Now that the pesky Black Death is over with, back to warring!
Emperor Geteye The Holy: Craven, Cynical, Cannibal.
You can see the plague has not been kind. The tombstones represent counties that are still partly depopulated.
The King of Egypt is plotting against us! I actually don't care much, except that it gives me an excuse to arrest him and take his title, so I can turn Egypt into a viceroyalty.
He rebels, as expected, but it's a pretty short war.
Once that's over with, I get ready for more expansion. The plague has left me a little light militarily, but the same is true of everyone else.
Last time, our attempt to use a captive heir to press a claim on the remnants of the Sulamid sultanate was thwarted by the unfortunate death of the claimant, and then interrupted by the apocalypse. However, he has a surviving son, Ezana, who I have made Count of Mecca. Ezana inherited his father's claim, and he's a member of my dynasty, so we definitely want him on that throne.
While I'm fighting the Sulamids and their various allies, the Kohen Gadol (high priest) declares a holy war against ... Rajputana? Much as I'm fascinated by the idea of a Jewish crusade for India, I kind of wish he'd focus on targets slightly closer to hand...
As is par for the course for my Emperors, Geteye dies mid-war. He apparently wanted to tax his people into space? Long Live Emperor Tekle!
Emperor Tekle is dipomatic and learned, but not very good in martial and stewardship. He's devoted himself to seducing women, which is not the most useful thing to be doing as he already has three sons. I redirect his energies into rulership instead, which helps a little.
The vassals are plotting against the new emperor as usual. Duke Tefre the Chaste of Ascalon is particularly angry, both because he's a rival and because Emperor Tekle slept with his wife. (Dude, what did you expect, being "the Chaste"? Women have needs!) Fortunately, there'a a wealth of blackmail material on him.
They have pills for that now, I think.
The war against the Sulamids is a success, and Ezana is installed as King of Syria, subservient to the Emperor. That's very convenient, since taking their remaining territory would otherwise have meant two or three more wars. I do like a neat empire.
I've finally gotten my Tolerance technology up to level 6, which allows me to legally give women full equality. The best part of this is that women can now lead armies -- I can always use more talent in that area!
I would like to switch to Absolute Cognatic succession, which means that men and women are totally equal in succession rights. (As opposed to Agnatic-Cognatic, where women inherit only if there are no male heirs.) This is possible now that I have Full Status of Women, but requires a relatively peaceful realm, so it may be a while.
Also, it may cause problems for me. The trouble is that even with full equality, the default marriage type still assigns children to the father's dynasty. Characters outside my control could therefore easily end up marrying a potential heir in a way that would cause her to have non-dynastic children. If I manage to make this happen, I'm going to have to keep a close eye on my granddaughters marriages, probably by betrothing them early. (You can do matrilineal marriage, but the AI tends not to.)
At this point, the holy war for Rajputana is not going terribly well. A bunch of my vassals have joined up, but they're not really accomplishing much. I decide what the hell, I'll go help out, and throw my hat in the ring.
Where the heck are we going again? It's that orange kingdom labeled Devid. Not that far away, actually...
Emperor Tekle's eldest son Gondar has come of age. He's not terrible so far. I'll get him married and having children as soon as his bride is old enough.
Having assembled an army and a fleet, I set out for India! Most of the allied (blue) armies have decided they would rather walk.
Upon landing, the natives seem somewhat hostile, although the Kohen Gadol's army is busy laying siege to something.
We win a few victories on unfamiliar territory, but there's a lot of Indians joining in the war, and my army is a bit worn down.
I lose a big battle, though allied contingents are starting to arrive, and I debating whether it's worth calling vassal troops up to try to salvage this war. I mean, I would like an Indian kingdom, but I don't need one...
Hilariously, with Full Status of Women, my best choice for a new commander is Princess Negasi the Unfaithful, aka my father's oldest daughter, whose children he murdered and ate. I guess she's channeled her anger productively!
Before I can commit more troops to India, my vassals come knocking. Why does this always happen when I'm on vacation?
As rebellions go, this is a pretty bad one. My army gets back on its boats and hurries home, and I raise loyal vassal and mercenary troops.
In my absence, the war in India starts to go sour, as allied armies get clobbered by the resurgent Indians. It's so hard to find good help these days.
On the plus side, I smash the main rebel armies in relatively short order and lay siege to their capital.
In your face, Duke Teruworq II the Fat! Actually, he looks pretty slender to be honest. The usual confiscation of titles and redistribution ensues.
Emperor Tekle has become a drunkard, possibly because he's not interested in women anymore. He has still managed to sire three additional children, though!
The war in India is now going very poorly, and I decide it's not worth trying to rescue. *sniff* I didn't really want an elephant anyway.
Eventually the Kohen Gadol throws in the towel. Maybe next time.
Once again, the Emperor demonstrates his maturity.
Maybe this incident should inspire you to make some lifestyle changes?
With my threat fallen off a bit, I launch a quick holy war and seize the center of the Arabian peninsula.
All this warring has really run down the treasury, so Emperor Tekle decides he wants a period of peace and prosperity. This last for about five minutes until I see a chance to grab some more land. Can you be like ... an alcoholic, but for other people's land? (I think that's just called "king", honestly.)
Whatever his vice is, Emperor Tekle isn't feeling good about it.
I mean, that does sound like something Duke Bworo the Usurper would do. He's always usurpin'.
Jesus Christ! And his buddies. Are coming to take my land. Again.
Pope War III: Pope With a Vengeance.
Poor Emperor Tekle cannot even with this and promptly dies. Long live Emperor Gondar!
Emperor Gondar's not too bad, although he could use better stewardship and he's managed to have no children in the past twelve years. That's not encouraging. He has five brothers, though, so I'm not in danger if he dies young.
A cheese-eating eunuch, eh? Sign me up!
Without a bunch of other wars to distract me, my armies are able to meet the crusaders at the shoreline and beat the crap out of them, so the war goes pretty well.
Third time: not the charm.
Fuckin' ... vassals, man. Why do I even have vassals?
Wait. His name is Geteye, and he only has one eye? Bwahaha.
General Zauditu and Princess Kess now top the list of the most martial Jews in Israel.
The rebellion goes about as well as such things usually do. Sorry, Geteye, maybe you'll find your eye in the dungeon!
I change up the structure of the realm a little bit, since I'm over the vassal limit and it's causing problems. I strip the duchies from a bunch of the rebellious dukes and assign them to other dukes, then put the former dukes as subordinates of the new ones. It's annoying to have to concentrate power like that, but it makes them easier to manage.
Now that the Indian distraction is out of the way and the inevitable revolt is over with, we're back to conquering Arabia. Holy war for Baghdad! The Kufahyids are the only really serious Sunni power left.
Also, the Byzantines have made serious inroads into Persia. It's increasingly looking like I'm going to have to fight them at some point, which I'm not looking forward to -- that'll be tough.
Emperor Gondar finally manages to have a kid! It's a girl, but since she's the only one she's first in line of succession. Will we end up with our first Empress?
Nobody seems to want to help the Kufahyids in their war, so it goes pretty well for me.
Victory! But I will never be satisfied.
You're next, Emir Ghalib. On to Oman!
M ... maybe don't beat rabid dogs in the yard? Don't you have people for that?
Seriously, what is it with these Emperors and little kids?
More allies turn out for this war, but it's not enough. I'm trying to figure out how to take over the remaining land in the fewest possible wars.
Meanwhile, overseas, France is still huge, Poland is growing, and Ireland is taking over England.
The Byzantine Emperor is powerful, with 66,000 troops.
But at this point, Emperor Gondar the Holy is not far behind, with nearly 60,000. He also has managed to have four daughters.
Unfortunately, one of them managed to catch the plague. Dammit, Kayla, the Black Death is so last century! Where's that eunuch?
She died almost immediately. Oh, well.
I'm actually getting close to everyone liking me enough to change the succession laws, though peace in the kingdom is still going to be tough. Also, one of the rebellious nobles is hanging on in prison, and naturally hates me. I decide to have him quietly murdered.
Finally, Judaism is getting quite popular! Winning lots of holy wars helps with that. My court rabbi goes from county to county converting people, while I wait out the truces to finish off the remnants of the Arabian Empire. After that, a confrontation with the Byzantines seems inevitable...
Current Year: 1155 AD. Current Status: Conquest-aholic?