have to.

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That solitary light blue county is now a part of Svíþjóð. My liege ceded it to them, and now I am a county smaller.

Enraged, I take out a loan from the Jewish merchants and call upon local Saxon mercenaries. I run my troops into the fray against the Slavic heathens.

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We managed to take the enemy by surprise, sneaking in and establishing ourselves in the mountains. This way, we had a distinct advantage despite only having 140 more men.

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Their armies were shattered, and we took a prisoner to boot, and then settled into the siege.

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Huh, that's funny, the flags of the besiegers don't quite look like our flags. I wonder why...

Perhaps it's because the army of Wologoszcz was already there, sieging to take the county for themselves, and I wasn't aware of it?

Yes indeed, that has to be it. Marshal come here, you're fired.

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After a month of pursuing the remnants of Dolomici's army news finally reached me of the inevitable, our war had been invalidated by Wologoszcz. All that work, all that blood, all that debt for nothing.

But the land was at peace, and peace was what I needed. I decided to take some time away from home and go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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The time away from home was more than refreshing, it was rejuvenating. I felt decades younger, and I came home with fresh eyes, ready and willing to take a better look at my situation.

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There are two political obstacles between me and my liege in the west, the Kingdoms of East Francia and Lotharingia. Lotharingia, while a terrifying power stretching from the Waddenzee in the north to Roma in the south, and even to the Byzantine Empire's border in southern Italy, is not a direct threat to me. Lotharingia and West Francia will undoubtedly come to arms over the course of time, but it will never directly involve me.

East Francia, however, is a much more direct threat. I, as Duke of Saxony, should be a de jure vassal of the East Francian king, and so he will very likely want to wage war for me. He currently has 3600 men out of a possible 7500, and would be a terrifying foe. I pray he decides to spare me in favor of our religious enemies.

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Said enemies are smaller in scale, at least with regards to my perspective. From the north and going clockwise we first have Norway, a Scandanavian kingdom who currently holds Holstein and are sandwiched by East Francia, Denmark, Svíþjóð, and of course me. Hopefully this will be enough of a threat to keep them from expanding their Danish ambitions. They currently have 1700/4800 men. After them we have Denmark, who controls Lybæck, and who has 3000/4200 men, along with a desire to unite their kingdom out from under their foriegn rivals. Denmark, Norway, and Svíþjóð are all Norse, all kingdoms, and all very dangerous opponents.

After them, though, we come to the Slavic people. First there's Laczyn, a single county minor with only 530 men at most, and after them there's Wologoszcz, a two county minor who very recently expanded into territory I wanted. They, however, have 1000 men, and so would have to wait to be conquered.

We, the Duchy of Saxony, have at best 654 men right now, and so I make plans to go after Laczyn after a brief period of recuperation.

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While we rest, my son and heir declares that he himself has fathered a son, and so the succession is safe for another generation. The news puts me to rest, albeit while also reminding me of my mortality, but that is all washed away when my son begins banging on the table and speaking in strange tongues.

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At first I thought it was his queer Frankish tendencies, but instead I learn that he has been possessed by Satan, a fate only slightly worse than French mannerisms. I assume these two factors will make his reign a bit difficult, and I worry a bit at his future.

By the end of January 916 I decide we've had enough waiting and I call my men to arms against Laczyn. I foolishly decide to rally into Laczyn and take their men all at once, but the tides turn when 300 of my men arrive too late to help. My 900 becomes 400, and I'm forced to rely on mercenaries again.

This time, we rally through my capital, and we catch them before they can respond. The subsequent battle and siege went smoothly, and by the time Pomerania and Wologoszcz came to the defense of their religious brethren, we had already won.

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I decide to rename the county to the much more German name of Altmark, and I take another look at our situation.

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Strangely, despite being the Duke of Saxony, I own absolutely none of the territory that is traditionally considered part of Saxony. The duchy is split evenly between East Francia, Wologoszcz, and Bohemia.

East Francia and Bohemia are both invalid targets, as they would devour me alive, so I decide Wologoszcz to be my next target after another rest. My army is almost as tired as I am, and I am a good deal more tired than I should be for this.

I take another census of my new neighbors, both Slavic heathens. The Tribe of Obotrites is a Slavic two-county minor, although they fashion themselves as kings. They have 340 men, but at full strength could field as many as 1100, Dymin is a single county with a maximum of 820 men, and the Tribe of Sorbs also sees themselves as kings, but with three counties and 1100 men under their rule, they might very well be kings, were they not bordered by more powerful entities.

The year passes, but my army is not up to full strength, and so I wait, and I rest, and I wait, and I rest.

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And on May 4, 918, the sun does not wake me.

It's no surprise that this was a short stop, at 60 Duke Otto could have gone at any day.

We spent a relatively short time here, only 6 years and 4 months, and during that time, we went from a 4-county duchy to a 3-county duchy and finally back to our original size after preying on a weaker Slavic nation. All in all, I say we broke even.
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Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

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I awake from my rest refreshed but slightly confused. It takes me a minute to get my bearings and remember small details like what year it is or why I'm in a castle. I can only think it's a longing for my old family home in the countryside that's left me so prone to these episodes.

But in time I remember that I have a county to run, as the most responsible daughter of my father, I took his holdings after his passing, and I made sure that everything was in order. I arranged for my own marriage to a decent enough man of lowborn status, but completely willing to take my name in the marriage agreements. It is a bit unorthodox, but such is required if my lineage is to survive.

Speaking of which my own succession is safe, I have a son who is of age and who is quite able with a blade.

As for myself, I fancy the shadier side of politics, and I am quite apt at it. I am told that I can be brutally honest at times, but also quite humble; brave in my exploits, but slow to begin and a bit too hasty in acquiring spoils from my escapades.

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In addition, I have a pet hawk I've trained to help take care of more tiresome loose ends. Were I a ruler proper I would be ruthless and silent, and my enemies would never see me coming...

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But alas, that is not to be. I'm in the middle of the absolute stupidest political quagmire possible. The King of Aquitaine, in all his power and glory, has allowed me to be stuck under the heel of the Duke of Barcelona, of all things, while the Duke of Auvergne sits idly as a single-county duke, perfect for the usurpation. But the laws forbid me from attacking anybody who isn't a vassal of Barcelona.

Well, that's not entirely true, I could attack my foreign neighbor, Toulouse. And I would, if he didn't have four times my current levy.

And so my ambitions are hogtied. In order to get any power in this state, I must expand into Barcelona. I send my mediocre chancellor to Rosello, the closest county to me, and hope for a claim.

And until then I am forced to wait...

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But by June I get restless, and I take a short sojourn to Rome.

By December, the Duke of Barcelona holds a feast, and I attend to see how my claims are coming along.

And I wait.

And wait.

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the year of 919 brings some interesting news, the Lotharingian kingdom has split, a reformed Italy reclaims it's old lands, Burgundy becomes independent, and the northern Lotharingian provinces deal with a civil war, while the neighboring East and West Francias feed on them both.

920, however, is dull as ever. There are wars here and there, but none that I can make any difference with my measly 500 troops.

The year after, though, I begin to feel weak. It's an unfamiliar kind of weak, one that I cannot quite place. I thought I would power through it and continue my waiting, but one day I simply cannot get up, nor call out. My maids come to me to try to feed me and help me regain my strength, but I fear it's too late.

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I will admit, this is the first time this game has cockblocked me like this. Pernette was 40, she had a couple of decades in her, plenty of time to pull her dynasty into ducal raiments, but nooooooooo. She had to die at fucking 44. Of poor health. Fucking game.

We played her for a grand total of 3 years and 6 months, and literally accomplished nothing. In that sense, I guess we broke even. Maybe Johan and the Paradox gods will be kind to the de Manresas and let them grow, but it doesn't look good for now.
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Post Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:38 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

You'll have to forgive me, I forgot to get a headshot of our next person. Just trust me on his traits.

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I am Duke Payen of Normandy, and I have seen better days. People tell me that I am a charitable and temperate young man, but I feel that I'm not good enough for this position. The work that being a Duke of West Francia involves is simply too much for one man to bear. I guess that's why we have councils, but mine is mediocre at best, and I find most of the busywork gets shifted to me. As of late I have felt the stresses of my position wear me down to the bone, I lay awake at night wondering if it would be better to end it all, and those nocturnal thoughts are the cause of my latest bout of illness.

But I don't let these problems stop me. I have a duty to my family to bring us to greatness. Not for me, but for my daughters (and hopefully my son, should he ever be born).

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I, as Duke of Normandy, own an appropriate swath of land, but my duchy is still not completely under my control. Besides the 3/5 I control, Êvreux is held by a count under the Duke of Anjou, who is one of the more powerful dukes in the realm, and one who is certainly more powerful than me, and Vexin is held by an "independent" count directly under the King of West Francia. Should he choose to do so, he can grant me the county at any time, but he hasn't, and I worry force may be necessary.

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As Duke, I hold special claims on Êvreux and Vexin, and so war would be possible, and usually inevitable. And to top it all off, I have a 500 man advantage over the Count of Vexin even on his best day. The only thing stopping me from war is his deep and worrying connections to the great Karling family, and his many, many alliances within the kingdom.

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Oh, but the King says I can't wage war. Another plan gone wrong, as usual.

I could try to faction. There's no active factions currently running, I could start one to force a lowering of crown authority... Except that the King wants to RAISE his authority even further, and that political battle could spell doom to my plans for Vexin.

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Not to mention everybody hates me.

But no, I cannot let this negativity stop me. If I cannot attack within the kingdom, I must seek lands outside. Like Brittany, for example. It would be a rough war, but with mercenaries, it could be done. I send my chancellor to fabricate claims on the county bordering us and wait.

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May of 922 brings with it a dim gleam of hope. the Duke of Flanders, the second most powerful duke in the land, has started a faction to lower crown authority.

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He is alone, and has 34% of the power needed to fight a fair war against the king. I would add somewhere around 22%, not enough to tip the scales greatly but not enough to flub over as useless...

But I don't want to attract my king's wrath, and I wait, and keep a close eye on the faction.

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But in the meantime, I need to do something about my stress, and so I prepare a pilgrimage to Spain to try to calm myself.

The time is well spent, I take up poetry and discover a zeal I never knew I had. I return to Normandy burning with a desire to work, and I do so by ordering upgrades to the stables of the capital, because our treasury has grown large enough to support it.

I personally oversee the planning and building of the upgrade, and I also find time to help my wife with her jobs in the castle, and I even begin to go about improving the overall finances of my demesne, and-

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Okay, I WANT to scream dramatically, but in the end this is not as much of a blindside as the last death. Payen was ill, depressed, and stressed, and if given another couple years would have been even more susceptible to death by something, so this wasn't unforseeable.

Still, that doesn't make it any less irritating.

We leave the de Ponthieus in status quo. We ruled for one year and seven months.
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Post Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:50 am

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

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I am Thakur Anavota of Bidar. My years are many, but they have made me wise, not weak. I am a diplomat par excellence, and while I can be envious, deceitful, and even craven at times, I am a trusting and friendly person who always finds a way to get along with people, for at least as long as I want to get along with them.

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Like all Indians, I am born into a caste, mine being the Kshatriya, the second-highest, the caste of kings and warriors.

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But reliance on the caste system is a shallow tool to rule, or so my religion states. I am a Jain of the Digambara sect, and my people believe in nonviolence over all, which makes ruling quite a tricky balance of faith and action. After all, you can't rule without bloodshed entirely.

Case in point: I am a lowly Thakur, and I want to be more. My liege, the Raja of Kalyani Chalukya Raj, is but a mere child, and should not yet hold the power that he does. Were I in a land with less strict laws, I might look to expanding against my Thakur neighbor, but the Maharaja of Rashtrakuta, the largest Jainist state in the world and the state I am a vassal of, has declared war between his vassals to be illegal under the law of Jainism. In addition, the Buddhist rajas outside of Rashtrakuta are all much more powerful than I, with the weakest (the Raja of Vengi Chalukya) fielding 1300 men to my paltry 381.

But thankfully there are ways around this circumstance.

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I have been hard at work recently planning a moral coup, and preparing letters to be sent out requesting aid in the creation of a claim on my liege's raja.

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A few greased palms later and I have a workable group of co-conspirators, although a few more would almost ensure success. Sadly, the bribes drained my treasury, and so I must wait until it fills back up to the point where more can be sent out.

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June of 925 brings with it sad and strange news, my eldest son and heir has died, but the details are nowhere to be found. The death was not particularly suspicious, but the cause of death was never released. Were my eldest more capable, I would be concerned, but the death has opened up an interesting door.

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The son now in line to inherit is already married to another ruler, the Thakarani of Vemulavada. When this son inherits my Thikana, his son will inherit both Thikana from his mother and father, which should put my family in a more comfortable situation, if all goes well.

December brings my only daughter's sixteenth birthday, but try as I might, I cannot find a marriage that offers an alliance; all possible suitors are outside the realm.

By 926 I am able to convince one more person to join the plot, and I am almost able to safely proceed with the plans.

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In May of the next year, rumors of a faction to lower the crown authority spring up, but my lowly position forbids me from meddling with the affairs of the maharaja at large. However, the idea is a palatable one, if I can just become a raja.

March of 928 sees the murder of my nephew and spymaster, but the murderer remains unknown. Without any other options, I am forced to hire my wife to act as spymaster. This is not optimal, as she was already a de facto advisor on her own, and making her into a legitimate advisor limits her contributions in other fields. It's a disappointing complication, but in the end it won't amount to too much.

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Because in June, my wife brings me frustrating news. Aside from the four sworn to the plot, nobody of power in the realm would be willing to join, even for a bribe. I feel tired of waiting, and decide to take my chances. The plot is not foolproof, and there is a very real possibility of it failing, but I have to try.

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Thankfully, the plot succeeded.

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And even better, the claim we created is inheritable, so my son can press it even if I die before using it.

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News of the newly-forged claim reaches my liege, and in an attempt to dissuade me from rash actions, he offers me a position as chancellor, which I heartily accept.

As chancellor, I am sent to the maharaja to help better relations, which gives me not-insignificant power.

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And my services are necessary, especially since the maharaja died soon after my arrival.

A year passes, I work with the new maharaja, trying to strike a balance between doing my job and weakening my liege, and the work wears me down.

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On the 18th of March, 929, I greet death with a small victory in grasp, and hope in my heart.

Finally, a jump where we were able to accomplish something. No land was taken during our 5 year, 10 month reign, but a very important claim was made. Sadly, it deteriorates upon succession, but so long as our heir does the right thing at the right time, he should be able to do something with our claim.

Worst case scenario, the Nanduri grow to a two-thikana minor after another generation, but even that is twice as powerful as we were, so hope is still alive.

Damn, does it feel good to have a semi-decent run.
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Post Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

I awake with a start on the morning of March 18th, briefly unsure of who or where I am. Quickly though, the fog is cleared.

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I am Count Folco Spinola of Ancona, a vassal of the Duke of Tuscany, himself a vassal under the King of Lotharingia.

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The kingdom in question has seen better days, though. Divided in two between the kings of Burgundy and East Francia, northern Lotharingia is in almost constant turmoil thanks in no part to the constant wars waged by their neighbors. Italian Lotharingia, however, is fairly peaceful and stable, and this is where I rule, a single county on the eastern edge of the peninsula, bordering two one-county-minors on my northern and western edge, one of which I am at work on, fabricating claims.

This is because, of all my neighbors, Ravenna is the weakest, at 945 men. We only have 645, but we have a substantial treasury due to the capital being as upgraded as it can get, and so money piles up.

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In addition, we have a nice swath of allies within the realm we can call on, so we are in no real danger unless the King himself comes down on us.

Sadly, our options would be so much more full if we weren't under Tuscany's boot. Spoletto lies to our south, and crown laws do not disallow internal wars, but I cannot attack internally unless I attack another vassal of Tuscany, none of whom I border and none of whom I'm particularly interested in.

I feel invigorated today, and so I begin plans for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I send off orders for my chancellor to quicken his pace, and once I return I begin the long waiting game.

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Two whole years pass, and a courier comes bearing a letter sealed with the Italian crest. Apparently the King had died, and his heir deemed it fit to take the Italian throne, as the Lotharingian one up north was being ripped apart. I'm sure the rabble will care as little as I do. It doesn't matter what colors or sigils he wears, a Karling is a Karling, and Europe is full of them.

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Case in point: the Duke of Verona has decided he wants the current king's heir, the King of East Francia, to ascend the throne. this will solidify East Francia's control over the region and perhaps mark a stalemate between the Karlings.

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Sensing his public opinion beginning to fail, the King makes the completely wise and sane decision to attempt to raise crown authority. I, of course, ignore it, as I quite like my autonomy, even if it's under a vassal duke.

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And then news comes of... uh... huh, deja vu. I swear I've seen this notice before. Oh well.

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The King is dead, long live the King. Not four months on the throne, and East Francia has inherited Italy. At least this time they had the decency to stamp the notice with the seal of the Karlings, and not of East Francia. Lotharingia proper remains outside of East Francia's domain, but they're still taking a beating.

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And almost immediately the Duke of Spoletto begins rallying for independence. Italy won't go down quietly, it seems.

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My heir and only son comes of age, and in a stroke of luck, the new King has a granddaughter free for betrothal. I swiftly sign my heir up and bask in the security the alliance to the King will net me.

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932 brings with it the first interesting development in a while. My liege decides to attack the Duke of Spoletto, perhaps sensing weakness from their recent cries for independence against the most powerful ruler west of the Byzantines.

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The battle itself went strangely. My liege, in a fit of madness, I must guess, decided to run 150 troops into the full army of Spoletto. Thankfully he reinforced before the battle was lost, but I can't imagine it wasn't without its casualties.

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The following year, Spoletto sent in their surrender.

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The Duke of Tuscany is quite the power at this point. Certainly the most powerful ruler in Italy, perhaps one of the most powerful under all of East Francia, my liege has risen quite a lot.

But that is not what I care about.

More to my liking is the new vassals the war brought in. The former duchy of Spoletto is now directly under Tuscany, which means it's fair game for me. The counties of Spoletto and Aprutium are incredibly weak, to boot, sporting 546 and 774 respectively to my 911. Spoletto in particular is hurting, as the count of Spoletto is the ex-duke who just lost the war, so he has literally no men right now.

I send the orders to fabricate a claim, and I begin the long, long waiting game once more.

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Except this time the game ended in about a month. What great news.
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Post Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:07 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

Immediately we press the claim and go to war.

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Needless to say we have every possible advantage.

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And soon we settle in for the siege, getting letters every so often with news from the castle. Not much happened during our stay, except that my cousin has a faction for him to ascend the duchy. I wish him the best, but sadly there are no factions available for me.

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May of 934 sees the castle fall, and during the final push we manage to imprison the count's wife, which nets us an even stronger position in the war.

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And by October, the surrender is inevitable. We've doubled in size and gained a few neighbors, including our liege in Firenze, who is still far too powerful to attack. Beyond him though is Sienna with 843 men and Orvieto with 809, both vassals of Tuscany.

However, our next target is Aprutium, who still has just under 800 men, making them the best available target. It's not like we're lacking in targets though, since as of now we can field a total of 1158 men!

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Something black clouds the skies of my ambition, though. My son and only male heir was murdered, and my spymaster cannot find enough evidence to even think of a suspect. This unnerves me, as it might mean someone wants me dead as well.

I should tread with caution.

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I SHOULD tread with caution, but the claim on Aprutium came through too quickly for me to not be excited. I'm stopped by my marshal though, who says we need time to reinforce our troops before taking them on. And so I wait, and in two years Spoletto is fully manned once more, and we march to war again!

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Soon after our war is declared, another flares up. Tuscany and another German duke has declared an open revolt against the King. It doesn't really affect us, except it technically changes our liege temporarily.

Settling in to a siege is murder on the brain, though, and so I take a small trip to a local inn to rest.

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Hmm, that's funny. This is almost like the events you get before you assassin-

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...

Motherfucker.


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Okay, it's the medieval times, assassinations were commonplace, there's no need to feel any sort of raging anger over this development. Let's calmly parse out what exactly happened.

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Oh, so Folco's son-in-law decided he wanted his wife to sit the throne of Ancona, and went about killing my son. Then he got impatient and had me killed as I was busy trying to make Ancona more powerful. That's absolutely wonderful.

Okay, post-turn analysis. We played as Count Folco for a total of 8 years and 10 months, and he died on January 15, 938. We began as a single-county vassal of Tuscany, and by the end we had doubled in size and were in the process of getting a third county, perhaps giving us the leverage to try to get a duchy of our own.

All in all, I'd say that was successful, but it would be so much more so if we weren't so rudely assassinated. :/
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Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Karma's Enormous Penis

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I am Raja Akadeva III of Chawda Raj. I am a Hindi man of the Kshatriya caste, fit to rule my raja. I'm humble, content, an avid experimenter on the battlefield, and most of all...

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In dire need of a miracle.

Leprosy is not like your normal everyday pox. Instead of a week of boils and then death, lepers like myself have to endure the loss of digits and limbs before the disease finally snuffs us out. Everybody turns their heads at the sight of their ruler.

Everybody but my wife, that is. She has thankfully borne me a male heir, who so far seems healthy, and she seems legitimately happy with me.

Would that I could say the same about my situation.

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We barely make up 10% of the Maharaja's power. There is even a thakur with more power than me somewhere in the realm, and worst of all the crown laws forbid internal war. I may be content with my position, but that is no excuse for such blatant militaristic weakness.

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Were we only independent, I could be a maharaja myself. I own a good deal of the maharaja of Gujarat, but it's owned by the largest power in India.

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Pratihara.

A realm as big as Pratihara obviously has its share of issues. People want many things, most of them pleas to change or grant control of rajas. One or two factions wish for Gujarat to become independent, but none of them want me to rule the new maharaja. So instead I throw my hand into a more long-term prospect.

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If the authority of the maharaja can be lowered, the restrictions on internal war will end, and expansion will be quick and easy, with the abundance of weak vassal rajas around me.

But these things take time, and so I must wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And strike up conversation with the court guru, who brings up some incredibly disturbing news.

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None of my land is Hindi! The entirety of Gujarat is Jainist.

I immediately set my council to fix this problem, so religious revolts are quelled.

In the meantime, I look inward for more personal guidance.

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I decide to take up the teachings of great Shiva, which will undoubtedly help my prowess with the sword. I'll need it. Training with my left hand has grown difficult ever since I lost my thumb.

Six months later, the head of my faction leaves or dies, and control defers to me.

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By 939 another raja joins my side, making us nearly powerful enough to possibly get what we want.

All I need to do is wait until a third raja comes forward and then we can-

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die of leprosy! That's exactly what I was going to say!

Sadly we had our balls in a vice before they fell off, and in our 2 years and 1 month we didn't manage to accomplish anything. Akadeva died on the 2nd of February, 940. Hopefully next time we won't get someone short an important limb.
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