Last time, the death of mad Emperor Rikulfr had left seven-year-old Grima on the throne. Regencies are always tricky.
Isn’t she a little young to be making this decision? Eh. Burn the witch!
Burning people alive is apparently an okay call for a seven-year-old to make, but imprisoning Catholics requires council approval. Bah.
Fortunately some Catholics are less liked than others.
This leads to an empire-wide Catholic rebellion, more or less as intended. Always good to stomp on the vassals to keep them in line. Some peasants throw in for good measure.
Honestly, just burn all the witches. You don’t even have to ask.
Also, Ale apparently is gender-fluid? At least in terms of his mode of address.
The rebellion is pretty short-lived, and I march in and burn down their capital.
Don’t worry, little peasants, I’ll be sure to turn up and, um, hear your grievances.
At 13, Grima has cynical and kinslayer, and her stats aren’t great. Fortunately, most of her angry vassals are in prison.
The empire is looking better than ever, though! My vassals have really made solid progress in the north, with the independent Russian states rapidly being squeezed between me and the Mongols.
Genghis Khan is dead, and while the new Khan is no match for him in terms of military skill, the empire is still powerful.
So I can either be gay, or into my cousin.
Gay it is! Ironically, “Lustful” and “Homosexual” cancel one another out in terms of their effect on your fertility.
You know what they say, 27th time’s the charm!
Finally, Grima’s regency ends.
Her stats are highly underwhelming, unfortunately. We’ve got some studying to do.
She marries Steinn, commander of the Varangian Guard, an excellent steward and a decent warrior. That’ll help some.
Now that I don’t have to worry about my council, I can strip the lands from my Catholic vassals and redistribute them to proper Germans. Generally when I do this, I search for people who are a) part of my dynasty and b) have a high opinion of me. Since Grima is a lesbian, and thus gets +30 attraction from other lesbians, this sorts them all to the top. So my new vassal rulers are basically the Lesbian Brigade.
Old, blind doctor Ale actually provides sensible remedies.
Francia still has this weird island of territory in the middle of my empire. Honestly, that’s just untidy. So we’re going to have to take care of it with a Great Holy War. This means fighting the entire world, more or less, but I’m used to that by now.
Fortunately, my vassals are eager to join in the fun!
My husband Steinn sadly dies, but I manage to trade up to a much superior model.
The combined forces of Christendom turn up and get a solid kicking.
The young new Emperor of Francia is willing to surrender at 86%, which is unusual. Still, I’ll take it!
There, much cleaner.
Of course, now I need new vassals to hold all this land for me. Summon the Lesbian Brigade!
At 18, Grima is already “the Glorious”, in spite of her stat-line. Most of her vassals are unhappy, though.
More like, “Sigh, husband, you have performed your boring but vital function.”
England is almost entirely free of Catholics and back on the path to Valhalla.
On the other side of the empire, though, the Queen of Pomerania is Catholic and refuses to recant. Surprisingly, she meekly assents to be stripping her of all titles, rather than starting a war about it.
Let there be a new, gayer queen!
“Guys, I know the last 27 times ended up with heads on spikes, but sooner or later she has to run out of spikes, am I right?”
One of my vassals apparently had his wife burned at the stake. Harsh.
But sure, he can marry my sister. I mean, he needs a new wife, right? And she never seemed flammable.
Sadly, he kills himself not long afterward.
My vassals are busily shredding the remains of Francia, now that I’ve cut them down to size.
I was a little worried about drawing a Crusade, but apparently taking back minor Italian islands is more important than France. Or possibly the Pope is scared of me now?
Speaking of France. The King of France hates me and threatens to rebel. I can’t lock him up, because he hasn’t done anything, but I can try to kill him, and there are so many people willing to help. The assassins are standing in line.
Uh-oh. They’ve finally decided to take a shot at me.
On the plus side, they’re no longer quite the monsters they once were. The Mongols spawn at the eastern edge of the map with a stack of 100k+ troops, which gradually gets worn down through their conquests. Their ordinary troops are much less formidable. So this is, at least, doable.
Here’s the doomstack. The biggest difficulty (for me) is that the Mongol event troops are immune to attrition, so they never have supply issues. This is a problem, since we’re fighting in the east, where supplies are pretty scarce. While I have more troops then they do, if I try to concentrate them in one place they’ll starve to death. The Mongols don’t have this issue, so they don’t have to split their forces.
Meanwhile, the King of France finds out about my plot to kill him (possibly because I told literally everyone) and goes into hiding, which makes it trickier.
To make matters worse in the Mongol war, the fortifications in the east pretty much suck, which means the Mongols can take almost everything by storm. So the war gets way down in the negative side for me very quickly, and I have to do some fancy footwork to avoid losing outright. I finally lure the main Mongol army north, while my army lives aboard ship in Lake Ladoga (which does not require supplies). The battle is tight, but I pull it out.
Grima doesn’t let it get in the way of a sapphic wilderness tryst or two, though.
Yes, guys, this is exactly the time.
Two can play at the game of assaulting castles, and I get the warscore back to neutral by rapidly seizing a bunch of Mongol territory around the lake.
When they come back north, I’m ready for them. One army confronts the horde while another rapidly frees the castles they took, pushing my score back up.
Finally. This is one of the hardest wars I’ve had to fight, due to the supply weirdness, in spite of my having an overall advantage. It would have been impossible if I hadn’t been able to stash armies aboard fleets.
However, the result is that I’ve broken Mongol power for good. With the last of their spawned troops mostly slaughtered, they’re reduced to relying on their conquered territory for soldiers, which isn’t much of a threat.
Oh, yeah. These guys.
Since King Oddr is in hiding, I turn to another dissatisfied king, who is also hated by all and sundry. We take him by surprise, so he goes down easy.
Back to trying to kill Oddr. It should be easy, with this much help! Just dogpile him, guys!
At 28, Grima is improving. She’s picked up hunter, humble, and diligent, and her martial and stewardship have both reach at least average levels. She has one daughter so far, and I’d prefer a few more.
She also brought one of the teenage girls she keeps seducing back to court.
With the Mongol threat dealt with, it’s time to settle Brittany, which is still owned by Spain. This involves basically the entire world going to war with me, due to my high threat, but I should be able to rush Brittany down before anyone can really do anything about it.
And we may be able to pry King Oddr out of his spider-hole! Life is good.
Through copious expenditure of lives, Brittany’s castles fall before any enemy armies get close enough to do anything about it, and Spain concedes the point.
Unfortunately, all my attempts to kill Oddr have come to naught. Since he’s plotting against me, I declare him an enemy of the state instead, and get ready to fight the inevitable rebellion.
While that’s a charming tactic, we’re already at war with him. So it’s a little late.
A gang of vassals decide to throw their hats into the ring as well. Because she’s kinslayer and lesbian, Grima is consistently pretty unpopular.
Fortunately, Scandinavia proper and much of England remain loyal, so I have plenty of troops to work with.
I smash the rebels in the east and lay siege to Denmark.
Pretty soon, Oddr once again stands alone.
But not for long.
Grima decides to try for five years of peace, to let the realm recover a little bit.
Pretty sure Grima’s familiar with the whole “attraction for another woman” thing. Sword of Odin sounds pretty good, though…
Hmm. I suppose that’s always a risk.
Religion-wise, things are coming along! Catholicism is being steadily pushed back, along with the Orthodoxy the French Emperors brought over and the Sunnis from Spain.
Again, Þora? Well, if you insist…
Uhoh. But, wait, no. That’s not how that works.
The capital gets a drilling ground! This is actually a spectacular bonus, since I have four castles there and it generates over ten thousand troops.
On one of her viking expeditions (which still count as “peace”) Grima gets a sweet epic drop!
Weirdly, the Bashah of Spain has become a Catholic!
And the Mongol Khan has become Orthodox. What’s going on?
At 41 Grima is doing better. She’s got four children, and has picked up Viking, Zealous, and Kind. She’s under a lot of stress, though.
I’ll be friends with anyone named Vesei Priest-Hater!
Honestly, I don’t begrudge my husband an affair or two.
But she’s apparently determined to win him back.
My eldest daughter dies in childbirth. Going to check on her kids, I notice that my dynasty has gotten kind of enormous. The family tree is pretty hard to make sense of now!
Five years! Whew. Time for some wars.
I consider taking Burgundy off the Aslamids, continuing my subjugation of France. But if I’m going to fight all of Christendom, I’d prefer a more ambitious target…
That’s right, Pope! Odin is coming for you!
King Oddr, in spite of my attempts to murder him and his current imprisonment, is happy to join in the fight! What a guy.
With the Byzantines in the war, some large armies gather in Italy. My vassals are eager to help, though.
Chaos in Italy! These crusades certainly are lively. Unfortunately at this point my screenshots got cut off because my hard drive was full with CK2 screenshots and saves!
TL;DR — we won. Rather easily. At this point there’s not much left that poses a real threat! So Italy is mine, finally linking distant Serbia to the empire by land. My threat is through the roof, but I almost don’t care anymore.
Another treasonous king meets his end. Someone should name me Kingslayer, right? Much easier than fighting revolts, especially since everyone always seems to hate them.
And another king goes to jail for embracing Jesus. I wonder why he’s so eager to be on the wrong side of history.
Testing the theory that I no longer have to worry about threat, I go to war with Spain again for a chunk of southern France.
It goes pretty badly for them, despite having literally the entire world on their side. Hmm.
Victory! My empire now extends into Africa, which was previously part of the Kingdom of Italy.
While Grima has declined a bit with age, her total troop strength is now over 140,000.
Her heir, Princess Ulfhildr, is coming along too!
Current Year: 1280 AD. Current Status: Queen of the World.