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Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

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MesserTod

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Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:27 pm

Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

A couple of days ago I looked over my grandparent's genealogical research looking for some tidbits on the side of my father's family that we know most about, the Murray side. I mostly wanted to find information I know should have been available, but that I didn't record earlier for whatever reason.

Well, long story short, I found the information in the form of an official genealogical report by the Clan Murray itself, showing at what point my family's ancestors left Scottish lands for Ireland, and eventually for America. An interesting discovery from this was that I finally had some proof that the Murray side of my family was indeed descended from the actual Clan Murray of Scotland, and not an unaffiliated family trying to market off of the prestige of the more famous clan.

Naturally, I decided to do some research into where the clan came from, and I found a patriarch in the form of a man Wikipedia calls Freskin, who seems to be the progenitor of several Scottish clans of varying influence. What intrigued me the most was that Freskin lived in the 12th century, which puts him right in the middle of the Crusader Kings II timeline.

Now, the Murrays hit their peak in the early 1700s, but they did hold some land in the early days of the clan, so I thought that they should at least exist in CKII somewhere, right?

Turns out, yes. The Murray Clan IS in CKII... As a series of six somewhat randomly spawned characters who promptly die out long before the end of the game and never get to see their dynasty landed.

I immediately thought to myself that this was a crying shame, and that this had to be rectified immediately. Thankfully, the progenitor I talked about earlier, Freskin, does exist in-game as Freskin Murray, a courtier in France who winds up in the English county of Kent, and by the time Freskin comes of age he joins a group of mercenary shipmen, acting as their religious advisor. Obviously, this isn't quite what happened in reality, so I've decided to fix this obvious blunder on the part of Paradox Interactive.

As with any ambitious operation, a set of goals are necessary, and my goals are fairly simple, in CKII terms.

1) Freskin Murray must become landed
2) The Murray Clan must take their rightful place on their modern-day clan seat: in the County of Atholl
3) The clan must upgrade Atholl into a Duchy, without resorting to creating a de jure duchy
4) The clan must add the de jure Duchy of Moray to their demesne
5) The Murray Clan must hold the Kingdom of Scotland and ensure that only the descendants of Freskin hold the ducal level titles within the kingdom
6) The clan must win at least five wars against England

Freskin Murray is born in-game on 1 January 1130, and CKII ends at 1453, which means there is a window of about 323 in-game years to accomplish these tasks. This game will be played with all major DLC except for Sunset Invasion (which I feel is too ahistorical for a run like this) and Way of Life (which I simply do not have yet). Updates will be in the Paradox Forum AAR format, will not follow any set schedule, and will come as soon as I can get them done.

I hope you enjoy this (hopefully) entertaining adventure!

Last edited by MesserTod on Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:38 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:34 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Chapter 1: the Life and Times of Freskin Murray

Part 1: A Dutch Childhood

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This is Freskin Murray, fresh from the womb and dropped onto the doorstep of the poor Count of Ypren. The Count, for some reason, decided to take the child and raise it in his court, and thus begins the strange tale of Freskin Murray, First of His Name.

As an unlanded and randomly-spawned NPC, young Freskin holds no lands, cannot yet be played, and has no parents, siblings, or children, meaning that Freskin is, as of now, the first, last, and only member of his clan. That will have to be changed, as we do not want to lose immediately after landing him, but for now, our first order of business is preparing for his education.

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Normally, when deciding on a teacher, one would look for someone with good traits and a desirable specialty. In this case, however, we will have to make due with perusing the Claimants List for the Scottish Kingdom, since they are the only ones who would be willing to move all the way to France.

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Of the two claimants willing to move, I forgo the man with the better specialty in favor of Malcom Mac Alaxandair, who likes me better and who has the Diligent trait, which helps with culture conversion. The hope is that Malcolm would be able to make young Freskin Scottish, which would help in two ways: it would make Freskin like the Scots better, and it would make him like his liege (who is Dutch) less. This would facilitate Freskin's exodus to Scotland, where the King would grant him a nice plot of land, and then we could begin this game for real.

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While waiting for Malcolm to show up, a new Muslim Holy Order was formed. It's interesting, but not to me at this particular moment.

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Malcom arrives and I immediately grant him an honorary title, as I do not want this foreign Scotsman to kill me and give me a Game Over quite yet.

And then I sat down for the long wait until Freskin's 6th birthday...

A wait that was made a good deal more interesting by Religious Warring.

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Within a month of each other, the Muslims and Christians waged a dual-front holy war on each other, with the Muslims targeting Jerusalem and the Christians targeting the southern half of Spain. In reality, this would have ended in somewhat of a draw, with neither side really losing any lands, but in this instance, luck favored the Pope.

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A few months after Freskin's 4th birthday, the caliphate called off the attack on Jerusalem to concentrate their forces on Andalusia, which they were slowly losing bit by bit.

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They were still fighting as Freskin turned 6. For some reason, our Freskin had a slight lead on the Freskin of the regular game, since at this point in his life Freskin still had no points in anything, so our budding diplomat had a good basis to start on. I sent him to Malcolm for safe keeping and possibly Scottishization, and waited some more.

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The Holy Wars end with a vicious double blow to the Muslims. The Assassins' last holding gets taken over and with that the Muslims lose a Holy Order. Soon after Andalusia falls to a Portugese Duke, pushing the Muslims into a very awkward position on either side of the new Andalusian king and completing the Reconquista of Granada several centuries early.

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Freskin, however, continued to grow, picking up the Arbitrary trait by age 11...

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... then the Proud trait by 12...

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... And the Cynical trait by 14, all of them bad traits, and all without the culture conversion.

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And to top the roller coaster off, Freskin grows up to be a (still Dutch) Grey Eminence, which provides the highest possible bonus to Diplomacy. A normally amazing specialization to get for training a child with a mediocre marshal, but here the specialization comes with a couple of drawbacks, the biggest of which is that since Freskin is still Dutch the bonus Diplomacy will make his liege like him more, and thus will make pulling him out of France rather difficult.

On the plus side, our Freskin has better stats than the "real" Freskin did.

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Our Freskin has 9 more points than the canon-timeline Freskin, and while the canon Freskin had a good trait (Charitable) to balance out his bad trait, he also was Shy. Granted, his "bad trait" was Lustful, which would be great for baby-making, but the Grey Eminence balances that out with its own fertility modifier, not to mention it's a hell of a lot more useful than the middling Learning specialization canon Freskin got.

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Still though, it would take a god-king to make Freskin want to leave Ypren. The situation only worsens when the Count makes Freskin his Chancellor, further cementing Freskin's love for his liege, and vice versa.

But this is not the end, not by a long shot.

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There is still the marriage game to play. I opt to betroth Freskin to a young girl, still only 11 years old, because marrying him to any of the other eligible ladies would not help me get him to Scotland. Little Isobel, however, has a fun little edge on the other ladies:

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She is the heir to a barony under the Scottish king, meaning that when she marries Freskin and inherits her castle, Freskin gets pulled to Scotland without any say in the matter. The big downside to this is that Freskin now has to stay alive for another five years at least before he can be landed, and he won't be able to start making babies until then, either. However, since the Count likes him so much and he remained Dutch, there should be little problems in that regard.

We just have to facilitate his wife's introduction to courtly life...

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... by killing her brother and landing her. Then the second waiting game can begin!
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Post Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:11 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 2: A Regal Interlude

For the next few years, we have a small fling with the Scottish king.

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He's not important at all to this story, except that he holds the one most important thing we need right now: LAND

And not only that, the king has, through a little rebellion that he started before I dropped in, obtained exactly one county more than he is able to hold. What this means is that the king needs to slough off a county, which puts him in the perfect situation to help our little Freskin advance in the feudal ladder, because once Freskin gets his county, assuming said county isn't directly under a duchy the king owns, the king shouldn't care enough to want the land back once I hand the character back to the AI.

But that's getting slightly ahead of myself. We have a couple of roadblocks before we can talk about that.

First, we have the Boy Baron, little Frang. He needs to die so Freskin's wife-to-be can ascend to her seat of power safely. The King starts a little plot to kill the boy, and naturally many, MANY nobles want in on the action, because child rulers are quite unpopular with their older counterparts.

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In fact, not two weeks after the plot begins, some earl decides to act upon the urge to kill. With a plot power of over 200%, it should go perfectly.

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And go perfectly it did. The boy dies, and his sister ascends with the full support of the king. After that, it's a relatively short wait of a few years before the two lovebirds are wed, and a fresh new face appears at court.

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Welcome Baron Freskin of Annandale. Baron only in name, but the fact that he's in Scotland means that the king can legally give him land, which the king desperately needs to do at this point because his nobles are beginning to dislike his overreach.

So what can the king give Freskin? He lost a county to an uppity duke who threatened to revolt, which left him with four castles, but he can only manage three.

Lothian and Teviotdale are in the King's capital duchy, so the AI might not like losing them, and Gowrie, though not in the capital duchy, IS the capital of Scotland, and is part of a duchy the king owns.

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Innse Gall, however, is a much different story. The king doesn't own the duchy Innse Gall is a part of, and nor does he even have it under him as a vassal. Thus, there won't be any dukes eyeing Innse Gall as a part of their rightful land, and the king won't miss it as he needs to get rid of land anyway.

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And so, on April 26, 1191, the Murray Primogenitor were granted a seat of power in Scotland proper, the earldom of Innse Gall directly under the King himself.

And with that, we meet our first goal. Freskin Murray has become truly and properly landed.

It's not without it's share of problems, of course. Freskin is still Dutch, and he isn't in a wonderful position to start on the second goal of the campaign. But any position is a better one than the game decided to give the Murrays, so we will begin our fight proper soon.

The battle for Atholl begins here.
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Post Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:27 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 3: Establishing A Dynasty

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We are now FINALLY Freskin Murray, Earl of Innse Gall. Our plans can truly begin to take shape from here, but first a few things need to be sorted out.

First and foremost, we are the wrong culture, and that is a bit of a problem. Our liege, and all of his vassals, hate us more than usual because of this, and so it needs to change.

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Sadly, we're missing some prestige. In order to get some, we have two options, pretty much: war or wait, and considering we have the military power of a slightly pissed-off Maine Coon right now, we're stuck with one option.

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In addition, our Council is lackluster, which is a bit of an issue since our most important councilman right now, the Chancellor, is slightly below average, which will make forging claims slow at best.

Thankfully, our Steward is competent, so he'll be sent to work on tax collection while our chancellor goes to try his hand at document forging in Atholl.

With that, we turn our attention inward.

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We decide on a goal: to have a son. It's kind of an important goal right now, because without a son we will game over if we die, and that is quite a bad thing.

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To help along with that I set our focus to Family, which won't be as effective as it could be, but that 25% babymaking bonus will really help our dynastic establishment.

And that is our first real goal, to establish a dynasty. With a nice, wide dynasty, I can start to push forward easier, and soon things will fall into place.

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Until then, this is basically what I have to work with. We're the wrong culture, our only ally is our baroness wife, we're 37 prestige short of converting to a glorious Celtic culture, and our heir is our liege. It's not an enviable position.

In addition, our military is severely lacking at 450 out of a max of about 950. To put this in perspective, the two next-weakest vassals of the kings, Atholl and Argyll each hold about 1.3K apiece, and each have at least one ducal ally and one county ally. So, if we were to go to war with Argyll, the one with the stronger army but fewer allies, we would be about 1000, 1200 if our wife has a good army versus about 3K.

So, that being said, our first target is Atholl, for the simple reason that it's our next long-term goal, and it needs to become our capital. If need be we can build up a huge war chest and pull together a mercenary army to force a victory, but that will take time to build up the coffers.

Until then, we wait for a son, a claim, or gold to rain from the sky...

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After four months, our liege makes the executive decision to attack the Welsh, fighting for a claim that won't really net him anything of value except for an ally against the English. I consider putting together an army to try to farm a bit of prestige, but soon enoguh, the decision is made for me.

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Not even a month later, and the war ends. That's the trouble with claim wars, they're very easily invalidated.

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The next bit of news is that of the successful push against the jihadi armies. Jerusalem is safe, it seems.

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As 1151 ends, the King decides to celebrate the safety of the holy city by ordering the entire Jewish population to leave, supposedly for their promised land. It's a bit annoying, since that disables the decision to borrow from the Jewish merchants, which could have helped fund a sizable army.

The following year rolls through, and I learn of something a bit more close to home.

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I'm unsure exactly where I caught this, but apparently I've been living with Slow Fever for the past year and a half, at least. Thankfully, the Family focus also adds health, which may have saved poor Freskin's life, but regardless we're illness-free now.

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It takes a total of two years for us to build up the 37 prestige necessary to transition to Scottish culture, and convert we shall.

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Culture: Converted
Liege and fellow vassals: Still not pleased with us, but at least they won't want to kill us as badly.

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A year later, in February of 1154, our wife comes to us with news of pregnancy. Apparenly we're suspicious, but personally I don't care if it's the blacksmith's son, we NEED an heir.

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And so, on the 23rd of September, 1154, our first son, William, is born. This is monumental, because it allows for the seeds of dynasty and diplomacy to begin.

And so far it seems that that may be our only way to power. Our chancellor is still fruitlessly chipping away in Atholl, and our coffers are actually beginning to grow, so once that claim comes through, we'll be able to get things done!

But for now, this is a start.
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Post Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:46 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 4: Wars and Self-Improvement

A year passes by uneventfully, and the most interesting thing that happened was a small personal decision in the summer of '55

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This choice is somewhat interesting, as it forces me to choose between Cruel and Kind, the former gives Martial points at the cost of Diplomacy and the latter sacrifices Intrigue for Diplomacy. Seeing as poor Freskin barely knows which end of a sword is the dangerous end, I opt to try for Kind.

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And it worked! Look at that Diplomacy stat, we're one of the best mediators north of England!

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A couple months later, and we overshoot our babymaker a little bit. It's not 100% terrible, an extra son will offer us some buffer room if our current heir falls ill or somehow dies, but since we're under Gavelkind law, having multiple children splits the inheritance, and currently if we die, our land will go to William, but our wife's land will go to the newborn, dividing our dynasty.

However, since the only fix to that is murder, the best thing to do is just let the babies happen, and let the cards fall how they may.

Two more years pass, and just when I think nothing could possibly happen to make this game exciting, an actual war was declared!

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The Scottish king grows some testicles and decides he wants Katanes to be brought under it's rightful Scottish throne.

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And, despite dealing with a domestic revolt, the King delivers on his threat with an amazing force of more than 10K strong. Look well, for this is the army we will need to crush if we want Scotland, and it spends the next few years tearing up the north of Scotland, and decimating the armies of the Norwegians.

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While this war rages on, a couple of interesting evens occur, one of which involves our newborn. It seems as he grows into toddlerhood, he's having difficulty talking, and we have some options available to us, some more likely to result in a stutter than others.

Ultimately, we opt for this one, because if our youngest develops a stutter, it will work out very well for our heir, and make our succession that much easier.

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However, instead, our son becomes Diligent, which is an incredibly good trait to get, making this a very lukewarm situation...

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Later on, we get a similar decision, but a much, MUCH simpler one to make. Either we become Ambitious, or we become Humble, and while the church smiles upon the humble, there is really only one correct answer to this

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And our risk pays off in spades, let the world feel our power

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And feel it they shall. If we weren't the best in the land, we certainly are now, with this sky-high diplomacy score. This will make alliances that much easier once our two young boys grow up.

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Ummmmmm, okay our THREE young boys. This isn't as much of a problem as Alexander was, but it'll make acquiring land complicated.

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This game hates me, and my son is blind to the power he could be inheriting

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To help him along, I have Alexander taught by a Dutchman, of which there are plenty in my court. I'm not TRYING to culture convert him to his grandfather's culture, but there simply aren't any half-decent Scottish men in my court, and the opinion bonus is worth its weight in taxes, usually.

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Finally, after about five years of warfare, the war is won, and the mainlands are united under the rightful Scottish flag. Celebrations are underway, and our king has big plans.

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A grand tournament is held, and I personally enter into the fray, fighting for months and months for gold and glory.

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While I'm busy beating the shit out of other guys, my wife is busy with our first alliance machine daughter! It's a joyful time for all, except maybe for my wife, who's very likely tired of being in pain.

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We will not talk of this. End of story.

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A year passes, and I get this strange message calling us to war. This is incredibly strange because we don't have any allies to call us to war, and yet here this is, staring us in the face.

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The young duchess has opted to deny the king his revocation orders, and is trying to fight him off with an army 1/5 its size. The war is a mess and I do not want to get on the king's bad side by saying yes, but I want to know how the hell she got me as an ally.

I do some clicking around, and I stumble across my Dynasty page, and under it it claims that we own TWO counties, Innse Gall and Teviotdale.

This is incredibly confusing since we're basically the only Murray and our children aren't yet old enough to understand how genitals work, so we're the only landed ones, right?

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Yeah. Somewhere along the line, this occurred. I don't know how or where or who my wife had to suck off to get this position, but she's on our level now, and that comes with all the accoutrements that brings, including a tenuous alliance with her liege, the duchess at war.

I initially thought bad of this, since this WILL ensure our children split the land, and the inheritance will be more messy than ever.

BUT, there's a nice silver lining, because now we have an ally who has more troops than we do in our wife.

And what's more, Argyll's count has lost an ally in the Duchess who's bound to lose more than just a county in this war.

That, combined with the King claiming Atholl for his own, changes our plan a little. We drive for Argyll, and as soon as our claim is made (assuming it EVER gets made), we press it in war, and as soon as we have Argyll we create the Duchy of The Isles, and that will more than solve our inheritance issue, while also putting us at the same level as the rest of the King's vassals.

The game is afoot now, and there will be no mercy.
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Post Wed May 27, 2015 7:14 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 5: Return of the Norwegians

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The year passes and news comes from the recently-Christianized Iberian region. They've created a new holy order, supposedly from the fervor of the recent crusade a couple decades or so ago. The men are able, willing, and powerful, but will only assist in attacking those of other religions, and so they really won't be of much use to us for now.

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Because the other rulers are not idle, and in 1165, Norway returns to take Caithness from the king. The attack is well-timed on their part, because this civil war is taxing a good percentage of the land's manpower and attention, so it stands to reason that Norway could achieve a swift victory if they support their claim with enough manpower to overcome the king before the rebellion resolves itself.

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And half a year later we see just that. Norway manages to land a force slightly larger than the size of our liege's current levies on Caithness, and begin their siege.

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A month passes, and Norway's force doubles, while our king's stagnates in the rebel lands. Caithness falls, as does Ross' protective castles. The Norwegians were working on pillaging the land for all it's worth when in May of 1167 the rebellion is crushed and the king turns northward.

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The Scots are scattered, and outnumbered. In order to win this war, they would have to find a way to meet the Norwegians on the defensive in the highlands

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Which is exactly what happens. The king rallies to Moray and waits, and eventually the marauding Norsemen decide to meet them, because of course they have the numerical advantage.

Thankfully that advantage quickly melts in the highlands as the Scottish army swiftly breaks their advantage and begins soundly thrashing them.

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In a short month, the Norwegians are completely routed, and the reoccupation of Ross begins. In a short while the sieges will be undone and the war will be won, hopefully with a white peace, in order to minimize our liege's power.

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For some reason the good news sends my steward into a taxing frenzy, which ends in his untimely demise at the hands of an angry mob. I appoint a new steward and set him on the same task, hoping that he's more pitchfork-resilient.

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Aaaaaaand then all at once the world stops for a second. In January of 1168, the papacy has decided to declare another crusade, this time for the kingdom of Anatolia. As a Catholic ruler, I, and the rest of the Catholic realm are given an option to join the war against the Muslim infidel...

This will require some thought.

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First, some political information. The crusade was called against the Sultanate of Rum, the would-be usurper of the long-lived Byzantine Empire. Rum will likely be supported by their caliphate neighbor, which means a LOT of scary Muslim soldiers. In contrast, the Holy Roman Emperor and the other powerful landowners are likely to join in on the pope's side hoping for more land, because if the Christians win, the wargoal will go to whomever contributes the most.

What this means is if we somehow contribute the most to this war and we win, then suddenly Freskin Murray will find himself with a lot of Anatolian land.

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Specifically, the winner will receive any land owned by Rum that falls under this "Anatolia" tag. This currently means the winner will gain control of the entire eastern border of the Byzantine empire, which will net the winner a lot of desirable land, but also a border with two of the most powerful groups of people in the world, the Orthodox Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Caliphate, not to mention the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem.

And so I need to make a decision. If I choose to go to war, Freskin will get the Crusader modifier, which is a very good modifier that increases our relations with all Catholics, and we'll be put in the running for a European lottery to gain the Anatolian border. This will very likely cause us to upgrade to a duke, if not a king, but will involve putting Freskin in the line of fire against a very large and angry Muslim army.

On the other hand, if I choose to not go to war, Freskin keeps his health and troops, and if a ruler (like the King of Scotland or Count of Argyll) decides to go to the European frontier they will leave their lands pretty much undefended, making for a great opportunity to expand at the expense of our status as a good Christian.

So I beseech you all for help. What do you want to see us do?
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Post Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:24 pm

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 6: The Anatolian Crusade

The decision was clear, the only option was to offer our services in the name of the Lord.

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Thankfully, we were among the first to offer our men, and we waited for the pope's reply

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Thankfully and expectedly, the pope accepts our help, and we make haste to prepare ourselves.

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We inspect our fleet, and find it more than adequate to house our 1000 men. We shelve our personal fleet, and opt to use the bishop's fleet for the long trip to Anatolia. We call our men together, prep them for travel, and then all we have to do is set ourselves as the leader and go!

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Uhhhhh, yeah. About that...

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We are somehow predisposed. For some reason, the king has decided that we need to be helping the war effort against the Norwegians in Caithness...

Meaning that we can't go on this trip....

Unless we wait until this war is over to leave, which is exactly what we decide to do.

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A month into the wait, news comes to us of our heir stealing away food. We chastise him with a long-worded letter on the merits of temperance, and we learn that he has greatly improved, which is a wonderful thing.

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A half a year later, in October, we find ourselves ready to learn about the nuances of war, and we opt to become an inspiring leader, which will surely help us in the coming crusade.

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The year passes, and in March of 1170, our heir becomes diligent in his work as he nears adulthood. This is wonderful news, as it means our heir should rule well after we are gone.

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Finally, in the dead of summer, the war ends, and the Norwegians are pushed back into the islands of Orkney. We now ready our troops for real.

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We opt to man the left flank, leaving the center to our more knowledgable mayor. Before we leave a courtier comes to us with news from the king.

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The king, flush with victory, has decided the time is right to cement his authority further. This is bad for us, for if he cements it too much farther we will be unable to declare wars against other vassals of the king. As such, we opt to ignore this missive, hoping it fails, or at least increases the rebelliousness of the other vassals, leading to future revolts.

In the meantime, we have a long trip ahead of us.

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A very, very, VERY long trip. We set out on the 26th of July 1170, and try to keep a log of the journey.

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At the onset of the journey, the pope's men have grown considerably, although it belongs to many smaller vassals, and not to many kings. In fact, the only king-level vassal on the crusade is the King of Venice, who holds a considerable amount of funds, but few lands. In fact the leader with the most contribution is an irish minor with one county, who currently happens to hold 25% of the war contribution.

In other news, the enemy hasn't been backed by the caliphate, and is only really allied with the sultanate of Persia, meaning the war should go well, hopefully.

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Along the way, we learn that the other vassals like having their power stripped. Who knew...

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Also along the way, little William has grown up, and as such, we put him in charge of our flank while we take the center now. This will give the both of us the very good Crusader trait, meaning we should hold these good traits for a good century, at least.

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We marry our heir off to one of the princesses of Galloway (shown in green) which gives us two allies against Atholl in the future, which will hopefully be useful.

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Now, finally, at December 23, after five months at sea, we make it to Anatolia, and we don't see any troops on the southern front, giving us a clear but disturbing landing .

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Even after landing, we don't find many enemies, but we also can't siege this castle. However, we wait regardless and hope for the Crusade events to happen before moving north.

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Soon we feel the weight of the moment upon us, and the importance of the war drives us north towards the bulk of the battles.

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Thankfully we come upon the Crusader army, and join them. Strangely, the armies can't stay still, and keep swapping back and forth across the northern front.

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Thankfully this means that when we stop and camp on a province, we soon have control of the siege. However, the constantly shifting armies mean that we cannot always keep the siege up.

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Worse, we get attacked on our western flank. Thankfully, we reinforce the flank and win, but the attack unnerves the armies.

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Weirdly, this prompts the armies into this position, more or less surrounding us, but leaving us unable to siege down the provinces.

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While we wait for more reinforcements, news reaches us of our secondborn son, who was given a more martial training, and will inherit our wife's barony. The news makes us want to check up on our heir and see how he's doing.

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And he's actually doing quite well. He's humble, temperate, and diligent, and now a Crusader! He will certainly make for a wonderful ruler when he comes of age.

However, it soon becomes clear that we will need to move out eventually. We think that the bulk of the forces should converge on the capital, somewhat deep in the Byzantine lands, and we try to gain entrance to it.

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Sadly, we don't quite make it there without molestation. A force almost ten times our size come at us seeking easy blood

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And they certainly found it. They slaughtered our army and sent us with our tails firmly between our legs.

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Thankfully we got a small percentage of the war. Five percent won't get us any land, but it's better than nothing, and both we and our heir got the admirable Crusader trait, which will surely help in the future.

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Ahhh, home sweet home, where the fields are green, the colors are blue, and we are once again at war with the Norwegians. It's like we never even left.

Hang on a moment, it feels as though we forgot something...

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GODDAMN PISSSHITTING MOTHERFUCKER
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Post Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:33 am

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 7: When Will My Son Return From the War?

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I'm not going to lie, this is infuriating. I spent so much time and money shipping myself and my son overseas and somehow I manage to forget him in a damn prison in Persia, of all places. What's more, Persia is too far away for me to send a courier, so the only thing I can do is wait for him to send a ransom request.

Or worse, a notification of execution.

Until then, we need to do our best to not die, and hopefully we'll be able to get through this nervous time.

In the meantime, what has our liege gotten into now?

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He seems to have attacked Norway again, this time for the Isle of Mann.

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If he wins, he'll eliminate all Norwegian influence south of the Orkney Islands, add another island to his realm, and hopefully give us another route to expand.

He appears outnumbered, but Mann is notoriously difficult to attack, so it seems that our liege has the upper hand.

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... until he's forced off the island in September of 1172. It seems he's bitten off more than he can chew this time.

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The year passes, and it seems some asshole, the Duke of Albany, wants to seduce our wife. This gives us a rivalry with Albany, which does little but deny us a stable alliance with Albany, which is somewhat sad since we need as much support as possible once we get strong enough to attack Galloway.

Now, the year passes without much action at all. Norway tries to siege a few counties, but fails to bring enough men to do anything, and our liege's men soon vanish off the face of the mainland. Eventually I get curious and wonder why the warscore keeps growing in our liege's favor.

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Turns out, our liege has been busy. Instead of attacking Mann like a sensible king, he's decided to ignore the island and sail to Norway proper and siege THEM down. It's a bold strategy, since the longer Mann stays in Norwegian possession, the more the warscore will tick towards Norway. It's risky but it seems to be working for now.

Later on, in October, we get some news.

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The Crusade is over, the Muslims gave up, and Anatolia has been ceded to... Breizh? That's a funny name for a Crusader King.

First, let's see what our crusader has won!

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It turns out my initial estimates were off. Rum kept its southern and eastern borders with the Byzantines, not to mention their capital, and the new Anatolia got their northern Byzantine border, their counties on the Black Sea, and a lone county on the Byzantine AND Jerusalem borders. All in all, this war accounted for only a handful of provinces, probably barely enough to form a duchy, let alone a true kingdom, despite Anatolia being a kingdom technically.

If we had won, we probably would have had more troubles than would be worth it, what with the vast majority of our lands being of the wrong culture and religion, and too far away to effectively defend. Furthermore, we would have automatically split from Scotland, making our progress much much harder. In all likelihood we would have released Anatolia as a free state, probably under the control of one of our lesser sons, and swiftly rejoined Scotland before the king declares a war for Innse Gall.

So perhaps it's best that Anatolia went to this mysterious Breizh. Now where the hell is this country?

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They're in France. Breizh is the Gaelic name for Brittany. And now they've roughly doubled in size, with half their lands being on the other side of the world, so it's uncertain if France will be able to take them easily, what with England breathing down their necks and a weird double Aquitaine battling for supremacy over what used to be France's southern region.

It's a strange time in the French region.

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The Iberians, in celebration of the victory, founded a new holy order. Largely useless to us, they're probably going to be used mostly in the Reconquista.

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A year passes again, with the only news being that I'm now scared of swords. Craven is a terrible trait to have, but it'll keep my liege from wanting me on the battlefield, so in the end, it's probably worth it in terms of my health.

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In addition, our secondborn son (in line to inherit a barony) comes of age. This one is much less good than our brilliant and imprisoned son, so we take the news with only minor celebrations.

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What's taken with much more curiosity and interest is my grandson, who William flatteringly named after me.

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It's time for him to be educated, and it's only fitting that I try to recreate the rousing success I had with William.

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And sooner rather than later, I get my chance. A diligent heir-to-be is a wonderful beginning to what should hopefully be a wonderful continuation of the Murray line.

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The good times continue with a chance to gain prestige. Without the possibility of war, prestige will be difficult to come by, so this small bit is helpful.

And, finally, on the final evening of the year 1177, a courier comes with news.

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The Sultan has finally accepted the ransom! Our prodigal son returns!

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What's more, he returns unharmed and greater than ever, with the True Christian Knight modifier. Our son William has become a man worthy of envy; no mortal sins, brave, and with three of the seven virtues, he has become the church's metaphorical wet dream, and he shall lead our county with grace.

And, we hope, the entire country alongside.
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Post Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:12 am

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 8: William Works

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Not a month after his return, William asks to be made Chancellor. I consider it and weigh my options.

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My current Chancellor has 6 points of Diplomacy and has done jack-all for me in three decades.

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Whereas William has 17 Diplomacy, will gain another point due to his "Become Chancellor" goal, and is basically our savior.

Yeah there's no way my son isn't going to be on my council.

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And thank god, because with almost 18% yearly chance to fabricate claims, we ACTUALLY have a shot at gaining land before Freskin dies of old age.

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Strangely, I'm given the same opportunity with my liege not a month later. Hopefully this means good tidings ahead.

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In July of 1178, our daughter comes of age, and we use her for a tentative alliance with the Duke of Lothian.

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And of course our grandson is Proud, just look at his fucking dad! He has every reason to be proud.

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Exactly a year later (after nothing of note occurred) he also shows signs of shyness. As a future ruler, this is unacceptable, and I push him to become Gregarious, which will help him make friends. Little Freskin will grow up wonderfully!

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But, on the second of January, 1180, I take a look in the mirror and realize that age has begun to catch up with our glorious leader. He's now inherited his Old Man Face, meaning that his time is waning and that death and subsequent succession is imminent.

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I use what time we have left to allow little Freskin to become more kind, hopefully making him more suitable a son for William.

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But age has its toll. My ambition is dying, I believe myself to have reached my peak. this county shall be my grave, and it will be up to my son to further our dynasty to other lands. Now I shall lie down and allow myself the bliss of old age...

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Oh.

Oh?

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Yeah screw roleplay our ambition is only just now beginning.

Next time: The War for Argyll
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Post Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:37 am

Re: Tod Plays CKII 2: Meddling With the Murrays

Part 9: Pre-War Factioning

Before we go to war, we look at a lot of screens, the most important of which is this:

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The Diplomatic screen, which shows us our casus belli and allies. This reminds us that we have the Dukes of Galloway and Lothian, the Count of Fife, and our wife as allies.

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In contrast, Atholl has the Earl of Caithness, Galloway's vassals, and a handful of other earls as allies.

In addition, he outnumbers us in personal levies 1700 to 1100, but we have the advantage in that everyone likes us better than him, if only slightly.

Well then, enough waiting, we have nothing stopping us from war!

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.....

Except for the fucking crown laws.

I always forget about the crown laws...

Well, we have something we can do about this, at least.

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The faction system works like this: We can, at any point, attempt to petition our liege (the king) to lower crown authority, allowing for internal wars. The liege can, if he so chooses, deny our requests, which causes a civil war. The vast majority of the time, this is what will end up happening.

So, when our relative strength goes over 100%, then we will be stronger than our liege, and war might be averted due to strength.

Until then, we must wait...

And with waiting comes minor events!

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In March of 1182, our grandson becomes Just, a wonderful trait for rulers.

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Almost 5 months later, our heir wants to go out on a date duel. We deny him the chance for glory and keep our inheritance perfect.

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In January of the following year, I remember that we have a Spymaster, who can actually affect factions! We send him to work on the Duke of Lothian, the largest vassal who likes the king the least.

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And of course our crappy Steward dies. We put another one on the council and throw him at the masses too, hoping for that tithe.

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And in July we get our first backer, Galloway. Together, we're almost strong enough, and if we had just a little bit more to tip us to 100% we could send the request safely, since all of our liege's troops are off in Norway.

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And in the turn of 1184, an initially horrible bit of news arrives. A Jihad for Jerusalem?! That could wreck the Christian world! We need to arm up, get our men ready, and start storing our shi- hold on, that's the SHIA Caliphate.

The big guys are all Sunni. Where's the Shia Caliph?

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There. That's the Shia Caliph. The ONLY Shia state in the map...

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So yeah, Fatimids vs. Jerusalem. Let's get ready to rumble.

And by that, I mean let's get ready to see if Jerusalem can hold off a single nation, because we're sure as hell not going to help.

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Bah. It takes our liege until March of 1184 to reprimand us, and since we're Craven and Cynical, we can't say no.

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The dream isn't dead, but Galloway has a lot to make up. We'll keep an eye on them, and spend our time trying to make others hate the king.

We'll have a revolt on our hands if it kills us

And knowing this game, it might.
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