The relentless march of the legions continues! Onward to the old borders and beyond! Emperor Ioannes commands it!
Go to your room, Young Ma’n!
Okay, but seriously. This guy happens to be the heir to one of the larger sub-realms of the Hafizids, my eternal enemies to the east. If I can get him on my side and press his claim, I may be able to take a big bite out of them.
Meanwhile, my forces have taken Kent. Because England is composed of many small realms, it’s relatively trivial for me to take them in quick succession.
Mercia is next.
Noooo, there are Lollards in Fife! England is great for silly words.
The Emperor decides to have some of his Hermetic Society buddies over for a shindig.
“Hear me out, boys — what if we made some kind of inter-net? You know, for fishing boats?”
Bishop Ioannes is being a dickhead, and he has the same name as me. Oh, it’s on!
That’s what I thought! And I’m changing your name to Butt-Face!
I have to imagine this going via a Hamilton-style cabinet battle.
While Ioannes’ high-minded theorizing continues, I’m trying to kill enough people to get Prince Ma’n on the throne.
We’ve invented … a thing that measures angles in the sky … I guess. Honestly I was hoping for, like, warp drive? But this is … fine.
My incursions into Hafizid territory continue. They’re weakening, but it’s still going to take a while to wipe them out.
Unfortunately, Emperor Ioannes the Hammer isn’t doing as well as the empire.
His doctors try chopping some bits off at random, but it doesn’t seem to help.
But, with another holy war, we’ve finally driven the Hafizids out of North Africa completely.
It’s Ioannes’ last achievement. His drinking buddies/alchemist companions will miss his insight and his wine cellar.
I choose you, Konstas III!
Konstas III is … pretty lackluster. He’s a twin, born in the purple, Augustus, kind, humble, slothful, shy, brave, and depressed, with below-average stats across the board and no children. We can work on the last one, at least.
On the plus side, the death of the Emperor means an early end to the truce with the Hafizids, so I can take another shot at them. Time to finally complete my control of Gaul.
I have had it with these MFing Lollards in my MFing Fife!
Just one more county to go down at the tip of Brittany.
To keep the vassals in line, sometimes it’s good to make an example. This guy hates my guts.
This is actually the intended result, because it gives me the chance to burn down all his shit.
Bulgaria doesn’t last long against the might of the Empire. I don’t raise my full levy for anything short of a jihad anymore.
On the other front, I’m still pressing into the desert against my old friends the Muradids. Unlike the Hafizids, they can still pull together a respectable army.
Aha! While Ma’n never got with the program, his heir Isma’il is willing to convert to Orthodoxy (after I captured him as a child) and be my puppet claimant! As soon as the truce with the Hafizids runs out, I can press his claim.
No, I don’t care if he had his fingers crossed during Mass, you are not to set him on fire!
I finish the war with the Muradids, taking a big chunk of Syria.
And I’m salivating at the prospect of taking over Isma’il’s claim in Spain. Almost there …
The King of France, on his own initiative, is finishing off Brittany. GJ king!
Blah blah blah, we want “rights” and “powers” and “some kind of say in literally anything”. Hasn’t anyone explained the concept of rule by divine right to you guys?
Well, consider it MFing explained, MFers.
With Brittany taken by France, all of Gaul is at last Roman once again. Caesar, you are avenged! (I know that makes no sense but it sounds cool.)
Still waiting for the truce to expire, but there’s a rebellion in Spain, so I can grab some land off the rebels.
And multiple Muradid revolts give me the same chance in the east!
The King of Jerusalem calls in a favor to get me to help press his claim on some sultan, which honestly is the kind of thing I do anyway.
The borders are expanding, east and west, although now my label is kind of messed up.
Konstas has been doing some serious conquering, if you know what I mean. And what I mean is that he has syphilis.
Fortunately, his doctor is here to help with sweet, healthful mercury!
And now it’s finally time to launch my war for Prince Isma’il’s claim —
Wait. God damn it, guys, what did I tell you not to do?
Set Prince Isma’il on fire.
And what did you do?
…set Prince Isma’il on fire.
Now I have to conquer Spain the old-fashioned way, one duchy at a time with holy wars. Bah.
Fortunately, they’re getting weak enough that my larger vassals like Italy and France will take shots at them.
I take over York to console myself.
“Whosoever pulls this sword from the stone, and has the backing of 100,000 Roman legionaries, shall be King of England! Or queen. Whichever really.”
Rapid cleanup ensues.
This seems a little bit late. I discover the problem later — in order to claim an old province, every holding must be my vassal. Even if all the counts are mine, sometimes there’s an independent baron or a temple owned by some random dude causing problems. This caused a lot of carefully clicking through each county.
But, anyway, woo! Roman order marches on!
I’ve subdued all the independent realms in Britain except for the Kingdom of Wales, so it’s time to start grabbing stuff off them.
My doctor has a new and exciting syphilis cure to offer!
I’ve taken over enough in the east that I look up where the old borders were so I know what to aim for.
I also have a nice juicy claim to Pomerania, which technically isn’t within the old borders, but close enough.
Konstas’ illness is getting to him. Syphilitic madmen are traditional Emperors!
I’m going to have to take Brunswick at some point. It just look untidy sitting there all gray.
Catholicism has been almost entirely wiped out. The Shia are making a bit of a comeback, surprisingly.
An Imperial Reconquest and some revolts gets me most of the Kingdom of Wales. Still a few bits left to mop up.
Konstas’ son Gabriel has a stupid hat. He’s a reasonable steward but a crappy diplomat, so I grab him a high-diplomacy wife to compensate.
As a bonus, said wife has a claim on that untidy duchy of Brunswick…
My doctor finally takes care of my syphilis problem for good by cutting out my eyeball. Unfortunately, I’m still crazy.
I take some more land off the Hafizids, and one of their vassals is rebelling, so I get a bonus round!
Sadly, the Hafizid ruler dies and the rebellion ends. But he loses the truce on his death, so I get another bonus round!
Nom nom nom.
I now own a 51% stake in Wales, so I get to be king. This has the happy side benefit of splitting up the remaining Welsh territory until several easily-gobbled sections.
Konstas applies his awesome legal mind to the most pressing problem of the day: ventilation.
Nearly there! Just have to grab that long pointy bit.
At this point, the old boundaries are in sight. I need to finish off the Hafizids, grab a few pieces of territory in the east, and finish England. I may take Ireland also just for kicks.
Also, my gold has gone totally bonkers. The empire has always been rich, but now I have waaaaay more than I can spend coming in, and the treasury is up over 20,000.
This … was never a province, honestly. But I’ve taken the Scots Isles.
Konstas himself is still pretty mediocre, but he managed to have a hell of a lot of sons!
“Philaretos the Noble? What could we possible blackmail him about?”
I get my wife Brunswick as an anniversary gift.
With my threat pinned at 100%, even my own holy order is constantly fighting against me, and they’re probably my most annoying remaining opponent. Fortunately, it occurs to me that I can simply press a claim to them on behalf of one of my vassals, and then they’re out of my way!
With a little border cleanup, Illyricum (Greece and the Balkans) rejoins the fold!
The Shia caliph declares a jihad, which is … not very threatening. Hardly anyone shows up.
There’s also a fresh outbreak of the Black Death, but the great hospital at Rome keeps the Emperor safe.
He is having phantom eye pain though.
Devon, the last holdout in Britain, finally gets its turn.
Hooray! Another province!
Wait, the province of what now?
Emperor Konstas dies of confusion.
I choose you, Gabriel!
Gabriel the Wise is not particularly wise, although at least becoming emperor has relieved him of his stupid hat. He’s also in the middle of a war for Holstein.
That doesn’t last long. I do like a tidy border.
I investigate the problem with Britain. Italia getting completed was coincidence, it turns out, and the issue is that there’s some baron in Leicester with delusions of grandeur. I send ten thousand men to camp on his doorstep until he changes his mind.
Much better. Welcome back, Britons!
Similarly, Furstenburg has both a delusional baron and and uppity bishop! Who gives these guys crazy ideas?
Eat my dust, Trajan!
*taps Holy Roman Emperor on the shoulder, clears throat*
The conquest of the Hafizids continues amid revolts as their power dwindles.
Things are a little slow, because I have to wait out truces with the same few enemies so I can finish off the last little bits of the old empire. To cheer myself up I press a vassal king’s claim to Denmark.
Ireland, Gabriel decides, should really be a part of the empire too.
The Irish object, but not very effectively. Here, though, I actually have to forge claims, because it’s Orthodox and outside the old empire and thus not subject to reconquest or holy war.
Eventually, I’m able to create the Kingdom of Ireland, which gives me de jure claims on all the remaining counties.
In the east, I push my borders out a bit against the Muradids, who are once again united.
Fortunately, I don’t need to wipe them out, just get to the edge of Mesopotamia. Another province off the shopping list!
There’s a revolt in Iceland!
…when did I even get Iceland?
With most of Norway under my control, it seems impolite not to take the last little bit.
One of my duchesses wants to be marshal. Unfortunately she’s a drooling imbecile. Does this count as Dunning-Kruger Syndrome?
In Syria I have to root out one of the Muslim holy orders and take their castles to complete my province.
Sadly, Gabriel can’t quite go the distance. They’re not kidding about the fabulous riches, though, my treasury is now over 50,000.
I choose you, Gabriel II!
Now that it’s mostly irrelevant, Gabriel II is actually kind of awesome stats-wise!
He gets to work right away subduing the last few bits of Ireland.
There. A nice, soothing red.
Also not actually a province, but sure.
The emperor got mugged in the woods. Just like his great-to-the-nth grandmother! I wonder if the family will ever find that chalice…
Weirdly, now the Arabian Empire collapses! You couldn’t have done that two hundred years ago, guys, and saved me some trouble?
The crimson tide is rising.
Ah, what the hell. One last civil war for the road!
Well that’s a mess. Fortunately, if I need to I can hire literally every mercenary in the world.
Ultimately it doesn’t come to that. I slap the rebels down, and clean up the last few counties in Spain.
One last war against an upstart baron…
And we’re done. My most inveterate foes the Hafizids are vanquished, the last province is recaptured, and the ancient borders of Rome are restored!
Actually waaaay more than restored.
Here we have our emperors. Surprisingly few, with long reigns! Thank goodness for primogeniture. Standouts include Chrysgone Ironside, who built the Kingdom of Anatolia; Tiberios the Usurper who used it to become emperor; Methodios the Glorious who mended the great schism, restored the Roman Empire, and then descended into dark sorcery; and Ioseph the Wise who heeded the voice of Jesus to become the greatest general who ever lived.
Restoring the old borders was a fun challenge! It got a little tedious at the end, just because the various mechanisms the game has to stop you steamrolling everything break down one by one, until it’s a matter of fighting out a hundred tiny wars. There’s actually 300 years left in the game, too — if I could tolerate the tedium, I could probably take over the rest of the map. But I’d rather move on to other things.
Thank for reading Pax Romana 2: Electric Boogaloo!
Current Year: 1165 AD.
Current Status: Maybe just one more war…