Before the commercial break, incompetent King Fethee was looking avariciously at the lands of his neighbors after the breakup of the mighty Abassid Empire.
As mentioned, Fethee kind of sucks. A so-so stat is around 10; 3 martial and 5 stewardship is pretty bad. He’s also slothful, greedy, and somehow both deceitful and trusting. And he murdered kin at some point and is thus universally reviled.
Possibly for this reason, many of his most powerful vassals are now in prison. Actually executing people is seen as tyrannical, so my preferred strategy is to throw them in the oubliette and hope they die of their own accord, which they usually do.
First step is to clean up my backfield, so I declare a holy war for Asosa. This turns out to be a somewhat bad move, as the ruler there holds territory elsewhere, and is able to convince neighboring states to THAT territory to come join the war. Oops. (This is the problem with holy wars — the immediate neighbors of your target tend to join in if they’re the same religion.)
I’m forced to summon my vassals and hire mercenaries to fight the war. (For those who don’t play: you have your personal troops, who cost money, mercenaries, who cost a lot of money, and vassal troops, which are free but cause a steady drop in vassal opinion of you the longer they’re raised, unless you’re defending the realm against infidels. Generally I prefer to fight wars with personal troops alone, if I can help it, and save vassal troops for emergencies.)
In the meantime, Jahzara is apparently the spawn of Satan. What do you think, Rabbi?
Oh good, glad to know that’s over and done with. Definitely won’t come back to haunt me.
Unexplained servants is a perfectly normal thing right?
Fethee’s vassals are not fond of him. The Duke of Berbera in particular is mad because I may have imprisoned one of his sons, who to be fair did rise in revolt. They get along because they’re both drunkards though!
This war turns out to be way longer and more expensive then it ought to be, and I actually come close to losing. Fortunately, having a fleet on the Red Sea lets me switch my armies between Semien and enemy territory quickly.
My court doctors continue their reign of terror. Although the toad thing actually seems to work.
Meanwhile Jahzara, the perfectly normal child, is killing her sisters in their dreams. Nothing to worry about, right rabbi? Most girls go through that phase I’m sure.
The war comes down to a final battle in which I’m pretty badly outnumbered. Usually this is the same as losing — CK2 has a highly complex combat system with different troop types, etc, but 99% of the time the result is “the guy with more soldiers wins”. In this case, I managed to stack the “mountainous terrain” defense bonus with the “defending river crossing” bonus and juuuuust pull out a win against a larger force. (Lucky!)
The aforementioned Duke of Berbera has become a Miaphysite, so I’m forced to declare war to strip him of his titles. But King Fethee has other things on his mind.
Somehow this costs only one piety?
I guess she got what she was looking for.
I’m still finishing with Berbera when one of the Muslim nations to the north declares a holy war for Oman. Busy busy.
Aaaand Jahzara continues her reign of terror. Fortunately, because I’m still under seniority succession, my immediate family is not all that important, but this is still disturbing! The rabbis still insist nothing is wrong.
With Berbera finally in prison where he belongs, I can devote my time to crushing the Abd Al-Qays attack. Winning this war gives me a nice chunk of gold as reparation payment, even if it doesn’t grant any territory.
Peace again, finally! But not for long. That isolated county in the middle of my territory needs to be mine.
Okay, rabbi, I’m convinced there’s something wrong here. I’m running out of kids.
I am surrounded by nonsense!
Given King Fethee’s dissolute lifestyle, this is hardly a surprise, but I choose to blame Jahzara instead of my drinking habit.
It worked for cancer, shouldn’t it work for gout?
Apparently not. Long live King Tengene II!
King Tengene II is a bit better than King Fethee at warring, but even worse at stewardship. His chancellor having forged a claim on Matamma, the wayward province, he declares war to get it.
In the meantime, he searches for a physician. This one seems a trustworthy sort!
Irritatingly, a failed rebellion cancels my war and forces me to begin again. Fortunately the Shehzadids are pretty weak, and since I have a (fake) claim instead of a holy war other countries won’t come help them.
Somewhere along the way, King Tengene lost his sense of justice.
Jahzara is finally of age! I can get her out of the house.
Except HOLY CRAP, look at those stats!! She’s literally the best everything in the kingdom, including by far the best general. Notably, she has the hereditary “genius” trait, possibly the best in the game. If I could, I’d make her king immediately, but under my current laws women can only be Spymaster. And I can’t make her spymaster (even if she’d be awesome at it) because she hates me, and having a spymaster that hates you is somewhat suicidal.
As a compromise, I marry her to a younger member of my dynasty, hoping to breed some sons with good traits.
Dum de dum, not suspicious at all.
Okay, now she’s trying to kill me in a more conventional manner, inasmuch as manure bombs are conventional. Unfortunately, she’s got to go. Guards!
Typical. (Now I want to write stories about the possessed hyper-competent demonspawn’s adventures in medieval India.)
The war for Matamma ends satisfactorily. At peace once more, it’s time to address an ongoing problems: succession law. The default early succession, gavelkind, is pretty bad — titles are split up among heirs, leading to a fractured demense. I changed to seniority as soon as possible, which is better — the oldest dynasty member inherits, meaning titles stay together. But it has some disadvantages. You get new kings without getting to manage their upbringing, so they often have bad stats. You also get a lot of assassinations, since everyone in the dynasty is in the line of succession.
What I’d like to do is switch to primogeniture, where the oldest son gets everything. Now that my dynasty is big enough that there are enough branches to make sure it won’t die out entirely, this will keep things stable. But switching is annoying — I’ve finally gotten the legal development to allow it (Late Feudal Administration) but I need to reign for ten years, have all my vassals at peace, and most importantly have them all like me. This is tough.
For starters, some of them are in prison, and they’re obvious not happy. I quickly have the Duke of Wag murdered. Eremias, in spite of being in the oubliette for 26 years, is still alive, and popular enough that nobody wants to help murder him! Boo. I have him tortured to speed him along his way.
Having him tortured didn’t make him like me, but he did finally die. I get to work on my other vassals via more conventional means, like bribery.
The wider world is still a mess, although the Sadiqid Empire is becoming quite powerful. Francia also seems to be working its way into Spain.
Finally, after nearly ten years of peace and prosperity, everyone likes me enough! From now on Tengene II’s sons, grandsons, etc will inherit the throne. Hopefully this will cut down on assassinations!
To celebrate, I declare holy war on Alodia, to the west of Semien.
They are quickly subdued, and the Fadlids are next in line. Most of the nearby Muslim countries are too distracted to join in the fighting.
I swear it runs in the family!
Meanwhile, in France…
Being possessed was apparently not kind to Tengene’s health. Long live King Mamo, his son!
Mamo caught the flu but shockingly managed to survive the attentions of his doctors. The war concludes, and Semien is bigger than ever. The Yusufids are next, clearly, and then things will get trickier as we get close to the larger Muslim states and fight our way toward the mouth of the Nile.
Current Year: 974 AD. Current Status: Not Yet Possessed.